Fic: The Replacement (Rated R)

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Hello everyone, welcome to my posting day. I have a fluffy/humourous one-shot for you. It’s been a tough couple of weeks (and I don’t mean just the writing), so I thought I’d do my part to help cheer everyone up. I’ve had to dig real deep for this, scrapping two depressing Season 6 stories and thus sparing you thousands of words of sad (you’re welcome). :)

Thanks to baphrosia  (aka spuffyluvr) for the 2015 prompt about a robot vampire on sb_fag_ends. A heart-felt thank you to the mods, fellow creators and fans, for keeping Seasonal Spuffy alive and thriving after all these years!

Rated: R for sexually suggestive language.
Setting: Early Season 7 with a reimagined happy Season 6, because that’s what happened (in my head). You can interpret the in-story reference to Spike’s absence as his soul-searching journey in canon, though it’s not elaborated on.
Word Count: 1100
Beta: The speedy, wonderful and supportive All4Spike. Thank you! (Apologies for keeping all the long sentences.)
Feedback: Yes, please! It would make my day, and make 2016 that much more tolerable. Thank you!


Spike thrust his hands into his leather coat pockets and narrowed his eyes. This was no simple workout demo. He didn’t need a bloody mirror to know when he was looking at his own body double. “Don’t know if I should be flattered or insulted, love. Missed me, did you?”

“What?” Buffy wrinkled her nose, as if finding the idea in utter distaste, though her little flustered heart thumped out an extra couple of beats. “Nah! This is just for the slayage. Keeps me in top form. Helps me train. Watch.”

Her cheeks, hot from exertion, flashed a deeper shade of red. She looked bloody adorable. Smelled divine. Dangerously divine. And he was trying to behave himself.

The conversation might’ve been a distraction, but she didn’t miss a beat. Nailed the attacking Ken-doll-with-fangs with a roundhouse kick that landed smack on the front of his neck. On a human, it would’ve resulted in a crushed windpipe. Instant death. On the robot, the impact caused the head to snap back, rotate a precise 180 degrees in that smooth, creepy mechanical way, and detach with an audible “pop”. Which left the torso to freefall to the mat with a clean thud, evidently lacking both the human instinct and the proper programming to attempt to catch itself mid-fall.

Watching a scene straight out of his own imagination — death at the hands of the Slayer starring his robotic replacement — was…strangely affecting, yet oddly unsatisfying. While his cockstand and his identity crisis fought for dominance, his fear won out as the dark-horse contestant: he suddenly felt like last season’s shoes in the donation pile of the Slayer’s closet: obsolete and unwanted.

He must’ve made a face, because Buffy, who’d personally gutted more demons than any Slayer in recent history and weathered a half dozen apocalypses under that glorious title, followed his line of sight to the still-rolling head, and blanched like a girl making her first kill. She rushed after the head, lunging to perform a quick pull like a footballer intercepting a pass, simultaneously halting the head’s motion and giving him a new fantasy: the Slayer as the goalie of his favorite football team. She would be incredible. Not to mention a boost to winnings from his weekly betting pool.

As if to reassure, she held out the head, offering it up to his scrutiny. “It uhm, it’s supposed to do that. Simulate a clean kill. Don’t worry, Willow will put it back, good as new. It’s like a screw top. Or a strap-on.” Eyes like sodding saucers, she gasped, “I can’t believe I said that.”

When she clutched the head and absentmindedly petted the hair like a sodding dog, it was the last straw. His jaw dropped, despite his effort to act cool and collected. “Hey, now, quit molesting my robot head! How did this come about anyway?”

“Well…” the Slayer struggled with her next words, her hand raised to caress the blond hair frozen midway. “Some people have a skeleton in their closet; Willow had a robot. I needed a training partner who could, well, take a beating; Willow needed more space for books. It was a win-win situation.”

The story had more holes than the neck of a bite-house addict. But he understood. She might express herself in the most convoluted way, yet he loved that she tried; in a nutshell, she gave a damn. So he played along.

“Riiight,” he drawled, cocking that scarred brow in the way that he knew she found sexy. And he knew that she knew he knew, too, because you couldn’t share so much history without sharing some of yourself in the process, no matter how hard you tried. And try she did. But throughout their time of being not-together last year, occasionally, after their fierce coupling and before she’d regained enough of her senses to end the warm-cuddlies with her fist in his face, they’d talk. Bits of her heart would slip through, the way that swelling music would escape from under a locked door or echo through the deeply unauthorized hallows of an uninsulated wall.

“And you made yourself a blondie for, what, the aesthetics?”

“Oh, you know Willow. Perfectionist.” Robot sparring partner now reduced to a pile of high-tech components, Buffy had gently set the head down on the mat and started sorting through the weapons rack on the far wall. Sure took her time. That the task gave her no chance of accidental eye contact? Bloody convenient. “She said that it was all in the details. Apparently the hair made the vamp, and she did the best haircut she could on the wig. Which, funny you should ask, she said she’d found in your crypt.”

Spike coughed. That explained why the hairline looked familiar. He’d forgotten all about that mannequin. Luckily Buffy didn’t seem to have noticed a thing, ‘cause she kept on yammering.

“…and Xander thought it’d be hilarious to draw the fangs and mark his cheekbones with a sharpie.”

“He did, did he?” He tilted his head, the better to admire the robot face now set sideways on the edge of the training mat. “Not a bad artist, our Harris boy. Guess all the comic books rubbed off some. Even remembered the scar.” He scratched his own with a thumbnail.

She spun a quarter staff before returning it to its holder. “Well, at first he’d wanted to go with a chisel, you know, as a joke, but Willow vetoed it. Said that driving a metal spike through a skull embedded with an expensive computer chip would not be a good idea.”

“Hmm.” He reined in a spreading smirk and pretended to consider the idea. “Inspired though it is, heard the metal spike thing’s been done, pet. Ancient. Used to be some other bloke’s MO. Now Harris is a decent craftsman. Lacks vision, though.” He knew his girl, even if all she’d ever done was deny being his girl. He knew this dance. He shrugged off his leather jacket and sauntered up to the next weapon on the rack. A hunter’s axe, just like the one she’d used in their first fight at Parent-Teacher Night. Now this took him back.

“I’m not big on visions myself.” Buffy dismissed the dig on Xander with a wave of the sword in her hand. “Besides, you can’t improve a classic. Some things are fine the way they are.”

He turned to her. Deep inhale of her intoxicating scent of power and adrenaline and herbal shampoo layered on top of pure Buffy-ness. God he’d missed her. “Ar- are they now?”

It was Buffy’s turn to smirk. “You tell me.” She inclined her head toward the disabled robot. “Think you can do better than my Robovamp?”

“Not to brag but, think I may land myself a Slayer. In fact—” He held out his hands, palms up. “Do we really need weapons for this?”

The corners of Buffy’s lips lifted up into a coy smile. “Nah. I’ve always preferred a hands-on approach.”

The knife hit the floor with a clank, and she jumped into his waiting embrace. Spike wrapped his arms tightly around her. Yup, knew that he’d land himself a Slayer.



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