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It's Time For Another Exciting Episode of... Barb!Brain Theatre!

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INT. BARB'S BRAIN

The Great and All-Powerful Author, hereinafter referred to as BARB, is sitting in front of a moderately messy desk, playing Minesweeper and listlessly checking her e-mail. There is a cat asleep on the scanner. A door slams open, and SPIKE storms in and throws the results of the SOS poll down in front of the monitor.

BARB: HEY! You made me explode!

SPIKE: What's this about dark and fucking angst-ridden? We had a deal!

[SPIKE reaches into the recesses of his coat and produces a CONTRACT, which he unrolls, reavealing a forest of official-looking stamps and seals]

SPIKE: Section four, paragraph twelve: in any work in excess of twenty thousand words you get to torture me, chain me up, beat the shit out of me an' have me commit acts of [whips reading glasses out of coat pocket] 'dubious morality and occasional evil incuding but not limited to gambling, petty theft, burglary in the first degree, trespassing, breaking and entering, grand theft auto, assault, torture, vandalism, animal cruelty, accessory to demonic possession, crimes of passion, manslaughter, attempted murder, murder in the first degree, etc. such as to create substantive conflict between the party of the first part heretofore referred to as Buffy Anne Summers, vampire slayer, and William the Bloody, that would be me--

BARB: Now wait just a cotton-picking minute, what are you complaining about? You LIKE doing all that stuff!

SPIKE: Bloke's got to have a hobby. Point is, in the novels you get to fuck me over any way you like. Short stories I'm supposed to get shagged regular and have a few beers, and not that American horse piss, either. My lawyer says--

BARB: Since when do you have a lawyer?

[LILAH MORGAN sashays in, looking professionally gorgeous]

LILAH: Since you've never seen fit to give me anything to do, I have to make my own fun. We're filing a breach of contract suit with the Tribunal. Hopefully you have one of those little medallion thingies lying around, because if not--

BARB: [looking nervous] Now wait a minute, it's just one option. And it might not even win, anyway.

SPIKE: It had bloody well better not! You haven't got a sodding plot! You only put the bleeding thing on the list because you were feeling sorry for yourself and wanted an excuse to take out your case of the fuck-offs out on your hapless characters, namely me!

BARB: (thoughtfully) Actually, Buffy's much better suited to an oh-poor-me story than you are...

BUFFY: [from the next room] LEAVE ME OUT OF THIS!

BARB: [whines] But all the cool kids do angst! And I do so have a plot!

SPIKE: [raises The Eyebrow] Yeah? Let's hear it.

BARB: Well, uh, there's the multi-Buffy story. It's going to be angsty.

SPIKE: In case it's escaped your notice, I'm not in that one. Next?

BARB: Hah! The Boxer Rebellion Incident!

SPIKE: [smirks] Angel's the central character, I'm supporting at best and you haven't sussed out a plot other than "Angel shags Spike and feels really bad about it."

BARB: [sullenly] Fine. I can come up with something new. How about what happens to Warren?

SPIKE: [cheerfully] Ate the bastard. Billy No-Angst, me.

WILLOW: [poking her head in hesitantly] Well, I have some angst about that. Would that help?

SPIKE: [pats her shoulder] Have a lie-down, pet, it's probably just indigestion.

[BUFFY peers around the corner. She is wearing a towel on her head and has turquoise goop smeared all over her face. A cucumber slice is sliding down one cheek.]

BUFFY: OK, wait a minute, do I find out about that?

BARB: I'm not sure yet.

[BARB pulls up a file full of story notes. BUFFY and SPIKE crowd around the monitor, looking over her shoulder.]

BARB: I originally just figured you two ate him while Buffy was in the pocket dimension and she never found out for sure, but then I thought that wouldn't make any sense, because you'd want to try and make him bring her back, right? So then I thought--

LILAH: Excuse me, but we do have a court case to prepare for...Spike, can you ride a horse?

SPIKE: [distracted, glasses sliding down his nose] Oh, sod off. Changed my mind. This is more fun. Now, how buggered do we want this? I'm not going to be that keen on biting first and asking questions later after what happens in Chapter 18, am I?

BARB: Probably not, but what I figure is Warren's not a fluffy puppy himself. He's gonna --

BUFFY: There's not going to be more robots, is there? I draw the line at robots.

[LILAH rolls her eyes, sighs, opens her briefcase, and pulls out a cell phone.]

LILAH: Mr. Mears? No, you don't know me. But you're going to want to real soon.

End

Chapter Text

INT. BARB’S BRAIN. SPIKE is lounging in an armchair, watching Kill Bill with the sound turned down on a big-screen TV way nicer than the one BARB can actually afford, damn him. BUFFY is still on the laptop, a pastime SPIKE is beginning to think is a bad idea all around.

BUFFY: Huh. Did I ever control you with my sexuality?

SPIKE: If you define ‘sexuality’ as ‘right hook,’ then yeah, I’d say so.

BUFFY: This article says –

SPIKE: Read it.

