Note: Thanks to my beta t_geyer for her unending patience, perseverance and support.
If you want, you can check out how other writers have responded to the challenges set at the Good__Evil LJ community
Title: A Reckoning
Character/s: Drac: Good Spike: Evil Lilah
Month: Challenge #1
Rating: PG (I think)
Summary : Sort of SWBD 'verse but not; not to be regarded as canon for that 'verse as, if you compare dates with recent chapters of Angels and Demons, you'll find that circumstances didn't allow for such a gathering in "the real world" but spikereader and alwaysjbj were getting enthusiastic about Spike in his formal wear and the Drac challenge all at the same time, which got me to thinking about Drac turning up at the wedding, but that might spoil Buffy's 'perfect day', so instead let's imagine what might happen if he turned up at the stag night/bachelor party...
For those of you unfamiliar with the 'verse: Buffy and Spike are together. Spike claimed Buffy some time ago and after a bit she got over her inhibitions and returned the favour. Various things happened differently, like Spike pointing out how badly faked the death of Connor's adopted father was, so that Angel never had his stay at the bottom of the ocean. Cordy got rescued before Jasmine's possession of her was complete. When the AI crowd were shunning Wes, Buffy asked him to come back to Sunnydale where he now has his own business, a sexy Mexican attorney with a half-demon daughter for his girlfriend and so on...
For those familiar with the series, just assume that the FE/Caleb/bringers/Turok Han have all been dealt with and that instead of Spike and Wes heading north to Gilroy, they, Giles and Clem headed south to LA. It's Friday night and there's just over a week until the wedding...
Requirements: *Drac.... of course *1 'Good' BtVs character as a major character. *1 'Evil' AtS character as a major character. * A chess piece *Someone mentioning "All Hallows' Eve"
Friday, July 12th, 2002
"So, wait..." Gunn looked from Wesley to Clem. "If you was to marry the mamacita... then, he'd be your brother-in-law?"
Wes frowned slightly as he tried to work out how to explain the relationship. "Sort of but not really."
Spike rolled his eyes. "Clem's brother was Rosa's dad. Marie an' him were never technically married in any legal sense but that was no fault of their own. Wes marries Marie then they're all part of the same extended family but there's no such thing as an almost brother-in-law once removed, so, no, Clem an' Wes won't be related."
"Lilah..." Connor's voice silenced the discussion from the table and Spike turned to see who had managed to effectively quell the party mood.
The svelte brunette had a coldness in her eyes and an unconcerned langour to her pulse that seemed to indicate she dealt with vampires and demons every day. She intrigued the vampire, looking so cool and calm. She really wasn't scared and Spike had to wonder whether she had something more up her sleeve than might immediately be apparent or whether she was beyond caring whether she lived or died. Then he saw the figure at her back.
"Relax, junior. I'm not here for you... this time."
Angel began to rise to his feet.
"Or you. Sorry to disappoint you, champ. Or the prodigal watcher," she added with a nod toward Wesley. "Quite the disappearing act you pulled."
"Then, why are you here, Lilah?" Angel challenged her. "And who's the freak in the cloak?"
Spike leaned back in his seat and waved his beer bottle in the general direction of the newcomer. "Drac, Angel. Angel, his high and ponciness, Count Dracula... An' you ain't gettin' her, Vlad me boy, so bugger off."
"Let me guess..." Lilah let her gaze rake over Spike from platinum top to much scuffed toe and back up again. Spike retaliated with a leer of his own, his tongue curling behind his teeth as the lawyer continued in a slightly less disparaging tone than she had originally intended. "This is William the Bloody?"
"You were always uncouth, William, but I will forgive you this once."
"Dracula?" Angel whispered at Spike's ear. "The Dracula?"
"Forgive me or not, I couldn't give a monkey's and, yes, Angel, the Dracula."
"You never told me you knew Dracula," Angel accused.
"'Cause he's an overblown ponce an' a traitor to his kind as sold out the secret to how to kill us just so he could be Count Famous. I just had the misfortune to be around when him an' Darla were-."
