Disclaimer: These are not my characters and this is not my world.

A/N: Written for the Halloween 2016 challenge at Fag Ends for the prompt "Metamorphosis."


After the first half hour of waiting for Willow and Giles to arrive and solve this problem now please, Xander leaves her and Dawn to hang by the sea lions and then disappears for ten minutes before returning with a bucket of fresh mini doughnuts. Buffy and Dawn wave him into their established section against the wooden railing to watch the Spike-iest show in the water with them and the rest of the gathering crowd.

Buffy wastes no time getting in on the fried dough that she did not have to pay for, though when she puts the doughnut into her mouth, she ends up elbowing the stranger beside her on accident because that's how popular an attraction Spike is right now. Excuse them. That's her boyfriend they're all gawking at like he's the sideshow freak that he is.

Dawn leans forward against the railing to peer around Xander at Buffy. She uses the back of her hand to wipe a heavy dusting of cinnamon off of her mouth and, with a very pleased smile, asks, "You wanna know a thing I missed about our dimension?"

"Was it hot doughnuts?" Buffy asks. This back-and-fourth is almost daily, and the answer is always whatever it is Dawn is using or looking at or doing at the moment. Dryer sheets and bobby pins and liquid soap and crab cakes with peanut butter.

"It was hot doughnuts!" Dawn agrees.

"Hot doughnuts!" Xander choruses. He raises his voice and pitches it toward the water and it's clear he's still playing at the idea that Spike can transform back into a vampire and come crawling out whenever he really wants to, even though Buffy's pretty sure they eliminated that idea forty-five minutes ago when Spike was freaking out and possibly dying of dehydration before they managed to shove him into the bay.

It's a good thing Spike stayed Spike-sized, according to Google. Even with super strength, Buffy can't very easily lift up thirteen feet of blubbery narwhal.

The fact that Spike's been sulking under the water for the past fifteen minutes is probably another indicator about his lack of happy with his new shape. (Or he's upset at how unwelcoming the sea lions have been. Could be either one, really.)

Someone jostles Buffy from behind and, really, if the next angry warlock who wants to mess with her could pick somewhere less tourist trap-y, she'd really, really appreciate that.

Spike resurfaces and the crowd cheers. The sea lions boo to the best of their ability, which is minimal but they get their point across and Spike swims closer to the pier.

A lot of phones start flashing, like the inexplicable and unprecedented appearance of an arctic marine mammal in California is more interesting to these people that the bungee trampoline.

"Hi, honey." Buffy waves to him.

Xander cups his hands around his mouth and yells, "Ha! Look at you, you mammal. Needing to breathe air like the rest of us suckers."

Buffy wishes she were closer to the workers from the aquarium who've come out to study this event so that she could hear their explanation for the world's first glaring narwhal.