Disclaimer: I don’t own BTVS.
Thanks to all those who are reading and especially to those leaving reviews. This chapter is a bit of a game changer. But I will say there is plenty more to come here.
Buffy couldn’t help but be thankful that she came to Moscow for a reason and it wasn’t because she wanted to visit the tourist sites. After all, her first proper glimpse of the city was in the dark and to the sort of places that tourist operators would never put on their brochures. Patrolling in alleys and graveyards really didn’t lend much to the tourist experience. Spike hadn’t spoken a word since she had caught up with him two or three blocks back. She got the feeling that one wrong one word and he would snap. His hands were in his duster and there was a tic in his cheek as if he was waiting to let rip at her. She felt a pang of guilt; despite all her self-involved pity fest, she knew she had gotten the sweeter end of the deal. She had Alice, her sister and her friends. Spike had to move away to get his life back on track. She knew things appeared to be strained with the whole Skankzilla deal, but he seemed to be liked and respected among the majority of the Slayers in Vi’s unit. That thought brought her back to the Vi question. Not that it was any of her business if they were seeing one another. Spike didn’t owe her anything, though she couldn’t deny it would hurt to know he had definitely moved on. Still, she wanted him to be happy. And if he couldn’t trust her, then he deserved someone he could trust. Whoever got him would be a lucky woman and she hoped that unlike her they realised it before they lost him. She swallowed the lump in her throat and took a deep breath. There was no point dwelling on the past.
She turned her attention to their surroundings. The streets were busy, full of people out for the night. Buffy realised she had no idea what they were doing or where they were going. This whole situation was so bizarre. She shook her head disbelievingly. She was walking down the streets of Moscow with her ex and trying to chase down another one of his exes and Dracula. If that spun her head, she had no idea how much it must be wrecking his.
Unable to bear the silence, she said, “This is weird isn’t it?”
He kept his eyes on the street ahead. “It is at that.”
Buffy sighed. “Sorry. I really shouldn’t have come.”
Spike shrugged. “Things are just fucked up at the moment. What’s one more complication?”
“Can’t be easy considering -” She trailed off.
“Dru,” he finished. His expression darkened. “Can’t say I’m looking forward to doing her in.”
She shivered remembering when she knew she had to kill Angel to prevent him from unleashing Acathla. Granted their history might not be as recent as hers and Angel’s was at the time, it would still have to be difficult.
“Um, where are we going exactly?” she asked. “You weren’t big on the details back there.”
“We’re taking the west side of the city and some of the known vampire spots around here. We’ll take a right at the end of this street and we’ll come out by a park.”
This was better. Spike seemed willing to talk business.
“Looking for anything in particular or is this just a general patrol?” she asked.
He shrugged. “No. But I’m hoping our presence might draw Dru or Dracula out.”
Buffy could see the wisdom in that. “Bring it on! I have a bone to pick with Dracula. You can’t dust the son of a bitch without him reforming, and I’m determined to find a way to do it.”
“Form a line, Slayer. I’m itching to dust the wanker myself.”
They had left the built up area and walking by the park Spike had been talking about. They were walking side by side now and he turned to look at her.
“How’s the Nibblet?”
“She’s fine.” Buffy laughed, “She’s a grown woman with a brood of hyper kids. Isn’t it about time you stopped calling her that?”
“She’ll always be the Bit to me.”
“A ninety year old Dawn with a walking frame would be your Little Bit?” she asked with a mischievous grin.
Spike’s lip quirked. She had forgotten how much his earnest smile could turn her legs to jelly.
“I missed this,” Buffy said. “I’ve missed you. Us.”
Before she could stop herself she closed the distance between them, her eyes going from his eyes to his lips.
He stepped back suddenly and the spell was broken.
The smile on his face was gone. “What do you want, Buffy? Is this some game to you? Come to Moscow, give me a pity fuck and then head back to Merry Olde with your itch well and truly scratched.”
His eyes were in narrow slits and his nostrils were flaring.
Offended, Buffy’s mouth dropped open and she glared back at him. “Is that really what you think I am? You asshole! I came here to help. That’s all. Ok I wanted to kiss you just there but that’s not a crime.”
She could feel her face was flushed. How dare he? It wasn’t as if she threw herself at him.
“I hate to break it to you, princess, I’m not interested.”
“I know.” God, did she know. “I got lost in the moment. I promise I’m not looking for anything from you.” She took a deep breath. This wasn’t meant to go this way. She knew they couldn’t be friends but…
Taking a deep breath she steeled herself. “Look – I didn’t come here to fight.” She frowned. “Well I did but I didn’t want to fight you.”
He didn’t look convinced but the stormy look in his eyes had been replaced, “Look, pet, if you’re doing something silly like holding out for me or something, quit being a martyr. I’ve moved on and my life is pretty good here. You want Peaches, go get him. I really don’t care what you do with your personal life anymore.”
Before Buffy could get an angry word in there was a shriek from nearby and the bickering duo turned their attention to locating the source of the sound. It appeared to be coming from a nearby park.
“This better not be another fucking trap,” Spike said as he ran. “That was the park Vi and I were in the night Dru tried to burn down the house.”
He stopped so suddenly that Buffy nearly ran into him. “Fuck it. Let’s just climb over.”
The wall was taller than she was and Spike offered her a lift. Feeling his hands on her waist, she shivered involuntarily as he lifted her up. He must have noticed but said nothing. She pulled herself up on the wall and he followed behind her.
