Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Chapter Title:


Beggars and Choosers

Chapter Summary:


Buffy, Annie, and Gift-less!Spike travel to the vineyard to retrieve the scythe then back to the base camp. Spike has a bit of news that he ‘forgot’ to mention to Buffy earlier.


Time line:

April 2011




  • Elizabeth Anne, "Buffy" Summers was born January 19th, 1981.

  • William Wesley Weckerly, "Spike" was born August 20, 1852 to Anne and Henry of Clapham, England. Father died in 1856. Turned by Dru in 1880 1890. First came to Sunnydale in September, 1997.

  • Spike and Buffy were married in  February 1999, a few days before birth of first daughter.

  • Anne Joyce, "Annie" ("Niblett") was born on February 14th, 1999.

  • The twins, Danielle Dawn, "Dani" ("Lemon Drop") and William Rupert, "Billy" (or "Junior") were born on February 12th, 2004.

  • MacKenzie Verity, " 'Kenzie" ("Testarosa") Weckerly was born October 9th, 2010.

  • Elizabeth Anne "Bess" ("Buttercup") Weckerly, created from Hallie/Cecily's vengeance wish as a clone of Dani, was born in 1887. Called as a Slayer in 1900. Turned August 1901. Reunited with biological parents in 2010 after living entire unlife imprisoned by the Council, who restored her soul.



  • Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay was born March 11, 2010.

  • Joshua Jacheal "JJ" ("Whelp") Harris was born on April 21st, 2004.


Other milestones:

  • 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 'Evil Joss' Universe in May, 2003.

  • The ‘Wish-World’ lasted from January 19th, 2005 to January, 16th 2010.



Music Referenced: Beggars and Choosers, Soul Asylum


ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:


Thanks: To u2fan2005 and epd4 for their suggestions, corrections, and help betaing this chapter and to Anona for her grammatical and punctuation corrections, wonderful commentary, and final review. Thanks also to Capella42 for her insightful suggestions that made the whole story better. All mistakes are mine because I simply cannot stop fiddling right up to the last moment.
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.

Early morning hours of the next day, Saturday, April, 16th, 2011, Gift-less Dimension:


Buffy lay in her bed and tried to sleep. Despite her exhaustion, sleep was an elusive butterfly that fluttered only briefly in the corners of her mind, not allowing her to get any real rest. Her mind was its own worst enemy as thoughts and worries bombarded her from all sides. Worries about MacKenzie, left alone in the minivan strapped into her carrier, and worries about Spike and Bess and how they had fared against the sea demon were the backdrop to her mental operetta. In the foreground, thoughts of how she and Annie were going to get back to their own world with a huge demon doodlebug pit in the way and flying vampire bats bombarding them from the air took center stage. 


She tried to tell herself that MacKenzie would be alright. Buffy’d left the door of the van open and it wasn’t that hot or cold that day. Surely some Good Samaritan … what she might’ve once called a ‘busybody’, would notice the baby and call the police. Now that she had time to really concentrate, she tried to contact Spike through the bond. She knew that it would be an exercise in futility before she even started, but had to try. Futility won; there was no response. She wondered if she could get to him in their dreams, like she had in the Wish World, but deep sleep was so far from her grasp that she couldn’t even try.


The silence in the room rang in her ears, literally, and the darkness was almost painfully black when she opened her eyes. Not one clock ticked or motor hummed, not one car passed on the street, not one truck rumbled down the freeway in the distance, not one radio played, not one computer dinged its announcement of an email being received. She couldn’t even hear any crickets chirping outside or dogs barking. There were no electronics blinking little green 12:00s at her, no little dots of light from the cable box or the TV staring back at her from the dark, no night lights, no little red light from the smoke detector standing watch above her.  She’d never heard so much silence or seen so much nothingness. 


After tossing and turning for what seemed hours, she finally got up and went into the dark hallway. She didn’t actually need a light here. Despite the years since she’d lived in this house, every inch, every creaky floorboard, was still ingrained in her memories.


