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Driving

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“Driving.”

“Yeah.”

“You seriously drive for fun.”

“Well, not four-wheeling or anything, but yeah. Don't you?”

“Actually, no-wheeling is more my specialty. I'm an avid pedestrian.”

“You're kidding, right? I mean, you know how to drive.”

“Well, I took the class. Cars and Buffy are, like... un-mixy things.”

“It's just because you haven't had a good experience yet. You can have the best time in a car. It's not about getting somewhere. You have to take your time. Forget about everything. Just... relax. Let it wash over you. The air... motion... Just, let it roll.”

“…We are talking about driving, right?”

“Thought I was.”

- BtVS, S4.9 "Something Blue"

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Riley had actually followed through on his promise to take her on a drive. Only, he had made it sound kind of sexy and invigorating and fun. Although maybe the sexy part was supposed to come after the driving part. Still, even just hoping for two out of three, it was a total bust. It had started raining as they headed north to vineyard land, so the promise of open windows and a breeze was a complete no-go.

The one out of like thirty days in the year that it rained and of course it was on a date night. Wait. Was driving around in the rain considered a date? Maybe in Iowa, with the flat and the fields and the whatever-else-was-in-Iowa, this was a date. Okay. She was definitely going to go with date.

Riley started talking about something to do with the car, and she nodded energetically, even though she had absolutely no idea what in the world what was supposed to be so exciting about horsepower.

She could do this thing. This thing that was all with the sitting. And the listening to country music that she’d never heard of (and never wanted to – she was happily Top 40 gal). And the making random conversation when the other person couldn’t even look at her (well, wouldn’t – responsibly – because of that whole not crashing thing).

Oh yeah, this was just a barrel of laughs.

Still, Riley was sweet and he was trying and she could handle a really boring drive or two for the sake of maybe someday love... Although she really, really hoped there wasn’t actually an ‘or two.’

 

***

 

Was this a date? Oh god, please let this not have been some stupid set-up for a date. Unfortunately, the odds weren’t looking good. She’d never realized Spike owned anything that wasn’t black. But here he was, wearing something that looked suspiciously like a brand-new blue button down. And no, it absolutely didn’t matter that it looked really good on him. Those thoughts were one hundred percent off-limits. Spike was nothing more than her ex mortal enemy, formerly dangerous and currently annoying. Ugh. Dawn better have been wrong about this. She didn’t have time to deal with some weird, demon-y crush right now.

And so what if she was wearing her new pair of earrings? She wanted to feel pretty while she slayed things. So sue her. It had nothing to do with him.

Was Spike seriously singing?!

Okay, so he had a kind of nice voice.

Not that she was ever going to mention it. Ever.

Oh, thank god, there was some action. She had to get out of this car.

 

***

 

Running away in an outdated RV was so not how she expected this apocalypse to go. Just call her Buffy the Cowardly Vampire Slayer. The Slayer so tired of losing stuff that she took the easy and scaredy way out.

But she was just so freaking tired, and completely out of other ideas. Staying in Sunnydale meant dying, and – despite Spike’s awful (and, more terrifyingly, somewhat accurate) thoughts about her expiration date – she couldn’t go easily into some hellgod-y induced night just yet.

So what if Riley had left for something better. And so what if Tara was brain-sucked. And so what if her mom was just… gone.

Dawn needed her.

And if that meant running away, then that was just what she had to do.

 

***

 

Well, she could mark off this day as the date she officially gave it up in a car, like some twisted 1950’s lover’s lane situation. Right car for the era, anyway.

Way wrong guy. (Well, wrong girl, too. Wasn’t that the point?)

And this was so not lover’s lane.

She was pretty sure none of the adventures of Steve and Betty Sue or whoever had ever included this kind of situation, anyway. Not the kind where she was currently screaming as her legs were thrown up over the seat and Spike was buried in between them, or the hours of sweaty, scratching violence that sounded more like two wild animals encased inside than anything remotely related to love.

Which it wasn’t. So that worked out fine.

 

***

 

She couldn’t remember what the date was. Which seemed like the stupidest thing to not know on the day the world almost ended. Again. Well, did end for Sunnydale.

And for him.

Him, dying for her. For them. For the world.

She should ask someone to tell her the date. Except, asking would make it real. Make all the unsteady bumps in the road as the bus clattered through desert onward and upward and out of apocalypse… real.

And she wasn’t ready for it to be real.

 

***

 

The Immortal’s sports car was always pristine. She loved his car – loved it when he took her roaring through Rome’s cluttered, shudderingly bumpy, insanely tiny cobblestone streets with the roof down. Loved the sleek roar of the engine and the gobs of black leather. She even started smoking in it, to the Immortal’s surprise – oh yeah, she was full of surprises these days – until it was just the right smell.

Nighttime rides were the best, when he was shuffling her from one date location to another, and the leather would ride cool against her sweat slicked and alcohol-brimming skin.

And sometimes she’d stand up in the seat and just scream into the dark. Because she could.

 

***

 

She’d lost track of the date again. But, this time, it really wasn’t her fault. She was still on Rome time, and she’d travelled through the night. At this point, she wasn’t sure if it was still today, or tomorrow, or yesterday.

She’d find out later, when she wasn’t cradling Spike’s bloodied and unconscious form in her lap as Heidi – one of the L.A. Slayers – swerved madly through traffic, heading toward L.A.’s premier demon-friendly hospital, some place that apparently took care of the Slayers when needed. Which was most days, these days, with the crap Angel had stirred up.

She hoped that stupid dragon hadn’t burned him to a pile a dust. She really wanted the pleasure of doing that herself, once she could rally enough anger in her system to be furious that he hadn’t told her Spike was alive.

She might dust Spike for that stunt, too. Or she might just kiss him silly.

It would probably depend on her mood at the time.

God, he was such a stupid, brave idiot.

 

***

 

She was going to kill Spike. And really not on purpose. But it was still going to happen. Of course, she was going to be dead, too.

She told him this vehemently as she sat motionless behind the wheel of some old junker he’d picked up from a used car lot just for the occasion.

This was not what she’d been thinking when Spike told her that he had a hunk of steel waiting with her name on it.

Mostly, she’d been assuming there’d be fewer clothes.

But Spike refused to budge. According to him, she was way past her sell-by date on learning how to drive well, and no amount of pleading, screaming, eyelash batting, or outright refusal was making him change his mind.

Finally, she glared at him and shifted into drive, punching the accelerator with enough force to send them jerking abruptly forward before sputtering to an equally abrupt stop in the empty parking lot. Wisely, Spike didn’t comment, but the slight look of panic in his eyes was enough to make her laugh her best ‘you asked for it’ laugh.

After a moment of silence, she heard the quiet snick of Spike’s seatbelt as it clipped on, and she glanced over. The vampire was turned toward her, an eyebrow arched in challenge.

Buffy met his gaze coolly. Then, with a sudden grin, she slammed the pedal down and peeled out of the parking lot. This was going to be fun.