Drink Me

by John Cope

Later the two vampires sat alone, staring at the walls.

Buffy had been sent out, mainly due to Browne's request that it would be a good thing if Spike's 'bird' got herself some clothing from the Mall just down the street.

Cut off trousers, a guys shirt, flip flops the fastidious Greenway had owned for motel showers, (even James had laughed at that), Buffy had looked very rebellious indeed.

"Alright ducks, you'll go in looking silly, but here's six hundred bucks of our found money. When you come back here you'll be dressed like a princess." Spike had watched the frown turn to a smile, and felt his heart break a little more.

Browne broke the silence now. "When she goes back to your Sire, what will you do?"

"Don't know."

"You won't want to be to far away, case the bloke 'as an h'accident. I know of a city were the forces of darkness took a right beltin' last night, someone should keep em disorganized and reeling, that's just a thought for you."

"Alright, I'll think."

"Good, now in your sun proofed car as soon as your bird gets back you an me is off to Inglewood. We collect my motor an me best weapons an' at sunset drive through 'ere pick up Buffy and we go give little Lord Fauntleroy the nastiest most painful shock of 'is over long life......."

Part 29

At three hours after dusk Buffy opened the hide out door and nonchalantly walked inside tossing her crossbow into the corner as she did so, she switched on the lights smiling at the sound effects coming up the path towards her.

"God 'e's an 'eavy fat bastard, you wouldn't think it to look at 'im."

"Your lucky you old fart, you got 'is legs. Try the bloody torso next time."

"The least your bird could 'ave done is 'elped."

"Ssssssssshhhh, she hears you call her that and there'll be 'ell to pay. You know how pissed off she was earlier on, girls don't carry stuff, that's that."

Then the two vampires staggered in through the door, bearing an unconscious hooded burden, vampiric peer of the realm, British, torture for the use of.

"Set him down in the chair boys, then we can wake the weenie up, James can have his fun and you and me Spike....." Her eyes roamed from his feet to his boots then back down to his crotch. "You and me can go back to the motel and have our fun."

"Yeah baby, we'll finally get to have that soda." Spike had seriously wondered from her mood earlier whether the whole spending a day with her was blown out, she had come back pissed enough to rip off heads.....

*********************************************************************** *****************************************************

A pair of black boots, black combats and a white tee, a new black denim jacket and a mood to match her color scheme, that was what the Slayer returned to the hideout with.

"Ok guys, whilst I was sleeping, what did you do?"

"Looked round till we found out where you was an' then came and rescued you." Spike exchanged a look with Browne, he had a mental flash back to what he'd seen in the Alibi room, Buffy had the exact same look on her face as she'd worn when she'd pulled the hammer from her bag.

"I think it was rather more than that." She pulled a rolled up newspaper from her jacket pocket. "While I was asleep it seems Keyser Soze was in the harbor killing many men. Jeez did you boys even hear about discree? You know, the part where vampires don't become public knowledge sending people off on a blind panic and leading to a lot of pale people getting staked."

Opening the paper out she began to read. "Item, massacre in Inglewood, seven burned to death, two shot and one brutally knifed, don't try that innocent look Browne I know that was you. Item, six bodies all shot and stabbed found in an underpass on route 101. Oh look two late news stories, item, students at Woodbury University were awakened by heavy automatic gunfire last night police are reported to be preparing to enter a mansion near the building, three bodies already found. The airport we know about."

"Vamps I don't mind," she gave them the look. "Killing people is different, wrong."

"Little girl the worlds changing." Browne heard Spike's indrawn unnecessary breath and ignored it. "Vampires 'ave grown to understand the power that wealth grants them, sure most are to dumb to be able to earn much, or keep it, but the clever beggars, the ones who don't give a fuck for tradition no more, their hirin' guns an mortals to use em." He mimed the act of sharpening a stake. "Those days are passin' luv, Sunnydale's Hellmouth makes vampires feel strong enough to think they don't need mortals but sooner or later your gonna find yourself 'avin to kill people too."

