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Hero of the people, enemy of the State
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CHAPTER 3: Hero of the people, enemy of the State

Spike's face was a blank mask as he looked down into the crater. Memories of a battle flooded his mind and if he thought about it hard enough, he could remember how his last minute felt as if it was happening now. His soul burning like the sun in his chest, the power radiating through him and destroying all that was dark and evil around. And most of all, the peacefulness amongst the chaos. Being at peace with himself, with who he was, what he was doing, and his impending death.

“I said it, and I’ll repeat it until you come to your senses and agree to high tail it: this is by far your worst idea. Ever.” Lazarus whispered between gritted teeth. “You were supposed to get in there, find whatever information you could put your hands on, and get the hell out. You did all that so why are we still here looking down into a big hole?”

He sighed when he didn’t get an answer from the contemplative vampire.

After he’d walked out of the hangar and told Lazarus that it wouldn’t be too long before their presence was discovered and they needed to hurry, Spike had suddenly changed his mind and instead of walking in the direction of the car, had taken a detour toward the crater. He’d vaguely mumbled something about needing to see it, and Lazarus had been left with no choice but to nervously follow. They reached the edge of the crater that was the farthest away from the military activity, but Laz was still worried.

Spike knew it was crazy to stay there longer than they had to, but he needed the closure. Buffy closure would be good too, but that would take more time. A lot more time.

He had been at peace with leaving Buffy behind, letting her move on and be happy without him. But of course, wishing someone would move on when you're about to die, and accepting that she has moved on when you're alive, available and in love are two entirely different things. He still wanted her happy, but would rather have her happy with him than with some wanker named The Immortal. The bloke was a pretentious poofter a hundred years ago, he probably hadn't changed now. As far as self obsession goes, The Immortal could give Peaches a run for his money. Maybe that's why Buffy was attracted to him. Still, it was rather insulting that Buffy wouldn't want to be with him, or Angel, because she wanted a nice normal human guy, only to start dating another supernatural being a few months after Spike died. Talk about double bloody standards.

Lazarus elbowed him in the ribs to get his attention.

"I know what I said earlier about never leaving a friend behind, but I changed my mind. Either we both leave now, or I leave alone. S‘not like you can‘t take care of yourself anyway. This place gives me the creeps and I don‘t fancy being captured by the G.I. Joes."

Spike finally snapped out of his contemplative state. "I know. I don't fancy getting caught either. I've had a taste of the US military once and it convinced me that it's best to stay as far away as possible from these wankers. Let's go."

The gun being cocked sounded as loud as thunder to the two friends still crouching in front of the crater. Thinking fast, Spike discretely pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and speed dialed Clem's number, hoping his old friend would understand that something had gone wrong and come to pick them up. He quickly put the cell back in his pocket.

"Stand up slowly and turn around." A voice commanded from behind them. "No sudden movement."

A gun wouldn't kill Spike or Lazarus. It would hurt like a bitch, but wouldn't be enough to stop them. Yet, they both turned slowly with their hands up in surrender. Letting the other man believe they had no intention of fighting was usually a good tactic to surprise an opponent. But it's Spike who got a surprise when the soldier standing in front of him seemed to recognize him.

The soldier was a tall man in his late twenties, with sandy blonde hair, green eyes and a strong jaw. He was a good looking bloke--not that Spike would notice something like that-- but the expression on his face made him unattractive. The soldier looked briefly over his shoulder at another soldier coming in their direction.

"Is that him, Stevens?"

Spike realized the soldier coming their way was not just another soldier, it was the young woman he had tied up. She was smirking, but did not look amused. "Guess you're not as good as you thought with knots, asshole."

"Nice seeing you again, pet."

The man holding them at gunpoint suddenly narrowed his eyes at Spike. "I knew I recognized you. Hostile 17..."

"Bugger. An Initiative reunion. Look," Spike looked down at the badge on the man's uniform "G.I. Graham, I'd love to stay and talk about the good old times, but..."

Spike didn't finish his sentence, instead kicking the gun out of Graham's hand before punching him hard in the face. The sergeant fell to his knees, holding his nose which was bleeding profusely.

The vampire looked at the soldier with something that could pass for disappointment. "That was easy."

"Spike watch out!" Lazarus tried to warn his friend, but too late.

Spike took a solid kick to the back of the head that had him stumbling forward. He turned incredulous eyes on the female officer. "Hey! That bloody well hurt!"

"That was the point." She said before trying her luck again with a punch.

Unfortunately for her, this time Spike saw it coming and stopped it. But unfortunately for him, he did not see her knee traveling upward to make painful contact with the most precious part of his anatomy.

He let go of her fist and bent in half with his hands on his knees and took in a hissing breath. "Bloody... Bitch!" He looked up at her. "You're vicious. I like you. Too bad I can't stay."

"Oh you're not going anywhere." Graham said, now standing again and pointing the gun at Spike. Molly Stevens went to stand next to him.

Spike looked at Graham, amazed by the other man's stupidity. "Look mate, this is ridiculous. It's people like you who give blondes a bad name. You know that thing won't do anything to me."

