Hello, all. Looks like it’s my day. I have a bit of fic to share, and I blame swsa for the inspiration. This is the first part, and the second should be up later tonight.
Rating: PG-13 for naughty language
This takes place in some post-NFA future, with Spike and Buffy together (and Angel visiting to help with the usual apocalypse, lalala).
Thank you to enigmaticblues for the playground!
It all started, as these things usually did, with Dawn whining.
“But Bufffyyyy! Come oooon! It’s starting in, like, five minutes!”
Buffy ground her teeth and counted to ten, then to twenty for good measure.
“I told you, no. It’s my night, and I’m watching Dancing With the Stars. Get over it.”
Dawn let out an incoherent gurgle, wringing her hands in a paroxysm of utter frustration and dancing from foot to foot like a little kid waiting in line for the bathroom.
“But… but… final three! Do you know how important this is?”
Her voice was approaching dog-whistle territory. At this rate, all of Cleveland would able to hear her soon. Buffy winced.
“Yes, and I don’t care. Seriously. That’s what you get for trading your TV night away so you could wear my new red shirt. Which you stretched out, thank you very much. So no. Big no. Go down to the basement and bug Spike if you can watch American Idol on his TV. Just don’t ask me to bandage up the bite marks afterward.”
Dawn glared at her and eyed Buffy’s chest pointedly before flouncing out of the room, muttering something under her breath about why the shirt got so stretched out.
“You’d better watch it, missy!” Buffy called after her. “I’ve got the remote, you know. One wrong click and the TiVo forgets to record your precious show!”
The slam of the basement door was her only answer. Buffy breathed a sigh of relief and wiped her hands on the dishtowel, eyeing Spike’s collection of mugs sourly. He’d forgotten to soak them again, and the rust-colored rings at the top added a charming touch to their crockery. And by charming, she of course meant disgusting.
Maybe it was time to consider withholding the nookie again, which seemed to be the only thing he’d listen to. Of course, that meant she’d have to forgo the fun and games as well, which was a serious downside. Or maybe she could torture him by unearthing her old vibrator and having a little solo fun while he watched…
She blinked, startled, when Dawn slammed her way back into the kitchen again and narrowed her eyes.
“You were thinking pervy thoughts, weren’t you? Your face gets all… and sometimes there’s drool. It’s gross.”
Buffy didn’t even try to deny it this time. “Whatever. So no luck downstairs?”
Dawn made a sour face. “He and Angel are doing a House marathon.”
Buffy blinked at her. “House? Seriously?”
Dawn nodded. “Because of the blood. Or so they said. But, you know… well, I don’t know if I should tell you. It would be good blackmail material, and it would be bad and wrong to share it.”
Dawn blinked her eyes innocently, which Buffy naturally didn’t trust in the slightest.
“Out with it,” she sighed, folding her arms across her chest.
Dawn shrugged. “I don’t know. Gossip of this magnitude should be rewarded, don’t you think?”
Why, that sneaky little… Buffy glanced over at the clock. One minute until show time. She sighed heavily.
“Fine. I’ll switch the channel partway through.” Dawn looked like she was going to argue, but Buffy kept right on before she could get a word in. “You know the first half of the show is filler anyway.”
After a moment of contemplation, Dawn nodded. “Okay, you have a deal.” Then her face brightened and she gave the basement door a conspiratorial glance. “Okay…so they said they were watching House. But when I came down, they were switching the channel from something else. And there was a Moonlight DVD case on the table.” She gave a bounce on her toes, grinning from ear to ear. “So? I done good?”
“You done good,” Buffy confirmed, letting a slow smile spread across her face. Oh, she wouldn’t let Spike live this one down for a long time. “And for extra credit, there’s ice cream in the freezer. Grab it, will you?”
