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Subject to Change

Finally managed to write the next part of my ten years gone story. A sequel to Coming Up in the World. Sorry it's taken so long. Writing still like treacle-wading.

Setting: The Walsingham (a London hotel known only to those in the know), at least a full day's shopping after the previous story.
Rating: PG
For the prompt: Person Least Likely To...
1000 words.

Subject to Change



"You look..."

Like a really short James Bond, whose had an accident with a bleach bottle? Noo, better not say that.

"...well," Buffy said, into the too-long silence.

Spike turned, holding out a glass to her. He raised an eyebrow, as if he'd heard the silent comment, but all he said was, "Champagne?"

With an heroic effort, Buffy refrained from staring too hard at the label on the champagne bottle- but like, woah! Seriously?-and crossed the room towards him.

The carpet was so soft that her feet, in their brand new Emily Choos (salary advance), sank into it up to the ankles.

"Thanks." She took the glass from him, narrowly avoiding touching his fingers, and stood holding it, feeling awkward and out of place, and like her new Liu Lu Jing dress (another salary advance) was tight in all the wrong places.

It didn't help that he seemed so at ease. Like he wore a tux every day.

And who knew? Maybe he did.

When had Spike gotten suave? Did it come along with the title?

Speaking of which...

"So, king of the vampires, huh? How did that happen?"

He smiled, except for his eyes which were kind of un-Spike-like and opaque. "Long story."

Then he gestured towards the couch. "Have a seat, Slayer. Might as well be comfortable while we talk."

"Sure."

Talk, yes. Talk would be good. Keep your mind on business, Summers. That's what you're here for.

But it still gave her the wiggins to have to precede him. What was he doing back where she couldn't see? Checking out her ass maybe, to see how it compared with ten years ago?

Which it totally could, because she put herself through hell every day to keep in shape. But he might not think so.

And damnit, why do you care what he thinks?

The couch was comfortable, if a little over-stuffed. Discreet the exterior of this place might be (though weirdly too big on the inside, which Giles said was due to something called the Tardis effect), but the decor was kind of.... rococo? Was that the word?

"So, what do you think of the Walsingham?" Spike asked, suddenly, as if he'd read her thoughts again.

She frowned. Could he do that now?

"It's...kind of hinky?" she ventured. "I'm glad just to have found the place. Our cab driver hadn't heard of it. He had to ask another cab driver, and he hadn't heard of it either, so he had to call a third cab driver - some retired guy from way back - who gave us directions."

"Well, you can't be too careful, can you?" Spike remarked, cryptically, then did a sort of slow blink and raised his glass. "To old acquaintances and new alliances."

Buffy had clinked her own glass against his and taken a sip before two things registered. First, oh my God, this champagne is incredible! and, oh my God, he was making polite small talk!

She was wrong. Ten years had changed him. Maybe even more than they'd changed her.

She took a deep breath. Time to take charge of this conversation before it weirded her out completely.

Setting the champagne glass down on the ornate side table, she said,

"Thanks for meeting me, Spike. I appreciate it."

It sounded false, even to her, but she met his gaze full-on, daring him to challenge her on her sincerity.

He just did the slow, blue blink again. "My pleasure, Slayer. You look lovelier than ever, by the way. Forgive me for not saying so before."

Somehow or other, she stopped herself from yelling, "Will you stop that?" in his face. For one thing, there was Giles to consider.

Well, okay, Giles had looked happy enough to wait for her in the Walsingham library, which was full of real, actual books, not to mention a whisky tumbler and a bottle of something called Dalmore 1951, which was 'a gift from his majesty', so the hench-vamp said.

Giles had sort of snorted, then growled, "His majesty? What nonsense!" But it hadn't stopped him opening the bottle.

So no, she did not want to have to fight her way out of here, past said henchvamps, with a possibly drunk Giles in tow.

Then, of course, there was that pesky apocalypse.

Forcing a smile onto her face, she said, "Don't mention it."

He blinked again, like a sleepy lion ( a very small one). "What can I do for you?"

She'd rehearsed her speech before coming here, but it had relied on there being....well, something still between the two of them. But every moment in his company made it plainer and plainer how wrong she'd been to think that.

This wasn't the Spike she knew. Not in any incarnation. They might as well have been complete strangers.

It was okay, though. She'd had ten years to get used to losing him.

"It's like this" she said. And she told him.

World-destroying demon -blah!blah! Prophecy -blah!blah! Can only be defeated when all the children of mankind - and yes, that includes vampires even if they have just set up camp in human bodies - join together in perfect ha-armony! -blah!blah! We need to forge an alliance for the good of all. Blah!Blah!Blah!

She was sick of her own voice by the time she was done. It felt like being back in Mom's house in Sunnydale, trying to cheerlead a bunch of scared baby Slayers whose names she could never remember.

Except that then, he'd usually sidled out of the room when she started talking. This time, he looked interested -very, very interested - and he asked a lot of tough questions.

"Well?" she asked, finally. "Do we have a deal?"

"That depends," he said, and suddenly - heartstoppingly - he tilted his head the way he used to.

