All About Spike

Show and Tell
By Isabel Ortiz

Sequel to Epiphanies; part of History Lessons

Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: This is obviously AU, but essentially canon-friendly through Potential. First Date never happened.
Disclaimer: Don't own them, not making jack off 'em. But we're having fun :)
Author’s notes: Show and Tell is the first installment of History Lessons, an AU Season Seven B/S series of loosely-related standalones branching off from my post-Showtime and post-Potential fics Carpe Noctem and Epiphanies. These last couple of stories have been pretty heavy on the angst, and I’m experimenting with writing in different genres, anyway, so this fic is a little different, and about as light and fluffy and humorous as I’ll ever get (unless you count Illegal Acts…). I actually think I’m overboard on the fluff factor here, and this piece may see some serious revision in the future, but I simply have to get it off my desktop! Okay, here’s my personal disclaimer: Mushy!Isabel has a particular weakness for wanting to see her favorite fan couples (1) dance together, (2) celebrate anniversaries, and (3) create/invoke eccentric family traditions. This fic tries to manage all that for our heroes, and just a wee bit more. Please let me know if I’ve succeeded in the least - the feedback I get is enormously encouraging to me and my muse! And for those of you who miss the angst and pathos, and think that this episode is out of character…don’t worry, it’ll be back.
Story notes: Was it just me, or did Buffy sound a little hoarse when she was saying goodbye to Giles at the beginning of The Killer in Me? It got me thinking about Buffy getting mundanely sick (we all know how much sleep she’s been getting lately, how restful her life is…), and how that situation might play out in my little AU universe. The talk about anniversaries in the same episode got me thinking, too. So, as this story begins, we’re some weeks past the end of Epiphanies…four, to be precise.



Spike tapped his booted foot impatiently on the cracked vinyl, waiting for the cashier to ring up his groceries. It still seemed strange to feel obligated to pay for them. On impulse, he snatched a copy of the Weekly World News from the rack above the conveyor belt to add to his other purchases. He imagined that Buffy would get a kick out of the picture of Brittney Spear’s two-headed alien love-child dominating the front page.

Spike had made a habit these past few days of bringing his slayer little things like this to cheer her up, make her feel better. He was a piss-poor substitute for Joyce, that was for bleeding certain, but still, a bloke had to try. The other day he’d brought her a small, stuffed ring-tailed lemur that had caught his eye in a toy store window: "Look on the bright side, pet, you could be stuck being sick in Madagascar. And before you don’t say anything, I’ve been to Madagascar, and I know what I’m talking about." Another day he’d come home with an Etch-a-Sketch: "Did you know that Martin Luther reformed the entire Church while he was recovering from a cannon-ball injury? All throughout history people have used periods of convalescence to do great things; maybe you could work on developing your artistic communication skills."

That comment, of course, had earned him a particularly nasty look, but soon her tawny head had been bent over the little device, busily etch-a-sketching away. "Fuck you" had been the very first message his beloved Buffy had composed on the little screen. (A blissful hour or two later, "Thank you" was the second.) And yesterday... ahhh, yesterday. Spike smiled even now to remember his wicked stroke of absolute genius: Buffy had loved the retro Rubik’s Cube -- for about fifteen minutes.

Absently now he thumbed through the tabloid. Perfect, just perfect. He couldn’t wait to see her smile. Spike had taken it upon himself to try to make his mostly bedridden lover smile as often as possible during these last few days. Compulsory bed rest was not Buffy’s idea of fun, but both Spike and Giles had insisted. It might only be laryngitis; still, the doctor had prescribed rest. And inhaling vamp dust when you were that close to developing serious respiratory problems? Not of the good. That last had been Dawn

So the Potentials and Spike had picked up the slack, and Buffy had stayed home. Spike’s learning curve had been steep. Lesson the first: bored slayer = cranky slayer. Lesson the second: sick slayer = cranky slayer. Lesson the third: double cranky slayer = ….

There just wasn’t a word for it.

Of course, the combination of bored and ill made for one truly pathetic slayer.

One who really, really missed her mum.

Buffy had started feeling all pooky -- Dawn’s words, again -- last week, but a few days ago they’d gotten smart and had taken her to see the doctor. "Laryngitis is an extremely common viral infection, you know," they’d been informed by the eager young internist. "Lots of rest, lots of liquids." Buffy had opened her mouth to croak a reply -- at that point she’d still had the ability to whisper, albeit hoarsely -- but had been interrupted immediately by Dr. Jansen’s, "No, don’t even try to talk, miss. You need to rest your voice above all, or you might lose it completely for a while."

