15723/Go Fish

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Go Fish
Date of Scene: 20 October 2023
Location: Summers House, Sunnydale
Synopsis: Buffy and Spike have an unusually deep conversation over breakfast.
Cast of Characters: Spike, Buffy Summers

Spike has posed:
It had been one of those nights. There seemed to be a large winged creature prowling the streets, or was it the sky. It looked like a monster, purple, with an impressive mane of straight black hair, which cascaded down its back. Whatever it was, it had picked up two Fyarl demons, which were not seen again.

Was it in cahoots with them? The same monster appeared later in the night, near the Magic Box. It was difficult to track something that could fly. It was hard enough dealing with vampires that could drive, but being able to fly, it was a new and bigger problem.

After a lot of searching, its trail had been lost. And besides, the sun was coming up. It was probably time to head back home.

Anyone approaching the Summers home might immediately notice something was off. The living room blinds were closed shut tight. Not partially, but fully. And there was the outline of light from within the room. Someone was up.

With the door swinging open, there was the sound of something coming from the kitchen. Laughter? Joyce Summers' laughter. Joyce was in her night gown, not having showered yet. But someone had cooked breakfast, two strips of sausage, two rashes of bacon, two eggs, sunny side up, two hash browns, some sliced tomatoes, beans, and mushrooms.

This was a full English breakfast. There also seemed to be a plate that had clearly been eaten from, with virtually every last morsel taken.

Spike was currently sitting at the table, playing cards, and not wearing his duster coat. No, that had been hung up in the closet by the front door. Joyce's handiwork, no doubt, as Spike usually just laid it on the banister or a couch arm whenever he took it off. He never hung it up on his own.
Buffy Summers has posed:
If whatever it was wanted to hunt demons, Buffy had no qualms with it. As long as it didn't eat people too. Just monsters. Yet, she hadn't been able to catch up with it to figure out for sure and thus it was on her list of things to keep an eye out for in the next few weeks.

Usually she made it home before daylight. And home was currently the Summers house. Just for the time being as her mother hadn't been feeling 100% and thus Buffy had been helping with things as had Dawn. Dawn being out of school helped but she was in college now so she wasn't home during the day. Thus the sisters took their turns, though Dawn was still a full time resident. For now, Buffy was sleeping in her old room which was a bit barren as much of her stuff had gone to her apartment that was shared with Willow. But her Mom had made sure there was a bed and all the necessary things. It even smelled like home, which was weird but understood for people who had been away from their house for a time.

She frowned at the windows being blinded and the sound of voices inside. Nothing negative sounding. Then she opened the door to smell bacon. Because that was always the first smell when it had been cooked in a house. Followed a moment later by coffee, which her mother enjoyed though Buffy developed an affection for the beverage.

A glance had her spotting the coat before she continued into the dining room then through to the kitchen where she spied the pair. Cards? Really?

"First, do you have any idea what time it is? And second, is there more bacon?" And she was heading into the kitchen to start snagging some crispy goodness if there was.
Spike has posed:
Joyce said, "Oh, hi honey, that's all for you," she said, gesturing to the plate with the full English, "Spike just finished cooking the eggs a second ago." Spike, who rose from his seat when Buffy entered the room, added that, "I had just sat down."

Joyce continued, "There's more sausage, hash browns, and bacon, for your sister, warming in the oven." It didn't take long to cook eggs, mushrooms, and tomatoes, which would be made fresh for Dawn, whenever that girl woke up.

Spike said moving closer to the slayer, "If you'd like, you can have the bacon in the oven. I can always whip up a bit more for the little bit when she wakes up." A sideways glance to Joyce, "are you sure she's not a vampire? She sleeps more of the day away than I do."

