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Sandy [userpic]
Undercover Christmas, Part 2
by Sandy (sandy_s)
at December 31st, 2018 (12:56 pm)

These are divided up because of size of the fic.


Buffy lay flopped on the bed in the suite, her bare legs grateful to be free of her boots. She wiggled her toes and wished that Spike was there to rub her feet. That kiss he gave her in the elevator had purposefully left her wanting far more. Argh.

Mark was unpacking his bag into the drawers in their suite, which luckily had a pull-out sofa in the other room for him to sleep on. Spike would kill her if she and Mark slept in the same bed.

She grabbed her bag of random Slayer-y things off the floor next to her, unzipping it and rummaging through odds and ends like specific magicked weapons that wouldn’t set off alarm bells at the airport, lip gloss, hand sanitizer, a mini first aid kit that included more than any first aid kit she’d ever seen (a must for every Slayer), and her wallet. She found her phone. Bingo. She jogged it to life and found a text from Spike, of course.

He’d written, “Settled in, pet?”

She smiled and typed. “Yes. But Mark’s unpacking.”

She could almost hear Spike’s laugh and wished she could hear the rumble against her ear. “And that’s why you’d never work out.” He was referencing her fear of leaving things behind, including people she cared about.

Buffy decided Spike was teasing about the Mark thing – sort of. “Ha ha. You think you’re funny.”

“He’s making you anxious?”

“Uh huh. It’s like he’s moving in.” Buffy eyed the Watcher warily. She wasn’t an unpacker-type. Moving around a lot made a person want to have quick and easy access to his or her belongings. Or maybe that was just Buffy. Unpacking meant settling down and the potential for loss.

“Yeah, well, you’re not.” Was that an edge in his tone? She had no idea. Texting lacked nuance.

“I love you,” she dashed off.

“You don’t need to always reassure me. I believe you, love.” Buffy liked that Spike knew she loved him and believed her after over a year of being officially a couple, and she also knew he loved the reassurance.

Her stomach fluttered with nerves. “I need you to be careful.”

“I will be. Besides, you’re here. You’ll be there tonight.” Spike was referring to their plans to meet up with the woman they were targeting that evening in the lounge.

“What’s the place again?” Buffy picked up the map off the end table.

“The Rundle Lounge. It’s where Rupert and the local Slayer’s sources say our target likes to have a drink or two.”

The lounge was where Spike was going to try to pick the lady up in order to find out more about her. Buffy didn’t like that part one bit, but she’d go along with it. After all, there had been several tourists and locals who had their heads ripped off in and around the city. The local Calgary Slayer, Beth, had shaken down the demon crowd for information. The best she could uncover were sightings of a creature who appeared to be half-human and half-dog.

Buffy’s fingers flew over the keyboard after she set aside the map. She was very glad they both had cell phones now. “Think the upper half of her will look like a dog or the bottom half?”

“Don’t rightly know, but I’m assuming the lower half unless she uses some sort of glamour, which I should be able to detect. Otherwise, how would she fit in here? It’s a decidedly human crowd.” Spike ability to detect magic was often useful and one of the reasons he was being used as a sort of bait. That and he was attractive.

Buffy worried with her bottom lip and stood up to peek out the window at the beautiful snow-covered mountains. The view was spectacular though she couldn’t really enjoy it. Not with so much on her mind. “I wonder why she’s here.” Mark’s research had yielded very little other than that the creature originated from over a thousand miles away on some island. They’d had a name of some sort – Adlets?

“Maybe just vacation? She must have a lot of money to throw at a place like this. Unlike us.” Giles was still working on a stipend for all the Slayers from Council funds, which were invested and earned a lot of money. The Council had been rolling in dough all these years, and Buffy had seen none of it and neither had the Watchers in the field.

“A very bloody and deadly vacation. She has a thirst for violence.” She squinted as a cloud drifted past and the sun peeked out, bathing the world in golden light.

“Pot kettle.” She could imagine Spike’s snort of amusement.

She set her jaw though he couldn’t see her. “Hey! I don’t rip people’s heads off.”

“Human people.”

“Good point.” She could concede to him that one. “Promise me that you’ll be careful.”

“I will, pet. Got a lot to live for. You go to that spa. Enjoy yourself.”

“Before you almost get killed?” The butterflies flapped their wings again – big huge sweeping motions that left her feeling slightly sick. She shivered though the room was getting warmer. Mark had just turned up the heat.

“Don’t skip that far ahead. You have to enjoy the moment.”

Boy, howdy, did she know that! “I know.” She hesitated and wrote again, “I love you.”

“Love you, too. See you tonight.”

