The Quest (4/5)

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series The Quest
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The beginning starts here.


They followed the passage in silence for some time, but could hear no sound from up ahead.

“If this is a quest, it sucks,” Buffy complained. “Where’s the dragon and gold and dashing prince in distress? I’m sick of walking through random tunnels.”

“Prince in distress?” Spike asked suspiciously. “What prince is this?”

“Oh, you know.” Buffy waved her hand airily. “Whatever cute guy I was into at the time. I would totally save his life and he would fall in love with me and I’d live happily ever after. There were probably smooches involved.”

“Is that so?” Spike sounded interested now, which was always a bad sign. “And what was this princess wearing as she did the saving?”

Buffy gave him a filthy look and refused to answer. Angel sighed heavily. She wondered how many more times she could make him do that before the night was up.

“Oh, thank God,” he muttered. “Look!”

The passage ahead of them widened, and Buffy caught a glimpse of the night sky beyond. “We’re out!” she said, running ahead to get a deep breath of the clean-ish air. The three of them came to a halt at the end of the tunnel.

“Hey, this is where we came in!” Angel said. “See, Griffith Park. I think I’m parked right up that hill.”

“That’s it?” Buffy asked, slightly disappointed.

“Not quite.” Spike kicked the small chest that sat beneath one of the shrubs at the edge of the tunnel. “I think this is for us.”

Buffy picked the note off the top and read it aloud.

Congratulations, mighty heroes. Although you did not achieve the grand prize, you have escaped with your lives. That is more than can be said for your brave predecessors. Enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Spike opened up the chest, and he and Buffy blinked at the contents. Angel peered over their shoulders.

“Is that… gold and jewels?” he asked.

Buffy picked up one of the gold coins and unwrapped it. “Gelt,” she said, taking a small bite. “Mmmmm, chalky.”

Spike grabbed one of the red gem-like objects and squeezed it between thumb and forefinger. It squished in his grip. “Gummi bears,” he said in disgust.

Buffy snatched the chest away from him. “And those are all mine,” she said firmly. “I deserve sugar in reward for all that walking around I did. You can have the green ones if you want.” Taking a look around, she shook her head. “I’m done for tonight. Food now, killing Andrew tomorrow. Do you mind if we stop for a burger on the way back?”

She took off for the car at a brisk walk. Spike and Angel exchanged a grin and followed behind.














“What do you mean?” Spike asked the troll. “An African or European swallow?”

The troll regarded him gravely, then nodded and shouldered his hammer. “You may pass,” he said grandly, and gestured to the passage on the left. “Proceed.”

“Thanks, mate.” Spike said. He caught Buffy’s look. “What?”

“Some day you’re going to explain to me what just happened,” she muttered, following after him.

After a few dozen meters, the left passage ended at a closed wooden door. Buffy exchanged glances with Spike and Angel and carefully pushed it open. The room beyond was dark, too dark to see much beyond the doorway. The trio cautiously stepped inside and the wooden door swung shut behind them and vanished.

“Hey!” Buffy said.

She heard a whirring sound and the room lit up with a pale glow. She was able to see that they were standing in an empty movie theater, and the light came from the screen that had just been illuminated by the projector. She stared in disbelief at the title card plastered there.

Congratulations, brave heroes! You have come to the end of your quest. Although you have not achieved the ultimate prize, your rewards shall be great. Enjoy the fruits of your labors.

The words disappeared and were replaced by others in slightly smaller font.

The door to the outside world will open when the movie is finished. Enjoy, and please make sure to turn off your cell phones and silence your pagers.

And then the credit sequence began. Buffy squinted at the screen.

“Monty Python and the…oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. No. No way.” She turned to the wall where the door had been and beat on it. “Hey! Let us out!”

“Come on, love,” Spike said, grabbing her around the waist and leading her to the seats. “We may as well make the best of it. This is classic cinema! As good a time as any to fill those holes in your knowledge.”

“I don’t want to fill my holes!” Buffy said, then shut her eyes tight as Spike waggled his eyebrows at her. She’d certainly walked into that one. “I don’t do movies with old English guys, unless they’re Colin Firth. You know that.”

Spike exchanged an incredulous glance with Angel, who was already sitting comfortably in one of the seats munching on the popcorn that had appeared as soon as he sat down. “Bloody Americans,” Spike said in disgust, and Angel nodded in solidarity.

“Tell me about it.”

“Come on,” Spike said, sitting down and dragging Buffy down onto his lap. “If you’re a good girl at the movies, I’ll give you some candy when it’s all over.”

“Or,” Buffy whispered, lowering her face to nip as his earlobe, “you could give me some right now.”

Angel rolled his eyes at the giggling and smacking noises and tried to focus on the screen. “Quiet back there!” he hollered, settling in with his popcorn. People just had no respect for the cinema anymore.















Spike stared at the troll for a moment, swallowed hard, and said, “Bugger it. I can’t remember the line.”

With a roar he launched himself at the troll and started twisting at its neck. Buffy scrambled for her sword and lunged into battle as Angel followed suit. The troll was twisting around, batting at its head and neck in an effort to dislodge Spike. Her sword bent in her hand – stupid trolls skin! – so she picked up the hammer the troll had dropped and brought it down hard on the creature’s foot.

It howled in pain and jumped on one leg, which gave Angel the opportunity to give it a shove that sent it sprawling sideways. Spike jumped clear as the troll fell, and with a heavy thud it landed sprawling on the ground and didn’t move again.

“Is it dead?” Buffy panted. She winced and rotated her shoulder. Those troll hammers were quite the workout.

Spike examined it. “No, just out cold. I didn’t know you could knock a troll out. Good on us, I say!”

“This pretty much just leaves us one path to take,” Angel pointed out. The troll had fallen so its massive body entirely blocked the left passageway, leaving only the right one open.

“Or we could just stay right here,” Buffy said in disgust. “I’m tired of playing this little game. If we don’t make any choices, Andrew will have to come to us. Right? What do you guys think?”


If you want the trio to wait there, go here.

If you want the trio to follow the right hand path, go here.


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