Fic: DUST (23/?)Posted on 2011.07.01 at 15:23
Era/Season: Season 4 (post “Harsh Light of Day” and “Fear, Itself” but before “Beer Bad”)
Rating: Mature/NC-17 (strong language, sexual situations, adult content)
Betaed by: goblin_dae , yakimama , and subtilior
Summary: She'd kicked his butt, taken the Gem and sent it off to Angel. Buffy thought she'd seen the last of Spike. Clearly, she’d been too optimistic. That he was in her house, in her room, waking her out of a sound sleep and asking for (okay, demanding) her help meant that something had to be majorly wrong. They weren't due for another apocalypse, but ... why else would a vampire make a truce with the Slayer?
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all recognizable characters, locations, and dialogue belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and the various writers. This is written purely for fun.
Spike woke up with a knot in his neck and itchy hands—courtesy of falling asleep in the recliner and his afternoon experiment in self-staking. He groaned and stretched, wondering why the Slayer had let him sleep when they'd been making a half-hearted stab at researching. Then he blinked and realized that, if his heart had only been half into the stabbing, hers was wholly elsewhere.
A book lay open in her lap, and she had her notebook and pencil in her hands—but her gaze was unfocused, and he suspected if he looked at her paper he'd see nothing but doodles. Her eyes were glazed, staring through whatever it was she was lazily drawing without actually seeing it.
He'd thought ditching the Christmas decor would have helped, but she didn't appear any less broken than she had the night before. Sure, she was in the living room now, instead of hiding upstairs, but the important bits of her seemed to have gone missing. Whatever was sitting here on the couch, wearing the Slayer's body, it lacked all her spit and vinegar, all her fire.
Absently, he scratched at his palms, feeling the scabs tear a little, revealing pale skin newly formed underneath. If only it were so easy to heal whatever was bothering the girl. Then he shook his head with a sneer at his own foolishness. He was a vampire—healing was what the white-hats did. He was supposed to be maiming and killing, only somehow his sodding feelings had gone and thrown a spanner in the works. Why wasn't he celebrating the fact that she was so clearly hurting?
Oh. Right. Because he was a bloody moron, that was why.
Irritated with her, and himself, he got up and clomped into the kitchen, making sure to be as loud and obnoxious about it as possible. She never even glanced his way. He slammed the fridge door open, letting the bottles inside rattle, hauled his blood drawer out noisily, and let the cupboard door bang when he went looking for his mug: not a peep from the living room.
"I'm gonna heat some blood up, want anything?" he yelled.
After a full minute of silence, he tried again. "One time only offer, Slayer. Hot chocolate?"
It was like having a conversation with a corpse, and Spike had done that himself a time or two and found them far more sprightly than the Slayer was at the moment. He scowled as he downed his warm blood. Not eating, not talking, barely moving—Spike had dealt with illness before, both physical and mental, but this brooding sulk of hers was something beyond his ken. The frustration of it made him want to hit things, or throw them against a wall and tear their throats out.
Maybe she just needed to work it off somehow, too. Punch him in the nose or something. When was the last time they'd had a proper scuffle? He couldn't remember. Maybe what he needed was just to get her out of the house, let her walk it off, try to rile her up a bit. It was worth a shot, anyway.
He went to rinse out his mug, then paused—it'd brass her off, if he didn't. Of course, it'd also be rancid and disgusting the next time he went to have a meal, too. Right. Rinse the mug. Look for other ways to get under her skin. Think, Spike. Dust off your big brain and use it.
He heaved a sigh and glanced at the windows. His internal clock said it wasn't quite sunset yet, but the cloud cover that had played hide-and-seek with the sun earlier in the day had put the burning ball of death to bed early this evening. Perfect for the vamp who was just itching to get out of the sodding house.
She hadn't changed positions when he clomped back into the living room.
"Sun's down enough," he announced. "We should do a walkabout. Slayer?" He snatched the notebook out of her hands, which finally elicited a response.
"What?" She blinked up at him as if he'd just woken her from a nap.
"Patrol?" he said.
"Oh," she said. "Yeah, I guess." She got up and headed for the foyer.
Spike glanced at her notebook. She'd written his name in the center, surrounded by question marks. It was the only patch of white on the page, though: the rest she'd colored a scribbled, awful black. He frowned at it, not sure what it meant. When he heard the door open, however, he dumped the notebook and went after her.
