Hello everyone. I love snark. So I went back to the beginning, a nascent canon-friendly Spuffy set between School Hard and Halloween. There were a few Spikeless episodes; you can’t believe that he was sitting around quietly, can you? Nope, me neither! E.T.A: This is a one shot, there might be drabbles later.
Title: Just Right
Set: Between Reptile Boy and Halloween, Season Two
Rating: Teen – innuendo
Summary: Between School Hard and Halloween, we didn’t see Spike. What was he up to?
Disclaimer: The characters and Sunnydale itself was created by Joss and owned by bunches of corporations in which I do not own shares. Written for fun, not profit.
Feedback/Concrit: Yes, yes! Pretty please?
Word Count: 3,300
Pairings: It’s season two canon-friendly folks, so hinted B/A, and stated S/D but who are they really thinking about?
A/N: No Boston Creams were harmed in the writing of this story. Much thanks to my betas spiralleds and desoto_hia873 for a polishing job worthy of a jeweller! Also thanks to bigsciencybrain and agilebrit for listening to my whinging about my recalcitrant muse. The story I used should become quite clear. Not quite a fairy tale but…
Another Friday, which meant he’d survived another week of the cruel and unusual punishment forced upon all American teens: high school. Only 72 more weeks of this torture, plus a break for summer, and he’d graduate!
Xander joined Willow and Buffy as they headed into the library, Willow lugging a bag that seemed to weigh as much as she did. His girls were talking about weekend plans — no way were they going to watch Bollywood musicals again, not if he had any say about it — when Willow dumped her bag with a resounding thud on the big table and started to sort through her books.
Energized after his nap in last period, Xander wandered over to the cage for a quick perusal of the weapons.
“Ya know, you’ve got all these nifty weapons — and Giles aren’t you glad Sunnydale ‘Somebody Else’s Problem’ vision affects students in search of books? — and yet, Buffy, you keep going back to stakes. A classic, I grant you, but for a girl with your wardrobe, I’d have figured you’d like to change your attack accessories every now and then.”
“Breathe, Xander! You mean you’re tired of whittling them, don’t you?”
He looked over and caught her smiling fondly at him. It still tugged on his heart, but if friendship was all he’d get, he’d hold onto it with both hands.
“I wouldn’t ask,” she continued, “but your stakes generally last longer.”
“Hey, how do you know which are his stakes?” Willow queried with an indignant look. “I whittle too, I bet you’ve used bunches of my superior stakes and not even noticed!”
He loved his Wills, competitive streak and all.
“As pleased as I am to see you engaged in this comparison of woodworking skills, it is time for Buffy to commence her training for the evening.”
Man, Giles could always find ten words where three would do. Xander joined in with the other two’s eye rolls, more out of habit than actual outrage. Of course they were there for Buffy’s training, but it was fun meeting Giles’ low expectations of them. “So, what’s it going to be, quarterstaff?” asked Xander.
He saw Buffy slyly glance over at her Watcher as she replied, “Nope, Giles doesn’t let me train with that anymore; plus it’s too bulky and pointless – um, it lacks points.”
Willow chirped up. “Is Giles going to let you practice with the crossbow? It’s just so cool. The mechanism was a quantum leap in technology!”
Three pairs of eyes turned to the adult at the end of the table with hopeful gazes.
“Not in the library. I suppose we might set up some targets in the gymnasium. I’d have to plan it in advance to ensure that no one would stumble upon it; it’s a good thought, Willow.” Giles stopped, and Xander watched his growing awareness of three expectant faces. “But not tonight.”
“That’s okay,” said Buffy through her pout. “It’s not like you can hide a crossbow, even Sunnydale PD would have to notice something’s up if I was waving it around.”
“If you’re waving it around, it might explain your aim… but couldn’t you say you’re practicing for the RenFaire? One comes through town every summer,” Willow offered.
“And they have the best waffle cakes!”
“Xander, does everything link to food in that brain of yours?” teased Buffy.
“Only the parts not thinking about sex.” He glanced up and saw two baneful glares. “And, oh god, I just said that in the out loud voice, didn’t I?” He felt a blush swallowing his face. Why did this always happen to him?
Suddenly coughing, Giles intervened. “Be that as it may, I was planning a review of basic fighting techniques for this evening. Although you stopped Spike last time, we cannot afford complacency.”
