The Grundy Affair Chapter 6

This entry is part 6 of 13 in the series The Grundy Affair
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Buffy and Spike are recruited to protect an important gift for a high ranking official and discover there is more at stake.
13 chapters, complete, rated PG,  Drama and humor. Story begins here.

Chapter 6

To ensure the least amount of shedding, the coat should be brushed daily using a stiff artificial bristle brush. Stomach scales may be gently rubbed with a soft damp cloth. Good quality soap is essential for basic cleansing needs. It is imperative that the immature Grundy be taught early to lie still for ease of grooming.

– The Complete Manual of Domestic Demon Care
2001 Edition
Chapter 3-The Grundy

 

The shrill ring of the telephone awoke Giles. After Anya’s adventure at the Magic Box, he’d stayed late searching fruitlessly for clues to the mysterious man’s identity. When   finally back in his apartment, he’d stayed awake even later, trying to decide how best to convey everything to Travers.

Fumbling for the receiver, he blinked blearily at the bedside clock. It read 5:30. As of this moment he’d had a grand total of four hours sleep.

Punching the button on the receiver, he realized this was the second time in a twenty-four hour period he’d been awakened by a ringing phone. I need an answering machine. Rubbing his eyes, he reached for his glasses. “Hello?”

“Hi Giles. Did I wake you?” Buffy’s voice sounded exceedingly chipper.

“No, not at all. I was just preparing to go out and collect some eggs for breakfast.”

His wry tone wasn’t lost on Buffy. “That was a joke, right?”

No flies on my Slayer. Giles headed for the kitchen and much needed caffeine. “Yes, that was a joke.” Something finally filtered through his sleep deprived brain. “Buffy, where are you? You should still be with Spike at his crypt.”

“Actually I’m still with Spike, but not at the crypt. We’re at the Gran Torino Motor Court over in Seabreeze. Spike said it’s named after some kind of old car, the same kind that Starsky and Hutch drove, whoever they were.” She giggled again, still sounding way too peppy.  “No matter who drove it, I’ll bet it’s another ugly old car like the Desoto.”

“It’s exceedingly early. Please tell me in short one syllable words why you are both no longer at Spike’s crypt.”

He fumbled with the coffee filters while his Slayer sighed and answered, sounding very put upon. “Fine. This isn’t easy for me either you know. I haven’t had any sleep.”

Cursing the obvious resiliency of youth, Giles fumbled with his spoon and coffee grounds spilled across the counter. Staring at the mess, he could feel a tension headache begin to pulse. Rubbing his left temple, he filled the coffee maker one handed. “Buffy…”

“Demons at Spike’s crypt last night, more soon, we left. Drove here now. I think they were all one syllable, except for demon of course, but if I’d said ‘de’ or ‘mon’ you would have been clueless.”

Controlling the impulse to bang his head on the grounds covered counter, Giles tried to fill in the blanks. “Is the Grundy alright?”

“She’s fine. I would have added that in, but Grundy is another two syllable word and I’d already used ‘demon’.”

Pushing aside the carafe, he thrust his mug directly under the dark flow. Raising it to his lips, he gulped half the steaming liquid in the mug. Ooh, hot, hot!!!

Oblivious to the third degree burns her Watcher had just suffered in the line of duty, the Slayer continued. “We’re out of money and since the sun is up, we’ll have to stay here for the day. After you talk to Travers, I figured you’d want to have a convo. I’m going to ask Willow to research info on our demon pet and have her meet you at the Magic Box later today. Do you want the phone number here?”

He swiped at the tears streaming down his face. “Thust a minute. Let me get a penthil.”

“Huh? I think your phone is messing up.”

“Let me get a Penthil. Okay, thoot.”

Buffy rattled off the number. “I’ll wait for your call and don’t forget about the money. Spike says we don’t have enough gas to drive back to Sunnydale. They have a Western Union sign in the office here. Talk to you later. Have a super morning.”

Hanging up, he headed for the medicine cabinet and the extra strength Tylenol. He would need double the normal dosage before his morning got any more super.

*****

Buffy hung up the phone and turned to Spike. The vampire was lying across the other bed gently stroking the Grundy’s scaly tummy. They’d agreed to share a room so they could both guard the Grundy. Somehow it didn’t seem as squicky to Buffy as it would have yesterday, but there wasn’t really a choice anyway. They only had enough money for one room. “I’m pretty sure Giles’ phone just broke. He sounded like he was underwater at the end.”

“Did you finish your conversation?”

“Yeah, it was good timing. Anyway, he’s going to call us back in a couple hours after he talks with Quentin Travers at the Council.” She made a face. “That guy drives me beyond crazy.”

