All About Spike

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Boomerang
By Shadowlass

SUMMARY: Spike. Buffy. Adam. Spike’s impulsive, but he’s not stupid. Romance, deceit, smartassery, and Riley punchage. Spike/Buffy, branches off mid-“Yoko Factor.”

RATING: PG-13

NOTE: Written for the Spuffy ficathon for jodyorjen, who requested early-season Spuffy that was action-packed and didn’t involve crying.



It was a beautiful gun.

Sleek. Powerful. Fear-inspiring. Spike enjoyed the feel of it in his hands.

Pity it wasn’t real.

He stared at the gun as Xander ranted about the supposed opinions of his friends. The opinions Spike had told Xander they held. That he was good for being no more than cannon fodder, and it was time he faced facts. Anya’s voice rose as she demanded reassurance that he wasn’t really going to join the army, and Xander finally began throwing things. Spike paid him no heed.

He just kept staring at the gun.

He’d always enjoyed weaponry, as he’d told the Slayer the first time they fought. But he’d never needed it—he’d always carried his best weapons, his fists and fangs, on him.

And now, thanks to the chip, they were useless. He was like the gun, a magnificent fake.

Spike looked up as Xander stormed out, cursing his so-called friends. Spike should have been pleased; the second phase of the plan had come off perfectly. The first, undermining Giles, had gone off without hitch. Adam would be pleased. Not just because of the end result, but because for a perfect robot man, Adam had a nasty streak. He liked watching others suffer, especially when he was the cause. He pretended his interest was strictly scientific, but that was a load of shit. He wasn’t fooling Spike—Adam was Angelus with a floppy drive.

And like Angelus, he thought Spike was a fool. Staring at the useless gun in his hand Spike knew, suddenly, that Adam wasn’t going to remove the chip. No matter how well Spike divided the Scoobies, Adam would come up with some reason not to do it. He’d refuse with a smug little almost-smirk, enjoy crushing Spike under his heel, and then file it away under Vampire Reacts to Disappointing Stimulus.

And then Adam would end up with what he wanted, and Spike would be left out in the cold. Again.

Fuck him! Fuck him and the eight kinds of demons he rode in on. Thought he was going to play Spike, then watch him twist in the wind? Thought he had everything under control?

Spike barely noticed the ground being eaten up beneath his feet as he made his way across town. He didn’t say a word as he entered Adam’s lair, and Robo-Man didn’t bother to turn away from his computer screen until Spike tossed the gun and fatigues Xander had given him onto the table in front of the monster.

“What’s this?” Adam asked, his voice suggesting what could almost be surprise.

“It’s a sign of good faith,” Spike said tersely. “I’ve done the job—half of it, anyway. Now I want what you promised me.”

Adam knew exactly what Spike was talking about. “You want the chip removed.”

“That’s right.”

Adam’s face was expressionless. “Why should I do that when you haven’t completed your mission?”

“Think of it as a morale booster. A good general has to keep the troops happy, right?”

Adam turned his attention back to the computer in front of him without answering. He was online, as he often was; he loved the Internet. His mother thought she had put all that he would need onto his hard drive and on the floppy disks she had created for him, but she was human, and limited. She could never have known all he would need. But what his mother did not provide, the Internet did.

Except soldiers. Here, in Sunnydale, he needed Spike. Until the time came when he had subdued both demons and the Slayer, and the world could be remade perfectly in his image, he needed Spike.

“I’ll do what you ask,” he told Spike, aware of the look of surprise on the vampire’s face. Apparently he thought his demand wasn’t going to be met, at least not without putting forth greater effort. “Do not disappoint me,” he added, pushing another floppy disk into the dataport on his chest.

Spike’s eyes glittered. “Don’t worry about it, mate. Next time you see me, I’ll be delivering the Slayer to you on a silver platter.”

***

At first Buffy thought she was in her dorm room, in bed, and that her alarm was about to go off; she had the disgruntled feeling of someone being robbed of sleep. It wasn’t until she turned her head and almost inhaled a leaf that she knew what had happened.

The cave. Adam. Fighting. Forrest acting like an asshole as usual, and then ignoring her order to leave. Adam skewering him, and then shooting energy bolts into Buffy. She’d made it only a little way out of the cave before collapsing.

A dull throb on her forehead told her she’d struck her head, and she could feel the sticky tightness of drying blood against her hairline.

By all rights, she should have been dead.

Why hadn’t Adam followed her and finished her off? She would have been easy pickings, all unconscious and everything. He didn’t have a daylight problem, did he?

