A/N: I re-worked the first chapter since initially posting it, so if you read it within a couple weeks of when I posted, you may want to re-read it. It's now more clear and generally better. If you don't care – the overall plot didn't change, so read on!

Wait for Me, Chapter Two

by scarlet (superscar)

Fifty-four minutes before sunset, Buffy burst through the doors of the local grocery store, out of breath. She'd have to take it a little easier on the jog home, or she'd be doing Spike's job for him.

"Mmm." The frozen food aisle worked its magic as Buffy headed for the minced garlic.

The stuff was actually extremely heavy after she stuffed her backpack full of bottles, but there was really nothing else she could use on the outer perimeter without her mother noticing. Joyce had been pretty adamantly against the wooden fence Buffy drew out for her perusal. Apparently, the pointed tips were a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Her mother just couldn't see the big picture... and wouldn't, as long as Buffy wanted to stay out of the mental hospital and continue to be allowed forks.

Buffy managed to lug her pungent findings the way of the check out line without too much effort. If she couldn't make it to the other side of the store, there was no way she would be able to run home with it.

The cashier didn't even blink at the pounds of garlic. Buffy'd been in far too often recently to bother commenting, but she did seem to dodge whenever Buffy so much as breathed in her direction.

XXX

Buffy crossed the threshold of the house she shared with her mother and shut the door behind her. When the deadbolt was firmly in place, she was able to collapse on the floor for a few minutes. It was a ritual of relief for her. Yet another day, she'd made it home alive.

Even though, theoretically, Buffy knew that vampires were of the solid night shift variety, she felt better in a secure location, which is why ever day she threw a cross around her neck, jumped into her jogging shorts and made the trek to the grocery store for reinforcements.

1630 Revello Drive was now Buffy's fortress, surrounded by what was turning into a moat of minced garlic that she added to daily. She still wasn't sure exactly what garlic did to vamps, but if they had as strong a sense of smell as the Internet reported, that alone should keep them away.

Not having a car made things more challenging, but Buffy was up to it. It wasn't like she could tell her mother or Cordy that she had to guard the house from a mega-hot vampire that wanted her to be his... well, that part she was a little unclear on, but it was evil with a possibility of some gooey hotness.

The phone rang and Buffy ignored it. She was giving herself five minutes to rest on the floor before she broke out her martial arts tapes and practiced with stakes. Well, it was Tae Bo and she'd yet to make with any actual staking since taking up the exercise, but she had gone down a pant size.

XXX

As went the sun, so went Buffy's composure.

Her mother was seven minutes late and Buffy was beginning to regret not peeling herself off the floor to pick up the phone earlier.

These working hours were totally unreasonable. Her mother was at work longer than the sun was in the sky. That, there, was dangerous office conditions. But could she afford to take her only daughter to L.A. for shopping on her hazard pay? Clearly not.

When the door finally opened, Buffy was ready to launch herself into her mother's arms, but pulled up in time to prevent an awkward encounter when she realized it wasn't Joyce.

"Cordy, what the hell?" Buffy shoved her friend aside to re-locked the door before snatching the hide-a-key from Cordelia's fingers. It wasn't a great sign as far as home defense.

"I could ask you the same thing, Buffy, God. Pick up the phone once in awhile, maybe?"

"Look, Cordy, my mom's late from work, could we possibly discuss this later?"

Buffy flipped off the porch light so she could see more clearly into the darkness. But all that greeted her was more darkness. No glowing yellow eyes or helpful signs pointing in the direction of evil.

"You have gone so fully creepy on me. Fine. Whatever, I thought maybe we could like, resume hanging out like something resembling friends, but clearly you're taking this anti-social experiment to a whole new level."

Buffy rolled her eyes, "Can I get you anything?"

"Diet, yeah. Thanks." Cordy followed Buffy into the kitchen and sat at the bar to wait for her soda. "So, what's your deal?"

