- The Grundy Affair Chapter 1
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 2
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 3
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 4
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 5
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 6
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 7
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 8
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 9
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 10
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 11
- The Grundy Affair Chapter 12
- The Grundy Affair chapter 13
Buffy and Spike are recruited to protect an important gift for a high ranking official and discover there is more at stake.
Drama and Comedy, Rated PG, 13 chapters. Story begins here
Grundy nutritional needs are very undemanding. An immature Grundy may be fed wholly on premium puppy chow with no ill effects. However it is imperative that it be enhanced with the correct balance of vitamins to insure a healthy coat and optimum growth in both size and intelligence. The mature Grundy diet should be comprised of a good quality adult dog food, supplemented with a few pieces of a good quality hard wood. Mahogany, balsa and oak are varieties often used with good result.
-The Complete Manual of Domestic Demon Care
Chapter 3- The Grundy
“Spike?” Buffy called out softly, tiptoeing into the crypt. She certainly didn’t want to be the one responsible for waking up Monster Mutt. Life was so much easier when the demon was unconscious. “It’s me.”
“Know it’s you, Slayer. Any self respectin’ vampire would.” Spike materialized from his lower level. “The real interest lies in what you’re doin’ back. I’m an expert on the risin’ sun and I’m pretty sure it hasn’t made its daily appearance yet.”
“Just call me boomerang Buffy. After hearing about your bar convo, Giles ordered me back.” She glanced around. “So where’s the Gumby? I don’t hear the sound of things being destroyed.” She smirked. “Oh that’s right. You don’t have anything worth destroying.”
“The Grundy is downstairs.” Spike turned around abruptly. “Where I’ll be if you need me for somethin’.”
Damn Buffy, you sure screwed that up in a hurry. “Spike, wait a minute.”
Exasperated, he turned back to her. “What do you want now, Slayer?”
“Look, I’m really sorry about the comment. It’s been one of those days. I’m tired, my leg hurts from walking over here again and I’m taking it out on you. Can I have a do over? I promise to play nice.”
He surveyed the blonde beauty. She was standing there with a contrite expression across her face, biting her lip. She’s actually tryin’ to apologize for real. Happily surprised, he responded gruffly. “S’alright. It’s been a rough one for us all, I guess. I noticed your leg earlier.”
“Yeah, well, it’ll heal if I can stay off of it for awhile. But it’s definitely been a rotten day. Wait until I tell you about Anya.”
“Hold that subject for a bit, pet. We need to get back to our charge.”
“The baby demon, Slayer. We shouldn’t leave her alone down there.”
Following Spike to the lower level of the crypt, Buffy looked around curiously. The vampire’s big four poster bed dominated the room. There was an older chest sitting in the corner and a beaded curtain that closed off a dark opening in the opposite corner. The Grundy was lying on a worn oriental rug gnawing a huge bone. Lifting her head, she bared her teeth at the Slayer.
“The Slayer’s a guest, Empress. We don’t insult invited guests by growlin’at them.”
Buffy watched open mouthed as the little demon studied Spike for a few seconds and quietly dropped her head. “Wow, you’ve certainly got her settled down. Where’d you get a Zoloft filled bone at this hour?”
“We finished a long walk earlier, but she’s actually pretty well trained for somethin’ so young. I think she was really bored stuffed away in that tote twice in the same day and decided to have it on a bit with the Watcher.”
“I can totally get that.” Buffy smiled briefly before glancing around again. “I’ve never been down here before. This is pretty decent for a crypt.” Pointing to the curtain, she added, “Except for the sixties throwback.”
“That’s the way to the shower.” Spike nodded at the bed. “Have a seat, Slayer. Sorry, but I don’t have a lot of furniture down here. I guess we could move her upstairs.” He looked uncertainly at the Grundy contentedly chewing on her bone and added, “at least we could watch the telly.”
Buffy slapped her forehead. “I’m not normally this brain damaged. I must be making a special effort tonight. I brought a couple things with me and they’re still outside. I’ll be right back.” Climbing up the ladder, she spoke over her shoulder, “She’s fine, don’t move her.”
Spike heard the Slayer leave the crypt and return almost immediately. Ignoring the ladder and even her aching leg, she gracefully dropped to the floor carrying a large cardboard box and a portable camping chair.
“I thought it would be more convenient if I brought my own seat.” She set up the folding chair, placing it perpendicular to the bed, before lifting the flaps on the box. “This has spent the last year in our basement since my mom bought a smaller one for the kitchen, but it still works great. I checked it before I left.”
