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Summary: Spike/Illyria. All other characters included. Begins just after the 'Angel' series finale events on 'Not Fade Away.'

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > GeneralHorseLoverTWFR18630,7264176,20622 Mar 0830 May 08No

Lunar Tidings

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Joss Whedon owns Buffy and David Greenwalt owns Angel.

A/N: Ok, I'm now caught up on this story. This is the last chapter barring any unforseen spike in popularity or me getting around to writing something else on it.



“Isn’t there anything you can do?” Angel asked Willow from his position kneeling next to the prone Wood. He’d been relieved to find a slight pulse in the mangled mess that had formerly been Wood’s neck, but by the man’s smell, he could tell that he didn’t have much time left. He was pretty much gone.

Willow unwrapped her arm from around Kennedy’s shoulders and assessed the extent of Wood’s injuries. Kennedy hand remained clasped over her mouth where small sobs could be heard. Finally, her voice grim, Willow said, “I can do a few healing spells, but I doubt it’ll do any good.” Before she’d even finished speaking, her hands began to slowly hover over Wood’s gash on his jugular and a stream of brilliant white light emanated and spread leisurely over his neck. The magic glowed blindingly for a second before receding, leaving only red, agitated skin beneath it.

She did the same for his leg and stood up, brushing her hands off on her jeans. “That’s all folks, only Wood can save himself now.”

The three stared at Wood a second before Angel bent and gently picked him up. Willow wrapped her arm back around her girlfriend and they journeyed off to the Hyperion, hoping Wood would still be alive by the time they arrived.

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“What kept you?” Oz said, his back on the cage door, fighting to keep it shut on the snarling Werewolf they assumed to be Nina.

“We ran into another of your kind. Your breed appears to be abundant.” Illyria said as she walked up to Oz. She put her hands on the cage beside him and pushed. “You may rest. I shall keep this creature contained.”

Oz gave her a confused look, but shook it off and vacated his position, tossing her a casual, “Thanks,” over his shoulder.

“Bring that one over here Spike, I think this one is still usable,” Buffy shouted through the dark.

Spike dropped the Werewolf unceremoniously into the cage and Buffy fastened the lock. They found themselves alone, completely in the dark, staring awkwardly at each other barely able to distinguish the other’s dim outline. “Just wanted me to yourself eh?” Spike finally said, trying to break their uncomfortable silence.

“Get a grip Spike!” Buffy huffed, but Spike thought he saw a smile on her face. He couldn’t be sure though, it was so damn dark.

He decided to play it safe. After all, he wasn’t her whipping boy anymore, might as well act like it. “Sure Slayer.” And he walked back over to the others, leaving a stunned Buffy in his wake.

Buffy let out a frustrated sigh and followed him.

“So what’s the plan Wolfboy?” Faith asked Oz as she carefully placed her tranquilizer gun back in its box by the door.

Buffy muttered darkly, “Oh sure, she’s careful with the gun!”

Everyone ignored her. Oz looked at Faith. “We should probably split up. Half of us go find Angel and Willow to tell them what happened, and the rest of us stay here and make sure Nina and this other fellow don’t get out.”

“I will keep my position.” Illyria stated.

Spike rolled his eyes at her and addressed the group, “I’m staying as well. Can’t let Blue scare Nina too bad when she comes out of it.”

Illyria shot Spike a dangerous look. “The female Werewolf will not fear my shell. You wish to stay because you are bothered by my attentions being directed at someone other than you.” Like a demonic bird, she tilted her head in what Spike had deduced was her usual manner. “This is jealousy, correct?”

Spike was now glaring. “That was below the belt Blue.” He couldn’t help sneaking a peek at Buffy though. She was staring at him with a strange look on her face. Spike inwardly winced. Of course she’d get all bent out of shape over nothing! So what if he loved her even when she only had moon eyes for Angel? Still though, the thought that Illyria might be making her feel jealous over HIM. This was fun. Might as well milk it. “Yea, you got the green-eyed monster down pack luv, but keep in mind, I am your guide-ly vampire, so you ought to be a little nicer to me.” Illyria continued staring at him, unblinking. “But you’re a big girl Blue, like whoever the hell you want to like.”