As it to assuage Buffy's concerns, or inadvertently flare them up, Joyce explained, "Spike caught, um," a look to him, "Fyarl demon", he added, Joyce continued, "near the house." Spike now spoke, "nasty buggers. Where there's one, there's usually others, so I thought I'd stick around and watch the Summers ladies while you did your thing on patrol. And seeing as I was here, and morning was coming, I figured I'd make myself useful." Spike cooked? Spike can cook?
Buffy Summers has posed:
This was the second time she had found him in the house with food he'd prepared. Apparently Spike cooked. And either he liked it or he was kissing up. Which it could be either being Spike. But they both knew her mother didn't influence her decisions on things really. Thus him kissing up to Joyce to get to Buffy didn't really make sense. Which left one option. He did it cause he wanted to. For Joyce. Maybe Dawn too but Joyce in particular.

"I appreciate you watching over them," Buffy said as she pulled over the plate. "And this will be fine. Leave the other for Dawn when she wakes up. Once she graduated high school, she started this sleeping late thing since she was able to opt for later classes in college" was the explanation for if she as a vampire or not.

She took off her own jacket, laying it over an empty stool, where it landed with a slight thud as her tools-of-the-trade were inside it. No messenger bag tonight. Then it was time for a salty bite of bacon before she continued.

"I took down one Fyarl earlier myself but it wasn't near here. And there was something else out there tonight. With wings. It took two Fyarl off with it so I'm hoping it's on our side since they never came back to help their buddy."
Spike has posed:
Spike liked the lady. She treated him like a man, and she always had a cuppa for him. He liked the little bit too, as she had once had a bit of a crush on him, looked up to him, and he was one of the few people who, even when she was young, didn't really use kid gloves around her. He treated her as the teenager she had been, and the young woman she had become.

"I was happy to do it," he said, still standing, and upon seeing Buffy start to dig into her breakfast, he took it as a sign that he should head off. He was already considering how best to approach asking to borrow a blanket, as he didn't have or need one when he arrived.

He raised his left eyebrow, the one with the Y-shaped scar, at her description of the winged creature. He would need far more to go on than that. "Never look a gift horse in the mouth, even if that horse turns out to be a Pegasus." He said, pausing, "since its daylight, would it be a terrible inconvenience to ask to borrow a blanket?" Wow, how formal for Spike.
Buffy Summers has posed:
"Of course you can have one. Should I adjust the thermostat? I didn't think it was that cold." And Joyce was off wandering for the thermostat in the house that handled the central heat and air to adjust it if necessary even as she could hear Buffy behind her.

"I think he's just wanting it to go outside," Buffy muttered around another bite of bacon. Because Bacon made the world go round. She could never be a vegetarian because bacon. And the concept of Impossible Bacon was just that. Impossible. There was no way for it to taste like bacon without being bacon. Even the doublemeat palace knew that you had to add meat for the non meat to taste like real meat. Though things had advanced a lot in the last 20 years, she could still tell the difference.

Maybe it was Slayer tastebuds.

"Why you running off? You two seemed to be having a good time before I showed up. And I will need to sleep so wouldn't be a bad thing to have someone watching over them while I'm doing that." A nod in the direction Joyce had gone.

"As for the flying thing. Humanoid. Purplish skin. Black hair. I think it had like those weird legs things. I can't remember the word for it. Like an animal, not a person. With that extra joint at the ankles where they go opposite." And she drew like a shape of them in the air with a fingertip.
Spike has posed:
Joyce Summers knew that Spike was a vampire, she knew that he had a chip in his head, which had been an awkward explanation of him being like Angel, but not, well, Spike would argue to the death that it was totally different. Still, he was no threat to Joyce, Dawn, or Buffy. That was the important thing. But she may not have understood the nuances of vampires, certainly not to the level of Buffy.

"Uh," he began, but then couldn't help but smile at the way Joyce was a mother figure, even to him. She was just so sweet. But Buffy's reference to him being welcome to stay threw him off a bit. "Just didn't want to overstep my welcome." He thought about a poetic statement, but he didn't want to unnerve Joyce with the strength of his feelings for Buffy.

