How to Murder Your (Immortal) Wife...

A Jack Lemmon tribute, of course...set in the BR verse...

All characters pertaining to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series remain
property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the
series...

With the greatest of thanks to Mr. Lemmon for all those great films...
***

June 2101...Sunnydale, California

Not all that much has changed...Some global warming, a few species extinct, a few extinct species revived...Russia's in NATO, Saddam Hussein IV is General Secretary of the UN, we still haven't gotten to Mars yet...Generally peace in the world...Sunnydale continues to have its occasional underworld menace...

Angel had completed his redemption after the destruction of the Wolfram-Hart senior partners in 2007...Remaining immortal, along with the human Buffy, courtesy of exposure to the Scroll of Anastais while defeating the senior partners who sought to use it to become immortally human...

Willow was then able to remove the last of the Angelis gypsy curse allowing the now immortal human Slayer and her beloved to share their existence
together...An event welcomed by their equally immortal in-laws, Buffy Rebecca and William "Spike" Walthrop...

And, as long as the Scroll was available...they'd all seen no reason why the rest of their beloved gang...those willing, of course...shouldn't stick around as well...

Dawn, sadly, chose not to accept...As did Willow, Tara, Xander, and
Anya...They'd seen the drawbacks of immortality...But medical science had progressed enough to slow their aging and extend their lives considerably...And so they were still around...In the relatively healthy equivalent of middle age...

Giles had felt it was his duty to remain as Buffy's Watcher and Spike's...BR's Watcher...supervisor...

After all, the Scroll did not confer indestructibility...If immortality got too
burdensome, an experienced sorcerer could find an easy method of escape... And Basey, his wife since 2005...had felt that the three Slayers, Buffy Anne, robotic Buffy Rebecca, and Basey should remain a team...At least until humanity was deemed safe from the underworld menaces...Besides Giles needed someone to keep an eye on him...
A strict eye...

***
Buffy Rebecca was troubled...Spike was clearly on edge these days...And
affecting Walthrop on a daily basis...

He needed some distraction...A little violence to keep him happy...

But the world of 2101 frowned on such things...

Societal violence had been reduced to the barest minimum possible...

Even vamps, those still alive, had accepted the new and peaceful order...

But as much as he enjoyed his life with BR and was proud of his success as a leading manufacturer of artificial human organs and limbs, she knew as long as Spike was edgy...Walthrop was discontent...

As a prominent Child Psychologist, Dr. Buffy Rebecca Summers-Walthrop knew the symptoms...

Something had to be done...To spice things up a bit...
***

She had encouraged him to resume his poetry but somehow...That didn't quite cut it for Spike's needs...Although he helped Walthrop to produce some pretty graphic stuff...

Hmmn...Maybe a literary field with more action...piazz...

How about a comic strip?...A graphic action comic...With plenty of scope for pouring out Spike's violent impulses on to paper...And plenty of gory
images...
Hmmn...He...Both Walthrop and Spike...found it intriguing...

***

Spike...Secret Agent of Darkness and Light...A creature poised between two worlds...Was born...

And a major hit...Almost instantly...
Walthrop and BR decided to give the strip a personal touch...Incorporate some of their adventures and stage a few new ones...Which Walthrop or both of them would share...So that the strip would always have that edge of reality...

Angel, who'd become a lawyer...No better way to negotiate his settlement for redemption with the Powers That Be...Besides, Buffy wanted him in a more solid and sensible career than gadfly hero investigator and city-savior...Had become Spike's agent...

He'd...Mellowed...Under Buffy's loving care...

Gained twenty pounds...An amazing feat considering Buffy's cooking...Spike noted...

And become rather frightened of his loving wife's glare...Now nearly
constant...
***

The in-laws, Angel and Buffy, were visiting...With their little monsters...Dawn and Liam...The dear little angels...

Who already destroyed this week's work on his strip and were demanding to be allowed to take one of Aunt Rebecca's legs off...And play with it...

What a pity we decided not to risk having kiddies...Walthrop thought...

***

BR was a little concerned about Buffy and Angel...Their marriage had not worked out quite so well as she'd hoped...

As Angel had lost some of his dark glamour, Buffy had well...lost some of her interest...

And of course, the reduction of her work as a Slayer hadn't helped...She often felt useless and took out her frustrations on her husband...

