Things Present – Things Past
By Estepheia and Marcee
Part 4 - Get Ready to Rumble
wrong with her, Spike?" Willow asked as she kneeled next to her best friend.
the hell should I know?" he said defensively. "One moment she's fine, the next
she just falls over."
Willow took her hand. "Buffy? Buffy? Are you okay?"
was movement behind the closed, lightly powdered lids. Spike was still
supporting her weight from behind when her eyes fluttered opened. Startled eyes. Frightened eyes.
the girl broke from Spike's grasp, stood and turned back to face her small
audience. She narrowed her eyes and raised her fists. She caught a glimpse of her delicate hands
and tilted her head in confusion. She
took a step back and turned her balled fists inward to glance at her sparkling
nails. A few more steps backward and she
bumped into a table. She looked up at
the spectators with a mixture of fear, shock and a twinge of desperation. But
only for a moment. Then, her face
cleared and her eyes filled with determination.
lunged forward with two graceful steps, planted her left foot and drove her
right foot square into Spike's chest launching the surprised vampire halfway
across the dance floor.
"Buffy!" Willow shouted.
"Looks like Spike tried to cop a feel," Anya
remainder of the patrons fled the dance floor as the small blond rushed toward
the fallen vampire.
"God Buffy," Spike said as he scrambled to his feet,
"What'd I do?"
he was expecting an answer, his disappointment was washed away by severe pain
when the Slayer landed a swift left hook followed by a strong uppercut that
threw him up and back into the drum set on the stage. The clatter was
deafening. Spike struggled in the tangle
of wires and desperately tried to dislodge his foot from the large center
drum. He attempted to stand several
times, without success.
hell," he swore to no one in particular.
He had finally removed his foot from the broken instrument and set about
extricating himself from the web of electrical and microphone cables.
Tara nudged her girlfriend. "Willow, do something!"
was already rushing the stage. He
grabbed the Slayer's arm and tried to turn her toward him. She turned...and shoved Xander with such force
that he was thrown to the edge of the dance floor, just missing a concrete
Anya shouted and hurried to help him, their former argument instantly forgotten.
"Oh Xander, are you alright?"
nodded, but was cradling his right arm as Anya helped him to his feet.
dare Buffy treat you that way," Anya pouted, "After all the times you got beat
up for her."
Buffy jumped up onto the stage and quickly grabbed the drumstick by her
foot. She paused a moment to inspect the
heeled leather boot, but then returned to the task at hand.
Spike looked up at her from amidst the percussion-debris and saw the drumstick
she expertly held, his eyes widened in panic.
charged toward him. Spike quickly
stumbled out of the path of the attacking Slayer. He jumped off the stage and turned to face
his assailant. Buffy didn't even pause
to make a smart remark. Instead, she vaulted herself off the stage and landed
in front of Spike.
thinking!" Willow snapped.
swung at Spike, but he ducked, narrowly escaping the calculated blow. He moved fast, behind Buffy, and tried to
grab her in a bear hug. She elbowed him
in the gut, reached over her shoulder, grabbed his collar, bent forward and
yanked him up and over her head. He
landed on his back, but was up and moving before Buffy could put her heel down
on his face.
Slayer," he said as circled her like a predator. "I know we've had our differences, what -
with me trying to kill you and all. But
that's behind us."
Buffy also circled slowly, ready to counter his
looks like they're dancing," Anya whispered to Xander.
know you like the rough and tumble," Spike continued. "You could have just asked."
*Why isn't she
saying anything?* He wondered.
"No fair taking me by surprise, Slayer, just when we
were getting along so well."
Buffy was still holding the drumstick. Her eyes were narrow, dark with
"I mean, if you didn't want to dance with me, you
could have just said no."
*It's no fun
teasing her if she won't bite.*
warning, Buffy took two quick steps forward and threw herself into an expert
round-off back handspring. She flew at
Spike with inhuman speed. But he moved
with his own inhuman speed and without a target to halt her momentum, the
Slayer found herself crashing into a table.
watched as the Slayer regained her composure.
