Very short, very silly, very unbeta’d, but gosh darn it, it’s the last day of Seasonal Spuffy!
Halfrek did not set out to confront Spike at once. Rather she teleported to her lodgings in Arashmaharr to refresh herself and contemplate her plan of attack. Standing before her gilded mirror, debating the merits of the emerald or the amethyst gown, she could admit that the challenge she’d accepted was a formidable one. She had not only to entice Spike into a compromising position, but to arrange for Buffy to find them in flagrante delicto. While she was certain that Spike retained more than a vestige of feeling for her (would he have been so very eager to avoid her if he did not?), she had, after all, broken his heart and his pride very thoroughly when he’d been human, and he would be understandably gun-shy. And once the deed was accomplished, Buffy Summers-Pratt was prone to express her devastation with her fists. While there was virtually no way for the Slayer to do her physical harm while she wore D’Hoffryn’s amulet, Halfrek was nonetheless sensible that vengeance demons had been separated from their amulets in the past – Anya being a case in point. She would have to exercise vigilance lest Buffy attempt a grab-and-smash maneuver.
It was obvious that conventional tactics would not suffice; she would have to be… creative.
A series of quick teleports to various of her quarry’s accustomed haunts later, Halfrek determined that Buffy was patrolling, and Spike was en route to The Alibi Room. It was well known that the two of them often met there to compare notes on patrol nights, but they rarely arrived at the precise same time; if Spike got there first, she ‘d have some time to size up her target. The Alibi Room was not an establishment Halfrek often cared to grace with her presence, but it was a venue where he could not easily retreat without losing face. Even better, if she could coerce Spike into a sufficiently public display of affection, there was a good chance it would get back to Buffy even if the Slayer failed to make a personal appearance.
Spike was already seated at his accustomed table when she teleported in, partaking of his accustomed beer, absorbed in something on his phone. Halfrek surveilled him covertly from the doorway. One would hope that when a warrior of darkness had betrayed the ideals of his kin and kind so very thoroughly as Spike had, that it would affect his demeanor in some fashion. His good deeds ought to weigh heavily upon his shoulders, keep him awake mornings, hollow his cheek and furrow his brow and generally make him miserable. Much to her annoyance, Spike’s brow remained singularly unfurrowed.
Many in Sunnydale’s demon community had opined that the Mohra Blood Incident would provide karmic comeuppance for the assistance he had rendered to the forces of goodness and light. A vampire stricken with mortality would surely grow wrinkled and bald and arthritic in short order, and then he’d be sorry. Unfortunately, Spike was so far aging with enviable grace. The lines around his eyes, though deepening, merely added character; his sandy curls, though touched with grey, were still thick and lustrous; and his figure, though perhaps not quite as svelte as of old, was still vigorous and athletic. Seducing him would not, she had grudgingly to admit, be an entirely loathsome prospect. It was exceptionally vexing.
There was nothing for it but to leap in. “Hel-lo, William!” Halfrek carolled, popping into the chair across from him with a flourish. It was not easy to sneak up on a vampire, but teleportation had its advantages.
Spike jumped and started back in his chair, eyes flashing yellow for a second. “Halfrek?”
Halfrek pouted. “So formal! Please, call me Hallie. Or even Cecily, if you like, for old times’ sake.”
“Our old times aren’t ones I care to reminisce about.” Spike settled warily and risked a suspicious look (really, he was acting as though she were a basilisk, not a vengeance demon). “To what do I owe the displeasure?”
“Must there be a reason? Perhaps I’ve just grown tired of this silly feud.” She arranged herself in the chair such a way as to display her considerable assets to best advantage. “It’s been so long since we last talked! How are you? How is the Slayer? The two of you did produce offspring of some kind at one point, didn’t you? How are they? What are they?”
“In no need of your services.” Spike’s eyeteeth extended a fraction. “Seriously, Hallie, what the fuck are you on about?”
Halfrek sighed. Three days, perhaps, had been a trifle over-optimistic of her. But she was being creative, was she not? “I’m seducing you, William. Isn’t it obvious?”
Spike choked on his beer. Halfrek leaned over and thumped him on the back, until he stopped coughing and stared at her, goggle-eyed. “Are you mental?” he croaked at last.
