Postcards from the Ledge

Written for the Good__Evil Scenario Challenge.

Thank you to the wonderful Slaymesoftly for beta'ing.

“Explain to me again why I shouldn’t kill you?” Spike growled.

She’d woken a short time ago, lying on the ground next to the groaning vampire who sported a bump on his forehead about as big as the one throbbing painfully on hers. After a good bout of pouting on her part and swearing on his, they’d agreed to a truce until they could work a way out of their predicament; unfortunately neither of them had been able to come up with a workable plan and both their tempers were beginning to fray once again.

“Because we’re trapped here and we’re gonna have to work together to get down,” Buffy reasoned, carefully fingering the stake in her pocket in case the vampire decided he’d rather resume hostilities than co-operate.

“Get down? And again I ask how the bleedin’ hell you propose we do that? You gonna sprout wings an’ fly?”

“So not helping, Spike.” Buffy pouted; she was dirty, tired, hungry, her head hurt and she was stuck on a stupid ledge god knows how far above the ground with her mortal enemy—her night just couldn’t get any worse. She inched forward carefully, once more peering over the edge into the thick, impenetrable fog below. “Do you have any idea where we are?” she asked, wincing inwardly at the petulant whine that somehow crept into her voice.

“Do I look like a GPS?”

“I just thought… Never mind,” she finished with a sigh. She tilted her head back, looking up the cliff face for a possible escape route. The cliff seemed to stretch up for miles, angling out to overhang their present location, effectively blocking the view of the cliff top and even the sky.

A sudden wave of giddiness engulfed her and she stumbled backwards only to be steadied as a strong hand clamped around her arm.

“Watch what you’re doing, you stupid bint,” Spike snarled, while silently cursing himself for the instinct that had had him reaching out and preventing the slayer’s tumble into the abyss below.

“I… Thank you,” Buffy responded quietly, shaken by her near-fall. She backed away from the edge, wrapping her arms herself and offering the vampire a small grateful smile.

“I still don’t understand how we got here?” Buffy muttered to herself, looking around her at the small ledge before sinking to the ground with a resigned sigh.

Spike shrugged, reaching into his pocket for a cigarette. “Guess that Glish demon didn’t take too kindly to us disturbing its sleep and teleported us away from its nest.” He exhaled a long plume of smoke in her direction, his eyes sparkling as he smirked at the much put upon slayer. “Next time you decide to commit suicide by vampire I suggest you pick a better spot.”

“Suicide by vampire?” Buffy blustered, surging to her feet once more, her hands coming to rest on her hips as she glared at the grinning vampire. “In your dreams, Spike. I was so kicking your ass,” she told him smugly. “Besides, you were the one in my town after we had a deal that you were gonna leave and never come back.”

“What can I say, love? Evil!”

He leaned back against the rough rock of the cliff face, tossing the remnants of his smoke over the edge of the cliff and watching as it disappeared from view. With a deep sigh he allowed his eyes to drift closed as he thought about the events that had brought him back to Sunnydale.

He’d come looking for revenge, blaming the Slayer for Dru’s wild accusations. Only by the time he got here he was so bloody drunk he almost immolated himself in the poof’s garden. After that he’d decided to try a different approach and despite his usual distrust of all things magical he’d stumbled upon a plan whereby the Slayer’s little friend was going to help him with his problem. Only he’d had the misfortune of running into little Miss Loves-to-Slay on his way to talk to the redheaded witch.

All of which brought him right back to his present situation; stuck halfway up a bloody mountain in the middle of who-knows-where with Heaven’s Chosen pain in his arse.

The sound of movement disrupted his thoughts and he cracked an eye open to watch the Slayer settle herself to the ground once more, huddling back against the cliff face and hugging herself against the cold. She looked so damned small huddled into an unhappy little ball against the rough rock. He watched for a few minutes as she shivered miserably, before sighing and rolling his eyes at himself even as he spoke. “Here. You need it more than I do.” He shrugged out of his duster and handed it down to the girl.

Buffy stared unmoving at the proffered coat.

“Do you want the bloody thing or not?” Spike snapped, breaking her from her trance.

“Yes, please,” she answered quietly, reaching up to accept the soft leather. “Thank you,” Buffy added, a little disconcerted to find herself expressing her gratitude to the vampire for the second time that night.

“Just mind you take care of it,” he warned.

Pushing the sleeves up to free her hands, she wrapped the coat gratefully around her. She tucked her legs up so they were also protected from the elements, then settled back against the cliff once more with a soft sigh of contentment before frowning and wriggling uncomfortably.

