Sequel to Voices in the Dark; part of The Voicesverse
Summary: Months after his return from Africa, Spike begins to take his unlife in hand. It's an adjustment, but it has some rewards...
Spoilers: Season 7-ish, takes place after the fic, Voices in the Dark
Distribution: Just talk to me, I'm easy. Fanfiction.net and at Chris' site "Amare, Dare, Pardonare"
Disclaimers: All Joss, all ME, all the time...
Feedback: You betta, you betta, you bet!
This is a little surprise for everyone. Even Colleen. Thanks to trusty beta Chris, who only went 'beta blind' once during the proofing of this chapter...
"Okay, Dawn, this has got to stop. Doesn't anybody here get it yet? I am all Status Quo Girl. So do not love change."
The younger sister glared right back. "Hey, get over it, Big Sis. Hair grows."
"Dawn, all this time, I thought maybe, hm, doctor? All saving of mankind. Great for somebody destined to protect the world. Some days I'm thinkin', well, okay, she argues well. Lawyer, destined to protect the environment. Not so far off the original saving thing, right? But never, never once in all my daydreams did I see this. A 'colorist?'"
Spike smirked as he ran his hands through his still damp, freshly-tipped blond hair. Buffy's rants were very entertaining as long as they weren't directed at him. He pulled the streaked towel from around his shoulders, toed some cut hair under the table and settled back for the floorshow.
His movement drew Dawn's eye. Her expression brightened. "But just look how cool! And I did it!" The girl's eyes narrowed as she looked at Spike appraisingly. "Argh! Almost forgot something," she said as she headed to the kitchen door. "Got it the other day. It's in my room. I think. Well, somewhere anyway." Her voice trailed away as she galloped up the stairs.
"Well," Spike said, raising a scarred eyebrow. "How bad is it?"
Buffy half-glared at him. "What are you doing here?"
"Keeping the Bit away from the crypt... and Daniel. And lettin' her have her way with me." He waited a moment, then prompted her again. "So?"
"Pretty good," Buffy said grudgingly. "Okay, very good actually."
Spike nodded. "Figured as much from the Nibblet's squeals of joy," he said dryly.
"How is Daniel today?"
"Gettin' stronger. Up and about. Talkin' a bit. Clem took him to his place to try to do a clean up. Seems real comfortable when Clem's around."
"Really?" Buffy frowned prettily. "Why?"
Spike rolled his eyes. "Well, hell, Slayer, isn't everyone? Comfortable with Clem, I mean? Even demonophobic Harris likes him."
She grinned appreciatively at the half-joke and threw herself in the chair across from Spike. Making a huge show of examining his new look, she finally sighed heavily.
"Spike, you don't have to let her do...this." She waved her fingers around, indicating his hair. "You could actually tell her 'no.'" She leaned closer, fingers splayed on the table surface.
"Didn't even try," Spike admitted with some asperity. "Completely whipped by any woman with the last name Summers."
Buffy got up and walked around the table. "Well, I don't think your hair would look right 'brown' anyway," she said thoughtfully. "So I guess this is okay." She walked behind him, still talking and put her hands in his hair absently. "And I like it better this way. No goop."
Spike slowly turned around in his chair, looking up at the intent little frown that had gathered between Buffy's eyes, and caught her still outstretched hand in his. Her frown didn't disappear as she blankly included his hand in her gaze.
By standing up, he drew her attention from their hands to his solemn eyes. "Buffy?"
"You know," she said in a normal tone, "I never thought I'd say it, but I don't know how I feel about any of this. It's...complicated. 'Classic' Spike was a lot simpler to understand. Easier."
A smile ghosted around his mouth as he realized that she was comparing him to a soft drink. His eyes softened in understanding. "Slayer, I think that's the first honest thing you've said to me since I've been back."
She looked down at her hand, still folded into his. As she watched, he gave it a slight squeeze and let go. Her eyes darted back to his face, expecting to see some sort of rejection there.
"S'fine," Spike said reassuringly. "Honest. For you, quite forthright," he laughed.
She didn't. "The other night. When you found... I was waiting for you to tell you something."
"I came to tell you...I'm sorry."
His eyes searched her face for some clue as to what she was talking about.
"For the night...That night. The night we found Warren's ex in the woods."
Spike made a small noise of negation and shook his head.
"No. Wait. I hurt you. A lot. I was crazy that night. And scared. Oh, Spike, I was so scared. I was afraid I was like...Faith. I think. I don't know. I was just scared. And angry. And crazy. And I am so, so sorry that I hurt you when you were trying to help."
He opened his mouth to speak, but a sharp look from her stopped his words.
"Okay, no excuses. No excuse. Just sorry, okay? So sorry. I was vicious and cruel and..."
Spike couldn't stand the pain in her eyes. "Shhh. S'all right, love. I know. I knew it that night."
"You knew?" she said uncomprehendingly.
Spike put his hands comfortingly on her shoulders and looked down at her with a half-smile. "Yeah, I did," he said reassuringly.
"But I just left you there. Just...left."
"Shhh." Spike pulled her close and put his lips to her hair. She muttered against his chest, body relaxing. Her whispered 'sorry' floated up between them and away.
After a few moments, he stepped back and tilted her chin up with gentle fingers. He kissed her softly, in deference to the pain written across her face, and in remembrance of her kiss after his survival of the beating at Glory's hands.
As their lips met, a connection that had been bent, broken or maybe had never existed at all except in his own imagination, surged to life. He drew back in surprise, looked into her eyes, and tenderly captured her mouth again.
This time, the kiss was slow and deep. Her hands moved around his waist as if anchoring him there. His hands moved to her shoulders again.
