Date: February 15, 2012
Synopsis: Reunions, Bad Words and Wankers. It's the only way to live.
Location: Old Town
Participants: JD, Buffy, Willow, Wesley, Spike
Rating: R (Excessive Language)
The moonlight reflects ominously off the grey-white ruins of Aphrodite's temple. The rock-laden dirt towards the ruins have the foot prints of two heavy black boots up and down the ruins. A sole figure has, quite obviously, been combing the area for something. With her hair pulled back into a tight ponytail, the vampire slayer is certainly on the prowl for something tonight. Yet something seems slightly amiss. Just a little. The leather coat she's wearing certainly isn't hers. No, her leather coat hasn't been touched since it became covered with slimy vampire entrails. Just ew.
With a stake clasped tightly in her palm, Buffy Summers scans the ground. Yes, the ground. She's not looking for graves, or for vampires tonight. No, Buffy is looking for something different.
“Come on BuffyBot, where are you?” Absently, her teeth toy at her bottom lip while her green eyes squint at the ground, “I found the cross, now where's the rest? You have to be here somewhere, I swear. I would even settle for holy water.” There's a brief pause as her eyes turn upwards. “What if she found my stuff… huh…” Now that's a thought that hadn't occurred to her before…
The sound of a foot scuffing the stone echoes loudly in the abandoned, partly ruined temple. JD winces at the noise and mutters curses to himself. He's normally quieter than that unless he doesn't want to be, but his injuries are making him drag his feet slightly more than normal. One arm is wrapped around his torso, hand vanishing under the open front of his own leather jacket as he limps along. He looks up as he catches sight of the cute blonde, and his eyes narrow as he considers her for a moment. Then he relaxes: whatever else she may be, she is not what he feared.
“You loose something, babe?” JD calls out to Buffy. “This ain't a great place to be wandering alone at night.” The humor of HIM saying that is not lost on the rocker, but he he seldom includes himself in the greater definition of 'people' when he talks to others.
It's like walking through Europe. Or, a tour guide of same. Suffice it to say it's nothing at all like Southern California, which actually makes it a little interesting to the redhead that's walking the street. It doesn't feel as dangerous as Sunnydale might, perhaps. Or maybe the girl just considers herself more predator than prey these days. Her eyes sweep the street, and it's not until she hears JD's voice that she really notices the other two people out on the streets. Silhouettes in the moonlight aren't exactly distinctive, but she can't help but smile at the feminine form with the ponytail. Reminds her of someone she knew.
If she only knew.
Wandering through places at night isn't unusual to Wesley. In fact, it's normal behavior, even now that he's joined the undead he once fought against. (And still does to some degree.) What he is needing to get used to however, is having to be partnered up with another employee of Wolfram and Hart in order to move about. It does little to improve upon his bitter feelings. As for his presence in the Old Town tonight, he and his intern, aka personal aide, are returning from an acquisitions negotiation of some old and powerful artifacts thought lost. Wesley was quite pleased at the find, and would have dearly of enjoyed to procure said items for a personal collection. Alas, he had to broker the deal on behalf of the most evil law firm in existence. He and said intern pass by the temple ruins on their way through, when a familiar voice reaches his ears. “Stop Jonas, one moment.” He frowns and departs the side of the intern, heading up into the temple. The intern doesn't look pleased about being told to wait and to babysit the Liaison, but if he literally wants to keep his head, he keeps his mouth shut.
The slightest scoff can be heard in the back of Buffy's throat as she twists around enough to catch JD in her periphery. Her lips part slightly as she considers some kind of retort, only to smile sweetly and settle on, “Don't worry, I'll protect you if the Big Bad comes a calling.” The smile fades and sarcasm creeps in, “Yeah. I lost something. I lost a lot of something and I found evidence of that something last night. I would've found more of that something if I could've focused. But slaying-mess, focus, and me are three very unmixy things. Especially when I end up full of ew.” Pause. “I'm looking for a big black bag of stuff. Except I think the stuff isn't in the bag anymore… not that I've found the bag. Make sense?” Her eyebrows perk.
