All About Spike - Plain Version
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Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5
By Valerie X
Warning: This chapter contains dialogue which may be offensive to those affected by the September 11th attacks. And yes, I know I’m going to hell for this.
After a bottle of pig’s blood and a few bandages, Spike was able to stand and get himself into his bed. He listened to their plan take shape through a haze, drifting off to sleep as Xander suggested explosives and Willow argued that it was a crime to plot to kill the President.
He was shocked into consciousness by the light touch of Buffy’s hand on his arm, her fingers only grazing him, careful not to cause any more pain to his damaged skin. He turned to see her face firm in an expression he’d become familiar with: the I-am-going-to-kill-the-bad-guys-for-what-they-did-to-you look. He’d seen it before, but on those occasions it had been him she was preparing to kill in retribution. In an instant he realized why people like Buffy and her friends chose to fight on this side. It was a lot nicer to be the one she killed for, than to be the one she killed, if for no other reason than to see that look in her eyes.
“We’re going now,” she said.
Spike nodded. “Be careful.”
“Please.” Buffy chortled and rolled her eyes, obviously unafraid of the new villains she was about to face. To Spike, it was the most comforting thing she could’ve said. For a moment she looked like the old Buffy: confident, strong and deadly; the only person he’d ever met who could kick his ass - brutally, repeatedly - and make him love it.
“So,” Xander said as they began to drive towards the old high school. “You are Spike are........you and Spike?”
“I think it’s sweet,” Willow said, smiling at her friend supportively. “A little disturbing, but still sweet.”
“Xander?” Buffy asked cautiously. “Exactly how mad are you?”
“On a scale of one to ten?” Xander replied. “I’d say about...three thousand.”
“That much, huh?” Buffy muttered, pouting. “It’s not that big of a deal, though, I swear. It’s not like we’re getting married.” She threw a pointed look at Willow. “Again.”
They parked outside the dilapidated building and began walking towards it. In the years since they’d blown up the school, the lawn in front of it had turned into a jungle of overgrown grass, unidentifiable rubble, and benches lying cracked and forgotten like the remains of an ancient civilization.
“I mean, what are you thinking?” Xander said. “Someone comes to town for the sole purpose of killing you, nearly destroys the world as we know it, is rendered powerless against their will, reluctantly joins our side, yet shows no remorse at all, and you fall for this person?”
Buffy slowed her pace, letting her friends walk slightly ahead of her.
“No. Wait.” Xander stopped walking, turned to face her, and smiled widely. “That’s what happened to me.”
“Xander, you big doof.” Buffy moved into his outstretched arms and hugged him.
“And as much as I’m loving the touching,” he said. “We’ve got the Hellmouth a-brewin’ in there.”
“Right, two horribly terrifying old guys,” Willow said sarcastically.
Buffy shrugged in agreement. “The only problem I’m gonna have is stopping them without killing them.”
They walked inside the decaying school, careful to step over bits of decaying Richard Wilkins III and Vahrall demon. As they moved towards what used to be the library, they heard two male voices, and Buffy gestured for them to be quiet.
“Did you hear something?” Vladmir Putin asked nervously.
George W. Bush sighed. “Honey, why are you always so jumpy? It’s nothing. There are only two people in the world who could stop us, and they’re both taken care of. I fatally wounded the vampire, and I sent another anthrax letter to Tom Daschle. All our enemies are gone.”
“I know,” Putin admitted. “I am only nervous because we’re finally here. The height of our power, the peak of our love! I fear it will not end well.”
Buffy peered around the corner to see Bush stroking Putin’s face lovingly.
“Do you remember how we fell in love?” the President asked.
Putin smiled. “After your country was attacked, that one morning in September.”
Bush moved closer to Putin, pressing their bodies together. “I activated all our missile defenses...”
“And in the old days, my country would have responded by activating ours...”
“But instead, you just called me,” Bush said, running his hand back through his lover’s thinning hair. “And I knew...”
“That even though we hated each other for so long...”
“Even though I called you evil...”
“In a moment of tragedy, I reached out for you...”
“In my pain, I turned to you...”
“And from the ashes of death, we found love.”
The two men leaned towards each other, their lips parted.
“You know, I can totally identify with that!” Buffy said as she sauntered into the broken down room. “But that’s not gonna stop me from kicking your asses.”
“Stupid little girl,” Bush growled as he hugged Putin close to him. “You can’t hurt us!”
“Why?” Willow said as she entered. “’Cause you’re the President?”
“I’ll have you know we killed a mayor here once,” Xander challenged, coming in behind her.
“No,” Bush said. “Because I brought my entourage. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.” He gestured to two middle-aged men as they stepped from the shadows. “And Pentagon Spokeman Rear Admiral John Stufflebeam.”
“Nice to meet you,” Buffy said, stepping forward. “I’m Vampire Slayer World-Defender About-To-Kick-You-In-The-Face Buffy Summers.”
Her boot connected with Bush’s chin, sending him tumbling backwards. As Putin leaned down to comfort his boyfriend, a kick to the back of his legs made him collapse as well. Xander rushed up to them and began gathering up the sacred stones and sword they would use to open the Hellmouth, as Buffy turned her attention to the President’s minions.
“You wanna run away now or what?” she asked impatiently.
Pentagon Spokesman Rear Admiral John Stufflebeam only smiled, turned around, and bent over.
As Buffy watched, wide-eyed, the backside of the man’s tailored pants morphed into a grenade launcher. She dove to the ground, just narrowly avoiding a bright red explosion that shook the earth and sent rubble crashing around her.
