Journeys Part Two: Awakenings
Sequel to Journeys; part of Journeys Series
Flesh. Bare flesh.
Pale and hard, gleaming in silvery blue light.
A breeze disturbing the curtains at the window, causing
them to play with the moonlight that streamed in, lighting blue eyes. A
familiar voice, not his, the tone huskier than was usual. Darker. Whose?
It’s a woman’s voice, she thought, her brow furrowing.
Mine? I think it’s mine.
She couldn’t make out any of the words.
There was blood.
She could hear
her blood rushing through her body, racing faster and faster. Her heart was
pounding, and the sound of it was intensifying, beginning to fill the room.
Excitement, emotion, amazement; something was gripping her, and it was
unlike anything she’d ever felt before.
He was on his knees,
looming over her, and she could hear the rumbling in his throat. The sound, oh,
so familiar to her, fell somewhere between a growl and a purr, and it called to
her on a deeply primal level, sending desire coursing through her veins and
drenching her with a thrill of satisfaction and power. He pulled back just
enough to look into her face. Their eyes locked, and she was riveted by his –
intent, pulling her in, flashing and streaking with gold. A challenge? She
dropped her head back, exposing herself to him. His hand sank into her hair,
and he tugged her head back even further, as his mouth moved over her chin, and
began to trail down her throat.
Her heartbeat was even
louder now, stronger, the very air around them was pulsating in rhythm with it,
thudding, thudding. Louder, stronger.
He was covering her,
consuming her, his body joining with hers, closer, merging, closer, closer, oh,
there, there. He was in her, and she realized that she was in him
too, that they were both crying out sounds of mingled shock and pleasure. Oh
god, he was there – on her, inside her, with her – he was part of her,
he was her, inside, outside, all over her. She could feel her
blood pounding now, matching the beat of her heart as it should, but now it was
pounding through him, through his veins, through his mind.
Your blood, my blood,
Remembered words whispered
through her mind briefly, and were lost in sensation.
Their bodies convulsed.
They were making love. He knew exactly how to move to
make her groan, how to touch her to make her gasp. They’d done this hundreds of
times, thousands. She knew his body better than she knew her own, and he knew
hers. She was going to come, could feel the beautiful build up of pressure, the
wild pleasure. Then his fangs were buried in her neck and he was drinking her,
coming violently inside her, taking her – oh god, no, draining her, turning
her, even as she called out that she would love him forever. Forever and ever
didn’t gasp, or come awake with a shock of fear. Instead, Buffy simply rolled
to sit on the edge of the bed and pushed her hands into her hair. She wondered
vaguely if there was some limit to the number of dreams a person could have in
a night, or to the number of times they could have the same dreams in a week.
Because she was pretty sure that, whatever those limits might be, she was waaay
her senses reached out, seeking Spike. Yes, he was there.
You okay, love? >>
Yeah. Just – weird dreams. > Again.
long pause. << Nightmares? >>
No. Not really. Kind of -- odd, though. >
to her surprise, he didn’t press her for details. The mental silence between
them stretched out.
Do you want me to…? >>
god, yes. Please. < We’ve talked about this. You know we can’t…
Could just get you off. It’d help you get back to sleep. Medicinal, in a way.
Medicinal sex. Be still my heart. >
You know I’ll make that heart of yours pound. >>
Sleeps like a log. >>
And Tara? >
could almost see his shoulders hunch.
Restless bint. >>
gave a huff of amusement. Since Willow had moved out Tara had become
the lightest sleeper in the world. It was so – inconvenient. So damned
You know I’ll stop by in the morning. >
Is that what you call it? ‘Stopping by’? >>
element of flirtation crept into her thought. < What do you want me to
call it? >
in her room, Buffy laughed softly.
What. Ever. Blondie. I’ll ‘stop by’. >
I’ll be waiting. At the door. >>
Oooh… Good. >
at the door’ meant yummy barefoot and shirtless Spike; strong hands risking the
sunlight to tug her quickly inside; crypt door banging shut as he pushed her up
against it; eager mouth, hard body, husky words.
um, bad. Definitely bad. Spike and crypt door thoughts were not going to
help her get back to sleep. And she needed to sleep. After all, hadn’t she just
said she’d be ‘stopping by’ the crypt? That involved a lot of
energy. A girl needed her rest!
she hadn’t been getting a lot of that lately.
and restless, Buffy rose and made the long trek down the darkened stairs for a
glass of orange juice. She’d been drinking a lot of juice lately, craving the
various citrusy or uncitrusy-but-still-fruity flavors. She swallowed half of
the tall glass she poured out thirstily, then leaned back against the counter
to enjoy the rest at a slower pace.
dreams – were they Slayer dreams? When they’d first begun, she hadn’t thought
so. But she was beginning to wonder… There were just so many of them. A few of
them were well known to her by now, the details unchanging, while others varied
from night to night. And, even though some similarities seemed woven through
all of them, they didn’t always seem related.
was always blood, thoughts of blood, or talk of blood.
course, most of them involved sex too.
feelings about the dreams were changing. At first, they’d frightened her,
leaving her gasping, and often, pressing a hand to her throat to check for the
wet stickiness of blood. Then she’d decided they were just dreams and had
dismissed them. But their growing frequency was making her nervous and uneasy. Concerned.
if they weren’t ‘official’ Slayer dreams, did they have some importance?
Something all propheticy? Buffy's face twisted. And did that mean they were
something she should be sharing with Giles? Because, wow! That would be fun!
