It had all been arranged by the time Spike Blond got to the Magic Box counter; Chase handed him a detailed schedule that included mud baths and exhaustive physical assessments that would put a lesser being in a hospital bed. He recalled his last visit to the Institute and his brow furrowed. Ah. He'd rather forgotten the – ahem – distractions that presented on his last stay.
Stacy. Holly. Kat. Lou-Lou. Others; so many, many others.
“What's up, 00666? Did I forget something?” Cordelia Chase batted her eyelashes at him, her lips shiny and plump and caught between her white teeth in what he assumed she thought was a coquettish way. Her little girl act left him cold, but he could see how it might appeal to those whose heads weren’t filled with daydreams featuring their absent wife. Nice try.
“Nothing at all, Chase. Everything seems to be in order - most efficient. You’re happy with this position?”
“Oh yes, Mr Blond – absolutely. But if anything comes up that I can help you with, I’m very flexible. I'd love to tell you about it...if you have a spare hour or two.”
Cordy twirled a long brunette curl around her finger, sucking a pen into her mouth and gripping it between her teeth as she gazed at him meaningfully. Blond stared at her. The chit was giving him the come-on! Bloody hell! She just winked at him! She couldn’t be more obvious if she’d been loitering on a street corner. Since when did he get so critical? There was a time he'd have happily had her bent over the photocopier by now. Ah but that was before he’d been ruined for all women but one, before he knew he’d only ever get hot for that one woman. And what a woman!
Smiling, he closed his eyes and was grateful for the images of his wife that flashed into his mind: smiling as she moved to kiss him; straddling his lap with that look in her eye; walking from the shower with a towel slipping to reveal the delectable curve of her arse; lying on their bed, sheet draped carelessly about her hips…a tantalising glimpse of dark curls... Oh shit! Now he couldn't walk and Chase would think it was all down to her streetwalker act...no! Down boy, suck it back in and wait for momma.
Cordy shot him a quizzical look. What the hell was he thinking about? Here she was, gifting him with the patented Cordelia Chase three-step seduction that had never failed to reduce guys to slobbering puppy dogs and all he could do was screw his face up like something smelled bad and shift from one foot to the other like he wished he was a million miles away.
He drew in a deep breath and exhaled slowly, willing his body into submission. He really shouldn't have thought about her. Without Buffy and her tender ministrations, little Spike was getting trigger-happy and wont to go off at the drop of a hat. In desperation, he thought of the grossest thing he could and managed to avoid any further unpleasantness. Master Bates in the nude. Urgh!
“I'm fine. Just a little... muscle cramp. I'll catch you later, Chase. And if I were you, I'd do something about that eye-twitch before Buffy gets back.”
+ + + + +
Buffy eyed the miniscule cabin suspiciously and wrinkled up her nose. It was stinky. Ewww! She placed it now – it absolutely reeked of sex! Old sex. Shuddering, she headed into the tiny bathroom and turned the shower on. Thank god she wouldn't be here long enough to sleep in the bed because there was no way she was getting between those skanky sheets. Hell, she wasn't even going to unpack because the minute she had that data file she’d be out of there, even if it meant kicking her way through the side of the sub to escape.
Ten minutes after struggling out of the hated pink dress, she felt tolerably clean. Yuk! PVC was a definite no-no for workwear – unlike the Naughty Nurse outfit she'd sprung on Spike a couple of weeks ago. Memories of the ways he’d shown his approval made her tingle. But wearing it for an hour or so – okay, make it more like four hours – was a world away from travelling in it for over twelve hours with no William to entice you out of it at the end. So what to wear now? There wasn't much choice in the micro wardrobe that went with this persona, PVC, satin, lace, not a decent jersey or cotton fibre to be seen.
She fixed her make-up and hastily dressed in the least trashy garments she could find - a fairly loose shirt and skirt. Where the hell could she stash the decoder and scrambler? Ah! Don’t forget G‘s garter! Buffy'd raised an eyebrow at that until he'd explained how it would provide a hiding place for her gadgets. It even had a tracker woven into the lace trim and it doubled as a nifty lasso with a few twists of the seams. Giggling at the thought of the gadgetmeister hunched over a sewing machine, Buffy stashed her required items in the garter and finished off with the slim gun down the front of her panties. She gasped as the cool metal slid against her mound. Closing her eyes she imagined Spike’s cool touch, his fingers caressing and moving her curls as he sought...
