Taming the Muse - ficlets in response to various prompts
Monster Go Boom ( -prompt - Hatred is by far the longer pleasure)
Sometimes antiques just aren't the way to go
Monster Go Boom
Spike walked into Illyria's room and came face to face with what looked like a large, tooth-filled, blue mouth encircled with waving tentacles dotted with vicious looking hooks. "Whoa! Blue? Where are you? What have you done with her, you ugly—"
Illyria's voice rasped out of the gaping mouth.
"This is me, half-breed. One of my many forms."
"Can I just go on record as saying I much prefer the sexy blue girl-shaped form? Feel free to go back to that any second now." He edged his way past the dangerous-looking tentacles and sat on the couch, trying his best to appear undisturbed by the beast filling up the rest of the room.
"You fear me in this body," she said, rolling one large eye at him.
"I'm not sure I'd call it 'fear' exactly... Bloody hell!" he exploded when he was suddenly snatched up and bashed into the ceiling. "Fine, your ugliness, I fear you. Can I get down now?"
She unceremoniously let go, allowing him to fall to the floor and crawl back to the couch.
"I have received word that an old enemy is trying to surface. It is necessary that I be in a form that can deal with this intrusion."
"You have enemies? I'm shocked."
"You make a joke. I do not find it amusing."
"Big surprise there," he grumbled, avoided the tentacle she'd waved in his direction. "So, where to we find this old enemy that requires you to look like a bloated octopus ... with teeth?"
"We?" Her voice dripped contempt. "This is far beyond your meager capabilities. I will be dealing with my old enemy myself. It is time to show him that hatred is by far the longer pleasure. When I have made it clear that I have not forgotten his transgressions, and have reduced him to a mewling pile of flesh, it is possible that I will permit you to practice your feeble skills."
"Fine, your royal blueness. Do I get to watch, then?"
"You may watch. From a distance."
Several hours later, when Illyria was still being tossed around by an even uglier and larger bright orange creature having more tentacles and an open, tooth-filled maw from which came fetid breath, Spike shook his head and jumped in the Viper to drive back to Wolfram and Hart. He ignored the sputtering threats to eviscerate him coming from the bloodied blue monster fighting for her life, racing to the Wolfram and Hart armory and emerging with what he'd been seeking.
He returned to find Illyria crouched behind a rock, mourning the loss of one of her tentacles. When she saw Spike, she straightened up and pretended to be plotting her strategy.
"How's it goin', Blue?" Spike asked innocently, as he opened the trunk of the car.
"You would not understand," she sniffed, moving back to where the other demi-god was jumping up and down as it waited for her to resume the battle. "This is a dispute between gods; it has been going on longer than your puny species can imagine. This time, I will destroy my enemy for all time."
"Uh huh," he agreed, narrowing his eyes as she walked out only to be grabbed and dragged toward the gaping mouth of her opponent. "You sure you don't want any help?"
"I've told you," she gasped, struggling to remain out of the creature's mouth, "this is beyond your feeble skills. You will only be seriously damaged should you try to fight the O'gracken. It is an ancient evil, much older humans or the half-breeds that prey upon them. It requires something equally—" She paused to bite off one of her opponent's tentacles, gaining a few precious seconds of freedom. During which Spike raised his new acquisition to his shoulder and fired it, blowing the other monster into small orange pieces of flesh that began to dissolve one at a time.
There was an ominous silence after the loud explosion. Spike did not look at Illyria as he put the giant gun back in the trunk of the viper; he just shrugged.
"Guess you didn't have rocket launchers back in the day," he said, closing the trunk and leaning against the door. "Now, are you going to change into something that will fit into the front seat, or are you going to slither home on your own?"
He watched out of the corner of his eye as she pulsed from blue to purple to deep red and back to blue again. He let out a sigh of relief when she stopped pulsing and shimmied back into her human "shell". She limped to the car and got in, still not speaking to Spike as he drove them back to the Wolfram and Hart office building.
When she allowed herself to accept his offer of an arm to lean on while she made her way back to her room, he got his first sense of how seriously injured she was and how close she might have come to losing the battle. They paused at the entrance to her room and she took a deep breath. "You did well," she said grudgingly. "You were useful today." Before he could compose his sarcastic reply, she faded into Fred's sweet face and leaned in to kiss his cheek. "Thank you, Spike."