* * *

Spike was uncomfortable again and not because he was wearing a suit that Buffy had picked out for him prior to their trip. It was because the whole atmosphere was not his scene. If he was going to a bar, he preferred something more casual full of locals he knew and maybe a couple of kitten poker games to join.

The Rundle Lounge was none of those things. It was wide open and spacious with a long staircase that led to an upper level with windows that looked out on the tree-covered mountains. The chairs and tables were formal and matching in a grey color scheme that reminded him of the lobby and a castle of some sort. The cold walls were warmed by the Christmas greenery. People dressed up for drinks in the evening and high tea in the afternoon – a sort of faux formality that Spike had long left behind. Dru had dragged him places like this on occasion, usually when she wanted to dress up and eat “fancy” people.

Now, here he was again sitting at a reserved bar, but this time, he was on a hunt for a lady who probably smelled a bit like Willow’s wolf, and he didn’t really relish the possibility of getting his head ripped off while he was dressed the way he was. It was better to get staked wearing his duster and fighting someone worthy of fighting.

That aside, he was firmly in a relationship with Buffy, and that was not something he wanted to risk losing on some mission for Rupert and a Slayer Spike didn’t know even if it was the right thing. Spike had his soul and would fight the good fight and do what was right, but he now knew he was no Angel despite his attempts to sort it out in that direction in L.A. And Spike would still do whatever he needed to do for Buffy. He loved her, and she loved him, which still amazed him on a daily basis.

“How may I help you?” the polished-looking bartender asked, sliding a thick, luxury napkin his way.

Spike wanted to order a beer, but that felt wrong somehow. “Whisky on the rocks.”

The bartender nodded with a small smile. “Yes, sir.”

Once Spike’s drink was in hand, he turned his chair around, wishing it was a stool and watched the guests. There were the usual couples on vacation or their honeymoon with only eyes for one another, and then, there were the groups of singles – men and women who peeked at one another across the way, sussing out who might be approachable or whether it was worth the risk to approach. He sensed no demons and smelled no canine scents. A woman or two gave him side eye when they came up to the bar for cocktails, but no one spoke to him.

Spike internally exhaled, annoyed with himself for being an obvious-one-woman kind of guy, and he made an effort to seem more open by sucking in his cheeks and giving some of the women a look – the kind of look he used when hunting. Mostly, he aimed it at women who looked like the sketch that the Watcher had made of the woman that the local Slayer had seen when she’d been attacked.

When he was on his fourth drink and had the inkling of a buzz, he finally gave up and studied his half-empty glass with an audible sigh this time.

The bartender, who was a young man in his twenties, leaned on the bar near him. “Not having much luck, eh?”

Spike sighed, hoping the sound didn’t seem like he was annoyed with the bloke. “Not really.”

“It’s the weekday. We get more of a lively, feistier crowd when we have live music on the weekends,” the bartender explained.

Spike ran a finger around the rim of his glass before cupping it. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. We’re even more likely to have women slip us their number, which we’re not allowed to follow up on, but most of us do. We just keep it discrete.” The bartender was revealing more than he should.

“Can’t say I blame you,” Spike said noncommittally.

The man studied Spike, his dark eyes sharp. “You seem like you’re looking for someone particular.”

Spike kept his voice even. “Not really. But I can’t say I wouldn’t mind seeing a lady I caught a glimpse of around here recently. She’s got long blonde hair with a lavender streak or two. Tall-ish.” Spike waved his fingers over his hand. “Bit of a shiny turquoise bauble on her finger. Probably a topaz.”

The bartender’s response was quick. “Ah. You’re looking for Rina.”

Spike lifted an eyebrow. “You know her then?”

“She’s been here the last couple of weeks. Always see her alone. She usually comes in for a drink or two and leaves.”

“You seen her with anyone?” Spike didn’t really care about this unless she had a posse of some sort.

“Nah. She usually says there are slim pickings after a bit and then heads up to her room. She’s really sweet and a generous tipper.” The bartender picked up a towel and wiped down the bar where a group of guests had abandoned their drinks. 

The “sweet” descriptor threw Spike for a loop. That’s not what he expected. “Good to know.”

“And if you’re looking to meet her, she’s coming this way.” The bartender nodded past Spike.

Spike turned in his seat and was immediately surprised at what he sensed from the woman approaching him. She was really nothing like what he expected.

Comments

Posted by: Double Dutchess (double_dutchess)
Posted at: January 2nd, 2019 03:45 pm (UTC)
Hell of a Woman

Ooh, the suspense!

(TBH I'm a bit surprised that none of the single women threw themselves at Spike, but I guess I am biased :-)