At Play With the Gods (1/3)

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I have some fic to share for my posting day. This is part one; the rest will be posted before the day is out. I hope you enjoy it.

Title: At Play With the Gods
Author: Salieri
Rating: R
Disclaimer: They’re all Joss’s.
Summary: A post-NFA Buffy and Spike face an upcoming apocalypse that has an interesting prophecy attached to it.

I’d like to thank sweet_ali  for some helpful discussion while I was writing this. This is for everyone who has a kink for domestic!Spuffy.

At Play With the Gods (1/3)

By the time the last vampire was dusted, Buffy was sure that her new pair of formerly-adorable ankle boots was ruined beyond repair.

“Ow! Watch it, you wanker!”

Well, almost the last vampire.

Buffy spun around, cursing the broken heel that caused her ankle to wobble dangerously before she caught her balance. Spike was grappling with a vampire who, judging by his outfit, looked like he’d been turned in the mid-80s. What was with vampires and their inability to update, anyway? With a loud growl, Spike twisted his leg and caught the vampire around the ankles, sending the creature sprawling on his back. A quick jab of a well-placed stake, and it was all over but the clean up — literally. Buffy frowned and wiped at the crusted mud on her skirt while Spike collected his stake, a huge grin on his face.

“Not bad for a night’s work, eh Slayer?”

Buffy regarded him sourly, and he wilted slightly. “I like a good fight as much as the next girl, but…did it have to be on date night?”

Spike shrugged. “So we’ll be a bit late. Not a big deal.” Buffy glared at him, gesturing silently to her muddy skirt, torn jacket and ruined boots. “Ah,” he said sheepishly. “Well, I suppose this means we’ll have to stay in. I can think of a few other activities which you won’t need those clothes for.” He waggled his eyebrows suggestively, and Buffy bit the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing.

“It’s the principle of the matter,” she said sternly. “This is the third outfit I’ve lost in the last month.”

“Can’t say as I remember any other major fights,” Spike said with a frown. “Unless you’ve been holding out on me, that is.”

Buffy smiled sweetly, but with a hint of an edge. “Sweetie? That’s because you ruined the other two.”

Spike’s eyes brightened with appreciative lust. “Oh yeah, that’s right. Didn’t hear you complaining at the time.”

Buffy rolled her eyes and hooked her arm in his, dragging him towards the entrance of the alley. “Come on,” she grumbled. “Let’s head home. Wait a second.” She pulled Spike to a stop and pointed. “Fix your face.” He looked confused for a second, then let his features smooth out until he was once again wearing his human mask. Buffy nodded in satisfaction and led them onto the main street. “So where did those vamps come from anyway?” she asked. “I don’t remember hearing about a new group in town. Did London suddenly get a Hellmouth and nobody told me?”

“Don’t know,” Spike said. “But you have to admit, it was a pretty fantastic fight, dirt and all.” He elbowed Buffy in the side and she squirmed away from him, trying to hide her grin. “Come on, Slayer. That was bloody wonderful, and you know it.”

“I know nothing of the sort,” Buffy said primly. “Except I know that I should probably talk to Giles, figure out what’s the what. It’s a good thing he’s in town.”

“But later, though?”

Buffy nodded forcefully. “Much later, after a very long bath. I’m thinking tomorrow.”

“Right,” Spike nodded, slinging his arm around her shoulders and tugging her against him, heedless of the mud that covered both of them. “Home it is.”

This time Buffy didn’t bother to hide her grin, although she did cringe a bit at the pitying look that a passing couple gave them. What did they know anyway?

Even three years after closing the Sunnydale Hellmouth, she wasn’t used to this whole normal life thing. Of course, that would probably have something to do with the fact that, by all traditional standards, her life still wasn’t even remotely normal. Even in non-Hellmouthy London, demons and vampires seemed to pop up with alarming frequency. And sure, there were usually a couple of other Slayers in town at any given time (although fewer now that Giles had been working to establish a new training center near the Cleveland Hellmouth), but this city was officially hers. She still patrolled, but gone were the days when the fate of the entire world was on her shoulders. As the unofficial “head Slayer”, she was still first in line for any apocalypse, but she wasn’t alone any more.

It was as normal as her life was ever going to get, and she couldn’t be happier.

There were still nights where she woke up in a cold sweat with the fear that there was something important she’d forgotten to do, that someone out there needed her and she was letting them down. After so many years of her calling weighing on her conscience, she still wasn’t used to the idea of being able to go to sleep at night and know that there were other Chosen Ones out there. She still felt responsible for them, to some extent, but it was a relief knowing that both her gifts and her burdens were shared among many. And so, on occasion, Buffy would wake up in a panic for a few seconds, until she remembered where she was. Of course, she then had to deal with the secondary shock of, Gah, there’s a vampire in my bed!

She clearly still had to get used to sharing a bed with Spike.