Jumping to motherhood had helped but only for so long...And doing it through four generations...Each set of kiddies consecutively more bratty...Mirroring Buf's increasing frustration...Demonstrating a rather classic pattern and a
case which BR intended to write up...

Someday...When she'd figured out how to make the subjects anonymous enough...

If only Buffy Anne'd chosen a career back in college, BR thought...She was always so unfocused...

And frankly...Her insistence on marrying Angel so soon after he'd won
redemption...Which he'd gone along with, but...Had probably been a bad idea...

I mean...They were ok as a star-crossed couple...But well, he hadn't exactly put her first...

The way Spike always had...BR noted happily...

And well, Buffy, like me...BR noted loyally...Preferred to be put first...

Even ahead of world-salvation...

And all that grated on Buffy...Over the long haul...

While Angel annoyed her even more by seeming to accept it all as his...duty...
Just another part of his redemption...

Arrgh....

***
BR had noted sis was drinking...A bit heavily again...

And she was growing annoyingly catty towards her...Twitting her sis about
Spike...And his foibles...

Even BR had times now when she found sis hard to take...As for Dawn...

Now a fairly happy writer in New York...In fairly happy extended life
middle-age with a steady boyfriend and a neat apartment filled with cats...

She rather preferred to avoid human sis and the little monsters as much as possible...

Buffy was still a little too possessive of her for her taste...

***
Angel noted happily that Walthrop had gained a pound or two or ten as well...

That home cooking...

Hmmn...

Buffy noted to her sis that Dawn had shown little interest in keeping up with her latest namesake...

Well..Buf, you have had three Dawns already in the past 93 years...BR did not say...

And this one is the worst of the lot...She likewise did not say...

She couldn't understand why Buffy Rebecca let Spike write that comic drivel, Buffy told her...

It was really an embarrassment to the family...

Oh...well..He loves it...And it gives Spike an outlet for his...impulses...

And mine...She did not say...

Silly drivel...If she ever caught Angel at some kind of nonsense like that...

Well...Say, why don't we sit down...Dinner's ready...

***

In bed that night, BR confided her sorrow over Buf and Angel to the hubs...

Angel needed to come clean with Buf, Walthrop told her...He'd loved her, sure, but he was never really interested in the long term...

She should never have looked at that Scroll...And she should have tried to find a career outside Slaying and motherhood...Always trying to recreate poor
Joyce...And Joyce had had a career at that...

Pity things never worked out with her and Warren, BR noted...He was really more her type...Would have put her above everything...

Well..

"Spike...We're ok, aren't we...You're not getting too...Bored?..." she asked...

"Not at all, sweet..." he hesitated... "You?..."

"Couldn't imagine myself happier, love..."

Phew...Well, after all...She was Buffy...

Hmmn...She was wondering...

Maybe they should tone down the strip a little...

Tone down Spike...Secret Agent of Darkness and Light?...Tone him down?...

Well, Buf said...

#$%&!....Whatever dear Buf said...The frustrated little...was not going to ruin his life...

Ruin?...Oh...so...

That wasn't what he meant...Don't pull psychology on him...
***

Something had to be done for poor Angel...And Buf...Walthrop thought next day as he reviewed things at W/S Bionetics..

As board...extremely Bored...chairman since Warren's death he had little to do beyond a quick review to make sure no one was attempting to take over or
destroy the company...

No such luck...But it left him with plenty of time to plan a new strip...

Something bold...

"Mr. Liam is here..." his secretary informed him...

Angel had preferred to keep "Angel" since redemption and decided to use the old first name as the last for business purposes...

Buffy had reluctantly accepted Liam as the family name...But kept Summers as hers...

Buffy Liam sounded moronic she felt...

Angel had accepted that...Dutifully...As with everything...

Christ-imitating twit...Spike had thought...

***
"Angel...What brings..."

He had a request...

Buffy...His Buffy...Was unhappy with his comic strip...Although she appreciated that it was generating a sizable revenue, 10% of which went to the Liam family...

She wanted him to make changes...

Changes...Changes to Spike...Secret Agent of Darkness and Light?...

Nothing major...Just...

Why not give him a wife and family?...A little stability...

A what?...A bloody what and what?...A little freaking what?...

She had had some great ideas Angel noted, pulling out a large list...