She was already halfway down the walk, her arms wrapped around herself. The wind had picked up, and Spike could smell the cold promise of rain. The silly bint hadn't even taken a coat. He snatched hers and his off the pegs by the door and followed. When he handed the wool coat to her, she took it automatically, paused, then slid her arms into it. "Where do we need to patrol?" she asked.
"Where ever you want, Slayer," he said. She nodded once, then started off, aimless as a broken compass.
The wind was cold. Almost numbing. It matched how she felt inside.
Every step through town was yet another painful reminder of her continued failure: the empty streets, the darkened windows, the traffic lights that changed for no traffic at all. She tucked her hands in her coat pockets and studied the sidewalk instead. Why were they even patrolling anyway? She'd given up on finding Ethan or anyone else who might have caused this. They'd taken out a handful of vamp nests a few weeks ago—surely they'd handled the worst of the lurking evil. So what was left except a pointless exercise?
"Smells like rain," Spike commented, sniffing the air. Buffy shrugged. So what? It wasn't like that would cure the town.
"Think the Sleepers will catch colds?" he asked.
Spike shrugged and nodded at a homeless man who'd fallen asleep on a nearby bench. "Well, it's not like they know to head for shelter," he said. "They'll be awful soggy, come morning."
"We should move them," she said automatically. People in trouble, even when they didn't know it: that was her gig. She would take care of it. It's what she did. They shouldn't be left out in the rain.
"We?" Spike said, the picture of indignant evil. Of course he didn't want to help, she thought. Why would he?
"Never mind," she said. She could handle this on her own. She didn't need Sir Fangsalot to play the white knight—not that he'd ever qualify. It took only a moment for her to pick up the homeless man—her nose scrunched to avoid the scent of months of neglected personal hygiene—and deposit him under the deep awning of a nearby shop. After a moment's thought, she wrenched the door open, and moved him inside where he'd definitely stay dry and warm.
Somehow the act calmed her. It reminded her that she had a purpose, even if it wasn't the one she'd been built for. She protected people. She was a people protector. It was what she did, what she was. Even in the depths of her despair, there was movement and purpose—a reason to keep going forward.
On autopilot she went up and down streets, shifting sleepers from sidewalks to shops, rolling up car windows that had been left down, and making sure that everyone was safe. It didn't require much thought; in fact, it required less thought than she'd put into wiping out vamp nests or looking for witches. There were no moral quandaries here: people were in danger—even if only from exposure to the elements—and Buffy saved them. What was there to debate?
Spike followed, mostly at a distance, smoking and staring until she could practically feel his eyes boring into her back every time she lifted someone to carry to safety. It gave her an itch, right between her shoulder blades, and sent a weird shivery sensation crawling down her spine. She wasn't certain what he found so endlessly fascinating about the process—it was pretty tedious—but she was aware of the intensity of his study as keenly as if he'd been standing behind her, digging a knife into her back.
They covered downtown and were heading toward the seedier side of Sunnydale when the first fat drops of rain hit the ground. For a moment, Buffy simply paused, staring up at the dark underbelly of the clouds overhead, waiting for the downpour. Then Spike grabbed her hand and hauled her after him down an alley and around a corner, his grip as cold and implacable as iron. She let herself be tugged along, not caring where he might lead her, and was somewhat surprised when he towed her through the open door of the Bronze's loading dock just as the drops turned to sheets of cold, hard rain.
Spike shook himself like a dog shaking off water, adjusted his coat, then glanced around. He smiled for the first time that evening. What the hell did he have to be so happy about? He paused near some of the band equipment sitting near the door and in danger of getting soaked, then turned back, unwrapped the chain, and yanked the loading dock door shut in three hard pulls.
"What are you doing?"
"Ruins the skins," Spike said cryptically, nodding at the stack of instrument cases. In the half light from the staging area, with the red glow of the emergency exit sign casting his face in shades of bone and blood, he looked more demonic than usual. Thunder growled softly beyond the Bronze's walls. Spike lit a cigarette, then scanned the place. "Not a bad spot to wait out the storm. Warm, dry, and most importantly ... they've got booze."
With a lift of his eyebrow, he sauntered off into the deeper shadows.
Buffy stood for a minute in her own darkness, shivering a little, listening to the sound of the rain beating against the roof. The Bronze, usually teeming with life, now echoed with silence. It felt like being in a mausoleum. She thought about sitting down right there—to sleep or to wait out the rain—then remembered that Spike was now off his leash and wandering through the club, where there were sleeping people within reach … not to mention all the other evil he could be up to. With a sigh, she followed him deeper into the building. Duty, after all, called.
