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You Can't Always Get What You Want...

Author Anviloverheaven
Title But If You Try Sometimes, You Just Might Find
Rating R for language
Prompt The Devil Has the Best Tunes.
Setting About a year after Not Fade Away
Warnings Miserable Shanshu!Spike

A/N: My mother thinks Mick Jagger is the devil. He spat on her in nineteen-sixty something or other and she’s never quite gotten over it. When I first saw the theme for July, Sympathy for the Devil was the first thing that popped into my head, but then this other song (which is played on high rotation in my car) took its place. You don’t really need to be familiar with the song, or The Rolling Stones, but if you’re interested there’s a link at the bottom which is where I took the timings from. For some reason every time I hear it I think of unhappy Shanshu!Spike and this is what happened.

But If You Try Sometimes, You Just Might Find.
He might sing asking for sympathy (and big-lipped supermodel-shagging gits get none of that) but Mick Jagger’s not the devil. Neither’s Keith nor Ronnie. It’s Charlie Watts you really have to wonder about. Over forty years with that crowd and he ends up looking like someone’s grandad. Doesn’t seem… right.
Just like when he catches his reflection in a mirror. Hundred and twenty years with the devil inside and all he’s got to show for it (externally) is a scar above his eyebrow. Surely there should be something else.
Leaves the office at four o’clock every afternoon. Sticks headphones in his ears and plays the Stones. It’s seven and a half minutes home (door to door across the compound) and the song fits perfectly.
You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
Story of his life really.
Could do without the warbling fucking choir thanks, but can’t skip it (gets the timing all wrong). Closes the door, ignoring where his surname’s been scratched off the glass panelling. Took him four hours to do it the first time, three the next. They’ve finally stopped replacing it and nobody calls him Mister Pratt anymore.
 Prat still, definitely. Because he’s a right surly bastard most of the time.
It’s raining. That misty sort that always tricks you into forgetting your brolly and gets you saturated within minutes. Then suddenly it’s not, and the sun (formerly known as Mr Great Big Ball of Death) comes out. Mick’s still warbling in his ears while the wankerish everyday glasses are replaced by the wankerish (prescription) sunglasses. Couldn’t wear contacts, no not him, his eyes are too delicate.
Everything’s too fucking delicate.
Translations. He rages while he walks (stomps) home. Sodding translations, and buggering Giles. “Perhaps your strengths lie in other areas now. You know a number of demon languages, yes? Some Latin perhaps…”  Put out to pasture and dragging everyone he could with him. Vengeful old git.  
Dawn’s waiting out the front of the canteen (arms folded, withering stare) when he passes.
“Is that my iPod?” Love you too, Bit.
He hears her over the music, pretends he can’t. Ignores her outrage as he stomps past. Of course it’s hers, says so right on the box. Neat little letters Property of Dawn Summers, underlined twice. Just in case the sparkly hearts she’s stuck all over the horrid pink thing don’t give it away.
“Not cool Spike. Watchers don’t steal from other Watchers.”
Ignores that too. Otherwise there’ll be another broken iPod, and there’s no one left to steal a replacement from.
Anyway, he’s not a Watcher. He’s in Translations.
Pulls the requisition form from his coat (not that coat, that’s for weekends only now) and hands it over like a baton when he passes the pharmacy. Shoves the ready and waiting brown paper bag under his arm and keeps right on walking. The arrangement suits everybody. They don’t want him in there and he certainly doesn’t want to be in there. Least not since that whole debacle with the rubbers.
Though really, it was a valid fucking question. Not like he’d ever had need of them before.
There’s a shriek through the headphones. Mick’s wailing away as Xander rides past on his pushbike. He looks a git wearing Andrew’s helmet, even more so when he salutes. Fingers tap his forehead to return it, though two of them itch for a different sort of salute entirely. It’s this thing they do now when they cross paths, an in-joke, and just how pathetic is that?
It’d be easier if he could just hate him, but he can’t, not after they’ve ‘resolved their differences’. Too much whiskey, too many ‘captain something or other’ insults, equalled two less than super-powered mortals fighting it out. Battle of the bloody millennium it wasn’t. A one-eyed carpenter with depth perception issues, pitted against a former vampire with the physical strength of a bloody-awful poet. And both completely pissed.
They called it a draw after six painful but cathartic rounds.
Left turn at the hospital and he’s almost home. Spent three weeks stuck in there after LA, with just enough testing and prodding to do away with a man’s naughty-nurse fantasies once and for all.
“You can’t always get what you want.”  
Tall dark and ever-so-slightly peeved off had said that. The third time he’d pleaded with asked him to turn him back.  Wouldn’t of course. Buggered off instead; once more into the breach to fight the good fight. Save… kittens and all that dross.
No pitying looks or god awful stomach flu’s for Angel. Lucky bastard.
Cut’s across the back of the vegetable garden (still muddy from the earlier rain) and the front door’s in sight. This is where she’d caught up with him the night he’d tried to run. Had he forgotten what happened to poor William the last time he’d run crying? Nothing but humiliation for company?  Well no. Whole bloody point actually.
“You need a bit of monster in your man.”  
He’d told her that years ago. Tried telling her again, and she’d hit him. Not with a Slayer’s punch that’d send his delicate self flying, more like a ringing slap from a brassed off woman in love. Regardless.
Made his heart speed up alarmingly.
Couldn’t have timed it better. Choir's back and it’s heaven in his ears as the front door opens and she stands there waiting. For him.
“Hi honey. You’re home.” Smiling and reaching up to pull out his headphones. “How was your day?”
“Fucking awful. As per usual.”
He’s honest, has to be. She sees right through him, knows how hard for him all this Shanshu crap is. Then he’s got an armful of Buffy. Wrapped around him so tight it hurts. Love of a good woman and all that, and there’s no place he’d rather be.
You don’t always get what you want, true, but sometimes, you get what you need to make it through.
“Might be getting better though.”


