By Mint Witch
RATING: NC-17, for very light smut, and some slight kinkiness. I didn’t want to scare the kiddies.
SPOILERS: Through S6
DISCLAIMER: Do I look like a paunchy guy with male pattern baldness? No. Okay. Let’s all move on.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a wishful thinking S7. As in I WISH! And big thanks to Canada for the world’s fastest and best Beta, and to the Gutter for being so all around fabulous. Oh, and 20 points to the folks who can identify the title quote!
DISTRIBUTION: I’m not only easy, I’m free. Just ask. And fanfiction.net.
FEEDBACK: Give it to me baby, uh huh uh huh!
3. Enemy Action (fyi The Longest Act)
Dawn shivers beside her, the force of the younger woman’s fury strong enough to blow her apart. Dawn’s pain and rage cut through the sudden silence like a scalpel, a gasp that slices the skin and draws unexpected blood, “_Spike._” Her young body prepares to launch itself at him, to kick and punch and punish the once beloved for his betrayal. Her fire still burns close to the surface.
Buffy lays her hand on Dawn’s shoulder. “Dawn. No.” Her grip is not as relaxed as it looks, and she’s not as calm as she sounds; tonight, at least, her body won’t betray her.
“Buffy?” Dawn’s eyes are huge and conflicted. The words ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’ have lost meaning over the last year. All that remains is ‘those who hurt us and those who don’t.’ And even that definition ebbs and flows, the line in the sand evaporating and re-forming in a new place with each day. Where does Spike fall now?
“Dawn, go inside, please.” Now Buffy is the betrayer, and Dawn rebels.
“No Buffy, no protecting me, you promised...” She did, she promised not to do this anymore. They are sisters: they protect each other now, take care of each other, because no one else can be counted on.
The elder Summers looks straight into Dawn’s eyes. “Not this time, Dawnie. This is personal. Okay?” Dawn searches Buffy’s face for the truth and nods. They’ve learned to communicate this way over the summer, capturing an entire conversation in a look, a touch, and a few words. Dawn capitulates, for the time being. She has scores of her own to settle, but Buffy just called dibs, and they are fair with each other now. Dawn will get her turn, and then Buffy will be the one to go inside.
Dawn walks up the path, her stride firm and steady. At the stairs she veers as far away from Spike as possible, edging around him to the door, avoiding his gaze. When she is almost inside, he speaks to her. “I’m sorry, ‘Bit.”
She doesn’t turn around, but she stops for a second, hesitating with the need to lash out. She chooses her weapon carefully, for maximum impact. Buffy didn’t need to teach her this, both the girls learned this part on their own, the hard way. Still looking into the kitchen, she strikes: “You don’t get to call me that anymore.” The door closes on Spike’s hiss of pain.
“Well, I deserved that, I guess.”
“You guess?” Buffy’s voice floats ironically on the night breeze. She’s still standing on the end of the path, looking at her former lover. What is he now?
“No.” He’s looking at his hands again, fidgeting with something small and shiny. His face works like he’s either trying to say something or about to throw up. “Buffy, I... I just...” He runs his hands through his hair and surges to his feet, flinging his arms wide.
“Bloody Hell, Buffy, just stake me already! I’m sorry, damn you! I’m so _fucking_ sorry, I can’t stand it!” He tilts his face to the sky, ready to martyr himself in the most melodramatic way possible, sacrifice himself on her splintery altar.
She can’t help it, it just happens. It has something to do with his own maniacal demand, the impossibility of him ever doing anything like a normal person or vampire. He’s always like this. He couldn’t just stalk her, leave presents on the doorstep, lurk in the bushes, and grovel at appropriate intervals, not him. And she knows, she just _knows_ that was his plan. But he got impatient. And now he’s begging her to put him out of his misery. Again.
Buffy laughs. Buffy laughs and laughs, laughter bubbling up from the place where she once kept a healthy sense of the absurd. She laughs and heals and laughs some more, her stomach cramping and tears running down her face. Oh, god, it feels so good.
