All About Spike

Epiphanies
By Isabel Ortiz

Sequel to Carpe Noctem; part of History Lessons

Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: This is obviously AU, but essentially canon-friendly through Potential (except in my version of the episode, Buffy never tried to convince herself she was over Spike in her conversation with Amanda.)
Disclaimer: Don't own them, not making jack off 'em. But we're having fun :)
Author’s notes: Many thanks to my awesome beta readers Helen and Chen! Also, a special note of gratitude and indebtedness to Cynthia Hatch, whose romantic Beauty and the Beast prose is a clear inspiration (the penultimate scene wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for her, and is an homage to a scene from her Kaleidoscopes III. All language used with permisison. Gracias, Cynthia!).
Story Notes: I had to write this fic for my own peace of mind. It is my second S/B fic, and a sequel to Carpe Noctem. You don’t have to read that one first to figure out what’s going on here, but it would help provide some context, and you might as well ‘cause it’s short.



My wrath, where’s the edge
Of the fine shapely thought
That I carried so long
When so young, when so young

My rage, what’s to be
The soul’s privilege?
Will the heart eat the heart?
What’s to come? What’s to come?

O love, you who hear
The slow tick of time
In your sea-buried ear
Tell me now, tell me now.

Song by Theodore Roethke



Buffy closed the back door gently behind her, grateful now, as always, for a bit of peace and quiet. It was so rare these days. She enjoyed sitting on the porch with Spike, talking, or not. It had become a daily habit since she’d gotten him back from the First, their ritual and their refuge.

He was already there, sitting on the top step, leaning forward with hands clasped loosely between his knees; but there was nothing else even remotely relaxed about his posture. Buffy approached him slowly, noting the taut line of his back and thinking once again how strange it was to see him sitting quietly without smoking. He hadn’t lit up once since he’d come back, at least not in her presence. Just one more change to add to the litany.

But there was something different about Spike tonight. She couldn’t quite place it, but she could feel it. Something was…off. Wrong. He’d been acting slightly distant all evening — stiff, formal, so unlike what he’d been like these past couple of weeks — and now as she drew near him she detected a definite air of discomfort, of unease.  Not of the good…

She sat down next to him, briefly leaned into his form by way of greeting. “Hey there,” she said when he didn’t even look at her. He was tense; not even the affectionate physical contact induced him to loosen up. If anything, he stiffened further. Odd…

“Nice night,” Buffy ventured conversationally.

“Pleasant enough.”

Buffy frowned at his detached tone.

“You really gave the girls quite a workout yesterday. And I think Amanda’s still pretty freaked. I’d be, too. They’re coming along, don’t you think?”

Spike shrugged. “As well as can be expected. ‘Course, since they’re all potentially Chosen and all, I’d expect no less.”

“They get the Cracker Jack prize, all right. Lucky them. Actually, I was thinking of giving them the night off.”

“Hmmm.”

“I mean, they deserve it.  They’re getting ready to go to a movie, I think, and then maybe the Bronze.  They should get to have some fun on a Friday night.”

There was no rejoinder save for a slight nod of his head, and they slipped back into a lingering silence that Buffy found less than comfortable.

“So, did you decide, too?” Spike asked out of the blue, still staring straight ahead.

“Huh?”

“I heard you the other day, you know, talking to the others, down in the basement. Your little pep talk.  Been wondering ever since. Did you take your own advice? Decide that it wasn’t going to be you?” His voice was deceptively neutral, as if he were merely interested in the information.

Buffy didn’t know how to answer without either lying or hurting him, so she remained silent, trying to think of something to say.

Spike opened his mouth as if to speak, then evidently thought better of it. His jaw clenched, visibly, and his cheek muscles worked as he wrestled with whatever demon was threatening to emerge. He stood up and abruptly stalked away.

“Where are you going?”

“Out for a walk.”

The unspoken final bitch rang in her memory as she watched him disappear, wraithlike, into the shadows.

Color me stunned… she thought. What the hell had just happened?

She was used to his mercurial moods — so much like her own — but this was the first time since she’d rescued him from the First that they’d…what? Had a fight? Was that was this was?

Buffy tried to not take Spike’s sudden departure personally, but she couldn’t help feeling stung. What had she done wrong? Things had been going so well between them…. It had been really good to feel like they were friends again, like after she’d come back.  Like before. Before…the sex, her traitorous mind hastily supplied, and she put her head in her hands. It always came back to that.

“I want to know how to make it right with you,” she had told him the night she’d brought him home. “Whatever it is.”

She had told him that they’d talk, when he was better, stronger; she had told him that everything was going to be all right. But he hadn’t broached anything like that particular subject since, and neither had she. She wasn’t sure if they’d been avoiding the topic, or if it simply hadn’t come up.

He was waiting for her. She understood that. He would no longer presume, no longer initiate. That he loved her completely, she already knew. That he was becoming as essential to her as air and water? That was new, she thought. Or maybe not so new. If it hadn’t been for Spike, she wouldn’t be here now, that was for sure.

