Title: Caution: Children at Play
Era: Season Five
Genre: Kid fic
Spike awoke with a start. For a moment he didn’t know where he was. He was lying on something hard and there was a blanket draped over him. The curious event of the previous day came back to him. He was in the Magic Box of course. He was lying on the floor using a coat as a pillow. He had been interrupted from his sleep by a load snore coming in the direction of the table. The culprit was the sleeping Giles, drool leaking out of his mouth onto his precious books. He snorted at the sight. He looked around for the two witches, but Glinda and Red must have left while he was asleep. He turned to his right, where Buffy was sleeping. She was still bite-sized instead of adult sized. Sleep hadn’t helped their little predicament obviously. The mojo still held sway. He cast his mind back to previous day. The sparring session had gone well. In fact it had gone so well that Buffy and Spike exhausted by their smaller and more inadequate bodies had fallen asleep shortly after. It appeared they still had their gifts but less control over them. It was like there was an indefinable barrier or something. He didn’t feel himself and it wasn’t just his body but his mind too. He wondered should he say something, but then he didn’t know what to say. There was the rub. He looked at the time on the large clock on the wall. It was shortly after midnight. He was sick of having to hang out in the shop all day long when he had only come for some burba weed to spice up his blood. He needed some fresh air, but where could he go. On a normal night he would just head to Willys, however that was completely out the question considering his predicament. Or was it? He was struck by an insane idea that just might work. Only he would have the get the slayer on board first.
He poked the sleeping Buffy. “Slayer?”
She tossed onto her side but made no other indication that she heard him. Why wasn’t she awake? Slayers were supposed to get all antsy when vampires were around. He poked her again.
She jumped up. “Jeez, Spike. What the hell? This better be good or you’ll be seeing Mr Pointy in your chest before you dust.”
He smirked. “I’ve just had an idea that could help solve our little problem.”
“Couldn’t you have had the idea at a reasonable hour?”
“No, I can’t head out during the day without catching fire. You mightn’t have noticed.”
She rolled her eyes.
“Besides,” he added, “Willy’s would be empty.”
She narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean?”
“We could go and beat up Willy for some information. He may have heard some rumblings.”
“Like this? Are you crazy?”
“I’m not suggesting we walk into the bar. We go into the back and wait for Willy to close up. If somebody’s been boasting then if anyone would hear it would be him.”
He could see the warring emotions on her face. He knew he had won when she sighed. “If anything goes wrong then this is your fault.”
Spike grinned and they crept out the front door as quietly as they could. Instead of walking towards the centre of town, he took the opposite direction.
“Hey, what you doing?”
“We need to stop by my crypt first.”
“What’s so important in your crypt?”
“I haven’t had any blood all day and I’m feeling peckish alright. Besides it’s probably a bit early to head to Willy’s.”
“I don’t think going into the graveyard in the middle of the night is such a bright idea, Spike, even by your standards.”
He continued walking. “Don’t be such a killjoy, Slayer. We’re creatures of the night; you and me.”
She sighed and followed him. “Okay, okay. We better not let anyone see us.”
“Don’t worry about that, Slayer. I’ve no intention of letting anyone see me like this.” He gestured to his small frame. It was humiliating enough being chipped, never mind the rest.
They managed to arrive at the crypt without incident. Spike listened carefully to make sure there were no intruders. It felt comforting to see his crypt as he left it earlier that day. Buffy was struggling to see in the dark. It was easy to forget how limited human eyesight was. He pulled a box of matches from his pocket. He struck the match and used it to light the candles.
He turned to smirk at the slayer, who was giving him a dirty look. “You stole my lighter and I stole these from the shop.”
Buffy ignored him and looked around. She had her nose in the air as usual. “How can you live in a place like this?”
He rolled his eyes. “Vampire! Why do you people always forget? Besides it’s perfectly comfortable and homely.”
“For spiders.” She brushed at a cobweb for emphasis. “Ugh.”
Spike decided that it wasn’t worth arguing about. She was obviously in right strop and as usual he was getting the brunt. He took off his jacket and laid it on an armchair. “Just make yourself at home. I’ll just get myself some blood.”
He walked to his fridge and pulled out a bag of blood. His fangs were itching and he couldn’t even wait to heat it in the microwave. Tearing it open with his teeth he drank it down gratefully. Even though he had gotten used to it, pig’s blood was nowhere near as satisfying as the human kind.