The blonde pouts slightly as her hands absently tuck into the pockets of what, upon closer inspection, is decidedly Spike's coat. Slayer-turned-thief. Check. Even if Buffy isn't quite recognizable (thanks to the coat's general shapelessness), the coat itself is somewhat distinctive with its markings and the like.
“Oh good,” JD snorts in derision, “You'll protect me from myself. How fucking helpful.” He rolls his eyes and shakes his head. “Why do I even fucking bother?” he asks himself as he continues to limp along. “Every time I try to be nice, some jackass has to be a fuckhead about it. Too bad I'm so fucking bad about learning from my own mistakes.” He pauses slightly to listen to the blonde blather on about some bag or something, and shrugs. “I haven't seen your drugs, and no. That didn't make a lick of sense. Luckily for you, I speak 'wasted chick.'”
That's not “wasted chick” speech. That's a speech pattern she's oh-so-familiar with. And a coat she's familiar with, too. The last thing in the world she would have expected is to find someone she knows here. At least given how she got here. But the redhead changes her course and speeds her pace…not quite a run, but definitely a very brisk walk, as she hurries towards the Slayer and JD. It isn't until she's relatively close…close enough to at least get a glimpse of features in the moonlight, that she speaks. And despite all the questions and confusion going through her mind, only one word actually comes out.
“Well I'll be damned,” Wesley remarks quietly to himself, passing through one of the stone columns as he follows the source of the voice. Two people he recognizes, one he does not. “Miss Summers, Miss Rosenberg?,” he greets questioningly with a faint smile of wonder on his non-corporeal face. To JD, he explains, “You will have to excuse Miss Summers, she manages to take the English language and make it into something quite her own.”
“Well that's insulting,” Buffy's eyebrows perk again, but she offers no clarification about the weapons she's lost. With a small smirk she tacks on, “And they say chivalry is dead.” Willow's approach is largely unnoticed at first, or, at least, unacknowledged. The sound of her name however, has Buffy freezing. She sucks in a quick breath before pivoting around. Her mouth gapes, her eyes widen, and her next breath catches in her throat. The slayer nearly chokes on the name on her lips, “Will.”
After everything that's happened in the last few days, even generally isolated Buffy can't help but closing the gap to embrace her friend, “Ohmygosh I was so sure you were all–it was just a blur and I didn't know if I'd done it–” Only to be momentarily distracted. Eyebrows drawing together, she stares at the odd apparition, “Wesley?!”
Oh lord, more people wandering around the creepy, monster-infested ruins at night. Grand. JD frowns at first Willow and then Wesley, although the later seems to get a bit of a pass by virtue of being already dead. “I don't, actually,” he informs Wesley. “I had my manager look it up. I actually don't have to execuse anyone I don't fucking feel like excusing. It's in my rider.” To Buffy, he snickers. “It is dead. I fucking strangled it in its crib.” As everyone seems to know everyone else, he shrugs and resumes his trek. “Can't believe I fucking dropped my cell phone in the sewer,” he mutters to himself softly as he limps along.
The sound of Wesley's voice catches Willow's attention too, and she immediately looks over…only to gasp at the sight of the translucent ex-Watcher. “You're dead?…” she says, in a surprised, shocked whisper. It's cut short by impending Buffy-huggage, as she gets pulled into a hug by the Slayer. She returns it, shaking just a little in the hug. “And you've got Spike's coat…did he not make it?” her voice is soft at that. She looks over at JD, as if to see if he's someone she knows too, but upon seeing the unfamiliar face, her attention is back to the reunion.
