Summary: In the afterglow, a few facts emerge.
Story Notes: A tiny snippet of Spike/Fred, for Min
Author Notes: Just because I'm so tickled by the idea of "Buttery" and it needs some content
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It wasn't what she'd expected. He wasn't what she'd expected; but it turned out that he was just what she needed.
"Bloody hell. Where did you learn that, then? Nice little girl like you?"
"Didn't you like - ?" She loved his laugh, and the way his fingers furled around her wrist and pulled her closer.
"I never said that, sweetheart. C'mere."
She should have chosen Wesley, and if she'd been a better person maybe she would have done. His eyes still followed her from a distance when he thought she wasn't watching. He looked baffled, and frustrated, like her choices were as puzzling as the Riemann Hypothesis (and really, she should get around to telling someone the solution to that at some point when the world wasn't on the brink of disaster - but there was always another pandimensional demon text in need of translation or else the lobby floor in need of ichor scrubbing away, or else they'd run out of blood or cookies and somebody had to go to the store). The hurt on Wesley's face made her feel bad for him - but guilt wasn't a strong enough emotion to stop her sleeping with Spike. And, besides, she couldn't quite forget about Lilah.
It wasn't about love, for either of them. That was part of the appeal. Wesley's mind worked a lot like hers, and the way he looked at her made Fred feel like her knees would buckle at any moment - but it was all so complicated and messy with Wes, and it seemed to matter so much to him. And to Gunn. And yet sometimes they both made her feel like they forgot she was even there - that she was just something for them to squabble about, and what mattered was the squabbling.
And then Spike showed up, and he didn't put her on a pedestal and he wouldn't die for her - but he would kill for her, and he would let her kill for herself. He made her laugh, like Gunn did, and he wasn't subtle about finding her attractive, but he didn't make a big deal about it either. And he was dangerous, soul or no - he had this edge to him that Wesley had, and that she found so difficult to resist - but he made it all seem so simple. This time she was the one who did the kissing, and it was easier than kissing Wesley. And stranger. (Of course, technically Spike was dead, which was an odd thing to think when he had her pinned down and gasping into her pillow, because that wasn't what dead meant. Dead meant gone, stopped, no more. Vampires walked and talked and kissed and bit - gently, sometimes - and so their kind of dead wasn't the dead kind of dead, not really, but they still said they were dead.)
"Harder. Again. Harder. That's - oh!"
He made her stop thinking, and it was wonderful.
She caught Gunn looking at them once or twice, speculatively, and glancing over at Angel, and she knew what he was thinking 'cause she knew how he thought. But it wasn't because of that old crush. She'd gotten over the crush on Angel pretty quickly, and she wasn't embarrassed about it because pretty much anyone was going to get excited about a tall dark handsome stranger who swept them off their feet and saved them from murderous demons and brought them back to their home dimension when they'd just about convinced themselves that there was no such place as LA and that they really were a cow and always had been. That was a perfectly sensible reaction. It was funny to think she'd ever liked Angel like that, though.
Gunn, now - he had been the right guy to fall for, for a while. This wasn't like being with Gunn. Being with Gunn was all sunshine and warmth and an odd kind of innocence that she hadn't entirely understood. Being with Wesley would have been something like this, perhaps - but more serious. More earnest. Being with Spike was about smoking in bed and getting to be crazy and selfish and affectionate and dirty without feeling bad about it. With Spike she knew that he might be gone when she woke up, and that it wouldn't matter so much to either of them.
And the sex, of course, was simply amazing.
Fred was choosing sex rather than love for however long it lasted, because love made her heart ache and sex - well, sex gave her aches in better places.