Buffy's having a really strange day.
Chapter four, which I suspect might be a few people's favourite for some reason. Characters, in order of appearance: Buffy and Spike. Rating 12. 1358 words. Chapter One is here. Some people may spot a theory of mine I first expressed in discussion of the Angel:AtF comics has worked its way into this fic...
Ch.4 - in which Buffy borrows some clothes
"Spike! Where are you? I need to borrow some of your clothes... and also look down on you, in the literal sense! Spike?"
He wasn't in his bed. She looked around, and sternly suppressed her start of surprise as he loomed suddenly out of one corner of the dark basement.
"Who the hell are you, then?"
"Who do you think I am? What happened to that creepy vampire smelling thing of yours? I'm Buffy."
"Yeah right. Nice disguise, mate, but you forgot one obvious little detail. And you made one big mistake coming here..."
And without another word of warning he was in full vampface and lunging straight for her throat with a feral snarl! Startled, Buffy reacted with pure Slayer instinct, dodging to one side and whipping out her arm to slam him into the nearest wall. He rebounded with a yell of pain and anger, using the momentum and leverage of the wall to land a high kick on her torso and send her in turn bouncing across the room. She spun around and yelled at him in baffled rage.
"Spike!" *Punch* "What the hell." *Kick* "Do you think." *Elbow slam* You are doing?!" *Uppercut to the jaw* As he staggered back Buffy leaped on him and pinned him to the ground, staring angrily into demonic yellow eyes. "Spike!!"
As she watched, his face suddenly melted back into human form. "Bloody hell, Slayer, is that really you?"
"Who did you think I was?"
"Shapechanging demon. Here to take the Slayer's form, except you forgot one little detail."
Buffy looked at him incredulously. "My gender? A little detail?"
"Well yeah. Okay, it doesn't sound quite so likely now I think about it. Can I get up now?"
"Whatever. You know, Willow realised it was me almost straight away. How come you only twigged after I beat you into a pulp?"
"Well, it's something you do a lot. I recognise your style. Uh, by the way, is there any particular reason why you're a bloke all of a sudden?"
"I really have no idea. Will's working on it now. I came to borrow some of your clothes, since my own don't fit me."
"Yeah, I can see that. No offence, love, but I've seen scarecrows dressed better than that."
"Are you sure you recognise me now? 'Cause I can beat you up some more if it would help. It'd help me."
"Thanks, but no thanks. You're less fun to fight now, Slayer. Not as cute."
"What, 'cause I'm a guy now? I thought that didn't matter to you undead types."
"Depends on the vampire, pet. Some of us are bigger poofs than others, mentioning no names, but I prefer my Slayers female."
"Me too." Buffy suddenly dropped her taunting pose, slumped down onto the end of the bed. "I hate this. I just hope Willow finds the solution soon and turns me back."
"If anyone can, Red's the girl." Spike sat beside her, his own expression now showing real concern - although Buffy noticed he still sat further away from her than he normally would. She almost scooted over herself, then stopped. They were two guys together, and maybe she shouldn't... She turned to look at Spike more closely, and he endured her stare with patience. He looked the same as ever - the scar, those cheekbones, his eyes... and she searched inside herself for the familiar tingle she always felt when she looked at him, even when she'd hated herself for feeling it.
It wasn't there. All she saw was the sympathetic face of a friend (and when the hell did Spike move into that category?). So maybe Willow's theory was true after all... and then Spike smiled wrily at her continued gaze, raising one sardonic eyebrow, and Buffy suddenly felt a little glow of warmth in her belly and a faint stirring from slightly lower down, and she blushed and turned away in confusion. How could Spike still turn her on even when she was a straight man? Did that make her.... what? Bi-curious? And when she was a woman again, would she still be... no. Of course not; how ridiculous! She sternly turned her mind to more practical things.
"I - uh - I really do need some clothes. Shoes, if you've got a spare pair. And, um, maybe some underpants?"
Spike grinned. "So, I'll finally get you into my pants again?" He hastily got up before Buffy could decide to hit him, and went over to his laundry basket. Rummaging through it, he fished out two pairs of undergarments and tossed them in her direction. She caught them and held them gingerly.
"Are these clean?"
"Obviously." He sounded offended, then pointed in two directions. "That basket's clean laundry, that one's dirty. And yes, I could fold my stuff tidily away in a drawer somewhere except that a) big bad creature of the night here, and b) you haven't given me any drawers."
"We let you use our washing machine, though." Buffy held up the items of clothing in her hands and pursed her lips. "Briefs? Are boxers too modern for you, then?"
"Nah. It's a support thing. " He grinned wickedly. "You know how a bird with tiny tits can just wear a t-shirt, but the more well-endowed types need a bra? It's the same with me; I can't wear boxers."
"Oh. Yeah. Right." Buffy rolled her eyes and stuffed the briefs into her trouser waistband; she wasn't about to put them on with Spike watching. "Shoes? And socks?"
"Got a pair of old trainers here; you can try them on for size."
She did, and they pinched a little but didn't fit too badly. She smiled her thanks at the vampire, then got up to walk across the basement. A thought struck her, and she turned back to face him.
"Uh, Spike? I've never actually asked this before and it's something I ought to know. Do you shave? Vampires, I mean?"
"Not as a rule, no. Our hair tends to revert to however it was when we died, so unless you had a beard when you were turned, you never need to shave. Be difficult without a reflection, anyway."
"Oh. So what about, uh, the hair on your head? Because I do not believe people had hair like yours in Victorian times."
Spike grinned, ran his fingers through his hair. "The bleach keeps it short, stops it growing back so fast. Little trick I learned. Why do you think Angel likes his hairgel so much? Same reason. Stops him having to go around with that big girly bouncy big hairdo Angelus used to be so proud of."
Buffy stifled a giggle; she knew she shouldn't encourage Spike. But something puzzled her; she frowned and asked, "But I had a dream once - a Slayer dream, one of the true ones. It was about Angel, in the past, and he had a moustache. How was that possible?"
"Really? Angel with a 'tache? I'd love to have seen that. Was it a big bushy one? Or one of those poncy waxed jobs with curled-up ends - he'd have loved those?"
"No, just a normal one. I hated it, it looked like a big hairy caterpillar crawling on his lip."
"Maybe it actually was." Buffy laughed out loud at that. "Or perhaps he was in disguise? Or, I dunno, some sort of spell?"
"Speaking of, I ought to get back, see how Willow's doing. Pity; if you did shave I was hoping I could borrow your stuff. Or you could show me how to do it, at least?"
"Sorry, pet. Last time I needed to shave, I went to a barber shop in Marylebone and the barber did it for me with a straight razor for three ha'pennies."
"I... think I understood that. Oh well. Maybe I'll grow a beard."
"Can't you use the razor or whatever you use on your legs? It works just the same way, you know."
"Oh. I didn't think of that."
"Don't forget to pull the skin of your face taut!" he shouted after her as she ran up the stairs.
On to Chapter Five