“Yes, your old Watcher, here to torment you for old time's sake,” Wesley quips in a rather dry manner as he watches the reunion between Slayer and Witch. JD's response just earns an arching of a brow behind his glasses. “Ah, well then.” The language and crude manner are overlooked, seems there've been a few of that type encountered in his day. Or quite often, depending upon which celebrities are represented by the firm. He looks after JD, as if trying to place the fellow. Hmm. Not seen that chap in the entertainment offices. A frown forms when that name comes up, “Spike? Oh good lord.” As for his condition, he does not respond to Willow, he knows the bond Rosenberg and Summers has, so wisely lets them have their moment.
“The bloody gang's all here.”
The voice is heard before the flicking of a classic Zippo lighter ignites the face of one annoyed looking dude named Spike. He brings the lighter up to the cigarette that's in his mouth and he proceeds to light it. Leaning back against some random building, that allows him to see everyone and keeps his back up against it, safely, Spike just rolls his eyes. Apparently, he's not feeling too sentimental at this exact moment. Or any moment. Ever. In public. “Shouldn't you all be hugging or something equally as pointless?”
Spike has this big ol' smirk on his face. There's no reason to say he made it. He always makes it. He's Spike.
The hug is savoured by the blonde, even with Wesley's comments, “The world needs more Watchers than ever now.” Pause. “Or none at all?” Again she shrugs, settling into the hug a moment longer before letting go to answer Willow's question. “No, Spike made it… ” Speaking of the devil. “See?” Buffy shrugs slightly. “I just got his coat because mine got all–Oh Will, it was so nasty! I think I threw up in my mouth. A vamp exploded on me. Like… exploded. She was all over my face and my hair, and my clothes–” she shudders. “Ew.”
A frown tugs at the edges of Buffy's lips as she looks at Wesley, “So, you're dead then?” Her eyes shift slowly to Wesley, “How's that working out for you?” And then, as if to make the question more socially appropriate, she tacks on, “If it's any consolation, I've died twice…”
JD nods to Wesley, then glances at Spike. As the others ignore him, he returns the favor. Except… “Huh,” he says with a grunt to Spike. “Didn't think your kind could smoke, what with the whole 'not breathing' thing. Say, that brings up a fucking question. How do you talk? Is it some sort of magic or something?” Oddly, the question doesn't sound sarcastic. This is something JD occasionally wonders in his Goth-er moments. After all, if vampires don't breathe, how do they expell air over their vocal cords? He has a personal bet with a friend that it's magic. He fishes around in the pockets of his jacket and frowns. “Fuck,” he mutters. Then, “Can I bum one of those off ya?”
“Spike!” Willow looks over, and just seems stunned. “But how did all of you…I didn't see anyone else fall.” She looks to Wesley. “You weren't even /there/.” She just seems boggled. “A vampire blew up? Not dusted, but bloody-goo kind of blowing up?” For just the moment, the little mystery of that gets her attention, before she manages to pull it back to…well, more important thing. She looks to JD, and can't help but ask “Are you from California too?” Maybe somehow it pulled in people more than just Sunnydale.
The ex-Watcher flashes a rather exasperated look upon Spike. Lovely. “The Senior Partners let you off your leash, Spike?,” Wesley asks of the peroxide blonde vampire. The ghostly executive crosses his arms across his chest, maintaining a discreet distance from the two young women. Wryly, he looks at both Willow and Buffy, “Quite so. I went out in a blaze of glory.” Which is stretching the truth. “Yes, so I've read Miss Summers, and I am pleased to see that you've gotten over it both times.” Despite the differences he's had with the Slayer, he is honestly pleased to see her still alive and kicking. “It seems to be working out fairly well for me.” He then turns back to Spike and JD in turn, “I do wish that he was unable to speak at times.” How about all of the time? “I should see if that can be remedied.” A gentle look is given to Willow, “No Miss Rosenberg, there was a separate incident in Los Angeles where I perished. It was quite thrilling and heroic, I assure you.”