She could almost hear the conversation.
and I are having amazing sex again, and --”
yes, and --”
you listen? They’re dreams, Giles. But, um, now that you mention
you would be so kind as to define ‘amazing’.”
planning to gaze rapturously at my handsome profile for the rest of the night,
or are you coming out?”
can’t sleep,” Buffy complained, crawling out her window. “I’ve been back in bed
for more than an hour, and all I’ve done is stare at the clock. Which is a big
bore-a-thon. Especially since I memorized where all the numbers go last
arm curled around her waist and he swooped her up, depositing her between his
legs. She wiggled, settling against him, her back to his chest, as he wrapped
her in his arms.
sleeping. I want to sleep.”
trait our girl inherited from you.”
never has any trouble.”
often,” he agreed. It was true. Dawn rarely tossed and turned, which made it
more noteworthy when she did.
not fair,” Buffy whined.
adjusted his position, loosening his duster so that he could envelope her in its
leather folds. Buffy squirmed again, nestling closer, and dropped her head back
onto his shoulder.
he murmured into her hair, moments after she’d stilled.
Her sound of contentment trailed off into a light snore.
Spike tightened his arms and rested his chin on her head.
wasn’t always a bitch.
Willow looked up,
Xander was standing in the doorway of her bedroom.
hadn’t heard him enter the house; hadn’t noted his footsteps in the hallway.
She had some vague recollection of the sounds of her parents leaving -- minutes
ago? Hours? She didn’t know, and cared less.
oldest friend was frowning. His eyes swept around the room, taking in the pile
of boxes, contents spilling out; the drawn curtains; the plates scattered here
and there on several surfaces, and the mostly untouched helpings of food that
had long since congealed on them. He snapped on the overhead light in order to
check out the scene more thoroughly.
Willow felt a
spark of something flare up. Defensiveness.
she demanded. “Like your place, pre-cohabitation days, was always spotlessly
help you clean up.”
want it clean, do it yourself.”
that how you want to play this, Will?” he asked grimly.
didn’t answer, looking away from his steady regard to pick at her bedspread,
and pretended to ignore him as he began to stack up the dishes. She continued the
pretense as he unpacked the boxes he’d delivered to the house several days ago,
shoving her clothes haphazardly into drawers and closet, but she kept stealing
glances at him, trying to see…
mad was he?
here, isn’t he? That probably means he doesn’t completely hate you.
the others aren’t here. Did that mean they did?
Xander picked up a blue top
draped over the back of a chair and tossed it toward the hamper in the corner
of the room. Half her wardrobe was now piled around the hapless wicker basket.
“Buffy told me you dropped out
“I didn’t drop out. I just
dropped all my classes. There’s a difference. Besides, Buffy did the same thing.”
“Her mom was sick, a crazy bitch
hellgod wanted to use her sister to destroy the world, and then she died. All
valid quitting school reasons. Why don’t you explain yours?”
“Maybe I just felt like I needed
“From school? You?” Xander's expression revealed the utter ridiculousness of
that statement, and Willow felt herself flushing.
She looked away. “I’m going back
next semester,” she grumbled.
“Which doesn’t explain why you
dropped all your classes. Now. With the semester almost over.” Xander sat down
on the bed, facing her, and she looked into his familiar face again. His worried
face. His eyes held a hundred questions, but he only asked the most important
ones, his voice gentle. “What’s going on, Will? Can’t you tell me?”
The silence dragged out. And
out. She could almost feel the tension building in him, and when he spoke again
at last, his tone was noticeably cooler.
“Did your professors suggest you
stay home until the electricity stopped shooting out of your fingers?”
“W-What are you talking about?”
Xander shook his head and stood.
She could feel the anger and disgust rolling off him. “Damn it, Will!” He paced
across the room and back. “Don’t treat me like an idiot. Just tell me what the
hell is happening to you! What, in the name of all that’s incomprehensible,
were you thinking?!”
“I didn’t do anything wrong!”
“You do think I’m stupid,
Willow squeezed her arms around her legs more tightly. She was
still sitting on her bed, her chin resting upon her updrawn knees. She’d barely
moved since he came into the room, and now his eyes ran over her with
“Rack is dead,” he stated
Willow buried her face between her knees, her guilt and pain
displaced by the fury that rushed through her. Fury and fear. “Buffy just
couldn’t resist, could she? The Slayer strikes again! How did she find him?”
“She didn’t. It was Spike,” Xander
“Spike! What does any of this
have to do with him?”
“Apparently your big power buddy
threatened Dawn. And possibly Buffy. The details are a little murky.”
“I’m sure they are – because
they’re lies. Rack isn’t -- wasn’t like that. And why would he threaten
Dawn or Buffy? He didn’t even know them.”
“That’s not the impression I
got. Besides, Buffy is the Slayer, Will. A lot of demony types are gonna know
who she is, or at least be aware she lives in town.”
“Spike's a big, fat liar,” Willow argued. “He
and Buffy probably made the whole thing up so they had an excuse to kill him.”
“No, they didn’t. Buffy didn’t
know anything about it. And, you know what? I didn’t think I’d ever say this,
but I believe Spike. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of tolerance for threats
aimed at ‘his girls’.”
“His girls,” Willow snorted.
“Sounds like he’s pretty delusional to me. Like liars are.”
“The others are dead, too.”
Willow went still.
“What others?” she asked
The flat of Xander's hand
slammed against the top of her dresser. “Son of a --! Knock it off. This whole
innocent/ignorant act really doesn’t look good on you.”
