Timeline: Season 2 (After Passions) and later in season 7
Spoilers: AU from Beneath You (7.2). In this universe, Buffy takes Spike home
Disclaimer: All ME
Let me be your Teddy Bear (11)
"Oh, it *is* you. Why don’t you just come in, like always?"
"Because I don’t live here, "Spike said with some emphasis.”How ya doing, Nibblet?"
"Okay. Are you and Buffy going out?"
He looked taken aback. "What makes you say that?"
"'Cause Buffy has been hogging the bathroom room for hours, and is in a way foul mood?"
"I'm not sure I want to be around a pissed off Slayer. Maybe I should just leave?"
"No!" Dawn said hastily. "Don’t leave! She'll kill me. And you."
Spike looked at her with a question in his eyes. "I thought we were just going patrolling. She doesn't need to be extra clean!"
Dawn laughed. "Clean shmean! She's not cleaning up, you moron, she’s getting all dolled up for you!"
"What do you think of all that, pet?" She couldn’t mean what he thought she meant, now could she?
"I think you two should just quit fooling yourselves and get back together."
"We weren't together, not really. She wanted nobody to know about it, so it wouldn't be real," he said bitterly. The memory of the evening on the couch, and the big nothing that followed it, still rankled.
Dawn looked him straight in the eye. "You know how she talks about you? She says she dated you, and that you were a hottie. And she says she has feelings for you. If I were a guy I'd read the shorthand, and not wait for the explicit invitation and the three magic words."
Spike felt something tightly wound loosen inside of him. He didn't want to show it to Dawn. "And I should follow your advice?" he challenged her. "A sixteen year old with mostly spell-induced experience in this field?" First Willow and now Dawn telling him to go for it? Scary!
"Hey! Don't kill the messenger! These are only the actual Buffy words, interpretation is up to you!” Dawn twirled a strand of long brown hair. “How’s the job these days? Dishes still giving you a hard time?”
His face brightened. “Couldn’t believe it myself, but I’ve actually found something halfway decent. There’s this garage, fixes up vintage cars and motor cycles. Wages are not half bad either, gives me a few extra quid to fling at the old blood bank!”
Buffy came down the stairs during his words and waited impatiently to be noticed. She was wearing low hipster leather pants, and a stretchy top that left quite an expanse of tummy bare. There seemed to be a little more of it lately. And the heels! Spike could hardly believe women could walk on those things, let alone slay, but he’d seen often enough they posed no impediment to Buffy’s moves.
“You do realize it’s February, Slayer?”
Buffy did one of her eye-rolls and held up the coat she was holding. She slung it on and shook her hair out of the collar. It was very shiny and bouncy today, not the practical Slayer bun she usually sported.
“Looking very nice tonight,” Spike offered politely. “Assignation on a tomb?”
“Hm. Come on, Spike, the night‘s not getting any younger.”
Spike refrained from pointing out that she’d kept him waiting. There were a few things no bloke should ever do, and making her feel late was one of them. Telling her she’d put on weight was the other, even if she looked the better for it.
They were strolling idly along an overgrown path, not hindered by vamps or demons of any kind. They passed Spike’s old crypt. Buffy stole a glance at Spike. His face wasn’t showing much of anything.
“Is Clem still living there?” she asked.
He nodded. “Yes”.
“You ever visit him?”
He nodded again. ”Sure.”
“Jeez! Monosyllabic much? What’s with the silent treatment?”
He didn’t answer.
“Are you mad at me?”
Spike sighed and looked her full in the eyes. Her stomach did its little Spike-dance. “Buffy—you never act the bloody same on two occasions straight. One moment you practically jump my bones, then there is ignoring. Next time we snuggle on the couch with your friends two feet away, but is there follow-up? No! And even if you talk to me—there’s always the conflicting attitudes. Your mouth says one thing, your body another.”
“What does my body usually say?”
“You know bloody well what! It says: ‘Come here Spike, shag me blind’. But it always did, and you always pretended you didn’t mean it, so I’ve stopped trying to read it. If you want to tell me something, use words. And make sure they say the same thing as your body.”
Buffy swallowed. “Come here Spike, and fuck me blind?” she tried.
He shook his head in disappointment. ”Your body is telling me: “I’m scared.” Learn to listen to it, Buffy.”
The wind carried faint sounds of growling and yelling towards them. Without words, they communicated perfectly and set off as one for the disturbance.