Spike is practically staring at this JD person. He takes a drag of his cigarette, looks the rocker up and down. Pauses to look at his cigarette and the smoke. And then he glares right back at JD. “I really, really want to kill you. Mostly because of that hair. But since I don't feel like making a mess, I'm gonna' just pretend like you don't exist. Lucky you.” And it is with that said does Spike proceed to wander closer to the people he knows. Oh, but there is a reason. “Relax, Wankerville Ghost. I'm not here to cause any trouble. Unfortunately.” His steps bring him closer and closer and one more closer to Buffy this entire time. “Red. Slayer.” is all he says, before pointing at his coat on Buffy's body and holds out his palm. Give it up.
A smile stretches over Buffy's lips at Wesley's response, “I'm glad it's working out for you.
“What do you mean, fell in?” Buffy's head cants to the side quizzically at Willow's question. “The Seed of Wonder… Angel, no,” she shakes her head, ”Twilight booby-trapped it or something.” Her chin drops and her eyes focus solely on her feet and nothing more. “I was stupid and I sent.. ” her voice becomes quiet, so low and whispered her words can't be easily made out until the end ”…and BuffyBot got sucked through some portal. I tried. I tried so hard to destroy the Seed, even with a last-ditch effort. Seeing you alive, I thought…” finally her chin lifts, “I thought it meant it worked.” Her lips press together. “It didn't did it? The world's turned to some Twilight reality and it's my fault.”
Spike's held-out hand causes Buffy's eyes to narrow. “You're dead, I'm sure that means you don't get cold. I need it more than you do.” However, despite the words, she begins shrugging it off her shoulders. “I mean, really, it's solely aesthetic, isn't it?”
JD glances at Willow once he realizes she's talking to him. “Chicago,” he says, “But I move around alot. Been to Cali. Pretty cool. Gotta love the babes in bikinis. That whole 'tofu, health food' thing can eat a dick though.” He snickers at Wesley's comment, “I fucking know how you feel. Met a few like that myself. There was one just the other day, mouthy bitch. Kept thinking he was all bad-ass. It was hard not to laugh in his fucking face. Nothing funnier than a full-of-himself vampire. Like that,” he points at Spike as the peroxide vamp (and /who/ has the ridiculous hair?) tries to threaten him. JD starts laughing, loudly. “Oh, please. Try. I'm having a shitty day. I'd love a good fucking laugh.” He pauses to watch Buffy remove the coat, but when she stubbornly refuses to continue to disrobe no matter how loudly he thinks she should, he shrugs again. “Oh well.”
“But…if you weren't in California, how'd you end up here? For that matter, does anybody know where “here” is?” Willow asks, to the group at large. The next, she addresses to Wesley. “Maybe…I can help? I could try…I mean…” She looks over at Buffy, unable to help but remember the last time she went raising the dead. “And into the Hellmouth. I thought…I thought all the rest of you made it away. You got clear.”
A roll of the eyes is made at Spike before Wesley heaves a sigh. “Of all the people the Senior Partners decided to bring here… Be nice, 'Blondie bear', or I may arrange for Harmony to transfer from the LA office.” Oh wouldn't that be pleasant. He frowns a bit at Buffy and Willow. Looks like he's got some research to do. Although he quickly surmises they are from a time period ahead of his. Luckily, his office is well equipped to bring him up to speed on what happened with the Scoobies. JD's words earn a polite smile, “This one can try the patience of a Buddhist monk,” he gestures at Spike. “Thank you Miss Rosenberg, but I think it would be a wasted effort on your part, and that is not a slight against your considerable talent. As for where here is, it is known as the City, and is made up of entry portals from other dimensions and times. Some people find themselves trapped, others have means to traverse back and forth. For the most part however, the city is made up of people like yourselves who find themselves here with no means of returning.”
