Title: Caution: Children at Play
Era: Season Five
Genre: Kid fic
The following morning Buffy woke up refreshed after a good night’s sleep. When she opened her eyes she saw a bright flashand she heard a clicking sound.
She rubbed her eyes in an effort to see from clearly . “Huh?” She looked up to see a smirking Dawn looking down at her witha camera in her hand. “Hi there, little Buffy! Aren’t you just adorable?”
Buffy scowled. Of course her little sister was going to really enjoy this. “I may be littler right now, but I can still kick yourass.”
Dawn was still smirking despite the threat. She put her head out the door calling down the stairs. “Mom! Mom! Buffy isbeing mean to me.”
There was only a sigh from downstairs in response. Joyce hadn’t risen to the bait. This time it was Buffy’s turn to smirk. Shehad enough and sat up in her bed. “Get out of my room, Dawnie.”
Her sister crossed her arms across her chest. “Fine. I don’t want to hang out with you anyway.”
Buffy reluctantly pulled herself out of bed and pushed her sister bodily from room. “Go and annoy Spike. With luck you’llboth annoy each other to death.”
Dawn tilted her head to the side in an uncanny imitation of the vampire. “Spike’s already dead, Buffy.”
Buffy clenched her little fists so tight her nails were cutting into the palms of her hands. “Yeah, well he could be deader.”
Dawn raised her chin importantly and turned to walk down the stairs. As she looked over her shoulder, she said, “Giles ishere by the way. You might want to get dressed?”
Buffy was happy to hear her watcher had come. Maybe he had some news at last? She listened to the sound of her sister’snoisy footfalls on the stairs to make sure she was gone and then hurried to get herself washed and dressed. It took herall of five minutes; there was much less of her to wash after all. Leaving her bedroom she could smell the lovely tantalisingaroma of pancakes coming from the kitchen. When she walked in she could see Giles, Spike, Dawn and her Momsitting at the table.
Joyce smiled brightly. “Good morning, sleepyhead.”
“Good morning, Mom. Good morning, Giles.”
Giles nodded in response. Buffy spared gave the other two annoying occupants a scathing look.
“Good morning to you too, Slayer.” Spike waggled his eyebrows. “I see you got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning.”
“It’s okay.” Dawn patted his arm. “Buffy’s not a morning person.”
She ignored them and sat at the table tearing into the plate of delicious pancakes set before her.
“Yummy,” she mumbled between mouthfuls.
The rest of the table were watching her. Spike snorted. She glared at him and her stomach roiled when she realised what he had spreadover his pancakes. He caught her look of disgust and he smacked his lips together. “Bloody pancakes. They’re gorgeous, Joyce.” He waved a piece of a pancake dripping with blood at Buffy. “Want to try some, Slayer?”
She scrunched up her nose. “A world of no!”
There was still one thing that never changed; Spike was still a pig. How much longer would she be stuck living in the same house as theformerly big bad and currently little bad? He was making a big show of eating his breakfast. Was there a creature on earth that couldwind her up as much as Spike? She seriously doubted that. He was so unusual for a vampire. Angel never ate human food after all.
“Why are you even eating anyway?” She blurted the question out. “You’re a vampire. ”
He looked over at her. He had a smear of blood on the corner of his mouth. Dawn stifled a giggle and gestured to her mouth. He frownedand stuck his tongue out to lick it away. Buffy harrumphed. “Have you no manners?”
She took a deep breath and deciding it would be best to ignore him and she turned hopefully to Giles instead. “Please tell me you can getus back to normal soon.”
He shook his head. “We can’t seem to pinpoint what was used to change you. Of course, the only person who could tell us is the one whodid the spell. However, we’ve searched everywhere for Ethan and we haven’t found him yet, although your sister and mother tell me hewas parked outside here this morning.”
Both Buffy and Spike turned their full attention to the Watcher when he mentioned the last part.
Her wide eyes met Giles’. “What was he doing here?”
Spike muttered, “Watching his handiwork, I presume.”
The watcher nodded. “If I had to hazard a guess, then I would concur with Spike.”
The vampire shook his head. “You know some right pieces of work, Rupert.”
“You being one of them,” Giles said drily.
“Well, yeah,” Spike agreed, with a smirk. He stuck his arms behind his head and tipped back his chair. Spike is such a show off. However,his attempt to be cool backfired and his chair toppled over backwards taking him with it. He got up smartly while everyone elserecovered from fits of laughter.
“Yeah, very funny.” He rolled his eyes. “I could have smashed it to pieces and dusted on the splinters.”
It took the group a few moments to compose themselves. Buffy couldn’t help giggling at the scowl on his face. Joyce interrupted her mirth,however, when she posed the question she had been thinking of since she got turned into Bitty Buffy. “So what do we do now?”
