Title: Times and Shapes Part 1/10
Pairing: Buffy/ Spike (but it may take a while, also it’ll probably contain a bit of slash)
Rating: like show
Setting: Post series, tying loosely into the comic canon (no real spoilers)
Warnings: There’s my sometimes animosity with correct spelling and commas. And there’s a sex change.
Summary: Buffy goes on an undercover mission in London and runs into Spike
Feedback: Is loved!!!
Buffy Summers could not deny that she loved to get out of her skin once in a while. And this did the trick better than a full blown makeover followed by three solid days of shoe shopping. Of course shoe shopping had been involved at some point. How often, after all, do you get the chance to raid the men’s section properly?
None of her boyfriends had been much one for dress up, but she was making up for all of them now.
She knotted a dark blue tie around her neck loosely and pulled a matching hat from the shelf nearby, already eying herself in the mirror critically as she placed it on her short sandy blond curls. Though her own tastes ran more towards the hunky muscular type she could confirm with good conscience that she was one hot piece of boy. Not that she would have said it out loud but `gorgeous’ came to mind, even if not in the most macho way. Who cared anyway? This was modern day London, most teenage boys she’d seen in the streets had worn more eyeliner than she had in her Egyptian phase.
She observed that the differences were more subtle than she had thought they would be. She looked a few inches taller than her female self, though still rather small and skinny for a guy. She also had larger feet and hands and found that here muscles were more pronounced which was all the more odd, since she felt so much weaker than she used to.
She took off the hat and studied her face. Something was different about her lips other than the absence of lip gloss; they were thinner maybe and her mouth a little broader, same as her jaw. Most of her bone structure was a slightly larger, her skin rougher and she had a hard time not to constantly feel the sand papery places where she had shaved this morning. Only her eyes were basically unchanged beneath shorter discolored lashes. It also seemed that what she was missing in eyelashes had shifted to brows. She wriggled them experimentally and grinned.
She arched one of them at herself and froze mid movement reaching for the next hat, at the familiar stab of pain in her gut. It was over a year now, and she had become so good at thinking in other directions, but the eyebrow quirking had caught her by surprise. In the first month she had seen him on every street corner, a piece of clothing, smell of cigarettes, the sight of dyed blond hair. It had felt like the memories were everywhere, suffocating her, reminding her of what would never be. For heaven’s sake, one night she had dissolved into a sea of tears alone in her hotel room in front of an episode of passions. It had been the last time, she had cried for him. She had cut off her thoughts whenever they were threatening to take her back to the Sunnydale crater and what she’d lost there.
Aside from a relapse when they had moved to England where basically everybody’s voice was a needle cushion of painful memories, she had become a real master of avoiding. But sometimes, when she was least expecting it, a reminder snuck up on her and got her in the back.
Buffy took a deep breath and forced herself to focus. No matter how much she had jumped at the chance to go on this mission, to get out of slayer central, far away from the constant queen bee pressure, this was no fun assignment. There was a good reason, why Willow had taken days to craft the glamour that ensured no one would recognize her as Buffy Summers, first slayer, or any slayer, or any girl at all. If she blew her cover within city perimeters she was most likely dead meat, just like three other slayers in London.
Two of them were already confirmed dead. Samantha Peters and Jane Niminster had both been part of Slayers United, Jane had died first but had it not been for Sam, they might not even have given her death second thought. Run over by a car. Accidents happen, even to girls with super powers. The world’s crazy like that. The SUV had hit her so hard that she had died on spot, despite slayer healing. People die. Even slayers or maybe especially slayers. Buffy sighed. There were so many of them these days that they would just have moved on, if Sam had not called Xander.
She reported that she had been swimming in the afternoon and when she came home, her powers were gone. Fortunately she had smelled the gas when she entered her flat and had taken to flee, before the explosion but there had already been people on the hunt for her. Sam had called Xander for reinforcements as she tried to run for her life, but once night fell they were all on her. She had called one last time saying that her leg was broken in a fight with a demon and that she didn’t think she was going to make it. It was the last they ever heard of her.
Of course Xander had dispatched a helicopter full of slayers as soon as he got the first distress call, but once they had reached London, the problem had become obvious enough.
