Summary: Spike and his 'friends' get together in token celebration.
Warnings: None. Okay, there might be some mild Riley-bashing. But it's from Spike's POV so that bashing is canon. Poor Riley. ;-)
Word Count: 968
A/N: For rebcake who wanted Spike and banter on her birthday. Happy birthday, dear! I hope you like your present.
“Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” Connor asked, eyebrow raised.
“Maybe he’ll be too drunk to remember where he’s supposed to be tomorrow and Buffy will stake him. That’d be awesome,” Xander breathed.
“Vampire constitution,” Spike said, patting his chest. He tossed back another swig of Jack from the bottle. “Be right as rain come sundown.”
“Can we just play this stupid game already?” Angel growled. “Spike, your turn to bet.”
“I’m all in,” Spike said, smirking as he pushed the poker chips to the center of the table.
“He’s bluffing,” Riley said, squinting in concentration.
“Who invited Captain Boring anyways?” Spike exclaimed, tossing his hands up in disgust, sloshing liquor out of the bottle. “You’d think this would be the last night I’d have to suffer Whitebread. Already got my hands full with the Carpenter and the Brooder. Add Soldier Boy and that’s one nuisance too many. I’m in danger of staking myself and you know what happens when I don’t show tomorrow, kiddies? You’ll have one seriously brassed off Slayer. You think about that and try not to piss yourselves.”
“I’m all in. He is bluffing,” Connor said.
“Oh, balls,” Spike said, tossing his cards on the table. He patted his chest, looking for the hidden pack of cigarettes. Finally lit, he took a long drag. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back to watch the game unfold. Connor laid down three Jack’s. Not bad. Certainly better than his pair of eight’s. Angel chuckled, said, “Sorry, son,” and laid down three Queen’s. Right bastard. Xander tossed his hand in, refusing to show them, instead reaching for his beer in consolation.
Riley grinned, smug as you please, and laid down his cards. “Full house. Nine’s over seven’s.” He leaned forward to sweep the chips towards him, but Giles’ hand stopped him.
“Not so fast. I do believe four aces beats a full house.” Giles spread his hand dramatically on the table. His expression was all-innocent inquiry. “Unless the rules have changed. It’s been a while since I last played.”
“Nice one, Watcher!” Spike crowed. “We’ve got ourselves a regular card sharp here.”
Gathering his winnings and exchanging them for cash from the till, Giles stood. “I think I’ll call it a night. Big day tomorrow.” He eyed Spike. “You might want to think about turning in yourself.”
“Creature of the night here. Sunrise’ll do me just fine.” Spike raised his bottle. “Night, Watcher.”
The door clicked behind Giles. Angel started shuffling the cards, his hands quick and adept. Riley looked frustrated. In fact, his face kinda resembled those guys in the Ex Lax adverts on TV, but then Corn Bred always looked constipated to him.
Connor leaned in close to Spike, reaching past him to grab the bowl of pretzels and whispered, “I saw what you did.”
Spike glanced at him out of the corner of his eye, but said nothing. Connor raised both eyebrows. Spike tilted his head at Riley, Angel and Xander then shook it.
Connor rolled his eyes and gave up being discreet. “I just wanna know why you did it.”
“Did what?” Xander asked, beer bottle raised to his lips. Angel paused in shuffling to look at Spike suspiciously. Riley’s expression of constipation increased.
“I did it ‘cause I owed him, alright? Consider it payback.”
Angel snorted, shaking his head. “You’ve got it backwards, Spike. That’s not how the dowry works.”
"Wait - what'd he do?" Xander asked again.
“What’s the harm? Man’s about to give away the girl means the most to him in the world. I get to have my real good day tomorrow. Let him have it tonight. Besides, like I need an excuse to cheat you lousy sods out of blunt. Present unannoying company excluded,” he added, nodding at Connor. He huffed under his breath. “You call this a bachelor party. Where are the strippers? How come I'm the only one drinking the booze?”
“I’m drinking,” Xander protested.
“Pfft, like beer counts. Beer’s like water. Takes so long to get it down, you barely feel it.”
“Maybe we’re just not raging alcoholics like you,” Connor said.
“And maybe someone’s been hogging the whiskey all damned night,” Angel grumbled.
“I’m gonna call it quits, too,” Riley said, standing and walking stiffly out of the room.
“I thought he’d never leave.” Spike cracked his knuckles. “So, up for another round? How about a drinking game?”
“Give me the goddamned whiskey,” Angel said sourly. “I need it more than you.”
“I always knew I’d hate this night. The night before Buff got married, but…” Xander glared at Spike and shook his head. “I never thought it’d be this bad. It’s like when Bizarro took Superman’s place. Everything is just so wrong.”
“Don’t worry. Some day you’ll find a girl who can stand the sight of you and isn’t embarrassed by your fumbling attempts to seduce her.” Spike clapped him on the shoulder. “We should toast to that. To all you losers finding a woman who’ll put up with your raging ineptitude.” He nodded at Connor. “Present unannoying company excluded, of course.”
“I still think we should have called for a doctor when Buffy said ‘yes’. Do they still do the ‘objections’ part of the ceremony?” Angel muttered, forehead creased. Connor shook his head, emphatically discouraging his father’s train of thought.
“Try it at your own risk. I’m not sure where she’d hide it, but the Slayer will probably have a stake handy in order to prevent interruptions. Really the only thing you can do is grin and bear it. Oh, and wish us well for the rest of our happily married lives. That and give us cookware. Seems like everyone’s dying to give us kitchen knickknacks.”
Xander plonked his forehead on the table. “I hate my life.”
“Yeah,” Spike drawled. “Ain’t love grand?”