“They’re down by the fountain,” he said before taking off.
Buffy followed at his heels. She kept up with his pace but could feel her lungs burning as they ran. She wasn’t as fit as she should be. She would have to start working out more when she got home.
The fountain was easy to find. Two stone gargoyles stood at either end and the light of the moon gave it a beautiful effect. If the situation was different she might take the opportunity to admire it.
She could see the other side of the fountain where three male vamps were surrounding two cowering teenagers. A girl, who looked no more than fifteen, with dirty blonde hair was clinging to a dark haired boy.
“Oi! Leave the kids alone.”
The three vampires turned around looking confused, then Spike shouted something in what Buffy assumed must be Russian.
The tallest of the vamps just laughed. “Leave here, Spike, and take your pet Slayer with you.”
Indignant, Buffy pulled out her stake. “Oh you’re going to pay for that Mister.”
“You pissed off Buffy Summers.” Spike shook his head mock sorrowfully. “You’ll pay for that.”
He turned to the couple and muttered something in Russian. The two teenagers got to their feet and ran.
He went into game face. “Whoops – scared away your dinner.”
With a growl the vampires lunged for them. Buffy and Spike assumed a familiar position of back to back as the three vamps tried to take them on. Buffy made easy work of her first vampire. He was small and wiry. She knocked him to the ground almost immediately.
She grinned. “Goodbye.” She put the stake to his chest and he turned to dust.
She heard one the other vampire call out from behind her. She whirled around to face him. He wasn’t as tall as the vampire Spike was fighting but he was broader and wearing a luminous orange shirt. She got the impression he was trying to insult her but unable to speak the language she could guess at the meaning.
“Orange really isn’t a good colour on you,” she said as she closed in on his chest. “It makes it easier to spot my target though.”
She turned to watch how Spike was going with his vamp. He was taking his time playing with the other vampire.
“Hurry up. It’s cold.”
She was about to sit on a bench and watch the Spike show when she spotted a fourth vampire come out of nowhere and make a beeline for Spike.
Spike ducked in time to let her stake the vampire about to take him from behind. Her blood was singing. Oh how she had missed slaying.
Spike finally managed to slay his vamp.
“Took you long enough,” she quipped.
She was exhilarated. She did the odd patrol here and there but mainly she had been helping with training the Slayers. She needed to be doing this. Fighting and dancing. How could she have lasted so long without it?
“Buffy,” Spike said.
“I’m sorry about what I said earlier, luv. I over reacted.”
“I think we needed to have it out.” She confessed. “But don’t ever talk to me like that again or I will stake you.”
She brandished her stake in emphasis.
“Duly noted.” Spike took out a cigarette, “You know despite everything I wouldn’t trust anybody else with my back in a fight.”
They stood in silence for a moment not knowing what to say to one another.
“I could do with a drink,” Spike said.
“God yes,” she said. “As long as it’s not a demon bar.”
“I know a nice bar not from here. It’s full of plenty of humans. I saved the barman from a demon once and he always has a free drink for me.”
“How noble of you? How much do you usually charge when you save someone?”
“Still a fan of the quip I see.”
Buffy smiled. “This whole sending us off together to patrol was Vi’s idea I take it.”
Spike nodded. “She’s a good mate. She thought it would be healthier for all involved if we got the fighting out of the way and over and done with.”
“Do you think she’s expecting us back in little bitty pieces?”
“Her words were she expected us to sort out our shit. Maybe we should bloody ourselves up a little?”
“Oooh. Can I punch you on the nose? It would be like old times.”
He gave her a playful little shove, “Ha, bloody, ha!”
After a few drinks they left the bar. She might be physically strong but she was still a lightweight when it came to alcohol. They arrived back at the house at half one and Buffy was feeling hungry. Spike excused himself saying he had things to do and Buffy went to the kitchen to get some food before bed. Slaying was always a hunger inducing business. She opened the door and was surprised to see Andrew sitting at the table.
“Hi Andrew. Thought you’d be in bed by now.”
“I was watching a rerun of Star Trek,” he explained.
She took a banana from the fruit bowl on the table and a bottle of Coke from the fridge. She sat at the table and peeled her banana. She could feel his eyes boring into her.
She looked up. “What?”
“How did things – you know- go?”
“That’s none of your business.”
“Oh come on.”
“Fine. We fought, we apologised and then we went and had a drink.”
“Good.” He looked at her expectantly as If waiting for her to expand.
“Andrew, can I ask you a question?”
“Sure.” He perked up.
“Are Vi and Spike seeing one another?”
“Aha! You’re jealous.”
“Answer the question, Andrew.”
“No – I don’t think so. They do like each other though. So if you want him back you should make your move now.”
Buffy shook her head. “Spike and I had our chance. He loved me and I cheated on him. I’ve known we’ve been over but a little part of my heart has been holding onto him. I have to let him go.”
She smiled sadly. “I don’t know why I told you all this.”
“Don’t worry I can keep a secret. Remember when I never told you Spike was back.”
She rolled her eyes. “Not the best example Andrew. I’ve never forgiven you that.”
Later that night as she lay in bed that night she thought about her life and way things had gone. The Buffy of a few years ago wouldn’t recognise her life now. Despite how things had turned out. The only thing she truly regretted in all this was hurting Spike and losing him. For the first time she found herself crying for unselfish reasons.
To be continued…