Think later, something inside told her, and Buffy gave in to her instincts. She hurried as she left the woods behind her, and made her way back to U.C. Sunnydale.

***

Buffy froze as soon as she heard the scrape of a match behind her. Froze not because so few people in Sunnydale smoked—there were too many other ways to die—but because she hadn’t heard anyone approach.

When she turned she saw Spike, leaning against a street sign. “Evening, love,” he drawled. “Find everything you wanted in L.A.?”

“Shut up,” she growled, irritation filling her. She didn’t know how, but he knew about her visit to L.A., apparently. Her wonderful, wonderful visit back to her hometown, where Angel had protected Faith—Faith!—who had tried to kill her and take over her life! And then told her to stay out of his town. It was her town, for god’s sake! It was where she’d been born! And then Riley had been all needy since she got back—she felt like he wouldn’t even let her breathe. Like he was trying to smother her.

To Buffy’s annoyance Spike stepped closer, until he was just a few inches away. Jeez, did he want her to beat the crap out of him? Buffy wondered irately. Men, what was wrong with them?

Then he lifted a hand toward her face, and unaccountably she felt herself holding her breath as his hand feathered past her face and touched her hair.

A second later he pulled his hand away, holding it up for her to see. “Leaf,” he pointed out.

She was unnerved by his attention. He hadn’t acted like that since Willow’s spell, since they’d been in love. Been engaged. In all the time since, he hadn’t touched her tenderly, hadn’t worn that adoring expression on his face, hadn’t—leaf? “Huh?”

“Leaf in your hair. Looks like Adam knocked you around but good.”

Buffy’s expression turned thunderous. “He’s not so tough,” she lied.

Spike snorted. “Sure, he’s not any tougher than any other genius robot superdemon.”

“He has a weak spot,” Buffy insisted. “We just … have to find it, that’s all.”

Spike smiled maliciously. “What would you say if I said I’d already found it?”

“Then I’d say—what are you—” Buffy broke off.

“Another leaf,” Spike lied, drawing his fingers through her hair. Hell, she was so frazzled she didn’t even stop him. Cheap, maybe, but he’d take what he could get. She made no move to stop him as he leaned down and began to whisper in her ear. Whisper that he could help her. Whisper that she needed him, and he needed her.

“Buffy?”

They both started as Angel ran out of an alley and skidded to a stop. A few moments later Riley appeared at his heels, then stopped dead and goggled. “Buffy?” the two men said together.

***

It couldn’t be what it looked like, Buffy knew. Because it looked like Riley and Angel, and that wasn’t possible. She knew it wasn’t possible, because if it actually happened her head would explode.

“My god, what’s happening … what are you doing to her?” Riley demanded, taking a threatening step towards Spike. Spike dropped his hand from Buffy’s hair, and she seemed to come out of her trance. “Did you put a thrall on her?”

“Spike doesn’t have a thrall,” snapped Angel.

“She wouldn’t let a vampire touch her like that unless she was under his power!” began Riley, before abruptly breaking off. His face turned a dull red as he remembered what Xander had told him. That it wasn’t crème brulee that had made Angel lose his soul.

Spike snorted, and Buffy punched him. “Don’t punch me,” he barked, giving her a crack on the nose.

Riley’s jaw dropped in horror. God, it was the worst day of his life! “The chip—the chip’s malfunctioned!”

“I, uh, know about that,” admitted Buffy. Of course, Spike had only told her a minute before. Whispered it right in her ear. Along with some other stuff that she still had to think about. “I’ve got everything under control.”

Angel frowned as he listened to Buffy and Riley argue. He didn’t know what kind of chip they were talking about. More to the point, he didn’t care. He was there for one reason and one reason only, and he was sick of wasting his time. “I want to talk with Buffy alone,” Angel interrupted. “We have some unfinished business.”

The others quieted, and Buffy marveled at Angel’s tactlessness. Riley became even redder, if possible, and she could see Spike scowling next to her.

“No way. I’m not going anywhere,” said Riley stubbornly.

Buffy ground her teeth. “Fine. Fine, let’s get this over with,” she said impatiently, nodding towards Angel and pointing towards the alley he’d emerged from. “You two, stay here.”