"And that’d be such a tragedy," Spike had interjected dryly, hoping to elicit a smile, but Buffy’s subsequent scathing glance in his direction said that his attempt at levity hadn’t been much appreciated. The patient had then turned back to the doctor, rolling her eyes as she complied with the doctor’s instructions. "How long?" had read her hastily scrawled note.

"Oh, if it happens, I’d say from three to five days. Complete voice loss usually doesn’t persist for more than a week. If it does, make sure to call to let me know right away." The doctor had smiled at Buffy’s cleverly pantomimed voiceless emergency phone call; Spike had just been embarrassed. "Point taken -- get him to let me know," he’d amended with a nod at the abashed blond. "But remember, it may not even come to that. I don’t think there’s any reason to be overly concerned."

Buffy had shot a meaningful glance at Spike after that comment, a look that had clearly said, "I hope you heard that!" Spike had pointedly ignored her, mentally reserving the right to be as concerned as he felt was necessary.

Intellectually, Spike knew that the flu bug going around Sunnydale wasn’t all that serious, and that he shouldn’t over-react to this sort of thing, but he simply couldn’t help himself. Still, secondary laryngitis could happen to anyone. Even super-strong slayers. Well, the doctor hadn’t actually said that, but Spike could imagine. But no real reason to worry. Buffy would only be sidelined for a little while, three or four days, tops. No big deal. She’d get lots of TLC and chicken soup and anything else Spike could think to get for her. Everything would be fine. Besides, it could be interesting, having a silent Buffy around the house for a while. At the very least it was a truly... novel concept.

But that had been then. Now, after merely three days of hearing only his own voice in their bedroom, Spike was discovering all over again that you don’t know how much you depend on something until it’s been taken away. He found himself missing her familiar tones -- he even missed Buffy’s singing, though he’d never, ever admit it to his closet Spice Girl-wannabe. It wasn’t as though Buffy wasn’t communicating with him, because she was. Most thoughts she could convey easily enough with body language and facial expressions, and Spike wasn’t a half-bad lip reader. An ever-present note pad sufficed for elusive specifics. On the whole, though, they hadn’t really even needed the pen and paper. Spike wasn’t sure if it was that Buffy was a great communicator or if he was just an expert Buffy interpreter. Probably a little bit of both.

Still, he missed the infectious sound of her laughter. He missed the funny verbal ways she found to express her pleasures as they made love. Most of all, though, he missed hearing the way the most beautiful voice in the world would whisper three little words as they snuggled up for sleep... Oh, she still got the message across, but somehow it just wasn’t the same, and tonight, tonight of all nights, Spike wanted desperately to hear them.

"Have a nice night," the woman at the register told him dutifully, handing the distracted vampire his change and receipt.

"You, too, pet," came the automatic reply.

But it was a nice night, and as Spike stowed the paper bags in the back seat he charged himself mentally with remembering that. If Buffy was making the best of a lousy situation -- and she was, really -- then he could do no less. It was their one-month anniversary, after all, and that alone made the night glorious.

But he was restless. Buffy would be expecting him, and Spike didn’t want to keep her waiting long. Christ, a glacier moves faster than this... he sighed mentally, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel of Giles’ car. This makes TWO decidedly misnomered "express" lanes buggering me all to hell tonight…

**********

What the...?


For a moment Spike had the crazy impression that he’d gotten mixed up and had come home to the wrong house, entered someone else’s living room. This is Revello Drive, right? Stunned was too mild a word for his reaction. This is incredible...

Buffy popped into view head-first, emerging from the kitchen and sporting a grin the size of a football field and a floppy white chef’s hat procured from God-only-knew-where. The full-length professional apron she wore bore multi-colored marks and streaks and splotches of indeterminate origin. She looked ridiculous. Spike hadn’t the faintest idea what to do or say, so he remained standing in the foyer, grocery bags in hand, senses reeling, eyes opened wide and mouth agape. Belatedly, the thought broke through his bewildered amazement that he, too, must look ridiculous.

A graceful, expansive gesture from Buffy herself invited him to take in every aspect of the magically transformed abode. Soft light from at least twenty strategically placed candles illuminated the enchanting tableau. Tearing his eyes from Buffy’s impish grin, Spike allowed his gaze to slowly traverse the transfigured space...

The walls were adorned with a different variety of framed prints, large and small. The Greek Islands...Athens...the Parthenon and the Coliseum...Aprodite and Cupid…deities and mortal heroes of Homeric lore. Gone was the traditional arrangement of the furniture, the sofa and chairs pushed against the far wall, making room in the center for a magnificently set table for two, complete with blue and white china plates... crystal goblets... white cloth napkins... a real linen tablecloth... a small card that read "RESERVED" folded next to the colorful ceramic vase containing a spectacular arrangement of lilies, irises, hyacinths, and baby’s breath. Best of all, a deliciously enticing sweet-nutty-tangy-citrusy scent was wafting in from the kitchen...

