"Heav'n but the vision of fulfill'd desire and Hell the shadow of a soul on fire"
-- Omar Khayyam
Everything happened very quickly. One moment Spike was leaning over Buffy, tucking the leather coat around her, the next she was flinging herself away from him, off the top of the tomb and onto the ground...and the moment after that he was flat on his back halfway across the crypt's floor where she had thrown him. And there was a very angry -- and dangerous -- Slayer on top of him.
Still slightly stunned, Spike gazed up into Buffy's unseeing eyes. She was sitting on his chest, pinning him to the ground while she reached automatically for a weapon. There was no recognition on her face, no sense that she even knew where she was or who she was sitting on. Instead, something primitive and ferocious burned behind her eyes...
...something that Spike recognized, that caused the demon within himself to leap forward in welcome.
He must have moved without thinking because Buffy snarled once, soundlessly, then lashed down at him with one fist. Spike dodged the blow then surged up, sweeping her off so that they ended up rolling along the crypt floor together, their limbs tangled.
Part of the vampire was enjoying this to the hilt, even though his broken ribs complained with every movement. The length of her body against his...having the Slayer in his arms, even like this...it was probably as close to heaven as he was ever going to get. But another part of him was busy worrying about her injuries. Just then, though, she rolled on top of him, certain parts of her anatomy pressing against certain parts of his...and Spike told the second part of himself to bloody well sod off.
They came to a sudden stop beside the tomb, rolling into its side with such force that the impact jarred them both. On top, at least for the moment, Spike took advantage of the Slayer's momentary pause and reached out with lightning speed, seizing her wrists and pinning them to the ground. Buffy fought him wordlessly, furiously, but could get no leverage to free herself, his weight trapping her beneath him. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she stilled, her chest heaving. There was a long pause and then an emotion he did not recognize flickered across her face...
...and everything changed. Slowly, purposefully, she shifted, arching upwards just a little. Just enough. And Spike caught fire. Or at least, that's what it felt like. Desire was suddenly coursing through him like an inferno, answering the change in her mood, while the air around them seemed to crackle with electricity.
The Slayer sensed it too. No longer struggling, she stared sightlessly up at him while the tip of her tongue darted out to lick her bottom lip. Spike groaned. Then her legs slid slowly upwards, bending at the knees, her inner thighs caressing his hips, and he could take no more. His self-control completely gone now, he lowered his head and met her lips with his own, roughly forcing them apart with his tongue. After a moment, he let go of her left hand to seize her by the hair, tilting her head back so that he could deepen the kiss.
He could die happy now, Spike thought distantly as the Slayer's tongue entwined with his. He could turn to dust tomorrow and still be a happy man. Her free arm had slid around his back, pulling him even closer, and she was writhing beneath him, her hips grinding against his own. 'A very happy man...'
Which was when he became aware of it. Distantly at first, then more urgently he realized that something was poking into his back. Something sharp. The haze surrounding him receded a little and he recognized it for what it was. A wooden stake.
Spike broke the kiss abruptly, pulling back enough to gaze down at the Slayer. She stared blankly back up at him, her lips slightly swollen from his kiss and the echoes of passion still radiating from her eyes...but the hand holding the stake at his back was motionless and there was a hint of ice behind the passion...
Spike froze. And remembered. After the fight with the demon he had picked up the stake. It was in the coat. She was wearing the coat. Meaning she was armed. And blind. And confused. And severely hacked off, from what he could tell.
A long moment passed in which neither of them moved, then Spike swallowed and said carefully: "You don't want to do that, pet. I helped you, remember?"
She frowned, as if trying to recall but not quite succeeding. He tried again. "Remember the demon? In the cemetery? I helped you kill it." He softened his voice even further. "I saved your life. Brought you back and wrapped up your arm for you."
Her frown deepened and she moved her left arm slightly, as if testing the truth of his words. Spike's mouth went dry at the feel of the stake sliding across his back and a tremor went through him, despite himself. The Slayer felt it, her eyes flickering back up to meet his own, even though she could see nothing. There was confusion in her face now and an odd blankness, as if she were still asleep. But he was getting through to her, he could tell. He only had to keep talking...
"Come on, Buffy. Put the stake down, love."
* * *
Buffy. It was the sound of her name that finally brought the Slayer back to complete awareness. When she had first emerged from the dream...it was like she hadn't truly been awake. Or as if her body had been on auto-pilot. She had known, in a distant, detached way what she was doing, but it was almost as if someone -- or something -- else had been pulling the strings. Something primitive and violent. Something she had encountered once before, also in a dream. The Slayer. The first Slayer.
