All About Spike - Plain Version
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CHAPTER 12 - PICNIC
Xander froze. Without turning around, he asked, "How many?"
"Three." A quick experienced glance, "Just fledglings. They'll fight like idiots."
"Very strong idiots." Harris reached up his sleeve and took out a stake. Spike grinned. Apparently being part of the Scooby Gang was finally rubbing off on the boy.
Spike took out his own stake. Now that he was filled with human blood and qualified as a nummy treat, he had decided it was time to carry wood.
The three struck. Spike was insulted that they apparently considered Monkey-boy the bigger threat. Two attacked Harris and the small one came after him.
Fledglings were stone stupid and really didn't expect anyone to fight back. He aimed his stake for the heart. Small-and-Ugly brushed it aside with a simple swipe and Spike was reminded once again that William the Poet did not have the body of a warrior. The creature crowded in and penned him against the wall of the alley. It pushed Spike's head to the side.
Spike growled. If he hadn't let Dru take him, he bloody well wasn't going to be drained by a fledgling. He couldn't get the chest so he used an underhand swing and jabbed his stake deep into the vampire's groin. Might not dust the bugger, but it could really kill the appetite. The vampire turned a paler shade of pale and released Spike. It shrieked, bending over and clutching its wounded valuables. Spike grinned, tapped its shoulder and as it looked up, drove a the stake through it's heart.
Harris was actually doing a pretty good job of holding his own, considering he was fighting two vamps at once. Spike surprised himself by going over and tackling one. It must have been because of his squishy human soul, because it certainly wasn't due to any brain activity. He stabbed it in the back and hit a rib, instead of the heart. However it did distract the vampire and it let go of the whelp.
In turning around, it yanked the stake out of his hand, leaving him without a weapon facing a very brassed off monster. He backed off, throwing random bags of garbage at the vampire as if he could gross it to death. Slam, he was up against the wall. He kicked frantically with the steel-toed boots. Over the creature's shoulder, he could see Harris had staked his vamp and was surging to the rescue.
Of course the wanker only managed to jam his stake into the creature' ribcage. Apparently the vampire was half armadillo. The monster roared, let go of Spike and turned to choke Harris. Spike plucked the two stakes out of the creature's back and tossed one to Xander. The two of them then took turns trying to get through the ribs. It twisted back and forth. Finally Harris drove his stake in with a lucky stroke and the vampire vanished in a puff of dust. The dust settled on the two men and they stood and grinned at each other.
"Good fight, mate. Let me get you a beer."
Xander grinned and staggered back into the Bronze with Spike. "I'll get the onions."
He finally got back to the house on Revello Drive shortly after Buffy got back from patrolling. He strolled in with a cocky swagger. "Honey, I'm home!"
Buffy came out of the kitchen, where she had been munching on the last of the salad. "Spike, you've been drinking!"
"No, I've been male-bonding." He strolled over with the old smirk that had irritated and attracted her for years. "Onions, beer and dusting vampires. It was a glorious evening."
She smelled his beer drenched clothes and checked out the dust all over him. "Spike, you're a pig. She tried to keep her face severe, but it was difficult.
"Yes, luv, and you smell like a grease pit. But you don't find me getting insulting."
"Well, I'm going to take a shower and go to bed. And," she saw his mouth opening. "If you even offer to join me in either one, you can go back and sleep in your crypt and have a whole glorious night of fighting vamps."
She took her shower, carefully using all the hot water and went to bed. That left him taking a cold shower, which knowing his hormones, he probably needed. The last thing she heard as she drifted off to sleep was the ex-vampire singing a slightly off-key rendition of "We are the Champions" in the shower.
* * *
Casa de Summers was not a good place for a man with a hangover. Spike had awakened early with nightmares, as he had every morning since he was stuck with a bloody soul. Only this morning, he not only had a guilty conscience, he had a throbbing headache and a queasy gut. Apparently his human metabolism was a complete failure when it came to processing large amounts of alcohol.
Of course once the female population of the household realized what was going on, they turned evil. Buffy cooked bacon and the home filled with the smell of grease. Dawn was obnoxiously loud. Even Willow, sweet Willow, crashed and banged around the house. He frantically wondered what had happened to Hug-the-Spike day.
He took some aspirin and retreated to the basement.
After both Willow and Dawn left, Spike crept out of the cellar and went to the refrigerator. Buffy was sorting laundry and heard him. When she came back from Dawn's room, carrying dirty clothes, she found him scavenging through the kitchen cabinets.
"What are you looking for?"
"Hair of the dog."
It's not even eight in the morning and you're looking for alcohol?!"
Spike looked at her blankly. "Yes."
"Well, you won't find any. We barely have enough money for food, much less beer for you to guzzle at all hours." She started down to the basement, to the washing machine.
He followed her down. "Been wanting to talk to you about that." This was so familiar, the Spike who tagged after her wanting to talk. She turned.
He was still standing on the steps, looking down at her. His voice was surprisingly firm. "I'm not a charity case, luv. I do have some money and if you're letting me stay here, I should be helping out. Paying rent or something."
She was surprised. "Rent? You don't have to pay rent." Besides, paying rent would make his stay official.
"Then let me pay for the groceries. Something. You have enough to do taking care of your sister."
He stepped down the stairs until he was standing next to her, the basket of clothes between them. She stared up into his face, he looked so serious. Her mind flashed back to her first day at the Doublemeat Palace. His face had looked equally earnest. "I can get money," he had said. "How did you get the money?" she demanded.