Buffy sighed into the night air. It was still so confusing. Negotiating relationships with men — and vampires — had never been her forte. She always managed to screw them up. Was it even right to pursue a romantic relationship now, when everything around her was so precarious? Could she afford to divert her attention and energies like that, let down her guard for even a moment? Last year with him, she’d been…obsessed. Out of control. She’d ignored everyone around her — Willow, Dawn, Xander, everyone. It had all fallen to pieces because she’d been so…so….

She didn’t even have a word for it.

So many people were counting on her. She had duties, responsibilities. Of course, that was nothing new.  Then again, the stakes were higher than usual. But she was leaning on Spike for support already; she couldn’t be doing what she was doing with the Potentials without him. They’d become a team within a team. They had a…a partnership. Their synergy working together was nothing short of amazing, but then again, it always had been. And they’d been close through all of it, and getting closer. The way she felt around Spike, the way he saw right through her — funny how he could make her feel so vulnerable, and so safe at the same time. The way they could share quiet jokes, communicate with just a look, and nowadays it seemed that they didn’t even need that. And every time his hand brushed hers…

Buffy shivered. The raw potency of their mutual sexual attraction was as overwhelming as ever, and it was beginning to trickle out from behind the barriers she’d so carefully erected. The protective barricades that newly-ensouled Spike was dismantling without even trying.

And it wasn’t like the other girls didn’t already think there was something going on between them. Buffy cracked a small smile to herself. Oh, they knew something was up, all right.  The sparkage between her and Spike had to be obvious to even the most casual onlooker. She thought of Xander and Willow then and shook her head. They would always be a problem. But only if she let them be.

“Buffy?”

She turned her head at the sound of Dawn’s voice.

“We’re just about ready to go. You sure you don’t want to come with us?”

“Thanks, but nah. Somebody’s gotta patrol, and, honestly, I’m not really in the mood to sit through two hours of Brittany Murphy doing Ashton Kucher ten ways ‘til Tuesday.”

“Hey! It’s supposed to be funny!” Dawn glanced around, looking vaguely perplexed. “Where’s Spike?”

“I wish I knew,” Buffy answered with a sigh. “He took off. I think he maybe wanted some time alone. He kinda…blew me off, said he was going for a walk.”

“Is that, like…safe?”

The thought that Spike maybe shouldn’t be walking around alone because of concerns for other people’s well being hadn’t even crossed her mind. You’re slipping, Summers…

“Funny, I hadn’t even thought about that. You’re right; I should look for him. Just to be on the safe side.” Buffy got up and gave her sister a hug. “You go have fun. And if you guys go to the Bronze afterwards, give me a call so I won’t worry, okay?”

“Got it. And, Buffy?”

“Yeah?”

“I’ve been talking to Spike lately and…well, I just have a hard time believing that he really wants to be alone. I mean, I don’t know why he would’ve taken off like that, but I’m pretty sure that whatever’s going on…he wants to be with you.”

Then the feeling’s mutual, Buffy thought before stepping inside to collect her stakes.

*****

Buffy’s unerring Spike-sense led her directly to Restfield. She heard the sounds of battle before she could see anything through the copse of jacaranda and eucalyptus trees. It didn’t surprise her that Spike would have started to patrol without her, especially considering the snit he’d been in. A little violence against the demon world was a surefire cure for most of what ailed him, she knew, soul or no soul. Hope he’s having fun.

Buffy broke through the trees, and sure enough there he was, whirling about, punching and kicking, fists and feet flying. He was fighting a kind of demon she’d never seen before. The newcomer was big, brownish-green and scaly — no beauty prizes for this loser — and towered over Spike. He wielded an enormous, nasty looking blade that looked like it had come straight out of a Klingon weapons cabinet, and Spike looked like he was having a rough time. The vampire moved like quicksilver, fighting with all that he had, but — oh, my God — Buffy could tell he was losing. She broke into a run, focused on only one thing: Get the sword, get the sword.

Desperate thoughts spurred her onward. Oh god, oh god, I’m not gonna make it, I’m gonna be too late.  Almost there, almost, gotta get the blade away…but there was no time for that as she saw the demon kick Spike against a crypt wall, effectively trapping him. Spike slid down the wall, apparently stunned; she saw the silver of the demon’s blade glinting in the moonlight as he raised it, preparing to slice it down and take off Spike’s head. She pushed herself to the limit, putting on a burst of truly superhuman speed and launching herself over the remaining distance between them, throwing herself between the oncoming blade and Spike.  She twisted herself around as she bounced off the cement wall and landed on top of Spike’s supine form, managing to thrust her foot up into the sword’s path, deflecting the blow away from her torso. She ignored the sudden burning sensation in her shoulder as she brought her hands up to wrest the weapon away from the demon bellowing above her and she turned it around, crying out as she thrust it with all of her considerable might into its chest. She twisted the sword to and fro, and the demon’s red eyes bulged in shock and pain before it heaved a final croaking breath and fell, lifeless, to the ground.

