Around the Buffy
A Round Robin Series by Multiple Authors. No longer in progress.
The Story: Buffy and Spike go cross country and under cover to infiltrate a vampire human slavery ring.
Rating: PG - NC17.
Disclaimer: None of us own any of this, Joss is King.
Spoilers: General Season 5.
Written By (in order of appearance): Annamarie, tanith, VicNoir, Kristin (aka Love's Bitch), Blaque Kat, Spikelicious, Tracy (AKA Jericho TGF), Jessa, NautiBitz, Raven, Saber ShadowKitten
Other authors scheduled (but never wrote): Trish, Pandora, Caitlin (AKA Spikes_Luv), Suaine, Angel Eternal, Python Chick (AKA Spike's Childe), Taulmaril, Patti, and Maggie.
Part 1 by Annamarie
"A what kind of ring?" Buffy asked.
"A vampire human-slave trading ring," Giles answered. "They are kidnapping humans, and selling them, using them for food and, um, other things."
"You mean like sex?" Xander asked. "That's just disgusting."
"You find sex disgusting?" Anya frowned at her lover.
"When did they get so organized Giles?" Buffy asked, ignoring the interruption. "I mean, most vamps I've met just sort of take what they want, 'til I stake 'em and they get all dusty. Since when did they start buying their meals?" She leaned against the round table, crossing her arms in front of her chest.
"They tend to go after what they would consider rare specimens, I believe. In certain circles it is seen as a status symbol," her Watcher answered.
"What kind of rare specimens?" Willow looked up from her book.
"Maybe redheads." Xander offered.
"Not quite Xander. The more difficult the capture, the more valuable the, um, commodity," Giles told him.
"Is that right?" Spike asked. Buffy jumped, she'd nearly forgotten that he was there, sitting quietly on the counter. "Bet I could get a real good price for a Slayer then."
"Try it bloodbreath, and you'll wish you were a big pile of dust," she told him. He just winked at her, smirking.
Rolling her eyes she turned back to Giles. "So, how do we find these guys?"
"Yes, well, that's the problem, you see. I don't know where they are. And there are probably several groups."
He looked at her uncomfortably. "Um, Giles, not liking the vibe here," she told him when he didn't answer immediately.
"Buffy, they are getting bolder. They must be stopped."
"You are going to need to go undercover to find them."
"Undercover? Uh-uh. I think you've got me confused with Secret Agent Buffy. I'm Slayer Buffy. I find vamps, I stake vamps, sometimes I even hack 'em with a sword."
"Buffy, this is serious, their victims are kept and brainwashed somehow into compliance. It is an abomination."
"Abomination, gotcha, but how am I supposed to go undercover? There's no way I can pass as a vampire, too much heartbeat, not enough fang-age."
"No, but you could pass as a vampire's human... um... slave."
"Of course, you would need a vampire who was willing to... "
"Uh, uh," Buffy cut him off. "Not happening. Not playing slave girl, no way. No love slave, no blood slave, uh-uh! And if you even suggest what I think you're thinking... " She didn't dare look at Spike.
Xander leaned forward in his chair. "Um, Giles, I gotta agree with Buffy on this one. I don't really see her passing as anyone's slave. Besides, wouldn't she be recognized? She has a pretty big rep you know."
"You could wear a disguise. Always wondered how you'd look as a brunette," suggested Spike.
"Shut up Spike. So not helping here."
Giles removed his glasses and settled them in his pocket. "Please consider it Buffy. Think of the people under their power, it must be a living hell for them."
Buffy stood up straight, her eyes wide and unblinking on his. He wouldn't, he couldn't, think that she would, no. "No. Giles, I'm going out to patrol now. Forget it, it's not going to happen. We find another way."
Part 2 by tanith
"Oi, Slayer! Wait!"
Throwing her head back and mouthing "Why me?" at the heavens, Buffy slowed to a halt. "What is it, Spike? I don't remember asking you to follow me."
"Good thing for you, too," Spike said, sidling up beside her. "'Cause if you had, I'd feel obligated to be on the other side of town by now."
"Oh, that's mature."
He shrugged and lit a cigarette.
Buffy let out a histrionic sigh and started walking again, resigned to his company. "Fine. What do you want, Spike?"
"I wanna talk you out of being such a stupid git."
She whirled around at him. "Excuse me?"
"It's just that you're being awfully selfish about this, pet. It's unlike you."
"Why do you even care? I'd think you'd be heading the rah-rah squad for these guys."
