Buffy and Spike meet for the first time since Spike's heroic sacrifice. Lucas and River flood them with a squeenami of biblical proportions.
House of Troy, San Francisco
September 12, 2015
Spike was very brave and heroic! He valiantly dodged all the snot and everything.
Lucas Troy was in the smoothie bar section of the shop asleep on a couch. To be fair he'd been that way most of the day, he was still tuckered out from a fight with a demon the day before. He didn't stir at much of anything for most of the day, though he was finally starting to move and his eyes are fluttering a little. The first thing he mumbles are, "Smoothie... Stat."
River Troy is sitting at the coffee/smoothie bar, flipping through the electronic pages of a digital magazine on his tablet and generally looking bored. When he hears Lucas beginning to rouse, he jumps off the stool and around to the other side of the counter, grabbing a glass. "What kinda smoothie do you want, Luke?" he asks, his voice overly cheerful.
This is why Buffy preferred having a Giles around. Or a Xander. Or even Willow - but they were all busy at the moment, which meant that the spooky ol' thing that was harassing the next town over? Well, she needed to do some research on it. All by herself.
It was a terrible fate.
Regardless, Buffy enters the little shop, the bell over the door tinkling as she arrives, the Slayer kinda working her eyebrow and glancing up at the ceiling proper. "Hey!" she calls across the shop. "So I heard if you need books about occulty things, this is the place you wanna go?"
Lucas Troy is only 13 but he spends pretty much his entire life studying witchcraft and the use of his powers, even his art, which is sculpting has to do with magic. He mumbles to his cousin, "Strawberrries Raspberries Cherries." Okay something that happened last night had him thinking about thick red drinks. He then looks up. And his eyes bulge. A slayer, well actually THE Slayer is in their shop. Of course Grandmama recognizes her instantly, but she couldn't act like a fan girl in front of her grand kids, so she casually points over to a wall of books. Though these were the fit for public consumption books.
The vampire once known as 'William the Bloody' - for reasons he'd rather not discuss - finds himself standing outside the little magic shop, a business card held in his left hand, and a cigarette clamped between his lips as he stares at the sign.
He lifts his right hand to his lips, takes the cigarette and then blows a thin cloud of smoke out into the evening air - before dropping the cigarette butt to the ground. Stamping on it, the vampire mutters: "A shop. I'm bloody Spike - I don't DO 'shop'. Why am I here again?" In truth, he has reasons of his own for tagging along, but for now he just stands outside the door - his lips pinched together in a pout so tight that it makes his face look impossibly gaunt.
"I feel like bloody Red Riding Hood," he calls out to no one in particular. "Occulty books one minute, then cakes and muffins the next. I'd rather be the wolf!"
And he goes back to pouting.
River Troy sets about mixing a smoothie for Lucas, humming away to himself, but he's facing away from the door, so he misses the entrance of the famous Slayer and her slightly-less-famous companion. Which is too bad, considering how River apparently feels about Spike, but there'll be time enough for swooning and moon-eyes. Right now, he's intent on preparing the super-red drink for his cousin. "You sure you don't want pomegranate juice in here too?" he asks.
Looking at Grandmomma, Buffy puts on a wide smile on her lips. Yeah, those were the occult books for the normies, but... Buffy wasn't sure about that detail yet. So with her stylish boots and leather jacket, she does step that way, brushing her ponytail over her shoulder and plucking up a book.
Pulling it back to herself, she thumbs open the cover, letting her fingers track over the pages. It was Lucas that draws her attention though, and she gives him a wide smile. "Heeeey there. I'm Buffy - but... I'm wondering if you can help me with something? I'm looking up demons... you know, for a college research project. Which volume should I go for? Myths and Magicks Obscura..." she says, picking up the book to show the cover. "...just doesn't seem to be doing the trick."
Another minute, and her eyes glance towards the door. And then she does a double-take. "...Spike?!" she says to herself, surprisedly.