Spike and Riley eyed each other unhappily after Buffy and Angel disappeared from view. Riley shifted from foot to foot, and Spike guessed that he was trying to decide whether he was more pissed about Angel, or about Spike being unchipped. Probably wanted to do something about it. Something like—

“I think it’s time to let the Initiative know that Hostile 17 is on the loose,” said Riley suddenly, taking out his walkie talkie. He’d been avoiding the Initiative, but this was major—the most notorious demon they’d neutralized was about to be unleashed on the unsuspecting public. He didn’t want to have anything to do with the military again, but it  was about more than just him this time.

“Don’t think so,” said Spike, snatching the device from Riley and crushing it in his hand.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” warned Riley. He was a little shocked at himself—he was looking forward to this way too much.

“Oh? Why’s that?” Spike said in amusement. Like the boy could do anything to him.

“I can hurt you now, no matter what Buffy says. Because you don’t have a chip anymore.”

“That makes one of us,” Spike said softly.

Riley’s eyes sparked. “What do you mean?”

“Why don’t you ask your brother?” Spike taunted.

Riley blinked. “I don’t have a brother,” he said blankly.

Spike laughed. “I mean the patchwork man, Superdud. Assembled from parts, some of them mechanical. Just like you.”

“Shut up,” Riley spat.

Spike’s smile grew. Oh, he’d enjoy this. “Make me.”

“With pleasure,” Riley assured him, drawing back his arm. Spike didn’t move. He’d let Soldier Boy have the first one—maybe the first two. Then he’d bring the hammer down.

On the other hand, he was really very tired of being hit, so maybe … no. At the last second Spike ducked the punch. As momentum pulled Riley forward, Spike brought his elbow back and snapped it against Riley’s shoulder blade, sending him stumbling forward.

“Come on, Spud,” Spike taunted, beckoning Riley with a crooked finger. Rage crossed Riley’s face and he lunged closer. Insultingly, Spike knocked him back with an open hand. Like something he’d do to a child, someone who required very little of his attention. “That the best you’ve got?”

“What? You think you can put a thrall on me too?” Riley demanded, his voice rising. If the vampire thought a little pain was going to knock him off his game, he was dead wrong. “Come on, let’s have it!”

“Oh, you know I didn’t put a thrall on the Slayer,” taunted Spike, darting just out of range of Riley’s sudden kick. “We were just sealing the deal.”

Sealing the deal?” Riley repeated in disbelief, stopping dead.

“You know, like she did with you when she was getting into the Initiative and all. Like a handshake, only not.”

“She’s—she’s—you’re wrong, she’d never do that!”

“Don’t like to hear the truth? What, like it was true love? Why do you think she even became involved with you, anyway? Least that’s what the Scoobies said,” Spike mocked, thoroughly enjoying himself.

“She cares about me,” Riley managed, wishing he could say more. Wishing, but knowing he couldn’t.

“Then why’d she become engaged to me after she started seeing you?” Spike pointed out.

Again Riley was dumbstruck. “That was—that was some kind of a joke, or—”

“Excuse me, did you call my engagement a joke?” demanded Spike, offended.

Riley eyed the vampire with apprehension. God, what kind of psychopath was he? First they were engaged, then they hated each other, now he was implying Buffy was involved with him again. Was it possible the chip had made him insane?

It didn’t matter, Riley told himself. Spike didn’t have the chip anymore. All bets were off.

“Look, I don’t know what kind of thing you think you have going with Buffy, but it’s all in your head,” Riley told him carefully.

“Look, lummox, I don’t think I need you to tell me what my relationship with the Slayer is,” Spike snapped, insulted. “It was red-hot from the moment we met. Every time we fought, she’d rub up against me and—”

Riley shut his eyes in frustration. That was it. He couldn’t take it another minute. He lunged forward, and for one deeply satisfying moment his fist connected with Spike’s chin.

And then he heard Buffy yelling at him.

“What the hell are you doing?” shouted Buffy, racing towards them. Christ, she’d been gone for all of two minutes and they were fighting? What was wrong with them? All of them—Spike and Angel and Riley, god, why couldn’t she date men who weren’t nuts?

Oh god, did she just say she was dating Spike?

That was it.

She’d officially gone insane.

***

The Scoobies eyed Spike dubiously. As if he wasn’t to be trusted. And really, he’d take offense, if he hadn’t tried to eat them so often. But here he was, out of the goodness of his heart, and they were doubting him. Ingrates.

“Out of the what of your what?” Giles repeated.

Spike scowled. “I don’t have to be here, you know. I could be sitting back, watching Adam destroy the lot of you. He was doing pretty well with that, wasn’t he?”

