Title: Caution: Children at Play
Era: Season Five (somewhere between Out of my Mind and Fool for Love)
Genre: Kid fic
Summary: Spike and Buffy have been turned into kid. The Scoobies have to figure out how to solve the mystery without them, while Buffy and Spike are stuck spending lots of time together much to her chagrin. This basically is a bit of fluff and hopefully will provide a few laughs. The story has ten chapters, but I will only be posting five today. If you like you can read the rest on my livejournal because unfortunately I didn't get around to finishing the whole thing on time.
I would like to dedicate this to the wonderful Ginar369, who provided a beta, and the talented Ladyaisha, who was my sounding board and conspirator. Any mistakes are my own.
Caution: Children At Play
It had been a long time since Rupert Giles was a child. He had long since forgotten how children thought and behaved. He had no idea how to deal with them and he found himself completely at sea in the situation at hand. After all, the only children he had mixed with in years were teenagers; small children were a completely different kettle of fish. The watcher was stumped as to how it happened. One minute Spike and Buffy were arguing; the next there were two little children in their place. Not only did the children bear a startling resemblance to the vampire and the slayer; they were dwarfed by the adult sized clothes their grown up selves had been wearing. He had whipped his spectacles off and blinked once. He put them back on. They were still there. He blinked again, and then once more for good measure. It made no difference. Spike and Buffy were little kids as outlandish as it may seem. Spike's hair was no longer peroxide blonde but a mousy brown. Likewise Buffy's locks were darker than her usual blonde. The two were slumped on the floor looking as surprised as he.
"What happened?" Buffy scrunched up her nose. She looked down at her hand as she pulled herself to her feet. "I'm little – really little!"
Spike got to his feet also likely coming to the same conclusion. "Bloody hell, Rupert."
Giles was speechless. When he wasn't forthcoming, they turned to each other instead. Suddenly, Spike burst into laughter and pointed at the slayer. "Ha! I always knew you were a bottle blonde."
She put her hand to her hair reflexively. She narrowed her eyes. "You're one to talk. I should have the known the reason why you put so much gel in your hair is because it's naturally curly."
Spike scowled. He had no answer for that.
Giles decided that he needed to intervene before this got dusty. "Now, children!"
He succeeded as the two little faces turned to glare at him instead of each other. "We're not children."
However, his satisfaction was short-lived, because a mischievous Buffy turned back to Spike. "Speaking of - are you still even a vampire?"
The boy went into an angry game fame in response. How extraordinary! How on earth had this come to pass? Giles was just relieved that at least the two seemed to be themselves at least.
Almost an hour later, Giles had managed to gather almost the whole Scooby gang in the shop, however all were still none the wiser. Only Tara was not yet present, although Willow reassured him that her girlfriend would arrive later. The reactions of the gang were varied between amusement from Xander, excitement from Willow and Anya's fear of the damage four little hands and legs could do to the merchandise.
"Oh you guys are just adorable." Willow smiled down at them.
"Will you quit it!" Spike snapped. "Can you just figure out what went wrong and fix it? I don't much like not being able to see over the bloody table."
Xander chortled. "Poor little Willie."
Spike glared at him. "When I'm back to normal I'll bite you."
Xander smirked down at him. "You're neutered remember?"
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Shut up you guys! None of this male posturing is helping us figure out what happened here."
Giles nodded in approval. "Yes – Buffy's right. Let's go through this again. Talk me through everything you did today."
Spike and Buffy sighed in unison.
"How will answering the same question for the third time help?" Spike's tone was irritable. "You could at least get us something decent to wear. These clothes are falling off us."
"You do look rather ridiculous," Anya added.
"Thanks ever so."
"Anya, maybe you could go to the shops and pick up an outfit each for them. Take my credit card." Giles reached into his pocket and handed her the card. "Nothing too expensive, mind you. Hopefully, this will be over before the day is out."
She smiled at him and he felt a sense of dread. Still it had to be done. She took off happily out the door.