Lucas Troy gives the thumbs up on the pomegranate juice, after all every smoothie needs a juice as the base. Then he goes back to buffy. His eyes go wide. And he makes sure that there aren't any normies around, either. After all he has that much discipline. Then well his empathic abilities go well, not quite crazy just he broadcasts, what he imagines River feels 24/7 A extreme sense of fan girlness. Ofcourse it fills the room probably even reaching Spike, before he realizes what he's doing and cuts it off. He focuses on the question and gulps, "Uh yeah Ms. Slayer um... What type of demon are you looking for? Those books are crap the good ones are upstairs. We have everything from like 100 books of Shadow form our family, to tons of other magical books. Though they really really rare stuff is in the vault. They won't let us down there till we're 18." He keeps rambling on giving out more family secrets by the second. He hasn't noticed Spike yet. As he's still having his own fangirl attack even if he's no longer broadcasting it to the entire world.
Spike, shaking his head and rolling his eyes at himself, finally steps up to the door; his lips tighten at the sound of the little bell as he enters the shop, and nothing he sees inside (at least straightaway) appears to impress him overmuch.
As the empathic wave of 'squee!!' hits him, Spike takes two sudden steps backwards - until his backside connects with the door, rattling it loudly. "Thatcher's dusty knickers! What the sodding hell was that?!" he exclaims loud enough to carry across the little store. The British vampire half turns away - intending to leave the store altogether - but his fingers hesitate on the handle.
River Troy hears the magic word, spinning around with wide eyes. "What sort of demon?" he asks, still behind the coffee bar. But then Buffy says the other magic word, and River's face lights up as he looks toward the door. Can it really be? Forgetting all about his cousin's smoothie, River turns to the nearest reflective surface to fuss with his hair, then brushes hands over his shirt. Darnit, why did he wear this ratty old thing today? Would it be weird if he ran upstairs and changed? Yeah, that'd be too weird. Sucking in a deep breath, he comes around the counter with a bright smile. "Hi, Spike!" he calls, all sunshine and lollipops. It's probably a good thing he doesn't share Lucas's magical talent, or the poor vampire would be hit with an even bigger mental SQUEE!
"Well," says Buffy to Lucas at that, her eyes flickering from Lucas towards Grandmama. Leaning forward a touch, she says, "I thought those books of shadow were supposed to be secret?" she adds. It wasn't her first walk in the park after all! She met that last witch during a... walk... in the park. Huh.
"And he has these big twisting horns that kinda go up and all the way down his back. I'm not sure how he doesn't poke himself in the butt, but... I gotta know a couple things about him, you know?" she says gently. River is given a quick glance up, and Buffy grins. "If I knew that... I wouldn't need a book, and..."
The bell. He must've come in. So maybe it wasn't a ghost - and she wasn't going nuts, and... "Spike," she says softly. "Thought you were dead."
Grandmama, or as people outside the family call her, Endora, Lets out a loud, "Whoop! Oh My Word its The slayer, And William the Blood in my Shop At the same time! Thats Amaz..." and the Squeenami ended. She just stops doesn't say a word and walks into a back room and into the vault where she locks the doors... Yep she won't be around for a while.
Lucas doesn't react to his Grandmama's antics, because he knows better. He is just surprised at how little his little squeenami affected the slayer. but also glad. He does gulp, "Well yeah they're a secret but you're the slayer." He looks over at Spike and River and just sighs. His cousin ... There are no words. He shakes his head, "Anyway that could be a lot of demons, I'd have to look it up, but well. I'm kinda not up to standing at the moment. Kinda got in a fight with a Fyarl demon, Or something like it. The one with the paralyzing snot? Anyway got in a fight with one of them last night and kind of yeah can't stand up. Spike was there too." He looks at that look and sighs. Is everyone over 13 in love? Seriously.
Spike stops dead in his tracks.
The seconds on the clock tick by as he stands there facing the door, his hand poised over the door-handle - all ready to leave, from the looks of things. But it is the voice of the Slayer that causes him to rethink his next few actions, and turn around...
