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Summary: Spike goes to Warren to order the Buffybot, but he’s not going to use it for his own personal use this time.
Disclaimer: Joss & Co. own everything. I’m just borrowing them for a bit to keep my restless mind busy on a snowy afternoon.
Buffy tossed her jacket tot the floor and slumped onto the bed. She was sure her mother would give her the ‘put your clothes in the hamper’ lecture in the morning, but she was too tired and bummed out to care at the moment. She had defeated the bad guy, but the whole discussion with April was still bothering her.
Warren had programmed her to be so devoted. She had been just what he wanted—for a time anyway. What was it with men? They always changed their minds and ran away. She was an expert on the subject, first Angel, then Parker, and now Riley. Heck, she could probably teach a course at Sunnydale University—“How to Get Dumped Without Even Trying”. The only guy who stuck by her was Spike. Spike, what a joke! The only man who wanted to stay with her was a bleached blond vampire with a Billy Idol wannabe syndrome and a fondness for bondage.
Buffy cringed as she kicked off her shoes recalling the feel of the iron manacles around her wrists when she has woken up in that tunnel below his crypt. Most guys brought a girl flowers and had candle light dinners, and she got a wall of stolen pictures and chains. Looking at it that way, maybe Warren did have a good idea.
“Ugh,” she groaned giving the pillow a frustrated punch before flopping out on the bed fully clothed. She doubted she was going to get any sleep in the near future, but she was sick of thinking of her lousy love life, especially when every thought had a way of ending up on the topic of Spike.
“Okay, I think it’s official,” Xander sighed plopping his book on the large stack of texts in the center of the table. “These books don’t have a single word about Glory. Now, if you’re looking for a brain-eating mucus-covered demon, I can tell you anything you want to know…”
“Then we keep looking,” Buffy snapped from behind the counter of the magic shop. She had to admit she was getting bored with Giles’ endless supply of forgotten lore, but it was better than sitting at home where her thoughts kept wandering back to Spike.
“I believe we can be sure there is a passage on the topic somewhere,” Giles added as the boy grudgingly picked another book off the pile. “It will probably be cryptic since I don’t recall any mention of extremely fashion conscious demons in any of my studies, but perhaps a past embodiment…”
“So we’re looking for a past life of something that we haven’t got a clue about in its present life,” Anya complained, ignoring the disapproving look Willow shot across the table. “It just seems like we ought to know what we’re looking for before we try to find it.”
“And I suppose we should just give Glory a call and ask her to tell us what she is?” Will snapped.
“I’m just saying we’re working ourselves to exhaustion and getting nowhere!” the ex-demon shot back.
“Maybe we should call it a night,” Buffy cut in rounding the counter. “I know you guys are tired. Go home and get some rest. We can start fresh in the morning.”
“Are you sure?” Tara asked giving the Slayer a concerned look as Anya pushed her book aside with a sigh of relief. She could see the hints of dark circles under Buffy’s eyes; even with the makeup she had applied to cover them. The Scoobies were tired, but Buffy was exhausted. She had a feeling it wasn’t just Glory that was bothering her friend.
“Yeah,” she replied giving the group her best fake smile, “you guys should get some rest before you burn out and miss something important.”
That was all it took, even Willow, usually the first in line for a long night of hitting the books, jumped up from the table and quickly started packing up her bag. Although, Buffy noticed the red head did pack up a few demonology texts along with her schoolbooks.
She waited for the sound of the bell over the shop’s door to die away before letting her shoulders slump. She settled onto one of the stools next to the counter and rested her elbows on the counter next to the register waiting for the lecture she knew Giles had been composing while the gang had made their exit.
“Buffy, do you think this is wise?” the Watcher asked his expression more concerned than disapproving. He had been putting in quite a few late nights of his own, and they were taking their toll. Considering the grave aspect of the situation, he had to push himself. “We really should be taking advantage of every possible moment.”
“When the bickering starts, there’s no research getting done,” she sighed. “We don’t want to miss something because we’re busy yelling at each other. Why don’t you go home and get some sleep too? I’ll lock up.”
“I could do that,” he replied, “but you need your rest too.”
“I’m going to get a little training in,” she explained. “I don’t think I could get much sleep tonight.”
“You’re not letting the incident with Spike bother you, are you?” he asked as he pulled his coat on over his shoulders.
“He’s the last thing on my mind,” Buffy lied as she jumped up from the stool and followed him to the door. “Just need to get a little workout in. Besides, it’ll help me sleep when I get home.”
“Well, if you’ll go home and get some rest after you’re done,” Giles paused at the door.
“Don’t worry,” Buffy assured him giving him a little nudge out the door. “I’ll get my beauty sleep. Now, go home and do something non-watchery.”
Buffy pulled the athletic tape from her stiff fingers and tossed it into the small metal trash can with such force that the can fell over on its side. The workout had only helped to wear her out, but her brain was still on overdrive. Thanks to Spike, she was going to have yet another sleepless night. She was tempted to march over to his crypt and take out her frustrations on his face, but knowing his sick mind, he would only see it as encouragement.
“Damned that vampire!” she growled giving the punching bag one last jab.
“Nice to see you’re still thinking of me, pet.”
“What the hell are you doing here?” She whipped around to glare coldly at the intruder.
Spike leaned casually against the doorframe his lips curved into a mocking smirk that just fed her urge to punch him all the more. She had been so occupied with taking out her anger with him on the punching bag; she hadn’t heard him enter the room.
“Public place, luv,” he reminded her with a shrug. “You should remember to lock the door. Any low life could come in here and rob the Watcher blind.”
“And you would be that low life,” Buffy snapped crossing her arms over her chest in an effort to keep from hitting him. He was baiting her, and she refused to give him the satisfaction. “The shop is public not the training room.”
“Guess your Wiccas were too busy with the house,” he replied. “Still have and invite here. Maybe you just didn’t have the heart to shut me out completely.”
“An oversight,” she assured him. “I’ll be sure to remind Willow to take care of it tomorrow.”
Spike continued to lean against the doorjamb. He never could take the hint when it came to the topic of him leaving. Her anger was nearly boiling over, but she refused to let him bait her into a confrontation. Let him stand there and stare at her, or rather over her shoulder.
“What are you looking at?” Buffy’s eyes grew wide when she looked over her shoulder. She was hallucinating. Lack of sleep had caused her to imagine that she was standing there smiling happily back at herself.
“What…” Her mind went blank as the shock ran through her body. Desperately, she tried to hang on to consciousness, but the Buffy hallucination continued to hold the cattle prod to her stomach until she sunk to her knees.
“Sorry, luv.” Spike’s voice sounded far away even though in her semi-conscious state she could feel the vampire’s arms snake around her body as he lifted her from the floor. “We need time to take, and this time you’re going to listen to me.”
This site is not affiliated with big scary corporations that could sue my pants off, I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer (though I desperately want Spike:) This site and its content is meant to entertain, not infringe:)