Two groups of demons were fighting, lizardy blue ones versus warty squat guys. With a quick glance at Spike Buffy went for the blue team. From a corner of her eye, she saw him barreling into the squat group with an earshattering battle roar. He dove into the fray with joy, and with kicks and headbutts and wicked elbow punches managed to subdue all four demons in minimum time. Buffy went for the more classic techniques, but had her allotted five opponents dispatched in as many minutes. They regarded each other over the bodies of their fallen enemies. Spike was leaning on an impressive club, panting, Buffy supporting herself on a gore-spattered pike.
“We totally rock!” she gasped. “We’re the dream team! No evil can stand against us and live! Yay us!”
Spike slung the club over his shoulder with a flourish, and clapped her on the shoulder with his free hand.
“We’re bloody amazing!“ he said with a big grin.
“I’m not even remotely tired! We could…” Buffy trailed of and looked up at Spike. His hand was still on her shoulder, and his happy grinning face was very close. He kissed her suddenly and hard, letting the club fall behind him. She felt his big hands gripping her securely, one on the back of her neck, the other in her waist. She melted against him. This felt so right. This was exactly what she needed right now.
They stumbled backwards a few steps until Buffy’s back was against a crypt. Spike lifted her on his right leg and leaned his knee against the wall. Buffy let out a moan of surprised pleasure as hot bolts of lust shot through her at the contact of his hard thigh against her sex. She held him tightly against her, frantically kissing back until she lost all contact with reality, nothing existing anymore except the sensation of his body and his tongue and his lips on her.
Abruptly the contact was broken. Her feet came down on the ground with a thud, and she had to put out a steadying hand against the crypt wall to regain her balance. She opened her eyes. Spike stood looking at her, eyes dark and deep.
“To be continued,” Spike said, with the old sexy smirk on his face.
“Yes. Right now!” Buffy was disappointed and confused at the loss of contact.
“I’ll walk you home, love,” he offered, smiling sweetly, and took her hand.
Buffy desperately tried to get her bearings. What exactly was happening? Why was there kissing and touching and then not?
“Spike,“ she tried, “I had a great fight, you are the most wonderful slaying buddy ever, but all I wanna do after a fight is have hard fast sex, not sweet lovey-dovey stuff. That’s just not me!”
“At least you’re honest now…It’s very cute!” He was laughing at her, the jerk!
“I don’t think you know me well enough to shag me. We haven’t even had a first date, and here we are already past first base!”
The look on his face made her squirm, he looked at her so sweetly, and with such amusement at the same time...She remembered that look, he’d worn it right before he’d persuaded her to come with to a demon bar and get drunk. No way was that going to happen again!
“Yeah, like you know all about American teenage dating rituals, Mr. Ancient Englishman!” she retorted. “And we’ve never done dates, we have sex in graveyards, and I don’t see why we can’t do it again!”
Spike ignored that last statement.
“Come on, love, stop sputtering and start walking. I feel a craving for hot chocolate and marshmallows. And you’re gonna make me some, like a good date.”
He was still holding on to her hand, and she followed him, stumped.
Dawn found them sitting on the back porch when she came home, companionably cutting and sharpening stakes.
“How was your date?” she asked Buffy sweetly.
Buffy threw her a look that promised sisterly retaliation later.
”Here,” Spike said to Dawn, “those rose-fingered mitts of yours can do some work!” and handed her a knife and some uncut sticks.
Dawn sat down next to them and started fashioning a sharp point on her piece of wood, while Spike regaled her with the tale of their exploits that night.
“Hunh!” Buffy snorted. “To hear you talking we vanquished the complete Army of Darkness! It was just a dozen or so demons, who were so dumb they were fighting each other instead of us!”
Spike looked wounded. ”And here I thought you appreciated me for my fighting prowess!”
Buffy patted his thigh. ”You’re my hero. The head butting was cool. And the roaring. And the elbow-in face-thing.” Nonchalantly she left her hand on his leg. Spike was looking pleased. Maybe she should flatter him more often.
“Were you just watching Spike or did you actually do some fighting?”
Dawn stuck out her tongue at Buffy. “Can I come with you again soon?”
Buffy was surprised. “I thought you’d gone totally off of Slaying! You haven’t wanted to come with in months!”
“Yeah, well, you’re in a way better mood now, and if Spike’s there I won’t cramp your style so much. You can take turns teaching and protecting me!”
