Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Other people own them, not me.
Summary:Spike and Xander have to get Dawn back.
Word Count: 1490

Ransom in Romania


It was a dark and stormy night…and Spike was pissed. “Xander, what the bloody hell are you doing over there. You’re supposed to be the navigator!”

“Cool it, Blood Breath, this map is not in English, okay? I have a hard time using map quest so give me a fucking break.” Xander peered over the top of the map to glare at Spike with his one eye.

Spike lit a cigarette and rolled his eyes. He was leaning back against their green, rented station wagon. They’d had to pull over when Spike realized that Xander had been holding the map upside down for the last three hours. He let out a dramatic, long-suffering sigh.

“You know,” Xander said from behind the map. “We could switch. I could drive and you could be the navigator.”

“As if. You don’t have any sodding depth perception. Puttin’ you behind the wheel of a car would be a crime.” Spike retorted.

“I drive better than you!” Xander said indignantly.

“Which isn’t saying much, now is it?” There was a pause as what Spike said sunk in, and then he palmed his face in embarrassment as Xander burst into laughter.

“That is so true!” Xander managed to say between manly giggles.

Spike ripped the map out of his hands and growled. “Fine, I’ll navigate, you drive. But if you scratch this car you’re paying for it.”

Xander caught the keys Spike tossed him and nodded. “Gotcha. I am Xander, One-eyed-safe-driver-man.”

“There’s an oxymoron,” Spike said, climbing into the passenger seat. “Emphasis on the moron.”

“Whatever.” Xander started the car, “at least I’m not blond.”

“I’m telling Buffy you said that.” Spike smirked.

“What? No! I didn’t mean her!” Xander was alarmed, Buffy had been known to shave people’s head for making blond jokes.

“We’ll let her decide.” Spike said absently as he studied the map. “We need to back five miles and take a right. That will put us on the road we need.”

Xander stared at Spike, which made Spike nervous because it meant he wasn’t looking at the road ahead. “You mean to tell me that you can read Romanian?”

“Yeah, can’t you?” Spike asked innocently.

“No! You know I can’t! I just spent the last three hours struggling to figure out where the hell we are and you could have read it the whole time!?” Now it was Xander’s turn to be pissed.

“Look, you want to argue about this, or do you want to hurry up and save Dawn?” Spike deflected.

Xander seethed, “save Dawn,” he gritted out.

“Alright then, to Dracula’s castle we go.” Spike settled back into his seat and waved ahead. “And feel free to step on it, Grandma.” Xander’s indistinct muttering sounded angry.

A few minutes later Xander spoke up again. “If you really cared about saving Dawn you wouldn’t have wasted three hours watching me try to read that map.”

“Relax,” Spike said, “It’s not like the Niblet’s in any real danger. Drac won’t hurt her.” Spike’s voice was unconcerned.

“He called up Buffy and told her that he was holding Dawn for Ransom! How can you say that she’s not in danger?” Xander demanded.

“Well, first of all, it would be suicidally stupid for any demon to kill the Slayer’s sister. Second, he’s a poncy prat, but he’s not that stupid. Third, Dawn can take care of herself.”

“Obviously she can’t since we had to fly to freaking Transylvania to exchange a spell book for Dawn.” Xander commented. “And may I say what a stupid ransom demand that was? He doesn’t want money, or a sacrifice, or even immunity from Slayers. He just wants some rare spell book that Willow had locked up in her library.”

Spike smirked, “You’ll see.”

Four hours later they’d back tracked all the way to where they had started, and then gone the right way to end up at Dracula’s castle. What should have been a one hour drive had ended up being seven because Spike was too lazy to read a map for himself. They got out of the car and Xander stretched his arms up and bent his back, cracking it.

Spike snorted, “You sound like kindling.”

Xander flipped him off the British way, with two fingers. “So this is Drac’s castle, huh?” Xander looked it over, it was smaller than he thought it would be.

“Actually it’s a different one. The original is a tourist trap now.” Spike said.

