|Chapter Title:||The Gem of Amarra: Please Come Home|
Time Spans: December 24th, 2003 - December 28th, 2003
Buffy's about 7-8 months pregnant; due in February 2004
Spike stormed out of the Hyperion on December 15th after Buffy stopped his attack on Angel
Annie turned four last February.
Buffy and Spike have been married four years.
Buffy turned 22 years old in January.
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions in May, 2003 - about 7 months ago.
Spike stormed out of the Hyperion almost two weeks ago and no one has heard from him since. Buffy tries everything she knows to find him with no luck and finding Spike may be the only way to Buffy can avert disaster for her family.
Thanks as always to my "ET",
her help with 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. Parents, it is up to YOU to control what your children are reading.
December 24th, 2003:
Buffy and Annie laid together on the couch in the great room watching the lights of the Christmas tree dance and sparkle off the tinsel, ornaments and the presents under it, but neither of them was very excited about the prospect of celebrating Christmas without Spike. After leaving the Hyperion ten days ago, Spike hadn’t returned to the mansion or called or even contacted Buffy through their bond. When she tried to contact him, he had her shut out, so she couldn’t tell where he was or what he was doing. She hadn’t even been able to tell him that the Buffy in the tape with Angel wasn’t her.
In her mind, the tape was obviously of a Buffy from some ‘bizarro-world’ dimension where she was with Angel instead of Spike. How it had gotten here, and who delivered it to Spike, was a complete mystery. Of course, Spike would say that Angel had done it to drive a wedge between them. Buffy had questioned Angel at length about it after Spike stormed out, and Angel swore that he knew nothing about the tape – he didn’t send it; he didn’t make it; he knew nothing about it . . . but maybe if he could look at it, he could figure out where it came from. That, of course, was a ‘world of NO’.
Buffy didn’t know whether to believe him or not, but there were plenty of other suspects in Buffy’s mind. The Watcher’s Council led the pack as far as she was concerned . . . even though she quit them, that didn’t mean they quit her – and they never approved of her being with Spike . . . soul or no soul – he was still a vampire in their eyes – no different than any other vampire. There were also any number of enemies . . . known and unknown that would want Buffy and Spike separated – they were much stronger together . . . much easier to defeat apart.
Willow had done numerous locator spells looking for Spike, but none had worked. She’d done it so often that she just left the map and supplies out on the research table now all the time. Buffy wondered what good locator spells were when they could be so easily foiled with amulets from the magic shop . . . but they did work sometimes and she didn’t know anything else to try. Spike could be anywhere in the entire world at this point and Buffy had no idea how to find him.
Annie also knew that something bad was going on, but the adults wouldn’t tell her exactly what. They told her that Spike was on a mission and would be back soon, but Annie knew that locator spells weren’t done for people that were just on a mission . . . she’d seen them too many times in her young life. She also knew that even when her father was on a mission, he would call her every night, if at all possible, and certainly it never went longer than two or three days between calls – he hadn’t called her at all for ten days now. She had counted them.
“Doesn’t Papa love us anymore?” Annie asked sadly as she lay with Buffy on the couch.
Tears stung Buffy’s eyes and she closed them tightly to hold the flood back. “Of course he does, sweet girl. He loves you more than anything,” Buffy told her, squeezing her daughter tighter against her side.
“Why doesn’t he call us?” Annie asked.
Buffy sighed heavily. She wished she knew the answer to that.
Buffy’s mind drifted back to the long days when Spike had disappeared before, when Angel first returned from the hell dimension and Spike misunderstood her intentions when she told Angel that she forgave him and would always love him.
Buffy knew, despite his outward bravado, Spike still had a poet’s heart, William’s heart, and was easily hurt. But he wasn’t a quitter. She remembered how angry he was when he thought she had given up on him, on them, when she went down into the Hellmouth alone to fight The First. She felt sure that, no matter how broken-hearted he may be, he wouldn’t simply run out on them now. Now he would fight for her, and for Annie, if he thought anyone, most especially Angel, was going to take his family away from him.
There were a thousand possibilities to explain Spike not calling Annie or coming home – none of them good – and they’d all weighed heavily on Buffy’s mind. She prayed that the Gem of Amarra would protect him from harm . . . but she could find no explanation for him not at least calling Annie other than serious harm befalling him.