“You’re disgusting Spike.” Buffy was standing in the corner watching him eat.
He arched a brow. “You certainly look like you made yourself home,” he said sarcastically.
“Can’t relax.” She hugged her arms to herself. “I’ve been thinking. What if they can’t fix us?”
He had been wondering the same thing. He couldn’t bring himself to admit his fears though.
“We’ll figure it out,” he said in an attempt to reassure her as well as himself.
She worried her lip. He could smell the blood. “I’m worried about Dawnie.”
He came closer to her. “Your mum’s a strong lady and more than capable of looking after little sis.”
Buffy had managed to hold things together for so long, but it seemed she no longer was capable and to his horror burst into tears. “You don’t understand. There are some things she can’t save Dawn from.”
He arched a brow. “Oh?”
“I can’t tell you,” she said between sniffles.
He knew not to press her any further. He settled for patting her arm awkwardly. She smiled tearfully and suddenly embarrassed wiped her eyes. “Thanks.”
Suddenly, she gave him a suspicious look. “Why are you being nice to me?”
Spike sighed. “You’re welcome, you ungrateful bint.”
She narrowed her eyes. “I said thank you, didn’t I?”
“Yeah and then you accused me of having an agenda.”
He knew she was on the offensive hating for him to see her so emotional. She was trying to surreptitiously wipe her eyes and he decided to give her a few moments to compose herself. He could use that time to get the other thing he had decided to come to his crypt for.
“We can go in a few. I need to get something first though.” He jumped down to the lower level into his bedroom and turned back to make sure she wasn’t watching him. It wouldn’t do for her to see him stow away a tub of gel. He hid it behind his back as he went to the upper level.
Buffy was looking a lot better now after her fit of crying earlier. She even had a little sparkle in her eyes. “Hey what’s that?”
Spike panicked. Bloody hell why didn’t think to put on his jacket as it would have fitted easily in the pocket.
He retorted. ”None of your business, Slayer.”
She reached behind him and burst into laughter when she saw what it was. “You’re so vain.”
He glared at her and the impossible bint just laughed harder.
“Come on then,” he said irritably, putting on the jacket and popped the gel in his pocket. He stopped suddenly. He could hear the sound of footsteps approaching. He stretched out his arm to stop her progress.
“Someone’s coming,” he hissed.
The door swung open and in walked a familiar loose skinned demon. Buffy was in a fighting stance. Spike almost laughed. “It’s okay, Slayer. Clem’s a mate. We play poker.”
Her eyes went right up her head. “But you don’t have any money?”
“We play for kittens, slayer.”
She had a horrified look on her face.
A cough from the amiable demon interrupted them. “Sorry, but what’s going on.”
“Haven’t a bloody clue, mate.”
“Spike is that really you?”
“Unfortunately. The slayer and I have a bit of a problem.“
“We’re little,” Buffy added unnecessarily.
Clem was looking even more perplexed.
Spike just grinned. “Want to come and help us interrogate Willy?”
“Don’t you mean me interrogate and you watch, Fangless?”
He was about to stick out his tongue when he realised the juvenility of it. He made an obscene gesture instead.
“Don’t do that!” Clem shook his head in protest. “It’s disturbing to see a small child doing that.”
Spike leaned back on his heels. “You coming?”
“Spike, I don’t think it’s a good idea, but if you insist on going then I better come too.”
The three made a strange band of companions. Clem muttered every so often how much of a bad idea this was. Buffy and Spike were much too involved in their verbal sparring to pay him much heed. They finally arrived at the demon bar, after making their way through the sewers. Clem insisted they take the route where they would less likely to be discovered and besides, there was a sewer that came right up behind Willy’s.
Spike peered out under the lid. “All clear.” He pulled himself out and landed gracefully.
Buffy and Clem followed quietly if not as elegantly.
“I stink.” She frowned.
Spike took an exaggerated sniff. “We all do, Slayer.”
Clem left out a snort which was probably a supressed snigger. Buffy was eyeing them both dangerously and Spike suspected that even though she was pint-sized the demon was still wary. That was a good sign he hoped.
