Sands of Burning Time - (8)
Disclaimer and Distribution notes are listed on the Index page of this story.'Single' quote marks surround thoughts in this story. "Regular" quotes are around spoken words.
Alex was eternally grateful that the hole Dawn had found wasn’t a sewer hole. Instead she’d found an air duct of some kind. “So, which one of us is going in there?” he asked.
Dawn peered into the duct. “We’ll all fit. I think we should stick together.”
“Ladies first,” Alex said. He gestured towards the duct.
Dawn rolled her eyes. “I knew I should have worn pants on my date.”
Rogue stepped into the room. “You got to go on date? Wish I could go out on a date, but all the guys my age are dorks.”
Dawn hoisted herself up into the duct. “A dork’s better than a vamp!” she protested. “I saw him in the sun just a few days ago! How was I to know that he was going to try and eat me?”
“Don’t you mean a few decades in the future, dear?” Alex teased.
“Whatever.” Dawn would have stuck her tongue out at the boy, but there was no room to turn in the duct. “Dating isn’t easy when your sister is the Slayer. She’s a bit overprotective, and I won’t even get started on how protective Spike is.”
Alex took Rogue’s gloved hand, and he helped her up into the opening too. “You try having Rick and Evelyn O’Connell as your parents. I might as well live in a monastery.”
“I think I have you both beat all on my own. I can’t kiss anyone without sucking out their life,” Rogue muttered. She followed behind Dawn.
Alex hoisted himself up into the hole, and he replaced the cover behind him. He trailed behind the girls until Dawn stopped suddenly. “What’s up?” he asked.
“I hear something.” Dawn whispered while she waved a hand behind her. “It sounds like Baldie is talking to someone.” She paused. “Or maybe he’s talking to himself.”
The three teenagers crawled as quietly as they could towards the sound of Imotep’s voice. They crouched close to an opening in the ductwork to eavesdrop. It was clearly apparent that Dawn had the right idea. It appeared that Imotep was speaking to himself. However the only one that could understand him was Alex.
“What was all that about?” Dawn whispered when Imotep finally went about his business in another room.
“I’m not sure,” Alex muttered. “He acted like he was talking to someone. He kept telling whoever it was that they’re changing the future.”
“Is that a bad thing?” Rogue replied.
“I don’t know.” Alex shook his head. “How on earth can they be changing the future?”
Dawn wasn’t sure how the future was being changed, but she sincerely hoped that the changes were good ones.
Buffy stopped in front of the hotel room door. She was nervous about seeing the more evil, less chipped version of her vampire. She was about to knock on the door when it opened.
“What are you doing here, Slayer?” Spike asked.
“I … uh … We’re going to England. There’s a thingie at the British museum we have to go see,” Buffy blurted out. “I just wanted to tell you that so you wouldn’t think we ran off and left you or anything.”
Spike glanced up and down the hall to see if the Slayer had any company with her. “Where’s your lap dog?”
“If you mean yourself, then he’s back at the O’Connells’ with Giles. They’re waiting for some papers from Giles’ grandma Edna.” Buffy let out a small shriek when Spike dragged her into the room. “What are you doing?”
“You’ve been flirting with me for days now, Slayer,” Spike growled. He slammed the door shut behind Buffy. “I want to know why.”
“You’re important to me. I didn’t want to have to stake you.”
“Like a vampire’s important to a Slayer,” Spike scoffed.
Buffy glared at Spike. He was so damned stubborn. She had to wonder if the way she was feeling was in any way similar to the way her Spike had felt when she had rejected him. Buffy stepped forward, grabbed Spike’s face, and smashed their lips together. She grinned into the kiss when he let out a muffled groan, and he finally gave into the kiss.
Spike’s head popped up when a barrage of new memories hit him. “Bloody Hell!”
“Did you find something?” Giles looked up from the parchment he was studying. True to her word, his grandmother had sent copies of the Atlantis papers to him via courier.
“No, but Buffy snogged the heck out of my younger self.” Spike pouted. He felt jealous of himself. “Why’d he get a kiss before I did?”
Giles snorted. “I seem to remember quite a bit of lip smacking between you and Buffy a few years back.”
Spike rolled his eyes. “The witch is prophetic, isn’t she? On a more serious note, we’re changin’ things, Rupert,” Spike said. “I know I didn’t go to the prom with Buffy. I wasn’t even in good old Sunnyhell at the time, and yet, I distinctly remember dancing with her now.”
“I’ve had the same type of feelings,” Giles agreed. “I know we didn’t meet until Sunnydale, but I have the vaguest of feelings that we met when I was a teenager.”
Spike gave the Watcher a thoughtful look. “Maybe we need to have a talk with my younger self before we head back home.”
“What do you have in mind?” Giles lifted an eyebrow.
“If we tell him that Ben is Glory, maybe Buffy doesn’t have to die.” Spike shrugged. “If she doesn’t die, the Scoobs can’t pull her out of heaven.”
“That’s an interesting idea. Let me think about it,” Giles replied. He went back to studying the parchment in his hands while his mind contemplated Spike’s suggestion.
Rick and Logan strolled into the room where the two Brits were researching. “We booked our passage to England,” Rick announced. “We leave tomorrow at dusk.”
“Sounds good,” Spike said. He looked up at the newcomers. “How are the hangovers?”
Logan growled at the vampire. He felt disgruntled when Spike laughed at him before going back to the research on Atlantis. He was itching for a fight.
“If you want to fight something,” Spike replied. “There’s a demon bar down on the waterfront that you can go clean up.”
Logan’s face brightened at the thought. “When can we leave?”
“As soon as the Slayer returns. She gets cranky if we have a spot of violence without her.”
MEANWHILE BACK IN SUNNYDALE (in a revised future.)
“How long do you think they’ll be gone?” Faith asked. She twirled her stake in an absentminded manner.
Willow shook her head. “I don’t know. Angel said he has some information about them. He’s coming in from Los Angeles tonight.”
Faith shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Helping the hopeless for forty years. He’s an inspiration to us all.”
“Who’s an inspiration to us all?” Xander strolled into the Magic Box. He crossed the room to Faith who he kissed on the cheek before he took a seat next to her. “How’s my baby doing?”
“I’m fine,” Faith answered. “We were talking about Angel. Apparently he has some intel on where Spike, Buffy, and Giles are and what they’re up to.”
“Hope it’s more exciting than November on the Hellmouth,” Xander muttered.
“That singing and dancing, burning and dying thing we averted was exciting.” Faith tried to look serious but failed miserably.
Willow laughed. “Yeah, the look on Warren Meers’ face when that demon wanted to take him to Hell as his bride was the funniest thing I’ve seen in years.”