not_that_spike: (ready with a gun)
[personal profile] not_that_spike
The night's been a little bit fitful but also really fucking quiet around this place; he's dozed on and off but since first light he's been awake. He... hasn't taken the cloak off at all because the words hot suite and safe house mean government-run and monitored or if they don't, they damn well should and he doesn't want to be caught on any cameras. So he sits in a corner of the barn where he's got a view of both the front door and the hidden door Hero disappeared through, wishing like hell he could at least reach into his pack and get out a piece of fruit or a bottle of water or something, but he doesn't want to risk making too much noise.

He can wait. He can wait because it's worth it just to see Beth and Junior, and he's resolved that even if he goes back to the bar without even letting them know he's been here, it will have been worth it. It'll satisfy his curiosity and ease his fears, because that damn dream just sucked. If he never has that one again it'll be too soon.

It's been a long couple nights, and he's tired but he wasn't about to miss this opportunity because of a little damn thing like that. When he gets back he can sleep all he wants. For now, he settles back and lets his eyes close, knees drawn up, gun in hand. It's called sleeping with one eye open and he's really fucking good at it. Beth figured that out about him when they were after Robertson on that shuttle: he knows how to make his body rest while his mind stays alert and that might be one of the best damn skills he's got. It's saved his ass more than once.

And now... shit, he can't hear any sounds coming from behind that door. It's really well-hidden, this place. Anyone'd think it was just a damn barn stuck in the middle of the place, and so he sits and waits and breathes and tries really hard not to move, alseep for all intents and purposes.

Until the door opens and the nose of a rifle makes its way out first.

Date: 2007-04-02 04:04 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (let she who has not sinned)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
It's a gorgeous day: bright blue sky with a few fluffy white clouds, birds singing, warm sunshine tempered by a cool breeze.

Junior's head is resting on Beth's shoulder, and as they follow Natalya and Ciba and Vlad outside, she sticks two fingers in her mouth, eyes wide and taking everything in.

Those wide eyes are nothing compared to Vlad's, though, and Beth smiles in amusement as he quickly gets over his hesitation and runs after some flying bug that catches his eye.

He'd seemed thrilled to leave his room inside, fascinated by the promise every door held, and was generally all smiles, blissfully ignorant of any anxiety the past few days have held for the rest of them. He'd officially met Beth Junior after all this time, peering at her with that certain wide-eyed solemnity only toddlers and babies can pull off before running off to wrap his arms around his mother's leg.

He's a far cry from doing that now, and Ciba looks more relaxed than Beth has seen her in nearly a week.

Natalya disappears within minutes.

"Time for her to scope out the area again." Beth grins, pressing a gentle kiss to Junior's forehead.

"The last son of Russia is having his first trip outside." There's the faintest hint of wryness in Ciba's smile, but it's good-natured enough. "She'd never forgive herself if anything happened to him."

Date: 2007-04-02 06:05 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (what the hell is THAT?)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
It's about time Vlad got to enjoy this nice sizable yard sandwiched between the barn and the sea of corn.

Beth holds her hand up like a visor above her eyes, squinting against the slant of sunlight she's standing in. There's really no sign of Natalya now, and it's amazing how stealthy she can be with that big gun she carries around almost like a security blanket.

Ciba's easy to talk to -- as far as they know, they're the two newest mothers on the planet -- but she's no Hero and she's definitely no Spike. It's not too long before Junior starts to get fussy, and Beth only interrupts the conversation to make sure Ciba doesn't mind and then mostly unbutton her own shirt to feed little Beth before she starts to cry with any real volume.

"Glah!" With his arms outstretched, Vlad cuts through the tall grass in front of them, and there's probably never been such a damn sweet smile on someone so intent on catching a butterfly.

"So much for the terrible twos, huh, Ciba?"

"He's just happy to be able to run around, Beth. Mommy spent enough time inside NASA tin cans to be cool with tight spaces, but if you guys hadn't brought us that antiviral crap, I think Vladimir would have smashed his way out of out..."

A sudden rumble, a quaking, sends Vladimir toppling over backwards and makes both Beth and Ciba check their balance.

"What... what is this?" This is fucking Kansas. This is the land of tornadoes and crap like that. Not earthquakes. "Tremors?"