He only half-hears Lucas' and River's comments - and barely notices their Grandmama at all - as his gaze tracks across the room to focus on Buffy. He is silent for a while. Four-dozen comments spring to mind - five dozen quips and jokes - half a dozen excuses...but he merely stares.
Spike's lips pinch together in a rather 'punk' expression of social superiority and rebellion; he tugs on the collar of his long, black coat with both hands - the business card for this shop falling to the ground, forgotten - and then thrusts his chin out as his lips spread into a sardonic smirk.
"I was, pet." He tells her laconically.
"I got better."
River Troy looks crestfallen when Spike turns to leave, all but letting out a pathetic whimper. But the vampire doesn't leave. Nope, he turns around to face...Wait, is that the Slayer? THE Slayer?! Here in the House of Troy? Impossible. "Ohmigod, you're Buffy Summers!" he shouts, suddenly alight again, as he hurries to his cousin's side. "Do you know who that is? That's the Slayer!" He grabs his tablet and switches it on, mumbling, "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good." The screen lights up, and he quickly taps through the pages until he finds the entry he's looking for, reading aloud: "Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer." Grinning, he looks up at Buffy again. "That's you!"
Buffy had the endurance and might of a hundred elephants, or something epic like that. A mere squeenami well - you might have seen the pinching around her eyes, and put a little more strain into her smile. Really, it was a bit like something Dawn would do, in the back of her mind.
And there was more whoopery going on from Grandmama, and wow - it seemed like she was a minor celebrity in this shop!
...that never tended to end well. Closing the book, she kinda turns to push the book back unto the shelf, her attention on Lucas. "You got in a fight with a Fyarl demon?" she sounded a little reluctant. "You mean your... um... grandma did?" she asks, glancing up to Grandmama. River is given a glance at his little recitation, her brow kinda knitting together a bit painfully. "And about a thousand other girls now - you know, you all seem to be in the know - um... if any other slayers come through here, can you direct them my way?" she asks.
The others were kinda distracting - it was a bit weird to have Spike right... a bit of a pause. "Well... uh... good!" she says. "The getting better part, not the... you know, being dead part. Well, any more dead than a vampire already is, and... what are you doing here?"
Lucas Troy sighs, just cause he's 13. He waits until the Slayer has a few moments to be all goo goo eyes at the vampire. Then he clears his throat and casually picks up a little Occult looking statue near by, one of his works ofcourse and not a great one really. He puts it on top of his hand and allows the statue to basically melt over his hand covereding his fist in a marble 'glove'. "No me. Just cause I'm a kid doesn't mean I can't fight. Didn't you start slaying when you were around my age?" He says that casually. Then he looks over at Spike, "Ya need something? Or are ya just checking up on us?" He ignores River, its hard but he has practice, "Yeah that's kind of our thing usually, we point supernaturals in the right direction. Um Where are we pointing them to you at?" It was a fair question, kind of hard to point slavers towards Buffy, if you don't know how to find her.
"Shopping," is the first word out of Spike's mouth - in answer to Buffy's question. As if to demonstrate, he reaches for something - anything - on a nearby shelf, covers the distance to the counter in a few steps, and puts the item down.
All without looking at it.
At the counter, he turns around, leaning his back against it with both elbows resting on the countertop. A smirk half-appears on his face, the disappears again. He glances aside at Lucas and jerks a thumb over his shoulder at whatever it was he picked up. "I'll take that, Stitch," he tells the young witch, and looks over at River. "Lilo," he says in greeting. Then looking at Buffy, he adds: "Yeah, she's the Slayer - well. She WAS the Slayer. Now she's...A Slayer... leading, wot? Three hundred? Do well for yourself, eh love?" That last question is directed at Buffy.
