"Cordelia's baby." Buffy specified, as if there were another baby around that they had been discussing. Angel shifted uncomfortably on the step, and Buffy recognized it for what it was: the sort of discomfort that preceded lying, especially male lying. "God, Angel, relax. Whose is it? I mean, what could possibly shock me? Is it Wes'...? Okay, actually, not sure I want to think of Wes like that at all. It'd be like thinking of Giles....Ugh. But anyway, how come she didn't say anything? That's a lot of stretch marks for Cordelia to deal with. Huh. Did he run off and leave her or something? It just seems so...different...for Cordelia."
"Oh, God." Angel said. "Why are we talking about this again?"
"Because you absolutely cannot talk about my personal life and my friends if I can't do the same thing with your life and your friends."
"Yeah, but, Buffy, what if the same stuff doesn't happen to me that happens to you?"
"Well..." She said thoughtfully. "I guess you're right. It's not like you can date somebody who's incredibly inappropriate that all your friends will disapprove of. But, you know, at least neither one of us has to worry about getting pregnant!" Her face slowly changed as she watched his face freeze up. "Oh, God, Angel, I'm sorry. I really am. I just..." Her hands twisted together in her lap. "I'm so, so, sorry."
The silence that followed wasn't just uncomfortable, it was positively excruciating. I can't talk to him any more, Buffy thought. I used to think I could, but could I?
And Angel thought, I can't tell her. She'll never understand. "You know, it's just that moment of perfect happiness that's the curse." He said quietly. "Imperfect happiness isn't too bad."
The words hung over them, twisting, changing, exploding.
"Oh. Oh." Buffy stared at him. "Angel..." She swallowed over a lump in her throat. The one constant in her life had been him, and the connection they'd had. The type of connection he couldn't have with anybody else. She considered her next words carefully, and tried to think mature thoughts, and of course blurted out what she actually wanted to say. "Oh. Oh. You mean...You had sex?"
"Do we have to discuss this?" He did his uncomfortable shift again. "This is really hard for me."
She just stared at him in astonishment. He was uncomfortable talking about his love life? Before she could jump in, he said quietly, "I have to...I have to settle, Buffy. I don't have the options you have."
She was still staring at him in that way he was now associating with unpleasant outbursts. She shook her head slightly, which made him even more nervous, but all she said was, "Were you always like this? Did I, like, just not notice because I was sixteen?"
Angel winced again. Good, she thought. You won't talk to me, then I'm going to make you so uncomfortable you'll have to talk to me. "Angel, have you been taking notes? Because we're getting real close to the part where we basically just repeat everything we've ever said today over and over till I fall over from starvation and exhaustion."
"Park Place, baby, it's all mine!"
Both of them stopped, startled, freezing in exactly the same pose, heads slightly lifted and turned, ears cocked to the sound of D'Hoffryn gloating. "Hah! I've always wanted Park Place! Tonight's my night!"
Angel choked and then burst out laughing, slapping his hand over his mouth to muffle the sound, and Buffy, after a shocked silence, smiled too, but more at Angel than at D'Hoffryn. We used to do this, she thought. I remember this. What happened?
"It's nice that he's so mature," Angel said cautiously, bringing back a sharp memory of the Angel she had known.
"Well, maybe that's why he's a vengeance demon."
"One Monopoly board away from demonic employment," Angel said dryly. "You never know when..."
"You know, now I'm curious as to what he was like when he was human."
"Monopoly?" Angel said.
"Plus the whole wand thing," Buffy pointed out.
"And he was the demon who turned Anya?" Angel speculated. He shrugged. "Nerd, I'm guessing. But a thousand years ago? Nerd with really bad hygiene. And bad teeth."
Buffy sighed at that, her mind helpfully producing an all-too-vivid image of a snaggle-toothed, greasy character with gaping, picket fence teeth. The mental image faded, bit by bit, as she realized that Angel was watching her and she was watching back. "Talk to me, Angel," she said quietly. "I don't want to dislike you."
"How about if I do that?" Spike drawled from the doorway. "See you a minute, Buffy?"
Buffy glanced in frustration from Angel to Spike, her mouth opening and closing. Dammit, he was going to say something. I had him all softened up. Then another part of her brain asked, why should you have to soften him up? What was he hiding?
"Be right back," she said to Angel. She stepped inside the kitchen, where Spike grabbed her hand and pulled her behind the basement door. "This better be good," she whispered. "I really need to find out what's going on."
