Title: The One That Got Away
Disclaimer: I own neither the Buffyverse nor the Sookieverse; I only use their characters with the best intentions.
Summary: Some called him Immortal, some called him The King… we just call him Bubba. Crossover with Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series.
Xander ran into the magic shop, his cheeks flushed from the exertion. “Buffy! Buffy, you gotta come quick!”
“What is it?” Everyone looked up from where they had been quietly researching the latest big bad.
“Vampire…in…the…park.” Xander panted.
“Like a master vampire?” Buffy asked, confused as to why Xander would even bother freaking out over just another vampire.
“Newbie,” Xander said, tossing the donuts onto the counter, “but you guys have got to see this.”
“Really, Chubs, I expected better of you, letting the kiddies rattle ya. I suppose I should go congratulate them, before slayer here dusts them.” Spike lit a cigarette, which Anya immediately took from him and extinguished.
“No smoking by the merchandise.” She scowled at the neutered vampire. Spike just rolled his eyes, to think his life had been reduced to being house trained by an ex-demon.
“Come on guys.” Xander called from the doorway. “You all need to see this.” He tried pouting, since obviously they weren’t responding to the normal cry of alarm.
“Alright, alright. I’m coming. Ya’ in, Wills?” Buffy picked up a stake from the stack she had been carving.
“Come on, Willow, you won’t regret it.” Xander smiled, bouncing around like a puppy needing to go out.
“Alright.” Willow reluctantly stood up. “But I don’t see what the big deal is. I mean, if it’s just a newbie…”
“Trust me, Tara will be sad she missed this.” Xander headed for the door. “Are you coming Anya?”
“I think I’d rather stay with the money than watch Buffy stake a newbie…ooh, unless you think it’ll get steamy. Do you think this vampire will be sexy?”
“All vampires are sexy, pet.” Spike smirked. He had to admit, the bit walked right in to that one.
“Alright, I’m coming.”
They had walked several blocks to the elementary school playground, when Xander finally perked up. “There!” He pointed across the lawn towards the line of trees where a lone man was strolling along, looking up into the branches.
“You don’t think…?” Willow asked, her eyes wide with surprise. The group ducked behind the side of the building, not wanting to let the vampire know of their presence too early.
“Nah, it’s probably just some a case of a vampire in Vegas thinking it would be amusing. Of course, if I was to turn one, I so would have gone for a young one. I mean, there’s got to be like hundreds to choose from, why wouldn’t you go for something more jailhouse rockish?” Buffy mused.
“But what if...?” Willow asked. “I mean he looks just like he did in all those movies my mom has.”
“I don’t think so. I mean, if he was real, he’d be like what, fifty? That vampire can’t be more than a few days old. See how he’s all disoriented?” Buffy added her expert opinion.
“He’s not that old.” Willow pouted. “He’d only be 25 in vampire years.”
“Vampire years? Is that something like dog years?” Anya frowned. She doubted she’d ever really understand Xander’s friends.
“Well, he died in 1977, so if he didn’t die, that would mean…”
“…That things are going to get interesting. Let’s see how well he plays with others.” Spike muttered, watching some fledglings approach. An annoying memory was playing at the back of his mind from the time he and Dru had traveled through the South looking for the Gulch brothers.
“Well, I think he has a sexy walk.” Anya commented to nobody in particular. The group watched as two vampires who hadn’t yet learned to control their game faces approached the man, who was still content to look up at the trees.
The fledglings each picked up some rocks and started pelting the vampire. “Hey! El…” The fledgling didn’t even get the word out of his mouth when the vampire turned to him enraged and ripped his head off.
“Yikes.” Willow mumbled as they saw the fledgling disintegrate.
“DON’T CALL ME THAT!!!!” The vampire roared. He turned to the other one, only to watch the newbie run off into the woods. The vampire grunted then turned his attention back to the trees.
“Well I guess that answers that question.” Xander shrugged.
“So, we’ve all seen the Vegas reject. Can I stake him now?” Buffy asked Xander.
“No, wait.” Spike frowned. Buffy arched her brow. “I’ve got this funny feeling that Red is right.”
“You mean, it’s him?” Willow grinned at the thought. Her mother had been a closet fan, and by that she meant there had been a shrine to the legend in her mother’s closet, and Willow had been raised on the glory that was The King. To think that she’d really have a sighting to her credit was just too exciting.
“It’s just a hunch. Look, you lot weren’t ever supposed to find out, and if this ever ends up in one of the Watcher’s books, I’ll personally rip out your intestines, but he was turned in the morgue. Thing is, he had taken so many pills, he didn’t come back quite right.”
