If I Were Souled ~ The Puppet ShowRating:
Buffy the Vampire SlayerPairings:
I own nothing but the plot. I bend to Joss Whedon's will and try my best not to murder his characters.Summary: Spike has gotten himself a soul by accident. The Powers That Be want him to go to Sunnydale and deliver a message about the upcoming Harvest. He just wants to get in and get out, but will he be able to stick to his plans?Chapter Summary:
Spike helps Giles put together the Talent Show, but will the show go on when a student dies?Warnings:
Souled!Spike and AUPrevious Chapter: AngelNotes:
I'd like to thank kimalis
for helping me out with Spike's slang. Then I'd like to thank Buffyworld
for episode guides. Would also like to thank William-Shakespeare.info
for the play scripts for Macbeth. I skipped "I Robot... You Jane". It still happened, Spike just wasn't there.
Spike had the play book open as Xander stared blankly at him, “Couldn’t I be Macbeth? Banquo has so many lines!”
“You drew Banquo, so that gives Jesse Macbeth and the girls the witches, now come on.” Spike cleared his throat and read, “So foul and fair a day I have not seen.”
“How far is it to the forest?” Spike gave a tiny involuntary shake of his head. “Uh, where are these… Uh… But he has so many lines! Can’t we do something else?”
is one of the greatest plays known to men! You should be honoured to do it!”
“But you’re getting pissed. It’s not even like I have a choice. Snyder assigned us all to participate! We could just recite a poem line by line or something.”
“Don’t try to wangle your way out of it,” Spike exclaimed. “You need something with substance! You can’t just recite a poem to get off easy!”
“You know what also has substance?”
“No, ‘I’m a little teapot’,” Xander said crossing his arms across his chest.
Spike slammed the play book into his arms, “Read it. Know it. Or I’ll pretend to be your father and request you do a soliloquy.”
Xander took the play book, “You’re a bastard, so I know you would too.”
“From the top?”
Xander opened the book to the scene Spike had picked for them and began to read his lines.
Spike was sitting next to Giles in dark auditorium. Spike was glaring at the students on stage and making them nervous as they ambled through their lines. Snyder was talking to Giles.
“Your nephew really worked with a few theater houses back in England?”
“Yes, he usually burnt down the house.”
“You mean brought down.”
“No, burnt down.”
Spike stood up, “You call that Shakespeare!? Again! And you!” He pointed to a boy trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat. “Your bunny hopped away ages ago. If it leaves any ‘presents’ on my stage, I will have your hide!”
“Your stage?” Giles asked.
“Um, if it leaves ‘presents’ on our
stage, I’ll have your hide!”
The boy ran off backstage to look for his bunny and Xander took center stage glaring back at Spike.
“I have pride, you know!” He called out to him.
“And when you find it, call me! Right now, practise!”
“Oh, I like him.” Snyder said. “Have you ever considered a teaching job?”
Spike looked like he was considering when Giles said, “My nephew prefers the theater. He could never give it up to teach.”
Spike pointed at the Scoobies, “You are slacking! You are slacking! I can see it from here! Do not make me come over there because God help me, I will!”
Xander gave Spike a very rude gesture and Spike started to hop over seats towards the stage. He reached the stage and glared up at Xander.
“I can’t read this, I refuse to read this, I’m doing ‘I’m a little teapot’.”
read this, you will
read this, and you’re going
to be great at it.”
“Leave him alone, bloodsucker,” said a gruff voice.
“Who said that?” Spike said, whipping his head around for the offender.
“I did you power hungry, monster.”
Spike looked at a boy with a puppet sitting on his lap. He was sitting on the steps leading up to the stage. He looked startled but the puppet looked defiant.
“Say something, boy?”
Xander come up behind him and put a hand on Spike’s shoulder. Spike growled but backed down.
“Will’s all talk, Morgan. You don’t have to defend me. He just wants the best and he just has to remember he’s a theater director and not a dictator.”
“There’s a difference?” Spike said rubbing his neck.
“Sorry,” Morgan said. “He seemed to be picking on you and I just wanted to help.”