Giles tightened his mouth and forced himself not to reply. Yes, Adam was doing a very good job indeed. Giles had no idea how Buffy could defeat him alone. But this—partnering with Spike … that simply couldn’t end well.

Spike surveyed the lot of them. Nobody looked very happy.

No one them, however, had much of a choice. Adam was too strong, and they were too desperate.

“You can do it, can’t you, Red?” confirmed Spike.

“I’m pretty sure so,” Willow allowed. “It might take a few days.”

Buffy and Spike glanced at each other, and Spike nodded. She didn’t like trusting him, really, but then she didn’t really like trusting anyone.

With Adam she’d take what she could get.

“Spike, I want to know why you’re doing this,” demanded Giles flatly. “You can’t expect us to believe that you’re really doing this out of the goodness of your—lord, I can’t even say it.”

Spike shrugged. He had no specific objection to telling them most of the truth, in this instance. It was just more fun to jerk them around. “Well, Adam made a bunch of big promises to me, but we’ve all been such very good friends lately that I thought maybe I shouldn’t squander all the nice warm feelings between us and all.”

“Since when did we have warm feelings?” protested Xander. Despite repeated reassurances that his friends didn’t really think he should join the army, he was still feeling rocky. Mostly because the bleached wonder had lied to him, and he wasn’t so big with the trust now.

“I was thinking about the recent incident when I helped the Watcher out when he’d gone all great and horny,” said Spike innocently.

“I paid you for that,” gritted Giles. “Borderline extortion, if you ask me.”

“And you got the money back when you dug the tracking device out of me,” pointed out Spike. Which was hardly fair, to his mind—they’d seen him naked; they should have paid him, really. “It’s really been a very civilized exchange, hasn’t it? No reason to muck it up now.”

Giles didn’t look impressed. “You seriously expect us to believe—”

“We don’t have to believe it,” Buffy interrupted. “We’re doing it.”

***

It took Willow four days to do what Spike asked.

The first night after she finished, he and Buffy walked silently to Adam’s lair. Everything had been set up. Now they just had to pull it off.

Buffy glanced at Spike, whose eyes gleamed silvery in the pale moonlight. Determinedly she turned her back on him and continued walking. When they finished, their little partnership would be over. Even if they had worked well together. She never had to justify herself with him, never had to explain. It was a nice feeling.

It was an unusual feeling.

“You know, love, I was thinking about the plan, and I think have a better idea,” Spike mused behind her. Before she could ask what he meant, he jerked her back against him, and sank his teeth into her throat.

***

“Slayer on tap. As promised,” announced Spike, striding into Adam’s lair, trailed by a very subdued Buffy. Neat little holes in her neck marked where he’d tasted her blood.

Adam surged to his feet, alert but not panicked.

“Don’t worry there, mate, she’s not going to be any trouble for you anymore,” Spike assured him, wandering about the room while Buffy remained still, a blank look on her face. “I’ve put her under my thrall—she does what I want now. Want her to kill demons? I give the word, and she does. Got the demon population under control? I tell her to lay off. As far as she’s concerned, I’m her lord and master.”

Adam studied Buffy, but didn’t reply.

“Care for a little demonstration?” Spike offered. “Slayer? Jumping jacks.”

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Buffy began the rhythmic jumping, her face blank.

Adam surveyed her silently. “Something else,” he requested, unconvinced.

“Stop jumping,” Spike told her. “Recite the multiplication tables.”

Buffy ceased jumping immediately. “One times one is one … one times two is two … one times three is three…”

“That’s enough,” said Adam, and Buffy fell silent as Spike raised his hand. “Although I am impressed that you have put the Slayer in thrall, I question the strength of the condition.”

Spike was somewhat insulted. “What do you mean by that, mate?”

Adam cocked his head and looked at Spike quizzically. Same look of mechanical confusion Data got on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Not that he ever watched that garbage, of course. Besides, Spock had it all over the metal man. And Odo—don’t even get him started on—

“I mean you’re asking her to do things she would not otherwise be doing, yet you are not having her to do anything that is truly distasteful to her. My concern is that if you instruct her to do something that is antithetical to her character, she might be able to resist your directive.”

“Ah. Well, I think I can settle your mind on that matter,” Spike said. Turning to Buffy, he commanded, “Slayer? Come over here and give me a kiss.”

Adam was silent as Buffy walked up to Spike, wrapped her arms around his neck, and lifted her face to his.