"Now back to the matter at hand," he began. "Has anybody got any ideas?"
"Maybe it will wear off," Xander suggested unhelpfully. To tell the truth the watcher suspected that he was particularly amused to see Spike reduced to a child.
"I'm sure there's a spell that can fix this." Willow was in her element looking up magic books and researching.
Giles wasn't so sure. "I don't think we should be casting any spells until we know what caused this."
"Maybe the books will help us figure it out," she said turning back to her research.
He had to admit she had a point. They just would have to tread carefully.
Giles turned to the little slayer and vampire. "I think you two should hide out in the back. You look awfully conspicuous dressed as you are. Once Anya returns then you can come out again."
"You expect me to hang out all on my own with Mr Peroxide."
"Not like I'm getting any pleasure in spending my time in your company, Princess."
"That right, Spikey?" She got right up into his face. "Why then do you persist in hanging around like a bad smell?" She gave him a hard push knocking him against a shelf containing several expensive objects. Giles ran over to prevent them from falling and smashing to the ground. He was too late to prevent the tinkling sound of glass breaking.
"Blast it! Those were worth a lot of money."
"Sorry," Buffy muttered, with an apologetic look. "It's all Spike's fault for being so annoying."
"Oh, Buffy. Do grow up, would you?"
"That's kind of the crux of the problem, Watcher," Spike chimed in.
"Fine. Stay here then and scare away all of my customers. We clearly can't leave you two alone without some kind of incident. I trust that the training room would be demolished."
An hour later and Anya still had not returned. Giles was hoping she would arrive back soon and take over the till. The look he was getting from customers for having two rude and badly dressed children underfoot was irritating to say the least.
A little hand tugged at him. "Rupert, I want my fags back." Spike looked up with big pleading blue eyes. He would never tell Spike this, but he really did make an adorable child.
Giles shook his head. "No – it's a filthy, disgusting habit."
The doorbell tinkled as a customer walked in. She was a heavily built lady with hair tied up in a bun under a rather eccentric hat. "Welcome," he said genially. "Let me know if I can help."
Spike tugged at his sleeve again.
He snapped. "What?" The customer looked at him reproachfully.
"I'll set that nice lady's hat on fire if you don't give me my smokes," Spike whispered. "I still have the lighter."
"No you don't!" A smug Buffy came from behind with the lighter in her hand. "Here, Giles."
Spike pouted. "This is no fun. I'm over a hundred years old."
"I know your pain, Spike." Anya walked in at that moment and she was bearing more than a few shopping bags. The watcher looked in consternation at her. He really shouldn't have given her his credit card.
"Did you have to buy out all the shops? I asked you to pick up just one outfit each."
"Who knows how long this will last, Giles? This could take a while to solve. Besides, the clothes are so cute. " She dropped the bags in front of him and then turned her back on him heading over to the customer. He left his place by the cash register and grabbed the bags taking them into the back room.
Buffy followed him eagerly to find a change of clothing. "Spike, come on," she called back.
She tore over to the bags as soon as he put them low enough for her. "I really need a change of clothes."
Spike arrived in shortly after. His lip was still stuck out. Giles sighed. "The sulking doesn't help your case not to be treated like a child."
"I'm not sulking," he protested. "I'm being annoyed."
"Annoying more like," retorted the man. "You know it's hard to take you seriously when you look like a child, boy." He couldn't resist the last dig and Spike glared malevolently at him.
A whoop of delight from Buffy interrupted them. "A cookie monster t-shirt! I love the cookie monster."
Giles could barely supress a snicker. "You don't say!"
She looked a little red at her outburst; however, she continued to rummage through the shopping bags, while Spike stuck in the corner of the room watching the proceedings. "Look Spike. There's got to be something you like in here."
