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Some Tricks of Desperation (PG13)

Title Some Tricks of Desperation
Rating PG13
Prompt Hell is empty and all the devils are here.
Setting post-NFA, in a hellish LA
Words 750




Angel once told him about Wolfram and Hart's little morale-smasher. The whole Home Office/hell on Earth gig. Spike preferred not to believe the tale. His erstwhile employers, after all, had a less than stellar relationship with truth and honour. And, knowing Angel's weak spot for self-flagellation, what could have been better? Crush the guy, and spend nothing (except possibly some lift-maintenance fees, depending on how that gizmo worked). Cheapest setup ever.

Now, of course, it's a boringly literal truth. And this is where Spike wishes Angel wasn't now powder underfoot, because he would enjoy pointing out how much this demonstrates that Holland Manners was talking out of his arse. As, indeed, was Angelus himself when he implied that that whole 'suck the world into hell' plan was going to be a barrel of fun and gig.

This is actual hell on earth. As expected, it's bollocks. Bloody murder twice a day, six times on Sundays, and not a jot of interest. Spike even misses the sun in the sky, keeping him in his place half the day. Dull, now, with no balance or challenge to life. He can feed if he wants, free rein granted to all demonkind, though he mostly doesn't. Where's the fun? The humans are dying, bleeding out in a thousand tortured ways, and when you watch it all day, every day it loses savour.

His jeans are too loose. He hasn't smoked for a fortnight, maybe. Not that he's counting the days.

The Hell of the Apocalypse is fucking tedious, tbh.

He's staring down at his boots, noting the incipient hole at the left big toe, wondering where to source decent footwear amid Armageddon, when some very fancy shoes indeed hove into view. Red, shiny, high-heeled. Highly unsuitable for Judgment Day, which naturally makes him smile.

Somewhere deep within, he knows what he's going to see when his eyes lift. Not how. There's no transport of any viable sort. Humans are controlled and herded whenever seen in public, and even a tough Slayer will be inconveniently noticeable if she tries to move freely. And he hasn't heard from Buffy or her Slayer buddies since before any of this happened.

Buffy was in Rome. Now she's here, in the epicentre of hell, the City of Our Lady of Perpetual Torment or whatever they've renamed LA. Looking down at him with a half-smile, half-challenge, like in those precious few scattered days when they worked like a team. Not like enemies, nor hopeless lovers, not a madman and his nurse.

"Hi Spike," she says. "So, we need a warrior and I got your number from a friend…"

He's not hallucinating. 90% sure of that.

He doesn't speak. Doesn't know what to say, even – especially – if she's a figment. Didn't know what to say when he saw her from afar in Italy, with her nice shiny new life. And now, when he has so noticeably failed to save the world… Well. Not a lot to be said, is there?

She wrinkles her nose at his silence. "Spike? I'm not joking. We couldn't get here in time to stop it, but we're not going to lie down and die, right? We need to save the world. For all that stuff you talked about. Dog racing. Manchester United. People walking around like happy meals-" He can see she's not certain that one's such a great example. But heart-warming that she remembers his words from so long ago so very clearly. Heart-warming, and more, that she has tracked him down. "I want you on our side. Beside me. Please?"

Well. That's a handsome plea, and not one that he can ignore. A smattering of colour flashes across the grey and red of Hell. A bit of spice. A bit of promise. A chance for action and meaning. He stands up, sways badly from lack of nutrition and movement – fuck knows how long he was sat in that gutter, but he reckons it was at least a couple of days – and puts his hand in hers. "Hello, Slayer."

"Hello, Spike." She echoes his pointless formality. Then she gives him a quick, awkward hug, somewhere between old friends and former lovers. Not a trace of General Buffy, though she's the recruiting squad and no mistake.

"So, you're the Resistance, are you?"

"Yep. Or we are. If…?"

He gives her just a moment to be uncertain. Because a guy doesn't like to be taken for granted, present damnation emergency notwithstanding. "Yeah. Course I'm in."