She pushed the demon’s bloody corpse off of her and rolled away from Spike onto the grass, breathing hard as the adrenaline rush slowly faded away.

“Buffy! Oh my God, Buffy!”

Spike crawled over to her and knelt by her side, his gentle hands lifting and supporting her, bringing her up until she was sitting.

“My God, are you hurt?”

“Ouch,” she said, touching her shoulder. Her fingers came away streaked with blood from where the demon’s blade had penetrated.

Spike frantically swept his hands over her head and torso, checking for further injuries.

“No, Spike, stop, I’m fine.  He just got me here, and it’s not even that deep. I’ll be fine. Are you okay?”

Spike sat back on his heels and dug his fists into his eyes for a moment before exploding to his feet.  “What the bleedin’ hell is wrong with you?!” he shouted down at her, ignoring her question. “What the hell did you think you were doing?!”

Taken aback, Buffy could only stare at him. The wild man in front of her actually looked like he was waiting for an answer. “Saving your ass, Spike, or hadn’t you noticed!” she spat, suddenly infuriated by his wrath. “Got a problem with that?”

Buffy was shocked to see his eyes, already ablaze with anger, grow even brighter with unshed tears. He turned to walk away, then whirled back on her, furious.

“You don’t get to do that, Buffy! Not like that!”

“Spike, this guy here was fixing to make himself some vampire nuggets!”

“You almost got yourself killed! I’m not fucking worth it!”

Something deep inside her swelled up, then burst wide open. “You are to me, you stupid vampire!”

*****

Her words rang out strong and clear, echoing off of gravestones and mausoleum walls, stunning him into silence. She looked as shocked as he felt, her chest heaving, eyes as wide as the sea, and in that endless moment Spike felt something moving and shifting between them…something powerful. Something inevitable.

“My God, I really almost lost you,” she whispered. Her harsh tone of just a moment ago had vanished; her voice sounded soft and sweet to his ears.

Spike fell to his knees in front of her, the scant space of air between them crackling with sudden electricity. Buffy’s blue-green eyes seared into his own, kindling a fire deep within. Your eyes are the color of the ocean…Spike thought, and he found himself sinking into their depths. There was a ringing in his ears and he shook his head, trying to clear it, unable to think. "Buffy..."

"Shhhhh…don't say anything,” she whispered. “Just let me touch you."

Spike obeyed, hypnotized by her intense examination of his face. Buffy's hands traced a meandering path, her thumbs stroking his eyebrows, her fingers tenderly caressing his cheek from temple to jaw, threading themselves into his hair, brushing back the short strands, repeating the motions again and again. He followed Buffy's eyes as they pored over his features, as if committing them to memory. He felt her gentle hand explore them; felt a single digit graze his lips, felt them burned by her ardent gaze.

She leaned into him, brought her lips to his, and the kiss was different from any that they had ever shared. Yes, oh, God, yes his heart cried out as her lips melted against his, and Spike was shocked to realize that deep down in his soul, strange as it might seem, he knew this kiss. He knew it, he'd always known it, and he was staggered by its rightness, its absolute inevitability.

When the kiss finally ended Spike pulled back just far enough to behold his feelings of awe mirrored in Buffy's eyes. He felt her breath warm and fast against his lips, heard her voice whisper his name like a forgotten prayer, and in that moment nothing in the universe could have stopped him from returning to her succulent mouth, from claiming Buffy's lips once again with his own. Driven by a single-minded desire he wove his own fingers into the golden tresses he'd so desperately missed. He secured his hold, felt Buffy's lips beneath his moving, parting, accepting the offering of his tongue. He heard a helpless moan — his? — as he urgently probed the depths of her mouth, tasting the moisture there.  He wanted to melt into her, become one with her, be absorbed by her. So warm, so wet, so sweet...his splintered thoughts canted. His hands became bolder in their explorations of her body, fluttering over her shoulders and sides, brushing against her heaving breasts and past her stomach, down to where her moist, fragrant heat was indisputable proof of her own desire.

"Oh, God, Buffy..." he groaned, the feel of her sending shock waves throughout his system. He closed his eyes and surrendered to the sensations of Buffy's hands gliding over his body. He felt every nerve ending on fire as they stroked and caressed, and when he opened his eyes and looked into Buffy's he saw his own ravenous hunger reflected there.

“Oh, God, please, please, Spike, please…” she pleaded brokenly, and he instantly, precipitously came to his senses. The spell she had cast over him was broken; he thrust her hard away from him and got to his feet, steeled himself against the shocked hurt in her eyes.

 “Please, please, Spike, please...” “You'll feel it again, Buffy...” “Please don't do this...” “I'm gonna make you feel it…”

He brought his hands to his head, squeezed them tight and tried to force away the memory of their voices echoing off the tile walls of a tiny room.

“Oh, my God, Buffy, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry...”

