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Fic: Have Stake, Will Slay

Title: Have Stake, Will Slay
Creator: drizzlydaze
Rating: PG
Setting: S3, post-Anne AU
Word count: 1000
Prompt: Boo-Dunit
A/N: A la Angel Investigations, Buffy opens a detective agency in LA. A bit much to fit in a oneshot, so it's a little odd.



It was a small office in a big building. The funds had been provided anonymously by a company or a very powerful person, known only to her by the sigil of a wolf. A year since she had given up her apartment to Lily—Anne, now. Longer still since she’d left Sunnydale.

The sign on the door read ‘Summer Investigations’, with a subtitle of ‘Have Stake, Will Slay’. Sunlight flooded through the single large window behind her desk, papers strewn across it held only in place by a single stake that seemed dangerously close to rolling off the pile. ‘Summer Winters, PI’ was embossed across the gold nameplate, an obvious pseudonym which she considered embarrassingly but addictively whimsical. (She’d heard Giles was searching for her, and this name along with the motto ought to have been a dead giveaway, but her mystery sponsor had done away any worry regarding that.)

Business was good. Research should’ve been a problem, but she got lucky. Or unlucky. Jury was still out on that.

“I have the necessary volumes,” he said, stumbling into the room. She plucked the heaviest tomes from his arms and set them atop the table, and he nodded in thanks. “Courtesy of, well, my personal library. I just had the books shipped over to my apartment.”

“I’ll take these.” She picked up the slimmest works she could find.

He heaved a put-upon sigh. “Naturally, naturally.”

And if he were a little stuffy, a little clumsy, a little awkward… well, he was good with research. He also brought recent news of Sunnydale, although he always sounded as though he were holding something back when she asked how the Scoobies alone could have possibly coped with a rogue Slayer and the villainous Mayor.

They researched till night fell (well, Wesley researched and Buffy took regular toilet breaks and donut runs), at which time Wesley finally let out the much-anticipated exclamation of discovery. “Ah-ha!”

“Ah-ha?”

“Ah-ha!”

But before he could exposit, the bell over the door tinkled with the promise of a new client.

“Summer Investigations, how may I…” She looked to the door. “…help you?” Her jaw dropped.

Seeing her befuddled expression, Wesley gave her a quizzical look and turned towards the door himself. “Yes?”

The stranger in the doorway looked just as stricken—then amusement took over his features. “Well, well,” he drawled in a coarse British accent. “What have we here? Itsy bitsy Slayer playing grown up.”

Wesley shot up as though burned. “Who are you? How did you know to come here?”

Buffy stood up now, waving Wesley down. “Chill.” But her eyes were still pinned on the man at the door. “It’s just Spike.”

“S-S-Spike?” Wesley squeaked out. “William the Bloody? Slayer of Slayers?”

“The one and only.”

“Then it’s hardly an occasion to ‘chill’!” He groped around the desk and held out a stapler. “Stay back!”

Spike arched an eyebrow. “Gonna staple me to death, are you?”

The stapler clattered to the floor; Wesley fumbled for a cross, finally settling on a bottle of regular water. “I warn you, I have been specially trained to bless this water!”

Equal parts impatient and entertained, Spike turned towards Buffy.  “What’s with Percy?”

“Former Watcher.”

“Hm. Figures.” He took a moment to survey the terrified Wesley again with a newfound appreciation before addressing her. “Got a job for you.”

“I don’t take jobs from vampires, especially you. See that sign on the door?” She held up Mr Pointy. “Will slay.”

“Can take the girl from the Hellmouth, can’t take the Hellmouth from the girl.”

“I’ll always be the Slayer.”

Strangely enough, he smiled. “So. About this job…”

“Which part of ‘no’ do you not understand?”

“The part where you get to say ‘no’. You think you have a choice?” He leaned closer to her. “I’d wager you’re hidin’ away from your sunshine crew, and you’d mind very much if I let slip where you are.”

“Not if you’re not around to tell.”

Wesley was backing himself against the wall as far as he could. “I think we should help him,” he managed, voice quavering. “Even if you do possess the skill to slay him, he could easily run off to Sunnydale before you have the chance.”

“Ten points to Watcher boy!” Smirking, Spike leaned against the door. “Just one little job…” He glanced at the nameplate. “…Summer Winters? Really?”

She crossed her arms. “Talk. Fast.”

