Lots of love to the wonderful and talented girl who is one of my very closest online friends. Possibly the closest of all. I've written a special story for this occasion. Hope you spot all the references! It's for other people to read as well, if they like.
This ficlet could fit into straight Buffyverse canon, Season 4 around the time of 'Something Blue' or 'Hush', or in the gap between S4 and S5, or it could be a missing scene from 'Life in Shadow'. Rating - well, is it safe to rate anything any more? PG-ish, anyway. 777 words, many of them different.
Everything Stops For Tea
Giles pushed his glasses up his nose and frowned at the vampire. “Will you please stop poking around among my things?” he complained.
“Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Rupert, I won’t break anything,” Spike replied. “Hey, what’s this?” He held up a video cassette. “Hancock’s Half Hour. The Blood Donor. Bloody fantastic! My favourite episode.” He sucked in his lips and frowned. “Hang on a minute. BBC video, PAL. Can’t bloody play it on a Yank machine, can you?”
“Actually, I have a rather cunning device,” Giles said smugly. “A machine that will indeed play British videos on the inferior American system.”
“Colour me impressed,” Spike said. “And this is black and white, so it’d be just as good on their Never Twice the Same Colour shit. Okay if we watch it, Watcher?”
“Oh, very well,” Giles agreed. “If that will stop you prowling around like Rikki Tikki Tavi. Would you like a cup of tea?”
“Wouldn’t mind, Rupes. Ta.” Spike sat down on the couch, but was up again within moments and followed Giles into the kitchen. He stood watching as Giles boiled the kettle and warmed the gaudy canary yellow teapot. “That’s a sassy teapot you’ve got there, Watcher. Bought it local, I take it?”
“It was a present from Joyce, actually,” Giles told him. “For once her impeccable taste seemed to desert her.”
“She get you the ‘Kiss the Librarian’ mug too?” Spike smirked teasingly.
“Oh, no, that was Willow, actually.”
Spike grinned impishly. “So, Red crushing on you as well?”
“There may have been an element of that at one time,” Giles conceded, “but luckily she seems to be well over it by now. Rather embarrassing.” His brows lowered. “What do you mean, ‘as well’?”
“Come on, Watcher, you mean you haven’t noticed the look in Joyce’s eyes around you? You could be up her like a ferret up a drainpipe.”
Giles flushed. Spike tilted his head to one side and grinned broadly. “You have been! You sly old dog, Rupes. Congratulations!”
“It was due to a spell, and it is not something I care to discuss, Spike. Please shut up.”
“Just a spell? Bollocks. You should pick it up again. Joyce is a smashing bit of crumpet, and you’re not bad for a dried-up old stick. Get over there with the old flowers and champagne and have a good time. Do both of you the world of good.”
“I said I’m not willing to discuss it,” Giles said firmly. “Sugar? Milk?”
“Milk, one sugar. All right, have it your own way. I’ll leave it alone.” Spike gave an enigmatic smile, muttered under his breath “for now”, and returned to the main room.
When Giles re-entered with the tea he found Spike leafing through his record collection. “You really are a fidget, Spike. I thought we were going to watch the video.”
“Yeah, we will, but I couldn’t resist having a gander at your records. Some good stuff there. Best collection of British Blues I’ve seen in sodding ages. John Mayall, the Yardbirds, Chicken Shack – you’ve got taste, Watcher.”
Giles set down the tray he carried, laden with cups, plates, the teapot, and a plate of English biscuits. “I wouldn’t have thought it was in your line, Spike. I thought you were a devotee of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones.”
“Well, yeah, but I was listening to music long before Punk. Met Clapton, you know.” Spike picked out a Ginger Snap from the plate of biscuits. “And Ginger Baker. Dru was really impressed by him; said he was madder than she was.”
“How old were you when you were turned?” Giles asked, keeping his voice casual. Background information on William the Bloody might be of interest to the Council of Watchers, even now; and Spike, for once, seemed to be in the mood to be forthcoming.
“Twenty-five,” Spike revealed, and laughed. “Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. Two Kings Chapter 15, verses 33 and 34.”
Giles’ eyebrows climbed high up his brow and he stared in mute amazement at the vampire.
“Surprised you, did I?” Spike asked. “Not expecting a vampire to quote the Bible? Well, I nearly went into the Church. It was that or the Army for a younger son. Then my brother died and…” He stopped and shook his head. “No, I’m not going there. Let’s just watch Hancock.”