London air now turned slayers back into regular people. The kind that doesn’t take to well to jumps from great heights. Or giant heaps of tentacles that spew acid. The reinforcements had made it out alive (though the better part of them were injured), but they hadn’t been able to do anything to help Sam.
Willow had tried her best to analyze and dispel the anti slayer force field, but according to her the magic was ancient, water prove and cast from the inside. It had taken some persuasion to get her to stay with them instead of going on a black eyed force trip to London.
“We need you here, what if someone casts something similar close to the castle. It’s probably Twilight and also it’s obviously an attempt to get you away from the slayers!”
“But someone need s to find out what’s going on there and it’s magic, more powerful than mine, so that person’s clearly me!”
“Willow, no! You’re our most powerful protection and we have no idea, who’s doing this and how much juice they have. This is a whole lot bigger than what the Tokyo vamps did.”
They were able to talk sense into her after a while and she had gruffly agreed to an undercover slayer mission, pointing out that whoever would go in would obviously need some pretty cunning cloaking spells, since they had exactly known where the reinforcements would arrive.
“So who’s going?” Xander asked after Willow was gone, “I’m thinking Elaine or maybe Francesca…”
“Xander, I’m going.”
His eye widened and he searched huffily for words for a few moments.
“But…but, you’ve been here a few seconds ago, have you?!? You know, when you gave that speech about not sending the valuable people into the Lion’s cave, yeah?”
“I’m not that valuable, Xander, just a little more experienced, which is all the more reason to go myself. “
“Buffy, every kid knows that the captain stays on the bridge!”
“Kirk never did!”
“You…You never even watched a single episode of Star Trek!”
“But I’m working with Andrew for a year now!”
“Buffy, that’s ridiculous, we have doubles of you in three cities, because no matter how many slayers there are, you’re still target number one.”
“Common Xander, that’s the beauty of it, no one will be able to recognize me. I’ll go on my own, Willow’s going to magic me completely unrecognizable and I’ll find out who’s doing this and report back. Just this one mission and me. “
“You’re dying to do this, aren’t you?” He frowned at her. “Probably will!”
“I am that obvious, huh? I just can’t stand it anymore. Staying here, slaying only with a helicopter hovering over my head. Sending other people to do the job, end up with more blood on my hands.
Do you know, how long it has been that I have taken down some big bad just on my own?”
“Because that always went so well!”
“I know, it’s risky and I don’t have a death wish…stop the eye rolling…I just want to take them down, on my own, badly and I need to get out of this place or I’ll go crazy. There are just too many people here, to many eyes watching me, looking for answers, leadership, whatever. “
In the end he had had no choice but to accept her decision. Benefits of being the boss, she thought. And Willows disguise had been even more perfect than she had expected. A normal young man would fall completely off the radar of someone looking for slayers. At least as long as she did not raise any suspicion and was careful with communications. She had the technical and magic means with her but chances were that their adversary knew how to intercept them, so she had the perfect excuse not to phone home on a regular basis.
And so now that the sun was slowly setting, she was strolling down the streets of London in a killer casual suit, ready to take a demon city on her own. A grin spread over her face. It was weird to have no powers after all those years but in a way she felt more self sufficient than she had in a very long while.
First thing on her list was to find Sarah Gray, the third slayer, who had been in London when the power drain first occurred. Sarah had not been part of the pack though. She had appeared on Willow’s slayer radar a few months ago, so Andrew had been sent to recruit her, but he had returned to the base alone. His report had said, that she had very politely declined Buffy’s offer, telling Andrew that while she found their cause admirable, art was a stronger calling in her life than slaying and since she was just starting to make her breakthrough, she didn’t want to give up her career at this point. Also her parents had sent her to a boarding school when she was younger and in consequence the idea of living together with an army of other girls had sounded like a nightmare to her. Buffy couldn’t blame her really.
Sarah had promised to stay in contact though and to help if they needed someone in London. Now she didn’t return calls anymore and it stood to reason that the local bad guys had something to do with it. Buffy didn’t have much information about Sarah, apart from a photo, her address and the gallery where she sold most of her pictures. Everything else she would have to find out on her own.
The new skin gave her some neat undercover agent confidence, but she had to admit she felt a little naked without her powers, even though she had several knives and stakes hidden on her body. She had resisted the American impulse to bring a gun, since this time for once she was planning on avoiding fights that came her way and carrying a gun when not even the police force did, could probably get her into more trouble than it was worth.