So instead, he offered a more muted, "should any harm come to the Summers women, whoever does it, will regret, but not to for too long."

Listening to her description, he asked, "Walking on its toes, not its heels, like a dog or cat? That'd be a digitigrade." How does Spike know words like that? Isn't he old and stuff, with a really old education?
Buffy Summers has posed:
"Yeah! That's it!" He had hit on the word she couldn't remember. Buffy finished off a bite of eggs then continued. "Digimon. Definitely that. But it helped. I saw it once more flying when I was patrolling but then it was gone. No idea what it was, if it's on our side. Just something to keep an eye out for when you're out patrolling." Since she knew Spike patrolled too.

A moment later they would hear the hum of the processor and a warm waft of air came out of the vents as Joyce had apparently adjusted the heater so it would kick in for them. For though Buffy had said the why, she was still a Mom. "I'll be right back!" came the maternal voice and that was the last until soft footsteps could be heard on the steps.

"Probably a shower," Buffy decided as she looked up at the ceiling like that would help her discern what was going on. Then she looked back over at Spike. "If you were overstepping your welcome, I'd just uninvite you. But you take care of them. You help me and the gang out. I don't see why I wouldn't trust you here." At this point in their relationship. Chip maybe being the reason. Or the fact he tried to do good these days. Was it because of him or chip? Such a hard thing to figure out.
Spike has posed:
In a rare moment of telepathy, Joyce and Spike looked to one another. It was the point where Buffy said digimon. Most of the time, Spike was the young man that he looked to be. But for a moment at least, he might as well have been Rupert Giles. Nothing was by either party. "A flying purple creature strong enough to lift up two Fyarl demons? I can't promise anything, but if it catches my eye, I'll let you know." Oh, the sarcasm. Was he Xander Harris now?

"She had mentioned something about a new exhibit at the gallery," Spike offered, as the sleeping Dawn aside, they would shortly have the house to themselves. "True," he had to admit, that she could arrange for him to be uninvited. Getting up from his chair, he slid over to the oven, reaching for an oven mitt, yes, one that had fingers, rather than just a towel, and he pulled out a tray of Dawn's breakfast. He used a pair of tongs to grab the bacon from it, and closed it up.

Heading back to where Buffy sat, he added the bacon to her pile. "When she wakes up, I'll give her some toast." Like toast is a fair trade for bacon. But was Buffy going to say no?
Buffy Summers has posed:
Though Dawn was indeed an adult, she would forever be the little sister. And as such, bacon was first come first served. Thus Buffy just picked up a piece of the warm bacon and took an bite of the crispy goodness. Let the little sister eat toast.

It was a good thing she had Slayer everything or eating bacon like this would be very bad for her waistline as well as her blood pressure with so much sodium. Though it wasn't like she did this every day either. Maybe once a month they would do a full breakfast. Otherwise it was more like cereal or oatmeal. They just weren't a sit down and have breakfast together sort of family. All three were on different schedules.

"Thank you," she did remember to add. Then she nodded. "Probably a shower then work on the exhibit. Which after I eat, a shower is definitely in order." She made a show of sniffing her armpit but honestly she wasn't stinky. He'd know with vampire senses. But it helped sell the joke. "Then I need to get some sleep. Got closing shift at the Magic Box today." Why did she add that? She had no idea.
Spike has posed:
Spike was happy to help. He liked seeing Summers women smile, especially Buffy, and bacon really did seem to agree with her. He made a note of that, and would likely start keeping some in his fridge or freezer. He was already thinking about how to defrost it in a timely fashion. It's not like he could plan for her coming to his crypt, or the mansion he had been debating moving back into.

"My pleasure," he said, taking up a seat to her side. A glance at her as she mimed sniffing her own armpit, "you don't smell, you never smell. I can't remember the last time you broke a sweat slaying." He said that as a compliment, but how would she take it. He did lean back at her admission of her shift, and his face took on a bit of a fox in the henhouse quality to it, before it washed away.