She still had to get used to sharing everything with Spike, which…okay, granted, it had been a while since her last serious boyfriend. But this was the first time she’d progressed as far as the whole cohabitation thing, and it still seemed shiny and new. It was odd to wake up and always have him there, to trip over him on the way to the bathroom, to fight with him over the remote and yell at him for leaving his clothes all over the floor. And Spike? His sneering comment about “old marrieds” aside, he took their sudden domesticity like a duck to water. At the beginning she had wondered if the whole thing would just end up being weird and awkward, or if they were just too different to stay together for long. But after they had survived a couple of spectacularly impressive fights, she had begun to finally relax and settle into things: Still Life With Vampire, except not so much with the still part. Naturally, there were the occasional moments when she couldn’t stand him, and she was sure the feeling was mutual, but she wouldn’t trade her life for anything. She was happy, happier than she’d ever thought she’d be, with a deep, quiet joy that bubbled up at the oddest times.

It was strange, really. There were all of these little details about Spike that she was still discovering: like the fact that he was a total bed-hog, or that he organized his CDs by color, or that he chewed his nails when she wouldn’t let him smoke in the flat. Every once in a while, usually when she was in the middle of something completely mundane like taking out the trash, it would hit her: I’m with Spike. Spike and Buffy, sitting in a tree. We’re together, and we haven’t killed each other, and the world hasn’t ended. And I love him. And then she would have to stop and pinch herself just to make sure.

Those moments still arose on occasion, like, for example, when she was walking the streets of London with her vampire boyfriend, tired and filthy and sore from demon-slaying.

“You’re the One.”

Buffy gave an eep! of surprise, stumbling on her broken heel and spinning to face the woman who had suddenly appeared next to her as if out of thin air. She settled into a defensive stance, one foot back and hands lightly clenched into fists, and out of the corner of her eye she saw Spike do the same.

“Hey, that was a neat trick!” she said brightly. “Wanna see me do one?” She stepped forward and watched in satisfaction as the mystery woman took a step back, hands raised defensively. Oh, yeah. She still had it.

“Hang on there, Slayer. I’m not here to hurt you.” The woman glanced back and forth between Spike and Buffy, shaking her head. “Not that I could, really. I’m not exactly cut out for fighting. I’m here to help you.”

“You’re a demon,” Spike interjected, nostrils flaring as he inhaled. The woman shrugged.

“Most of the best people are,” she said, straightening her hair self-consciously. “Do I look okay? I haven’t really done that before.”

“Huh?” Buffy said articulately. “I mean, yeah. You look fine.” And she did look fine, for someone who appeared to be a normal forty year old soccer mom. She was dressed in a pair of jeans and a light jacket, and she was neither particularly attractive nor unattractive. And she seemed completely human; if Spike hadn’t said something, Buffy would never have known that she was a demon. She looked aggressively ordinary, if such a thing was possible — middle height, average build, nondescript hair — the type of woman you’d pass on the street everyday and not give a second glance.

“I’m Smith,” the woman said, holding out her hand, and Buffy bit back a smile as she warily exchanged a handshake. For a demon, Smith made the most boring human she’d ever seen. “I’m a messenger from the Powers. I believe you’ve met one of my counterparts.”

Buffy’s eyes widened. “You mean Whistler?” Well, she had to give props to the Powers. It seemed they’d made some improvements in the whole interacting with humanity thing. There was something inherently more trustworthy about somebody who looked like someone’s mom than about a shady-looking guy in a horrible hat. Of course, that just put Buffy even more on her guard. The woman beamed.

“Yes! Not that I really know him personally, but we work in the same office. And you’re the Slayer. It’s an honor to meet you. You’ve been the talk of the division for years now. You’ve made quite a stir up there, young lady.” She smiled warmly, and Buffy couldn’t help thawing slightly.

“Well, that’s what I do,” she said, exchanging a glance with Spike, who shrugged slightly. “You said you were here to help me?”

The woman nodded, then gestured toward her jacket. “Mind if I get something out? I brought something for you, and I don’t want to be jumped.” Buffy nodded, straightening her stance slightly in preparation for the unexpected, and Smith reached into her jacket and drew out a small bundle wrapped in linen cloth. She cleared her throat and took on a more formal tone. “This weapon is for the Slayer, to be used in a time of great danger against the powers of darkness. It has been foretold.”

Buffy rolled her eyes. “Oh, good. Another apocalypse? And this one comes with a nifty prophecy too. Those are always the best kind.” Taking the bundle, she unrolled the cloth to reveal a dagger, its worn handle intricately carved with symbols that had been almost erased by the passage of time. Buffy glanced at Spike again, and he frowned and shook his head. He didn’t recognize it either, which made her feel slightly better. She’d fallen behind in her study of ancient weaponry. “Uh…thank you?”

The woman nodded gravely. “Use it well, Slayer. It has been foretold that the One and her vampire champion, destined as soulmates, would wield the weapon in the cause of light, bringing about the dawn of a new….” Smith broke off suddenly, staring at Spike in confusion as if she’d just now taken notice of him. “William the Bloody?”

“Yeah,” Spike said slowly. “What of it? We’ve met before?”

The woman shook her head, flustered, then dug in the pockets of her jeans and extracted a slip of paper. She read it with a frown. “I don’t know what to say,” she admitted, blinking rapidly. “This is…unexpected.”

Buffy frowned when no more information appeared to be forthcoming. “Unexpected? What’s unexpected? What’s going on with the big apocalypse?”

The woman shoved the paper back in her pockets and winced slightly. “There appears to have been a mistake. I’ll have to consult with my superiors. The weapon is yours, Slayer, no question about that, but this one?” She gestured to Spike, who was glowering at her now. “This is not the vampire of prophecy.”

Part Two


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