Title: This Town in the Rain
Summary: A slice of time in happy AU where Spike/Buffy and Giles/Anya are established couples.
Rating: T Lots of innuendo but not much else.
Authors note: Giles’ opinion of US vs. UK weather comes from something an English tourist told me. When Stephen Fry said almost the same thing on a show, I thought I’d give the lines to Giles.
Spike roared, and was about to twist the neck the of Chaos demon when he lost his grip. When he tried to pursue the slimy antlered demon Spike’s feet slid out from under him. His only satisfaction was that Buffy couldn’t laugh at him because the same thing had happened to her with her own opponent. After three days of rain, patrolling with the Slayer was like playing rugby in a mud pit.
“I hope you end up strapped to the hood of a pickup!” Buffy shouted after the two fleeing demons.
Spike tried to wipe excess mud off his palm before taking Buffy’s hand. “Why did we even bother, Slayer? Those two were just trying to kill each other for some reason.”
“That’s why we’re not running after them, but we had to get them away from the road before they caused an accident.”
“I hate this filthy rain! There aren’t any vamps out in this, and the demons are fighting each other. Let go home. We need a shower,” Spike said.
“At least I know the mud will wash off. Does Chaos slime turn hair green?”
Spike smirked. “Turns it purple but only if you’re the Chosen One. Race you home- last one there scrubs my back!”
The next night, Giles blew into the Magic Box looking like a drowned cat. Anya was about to offer a greeting when he held up the hand not holding the tray of take-out coffee. “Don’t say it.”
“You don’t want me to say hello?” Anya asked.
“Three people have asked me today if this mess made me homesick. If I hear it again I’ll scream. We don’t get nasty weather like this at home. Do we, Spike?”
Spike shrugged, clearly reluctant to agree with Giles about anything, I might recall more of the mist-drizzle of sort damp.”
Anya said, “Oh, honestly, Rupert. You’d like everyone to think England’s the best, most civilized place on the map.”
This time patriotism took over and Spike’s “It is!” was just as emphatic as Giles’.
“Buffy may buy that, but I’ve been there before on vengeance business.” Anya took the latte from Giles and kissed him on the cheek in thanks. There was nothing at all improper about the kiss. It was the look in her eyes and the slight lowering of her voice that banished his chill. “I know England isn’t always gentle and romantic. I’ve been there when it’s poured hard and fast. I remember once or twice how thunder rattled the windows. How everything was drenched and so quiet afterwards that it seemed to me that the earth sighed.” Anya sighed herself, and then shrugged after a moment. “It has been a while. Maybe you’re right, Rupert. I might be thinking of Paris and not London.”
Buffy, who’d been pacing by the window, finally spoke after Giles pulled Anya into the stockroom to go over an invoice. “Sometimes I miss the days when Anya used words like ‘penis’ to talk about sex.”
“So does that mean you’re not in the mood for a good gully washer, Slayer?” Spike whispered in her ear. “I think the forecast is for a long hard rain tonight.”
Buffy gently pushed Spike away. “I don’t like it.”
“So ‘gully washer’ isn’t the most romantic of euphemisms. Don’t I get points for saying in theme, love?”
“Not that,” Buffy said. “Though, gully washer? Eww. It’s the rain I don’t like. There’s something Hellmouth-y about it. It’s making me edgy.”
“It’s not got my fangs itchy. We passed a few scaly blokes that like this sort of weather on the way in. And other than a few more grumpy Chaos demons than usual I didn’t spot anything particularly big or bad.”
Buffy nervously twirled a teardrop shaped crystal hanging from a counter display, and the refracted streetlights made a shaky rain-spotted rainbow on the wall. “Yeah, I know it’s spring and this is probably perfectly normal April showers that will bring non-evil May flowers.”
Spike stepped behind Buffy and began rubbing her neck and shoulders. “I didn’t say you were wrong. Just that I didn’t notice anything. If you want to, we can slog through this mess again and patrol. Not like I’m made of sugar.”
