This is the sequel to Alone, Lost, and Found.
It contains spoilers for season four of Supernatural up to the episode On the Head of A Pin.
Thank you, AJ Hofacre for all of your help with this story. :)
To everyone else, this story is finished and will be posted over the next few days.
Disclaimer: I do not own either Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Supernatural.
Spike sat with his forehead resting on the cool counter in the hotel’s lobby, both arms curled up around his head. So far nothing had worked, not spells, not threats... not even the contacts available to the Watchers Council had shown up with anything. It was like Dean had disappeared off the face of the planet. The only thing they knew was that he was alive – Willow had been able to tell them that much. But after two weeks of searching, not even that was a comfort.
“Spike.” Buffy’s voice sounded from above him, and he reluctantly raised his head. She was looking at him with eyes as tired and weary as his own. She also had a mug of blood in her right hand, a bag of food in the other, and a stubborn look on her face letting Spike know she meant business. “You need to eat.” Her eyes skimmed to his left where he knew Sam was sitting. “Both of you.”
“I’m not hungry,” came Sam’s new favorite response, and Spike had to agree.
“When Dean finds out that you two haven’t been eating, he’s going to be pissed! You know he wouldn’t like this, for either of you!” It was a low blow, and Spike noticed Sam winced as well.
“Well, we need to find him first,” Sam growled out, eyes not leaving the computer screen.
“And you won’t find him if you keel over because you‘re hell-bent on starving yourselves!” Buffy slammed the bag down before Sam, and forcefully placed the mug in Spike’s hands. “Now eat, damn it!”
It was the slight cracking in her voice, the barely heard hiccup at the end of her sentence, which finally forced Spike to drink the warm liquid. And from what he saw, it had reached Sam too. He glanced up at Buffy sadly and with more than a little guilt in his eyes before demonstratively taking a large bite out of the burger she’d bought him. When Buffy slumped into the chair across from him, Spike’s eyebrow rose.
“Don’t start,” Buffy said. “I have
“I know, luv,” Spike said, voice soft. “But you’ve also been looking after the two of us, and that can’t be easy.”
Spike heard the soft sigh that escaped Buffy’s lips. He followed her gaze as it traveled towards Sam again, noting he had only eaten maybe a third of his burger and was already beginning to waver. Poor bugger looked like he was about to fall asleep at his computer, again.
“Someone has to make sure you two remember to take care of yourselves,” she whispered.
“We haven’t found a bloody thing.”
“I know.” Buffy spoke softly, clearly hoping to hide their conversation from Sam, but he could hear the quivering in her tone despite it. Dean’s disappearance had shaken her severely, but she was still trying to hide it. That was his girl – putting on the brave front and trying to hide her emotions so she could be strong for everyone else. “But we’ve got every resource we have working on finding him. And we will.”
“Maybe if those bloody useless angels would get up off their asses and help, we’d find him sooner.” Spike growled out the words. He could feel his frustration and fear rising.
“Spike,” Buffy said. Reaching out, she cupped his cheek in her hand, stroking his jaw gently. “They’re fighting this war too.”
Spike shut his eyes, turning his face into her palm as he placed one of his hands over hers. He lightly kissed the inside of her wrist, linking his fingers with hers. He ran his other hand wearily through his hair. “So how have the Mini-Slayers patrols been going?”
Buffy eyed him, knowing full well he was changing the subject. “Dawn’s been keeping me updated. It’s kinda wigsome, thought, since it has been so quiet.”
“Think all the Big Bads are laying low?”
“Possibly.” Buffy shrugged. “Or they’re all gearing up for the apocalypse.”
Spike snorted in disgust. “Knowin’ our luck, that’s exactly what’s happening.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. Spike was more than likely right. Opening her mouth to reply, a shrill ringing cut her off. Three pairs of eyes jerked towards the phone, all looking at it as if it was a demonic entity in need of slaying. Taking a deep breath as Sam came to stand at his shoulder, and with Buffy now hovering at his elbow, Spike reached out an unsteady hand and picked up the phone.