Leaning forward, he said, "if you need money, I can get it."
Buffy Summers has posed:
"I don't want you stealing money for me, Spike," Buffy said because that was automatically what she thought. It's kind of how he had gotten money as long as she knew him. Either taking it off demons and vampires he slayed or stealing when needed, like from the Magic Box. Until the deal he'd cut with Giles which allowed him to get paid not to steal. Which seemed like a protection racket sort of thing, without the protection. Not that she was well educated on such things.

"It's fine. I get paid enough to keep up the apartment with Willow. Pay my half, even though I'm staying here for right now. Just until Mom feels better." Because Mom would feel better. It was just a bug or something. "And I pitch in around here too." Giles was a nice boss. Or maybe that was more Anya. Either way, she got paid well enough. For her current situation. "Unless you mean one of those poker games. But I thought they only played for kittens? Do they play for money too?"
Spike has posed:
Spike did seem the sort. And okay, he had been the sort. Spike wasn't really able to do many jobs. And he wasn't really interested in any. What did a vampire need to survive? Clothes, they didn't generally perspire, but still, they would need to change those every once in a while. They ate blood, either from victims, or pigs blood, which meant either stolen, or purchased somehow. Angel bought his from the butchers. Buffy had seen him there once years ago, after he had said he planned to leave for Metropolis. Where did he get that money?

Also, the Crawford Mansion remained unused. Why was that? Nobody showed up there. There was no for sale sign. There were a lot of unanswered questions. Spike may not have stood watch around the Magic Box, he didn't live in the background. But since Giles had entered into his arrangement, theft inside the store had diminished considerably, and he had far fewer broken windows and doors. Xander's construction site had fewer issues as well. Even the Doublemeat Palace didn't seem to have many troubles.

This was the Sunnydale area of Bludhaven. Of course they had some. But Spike had made sure to patrol all the places that mattered to the Scoobies he knew best. The Magic Box, construction site, Summers house, Doublemeat Palace, Rosenberg house, etc. were all on his route.

"Do you remember when you beat me up on the University grounds, you should; it was during the day," when she had taken the Gem of Amara from him, only to send Oz to deliver to Angel, who used it for a day, and then destroyed it. Oh yeah, that was that bit of torture in between, but Spike wasn't about to mention that. He had hoped Angel didn't either. "Well, I found it in the Cave of Wonders," wait, did he mean an actual cave of wonders, or was he quoting Aladdin, "plenty of gold in there, jewels, things that haven't been seen in decades, maybe centuries. Like I said, I can get money." And this was just one avenue. "It's certainly keep you in designer clothes for at least another week, maybe two." He added as a joke.
Buffy Summers has posed:
"I do not own designer clothes. Well, except that one dress. And I worked hard for the money to buy that!" Buffy protested. Only to realized he was probably yanking her chain and she had the decency to look chagrined. "You were just teasing. I think. Sorry."

And she went to finishing off her breakfast which was probably the best breakfast she'd had in years. It was even better than Denny's and or IHOP. And that was saying something for Buffy, since she liked to hit one of those establishments when she could afford it before a patrol.

"If you start singing A Whole New World, I will punch you in the throat." Just to be certain their boundaries are well established. And she did have a little sister so she knew all the Disney movies of the past. Not so much the present. And Frozen she practically could quote from start to beginning, they'd been forced to hear it so many times. "I do remember that day, yes. The ring thing, right?" Not a lot of details but she knew that much. "You have a cave of wonders though? Huh. That's different. In Sunnydale?"
Spike has posed:
Spike was yanking her chain, and as means of an apology, he reached out with his hand, gently patting the top of hers. It was simple, but it might have been a bit too familiar. It would all come down to how she took it. "I'm guilty as charged, sorry if it hit a little too close to the mark."