“Spike, what’s happening?  What’s wrong, why did you stop?” Her voice was imploring, full of sorrow and confusion.

I never meant to hurt you…

“We can’t do this,” Spike ground out, shaking from head to toe. “I thought we could, but we can’t. It’s not right. No matter how much I want it, it’s not right. I’ll hurt you again, I’ll only ever hurt you, don’t you see? And I can’t do that, I can’t, don’t let me, don’t ever let me do that!” He heard his own voice rise in a frenzied, deafening crescendo.

“Spike, you weren’t hurting me! I thought…I thought you wanted it, too.” Buffy’s voice trembled and she was on the verge of tears.

Like before, oh, Jesus, just like before…

“I will not take you like an animal,” he whispered brokenly. “Even if I am one.”

“Oh, Spike, no! No! How can you say that? I wasn’t talking about you!” She got up, moved towards him; he could only turn away.

He felt rational thought slowly returning, but he couldn’t bring himself to look at her flushed face, or meet her confused, tearful gaze. “I know you didn’t mean to be,” he said, sounding far calmer than he felt. “But you were right, you know. I know that now, I can see it. And everything that made me…that…is still here, in me. I’m still a demon, love, even when I’m trying so hard to be a man.”

“Spike— ”

“I know it, and you know it.  The First knows it, too. Used it to control me, to make me its bitch. Wasn’t even hard. Turned me right back into the creature you despise, the kind of animal you were born to hunt down and destroy.”

“Spike— ”

“I will always be beneath you, Buffy. I can never— ”

“Spike, for God’s sake, stop it!”

Her shrill command jolted him into silence.

“Listen to me, Spike. Just shut up for once in your life and listen!”

They faced one another, wide-eyed and staring, breathing hard.

“It doesn’t matter, Spike.  What happened before. It doesn’t matter. You’re not beneath me. You haven’t been that for a long time. Even before the soul. Believe it. And no matter what happens, I will always believe in who you are, right now. In who you’ve managed, against all odds, to become.”

“How can you say that?” he answered after a long moment. “After what I did, how I hurt you?”

“Spike, please, we’ve been over this. I’ve hurt you, you’ve hurt me — can’t we just…put it away? You’ve changed, and I’ve changed. I thought….” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “I thought we were starting over just now.”

He sank bonelessly to the ground, hid his face in his hands, shook his head ‘no’ over and over again. “I told myself I could never hurt you, Buffy,” he choked out. “That I would always love you, care for you, no matter what.” His muffled voice was full of remorse. “‘I don’t hurt you’ — isn’t that what I said, not twenty four bleeding hours earlier? God, Buffy, I’m sorry…I’m so, so sorry!”

“Spike! Stop it. Stop apologizing. We don’t have time for this crap.” She went to him, crouched beside him, and drew one hand through his hair in a soothing gesture as the other dried his tears.

“Listen to me, Spike,” she began, her voice now calm and soothing. “When you took off earlier, it got me thinking. I know it’s scary, wondering whether or not we should…be together.  And I don’t know if it’s right or wrong. I don’t even know if it’s possible.  But I think I want to try. My God, after tonight? I know I want to try. And, Spike?” She lifted his chin, made him look at her as she said her next words. “Here’s the answer to the question you asked me on the porch: No, I don’t want to die. Believe me. Not anymore. And I promise you, I will fight with everything I’ve got in me to stay alive. So I can have as much time with you as I possibly can.”

He quietly absorbed what she was saying, the gravity of her declaration slowly sinking in.

“I know we’re going to win this fight,” she continued. “It’s what I told them, and it’s what I believe.  But I don’t know at what price. We don’t have any guarantees and I won’t lie to you by pretending to give you any. I’m through lying to you. That’s a promise, too. If it turns out that I have to die again to restore some cosmic balance, then that’s what I have to do. I’ve accepted that. You need to, too.  If there’s another way, trust me, we’ll find it. But if there’s not….” Her voice trailed off, and she favored him with a soft, sad smile. “Can you live with that, Spike? Can you be with me, knowing that?”

“You could have been killed tonight,” he said softly.

“I know. I could be killed every night. It’s part of the job description. I’m used to it.”

“I’m not. Not anymore.” He heard his voice crack, the admission tearing at his heart.

“But can you live with it?” she insisted.

He searched her fathomless eyes, hoping to glean some insight into what she meant, unsure as to what she was really asking. He wasn’t even sure what he was looking for, but hoped against hope that he would know it if he found it.

“I was sure I was a goner just now, you know,” Spike said quietly. “And the last thing I thought before you threw yourself in front of me was how awful it was that the last thing I’d done with you was walk away in anger.” He ventured a touch, tucked a stray wisp of hair behind her ear. “I love you so much, Buffy. You’re the only heaven I think I’ll ever know.” He caressed her cheek in his palm, traced the outline of her lips with his thumb. “I want to be with you. More than anything. But you don’t love me.”

