Title: Should the Wide World Roll Away
Concrit: Please! Comments are always welcome. I love to know you're reading.
Disclaimer: All characters are borrowed with respect from Joss Whedon.
Warnings: (Minor) character death.
Summary: Since it's been SO LONG...(sorry about that): last time Angelus managed to kidnap both Giles and Julian, but Julian wasn't as helpless as it seemed. Both Spike and Xander as well as Buffy and Willow went looking for their missing friends. Spike and Xander had a "misunderstanding," and Cromwell ran into some bad luck.
Notes: Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. All I can say is...ugh. Life. Sometimes it takes over. I really hope people are still going to be interested in this story and want to read. I have always appreciated both the readers and the commenters tremendously. I am continuing to write and will continue to post. I just can't promise regularity because of other obligations. But I'm still here! Promise.
While I was away I got an English and Creative Writing degree and now I'm working toward getting certified to teach. Also, I've been working on several original works of fiction (short stories). I'm posting one here and I'd love it for anyone who wants to take a look to go ahead...and review if you want!
Also...I'd like to send happy (late) birthday wishes to one of the people who has always been wonderful - Happy Birthday sparrow2000!
Spike slid up to the curb and planted his foot on the brake, jolting Xander toward the dash. Xander threw his hands out just in time to protect his face, throwing an angry glare in Spike's direction as he righted himself.
"You alright there, pet?" Spike asked. He turned the car off and took the key out of the ignition before stepping out onto the curb. Xander didn't move until a sharp knocking at the passenger side window made him jump, head snapping around to identify the noise. Seeing Spike through the window, Xander rolled his eyes and started to turn away but before he could, Spike wrenched the door open.
"Out you get, pet. Gotta get going."
Xander allowed himself to be pulled from the car and as Spike began to move down the street and away from the DeSoto; Xander didn't fight being dragged along.
"Have ta park far away so the bastard don't notice us too soon," Spike explained over his shoulder to Xander.
Xander didn't respond. They moved another block more down the street and were about to round a corner when Spike spoke again. "You okay, luv? Ain't like you to be so quiet. In the time I've known you, you've yet ta give me a moment's rest." A smile started to creep onto Spike's face but he let it fade away when he saw no response from Xander. "Pet?" he asked again gently, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk and turning to face Xander fully.
Xander took a deep breath in, exhaling it slowly before speaking. "Spike," Xander said quietly, "did you forget what you said to me in the car already?"
"Xander," Spike sighed.
Xander cut Spike off before he could say anything more. "Listen. We have to get to Julian. We have to get him away from Angelus. Spike…I can help. But we are going to have this conversation. Later."
"Shit," Spike muttered. "Alright pet, alright. Let's go get Julian then."
"Listen Willow," Buffy whispered as they crept closer to the mansion, "you don't have to go in here. In fact, it's probably too dangerous. I should've told you to stay behind."
"Don't be silly Buffy. I'm not letting you go in there on your own. Besides, this is Giles. I'm worried about him too, you know."
Buffy looked for a moment like she was going to argue but finally relented. "Alright, Wills. But stay behind me, do whatever I tell you, and run if you have to."
"I know, Buffy. I know."
The girls flattened themselves against the brick exterior of the mansion, sneaking toward the entrance and trying to keep to the shadows.
"He's a vamp, so he'll probably be able to smell us before we get to him," Buffy whispered, turning back toward Willow to explain. "Storming the front door is probably our best bet. At least we might have the element of surprise."
They moved steadily toward the front of the house, but just before they rounded a corner, Buffy flung her arm out, holding Willow back as a pair of voices drifted toward them.
"Pet, you got to be focused now. Not taking you in there if your head's not in the game. Not risking Angelus getting a piece of you. You hear me?"
A very annoyed and familiar sounding voice answered the British one.
"Why should I be worried Spike? You're a big strong vampire. You'll protect me from the scary monster, won't you?"
"So he does have a voice," Spike said. "You listen to me luv. No offense was intended. Really. But the long and short of it is this: I'm stronger than you. I'm faster than you. I'm more indestructible than you. 's just nature's all. And as I'm over a century older than you I'd wager I'm the better fighter no matter what fancy tricks you have up your sleeve. Now, our friend's in there with my grand-sire, who, as you are well aware, has more than a few screws loose. So would you please listen to me for once, pet?"
Xander's eyes met Spike's sharply and the boy opened his mouth, retort already on the tip of his tongue when he saw it – a flash of blonde over the vampire's shoulder charging straight toward them, stake raised. Xander didn't pause to think. He slammed himself full force into Spike with his side, shocking the vampire enough to knock him off balance, enough to move him out of harm's way.
"What do you think you're doing?" Xander said, frantically trying to keep himself between Spike and Buffy. "Get away from him!"
"Oh man." Buffy chuckled lowly under her breath. "You again. And keeping a vamp company. Hypocrite much? You have some nerve going to Giles and crying about how dangerous Angel is."
Xander didn't even bother to conceal his exasperated sigh. "We don't have time for this. We have a friend in there with your boyfriend. You know, the one that you were so sure wasn't a vampire."
