"Where is Big, Bad, and Bleached?" asked Scribe.
"Your guess is as good as mine," Xander responded. "No, scratch that--your guess is a hell of a lot more accurate than mine. You write this shit--I just live through it. G'wan, guess. I'd lay money that he's wherever you decide he is."
"Makes as much sense as anything else around here. I'll say he's at... the mansion. Where is it?"
"You mean that big, spooky house I passed on the way here?" said Woody.
"On your way here from Boston?" asked Scribe.
"Don't start. It's next door."
"C'mon, my Sherpas. Let the trek begin." They trooped out of the library. As they started down the hall, she began snickering.
Xander flinched. "Uh-oh."
"What's wrong?" asked Woody.
"You should be very careful when two people snicker--Strife, and Scribe. It usually signals shit for SOMEBODY. Scribe, it doesn't have anything to do with ME, does it?"
"Nooo." *chuckle* "I was just..." *chortle*
"Oo, this could be worse than I thought. That's two tries without one sentance."
*sniff* "Loosen your jockeys, Xan--it doesn't concern you. It might not even happen, since I'm a bit preoccupied right now for writing. No, I was just thinking--we left Gabby handcuffed in the library. Suppose Giles comes in? Ripper has been riding pretty close to the surface lately..."
*gag* "Thanks for the mental image, Scribe..."
Woody looked thoughtful. "Oh, I don't know."
Xander slapped him on the back. "That's because you're relatively new around here. She's never trapped you and started in on how under appreciated she is, has she?"
Sure enough the mansion was sitting next door to the high school (which was a pretty neat trick when you consider how long ago the high school had been blown up--in canon, but since when had Scribe's Marysue universe had any but a glancing acquaintance with canon?). As they approached, Woody grabbed both Xander and Scribe by the arm and hustled them behind some conveniently placed cover (was there any other kind in fanfiction?)
Woody said, "Okay, now we..." *grope* "Harris, get off me!"
"Well, why else did you drag us into the bushes?"
"So he won't see us coming. We have to figure out how we're going to get in there."
They both stared at him. Finally Scribe said, "Look, the whole point of coming here was to find Spike, right?"
"Did you read the first installment of this series?"
"Um... just the dirty parts."
Xander looked superior. "Philistine."
"Don't act superior, Xander," Scribe scolded. "You highlighted the smut. Woody, if you had, you'd realized the simplest way to find anyone in these fics." She walked up on the porch and knocked.
Woody and Xander watched from the bushes. Woody whispered, "Shouldn't we be with her, backing her up?"
Xander whispered back. "As much as I enjoy being behind Scribe at every given opportunity, she wanted to do this alone, or she'd have grabbed us by various parts of our anatomy and dragged us along."
The door opened, but Scribe blocked their view of whoever was inside. They heard her say, "I'd say Avon calling, but since I don't wear makeup, that... Yip!"
The yip came as she was jerked unceremoniously inside, and the door slammed. Woody gasped. "Damn! I haven't seen anyone jerked inside a house that fast since that stupid Nightmare on Elm Street dragged-through-a-knothole-backward ending bit." He stood up, reaching for his gun.
Xander put a hand on his arm. "Not yet."
"Gotta give her time for snappy banter and negotiation."
Scribe stared at the blond vampire who was leaning back against the now locked front door, glowering at her. "Um--Spike. Hi! Long time no see."
"Specifically since chapter twelve of Be Careful," he drawled. "Counting th' rest of Careful, an' how long this lot has been running, that's a total of sixteen chapters. That's a long, long time in fanficland, ducks."
She smiled weakly. "Well, I was running for most of that time, you know."
"Gettin' lots of exercise, were you?"
"More than I..."
He pushed away from the door, and started toward her. "Y'see, I didn't have that trouble. You got more exercise than me--I spent most of th' time LOCKED in a bloody COFFIN!"
She backed up. "Uh..."
"That wasn't nice."
"You expect nice from me?"
"A little bloody consideration would be good. I was in that box for MONTHS, an' after the first few hours I needed a chamber pot REALLY bad." He made a face. "Then I didn't need one, which was worse."
"Ewww... But wait a minute--you're on a blood diet. I didn't think you needed to eliminate."
"That's true enough as far as it goes, but it doesn't take into account the six pack of beer I drank before I snatched you from Angelus."
As they spoke he was stalking her down the hall, and she was slowly backing up (thinking that it was a damn good thing that her Real Life broken bones didn't figure in over here, because it would have been damn awkward after the '03 Front Step Dive). "You're right--you're justified in being pissed-... That didn't sound right."
"Thank you so much for giving me permission. Now, I need you to give me a little more permission. I'd like a quick snack, and an even quicker shag."
"Permiss...?" She pointed at him. "You got chipped while I was gone, didn't you?" He snarled. "This could be interesting." She lifted her shirt and flashed him. He took another step toward her, hands coming up, then stopped, wincing. "Hm." She lifted her shirt and flashed him. He went to game face and lunged, but stopped abruptly before he could achieve first base, grabbing at his head instead of boob. "Yep, you were chipped." She dropped her shirt. "Damn, I'm sorry to hear that. I mean, the chip made most of your interaction with the Scoobies possible without throat ripping being involved, but it was just such a weasly, NASTY way for them to do it. Fucking hypocritical military types! If anyone had done the same thing to an American soldier they'd be pissing their pants to bomb something."