“I don’t know who or what you’re
“The freaking power dealers,
Will. They’re all dead. Cleaned out. Gone. You’re gonna have to get
along without them.”
Her face paled. “What? How?”
“We took them out. All of us.
Together. Even Tara and Dawn helped.”
She could feel her face
crumbling, and she bowed it back over her knees. “Why? Why would you do that?”
“For you. You know we
His softened tone only angered
her, and when she felt his hand touch her shoulder, she shrugged it away. Willow took a deep
breath and unfolded her body, getting gracefully to her feet. Eyes cool, she
looked up at Xander, her lips a thin line.
“I think you should leave.”
“For god’s sake, Will, let me
help you. Tell me how I can.”
(( Find me another dealer. ))
Xander's body jerked. “What?”
Willow frowned. (( You heard me. I need you to find another
dealer. Bring him to Sunnydale. ))
“Are you out of your mind?”
The redhead’s eyes narrowed. “What
did you do?” She grabbed at his arm. “Damn! Spike – that protection spell. You
had one done? You? You really felt you needed protection from me?”
“We all had one done.
Giles insisted. I told him we didn’t need to, told him we could trust you; that
you’d never try to make us do anything against our will.” His eyes were dark
with the pain and disappointment of betrayal. “I guess I was wrong, wasn’t I?”
“Who did it? What spell did you
Xander shook his head, backing
into the hall. “No.”
(( Tell me. ))
“Not. Gonna. Happen.”
Xander turned and strode away. She
heard the front door slam shut behind him.
Really, she thought to herself, I’ll have to start locking
“Are you going to stop back at
Tuck’s to see what kind of buzz he’s hearing on the power dealers?” Buffy kneaded
Spike's shoulders more firmly, massaging the scented oil into his skin.
“Not if I can help it.”
Buffy grinned and brushed her
lips against the back of his neck. “Didn’t you promise to autograph some
photos? You know, per-son-a-lize them?”
“You’re never gonna let that
go, are you Slayer?”
“Of course not. It’s totally
against the woman code to close the book on something so completely tease-and-taunt
“Wouldn’t want you doing
“Pffft. So – you think that
one we beheaded last night was the last of them?”
“According to my sources,
yeah. I’ll keep my ear to the ground, though.”
“This one?” Her teeth
nipped lightly at an earlobe. “Or this one?”
“C’mere, and I’ll tell you,”
he promised, turning to reach for her.
“Uhn-uh,” she refused. “I am
supposed to be giving you a massage. It’s my turn, remember?”
Spike shifted his shoulders
under her hands and rolled his neck. “’s right, pet. It is. Get to it,
Her hands pressed more deeply
into the muscles of his upper arms. “I was wondering…”
“What kind of massage…”
“… you wanted.”
His tone changed, deepened.
“I mean, do you want me to use
my hands? Like this?”
“Or would you rather I do
this?” She pressed her breasts against him and began to move her torso, rubbing
herself against the taut muscles of his back.
“I think you should choose
one,” she drew away from him, her hands remaining on his shoulders, “or,” she
leaned back into him, “the other.”
“Those my only two choices?”
She huffed with amusement.
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I could massage other, um, parts.”
Buffy buried her face in the
side of his throat as she slid her hands around him and stroked them over the almost
flawlessly smooth planes of his chest. A forefinger traced the cross shaped
scar over his heart before she flattened her hand against him again. When she’d
asked about the scar, Spike had told her he had no idea where or how he’d
gotten it. The slight tension she’d been able to feel in his body had kept her
from asking the when.
“Mmmm, maybe – here?” Her
tongue came out, gliding from collarbone to ear. His body jerked. She exhaled,
her breath warm against his cooler flesh, and traced the same path again,
lingering on the slight ridges she discovered there. His body jerked again.
Buffy lifted her head, letting
her hands get more adventurous. “You like?”
When he tipped his head to the
side, Buffy's mouth descended onto his shoulder, but Spike reached up to tug
her face back to his neck.
“There,” he groaned out. “Don’t
“Mmmm…” she smiled against
him. “Don’t wanna…”
Her hands continued to explore
his body while she licked and nibbled on his neck. Vaguely, she noted the
change in his breathing, felt the tremors starting up under his skin, but it
took several minutes for her brain to process the information. By that time,
his breathing was ragged, and shudders were running through his body. Deep shudders.
Buffy drew back, surprised and
a little concerned by the strength of his reaction. “Spike?”
swift movement caught her completely unaware.
hands grabbed her, yanking her around his body so that they were face to face,
her legs straddling his. Her gasp was lost as his mouth closed over hers and he
kissed her with a raw hunger that sent bolts of lust shooting into every part
of her body. Warmth flooded her, and she wrapped herself tightly around him,
returning the kiss wildly.
tore his mouth away from hers, and pressed her face into his throat again,
burying his own face in hers. She felt his teeth there, nipping at her. His
voice was harsh, guttural. “Don’t. Stop.”
moved and she felt the long length of him thrust up into her, strong and hard.
When she cried out with pleasure and dropped her head back, he savagely yanked
it back up, growling as he pushed her mouth back to the scarred skin on his
Use. Your. Teeth. >>
burning intensity in the thought only made her groan and quicken her movements.
he muttered against her flesh. “Take me deeper. Ride me hard. Yeah, oh, fuck
yeah, like that. Just like that.”
held him tightly, her arms and thighs and all her inner muscles squeezing hard as
she bit down on his neck.
face twisted as he cried out and exploded inside her.
sudden shift in mood from teasing and playful to near violent passion had left
her stunned. Once her breathing calmed and she felt like she could actually move,
Buffy drew back to look into Spike's face. He looked, she thought, like it had
pretty much had the same effect on him.
dazed blue eyes went cloudy. He looked down at their joined bodies, touched his
eyes to her neck and reached up to feel the unbroken skin on his own.
fell back onto the mattress, pulling her down with him.
