The setting is S4. Picking up after Doomed.

This story is about what happens when two warriors, from different countries (actually worlds) (still not really...) (I mean, you could dig further into that, but that is not why we're here), with different backgrounds, views of life, means of survival, sides of the battlefield, rules and regulations (or lack there of), tolerance and self-control boundaries (or lack there of) and completely mutual hatred of one another gets locked into - with a little help from my friend the Brain and her descendants, the Two Hands with their family of ten, The Finger Sisters - a completely innocent and yet extremely boring, dusty, dark and dank basement...

How will they cope with being stuck in the same room with one another, though they can barely stand the sight of the other?

What evil forces are plotting against them this time?

But, most importantly, What Ever Will The Two Enemies Think Of To Kill Off Some Of The Pastime?

Will the strain be too much for our death-defying duo (although one half of that duo has no real reason to actually try to defy death)? Will the strain lead to the killing of one of them (literally, since one is already rather...dead)? Well, okay, so the killing of one of them, the horrific dusting of the other? Will they drive each other insane?!

The answers you seek just may be revealed below...or they may not!

If you want to know more, oh, worthy reader - please do not refrain from telling it by clickingthereviewgobuttonatthebottomofthepage once you have finished with the first (and I'm sad to say if you do not clickthereviewbuttonatthebottomofthepage ONLY) chapter. Thank you.

Now...switch off the lights...lean back in your comfortable and expensive or uncomfortable and shamelessly cheap chair...close your, WAIT! Don't do that, sorry. Getting carried away here. Where was I? *don't mind my confused re-reading of what I just wrote* Ah, yesssss... prepare! Prepare to be swept away and into the land of possibilities. The land of Imagination, where anything is bound to happen and everything always does. Let your heart beat in sync with mine, dear reader, and let us... EXPLORE!

(In extremely pitched and fast-forwarded text I write this) All rights to Joss Whedon and Crew. I do not own, nor do I claim to own, any of the characters of BtVS - however, if I DID own them I sure as heck wouldn't put them through what current management IS! And...

...will contain spoilers for S4 - but who don't have a small idea of what happens in that season anyways, right?

Now, let me rinse your mind in the everlasting balm of SPUFFY!

A.M.L, the Narrator.


One: About to be Run Over

By Annie



She had really crossed the line this time. She had noticed that line out of the corner of her eye, she had turned her head and SEEN it and she might've even acknowledged it. However, none of those very eligible reasons NOT to cross it had stopped her in the slightest from trampling all over it, trying to wipe it away with her booted feet and by doing so spitting him right in the face.

It was for the last bloody time; that was for bloody sure! He'd bleeding well see to that! Somehow she was living on borrowed time as of this moment. He WOULD kill her before the week was over.

This was the last straw, the final blow, the end of that line.


"Oh, hi Buffy," Willow greeted as her friend took a seat next to her on the couch in the relax lounge of SCU.

"Hi," the Slayer replied with an unusually sunny smile, reaching for a magazine and flipping it open on her lap as she sat back.

"Okay, let me guess," Willow said, observing the blonde closely. "You just read the menu for today and it says we're having Hot Fudge Sundays for dessert!"

Buffy gave her a look saying as-if-that-would-EVER-happen and Willow went back to thinking for a moment, then she said:

"I've GOT it! You talked to Giles and he said that the demons have all gone on vacation for the weekend and so you're free as a bird 'til Monday!"

At that Buffy smiled even wider, shaking her head and waiting for the next suggestion.

"Okay," the redhead said with a knowing expression, "then it has got to have something to do with Riley."

"Oh, I wish," Buffy replied. ""

"Fine. I'm fresh outta witty and clever ideas. Please, do tell."

"Well, actually it has everything to do with," Buffy paused for dramatic effect, and then she finished: "Spike."

"Spike?!" Willow practically exclaimed. "You mean the bleached, fang-gang loving, blood-drinking, Big Bad, Master Vampire Spike?"

Buffy almost giggled, then nodded.

"You mean the fiend you loathe who's currently stuck in Xander's basement eating cracker-jacks and watching TV all day Spike?" Willow wondered incredulously and Buffy nodded again, still having a grin plastered on her face. "Oh, Buffy... What did you do to him? Chain him upside down to the wall?" Willow now inquired and the Slayer laughed, shaking her head.

