A Few Simple Rules

A/N What if instead of being destroyed Ted had been reprogrammed? This is a peek at season five AU that came to me while watching John Ritter's Biography last night. Mostly I'm writing this because I'm blocked on my WIPs. It's an unbeta'd very odd 500 word ficlet.

"William, I think it's time we had a little talk about your feelings for my little girl." Ted pushed Spike down into the chair.

"Save it tin man, the Watcher's already informed me," Spike shrugged the robot's hand off his shoulder but sat anyway; it wasn't like he had anywhere to go and the Joyce would be upset if he broke her toy. "I'm an evil, soulless, thing. I'll never be good enough for Buffy and I should get lost."

Ted smiled his low key salesman smile, "Now, did I say anything like that young man? Let's face it, if anyone is qualified to be called a 'thing' here it's me and evil's just a programming glitch. One you seem well on your way to correcting."

Spike felt he should be insulted but on the other hand, Ted seemed to be on his side.

"I'm not so sure what a soul even is. My concern is of a much more practical nature," Ted confided.

"And what would that be exactly, Ted?" Spike was beginning to feel a little nervous, Joyce really did care for the windup Ward Cleaver, as odd as it seemed and Buffy had begun to like his protective attitude to her family. If Ted did decide to disapprove of him it could be the last straw on an already overburdened camel.

"All the reprogramming in the world doesn't change the fact that I'm an old-fashioned model, you were turned in 1880 surely you can understand what I'm getting at. Buffy is a modern, independent young woman but she holds two jobs already- full time student and Slayer. Wouldn't you say that expecting her to keep you in 'blood n beers' is an unfair burden?"

"Wait a sec, I haven't asked Buffy for cash in a long time!"

"No, you haven't but does your way of getting cash make you worthy of Buffy?"

"Vampire here, do you expect me to find a job?"

"A job and eventually a place to live that isn't a crypt. Why shouldn't you? There are plenty of things you can do from home or on the night shift." When Spike leered at this Ted glared and said, "-legal and moral things that Buffy would approve of."

"Aren't you jumping the gun a bit asking about my prospects? Buffy doesn't even act like she likes me most days."

"True but her mother and I like you, that's a start. Of course, Joycie is a little upset that there won't be a church wedding or grandchildren but a civil ceremony is just as married I pointed out there's always adoption or you could have Willow build you one or two- children I mean, not churches- you'd need Xander for the church but I hardly think it's necessary. "

Ted folded his hand behind his head and leaned back in his chair and watched with a satisfied grin as Spike walked out of the house in a daze not at all sure if he'd ever return.