“I wouldn’t know where to look for whatever. How do you slay a vague feeling of foreboding? And speaking of feelings, keep rubbing, that feels really good. But what if a customer comes in? It’s not very professional.”
“Have Anya or Giles started paying us?”
“Well, you steal stuff just to annoy them, and I owe Giles an arm and at least half a leg. So I guess we’re indentured until the next apocalypse.”
“My birthday present from Dawn is really coming in handy,” Tara said over the sound of the bells on the shop door as she and Willow came in. “Not as handy as it would be if it had a map of the Sunnydale sewers instead of the London Underground, but my hair isn’t wet,” she added, putting her umbrella away in the painted milk can by the door. After tucking her hair behind her ears, she helped Willow take her yellow raincoat off.
“Thanks, sweetie,” Willow said. She glanced at Buffy. “Did I hear the A word? Is the end nigh again, guys?”
“Buffy here has a bad feeling about all this rain.”
“What does Giles say about it, Buffy?” Willow asked.
Buffy walked away from Spike and restacked a display of tarot cards. “Um, I haven’t gotten around to saying anything yet.”
Spike said, “Why don’t you go tell the Watcher we need his sage advice, Red? He’s in the stockroom.”
“No way, Spike, you’re not going to trick me like that! Last time I interrupted Anya when she was checking out Giles’ inventory. I don’t want to see that again!”
“Relax honey,” Tara said soothingly. “That was after hours. The shop’s still open. Giles most likely really is going over an invoice.”
Buffy sat on the loft steps with a huff. “Can we get back to the important topic of the cold, wet, impending doom?”
“Rain isn’t usually high on the list of bad omens,” Tara said. “It’s powerful, and can be destructive, but mostly it’s a good thing.”
“Yeah,” Willow agreed, “fertility, renewal, cleansing…”
The door to the stockroom opened. Anya asked, “Did I hear the bell? Oh, hi, Willow. Tara, is there anything I can help you with?”
“I might want some help, you know!” Willow objected.
“You might,” Anya said without heat, “but Tara actually pays for stuff.”
“Uh, Giles, Buffy was saying that she thinks the weather is bad. I mean supernaturally bad not the normal wet and chilly bad,” Tara said obviously glad Giles that had walked in behind Anya and that she could change the subject.
Giles turned to Buffy. “Have you been having prophetic dreams, Buffy?”
“Not really. We keep running into crowds of fishy types in the sewers, though. I think they must be planning something.”
Giles cleaned his glasses, and before he spoke Spike answered, “They are. A family; it’s Fugooish spawning season.”
“Oh! Well, wouldn’t it be a good idea to do something about it? Nip the impending population explosion in the bud?”
“I wouldn’t advise it,” Giles said. “They vastly outnumber you and, preoccupied as they are, aren’t actually doing any harm.”
“Why doesn’t anybody tell me this stuff?” Buffy pouted, then said in triumph, “The Chaos demons! They‘re having some kind of clan war or something. Spike and I keep running into them fighting each other.”
Anya rolled her eyes. “Of course they are. They’re in rut. Don’t you ever watch the Discovery Channel?”
“Oh.” Buffy pouted some more and then asked plaintively, “I suppose I can’t slay them either?”
“You can if you want, but it’s kind of pointless,” Anya said. “Chaos demons don’t really live up to the name anymore. Not since Santa Claus cursed them.”
“This stinks. I have to leave those horny antlered demons alone, too?”
Spike couldn’t resist that opening and whispered, so only Buffy heard, that he was horny and didn’t want to be left alone.
“It would be best, yes,” Giles answered, “Most of the creatures you normally slay are staying out of the weather. Perhaps you and Spike should do some sparring to work off your excess energy.”
Spike said, “Good idea, Giles. Let’s head home and train so we don’t scare the customers, Slayer.”
“But there’s no room to spar at home,” Buffy protested.
Spike tilted his head and sent a hot look Buffy’s way. “I think we can find the space, don’t you?”
The pair left the others blinking as they departed with supernatural speed. Willow said, “That was quick. Buffy usually takes more convincing to admit she’s wrong.”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/327214.html