Bobby slammed the phone down; he was furious at the person he’d been talking to, and even more annoyed at himself for getting his hopes up. Missouri didn’t know anything, and neither did Pamela, or any other psychic he’d called. Most of the hunters he’d talked to had been truly baffled. Some were cagey, having heard the rumors circulating about Sam and Dean. It didn’t help that Bobby wasn’t about to confirm or deny those rumors. Others, Bobby was pleased to hear, were outraged. Hunters did have a tendency to keep to themselves, but some had an us-verses-them mentality; pick on one Hunter, and you piss off the rest. It also helped that most of the old timers respected John Winchester, even if they hadn’t met him, or even liked him all that much if they had. It was too bad that attitude didn’t extend towards all because some of the damn bastards had outright lied about their ignorance.
Sighing, Bobby leaned back in his chair, rubbing his face. Two weeks was a long time to be missing for anybody, and with some of the rumblings Bobby had been hearing, his fear of ever finding Dean grew. He was just about to pick up the phone and give another contact a try when several knocks that sounded like the pat-pat-pat
of an assault rifle being fired resonated. Grabbing his gun, Bobby stood and edged his way forward. Peeking through the peephole, Bobby jerked back in surprise and quickly opened the door. Ellen Harvelle stood on his porch with a bag hiked up on one shoulder and an impatient and tired expression on her face.
“Please tell me those boys didn’t do what I’ve been hearing.”
“Depends on what you’ve heard,” Bobby said, placing the gun down and bringing out a silver flask. Ellen eyed it, and then glared at him before making a big production of taking a quick swig of the flask and swallowing the liquid inside. Satisfied, Bobby stood back and let her enter.
“I’ve heard Dean made a deal to save his brother,” Ellen said, turning to face Bobby, hands on her hips. “I’ve heard the crossroads demon collected and almost four months later a half-demon, who looks a helluva lot like Dean by the way, turned up in Los Angeles in that vampire’s territory. I’ve also heard there’s now a young man who pretty much matches Sam’s description to a tee hanging around the area too!”
Bobby growled, turned, and slammed his fist into the wall behind him. “Damn it!”
Ellen raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms over her chest. “So how much of that was true?”
“All of it.”
“Shit,” Ellen swore, slumping back onto Bobby’s couch, her bag settling on the floor at her feet. “What the hell were those two thinking? Half of Los Angeles is off limits to hunters for a reason!”
“Well, Sam was mainly thinking there was a chance his brother was somehow back from the damn dead,” Bobby said, leveling a glare Ellen’s way. She sighed, putting her head in her hands before brushing them back through her hair.
“I figured as much,” Ellen said. “So, how in the hell did he manage to get Dean back?”
“He didn’t,” Bobby answered. It was his turn to sigh.
“It was angels,” Bobby said. He took some pleasure in her open mouthed stare.
“Bobby,” Ellen said, her look telling him she thought he was out-and-out crazy.
“Don’t start, Ellen,” Bobby said. “You weren’t there.”
“And these angels?” Ellen said, her tone carrying her disbelief. “Did they say why they did it?”
“Castiel claimed God commanded it,” Bobby said with a grumble.
“And the half demon part?”
Bobby sighed, cursing gossipy hunters and fate under his breath. Some of them were worse than high school girls with a secret. “Comes with the job description apparently. The angels made a deal with Spike’s bosses, these Powers That Be, and Dean wound up being his seer.”
“Spike?” Ellen said her eyebrows raised. “You’re on a first name basis with that... that thing?”
“How is that any concern of yours?”
“It’s a vampire
,” Ellen said, speaking as if Bobby were a small obtuse child.
“Who does the same damn thing we do, only on a larger scale,” Bobby ground out. “I spent time with him, and that slayer of his. They’re good people, and they’ve got the Watcher’s Council backing ‘em up.”
Ellen was still staring at him in disbelief. “A vampire and a slayer?” She shook her head rapidly, trying to get back on track. “What about Sam and Dean?”
Bobby snorted. “Spike seems to have gone and adopted them. Worries over those two idjit just like John did, but he can be just as stubborn as Dean, so those two can get into a world of trouble without even really trying. Buffy, she’s the head slayer, likes ‘em just fine, as do most of her other slayers.”
Ellen's lips slowly curled up in a grin, her lips twitching at the thought of Sam and Dean's reaction to being essentially surrounded. “All those super powered little girls have crushes on them, don’t they?” she asked, the look in her eyes matching her grin.