“Knock, Knock, Candy! Time to meet and greet the guys. Are you decent?”
Heidi shoved her way into the room, her words obviously not expecting a reply.
"Well, even if you are, girl – don’t worry, you won’t be staying that way for long." She cackled again, her spittle hitting Buffy's face.
"Yeah, I'm ready. Shall we?"
Heidi tilted her hip and placed one hand on it, the other patting and messing with her hair.
"You wearing that, sweetheart?"
Buffy looked down. The skirt was black leather, split dangerously high on one side – the side that didn't have the garter. The shirt she wore was heavy blood red silk that clung in all the right places and her balcony bra pushed her breasts up so far they were in danger of falling out. Finish it off with fuck-me boots and all in all, she felt like a Class A hooker. Heidi, however, seemed to think it was all rather tame.
Buffy primped her own hair a little and pouted. "I was going for glamorous. Anyway, you ain't seen what I've got underneath."
Taking her new friend's arm in a death grip, Heidi led the way to the main event.
Buffy promised herself that the main event wasn't going to be her.
+ + + + +
Harris surfaced at the edge of the tracker's range; it was calibrated to a one-mile radius and he was therefore shocked that despite initiating a full 360-degree scan, there was no trace of either an island or a submarine. Maybe G could come up with...where the hell was G?
Bubbles popped to Xander's left, soon followed by G who gasped as he tore off the breathing apparatus. He bobbed about once he'd stopped struggling, the buoyancy aid he'd personally added to the wetsuits doing its job admirably on its first ops test.
"Good!" he gasped; "I was afraid…"
"G, is there anything you're not afraid of?"
"Yes, Harris. Damned impudent boys who should pay more respect to their elders."
"Whoa! Never let it be said that you don’t have balls, G. Anyone who can design a flotation device that makes us look like we’re wearing tutus is A-okay in my book!” The one-eyed agent raised his arms like a ballet dancer and made a jerky, slowmo pirouette. “Now, do you think you could help me out a little? Tracker's going crazy but where’s the island, the sub, a boat? Anything but ocean? What’s the story, brainiac?"
G finally relaxed enough to allow the suit to do its job and reached into a pouch for a slim sensor. He fiddled with it for a moment or two, Xander Harris using the lull to nibble on yet another candy bar he'd had stashed in a waterproof pouch.
"Ah, just as I suspected. Cloaking technology. Nautilust stole more than the genetic material, I'd wager. Now, if I can just tweak this to...there, that's got it."
Harris shook his head in awe. Say what you will, G-man really kicked ass in the spy contraption department.
"So, what now. We go steaming in, or do we hole up somewhere and wait to see what’s the what? Let the Buffster do her stuff, or charge in like her white knights?"
"Harris. You know what we were told; W was very specific. We do nothing unless Buffy's in trouble."
"Okay, okay. So, what – we just practise our synchronised swim routine until she sends up the Bat signal?"
G grabbed for the mouthpiece slung around his neck. "No, Harris. We dive." In a flurry of bubbles, the Head of Ideas was gone; Agent 0069 hastily spat out the rest of his candy and dived after him.
+ + + + +
Spike Blond stopped his Aston Martin DB5 and spoke into the intercom through the open window. Once his identity had been verified, the wrought iron gates swung open and he accelerated along the wide, sweeping driveway, the gravel surface crunching beneath the wheels of the sports car as it sped to the front entrance of the imposing mansion. He hated coming here. It was a truly magnificent edifice, built in the style of the old country houses of his youth and that in itself freaked him out. His boyhood hadn't exactly been happy, his father dying when he was little more than a child and leaving him as head of the household to take care of his ailing mother and his vulnerable sister, Tara. And it reminded him of his mother, Anne. He gritted his teeth, not wanting his mind to go there. If only he'd thought to do something before she was taken off by consumption. Maybe things would have been different.
Ah well, no point fretting now. She'd been dead and buried for over a century and he had more pressing things on his mind.
Like the scantily clad sirens waiting to take his valise – and his sanity!