"Since when is Kansas on a fault line?" Ciba practically reads her mind.

"Grab your infancies, ladies." Like a superhero with a rifle, Natalya seems to swoop in from nowhere, concern plain on her face.

"Natalya!" Her feeding time abruptly cut short, Junior lets out a whimper of startled protest, and Beth holds her close, knees bent and bracing her against the shaking of the ground. "What the hell is going on?"

"No, hell is not going." Even in Natalya's poor English, the answer's chilling enough to make Beth hold the baby that much tighter. "It is coming right for us."

Date: 2007-04-02 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-real-hero.livejournal.com
It's a good thing she made it back from the end of the goddamn universe when she did. Just enough to catch a little bit of sleep before the day starts, and it starts around here pretty early. Turning over in bed, giving a little knowing smile to Beth, she watches the mamacita take her niece and start to head out.

And then there's all this excitement from the corridor: today's Vlad's big day. It's been slow steps, baby steps to ensure that this won't harm him at all. First, it's just outside the bubble, then up the stairs and for a kid who's had as much blood drawn for testing as he has, he's been one hell of a trooper. Imagine that: the kid's first-ever trip outside; she dresses in a hurry. This is one she doesn't want to miss: the culmination of her whole last however many months it's been getting here, getting Amp's shit to the Hartles, watching that vaccine cook, all that shit. Warm fuzzy memories of the bar and Jack -- she'll have to tell Beth all about it when they get a moment together -- get pushed to the back of her mind as she tells them to go on ahead, she'll join them in a minute.

On her way up the stairs, Heather -- no, Heidi, she gets them mixed up still -- grabs her arm with a hey, Hero, a phone call for you.

Phone call? Her first thought is that it's Mommy, that Mommy finally tracked her down, but as much as she hopes for that, she still picks up the phone with a little bit of trepidation. "Uh... hello?"

The voice on the other end is loud and excited and undeniably male. "Hero! You made it!"

"Yorick?!" There's just a tiny pause. "How did you--"

Like usual, her brother interrupts. "The Hartle twins gave me their secure line's number before we left the hot suite. I tried to get a hold of Mom, but no answer."

But now it's her turn to interrupt; she never thought she'd be so goddamn glad to hear her dog of a brother on the other end of a phone call. "Yorick, I have amazing news!"

"Me too! We found Ampersand safe and sound, so I'm going to France." He's talking fast, like he wants to tell her everything all in one quick sentence. 'It's an obscenely long story, but Beth is in Paris, and--"

With a click, the phone goes dead. "Yorick?" Retarded satellites! That technology's supposed to actually still work. "Hello...?"

There's nothing. She looks at the phone, then looks at Heidi and Heather, and then looks at the door as Natalya and Ciba and Vlad and Beth and Beth Junior come racing through. Natalya's got her Angry Russian Enemy Face on and her gun out, and that can't be a good sign, and just then the floor gives a little shake, takes a moment before the door even shuts.

"Natalya, what the fuck--"

"Be grabbing your things fastly, ladies. This place we are to be leaving right away."

Shit: when Natalya gives orders like that, there's no goddamn time to lose. Dropping the phone, she follows Beth and Beth Junior to the room they've shared and luckily it only takes but a minute to grab everything up: neither of them really ever unpacked. There's no time to talk and all she can think is goddamn amazons, why now? Why here? What the fuck do you want with us?

They're back up in the control room in two, three minutes tops, and Natalya and Ciba and Vlad rejoin them shortly thereafter.

"What the fuck is going on?" That heavy backpack feels like an unwelcome but all-too-familiar memory on her shoulders. "What's happening?"

Natalya's grim as she nods her chin toward the door. "Is crazy Israel soldiers, I see from silo. With tanks mowing down pretty green corn field. We go now."

Date: 2007-04-02 09:34 pm (UTC)
stbethadettes: (surprised with baby on back)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
With Junior's stuffed diaper bag on the floor at her feet, Beth adjusts the straps of the baby backpack. She'd put the baby in with the silent promise that she'd get fed as soon as possible, but it's looking like that might be a little while.

