All About Spike - Print Version
Two If By Sea
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Futurefic....say two years from now, give or take.
Rating: Strong PG13. C'mon, I'm not that graphic! But
yeah, some sexual imagery.
Spoilers, none, but let's assume Spike cleared up that
little problem he had with insanity.
A/N: If in Boston, I highly recommend the Brooklyn
Lager at the Bukowski Tavern. And yes, they really do
play the Sex Pistols.
Many thanks to Cindy and Chen for helping me whip this
thing into shape!
Boston, the cradle of democracy, or something like
that. She'd read about it in history classes in high
school and college. It seemed so far away. A million
miles from the Hellmouth. The tall buildings
juxtaposed against colonial churches and meeting halls
had set a fascinating stage. Nothing was that old in
California. Even the vampires seemed older there. At
least that's what she'd heard. The land of Harvard and
Cheers, Faith had been raised there. It was where
she'd received her calling, and it would likely be the
place where she was buried.
Buffy had been to New York when she was a little girl.
The skyscrapers were still etched in her mind, giant
buildings stretching toward the stratosphere, trying
desperately to touch the clouds. But this city seemed
warmer, more open. A perfect place for her sister to
go to school, she thought to herself as she ambled
down the sidewalk. Interviews at Suffolk and Boston
College had drawn the two out of their western corner
of the country, and the colleges with the brick
facades and bustling students had lured them toward
An icy knot tightened in the pit of her stomach at the
thought of his name. He'd left two years prior without
even saying goodbye. Perhaps the ill-placed stake in
his chest and heated fight leading up to it didn't
help. It had been a nightmare of a spring She'd said
things she didn't mean. Confusion reigned supreme and
the Big Bad had nearly killed them all. And for a
brief moment, she'd thought Spike had been one of its
minions. She'd only missed once before. Her stake
usually struck its target with unwavering accuracy.
Thank god she'd missed on that evening as well.
But the damage was already done. No amount of tearful
apologies could mend the rift that formed between
them. Any thread of trust they had shared had been
unraveled that evening. In the end, he had proved
himself the loyal ally. And she didn't deserve it. One
moment of doubt and the last vestiges of their
friendship had been destroyed. Even now when she
closed her eyes, she could still see the pain mingled
with betrayal cloud his eyes as she'd pulled the stake
from the bleeding wound in his chest.
After that, he'd help out with patrol from time to
time, quietly fighting the good fight only to slip
back into the shadows when she wasn't looking. Over
the next few months, he'd helped out less and less
until one day he had vanished all together. No
goodbyes, no note, no dramatic exit. Just an empty
space in her heart where the vampire once had been.
The weeks grew into months, and before she knew it,
two years had nearly passed. She'd lost track of him,
but he was never far from her thoughts. Every once in
a while, she'd pass through Willy's to listen for any
shred of gossip, anything to give her hope that he was
okay. New England. The stories always seemed to point
to that corner of the country.
And now she found herself walking down the street of
the Back Bay searching the crowd for a familiar face
among the nameless hoards of businessmen and music
students that swarmed around the shopping district. A
chill had whipped off the Charles and she snugged the
collar of her coat tight around her neck.
Unfortunately, her gloves were back at the hotel. With
Dawn safely tucked on campus for the weekend of
recruitment goodness, Buffy had found herself with
time on her hands for a little sightseeing.
It didn't take long to hear about the rogue vampire
that roamed the city at night. A soul, the locals had
all professed. The monster had a soul. This vigilante
kept to himself while ridding Boston of nasties one
beast at a time. Boston was notorious for its ghosts
and goblins. It had been a hotbed of activity even in
the colonial days. Faith had been called to battle the
forces of evil in the city before she'd fled to
California. She'd left a void in her exodus, and Buffy
wondered what monster had willingly chosen to fill the
gap. He was a wraith, nothing more than a fairy tale.
Many knew of him, but few could actually describe the
vampire. Another urban legend to share over a beer.
The sun was a faint smudge on the western horizon,
it's last rays of the day hidden by concrete and
steel. Rush hour droned on, and an endless stream of
autos snarled the narrow roadways. Bankers with
briefcases tucked under one arm and countless Berklee
students with guitars or trombones strapped to their
backs streamed past as they headed home for the day.
