quinara: Spke standing over the Chinese Slayer, with the caption 'Slayer' at his feet. (Spike Slayer)
[personal profile] quinara
I don't know what to say. There was a post on [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle's journal about Spuffy shippers, which mentioned penguin AUs still counting, and then [livejournal.com profile] brutti_ma_buoni wrote a couple of sentences, and then we pinged back a forth a little bit, and then I TOOK IT TOO FAR.

BMB, I hope you don't mind me posting your bits so it makes sense? Everyone else, the bits in red are not by me, they're by [livejournal.com profile] brutti_ma_buoni. Also, please forgive my typos and formatting that I haven't managed to bring over.

[And in other penguin news, be sure to check out [livejournal.com profile] snickfic's penguin mpreg, [livejournal.com profile] stormwreath's Penguin!Buffy S6 screencaps and [livejournal.com profile] shipperx's beautiful artwork, not to mention [livejournal.com profile] gillo's pr0nny manip and [livejournal.com profile] gingerwall's addition to the penguin!AU corpus. Also: [livejournal.com profile] ladyofthelog's comic. And [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch's Penguin!SPN!]

P-P-P-Pick Up a Plot for Vengeance!

"Kaaaark," flapped Spike heroically, showing off his pectoral muscles. It wasn't easy, but he had caught the sodding fish in the end. Now to find his way to where his beloved Buffy was guarding their eggs.

---

But Buffy wasn't guarding the eggs; she was too busy slaying fighting the killer whales on the water's edge, with icicle harpoons, fashioned to a point.

"Kaaark," she cried, hurling the icicle with all her might. It didn't pierce the orca's skin, but it seemed to frighten the creature, turning it away once more from their shores.

As the satisfaction faded she turned back to the huddle, belatedly hoping that the eggs were all right with Dawn. Knowing her real duty she waddled back with a sigh, expecting another fight with Spike about this. She just wished he'd understand that she wasn't cut out for motherhood.

---

Spike was already back by the time Buffy reached the centre of the huddle, stomping manfully in the snow while Dawn shrugged apologetically.

"Kaar?" asked Spike morosely when he caught her eye. She couldn't bear to look at him, still incapable of articulating why she couldn't sit all day with all the other female penguins. It was what they'd agreed, but she just - couldn't. And it hurt her that she caused him so much pain.

Flapping her wings, she shrugged. "K-kaar," she said, uncomfortable in the warmth of the huddle and wishing he had an icicle in her hand.

Spike nodded, but wouldn't look at her, taking seat over the eggs.

She didn't know what to do - but then there came a call from across the group. "Kaark!" It was Angel.

---
---

It was summer. It was mating season. Spike and Buffy had travelled up to sixty miles inland for this moment.

They stood face to face, Spike extending his head and neck up and Buffy mirroring him; they held this posture for several minutes. Then the loving couple waddled around the colony together. Buffy followed Spike for a while, according to penguin tradition, but then caught up with him. "Kaaaark," she said, sexily, and bowed deeply. It was time for copulation [link is NSFW if you think penguin sex is porny].

But she couldn't help wondering how this would end up. After all, penguin fidelity between mating years was only about 15%. Could she and Spike beat the odds?


---
***poorly researched and so unspecified months later***
---

The time was coming round again. That time. The mating time. And Spike knew he should be finding another mate, shouldn't be thinking about Buffy and the brats anymore - only ponces went with the same bird a second time.

But he couldn't stop thinking about her. He knew it was wrong. He knew he shouldn't feel this way, but she was all he could think about. Every time he dived for fish it was like he could hear her far away, like the sound of the water was her laughter. He never wanted to surface, just wanted to drown in the sound of her voice.

Finally, one day, he got up the nerve to speak to her, waddling across the ice to see if she'd care to give him another go.

But! There was another penguin already there with her, puffing out his chest and preening. Bloody Angel! Christ, he should have known - the git had been sniffing around ever since the eggs had hatched.

"KAAARK!" Spike cried, seeing red. Part of him knew this would never impress Buffy, but he couldn't help it, leaping at Angel through the air and sending Angel crashing to the ground. It was a cruel parody of that perfect time he'd had with Buffy, on the way back from the mating ground, though all he felt now was rage. The memory made him hurt more, so he began to batter Angel's head with his wings while the other penguin just laughed.