"Uh, don't think I don't understand the urgency of the situation, ladies, but could somebody give me the 25-words-or-less version of why a bunch of Israeli chicks would ride straight for this place in fucking tanks?"

It's not too much of a stretch for her to assume they have something to do with all the excitement that she heard went down when Yorick last passed this way; if these women are riding straight here, they're looking for something and they know the safe house is here. But Israeli soldiers in tanks coming here now?

What the hell for? It's been well over a year -- probably closer to two -- since Yorick was here.

She doesn't even have dreams this fucking weird most of the time.

To say the least, she has an interest in not venturing too damn far away from a particular shed in the cornfield, but tanks are a hell of a persuasive thing. All they've got is a rifle and a few handguns. A chick in a tank probably isn't someone interested in compromising about anything.

"Where are we going to go?"

The question's mostly to Natalya since she's the one who said they should leave right now, but she exchanges a glance with Hero.

They'd been so good about not telling the others about the bar and the shed that leads to it, but this might just be an extenuating circumstance.

Date: 2007-04-02 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-real-hero.livejournal.com
"They're trying to find my brother." She gives that answer directly to Beth; she's the only one here who doesn't know the full story. "I'll tell you the long version when we get wherever it is we're going." When she looks at Beth her eyes flash with a combination of shhh, don't worry and oh, fuck, what are we gonna do now?

There's not a whole lot to do but forge ahead. "Yorick just called, just before you guys came running in. He and 355 are on their way to Paris to find Beth." Again, she glances at mamacita, chewing ever-so-slightly on her lower lip. "Other-Beth, that is."

Yorick's her brother. Her family, her only family besides Mommy, and she'd like -- no, love -- to see him again. But as she pretends not to watch Beth so carefully for any hint of what she wants to do, she's fully aware of the weight of the situation.

So much is at stake, and so much of it is stuff they can't even talk about. Selfishly, she thinks again that it's good she left the bar last night when she did. Before things went any further, and she knows she promised Jack she'd come back but things are a little out of her goddamn control right now. And if the room's starting to close in on her, she can hardly fathom what Beth must be thinking and feeling.

"Natalya?"

There's so much at stake.

All eyes are on the other blonde, the one with the kick-ass rifle. Natalya's eyes narrow. "I think we are getting away from here now, before crazy militsia girls arrive. And then we are decide where we go. Please to pack things now, identity twins. Spaseebo."

Exchanging glances like twins often do, Heather shakes her head. "We're staying."

"This is our home," Heidi asserts. "Go. Get a head start. We'll put them off the track, send them on a wild goose chase. Just keep yourselves safe."

Date: 2007-04-02 11:42 pm (UTC)
stbethadettes: (my face will be executed?)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
Beth wishes she had a cigarette for every time she's found herself in a situation where she wanted to shake her head in disbelief and insist that what was happening couldn't possibly be.

But Junior's tiny hand clenches in the hair at the back of her head, and she knows she's not just imagining that it both sounds and feels like what's out there is getting closer.

"Fuck."

(It feels like she's speaking for everyone.)

"We better get this show on the road."

If at all possible, she's hoping she and Hero can steer Ciba and Natalya toward their favorite shed out there.

There's not time for long goodbyes, but Ciba throws her free arm around Heather.

"Thanks, you two. You're the most fearless geneticists I've ever met." Beth manages a small smile to the twins, and while Natalya -- who's apparently the lightest packer in the world -- bends to pick up one of Ciba's bags, she grabs Hero's arm and starts heading for the door.

"We have to go for the shed," she hisses quietly. Natalya might have other ideas, but they have to try. "We can all hide out there for a while, but we shouldn't say a word to them about it before we get there."

Because it'd be just their luck that this would be the time the shed door was just a fucking shed door.

On her back, Junior starts to fuss again.

Date: 2007-04-03 12:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-real-hero.livejournal.com
"Not while the Israeli army's in the corn fields." Her voice is an equally quiet hiss. "If we're lucky, we can double back around and get to the shed that way." She reaches over so quickly and gently to comfort Beth Junior, but they really do have to get moving and besides, long goodbyes are a luxury none of them have at the moment. Natalya sprints for the door, opens it cautiously, peers around, then motions for them all to join her.