"Nah. Pom poms aren't my style," Spike said, internally fuming that she still refused to see him outside of her narrow little "vamp box." She was sodding blind, she was. "Besides," he said. "A slave ring? That's nasty business. Anyone using mojo to get a meal deserves to get his ass kicked, or we're going to have to deal with more graduates from the Dracula School of Ponces."
Buffy turned and smiled at him, devilishly. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't mind control part of Drusilla's MO?"
Great. She just had to go and bring that up. She was making this talking-some-sense-into-her business bloody difficult.
"Er... right," he said. "Well, I never liked it when she did that."
This was a lie. It had been quite amusing at times. A smile rose to his lips as he remembered one particular incident... Grinning, he filed it away as a good story he could tell the Nibblet later - once he'd performed a severe edit, of course.
"Look, that's not the point," Spike said, yanking his mind back on track. "Point is, innocent people are dying, and it's your job to be all hero-y and stop it from happening. Having to pretend not to loath me for a couple of days seems like a small price to pay to preserve, er... "
"... Truth, Justice, and the American way?" Buffy finished, her voice absolutely drenched with sarcasm. "Could you be any more transparent with your motivations?"
Spike put on his best innocent face. In truth, he was far from miserable at the idea of having to go undercover with her. Course, he'd been watching too many X-Files reruns lately...
"All I know is that you have this... " he tried to say the next words with sincerity and failed miserably. "'... Sacred duty,' right? You're the Slayer. Scourge of all things nasty and evil. Protector of whelps the world over. And you're just going to turn your back on that 'cause being around me too long gets your panties in a twist?"
She glared at him, her mouth opening to shoot him a retort.
He beat her to it. "'You're a pig, Spike.' Yes, I know." He sighed. "Just what will it take to convince you? Lemme guess: one of your little Scooby pals to get kidnapped." He took one last drag on his cigarette and then flicked it away, shaking his head."Nah. Too obvious."
* * **
Tara had her face screwed up in a manner that suggested she was sucking on something unpleasant.
"Honey, it's okay," Willow said sweetly. "You're allowed to yawn."
Looking relieved, Tara opened her mouth and let it out. "Sorry," she said. "I know I shouldn't be this tired."
"You want to go home and get some rest?" her lover asked. "I think we're only going to be researching for... oh, the next four hours."
Tara's smile was interrupted by yet another yawn. "I guess I'd better."
"Don't feel guilty," Anya said, not taking her eyes off the large, dusty book spread out in front of her. "We don't really need you."
Suddenly, the ex-demon could feel every pair of eyes in the room boring into her. "For researching," she quickly amended.
"Anya, remember what we discussed?" Xander said. "About thinking before you speak?"
"It's okay," Tara said, gathering her books. "I know what she meant." She gave Willow a chaste kiss on the lips and headed out the door. "Don't be too long, okay?"
Willow smiled at her and then went back to her book.
Tara tugged her sweater closer to her body as she stepped out into the night. It always came as a shock how cold sunny California could get at night. It's a desert climate, Tara reflected. Not that knowing this made it any more comfortable. She began to walk faster, eager to get inside and under the warmth of her comforter.
She was less than a hundred yards from her dorm when a huge vampire stepped into her path.
Tara's first reaction was, naturally, one of fear. The vamp towered over her, his lips curled into an ugly grin. "Why, what's a pretty little thing like you doing out at an ungodly hour such as this?"
Run, Tara thought, frantically. Run! Only... she didn't want to run.
"I was waiting for you, of course," Tara said, in a voice that, were Willow to ever hear it, would probably cause her to drop into a dead faint, and then wake up screaming that her girlfriend had been possessed by Faith.
"I'm right here, baby," the vamp said.
Tara flashed him
a seductive grin and jumped him, sending books scattering across Sunnydale's
Part 3 by VicNoir
Spike felt as badly as a quasi-evil, desperately horny creature of the night could reasonably be expected to feel about Tara's kidnapping. But not badly enough to take no satisfaction from the position he now found himself in: lord and master of the object of his desire. Even if it was all pretend, he couldn't help but get a tremendous thrill from the idea of showing off in front of all the other vamps, for within the confines of this little under cover operation, he got to play the biggest bad of all: the vamp who'd captured the Slayer.
"Oi! Slave-girl! Get your arse out here an lemme check the dye-job!"
Scowling, Buffy emerged from the bathroom of the motel room rubbing her newly darkened hair with a towel. Spike grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled the towel from her hands. Pushing the hair back from her face, he smiled down out her.
"Not bad, Slayer. Gives you that mysterious, exotic look I used to fancy."