“You assume too much white haired one.”

“OH! SO WE’RE BACK TO THAT THEN!?”

“Uh, Buffy, Faith, why don’t you two go look for Angel and Willow. They’re obviously going to be a while here.” Oz said quietly to the two Slayers. Faith smirked at the two demons arguing, well, on Spike’s part anyway, and nodded. She turned to exit.

Buffy looked a little more unsure, but seeing Faith leaving her, she followed suit, glancing over her shoulder to shoot one last, perplexed look at her bleached, soulful vampire.

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“Anything you want to talk about B?” Faith asked casually as they journeyed through the city. An occasional car would race by, but besides that, the streets were fairly empty. Of course, it helped that a lot of people had evacuated the city during the apocalypse.

Buffy was staring blankly down at the ground, her arms crossed against her chest. She looked up at Faith. “Huh? Did you say something?”

Faith gave her a knowing look. “Oh, nothing.”

“Do you think maybe we should head back to the Hyperion and wait for the others there? This city is way too big to search through all of it.”

“Sure.” They changed directions and walked in silence for a few minutes.

Buffy’s raging thoughts grew stifling in the silence, and finally she exploded, “I CAN’T BELIEVE HIM! SHE’S BLUE FOR GOODNESS SAKE!”

Faith arched an eyebrow in her direction. “Feeling better?”

Buffy gave her a ‘go to hell look’. “Much.”

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“He looks so bad!” Kennedy cried as she patted Wood’s forehead with a wet towel. Willow could only nod as she looked down at the former principal. His gasps were coming with great effort. She wasn’t sure which would be his last.

Angel entered the lobby with a cell phone to his ear. “Yea, I’m glad to hear it…you too. Bye.” He flipped it shut and walked over to them. Willow glanced questioningly at his cell. “Oh, that was Connor. He drove over to the UCLA campus this morning and was just telling me that his dorm and everything is all set.” Willow nodded. She thought it was kind of cute how good a dad Angel was becoming. “Any improvement?” Angel asked, looked down at Wood.

“Afraid not. I was thinking of taking him to the hospital, but I’m not sure what they could do.”

“WILLOW! How can you say that! The doctors know way more about medicine and stuff than you do!” Kennedy took in a steadying breath and continued in a calmer voice, “Maybe they could think of something that you left out.”

Willow was slightly affronted by this disregard of her knowledge, something she prided herself on. But still, that annoying shred of doubt wafted through her mind, reminding herself that she wasn’t a doctor. If Wood died, and they hadn’t tried everything possible, she knew her conscience would tear her apart. “We could try it, but the trip over there might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back here. I don’t know if we can risk it.” Trying to reassure both them and herself, she added, “Plus, my magic did everything the doctor’s would have been able to, now it’s just up to Wood to handle the shock.”

Angel gave a grim nod. “I just hope you’re right.”

Before anything else could be said, the door burst open and all three of them turned around to witness Buffy and Faith entering the hotel. The two Slayers stopped cold in their tracks at the sight of Wood lying motionless and ashen faced on the couch.

Buffy tried to wrap a comforting arm around Faith, but the dark haired Slayer shook her off and continued to stare at her lover. Finally, in a voice so low and deadly that even Angel winced, Faith slowly asked, “What did this?”

Willow began cautiously, “We’re not really sure, but-

“We think it was a Werewolf.” Kennedy interrupted, looking pleased with herself.

Buffy, Angel and Willow mentally cursed. That was the absolute worst thing to say to Faith right now. Before Buffy could try to stop her, Faith whirled around and sprinted out of the building. Buffy screamed after her to wait, but Faith was possessed.

All three of them turned to glare at Kennedy.

“WHAT?!” Kennedy said in confusion. “What’d I say?”