"Of course, we're in the know," River says cheerfully. "We're the House of Troy! We've been serving the supernatural community for hundreds of years, stretching way back to the Middle Ages in Troyes, France. That's where our name comes from and everything, even though we pronounce it 'Troy' now, not 'Troyes'. 'Cuz ya know, Ellis Island or some junk." He suddenly realizes he's rambling almost as much as Lucas was earlier, clamping his mouth shut to take several deep breaths through his nose. Then his brain catches up to the rest of the room, and he suddenly frowns, glancing between Buffy and Spike. "Wait, you know...? Oh. Of course, you do." Letting out a long sigh, he gives Spike one last, longing look, then steps back to let the Destined True Loves have their moment while mentally kicking himself for even imagining that a heroic blond god like Spike would ever even notice he exists, let alone take him to prom. "Yeah," he says mournfully, looking again at Buffy. "But she's the Slayer, the one who defeated the Source of All Evil or whatever."
"Well, yeah I did," says Buffy - watching Lucas' display with a bit of a wary glance. Obviously these people were a little more than they were advertising. "But I had superpowers and stuff. You heard your brother! All Slayer," she says, kinda gesturing towards River. "You guys are brothers, right?"
Something Lucas says seems to kinda trigger her a bit, though. "You guys know Spike?" she asks, glancing to Spike, then gesturing towards Lucas. "...you're the one taking these guys slaying?"
"I'm not sure how many, I know Willow's spell woke up ALL of them, and I'm still not sure how many are left after Sunnydale..." she says, folding her arms in front of herself. "I just know it's about to become a very bad time for things that go bump in the night," she says.
As for destined true loves - well... we all know how that's worked for Buffy in the past.
Lucas Troy didn't think he could get up, until he saw what spike had picked up from the shelf. He can't help but grin, after all the price tag is clearly marked. He stands up and says as he walks over, "Well actually we were on our way to watch a band at a coffe house. And then a demon jumped Spike, I couldn't let it hurt my cousin or innocents. So I sort of well started to bury it, well encase it in the ground. Spike tries to help but you know how that goes." He shrugs and takes Spikes card punches in the price with a huge grin. Then when the register opens pulls out well a lot of money and puts it into his pocket. "Oh by the way thanks for buying my art. One of my earlier pieces." He points at the 8.5" Vase that looked like a fish. On the bottom of it was a 800 dollar price tag. He is suddenly feeling a lot better about having to do most of the heavy lifting the night before. "Hey Cuz are you a vegetarian this week? Cause if Not We're getting steak and lobster tonight!"
"Hey, do I look like the type o' ponce that takes people out slaying?" Spike retorts to Buffy. "They were just th - " Then he notices the price tag on what he just purchased.
His eyes widen.
"Sodding, blimey, shagging... bollocks! I - " He pauses. A moment later, the vampire snatches the bag with the vase in it from the counter, glancing between it and Lucas. "Thanks. It's a gift. Did you really make this?"
Without really waiting for an answer, he turns back toward Buffy and indicates both Troys with a motion of his thumb. "These bites can handle themselves, Buff - you should've seen them, yeah? Anyway, it was just one Fyarl demon - so don't go getting your knickers in a twist." Spike then snorts impudently, and purses his lips once more into a tight, sullen pout.
"Cousins," River says to Buffy, putting his grin on again, though it's a bit less cheerful than before. "And he didn't take us slaying. We just happened to be there when the Falafel demon attacked. Wait, Fyral demon? Whatever. We helped. Okay, really Lucas did all the helping, I mostly stayed outta the way. But Spike's the one who tried to stab it with his silver rondel. Except then the demon threw him across the road, and Mick had to do the stabbing. But Spike was very brave and heroic! He valiantly dodged all the snot and everything." He grins at Lucas, eyes lighting up. "Yep, totally vegetarian this week, just like last week. And the week before. And you know I'm just gonna name all the lobsters in the tank and make up little backstories for every one of them, so you won't be able to bring yourself to eat one." He sticks out his tongue very maturely, then risks a glance toward Spike. Wait, did Spike give him a nickname? A Disney character nickname? A Disney girl character nickname?! River's eyes bug wide, his face first draining of color, then just as quickly blushing darkly. Spike gave him a nickname! SQUEEEEEEE!
