I am a complete, total slave to my whims. I apologize to everybody who's been waiting on one or more of my other fics, I'll get to work on them right now- but I had a request to do this fic, and it's my first request, ever! So anywho, here it is! It takes place post-season seven of Buffy. A million thanks to aurico423 for requesting this, and I hope I can do your idea justice! Oh, and for those reading it, 'An Absence of Parker' will be updated tomorrow, I just need to work out a few last-minute kinks with chapter three. As always, please R&R!


"Willow, is there anything we can do?" Buffy Summers asked. Her best friend and witch, Willow Rosenberg, answered.

"Well, there's not much that can be done for a demon of this kind." she answered. Willow had always been very nervous, but now she was beginning to come into her own. Performing such a powerful spell that you reached realms of magic only gods had reached before tends to boost your self-esteem a good bit. "But there is one thing we can try…"

There was a pregnant pause. When Buffy realized her friend wasn't going to speak up on her own, she prompted her.

"What is it?" Buffy asked. "There has to be something we can do. I mean, this thing has been wreaking havoc up and down this country, and we need to find it and stop it already!"

"Indeed." a British voice chimed in- Giles. "This has been quite an evasive creature. Most demons of his kind would fight, but he- he seems to want something else, and quite frankly, that worries me."

"We could try a binding spell." Willow said. "It's pretty much our only option."

"Um…is that supposed to mean anything to the rest of us?" Xander said sheepishly, completing the quartet. Willow smiled gently at him. There had always been feelings between the two, and after Willow had broken up with Kennedy, and Xander started getting over the loss of Anya, they had decided to explore them. The two had soon realized that they had purely platonic feelings for one another now, and the tension had merely been left over from high school.

"Well," Willow explained. "It's where you trap something or somebody. You can bind them to stay in one spot, or keep one form, or anything like that. We might be able to get a location on him and cast a spell that would bind him; force him to stay there. There are lots of kinds and it's pretty tricky to get the right one, but I think we can do it."

"Well how soon can we get it done?" Xander asked, taking a sip of the coffee that had pretty much been his life force the past week or so. "I mean, can we do a locater spell and then quickly do a binding one when we get a position?"

"That's the idea!" Willow chirped brightly, trying to inject some positive energy into the gang. They'd all been up for over twenty-four hours, trying to catch the demon. Patience was starting to wear thin. "I need to gather the parts, and we all really need some sleep, so…say tomorrow afternoon? And however long it takes us to get to where I've frozen the demon."

"Perfect." Buffy said. "Let's all go get some sleep. It's-" Here Buffy consulted her watch. "Oh my god! It's already one thirty! Dawn must be worried sick. I need to go- I'll meet you all here at noon tomorrow okay?"

"Alright, bye!" Willow said as Giles rubbed his eyes and Xander packed his stuff.

They were all at Giles' house in England, and it had been almost six months since Sunnydale had collapsed. Buffy had come to Europe with the rest of the gang, and set up an agency to train the new Slayers that had been called. Though Willow, Xander, and Giles were all pretty famous in underworld circles, and Faith was bigger than ever, Buffy was a superstar. Not in the good way, though. Demons and vampires from every place on earth would try to find and kill her for the fame. Precautions had been taken, and decoys of Buffy had been set up all over the world as well- but demons still found her from time to time. So far, none of them had succeeded…but like Spike had told Buffy so many years ago, all it took was for one of them to have a good day.

Spike was a whole other thing. Buffy couldn't stand to hear his name, she would flip out and punch the nearest wall or inanimate object before rushing out of the room, usually sobbing. It was worse than it had ever been with Angel, and her friends were really getting worried. How long could she go before getting over the peroxided vampire? Surely a mourning period of six months and up had to be sufficient? After all, Buffy had told them all that she didn't love him; he was just convenient. She had just needed an escape, and he had provided it, for a short time, anyway. Sure, she might have been nice to him a little more when he'd gotten his soul. But that was different- he'd had his soul, and she still felt nothing towards him but animosity- albeit a bit dampened.

Buffy still hadn't told any of them about Spike's final moments, when she'd admitted that she'd loved him. He'd rejected her, and Buffy was sure that if she'd told her friends, they would all have said her that it was obvious she just felt guilty. That she just had to be nice before he died. And the thing that scared Buffy was that she might start to believe them, might start to think that she'd only held pity for the vampire instead of actual love. And that wasn't true. Buffy knew that, for certain. She did love him.

As Buffy drove through the streets of London, she mused to herself. She thought about how long it had taken to get used to the almost perpetual grey sky, but how quickly she had picked up driving a car. Buffy smiled and felt proud, even if she was all alone. She was behind the wheel of a car, and was no longer a threat to pedestrians! It was odd, as soon as the car was on the other side of the road, Buffy suddenly felt perfectly at ease driving. She'd soon gotten her license, as well as a green card. England was a good place for Buffy- for now. But there was something missing.

Spike.

Or maybe strip malls. Yes, it was definitely the malls that she was missing about California, Buffy scoffed to herself. There was a time when that would have actually been true; no longer. Stopping the car when she reached the flat she shared with Dawn, she got out and grabbed the bag of candy she'd gotten earlier as a surprise gift for her sister.

"Buffy!" Dawn cried as she got out of the chair she'd evidently been sleeping in. She must have been woken up when Buffy had come into the apartment. She rubbed her eyes and yawned. "Are you okay? I know there's not much to slay in London, and I was worried when it got so late…"

"I'm fine, Dawn." Buffy said tiredly. "I just need a little sleep is all. There's this big demon on the loose- I didn't want to worry you, but Willow's gonna do a spell tomorrow and we'll hopefully catch it. Here, I brought you some candy."

"Nice subject change, Buff." Dawn said, rolling her eyes but still taking the candy. "Ooh, Sherbert Fountains, my favorite!"

"Night, Dawn." Buffy said, trying hard to keep her eyes open as she hugged her sister and made her way to bed. Hopefully tomorrow, they would be able to catch the demon…