“What have you got in here?” She asked as her hand delved into the large inner pocket and started pulling out the odd assortment housed within.

After removing Spike's cigarettes, Zippo, a cassette tape, a packet of Smint and a rather tasteful leather wallet; putting them beside her, she reached into the pocket once more. Grabbing what felt a bit like an old tennis ball, she pulled it out before dropping it and scrabbling away.

“Oh my god, Spike. Ewww. That is disgusting,” she shrieked wiping her hands furiously on the borrowed duster.

“What the hell is your problem, Slayer?” Spike asked, reaching for his belongings before the girl could knock them over the cliff in her panic.

“What’s my problem? It’s a head. You have a shrunken head in your pocket.” She turned wild, disbelieving eyes on him as he started to chuckle. “It’s not funny, Spike. It’s disgusting… and sick… and…”

“A doll’s head,” Spike interrupted. “'S a bleeding apple doll, you dozy cow.”

“An apple doll?” Buffy leaned forward cautiously to look at the item in question.

“Yeah. You know, like you pick up at craft fairs and what not. Dru likes ‘em. And her last one’s head got broken.” He shrugged self-consciously. “Saw one in this little craft shop and thought I’d pick it up for her.”

Buffy carefully poked the wizened doll head and shuddered. “Sounds like the sort of thing Creepsilla would like,” Buffy muttered as she inched away from the doll’s head.

Spike’s eyes narrowed, he glared daggers at Buffy and opened his mouth to defend Dru before closing it again and leaning back against the cliff with a shrug. “'S better than some of things she’s been known to take a fancy to,” he mumbled sullenly.

Buffy watched the now clearly despondent vampire for a few minutes before venturing quietly, “Why are you here? In Sunnydale, I mean. And where’s Dru?”

Spike cast suspicious eyes in the slayer’s direction, wondering if she was purposefully rubbing salt into all too recent and still very tender wounds. A tiny puzzled frown creased her brow and rather than the anticipated malice, he was met with nothing but curiosity as she returned his gaze and waited patiently for his answer.

He shrugged, reaching for another cigarette and lighting it before responding. “Dunno exactly. Somewhere down in South America, leastways she was when I saw her last.” He lowered himself to the ground next to Buffy, his legs stretched out before him. With a sigh he closed his eyes and allowed his head to drop back until the top was pressed against the rough rock. His cigarette slowly burnt down as he held it loosely, forgotten between his fingers.

He was silent for so long that Buffy began to think he’d fallen asleep.

“After all we’ve been through. All I’ve…” he began quietly. Straightening suddenly, he fixed Buffy intently with piercing blue eyes. “She left. Took up with a bloody Chaos Demon of all things.”

Buffy didn’t know what to say. That he was hurting was obvious. His face clearly mirrored his misery and she felt her heart hitch in unexpected sympathy. Spike’s eyes bored into hers with frightening intensity, as if he could find the answer to his unspoken ‘why?’ in hers. She blinked and dropped her gaze to her lap. “I… I’m sorry,” she offered.

“No you’re not,” he responded. “You couldn’t give a tinker's.”

“You’re wrong,” Buffy responded indignantly. Lifting her head to look him in the eye once more, she added gently, “I am sorry. Sorry that you’re hurting… I… I know what it feels like,” she continued more strongly. “And I wouldn’t want anyone,” her lips twisted into a wry smile, “not even my mortal enemy, to have to feel like that.”

He searched her face before nodding briefly. “’Preciate that, pet,” he muttered before leaning back against the cliff once more.

Buffy pulled the coat more tightly around her and followed his example, no longer chilled to the bone but still far from warm.

They sat in silence for some time, each lost in their memories.

“What about you?” he asked eventually, breaking into her thoughts. “Noticed the poof is still around. Your mates manage to shove that soul of his back home again an’ save you having to kill the worthless git?”

Buffy visibly flinched at the vampire’s words. She opened her mouth to respond but the words wouldn’t come.

“I’m sorry, love.” Spike shook his head sadly. “Didn’t mean anything by it, just ignore me.”

“No, I… It’s okay,” Buffy finally found her voice. “Umm, yeah, Willow managed… I mean she…” She waved her hand, at a loss for how to explain. A brief nod from the vampire let her know that he understood what she was trying to say and she continued, “But it was too late. The portal had already started opening. I had to… The only way to close it was… blood. Angel’s blood,” she added quietly. “I stabbed him. Ran him through and then just stepped back and let the demon drag him into a hell dimension.” She smiled wryly. “Some kinda girlfriend, huh?”