"He's right," Spike, other than the occasional few dollars to Willy and similar go betweens had kept his hands reasonably clean of mortal involvement, other than a teamsters boss he didn't like to talk about he'd just eat them. However even he was growing alarmed with how things were slipping. "The blokes we fought last night took a vampires money, blood money pure an simple. What were we supposed to do fight the buggers with our fists, they 'ad guns, so did we, they died, your here and not about to be sent to England for a repeated arse fucking."

"I hate you....both of you." The paper hit the table and Buffy stormed off into the bedroom, plaster fell off the ceiling the door slammed so hard.

"What the hell..." Spike began only to be interrupted by a font of eastern knowledge.

"Teenager's," Browne shook his head. "Who'd 'ave em, well you an Angelus h'oviously, dirty old dogs the pair of ya, but look what's come of it, poor girls an h'emotional wreck, so off you go mate."


"In you go," Browne motioned the vampire towards the bedroom. "Find out what's upset the poor girl, we got work to do, just mind she don't get mad an tear yer bollocks off."

"Why me," Spike so remembered the hammer. "Your the one who's got all the eastern mysticism, karma, you go talk her round."

"Did I shag 'er, no I did not," Browne's smirk was nearly splitting his face in two. "Off you go son, face up to your responsibilities, if not for me then for England."

"You bastard!"

Defeated, Spike headed for the bedroom door.

*********************************************************************** *****************************************************

"Buffy," It was spoken softly, a little fearfully. "Are you alright pet?"

"Go away," the Slayer was lying on her side, legs pulled up, hands to her face. "I don't want to talk to you."

"Please Buffy, what's the matter luv? You went out smiling and you comes back like this." Spike went and sat on the end of the bed, he didn't think she'd hurt him. "Did somebody upset you?"

"I rang Giles," a tear began to roll down the Slayers face. "He wouldn't speak to me, he just passed the phone to Willow instead. They found out....about...."

"What luv, the killings, did they read about that and assume it was something you did, there wasn't any mention of vampires, how could they have done that?" Spike almost sighed with relief because he hadn't upset her himself. "Anyway you were asleep kitten, it was nothin' to do with you...."

"But Willy was!" Buffy was trying hard not to burst into tears. "They found out what I did to him Spike, why didn't you stop me, if you'd have said something I wouldn't have hurt him.....well at least not that badly."

"I did," Spike gently patted her leg. "If you recall you asked me if I'd like my skull beaten in, sort of put me off protesting more. Are they really that angry?"

"They didn't say much about it," Buffy sniffled a little. "But other than checking I was still in one piece and getting a progress report Willow would barely speak to me, cept for telling me I had no right to have got that mad, I may have crippled that poor guy for life."

"I'm sorry luv, I should have tried harder, but I'm a vampire he'd betrayed you.....to be honest I bloody enjoyed it" Spike shrugged. "It's the demon kitten, if you let her out to play...."

"I'm the Slayer.....I'm supposed to protect people.....even bad people I guess." Buffy looked at her lover. "If Angel had been.....If Angel had been there, he would have stopped me."

"I see!" Spike felt his world crumble. "Yeah, maybe he would.....and if he would have been a bit more fuckin' careful you wouldn't have a demon in you and have done such a bloody vicious thing in the first place."

"It's not Angel's fault," Buffy rolled slightly away, the pillow muffled her words a little as she went on. "I couldn't let him go, I took the risk, myself my decision, it isn't Angel's fault."

"And if he hadn't of turned you?"

"Then he would have gone." Buffy felt her demon start to rise and repressed it. "Spike, he would have gone, but for my good, he wanted me to have a proper life, a normal boyfriend, kids. All the stuff I took away from myself when I accepted the risk and made him drink."

With a sigh she sat up. "So he stayed with me, out of love I hope, or maybe out of guilt......he is so good at guilt."

Spike held out a hand and she took it gently. His breath drawn in to speak stuck in his throat but with an effort he forced out the sentence, a question he had wanted to ask for days. "Do you regret it baby? Do you wish it hadn't happened? That he'd left."

