Title: When One Door Closes – Part 1
Word Count: 11,000ish
Author’s Notes: Set Post S2 after Buffy left Sunnydale, but she doesn’t go back.
“Hi. Do you have a reservation?”
After walking back to the podium, Buffy didn’t even look at all the people that were waiting for her to seat them. She simply flipped open the black, leather-bound book in front of her, her chin resting in her hand. Already feeling tired, a feeling she was becoming far too familiar with lately, wasn’t helping. Working a full time job while slaying was taking its toll and the vamp she had run into on the way to the restaurant had made her a few minutes late. She hated being late. Being late never boded well for her. Stupid vampire. She glanced down at her black, high-heeled shoes and saw that they were still dust-covered.
Why hadn’t the latest customer answered yet? A glance over her book revealed scuffed black boots. That annoying vamp from Sunnydale used to wear the same kind of scuffed boots. She thought that only Spike was out there enough to try to pull off wearing those things, and in a nice restaurant, at that. Her gaze traveled the rest of the way up the body clad in black: black jeans, black shirt, black belt, and a long, black leather duster. The silver belt buckle was the only thing that wasn’t black, and it screamed out for attention to be drawn to the slight bulge not hidden very well under the black jeans. Why didn’t he use a neon sign with a big ol’ arrow if he wanted everyone to look at his man parts? She felt herself blush when she realized that’s exactly what she was doing. Nice body though. Although not dressed exactly appropriate for the restaurant. If she had been really, really cranky she could deny service, but customers were customers, and customers meant money.
“Do you have a reservation?” she repeated as her eyes traveled the rest of the way up the lean body and rested on the face.
No. It couldn’t be him. She stared for who knew how long, and she was pretty sure her mouth was hanging open, so she slammed the offending orifice shut. He didn’t look surprised at all. He had that cocky grin that she hated; the cocky grin that seemed to imply that he knew something that she didn’t.
“What are you doing here, Spike?”
“Is that anyway to greet an old friend?” he asked, his scar-creased eyebrow rising in question. His lips tipped into an even larger mischievous grin.
“Old you might be,” she whispered through clenched teeth. “Friend? Never.” Looking over his shoulder she saw that the people behind him were getting impatient. That was never a good thing. “Can you leave now? I have real customers.”
“Who said I’m not?”
“You’re going to get me fired.” He wouldn’t, but he didn’t need to know that. “How did you find me anyway?” she asked under her breath. “You’re not like a stalkery-vampire now are you?”
Laughing he said, “If I were stalking you, pet, and I’m not saying I am, I would be pretty bad at it. Taking me this long to find you and all. It’s been a bit since we saw each other last.”
He had her there. “Fine. What do you want?”
“Give me a table. I’m feeling a little peckish.”
“Do you have a reservation?”
Maybe the third time asking if he had a reservation would be the charm. The last thing she wanted to do was cause a scene, but Spike was someone that always seemed to demand attention. His cockiness and the contrast between the white hair and the black clothes and that stupid silver belt buckle. If anything screamed ‘look at me’ it was that combination and she suspected he knew it.
“Do I need one?” he asked.
She snatched a menu. “Fine. Follow me,” she said as she turned toward the main dining room. Stopping, she spun around on her heels. “And so help me if you cause any trouble I’ll stake you myself on the spot. I don’t care if people stare.”
After a few steps he said, “Look at that. The Slayer is all grown up and a working bird now.” She glared at him a little more over her shoulder. He put his hands up in surrender and then placed his right hand over his heart. “I promise I’ll be good.”
She rolled her eyes. Like his gesture meant anything. Vampire promises didn’t mean much. Especially from ones that didn’t have souls. She led him through the dining room, past all the normal customers, to a table in the back by the kitchen. It was the worst table in the place and it was only used in case of emergency. She figured if anything was considered an emergency it was a surprise visit from him after all this time. How in the hell had he found her?
She dropped the menu on the table. “Order. Eat. Pay. Leave. In that order.” Vinnie, who owned the Authentic Italian Restaurante, walked by and glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. “Tony, your waiter, will be with you momentarily,” she said to Spike, sugary sweet, and when Vinnie had moved on she heaved a sigh and turned to go.
“What are the specials?” he asked.
“You have got to be kidding me.”
“Would I kid you, slayer?” he asked. His voice rising just a notch.
“Shhh.” She looked around to see if anyone had heard him. No one was looking at her weird. That was a good thing. Him being here? Not so much.