She grasped his questing hand, brought it to her mouth, kissed his palm. “Actually…I think I might.”

It wasn’t the answer he’d been expecting. Spike could only stare at her, stupefied, as her words slowly but inexorably penetrated the fog of his brain.

“She’ll tell you.  Someday, she’ll tell you.”

Slowly, and as if from a great distance, he became aware of a sound, a light, musical sound that gladdened his heart, gave it wings, made it soar.

Buffy was laughing.

“I’m sorry,” she managed to get out, between giggles. “I know this is serious. But, really, Spike, you should see your face.”

He felt his features break wide open into an answering smile as he swiftly moved to close the space between them, drawing her into his arms and holding her tightly, never wanting to let her go. “You’re amazing,” he breathed into her hair. “I love you.”

“Yeah,” he felt her murmur into his shoulder. “Me, too.”

Spike didn’t know how long they stayed like that, fused together in an intense and powerful embrace, but after a while he became aware of restless movements — hers — and reluctantly loosened his hold.

“Spike?”

“Yes, love?”

“We’re, um…kneeling in demon goo.”

Spike looked around him, becoming abruptly aware of their slimy, fetid situation. He looked at Buffy and caught the mirth in her eyes.

“Shall I dispose of him, love?” he offered, chuckling weakly.

“Nah. Let’s be mean and leave him for the groundskeepers to clean up. I think…” She dropped her voice down to a conspiratorial whisper and looked at him meaningfully out of sultry eyes. “I think we should go home.”

*****

The house on Revello drive was dark and quiet when they let themselves in, careful to wipe their feet of dirt and demon muck before treading on the floor. The instant they were safely inside their mouths and bodies met in a passionate embrace, just as they had done repeatedly on their way home from the cemetery. They had months of pent up desire between them, and now that their walls had been breached, Spike thought that even an apocalypse couldn’t keep them from coming together again and again.

He would never remember later how they managed to disentangle themselves from one another, how they managed to accomplish the ascent up the stairs. He did know that however it happened, the maneuvers never involved an instant of separation as their hands and mouths in one or another combination kept them attached for the duration of their journey.

To her bedroom.

But they didn’t stop at the bedroom and Spike pulled back, nonplussed, as they passed her door. “Love?” he queried. “Where are we going?”

“To wash up,” she replied calmly and firmly. “We’re filthy.”

He found himself in front of the bathroom door, and try as he might he couldn’t keep from trembling.

Buffy looked up at him with compassionate eyes, took his hand in hers, and squeezed it reassuringly.

“It’s just a room, Spike,” she said. “Just a room. And we’re going to put it behind us once and for all.”

Spike looked at her searchingly. The trust and faith in her eyes gave him the strength to nod his assent, and he allowed her to lead him inside.

She closed the door behind them and reached up to kiss him gently, blow in his ear. “Don’t think about that,” she instructed with a whisper, reading his mind. “Just let it go, and concentrate on this.”

He vowed to do his best to obey.

She undid his shirt, one small button at a time, kissing each inch of his flesh as she slowly exposed him to her sight. Heaven…he thought. My heaven…

She stripped him of his shirt, then removed her own. “It’s trashed,” she commented as she tossed it in the bin, but Spike was barely listening, mesmerized as he was by the sight of her golden skin, the line of her collarbone, the perfect curves of her breasts. He reached a trembling hand to touch them, trace their shape. So beautiful…

“See?” she whispered. “It’s not so hard.”

“Speak for yourself, love,” he replied, surprising himself with the ease of his own levity as he guided her hand to cup the bulge in his jeans.

“Hmmm, nice,” she said, massaging his aching hardness through the rough material, making him curse and moan.

She moved to turn on the shower before directing her attentions back to him and the act of removing his jeans. She undid his belt, drew the zipper down, gripped the waistband with both hands, and knelt before him as she pulled the black denim down. He stepped out of them and he next thing he knew his straining cock was engulfed in her mouth heat wet jesus god good so good and he looked down in astonishment to find her dancing eyes regarding him with amusement and oh sweet jesus joy as her mouth worked sweet magic on his flesh.

He couldn’t believe this was actually happening.

“I’ve missed this,” Buffy said as she released his cock with a kiss to the flare at its tip. “I could never admit it before, barely even to myself, but I have.” She stood up and quickly divested herself of her remaining clothing before taking his hand.  “C’mon, let’s get in the shower.”

She stepped into the steaming spray, tugging at his hand to bring him along.

Once in the shower, the warm water cascaded down their bodies. They made quick work of soaping one other and as they stood in the cleansing stream Spike acted on pure instinct and knelt down in the tub, bending his face to Buffy's tight brown curls. He felt her heat and inhaled her subtle, feminine scent as his hands stroked her trembling thighs.

