Five Years of Change

by Saber ShadowKitten



I'm sorry for not being the daughter you wanted. I'm leaving now and I won't be back. I've hurt too many people, done too many wrong things. I've been expelled again; the police think I killed Kendra, which, in a way, I did; I got Willow, Xander and Giles hurt and they almost died for the hundredth time; I killed Ms. Calendar; I killed Theresa and Sheila; and I killed my love. I'll miss you. Be careful when you go out at night. Tell Giles that I love him and that he was closer to a father than a Watcher to me and tell him to have the next Slayer come to the Hellmouth, because I won't be back. I love you.


Part One

"Hit me."

"Well, if you insist." Spike gave her a cheeky grin, pretending to rise from his seat. Buffy rolled her eyes at the woman next to her, who let out a small laugh. The vampire retook his seat and tossed a card at the Slayer. "Jacks are high. Looks like the Slayer could get lucky."

"What about me, luv?" Drusilla asked. She tapped the table. "Do I get to be hit, too?"

"Of course, darling," Spike answered, turning over a card. "It's a black queen for my Black Queen." Buffy made gagging noises as Drusilla clapped happily. Spike turned dealt one to himself, grumbling under his breath at the bad card.

Five years ago, a scene like this would have made him want to end his long life. At times, he was still tempted, especially when the two women with which he was playing five card ganged up on him. His eyes lovingly roved over the vampiress seated to his right. His Princess. The woman he loved beyond sense, beyond the fact that he was a demon. She was the reason he'd made the deal with the other woman seated at the table.

The Slayer. The little bitch he was suppose to hate but couldn't any longer. She'd helped him search for his kitten and that was before he'd gotten his soul returned to him, which was like having an exceedingly annoying voice in his head, telling him not to do certain things. Most of the time he ignored it and could care less about what was ‘right.' It did put a damper on his feeding habits, however.

"Full house," Buffy said, flipping over her two face down cards. She smirked at him.

"Beats me," Spike scowled. He turned to Drusilla. "What do you have, ducks?"

"I have four pretty ladies," Drusilla answered, turning over her cards. "And the one-eyed man. I don't like him."

"Rats," Buffy grumbled as Spike pushed the poker chips towards the vampiress. "I think she cheats. Dru, has Miss Edith been telling you what the cards are again?"

"No, Slayer, she has not," Drusilla said. "Miss Edith is a good girl. Just like her mummy."

Spike smiled affectionately at her as Buffy shuffled the cards. He'd been so afraid that when she had gotten her soul back, she would kill herself. It wasn't a choice on either of their parts. One day he'd gone to bed, the Slayer idly flipping channels on the television in the hotel room, and that night he'd woken up with a searing pain in his chest, the room glowing yellow for a moment.

The Slayer figured out almost immediately what had happened. She didn't know whether to be happy or sad for him, thinking he would be buried with guilt. But since he wasn't a very pleasant chap before he'd been turned, he shrugged it off. The Slayer thought that the red head must have decided to do the restoration spell again and wondered why on him. Then they both realized that if he had a soul, Drusilla might also have received one and they sped up the search for his Princess.

Five years had passed since he'd met up with the blond in Los Angeles on accident. Drusilla had run away from him almost immediately after leaving Sunnyhell and after a quick trip back to that hell hole, he'd gotten word that she had gone to the city. But instead of finding his ducks, he'd literally run into the Slayer on the street. He'd been so surprised to see her, even more so the dead air that surrounded her petite form, the pain and lifelessness coming from her hazel eyes. He could have killed her easily that night, but he didn't. Instead, he took her out for coffee and she ended up telling him she'd help him find Dru. She said that at least someone should have happiness.

A year after that he got his soul back and two weeks later they found his goddess in a church. They'd heard on the news about a girl who refused to leave the sanctified grounds, who begged for mercy every night, prostrating herself in front of the altar. The clincher was that she kept crying out Angel, Spike and Miss Edith's names. The unconventional friends got there in fifteen minutes and he had taken Drusilla into his arms and held her as she wept.

