Setting: The main action takes place in
Chosen from the scene where Buffy is alone on the porch through the S/B scene
in the basement we didn’t get to see. It’s intercut with scenes from previous
Rating: Techically NC-17 - in fact more like 16.5
Disclaimer: There are many things I don't own. Among them, Buffy, Stupid Thing
by Nickel, Let's Face the Music and Dance by Irving Berlin. But I do own an
Yves St. Laurent fall coat. So ner ner.
With thanks to my heavenly betas gargoyle and caille. Caille a special thanks for making me shoot
for something "memorable." Hope I haven't let you down.
The man strode through the Bronze. Blond, lean, coiled. A
flash of leather and gliding limbs washed in spotlight.
A band played in the background.
I did a stupid thing last night / I called you / A moment of weakness / No, not a moment / More like three months of weakness
Groups of laughing, drinking teens clotted the club. The laughter paused whenever he passed. People gave way for him instinctively, sensing menace where all they could see was a self-assured grin.
I'm one step away from crashing to my knees / One step away from spilling my guts to you
He searched the dance floor with his eyes. There she was. Blonde, ripe, vulnerable. She could dance, this one. He liked it when they danced.
I'm doing all right / No, don't feel sorry for me / Really I'm all right / I'm one step away from crashing to my knees
He circled round, came closer, never taking his eyes from her. Her high tight breasts pressed against the cloth of her skimpy top. Her hips moved to the music, the rhythm of a long, slow fuck.
She had a sweet smile. Innocent. That’s what she wanted the boys to think. What they would be thinking was what she could do with that mouth.
Just the right mix of virgin and minx, this one was.
* * * * *
Buffy stood on the porch and looked out at everything and
It’s so quiet, she thought. How come the night before
the apocalypse is always so quiet? In L.A. at least they had that whole
‘hey-look-at-me’ fire in the skyogram.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the
cemetery… bam. Your past sneaks up, punches out the bad guy and makes with the
O.K. not so scary.
And - Buffy suddenly realized - not so boo hoo anymore. He
came. He saw. He didn’t conquer.
Angel would always be there, in her heart. But more as a
presence from the past, than a presence in the … present. And, what would
Giles do with that sentence? she wondered.
Buffy stroked the porch rail absently. She thought of Spike. Nestled in bed with
him, stroking his arm. Just before the First descended all Caleb and mocking
smiles. Mocking Buffy-smiles coming at her from her own face. She wondered what it would feel like to wipe
the smile off that face. Possibly
ironic. Definitely satisfying.
If it worked.
The Big Idea to put down the Big Bad. No point thinking it
to death. It was the only plan they had. Their only chance. And only time would
tell if Willow could pull it off.
Time. She sighed and looked out at the night. Maybe a couple
of hours left before the battle. Time to kill before the time to kill.
This could be the end. Even if the plan worked, if she
lived, it would be the end of life as she knew it. Only two more hours to just
be Buffy. Whatever that meant.
She’d looked in on Dawn earlier as she slept. Most of the
girls were sleeping, or pretending to. But there were some lights on in the
house. Giles, Xander, Anya, Amanda and someone else… Andrew maybe? in the
dining room. Willow’s light was on.
Probably up to her elbows in the spell. Or up to some lovey-dovey with Kennedy.
That left Spike. More and more, for her, it came down to
* * * * *
The interior of a long-abandoned church. Midnight.
If the Slayer had thought about it, she couldn’t have
denied the grim irony. At the altar, her demon lover hung like an undead
crucifix, giving life to the vampire bitch nailed to him.
But the Slayer
was too busy to think. Trading punches with Patrice policeperson. Out of
the corner of her eye, she saw another girl, the black Slayer, pummeling him.
Him. The Vampire. That grinning jerk.
She punched the woman. Again. And again. And wanted only
to put her hands on his throat. To squeeze him until he popped. Wipe that smirk
off his face. She throbbed with rage.
She signaled the other Slayer. Switch!
Much better. Her body relaxed fractionally. She smiled,
satisfied with the new arrangement. Just her and him now. He grinned. He wanted
it too. Good. They circled each other. Step, cross, step, cross.
She sprang at him. They rolled with the impact. She
crushed him in her grip and felt him grunt and push back hard.
Yeah. Just the two of them now.
* * *
Spike sat on his cot, dangling the amulet, mesmerized. The
stone caught the moonlight and refracted it, casting shards of light around the
What’s your secret? Spike wondered. He twirled the
pendant, turning its light-show into a kaleidoscope, then watched the fragments
regroup as the twirling slowed to a stop.
Whatever magic the amulet held for the battle, Spike
believed the greatest miracle had already transpired. She picked me, he
thought, chuffed. He shook his head as if in a fog. Me, not the giant
poofter. Whatsishair. Ought to call him Hair-gel, not An-gel.
She’d called him her Champion. And not just her
Champion either. Chance to save the whole gobsmacked world here, mate.
Chance to save yourself.
No. That was taking the whole redemption bit too far. One
thing Broody Boy had right. You can make amends all you want. You can save the
bloody world time after time. But you can’t wipe the slate clean. Not of the
deeds we’ve done.
