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Crash and Burn

Crash and Burn
By NautiBitz

Info and Author's Notes: See introduction.

"Oh, stop it," Buffy derided him. "Drama queen."

The gall of this girl! "What the hell do you know?"

"I know that you shouldn't ever throw your life away for anyone else!"

"I don't have a life! Alright? I don't have a mansion and a pool and a maid and whatever else it is you have." His voice wavered. "All I had was her."

"God, that's depressing."

"No," he shook his head. "It was fantastic."

"How can that be good? When she leaves, you're nothing."

He chuckled, glanced at her. "You've never been in love, have you?"

Looking down at her hands, she said quietly, "Yeah, I have."

"Right. Grade four, little Jimmy Shortpants behind the oak tree?"

"Oh, screw you."

"Or big Dougie Dockers at last weekend's wild frat party?" His voice lurched into falsetto. "Oh, Dougie, that was the best three seconds of my whole life!"

Her jaw dropped. "You're a pig."

He laughed. "Or was it jocky Joey Quarterback, traded you in for a pom-pom girl with bigger knockers?"

She sneered, "I hate you."

"That what you told Jimmy before you showed him yours?"

"Will you stop with the stupid names? God!"

"But it's so much fun." And strangely, he was having fun. With this annoying, irritating girl he'd never speak to in a million years if they hadn't crashed into one another. Of course, he was having fun taking the piss out of her, but still. Odd.

"Like you're the expert on love," Buffy chortled. "You honestly thought she'd take you back like this? Because we women find obsessed drunken suicidals so attractive."

And then, just like that, the fun was over.

Spike said measuredly through grit teeth, "You know, this ride will be a lot more pleasant if we don't talk about my ex. Or better yet, at all."

"Pleasant? In what reality could this ever be pl--"

"Right then, door's unlocked, feel free to be pushed out--"

"Okay, no talky! Whatever. Fine." Buffy casually poured the contents of the bottle out the window.


With a coquettish shrug, she mimed zipping her mouth shut and threw away the key.

"Why, you little--"

"Ep!" she shushed him.

Despite his aggravation, he found himself smiling at the sheer ridiculousness of her.

Buffy's wandering eyes landed on the wallet sticking out of the uncloseable glove compartment. Equal parts repulsed and fascinated by this stranger, she was tempted to pick it up. She'd never seen anyone who lived like this outside of the movies. She'd never understood how anyone could live like this. It was so... seedy.

Knowing he wouldn't love her leafing through his personal effects, she instead reached for the stereo's power button and fiddled with the tuner, stopping at Christina Aguilera's voice.

"My body's sayin' let's go," she sang along, torso swiveling. "But my heart is sayin'--"

"No," he said, and clicked it off.

"Why no?"

"Because it sucks balls," he answered plainly.

"Music snob. You would so like it if you listened."

"Exactly why I won't." Without warning, he leaned sideways, warm chest brushing over her thighs.

Arms up, Buffy held her breath.

He grabbed a tape from the glove compartment and stuck it into the tapeplayer.

She sighed in relief when he moved away. Why did he make her so nervous? Sure, he had that whole dangerous vibe going, but it was obviously just for show -- and she didn't scare easily. Maybe it was that weird Satanic heat-transfer thing.

A guitar riff started up. Lame-ass punk rock. Oh, joy.

He sang along, "Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go-o-o, I wanna be sedated..."

"And you call this an improvement?"

"Well, yeah."

"Whatever." She added under her breath, "Loser."

He sang, "Can't control my fingers, I can't control my brain, oh no ho ho ho ho..."

She rolled her eyes. Does he know the '90s even happened?

"You know what?" he blurted suddenly. "You're right. I've been all wrong-headed about this."


"Here I am, feelin' sorry for myself, when I know Dru really loves me. I just have to go back to being the man she fell in love with."

"Oh, gag."

"Gonna go back there. Make things right. Make it like it used to be."

"Great," Buffy forced a smile. Pathetic shell of a loser.

"Yeah." He nodded, pleased with his decision. "Glad I ran into you." He turned up the music.

"I'm not," she said quietly, seeing her car go down the cliff for the umpteenth time. She exhaled, and rested her head on the windowframe.

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Title illustration by Mike Segawa
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