The man removed his glasses and started to polish them. “We continue to try and get to bottom of this. Ethan has turned up once. He justcan’t resist gloating, so I’m sure we’ll get the opportunity to catch him.”
She knew that was all that they could do, but somehow that didn’t seem enough. She cast a glance at her younger sister and just hopedGlory wouldn’t get wind of this turn of events.
Once the breakfast was over Giles said that he had to leave. Buffy was disappointed he had to go so soon even though she knew thereason was to try and solve this case for them. Somehow with Giles around it seemed like she was still involved. It was a disorientingexperience for her to be side-lined and not able to fight her own battles.
Joyce stood up giving a meaningful look at her and Giles. “Buffy, will you walk Giles out? Dawn, can you get the dishes and William, canyou get the cutlery?”
Dawn looked confused. “Who is William?”
Buffy just had to see this and stifled a giggle.
Spike was glaring at Joyce’s retreating back. “She means me, Little Bit. My real name’s William.”
“Oh William!” Dawn snorted with laughter. “And by the way calling me Little Bit now is kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. You’re waylittler than me?”
Buffy thought it was fun to watch the two banes of her existence annoy each other instead of her for once. Giles seemed to be amused too ifthe faint smile on his face was anything to go by.
Spike grabbed the cutlery in a grumpy fashion. “Not for long.”
Dawn was piling the dishes. “You hope, William.”
“Oi, you don’t get to call me that.”
“Joyce is a lady and you’re just a mouthy brat.”
There was the compliment about Joyce again. Buffy wondered what it was with Spike and sucking up to her mother. He didn’t evencomplain about being asked to help with the chores. Weird.
Joyce turned back from the sink and sighed impatiently. “Will you two hurry on and stop bickering?”
Giles coughed to catch Buffy’s attention away from the squabbling Dawn and Spike. She went out of the kitchen and through the sittingroom. She followed him out to his car parked in the driveway. He opened the door of his car and leaned against the bonnet. “Howare you feeling?”
She was feeling worried and terrified that she wouldn’t get her life back. What if she had to remain a kid and go through adolescenceagain? Instead of saying all that she settled for the one question. “Giles, what if don’t get big again?”
“That’s not going to happen, Buffy. We’ll figure this out one way or another.”
“When we find him and I get back to being normal size Buffy can I hit him?”
He snorted. “I daresay you will have to get in line.”
A few hours later, Buffy sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the television. What she really wanted to do was go outside and stretch herlegs. The problem was there was a flammable vampire that her mother had agreed to babysit. Stupid Spike. If she was being entirelytruthful she would have to admit that he wasn’t the only reason they were stuck indoors on a lovely day. They were supposedlymeant to avoid being noticed and drawing attention to themselves, so she couldn’t even go out of the house. Still, if they didn’t have Spike theycould go out for the day somewhere nobody would know them. Yeah – this is all Spike’s fault. Their sitting room was dark with thecurtains pulled to keep out the sunlight. Joyce was sitting in the armchair reading a book.
Spike was pacing up and down. “I’m bored,” he complained.
“And you’re giving me a headache, “ Joyce admonished him. “Can’t you keep still? Could you watch a video or something?”
He looked at Buffy and she shrugged. She pulled herself up from her seated position. “Come on,” she said. “Let’s see if we can agree onsomething for once.”
The two went through various different video cassettes before settling on The Goonies. Spike had discarded Bambi, while she had vetoedany war films he came across. She sat herself on the floor again leaning up against the sofa.
He sprawled out on the sofa behind her. “Why are you sitting on the floor? I’m not knocking it. I’m just wondering.”
She shrugged her shoulders in response. “I like it here. Dawnie and I used to sit on the floor munching popcorn when we could bear to bein the same room without fighting.” That reminded her.
She raised pleading eyes in the direction of her mother. “Mom, can we have popcorn?”
“Can I have a mug of blood too, Joyce?”
Joyce sighed deeply and put down her book. She got up and disappeared into the kitchen.
Buffy looked at Spike incredulously. “You want blood with popcorn.”
“Yeah- I like dipping the popcorn into the blood.”
“Eugh Spike!” She scrunched up her face. “You’re really not like other vampires are you?”
He smiled. “What can I say, pet? I’m special.”
Later that night Buffy was tossing and turning. She couldn’t seem to get to sleep. The sound of the door creaking open made her jump upsuddenly. In the darkness she could make out a small figure. “Spike?”
“What are you doing in my room?”
“I’m bored and I feel like going out. I could hear you moving about all restless up here and I figured you might fancy a stroll.”
She glared at him. “Fancy a stroll? Are you insane as well as little now?”
“Ah come on, Slayer. I’m getting all stir crazy being cooped up here.”
