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Tarnished Armour

Author Brutti ma buoni
Title Tarnished Armour
Rating PG
Words 900
Setting a few months after Not Fade Away
Prompt Surely you joust



“Shut up, Spike. You know I’m great with weapons training. Just gimme a new thing, and I’m like master weapon user in an hour. How hard can horse riding be-e-ee-ee?”

He could tell that the Slayer was regretting those words even before the horse broke into a trot that had her jostling and jolting like a sack of spuds on its broad, placid back. Daft wench. Just because she was a little allergic to the word champion these days, no reason to ignore his sensible and reasonable offer to be the one to fight a ghostly joust in her stead, on the primary grounds that he knew how to ride a horse and therefore only had to worry about sticking the pointy end of the stick into the bad guy. (He had a feeling it was a little more complex than that. But, basically, his point stood.)

After about twenty minutes, the Slayer was nowhere near convincing on horseback, oddly enough. Definitely nowhere near steady enough to pick up a lance, anyway. She jolted painfully towards him, and leapt out of the saddle. That part, at least, looked pretty good.

“Okay, Mister. You show me what you got.” She didn’t admit anything, but he knew she’d seen sense.

It was more than a touch ren faire, this place, but Spike was grateful for it. Not too many spots in the Midwest where you could tilt at a quintain for practice. He spent a little time getting acquainted with the horse, who was pancake-flat of temperament and about as exciting of gait. Well, he shouldn’t fall off, anyway. Been a while... coupla decades, he estimated, and even then only because Dru loved being swept up on a charger. Which was hard to pull off on a dude ranch, but he’d done it for her all the same. Now he’d tilt and joust and all the rest that Buffy needed from him, and maybe this would be the quest that finally won her back.

He hoped. Six months since he’d crawled home to the Slayer Council (not his home in all technical senses, admittedly, but it contained the love of his unlife, and nowhere else felt right). He was still paying for the ten months of silence before that. Hard not to admit that he deserved it, but he’d had in mind a penance of a couple of weeks, tops. Bloody woman.

He decided to show her a little gallantry. Sort of thing that would win Dru’s heart. “Okay love, here we go. How hard can it be?”

Him and his big fucking mouth. Of course it was hard. Medieval types kept quintains up for their lads to practice every spare moment, because on a shifting mass of horseflesh, it’s not exactly simple to balance a ten foot pole and hit a foot-square target. He flailed, a lot, before finally getting to the point of taking to the lists. Buffy was waving at him, urgently. He waved back, aiming for debonair.

Walk, trot, canter, aim for the target. He missed, badly, and the quintain’s second arm swung round in inevitable retribution. Sometimes when you missed you got a bucket of water to the face; sometimes a sandbag in mid-back just knocked you off your perch. It had been a sandbag, earlier, but turned out one of the things Spike had hit with his ten foot pole was the sandbag, which had fallen off because the wooden arm it had dangled from was broken. That was why Buffy had been trying to get his attention. Pointy splintered wood, heading right for Spike’s back, and he turned his head and thought all this in considerably less time than it takes to tell, before it clobbered him around the middle of the chest.

No. He didn’t dust. The broken quintain arm had nothing like the power needed to push through muscle and bone to his heart from that angle. But fuck, it was a bad moment. And it knocked him off balance, of course, and he fell off the horse, onto his pointy wooden lance, which splintered as he hit the ground.

He lived. He didn’t even get the wind knocked out of him, this being one of the advantages of vampiredom. But he was seeing pretty stars by the time Buffy had sprinted the length of the lists and flung herself down at his side.

“You’re okay. You’re okay!” She was reassuring herself more than him. “You didn’t see it break, and I thought-“

“M fine, love,” he said, debonair-itude somewhat deflated but still very much the aim. “First time’s always a bit rocky, right?”

She looked up towards the broken quintain, and left and right to the splintered pieces of his lance. “There’s not going to be a second time. I bet Giles or Wes can joust. It’s the kind of garbage they learned at Watcher school. They can slay Sir Belvedere. This is way too dangerous for vampires.” And she kissed him, properly.

Turned out six months of penance and almost getting dusted was enough for Buffy to be satisfied he was sorry. He kissed back, deeply grateful.

When she eventually raised her head, she said, “We have two new rules, okay? One, no more wooden toys. Two, next time you die and get resurrected, you CALL ME FIRST.”

Bossy bint. He kissed her again, to distract her from the fact he wasn’t actually agreeing to all her terms. Bloke needs a little risk in his life, doesn’t he?

***

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
kikimay
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, he does, the stupid vampire! :D
Once again: very lovely fic. Both Buffy and Spike are IC!
rebcake
Oct. 24th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Gracious! That was a close one! I'm glad to see Buffy put her foot (and her grudge) down! And we all know that Giles can seat a horse, at least.

This was great.

I'm thinking a few more incidents like this and Spike will be engaging in all sorts of risky behavior in order to soften the Slayer. She'll catch on, though.
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 24th, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, that seems so like both of them! A reunion should never be *too* easy, and of course it would take thinking he was about to die to make her forgive him! (I bet they're fighting again in a few hours though.)

I couldn't figure out at first why she would be allergic to 'champion', and then I got it. *sniffles*

Now we need a training montage with Spike's face superimposed over Heath Ledger's.
slaymesoftly
Oct. 24th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
Hee! Funny and schmoopy, and very them. Of course she made him grovel for a good long while. :)
shapinglight
Oct. 24th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
Blimey, that was a nasty moment. I'm glad you weren't going for irony here.
zanthinegirl
Oct. 25th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
aww! That was adorable, and just what I needed this morning!

M fine, love,” he said, debonair-itude somewhat deflated but still very much the aim.

Hee! So Spike!
hello_spikey
Oct. 25th, 2012 08:15 pm (UTC)
Hee! Lovely. Well done. Poor Spike. Dangerous wooden implements all around!
*clap clap* Unfairly awesome, as usual. HEE. Buffy is more than reasonable, in my estimation. But men never are. :P
waddiwasiwitch
Oct. 31st, 2012 10:26 am (UTC)
This was lovely. I could totally imagine it happening this way.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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