From the shadows, he watched her.
The first time he'd laid eyes on her, she'd been in this place. A bright, golden girl dancing through a pulsing, sweating, pheromone-soaked mass of humanity. Her hair had been shorter, then; he thought he liked it better now, long and cascading past her shoulders. She'd worn jeans, a halter top, no bra in sight—and she'd been so damn young he could practically taste her virgin's blood. He'd felt, in that moment, like a jaguar stalking a gazelle. No matter that she was the Slayer. She might be fast, she might be strong, but he was a predator and that tiny, limber girl was prey—and he was going to enjoy every single minute it took to bring her down. Looking at her, watching her dance, breathing in her scent for the first time, he'd had the hardest hard-on of his entire existence.
Now, however, she wandered through the empty and silent club, her golden hair glinting dully in the low lighting. She was a bright thing that had been cast into the gutters, swallowed up by the hungry shadows. Her arms wrapped around her torso, and her head swiveled from side to side, searching for him, knowing he was there. Right now, right bloody NOW, she was the closest to weakened that he'd ever seen her ... and all he could do was slink after her, stalk her, and wonder at his own restraint. Thunder growled low outside. The rain picked up to a roof-rattling roar. A flash of lightning illuminated the interior, and she froze in the middle of the dance floor, her head swiveling up toward the balcony where he stood concealed.
"Spike?" she said, and there was his brave Slayer, without even the hint of fear in her voice. No nonsense, no fooling, probably fretting that he was up there snacking. Spike smirked and slid backward into the shadows.
"You better not be doing anything evil," she said, heading for the stairs. There was a tiredness to her voice that edge the fearlessness, and something about that sent a shiver down his spine. He'd sensed the same thing at least twice before, with two other Slayers: she wasn't afraid of death, wasn't actively seeking it, but she wasn't running from it anymore.
How had she become so broken, so quickly? Or maybe it hadn't been so quick, really. After all, Slayers were still human—mostly—asked to give too much, too fast, too young. Spike frowned, watching her slumped shoulders as she rounded the top of the stairs and peered into the darkness.
Maybe Angel had been right, and the way to kill this girl was by draining her heart, not her veins.
Maybe Angel could rot in hell.
"Here," he said, deliberately placing himself close behind her. She jumped, whirled, her hand reaching reflexively for a stake, and he smiled slightly in satisfaction—clearly she wasn't that far gone, yet, if she still reached for her weapon. "What's the trouble, Slayer?"
She scowled at him, started to speak, then seemed to think better of it. He watched her face as she rifled through her Rolodex of Reasons Spike Shouldn't Be Left Alone: soulless, evil, likely to kill everything in sight if left unchaperoned ... Still, he was surprised when the card she pulled was: "I couldn't find the lights."
"That so?" he said. She was at a disadvantage up here, he realized. No vamp vision, only just enough light for those human peepers of hers to see a few inches in front of her face. Another flash of lightning and a harsh clap of thunder overhead startled her—though if he hadn't been studying her face so closely he wasn't sure he'd have noticed the tremble of her eyelashes, or heard the slight stutter of her pulse. It'd be so simple to ...
He felt the cool metal in his hand and heard the rasp of the striker before he realized what he was doing. Then it seemed stupid not to reach for the tiny tea light candle holder on the nearest table. The weak little flame cast a soft glow that barely touched her face, but she immediately turned toward it.
"Here," he said, and led her to a low couch overlooking the floor below. He sank down on one end of the sofa, set the candle on the coffee table, and propped his feet up beside it.
Lightning flashed in the windows, and Spike counted the seconds before the thunder rolled over them: ... seven one-thousand, eight one-thousand, nine—
She sat down on the other end of the couch, then leaned back against the cushions and closed her eyes. Spike took the opportunity to reach into his duster's deep pockets and retrieve the bottle of whiskey and pair of shot glasses he'd liberated from the bar.
"Drink?" he asked. Her eyes cracked open long enough for her to roll them in his general direction. "Suit yourself."
He poured himself a generous shot, downed it in an easy gulp, and enjoyed the fire that burned the whole way down. Then he leaned his head against the back of the couch and lit up a cigarette. Rain pattered steadily down. Buffy breathed, her heart beat a steady tattoo, in counterpoint to the rain. Absently, he found his fingers tapping along to the rhythm. Could waltz to that, he thought, bemused.