“Not just aesthetic. My aesthetic.” Spike is about to take the coat from her, when he's realizing that he may end up getting into a fight soon enough and that's just going to ruin his coat further so he holds up his hand to allow Buffy to put the coat back on. It's a small gesture, but at least he's trying. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she may need it for warmth. At all. “Do I look like I give a damn what you and your Senior Partners can do? This is tossed at Wesley, mostly because he's annoyed with the JD character. “You, them, this Doors reject? You can all sod off to hell, for all I care.” Yeah, Spike's getting a little worked up. “If you need a place to stay, Red, I'm sure we could find you some room with us?” It is at this point that Spike moves to slide his arm around Buffy's shoulders, just for epic annoyance factor.
“We closed the Hellmouth,” Buffy confirms with a sharp nod. “I know we did. Just Angel, and that new power… it was bad, Will. Really bad. I was stupid.” Wesley's mention of Harmony, however, causes a very different reaction, “Harmony should watch herself. One of the slayers will take her out for what she's doing. It won't be me, I have bigger fish to fry, but exposing vamps to the world, telling Anderson Cooper slayers endanger everyone… all it takes is one bad day, and a stake…”
Spike's retracted hand earns a relatively warm smile as Buffy readjusts the coat so it's comfortably worn once again. “Thank you. I'm cold. Or I would be if I weren't wearing a coat. And it's not just your aesthetic, other people wear long black leather coats.” She frowns slightly, however, when Spike puts his arm around her shoulders. “I… what?” her eyebrows furrow before her attention turns to Willow, “You need to stay close so we can figure this out, please? I'm kind of in one of those apocalyptic world-ending dealies. Those happen a lot.”
“I rode my bike,” JD informs Willow. Then her next comment causes him to sigh. “Oh for fuck's sake. No one's explained shit to you yet?” He limps over to a large bit of tumbled masonry and leans against it. “How the fuck do I always end up 'newcomer information center?' I'm a fucking asshole. They should have NICE people do this shit, not me. But fine.” He sighs deeply. “Gather 'round, children, Uncle JD's gonna tell you a fucking story, and he won't even do any of that 'bad touching' Mommy likes so much.” He points at Wesley and says, “He's not entirely wrong, but he's missing some of it. Actually /most/ people in the City were born here. It's been here for fucking all of history. On every world. Every city that any species on any universe has ever fucking built, has had a portal to this place. So yeah, most people are just born here. But there are others, like you guys, who came here by accident. And there are others, like me, who came here on purpose. Hell, there's a whole army who uses this place as a whaddyacall it… a staging ground for their war. And it's not just people. Monsters, faeries, aliens, living robots, intelligent pond scum… the real kind, not just Blondie Bear there,” he grins at Wesley's name for Spike. “If you can imagine it, it can come here. If you CAN'T imagine it, it can still come here. All the rules you THOUGHT you knew about how the world worked? They might be true back in your world, but they ain't true here. If you want to learn more, visit the fucking Great Library, or talk to the fucking Phoenix Guards. They seem to know all about this shit, and are way better than me at explaining it.” He seems utterly unmindful of the 'danger' of Spike attacking him while he's sitting down.
Willow listens to JD's explanation…and Spike's offer…and Buffy's announcement of yet another apocalypse. Poor red is getting overloaded, and it shows some in her expression. “A place to stay is good.” she agrees, briefly, with Spike. “And…exposing vamps to the world?” Confusion is in her tone at Buffy's statement. “Is this all some kind of weird dream? Like with the man with the cheese? Because I think that would make a lot more sense.”
Wesley glances over to Spike, a sardonic and bored expression on his face. “No and you've made it quite clear. However, you may get little say in your situation.” Faint amusement is there, as he knows how hard it is to get out of any situation with Wolfram and Hart. Buffy's words earn a small smirk of humor about Harmony. The blonde female vampire does have her uses however. She's gotten better. Somewhat. He gestures to JD with a be my guest sort of gesture, “And what he so succinctly stated. I was getting to that point, however he got right to the point.” Yes, he studied up when he was told of his 'relocation'. “Ah, good, you lot have a place to stay. I'm afraid you would not want any offers from myself, as they come with numerous strings attached, and I would not recommend them.”