They could start with Spike's courtship...Like his with BR...Only...

No need to let millions know BR was robotic...

Hmmn...Spike couldn't help being a little amused...So human Buffy and Spike...

BR would appreciate that Freudian slip on sis' part...

***

Angel was apologetic...And clearly desperate...

Buf must have been on him about this for some time, Walthrop noted...

He promised to "look it over"...i.e., dump it in the trash can after his friend had left...

Angel was grateful...

Poor fellow...Angelis' return would be a blessing by comparison, Spike thought as he watched him leave...

Something had to be done...
***
More irritation reached the good doctor at luncheon with the Missus...

Whose office was nearby...

Buffy had naturally contacted her...About her brilliant ideas for the strip...

BR understood Spike's...hesitations...But really they were very funny ideas...

Spike...former vampire...former agent of darkness and light...As idiot
husband...

Harassed and harried by his wife...

He looked at her...She liked that?...She didn't mind being portrayed as a
nagging...

Well...it would mean so much for Buf...To have her ideas in print...

Hmmn...A brilliant idea dawned...

Why not, he told her...It might be fun at that...

She smiled at him...She knew he was making a sacrifice...As she was...

Such a lamb...

He watched her leaving...Peeking around his folded hands to look at her
retreating figure...

She was going to be furious...But then to do this to him...She deserved it...

And he had to do something about Angel and Buffy...
***

The new strip was surprisingly a hit...

Women loved the idiot moron Spike struggling to dodge his wife's insults and blows as he tried to master the daily routine of normal life in the 22nd
century...

Men loved laughing at the poor sap...Nothing like themselves of course...

A hit...Buffy was quite pleased...

BR was a little...Well, the new Ms. Spike was rather...

But dear, any sacrifice for our dear Buf, Spike reminded her...
***

Now it was time...

The latest strip suggested all was not well in the Spike household...Spike,
vampiral secret agent of Darkness and Light was needed...And Ms. Spike was standing in the way...Preventing the salvation of humanity...

Sadly, she had to go...Though not in so many words...

Cruel necessity...

Walthrop contacted his lawyer and agent...He was working on a new project for the strip Buffy had so inspired...Could he possibly assist him?...

For Buffy's...er...Spike's strip?...Anything...
***

They each had their daylight rings firmly screwed on their fingers...Gifts from Willow and Wesley long ago to allow their favorite vamp boys to wander in daylight...Cut from a certain special crystal...

Spike explained to Angel that he had to do everything as realistically as
possible...To give the strip that proper flavor...

Angel nodded...Buffy would accept that...

Now he might things confusing...But the whole story would be revealed to him in time...

First stop, to see an old friend...
***

Step one in Dr. Walthrop's perfect murder scheme...

A remote control device was needed...A powerful one...

He knew just the man...well, unman...to get it for him...

His old buddy...Phil aka "the Voice"...An older vampire, long experienced in the ins-and-out of acquiring precious and unusual items, occult and otherwise...

He visited him at his shop...Phil having long since joined the ranks of vamps who had accepted peace with humanity and the Slayers and been granted amnesty status and a steady blood supply by the Watchers' Council, in exchange for providing info on vamp and demon activities...

Still, although he kept his nose more or less clean, Phil was often willing to make use of his less savory connections for the right price...Which had made him useful to the gang in several crisis situations...

In this case, however, the object in question was not only quite legit but on hand right in his shop...

"This is the most powerful remote control device in the Western world..." he proudly informed Walthrop...

A click demonstrated...Activating every electronic instrument in the shop and surrounding area, not to mention turning on all the cars...now electric...every computerized traffic monitor, causing them to issue tickets to every car in
view...and every automated street cleaner, causing slight havoc...within four blocks...

Perfect...

Angel was puzzled but...Buffy would have no problem with this...
***
Step two in Dr. Walthrop's perfect murder plan...

Now he needed a powerful drug...One strong enough to ko a Slayer...For an hour or two...

A drug?...

He knew just the man to see...

Their old friend...Who'd relocated to Sunnydale a few years ago from
Greece...With his immortal, beautiful, and slightly dim sister...The former,
now retired, Goddess of Glory and Victory...

Good old Dr. Ben...Benedictus, god of Mercy and Healing...