BUFFY: What?

SPIKE: Read it. And he’s spot on – you birds are a sodding menace! Flouncing around being all competent, kicking the arse of evil, flaunting your courage and wit and did I mention that right hook and seducing poor innocent wrong-thinking vampires into the perilous paths of virtue! The bloody nerve of you lot! Why, if you’d stayed home and sucked this bloke’s boring middle-class dick like you’re supposed to, I’d be out having myself a nice brekky of toddler right about now!

BUFFY: When you put it that way, what was I thinking?

SPIKE: Learned your lesson, I hope. I’m a bad, bad man.

BUFFY: [closing the laptop] True. You are. Totally bad.

SPIKE: [hopefully, holding up a set of handcuffs] And I need to be punished?

BUFFY: [grins] Oh, yeah. Big time.

SPIKE: [blissful purr]

CURTAIN

THE END

Chapter Text

INT. BARB’S HEAD. The Great and Powerful Author (hereinafter referred to as BARB) is slouched in front of her computer, surfing fandom_wank hard at work. Enter SPIKE, stage left. He is wearing sweats and has a towel around his neck.

SPIKE: Oi! You!

BARB: What?! I was writing! I swear! I just took a break for a minute to rest my eyes!

SPIKE: Never mind that. [scowls accusingly] Got a bone to pick with you.

BARB: You do, do you? How come whenever I have a problem with you, it’s “Bugger off, I have important beer to drink,” but when you have a problem with me –

SPIKE: [interrupting] It goes straight to the top of the queue, as it ought in any reasonable universe. Thought I wouldn’t find out, didn’t you?

BARB: In the words of the poet, wha-huh?

SPIKE: Been doing some investigating. [gestures at workout togs] Does anyone else’s version of me have to go through this bollocks? Not hardly! Hop out of their graves with abs of steel, the lot of ‘em, and they’re set for eternity! They don’t even bleeding well sweat!

BARB: Dammit, have you been poking through my fanfic bookmarks?

SPIKE: [smirking] Bloke can’t surf porn sites twenty-four seven. (beat) Least not with the pitiful credit balance on your card.

BARB: Remind me to password protect my account.

SPIKE: Willow’ll just – yeh, right, why don’t you do just that. Back to this exercise business.

BARB: Well, you gotta admit there’s a lot of canon support for it. Harmony worried about pig’s blood going to her hips, Angel goes on that workout binge during his beige period. And what about all those plus-size vampires we see, like the one you set fire to in “Bargaining?” QED, the supernatural strength doesn’t come with abs of steel thrown in.

SPIKE: Someone’s never heard of artistic license.

BARB: Besides, I have to fanwank why you’re Mr. Hardbody in 2001 and not so much in the flashbacks to TGIQ. ‘The actor got pissed off about his shirtless scenes and stopped working out’ doesn’t cut it. I have this totally cool backstory about how you got hooked on Jack LaLanne in the 50’s while you and Drusilla were holed up in a hotel somewhere after a massacre…

SPIKE: (rolls eyes) Oh, well, if there’s a backstory… [glowers] It had better be a bloody good massacre.

BARB: Yeah, sure, whatever. Corpses for miles around. Now quit bugging me and go do some pushups or something.

Exit SPIKE, stage right, grumbling under his breath. BUFFY’S head pops up from behind BARB’S desk.

BUFFY: Is he gone?

BARB: Yup.

BUFFY: And he’s still going to be doing the – [she mimes lifting a barbell over her head] – with the sweat and the rippling and the sexy little grunting noises?

BARB: TMI, but yeah.

BUFFY: [pumps fist in the air] Yes! There is a God! [She hands BARB a wad of twenties]

BARB: Really, you don’t –

BUFFY: It’s OK. I took them out of Spike’s wallet.

BUFFY exits, stage right, extremely chipper. BARB counts the twenties.

BARB: Well, that ought to just about cover the internet porn bill…

 

THE END

Chapter Text

INT BARB'S HEAD.

SPIKE is seated in a comfy armchair, hunched over a video game controller, playing Wing Commander. The GREAT AND ALL-POWERFUL AUTHOR (hereinafter known as "Barb") enters stage left.

BARB: Hey, Spike, are you short?

SPIKE: DIE, YOU POXY BASTARD!

BARB: (makes futile attempt to snatch controller) Hey! Listen up!

SPIKE: (holds controller away) What the fuck do you want? I'm busy.

BARB: I just need to know if you're short. I mean, I keep describing you as short, and there seems to be some debate on the subject in the beta community.

SPIKE: I'm not short. Happy?

BARB: (unconvinced) The thing is, you look short.

SPIKE: As compared to whom?

BARB: Uh...well... almost everone?

SPIKE: Trick of the light. You going to stand there all day, or do something useful? Get me a beer, write me a sex scene?

BARB: Exactly how tall are you?

SPIKE: (with a crafty look) Taller than Jonathan.

BARB: EVERYONE'S taller than Jonathan. BUFFY is practically taller than Jonathan.