"Here goes nothing. Thanks, Heather and Heidi. You two be careful." Taking up the rear, gun drawn, she waits for everyone else to file through that door then moves to shut it. It's stubborn and sticks for a moment, but she puts her shoulder to it and gives it a good solid push. Eventually it closes. She'd oil it if she had time, but that's not her problem right this second.

There's so much going on in her mind, she hardly knows where to focus. So instead of saying anything, she just follows along with one eye on the women and kids and another on anything and everything else around them: they're all on high alert.

But like Beth said, if they can just get to the shed, they'll all be safe. And they can wait a fair amount of time at the bar until things are safe, then she and Natalya and Ciba and Vlad can come back and figure out what to do. It's pretty much the only thing that makes sense and pretty much the only goddamn thing that sounds smart at the moment.

Date: 2007-04-03 06:15 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (surprised with baby on back)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
They can't keep running long. Not with a toddler and a baby to carry.

She can hear Junior quietly fretting, and it kind of breaks her heart. Reaching up and behind her head, she catches one of the baby's hands and offers her finger for little Beth's tiny ones to wrap around.

Once their pace slows, she steps forward to catch up to Natalya. A hushed conversation with her leads to the four of them huddling for yet another quiet, hurried conversation and the agreement that they'll carefully double back through the cornfield to get to this safe place she and Hero think will work.

Within half an hour, they're weaving their way back through the cornfields. The rumbling has seemingly stopped, but none of them are naive enough to believe that means it's safe to linger.

She and Hero lead the way, with Natalya trailing close behind Ciba. It's a different angle they're taking through to where the shed is, and Beth expects it to be more difficult to find the right one this way.

What surprises her in spite of everything that's happened this morning is abruptly running into the large flattened-corn trail the tanks left in their wake.

Maybe five feet away is a mess of crushed and broken wood.

Date: 2007-04-03 06:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-real-hero.livejournal.com
Goddamn it. Falling to her knees, she brushes away debris frantically: is this their shed? It's the right distance and direction from the barn and she knows in her heart this is it. But there's one bit of proof and that's what she's looking for: if she can find it, she'll believe it.

That Boston Marathon 2001 t-shirt's on the ground about ten feet away from the shards of wood, in the path the tank that mowed the shed down took.

"Fuck." Standing, she holds the muddy t-shirt remains to her chest even though there's no comfort in it. It's proof, though, and it's a cruel goddamn reminder that things in this world suck and that now... well...

Shaking her head, face set in a grim expression, she speaks quietly and quickly. "So much for that. Let's get the fuck out of here before those chicks with the big guns show up again."

Natalya and Ciba look pretty fucking befuddled; Hero shrugs lamely but points to the line of trees in the distance. "There's cover in there. We need to get deep into those woods, sit our goddamn asses down, feed the kids, and figure out where we go next. I'm not real inclined to stay here in the field."

She tucks her gun away for a moment; it isn't needed right now. As they start moving -- quickly, but with a lot less goddamn enthusiasm -- she taps Beth on the shoulder, speaking in a whisper.

"Hey. Don't give up ye: I wasn't expecting the shed after Vegas. There might be another one."

Right now, that's the most hope she has to offer. But Quinn. Jack. All those men: I might never see them again. And Spike. That kid's dad.

Shit.

[It's the natural order of things, Hero. You don't need them. You never needed them. In fact, you should have done away with...]

"Victoria. Shut. The. Fuck. Up." It isn't until Beth turns around and looks at her, eyes wide, that she realizes she's said it aloud.

Date: 2007-04-03 07:18 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (oh fuck)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
Beth scarcely has time to acknowledge just how far her heart sinks at the sight of that fucking destroyed shed, to think so much for playing it cool once she sees Hero scrambling to find the shirt they'd used as a marker, to offer Hero a tight-lipped smile at her attempt at optimism when they start heading for the cover of trees beyond the corn.

And then Hero tells Victoria to shut the fuck up, and uncertainly, she turns.

For a moment, she doesn't say anything. She simply keeps walking, giving Hero a very long sideways look. It's been a while, but she remembers being told about a woman named Victoria, the woman who basically brainwashed Hero. The queen bee of the amazon hive.

There are no Victorias here.

"Did I miss something?"