Glory, now her brother's secretary/receptionist greeted them warmly...Although she still had trouble placing them at times...

Amazing how effective a cure electroshock could be...Spike noted...

Might do for Buffy...

Ben was equally happy to see them...

Spike explained...He needed a powerful knockout drug...Strong enough to put out a Slayer...

Well...Was this something for some new enemy?...Things had been so nice and quiet...

Exactly...Spike told him...But no reason to panic...In fact they hoped to
handle this one with as little violence as possible...Therefore the drug...

Ah...Well...This one...A variant on the old "goof-ball"...Slip one into your demon's water hole or whatever and brr...up...

Right up the wall...Then

Pow...He smashed his hand down...

Right back again...And out for at least an hour...

Perfect...

Angel remained confused...But...

Buf couldn't have a problem with this...

***
They were near the Walthrop's so they dropped by the townhouse for lunch...

Spike pointed out the automated construction unit working nearby...Building a new roadway...

A large crane moving huge blocks...

Another unit pouring concrete...From a huge automated mixer...

All operated by computer...or remote control if manual input was required...

Glopida-glopida, the mixer unit moaned...As the goop poured out...

Buffy would never stand for that Angel noted...

He rather liked the sound, Walthrop told him...And BR snored so loudly she was never disturbed...

***
Step three in Dr. Walthrop's perfect murder plan...

Now the scene of the crime...

A party...

To be given at the Walthrop's....

Angel was confused...Remote controls...Drugs...Parties...Scenes of
crime?...What did all this have to do with the strip?...

An assassination plot, Spike explained...

A murder...

Hmmn...This didn't seem to fit in with Buffy's ideas for a more wholesome
strip...She might have a problem with this...

Trust me, old pal...Spike told him... She'll love it...

Hmmn...

***
A nervous Angel left him to set to work on the strip...

After promising to come to the party, planned for a week from today...And bring his missus...Minus the dear niece and nephew...

He sure hoped Buffy would be ok with all this...

***
The first installments appeared Monday of the fatal week...

Buffy was puzzled...But as it seemed Spike had followed her ideas so far, and the strip had become a major hit...She was willing to leave him to it...

Besides, if it were to be done in a wholesome manner...With Ms. Spike as the hero while dim-wit Spike stumbled around...An assassination mystery might not be a bad idea...Although she sent Angel over with more suggestions...

BR was even more puzzled...What was he up to?...

And what was this nonsense about parties?...She didn't have time to cook for and entertain a bunch of...

No problem...He'd take care of everything...She'd just have to be there...

And why wasn't he telling her?...

All in good time...
***

"One...For each of them?..." Angel looked at Spike...

Who had handed him one of Ben's "goof-balls" for Buffy...

The Walthrops' party was in full swing...

"Just for the realism of the thing..." Spike noted...

"She'll be very pleased to have been a part of the whole thing when it's all over..." he told the uncertain Angel...

I dunno know...Angel thought...On the other hand, a party with Buffy
unconscious...Any evening with Buffy unconscious...

He took the pill...

***

As always Warren's striving for realism in the creation of Buffy Rebecca had paid off...She responded to Ben's little pill just as Buffy would and did...

Both were dancing on the Walthrops' tables...BR on the living room coffee
table...Buffy on the library table...

Spike stopped to check on dear Giles who'd been drinking quietly in the den with several others...

"Wonderful party, Spike..." he noted..."Buffy seems much happier tonight than I've seen her in a while..."

Hmm-hmmn Spike nodded...

"How's dear Basey doing?..."

"Oh...fine, fine..." Giles pulled at his drink... "You know Spike I've been married 97 years now, thanks to the miracle of modern medicine...And don't regret a single day..."

Spike nodded...

"The single day I don't regret...Was when she went to visit her aunt...Back in 2025..."
***


BR had reached the high point of her dance...right up the wall...

Pow...

Spike watched her from a corner, a truly Spikish grin on his face...

And caught her as she went down...

Angel in his turn caught the staggering Buffy...

***

As they carried them to the bedroom, Angel was feeling just a touch of
deja-vu...Carrying Buffy's drugged body reminded him of several times when Angelis...

"What now..."

Spike indicated a space on the bed for Buffy and laid BR down gently...

He then pulled a full-sized female body out of the closet...A model from his company...

And wearing an old coat of BR's...