SPIKE: (shrugs) Five nine, then.

BARB: (skeptical look)

SPIKE: (sulky) Eight and a half.

[BUFFY breezes by with a can of Tab]

BUFFY: (whispers loudly) It's seven and a half, but who's counting?

SPIKE: (abandoning his conquest of outer space to storm after her, outraged) It's eight! You round UP. You always round UP. 'S the rules!

BUFFY: (with an arch look) Oh, should I get out the ruler and measure the other thing you keep rounding up?

SPIKE: (goes game-faced) That's it, Slayer, you're in for it!

BUFFY: (grinning) Gotta catch me first, shorty.

[Exit Buffy, pursued by vampires]

BARB: (plaintively) OK, but is five seven and a half short?

END

Chapter Text

INT. BARB'S BRAIN.

SPIKE is slouched bonelessly down in a comfy and slightly battered chair, one leg slung over an arm. He's got a remote in one hand, a bottle of Guiness in the other, and there's an overflowing ashtray on the floor beside the chair. There's a big-screen TV across the room. On a couch which matches the chair for wear and comfiness, BUFFY is lounging and reading the latest issue of Cosmo. Into this ldyllic scene, the Author strides.

BARB: So how about it?

Spike: [flips channel, ignores BARB until last possible moment] What?

BARB: [waves paper] The whole slave fic thing. Very popular. There's been demographic studies. Collar, silk sheets...

SPIKE: Collar chafes. Bugger off.

BUFFY: [Sitting up] I dunno, I think it would be cute. With studs.

SPIKE: [leers] Get a leash to go with? Been a bad, bad dog, pet.

BUFFY: [thwaps him with magazine] Maybe a muzzle would be more appropriate.

BARB: No, no, no! No confident flirting allowed! You have to be all meek and obedient and amnesiac and mute. (considers) And maybe blind. Ooh! Or deaf! No one's done deaf!

SPIKE: [sarcastically] Not going to be particularly obedient if I can't hear my master's voice, am I?

BUFFY: You're not particularly obedient when you CAN hear it.

BARB: [surveys Buffy critically] And you have to be Xander. Or possibly Angel.

BUFFY: I will NOT be Xander. (thinks about it) Maybe Angel, though. He dresses really well.

SPIKE: Didn't you already do this bit? Two stories' worth? Me runnin' about all grrh and in the altogether, mute as a bloody post?

BARB: Yeah, but you weren't meek and obedient. Or blind. My bad.

BUFFY: I mean, have you seen those shirts of his? Two hundred bucks a pop.

SPIKE: Keep telling you, love, I can get you--

BUFFY: No.

SPIKE: [pathetically eager to please] Just say the--

BUFFY: [warning look]

SPIKE: [shuts up]

BUFFY: [looks at BARB, raises eyebrow] You were saying about meek and obedient?

BARB: [sighs] Never mind.

END

Chapter Text

INT BARB'S HEAD, WHERE SEVERAL CHARACTERS ARE SORTING THROUGH THE RESULTS TO DATE OF THE CHRISTMAS STORY POLL...

WILLOW: I don't think she thought this through. Three hundred plus people making three suggestions each...

BUFFY: (holding up a poll entry) A trap door, a weasel, and a unicycle? Please tell me we're not going there. In fact, please tell me that there's no there to go.

SPIKE: (sunk in gloom) She's going to make me wear the sodding sweater, I just know it. And the sodding glasses and the sodding curls. I'm going to have to kill at least half a dozen people just to counteract the complete and utter wanker vibes.

XANDER: Yeah? Listen buddy, I'd welcome the humiliation of hand-knit sweaters! Bring it on! Half the respondants want Anya to ditch me for Giles! It's not fair! I'm suffering for the actions of my evil canonical twin Skippy!

ANYA: I think you're exaggerating, dear. It's only point oh-nine of the respondents, and that's if you count the one who wants you to admit you were a dick. (pats his shoulder) It's nothing that can't be cleared up with several dozen touching and heartfelt on-stage declarations of eternal devotion on your part. Possibly accompanied by cleaning the toilet.

FAITH: (kicking back) I don't know what you guys are complaining about. I get Angel and Wes fighting over who gets to grovel for my favors first. It's all good.

WESLEY: I believe someone needs a reminder that I'm an evil soulless bloodsucking creature of the night in this 'verse. I don't grovel.

FAITH: (evil grin) You just got on your knees for Angel in the last chapter because your shoe needed tying?

W: (frostily) It's a vampire thing.

FAITH: (waxing enthusiastic) Maybe in the future you're my vampire bitch, yo! If it works for B...

SPIKE: Oi! Who're you calling a bitch?

FAITH: If the collar fits...

(a scuffle ensues)

BUFFY: HEY! Knock it off! I'm the only one who gets to beat Spike up.

SPIKE: (with the tongue) There's other directions I'd rather you beat me.