Tell me I didn’t hurt you. >>
I, um, no. You didn’t hurt me.”
raised a hand to push her hair off her face and gazed into her eyes.
didn’t hurt me,” she said again, anxious to reassure him. “In fact, I kind of,
eyes softened and his mouth did one of those sort of quirky thingies.
mouth found hers and he kissed her, long and slow and hot, and oh, my, god…
rolled, pressing her into the sheets and leaning over her. Even now, with his
emotions a little out of whack, he carefully kept his weight off of her.
you, Buffy…” << I love you so much. >>
a purr of promise, his mouth began a long, leisurely and infinitely gentle
slide down her body.
Buffy twirled a finger around
one of his curls. They were laying on their backs, at right angles to each
other. Spike's head was resting on her stomach, and his hands were moving
expressively as he regaled her with a story that involved a pack of werewolves,
the catacombs of Paris and the last decade of a century old, er, century.
“…walls made of bones, and a
bunch of skulls arranged in a sodding heart…”
God, how was it she hadn’t known?
Because really, she’d had no idea. At all.
“…howling loud enough to
reanimate all six million Parisians, and god, wouldn’t they’ve made a
racket, bloody Frogs…”
It was like a – like a whole
new world had opened up. Worlds. Plural.
“…Edvard Munch – I mean, have
you seen ‘The Scream’? Pretty bleeding obvious…
With new languages. And they
didn’t even sound weird and incomprehensible to her because she understood
them; she was even learning to speak them. A little. Because Spike was like one
of those Universal Transistor thingies. Um, Translators. And he kept inviting
her to try out her new tongues on him. Oooh! He encouraged her to test them,
and learn to speak them better and better and oh, god, there’s another one?
“… yapping at our heels, and
those sodding tunnels go on forever…”
It was all so – intense. And
exciting. And ohmygod, could you really do that? And oh, don’t stop because I
never had any idea anything could feel so good and if you stop now I’ll lose
what little sanity I have left right here in front of you, and how would you
explain that to my Watcher, and oh, god, again? Again?
“… did that vampire painting.
Always wondered if it was a self portrait. Lovely lady vamp in Paris at the time,
name of Javelina, Nicole Javelina. Redhead, like the bird in the painting. She
was an inspiring type. I figure she was his…”
Maybe it wasn’t so hard to
Her night with Angel had been
wonderful; loving, gentle, and exciting. But it had only been one night, and
her first time, and she’d been a little nervous and worried. After all, he’d
had so much experience, and he… Those insecurities had probably made it easier
for Angelus to begin his manipulations of her the next day.
Parker had been a one night
stand who had treated her like one.
And Riley? Well… It’s not that
the sex had been bad. Exactly. But it had been kinda – predictable. As a lover,
Riley had been -- oh, what was the word? There was a perfect word, she knew
there was, it was right on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t come up with
it right now.
But with Spike…
Hard, gentle, wild, easy, top,
bottom, side by side, inside out and dozens of ways she’d never even imagined,
and every time was like some new journey to one of those new worlds with the
beautiful languages. And he wanted her to see them all, and hear each of them…
“…Dru wanted one for a pet.
Stubborn bint wouldn’t listen when I told her Munch would be a lot less bother.
Travel alone would be sod all to organize with a …”
Oh – that was it! The word
she’d been looking for.
As a lover, Riley had been organized.
Really, really organized.
at Christmas time. You know -- Peace on earth. Good will toward men.”
lot of good that will do either of us.”
made a face. “Dawn will be happy,” she offered.
thinking it will be a better gift than anything she’d gonna find under the
tree. If we have a tree. I suppose that’s, like, my responsibility now,”
she lamented. “Another one. How did my mom ever do it?”
get the bit a soddin’ tree. We tell her first, too.”
Buffy agreed. “Just her. Before, um …”
whole bleeding gang?”
stroked a hand up her back. “Are you ready to deal with all the crap they’re
gonna pile on us?”
shrugged. “Probably not. Are you?”
His hand slid back down, cupping her bottom. “It’s not like I wanna hide it…”
hadn’t been. Hiding it. Exactly. They just hadn’t revealed it. Um, blatantly.
Like, with the kissing in front of people or saying ‘Hey! We’re kind of
checking out the couple-y thing here.’
know. And Willow…”
has got your pals all stressed out.”
time. And us… We’re still so – new.” Her leg wound around his. “But the whole secret
keeping thing? Really hasn’t worked all that well for me in the past.”
think you like your secrets.”
it, Slayer. You get off on sneaking over here during the day, then acting like
you haven’t been climbing all over me when the others are about.”
do not ‘get off’ on it.”
