Xander tilted his head, as if the change in perspective
would make sense of the article he was reading. "Wow, they're running out
of things to do reality shows about."
"How's that, pet?" Spike didn't look up from the television, engrossed in a Jackie Chan movie.
"This one in
At that, Spike twisted around, resting his forearms on the back of the couch. "What's the pay they're offering?"
"What's it pay?" Spike asked, then clarified. "Per corpse?"
Xander blinked slowly. "I'm going to regret this. Because I know I do not want to know the answer but are you thinking about supplying corpses or volunteering as one?"
"Volunteering?" Spike sounded scandalized. "Bite your bloody tongue! I expect to be well paid if I let those tossers film my body for the telly."
"You can't do that!"
"You're-" Xander struggled for the words to encapsulate a concept no sane man ever has to express. "You're not qualified!"
"M' dead. What more qualification do you need?" Spike spread his arms.
"And how are you planning to do this?"
"Go to 'em, make the deal, put you down to receive the dosh, then mysteriously turn up without a heartbeat."
"You never have a heartbeat."
"There you go. Easy as fallin' off a piece of pie."
"And then what?"
"And then what happens, Spike? As in, what happens when they realize that you're not decomposing, just getting thinner and thinner, because believe you me pal, they're not gonna be supplying you with the fresh AB positive."
Spike shrugged. "Biological anomaly. Happens all the time."
"And when it comes time to get rid of you?"
Spike waved a hand. "I'll have mysteriously disappeared before then, pet. Maybe sprinkle a bit of dust on the slab for extra drama, then scarper. You come pick me up, and we split the spoils. What do you say?"
"I say Dru's madness must have been contagious and rubbed off in the last hundred years because you are insane and yet, I am still listening to this crazy plan." Xander folded the newspaper. "I am sickly fascinated. Go on."
"So I stay long enough for 'em to get something off me, become an undead reality TV star as the sexiest corpse on the show, then mysteriously disappear, thereby earning whatever's the going rate these days for corpses, and ensuring my place in a new spate of urban legends."
"And what will you do when they turn up here to tell me my boyfriend's corpse has disappeared and you answer the door in nothing but jeans the way you always do?"
"I'll introduce myself as my own twin brother William who's helping you through the grieving process, won't I?"
"Oh my god," Xander said slowly as realization dawned, "you've really thought about this."
"Course I have."
"And of course, you're just fine going for a month or so without television," Xander said innocently, standing up and stretching, absently running a hand over his stomach. "Because there's no way they're going to bother supplying their corpses with cable."
That gave Spike pause as he sat back, beginning to frown. "Well, needn't be a full month."
"Gone longer with less," Spike said with less enthusiasm.
"Or booze," Xander went on, pulling his shirt over his head, sniffing it, then tossing it into the dirty laundry basket with a shrug of his shoulders, grabbing two beers in one hand and heading to the couch.
"Oh bloody hell."
Xander settled onto the couch next to Spike, one leg drawn up on the seat, the other splayed wide to let him set a bottle between them. "Or sex," he added, handing the other bottle to Spike.
That stopped Spike entirely, and he stared vaguely into space.
"Cause, Spike, I think catching their cadaver jacking off might give the game away."
Spike opened his mouth, but instead of saying something just grinned wickedly, curling his tongue behind his teeth.
"And I feel as if I shouldn't have to add this, but somehow I know I do, it is a really bad idea to boff the other corpses on national television."
Spike slouched back into the couch. "That's the problem with humans, mate. No bloody sense of humor."
"You'll just have to find another way of making extra money that does not, I might add, involve prostitution, drug dealing, illicit demon dealing, or anything else that could get me arrested as an accomplice."
"Suppose I can always go back to muggin' the unwary for extra dosh."
"Why do you do that? It's not like we're hurting for money working for the new Council."
Spike shrugged. "Bloke's gotta have a hobby, don't he?" Spike quieted, picking up his bottle and twisting off the cap, flicking it into the dirty laundry pile too. "Got to have something to fall back on that ain't bloody mayhem. Because I can't expect to be a kept vamp all me unlife."
"Nah. You can."
"How's that then?"
"I survived Sunnydale, remember?" Xander hauled Spike over, slinging his arm around him and taking a swig of his beer, making himself comfortable. "I'm planning to live forever now."
Spike blinked. Rapidly. "You make sure you do that."
"You make sure too."