Date: 2007-04-03 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-real-hero.livejournal.com
"Just thinking aloud."

Fuck, fuck, fuck. It never fails to happen when she least expects it but she's okay, she swears. She has to convince herself of that.

"Just remembering something I wish I didn't have to." Even the kids seem to realize the seriousness of the situation: they're not crying or fussing or anything. In fact, Vlad's got his thumb in his mouth and Beth Junior's eyes are wide from her vantage point on her mama's back, her little lips pursed.

It feels like it takes forever to get to the tree line; to cover their tracks they stop, double back, take stock of the sights, the sounds. She's spooked. More than once she's had the feeling they were being watched or followed but every time she turns, nothing's there. Fuck you, Victoria. At least this time she has the brains to say it to herself. You fucking leave us alone, cunt. I know you're not here: I saw you die.

When they finally do reach the relative safety of the trees and work their way deeper into cover... that's when it's time to sit and figure things out.

The way she sees it, they have a couple options. She knows Natalya's hell-bent on getting Vlad to Russia. And given what's just happened, she's wondering if it wouldn't be smart for her and Beth and Beth Junior to maybe try to get back to that church outside Vegas, if they could even find it again. That's a pretty big if and it's one she'll have to talk over with Beth.

With an expression so fierce it border on feral, Natalya's the first to spit out words. "While boy baby is busy with American sucking toy, I say what I think. We go to Paris for meetup with last man, then finally Ciba and I take last son of Russia home."

"Paris? And here I was thinking I'd better take Beth and Beth Junior back to California." It's not the way she would have chosen to bring it up, but hopefully Beth will catch on to her line of thought.

Date: 2007-04-04 09:11 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (distressed with baby)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
For it minute it feels like the only thing keeping her from snapping right here and now is focusing on little Beth. Junior's finally getting the feeding she was due an hour ago, and at first, there's nothing that seems more grounding than maintaining eye contact with those little baby blues.

She didn't crack the day all the men died. If she can't keep it together now, who the hell can Junior possibly depend on?

Having acknowledged that, though, she also has to admit to herself exactly how goddamn much this day fucking sucks. First, chicks in tanks ride for the safe house and send them all scrambling, then she finds her way back to Spike (and everyone's ticket to relative safety) has been completely destroyed, and now her best friend's talking to herself like a crazy woman.

Fucking fantastic.

She doesn't look up at Hero, but she thinks she knows where she's going with that bit about escorting them back to California.

If only they had a little more time to talk privately.

"I'm not completely sold on this Paris idea," she starts, glancing toward Hero finally. "But we have no guarantee that St. Bernadette's is even still standing. A group of amazons wanted to burn it down the same night your brother showed up and they didn't even know he was there at first. I'm damn lucky I was undisturbed for most of the time I was pregnant."

Even if Hero's thought about trying to find that church near Vegas again, it's not like they can pin their hopes on that chance to get back.

"Do you really want to trek slowly back across the country when chances are it'll be for nothing?"

She's not at all willing to give up on the idea of getting back to the bar -- and sooner rather than later -- but she's trying to be realistic. At this point, with things going like they have, it'd almost make as much sense to head for Paris like Natalya suggested and try every possible door they can on the way as it would to head back to the west coast to either the abandoned church with the door that sent them back once or to St. Bernadette's, where none of the doors took her back for the entire last month she was there.

Either way, it doesn't look like there's much steadiness in their immediate future.

Date: 2007-04-04 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-real-hero.livejournal.com
"No." Beth's right; it's a craptastic idea and they'd probably get themselves killed. She looks back toward the hot suite and the fields beyond it, eyes narrowed. "I do know one thing, though: we can't just head to the nearest airport and hop on a goddamn plane. If we want to get to Europe, we need to get to the east coast: DC, New York, one of those places. That's our best bet. And there's trains between here and there. If we're lucky, we can hop a freighter and make some progress that way. If we're not..." Shaking her head, she pats the sole of one boot. "They say these boots were made for walkin', right? We'd better fucking start."

Glancing at Beth, she nods. "As soon as the kids and mamas are ready. And once we get near civilization, Ciba, you'd better think about a disguise for Vlad."