 

DAWN: OOH! LOOK! Someone wants Lawson! That means I get him, me me me! (does victory shimmy at which Spike and Xander hastily avert their eyes) Go Dawn, it's your birthday, vampire smoochies for the Dawnster!

The Author, from On High: NO!

DAWN: (with dangerously narrowed eyes) Why not?

Author: I told you why not! It's way too similar to what Nan's doing with Mike!

DAWN: Oh, right, like no one else has ever paired me up with a vamp in ANY FIC EVER BEFORE! (Wheedling) Come ooooon, he's perfect!

BUFFY: I'm with her. You're not dating a vampire!

DAWN: Trust me, Buff, it's not dating fantasies that keep me up nights.

SPIKE: (Clamps hand over her mouth) You're not dating anyone. Shut it, Bit, and let me pretend you're still fourteen for another ten years.

WILLOW: I'm partial to Angel having a brood of werewolf kids, myself.

BUFFY: (agog) How big is a brood?

SPIKE: (counting on fingers) Oh, eight to twelve, I reckon.

ANGEL: What? Ten minutes ago I was fighting Wes for Faith.

Author: Don't get comfy. I haven't decided yet.

SPIKE: You never know, mate, could be mpreg with Oz.

ANGEL: So about this Disneyland trip you take in ten years--

SPIKE: One, three extra pounds is not a gut, two, it's not an official future, and three, sod off.

ANGEL: And once again I'm stunned by your rhetorical brilliance.

FAITH: Can we get back to Wes being my bitch?

WESLEY: I don't see where you derive that. Everyone knows that when we get together in fic it's so you can exercise your self-destructive masochistic tendencies.

FAITH: Fuck that. I got self-esteem and shit.

DAWN: OK, it's all settled. I get Lawson, Faith gets to make Evil Soulless Wesley her bitch, Cordelia or Nina or Oz or somebody gets Angel, and Buffy and Spike grope each other as per usual. Cool beans.

BUFFY: Now wait just a minute--

WILLOW: (pointing) Hey, guys. Mistletoe.

BUFFY: (grabs Spike) Ah, screw it.

End

Chapter Text

INT. BARB'S BRAIN:

BUFFY: You're not having me wear that, are you?

BARB: Look, I consider formal wear a t-shirt without a logo. Consider yourself lucky.

BUFFY: Can't you look up something good, like that cute outfit in the window of Rampage?

BARB: What?

BUFFY: (rolls eyes) Three weeks ago at Arizona Mills? You thought "Buffy would wear that." I made notes. See? Cuteness?

BARB: I think you've forgotten something about the Christmas story.

BUFFY: What? I-- [checks out sketch. Eyes go wide, lip begins to tremble] Oh, my God! You can't draw me like that! [bursts into tears] I'm a WHALE! You didn't tell me I was going to be that fat!

BARB: Yeah, I pity you and your extra fifteen pounds intensely. How come no matter what angle I pick I can never find a reference photo that's the right angle AND the right side?

SPIKE: [Critically] While you're at it, keep in mind that while that Marsters bloke may be getting on in years, I'm not.

BARB: [muttering] You can be replaced, you know.

BUFFY: [hyperventilating] Two months! It says that the average couple doesn't have sex for two months after a baby's born! He's going to get bored and leave me. And what if he starts killing people? I'll be left with a demon baby whose father I have to hunt down except that I'll be TOO FAT TO SLAY! So Faith will go after him and they'll fight and he'll fall for her bad-girl charm and they'll end up living it up in Rio while--

SPIKE: Oh, for Christ's sake, I did without for two years after Dru dumped me. I think I can restrain my lustful impulses for two months.

HARMONY: [interrupting from the peanut gallery] HEY! What am I, chopped liver?

SPIKE: [blinks at Harm, honestly surprised] Uh...sorry pet, you were so mind-blowing I've had to block the memory in self-defense.

HARMONY: [mollified] Hmph. That's more like it.

BUFFY: (considering) That's right. And I guess it must have been even longer before Dru than after...

SPIKE: What's that supposed to mean?

BUFFY: Well, you were saving yourself for Cecily, weren't you? And you were how old when you were turned?

SPIKE: I DID NOT DIE A SODDING VIRGIN!

BUFFY: [soothing] Of course not!

SPIKE: I was almost thirty! No red-blooded bloke gets to thirty without dipping his wick at least once!

BUFFY: Right! I'm sure there were loads of, uh, chambermaids.

SPIKE: [sulky] Loads. They flocked to our doorstep. An' besides [mumbling] my cousin took me to a whorehouse for my twenty-first birthday.

BUFFY: Gee, and all you got me was candy. [significant look] Which I didn't even get to eat.

SPIKE: Take it I'm supposed to remedy that? [teasing] Thought you were worried about getting fat.

BUFFY: Shut up and pass the ice cream, buster.

SPIKE: Come on, love, buck up. You look smashing.

BUFFY: Most pumpkins do. [sniffles, willing to be convinced] Do I really?

SPIKE: Bloody right you do, all round and ripe and...[goes all growly] luscious.

