RATING: NC-17 overall
SPOILERS: Season 6 through “As You Were”.
DISCLAIMER: All hail Joss Whedon, UPN, the WB, FOX, Mutant Enemy and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. GO team! Theirs, not mine.
DEDICATION: To the fine folks at Milton Bradley.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Lyrics to “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen used without permission.
DISTRIBUTION: Please ask my permission first, just so I know where it’s headed.
FEEDBACK: Sure, fire away to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Thanks,” I said. I opened the door and gestured for them to come in.
They stepped inside, and Dawn and Richard walked up behind them. “He’s kind of nervous about coming,” said Dawn. “But I promised him that we would all be able to leave this time.”
“And hopefully I won’t get stabbed,” he said nervously. He handed me a six- pack of beer.
“So what brings you here tonight, Richard?” I asked.
“He’s my date,” Buffy explained. She gave me the glare of death, daring me to say something.
“Well, nice to have you,” I said. “Good of you to come.”
“Kind of a casual atmosphere you’ve got going here,” Willow said teasingly. “Bare feet and unbuttoned shirt.” I looked down. Fuck. “So where’s Tara?” she asked, a little too casually. She shifted a beribboned box that she held in her hands.
“She should be right out. Feel free to take a look around while I see where she’s gotten off to.” I rushed out of the room and into the kitchen, putting the champagne and beer on the counter. I walked down the hallway.
Tara was in the bathroom, hastily pinning up her hair. “I’m so sorry, sweetheart. I totally forgot,” I said as I buttoned my shirt.
“It’s not your fault, I forgot too,” she said. “It’s just that they are the last two people in the world that I feel like seeing right now.” Her color was high and her jaw set.
“I know, love. I feel the same way.” I reached out to her and she shied away. “What’s the matter?”
“When I’m with you, I feel like something inside me opens up. I feel raw, and exposed, and utterly naked.” She met my eyes. “I’m trying to box up my feelings, and shove everything back down so no one will know.”
“Hiding from the Scoobies. Keeping secrets. How fucking unusual,” I said, my voice harsh as acid.
“Spike, don’t.” Tara put her arms around my waist. I stilled and looked into her face. “I’m not ashamed of you,” she said. “I’m not embarrassed by what I feel for you.“
“I’m tired of being on the outside looking in.” So tired of it.
“I want to let you in. But what we have is so new, so tenuous. I can’t deal with being psychoanalyzed by all my friends.”
This must be terrifying for her, even considering being in some kind of relationship with me. It wasn’t just the Scoobies; it was the Wiccans and her lesbian friends too. “I’m so sorry, pet. I’m a mean, rude man.”
“Maybe so. But I’m willing to see where it leads.” She kissed me gently, her fingers stroking the back of my neck. I melted into her embrace, soothed by her touch, her taste. Her arms closed more tightly around my waist and she hugged me close. I felt so content, so right, in her embrace. I kissed the side of her neck and nuzzled her shoulder.
“What are you guys doing?” Buffy asked curiously. We turned to see her standing in the doorway.
There was an awkward pause. “I felt dizzy,” Tara explained. “Spike was holding me up.”
“You should go lie down then,” said Buffy, worried.
“Great idea,” I said. “I’ll go tuck her in all nice and tight.”
Tara blushed. “I’m fine now. What I really need is something to eat—I’m so hungry I’m getting lightheaded!” A knock sounded at the front door. “Please go get that, Spike.”
I went down the hall and back out to the main room. Willow and Dawn were sitting on the floor in the living room, assembling the couch. They already had the legs on the thing. Willow looked up and smiled. “I love putting this stuff together. It’s like a great big puzzle.” Richard held up the end of the couch, looking vaguely bored.
I opened the front door. Anya walked in, carrying a grocery bag, while Xander followed behind her with a rocking chair adorned with a big white bow. Tara came up behind me. “Oh, Xander,“ Tara said, clapping her hands together. “Is that for me?”
“No, it’s for Spike. Because he’s such a rocking chair kind of guy.” She hugged him tightly and he smiled, pleased. “I actually made it for my mother for her birthday. But it seemed like such a perfect gift for you, and I know you guys need furniture.”
Anya handed me the bag. “We brought you two boxes of wine.”
“Boxes of wine?” Truly appalling.