“Far from it. Anyanka and I have a bet, you see, over whether I can seduce you away from Bunny, or whatever her name is. If I lose, I have to perform some trivial menial labor for her; if I win, she has to return to Arashmaharr, and more to the point, D’Hoffryn won’t order her to be killed. Play along, darling, and you’ll save her life and elevate her station.”
“I’m just supposed to take your word for it, am I?” Spike wiped his mouth on his sleeve and regarded her with distaste. “You really are mental. Now be a conniving bitch and sod off, won’t you?”
“I will not,” Halfrek replied firmly. “Stop behaving like a child, William. I’m quite serious. D’Hoffryn intended her exile to be a punishment. Instead, she’s turned it into an extended vacation, and worse, a happily married vacation. Some of the other girls are starting to get ideas. Do you understand? D’Hoffryn will crush her. She’s my friend, and I don’t intend her ill-conceived passion for Dilbert to be the end of her. I’d prefer to do away with him, but…” she traced ‘I WISH’ in the air with an impeccably manicured index finger, “I haven’t been able to elicit the two magic words from anyone in a position to make them stick.”
“Boo bloody hoo.” But perhaps the edge in her voice convinced him, where words alone could not. Spike regarded her for a long moment, eyes narrowed, leaned back in his chair, and crossed his unfairly well-muscled arms over his chest. “Why not just let Buffy in on your little plan? Wouldn’t even need me.”
“Oh, no.” Halfrek fluttered her lashes coquettishly. “Her pain needs to be genuine. Anyanka may not be a full demon at the moment, but she has over a thousand years of experience with scorned women. I’m sure Biddy has many virtues, though heaven knows I can’t think of any at the moment, but brilliant acting skills aren’t among them.”
Spike opened his mouth, closed it, and said, “Sounds like the real point here’s getting D’Hoffryn off our Anya’s tits. This seduction business is just by way of you delighting in pissing me off. The Slayer and I have some experience in dealing with demon lords, y’know.”
“Pfft.” Halfrek gesture indicated more eloquently than words that said expertise still left them as babes in the proverbial woods compared to the might of Arashmaharr. “What do the two of you have that he wants? Unless you can deliver the Rosenberg girl.” At Spike’s warning growl, she shook her head impatiently. “D’Hoffryn is ancient, and powerful, and most importantly, not stupid. If he wants Anyanka dead, or captured, he’ll send minions. Not loud, obvious, wantonly destructive minions, either. Clever, well-disguised minions. And even if the two of you guard Anyanka and Dogbert day and night, sooner or later one of them will slip past you. Ask Anyanka, if you don’t believe me. But it will be a waste of time better spent kissing me, passionately and publically.” She leaned forward and pursed her lips.
Spike dodged to one side, eluding the bus with ease. Dratted vampire reflexes. “Bloody hell, put those away. Look, even if I were inclined to snog you, which I’m not, there’s a whacking great flaw in your clever plan. Anya goes back to Arashmaharr, Del – I mean, Harris will still be here, bellowing like a lovelorn walrus. Not a pleasant prospect.”
“And not my problem.”
“Considering it’ll be my shoulder he’s blubbing on and my beer supply he’s decimating, I’m making it your problem. Besides, Anya’s my business partner, going on fifteen years now! Proper pain in the arse, having to break in a new retail – ”
This was never going to do. Obviously she was just going to have to take matters into her own hands, in more ways than one. She fixed her gaze raptly upon Spike’s face, in the attitude that invariable convinced men that you were hanging rapturously upon their every word, whilst keeping an unobtrusive eye on the door over his shoulder. If the Slayer were going to make an appearance tonight, then she should be coming through that door in three, two…
A Grudnik demon seated near the front of the bar flared its baseball-sized nostrils and turned to its damp and squamous companion. “Cheese it, the Slayer!” it gurgled.
The door swung open. Buffy Summers-Pratt appeared on the threshold. And Halfrek lunged across the table, grabbed Spike by the front of his t-shirt, and pulled the vampire into a deep, passionate kiss.
Originally posted at https://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/695992.html