BUFFY: [wipes nose on his t-shirt] You're sure?

SPIKE: Positive. [grabs her, leers, puts her hand on his crotch] Would Little Will here lie to you?
[Assorted smoochy slurpy noises]

BARB: Great. She gets pregnant, I have to barf.

 

End

Chapter Text

INT BARB'S BRAIN. The Great and Powerful Author, aka BARB, is obsessively refreshing her friends list.

BUFFY: You need to start writing your seasonal_spuffy story. Your posting date is only two and a half weeks away.

BARB: I can't. I have to work on 3D. [stares morosely at screen] Besides, I have it all plotted out and it shouldn't take me any longer to write than the Summer of Spike one did.

BUFFY: [impatiently] Uh huh. Has it occurred to you that you're stalled on 3D because you'd rather be writing about, oh, only the most important day in my life?

DAWN: [incredulous] The most important day in your life? Is that why you totally DITCHED the rest of us? What about--

BUFFY: We didn't ditch you! It was a carpe diem thing! And shh! I'm working the guilt here.

DAWN holds up a spiral-bound notebook behind BUFFY'S back. DAWN rolls her eyes and mouths She's still doing it! Several lines in BUFFY'S handwriting are visible:


Mrs. Buffy Summers Pratt Summers
Mr. & Mrs. William Pratt
Mr. & Mrs. William and Buffy Buffy & William Summers-Pratt
Mr. & Mrs. William Summers-Pratt Pratt-Summers

[BUFFY notices what Dawn is doing]

BUFFY: You twerp! Give that back!

[Dawn shrieks and runs, notebook clutched to her chest.]

DAWN: SPIKE! HELP!

SPIKE: [Looking up from the footy] You're on your own, Bit-- [plucking notebook from her] One bloody minute here, I thought we'd settled that wasn't officially my name?

BUFFY: Well, I've got to use SOMETHING! And William Williams is just Dork City.

SPIKE: An' whose fault is it I'm stuck with it? [examines notebook] Pratt-Summers does have a bit of a ring to it...

BUFFY: Summers-Pratt. Way ringier.

DAWN: How about Throatwarbler-Mangrove? [at the double-barrelled Death Glare, holds up hands, steps back] Just a thought. Now about that ditching, I'm thinking that to avert the trauma, I'm going to need an iPod. A green one.

BUFFY: Yeah, I'll get right on that. As soon as I find out who put the dent in the fender of the Jeep.

DAWN: Or it could wait.

End

Chapter Text

[INT Barb’s brain. BUFFY and SPIKE are in bed, basking in the afterglow of activities best left shrouded in mystery in a PG-rated journal.]

 

SPIKE: So... what about it?

BUFFY: [drowsily] What about what?

SPIKE: [nudge-nudge wink-wink] You know.

BUFFY: [very prim] I have no idea what you’re talking about.

SPIKE: [wheedling] Come on, you know the annoying bint who writes us’s been looking for an excuse to have Faith pay a visit. No better time, yeah? Could be a birthday present. I’ve been very good.

BUFFY: You’ll never be that good. Besides, I’m not… you know.

SPIKE: Never know until you try.

BUFFY: [indignant] I’m as straight as you are!

SPIKE: [raised eyebrow]

BUFFY: You know what I mean!

SPIKE: [pouting] Could involve character development, you know. Bloody important character development.

BUFFY: Let me guess: the kind of character development where you end up as the filling in a Slayer sandwich?

SPIKE: No! I never! At least, not unless… well, yes.

BUFFY: Uh huh. On the day you Jello-wrestle Angel nude in a glass cage at the L.A. Convention Center, buster.

[BUFFY rolls over and yanks all the covers to her side of the bed, very decisively. Spike considers this for a moment.]

SPIKE: [hope springing eternal] Really? Cos Angel does owe me a favor...

Faith: [strolling in from offstage] Yo. Don't I get a vote?

BUFFY: [from beneath covers] NO!

SPIKE: [sulking] Bloody hell. No sense of adventure, is your problem.

BUFFY: [poking head out] Oh, please. Girl-on-girl is so tame.

FAITH sits down on the edge of the bed.

FAITH: Hate to say it, but she's kinda right. For an evil creature of the night, your fantasies are pretty much on the Slayers Gone Wild side.

SPIKE: [insulted] Are not. They're deeply... disturbing.

BUFFY: [to Faith] Did Willow ever show you the specs for the Buffybot? It was like a Harlequin romance. With fangs. That was disturbing.

FAITH: I'm definitely disturbed.

BUFFY: And the thing is? If we did do it? He'd be all wibbly and jealous and "Aren't I enough for you?"

SPIKE: I would not! Rawr, threesomes!

BUFFY: One word: Drusilla.

SPIKE: [Opens mouth, shuts mouth, glowers. A beat.] I've grown as a person since then.

FAITH: [with a wicked grin] Dunno there, Spike. It's a slippery slope. Once I've had 'em, they stay had. [She turns to BUFFY.] What say, B? Go for the toaster or not?