"I don't know, not anymore." Buffy still didn't meet his eye. "I'd have been alone but not for long," she laughed. "Shit maybe if Dead Boy had of left town I might have given Mr Mysterious a chance, Riley Finn, he's been after a date with me ever since we first met."

Now she did turn to look at the vampire. "Or maybe some other mystery guy might have shown?"

"Yes," Spike's heart almost gave a beat as a smile began to break onto Buffy's face, he brought her small, delicate hand to his mouth and kissed it on the palm. "I was already on my way when Angel tracked me down."

"Hold me, Spike," thinking that his heart would break, and desperately fighting the lump in his throat that spoke of tears to come Spike opened his arms to the girl he loved.

Raising her legs, Buffy sat herself on Spike lap, he put his arms around her and began to rock her gently like a child. She rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. As the tears began to flow down his cheeks he whispered softly. "What are we gonna do Buffy, what are we gonna do?"

*********************************************************************** **************************************************

A couple of hours later a knock had woken them, they were laid on the bed in each others arms but fully clothed, Browne's shout of. "You decent!" was therefore unnecessary.

The vetala put his head round the door, a look of extreme sadness crossed his face at the sight of the couple.

"I'm sorry, but if we're gonna do it, well we 'as to go now."

"Alright mate," Spike turned to the Slayer. "Come with us Buffy, I want to spend every second I can with you."

"Yeah." Much against her will Buffy slipped out of the blond's arms, her dark hair had stayed with her even whilst she slept. "I'd like that."

Browne left them to it, going off to get his weapons whilst mentally cursing. *Great, bloody stuck playing gooseberry for the rest of the night, they'll be the devil to pay if 'er old man finds out to, poor bastards they'll 'ave me crying yet!*

*********************************************************************** **************************************************

It had been easy, Lord Charles and his boys had been stood out in the open. Browne had laughed at the sight even as he fired the dart gun, straight into the peers neck, arrogance had always been the stuck up aristocratic bastards chief failing.

Buffy and Spike had then opened up with a hail of bolts from the semi automatic crossbows that the vetala carried in his cars trunk,(he called it the boot,) vamps died, the survivors ran.

Now the drug was wearing off, Beresford opened his eyes and struggled to raise his head up from his chest, then looked round and wished he hadn't.

"Salaam my lord," Browne had tied his enemy firmly to an arm chair, and set an array of knives on a table beside it. "Bet you never in your worse nightmares expected to see me again."

Beresford tried to speak, but he was firmly gagged.

"No old son, I'm sorry but I'm not 'avin any beggin', it won't do you any good and it'll bore me." Bending Browne whispered into the creatures ear. "An I don't want your screams wakin' me neighbors either."

"You got anythin' none fatal you wants to do to 'im, do it now." Browne said as he turned to his two friends. "He's caused both of you pain as well."

"I'll pass," Spike wasn't one for torture, and he was certain that Browne was more than capable of paying the peer back for every detail of his long grisly undeath. "Buffy, let's go shall we."

"No," the girl morphed and her demoness rose through. "A pistol and silencer please James."

Taking a PKK from a belt holster the vetala quickly screwed a suppressor onto the end of the barrel. He cocked the piece and handed it to her. "None fatal, don't forget."

Taking the gun Buffy extended her arm and put the tip of the muzzle to the flesh of Beresford's right bicep. The peer tried to cower back but was too firmly tied. Buffy heard the demoness laughing in her head even as her finger tightened on the trigger.

"Pet this isn't you......come back to me Buffy........don't do it please.....he isn't worth it."

"He had our Sire shot.......my Angel......he would have taken me away from everything and had me fucked till I went mad........payback Spike, its all I want." Snarling Buffy bared her fangs, sending a plain message that she wouldn't be denied.

Spike knew instantly what he had to do.

Then the blonds hand closed on her wrist. "Remember Willy luv, yes he deserves to suffer, he will, but please Kitten, remember who you are. Buffy the Vampire Slayer not Buffy the Vampiress!"

The laughter died in her head, slowly her human face returned, Buffy's thumb came up and she eased the hammer down. "You're right, I'm not a demon, I'm the Slayer, I can walk away from this."