"Sweets, can we get something to eat now?" Drusilla asked him as she looked at the cards Buffy dealt her.

"Are you hungry, pet?" Spike said. "The Slayer got us some nice blood from the infirmary last night. Would you like some?"

"Ooh, yummy," she replied.

"Get me a coke while you're up," Buffy told him, tossing a chip into the center of the small table.

"Yes, master," he replied with a bow. Leaving the living room of their small, two bedroom flat, the vampire went into the kitchen to warm up dinner in the microwave. He grabbed a bag of Oreo's from the cookie jar and thought back to the night he'd asked the Slayer to stay.

She had stuck with him for over a year in his search, then spent another month helping him with the ensouled Drusilla. Somehow the Slayer had managed to convince his Princess that everything that had happened over the years had not been her fault. When she began to believe it, the Slayer decided it was time for her to go and "leave the two lovebirds in happiness and peace."

He asked her to stay, told her that he enjoyed her company and brought up the fact that she had no where else to go. Too his surprise, she agreed, as long as they refrained from mentioning Angel or Sunnyhell. The three of them found a place to live, the Slayer got another job and she returned to slaying. However, she still carried so much guilt and pain on her small shoulders it pissed him off. He wanted to beat the bloody crap out of whatever god or higher power decided to put her through everything.

Removing the blood bags from the microwave, he poured the contents into two mugs, pocketed the soda, grabbed the cookies and returned to the living room. "Here you go, my lovely ladies," he said, setting the stuff on the table.

"Thanks," Buffy replied, opening the coke and taking a long sip. "You're up."

"Oh no, this is not good," Drusilla suddenly said, her hand shaking as she looked at the card clenched in it.

"Dru, what is it?" Spike immediately asked, crouching next to her chair.

"He wants to hurt them," she said. "He wants to hurt the Slayer's friends."

Buffy shot Spike a worried look. "Pet, do you see anything more?" he asked.

"They'll all be gone, their little lives snuffed out," Drusilla continued. She turned wide, dark eyes on Buffy. "Mummy doesn't want the Slayer to hurt more than she does." The female vampiress stood. "I'm coming Miss Edith, don't fret."

Spike watched after her as she left the living room, knowing the vision was over. He straightened and turned his attention to the blond. "Slayer?"

Buffy stared up at him with tears in her eyes. "I don't want them to die, Spike. That's why I left, so they wouldn't get hurt."

"I know, pet," Spike replied, walking over to her. He crouched at her side as he did for Drusilla. "What do you want to do?"

"What about the other Slayer?" Buffy asked him. "You said there was a new one..."

"There's been several, luv," he said. "I don't know who the new one is or if she's even in Sunnyhell."

"Then I have no choice," she whispered. "I can't let them die, not if I can prevent it."

"I'll tell Dru and then we'd better get packed," Spike told her. "It's a long flight back, but since we're heading west, we'll get there long before the sun comes up."

"Spike, you and Drusilla don't have to go," Buffy said.

"I know we don't, pet," he replied. "But what are mates for?"

Part Two

Spike went into the bedroom to inform Drusilla of their trip and to pack. His plum was sitting on the bed, holding a conversation Miss Edith. It was too bad that his sire made her insane before he made her a vampire. It would have made life interesting once she got her soul back if she was sane. Then again, he might not have fallen in love with her if she'd been any different than her wonderful, wicked, batty self. "Pet?"

"Miss Edith says we're going back there," Drusilla said. She looked up at Spike. "She also says that the Slayer doesn't want to go, but she will for her friends. Are we the Slayer's friends?"

"Yes we are, ducks," Spike answered. He pulled out his duffle bag and Dru's dress bag. "And I know the Slayer doesn't want to go back, I don't want to go back to that bloody hell hole, but we are."

