The One Who Wears the Skirt

Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own anyone.

Summary: Angel and Riley try to tell Buffy what she needs in her life. Spike sets them straight. Takes place during an AU of season six I'm working on that's filled with prophecy and apocalypse-y goodness. Brief mention of things from the episode Dead Things.

Someday, Spike thought idly as he watched the angry people who had barged into his crypt, someone other than Tara will actually bother to knock, and I will dust from pure astonishment.

He knew he should be in a rage over the Magnificent Poof and Soldier Boy storming his personal castle, but Buffy had finally managed to suss out what she wanted and he was too… well, giddy… to really feel more than vaguely annoyed.

The woman herself, curled up with him in the armchair, however, was angry enough for the both of them. She surged to her feet, moving forward and instinctively taking a protective stance between the two hulking Neanderthals and Spike.

"What part of 'we'll all be meeting at the Magic Box in two hours' did you two not understand?" she asked, glaring at them both.

"The part where Anya started talking about you going off for orgasms," Riley made a disgusted face as he said the word, "with that thing."

Angel shot Riley a glare for the thing comment, but didn't let it distract him from his own tirade. "Buffy, this isn't what I want for you. You need someone safe and normal, not a demon-animated soulless corpse who's considered a freak even by other vampires."

Okay, now Spike was starting to get angry, but he was going to leave this to Buffy. It was her life, and her decision, and she needed to know that he trusted her to handle it and make her own choices. He'd back her up when the time came.

"Buffy," the mighty cardboard cutout began earnestly, "this isn't right. You deserve better than this. I know I left you, and I don't –"

"You're right," Buffy said quietly, sending a stab of pain and uncertainty right through Spike's unbeating heart until she continued. "You left, and you don't. You don't a lot of things. You don't have the right to lecture me and judge me. You don't have the right to tell me what you want for my life. It's mine, and I'll do what I want with it."

"You need-"

"What she needs," Spike cut Riley off, deciding it was time to back up his woman, "is someone who's man enough to wear the bloody skirt."

That got everybody's attention. Even Buffy turned to look at him, blinking in surprise. He kept his eyes on her as he spoke. "There are exceptions, but for most couples, someone wears the pants, and someone wears the skirt. Regardless of the genders involved, the pant-wearing 'man'," he rolled his eyes and did actual air quotes, "is the strong one who tries to solve everything and protect everyone. 'S not good with talking things through and openin' up, but you can see what's in the heart if you pay attention.

"The skirt-wearin' lady supports good ol' manpants, backing him up when he needs it and bitching at him when he needs that. Skirt's a bit touchy-feely, open with her feelings, and talks about the relationship. Makes sure the pants-wearer always has a place where they can feel safe from the weight of things, even if that place is only being held in her arms."

He shifted his gaze to Angel, who looked like he was about to interrupt. "You kept stealing the slayer's pants, and you still try it every time you see her. You want her in skirts like a good little girl, and when you first started doing it, she was young and insecure enough to let you take her pants away."

Now he looked at Riley. "By the time you came around, she had her pants back and was starting to feel comfortable in them. She was willing to share, to try wearing the skirt for the personal parts of the relationship, but she needed the pants for the slayer part of things. It's part of who she is, but you couldn't take it. You carried on like she was trying to force you into a bloody ball gown complete with corset.

"As for me, though," a slow, seductive smile spread across his face as he leaned back in the chair, crossing his legs at the ankles and linking his hands behind his head, "I look right fetching in a skirt. Shows off m' legs nicely."

The smile turned into an amused grin when he noticed the slayer's "mmmm, guh" expression. No doubt she was imagining him in an actual skirt rather than just a metaphorical one. Probably without a stitch else on other than his boots.

"Your cross-dressing fetish aside," Angel began, "even you have to know how wrong this-"

Buffy took a deep breath and interrupted him. "Okay, you know what? I've got my manpants firmly on right now, and I'm telling you to get the hell out of my lady's home, or so help me, I will stake you. Probably not in the heart, but I'll make sure it hurts." Before anyone could say anything in response to that, she switched her glare to Riley. "And you get out, too. I don't want to see either of you until the meeting, and you will both be on your best behavior while there."


"Don't you 'Buffy' me, Riley Finn!" Oh, but his slayer was beautiful when she yelled. "I am not some toy or pet the two of you can order around. I make my own choices. I know my own wants and needs, and right now, those both equal short, snarky, and British. Deal with it. And get the hell out of this crypt. Now!"

They turned and went, Angel giving her his "I'm so very disappointed in you, but will be there for you to crawl to when you figure out you're wrong" look and Finn making a face like someone had vomited on his puppy. Wankers. Barging in uninvited and thinking they had some kind of right to control and judge Buffy's life just because she had a heart big enough to let a couple of giant gits like them in. He could wish it hadn't been that big, but then there probably wouldn't have been room for a short, snarky, English vampire either.

"You sure we really need whatever information they have?" he asked. Couldn't they have just used the bloody telephone?

Buffy sighed, her shoulders slumping as she shuffled back over to him and sat in his lap. He immediately wrapped his arms around her.

"Unfortunately, we probably do," she said, letting herself relax against him. She muttered quietly against his chest, "And I am so totally getting you a skirt."

She looked up at him suddenly with uncertainty in her eyes, and he knew she was running her words through her head, trying to figure out if what she'd said would be considered hurtful, especially since neither Angel nor Riley would have been particularly happy with being called her lady and then told they'd be getting a skirt.

While he was glad she had stopped the vile, hateful insults, she'd been much too timid with him ever since the Keeper had revealed that, as the only vampire in the entire history of ever to come through the change with his humanity completely intact, he had the full range and depth of human emotions.

The Keeper had also apparently given her some sort of gender bent hallucination of their times together where she'd experienced things from his point of view. He wasn't really sure what that was all about, but he hoped it had stopped before she had to experience being physically beaten and emotionally savaged in an alley.

Of course, thinking about the Keeper and the latest prophecy and apocalypse combo going on wasn't doing anything to reassure his slayer. There were all sorts of ways Spike could set her at ease, but he went with just being honest.

He laughed and grinned at her. "Just make sure it's a pretty one, pet. Lots of things I'd do for love, but wearing an ugly skirt isn't one of them."

Two days later, while sorting through the dry cleaning she'd picked up for Buffy earlier, Dawn came across the most kick-ass leather miniskirt she'd ever seen. It was black with studs and chains. It was really too bad she'd outgrown being able to wear her sister's clothes. Except… the skirt wasn't actually Buffy's size.

Whose is this? Dawn wondered, her brow furrowed in confusion. It was too big for Buffy or Willow and too small to handle the awesomeness of Tara's curves.

"So that's where that got off to."

Dawn meeped in alarm as Spike suddenly appeared by her side and snagged the skirt. Buffy's right, we so need to put a bell on him.

"Um, yeah, it was in with the dry cleaning. Do you know who… it… belongs…" she trailed off as the vampire presented her with a lazy smirk and a lifted brow. "Yeah, okay, and now I need, like, all of the brain bleach ever."

He just grinned at her and sauntered off.