*

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
rebcake
Jan. 7th, 2013 01:40 am (UTC)
He's staring down at his boots, noting the incipient hole at the left big toe, wondering where to source decent footwear amid Armageddon, when some very fancy shoes indeed hove into view. Red, shiny, high-heeled. Highly unsuitable for Judgment Day

Heh. And now footwear will stop him from drowning...

Yay! I love them as the resistance. (And good for him for not wanting to be taken for granted anyway.)
brutti_ma_buoni
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
Shoes are an important part of the Spuffy. Deny it not.
spuffy_luvr
Jan. 7th, 2013 06:50 am (UTC)
*Steps back and admires how you fit in so much with so little*

Heh, actual Hell is boring to a demon in it for the fun and excitement and *challenge* of terrorizing. Love that. And I love how you acknowledge that Spike's demon is still in there.

And where *would* you get good boots in Hell? The demons who bring on apocalypses, they never think of these things. LOL at the appearance highly unsuitable footwear.

The phrase "a madman and his nurse" gave me such a gutpunch.

I liked the callback to Angel, hopeless in the gutter. Very evocative of Spike's depression without needing to talk about it. You <- Clever.

The whole first paragraph is so Spike's way of thinking.

Would you think me weird if I kidnapped you and forced you to write for me all day long? :)
brutti_ma_buoni
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:41 pm (UTC)
It's the moment when we loved Spike first: when he pointed out how dull Hell would be. Bet he'd think about shoe procurement issues.

Would you think me weird if I kidnapped you and forced you to write for me all day long? :) *waves hands* Eh. Do I get lunch included?
spuffy_luvr
Jan. 8th, 2013 04:18 am (UTC)
Three square meals and I promise I won't hobble you or call you dirty bird. :)
red_satin_doll
Jan. 8th, 2013 09:44 pm (UTC)
And where *would* you get good boots in Hell? The demons who bring on apocalypses, they never think of these things. LOL at the appearance highly unsuitable footwear.

And of course, red ones at that. (Damn you DarkHorse and the horse you rode in on for robbing Buffy of every ounce of style.)

The phrase "a madman and his nurse" gave me such a gutpunch.

RIght there with you! the idea has been spelled out in a thousand fics, but rarely so simply and succinctly.
shapinglight
Jan. 7th, 2013 12:38 pm (UTC)
Of course he is.
brutti_ma_buoni
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:42 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't have it any other way. *g*
slaymesoftly
Jan. 7th, 2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
Awww - even if it all goes badly for them, at least he'll have this. *snorts at footwear comment*
brutti_ma_buoni
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks! They do well together, when the chips are down.
3hours
Jan. 8th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)
I am reminded of James Marsters going off on a tangent at the con I went to (and I'm sure he's told the same tale at others, many times) about how he doesn't get the comics, because now somehow Spike captains a space ship? And then he goes on and on about how he would have written Spike's comic arch post-NFA (which sadly had no Spuffy in it because James isn't into that (anymore)) but! It was about footwear. He pointed out very rationally that as a vampire who won't kill humans and won't get a job, Spike would not have any money. And eventually, he'd need new boots. And he had this big 'ol plot with a love interest that eventually left Spike and a grumpy woman shopkeeper and in the end, Spike managed to get himself new boots. You appear to be on the same wavelength as JM, is what I'm trying to say.

Also, I loved it very much!
red_satin_doll
Jan. 8th, 2013 09:41 pm (UTC)
(which sadly had no Spuffy in it because James isn't into that (anymore)

Well, poopie *pouts*

It turns out his ideas post-NFA aren't any better than Joss & DH's. Although maybe they'd fit "bored now" S9 just fine.
3hours
Jan. 8th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was a bit disappointing how anti-Spuffy he has become. I tell myself it's because he only remembers the bad bits and not all the good ones. It's been a long time after all, and he very likely does not re-watch like we do ;)

He was kinda geared on Sprusilla, but that may just have been because Juliet was sitting four feet away and the whole thing was focused on Spike & Dru of course!
waddiwasiwitch
Jan. 13th, 2013 10:38 pm (UTC)
Oh this was sad but hopeful there at the end. I enjoyed this muchly.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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