“Let’s just say Dean and Sam both run for cover when one of the little ones wanna to work on their technique. Spike does too, for that matter.” Bobby smiled briefly before falling serious again. “They ain't too happy someone managed to nab Dean. Spike's furious, Sam's sounding more and more like his Daddy everyday, and Buffy's angrier than a cat that got its tail ran over. Rupert Giles, he’s the head of the Council, has everyone he can spare looking for Dean, so if you know something, fess up.”
“I don’t know anything solid,” Ellen said, giving Bobby a pointed look. “But I heard two hunters bragging about the killing they made selling that vampire’s demon seer to a pretty lawyer they met.”
“Damn it!” Bobby jumped up, startling Ellen as he raced for his phone. Hitting speed dial he paced back and forth, Ellen’s eyes tracking his movements. “Spike, one of my contacts just came through!”
Bobby had to hold the phone away from his ear, and Ellen understood why when she heard the loud cacophony of voices carrying over the small speaker. “Spike! Would you listen for a goddamn second! I’m gonna put you on speaker phone.”
Bobby sat the phone on the coffee table, narrowing his eyes at Ellen as he pressed the speaker button on the phone. Heaving a loud sigh, he sat down next to her, his hands folded and his eyes narrowed on the phone. He could almost see Spike’s agitated pacing, Sam’s frenetic bouncing and Buffy’s worried, narrowed eyes and the claw-like grip she was sure to have on Spike’s arm.
“Speak to me, Robert.” Spike’s voice was clipped, full of worry, fear, and excitement.
“My friend here overheard two hunters bragging about selling your demon seer to some lawyer.”
Ellen’s eyes widened at the string of colorful curses and exclamations coming over the line. Some of which sounded like they were coming from Sam.
“Can this friend of yours tell us who these hunters are?” Spike growled out.
“Carlos Sanchez, and Steve Remmel,” Ellen replied clearly over the line, and Bobby’s eyes shot towards her, anger causing them to burn brightly.
“Those bastards!” Bobby growled, jumping up and pacing the room. “Those no good sons of bitches!”
“Bobby?” Sam’s voice flowed over the line, sounding more tired and grief stricken than anyone had a right to. “Ellen?”
Ellen’s eyes softened and her heart about broke at the sound of Sam’s voice. She pushed the hunter in her aside and let the lonely, comforting mother take over. “Hey, Sam, honey,” Ellen said. “I wish I could say it was good to talk to ya.”
Spike’s rumbling growl of annoyance was heard. “You know this woman? And who the bloody hell are Carlos and Steve?”
“They’re hunters who aren’t above making deals with the other side if they think it will help their cause,” Ellen answered, sourly. “Or if it’ll help ‘em make a quick buck.”
“Your Daddy knew them,” Bobby said once his pacing had stopped. “Of course he threatened to skin them alive and fill them with lead if he ever caught wind of them snooping around you two boys again.”
“But Bobby, why would they go after Dean? What could…” Sam‘s words trailed off, a heavy pause carrying over the line. When he spoke again, his tone held a dark and chilling edge as realization dawned. “They were trying to get to me and Dad knew… Now Dean’s a seer. Dammit, Bobby, I’ll kill them if they’ve hurt Dean!”
“I’ll help,” Spike’s lowered voice snarled, and Ellen’s eyes went to her hairline. It sent chills up her spine and reinforced her desire to stay far away from the vampire’s territory.
“Nobody’s killing anybody.” A woman’s voice shot out over the line, just as hard and adamant as the vampire’s.
“Buffy‘s right,” Bobby said. “I know how you two feel. Believe me I’d love nothing more than to skin both these bastards for what they’ve done, but they’re human.”
“Then what the bloody hell do you expect us to do?” Spike growled. “Sit ‘em down and give ‘em a stern warning?”
“Spike, they’re human.” Buffy’s voice was like steel.
“Doesn’t mean they deserve to be treated as such,” Sam said, sounding an awful lot like his father in that moment.
There was a low snarl of rage over the phone line. “Warren.”
Silence came over the line, cold and furious. Bobby and Ellen both leaned back from the phone as if to protect themselves from the coming storm.
“Don’t. You. Dare.”
“Why?” Spike again, his voice tempered steel. “Because he was human? Because he had a soul? Bloody hell, Slayer! I am not going to let Dean get killed because of your misguided sense of right and wrong.”
“I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that.”
“Go ahead.” Spike’s voice was low, his intent clear. “It’s what you’re bloody good at! Somethin’ happens or someone says somethin’ that you don’t like, an’ Miss Prim ‘n Proper takes a nice long ride down an Egyptian river!”
