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Pop Goes the Weasel by slaymesoftly
Is It Spring Yet?

Title: Pop Goes the Weasel
Author: Slaymesoftly
Set in the I Know You verse, sometime after Knowing and Watching: Spike and Buffy are offered a job just before the holidays.
Rating R
Chapter One of Pop Goes the Weasel
Is It Spring Yet?
"Wake up, lazy bones, we've got a job."
Spike growled and pulled the pillow over his face.  Undeterred, Buffy jumped onto the bed and sat on him.
"Come on. I know you're not asleep.  Get up."
"I would be asleep if some annoying bint would leave me alone." He raised the pillow and gave her his best snarl, complete with fangs.
"You know," she said conversationally, "that would be a lot scarier if you weren't hiding under a quilt covered in pink flowers."  When he didn't respond, except to pull the pillow back over his face, she went to the bottom of the bed, reached under the cover and began to tickle his feet.  It wasn't long before his snarls were mixed with snorts of laughter as he tried to pull his feet out of her reach.
Instead of giving up, Buffy dove under the quilt and followed his feet as he pulled his knees up to his chest in an attempt to get away from her fingers. She moved her busy hands from his feet to his balls, running her fingernails lightly over them and giggling at the inevitable reaction.
"As long as you're down there, you may as well make yourself useful," he growled, dropping his legs so as to put his erect cock in front of her face.
"Ha!" she scoffed, squirming the rest of the way up to where he smiled at her hopefully, his fangs long gone.  "You'd like that, wouldn't you, lazy bones?"
"You mean you've got me all awake and I get nothing for it?"  He gave her his best pout and his saddest eyes, but she was unimpressed.
"If you'd gotten up when I told you to, you wouldn't have this little problem," she said, patting his cock and rolling off the bed to stand out of reach.
"Little problem?  Little?" With a roar, he threw off the covers and leapt out of bed, standing in front of her in all his naked glory and righteous indignation.
Buffy gave a satisfied smirk and headed for the kitchen.
"Now that you're up, you may as well get dressed. We have a client coming by in fifteen minutes."
When Spike finally joined her in the kitchen, accepting his warm blood with little grace, he was dressed except for his shoes.  Whereas Buffy never left the bed without putting on warm socks or slippers, Spike's lack of response to temperature extremes meant that, even in winter, he wasn't overly bothered by the cold floors of their house.
He nursed his blood in silence for several minutes, finally giving Buffy a sideways glance.
"Did you really mean 'little'?" he asked more meekly than he'd intended.
She rolled her eyes. 
"You are so easy," Buffy sighed, then brightened.  "How would I know?  It's not like I've ever seen another one. I don't have anything to compare it to, do I?"
"And you never will if I have anything to say about it!"
He picked up his glass and swallowed the rest of his blood, setting the empty glass down and grabbing her as she moved to pick it up.  He kissed her until she was curled into him and making little whimpering noises in her throat.  When he was satisfied that he'd made his point, be let her go – steadying her with one hand when she briefly staggered.
"Wow," she gasped. "You know, if you'd just grabbed the other Buffy and kissed her the first time you saw her, you probably could have killed her easy."
He laughed and shook his head, releasing her hand so that she could carry their dishes to the sink.
"Nah. That might have worked for old soulled Spike when he first met her – if he could have got close enough to her and held her still long enough.  The Buffy I met was already an expert on how I kiss. She'd have kissed my socks off and then dropped me on the ground." His eyes glazed over for a second as he reminisced. "She kind of did that, now that I think about it..."
"Should I be jealous?" Buffy said, just a trace of insecurity in her voice.
"What? Oh. Oh no, love. I wouldn't trade you for all the other Buffys in all the other dimensions there are."  He came up behind her and put his arms around her from behind, pulling her back against his chest and murmuring into her ear.  "You're my very own, very special Buffy. The only one I love – the only one I ever will love."
"With all my heart.  I'd cross it and hope to die, but..."
"But you're already dead," she laughed, her good mood restored.
"That I am, pet."  He let her go and went to get his boots on.  "So, who's this client that's so important he can interrupt my beauty sleep at such an ungodly hour?"
"It's two o'clock in the afternoon, Spike," Buffy said.  "And he's a friend of Clem's.  He's having a problem with some kind of demonic rodent or something."
Spike's head appeared around the corner, his expression thunderous.
"A rodent problem?  I got out of my nice warm bed to hear about rodents?"
"Demonic rodents," she reminded him.
Spike's profanity-laced rant was interrupted by a loud knock on the front door, and Buffy shushed him with a hand over his mouth.
"Just try to be patient and listen, okay?  Christmas is coming and we could use a little extra cash."
