By Annie Sewell-Jennings
It wasn't a bad place to die in.
The sound of waves crashing followed them from the winding and rocky road to her house, which perched over the precarious and dangerous cliffs with a mammoth size and spaciousness. It was a condominium that had been abandoned by any and all vacationers, as there weren't too many people deciding to run away right now. There wasn't anywhere to run to. Large, modern arches and a pretty garden that was dying of neglect and running wild were bonuses, as was its large loft of a bedroom decorated in black sheets and its spacious bathroom with a Jacuzzi that she rarely used.
But she did like the glass wall.
The downstairs living room area, which jutted out over the cliffs, possessed a wall made of glass. Nothing but glass, separated by thin metal that kept the individual panes from shattering at the first gust of wind. They sloped upwards, leaving part of the ceiling exposed to the sky, and the first thought that Spike had was that if he stayed down there too long, he'd incinerate and ruin the glass. Placing his hands behind his back, the black fingernails threading through and through, slightly covered by the cuffs of his oversized duster, Spike looked out the window and contemplated leaving.
Leaving might be the best idea for him, though not for her. If he left, she'd probably go back to her old way of living. The way of living that had gotten her this far and this fucked-up. It wasn't his concern. Her problem, not his. But Spike was thinking about it, his hands fidgeting somewhat anxiously with the lack of attention that he was prone to. Ritalin probably would have helped, but Spike wasn't into drugs like she was.
She was upstairs right now; he heard her ruffling in the loft, maybe tidying up or maybe trying to find a bottle of some sort of strange medication that could numb her to the impending end. Didn't matter to him as long as she had a flask of something and an ashtray for his ubiquitous cigarettes. Shrugging off his coat, Spike turned away from the windows and placed the duster on a footstool the color of wine, a little worn for the wear and not in her style. The place had probably come furnished.
Spike sat down with a sigh, his body slightly bruised from their rough tumble in her Cadillac and then the post-coital sit upon the not-so-cushioned rocks. Groaning, he shifted, his long limbs never finding comfort, and then placed his hands behind his head, looking out at the Australian beach where he would soon die. Spike smirked when he thought of asking the Slayer to stake him, to spare him his misery when the day ended. Maybe that was why she'd so vacantly offered him her neck earlier. Not much to live for anymore.
Music began to pump through the stereo, an expensive system that must have been looted from somewhere in Australia. Stealing had never bothered Spike; it had once bothered her but not anymore. He didn't recognize the voice or the melody, but it was slow and sweet, with a bass line that throbbed like a bleeding heart. Arching the scarred eyebrow upwards, he watched with a slow calculation as Buffy descended from upstairs, her face freed of makeup and her hair bound back in a large tortoiseshell hair clip, piled high on her head in a kaleidoscope of frenzied color. She had changed out of her snakeskin dress into a simpler pair of flared blue jeans that frayed and tore at the cuff. Bare toes painted scarlet curled down the stairs as she walked, and she fidgeted restlessly with the strap of her red satin camisole top, a black bra strap rebelliously sliding down her shoulder.
She looked like a girl strung out on too many drugs, but she was beautiful anyway.
It was Sheryl Crow that she was playing, something strangely different from what played in her clubs, as Sheryl sang about rivers and tides. She was an indulgence of Buffy's, and she played this song a lot. It was calming, tranquil, and the bass line often coincided with the rhythm of the crashing waves on the cliffs. Sheryl murmured on and Buffy walked down the stairs, her eyes scouring the shores for some semblance of hope on the horizon, like a ship sailing in from America to tell her that she could stop worrying and that everything was going to be okay.
Instead, she heard the silence of Spike's nonexistent breath and knew otherwise.
Wearily, Buffy leaned her head against the glass, errant threads of magenta and ruby spilling down from her poorly-restrained mass of variegated hair to crowd her face. Her reflection glinted back at her, and she didn't recognize herself in her glass wall. "Sun will be rising in an hour or so," Buffy said lowly. "There's a spare bedroom if you want it. Or you can always..." Her voice trailed off, and Spike read her implications until she turned around and smiled viciously at him. "Stay here in the glass."
Spike scowled at her and turned his eyes to the view that was painted in the first lightening of blue. The sea glinted like a knife underneath the partially-full moon, and he walked to the glass, his eyes glimmering coldly and malevolently. The eyes of a murderer - Spike had taken many lives over the years, but none of them could compare to the lives that men had taken themselves by pressing that stupid little red button. Tilting her head, Buffy pressed her head against the glass and watched him. "What's it like to be a murderer, Spike?" she asked. "What's it like to kill?"