She leapt to her feet to make sure her friends were okay. Xander was still desperately clutching the stones and sword, and Willow was cowering against the wall.
“Hey Will!” She called out. “Remember the whole magic-is-a-bad-addiction thing you’ve been dealing with?”
“Could we maybe forget about that for a minute?”
With a proud smile, Willow raised her hands and tossed a lightning bolt at the four men.
But before it could reach the prone bodies of Bush and Putin, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer leapt in front of them, lowered his bald head, and reflected the beam of energy back towards the three of them.
It struck Buffy in the chest, tossing her body across the room and into a pillar. Xander rushed towards her, but he was pushed back by a cloud of smoke as the concrete collapsed, burying her.
“Buffy!” Willow shouted.
Bush chuckled as he stood up, wiping blood from his face with the back of his hand. “Get the sword!” he shouted to the other men. “It’s almost time!”
Fleischer, Stufflebeem, and Putin began advancing on Xander.
“Will!” he called out, extending the items her way.
“Just kill the boy!” Bush commanded.
Their attack was halted by a sudden downpour of shards of rock, and a dusty Buffy emerged.
“I hate it when I get buried,” she growled.
In one motion she snapped both of the Pentagon Spokesman’s wrists, and then used his limp body to knock the White House Press Secretary unconscious. Her elbow met with Putin’s face, and she lunged on Bush, pinning his arms to the ground and holding her fist above his face threateningly.
“It’s over,” she told him. “It’s too late to do the ritual. Go back to Washington, stop trying to take over the world, and I’ll let you live.”
But Bush only smiled. “It’s not that simple, little girl.” Her glanced over at the crevice in the ground nearby. “In the White House, we have another name for the Hellmouth: undisclosed location.”
Smoke began to rise from the Hellmouth, and the ground shook ominously. Buffy jumped to her feet and rushed to the fissure just in time to see the Vice President emerge, his eyes red and glowing, riding on the back of the six-headed monster she knew all to well.
Buffy attacked the Vice President with her fists while battling off the demon’s tentacles with her feet. When it managed to grab hold of her ankles, she braced her heels on the ground and pounded on the man even more viciously.
“Go back to hell, Dick Cheney!” she screamed.
But she was fighting a losing battle. Even as she pummeled the Vice President’s face into a bloody paste, the demon was gaining ground, simultaneously pulling her inside the Hellmouth while it lifted itself out.
Buffy had heard about those life-changing experiences where one’s mind would go quiet, like a car accident in silent slow motion, but she’d never had the luxury of experiencing anything like that. When she was in danger, she heard every deafening noise: the screams of her friends, the growl of her attackers, and it all went by so fast that she was never sure she was safe until weeks after it was over.
Except now. Now, as her hands squished against flesh and the legions of hell rose to meet Earth, she couldn’t hear a thing. Her thoughts were slow, measured, and sequential. First, that she was sure she’d be able to drive the demon back into the Hellmouth. Second, that she would probably get dragged in there herself. Third, that she was willing to make that sacrifice. But lastly, that she didn’t want to.
She wanted her sister. She wanted her friends. She wanted her annoying, undead, not-boyfriend. She wanted bills and phone calls from creditors and crappy dead-end jobs. She wanted a bathroom that needed cleaning once a week but never seemed to get clean enough. She wanted a vacuum that barely worked and a carpet that clung desperately to hair. She wanted uncomfortable jeans and cheap hair bands that stretched out too much the first time she used them. She wanted love, and hatred, and depression, and emptiness, and stress, and laughter, and anger, and sex. She wanted the world.
So when she’d beaten the monster and the Vice President back underground, instead of falling into the endless depths with them, she found some reserve of strength that allowed her to grasp the side of the stone wall with little more than her fingernails and propel herself to the surface.
Once she was sitting safely on the ground, away from the now-quiet opening in the earth, she slowly became aware of the tremendous amount of pain she was in, and the presence of others around her.
Willow and Xander knelt beside her, examining her injuries and assuring her that she’d be okay. And only a few feet away, George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin were glaring down at her.
“We’ll still do it, you know,” Bush said. “We’ll still take over the world. Me and Vlady.”
Putin nodded. “As long as we are together, nothing can stop us.”
“Whatever,” Buffy said. She allowed her friends to help her to her feet. “Get the hell out of Sunnydale, and I don’t care what you do. Go rule the world, go screw the Attorney General, I really don’t care.”
Putin’s eyes became wide and he took a step away from his lover. “Georgie! Is it true? Are you screwing the Attorney General?”
“What?” Bush sputtered. “N-no. No, of course not, baby. You’re the only one for me!”
“I knew it!” Putin cried out. “I knew it from the way you looked at him!”
“Oh, come on,” Bush pleaded. “What do you expect? Half the time you’re not even around. You’re always out working!”
“I am running my country!” Putin argued. “And I’m always faithful to you when I’m in Russia. I never thought you’d cheat on me with the Attorney General!”
“How else do you think John Ashcroft got the job?”
Putin stormed across the room, oblivious to the President’s pleas. At the exit, he turned and glowered through his tears. “I am never going to take over the world with you again!”
“Fine!” Bush shouted back. “I never really liked you anyway!” And he hurried out of the building in the opposite direction.
Buffy leaned against Willow’s shoulder and sighed. “I hate politics.”
Continued in Part Five: Epilogue
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