Spike looks more and more offended. “Hello! Begging for death here? Slayer, don’t you have a sacred calling or something?”
She wipes at her face, and smiles at him, the kind of smile he saw at the wedding. It’s that smile he wanted to die for, to live for, to go on ridiculous quests for. But first he needs to convince her to stake him, before he makes an utter poof of himself.
“Why should I stake you, Spike? Don’t tell me, wait, let me guess: you got the chip out and now you’re going to murder us all in our beds?” Buffy quirks an eyebrow at her once and former mortal enemy, and crosses her arms.
“Well, yeah, now that you mention it... how’d you know? Wait... Clem told you didn’t he?! Can't even trust a fellow demon with a secret no more, can you? And now you won’t stake me just ‘cause of the bloody soul.” Slumping back onto the steps in defeat, Spike mutters obscenities to himself, completely oblivious to the danger stalking up the path.
“You what?!” He looks up just in time to catch her right jab in the nose. Buffy lifts him up by his jacket, ignoring the blood running over Spike’s lip. “What did you do, Spike?” She pins him against the siding with one hand and produces a stake in the other, poised and ready to dust him.
“I got a bleedin’ soul for you. Happy fucking Birthday, Buffy. Sorry it’s a bit late.” His blues eyes look everywhere but at her, as she slowly lowers the stake.
“How did you get a soul, Spike?” The Slayer’s voice is soft and dangerous.
“Found it in a box of Cracker Jacks, if you must know. No worries though, it’s a newer model than Angelus’...” Spike’s voice trails away as Buffy’s forehead hits his chest. “Slayer? Slayer, you okay?”
“No, I’m not okay.” His shirt muffles her reply. “You were supposed to stay gone. I understand gone. Gone is pretty much the standard in Buffy-ville. Now you’re back. What am I supposed to do with back?” Her head rears up and cracks him on the chin. She grabs his lapels again and glares intently, “You’re married aren’t you? That’s why you’re back?”
“Christ, you’ve got issues, Slayer! No, I’m not married. I’m back...” his voice goes fast and snide, “...I’m back because I’m completely whipped, and want to spend the rest of my immortal life begging forgiveness and being a complete punter, loving you from afar. Or a-near. Or whatever you bloody well want, woman.”
“Promise?” Her voice is hopeful.
“What?” His is confused.
“Promise you’re not married, and you really are whipped?” Definitely hopeful.
“I promise.” Tentatively, Spike slides his arms around Buffy’s back, stroking slowly along her sides to twine his fingers together in the dip of her spine. She presses more firmly against his chest, burrowing her cheek against cotton and muscle. “I got another present for you, you know.”
“I know. You’re still not forgiven, you know that?”
“Neither are you, luv.”
They stand there for a long moment. “So what now, p-- er, Slayer?” He always has to push, make noise against the silence. Buffy ignores him, inhaling the strange new smells imbedded in his clothes. He smells of grass and night air, and patchouli of all things. And something else underneath, an odor that is sweet, heavy and drugged. She shakes off her reverie, stepping away from him, and he lets her go. Hurdles number one and two cleared.
“Now we go inside and you spill your guts. How’s that sound?” She doesn’t wait for an answer, just goes into the house assuming he will follow. Of course he’ll follow, he’s her bloody slave, isn’t he?
“So that’s everything? What Spike did on his summer vacation?” Buffy’s been shoveling leftover Mac’n’Cheese, muffins, and now apples into her mouth for over an hour, just letting Spike talk. He had a lot to talk about, apparently. Some of it was interesting, but mostly she was just listening to the rhythm of his words. His voice coiled through the room, marking it with his presence like a kitten rubbing against the cabinets.
Dawn had gradually eased herself into the room, holding herself aloof, but paying attention to everything. She had made a point of not saying anything, even when Buffy asked her to nuke Spike some blood; task accomplished, she had handed the mug to Buffy and Buffy had passed it to Spike. His quiet thanks had been regally ignored.