They settled onto the sofa, Buffy firmly clutching the remote like a stake. Even with the deal they’d worked out, she didn’t trust Dawn not to try to steal it. Not that it would make much difference either way. Even though Dawn had five inches on her (and at least a cup size, she thought sourly) she was still the Slayer, by God. One girl in all the world (sort of), chosen to defend the world from the horrors of screechy singing and overpowering vibratos. No American Idol on her watch, not if all the forces of the Hellmouth were relayed against her.
“I can’t believe you watch this,” Dawn said, eyeing the sequins and feathers with disgust.
“Uh huh,” Buffy muttered absently. “See if you can withstand the power of the tango. It has conquered lesser mortals.”
“Are there any cute guys at least?” Dawn whimpered as the music started up. “I can stand sequins if there are cute guys.”
“Not only are there cute guys,” Buffy said with a comforting pat, “there are tight pants as well. Something for everyone.”
Dawn settled back into the depths of the sofa with a grunt. “I could totally do better than that,” she muttered under her breath as they watched the first dance.
Buffy clenched her jaw and took a big bite of ice cream in lieu of hitting something. She was trying to work on the violence, after all, and she didn’t have enough in the budget this month to pay for any spare lamps. They sat in relative peace for a few minutes, watching the hypnotic swirl of the dancers – Dawn giving a groan at every misstep. And then the tango music changed into a more driving rock beat, heavy on the bass.
“Nice transition,” Dawn snorted, watching as the dancers separated and stood side by side, facing the camera. They began to dance again, something much more… modern?
“Uh, I don’t think this is the tango anymore,” Buffy said absently. Whatever they were doing looked vaguely familiar to her, somehow – like something out of a nightmare.
“Oh. My God,” Dawn said, sitting bolt upright. “Look at that! Do you know what they’re doing?”
Buffy squinted at the TV. “I don’t know. But I’ve seen this before, right?”
And then it hit her, exactly what she was watching, and she gave Dawn a wide-eyed look. Dawn was making the google-eyed fish look right back at her, gesturing frantically at the TV.
“No way,” Buffy breathed, getting up off the sofa and approaching the television set gingerly. It certainly looked normal – dusty on top, pluggy in back – and it sounded normal. But what was on the screen was decidedly not in the realm of normality. Buffy walked over to the basement door and opened it, keeping her eyes fixed on the TV.
“Honey?” she called down. “Could you get up here, please? It’s kind of important.”
A grumbling noise emerged from the depths of the basement, and then Spike came galumphing up the stairs two at a time, Angel behind him. Spike had that hopeful look in his eyes that let her know that he was anticipating either sex or violence. Or preferably one followed by the other.
He stopped in disgust after taking one look at the TV.
“Oh, bugger this,” he muttered, spinning right back around. “You didn’t tell me it was Ice Capades night.”
“Dancing With the Stars,” Dawn corrected him. “And I wouldn’t throw stones if I were you.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Angel asked quickly. Buffy ignored him.
“Look at what they’re dancing!” she said, pointing to the screen. “Doesn’t that look familiar?”
“No,” Angel said.
“…yes,” Spike said after a minute, realization dawning. “Hey, I’ve seen this before!” He turned to Buffy. “That’s your dance! The one you danced with the music and the demon and the almost catching on fire!”
Angel spun around. “What?”
“Yeah,” Spike said proudly. “Only I saved her. And then she kissed me. Couldn’t take her hands off me.”
Buffy cleared her throat delicately. “Not now, honey.”
But Spike was right: there on TV, for all the world to see, the dancers were dancing the same exact dance she’d found herself swept up in while trying to save Dawn from her demonic husband-to-be. Except mine had pool cues and staking. Mine was much cooler.
Strange things were afoot at the Cleveland Circle K.
Buffy calmly walked over to the phone and dialed a number she knew by heart.
“Giles?” she said when he picked up. “Do you know a way to get in touch with Willow quickly? No, it’s not an emergency. Just a demon thingy. Or our TV is just possessed.”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/256836.html