Chp 18 Trapped!
We Will Remember Them…
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Chapter 17 Trapped!
It was just after midnight when the last Resistance fighters left the farmhouse and melted away into the dark. There was no moon and ragged clouds chased across the starry sky. It was a perfect night for an attack.
Buffy and Spike stood outside the farmhouse, watching as Joy and Pierre embraced fiercely. He bent to kiss Aurora, who was asleep in her mother’s arms, then with a final word to his wife, he strode off down the track, swallowed up instantly by the night.
Joy, dressed all in black, handed her daughter to her taciturn mother-in-law, slung a rifle across her shoulders, then turned to Buffy. For instant there was the gleam of tears on her face. “I’ll say goodbye, then, Buffy. We’ve left you a car so you can drive through the forest. Once you see the Chateau in the distance, you’ll be able to find the plane, won’t you?”
Buffy nodded. She had already been told that there was no one to spare to help them recapture the Tiger Moth. She and Spike were on their own and if they didn’t succeed, Joy and her husband would be far too busy with their own battle to help them.
“What do you hope to achieve by attacking the Chateau?” she asked, desperately worried for the English Slayer’s safety.
Joy shrugged. “Pierre believes it will show the Germans they cannot defeat us. We will always be at their throats. We don’t intend to capture it. We know we’re not that strong. But we will embarrass the commandant in front of his important visitors and kill some Nazis as well.”
“And what happens to your kid if you get killed?” Spike sounded bored, but Buffy recognised a tone in his voice, the same one that was there whenever he spoke to her about Dawn.
“I have no intention of being killed, but if that should happen, then she has Pierre’s mother and aunt to care for her. They are returning to the village now. This farmhouse will be left deserted. Aurora will be quite safe. But – “ she hesitated, as if the next words were too difficult, too unusual to say out loud – “thank you for asking.”
She turned to Buffy and smiled. “I wish you luck, Buffy Summers and a safe journey home.” And with that she spun on her heel and vanished up the track following her husband into the night.
“Stupid bint,” Spike growled. “Typically French – all guts and glory and no thought to what might happen if they fail. Come to that, no thought of what might happen if they succeed! The bloody Germans will take it out on every French man and woman they can find!”
“Joy’s English, not French,” Buffy snapped. “And I’m sure everyone is prepared to fight in their own way. What do you expect them to do – just sit down and suffer under the Occupation? That isn’t going to achieve much, is it? At least they’ll go down in history as heroes.”
Spike lit a cigarette and glanced at her through the smoke, curiosity showing in his eyes. “You’re all the same, you Slayers. I reckon you’ve all got some sort of bloody death wish. Well, I suppose waking up every day wondering if it’s going to be your last could get a girl down! Make you be tempted to just let it happen. Is that what you want, Slayer – to be a hero, to have a place in a history book as you die? Hey, let me kill you and you’ll have that. The second Slayer done by William the Bloody – how’s that for fame?”
Buffy fought back the urge to tell him that the second Slayer he would kill hadn’t even been born yet. If he knew it would be another thirty-four years before he added to his total, perhaps that would give him something to think about! Not as clever as he thought, was her. But –
“The vamp hasn’t been turned yet who can kill me,” she retorted, then before he could answer she said, “Do we have to talk? Can’t we just find the plane and get back to England? Haven’t you got some sort of girl friend to save?”
Spike winced. Dru – he’d forgotten her again! What the bloody hell was wrong with him? He tossed his cigarette away and strode across to the car. He flung himself inside and turned on the engine, scowling as he gazed ahead, revving the engine with a heavy boot, refusing to look at the Slayer when she slid into the seat next to him.
“Ready! Right, let’s go be heroes,” he jeered and letting in the clutch, the car shot forward, bouncing wildly down the farm track, across the fields and into the woods beyond.
He didn’t understand the anger that was flooding through his body. This blonde American girl was the most irritating, aggravating bitch he’d ever had the misfortune to meet and the second – the very second! – they touched down on English soil he was going to bite her so hard that -
“Slow down, Spike! You’ll kill us both! What the hell’s wrong with you?” Buffy yelled as the little car skidded and swerved on some wet mud and she was flung hard against the door. She groped for a non-existent seat belt, then braced herself as the vampire swung the wheel again too violently and the car bounced over a small log lying across the path, hit a tree trunk and came to a juddering stop with a tinkling of glass and the smell of burning rubber.
Buffy found herself lying across Spike’s legs, her face buried in his crotch. With a yelp, she struggled upright, wincing as cuts and bruises made themselves known in no uncertain fashion. Spike brushed glass out of his hair and licked the blood from a myriad of cuts on his hands. “Sorry!” he muttered.
“Sorry! Sorry! Is that all you can say? What the hell were you thinking of – oh, no, forget that, you weren’t thinking at all, were you? Now we’ll have to walk.”
She kicked the door open and half fell onto the ground. The headlights had smashed in the crash and the light from the stars made little impression through the thick trees. She could hardly see Spike – just the pale gleam of his face. “Would have helped if you’d dyed your hair blond earlier,” she muttered. “Could always see that in the dark.”
“What – you dreaming about me dying again, Slayer? Give me a break here. I’m trying to get you home.”