"No. But THAT was food for thought, Wills," she then answered, sighing. "No, I didn't do anything really. I went there looking for deary old Xander and had a little run-in with good old Spike instead... It's all a blur, really... but the funny part is, is that I managed to piss him off to the extreme. He almost followed me through the door and right into the sunlight 'cause he was so mad! Isn't that just too funny? A suicidal vampire. God, he's so pathetic you almost wanna feel sorry for him. Then again..." she smirked, getting to her feet.

"What DID you say?" Willow asked, doing as her friend and rising as well.

"Something about Drusilla," Buffy shrugged. "And Angelus. And that Spike shouldn't kid himself, he'll never be half the vampire Angelus was... And he won't EVER be the man Angel was... So, no matter what he tries it's a lose-lose situation on his part and he'd just do best at taking a dive. Preferably headfirst into something pointy. I mean, he never listens when I talk, but this time he did and BOY, was it fun. I'm gonna live on this for the rest of the day."

Willow almost stared at her.

"Don't you think you're being just a little hard on him? I mean... it was only two days ago that he..."

The redhead's eyes grew slightly as she realized, by the sudden, evilly mischievous look on the Slayer's face, that Willow's little anecdote of how Spike had recently decided to find his own solution to getting out of his state of shackles had been the reason for the encouragement on the petite blonde's part.

"Buffy!" Willow practically gasped. "Drusilla just up and left him and... I dunno, he might be feeling really bad. He might actually REALLY listen to you. As in taking it seriously," she then added carefully and Buffy let out another laugh, shaking her head.

"Will, you're just too sweet. If Spike chooses to take my advice then he'll just save me the trouble of actually pushing a stake through his chest myself. And he won't have to suffer the utter degradation of having me kill him - he hates me, he's wanted to kill me for years and I him, imagine how humiliating when I beat him in our common task. So, in conclusion, we have the opposite of a lose-lose situation. I like to refer to it as a win-win. Spike - dead. Slayage - unnecessary. Big Bad - gone. Fretting - done. It couldn't get any better," Buffy finished and Willow blinked.

"You fret over Spike?" she asked and the Slayer's eyes grew slightly before she smiled again, this time dismissively.

"Perhaps I didn't phrase it the way I should've," she grumbled. "I'm just saying - he's powerful. Having him loose on the streets, having him running around in our HOMES, isn't the best idea. We'd all be better off if he just decided to...make himself disappear."

"Yeah, like Houdini, in a cloud of smoke," Willow pointed out wryly and Buffy smirked.

"Yeah, that goes 'poof'," she nodded and Willow smiled as well.

"Seriously though... You think he's still a threat?" the apprentice Wicca asked as they hooked elbows and started to walk toward the lecture room of their next class.

"I don't think, Wills, I KNOW he's still a very large threat," Buffy stated matter-of-factly. "Haven't you seen that look on him? That oh-I'm-scheming- try-to-stop-me? He's so sad," she added, shaking her head as an underlining of what she had just said.

"Why?" Willow asked.

"Why he's sad?" Buffy asked back, surprised; and then she huffed. "Because he's trying to be something he can't be. It just makes me shudder how much that creature needs to be bad. It's like it's what makes him tick, and that ticks me off. He's just the most disgusting...thing I've ever met. Seriously, Wills. Just take a closer look at him and you'll see how black his nature really is. You can see it on him."

"You've been looking closely at him?" Willow wondered, curious now and Buffy laughed again.

"You don't have to look THAT close to notice it," she replied. "I dunno. Maybe it's the Slayer in me. He just puts me on alert. You never really know with Spike... Someday I'm sure he'll just snap on me, and that day I know I'll be ready."

"Right," Willow said. "Unless he drops headfirst onto something pointy before then," she added and Buffy nodded, seriously.

"Oh yes, unless that," she confirmed.


He watched her as she entered Giles' flat.

It was close to eight in the evening.

Soon, he was more than certain, she'd emerge to go on her patrol. And then he'd be there. With the anger still boiling and the need to see her blood stain his hands still fresh in his chest. It would be greater than the pain he knew he'd suffer from whatever was wrong with his bleeding skull. He'd actually relish in that pain - hoping it wouldn't succeed what she would be feeling.

"Come on, love," he whispered. "Come on."