Still, Buffy had chosen him. She had faith in him. She had
faith in herself because of him. It didn’t make up for his past. But it meant
something in the present. He stopped
staring at the amulet and put it around his neck. It felt solid, good.
A shaft of light appeared at the top of the stairs. He
looked up. There she stood. Haloed,
* * *
The alley stank of fresh garbage and stale urine. She
barely noticed. Instead, her eyes stayed riveted to the Vampire. She choked
back her rage as he played out the death of one of her kind, another Slayer. It
was what she asked him for. But it sickened her. His pleasure in it sickened
her. And – god help her – fascinated her too.
The Vampire plunged whole into the death- dance on the
subway. Saw it again, tasted it again, palpable. Oh yes – that one could dance.
God! The sheer exhilaration of it.
Now, here in the alley, he danced toward this girl. Her. This living girl. A woman now, really.
Yeah. A woman. He wanted to dance with her now, the way a man dances with a
She backed away from him, disgust colouring her features.
Then she threw money at him, her whore. Her paid-for piece of jetsam, just
another scrap of garbage on the heap.
He didn’t remember exactly how he got to her house. Vague
impression of squatting in an alley – tears of rage, then swallowing back the
humiliation, scrambling for a weapon. Here he stood, now, in her yard. Shotgun
in his hand. Facing her, that bitch. He’d give her what she deserved. He’d
grind her beneath him.
He strode up to her, where she sat on the porch steps. He
cocked the gun. She looked up, startled. He saw the tears staining her cheeks…
and it broke his heart.
* * *
Buffy walked down the steps into the cellar. As her eyes adjusted to the moonlit
room, she saw Spike stand up from the
cot. They looked at each other for a
“Two more hours, give or take,” she said. She nodded her head back up towards the
stairs to indicate the others. “We’re as ready as we’re going to be.”
“Ripeness is all,’” he said, almost to himself.
“Shakespeare. King Lear,” he explained. She still looked
quizzical, so he continued. “Men must endure/Their going hence even as their
coming hither/Ripeness is all.”
“Phew,” he exhaled, and thought about it. “Okay. We live. We
die. That’s the same for everyone. What counts –makes the difference- is who we
are in the living and the dying. Get it? How… full and ready and primed we are
in each moment.” He felt suddenly foolish and professorial. “Like a peach, when
it’s ready for plucking. You know? Ripe.”
“K,” Buffy smiled. “Ripe peach. I like it. Way better than
unbaked cookie dough.”
“Splainy?” he echoed.
“Nothing,” she said. Then emphatically, “Really.”
They stood silently for a few seconds.
“Well,” Buffy said. “Ripeness is all, I hear tell.” She
looked away from him, seemed to gather her nerve, then looked him in the
eye. “So if we’re already ripe, maybe
it’s time we did some… plucking.”
* * * * *
The Queller leaped at the woman, crashing her against a
wall. She threw it off and tried to regroup, find some way to kill it.
From nowhere, the man’s voice called her name. He hurled
a knife. She caught it, their timing
perfect, choreographed. She buried the knife in the Queller. Again. And again.
Then, when all its life was drained from it, she threw off its carcass.
And there was his hand. Ready. Waiting. She grasped it and he pulled her up in one
* * * * *
Buffy suddenly stood right up next to Spike. When had she
crossed the room? he wondered. She took his hand and moved it to her
cheek. Then she smiled at him, and
kissed him softly on the mouth.
Spike craned his head back, startled. He hadn’t been this
surprised since the first time she kissed him, after Glory’s torture
clinic. Even the night in the
broken-down house, when she’d first climbed on top of him, he’d felt more shock
Don’t be a prat, he thought. She kissed Angel hello.
She’s kissing you goodbye. It’s what friends do.
* * * * *
“I’d do it. For the right person? Yeah. I’d do it.”
* * * * *
Then Buffy touched her hands to his face and drew him in
towards her. She kissed him again. This time there was no mistaking it. It was
a lover’s kiss, not a friend’s.
“Buffy, we can’t. I can’t.”
She sat on the cot. “You don’t deserve forgiveness, you
don’t deserve love? Is that it?”
“Yeah. Pretty much,” he said, sitting down next to her.
* * * * *
Why are you always around when I'm miserable?
* * * * *
“Look,” Buffy said. “In case you hadn’t noticed, this house
is a Festival of Redemption. If it was any more redeemy we’d have to validate
parking. Faith, Giles, Xander, Willow,
Andrew… and did I mention Faith? At least you had the excuse of being a Vampire
when you … killed people. They were human.”
“Yeah.” He shut his eyes and swallowed hard. Then he turned
to her. “But, they didn’t try to rape you.”
* * * * *
“Every night I save you.”
* * * * *
It took her a few moments to answer. “That was then,” she said. He started to
reply, but she shushed him.
“Some things you can’t explain with your head, so don’t even
ask me,” she continued. “All I know is,
that was then. This is now.”
* * * * *
I’m not ready for you not to be here.