“Guys!” Sam’s voice, laced with panic carried over the line. “Stop it!”
“Sam’s right,” Bobby growled out. “We need to find Dean first. Then you can hash out whatever issues you two idjits just brought up.”
“Fine,” Spike said, though the fury in his words couldn’t be masked. “Got any idea where these two wankers can be found?”
“I wish I could tell you,” Ellen said. “But those two know how to fall off the grid just like any other hunter. If they don’t want to be found, you won’t find them.”
“Doesn’t matter,” Sam said. “Now we’ve got a solid lead thanks to you, Ellen.”
“You’re welcome, sugar.”
The phone went dead, and Bobby and Ellen both looked at each other. Dread settled in their bones. Ellen sighed, running a tired hand through her hair. “I’ll book the tickets.”
“Right, so Wolfram and Hart it is then,” Sam said, turning back to his computer. “I wonder which branch they’ve got him at.”
“Knowing those arrogant bastards,” Spike growled as he came to stand behind Sam. “He’s probably at the L.A branch right under our soddin' noses.”
“They wouldn’t…” Sam couldn’t finish. Spike and Angel had briefly talked about some of Wolfram and Hart’s holding dimensions, and the thought of what his brother could be suffering was something he’d be having nightmares about. He already had enough concerning Dean’s time in hell. Sam swallowed and tried to push the thoughts from his mind. His brother had survived forty years in hell, he would survive this too.
“Nah,” Spike said, placing a hand on Sam’s shoulder. “He’s too valuable to them.”
“Okay, so we go and see if anyone is willing to talk,” Sam said, eyes focused on his hands. Watching the slight tremors running through them, Sam tried to figure out when his hands stopped working.
“Spike.” Buffy’s tone was soft, her eyes blank. Spike turned his gaze her way, and the two stood silent for a few minutes before Spike nodded.
“I’ll be back in a few then we’ll start figuring out what to do.” Spike patted Sam on the shoulder before turning to follow Buffy out to the garden. When he walked outside, she was standing before the bench, arms crossed over her chest, posture rigid.
“I would never, never
do anything to hurt Dean. I know how much he means to you and to Sam, and you should damn well know by now he means just as much to me and Dawn too,” she whispered, though her tone was fierce.
Spike sighed as he slumped down onto the bench, all his anger draining, leaving him exhausted. “I know.”
“What if it was Dawn?” Spike asked, his gaze focusing on Buffy’s angry, but bewildered eyes.
“What does this have to do with earlier?”
“Think about it, Slayer,” Spike said. “If someone, a human someone, had sold Dawn to Wolfram and Hart, what would you do?”
“I…” Buffy started to answer, only to snap her mouth shut. She well remembered when Glory had taken Dawn, how once Willow had gotten Buffy back from her mental vacation she had gone off, hell bent to kill the bitch, or die trying. But most of all, she had wanted Glory to hurt the way she was, to be scared the way she was, to know that the one thing she valued most was being taken away, and there was nothing Glory could do to stop it. Buffy had wanted vengeance, and if Dawn’s life hadn’t been in jeopardy, Buffy would have killed Ben without a second thought.
It was in that moment she understood without a fault why Willow had so clearly gone off the deep end two years in a row – the pure blast of black magic following Glory’s attack on Tara, and the spiral downward into near madness when Warren had attacked them all a year later.
She couldn’t say what Willow, or Spike, or Sam felt was wrong – she’d been there, too.
Spike was watching her carefully, and when he saw the realization and understanding dawn on her face, he nodded slowly. “See what I mean?”
She ducked her head, closing her eyes. To Spike, she looked exhausted. “That still doesn’t make it right.”
“Never said it did,” Spike said with a sigh. “But…we’ll try to find another way.”
Buffy looked up, eyes wide and confused. “What?”
“We’ll try to find another way to stop those wankers,” Spike said. “If we can’t, then they die. If that’s what it comes to, then you need to be okay with it. But it will be a last resort.”
She tilted her head and gazed at him, then smiled appreciatively. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” Spike said. Standing he wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. “For what it’s worth, luv, I’m sorry I snapped at you.”
She snuggled into his embrace, wrapping her arms around his waist, burying her face against his chest, and closing her eyes as she inhaled his comforting scent.
“Me too,” she whispered.