All About Spike - Plain Version
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Haunt of the House
By Jericho TGF
Spike set the Slayer down on the bed gently and leaned over to grab her suitcase. He laid it next to her and she opened it, moving woodenly, still stunned and horrified by her experience in the bathroom. As she pulled out a comfortable pair of sweats and a tee shirt, he got the first aid kit out of his duffle bag.
There was more to not having an extensive wardrobe than just convenience; it also left a lot of room for other stuff in your luggage. Things that Buffy shouldn't go anywhere without, like her stake, some other small weapons, and the means to fix up the smaller cuts and bruises that were bound to pop up when a person had a sacred duty that included the nightly killing of demons and such. Just because they were supposed to be on vacation didn't mean that Spike didn't want to be prepared for any contingency. And it was good he was, as Buffy's suitcase was stuffed to the gills with nothing more dangerous than an eyebrow pencil.
Women, he thought. Could live for a bleedin' month with what she's got in that bag o' hers...except for one small thing. The Slayer wouldn't last five minutes without what I brought along. Good thing she's got me lookin' out for her. Always knew we'd make one hell of a team. Literally.
Lowering himself on the bed, he started to fix up the gash at her hairline. "Wanna tell me what happened in there, Buffy?"
Wincing at the sting of the alcohol he was dabbing on her forehead, Buffy said, "I just finished with my shower. I grabbed a towel and wiped down the mirror, that's when I saw her. A woman...standing behind me. I spun around, but there was nobody there. When I turned back to the mirror, I saw...blood. It was all over me, draining from a wound at my neck." As if checking again, making sure it wasn't real, her hand came up to massage her throat. "Next thing I knew, I woke up and you were there. Oh, and earlier, when I was using the phone, I felt another one of those cold drafts like in the lobby. Really not thinking it has anything to do with the heating."
Spike finished cleaning the gash and stuck a small Band-Aid over it to keep it clean while her Slayer healing took care of the rest. He looked into her eyes and saw her fear. It wasn't something he was used to seeing.
"You said it attacked you?"
Buffy frowned, thinking back. "Well, no, not exactly. I said I think it attacked me. I don't actually remember anything between seeing myself in the mirror and when you shook me awake."
Spike nodded a bit and a small smile tugged at one corner of his mouth. "Uh huh."
When Buffy told Spike what had happened, she expected some sort of reaction. Something Spike-like, maybe 'lets go kill her dead' or 'bint's gonna be wishin' she hadn't messed with us'. She was vaguely disappointed and more than a little confused at his decided lack of affronted anger. It irritated her.
"That's it? That's all you can say? 'Uh huh'? Spike, I just told you-"
There's the girl I love, he thought as he interrupted her, glad to see her spark come flooding back. "It's just a ghost, pet. Not surprisin' really, this...affront to architecture is a hundred and a half if it's a day."
Irritation turned to full blown astonished frustration. Buffy leapt down from the bed and started to pace in front of the now amused and relieved vampire.
"Just a ghost?" she asked, livid. "Are you kidding me? You do remember the last time we had a visit from the ghostly masses, right? Frat house, ground shaking, vines growing out of the floor. Ring any bells?"
"Actually, pet, if you remember, those weren't ghosts. They were apparitions. Whole other ball of wax, that."
"And this is so much better because?" She paused in her pacing just long enough to toss him an aggravated glare. She wasn't thrilled by his attitude, even less by his smile. "Well?"
"Well, because contrary to superstition - and the occasional crackpot loon - ghosts can't hurt you."
Buffy threw up her hands. "Hello? I was knocked out in there. I'd say that theory of your needs some work, Spike."
"You weren't knocked out, pet. You knocked yourself out. Saw the smear of red stuff on the sink, myself. I'm guessin' you saw what the ghost wanted you to see and panicked, passed out, fell, and beaned yourself. Ghosts can't hurt you. They're a sad lot, ya know. Pathetic really. Parlor tricks, luv, that's all it was. They play with your head, but they can't hurt you...unless you do the girlie girl routine and faint your way into a concussion."
Mouth hanging open at the slight, she just stared at the vampire for a second in complete disbelief. She finally shook her head to clear it and tried to focus on the matter at hand.
"Okay. So it's a ghost that can't hurt me. Doesn't mean I want to be spending my only off time in like...forever...shacking up with Casper's less-than-pleasant relative. I don't happen to enjoy sharing space with dead people."