Spike was speechless.

The coup de grâce was Buffy slowly and rhythmically beginning to dance for him, bobbing up and down as she grapevined her way to the stereo, snapping her fingers to a silent beat. Soon the CD player was spinning, filling the space with the unmistakable sounds of a bouzouki band playing a traditional Greek rebetika as his enthusiastic Zorba- wannabe pranced and twirled with abandon all around the room, clapping her hands.

When the dancer’s chef’s hat flew off of her head, Spike couldn’t restrain himself any longer and burst out laughing. His soft chuckles were soon gleeful, high-pitched chortles that verged on the uncontrollable. The groceries slid from his grasp as he himself slid slowly down the smoothly plastered wall. He kept trying to say something, kept trying to meet Buffy’s eyes, but every time he looked up he found himself at the mercy of yet another bout of hysteria.

"Buffy, you are certifiable," he finally gasped, wiping the last wet vestiges of hilarity from his eyes and ignoring his aching flanks. Spike allowed Buffy to draw him into the final passes of the impromptu zebekika.

Their dance ended in a literally breath-taking embrace, Spike crushed his lover joyously to his breast, then leaned backwards to lift her a good six inches off the floor, spinning her around once, then twice, in a surge of unmitigated delight. He set her back on her feet and lifted his large hands to either side of her face, breathlessly seeing his own love and joy reflected in Buffy’s twinkling eyes. He brought his open mouth to hers and their tongues met, dueling and dancing in sync with the celebratory music, the long kiss playful at first, turning tender and sweet towards the end. "Hmmmm... this is wonderful, Buffy, just... hmmmm... just wonderful," he breathed into the last of the kiss. "You never cease to amaze me. I assume this means you’re feeling better?"

She nodded.

"Good…" he smiled against her shoulder.

"Happy Anniversary," came a croaking sound near his ear.

"Buffy! You’re talking!"

She nodded, then, "A little." She pointed to her throat. "Still hurts."

"Then don’t talk. This is perfect." Spike clasped his arms around his lover’s waist in a light embrace as he once again surveyed the room appreciatively. He wondered where everything had come from, but decided not to ask.

"This is a wonderful gift, Buffy," Spike whispered. "I love you, you know that?"

He gathered Buffy close yet again, silently thanking the powers that be for whatever part they had played in keeping this treasured being alive and whole and in his life. "You make me so happy," he added, tightening his hold. It was Buffy who finally and reluctantly broke the embrace along with the mood, glancing at the clock and nodding towards the kitchen.

"I don’t know what you’re making," Spike commented as together they gathered the abandoned grocery bags, "but it doesn’t smell like gyros." He drew in a lungful of pungent air. "Hmmm. Whatever it is smells delicious."

Buffy smiled, obviously happy to have pleased him.

Spike stowed the groceries, hiding the Weekly World News until a more appropriate moment. Buffy indicated that dinner would be ready in about twenty minutes. She turned her attention to the thick, sweet-smelling sauce simmering on the stove, then back to the feta cheese she’d obviously been in the middle of crumbling when Spike had come home. Twice she slapped away his exploring hand.

"What can I say?" defended Spike, nibbling on the bit of cheese he’d been quick enough to pilfer on his third attempt. "All this time now living with you, how can I not pick up your bad habits?"

Buffy gave him a withering look and once again nodded at the time meaningfully. Spike got the hint. "Okay, okay, I’m going already," he said, stealing a quick kiss before leaving Buffy to the last of her preparations. As Spike went to wash up and dress for dinner, he decided that his black slacks and collarless shirt would replace the jeans and electric blue tee he’d donned that morning -- this was, after all, a classy establishment. More importantly, though, he knew that Buffy thought he looked really hot in black.

**********

When Spike came back into the living room, dinner was just being served, and Spike saw that he was going to be treated to a meal finer than any he would have thought Buffy capable. She usually didn’t go in for the domestic thing, although to be fair to Buffy she tried, really she did. But every once in a while -- like back at that Thanksgiving at Giles', the year the Scoobies had first taken him in… That dinner had been important to her, somehow, and he remembered sitting tied up in that chair, eating Willow’s guilt cookies and watching Buffy intensely, trying to figure out why that should be so, and wondering why it was so important for him to know in the first place. Wasn’t like he cared for the silly bint, now, was it…?

"My mom used to do these surprise dinners for my father when I was little," Buffy rasped, lighting the candles on the table.

She really is on the mend
, Spike thought, pleased.

