Title: Whac-a-Mole (I don't have a definate title for the whole fic yet)
Era/Season: Post NFA -- Spike still a vampire, Buffy still a Slayer
Rating: PG (language)
Setup: Spike and Buffy are at the arcade on Santa Monica Pier on their first offical 'date' after reconnecting post NFA.
“Not my fault that you drive like a grandma! If you’d gotten out of my way, I wouldn’t have rammed you … a dozen times!” Buffy defended. “I’m an excellent driver!” she contended haughtily.
Spike arched a brow at her, the ‘Rain Man’ jibe on the end of his tongue. “Too easy,” he decided, shaking his head.
“Oh, my God! Look! Mr. Gordo!” she exclaimed suddenly, stopping in front of the Whac-A-Mole arcade booth.
“Beg pardon?” Spike asked, following her pointing finger to the plethora of stuffed animals that were hung up, covering the wall behind the game like a colorful, plush zoo.
“Mr. Gordo! I can’t believe they still make him! I used to have one when I was a kid. I lost him when … well, you know … you destroyed my house, along with the whole town, and died,” she explained. “I didn’t think I’d ever see him again.”
She turned then and looked at Spike. “Kinda like you.”
“Well, I reckon the least I could do is win ya a new one, then, eh?”
Spike looked over the game a moment, watching the current contest that was underway to get an idea of how it was played. Piece of bloody cake.
When that round was done, and a winner was awarded with one of the stuffed animals from behind the vendor, Spike took his place at one of the empty games, paid his money, and picked up the mallet.
“Maybe I should do it,” Buffy suggested, reaching into her purse to get some money out.
“Don’t be daft,” Spike chastised, looking away from the game to scowl at her.
“No, really, I don’t mind,” she continued, just as the round began. Spike missed hitting the first three moles with his attention drawn away, and ended up losing the round to a twelve-year-old, who won the stuffed animal prize of his choice.
Buffy stood trying to suppress her laughter as Spike paid for another round, glowering at her the whole time.
“Not a bloody word,” he warned, this time not taking his eyes off the game.
“I haven’t said anything about a centuries-old vampire losing a game involving bashing things to a twelve-year-old,” she joked.
Spike turned an indignant expression on her, dropping the mallet down to his side. “How bloody old d’ ya think I am? Not centuries, for fuck’s sake. Have me doddering ‘round the geriatric ward with Jell-O dribbling down my chin, you would!” he groused as the next round began. “Bugger!”
Spike lost. Again.
Buffy nearly burst trying to keep from laughing. Her shoulders shook, tears leaked from her eyes, and her chest began to ache from the effort.
Spike closed his eyes and clenched his jaw until a muscle bulged along his cheek, trying to keep from strangling her where she stood. He took a few deep, unneeded breaths and pulled more money out of his pocket for the next round of competition.
“Go. Away,” he growled at her, not looking around as he held the mallet at the ready, his attention trained on the stupid little holes where the moles were hiding.
“Going away…” she gasped out through repressed giggles, wiping at her eyes as she carefully backed away from him.
“The things I do for bloody women,” he hissed under his breath as the next round began.
The moles lost. The twelve-year-olds lost. Spike won. Finally.
Spike found Buffy perusing the ‘Historic Route 66’ memorabilia a few minutes later. He walked up behind her on her right, but tapped her left shoulder, holding Mr. Gordo, Jr. up at eye level there.
“Mr. Gordo!” she exclaimed gleefully, grabbing him from Spike’s hand and hugging him to her chest. “I missed you!”
She was still grinning as she turned the rest of the way around to find Spike looking at her with that same look of awestruck joy, head tilted, bottom lip captured, holding back a smile.
“My hero,” she declared dramatically, flinging herself at him as if he were Dudley Do-Right and she the damsel he’d just rescued from certain doom on the railroad tracks.
Spike laughed and wrapped his arms around her, swinging her around in equally dramatic fashion. “All part o’ the service, ma’am,” Spike drawled, setting her back on her feet.
“What service is that, kind sir?”
Hope you enjoyed and got a bit of a smile.
Not sure when the whole fic will be finished and ready to post. I'm at about 250,000 words so far, but the end is still a small dot on the horizon. Keep a watch for it on EF, AO3, and FF though.
Thanks much for reading!