|Can't Buy Me Love
Goodbye Blue Sky
Some surprises await our heroes in London ... will they be good or bad surprises?
Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay born March 11, 2010
Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004
The twins (Danielle Dawn, "Dani" and William Rupert, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004.
Annie was born on February 14th, 1999
Spike and Buffy were married in February 1999
Buffy was born January 19th, 1981
William/Spike was turned by Dru in
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions and got the memories from the 'Rome' Universe in May, 2003.
The ‘Wish-World’ lasted from January 19th, 2005 to January, 16th 2010.
Goodbye Blue Sky, Pink Floyd
I’m taking some liberties with actual facts regarding the deep level tunnels in London. These tunnels/landings were built in the 1930’s as congestion on the Underground grew and were going to be used for an express train across London from Belsize Park to Clapham South. During WWII, they were used by the populace as bomb shelters. After the war, they never got enough funding to completely link all the deep level stations together and the project was scrapped. These days, many of the deep level stations are being rented to companies to store documents in. In this Universe, the tunnels have been taken over and have been extended by the Council and are connected all the way up to Baker Street Station and the Council uses them for storage of documents, among other things. If you’d like more info on them in real life, try this blog: http://underground-history.co.uk/shelters.php
The "Second Great Fire of London" is a name used at the time to refer to one of the most destructive air raids of the London Blitz, over the night of 29/30 December 1940. Between 6pm and 6am the next day, more than 24,000 high explosive bombs and 100,000 incendiary bombs were dropped by the Germans. The largest continuous area of Blitz destruction anywhere in Britain occurred on this night, stretching south from Islington to the very edge of St Paul's Churchyard. The area destroyed was greater than that of the Great Fire of London in 1666. More info on the Second Great Fire of London: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Great_Fire_of_London
ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:
Special thanks to 'epd4' for betaing this chapter!!
|Rating / Warnings:
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.
Saturday, April 24th, 2010, 7:30pm, London:
Giles scanned the crowd of waiting drivers at the airport for a placard with his name on it, but found nothing. The bloody Council wankers were supposed to send a car. Dear Lord, I’ve been hanging around Spike too long.
As Buffy and Spike came up behind him, carrying all the luggage, he told them the bad news. “It appears we’ve been forgotten …” he began as the warriors-turned-Skycaps dropped the bags on the floor.
“No … there,” Buffy corrected him, pointing to the other side of the gate, away from where all the professional drivers were waiting for their fares.
“Dear Lord…” Giles muttered under his breath, “…Olivia.”
Buffy gave him a self-satisfied grin. “I may not be subtle or stealthy, but I do know how to pick up the phone, which apparently, even after playing with it for ten hours on the plane, you haven’t mastered yet…”
“Buffy … you really shouldn’t…” Giles began to protest.
“You wouldn’t do it – someone had to. She’s here, isn’t she? That must mean something … she could’ve just not come,” Buffy pointed out.
“You are completely insufferable,” Giles chastised his Slayer.
“Yeah, but in a totally adorable and lovable way,” she countered with a smile.
When Giles just stood there, Buffy grabbed his garment bag and hung it over his shoulder and picked up his carry-on and put it in his hand. “So – go already!” she encouraged him, waving her arm towards the waiting woman.
“But … what about you two?” Giles questioned.
“We’re big kids … I’m sure we can find our way to the hotel. Now go! We’ll see you Monday morning – and not before!” Buffy asserted, wagging a finger at him.
“B-but … we should … plan …” Giles objected.
“We’ve planned, we had a plan-a-thon … we’re all planned out, we’ve done everything but build a diorama!" Buffy pointed out.
"A diorama! That's a splendid idea..." Giles began brightly.
"Giles!" Buffy interrupted him. "No dioramas! Go see her! She came all the way out here, you should at least let her give you a ride …” Buffy insisted as she pushed him in the back towards the gate and shot Spike a look over her shoulder that dared him to say something lewd in response to that.
“Are you quite certain?” Giles questioned as she pushed him towards the woman waiting on the other side of the security gate.
“Beyond certain …”
“Olivia …” Giles began tentatively when he reached her. “How good of you to come.”
“It’s been a long time, Rupert …”
“Indeed … quite a long time. How have you been?” Giles continued, shifting uneasily from foot to foot and trying to sound casual.
“Well … and you?”
“Oh! Well, yes, very well,” Giles stammered. You aren’t fourteen! Say something intelligent! he admonished himself silently.