She walked to the stairs and started down slowly, silently, not wanting to wake Spike if he was sleeping on the couch rather than actually standing watch. She stopped halfway down, frozen, as he came into view. He was backlit by a glowing yellow light from outside as he stood in front of the large picture-window in the living room. For a moment, Buffy thought that they were lights from a distant city on the horizon – perhaps L.A.  Slowly, she realized it was the wrong direction for L.A., or any other city large enough to light the sky. She furrowed her brow as she thought, then it dawned on her. It was the glow from the ever-burning fires the demons kept stoked to block out the sun. Despite the reason for the light in the distance, she was happy for it. It made her eyes feel like they still had a purpose.


She turned her attention back to Spike. He was standing watch, literally. His feet were spread apart, his left hand rested on the hilt of his sword, the tip of which was on the floor near his left foot. From the bend in his right elbow she knew his other hand was hooked over his belt buckle, despite the fact that she couldn’t actually see it. Sometime between the time he’d left her and now, he’d cut his hair and bleached it. She could see the light from outside the windows reflected off the now near-white crown he wore. She wasn’t sure how she felt about that. It was easier to see him as Not-Her-Spike with the curly mane of brown. This way was going to be harder, for her and Annie. On the other hand she knew without a doubt why he’d done it – for her, because she was ‘back’, and that touched her deep down inside.


Despite not being able to feel his soul before when he caught them at his ‘Buffy altar’, now that everything was still and utterly silent, she thought she could just get a whisper of it.  She always thought there was some of William’s soul left in him, a part that the demon couldn’t completely vanquish, and now she was certain of it.


As she studied him, he turned his head slowly, as if just sensing her, and met her eyes across the darkness of the room. Buffy cleared her throat nervously and tried to act like she was just then coming down the stairs, hoping he didn’t know how long she’d been standing there.


Spike turned back towards the window as she stepped up next to him. “Penny …” she offered quietly.


Spike snorted. “You’d get the short end o’ that bargain, pet.”


“It’s my penny – try me.”


Spike sighed and turned to face her, his look serious. “Buffy, the people here – they aren’t the people you know or … knew. They’ve changed, we all have. Don’t trust anyone. Not even me.”


“Spiiike,” Buffy whined as if to contradict him.


“No, Slayer!” Spike growled angrily, picking up the sword in his hand and flinging it tip-first into the wood floor so hard that it stuck there.  He grabbed Buffy by the upper arms and held her tight, bending down slightly to look her directly in the eye and forcing her to focus on him. “Listen to me now. I may never have the stones t’ say this to ya again. Trust no one. Anyone gets in your way o’ leaving his hell, kill ‘em – human, demon, don’t matter.  If I get in your way, dust me. 


“We been livin’ in hell. When they find out there’s a way outta here – they’ll do anything to take it. If that means walkin’ over you, leaving you and that little bit here, they will. And that bloody well includes me. You need to decide now, Buffy – promise me right now: anyone gets in your way, you go through ‘em. There’s no mercy in war, and this is war.”


Buffy saw Spike’s eyes flash with flecks of gold as he spoke. He held her gaze for several long moments, waiting for her to make the promise. When she said nothing, he shook her and tightened his grip painfully on her upper arms. “Promise me, Slayer,” he demanded, his voice a barely contained snarl.


Buffy didn’t wince or pull back, but kept her gaze locked on his. She didn’t believe for one second that he would go and leave her and Annie here. “You’d never do that, Spike,” she finally informed him flatly.


“No? How ‘bout this then? You go … I follow ya, slip out just behind ya ‘fore the portal closes.  I kill your Spike and take his place. That sound like somethin’ I would do?


“Never forget who I am, Slayer. I’m a monster. Trust no one. Make the promise,” Spike insisted.


Tears welled behind Buffy’s eyes and she blinked them back before they could surface. She couldn’t deny that it did sound like something a desperate, nearly soulless Spike would be tempted to do. Finally she nodded. “I promise.”


Spike nodded resolutely and released her arms as he stood back up straight.


“But you’re no monster,” she added. “You’re a man. You’re a man with a poet’s heart and a little piece of William’s soul still buried deep in you.  I have to trust someone, Spike. I choose to trust you, to believe in you.”


