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Alive or Dead by Lilachigh
3 Living Dangerously
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Alive or Dead!


Chapter Three :  Living Dangerously





Buffy drifted awake, stretching luxuriously: she’d been having such a weird dream - all about Spike and a giant and being in the vampire’s crypt and shouting at him not to rub the little oil lamp he was holding, because, hey, even she knew that meant a genie would appear and  -


Her eyes flew open and she gazed through a pale pink mist that was swirling round the stone walls. She was still lying on Spike’s bed, but he was no longer by her side. Through the mist - that smelt of the very nastiest cotton candy - she could see him lounging in a chair, and perched on the arm, her breasts brushing his ear, was a girl with bright red hair and big brown eyes, wearing a bright pink bikini, a very small bikini.


Spike looked up, sensing she was awake. “Hi, Slayer.  Look what we did this time. Bloody great - a genie.”


Buffy swung her legs to the floor and stood up, batting away the mist, trying not to cough.  “It’s a girl! I thought genies were little fat men wearing turbans.”


“Well, that’s rude.  I’m not an it, my name’s Melody.”  The red-head pouted and ran a hand through Spike’s hair. “Tell her not to be so rude, Spikey, or else she won’t be allowed to stay and watch.”


Buffy wondered if you could actually kill a genie. “Stay and watch what?”


Spike grinned, his eyes sparkling. “Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Slayer. There’s no orgy planned, unless you’re keen to try a threesome, of course!   Genies come in all shapes and sizes; er, Melody is one of the, er, most interesting I’ve ever seen.   I didn’t realise the lamp was active. Most of them aren’t.  God knows why the Fable Demon was carrying this around with him: they’re bloody dangerous in the wrong hands.”


Buffy felt a trickle of unease wriggle down her spine. “And yours are the right hands?”


“She’s being rude again, Spikey!  Hey, listen, Skinny Minny, there isn’t time to chat, I’m on a clock here. Spike called me forth and so he gets one wish.  I know, I know, I can tell by your expression that you think it should be three, but it got so boring because everyone just wished for more wishes with their last wish, if you see what I mean, and I spent days and days bringing houses and cars and money. It was soooo tiring, I mean, like exhausting. I was completely shattered and so now he can’t just wish for a hundred wishes - they’ve changed that rule, too. One wish and he gets ten minutes to think what he wants. He’s already wasted five of them, waiting for you to wake up!”


With a flash of long tanned legs, Melody slid off the chair arm and wandered around the crypt, trailing clouds of pink mist after her.  “You could always wish for an interior decorator to come and convert this cave into something really cute and modern.”


“You could also wish for Melody to vanish back into her lamp,” Buffy snapped. “Or put on a few more clothes.”


“Then he wouldn’t get what he wants most in all the world,” the girl said tartly.  “And I’ll have you know it gets really hot in there. Cosy but hot. Hey, I thought you and him were close - what with being in his bed and all - but you don’t seem that keen on helping him wish for something really wonderful.”  She returned to Spike and leant over the back of his chair, her hair cascading down across his shoulders.  “I think I can see a little bit of the green eyed monster in your girlfriend, Spikey.  Did she want to rub - “ she paused suggestively, then as Buffy’s gaze lasered on to the floor, went on - “the lamp first?”


“Spike - listen - be careful - just wish for something silly -  like a new TV or a crate of Scotch - and let her go. This could be dangerous.”


The vampire stood up, the amused expression fading from his face. “Is that what you think I need most, Slayer. A new TV?”


Buffy bit her lip.  “No, of course not. But this is magic, Spike. You don’t know if it will work or what the consequences will be.  You’re the one who’s always telling us that magic has consequences.”


“So if I wish not to be a vampire, you’d think that was a waste of time.”


Buffy shivered: the pink mist suddenly seemed very cold, the silly, childlike adventure was becoming something very different.  Spike to not be a vampire!  That was such a weird thought she couldn’t get her mind round it. Could the genie undo Drusilla’s work all those many years ago?  Was that really possible and if so, did Spike go back to being William? Who on earth would he be if he wasn’t a vampire?  “Is that what you want?” she whispered.


“Well, there’s a reaction I didn’t expect. Pure horror.” Spike suddenly sounded very English, his words clipped and precise. “Don’t look so appalled,Slayer. I might wish for world peace instead.”


“Oh, I’m so dreadfully, sorry, but I can’t do world peace,” Melody said, from where she was now rummaging through a drawer that held Spike’s shirts.  She pulled out the scarlet silk one that Buffy loved to touch and flung it round her bronzed shoulders.  “I’m only a 3rd class genie - I’m still in training - so I can only grant personal wishes.  I can’t cause anyone to die or bring storms or earthquakes or floods.  Oh and I can’t do plague and pestilence yet.  Not till I get to 2nd class - oh, but I can do boils and toothache.” She beamed at Spike. “I could give Skinny Minny here a wonderful set of boils if you want.”


“She’s just another Anya,”  Buffy snapped, wondering where the heck her sense of humor had vanished to in the short time she’d been asleep or unconscious.


“Our friend Anya is an ex Vengeance Demon,” Spike explained but his voice was vague, as if he was thinking of something completely different.


“Oh, I am so not a Vengeance Demon!  How insulting.  I’m a Genie, Lamp of, 3rd Class. And I’m getting cold - sometimes my wish granting gets a little off when I get cold.  Just saying.”


“This is stupid!  Listen to her, Spike, she doesn’t even know if she can grant your wish correctly. Anything could happen.”


Melody yawned and picked up the oil lamp.  “I really don’t want to hurry anyone, but I need to get home and have a little nap.  Come on, Spike.  Just make a wish, any wish.”


The vampire stared across the crypt at Buffy; and there was an expression on his face she couldn’t read, but somehow she knew it was vitally important that she did.  “So, you don’t want me to live dangerously, Slayer.  Or live at all, come to that.”


Buffy glared at him. This was so unfair - how could she possibly tell him what she wanted when she didn’t know herself. She was the Slayer, Spike was a vampire. They were sworn enemies and, okay, he was chipped and her part time lover and useful and - she felt a shock of pain through her body -  her life would be very empty without him if he wasn’t there.  


But she could tell him none of those things, because he’d turned away with what she now realised was a face contorted by some sort of anguish.  With one swift stride, he crossed the crypt to Melody and whispered something in her ear.


She looked startled and before Buffy could ask, the genie said “Well, OK, but it seems a really big waste of a perfectly good wish.  But it’s your choice, Spike!  Your wish is granted!”


And with a flash and another cloud of smelly pink mist, Melody vanished and the oil lamp she’d been holding fell to the floor and rolled, unheeded under the bed.























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