Buffy opened her mouth to say: “But Spike has no time for patrol anymore” when she heard Spike agreeing readily. Oh. He had no time for her. She withdrew her hand from his thigh and busied herself with an ornery piece of wood, so they wouldn’t see the tears in her eyes.
Of course, that stratagem didn’t work with the annoyingly perceptive vampire. He put his hand on her shoulder and drew her close, softly kissing the top of her head.
“We’ll find the time soon, Nibblet. Can’t neglect your training. Big sis’ll want some nights off, now and then.”
Was she imagining it or did she actually hear a promise in his words? Her body certainly interpreted it that way, because it started tingling in all the right places. Spike started rubbing her back, something that might look innocent, but was actually sending the most wonderful thrills down her spine and was giving her goosebumps all over, the good kind.
“Right!” Dawn was saying, with this irritating understanding look on her face. “I’ll leave you to the, um, whittling then. Night!”
Yeah. But they actually whittled, and she’d once again gone to a lonely bed.
In her dream, she climbed the winding chalky paths to the elevated place to prepare. She poured libations of oil and wine for the goddess, and dressed herself with care. First, the skirt of a thousand leather strips, then the headdress, the snake shaped armbands. Her breasts remained bare, and she lathered her skin liberally with sweet-smelling oil. When the moon had risen out of the wine-dark sea and stood high in the sky, she danced and sang for the goddess.
She lay down on the limestone altar for the sacrifice. Soon she perceived the approach of the sacrificial animal. She made the sacred gestures. The terrifying head with its golden eyes appeared above her, and they started the ritual mating. When she had worshiped the goddess with her pleasure, and the beast had spilled its seed, she staked him with the curved wooden stake that was part of the headdress. Carefully she scooped up some of the dust and mixed it in with the little mess of oil and wine on the divine statue. The slayer removed her sacrificial clothing, put on her plain linen pleated dress and went home.
Buffy woke with a gasp, body still tingling with pleasure. Another one of these weird dreams. She really couldn’t put off telling Giles anymore, but even making the decision in the safety of her own bed made her cringe. So not her favorite subject to discuss with Giles. She had better ask Spike to be there too, that would make it less scary and ooky than telling Giles alone. He should know anyway, him being a vampire and all. And hers, she hoped.
Buffy opened the door to Giles and Spike. She smiled at Spike behind Giles’ back. He smiled back cautiously. She directed them to the dining room. Seating them around the table instead of on the couch felt marginally safer, and it meant she could hide her hands. With a flourish, she produced bottle of scotch and three glasses.
“Buffy? What on earth are you going to tell me that rates whiskey? And a good brand too?”
“Hey, come on,” she pouted. “We’re all adults here, what’s wrong with a little booze after hours?”
She poured. When she shoved the third glass towards herself, Spike gave her one of his arched-eyebrow looks. “Not usually great on handling the strong liquor, are you, Slayer? Might not wanna pour yourself a double?”
“Since when are you the keeper of my conscience? Huh?” Actually she was feeling kind of warmed by his concern.
“Since the last time I held your miserable little head over a bleeding toilet bowl, remember?”
Giles took of his glasses and started to polish them. Bickering like children again. Reminded him of a certain spell long ago. He coughed.
“Well, Buffy, you called us here for a reason. And I’d also like to know why the rest of the gang wasn’t invited?”
Giles looked at the other two. Not that he hadn’t seen it coming, but he was a little surprised at being told so formally. Usually he would be the last one to know about boyfriend/girlfriend developments.
“Because it’s kind of icky and personal, I told you on the phone.” She took a deep breath. “I’ve been having these weird dreams. Starting before Christmas, but in the beginning I wasn’t that wigged, but they keep on coming. I dream of pre-historical slayers, or I think I do. They have these weird rituals and they kill vampires. Which would be normal for a slayer, but it’s how they kill them that bothers me.”
“Yeah. One of them is, like, a Stone Age Slayer, she runs around covered in nothing but her own hair and mud and grime. And another one, wears like a kind of hula skirt only not, and a kind of horned Viking helmet on her head, and she lays down on an altar before killing the vampire.”
“I still don’t understand why these dreams are so disturbing?” Giles asked, relieved. Slayer dreams he could handle.
Spike was looking at her intently, his brows knitting. Was he getting it already?
Buffy looked down at the table and took a hefty swallow of her scotch, making a face at the taste. “Here goes. They lure the vampires with their scent, you know, their own body fluids, if you get me” –she saw that Spike got it—“and then she has sex with them, and when they are at their most vulnerable, if you know what I mean, she stakes them.”
