DEDICATION: For Colleen and Minty.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Smutiness ensues. Wheee! Blood play may squick some. Quote from Les Miserables used without permission.
“This is all a misunderstanding,” he assured her.
Cordelia raised her eyebrow. “Did some chick at Caritas have her hand on your dick or not?”
“Well, yes…” Spike began.
“Then I think she has a pretty clear understanding,” Cordelia said. She shook her head. “You know, I’ve never heard of Lorne being wrong before, but his reading of you was really off.”
Spike furrowed his brow. “What reading?”
“Lorne can read people when he hears them sing. He told Angel and I that you were good, that you loved Fred-”
“Hold up a second,” Spike said angrily. “That’s why Fred wanted me to go to Caritas? To prove to all of you that I was worthy? She couldn’t just trust me, she had to test me?”
“It was for us, not for her,” Cordelia clarified. “She never doubted you, until you gave her reason to.” She walked out of the hotel, her satin dress swishing as she walked.
Spike ran up the stairs and down the hallway to Fred’s door. “Fred?” he called, turning the knob. It was locked.
“Good night,” she said quietly. Her voice was so close, and he knew she had to be right next to the door.
“We need to talk,” he said.
“Nothing much left to say.” Her voice was thin and distant, and Spike felt a prickle of fear.
“I know I hurt you, love, and I’m sorry.” He listened to the sound of her breathing, small choked pants that belied the detachment in her voice.
“I don’t want to see you,” she said. “Maybe when I’m not- drunk and sad. Tomorrow is another day, right? Tomorrow I can be brave, and act like you don’t matter to me. But right now, I just can’t pretend.”
“Just let me talk to you, and we’ll get this all settled,” he pleaded. “Don’t shut me out, I can’t bear it.” He really couldn’t. He needed her warmth, her laughter. The world was too cold without her.
“I know I’m stupid,” she said. “Stupid to think there was something there. Making something out of nothing, same as always.”
“We aren’t nothing,” he protested. “I’ve been thinking about you, wanting you, trying to deny it but just not able to. And after tonight, I don’t want to. You make this world bearable, pet.”
Slowly the door opened, and Fred stood there. All of her cosmetics had been washed away, her evening gown replaced by a short silk robe. “Just a girl. Lots of girls in the world. Nothing special.”
“Everything about you is special,” said Spike.
She smiled, her face lighting with joy. He bent down to kiss her, and her face clouded. “Then why the vampire?” she asked, stepping away from him. “Why did you let her touch you?”
“It was an instant, nothing more. I knew her and her mate a long time ago. Elisabeth flirts with anyone with fangs; it doesn’t mean anything.”
“It meant something to me,” she whispered, her eyes sad.
“Let me make it up to you,” he said. “I’ll do anything, princess, anything to make things right between us.”
“When I close my eyes, I see her with you. Her hands on you.” Fred pressed her fists against her head. “I need a drink.” She stepped past and walked briskly down the hall.
“You shouldn’t drink anymore,” Spike called after her. “You’re going to be ill.” She walked on, weaving slightly as she stopped in front of Angel’s door.
She turned the knob and walked into his room, picking up a decanter of brandy and a tumbler from a side table. Spike walked in just as she lifted a full glass to her lips, shuddering as the alcohol hit her system. "My mother used to forget the things she’d done,” she said clearly. “Maybe if I drink enough, I’ll forget too.” She swayed, grabbing hold of the corner of the table.
“That’s enough,” Spike insisted. “Let me help you to your room.”
She filled the glass again, and sniffed it, closing her eyes. “Smells like my childhood,” she said softly. “I used to hide in her furs in the closet. It was always so cold in there, smelled like perfume and alcohol. She used to stash her empties in the tall boots; they’d clink when they fell over.” She pulled on a chunk of her hair, twisting it around and around in a tight tangle. “Mother.”
““You can tell me all about her in the morning.” Spike said in a soothing voice.
“She was a crazy alcoholic. I come from a long, long line of them, both sides. But they don’t call you crazy if you’re a Langley, just eccentric.” She lifted the decanter, her hand shaking as the amber liquid missed the glass and slid across the surface of the wooden table.
