Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike, OCs (brief mention of Spike/Buffy)
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike: Spike Goes to... Get a Pet! (Sorry I'm late. I totally forgot these were supposed to be posted by the 15th!)
Word Count: 2,643
Date Written: 6 and 10 January 2017
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission. The Demons and especially the kittens are mine. :P However, if anybody else should want to do something for Spike and his new pal, I won't hold it against you!
Spike's eyes flick to the door as it opens and closes beyond another patron.
"You look jumpy tonight," one of his opponents hisses quietly, his forked tongue slithering out of his mouth like a snake. "Maybe you shouldn't be here."
"Yeah," another Demon giggles, a sound that would shivers down any human's spine, "maybe you should be up your girlfriend's skirt."
Spike moves his cigar to the other side of his mouth, playing it cool. "I'm my own man," he retorts calmly, adjusting his cards. He is his own man, but it wouldn't do to have Buffy find him playing poker again. He knows she doesn't approve of it, and even if he isn't draining the kittens, it also will never do for her to discover what he's really doing with them. He knows darn well he'd never live it down.
He'd like to be able to blame his lack of concentration on the mewling furballs in the center of the table, but he knows it's not them. This bar stinks of blood and death; it's no wonder the kittens can't settle down. They're only animals, and babies at that, and on a night like tonight, this place makes even a Vampire itch for a fight.
Thunder rumbles outside, and then, suddenly, something soft and warm brushes against Spike's bare knuckles. He jerks his hand away with a snarl as the Demons laugh.
"Looks like he likes you," the green and brown Demon who Spike swears has got to be at least part snake comments, chuckling.
"Yeah, well, he won't like anybody when I'm done with his little ass," Spike remarks, waving his long, agile fingers at the kitten. "Shoo. Get back in that basket."
"Aw, Spiky doesn't wanna hurt the wittle kitten."
The table erupts in laughter that burns Spike's high cheekbones. "Oh, I'll hurt him all right. I'll drain every one of them, but after I've earned them. I ain't owing you lot nothing."
"That's good," the Demon to Spike's far right comments from the shadows. The laughter stops abruptly at the sound of his low voice. "Because we also won't owe you anything, Vampire. Put him back in the basket, Lestate."
"Can I have a nibble?"
The kitten spits and slaps at the Demon's hand, drawing blood. Lestate yanks his hand away and back to him. "Ow!"
Spike again moves his cigar to the other side of his mouth. "Leave him," he directs as the reptilian Demon reaches for him. "He ain't hurting nothing."
"Very well. Just as long as you remember who owns these cats, Vampire, and this bar."
"Yeah, yeah. We gonna play, or do you wanna chat and do each other's hair? I forgot." Spike sneers, looking at the Demons' leader. "That's a toupee, and a bloody poor one at that."
"Ha. Ha." There's no humor in the Demon's voice, and the glare from his glowing eyes would cut straight through a lesser Vamp. But Spike's taken down worse Big Bads than him. Hell, he's been a worse Big Bad. "Very well. I'm in."
Spike examines his cards as the other Demons make their moves. He's got one Ace in his hand, but it's not enough. He ignores the kitten nipping at his fingers holding his cards until the little, brown beast wiggles underneath his cards and comes straight up at him. Their eyes meet. Spike quirks a brow as he notices a certain flair in the kitten's yellow green eyes. The kitten bats at Spike's nose. He shoves him gently away with his other hand and suddenly realizes there's another Ace in his hand he wasn't seeing. He makes his move with easy suave.
Again, the play goes around the table. Two Demons fold. The reptilian Demon slithers his tongue out of his mouth before drawing another card. He stays, and Spike makes his move. He's drawing a card just as the kitten butts the hand he already holds. He curses softly around his cigar and straightens his cards while the Demons laugh.
"Having trouble?" the leader asks in his cool, deep, and dark voice that reminds Spike too much of Angelus. He thinks he has everything just the way he wants it and there's nothing the little Vampire can do about it, but Spike knows better.
Then he sees a third Ace in his hand and abruptly hushes. He eyes the kitten, whose tiny, brown head is thrusting up between him and his cards. The kitten keeps his eye contact and smiles. Spike sucks his cigar, and the play continues. He doesn't draw another card, but he stays in the game until it comes down to just him and the leader. Only at the end of the round does he lay down his full house of three Aces and two tens.