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Faith knew she was out of her mind, even as her feet methodically pounded down the asphalt from the way she and Buffy had just come only moments before. Everything around her seemed so surreal. The colors were duller, and slightly blurred together, as if a dark cloud had come in, smothering all. And sounds, such as a passing car or the person shouting something across the street, they all seemed so pinched, so painfully acute. It was a strange sense of dull awareness that had engulfed her. So lost in her own head, Faith didn’t even notice when the tears began to slip softly down her cheeks.

Had one face ever meant more to her than the dark-skinned, chocolate eyed, brilliant white-toothed smiling one of Wood’s? She didn’t think so. Wood was her savior, the one that stayed with her, no matter what stupid shit she pulled. And damn, if he wasn’t the best lay she’d ever had!

GOD! He couldn’t die!

But so help every last Werewolf on this planet if he did.

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He had to hand it to her, she could be stubborn. Stubborn as a bitchy glass-eyed mule. As if this whole thing was his fault!

He glanced over to her, still trying to understand why she would be acting more and more like a real woman with every passing hour. He was starting to like the cold-shouldered ice queen better and better. At least that Illyria wouldn’t have pitting Buffy against him like that. And just what the bloody hell was that all about anyway!

Illyria stood with her back to him; still holding the cell door against the onslaught Nina was giving it.

A shifting to his left brought Spike out of his thoughts. Oz was sitting up. Apparently, a figure was running down the stairs. A woman, Spike saw as she neared, that looked a whole lot like Faith. Only, it couldn’t have been Faith. Faith was a she-devil, a rebel. A badass. The girl dashing towards them, as if the flames of hell were licking her heels was a creature possessed of anguish.

The tears clinging to her cheeks had smeared her mascara, and the wild look in her eyes was almost frightening, that was, if it wasn’t so miserable looking.

Spike scrambled to his feet and tried to catch her as she darted past, her destination obviously the unconscious Werewolf in the cage behind him. He caught her hand and spun her around. Her velocity made it such that she turned quite hard, and they both went down. Spike rose to a sitting position before she could spring up and put his hands on her shoulders to better steady both of them.

Illyria, who was forced to remain in her position or forfeit Nina’s imprisonment, tilted her head and regarded the dark Slayer with something akin to distain.

“She wishes to destroy the Werewolves.”

“I got that Blue.” Spike rolled his eyes and took a deep breath. Faith was so messed up right now; he probably wasn’t any safer than the doggies. “What’s the matter luv? You seem a touch spooked.” Yea, that ought to do the trick. Nice and easy.

Faith punched him.

“Bloody hell.” Spike moaned, trying to shake the stars from his eyes. His grip only tightened however, even as she began to thrash and kick.

“LET ME GO! THEY DID THAT TO HIM!!” Faith screeched. Spike had to resist wincing. Instead, he pulled her to him in an awkward embrace. He made the soft soothing murmurs he often gave Dru when she had seen an act of kindness foretold by the starry night ceiling of whatever hovel they happened to be staying. Faith continued pounding him, but now, her tears were coming more freely and her blows were becoming less painful. In a sobbing, scratchy sounding voice, Faith cried, “They did…that to him.”

Spike asked, in a tone barely above a whisper, “What did they do luv? To whom?” Although he already had a pretty good idea. Apparently, Oz did as well. The Lycan slowly approached the two and put a reassuring hand on Faith.

“Will Wood be alright?” Oz gently questioned.

At realizing Oz was there, Faith exploded. She violently shoved Spike away and flipped to her feet. She clasped her hand around Oz’s throat in a death grip and with eyes glassed over in rage hissed, “No, he won’t. Just like you three aren’t.”

Spike rushed to Oz’s aid, but using her other hand, Faith backhanded him. He careened into a cage. Unfortunately for Spike, the cage happened to be the one Nina was endeavoring so hard to be free from. Ignoring her barrage on the door, she shuffled over to the collapsed Spike and put her furry arms through the cage bars in an effort to strangle him. Illyria calmly walked over to him and wrenched the she-wolf’s claws away from his pale neck. He gave her a thankful look, to which she acknowledged with a nod. Nina had other ideas than watching their exchange however. She used the moment to leap back over to the door which she shoved open and sped through.