Smiling Spike took the gun from her hand and tossed it back to Browne.

"Come away, baby," gently taking her arm he led her to the door. "Goodnight mate, try to have him dead by the time we get here tomorrow night."

Buffy said not a word, but her hair slowly changed, Spike started off helping a brunette but as they left the house she was pure blond. "Come on Kitten, le'ts get you back to the motel, you'll feel better away from here. You can ring your mum......and Angel.....you'd like that......"

They passed from earshot, Browne shook his head. "It's enough to make me wish Cain at aimed 'igher an killed Angelus, though no doubt she'd 'ave killed me in turn if 'e 'ad. Two or maybe three broken 'earts is what will come of that, still....." He turned to Lord Charles. "You won't be around to worry on that score."

Screaming into the gag the peer tried to buy his way clear, it didn't work the vetala just ignored him.

"Fingers first." Picking up a blade Browne firmly gripped Beresford left hand. "One joint at a time."

*********************************************************************** ****************************************************

In the darkness of a firmly shuttered room Spike lay beside the naked form of his beloved. Buffy had fallen asleep an hour ago, he could not.

She was going back to him, to Angel. Buffy loved him even though she knew the truth, guilt held Angel to her probably far more strongly than did love.

She had rung her mum, then the Mansion, Willow had answered. Angel was asleep, no she would not wake him.

Buffy had walked back into her own room, showered, and then to Spike's amazement had walked naked back and stood in the connecting doorway.

"I can't leave him, I can't leave them, my friends, there all family to me. But a part of me wants to stay here with you....it wants to hunt with you, it wants to have sex with you. I like the second part best."

As if on air she walked towards him moving her hip's with a natural yet totally provocative sway. "Make love to me Spike, please hold me."

Without a word he crushed his lips to hers, and he then proceeded to do as she asked until exhausted the girl could take no more, and slept.

*God girl, what 'ave you done to me. Enslaved me, made me yours for all eternity.....and yet your going back to the ponce.*

He wished he could smoke, but he didn't want anything to upset her and ruin the day. *I should run, go back home, but I won't I think I'll stay, be your friend, but not in Sunnydale......just somewhere close by.*

*If he breaks your heart.......if anything happens to him........then I'll be there for you, next week, next month, or for a hundred years, I'll always be there for you, my Buffy. And I'll always remember today to.*

Spike closed his eyes, but he did not sleep.

Part 30

The journey back to Sunnydale should have been one of the most depressing in Buffy's life, the fact that it wasn't was entirely the responsibility of the vetala.

First there had been the shock of finding the vampire clean shaven. On being asked why he had removed facial hair he had probably worn since he had been old enough to grow it he had cheerfully replied. "New country luv, an I don't really blend do I. So it came, tell me Buffy do you like the new me?"

"Not bad for an older guy, do something with the hair though, brylcream is so not the nineties."

"Unless we're talkin' eighteen nineties." Spike had murmured loud enough to be heard. *I knew he'd try to get into her pants, dirty old git!*

Then almost before a morose Spike had driven the De Soto out of the driveway of the house were Lord Beresford had been slowly reduced to ashes Browne had begun to regale his captive audience with a story. "Want to 'ear 'ow I crossed 'alf the world?"

The deafening silence from the front seat passengers might have put a more sensitive vampire off, Browne simply took it as permission to proceed.

So as the miles slipped by the journey unfolded. Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, shelter less desert and mountains and densely populated cities, the struggle to find shelter and food to survive as opposed to pleasures to be had in the vampiric equivalents of oasis.

Buffy was listening intently by the time he got to Istanbul, asking questions about the places he passed through, knowing that with her calling she might never see them. Spike on the other hand was feeling increasingly pissed off, he'd traveled too but Buffy didn't seem to give a damn about his attempts to interject comments on Prague or Vienna. And despite his efforts he couldn't help but listen just as interestingly, wondering all the time how he would have managed in similar straights.

