AN: I actually wrote this some time ago, but forgot to post it here. It's an AU, working under the assumption that the slayer before Buffy failed to avert an apocalypse, so Buffy is called amongst a ruined world. It's short because the challenge had a 1000 word limit. I have roughly outlined ideas for why things are happening, and if you're curious about anything, let me know and I'll PM you an explanation. There's a chance that I might turn this into a bigger story later, but right now there's no firm plan. Story picks up around season 1/2. Title/summary comes from a quote by Henry Miller. "Chaos is the score upon which reality is written."
"We're already outnumbered. It'll be ten to one by Christmas."
Angel nodded. "We need fresh blood."
Buffy's eyebrows shot up.
He cleared his throat. "Metaphorically speaking. Stop looking at me like that! You knew what I meant."
Buffy took pity on him. "Yeah. But there aren't many humans left. What we need are more guys like you. And Lorne and Doyle. Too bad we can't figure out how to work that soul mojo on a bunch of vamps at a time."
Giles spoke up from his place at corner table. "I may know a way. But it will be difficult."
"For heaven's sake Ethan! You worship chaos! Turning demons against their nature will surely be chaotic."
Giles voice rang out across the bar of Caritas. Buffy glanced over her shoulder, and locked eyes with Gunn. She shrugged, and he returned to sharpening his knives. She turned back to Ethan Rayne. Two weeks, it had taken to find him. Two weeks, and all of the magic Michael could muster. Two weeks of dwindling white hats. And after all of that, Ethan was refusing to play. Buffy had had it. She grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back.
The spell wasn't doing what they'd hoped. Angel had warned them of course. It had been over a century since he'd been actively siring vampires. There was no telling how many of them were dust. And the ones that were still around had no way of knowing that their similarly afflicted sire was waiting to help them in L.A. So far, the only potential allies that had shown up were a sickening pair, named James and Elizabeth. Unfortunately, once they learned they would be expected to fight Darla; they fled, leaving the crew at Caritas as hard up as ever.
"Look there. It's the golden girl. She'll help us."
Buffy whirled, raising her crossbow, and came face to face with two vampires. The male raised his hands, sliding into human visage.
"Easy now. Just want to talk."
"Dru here, says you can get us to Angel. We need to see him."
"Last I heard Angel was still down with a bad case of soul. Seems it's spread to my lady."
Buffy didn't lower her weapon. "You two walk in front of me. Try anything and I stake you."
"What's your name?"
"You're out of your minds! What were you thinking, jamming souls in all willy-nilly?"
"Spike." Angel growled. "Knock it off."
"No! Not until you explain-"
Drusilla placed a hand on his arm. "Spike-"
He shrugged her off and pinned Angel to the bar, by his throat.
"Bastard. How're we supposed to survive in this world, when she refuses to bite?"
Fingers dug into his bicep, and he spun to face the Slayer, her fist connecting with his face. He hit back. Their brawl ended on the floor, her holding a stake to his heart. But she didn't push it through.
Buffy's making a list of depleted supplies when Spike finds her. He doesn't say anything, just starts picking up rations, and moving them around so she has to triple check before she writes anything on the list. When ignoring him doesn't work, she wrenches a can of beans from his hands and drops it on his foot.
He cocks his head. "Why do you put up with me? Don't have a soul."
"Angel says you'd do anything for Drusilla. And that makes you a non-threat. I believe him."
"I love her."
"Maybe. But she doesn't love you."
"You know there are awake people you could tell, right? People on night duty?"
"Dru and Angel are gone."
She's up. "What?"
"Souls've gone. They're off to Darla's."
She's inching away from him, hand going for the stake under her pillow.
"Why aren't you with them?"
He's not sure. So gives her what he can, and it's mostly true.
"Demons don't like me. You lot don't like me. I leave and I'm dead in a week. But if I'm helpful, and play by your rules, I figure I can stay alive."
And she bolts.
Lorne is helping pour through books for any mention of soul curses, when Spike strolls into the room. Giles leaps up, but Buffy doesn't even look away from her text.
"I told you to stay put."
Giles is spluttering, and Lorne's head is spinning, but eventually the whole story comes out. Spike tipped Buffy off about the souls, and now he wants to help in exchange for not being killed. It sounds reasonable enough, but Giles is shifting into Watcher mode, and the way Buffy is rolling her eyes is almost age-appropriate.
Buffy's face splits in a rare grin. "Good idea! Giles, if he's lying Lorne will be able to tell."
"Yes, but… Why does it matter Buffy?"
She's back to cold. "We need the help. Spike. Do it."
"What do I sing? Haven't exactly heard much music lately."
He's right, unfortunately. Radio broadcasts disappeared with civilization. "Whatever pops in your head. I did Drusilla when she got here, remember?"
Confused and warbling nursery rhymes bless her- never mind.
Spike stands still for a moment, and then;
"Long time jerk
She hit me where it hurts
Oh I felt my heart
Now my heart will burst"
And Lorne may need to sit down. Because this is hell, and Pylea is starting to look like a nice place to live, and they just do not have time for star-crossed right now.
"I've forgotten how to worry
And I don't know how to run
Against the odds I realize
This struggle could be fun!"
Buffy blinks, then turns to Lorne. "Well?"
"All yours Pumpkin." Even if you two don't know it yet.
Six months later when they walk in on Buffy and Spike mostly naked on the bar top, Lorne is the only one not surprised.