She smiled. “Uh huh. One red and one blush.” She looked around. “Where are the food and beverages? You have to feed the guests. It’s mandatory.”
“We lost track of time trying to assemble the furniture, so we don’t have anything ready yet.” I led the way to the kitchen.
“Not a problem. You now have an experienced hostess at your disposal.” Anya opened up the pantry doors and looked inside. “Well, you have all the food right here. This should be easy.” She pulled down a can of spray cheese and a box of crackers. “Here, make these.”
I looked through the cupboard and found a platter. I set it down and arranged crackers on top of it, putting a little swirl of cheese on each one. I turned to see Anya mixing a can of orange juice with a bottle of soda in a large punch bowl, making a fizzing mess. Then she made little hors d'oeuvres, stacking circles of cheese and meat together and impaling them with toothpicks. I popped open a bag of cookies and put them on a shallow tray. We set out all of the food on the dining room table. I felt oddly satisfied looking at the table.
Anya patted me on the back. “Your first party in your new house. This will be lots of fun.” She smiled. “Now you need to put on music and organize social activities.” I followed her out to the living room.
Xander was putting the finishing touches on the entertainment center. “This is a really original way to get people to put together your furniture,” he commented as he screwed on a door. “Lead them down the primrose path with talk of fun and wham, hand them a screwdriver.” He was smiling—was the whelp actually joking with me?
“Well, that wasn’t my intention, but I really appreciate the help.” I admired his handiwork. “You did a great job putting it together. Thanks.”
“Buffy helped too, “ he said.
He smiled at me warmly and I thumped him on the shoulder. “Want to help me hook up the sound system?”
“Sure,” he said. I pulled around the boxes and we unpacked the components. Another knock sounded at the door and Dawn answered it, letting in Clem and Sophie, followed by a trio of girls in batik dresses, wearing pentacles and smelling like incense.
“You’re really good at this,” I commented as he strung stereo wire and set up the speakers.
“Years of experience,” he said. Shortly after it was put together. “All we need now is to try it out,” he said.
I opened up one of the boxes of CD’s that rested next to the unit, picking out a Queen album and putting it on. I went to work fitting the discs into the built in slots of the unit. “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy,” I sang along to the music.
Dawn came over and helped me put the discs into the entertainment center. “Social Distortion. Sex Pistols. Sarah McLachlan. Rob Zombie. James Taylor. Nine Inch Nails.” She arched her eyebrows. “Pretty weird combination of stuff you’ve got here, Spike.”
“They’re all Tara’s, actually,” I said. “Mine all melted into slag. She has a lot of my favorites already though, so I can listen to them.”
She looked at me. “I’m surprised you have anything in common. No offense, Spike, but I think it’s really weird, you two living together.”
“We’ve got plenty in common,” I said defensively.
“Name one thing,” she insisted.
We both wish you’d all clear out and leave us alone. “We both live here.”
“That doesn’t count.”
“We’re both alone in the world, making our own way. And now we don’t have to. We have each other.”
Dawn looked puzzled. “You’re not alone though. You have all of us.” She looked around. “I’m noticing other people have plates of food. I’m feeling left out.”
“Let’s get you fixed up, Bit,” I said, leading Dawn by the elbow. We walked into the kitchen. Willow and Tara stood next to the refrigerator. They were close together, speaking in low tones. Willow reached out and stroked her hair. Tara smiled at her, eyes bright. My stomach twisted as I watched the two of them.
“It’s so nice to see the two of you together again,” commented Dawn. The witches turned to look at us, startled by our intrusion. Tara looked at me, her face slightly pink.
I walked to the pantry and pulled out a bottle of whiskey. I cracked open the bottle and drank deep. Willow and Tara. I could understand it. I knew the pull of your old love, the comfort there. It’s why I went back to Dru, why we had a second go at it. But it hurt. I wanted her for myself.
I felt a tug at my sleeve. I turned to look into Tara’s face. “Please don’t do this,” she said.
“Don’t do what?” I asked, as I took a big swig.
“Get all drunk. It makes you sad or hostile,” she said seriously. “It’s a party. You’re supposed to be having a fun time.” She took the bottle out of my hand.
“So you and Willow seem to be getting along well,” I said.