Buffy cracked open a Diet Coke and divided it between two glasses of ice. "No deal."

"Really, so the massive wig when I suggested Trick-or-Treating was what, PMS?"

"Well, yeah, I've been hormonal." Buffy clung to the excuse, half-baked though it was. Anything remotely plausible had a huge leg up on the actual truth.

"You are the biggest freaking liar-"

"Buffy?" Joyce came into the kitchen with her arms full. "Can you help me – oh hi, Cordy."

"Mom! You were late!" Buffy bounced up to grab the bags.

"See? Weird," Cordy pointed out triumphantly.

"Well, I had a rough day and I got take out. I didn't realize I was on a schedule, Buffy."

It was then that Buffy realized what she was carrying. Food. That life-giving force she hadn't had in hours. As the tantalizing scent of Mu Shu Pork made its way up her nostrils, Buffy's stomach growled for attention.

"Mom-"

"You can lecture me later, Buffy, grab some plates."

Later. That sounded good. Fear of painful death and dismemberment could wait for dessert.

"Will you be staying for dinner, Cordelia?" Joyce asked.

Or maybe not.

XXX

When Buffy's stomach absolutely refused to accept another mouthful of food, she began to realize that both her mother and her friend were unlikely to accept continued silence in response to the many questions they'd thrown her way that evening.

"I'm thinking of going vegetarian," she said, attempting segue.

"Oh, that's interesting, Buffy, what brought you to that conclusion?"

"Lobotomy?" Cordy suggested.

"Well, I'm trying to be healthier and you know, save the animals. Fur is blood."

"Going vegan, then? You wouldn't want to use any byproducts of animals either, right?" Cordy asked, grinning when Buffy blanched. "Poor abused animals."

"No, I'm fine with the byproducts. Byproducts are… good on pizza." Like life would even be worth it without cheese.

"Nothing like a nice egg pizza," Joyce shrugged.

The conversation actually went much better than Buffy anticipated.

XXX

"C'mon, Buffy, you haven't been out of the house in weeks," Cordy whined as Buffy kept what she considered a subtle vigil out her bedroom window.

"So untrue, what about school?"

"Forced by your mom and you know, truancy officers... though I did hear those might be a myth."

Reason enough to believe in them, as far as Buffy could tell.

"There's no way I'm Trick-or-treating. What are we, twelve?"

"You have to go out and do something. God, you're caught up on your homework and wanting to help the fuzzy woodland creatures! It's disturbing."

"How 'bout a slumber party?" Buffy went to the door. "I'll get you a sleeping bag."

"God, now, it's like we actually are twelve."

"You're getting mixy with your messages." Buffy wished she could let the bitch just leave the house like she wanted. "Thought you wanted to hang. Like 'something resembling friends?'"

"What would I wear to school tomorrow, your munchkin clothes?"

"Well, if you don't think your ass will fit in them…"

Cordy glared at her. "Fine, I'll call my mom. But I call first shower."

This would just be loads of fun.

XXX

Night time was the worst for Buffy, when Spike had the control. Insomnia was a constant friend as she imagined the different ways he could get beyond her barriers and finally make good on his promise to make her a vampire like him.

The real concern, though, wasn't what he could do, but rather that tiny part of her that wanted it. She pushed back the acknowledgment, but it ate at her. How could it be attractive to her?

Eternal life without guilt danced bewitchingly through her mind. She could do whatever, whenever…whoever.

But she'd lose her soul in the process. Maybe take the lives of people she cared about. Would she even have emotions as she felt them now? Or would her awareness end completely and something else take over?

Cordelia's deep breathing was steady and Buffy tried to concentrate in the constant rhythm, but as the moon reached that spot it did every night where its light shone directly through her window, Buffy panicked and dove back to the safety of the darkness. He couldn't see her, she would remind herself, but could never gather the courage to be sure.

Maybe she'd see him watching through her window, waiting for her to make the wrong move. Or maybe she would see nothing and be left with the maddening insecurity of whether or not he still cared.

