|Mar. 10th, 2012 05:08 pm Dissonance|
Title: Dissonance1 comment - Leave a comment
Prompt: Grilling the suspect, from last month at sb_fag_ends
Setting: Immediately post-series
Note: So I’ve been busy with real-lifeyness and haven’t written anything in ages… this was hanging around for editing, and I thought I’d throw it out there. This is the next part in the series that started with A Blonde, A Brunette, and a Redhead , and culminated most recently with The Crow and the Butterfly. This series will be continued here while I chase a couple of ideas that have been rolling around in the neglected corners of my brain for prompt tag !
“We should go after her,” Faith growled, pacing the short end of the nearly empty warehouse, leaving boot tracks in the grime that coated the floor. Sunlight cut that end of the buiding in bright bands from the louvres high in the wall that they hadn’t been able to close, motes of dust dancing and glittering in the light. “We never shoulda let her go alone. Anything could be out there.”
“Willow can handle herself,” Angel’s voice came out of the darkness at the far end of the building, where he sat leaning against a crate, unrolling a bloodstained bandage from around his leg. The flesh had healed underneath, leaving only a raised pink scar. By tomorrow, even that would be gone.
“Yeah? Well, so far all the mojo’s gotten us just all the way to square one. And every time she goes out…”
“Locator spells can be tricky, especially when there’s no…”
“Every one she tries risks us losing our only witch!”
“We need all the help we can get.”
“Yeah! Yeah, Angel, we do. And that includes Willow.”
“And Buffy.” Angel took a deep breath and blew it out. “And any of the new Slayers she might have with her.”
The big sliding door on the front end of the warehouse suddenly rattled violently, sending Angel to his feet and Faith reaching for her hammer before they recognized the rhythm. Shave and a haircut. “Guys? Everyone flammable away from the door?” Willow’s voice echoed from outside.
“Five by five, Will. Come on in.” Faith dropped the hammer and put her shoulder to the door’s heavy steel crossbeam, helping Willow slide it open. “Well then, speak of the devil. Been a long time, B.”
“Faith,” Buffy nodded. “And Angel. You two just keep finding your way back together, don’t you? Did you find any of the others, or is this just a small group gathering?”
“There’s a half a dozen of the wannabes camped out in the building behind this one…” Faith started.
“Oh, so this is just the teachers’ lounge. I get it, I do. Gotta keep the big plans safe from questioning little ears.” Buffy’s face was grim and set, but her eyes and nose were red and swollen. She swallowed, hard, willing the tears not to return. Angel took a few limping steps in her direction, arms spread.
“Buffy…” Angel started. She shoved him away.
“You knew! He was fighting with your people. You knew he was back and you didn’t tell me!”
“What? Is that what this is about? Buffy, it wasn’t my secret to tell. He could have told you any time…”
“I told you he was in my heart. Do you know how many nights I cried for him? For what happened to him? I cried for him like I cried for you, Angel. You knew how I felt. And you’d rather keep secrets for someone you say you hate?” The tears were flowing freely now.
“I don’t hate him. I never said… It’s just… Buffy, it’s Spike! And what difference does it make? If I loved someone, nothing could keep me away. Nothing. Think about that…”
“Yeah. Just like nothing could keep you away from me. For five. Years.” Angel had the good grace to look abashed as he fell silent. He reached out a gentle hand to touch her shoulder. Her anger was dissolving in her tears, and this time she didn’t shrug him off.
“I don’t know where he is, Buffy. He didn’t regroup with us.”
She sniffled softly. “He’s in the sewer. I left him with one of the newbies.” She ignored Faith’s raised eyebrow. Willow sat down on a packing crate, rubbing her temples. “He’s in pretty rough shape.”
Faith took a step toward Buffy, voice calm but with aggression building in the set of her shoulders. “That why you’re coming in here swinging, B? Whitey’s too broken to use for a punching bag so you’re gonna take it out on anybody close to him?” Buffy’s head snapped up, eyes blazing. Angel’s hand tightened on her shoulder.
“Faith…” Willow spoke for the first time, her voice carrying and echoing in the empty space of the warehouse. Faith shook her head, falling silent. “Angel was right. We do need all the help we can get. That crater’s slowed way down, but it’s still growing, and we’re no closer to stopping it than we were in the alleyway. And what’s been coming out of it? Well, let’s just say, really, really not of the good.”
“You heard us arguing?” Angel asked.
“Half of L.A. heard you arguing. Let’s go get Spike and the newbie and bring them back here. Maybe we can find a phone that works, get a hold of Giles and the coven and see if they can help us come up with a way to stop this thing.” Willow stood up. “If we leave now, we won’t have to travel as much after dark. I’ll rally the troops, if you haven’t scared them off.” She slipped out the door.
Angel was making semi-rational arguments about Spike, Faith was a white hat AND a team player, and Willow was generalling. Buffy wiped her nose, moving toward the door after her friend. The world really was ending this time.