"Maybe, but it'll slow you down and there's a couple hundred soldiers here that will come running. You won't leave..."

This time it was Lazarus kicking the gun out of Graham's hand. "Hey, you were right, buddy, that was easy."

Before the soldier had time to recover, they all heard a commotion coming from the camp. A car was driving full speed between tents. A few shots were fired. The two soldiers turned their heads to look at what was going on behind them. Taking their eyes off the demons was a mistake.

The two demons jumped on the occasion to sidestep them and run full speed in the direction of the car. A few soldiers were also running, hoping to intercept them, but the demons were too fast. The bullets were an entirely different story. One caught Lazarus in the thigh, and Spike was hit in the right shoulder and the chest. It didn't stop them though.

In a matter of seconds, they'd reached the car and jumped in. They barely had time to close the doors before Clem turned the car around and headed straight for a group of soldiers coming their way. The normally gentle demon clenched his teeth and stepped on the gas, secretly praying the soldiers would move out of the way before he hit them. Thankfully, his prayers were answered. Moments before the car reached them, the firing soldiers dove out of the way.

Clem's hands were gripping the steering wheel so tightly it was surprising it didn't break. As the site got smaller in the rear view mirror, he finally chanced a look at Spike.

"Spike! There are holes in you! Are you OK?"

The paler than normal vampire took a moment to answer. Then he opened his mouth.

"There are HOLES in my CAR!!" He finally yelled when he found his voice again.

Clem winced and buried his head in his shoulders, as if he was gonna get hit. "Uh... Sorry?"

"Spike, man, relax..." Laz interfered from the back seat.

"Relax?! My baby has holes in it."

The yellow demon chuckled. "Fine. Don't relax. But please don't start crying." "And Spike, no offence... Don't get mad, but..." Clem tried arguing hesitantly.

"But what?" The furious vampire snapped.

"There might be holes in your car, but you're also bleeding all over the seats."


Laz snickered, which soon turned into out of control laugh.

"What the bleedin' hell is wrong with the wanker?" Spike grumbled moodily.

"I don't know. Nervous breakdown, maybe?" Clem suggested. "I'm not too far from one myself."

Spike rolled his eyes at his old friend. "Please don't. We'll stop by a convenience store on the way home and get you some Cheetos. It'll perk you right up."

"Great!" Clem grinned happily. "Oh, and did you get what you wanted?"

Spike's eyes darkened. He reached inside his jacket to finger the thick file and nodded. "Yeah, I got it."

Clem glanced at the vampire, but decided it was best not to say anything. He didn't look happy at all.


"Why do you do it?"

Buffy stopped in her tracks and sighed for show before turning to face Spike with an annoyed look on her face. "Do what? Ignore you? Do I have to explain again?"

She'd been walking a few steps ahead of him, pretending she didn't want his company, but he knew she did. Why else would she start her patrol in his cemetery every night? But ever since they had started sleeping together, things had been tense.

"Not that, blondie. Why do you risk your life every night for the ungrateful bunch of wankers."

Buffy laughed. "I'm the Slayer, Spike. That's why."

"That's not a reason, pet. Having powers doesn't mean you have to use them. You could say bugger that and stay home."

She walked up to a head stone and sat on it, then shrugged. "They're innocents. They can't protect themselves, but I can protect them. How could I live with myself if people died when I know I could have prevented it." She shook her head. "You don't have a soul..."

Spike opened his mouth to protest, but Buffy put her hand up to stop him.

"I don't mean it as an insult. What I mean is that I can't expect you to understand."


"Excuse me?"

"Most people with souls would never do what you do, even if they had power. Because power or no power, you're risking your life. And it takes someone incredible to do that and not expect anything in return. How many times did you save the world without any of these wankers having a clue? How many times did I see you saving people and they never even stop running long enough to say thank you. You died for them, twice. You're bloody amazing, Buffy."

She looked down, a sad smile on her lips. "Just doing my job. It's no biggy."

"You're wrong. It's a huge biggy. And I hope some day, someone will notice and give you the credit you deserve."

She looked up to reply, but Spike was gone.

The vampire woke with a start. He looked around the mostly empty apartment before remembering where he was. He rubbed his eyes wearily, then reopened the file he'd been using as a pillow. He reread the first page with the same feeling of disbelief he'd had the first time reading it.


They thought Buffy was a terrorist.

How could this be? After everything she did for the world, all the people she'd saved, how could this be happening? She'd lost everything for them and now as a thank you, they were hunting her down? Wanted. Dead or alive.

"Guess I was wrong, pet." Spike said to himself. "You were better off when nobody noticed after all."

Spike threw the file at the opposite wall angrily, then stood up. He paced back and forth for a while before finally deciding that this was all worth stepping on his pride. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed a familiar number.

"Hello, Peaches. I need help."

There was a long theatrical sigh, followed by the predictable answer. "Got yourself in trouble again and expect me to clean up your mess, boy?"

Spike nearly growled.

"No, you wanker, the financial kind of help. There's something I need to fix."


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