First Buffy fic, first time posting to here... AUish but since its short its mainly a flight of fancy where Spike gets a new view of an AUish Xander. Could be pre-slashish, could be just buddyish ;)
Written in under three hours on a whim, not beta-ed - honest comments welcome, both good and bad.
Marns AKA Bumpkin
Never Woulda Thunk It
By Marns AKA Bumpkin
Spike sat back in shock. Well damn, who knew? There was much more to the whelp than met the eye that was for sure. He for one never would have guessed in a million years. Thinking back to what he had just witnessed and heard, Spike could only think again, who knew?
He had been nursing a bottle of Jack in a nice dark corner of Willy’s when Xander had blown in cool as you please. He had hollered out in a hail fellow wet met type of manner, “Hey Willie, my man, just a heads up, Giles is sending the PMS-ing one your way later tonight for some info. Thought I’d better drop by to give you the warning and get the info from ya personally before it was repeated to us all Buffy-ized.”
Willie had just snorted and poured the kid a cola as he said, “ Sure kid, same rate right?”
“You know it.” Xander took a swig of soda and asked wryly with his familiar lopsided grin, “So what’s the what?”
Their heads had bent together and they had conferred in low tones for a bit before Xander had nodded and slipped Willy a rolled packet of bills. Willie didn’t even bother to count it, letting anyone watching know that he trusted the kid. They continued to talk, but now it was more just friendly gabbing as Xander drank the rest of his soda.
The grand entrance and banter had been the first shock of the evening for the master vampire. The fact that Willie seemed to trust Xander the second. The third came when Xander had finished his soda and began to leave.
A Guecubu seemed to take exception to his presence in the bar, and had decided to take steps. Accosting the young man in the free space between some tables it hissed, “Huuuman, you haaave tressspassssed whhhere youuu shhhouldn’t haaave. Noow youu willl paaay forr youur immmperrtinannccce.”
At the beginning of the confrontation, Spike had started to get ready to leap to the boy’s defense but stopped when he caught Willie dropping his head to the bar muttering about the idiocy of certain demons and how Willie hoped that the Guecubu demon in question didn’t have dependants ‘cause they weren’t gonna be seeing daddy again.
Meanwhile Xander had been trying to keep the peace, “Look, I know you don’t know me from Adam but you really don’t want to do this. It’ll only end badly, and I for one wasn’t looking for a fight tonight, just a bit of info-o-Oh shit!”
Quickly ducking the bladed forehand quite lethally aimed at his neck, Xander simultaneously spun and drew a sword with a strange and mottled looking blade which effortlessly decapitated the Guecubu as he completed his spin. Dead silence overlaid the bar as Xander dispassionately watched as his former opponent’s corpse lost the battle with gravity and fell to the ground before dissolving into some form of stinky goo. Xander’s nose wrinkled at the odor and Spike felt himself have to stifle some semi hysterical laughter. No reaction to loping the git’s head off, but a bad smell got a funny face. It was such a ‘Scooby’ thing from the boy. Stalking back to the bar, Xander motioned for Willie to hand him a rag to clean his blade. He made quick work of doing so and then in a move that was hard to follow, made the blade disappear as he again sheathed it. Of course Xander couldn’t leave it at that, he had to start his own version of ranting, more of an angry babble than anything else,
“Willie, man, I’m sorry to goo-ify one of your customers, but you saw – he started it. Damn it, this place is supposed to be neutral ground. Don’t you all understand that? It means you won’t get attacked when you are here by any of the so-called ‘white hats’. It took long and blunt application of simplistic logic that if you were in here you weren’t on the streets causing havoc, but I finally got it through their heads. And one idiot Guecubu with testosterone poisoning tries to ruin it -” Xander paused to take a few deep breaths, obviously angrier at what the attack could have done to his balancing act with the bar and the white hats than the actual attack itself, but then got a strange look on his face.
“Hey Willie does that kind of demon even have testosterone? Or would it have something equivalent to make it act all grr and macho? I wonder if…” Willie cut him off,
“Kid, I’m begging ya here, STOP! There are times that you terrify me more than any of my customers ever have and most of the time it involves listening to ya thinking out loud.”
Spike had snickered into his Jack as Xander harrumphed and over-acted looking insulted, but everyone present could see the grin pulling at his mouth and the laughter dancing in his brown eyes. Good humour once again restored the young man took his leave, with no impediment this time.
Ten minutes after the bar was sure the kid was gone and not going to come back, a vamp near the bar called out to Willie, “Yo barkeep – who the hell was that guy?”
Willie sent the young looking man a dry look, “If you’re asking me that, then you’re obviously new in town.” The vamp shrugged and Willie sighed. “That was Xander Harris, otherwise known as ‘The White Knight’, which should give you a clue to what kind of guy he is if watching the scene tonight didn’t tell you enough. Runs with the Slayer for the most part.”
“So he’s a do-gooder.” Another demon called out. “Nothing new about that kind.”
Willie huffed out a disgusted sigh before he said, “Weren’t you listening to him? Before he went all strange babbly that is, I meant what I said about the kid’s brain being a scary place.” He shuddered. “Very, very scary place.”
Spike decided he would help the bartender out after internally laughing at the other man; he had, after all, lived with the whelp for a while – a much more frightening position than just listening to the babble. He called out from his dark corner, “Something about getting the bar declared neutral ground.”