Her feet began to ache. So much for stylish and
comfortable. A subway train roared beneath her as she
crossed a bridge spanning the tracks below. She
wasn't going to find him that way. She needed
information. And maybe a soda. Bartenders always
seemed to know the most obscure trivia. Perhaps she
would strike the mother lode and find one well versed
in vampire hunters.
Taking a left, she hiked up the hill toward the hotels
ringing the convention center. Even in the distance,
the neon called to her. Dead Authors Club, the sign
flickered in a blazing red. Fate, irony, or whatever.
She had to go in. If he was going to be anywhere,
he'd likely turn up in dive like that.
The outside was painted red and the sign "Bukowski
Tavern" spread across the doorway. It was still early
in the evening, and the bouncer's stool was empty. The
throbbing bass from the stereo reverberated on the
glass door, and her heart leapt into her throat as she
entered the long, skinny bar. The Sex Pistols blasted
from the speakers. Anarchy in the UK. It wasn't her
style of music, but she'd heard him play it enough
times to recognize the song. Funny how even music
could stir up such visceral memories.
The bar was practically empty. A pair of barflies
swilled bottles of Pabst at the bar while a group of
music students huddled over pints of microbrew at one
of the tables. A little waif of a bartender with
purple hair nodded her head in time with the music
while snapping a piece of gum between her jaws.
"What'll you have?" she asked in a thick New England
"Diet Coke," Buffy answered with a start as she was
drawn from her reverie. Nothing but the hard stuff
for the slayer.
"Pepsi okay?" the barkeep asked.
"That's fine," the slayer absently replied, digging in
her pocket for money.
Setting a glass filled with ice on the bar, the
bartender cracked open a can of soda and filled the
glass before saying, "That'll be a buck fifty."
Buffy pulled two dollars out of her pocket and set
them on the bar beside the glass. That's when she saw
him. A shock of platinum hair contrasted against the
matte black of the far wall. He sat by himself at the
furthest table from the door. A half-empty pint of
something amber and the remnants of hamburger
cluttered the tiny table in front of him. A cigarette
smoldered in an ashtray, its tendrils of smoke dancing
around his face as he turned the page of a well-worn
paperback. In his other hand, he clasped a mug. Blood.
Even at a distance she could see the viscous crimson
on the lip of the ceramic cup after he absently took
She nearly dropped the soda on the floor. Thankfully
he hadn't noticed her. Obviously engrossed in the
novel, he didn't even look up. Abandoning her drink
at the bar, Buffy took a tentative step toward him. He
looked different. Wary, exhausted. Dark circles rimmed
his eyes, and a fading bruise fanned out over his left
cheekbone. His hair was a little longer than she
remembered, unruly as ever and curling at the ends
without any sticky gel to tame it.
Their eyes met at the same moment. She recognized that
same incredulous stare and puzzled tilt of the head
from somewhere. A staircase from years before perhaps.
Neither could speak. Breaching the silence, Buffy
tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and nervously
licked her lips before finally managing to say,
His hands twitched on the table. Spike reached for his
cigarette and took a quick drag before returning it to
the ashtray. Exhaling the smoke, he nodded and said
For the first time in years, she felt like an insecure
schoolgirl. She'd cried over him, raged, screamed,
then finally accepted his absence. In the back of her
head, she'd dreamed of what she'd say if she were ever
so lucky to run into him. But here she stood in the
back of a smoky bar with outdated punk as her
soundtrack unable to find her voice. She wanted
desperately to apologize for her past, but she
couldn't. Instead she heard herself asking, "How've
"Been better," he answered as he pulled himself to a
stand and gingerly limped over to the bar and handed
the bartender a wad of bills.
"Anything else, Spike?" the girl asked.
Shaking his head, he answered, "No, pet, I'm good.
Tell Jimmy if he needs someone to cover the bar Sunday
night to give me a ring."
Without even looking back, he slowly ambled toward the
door favoring his right leg as he made his exit. He
zipped up his jacked and jammed his hands in the
pockets. Buffy rushed to catch up, "Hey, you're
hurt!" she said.
"Observant as ever I see," he sneered, pushing the
glass door open and stepping out into the darkening
night. "Nastier breed of demon in the city. They grow
'em bigger here. A Fyarl got a taste of me last week.