“Well, let’s have it then.” he said.
“Could you be anymore annoying?” she whispered, and then proceeded to list off the daily specials and before he could ask for anything else, she left him alone, sitting at the table with that stupid smirk still on his face. Amazing. The sight of him could still annoy her to no end.
Buffy grabbed the menu and stomped away. Well, he was sure there’d be stomping if the floor hadn’t been carpeted. It was more like she padded away angrily. He laughed at his little joke. He still couldn’t believe he had run into her after all this time.
Spike couldn’t help but stare. The Slayer had grown up. What was she now, nineteen or twenty? He could still feel her power, more so now, but there was something else, too. His eyes took her woman-form in from head-to-toe. There was no doubt about it. The Slayer was fine-looking. She was wearing a long, black, sleeveless, figure hugging dress that clung in all the right places. The long slit up the back of it ran almost to the bottom of her arse, and he had to shift a little in his seat. His pants not feeling as comfortable as they had only moments before. Her hair was a bit blonder than he remembered. Not white like his, more like honey. She had it pulled away from her face and he had a sudden urge to let it loose. Let is flow down around her shoulders… and maybe his.
She was seating another couple a few tables away from his and he couldn’t take his eyes off her. She didn’t turn his way even once. He wasn’t sure what he’d do if she did, but then the bulk of an Italian waiter whose nametag said ‘Tony’ was blocking his view.
“Welcome, sir. What can I get for you?”
How about a little Slayer ala mode? Spike thought, and then he shifted in his seat once more.
After Buffy had seated the last of the night’s guests she heaved a short-lived sigh of relief. Tony, Spike’s waiter, had confirmed her suspicions. Spike had cashed out his bill hours before, but he still hadn’t left. He was still at that stupid table and he was still staring at her.
“You can go now,” Vinnie said from behind her.
“Are you sure?” she asked as she turned to face him. “I can help out if you want.”
She was willing to hang out and help the wait staff set the tables for the next day, sipping wine with them before she went home and changed for patrol. Not like filling salt and pepper shakers were too taxing to her slaying abilities. She might not be living on the hellmouth anymore, but there were still vampires.
“That guy over there, the one you were talking to earlier,” Vinnie continued, tilting his head in Spike’s direction, “said he’d like to have a moment of your time before he leaves. You seemed to know him, so I didn’t throw him out on his ass.”
And if anyone could have thrown Spike out on his ass it would have been Vinnie. Dear, sweet Vinnie who stood well over six-feet, five inches tall, weighed over two hundred and fifty pounds, was nothing but solid muscle, and made lasagna to die for. Italian, ex-football players that pumped weights daily were good people to have on your side, Slayer or not.
“It’s okay. I do know him.” She grabbed her jacket off the hook behind her. After sliding it over her shoulders she said, “I’m sure he’ll leave when I do.” Patting the stake that she carried in her pocket, she smiled. “If not before. I can handle him. His bark’s worse than his bite.”
“If you’re sure.”
She stopped next Spike’s table and put her hands on the edge of it. Leaning forward she said, “I’m leaving now and so are you.” The black dress was tight enough and low enough to give her some cleavage that she was quite proud of and she’d be damned to let the fact that Spike was staring there intimidate her or get her to stand back up.
“I’ve worn out my welcome then,” he said as he stood up, brushing against her as he did so. She took a step back.
“You wore out your welcome the first time I met you,” she said.
“Is that so?”
“What do you want? What are you doing here?”
“What makes you think I didn’t stop by to say hello?” he asked, lighting up a cigarette once they were outside the restaurant.
“Because you’re a vampire. I’m a slayer. Not mixy things.” As soon as the words were out of her mouth she realized how hypocritical they sounded, especially after what had happened the last time they had seen each other. If he noticed, he didn’t let on.
“I’m not following you if that’s what you’re afraid of,” he said. “I found you purely by accident.”
“How about you lose me? But intentionally?”
“We have a history, love.”
A history she’d rather forget.
“There’s another slayer in Sunnydale,” he said matter-of-factly, bringing her back to the present.
She stopped walking and shoved her hands in her coat pockets, suddenly feeling chilled. “What? Who?” Guilt bubbled to the surface, but she pushed it back down where it belonged. She hadn’t allowed herself to dwell on the fact that she had left the hellmouth unattended… much.