Far away he could hear Buffy shouting, "KARK! KARK!" But it was only later, when Angel flipped him off and onto the snow, that he realised she'd walked away.

At that moment, as Angel's body came slamming to crush him, he didn't care.

---

Buffy's mating window was closing fast. She considered her options, as Spike and Angel continued their desperate battle. Should she intervene? She could help Spike, keep that wild love affair of last year alive. But he hated it when she horned in on his fights.

And Angel... Buffy couldn't forget the summers they had once spent together, though they had never been blessed with an egg. As he flapped viciously at Spike's beak, Buffy thought how tall and dark he looked in comparison with her wiry slightly off-grey lover.

But as she watched, Buffy noticed the males were paying more attention to each other than to her. Could it be... surely Spike and Angel weren't reliving their gay!teen!penguin years? Was it time to look back herself? Penguin Riley must be around. He was a solid bird. He'd eggsit the way males were supposed to.

As Buffy waddled back to the colony, Spike watched her go. He knew their love wasn't strong enough to overcome the barriers between them. Even though their sex was the Hottest Thing Evah.


---

She'd forgotten how tall Riley was. It felt ridiculous, walking up to him and watching him slowly tilt his head lower and lower into his chest. Maybe she should just stay standing here, about ten feet away. Yeah, that was good.

"Kark?" she said stiltedly, wobbling on her feet in a cute and flirty manner. How had Riley been?

He was confused at her question, and then distracted as another female penguin came waddling over. "Kaa!" he said to Sam, for that her name, noticing she was wet from hunting and so cuddling up to her for warmth. He wouldn't want his mate-to-be getting the shivers.

Once Sam was settled next to him, Riley looked back to Buffy - but she wasn't there. As she was wont to do, she'd avoided the painful confrontation in favour of berating herself. For she was down by the water, looking into her reflection and ignoring the tears that fell from her eyes. Who was this penguin in front of her? Why did no one want to be her mate? Why was the one penguin with whom she had really wanted to make it work become more interested in fighting than being with her?

Had she not been good? She remembered their time together so clearly - the snow beneath her belly, Spike's wings a firm caress on her back, the feeling like she was at last flying, soaring through the sky...

"Kaar?"

Buffy jerked upright, opening her eyes. That was Spike's voice. She turned to her right, to the greyish, almost mangy penguin standing there, not three feet away. Their eyes met comfortably, their heights perfectly compatible. "Kark?" she asked him what he wanted.

"Ka," he replied simply. You.

Sniffling, Buffy closed the gap between them, scratching her beak against his shoulder joint. He scratched back. The scratches became nips and then, like the great roll of the tide, she turned onto her tummy and let Spike settle in as he cooed into her ear.

Eyes closed she was home once more. "Kaaaark," she sighed, finally finding the words to tell him she loved him.

---

However, all was not well, though Spike and Buffy had at last come to a reconciliation. As they planned their journey to the mating ground, Angel had far darker schemes on his mind.

"Karrk!" he grumbled to himself as he stormed around his castle. It had been built when he was Angelus, hewn from the wastelands' snow by his penguin minions, but it seemed a shame to waste it now that he was Angel once more. It was rather sparkly. And echoed so beautifully - "Karrk," he said again, enjoying the sound of his own voice.

The fight with Spike had left him frustrated. Being separated from Buffy, that was what it was. That stupid mangy little penguin, wriggling underneath him and slapping him... He had been trying to talk to Buffy, needed her to come with him to the mating ground, to consumate their love and bring him children. After all, there was no risk of Angelus anymore - he knew he couldn't be perfectly happy with her, not knowing what was at stake.

Not to mention knowing that she had once mated with Spike. Spike! Of all penguins! He could imagine the runt's face, smirking all the while he fathered those stupid little fluffballs they called their children. God, he hated that bastard.

But it was all right - because he had a plan. He would wait until they came to the mating ground and then cast his penguiny spell on them, freezing them in the ice. Neither of them would ever be free again, never to mock him with their supposed love.