"Why? Why don't you just call Cordelia and ask her?"
"She hasn't called me." Buffy said stubbornly. "That means she's really uncomfortable talking about it, which means it would be really uncomfortable for her if I just asked her about it."
"Because then she might ask how you found out in the first place."
"Well, why? I could just tell her you were in LA."
"Why was I in LA? You're going to tell her that?"
"No," Buffy dropped her eyes, unsure where he was taking this. "It's not like she'll ask, anyway. So...this wouldn't have anything to do with me talking to Angel, would it? I mean, he and I, talking...Are you jealous?"
"Always," Spike said, leaning in, grabbing her arms, and kissing her. Angel's right out there, her mind protested, but her body abruptly recalled the morning spent in bed, the teasing car ride, and responded eagerly. Maybe he'd expected resistance; maybe he'd expected something else, but he pulled away and looked at her. She read that expression correctly: when had he ever been any good at concealing his feelings?
"Too bloody right," he muttered, leaning against the wall, sliding his hands all the way down her back to her behind, and grabbing. He pulled her against him, driving his tongue into her mouth, and his erection against her stomach. She jerked back with a gasp as voices entered the kitchen.
"Look, what we need is strategy." Wes said quietly.
"Oh, why bother? He'll win anyway. He sulks if he doesn't. Eats all the best deserts in the fridge...He once ate a whole cheesecake that was supposed to be for Anya's. ..." The fridge door opened and closed, and there was a curious silence, during which they could hear Wes make a frustrated sound. "Why don't you use the bottle opener?" Hallie said skeptically. Another silence, during which Hallie gasped. "I'm so sorry! I had no idea! How did you hurt your hand like that?!"
"Well," Wes said modestly. "I used to be a rogue demon hunter..." The voices receded, and Spike grabbed Buffy's hand and pulled her down the basement steps. Oh, God, this is so bad, she thought. He turned around at the foot of the stairs, his face tight and intense, and she half-jumped, half-collided with him, wrapping her arms around his neck, her leg around his waist, and her tongue around his. He kissed her back hungrily, feverishly, reaching down and lifting her, pulling her other leg around his waist. She gasped into his mouth, half-laughing, half-groaning, as everything combined in exactly the right spot. He reeled across the basement floor with her, bumping her butt on the washing machine. Oh, God, this is so good, she thought, as he wrapped his arms all the way around and pulled her against him. "Oh, God, I can't." She whispered. "There's no time. They're right upstairs."
"We've had this conversation before, haven't we?" Spike muttered against her mouth, but she was wavering and he saw it. He pulled one of her hands from his hair and fitted it to his crotch, watching her watch him as she did what she'd wanted to in the car. She molded her hand to his erection, and explored him through his jeans, unabashedly rubbing and stroking him, while his eyes squeezed shut and she wished it was skin rather than fabric. "Oh, God." she whispered, finally. He pulled her off the machine, slipping his hand down her belly, down into her jeans, ignoring her gasp and her flinch as he found sensitive flesh. She tensed against him, grabbing his wrist, whether to stop or encourage him, he didn't know. What he did know was that she kissed him greedily, moving against him in rhythm with his fingers. Reluctantly, he withdrew his fingers from her, guiding and coaxing her till she was facing away from him. He found the zipper of her jeans, and she stiffened, but he buried his face in her neck, muttering because he couldn't help himself, "God, I want you." Instead of resisting, she arched against him in response. He pulled her jeans down a few inches, just enough, and felt her shudder and gasp. "Shh..." He whispered. His hands shook as he fumbled with his belt and zipper, freeing his cock. "Shhh.." He repeated again, slipping one hand down her belly, between her legs, finding her wet and soft. He slipped inside her, wrapping his arms around her, burying his face in her hair. She shoved back against him, moving with him, covering his arm around her body with her own. He couldn't kiss her mouth, but he kissed her neck instead, moving slowly, pulling out and thrusting back inside her with a gasp.
"Oh, God," she whispered. "Oh, God." She could hear the creak of the house upstairs, the sound of footsteps on the floorboards. None of it registered much at all as she absorbed the new sensations, the feel of it. He didn't have to move hardly at all. He was pressed against her back, one arm wrapped tightly around her, bracing himself on the top of the machine on his elbow, while his free hand roamed to all sorts of places. Her jeans were only lowered just below her buttocks, and he'd done little more than open his fly. What would this be like naked? She thought. She reached back with one hand, feeling his face twist as he sucked in air between kisses. Not exactly kisses, either; he was devouring her neck and back with his mouth, which didn't seem the same as mere kissing. She could feel the muscles in her legs trembling as she got closer, the muscles quivering as he surged inside her, starting to move faster and faster, the two of them moving like one thing. Beast with two backs, she thought suddenly, remembering something he'd tossed at her once.