Willie leapt on lead in, “Yes! That boy managed to talk the Slayer and her Watcher, and by extension any other ‘white hats’ in the area, into according this bar a no attack zone. Means all demons, no matter who you are and what you have done can come to the bar and be left in peace.” He sagged a bit, “Won’t hold up if they keep getting attacked on the grounds by my customers though. Xander might let it slide, but none of the others would. I’m lucky he came by first and took care of that idiot Guecubu before the Slayer drops in later tonight, if she had been the one challenged like that… damn, it would have ruined everything.”
The vamp who had initially asked who Xander was spoke up, fear evident in his voice. “Wait a minute – the Slayer is coming here tonight? And you’re not warning your customers? Are you trying to get us all killed?”
Willie shot the vamp a look that spoke volumes, mostly about how even demons shouldn’t inbreed. “Didn’t you listen when I spoke about Xander getting this place declared a safe zone? The Slayer won’t attack anyone in here if they behave, no matter what they might have done before getting here; it’s in the rules. Doesn’t mean she won’t lay in wait for someone who she sees in here that she has been actively hunting of course, but hey, not my problem. Not Xander’s either, all he wanted was a safe haven for demons to go to for their fun where they could relax and not worry about being ambushed. I guess he figured that if you all had a place to go where you could get what you wanted and still felt safe, you would rather be there than out on the streets or in regular bars causing trouble.”
“Sounds like he doesn’t hate demons, strange for a do-gooder.” A large demon rumbled almost unintelligibly from somewhere on the floor.
Willie looked thoughtful. He said carefully, “Xander doesn’t hate demons, not by a long shot, the boy is friendly - if not true friends - with two master vampires, and he’s dated a vengeance demon on and off. Of course he started dating her when she had lost her powers, but she got them back and he still treats her the same.” Spike blinked in his dark corner with surprise. Anya got her powers back? Since when? The two of them hadn’t said diddly about any of it to the rest of the scoobies, he knew that much at least. But when did she and the whelp stop seeing each other exclusively? Spike focused back on what Willie was saying, he could think about everything later. “He is also friends with a werewolf and has some other non-human friends, including both the Slayers and some pretty powerful witches. So no, I don’t think you could say he’s got a problem with demons or non-humans either for that matter. Xander fights against evil, nothing else. Just evil.”
“That seems awfully simplistic buddy, evil could mean many things to different people y’know.” A sarcastic voice shouted from somewhere near Spike in the back of the bar.
Willie snorted and said, “Well yeah, Xander is odd in the way that he thinks that if you can live and let live, you should. He says if it feels good why not do it, just as long as no-one’s rights are getting stomped on, nobody’s forced into something against their will, or no-one is getting hurt, including yourself.” He grinned wryly. “Scary brain installment - hurt was defined as something that caused pain and or anguish that you didn’t want or invite – cause some people got all sexed up with other kinds of stuff including pain and humiliation and everybody slash thing needs their kinks.”
Spike’s eyes burned, trying to shoot Jack through his nose hurt. He really should have known better than to try to get a drink before Willie was done talking about the whelp.
Willie continued, “I guess anything opposite that philosophy would be evil to him, you can see how that would work. Killing innocents, demon, non-human, or human would be against both the getting hurt one and the rights are getting tromped on one. Coercion would be the ‘against the will’ and whatever the person had you doing for the others, umm, you get the gist. So it’s both a pretty open definition for the okay to dos but also easy enough to follow for the do nots right?” Willie stopped for a moment and thought over what he had just said and promptly dropped his face in his hands as he wailed, “Good grief the kid has me talking like him now, I’m doomed!”
Demonic sounds of amusement filled the bar at Willie’s antics and everyone seemed to settle back, knowing somehow the question and answer period was over with for the time being. The regular sounds of conversation filled the moments later as Spike relaxed back into his corner as well. He was flabbergasted. Yes that was the best word, totally and utterly flabbergasted. Who knew? There was so much more to the whelp than he had ever dreamed.
The scheme to make the bar a safe zone, to keep the streets safer in the long run – for both demons and humans. Pure brilliance that. Then the grace and ease with which he had taken out that Guecubu when attacked, Spike had never seen him display that level of skill when he was patrolling with the scoobies, or the strange looking sword either for that matter. Why not? Why hide either skills or weapon, what did he gain by doing so? Anya getting her powers back, well he could understand why they had hid that. Buffy would have been all ‘Must slay now’ and that wouldn’t have been good for the relationship between Anya and the scoobies let alone Anya and Xander, even if they were only friends with benefits nowadays.
The philosophy to live by according to Xander, that wasn’t a surprise to Spike, he’d heard it before while living in the basement of despair. He just hadn’t realized how literally the boy had meant it, which was the eye opener there. If he had actually listened and hadn’t mocked the boy’s theory so much he might have spent much less time tied to that awful orange recliner of a torture instrument. Push to shove, it was a code he could live by fairly easily, even if he wasn’t chipped really. There were always plenty of idiots out there screaming to be hurt ‘o-so-nicely’, that he wouldn’t even be left wanting for a spot of violence to go with his blood if he had felt such a need. He nodded to himself, definitely a philosophy he could live by.
His mind turned back to Xander. Settling back into his booth and pouring himself another shot Spike pictured the boy in his mind, all filled out from the construction work he had been doing lately and moving with the grace he had shown tonight. Shaggy dark hair falling in his face and around his neck, worn clothes soft and clinging hinting to what Spike remembers lying beneath. Hello, demon here, snuck peeks during his stay in the basement he did. After Spike had contemplated the mental image for a bit, he had to reach down to adjust himself and he wondered just how ‘open’ Xander was to things that ‘felt good’? Who knows, things could be really looking up for a certain master vamp known to be friendly with the ‘White Knight’ of Sunnydale.