“That’s enough,” Spike said forcefully, grabbing her wrist. “No more.”
She looked at him, surprised. He had the feeling that she’d forgotten his presence. “It’s man’s instinct to go on the hunt for fresh game,” she stated, her southern accent thick and rich. “True ladies look the other way.” She smiled at Spike, the glossy shallow flicker of a homecoming queen. “I apologize for my behavior. I don’t know what I was thinking to pry so into your personal affairs.”
“We’ll talk about this tomorrow,” he said, releasing her wrist. “Let’s get you to bed.”
“To bed,” she said softly, staring in his eyes. “He wants to go to bed.” She wrapped her arms around his waist, pressing her face into his neck.
”Time for you-” he began, and then he felt her tongue, tracing circles over his skin. “Christ,” he murmured, his hands closing on her satin clad shoulders. The sensation of her warm breath blowing across his skin roused him tremendously.
“You taste so good,” Fred said breathily. Small buttons popped and fell as she pulled hard on the front of his shirt. Shoving the fabric aside, she licked across his shoulder, gently tracing the fine edge of his collarbone. Her mouth moved down to Spike’s nipple, rimming the puckered circle with her tongue.
Spike bit his lip to keep from crying out as she pleasured him with tiny licks and gentle sucking. Passion and need built in him as she took her time, exploring his body with a delicacy that left him quivering, desperate for more. He reigned in the urge to rock his throbbing erection against her. Slow down, make this last, keep this moment, don’t break it. Her teeth closed around his nipple, and his control snapped. “Please,” he said raggedly. “Please.”
“Please what?” Fred asked, looking up at his face.
Spike lowered his mouth to hers in a possessive, searing kiss. She responded eagerly, her tongue flickering in his mouth, and he moaned, thrusting his stiff cock against her belly. Her hand slid across his stomach, and she traced the outline of his arousal with her fingertips. He cupped her ass in both hands and lifted her. They kissed passionately as he staggered to the bed, landing on the mattress with a loud thump.
Spike struggled with the knot that tied her robe closed as Fred pulled the shirt off of his wrists. He ripped open the sash and bent his head to her breasts, suckling her as she’d done to him. She moaned and cried underneath him, the sounds of her pleasure intoxicating to him. The searing heat of her skin against his was bliss, and he wanted more. He needed to be inside her, basking in the warmth of her body.
“I want to make love to you,” he said openly. His cock was throbbing, hard as metal and aching for release.
“Yes, yes,” she gasped. “Oh yes. The chime, the click. The one.”
They kissed lingeringly, their mouths meeting and parting from gentle to hungry and back again. He slipped his hand between her legs and found her gloriously wet. His fingers sought her delicate bud and caressed her. After several heated minutes Fred grabbed his forearm. “Crashing,” she cried, her voice strained. “Falling.”
Spike stroked her more quickly, and she began to shake. He watched her throw her head back, her cheeks suffusing with color. “More,” she said brokenly. “More.” Rapidly he slid down the bed and closed his mouth over her. She was slick and salty and wonderful, the essence of her flooding his senses. She bucked underneath him, grabbing his neck. “Please,” she begged. “Spike.”
He thrust his hand between her thighs, still lapping at her briskly with his tongue. Pain flared through his head like a burst of lightning, and he reared back, screaming. Fred echoed his cry, drawing her knees up to her chest and curling into a ball.
The scent of blood startled Spike. He looked down at his fingers, streaked with crimson. What the hell? “Sweetheart, “ he said, struggling to her side. “Baby.” She was crying softly, her entire demeanor screaming that she was in pain. “I’m sorry I hurt you. I don’t understand-”
“No one told me it would hurt this much,” she gasped. “It’s amazing that the human race didn’t just die out.”
Realization dawned. She’d been a virgin, and he’d broken her maidenhead. “Oh my God,” Spike said. “I didn’t know. I didn’t mean to hurt you, surely you must know-”
“I don’t feel good. I think I’m going to be sick.” She covered her mouth with her hand, her skin pale, and rolled off the bed. “Ouch,” she whimpered. “Oh, this hurts.”