“Yup, that’s pretty much it.” His face closes for a second, as if there were something he wasn’t saying. Buffy doesn’t press him; they aren’t there yet. Instead, she changes the subject.
“Okay, Dawnie, time for bed. You still have school tomorrow.” Uncharacteristically, Dawn just nods and leaves the room. A few seconds later they both hear her bedroom door close and lock.
Buffy sighs. “That, you are going to have to deal with on your own.”
Spike nods. “I know. Can’t imagine how pissed she must’ve been when you told her.”
Buffy looks embarrassed and confesses the worst. “That’s kinda the problem: Xander told her first.”
“Um. Yeah. I tried to... I don’t know. Everything was just so crazy. And she’s growing up so fast, and...” Buffy sighs again, then straightens. “But anyway, part of that is my problem, and I’ll deal with it. You and Dawn will have to work out the rest on your own.” So there, she says to herself silently.
The vampire just nods again and stares thoughtfully into his blood. He doesn’t even look up when Buffy slides off her stool and slips upstairs. Pausing in the door of her own room, she debates for a second, then moves quietly to tap on her sister’s door. “Dawnie? I just wanted to say goodnight.”
The lock clicks and the door swings open a crack, one large eye peeking through, quickly followed by the rest of the girl’s head. “Goodnight Buffy,” she whispers, darting a quick peck at Buffy’s cheek. “Don’t stay up too late with the evil dead. And *no* nasty vamp sex!”
“Ha! I mean it, Buffy. Think of this as opportunity to practice acting like a regular person.” Dawn shuts the door in her sister’s face, smirking.
Buffy stares at the wood grain for a moment before going into her own room. Easily finding what she was after, she stops for a second on the top stair to consider whether she is really ready for this. There are no easy answers, are there Mom? Suddenly she's missing her mother and her own childhood with a sweet pain.
Spike was rinsing out his mug when she returned to the kitchen. He looked up at her as she slid back onto her stool. “Well, I’ll be headin’ back to the crypt, it’s getting late.”
“I thought you said you had another present for me?” Buffy unhooks the leash from around her waist and drops it and the choke collar she retrieved from her room on the kitchen island. Spike swallows audibly, his Adam’s Apple rising and falling.
“Um, yeah, but it’s...”
“Theme oriented? C’mon Spikey, gimme my prezzie.” Buffy puts out her hands, and Spike’s lips twitch.
“Close your eyes.” Buffy obediently squinches her eyes shut, and something small, warm, and metal dropped into her palms. “Okay, you can open them now.”
Buffy laughs and bounces a little on her stool, not noticing the bemused stare Spike is aiming at her. “I knew it! I’m number one! Whoo-hoo! Numba one, numba one!” Beckoning the vampire over to her, Buffy positions him carefully in front of her and reaches for the collar. She untangles the smooth links and drapes the length of it around his neck. Buffy uses her strength to force the smaller end ring open and clasps it closed around the length of chain. Admiring her work, she tugs gently on the larger ring, to test that it tightens smoothly but won’t come off. Satisfied, she threads the coiled ring of her new present onto the larger ring of the collar. The dog tags hang flat and shiny against his pale chest. Buffy leans close to read the inscription: “Spike” Property of Buffy Summers 1630 Revello Drive Sunnydale California
Looking up into Spike’s face, she laughs, and tugs on it again. The look on his face is agonized and a low rumbling moan makes his whole body vibrate. But his hands remain at his sides, in defiance of the bulge in his jeans. Taking a tiny bit of pity on him, she threads her arms around his neck and places a soft, gentle kiss on his lips. “Thank you, Spike. I really like my prezzies.”
“Buffy...” Spike’s voice isn’t even audible, just a strangled breath beyond the edge of hearing.
“What?” Her breath puffs softly against his cheek.
“I should go.” He sounds as if he were being tortured, which is merely accurate.
“No.” Buffy leans back, and pouts at him seriously. “I need to know if I can trust you, soul or no soul.” She leans close and whispers in his ear, “I want to. Can I?”