"’Allo, allo, Meester Blond. Zo ‘appy you are back wiz us. I 'ave readied your room, just ze way you like eet."
/Oh god. Lou-Lou. He'd hoped she'd moved on, the temptress! He wasn't entirely convinced the French accent was genuine but the heaving bosom certainly was, as were the toned and tanned thighs that peeped from beneath the ass-skimming white uniform./
"Lou. Nice to see you again. Been a while."
"Eet 'as been too long, mon ange. Come, wiz me – I am sure you will need some rest before we get started. Eet is, after all, a full assessment we must geeve you. We ‘ave to be sure you are fully functional in all… departments."
Spike hung his head and trailed after her, praying silently to whatever deity was currently on duty that he'd find a way to give the rampant harpies the brush-off without them turning into vengeful gorgons.
/Buffy – please, hurry home./
+ + + + +
Buffy stared, dumbstruck, at the sight that greeted her as Heidi dragged her into the officers’ mess room. She'd heard of orgies - she wasn't a trembling virgin after all – but actually seeing a mass of writhing bodies was another matter. She gulped. This undercover stuff was harder than it seemed. And exactly how far was she supposed to go for world security? Did Spike ever have to...no. She shook her head, – if she started thinking about her husband and what he had to do on a mission, she'd lose it completely. She knew he was a spy when she fell for him and that sometimes meant doing things that were best forgotten once you got back to real life. Damn. That sounded so convincing; pity the jealous little girl inside of her wasn't having any of it.
/Oh this is just great! First solo mission and all you can think about is your husband and his conquests. Way to focus, Buffy, you've got more pressing worries./
"Gals! Well, hot damn you're looking good, Miss Heidi, and who's this pretty little poodle?"
“Candy – Big Mick.. Big Mick – Candy.” Heidi grinned, her mountainous bosom spilling out of her leopard-print basque and drawing the plump officer's eyes downwards. Buffy glanced down at her own cleavage. Was it wrong to feel slighted because Mr Fat and Frisky preferred his women super-sized?
/Poodle? How’d ya like my teeth in your fat ankle, Big Mook?/
She was already forgotten.
“How’s about we take a little yodel down Cock Alley, baby?” Heidi's waist was clamped in a sweaty paw and as she was whisked away to a dark corner, Buffy settled down against the back wall and followed her training. She noted the number of bodies in the room, the location of the exits, the subtly armoured guards ranged against the walls. She hadn't seen anybody who fitted the description of Nautilust yet, but the night was young.
"Hey, doll face! Saw you sitting there all on your lonesome and thought I'd come keep you company. The name's Hank."
/Great! Like I don't have enough issues with that name. Just don’t ask me to call you Daddy./
"Oh, I'm just fine here. Taking stock, you know. Chilling."
"Well, let’s get you a drink and we can chill together. Champagne?"
Buffy nodded, anxious to just get him away from her while she made some contingency plans. She had no intentions of actually drinking the alcohol, knowing from past experience that it would be extraordinarily dangerous, but at least while he was gone he wasn't drooling on her.
Oh god, if Spike were here now the walls would be running red with the blood of the men who were openly ogling her. Buffy chuckled. If only they knew...
"Here ya go, honey. Now why don't you come sit on my knee and we can get friendly. What's your name?"
Buffy hid her scowl. She really did need to play the game. Steeling herself, she stood and plonked herself down on the submariner's lap, sipping very slightly at the glass of champagne he'd given to her.
"I'm Candy. And to be honest, I'm kinda nervous – I've never done this before."
Hank laughed; she was just adorable with her wide eyes and pouty lips. "Tell you the truth, neither have I. This is my first tour. But since Nautilust asked me to come along and he's such a big pal of mine, I didn't want to..."
/Yeah – right/
"You know Nautilust? Wow. I’d just do anything to meet him!" Buffy dipped her head and peeped at her new informant through sweeping lashes, her lips pink and plump as she ran her tongue around them. Seduction 101. Very useful class to have aced.
As calculated, the fresh-faced young man with the very hard thighs, puffed out his chest and beamed a 1000-watt smile at her.
"Baby, I can fix it so that not only do you get to meet him, but you get to really party! Now, where was I..."
The scrape of his stubbled cheek against her neck had Buffy gagging, but she stayed where she was and thought of the mission – and Spike.