“Mama?” Annie prodded her.
“I don’t know, baby . . . he’s probably just really busy with the mission and can’t find a phone. You know, like the time I was in South America . . . I couldn’t always find a phone, remember? But never doubt that he loves you, because he does – with all his heart.”
“Can we wait until he gets back to open the presents?” Annie asked as she hugged tighter to Buffy’s side.
“Sure, baby . . . that would be fine. We’ll just have Christmas when Papa gets back.”
Sunday, December 28th, 2003:
“What about Wolfram & Hart?” Buffy asked looking around the lobby at Angel and his crew.
“Buffy, you really don’t want to get in bed with them,” Angel told her. His injuries from the beating he took from Spike over ten days ago had all pretty much healed, although he still had some pain in his forearms where Spike had shattered the bones.
Buffy had driven up to L.A. with Annie so she could try and find some clue as to where Spike was. She didn’t know what else to do and she was tired of sitting around waiting for Spike to come home or a locator spell to work. Lorne had taken Annie out for ice cream again while Buffy spoke with Angel and his people about how to find Spike. She’d already talked to the Scoobies and Giles until they were all weary of hearing her talk about it, especially since they didn’t have any answers for her – so, she decided to try Angel’s gang to see if they could come up with anything new.
“But they have resources we don’t have,” Buffy argued. “You’ve worked with them before.”
“I worked with Lindsey before – there’s a big difference. Lindsey had a small shred of decency left in his soul . . . the rest of them don’t,” Angel told her. “You’ll owe them for the rest of your life if they help you. If you don’t believe me, ask Lindsey.”
“What about that Morgan woman? She seemed all keen to help you before,” Buffy prodded him.
Angel rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I’m still waitin’ on them to call in the marker on that. Buffy, I’m tellin’ you, help from Wolfram & Hart is not an option.”
“What about you, Cordelia? Can’t you get a vision or something?” Buffy asked, looking at the brunette.
“It doesn’t work that way, Buffy,” Cordy informed her. “They show up when the PTB decide, not me.”
Buffy sighed. They didn’t have any new ideas on how to find Spike, either.
“Can’t you feel him? Your bond should be stronger than mine,” Buffy asked Angel – it was a long shot, she knew.
“Buffy, I didn’t turn Spike . . . if Dru was here, maybe she could find him, but, believe me, your bond is much stronger than mine with Spike,” Angel told her.
Buffy nodded slowly and rubbed at her eyes. She was so tired, she hadn’t been sleeping and she was worried about Spike and about Annie – she missed her father so much. It wasn’t like Spike to not call Annie . . . where could he possibly be that would stop him from at least calling his daughter?
Buffy looked at the clock on the wall . . . six in the evening – the sun had been down an hour already. The meeting with Angel’s crew had broken up a while ago and Lorne and Annie still hadn’t returned. How far away is that ice cream shop, anyway? Buffy got up off the seat in the center of the lobby and walked into Angel’s office where he was reading a book.
“Where is that ice cream shop? I’ll just go get her so we can get going,” Buffy said to him.
Angel told her where he thought Lorne and Annie had gone and Buffy headed out on foot from the hotel, following Angel’s directions. Angel offered to go with her, but Buffy assured him that she could find it . . . he didn’t have to come.
At the ice cream shop Buffy asked the clerk if he had seen Annie and Lorne. Lorne was just slightly unforgettable, being tall and green and dressed like a Las Vegas circus act. The clerk told Buffy he had seen them, but that had been over two hours ago.
Buffy went back out to the sidewalk and looked around. She didn’t see any other shops or playgrounds or anything that would’ve been of interest to Annie, but that didn’t mean Lorne didn’t know of one and took her someplace else. She decided to just head back to the Hyperion . . . they were probably there waiting for her, anyway.
When she walked into the hotel lobby, Angel came out of his office. “Did you find it alright?” he asked her.
“Yeah, but they had left a long time ago,” Buffy told him. “They aren’t back yet?”
Angel shook his head.
“Where else would they go?” Buffy asked him. She was starting to get a bad feeling . . . a bad ‘Mom’ feeling and she felt her stomach tighten slightly with worry.
“I’m sure they’re fine, Buffy,” Angel told her when he heard her heart rate increase. “Lorne probably took her shopping or something . . . he’s kind of a fashionista.”