She frowned. "Depends on what?"

"On how you answer my final question."

Suddenly, he was on his knees at her feet.

"Slayer, will you marry me?"

TBC with another of this month's prompts.

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
spikes_heart
Jul. 16th, 2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
Poor Buffy... Spike's really keeping her on her toes with his 'blank' act. And then he's on his knees. Oh god... more please? I'll be good (even if I have to lie about it).
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
:)

I've just posted more. I hope you enjoy it.
sueworld2003
Jul. 16th, 2013 04:25 pm (UTC)
"Somehow or other, she stopped herself from yelling, "Will you stop that?" in his face."

So very Buffy. :D

"Slayer, will you marry me?"

WTF??

Another excellent chapter love. :D
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Sue. The proposal did come a bit out of nowhere, didn't it?
rahirah
Jul. 16th, 2013 06:10 pm (UTC)
That was unexpected. Spike does like to keep 'em on their toes!
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, it was a bit out of left field, wasn't it?
rahirah
Jul. 18th, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC)
Obviously this new Machiavellian Spike has a clever plan, which will turn out exactly as he planned it. *g*
shapinglight
Jul. 25th, 2013 09:22 am (UTC)
Oh, yes. Like always. ;)
lizziebuffy2008
Jul. 16th, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
Wha..huh??????

You have made me incoherent...
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:28 pm (UTC)
Oops! Forgive me?
slaymesoftly
Jul. 16th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
Whoa! Didn't see that one coming! Loving this. I hope the treacle-wading continues to go well.
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
It's going tolerably well, thanks, as long as I don't attempt anything too complicated.
waddiwasiwitch
Jul. 16th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)
Tee hee. That was unexpected. Can't wait for more....
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
:)

More is up now. Hope you enjoy it.
rebcake
Jul. 16th, 2013 08:28 pm (UTC)
Ooooh. Now I'm wondering if Spike has gone all "old school" and is trying to establish an alliance the old-fashioned way. I mean, royalty has always consolidated power through marriage, right? Weird, though, if true. He definitely has changed...

First, oh my God, this champagne is incredible! and, oh my God, he was making polite small talk!

Hee! I'm on tenterhooks over here!
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:31 pm (UTC)
You are almo-ost right. :)
red_satin_doll
Jul. 18th, 2013 06:47 pm (UTC)
I mean, royalty has always consolidated power through marriage, right? Weird, though, if true.

I hadn't thought of that but it's an intriguing theory, hmmm...
quinara
Jul. 16th, 2013 08:33 pm (UTC)
These two stories are fantastic! :D I can't wait to see where this goes...
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:31 pm (UTC)
:)

:Squee: Glad you liked them.
brutti_ma_buoni
Jul. 16th, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
Eeek! Where is Spike taking this? What on earth will Buffy do in response? (Please, no staking...)
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:37 pm (UTC)
I can pretty much guarantee no staking. Spike dying is one of my bullet proof squicks, as they used to be called.
spuffy_luvr
Jul. 16th, 2013 11:21 pm (UTC)
... O.O

I have absolutely no clue where you're going with this. And I love it!
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC)
:)

Glad to hear it. Thanks.
kikimay
Jul. 17th, 2013 10:48 am (UTC)
Wow, Spike! That escalated quickly! XD But I like where all this seems to going. I want to read more.
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:38 pm (UTC)
:) I've just posted more. I hope you like it.
timeofchange
Jul. 17th, 2013 12:17 pm (UTC)
He blinked again, like a sleepy lion ( a very small one).

Snerk.

Looking forward to moooooore!
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
More is up now. Hope you like it. :)
missus_grace
Jul. 18th, 2013 06:22 am (UTC)
Ooh! Nice surprise there at the end!
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Buffy didn't see that one coming. :)
hello_spikey
Jul. 18th, 2013 06:32 am (UTC)
Well! I'm just as floored as Buffy assuredly is. Way to play it close to the chest there, Spike.

mmmm Spike in a tux... mmmmm... though I'm equally jealous of Giles and the comforts of the waiting room. MMMM Dalmore...
shapinglight
Jul. 18th, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
though I'm equally jealous of Giles and the comforts of the waiting room. MMMM Dalmore...

:) It's good, is it? I'm not much of a whisky drinker. I just googled 'very expensive whisky' and that's what it came up with.
red_satin_doll
Jul. 18th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
There is something VERY creepy going on with Spike, almost as if he's drugged or bespelled (or dear god no, a 'bot). If I were Buffy I'd walk out the door, grab Giles and get down to some serious research! (Or ass-kicking. She was always better at that.)
shapinglight
Jul. 25th, 2013 09:24 am (UTC)
So true. Who knows what she'll do, though? One thing she's not is predictable. :)
chasingdemons
Jul. 18th, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
WHAT?? Okay… Let me think. So this must be a Spike-bot, and they have the real Spike tied up somewhere? I'm very glad to read in the comments that you have another part posted. Off I go to get some answers.
shapinglight
Jul. 25th, 2013 09:24 am (UTC)
Is it as clear as mud yet? ;)
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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