“She brought me wind chimes,” Tara said. “Why don’t you help me hang them up?” She looked me deeply in the eyes. She picked up a box from the counter and I followed her out, leaving Dawn and Willow chatting in the kitchen while they fixed drinks.
She led me into my bedroom and shut the door. “Are you getting back together with her?” I said abruptly.
“Why would you think that?” she asked.
“I saw you together. You looked all fluffy and lovey,” I said bitterly.
She took my hand. “Spike, if Buffy came to you now and told you that she wanted to be with you, what would you say?”
I thought about how much Buffy meant to me, how long I had loved her. How happy she used to be, and how strong. I thought of making love to her, being inside of her, but never really touching her. How I’d hurt her by being with her. How sad she seemed. “No.”
“Why not?” Her voice was gentle.
“Because I don’t want to hurt her any more. And I don’t want to be hurt. I hope that she can be happy.“ I looked in her eyes. “I like what you and I have. I want to give it a chance.”
“That’s how I feel about Willow, too. I want only good things for her. But she also deserves to know that what we had really is over.” She smiled at me. “I told her that I’d met someone.”
She was so brave, so true. “I’m sorry that I doubted you. I should trust you, trust that we’re building something.” She smiled at me and tugged me down onto my sleeping bag. She covered my mouth with hers and slipped her hands under my shirt, running her hands over my stomach. I followed suit, cupping her breasts in my hands as we kissed hungrily, greedily. I ran my thumbs over her nipples and they hardened immediately under my touch.
She pulled away. “We should go back to the party,” she said breathily.
“Yeah,” I said, reluctantly moving my hands away.
“But you taste so good,” she said. Her eyes told me how much she wanted me. I brought her mouth down to mine again. She whimpered as I plumbed her mouth with my tongue. The taste of her was so addictive, so right. I ran my hand up her thigh and she pulled away.
“We have to go,” she said firmly, as she rose to her feet and straightened her clothes. I tried to cool my ardor, attempted to snap out of the erotic fog that clouded my brain. I rose to my feet.
She handed me the bottle of whiskey. “You can do the drunk, just not the disorderly.” She smiled wide.
“I don’t think that would be smart. I’d have my hands all over you.” We walked back out to the living room.
Anya came over and patted me on the shoulder. “We need to get the party going. This music sucks.” She looked through the CD’s, coming up with a compilation of 80’s dance music. “Put this on.” I did, and she smiled happily. She bent over and put down a box on the floor. “We need to break the ice a bit, get things rolling.” She pulled the top off the box on the floor and spread out a plastic mat covered in dots.
“What’s that for?” Sophie asked curiously.
“It’s a party game. You get to know people better by bending yourself into uncomfortable positions and getting inappropriately close to one another.”
“Is…is it a sex game?” Sophie asked nervously. She wheezed slightly and puffed on an inhaler.
“It can be,” Anya said brightly. “Xander and I-“
Xander came over. “Stop right there, An.” He looked at her with annoyance.
“I want to hear the sex story,” Dawn said.
“I’ll tell you later when no one is around,” said Anya. “Now we can play Twister.” Everyone gathered around the mat on the floor. Anya held a cardboard square in her hand with a plastic spinner.
“Twister!” Willow said gaily. “This is so much fun.”
Xander and I exchanged a look. “You’ve got a nice big fireplace,” he said. “We could go chop some wood.”
“You’re going to stay here and play,” Anya said firmly. She pointed her finger at me. “You, too. This will be fun. We’re going to play elimination Twister, so you’ll have to play in teams.” She pointed us out. “Spike and Buffy. Richard and Tara. Xander and Dawn. Sophie and Garnet. Willow and Daphne. Clem and Sloane. I’m the referee.”
“How do you play this?” Sophie asked Clem.
“You just do what Anya tells you to do,” he explained.
“That sounds like a bad idea,” I said.
“Okay, first round is Spike and Buffy versus Sloane and Clem,” announced Anya. I exchanged glances with Buffy and we stood over the mat.
“What’s our strategy, Slayer?” I asked her.
“Don’t fall,” she said helpfully.
“Right hand red,” announced Anya. The four of us leaned over and put our hands on red. “Right foot blue.” I crossed my leg over my hand. Sloane crouched over me, her hair in my face. “Sorry,” she said apologetically.