As far as she's concerned, they can't put enough distance fast enough between themselves and the soldier chicks. Where's a goddamn minivan when you need one?

Date: 2007-04-05 05:11 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (any port in a storm)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
"Isn't your mom in DC, Hero?"

Junior's showing signs of slowing down, and it's not surprising. It's been a hell of a day so far, and if they're all lucky, she'll nap early and stay pretty quiet while they're traveling.

Babies aren't exactly as common as they used to be. She'll attract more immediate attention than Vlad once they get him in some kind of disguise.

"Maybe we should head there. You could drop in on her, see if she's heard anything new from Yorick or tell her what you heard from him if she hasn't. And... from there we could head to Paris."

This isn't anywhere near how she'd thought things would go, and Paris certainly isn't a destination she thought would be in her future.

But she can adapt, and there's no time for self-pity right now.

Not for any of them.

Date: 2007-04-05 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-real-hero.livejournal.com
"She is there... or was." Stretching out her legs, she pulls of one boot and empties a rock out of it. "Just now when we talked, Yorick said he tried calling but there was no answer. So maybe she's not in DC any more." There's a pause; her brows knit together. "But whether she is or not, Mom's a public figure. She was in the government before the plague. They might know her. When they find Yorick's not over here any more, that might be the first place they go to look. I'd hate to be a sucker and play into their hands."

Shit: this is terrible. It's either risk going to DC for Mommy or Paris for Yorick, and a long slow goddamn goodbye to that other place, the place she was just last night. They might never find their way back to the end of the goddamn universe again.

Leaning onto her rifle for support, Natalya stands. "I think we find our way to Paris one way or other, ladies." She tilts her chin to the northeast. "We must be walking for now. Please to pick up small noisemaking children."

If the situation wasn't so dire, Hero would be laughing. She fucking loves the way Natalya talks. She takes just another moment to massage her toes before the boot goes back on. "Yeah, Natalya, you're right. Beth, Ciba, you need me to carry anything? You've got your hands full."

Slowly, Ciba shakes her head. Hero knows the astronaut -- of all people -- is no stranger to long, weird voyages.

Date: 2007-04-05 07:46 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (Beth Plural)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
Beth suspected Natalya would take the first watch, and she's grateful for it.

Once she's in her corner with Junior settled down on a blanket beside her, she curls up on one side and, unable to clear her head enough, spends what feels like most of the first watch awake and watching over the sleeping baby.

She knows she's slept for longer, but it only feels like she's had an hour or two when she's tapped on the shoulder in the early hours of the morning and roused to take the last watch.

Junior will be up before too long, and Beth picks her up and wraps the blanket snugly around her, taking her (and the diaper bag) along when she goes outside. In addition to all of the baby supplies she could need when Junior wakes up, the very bottom of the diaper bag is home to a shirt -- Spike's shirt -- that's wrapped around her gun.

She's not about to keep it anywhere else while she has the baby in her arms, and she doesn't expect to need it.

But she also didn't expect anything like this to happen.

Best to be as prepared as she possibly can be.

A little bleary-eyed, she paces back and forth by the shed for the first fifteen minutes or so, partly in an effort to make sure she's not going to doze back off at the first opportunity. Eventually, she takes a seat in the grass, her back against the barn wall, Junior cradled in her arms.

Date: 2007-04-05 08:19 pm (UTC)
stbethadettes: (you're kidding me)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
Instinctively, Beth curves her body away as if to shield Junior, even as she turns to face him.

What starts off as something like horror on her face evolves into plain and simple shock.

Not a single word comes out of her mouth.

Date: 2007-04-05 08:53 pm (UTC)
stbethadettes: (you're kidding me)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
Not moving, she just stares at him in open disbelief.

If he followed Hero, he's been around for something like 24 hours now. There's no part of her brain in which that makes the tiniest fucking bit of sense.

It's either move his hand away until she's gotten more answers out of him or lean her face into his hand as if she's starved for the affection, and she can't quite do either.

"How?"

Date: 2007-04-05 10:40 pm (UTC)
stbethadettes: (you could've been killed...)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
Her eyes widen as he pulls the cloak around him, pulls the hood over his head, and just... disappears completely.