The threat of punching him in the throat probably answered his unspoken question about boundaries. "Well, it's a cave, and it's full of treasure, a lot of them wondrous, not, making a vampire invulnerable to sunlight, staking, fire, holy water, and religious symbols wondrous, I kind of lost that one. But unless someone's nicked it, in several wheel barrels, it should be still up there. How many wheel barrels of gold do you need?"
Buffy Summers has posed:
That was a lot of treasure. And for a moment, she was tempted. But then Buffy shook her head negatively. "I think I'm good for now. Maybe some little thing Mom could find and use at the gallery that might get a lot of money for them? That wouldn't be too immoral right? Since it's for a good cause and Mom would get the bonus from it?"

It might be immoral. It was kind of gray for her mentally to know for sure. Some people would complain and others would say she was silly not to since it was just sitting around in a cave somewhere.

"What ever happened to that ring anyway?" The one that had allowed him to be out in sunlight. Because in the wrong hands, it was bad. But in the right hands, it was great to have a powered ally during daylight hours. Or would be.
Spike has posed:
Spike had actually already planned for that eventuality, except, his plan had perhaps gone a little too well. Some time ago, he buried a few pieces of treasure in the summers back yard, figuring that it would turn up in regular gardening at some point. But as far as he knew, nothing had happened. He thought he was being so crafty, that Joyce, Buffy, or Dawn, might find it, and think that they discovered it, all on their own. Instead, far as he knew, they all sat there, untouched.

"Could do it, could do that, but the question is how. We can't just drop it on the porch, and say, look ma, we found a tiara." He even tried to do a southern American accent there for added effect. "And anything we were to bury right now, would look like it had just been buried." Both of them knew what disturbed soil looked like, very well.

"We," yes, he used that word we again, "could mail it to her, anonymously, a donation to the gallery. Or, I suppose I could bring it round, say I found it in the tunnels, and thought she might know what it is, what it's worth. It's not as though I need the money."

At the mention of the ring, "figuring that you'd give it to Angel, I followed Oz. But we lost it, some other vampire had it the last I saw." And that was true, he didn't know that the torturer had been dusted, or that Angel had destroyed it. "Think I heard his name was Marcus. Probably still basking in the sun somewhere."
Buffy Summers has posed:
"I'll have to ask Angel or Oz about it then." Since she had nothing more to go on other than these details. It felt like something that should be followed up on though. And a decision made.

"We'll hold off on the thing for Mom for now. Figure something out. Cause I don't know if that's stealing or not so need to fight it in my head. I mean it belonged to someone but that someone is long gone and who knows if they have heirs. And even if they did, do they deserve it? What if they're like...people that run puppy mills or something. We don't want to help people like that!"

Then her brow furrowed. "Unless maybe it got them out of the business. We could use it for good, like Robin Hood or something."

A shake of her head and she hopped off the seat, moving to rinse off her now empty plate and load it in the dishwasher.
Spike has posed:
Recognizing that Buffy had a bit of a bee in her bonnet, Spike let it go for a moment as he thought it over while listening to the rest of what Buffy had to say.

"Technically it's grave robbing. If it's good enough for the British Museum, it has be okay for Joyce's Gallery." Well, that was one way to put it. "Besides, it was a vampire's grave. I'm still not clear on how Amara died when he had that gem. Maybe one of your lot found him, while he wasn't wearing the ring, and didn't have a wheel barrel to cart out all the gold?"

"It's not going anywhere. It'll still be there whenever you do suss out what you want to do with it." And then turning a bit more serious, "Buffy, if I tell you something you don't want to hear, do you promise not to stake me?"
Buffy Summers has posed:

There was no hesitation, no pause. She just answered. Then as she finished putting her dirty dishes in the machine, she closed the door to the dishwasher and turned to face him. Though she was already getting slightly defensive as she folded her arms across her midriff.