Spike cants his own head to the ceiling and closes his eyes. “I don’t know, Buffy. How would I know?” Tilting his head down, he looks at her, searching for the answer.
“You try. You try and try and try, and you never stop trying.”
“How Buffy? Tell me how.” The pain in his whisper is wretched, and she breaks a little. Her newfound joy is fragile, her pleasure tentative. He could destroy this tender peace if he wanted to. But he doesn’t. “Teach me to be good for you. I thought the soul would do it, but…”
She answers for him, “People with souls kill and maim, rape, and hurt each other all the time. I know. God, how I know.” Buffy places her lips against his cheekbone and withdraws. “Hang out with me tonight, Spike. We’ll watch a movie, make out on the sofa, and get all hot and bothered. You’ll stop when I say ‘no’ and I won’t hit you tomorrow.” She looks at him earnestly. “Be my boyfriend, Spike, and I’ll be your girl.”
“Yes, Slayer. I want to be your boyfriend.” He grins at her and they kiss breathlessly.
“Oh god, Spike, stop…” He snatches his hand back so fast it should break the sound barrier, and Buffy giggles. The movie has rewound itself once already, and they are still groping and mashing together. The long, cool length of him presses her into the sofa, their mutual desire grinding through jeans, slacks, and panties. She’s so wet it requires all of her self-control not to shred his clothes and scream for him to fuck her. But Dawn set the boundaries for the evening, and she’s right: they need this first.
Spike peppers soft kisses the length of her neck, hand resolutely returned to her waist. In this, at least, he has been better than she has. Buffy can’t keep her hands off of her vampire; his shirt is on the floor and her fingers play an endless fugue along his ribs, tinkling arpeggios the length of his spine. Then again, Spike never says ‘no’ or ‘stop’. Spike is wallowing in every caress, body humming with pleasured frustration.
“Hold on,” she whispers to him, and struggles to sit up. Reaching behind her, she unclasps her bra and works one arm out of the strap, beneath her blouse. The other strap pulls easily through the opposite sleeve, the flimsy lingerie flicking onto the floor with his shirt. Spike looks on, enthralled and panting his desire.
With a shy smile, the Slayer grasps the offending hand and places it purposefully back on her breast, the erect nipple pressing into her lover’s palm through the gold silk. Spike moans and captures her sore mouth again, licking and biting her swollen lips in time with the plucking of his fingers on her crinkled aureole.
They arch against each other, female opposing male . Her gasps cycle into moans when he lowers his head to the front of her blouse, nipping at her through the slick fabric. She rubs her mons against the evidence of his arousal, her body aching from his kiss, his touch, the play-by-play of juvenile frottage she never experienced in her teens. The tender misery of it drives her to the edge, and she’s close, so close.
With a savage growl, Buffy reaches down Spike’s jeans, grabbing at his ass and shoving him harder against her. Spike growls in turn and returns his hands to her hips, tilting her pelvis up, still suckling and biting her breasts. So close… Her other hand crawls up his body to his neck, and a finger slips through the large ring dangling from his collar. Quick and sharp, she pulls on it. Spike rocks hard against her mound and yowls, teeth tearing through silk, hips pistoning. The sharp pain in her breast shoots through Buffy’s body, sending her over the threshold of her desire.
She’s falling now, more surely than she fell from Glory’s tower. Sparks snap behind her eyes, and Buffy shudders, riding out her first non-solo orgasm in four months. Spike is shaking and moaning against her, hands still firmly grasping her clothed hips.
“Bloody hell, woman, you just made me come in my pants.” His voice is quietly awed.
Buffy smiles. “Me too, babe, me too.”
A long pause. “God, how I love you, Slayer.”
Me too, babe, me too.
Dawn is not pleased. Not only is she late for school, but breakfast is stale hockey pucks, and she has a chemistry test today: so not of the good. She slams out of the kitchen and into the living room, eyes alighting on the couple entwined on the couch. At least they are mostly decent; Spike probably won’t even miss the ten bucks she liberated for lunch money.
At least someone’s happy.
Continued in 4. Kitchen Confidential