"When things were…good between them. When we were really a family. I wasn’t the easiest child to bring to a restaurant, as you can imagine, so she got really good at doing different ethnic at home. Then she’d take the best recipes and use them for appetizer buffets down at her gallery." Buffy’s expression turned sad and wistful, and her voice, when she finally spoke again, was barely there. "I’ve been thinking so much about Mom lately. Missing her so, so much, Spike." Tears clouded her eyes, and Spike ached to reach out to her, touch her hand.

So he did.

"Do you know what else?" she asked. Spike shook his head as he moved even closer, gathering her up in his arms, enjoying the feel of her vital reality.

"None of the other guys I’ve ever been with celebrated, or even acknowledged anniversaries with me. Angel because, well, you know, just that one time. Parker? Jerk. Not worth a second go, remember? And Riley? I guess subconsciously we both knew it wasn’t ever gonna be a permanent thing, so why track it?" She smiled at Spike meaningfully. "But with you, Spike? I want to celebrate every moment we can. I want to mark it. I want to remember it, always."

Me, too, Buffy. Oh, God, me too.


He held her close for a moment, then released her and sat her down at the table. For openers, there was fresh hot bread served with saganaki; Spike provided the obligatory "OPA!" as Buffy lit the cheese, expertly extinguishing the flame with a few squirts of lemon. They fed each other slices of bread dripping with the soft, melted cheese, alternating bites with sips of a dangerously sweet rosé that went down like Kool-Aid with his blood. The main course was tender, juicy lemon broiled chicken with a walnut honey glaze over vegetable pilaf. Spike thought he detected hints of both cinnamon and garlic in the rice; he was pleased to discover he was right on both counts. The meal was complemented by an artistically arranged spinach, tomato, and feta cheese salad and a bowl of wonderfully flavorful marinated olives. God, how he loved human food!

They ate slowly, contentedly, savoring every bite. Spike was blown away by the sheer perfection of it all, and said so. He wanted very much to know just how Buffy had managed everything, how she’d come up with the idea, prepared the menu,(;) but with her voice still not at 100% there was no possibility for a conversation involving such specific detail. Spike already felt incredibly grateful for the interlude of actual, honest to goodness conversation with her. Or, at least, the treat of a monologue. It would have to do to tide him over.

They lingered together over the last of the Roditas, sharing looks and touches that were all the communication they needed at the moment. The candlelight cast a soft, romantic glow, emphasizing the intimate nature of the moment. Finally it was time for dessert, elegantly presented brandied apricot sundaes whose smooth sweetness was cut by thick Greek coffee. Spike now went to retrieve his gift to Buffy and then sat back sipping the last of his bitter brew.

"Forgive me if I go a little on the traditional side, but someone has to maintain a sense of propriety in this household," he commented as the wrapping paper on the rather large package was carefully removed, revealing a box which contained a flowing, off-white linen skirt and a deep blue long-sleeved shirt of raw silk. Buffy’s expression said at once that she unequivocally loved the gift and that her lover’s rationalizations weren’t fooling her one bit.

"O.K., so I’m exaggerating the part about propriety," Spike relented, reaching to unfold the skirt and hold it up appraisingly at Buffy’s waist, pulling at the material, checking actual accessibility possibilities.

The reply to that was, expectedly, a flashy wiggling of Buffy’s hips capped by an exaggerated pelvic thrust. Spike laughed. "You really think you’re pretty sexy, don’t you?" he asked, knowing what the answer would be.

"You tell me," Buffy whispered.

"All right."

Without further conscious thought, Spike leaned over until his lips brushed Buffy’s ear. He lowered his voice suggestively, confessing, "I got hard in the store when I saw this outfit, you know, imagining you wearing it."

Buffy drew back at that, staring at Spike with eyes gone big as saucers. Spike noted the reaction with pleasure and glowed inside. He loved being erotically frank with her. He continued huskily, "I actually can’t wait to see you in them, you unbearably sexy creature, and I’ve been waiting for quite some time... Why don’t you see if they fit?"

"And, Pet?"

Buffy turned at the sound of his voice.

"Don’t wear any knickers."

She smirked a little in reply and left a smiling Spike to clear the remnants of their meal. Smiling and hopeful, because maybe...

Just maybe...


**********

Spike pressed the play button, pleased with the selection he’d culled. He sensed Buffy enter the room behind him and closed his eyes before turning, willing himself to envision the sight first in his mind’s eye.

As far as Spike was concerned, even on the most mundane of days there was no one on the planet sexier than his beloved -- but tonight, on this special night, standing there smiling in the flickering candlelight, Buffy was absolutely devastating. The European-style skirt and flowing dark shirt accentuated her slender musculature as she stood, then emphasized her feline grace as she moved, lifting her arms and displaying herself to him with confidence. She turned slowly, allowing Spike to look his fill, obviously proud of her ability to please him in this way.

Spike finally found his voice, a low, throaty sound. "You like?"