“You’re a fool,” he informed her tersely as he pulled the sword out of the floor.


“Maybe,” she agreed.


He turned and offered the hilt to her. “This is yours. It’s the only thing that’ll make any dent in the Turok-Han or the Rutilus … errr … Jacks. Take it.”


Buffy looked at the sword. She hadn’t really focused on it before, but now she could see what it was: the sword that she used to send Angel to hell with and stop Acathla. 


“Blessed by Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot,” Spike offered.


Buffy looked at him like he’d lost his mind. Spike shrugged. “Or some other muckity-muck knight; not rightly sure. Just know it works.”


Buffy laughed and rolled her eyes. “You keep it for now. If you don’t mind, tomorrow we should go out to the old Shadow Valley Vineyard north of town. There might be an even better weapon there I can use,” she related but then frowned. “Can we get out there? You know, past the Jacks and uber-vamps and those fucking bats?”


Spike’s brows rose in surprise. “Where’d you learn that pretty word, Slayer?”


Buffy shrugged. “I know lots of pretty words now, Spike. I even know what they mean.”


“Do tell,” Spike teased, giving her a saucy smile and trailing his tongue suggestively across his teeth.


“Maybe one day,” she teased back, giving him a sly smile in return.  Right then, in that split second, she decided she would find a way to fix this for him.  There had to be a way, she just had to figure it out. Soon.


“You really should get some kip, Slayer. Long way out to that vineyard.  Haveta take the sewers. The other vamps don’t care for ‘em much – no need for ‘em really, what with the lack of sunshine.  It’s the safest way to get around.”


“You should rest too,” she advised him as she turned to head back upstairs.


“I’ll rest when I’m dead,” Spike retorted as he turned back towards the window and resumed his sentry duty.


“You are dead, dummy,” Buffy shot back as she mounted the stairs.


“Bloody hell … that’s a soddin’ pisser, then innit?”




Buffy awoke with a start to someone shaking her shoulder. She opened her eyes groggily, trying to get her bearings. Nothing looking familiar – the room, the bed, the posters on the walls; the only thing she recognized was Annie lying next to her.  She tried to focus, to remember where she was.


“Get up, Slayer – gotta go! Jacks are back and they’ve brought friends,” he urged her sotto voce, trying not to be overheard by the demons gathering outside the house.


“Jacks…Cracker Jacks?” Buffy questioned as she sat up and Annie stirred next to her. Her brain was still a tangled web of dreams and nightmares; she wasn’t following what he was saying.


Her head felt like she’d downed a gallon of tequila and her body felt worse. Every muscle hurt and beyond that, when she moved she could feel injuries, bruises and cuts that had started to heal but, sadly, hadn’t yet.


“Noooo, bloody vampire Jacks. C’mon, get the girl, we gotta go,” Spike repeated, keeping his voice low but adamant.


Buffy looked around. She was in Dawn’s room – she finally remembered, she’d in come here to sleep with Annie the previous night.  Buffy looked at the window – was it still night? It looked dark out, but then she remembered, it was never sunny in Sunnydale anymore.


“Now, Slayer!” Spike demanded, pulling the covers off her and Annie, grabbing her shoes and shoving them into her hands.


“Spike, Jacks ... are vampires,” she informed him unnecessarily, as her mind started coming into focus. “They can’t get in.”


“Yeah, but their friend the Molotov cocktail can. If you don’t fancy a marshmallow roast … where we are the marshmallows, we need to get outta here,” Spike explained quickly. 


He handed Annie her shoes. She yawned widely and rubbed at her eyes with one hand, clutching the proffered shoes with the other. “What’s going on?” she asked in a voice raspy from so much screaming the day before.


“We haveta go, baby,” Buffy related, her brain finally completely focused as she quickly pulled her shoes on. Buffy got up and simply lifted Annie up into her arms, then followed Spike down the stairs.


Down in the basement, Spike opened a hidden door that led directly to the sewers just as Buffy heard glass breaking and the ‘whooosh’ of fire above them. Had that door always been there? Why didn’t Buffy know about it?