“So back to the classic kick, punch, and stake?”
“And you still haven’t said why it’s your weapon with choice,” he prodded.
“Simple, it feels just right and it’s the easiest to hide while I’m wearing a miniskirt.”
He felt his face freeze in shock as he tried to picture where she could be hiding it. Luckily, Buffy was turning away and she didn’t see his expression.
She didn’t, but Willow must have because she gave him a smack. “Go back to thinking about food; it’s safer for your health.”
Time to make tracks. It was getting a little warm in here and that was before Buffy changed into her workout clothes. “Fine, I’ll do the doughnut run, to ward off the post-workout munchies.”
“If you’re going for doughnuts Xander, please do pick up some-”
“Jellies! No fear Knowledge Guy, Xan-man is on the job.”
Minions, he hated dealing with minions, or morons, which would be more applicable. Spike draped himself across the old throne and glared at what was left of the Annoying One’s court. “You lot do know what a video camera is for, right? All the last batch shot was a fuzzy blur. You grew up with this technology. Which of you thinks they’re a Spielberg?”
One minion, either ambitious or stupid, raised his hand like he was still in school.
“Step up, then. You understand what the goal is here? It’s a hunt, but strictly point and shoot, right, no tasting! If she takes out the others, get the camera back here. They’re a bloody pain to steal. Oi, what are you waiting for? Get out there!”
He watched as they scattered like ants after their hill was kicked over. More used to rituals than hunting, they were. Chanting was all well and good — rot and bother, what was he thinking — it was a pain in the arse and, without mojo behind it, a bloody waste of time. He despised vamps who clung to the Old Ways, capital O capital W. It was the dawn of a new millennium, wake up and taste the technology. Adapt or die. And he, for one, planned to keep on adapting.
A glance up to the bedroom reminded him what his highest priority was: Dru, who was still too weak. He hated seeing her like this. She should be cutting a wide swath through exotic cities, not being restrained in this pisspot of a town. He’d been told the cure was here, but he couldn’t work on it with Slayer dodging his steps. Hopefully, his plan of filming the Slayer would give him what he needed and keep the riff raff out of the way.
He shook his head. This Slayer was tricky, but the bigger the challenge, the sweeter the reward. He hadn’t lived over a hundred years without learning the value of research, as painful as it was to wait for results. Couldn’t afford another disaster like that high school attack, not if he wanted to keep the morons from mutiny. No choice but to research each of his goals in this little town. The most important was to cure his Dark Princess, but adding another Slayer to his count – well, no reason not to mix business with pleasure.
The doors of the library swung open, letting in the cacophony of the students’ exodus. Giles looked up from the text he was studying to see what he now thought of as his students wandering in, discussing if not their studies, at least their classes.
“Can you believe Mr. Galsworthy? Did that tie come with the acid stains on it?”
“Buffy, if you’d paid the same amount of attention to the school work as you do the teachers’ wardrobes, you would easily have straight A’s,” Willow gently chastised.
“But how could he have missed them? There were more holes than tie!”
“If you have completed your critique of your teacher’s ensemble, do you have anything to report from this weekend’s patrol?”
“Not really, just some newbies. Kinda got the feeling that someone was watching me. No biggie, though.”
“Do you think it was Angel?” interjected Willow. “Watching over you in a Whitney Houston Bodyguard kinda way? That’s so romantic.”
“I think he’s still smarting from that whole ‘might show’ Bronze thing. I haven’t seen him–”
“…any sightings of Spike lately?”
The three of them jumped, turning to see Angel come through the stacks. In response to their questioning looks, he shrugged. “Tunnels.”
“As for Spike, Buffy have you seen him at all since Parent Night?” Giles glanced over his glasses to see if his Slayer had neglected to inform him of such a pertinent detail. It wouldn’t be the first time.
“No sign of the Idol Wannabe, all quiet on the bleached front.”
“I don’t trust that. Spike’s known for many things, but patience isn’t one of them.” Angel grimaced.
“Learn that when you were his Sire? You still haven’t explained why he called you that.” Xander’s late appearance was punctuated by a glare that could have frozen water in the tropics.
“Bitter much?” Buffy countered. “Oh, you brought doughnuts!” Her tone changed to delight at the sight of the box.
“I had a choice, last class or grab gooey goodness for my bestest buds. For you, I’ll sacrifice higher learnin’.” Xander’s face settled into his more habitual grin.