Buffy lifted out a fairly large portable television and set it on top of the chest. Turning to the astonished vampire, she said, “Call me selfish, ‘cause I like my Turner Movie Classics colorized, but I noticed you’ve only got the black and white, so this is for you. Since you’ve moved back in and everything, you can consider it a crypt warming gift.” She continued to chatter, suddenly a little embarrassed. “Besides it’s better if we stay down here with the Grundy anyway. You know, just in case anyone comes barging in.”
“I’ve never thought of you as selfish, Slayer, and this proves it. Ta.”
Buffy flashed a pleased smile. “What do you say to a late movie?”
“I’d say, give me two ticks to hook up the cable.” Spike reached behind the television. “Slayer, there’s a couple bags of Cheetos upstairs by the fridge and a tin of peanuts. Would you get those? I’d like a beer out of the fridge and there’s a six pack of Pepsi in there, too.”
Buffy was delighted. “Ooh, we’ve got snacks?”
Spike voice was muffled behind the dresser. “I keep the Cheetos around for Clem. He’s gotten hooked on ‘em lately and the peanuts are mine. I picked up the drinks earlier tonight on the way back from the bar but they should be cold by now.”
Buffy was already half way back up the ladder when the words struck. He’d picked up Pepsi after he found out she was going to be here. Now she knew she’d made the right choice in bringing the TV. Maybe the two of them could figure out how to get along better. Hopefully tonight would be a start.
Grabbing the snacks, she heard the sound of guns blazing and grinned. Trust Spike to pick a movie with fighting in it. Cool.
“They picked up the right suspect this time.” Buffy pointed at the screen again. “I just know he did it, he’s got seriously shifty eyes.”
“Nah, they’ve arrested the wrong bloke. No way he did the deed, shifty eyes or not.”
“Why not? He’s wearing that terrible rug and one thing I know is the hero never has bad hair.” Buffy giggled. “Come on Spike. Tell me everything you know, that should take maybe ten seconds. You can even fit it in before this commercial’s over.”
Spike snorted. “If ignorance is bliss, Slayer, you must be the happiest person on the planet.” He grinned at the blonde when she reached over and stole some of his peanuts. “You’ve already forgotten he was locked up in the garage when the last bloke was burned. Remember, it was hot and his toupee slid during that scene.”
Buffy popped the handful of peanuts and answered with her mouth full. “Oh yeah. But wait a minute; he could have done it before he was locked in there.” She swallowed the peanuts and giggled again. “While his hair was still glued in place.”
Chuckling, Spike shook his head at her. “It’s the other bloke, I’m sure of it. You know, the one you said had ugly shoes.”
“Maybe he used a timer.”
“It was a Molotov cocktail.”
“Oh yeah, I was getting another Pepsi during that part. How old school, not even using a real bomb to start the fire.”
“You know what they say, no need to mess with a classic.”
“Who exactly says a Molotov cocktail is a classic?”
“Uh, Abbie Hoffman?”
“Who is she?”
“Never mind, pet, just someone I met once in Chicago.”
Spike downed the last of his beer, still chuckling. Tonight was the most fun he’d had in a long time that didn’t require copious amounts of Jack Daniels or both fists. He and the Slayer had started out the evening nervous and uneasy, but they’d really made a conscious effort not to snap at each other and as the first movie progressed they’d become more comfortable. It had helped that the B movie was so terrible that they couldn’t stop themselves from snickering and joking about it.
By the time the second movie of the late night double feature rolled around, they were relaxed enough to jokingly snark at each other along with the lame plot. During the commercial breaks they continued to talk civilly to each other and discovered they had a lot more in common than they’d ever thought, including a penchant for the same types of movies.
Standing up during the commercial break, Spike looked around the crypt for his lighter.
Buffy, leaning back in the camp chair with her feet propped on the corner of the bed, watched Spike pat his pockets. “What’s the matter?”
“I think I’ve lost my favorite lighter, but I don’t remember using it at Willy’s.” He reached for one of the candelabras. “Bloody hell, I’ve had that lighter since the ‘50’s.”
“I wouldn’t give up yet, it’ll probably turn up. But you might want to keep a close eye on your candles.” Buffy carefully straightened out her legs, trying hard not to awaken the Grundy. Spike had placed the young demon on the bed earlier and she’d shifted in her sleep, rolling close to Buffy’s feet. “Empress seems to think they’re a delicacy. I watched her chew up at least two of those fat pillars they sell at the Magic Box.”
The Grundy, although continuing to watch Buffy cautiously all night, hadn’t growled once, but remained quietly on the rug. When she’d become sleepy again, Spike had lifted her onto the bed so they wouldn’t accidentally step on her.