Greece for a brief overly sunny spell, then northward through Bulgaria and into Rumania with an excursion into Transylvania, "Just on the oft chance you understand."

He had met vampires, one clan after another had tried to enslave him as a minion, or destroy him as a threat to their territories, all had regretted their hostile acts. The anarchy that he left in his wake must have been tremendous as vampire leader after leader met violent deaths. If it not been for the hunting and the liaisons with women and vampiress' so bluntly described, (many had started off as one and ended as the other), Buffy might almost have applauded the destructiveness of it all to her undead enemies.

"So how come hit it off with Spike? You seem to hate most other vampires." Buffy gave a sidewards glance at her secondary squeeze. "He's not the most easily liked of characters, is he?"

"I thought he'd come in 'andy." Browne could almost sense the growl forming in Spike's throat and so went on. "An I needed a foil for me comic genius, he's Wise to my Morecambe, Crosby to my Hope...."

"A straight man, a fuckin' straight man...." The car swerved for the center of the road. "Are you accusin' me of 'avin short fat hairy legs?!"

"Englishmen!" Buffy's eyes rolled back. "I am so cursed, what the fuck are you talking about." Seeing that Spike was about to go off on one she held up a hand. "No actually I don't care, James you were in Rumania."

Browne chalked up another point against his fellow Englishvamp and returned to his story.

Hungary then Yugoslavia, Italy, Switzerland, France and then finally the old country. The trio were a quarter of an hour from Sunnydale by the time the story ended, by now Buffy was leaning over the back of the seat laughing at the vetala's jokes, ignoring her increasingly irritated lover.

Suddenly the car swerved off the road into a lay by, Buffy was nearly thrown from her seat by the violent maneuver. "HEY!"

"Hey yourself." Spike wasn't in the least bit fazed by the look. "How come he hasn't 'ad the fuckin' lecture?"

"What is your problem...." Buffy heard a snigger from the back seat, and gave Browne the look to. "You got something to contribute, Mister?"

"He's jealous of your attentions, luv." Browne got a very dirty look from Spike now as well. "Thinks your to interested in your uncle Jamie."

"No I bloody well am not you old sod, I'm wanting to know why you haven't had the lecture." He turned back to Buffy. "When I got to town you gave me the full rules and regs with death threats before I'd barely had a chance to say hullo, but the Slayer's pet here, not a word to him."

"Jealous much?" Smiling Buffy patted Spike's arm reassuringly. "Didn't all that time I spent in bed with you yesterday prove who my favorite unsouled vamp is? I don't need to give Jamie the lecture he's my sworn man, I have him on oath as promising to obey me."

"And you believe him!" Spike looked round hastily. "No offence."

"None taken, she knows I'll keep my word." Browne added to Spike's growing sense of discomfort at having started the conversation in the first place by adding. "An correct me if I'm wrong 'ere, but ain't she trustin' you?"

"She knows me." Spike was baffled. "I've worked with her before, you just got in on the bloody boat, you could be lying......"

"You knew me pre-royalty." Buffy morphed, just for show. "James explain what I mean."

"She was by repute a fuckin' powerful Slayer, but now look at 'er." The admiration shone through in the vetala's voice. "She already 'ad the luck of shaitan now she 'as 'is strength to. She's become almost a potential kali, I reckon if Beresford and his fellow nob's had taken 'er she'd 'ave scragged em all within a month. She's a tigress, their abuse would have strengthened not weakened her, they'd 'ave made a little mistake and she'd a got free an they'd a died."

"Thanks," Buffy showed her fangs as she grinned. "I mean I'm grateful to you guys saving me, but hey I'd have got free sooner or later all by myself." Then she turned sharply. "Whose Kali?"

"The dark destroyer." The answer came from Spike to Buffy's surprise. "A Hindu goddess, of death I believe. Her adherents, the thuggee, used to worship her with human sacrifice."

"Thanks!" Buffy's raised brow made her vampirism even more pronounced. "Since when did you become knowledge guy, for a second there I thought you were Giles, and thank you James for that sentiment which I don't appreciate, dark destroyer, goddess of death. I'm neither of those things."