I’ve missed this, too, love…

He started a slow, sensuous caress with his mouth, biting gently, increasing the pressure in response to Buffy's low moans of pleasure. He felt Buffy's hands wrap around his head and gradually became aware that they were urging him up. He followed their direction, standing in the stream of water with her, bending to take her mouth once again. He tangled his fingers in the glory of her hair, kissed her lips, her eyes, her forehead, her nose. His fingers quivered over Buffy's face, exploring every precious inch of it. He trailed kisses down the length of her throat, finding his favorite little hollow at its base, flicking his tongue over it. Buffy gasped in reaction and drew Spike's face close to her own. Her mouth whispered over his skin and everywhere she touched sent echoes of madness coursing through him. Her exploring mouth found his ear, caressed it with her tongue, her warm breath, and then kissed it. "Bedroom. Now," she commanded.

"God, yes," he replied.

*****

They rolled together on her bed, bodies pressing together in search of more and more contact as if mutually starved for it. Spike stretched to his full length, wrapped both of his arms completely around Buffy, molded his entire body to hers. He was filled with emotions more intense than any he'd known before his soul had been returned; not even in their wildest couplings had feelings like these been unleashed.   He lay upon her, his hardness undulating against the softness of her belly as they moved as one, their urges and desires completely indivisible. The sensations were incredible, indescribable. Their mouths sought and found one another and Spike was drunk with the taste of her, desperate to quench his terrible thirst. What was she doing now — to his lips, his throat, his ear?   Every touch sent fevered messages through his blood and he was lost in the spinning, dizzying pleasures of taste and texture. Oh, Buffy, love…

Buffy’s hands were moving frantically, seeking contact with his bare flesh. She knelt beside him now, inflaming his skin with her passionate gaze, her ardent touch. Not an inch of Spike's chest was left unexplored by fingers and tongue and he cried aloud in pleasure as her hot mouth descended on first one taut nipple, then the other.  His own fingers touched and explored the acres of soft, rosy-golden skin laid bare before him.

“You’re so beautiful, Buffy,” Spike managed to breathe.

They fell back onto the bed and Spike proceeded to devour her, kissing his way past her heaving breasts down to her quivering stomach, back and forth and up and down, nipping gently here and there. He flicked his tongue in a random pattern, noting every sharp cry of response, reveling in the exotic feel of firm muscle, soft skin, and endless curves.

It wasn't enough, though, not nearly enough. Spike fell upon Buffy, blindly seeking her mouth, his senses inflamed almost past the point of endurance. He couldn't think, could only act as he pulled back to once again behold her glistening pubic curls, the most beautiful and erotic sight he'd ever known. Buffy's own hand moved instinctively to soothe her aching flesh but Spike intercepted her, pulled her hand away, felt himself drawn like a magnet to Buffy's center. Mine…all mine…

He caressed her nether-lips with his breath and slowly laved them, parting them with his tongue, exalting again in her texture and flavor, her subtle movements, her gasps and moans. He looked up at Buffy's face, found it transformed by pure sensation, head thrown back, eyes closed, tongue moistening her lips, breath harsh and irregular. Beautiful… Spike kept up a slow, deliberate rhythm with his tongue while his fingers massaged her thighs, then rose towards her breasts. Buffy arched upwards, crying out, her enraptured countenance plainly revealing the intensity of her pleasure at his touch. Encouraged, Spike explored further, stroking up and down, thrusting his tongue into her vagina, swirling it around her clit. He loved Buffy's vocal reactions, loved the fact that it was he coaxing such potent responses from his beloved.

My beloved…

The word sang in Spike's heart and echoed in his soul, a song he’d dreamed he’d heard a thousand times.  How was it possible to love so, and still to live? He felt filled in that moment with a glorious warmth which flowed from his soul through his heart to his hands as they continued to caress her, responding instinctively to Buffy's monosyllabic entreaties and affirmations as well as his own need to take, to touch, to taste...

My Buffy, my dearest love, my beautiful avenging angel...

Buffy's voice filled his ears with the sweetest music he could ever hope to hear. "Oh, God, Spike, God, yes, I love you so much, oh, God, yes...” Single syllables were all she seemed capable of as she voiced her pleasure, her desire, her need. The fractured, breathless utterances were at once a soothing balm for Spike’s soul and a spark for his passion, further inflaming a desire already on the verge of raging out of control. She loves me…

As Spike worshipped Buffy with his mouth he was suffused with a feeling of love and devotion so intense that he thought he might faint. What they were doing was pure and perfect, and he was aware on a deep level of a curious sense of redemption. He wanted to shout with joy as he licked and sucked and kissed his beloved’s flesh, ecstatic with the knowledge that for the first time he and his slayer were truly making love.

Buffy's breathing was becoming faster and more erratic by the second, the thrusting of her hips more frenzied with abandon as they propelled her clit ever deeper into Spike's willing, worshipful mouth. Spike had to hold on to her wildly bucking hips to maintain his contact, to stay with her all the way, till the end, to stay with her as she arched and thrust her way to completion. Distantly he heard her voice crying out as her body stiffened in his grasp for a brief eternity.… His own mind was hazed with fire as she came; he knew that the act drew them closer, made them a part of one another, bonded them together as never before. I love you...

