A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
Buffy and Spike get sucked into a 'verse not their own.Warnings:
Rated R for strong language.Author's Note:
This story goes AU pretty much in the second paragraph. In terms of where in the Buffy timeline it takes place, think season six in place of Dead Things
. And as long as I'm going AU anyway, I'm gonna change a few other things as well (but not the fact of the Season Six Spike and Buffy Sex Hour
Along those same lines, character behavior is dancing on the border of canon. While I personally can picture them behaving the way they're behaving under this specific set of circumstances, there is ample room for disagreement. And that's cool. I don't expect you to agree with me completely, but I hope you'll sit back and enjoy the ride anyway.
One other thing — just to maintain the convention of vampires not casting a reflection, in this fiction, you can't use an SLR camera (with its mirror) or silver-coated film to capture the image of a vampire. This is in direct opposition to what we've seen on the show, but I needed to resolve that discrepancy for the beginning of the story.
Characters and worlds are owned by various entities, none of whom are me (duh!), but some of whom include Joss Whedon, Paramount and Mutant Enemy. 1. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
They fought with the intensity of two predators determining who would win a tasty piece of meat. Whether the meat was for food or sex was still up in the air. What was not in question was their total focus on each other. Their focus was so complete than neither noticed the light show forming around them.
He flipped her so she landed on her back, slightly dazed. When he came to stand over her, she lifted her legs to kick him back. The sound of plastic colliding with metal just barely registered on her consciousness. She didn't notice the suddenly bright area, because she was too determined to have the last word in this argument.
She stalked over to him — he had hit his head when he landed — and lifted him by the front of his shirt to drag him back into the fight. At that point, he started struggling. "Blood hell, Sl —"
He was interrupted by a tall, vicious-looking demon. It seemed to be saying something, but all she heard was growling. And he was pointing something at them. Great. A demon with a toy. Just what she needed tonight. She dropped Spike, then rushed the intruder, kicking out to get the thing out of its hand. Her aim was a little off, though, and she ended up kicking the hand instead (nice, satisfying crunch to that). No matter. It let go of the toy.
It screamed its outrage and defiance, and the battle was on. The prelude with Spike had been a nice warm-up to this unexpected main event. Give the demon its due, it knew how to fight. It was using moves she hadn't seen before. She took careful note of them, so she could counter them. And practice them in training.
They fought for several minutes, though given their mutual intensity, it could have been days. She heard voices — some raised in anger, others quieter — but for the most part, she shut them out. It was then that she saw it. There was a weakness in one of its attacks. It wasn't much of a weakness, but it was the only one she'd seen. She maneuvered the demon back into position for it to use the move again, and when it did, she took the opening.
It worked far better than she could have hoped. It was on its knees and she was on its back, twisting its head to break the neck when —
She froze instantly, then looked around for him. She wasn't happy with the interruption. "Demon!" She wasn't angry. Inarticulate rage was closer to the mark.
"Not." He pointed to something, and she looked to see.
"Look." Why did he have to sound like a teacher dealing with a dim-witted child?
"Buffy — what do you see?" She hated it when he used that tone of voice. It reminded her of Giles when at his most sarcastic.
"Seven humans, a couple of demons and one that might be a demon."
He blinked, then looked again. "Which is the one that might be a demon?"
"Black curly hair, big black eyes. Might be a witch, but she kind of reminds me of that guy Cordy dated in Pylea. She said he had big black eyes, but he looked mostly human."
On a bark of laughter, he said, "Who'd be dim enough to go out with Cordelia?"
From her position on the back of the demon, she smiled sweetly and said, "I don't know. Maybe someone dim enough to date Cordelia's bestest high school buddy. Gee. Who was that again?"
"You're one to talk. Do I really need to mention Parker? And you're still threatenin' to kill that bloke," he added the last, just in case she'd forgotten.
She looked at him in disbelief and said, "'Bloke?' Now you're best buddies with it?"
"No, but killing him won't be on the agenda tonight," he said as he patted his pockets, looking for smokes.