But don't worry; it'll heal. Always does."
Now she was getting angry. Not used to the cold
shoulder - it stung being on the receiving end for a
change - she followed him to the sidewalk. "So, what,"
she began, "we cross paths, trade a few war stories,
and then 'hasta la vista, see you later, Buffy'?"
Spike let out a noisy sigh and turned to face her. His
lips formed a tight line. There had been a time in the
past where he'd have followed her anywhere like a
devoted little stray. But not tonight. He'd changed,
and for a split second, she saw herself reflected in
his cold eyes. Walled off and distant. She knew the
role well. Mastered it, at that. "Yeah, without the
melodrama, I suppose so," he answered and continued
"Spike, wait up!" she called out, trying her best to
keep up as he headed down the sidewalk. "You can't
just walk away like that."
He stopped and spun on one heel to face her. His eyes
burned with cloaked fury, dangerous and ready to
ignite at any moment, flickering yellow before
retreating with a single blink. "Watch me," he spat in
response, and that indignant little furrow between his
eyebrows grew more noticeable "Been round this block
one time too many. Not in the mood for another round
of Kick the Spike. So why don't you do us both a
little favor, Slayer, and go back to California.
Forget that you ever saw me."
With that, he turned his back on her and headed across
the busy street. She dodged a speeding taxi and
sheepishly waved her thanks as the cabbie muttered
angry Russian curses out the open window. The vampire
weaved through traffic, oblivious to the countless
cars around him. Buffy had no idea where he was
headed, but she wasn't going to pass on the
opportunity. He didn't try to stop her, but he made
no effort to engage with her as he headed toward the
underground T station.
Digging into his pocket he pulled out a dollar bill
and handed it to the attendant behind the scratched
plexiglas booth and retrieved the subway token before
heading toward the turnstiles. He turned to his new
shadow. "Look, Buffy," he said with a sigh, dropping
the token in the slot and passing through the gate, "I
can't go back to what I was. I'm not your bloody lap
dog anymore. A lot of things have changed. I've
She pulled out her own dollar as well. Grabbing her
own token she rushed through the turnstile after him
and followed him down the dingy stairs. "Well then,
why don't you try and explain it to me," she demanded.
When he reached the bottom of the stairs, Spike came
to an abrupt halt and waited for her. The muscle in
his jaw clenched for a moment as though he was trying
to keep from answering. Finally he said, "I tried.
And what did I get for it? A hunk of oak in my chest.
You were right. The Hellmouth was killing me, so I got
out. I wish things were different," he paused, looking
away for a moment before regaining his hard edge. "I
wish for a lot of things. But it isn't my bloody
birthday. They aren't gonna happen."
The tiled floor was slippery. An unseen layer of grime
clung to their surface. The mournful wail of a street
musician's harmonica echoed in the cavernous hallways.
She could barely hear him over the cacophony of
chatter as commuters rushed past. This wasn't the
right place to be starting this argument. But it was
better than the years of silence. "Don't you think
I've made wishes, too?" she asked following him to the
platform. She weaved though the mass of bodies and
followed him toward a waiting subway car. Raising her
voice over the din, she added, "I've made mistakes,
Spike. A lot of them. If I could take them back, I
He queued up with the other commuters and boarded the
rear car with her in tow. It didn't take long for them
all to pack in like an overstuffed can of sardines.
The air was hot and stale, every seat and most of the
aisle were occupied. Spike grasped the overhead steel
bar while she grabbed the rail running over the top of
a seat. "That's easy to say, Slayer," he said. "But
the truth is: you never trusted me. Soul or not. I
suppose trust and all that rot really is for old
marrieds. Something we weren't. I did you a favor,
Buffy. I left before whatever mess we called a
relationship burned and consumed us until there was
nothing left. Should've listened to you a long time
"So why won't you listen to me now?" she pleaded.
"It's gotta be more than chance that I ran into you.
God, Spike, there hasn't been a day when I haven't
thought about you."
The train came to a stop, and voice announced the
station over the speakers. One mob of people exited
and another quickly took their place. Spike stared at
the floor for a second before answering, "Don't make
this any harder." A plea more than anything else,
whispered so only she could hear.
