All About Spike

Swing Low
By Lesley

Rating: PG 13

Spoilers: Set in a universe maybe a millimetre to the left of after ATS 5.8. Also for the Rugby World Cup 2003

Disclaimers: Belongs to Joss, Fox, WB, the players.

Warning: Written with a great deal of love for my Australian friends, but contains references to an event they may find upsetting. Sorry to you guys. It was a great match, and both teams did themselves and their countries proud. It was a damned close result.

It was the sound of two English voices singing badly off key that sent Angel back into his office. An office that now contained a snoring Fred curled up under the desk, head resting on the Rodeyan case-files, hand still clutching a beer bottle. One that was leaking strong, dark beer over said important file. It wasn't the only bottle. The very expensive table that personally accounted for several acres of Amazonian deforestation had fried onion grease soaked into it, blending with the spilled cans of Fosters lager, empty bottles of the strongest English beers on the Wolfram and Hart client catering menu, and opened but untouched bottles of Bud.

"How much have you all had, Harmony?" Angel asked the girl curled up on the sofa.

"Ok, first there was the two pints of otter, served at 98.6. Blondie Bear's with extra Burba weed. Ten bottles of 'Bishop's Finger'. But there was no finger; I checked, boss. Then the ten bottles of 'Old Peculiar". And ewwwwwwww; who drinks anything peculiar?"

"Englishmen, Harm. C'mon, pet. Join in. "Swing Low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home," Spike sang, loudly, and somewhat off key, with an arm around Wes's shoulder. The two of them swaying along to the song.

Wes looked up blearily at Angel. "It was the O.P. that did for Fred."

"Which was a good thing, what with that whole theory of flight velocity of oval balls compared to round ones thing," Spike sniffed.

Wes looked very seriously into Spike's eyes. "And did stop the whole being-surprised-the-players-weren't-wearing-sixty-pounds-of-padding-or-helmets-debate."

"It still so totally needs cheerleaders! And some of the guys were hot. But some of those noses and ears! They so need some work doing!" Harmony wrinkled her nose.

"Man's game, pet. Not a proper player without a bit of eye-gouging, broken noses, or ears getting pulled off. Though I'm not sure Fred agreed. Bit hard to tell though. Beer hit the girl hard. I mean, I know it's so strong the bar price should be in Braille, but didn't expect her to crash out after one."

"She was lucky. She missed the second half!" Wes said, shuddering.

"Too bloody right. Thought we were going to do it again. Thirty-seven years of hurt, and all that," Spike said, with equal distress.

"Wrong shaped ball," Wes sniffed.

"Yeah, and all Fred's funny velocity thingy. But it did lead to the Python Swallow Sketch. Well worth it, mate. And we did tuck her up all cosy like under the desk, with a nice comfy file for her head."

"But it was a European swallow!" Wes said with great expansiveness.

"And they could tow it," Gunn joined in from where he was slumped on Angel's chair.

"Yeah, with a creeper, under the -" Spike started.

"Why my office? My chair?" Angel asked very slowly.

Which resulted in a chorus of, "Hi-Def!"

And a "Huh?" from Angel.

"Well, it was 'til I accidentally put my fist through it bouncing around the room at the end. 's all right though. They're bringing another one up so we can watch it again on the TIVO." Spike shrugged.

"Spike!" Angel glowered.

"Oh come on, mate. Rugby World Cup!"

"And we won," Wes said with a broad grin, that would have made Angel's day in any other circumstances, after recent events.

"We Won!" Spike grinned and tapped his bottle with Wes'.

"And we Beat.The.Australians!" Wes returned the toast.

"Finally!" Spike drained his bottle.

"At long last." Wes did his.

"It'll be the cricket next!" Spike declaimed.

"They've been doing this for the last half an hour, boss," Harmony shrugged.

Spike swayed and pointed towards the window. "I just saw a flying pig."

"Where?" Wes asked with all the seriousness of the very, very drunk.

"I've been here too long," Gunn laughed. "I'd believe there could be one."

"Believe it, Charlie boy! We won. We believed!" And still out of tune Spike sang, "No more years of hurt, no more need for dreaming! It's coming home, it's coming home!"

Making Wes go, "Still the wrong sport!"

"Next time, mate! Becks' foot'll be in one piece. Rooney and Owen up front. We'll have the pair. Round and the oval ball. World Cup Champions! Rugby's just the start!"

Angel shook his head. "Spike, you hate rugby. Wasn't it all, 'Only want the beautiful game, mate', when you were charming Fred into diverting an intern into finding English football websites for you."

"Still think if I could burn to death to save the world, Becks could have stuck with Fergie," Spike mused.

"Point, Spike. You hate rugby," Angel snapped.

"Liked the supporters back in the day. Always a good punch up. Good way to get pissed too."

Spike's drunkeness let it out; pain at the memories soon masked into another bottle.

Wes blinked owlishly, "The Great Twickenham massacre?"

"Yeah." Spike downed the bottle in one.

Angel rubbed his forehead. "And you, Wes. The only sport I've seen you look at is tennis."

A massed chorus of "Anna Kournikova!" from Wes, Gunn and Spike.

A sharp, "Wes!" from Angel made him look at the vampire.

"I do rather like Wimbledon, and enjoy an occasional test match, and, no, I wasn't allowed to enjoy or play sports, but this is a special occasion. And we Won!" Wes grinned, in a slightly too scary fashion for a man who'd just pumped eight bullets into what he thought was his father.

"And We.Beat.The.Australians!" Spike shouted, the more loudly for realising they were down to the American and Australian lagers.

"Very true. And it was a good game, very close. We should toast them!" Wes replied firmly.

"But we're down to the colonial cousins' beer, mate."

Harmony said, "I told him that's not politically correct, boss, earlier. He told me to take it up with him at 'In-de-pendence Day."

"Hey, that was a good film! Had a good night with that on the dvd, a few beers, waiting for Wes to come home, didn't we Charlie-boy?"

Gunn smiled. "We did, Spike. Time for a Bud."

Spike grinned. "Always. But, for now, the Aussie stuff, not the gnats. Even Lorne wouldn't drink that."

"What happened to Lorne? Was he here?"

Spike laughed. "Spent five minutes complaining that bulky guys shouldn't wear muscle shirts. Something about horizontal stretch lines being 'so not flattering'. Then he tried a bottle of the O.P., took one look at the label, went pale, believe it or not. Guess you had to be there. Then buggered off to the little demon's room, moaning about carbs and talking about having to do an hour on the treadmill to work 'em off. 's all right, more beer for us."

Spike threw the cans to Angel, Harmony, Gunn and Wes before toasting, "The Aussies. Great Game! Long may we Beat Them! Jonny Wilkinson! And England - World Champions! Sounds good, dunnit?"

And they all drank to it, even Angel, just this once.

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