"Why not?" She still hadn't relaxed her position. She was ready to twist its neck as soon as Spike got to whatever point he was wandering around.
"Some Chosen One you are. Look at what they're wearing." He found the pack and his lighter, then tapped out a cigarette, packing it down on the hard pack.
She looked again. There were different colors, but they all wore the same uniform. Except for the might-be demon — she was wearing some godawful purple unitard.
"Now look at what your bloke's wearing," he said in a slow sing-song designed for maximum snark. He lifted the cigarette to his mouth and lit it.
She looked down. He had on the same kind of uniform as the others. "So? Maybe they're a branch of the Initiative."
He growled. "No, you stupid bint! They are not
Initiative. Fer Chrissakes, you've known Harris how long and you still haven't put two and two together? How many times has he dragged you sorry lot over for a marathon?"
She looked puzzled at first, then comprehension dawned slowly. "Oh. Which one is this?"
"I think it's the second — yep. There's the wanker with the beard. It's the second one."
She looked down at the demon — no, it's a Klingon? — and said, "Um, Spike? Suggestions?"
"You got a tiger by the toe, pet. If he hollers, let him go," he said before he burst out laughing.
"You don't need to be so amused by this. Dammit." She took a deep breath. No one was moving.
She took another deep breath, then said to it — him, "Look, I don't want to kill you. I thought you were something else. I didn't realize you were — well — that you're — Look, I suck at apologizing."
"Got that right," Spike said as he doubled over.
"Shut up, Spike." Another deep breath, then try again. "What I'm trying to say is that I want to let you go. I won't try to kill you, if you won't try to kill me."
Long silence, then, in a voice deeper than the Hellmouth, "Today is a good day to die. You are a worthy adversary. I am honored to meet my death at your hands."
She looked up at the others, her mouth hanging open in disbelief. "Is he kidding? He's kidding, right?"
The one with the beard said, in a disgusted tone of voice, "No. He's not kidding. He means it."
"But I don't want to kill him," she said in an almost-whine. "If I'd known he wasn't a — It was a mistake — on my part. And I'm sorry about that. But I won't let go of him if he's just gonna try and kill me."
The guy with the beard — what the hell was his name, and why couldn't Xander be here instead of Spike? — nodded and said, "Worf, agree to her terms."
"No. Today is an excellent
day to die," he said with a feral grin.
"I will not!" Worf was starting to feel offended by his crewmates' lack of understanding. Never before had he met anyone to match the pure fury on his back.
Buffy wanted to kick him, but she couldn't do it without moving from her position and freeing him. She also wanted very much to kick Spike, who was literally rolling on the floor now, laughing his ass off.
She looked up at the bearded guy, waiting for him to make an order or something. Then the woman in the unitard stepped forward and said, "Worf, it was a mistake. She's already acknowledged that. She doesn't want to kill you. In fact, she's rather embarrassed by all this."
"She is a worthy adversary. I've never met any like her before and will not again. I am honored to die at her hands." Buffy was starting to get the idea that maybe he was enjoying this a little too much. Friggin' drama queen.
She looked at Beardy and said, "You're not the in-charge guy, are you?"
"Balls! Can't you get anything to settle in that brain of yours that's other'n slayin'?" Spike's disgust was palpable. "The word, pet, is captain
. D'you think you could possibly remember that?"
"Shut up, Spike," she said without turning to look at him. "So. You're not the captain, right? Maybe the captain could convince him."
The look on Beardy's face didn't bode well for Worf. Still, he did tap that brooch and say, "Riker to Captain Picard."
"Yes, Number One?" The voice came out of hidden speakers. Buffy turned to Spike with a horrified look on her face and mouthed Number one???
It just made him laugh all the harder.
"We have a situation in shuttle bay two. Your presence is required."
Buffy wondered if Beardy had a baseball bat up his ass.
"On my way. Picard out."
She looked at the uniforms standing in the doorway. The gold one was holding something in his hand. He pointed it at Buffy, but the look on her face convinced him to lower it. He said, "This is a tricorder. It is not a weapon."