BUFFY: [turns to Spike, eyelashes fluttering] Up to you, sweetie.

SPIKE: [long, agonized pause as he considers the ramifications] No tongues.

FAITH gives BUFFY a chaste peck on the cheek, blows SPIKE a kiss, and saunters off with a smirk.

SPIKE: Somehow that wasn't nearly as much fun as I was expecting.

BUFFY: Poor baby. I'll make it up to you.

SPIKE: [major sulkitude] Yeh? How?

[BUFFY reaches down under the covers]

BUFFY: I can help you grow as a person. [looks down, beams] Ooh, look, it's working already.

SPIKE: [somewhat mollified] It's a start. Mind, a bloke might need considerable personal growth to get past this kind of trauma.

BUFFY: Considerable, huh?

SPIKE: Bucketloads. Day an' night. Unceasing, one might say.

BUFFY: I'd better get to work, then.

SPIKE: [purrs] Rawr.

[Pan to the fireplace... BLACKOUT]

 

END

Chapter Text

INT. BARB’S BRAIN

SPIKE is lounging in bed, perusing the latest issue of WSC. BUFFY is dressed in comfy PJs and sitting at her desk, reading e-mail.

SPIKE: Sodding Czechs…sodding defense… bloody, sodding Portsmouth…

BUFFY: [with a frown] Look at this!

SPIKE: [absorbed in the footy] Wossat?

BUFFY: Just look!

[She turns her laptop so SPIKE can see the following piece of SPAM]


Shipping Wars are Hell When You’re the Main Character!

After a long day of PWP with phenomenally endowed partners, do you feel less than virginally tight? Is your Golden Vagina in need of a polish? Then try Doctor Bombay’s Patented Miracle Cootch Tightener! Guaranteed to maintain your assets in prime condition under the assault of even the most massive of throbbing members!

BUFFY: Apparently along with saving the world on a regular basis, I’m supposed to have the hoo-hah of a sixteen-year-old. [She crosses her arms.] In perpetuity!

SPIKE: Christ, I hope not. Done a virgin or two in my time. Highly over-rated.

BUFFY: [ominous look]

SPIKE: [hastily] Just saying, I prefer a bird who knows what she’s about.

BUFFY: I mean, Slayer healing’s good, but it’s not that good. Especially when you combine that with the baby fic - one minute you’re supposed to be popping out a Miracle Baby, or God help us Miracle Twins, and two weeks later? “Ooh, Slayer, you’re so tight!” A girl could get a complex.

SPIKE: Yeah, well, you’re not the only one who’s got unrealistic expectations to live up to. I’m s’posed to be hung like a mule… [looks down, smirks] Oh, wait.

BUFFY: So it’s not just that I have to be a perpetual virgin, I’m supposed to be ElastiGirl on top of that! Though that could be useful in the case of a Miracle Baby who inherits his father’s GIANT HEAD!

SPIKE: [considers taking offense at this, but decides against it]

BUFFY: [She’s on a roll now] I mean, what is it with guys and the virgin fetish? Is it marking your territory? Because excuse me, not the Louisiana Purchase here! Does a non-virgin have sperm cooties? Inquiring minds want to know! Does it honestly matter that much that Angel had sex with me first?

SPIKE: Well… bit of a pisser that it was Angel… [shielding his bits with the magazine, off BUFFY’S look] Not a jot! Don’t give a toss who had you first, love, long as I get you last!

BUFFY: [glowering] That’s better. [She hits the Delete key and opens the next e-mail] Ooh, here’s one for you. “Is your trouser snake a python or a garter? Feeling inadequate? If you’re not ABSOLUTELY SURE your man-meat is more manly than your arch-rival’s - ”

SPIKE: [growls] Inade - Right, you’re turning that thing off and coming to bed.

BUFFY: [demurely] Sounds like a plan.

 

END>

Chapter Text

BARB: OK, everybody! This is it at last! After innumerable delays, it's the chapter where we finally get to the Tombstone Sex! Hot, sweaty, nasty–

BUFFY: Excuse me? Did you or did you not just leave my sister on the brink of death in the last chapter? And you want me to what?

BARB: Well, it's not really the brink–

SPIKE: Yeh, fat lot of compassion you show. Some author you are. Put the thing off till you've written the Bit into better health. And have I mentioned lately that there's a distinct lack of decent beer in here?

BUFFY: YOU should talk. I have to put up with her complete lack of fashion sense. She doesn't even know who Jimmy Choo IS.

BARB: Oh, come ON! Put it off? It's already been put off for eight fricking chapters! And since when are you two so squeamish about a sex scene? Normally I can barely keep your paws off each other for three paragraphs running, and unlike most of the unscheduled lust-fests you talk me into, this one is IN THE PLOT OUTLINE!!

BUFFY: (folding arms and looking stubborn) Well, then, you shouldn't have written Dawn practically into a coma. Was THAT in your plot outline? [She does the trembly lip thing]

BARB: Er, well...it seemed like a good idea at the time.