Shrugging, the vampire continued his languid seduction of the sea. "Fun," he said. At her rather disappointed look, Spike laughed shortly. "What did you expect? Some long, flowery sonnet on how you hold human lives in your hands? It's not playing God, not for me. It's just plain *fun*." His eyes smirked at her in synchrony with his mouth. "Maybe you should ask Angel some time. When he's soulless, he's got a whole different viewpoint on killing. With him, it's like that. Like taking life and possessing it, or some bullshit. He always went off on it in the early days. I think he was trying to write a book for a while, the bloody wanker talked so much about it."
Her voice was practically Arctic. "Angel's dead."
Spike's smirk didn't falter. "So he is."
Still chuckling over this latest barb, a barb that didn't even cut her cooled skin, Spike closed the distance between them by claiming her mouth as his, possessing her as though she was a vase or something ornamental. Sheryl continued to sing as she kissed him back, fingernails digging into the nape of his neck, something that she increasingly liked. Spike had a wonderful neck, long and slender, and his Adam's apple bobbed hypnotically as she kissed him with her eyes wide open. Red tangles of hair fell in her eyes as she kissed him with a ferocity that she thought she'd lost, and Buffy was happy to see that it still existed.
When she surfaced from the kiss, still gasping for breath, she began to tug insistently at his shirt, ordering that it be removed immediately. "You do know how fucked up this all is, right?" she said, her voice hoarse and breathless. Spike saw her carmine-tipped fingers wrapping through the cotton of his shirt and groaned, wanting her more than he wanted to live.
"Oh, God yes," Spike said roughly, and she slipped off her camisole, red satin flying on the floor near her flared and torn jeans. Breasts encased in black silk that glinted in the moonlight were beautiful, and Spike felt a sudden urge to do what he couldn't comprehend. He felt the urge to touch them, but slowly, to graze his fingertips over the juncture between silk and skin, to caress instead of crush. And so he did, reaching out a fingertip so that half of his finger traced the thin line between fabric and Buffy. She moaned, arching her back so that his breasts poured into his hands, and Spike greedily took advantage of her want and need. Roseate nipples pressed insistently through the silk, and his thumb rotated one over the silk, soft and almost sweet, and Buffy hissed in a breath.
"You're..." she started, but was interrupted by a moan low within herself when Spike trailed his fingers lower, barely grazing his skin, until he was lining the juicy crevice underneath her breast. She was going to tell him that he was being too nice, too soft, until she decided that she wanted this softness. Wanted Spike to go slow. To tease instead of pound. "Oh..."
The heat of her skin was an inferno encased in velvet, and Spike was obsessed with it, infatuated to the point of absolute madness and insanity. Buffy's reddened skin was magnificent to behold, as though a spark glowed in every pore. She then pulled him apart so that she could pull his shirt over head, never ruffling his slicked blond hair. Acres of skin the color of bone glimmered, and Buffy dipped her head down to taste his nonexistent sweat. Her hot little pink tongue flicked across his nipples, and Spike groaned, feeling himself harden in an instant, lengthening and swelling at the promise that she was giving.
Chuckling slightly, Buffy began to undo the buttons on his faded black jeans, and he instantly took off hers in response, feeling the concave smoothness of her stomach and her thin, jutting hipbones underneath the slightly baggy jeans. She'd thinned, hardened in places that he didn't think possible, wasting away along with the world that she'd left behind. Hardened so much that she'd become fragile in the process.
Grunting, Spike whipped her jeans off of her so fast that she felt denim scrape along her skin, burning in a fashion that wasn't entirely unpleasant. She was left in nothing but her underwear, and she stripped him down so that he was naked, thus upping the ante. Swooping gracefully, the girl who had once been known as a Slayer licked seductively and devilishly at his taut nipples, and Spike sucked in a breath when she scraped his sternum with her sharp little teeth. Vampiric tendencies --a lesson learned from stalking her prey. "Christ," Spike muttered.
"I don't think He's out there anymore," replied the Slayer, and he couldn't argue with her on that one. As she licked a trail down his abdomen, Spike reached around to her back, undoing the clasp of the black satin bra and releasing her from its bindings, his hands instantly gravitating to her breasts, groping her harshly and roughly, and she nipped naughtily at his shoulder, a delicious move.