Still muttering about rodents and his dignity, he trailed after her as she went to the door and opened it.  He hung back where the slanting rays of the winter sun couldn't reach him, studying the abashed-looking demon on the other side of the threshold.
"Hi," Buffy said, extending her hand.  "Please, come in and fill us in on what your problem is."
Spike gave the very human-looking demon a nod of assent and backed up into the darkened living room.  He marveled anew at this Buffy and her willingness to accept all living beings at face value, knowing that, even with the experiences she'd had, the Buffy he'd left behind in Sunnydale still drew a very firm line between "acceptable vampires and demons" and the rest of the creatures inhabiting her world.  He breathed a quiet sigh of thanks that his Buffy hadn't come into this new world with that same hardwired set of assumptions and had adapted to it quickly enough that she hadn't gotten herself killed or become a pariah before he’d arrived to join her.  The idea of living without his mate and partner was enough to make him shudder.
He offered his own hand to the K'vleck demon standing uncomfortably in the living room, and gestured to a chair.
"Have a seat, mate.  What can we do for you?"
Looking more uncomfortable by the minute, George (for that was how the demon had introduced himself) said, "This is going to sound really... bizarre, I know, but we've got these... pests."
"Really, really vicious pests," George said quickly.  "They aren't very big, but they're really mean, and destructive.  And they have a... um... a leader or mother of some sort that is big.  So, we can chase them away, but not very far. They always run to it and it… um… yeah, that never goes well.” He paused to grimace at what was obviously not a pleasant memory, then continued.  “And they always come back. Bolder all the time."
"Have you tried trapping them?" Spike had to admire Buffy's attempt to treat the problem seriously. He, personally, was ready to toss the wanker out and tell him to find himself a really big cat.
"We did.  They ate the trap."  George stared at Spike's curled lip and said, directly to the sneering vampire, "Last night they tried to carry off a child."
Buffy's gasp was accompanied by the sound of Spike's feet, which had been comfortable resting on the coffee table, hitting the floor.
"Why the bloody hell didn't you say so?" he demanded.
"Was the child hurt?" Buffy asked quickly. 
George nodded, and then shook his head. "Yes, but not badly.  We were able to kill enough of them that her mother could pull her away before she had more than a few small bites.  We don't think they were planning to eat her right then, they may have been—”
"Taking her back to their pack leader," Buffy and Spike said at the same time.
"Yes," George said softly.  "We've doubled the guards, but our village is pretty widely spread out and it's very easy for the creatures to sneak in under cover of darkness. I’ve asked everyone to move into the community center until we can be sure they’ll be safe in their homes."
"What do these things look like?"
"Oh, here," George said, producing a folded piece of paper. "One of our better artists drew you a picture.  The leader looks pretty much like this, only much, much bigger – with bigger teeth."
Spike leaned over Buffy's shoulder as she studied the drawing.
"Looks like a cross between a weasel and a wolverine," he commented. "Nasty buggers in our world, they are."
“Or a really big ferret,” Buffy said. “I knew some people who had pet ferrets.”
George visibly shuddered.  "Pets?"
"Well, some of them.  I guess they're really wild animals, but I knew people who had one or two."
She looked at the picture again, pointing to the animal's feet.  "When I was a freshman, I had to write a report about an endangered species and I picked the black-footed ferret.  They looked a lot like this – just smaller." Buffy looked at Spike with a small smile.  "I guess they're about to become endangered here, huh?"
"That they are, love." He flashed some fang at her, then turned to the startled visitor.  "So, while my lady rounds up some weasel-appropriate weapons, let's you and I talk about our fee, yeah?"
"Spike!" Buffy stopped on her way out of the room.  "They're stealing children!"
With a sigh, he nodded.  "Right you are, love."  He gave George an apologetic shrug.  "Sorry, mate. Of course we'll help you out – no charge."
George gave his first smile since he'd entered the small house where Winterset's most famous evil-fighting duo lived.  "It's not a problem," he said. "We've had a good year.  We can pay you in dollars, or in jewelry. That's what we do. We mine for gold and gems and make jewelry from what we find."
Spike shot a look over his shoulder and lowered his voice.
"Holidays are coming. Maybe we can work something out, yeah? Something for my lady?"
"Gotcha.  You get rid of these baby-stealing creatures, and you can have your pick of things for the Slayer."
Feeling much cheerier, Spike went to pull on his boots and get his favorite jacket. At the last minute, he changed his mind and grabbed an older, more beat up coat made of thick cowhide.  And the leather gloves he rarely bothered to wear.
"Let's go, pet," he said, picking up the car keys. "We've got weasels to endanger."