This fic is for [info]moimoietmoi, who was feeling down and requested Spike/Xander and something with the coat. It turned out waaaay sillier than I had at first intended. Hope you like it hun!

Hidden Talents

Nasty Shrew

Being a Slayer came with certain benefits that Buffy was unwilling to divulge to her friends – she didn’t know why, but she almost reveled in having powers they didn’t know about. A thrill, her own secret. Not that super-smell was a ‘power’ persay. It was more of a … neat trick.

See, everyone had a smell. Not a ew, that guy needs to shower because he smells like Dawn’s attempt at a potroast kind of smell, just an identifiable mixture of the smells they were around all day. Sort of similar to vampires, only not because she was a Slayer, polar opposite to vampire. No, really.

Giles smelled like expensive scotch, tea leaves, books and earth – not dirt, you understand, earth. Willow smelled like muffins, incense and sometimes like Tara – Tara who smelled like dew and flowers after it rained. Xander smelled like junk food, basement and recently, puzzlingly, Spike. Spike, who only ever smelled like his coat.

So, Buffy was stuck with a quandary, and nobody likes a quandary. Why did Xander smell like Spike’s old, creaky leather coat? It made no sense, the only way he would smell like that was if he’d worn it and the ridiculousness of that aside, Xander was too broad to fit his shoulders into the sleeves.

Buffy was a Slayer, and she liked to think she was a good one too. So. She’d set about finding out. She took the direct approach at first, in the middle of a Scooby meeting.

“Hey, Xan? Why do you smell like Spike’s coat?” was met with an incredulous look and Xander sniffing his skin.

“I smell like Spike’s coat?” he asked, tranquil, unperturbed … other SAT words that meant relaxed. It was sort of unnerving, because the Xander she knew would freak out at smelling anything like Spike. So what was up with this new Xander-smells-like-Spike Xander?

She tried a more sneaky approach the next evening, confronting Spike when he was just about to leave.

“Are you smothering Xander in his sleep or something?” asked casually, and go Buffy for that subtle introduction. Twenty extra points for making Spike blink owlishly, which was always funny.

“Chip in my head, remember?” he replied when he collected himself, accompanied by a pitying look, “Not very bright, are you luv?”

“Why does he smell like your coat, then?” Buffy demanded, ignoring the dig because screw subtle, she wanted to figure this out!

“My coat.” Spike repeated flatly. “Oi! Harris! Slayer says you smell like my coat! Got any inkling as to why?” he yelled past her shoulder, head cocked.

“I don’t know, Bleach Boy! Maybe you just stank up the whole house and confused her!” Xander’s voice came muffled from inside and Spike didn’t bristle, he just laughed.

Buffy had the distinct feeling she was being mocked. And didn’t like it.

“Spike, if you don’t tell me what’s going on right now, I will stake you,” she hissed. Spike raised an eyebrow, seemed to consider this for a moment.

“Took you long enough as a Slayer to even notice, sure you’re ready to know?” he asked slowly, enunciating each syllable, something akin to glee on his face. Buffy was not nervous. No, she wasn’t, she was the slayer and would not be intimidated. Nope.

“Of course I’m ready! Spit it out, already!” she snapped, bouncing on the balls of her feet, already planning a sweep of the cemeteries before she went home to work off some of her excess energy.

“Well, see, Harris told me he thinks I look sexy when I’m wearing my duster. So, I’ve taken to shagging with it on. Naught else. Just me, him and the leather duster, hot as hell, completely worth the dry cleaning bills. So, I imagine that’s why he smells like my coat,” Spike finished his little announcement with a lascivious leer at Xander, who was stood at the doorway with wide eyes and a horrified expression.

“You weren’t supposed to tell her until she was ready!” he said accusingly, pointing at Buffy who had thunked down onto the grass lawn, sitting crosslegged, staring up at them like a bewildered child.

“Nosy bint asked, pet,” Spike said, the picture of innocence, though there was no apoplectic inflection in his voice. Quite the opposite, in fact. He then grabbed Xander and started mauling him with his mouth – Xander shoving him off with a laugh and a whispered ‘later, I need to talk to Buffy first’.

And so, that was the day Buffy decided to tell her friends about all her powers. Every one of them. Because slayer or not, she wasn’t sure if she could handle something like that again.

The End

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