Spike stood up and swept her into his arms, carrying her out of the room. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “Didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“You keep saying that,” she said, closing her eyes. He carried her to his room, setting her down in his bathroom.
“I’m going to throw up.” Fred kneeled on the white tile, her head bowed.
“What can I do?” he asked worriedly.
“Please go,” she said, shooing him with one hand. He left, closing the door behind him.
Spike sat down on his bed and sighed deeply. She’d been a virgin, and hadn’t told him. Her passion had fired his, carried him along to a place where all thought and reason were far away. God, he was stupid, not to have thought. He’d never bedded a virgin before; he didn’t know the etiquette. How did you make up for hurting the woman you loved, much less convince her to be intimate with you ever again?
He cupped his face in his hands as he listened to the water running in the bathroom. “Spike?” he heard Fred say faintly.
“Can you help me now?” Spike opened the bathroom door and found her leaning against the sink, face drawn. “I’m not bleeding any more,” she said tearfully. “But I feel so sick.”
Spike carried her to the bed and pulled down the covers, tucking her in. He undressed and turned off the light, casting the room into darkness as he lay down beside her. “You should have told me,” he said quietly. “I would have done things differently. Slower, better. I feel like a fumbling idiot. I didn’t mean to hurt you. All I wanted was to give you pleasure.”
“I hurt you too,” she said, spooning into him. “Poor Spike.” She pressed a kiss to his chest. “Looked like someone hit you with a cattle prod.”
“About what it felt like,” he confirmed.
“I want to make this all up to you,” she said. “But I’m not feeling so well.”
“Go to sleep, love,” he said, his hand running over her shoulders. “Feel better.”
Spike closed his eyes and buried his face in her hair. She held him tightly, and soon they were asleep.
The tower shook beneath his feet as Spike ran up the metal stairs. The ringing of boots on steel hammered in his ears. “Run!” Willow screamed in his head. “Damn it, Spike, hurry!”
He rushed out onto the platform and stopped. Buffy stood alone, her blonde hair fluttering in the breeze. “Slayer?” he said questioningly.
She turned and smiled at him, and he was struck by the beauty of it. When was the last time she had smiled at him? Under Willow’s spell, and never since.
“It’s over, Spike,” she said sweetly. “You don’t have to do this anymore.”
“Do what?” he asked, confused.
“Run,” she said simply. “I’m gone, and there’s nothing you can do. It’s over.”
Spike stared at her, confused. “I don’t understand. We can’t just give up the fight. We have to win, save the world-”
“I saved the world,” she said softly. “That was my gift. Why won’t you take it?” The tower faded away, and they stood alone in a white room flooded with light.
He looked around, his brow furrowed. “Where are we?” he asked.
“Heaven,” she said simply.
“I can’t be here,” he said, bewildered. “I haven’t got a soul, I don’t belong here.”
“To love another person is to see the face of God,” she said. She put her hand on his face and looked earnestly into his eyes. “You’re a good man, Spike. Be happy.”
Fred woke up and rubbed her eyes. She stretched her arms and smacked into something. Turning her head, she saw Spike sleeping. Smiling, she leaned over and kissed his lips. “Good morning, baby,” she said sweetly.
“Fred,” he murmured, opening his eyes. He smiled radiantly and pulled her mouth down to his. The embrace began lightly and tentatively, quickly becoming raw and passionate.
Fred ran her hands over his shoulders, sliding over the taut muscles. She broke their embrace, breathing heavily. “So beautiful.”
Spike stared at her, his eyes smoldering with desire. “No one has ever said that to me before,” he said huskily.
“Hasn’t anyone ever seen you naked before?” she asked.
He laughed. “Well, yeah.”
“Were they blind?” She laughed and covered his mouth with tiny kisses, her hands running through the unruly mess of his hair.
“God help me, I love you,” he said softly. “You’re the kindest, most wonderful person I have ever known.”
She pulled away, her eyes wide. “You don’t- you don’t have to say that.”
“I want to,” he said earnestly. “It’s true.”
She glowed with happiness. “You love me. Me?”
“Yeah,” he said, his eyes bright. “And you love me too. Sickeningly sweet, innit?”