I get off on it.”
snorted. “You would. Jerk.”
we’re sitting at the Magic Box with your friends all yammering on, and I catch
your eye across the room… I can see it on your face. I know you’re thinking
about having my cock in your hot little hands…” his tongue curled, “… and other
places. Know you’re thinking about being all wrapped around me, about how I can
make you moan my name… All. Day. Long.
yeeeaaah, love, I get off on that.”
moved against him, then blushed as his expression intensified at the telling
little hip shimmy. Damn him!
fingers traced a repeating pattern on her hip.
are we, Buffy?”
known this question would come; had known it needed to come. They
couldn’t just keep meeting for marathon sex sessions every day without, sooner
or later, looking at the bigger picture. Or, well, they shouldn’t.
been feeling a lot more sure of herself lately; not so lost and alone and
scared and confused and fuzzy. She even felt all sort of slayerish again, more
sure of her fighting skills, and like she was – like she was all there. Like
the pieces she’d been so desperately afraid were missing had been found. A
small line appeared between Buffy's brows. That was a little odd. She hadn’t
“Listen to me, love. This edge you’re talking about – you
want it back, don’t you?”
“I need it back.”
Spike's reassurances from that memorable night at the
Bronze came back to her.
“No, you don’t. ‘Cause you have it.” His forehead came to
rest against her. “I know you. Oh, god, Buffy, I know you. And everything you
need is here.” He lifted one of her hands and laid their palms together. His
fingers threaded through hers and folded down, gripping her hand tightly. “It’s
here,” he repeated, his voice firm, compelling. “I can feel it. It’s in you.”
For a minute they both gazed at their clasped hands, the
“Look at me, Buffy.”
Her eyes moved to his.
“Maybe it’s like your memories – the edge, the fire. Just
not as accessible as it should be. Something zaps some type of mojo on us and
your memories are jogged loose. They’re there for you now. You haven’t needed
your Slayer edge. Not yet. You need it, it’s gonna be there for you too.”
He held her eyes, and she knew he was trying to drive the
Unconsciously, Buffy disengaged her hand from his and
began toying with the fingers of his other hand. Her fingertips traced the
edges of each digit, lifted one, then another, as she considered his words.
“You really think it’s in me? That it’ll be there for
Maybe he’d been right. Maybe that’s exactly what had happened. As the situation
with Willow developed and her slayer side was needed, things had sort of
clicked back into place, straightened themselves out, just as Spike had
probably gloat if she mentioned it.
that the power dealers had been dealt with, Buffy felt less nervous about the
situation with Willow. She was still majorly upset about it, and worried, but at
least she felt like she’d done something; had taken some steps to help. And
since no other big bads or even medium bads seemed to be trying to set up shop
in town, she actually felt like she had some time to think about Spike and
about what was happening between them.
a lot of rather – unusual – things had been happening…
knew she cared about him, counted on him. He was special to her – meant
something to her. But she wasn’t quite sure what or how deeply or for how long
don’t know yet,” she told him honestly. “But I want to find out.” She levered
herself up to look into his eyes. “Is that enough?”
he answered. “I love you. You know that. And I want it all.” His hand wove
through her hair. “We can be good together, love. We are good together.”
His eyes roamed over her serious face. “But for now – yeah, I’ll let it be
turned over the sign on the door to “Closed”. Almost in unison, she and Dawn
gave exaggerated sighs of relief before sitting down next to each other on the
steps leading up to the door.
Is it always like this?”
been rushing about all day long, wrapping up this, taking down that item from a
display, finding just one more, please!, of those.
is looming, and the shoppers have quite obviously progressed to the panic
could tell! You know, when you offered me this job, I thought you might have
‘created’ it ’cause you knew I liked the store, and could use the extra dollar
fifty an hour,” Dawn said. “Which I so can. But I can see you totally didn’t. It’s
nuts here! How did you ever do it on your own?”
was losing my mind!” Emily admitted. “Haven’t you realized yet how I oh, so casually
lured you here? Trying to pretend it was because I knew you like my
merchandise…Ha! Now you know. I completely pulled the wool over your eyes, and
got you to work here at slave wages in an attempt to restore my sanity!”
these are slave wages – what is it that Giles is paying me at the Magic Box?”
don’t think there’s anything that really qualifies as lower than ‘slave’.”
smiled. “I promise, sweetie, as soon as the holidays are over, I’ll let you
start unleashing your creative talents.”
eyes went wide. “Really?”
course. I think you’re a wonderful young artist, and I want to encourage that,
give you an outlet to express it. In retail related ways, of course.”
girl shrugged her shoulders, looking very young and incredibly pleased.
groaned and pressed a hand to the small of her back as she pushed back to her
made some homemade soup earlier this week. It gets better every time I warm it
up. Would you like to come up and have a bowl?”
lived upstairs. She’d invited Dawn – and Spike, for that matter – to stop up,
but, for one reason or another, neither of them had yet entered her private
rooms. Today was going to be no exception.
can’t. Buffy made me promise I’d come right home.” Dawn grimaced. “I think
Emily patted her shoulder. She’d heard this tale of woe before. “I’m sorry.”
sure you – oh, dear heavens! I’m so glad you mentioned your sister. I almost
forgot! A young woman I know – Lynn Alexandra – is looking for some help over
at the university. She worked here while she was in high school. She’s a
supergirl, very nice. Anyway, she works at the Wellness Center at
UC-Sunnydale – you know, health and fitness classes, workouts for men and
women, self defense classes. I thought your sister might fit the bill. What do
considered. “I don’t know. She – she might enjoy that kind of work. She’s been
doing self defense stuff with me, and seems to like that, so maybe… We’re
lucky. The whole money thing I was kinda worried about?” she looked at Emily until
she gave a nod of understanding. “A friend of ours went through a lot of the
financial papers, and things aren’t as bad as they might have been. So
probably, Buffy doesn’t, you know, have to work.”