And after a while of inpatient waiting - there she was. He shrunk back slightly against the wall as she began to walk toward the sidewalk. Then she froze, stopped and twirled around. Game over. Bloody hell.

"Wonderful," she muttered as he stepped out of the shadows. "I thought I smelled a dog buried for ten days and then dug up for my smelling pleasure," she added, crossing her arms over her chest in that goodie-two- shoes-I'm-better-than-you way that made him want to bend them open again, just to spite the gesture. "What the hell are you doing here, Spike?"

"Would you believe it if I said I was just about to rebury that dog you just spoke of?" he asked, cocking one eyebrow and bringing out his pack of smokes.

She merely eyed him and he sighed.

"Aw, come on. What 'd you think? I'm out to have me some fun with the Slayer? Maim you, behead you, cut your throat open with a very dull knife?" he asked, slipping a cigarette out and putting it in the corner of his mouth as he brought out his silver lighter and opened the top, creating a flame.

She was still just glaring at him warningly and he smirked suddenly.

"Shoulda skipped the visual then, pet?" he asked now and her eyes grew colder.

Putting the flame by the tip of the fag he drew a deep breath and the glow of the filter was warm in the chilly evening air. Flipping the lighter closed he retrieved it into one of the pockets of his black leather duster and then he took a step forward.

"You're never somewhere just to be there," she stated, her gaze growing suspicious and he damned his misfortune.

The anger wasn't even as overwhelming anymore, and that fact made him furious. What was it about her? Why couldn't he kill her? Why?! He would! He would. Just not tonight. Not when she knew something was up. He'd fight her to her death, but not tonight... No. Just not tonight.

"Exactly WHAT are you doing skulking around in the shadows?" she demanded, her voice letting him know just how much she was expecting an answer.

"What am I doing skulking in the bloody shadows?" he repeated her question, positioning the cigarette between the index finger and middle finger of his left hand before he removed it from his mouth, blowing the smoke out as he tried to come up with a good enough excuse. "Well, I'll tell you," he added, to win some time.

Buffy stared at him, waiting and not buying for a second that he was going to tell her the truth.

"I wanted to see if...Xander...was here," he finally said and her eyes grew disbelieving. "Yeah," Spike continued. "'Cause I needed to...ask-TELL him to get some more bloody...blood. 'Cause I finished the last and I want more."

Buffy blinked.

"That must be the lamest lie you've EVER thrown in my face," she stated and he wished he could hit himself. Or better yet - her. "What's the matter? Still shaken up from the little talk we had earlier?" she suddenly taunted and his eyes grew hard as stone. "Beginning to realize there was some truth behind my words after all?"

"You'd do best at keeping your mouth shut right about now," he almost growled, though his voice was lowered dangerously and she could practically see the spirit of the wolf surround him as his eyes turned predatory.

She was unimpressed. Cocking an eyebrow she smiled sweetly.

"Or you'll what? Threaten me to death?" she asked. "Sorry, Spikey," she added, turning from him and letting her arms fall along her sides as she began to walk away, "but you just don't scare me enough for that approach to work."

He clenched his jaws together.

He wanted to twist her neck. Hear that satisfying crackle as the bones broke. Feel the heaviness of her head as it was unsupported by joints and life. Listen to her still heart. Have her be utterly, irreversibly dead.

Soon enough, he thought to himself, throwing the cigarette away from him as he began to trail her steps.

Knowing that she knew he was there, and knowing that she knew that he knew that she knew he was there - keeping his distance.

Buffy wondered what he could possibly be up to now. There seemed to be an air of need of revenge around him this evening. She had never thought anything she could ever say to him would get to him the way what she had said to him earlier that day obviously had. She couldn't help but feel a small rush at that fact. He was always the one throwing annoying, mind- twisting and more often than she would've liked accurate observings into her face. This time she had been the one to do it, and it had actually affected him to the brink of having a thirst for her blood.

Oh, it was extremely readable on him just how much he itched to take his fury out on her. But she really wasn't very concerned. Because - he couldn't. Whatever had stripped him of his ability to attack another creature, it was a blessing. She only wished the twitch of anxiety in her chest would go away whenever she thought of what might happen when he got back to his old self again...

Sure, she had been joking about it with Willow, but the truth was he was strong. He was REALLY strong. And facing him had always been... something out of the ordinary. Their strength lay on such fine lines next to each other that no one ever really had the upper hand. They just...fought.

