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Brave New World by JamesMFan
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Buffy launched herself at the vampire who still stood rooted in the doorway of the cell. She barrelled into him, throwing her arms around him. This lasted for about the duration of one second in which time she realised what she was doing and with whom. She pulled back, looking him over and shaking her head with disbelief.

“Spike! God, I’m glad to see you. They’ve had me in here for days. Okay, hours…but still! And for slaying! Can you believe it? What…what are you wearing? And hey! Your hair! It’s…brown!”

And it was. It was combed back in its usual style but Spike’s hair was a dark shade of brown. The clothes he was wearing were decidedly un-Spike too. Loafers, dark slacks, white shirt – sleeves rolled up, light blue tie and a suit jacket thrown over one arm. He was also carrying a briefcase.

What the crap?

Then something struck Buffy rather late. “Oh! Oh god! Is this like a mission to bust me out?”
Norman made a sound of alarm.

“Uh, I mean, no, I must be confused…” The Slayer winked covertly at Spike.

But this didn’t seem to register with Spike. In fact nothing seemed to be registering with him. He was just staring at her vacantly, lips parted, the very embodiment of a human statue. Or a vampire statue.

“…Spike?” Buffy reached out to him, concerned.

He took a step back, shaking his head. She frowned and asked him what was wrong but he still didn’t speak. Norman stepped up beside her asking all sorts of questions about if they knew each other and if that was the case, then how. They both ignored him. Eyes locked on one another.

Spike swallowed, blinking. Then he lunged at her. His hands wrapped around her neck and he shoved her up against the wall of the cell. Buffy let out a cry of surprise and grabbed at his hands as he tried his best to throttle her. A vein was bulging in his neck and his eyes were fixed on her. She didn’t think she’d ever seen him so angry.

“What are you?” He yelled.

Buffy could hear a ruckus going on in her periphery but that wasn’t really the main source of her concern at present. She dug her nails into his wrists, attempting to pull him off of her. She wasn’t sure how he expected her to answer when he was almost crushing her windpipe.

The Slayer’s instincts kicked in and she lifted her foot and planted it in his gut with full force. Spike flew backwards, hitting the wall opposite - hard. Buffy sank to the floor gasping and holding her throat.

She looked at him, rubbing his head and trying to sit up, and an overwhelming feeling of betrayal washed over her. Spike had attacked her. Had tried to kill her. Her eyes stung and she stood, fully intending to flee the room since the door had been left open as Norman rushed to get help. She no longer cared about subtlety.

Spike, however, had other ideas. He rushed her again. Buffy sidestepped and his trajectory sent him crashing into another wall. She turned and grabbed the back of his shirt. Spinning him around she threw him into the cell door. It slammed closed with a horrible click of finality.

“What the hell are you doing?” She yelled, voice a little raspy.

Spike clambered to his feet, clothes looking a hell of a lot less neat. “I’m gonna ask you again; what are you?”

“The Slayer who’s about to kick your ass!”

He pointed at her accusatorily. “You can’t fool me. Since I can touch you, I’m goin’ to guess your just one of its lackeys. Well, if you think by wearing her face I won’t kill you – you’re sorely mistaken.”

Buffy stared at him, completely gob-smacked. At first she didn’t even understand what he meant but then she got it. He thought she was working for The First. In fact he had probably thought she was the First at…first. She didn’t understand why he would automatically jump to that conclusion but she had to reassure him.

“No, Spike,” Buffy held her hands up. “It’s me. It’s Buffy.”

“Bullshit!” he yelled, shaking his head. “You won’t fool me. So, let’s just have at it, shall we?”

Before she could say any more he let out a battle cry and charged at her again. Buffy rolled her eyes and dodged him, kicking him in the back as he sailed past. He tripped and crumpled to the floor.

She danced backwards away from him. “Will you stop running at me, you…you jerk! It’s me. Why won’t you believe me?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Spike rolled onto his back and looked up at her. “Maybe because she’s been gone a long time and last time I looked - Slayers age.”

She arched an eyebrow. “Are you being all vampirey? You know, all ‘I’m immortal so a day feels like eternity to me’? Because, what-ever. If you start brooding about the fragile nature of humans like a certain other VWAS I’m kicking you out of my basement.”

Spike looked like he was going to shout again, then paused. “VWAS?”

“Vampire With A Soul,” she explained, helpfully.

“Oh. Right.” He nodded. Then he looked offended. “HEY! I’m tryin’ to kill you, here! You might look like her and…talk like her but you…you aren’t her.”

Buffy threw her hands up. “I am her!”

“Are not!” Spike stood, crossing his arms.

“Am too!” She riposted. “I think I know better that I am her than you know that I am not her, her being me with me being Buffy is her…she…I? What?”

He was looked at her curiously. She much preferred this look than the one where he looked like he wanted to choke her to death. That look was not a good look on him. As he regarded her carefully Buffy took the opportunity to do the same. The brown hair had thrown her completely. It still did, really. It made the blueness of his eyes seem deeper. The colour of them matched his tie, she realised. Spike in a suit – that was a sight she never thought she would see. But…she was kind of glad she had. Put an already hot guy in a suit and you pretty much have hotness personified.

Or, room temperature really. So, so, off track, Buffy. And also referring to yourself in third person. Maybe a psych evaluation would be a good thing…

“Why should I believe you?” He asked finally, a strange tremor in his voice. He sounded almost hopeful.

Buffy shrugged slowly, looking him in the eyes. “Because I believed in you. Least you can do is return the favour. And, you know, maybe not choke me again.”

Something in him seemed to crack and his eyes looked shiny. For a moment Buffy thought he was going to cry, which was always alarming. She never knew what to say when Spike got emotional. He was always so open with what he was feeling and she was the complete opposite. She crouched down in front of him, still a little cautious.

“Hey, its okay, I’m here. I’m in prison for murder and I’m here. What’s wrong with that?” She smiled, reaching out and putting her hand on his shoulder. “But what are you doing here? Not that I’m not glad because I am – you trying to kill me, aside – but why?”

“Buff…Buffy,” Spike managed. “God, don’t you know?”

“Know what?”

He shook his head in amazement. “How long you’ve been gone.”

“Uh, not exactly,” Buffy pulled a face. “But I guess a few hours, huh? I didn’t mean to worry anyone. Or to make you turn to the bottle. Of hairdye.”

Spike grabbed her shoulders suddenly, gaze intense. “Buffy, you’ve been gone thirty years.”
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