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Give me a reason to stay
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CHAPTER 10: Give me a reason to stay

Molly walked out of her motel room and shut the door. In her gray hoodie, faded jeans and sneakers, she was appropriately dressed for a demon hunt. Not that she knew where to start. She'd done some research on her laptop earlier and hadn't found much. At least not in the army files accessible to her. But if there was one thing Molly Stevens was good at, it was hacking. She hadn't joined the army for kicks--her parents had thought it would teach her some discipline. She had been a pretty wild teenager once upon a time and hacking computers was a hobby of hers back then. It came in handy when searching the army database for secret files and cover ups.

She hadn't found much, but two things had jumped out at her when hacking into Voll's personal files. First, she had found out the name of the vampire who attacked her. Spike. Or William the Bloody. And then, she'd come across something interesting. A few months ago, something huge went down in downtown L.A. Army intervention had been needed, but by the time they got there, all there was left to do was clean up the mess and cover up so the average citizen would never know that a demon war had raged on in their city. The details were vague, but a law firm was mentioned, as well as two names: Angel and Spike. Apparently, Voll knew a lot about the demon world, and had a personal interesting in this Spike guy, most likely because of his link to Buffy Summers. She wondered if this Angel chick had anything to do with Summers. She tried looking her up but came up with nothing. There was mention of a vampire named Angelus though. Maybe Angel wasn't a chick's name after all. Could Angelus and Angel be the same person? If she didn't find Spike, she would definitely try to find this Angel person. He or she definitely knew Spike.

Since the demon fight had happened downtown, that's where she was going now. She also had a couple of addresses she needed to check out, but she didn't hold her breath. On the net, it was really hard to differentiate the legitimate information from the bogus Satan worshipers websites when one was researching demons. She guessed that about 99% of what she found was total and complete bullshit.

Molly got into a cab and gave the driver the address of what used to be Wolfram and Hart.

The cabbie looked at her funny. "You sure you want to go there, miss?"

"Yes. Why?"

"That neighborhood kinda went downhill in the past couple of months. Some gang war or something. Not sure what happened exactly. A few buildings burned, people were killed... Now, the place is over run by really shady people."

Molly sat back and fastened her seatbelt. "Don't worry about me, I can take care of myself."

The cabdriver shrugged. "Suit yourself. But I'm leaving you a few blocks away. There's no way I'm stopping on that street."


"But why can't you stay? It's not fair, we just got here!"

Sitting on an armchair by a large stone fireplace, Spike rubbed his painful temples. Andrew's whining was seriously grating on his already fragile nerves.

"I mean, aren't you happy to be here? You've been reunited with your long lost love. Two brave heroes, soul mates, both died to save the world and against all odds, are resurrected so they can finally be together. It's a love story for the ages. You should be happy..."

"Oh I'm chuffed to bits." Spike said sarcastically. "That fight we had was just swell. Fits perfectly in your happily ever after scenario you wanker."

"I didn't say there wouldn't be obstacles to overcome. There always is before the happily ever after. You can't just give up."

"Really? Watch me."

Spike stood up and vamped out. "Gimme the car keys or I promise I'll make it hurt."

Andrew paled. He took the keys out of his pocket and gave them to Spike.

"Now where can I get blood in this hellhole?"

"Uh.. you can't. We don't keep blood in the castle. And don't look at me, I don't have any to spare."

Spike rolled his eyes. "Wouldn't touch you if I was starving."

Andrew looked slightly insulted. "You did once."

The vampire made a face. "I was out of my bleedin' mind. Where can I get food then?"

"Human food? In the kitchen downstairs. Blood, probably at the butcher, but it would be closed at this time."

"Fine. I'll get myself a snack, talk to the Watcher, then I'll be on my merry way."

Andrew opened his mouth to add something, but Spike dismissed him by walking out of the room.

He went downstairs and easily found the kitchen. The castle was quiet at this time of the night so Spike didn't expect to see anybody. He was disappointed to be wrong. Xander was sitting at a counter, eating a sandwich that looked to be way too big for his mouth, but he made it work, squishing it before taking a huge bit. His mouth was full when he finally noticed Spike, saving the vampire from any sarcastic comments.

"Take your time chewing on that, Whelp, I'm not interested."

Spike went to the big industrial size fridge--the walk-in type--and opened it. He glanced over his shoulder at Xander almost worriedly.

Xander swallowed and gave Spike a look. "What do you think I'm gonna do? Lock you in there? Please, I'm not that immature."

"Can't blame a bloke for being on his guard."

He went in and quickly found some left over pizza that he decided had his name all over it. He walked out and closed the door behind him.

"By all means, make yourself at home." Xander said before finishing what was left of his sandwich.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Was that yours?" Spike asked before biting into the cold pizza.

Xander smirked. "Never thought I'd say that, but I kinda miss annoying you."

Spike hesitated before taking a seat at the counter. "Same here, Whelp, but don't get too used to it because I won't stay."