She knew he was probably telling the truth. One of the reasons Xander liked the series so much was that everyone was honest and everything on the ship was nice and clean. Still — "What's it do?"
"It allows me to gather information about lifeforms and inorganic objects. I simply wanted to determine your species."
"I find that highly unlikely," he answered in an even tone. Spike, who had started to calm down finally, burst into a fresh peal of laughter.
"Shut UP, Spike!" It was said in stereo by Buffy and Beardy — Riker.
"Likely or not, I am," she said defensively.
"If I may?" he asked, holding it up.
She rolled her eyes, sighed, then said, "Fine. Whatever. But one wrong move —" She ignored the thoughtful expression on Unitardy's face.
Goldy considered her statement, then said, "I understand. There will be no 'wrong' moves. But I need to be somewhat closer."
"No closer than five feet."
"Agreed." She was impressed. There was no hesitation, no waffling, no bargaining. He pointed the recorder at her and walked around the two of them in a circle that maintained the agreed-to five-foot distance. His face showed absolutely no expression when the circle was complete and he was looking at the readings.
"You are, indeed, human. But your strength and speed are anomalous. As is the fact that you have maintained that precise position for five minutes without so much as a twitch. If you were a normal human, you would be experiencing muscle fatigue by now."
"What can I say? I live clean, eat right and brush my teeth every night," she answered in the same sunshine-up-your-ass tone that used to make Giles crazy.
"Bollocks! You call what you do to me livin' clean? You're enough t'make Caligula blush," Spike said.
"Remind me to stake you when we get back home."
"Hmm...that would be a bit of good, gettin' you back into that strap-on..."
She let loose with a snarl that set Worf's blood humming and zinging through his veins. It didn't matter that she was human. She was fierce. She was a warrior. She would have made an excellent mate. But he would die today. He was certain of it.
In the midst of the byplay and snarling, the door to the shuttle bay opened, and the master of the vessel stepped through. He took everything in at a glance. He didn't speak loudly, but everyone — including Spike, amazingly enough — shut up when he said, "May I ask why my chief of security is about to have his neck broken?"
Beardy — Riker (remember that!) said, "Ensign Baylor, Troi and Data were working in here when they noticed an anomaly. Data called for security, and by the time Worf and I arrived, these two had fallen through the disturbance. They were fighting. When Worf told them to stop or he would fire, the woman disarmed him. They fought, and she — she gained the advantage."
Buffy just barely kept the gloating off her face. She seemed to remember Xander telling her one time that a Klingon could take her down in hand-to-hand. Riker was still talking and said, "She was about to deliver the killing blow when the man stopped her. She admits to making a mistake and wants to end the standoff, but Worf keeps saying it's a good day to die. He won't accept her apology."
The captain took a deep breath — hard enough to draw his nostrils closed — then blinked. He looked at Buffy and said, "You disarmed him?"
"You disarmed a Klingon male in the prime of his life?"
Spike started snorting, though to be fair, it was because he was trying not to laugh. "Well. Yeah. But I didn't know he wasn't a de — I thought he was something else. I just want to let go and know he won't try to kill me, but he's not agreeing to it," she said, glaring at Worf's ear.
"Mr. Worf? Agree to her terms," he said quietly.
"No. Today is a good —"
"I don't recall giving you an option, Lieutenant."
"But, sir!" One look from the captain had him saying (growling), "Agreed."
Buffy was impressed. The captain never once raised his voice. He didn't even glare. Giles would be impressed. Geez — what the hell was she thinking? Giles hated this show. She let go of Worf's head slowly. Just because he agreed to her terms didn't mean he might not take a swipe at her as she stepped away.
At last, she could step back to the questionable comfort of Spike's presence. She kicked him to get him to stop giggling. "Oi!"
No one spoke. Finally, Data said, "I am confused, Commander Riker. You referred to a second intruder, but I only see one — the young woman who very nearly killed Worf."