And now he was following her. This seemed to be turning into an interesting evening.

She crossed the street and headed into the fourth cemetery of Sunnydale. Fighting a fledgeling as she went she dusted it easily. This wasn't her real stop, and once she was done she continued on her way. Through the cemetery, a few blocks of a friendly looking neighborhood and then across yet another street.

His presence was close to haunting. It reminded her of his Big Bad days. It reminded her of Angelus.

She stopped.

She knew he had as well.

"Could you PLEASE go away?" she asked the air before her and then she sensed he was right behind her.

It was confirmed as his voice sounded.

"You askin' me nicely?"

She moaned tiredly, turning around to face him.

"It's not gonna happen," she said and he let his scarred eyebrow rise a notch in question. "Whatever it is you're planning, whatever way you've thought up to get rid of me - it's not gonna happen," she elaborated. "I don't have the time tonight."

"You know," he said, shaking his head at her, "it's that attitude that just makes me not wanna get you anywhere. That wave-of-a-hand, we'll-do-it-at-my- sodding-convenience attitude. It's such a..." he trailed off, not finding a word good enough as he stared into those incredibly irritating green eyes of hers, that fearlessly stared back at him.

"If you can't finish sentences, Spike," she said now, "don't start them."

"You're buggering unbelievable!" he near enough exclaimed and she smirked.

"Thanks, but I hear that all the time," she replied dryly and he narrowed his eyes with the anger once more twisting and twirling around his heart.

"I bloody HATE you!" he stated and she blinked.

"I'm shocked," she shot sarcastically. "Would you be the same if I replied with: right back at ya? Except for the 'bloody', of course," she added and he wanted to grab her, lift her over his head and throw her clear cross the city. "Now, go back to Xander's place, let me do the Slayer thing, and let's never see each other ever again. Sound like a deal?"

She turned from him again and he almost did grab her arm, but the thought which got him as far as making his arm move sent a splinter of pain up the back of his head and he closed his eyes in annoyance.

He stood on the same spot for quite some time, then he moved, once more in the same direction as her.

Buffy looked up at the house towering over her. It was dark in every window. Of course. It was old and looked in good need of a wrecking-ball's gentle destruction. The paint was almost entirely gone and the boards were a light gray with ageing of weather and wind. It was two stories high, had a small porch to which five steps lead and the windows were thin and tall, greeting her with toothless mouths seemingly grinning at her.

Drawing a small breath she walked up the stairs and grabbed the doorknob. It was locked and she unceremoniously took a step back and kicked the thing off its hinges.

A low whistle was heard behind her and she turned around.

"Blimey," Spike muttered. "Ever heard of ringing the sodding bell?"

"No, mister Proper," she replied, adding: "What do you think you're doing?" when he moved as to follow her when she stepped through the doorframe.

"Oh, right," he nodded, watching her as she turned to him in the small hall. "Invite me in."

She gave him a look and he tilted his head to one side.

"It ain't like I'm gonna come back here and kill the lot," he remarked and she blinked at the mere thought.

Then she smiled with little enthusiasm.

"Wish you would. It's supposed to be a nest," she replied and his eyebrows rose.

"So, invite me in."

"Will it make you go away?" she asked and he smirked.

"Eventually," he promised and she rolled her eyes at him.

"Come in," she murmured, turning her head to look down the darkened hallway leading up to a set of stairs before her.

To the right of it seemed to be the entrance to a kitchen and to the left the doorway leading into what she assumed must be the family room.

"I don't know why I'm bothering," she sighed, glancing at him over her shoulder. "It's not like you're gonna help me in a fight anyways."

"You know, I'm actually growing fond of killing... No wait, watch you fight and hopefully die - good. Right. So...where are the nasties at? Hello?!" he yelled and she turned around and gave him a good punch in the nose.

"Shut the hell up," she hissed and he held one hand to his aching facial part as a wide smirk spread on his face. "God, you're sick," she grumbled, turning from him and walking ahead up to the stairs.

Looking up toward the second floor she frowned. No tingles. Well, no NEW Slayer tingles since she already felt the tingle from Spike all over.

"You're disturbing my concentration," she complained, turning around again and finding him right behind her as he had been gazing up in the same manner she had been.

He turned his head and looked down at her, meeting her gaze he felt a small twirl somewhere in the pit of his stomach and then it vanished as she pushed him to take a step back.