Giles suppressed a chuckle as Xander wisely pulled his hands away from Buffy’s attack of the box.
“Eew, Hawaiian? Too crunchy. And is that the deceiving chocolate with the pus filling? Too gooey. Oh jellies! Just right!”
“Buffy please refrain from referring to the Boston Creams in that fashion! Some of us were planning to eat them.” Giles pulled out his handkerchief to wipe his glasses, but decided that rescuing his maligned doughnut choice was the wiser option.
“And I like Hawaiians, they remind me of Xander.”
Giles watched the redheaded peacemaker grab the sprinkle covered doughnut and smile at her friend.
“Thanks, Wills. I’ll get a couple of them next time. And they were all out of blood-filled centers, sorry bud. Plus, isn’t it a little sunny for you to be visiting?”
When there was no reply, Giles looked up from his rescued Boston Cream as Xander turned and said, “Hey, where’d he go? Are you sure he’s a vampire and not a ghost?”
Spike prowled the factory floor, glaring at the television. At least this last minion could hold the camcorder straight. He’d studied this Slayer, but knew he needed more information. She was a feisty one; she’d be a good kill. Too bad about her name, though. Really, what was her mother thinking? Buffy! Not that he’d mention it to the mother. She wielded a mean axe.
Odd, thinking about a Slayer having a mother. Pictured them more like a video arcade game villain. Kill one and another popped right up to keep things interesting. Not that they were interchangeable – well, yeah, they were. But this one, with her gold locks and little girl lost style. The smart thing to do would be watch a while longer, come up with a plan, then attack.
Or he could just take a little evening stroll.
“Drusilla, pet, I’m heading out, would you like me to bring anything back?”
“You will be back for Miss Edith’s tea party? She requested you specifically. Need to set the numbers and only space for one more.”
“Wouldn’t miss the event of the season, luv. Just need to stretch my legs, then we’ll all have tea.”
It was a Monday night: where oh where would she be?
It had been a bad TV night. This season of Melrose wasn’t the same, and then there was this weird lawyer show. Someone needed to feed that walking skeleton called Ally. She was skinnier than most vamps. So not attractive.
When all else failed, nothing like a little patrolling for entertainment; plus, it was better than doing math homework. She grabbed a couple of stakes and headed out.
Buffy started on her normal sweep, hitting the nearby cemeteries in a clockwise order. She passed by Xander’s house and noticed that his light was still on. After tossing some pebbles at his window, she scored herself a patrol buddy. It looked to be a quiet night and she was glad for the company.
They were talking about school while wandering through Restfield. They had just started to bemoan their history essays when Buffy froze, raising a hand in a gesture telling Xander to be quiet and stay hidden.
She squinted her eyes and slowly advanced toward what she’d always considered to be the ugliest statue in Sunnydale. Why had someone wanted to be buried under a fat baby cherub? Spending eternity with her Angel she could understand, but that wasn’t the vampire she saw in front of her.
“You? Again? So did you bring another army since I wasted your first one?”
Stepping out from the shadows, the latest pain in her butt smirked at her. “And is your mumsie here to bail you out?”
“Leave my mother out of this!” Buffy hissed at Spike.
“Gladly. This is between you and me, Goldilocks.”
Rolling her eyes, she exclaimed, “First the Fe Fi Fo Fumming and now Goldilocks! Can you read anything other than fairy tales? And by the way, you are so not a giant!”
“I’m getting height comments from you? Now that’s rich. Are we going to fight any time soon or do you just want to circle this rather hideous gravestone?”
Oh, that was just low, and strangely unoriginal. She’d expected better from him. “I’m not little, shorty. It’s called petite.” And why did her last comment come out as a squeak?
“Oh yes, that’s the voice to strike fear into the hearts of demons.” Spike stepped back and had the audacity to lean again the cherub. “Are you sure you’re the Slayer? Heard there was one here abouts, but rumours have been wrong before.”
“What’s the problem, Spikie? Feeling all unmanned since you don’t have a weapon? Was that long staff trying to make up for some other areas where you’re a little… short?”
They both heard a gasp from the Wilson crypt.
A smirk grew on Spike’s face. “Did you bring someone to watch your death? I always perform better with an audience.”
“Shut up, Spike!” Buffy followed up that comment with a snap kick to his throat.