When she looked at him strangely, he shrugged. “I built it … after,” he explained as the trio made their way into the relative safety of the sewers. “I used to spend a good bit o’ time 'ere.”


“I’m sorry for the … you know,” she apologized tilting her head back towards the house which she was sure was engulfed in flames by now.


Spike shrugged again as he waited for Annie to get her shoes on, keeping a careful eye on the door they’d just come through. “No worries. Long as you and the little bit are safe, that’s all that matters now,” he assured her.


Spike’s sword was in its scabbard, the strap crossed over his chest, the hilt in easy reach of his left hand. In his right hand he held a duffel bag which contained what remained of the supplies and water that he’d brought them the previous night. When Annie was ready, he started north through the dark, but strangely dry, sewers towards the old vineyard with his two charges right on his heels.




At the vineyard, Buffy went downstairs to where she hoped the scythe would be while Spike and Annie waited in the empty cask room upstairs. All the wine, Spike had told Buffy, had long ago been taken back to the base camp and happily consumed. If Caleb was downstairs still guarding the scythe, Buffy didn’t want Annie near. She would’ve liked to have Spike with her, but refused to leave Annie alone, so that left only one choice.  Buffy moved as silently as possible down into the bowels under the old winery, hoping to avoid a confrontation with Caleb, Bringers, or the Turok-Han. She hugged the wall and crept slowly down the stone stairs in pitch dark. She was really getting tired of pitch dark. It was getting on her nerves to be blind when she had two perfectly good eyes ready and willing to do their part in the fight against evil.


Buffy stopped after about six steps and tried to get her eyes to adjust, but it was useless. There wasn’t one flicker of light to be found.


Ok, you can do this, Buffy admonished herself silently as she closed her eyes, took a deep breath and let it out slowly, clearing her mind. She envisioned her spidey-senses weaving out into the darkness as a red mist, searching for the tell-tale vibes of a vampire or demon in the cavern.  Nothing came back to her – her senses said the area was clear.




Upstairs, Spike backed Annie into a corner and faced out away from her, standing guard, on alert for any movement in the dark room. He had no problem seeing. A small amount of light filtered in from outside through some cracks in the walls; it wasn’t much, but he didn’t need much.


After several minutes of waiting in silence, Annie observed, “You changed your hair.”


Spike turned slightly to look at her. “Yeah. Does it … look alright, then?”


Annie pursed her lips together and nodded.


“Couldn’t get the bloody curls t’ lay flat. All the soddin’ hair gel in the house had turned t' water,” he complained.


Annie shrugged. “That’s ok. Mom likes the curls.”


“Does she, now?” Spike questioned, absently running one hand through his now short, platinum hair.


“Uh-huh … I do too,” Annie confirmed.


“Well, that’s a bit o’ luck then, innit?”


Annie nodded and then ventured into a new subject. “Did you love your Buffy? I mean … you made that altar, right? Mom said you were friends, but …”


“Friends, is it?” Spike pondered that a moment. “Not sure ‘bout that, pet. I loved her, still do. She never loved me, but … she treated me like a man, trusted me, and that … well, it meant a lot.”  It was but a crumb, but it was enough.


“She loved you,” Annie offered, reaching a hand out and grabbing hold of his. His larger hand folded over hers protectively, although it was the girl who was doing the reassuring just now.


Spike smiled sadly at the youngster. She wasn’t from here, she didn’t know how it was. He knew Buffy could never love him. And she shouldn’t, he was a monster. Just as he could never step out into the sun, but was happy standing in the shade and feeling its warmth radiate up from the pavement, he was happy to be able to stand near Buffy and feel her radiance reflect off the people she did love.


“Why do you think that, pet?” he asked finally.


“’Cos you’re soul-mates. It’s like … a rule or something. She has to love you.”



