Monopoly and That Thing
He’d come out to see Joyce, talk to her. Maybe say a bit of hello to Red’s witch. He’d been a bit sad to learn she’d been shot. She had a quiet set of stones. She didn’t say much but when she did, it had mattered.
The muscle cramp in your pants talk and her telling Anya to back off of Willow during Buffy’s birthday lock-in that time instantly came to mind. It had been then that he’d decided he’s add her to the bite list so his vampire Willow would have a playmate.
But the private cemetery wasn’t deserted like he’d thought it would be. As Spike approached, he recognized the girl as Draco’s slayer Pevensie. She was just sitting and looking at the wall that was out there. When he got close enough, he noticed it had slayer names on it. And they had to be dead slayers because his eyes instantly saw the name Nicki Wood.
“Not you. What are you doing out here,” Pevensie snapped.
Spike raised a brow. “I can come out to see Joyce if I want. What are you doing out here?”
“I come here to think.”
Spike walked over and sat down on the bench next to her. He smiled when she tensed. He liked that she was wary. It was smart of her and boosted his ego a little.
“You know, if I was going to hurt you, I think you’d know it by now, Gidget.”
“I’m not short.”
“Gidget. The surfer guys called her that because she was short and a girl. Girl midget. Gidget.”
Spike looked at her and grinned. He did like a bird who was up on her pop culture.
Anya snorted as she walked up behind them, Pevensie jumping at the sound. “I knew a woman in the 17th century who named her favorite horse Gidget. Nothing short about that animal.” She glared at Spike. “You were told not to tango with the baby slayers. Giles is already huffy about you being here. I don’t need him in a snit because you can’t keep it in your pants.”
Pevensie gave Anya a frosty look. “He can visit Joyce if he wants to.”
Spike gave her a look. Oh how the tides had turned.
“I just came out here. It’s not like I sought her out, demongirl. Apparently she has something to think about, and I wanted to pay my respects. Plus, she’s a little girl,” Spike snapped. “I’m not Angel the cradle robber. I wait until they’re adults before I make a move.””
“You paying respects?” Pevensie said. “That’s funny.”
So perhaps the tides hadn’t turned that much.
Anya crossed her arms, the motion stopped by the heavy coat she was wearing. While she didn’t actually feel the cold, she was still trying to adjust to being a demon again since she flip-flopped from human to demon so many times.
But she wanted to at least say she tried to keep things nice between Spike and the baby slayer, so she walked over to the vampire. “Scoot over.” When he didn’t move anything save his eyebrow, she glared at him. “Move or I will move you.”
Pevensie reached over and scooted Spike for her. The vampire gave her a surprised look.
“I work out.”
He started chuckling. He’d really like to fight this one. She had that thing.
Anya settled in between them, sighing loudly in concent. Her breath frosted in the air. “So,” she replied after a moment of silence. “How did you enjoy your brief stint in the afterlife?”
“You mean when I was dead or when I was noncorporeal? Because I wasn’t a ghost and I don’t recall being dead. It was like I burnt all up then reassembled myself almost immediately even though I’m told it was nineteen days later.”
Pevensie was leaned around Anya and looking on with fascination.
“What about you? You were gone for a bit, yeah? Where’d you go?”
“Folkvangr,” she replied lightly. “Died in battle and all that. Got the stupid scars to prove it. Then I was in some forest somewhere on an altar with some mysterious chanting guy in front of me...until Buffy chopped him in half. Thank God she did that after I was back or I could come back deformed.”
“Were you happy in Folkvangr?” Pevensie asked. “Does it make you sad to be here?”
Spike was about to glare about that particular question, but the kid actually sounded like she might be worried that Anya was sad to be here.
Since Willow had asked her this before, she already knew the answer, and she was much more firm in the answer. “It’s not here. It was okay, I mean, there are much worse places to be, but it’s not here. Although if I could be sent to the dimension of all males, I wouldn’t say no.”
Spike smirked at that.
“So you like here better?” Pevensie said. “Then I’m glad everything worked out like it did for you. It must be really disorienting to travel dimensions. You being kinda weird makes much more sense now. I mean, I know you’ve been around for, like, ever, and I thought it was just that, but you’ve seen some really not normal stuff. I think it’s affected you. It makes so much sense to me now.”
Spike started chuckling.
Anya stared at her strangely. “You are why I always tried to trade my Life babies in for cash.” She rolled her eyes. “If I didn’t like this dimension, I could hop to another one. I’ve been in this one for a thousand years. I’m...attached.”
“Like that game,” Spike said.
“Oh. I prefer Monopoly.” Pevensie looked at Anya. “I think you’d be good at that one. It’s all about money and who has the most of it.”
She might have pouted. “I’m no longer allowed to play. It’s not my fault the game is grossly inaccurate and doesn’t account for equity and interest rates on bank loans to own buildings.”
“Well, who told you that you couldn’t play? I happen to like board games.”
“You don’t know what you’re getting into, pet,” Spike warned. “Though I wouldn’t mind getting a poker game together while I’m here.”
“I am not playing for kittens,” Pevensie said, then at his look added. “Oh, I’ve read the watcher diaries, all of them, and I know about you and the kitten poker.”
Anya was thinking about the last time she played a board game. It had been the last night before the battle with the First. She had fallen asleep halfway through the first round and extremely irritated that everyone kept playing without her. She would have totally trumped both Andrew and Amanda.
She stood and started looking at the names listed on the monument. She found Amanda’s name easily. She really did need to come out here more often.
“Maybe we could have a game night,” Pevensie said. “We could play board games with whoever wanted to come and you’re totally invited, Anya.”
It sort of cracked him up that little miss badass was an inclusive badass. Spike got the vibe from her that she didn’t want anyone to be left out and wondered what had happened to her. There was some damage here. He could always sense it in others - damage and crazy. He didn’t know if that was from being damaged himself or spending so long with a woman who was.
“Possibly,” she said lightly, eyes wandering over names of all the fallen slayers they could find in records. “But I don’t do teams. No one ever listens to me, even though my advice is sound.”
“Are you out here again? I thought you were going to let me help you with your studies?”
Pevensie looked up at Meredith. “Sorry. We were... talking.”
Meredith spotted Spike then and began staring.
“And now I’m gonna go because I think she gets creepy about you,” Pevensie whispered to Spike. “Good talk, guys.”
She got up. Spike noticed her touch Kendra’s name on the wall as she walked past.
“I’d be on your team, Anya. You, me and Draco. Can you imagine us playing Monopoly as a team? But we have to be the dog.”
That snapped her out of her musings. From what she knew about Draco, he was rich. He could handle money. That might work. “Possibly,” she repeated.
Pevensie grinned at them before grabbing Meredith’s arm and pulling her off towards the house.
“She’s a weird little thing,” Spike said after a moment. “Don’t know what to make of her.”
“I thought you liked the weird ones?” Anya asked, cocking her head at him before turning to look at all the names again.
“I do like the weird ones. If I were still soulless, I’d want to fight her. She’s got that thing.”
He looked at her.
“Not many of the young ones do yet. Of course, not many of them got worse beatings before they came here.” She had read most of the slayer profiles when she was bored one week while Giles was at a conference. Very few stood out to her. Pevensie’s was one that did. Too bad she didn’t have the power of the wish and that the guardians were dead. She would have done a freebie.
“It’s like I can damned smell it. I knew she was damaged. I knew it.”
Anya had this look.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s what’s going to make her. It already has. I can see it in her. Our circumstances shape us and change us in ways we never could have imagined. I think you and I know that rather well, pet.”