Illyria took off after her. Spike rubbed his neck and jumped to his feet, running to the tranquilizer box and liberating the gun Faith had been using. He then joined Blue in the chase, praying to whatever higher being was listening at the moment that Oz could handle the Slayer himself.

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Oz tried to center himself through the pain. It was difficult, especially considering the only thing he wanted to think about was how he was losing oxygen and about to die, but with the resilience born from years of quiet meditation, he curbed his overwhelming instinct to attack and bite her.

Instead, as he seamlessly transformed, he made only defensive moves and was able to wriggle out of her grasp. Now Faith and he were squared off at each other. He expected her to make the first move, and he wasn’t disappointed. She flew at him, swifter than he would have thought possible. They exchanged blows for a few minutes. Oz trying not to hurt her when at all possible and she not returning the same kindness. He was hanging on by a thread and desperately praying for the others to show up when she landed a stunning blow to his furry jaw and then kneed him viciously in the stomach. He doubled over, knowing that she was so blinded by whatever had happened to Wood, that she probably wouldn’t even think twice about killing him.

He waited for the killing blow…and waited. A few more seconds passed and he looked up. His heart sunk.

The other Werewolf had awoken. Its sudden snarls must have been what saved him as Faith had sought him out instead. She had literally ripped the cage door off its hinges and the two were now engaged in a sickeningly deathly form of combat. Oz fell to the ground in pain and despair. There was no way this would end well.

Just as the encroaching darkness of the Wolfram&Hart basement overcame him, Oz thought he saw a flash of red hair and heard a whispered plea from his beloved Goddess.

When Oz awoke, he found himself a familiar position. His body was exactly as it had been when he’d passed out; only he’d reverted to his less-hairy exterior. The only thing that had changed was that his head was now lying comfortably across Willow’s lap. One of her hands was gently running through his hair and her anxious green eyes were peering down at him.

“Hey.”

Oz blinked a few times, confirming that he was indeed in Willow’s lap and he wasn’t just imaging it again before he struggled to a sitting position. He noticed that Willow still had one of her arms wrapped protectively around him. He resisted pulling her to him and instead looked around.

Angel and Buffy were sitting nearby with a bleary-eyed Faith seated between them. Each of them had one arm around her and her head hung listlessly against Angel’s broad chest. He could see Buffy’s lips moving as she said something quietly to Faith, but even his wolfy senses couldn’t pick it up.

His gaze traveled slowly beyond the three and he was left staring at the still, prone body of a young man, probably only slightly older than Conner. The youth had a stake lodged through his heart and a terrified expression on his face. Oz noticed that his sandy-blonde hair was also matted with blood. He’d had his head bashed in before he’d been slain.

Oz looked away and met Willow’s concerned face. “Hi,” he finally said back.

Willow’s unblinking watery gaze was a little disconcerting. Finally, she wrapped her arms around him and pulled him close, the very thing he’d wanted to do to her. “I was so worried about you!” She breathed into his ear. He slowly allowed his arms to enclose around her back.

Not long enough for either of them, Willow grudgingly pulled away and held him at arm’s length. She hastily wiped away a stray tear and said, “It’s dawn. You’ve been out for a little while.” Willow saw his eyes drift to the opened cage where Nina should have been. Answering his unasked question, she said, “We ran into Spike and Illyria as they left chasing Nina. We all agreed to meet them here once they found her.” Oz nodded and moved to stand up. Willow held firmly to his shoulders however. He gave her a confused look. Licking her lips, Willow’s nervous chatter came front and center as she said, “Uh, Wood was in pretty bad shape, so we had to leave someone to look after him.”

Oz gave a decidedly wolfish grin at that. “I take it Kennedy was elected to stay against her will?” Willow nearly blushed.