The conversation had gone on long enough Spike decided as he put the car in drive and checked for oncoming traffic, all the same he couldn't stop his thoughts. *Kali, yeah I remember reading about her, if Buffy lost her soul, or the demoness enslaved her mind. Then she would become death...and with no Slayer in the world who would stop her.*

The theological conversation went on without him, "I thought you were a Muslim?"

"Not really luv, that come from 'ow I had to blend in with the Pushtun as far as I could in me vampiric state for over sixty years. I dressed like em, grew the beard, stained me skin with tea, had to I wasn't gonna get a tan was I. No the vampires what turned me was Hindu. They sacrificed their victims to Kali, though that was just a form of words for what came natural to them."

"What an unlife you've had........"

*Bloody show off!*

*********************************************************************** **************************************************

Buffy stood on the steps leading to the Mansions door, Spike had already flounced in carrying her bags, now she walked up to the threshold and turning did what she had to do.

"James please come in."

The vetala crossed the threshold a broad smile on his face.

"Ok, so here is where you get the lecture." Buffy had turned blond again, her human face looked stunning, Spike had been her seeing vamp as she completed her make up. "Embarrass me, make me look an idiot for trusting you and what you did to Beresford will be a walk in the park compared to what I do to you."

"I know," Browne bowed his head. "Thou hast my oath, I shall be true to my salt."

"Good," she looked around. "Where's the reception committee I'm so not looking forward to."

"Probably lookin' after Angel." Spike so wanted to beg her to run, run away with him. Buffy was herself again though, he realized suddenly that it was the vampiress who loved him, not the Slayer and in this familiar surrounding the Slayer was in charge. "The poof will 'ave em runnin' back and to like nobody's business."

"You know the more time you spend with our new friend here, the worse your English gets." Buffy so wished she'd had the sense to leave the boys in the car take the Willy lecture before the James Cahill Browne one, to late now. "HULLO, ANYONE HOME!"

"Buffy, your finally back........" Giles emerged from the living room, glasses in one hand, Sunnydale Press in the other. An old pair of pants, a moth eaten sweater and a tatty old shirt his garb. He looked almost as tired as his clothing, but it was who he was staring at and how intently the sent Buffy's still heart to her throat.

"Ullo Mr Giles," Browne mentally wished Buffy hadn't forced him to leave his weapons in the car. "Well it's a small world an no mistake. You finally get yourself a Slayer then, mate?"

"What is he doing here?" Giles turned his eyes on the Slayer, Ripper shone through them. "Buffy why is this vampire with you, I demand an explanation!"

"He's with me cause, cause I recruited him....he's switched sides as it were.....become good.....renounced evil." Buffy didn't see any improvement in her Watchers expression. "He's totally loyal.....if I threw a stick he'd fetch it. Ok maybe not on that last one, but that's my general argument , so where do you know him from?"

"Five years ago, before, before I came here I and a party of fellow Watchers tried to hunt that creature down." Giles's snarl as he completed the sentence would have shamed a vampire. "And now you bring him here, and you tell.....you tell me he's joined our side."

"Sorry," Buffy moved between her Watcher and the vetala. "I didn't know about that, but he saved me and he swore an oath of loyalty to me, he didn't hurt you did he....did he?"

"No," Stunned that Buffy should again be so protective of one of the creatures she was pledged to destroy Giles backed away. "I'm certain however that the White Vetala will be happy enough to tell you what happened."

"James," Buffy didn't turn. "Tell me, and make it the truth please."

"Himself 'ere and a bunch of 'is mates came after me, 'unted me for weeks round London." Browne was trying to repress any hint of boastfulness in this particular story. "First I tries to avoid em, lay low for a bit, but they keeps it up huntin' me and this around me own manor, vamps were laughin' at me an I couldn't 'ave that could I?"

He looked round to Spike for support and got none, his fellow Brit-vamp was enjoying watching him squirm. "So though watcher trouble certainly ain't somethin' a vamp wants I realized I 'ad to discourage the bast....the gents in question and persuade em to leave me be. So whilst 'Arry heads em in one direction past me I lets rip with me pistol into a party of em in an alleyway in Soho ."