Spike pointed at the door. “We’ll go in there and wait for Willy. He rarely comes in the back during opening hours. Keeping a demon clientele happy is a tricky job.”
“Why did I let you make the plan again?”
“I don’t know, Slayer. Have you got a better plan?”
When she didn’t answer he continued. “Then I reckon it’s the best plan we’ve got.” He went over to the door and listened carefully to make sure nobody was in the back.
Clem looked at his watch. “It shouldn’t be too much longer. I think we should stay close to the door in case we need to run.”
Spike could see Buffy’s eyes were full of the determination he was used to seeing. It was the first time he’d seen it since their transformation. “We won’t need to run. I might be little. I’m still the slayer.”
There’s my slayer. Spike put his hands in his pockets and leaned against the wall. Clem had been right when he said that it wouldn’t be long. They were only there fifteen anxious minutes before Willy came into the back. Buffy struck quickly knocking the bar owner to the floor.
“Hi Willy,” she chirped, “it’s nice to beat you again.”
He looked confusingly up at her raised fist. “What’s going on?”
Spike went into game face. “Willy, we’re looking for information. Surely you recognise your old pal Spike and the Slayer?”
“Whoa!” Willy exclaimed. He looked at Spike and said, “You’re shorter than normal. And the slayer too. I mean more vertically challenged.”
The vampire was not impressed with the man’s babbling. He was one to talk considering his stature.
Willy turned to Buffy then. “Are you really the Slayer?”
She nodded. “I can show you if you like.”
“No!” He held his arms up. “What can I do for you?”
She withdrew her fist but looked like she still meant business. “As you can see somebody has done something to us. We need to find out who.”
“I don’t know anything, I swear.”
“Was there anybody talking about doing something to us or causing mischief in Sunnydale? Anything at all?”
Willy scratched his chin in thought. “There was a mage talking about enjoying a bit of chaos. Ethan was his name and he had a British accent.”
She balled her little fists. “Ethan Rayne- I’ll kill him!”
She tore over to the door. “Come on. Let’s go! We need to tell Giles. He’ll know what to do”
Spike turned back to Willy with the most foreboding expression he could manage. “Don’t tell anybody. We don’t need the demon world knowing that the Slayer’s a rugrat.”
Clem waved at Willy. “See you around, Willy.”
Buffy was waiting outside for them. She was pacing her arms swinging at her side. “Let’s go!”
Clem walked back with them to the Magic Box.
He extended his hand to Buffy just before he left. “It was nice to meet you.”
She shook it in return. “Likewise. And thank you.”
Spike could swear his friend was blushing. “I hope you get back to being your normal size soon enough.”
Clem nodded at them and they watched the demon walk away. Spike was about to open the door when Buffy put her hand on his arm. “Is it just me or are you feeling kinda wonky? I’m not just talking physically, but like I’m younger or something. ”
He nodded. “I didn’t want to be the first one to say it. It feels weird.”
There was a worried silence between them. She broke it after few moments. “That’s not only thing. It’s also weird that you’re the only person I feel comfortable with at the moment.”
Her tone was playful and he laughed.
“You’re not such bad company either.” He smiled.
He opened the door only to be met by furious face of Giles. He stepped back on instinct. Annoyed at himself he walked around the raging watcher.
“I’ve been worried sick. Where have you been?”
Buffy’s wide eyes were staring up at the Watcher. “Sorry.”
This seemed to calm him down somewhat. “What were you two thinking?”
Spike smirked. “What can I say? I’m a bad influence, but we do have some information that you might be interested in.”
Buffy wore the most innocent expression she could muster. “Spike had a plan that we go see Willy and see if he had heard anything.”
This was true of course, but did Buffy have to take such pleasure in laying the blame firmly at his feet? He tried not to laugh at the apoplectic expression on the Watcher’s face. Giles gave him a malevolent stare and Spike looked around to make sure no stakes were in sight.
Buffy coughed drawing her Watcher’s attention back. “Willy told us Ethan Rayne was in town and he was making some big noise about chaos.”
Spike shrugged. “Of course it could be nothing. Willy didn’t hear any mention of any particulars. I reckon we should have a word with this bloke.”
Giles shook his head. “It’s just the sort of thing Ethan would enjoy and I bet he’s around here somewhere watching it unfold.”
To be continued… here
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.dreamwidth.org/796758.html