Adam leaned forward, putting his hand on her shoulder. “Supernatural by Carver Edlund?”
Buffy handed one of the books to Adam. “About Sam and Dean.”
“What?” Adam frowned. “That’s stupid. I mean, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s a coincidence.”
“Sam and Dean in a Chevrolet Impala, going around and hunting demons.” Buffy looked annoyed. “They’re making money off of what they’re doing?”
“No.” Adam shook his head and showed her the publication year for the first book. “I’ve met them, remember? I don’t think Dean would be capable of writing a novel. Sam, maybe.”
“You’d better get those before the price goes up.” The brunette employee told them as she opened a box nearby. “Carver Edlund disappeared about a year ago. I figure it’s only a matter of time before they find his corpse somewhere, and then they’re going to jack up the cost of those novels.”
Buffy nudged Adam, then went off to get a basket.
Adam crouched by the teen. “Can I help you with those?”
“Oh. I’d say yes, but we’re not supposed to do that.” She held her hand out to him. “I’m Beth.”
“Adam.” He shook her hand, then stood up when she did, stepping over the box to follow her around one of the shelves.
“There’s an Adam in the books.” Beth glanced over at him. “I read them, but I don’t really like them. I kept waiting for them to get better, but it was all crapsack world stuff.”
“I know.” Adam muttered. It took a few more seconds before her words really registered, and then Buffy was catching his shoulders as he started to faint. He heard Beth asking if he was okay and Buffy asking where the nearest couch was. When he finally was able to breathe normally, Buffy held a bottle of water out to him.
“Whatever she said to you must have really freaked you out.” Buffy commented.
“I’m in the books. Everything I went through might be in there.” Adam cleared his throat and took a gulp of water.
“We’ll read them and see.” Buffy sighed. “This is weird. I’ve never had to deal with this kind of thing before. Well, maybe sort of. But in reverse.”
“Dracula?” Adam smiled when Buffy looked startled. “I read Giles’ journals about you.”
Buffy laughed a little. “I didn’t think about it, but I guess there are books about me then, huh? It’s a good thing these stores are enormous and I have no idea where to find the Celtic lore section. This might help us find your brother, if that’s something you still want to do.”
“I don’t know if it is.” Adam said quietly. He stood up. “I could find Bobby’s house. I just haven’t bothered going there. I don’t even know if he’s alive, either.”
“Where does he live?”
“Some place in South Dakota.” Adam looked around, then pointed out the mythology section.
Buffy followed Adam and opened a book, looking through the contents to see if it was something she wanted. She closed it and put it into the basket with the Carver Edlund novels. “We don’t have to go there if you don’t want to. We don’t even have to hurry to get there. I’ve been wanting to see different things around the country.”
“Like what, a giant ball of rubber bands?” Adam snorted.
“No. Not unless we need to use it as a weapon.”
“What kind of demon fears rubber bands?” Adam blurted, then laughed. “You’re screwing with me right now, aren’t you?”
“Maybe a little.” Buffy smiled. “I want to see different stuff. Not lame-o tourist attractions. I meant things like the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building.” She turned around and started walking toward the checkout line.
Adam followed, not wanting to hurt her feelings and tell her that the places she wanted to visit were tourist traps in their own right.
“Could you go get an atlas?” Buffy asked. “And a few blank notebooks or journals.”
“What are you planning?”
The line moved forward. “I’ll tell you later.” Buffy called over her shoulder.
A few minutes later, they got back into the car with one over-sized bag of books and pens. Buffy set it down on the floorboard. “I was thinking we could take notes on all of the places in the novels. Maybe if we trace where they’ve been, we can get a better idea of where Dean might be.”
“Like what, then? Supernatural, the tour?”
Buffy smiled. “Sure.”
“Is that really going to give us much time for meeting up with other slayers or looking for things to slay ourselves? Yourself, I mean. Count me out of that.”
“You can sit out if you want, but you’re good with a sword, and backup doesn’t hurt to keep around.” Buffy fastened her seatbelt. “I thought you came with me so that we could spend time traveling and seeing stuff we didn’t get to while we were stuck in Cleveland.”
Adam gestured to the steering wheel in front of him. “I’m driving. You came with me.”
“Do you really want to argue this with me?” Buffy’s eyebrow raised as she looked over at him. “My name is the one on the credit cards. I paid for the hotel.”
“You couldn’t have gotten there without me driving.” Adam countered, backing out of the parking space.
“I guess you want to go hungry for awhile.” Buffy laughed. “Try getting food without my money.”
Adam snorted. “Like I’ve never shoplifted before.”
“See? You do need my help. I’m keeping you from a life of crime.”
Adam glanced over at Buffy, not sure what to say.
“I win.” Buffy grinned.
He laughed, then looked serious. “You do know that I’m grateful to you and Willow, right? It was...” He stopped, sighing.
“Hell?” Buffy supplied, nodding. “I figured that out awhile ago. You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”
“Sometime I will want to.” Adam promised.