SPIKE: (glaring) Now you've gone and put a foot in it. [puts an arm around BUFFY's shoulders] There, there, poodle, it'll come right in the end. [morphs into game face and snarls] WON'T it?

BARB: Watch it, buster, or I'll give you a soul. Look, I PROMISED Tombstone Sex! And it's important character development 'cause of... uh... stuff that happens.

BUFFY: (Looks up at SPIKE) Well... we might possibly see our way to tender, sweet, Sara McLachlan comfort sex once Dawn's settled.

SPIKE: Anything you want, baby. Long as we don't actually have to listen to the bint. (He brightens) How's this then: Mopey-bitch comfort sex first, you write our li'l Blood-Pudding Cup a miraculous recovery, and we have a go in the cemetery to celebrate. Sound good?

BUFFY: Scrummy! Except... tombstone sex? Nasty, maybe, sweaty, possibly, but hot, I don't think so. It's the middle of December in this story, and freezing my tits off on a marble slab is so not on the Buffy Fun List. [turns to author] So we're going to change the venue to SPIKE's crypt, and employ the marvelous invention known as the blanket.

BARB: Now you wait one cotton-picking minute! The Tombstone Sex is a present for a sick friend. And I'm gonna give it to her if it means I have to tie both of you to the tombstone.

SPIKE: [looking intrigued] Actually, pet, that sounds like it might be–[BUFFY whacks him in the arm] OW! Right, blankets. [spreads his hands in a 'What can you do?' gesture]

BARB: (holding up hand) However, she's willing to make a deal. We can delay the Tombstone Sex out of consideration for Dawn, but she gets one additional sex scene in compensation. [Hands them a list] You can choose one position from column A and two from column B.

[SPIKE peruses the list, looking impressed. He nudges BUFFY and points to an item. Her eyes widen and for a moment she wavers, but no--she is the Slayer; her will is iron.]

BUFFY: [very firmly] Nice. Toasty. Blankets.

BARB: [cannily] How about I arrange for there to be blankets on the tombstone?

[SPIKE points out another item on the list and does that thing with his tongue. BUFFY caves.]

BUFFY: OK, fine, tombstones. Whatever. But I want pillows, too. [sneaks a look at the list again] We should take this and, uh, practice our lines. If we have a whole extra scene coming up and all.

SPIKE: Brill. So, pet, I ever show you what that pipe running over the bed's good for?

BUFFY: No, but I have a very active imagination.

[They depart, discussing the intricacies of crypt plumbing.]

END

Chapter Text

INT. BARB’S BRAIN. A large sign reads “THE BARBVERSE – CURRENTLY UNDERGOING RENOVATIONS. LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY.” A horde of scuttling MINIONS are everywhere, hammering, sawing, ripping out scenery, and painting new flats. The GREAT AND POWERFUL AUTHOR, hereinafter referred to as BARB, is standing in the middle of the chaos with a megaphone.

BARB: No, that one! Over there! And don’t get paint on the carpet!

SPIKE: What’s all this, then?

BARB: Nothing you need to worry about. I’m just revising the background of the ‘verse to attract the mature, sophisticated Spuffy readers of today.

BUFFY: Scuzi? I just barely got the place livable, and you’re redecorating?

 

BARB: Hey, we need to keep up with the times. [frames imaginary marquee with hands] I can see it now: Spuffy for the new millennium!

BUFFY: [wary] Exactly what did you have in mind?

BARB: Well, for one thing, the kids have got to go. And the wedding ring. Nobody does that married-with-children schtick any more.

SPIKE: Like hell you will! Over my cold and no longer dead body!

BARB: [enthused] In fact, you won’t be living together at all. Established relationships are so 2003. Buffy’s going to be a struggling waitress in San Francisco, and Spike’s going to rule an empire of extra-dimensional cockroaches!

BUFFY: Not in my kitchen he’s not.

BARB: OK, scratch the cockroaches. [whips out a clipboard, scribbles something on it] Maybe I’ll give them to Illyria, she appreciates a good cockroach. OK, Spike’s a disillusioned private eye in Los Angeles, seeking redemption. And he's got a soul now. Happy?

SPIKE: Sounds awfully familiar, somehow.

BARB: Shhh, she can’t tell you apart. Joss says so. Anyway –

BUFFY: Oooh! Do we forge an uneasy alliance while I’m slaying and he’s, uh, privately eyeing? How do we get together?

SPIKE: [with a leer] I’ll eye you privately any time, pet.

BARB: You don’t get together. That would ruin everything. Real Spuffy fans don’t want their romance spoon-fed to them! They want to work for it! They want to sweat and suffer and strive and –

BUFFY: OK, why is this sounding less like a relationship and more like a really grim Dancercize class?

BARB: You can see each other for the occasional apocalypse. Within limits, of course. You fight a few monsters, partake in an exchange of banter, possibly have a sexual fantasy, and then…

SPIKE: And then the oral sex! Now that’s more like!

