Mild spoilers for The Ring . Seriously nothing you didn’t see in the preview, though. You don’t need to see the movie to read the fic. No worries. This was inspired by a similar experience I had when the movie first came out with my then-boyfriend. Written for Halloween, even though the story isn’t scary in the least. It’s more schmoopy silliness than anything else.
Written in about ten minutes when a plot bunny bit me wittle bum. Unbeta’d and quite possibly a steaming pile of shit. Enjoy! Heh.
The movie was, in a word, ridiculous. Bad plot. Worse acting. And really? The makeup and wardrobe people should be fired many times over. It was a little creepy, Buffy had to admit, but she had seen things on evening patrols that were far more terrifying than little girls with bad hair crawling out of televisions. Unable to pay attention any longer to the drawn-out climax of the movie, Buffy rolled her eyes and pressed her face into Spike’s shoulder, looking for distraction.
“Movie stupid. Snuggles happy,” she mumbled into his shirt, a hand creeping under the hem to slide across his smooth stomach. Spike didn’t seem to hear her and offered no response to her caresses. She felt like she was cuddling with a marble pillar. “No happy snuggles for Buffy?” Lower lip protruding, she poked him. “Hey. You . Are you in there, or what?”
Obviously engrossed in the film, Spike didn’t answer. His eyes barely wavered from the screen as the villain began her slow, sinister approach. Spike’s stomach tensed beneath Buffy’s fingers, his shoulders inching ever closer to his earlobes.
“Spike? You okay?” She touched the back of his neck lightly, right about the time the villain lunged at the movie’s hero.
“GAH!!” Spike cried, leaping away from her hand and falling to the floor. “Don’t. Do . That.”
Seeing him sprawled out on the floor, tangled helplessly in a blanket, wide-eyed and shaking, Buffy could barely hold back the laughter. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to–. I mean, I didn’t think you were that sc–“
“Shut your gob already. The movie’s not over yet.” Shakily, he took his seat next to her on the couch again. “And I’m not scared. You just surprised me, is all. Caught me off guard.”
“Ri-ight.” Linking arms with him, Buffy rested her head on Spike’s tense shoulder. As the film continued, a mischievous smile spread slowly across her features.
“That movie was beyond dumb,” Buffy said as she stripped off the sheets of their bed. “Wasn’t even scary.”
“Oh?” Spike asked timidly, hugging fresh linens to his chest. “Oh, yeah . Completely agree.”
“And I’ve seen demon children before. They had way better hair. Not believable in the least.” Tossing the dirty sheets in the laundry hamper, she started pulling her hair up into a ponytail. “Gonna go wash my face. Will you finish changing the bedding?”
His face seemed to grow impossibly paler. “You’re leaving me? I mean, uh, yeah . Sure thing. I can do that. I’ll just stay here alone and change the sheets while you do your thing. All by my lonesome. No problems there.” Glancing wearily at the doorway, he saw that she was already gone. “Bloody hell.”
At the sound of footfalls in the hallway, Buffy turned away from the bathroom mirror to see Spike hovering uncertainly in the doorway. “Wha?” she mumbled around a mouthful of toothpaste.
He bounced impatiently on his feet. “Bedding’s changed.”
“That was quick.”
“Yeah, um, so how long are you going to be doing that?”
“What? Brushing my teeth?”
“They’re clean enough. Come to bed, yeah?”
She smirked knowingly as she rinsed her mouth. Patting her face dry with a towel, she asked, “Whatever’s the matter, Spike? You’re not scared to be by yourself, are you?”
“What?” he squeaked in a rather unmanly fashion. “You’re delusional, Slayer.”
“Then how come you won’t leave me alone, huh? You’re all hover-y.”
Spike’s mouth opened and closed helplessly for a moment or two until he could find the right words. “I’m just . tired, is all. Anxious to go to sleep.”
“So? Go to sleep, then. Nice big bed in there, just waiting for you. I’ll be in there in a little while, okay?”
Leaning against the doorway, he gave a half-hearted shrug. “Want you there with me. Is that so wrong?”
“Well, I’m not done in here,” she spelled out slowly. She opened a bottle and began spreading the contents on her face. “You’ll just have to wait.”
“What the hell are you doing now?”
“Oh, for the love of.” Spike snatched up a towel and rubbed it furiously across her face, carefully dodging her flailing fists. “Lookie there. All exfoliated up. Bedtime.”