So Buffy stayed in bed and pictured the smoke rising from his cigarette as he watched her bedroom window, caught between terror and horrifying fascination as she saw his perusal in her mind's eye.

Her hands itched to run over her body and she mostly resisted or told herself it was a coincidence. It wasn't like Spike had introduced her to the pleasures of orgasm; she'd discovered it all by herself, thank you very much.

Terror heated her veins, sending her blood tearing through her body so that she could feel every slight move of the sheets against her skin.

She was scared, but also alive. And more aware of it than ever before.

XXX

The next day, Buffy reluctantly agreed to go shopping with Cordy right after school. The least she could do, since she refused to leave the house after dark, was make sure that Cordy was wearing the most vampire-resistant outfit Party Town owned.

"I have three hours before my mom wants me home," Buffy lied as she got Cordy's car. What Joyce didn't know was better left unexplained.

"God, she's so strict lately." Cordy started the engine. "Did you do something other than go vegan?"

Dry humped a vampire.

"She's still upset about Parents' Night."

"That was so three weeks ago. I'm still pissed she wouldn't let you go to that Frat Party."

Typical. "Okay, A, you totally could have gone by yourself and B, helloooo, didn't you hear three girls disappeared from that party?"

"Please," Cordy shrugged it off. "It's Sunnydale. What's a party without a disappearance or two?"

Cordy pulled into a parking space in front of Party Town where several of their male classmates seemed to be gathered at the coffee place next door.

"Breath check," Cordy blew in Buffy's face.

"Eww, what did you have?"

"Garden Salad."

"Whatever."

"There were croutons."

Buffy handed her over her purse. "Altoids, front right pocket."

"You call this Altoids?"

Cordy pulled out the crucifix Buffy hid for emergencies.

"Other right pocket."

"Don't change the subject." Cordy was miles from joking and Buffy squirmed uncomfortably.

"Look, I'm on this religious kick and I'm sort of embarrassed-"

"Bull shit." Cordy locked the car door to prevent Buffy from escaping. "This suddenly makes sense. You know!"

She knew? How would Cordy know unless she knew too? "What is it that you think I know, exactly?"

"Uhh... that Sunnydale's the freaking mouth to hell, so vampires and demons have free rein, but somehow the powers thought Harmony could save us?"

Buffy blinked, "I only knew about the vampires. Well, assumed it was vampires, plural. Only met the one."

"Oh. Well, now you know."

So vampires were just the tip of the iceberg in this stupid town. Marvelous.

"If you know all that, why the hell do you want to go Trick-or-Treating? Are you suicidal?" Buffy asked.

Cordy frowned. "What? Oh, it's actually the best night to go out. Giles says Halloween's, like, evil's day off work or something."

"Who the hell is Giles?"

"School librarian."

Cordelia Chase had been to the library?

"We really have grown apart."

XXX

"I can't believe I sent you off to hit on a vampire," was Cordy's first reaction to Buffy's story as they browsed for costumes. "How's this?" Cordy pulled out a pirate wench costume from the rack.

"You wore it last year."

"Damn." Cordy went back to her search. "They sent in another Slayer to take care of your vamp."

Spike was hardly her anything. In fact, Buffy feared the ownership went the other direction. "How many Slayers do they have?"

"Just one."

"For what, Sunnydale?"

"The world."

Buffy's mouth dropped. "Well, that's just...bad organization!"

"Right, and god, the people they pick! I swear this Kendra chick wears the same clothes every day. It's freakish."

"She has to be better than Harmony," Buffy muttered, feeling immediately awful, considering the girl died trying to save her life.

"Well, Xander said Kendra's been training for years, so who knows."

The system sounded completely nonsensical. Wait... "Xander?"

"Shut up," Cordy hissed, defensive. "He happens to be one of the few in the know. Nothing...sordid."