Zzzzzz. Zzzzzzz. Is Spike… snoring? Why yes. Yes he is. He's literally fallen asleep standing up. At least, that's how it seems. It isn't until Wesley's voice is no longer being heard does he lift his head back up and proceed to flick his cigarette in the ghost's direction. “Bloody hell. Too much talking. Not enough action.” Spike looks at Buffy and then at Willow, making it very much a point to not look at either Wesley or JD. “What Longwinded and the Sixth Sense are attempting to tell you is both pointless and meaningless. At the same time.” Spike gives a roll of his eyes and even shakes his head. “And if either of you want my hospitality to last longer, then you need to get me away from these two.” Spike gives Buffy the 'I'm going to kill someone -very- soon please stop me' look. “And by soon I mean right now.”
JD's explanation earns a rather vacant expression as the Slayer attempts to process the information. Finally, after a few moments, she manages, “Huh. Interdimensional stuff breaks my brain.” Her lips purse slightly as she recognizes Willow's expression and offers her friend a smile, “Well, at least we're all together now. Dream or not, right? If it is a dream, it doesn't seem like a particularly bad one…” Spike's expression causes Buffy's eyes to widen. New dimension or not, some things are just that readable. “Will… I think we should go. Partly because I don't want to slay more explode-y vampires than necessary and sleeping out here would probably mean more of that, not less. Also because I think BuffyBot may have taken my entire weapons' closet… so it's not here anymore.” A glance is given to JD, “Thanks for the explanation. Good luck finding your phone.” And then Buffy turns her attention to Wesley, “I… I'm sorry I wasn't more… something. Back then, I mean. But…I hope… ” there's a pause followed by a slight shake of Buffy's head. “Sorry. It was nice seeing you.” And with that, the slayer turns on her heel to tread away.
“Yeah, it's meaningless,” JD openly laughs at Spike. “Poor little dead boy, used to being king of his world and unable to adjust to the fact that he's not even a guppy in this pond.” He looks at the others, “I know a place you can crash if you need to for a day or two. Just don't invite him…” he trails off, looking blankly into space, and then starts laughing again. “On second thought, feel free to invite the Gothic Fashion Disaster inside. I would pay money to see him bite Bren. Ahem. Anyways, yeah. If you need a place less crawling with undead than these guys have to offer, no offense Ghost guy, you seem to have a clue, let me know. But it's gotta be fast, I want a drink, and they don't serve beer in ancient ruined temples.” He opens his mouth to say something to Buffy, but decides it's just not worth the effort, shuts it, and stands up. “Follow me if you want a place to crash, and you have a heartbeat. Otherwise, good luck finding your stash.”
Ultimately, posed with the choice between Spike or a stranger, Willow opts for Spike, surprise though that might be. But she moves on at Buffy's side, asking “Wait…Wesley isn't coming with us?” Confused witch is confused. “If it's a dream, I think waking up might be a good idea…” she says to no one in particular.
“Always a pleasure to see you again Spike,” Wesley says in as sarcastic and resigned tone as he ever uses. The cigarette flicked in his direction doesn't even get glanced at. “No apologies necessary Miss Summers,” he understands perhaps what she was trying to say. Giles was the better Watcher for her. He knows he failed miserably in that role. “I hope to see you around, Miss Summers, Miss Rosenberg, I'm glad to see you both.” He shakes his head at JD, “No offense taken. My partner is most assuredly growing impatient as he waits for me to return to the office.” Hoorah for tethers. “No Miss Rosenberg, I am unable to accompany you. Rest assured, our paths will cross again, and no, this is not a dream.”
“It's not a dream,” JD says wearily. In his part-time job as a lord of Nightmare, he would be the expert on the subject. Not that he's going to explain this fact. He nods to Wesley and says, “If you ever need help with the whole 'intangible' thing, I know some folks might be able to set you up with something. Nice meeting you.” With that, he begins to limp away, still clutching his injured side. As he vanishes around the corner, the smell of fresh blood fades with him.