Title: Cockney Rhyming Slang
Spoilers: Mid to late Season 4
Disclaimer: The boys and the 'verse belong to Joss, Mutant Enemy, Fox - all kinds of people. In other words, they're not mine. Song lyrics belong to Chas N Dave.
Author's Notes: These are *not* songfics, they are just inspired by the genius of Chas N Dave. A snippet of lyrics from the appropriate song will precede each chapter.
It's all a waste of time
I got nuffin' to do and I'm
Bored bored bored bored bored bored
"What the hell are you doing?!" The angry voice surprised Spike, and he barely managed to suppress a start. He looked up guiltily from the shirt he'd been shredding to tiny bits. Ruthlessly, Spike tamped down on the guilt that sprang up at the sight of a pair of accusing eyes. He assumed a sneer.
"I'm helping you lot of do-gooders, ain't I? Well, this," he gestured toward the scraps of fabric, "is just me doing my part to protect the world from your fashion sense." When he put it that way, Spike felt entirely justified. It had been a hideous shirt.
"Ha ha ha. Very funny. I liked that shirt," Xander pouted. He tugged the remnants of the garment from Spike's grasp and gazed at them mournfully.
"Well, that's half the fun, innit? I am evil, after all." Spike resented having to point that out so often. He'd tried to kill these people often enough, you'd think they would remember the evilness.
"Evil," the boy snorted. "This is more like ... petty annoyingness. You're like a puppy, you know that, Spike? Are you going to start chewing on my shoes next?" Xander glared at him, and Spike had to force back the urge to smile at how *cute* the fierce glare looked on that young face.
"Not likely," Spike replied. "Have you smelled those things? A Complornt demon wouldn't chew on your shoes."
"So sorry to offend your senses," Xander said insincerely. He pulled off his pizza scented shirt and tugged on an ancient bowling shirt. Spike wondered if he had purposely picked such a horribly ugly one, just to taunt him. Sighing and rubbing a tired hand over his neck, Xander said, "Why don't you go do something, Spike?"
"It's no fun anymore," Spike said sullenly. "All the troublemakers are either locked up by the soldier boys or ganged up with Adam. There's nothing good to kill out there." He was tempted to let his lower lip jut out, but a memory of Dru popped into his head. She used to sing, "A li'l mouse is going to nibble that right off." And then she would nip at his lip, and Spike would have to stop pouting to kiss her. They usually wound up shagging against a wall. Somehow, Spike doubted Xander would bite his lip if he stuck it out. The depressing sense of loss that memory dredged up did nothing for the vampire's mood.
"Okay," the boy flopped down at the end of the couch, letting his head roll to the side so he could look at Spike with a minimum of effort. "Go to Willy's. Drink whiskey, play poker, reminisce with the other evil beings."
"I can't go to Willy's. Some of the blokes down there are a little put out with me an account of me killing their friends."
"Some people are so touchy," Xander said. His face was straight, except for his dancing brown eyes.
"I know! Ain't like I killed all of 'em, anyway." Spike's hands twitched. He really needed something to do, or he was liable to grab another shirt and start shredding. He eyed the turquoise and brown one Xander was wearing. Shredding it would be a service to sighted beings everywhere.
"So go to the Bronze or the movies. You know, do something non-demony." Xander's tone was becoming exasperated.
"I don't want to go to a place full of humans, feel them around me, hear their heartbeats, and not be able to feed. That's not fun; that's torture." Spike looked at the other end of the couch, expecting to see a moue of disgust at the desire to feed or a smirk at the thought of Spike being tortured by his chip. Instead, a small smile played over the boy's mouth, and his eyes shone bright with amusement.
"What?" Spike demanded.
"You sound like one of the Mrs. Pigglewiggle stories Willow used to read to me. 'The Waddle-I-Doers.'"
Spike tried to project an air of affronted dignity, but he had trouble keeping the chuckle inside him. After a moment, he gave in. "Used to have some of those books. Drusilla made me read them to her dolls." Spike was surprised to find anything in common with Xander.
"Well," Xander said, lifting his head from the back of the sofa, "I don't have any treasure for you to dig for. You wanna play a game?"
Spike really didn't. But he'd already been compared to badly behaved fictional children, so he agreed with as much grace as he could muster. "Yeah, alright."
Xander hoisted himself off the couch with a groan. Spike couldn't help thinking he was exaggerating. Delivering pizzas couldn't be that wearing on a body. When he said as much, he got a dirty look. "I spent most of my day restocking the walk-in cooler and cleaning the back of the store. That means heavy lifting and no tips," the boy complained as he rooted around in the closet. He emerged with a dusty box. "Here we go. It's perfect."
"Cluedo?" Spike had never played the game, but he'd seen it before.
Xander gave him a confused look. "It's just Clue. Cluedo sounds like Clue for karate guys." He knelt on the floor and started taking the pieces out of the box. "Come on," he said, looking up at Spike expectantly.
Spike sighed and sprawled on the floor next to the board. "Right. Tell me how this works, then." Xander showed him all the tiny little weapons and explained the rules of the game. Spike tried to maintain his ennui, but the game turned out to be fairly amusing. It got better when they tossed the rules out the window and started making up their own murder scenarios. Xander told him about a game he, Red, and another boy used to play in junior high, where each player had to think up the most creative way to kill someone using only the objects in the room around them. The vampire and the young man lay on the floor late into the night, figuring out some truly bizarre ways to end someone's life with the contents of the basement.
Xander eventually dozed off, his head on a purloined couch cushion and one arm lying across the game board. Spike watched him quietly, listening to the slowing heartbeat. He never would have believed he could have so much fun in the boy's company. The vampire rose silently and looked in the closet where Xander had gotten the game. The top shelf was loaded with old game boxes. He thought maybe they would try out Boggle or Life next time. His gaze trailed down, ending up on the clothes that filled the rest of the closet. He cast a glance over his shoulder at the slumbering boy, then reached for a green striped shirt.
Games were all well and good, but shredding those shirts was a moral imperative.