Summary: Nobody appreciates how hard it is to be Queen.
Characters: Spike, bugs!
Timeline: post-Season 8, set some time after Issue 40 | Last Gleaming, Part V
Warnings: mutiny, bugs, bugs gone wild, anatomically correct bugs, did I mention the bugs?
Word Count: ~700
A/N: This was totally inspired by conversation with bobthemole who also gave a speedy beta. This may also serve as a prequel to her Seasonal Spuffy story. ;-)
Spike waltzed onto the bridge of his ship only to freeze at the sight of his fifty bug subordinates in line formation, wings at attention.
“What's all this, then?”
One of the bugs stepped forward. “We have assembled en hive to air our grievances. We find you unworthy to be our Queen.”
Spike glared. “That's 'Your Majesty' to you, Bug Three.”
“I am Bug Two!” His wings fluttered in agitation and his front horns twitched. “Your disproportionately small ocular cavities are clearly deficient.”
Spike bared his teeth. “Watch it or I'll demote you down to Bug One Thousand and Twenty-three.”
“Your recklessness is unacceptable. You dishonored the line of”—all Spike heard was click click click—“by delaying our arrival at the delegation of Ha'ath, all in your pursuit of bull red refreshment for your female companion.”
“Yeah, so? Dawn needed a pick-me-up for her all-nighter. The grasshoppers didn't even notice we were late, too busy rubbing their wings together. That what this is about? Your wings not getting rubbed right?”
Bug Two bristled visibly. “You dishonor us with your attachment to the soft-fleshed Earth mortals.”
“What can I say?” Spike shrugged, eyes scanning the ranks of his disloyal subjects. “I like this sorry world and all the people in it. Well, maybe not all the people...”
“I am not surprised you would sympathize with such an inferior species.” Bug Two poked Spike's leather duster with his front leg, his compound eyes brimming with disgust. “Your exoskeleton is easily punctured and your mastery of the tongue of”—again with the clicking—“is plebeian at best.”
Spike stared into Bug Two's compound reflecting eyes. “What, you mean the chirping noises? Load of bollocks, if you ask me.”
Bug Two reared back, vibrating with anger as high-pitched shrieks emitted from the flapping jaws of his mandible.
Spike waited for the shrieking to stop, then sneered. “So's your mum.”
A rattling began deep in Bug Two's prothorax. Flapping his elytrons and hind wings, he rose up to eye level with Spike, hissed, “The Queen is dead, long live the Queen!” and flew at Spike's throat.
Dawn opened the front door, eyed the cuts and bruises adorning his face, then raised an eyebrow.
“Hey, Dawn. Mind if I crash here for a spell?”
“They kicked you out, huh?”
“Bloody bug treason.” His shoulders slumped. “Never saw it coming.”
“I'm not sharing the couch!” Buffy called from the kitchen. “The couch is occupied! Get your own couch!”
Spike rolled his eyes.
“Come on in. I've got a sleeping bag with your name on it.” Dawn smiled and stepped aside. “You know, I never liked those bugs...”
“It's the eyes.” He wiggled his fingers in front of his face. “They're all shifty like.”
“Plus the sycophantic worship was creepy.”
“Yeah.” He sighed. “I'll miss that the most.”
“Just so we're clear"--Buffy handed him a bowl of popcorn and shoved him towards the living room where Dancing With the Stars was playing on the TV--“we're not so much with the worshipping men around here.”
“Now there's a shocking revelation,” Spike said, plopping himself down in the center of the couch.
Buffy sat down next to him, tucking her feet up underneath her. “So did you want pig's blood or cow's blood? I can pick some up after my shift tomorrow.”
Sitting on his other side, Dawn grabbed a handful of popcorn out of the bowl resting in Spike's lap. “Oh, and I can borrow an air mattress from my friend Sadie. She's in my 18th Century Brit Lit class.” Her eyes perked up. “Hey, wanna help me write an essay later?”
“Not really, no,” Spike murmured, watching Xander walk out of the back hallway.
Xander blinked, shook his head, then blinked some more. “Why is Spike here?”
Spike grinned. “Hey, Roomie. You miss me?”