"Whatever you say. But you know, I would never judge you, no matter where you chose to find love."

"Bite me." Cordy pulled out two sets of animal ears. "Ah-hah!"

"And the costume is, what, a pet store?"

"Sex Kitten and Playboy Bunny."

"You've really out whored yourself."

Cordy smiled. "Thanks!"

XXX

There was no way Buffy's mom was gonna let her out of the house as "Playboy Buffy" or so Cordy liked to call her.

This, in spite of Cordy's promises there was never any trouble on Halloween, was exactly what Buffy was going for.

Spike could be out there anywhere and he didn't seem like the type to let something like 'traditional Halloween behavior' stand in his way.

Unless he'd forgotten about her, of course. Buffy ignored that option.

He said he couldn't wait and then her disappearing act had made him do just that.

What, exactly, he couldn't wait for, was really the question.

If it was the next step in their exploration of physical passion, well, the detachable shower head in Buffy's bathroom would probably welcome the break.

But it was more than that.

A second meeting would probably be orgasmic, but as connected as terror and lust had become in her mind, she hadn't gone far enough over the deep end to risk her life for the experience.

"Buffy! Cordy's here!" her mother's voice called up the stairs.

Buffy pulled her top down as low as possible and bounded down the stairs.

"Have fun, girls!" Joyce didn't even spare Buffy a glance as Cordy dragged her out the door, too busy digging through a crate containing several items of questionable artistic value that made Buffy's outfit look prudish by comparison.

What were parents coming to? Buffy could feel her moral fiber de-instilling.

XXX

The multitude of people on the streets didn't make Buffy any less aware of the pervading darkness.

Children were everywhere and, even though they were dressed as goblins and demons, Buffy couldn't help but be painfully aware of the fact that they weren't. If Cordy were somehow wrong about the Halloween tradition, they could be an easy multi-course meal.

Wouldn't that appeal to a vampire? What strange code would keep an evil, bloodsucking being from a smorgasbord of fresh meat?

Wasn't that perfect for a vampire?

For Spike?

The idea of him ending the life of a child made her sick, but she refused to delude herself that it hadn't happened. Probably more than once. The man who so often starred in her fantasies was basically a serial killer. Warrior of Evil was the most flattering term she'd come up with.

Part of her rebelled at labeling him a murderer. He wasn't human anymore. He needed blood to survive. Was he really any different from humans? They could survive just fine on seaweed - and the other tasteless green crap Buffy now ate in the 36 hours since becoming a vegetarian - but chose to eat animals instead.

It was just the natural circle of life...right?

But then, what cow on the verge of steakhood got off thinking about their butcher?

Obviously, Buffy was the unnatural one.

"Eww, hide!" Cordy pushed Buffy behind a tree in time to see "I-Dream-of-Kendra" walk by with a ghost that must have been Willow. Buffy would have thought that Kendra could manage to fit her stake somewhere into her gigantically poofy pink pants, but apparently blending wasn't part of the Slayer's priorities.

"Why are we hiding? Wouldn't we be safer going toward the Slayer?"

Cordy didn't answer until they were out of sight. "Buffy, I'm trying to safeguard our reputations here. There's more to life than…" She searched for the word.

"Living?"

"Exactly. So I say we start at that end of the street." Cordy pointed in the opposite direction of Kendra.

"Isn't that where the seniors are having that party?"

"So?"

Everything was becoming clear to Buffy. "So when you said 'Trick-or-Treat' you really wanted to crash the party."

"It's not crashing if they invite you in, and am I really getting crap about this from the girl who's scared to be out after dark?"

"When I get turned, you are sooo my first meal."

"Please, like Fledge Buffy scares me."

Cordy didn't take the threat seriously, but she hadn't been there. It felt inevitable, like she was just fighting time before Spike lived up to his promise.

"What would you do?" Buffy asked. "I mean really do. If I was a vampire."

"Well, be sad, obviously."

"...and?"