The Slayer tried to wrap her head around the difference in the little demon between earlier at the shop and here at the crypt. It was as if the Grundy had a split personality. One side was calm, cool and collected while the other was completely and utterly gonzo. Buffy prayed she never had to stuff the Grundy in her tote for any length of time or otherwise make her mad, because the gonzo side drove her nuts.
Or maybe ‘Empress’ just enjoys the fawning over her that Spike does and she’s smart enough not to blow it.
Delighted the television came equipped with a remote control, Spike avidly surfed during the commercials while Buffy’s mind continued to wander back over the evening and how she’d noticed the care the vamp had taken with the little demon, making sure her every need was attended to promptly.
The Slayer had never experienced that caring side of Spike before. In her experience, the hyper chipped vamp was always fighting, drinking or scheming. She’d certainly never seen him patient and kind. It almost boggled the mind. Added to their newfound civility, the night hadn’t turned into the chamber of horrors she’d been expecting.
I’ve actually enjoyed the movie watching tonight with Spike. I wonder if that means there’s still an apocalypse on the way.
Buffy’s thoughts were interrupted when she suddenly realized Spike had muted the television and was sitting completely still, staring up the ladder at the crypt’s ground floor.
She automatically lowered her voice. “What’s up?”
“Three demons, Slayer, moving around right outside the crypt.”
“They need to learn that it’s rude to show up late for a movie.” She reached for her knife. “Let’s go tell them.”
“How’s your leg?”
Buffy impatiently brushed aside the question. “I’m fine.”
Spike glanced at the Grundy. Wide awake, she was sitting up, her eyes a deep red. “Uh, Slayer, the beastie woke up and someone’s got to stay with her.”
“Not someone, Spike, you.” Buffy headed for the stairs. “She’s more important than a couple sneak thieves. I’ll take care of our movie crashers, you’ll take care of her.”
“This is still my crypt.”
“I know that, but do you really think she’s going to stay down here and behave for me while you’re up there?”
The vampire sighed. “Fine, but I’m comin’ upstairs just in case. I’ll bring her with me on a leash.”
Buffy didn’t want to argue the point. The demons might get away. “Whatever. Don’t take her outside, just in case.” She started climbing the ladder. “I’ll be back in a few.”
Spike grabbed the chain and hooked it to the Grundy’s collar. “Come on Empress. The Slayer might need some backup.” The demon growled low in her throat as Spike picked her up and jumped up through the opening.
Listening to the shouting that had begun outside, Spike scanned the room and made a quick decision. “I’m going to put you here Empress.” He wrapped the chain around the leg of his chair.
Stooping down to her level, he stared into the young animal’s eyes. “I want you to stay right here and try to keep quiet. Understand? Those baddies out there might be lookin’ for you.”
The demon bared her teeth, but remained quiet. “Good girl. I’ll be right back; I just need to make sure the Slayer’s got everythin’ under control.” Spike gently rubbed her head. The Grundy sat on her haunches and followed him to the door with her eyes.
Spike hesitated at the crypt door. “Remember Empress, stay completely still.”
Closing the door carefully behind him, Spike scanned the trees and grave markers within the immediate vicinity but didn’t see anyone. Inhaling deeply, he followed the scent to a dead demon at the tree line, blood spreading from a chest wound. He quickly ran the perimeter around the crypt. He could hear the Slayer around back, still fighting.
“You must have eaten an extra bowl of stupid today to come sneaking around here. But all those extra carbs can’t help you now.” Buffy punched the demon and it stumbled, falling heavily to the ground. Twisting its neck until she heard a snap, she let the head drop back to the ground.
She’s got number two taken care of, right down to the quip. Spike tried to locate the third heartbeat behind her. Bollocks, he’s gone. He walked around back and found the Slayer staring down at the dead demon. “I thought you said there were three of them. I only got to kill two.”
“There were three.” He rolled the demon over. “This is one of Morty’s boys. The third one must have had orders to take off if there was any trouble. He didn’t stick around long enough for you to get to him.” Spike punched the crypt. “Bollocks. Now Morty knows I didn’t leave town.”
“So, you didn’t leave town. Who is Morty and why’s that such a biggie?”
“Morty is the demon I told you about earlier, the one workin’with the men searching for the Grundy. At the very least he’ll send more of his clan around to find out why I didn’t leave town and why the Slayer is payin’ me a friendly late night visit. Hell, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the only way I’d have the dosh to pay him off is if I had a big job. All of that together spells Grundy. Slayer, we need to pack up and get out of here.” Spike looked up at the moon. “There are still a couple more hours until sunrise. We’ll take the Desoto.”