The doors closed, and the car lurched forward with a
jerk. Buffy stumbled a bit and slid into him.
Immediately his arm wrapped around her waist and kept
her from falling. His hand found that spot in the
small of her back. The one that made her feel safe in
his embrace. Their eyes locked for a fleeting second,
and for a moment she thought she could see all the way
to his soul. Funny how she hadn't really looked
before. His tough façade did little to hide the quiet
vulnerability behind those pale eyes. But then again,
that costume never was that believable.
"It doesn't have to be," she said before reaching for
a rail and pulling out of his grasp.
Speechless, his Adam's apple bobbed once in silence.
His features softened and he was about to say
something until his gaze shifted and his attention was
drawn to the other side of the car. Leaning forward,
his lips caressed her ear. But instead of gifting her
with a gentle kiss, he whispered, "Please tell me you
were a good little girl scout and packed a stake."
"Kinda goes with the whole slayer package," she
quipped back as she started to twist her head around
to get a glimpse of what he was staring at. "Never
leave home without one."
"Don't look," he instructed, his hand went to her chin
to keep her from turning, "Vamps. Three of them, over
by the door. The big one's been trouble for a while.
Up for a quick slay?"
A little smile danced across her lips. At least they
could still work together. That hadn't changed, and it
was a start.
"Thought you'd never ask."
The car squealed to a stop, and the occupants flooded
into the T station. Quietly Buffy slid the stake
tucked in her coat pocket into her fist. From the
corner of her eye she saw Spike do the same. They kept
their distance as the followed the trio of vampires up
the stairs and outside. They slipped into the shadows,
ducking down a winding back alley lined by weathered
bricks. At least these idiots had the foresight to
head to a less populated area before the summary
"They went that way," Buffy said, pointing her stake
toward the far end of the square.
He tested the weight of the stake, flexing his hand
around the wooden shaft as he nodded toward their
opponents. "This shouldn't take long," he noted. "You
go round the dumpster, and I'll herd them together."
"Sounds like a plan," she said. "Let's do this before
they buy a clue."
"Got your back as always, Slayer."
Two halves of a whole, they struck with tandem fury.
The first vamp was nothing more than a cloud of sooty
dust before the other two could even raise a game
face. It didn't take long for all hell to break loose.
A roundhouse to the chin and Spike went careening into
the wall. Hobbled with an injured hip, he wasn't
nearly as fast as usual in a fight. He went one way,
his stake skittered the other.
"Figured we'd run into you, traitor," the taller vamp
spat at Spike, kicking the stake even further out of
reach. "Who's the girlie girl? Some slayer wannabe?"
Wasting no time, Spike scrambled to his feet and drove
his fist into the vamps jaw. Spit and blood went
flying across the alley. "No, you stupid, git," he
said through clenched teeth. "She *is* the slayer."
Responding on cue, Buffy joined the melee. "I'm
shocked," she snarked. "I thought my reputation
preceded me. Don't they teach you anything around
here?" She answered with boot and fist, pushing the
would-be attacker further down the alley and into his
fellow cohort. But the vamps were fast. Not too
shabby for a pair barely out of their fledgling years.
Fighting only made the vamps angrier. They threw
themselves at Buffy, and she felt a gush of blood flow
when a fist connected with her nose. Stars danced
around her head, and she felt like she was going to
vomit. Her limbs felt limp like a rag doll's as she
felt herself hit the pavement. It took a lot to knock
her out, but apparently this vamp was looking to have
his have his one good day.
Before she could get to her feet, strong hands pinned
her wrists to the ground, and she tried desperately to
break free. But this one was strong. Heavy at that.
The beast easily shook the stake from her hand and
straddled her hips. She couldn't move. Couldn't
breathe. Her vision swam in front of her.
The vampire's breath was fetid, cold against her neck.
She trashed back and forth. That stupid thing wasn't
going to bite her. It wasn't supposed to end this way.
She didn't have a death wish.
This was it. Buffy felt the prick of fangs of against
her neck. A scream started in throat. But the final
bite, the one that would kill her never came, and the
weight was lifted off her body. Opening her eyes, she
was met by a cloud of dust and Spike standing over
her, a stake firmly in his left hand.