+ + + + +
The twin trails of bubbles disturbing the glassy calm of the underground pool went unnoticed by anyone. Harris’s head broke the surface and he looked around. It seemed all was clear so he tapped G on his arm, the latter emerging also, and the two of them raised their heads and removed the breathing apparatus.
"Well, how weird is this? Top marks for spotting that access, G. I thought it was just some big submerged rock until you pointed out the heating vents. Clever, very clever. This Nautilust is one crafty guy."
"Yes. He was fast-tracked in the service until he developed an unhealthy obsession for marine life. Pity. He's got a brilliant mind. Did I ever tell you about that seminar where I..."
"Not now. Maybe later, when we're tucked up safe in the jet, okay? Right now we need to recce the joint and hole up somewhere until Buffy's completed her mission. Any suggestions?"
G reached below the water and took out his scanner. "Well, this area seems free of people or other life forms. And there would appear to be a cave or something right behind that rocky outcrop. We could pitch camp."
"Fine. Let's do it, G-man. Hope you brought marshmallows and hot dogs."
The two of them waded out of the water and headed for the far corner of the cavern to settle down and wait for Buffy to do her thing.
+ + + + +
Buffy carefully prised herself from Hank the horny helmsman’s grasp on the pretext of a visit to the ladies room. He'd been unwittingly helpful with his stories of adventures with Nautilust and had even told her where to find his quarters. No doubt he thought to impress her with his access to the inner sanctum of the Captain's living accommodation. He'd even suggested they make up a foursome with Nautilust and his latest conquest and Buffy had readily agreed. Safety in numbers, right?
Checking that the coast was clear, she quickly transmitted an encoded report. It would take a while to get to HQ, probably wouldn’t even be read before she’d got the mission completed, but procedure was procedure and it was standard protocol to check in every four hours when in the field alone. She meant to pass this final hurdle with flying colours. She'd make Miss Prissy Knickers regret her vindictive actions. Message sent, she tucked the gadget into her garter and headed back to the party and the sweaty pawing of her eager paramour. Even if she hadn't appreciated them before – and she really, really had – Spike's cool fingers would be worshipped on her return.
She was stopped in her tracks when she returned. Hank was engaged in an animated conversation with a bottle blond who looked oddly familiar from the back. Buffy was approaching when she heard the heavy accent and the familiar throaty laugh. No...oh god no – what should she do? Would her cover be blown so soon?
The figure turned, bright red lips open in a beaming smile.
"Darlink! You must be Candy – zo very good to meet you. You've quite dazzled ze gorgeous Hank, you naughty hotcha. Let me introduce myself – I am Anyanka – and zis is my very fun buddy, Nautilust."
Buffy dragged her gaze from Xander Harris' paramour to follow her outstretched hand. Finally. The object of her mission was within her grasp. Her heart missed a beat as she locked eyes with the Captain. He wasn't exactly what she'd been expecting. Weren't arch villains supposed to be ugly and warty? This man was a definite hottie, with his lazy smile and floppy hair. Not a patch on her Spike of course, but still – lickable.
"Candy. Delighted to meet you. Any friend of Hank's is a friend of mine. Shall we go somewhere more – private – and get better acquainted? Anyanka and I had planned a little party of our own, but two more playmates would make it all that more interesting, don't you think?" He held out his hand, enfolding Buffy's small fingers in his own and led the way, Anyanka and Hank following behind, the Russian spy's laughter rending the air.
Oh boy, was she in trouble now...
*CUT TO : Spike Blond, dressed only in a pair of sweat pants, punching and kicking a punch bag. There is a drawing of a man taped to it, topped off with a jaunty sailor's hat. The punch bag is creaking and leaking sawdust with every punch. With a vicious roundhouse kick, the bag is torn from its moorings and goes skidding across the floor, knocking Buffy over as she approaches.
Spike rushes to her side, lifting her up and dusting her down. Buffy eyes the drawing taped to the bag and smiles.
"I thought you didn't want me knocked off my feet by Nautilust?" A growl, a kiss, the rapid removal of clothes....
DOO . DOO . DOOOOOOO . DOO . DOO . DOOOOOOO . DOO . TE . DOO*