"Umm...cry? What are you looking for here?"

"Would you send Kendra after me?"

Cordy scoffed. "Please, like I need her."

Buffy stopped walking. "For real, Cord, come on."

"Buffy, you're not gonna be a vampire! Stop it!" Her fake tail practically wagged with her aggravation. "You don't even leave the house after dark, how could they get to you?"

It wasn't comforting. A vampire of Spike's prowess could surely find a way around such petty barriers eventually.

"It's hypothetic, Cord, God."

"Whatever. If you were a vampire, I would probably just hope not to run into you. I mean, they say you're not you anymore and if they're wrong... I wouldn't want to wonder."

Buffy smiled.

"This deal becomes null the second you try to drink me, I hope you realize."

XXX

The shift that night wasn't subtle. One second Buffy and Cordy were bemoaning the fact that the music at the Senior Party was too loud to hear the door bell... and the next second a child dressed as Scooby Doo started barking like mad and rushed at Cordy, chasing her down the street as Buffy looked on, slack jawed.

"What the hell?"

"Excuse me, ma'am?" Buffy turned around to find Xander Harris, decked out in army fatigues and holding a machine gun that looked uncomfortably real.

"Oh, hi."

"Ma'am, I just wanted to let you know your pictures do us a lot of good."

Huh? Her what?

"Lots of lonely men overseas. Always nice to see a friendly face on a beautiful girl," Xander told her.

He was obviously crazy. And horny, if the way his eyes moved over her was any indication.

"Umm, thanks."

"I know you playmates get a lot of crap, just wanted you to know your work is appreciated."

Oh! His meaning clicked and Buffy burst out laughing. "Oh, thank God, Xander. I totally thought you were serious for a second."

Xander frowned. "I'm not trying to be disrespectful, if that's what you think."

God, he had a weird sense of humor.

Screaming came from two houses down before Buffy could tell him so.

"Duty calls," he told her, lifting his weapon and jogging down the street to help a mother whose two sons, Dracula and Tony the Tiger, seemed to be gnawing at her arms.

"This is the U.S. Army, let go of her arms!" Xander shouted.

Holy shit! Turning around Buffy realized that everyone she could see in a costume, was acting exactly like their costume.

"Nothing happens on Halloween, my ass," Buffy grimaced, turning around immediately to march straight home, only to remember Cordy, her best friend who might be somewhere out there, the focus of dog-like costumes everywhere.

Not that this whole thing wasn't her fault in the first place.

XXX

Buffy took off toward the Bronze, banking on Cordy's likelihood to seek out the familiar, whether she was of feline mindset or not, though that would certainly present more challenges.

If found, would she have to be lured home with tuna? Would she want to be scratched behind the ears? Knowing Cordy, she'd probably do all the scratching herself.

Buffy herself seemed to the only non-delusional person in costume. She had no particular desire to strip down and pose for Miss November or nail a seventy plus geriatric to get the centerfold.

How old was Spike, anyway? He could be a thousand for all she knew. God, she could have been fingered by someone old, older than her father... her grandfather, even!

Odd how that, of all the things she knew about Spike, made her the most nauseous.

"You gotta see it," she overheard a man's voice coming from the alleyway ahead of her and froze. The speaker continued, he and another man emerged onto the street, "Some kind of spell, everyone thinks they are what they're dressed as."

"Wonder if we'll be what we eat, then," his companion suggested and Buffy recognized Spike immediately.

The first vampire laughed like the kiss ass lackey he probably was.

"Lemme know if you see the Slayer," Spike told him as they separated.

Keep going, Buffy urged him mentally. She couldn't run, she'd tried that already. Her only chance was if he didn't see her.

"Can hear you breathing, you know." Spike turned toward her slowly and Buffy panicked. She couldn't get away, she couldn't beat him. But maybe... inspiration hit her and when their eyes met, she threw him a megawatt smile.

Maybe she could distract him.