Chapter Four: A Little Less Conversation – Part Two

The door to Giles' apartment hung partially open, squeaking as it swung back and forth in the cool afternoon air. The large front window was shattered, but had been walled off by thin strands of filament.

"May's webbing," Buffy murmured as she raced ahead of Riley. She kicked the front door open with little concern for what was on the other side. "Giles!"

She searched through the apartment at a frantic pace, downstairs then up. Nobody was inside the apartment. "Too late," she growled in frustration.

All night long they had been too late. Every one of her friends that she tried to call, she couldn't reach. Their phone lines were all mysteriously dead.

As much as Buffy hated sitting in the passenger seat of Riley's Hummer, it didn't matter if she could have covered the ground faster, she wasn't about to leave him alone. Not when all her friends were vanishing into thin air.

Nobody had been at Xander's house, but there had been signs of struggle. Nothing the casual observer would have seen, but both Riley and Buffy had noticed them.

Willow's house had been empty. To Buffy it felt deserted, but since Willow had started collage her parents spent a good deal of time out of the country. Working vacations was how Willow described them.

Buffy came down the stairs slower then she had ascended them. She stopped two thirds of the way down and simply observed Riley as he studied the webbing.

There was far more destruction in Giles apartment then there had been at either Willow or Xander's homes which told Buffy there had been a prolonged struggle here.

"We're too late," Buffy said into the silence. "They snagged Giles and May." Riley stood up as Buffy spoke. He turned, lifting his head slightly to look at her. "Just like Xander and his parents."

"I don't think so," Riley said once Buffy finished. "There's a lot of damage done here, but I think May and Giles got out before anybody got in. The window's been sealed with May's webbing preventing anybody from getting in that way and the door… They had to take the casing out as well because of how she sealed it. If you look most of the destruction is information gathering with some random acts of petty violence to let out a little the frustration."


Riley gave her a small, boyish grin as he said, "Frustration."

"Okay. May and Giles are safe," Buffy said with a frown. "Why does it feel like I'm missing something?" She inquired softly as she nibbled at her lower lip.

"What is it?" Riley asked.

Buffy shook her head as she said, "I don't…" Realization flashed in her eyes. "Mom," she whispered.

She vaulted the railing, soundlessly touched the floor and bolted towards the door like a rabbit that's been forced to break cover. Three steps out the door she's already doing fifty miles an hour, a dozen strides after that she's maintaining a speed that a cheetah would be hard press to match.

Riley burst through the door and spotted Buffy just as she cleared a twenty foot high chain link fence. She hit the ground at a flat out sprint and quickly vanished from sight.

"Holy," Riley breathed out in amazement. He had always known Buffy was special, but never imagined anything like what he just saw.

"Bloody hell," Spike mumbled irritably hearing the soft thunk of somebody landing on the roof of his crypt. He figured all the natives would have learnt by now to give his new digs a wide berth.

He smiled viciously as he clicks the off button on his remote. He admired their tenacity if not their intelligence.

The chair squeaked slightly as he rose to his feet, black duster setting around his lean shoulders, giving them the illusion of bulk. He pivoted on his right foot and is already striding forward when his door banged open and a beam of sunlight cut a swath through the room.

"Christ on a bloody cross," Spike snarled as he jumped away from the deadly ray.

"Sorry," May apologized as she bustled a reluctant watcher through the doorway before slamming the heavy door shut. She tugged off her mask and said, "I would've called first, but I didn't think you had a phone. Nice cable line though, perfect for trying to get by on the sly. Nobody would ever think to look for a vampire in the Crypt with," she picked up the remote and clicked the power button. Her eyes widened slightly at the British comedy skit flickered back on. "Monty Python? How cliché can you get?"

Spike glowered at her as he pulled his pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket. "Sod off you little tart, don't see me showing up all unannounced at your crypt and start… What the bloody hell you doing here anyway, not like anybody invited you over." He tossed a cigarette into his mouth.

"Um, actually you did," May pointed out delicately as Spike lit his cigarette. "Last night, you said I should drop by anytime. Although I have to point out you never did say where here was."

The orange amber glowed brilliantly for several seconds as Spike took a long draw. He plucked the cigarette from his mouth, flicked the ash on the floor, and asked, "If I never told you were my crypt was how'd you find me?"

"Spider tracer," May answered as she reached out and removed the little red, metallic spider effigy from his duster. "I figured it would cut down on running all over town trying to find you."

Spike flicked his spent cigarette against the wall. "That's all well and good," Spike said then pointed at Giles, "why'd you have to go and bring the Watcher?"

"The Initiative's after us," May said with a shrug, "I didn't think you'd mind taking in a few refugees."

A thin smile flittered across Spike's lips. A bit of laughter lit his eyes. "Captain Cardboard went and did you a solid?"

May looked at Spike clearly confused by what he just said. Instead she said, "There was a squad of soldiers that showed up at Giles' apartment. Buffy and Willow's dorm room was empty, looked like they left in a hurry. Mrs. Summers is missing; her jeep is in the driveway, signs of a struggle inside the house."

Spike's smile just grew bigger with every word May said. That was until she got to the part about Joyce being missing. He had always liked the Slayer's mum. She had a set of big, brass balls, and was willing to kill to protect her cub, like when she hit him over the head with an axe.

The woman also had a soft, compassionate side. She had sat there; an entire evening listening to him pour his heart out about Dru. His mug never lacked for her piping hot coco, or those little fluffy marshmallows.

Not for a single moment was Joyce afraid of him. There wasn't the slightest scent of fear on the woman until that Nancy boy poofter Angelus showed up on her doorstep. She was smart to be afraid of the Irish wanker. The man pilfered, defiled, and violated every woman he has ever come across. When he didn't kill them outright he left them feeling like a dirty little whore.

With or without his shiny little soul.

If the demon community was good for nothing else then it was good for gossip. And if he didn't hear enough about Angelus around the water cooler, then he could always try and decipher Miss Edith's little missives. Often enough they would revolve around Dru's demented daddy.

Spike shook off the thoughts that had been prancing around in his head. There were certain times to be imagining Angelus' gruesome demise, but this just wasn't one of them.

"The bloody Wankers took Joyce?" He growled.

"I believe that's what she just said," Giles remarked acerbically. The last place that he wanted to be was in Spike's crypt seeking sanctuary. Especially considering how some of their last meetings had gone.

Spike glared at May silently for a moment. "Joyce I'll help free of charge," his gaze shifted to Giles. An evil smirk played at the corner of his lips, "I'll even keep the watcher safe for the standard fee."

"You can be such a jerk," May snapped at Spike's child like behavior. "I'm asking for your help. If you can't do it fine. I need to find Buffy, Willow and the others and I can do it faster if I'm not lugging around a lot of dead weight. So, is Giles going to be safe here or are just going to turn your back?"