“No problem, pet,” I replied.
“Right hand green.” Clem moved over Buffy and slipped as he tried to put his hand on the dot.
Buffy stood up triumphantly. “We won!”
“Don’t gloat yet. We’re nowhere near done,” Anya said. “Willow and Daphne versus Dawn and Xander.” We watched the next few rounds, with teams being eliminated. “Okay, for the game we have Spike and Buffy versus Richard and Tara.”
“We are so going to kick your ass,” said Tara with a smile.
“Not a chance, love,” I taunted her.
“Right foot blue,” said Anya. We all moved into place. “Left foot yellow.” Tara moved very close to me, her ankle if front of my face. Buffy crossed her foot over my leg. “Right hand green.” We all adjusted into position. Buffy was across me, her chest pressing onto my back. Tara stretched across Richard, her skirt brushing across his legs.
“Right hand green,“ Anya instructed. Richard moved his hand, and his face dipped towards Tara, their mouths inches apart.
“Hey!” I barked. I stood up, knocking Buffy to the floor.
“Tara and Richard win,” said Anya. I advanced on Richard, ready to strangle him.
Xander grabbed my arm. “Hey there, pal,” he said. “Why don’t we move your mattress into your room now.” He looked at me seriously. Tara looked over at me, confusion clouding her features. I walked over to the back wall and Xander and I lifted the mattress and carried it down the hall. We set it in place. I pulled out a cigarette and lit it, inhaling sharply. “You need to chill out, Spike,” he said. “Even if she was your girlfriend, you can’t act like a Neanderthal.”
Buffy stormed in, all kinds of pissed off. “Can you excuse us for a minute?” she asked Xander. He looked at me and left. “I know why you’re acting this way,” she said.
“No, you don’t. I guarantee it.” I crossed my arms and glared at her.
She poked me in the chest with her finger, hard. “You’re jealous.”
“Here’s a novel thought, Miss Center of the Universe,” I said. “This has fuck all to do with you.”
“You’re such a liar,” she said vehemently. “You need to move on, Spike. I will never touch you again, not in a million years.”
“I don’t recall coming calling for your girlish charms, Slayer,” I said. “You were pretty clear when you gave me my walking papers.”
She frowned at me. “Then stop acting like a moron. Richard is a good guy, a decent guy-“
“And I wish him well. I wish him a world of luck in coping with the shades of boyfriends past,” I spat out. “In fact, I was thinking of buying him a luggage cart, so that he can properly cope with the tremendous amount of emotional baggage that you are carting around!”
She swung. I ducked. She stood in front of me, her hands fisted. I looked in her eyes and saw the pain within them. I’d hurt her, again. My anger died. “I’m sorry, Buffy. I didn’t mean it.” She turned her back, wrapping her arms around herself.
“You’re a jerk,” she said quietly.
“I am, and I’m sorry,” I admitted. “I want you to be happy. If that idiot makes you happy, I’ll be the first one to shake his hand and wish him well.”
She turned and looked at me. “He does make me happy,” she said. “I feel comfortable with him. I don’t feel pressured, or guilty, or wrong. When I’m with him, I feel good about myself.”
“I’m glad,” I told her. “I want to see a smile on your face. It doesn’t matter that it’s not me putting it there.”
She gave me a tentative grin. “Why don’t we go get a drink and go back to the party?” She walked out and followed me in the kitchen. She poured a punch while I grabbed a beer. We walked out to the living room. Everyone sat in a circle in front of the entertainment center.
“I never kissed a girl,” said Willow. Everyone drank except for Sophie and Dawn.
“I never cast a love spell,” said Garnet. All of the women in the circle drank, as well as Xander.
I sat down next to Tara. “What’s this game, sweetheart?”
“When it’s your turn, you say you’ve never done something. Anyone who has takes a drink, including you,” she explained.
“I never glued my fingers together with Crazy Glue,” said Xander. He and Clem drank.
“I never lit my hair on fire,” I said. Sloane and I drank.
“I never have stolen a car.” Willow and I drank.
“I never had sex in an elevator,” said Anya. Willow, Xander and Richard drank.
“I never called out the wrong person’s name during sex.” Xander, Anya, Buffy and I drank.