Buffy laid a restraining hand on his arm. “Where would we go Spike? Besides, I don’t run from a fight, that’s not my style. She’s behaving better now, so maybe I should take Empress and just go home.”
“They’ve already hurt Anya and possibly killed another innocent person. You don’t want to put your mum or sis in danger. Besides, the Grundy isn’t ready for you to take her anywhere alone yet.”
She bit her lip, thinking it through. “Fine, we’ll all three go to a cheap motel and in the morning I’ll call Giles.”
“That’s probably the best choice we’ve got at the moment.” Spike replied, following the Slayer through the crypt door.
Buffy stepped across the Grundy’s chain and walked to the front of the chair. Stopping abruptly, her eyes widened. “Uh oh.”
Spike, following right behind her, swerved and tripped over the chain. “Bollocks, Slayer.” Massaging his shin, he limped over to stand beside her. When he could finally see what had caused her to stop short, his mouth dropped. “What the bloody hell happened here?”
Not having an answer to his astonished question, long moments of silence stretched out between them until finally the Slayer’s lips quirked. “I left you alone for all of ten minutes and you managed to turn the Grundy into a lawn ornament. The only thing she’s missing is a red pointed hat.”
They both contemplated the motionless demon again. Empress sat on her haunches; head held high, eyes staring blankly. Somehow their charge appeared to have become a perfectly cast, solid concrete Grundy statue.
Still trying to wrap her brain around the abrupt change, Buffy laid a hand lightly on the Grundy’s gray head. Cold. “Yuck, she even feels like concrete.”
Pulling her hand back, the Slayer studied the statue from the side. “You know, with those curved nails and the scales on her stomach, she sort of looks like a chubby gargoyle.” She turned to the vampire, placing her hands on her hips. “Okay, Spike, so what exactly did you do that turned her into a still life?”
“I didn’t do anything. While you walked outside, I chained her to the chair. Then I explained about the baddies and told her to wait in here. Although a little upset at bein’ left behind, I swear she was still warm when I closed the door.” His eyes narrowed thoughtfully. “This must be one of her demon aspects, some kind of protection thing and she’s been trained to control it with a command.”
He knelt down in front of the little Grundy, still thinking out loud. “I must have said something that triggered this. We need to figure out the trigger and then how to reverse it.”
“Wait; let’s don’t be too hasty here. She’s actually a whole lot easier to deal with like this.” The Slayer brightened. “I’ve got it! We’ll stick her up on one of your shelves, or on top of the TV. If anyone shows up, they’ll just think she’s some sort of Goth decoration. After all, this is a crypt.”
Spike shot her a look. “I don’t think the Council’s goin’ to be too happy givin’ that ambassador a Goth decoration when he’s expecting a Grundy that actually moves.” He said wryly. “Besides we don’t know how long it’s safe for her to remain like this. She’s not breathin’.”
“You’re the expert on not breathing, but you’re right, we do have to fix this.” Running her hand along the Grundy’s stomach, Buffy added hopefully, “Maybe there’s a hidden switch or a button.”
“You daft bint, she’s not a soddin’ robot.” Exasperated, Spike stood up and ran a hand through his hair. “There’s got to be another trigger word to undo this. I told her to stay. What’s the opposite of stay? Or maybe still?”
“I don’t know, what about move or run? She does both of those really well.” Buffy snickered. “I’m pretty sure the opposite of still would be Spike.” Becoming serious again, she contemplated the Grundy, running her eyes across the statue’s scales one more time. “Are you absolutely certain there’s no release button on her stomach?”
They both heard a low noise. The Grundy shimmered briefly and her gray coloring vanished. Tail wagging rapidly, she tilted her head and looked at her two relieved companions.
“You figured it out Slayer. That was the word.”
Buffy watched the Grundy rub against Spike. “Button was the right word?” She looked confused. “I’d already said that one.”
Amused, Spike reached down to unchain the demon. “No, Slayer, the word was release.”
“Okay, so now we return to our regularly scheduled program of driving off into the night. But first, we need to get some stuff together and I have to find my other knife. Have you seen it? I thought I left it right here on your chair.”
“No bloody idea, but it’s only a back up anyway. You’ve still got the one you used during the fight and if you need another one, I’ve got one you can borrow. We need to get out of here as soon as possible, we’re burning night.”
“Let’s don’t bother Giles with this little statue incident. Deal?”
Chapter 6 here
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/241242.html