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Title Time For a Little Smackerel of Something
Author brutti ma buoni
Rating PG
Words 1000
Setting long post-series, following my recent stories Heading North By North East, and Dead Reckoning
Prompt polar bear
A/N Thanks to AA Milne for the title. The bear in question is not Of Very Little Brain in this case.



“Mmm,” is all Buffy says. Which is disappointing. Time was, Spike could’ve freaked the Slayer out good with this. Presumably motherhood has knocked the eeeuw out of her. For sure, Buffy’s conversation when the boys were small was one endless splurge of blood, shit and dangerous situations averted.

Still, Spike would have hoped for more from, “Hey, there’s a polar bear eating the zombies.” It’s a good line, even if a purely literal one.

He adds, slightly concerned, “Is it likely to eat us? I didn’t read the briefing-“

Buffy snorts. “Of course you didn’t.”

“Did you?” Her resentful look makes him grin internally. Yeah. You want this team briefed, you make ‘em listen. And apparently the Council forgot that. “Oh well. Better be sure.” He goes for the shotgun, but the Slayer is faster.

“Endangered animals! Leave them alone!” She sounds- Hell, she sounds motherly. Scolding. Like he’s a bad boy.

“Come off it, Slayer. Ice caps aren’t melting anymore, did you miss that part?” It was one of Slayer Central’s finer missions, he knows she knows. But it was when the little’un was really small, barely just born, and he remembers the hazy bliss on her face on the small screen. (“Well done guys, really great, hey, did I tell you Brady smiled?”) Just like a new mum should be, he’d thought, sentimentally, and then realised how much he missed the old Buffy, who’d barely have held a kid the right way up, and would have dropped it in favour of a quarterstaff given half a chance. She’d moved on. But now she’s back. That’s a good thing.

He pushes back the unease that builds after that thought. It’s Buffy’s choice to return to slaying. Those little boys are hulking teens now, shuttling between time with dad in suburbia and mom at the castle with no more protest than ungracious grunts about the Council’s cable deal. She’s entitled to change track. It doesn’t have to be a backward step. And it’s none of Spike’s beeswax if that’s what it is anyway.

Except. Well, he’s been waiting for her, hasn’t he? That’s why he’s stuck around the Council all this time, Buffyless, bored, training waves of teens to be not!Buffys to fill a gap that only Spike seems to feel nowadays. He was waiting for his Slayer to come home in glory. And now she’s not even really interested in a fucking polar bear outside. Eating dead people. Well, fair enough, better than live people. Still.

He wants to see her focused. Thought volunteering for this mission was a sign she was back. But he’s not sure any more.

Outside, there’s a roar. Like a grizzly, he thinks vaguely, wondering whether polar bears usually make that noise. Buffy’s head snaps round.

“We’re okay in here, love,” he says. Manly, reassuring – hang on, this is Buffy. Why’s he bothering? She could take a bear.

“Shh,” she says, hand up. Listening. “Okay. Got it. Thank you.”

There’s another roar. Spike, at the window, watches the polar bear amble off, the arm of a zombie hanging casually out of its mouth.

“She says the zombies are because of the whoosit,” says Buffy. Like talking polar bears are a regular thing with her. “Which is cool, because it means we’re not on a mission to nothing. Less cool, every dead man ever on Svalbard is between us and it. Also not ideal, the bear doesn’t know what the whoosit is, but there are some dark guys there.” She adds, “I don’t know if that’s literally wearing black or if polar bears use ‘dark’ for evil. Bear wasn’t all that clear.”

“You speak bear?”

“Apparently.” Buffy takes a swig of thermos coffee, and grimaces. She doesn’t look especially startled, nor smug. “It’s a mystical thing, I’m guessing. Might be the whoosit. Might be a Slayer whatever. Does it matter?”

“Bloody does if that bear was lying,” Spike says. “Or if you’re possessed by a bear spirit, or something.” She doesn’t look it, though.

“Raaaarrgh,” says Buffy, swigging more coffee composedly afterward. He snorts, she grins, and they’re okay.

“Get over here?” he suggests. “It’s cold.”

“You’re cold,” she says, and comes over anyway. Double sleeping bag, and he’s leeching warmth from her, but she’s warm enough to take it just now, since they got the electricity going and the water boiling.