"Kaagh!" Angel paused, his heart keening. It hurt him to think of Buffy gone, to think of her fixed in the ice, facing Spike, who would never smirk again, never trip him up, or diss his plans with that cruel mouth of his. (Thank penguin!God.)

But he had to do it. All the other penguins thought he was a joke with them around, nowhere near as good at protecting them from danger. It wasn't his fault! He didn't have a sacred duty to protect penguinkind. Or Spike's bizarre ingenuity. And he knew that otherwise they would be forever locked in this love triangle of theirs, not one of them happy, Spike always looking to Buffy, she always looking away to him, Angel, who himself knew he could never look at her without seeing Spike's face.

Ruffling his wings, Angel waddled with purpose towards his unholy altar, ready to call on the dark magicks.

---

"Kark kaa!" Cordy declaimed, spitting the fins of the fish she'd just eaten onto the ice between Wes and Gunn. She didn't know why they'd ever bothered trusting Angel again. He'd succumbed to the dark side of the force big time, even though he promised he wouldn't.

Nodding, Wesley agreed morosely, chewing on the end of his fish, "Karr." He blamed himself for Angel's retreat into the Ice Castle. Because of course he should have seen it coming. They hadn't managed to stop it when Darla had come swimming out of the water, returned to life once more to play tricks on the innocent penguins with Drusilla - but he should have seen the signs this time!

However, Gunn would have none of it. "Kaa-aark!" he declared, deciding it was time they faced Angel head-on. Too much time had been wasted, filling their bellies with fish after tasty fish. (Maybe one too many tasty fish, he thought, burping.) They shouldn't let this go on.

Shrugging, Wes and Cordy began to shuffle with him, heading across the wastes to the frozen castle.

It was a long and bitter journey, the frozen wind ripping along their feathers and their colony of three not providing much warmth against the elements. After ten miles they were tempted to turn back, but all three of them knew that there was no way back to turn. They were all of them outcasts from the mainstream of penguinkind and, more than that, their friend needed them. Who knew what he was thinking? Who knew what he was doing?

And so they struggled on.

---

Not so very far away, Spike stood on the mating ground. "Kark!" He declared his love, eyes misting as he looked on Buffy, soon to be his mate once more. Indeed, the mist began to turn to tears, and he was thankful for the blistering wind and the snow rushing all around them, that hopefully concealed the unmanly tracks of salt.

But of course Buffy saw, and she loved him for them. "Kark!" she declared in return, stepping in close to his warm chest to begin what had last year felt so perfunctory, but what now meant everything.

Their necks touched close, and it was at that moment the spell hit. KAZAPP! It came from the sky like a bolt of white lightning, netting across their bodies and piercing their hearts with cold. And they were frozen, stopped solid. Around them the wind howled.

---

"Kaarrrk!" Cordy exclaimed, stopping short. She was certain she had just seen lightning through the snowstorm. "Kaark?" she asked the other two, wanting to know if they had also seen it.

Pausing next to her, Wesley had to confirm, "Kark." And Gunn agreed.

They headed towards the light, the snow and wind growing thicker and thicker around them, buffeting their bodies and almost lifting them into the sky. Someone didn't want them here. But they kept going, pushing forward, beaks jutting out like the noses of hunting dogs.

At last, at the centre of the storm, they found the frozen couple. And they realised what Angel had done.

---

It was done.

Angel squashed back onto his haunches, shaking with the adrenaline of the spell. Around him the castle had never felt so cold, the ice floor and vaulted ceilings high and shining above his head. It still felt like the right decision, even as the grimy feeling of dark magicks settled around his heart. It had to be the right decision. It was for the best.

For a long while he sat there, staring into the effigy of Ikaela, the ice goddess. She was a spindly penguin, with a pointed face and icicle-sharp wings. She was menace incarnate, the perfect god to bring about his necessary violence.

She reminded him of Darla.

Ducking his head into the feathers of his chest, Angel clenched his wings by his side, willing himself not to cry. He hadn't wanted it to turn out this way. He just wanted to be happy, if not perfectly so. More than that he'd wanted everyone he loved to be happy - Buffy, mainly, though he couldn't deny the part of his heart that flinched with every thought of Spike's sleek grey feathers brittle with cold. Wasn't it best to encase them in ice? Wouldn't that stop the hurt?