Down in the basement, Buffy changed her focus and concentrated on trying to feel the magic in the scythe. She hoped, with all the extra years they’d had to work on getting the ancient weapon out of the stone, that the First’s minions hadn’t found a way to do it. But she needn’t have worried. The magic the Guardians used was strong and apparently even The First Evil couldn’t free it from its King Arthur prison. Buffy closed her eyes and watched sparkling fingers of golden light move gracefully down the stairs and encircle the scythe with a glowing radiance. It was right in the middle of the room, still buried in the stone. Just another four steps down and one sharp right turn and she’d run into it.  Buffy let out a sigh of relief as she slowly picked her way the rest of the way down the uneven stone stairs and easily lifted the Slayer’s ancient weapon from its centuries-old moorings.


She felt infinitely more confident now that she had it in her hand. She breathed a sigh of relief as she retreated from the darkness back to the cask room where Spike and Annie waited for her.


Buffy smiled in triumph as she held the weapon up for Spike to see. Spike cocked a brow at her. “Well, pointy and wooden isn’t exactly a look I want to know better, but it does have a certain flair,” he admitted. “How did ya know it was there? Never even noticed that trapdoor in the floor before.”


Buffy looked back at the trapdoor and shrugged. “You … led me to it.”


Spike’s brows shot up. “I did, did I?” he questioned. “Well, ain’t I the handy one?”


“Handy and randy … that’s you in a nutshell, Spike,” Buffy teased as she started out of the winery ahead of him.


Spike smirked and ushered Annie to follow her mum while he brought up the rear.


‘’Cos you’re soul-mates. It’s like … a rule or something. She has to love you,’ Annie’s words hung in his mind. As he followed the two girls back towards the sewer entrance, he momentarily wondered if that fluttering in his chest was his soul trying to worm its way back into his body of its own volition.




As Spike had told them, traveling in the sewers had proven to be much safer than the streets. First of all – no bats; they were too big to fly down here, their wingspan too wide.  Secondly, no Jacks; the tall vamps had to bend down to walk through many of the smaller, six foot, pipes, making it uncomfortable for them. There were other demons here, but most of the lesser demons that had come through Glory’s portal had long since been killed off by the Jacks and the Turok-Han. The trio did run across a couple of comparatively small rodent-type demons that had avoided extinction by living in the sewers. 


Spike told his companions that the Capybara demons were ‘harmless’ and he simply kicked them out of the way with a heavy boot. Buffy wasn’t so sure – they were pretty large for rodents. They probably weighed a hundred pounds – about the size of the red Chow Chow, ‘Chewy’, which lived a couple doors down from the mansion back home. The demons weren’t nearly as cute or cuddly, however. The rat-demons had long teeth that protruded from their brown, furry lips and even longer claws that scratched eerily on the dry floor of the tunnels. Buffy didn’t argue with Spike, though. She just kept moving, keeping Annie between them, as he took the lead and maneuvered expertly through the tunnels. 


The only vamps that did use the tunnels, mostly for going back and forth to the Hellmouth, were the Turok-Han.  This did not fill Buffy with joy.  She kept a watchful eye behind them, Spike in the lead, for what she considered the most hideous and vile of creatures she’d ever known.  The torture she’d endured at their hands, despite the passage of years, remained one of her worst fears and nightmares. Just thinking about it sent her adrenaline surging and her heart racing as if it had happened only yesterday. She had to admit that they were even worse than Travers and Weatherby combined … and that was saying something.


She gripped the scythe tightly in both hands, noting that this relic did not have any power to heal her wounds like the one in her world. Something about Hallie’s wish had changed ‘her’ scythe, but apparently not affected other dimensions. Despite that, she could feel the ancient Slayer power humming within it and that gave her some level of comfort and confidence.


As they walked, Buffy and Annie would occasionally pose questions to Spike and they’d talk a bit before falling back into a comfortable, if not relaxed, silence.


“Why are all the plants and trees dead?” Annie wondered as they walked, heading back towards base camp, the old Initiative headquarters.


“Yeah,” Buffy agreed. “What are there, like Boll Weevil demons or something to go along with the rat-demons?”


Spike chuckled. “No, pet. Photosynthesis,” he answered simply.


“Oh.” Annie nodded her understanding.


Buffy furrowed her brow. “They don’t like having their photos taken? The plants are Amish now?”


Spike laughed, once again reminded of the charm that was no one but Buffy.