She blushed. “You’re cocky! I didn’t say-”
“Didn’t have too,” he said confidently. He ran his fingers over her face. “I can see it here, in your smile, and here, in your cheeks, and there, in your eyes.”
She batted his hand away. “Stop it.”
Spike rolled on top of her. “No use lying,” he said, and bit the side of her neck. “You need me.” She moaned, her nails clenching into his back. “You want me.” He bit her again, and she reciprocated, biting his shoulder. “Ah, my sweet.” He shifted his weight and she gasped loudly. “Did I hurt you?” he asked, pulling away.
“No, I’m fine,” she said, stroking his arm. “That was a good noise.”
“I want to learn all of your little noises,” he said gruffly. “I’m going to show you all different kinds of pleasure, love.”
“You already have,” she whispered. “I wasn’t much impressed with what I’d done with men; I never wanted to take things further. What we did last night-” She blushed.
“Nearly had you over the top,” he said. “If I hadn’t bungled it you’d have come.”
“I never felt that way with someone else before,” she revealed. “I didn’t know how good it could be.”
“I want to show you how much better everything can be, with me,” he said seriously, sliding his hand between her thighs.
She grabbed his wrist. “I’m all bloody and gross. I should take a shower.”
“Not necessary,” he said. “I’ll clean you up myself.” He waggled his tongue at her and his cock jumped, hardening against her belly.
“I guess you like that idea,” Fred laughed.
Spike slid down her body, burying his face between her legs. He licked away the thin trails of blood from her thighs and slowly slid his tongue inside her. She hissed through her teeth and he pulled away, concerned. “Did that hurt?”
Her eyes were closed shut, her face rosy. “No,” she said faintly.
He went back to his task. The tang of her blood was like rain after a long drought, and all the more precious for being hers. Innocent blood, spilled by him, but in the throes of passion, not violence. It was a difference that changed everything for him. Each drop of her essence that he drew inside himself made him love her more. The thrill of possession, of knowing this woman had never loved another. No one had ever known her before, and no one other than him ever would. He knew it as a concrete truth, a certainty he would bet his eternal life upon. This girl would be forever his.
Her nails ripped across his shoulder as she arched into his mouth. “God,” she called out. “Oh God. God help me.” Her passion assured, Spike stroked his throbbing cock with a firm grip. Her breathing was labored, her heart pounding, the blood rushing through her veins. He was riding a high unlike any other; a crest of love, sex and sustenance that he’d never dreamed existed. “I love you,” she cried again as she peaked. Spike came explosively, warm sperm flooding across the palm of his hand as her juices filled his mouth.
When his mind cleared, Spike pulled up, collapsing on her shoulder. “I love you,” he said, kissing her neck.
She turned her mouth to his, kissing him vigorously. “I saw sparks,” she said breathily. “I can still see them when I shut my eyes.”
“Just the beginning, love,” he said. “It’s only going to get better.”
“I believe you,” Fred whispered. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him again, her tongue delving deeply into his mouth.
Someone knocked at the door. Spike ignored it, focused only on his girl. The knocking persisted, steady aggravating little thumps. “Go away,” Spike yelled, breaking the kiss. The insistent tapping continued. “Piss off!”
“Spike?” asked a sweet voice.
Spike sat up, his brow furrowed. “Tara?”
“It’s Tara and Willow,” the witch said.
Spike sighed. “I’ll get rid of them in a quick second,” he assured Fred. “Don’t move.”
“Hurry back,” she said, and nipped him on the earlobe.
Spike rolled out of bed and slipped on his jeans and a crumpled t-shirt. He opened the door to find the two Wiccas standing in the hallway. Tara was carrying two plastic grocery bags, while Willow had a backpack slung over her shoulder. “What am I?” he asked them, annoyed.
“Cranky?” Willow guessed.
“Hungry?” Tara said hopefully.
“I’m a vampire,” he said slowly. “Vaammmppiire. Sleeps during the day, up all night, yeah?”
“Did we wake you up?” asked the blonde Wicca.
“Well, no,” he admitted. “But that’s not the point.”