"We're off..."

Angel looked at the unconscious Buffies...

"They'll be fine..." Spike assured him...

Buffy is not going to like this...Angel thought...

***
They slipped out by the window, the guest bedroom being on the ground floor...

And, carrying the dressed model, headed for the construction site equipment...

***

Spike removed the remote control from his pocket and clicked it...

The crane, the glopida machine, and everything electrical in four blocks turned on...

Including...Ms. Summers-Walthrop...

***
Spike maneuvered the crane to them and placed the model in it...

"Realism, you know..." he told Angel...Clicking the crane over to the glopida machine...

"Good-bye, Mrs. Spike...Hello, Spike, Secret Agent of Darkness and Light..." he grinned...As the body dropped into the goop of the glopida-glopida machine...

This was just for the strip, right?...Angel asked him...

It sure seemed like...Well...

A dry run?...

Well...Spike noted...Buffy is still out...In case you...

Ummn...

Of course not, Spike...Are you crazy?...

Just enhancing the experience...Consider it a tension-release...

***

Ms. Summers-Walthrop while pleased to find she and her sis had been removed from the party after their rather bizarre behavior..Was a little put out to find Spike no where around...

She wandered into his studio...And found some of his latest sketches...

***
She was back on the bed when the ghoul boys returned from their hideous deed...

Apparently dead to the world...

As was her sis...

Angel waked his wife who confusedly staggered to the car with him...

She was definitely not going to be ok with this, he noted...Definitely...

What had he let that crazy maniac get him into?...

Oh, well...When BR learned what they'd been up to...

***
He took a worried call from Spike late the next day...

The Missus hadn't been home when he woke late...

He'd sent off the latest strips and still no BR...

Was she there by any chance?...

Nope...Sorry...

As Angel hung up, he couldn't help wondering...

Dry run?...

***

Buffy was not amused when the new strips hit the stands...

Especially when she realized she and her sis had been part of the enactment without their knowledge...

"Realism, honey...Spike wanted realism..." Angel noted to her...As she ragingly waved the party scene strip in his face...

When she and sis got together...And got their hands on that perverted little twerp...

By the way...Where was sis?...

Ummn...
***
How to Murder Your (Immortal) Wife...Part II Conclusion...

When the murder of Ms. Spike hit the stands, courtesy a publisher who believed in the First Amendment above all things...And saw big profits in a major controversy when he saw one...all hell broke loose...

Commentators denounced the immoral creator of the strip...To have a hero, even a vamp hero, murder his own wife...Shocking...

Protestors mobbed Spike's company, marched on the Walthrop's lawn...

No comment was available from Ms. Summers-Walthrop...

***
Buffy demanded the whereabouts of her sister...Contacted the police after a day...

That fiend brother-in-law of hers...Knew his chip would blow out one day...

The police pointed out that Ms. Summers-Walthrop, whose nature had been revealed to government agencies sometime before, was after all, not strictly human...

Fortunately the governor of California did not agree...And called for the
prosecution of the fiend...If the lady did not turn up...

Phil, ever ready to duck a possible prison term, and advertise his respect for human laws and morality, came forward to tell what he knew to the papers...

Amnestied vamps all over denounced the fiend...Shocking...And not at all in keeping with the image they wished to present to the world...

The peaceful, friendly vamp...Cursed, perhaps, but willing to live as one with his/her human brothers and sisters...
***

"Well?..." Spike looked at his council...Angel...

"My feeling is that we should plead guilty and throw you...ourselves...On the mercy of the court..."

Spike looked at him...

"I mean...It might be tough on you...But it'll make my home life a hell of a lot easier..." ...Angel smiled wanly...

"What!?!...I didn't kill my wife, you moron!..." he hissed...

"Now Spike, everyone knows you killed Buffy Rebecca and buried her in the goop from the glopida-glopida machine...A hundred million people read it in the funnies..." Angel told him...

Arghh...
***
The trial...

Spike over Angel's objections had insisted on an all-vampire jury...Amnestied vamps...

"They'll crucify you..." Angel told him... "They'll be terrified to let a vamp who killed a Slayer off..."

But he managed to insist and as Angel knew Buffy would reach the same
conclusion as he had, that the jury would fry Spike, he raised no objection to the court about his client's request...