“It’s alright,” Xander said. “That was a pretty good voice. It seemed so real.”
“It was real,” the dummy said. “Could you and your boyfriend move out of the way? I want to go back to checking out the blonde and the redhead over there.”
“Hey! Not my boyfriend,” Xander exclaimed.
“Hey, doll,” the dummy called to Buffy. “Once you go wood, nothing’s as good.”
“Can someone please shut the depraved puppet up before he finds himself in a wood chipper,” Buffy said smiling politely at Morgan and his puppet.
Morgan and the puppet looked at each other. Despite the rude puppet, Spike thought it was very promising act.
Snyder had called Giles away only minutes ago, they had decided to follow. The police were there and blocking the entrance to the dressing room door. They were waiting patiently for news on what happened. Giles came out from under the yellow tape, which had been blocking the open door, with a solemn look on his face.
“Dancer Emily?” Willow asked.
“Seriously?” Spike asked concern in his voice.
“Spike, I know it’s hard-“ Giles started.
“This messes up the entire schedule! Now I have to rework everything. I could always extend your scene. Of course the puppet wasn’t bad either.”
“Your concern is so well placed, Spike.” Buffy said as she rolled her eyes.
“So what are we dealing with?” Jesse asked. “Vampire? Demon? Vampire demon?”
Giles held up a bag with a knife in it, “Neither, I’m afraid. Her heart was removed and they believe it was removed with this.”
“So humans did this?” Spike said with a bit of a smile.
“Which is wrong!” Xander reminded him. “Very very wrong. We have to find out who did this. How do we find out who did this?”
“Well,” Jesse said. “In the movies, they gather all the suspects then they interview them.”
“But this isn’t the movies,” Willow demanded.
Lisa sat in the classroom Spike had commandeered from Principal Snyder. Xander was convinced he had a very scary man-crush on Spike. It made him shiver just thinking about it. Spike had drawn the blinds and found a very bright lamp hidden backstage. He shined the light on Lisa.
“Human hearts,” Spike began. “On a scale to one to ten, ten being the highest, would you say they were collectable in anyway? What about delicious?”
“Um, what?” Lisa looked at Spike with wide eyes.
“He’s kidding.” Xander said and glared at Spike. “Ask her the real questions. The ones I wrote down for you.”
Spike muttered then took out the list of questions that Xander wrote down for him. He squinted at it and moved it away from his face. Then he moved it close to his face.
He pointed at the paper, “I can’t read your chicken scratch.”
“Give me that.” Xander took the paper from Spike. “How well did you know Emily?”
“Not well, there was this whole rivalry between dancers and band member, so we didn’t talk much.”
“Did you know anyone who did talk to her?”
“She was talking to that one kid Morgan the other day. He’s weird. He’s always having headaches and moaning. Then there’s that weird puppet. And her spot is open so I was wondering…”
“We’re done,” Xander said.
“But, I’ll consider you,” Spike said.
Lisa smiled brightly at Spike’s comment. Xander was getting annoyed. This wasn’t an audition to take Emily’s spot. It was a murder investigation! She left and the boy who had lost his rabbit came in to take her place. He sat down and pulled out a deck of cards. He held them towards Spike.
“Pick a card, any card.” Spike leaned in to take a card. “Not that card!”
Spike withdrew his hand, “Not getting the spot, that’s for sure.”
“Spike,” Xander grumbled.
“Oh, yeah. Are you now or have you ever been a demon?”
Marc jumped nervously and fidgeted in the chair.
“He’s not serious,” Xander said. “You don’t have to answer that.” Marc seemed to relax. “Students say you were one of the last people to see her before her death. How did she seem?”
“She was happy. She was really excited about the show. She was a good dancer and put a lot of her heart into it.”
“When you last saw her, what was she doing?”
“She was talking to that kid Morgan. He seems paranoid and almost shifty. He’s always looking around. Hey! Look over there!” Spike didn’t look. “You’re supposed to look so I can pull a coin out of your ear.”
“Next!” Spike called.
“This isn’t an audition!” Xander demanded.
