DISCLAIMER: The characters are Joss’, of course, and the chapter title comes from Shakespeare’s “Sonnet XLV.”
PREVIOUSLY ON BUFFY: Buffy led the gang off in search of Oz, where Willow did a spell to illuminate his trail, but then passed out; Xander volunteered to take her back to the dorm, and Havi revealed that she’d followed them but was shot down from helping by both Giles and Buffy…

*************

Chapter 18: Slight Air and Purging Fire

She had no choice but to follow them. At a discreet distance, of course. The Slayer had made it perfectly clear that she didn’t trust Havi, but that was to be expected. Perhaps what wasn’t so anticipated was seeing William the Bloody so easily assimilated into her band of fighters. Rose had hinted that his feelings were reciprocated, but Havi hadn’t believed that a Slayer would be so trusting of a vampire, no matter what her feelings for him were. It seemed in direct contradiction with her ethical mandate, but then, Rose had always insisted that these were extenuating circumstances.

The possibility that she was sabotaging her efforts to ingratiate herself with the Hellmouth team flickered briefly across Havi’s mind, but she dismissed it as a necessary risk to take in light of the situation. Willow’s well-being had been designated as her primary responsibility before she’d arrived in Sunnydale, and her meditation at the well had only confirmed that. This werewolf was the man Willow cared for, so this was a man Havi had to help save.

From a distance. Until the time was right to give them her aid.

*************

Her body felt like lead as Willow struggled to push past the clouds of unconsciousness that still fogged her brain. Unfortunately, it was becoming a familiar feeling. For whatever reason, this was how her body reacted whenever the magic took over.

Desperate, she tried to remember what exactly had happened this time. She remembered finding the dirt road, and seeing the tracks, and tasting the bile that rose in the back of her throat at the thought that she might’ve been too late. Then, the possibility that all might not be lost had started to spark inside her, and she’d pushed past Spike to examine the tracks more closely.

That was when things started to get blurry.

The memory of the magic surging through her body was electric, but how she made it happen, Willow had no idea. She just knew what she wanted, and then…it did. Kind of freaky, but on the other hand…maybe a little cool.

She’d passed out then, all her energy suddenly gone, but where was she now? She was being jostled slightly, but it was warm, and there was the distinct scent of sweat and sugar somewhere very close to her. Like, next to her cheek close to her.

She smiled even as she forced her eyelids to open.

“Hey, Xander,” Willow said, her voice barely a breath.

His step hesitated for a moment when he glanced down to return her smile. “Look who woke up,” he said brightly. “How you feeling?”

“Have to say, I’ve been better.” She realized then that they were alone, the trees thinning around them as they neared the edge of the forest. “Did it work?” she asked. “Did Buffy find Oz?”

“I don’t know. I volunteered to take you back to your---hey!”

She landed on her bottom with a hard thump, the world spinning crazily around her. The understanding that Oz still wasn’t safe, that anything could have happened to him by now, fuelled her aching muscles into action, driving her to her shaky feet.

Xander’s hand shot out to grasp Willow’s arm, steadying her before she fell over again. “Are you OK?” he asked.

She realized he thought she’d just fallen, not that she’d deliberately twisted from his hold. Somewhere, in the back of her head, a small voice was coaxing her to use his confusion to her advantage, whispering doubts about what could happen to Oz if she didn’t.

“I’m fine,” Willow said, and adopted her best and brightest smile. “I’m great, actually. Let’s go catch up with Buffy.”

He hesitated, his brows drawing together. “Two seconds ago, you were giving wet noodles a bad name. Now, you’re ready to go another round?” Xander shook his head. “Uh uh. I’m getting you home.”

As he started to pull her back in the direction he’d been heading, slivers of electricity began to creep along Willow’s skin, animating her nerves, seeping into her flesh until she’d gathered enough strength to combat his control.

“No,” she said, her voice rock-hard and just as cold. She yanked her arm from his grasp, causing him to stumble without the extra weight of her behind him. “I’m not sitting this one out, Xander. Oz needs me.”

“Oz needs someone who isn’t going to pass out with a little hocus pocus. No offense, Will.”

“I won’t. I can’t.” Her tone took on a wheedling that had worked on him since they’d been six years old. “What if they need me? What if they need you?” And all of a sudden, she knew exactly how to get Xander to agree.