For a moment he entertained the notion of sweeping the girl up and waltzing her down the stairs to the music of the rain and her heartbeat—a music only he could fully appreciate. She'd sense it, he knew. He remembered, vaguely, the few times he'd had the opportunity to waltz as a human, how his body had known the rhythm straight off, though he hadn't known why until later. Until he no longer had a heartbeat of his own, only the echoing symphony of others' pulses by which to dance.
And dance he had. Down blood-slick streets, under foreign stars, framed in fire that reflected in Drusilla's eyes, Spike had finally been allowed to join the dance. No longer a wallflower, he—no, he'd been Fred fucking Astaire, twirling his girl to a chorus of screams ... But Drusilla had gone on to dance alone, hadn't she? Left him alone with no one to partner, William once more.
He poured himself another shot, then a third, chasing the memories away with the fire of the alcohol. It didn't quite fill the gnawing emptiness, but it gave the illusion of it, which was all he bloody needed at the moment.
His head cleared, and he realized Buffy was staring at him. Had been, in fact, staring for several minutes. Steadily he returned her gaze.
Such eyes this one has, he thought. A man could lose himself in the depths of her eyes. A monster could drown in them. If he looked hard enough, would he find his reflection there? Would he be swallowed up in them, just a shadow moving under the surface? Or would he be denied even that tiny proof of his existence, as he was every time he looked into a glass and found himself missing?
"What are you doing?"
With a start, Spike realized he'd instinctively leaned toward her, until they were separated by no more than a half-dozen inches. He frowned, leaning back, finding his place once again.
"Nothing." he said.
"You were leaning."
"Wasn't," he insisted.
"Was. Were you thinking about biting me?"
"No," he said, automatically. It took three of her heartbeats for him to suss out that that was true: he hadn't been thinking of biting her at all.
"So what were you thinking about?" she asked, though her voice said she didn't really care.
"Nothing you'd care to hear of, Slayer." He wished he had been thinking of biting her. She gave him a look. "Well ... if you must know, I was thinking of Dru." There. That was true enough.
"You're such a bad liar."
"What? No. I ... What?" But Buffy just rolled her eyes. "I was tellin' the truth," Spike protested. "I was thinking about Dru. How we used to go dancing."
"Uh huh," she said. "But just then?"
He paused, listening to the hiss of the rain on the roof, the silence of the Bronze, the steady beat of the Slayer's heart. "I was ..." Bugger the glass. Spike took a swig straight from the bottle. "Just ... looking at your eyes, was all."
"My eyes?" This seemed to spark her interest. She frowned at him suspiciously. "What about my eyes?"
"Just ... wondered if I could see my reflection in them. That's all."
"In my eyes?"
"Yeah," Spike said, taking another pull from the bottle. "Daft thought, I know. Just ... wondered. Been a long time since I saw myself."
She was quiet for a bit, just studying him. He tried not to squirm under her gaze. "Is it weird? Not having a reflection?" she asked. "Do you ever feel like ... maybe you're not really here?"
Spike snorted. "Sometimes, yeah." He tilted his head back again and contemplated the dark stage lights hung above the dance floor. "After I died ... It was a few years before I had my picture taken. I'd forgotten what I looked like, I think, because I didn't recognize myself. I knew that I hadn't changed, not really. Nearly a decade had gone by and it was still the same face, with all the same lines, the same bones, the same skin. But somehow, I'd still changed. Familiar but not, like a long lost cousin, maybe. Started thinking of other ways I could change. Cut my hair, tried dying it, bleaching it. Whatever I was in the mood for. I'd get someone to take a photograph, so I could see. Eventually ... well, then there were video cameras."
Spike smiled, remembering. "We stole one, set it up. Spent nearly a week filming each other, Dru and I did. Bloody strange, seeing my face in motion. Seeing what I looked like when I'm vamped out. It's not the same as a reflection, though. You don't... you can't connect to it. I'd think, 'Is that really me? Is that who I am? What I look like?' Every so often, I'll stop somewhere, get a photo taken or nick a camera. I keep thinking, someday, I'll take a picture, and really see myself in it ..."
She was still watching him, her eyes huge. He leaned close again, peering into her face. "It's not fair. I cast a shadow. Why not a reflection?"