He walked a little bit too casually, as if he was pretending to not care. Giles wondered if it was his imagination or was it just the fact that they were so little, but it seemed as if they were beginning to behave differently. He shook his head, deciding it was his imagination. The vampire pulled out a pair of black jeans. He then went through several t-shirts before discarding them on the floor. Giles was astonished when he heard a sudden exclamation of "Cool!" from the boy. Spike had a t-shirt with slogan "Born to be Wild" on the front. He looked just as surprised as Giles. "Bugger, I'm spendin' too much time with you bloody colonials," he muttered.
When Buffy and Spike returned to the shop, they looked much more befitting of their age. Giles was loath to admit it, but it appeared Anya had indeed done a good job. Hopefully, when tomorrow would come, the two would be back to their normal selves. They both found themselves a chair amongst the Scoobies. Xander was dozing on the books, Anya was going through their accounts and Willow was still reading through the books to no avail. Spike and Buffy were fidgeting on their seats and their constant movement was making Giles irritated. "You could help," he said waspishly.
They sighed dramatically. Spike started swinging his chair back and forth.
Buffy blew some gum. "Do we have to?"
Giles glared at them. "We are doing this for you two after all. The least you can do is help us."
He handed them both some of the thinner books. "Now get cracking!"
"Bloody hell, Rupert." Spike rolled his eyes. "You're not my Watcher, so you can quit bossing me around unless you're going to pay me. I'll help but only because I'm sick of being Peter Pan."
Giles rubbed his forehead. He was getting a headache. "Help for whatever reason you wish. I don't have time for your prattling."
After another hour of unyielding research they still were nowhere near figuring out what had happened to the slayer and vampire. Tempers were beginning to flare. Xander and Anya had left when it had been time to close the shop, but Willow stayed to help with the research. Tara had turned up as well. The two that they were trying to help were no help. Spike surprisingly had one of Xander's comics hidden in a book that he was perusing. Giles didn't say anything but the thought that William the Bloody had swiped Xander's comics couldn't possibly be a good thing and continued to rouse his suspicions regarding the full extent of their magical predicament. He suspected that Buffy had been reading the same page over for the last hour. She was sighing every so often to display her irritation at the task.
"But Giles, I'm much better with the fists than the books," she moaned eventually.
Spike slammed his book down. "I agree with the slayer. There's no point reading through all this mumbo jumbo. What we should be doing is finding the tosser that did this to us."
Giles was finding it very hard to keep his cool. "And pray tell, how are we supposed to do that?"
"You'll figure it out. You White Hats always do, but I'll be damned if I will sit one more minute reading this tripe."
Tara coughed gently to gain their attention. "I think we should test out their powers. I know they are little and all, but they appear to have their supernatural strength. I think it would be a good idea to check." She smiled at Buffy and Spike. "I think you two look like you need some fun."
"Well Glinda, I can't say no to that. Not happy about poked or prodded, but some sparring sounds like a good idea." He raised a brow. "You think you can best me, Slayer?"
Giles gave Tara a grateful smile. Maybe this would be enough to diffuse the situation and shed some light at the same time. Once the two left to go into the training room Giles decided he needed to share his rising suspicion with the two witches.
"It's strange." He scratched his ear. "Have you noticed their odd behaviour?"
Tara bit her lip. "What- what do you mean?"
"Maybe it's all in my head. The things they say and the way they say them strike me as out of the ordinary. It's like they are regressing into childhood, but it's taking longer for their minds to get there than it took their bodies. If I had to hazard a guess I would say they are six or seven years old physically and their minds are regressing to that point also."
Tara nodded. "-and at the moment they're behaving like teenagers. It's like the spell wasn't complete. Both the body and mind should have been at an equal age after the spell. I never saw Buffy blowing gum before or Spike reading a comic. I hate to say it but it makes a weird kind of sense."
Willow went pale at that. "Sense – what sense? They still seem like Buffy and Spike to me."
Tara patted her hand sympathetically. "There's still them – just a little younger."
"And as I said, maybe it's all in my mind." He really hoped it was.
Buffy's voice sounded from the back room. "Giles! Can I stake Spike?"
"Oh joy!" He spoke sardonically. "I better go and play referee."