Scooping clothes from the drawers, he shoved them in his bag, not caring about keeping it neat. In fact, most of the small apartment wasn't tidy. Clothing landed wherever it had been taken off; magazines, books and open cd cases were stacked on every available surface; his Princess's dolls could be found in the most interesting places. Once he'd found Lady Lynn in the freezer wearing a small parka made out of one of the Slayer's socks holding a plastic spoon with a paper flag taped to it. Drusilla told him she was on an expedition. He wondered for days where she got that idea from until he found her watching the Discovery Channel one night and Constance in the oven, or ‘the Sahara.' It had taken him close to a month to get rid of all the melted plastic.

It was strange being chums with someone you were suppose to hate. And all three of them were very close, although he did nothing to help the Slayer in her actual slaying duties. His ‘specialty' was to stay in close contact with the vampire community and aid her that way. Through his contacts, he was also able to keep an ear on what was happening in Sunnyhell and with her old friends and Watcher. So far as he could tell, they'd done an admirable job of taking over where she had left off. It helped that the new Slayers appeared there every so often.

Drusilla helped the Slayer in her own way, as well. At first, he'd been afraid to let her out of his sight for too long, thinking she'd do something to brand her a traitor and end up being killed. But, to his proud amazement, she frightened off the other vampires by claiming whatever human they were about to snack on as her own. They'd run, she'd lead the victim off, then let whoever go when she was sure they weren't being watched. She was a smart one, his ducks. Nutty, but smart.

Moving to the closet, Spike took out several of Drusilla's dresses and put them carefully into the dress bag. He threw her toiletries in with his stuff, then glanced at her thoughtful expression. "Sweets, what are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking that it is not fair that I have my Spike and the Slayer does not," Drusilla answered.

"The Slayer doesn't have me how?" Spike asked, confused.

"You love your Princess with all your sweet gooshy insides," she told him. "But no one loves the Slayer's insides. She's all dark and alone. Can you love her like you love me?"

"I'm sorry, baby," he said, sitting next to her on the bed. "I can't love the Slayer like I love you. It doesn't work that way. Besides, she wouldn't want me to love her like that. She only wants Angel's love and seeing as the blighter's in hell, there's nothing I can do."

"But you have feelings for her, I can tell," Drusilla insisted.

"Of course I do, pet," Spike replied. "I've always liked her, even when I hated her. Now I just like her more."

"I hate my daddy for hurting her," she said, standing without Miss Edith. "That was wrong and I know right from wrong because I have a soul, just like my daddy did and my Spike."

"Well, I hate the wanker, too," he said. "He tried to take you away from me."

"But you came after your Princess," Drusilla replied. She turned to face him, her eyes clear and bright. "I'm sorry I hurt you, Spike."

Spike stood and wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. "It's ok, baby. You're here with me now and that's all that matters."

Drusilla raised her head from his shoulder and pressed a lingering kiss on his lips. "I love all of your parts," she whispered.

"I love you, too, Drusilla," Spike replied. "Down to your little, white toes."

She giggled, then spun out of his arms and danced around the room. "We're going in the big metal bird. I get to eat those little nuts. I like the little nuts." She stopped and looked at him. "How does the bird fly if he doesn't flap his wings?"

Spike laughed. "I don't know, pet. Maybe you can ask the pilot."


Drusilla got her chance to talk to the pilot, leaving Spike and a sullen Slayer alone. He could feel the tension rolling off of her like waves, making him uncomfortable. She got in these moods every so often and sometimes it took bloody weeks to get her out of them. He wondered what went on in her pretty little head that caused this to happen. "Slayer, I'm sure your mates will be fine," he said.

She looked up from the magazine she was reading and gave him a look. He hated those looks. Made him feel like he was about to get his bollocks ripped off. "Maybe," she replied, then went back to the magazine.