Spike raised an eyebrow and gave her a look. She waved a hand dismissively, saying, "You don't count. You're undead. And as we both know, I spent way too much time with the undead."
Smiling widely, sensing that she had finally started to calm down, he reached out and pulled her toward him. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he inhaled her scent. It thrilled him. Tantalized him. That Buffy allowed the contact, allowed him to share her life with him, humbled him as little else in the world ever had. He rested his forehead against her chest, content in her nearness.
"Fortunate thing that is, too, luv. Just think about how much you'd be missin' without me to spice up your life. Not to mention, you've been much easier to live with now that you've finally got some monster in your man."
She tried to be mad, she really did, but his tongue started to do very interesting things with her collarbone and she just didn't have the resistance for his special brand of affection. Plus, she knew what he just did. Spike saw she'd been freaked by what happened and had stirred her anger to get her over it. The fiend.
"We still have a - mmmm." Buffy moaned when his cool mouth moved up her neck to the spot behind her right ear. "That feels good." She twined her fingers in his hair, forgetting for a second what she was going to say. His chest vibrated with a rumbling chuckle.
Pulling his lips away for a second, he asked, "Still have a what, pet?" His hands roamed up her sides to cup her breasts as he waited for her answer.
"Huh? Oh, right. Spike, let go." To focus her mind she had to push him away and take a step back. She hated to, but it had to be done. And he was just too adorable when he sulked at the hand slap. "Problem. We still have a problem."
Spike sighed for appearance sake but let go of her grudgingly. "And just what would that problem be, exactly? Besides the fact that your standin' way over there and I'm here on this nice, comfortable bed all alone."
"Focus, fang face. Remember our less than alive but all too lively visitor? Well there's the problem. I'm the Slayer. I kill demons, I don't do dead people."
"Happy to hear it. Not as happy about your apparent reluctance to do undead people." Spike lay back on the bed and wriggled his hips suggestively. "Come on, baby. Why don't you get over here and do me?"
She fisted her hands at her hips and glared at him. "Shut up, Spike. I need to know what to do to get rid of our spectral friend. Am I going to have to pull a Bill Murray/Dan Ackroyd on it or what? 'Cuz I'm really not prepared for that kind of thing."
He looked at her blankly, blinking once, and she rolled her eyes. "What is it about vampires? Do none of you keep up with pop-culture? Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd...Ghostbusters? Catchers of the ghosts?" She shrugged and gave up when his expression didn't change. "Never mind. It's not like I have those cool power packs or containment thingies anyway."
"Buffy, there's not much you can do. Not tonight anyway. You could call the Watcher tomorrow, see what he's got stashed in those moldy books of his. Ye old ex-librarian is probably just dyin' for a chance to wow you with his intellect and usefulness. Most likely got some kind of cleansin' ritual tucked away in a corner somewhere."
She stared at him, mulling it over in her head. If he was right about the ghost, there wasn't a pressing need to take care of it right away, as long as it stayed out of her way, anyway. Pouting, she grumbled at him. "Don't like ghosts. They're creepy."
He barked out a laugh. "That from the mighty Slayer that strikes fear in the hearts of all my kind and the legions of hell besides. How...un-Slayerly of you, luv. Now haul ass over here and lemme have a nibble of that lip o' yours. You know how I love it when you're all pouty. Makes me feel manly."
Buffy smiled and walked into his embrace. Kissing him deeply, she tried to figure out why she hadn't told him everything. She had kept silent about the thoughts that had infiltrated her mind when she saw herself in the mirror. 'Kill you like he killed me.' That's what she had thought. That and more. But they weren't her thoughts; they had felt foreign and wrong in her head. For the life of her, she couldn't understand why she didn't tell Spike about it. When she'd tried, in fact, she had felt...fear. A clutching and choking fear. It had kept her silent.
The problem with fear is that it gives enemies a weapon to use against you. And enemies have enough weapons without adding to them. She pulled back from a mind blowing kiss and looked into his questioning gaze.
"Spike, have you ever been here before? To this house, I mean."
"Yeah, right," he laughed. "Don't think so, pet. And if I didn't love you so bloody much I wouldn't be here now. Flounce and frill inn't exactly my bag. Why'd you ask?"
Buffy's heart was in her throat and her stomach fluttered - and it had absolutely nothing to do with ghosts or phantom thoughts. It was the first time since she'd been chained up in his crypt with his demonic ex looking on that Spike had told her that he loved her. And while unforgettable, that particular memory didn't exactly fill her with warm fuzzies. This time, though, it was amazing.
