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Outflanked

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Setting the box down and throwing his keys down on the table, Giles’ irritability got the best of him, “If you were a proper guest, you would have answered the door and accepted the parcel when the postman rang. Instead, I’ve just spent the last forty-five minutes in the queue at the post office.”

Spike raised his head, peering over the sofa and gave the Watcher a two fingered salute. “Not in the list of things I’m allowed to do remember?” Affecting a proper BBC accent, he mimicked Giles, “‘I’m giving you the run of the house. Behave yourself, don’t go anywhere, and pretend you aren’t here.’”

Giles shook his head and started to open the box. Spike hurdled over the back of the couch and joined him at the desk. “What’s in it?”

“Go away!”

“Wait!” Spike said, noting the stamps of the Queen. “Is this… is this a care package from Ol’ Blighty?”

Stopping what he was doing, Giles placed his hands on his hips. “This doesn’t concern you. Go back to watching Passions. Isn’t Timmy lost down some well somewhere?”

“You’re thinking Lassie.” Pushing Giles out of the way, Spike dug through the box and pulled out several tins of tea and two packages of Weetabix. “How thoughtful. Replacements.”

“Go. Away. Spike!” Giles ground out, losing his already too thin patience.

“What’s that?” Spike asked, with confusion. “A jumper?”

Giles snatched it and took in a deep breath, counting to ten.

“Ellie Giles?” Spike asked as he looked at the return address before realization hit. “Your mum? Your mum sends you care packages and knits jumpers for you?”

“Shut up and go back to your couch!” Giles said, raising his voice.

“You’re a mummy’s boy!” Spike teased, rolling his eyes. “Explains a lot.”

Giles huffed and started to extract more items from the box, placing them down on the desk as the vampire watched. As he pulled out a few more packages, Spike’s eyes got wide.

“My god!” Spike declared. “Are those?” He quickly grabbed a packet of Walkers Crisps. “They are!”

Giles reached for the bag, but Spike was faster and spun out of his way.

“Give them back!”

“Are you kidding, Watcher? These are Prawn Cocktail! You can’t get anything like ‘em here!”

“Why do you think I have them sent? Wouldn’t you prefer the cheddar and bacon? Perhaps the pickled onion? She sent an assortment.”

“Only one bag of these then?” Spike teased, dangling the packet between his thumb and forefinger, a mocking smile curling over his lips.

Giles lunged for the vampire, taking him down and wrestling with him on the floor, trying to get the crisps from his unwanted houseguest. This arrangement of him watching the neutered vampire was going to change as soon as possible. He’d had it. If one of the others wouldn’t take him, then he would stake the bloody bastard and Hoover up the bits himself. It had been three weeks since Spike had shown up on his doorstep looking to exchange information for shelter and food and thus far, the only one profiting from the deal was Spike. He’d yielded no real information about the Initiative and had wholly taken advantage of Giles’ personal space and provisions.

And it was completely unacceptable that he had to phone his mum to replenish his supply of Weetabix after Spike had appropriated his last box to crumble into his mug of blood.

As they rolled around on the floor, crashing into furniture, they knocked the butterfly lamp off the desk and it shattered on the hardwood.

“You bastard!” Giles spat between gritted teeth as he gained some leverage. “That was vintage art deco!”

Spike pushed him off and rolled to his left, looking at the mess. “Wasn’t… just a shitty copy. I would know… been around long enough!”

Giles dove for the crisps while Spike was distracted, but the vampire laughed and managed to keep them well out of his grasp with his superior strength. Giles landed a punch to his midsection, doubling the vampire over and grabbed the bag. Recovering quickly, Spike reached out, grabbed a leg and pulled the Watcher back to him as he tried to get away.

“Why won’t your… bloody chip… fire?” Giles growled in frustration as he tried to kick the vampire.

“Not punching or biting you. Give them to me, Watcher!”

“Never!”

They continued their battle with no ground gained when Buffy rushed in in a panic, having heard the commotion from outside.

“What the hell is going on?” She yelled, pulling the two men apart.

“He started it!” Giles answered petulantly. “He stole my crisps!”

Spike looked worse for wear, his cheek bruised and his eye beginning to swell.

Buffy grabbed the bag from the vampire, “This caused a knock out drag down fight? A bag of chips?”

“Not just any chips, Slayer,” Spike began. “And for what it’s worth, he hurt me. I was just defending myself.”

“Shut up, Spike!” Buffy and Giles yelled together.

“Ewww! Prawn Cocktail? Really? You Brits are so weird.”

Rubbing his cheek, Spike advised, “Don’t knock it, ’til you’ve tried it. Wars have been started for less.”

Buffy looked around and surveyed the destruction. “So I see.”

Both men watched from the ground in horror as the Slayer opened the bag and pulled out a crisp, tasting one and then shoving a few more in her mouth.

“Hey, these are pretty good!” Buffy declared, as she walked over to the desk and looked at the other bags. “Cheese and onion, smoky bacon, interesting.” She ate a few more of the crisps and  then picked up an orange bag. “Roast chicken???”

“Uh, Buffy?” Giles asked, getting up from his place on the floor. “Is there something you wanted? Besides my crisps?”

“Oh, I dropped by to see if you’d killed each other yet.”

“The day is still young,” he muttered, glaring at Spike, who stuck out his tongue in defiance.

“Well, I need to see mom. She’s complaining about the empty nest.” She rolled her eyes for effect before finishing off bag.

He watched her set down the empty packet with regret before remembering an issue he wanted to address with her. “Buffy, before you go, w-we need to talk about this arrangement with Spike. I-it’s not working and I… well, he’s driving me mad.”

“Well, he can’t stay in the dorm with me and Willow,” Buffy answered with a shrug. Turning to Spike and ordered, “Behave yourself or staking will be the least of your issues.”

Giles gave Spike a smug smile.

Buffy picked up the three bags of chips she’d just inspected and, as she turned to leave, commanded, “Play nice, boys!”

“Oi! Come back with those!” Spike yelled as he got up and ran to the door just as it slammed in his face. He looked at Giles, panic set in his eyes. “What are you going to do about that? She just bogarted most of our crisps!”

With an air of disgust, Giles threw the contents of his care package back into the box.

“She’s your Slayer, mate! Do something!

“Bugger off, Spike,” Giles sighed. “I think Doctor Who is starting.”

Spike turned his attention to the TV. “Oh right! Can I have the pickled onion crisps?” Giles threw the bag at him in exasperation. “Ta!”

As Spike turned the telly over to PBS and settled himself on the couch, the Watcher grabbed the box and started to make his way up to his room, not wanting to risk the rest of his bounty to sticky vampire claws.

“Going up to try on that stylish, new jumper, Watcher?”

Giles ignored him. Once settled in his room, he placed the box on his bed and pulled out a bag of Maltesers. Now these were the prize! He carefully pulled one out and tossed it in the air, catching it in his mouth with a satisfied grin as he savored the confection. While he had lost his favorite crisps to his Slayer and would likely lose his Weetabix once again to his least favourite house guest, at least he could console himself with his beloved chocolates. To the victor…