Growling, he opened the book he'd brought with and tried to get back into the story. He wasn't the fastest of readers and had gotten two pages read when he heard a quiet chuckle come from his seat mate. Turning his gaze to her, he saw she had a sardonic half smile on her lips. "What?"

"How old are you again?" Buffy asked. Her eyes darted to the book, then back to his eyes.

"Bugger off," Spike replied. "These are good. Lots of violence and humor."

"Spike, they're children's stories," she pointed out with another small laugh.

"Shut up," he growled. "You'd love them if you read them. Number fourteen was bloody hilarious. The Animorphs had to sneak into an Area 51 type place to find out what was so special, so they morphed into horses and then they had to..."

Buffy's laugh was full this time, ringing out in the cabin and making people look in their direction. He scowled at her and shrank down in his seat. "‘Laugh it up, fuzzball,'" he muttered returning his attention to the book.

"I have never met anyone as strange as you are," she said, still laughing.

"Yeah, well, the feeling's mutual, Slayer," Spike retorted. He stuck the worn photo he used as a bookmark in between the pages and shut the book. It was a picture of him, Drusilla and the Slayer from two years before when he'd found an old camera at a flea market, complete with several slides of film. Only one of the pictures had come out. In it, he sat between the two women, leaning his head against Drusilla's with the Slayer sprawled across them both, holding Miss Edith. The funny part was that his ducks was holding rabbit ears above the tiny blond's head. He didn't know she knew about that sort of thing. But his Queen was always surprising him like that.

He hated to break the laughter, but they would be landing soon and he wanted to talk to her before Drusilla returned. "Slayer, I need to know what you want to do when we get there," he said. He watched as her jovial air dissolved and he cursed himself for being the one to do it.

"I guess first we need to find a place to stay," Buffy replied. "Then tomorrow night you can find out if the new Slayer is there, maybe beat up Willie the Snitch and see what he knows about whatever is coming to hurt them."

He noticed that she said ‘them' with a detached voice, as if she were speaking about some distant relative instead of her old chums. Since they rarely brought up any mention of her old life at all, he wasn't too surprised. "What about you, pet?"

"Me? I'm going to find out who all is still in Sunnyhell, where they live and see if they still hang out together," she answered. "Of course, that means getting up earlier than three in the afternoon like I do for work."

"Poor baby," Spike said mockingly.

"Up yours, blondie," Buffy replied with a small grin. That relieved him. If she could joke with him, she wasn't as depressed as she sometimes got. "I'm glad my bloody boss let me take this time off. He is definitely a wanker."

She didn't know it, but living with the two undead vampires over the past five years had resulted in her speaking with a slight accent. Also, working at an English pub in the city didn't help matters either. It amused him that this happened, especially when she inserted words she normally wouldn't use in her sentences, like ‘bloody' or ‘mate.' He'd read somewhere once that was normal, humans tended to adapt to their surroundings. Luckily, he hadn't started to use her words. Then again, he couldn't figure out what some of them meant. His ducks, however...

"Spike, Slayer, the nice men let me fly the bird!" Drusilla said excitedly as she came down the aisle. She slid past their legs to her window seat, picked up Miss Edith, then bounced in it as she went on. "It was much fun. And they gave me wings, see?" She pointed to a plastic, gold pilot's wing pin on her chest.

"It's lovely, pet," Spike told her, leaning over to fasten her seatbelt. "Do you know how the plane flies now?"

"Oh yes," she answered. "The engines make fire and it turns a big fan. Then they go really, really fast and up, up and away!" She emphasized the last part of her sentence by throwing her arms straight up and wiggling her fingers.

"Watch it, Spike," Buffy said, leaning forward to look past him at Drusilla. "Or you may end up having to send Dru to flight school."

"They have a school where you learn to fly?" Drusilla asked.

Spike groaned and covered his eyes with his hand. His Princess would have to be having a good day. "Thanks bunches, Slayer."

"You're welcome, Spike," she replied in a fake sincere tone.

