Two Roads Diverged in a Wood by Darkrivertempest
Summary: AU. Totally human fic. Willow, Xander, Buffy, and Spike head on vacation in the wilds of upstate California where the rain, boating mishaps, and the local beasties make the trip a living...well, you get the idea. A very light-hearted poke at summer vacations.

***WINNER of Judge's Choice Award Round 4 at the Spark and Burn Awards!***

***WINNER of the Whipped Cream Award Round 8 at the Forbidden Awards!***

Categories: General Fics Characters: None
Genres: Romance, Angst
Warnings: Adult Language, Sexual Situations
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 7 Completed: Yes Word count: 20927 Read: 10773 Published: 09/16/2007 Updated: 10/18/2007
7 by Darkrivertempest
Author's Notes:
So Happy Birthday to Katin! (Zoe, bless her cotton socks!) I hope you enjoyed this little vacation horror story. The poem of course is by Robert Frost. Please leave a review, they feed my inner psycho. And yes, Zoe, the oozing is for you! LOL
“Oh god, Willow!” floated to the blond pair emerging from the forest.

Buffy stifled a giggled and looked at Spike, his hair in a disheveled sexy state. They had made love twice more before deciding to join the others, allowing for their own love play. Apparently two hours wasn’t long enough.

Spike gave her a shushing motion and pulled her back onto the path in the woods. “Make a racket, love, see if that’ll get ‘em to tone it down a bit.”

“Hmm, let me think…” she mused. Then, without warning, she started running towards the tent on the other side of the clearing yelling, “Bees! Oh my god, bees!”

She circled the tent and heard muffled screams and loud voices, watching a half dressed Willow and nearly naked Xander tumbled out of the tent door. Several stages of deep blush covered their bodies and Willow looked thoroughly loved. Xander kept a tight grip on what looked like one of Spike’s tee shirts around his bare ass and he was panting heavily.

“Bees? Where bees?” he asked in confusion at a laughing Buffy. She was bent double and tears were dripping down her face.

“Oi mate! Tell me, please, that’s not one of my tees,” Spike yelled, coming up the path.

Xander looked down to his middle and back up at Spike. “Want it back?” he offered, looking as if to take the shirt off.

“God no! Burn it, I know I’ll need to scrub my eyes for a bit after this image,” Spike groused.

Willow had ducked back into the tent and now returned wearing a tank and some shorts, looking quite embarrassed. “Anyone for fishing?” she ventured, trying to turn the subject from Xander and her to something more constructive.

“As in killing the worm for bait fishing?” Buffy said in a queasy voice.

“Is there any other kind, pet?” Spike said as he absentmindedly rubbed his hand up and down her arm in a comforting gesture.

“Yeah, there is actually. There’s fake lures, ummm…I used bacon as a kid,” Buffy pointed out.

“Well considering I’m not allowed to touch the stuff, bacon’s out for me,” Willow said.

“I think there’s a couple fake lures in my tackle box. Just let me get decent and we’ll head on out,” Xander said as he ducked into the tent.

“Ha! That’ll be the day mate…you’ve never been decent in your life!” Spike laughed at a frowning Xander.

“Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black,” Xander grumbled from the tent.

After everyone was dressed and the gear gathered, the foursome headed back to the notorious lake to the fishing dock. No one had asked Buffy or Spike anything about what happened in the woods as Willow and Xander were too caught up in post coital bliss to notice them much. Which suited Buffy fine. She wanted to keep this to herself for a while, it was new and she was going to be someone’s wife after school. She knew what others would say if they knew, so she decided to keep it under wraps except for a select group of close friends.

Watching Xander and Willow ahead of them, Spike slyly grabbed Buffy’s hand and caressed the top as they walked, swinging their arms together every now and then. He watched her blush and smile to herself and he was happy. Happier than he had ever been in his life because he was the reason for her smile. She tightened her grip on his hand and threaded her fingers through his.

“I know this is kinda sudden, but this being senior year and all…would you go with me to my prom?” she asked in a small voice, watching his reaction.

He looked over at her and grinned fully. “Woman, you just said you’d be my wife. I think I can handle a prom on short notice.”

She smiled and nodded, but a shadow crept over her. “What about school, Spike? You’re going back to London, right? And then, after school?”

He leaned over and kissed her funny little nose. “About that…” he started.

“Well?” she said when he didn’t elaborate.

“Still love me if we were poor?” he questioned, watching her intently.

She scoffed and waved him away. “That’s a stupid question. Of course I’d love you. I’d love you if you lived in a cardboard box, ate Spam everyday, and mumbled to yourself all day long. Silly Wabbit,” she said with a laugh.