Buffy nodded slowly.

"Me, too."

He took a moment to set the CDs going before opening his arms in invitation. Buffy moved into them and Spike was struck anew by the perfect fit of their bodies nestled together as they began to slowly dance, arms around and cheek to cheek. Spike tightened his grip, holding her close, loving the warm feel of Buffy pressed against him, close enough to feel the beating of her heart. Beautiful... They moved together in a slow, sensuous rhythm, a dance whose movements lightened and quickend as the magical sounds of the Temptations filled the room. They felt the music flowing through them, connecting them. Spike’s rich baritone accompanied Otis’ as he bent his head and began to echo the familiar words in Buffy’s ear:

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it's cold outside I've got the month of May.
I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin' 'bout my girl (my girl)…


Spike knew that Buffy liked it when he sang to her. Tonight he thought the melody particularly beautiful, the simple words especially meaningful, and he continued to sing them softly, resting his cheek against the hair he loved, content for the moment to simply hold the woman he adored.

The song ended, another began. Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin… At every change, Spike and Buffy adjusted their rhythm and movements, in perfect sync with one another. The music was taking over now, and they let it. They didn’t need words. Not now. Maybe not ever. The love they felt for one another was speaking its own silent language as they held on to one another, slowly rocking and swaying about the candlelit room.

Dancing was one of the many, many things they did supremely well together, letting the music flow through their bodies, engaging with it on a primal level, manifesting it smoothly, physically, with bodies and souls, like they were doing now. Spike loved the rhythmic movements which to him meant celebration of life in its purest form, and now their synergy was nothing short of extraordinary. One of these days we’ll go out to the Bronze to dance…we’ll turn heads, break hearts… One of these days soon…

Tonight all the music Spike had chosen was Motown, low and sweet, like their dancing; it was easy music, melodic, softly romantic without being saccharine. They listened and moved as one, bodies pressing together in a flowing, familiar embrace. Their world had shrunk down until nothing existed save themselves and the sensuous rhythm they maintained; the feel of their bodies moving, merging, the music swelling without and within, weaving a spell, tangibly connecting them on multiple levels of body, mind and spirit. Spike felt high, drunk on life and love, totally aware. He felt every sense he possessed heightened and sensitized, noting with clarity and intensity the way Buffy smelled, all citrus and sandalwood with hints of deep pine and exotic spice; the way she felt in his arms and moved against him, strong and solid and real and warm; the softness of her silk; the sweetness of her cheek; the feather light living weight of her hands at Spike’s nape and waist; the salt of her skin where Spike’s lips brushed her temple.

"You’re incredible," he heard himself whisper into her ear, feeling soft tremors course through her body at the caress of his lips. "I love dancing with you. It makes me feel so good, you know? Just holding you like this, moving like this... So sweet, so close, like it could go on forever, just like when we’re making love."

Spike felt the smile against his shoulder, and knew his earlier instincts had been right. I’m gonna show you, and I’m gonna tell you... All night long…

Perhaps for once it might come close to being almost enough.

Without breaking their established rhythm Spike continued to whisper, pitching his voice low and intimate, for his lover’s ear only. "I love the way you look in this shirt, the way you feel in it... It’s a little exotic, a little mysterious, just like you... and such a blue... Goes with your beautiful eyes, and I knew I had to see you in it. And just thinking about you in it got me so turned on... Yeah, right there in the store, just like I told you, I got so damn hot for you I thought I’d come just from thinking about it, right then and there."

The slight increase in temperature against his face told him that Buffy was already blushing. You ain’t heard nothing yet...

"So, of course, I bought it," he nuzzled into an ear. "And then I came home." He paused to slowly kiss the ear beneath his mouth, felt the shiver down the spine beneath his stroking fingers. "And I was so hot I couldn’t wait to get my hands on you." He pulled Buffy’s hips infinitesimally closer to his own, pressing them lightly together, rubbing ever-so-subtley groin to groin, feeling the effect of his words on them both. "Dawn was doing her homework in the kitchen, took one look at me, then scampered off to her bedroom. Remember? Remember what we did then?"

A nod, and Spike could feel her heartbeat growing stronger, faster. Aroused.

"Let me do it again."

Spike pulled back enough to place his hands between them, lifting them to Buffy’s chest. He began to slowly unbutton the shirt, watching the silky blue material fall away fold by fold, parting in an ever-widening "V", giving way to an enticing swath of equally silky golden skin. Spike smiled his most brilliantly devastating bad-boy smirk.

"Yeah, I was just waiting for this very moment, thinking about it, imagining how sexy you were gonna look wearing this, about how sexy it was gonna feel taking it off." The shirt was now unbuttoned to the belt line, and Spike made no further move to remove it, rather contenting himself with slowly brushing his fingertips up and down the revealed bosom, slipping in underneath with feather-light strokes to touch the nubs that hardened under the lighter blue of her satin and lace bra.