Willow took a step closer, lifting her hand to his arm, steeling herself against the trembling such an effort seemed to generate. “If they find the vigilantes,” she said, lowering her voice, “you know Buffy won’t let Spike anywhere near them. How can she trust him around humans? Oz deserves all of our help, don’t you think?”

She knew the instant she uttered the vampire’s name that he’d do it. She didn’t know the details of how Xander had found out about Buffy and Spike, but she’d been aware enough of the tension as they’d hunted for Oz to know it hadn’t been pretty. She was banking on the fact that they’d been more about the fighty than the talky, so maybe Xander didn’t know yet about the rescue mission of the night before, because frankly, Willow wasn’t sure what Buffy’s position was going to be when it came to Spike.

When Xander started to nod, the little voice in the back of her head started crowing in satisfaction, but somewhere in Willow’s heart, a stab of guilt was making itself known. Repeatedly.

Sorry, Spike.

“Promise me you’ll stay out of it,” Xander said, lifting a warning finger as he spoke. “I’m letting you go back because I know how I’d feel in your shoes, not because you’re going to help, understand?”

“Actually, I think my shoes would pinch you,” Willow teased, relaxing slightly. Her gamble had worked. “You have boats for feet.”

“Yeah, well, these boats are ready to kick some vigilante butt.” He jerked his head back toward the trees. “C’mon.”

*************

They hadn’t been following Red’s golden bread crumbs for ten minutes yet, but Spike could feel the tension wound through Buffy’s muscles as easily as he could feel his own. When he caught her glancing up at the sky through the trees for the third time, he angled his path to close the distance between them, effectively blocking any intrusions from the Watchers who followed behind.

“What’s wrong, pet?” he asked, keeping his voice low.

It took her a moment to respond, and when she did, her voice was terse. “The moon’s out.”

“Better for the boy, then.” At her frown, he elaborated, “I don’t care how many years he’s been helping you, he can’t hold a candle to a werewolf when it comes to a fight.”

“Unless they decide to kill him.”

Spike shook his head. “Won’t get to that. This lot’s too interested in takin’ him in, or else they wouldn’t have gone to all this trouble to track down his hideyhole.”

Buffy pursed her lips, holding back the argument he knew she was dying to let loose. She was frustrated about the situation, worried about Willow, anxious about Xander finding out the truth; her whole body was just one exposed nerve ending, and Spike was itching to take her in his arms and try to soothe all of it away. He settled for placing his hand in the small of her back, sliding beneath her top to stroke the soft skin it found without interfering with her pace.

“You know,” she said softly, “even as wacky as Slayer days can get, today definitely has to rate as one of the wackiest.”

“No exploding heads, though,” he countered with a shake of his head. “Not even from Harris. Have to say I’m a little disappointed. Would’ve been fun to see that.” When he didn’t even get a smile from her, Spike leaned across and brushed his lips across her temple.

“Everything’ll sort itself out, luv,” he murmured. “Just focus on this, and we’ll deal with the other later.”

She nodded mutely, but the tight draw of her mouth made Spike wonder just how much of what he’d said had actually got through to her. Maybe it was better if she started taking it easy from the Slayer stuff. Between the pregnancy and school, Buffy had enough on her plate to keep her worried for the next century without having to add saving the world on top of it. It might be worth for it him to have a talk with Rupert about lessening her load. Without her knowing, of course. She might not take too kindly to his thinking she couldn’t handle it all on her own. He knew she was more than capable; he just wanted her not to have to.

They heard the crash at the same time, jerking still as their senses stretched forward. The scent of coppery blood permeated Spike’s awareness first, and he broke into a run a split second before Buffy did. He didn’t want to tell her it was human, though. How would she react if she caught her friend killing?

Rounding the path, they saw the dark van, its engine smoking from where it had smashed into a hulking tree. One of the back doors hung from its hinges, and even in the dark, Spike saw the pale flash of skin as a lifeless hand dangled over the edge.

“He’s not here,” he said. The smells were confusing, and he shifted into his demon face in order to better sort them out. Golden eyes glowing in the darkness, his head swiveled slowly until it stopped, just off to his left. “He ran off in that direction.”

“Find him,” Buffy ordered. She shoved the tranq gun into his hands. “Take him down without hurting him. I’m going to check out our vigilantes.”

“I’ll go with Spike,” Giles said, stepping forward.