Spike rested his head on Buffy's inner thigh. He didn’t think he had ever felt so content in his entire life. Lifting his gaze to his slayer's face, he was overwhelmed by the beauty of his beloved in sated repose, overwhelmed by what had just transpired between them. You reached out for me, you wanted me, you went wild for me, you came for me... and in the midst of it all you cried out for me, you said that you loved me... Spike closed his eyes with a sigh, consigning the moment to memory forever.

"Hey...” Buffy's sweet voice, a little hoarse, wafted through Spike's consciousness. "Hey, c'mere." The request was accompanied by a gentle tug and Spike moved up the bed and into Buffy’s waiting arms. They wrapped around him lovingly, gently pressing Spike's head to Buffy's shoulder. Her hand began to stroke his hair and he knew that he could fast become addicted to the sensation. He closed his eyes again, sinking into her warmth, loving the way Buffy felt and smelled. He felt a sweet, soft kiss on his head and the nuzzling of her nose before the arms around him increased their pressure, holding him securely, tenderly, lovingly...

Buffy's breath bathed Spike's head in warmth as she sighed, then kissed him again. "I almost can't believe it's real," she murmured.

Spike smiled. "Me, neither."

The arms around him tightened even more. "That was... that was...” The words trailed off, as if Buffy's lexicon did not contain the words to adequately express her experience. Spike understood perfectly. His didn't, either. Not even in his mind could he sum up his feelings, or even come close to understanding them. It wasn’t as if he’d never gone down on her before, but this intimate encounter had been so different…and too profound to be captured by anything as mundane as words. It had gone far beyond carnal pleasure, even far beyond an expression of love, farther than Spike had ever been taken. Even now, he understood it only on the most primal of levels.

“And you know something?" Buffy asked, spryly moving to straddle him, taking his still engorged cock between her hands. "It's not over yet..."

Spike's own arousal, which he'd been content to ignore in the face of everything else he'd been feeling, surged once again. Convulsively he gripped Buffy to him, delirious with swiftly and fiercely rekindled passion.

Oh, God...

“Now it's my turn."

Buffy's words turned Spike's insides into something the consistency of jelly, while the seductive movement of her hips and the feel of her hands kneading him infused him with a delicious tautness, the tension of anticipation. For a long moment there was only silence and he felt the palpable sweep of Buffy's gaze across his skin.

Spike held her precious body close and pulled it even closer, thrusting his hardness against her, seeking more and more sensation, surrendering to his instinctive, driving need. He had never before been this turned on, this hungry for her love, had never known before this concentrated intensity, this feverish heat burning him up from within. He suddenly understood that it was the difference his soul made. He felt the fire, knew it to be beyond his control, and realized that he had neither the will nor the desire to control it, that he had no choice but to be consumed by it, inevitably and gladly. He redoubled his efforts, eager to reach the point of annihilation, desperate for the definitive explosion that would obliterate him, reduce him to ashes...

He was almost there when suddenly the friction fueling the fire was taken away, the weight on top of him suddenly gone, rolled away. Unexpectedly deprived, he heard himself cry out in frustration, the disappointment nearly unbearable. He tried to reach for himself but was prevented by a stilling hand that grasped his, brought it to gentle lips. Buffy’s soft voice whispered soothingly, "Shhhh.… Hey, what's the rush? Take it easy."

He opened his eyes to find Buffy looking down at him. Spike couldn't speak but his look must have said something, because Buffy's next words were, “I know we’ve kind of been here before, but not really, if you know what I mean. I mean, the first time really making love only happens once. And I want it to be special for you, not just... well, you know."

The words were so typically Buffy that Spike could only think, Who wouldn't love you? before reaching to bring Buffy's face close to his, initiating a long, thorough kiss. As it ended, Spike became aware of hands roaming his body, touches designed to soothe and cool the white hot flames of his desire, to temper them, to bring the raging boil down to a slow simmer. His desire was still there, and his arousal, but he was no longer teetering on the edge. He could think now, and reason, and above all appreciate the gifts that Buffy was bestowing upon him.

God, Buffy, I love you so much...

Spike looked searchingly into the eyes he adored, finding in their sparkling depths the answer to every question he'd ever asked, the salve for every wound he'd ever suffered, the reassurance of every doubt he'd ever known. "I love you."

He watched as Buffy's disarming eyes began to swim in a wash of sudden tears, incongruous against her dazzling smile. A droplet or two fell, splashed Spike's cheek, and when his own vision blurred he knew that tears were in his eyes as well. The gentlest of fingers brushed at the dampness, the softest of lips kissed his eyelids.  "I know, Spike, I know. I love you, too."

Buffy moved to take his mouth in a kiss more eloquent than any words of love could ever be. Spike felt its sensuous magic working its way through his body, the kiss a marvelous combination of tender reverence and erotic command that soothed and excited him at the same time. He deepened it, burying his hands in Buffy's hair, knowing that there was nothing to be held back now, no limits, no boundaries, and he joyously abandoned himself to the exquisite, fluid yearning growing within him, flowing between them, recreating them as one.