His voice lowered even further as he continued his tactile exploration of her breasts, removing the bra slowly, expertly, until it slipped down off Buffy’s shoulders. He swirled his fingers around her exposed breasts, watching her dusty nipples crease up and tighten. "That happens so often, Buffy. All I have to do is think about you. No one’s ever turned me on the way you do, made me so hungry, so ready all the time. Sometimes it just makes me crazy and all I wanna do is get to wherever you are, to be with you, to get naked with you, to make love with you till I think I’m gonna die from the joy of it..."

Spike’s words were cut off by a demanding, hungry mouth covering his and they were caught in a maelstrom of mutual desire. Spike welcomed the probing tongue deep into his mouth, danced his own around it in a moist, heated duel, a liquid firestorm. He secured his hold as he deepened the kiss, felt strong hands stroking his body from shoulder to thigh, stroking and squeezing, reaching around to cup his buttocks, pressing and releasing, grasping at his back as if they could not get enough of touching him, of inflaming him...

With a gasp he broke the kiss, captured the hands, brought them to his front, invited them to undo the buttons, to lift the material up and away. The shirt was tossed haphazardly aside, then he leaned into his lover, rubbing his bare chest against Buffy’s, enjoying the sensations of fine silk against smooth skin. "Nice, Buffy, so nice..." he murmured. "You kiss like a hurricane when you’re getting turned on like this, it’s incredible." He brought his mouth to its mate’s for a taste, then continued. "Never, ever wear knickers with this skirt. Let’s keep it pure. Sacred."

He laughed aloud at the expression on Buffy’s face, leaned to once again kiss the lips parted in shocked surprise. Spike turned momentarily serious, tenderly caressing his lover’s cheek, pausing every now and again to gently trace lips and eyebrows with his long fingers as he spoke. "Yeah, I guess you could say I’m hosting the talk show tonight."

"You’re so beautiful in candlelight, Buffy. All night long I’ve been thinking that, watching you, loving the way you... -- No, no, no, don’t even think of turning away from me, my Aphrodite. The bloke what got shot in the arse by Cupid’s arrow is talking to you, here. Tonight, for once, I’m gonna get a word in edgeways. And every word in-between. I’m gonna love you through the floor tonight, Buffy, and I’m gonna tell you all about it, every step of the way."

The look that Buffy gave him in reply was, in sooth, priceless.

**********

Erotic talk was vastly underrated by the unenlightened masses, Spike decided some time later as he knelt next to the sofa, bathing Buffy’s vagina with his tongue. For over an hour now they’d been dancing together, kissing and caressing, shedding articles of clothing one by one, slowly building up the sexual tension now fairly crackling between them. Spike had given free rein to his seductive lexicon, reveling in the power he owned to tantalize and tempt and arouse Buffy with words as well as touch. His utterances were by turns loving and sweet, lewd and licentious. Everything he thought, everything he felt, everything his lover made him feel on every level imaginable... He’d told it all, and had watched as Buffy responded to the words, blushing with pleasure, trembling with anticipation and finally burning with arousal, with desire for what only he could give...

Now there were no more words for either of them. The raspy breaths from above seemed loud in the now-quiet room, and the tension-taut limbs within his grasp told him that Buffy’s ultimate release was coming nearer and nearer... but Spike didn’t want it to be over with so soon. He wanted to draw out the pleasure, to make it special, really special, to make it last until they could share it, together, make it forever, together...

He drew off her clit, replacing his mouth with his hand, stroking the wet heat of her carefully, lovingly. "Wait for me, Buffy," he instructed, and after a moment the tousled head on the sofa pillow nodded. Spike knew that it hadn’t been easy; he’d brought Buffy right up to the edge and she’d been close, so very close... For long minutes Spike continued to bestow loving caresses all along the length of the body laid out before him, touching and tasting his way from head to toe and back again.

The tastes and scents of her were so very intense... incense, fine brandy... earthy, tangy, intoxicating, utterly addicting. Spike’s own arousal was now threatening to overwhelm him, too -- ungentling his caresses, turning them hard and urgent as he climbed up onto the sofa and raised himself on his arms above his lover, allowing their bodies to brush and touch like two live wires, erotic electricity. He felt her body break out in sweat, felt Buffy’s tongue lapping along his chest as they moved now to different music, to an altogether different rhythm... Soon he wouldn’t be able to hold back, either. "God, Buffy, what you do to me..." He rose to sit back on his haunches above her, hard meeting soft, brought his hands down to rest on either side of her too-slender waist, stilling all movement, regaining control. After a moment he opened his eyes and found his voice. "Shall we move to the bedroom?"