"No soul," Buffy said. "No reflection."
Spike frowned, tried to remember. "Did Angel cast a reflection?"
She frowned back. "... No."
"Wouldn't you think, what with him havin' a soul and all, he'd have a reflection? That it'd turn him into a real boy?"
"I don't know," she said. "What ... what does that mean, that he doesn't?"
Spike shrugged, took a drink, mulled it over. "Maybe it means that it's not the soul that matters after all."
Neither of them seemed to know what to do with that thought, and the rain took over the conversation for a little while. The silence wasn't awkward, though it should have been, Spike thought. It was, for lack of a better word, companionable.
Finally, Buffy turned to look at him again. "Your roots are starting to show."
He fingered his curls, knowing from long experience that he wouldn't be able to tell from texture alone where Spike-blond left off and plain old William-brown began. Good thing he carried a spare kit with his stuff, though if the spell lasted too long, he'd have to pinch some more bleach when she wasn't looking.
"Do you ...?" Buffy frowned, bit her lip and looked away.
"What?" he asked.
"I just ... nevermind. Dumb question." He stared at her until she mumbled. "I just wondered if you do it yourself. The bleaching, I mean."
He chuckled. Sometimes she was just so bloody adorable ... "Shall I tell you a story?" he asked, before he could stop himself.
"Does it involve killing or torture?"
"No killing, but there was a fair bit of pain. All mine, I assure you," he said. "No humans harmed in the making of this picture."
"How I do know you're telling me the truth?"
"You don't. You'll just have to trust me." She looked away, and for some reason that irritated him. He touched her hand. "It's the truth, Slayer. Got no reason to lie to you."
She was silent for so long he thought she'd forgotten him. "All right," she said, eventually. "Tell me a story."
"Right," he said, then wondered what he'd gotten himself into. A swig of whiskey helped, at least with the courage. "So ... first time I bleached my hair was in ... let's see, must've been 1924? I remember we were staying in this abandoned place with a rusted-out bathroom—which didn't matter much, all things considered. We'd been to the cinema, Hunchback of Notre Dame, I think—"
"With the singing gargoyles?"
"No, the old black and white. This is the 1920's, Slayer, keep up. We were strolling home, past a shop, and Dru saw something she wanted. Can't remember what, now, but... we broke in. I was looking for pomade, and I found this box: home hair bleaching kit. It was for women, I think. Drawing on the front of some starlet with white-blonde hair. There were instructions. Don't know why, but I pocketed it. Couple of days later, I got bored and pulled it out. Didn't look all that hard to do. Box suggested you let someone help, but Dru was having a bad day and ... so I went in the bathroom, shut the door and read the instructions through. Then I got a towel and set to work."
"With no mirror?" Buffy's eyebrows shot to the top of her head.
"Didn't think of that till I had the bloody stuff on my head, did I?" Spike snorted, fingering the rim of the whiskey bottle. "God, it was a mess. Peroxide crap everywhere. It stung like hell, too, and I ended up with burns on my scalp and neck and shoulders. Healed up pretty fast, but I spent most of the rest of the day locked in the bathroom, refusing to let Dru see me, until the worst of the burns were gone. Ruined a good shirt, too. It was a right mess, it was. Course, it was worth it, when Dru saw it, after. At least ... right up until she told me I'd missed a chunk in the back."
"And yet you keep doing it," Buffy said. "Masochist much?"
"I got better at it." Spike shrugged. "Let Dru do it once, and she spent half the time trying to burn me. After that it was a one-vamp job."
She stared at him for a long time, her gaze shifting between his hair and his face. "You're a very weird vampire," she said finally.
Once more the rain took over, filling the silence. Spike was feeling almost warm, thanks in part to the whiskey, and more than a little mellow. His plans to piss off the Slayer had drifted away, replaced instead by languor. He was content as a cat to simply sit there, quietly, and listen to the rain. There was something about it that made his poetic heart float nearer the surface, soothing the need he always felt for blood and violence. He wondered, vaguely, how much of that was the rain, and how much of it was the girl at his side who, for once, wasn't snarking at him, or being bitchy, or reminding him of what a foul, loathsome thing he was.
He glanced at her again, watching as the candlelight painted the smooth curves and angles of her tiny face with flickering shadows. Her eyes seemed unnaturally dark, with bright pinpricks in the centers. All that's best of dark and bright, meets in her aspect and her eyes ...
"What?" she said, glancing at him.