She came up for air briefly, quickly diving again into the ebb and flow of the seemingly endless kiss. Her hands moved up his back, pulling him against her. His mouth was soft and sweet, sucking away the pain, replacing it with comfort and warmth. Her stomach lurched and dropped as the kiss changed and she felt him harden against her. She gasped quietly into his mouth.
At that encouragement, his tongue slipped between her lips, done with teasing. He felt a light-headedness that might mean an interdimensional slip. Her nipples beneath the usual Buffy-style thin camisole had hardened into pellets. She moved her hands to the small of his back and gently pulled him closer. His knee went out and parted her legs, so that her sex was teasingly pressed against his thigh. He growled as she shifted against him.
In answer, she moaned and pulled his tongue deeper into her mouth. Legs shaking slightly, he sought the edge of the table and leaned against it for support, pulling her with him. She shivered as his hand slid under her hair and to the back of her neck. He could smell her arousal, a sweet scent he'd only just remembered. Frustrated, he picked her up with one hand, set her fully astride his thigh, and pulled her flush against his crotch. He felt her warm moisture through the leg of his jeans.
Burying her hands in his hair, she pressed herself to him, working to find some relief for the steady throb between her legs. Her breaths came into his mouth in shallow pants, as her steely arms ground him closer. She moved again slightly, deliberately pushing into the junction between his groin and thigh, her hip against his crotch.
"Oh, my God!" Dawn's voice was shrill with shock. "Okay, now that's just - God! Get a room, guys! Scarred here. Totally traumatized!"
Their glazed eyes swung toward Dawn, who was standing with open mouth just inside the door. A now-forgotten bottle was clutched tightly in her hand.
The slayer tried to slow her breathing to something short of warp speed eight, as she attempted to focus on her sister. Spike slowly stood, letting Buffy slide off his leg and onto her own somewhat unsteady feet.
"Did you like totally forget I was here or something?" Dawn complained.
Neither the vampire nor the slayer spoke - although the answer was a resounding 'yes' from the look on their faces. Buffy was trying to figure out what to say, knowing that she had been caught flushed and panting by her sister. For the one and only time in her life, she was glad her mother wasn't here, or Buffy would have had to give in to all kinds of sordid blackmail.
As to Spike, he was completely clueless about what to say. He decided that anyone who had been that close to orgasm couldn't be held responsible for any rational conversations and sat down heavily, willing the still slightly swollen evidence in his pants to give it up. Realizing that he might be making things even more uncomfortable, he stood again. "I'll just let, uh, you and Buffy, uh..." At the lack of any further words presenting themselves, he beat a hasty retreat to the back door, opening it with a hint of desperation on the dusky evening.
Buffy's voice. Spike didn't turn. "You know where I'll be, pet." He walked outside and carefully shut the door, sinking down onto the back step. The house remained ominously quiet.
As he was finishing his second cigarette, Buffy quietly sat down beside him. He glanced at her.
"You all right?" he asked, a little concerned.
She nervously ran her hands through her hair. "No. Are you?" she asked, finally meeting his eyes.
"No..." he said slowly with a wry chuckle. "I have to say it. That's the first time in a century and a quarter of existence that something like that has happened to me. Vampires usually don't have nosy little sis' runnin' round underfoot."
"The therapy bills could really mount up quick," she said, working toward some lightness.
He reached over and squeezed her hand. "Set it up with Harris for tomorrow. I'll come over through the tunnels. Basement's ready, right?"
"Yep," she said, a little more herself.
"Clem'll stay with Daniel." He got up. "I need to get back."
"I know, but...." She watched Spike's retreating back. "Don't you think it's scary?" she blurted out, stopping him in his tracks.
"Scary, love?" he said, turning back with a wry smile.
"I never even remembered she was there. I just...forgot. The rest of the world just goes away and..."
"Yeah," he said sadly. "Funny, that." He turned and headed home, feeling her eyes on his back, until he disappeared behind the hedge.
"I didn't get to finish his hair," Dawn pouted, still holding the bottle of hair goop.
Buffy opened her mouth to inform her sister that his hair wasn't all that didn't get finished, but thought better of it.
Once again in good humor, Dawn giggled. "Boy, and I thought Janice was queen make-out artist..."
"Have I told you lately how much I dislike Janice?" Buffy said wearily as she sat down in the kitchen.
"Only every other day," her sister said perkily. "But you must like what I did to Spike's hair, cause you sure had your hands all in it."
"Dawn..." Buffy was utterly defeated. This would never end. Or if it did, not well.
"That was like - mouth sex," her little sister said gleefully. "NC-17 rated kissage. He kisses real good, right? 'Cause it looked like..."
"Yes, yes, and yes. And that's enough, okay?"
At Buffy's dark look, Dawn's smile drooped. "If you could just *see* you guys together. It's like watching this really romantic movie. You know, like when the guy and the girl meet, and they hate each other on sight. And then they get to be kinda like friends, but not really..."
The slayer sighed quietly.
"And then one day, they're doin' this snarky, fight-y, back and forth kinda witty verbal punch thing and they kiss and fall totally into bed, but not before like wreckin' her apartment..."
Buffy looked up at Dawn. "TV show, not a movie. They finally get together after years of sexual angst and the show gets cancelled a year later. He goes on to become movie action hero actor person making double digits mills for each film, while she goes on to *finally* getting another successful TV series playing somebody's mom with an alcoholic best friend. He gets an Oscar nomination for a movie about dead people, and his pint-size co-star wins it."
"Want to see if we can maybe catch a rerun of 'Moonlighting'?"
Buffy got up. "Not if it's the last season. I can't deal. Too depressing." She shrugged. "Don't we own Sixth Sense?"
"Well, we do now, cause I never took it back. I'll get the popcorn."
Continued in Part 7