For a moment, her eyes flickered between the two men, doubt making her hesitate. “All right,” she said, finally deciding it must not be worth the argument. “But I fully expect three of you to come back. No funny business.” She made sure to look at Spike, as well. “From either of you.”

They both nodded, and Spike headed off toward the scent that crashed through the undergrowth. He knew why the Watcher had volunteered to help, but that didn’t mean he had to acknowledge it. Better to focus on the task at hand and find the wolf. Before it was too late.

*************

The thought of Spike and Giles going anywhere on their own so soon after their confrontation had Buffy’s stomach flipflopping with the best of them, but she didn’t have time to dwell on the what if’s when she had a very real situation staring her down right in front of her.

“Go check on the guy in the back,” she ordered Wesley. “I’m going to see about the driver.”

To his credit, Wes didn’t say a word, just clutched his weapon tighter and prowled stealthily toward the open door. Buffy countered his approach by circling to the side, and paused when she saw the young man slumped against the steering wheel.

Though blood was running freely from a cut on his forehead, and the shadows hid half of his face from her inspection, Buffy didn’t need any more detail to recognize who he was. Her mind searched for the name. A friend of Riley’s. Someone she’d seen around campus, usually with a group of other frat guys. Were all of them part of the same vigilante group?

Graham.

Taking a hesitant step forward, she held the knife in her hand at the ready, just in case he decided to come around. From behind the van, she heard the creak of the door being pried open, and then a heavy thump as Wesley must’ve rolled the body over. Graham never moved.

“This one’s dead,” Wes announced, his voice sounding hollow from inside the van.

“How?” She had to know.

There was a pause. “His chest has been slashed,” he finally said. “I think one of his lungs was punctured.” There was a soft clink of metal hitting metal. “It looks like Oz must’ve broken free from his bindings and this one came back to restrain him again. He’s still armed.”

Buffy stepped up to the driver’s window and peered inside. Graham wore military fatigues, much like the others had, but his clothing was mostly intact. Reaching forward to check his pulse, she was relieved to feel the steady pounding beneath her fingertips. He must’ve been knocked out from the accident.

“Mine’s still alive,” she called out.

Wesley appeared through the division between the seats. He shone his flashlight along the interior, outlining the seat belt that still strapped Graham into place. “He didn’t have time to go to his partner’s aid,” he murmured.

“And Oz didn’t go after him. He should consider himself lucky.”

“Perhaps Oz was injured in the crash.”

Buffy paused. “That’s going to make him extra dangerous. He’s going to be going on pure instinct.”

Wesley’s eyes met hers, surprisingly calm. “Rupert and William will be just fine.”

“I know.” Her head turned toward the trees. “I know.”

*************

At least with Spike in the lead, he had something distinctive to follow. Even if the rest of him melted into the velvet night, the vampire’s hair was enough of a beacon to make the path easy, and Giles trailed after him as he moved effortlessly amid the trees. More than once, he was forced to suffer a withering glance from Spike when Giles’ step wasn’t quite as nimble as the demon’s, but he held his tongue, doing his best to concentrate on the priority at hand.

He failed.

“Is this to become a regular occurrence?” Giles asked in a low voice. “Buffy needs help and you attempt to ride to the rescue?”

Spike snorted. “Knew you wouldn’t piddle about in tryin’ again,” he said. “But at least you had the stones not to try and drag Buffy into this little pissin’ match of yours. S’pose I should be thanking you for that.”

The unexpected response made him stumble again. “This isn’t---.”

“I know what this is about,” Spike interrupted. “And I thought I made myself clear this morning. I’m here to help. That’s all.”

“And to continue your relationship with Buffy.”

“If that’s what she wants.”

“It doesn’t seem as if you’re giving her much choice.”

“I’m givin’ her every---.”

He almost ran into Spike’s back before he realized that the vampire had stopped. Then, Giles heard it. A thrashing of sticks and brush whispering in the air.

“This way,” Spike whispered, jerking his head off to the right.

When he passed in front of Giles, the Watcher was shocked to realize that he was still in gameface, and had most likely been for their entire search. How would the Council look at this? he thought ruefully as he followed after Spike. Not well. He could only hope that he could keep them in the dark as long as possible. What was one more thing to add to the list, after all?