The Demon hisses his surprise. Then he shrugs. "So you have a little luck tonight, Vampire," he says as the raging storm outside rattles the old walls of the bar. "It won't keep."
"Says you. I've had luck longer than you've been alive." Spike just doesn't elaborate on exactly what kind of luck it is he's had. He knows he only drew one Ace tonight, but he's not yet certain what exactly is going on, and as love's bitch, he knows luck has rarely been on his side.
"Then you won't chicken out of another round. Double or nothing."
"Let's make it interesting," Spike remarks casually, his yellow eyes taking in the Demonic faces all around him as well as the tiny, mewling kittens in the center of the table and the one silent one sitting right in front of him. "Cash and kittens. You got more?"
"Oh, I've got plenty more where these came from."
"Let's see 'em." Spike flicks his finished cigar behind his shoulder and lights another one. The brown kitten staring intently at him and slowly striking the table with his stub of a tail doesn't seem to mind the tobacco or quick strike of fire.
The leader makes a motion, and one of his henchmen steps behind the bar and comes back with another five kittens. He dumps the furry, trembling felines unceremoniously into the basket on the table. The leader shoves the rest of his chips into the center as well; Spike meets him calm and cool, watching the kitten more than he's watching his opponent.
"Let's play," the reptilian Demon says, slithering his tongue again.
The cards are dealt. Spike pulls up three diamonds and two clubs, only one face card and no Aces. When his turn comes, he tosses one card down into the discard pile. He feels, rather than sees, the brown kitten shift between him and his cards as he picks up the card he's dealt. He looks back at his hand, and suddenly, where there was only one Queen before, he now sees two ladies. His black lips start to lift in a grin around his cigar; he stops himself just in time and silently adds his new card into his hand.
Turns go around the table three times more before the play comes down again to only himself and the leader. The snaky Demon once again is the last to fold, this time with a disgusted snarl. "I don't like you, Vampire," he hisses.
Spike's eyes dance with mirth on the other side of the table. "Good, 'cause I don't like you either." He lays his hand down, showing off his three ladies, only one of whom he's pretty damn confident he actually drew.
The leader slaps his cards down. Spike grins as he leans forward and draws the chips and basket of kittens into his arms. The brown kitten mews, the first sound he's made all night except for the time he hissed at that one Demon who'd reached for him, as the leader reaches out and places a hand over Spike's. The blonde Vampire glowers up at him. "We better not be getting all touchy feely -- "
The leader cuts him off calmly. "One more time."
"Yeah, boss! Do him again! I'll get him this time!"
"Silence, Snake. Just me and you, Vampire. Whadda ya say?"
Spike shrugs casually and leans back, leaving the kittens and the chips slightly to the left of the middle of the table. "All right. I'm game. What do you wanna lose this time?"
The Demon dangles a gold pocket watch. "I took this off of the Slayer I killed -- "
The brown kitten mews. Spike's eyes flick to it. He runs his tongue over his black lips as he looks back at the Demon. "You got any more kittens?"
The Demon hesitates, clearly surprised. "Yeah," he says at last, and at Spike's nod, one of the Demon's henchmen hurries off to grab the remaining kittens still hiding and crying behind the bar.
"But what are you offering?" the leader asks, eyeing Spike warily. "These are all the kittens you bought, and you don't have any more cash."
Spike hesitates before bringing a diamond ring out of an inside pocket on his jacket.
"That was crafted by humans," the Demon starts, sneering.
"So was my jacket. But it was worn by the Slayer I killed."
"Are you offering . . . ?"
The leader nods. It isn't much, but he wants to beat this Vampire down. "Very well."
The brown kitten sits between Spike's arms as play once more resumes. The whole bar is silent as the leader draws a card. Some one coughs when Spike draws his; that Demon's quickly dispatched by his own kind, never again to make another sound. The boss is the first to lay down his cards this time, his glowing eyes alight with certain triumph.
Spike watches as the Demon across from him lays down a straight flush, beginning with the nine of diamonds and ending with the King. "Good hand," he remarks as he starts laying down Spades. "Better hand," he finishes upon placing down, for all to see, the Ace of Spades. He grabs his basket of kittens, throws the chips in them, and jumps to his feet as the Demons all begin cussing and yelling. The brown kitten jumps onto his shoulder as Spike switches his game face on.