Buffy smiled a smile Spike couldn’t quite interpret in reply as she nodded. They rose and stretched, then shared an almost platonic embrace as they took a last look around their Greek taverna, still awash in the soft glow of flickering candles. "I’ll never forget this, Buffy," Spike whispered. "Not for as long as I live."

Prudently, then, they went about the room extinguishing the flames. Four candles were spared the fate of the rest, lighting their way as they stepped around tables and chairs and articles of clothing. And Buffy still hadn’t stopped smiling her enigmatic smile.

Setting the candles on the dresser top, the pair lost no time in returning to one another’s arms, passionate kisses stoking their barely banked fires. But before Spike could topple her onto the bed, Buffy squirmed out of his embrace and pulled away.

"Buffy?"

Again, that maddening smile. Then, a finger over his lips and a hand gently closing his eyes. I don’t believe this... Another one? But Spike played along, wondering at the rustlings he identified as the spread being pulled down, the pillows fluffed. The presence returned, as did the hand that meant he was to keep his eyes shut. What now? He allowed gentle hands to guide him to the bed, sit him down, then push him slowly back.

It took him a moment to identify the exquisite sensation, and the moment he did his eyes flew open to look -- suspicion confirmed, and nothing in the world could have stopped the next words from slipping out of his mouth. "Buffy... how the hell much did these cost?"

Buffy’s grin told him that he didn’t really want to know, and then, before his thoughtless outburst was allowed to completely destroy the mood they’d so carefully woven, he was jumped upon, passionately attacked, pinned beneath his lover’s lithe body and rolled upon the dark blue silk sheets decadently gracing their bed. Silk linens... Spike laughed, holding his lover tight. "You’re off your bird... you’ve been..."

He was cut off by a fierce, hot tongue and fingers everywhere, touching in a whirlwind of need that would no longer be denied. His body responded instantaneously in kind, passion instantaneously reignited, an inevitable spontaneous combustion of desire. He didn’t know what he’d been meaning to say anymore; it wasn’t important, it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered except loving and being loved. Incredible, these feelings, these sensations, everything heightened by the specialness of the day, the romance of the evening, the intense, extended foreplay, the raw sensuality of his slayer in action, the hedonistic quality of the silk against his skin...

Buffy obviously meant for him to enjoy the extravagant gift to the fullest. She’d gathered up a corner section of the top sheet and was now trailing it lightly all over him, brushing it against his chest, his shoulders, his nipples, his stomach, stroking down past his throbbing erection, down his legs and back again, light as a feather, exciting, exquisite, the sensations a pleasure that tempted and teased. His body was all a-tingle with anticipation; but he craved more.

The silk sheet was replaced by lightly stoking fingers. Buffy, kneeling between his outstretched legs, knew what he liked, how he loved to be touched and teased... His body arched in a silent plea for more stimulation and Buffy was there, quick to increase the pressure, elongate the strokes, replace fingertips with splayed palms to increase the area of contact, spreading warmth and desire and unadulterated love in equal measure.

Buffy leaned over him then, and Spike couldn’t help flicking out his tongue to taste whatever part of his lover’s body happened to pass by. Strong fingers curled lovingly around his cock and when Spike opened his eyes there were no words needed for the communication that passed between them.

You want me?
Spike’s eyes asked.

Please, now
, Buffy’s answered.

God, yes... Anything.


Spike prayed that he’d have the control he’d need to make it good for Buffy, to not finish too fast. Inside of his lover was where he most loved to be, but he feared their roller coaster foreplay would hasten the result, and he wanted to take this loving slowly, very slowly...

He bent to kiss, very gently, the curve of her stomach. His hands stroked her soft, yet muscular thighs, slowly parting them until he found the familiar swelling of her flesh that was his alone to know. He touched it then, felt its heat and wet, and his world came very close to exploding. He felt the blood rushing through his veins, felt again that familiar sensation of being so high, so powerful, so masterful, so on top of the world and so very much in love with the woman lying quiescent before him that... My God... He needed to tell it, to share it, somehow. He didn’t know if there were even words at all for this, but still, he needed and wanted so very much...

He lay down beside Buffy, still fingering the entrance to his beloved’s body, molding himself close, resting his head against the smoothness of a shoulder, nuzzling it, stroking it with his cheek. His whisper, when it came, barely seemed to be in his own voice. "Have I ever told you that this is my favorite part?"

The blonde head turned and Spike kissed the warm flesh beneath his lips.

"When I take the time to get you ready for me... Oh, Buffy, there’s nothing like it in the world. When I touch you here, slip into you, reach up deep inside of you with my finger, feel you opening up for me..." A second digit joined the first, and Buffy’s body quivered in reaction as Spike found her G-spot.