“It’s quite warm for April, isn’t it?” Giles questioned, mentally rolling his eyes at himself for the absurdity of that question.
“Yes … quite,” Olivia agreed, thinking that he was really adorable when he was so uncomfortable – she didn’t know if he would be glad to see her or not. It did her heart good to know she could reduce him to talking about the weather.
“So … anything new with you, Rupert?” she continued when he didn’t say anything else after a few moments.
“New? Uhhhh … oh! Yes, indeed, new! I have a son! Edmond – eight weeks old yesterday,” Giles started, pulling out the phone that Willow had sent with all the photos on it.
“A son? But … I thought … Buffy said you were … single,” Olivia stammered, confused.
“Single … yes, indeed, actually I am,” Giles agreed. “It’s a quite long story … I was a sperm donor for some very dear friends,” Giles explained. “Well … I guess it wasn’t that long, after all,” Giles admitted, pulling up the photos on the smart phone to show Olivia.
“Oh! He’s simply a doll!” she gushed, taking the phone from his hands to admire the photos more closely. “He’s got your strong chin and kind eyes…”
Giles removed his glasses and met her eyes. “I’m sorry I didn’t call you … I thought, well, I thought that the reality of demons and monsters and magics was simply too much for you.”
Olivia shrugged. “I thought they were too … until your girl called and … I don’t know, I just started thinking again, perhaps I simply must learn to endure the bad in order to have the good … and you are a good man, Rupert. I’ve never met anyone quite like you before or since…”
“That’s quite … flattering,” Giles admitted. “I’ve thought of you often…”
“Shall we get some dinner, then? Catch up?” Olivia offered.
“That would be … splendid.”
“How do you like that phone? I’ve been thinking of getting one,” Olivia began as Giles picked up his bag and they began walking towards the exit together.
“It’s smashing! Well … the parts I’ve mastered are. Perhaps you could help me with the internet bits … my world wide web speak is a little weak…”
Buffy and Spike stood and watched as Giles and Olivia talked. Spike moaning heavily when Giles asked about the weather. “He’s blowin’ it,” Spike told Buffy as he listened – the distance between them and Giles too far for Buffy to hear.
“Oh, bloody hell …” Spike moaned when Giles pulled out the phone and started talking about Edmond. “He’s such an enormous git.”
“No wait …” Buffy interjected, laying a hand on Spike’s arm when Olivia smiled at the photos. “He may pull it off.”
“He’s got no bloody style … no romance,” Spike lamented, shaking his head.
When Giles picked up his bag and they started walking away, Buffy clapped her hands and hugged Spike’s neck in victory. “He did it!”
Spike laughed at his wife, she was so easily delighted. “I reckon he did.”
Spike and Buffy headed out of the airport and took a black cab to their hotel, which wasn’t far from the Council headquarters, on Baker Street in the heart of London. Buffy thought it was somewhat ironic that the Sherlock Holmes museum was just down the road, given the sleuth-y nature of their mission here.
After getting checked in, calling home, talking to Faith and the kids, and then cleaning up a bit, they headed out to a nearby chippy for a classic meal … fish & chips.
After ordering and getting their food, which wasn’t on a plate, but wrapped in white paper, they headed for one of the outside tables to sit and eat. Buffy hesitated, looking around the counter for something.
“What ya looking for, luv?” Spike questioned when she didn’t follow behind him right away.
Spike’s brows shot up. “Ain’t no bloody ketchup. Already got salt & vinegar … that’s all ya need.”
Buffy frowned and looked down at the food. “Tartar sauce?” she tried.
“Noooooo ….” Spike chastised her. “It’s not bloody McDonald’s; those aren’t French fries, they’re chips, and that’s not pressed fish bits and bobs … this is real food.”
Buffy pouted as she followed Spike outside and found a table. “I don’t think I like real food…”
After they ate, they walked down Baker Street to the Council’s headquarters building. Late on a Saturday night, the streets around the historical, three-story building were deserted and the windows were dark.
“Must be nice,” Buffy mused as they walked around the entire building, surveying the area.
“What?” Spike questioned.
“To be able to work nine to five and go home to your family at night; to spend Saturdays in the park and Sundays at the beach and not have to worry about what’s going to jump out of the bushes or what’s waiting for you around the next corner,” she explained, running a hand over the small bulge in her tummy and their baby growing within her.
Spike stopped and turned her to face him. “I don’t much picture you a desk jockey, Slayer. You’re not a shop-girl or secretary or one of those perky clerks workin’ at the hotel; you’re the bloody Slayer,” Spike reminded her adamantly.