Reaching out with one hand, she pats uncertainly at where he was sitting just a second ago, and sure enough, she can feel him. He's there. She just can't see him.

"Now you're stuck here," she finally forces words out. "With Tom's cloak."

This is just fucking incredible.

"Spike, you're no stranger to bad dreams." She's not even waiting for him to open the cloak again; it's easier to let herself vent about how he shouldn't have done this that way, anyway. But she'd be doing it either way, and she certainly hopes he doesn't just tug the hood down because it'll be too fucking weird to see what looks like his disembodied head floating beside her. "What were you thinking? This is no place for you."

Fortunately, Junior shifts in her sleep but doesn't yet wake up.

Beth lowers her voice as he lets the cloak fall open again. "Is this really the first time you tried coming out here?"

She stops short of asking if she can even trust him if he says it is. Though she has to consider it a valid question under the circumstances, it's probably a little unfair and she's still got some control over her emotions right now.

She's thrilled to see him. He's one of the best things she's ever laid eyes on, and she hasn't even taken her hand off him after feeling around to be sure he was there. She spent most of first watch sleepless and quietly trying to come to terms with the fact that she'd lost her way back to him.

Again.

But in spite of all that, she's upset. She's stressed time and time again that it's too dangerous for him out here and people can't be allowed to find out about him or the bar, and here he is, driven to recklessness by some nightmare.

She guesses she should be thankful that he didn't do anything this impulsive until after he got this... magical cloak.

But what is she going to do with him? What if something happens to the cloak? What if something happens to him? She might never know about it as long as the cloak's securely covering him. She can't tell Ciba and Natalya. Should she tell Hero?

Does she want to tell Hero?

Date: 2007-04-06 12:22 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (surprised side)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
Wordlessly, she blinks at him, stunned again for a long moment.

A weak, uncomfortable laugh worms its way out of her, and her fingers are tight on his sleeve. "You're kidding, right?"

He has to be. Where would he go, anyway?

"I want you where it's safe. I want all three of us where it's safe, but even after what happened at the hot suite, it's still a hell of a lot safer out here for us than it is for you."

She shakes her head slightly.

"Unless you know something I don't, we can't get back to the bar. And if you're not planning to go back there," she adds, moving her hand to cover his, "you're not going anywhere."

Date: 2007-04-06 01:24 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (let she who has not sinned)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
She lived at a bar at the end of the universe for about two and a half years, but it's still going to take a while before she can consider this whole situation anything other than completely bizarre.

All the same, she smiles very genuinely at Spike and carefully places Junior in his arms.

"She's doing just fine." Taking a deep breath and then letting it out, she leans back against the barn wall again, her eyes dividing their time between Spike's face and her sleeping daughter. "You saw how well she took everything that's happened."

He should see Junior get up an all fours and try to scoot around. She's on the verge of crawling, and it could be a couple of days or a couple of weeks before she actually starts, but it's kind of fascinating to watch.

Lapsing into silence, she just half-smiles over at him. She can scarcely believe her eyes.

It seems like a good time to lean over and kiss his temple as he's looking down at the baby.

Date: 2007-04-06 02:13 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (Beth Plural)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
With a wry but ultimately affectionate smile, she nods. She's definitely gotten that impression, to say the least.

"I love you, too." Turning her head, she punctuates that thought with a kiss to the top of his shoulder.

Allowing herself a moment to lean against him, she adjusts her hold on Junior.

"Have you gotten any rest?" Probably not since he followed her right to this spot and revealed himself within about twenty minutes once she got time alone. "You don't have long to get some sleep in before the girls all wake up and want to head out."

Date: 2007-04-06 03:04 am (UTC)
stbethadettes: (let she who has not sinned)
From: [personal profile] stbethadettes
"You really know how to tempt a girl, bounty hunter."

She has to grin at him.

"You've got about an hour, probably." Joe's watch is tucked in her own bag, which is still in the barn. "Depends on when Vlad wakes up, but a good hour or so."

He should take advantage of the chance while he's got it. He's in great shape, but she doesn't want him collapsing of exhaustion somewhere. She can speak up when she and Junior need to stop and take it easy for a few, but she can't very well say hey, ladies, my invisible bounty hunter boyfriend could use a water break.

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