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Coming Up in the World

I kind of hesitated to post this, as it's the first part of something. I hope it will be finished by the end of the month (further parts using later prompts), but writing is like wading through treacle for me at the moment, and the warm weather doesn't help.

Still, there's always sb_ashtray, isn't there?

Setting: Somewhere in England post-series.
Rating: PG
For the prompt: What if Giles got in contact with Spike on Buffy's behalf after ten years apart?
1000 words.

Coming Up in the World



"It's done." Giles put down the phone.

"He'll meet with me?"

Buffy felt a pang of...she wasn't sure what. Just that it was a pang. Then she caught sight of the expression on Giles's face.

"Giles? Are you okay?"

Giles had gone all tight-lipped, stern ex-Watcher, something that rarely happened these days.

Buffy frowned. "What the hell did he say to you?"

For answer, Giles took off his glasses and began to polish them.

Buffy refrained - just about - from toe-tapping while she waited. Instead, she reminded herself sternly that Giles was nearly seventy now, and had spent half a lifetime being hit over the head multiple times in the line of duty. He'd earned his crankiness long ago. As long as....

"Giles?" she tried again. "That's not your I'm-secretly-planning-to-kill-Spike-for-Buffy's-own-good-again face, is it? Cuz we talked about that, remember, and decided it would only make things worse."

Giles put his glasses back on. He'd gotten more short-sighted recently and he peered at her, as if to make sure she was really her.

The thought reminded her - as if she needed reminding - that she'd turned thirty-two not so long ago.

You're no spring chicken yourself these days, Summers, whereas he...

Soul or not, Spike was still a vampire. An immortal, forever young vampire. When they met again for the first time in ten years - which delay was totally his fault, first for chickening out of coming to her in Rome, then for turning - well, not evil, but sort of demi-evil -he'd damn well better not act like he was sorry for her, that's all.

"I'm fine, Buffy," Giles said, rather stiffly. "Yes, he'll meet with you, and as for what he said to me, don't let it concern you. Spike and I are not friends. We never will be. In fact -" he sighed - "it appears he still knows exactly what to say to get my back up even after all these years. Extraordinary really."

Another pang, and this time Buffy recognised it for what it was. Guilt. Poor Giles!

"Sorry if he was an asshole to you, Giles. Guess it's kind of the thing he's best at. I knew I should've made the damn phone call myself."

Giles patted her on the shoulder. "It's all right, Buffy. I perfectly understand your reluctance. How many years has it been?"

"Ten," Buffy answered, at once. "Well," she qualified, "give or take. I mean, who's counting, right?"

Giles's eyes in their wrinkled folds were kindly. He didn't say, Well, you are.

Instead, he cleared his throat and turned businesslike.

"The meet's set for tomorrow night. I expected Spike to make conditions, or at least to baulk at you bringing an escort. But he appeared indifferent either way. Consequently, I suggest you take a large contingent of Slayers with you."

"No." Buffy shook her head. "That's not how this is going down." She grimaced. "Much though I hate to say it, we need him and we can't afford to antagonise him. I'm going alone."

Giles frowned. "Please reconsider, Buffy. Vampires are impressed by shows of strength. Best to give them one."

Buffy shook her head again. "There's only one vampire I care to make an impression on - " and that sounded kind of dirty, which she hadn't meant at all. She felt herself blushing as she continued.

"And I know for certain the greater the odds the more he'll be spoiling for a fight. I wanna keep this low key, Giles - peaceful. The fewer trigger-happy Bitty Slayers there are for him to preen in front of, the more likely that is to happen."

Giles was still frowning, but Buffy could see him weighing up her words and finding they had merit.

"I'll accompany you, then," Giles said. "Given our conversation, it appears Spike has only contempt for me these days, so there's unlikely to be any showing off on my account."

Buffy opened her mouth to refuse. Giles was supposed to be retired - not that he seemed to have realised it. But Willow was on sabbatical in another dimension, and she'd taken Dawn along with. That left only Xander to take care of the Slayer School in her absence, and Xander and Spike? Or Xander and any vampire?

Well, they still weren't mix-y things.

Besides, she'd need someone to drive her, since she'd gotten herself banned for the second time. All this to-ing and fro-ing across the Atlantic played havoc with your road sense.

Well, that was her excuse anyway.

