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For TARDIS and Country

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The only solution is to go straight to the source. If you ask Buffy, that’s the mark of a pretty lazy demon. What self-respecting force of evil won’t even leave its hidey-hole to come get its ass kicked? But apparently these ones have some issues with – sunlight, or daytime, or nighttime, or who knows, maybe they’re just really dedicated couch potatoes. To be honest, she kinda tuned out there for awhile as Giles waxed Watcherly about all the specifics. The point is: slay the funny little rat monsters before they eat Sunnydale.

It’s not exactly the most glamorous night on the job, prowling around the woods with Giles and Spike trying to find a demonic burrow. It gets less fun – and then briefly more fun – when they do find it and have to climb down in. Buffy has an okay time, on account of the whole petite thing, but Giles and Spike are all dirty and grumbly by the time they make it.

Buffy’s not really sure what to expect from a subterranean rat monster hidey-hole, but what they get is, like, Dirt Cathedral.

“Oh, weird,” Buffy says, “it’s …”

“Bigger on the inside,” Giles and Spike say in unison.

“Well,” Buffy says, turning around to look at them, “yea—”

She stops talking, because speaking of weird: Giles and Spike look at each other, faces all aglow with surprise and understanding. They hold eye contact for just long enough for it to reach special kinds of strange; then they break it off abruptly. Giles considers the way-too-high-up dirt ceiling; Spike looks at his shoes and starts to whistle.

Buffy frowns. “Do you two need a moment or something?”

“Pfft! Please!” snorts Spike.

“Ridiculous,” scoffs Giles.

“Oookay then,” Buffy says, and shrugs. They keep going. No sign of the rat monsters, but her creepy-crawly sense is tingling.

“Slayer,” Spike pipes up, “you didn’t tell me we were hunting Time Lords. Not sure I’m comfortable with that, morally speaking.”

Giles – snickers?

“Time Huh?” Buffy says blankly. Spike doesn’t answer, which is a-okay with her.

“The TARDIS has seen finer days, hasn’t she?” Giles observes after some wonderful and too-short silence. Spike mutters something that sounds spookily like, “Good one.”

“What is this?” Buffy demands, whirling around to face them. “Flirting in code?”

“Top secret Mother Country business, love,” Spike says, all Britisher than thou and annoying-faced. “We couldn’t possibly expect you to understand.”

“Perhaps you’d best ask the Doctor,” Giles recommends, straight-faced. Too straight-faced.

“Doctor who?” Buffy asks.

They both laugh. They both laugh. Together. At her. What? The last time she checked, both of them liked her way better than each other. This is so not the natural order of things.

“Stop getting along!” Buffy orders, trying to sound In Charge and mostly just managing Freaked Out. “It’s creepy!”

They do. Mostly ‘cause a rat monster flies out of nowhere – ooh, they fly, that’s fun – and lands on Giles’ head, and Spike spends ten seconds laughing before fighting it off.

To which Buffy says (to herself): hey. Whatever works.