“I thought Spike would have been back by now.”
“He’ll be all right. Probably just making sure no one believes Allen.”
Buffy and Willow were in the living room for a change. Dawn was in the stuffed chair and had dozed off.
“Willow,” Buffy started to say, then hesitated.
“You don't really think that Spike and I would . . . could . . . It’s just that . . . .”
“Buffy, if it happens, it happens. No one will think anything one way or another. It’s a natural pairing, if you think about it. Of course, there’s Angel. And I know you still have feelings for him.”
“Did you hear that?”
“I’m not sure. It sounded like a thump or something, outside.”
Buffy got up from the couch and went to the front door. When she opened it she found a badly beaten Spike lying there.
She carried him into the kitchen and laid him on the counter. As she cleaned off the blood, Spike managed to tell them about Allen inciting the crowd against him.
“But I do know I saw him leaving with three other men, or vamps, I’m not sure. At the time I thought he was being forced, but now I don't know. Maybe I just imagined it.”
“Well, we’ll worry about that later. Right now you need some R&R. Willow, if you’ll turn down the covers on my bed, I’ll carry him upstairs.
Willow hurried to comply.
Buffy spent almost the entire next day with Spike, giving him blood whenever he was awake, to build his strength, and changing his bandages every few hours.
Willow went to the grocery store and took care of the cooking and cleaning, Dawn went to school, Xander went to work, and Anya went back to her apartment and slept the day away.
Buffy managed to persuade Xander and Anya to stay at her house for the next few nights. She hated to admit it, but Giles’ warning had spooked her more than she realized. In the meantime, she patrolled, hoping to dispel any suspicions about her.
Three nights later she and Willow were watching TV when they heard thunder.
“Was it supposed to rain tonight?” Willow asked.
“Don't think so. If that’s thunder, it sure sounds strange.”
Buffy went out on the front porch, listening. Suddenly she got a knot in the pit of her stomach. It wasn’t thunder. The sound they were hearing were helicopters, a half dozen of them, and they were surrounding the house.
Buffy went back inside, carefully closing and locking the door.
“Willow,” she said, with a bit of a tremble in her voice, “Do you remember the barrier you put up around that gas station when the Knights of Byzantium were after us?”
“How long will it take you to put up another one?”