BARB: God, no! You give her a hearty pep talk and go back to your cockroaches.

BUFFY: So basically Spuffy for the new millennium is a slay date which leaves us both cranky, celibate, and hundreds of miles apart?

BARB: That’s the basic idea. And here’s the best part: two years later, you get to do it all again! [looks from BUFFY to SPIKE] I’m not sensing any enthusiasm here.

SPIKE: Better have a hell of a benefits plan. And speaking of benefits, if we’re only allotted a quarter-hour of hands-off slap-and-tickle every two years, we’d best have leave to step out between times. A bloke could get carpal tunnel trying to make up the difference.

BARB: [consults notes] You’re allowed 1.5 unsatisfying flings each with other people between apocalypses. Just make sure they all end in tragedy, or at least embarrassment.

BUFFY: Yippee.

BARB: Look, times have changed, guys. Domestic fic about an established relationship is passé. Boring. Infested with heteronormative cooties. We’ve gotta stay cool, hip, now, with it!

BUFFY: Ditching the English-to-Hippie dictionary would be a start. Look, since it’s escaped your notice, I kill demons for a living. Boring is my dream date. Besides, I’m pretty sure I remember the usual suspects squeeing over the odd babyfic in their day.

BARB: That’s different. They’re squeeing ironically.

[BUFFY and SPIKE exchange a look]

BUFFY: Oh. Well. That makes all the difference. I guess there’s only one thing left for us to do, then.

SPIKE: Alley oop.

[As one, they turn on BARB, grab her, and toss her in the nearest Dumpster.]

BARB: [banging on the side of the Dumpster] HEY! WAIT! I’M YOUR AUTHOR! YOU CAN’T DO THIS!

BUFFY: Kinda just did. We’ll let you out when you’ve calmed down a bit.

SPIKE: [to MINIONS] Oi, you lot, knock it off! And put that rubbish back where you found it! [to BUFFY] Couple of days should have her screaming 'uncle.' Think we can wring a compensatory trip to Europe out of her, love?

BUFFY: That would be wrong. But gratifying. [eyes Dumpster] Day and a half. Tops.

SPIKE: It’s a bet.

 


THE END

Chapter Text

INT. BARB'S HEAD. It is a dark and scary place...ok, fine, it's just a little dusty. BUFFY and SPIKE are lying in a four-poster bed. BUFFY is reading Modern Bride of the Vampire and SPIKE is snoring softly. (What, you think it's sex all the time up there?)

BUFFY glances over at SPIKE.

BUFFY: Spike.

SPIKE snores. BUFFY pokes him in the side.

BUFFY: Spike! Are you awake?

SPIKE: (groggy) Am now. Wossat?

BUFFY: We're married, correct?

SPIKE: (with a wary look) Depending on what part of the timeline we're in, yeh.

BUFFY: (pouts) Then why don't we get any cool powers? Aren't vampire mating rituals supposed to give you cool powers?

SPIKE: (leers) Depends on the ritual and who we're matin' with.

BUFFY: (thwaps him with magazine) According to this article, we should have a telepathic soul-connection binding us till the end of time. At a minimum.

SPIKE: (logical) Haven't got a soul to bind, love.

BUFFY: You've got some kind of demon energy spirit thingy. Close enough.

SPIKE: Not sure I like the idea of you rummaging through my unmentionables anyway.

BUFFY: You rummage through my unmentionables.

SPIKE: Just the once! (Off BUFFY'S look) Twice...several...look, that's irrelevant. Bloke's got a right to privacy in the sanctity of his own head. Don't tell me you haven't any girly little secrets you'd rather I didn't find out.

BUFFY: Of course I– (pales) OK, never mind the soulbond. Nothing good ever comes of telepathy anyway. What about the getting of the strength of ten because our hearts are pure?

SPIKE: (leans back, flexes. Showoff.) Already got that, don't we? Hearts irregardless?

BUFFY: Kinda depends on what the plot requires that week. Sometimes we only get the strength of two and a half. Insufficient. Also? Power-sharing! I should totally be able to share your powers!

SPIKE: This an all or nothing bit? Like you get my ability to drink more than two glasses of Zinfandel without going giggly and passing out, but you also get an irresistible craving for an after-shag smoke?

BUFFY: Ewwww. (consults magazine) It doesn't say. And those aren't powers. Maybe it's only the good powers. Like you could go out in the sun. (frowns) Or wait, going out in the sun isn't a power either. I'm not called Buffy The Going-Out-In-The-Sun Woman.

SPIKE: What if it evens out so we both can go out in the sun but we both get instant third-degree burns? Can see it now: the two of us lolling on a pristine sandy beach, sippin' Mai Tais and peeling bits of charred skin off each other's backs...

BUFFY: (contemplates this charming picture) You have no spirit of romance.

SPIKE: (lights a cigarette) Yeh, well, I've always been bad.

BUFFY: (sly) Does that mean I'm half-bad?

SPIKE: (big grin) Let's find out.

END