Spike, Wesley friendship/ Spuffy by impication
"Tell me again what we're looking for?" Spike stared around at the passing countryside. Even in the dark, he could see the green of the rice paddies on either side of the dusty lane. "And why we're looking for it out here in the middle of nowhere?"
"We're seeking a statue of a god... wearing a shawl and a hat. Red ones, if I recall."
"A statue wearing clothes? You needed my muscle for that?"
"Someone has to carry it. And we are in a foreign country. Angel told me you speak Japanese. That you once killed a Japanese slayer?"
"She was Chinese! And I didn't speak her language either. That's why you brought me? Because the bloody poof is losing his memory in his old age?"
"Well, that and there's a possibility that the statue was taken by a ...*cough*rogueslayer*cough*"
"A what?" Spike glared at Wesley. "I'm not killing a slayer. Get yourself another vampire, Oxford. This one's retired."
"No one wants you to kill her, Spike. We just need to convince her that she's working for the wrong side. The statue should to go back to the village it belongs to."
"A demon village."
"They hired us. That makes them clients. They want their Jizō back and we have been appointed to see that it happens."
"Please tell me I misunderstood what you just said..."
"If you heard anything but the name of a Japanese deity, you have not been paying attention."
"Alright. So, we're to rescue this Jizzy god, that belongs to a village of demons, and he's being guarded by some slayerette. Why? I mean, why is she keeping it?"
"She seems to think – mistakenly so – that the demon village has no right to a statue of a diety whose job it is to protect small children."
"Seems reasonable to me." Spike stuck his hands in his pockets and stopped walking. "Why do we want to help them get it back?"
"Did you not hear the part where they are paying us? These are our clients. We don't ask them 'why', we just do the job and collect the fee."
"None of which actually goes to me," Spike grumbled as he started walking again.
"Unless you have given up stealing Angel's blood from his refrigerator, some of it goes directly into your ungrateful stomach."
"Now what the hell do I do?" Spike snarled, clinging for all he was worth to the extremely angry girl cursing at him in Japanese. The slayer was young and not well-trained, but even so, it had taken him a good fifteen minutes to find a way to immobilize her without actually hurting her badly. Not having been hampered by any such restrictions, the slayer had gouged a piece out of his leg with her stake and blacked one eye with a wild, but powerful punch.
"Just hang on to her while I try to explain...." Wesley was thumbing through a book of common Japanese phrases. "Ummm.... gomennasai?"
The girl just rolled her eyes at him and renewed her struggles to free herself from the vampire that for some reason had not yet bitten her, but was surely going to any second.
"Uh... we come in peace? No, that won't do. We don't want to harm you. We just need to take the statue back to its rightful owners. Wa..." he studied the book again. "Wakarimasuka?"
"Baka," she snapped, trying to free an arm and reach her stake lying just out of reach.
"Did she just call me a name?"
"Think she just called you 'stupid'" Spike said, unable to hide a grin.
"Right then. Enough of this." Wesley put down the phrase book and pulled out a pistol, pointing it at the girl whose eyes went wide with fear. She froze and quit struggling against Spike, who cautiously let her go and stepped away.
"Stupid bint has William the Bloody at her throat and she's afraid of a starter pistol!" He shook his head in disgust. "I should just bite her on general principle."
"Just grab the statue and let's go."
Spike scooped up the stone statue, grateful that it was only a couple of feet tall, and hoisted it to his shoulder.
"Sayonara, slayer," he said with a cheerful wave. "Better luck next time."
The villagers who owned the statue were very grateful to have it back, and Spike and Wesley left town with their "doomo arigatoo"s ringing in their ears. Spike waved back and yelled, "dooitashimashite," to the waving demon children.
"I thought you couldn't speak Japanese," Wesley grumbled. "You might have saved us a lot of trouble with that slayer if you had just explained it to her."
Spike just shook his head. "Told you, I don't speak it. Just enough phrases to get by." His gaze turned wistful. "Been a long time since I got to fight a Slayer. Made me miss... I might have to take a couple of weeks off when we get back. Think it's time to let somebody know I'm back...." The End
Title: There May Be a Complication...
Summary: Just another day of work for Angel and Company
There May Be a Complication
"You want me to pretend to be what??? You're out of your bloody mind – what little there is of it."