He had forgotten, of course, the one missing link in the chain of hurt. Himself.

Oh, great Penguin on High! What had he done?

---

Shifting one foot slowly in front of the other, Cordy pushed through the snow to waddle as close as she could to Spike and Buffy. "Kaark?" she called to them, hitting them gently with her wing. And yet it had no effect, and they remained frozen stiff, expressions of love on their faces now tragic to look at.

Cordy turned back to Wes and Gunn. "Ka," she said, shaking her head.

"Kaaar?" Wesly asked, leaning to one side to peer over her shoulder. He wondered whether there was anything left of the two penguins, whether they were conscious or whether they were just gone. Of course, he didn't know what he was hoping for, because he couldn't decide what would be worse.

Forcefully waddling past Cordelia through the snow, Gunn looked closer in their eyes, trying not to let his heart break from the poetry of their gazes. He knew how to hide his emotions, he really did. "Kaark!" he said at last, coming to a realisation. For there was a spark of light in the beady eyes of the lovers - it looked like they were still in there!

---

Buffy didn't know where she was. It was warm, so warm, and her body felt strange.

Kaark? she tried to ask, but all that came out of her mouth was gobbledegook: "Spike?"

"Buffy?" came a call from an unfamiliar voice. She tried to turn around, but immediately fell onto her front, hitting a surface strangely flat and warm. For a moment she couldn't work out why, but then as she tried to right herself she realised her body had been shrunk and squeezed into something far more brittle and feather-light than her penguin self.

She raised what she hoped was her head. Above her a strange figure was staring at her. It had a black body and a pinkish face, not like anything she'd seen before. Though as it tilted what looked like its head to its shoulder her heart squeezed with recognition.

"Who are you? Where's Buffy?"

Kaaa-arr! Buffy wanted to reply, but all she could hear from her mouth was, "I don't know what you're saying!"

Ungainly itself, the figure compacted, dropping down closer to her. It brought an appendage to what seemed to be her face, still warm, but not as warm as she was. "Buffy?" it asked.

The appendage came with five small tentacles, which spread themselves across her skin. Their touch, firm yet tentative, sure yet full of fragile hope, was familiar. It was a touch that belonged to a wing, smoothing across her back, though this was not unpleasant. Kaark? she tried to ask again, a whispered, reverent "Spike?" coming from her throat. Could it really be him?

Slowly the figure's flat beak came closer, eventually touching against her own. It felt strange, so soft in the dry, dry air of wherever they were, but it made her tingle in a familiar way - though without her blubber the sensation was somewhat limited. She began to move her beak in response, growing accustomed to the tender and pliant flesh against her own. It was like nuzzling necks, but more intimate, more involved; her tongue met his and it felt strange that he was not a fish. Yet still she liked it.

After a time they collapsed away from each other. Buffy felt more sure in her body now, though she still didn't know how to speak any words that made sense. Looking around her, she didn't recognise her surroundings. It was so dark! As black as the ocean's depths, yet so warm and dry. And she sat on colours she only thought existed in the sea: reds and yellows and golds. It had the texture of extremely short, tough feathers, and it wasn't unpleasant against her.

Other objects filled the room, mostly strange and angular, and she wasn't sure what they were supposed to do with them. Kaarrrk! she said frustratedly, exclaiming, "What are we doing here?"

Spike looked back at her, scarcely able to believe this was his Buffy. She looked like an elongated tropical fish, all gold and blue, tossing strange tendrils around her head as she emitted the foreign sounds. She was breath-taking.

Looking back at her lover, Buffy thought she recognised the besotted look on his face. She smiled wryly; he wasn't going to get anything done very soon.

---

Angel couldn't take it any longer in the castle. The echo that had once made him feel at home now seemed to make his thoughts resound against him, leaving him with nothing but his loss and his regret.

And so he braved the storm of his own creation, crashing out towards the mating ground, terrified of what he would see. What he got was what he least expected - a slap in the face from Cordelia. "Kaaakkk!" he cried. How had she even got here?

From the white of the snow, Gunn and Wesley soon appeared behind her, glowering at him.