Buffy yanked the towel back and brushed past him in annoyance to gaze at her reflection in the mirror across the room. "Used to fancy? What, you're not into brunettes anymore?"
"Er... well... yeah, I like a dark-haired bird well enough." He searched his pockets for cigarettes and came up empty. "You hungry?"
"Mmmmm... yeah. There's a McDonald's across the street." She looked pointedly at the vampire and then at the door.
"Right. Why don't I toddle over and bring you back somethin'? I could use the air." In fact, he was planning on shoplifting some smokes from the 7-Eleven next door. "What's your poison?"
"A Big Mac. Fries. Coke. Super-size it. And a Happy Meal with nuggets. And an apple pie."
"Anybody ever mention you eat like a dock-worker?"
"Go to hell, Spike."
"Not that I object, mind you. In fact, I'd prefer a bit more meat on my slave than what's currently on you. Maybe by the time we get back to Sunnyhell, you'll have a curve or two" His words were cut off by her left to his jaw. He rubbed it absently, continuing to grin at her. "Now, pet, remember what the Watcher said. No bruisin' your master, might blow our cover."
"Yeah, well, I doubt that Giles would blame me at this point. Why do you always have to be so... so... "
"Irresistible? Desirable? Sexy?"
"Disgusting. Revolting. Irritating."
"Oh, Slayer, you know you like me. If you didn't, I wouldn't be able to provoke you so easily."
He had a point. One that she was barely able to acknowledge to herself, and intended never to acknowledge to him.
"OUT! NOW! And I don't care if you ever come back!"
"Oh, but you do. And I will." He watched as she stomped into the bathroom and slammed the door behind her. Chuckling, he left the room in search of grease, salt and sugar for his beloved Slayer, and nicotine for himself.
* * **
When Buffy pulled
over to get gas the following evening, she poked at the sleeping vampire covered
in blankets in the back seat of the rental car.
"Wake up, Spike. Sun's going down. Your turn to drive."
He sat up and yawned, rubbing at his eye with the heel of his hand. Then he fished a bag of blood from the cooler on the floor of the car and slid into game-face, piercing the plastic and sucking the bag dry in under ten seconds. She watched him, fascinated.
"Wow. You've really got that down to an art-form."
"Yeah, well, it's amazing how proficient you can get when you've no bleedin' choice."
"You ready to drive?"
"Yeah. Just lemme wake up a bit first. Where're you goin'?"
"Gotta use the bathroom. Be right back."
He glanced out the window and saw the last sliver of a blood-red sun slide behind the desert horizon. Stepping out of the car, he watched her disappear into the gas station restroom. He slouched against the fender and lit a cigarette. The hot, dry breeze blew his nearly-white hair into curls around his face and threw a light spray of sand against the black leather of his duster.
A black Cadillac pulled up to the other side of the pumps. Spike immediately noticed that the windows had been painted out with heavy black grease. He stubbed out the remainder of his cigarette and pulled himself up to his full height to face the large, dark creature that emerged from the driver's seat.
"Evenin', mate. Nice night, inn'it?"
The driver of the other car flashed a glance in his direction, and recognition lit in his eyes. "Hey, you're... aren't you... ?"
"We've met, mate? 'Cause I can't rightly say I recall you."
The other vampire flashed his game-face briefly, and Spike countered with his most charming smile. "Ah, yes, Barrett, right? Peter Barrett? You were on the guest-list for Dru's little get-together a few years back"
"Yeah, sorry I couldn't make that. Although I heard it was interrupted by a visit from the Slayer."
"Yeah, well, that was just a bit of unplanned entertainment. So, what are you doin' in these parts?" He saw Buffy emerge from the restroom over the other vampire's shoulder.
"I'm on my way to Vegas. Got a little... business opportunity waiting for me there." Barrett ran his credit card through the slot in the pump and reached for the nozzle. "Hey, didn't I hear something about you? Something about the military fixing it so you can't hunt or kill anymore?"
"Yeah, that was a bit of a problem for a few months. But I solved it."
"So you're all better now?"
"Right as rain, mate. Why do you ask?" Buffy had slowed her approach and was looking hard at Spike. He waggled one eyebrow at her in an unspoken message.
"Thought you might be interested in this business opportunity I mentioned." Barrett replaced the nozzle and screwed the gas cap back into place. "It's an auction, actually."
"Yeah? What kind of auction?"