Angel sighed and rolled his eyes. "It isn't going to kill you. It's not like I'm really going to sell you or anything like that. I just need to have something to offer to get me into the venue."
"Why not take Percy? He'd clean up all right. Or Harm - she'd probably get off on wearing one of those—"
"It has to be someone who won't... who could... Look, it would just be best if it was you. Okay?"
"No. Not 'okay'. Not even on the same pitch with 'okay'. I'm not going into a gathering of demons and vamps pretending to be your chattel. Get over it!"
Angel dangled the keys to the Viper in front of Spike's pouting face. "I could make it worth your while...."
Spike drew himself up to his full height, "Do you really think I'm that easy?"
"I want to go on record as saying this is a really bad idea," Spike grumbled, fidgeting with the chains between his wrists. "I don't see why we couldn't just go in fists and fangs flying and rescue the girl."
Angel yanked on the chain attached to the collar around Spike's neck. "A," he hissed, "We don't know who has her or where she is yet. And B – you moron – slaves aren't supposed to be growling and arguing with their owners, so shut the hell up."
"Yank that chain like that again, and I'll feed it to you," Spike snarled under his breath, even as he pretended to be cringing away from Angel's raised fist.
Angel shifted into game face and snarled convincingly, "Need I remind you, William, of what a bad idea it is to piss off Angelus?"
"Oh ho, so that's how we're playing it then?" Spike subsided and followed behind Angel as he greeted various demons and vampires. They both heard the rippled whisper going through the crowd. "Angelus. Angelus is back, and he's got William the Bloody on a leash."
They circled the large room, quickly identifying their client's half-demon daughter, standing on a carpeted platform wearing little more than the chain around her neck. Although her pointed ears, softly furred back and short tail indicated her demon heritage, the tears on her face were pure human as she cringed away from the hands reaching to touch her. Angel stopped a short distance away and urged Spike up onto the other small platform placed there for sellers to display their wares.
In no time, a curious group had grown around them, most only eager to see the two famous members of the Scourge of Europe but a few seemed genuinely interested in Spike. Every time he started to snarl at a hand feeling his bicep, or running up a muscular thigh, Angel yanked on the collar. Spike was a few yanks away from throwing the entire charade down the drain when he caught a glimpse of their intended rescuee and the fear on her face.
Ducking his head and turning it so that only she could see, he gave her wink, smiling briefly as he saw her eyes widen in understanding. He bit back a snarl when he felt a rough hand on his bare ass, silently cursing Angel for his insistence that Spike be dressed – or not dressed – to show off his obvious assets. He almost choked when he realized who that hand belonged to.
"Stand up straight, boy," Angel said. "Let them see why I allowed Dru to make you."
Vowing to make Angel pay for this job for the rest of his unlife, Spike smothered his urge to bite the hand urging him upright and stood up straight. He couldn't help standing even straighter when he heard the appreciative murmurs from the crowd that had gathered. He allowed his eyes to roam insolently over the gathered customers, letting them pause briefly when an expensively dressed vampire licked her lips and smiled at him. He arched an eyebrow at her, then continued his perusal of their audience.
After satisfying their curiosity, most of the demons eventually wandered away to watch a pit fight on the far side of the big warehouse. The only ones left near Spike and Angel were mostly female and mostly vampires; only one very human looking, if very large, demon remained studying Spike with a critical eye. He gestured to Angel, carrying on a whispered conversation, then they shook hands and he walked away after giving Spike one last lingering glance.
"What the bloody hell was that all about?" Spike growled softly.
"Nothing you need to worry about," Angel said, giving Spike a smack on his bare ass. "Let's go to work."
Taking advantage of the now mostly empty space around them, Angel engaged the handler holding the pretty demon's chain in conversation while Spike slipped out of the unlocked chains he'd been wearing and quickly helped the girl down from her platform. While Angel broke her captor's neck and yanked the chain away from his lifeless hand, Spike whispered reassuringly to her and began to lead her behind the curtained backdrop. As soon as they were out of sight, they hustled her toward the exit, bursting out just ahead of the outraged shouts from the sale's managers.
They threw themselves and their kidnap victim into the back of the black van in which Wesley and Gunn had roared up, falling to the floor in a heap as it accelerated away. Spike grabbed his leather coat, which he'd made sure to put into the van before he'd stripped down to his "costume", then realized that the shivering girl with them was as nearly naked as he was.