Buffy shuddered, then fought the reaction down. No. Don't think about it. Focus on the here and now, rather than on the what-ifs. That was what Giles had taught her. Concentrate on what she could see...hear...feel, and worry about the rest later.
OK. See. Nothing. Hear. Her own heavy breathing and racing heart. Feel. Hard, slightly damp earth beneath her. And...someone laying on top of her. Completely on top of her. Spike. Recognition came with a shock, like a bucket of cold water being thrown over her, and the last of the cobwebs in her mind cleared instantly. Spike was laying full length on top of her, one of his hands tangled in her hair, the fingers of his other entwined with hers. Both of her legs were wrapped tightly around him and... Oh. Aroused Spike. Very aroused Spike. And it all came flooding back to her...
He had kissed her. And she had kissed him back. With enthusiasm. And major tongue action. She had kissed him. Kissed Spike. Buffy blinked. What the hell was she thinking? And, for that matter, why was she still just laying here beneath him, not moving?
Well, she couldn't answer the first question, but she could definitely do something about the second. Tightening her jaw, she said, as firmly as she could. "Get off."
Buffy felt some of the tension ease from the vampire -- No! That's all wrong. There will be no relaxing on top of Buffy! -- then he leaned forward a little and said, a mocking edge to his voice:
"Love to pet, but in case you hadn't noticed, you're the one who's all wrapped around me."
That was true. She still had both legs around him and her left arm was curled up around his body, holding him close to her -- and holding a stake on him.
Spike stirred slightly, drawing her attention back to his lower body. "You planning on using that Slayer?" he said. "'Cause if not, I know a lot better uses for that hand..."
That did it. Buffy shoved him away, untangling herself hastily from the vampire. Then she clawed her way back to a sitting position and transferred the stake to her right hand, wincing at the pain in her left as she did so. "You're a pig, Spike," she hissed. "Just stay the hell away from me."
She could almost see the taunting grin she knew would be on his face. "Hey, you're the one who had your tongue down my throat! Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but just so we're clear on who was doing what to who..."
Yeah, right. "You kissed me first!" she said furiously.
"Well...yeah." A pause. "So you do remember it all then?"
His weight pressing into her...his lips on hers, rough and hard...raw, sexual energy consuming her... Oh yeah. She remembered it. All of it. And it was disturbing on practically every level. Spike? Wanting and needing Spike? What was that about? She had a boyfriend. And there was nothing within her that was even remotely attracted to Spike. There. Just. Wasn't.
In the end, Buffy fell back on denial. "I am not going to talk about this," she said firmly, trying to calm her racing mind. "In fact, I am not even going to think about this. Ever, ever again. It so did not happen."
"Fine." She heard him climb to his feet then move towards her. "I'm gonna help you up. Don't stake me." Was that a hint of anger she heard in his voice? But then his hands were on her and he was pulling her to her feet...and all thoughts of what happened between them faded as pain took their place.
It hurt less now, Buffy realized, but that wasn't saying a lot. Her arm still felt as though...well, as though it had been clawed by a demon. It was bandaged, she noticed, and the bleeding seemed to have stopped, but even the slightest movement was enough to set waves of agony crashing across her body. For a moment the world spun and she swayed. If she hadn't been blind she would have been seeing spots, she knew. Despite her best intentions, her knees began to buckle.
* * *
Spike saw the Slayer start to fall and cursed under his breath...then he reached out and caught her, holding her tightly against his chest. 'Why me?' he thought as he held her. 'Why do I have to sodding care?' The old Spike would have just let her fall. Hell, the old Spike would never have been in this position in the first place. For a moment he yearned for the old days, before the Initiative, before the implant in his head, before he ever came to Sunnydale... He had been happy back then with Dru, wreaking havoc on the world, doing what he wanted, when he wanted...to whom he wanted.
Now though...now he was reduced to this. Living off discarded butcher's blood. Following the Slayer around night after night just to catch a glimpse of her. Risking unlife and limb for her. And...
Sod it. Who was he kidding? It was enough to just be here like this, holding her so up she wouldn't fall on her stupid Slayer face. Enough to know that it was him she needed, even if it was just for now.
And as for the kiss... There had been something there, something real, no matter how much she might try to deny it. They had both felt the heat. It had been fire and sunlight, all...
Oh god. Poetry. He was bloody thinking in poetry now. That was... He was...
Continued in Part 7