The sky was beginning to lighten outside, birds singing, but Spike didn't care. Let the sunrise incinerate him. Let it all go bad. He didn't give a shit anymore. Turning to ash on the Slayer's skin would be a fitting way to die. Another crime for her to commit - it would add guilt to her conscience, and he'd always thought her beautiful when miserable. She was exquisite now, sensual and dead, and he forcefully took off her matching panties, revealing her tight little body that he picked up and slammed against the window, hoping to break the glass and send her to the rocks below. A merciful death compared to what was coming.
The clip fell from her hair when Spike entered her, and a rainbow of magentas and rubies spilled down across her shoulders, threading through the thick gold that was too long for her own good. Trickles of color and silk were splashed across his starlight shoulders, and she rocked back and forth, wrapping her legs around him as he pounded into her against the glass, challenging fragility and delicacy with the dominance of his cadences and rhythms. Moaning, she whispered words of nonsense and beauty as she felt her climax building, building from nothing but the brutality of their sex. The angle of his thrusts shifted slightly, exploding with cool collision with her clitoris, and she sparked like a fire, embers burning bright and brilliant inside of her veins, like coals heating up after a long death and stillness.
When she came, it was violently, fingernails digging into the luxurious skin of his back, and her feet scraped and clutched at the backs of his thighs, clutching him desperately as he followed shortly thereafter, falling into the blistering heat and moisture of her.
And then the sun was beginning to crown the horizon, a worse heat filling his body. //Face it,// a part of him whispered, //and die like this rather than whatever's coming ahead.//
But he couldn't.
Gasping with fear, Spike pulled backwards, nearly dropping the thin girl who'd wrapped herself around him so gracefully. Irritated, Buffy turned her head around to look at the window, and when she saw what he saw, she sighed and relinquished her hold on him, understanding. "Sorry, Spike," she said, her voice carrying little apology. "The loft will be safe. Go upstairs and close the blinds on the door. Go to bed."
Spike was ashamed. Ashamed of not being able to kill himself. Of not being able to face the sunlight. How was he going to cope? How was he going to handle it when the world finally claimed him in the coming months? Immortality was a bitch indeed, if only because his seemingly unlimited time was running out.
Irritated, he walked up to the loft, glancing briefly at the bed with its red linen (so trite for her) and then roughly pulling the blinds closed, not bothering with dressing. Let him see if she cared - and at this point, he doubted that she did. He didn't care if she did. He hated her for bringing him here and revealing his true cowardice, and he hated her for being so glassy and cold. Hated her for changing along with the rest of the world. If she'd been sunny and sweet, pure as the fucking daisies, then at least she'd be familiar. At least she'd be something.
But then again, he might have changed too. Apocalypse could do that to a person - or a vampire.
"Hell," Spike muttered, moving sluggishly and wearily to the bed, "maybe you can teach an old cat new tricks after all."
"Dog," she said, emerging from the downstairs in all of her glorious and precarious nudity. "If you can't use a metaphor properly, don't use it at all." He actually barked a laugh at that, her remembering his earlier words, and lazily covered himself with the sheets, closing his eyes to hear her rather than see her, lit in slits of dangerous dawn. Drawers opened; he heard that, and he also heard the rustling of sheets without feeling her getting into bed. He guessed that she was covering up the door to the balcony to protect him from the light, and almost wished she wouldn't. Maybe he could kill himself if he slept through his suicide.
Cowardly way to go, old man.
She didn't want another day. Didn't want the time to continue moving. It was like a journey with compressed mileage, a drive through never-ending countryside that would eventually stop with a tragic car accident. That was what life was nowadays. It was waiting for morning and wishing that it would always be night. It was looking for death and fearing it.
It was sleeping with the enemy because he was an enemy and not a stranger.
Sanity through insane acts, she thought to herself, climbing into the summer sheets and looking at the way the black bed sheet covered the light. She could trick herself perhaps into thinking that it was still nighttime when day had actually dawned, but she could never fool herself into thinking that she hadn't just slept with Spike. No lies there. She only wished that she had pretended the night away, back into the blind embrace of pills and booze and make-believe, but it had happened.
It would probably happen again.
Lying as far away from him as possible, turning her back to Spike so that Buffy could pretend that she was alone. Folding her hands in mock prayer, Buffy slipped into a troubled sleep, the last line of the song filtering through her head and leading her into nightmares.
"Time watches everyone cling, honey now, don't bail on me..."
(end part three)
The lyrics belong to Sheryl Crow, and are from her song, "Riverwide", which can be found on _The Globe Sessions_ LP.
Continued in Part Four