They came to the edge of a clearing, and Spike sniffed at the air, his skin bristling at alert. All of a sudden, he thrust the tranquilizer gun back at Giles. “Take it,” he ordered. “And wait ‘til you’ve got a clear shot. Don’t fancy gettin’ knocked out at the moment.”

Giles grabbed Spike’s wrist before the vampire could step clear of the trees that hid them. “What are you doing?” he hissed.

“Our boy’s hurt,” Spike replied. “He’s not goin’ to go down easy, and something tells me that if he smells a human, it won’t be pretty. I’m just going to distract him for you. Just you be careful where you point that thing, all right? I meant what I said.”

“And why is it I’m the one who isn’t distracting him?” Giles asked.

The grin Spike shot him was chilling. “Because you’re dinner. Me? I’m just annoying.”

Steeling against the rightness of the statement, Giles watched Spike slither from his hiding spot and quickly took his place, positioning the gun against his shoulder in readiness.

Without Spike barring the way, Giles could see the huddled form of Oz at the left end of the clearing. Though his head was turned away, it appeared as if he was licking at his wounds, which, considering the roots of his demon, certainly made sense. Spike stalked him from behind, taking a circuitous route around the edge so that when he had Oz’s attention, it would be trained away from where Giles had the gun. Begrudgingly, the Watcher admired the vampire’s expertise before reminding himself that likely, this was how he and Drusilla had functioned for decades.

A snarl stopped Spike in his tracks, much sooner than Giles would have expected. There was no hesitation on the part of the werewolf before he launched himself in attack at the approaching vampire, and the two went down in a heap of claws and teeth.

Buffy’s warning not to hurt Oz rang in Giles’ ears, and he waited, his heart pounding in his chest, as he watched the pair of demons go at each other in the dark. It was difficult to tell them apart, a melding of black against black, but Spike’s hair helped to keep it straight. What struck Giles was that he’d seen enough battles to be able to differentiate between the offensive and defensive, and as far as he could tell, it appeared that Spike was adhering to the nature of Buffy’s request. The only blood that was shed was the vampire’s, when a clawed hand swiped across his cheek.

The opening came when Oz pinned Spike to the ground.

Before Oz could go in for the kill, Spike surprised him by bucking his hips, using the motion to turn it into a full kip and throwing the werewolf a good ten feet off. Giles lowered his eye to the sight and squeezed the trigger, relieved when the answering yelp was followed by Oz’s slump to the ground.

“Took you long enough,” Spike complained, wiping at the blood on his face. He sucked at the scarlet on his fingers, making his way to where Oz lay prone in the dirt. “Too bad Buffy can’t use the wolf in a proper fight. He’s a scrapper. I’d love to have him on my side.”

“And here I thought that your presence here meant he was on your side now,” Giles remarked, stepping into the clearing. He holstered the weapon. “Let’s get him back to Buffy. The tranquilizer should give us a few hours to get him someplace he can’t hurt anyone again tonight.”

*************

At some point, Willow got in front of him, but Xander just attributed it to her adrenaline charging her back up. Once they found out Buffy got Oz safely away from the vigilantes, Willow would likely be out for the count, and he could take her back to the dorm to tuck her in for a good night’s sleep. Xander had a funny feeling she just might sleep until next Tuesday.

Frankly, he’d been grateful for the task of helping his best friend. Up to that point, he’d been torn between wanting to drive a stake through Spike’s back and pulling Buffy off the path to demand to know what was going on. Helping Willow distracted him from the abundance of questions that was making his head spin. How could Buffy trust Spike? What could’ve possibly happened that would’ve changed her opinion of the vamp? Those, and more, left his stomach queasy, his nerves frazzled.

So, yeah, focusing on Willow? A very good thing.

She saw the van first, and broke into a run without saying a word. Xander took chase, but it was only seconds before he skidded to a halt.

A body was stretched out on the ground behind the van, but he didn’t need to get any closer to know it was already dead. Alongside the vehicle, Buffy and Wesley were propping up a second guy, though the fact that this one was trussed up tighter than his Aunt Ida’s Christmas turkey was all he needed to know that this one was still among the living.

Unnoticed, Willow stood in the middle of the road, her eyes fixed to the man on the ground. She seemed not to be aware of what Buffy was doing, her breathing quickening, her hands clenching and unclenching at her sides. A small breeze seemed to come from nowhere, and just as it had earlier when she’d created the magical trail for them to follow, Willow’s hair began to flutter in rhythm with the moving air.