Part Three

Spike pocketed the motel room keys and headed back to the two ladies waiting on the curb. His Black Queen was telling Buffy more about her adventures of being a pilot, using Miss Edith as a plane. The Slayer listened attentively, her eyes darting to the shadows every so often, his and her bags at her feet. She was nice enough to hold Drusilla's bag so as not to wrinkle the dresses. Sometimes she did things like that and it made him realize how good a human she really was and he liked that he was her friend. Especially because she treated his ducks as if she was not nutty as a fruitcake, but as a sister.

"Are we ready to call it a night?" Spike asked as he came up to them. He bent and picked up his bag, taking Drusilla's from Buffy. "I got us connecting rooms on the north side of the building, so it won't be too hard to keep the sun out."

"There are over a million flights every day," Drusilla told him in an informative voice as they headed for their rooms. "They fly in the sun and it doesn't burn them."

"That's because the pilots are human, ducks," he replied. He set his duffle down and dug out the keys as they came to rooms 14 and 15. He handed one to Buffy, then opened the door. "Unlock the connecting door, Slayer. I'll do the same on this side."

Buffy entered her own room after nodding to him and he escorted Drusilla into theirs. His Princess went over to the double bed and flopped back on it. "It's not as soft as ours at home."

"That's because these bloody motels are cheap," Spike responded, opening the inner door between the two rooms to see the Slayer in a position similar to his pumpkin. He rolled his eyes and entered her room. Without a word, he unzipped her bag and pulled out two of small stash of blood bags she carried for them.

"I'm glad the airport people didn't search that," Buffy said, sitting up. "It would have been interesting to try to explain why I was carrying those. ‘You see, mate, my chums are undead and they need it so they don't eat the flight attendants.' That would go over real well."

"You would have thought of something, pet," he replied. He returned to his own room and went into the small bathroom to retrieve the provided plastic cups. "Drusilla, would you like something to eat before bed?"

"I'm all full up on little nuts," she answered. She stood and walked into the Slayer's room after retrieving her hairbrush from his bag. She sat next to the small girl on the bed. "Are you unhappy, Buffy?"

Spike moved to lean against the open door frame, drinking his lukewarm cup of blood. He watched as his kitten slowly ran her silver brush through the Slayer's hair. She was the only one who called the blond by her real name when she went into her caring mode. It was sickeningly sweet to watch when the two women bonded in this manner.

"Yeah, Dru, I am," Buffy replied.

"Tell mummy about it," Drusilla instructed, the brush going over and over in the girl's hair, lulling her.

"I don't want to be here," she said quietly. "I don't want to put them in danger again by being here."

"You're protecting them from danger, luv," Drusilla replied.

"I don't want you hurt, either."

"Don't worry, dearie. Mummy can take care of herself and Spike is here to protect us. Isn't that right, my love?"

"That's right, poodle," he answered. "I won't let anything happen to you or the Slayer."

"There, see? Nothing to worry your pretty little head over," Drusilla said.

Buffy turned her head to smile at her. "Thanks, Dru. What would I do without you two?"

"You'd be lonely," she replied wisely. "But you could always learn to fly the big metal birds, like me."

The Slayer laughed and Spike chuckled. His Princess was the most wonderful woman in the whole bloody world.


The next night Spike woke to find Buffy gone, her scent which he knew almost as well as his Dru was missing from the next room. Snuggling closer to the woman in his bed, he tried to push back the feeling of worry that he had for the Slayer. He'd become protective of her, and at times it pissed him off. Having a soul wasn't all blood and roses.

Sighing, he pressed a kiss against Drusilla's pale neck, then got out of bed. Padding naked to the bathroom, he took a quick shower before retrieving more blood from Buffy's room. By the time his love woke up, he was dressed and ready to go out. "Hello, baby."

"Miss Edith had a wonderful dream," Drusilla said as she accepted the cup of blood he gave her. "She was riding a beautiful horse so fast, she flew."