Unfortunately, Spike dropped under her kick and spun with an extended leg to sweep her off her other foot. Just before he made contact, she flipped back, giving herself more working space.
“Is flashing vamps with your knickers a new fighting technique?” inquired Spike with a leer, letting the tip of his tongue nip out over his lower lip.
She watched his left shoulder drop, and was ready for that less than forceful punch, but had to dance away from the following left cross that followed on its heels.
“Perv! I was planning on killing you anyway, but now I’m going to make it slow and painful!” She bounced on her balls of her feet, circling to her left, looking for an opening. Remembering her training, she wanted to let him commit to an attack.
“Bored here! Is this a fight or a coffee klatch?”
She was getting used to his style. A comment would be rapidly followed by a feint, which would then be followed by the attack. True to form, he’d proffered a right-handed punch, which she moved in to block before stepping a little to the side to let his real punch fly past her. She grabbed his forearm and spun him around, ducking under his arm and tossing him in one of those martial art throws Giles kept her practicing.
He rolled out of the throw, landing in a crouch. “Aikido, I’m impressed.”
“Ai-what?” Buffy settled into a balanced stance.
“Okay, maybe not so impressed. ‘Course when most guys look at you, it’s not conversation they’re thinking of.”
“Again with the nasty! Angel would never say something like that!” She broadcasted her disgust by pursing her lips as if she’d sucked a lemon. Shaking her head, she dove forward in a roll, ending it with a kick to his left knee. She smiled as she heard a satisfying crack.
“Bloody hell, what are you wearing? Steel tipped heels?”
“Oh, Spike, do you have a boo-boo? Here,” she said holding up a stake, “let me make it all better.”
“Not tonight, pet. It’s been quite the dance, but my card’s full for the rest of the evening.”
Suddenly her eyes were full of grit and Spike wasn’t there, although she could hear his uneven gait leaving the cemetery.
Wiping the tears and clearing her eyes, she heard Xander join her.
“That was better than a WWF slapdown!” he said enthusiastically. “All you need are costumes, although that duster of his just screams black hat.”
“Did you hear the things he was saying? Even Larry isn’t that bad!”
“Hate to say it, Buff, but you were busting some balls yourself.”
She sent a sidewise glare at him. “Gee, thanks. I think.”
After a few deep breaths to release the tension that had curled up within her, she completed the transition from Slayer to just Buff, realizing how glad she was that Xander was there. His humor let her change focus, and a cheering section was always of the good.
“You never asked, but I always know the good ones are your stakes because of the ‘X’ you carve into the ends.”
Xander shrugged, trying to hide his pleasure in the comment. “Since they make me sign home work, I might as well sign something I’m proud of.” Shuffling his weight, he asked, “So where does this guy rank? On the villain’s scale?”
“Hmm, harder than a fledge. Easier than the Master, cuz not dead here. Actually, it was a good fight – banter and moves and, well, it was kinda just right.”
“You’re not planning on breaking into the bear house at the zoo are you, Buff? Sounding a little Goldilocks there.”
Giving that comment all the response it deserved, with a roll of her eyes, she playfully bumped into him as they left the cemetery.
He threw back his head and howled at the moon.
He’d had to stage a strategic withdrawal after that bloody shoe to his knee. Never mind. A quick bite and he’d be back in fighting form. He’d teased and taunted his second slayer in much the same fashion before the final kill. Anticipation just heightened the fun. Heading back toward the factory, his blood zinged through his body. A good fight always keyed him up. Fighting and fucking.
It had been a decent workout. Looking back, his first Slayer had been almost too easy, plus he didn’t know Chinese, so no banter. His second Slayer? A good fight, but too tied to her fighting styles. No suprises there. Dancing with this one? Just right. She had some interesting moves on her and he loved the fact she was so easily riled. That was the sort of intel which his minions weren’t able to provide. Somebody wasn’t getting any and if he didn’t get back in time for the tea party that somebody was going to be him.
“And I barely got home in time to do my algebra homework!” Buffy groused at the end of her report to Giles.
Giles looked up from the diary in which he was recording her comments. “So you didn’t slay him?”
“No, but he was limping as he left, and I wasn’t, so I’m calling it a win. Plus he’s rude and crude and I really don’t like him.”
That line triggered a memory in Giles, of a night at the Bronze and of a description of a mysterious stranger.
“Oh dear Lord, not again.”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/93391.html