“Reckon we rest up, go out in eight, maybe?” he suggests. It’s disorienting, the endless dark. He thought he’d love it, but the fact is, it’s 4pm and it could be midnight, and even your best tempered vampire gets confused after a while.

“Yeah,” she says, closing her eyes, looking resolved. “But make it nine. I’m not going midnight hunting to a mystical whatever. That’s asking for spellcast.” A considering pause. “Hell. No, make it six. They might be planning something at midnight.”

This is his Buffy: focused and planning, insofar as you can plan when you don’t know what the enemy is or the goal might be. But there’s a whoosit to be discovered, and a talking bear pointed them in the right direction, and there are more zombies in the way which suggests evil involvement. So, it’s a thing, and Buffy and Spike are on the case.

“Glad you’re back,” he says, to Buffy’s snuggled, closed-eyed form. She hums in response, and moves closer. Doesn’t speak.

He sets alarms, smokes a little, eventually drifts off, as content as he’s likely to be.

*

They wake to the alarms, on cue. And to a voice.

“A Slayer! How sweet. You really shouldn’t have come.” Glowing eyes in the darkness. A gloating tone. (Spike has a flashback to a cave in Africa, though the voice is all wrong and the language different.)

“And you really shouldn’t have slept,” adds the voice, worryingly. Spike tries to move, for the shotgun at his shoulder. For Buffy, to feel how she’s planning to leap.

They can’t. They’re stuck. In a demon’s power.

Buffy’d bloody better be back, is all Spike can think.

***

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
velvetwhip
May. 24th, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC)
Oh no! Eek!!! There better be a sequel, young lady!

Also, it's awesome that Buffy speaks bear.


Gabrielle
brutti_ma_buoni
May. 26th, 2014 04:27 pm (UTC)
This one, there will definitely be a sequel. I promise.

Special woman, special bear.
rahirah
May. 24th, 2014 09:19 pm (UTC)
Ooh, plots thickening!

This bit is a really interesting examination of potential problems in human/vampire relationships, because even if Buffy does get back into slaying, she's not going to be exactly the same person she was fifteen (or however many) years ago. And Spike can't... quite.. see that. Yet, anyway.
brutti_ma_buoni
May. 26th, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, Spike should see it, but he doesn't (want to) quite yet. And it's not a disaster, but it's... timescales.
rbfvid
May. 24th, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC)
I don't even know what I like more here - mother!Buffy or Spike's POV on her. Extremely funny, but also potentially extremely sad.
brutti_ma_buoni
May. 26th, 2014 05:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I like the contrast too - so many of my friends are now mothers, it's kind of a natural observation territory. I hope it'll stay interesting when I think out where they go next.
readerjane
May. 25th, 2014 10:50 am (UTC)
Meep!
brutti_ma_buoni
May. 26th, 2014 05:23 pm (UTC)
Yep. End of series. You'll never know.

(Kidding.)
kikimay
May. 25th, 2014 12:34 pm (UTC)
This series is getting more and more interesting. I can't wait to read more!
brutti_ma_buoni
May. 26th, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Hoping I get the next part clear in my head soon. It'll come.
slaymesoftly
May. 25th, 2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. But there's nothing to bring the old Buffy back like a demon that pisses her off. :)
brutti_ma_buoni
May. 26th, 2014 05:29 pm (UTC)
Definitely. But long term, is the old Buffy sticking around? Tune in for more thrilling installments!
gillo
May. 25th, 2014 02:18 pm (UTC)
Eeek!

I rather hope the bear has a lot of friends in armour not far away.

Poor Spike. At least there's a chance this will bring her back properly.

Inevitably, see me join the chorus of those demanding more.
brutti_ma_buoni
May. 26th, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
*g* I think there may be more bears in the offing. But what that means long term for Buffy, I'm not guaranteeing.
zanthinegirl
May. 27th, 2014 09:38 am (UTC)
How much do I love Buffy bonding with the polar bear? And that the slayers reversed global warming?

This series is really a lot of fun. I'm enjoying seeing grown-up mom!Buffy even if Spike isn't quite sure (yet?) how to react.

Less cool, every dead man ever on Svalbard is between us and it.

How many could that be? There wasn't ever a big population on Svalbard was there? And Wikipedia tells me it was mostly miners, who I assume didn't usually sick around long...
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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