"I knew better than to think you blokes would play fair," he remarks as they come at him from all angles, but that's fine with him. He's been itching for a fight all night. He throws three off of him and into their boss before pulling a curved dagger from inside his trench. Its blade glistens in the poor lighting of the bar, looking both hungry and mean.
Spike drops to the floor, letting the Demon that was about to attack him from before topple into the two rushing him from the front. He leaps into the air, kicking back five more, and then swipes a head clean off its shoulders as he lands. He turns swiftly at the sound of a low hiss, like the kettle back in Giles' apartment just beginning to boil. Striking again with his blade, he smirks as he sees the Demon's forked tongue hit the blood and slime covered floor. "Told you that tongue was going to get you into trouble one of these nights."
The brown kitten on his shoulder mews a warning and lashes out with his claws, slicing into green hands before they can close around Spike's neck. Spike turns and kicks the Demon backwards, but three more rush him at once. He fights deftly, his punches swift and solid, and pauses only to grab a falling kitten and throw her back into the wicker basket with her companions.
The kitten on his shoulder meows again. The little guy's got his claws hooked solidly through Spike's leather jacket and into the Vampire's flesh, but he doesn't care. He's not sure what the cat's been doing, but he knows he owes tonight's wins to him. He turns again at his direction and drives his dagger straight into Lestate's chest.
Lestate falls back, screaming like a girl, as Spike draws his blade out of the Demon's flesh. He leaps into the stale air of the bar, kicking back another rush of Demons, and picks up another kitten as she falls out of the basket on his landing. The brown fellow mews again, and Spike understands just as he slashes off a pair of hands reaching into his basket. He can win this fight, but he doesn't like the odds of doing so without losing at least one kitten. And he does owe his wins to one of their litter mates, after all.
"It's been fun, boys," he says and pounces from one snarling, Demonic head to the next as he makes his way to the door.
"STOP HIM!" the leader hollers.
Spike grins. "You can try," he offers, stepping on a horn. The Exit sign glows just ahead of him. The kittens' cries hurry his pace, but he still turns as he hops down from walking on the Demons who couldn't tackle a ball properly if the bloody thing was given to them.
As he makes his final leap, he makes one last turn to look behind him and sends his dagger flying. "A party gift," he sneers as the dagger barrels straight for the Demons' leader, "for a good night. You don't have to return it." He chuckles, a sound far more dangerous than the snake Demon's hissing or any of their laughter. The sound dies in his throat as the snake one throws himself before his boss.
"Oh, well. Maybe next time," Spike dismisses the scene with the air of one who just doesn't care and plunges out the Exit into the night. He climbs quickly, hearing the Demons' leader bellow at his henchmen to follow him. A few manage to be hot on his trail, but he kills them quickly and silently with another dagger pulled from his boot.
"Silence," he hisses at the mewling kittens. The brown one leaps into the basket, and his mates actually hush as Spike pulls them all into the shadows. The Demons run by. His fingers curl with his desire to not run from the fight, but as the brown kitten begins to climb back up his body, Spike remembers why he's hiding tonight. It isn't for himself. He isn't afraid of those Demons. He could take them down pretty damn easily.
There's another reason why he's standing here in the shadows. Maybe he's gone soft. That reason does have a small, furry body, and Spike thinks he'd probably be pretty damn soft to touch. He turns his head as the kitten finally reaches his shoulder and finds himself peering directly into the feline's yellow green eyes, their noses touching. "What did you do in there, huh?" he asks him, certain the Demons are gone.
The kitten mews. Spike grins in the night. "Yeah," he agrees, "we all have our secrets." And it looks like, as of tonight, Spike's got one more secret to add to his ever growing list. "I need to take you lot to a friend of mine, but I think you'll stay with me." It's been a while since he's visited Mister Fantastico, but the old drag queen has never been able to turn down a furry face. "Sound like a good idea?" The brown kitten mews again and rubs his nose against Spike's.
Spike laughs. Yeah, he's got a new secret and a new chapter of his life, one that's filled with more good luck than a Vamp deserves and maybe even a little love, is starting with the addition of another presence in Spike's life who may look as gentle as Dawn but who, Spike is willing to bet, can bite when needed as hard as Angelus on his darkest night. "Let's go." His luck is changing; maybe it's time his heart did, too.