Barrett smiled. "The kind you'd like. Slaves. Human slaves. We've got hundreds of 'em, all ripe and ready and willing to serve. Sound like something you'd" Barrett never got to finish his sales-pitch, because he had become a pile of dust that mixed with the sand drifts around the gas pumps and blew away into the night. Buffy tucked her stake back into the inner pocket of her jacket and grinned at Spike. "Vegas, huh?"
He returned her smile with enthusiasm. "Tell me, Slayer, have I ever shown you my Elvis impersonation?"
Part 4 by Love's Bitch (Kristin)
Spike took another long drag from his cigarette, thinking over the plan. They weren't far from Vegas now, and he was anxious to get there and start acting like a master again. His body tingled with anticipation of being the Big Bad once more, and for all to see. True it was only temporary, and all an act, but he'd always reveled in being the center of attention, and this little meat market would be no exception. The blonde vampire had definite plans for the little play he and Buffy had to put on for the others. He flicked the butt out the window and was about to light another smoke when he heard a low moan from the backseat, where Buffy currently slept. He let a smirk light his features as he listened to her change positions and reached again for his pack of smokes.
This time, Buffy giggled, and Spike forgot all about his nicotine. "Spiiiiike..." In utter shock, he forgot what he was doing and the car swerved ever so slightly to the right. Grabbing the wheel, trying to keep the car from crashing, as well as trying not to wake up the newly-brunette slayer in the back seat, Spike decided to pull the car over for a moment, to enjoy the show.
Once the car was parked, he turned in his seat and went into vamp face so he could see her in the dark. She lay on her side, facing him, arms wrapped tight around herself, and a light smile playing on her sleeping features. She did nothing for a moment, and Spike felt a stab of tenderness for her, so he reached out to brush an errant strand of hair from her face. When his hand was about two inches from her cheek, she started, turning her head into his hand, and giggling again. "Yes... " she moaned and suddenly Spike found it difficult to sit still.
A thousand ideas flew through his brain, most of which included jumping in the back seat with her, some of which actually included continuing to drive. Instead, he sat there, watching in silence, unsure of what to do. She made his mind up for him with her next outburst.
"Yes, Spike... " her perfect mouth spoke his name like it was poetry, "Yes, master... "
He didn't waste a moment's time after that remark, and started to climb over the seat. He shed his duster and his demon visage on the way over, and steadied himself over the slayer's sleeping form. He closed his eyes, leaning in for a kiss when he felt something sharp and distinctly wooden pressing into his chest. He opened his eyes to see a very amused Slayer looking back at him, a mischievous glint in her eyes.
"My turn to drive already?" she asked, smiling.
He was caught. Anything he said right then would either result in stakage or at least bruising, so he decided he may as well have fun. "You just looked so sweet and innocent, love. I thought you needed a little... debauchery." He winked at her, and she pushed him roughly off of her onto the floor of the back seat.
As she climbed into the front seat, she said offhandedly, "I've been awake since you stopped the car. Just keep in mind that the only reason you aren't dust is because they have Tara."
With a satisfied half-smirk on his face, Spike laid back on the seat, closed his eyes, and replayed the feeling of his Slayer's body laying under him, not fighting him. It wasn't until ten minutes later, when they were back on the road that he realized she'd moaned his name BEFORE he stopped the car.
Oh this was going to be too much fun.
* * **
At just past two a.m. they pulled onto the Vegas strip, searching for a hotel. Buffy was in awe of all the bright colors and flashing lights, but Spike had seen it all before, and was currently telling one of his less than amusing "Me and Dru" stories. Buffy just rolled her eyes.
"So anyway, Me and Dru take the third dancing girl, right? Right off the bloody stage, but everyone is so drunk, no one notices. Champagne for everyone, they had. So, Elvis is down to two girls on stage with him-"
"Elvis? Why in God's name is Elvis in this story?"
"Well, pet, if you'd been listening," Spike began, but stopped when he saw the marquis of the Spiked Collar Hotel and Nightclub. Smiling at the name, he pointed the sign out to Buffy.
She read aloud, "'Host of the annual Creatures of the Night 'Date' Auction'." She laughed, "Well, they don't do a great job of hiding themselves, do they?"
"Looks like this is our stop. Pull in, lets get ourselves a room."
Spike couldn't hide his amusement at Buffy's disgusted reaction. She'd forgotten they could only have one room, he knew. And he also knew that being alone with him in a hotel made her nervous. And he couldn't wait to take advantage of that.
After they parked, as they were approaching the front door to the hotel section, Spike grabbed her hand, dropped another devilish wink, and said, "Now remember pet, I like you to smile when you say, 'Yes, Master Spike.'"