Marc was replaced with Cordelia. She didn’t sit in the chair; instead she came over to rub Spike’s bicep.
“Wow, Mr. Pratt. You have such great muscles.”
Spike flexed a bit, “Yeah? I’ve been kind of working out a bit. You know, extra training.”
“Really? I can tell. And your hair. Bleached blonde works for you. You know, I wouldn’t say any of this if I didn’t mean. I think you’re being too lax. These kids today. Bunch of slackers.”
Spike crossed his arms in front of his chest, “You think so? I was thinking of adding extra practices.”
“Oh you should add them. I’ve been practicing my song so hard. I want to blow you, I mean, them
away, but I don’t think I have enough time to perform.”
“There’s an extra slot open. I could give it to you.”
Xander cleared his throat, “Actually, I thought you promised it to me. You know, I wanted that soliloquy really badly. ‘Out, out brief candle.’ It’s pure genius and I think I should share it with my classmates.”
Spike grinned, “Really? You’re doing it now? Sorry, luv. Looks like the spot’s full. But if anyone else offs it before the big performance, I’ll make sure it goes to you.”
“Thank you, Mr. Pratt,” she said flashing him a big cheesy smile. “Am I done? I’m late for a hair appointment.”
“Sit down, Coredelia. We haven’t asked you any question about the murder yet,” Xander said flatly.
Coredelia sat down and crossed her legs, “Oh yeah. Emma and me were best friends. It was such a tragedy!”
“Her name was Emily.”
“Well, anyway. The only thought that goes through my mind now is that it could have been me.”
“We can dream.”
“Oi, poor girl is distressed,” Spike said. “Now, can you tell us more about what you saw? If it’s not too much trouble of course.”
“Oh, she was talking to that weird smart kid with the puppet. You know, the ugly one.”
“Morgan?” Xander offered.
“Yeah, him. He was so weird. He’d always argue with his puppet. Then his puppet would comment about my nice ass. I think I like that puppet.”
“We’re done, Miss Chase.” Spike said.
“Please, call me Cordy.”
“Well, we’re done here, um, Cordy.”
‘Cordy’ left waving shamelessly at Spike as she left the room. Xander snorted and crossed his arms.
“Could she have come on to you any more?”
“She was being nice.”
“She felt you up so she could get the extra spot! That’s not nice. That’s manipulation!”
Spike scratched his head, “Don’t know what you’re talking about, mate.”
Everyone was sitting around waiting for Spike and Xander to tell everyone the result the interrogation. They were glaring into space and refusing to talk. Giles took off his glasses and cleaned them.
Buffy burst into the room, “I think it’s that creepy kid with the puppet. What do you think?”
“We don’t know,” Giles said. “Spike and Xander are refusing to divulge or even speak.”
“Morgan,” Spike grunted.
“Yeah, what the undead jackass said.”
“Livingly-challenged!” Willow tried to correct Xander.
“But, now what?” Jesse said. “How do we bring him to justice?”
“I say we set up a complex sting operation!”
“And I’ll wear a wire!”
Xander got up from the chair he was slumped in, “Why don’t we just send Spike in. Morgan might flirt with him and give up information.”
“Wasn’t flirting! She was being nice!”
“My ass she was being nice! She wanted that open spot!”
“She was! You’re the one who jumped in and claimed the spot for yourself, so don’t point fingers.”
“Whoa,” Buffy said. “Xander claimed a solo spot in the Talent Show? And don’t we have more important things than the Talent Show? There is a murder on the loose.”
“Principal Snyder is watching all of us very closely,” Giles said.
“Yeah, some more than others,” Xander added looking at Spike.
“Regardless, he has the ability to make our lives very difficult. A slayer cannot afford added difficulty on her mission. We will find the murderer, but in the meantime, the show must go on.”
“Well said Giles,” Spike said. “Now about your performances.”
“I’ll check his locker,” Buffy said quickly.
“I’ll go look the number up for you!” Willow said rushing to the computer.
“I’m just going to go home,” Jesse said.