*Her stance is different. These aren't her moves.* The girl had
lost her drumstick in flight, but there was plenty of splintered wood now
available. Without taking her eyes off
her quarry, she leaned down to pick up a broken table leg. *She's good enough, but she's no Buffy.* Spike risked a glance at the others to
see what they were up to. Xander and
Anya were just observers. Looked like
Harris might have sustained an injury.
The witches might be concocting something. *Better
make it quick, Red. He thought, don't
know how much longer I can avoid a dusting.
Damn this bloody chip!*
Slayer came at him again. Spike ducked
two punches and blocked another before one finally connected. He stumbled backward. She charged again. This time, Spike dropped to the ground and
extended his leg, effectively tripping her.
He was getting increasingly tired of this game. *This
would be much more fun if it were really Buffy.*
"Will?" he called over his shoulder.
"Working on it," she replied.
Slayer held the table leg skillfully and swung it a few times to gauge its
weight. She spun it with her two hands
as she stalked her prey.
ran and hopped back up onto the stage.
He grabbed the microphone pole and ripped out the cable. *If she
gets a weapon, I'd bloody well have one as well.* He, too, spun the pole
proficiently as he stood in the spotlight on the cluttered stage.
Slayer dashed to the stage and swung at the vampire's feet. He easily jumped over the wooden club and
smirked at the increasingly frustrated blond girl.
a bit tired, Slayer?" he asked. "My
crypt's just around the corner. I got a
bed, you know." He winked at her. "Maybe it's not sleep you're after."
nothing. Jesus, what does it take?*
waited for the girl to make her next move. When she leaned forward to strike,
he used the pole to vault himself over her head and landed behind her, chrome
staff in hand.
"I could just have a
smoke? Give you a breather?" he
teased. "Will?" he called over his
shoulder, "Any time now."
"Okay, Spike, we got it. Just,
uh... Keep her busy."
"Will do," he rolled his eyes. *Isn't that I've been bloody doing?*
He could hear the
witches chanting something incoherent but he had other things to focus on right
now. The Slayer was spinning the wooden
leg in her hands quickly and was walking toward him. It was hard for Spike to keep track of the
spinning table leg. *Hmm...that's pretty good.* Suddenly, the spinning stopped and wood
was almost upon him. Spike used his
microphone pole to block the jab. For a
minute or so, they were dueling...chrome against wood, vampire versus Slayer.
"Okay, Spike, you gotta hold her down," he heard Willow yell.
"Oh sure, yeah, no problem," he mumbled.
Spike mentally prepared
himself for the oncoming anguish, and before he could change his mind, he
twisted the pole, caught the Slayer's elbow with it and disarmed her. As she turned her head to watch the wooden
leg fly across the dance floor, Spike kicked her feet out from under her and
before the pain could even register, he threw himself on top of the girl and
pinned her arms under his knees.
BLOOOODDDYYYY HEELLLLLLL!!!" echoed through the now quiet club.
Willow and Tara were
glowing slightly orange and with a flick of the redhead's wrist, an orange net
fell right through Spike and formed around the grounded Slayer. In moments, the girl was fully enshrouded in
a translucent orange bubble-like substance.
Spike, still clutching his head, simply fell over sideways onto the
"We need to get her
back to the house," Willow said, as she approached the struggling Slayer.
"What's wrong with
her?" Anya asked as she and Xander made their way over to the group.
"D-do you think it could be a spell?" Tara asked the group.
"What? A `let's-kick-Spike's-ass' spell?
Why didn't we think of that?" Xander asked.
"Funny Harris," Spike mumbled hoarsely from his bed on the floor.
"Maybe Buffy just
snapped," Anya offered. "I mean, she's
been under a lot of pressure lately, what with no money and all. If I had no money, I would snap."
"She has a point," Tara agreed.
The hoarse voice interrupted.
"Buffy didn't snap."
"What did you say,
Spike?" Xander asked as he reached out his uninjured hand to help the vampire
As Spike stood, still
clutching his head, he repeated, "Buffy didn't snap." He glanced down at the terrified girl
thrashing about in her prison. "That,"
he nodded toward the girl, "isn't Buffy."
Continued in Part 5 - Tea for Two