He heaved a sigh and the night air was filled with the smell of cigarette smoke. “For as much as all you slayers are different, you’re an awful a lot alike.” He tossed his unfinished butt to the ground and stepped on it. They began walking again. “The new one showed up not too long after short, dark, and virginal bit it and you pulled the Houdini. Latest is still there. Hellmouth keeps her busy.”
“How do you know any of this?”
“Heard the Watcher talking to the last one to join the Slayer Sorority.” He looked thoughtful for a moment and then added, “Faith. That’s her name. Hotness packed in skin-tight leather.”
“Only thing I’ve ever seen her in. She talks tough, walks tough, and fights like she’s possessed. Had a hard time getting her brain around the two-slayer thing at first, I’d say.”
They turned the next corner and were almost to her apartment. There was no way she was going to be inviting him in anytime soon. “What did Giles tell her?” He looked at her out of the corner of his eye. “What? Tell me,” she insisted, although she wasn’t so sure that she really wanted to know.
“It’s been a while now. Not sure I remember.”
“Told her that you got involved with a vampire and that it didn’t end well.”
A little spark of anger ignited in her stomach. How could Giles do that? How could he betray her like that? It made her sound… It made her sound like… an idiot. That’s what it made her sound like. “What did this girl, Faith, say?”
He stopped walking. “You sure you want to know?” She simply nodded. “She said, ‘What did she expect getting involved with a vamp?’”
The question kept spinning around her brain. It finally ended up on the tip of her tongue and she spit it out. “How long did Sunnydale not have a slayer after I left? Do you know?”
“Not much longer than a summer, I’d wager. Joan Jett showed up right when all the kiddies started going back to school. Not that she went to school, that one. Full of piss and vinegar.”
Was that truly anger spreading out like tendrils from the pit of her stomach or something else? Shame? No, that couldn’t be it. It was flat-out anger.
“Polar opposites, pet.”
“Why did you leave Sunnydale, Spike?”
“Does it matter?” he said.
“I asked. I guess that means it matters,” she said.
“Felt like it.”
She didn’t have time to press the matter because she was home. They stopped in front of an old tenement-styled apartment building. It wasn’t much, but it was all she could afford. It was one of many multiple unit dwellings that lined the street, and this was one of the oldest. The five-story walk-up had been remodeled somewhat in the 90’s, so it wasn’t so bad.
Flanking a central entrance and stair hall, the apartments contained a sequence of consecutive rooms lined up like railroad cars. Only the front and rear rooms had windows for light and ventilation. There hadn’t been any provisions for ventilating interior rooms, and the building lacked adequate water, heating and hygienic facilities, but the updates had helped some. She had been lucky. She had gotten a room in the back that had windows.
“This is it,” she said. “I’m not inviting you in.”
“Don’t recall asking.”
“And you still haven’t told me why you’re here.”
“I did tell you. It was an accident bumping into you.
“Are you staying or moving on.”
“Reckon I’ll stay a bit.”
“Maybe there’s no reason.”
“You’ve always got a reason, Spike.”
Buffy tossed and turned most of the night, waking up more tired than when she had fallen into her restless sleep, and more bedraggled than she cared to admit.
She rolled over and fumbled with the nightstand drawer next to her bed. Once she had what she was looking for in her grasp, she pushed the drawer closed. It always surprised her that the box still looked so new, even though she and it had been though so much since she’d sent Angel to hell. Inside was the Claddagh ring. She had worn it on a chain at first, but it had drawn too much attention and too many questions. It had been easier to box it up and put it away. In the beginning she had pulled it out almost daily, the ring that symbolized friendships, loyalty, and love, but then it had become too painful. She hadn’t looked at the shiny, gold ring for months. And then Spike had shown up dragging along memories of the past. Pain had floated back to the surface like flotsam in a gutter. She was dreaming about Angel again for the first time in months and it was all Spike’s fault.
In her dreams Angel hadn’t gone to hell right away. He had time to take the sword out of his chest and then jam it into hers. But she didn’t die. She went to hell – a hell that played back her failure and the death of her life’s only love on continual repeat. And the guilt over leaving Sunnydale without a word to anyone was right back where it had been when she had boarded that bus: sitting on the stupid bus seat right next to her. Damn Spike!
She rubbed her chest. No sword there, but it felt like there was one. Maybe she would be better off if there had been. After the necklace was nestled back in its hiding place she got out of bed, put on a pot of coffee, and then wandered over to her answering machine, checking the message indicator. Usually she gave it the once-over when she got home from work, but she had been too tired and preoccupied the night before. It didn’t matter. There were no messages. There never were.
