And here’s the final part, just in the nick of time. I hope you enjoyed it!
They watched anxiously from the sidelines as Willow circled the TV, humming thoughtfully and occasionally poking at it with a finger. At one point she muttered something in Latin and waved a bundle of herbs over it.
“Well,” she said cheerfully after about half an hour of work, “I can tell you that it’s definitely not a spell.”
“So you know what it is?” Buffy asked impatiently. Willow’s smile faltered.
Buffy buried her head in her hands and groaned. At least the stupid thing wasn’t showing the Sex Olympics anymore, and thank heavens for small favors. At that moment, the channel flickered over to…was that a rerun of Charmed?
“Ooh!” Dawn said. “I’ve seen this one.”
“Not like this, you haven’t,” Buffy muttered. The show looked completely normal, except for the fact that all of the sisters had red hair. As they watched, the hair and eyes of the actresses turned inky black.
“Hey!” Willow said, addressing the television set. “I haven’t been that way for a while, I’ll have you know!”
“Don’t bother,” Spike said with a rumble. “It seems to be showing the greatest hits from the past, and we can’t figure out why. That’s what you’re here for.”
Willow sat heavily down on the couch. “Okay,” she said, her eyes fixed somewhere in the middle distance as she cataloged her options. “It’s definitely not a normal spell. I can tell you that much. If someone had cast a spell on it I’d be getting all kinds of residual energy readings. There’s not an outside entity controlling it – I’d be able to tell that too.”
Buffy heaved herself to her feet and grabbed her sword, the one she kept conveniently tucked in the corner in case of sudden need. “That’s it, then,” she said briskly. “I’ll just have to slay the TV.”
Spike yelped and bolted from his corner to place himself in front of the TV, arms spread protectively in front of it. “Over my undead body you will. Buffy…it’s plasma! Hi-def! You wouldn’t hurt my baby, would you? After I got such a good deal on it?” He looked at Willow pleadingly. “Come on. Give me something here.”
Willow sat up straight, her eyes gleaming with that eureka look Buffy was so familiar with. “Wait, you bought this, Spike? Where did you get it?”
Spike shrugged. “Demon flea market. They hold it on the second Saturday of every month.” He flinched at Buffy’s raised eyebrow. “What? Bloke owed me a favor, and I got a good price.”
“Oh yeah? How do we know your ‘bloke’ didn’t kill the original owner and eat his brains and steal his stuff?”
“Nah,” Spike said easily. “Herb’s a vegetarian, gentle as they come. He’s got his contacts in the warehouses, though, and he knows when the shipments come in.”
“I don’t think I should be hearing this,” Wilow muttered. “But actually…that could be the answer to our problem.”
Standing up, she approached the television warily. “Okay, let me try something,” she said absently, digging in the backpack she’d brought. She unearthed a container of table salt and a dried flower that smelled like death’s old shoes.
“If you get any of that on the carpet, I’m killing you,” Buffy warned her.
“Not to worry,” Willow said, sprinkling the salt three times over the TV and muttering something under her breath. She placed the smelly flower on top of the TV and spread her arms out wide.
“Show yourself,” she ordered. “You are commanded to leave this place and never return.”
Buffy was starting to wonder if maybe she had gone crazy, but then the television began to shake and shudder. It shimmied back and forth, the screen flickering crazily from channel to channel. Just as Buffy thought the thing would shake itself to pieces, there was a loud popping sound and a small green, slimy…thing appeared in the middle of the living room. It gave a loud screech and tried to dive under the couch, but Angel intercepted it and held it at arm’s length.
“Imp,” he said heavily, wincing as it tried to bite him. “I should have guessed.”
“Yup,” Willow said, clearly pleased with herself. She put the salt and flower back into her backpack, dusting her hands off. “Just a minor imp infestation. But it’s out now, and it shouldn’t be able to get back in. I’ll leave some repellent around the borders of the house, just to be safe, but once they’re cast out of a place they don’t like to stick around.”
“Where did it come from?” Dawn asked in horrified fascination, watching the little imp twist and gibber at the end of Angel’s long grasp.
“It was probably hitching a ride on your TV,” Angel said. “They’re transdimensional, mostly – nuisances, rather than really dangerous. They have minor psychic abilities, which is probably how it was picking up on all our memories and projecting them onto the screen.”
“Probably why I got such a good deal on the thing first place,” Spike muttered darkly. “Time to have a little talk with Herb, I think. I get my money back, or it gets spread around town that he sells imp-infested electronics.”
“So can I kill it?” Buffy asked cheerfully, hefting her sword. After all of the headaches of the last day, she was really looking forward to a good slaying.
“I wouldn’t,” Angel said with a wince. “You thought that flower smelled bad? Wait until you see what happens when you cut these guys open. I can take care of it.”
Buffy nodded thankfully and handed the sword over. As much as she’d been looking forward to a little violence, she’d happily sacrifice it if it meant she could keep smelling pretty.
“So that’s it,” Willows said briskly. “Sorry to cast and run, but I’ve got to catch a portal back. But we’re meeting up next week, right?”
Buffy nodded and gave her a grateful hug, then watched as Willow left, followed by Angel who carried the struggling imp. Spike heaved a sigh of relief and slung an arm over her shoulders.
“Well, no rest for the wicked,” he said, nuzzling her ear in the manner of an amorous puppy. “Since we were denied our spot of violence – at least until I get hold of Herb – what say we head downstairs and…work out our kinks?” He bit down on her earlobe, and Buffy shuddered pleasantly. “I can bring the video camera,” he promised huskily.
“Mmmm,” she hummed turning around in his arms and favoring him with a long kiss. “Or even better,” she murmured, “I can watch a little Moonlight to get in the mood. Now, where did I put that DVD?”
Spike sputtered in outrage, and she laughed and squirmed out of his arms. She raced downstairs, her own personal vampire hot on her heels. Life was good.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/257454.html