She boarded a bus with high hopes that it would get her closer to Sarah’s flat and studied her map for a few minutes. The drive took a bit longer than she had anticipated and when she got off the last sunrays were already taking their leave.
Buffy checked her weapons once more just because they made her feel better and started down a darkening alleyway, trying to make out the right direction on the crumbled Google map printout.
She only recognized the vampires when she heard a low snarl that sounded remarkably like someone was having a look at a five star menu. No spidey sense had tingled when the creatures had approached. It was only two of them, a man and woman, hunting practically out in the open, before it was even ten o’ clock. The grins on their faces promised that they wanted to play with their food. “Now Linda?” the man growled. “Was that the kind of pretty boy you had in mind?” Linda licked her lips and nodded.
“Couldn’t have picked him better myself.”
Buffy’s fist was closing around the stake in her pocket. Powers or not those two were going to get a run for their money. She didn’t wait for them to attack but rammed her elbow straight into the man’s chest as she whipped out her stake. He tumbled at step back, but otherwise hardly flinched, only grinned at his mate over her shoulder, “Look, the puppy even wants to play!”
“Adorable, George!” came Linda’s answer, practically purred into Buffy’s ear. She jumped and turned, she had never I even noticed her closing in. Stalling was getting her nowhere it would only prolong them toying with her, so she used what little element of surprise she had from not cowering like frightened rabbit and kicked Linda straight in the teeth. It was pretty much one of her standard moves, only that Linda didn’t fly back and leave a dent in the ever present brick wall, but shrugged off the pain from the impact while her snarling boyfriend already charged for Buffy’s throat. She managed to keep him at a distance with the stake, but Linda was already back in the game and the moment Buffy dodged a swing from her, George caught her with ease and wrestled the stake from her grip.
Shit, two on one was a bitch on regular folk. Buffy spun and kneed George in the balls, which made him hiss with pain satisfactory, but he still didn’t let go of her arm. He roared and the next moment she was flying into the brick wall. She was also pretty sure, she had left a dent when she slid to her knees with her head spinning.
All she could do was to dissuade herself from falling unconscious and with the two madly grinning vampires approaching she was loosing track fast on why staying awake would be good thing in the first place. Xander had been annoyingly right, this assignment was too dangerous and she hadn’t even gotten to the address yet. Buffy frowned hazily, it couldn’t end that stupidly, could it?
An eye blink later her vision was blurred by something black throwing itself at the two vampires. For a moment there, when she only saw the swirl of black leather with flame of white blond hair on top of it, Buffy was pretty sure she was starting to see things. Was not like she never dreamed of Spike. Dizzily she tried to get back on her feet. Her head rang from a high pitched squeal that Linda gave before she blew into dust. Buffy squinted at the black clad figure, who had taken a hold of the cursing George and was now shoving a stake into his chest with a grim smile on his sharp features.
No, there was no mistaking him for anyone else. Blue eyes, since he hadn’t even bothered to change, peroxide hair, black duster, sharp cheekbones and the omnipresent cigarette dangling from his mouth. She stared at him in disbelieve as he took a step closer, concern on his face.
” You all right, mate? “ he asked while she was still shocked silent by the impossibility of what she was seeing. She grabbed his hand. It felt no different than it had down in the caves, back before he had gone up in flames. She shook her head. Spike mistook it for an answer and pulled her to her feet his eyes hovering over the cracked bricks. “Guess they banged your noggin pretty badly. Need to see a doctor then?”
Buffy shook her head again, still staring at him like he was a giant pink elephant. There was no hint of recognition in his eyes, only a growing amount of annoyance. “You know, don’t care to rub it in but since I saved your arse and all, least you could do, is talk to me.”
Her first impulse was to say his name but she caught her tongue just in time. Cover had to be maintained and what were the chances that this was really Spike? People coming back from beyond the grave was never good sign. For all she knew, he could be responsible for the whole mess.
“Who are you?” she asked, easily breathless enough so it didn’t sound fake.
He grinned. “Now that’s better. The name’s Spike, but for you ‘noble savior, to whom I owe a bottle of Jack’ will do.”
Fun with dyslexia or something I found when I prove read this and have to share:
She had to admit she felt a little naked without her powers, even though she had several knives and steaks hidden on her body.