The phone shrilled in its holder and she jumped. Timing or what? She debated on whether or not to answer. Caller-ID would’ve been good, but she couldn’t justify paying for the added luxury. Why bother? Not like anyone ever called her anyway. Settling her inner debate, she picked up the phone. “Hello?”
“Hello there, love.”
She felt her eyes roll up into the very back of her head, feeling lucky that they didn’t get stuck there. “What do you want, Spike?”
“Have any plans for the day?”
Plans for the day? Besides laying around, watching soaps, snacking, followed by more laying around? Nope. No plans. “Yes, I’m really busy and I have a lot to do.”
He laughed and then said, “Working tonight?”
That one would be easy enough to check out. Just like it would’ve been easy enough for him to follow her home and see where she lived the night before. “No. Wednesday’s my night off. It’s a good TV night.” And she needed to make up for the slaying she hadn’t done the previous night. That was a must.
“Is it then?”
“Yes it is and now I’m hanging up. I wasn’t kidding, Spike. We’re not friends so don’t try acting like we are.” She hung up the phone and it didn’t ring again, so maybe he actually had gotten the message.
“This can’t be good,” Buffy said, taking a step back.
Four vampires had her surrounded. To the left of her was an overturned wheelchair and a guy was on the ground beside it. From her vantage point, she couldn’t tell if he was alive or dead. On some inner level, she suspected the former. Vampire cowards. Guy was disabled and they had still attacked him. Where was the challenge in that? They were the saddest group of vamps she’d ever seen.
“You are the saddest group of vampires I’ve ever seen,” she said.
A fist came flying toward her head, but she ducked out of the way. The vampire hit air and in turn was greeted with a roundhouse kick to the head. Once he was sprawled out on his back, Buffy did what she did best and then two more moved toward her. “Okay, maybe I can see why you’re so sad. You kind of suck at this.”
The two that charged her were taken out even quicker than the first one, and by the time the fourth one was dust, she had settled herself next to the man on the ground.
“Are you okay?” she asked as she helped him into a sitting position.
“Yeah,” he said. “What were they?”
“You don’t want to know,” she reached out her hand. “Let me help you.”
“I think you’re right. I don’t want to know. I especially don’t want to know how a pretty little thing like you just kicked some major butt and saved my ass,” he said as he offered her his arm.
“Good point.” She helped him into the wheelchair and then picked up the books that were scattered about, moving quickly. The sudden feeling of being embarrassed by his words surprised her. “These must belong to you,” she glanced at the inside cover that was flipped open, “Brian.”
Brian brushed the dust out of his dark-colored hair and his breath caught in his throat. He was in pain. There was no missing the expression that crossed his face. “They do.” He smiled. “I’m not sure what happened, but I’m glad you came when you did.”
Fact of the matter was that Brian wasn’t bad looking at all. Too bad she wasn’t interested in anyone in that way. And by the books he had been holding, he was pretty smart, too. What else could a girl want? Talk, dark, handsome, and smart.
“So am I. Can I help you get someplace?” She tipped her head toward Brian’s hands. “You’re a little scraped up.”
“Sure. If you don’t mind.”
And if it wasn’t for the fact that Brian accepted her help, you’d never know that he needed it. His arms were strong, solid. She was starting to think that he could’ve gotten back into the chair all by himself and she felt her face get hot. A blushing slayer. What a picture that must’ve made.
“I don’t mind at all.” She glanced behind her before she took off walking, the wheelchair-bound Brian in front of her. She thought she sensed something behind her, but there wasn’t anything she could see. She racked up the strange feeling to lingering vamp vibes.
After pushing him four blocks he told her to stop. “This is it,” he said and then an awkward silence followed.
“Well, enjoy your books,” Buffy said. It was lame and she knew it, but she didn’t know what else to say. The earnest look on his face told her he wanted to say more, but he didn’t and when Brian was secured in his apartment she waved goodbye and headed home. She had spent over an hour with him. If Giles had been there he would’ve lectured her on how many vamps she could’ve taken out in that time. Or would he? Maybe Giles would be happy that she made sure Brian got home safe, although they never actually did that when she was in training. Free the bitee, stake the biter, rinse and repeat. That’s the way it was done. Oh well, what did it matter to her? Giles wasn’t there and Brian was safe and that’s what was important.
She was a couple of blocks from home when she was surprised by a voice coming from behind her. “Need an escort?”
There was Spike. Was it him that she had senses earlier? “What are you doing here?” she asked.
