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By NautiBitz
"Bum Batch"

Info and Author's Notes: See introduction.

Chapter summary: Spike's ruinous return to Sunnydale gains him an unlikely drinking buddy.

"I hate you in so many, many, many ways," Buffy made sure to point out before she flopped, belly first, onto the musty bedspread.

Spike sat beside her and slurred an indifferent, "Not as much as I hate you. Where's the bourbon?"

With great effort, she uprighted herself, pulled the bottle out from under her and passed it along.

"Empty," he said. "And our last one, at that."

"No way. What happened to all the others?"

"Gone." He let rip a monstrous burp.

She grimaced. "Eeew!"

"Right," he sneered, flinging the bottle so it crashed against the wall. "Almighty Slayer's too proper to piss."

"Proper? I am so way not proper!" Buffy squeaked in defiance. "Way... So. Not. Anyway I can belch with the best of 'em. You just watch." She tried a few times, and gave up.

Spike cocked an eyebrow. "That it?"

"Gimme some more drinkies," Buffy said, finger in the air. "Something fizzy. I'll show you. Then we'll have like a... contest... thing." She trailed off, inspecting a chipped fingernail.

"Hm," he mused. "Enticing as that sounds, pet, 's high time I cut you off." He nudged her shoulder with his. "You're tanked."

"Am not!"

"Too. Otherwise, think about it -- when else'd you be caught dead alone with me 'cept to rip my heart out and gobble it up for breakfast?" He patted his chest for cigarettes. "You know, and vice-a-versa. Damn." That was the last of his smokes, too. And so far away from a 7-11...

"Whoa." She took in the spinning bedroom. "You're right. Ohmigod, you trickeded me."

"I trickeded you? You're the one started bawlin' at me tonight," his voice lurched up an octave, "'Waah, you were right about me and Angel, we can never be friends and we can never again shag like rabbits, boo bloody hoo!'"

Buffy gaped. "I dinnint 'bawl'! I would never bawl in fron'a you. You're like, my menemeny... memeny. Emeny. You made me go all spilly with that... booze. And only because I happened to run into you tonight, when I was not in the mood to kill anyone. And you gave me the first swig, anyway. You sustarted it."

"Yeah, and who's the tart batted her sooty eyelashes to make me 'susteal' more 'booze'?" He squinted at her. "Which by the way, isn't very Slayerish of you. You must be slipping."

"Bad influence," she grumped.

"Who? Me?"

She shook her head, and nodded to the splatter on the wall. "Jack Daniels."

He smiled and sniffed. "That he is."

Body swaying, Buffy blinked a few times as the room grew hazier. "I'm sleepy."

Spike heaved a sigh. A piss-drunk slayer alone with him in the deepest recesses of the factory -- now that's what he called opportunity. Except that he happened to be a stone's throw from hammered himself, and attempting slaughter in such a condition could wreak disaster.

Starting tomorrow, he promised himself, he'd put 'Killing Slayer' back in the number one spot of his To Do list. Yeah, he'd win Dru back with a necklace strung of fresh Buffy bones... Tomorrow.

Tonight, however, he'd have to get this handful home. "This'll be a kick. Can't wait to see loverboy's face when I get you to your door, all flung over my shoulder and retching down my back."

"He's not my loverboy, how many times did I have to tell you, it's over, finito. Which means he would not even be there and I can get home myself without, without retchening, so there."

She yawned, and though she planned to sit up, her shoulders sagged forward and her eyes fell closed instead. "And if you think you're gonna try'n kill me once I pass out, think again Mister. I won't let you. 'Cause I'm the Slayer. An' I can kick... your... ass." As she spoke, voice growing fainter, she'd managed to curl into a fetal position. By the last word, her head had landed in his lap.

"Christ," he hissed, hands withdrawn as if she were a hot potato.

She snored softly.

He rolled his eyes and gave her a quick prod. "Slayer. Oi. Rise and shine, love. C'mon."

"Five more minutes," she said, nuzzling into his crotch. "Fi' more... then I'll..."

He shook his head in disdain. "And this is the spitfire nearly toasts me on a regular basis. I should take a picture." A wicked grin lit his face. "Send it to Angel. Din' I have a camera round here somewhere?"

He nudged her up and gently placed her back down as he rose to search the dresser drawers. He found it -- an old Polaroid, no film. Disappointed, he tossed it aside.

Buffy moaned a little in her sleep, so he felt the need to justify, "I wasn't really gonna take one." Then her lips parted and he thought, Pretty mouth.

He shook his head to get the accompanying images out. "Mus' be a bum batch," he said, blaming the shattered bottle of Black crunching under his boots. "What I need is somethin' smoother."

He opened another drawer and found, to his amazement, his old silver flask -- and Slayer as his witness, it was nearly full.

"Now you're cookin' with class!" He took a whiff. "Aged to perfection, you are." He turned on his heel a little, creaking the floorboards as he poured the silky liquid into his mouth, head tipped back.