Buffy sighed. “There are days when I really wish I wasn’t,” she admitted. “I mean, don’t you sometimes wish we just had normal jobs that we could walk away from at five o’clock and just forget about until the next day? Jobs that we didn’t have to live twenty-four hours a day? That weren’t actually part of our DNA? Jobs that didn’t take us away from our family or put them in danger?”
Spike shook his head. “No. Buffy, I had that life and it wasn’t a bad life as lives go. I had ‘normal’ … a wife and 2.5 children and a job I could forget about when I got home, but I wouldn’t go back to that for any amount of blood or money,” Spike assured her. “How did Thoreau put it? ‘The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.’ We don’t. We live large … we strike at the root of evil while the wankers in that building just prune the bloody limbs. Do you really want to live in the shadows … be one of the sheep that denies the wolf even exists? We make a difference – you make a difference.”
Buffy leaned into him and Spike wrapped his arms around her. “I wouldn’t make a difference without you,” she whispered against his chest.
“And I wouldn’t make a difference without you,” Spike breathed against her golden tresses. “I wish I could’ve kept Bess safe. I wish I could say nothing bad will ever happen to any of the bits or to you or me, but bad things happen every day. Not just to Slayers and vampires, but normal people leading normal lives. At least we have the advantage of being able to do something about it … we know the wolf is out there and we know how to fight it.”
Buffy nodded against him and sighed and he dropped a kiss on top of her head. “C’mon pet, let’s see what we can find under the bastille.”
They dropped down into the storm sewers next to the Council building and began walking, but could find no evidence of anything under the building … it just looked like normal sewers … just like in any other old city in the world.
About halfway around the perimeter of the building, the shallow stream of water and muck that they had been trudging through dried up. After walking a few feet in the nearly dry section of the sewer, Buffy stopped and shone her flashlight back behind them. “Wait,” she called to Spike, who had kept walking.
“What is it?”
“Something’s weird here … why is it suddenly dry?” she questioned moving back to where the water and muck ended. She crouched down and looked more closely at the bottom of the tunnel. “The water’s running out these cracks in the floor,” she observed aloud. “What would be under the sewers that would let that much water run out?” Buffy questioned, looking up at Spike.
Spike shrugged. “One way to find out…” he muttered as he began stomping down on the old bricks at their feet. After a few minutes of kicking and stomping on the floor of the tunnel, they had a hole opened up large enough for them to fit through. Spike lay on his stomach and leaned his torso down through the hole and looked around … it was an old, abandoned spiral staircase leading down even further under the streets of the city.
Spike and Buffy dropped down onto the wet stairs and began slowly making their way deeper underground. The stairs seemed to go on forever, at least four stories, and finally opened up into another tunnel. Except for the small river of water that followed the staircase down from the sewers above, this tunnel was dry and had lights along the ceiling … definitely not a sewer tunnel.
“What is this?” Buffy questioned, shining her flashlight in the darker corners that weren’t well lit.
Her light stopped on a faded sign that hung on a door. “Ministry of Public Building and Works,” she read aloud. “These doors must not be left open. Danger – keep clear.”
The pair walked further down the tunnel and found old public restrooms marked “Men” and “Women”, then further down they found a first aid station and what looked like an old canteen or cafeteria.
“Bomb shelter,” Spike surmised after looking around a few minutes.
“Wow …seriously?” Buffy questioned, as they walked further down the long tunnel. “They must’ve been expecting some heavy artillery to be this deep.”
“Expected and received, pet. During World War II, the Luftwaffe bombed London pretty regular. During the Blitz, it was bombed every night for weeks on end with no let-up …” Spike enlightened her as they walked.
“Wow …” was all Buffy could say, shaking her head. “That must’ve been horrible … being totally helpless as bombs fell from the sky. Probably packed in here like sardines … families … kids…” Buffy mused quietly, thinking of how it must’ve felt for the Londoners to be faced with a feeling of being completely helpless to keep their families safe from harm.
“You still want that normal life … to be helpless against the barrage?” Spike questioned, as if reading her mind.
Buffy sighed. “No. I don’t really do ‘helpless’ very well,” she admitted as they kept walking.
“‘Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense,’” Spike quoted Churchill. “That’s all we can do, luv, keeping fightin’ … never give in.”