“What?! Don’t laugh at me!” Buffy insisted with a pout.


“Mom, photosynthesis is what plants do to live. They use the light from the sun to turn carbon dioxide into energy and release oxygen back into the atmosphere,” Annie explained.


“Oh, I knew that,” Buffy defended with a shrug. “It’s just been a while since I, you know, thought about it.  So … why are the plants dead?”


“No sun,” Annie clarified.


“Why didn’t you just say that in the first place, Spike?” Buffy chastised. “‘No sun.’  That would’ve been so much easier to say than photo…whatever.”


Spike smothered another laugh. “Sorry, pet. I’ll try t’ simple stuff down for ya from now on. You did have high school in your world, yeah?”


“Hey!” Buffy objected. “I’m smart! Just look at Annie! She can speak five languages! Where do you think she got that from?”


Spike smirked. “From what you said, the Platelet’s mine too. Seems t’ me her brains come from my side o’ the gene pool.”


Buffy huffed. “Yeah, well I have an overabundance of the ‘ass kicking’ gene! I can still kick your skinny butt out into the sunlight,” Buffy threatened. “You know … if there was actually some sunlight.”


“Skinny, is it?” Spike smirked as he looked over his shoulder and twisted his ass so he could look at it. “Never had any complaints ‘bout it before.”


Buffy rolled her eyes. “Yeah, well, Dru was crazy, ya know … and Harmony was an idiot.”


Spike shrugged and turned back forward as he continued walking, still smirking. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.


“What do all these vamps eat?” Buffy wondered, changing the subject away from Spike’s ass. “I mean, there aren’t any people. Where do they get their Happy Meals?”


Spike snorted a soft laugh, his euphemism sounding funny coming from her. “Mostly, they eat each other, which is a bloody blessin’, if ya ask me.”


“But … are the Jacks turning Turok-Han or vice versa? I mean … can you turn something that’s already … undead? That wouldn’t really be helpful if they’re just changing them into a different monster,” Buffy pointed out.


Spike shrugged and thought a minute. “Don’t think they can do that, never saw it happen. Don’t think it’s possible.”


“Still,” Buffy continued. “They can’t live on undead blood for long … right? I mean, it’s all … used up, isn’t it?”


“They eat other demons too, pet. What did the bloody things eat in the Otherworld? Weren’t any Happy Meals there, either, I’d wager. Same with the Big Uglies. No sweet treats down in the Hellmouth. Seem to get on fine, they do.”


Buffy nodded and fell silent a moment. “But the same things can kill them, right? Fire, decapitation, sunlight, stake to the heart? ‘Cos, you know, I staked one of those Jacks and he just laughed at me. I really hate it when that happens. It’s one of my top ten hated things – vampires laughing at me. You should keep that in mind, by the way.”


Spike chucked lightly, still keeping his eyes looking down the dark tunnel in front of them as he walked, keeping watch for danger. “I’d never laugh at you, pet. No need t’ get pokey with that holy hand grenade or whatever that is ya got there.”


“Scythe,” Buffy corrected. “And you didn’t answer my question.”


“Right. Yeah, same things dust ‘em. The Jacks’ hearts are in their heads … behind them bloody B-movie glowy eyes,” he explained, raising one hand up and wriggling his fingers in front of his eyes.


Buffy made an ‘ewwww’ face that was lost on her companions since she was behind them. “I haveta poke them in the eye? How gross is that?”


Spike shrugged. “Only squishes for a second. Get the left eye, right one just makes ‘em madder.”




Just then, Buffy’s stomach growled like a lion. She laid a hand over it to silence it, but it was too late.


“Bloody hell, woman! Why didn’t you two say somethin'?” Spike chastised as he stopped and turned around. It had been a long time since he’d had to think about his companions’ meals. Even if Xander or Tara were with him on a patrol, their meals or grumbling stomachs were none of his concern. They were big kids, they knew the ropes. They could take care of themselves.


“We were in kind of a hurry this morning. Didn’t think we had time for room service,” Buffy pointed out.