“Speaking of the Council, Slayer, I was wondering what your Watcher told you about the deal they made for the Grundy.”

“Nothing at all really. Why?”

Spike dug through the tote they’d repacked.  Afraid to leave any clues behind, they’d brought all of the Grundy’s possessions with them. “She was wearin’ this at first.”

Buffy looked at the delicate collar, turning it over to inspect the fine gold filigree. “This is seriously expensive.” She ran a finger gently across the stones. “Quentin Travers is cheap. Every time I see him, he’s wearing the same suit. I just don’t see him doing the top dollar gifty thing.”

She handed the collar back to Spike and watched him place it carefully in the tote. “It already sounds like the Grundy was way more money than they would normally spend on a present for one of their yes men.”

“That’s what I thought, too. There’s no one cheaper than that bloody Watcher’s Council, they even make Anyanka look extravagant.”

Buffy reached for the telephone again and started dialing another number.

Spike cocked an eyebrow. “Who are you callin’ now? It’s still only 6:00 a.m.”

Buffy placed the receiver against her ear before answering. “Willow. She gets up at 5:00 and I want to catch her before she leaves for school.” She turned her attention to the phone. “Hey Will…. Spike and I are in Seabreeze hiding from some demons….Yup, still got it so far. Can you do me a favor after your class this morning? I want you to find out everything you can about these Grundy demons. G-r-u-n-d-y…..  No, you call me back. Here’s the number. What?…… Yeah, that’s a good idea, I told him you’d let him know. He’ll be at the Magic Box, but not until after noon…… Okay, thanks. Bye.”

She replaced the receiver. “She’ll call us around noon. She’s going to take the info to the Magic Box so Giles can hear it, too. He’ll have finished talking with Travers by then and hopefully wired some money here. In the meantime, we need to get some sleep.”

Yawning, Spike agreed. I still can’t wrap my head around us in the same room. When did the world go all pear shaped and we become partners, if only for a bit? He lovingly stroked the Grundy’s stomach. It’s all because of you. When this is all over, you’re going to get the biggest bone I can find.

Buffy reached for the ancient clock on the nightstand. “I’ll set this alarm clock for 11:00. That will give us time to wake up and maybe eat before Willow calls back. I’m going to order take out pizza for lunch.” Buffy nodded at the ice bucket. “I know you brought blood, but you’re welcome to pizza goodness, too.”

Teasing gently, Spike looked over at the blonde and replied, “That’s very charitable, Slayer, especially since I’m the only one with any dosh at the moment.”

Chuckling, Buffy plumped her pillow. “Yeah, well that’s me, the Very Charitable Slayer, especially with other people’s ‘dosh’.”

She watched the vampire double check the heavy curtains and the door lock. Stretching out on top of his own coverlet, the Grundy immediately scooted next to him, resting her head on his chest.

“Sleep tight Spike. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

Spike chuckled and decided he should warn Buffy to stay on top of the covers. There was no doubt in Spike’s mind that her childhood saying could prove to be true. Among other things, the Gran Torino Motor Court was probably filled to capacity with the itchy little buggers. He only hoped they didn’t manage to worm their way into the Grundy’s coat. He could only imagine the havoc Empress would cause if she started to itch.

****

“Anya, what are you doing?” Xander watched his girlfriend sliding hangers across the closet bar. “Giles told you to take the day off.”

“Although I feel perfectly fine this morning other than a slight bump, I’m not going to the Magic Box.” She pulled out a light blue dress. “But I am going to see Giles. I want to talk to him before he speaks with that Travers man this morning, so I’m going to his apartment.”

“I’ll drive you.”

“You don’t have to drive me. I’m perfectly fine on my own.”

“I know that. But I’m off until at least three o’clock, we’re doing a concrete pour and until that sets up, I’m footloose and fancy free. So let me drive you. We can stop at that little diner you like for pancakes. I don’t get to spend that much time with you in the mornings. We can combine it into a two-for-one, diner fun and business.”

Xander didn’t mention how frightened he’d been last night when he’d seen Anya sprawled on the shop floor. He knew she wouldn’t let him drive her if she thought it was protectiveness talking, so he’d called in sick while she was still in the shower. Xander planned to stick to her like glue until this Grundy mess at the shop was cleared up.

Anya smiled. “I love that little diner.”

“Great. I’ll read the paper until you’re ready to go.”

“I won’t be too long.” She walked back in the bathroom and Xander heard the blow dryer. Mission accomplished.  Opening the morning paper, he glanced at the front page and a story printed below the fold caught his attention. He read the reporter’s account of the mysterious murder of an older woman, a local breeder here in Sunnydale, and his jaw set in a hard line.

Chapter 7 here

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/241500.html

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