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Knight's Lament: Prologue
Word count: 840
“Worst road trip ever.” Willow grumbled from the backseat.
Cordelia turned to look back at her, but before she could make some sort of retort Xander was lunging for the wheel. “Eyes on the road! Eyes on the road!”
Cordelia faced forward again and swerved back on course with ease, not a hair out of place and her face the picture of calm.
“Are we dead?” Willow's voice was a whisper, and more than a bit shaky.
Xander shuddered. “No, we are very much alive...but Wills, please don't antagonize Cordy while she's driving.”
“You don't have to worry about that...that was scary...it’s just. Why did we have to leave at night? We could at least be enjoying the scenery if it was day time.”
“It’s the desert Willow.” Cordelia muttered.
Xander tried not to grin, glad to be alive and no longer in danger. “I had a hunch.”
Willow leaned forward and Cordelia flicked her eyes at him for just a second, but he could just see the smirk on her face from the lights on the dash. “The kind of hunch like the big spell-o-rama night where the pack did that spiritual thingy?”
“Not quite. Hey, pull over at that gas station.”
“You should have gone before we left. Besides, we're almost to LA.”
She sighed and swerved into the parking-lot. He could hear Willow's harsh breathing behind him; she was clinging to the back of his seat for dear life. He ignored them both for the moment as he examined the lot...and there he was.
“Well?” Cordelia asked.
“Look.” He pointed to a slender figure in a long coat; the bleached blond hair nearly glowed under the security lights. Spike gave a half wave from where he stood, leaning against a classic car with blacked out windows.
Willow gulped. “Is that?”
Cordelia gave him a look. “How'd you know he'd be here?”
He shrugged. “I didn't.”
He unbuckled and got out of the car, Cordelia did the same and Spike started to walk toward them...until Willow climbed out of the car too. He stopped then, but Xander and Cordelia kept going toward him, so Spike held his arms open and they drifted into his embrace.
Willow watched, sort of speechless, as Xander rose up to kiss Spike, even clutch at his coat. It was...different. Sure she knew that Xander had kissed guys before, but seeing him kiss Spike like he needed him was...she didn't have a word for it. When Xander broke the kiss and simply leaned into the vampire, burying his face in Spike's shoulder she saw how vulnerable her oldest friend could be. She hadn't seen him like that in a long time. Not since the night they took Buffy to Jesse's grave.
Then Cordelia kissed Spike, and it was just as needful and filled with longing; with Spike doing his best to curl protectively around both teens. Willow always thought she knew what love looked like, because hey she'd witnessed the doomed romance of Angel and Buffy, and the heartbreak of Giles and Jenny. But this...was something different. When Cordelia broke away she too just huddled in Spike's arms.
Willow walked toward him, surprised when Spike nodded to her in acknowledgment. Well, she could be polite. “For their sakes, I'm glad you're okay...also I'd like to thank you for keeping Giles alive.”
Spike nodded again. “Welcome Red.” He looked down at Xander and Cordelia. “I was on my way to see you two. Just stopped to stretch my legs. What brings you to LA?”
Cordelia yawned just a bit. “Tracking Buffy.”
Xander nudged him. “Where's Drusilla?”
Spike grimaced at the reminder of his sire. “Locked away two states from here, plan to get her out of the country and then distract her with something pretty. That should be enough to keep her away from the Hellmouth.”
The three of them shared a smile before Cordelia pouted. “So it will be a while before you come back?”
“You have my cell number?”
“Have it memorized love. Just wasn't sure where we stood.”
Xander reached up to caress his cheek. “You're welcome to come back. Just don't eat anyone while you're in town.”
“Or right before you kiss us.” Cordelia added and Xander rolled his eyes. Cordelia however looked back at Willow. “Come on, a girl's gotta have some standards, right?”
Willow shrugged. “Sounds reasonable to me...do you guys need me to take a walk? Let you say goodbye?”
Xander looked to Spike. “Do we?”
Spike shook his head. “They have decent burgers inside. Not up to your cooking standards...my treat. You too Red.”
Willow blinked, surprised at the offer. “Xan?”
Spike smirked and lowered his arms, only to take them each by the hand and lead them toward the diner. Willow watched in awe, as she'd only ever seen Xander this compliant with Cordelia. It was a bit of an eye opener.