For the first time he smiled slightly. "Sold the motorcycle. Don't worry, pet, it's honest money. I'm playing by the rules."
"By selling a stolen motorcycle?"
He winced. "Right. But you and the Scoobies made sure demon-boy won't be coming back for it, so I think you earned your share of the loot."
His face was serious again. "Will you let me help?"
Buffy swallowed. Finally, "OK, you can get the groceries this week. I mean we'll be needing more anyway if you are staying with us." He smiled and it made her heart melt. She turned around quickly. "I have to get these clothes washed."
When she came up from the basement, Spike was sitting at the kitchen table, reading old documents and jotting notes on a pad of paper. For a strange moment he reminded her of Giles, which was a very disturbing thought. Buffy remembered him wearing glasses when she had first seen him at the hotel and for an instance pictured him taking them off and polishing them, like the Watcher had. She shook her head at the ridiculous image and walked over to the table.
"Are these the documents you talked about, the ones that mentioned Dawn."
"Yeah, and a bloody pile of crap they are." Poof! There went her image of Spike as Watcher. "I think anytime any soddin' monk got drunk, he sat down and wrote one of these bloody prophesies! It doesn't help that it's been over 100 years since I've had to read Latin."
"Giles said that the Council of Watchers reported there were no documents on Glory or the Key."
"Right, and you trust that bunch of wankers? There's a lot here, luv. Just half of it doesn't make sense and the other half doesn't give a clue about her being in any danger."
"You should show these to the gang. I'll call a meeting for tomorrow."
She called up Xander's number and left a message. On a second thought, she also called Tara. If Dawn was in danger, she would need magic. After she put the phone down, she found herself thinking. What would she tell them? She had had a dream and was increasingly convinced it was true. Dawn was in danger. There was going to be another portal opening. If Spike was right, Dawn would survive. If her dream was accurate, she would have to jump again.
She remembered how afraid she had been back when she was sixteen and learned that the Master would kill her. She remember apocalypse after apocalypse and each time she had been threatened with death. The last time had killed her and still she was back to fight again. If she had to die again to close a portal and save Dawn, she would.
She did find, however, that she regretted the idea. She had been given a few more months of life and what had she done with it? She had spent most of the time being depressed, ignoring the gift of life. She had settled for a job she hated. And she had slept with Spike and treated him like a monster.
She looked back at the man studying at the table. I almost let myself love him, but he was a monster. Now he's a man. And I only have four days left to live. Suddenly a weight was lifted from her chest. If she had only four days left, she would live them fully. It was time to stop hiding.
"Spike, let's get out of here. "
He looked up from the documents, surprised but not disagreeing. "Where do you want to go, luv?"
"Let's go for a picnic."
* * *
Spike wondered how human men ever began to understand women. As a vampire he could smell hormones, the sweet smell of fear, the musky odor of passion. He could hear heart rates and breathing patterns. He could see the tiniest gleam of sweat. Even with all these clues, Buffy had baffled him. Now he literally was without a clue.
They didn't have a basket, so Buffy threw in some fruit, the leftover chicken, juice, paper plates and napkins in a bag. They carried a blanket in the another bag. They walked, which was certainly safer than being in a car with the Slayer. At first Spike thought they were going to a nearby park. They walked past it. All right, maybe they were heading for the green college lawns. They walked past them. By this time he had recovered enough from the hangover to be hungry.By the time they had reached the woods, he was ravenous.
Buffy finally found a clearing she liked and he spread the blanket. He looked around. Very isolated. He watched the Slayer with interest, wondering what was up. He had an idea but didn't want to push his luck.
Buffy seemed to be alternating between nervous and playful. She's flirting with me, he thought in wonder. Open, direct, jump-your-bones Buffy was flirting. How in the hell am I supposed to respond? Neither the Victorian Era nor a hundred years of loving a madwoman had taught him much on modern dating practices. The closest the two of them had gotten to dating was killing a few monsters before shagging each other silly.
Apparently modern flirting and dating involve food. That was fine by him, he and Dru had swapped blood and kisses in their time. And slices of apple were a bit tidier than hemorrhaging corpses. He wondered if this was supposed to be like a first date, since it was the first time he had been with her as a human, or it would be something more interesting. After the food got out of the way and they locked lips, all doubts vanished. Spike was going to get lucky.
The lovely reflexes started to kick in, (as if he could forget a moment of loving his Slayer). As his hands slipped under her top, he nibbled her neck exactly how she loved it. She moaned, throwing her head back and hugged him tighter. Bloody hell, he was in a vise and couldn't breathe! Buffy opened her eyes and, startled, let go.
"Did I hurt you?"
"No luv," he said, contemplating the superhuman he loved. "Just haven't quite healed from my trip to LA."
Somewhere, he knew, the Powers that Be were laughing their arse off. After months of cheerfully teaching his beloved the joys of rough sex that would eliminate any human competition, he was now the human competition. And he had to compete with his vampire past. He had been a being who could shag for five hour straight. And now he was stuck in the body of a bloody poet facing a lover who could crack him like a nut.
Still, if a bloke was going to get killed, this was the way to go. And if his body was that of a poet, his century old imagination was that of a pervert.
So Spike once again was in the arms of the love of his life and unlife. His last thought before things got far too intense for thinking, was that the universe certainly enjoyed the game of Kick-the-Spike.
Continued in CHAPTER 13 - SPIKE GETS LUCKY
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