"Darla? With him?" Angel asked aghast.
"What can I say? You were off suckin' on rats somewhere, an' you know how Darla likes her titles, The Master, The Immortal, The Impaler... An' there was a hell of a... view from that castle of his. Not surprisin' seein' as how it was stuck on top of a soddin' mountain in the middle of nowhere..."
"You said he can't have her? He wants Darla?"
"Nah, no offence to you, kid," Spike nodded in Connor's direction, "but he'd had enough of that ball-bustin' bitch within a fortnight. Got a mob of them gypsies of his to chase us out the valley when she wouldn't shut up."
Dracula tilted his head on one side as if considering and then nodded his agreement. "Angelus would have got me a virgin..." he reponded in his usual accent but in a squeaky tone that was obviously meant to represent Darla.
"I believe my client has had enough of your ball-busting bitch as well. He simply seeks restitution for his loss."
"What loss?" Spike finally rose to his feet. "You abandoned your claim, mate."
"I had not. I was merely waiting until the time was right to move on to the next step."
"My client continues to own property in the town where Miss Summers is domiciled," Lilah interrupted. "He has occasionally checked in on her welfare only to find that as of two months ago you had usurped his claim and rumour has it that you intend to marry her. As her rightful master, with a prior claim, he is seeking compensation in the sum of one million dollars for her loss and the loss of the prestige associated with being the master of the most renowned slayer in recent history. Oh and approximately two month's interest at say fifteen percent."
Spike seemed to ignore Lilah and turned to Dracula. "Are you really serious about this?"
"My lawyer advises me that I am within my rights," Dracula answered, his gaze drifting toward Lilah. "And the good things in life do not come cheaply... especially when you have three brides."
"Look, forget the ambulance chaser! What'd they do? Call you up and ask if you'd had a vampiric claim usurped in the last three years? I mean, we all know Darla could be a cast iron bitch." Again he turned briefly to Connor. "No offence... But we had some pretty good times... Wine, a couple of healthy peasant women, Dru flitting round like a little songbird and calling you The Winter King or summat."
"As you were her Black Knight," Dracula agreed. "But this is business. Old pleasures are irrelevant."
"So you're really going to try to make this thing fly?"
"Under demonic law he has a perfectly legitimate claim," Lilah reminded Spike. "I can think of any one of a number of judges who would have no problem."
Dracula shrugged. "Even in dollars, one million is not to be sniffed at, as you English say."
"That's very true," Spike admitted, looking over at Lorne. "But I'm afraid you'll find that old pleasures are far from irrelevant. Do me a favour, Doctor Banner, an' give sweetcheeks a ring on that cell phone of yours. She's minding the fort, right?"
Lilah raised a sceptical eyebrow as if she knew that Spike was up to something but was convinced that he wasn't going to be able to pull it off.
"Hey, Fredikins. Short, pale and gorgeous wants a word." Lorne passed the handset over to Spike.
"Hiyah, pet! How about you put that massive brain of yours to use for me? Now, kitten, say one All Hallows Eve back in maybe 1903 I whiled away a few hours playing poker seein' as how no proper vamps would go out on Halloween... an' say at the end of the night one of the other players ended up owing me eleven pounds, what would that come out to with compound interest at fifteen percent?"
The lawyer blanched slightly.
"No, that's okay, Texas, a rough figure will do. Up to last Halloween's fine... Nine million, seven hundred and sixty seven thousand, four hundred and forty six pounds and forty seven pence? And I don't suppose you've got the exchange rate there for pounds to dollars?"
"I think my client might be prepared to reconsider," Lilah offered hastily.
Spike pursed his lips and tilted his head forward, giving her the sort of look that almost seemed like he was watching her over the top of non-existent glasses. "I think your client already did." Spike indicated the faint mist that seemed to be trying to make for the door but having little success thanks to the air conditioning.
"Thanks, kitten." Spike tossed the phone back to Lorne and looked sternly at Giles. "I do believe my bottle's empty, Rupert, and it's your round!"
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