She lay there for several moments on the brink of
hyperventilation as she caught her breath. Finally
she sat up and acknowledged her hero. "Thanks," she
said between panting gasps for air. "The other one..."
Cinder coated her skin, and she could taste the
charred dust spread out on her tongue. It made her
sick to her stomach. It tasted like death. Always did.
What she needed was a hot shower and a cup of tea.
Quickest way to chase away the inevitable filth that
came with slaying. Her body ached everywhere and she
tasted copper as she felt a stream of blood start to
drip from her nose. Too stunned to move, she rested in
the alleyway, willing the breath to fill her lungs.
"You okay?" a concerned voice called from above, an
open palm reaching toward her.
His hand was smaller than she'd remembered as she
accepted his offer and pulled herself to a stand.
Brushing the dust off her jeans, she finally answered
as she tucked her stake in the waistband and nodded,
"Think I'll live."
"You're hurt," Spike said, wiping the blood from her
lip with the pad of his thumb.
Goosebumps rippled across her skin, a chill racing
down her spine at the contact. "Amateurs," she
minimized, trying her best to hide how sore she really
was. "Besides, you've made me bleed more than that and
I walked away unscathed."
Okay, so joking about their past scuffles probably
wasn't the best way to strike up a conversation. It
opened up a raw wound, she could see it in his eyes,
the way his shoulders slouched a little forward, how
the aggressive bite to his voice quickly faded. "Yeah,
well..." he stammered, struggling to find the right
words. "Not something I'm particularly proud of."
Spike turned away and took a step back toward the main
road. He let out a sharp wince as his hand went to his
hip. "You're not the only one who wants to take back
past mistakes," he managed to say with a sigh.
"Why do we keep doing this?" Buffy asked, not quite
ready to follow him.
Slowly turning, he answered, a puzzled look spreading
across his features, "Do what?"
Her hands flexed nervously, grasping for something she
couldn't quite find. "This," she tried her best to
explain. "Dwell in the past. We can fight side by side
no problem. Always could. But the moment we try to
talk, one of us is running away. I've had my share of
being avoid-y girl." Great, now she was babbling.
Nothing like a little mindless chatter to make the
situation all the more awkward. "What I'm trying to
say is: I'm sorry. Sorry for hurting you, sorry for
not trusting you. I know it doesn't mean much now. The
proverbial damage is already been done, but I just
wanted you to hear it."
He worried at his lower lip. She'd seen him do it time
and time again - the nervous habit that slipped
through the big bad guise and gave away his true self.
"C'mon," he said, the closest thing to a détente
she'd heard all night, "let's get some ice on that
nose of yours before it swells up like a balloon."
They walked in companionable silence, ambling along
the red-bricked lined Freedom Trail toward the North
End. Tourists and locals alike made the trek
northward. Lines had already formed outside the
countless restaurants and bistros with hungry patrons
in search of respite. Cars weaved through the narrow
streets, and the smell of garlic filled the air. Good
thing vampires weren't really repelled by the pungent
A few of the locals waved to him as he led her down a
narrow road not much wider than an alleyway. Brown
brick apartment buildings lined each side. The tiny
neighborhood seems thousands of miles away from the
roaring chaos of downtown. A comforting quiet filled
the street. The sounds of a baseball game from a
static-filled radio filtered down from an open window,
the roar of the crowd unmistakable. A cat darted out
from the shadows.
Digging into his front pocket, Spike pulled out a key
and opened the door. He quickly gathered his mail and
ushered Buffy up the narrow stairway to the top floor.
Apartment 4B. His home. A little basket sat at the
foot of his door, a checkered cloth napkin covering
its contents. He retrieved the gift and smiled as he
peered inside. Fresh bread and a mason jar filled with
blood that brought a smile to his face.
With a turn of key and a flip of the lights, he
entered his apartment, limping over to the dinette to
set the basket on the table and his coat over a chair.
Buffy stood at the threshold for moment, a little
anxious to take the next step.
"There's no magical lock on the place," he said
drawing her from her reverie. "Come in, Buffy."
"Right, no lock," she answered with a nervous giggle.
With one step, she entered once again into his world.