"A bit too rich for your blood, Spike?" asks Buffy, perhaps a hint of taunt in her voice.
"Oh, just one Fyarl demon - that's fine - the ones with all the paralyzing snot, right?" asks Buffy, glancing to Lucas. She had that tone of voice of Not Happiness, but Not a Lot She Could Do about it. And then there was that squee again. Goodness me. "Tell you what, if you could get me that book you were talking about, and wrap it up - I think I'm gonna go for a walk - I'll be back for it by tomorrow?" says Buffy, starting to step towards the door properly, pursing her lips as she casts a glance towards Spike. "Take it easy - all of you - okay?" she asks.
Lucas Troy looks back at buffy, as she walked out the door, he didn't actually know which demon it was, and there were a lot of books on demons, but she had that, I'm going to get out of here look on her face. He knew better than to argue with that look. He starts to wave then realizes that he still has his hand in a fist surrounded by marble. To Spike he says, "Yeah When I was like 10 or 11. Still learning the basics now I know how to use my powers and tools, a lot better." He does kinda feel bad for Spike, so he puts the marbled hand on the table. He allows the marble to melt off his hand into a puddle one the counter, then he concentrates and makes some odd gestures with his hand and slowly a rose began to emerge from the puddle. A few more gestures and the rose was finished made of marble but there was still a bit of a puddle beneath it. He Then closes his eyes one more time and the rose began to melt again just a little , but it gave it a quite dazzling effect. He panted and well actually fell over behind the counter. "There ya go. That's what I'm doing these days... usually with less falling over and more tools though." He looks up and grins, "You can have that one too... If you tell River you'll take him to prom."
"Bye, Miss Slayer!" River calls cheerfully after Buffy, his grin sunshine bright. But then Lucas goes and says something about Spike taking him to prom, and River alternates between snow-white and rose-red five or six times in the span of a minute, jaw hanging open cartoonishly. He blinks several times, swallows twice, starts to say something, then changes his mind and gulps again. Finally, at a loss for words, he just reaches across the counter to Gibbs-smack his cousin, only to realize Lucas is flat on his back on the floor. Oh well, River will get him later. Once he remembers how to breathe again, he sucks down a few lungsful and risks the tiniest peek in Spike's direction.
Spike watches Buffy leave, a concerned frown upon his brow that completely - if not immediately - banishes his otherwise cocky and rebellious demeanour. "Hmm, what?" he asks Lucas after a quick glance at River. He clears his throat and tugs again at his coat-collar - but with one hand, as the other is holding the bag with his 800-dollar vase in it.
He frowns at Lucas.
"You... fall over a lot, there? That can't be fun, mate." He half moves to step around the counter to where Lucas lies on the floor, but halts when River beats him there. Even so, the normally lackadaisical vampire appears concerned.
With regards to the marble rose, he blinks a few times, then looks at River and blinks a bit more. "I don't do proms anymore," he tells them both in a more sombre tone. "They use to be my favourite hunting ground, so many beauties for one irresistable Big Bad..." he trails off, shakes his head. A shrug of his shoulders follows. "These days I only visit proms to stop the wannabe Big Bads from doing the same thing - there's nothing like staking a bunch o' blood-hungry poseurs... ask Buffy." He chuckles.
"Hold it for me," he tells Lucas - and then gives River a 'punk-smirk'. "Speaking o' which - I gotta go. Demons're out tonight, and I wanna pound something - after I, you know, put my vase on a shelf back home."
Lucas Troy does manage to call out from where he's still lying on the floor, " Hey wait! Didn't you actually come here for something?!" And the vampire is up. He sighs a bit then says, "So Cuz you gonna help me up and finish my smoothie?"
River Troy suddenly blurts, "What about the Halloween dance next month?" And of course, that's followed by another round of blushing through seven or twelve shades of red. But Spike is already on his way to battle demons, and River lets out a small sigh. "Huh? Oh, yeah." He moves around the counter to offer Lucas a hand up, then asks, "You wanted pomegranate, right? Along with strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. What, no mistletoe berries?"