She pretended to not be tempted by the idea. He really was a bad influence on her. Pain in the ass vampire. When she didn’t answer hemoved closer and whispered in her ear. “Come on. You know you want to.”
She thought about it for a moment before giving in. “Okay, give me a few minutes to get dressed. We better be back before Mom misses usthough.”
A few minutes later they had climbed quietly out of her window and down the tree. She felt giddy at the thought of running through theneighbourhood in the dark. They could look after themselves. They may be smaller, but they were still strong. As they passed aplayground, she looked longingly at the swing. Spike caught the look. “Fancy letting me push you around for once?”
She stuck out her tongue at him. “Ha, ha!”
He shrugged. “Why not? As long as you never tell anyone old Spike took you to the playground to sit on the swings.”
She looked at him disbelievingly.
“Bloody hell! Do I have to spell it out? I want to go on the swings too.”
He stuck out his lip in a pout. “I sodding hate this being a rugrat thing.”
For once they agreed on something. They stood there in silence for a few moments.
Eventually Spike spoke again. He had a mischievous glint in his eyes. “Race you. I bet I can swing higher than you.”
The two took off at speed. Spike managed to beat her to the swings much to her chagrin.
“You cheated,” she protested though she knew it was a lie.
A half an hour later, Buffy was starting to get cold. She wasn’t anxious to go home just yet even though she was shivering.
Spike jumped off his swing. “Why don’t we go by my crypt?”
Buffy pursed her lips. “I don’t know. Maybe we should go back.”
Despite her words she didn’t really want to though and he seemed to sense this.
His lips twitched upward. “I have Cheetos from the last time Clem called over.”
“Okay then, but just for a small while.”
“Don’t worry we have to back before dawn if I don’t want to be dust.”
He started walking off and was soon swallowed by the darkness. Her eyesight was not as good as his in the dark. She started to run tocatch up. It was totally unfair that not only did vampires have excellent night vision and supernatural sense of smell. Why couldn’t slayersbe given the same? Well she would be happy with just the night vision; she could do without all the extra smells that being a vampwould give her. She felt a familiar tickling at the back of her neck. Spike or at least I hope it’s him and not a “real” vampire.
“Spike,” she called hesitantly.
She turned around suddenly to the direction the voice came from but he wasn’t there.
“Come out,” she demanded.
He appeared before her wearing a very smug expression. “No need to get your knickers in a twist, pet. I’ve not gone anywhere.”
He tugged her hair lightly. Her response was to punch him on the nose.
“Oi!” He held his hand to his nose. “Don’t you think that was an overreaction?”
“No,” she said sweetly. “You’re annoying and you’re lucky I don’t have a stake to dust you.”
He didn’t respond. Instead, he continued in the direction of the cemetery and a few moments later they arrived at his home. They lookedaround carefully to make sure nobody was about. Spike didn’t seem to sense any unwanted guest so she flung the crypt door open.
“Be quiet, Slayer,” he hissed. “You’ll attract the nastys and don’t want them knowing our business.”
Spike threw himself down on his armchair. Buffy was feeling curious as walked around Spike’s crypt. She was surprised to see variousbooks strewn about the place and that reminded her of the offence he took at her labelling him stupid. This realization made her feeluncomfortable but not enough to make her apologise. That was why she was relieved when she saw the video cassette. “Oh my god,you own the Adams Family!” She snorted with laughter. “I love this movie, but I can’t believe you own it.”
He looked away from the tv screen for a moment. “Don’t own it. I stole it.”
She dissolved into fits of the giggles. “Oh Spike, that’s even worse!”
He sighed. “You’re right and I didn’t even have the excuse of this spell for that.”
She didn’t know what to say to that. He seemed tired as if he was giving in to something.
“Let’s make a pact, pet. What happens when we’re like this stays between us. Neither of us are in our right minds and both of us havebeen doing things we know we’d rather forget when we’re back to being us.”
That made a lot sense even if it was Spike saying it and she nodded. “Let’s shake on it.”
He spat on his left hand and extended it.
“Ugh Spike, I’m not shaking that. Give me your other hand.”
He extended his right hand instead.
She waved her little finger. “Let’s pinky swear.”
He raised his brow, but nodded and took her finger in his. “I pinky swear.”
She smiled sheepishly. “Can we watch the movie?”
“Right then, give me that cassette. Just remember that this is one of the things we don’t ever mention. Not to Glinda, Red, the Watcher,Harris or his bird.”
She smiled and settled down to watch the movie feeling happier that they would keep the most embarrassing parts of the experience tothemselves. About half way through the movie she felt her eyelids droop despite herself and her last thought before she fell asleep wasthat she really should wake Spike up and go home.
To be continued..
Next chapter is posted on my dreamwidth and my livejournal.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.dreamwidth.org/797632.html