“Whatcha doing, Willow?” Xander asked softly, taking a tentative step forward. When she didn’t respond, he repeated his question, raising his voice so that this time, Buffy would hear him.

The Slayer stood, and moved away from her captive with a wary grace. “Willow?” she said. “Are you all right? I thought you were going back to the dorm.”

“Where’s Oz?” She didn’t look away from the dead man. She didn’t move at all. Xander couldn’t help but wonder if her lips had even moved when she’d asked the question.

“Not here,” Buffy replied. “But Spike’s finding him.”

“This is one of the vigilantes.”

It wasn’t a question. The eerie calm of Willow’s voice raised goosebumps along Xander’s arms.

Buffy took another step. “Yes, but---.”

The flames that erupted from Willow’s hands made all of them jump away. Where the body had once been resting in peaceful death, a pyre six feet high now stood, sparks jumping from the fire’s zenith to dance among the lowest branches of the trees.

“Willow!” Buffy shouted. But when she darted forward to try and tackle her friend, she was stopped by Wesley’s hand around her arm.

“Don’t,” he warned. His eyes were steady on Willow. “She’s acting completely reflexively. If you interrupt her, she could turn it against you.”

“What? No. Willow wouldn’t do that.”

Xander crept around to join them as Wesley continued to speak.

“It’s not Willow,” he said. “Look at her eyes. She’s not in control of her actions. We must talk her down from what she’s doing.”

The only sound was the crackle of the flames as Xander reached Buffy’s side. From this vantage point, he could see what they did, the pink of Willow’s cheeks from the heat contrasting sharply with the washed-out pallor of her skin. Her eyes were glazed and unfocused, and he wasn’t even sure she was looking at the fire she’d created.

“Next time Giles suggests a vacation,” he said, his voice low and even, “I highly suggest you two turn him down.”

“What do I say?” Buffy whispered.

“Assure her everything will be fine,” Wesley answered. “Convince her that Oz is safe.”

“How do I do that?”

Xander pointed into the trees. “You could try showing her.”

They followed his gaze to see Spike and Giles step onto the road, an unconscious Oz slung over Spike’s shoulder. The two Englishmen came to a stop when they saw the fire, though, their frowns jumping from Willow to Buffy.

“Bit early for Guy Fawkes, isn’t it?” Spike said casually.

Buffy took a half-step closer to Willow. “We’ve got him,” she said carefully. She lifted her hand and pointed. “Look, Will. Oz is just fine.”

For a second, nothing happened.

Xander stifled a cough from the smoke.

Then, Willow blinked. Her hands faltered, and the flames that engulfed the dead body winked out.

“Oz?” she said. Her voice sounded like a lost child’s, and she turned to see for herself.

“Sleepin’ like a baby,” Spike said, twisting to allow her a look

“Can I go to her now?” Buffy whispered.

But before she could move, Willow sagged to the ground.

“Willow!” Xander cried out, running to her side.

She was gasping, as if she couldn’t breathe, and her fingers were curled into the earth, clawing through the brush until all Xander could see were faint slivers of white through the brown. “What…what…what did I…do?” she said faintly. Before he could answer, she looked past him and saw the smoking corpse behind the van. Her eyes widened. “Oh…god…” Hunching forward, she began vomiting into the dirt.

“It’s OK,” Xander said, gently patting her back. Up and down her spine as she emptied the contents of her stomach, he repeated the soothing strokes with the verbal sentiment, hoping that some of it would get through to her.

“Get her home,” Buffy said behind him. “We’ll take care of Oz.”

He could only nod. Though she wouldn’t say so, not now, Xander knew Buffy would hold him responsible for this. He was the one who let Willow come back; he was the reason Willow was going to wake up in the morning with the worst case of regret since the incident with Spike at the Factory. He couldn’t even hold onto his hatred of Spike in the face of his own failure. At least Spike had managed to get Oz back.

*************

He watched Harris help Red to her feet, not meeting anyone’s eyes as they began the long walk down the road to his car. Spike wasn’t sure what had happened prior to his arrival to provoke the witch’s actions, but from the looks on Buffy and the Watcher’s faces, he didn’t think it was good.

He swallowed the smile that threatened to erupt. For once, at least he wasn’t the one bearing the brunt of fault in the situation.

“What happened?” Giles asked, stepping forward to examine the smoldering body.