Buffy rolled her eyes . . . that was an understatement! “Does he have a cell phone?”
“Oh, yeah! I always forget about those stupid things. Mine never works right. Those things were definitely cooked up by a bored warlock,” Angel said, heading back into his office to get the number.
Buffy and Angel both tried calling Lorne’s cell phone, but got no answer after several attempts. “Maybe his isn’t working right, either,” Angel offered as Buffy’s stomach tightened further.
“Can you track them?” Buffy asked Angel.
“Yeah,” he said. “Let’s go.”
Angel tracked Lorne and Annie to the ice cream shop and then down the street past it and around the corner to a children’s clothing store. The clerk said she did remember them. They had purchased a couple of lovely dresses that were on the half-off sale rack, but that had been a couple of hours ago, now.
Angel continued tracking them down the block towards a toy store when he suddenly stopped. Buffy nearly walked into his back and had to put her hand out to keep from bumping into him face first.
“What?” she asked, stepping to the side and up next to him.
“It stops here,” Angel said, looking around.
“It stops here? There’s nothing here . . . try again!” Buffy told him.
“Buffy . . . it stops here . . . they must have . . . gotten into a car or something,” Angel offered.
“A CAR? What the fuck?! I thought you said Lorne was okay!” Buffy accused.
“Lorne is OK, Buffy . . . he’s not gonna hurt Annie!” Angel defended.
“Then where the fuck are they!?” Buffy asked, her stomach now officially doing flip flops and tightening into an ever larger knot of worry and frustration as she looked up and down the street for any sign of her daughter or the green demon.
“I don’t know,” Angel said as worry creased his features as well.
Suddenly, Angel’s cell phone started ringing. He pulled it out and looked at the caller id, it was Lorne. “Lorne! Where are you!?” Angel said without preamble.
“What? Who is this?” Angel asked with a furrowed brow, putting a hand over his other ear to listen more intently. As Buffy watched and listened to him speak on the phone, her heart rate increased . . . this was bad . . . this was very bad. Not only was her “Mom” voice yelling at her that this was bad, but her Slayer voice was, too.
“Hello? Hello?” Angel said into the phone before pulling it away to look at the screen . . . “call ended” it said. “Fuck!”
“What!! What the fuck’s going on!?” Buffy asked, pulling the phone from his hand and looking at it, as if it would give her the answer.
“They’ve been kidnapped,” Angel told her, laying a hand on her shoulder.
“WHAT! What do you mean ‘kidnapped’!? By who? What do they want? Where’s Annie?! Is she alright?!” Buffy asked looking at him with wide eyes and waiting for answers.
“They want the Gem of Amarra,” Angel told her.
“Oh my God,” Buffy said as tears stung her eyes. “Spike has it . . . Spike . . .”
“Yeah, we kinda figured that out when a stake through the heart did nothing more than tickle his funny bone . . .” Angel told her.
“We have to find him!” Buffy looked at Angel with wide eyes.
“And fast . . . they want it by Wednesday . . . three days . . . or they’ll kill Lorne first, then Annie . . .” Angel repeated what the kidnapper told him on the phone.
“Oh, God,” Buffy’s knees gave way and she would’ve collapsed on the sidewalk if not for Angel catching her first.
“We’ll find Spike, Buffy . . . I promise . . . nothing will happen to Annie,” Angel told her as he pulled her to him, holding her in a hug as she buried her face against his chest and just said, “Oh God,” over and over again.
The first thing Buffy did when she and Angel got back to the Hyperion was call Willow and tell her what was going on and ask her to do whatever extra she could do to find either Spike, Annie or Lorne.
Then, she called Lindsey at the Coven’s safe house in Canada and asked him to have the witches there work on finding the three missing people, also. She then asked him to set up a meeting for first thing in the morning with Lilah Morgan at Wolfram & Hart. He agreed, but warned her about getting help from them.
“You’ll owe them for the rest of your life . . . even beyond that, Buffy,” he’d said.
“It doesn’t matter; I have to get Annie back. If it takes getting in bed with the devil himself, I will,” she told him.
“Buffy, the devil works for them,” Lindsey warned her.
“It doesn’t matter,” Buffy repeated before hanging up.
“This is a waste of time, Angel,” Buffy protested later that night as he handed her a pen and a clipboard with a blank “Missing Person” form on it.