Buffy broke his subsequent fall. When she grunted in annoyance, he said, "I could kill you right now, you know. You couldn't do a bloody thing."

"Kill you," she echoed.

Startled, he jumped up and eyed her warily until he was certain she was still asleep. "Watch it, you," he bobbed an unsteady finger at her, "can't scare me."

Just to be on the safe side, however, he checked her clothing for stakes -- and found one tucked into her waistband. "Don't know how you can sleep with a big stick in your pants," he said, tossing it over his shoulder. "Oh right, there's already one up your bum."

Chortling at his astute wit, he dove into bed beside her.

"No monkey business, now," he slurred, face scrunched, hand waving to and fro. "Jus' a bit o' shut-eye. That's where I draw the line, missy. I mean I know how hot you are for me but you'll just have to control yourself, alright?"

Contented smile on, he drifted into sweet unconsciousness.

* * *

"The hell you doing, you freak?" Perry the Akalam demon whisper-shouted. "He said he wanted 'em cuffed up, not in the freakin' buff!"

Gus looked up mid de-pantsing. "Yes, but now if they break loose, they won't get very far." He tapped his hairy temple. "Ingenuity, my friend. It gets you places."

"Ingenuity, my ass. Gets you to the top of the Slayer's shit list's where it gets you."

"She'll be dead before this time tomorrow, so what do I care?" Last boot, last sock. Now for the girl...

Perry shook his head. He had a bad feeling about this. "Not for nothin', but Trick shoulda just let us waste 'em now. I mean, look at 'em, they're half-dead already. One stake, one snap. Blam blam, the end."

"Didn't you hear him say they are bait for a bigger plan?" Gus asked. "You should stop talking so much and start listening, Pertak. You might learn something."

"You wanna learn something?" Perry pointed at the snoozing Buffy. "You ever meet all this bitch's friends?"

Gus couldn't say he had.

"I didn't think so. Alright? So shut the fuck up when you don't know. They'll get her outta here, you'll see. Next thing you know, she goes Charles Bronson on our hides while Trick sits back and watches on his big-screen TV. Laughin'." He scoffed as he tightened Spike's restraint. "A bigger plan, he says. Might as well hang 'em in loose rope over a tubful o' garter snakes, you ask me."

"It's a good thing no one did. You know, she's not so ugly for a human girl," Gus appraised as he removed Buffy's underwear. "You think we have time to--"

Perry smacked Gus' hairy forehead. "Get your filnaka outta the gutter! Cryin' out loud, we already been here too long! Help me key these latches up and let's go!"

* * *

Spike muttered himself awake. What? Where? Amber light from a bedside table penetrated his haze. Tattered canopy, burnt out walls... the factory bedroom? Sunnyhell? Dru? Ouch.

Bloody hangovers.

Jerking his arms, he heard a clank. "What the...?" He craned toward his wrists and found thick, deadlocked manacles fastened to chains that anchored to a newly attached bar of iron protruding from the headboard. "...hell?"

Then the previous night came monsooning back to him.

Why that lying, two-timing, conniving little... "Bitch!"

He yanked at the restraints, thrashed to his side... and was met with a curious sight.

It was Buffy, on her back, fast asleep, both wrists cuffed and chained in the same manner, with a shorter chain connected to his setup.

The real puzzler? She was stark naked.

Curiouser still, so was he.

"Bloody hell," he growled, clattering his chains. "Angelus! You bloody buggery pansy! Come out and face me like a man, you blasted coward!" He waited a moment in the silence. "Hello?"

* * *

Mayor Wilkins sat forward in his chair, snickering at the security monitor. "Now I admit, I had my reservations about the clothing stunt, but by golly it's funny as all get-out." He bobbed a finger at one of the large, hairy demons standing in his office. "I like your initiative, Mr. Gustak."

Gus sent a smug sidelong glance to Perry, who asked, "Not for nothin', but can we get paid now?"

"Now, you just hold your horses there, pard'ner. Mr. Trick takes care of all of that," his shoulders spasmed, "unsavory business. I just wanted to congratulate you two personally for your efforts. Good work, boys." He winked at Trick.

"Let me fill you in on the next phase of our operation," Trick said, and escorted the demons out the door.

With a giggle, Wilkins pointed at the screen and addressed his Deputy Mayor. "This could be on America's Funniest. You know, the one with that 'Full House' fella? I just love that guy. Don't you?"


"Hey, I betcha it'd win something."

"Uh, sir?" Allan put forward. "Should we uh... start the process now?"

"Then again, the nudity is unsuitable for younger viewers. No, I suppose we'll just have to keep it to ourselves. Tsk, tsk. But will ya take a gander at him rattling those chains!" He laughed again, punctuating with, "Ah, I tell ya. That's comedy."

He spun in his chair to consult with his desk calendar. Penciling in the words 'EXTERMINATE RIFFRAFF', he said darkly, "Start the process, Allan. I want all three of them out of my way by the cock's crow."

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Title illustration by Mike Segawa
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