Buffy's mouth left his and began a slow, languid descent. She took her time, exploring Spike's body with deliberate thoroughness. She surveyed his skin with mesmerizing precision and everywhere she touched, be it with hands or mouth, tingled in the aftermath.  Buffy knew exactly what Spike needed, what his body craved, and at every maddeningly delicate caress Spike wondered brokenly how he could have withstood the privation had she not touched him in just that spot at just that moment.  The homage of those knowing hands was electric, agonizingly provocative. Soon Spike was writhing and squirming beneath the tender assault, hearing his own voice gasp and plead as Buffy kissed his sensitive pelvic hollows, as her talented, torturing tongue began to slowly lave the crease between groin and thigh. Spike instinctively lifted his knees to give her better access.

Spike felt Buffy turn her head, her hair tickling his inner thigh as hot breath bathed his groin; he thought he might melt as her velvety mouth engulfed him. Demand and surrender were indistinguishable as Spike felt himself drawn into her moist heat, and soon all remaining sense of himself as a separate being was lost in the tidal force claiming him, dismantling and reshaping him. He was wound up tight, threatening to snap, when she turned her attention to his balls, sucking them in, first one and then the other.

“You feel so good to me,” Buffy told him between nuzzles and licks. “You taste so good, so Spike-like.”

Spike heard his own soft moan rise like smoke in response as Buffy paid him lavish attention, swirling her tongue around and around his balls, laving a little further down and then back up and around, again and again, building up the heavenly, nearly unbearable sensations bombarding every nerve until Spike thought that he might die if they continued. He knew with utter certainty that he would perish if they did not.

Buffy suddenly drew herself up and over him, grasping his powerful erection and guiding it to her body’s entrance, amazingly seeking his permission to join with him with a look and a breathless plea. “I want you to come inside of me, Spike. I want that so badly.”

“Yes, Buffy, yes, now,” Spike gasped in reply.

She lowered and lifted herself, grinding herself down on him as he entered her inch by glorious inch, her slick tightness both a torment and a salvation. I’ve come home again…

Spike's sense of time and order and sequence ceased to exist as he lost himself in the sublime perfection of their loving. He felt the familiar coiling urgency winding itself tighter and tighter within him, and the key to its release was Buffy. Buffy... loving me like this...

She was taking him. He was hers.

Overwhelmed by the poignancy of the moment, Spike was filled with a sense of fate fulfilled. He closed his eyes and imagined his destiny as a door that had been waiting, always, to be opened in just this way, awaiting his passage into the radiance beyond, into a blinding luminescence that was love, their love, acknowledged and fulfilled.  The darkness of his demon within was temporarily banished as the brilliance of his and Buffy’s bond blazed before him, within him, pulling everything towards its burning center. He knew that only by plunging into its depths could he be released and reborn, but he couldn't bear for the sweet rapture to end, even as he knew it could not sustain itself a moment longer. The password to that blissful extinction was the only word he knew, and as he plunged into its white hot center, heart and body and mind and soul, willing himself to shatter into a thousand pieces, he repeated it over and over again and again. "Buffy... Buffy ... Oh, God, Buffy..."

*****

The house was silent save for the sound of their low voices speaking in hushed, intimate tones.

They were wrapped around one another, nuzzling, snuggling, murmuring words of love and devotion, just as Spike had longed to do with her for so very long. It was a level of intimacy he had only ever imagined, one that he had been sure he would never ever have, one he was still sure he didn’t deserve. That it had actually come to pass stretched the boundaries of his incredulity to their limits. How many times had he dreamed of this? The reality of it was staggering; his fantasies paled in comparison.

“How much time do we have before the rabble get back?” Spike found himself asking as his finger traced random patterns around her dusky nipples.

Buffy craned her head to look at the clock. “The movie should be getting out right about now,” she said.  “Then they’re probably going to go to the Bronze. Dawn was gonna call.” She leaned down and brazenly flicked her tongue over his chest, making his muscles leap in response. “I’m pretty sure we’ve got time.”

“Good,” he said, and proceeded to kiss her until she broke away, gasping for air.

“God, I’ve missed you, Spike,” she murmured. “And everything’s okay. We can do this. We can. I love you.” She smiled at him, a radiant smile that reached straight into his soul. “You know something? It gets easier to say every single time.”

He nuzzled closer into her neck and inhaled the essence of Buffy. Jasmine, roses, coriander, sage… He took her mouth again and kissed her deeply, their happiness in this moment real and immediate, their passionate kisses and touches keeping thoughts of apocalyptic death and destruction at bay.

They lost themselves in one another once again, riding endless waves of love, sensation, and pleasure.

He loved her. She loved him.

It was as simple and as complicated as that. And for a little while longer they let themselves believe they had a future.



The End
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