“Just humor me,” he told her as he scanned the police station for a familiar face. Since everything magical had been a bust, Angel thought perhaps some old fashioned gum-shoe police work might be the way to find Spike.
“He could be anywhere in the world,” Buffy continued to protest as she started filling out the form.
“Which means he could be right here in L.A. . . . L.A. is still part of world, more or less,” Angel countered as he spotted the familiar blond that he was searching for sitting at a desk in the detective’s section of the station.
“C’mon . . .” he said to Buffy as he started walking back towards Detective Lockley’s desk.
Buffy trailed behind him, still filling in the form as she walked with Spike’s name, date of birth (well, not his actual date of birth, but the one on his license), address, last seen location, when he went missing, vehicle information . . . and on and on it went.
Angel stopped in front of the detective’s desk and waited for her to look up and acknowledge him.
“Angel, I thought we had an agreement . . . you leave me alone and I leave you alone,” the detective said without looking up.
“Well, this isn’t actually for me,” Angel explained, pulling Buffy up next to him. “Kate Lockley, this is Buffy Summers-Weckerly. Buffy needs your help.”
Kate looked up at the young woman who was busily filling out a form on the clipboard in her hand and then over to Angel. “And your interest in this is?” Kate asked Angel.
“Purely a friend of the family,” Angel assured her. “Buffy’s husband is missing and she really needs to find him quickly. I thought you could . . . you know, expedite an APB or something on him.”
“We don’t normally put out APB’s on missing adults,” Kate told him. “They have the right to be missing . . . it is a free country.”
Buffy looked up from the form which she’d finally finished filling out. Pulling it off the clipboard she handed it to the detective. “I really need to find him. It’s a matter of life and death . . . literally,” Buffy told Kate, her eyes imploring the other woman to help her. Buffy hoped that, if the detective knew Angel, she would know that when she said that it was a matter of life and death that the other woman would know it wasn't an exaggeration.
Kate looked intently at Buffy for a few moments, and then down at the form, before she started typing on her computer.
“What have you tried doing to find him?” Kate asked them.
“Everything . . .” Angel answered her.
“Does he have credit cards?” Kate asked.
“No, he doesn’t like them . . . he uses cash,” Buffy told her.
“Has he taken any cash out of the bank since he went missing?” Kate asked.
“Not since the first night . . . he took three hundred out not far from Angel’s . . . not far from where we last saw him,” Buffy told her.
“Cell phone?” Kate asked.
“Yeah, but he’s not answering it,” Buffy said.
“Is it turned on?” Kate stopped typing and looked up at Buffy.
Buffy shrugged. “I guess . . . it rings like four times before going to voice mail . . . of course, voice mail is full now . . . he’s not retrieving the messages.”
“If it’s turned on and he’s in town, we can ping it and get a general location for him,” Kate informed them. “What’s the number?”
Buffy gave Kate the number and Kate told them that it will take a while to do. They should just go home and she’d call them when she had any information. In the meantime, she’d report Spike’s Harley as stolen, so it would go on the alert system for the whole city tonight and across the wire to the whole country in the morning.
Buffy and Angel agreed and they left the police station and went back to the Hyperion. At least it was something . . . a small thread of hope to cling onto in an otherwise hopeless situation.
Buffy lay in the bed of one of the rooms at the Hyperion trying desperately to go to sleep. Apprehension and fright about her kidnapped daughter, added on top of the worry she already had about her missing husband, made sleep impossible. Her mind raced with thoughts of where Annie was, what may be happening to her, how scared she must be. She hoped she wasn’t cold . . . Annie hadn’t had a coat on when she left with Lorne earlier, but now it was chilly outside. Did the kidnappers feed her? Was she tied up and gagged? Had they hurt her? God, please . . . please, PLEASE don’t let them hurt her, Buffy prayed silently as she squeezed her eyes shut trying to stop the tears.
SPIKE!!! SPIKE!!! Where the fuck are you!? ANNIE NEEDS YOU! Buffy screamed mentally to him and waited . . . but she got no response from her husband.
“Spike, please . . .” Buffy said aloud as she turned over again in the bed and hugged a pillow to her chest. “Please come home. Annie needs you,” Buffy whispered to no one as her tears fell on the pillow and sobs wracked her body.
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