Buffy nodded. The only thing she had ever given in to was hopelessness … the prospect of life without Spike, without her family, was the thing that could bring her to her knees. She’d been willing to sacrifice herself for them before, more than once, but she didn’t consider that giving in or giving up – that was protecting the ones she loved. The only enemy that had ever truly defeated her was the emptiness in her soul that she felt when she’d lost him and their family. That was her kryptonite … her Achilles heel – she was, in fact, her own worst enemy in that regard, and she really had no idea how to combat that. She could fight and kill demons and dust vampires … she could even kill a human if there was no other recourse, but she had no defense against the emptiness she felt inside when faced with an eternity without Spike, without her family.
“Hello? Earth to Slayer… ya with me?” Spike called, waving a hand in front of her face and pulling her from her thoughts.
Buffy smiled and nodded. “Yeah … right here,” she answered, coming back to the moment.
“You were gone for a minute there … so, do we try this side tunnel, then?” Spike questioned again.
Buffy shined her light down a smaller tunnel leading off to the left of the main one and shrugged. “Sure, why not?”
About fifty feet down the tunnel, another tunnel intercepted it, this one was filled floor to ceiling with cardboard boxes. Spike pulled one of the boxes off the top and dropped it on the floor before pulling the lid off. They both bent over to see what was in the box: books … leather-bound, ancient tomes – the first one had ‘Vampyr’ emblazoned in gold leaf on the spine.
Spike and Buffy’s eyes met. “Watchers,” they both announced at once, standing back up. They looked down the tunnel, which seemed to go on forever, stacked with boxes upon boxes on each side of a narrow walkway.
“There must be a way in from down here…” Buffy voiced the same thing Spike was thinking as they both started walking quickly through the forest of musty cardboard.
About a hundred yards down, the tunnel opened up into a wider section, like a round room or chamber, which was free of boxes. On their left was a set of doors … doors they had both seen before … in Billy’s dream.
“Oh my God! This is it!” Buffy exclaimed, shining the light over the heavy, metal doors.
They both walked up to the doors quickly and pulled on the handles, but they didn’t budge. Buffy slid one of the peephole covers to the side and looked in, but it was completely black, she couldn’t see anything.
“You look …” Buffy suggested, backing up to let Spike up to the peephole.
Spike bit down on his lip as he looked through the hole. Behind the door was the antechamber where he had fought with Bess … the room in Billy’s dream, seemingly carved out of solid stone. “This is it …” he agreed. “We have ta get this bloody door open.
“Stay here, I’ll be right back,” he told Buffy as he started running back towards the main tunnel.
“Where are you going?”
“Get somethin’ to pry with…”
While Spike was gone, Buffy pulled and pushed and tried to move the heavy handles and bolts on the doors, but to no avail. It seemed like Spike was gone for hours, but certainly not more than twenty minutes. When he got back, he had a pick and some chisels, a sledge hammer and some heavy metal pipes and bars.
“Where did you get this stuff?” Buffy questioned, looking over his bounty.
“Never mind that… you don’t wanna know,” Spike advised her. “Here, you work on the bottom, I’ll work the top. The stone is weaker than the metal … chisel out around the hinges then we’ll pry it open.”
Buffy thought for sure someone would show up to stop them from their work at any moment. They were making enough noise to wake the dead … literally, but no one ever showed up. They finally got the hinges free from their moorings, then used the steel bars to pry the door open from the hinge side, getting it open just far enough for them to shimmy through.
Once inside the antechamber, they reached back out and pulled the tools in with them and started on the door that they knew led to the cells … and to Bess. They worked feverishly, gaining confidence that no guards were on duty, or if they were, they were sleeping somewhere out of earshot, as Faith and Wes had told them was apt to be the case. They finally got the second set of doors open, just as they had the first, by chiseling out the stone and freeing the hinges. Before prying the door open, Spike stopped and took Buffy by the upper arms, making her focus on him.
“When we go in, first priority is gettin’ Bess out. Don’t worry about the others … we can come back later and deal with them – let’s get Bess, get her out and safe, then worry with what else needs to be done later, yeah?” he admonished her.
Buffy nodded her agreement, her heart racing in her chest as her pulse thundered in her ears. This was it … they were almost there.
Spike pried the door open just enough for them to get through, bringing the long, heavy pry bar with him to use on the bars of their daughter’s cell. When the prisoners in the cellblock saw the warriors, they began jeering and yelling, which Buffy thought was strange because in the dream they had all cowered in the darkest corners of their cells. Then she realized, she’d had a torch in the dream, not a flashlight; fire and vampires were un-mixy. Buffy turned and scanned the wall with her light until she found an unlit torch in a sconce on the wall.