“Three words.” He turned serious, holding up a finger with each word. “Gem of Amara.”

~~~~~

She figured she’d stake Spike when his guard was down. In the meantime, it’d be useful to find this Gem and destroy it.

It ought to have been easy; surely in the following weeks she’d find the opportunity to stake him for good. And yet—

“What’s this?” Spike, twitchy as always, took up the sponsor’s calling card.

It was the 62nd ‘what’s this’ he’d uttered in the past weeks. She’d counted. “Put it down.” Her fingers closed around the stake in her pocket.

He tilted his head, squinting at the printed wolf. “Hm. Looks diabolical. Sure you haven’t sold your soul to the devil?”

She didn’t answer, head bent over books. She heard the flick of his lighter. “Don’t smoke,” she said without looking up. She could practically feel his sulk, but he didn’t light up.

“You ought to help with research,” Wesley suggested.

Spike threw him a look. “I’m hiring you.”

“And not paying very well, at that.”

“Well, I’m threatenin’ you. Figured that meant a discount, seein’ as you’re lucky I’m payin’ at all.”

Her fingers twitched around the stake as she looked up to give him a murderous glare.

He wasn’t looking at her, but she could see his face well, lit up with a childish smile. He was a reminder of times past, of her greatest failure—yet there he was, looking for all the world like an innocent, silly human, and she had grown strangely accustomed to his presence.

Tomorrow, she decided. Stakage tomorrow.


Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
hello_spikey
Oct. 27th, 2012 03:26 pm (UTC)
What an interesting AU! I love it. :) Wouldn't mind seeing more of it, either. *clap clap*
drizzlydaze
Oct. 28th, 2012 08:58 am (UTC)
Yay, glad you liked it.
quinara
Oct. 27th, 2012 03:35 pm (UTC)
Eee! This is excellent. I love the idea of Buffy the PI - and with Wesley as her sidekick, no less.
drizzlydaze
Oct. 28th, 2012 08:59 am (UTC)
It was really fun writing them together.
zanthinegirl
Oct. 27th, 2012 04:03 pm (UTC)
I know this is a one off, but I absolutely love the idea of Spike, Buffy and Wesley running a detective agency. Hee! And is that bad wolf from an evil law firm? Just pointing out that there are a lot more stories in this 'verse!
drizzlydaze
Oct. 28th, 2012 08:59 am (UTC)
Ooh, someone got it! Yes, the sponsor was supposed to be the wolf from Wolfram and Hart.
rebcake
Oct. 27th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
Nifty! I've got to chime in with the others in wanting more of this 'verse!

Stapler fu! Perfect.
drizzlydaze
Oct. 28th, 2012 09:00 am (UTC)
Perfect icon is perfect. :D
annapurna_2
Oct. 27th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Love this! All of the voices are spot on. I love Dark Wesley, but I have such a soft spot for post-Sunnydale/pre-Dark Wesley Wesley.

Heh.

Wesley was backing himself against the wall as far as he could.

Hee! Smart man.

“You ought to help with research,” Wesley suggested.

Spike threw him a look. “I’m hiring you.”

“And not paying very well, at that.”

“Well, I’m threatenin’ you. Figured that meant a discount, seein’ as you’re lucky I’m payin’ at all.”


ROFL!

I am totally head-over-heels in love with this premise! I soooo hope you do more in this AU 'verse. Buffy, Spike and Wesley. What an awesome and hilarious team! ::happy sigh::
drizzlydaze
Oct. 28th, 2012 09:01 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! Yes, I realised there was a lot more to explore as I was writing it (and cutting it for the word limit).
brutti_ma_buoni
Oct. 27th, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
This is a proper new AU, you know. Totally original afaik. You should definitely play with them some more!
drizzlydaze
Oct. 28th, 2012 09:02 am (UTC)
Whoo, looks like demand is high. I do think this 'verse would be fun to explore!
spuffy_luvr
Oct. 27th, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
It's unanimous. You must write more.

But I'm curious, why isn't Wesley letting Giles know where she is? I know, no room to explain everything with only 1000 words. I could so see Wesley doing that though - not to betray her, but because he would have seen how much Giles worried.
drizzlydaze
Oct. 28th, 2012 09:07 am (UTC)
Hm, I actually did cut quite a bit of explanations/expositions in this AU to keep to the word count... but this was one that somehow didn't occur to me. Whoops!

Perhaps he didn't want her to know Angel was alive. Or, if Faith poisoned Angel again in this, that he'd died again. Or him and the Scoobies parted on very bad terms in this 'verse. Or a certain sponsor is keeping him silent (yes, seems much more likely than the others).
readerjane
Oct. 28th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)
"Strangely accustomed," that's lovely,.
drizzlydaze
Oct. 28th, 2012 09:03 am (UTC)