"Here you go, luv," he said, handing her the coat. " 's bit chilly in here for somebody with warm blood."
She gave him a grateful smile, pulling the coat around her and trying not to look at his body as he settled back against the wall of the van. Spike smirked at her blush and laughed when Angel rolled his eyes.
"Job well done, then, yeah?" he said with satisfaction. "Client rescued, and no harm done. Good thing nobody wanted to buy yours truly, innit?"
"Uh, Spike, about that...."
No Rest for the Wicked
A sequel to "Slayer's Night Off" -
No Rest for the Wicked
"So, G-man, what was all that stuff with the vampires going all Halloween on us this year?"
"Yeah, Giles. I was expecting to have a night off, and instead I ended up staking vampire zombies, vampire pirates and vampire freakin' Hobbits!"
Buffy glanced over at Xander.
"Yeah, you guys missed that little bit of 'please scrub my brain' fun."
"Where did you find vampire Hobbits? Were they real vampires? Were they real Hobbits? Did they have furry feet?" He seemed genuinely curious.
"Of course, they weren't real Hobbits, you—" Giles took a deep breath. "Hobbits are imaginary creatures from literature. They aren't real."
Anya raised her hand and opened her mouth; then shut it and just watched with interest.
"Kinda like vampires and werewolves, huh, Giles?" Buffy said, raising a sardonic eyebrow that reminded her watcher too much of the vampire that had apparently figured into the previous night's activities.
"I suppose it's an example of the creolization of Sunnydale's demon population," Giles said with just a trace of an indignant sniff. "With the Master gone, the newer vampires have no one to teach them the traditions and it will be only a question of time before it spreads to the rest of the demon cultures."
"Oh goody. No more days off for Buffy," she huffed, slumping back with a pout.
"I thought you were happy to have something to kill, Buffster? Isn't that what you were saying just before the undead pirates showed up?"
Buffy flushed as she remembered why she'd been in such a bad mood.
"I was just having some issues that required me to kill something, Xander. It doesn't mean I want to spend every Halloween staking cartoon characters with fangs!"
"Technically," Willow ventured, "Hobbits aren't cartoon characters..."
"Not the point, guys." Buffy looked around the room and frowned. "Does anybody know where Spike is?"
"Why would we know if you don't?" Anya asked with a clearly puzzled frown.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Well, usually, if we see Spike, it's because he's following you around like a... a...."
"I was going to say 'a puppy dog'. A scary puppy dog," she added as they all turned to stare at her with wide eyes.
As the Scoobies and Buffy mulled over what Anya was implying about Spike and his relationship with Buffy, the vampire in question burst into the room.
"Hey, Watcher, have you seen... oh, there you are."
No one questioned who Spike was talking about, only nodded and pointed at Buffy's direction.
"Where have you been?" she asked with some asperity. "It's been dark for hours."
He cocked his head at her, ignoring the interested eyes and ears that were focused on them.
"Let's be clear, pet. Are you brassed off because you think I should have been here the minute you wanted me to, or because you're worried about what I may have been doing instead?"
Their eyes met, Spike's challenging Buffy to admit she might be still jealous of his aborted 'date' the night before.
"Or, I could have been worried that Riley came after you again with helpers," she snapped, grabbing her coat and heading for the door. "But I forgot, you have other things that might have kept you away. What did you do -– go hide out with your new 'friend'?"
She slammed the door behind her and stormed across the parking lot, ignoring his muffled shout when the door shut in his face. With a snarl, he wrenched it open and followed her rapidly disappearing form.
"See?" Anya said with a smile. "Scary puppy dog."
Before Buffy could decide which way she wanted to go, Spike had caught up with her at the edge of the parking lot. Ignoring her "Don't touch me" he put both hands on her shoulders and turned her around to face him.
"I'm sorry," he said, completely disrupting her intended rant. "It was inconsiderate of me not to let you know where I was. I should have known you'd be worried."
"As if!" she sniffed, totally contradicting what she'd said earlier.
"Exactly," he growled, dropping his arms and adopting the same attitude. "It's not like I expect you to worry about me, is it?"
"He tried to kill you last night! Why wouldn't I be worried?"
She turned and began to march down the sidewalk, Spike falling in beside her and matching her long stride easily.
"I dunno," he said more cheerfully. "Maybe because staking me is something you threaten to do on a daily basis? Hard to imagine you'd mind all that much if soldier boy did it for you."