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 25th, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC)
Very nice. Pretty dismal most of the way through, but all better in the end! :)Sounds just about right.
Jul. 28th, 2011 04:31 am (UTC)
Thank you! Had to make up for the dismal by making it more hopeful!
Jul. 25th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Just awesome. And probably exactly how it would go. :)
Jul. 28th, 2011 06:24 am (UTC)
Thanks :)
Jul. 25th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love-love-loved it!
No need to check the song timing on YouTube for me... : )

It's so brilliant, this Spike that doesn't graciously accept, but accept he does, because at the end of the day he's got what really counts--and she who really counts is ready to really fight for keeping him!

I also appreciated how many "funnies" there are in such a short thing, between rubbers debacle, scratched names and stolen iPods.
Jul. 28th, 2011 08:26 am (UTC)
I am really, really glad you love-love-loved it:)

No need to check the song timing on YouTube for me... : ) Yay! I was being such a Rolling Stones fangirl with this story.
Jul. 25th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
Lovely story, very true to the character.
Jul. 28th, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Jul. 26th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
This is a really neat fic. It's rare to see a fic that takes the painful route with the Shanshu, and I like the juxtaposition of Spike's bitterness with Buffy's unconditional love. I love the details about the name plate and the rubbers (really, really funny) and the fight with Xander and how he still has to wear glasses. Most of all I really like how Buffy slaps him (and "made his heart...alarmingly") and is so domestic with him when he gets home.
Jul. 29th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it. I think that Spike would be bitter, regardless, and that Buffy would be domestic and caring with him to make it all a little bit better.

and oh my goodness LJ is working!
Jul. 26th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC)
Oh, that was very nice, very real. Of course, I think Spike would get used to it and eventually be happy if Buffy stayed by his side.

Lovely! <3
Jul. 29th, 2011 01:49 am (UTC)
Thank you! Of course Buffy would stay by his side. She loves him :)
Aug. 2nd, 2011 05:22 am (UTC)
Yup! Love can conquer all! <3
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 29th, 2011 01:56 am (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad you liked the sulleness. It was fun to write!
Aug. 4th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
Catching up with Fag Ends, and this was absolutely delightful. Loved it.
Aug. 5th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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