"Did the horse have wings?" Spike asked, mentally banging his head on the wall for letting her visit the pilot.

"Big ones," she replied. "It was most fun."

"Sounds like a beautiful dream, pet," he agreed. He bent and kissed her. "I'm going to go out. You behave while I'm gone."

"Will you bring me a present when you come back?" Drusilla asked in a hopeful voice.

"Of course," Spike said. He gave her a loving smile and left as she began conversing with Miss Edith about what he was going to bring her.

He made his way to Willie's Alibi Bar, feeling the buzz of the Hellmouth beneath the streets. He never liked those who tried to mess with it, thought they were all bloody fruitcakes for attempting to harness the power by opening it. In the corner of his eye he could see a vampire feeding, but it wasn't his job to get involved, even though it now irked him. He growled at his conscience and it retreated back into its corner where it belonged as he walked into the dimly lit bar.

The look on Willie's face almost had him in stitches and he had to control himself from not showing his mirth. "Hello, Willie."

"Spike!" Willie exclaimed. "Long time, no see. What has it been - like five years or something?"

"Or something," he said.

"Hey, is Drusilla with you still?" Willie asked, pouring him a complimentary drink.

"Yes," Spike replied, ignoring the shot glass on the bar. He reached out and grabbed the other man by the shirt, hauling him halfway onto the wooden counter. "I didn't come here for polite chit-chat, mate."

"Of course you didn't," Willie said. "What can I do for you, then?"

Spike set him back onto his feet. "Is there a Slayer in town?"

"Not at the present moment," the barkeep replied. "She got killed a several months ago. Pretty little thing, too. Would have done wonders for my cousin's business."

He gave him a look that said he could bloody care less and Willie shut up. "Anything else you want to tell me?"

"Um...that Slayer you fought with last time you were here - Betty or Bunny or Busty, whatever. Anyway, her old friends are the ones you want to watch out for, not the Slayer. They're what keeps the Hellmouth and all the wonderful beasties who flock here under control."

"Those pathetic humans?" Spike asked in derision. "When I was here, they couldn't fight there way out of a paper bag."

"They're not all human," Willie warned. "They have two witches, a werewolf who knows how to control his change, two vampires and that Watcher is also a magic user. The only two real humans in the group are that Benny's mom and some former prom queen. But I'd watch out for that prom queen. She's got a tongue on her that would eat the lead off your car."

"Two vampires, you say?" he commented, lighting up a cigarette. "I take it they're all soul having." He wondered which two of the Slayer's friends got turned.

"Far as I can tell," Willie answered, studiously polishing the bar.

"Well, thanks, mate," Spike said, swallowing the drink still sitting there. He set the glass upside down, gave the man a wink, and sauntered out.

Smoke curling upwards from the cigarette in his hand, he made his way back towards the motel, his mind on what the unconventional bar owner had told him. The Slayer's old chums sounded like they were a pretty powerful force to be reckoned with. Was it a possibility that his Ripe Wicked Plum had a faulty connection?

"Princess, I'm back," he said, opening the door to the motel room. No one answered him. "Ducks?" Upon further examination he found both rooms empty and cursed, quickly leaving to go after his girl. He literally ran into Buffy on his way across the street.

"Woah nelly, where's the fire?" she asked.

"Dru's not in the room," Spike quickly explained. It wasn't as if he didn't trust his kitten not to get hurt, but this was Sunnyhell and what he'd heard about the Slayer's old mates worried him.

"Where to? Cemetery? Park? You know her better than me," Buffy said.

"She'd be where there's people," he answered.

"The Bronze," she suggested. "That's were the most people would be this time of night."

"Your bloody friends better not hurt her," he growled. Buffy raised a quizzical brow at him as they ran. "That bloody bastard told me they're the real Slayers."

"They looked normal to me when I saw them this afternoon," she told him. "Then again, I only saw Willow and Giles. They were both at the school. I couldn't find anyone else."

