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Hope - Chapter 12
Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognise.

This is a long overdue update. Sorry. I seem to be behind on everything to do with fic. My get it done fic is over a month late and presently over 10,000 words. I should be able to post it shortly.

Chapter Twelve

It had been a couple of days since Buffy and Spike had joined Angel in his quest to find his missing son. Nevertheless, they were no further along with their investigation. Angel was getting restless and more and more broody. Spike, for his part, was dying to kill something. Standing there just looking at books was not his cup of tea. He knew that Buffy felt the same. Maybe patrolling tonight might help. There was another way of letting off steam that he could think of, but that wasn't going to happen any time soon. Soldier Boy had been no help so far, but he had promised to dig around for some information. Riley was leaving this evening, although he would keep them apprised of the situation. Spike would happy to see the wanker gone, but it was a pity he couldn't have been useful while he had been around at least.

Buffy was seeing Riley out to his cab when the topic of Spike came up. She had been expecting it, so it came as no surprise.

"So are you still seeing Spike?" Riley asked with a look of disgust on his face. Buffy was much too good for the likes of that peroxide pest as far as he was concerned. Buffy rolled her eyes in irritation, but she answered him all the same.

"Not that it is any of your business but no." She paused for moment and when she spoke again it was softly. "I don't think that I ever really was seeing him, but we are good friends."

Riley snorted. If those two were not sleeping together again yet then it would not be long, considering the moon eyes they were making at each other.

"What?" Buffy asked annoyed.

"You could have fooled me!" Riley replied snidely.

"Well as I said already, it really is none of your business, Riley," Buffy said in a voice of forced calm.

Chastened, he sighed. "Sorry, Buffy, I just worry about you!"

"There is no need. I'm more than capable of looking after myself."

She gave him a small smile and he returned the gesture as he sat into the taxi.

"Riley!" she called.

He rolled down his window.

"Thanks for coming," she said. "We really appreciate the help."

"I will keep you posted." He grinned and rolled the window down.

Buffy watched while the car sped into the distance. As she walked back into the building she could see the amber glow of a cigarette just outside. She could just about make out Spike's profile in the darkness.

"Hey," she said greeting him.

"Is Whitebread gone yet?" he asked, hopefully.

"What is your problem, Spike?" Buffy rounded on the vampire. "We have more important things at stake here than your pissing contest with Riley." She was so sick of the male posturing. Why was she always surrounded by jealous, insecure men?

"I really don't trust the wanker!" Spike gritted his teeth. "And what if he finds out about the Bit? He knows too much already. Buffy, don't you see that if the Initiative are behind kidnapping Connor, then what do you think they would do with Dawn? Glory wanted to bleed her dry and twirl her in a lock. Those bastards have a real bloodlust and they got their rocks off experimenting on demons. They won't care that she's human."

Spike could see the shock in her eyes. It had been the last thing on her mind. She opened her mouth to protest, but no sooner had she opened her mouth then she shut it again. She could see that he was had a point about Dawn being in danger, but she couldn't believe that Riley would ever intentionally put Dawn in danger.

"We need to bring her here," Buffy muttered, "She would be safe." She reached for her cell.

"No this is the last place she needs to be." Spike spoke softly looking into her eyes, "We would only be drawing attention to her. She's better off going to her classes, as normal. Besides, I've asked the others to keep a close eye on her"

"You did, huh?" Buffy asked angrily, "Clearly you have been thinking about this before and yet you never thought of letting me know." Her eyes glittered dangerously but he grabbed her hand and squeezed it.

"Didn't see the point in worrying you unnecessarily, love. I figured you had enough to be getting on with."

Her irritation with the vampire abated, as she took in what he said. He was right, of course.

"Point taken," she admitted. Her anger was so close to the surface these days and the seeming hopelessness of the situation was not helping. The vampire was still smirking at her admission.

"Don't get used to it!" she warned. "Vampires are meant to be wrong, not right!" She reached for the cigarette in his mouth before flinging it on the ground and stood on it.

"Hey!" Spike yelled. "I was not finished with that."

"Just in case you forget who's boss," Buffy quipped. "Let's go patrol! I don't feel like smelling like an ashtray for the night."

"Now you're talking, sweetheart. Beat up some more demons and we might just get lucky. Some big bad must have some information on what's chasing them out of LA."

"We tried it already, Spike." she reminded him.

He shrugged his shoulders. "But it beats doing nothing."

To be continued..

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Nice update. Its hard this writing business, it really is. :D

That it is! I hate writer's block.

Anyway - thanks so much for reading.

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