Author's Chapter Notes:
hopefully the power will stay of for my posting this time ;)

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Chapter Four

Buffy wasn’t sure she’d ever admit it—to anyone—but she actually wanted t go see what Spike was doing. Willow had put the best protection spell on Buffy that she could, but neither she nor Giles was sure if it would be effective if the curse was already affecting Buffy internally. Something Buffy chose not to think about. And they’d suggested—or rather, they’d ordered—that she stay away from the college for the time being; apparently being around that many people when some mysterious person had cursed you was not a good idea.

Which actually made some sense to her, but it also meant that she didn’t have anything to do. Xander was at work, Willow was at school, her mom was at work, Dawn was in school, everyone but her had something to do during the day. Hell, she wasn’t even allowed to go to the mall (for the same reason she had to avoid the college). For the next several weeks—or however long it took to figure this out she was No-Crowds Buffy.

She should be enjoying her reprieve, maybe have a relaxing bubble bath or give herself a facial, manicure, and pedicure. But she didn’t really want to. She’d done all of that yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Her freaking nails were as perfect as they were going to get by now.

She had nothing to do.

Which brought her back to wondering what Spike was doing. But she wasn’t going to see him again. Ever.

Maybe she could go try to get something to eat again.

Spike wondered how the Slayer was doing. He hadn’t heard from her, or for that matter, seen her, in nearly two weeks and he was starting to worry—alright, alright, so he was already worried, but he was starting to worry more She hadn’t even been out of her house at night for him to... observe her.. He wished he could see her just for a few minutes, if only to know she was alright.

Besides, his life was a hell of a lot more boring without Buffy Summers in it.

Finally. Finally Buffy was going on patrol again. The first few days Giles had ordered her to stay in for her own protection. After those few days his reasons had changed, but he still wasn’t letting her go. “Buffy,” he’d said, “You’re losing weight every day and you’re weak—this could be a part of the curse. You’re more susceptible to injury; I won’t have you going out just to get hurt.”

Her arguments that vampires needed slaying and demons needed killing hadn’t worked…not until tonight. Last night a gang of vampires had killed nine people out for a late night picnic. And even though Buffy thought they were the dumbest of dumb for having a midnight picnic in Sunnydale of all places, she still needed to find the vampires that had done it. Nine people in one night got even Sunnydale PD’s attention.

So, she was going on patrol again—finally. Just, you know, with Giles, Willow, Xander, and Anya along for the ride. If it didn’t kill her first this curse was going to drive her insane—the way she had to be away from everyone, but then around everyone when she patrolled. It was nuts.

Willow was worried for her friend. As she watched Buffy stake a vampire fresh out of the ground, she noticed how the Slayer’s reflexes had slowed, how the force behind her punches had lessened. Buffy looked like she hadn’t eaten anything in weeks and had been experiencing horribly severe headaches nearly ever day. Some days she’s sleep for hours during the middle of the day, her body exhausted from the sheer pain and others she’d be unable to sleep at all, something keeping her awake. She’d tried to question Buffy on it, but her friend had just snapped at her and told her it’d all be better soon and to just leave her alone.

But Willow knew if they did ad Buffy asked and ‘left her alone’ then…well, then she’d be dead in just a matter of days or weeks. Something was horribly wrong and one way or another, Willow was going to find out. The driving force in her need to find out what was wrong with Buffy was the memory of what had happened that day after Buffy had brought the curse up at Giles’.

As her stomach growled for the third time in twenty minutes, Buffy remembered that she’d forgone breakfast that morning in favor of getting to Giles’ more quickly. Which meant that it was now quarter to eleven and she had yet to have anything to eat.

“Wills? Want to stop by the Espresso pump for a muffin or something once this is all done?”

“Sure, just let me make sure I’ve done this protection spell properly and then we can go,” Willow had eaten breakfast already but was willing to have a small snack or maybe just a coffee with her friend.

It was thirty minutes later by the time they got to the Espresso Pump and got their drinks and Buffy’s blueberry muffin. As they sat down at the table, Willow was explaining to Buffy why the protection spell might not work and Buffy was trying not to let every word make her worry even more.

“So you’re saying that if this is some sort of curse to…infect my intestines or something,” Buffy couldn’t think of a better example, “Then it would already have started and the protection spell wouldn’t do anything?”

“Exactly,” Willow confirmed, “If the curse was done to affect you internally then it will have already started and the spell will do nothing because it was done after the fact. But,” she added quickly, “the way the vampire told you to watch your back makes me think that it’s not something internal.”

“Let’s hope not,” Buffy said as she picked up her muffin to take a bite. And that’s when the pain hit. A blinding, searing pain that was so severe she couldn’t tell
where it hurt, just that it did.

Apparently she let the pain show on her face as well because even as she all but threw the muffin down and clutched her head, Willow as already asking her what was wrong.

“I think,” Buffy tried to come up with a plausible answer, “I think I just didn’t get enough sleep last night.

“You sure?” Willow asked, but Buffy just nodded. Buffy didn’t eat any more of her muffin though, Willow noticed. Nor did she drink any of her coffee before Willow offered to drive her extremely sick looking friend home. She hoped this wasn’t part of the curse.

TBC.....pleave review :)

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