He stopped her then, and pulled her to him, threading his fingers through her soft hair. “Well that’s a relief pet, cause I don’t know want I’m gonna do about that BMW that’s sitting my drive way at home.” He licked his lips and focused on her eyes. “Got me a house already, love. Nice cars, job with National Geographic, long vacations…” he faltered when he saw tears brimming in her eyes.

“But you said…” she wondered.

“I know,” he muttered. “Knew this was my last chance to reach you, Buffy. Was gonna sell it all if you didn’t want me. I had to know.” He tasted her lips and she responded by wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him closer.

“You’d give up everything for me?” she husked.

“What good is it if I don’t have you?” he whispered against her ear.

“Good answer,” she grinned and kissed him thoroughly.

“Bout freakin time,” Willow muttered under her breath to Xander, casting a glance back at Buffy and Spike entwined with each other.

“Did you see the massive hicky she has on her shoulder? I swear my cousin has fangs,” Xander said good-naturedly.

“Ahem! Would you two like to get a room or shall we just throw you in the lake to cool off?” Willow shouted back to the oblivious pair.

The couple sprung apart and blushed furiously. Buffy smoothed her shirt down and quickly walked away from Spike who was sporting a raging hard on. He rubbed the back of his neck and followed her towards the others and they all resumed their walk.

“Sheesh, you’d think three times would be enough,” Willow teased a shocked Spike.

He just stood there like a gaping fish. “Sound carries,” Xander confirmed his suspicions.

“Yeah, it does,” he said waggling his eyebrows in Willows direction. “Oh god, Xander! Pull my hair and smack me like I’m your bitch!” he imitated in Willow’s voice.

“Oh my god!” Willow said, mortified.

“Yup, that’s who you called for.” She punched Spike hard on the shoulder.

“Oi! I was calling on my own goddess, here… no need to take it out on me.”

Willow huffed away and Xander nodded to Spike in a smug, totally male way. ‘Oh yeah’ he mouthed.

They finally reached the dock and started to settle the gear when the park ranger appeared. “Not gonna cause any trouble again, are you?”

Spike gave the man a flippant salute. “No sir, not us. We’re good little campers, aren’t we mates?”

“Wise ass,” the ranger muttered. “If I catch you messing around again I’m throwing you out of the park, got it?”

They all nodded silently and watched him leave slowly in the ranger truck. “Yes, sir…right away, sir…fuck you, sir…kiss my lily-white ass, sir,” Spike gestured after he was out of sight.

The trio laughed at the unrepentant Spike, wishing they could say that to the ranger’s face. They settled into their chairs, Spike and Buffy on one side, Willow and Xander on the other.

“Ugh, that is so gross,” Willow complained as she tried to squish the wriggling worm on a tri-hook. It was a vicious looking thing with three sharply barbed prongs. She impaled as much of the worm as she could on the hook and washed her hand in the lake water.

Buffy quickly hooked a squiggly green plastic lure on her simple single hook and prepared to cast out. “Have you done this before love?” Spike asked as he watched her take aim.

She looked at him over her shoulder and smiled. “Yeah, but give me plenty of room to cast…I tend to take up a lot of space when I do that for some reason,” she said sheepishly.

Spike should have really taken more than a couple steps back. As she drew back to cast, she landed a hard and fast punch to his slender nose. “Arrgghhh!” he gurgled in agony. Blood started oozing down his face and Buffy was trying to stop it with her jacket.

“Oh god, I’m so sorry,” she kept repeating over and over. She made him tilt his head back so the bleeding would slow. After about five minutes, and much snickering from the peanut gallery, the bleeding stopped and he touched his tender nose.

“Powerful right hook you got there, hon,” he said in spite of himself.

“Sorry,” she murmured and laid a cool hand against his cheek. “I’ll make it up to you…later,” she whispered with a smirk.

“Worth the pain then, love,” he agreed.

“Arrrgggh!” howled Xander, clutching at his back.

Apparently Willow had tried to cast out and instead snagged Xander’s back with the hook. Spike ran over and peered at the hook deeply embedded into Xander’s flesh.

“Get it out! Get it out!” Xander yelled trying to clasp the elusive line and hook.

“Easy, mate, easy,” Spike soothed trying to work the barbed prong lose from his shirt and back. “This is gonna fucking hurt,” he warned as he yanked hard and pulled the tri-hook free…along with bits of shirt, blood, and skin.

A deafening roar sliced the air as Xander paled and fainted…next to an already fainted Willow. “Those two would never make good doctors,” Buffy observed as she leaned down and patted Willow’s cheek. “C’mon, wake up sleepy head.”

