There Won't Be Trumpets

By Shakespeare's Girl

A/N: A few phrases and the title were borrowed from the Stephen Sondheim song "There Won't Be Trumpets." For The Challenge.

"Those smug little men with their smug little schemes," Spike scoffed from his prone position. "They forgot one thing!"

"What?" the mousy little girl he'd been tossed to feed off of sometime last week--he hadn't yet, he'd been saving the one blood pack he'd stuck in his duster pocket before leaving the house--asked.

"It's not over yet!" Spike declared. "There are heros out there, and . . ." Spike frowned. Angel. He was a hero. Maybe . . . no. "And one of them will save us," he finished, keeping up the brave front for the girl.

"No one's coming. No one can find us here."

Spike looked around. It wasn't the Ritz-Carlton, that was sure, but he'd been in worse prisons. He thought. Maybe. Back in the day, when everything was dirt and straw. "Wait and see," Spike mumbled, "wait and see."

"Oh yeah? What's gonna happen? Hero's gonna come riding in on a big, shiny white horse, sword waving, trumpets blaring?" She was so little, Spike mused, and yet she was so cynical.

"You're what, fifteen?" Spike asked.

She snorted. "Seventeen," she answered.

"Huh," Spike stared for a moment. "Don't feed you a lot, do they?"

"No, not really," she shook her head in amazement.

"There won't be trumpets," Spike answered her earlier question. "It's not like in the movies. No bolts of fire, no fireworks. No angelic choir of little birdies."

"You really believe this, don't you?" she asked.

"Yeah. I've seen heros. They don't have to be cavalier, or tall, or graceful, or pretty or strong. None of that matters. What matters is . . . intent. Desire to help. What matters is that they try."

"But no trumpets?" she asked, mocking him.

"No, no trumpets," he sighed. "No lighting, and no shining armor. Gets in the way."

"So, he's what? A farmer? Covered in muck and leading a cow?"

"No . . . he can be daring, or dashing . . . just, doesn't have to be. And I guess he could be a farmer."

"So, what then? We just wait for him to find us? That seems . . . pointless."

"We can wait," Spike shrugged. "What's another day or two? S'not like we haven't tried getting out of here. Besides, he's probably really busy. Lotta hills to climb over. Lotta baddies to slay. Besides, isn't it some unwritten rule that the hero never gets to the rescuees until the nick of time?"

"So, how are we supposed to figure out who this hero is? I mean, if there aren't any trumpets or orchestras cuing up to give him away?"

"You'll know him when you see him," Spike smiled. "Whenever, where ever, you'll have given up hope, be almost to the point of no return, and suddenly, poof, there he is. He doesn't need trumpets."

"Right."

"Right."

. . . .

"Spike . . . wake up . . . please? Come on . . . come on . . ."

"He's not even moving at all?"

"Well he is dead . . ."

Spike became very dimly aware that he wasn't lying on a cot in a cell after all. "See?" he croaked out. "Don't need trumpets . . ."

"Spike!"

"Angel?" Spike mumbled. "Did you save her too?"

"Shh . . . save who?"

"Her . . . girl . . ."

"Spike, there was no girl, just you."

"No, there was . . ." Spike sat up, head clearing. "There was a girl . . ."

Angel was holding his own wrist, blood slipping between his fingers. He looked concerned. Cordy was behind him, peering over his shoulder, and there was a man behind her who looked like a mini-Giles. And behind him, arms crossed intimidatingly was a big, black man, glowering at him.

"Spike we cleared out the entire prison. You were the only thing in it. There was no one else. You were left for dust."

"There was a girl, there was . . . seventeen . . . sarcastic as hell . . . she was there . . . emaciated, but alive. Wouldn't believe me when I said people would come find us . . ."

A thin, wiry girl walked through the door, past the intimidating man and the mini-Giles and Cordy and Angel, and handed him a picture. "Is this the girl you saw?"

Spike looked down. "Yeah, that's her."

"Sasha Milos. Her parents were immigrants, got in trouble with the Russian Mafia, which is kinda populated with demons. When they couldn't pay their debts, the Godfather took their daughter. And he didn't really do anything with her except lock her in the same cell where they put you, and forget all about her. She'd be seventeen this year."

Spike swallowed. "She's haunting it."

"Yeah."

He felt himself losing strength, falling back. Angel's wrist was presented again, and he wanted to take it, but-- "Who's that, then?"

"Fred. That's Fred. Just drink, now, Spike. We'll figure it all out later."

"Told you . . . no trumpets . . ."