“’appened to be in the neighborhood.”
“That seems to be happening a lot lately and its not disproving that entire ‘stalky’ thing either.” After expelling a nice, long sigh she said, “Try anything and I’ll stake you.”
He smirked, inclining his head toward her in a way that let her know he’d play along. She bit back a smile and let him fall into step beside her.
After they had walked for a few feet she got up the nerve to ask, “How long were you behind me? I mean before or after I walked that guy home.”
“The bloke in the wheelchair?” he asked. “After.”
“Uh-huh.” If it was after how’d he know that Brian came with wheels?
Buffy slammed down the phone. What was she thinking? She hadn’t spoken to Giles since she had left Sunnydale, without telling him she was leaving. She hadn’t even left a note. As far as everyone back home was concerned she could be dead. Not like another Slayer would’ve shown up since Faith was the real slayer nowadays. Too much time had passed.
She jumped at the sound of Vinnie voice. “Fine.”
“What?” That’s when she noticed that his gaze traveled from her to the phone and back again. “Oh, no. Wrong number. A really, really, really wrong number.”
Once she had everyone seated, Buffy returned to the hostess station and stared at the phone. What made her think she could pick up the phone and call anyone back in Sunnydale and actually ‘talk’ to them? The way she’d left seemed like the right thing to do at the time. She needed to heal and she wasn’t able to help herself let alone anyone else. And after time had passed? Well, time had passed. Too much of it. So she’d satisfy her curiosity and her guilt by calling occasionally using the *67 feature, blocking her number from anyone who happened to have caller ID. Hearing their voices reassured her that everyone was okay… alive. And if they were okay she was okay. Right?
She didn’t call her mom that much anymore. The sound of her voice broke Buffy’s heart. Her mom was so close, and yet very, very far away. And Buffy was pretty sure her mom would never forgive her for leaving and never calling or coming back. She heaved a sigh and flipped open the reservation book again. What a mess she’d made of her life.
How could something that seemed like a good idea at the time suck so much now?
Her finger trailed down the list of names and rested on one: Spike. Oh great, now he was actually making reservations. She still had a half an hour. That gave her plenty of time to prepare some quippy comebacks. She had been running low lately.
By the time he sauntered up to her, she was ready. “Isn’t there somewhere else you need to be?” she asked.
His hand shot out and then caressed the reservation book. “Might want to take a look-see.”
She didn’t have to look since she already knew what name was indicated there. “Whatever!!” So much for the quippy comebacks.
Spike was suppressing the laughter that was bubbling in his chest, running through the cemetery, dodging headstones and jumping over long-dead flower bouquets. When he had first started following the Slayer on her patrols it was out of boredom, but now he did it because it was bloody entertaining. The fact that she didn’t know he was following her only made it that more fun. Currently, she was hot on the trail of a gang of undead misfits and he was far enough behind her not to be sensed by those bloody slayer instincts. He didn’t need to see her to know where she was, his Slayer had a certain smell about her and there was no mistaking it. He was as close to her as he dared to be, and he’d be damned if he wasn’t downright giddy.
Stopping suddenly when he noticed that she had done the same, he ducked behind a crypt that was to his right. The fight was about to begin, all he had to do was wait, watch, and be entertained.
The Slayer was standing still, her chest rising and falling fast, like the little bird that she was, trying to catch her breath. She clutched a stake in each hand, and her jaw was set firm. After watching her for so long, he knew she was getting a little miffed.
Spike sensed them before he saw them, creeping in the dark like cockroaches. Three were coming at her from behind, they must’ve doubled back. There were at least two or three closing in on her from the sides, and one was meeting her head on. That was the one that had her attention. Slayer didn’t even realize she was about to be ambushed.
“A slayer?” the one she was facing asked. Spike rolled his eyes. Ponce didn’t know how to dress. Even if Spike didn’t know he was a vampire, he would’ve figured it out by the polyester pants and silk shirt. Thoughts of Woodstock came bounding back. The good ol’ days when fun was to be had by all.
“What gave me away? My timely fashion sense?” Buffy asked.
Spike smirked. He had to give credit where credit was due, and the fact that she was thinking along the same lines as him tickled him.
“It’ll be your bloodless corpse that I’d be worried about if I were you,” the vampire said.
The others that had been sneaking up on the Slayer moved at the same time. In speeds only vampires and slayers could achieve, they launched onto her back, flattening her to the ground. The ones from the side moved in and quickly disposed of her stakes. The Slayer was outnumbered and unarmed.