“Well…sort of…yea.” They stared at each other for a while. Finally, Willow did what she normally did when around Oz, she rambled. “You’ve got to understand Oz…after Tara died…I didn’t think I could live. I mean, first you and I are doomed to never again be near each other, and then Tara gets shot right in front of me. I guess I kinda…fell apart. I almost destroyed the world.” Oz put his hand against her flaming red hair and she shivered. She bit down her sigh and went on determinedly however, “When my whole veiny phase was finished, I met Kennedy. I don’t love her. But she’s been good for me.” Oz began gently rubbing her cheek with his thumb. Willow closed her eyes and leaned into his touch. Just as their heads leaned in towards one another, Willow gasped and turned away. Oz released her and drew back as well. “I…I…I’m sorry Oz! I can’t do this. It’s not fair to Kennedy.”

Oz looked away and took in a deep breath. When he turned back to her, his eyes were firm. He gave her a solemn nod and gingerly rose to his feet. He offered her a hand up. When they were eye to eye again, he said quietly, “It’s ok Willow. I get it.” He gave her hand a slight squeeze. “Just remember that I’ll always be here for you.” He then dropped her hand and walked out the basement, determined not to look back.

He wouldn’t be able to do anything good down there. Faith wasn’t ready to apologize to him yet, and Willow wasn’t ready to love him again yet. He might as well do something productive and try getting a doctor to Wood.

He set off alone down the cracked sidewalk past the manicured bushes that had once adorned the immaculate lawn in front of the great firm. The light hues of dawn fell on his back and he glanced down to see his shadow. It looked lonely.

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[Several hours earlier]
“I do not know what the shell of this female, Nina, looks like in human form.” Illyria stated as she and Spike walked down the alleys and roads of Los Angeles, the sunrise fast approaching.

“It’s ok Blue-bell. Just means you’ll have to stick with me is all.” Spike said as he surveyed the rooftops and the occasional open window.

Illyria looked at him, expecting him to motor mouth as he usually did. When she saw he was almost ignoring her, she grew silent and watched the full moon as it began to set.

She wasn’t worried about finding the Werewolf. The creature would become human and find them as soon as the sun broke. Most humans were safely indoors now as well. She wondered why Spike was so anxious to find her.

“Why do humans grow attached to one another?”

Spike stopped looking around and stared at her. He thought a second and then replied, “I suppose it’s because we find life, or uh…un-life…to be exceptionally boring if we don’t have someone to share it with. What did you used to do back in the day luv? Surely you had some consorts of some kind?”

“I had my Qwa'ha Xahn. He was my priest, my advisor, my…consort.”

“And what happened to Mr. Allpurposeman?”

“He was assassinated. When I was journeying on a different plane, my demon underlings plotted against me and killed all who they knew loyal to me. I was informed that he died well.”

“Did you feel sad when he died?”

Illyria looked up at Spike then. Her icy eyes drilled into his until she broke the gaze and then they slowly shifted ahead of her once more. “You no longer have your clipboard. Why request such irrelevant matters?”

“Curiosity killed the cat.”

“Then why are there still felines roaming the Earth?”

“It’s an expression luv. Means I just wanted to know for the sake of knowing.”

“Very well… Yes.”

“Huh?”

“Yes. I felt momentary grief at his passing.”

“That’s it? ‘Momentary grief’ is the best you got?”

“I do not feel things as you do. His loss saddened me, but only because I was no longer able to seek his council.”

“Sure.” Spike had mastered sarcasm at a very young age, and enjoyed using it whenever possible.

“You do not believe me.” Spike nodded his head. A ‘duh’ expression adorned his chiseled face. Illyria was growing frustrated now. “I. did. not. mourn. his. loss. I don’t recall if I even missed him. Of greater concern at the time had been my betrayers.”

Spike nodded as if he agreed and went back to scouring for the Werewolf. Illyria sighed. “I did…however, grieve for Wesley, as you are aware.”

Spike looked back to her. Something in his gaze softened. “I know Blue. Fred loved him a great deal. It’s only natural you’d feel the same.”