“We brought breakfast,” Tara said. She slid past him. “Doughnuts and some nice fresh-” She stopped still, her mouth agape, as she saw Fred in Spike’s bed, the covers pulled up to her chin. Willow came in behind her partner and stared at the strange girl.
“I’m Winifred Langley. Please call me Fred.” She got out of bed, pulling the sheet around her body, and extended her hand. Willow and Tara shook her hand and introduced themselves. “I’m sorry I’m not presentable,” she said apologetically.
“We’ll go,” Willow said. “I mean…we had no idea that Spike had company.”
“He never does,” Tara said apologetically.
Fred shook her head. “I’m feeling a bit out of place, so I’m just going to- go.”
“Don’t go,” Spike said, taking her hand.
“You know where to find me,” she said sweetly. She stood on her tiptoes and pecked him on the lips. “See you soon.”
“As soon as I possibly can,” he said in a low voice. “I want to be with you.”
“I do too,” she replied. “Do you think we’ll ever actually make love?” she whispered in his ear. He laughed as she smiled up at him. “Nice to meet you all,” she called to the witches. She left the room, slamming the sheet in the door. Spike opened the door, freed Fred, and closed it.
“I’m sorry,” Tara said. “We had no idea, or we wouldn’t have intruded.”
“She seems very nice,” Willow said. “And she really seems to like you, Spike.” She looked at him seriously. “It’s good, that you’re moving on-”
“Yes, she’s wonderful, and I’d really rather be alone with her right now,” he said sharply. “So what exactly are you two doing here?”
The witches exchanged a look. “Let’s eat,” Tara suggested. The blonde girl set down the bags of food on the table, pulling out a large Styrofoam container of blood and handing it to Spike. She pulled out a Tupperware container, two boxes of doughnuts, and juice boxes.
Willow set down her backpack in the corner and looked around the room. “Nice step up from the crypt,” she said approvingly. “Much less of a dead person lies here kind of ambiance.”
Tara looked around. “It’s a little impersonal. Maybe some little twinkling lights, or Tibetan prayer flags.”
“Or a still life,” Willow suggested. “Give the room a little color.”
Spike set the blood in the microwave and turned it on. “It’s fine the way it is, ladies. Stop fussing.” He turned to Willow, hands on hips. “Spill it, Red. Tell me what’s on your mind.”
Willow looked at him soberly. “It’s actually about Fred. We found out more about her, her past.”
“And it was so important that you had to come in person to tell me?” he asked.
“It really is,” Willow said seriously. She opened her backpack and pulled out a thick file. Bound in brown leather, it had “WC 432” embossed on the front cover in gilt. Untying the string that held it together, she set it on the table. “Watcher’s Council File No. 432,” the front page read. “Confidential. Concerning the Ulster Family.”
“Who are the Ulsters?” Spike asked. Willow flipped the page, showing an intricate family tree. He traced down the long list, coming to the bottom of the paged. Peter, Deirdre, Winifred. “Fred’s in a file belonging to the Watchers?”
“They’ve been keeping tabs on her family for the past two hundred years,” Willow explained. “I just happened to be going over some research when Giles saw the picture of Fred’s sister Deirdre. He thought it was someone else.”
Willow leafed through the file, pulling out a black and white photo. A smiling woman with a short dark pageboy sat between two men in suits. Spike recognized her as Maeve Gordon, the most famous psychic of her generation. She had graced television programs all over Britain in the sixties and early seventies before fading into obscurity. He flipped back to the family tree. “Fred’s mother is a famous psychic?”
“Was,” Willow corrected. “She died fifteen years ago. Suicide.” She pulled out another picture. “Pete Gordon, Fred’s brother,” she said. “He was one of the most well documented cases of telekinesis in history.”
A third glossy followed of Fred and her sister, dressed in sweeping white dresses, fluffy corsages on their wrists. “Deirdre can read minds,” Willow said flatly. “She was one year old when she turned to her mother and said “Don’t call her Winifred, she doesn’t like it.” Fred herself didn’t speak at all until she was nearly three.”
“And Fred?” Spike said, full of foreboding. “Is Fred- talented too?”
Tara came to his side and patted his shoulder. “Fred can resurrect the dead,” she said softly.