The Bronze came into view and the two slowed down. Spike looked over at her and she nodded. At the door, they split up with him heading around back and the Slayer going in. He quickly scanned the alleyway for Drusilla, circling around the building. He saw several piles of ashes and a panic settled over his heart. Tearing for the door, he yanked it open and rushed inside, his blue eyes wild. He was up the stairs in three leaps, scanning the crowd. He almost fainted in relief when he saw the familiar blond head leading his love off the dance floor.

Bounding down the stairs, he pushed passed the teens and scooped Drusilla up in a tight hug. "Don't you ever bloody scare me like that again!" Spike said fiercely into her hair.

"But Spike..." Drusilla replied.

"Spike, we're kinda attracting attention," Buffy spoke up, nervously eyeing the teens around them.

Spike set his kitten back on her feet. "Promise me you won't go off alone again, luv. They don't know that you're a good girl now."

"Mummy promises," she replied, pouting at him. She saw something over his shoulder and pointed. "Look, there's one of the Slayer's friends."

He turned to look where she was pointing and saw the whelp he never liked enter the club with a tall brunette. "Xander and Cordelia," Buffy whispered. He looked over at her and saw the panic in her eyes.

"Come on, pet. Why don't we go back to the roach palace..." Spike saw Buffy's eyes widen and she suddenly whipped her head around. Frowning, he looked back over his shoulder and saw the whelp staring right at them. "Bloody hell."

Grabbing Drusilla with one hand and the Slayer with the other, he dragged them past the crowd towards the door. Once outside, they broke into a run back towards the motel, his pet's heeled shoes clacking on the street. "Spi-i-i-i-ke," she complained as he dragged her along. "Why are we running? You're hurting me."

"Sorry, luv," he said, immediately stopping. He looked back and saw there was no one following them. Turning back to his companions, he took one look at the Slayer and pulled her into a hug. "Hey, now, none of that."

"Do you think they saw us?" Buffy asked as she cried against his chest.

"I think so, pet," Spike answered. Drusilla walked over and put her hand on Buffy's back in a soothing gesture. "We may have to come up with a new plan."

"We didn't have a plan," she said, forcing her tears away. She took a step back and he released her. "We went flying off, half bloody cocked, with no clue on what to do once we got here."

"Why don't we go meet with your old Watcher or one of your chums and tell them about Dru's vision, then leave?" he suggested. "It's early enough yet."

"Do you think that will be enough?" she asked, wiping her face on her sleeve.

"Don't know," he shrugged. "But they'll be prepared and we can get out of this bloody hole and go home. The less amount of time we're here, the better." He hated Sunnyhell with a passion.

"My Spike doesn't like it here," Drusilla said, linking her arm with his. "It has too many memories that are not fun much."

He noted his Princess' use of Buffy-slang and groaned silently. Maybe a trip back to London was in order. They could bring the Slayer with, give her a taste of the real life. Probably changed, though, and not necessarily for the better. They hadn't been there since before Prague. Prague. Bloody mob. Maybe they'll go back there and rip the pillocks to bits. His conscience spoke up again at that and he cursed. He hated that little voice.

"I guess Giles would be the best person to tell," Buffy said after a few moments. "Will..." She trailed off, giving him and Dru a hopeful and sad look. "Will you guys come with?"

"Did you bloody think we'd have it any other way?" Spike replied. "Wither thou goeth and all that rot."

She gave him a relieved smile, then linked arms with Dru, so the vampiress was in the middle. "Well, then we're off!"

"To see the wizard," Drusilla said. Both Spike and the Slayer turned startled glances at her. "Isn't that where we are going? To see the Watcher. He is a wizard with a dirty arm. He needs to take a bath. Spike, can we take a bath when we go home?"

Buffy looked over at him and they both burst out laughing. For a moment, he'd thought she made a joke, but it wasn't intentional. He loved his ducks so very much.