"Oh, really?" Xander pretended to be surprised even though Dawn had already told him about Spike leaving. "I seriously thought I was stuck with you for the rest of my miserable life."

"Well you thought wrong. And don't play dumb, you know Buffy and I had a blow out. News travel fast in a castle full of chits."

"That was me trying to mind my own business, Captain Peroxide. I've matured, can you believe it?"

Spike laughed at that. "Color me shocked."

Xander took a swallow of his beer, when he spoke again his tone of voice was more serious. "Seriously, man, you shouldn't go. Hang around for a couple of days and see what happens. What's the rush?"

"I'm needed back home. Believe it or not, I have friends there. The poor wankers are lost without me."

"It's killing me to say this, but you're needed here too."

Spike laughed. "Nice one. Looks like you've been doing fine without me. So unless you have another shiny necklace for me to wear, you'll have to come up with something else."

"Hey, if you think trying to convince you to stay is something I actually enjoy doing, think again buddy. As grateful as I am for what you did on the Hellmouth, you and I have never been friends so it won't change my life much whether you're here or not. But Buffy hasn't been the same without you and if having you here makes her happy, then I'm gonna at least try to get you to stay."

"I'm glad you think so, mate, but I did more harm than good. She was just fine without me here to bollock things up. The best thing I can do now is to leave and let her come to me when she's ready."

Xander was opening his mouth to reply when Giles walked in.

"Spike. Andrew told me I would find you here. He said you wanted to talk to me?"

"Yeah, Watcher. Needed to tell you the reason I came here so I can finally bugger off." Spike took a swig of Xander's beer, ignoring his loud objections. "I had a tip about army activity on the Hellmouth. I decided to check it out myself."

"Why would the army be there? Haven't they already established the town was buried after a freak earthquake?" Xander commented. "It was all over the news for weeks."

"Yeah well, what they tell the public and what is really going on is rarely one and the bloody same."

"What did you find out, Spike?" Giles asked.

"More than I ever wanted to. It's about Buffy..."

"What about her?" The Watcher's forehead creased with worry lines at the mention of Buffy.

"They blame the whole bloody thing on her. I broke into their headquarters, or whatever they call it, and stole the file they had on her."

Both Giles and Xander gave Spike a shocked look.

"What did it say?" Xander prompted anxiously.

"They think she's a terrorist. The wankers are actively searching for her... dead or alive."

Xander looked appropriately floored by the news. Giles wearily sat down and took his glasses off to pinch the bridge of his nose.

"I know she's here in Scotland now, and relatively safe," Spike continued "but I thought you should know what's going on. Traveling to the States would be suicide right now for her, and I'm damn sure the U.S. army has the kind of power to come get her here if they ever find her. With a label like terrorist in front of her name, there's nothing they can't do to her."

"This is upsetting in so many ways." Giles said quietly.

Spike thought the Watcher looked older in that moment. Or had he looked like that earlier and he'd been too preoccupied to notice? The last year must not have been easy on Rupert Giles.

"Not the word I would use." Xander added. He frowned, trying to come up with a better word, but his shoulders sagged in defeat. "I got nothing. I'm speechless... I think my brain just seized."

Spike nodded slowly. "Imagine my reaction. I'm gonna have to hire someone to re plaster the walls of my apartment when I get back home."

Giles cleaned his glasses furiously, and Xander and Spike looked at each other slightly concerned. The Watcher finally looked up, all business.

"Tell me what you know, Spike."


Miles away from each other, two witches were sitting in the exact same position. Eyes closed, legs crossed, hands resting on their knees, palms facing up. They were meditating, but their intentions couldn't have been more different.

In a secret location, Amy was trying not to let her excitement break her concentration. She had decided to try a new tactic and it was working. She could feel it inside. She was so close. Soon, she would be able to tell where Buffy Summers was hiding.

In her prison, Willow had also decided to try a different route. She was now trying to find herself. Naturally, the spirit--or whatever it is that makes you who you are--is attracted to the body it belongs to. Now that she had some time to recuperate and felt slightly stronger, it occur to her that it would be the less strenuous thing to do. Maybe she would then be able to sabotage whatever Amy was doing to find Buffy.

Willow promised herself to thank Giles again for taking her to the Coven that summer after her powers had gotten out of control. They had taught her so much. One of those things was that no matter what, her powers could not be stripped. Bound, yes, but never taken away from her because they were part of her. Another thing they taught her was astral projection. The magical prison may hold her physical self, but not her astral self. So she kept focusing on Amy.

Amy wasn’t in the room anymore. One moment, she was surrounded by plain walls, sitting on the cold tile floor of a meeting room on an army base near L.A., then it all went away. She tried her best to keep her breathing slow and regular and her heart beat under control despite the excitement gripping her.

At first, everything was blinding white and shimmery, and she couldn’t make out where she was. She desperately needed to stay there long enough to see something, or hear something, that would tell her where she was. Because she had no doubt she had just found the elusive Slayer.