“Yeah, well – no hurry now. Got green beans and … uhh …” Spike rummaged around in the duffle bag that hung over his shoulder a moment, “… ahhh … pickled beets,” he announced triumphantly when he found them in the bottom of the bag.


Buffy tried not to groan or make a face. Annie wasn’t quite so controlled, however, but she was starving, so she didn’t say too much.


“Yum,” Buffy offered unenthusiastically.


Spike rolled his eyes. “Sorry, pet. Supplies are gettin’ low, gonna have to make a run to the docks shortly.”


Buffy gave him a smile and nodded. “It’s ok … beggars and choosers. I’ll take the pickled beets, Annie can have the green beans.”


“I don’t like canned green beans. They taste like … can,” Annie complained.


“Trust me, you’ll like them more than pickled beets,” Buffy assured her, making Annie roll her eyes and groan again.




The further they walked and the closer they got to the base camp, the more subdued and fidgety Spike became, as if he had something on his mind and just couldn’t quite figure out how to come out with it. They turned a corner in the tunnel and, for the first time in twenty-four hours, Buffy saw a light – an electric light. It was encased in heavy wire to keep it from getting broken, and it illuminated two heavy metal double doors.  She felt absolutely giddy with relief and excitement. This must’ve been how Thomas Edison felt; it was like she had just invented the light bulb.  Who knew such a simple thing could bring such a feeling of joy?


That joy was short-lived, however, as Spike stopped the procession a few feet away from the doors and turned to face his two companions. Looking at Buffy he seemed almost apologetic, definitely uncomfortable, as he ran a nervous hand through his now short, platinum curls and searched for words. He really hadn’t planned on bringing Buffy and Annie here, at least not so soon. Not until he found a way to break the news to her, but the Jacks showing up and torching the house changed his plans.


“Buffy, there’s something else I haveta tell ya before we go in,” he began, still searching for the courage to get this out.


Buffy could feel and see his discomfort. Her eyes flitted back and forth between him and the doors. A civilization of sorts was waiting behind them, so close and yet so far. “What is it? Just tell me,” she encouraged him.


Spike ducked his head, ran a hand through his hair again, and shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot. “Ok, here’s the thing, pet … I … well, that is to say … we …”


“Spike!” a male voice called from the now open door that led into the base camp. The one word conveyed anger, annoyance, and relief at the same time. “Where the hell have you been?”


Buffy turned to look towards the vaguely familiar voice as Spike’s shoulders slumped. He rolled his eyes skyward and muttered, “Bloody hell.”


“Riley?!” Buffy exclaimed, her wide eyes darting between Spike and Riley Finn, who was standing in the doorway. The soldier’s arms were folded angrily over his chest as he glared at Spike with the red glowing eyes of a Jack O’ Lantern vamp.


















The Boll Weevil Monument in downtown Enterprise, Alabama, is a prominent landmark and tribute erected by the citizens of Enterprise in 1919 to show their appreciation to an insect, the boll weevil, for its profound influence on the area's agriculture and economy. Hailing the beetle as a "herald of prosperity," it stands as the world's only monument built to honor an agricultural pest.

I know you couldn’t have lived another day without knowing that!


Beggars and Choosers, Soul Asylum



Right before the aftermath, I saw where it would end
They said it was an accident, I guess that all depends
On who you talk to and who you know
And where you come from and where - where you go
In your crowd of pushers and users, takers and loosers
Beggars and beggars and beggars and choosers

Your childhood days are over as you stuff your shirt and say
Made a choice and wrong or right it's this way I will stay
You'll sell it to your children, you'll sell it to your wife
Buying is your business, and selling it's your life, it's your life

The vultures are all circling around your window now
Scavengers, evangelists will get to you some how
Your mother and your ex-best friend, letters that you never send
Your illegitimate children are coming for you now

They're always tracking you down, it's looking like a showdown
Between revenge and the edge you can't defend
Can you try to imagine, a story that has no end?
I think you better steal it while you still understand it, and sell it to one of your friends


If you'd like to get notified of updates, email me here: Updates

Feedback: Email me feedback, I'd love to hear from you! passionate@passion4

Go back to: The Main Home Page     The 'Teach Your Children Well' Home Page