"Buffy?" Wes called.
Spike's eyes jerked open, and Buffy froze. Both of them held their breath, as there was a pause in the kitchen, then footsteps moving toward the porch. Angel, Buffy thought. Spike gasped in her ear, and she went rigid. The kitchen door opened. "She was just talking to Spike." Angel said. There was an eloquent silence .The footsteps came closer, and now there were more of them. "Fuck!" Spike muttered breathlessly. Then, with a low groan, he eased out of her, jerking his pants up. Before he zipped himself up, though, he straightened her up, pulling her jeans up. She was in a daze, so lost she could do little more than tug at the waistband of her jeans. He did it for her, wincing as she flinched. Just enough time for a kiss on the tip of her nose, then, grimacing, he tended to himself, zipping up with exquisite care. By that time, Buffy had recovered enough to step in front of him to hide the suspicious state of his jeans, just as Wes followed by Angel tiptoed down the stairs. At the sight of them, Wes stopped, dropping his eyes. Behind him,
Angel stepped down stiffly, hands jammed in his coat pockets.
"Uh...? Excuse me. "
"Yeah." Angel said sarcastically. "Excuse us." His lips were so tight with anger they were little than a dash.
"That's okay, mate." Spike said, attempting a nonchalant lean against the washing machine, and missing it entirely. He fumbled, and Buffy shifted in her place, to make sure she was still standing in front of him.
"Knock it off." Buffy said tightly. "What's wrong...?"
"Well, there's no champagne, and I don't think Angel really should drive..." Angel's scowl tightened even further at that, and Buffy thought uneasily, He looks like Angelus when he looks that mad.
Spike and Buffy both stared at him for a moment, then turned to look at each other. "Champagne." Spike said thoughtfully.
"Ordinarily, I'd go myself..." Wes said apologetically. "It's just that D'Hoffryn is being rather..."
"Oh, no." Spike said.
"No." Buffy said vaguely. "No problem." Wes turned eagerly and ran up the stairs, but Angel remained. Buffy cleared her throat. "I said, 'no problem.'"
Angel glared at them both, and then, with a completely unnecessary swish of his coat, stalked up the stairs.
Spike materialized against her and Buffy sagged back against him. He grabbed her arms and muttered in her ear, "Car. Us. Naked. Okay? Just hold on."
"Oh, sure." She whispered sarcastically. "Thanks." He pulled her against him, pressing his crotch against her, and she quivered.
Going up the stairs was absolute torture, and it was compounded by the fact that he had to grab his duster and shrug it on to hide his condition. It was with some interest that he watched her very carefully place each foot, one at a time, in front of each other. In the kitchen, she started to turn toward the back porch, but he grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the front of the house. That was when he noticed that his own walk left something to be desired in the normality area; he walked like a man who'd had a sudden amputation. Which was pretty much what it felt like.
After an eternity, they reached the living room doorway, where three startled faces looked up at the interruption. Wes stared up at them for a moment, and then looked down. "Beer." Spike said by way of explanation.
"Champagne, too." Buffy pointed out.
With that, they marched to the door, calmly opened it, and with Spike gesturing Buffy out the door grandly, they stepped out on the porch. For a moment, with Spike ushering Buffy out the door, he looked like a weird only-in-Sunnydale game show host, directing weird flourishes at the prizes. Then Spike carefully shut the door, and they both took deep breaths, and dashed off across the lawn. Spike yanked open the door and Buffy practically dived in, only to be followed by Spike, landing directly on top of her, and hitting every spot on her body that was far too sensitive already. He crawled up her body and found her mouth with his own.
The next-door neighbors clicked their porch light on.
Spike groaned and swore, noting for the first time the passenger side door was still open. Reluctantly, he sat up, conscious of Buffy's wince as he pulled away from her hands. Resentfully, she continued to lay flat on the seat, but gradually she pulled her arms up and crossed them. This did not bode well. "We do have to get beer or champagne or whatever the fuck-all it was." He muttered. "C'mon, luv, up you get."
