As I agreed to the second free-for-all day, I thought I should have something to post on it. This is not quite the end of the story, but very close, and will be followed, tomorrow I hope, by a final section, which won’t be quite so vanilla.
Chapter Four, 957 words. PG13.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to this session of – you have produced some fabulous stories and artwork. Long may our little corner of this fandom continue.
The music swelled – Mendelssohn, of course – Spike was such a romantic. Buffy gulped and clutched Giles’s arm, and they began their stately progression up the aisle. To each side were smiling friends – a select group, true, but real, tested friends. Ahead, Spike’s smiling eyes were mesmerising, so much that it took her a moment to take in the full glory of his attire.
This was too much. A t-shirt? His ropy old silver chain? Not even a tie, let alone a tux. Her eyes travelled down and she stopped short with a jolt, making Giles stumble.
He. Was. Wearing. A. Kilt.
Not any kilt, no. A sloppy, dark green number. Below that, sneakers. Sneakers. The man who had pushed and prodded her into this wedding, who had spent so many hours picking out the venue, so much time away from her plotting details with Willow and Dawn, who had insisted on ridiculous cloak-and-dagger stuff which had left her to wake up alone in a chilly bed. Sneakers.
The slow march became a quick-step. Buffy was not going to back out now, but Spike’s range of options for his wedding night had just diminished dramatically. Giles was towed along in her wake; his grunt of surprise became an indrawn breath of astonishment as he saw what she had noticed first.
Xander stepped forward, shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes for Buffy’s benefit, then gave Spike a little shove. The Registrar stood up and came forward, and the ceremony began.
Nothing occurred to mar the proceedings further until the rings had been exchanged – a simple gold band for Buffy, a platinum Death’s-head with ruby eyes for Spike. (She was so going to make him suffer for that.) They signed the documents, witnessed by Giles, Xander and Willow, the Core Four symbolically united again. The Registrar intoned the concluding words.
And out of the heavy drapes swooped a flock of bats. They swirled around Buffy’s head, like starlings had done in the skies of Rome, what felt like a lifetime ago. They were tiny and noiseless. And ubiquitous.
Buffy flapped vainly at her head as they circled her. So did several of the guests, though their shrieks were restrained. That is, until the bats began to land and transform in front of them into tall, tuxedo-suited men, mostly astonishingly handsome, all athletically-built and with the sort of eyes Xander had once, many eons ago, called “Pierce-Brosney”. They gathered in a loose semi-circle around the happy couple.
Then, one at a time, they dropped to one knee and started to sing. In tune, not unbeautifully, even, they proceeded through a sequence of love songs, starting with Adele and moving back through Eighties hits and punk and Cliff Richard, the Beatles and Cole Porter and back to music that could only be Victorian.
Good morrow, good lover!
Good lover, good morrow!
I prithee discover,
Steal, purchase, or borrow
Some means of concealing
The care you are feeling,
And join in a measure
Expressive of pleasure,
For we’re to be married today today!
Yes, we’re to be married today!*
This was enough. Buffy raised her hand and looked daggers at her new husband.
The choir responded instantly. They stood smoothly and their faces shifted, with lumpy brows and topaz eyes. Buffy’s jaw dropped.
“You invited a vampire choir to our wedding?” Any onlooker could tell that Spike’s chances of consummating his wedding had reached vanishing point.
Above their heads was a starburst of light. From the fireworks dropped objects, suspended on parachutes. Which were in rainbow-coloured silk with sequins attached. As they landed the strings detached themselves neatly, and the burden, a set of hand-carved stakes, bounced on the parquet floor.
Buffy grabbed two and hissed at her beloved, “One of these could well be for you, Mister.” Spike grasped two more and grinned at her. Oh yes, this was dancing – with death, yes, but with life too. Above all, with his magnificent woman.
And suddenly there was a balletic fight, the energy of the bride and groom perfectly-matched, movements completely unhampered by their flowing skirts, twists and turns, astonishing kicks (those fur-lined boots had been a good idea after all), switches, leaps and one very impressive double somersault in perfect harmony. It was superb, athletic, and very beautiful.
Giles and Xander backed away and, helpless with the rest of the audience, watched a perfect display of synchronised Slaying. Ready to make a run for it, or in some cases leap forward to help, the congregation was treated to an impressive display of lethal elegance.
Less than five minutes later Buffy was dusting the last of the assailants from her skirt as Spike brushed down his own. Somehow her hair was still perfect, her veil not even dislodged an inch, and only a rosy glow in her complexion might suggest to any onlooker that she’d done anything more taxing than walk up the aisle and sign her name.
The music started again. Spike, taking no chances, grabber her hand and locked it under her arm. He was glowing with pride, she with exertion as they walked back down the aisle, ready to begin their married life. To carry on as it had started, with fighting and Slaying and dusting and bickering. She glared at him – she would undoubtedly give him a hard time once they were alone. Quite possibly violence would ensue, almost certainly of a sexual nature.
Spike smirked. He had no problem with that.
* From “Iolanthe” by Gilbert and Sullivan. It opened in November 1882, and Angelus, Darla, William and Drusilla went to see it, enjoying a couple of the chorus girls later in the evening. Spike would very much prefer Buffy never finds this out.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/492965.html