At the next practice, Xander was still mad at Spike. He didn’t even laugh when Marc’s assistant messed up his magic act by not leaving the box when she was supposed to. He glared even harder when Spike came out with Cordelia following closely behind him.
“Will,” she said. Xander ground his teeth. “I can’t go behind Brett. My song wouldn’t be fit to follow his. My song is about dignity, passion, and beauty. It’s not how I got wasted last Saturday night. No one is going to be in the sappy mood after that.” She gave Spike doe eyes.
“Would you have a problem going before him? I just can’t afford to keep moving equipment around.”
“Before him is fine, Will.” She smiled at him and walked away.
“Before him is fine, Will.” Xander mocked.
“I was trying to be accommodating.”
“Why don’t you just give her the whole show? That would be pretty accommodating.”
“Well if you keep acting the way you do-“
“I think Sid tried to kill me last night,” Buffy interrupted them.
They all looked at her. Even Willow and Jesse who had been tuning out Xander and Spike turned their head at her comment.
“Sid’s a dummy,” Jesse said. “He doesn’t move.”
“I swear he was in my room last night!”
“The slayer’s gone mental!” Spike said with a laugh.
“No! He was in there! I sort of saw him. It was dark, but he attacked me! He jumped on my face then went out the window!”
“Like a cat?” Xander asked.
“No! Unless it was a big, wooden cat.”
“It could have been a nightmare,” Willow suggested. “You did say before that dummies wig you out.”
“I’m the slayer. I should know what’s weird and what’s just regular creepy.”
“He’s right over there,” Spike pointed at Morgan unloading Sid from his case. “Why don’t you just ask him if he tried to kill you last night? Skip all the cloaks and daggers for once. If it was me, I’d be very honest about it.”
Giles came rushing up to them out of breath, “Found. Demon.”
“Is it a puppet demon?” Buffy asked hopefully.
“A what?” Giles said. “No, it’s not a puppet demon.” He held out his book and they all looked at it. “The Brotherhood might be behind it. There were seven of them. They could take the form of young humans. Every seven years, they need human organs. More specifically, a brain and a heart. If they don’t have them, they revert to their original form.”
“Wow, he’s ugly.” Jesse said.
“So, Morgan can still be our suspect,” Willow said.
“That doesn’t make sense,” Spike commented. “I’ve heard of the Brotherhood. They get stronger as they reach their true state. Morgan’s been getting weaker.”
“I disapprove,” Spike said.
“You stole my wallet last week,” Xander said posing Sid so he was pointing at Spike. “You have a problem with me lifting a dummy?”
“It’s creepy and I don’t like it.”
“At least someone agrees with me!” Buffy threw her hands up in the air as she said it.
“Don’t be afraid,” Xander said through Sid. “I’m not real. I’m a big dummy, but boy do I have wood.”
Jesse laughed, “I get it. Wood.”
“Stop it, Xander,” Buffy whimpered.
Xander made the puppets head spin fully around, “Xander isn’t here anymore. There is only Sid.”
“XANDER!” Buffy screamed, she was completely wigged.
“I’m leaving! You can sit there and be immature all you like. Don’t blame me when the evil dummy kills you and eats your brain.”
She left in a huff and Xander put the puppet aside.
“Did I go too far?”
Spike snorted, “Maybe just a tad. I’m going into the sewers for a smoke. Call me if anything happens.”
“You called me up for this?”
Spike motioned to the puppet sitting at the library table.
“Hey, I ain’t exactly pleased to be working with you either, bloodsucker.”
“Feisty little puppet man, aren’t ya?”
“Can we please have a civilized meeting for once?” Giles asked.
“Right, so, I used to hunt demons when I was human. There was this demon, I pissed him off, then he cursed me. Next thing I know, I’m sitting on a guy’s knee with his hand up my ass.”
“Lovely picture,” Xander muttered.
“I should have listened to the boy and worked with you from the start, but I thought you were a demon. You were strong and-“
“Complete that sentence you pervy puppet and I won’t care who you used to be, you’re going in the wood chipper,” Buffy said.
“Moving on. This guy has a heart and brain, so he’ll already be on his way out. There were seven of these guys. I killed six. This was the last one. Once I kill this last one, the spell will be broken and I can kiss being hard all the time good bye.”
