Rating: R. No one actually has sex, but they discuss it in great detail.
Characters: B/A, T/W, X/Anya, Spike
Disclaimer: I donít own any of these characters. If I did, Iíd be taking them into the shop for some repairs.
Summary: The characters relax after a hard dayís work and talk shop.
Note: Iím not out to get anyone with this. I have no particular author in mind, just the fact that I have seen so many of these story elements so many times. I have read and enjoyed many stories that incorporate some of these elements. In most cases, thereís nothing wrong with them in and of themselves. But when something that was once fresh and original and exciting is imitated until it becomes a cliché, thatís when some satire is needed.
Setting: A spa. A tiled room with a hot bath-pool that could seat perhaps a dozen people, a cold pool that could seat four, both set in pretty little artificial grottoes with waterfalls. Across from the pools is a wooden door that says "Sauna" and an arrow pointing offscreen with the words "To Swimming Pool" above it. Tara sits in the hot pool, waiting.
Spike, Willow, Buffy, and Angel come trooping in, all wrapped in towels. Willow winces with every step she takes. Buffy has a gauze pad taped to her neck and carries a gallon jug of juice. They shed their towels, revealing that theyíre wearing nothing beneath them, and climb into the pool with Tara. Angel accidentally leaves grip marks on the rail as he descends the stairs.
Angel: Oh, manÖ
Buffy (Shakes her head): Why donít they learn their lesson and make those rails out of titanium or something?
Angel: I think they did.
Buffy (Testy): Then why donít they learn their lesson and not make you chew on me all day? (Pops the cap off her juice jug and takes a long swig. Wipes her mouth, recaps.) I mean, okay, itís been established on the show that vampire bites can be erotic for meóthat scene in "Graduation" and then with Draculaóbut that doesnít mean I have to get bitten every time we have sex. Didnít they notice that I needed to be hospitalized for blood loss that first time?
Angel (Shrugs): Apparently not.
Looking disgusted, Buffy crosses to the other side of the pool, sets her jug on the edge, and sits down. The water is up to her chin. Angel sits beside her. The water is at mid-chest. Spike sits by himself, but Willow crosses to Tara and stands beside her.
Buffy: God, am I glad we only do this once a week.
There is a chorus of "amens" and "I heard that" and other sounds of agreement, then a moment of silence. Willow stays standing.
Tara: Arenít you going to sit down, honey?
Willow (Uncharacteristically curt): I canít.
Tara looks confused for a moment, then looks at Willowís butt. Her expression turns sympathetic and she beginsóvery carefullyóto stroke Willowís back.
Tara: Oh, honey. Iím sorry. Shouldnít you put some ice on that?
Willow (Still curt): Probably.
Tara: Is there something you want to say?
Willow fumes in silence for a few moments, then bursts out:
Willow: Why does everyone assume because I used to be quiet and shy and meek that Iím a masochist?
Buffy: Well, unless youíre hopped up on Dark Magic and turning yourself into Sauron with boobs, youíre not exactly the most assertive now.
Willow: It doesnít mean I like pain! It would be one thing if it was Tara or Oz or even Xander, but I spent all today getting whipped and spanked by vampires! Hello! Super strength!
Spike: Yeah, sorry, Red.
Willow: Itís not your fault. Why canít I have a nice, harmless fetish? LikeÖlike furries! (Turns to Tara) Youíd wear cat ears and a tail for me, wouldnít you, baby?
Tara: Of course.
Angel: I blame Anne Rice.
Buffy, Willow, and Tara: Huh?
Spike: Iím with Peaches. Everyone makes the connection between Anne Rice and vampires, and from there itís just a short hop to all that BDSM stuff she likes so much. They never consider anything else, even if itís right there in history.
Buffy (Cautiously): Like what?
Spike: Like corsets.
Angel: Or shoes.
Willow (disbelieving): Shoes?
Angel: Sure. Think about it: between the corsets and the low necklines, womenís breasts were half-exposed and shoved up in our faces all the time anyway. Remember Becoming? Darla didnít even have take off her top. But if a girl showed off even her ankles, everyone thought that she was a prostitute trying to drum up some business. And there was at least a 50/50 chance that she was.
Spike: Drusillaís legs were the first I ever saw. Even though I knew women had to have legs under all those layers of skirts, I had to take that on faith. Iíd never had what youíd call a confirmed sighting.
Buffy: So, if someone wanted to do a story about me getting a pair of thigh-high, spike-heel bootsÖ
Angel (Shrugs): At least Iíd get to stop hurting people. If Iím not whipping, Iím biting. I could deal with kissing your boots.
Spike (Dreamily): Dru had a pair of boots like thatÖ(Notices everyone staring at him) What?
Xander (Offscreen): I think that was a bit of an overshare.
Xander and Anya enter, hang their towels, and join the others in the pool.
Willow: Werenít you two done like an hour ago?
Anya: Xander wanted to take an extra-long shower. He said something about the Slash scene he had to do today.