After a few moments Adam began to grow impatient. It was obvious that Spike had forgotten he was proving his control over the Slayer, and was now merely indulging hedonistic impulses. The inability to resist pointless physical urges was one reason neither demons nor humans stood a chance next to Adam. “That is acceptable,” he said shortly.

Spike didn’t hear him. The Slayer was so bitable. Luscious. Delicious. He wanted to squeeze her to death and then squeeze her some more.

It was the Slayer blood he’d had earlier, he told himself. Aphrodisiac, and nothing he could do about it right now. Later—later, he and the Slayer could have themselves a time.

Adam’s words finally sunk into his brain, and he reluctantly pulled back from the Slayer. God, her lips were soft. He couldn’t resist bending to brush his lips against her again briefly. “Resume the jumping jacks, Slayer,” Spike told her with a lascivious smile. Buffy obediently began the calisthenics again.

“Continued instruction is not necessary. I can see that she is under your control,” dismissed Adam.

“Not necessary to you, maybe,” snorted Spike, dropping into a chair without taking his eyes off the bouncing Slayer. “It’s highly necessary to me. That’s right, Slayer, keep jumping.”

Adam went back to the desk and picked up another floppy, pushing it into the dataport on his chest. He felt the faint rush that came over him every time fresh information entered his system; this must be, surely, what drugs felt like to humans.

“Slayer? Are you keeping count?” prodded Spike. The sight of the luscious little Slayer hopping up and down in front of him left him feeling glazed. Would have been even better if she hadn’t dropped some weight lately. Why couldn’t this have happened the year before? He remembered fairly impressive curves pushing against him when she shoved him against the stove at her mum’s, nice and round and soft. Yeah, soft. Bouncy.

He didn’t notice the sudden mechanical whirring and gurgling behind him, but Buffy immediately stopped her jumping jacks. “Now!” she shouted, lunging at Adam.

Spike snapped out of his lust-induced haze and grabbed Adam’s arm, trying to hold him still for the Slayer to dispatch. He wasn’t exactly comfortable grappling the creature, what with him having wooden skewers and all, and Adam was flailing about so wildly that Spike had no confidence at all that he wasn’t going to be shish kebab-ed.

“Both arms, Spike!” said Buffy, ducking hastily as Adam careened towards her sloppily. “Hold him still!”

“Gimme a minute,” Spike growled, almost losing his grip on Adam’s left arm before locking his own around it. A sharp punch in his right side made Adam clutch at the spot, and Spike grabbed Adam’s free arm and pinned it back. “Now!”

“Reboot,” gasped Adam, the virus Willow had implanted in the floppy disk rendering his magnificent defenses useless. He hadn’t noticed as Spike slipped the disk on the top of the pile on his desk. Score one for vampire stealth, thought Spike. “Reboot!”

“Reboot this,” Buffy spat, plunging her arm into his chest and pulling out a glowing lump of something-or-other from where a heart should have been. It continued to pulsate, and she crushed it in her hand.

Adam sagged in Spike’s arms, and the vampire released him. Adam struck the floor with a sickening deadweight fall, and didn’t move. He wouldn’t be moving ever again.

Spike stared at the hideous demon. Didn’t seem as big now that he was dead. In fact, he—

Crack!

Spike’s head snapped back. “Hey, what’d you do that for?” Spike demanded, startled by the punch.

“I never said you could kiss me!” Buffy snapped. “Or bite me!”

“We got over the bite thing back in the woods, I thought—he wouldn’t have believed you were under my thrall without that, now would he?” demanded Spike irately. Bloody bint should keep her fists to herself sometimes. Unless it was foreplay, of course. “I barely took a drop!”

“That was a drop too much,” Buffy insisted.

Spike threw up his hands. “Fine! Fine, I took far too much considering all I did was help you defeat a demon you’d never be able to take on by yourself, and all I ask for in return is a little respect!”

“Respect is earned,” sniffed Buffy, nose in the air. She stomped out of the lair, Spike at her heels, heading straight for Giles’s.

She’d had a trouble convincing the gang not to come, but it would be hard to be stealthy with the whole group of them along. They did want the element of surprise, and the plan was solid. But they’d want to hear immediately that everything had turned out well.

“Thrall,” she muttered scornfully. “As if there is such a thing.”

“There is,” Spike insisted, dogging her steps. “I just wasn’t using it. Much.”

Buffy stopped in her tracks, shaking her head. “I was playing along!” she protested. “You do not have a thrall!”

“What makes you so sure?” Spike asked in amusement. He stepped up until he was directly behind her, his lips feathering against her neck, an echo of what he’d done earlier.