With a snarl, Spike grabbed her arms, shimmering into game face and back into human. He pulled her towards him, spun her round and pushed her hard against a tree, suddenly overwhelmed by the desire to teach this mouthy female a lesson, show her just what he thought of her, reduce her to a quivering mass just as he had earlier in the wagon. Then he would feel – oh god, he’d feel -
Buffy felt her limbs relax. A dark night, Spike, his hands reaching for the buttons on her jeans, tearing at her top, the anger and attraction raging between them – oh god, she wanted him so badly. If he didn’t take her right now, she’d –
Suddenly she could see stars, hear explosions – his hands left her as spinning round, they stared back through the dark towards where they’d been only minutes before – the farmhouse.
“They’re under attack!”
Spike cursed violently. “Nazis haven’t waited. Said all along it was a sodding trap. Joy and her cohorts are all up at the Chateau and the Germans are mopping up the small fry to cut off their retreat.”
Buffy listened to the stutter of gunfire and then, through the trees, she could just see an orange glow beginning to stain the sky. “They’ve set fire to the farm!” Suddenly she clutched Spike’s arm. “Spike – Pierre’s mom and aunt! Aurora! Have they had time to get clear? They were still there when we left. That’s only minutes ago! We were lucky; the Germans must have been surrounding the place.”
Another clatter of gunfire rang out. “I’m going back,” Buffy snapped.
“No – wait – I’ll go! Listen, Slayer, I can move faster than you. Keep on this track until you see the lights of the Chateau in the distance. Then wait for me. I won’t be long.”
He was yards away when Buffy called out “Take care!” and the mocking reply came back from the dark, “Tut, tut. Wash your mouth out with soap! Anyone would think you were in love with me, Slayer!”
Fifteen minutes later, Buffy was standing, staring in horror at what was happening around the Chateau. She had heard more sustained gunfire as she ran up the final slope towards the top of the hill where the track veered to the left before descending in a series of loops towards the valley floor.
Every window of the Chateau was now ablaze with light and it wasn’t difficult to see that a huge force had been lying in wait for Joy and the Resistance. As Spike had feared, they had walked straight into a trap and as Buffy watched, she saw Pierre fall and even from where she was standing, she heard Joy’s cry of despair ringing out. Oh god, it was a slaughter, worse than any apocalypse, this was humans against humans. No demons, no vampires, just men wanting to kill men because they’d been ordered to do so.
Suddenly, Buffy couldn’t stand still watching any longer. She wasn’t a watcher, she was the Slayer and another Slayer was in deadly danger. She raced down the track just as Joy, her ammunition obviously spent, crashed out of hiding and launched herself onto the back of the nearest soldier, knife gleaming in her hand.
Before Buffy could act, the blade flashed down twice, the soldier grunted and lay still as blood seeped onto the ground. Joy stood up, wiped the blade on her trousers and gazed at Buffy. Her face was a mask of grief but her eyes were the worst thing – cold, distant, lifeless.
“Pierre’s dead,” she said.
“I know, I saw. Come, quick. We’ve got to go.” Buffy reached out to her, but Joy pulled away almost absentmindedly. Then she saw something over Buffy’s shoulder and for a second the mask fractured.
“Aurora!” she whispered.
Buffy spun round and gasped. Spike was coming down the slope in great strides, the baby clutched in his arms. His face was streaked with soot and even in the dark, Buffy could see burn marks on his hands. He skidded to a halt, staring around, swiftly summing up what had happened. “Bloody hell, you’ve got half the German army coming up the road, girls. Here – take your kid, Slayer. Your ma-in-law’s had it. Sorry, but they’ve taken out everyone in the farmhouse. Just managed to get Niblet here before the roof fell in. Come on, Slayers. Move your arses!”
The three of them fled back up the slope, heading away from the sporadic gunfire where the remainder of the Resistance group were selling their lives dearly. The woods swallowed them up and, in single file they made their way through the trees towards where Spike had left the Tiger Moth.
Suddenly Buffy bumped into Joy who had stopped dead in her tracks.
“Come on!” Spike urged impatiently, then turned back to the two girls. “What the bloody hell’s keeping you two.”
Joy’s voice was cold and quiet. “I’m going back.”
“You’re sodding well not! What the heck for? Your bloke’s dead, Slayer. I’m sorry but there’s nothing more you can do here. You’ve got your kid. Let’s get you home.”
Joy shook her head and a slight smile crossed her face. “I don’t expect you to understand, vampire, but Buffy might. His fight was my fight: his death, my death. I’ve nothing to live for now, but I’ll go on as long as I can for his sake.”
“You’ve got your little girl,” Buffy whispered.
Joy stared down at the child, pushed a lock of sooty hair off her face. “She’s quite calm,” she marvelled. “All this going on and she’s not bothered. How I envy her. She’s her father’s daughter, a little fighter."
She glanced up at Spike and frowned. "Odd. When I saw you standing holding her in you arms, I forgot you were a vampire. I don't understand." She shrugged. "Here!” She dropped a quick kiss on Aurora’s forehead and thrust the child into Buffy’s arms. “Take her. I trust you. Take her to England, Buffy Summers. Keep her safe.”
And without another word, she turned and vanished into the woods.
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