“Would you be surprised if I said ‘Ew’?” Giles looked very disturbed. Also he looked like a lot of things were finally falling into place. Spike had sunk back into his chair and looked neutral, staring at his hands. Not a good sign. He was wigging, not so surprising, she was pretty much going there herself.
“Well? Whaddya think? Portents? Omens? Prophecies?”
Giles and Spike shook their heads simultaneously. “No,“ Giles said. “Not prophecy. But something inside you working its way up into your consciousness. Something old. Something Slayerish.”
Spike was nodding. “I knew there bloody well was a risk with your aura unclenching, so to speak. You relaxed inside just enough to let this primeval stuff out.”
“I wonder,” Giles was saying, “why those ancient Slayers didn’t simply fight the vampires? They must have had the Slayer strength? No need to go to these lengths?”
Spike said impatiently:” Don’t be dense, Rupert. I’m sure the slayers got their own reward for doing it this way, right Buffy?”
“Very tactfully put, Spike. I didn’t know you had it in you!” He did get that she was teasing, right? Yeah.
Giles was starting to look thoroughly flustered by now. He was polishing those glasses for the second time in five minutes, a sure sign of agitation. “Reward? Oh. Reward, yes, um, right.” Embarrassment never stopped his brain from working, though; he threw her one of these penetrating glances and went straight for the sore spot.
“And this is just guessing, Buffy, but only vampires can give the Slayer a big enough…reward?” Buffy’s blush was answer enough.
“Not so odd then that a Slayer would love vampires, eh Buffy? All those pheromones and primeval urges being covered with layers of civilization and denial …” Why was Spike looking at her like that?
“That is so not true, Giles! I must have killed thousands of vampires, and there’s never been any hint of this stuff!”
“They do always go for you, love, instead of sensibly staying out of sight!” Spike offered.
Buffy rounded on him furiously. “That’s just because…because of this silly vampire obsession with killing Slayers! Like you had!”
“But Buffy, what else is that but the last remnant of these ancient rites? And really, I've always wondered you know. One vampire lover could be a fluke, but two? I’ve suspected ever since you told me about, um, Spike, that there must be some kind of magical pull or attraction between Slayers and Vampires.”
“That’s crap! Their being my lovers was based on personal attraction! Not unnatural prehistoric sex vibes! I would never fall for someone just for sex, I’m not that kind of girl!”
“No, no, of course not, I didn’t mean to imply that!” Giles hastened to reassure her. Spike sat there smirking at her. Wouldn’t a soul stop a person from smirking and looking disgustingly smug?
Giles downed his Scotch and poured himself and Spike another one. He got out Willow’s crystal ball from his bag and placed it in front of Buffy. “Well, Buffy, however disturbing it might be to have dreams like that, as long as they remain dreams this appears quite harmless.”
“That’s daft, Rupert. Of course this is not harmless. This is all a result of the bloody time travel and aura mixing. If she’s not careful, she’ll be taken over by these ancient Slayer personalities.”
The crystal ball started to glow softly, showing a rainbow of colors with a predominance of red and bordered by brown. Buffy hoped Giles and Spike hadn’t consciously noted the colors yet and tried to think of something really boring.
“Spike, why do your fear that Buffy will be a less effective warrior? I’d think that access to these ancient, um, capabilities, would make her even better.” Giles thoughtfully swirled the whiskey in his glass.
“Giles! Please tell me you’re not suggesting I start having sex with every vampire I have to slay?”
There was only one vampire she was going to have sex with. She inched her knee against Spike’s. Oh, crap, the ball. She withdrew her leg.
“Buffy’s right, Giles, that’s a bloody awful idea!” Spike said, reacting with satisfying alarm. Buffy couldn’t resist rewarding him with a smile.
The crystal ball flickered and turned brown, veined lightly with blue and orange. Giles turned a surprised look at Buffy.
She waggled her fingers at them. “Hi guys,” she said gamely.
“Hello, Buffy, very nice to see you again. How are things holding up in 1998?”
She stared at him, perplexed. “You seem so normal. Have you forgotten everything?”
Giles sighed, took of his glasses and rubbed his eyes, now regretting the second glass. “No Buffy, but that tired old cliche got its fame because it’s so true: time heals all wounds.”
And nothing against Jenny, but how long had they actually been involved? Not long enough to mourn her for six years! Giles was just opening his mouth to utter another platitude when the ball flickered again and turned colorful again. He noted the predominance of red with some amusement.