“That’s it!” Buffy sputtered, throwing the towel in his face. “You’re sleeping on the couch, mister!”
His jaw dropped in disbelief. “What? For that? I was helping you get ready for bed. You should be thanking me. I’ve never seen your skin have such a glow. ‘Course that might be from the anger.”
“Agh!” she fumed, stomping past him towards the bedroom.
Quickly giving chase, Spike found himself facing a locked door. He pounded on it helplessly. “Open up, Buffy. Please.”
“What’s wrong?” came her voice from inside. “Afraid the TV’s gonna eat you?”
“Yes. I mean, no . Not . really.”
“Of course that won’t happen for another seven days . What are you worried about?”
“Oy!” Spike cried in a panic. “Lemme in already!”
“No. Sleep on the couch.”
” Goodnight, Spike .”
Disheartened, his shoulders drooped as his hand fell away from the door in defeat. He shuffled slowly down the hallway towards the dark living room. Ignoring the shadows he could swear were moving, he retrieved a blanket off the floor and threw himself down on the couch.
“You can do this, Spike,” he muttered to himself. “You’re brave. Strong. The Big Bad, you are. Bigger and badder than anything else. Yep. ‘S right.”
Clutching the blanket to his chest, Spike stared wide-eyed at the television and listened to the water drip in the kitchen. He lasted an entire two minutes before retreating back to the bedroom and pounding on the door desperately. “Buffy, please .”
Inside the room, he distinctly heard an annoyed sigh. A few moments later, the door flew open. “Please what?” she bit out.
“Please can I come to bed? With you? It’s, um, drafty in the living room.”
“Oh, really? I thought vampires couldn’t feel the cold.”
“Um . well .”
“Would you just admit it? You’re terrified. Not that there’s anything wrong with being terrified, mind you. It wouldn’t make you less of a manly vampire if you were. No way would I associate words like girly or wussy or nancy boy with your name or anything.”
“I am not scared,” he growled through clenched teeth. “Quit being so childish.”
“Me? Childish?” she snorted. “Look in the mirror lately?”
He glared pointedly, sucking in his cheeks in annoyance.
She frowned. “Oh right.”
“Just lemme in, yeah?”
“Admit you’re scared, or you’re sleeping on the couch.”
Spike seemed close to tears. “What did I ever do to you to deserve this?”
“Shall I pull out my journal and count incidents? I have them color-coded for such an occasion.”
“How the hell do you sleep at night?”
“I manage. How about you? How are you sleeping?”
“All right, already!” he cried. ” I’m scared . That movie freaked me out, what with the flies and the swamp-thing from hell. If I was human, I would be pissing all over myself. Are you bloody well satisfied?”
Buffy beamed triumphantly and moved aside so that he could enter. “Now really, was that so hard?”
“Yes,” he pouted, pulling off his shirt and dropping it on the floor. “Heartless bitch.”
“Mmm, I love it when you sweet talk me. Gets me all in the mood.” She curled up on the bed and pulled the sheets back for him. Once he’d finished undressing, Spike got in and turned his back to her in a huff. Undaunted, Buffy pressed her body up against the back of his, smiling as she trailed kisses along his neck and shoulder. “There, now. No need to be scared. The Slayer’s got you, safe and sound. No one’s going to get you.”
“Yeah, that’s what they all say,” Spike muttered unhappily, “and then some watery tart crawls out the telly, and it all goes to hell. God, I’m never going to fall asleep.”
“You just need a little distraction, that’s all.” She caught one of his earlobes between her teeth as her hand drifted slowly down his stomach.
“Distraction, hmm? Might have possibilities.” Pressing back against her body, he all but purred, “Got anything in mind?”
“Geez, remind me to distract you more often. I think we’ll both sleep better.” Buffy collapsed in his arms breathlessly. Pressing her face into his neck, she asked, “Feel better? Think you’ll be able to fall asleep now?”
“Yeah,” he murmured happily, a peaceful expression pulling at his features.
“Not scared anymore?”
“Nope. Furthest thing from my mind.”
“Good, good.” With a slow smile, Buffy leaned up and whispered in his ear, ” Seven days. “
A/N: “Watery tart.” Obviously from Monty Python and the Holy Grail . Couldn’t resist.