"He shot Wilson and Carstairs in the back, shot them down in cold blood....." Giles's fury was plain to see. "He didn't have the courage to face us man to man."

"Bollocks," Browne's demon began to rise. "There was six of you with fuckin' crossbows, an I bet you wouldn't 'ave hesitated to put a bolt through my back bone....."

"That's different...."

"Oh is it now, fair play to shoot down vamps but should they fight back," Browne shook his head in mock bewilderment. "Vampires who stick to that old fashioned fang an' claw game get short shrift, and I'd like to point out one of those crossbow bolts you fired after me went in my fuckin' back, it broke when 'Arry tried to pull it out an it took three weeks to find a sawbones with the bollocks to go in after the pieces."

"Good......I hope it hurt....."

"Ok!" A headache was starting to form, a surprise for Buffy who had though vamps were immune to such things. "Can you two hate each other a little quieter please? I have to go see my beloved, after which Giles and whoever else wants to shout at me can do so all he or she likes."

She turned to the Watcher pouting and with her eyes downcast she said apologetically. "Willy the Snitch, sorry, I shouldn't have done it ok...but he was so lying to me....so I went game faced and my demoness came out to party. Ok, the hammer was a stupid thing to take along, I realize that now and if I interrogate anyone again I won't have it with me....and also I promise I won't go game on anyone who isn't undead or really bad ever again....honest!"

Giles opened his mouth to speak just as the torrent resumed.

"If you've read the California section of that paper please note I was unconscious the whole time, it was all nothing to do with me and my demoness. The guys....the guys shot purely in self defense, and though it looks bad like they just fought humans that isn't so, there were vamps to but they just tidied up after themselves with stakes. The guns well hey can I be blamed if people don't read the constitution properly resulting in a heavily over armed society that leaves guns lying around for sociopaths and vampires to find, ok next in their case to the bodies of people they just violently killed, but that isn't the point here......What are you looking at me like that for, do you think I can't read, that I'm not interested in current affairs relative to gun control."

"No," Giles began but before he could add anything.

"Why is it that you never mentioned a guy called Bakull to me? The guy had two Lear jets an a damned limo and owned a whole mountain. He offered these guys four million not to stake him, four million. Why haven't we been doing something about vampires like that, and note they did stake him, for me."

"Vampires like that arn't trying to open Hellmouths, Buffy." Giles had read about the violent events in LA during the week, he hadn't thought the Slayer had anything to do with them. "Your duty is to stop that from happening, and I'm afraid that it takes priority over vampires who arn't trying to destroy the world."

Before Buffy could embark upon another monologue Giles interrupted her. "Go and see Angel, he's worried about you long enough. I'll shout at you over what you did to Willy later, and I'll talk to your new friend whilst you're gone. Find out what on earth we can do with him."

"Ok," Buffy waved Spike over from the corner where he had been lurking vampirely, drawing him out of earshot of the others she whispered. "Stop them from killing each other please."

"Are you gonna tell the poof about us Slayer, tell him that your leaving?" Spike knew it was in vain, but still he had to ask. "Please pet?"

"No, I won't tell him." Buffy wished Giles weren't there so that she could at least kiss Spikes cheek. "Here, I'm Buffy, the old Buffy the one who loves Angel, the one who doesn't care why he didn't leave, the one who carried on loving a guy it couldn't possibly have worked out with for over two years. I can't leave him Spike, I'm sorry but I can't."

"But don't you go leaving me either," she smiled up at him. "I want to be your friend, I think that you and the vetala should stick around and help out, please can you handle that."

"Don't know." Spike looked into her eyes and knew he would love her forever Angel or not. "But if I go it won't be far, maybe LA to do something about some of those vamps you don't have time to go after."

"Seriously!" Smiling the Slayer stood on tip toe and kissed Spike lightly on the mouth, never mind what Giles thought. "Two hours drive away, wait till I get a car."

And with that she turned her back on a puzzled vampire, and went to visit another.