Night Sounds
Lady Starlight - September 16 2001

Sitting at the table at the Magic Box, I become aware of the hushed conversation behind me.

Buffy, we kinda made...plans. Dinner, maybe a movie.

Us too, I need to tutor Tara in history, before she flunks completely

Spike's voice. Look, it's just a car ride, innit? Ask her if she wants to come.

Buffy's voice. No, she's not coming.

Spike, again, peeved. It's. Just. A. Car. Ride. Slayer. Go ask her.

Buffy, clearing her throat from behind me. "Um, Dawn. Spike and I have to go pick up a book for Giles. Do you want to come?"

Peeved myself, I make her sweat a little. "Well, not really. Maybe I'll just stay home tonight, do my nails."

I don't need Slayer-powers to sense that she's pissed now. I shove my chair back and say, "Oh, all right." As I'm flouncing out to the car, Spike tugs on my hair. "Look, Bitty Buffy, not nice to wind big sis up when I have to drive."

I smile over my shoulder at him; "She probably won't stake you until we get back. Just don't piss her off." I shut the car door on his eye rolling and cursing.

Wheels thrumming on the blacktop. Comfortable vibrations under my cheek as I listen to the bickering in the front seat.

Spike, you're going too fast.

Bloody hell, Slayer. The cruise control's on 55, how can I be going too fast?

Silence, then, Fuck's sake. Engine whines a little as he applies the brake. Better?


Thrum, thrum, thrum. Inky blackness all around us. I hear Buffy shifting in the seat.

Niblet asleep then?

Think so. Why'd she want to come with?

Nothin' else to do. You're always shippin' her off to the witches' or the whelp's... Thwack! What was that for? 'S the truth.

Silence again.

I just want her to

Creak of leather as he reaches out to her. I hold my breath, please let her accept his concern.

I know, love. We-You'll keep her safe.

Silence. Buffy clears her throat. Spike, you're going too fast.

Fuck's sake, Slayer. Bloody cruise control's on 50, now. How can I be going too fast?

Silence, long and telling. Oh, for the love of... Engine whines as he brakes again. Better?


I close my eyes and let the rhythm of the car and the soft words from the front seat soothe me. I feel like I am young again, sleeping in the backseat, letting my...parents? Yes, parents, take care of me.

I pick my head up off the back of the seat. Must've fallen asleep. Engine still running, smell of tobacco. "Buffy'll kill you if she catches you smoking in Mom's car."

"Guess she won't catch me then."

"Where's Buffy?"

Gestures with his cigarette, "In there. Bloody stupid place to leave a book, if you ask me."

Ah, that's why he's all pissy. Buffy is out there without him. I have deciphered his language by now. It's Slayer when he's peeved, or wants to make a point; pet or ducks when he wants to tease her; Buffy when he's completely serious about something; love when he dares; and nothing at all when he's seriously pissed. We both hear the angry yells. Spike flips his cigarette out the window and floors it up the long driveway. "Hope your seatbelt's on," he says as he cranks the wheel.

He leans over and swings the door open for her as she catapults out of the doorway. I can see his eyes widen in fear, thanks to the dome light. "Oh, shit." Breath of sound. He doesn't let Buffy sit down properly, just yanks her in, cranks the wheel again and steps on it. "Dawn..." Buffy gasps as she fights for balance. "Is fine. Get that bloody door shut, NOW!" I look back to try and see what has frightened him so badly.

He doesn't stop, or even say a word for at least 10 minutes. Then, he pulls over to the side of the road, shifts into park, turns off the car and turns on the dome light. He turns to face her. "Were you bitten?"

She starts ragging on him about his driving. He cuts her off with low, deadly intensity. "Buffy, were you fucking bitten?" Buffy sees he is completely serious and starts surveying her feet and legs, 'I, I don't think so."



"I'm not about to ravish you with Little Bit in the back, now am I?" He sighs, looks away, and then looks back at her. "Look, if you were bitten, we need to wash the bite with Holy Water, now. Unless you want to turn into one of those...things."

Buffy starts to shrug out of her jacket. "Dawn, grab the bag in the back. There should be a couple vials in the side pocket." I turn and feel around in the back. Just as my fingers close on the bag, I hear a hiss of breath.

I haul it into my lap and turn around. I see Spike's fingers gently probing an angry looking slash on her shoulder. Buffy is saying "...thought I felt something on my back. Smashed against the wall and forgot about it." My mind freezes even as my hands rummage for the vials. Something nags at the back of my mind. Spike...vampire...Holy Water...major ouchies. I feel around under the seat. Ah, thought I'd left a pair of gloves back here. I lean forward and tap Spike on the shoulder, holding out the vials and the gloves. He puts on the gloves and gingerly takes the vials. I hand him a gauzy scarf I'd also discovered in my voyage.

He pauses before using the water, "This will hurt." Her voice is tense as she tells him to get on with it. He dribbles a bit of water on the wound, and presses down with the scarf. "Aahh!" "Sorry, love." I cover my nose with my arm and close my eyes. The stench is unbelievable, but I don't even think of rolling down a window. Life on the Hellmouth has taught me something, it seems. Cries and curses from the front seat as Spike works. Finally, silence.

I crack open my eyes and look right into Buffy's. She is kneeling on the seat as Spike inspects the backs of her legs. "Alright, love," his voice is strained, "looks fine. You can get dressed now." He turns away, cracks the window, and lights a cigarette. Buffy doesn't say a word. She settles herself back in her seat, fumbling to get dressed and Spike starts the car. He waits until we are back on the highway to toss the scarf out of the window.

Silence fills the car as Spike drives. I curl up as best I can with my seatbelt on and close my eyes.

Drifting in and out of sleep, I hear snatches of conversation.

...were those things?

Axupyl demons. Nasty bits of work, those. Have to go back in the daytime and burn the house down...

...about the owners?


Spike, thanks.

You're welcome.

...need to be a little easier on Dawn, right?

She's my sister! You don't know what it's like...

Oh don't I? Who took care of Dru for over a century, then?

That's different. I can tell that Sullen Buffy has made an appearance.

Spike, you're going too fast.

How the bloody hell can I be going too fast if the sodding cruise control is set at 55?


Engine whines as he brakes. Deep sigh. Better?


I smile and drift deeper into sleep.

Strong arms under my shoulders and knees. "No, Slayer, just get out of my way and get the door." Scent of leather fills my nostrils.

I am deposited gently on my bed and a hand awkwardly strokes my hair. "'Night, Bit. Take care." My comforter is drawn up around my shoulders, and my light turned off. I turn over and feel loved as I go back to sleep.

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