Oh, this was the bad dream. Not good. Even in the dream, she wondered how come her mother didn't notice she was sleeping in her bed with Spike. Couldn't she just be happy to see her again?
"I hit him a lot. For Spike that's like third base."
"Are you sure that's all?"
In the dream, it was apparent that her mother, while not being aware that Buffy was dreaming this beside Spike, was nevertheless aware of recent events, at least the ones that had brought the house down. Buffy cringed, watching her mother mentally the review all the things she and Spike had done to each other.
"That's sort of disgusting, isn't it, Buffy? He's a vampire. But then who else would want you?"
Buffy sighed deeply and opened her eyes. Spike was curled up against her back, almost as warm as she herself was, the aftereffects of the bath and the warmth of the bed. She looked down and saw one of his hands curled loosely around her waist, its nails painted black as usual.
"Oh, God, I am so not ready for this."
It seemed to slam into her with all its messy implications. I am sleeping with Spike, literally. Sleeping with him. What if I fart or something in the night? An entirely gradeschool-like terror of the male species descended on her for a moment. Having sex? One thing. Sleeping together, arms wrapped around each other, naked, no barriers, that, that was entirely something else, and how had this happened?
She wondered if Maggie Walsh had actually conducted a good class; what about that dream interpretation stuff? She was afraid of being found out, she could figure that one out. But why was it anyone else's business? Why? If it was okay for Xander and Anya...
Buffy sat up abruptly. Spike sighed in his sleep next to her, then snapped his eyes wide open, the actions of someone all too used to uneasy sleep. He blinked at her back a few times. She clutched the sheet to her chest, knowing he was awake, and determined to avoid him.
Spike eyed her vertebrae skeptically. Maybe, he thought, phrenology wasn't such an inexact science after all. Buffy's spine seemed to be composed of two complete opposites: resignation and just plain aversion. He'd never known a woman whose body could well, embody such complicated emotions. He figured if he tried to touch her, she'd snap and shatter like some long-dead relic.
If anything, her spine slumped even more. So that's what osteoporosis looks like, he thought.
Then she shrugged. Ah, Spike realized. Bad nightmare.
"Just a dream. Go back to sleep."
"Was I in it?"
She turned and glared at him, oddly perking him up. At least if she was pissed, that was better than the moping-around stuff. He sat and propped himself against the headboard, without covering himself up. Let the sheets fall where they may.
Buffy glanced over her shoulder at him, then flushed and hiked the sheet tighter around herself, which, while indicating a great deal about her mind set, was otherwise next to useless. He could see all of her back from where he was. He stretched out leg and prodded her back with his foot. She gave him another profoundly pissed look over her shoulder, and then, after shifting around, wiggled to the opposite corner of the bed, and glared sullenly at him while clutching the sheet to her breasts. He didn't quite smile at her, but something about her modesty touched him enough to keep his mouth shut. He leaned forward, slowly, and while she just looked at him, he took the edge of the sheet and slowly pulled it toward him.
"I've no intention of acting all Amish now, luv." He whispered.
She clutched the sheet to her breasts, and then he pulled it toward him, exposing first her breasts, which she crossed her arms over, then the rest of her.
"I could look at you forever, if you'd let me."
He dragged the sheet down her legs, which she crossed to go with her arms, but it was a start. He leaned back against the headboard and waited. Her face was flushed, and she looked down, but she made no effort to retrieve the sheet.
"It's customary to return a compliment with a compliment." He pointed out helpfully.
Which wasn't helpful, because all of a sudden she had to look up at him. If anything, she got even redder. He didn't have an erection or anything, and the two of them were eyeing each other from their respective corners of the bed like wary boxers, but at least she was looking at him, instead of scurrying to get dressed or something.
"Wonderful, just wonderful", Buffy thought. "This is so clinical".
Except it wasn't, not with Spike giving her the Spike look, and the knowledge that she could just look at him forever. Every time she'd looked at him before, it had been out of the corner of her eye, or while kissing, or in the middle of frenzied sex, so she hadn't had the time. He was completely unconcerned about it, although he did spare a thought for certain shrinkage issues, he being more sensitive to cold than a human male.
It would be so much easier staying away from him, if he had been ugly, Buffy thought:
"God, I'm so shallow." He was so lithe, all cat's muscles and long lines, and he felt as good as he looked. "Oh God. Why did I think that?"
Buffy wondered if she thought about baseball scores or something, she could ignore the naked vampire in her bed, looking at with sloe eyes, his hair all rumpled from sleeping. She especially liked it when it was like that, and usually she was the one who'd done it. Think of something else. Something else.
"Hm?" Spike cocked his head curiously at her. "You said something?" They were both whispering.
"What were you...?"
"What were you like....?"
"I beg your pardon?"
"What were you like when you were human?"
Spike, who had been contemplating what was visible of her breasts, and wondering why women didn't just spend all day naked in front of the mirror doing jumping jacks, was caught badly off guard.
"What were you like when you were human?"
The full meaning of that sentence sank in slowly, along with a feeling of dread. He blinked several times, as the complete horror of his situation hit him. He froze as he considered the truth:
"Well, luv, I was the most pathetic twat you'd ever seen. Horrifying hair, prissy, never got laid till Dru, and the poetry...! Oh, God, I'd forgotten the poetry! Although, now that I think about it, I doubt very much that anybody who had to listen to it, ever forgot it. You see, that's why I offed everybody; I didn't want anybody telling exactly how ghastly was my verse. Sad but true. Doesn't that make you feel all amorous all of a sudden? Care for a shag?"
Then he considered lying, but that was even worse. He was an awful liar; the unvarnished truth was usually far more effective, but it was quite different to find one's self on the spot all of a sudden. He'd always done his best work there not by actually telling lies, but by not telling any bloody thing at all. Planting an idea and letting others run with it. Hinting, implying, speculating in careful not-quite finished sentences, that was the ticket.
Oh, this was priceless, he thought. Priceless. If he told her the truth, that would certainly douse the inferno they had going. End of story. She might feel sorry for him, but he'd bet it was a very platonic kind of sorry. And if he lied, he'd do it so badly she was bound to find out, and then whatever little headway they'd made would be blown to hell anyway. And what on earth could he make up anyway?
'Yeah, babe, I was a... a...'
Crap, he'd already implied as much.
"Bugger". He thought. "'Yeah, baby, I've always been bad.' Oh, bloody hell. "
Buffy looked at curiously, wondering why Spike of all people, who loved nothing so much as to hear himself talk, was suddenly silent. It did give her extra time to study him further, time she spent gainfully by eyeing his arms with wide eyes. For some odd reason, she was acutely conscious of how different their bodies were, and it wasn't a sexual realization. She eyed his Adam's apple, and wondered why on others, she'd never noticed. He was just so... different. He was also silent, still. She was the one to come over all puzzled. Then she realized the significance of it. He wasn't answering a simple question; it was worse than she'd feared. Was he worse than Angel? After all, the chronicles had said his nickname was 'William the Bloody.'
Spike saw her puzzled look turn to worry, and he did what all men do, even vampires, when confronted with the relationship equivalent of 'Does this make my butt look big?' He bailed.
"It's getting close to daylight, pet. I better go."
He rolled off the bed, too fast to notice Buffy's consternation, the surprise of someone who hadn't actually considered not spending the rest of the night alone. He yanked on his jeans, boots, found his tee shirt, then picked up the coat.
"Buff, I gotta go."
"Wait." Buffy whispered.
Continued in Chapter 7