“Don’t!” he snapped, eyes flashing angrily. “Soul or no soul, don’t make any bloody difference, Slayer. Angelus is a worthless prick. He doesn’t deserve your pity, or your loyalty and certainly not your love.” The muscle in his cheek ticked and his nostrils flared as he drew a deep breath, visibly calming himself before adding more quietly, “Thought you’d learnt that lesson, pet?”

She stared at him, startled not only by his outburst but the passion driving it.

“So if you sent him to hell, how is it he’s sittin’ around that sodding mansion brooding up a storm?”

“I don’t know, not really. I mean, I know, but I don’t… understand,” she finished with a sad shrug. “He was all grrr and weird. Kinda primal.”

“Always knew he was less than one step removed from a Neanderthal,” Spike commented, smirking unrepentantly when Buffy glared at him.

Buffy rolled her eyes and refused to smile at the vampire’s antics, while secretly grateful that he’d lightened the mood. “He’s getting better every day, though,” she continued with false-brightness. “And he remembers now…”

Her eyes clouded over again and Spike felt the anger rising in him once more. That his grandsire had reduced the vibrant, witty, spirited slayer he had known the year before to this tired, haunted, miserable little girl was just one more reason in a bloody long list for him to hate the bastard.

“Remembers that we loved each other, and that I sent him to hell. And now he’s back after a hundred years of torment and it’s all so… difficult,” Buffy continued quietly. “It shouldn’t be, though. Should it? I mean if we care about each other…” Her voice trailed off and her eyes closed tight as she forced down the tears that threatened. “It shouldn’t be so difficult,” she whispered.

Spike laughed. A sharp humourless bark of laughter that echoed back to them from the cliffs opposite. "Making things difficult has always been Liam's speciality," he told her.

"You did what you had to do. Saved the bleedin' world, didn't you? And don't you go forgetting all the things he did. And don't tell me it's different now 'cause the git has his soul back," he cut her off as she opened her mouth to defend her erstwhile lover. "Whatever line your watcher, or the great brooding git himself, fed you about the soul making all the difference is just that, Slayer... a line. Becoming a vamp doesn't change who you are, just makes you care a hell of a lot less about consequences. Why live by society's rules when you don't have to?" He picked at the stitching of his jeans in lieu of the pacing their present circumstances made impossible.

"The only thing having a human soul shoved into him did was land a whole boatload of guilt onto those strong and manly shoulders," he sneered. "Which isn't such a good thing for a vamp, what with the whole needing blood in order to live thing; makes it a hell of a lot harder to survive if you let yourself see people as anything other than dinner on legs. Angelus taught me that," he added as Buffy's lip began to curl in disgust. "Point is, love... Angel, Angelus, Liam—whatever he wants to call himself—they're all the same person the only thing separating them is a whopping great helping of guilt and self-pity."

Buffy looked at him thoughtfully. What he was telling her was in complete disagreement with everything Giles—and Angel—had taught her. Yet she couldn't help but wonder if it was true. She shifted uncomfortably. Her legs were beginning to ache from being pulled up tightly in order to keep warm. As she stretched them out she accidentally kicked the apple head. She grimaced in apology to Spike as it sailed over the edge of the cliff and disappeared into the thick fog below.

"Bloody hell," the vampire exclaimed, jumping to his feet and moving to peer over the edge.

"Spike, I'm sorry. I didn't mean.."

"No," he cut her off. "No, it's okay, love. Here, pass me those mints," he asked holding his hand out. "Now shh," he told her before throwing the mints out in a gentle arc from the ledge. They disappeared beneath the thick fog and a moment later his vampire hearing easily picked up the rattle as they hit the ground.

Without warning he jumped off the ledge and Buffy scrambled in panic to the edge, only to find him laughing, his head and shoulders emerging from the thick white cloud. He walked slowly backwards beckoning to her as he went. "Come on down, Slayer. It's alright, nice solid ground down... arghh..." He disappeared beneath the fog with a startled yell.

"Spike!" Buffy screamed. "Oh, god, no. Please. Spike, can you hear me?" she called frantically into the fog.

His head re-emerged as he moved swiftly back towards the small ledge. "It's okay, Slayer. I'm alright, pet. Was just teasin' you, is all," he assured her.

His arms suddenly filled with relieved slayer and he found himself infinitely grateful that breathing was an optional extra for vampires as she pulled him into an exuberant hug that threatened to break ribs.