“That was easier than I thought it would be,” said the vampire as he knelt down in front of her.
When the leader – Spike refused to think of him as a master, minions be damned – caressed her cheek, something began to rise from the pits of his gut. He wasn’t smiling anymore.
“I wouldn’t make a good corpse,” Buffy said as she struggled to get free. “Pale skin clashes with my hair color.”
“Let me be the judge of that,” the vampire said. She struggled in vain. The seven vampires held her tight and even she wouldn’t be able to get out of this one unscathed. She was yanked to her feet, fighting the entire time, finally managing to get one arm free before it was detained again.
“This is going to be fun,” the vampire said.
The offensive arm was then twisted behind her back, but she didn’t scream. Spike kind of admired her for that. He had seen slayers in action before. Five of ‘em to be exact, but he’d never actually watched them until he’d found this Slayer. And he liked watching her.
He kept to the outskirts of the little vampire party, needing to get behind the one doing all the talking. And when he was sure he hadn’t been spotted, he emerged from the darkness. “I don’t think so, mate. Slayer’s mine.”
“Who the hell are you?” the leader asked.
“Spike?” Buffy said. He enjoyed the shocked look on her face. It never got old.
“Does it matter?” Spike asked, strutting even closer still. He held his smile in check when he saw the Slayer’s eyes open even wider in surprise as he took on his demon visage.
“No. Vampire or not, you can’t stop us.”
Calling on his demon, and giving it all that he had, Spike lunged forward, dropped, rolled and grabbed the two discarded stakes. He quickly dusted the two vamps holding onto the Slayer’s right arm – waiting for the pain in his head that never came. Once her arm was free he slid a stake into her hand, and then grabbed her by the opposite wrist yanking her free. In the confusion the remaining vamps had let her go and had taken a step back.
“Spike?” she asked, standing next to him. “What are you doing here?”
The laughter that he had been containing came spilling forth. “Saving your cute little arse I’d imagine. Oh, and I’m actually dusting vamps. Didn’t know I could do that! This chip might not be the death of me.” He jumped up and clapped his hands together.
The John Travolta wannabee tried to disappear when two of his minions had been staked, but he was no match for Spike. That left a number that he and the Slayer could handle. It wasn’t long before they were alone, and Spike had a slayer glaring at him.
“Seriously, what are you doing here?” she asked.
“I just so happened to be in the neighborhood.” He handed her the stake he had been holding. “Thought you might be needing this.”
She snatched it and shoved it in the waistband of her jeans. “You’re not going to tell me, are you? And what’s with the ‘just-so-happened-to-be-in-the-neighborhood’ bit you’re so fond of and what about chips? You have chips?”
His joy was short-lived. She was determined and she kept getting closer to him with every word she spoke – not that her closeness was a bad thing. Now was a good a time as any he supposed. He leaned up against a tree. “I left Sunnydale after the Initiative blokes got their bloody paws on me.”
“The who? What’s the Initiative?”
“Black ops types.” His eyes met hers for the first time since he began explaining. “They put a chip in my head. I can’t hurt anyone. Well, I can’t hurt anyone that’s human come to find out.” He was on the verge of laughter again. He wasn’t de-fanged after all.
“This is too much, Spike. Start from the beginning.”
After heaving a sigh he began to tell her a story about a military group that hunted and studied demons and vampires in Sunnydale. He had been captured and chipped and somehow managed to escape. He was Spike, but the Initiative knew him as Hostile 17.
“Hostile 17? What about Giles? Does he know? How about Faith? Is the slayer working with them?”
“Didn’t stick around long enough to find out. Not like I talked to them on a daily basis either,” he said. “Once I escaped, I left. No passing go. No collecting two-hundred soddin’ dollars. No way in bloody hell I was going to hang around. Was already neutered. Didn’t want to know what was in store next for me.”
“How long ago was that?”
“Not like I checked the calendar!”
“Spike,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest.
“A year or two, give or take.”
“Two years,” she said more to herself. “They don’t hurt people do they?”
“No. Strictly demon hunters.”
“Demon hunters.” Her gaze grew faraway and her expression appeared thoughtful, and then she let out an exasperated breath and said, “Well, stop showing up everywhere that I am. It’s getting weird.”
“Mere coincidence, love.”
“I don’t believe you.” She looked down at her clothes. “And I feel gross and I need a shower. So goodbye. And don’t follow me!”
As she stalked off he yelled out, “Anytime, pet!”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/191978.html