"Buffy?" She was staring at him like she'd never seen him before and she hadn't answered his question. "You still in there, pet?"
Starting slightly when he shook her gently she asked, "Huh? What?"
"I asked you why you wanted to know if I'd ever been here before. You sure you dinn't whack that head of yours harder than you thought?"
Still dazed, she just gave him a goofy smile and shook her head. "No, Spike, my head is fine." What was it he had said about the ghost? Mind games and parlor tricks. That's all it was. It was nothing. Of course he hadn't been here before. And, please, was she really going to listen to some strange voices in her head? Not hardly. Not when she had fantastic, real words to listen to.
"You love me. You just said you love me."
"That's it." Spike pushed himself off the bed and swooped her up in his arms. She was so surprised she just let out a small squeal and gripped his shoulders instinctively.
When he spun and laid her back against the pillows on the bed she questioned him. "Wh-what are you doing?"
"You're gonna rest. You're actin' off, Buffy, and I don't want it said that I can't take care of my woman."
"Okay, hold it right there. First, your woman? What is this, the nineteenth century? Don't think so, pal. Second, I'm not acting weird. Spike, you just told me you love me. That gives me a happy. A big happy."
"Are you daft woman? You know I love you. Hell, you've always known."
Buffy traced a hand down one chiseled cheekbone and smiled tenderly. "Knowing and hearing...way different. And hearing? Better. Much better."
Spike turned away from her and rubbed the back of his neck. Suddenly somber, he muttered, "Wouldn't bloody know about that, now, would I?"
Staring at his back, Buffy's heart broke a little when she saw the proud vampire...proud man with his shoulders slumped. "You're right. You wouldn't."
He didn't want to hear it. Whatever platitude she was going to offer, he just couldn't listen to it. He'd been patient. Hadn't pushed. Hadn't made any other sweeping declarations or tried to prove himself to her. All he'd done was be there. It went against everything he was, but what he was would always take a back seat to the force of nature that was Buffy Summers.
Jumping off the bed as if he'd been scalded, he moved to leave the room. Her hail was the only thing that stopped him. He hated that she had that kind of power over him. She called; he jumped into action...or, as in this case, stopped his actions. It was humiliating. Whirling back to her, he was going to snarl out his frustration. Until he saw her expression, he was going to take her head off for torturing him like she did.
Her expression stopped him.
It was so strange seeing her uncertain, confused, and a little scared. He also thought he saw something else but didn't know what it was. It was new, that much he was sure of. Almost like resignation...but happier.
Buffy took a deep breath and plunged in. "You ruined my plans, you know. There was going to be dinner. A good dinner. I wanted it to be special. Perfect." She snorted derisively. "Shoulda known. Perfect non-slaying related activities are not to be allowed in Buffy-world. Now I have a ghost that wants to play with my head and a vampire that wants to play with everything but my head. Only one of those two is a good thing. Spike, come sit down."
Moving cautiously, unsure of where this monologue was heading, Spike returned to the bed and slowly lowered himself on it. Buffy's large eyes pinned him and the force in her gaze wrapped a steel band around his chest and squeezed.
"I wanted to come here for a reason. I wanted a nice quiet place, maybe some romance, so I could tell you...I love you."
As soon as she said the words, it was her turn to stare in amazed fascination at the expression on Spike's face. She had never seen anything like it. First there was the surprise, which quickly fell to the largest smile she'd ever seen. And his eyes, first wide in disbelief, now glowed bright with pleasure. She started to squirm under the intensity of his gaze as he searched her face and saw truth there.
"Um...say something. Please."
In a low voice husky with emotion, he said, "Again. Say it again."
Smiling, she reached out for his hand and repeated herself. "I love you."
That's all Spike needed to hear. No other words were necessary. He moved so fast he was just a blur to Buffy's eyes. Before she could blink, he had wrapped his arms around her and was lowering his mouth to hers. He mumbled, "I love you," over and over, not even aware that he was speaking until the drone of words stopped when his lips touched hers.
Sinking back into the soft mattress, all thoughts of ghosts long gone, the Slayer and her vampire showed each other without words what they had told each other with them.
In a dark corner of the bedroom, unseen to the two lovers, a shadowy glimmer of energy hovered malevolently in the shadows between the wall and armoire. Glowing with fury, it undulated and pulsed eerily as it watched the abomination.
It was not to be borne. The defiler would pay, and now, too, would his whore.
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