"Don't you ever... You scared me, you bastard," Buffy told him, punctuating her words with a solid thump to the chest.

"I'm sorry, love," he murmured soothingly. "Was just joking, kitten. I didn't think."

"You're right, you didn't," Buffy accused, pulling back further so she could glare at him. "It wasn't funny," she pouted.

"I know. 'm sorry," he told her again. "But look," he said, stepping back and gesturing towards the cliff. "We're down."

"Yeah," Buffy agreed with a smile. "So we are."


"Ow," the slayer complained as she twisted her ankle on the uneven ground for the hundredth time. "Stupid rocks."

"Come on, love. The fog clears a bit further ahead an' you'll actually be able to see where you're putting those dainty little feet," he told her, ducking beneath the predicted blow and grinning widely. "You know if you wore decent shoes..."

"Shut up, Spike," Buffy huffed. "Well, come on then," she threw over her shoulder as she marched off once more. "I don't want to take all..." She stopped, frozen in her tracks and turned to stare at the vampire. "Night. Spike, the sun. It must be nearly morning by now. What..."

"It's alright, slayer," he spoke gently, touched by her concern. "I'd say we've a coupla hours 'til sunrise. And if we don't find somewhere to stop by then I can always hide in the shadow of the cliff. Judging by the angle it's at I'd say I should be safe enough."

"Should?" Buffy continued to stare at him in horror. "Should's not good enough, Spike. Come on." With that she set off once more, her pace rapidly increasing as the fog cleared and the ground slowly evened out.


Spike stared at the sign set at one end of the small car park. A typical brightly coloured tourist map filled most of it, with a brief history of the area beneath.

"Spike?" Buffy spoke coming up to stand beside him. "What's wrong? Oh... a map, now we can work out where we are."

"I know where we are, Slayer," Spike answered. "Seems we pissed the Glish off more than I thought," he added wryly. "We're at Haweswater Reservior in the Lake District, pet." At her blank look her continued, "In England."

"What? No. We can't be..."

"Yeah, well, can be, can't be or otherwise, don't make a hell of a difference. Fact of the matter is, we are. At least I know where we can go to get out of the sun," he added, nodding towards the map.


“Two single rooms,” Spike spoke to the elderly man behind the desk. “Sis an’ I’ll be staying for a coupla days at least,” he added.

“I’ve only got the one room spare,” the manager told them. He wasn't entirely sure he believed that the pair in front of him were brother and sister, but after so many years in the industry he’d learned it was often best not to question. “Double bed, with a nice view of the reservoir.

“We’ll take it,” Spike cut Buffy off as she opened her mouth to protest. He plonked a wad of American bills down on the desk; considerably more than enough to cover the cost of the room. “I’m a bit short on local readies,” he told the manager. “This do?” He smiled disarmingly at the man, who quickly did the math in his head before nodding eagerly and handing over the key.


“Now what do we do?” Buffy asked, eying first the bed and then the vampire suspiciously.

“Now we sleep.” Spike answered. “And then later you head into the nearest town, go to the bank an’ change up some money for us so we don’t starve. Seein’ as I figure you’d object to me dining on the locals. ‘Less of course you’d like to offer up that pretty neck of yours for me to snack on?” he asked with feigned hopefulness, smiling when her eyes widened in horror as she took the bait.

He kicked his boots off and lowered himself to the bed with a sigh. “After that you better get hold of your watcher and we can figure out how we’re gonna get back to the good old US of A.”

After a few moments he opened his eyes to look at the yet-to-move slayer and patted the vacant side of the bed invitingly. “Don’t worry, Slayer, I won’t bite.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her and with a suggestive leer he added, “Least not ‘til you ask nicely, that is.”

“Eww. You’re a pig, Spike,” Buffy announced, crinkling her nose up and scowling her disapproval.

“Yeah,” he agreed. “An’ a tired pig, at that. Get some sleep, Slayer. I promise to behave.” With that he closed his eyes once more. After a few moments he felt the mattress dip as the slayer joined him on the bed. “Night, pet,” he murmured quietly. His lips curved into a smile, and with a yawn he burrowed deeper into his pillow and drifted off to sleep.

the end

(And yes there will be a sequel… just not right away. I really need to get some other fics finished first.)

Thank you to TalesofSpike for helping me find a location for my cliff... click on the links for more information on Haweswater Reservior and High Street.

Note: The carpark exists... the sign, however, I made up for the purpose of the story.