Thank you everyone for your positive comments of my story, so far. Here is the next bit, which is another shortish chapter, but again beta'd by the brilliantly patient mabel_marsters
“Tara, I need you!”
At that precise moment of the day, Tara didn’t want to feel wanted. She had been woken, after a late night, and now one of the culprits for her lack of sleep was waking her up with an early morning phone call.
“OK, but I need to get dressed, and have breakfast.”
“No time for that. You’ve gotta come now.”
“Fine, Spike. But I’ll stop and get something to eat on the way and then get to you as soon as I can.”
When Tara arrived at the crypt she was surprised not to see Spike pacing, instead she heard what sounded like a fight going on. She peered through the opening to the lower level to watch the battle that was happening. If she hadn’t just spoken to him, she would have wondered what was happening. The whole of the crypt looked in absolute chaos, with Spike pacing up and down through the middle.
“No. No. No,” Spike kept muttering, interspersed with words that Tara didn’t know, and decided she didn’t want to learn.
“Spike, I’m here.”
At the sound of her voice he jumped. He had been so focussed on his problems that he hadn’t been listening for intruders.
“It’s ’bout time,” Spike mumbled to her, to cover his embarrassment.
“So, what’s the emergency?”
Tara couldn’t catch his answer. In fact he spoke so quietly she doubted even another vampire would have heard Spike’s reply.
“What was that, Spike?”
“I can’t find anything to wear.” At least Tara heard his soft answer this time.
Hiding a grin, she said, “OK. Do you want me to get you something?”
As Spike shyly raised his eyes to her, she understood another part of why Buffy had opened her heart to him. He looked like the cross between a bashful teenager and a toddler. She moved back as he headed towards the space down to the lower level.
Once he was back with her, he started pacing and muttering again. Slowly Tara realised that as well as losing his home, Spike had lost most of his processions in the explosion that Riley had caused. And like a kid on a first date, he wanted to look his best. Well, Tara thought, technically it was “their” first date, even if Spike didn’t fully know that yet.
“Spike?” Tara touched his arm to stop the pacing and make him focus on the task in hand. “What do you need? Let me know your size and I’ll go and get something for you.”
Spike studied her and then turned to the sarcophagus that appeared to be acting as a table at present. He started wring on a sheet of paper in a battered notebook, and after tearing the sheet out, he reached into his pocket for his wallet and handed them both over to Tara.
“I’m sorry to ask this, Tara, but it’s a bit bright out there for me to popping off to the shops this morning.”
Tara read the piece of paper and noticed he hadn’t put what colour he wanted her to buy, so she asked him, and her reply was just a raise of his eyebrow.
At this Tara grinned back and headed off into the daylight to spend Spike’s money.
As Tara walked around Sunnydale doing Spike’s shopping for him she was aware that she was finding clothes that he would like, but that Buffy would love. She didn’t get much that wasn’t his basic black, but also bought a tailored black silky shirt that she knew they would both adore. While walking round, Tara had one worry, and that was how Buffy was spending her day.
So, once the shopping was done, Tara dropped the clothes off at Spike’s and after confirming that she would see him later, she headed off towards Revello Drive.
Remembering Spike’s panic that had been her alarm call that morning she dreaded to imagine what was going through Buffy’s head. However, when she arrived it was to find Buffy sitting watching television, with all the outward appearance of calm. Although Tara wasn’t fooled, when she saw it was a cooking programme that was showing.
“Hi, Buffy. How are you? Has anyone heard from Anya or Xander?”
On hearing her friend’s names Buffy seemed to wake from her stupor and become aware that she wasn’t alone.
“Hi, Tara. No. I hope they’re OK. What are you doing?”
Tara wasn’t fooled by Buffy’s apparent calm. She may not have known Buffy as long as some people, but she was aware of her attempt to ignore things that she didn’t want to cope with.
“I just thought I’d come round and see if you have everything organised for this evening. Are you just going to stay at The Bronze, or have you planned to go somewhere else?” Tara hid a grin as she nudged Buffy towards thinking of her impending date.
“Don’t panic, I don’t want details.” Tara laughed at the look of shock on her companion’s face. “I only wondered if you had checked what was showing at the cinema or something like that.”
“Oh, OK. I was hoping Spike would sort it out.”
“Umm, Buffy, how can he, as he doesn’t know that he is going out with you this evening? He thinks he is meeting all of us for a general post-wedding get-together.”
When Buffy failed to continue this train of thought, Tara walked into the kitchen to make them both some coffee, as she had a feeling it would be necessary. Once the drinks were made, she carried them back to where Buffy was sitting. Tara set the drink down in front of Buffy and then readied herself to cope with the following few hours.