“Huh.” Was Xander’s intelligent and very articulate reply.

They walked up the walkway and stopped in front of the big wrought iron double doors. Xander reached up and knocked the gargoyle door knocker while Spike muttered “pretentious git” behind him.

The door opened slowly, creaking as it did. Spike shoved his way past Xander and through the door. “Hey!” Xander shouted, following him. The door closed behind him and they were left in a grand foyer, with a red carpet, a chandelier, and oil paintings of beautiful women on the walls. A man in a butler outfit appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and bowed at them. “Uh, hi.” Xander greeted, “We’re here to trade for Dawn.” He waved the spell book in front of him.

“This way, sirs.” The butler turned and went down the hallway, clearly expecting them to follow.

“Did he just call us ‘sir?’” Xander whispered to Spike.

“ Yeah. Weird.” Spike answered.

They were led into a living room which had an ornate fireplace, and a long wooden table. Dracula sat at one end, facing Spike and Xander.

“So, Drac, you give us the girl, we give you the book. We leave. How’s that sound, mate?” Spike sprawled into a chair opposite Dracula, which was actually quite a feat in a chair that looked that uncomfortable, Xander marveled as he stood behind Spike.

Before Dracula had a chance to reply they heard an “Oh My God!” followed by a screeching girly Squeal as Dawn ran into the room. She slammed into Xander and gave him a big hug, and then just as he thought he might suffocate, turned to give Spike the same treatment.

“Hi Dawnie.” Xander said breathlessly.

“You guys came! Did you bring the book?” She looked at them expectantly.

“Yeah, we have it.” Xander held it up for her to see.

She snatched it from his hands. “Yes! Willow said I’d never get my hands on it. Hahaha! I so totally rule!” She pumped her fist in the air and bounced.

“What?” Xander asked, confused. Spike was laughing.

“How long did it take her to make you her bitch, Drac?” Spike goaded.

Dracula’s hands fisted in frustration, “Just take her away, please.”

Dawn was still doing her own dance of joy, and Xander asked, “Dawn, this was all you? You set this all up just to get a book?”

“Well, yeah. Willow wouldn’t let me have it. So I came up with a plan to get it. And it worked!” She was proud of herself. “I’m ready to go home now though, they don’t have good tv shows here. All they play is M*A*S*H reruns.”

“Before we go,” Spike said, “about that money you owe me.” He looked at Dracula meaningfully.

“William.” Dracula’s voice held a warning.

“Dracula.” Dawn stared at Dracula like a mother at a disobedient child.

“Fine!” Drac snapped his fingers and the butler appeared again, this time handing Spike money.

Spike counted it. “What about the interest, mate?” Dracula glared harder. Xander thought if he was still alive he might pop a blood vessel.

“Spike.” Now Dawn aimed her look at Spike, and Spike looked away, abashed. Xander was in awe of Dawn’s vampire taming powers. “Come on guys. Stefan already put my stuff in the car, let’s go!” She bounced back down the hall toward the front door.

“Stefan?” Xander asked Spike.

“Probably the butler.” Spike answered.

When they got to the car Dawn was already in the back seat, buckling up. “So what’s in the book that you had to have?” Xander asked.

“Um, spells and stuff, I guess.” Dawn replied.

“You mean you don’t even know what’s in it?” Spike shook his head.

“Nope, let’s find out.” There was the sound of pages rustling, and then a wail. “Noooo!”

“What? What’s wrong?”

“Niblet? You okay?”

Dawn just sniffed and handed the book to Spike. He opened it and read the first page. Then he started to laugh.

“What does it say?!” Xander was starting to feel left out.

Spike handed the book to Xander, who looked down at the page. Then he flipped through the rest of the pages, they all said the same thing. He chuckled, then handed the book back to Dawn and started the car. “Sorry Dawnie, better luck next time.”

“Yeah, except next time, leave us out of it. I sodding hate flying.” Spike chimed in.

Guess you’re not as clever as you thought, huh missy? –Willow

Dawn huffed.

The End

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