"Okay," she said. "But you'd better stay in the car." Where you'll be safe. "Then, if there's any sign of trouble, I can jump in quick and you can hightail it out of there."

Giles blinked. "I fear it's very unlikely I'll find street parking outside the Walsingham."

"The Walsingham?" Buffy stared at him, uncomprehending. "That's a pub, right?"

It would be just like Spike - well, just like the Spike she'd known years ago - to insist their first meeting after so long take place in a pub. She would probably have to shout to make herself heard.

Or maybe - even worse - it was some demon bar? They still allowed smoking in those. Probably in the hope that demons would kill themselves off that bit quicker.

Giles shook his head. "The Walsingham's not a pub. It's a very high end, very discreet London hotel. So discreet, in fact, that they say if you haven't heard of it, you can't afford to stay there."

He looked embarrassed suddenly. "You might need to go shopping, Buffy. Spike told me to say.....well, his exact words were, 'tell the Slayer to dress posh.'"

"Oh," Buffy stared at him. That didn't sound like a Spike place at all.

After a moment, she felt her jaw drop. "You mean..."

"Yes." Giles nodded. "Contrary to what I thought, it would appear that when Spike calls himself king of the vampires, it's not an idle boast. He means it. Literally."

TBC with another of this month's prompts.

Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
slaymesoftly
Jul. 10th, 2013 06:10 pm (UTC)
Oh... You can't leave it at that! I'm totally intrigued!
shapinglight
Jul. 10th, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
There will be more once I've written it connected to one of the latest set of prompts.

Glad you liked it so far.
velvetwhip
Jul. 10th, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC)
I am quite intrigued and look forward to seeing where you are going with this!


Gabrielle
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I hope you won't be disappointed.
sueworld2003
Jul. 10th, 2013 06:52 pm (UTC)
This is such a great start. Sort of Spike does a Bill. *g*
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
Weirdly, until you mentioned it, I'd forgotten all about King Bill. But yes, I suppose I did do that. ;)
rahirah
Jul. 10th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC)
Innnnteresting!
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
I hope. ;)
spuffy_luvr
Jul. 10th, 2013 07:24 pm (UTC)
Must. Know. More. Now!

Please? :)
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
Er...well. Not right now, but there will be more soon. Hopefully early next week.
waddiwasiwitch
Jul. 10th, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh - love this set up. Consider me very intrigued indeed. :)
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:52 pm (UTC)
:) Thank you. Hope the follow up won't disappoint when I get around to writing it.
spikes_heart
Jul. 10th, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
Such a marvelous beginning. **sits down and impatiently waits for more**
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:53 pm (UTC)
:)

Thank you. I hope you'll like the next part once I've written it.
rebcake
Jul. 10th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
Okay, now I want Buffy to show 'im how it's done! Make his eyes pop, darlin'!

I loved Buffy's pegging of Spike's character:

the greater the odds the more he'll be spoiling for a fight. I wanna keep this low key, Giles - peaceful. The fewer trigger-happy Bitty Slayers there are for him to preen in front of, the more likely that is to happen

Heh. He's not the only one that's been paying attention all these years. ;-)

This is a grand start. Also, now I'm going to go think real hard about Spike in a smart suit. Mmmmmmmmm.
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:54 pm (UTC)
Okay, now I want Buffy to show 'im how it's done! Make his eyes pop, darlin'!

I'm pretty sure she can dress to impress when she wants to. ;)
red_satin_doll
Jul. 15th, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
now I want Buffy to show 'im how it's done! Make his eyes pop, darlin'!

Right? I hope she freakin' NAILS it - preferably in something slinky, sleeveless and low cut...

BTW - I don't recall your stance on the comics but one of the things I hated the minute I saw them? What the HELL happened to Buffy's sense of style and innate elegance? *pfft*
comlodge
Jul. 10th, 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
OMG. I don't want to wait! What an appetizer. King of the vampires.! I can forgive you making me wait for the follow up to this most excellent piece for this line

"That's not your I'm-secretly-planning-to-kill-Spike-for-Buffy's-own-good-again face, is it? Cuz we talked about that, remember, and decided it would only make things worse."

Loved it. Thanks for posting it. :D
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading. I'm glad you like it so far. :)
singedbylife
Jul. 10th, 2013 11:36 pm (UTC)
Oh what a delightful unintended birthday present for me!

