Chapter 7

Sigfried and Bjorn, acolytes of the Sed, cased the music box store waiting an opening to grab the enchanted globe and make a mad dash to the Rainbow Bridge.

Bjorn had discovered that the shop clerk, Tina, had placed the globe in the back storeroom. This made their job both easier and harder at the same time.

Easier because no one else would purchase that which could not be displayed for sale, and harder because the little twit obviously wanted it for herself.

The waiting game would have to be played if success could be assured.

The tattooed Vikings did their best to blend in with the California mall rats and soccer mom’s while waiting for their moment.


Giles had found all sorts of information thanks to all the details given by Anya. None of the information served to explain where Buffy and Spike had disappeared to or what any of it had to do with musical snow globes and Norse gods, however.

He was beginning to wish he had a good bottle of single malt here with him. He looked up and caught the weary gaze of Joyce Summers and changed his mind. The poor woman was holding on by a thread.

Willow and Tara had done a locator spell and could only say that Buffy was alive .... somewhere. It was all quite frustrating really.

It was Anya to the rescue once again in the end. "Why don't you just call on Snotra? She's the Norse goddess of virtue and master of all knowledge. She'd know what's going on. Or, at the very least be able to explain what the rune tattooed boys are all
About," she had suggested.

The ritual for contacting the goddess had taken a while to prepare. When it was ready they all gathered in the woods outside of Sunnydale to call upon the goddess Snotra.


Sigfried kept Tina occupied while Bjorn slipped the globe into his cloak.

The poor salesgirl had shown the blonde nearly every music box in the store and he had yet to make a selection. She was beginning to hate all Nordic tourists with a vengeance! The final insult to her good humor was when the man abruptly left the store without so much as a ‘thank you’!


Buffy, Spike and the goddesses looked from the castle windows and saw that, after that last earthquake, night had finally come. No stars lit the pitch dark, vaguely ominous sky.

Spike still had his hands on Buffy’s waist where he had steadied her during the tremors. He had delighted that she hadn’t moved from his embrace or turned a sharp tongue on him.

"Somewhat troubling between the earth shaking and the sudden darkness. It has never been night here before." Lofn consoled herself with the thought that nighttime was custom made for lovers and loving! There might be good magic at work with this turn of events.

Bjorn walked briskly out of the shop, globe safely tucked away within the vast pockets in the inner lining of his jacket. He began to head for his rental car. Sigfried would just have to catch up later.

He sped through the streets of Sunnydale headed for the woods nearby to turn the globe over to the shaman and finally be done with this nasty business. It was much easier to worship gods when you didn't have to actually deal with them, or their demands.

Just blocks from his turn off he became stuck in a traffic jam. A utility company vehicle was tying up the intersection making movement of any sort impossible. Their cherry picker had malfunctioned and the long arm holding the basket was effectively
blocking the very road that Bjorn needed to travel.


Spike was getting to like their situation more and more. They were safe, warm, well fed and now had been escorted to a lovely room with a large bed covered in furs and a huge fireplace aglow with the romantic light of a fire.

Buffy had been too tired to argue with their well-meaning hostesses about the sleeping arrangements. She had even been too tired to argue with Spike, for that matter.

Spike had gone for a walk in the great hall while Buffy enjoyed a long, soaking bath in rose scented water.

Lofn had suggested he enjoy a bath in another chamber at the same time. He was glad now that he had chosen to do so.

Buffy sat in front of the fire in her borrowed nightdress spreading her hair to dry. She hadn't heard Spike enter their room.

"Slayer ..... Buffy," he said her name as in a verbal caress. Buffy felt her body vibrate in tune to his honeyed voice. She wondered, "God, had his voice always been that sexy?"

Buffy had noticed all sorts of aspects of Spike over the last few days.

Like, he was really quite clever and not an idiot at all. He was rather endearingly boyish at times. He could make her laugh like no one else. He was actually surprisingly sweet and considerate. He was a good conversationalist when she let him. "And how on
earth did mom know that?" she wondered to herself.

Now she finally had to also admit he was drop dead sexy too. She had never let herself notice that about him. Not consciously at least.

His soft curls, usually slicked back and forced into submission were begging for her touch.

His eyes, always expressive and, oh, … were they always that shade of blue? His graceful, strong hands that she suddenly wished he would use to touch her body. And, speaking of bodies, … God did he always look like that? Had she been blind?

Here in this enchanted place, Buffy felt awake and aware for the first time.

"Buffy luv, would you like me to brush it dry for you?" he was asking her. She found she couldn't speak, but handed him her brush and gave herself over to the pleasure of his touch.

He was unbelievably gentle. Had he always been so, she wondered?

Spike was closer to heaven than he had ever imagined being allowed. His Buffy, his very own goddess was allowing him to do for her, to touch her. He thought he had seen something new, something warm in her hazel eyes a moment ago.

"No, don't ruin everything you stupid git," he chided himself. "Poor mite's just exhausted's all and trustin' you to play the gentleman. Okay, then, not gonna' disappoint the lady. Do things right this time and not bullocks it up like before."

"She's a spirited one, full of flame and fury but skittish as the devil, gotta go slow and gentle or she'll be off and runnin," he reminded himself.