"Am I now?" he teased and her eyes grew a little before they narrowed.

"Get a grip," she replied. "That wasn't what I meant."

"What? I didn't say anything," he defended innocently and she gave him a look which had him smile widely.

"Fine, I'll go up there, you go down into the basement. Maybe with some walls between us you won't be sucha distraction," she instructed and when he opened his mouth to say something to that she raised one index finger and cut him off with a: "Don't even think it. Yell if you find something."

He nodded, watching her climb the frail staircase carefully and then he turned and quickly found the door leading into the basement positioned right inside and to the left of that of the kitchen.

He trotted down the stairs, waited a few more seconds and then called:

"Slayer! Slayer, you'd bloody well hurry!"

Buffy rushed back down the stairs, jumped the last few steps and threw open the door to the basement before descending those stairs as well. Once she reached the floor she felt a small wave of heat swirl around her ankles, but paid no more heed as the vampire faced her with a devilish grin on his face.

She bit her jaws together. He had just wanted to make her dance by his pipe. Control-freak that he was of course he couldn't resist.

"I could kill you," she stated and he chuckled.

"Little ole defenseless me?" he asked, putting his arms out to the sides and tilting his head to one side as well, questioningly.

"So there's nothing?" she asked and he shrugged, arms dropping to his sides again.

"Guess not," he replied as he looked around.

"I couldn't see anything upstairs either... This house is empty," she stated, growing thoughtful.

"Wow, now, do they teach you Slayers to actually THINK like that?" he asked, mockingly, before adding: "Or does it just come au natural."

"Oh, don't get into big words, Spike. You might melt your brain," she retorted and he grinned.

"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" he asked. "Almost as much as you like the fact that I'm helpless. You like your men that way, don't you? Needy. Depending. Vulnerable."

"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked back, anger in her voice and he almost wanted to gleefully rub his hands together at the prospect of getting under her skin.

Some sort of payback for what she had said to him earlier just might still be his.

"Angel was the puppy-dog-eyed, I'm-in-so-much-pain type. The one that makes little girls like you just swoon right and left," he stated, his voice carrying an edge he hoped would more than brush against her. "He needed you. He depended on your love. He was vulnerable and huuuuman, but then again he wasn't. Which brings us to bloke number two. Soldier boy. Human as hell - if that's an analogy you wanna go with - but still with a little...twist. Why did you turn to him, Slayer? Why did you seek out a human this time? Scared of getting hurt again, like last time? Hoping that not only changing lanes, but actually what kinda car you're driving just might send you on your merry way? Let me tell you something." He took a step forward, his blue eyes glinting in the pale moonlight falling in through the boards narrowly nailed over the small windows of the room. "It. Doesn't. Help. Love is love, no matter what side you're routing for. You can take on the stronger form, pet. The Slayer and her protection of her Innocent, her boyfriend. But what it boils down to is this: it really doesn't make a difference whether your lover is depending on you or not. 'Cause at the end of the day all it takes is a split second, one mistake, a bad choice or the choice he makes to leave you and love has hurt you all over again. You're blind as a bloody bat if you can't see that. There's no salvation, no safe route. Just a blindfold and your hands on the bloody wheel."

He finished, looking into her eyes and noticing how contradicting emotions was flowing through them. How the strongest one pushed the others away and how she straightened her posture before she sarcastically asked:

"I'm sorry, did you just SAY something? I'm leaving," she added.

As she turned around he watched her when she took two steps forward, about to put her foot on the first step of the stairs she stopped.

For another ten or fifteen seconds she seemed to be struggling with something and he wondered if it was the need to ram a stake through his chest or just the fact that what he had just said began to actually sink in.

Then she shook her head slowly, turning to him and blinking before she said:

"I can't."

"Can't what?" he replied, watching as her eyes grew slightly wider and then she answered:

"I can't go up the stairs, out the front door, away from this house and YOU! I can't move another inch passed this point. I'm stuck."

He stared at her, then took the paces between them and was about to do what she had just tried to, feeling a small warmth as a wall before him and he closed his eyes.

"Oh, bloody hell," he grumbled. "WE'RE stuck."

They stared at each other in growing panic.

This was a truckload of bad roaring in to hit them both dead on, and it seemed none of them could do anything to avert it.