Understated, the apartment gave away so much about a
man she barely knew. Everything had its place. The
walls were bare, no pictures to tell a story. A
well-worn rug much like the ones adorning the lower
level of his crypt covered the hardwood floor in the
living room. A tiny TV stood silent watch in the
corner. CD's littered the coffee table - The Kinks,
Chieftains, Elvis Costello. Heavy curtains covered the
windows, and fragrant candles crowded a scuffed end
table. Comforting scents - sandalwood, patchouli -
brought pleasant memories of time gone by flooding
back. This was Spike's home, a life he created for
himself. It was his and his alone.
"Spike," she said, "you live above ground."
That irritated little furrow between his eyebrows
started to deepen, the one she'd seen numerous times.
"I'm a vampire, Slayer," he answered with a frown,
"not a bloody sewer rat."
Her cheeks flushed. She'd done it again. "Sorry," she
sheepishly conceded. "Foot meet mouth. Again." Trying
her best to change the subject before she dug that
hole a little deeper, she added, "Your place, it's
"Thanks," he said limping to the kitchen. He grabbed a
dishtowel and headed toward the freezer. "The
landlord's cutting me a good deal. I do a little
maintenance and patrol around here, and he lets me
have the flat for a song. Couldn't afford it
"So he knows you're a vampire?"
He filled the towel with ice as he answered, "Yeah, he
doesn't seem to have a problem with it. Guess the
neighborhood had a pretty bad vamp problem a few years
back. Suppose he's happy to have one on his side for a
While he busied himself in the kitchen, Buffy couldn't
help but check out her surroundings. Draping her coat
over his, she studied the items on his table - an old
newspaper, an empty mug, a ballpoint pen, and pack of
matches. The basket called to her and she pulled back
the cloth and read the hand-written card tucked beside
the jar of blood.
He returned with the makeshift icepack in hand. Caught
in the act, Buffy dropped the napkin with a start. Not
sure what to say, she asked, "Spike, who's Maria?"
He answered her with a chuckle, his eyes framed by
laugh lines she forgot he'd had. "That would be Mrs.
Andretti in 2A," he elaborated.
He'd moved on. She could feel her hopes deflate by the
second. "Oh," was all she could say in response.
"Don't be jealous, pet," he soothed. She could never
really hide her feelings from him. "She's
eighty-three. I take her rubbish out. Now about that
nose of yours."
With a gentle touch, he brought the icepack to her
face. Buffy tried her best to suppress a wince as it
made contact with her bruised face. Instead, she
covered his hand with hers and held it to her face.
"Thanks," she whispered.
Spike withdrew his hand as though something had
scalded him. The icepack fell to the floor with a
thud, and ice cubes scattered everywhere on the floor.
Clearly flustered, he dropped to a crouch to retrieve
the mess. "Dammit," he muttered more to the
floorboards than anything else, "I told myself I
wouldn't do this.'
In a flash he was on his feet again and heading toward
the kitchen, the ice cubes discarded in the sink with
a clatter. He paced with caged energy as she followed
"Do what?" she asked.
He braced his hands on either side of the sink. Taking
a deep breath, he closed his eyes and answered,
"This," he stumbled. "You. I told myself I was over
you. But seeing you, touching you, it brings it all
back. Believe me, it was so much easier when I could
pretend I hated you."
"Would it be better if I left?" she asked from the
He shook his head before the tough-guy accent that so
defined Spike the Big Bad yielded to something else,
something more refined, something that she couldn't
quite describe. With a hoarse whisper he answered, "I
don't want to say goodbye again."
She stepped into the kitchen, her heels clicked
against the linoleum tiles. Reaching out, she placed
her hand on his back. At first he stiffened at the
touch, but didn't pull away. "Then don't," she
Slowly he turned to face her, his face awash in
conflicting emotions. Confusion, uncertainty, desire.
Again he raised his hand to cup her face. She leaned
into his caress. His palm was cool against her skin as
he delicately stroked the curve of her lower lip with
His jaw clenched and he pulled abruptly away. "I
can't," his voice wavered. "I don't want to hurt you
Reaching out, Buffy took his hand in hers. "You
won't," she answered with a kiss to the center of his
palm. "I trust you, Spike."