“King Triton’s after me!” Willow startled from her faint.

“You watch entirely too much ‘Little Mermaid’ for a woman your age,” Buffy laughed. She pointed to Xander as Spike pulled up his shirt to have a better look at his back. “Might wanna put some alcohol on that while he’s still out.”

“Good idea.” Spike rummaged around the first aid pack they always took with them and found some alcohol pads. He opened one and swabbed the wound, which had stopped bleeding.

“Jesus Christ!” Xander shouted as he struggled to stand. “And here I thought the hook was painful… damn!” he said in a shaky voice. He turned to find three faces laughing at him. “Shut up,” he muttered.

“I promise not to cast to close to you next time, sweetie,” Willow offered as an apology.

“Yeah, well… next time.” He soothed her ruffled feathers and they sat back down, considerably further apart now. “Try again. Flick your wrist and depress the button to let the line out.” He demonstrated the proper way and handed back her pole.

Willow looked like she was going to do the perfect cast…until she swung her hand and let the pole go, flinging the expensive gear out deep into the lake. No one said a word.

“Umm…” Willow grimaced.

Laughter roared all around her and she turned to see the group doubled over. At least no one was mad at her…this time.

“I’ll just sit and watch…see? My spectator face is firmly in place,” she said as she plopped down in the chair next to Xander and watched as Buffy composed herself and prepared to try and cast again. Spike stepped well out of the way this time. Too far out of the way.

The dock was situated on top of a high levy with the lake on one side and a grassy rolling hill on the other. Spike felt himself falling and yelled as he went down. “Buggerin fuck!”

Buffy turned to show Spike her cast and saw him fall backwards…down he went, rolling down the hill, bumping every nook and cranny he came across. She ran to the edge and watched him land at the bottom all spread eagle and not moving. “Spike!” she yelled and dove head first down the hill, rolling and hitting everything just as he did.

Willow and Xander glanced over the edge noting the two figures at the bottom that were now embracing in a passionate kiss and they sighed. “You or me first?” Xander asked gauging the distance from the top to the sandy bottom. Willow didn’t give him a choice as she pushed him over the edge.

“As…you…wish!” Xander yelled all the way down, mimicking Wesley in the ‘Princess Bride.’

“Oh my sweet Xander!” Willow laughed and followed him down.

The group lay at the bottom of the hill laughing and panting. “We gotta do that again!” Xander said as he started back up the hill.

After about an hour of rolling down the hill like kids they decided to call it quits and pack up their gear. They were covered from head to toe in grass clippings and dirt, and they loved every minute of it…until a shadow loomed behind them.

“That’s it! Out! And I’ll issue a warrant for your arrest if I catch any of you near this place again!” the irate ranger yelled.

“But,” Buffy started

“No, that’s it! We’ll have to spread sand along the bottom of the levy again, wipe up the blood on the dock, try and find that fishing pole, and I just saw a raccoon scamper away with pink socks. Now enough is enough. Pack your gear and get out!” he roared and pointed to his back seat motioning them to get in.

The drive back to the campsite was quiet as the group thought about all that had happened on this little journey. The ranger dumped them unceremoniously at their tent and waited for them to pack everything into the car and followed them as they made their way from the state park. No body had said much of anything and Buffy lay her head on Spike’s shoulder as she watched the sunlight filter through the forest as they drove by.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” Spike mused aloud.

“Huh?” Buffy said sleepily.

“It’s a poem by Robert Frost, pet,” Spike said quietly, kissing the top of her head.

“What’s it about?”

“Life choices, at least that’s my interpretation,” Spike explained. “A person is faced with two roads in life, and no matter which road he travels on, he will always look back and wonder ‘what if I choose a different path in life?’ Would I have been happier? Would I have more money, great power? Would the grass be greener on the other side of the fence? All these things usually go through a person’s mind at the end of the road.”

Buffy nodded sagely. “Recite the poem for me?” She yawned and snuggled deeper into Spike’s embrace and her eyes started to drift shut.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.”

“It would be interesting, in a way I suppose, to see where each path led us before taking it,” Buffy mumbled quietly.

“Mmm, yes indeed.” Spike continued with the poem.

“Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Spike peeked down to see if Buffy was asleep and found her eyes closed. They had all been through a rough week but he wouldn’t have changed a thing, not one bit of it. He watched the scenery go by and the relaxed a little more once they hit the highway back to Sunnydale. Willow had conked out and her face was plastered against the window, no doubt drool making its way down the glass. Xander concentrated on the road and hummed to himself now and then.

“Spike? Am I the road less traveled?” Buffy whispered near his ear.

“Yes, love. And you have made all the difference.”
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