Set in early S6, S/B, Rated PG. Just a bit of sweetness, written for Wisteria.
Thanks to Julia, who's the bestest beta reader there is.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy Productions. No copyright infringement is intended.
Easier to just smile and nod because they didn't seem to want actual interaction from her. She thought maybe they'd gotten used to the 'bot over the summer, and now it was weird to have the real thing voicing opinions. Whatever. Anyway, she was kind of zoned out, just picking at her ice cream, and staring into space, when her eyes sort of slid over to Spike. When she focused, noticed that he was looking at her, he lifted his spoon to his lips and slowly, deliberately, ran his tongue across it, catching the drops of melting vanilla as they fell.
Buffy felt a sudden rush of blood to the head, as her cheeks flared scarlet. Naturally he noticed, smirking as he leaned insolently against the counter. It was stupid; didn't mean anything that her straight-to-the-gutter mind offered up the image of that tongue sliding across her skin, darting out to catch drops of sweetness on her-- She jumped up, suddenly uncomfortable, and bustled around, washing her dish, putting it away. Anything to keep from meeting the eyes boring a hole into the back of her head. She'd never felt that metaphor quite so profoundly before.
For the next half hour, she was in constant motion. From chair to doorway, from sink to fridge, finally coming to rest by the back door, staring out into the darkness, 'til Anya said, "Well, don't let us distract you from whatever you find so fascinating out there."
"Huh?" She turned from the window to see all eyes on her, not just Spike's.
"Something going on there, Buff? You look like your spidey-sense is all tingly."
She smile weakly. "No, Xander, it's - I think I'm just kind of tired."
"Oh, of course!" exclaimed Willow. "We didn't think--"
So they cleared out. Left her with the dishes, she noted resentfully. Willow to meet Tara at the library, Dawn off to see Janice, Xander and Anya off home. She closed the door behind them and reluctantly headed for the kitchen. He was still standing there, unlit cigarette in hand, when she came back. She didn't want to be here alone with him, but everyone else had gone home. At least, that's what she told herself. It was very convincing. Really.
She headed straight for the sink and started washing; tried to put herself on 'ignore' when he strolled over to lounge at her side.
"So what was that all about?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
He made a tsk-ing sound. "Right. You normally act like you need your Ritalin dosage increased."
"I was just --" She bit her lip nervously. "I'm just tired."
"No, you're not."
"What?" She whirled around to gape at him, mouth open in surprise.
"I said," he enunciated clearly, "You're not tired. You're just tired of their prattle. Tired of listening to the happy couple chatter hour after hour. Am I right?"
Shame-faced, she stared at the dish she held, arrested in mid-dry. "No, I…well, yeah. Maybe a little."
"Mind you, they weren't quite as tedious tonight. You should've heard them back in ---" The silence was like a stone dropping into a pond. Like it always was whenever somebody mentioned the summer. Didn't help that Spike was the only one who knew that it wasn't being dead that bothered her - it was what came after that was hard to bear. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw his face twist in momentary grief, a shadow of the private hell he must have felt. God, the guilt was overpowering - that she desperately wanted what would make them all so miserable. She shoved the thought away. She was Scarlett what's-her-name, and she couldn't think about it today. She'd think about it tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow.
Clearing her throat sounded louder than she intended. "Well, you'd think we could all tell better stories, anyway. For people who do dangerous stuff all the time, we're really boring." She dried the last dish and put it away, closing the cabinet with a bang. She glanced back at Spike. "How come you never tell any stories? You must have some great party stories."
He laughed darkly. "That I do. Not many you'd care to hear, I don't imagine."
She blushed deeply. She'd forgotten. How had that happened? She stumbled over her next words; how were you supposed to smooth over forgetting that your confidant was a murderer? "Well, uh, what about bands? You're always listening to old music - ever see any good bands?" He grinned, broadly, and she hastened to add, "You know, modern bands that I might know?"
"A few, yeah. Probably not any you've heard of."
"Oh, come on." She hoisted herself up on the countertop. "Humor me."
"Right. Well, I saw a fair number of bands 'bout 20-30 years back. Sex Pistols, Cramps - that was one poncy bastard they had for a lead singer, let me tell you - Joy Division, the Damned…"
"That a band or just your buddies?"
"Very funny. I figured you hadn't been exposed to them."
"I'll keep my virgin ears, thanks."
He cocked an eyebrow, but pressed on. "I did see the Stones, back in the late 60's. That was quite a weekend."
"The Rolling Stones?"
"No, the Flintstones. Course the Rolling Stones." He rolled his eyes. "Saw 'em down in New Orleans - spent the rest of the time crawling from bar to bar in the French Quarter. Wild night."
"That's kind of cool - what was their show like?"
"Dunno - I was already stoned by the time I got there." He shook his head as she opened her mouth to inquire. "Another story you don't want to hear, love. Anyway, I mostly just remember smells - you know, pot, sweat, whiskey - oh, and a killer guitar riff. Must have been a ten or fifteen minute solo. That, or I hallucinated it. Not impossible, given what all folks were shoving in their bloodstreams those days. There was this one time…" He trailed off as he saw her face. "Well, you did ask."
She sighed. "Yeah, well…" She lapsed into embarrassed silence. She had asked; she should have known better than to think he'd have cute stories. She was suddenly reminded of Angel - all the stuff that she pretended didn't exist about his past. How was it that this caused the same dry mouth, the same drop in her stomach? She blushed again, helplessly, and did what she did best: retreat. "Look, I think I'm going to go on to bed, so…"
"Right then. Didn't mean to - OK, I'll be off. Night, Buffy." He pushed off from the counter and headed for the back door.
His hand hovered above the knob, though he didn't turn. Just stood there, waiting for orders, like a good little slave. It made something twist in her belly to see it, to see him ready to do whatever she said, be whatever she wanted. Nobody should give her that kind of power.
She moved closer to him almost involuntarily, 'til she was close enough to see the sweep of his lower lashes against his skin. Her heart was thudding wildly, and his eyes widened with an unspoken question. She was glad it stayed unspoken; she wasn't sure she could give it an answer. For a moment, she was terrified of what might happen.
Then, she kissed him. And for a moment, the guilt and fear were gone. There was nothing but soft lips and sweet breath. It would do.