“We shouldn’t talk about this with Dawn here,” Tara said quietly in my ear. “It’s not right.” I nodded in agreement. She leaned over and whispered to the Wicca to her right. They exchanged a smile.
“Hey, I have a great idea. Do you guys want me to read palms?” offered Daphne. “I’m pretty good at it.”
“Do me,” said Dawn. She sat down next to the witch and offered her hand.
Daphne held Dawn’s hand in hers, tracing her palm. “You have a very deep love line,” she said. “And a nice long life line.”
“I don’t really believe that there’s anything to that,” said Xander. “It’s just lines on your hand.”
“You can tell a lot about someone from reading their palm,” retorted Sloane.
“Read mine,” said Buffy. “This should be interesting.”
Sloane looked at Buffy’s palm. “That’s weird,” she commented. “Your life line has two big breaks in it.” There was an awkward silence.
“Why don’t we do some scrying?” suggested Tara. “That’s fun and everyone can do it.” She went to kitchen and came back with a large deep brass bowl filled with water. “You just look into the depths of the water and empty your mind,” she explained. “Sometimes you can see visions. Or you can focus your energy on a particular question, and see if you get an answer.”
No one volunteered, and Tara looked a little disappointed. “I’ll do it, ducks,” I said. She smiled at me gratefully, her eyes warm. I sat cross- legged in the front of the bowl and stared down. I’d seen Dru do this hundreds of times, but I’d never tried it myself. I focused on the water, and the bowl underneath, until I felt myself getting relaxed, my mind a blank sheet. This was the way I felt with Tara, calm and peaceful. Suddenly, I wasn’t alone anymore. A blond figure held out an infant. It was a boy, and newly born, its hair matted with blood. I reached out towards it and the vision broke. I came back to myself.
“I want to try,” said Buffy. She sat down and stared at the mirror, her expression blank. She broke away after a few moments. “I think I saw a sword,” she said.
Tara sat down and looked at the mirror. She was focused and intent as minutes passed by. “Blood, a river of blood,” she said.
Sophie and Clem stood up. “I need to get going,” said Sophie. “My mom will be worried if I’m not home by midnight.”
“I should go patrol,” said Buffy. Richard stood and helped her up. Everyone began getting ready to leave, hugging and saying goodbye.
“Xander and I will help clean up,” offered Anya. We all gathered up stray cups and plates and took them to the kitchen. They helped put away the leftover food and drinks. I walked them to the front door.
“Thanks for all of your help, with the furniture and the party,” I said.
“No problem,” said Xander. “That’s what friends are for.” Anya kissed me on the cheek and they left. The house was empty, everyone gone. I walked down the hall and found Tara in my room.
“I’m so glad that we’re finally alone,” said Tara. She lay on my new bed, happily ensconced. She had made it up in my new sheets and comforter and piled it high with pillows. The lights were off, but she had lit candles all around the bed.
“So you’ve come to sleep in my bed, pet?” I smiled at her.
“My room smells like paint and my bed’s not been delivered. I figured you could make a sacrifice and let me stay with you.”
“You can do whatever you want,” I said, as I lay down next to her.
“I want to see you,” she said softly. She unbuttoned my shirt and pulled it off. Straddling my hips, she smiled down at me. “Isn’t this pretty much where we left off?”
“Pretty much,” I agreed. She leaned down and kissed me gently. I kissed her back, keeping it light, not wanting to pressure her. She slipped her tongue inside my mouth, exploring tentatively. She tasted so sweet, and felt so good in my arms. We kissed more deeply, more passionately, desire building in us both.
She broke away, and I thought we’d gone too far, made her scared again. But she leaned down and sucked on my nipple, biting it with her teeth. I forced myself to keep still, not to thrust against her. She made me feel so good. “Please,” I whispered. She sucked harder, and I couldn’t help but moan.
“Do you want to touch me?” she asked, breaking away.
“More than anything,” I answered.
She pulled her sweater over her head and unfastened her bra, baring her breasts. She closed her eyes and breathed hard as she pulled my head forward and brushed her nipple across my mouth. I sucked on it lightly, loving the texture of her in my mouth, the taste. Her fingers ran through my hair, and she gasped, pressing my head. I increased the pressure, and she began to rock against me, her warmth rubbing against my cock through her skirt and my pants. She stilled and pulled away. “We should take things slow,” she said breathlessly. “It’s a bad idea to rush things.”