I’ll ask her. I don’t think she’s gonna try to go back to school until next
year, so she might be interested. And, even if we can pay all our bills, a
little extra money is always of the good. Especially, you know, with Christmas
mind went back to the years just after she’d graduated from UC-Berkeley. Money
had been extremely tight. And Michael’s situation had taken over so much of her
life that finding something that paid a decent wage in the limited number of
hours she had availabl… Well, suffice it to say, those years had been filled
with a wide variety of stresses. She smiled to herself a little sadly. She’d
give anything to be living through those hard times again, if it meant that
Michael was still a part of her life. She’d never stop missing him.
don’t know what the pay is, but since it’s for the university system, I imagine
the benefits are fair – health insurance, dental. Those things can cost a
fortune. If you’d like, I’ll talk to Lynn about your
sister a little – put in a good word. Of course, Buffy will have to apply, go
through the interviews and everything. But, like I said, Lynn is very
nice, and she and I are very good friends...”
went behind the counter to get her jacket. “I’ll talk to Buffy,” she said,
struggling with the zipper. “If she can keep her Slayer strength under control,
it might be a really good job for her.”
teenager’s eyes went wide as she seemed to realize what she’d said. “She, um,
used to do gymnastics. So, you know, strong.” Dawn flexed her bicep. “And my
dad called her ‘the slayer’. It was, like, a family joke. He was big into WWF
Wrestling.” Her eyes revealed that she was perfectly well aware of how forced
the explanation seemed. “Stupid, I know.”
just nodded, smiled, and pretended ignorance. “The Slayer, huh?”
Both arms flexed this time. “Strong.”
like she’ll be perfect for the job.”
that strength, all that power, stretched out across his bed, writhing with
pleasure and need.
like that,” he approved. “Hold onto the headboard.”
His hands shaped her narrow
hips, smoothing over supple skin, savoring taut muscles beneath. She arched
toward him, encouragingly, but he still didn’t move to enter her.
“Spike?” Her voice was soft,
questioning his lack of action.
“Anticipation, love. It can be
so sweet. Just thinking about how it’s going to feel when I slide into you –
how good. You’re wet. Slick. So ready for me. I’m gonna slide in so smooth,
your juices drenching me. Your scent—it’s surrounding me, love. I can smell
how much you want me; can feel how you’re waiting for me. You’re gonna be so
tight, so tight. Holding me, your walls clamping around me, squeezing me,
keepin’ me buried deep and tight inside you. It’s gonna be so good.” His eyes captured
hers. “How’s it gonna feel for you?”
He could feel the heat suffusing
her body and his tongue curled as her color heightened. All. Over. That.
Heated. Luscious. Body.
“Please, just…” She twisted
her hips toward him again, trying to force the movement they both craved.
“It’s just us love, just you
and me. Tell me. Tell me how it’s gonna feel when I slide inside you.”
“Strong,” the word seemed torn
from her throat. “Oh god, so strong. And hard. Thick - the way you stretch me,
I – I never think you’ll fit inside. But you do, and oh god, you fill me,
stretch me…Feels so good. And it’s like – like every nerve in my body is
singing. And you know just how to – how to move, how to make me…”
She broke off as he groaned,
clutching her hips tightly.
“Guide me in, love. Take me in
your hand and guide me in.” Even as he spoke he was taking her hand in his,
folding it around his shaft, hips thrusting urgently toward her. “Now. Fuck,
Buffy, now, now—”
Need. It was eating away at
him. At her, too. He could feel it – the near greed of her wanting.
Buffy tugged him closer, positioning
him against her.
“Yeeesss. Now, now, now.”
And then he was there, in her
– oh god, deep, so deep. Smooth, silken joining; perfect, perfect fit. Just how
they’d known it would be. Filling her, stretching her, feeling her tighten and
quiver around him.
His head fell back, jaw
clenched, tendons standing out starkly in his neck. “Deep, so deep. So good,
love, you feel So. Bloody. Good. Slick and wet and so damn hot. You burn
me, burn me. Afterwards, I never think it could have been as good as I’m
remembering. Then I’m inside you again – and it’s better, always better.”
never imagined he would take such pleasure in holding a sleeping woman in his
arms, but he seemed to find it, in a different way, every bit as satisfying as
was lying on her side, curled against his side, with her hand resting
lightly over his heart. Her face was peaceful in repose, and he felt a fierce
pleasure that she could feel that here with him, that she could find peace in
his arms after the passion dimmed enough to allow sleep.
peace implied – trust.
was starting to do it – starting to – believe.
well shouldn’t, and was doing it anyway.
fucking think about it. Don’t get caught up. Just enjoy the bloody ride,
remember? He’d already opened his mouth more than he should have.
are we, Buffy?”
don’t know yet. But I want to find out. Is that enough?”
then, worse yet…
I love you. You know that. And I want it all.”
course he’d told her he’d let it be enough. And he would. It was more than he’d
ever thought he’d have.
arms, his bed. And more. The beginnings of companionship. It sounded
such a small thing, but he was starting to understand that it might be something
that could fill holes in his life he’d hardly acknowledged existed, and was beginning
to suspect might be rather gaping.
foot slid up his leg and curved around his calf, tugging it toward her. He turned
his face into her hair, inhaling its woodsy scent. Mmmm… It tugged at a memory...
surprised him. He’d expected her to be as strong and fierce a lover as she was
a warrior. And she was. Sometimes. But not always. Sometimes she’d say
something, or do something, or, he smiled to himself, more often not say
something; not do something, that made him look deeply into her eyes,
trying to see inside her mind. It had taken him days to suss it out.
buggering hell, he’d thought, when the realization first struck him. She’s
the Slayer and she’s bloody insecure as a lover. It hadn’t taken
long, though, after the first shock of it, for him to understand how that could
be; how she could be unsure of her appeal and doubtful of her ‘skills’.