She was starting to see outlines but everything was still too bright for her to focus long enough on anything. She knew her body was still in California and it was ridiculous to blink, but she did anyway. Or at least, her mind thought it did. It was all very confusing to her so she tried not too think about it too much. Amy thought she saw what looked like French doors and stone walls. Nothing specific enough to tell her where she was. Of course Buffy wouldn’t be standing under a large sign saying “Welcome to...” That bitch had to make things difficult.

Amy turned slowly, still not seeing anything clearly. There was what looked like a bed. On it was a woman. A slow smile stretched the witch’s lips.

Until she heard it.


She screamed in pain as some unseen force pulled her away from the scene and slammed her violently back into her borrowed body. She collapsed, unconscious.

Back in Ethan’s basement, Willow fell forward as if she’d been punched in the guts, barely breaking her fall with shaky hands. She was panting like a marathon runner out of shape. Fine, she was still in Amy’s body, but at least she got to the evil backstabbing bitch.

“Maybe next time...” She whispered before curling into a ball and promptly falling asleep.


Spike, Giles and Xander were standing awkwardly in front of the castle’s double door, not one of them knowing what to say. Three men brought together by the love of the same woman, but who were not friends by any means. The complexity of their relationship--or lack of--and the strangeness of the situation, made things even more uncomfortable.

Spike was torn. He wanted to run away from this place as fast as he could, but was also begging for a last minute reason to stay. He kept glancing at the staircase, hoping that Buffy would come to her senses and appear at the top to ask him to stay. He knew that leaving now would be even harder than it had been in Rome. This was pure torture to him because for a brief moment there, he had believed that they could make things work.

“So...” Xander tried breaking the silence but obviously didn’t know what to say.

Spike nodded. “So.”

“I guess that’s it.”

“Looks like, Whelp.”

Giles sighed at how ridiculous they were being. This was Spike. How long could he stay away from Buffy, really? If Giles had been just a little more immature, he would have made a bet. The vampire would drive off, sulk for a few hours, a few days... a week or two at the most, then come back begging for forgiveness, he was sure of it. Maybe he’d even find a reason not to leave at all. Nothing could surprise Rupert Giles anymore where William the Bloody was concerned.

“You’ll keep us informed, I assume?” Giles asked.

“Got your digits, Watcher. If I hear anything, I’ll call.”

Hands deep in his pockets, Spike took a step back ready to leave when a girl came running up the stairs from the basement looking almost panicked.

“Mr. Giles! Something is happening.”

The three men turned to face the girl almost eagerly, relieved by the distraction. She had just saved them from deciding between the hand shake, the awkward manly slap in the back or the hand wave.

“What is it, Trina?”

“A group of Slayers have just been attacked in Edinburgh’s city center. It’s not going well, sir.”

“What is the threat?”

“Vampires. A LOT of them.”

Xander took a step forward. “The girls have the upper hand?”

The girl shook her head, making her shoulder length black hair swing wildly around her face, and she blinked back the tears that were about to fall from her large blue eyes.

“Dear Lord, Trina, what is going on?” Giles asked almost impatiently.

“Aubrey is dead. And Jenna is in bad shape. They got ambushed, sir. Six more girls are still there fighting, but the chances they‘ll make it out of there alive are not good.”

Xander clenched his jaw at the news. Aubrey had been a quiet girl who mostly kept to herself, but she was sweet, caring and a dedicated student. She took her role as a Slayer very seriously and he’d always thought she would make a difference in the world. To find out she was gone, just like that, was a shock. But there would be time to mourn her later. Six other girls were out there getting their ass kicked and if they didn’t want to have to dig eight graves, they had to react fast.

“Let’s go.” He said tensely.

Giles agreed. “Please get as many girls as you can, Trina. I want them in the vans as soon as humanly possible.”

She hesitated a beat. “Do I get Buffy too?”

Giles pondered his answer for a second or two, then shook his head. She was too upset, she would be of no help while in that state. “No. We’ll manage without her.”

Xander turned to Spike. “You coming?”

The vampire shrugged. “Sure. Got nothing better to do anyway.”

Xander half smiled. “Look at you, acting all aloof. Who do you think you’re fooling? You’re dying for some action.”

Spike smirked. "You do know me, Whelp! I'm touched.”

Giles nearly groaned. “Should have made that bloody bet.” He mumbled under his breath.

Spike gave him a funny look “What was that, Watcher?”

“Nothing. Let’s just go.”

A/N: Did my very best to update last Tuesday like I promised, but it turned out to be more difficult than I thought. I'm at a friend's wedding and had to escape to post. And to make things worst, my internet is all wonky. Also, I know some of you--if not most of you--are annoyed with me for taking so long to get B and S together. Trust me, I'll make it worth the wait. I just hope it's not keeping you from enjoying the story. I got a email from someone who was upset that I'm taking my sweet time. Hey, at least they are in the same time zone now! lol Getting there.
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