"But I promise to try not to stake you. I feel like it would take a lot to reach that point. Like if you said you were engaged to my mother. Then I'd stake you." Because that sounded really bad in her Buffy brain. To have Spike as a step father.
Spike has posed:
Looking tired, and not just because he, like her, had been up all night. He was a vampire. The sun was up. This was the time he usually went to sleep. His duster coat was still hanging up in the closet by the door. He didn't have a blanket. And he was in the Slayer's home. As situations went, this was the perfect one to get on her bad side.

But, he didn't want to lie to her, or to let her find out from someone else. He didn't like her answer. "No, not that, I'd have to ask her father's permission, before I could ask her. Is your grandfather still alive, by the way?" He asked more in keeping with her joke.

Looking down for a moment, then back up at her, arms folded, looking cute and defensive at the same time. "When I followed Oz to Metropolis, it was because I knew that you would want the gem to go to Angel. It took years for me to track it down, and months of tunneling to find Amara's Tomb. I wanted it back. I wanted it bad."

He frowned, "Angel had it, but not on him." Spike breathed out. He didn't need to breathe. But it felt comforting, and this wasn't easy. "I had him tortured. I'm not proud of it, this was before I switched sides, and, during the invariable rescue attempt, Cordelia, Oz, Angel, and that Doyle fellow were all very much alive the last time I saw them, well, besides Angel, Marcus, the torturer. Made off with the ring. I know, I was stupid to hire a vampire."

"I had reasons, don't give me that look. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that Angel tracked him down and dusted him. I wasn't there, but Team Angel chased after him. If anyone has the ring, it's Angel."

Looking remorseful, was it possible for a soulless, albeit chipped vampire to show remorse, maybe it was an act. It was hard to find the line, especially with Spike. "I never want to lie to you. I was bad. I did bad things. I don't anymore."
Buffy Summers has posed:
She was quiet as she listened to the tale. Then when he was done, she nodded as she considered the details.

To be honest? Nothing he said really surprised her. After all, it was what he did back then. He was the Big Bad. He'd fought against them a lot though it had been only a couple of years. Far more had passed now with him as an ally.

Something he didn't have to be. Yes, he had a chip and couldn't hurt people. But he could still eat, could move on somewhere else away from them. And it wasn't like Spike was limited to physical attacks. She'd learned that his mind was just as dangerous as he was physically. If not moreso. He knew how to use and manipulate people. To an extreme level.

Yet he chose not to do those things. Not to go away and continue to be a Big Bad. Not to try to get the chip out of his head anymore, though she was sure he would if they could find a lead to that. Which sort of meant that he was being good to be good. She knew he was trying to impress her. That he had feelings. Yet, he went beyond that in taking care of others. He'd even been nice to Willow, giving her assurances that she was indeed biteable when he'd first learned he couldn't do so. Why take the time to make her feel better about herself? It didn't benefit him in any way.

There was a lot more to Spike than met the eye.

"I appreciate you letting me know. I'll call Angel, see if he can tell me what happened to it. Maybe if he does have it and doesn't want to use it, we can get it back here. Give you access instead so you can help more during the day."

And that was it. Just as simple as that. "I'm going to get a shower, if Mom didn't use all the hot water. Then get some sleep. You're welcome to the telly, the couch if you want to nap. Whatever."
Spike has posed:
Spike had never showed any signs of giving up on his desire to remove the chip from his head. But his methods had changed. Instead of kidnapping doctors, raiding government installations, or going for the overt, now, it was more a case of, if the opportunity presented itself, he would ask. Key word being ask. He wanted it. He wasn't going to force it. He had settled in nicely, adapting to his new state. And as for what he did with his life, well, that was a choice. He demonstrated his intentions every day.

He did not expect to hear her say that, to ask on his behalf if he could have the ring, if Angel still had it, and didn't want it. Nor did he expect for it to be left, as if, okay, it's the past, and nothing changed. It did make sense. No lasting harm had come from it. He was also honest, even if perhaps he framed it in the best way possible for himself. Spike rarely shut up. But for now, he was quiet. The only thing that came to mind was a simple, "thank you."