“Right? Looks like he’s got all his parts in place.” Anya tilted her head to watch the stranger move around the edge of trees, swaying his hips in time with the rhythm in his head.
“He’s touched, if you know what I mean- doesn’t have a clue who he is, doesn’t know how to hunt. He’s just sort of a trophy that the Memphis master likes to take out for parties.”
“For parties?” Xander frowned.
“Well, yeah, I mean he’s still got a great voice.” Spike looked at Xander like he was crazy. “He’s harmless, but if you stake him, you’ll have the good ol’ boys down here screaming for blood.”
“Are you sure about this?” Buffy looked at Spike skeptically. In the past year, the gang had gotten used to trusting Spike with information on the underworld; after all, he depended on them so he’d hardly be in a position to backcross them.
“Here I’ll show you.” Spike rolled his eyes. “Just follow my lead, and try to keep from embarrassing yourselves.” The gang anxiously peeked around the corner, amused to see the vampire’s legs dangling from a tree, his head buried in the canopy.
Spike let out a shrill whistle. “Hey! Bubba! Is that you?” He called out, strolling casually up to the tree, the Scooby gang trailing a safe distance behind.
The man jumped down from the tree. “Yeah, I’m Bubba, who are you?” He asked, while choking a squirrel with one hand.
“I’m Spike.” Spike answered with a pleasing smile, trying to throw some Southern twang into his Cockney accent. “I noticed you were having some problems with the kiddies, and I just wanted to say sorry about that.”
“Pleased to meet ‘ya, Mister Spike.” Bubba offered to shake with the hand that didn’t have the squirrel. “I think I took care of those rascals, but thanks for the offer.” He nodded then turned his attention back to the squirrel. He happily bit into the small rodent’s neck and began sucking.
“So, you’re a bit far from home. My colleagues and I were wondering if you needed any help.” Spike drawled slowly, not wanting to spook the slow vampire.
Bubba glanced up, his eyes blinking. “Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t notice the lovely ladies there.” He gave a nod and a wink towards Buffy, Anya, and Willow, who nearly swooned. “Would you like some? I can catch ya another one.” He offered the limp squirrel to the slayer who just stared at it.
“Thanks for the offer, mate, but you know how the skirts are nowadays, always on diets.” Spike noticed the disgust in the girls’ eyes, but knew Bubba was clueless. “So what are you doing in these parts?”
“Huh, you know, I don’t rightly know. Bill said to go to Hollywood for awhile, but I went there and there were no trees. How’s a fella supposed to live off the land if it’s all pavement? So I thought I’d walk a bit and see what I found, and here I am.”
“Well, Bubba, as much as we appreciate you visiting our little corner of the world, Bill sent word that we should send you back to him.”
Buffy mouthed "Who's Bill?" Spike could only shrug. Buffy was going to say something, but Spike cut her off. “But before you leave, could you do us a small favor? These birds would love to hear you sing.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that.” Bubba seemed to blush a bit. “Sookie told me I had the prettiest singing voice that side of the Mississippi, but well, that’s the other side of the Mississippi.”
“Come on mate, do it for the ladies.” Spike cajoled the vampire, figuring it was worth a shot, and might just be the convincing argument for the slayer.
“Well, I suppose. I do have this one song that’s been stuck in my head for days, but I’m not sure where I heard it before.” Bubba dropped the squirrel, squared his hips, and began to croon. “Wisemen say only fools rush in …”
The women watched in rapt attention as Bubba sang. His soft, deep voice resonated as only one voice ever could. Willow knew without a doubt, it was him. The messiah had chosen to walk among them. As Bubba rounded out with the last “falling in love with you,” Willow fainted in Xander’s arms.
“Wow.” Buffy muttered. “Now I’ve seen everything.”
“Well, thanks mate. How about I walk you to the bus station?” Spike steered the vampire away from the slayer while she was still in awe. He figured it was his duty to all of vampirekind to make sure that this was one kill the slayer would never make.
The gang quietly turned to return to the Magic Box. “I can’t believe he’s a vampire… I can’t believe I let him walk away like that.” Buffy shook her head.
“Cheer up. It’s not like you never let the bad guys get away before.” Anya patted Buffy patronizingly on the back.
“Besides, he’s not the bad guy.” Willow cut in, glaring at Anya. “I mean, he did kill that fledgling for you. Oh, and he didn’t once try to eat us, he just ate that squirrel, and he even offered to share. Bad guys don’t share squirrels.”
“Got to give you that one Wills.” Xander smiled. “It was probably a demonic squirrel anyway.”
“Still I am the slayer.” Buffy frowned.
“But he’s the King.” Willow smiled wistfully.