Buffy walked through one of the darker cemeteries. The
only light was from the moon that reflected gray off the
rows of tombstones. Sometimes she wished that the
cemeteries came with lights every ten stones. Like those
gas lanterns from the Victorian era. But no, cemeteries
had to be dark and dreary where monsters and the evil
undead jumped out to attack an unsuspecting person.
She wasn’t one of those persons. But then, she wasn’t
really paying attention to her path either. Her thoughts
were still a jumbled mess. Trying to think of how her
relationship with Riley had come to the wreck it was.
Why was he so upset about Angel and Dracula? It’s not
like she invited Dracula into her home. Her
mother did that – albeit unknowingly.
And Angel? She hadn’t seen nor heard from Angel since
last year when he beat up on Riley. And really? Macho
much? It was like they were both 12 and she was their
mother. She wouldn’t think Angel would even be an issue
after that. She never had given Riley a reason to doubt
her feelings for him. So why was he acting this way?
And Spike? Yes, Spike could be annoying. But the
other night he was just helping her to understand why
the two slayers he killed had lost to him. That was all.
There was nothing else going on between them. At least
not on her side of the equation.
“Ooof,” Buffy grunted as she walked into a solid
“Hey, watch it!” Spike said, dropping the sack he was
carrying and stepping back from the impact.
“Sorry,” Buffy mumbled. She was so lost in thought;
she didn’t notice where she was going or who she had run
She stepped back to see Spike standing there with a
grocery sack at his feet. His bleached hair showed white
in the moonlight. His clothes hugged his body like a
second skin. His leather dust hung on his shoulders and
billowed around his ankles as he stepped back from the
Spike lit a cigarette before looking up to see what
he had run into and recognized Buffy. “Oh, bloody hell,
Slayer, it’s you. What? Did you come to beat some more
information out of me?”
She looked up into his cerulean eyes and saw them
soften a bit in recognition. Her brows furrowed together
in annoyance. “I don’t want anything from you, Spike. I
never want anything from you. What are you doing
Spike jerked the cigarette out of his mouth and gave
her a look of irritation. “It just so happens, I’m on my
way to my crypt from the Rite Aid. Smokes and
“Spike, you’re a vampire. What other necessities do
you need?” Buffy asked in the annoyed tone.
“None of your business, Slayer. You told me you
wanted nothing to do with me the other night. So why
care now?” Spike said, putting the cigarette between his
full lips and snatched up the grocery bag.
“I don’t know,” Buffy murmured. “I don’t know why I
even bother with you at all, Spike.” God, why did he
have to be so annoying?
“I could think of a few reasons, pet,” Spike purred.
He looked around the cemetery before meeting her
hazel eyes again. “Where’s Captain Cardboard? Shouldn’t
he be following you like a lost puppy?”
“He’s at home. And he doesn’t follow me around like a
puppy. We can lead separate, by adjoining lives.”
Buffy ground her teeth. No wonder my teeth hurt.
Spike annoys the hell out me so much that I grind my
teeth when I sleep now.
“Right, then. I’ll just be on my way. Seeing how you
want nothing to do with me and all.” Spike said in a
Spike walked away, brushing Buffy’s bruised arm in
passing. She sucked in a pained breath and winced a bit,
but kept right on walking. Cocky, arrogant vampire.
Just who did he think he was?
Spike heard her low intake of breath and felt her
body tense when he brushed past her. His eyebrows
furrowed together in passing worry. He turned around to
watch her walk away from him. He’d gotten used to that
view of her over the years. Her hips swaying while she
walked away from him. Buck up, mate. You may as well
continue to dream. You’ll never get her. No matter what
Dru told you in her cryptic way. Yeah, but then Captain
Cardboard won’t have her for long either.
Buffy shook her head, clearing it of her troubled
thoughts when a fledging came out of nowhere and knocked
her to the ground. He straddled her hips and held her
wrists trying to move closer to her throat. When he got
close enough, she butted her head against his and then
swung her fist, hitting him in the jaw knocking him off
her. She rolled to her feet and kicked out, hitting his
chin and knocked him backwards.
She reached for her stake as he kicked out and hooked
his foot to her ankle tripping her backwards. He moved
to his knees to get up when she rolled to her side, and
kicked out knocking the hard instep of her boot into his
stomach, doubling him over. She rolled to her feet and
staked him in the back. The fledging dusted with a
surprised expression on his face.
The exertion from the fight caused her upper arms and
stomach to ache. She wrapped her arms around her middle
as she walked. Her mind flashed back to earlier that
night. The images replaying, making her grimace and
cringe. She was so involved in her thoughts; she didn’t
notice Spike coming up behind her, sans grocery sack.
“You okay, Slayer?” Spike sounded sincerely
“Yeah. Look, it was just a run-of-the-mill fight. The
wound I received from the other night is still tender
though,” Buffy assured him.
“Where’s Captain Cardboard? I thought he and the
Scoobies were patrolling for you until you healed,”
Spike wondered aloud.
“I don’t need someone to do my job for me, Spike. I’m
quite capable of doing it on my own,” Buffy retorted.
“Oh, yeah? So capable that you let a nasty get a hold
of you the other night?” Spike snapped back.
“That was a lucky shot. Besides you and I have
already had this discussion the other night at the
Bronze,” Buffy said tiredly.
“I told you, Slayer. All one of us needs is one good
day,” Spike reminded her.
Spike noticed that she was moving stiffer than usual
after that one small fight that he witnessed. It made
him wonder if something more going on with her than she
let on. He continued to walk with her, just watching her
move. He tried to gauge her movements and figure it out
for himself. Maybe she had a rough night at one of the
other cemeteries she patrolled. But shrugged it off even
as a worry niggled his brain.
Spike touched her arm to face him. “Buffy, are you
sure nothing’s wrong? How many cemeteries have you
patrolled tonight?” Spike asked, still concerned over
“Only two. The cemeteries are quiet tonight. The
undead are actually playing dead tonight,” Buffy
answered. “Why does there have to be anything wrong?”
“No reason, pet,” Spike replied.
“Look, Spike. It’s getting late and I need to patrol
2 more cemeteries before going home to sleep,” Buffy
tried to change the topic.
“Ah, can’t wait to get home to shag Captain
Cardboard, then?” Spike tilted his head and smirked at
Buffy gave him an annoyed look. “Goodnight, Spike.”
She turned and walked away, leaving him standing
there at the edge of the graveyard. He rolled his eyes
and ground his teeth at her dismissal of him. Then
furrowed his brow trying to figure out what was
bothering her as he watched her leave.