"You know," Buffy said, twirling her stake between her fingers absently, "I have to tell you, I'm really sick of how you've been nosing into my business lately. I'll tell you a secret, though – I don't know why you're doing it and I don't really care. You're going to move, I'm going to dust that fashion victim behind you, and then…then I'll check on Angel."
Xander glanced back at Spike over his shoulder; he could almost see the vampire vibrating with energy. He could tell Spike was forcibly restraining himself; gold flecks were sparkling in his otherwise blue eyes and Xander could just make out the rumbling growl that hadn't ceased since the Slayer's appearance. Xander looked back to Buffy, jaw set.
"I'm not moving until you back off. But can I just say I so don't want to be doing this right now when there's a psycho in there with our friend."
"Then by all means, go. No one's keeping you here."
"See now, that's the problem. I can't go. 'Cause if I do, I'm pretty sure you'll be dead."
"Too right you are, luv," Spike said, suddenly standing close behind Xander and leaning into his back, chin resting on his shoulder. "You're holding us up, Slayer. Now, Xander's been polite, which is more than you deserve, but I'm losing my patience so let me explain how this is going to go. Me and the boy are gonna go get our friend. You and Red over there can piss off. You do, and I let you live…for now. I'll handle Angelus."
"Will ye now, William?" Three sets of eyes followed the direction of the voice in time to see Angelus grasp Willow around her neck from behind, squeezing a large hand tightly until she was gasping for breath.
"Willow!" Buffy lunged toward Angelus and a captive Willow, stake raised, but the vampire didn't move, the smirk on his face spreading slightly as the Slayer approached.
"Ah, ah, Lover. I wouldn't come any closer if I were you. Wouldn't want to make me nervous now." Angelus tugged Willow's struggling body close against his own, turning his face to the girl in his grip, his true face melting into view. "Would be a shame if I got…carried away."
"Where's Julian, Angelus?" Spike attempted to shift himself so Xander was behind him but the boy struggled against him, trying to pull out of his grasp.
An ugly laugh burst forth from Angelus and the hand clasped around Willow's neck constricted a tiny bit more. Willow's eyes widened, darting around frantically until they found Buffy's. Willow made one final effort to escape from Angelus' grip, flailing her limbs in an attempt to free herself from the vampire's vice-like grip, and Buffy screamed, rushing forward and reaching for her friend. Her hand closed around Willow's and she heard it – the sickening snap of bone. Buffy's gaze, fixed on pale fingers clasped inside her own, moved upward until she once again met Willow's. The hazel eyes didn't look back at her; they were vacant and staring off into the distance, frozen in a permanent expression of fear. Buffy watched through her own blurring eyes as a one final tear tracked its way down the side of Willow's face. She tore her eyes away from her friend's and looked over to Angelus, a vicious expression on her face, but Angelus was focused on the pair behind her, Spike, who was now wearing his true face and, who Buffy now realized, was snarling quite loudly, and Xander, who was still fighting to escape from Spike, more determined than ever to drive another stake through Angelus' chest.
"Control yer boy, William. I will'na hesitate to kill him if he comes at me with that stake."
Spike just growled in response, golden eyes fixed on Angelus as he wrapped his arms more tightly around Xander who, though still struggling, was beginning to gain control over himself once again.
"Where is he?" Spike asked again, his voice now deadly calm. "Where is Julian?"
Angelus released his hold on Willow's throat and she collapsed, her body slumping bonelessly to the ground at Buffy's feet Her right arm stuck out at an uncomfortable looking angle and her head was tilted unnaturally to the side. Buffy fell to her knees beside her friend, her tears overcoming her once again. The stake she still held in her hand fell to the ground and she pulled Willow into her arms and hugging her to her chest.
Ignoring both the corpse and the Slayer at his feet, Angelus answered. "Julian was here. He's not anymore. He had an attack of conscience, much like you, William. Was just having a bit o' fun with this one's Watcher, here," Angelus pointed back toward Buffy in indication.
"Where is he, you fucking murderer? GOD. I'm gonna – "
"What are ya gonna do boyo?" Any trace of the smirk Angelus usually wore was gone and now he just looked deadly. "I killed your mother. She was gullible, not to mention laughably easy to get on her back with her legs spread…" Angelus' eyes crawled up and down Xander's body and he couldn't help the shiver that went through him. "Both traits she passed on to you, I imagine. William canna protect you. You'll be in the ground, just like sweet Jessica."
Angelus strode past them, without giving either of them a backward glance. Spike and Xander still hadn't moved when they heard his voice drift back to them from the distance. "You'll find him at the hospital, I imagine. Left the old Watcher in a bad way."
"He has to die Spike. We have to go after him!"
Spike shifted from true face to his human one once again. "Angelus'll get his, pet, promise. But we gotta get to Julian first. Make sure he's okay. After that, we need to find out what he knows. Didn't give you those books for no reason, now did he?"
The sound of sniffling came from their left and Spike and Xander both turned toward Buffy, who was now standing a few feet from them, wiping her eyes and collecting herself as best she could before she spoke. "I'm coming with you guys. I want to help."