He opened his mouth to say something, but instead let
his actions speak for him. Leaning forward he placed a
kiss on her lips. He tasted like tobacco and hops, a
comforting reassurance that he hadn't changed that
much. It wasn't the crushing kiss that laid claim to
her body like she'd been accustomed to. This one was
gentle, tentative. His lips were moist on her neck.
Spike still knew how to reduce her to a pile of mush
Her hands tangled in the hair at the nape of his neck,
and she drew him closer, her lips parting to invite
him to explore further.
All they'd ever done was dance. But tonight she was
willing to let him lead and set the pace.
She let out a little moan as he stopped his
ministrations. She smiled her approval as his eyes
wandered toward the bedroom. Without saying a word, he
laced his fingers in hers and led her down the narrow
hallway, the amber light from a lamp in the living
room lighting their way.
Pale moonlight filtered through the gap in the
curtain, though his face remained hidden in shadow.
With a gentle touch, his fingers played with the
buttons of her blouse until the shirt fluttered to the
floor. He took his time becoming reacquainted with
her body. His thumb swept the strap of her bra off her
shoulder, nipping little kisses followed in its wake.
He did likewise to the other shoulder before easing
her back onto the bed and unhooking the front closure.
His tongue dipped into her mouth before he tugged at
her lower lip with his teeth. The tips of his fingers
traced lazy circles on her belly, and her skin
prickled with goose bumps in response. "I dreamt of
you," he whispered in her ear. "Holding you, making
love. But I thought I'd never see you again."
"I'm right here, Spike," she answered as she stroked
his cheek. "I'm not going anywhere."
Her hands wandered across his broad shoulders before
trailing down his back to tug at the hem of his
t-shirt. He shivered at her touch as her fingers
slipped below fabric and crept along his skin. He was
still ticklish right below his ribs, and Spike
couldn't suppress a gasp as her fingertips found that
She hiked his shirt up, coaxing him to remove it. The
faint scar in the middle of is chest stood out in the
darkness. She'd given it to him. It was taut and
puckered beneath her touch. She half-expected him to
recoil. Instead, Spike relaxed beside her and let her
continue her quiet exploration. They lay together in
the darkness, reveling in the delicate silence that
surrounded them. No apocalypse to thwart. No demons to
slay. They didn't need words. They forgave each other
with their mouths, their hands, their bodies.
Somewhere between the soft caresses and gentle kisses,
the rest of their clothing had made it to the floor.
Her jeans had knocked over an unlit candle on the
nightstand, and his rested against the closet door.
"Are you sure?" he asked with a whisper, his eyes
seeking approval before taking the next step. One
painful mistake, and it lingered for years.
She wanted to erase the past and start fresh. She was
ready to trust him. "Three thousand frequent flyer
miles of sure," she said with a smile. Drawing him
close, she emphasized her choice with a long,
In the past she'd pulled and clawed, taken what was
hers. But tonight, it wasn't about games. It was about
reconnecting. Healing past wounds. For the first time,
they made love - slowly, reverently, their bodies
conveying everything they couldn't manage to say with
words. Skin on skin, soul against soul they moved as
one, sharing dance where only they knew the tune.
Slowly she felt it build within, taut like a drawn
bowstring ready to snap at any second. The past
didn't matter. Only now. Her fingers twined with his,
and her breath quickened with ragged gasps. Opening
her eyes, Buffy sought out his gaze and wrapped her
legs tighter around his body. She came with a
shuddering sigh and pulled Spike with her over the
edge, arching her body into his as he buried his head
against the angle of her neck.
They clung to each other as the last whispers of their
climax faded away. She savored his embrace as her
heartbeat gradually slowed. This was normally her cue
to kick him in the head and make the mad dash to the
door, virtue fluttering all the way home. But this
time when he rolled onto his back, she snuggled closer
and let him wrap his arms around her. It felt right.
But then again, it always had.
The muted sound of a car alarm echoed in the distance,
and she could mark time to the rhythmic drip of the
faucet in the bathroom. They wouldn't solve all of
their problems in one night. That would take time. But
they were headed in the right direction. Until then,
she longed for a life less complicated, but one that
"We'll be okay," she whispered against his chest. His
lips brushed the crown of her head in response. And
for the first time in her life, she believed those