“Fred’s emotions are irrelevant. I grew…attached to Wesley of my own volition.”

“And he wasn’t too fond of that, I’m sure.” Illyria dropped her gaze.

Anger came into her eyes and her fists clinched. “Why did he reject me!? What right did he have?”

Spike grabbed her leather-clad arm and stopped her. “We’ve been through this before luv. Wesley loved Fred. He couldn’t forget her so easily, and innocent or not, you are what killed her.”

Illyria looked as though she’d been slapped. She retched her arm away and glared at him. “I wish they had never freed me from my tomb. This world holds nothing for me but pain and grim reminders of my destiny never to be fulfilled.” She spun on her heel and marched away from him. Her blue curls bouncing in her anger.

Spike rolled his eyes and chased after her. He caught up to her and stood in her path.

Illyria continued to glare at him for a second before her demeanor shifted and she began to wickedly leer. “Get out of my way Vampire.”

Spike recognized the fire in her eyes, and it wasn’t all rage. He took a step closer and smirked. “And just what are you going to do about it?”

Illyria tilted her head. What was he insinuating? “You forget your place. I could break you in two.”

Spike shuffled even closer to her. She could now smell the nicotine and the leather of his duster. She could see the blue of his eyes. “You’re the one who’s forgetting luv.” He invaded her personal space and leaning down, whispered lowly in her ear, “Wesley wasn’t the only one who loved Fred.”

Illyria shoved him back with enough force to make an indention in the brick wall where he landed. He fell to his knees and shook his head, the second time in as many hours that he found himself trying to clear the stars from his vision.

He heard footsteps approaching and tried to concentrate as multiple Illyrias began swimming into focus.

Illyria lowered herself to his level so they were eye to eye. She then closed her eyes and threw her head back, as she morphed into Fred Burkle.

“Spike!” The sunny voice and smiling face of the Texas physicist met Spike’s gaze as he finally cleared his head.

“Illyria. Stop it.”

“What’s the matter Spike? Don’t cha just looove Fred? Just like everyone else apparently.” The Fred-looking Illyria stood back up and put a finger to her lips in mock thought. “Hmm…I never really noticed it all. The only one I ever wanted was Wes.” She glared down at him then, the magic that Fred might have actually been standing in front of him was lost as he looked on at her enraged face. Fred had never been good at striking fear into his heart. Illyria sure was though. In a sickly sweet voice, she went on, “What’s the matter Spike? Cat got your tongue? Does it hurt ya that I never thought any more of you than a reckless Vampire only out for your own interests?”

Spike’s gaze hardened and he slowly rose to his feet. At his full height, he looked down at her and bit out. “You’re. not. Fred.”

Fred/Illyria gave an evil grin and sidled up to him, putting a bare finger to his chest and trailing it down to his abdomen. “True. But don’t cha wish I were?”

Spike eye’s narrowed further and he grabbed her hand. “No.” Fred/Illyria looked surprised at this. He went on, keeping her hand clutched, painfully had she been a mortal, in his grasp, “I never said I loved Fred that way Blue. Fact is, I didn’t. She was a friend. One of the only true friends I’ve ever had.” Spike’s glare softened and his grip loosened. “Now change back little Shiva, you’re much more fetching with those dapper little blue curls.”

Fred/Illyria looked bewildered for a second before she morphed back into her usual blueness. With her icy eyes back firmly in place, she said, “It matters not to me what you think of my shell’s follicles. I have changed back only because reverting to the shell’s mannerisms is tiresome.”

Spike looked down at her hand, still in his, and then back to her pretty, alien face. “Keep telling yourself that luv.” He then dropped her hand and turned back to the street they had been on.

Illyria watched him go for a moment before he yelled back over his shoulder, “Well come on Blue! I know you’re not going to leave me all by my lonesome now.”