Buffy’s face immediately acquired a frown. “Giles, I want this to stop. The changes don’t seem dangerous, and the dreams don’t either, but it’s annoying the hell out of me. Not to mention having to lay out my emotions and stuff out for everyone to have a poke at.”
The two Englishmen grew poker faces.
Giles stood up to leave. “Just give me some time. Buffy, and I will think of a way to stop this. I’ve made an appointment with Anya to search the remains of the Magic Box for the Abyssinian chest, that might give us some clues. Right. I will leave you two alone then. Night!”
‘I’ll leave you two alone then?’ Giles said that? This couldn’t be real. Giles couldn’t just have given her tacit permission to be with Spike?
‘I’ll leave you two alone then?’ He must be hearing voices again. Giles, too? Spike closed his mouth with a snap.
Buffy had the same kind of expression on her face he imagined there had been on his. He stepped closer.
“Well? Talk to me, love!” he urged.
Buffy opened her mouth, but it took a while for actual sound to come out of it. “I don‘t know what to say. I don’t know what to do!” she said.
“Ten points for honesty. Now what?” He crossed his arms and stood waiting.
Buffy knew he’d leave if she didn’t come up with something quickly. “There could be TV and sitting on the couch watching it?”
She settled him on the couch, brought him a fresh glass of scotch. Cuddling up close, she asked. “There could be kissing?”
Ah. There was kissing. If you could call being totally covered by your vampire’s body and being practically devoured by his mouth still kissing. She came up for air, gasping. Spike levered himself up on his elbow and looked down on her, one hand loosely covering her breast. Buffy wiggled impatiently, willing him to go on. What was he waiting for? Oh, yeah, she had to ask.
Um? Spike, please grope me? Knead my breast? Feel my tits? How did people call these things? She’d never talked about them, they just happened. Mmmm…
“Spike? Please touch me all over with every part of your body that you want!” she said triumphantly. That covered everything, except maybe handcuffs, and she had a feeling that was not what he had in mind.
“That’s cheating!” he growled in her neck and took his hand off her breast. “You have to do better than that.”
“Aw, Spike, can we please forget the whole concept of dating and get on with it! You’re driving me crazy!”
“Sort of the whole point, love?” He pinched her nipple through her top, giving it a little twist, as always knowing exactly what would make her wild with lust. Okay. She’d had it. Enough with the mushy stuff already. She gripped his torso and flipped them over, no mean feat on a couch. Her hands were too small too grasp two of his, so she made do with his thumbs, and held them over his head. Her knees held his middle, and she used her other hand to push his gray T-shirt up. She’d do some nipple–twisting on that perfect marble chest, see if she could make him suffer.
The front door opened. Crap!
“It’s Dawn,” she said in resignation, and pulled Spike’s T-shirt down.
“It can’t be. I heard the nightingale.”
Huh? Not going insane again, she hoped. He looked okay.
Dawn stuck her head around the door. “You did use my absence for total macking, I hope?”
She was gone again.
“Making love in cemeteries is underrated, you know. You seldom get disturbed by sisters,” Buffy pronounced.
“If it’s good, it’s worth waiting for,” Spike said, caressing her cheek.
He seemed subdued suddenly.
“You okay? You seem a little…blue?” Buffy asked, teasing a lock of hair out of the gel. She preferred him curly. Mussed.
“My hands are dirty, and they will never get clean again,” he said somberly.
Buffy curled up on his chest. “I don’t know what to say to that,” she confessed. “Want to tell me stuff?”
“Maybe…” His hands moved restlessly over her back and shoulders. This was nice, this seemed so close to what he wanted, but really, wasn’t she still just after his body? Could she tell the difference? Could he? Was he too impatient? Should he see the tentative coming out in front of Dawn and Giles as the first step of more and better to come? He sighed. He was turning into Buffy, keeping everything in. He was just too afraid to let her see the yawning pit of neediness, afraid it would turn her off, as it always had.
Buffy sighed. She wished he’d talk, like he used to. She hadn’t been fond of the endless natter, but at least she had always known where she stood with him. Maybe she wasn’t the most sensitive person in the world, but even she could feel he was holding back. But what? She placed a soft kiss on his cheek and clasped him tighter. Holding him would have to do.
They were silent, lying quietly on the couch. The only sounds were white noise from lamps and appliances. Spike tightened his arms around Buffy. It felt so close, so real. He hoped it was.
Continued in Paint it Black (12)