Now his guilt consumed him. He fell once again onto his squishy behind, penitent tears streaming from his eyes. He wanted to explain, but the words choked in his throat.

"Kaarrrr," Wesley said sternly, wanting to know how to reverse the spell.

Angel wept more fiercely. "Kaarkk!" Because of course there was no way of breaking the spell. Buffy and Spike had to find their own way out.

---

To begin with, it was fun playing with their new bodies. They enjoyed more of the beak-squashing and discovered that certain areas of themselves bashed against other areas provoked rather lovely reactions. But, eventually, even though she was by no means a conversationalist, Buffy found herself feeling trapped inside her own head. She missed the banter of home, the flurry of endearments tripping off Spike's tongue. These strange sounds - "love", "pet", "gorgeous", "slayer" - they meant nothing to her, and no matter what she tried she could never say what she wanted.

"We have to get back!" she said at last, deciding it was time they tried to get back to their beloved icy world. "We should see what this place is." This dark, dry place had hidden secrets, she was sure of it.

Naturally Spike didn't understand, shrugging and shaking his head on his spindly neck. Buffy gestured around them, flapping the closest thing she had to a wing and pointing at the tall, coral-like structure coming from the sky. It was the only thing that went up into the darkness above them, and she hoped it would lead them to the surface of this odd, dry sea.

Taking the task as offered to him - because he needed to impress Buffy somehow in this distinctly unmanly body - Spike cautiously waddled in the direction of her wing. The thing coming out of the sky certainly seemed to lead up somewhere new, but he wasn't sure how that was supposed to help them. This was clearly land, so he couldn't swim, and the surface didn't feel like it would be easily gripped. It wasn't even solid; there were gaps all the way up it. He couldn't climb this.

Buffy shuffled over to Spike, equally inspecting the object. She wondered, resting an appendage on one of the horizontal protrusions, whether the strange separateness of her legs wouldn't mean that she could perch herself on this thing. Slayerly instinct seemed to imply it was possible, encouraging her to raise a foot slowly to rest above the gap on the next solid piece above the ground.

An apprehensive glance over her shoulder to Spike was all that was needed for the penguin to rest himself against her back, supporting her with the ends of his wings against one of the nice places as she took all of her minimal weight from the floor.

It was terrifying, being in the air, but her ten little tentacles curled around the jutting structure, grip never faltering. She repeated the motion to take herself higher, smiling at Spike as she got the hang of it and encouraging him to do the same.

As he stared back at her, Spike's eyes grew wide. He didn't want to fly, not like this. But Buffy nodded, climbing higher, and he knew he had to trust her. As her weird, glossy feet passed his eyes he set his own tentacles around one of the solid bits, ever so slowly bringing up his own glossy feet as she had. And then, suddenly, he was off the ground - he was flying! He was following Buffy into the sky! Rising, rising, rising...

"Kaarraarrk!!" With a flash, Spike felt himself thud against Buffy's wonderfully familiar body. Of course his trust had paid off. He was back! They were back! There was snow and sky and sunshine! And... Was Angel crying?

Angel was indeed crying, though soon his tears changed to happiness as he realised his dark magick snowstorm was falling, and Buffy and Spike were cooing and snapping their beaks, back with them once more. They looked so happy, Spike especially - his roughed-up feathers receiving expert attention from Buffy's caring beak.

There were no words to describe how he felt. He was not perfectly happy, not by any stretch of the imagination - but he was content. His Buffy looked so sure of herself; his stupid Spike seemed to blossom as he laughed. Angel couldn't help but wonder, was this actually enough? Would this make them all happy after all? He didn't realise his heart could warm so much with the realisation that a love between two penguins could be strong enough to free them from Ikaela's dark world. It was quite beautiful.

Smiling, Angel turned to Gunn, Wes and Cordy, who smacked her beak against his neck in a friendly manner. "Kaa," she said, and he had to laugh. Because of course he was a doof.

THE END.

(no subject)

Date: 27/02/2010 19:16 (UTC)
stultiloquentia: Campbells condensed primordial soup (Default)
From: [personal profile] stultiloquentia
That's deep.

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quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
Quinara

July 2014

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