Thanks, I actually took a while to think on how to wrap it up.
kikimay
Oct. 28th, 2012 09:58 am (UTC)
I would love to see Buffy and Wesley working together! Nice AU!
drizzlydaze
Oct. 29th, 2012 10:36 am (UTC)
It would be fun, wouldn't it? Thanks!
timeofchange
Oct. 28th, 2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
Love, love, love!!!!!
drizzlydaze
Oct. 29th, 2012 10:36 am (UTC)
Thank you!
thisficklemob
Oct. 28th, 2012 10:09 pm (UTC)
Well, if the Gem is where it was in canon, then maybe this job brings her home...

And, Wolfram&Hart? Worrisome...
drizzlydaze
Oct. 29th, 2012 10:38 am (UTC)
Oh yes, my thoughts exactly.

They do meddle in LA business... Also, I needed a convenient all-powerful sponsor to help her.
shapinglight
Oct. 30th, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
I really love this. Any chance you'll continue it? There's always the Ash Tray.
drizzlydaze
Nov. 9th, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
It does seem like there's quite a bit to explore in this 'verse, so I most probably will continue. I haven't decided if I'll continue in a proper chaptered story on some archive or just ashtray drabbles, though.
waddiwasiwitch
Oct. 31st, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
Oh this made me smile. I would love to see more of it. :)
drizzlydaze
Nov. 9th, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
Heh, demand is high. I will probably write more of this 'verse. ^^
red_satin_doll
Mar. 3rd, 2013 02:14 am (UTC)
Late reply is late...
May I add my voice to those requesting more explorations of this verse? (This has the potential to be something along the lines of the Rulesverse, I think.) I would have never have thought of S3 Wesley and Buffy working together in this way and you have got his voice down wonderfully. I generally don't read early seasons AU Spuffy fic but this has me genuinely intrigued - there's so many details you have me wondering about! (Like, does Willow end up going gay a bit earlier if Faith is the only rogue slayer, or does she get into her dark magics sooner in an effort to battle against Faith? And how disastrous will that turn out? What does W&H want with Buffy? Questions, questions.)

embarrassingly but addictively whimsical

I have no idea why I love this phrase so much, I just do. Buffy's still such a girl at heart.

“Ah-ha!”

“Ah-ha?”

“Ah-ha!”


This is just - perfect. I can hear both of their voices here - how do you manage that with so few words?

Itsy bitsy Slayer playing grown up.

“Gonna staple me to death, are you?”

*lol* Oh Spike - again, just so perfect. And you've not overused a lot of the phrases that I see in fanfiction, but you convey the sense and attitude of him so so well. (Nice call back to Buffy's office supply store dream, btw.)

“I warn you, I have been specially trained to bless this water!”

*lmao* Sheer perfection.

It was the 62nd ‘what’s this’ he’d uttered in the past weeks. She’d counted.

I bet. Why do I love bossyBuffy? IDK Again, you get her voice just right.



drizzlydaze
Mar. 3rd, 2013 05:38 am (UTC)
Re: Late reply is late...
I love your long comments! I'm really glad my Spike isn't stale, sometimes I get worried about writing in his voice. Truth be told, I totally forgot about her office supply store dream; I even had to search up the reference. Nice coincidence, anyway. It was surprisingly fun writing idiot!Wesley (idiot! probably isn't the most fitting prefix, but...).

Yes, I do plan on writing more on this verse, but I don't know when! I'm working on an actual longfic right now which may take some time. Then there's the matter of getting an actual story to go with this drabble, or the option of writing more unconnected drabbles in the verse first.
red_satin_doll
Mar. 5th, 2013 12:33 am (UTC)
Re: Late reply is late...
It was surprisingly fun writing idiot!Wesley (idiot! probably isn't the most fitting prefix, but...).

I wasn't sure if there was a generally accepted prefix for him during this period (as opposed to Dark!Wesley). I can tell he was fun for you to write because he was a lot of fun to read!

Sometimes I think a lot of drabbles can be the "way in", but then again I suck when it comes to plot or structure. I've written two fanfic pieces ten years ago that I'm actually proud of *shameless plus alert* - one is a drabble or ficlet for the Hours I just put up on my LJ; the other was a Moulin Rouge fanfic four chapters long, but they could be read as four individual short stories with the barest hint of connection.

And of course the Barbverse and the Rulesverse are far more accomplished examples of combining multi-chapter stories enriched with shorter drabbles and ficlets. But then I swear Barb and BMB have utterly inexhaustible imaginations (and discipline!)
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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