The two of them had combined
to give her a couple of very mornings after.
His grandsire’s scathing words
to her had to have been pretty crushing to a young virgin. And he knew Angelus
had been her first. The newly soulless vampire had described the art of her
seduction, to him, to Dru, to a sodding room full of minions in minute detail.
Several times. Spike knew the version of her deflowering they’d been treated to
had been corrupted to suit the audience. The ponce had obviously loved her, and
Spike was sure there’d been a revolting number of months filled with soft and
soulful looks of longing, followed, at last, by a sweet and tender initiation.
If that hadn’t been the case, Angelus probably would have hated himself, and
her, a lot less after he lost his soul again.
Even if Buffy had been able to
separate Angelus’ words and his desire to hurt her as much as demonly possible
from what she would see as Angel’s acts, the similar treatment by the
college prat the next time she’d given in to the urge had probably left seeds
of doubt in her mind.
Seeds that had grown into
worries before blossoming into insecurities.
He’d done his own part in
driving those doubts home, he thought, remembering their battle in the
sunlight; the words he’d used to taunt her.
Buffy's reactions to him and
to their many recent hours-long sessions of sexual dalliance had told him that Soldier
Boy had been not only someone he’d have enjoyed eating, but a right tosser sorely
lacking in imagination as well. Spike had him pegged for missionary almost all
the way, the type of bloke who thought he was being adventurous if he let his
bird climb on top every tenth go or so. Still, they’d been together for a long
time, and he imagined the length of their relationship had helped to build confidence
in his Slayer. Of course, when the wanker had taken to visiting vamp whores,
her self esteem had probably taken a blow. Of top of everything going on with
her mum and her sis, it must’ve been a bit like being beaten about the head with
Could’ve spared her that, he
supposed. The trip to the brothel. But he hadn’t and he didn’t much regret it.
She’d needed to know what Tall and Tedious had been up to, and Finn’s actions
would’ve hurt her whenever and however she found out about them. Better sooner
And the great lunk had gone
pouting off to Central America, hadn’t he? So the end result had been good. He hoped
the Slayer had torn some strips off his hide before he’d run off.
Buffy made a soft sound in her
sleep and shifted slightly. Her neck arched, her face turned, and her mouth
brushed across his shoulder. Moist lips pursed, turning the motion into a kiss
of sorts. Spike's fingers traced the now familiar line of her spine.
No matter how well he felt he
was getting to know it, her body continued to be a source of amazement to him;
her strength and power, and the warm softness of her.
So bloody beautiful.
He had no idea how she could ever
doubt that, even for a moment. She didn’t mention it, didn’t spend time
cajoling reassurances out of him, but there had been a few telling words and
phrases, ones he hadn’t paid a lot of mind to until hours after they’d been
spoken, when he’d been replaying one or another of their encounters in his
‘Get so hard just thinking of you.’
‘Mmmm. Love your hips, pet.’ Hands stroking. ‘ And this curve -- here.’
‘But… You said I was skin and bones.’ A real question, he’d later realized, had underlain the humor.
She might have surprised him,
might not have been quite what he’d expected, but he wasn’t disappointed. Sod
that! Bloody well felt like he was gonna go up in flames every time he touched
her, didn’t he? He was completely captivated; bewitched and – and sodding delighted
– by her in ways no self respecting demon would ever admit to.
She had inhibitions.
And he bloody well loved them. Loved encountering them; loved trying to coax
her through them; loved watching them fall away one by one. He loved how she
responded to him, loved her passion, loved watching her lose herself in it, her
body caught up, her face transformed.
He even loved how some of those
same inhibitions might be back in place the next day.
He loved watching her sleep,
too. Like this. Watching over her. He touched his lips to her head, and let his
eyes fall closed. Just for a moment…
hand unfurled and spread over his chest, fingers splayed. Spike opened his eyes
again to look at her, but he could see she remained soundly asleep. Still, her
hand began to move, stroking with slow thoroughness over the hard planes of his
chest, down along his side, and over his hip to his thigh.
she breathed out. “Mmmm.” She snuggled closer.
seeks me, he thought. Asleep, and she seeks me.
hand slid between his legs, cupped his sac, fondled softly.
his own approval echoed hers, and he lifted a knee, granting her greater
access. She took advantage of it.
later, that perfect little hand left his balls and curled around his aching
shaft. Tight. Even asleep, he thought, she knows when to take care, and when to
show me her strength.
she murmured again. “Nice.”
he agreed. More than nice.
found everything about her so – pleasing, so perfect.
hips began to rock against the outside of his thigh.
turned toward her, luxuriating in the glide of his flesh against hers as he
lifted her leg to hook it over his hip. His mouth kissed her awake, and he gave
her what she sought.
The cleaned up corner of the
bedroom seemed safest. It gave her a view of the entire room. Maybe she’d be
able to see…
They were all dead.
She thought the conflicting
emotions running through her might drive her insane.
And pure, undiluted terror.
Willow’s hands twisted together, clutching and squeezing at one
another. The actions grew more frenzied, and even more so before Willow suddenly
became aware of what she was doing and forced her hands to stillness.
She had no idea how long it had
been since Xander left. She wasn’t even sure if her parents had returned home
from the conference they’d been attending. Why had he come, anyway? She didn’t
want to see any of them. Couldn’t bear it. They knew. They’d seen inside
her. Knew she’d tried to…
Oh god, Tara, Tara, Tara. How could she…?