“Willow freaked,” Buffy said. “For whatever reason, Xander brought her back, and when she heard he was one of the vigilantes…” She waved toward the corpse. “…vigilante go bye-bye.” At her Watcher’s worried frown, she hastened to add, “He was already dead, Giles. So no big there.”

“Strong emotion seems to cause Willow to lose control of her powers,” Wesley observed. “She was quite uncommunicative the entire time. Removed, I would say.”

“That would gel with what happened during patrol the other night,” Buffy said.

“And the events when we found the tracks earlier.” Giles began pacing as he ruminated on the new information. “I had no idea the magnitude of this. She never said anything to me.”

Buffy sighed. “She didn’t tell any of us.”

“She’ll have to begin the discipline exercises as soon as possible,” he continued. “We can’t afford to delay any longer. The circumstances will have to be ignored.”

“What circumstances?”

Spike saw the glance exchanged by the two Watchers. Something bigger was going on, something they didn’t want to talk about, and he had a sneaking suspicion Buffy wasn’t going to like it. Which meant Spike wasn’t likely to be pleased about it, either. And right now, they had other things to worry about that needed to be addressed before certain tranquilizers wore off.

“Not that I don’t just love the way you lot talk everything to death,” Spike said, “but sleeping beauty over there’s starting to wake up.” He nodded toward the man leaning against the van. “What’re we doin’ about him?”

By the way the trio looked at each other, he realized nobody had given the other a second thought, and shook his head. “I’ll make it easy for you then,” he said. When he started to shrug the weight of the werewolf from his shoulders, though, Buffy stepped forward, pressing a hand to his chest.

“We’re not killing him,” she said.

“That’s bloody stupid, and you know it,” he shot back. “If you let the wanker live, they’ll just come after Oz again. And maybe next time, Red won’t be toasting someone who’s already dead. You want to be responsible for that?”

She hadn’t considered that possibility, and it showed on her face as she turned back to face the waking man.

“What about taking him back for interrogation?” Wesley suggested. “We could learn what this vigilante group is intending, why they keep capturing all the demons instead of killing them?”

“I like that idea,” Buffy said. “Answers are good. Answers are better than---.” She stopped, her gaze lifting to stare through the trees. After a moment, she sighed. “Get out here,” she called. “So not in the mood for more of this stalker shit tonight.”

Spike tensed when he saw the same woman from earlier emerge from the dark, unconsciously pulling himself straighter as her tall form approached. That familiar scent still lingered on her flesh, not something that was part of her essence but more something she wore, as Buffy wore the scents of Red and Giles and Harris. It was faint, and it killed him that he couldn’t place it. It seemed like it should be important.

“I thought I told you we didn’t want you to tag along,” Buffy said, her hands on her hips.

Havi shrugged. “I didn’t intervene,” she said calmly. “I would not have let you known I had followed unless circumstances dictated it.”

“Tell me again why you’re even here?”

Before Havi could speak, the man on the ground groaned, bringing everyone’s attention back to the immediate situation. His eyes remained shut, but it was clear that he would come wake any moment.

“OK,” Buffy said, “so who gets the honor of carrying this one?”

“Pardon my forwardness,” Havi interrupted, “but I heard your intentions and I believe you will be making a mistake if you take him into custody.” She remained unruffled as all eyes turned back to her. “I am correct in understanding he and his comrades are hunting Willow’s boyfriend?”

Buffy’s nod was hesitant, her gaze scrutinizing as she waited to see where this was going.

“And this was their second attempt?” At the second confirmation, she said, “Then they will not stop until they have succeeded. If you take this one in, his friends will merely assume he failed and will continue their efforts.”

“That’s if there are any more.”

Havi’s eyes flickered to the van, to the weapons that were visible inside it. “There are more.”

For a moment, Buffy considered the assertions, but finally shook her head. “I’ll risk it,” she said. “We need to know what he knows and this might be our best chance to get that kind of information.”

As Buffy hoisted the man over her shoulder, all the while discussing the new arrangements with the Watchers, Spike kept a wary eye on the other woman. This one had a story, and when it came time for the Slayer to hear it, Spike wanted to be there. Something nagged at his gut that it might be important to him. He just wished he could put his nose on what it was that was so familiar about her.

 

To be continued in Chapter 19: For Whose Dear Love I Rise and Fall