"I didn't say anything."
"You said something about dark eyes," Buffy said. "It sounded like a poem."
Balls. That's what he got for thinking aloud. "Nothing," he said, then realized she'd know it for a lie. "I mean, yeah, it's a poem. Byron."
"Oh." She plucked at her coat, thinking. "Do you miss her?"
"Drusilla," she said.
"Yeah," he said. "I miss her. I miss her like I miss my heartbeat."
More silence. Spike wondered where the Slayer's thoughts had wandered that she'd landed on Drusilla.
"How long were you together?" Buffy asked, sounding a little like the question had been dragged from her.
"More than a century," Spike said, then did some mental arithmetic. "Hundred and eighteen years or so, give or take. Would still be with her if ... if we'd been able to work it out, after."
"I guess torturing her didn't work, huh?"
"No," he admitted, taking another swig. "Not exactly. Wouldn't let me within ten feet of her. Said I..."
Later, he'd blame the alcohol for loosening his tongue. There was no other reason he should lay his pain bare before his mortal enemy. "Said I wasn't demon enough. That I smelled of ... Slayer. She left me. Said we had no future together. She didn't even say goodbye."
"I know how that feels," Buffy murmured, and he turned his head toward her in astonishment. She was staring at the candle as if thralled, her voice so soft he had to strain to hear it over the rain. "Angel left... he didn't ... he didn't say goodbye either."
There were a million things he could say. Mean things, hurtful things, things that would dig into the cracks of her heart so deeply that it wouldn't take much to pry it apart. But the first thing that sprang to his mind, and his tongue, was: "Idiots, the both of them."
Now it was her turn to stare with surprise. He shrugged, decided to play the hand he'd been dealt: "Well, look at us. We're intelligent, sexy, attractive ... and we loved them to bloody pieces. If you thought, for one minute, that there was a chance for you and Angel to have your happily ever after, you'd have fought for it tooth and nail, wouldn't you?" She nodded. "There, see? Idiots, givin' us up so easily."
She smiled wryly, and he felt an odd little surge of triumph. "I just don't understand why it was so easy," she said. "I mean, killing him ... it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But he turned and walked away from me like ... and then he never ... called, or ..."
"I thought we were forever, Dru and me," Spike said, wondering where he'd put the rest of the whiskey. The bottle was depressingly empty. "Guess there's no such thing."
"There should be. Love should be forever. The real true kind," Buffy said, her gaze once more on the candle. "I'll never stop loving him."
"Never stop," Spike said. "That's the thing, you know, that they don't tell you about bein' undead. Your heart stops beating, yeah, but it can still hurt like a bitch when it's broken."
"You're not supposed to be able to love." The candle flame danced in her eyes.
"Not supposed to be walking and talking and sneezing, either. Still do. Don't need a soul to love, pet. Just a heart."
"Then why, when he lost his soul, did Angel stop..."
"Because he doesn't have one. Don't think he had one when he was human. Darla either, for that matter. Somethin' broken in them, before they were vampires. Not quite human, even then. Heartless, soulless. Why do you think the soul was such a curse? Dru, though, she had a heart. Angel did his best to kill it, but all he managed to shatter was her mind. Left her a bit off, but she loved. I know she did. Loved me, much as she was able. Not enough, though. Never enough." He took a swig from his bottle and finished it off. "God ... what a pair we are."
"What a pair," Buffy echoed, and sniffled a little.
When he looked over at her, he was surprised to see tears tracking silently down her cheeks. Something within him clenched. He rummaged in his duster pockets and came up with a hanky, but it was smudged with something dark that could have been blood or maybe oil from the DeSoto. He unfolded it and found a reasonably clean corner to offer her.
"Slayer? Don't ... it's just the rain and the ... bloody hell, don't cry. Here, know what we should do? Once we break this soddin' spell, you an' me? We should hunt them both down and kill them. Like a project yeah? You stake Angel, and I'll do Dru."
She laughed, but it was a bit soggy. Awkwardly he patted her shoulder. "There, there," he murmured, not sure what to do with her now. "Want some liquor? 'Fraid I'm out, but I could go get you a girly drink or something?"
"No," she said, and swiped the back of her hand across her eyes. "Can we just ... sit? Rest?"
Weak. She's so weak right now.
"Yeah," he said, settling back into his corner. "We can do that."
Author's Note: boy that cut tag went wonky. Sorry. Having a rotten day.