"There’s nobody else who gets to be this close to you, nobody else you want like this, nobody else who feels you relaxing and opening and accepting more and more... Only me." A third finger, and Buffy gasped with pleasure, clutching the silk sheets tightly. She was shaking now, seemingly desperate with need.

"And I feel you so hot and tight around me and I feel you squeezing me, reaching for me deep inside, wanting me..."

Spike felt the sweat gathering in the cleft between her breasts. He rubbed his face against it, tasting it, and knew that it was almost time. Buffy’s hips were thrusting back and forth now against the pressure of his hand and she was obviously ready for more, wanted more, wanted what she only ever wanted Spike to give her. He slid across her body, slipping up and over, positioning himself. He was rock solid and clamped down hard at the first brush of his engorged penis against her slippery folds... Can’t lose it yet, not yet...

He guided himself to Buffy’s entrance, pressed the head of his cock against it, and then did absolutely nothing. He lay perfectly still, willing himself to become absolutely aware of the feel of the living, breathing flesh beneath his, savoring the intimacy of the moment. "Right now, Buffy, it’s like I’ve got everything I’ve always wanted, ever needed, and never dreamed of having, right here and now, like this with you. I... I can’t explain it, but it’s like I’m poised at the edge of a cliff with you, and we’re about to take off, and I know that we’re gonna soar, you and me, together we’ll fly... but flying’s so intense, you know? You can’t understand it when it’s happening, you can’t think about it, you can’t capture it, you just do it and it’s beautiful but... but right now, just before it happens... Right now I can feel it, I can begin to understand it, a little... Here is where you are, right here, and you’re letting me in..." His voice cracked on that last. He heard Buffy’s soft moan of need and knew he couldn’t bear to deny her a moment longer.

With a reverent sigh he pressed in, entering slowly, aware of every centimeter, every electric tingle, trying to capture every nuance of sensation...

"You feel like heaven, Buffy..."

Fully sheathed, captured by her love, he began to move, responding to his beloved’s response, establishing a rhythm, drawing out, pressing in, drawing out, pressing in... "I love you so much..."

Spike grasped Buffy’s shoulders, bent over her, looked down and between to the point where they were truly joined, watched himself sliding in and out... The sight was nearly his undoing and he gasped in helpless response, crashing against the hips arching up to meet his every stroke, pressing himself more tightly against them as his own body rose and fell faster and faster, hips pistoning, his breathing quickened to match his lover’s straining gasps of pleasure. They were coming closer now, closer and closer, flying higher and higher, soaring up out of control, and then they were there, coming one right after the other, together, their bodies clenched tightly into one another’s as the spasms shook them both, again and again...

**********

Spike slowly awoke from his post-coital nap. He heard the sounds of young women coming home from the Bronze and decided to ignore them. He gathered the warmth that was Buffy closer to him, and as he shifted position felt the patch of sticky dampness against his thigh. Do these have to be dry cleaned? Thankfully, he had regained just enough awareness to keep himself from speaking the thought aloud.

He opened his eyes and found Buffy lying at his side, staring at him with wide, luminous eyes. Spike didn’t speak, instead searched the deep gaze for the words that might have been said had the circumstances been different. He couldn’t begin to imagine them. Buffy’s steady gaze told him only that he was loved beyond measure; beyond that, she seemed truly speechless. Had it been enough?

Spike reached out to touch an errant lock of her hair, twisting it around his finger, dropping it to gather up a handful of the springy stuff, bringing her head closer to his for a long, long kiss.

"I love you, Buffy," he declared when it ended.

The words were spoken back to him, mouthed raspily, but it didn’t matter anymore that his lover had lost her voice. She’d get it back soon enough, and then maybe they’d talk about this night... Spike could tell that Buffy was drifting quickly towards sleep, and the thought made him somehow proud.

"Hey."

Buffy opened her eyes.

"I really wore you out, huh?"

A sleepy, satisfied grin.

"Hey."

The eyes opened again, if not quite as widely as before.

"I... I just wanted to say Happy Anniversary again."

Buffy smiled, mouthed an appropriate reply, and then yawned. Spike chuckled.

"Okay, lover, lie up against me here and go to sleep."

Buffy snuggled close and was soon fast asleep. Spike felt himself drifting off, too, when it suddenly occurred to him that he hadn’t ever given Buffy the Weekly World News.

Tomorrow, Spike decided. We have tomorrow. And we’ll take as many as we can get for as long as we possibly can...

As he was falling asleep his last conscious thoughts were vague musings about what they’d manage to do next month...and wondering if a month’s worth of planning would be enough for even him to think up something to top their four week silk and linen night.


The End
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