They wrestled around one another on the front seat so that Spike could find himself behind the wheel. Buffy slammed the passenger side door shut, and he pulled out from the curb with far more screeching of tires than was strictly necessary. He had no idea where he was going. All he was aware of was Buffy sitting beside him, several miles away. "Buff?"
She looked at him warily, entirely unsure of what her response should be. I used to be sixteen, she thought. Now I'm looking for a real dark parking spot so I can..."Hey!" She exclaimed.
Following her eyes, he saw what she did; a dead-end street with only a construction site on it. He sighed in relief, pulling in and parking the car in the shadow of the construction crane. Even before the car stopped moving, she was sliding toward him, and by the time the motor had started to cool off, she was on his lap. They met at the mouth, Spike shrugging out of the coat, never once separating from her lips. She tugged at his shirt, which probably would have worked better if she'd once stopped kissing him, and watched what she was doing. He was wiggling out of his coat, trying to shove it away and get his hands under her shirt when there was a shadow at the window, and a knock at the glass. Buffy jumped and Spike hissed through his teeth, turning to find himself confronted with a security guard. The guard looked both bored and pissed at the same time. Spike cranked the window down and glared.
"Not here, folks." He smirked. "Get a room instead of putting on a free.."
Spike snarled at him and snapped into game face. The guard tossed his flashlight into the air and then all they saw was his retreating back, bobbing away above flashing shoe soles. Spike sighed and banged his head back against the headrest. "Right then." He muttered, avoiding her eyes. Buffy slid to his side and he started the car, but he paused as she adjusted, stretching her legs over his lap, pulling herself closer with one arm hooked around his neck. She sucked at his ear, then worked her way down his neck. He could feel her smile into his neck as he shivered. She tickled the back of her neck with one hand, but the other was slipping down his chest, between his legs, gentle and insidious. A muscle jumped in his jaw as he wheeled the car around, but when she tightened her right hand and kissed the very line of his jaw he had to shake his head at the futility of it. When he turned his head to her she was dreamy-eyed and flushed, too much not to kiss. The car swerved disastrously, and he pulled his eyes back to the road. He slid his arm around her waist, bringing her closer still, so that she was burning into his side, but she pulled his arm away, bringing his hand to her mouth. He almost drove off the road entirely as she toyed with his index finger, biting it lightly, then kissing it. A quick glance found her with a mischievous look on her face that changed to a sly stare when she met his eyes. She put his middle finger into her mouth and sucked on it delicately.
That was when he floored it.
The car bumped wildly down the street, screeching past a ragged gate and shuddering to a stop in front of his crypt. Buffy gave him an unreadable look, and then uncoiled herself from the car while it still jiggled with the momentum of its stopping. He was already in the crypt when he realized she wasn't plastered to any part of his body any longer. He whipped around at the sound of the crypt door closing, and saw her, leaning back against the door, her face flushed. He stared at her, his entire focus narrowing in on her face, and then flashed across the floor to her, the door banging in the frame as he collided with her. In a good way, she thought, clutching at his shoulders. They were fumbling with each other's clothes, trying to kiss and move at the same time. He ripped his belt free, undid his zipper, but in that tiny little time period she made a pathetic noise in her throat because his hands weren't on her. He shoved against her even harder, not so much kissing her as he was devouring her. Her hands scrambled at his arms, his shoulders, fluttering from his hair to his face to around his neck, trying to find some place to alight.
For one relatively calm moment while he tried to unzip her pants with shaking hands, one of her hands found his erection and he had to pull away. Nose to nose, an inch apart, she stared into his eyes as she leaned away, wriggled out of her shoes, then slithered her jeans down her legs. The frenzy melted away. He took her face into his hands. Tasting her mouth with long and thorough strokes, but it was still a bit too much for her. She had to pull back now and then, leaning the back of her head against the door while she gasped for air. She tightened her arms around his neck, pulling him closer, and he reached down and picked her up. They wiggled against each other, Buffy staring into Spike's face, watching his face change as she moved against him, his cock sliding against her, maddening her. That's another face I like, she thought. Another one to remember. And then he slipped inside her, so deep she had time to gulp as gravity pulled her down on top of him.
Oh, she thought. Oh. He grabbed the doorknob with one hand, moving against her, his face buried in her chest, her hands skittering in his hair as she shifted and moved, pulling his face up to kiss. Her thighs ached around his waist, his collarbone bumped into her face as she gasped into his shoulder. He burned inside her; she was going to catch fire, burst into flames...