As always, I find your Giles to be spot on. Love his voice. And Buffy too. A 32 year-old Buffy that is.

I can't wait to read the next chapter. Spike is a fancy hotel telling Buffy to dress posh. Really liking this and looking forward to the next installment.

I rather like that Spike may have pushed one of Giles' guilt buttons btw.
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:55 pm (UTC)
Oh what a delightful unintended birthday present for me!

It was your birthday? I'm so sorry I missed it. The stupid new home page doesn't tell me like it used to, and I don't know how to make it.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed this. :)
treadingthedark
Jul. 11th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
Ooooh! Very intriguing.
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you liked it. ;)
zanthinegirl
Jul. 11th, 2013 06:34 am (UTC)
I'm officially intrigued! Fascinating world you're building here.

Err, you're feeling inspired, right? Right?
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC)
Hmm, re-asonably inspired. Which is about as good as it gets for me these days.

There will definitely be more, hopefully early next week.
kikimay
Jul. 11th, 2013 09:35 am (UTC)
Really interesting!
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I Hope it continues to be. ;)
timeofchange
Jul. 11th, 2013 11:37 am (UTC)
More please!!!!! Also, hi!
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC)
:Waves:

Lovely to see you, as always. And more next week, I hope.
kerry_220
Jul. 11th, 2013 12:52 pm (UTC)
Always fun and frustrating to be left wanting more!
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:58 pm (UTC)
;)

Glad it was fun, and hopefully the frustration will be over early next week.
chasingdemons
Jul. 12th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)
King of the vampires? Hmmmm. What has our Spike been up to all these years? What's fun is that I can't imagine Spike in this role, and yet I know when you write it he will be completely recognizable. Can't wait!
shapinglight
Jul. 12th, 2013 01:59 pm (UTC)
:)

Oh, I think he'd make a lovely king. Er...well, maybe not.

Thanks for reading, love. Glad you liked it.
brutti_ma_buoni
Jul. 14th, 2013 05:19 pm (UTC)
Eek! I like how this is setting up. What on earth has Spike been doing? And did he negotiate the smoking policy in demon bars? Eager readers when you get to the next part!
shapinglight
Jul. 16th, 2013 11:30 am (UTC)
And did he negotiate the smoking policy in demon bars?

It wouldn't surprise me. :)
kidcyclone
Jul. 15th, 2013 11:21 am (UTC)
I love the voice and Buffy/Giles's dialogue. I also love the little aside about smoking still being allowed in demon bars. And the premise is brilliant! I look forward to reading more, thank you for sharing this.
shapinglight
Jul. 16th, 2013 11:33 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading! :)
red_satin_doll
Jul. 15th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC)
What? We've got to wait for more prompts? Oh screw the prompts I want more! You're just EEEVIIIILLLL....

"That's not your I'm-secretly-planning-to-kill-Spike-for-Buffy's-own-good-again face, is it? Cuz we talked about that, remember, and decided it would only make things worse."

Too many lines to name a favorite but this MIGHT be it? This is 100% Buffy; her voice here is nigh-on perfect.

Guilt. Poor Giles!

Hmmm, do I detect just a hint of ...sarcasm?

"No." Buffy shook her head. "That's not how this is going down."

Again, perfect.

since she'd gotten herself banned for the second time. All this to-ing and fro-ing across the Atlantic played havoc with your road sense.

Well, that was her excuse anyway.


Hee. that's her story and she's stickin' to it.
shapinglight
Jul. 16th, 2013 11:33 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

There will hopefully be more very soon. :)
seapealsh
Jul. 18th, 2013 03:45 am (UTC)
Ooh, this is starting off well.
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 09:20 am (UTC)
Thank you. I hope I can finish it well too.
hello_spikey
Jul. 18th, 2013 06:16 am (UTC)
welll well well! *clap clap clap* Exciting! Interesting! Intriguing. Ah, poor Giles. Great Buffy and Giles moments... and what is Spike up to these days?
*mwah* I shower you with encouragements.
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 09:20 am (UTC)
:)

Thank you. How about you? Any fanfic in the offing, or are you too busy?
hello_spikey
Jul. 24th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)
Well, I just now got to reading the comment notification for this so... yeah, busy busy busy! OMG!

*mwah*
shapinglight
Jul. 25th, 2013 09:21 am (UTC)
:Hugs:
( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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