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The Love Song Of... (PG13)

Title The Love Song of…
Author Brutti ma buoni
Rating PG13
Words 650
Setting Immediately post-the Gift
Prompt You know I just don't get these Britons; everytime we get a good punch up going, someone behind the line yells "Teas up!" and they all disappear!
A/N canon character death, as you’d expect from the setting.

There was a phase in Spike's life. (Unlife. You know the drill.) There was a phase, and it was a long one-

(Well. Comparatively long. Couple of decades, maybe three.)

There was a phase when Spike didn't do tea. It was too much everything. Too English. Too bloodless. Too reminiscent of a life (yes, that one was a life) he was leaving behind with every step. (Every step. For which read every neck. Or every corpse. He measured out his life in such things, then. Not teaspoons. Coffee spoons, still less. He'd still been in said phase when he first read Prufrock, and laughed in recognition of the life-skin he'd gladly shed.)

(It used to remind him of her, of course. Mother loved a cup of tea. Not a cuppa, not a mugful, not a builder's brew. A perfect, limpid cup of China tea, from fine bone china. Wouldn't have known Chinese if it'd split her eyebrow with a sword and died in her arms, mind, but she did love her China from china, did Mum.)

So. Yeah. There was a phase in Spike's unlife when he didn't do tea.

It crept back in. Sometime after the war (the first war), when Britishness seemed like something to value, when he'd thought for just a fragment of time that the old home might be overwhelmed by a rampaging bunch of Germanic muscle-boys. Sometime thereabouts, someplace in Soho, after a night at Ma Meyrick's club, sadly interrupted by the usual police raid. He'd been on the coke and the champers, just like every spoiled jazz baby he'd considered nibbling on. But he'd been well fed before that night, and Dru had wanted to dance, and they never did find a reason to stop. Not that night. They'd straggled down to Covent Garden, while the dawn porters started work, idly pondering a morning snack. But he'd ended up with a mug of brew instead, and it had seemed fitting enough. He never quite lost the taste, after that.

Tea was a comfort, sometimes. A flavour of the past. A conscious reclaiming of some parts of his humanity, because he wasn't running scared of William any more.

(It's easy, remembering this part. See how fluent the memories flow just now? He's not so choppy, not struggling to focus. But noticing that brings back the thought that he's trying not to think on, so think on something else-)

It's Giles that brought this tea. The librarian knows whereof the vampire thinks, and drinks. Spike has little time to spare for Rupert Giles, by and large. As a roommate, he was dire, music and literature notwithstanding. But he does understand the art of tea. Unlike the kiddywinks and their coffee milkshakes, the fools.

This mug in his hands, for example. Properly hot water, on Twining's best, albeit from a bag, brewed almost orange and strong. Big splash of milk, half a ton of sugar, because this particular cup is not about the art of tea. It's about the comfort blanket of remembered nursery tea. Maybe even because he needs sugar for the shock (if Giles thinks vampires get shock, even vampires with spectacularly broken bodies, he's a wee bit off, but Spike understands automatic responses in a crisis, even if he's more accustomed these days to hysteria than hot beverages).

And, bugger it, there's the thought he's trying not to think on, popping up from where he's rammed it down.

(Broken bodies. Don't remember. Comfort blankets. Don't think why they're needed.)

There are some things a mug of tea cannot resolve.

Burying your Slayer is one, turns out.

He breathes in the steam, warms his hands on the china, and tries to think about nothing but tea.


If you need footnotes to Spike's extremely dense and distracted thoughts here:
The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock by TS Eliot includes the quote 'measuring out his life in coffee spoons'

Ma Meyrick is Kate Meyrick, a notorious nightclub owner

Twinings tea, nuff said.


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 12th, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
Aw, yeah.
Aug. 12th, 2014 06:27 pm (UTC)
:) ty
Aug. 12th, 2014 05:43 pm (UTC)
:( Very sad, but a lovely take on the prompt.
Aug. 12th, 2014 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading. Someday I'll write a post-Gift fic full of laughter, but goodness knows how. Glad you enjoyed this anyway.
Aug. 12th, 2014 08:35 pm (UTC)
Not for my sake. Love angst!
Aug. 12th, 2014 06:19 pm (UTC)
So wonderful use of the prompt.
Aug. 12th, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
Aug. 12th, 2014 06:22 pm (UTC)
Ahh, fantastic.
Aug. 12th, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
Aug. 12th, 2014 07:36 pm (UTC)
This is gorgeously written.

Aug. 12th, 2014 08:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you, ma'am!
Aug. 12th, 2014 07:59 pm (UTC)
I like it. Especially Giles taking care of Spike in an English way, on this day.
Aug. 12th, 2014 08:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Some things are instinctive. I make tea, at funerals, like a compulsion. Reckoned Giles might have a partially similar instinct.
Aug. 12th, 2014 10:47 pm (UTC)
Absolutely lovely.
Aug. 13th, 2014 07:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Aug. 13th, 2014 12:35 am (UTC)
Loved it. Perfect.
Aug. 13th, 2014 07:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
Aug. 13th, 2014 01:04 am (UTC)
Clutch your comfort blanket, dear Spike. Your Easter is coming.
Aug. 13th, 2014 07:32 pm (UTC)
If he dared to imagine it, he'd go insane, though. Best think of tea.
Aug. 13th, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful! *sniffle*

And I love my tea too!
Aug. 13th, 2014 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Tea is wonderful, though it can't fix everything.
Aug. 13th, 2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
Although this lovely, lonely, aching story is from Spike's perspective, I cannot help but think that Giles offering tea is also his comfort blanket. Poor, poor darlings. *sniff*
Aug. 13th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
For sure. I make tea at awful funerals. It's not much, but it helps me. Might be a bit of self in there, but I'm glad not in the way of your enjoyment of the story.
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:49 pm (UTC)
Beautiful, rich, fabulous stream-of-tea-consciousness.

Love it. Always do like to think of Spike changing over the years undocumented.
Aug. 13th, 2014 11:10 pm (UTC)
This was sad, but lovely. Well done.
Aug. 14th, 2014 03:21 am (UTC)
Lovely. You really captured Spike's voice in this one; nicely done.

And it makes me want a mug of strong milky tea myself, though I'm not allowed to have caffeine until they fix my heart. Boo.
Aug. 14th, 2014 02:22 pm (UTC)
What a beautifully written, melancholy, tea soaked meander down memory lane leading right to Buffy's grave.
Aug. 16th, 2014 06:53 am (UTC)
Being a Kiwi, and close to English ways, I appreciate tea. Made properly with boiling water, strong with milk. It is a comfort to me.

Really nice work.
Sep. 28th, 2014 06:26 pm (UTC)
Excellent stuff. Brilliant.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )


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