Nor did the prosecutor, likewise making the same assumption...

Spike addressed the judge...He'd like to dispense with his council...Angel
looked at him...Spike?...

Well, that would get Buffy off his back...

Spike asked to call one witness...

His friend, grandsire, and former council...Angel...

Who, under Buffy's baleful glare nervously took the stand, looking pleadingly at Spike...You're not gonna ask me anything that'll get her dander up, are
you...Old pal?...

"Now...Angel, I remember when you were a vampire seeking redemption in LA...Turned to by thousands of desperate people seeking a savior...You were quite a guy then...Had that nice bachelor apartment in the toney section of town...And your dance card was quite full, as I recall..."

Yeah...Angel thought...Those were the days...I was quite the ...

He realized he'd been speaking out loud...And Buffy was glaring at him...

"Well, those were the lonely days...Before Buffy and I were together...And so happy..." he smiled vaguely at his wife...

Ah...Yes...So happy...

Spike went on...

"You had had a relationship with Ms. Summers, of course, back in
Sunnydale...It's strange though...I don't remember you seeking an immediate cure for your condition...To be with her..."

Well...Of course he'd always wanted to be with Buffy...It was just that
he...Had so much work to do for his redemption...

To prove himself worthy of her, yeah that's it...

Another vacant smile at Buffy...Who was on semi-glare mode...

Don't screw up, you soulful clod...Or else...When we get home...

"Angel?...You've been married to Buffy Summers for what?...over 90 years now, isn't it?..." Spike asked...

Ummn...lets see...

"93 years you idiot.." Buffy hollered out to him, suddenly standing up... "93 glorious, wonderful, happy years..." she said to the court, all looking at her...She sat down...

"Yes...Well, Angel..." Spike borrowed a marker and drew a button on the stand siderail, next to Angel's nervously tapping right hand...

"See this mark?..."

Angel nodded nervously...Now, please old pal...Don't go to far with this...I
still have a life, you know...he looked pleadingly at Spike...Buffy watching
him...

"Imagine that this is a button...And if you were to press this button..." Spike paused...

"Suppose the Slayer to whom you've been married for 93 glorious, wonderful, happy years were suddenly and magically to vanish... Instantly..."

Ummn...Vanish?...

"Vanish...Painlessly...And in a way that no one would ever know you were the cause..."

Ummn...No one?...

"I object..." Buffy stood and hollered...

"Be seated..." the judge glared at her... "This is getting interesting..."

Proceed, Dr. Walthrop, the judge told him...

"Now Angel, suppose you pressed that button...And could go back to the old life...Saving the innocent...Partying every night with all those adoring, saved innocents..."

"You mean...I could have my old place back again?...Be the old Angel, worshiped by thousands?....No Buffy...no whining kids...no lawn to mow...no damned dog...And I could get rid of that pit of a house in Sunnydale?..."

Sure...Just push the button, Angel...

"Could I grow a mustache?...I always wanted to grow a mustache..." he frowned... "Buffy would never let me grow a mustache..."

Anything you want...Just push the button...

"It wouldn't hurt...I wouldn't want her to be hurt..."

"She won't feel a thing...Go ahead Angel...Push the button..."

He got up...The jury and the judge watched...

"Angel!..." Buffy screamed... "If you think your life's been hell up to now...If you push that button!..."

"Oh, shut up you conceited, nagging, self-righteous little...You won't feel a thing!..."

He pushed the button...

"Angel..." Buffy stared at him...And collapsed...

Dr. Walthrop smiled...

"I'm free!...Free!..." Angel hollered...Leaping out of the stand...

"Angel?..." Buffy whimpered...

He tossed her the car keys and told her he had Work to do...

His work...In His city...

"But...What about me..."

"Buffy...I've tried, and I wish I could care...But...After 93 years of living with you...Frankly, I don't give a damn..."

Angel strode out to the back of the courtroom...

To inform the reporters that Angel, guardian of LA...Was back...

Might he speak to the jury?...Spike asked...

He might...

"Ladies and gentlemen...For too long has the vampire emasculated
himself...Allowed himself or herself to be made a figure of fun, a cuddly toy to be hugged, a clown of no menace what so ever...

I say this state of affairs has gone on long enough...Too long...Humanity must realize we are not huggable, lovable, pitiful objects of their compassion...But proud creatures, full of menace and threat...Worthy of striking genuine fear into every human heart...