And then she did. Her breath stopped in her chest, her hands fisted around his neck, and every muscle went rigid as if shocked and then spasmed. Her climax brought on his own, and she got to watch him, his head sagging back, his eyes closing as if to hold off some sort of agony. Even while her own body moved against her control, she kissed him weakly, softly, as if there was nothing left in her veins. He dropped his forehead to her shoulder, and she cradled it with one arm, half glad he couldn't see the expression on her face as she kissed his hair. All the blood in her body seemed to have been replaced by bubbles and the muscles in her legs had turned to rubber. He lifted his head, staring into her eyes as he held her around the waist while he wriggled out of her. Her legs slipped down his thighs, and her feet touched the ground, which seemed to be moving under her feet. Sighing, Spike leaned against her, nuzzling her neck and collarbone, but the romance was spoiled when he tickled her bottom.
"Hey! Way to spoil the mood!" Buffy exclaimed. Of course what mood was appropriate for a up-against-the-door quickie with a vampire that left both of them half-naked and shaking....? Well, that was a stumper, and Spike was not helping. He slid down and kissed her belly, his hands cupping her bottom in such a way that she tried to wriggle away. "Stop..." He started putting his tongue into his kisses, turning her bellybutton into an erogenous zone she hadn't been aware till now. "Oh, stop, stop...Knock it off...Stop..." He slipped lower. "Oh..."She sighed suddenly. "Don't stop, don't stop..." He smiled into her skin, and her knees simply buckled under her. Spike eased her to the ground, and took advantage, even though she was clutching his hair tight enough to pull it into a Mohawk. It was worth it, just to see the way she arched into his mouth when she came, just to hear her scream when it hit her. He pillowed his head on her thigh and waited for her to recuperate, admiring the topography of her body as she tried to catch her breath. Fine with him, more time to indulge in unabashed Buffy watching, especially seeing as how it provided him with a pleasant respite in the midst of Angel-enduring. He sighed.
Buffy stared up at the ceiling, wondering where her bones had gone. How come the more they had sex, the more she wanted, and the better it got? Didn't matter when, where, how, it was an addiction, except it didn't make her feel bad. She couldn't imagine lying comfortably, unabashedly naked with Riley, and not only not caring, but actually liking. There was an odd innocence to it, a complete absence of the guile she'd experienced with other men, where the goal had been to get some sort of control over her. Spike's goal appeared to be to make her lose control as often and as enthusiastically as possible.
Her eyes snapped open, looked at the ceiling, and then she raised her wrist with her watch on it before her eyes. She groaned, lifted her head, and glared at Spike, aiming a very girlfriend-style kick at him. "Hey!"
"That wasn't quick. It was supposed to be quick, and it...Oh, my God."
"It was supposed to be quiet, too," Spike pointed out, "But it seems that whoever was in charge of the quiet quickie division has been falling down on the job, too." He stuck out his tongue at her, then turned it into a lascivious pout. When she sat up, he sat up as well, grabbing her legs and pulling her into his lap. Before she could do more than sulk at him, he leaned in and kissed her. She wrestled free, standing up and swaying, which he observed with a certain feeling of accomplishment. Then he got up himself, hampered slightly by the jeans around one ankle. Buffy was already pulling hers on, wincing as she did so. "What?" He asked.
"These are so..."She turned slightly pink. "Skanky. Ew."
He pulled his own jeans up, buckling his belt, while Buffy grimly zipped hers up. "'Fraid it's going to have to get a lot worse, though, pet."
He went and got one of his own beers from his fridge, opened it, and gestured at her reluctantly. "Angel." He said. "He'll...ah...know. What we've been doing."
"Know? You mean....Oh. Ew." She eyed the beer. "What's that for?"
"Might be able to hide it."
She thought about it. Angel knowing that they'd rushed off to have a not-so-quick-quickie, or sitting in a puddle full of beer on the way home? Besides, Angel already knew about her and Spike, even though he evidently thought he could talk her out of it. Then she thought of the look he'd get on his face as the realization hit, which a day full of talking his ear off had not accomplished.
She held out her hand for the beer, and Spike gave it to her. But he was rather startled when instead of pouring it on her jeans, she took a swig out of it, looked him straight in the eye, and then choked as the flavor of it hit. "Ah...gah." Then she swallowed it.
"Buff...He'll be able to..." He left the sentence tactfully unfinished.
"Well, he knows already." She said grimly, trying another swig. "But he doesn't think I should do someone, er, something that he doesn't approve of. So maybe he'll really know now."
Continued in Chapter 42