"Was there ever a woman like his slayer? All soft and hard at the same time. Full of love, yet ready and able to do her duty over and over. Look how she accepted the Niblett and loved her even though she knew the memories of her sister were false. Real
kindness there. Always carin' about her friends too."

"Never saw such beauty as in her eyes either," he thought as he gently untangled her silken hair.

"Spike," she said breaking the silence.

"What is it, pet?" he urged her on.

"Why did you take me to see what Riley was doing with those Vamp ho's?" she asked softly.

Spike stopped brushing and sat back, more than a bit surprised at the topic of the question.

"Knew you wouldn't believe me if I just told you and figured you'd want to know, is all," he answered.

"Why though? For all you knew I was in love with him," she prodded.

"Puttin all of you in danger by goin to places like that. What if they’d turned him and you had him come in before you noticed? ’Sides, He wasn't good enough for you, slayer", he replied.

"And I suppose you are? And don't call me slayer, call me Buffy," she responded.

"No, Buffy, I know I'm not good enough for you. Not even much good at all. I'm trying, but I'll never be good enough really. I know it. Can't help but dream though, pet. Never wanted anyone the way I want you. Never loved anyone like this either. Willing to turn myself inside out for you, Buffy, you just say the word," he said softly.

Buffy stared at him for a long moment before she spoke and when she did, her voice was nearly inaudible. "Maybe you should have said it like that the last time," she said. Then she gave him a genuine smile that warmed him from the inside.

"Would it have ended differently if I had?" he asked.

"Why talk about endings, Spike when we're just at the start?" she asked.

Spike gulped and stared into her eyes. "I'm still drowning in you Summers," he whispered.

They drew together as if in a trance, meeting in the tenderest of kisses. Spike could die now and use this memory to keep sane in hell.

His lips were as soft as she remembered from Willow's messed up spell last year. They tasted like those luscious apples that Idun had given them earlier, but oh so much more appealing. He was kissing her with a tenderness she would never have dreamed him capable of showing. She wanted more. More kissing, more Spike.

Spike trailed his tongue carefully along he lips. He didn't push for entry fearing she would bolt.

At once, Buffy parted her lips and invited him in. They explored each other’s mouths with tongues as their hands began to explore each other’s body.

Softly, tenderly, yet with an urgency and need that could no longer be denied.

Buffy moaned softly and Spike nearly lost himself at the sound.

"God, why did I ever turn this down?" Buffy asked herself. "I'm the idiot, not Spike."


Giles began the chant to call upon Snorta and ask her wisdom in recovering Buffy and ending this nightmare.


Bjorn finally maneuvered the rental past the disabled cherry picker and sped towards the woods with Skadi's enchanted home. Soon it would all be over and life could return to normal. Perhaps it was time to look into a nice cult of Zoroaster to join.


"Who calls upon my wisdom?" Snotra asked, gazing at the circle of humans in this strange warm place.

"We do, oh virtuous goddess filled with the wisdom of the ages," Giles replied.

"Aud, is that you? How are you here and yet so young? I can sense you are a mortal, yet you do not age?" Snotra looked quizzically at Anya.

"Well it's a long story and I've only been human again for a few years," Anya replied.

"What is it you need, sweetie?" the goddess asked looking at Anya.

"We have lost a friend, the warrior of the people, the Slayer," Giles began, drawing the goddess’s attention back to him and their request.

"Yes, they do die young, another will be called," she answered impatiently.

"She is not dead, merely lost to us. We do not know how the old ones are involved but men with runes of the Elder Fulhark are somehow involved," Anya began to explain.

"Oh, is she the one with the vampire that so interests my sisters? They are within the enchanted globe containing Skadi's sacred mountain and summer home," the goddess answered brightly. "How amusing!"


Bjorn ran through the woods to the spot in the grove where the shaman was to have waited when he burst into a circle of humans and one of the Asatru!

"Stop him, that's the tattooed guy!" Xander yelled grabbing at Bjorn.

The globe flew from Bjorn's hand and landed at the feet of Snotra, breaking both the glass and the spell at the same time.

Buffy and Spike rolled on the ground in front of the Scoobies, Buffy coming to rest on top of Spike, both of them disheveled.

"Buffy," everyone seemed to say at once.

"Sweetheart, are you alright?" Joyce asked.

"Hey, Bufster, sorry we didn't get you out before. You probably can't wait to stake Captain Peroxide, huh?" this from Xander.

"Buffy, I swear it wasn't one of my spells," Willow was quick to inform her.

Buffy looked from one to the other and hugged them all in turn.

Spike, seeing the dream ended began to walk toward town and his crypt. It had been too good to last.

"Spike. Please wait." It was Joyce, not Buffy.

"I want to thank you for taking care of Buffy. I'm sure she is alive and well thanks in part to your help. I was glad when I found out you were with her," she admitted to the surprised vampire, her friend.

"Nothing to it Joyce. Your eldest didn't need my help. Didn't need me, never will," he replied quietly. "Glad you've got your happy reunion. Kinda' tired now and need to beat the sunrise home. Maybe I'll drop by the gallery in a few days, catch up a
bit," he said.

Spike stepped up his speed as he crashed through the woods on his way home. He managed to get there in good time without tripping in spite of the tears clouding his eyes.

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