“Tell me when to stop and I’ll stop,” I reassured her.
“That’s the problem,” she said. “I don’t want to stop. I want more.” I felt her pull my pants down my hips. She leaned forward and kissed me again. “Can I?” I nodded, willing to let her do anything she wanted. Her hands trailed over my thighs, brushed across my balls. She drifted her hand up and down my shaft, making me hiss with arousal. Her hand closed tentatively around my cock. “I’m afraid to hurt you,” she said.
I put my hand over hers and led her into a gentle rhythm, showing her what felt good. She stared at my face, and I closed my eyes. It was too intense, too raw. I wanted her so badly; I wanted to make love to her. “I want you,” I said, lost in pleasure. “I want to make you come. I want to feel it, hear it.”
She stilled. “You want me?”
“So, so badly,” I said, my voice raw with need. I opened my eyes and looked up at her. “You don’t need to do anything to me. I just want to touch you.” She looked at me for a minute and then slid off me, lying down next to me. She kissed me tentatively at first and then harder as I began to move my hands over her soft skin. She sighed against my mouth as I cupped her breasts, lightly pinching the nipples. I took my time, caressing her back and shoulders with feathery touches before returning to her breasts.
At first she lay there quietly with her eyes closed, simply absorbing the sensations, but when I stroked downward over her belly for the third time, she pulled away from the kiss and looked into my eyes. "Please," she whispered as she took my hand and moved it under her skirt.
I hiked it up around her waist and began exploring the curves of her buttocks and thighs. She pulled my head down for another kiss, arching against my hand as I lightly stroked her through her panties. She moaned as I slipped my hand under the waistband and stroked her clit. I moved my mouth to her breasts and lavished attention on her nipples.
She grew damp underneath my hand, and she was breathing rapidly. It felt so good, knowing that she liked it, knowing that I made her feel this way. She moved her hand to my cock and moved gently up and down. It was so good, the feel of her slippery nub between my fingers, the taste of her skin. I wanted to go on like this forever, so close to her, so near.
Her hand tightened around my cock and she pulled me forcefully, frantically. It was just on edge of pain and pleasure, a little too rough. Aroused even more, I bit down on her nipple, without thinking. She bucked up frantically and made a strangled noise. I took my mouth away from her nipple and looked into her face. She looked like she was in agony, her face locked with pain. “Oh, love. I’m sorry I hurt you,” I said, as I stilled my hand on her clit.
“More,” she said through clenched teeth. “Don’t stop.” Her hand on my cock pumped harder. She’d liked the pain, I realized. It turned her on, and that really turned me on. I stroked her clit again, firmer and faster. She rocked against my hand, and I knew she was close. I drew in a mouthful of her breast and sucked hard enough to mark her. She came, explosively. Her body shook around me and she sang out her release. I came with her, spurting all over her hand.
I nuzzled her neck as I came down from my high. “That was so good,” I said huskily. I kissed her softly on her neck. She had a large wet spot on her skirt, and her hand was covered with my come. I stood up and stripped off my pants, and fetched my towel from the corner of the room. I kneeled over her and wiped off her hand and dabbed at her skirt with the towel. She lifted herself up and pulled off her skirt and panties. “Sorry about the mess,” I said, as I lay down next to her.
“I made that mess,” she said. “I’m kind of proud of myself.” She cuddled close to me and kissed my neck. I leaned my head back, exposing my throat. She showered it with gentle kisses.
“You’re so good to me,” I said. She snuggled on my shoulder for a moment as I stroked her hair, then kissed me gently and got out of bed.
“Where are you going?” I asked her.
“To find my nightgown,” she said, as she rummaged in a box. She pulled out a long flannel nightgown decorated with blue flowers and slipped it on. She blew out all the candles and came back to bed, rolling next to me.
“What happened to the skimpy little numbers?” I asked her. “That thing covers you head to toe.”
“It’s cold tonight and you’re not warming me up,” she said. “I need to get warm.” She kissed my cheek. “It will be great sleeping with you when it gets hot outside. You’ll feel nice and cool.” I turned around and spooned with her, wrapping my arms around her waist. It was a nice thought, her sleeping in my bed, through winter, and spring, into summer.
Continued in Chapter 6