Illyria tilted her head. He was certainly the most infuriating creature she had ever had the misfortune of coming across, yet…there was something. Perhaps it was his bluntness. Or maybe it was his hair. Her Qwa'ha Xahn had had white hair. Yes, that must have been it. “No. I will not leave you unattended.” She caught up to him. They shared a brief look before she continued, “Perhaps I shall obtain a ‘leash’ for you my pet.”

Spike’s eye’s widened, but he couldn’t help but snort, “Don’t bother luv. If it ever came to that, I’d get us some handcuffs.”

Illyria looked at him in confusion. “But species used by humans as companions are not led by ‘handcuffs’.”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Don’t worry about it Illyria,” she gave a perplexed tilt of her head at the use of her real name from him. “I’ll teach you about it someday.” Spike said the last part in what he hoped had come off as joking. He wasn’t even sure if he had meant it to be joking though.

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Nina awoke in the middle of a dumpster, naked. She gave a shiver of revulsion as she felt something slimy graze her calf. Ewww.

Searching in vain for something to cover herself, she reluctantly extricated herself from the garbage. If only she had her cell with her!

The morning sun was glaring down on her as she peered around the alley. What had happened last night? Wasn’t she supposed to be waking up right about now in a cell below the wrecked firm?

Giving up on the idea of streaking through main street LA midmorning, Nina leaned against the wall and sunk to her seat. She would probably be here a while. It wasn’t as though Angel was all eager to find her. He’d more than likely see her as a burden now.

She pulled her legs up to her body and hugged her knees, hoping that no one would see her like this.

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“Yea, and the doctor said that he’d probably wake up later today.” Kennedy chirped as she stood happily as the center of attention in the lobby of the Hyperion in front of Angel, Buffy, Willow, and Faith.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief and helped Faith up to her room. The dark Slayer still hadn’t acknowledged her actions of earlier that morning in the slaying of the boy, but it was obvious the realization of her actions were catching up with her. As Buffy and Willow helped her into bed, Faith looked forlornly at the other pillow and dug her face into her own.

Buffy and Willow exchanged looks and quietly left the room.

“I’ve never seen Faith like this. It’s…weird.” Willow said as they headed downstairs.

“I know what you mean.” Buffy gave a sigh and rolled her neck, trying to relieve some of the aches an all night slayer fest usually left her with. “It’s a good thing Oz went and got the doctor though. I mean, you did an awesome job Will, but hospitalization just makes everyone feel a little better. You understand right?”

Willow slowly nodded. “Yea. To tell you the truth, it makes me feel a little better too.” Just then, as they hit the last step of the grand staircase, Spike, Illyria and Nina stepped through the door of the lobby. Nina was gripping the worn leather of Spike’s duster around her body. Her cheeks were flushed with embarrassment.

Buffy and Willow rushed over to the trio. Kennedy and Angel were nowhere in sight.

“It’s a good thing we didn’t decide to track all the way back over to the W&H firm then.” Spike said, a little waspishly, his gaze directed at the blonde Slayer.

Willow gave an apologetic look. “I’m sorry Spike. It’s my fault.” Buffy gave her friend a grateful look. “I was worried about Wood.”

Spike eased up. “Right then.” He glanced at Illyria. “I’m knackered. Reckon you lot can take care of dog girl?” Nina gave an indignant ‘Humph,” at her nickname.

Buffy and Willow nodded and each took a hold of Nina as they journeyed back up the way they’d just come.

Illyria and Spike were left alone in the lobby.

“So…” Spike began.

“I thought you said you were ’knackered’?”

“I am. Doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun.” His unwavering smirk emerged full force.

“I am listening. What is it you propose?” Illyria wasn’t sure why, but she was growing excited, and certain aspects of her shell were heating, uncomfortably so.

“If we take to the sewers, we can get to a store right about the time they open and get ourselves a play station and some games. I’ll even let you choose, being the gentleman I am of course.”

Illyria’s excitement faded. “Where is the ‘fun’ in this?”

“We can sneak into Angel’s room and steal his wallet.”

“Ok.”

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

The End?

You have reached the end of "Caeruleum" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 30 May 08.

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