"Don't be stupid," she muttered, shoving her hands in her pockets and hunching her shoulders. The conversation they'd had in the Bronze's ladies room ran through her head and she tried to remember exactly what she might have admitted to feeling.
Spike just nodded, every word of the conversation firmly fixed in his memory; as were every one of Buffy's actions that evening, from her obvious jealousy over the red-head to her words to Riley after he'd tried to dust the vampire she referred to as "mine".
"Get the impression you might have already been in a bad mood before I got there, pet. Care to share?"
Buffy sighed and slowed down.
"I was just complaining about all the stupid vampires running around last night and Giles said it was probably going to continue to happen. I'm not sure what it has to do with New Orleans, but--"
"Yeah. He said something about Creoles. Isn't that where they live?"
"He called the vampires 'creoles'?"
"No. Pay attention. He used some word like that to say that the old traditions were being replaced by... something. I don't know. All I know is that he was basically saying I'm losing my only night off. I have to be the Slayer three hundred and sixty-five days a year. It's not fair!"
"Creolization," Spike said almost to himself. "The Watcher likes those big words, doesn't he?"
Buffy peered at him from the corner of her eye. "How come you know that word?"
He shrugged and changed the subject.
"I thought you were enjoying yourself last night, luv. I'm surprised you're so upset to learn you might not have that night off any more."
"I was... okay, not enjoying, cause that's just too much like...." She glared at him. "I needed to work off some steam. But that doesn't mean I want to have to work every Halloween. That's supposed to be my night for parties and... stuff."
She could see him cutting his eyes at her, doing his best to suppress a smile. She tried to glare at him, but ended up smiling ruefully.
"I sound like a spoiled brat, don't I?"
"No, love." His voice was suddenly serious, the smile gone. "You sound like somebody who spends too much of her time killing things in the dark, and not enough time having fun in the sun. Where you should be."
Buffy shrugged. "The last time I had that kind of fun in the sun, I was beating up on you." Her eyes lit up. "Hey! Maybe you could find another ring and we could spar during the day."
He just stared at her until she blushed and looked away.
"Well, I mean, you'd have to give it to me for safekeeping when you weren't, you know, actually with me. But...."
"Do you really think I'm that housebroken, Slayer?"
Her shoulders slumped. "No, I guess you aren't," she said sadly. "I don't know what I was thinking...."
He pivoted in front of her again, putting hands on her shoulders and waiting until she brought reluctant eyes up to his.
"You were thinking that I'd do pretty much anything to be allowed to spend time with you, weren't you?"
"I... wasn't... maybe?" Her eyes dropped again. "I'm sorry, Spike. I do take you for granted, don't I? Of course you wouldn't...."
As though she hadn't spoke, he tipped her chin up so that she had to look at him again.
"And you'd be right, love. I would do just about anything to spend time with you. You know I would...."
Buffy flinched at the reminder that he was willing to endure watching her cuddle with Riley just to be around her; then she remembered what Riley had tried to do and she nodded.
"I know you would. But I'm thinking that after last night's little performance, you won't have to put up with some of it anymore."
"Was trying to stake me a deal-breaker, then?" The hope in his voice was palpable.
"It always has been," she admitted. "It's one of the first and only fights we ever had. I told him that unless he found you with your teeth in somebody's throat, he had to leave you alone."
"Oh." His hands fell from her shoulders and he stuck them in his pockets. "So, nothing new about it, then." He turned away and began walking. Buffy stared after him or a second, than ran to catch up, grabbing his sleeve and pulling him to a halt.
"It's always been a deal-breaker," she said, willing him to listen even as she watched his face shut down. "The difference is – back then, I would have just been really, really mad; and now... " She touched his cheek, stroking it until he met her eyes. "Now, I would be heartbroken."
"Can't have that," he whispered, kissing her palm and holding her hand against his cheek.
Buffy blushed and looked away from the adoration in his eyes.
"Well, no. It's not my favorite thing to be. Hence the worry when you were late tonight."
He released her hand and they began walking again, slowly this time and with their shoulders brushing occasionally as they strolled around Sunnydale in search of slay-worthy demons.
(I think my intention was to continue this and make it a real story, but I can't locate anything but a snippet of a Chapt. Two, so I guess it hasn't happened yet.)