“Please tell me you have your lighter,” she begged Spike as she reached for the torch.
Despite rarely smoking anymore, Spike always kept his lighter in his pocket, just in case the urge for a smoke got overwhelming …plus, he’d had it for years, he just didn’t feel right without it, kind of off-balance. Spike lit the torch as Buffy held it and suddenly all the vamps quieted down and shied away from them as they walked down the hallway and looked for Bess.
Buffy pointed out the cell that she’d been in in the dream, but that cell was empty, the door unlocked and standing open. “Oh God … you don’t think they …” she began, looking wide-eyed at Spike.
Spike’s look of frustration and anger and guilt stopped her from finishing her thought. “They probably just moved her…” she suggested, going back to the beginning of the hallway and looking closely in all the cells for the matted blonde hair of their daughter.
They worked their way slowly down the corridor, checking for her in the cells on each side, but Bess wasn’t in any of them. At the end of the long hallway, they came to two doors – a white one on the right and a blue one on the left, just as Spike had seen in Billy’s dream. Spike opened the blue door first, flinging it open and looking inside warily … but there was no one in there. Buffy lifted the torch and her flashlight and looked inside.
“My God…” she muttered involuntarily as shadowy outlines of innumerable tools of torture were illuminated. She had no idea what some of the things even were … but some were easily recognizable: whips, chains, shackles, knives of every description, machetes, sickles, swords, branding irons, chain saws, pitchforks, stakes, a car battery with jumper cables, a cattle prod, a blowtorch … even a guillotine.
Spike recognized more things than Buffy … medieval torture devices like a head crusher and a knee splitter, a Judas chair, a pear of anguish, a rack … it looked like everyone from Spanish Inquisition to the KGB to the Khmer Rouge had had fire sales, and the Council had made them all deals they couldn’t refuse.
Spike pushed Buffy back out of the door and pulled it closed, his only consolation was the knowledge that Bess had never been in that room. They were down to the last room … the white room, as Bess had called it; the room where her captors took her, and other prisoners, to watch them copulate … and get their own rocks off.
Spike pointed at the last door and Buffy nodded, moving to one side of the door as Spike moved to the other. When they were set, Spike reached over and turned the handle and pushed the door open slowly. All the lights were off except one … shining on Bess, who was strapped down to one of the tables in the center of the room.
“Bess!” Buffy exclaimed in utter relief, rushing in towards their daughter without thinking. Her mind had been conjuring all sorts of scenarios as they searched the dark dungeon for their daughter … none of which were good.
Suddenly Spike’s gut lurched … something was wrong. “NO! TRAP!” he screamed as he reached out and tried to catch his wife, but it was too late, she was out of reach. Buffy was hit with four tranquilizer darts before she could get halfway to Bess, and she collapsed onto the sterile floor in an unconscious heap, dropping the torch and flashlight she’d been carrying.
Spike morphed into the demon and roared in anger as he rushed in behind her, screaming her name. As the darts embedded in his flesh, he yanked them out, the wounds healing almost as quickly as the darts were removed, but the drugs were being injected into his system with each shot. He managed to make it to where Buffy collapsed on the floor and picked her up … but the floor was starting to tilt and the walls were spinning. Another dart hit him in the middle of his back and he couldn’t reach it to pull it out. He stumbled back towards the door with Buffy in his arms … blinking his eyes to try and see more clearly … the door seemed to be moving, then there were two of them … then three … then … it was gone. He shook his head, trying to clear his vision as he moved blindly in the direction he knew the door was.
Spike fell to his knees and yelled out in pain as another dart embedded in the back of his neck, in his spine. As he pushed himself back to his feet, yet another dart hit its mark in the side of his neck, in his jugular, and he felt something hard slam against the back of his head. He stumbled forward, unable to keep his balance, and Buffy fell from his arms as everything went black.
The last thing Spike heard before completely losing consciousness was Bess screaming, “NOOOOO!!” as that small glimmer of hope she had allowed into the light exploded into dust. Just as surely as the Second Great Fire of London reduced the heart of the city to ashes, leaving nothing but smoldering cinders and crushed lives in its wake, Bess felt her heart crumble and the dream of freedom that she’d foolishly dared to dream go up in wisps of acrid smoke which blackened the promised blue sky that waited outside the dungeon walls.
Goodbye Blue Sky, Pink Floyd
"Look mummy, there's an aeroplane up in the sky"
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