Even allowing that our more dangerous behaviors must be curbed...Why are we forced to live the human lifestyle?...Some of us..." He nodded to the jubilant Angel... "Work solely for the world's good...Surely our own ways could be accommodated within the modern world...We could easily be provided with an engineered creature for prey, worthy of our hunting skills...Instead here we are, cravenly begging for our daily blood packet...

And are we worse than Humanity?...A people who happily exterminate species by the dozen...With little remorse or regard for the consequences...Ask a dolphin about to be canned as tuna...Which of us is worse?...

But why have we allowed ourselves to reach this state of affairs?..Because humanity tells us it must be so...Imposing their notions of morality upon
us...And their Slayers back them up... And we, fear-crazed little idiots, go
right along with it and accept our status as whipped puppies...As the new
oppressed...

Well, I determined to take action...And I did...

Ladies and gentlemen, I did it...I murdered my Slayer wife...And I ask you to acquit me...Acquit me on the grounds of justifiable homicide..."

The vamp jury looked at each other...

Hmmn...If we let him off...We'd have the legal right to defend ourselves
against Slayers...We could go back to hunting...Animals at least...No more
playing at being human...

No more whining and trying to look pathetic for the cameras...Poor tormented souls...

Hey, if he were some wealthy human...He never would've been charged...One juror noted...

Of course they might just open the window blinds and dissolve us all...

On the other hand...If they could let that OJ off...Three times...

They discussed the situation briefly and the foreman informed the judge they'd reached a verdict...

While they of course...Nervously looking at the window blinds...Condemned the crime of murder...

Circumstances in this case...Prevented them from being able to reach a final decision...And there was a civil rights issue involved...Therefore...

Hung jury...Case dismissed...

***
Spike found himself a cause celebre...Carried out of the room on the shoulders of vamps and sympathetic humans...After all, a civil rights issue...Then out of the building by the remaining sympathetic humans...Males understandably...

Fortunately he had his daylight ring firmly on his finger...One
overenthusiastic vamp sadly...

All were shocked to find Ms. Summers-Walthrop waiting for them outside...

Spike surprised them by being quite pleased...

Of course he understood she was miffed at the method...

But after all, something had had to be done for Angel...And Buffy...

***

"I can't believe they let you off..." she told him as they drove
home...Disappointing thousands of spectators who'd hoped to see a new murder committed...

"Well, it was an issue of civil rights..."

She snorted...And told him she had been truly hurt on finding his strips...

If he was unhappy, he'd only had to tell her...

Besides...While it didn't matter with her physically, drugging her human
sis...Was stepping over the line a little...And it did matter with her
spiritually...

Ben had assured him the stuff was harmless except for the embarrassment...And possibly hitting something during the Pow stage...

Besides...Angel was reaching the Angelis point...He could tell...All that
tension had to be released...Even before he confronted Buffy...

Yeah, right...

And of course the question of realism...An artist had to have realism...

Uh-huh...

Spike...It was all Spike's fault...He had unconsciously pressured him into
it...Maybe the chip should be rechecked...

But he was ok now...

Yeah...

After all, dear...One of these days...Sooner or later...You are going to have
to stake me...It's only fair that Spike gets his chance to play act this one
time...

Hmmn...She'd live for that day...

Hopeful, he sensed...

What about Buffy?..she pointed out.

Exactly...This will finally break her out of her funk...She'll have to get out
of the house and get back into the workplace...Finally figure out what she
wants to do besides waiting for more evil menaces to appear...

She'll find someone...Not a fantasy like Angel...Trying to live up to
impossible expectations...

And now she'll need us...Ummn...Both of us...Until she gets settled...

Spike looked at her hopefully...After all, she'd always known he would be a difficult job...And his little scheme had worked...

Besides, he reminded himself...Their 100th anniversary was coming up...She wouldn't cut out now...Not a Summers girl...

Course, after the 100th...He gulped involuntarily...

She looked at him...Coolly...

"Well, you're right about that...And since you're so concerned about sis, you'll be pleased to know...I've decided to take her and the kids in..." she told him...

Buffy...And the little...Dears...

Why certainly dear...
***

Just a little spice she thought...To keep an immortal relationship from getting dull...
***

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