Xander (Glances at Angel, then looks away, starts to shiver): I feel so dirty. And for once, thatís not a good thing.
Anya (Soothing): Itís okay, honey. Nobody is questioning your manhood.
Spike (Sympathetic): Did he beat the crap out of you?
Xander (Stares at Spike in horror): No.
Spike: Ah. Got lucky, then. He always does with me.
Angel: Not always.
Spike: Often enough. And half the time, itís not even a whips-and-chains Anne Rice Special. You just come in, beat me bloody and then ram me in the arse as part of some Sire Dominance thing. I ask you: what makes it right for Peaches here to do it to me, when itís wrong for me to do it to Buffy?
Angel: I donít know. A lot of the same people seem to think itís okay if I do it to Buffy. I guess "No" doesnít mean "No" if youíre reclaiming your destined soulmate.
Buffy: I hate doing those. "Thank you for raping me, Angel. Since I relaxed and enjoyed it, it all turned out all right. Now we can be together like we couldnít be when you were tender and considerate." It would not have worked that way for Spike and me on the show, and it shouldnít work out that way in stories.
Xander: Could we bring this back to my pain for a moment?
Angel (Concerned): Pain? Didnít I use enough lube?
Xander: Thatís not what I mean!
Buffy: Xander, take it easy. Everyone in this cast has had sex with just about everyone else. Since only Willow and Faith show any real indications of being bi, that means everyone has swung the direction they usually donít at least once.
Tara: Like the times Iíve been with Spike.
Anya: Do we have to do the bitch session this week?
Everyone glares. Even Tara.
Xander: I know that youíre a demon again, hon, but that doesnít mean that you have to throw tact completely out the window.
Anya: There is virtually no chance that Buffy and Angel are going to get to have intercourse again on the shows. Iíd think youíd be grateful for fic, even if it means Angel spends a few hours a week breaking everything he touches and Buffy spends those same few hours replenishing her fluids.
Buffy and Angel subside a bit, grudgingly, with exasperated sighs. He loops an arm around her shoulders as they relax back against the side. Buffy takes a sullen swig of her juice.
Anya (to Willow): You used to like boys. If Spikeís as good in bed as he is on a table, then I know it was some degree of worth it. And Angel had those threeóthree!óWeird Sisters purring his name every time he was mentioned.
Willow (blushing): Well, yeah, there is thatÖ
Tara: What about me?
Anya realizes that she may not have an answer for this one.
Anya (semi-apologetically): Close your eyes and pretend itís Willow with a strap-on?
Tara gives her a look that says, "That statement alone demands a serious regimen of psychiatric medication".
Xander: And me! What about me? Itís not enough that Iím the butt-monkey for every Big Bad who comes along in the figurative sense. They have to go and make it literal!
Angel: I wasnít a Big Bad in that story.
Xander: Which is entirely beside the point!
Anya: Xander, relax. You may prove your heterosexuality upon me if itís that important to you.
Xander (Brightening): Oh. Well. Thank you! Thatís all right, then.
Buffy takes another sip and stares at Anya hard.
Buffy: This is all pretty easy for you to say, Anya. I donít see you coming out with injuries every week.
Anya: But every weekó
Buffy: At the very least, I reserve the right to mock people.
Anya: Oh, of course. Thatís a given. Some of these stories are clearly being written by people who are getting far less actual sex than the norm.
Angel (To Xander): Does it really worry you so much that people might think youíre gay?
Xander: How can you not worry about it?
Angel: Secure in my masculinity. It doesnít matter what anyone thinks. Even if I was gay, that wouldnít make me any less of a man.
Buffy: The fact that youíre dead, howeverÖ
Angel: But Iím a manly corpse!
Spike (Deadpan): Truth is, Xander, all vampires are bisexual. Didnít you know that?
Xanderís eyes bulge out of his head, and he presses close to Anya.
Xander: Please tell me youíre kidding.
Angel (Deadpan): Nope. Despite the fact that neither of us has ever demonstrated any interest whatsoever in men or anything but hostility for each other, even when we were on the same side. Despite the fact that beating the hell out of him and threatening him with a stake is a perfectly viable way of dominating himó
Spike: Despite the fact that I use homosexual insults regularlyó
Angel: Vampires are naturally bisexual.
Spike: Androgynous, sensual, children of the night. Not in any way blood-drinking monsters.
Angel: For so the Anne People have written it. So must it be.
Spike: So guard your tender het arse.
Buffy: If either of you say the words ĎLonely Onesí Iím going to find some holy water to pour into this pool.
Spike & Angel: Yes, maíam.
Moment of grinning silence. Willow is still standing.
Tara: Still hurts?
Tara (Innocently): Want me to kiss it, make it all better?
Willow (Smiles. Sultry): MaybeÖ
Sound of door opening. Footsteps on the tile. Spike tenses up.
Anya: Who could that be? Werenít we the only ones who had to work today?
Spike (Too quiet for anyone else to hear): Not quite.
The new arrival rounds the corner, and they all freeze and stare in shock.