She shuddered as he drew her earlobe into his mouth and lightly sucked on it. She tried to concentrate on making her point. “Angel said—”

“Angel doesn’t know everything,” Spike returned, turning Buffy in his arms. “Kiss me,” he ordered, and crushed her mouth against his. She didn’t try to resist. She didn’t even want to.

They were both silent when he finally released her. Spike braced himself for a punch, but it never came. “I … I g-guess you do have a thrall,” she admitted, dazed. It had to be a thrall—her mind was muddy, dizzy, as if something was interfering with it. She couldn’t think straight when he was touching her.

She was under his control.

He smiled and drew her into another hungry kiss. “You listening, pet?” She moaned. “You go up to Giles’s now and tell the Scoobies that Adam’s gone. And tomorrow night, you meet me in my crypt. Got it?”

“Yes, Spike,” she sighed.

“Go,” he told her, giving her a little push. After an uncertain look behind her, she continued on alone.

Spike stared after her for a moment, regretting that he had sent her away. But it would only be until tomorrow night, and then … then, they could—

“You do not have a thrall,” said a derisive voice behind him.

Spike swung around to face Angel. “Never said I did,” he dismissed.

“You told her—”

“I let her think what she wanted to think.”

Angel scowled, disgusted by the younger vampire. He’d been a brat from the first, and some things, apparently, never changed. “I didn’t leave her so that she would throw her life away.”

Spike smirked. Once he’d depended on Angel’s good opinion, but those days were long gone.

Actually, now that he thought about it they really had been only days. Maybe four. Or six. Hard to remember, exactly. “You made your decision when you left. Now let her make hers,” Spike said curtly.

Angel gritted his teeth. God, he’d be more than happy to go back to L.A., if only to get away from Spike. He couldn’t believe he’d hung around for all this time just to make sure everything was okay, but now he knew he could leave; Buffy was way too smart, and had way too much self-respect, to seriously fall for Spike’s shit. Even if her boyfriend was an inbred hayseed. “If you hurt her, I’m going to make you wish you’d never been born,” he promised softly.

He turned and disappeared without waiting for Spike’s reply. It didn’t matter, really; Spike wasn’t going to bother. No use wasting words on someone who was probably already thinking about his next tube of hair gel, and wondering if it could be safely combined with mousse.

Idiot didn’t know what he was talking about. Never did, even if women thought he hung the moon.

Dammit.

***

Spike hated doing nothing. When he had nothing to do, he fidgeted and jumped around and generally acted as if he was a kid in need of Ritalin. He should have spent the day sleeping, so that he’d be fresh for a good hunt tonight. He’d waited long enough. Too long.

Instead, he’d darted around the crypt all day, jumpy and twitchy, unable to sit still. And his mind had churned ceaselessly, repeating what Angel had said.

I didn’t leave her so that she would throw her life away.

Asshole. How dare he make Spike feel guilty about taking advantage of the Slayer? He wasn’t doing anything! Nothing the Slayer didn’t want him to do. Wasn’t his fault he was so damned irresistible.

“Spike?”

Spike jumped at the sound of the Slayer’s voice. “What are you doing here?” he muttered sullenly, hating himself.

“You told me to come,” Buffy pointed out.

God, it was no good, was it? “Slayer, we need to talk,” he began. She stared at him. “I—bugger it. I haven’t got a thrall,” he blurted out in frustration.

To his astonishment, Buffy laughed. “No kidding,” she agreed, rolling her eyes.

Spike’s jaw dropped. “But—that was the only reason you let me touch you—you’d never—”

“Be quiet, Spike,” Buffy ordered, and Spike hastily shut up.

Buffy walked purposefully towards him. Despite himself, he backed up until he brushed against the wall. He braced himself for a punch.

Instead, he felt her strong little teeth sink into his neck. “Hey!” he gasped, slapping his hand over the spot.

Buffy’s eyes sparkled. “You’ve always been a pain in my neck, so I thought I’d return the favor. And besides, I wanted to test something.”

“What?”

“Spike? Jumping jacks.”

Spike looked at her askance, and she laughed. “I’m kidding about that. There is something I want to say, though.”

“What?”

“Kiss me.”

“Are you sure?” he asked uncertainly.

God, he was a pain. “Spike, shut up and kiss me,” she said shortly.

Spike chuckled and obeyed with alacrity. He didn’t have any choice, really.

He was under her thrall.


The End

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