“Well, if he’s in the talent show, whoever is missing is the demon.”
“Right,” Spike said. “You watch from the catwalk and I’ll do a power circle.”
“You know what a power circle is?” Sid asked.
“I ate a few theater groups in my time.”
“I’m nervous!” Cordelia panicked. “I have two spots! What if I flake and stand there. Or even worse! I pull a Buffy! I can’t go on!”
Spike rolled his eyes, “Old trick. Imagine the audience naked.”
“EW! Even Mrs. Franklin?”
“Imagine everyone as bunnies then, I don’t know. We have fifteen minutes. Everyone, gather around! We’re doing a power circle. All the great theater troupes do this. You gather in a circle.” They followed his directions. “Then you close your eyes and breathe through your noise then out through your mouth. Good. Imagine you doing the best show you can possibly do and me killing you if you mess anything up.”
That wavered a few, but they kept their eyes closed. No one was missing. He looked up at the catwalks and Buffy shrugged. That meant the demon was still here. He was about to vamp out when Marc opened his eyes. Spike stopped himself shaking off his yellow eyes and looking back with human blue. Everyone else opened their eyes shortly afterwards and walked away to get ready for the show.
“That was sloppy,” Sid called to him.
“Wasn’t going to eat one. Was going to smell for a demon.”
“We’re going to go back to the library,” Buffy said. “We’ll need to find out other possible connections if the demon hasn’t already skipped town.”
“Just something doesn’t seem right here.”
“If something happens, keep us updated.”
Spike picked up the other half of the honeydew melon and looked at the guillotine. He had seen a few real and fake ones in his lifetime. This one was without a doubt real.
“Your assistant got sick, huh?”
“Yeah, would you mind?”
“Going to cut me like this melon?”
“No, it’s just a trick. I’m a magician.”
Spike smirked, “A really crappy magician.” He ran his hand along the blade. “Never got it.”
“You Brotherhood demons. Why would you want to look human? You’re not even an attractive human. Then do you eat vamp brains or were you just going to dust me?”
“You’re smart for a vampire.”
“Oi, I attended a university back in the day.”
Marc tackled Spike to the ground. He was a pretty strong demon. Spike punched him in the face, then kicked him. That didn’t get him off him, so Spike slammed his head into Marc’s. The demon cursed and reeled backwards. Spike picked the demon up and threw him. Spike quickly reloaded the guillotine. That demon’s head was hard. There was no way he’d be able to just crack it open. Marc jumped Spike again. He’s in his demon form now. Spike slammed himself down onto the floor, the demon getting most of the blow. He picked up the demon and threw it onto the guillotine table. It tried to get back up, but Buffy was now on the scene holding it down.
“Have a plan?” She asked Spike, holding the struggling demon.
“Yeah, in fact I do.”
He cut the rope of the guillotine, sending the blade down onto the demon Buffy was holding. The blade swiftly beheaded the demon and its body went limp. Sid came in followed by Xander, Jesse, and Willow.
“Now for the big finish,” Sid said.
He hopped onto the bench and plunged his knife into the demon’s heart.
“What are you doing?” Buffy asked him.
“He has to get the heart.” Spike said. “Let him do it. This is his vendetta. He spent his entire life on this. Might as well let him finish it.”
“You’re alright, vampire.” Sid said.
“It’s a rare occurrence.”
Sid continued to stab the demon. When he finally got a gash big enough, he reached in his hand and pulled out the heart of the demon. Sid’s body fell lifeless and Buffy grabbed it before it could fall to the ground. She sniffed trying to hold back tears.
The curtain drew back and revealed the audience. They looked horror-stricken by the scene in front of them. They looked at each other trying to figure out what to do. Spike took center stage and puffed out his chest.
“I am settled, and bend up
Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
Away, and mock the time with fairest show:
False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”
He bowed and even though none of the audience knew what was going on, they stood up applauded. Spike took another bow and stepped back. The curtains closed around him and he smirked at the others.
“And it’s my stage.”