"Yer sympathy is duly noted. Permission t' nosh would be more appreciated. I've been stuck with bovine or porcine blood, an' you ought to understand how badly I want th' real stuff. I mean, you won't even eat black pudding."
"No joke. I tell you what, Spikey--let's negotiate. I want your help, you want my plasma and some bumpity. We can come to an understanding. I'll give you permission to have a half-pint or so, and one non-invasive sexual favor of your choice, in exchange for you helping me get home."
"Blood and sex, eh? What d'ye want in exchange?"
She shrugged. "I haven't read that far. Could be internal organs, for all I know."
He considered. She sighed, and flashed him again. "Okay."
"I've said this many times, but never with such a literal meaning--bite me." *pounce* *yelp!*
Spike pulled back a little, licking his lips. "Well, ya knew it would sting."
"It's not that! Get your hand out from under my shirt till you warm up a little!"
"Sorry. I'll take care of that." *sucksucksuck* *the NECK, you perverts, the NECK* *okay* *slurpslurpslurp* *Does that keep your mind out of the gutter? We'll be going there soon enough* *smacksmack* "Ahhh. Ya haven't lost a lick of flavor, pet."
"Mm." *smack* "Yer a virgin again."
"Thank you. I usually am, but sometimes over here I lose track. I'm still bleeding."
"Oops." *licklicklick* "There."
"Oh, c'mon. Ya let th' whelp lick yer neck often enough."
"Well, yeah, but he's kind of puppyish to start with."
Spike cleared his throat. "Second part of the bargain?"
*bright, false voice* "I thought you'd forgotten."
"Thank you for not laughing out loud at that. Okay, I said non-invasive, so what to you want..." *zip* "Hommina...* *shakes head*
"You flatterer. Come over to the couch, pet--that floor is dusty."
Woody looked up alertly. "I heard a yelp!"
Xander shook his head. "That was a 'geez, that's cold' yelp."
"How the hell could you tell?"
"Well, you know how mothers can tell the difference between a baby's 'I'm hungry', 'get this diaper off me', and 'that HURTS!' crying?"
"Sort of the same thing, but in reverse. I can tell lots of different things from the way my Mommy yelps and squeaks."
Woody stared at him. "You're weird, Harris."
"She likes me this way."
"I didn't say it was a bad thing. How'd you like a sibling?"
"Can't think of anyone I'd rather commit pseudo-incest with."
"You are SO kinky." *whoop!* "He ought to warm his hands up."
Xander giggled. "That was NOT a cold whoop! That was a 'got some!' whoop. I think we can go in now."
They went up to the front door and knocked. The door opened, and Spike leaned on the jamb, casually taking a drag off a cigarette. "Yeah?"
Woody looked him up and down. "Oh, yeah--he just go laid."
"Actually," said Xander, "He looks like that all the time, but I'd agree with you."
Spike smirked. "Not exactly, but close enough to take the edge off."
"Where's Scribe?" asked Xander.
"She's changing clothes. Things got a bit Lewenski."
"Too much information," said Woody.
"No, it isn't." Xander made crooking motions with his fingers. "Details, details."
"We don't have time for that." Scribe was coming down the stairs.
Woody jumped. "Xander, what the fuck?!"
Xander was pointing. "Looklooklooklooklook!"
Now Spike turned around. "Holy fuck! That's one of Drusilla's old ones."
"What is this?" asked Woody. "It's a little gypsyish, but not that weird."
"The hell it isn't," said Xander. "It's SCRIBE in a DRESS. It isn't quite one of the signs of the end time, but it's damn close."
Scribe didn't look all that pleased. She stalked down to them and snapped. "Quit gaping. There was just this or jeans, and I couldn't get into them. Damn you and your narrow hips, Spike. I hate these things."
"But you look kinda cute in it," protested Woody. "Why do you hate them."
A stiff wind blew through the open door. Scribe's skirt caught it like a parachute snapping open and did a Seven Year Itch lift on her. She swore, stabbing at the floating material in an effort to keep it at a decent level, and failing miserably.
Xander said, "Whoa, are the panties Dru's, too?" He wiggled his eyebrows. "Black lace?" He looked at Woody. "She usually wears the kind that you'd expect on a Catholic schoolgirl."
"Oo, white cotton," said Woody.
"If you two are finished airing your particular fetishes," she snapped, "I'd like to get on with this. Where's that page?" Spike pulled it out of his pocket. "Thank you." She opened it and smoothed it out. "We need one more thing."
"Let me take a wild guess," said Xander. "A redhead?"
She kissed him on the tip of the nose. "Who-zza clever boy?"
Woody said, "Hot dog! I always wanted to meet Willow."
"Maybe we can arrange that some day," said Scribe. "But not now."
"Well, what other redhead do we have around here?"
Xander and Spike rolled their eyes, and Scribe said, "Now, now. He's not entirely vanilla. He's working his way toward kink. Think outside the het box, Woody, and you'll realize that there's at least one other attractive redhead in Sunnydale." He looked blank. She sighed. "Okay. I'll give you a hint, and see if I can't get his attention at the same time." She stepped to the door and threw her head back.
END PART 14