It’s not like Tara didn‘t enjoy it. You were
making love to each other, something you’ve done hundreds of times. You love
each other. How could that be wrong?
It’s not wrong. There was
You are not wrong.
You were just trying to heal
things. Make them better.
And that is right. The
right thing to do.
Stop! Stop it!
Argue. Whisper. Engage in
You’re strong, powerful.
Was it strong to leave
Dawn alone in a room that was bound to attract big demony customers?
what? It’s not your responsibility to take care of the Slayer’s imaginary
little brat of a sister, is it? If Buffy really loved the girl, she’d send her
somewhere safe, away from the Hellmouth. Away from demons. And if Dawnie-girl
is going to stay here, she’s needs to learn to deal with the realities of life
you were helping her.
Maybe the make believe girl should
leave. Go away. Far away. Maybe she’d be better off. Better off…
God she was tired. So very
tired. She slept, but never woke feeling rested. It had been going on for a
long time now. Weeks, at least, possibly months, and she’d grown sick of it.
Sick of all the odd things, the nightmares that had come to fill her nights,
and had lately taken to invading most of her days as well.
Argue. Whisper. Engage in
Stop fighting with yourself, Willow. You can’t
Yes, and we can help you get
stronger. You’ll – enjoy it. You know you will.
They’re my friends.
Are they? Do friends have protection spells performed? Do
they kick you out of their houses, slam doors, and tell you that you’re wrong,
They’re afraid of you.
I only wanted to protect them. I
didn’t want them to be afraid!
If they were your friends,
they’d understand that, wouldn’t they? Find another dealer, and it will all get
better. Remember how it felt? The strength? The power? The control?
Willow knocked her head against the wall. It didn’t hurt, and
provided a momentary distraction, so she did it again.
The power Rack had given her –
it had been wonderful. She’d loved the feelings coursing through her veins, the
knowledge that she was finally, finally in control. Since the
resurrection it was the only time…
She needed the kind of
power Rack had been able to give her, and she needed to find another source.
Because whatever it was he’d
given her, whatever it had been, it was…
It was the only… the only…
Willow curled more tightly into the corner and bumped her head
against the wall of her room again.
The only thing…
…that had silenced…
… all the noise…
… in her head.
All the never-ending noise.
When I posted the first chapter of Journeys on September 29, 2002, I had no idea it would remain unfinished more than a year later! I’m
still writing, working on the story daily. It consumes me. This chapter
comprises pages 542-569 on my master copy. I have 1165 pages written, and I
still have a long way to go.
I’m amazed and thrilled that readers have stayed with this
story for so long, especially since so many fans feel this ship has grown
unbearably stale, has sailed, or even sunk. Spike's story, and the Buffy/Spike
love story (the greatest love story never told as Barb Cummings called it)
appeal to me on a number of levels and in a way no other fictional characters
or their stories ever have. I am loving creating this fantasy world for them –
writing out what would have been if I had been the one with the say so. I guess
I think that’s, for the most part, the purpose of fanfiction.
Thanks again to Lou in Great Britain (who sent me an
autographed GOTR photo recently – woo-hoo!), for taking the time to answer some
questions on British beer for the next chapter. She even conducted some
‘research’ with one of her neighbors! Talk about dedication! (I think she just asked
him/her. I’m not certain actual sampling took place. And yes, before you
ask, Lou is legal! She used to go watch the Beatles at The Cavern.
How jealous are we?????)
For what it’s worth, I’m throwing this challenge out there:
Childe. That word. Hated by some, reviled by a few. Unless someone can suggest
to me a suitable alternative, it’s going to be making an appearance in this
story some time in the near future. If you simply can’t read a fic containing
that word, you can do one of two things; stop reading before it burns your eyes
out of their sockets, or e-mail me a great idea for a wonderful word that means
the same thing! It’s, like, an opportunity!! It can’t be ‘minion’ or
‘fledgling’ and I don’t want something slangy or informal such as ‘get’. I need
a formal designation – the direct companion to ‘sire’.
If you’d like to go on the update notification list, just
drop me an e-mail at: MKStatz@aol.com.
Feedback can come to this same address!! *snort* I thought there would only be
one more chapter of Awakenings after this one, but this one got so long, I
divided it into two parts, so there are still two to go. Then, it’s on to Part
Lastly, I don’t use a beta. As I’ve mentioned before, this
is the first thing I’ve written in many, many years, and the idea of sending chapters
to a beta completely terrifies me. (I actually feel kind of sick to my stomach
every time I send a new chapter to the hosting sites, and the churning
continues until the first couple ‘good chapter’ reviews come in.) So spelling
errors and the major breakage of the rules of the grammar should all be laid
solely at my door. I try to catch most of them, but since I don’t actually know
all those pesky grammar rules (hey! it’s been like, um, five years since I was
in high school – maybe even six! LOL), I’m sure I offend numerous people every
time a new chapter is released! I apologize for the times I make you cringe or
grit your teeth. When the story is complete (someday, someday, someday), I’ll probably
go back and correct the most glaring errors, for my own peace of mind. I do
consider this all a huge learning experience, as well as being an extremely challenging
and entertaining adventure.
As always, thanks to the webmistresses who are kindly hosting
Journeys and to everyone who has taken the time to comment on the story –
particularly those who have written long, well constructed comments that
somehow make me feel like I actually know what I’m doing!! I appreciate all of
you, and am incredibly grateful for your support.
Continued in Chapter Seventeen