* * * * *
He shook his head, no.
“Yes,” she insisted. “In between, everything’s changed.
You’ve changed. I’ve changed. Crap, what it means to be a Slayer is about to
“You may have forgiven me, but I haven’t forgiven mys – .”
“Dance with me,” she cut him off.
* * * * *
I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen
your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you. And I
understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman.
You're the one, Buffy.
“I believe in you, Spike….”
* * * * *
“What?” he squinted.
“You. Dance. With. Me…. Aww, come on. What’s the matter? Afraid I’ll bite?”
He snorted, then ambled to his feet.
“There’s no music,” he pointed out.
“So, sing to me. Please?”
She sidled up to him and put her arms up over his shoulders,
hands around the back of his neck.
“Sing what?” he asked, gently removing her arms.
He placed her left hand at his waist, and grasped her right
hand in his left, the traditional ballroom stance, complete with space between
them. She frowned, but didn’t close the
“Anything. Except the Ramones!” she instructed.
“Pfft. There goes my repertoire,” he joked.
“Puh-lease,” she dismissed. “You’re like a gazillion years
old. You must know some old timey songs. Romantic ones.”
“It’s romance you want, then?”
She looked up into his eyes. So intense. Dancing with light
and laughter and tragedy. All at the same time. How could eyes do that? she wondered.
“Yeah,” she said. “Something old-fashioned and romancey.”
He closed his eyes and thought. Then a smile crept over his
As he began to sing, they swayed and moved infinitesimally
“There may be trouble ahead./But while there’s music, and
moonlight/And love and romance/Let’s face the music and dance.”
Buffy beamed up at him. Perfect, her smile said.
“Before the fiddlers have fled…”
She closed the final sliver of space between them, and laid
her head against his shoulder.
”Before they ask us to pay the bill…”
He trembled at her nearness. His body wanted to grab and
hold and … Christ. He couldn’t let himself. He. It wasn’t… Sing. He
could sing. And they could dance. It was only a dance.
“And while we still have that chance/Let's face the music
Her heart thudded so hard, she thought she’d go deaf with
it. The feel of him here, molded to
her, the scent of his musk filling her senses. Please god. Why couldn’t he let
it be simple?
”Soon, we'll be without the moon/Humming a different
tune, and then…”
He struggled to stay calm. Every fibre, every nerve,
every muscle tingled. The air itself
was redolent with her scent. He inclined his head to hers. Buried his face in
her hair. Got lost in its silk, its softness. He moved a hand to her face, and
touched his finger tips to the velvet of her cheek. No, mustn’t… don’t deserve…. He pulled himself out of his
“There may be teardrops to shed/So while there's music
and moonlight/And love and romance/Let's face the music and dance….”
Their arms were around each other now. They floated and
whirled in unison, their bodies languorous, taut, alive. Blood thundering, skin
hot, souls aching.
“Dance with me, Spike,” Buffy begged. “Dance with me.”
He kissed her lightly on the lips, then looked back into her
face. She nodded, her eyes serene, her face utterly open. He kissed her again,
Their tongues met and caressed and withdrew and caressed
again. Long slow kisses.
He thought his chest would explode.
Faster now, their tongues darted and leapt; they bit at each
others lips. They tumbled back toward the bed and fell onto it. Spike pulled
Buffy toward him. She wrapped her thighs around him and crushed against his
He played at her breasts with his fingertips, through the
cloth of her shirt. She answered his touch with a moan. He moved his head down
to take one clothed nipple in his mouth slowly… then he moved to the other
tonguing it in turn. She shivered against him, crazed.
“More,” she gasped.
Her excitement drove him wild. He grabbed at her body.
Everywhere. Oh god, everywhere. His hands couldn’t contain their greed. It had
been so long. He let them touch and play and roam, caressing, squeezing,
He wanted to rip at her clothes, plunge into her.
Don’t hurry it, he thought. Savour. Every. Moment. He reeled himself in. Looked an invitation at
her. She smiled, a prowling tiger.
It was her turn to reach and touch. To give him pleasure and
take pleasure in the feel of him. His shape. His muscularity. His maleness. She
stroked his shoulders. His chest. His nipples. So responsive. So perfect. She
slid her hands around to his back and down, pressing his groin into hers. God.
Oh, so hard. So urgent.
“Spike,” she groaned…
He answered with a long, lingering kiss. They undressed themselves and each other,
trying not to interrupt the kiss. Each time the kiss broke, they sought each
other out again, as if the parting were too much to bear. Finally, naked, he lay on his back and she
slid slowly on to him feeling him inch inward, feeling herself fill and grow to
They rocked back and forth in perfect time. Again, faster,
again, more, faster, more, faster, more, faster …. They danced, and dipped, and
swirled to music only they could hear. The music played inside them. In their
blood, giddy… rushing in and out, and in and out… so hard, so slick, so yes,
When the dance ended, they lay in each others arms panting,
Spike mumbled under his breath.
“What?” Buffy asked.
“S’nothing,” he murmured.
She walked her fingers up his chest. “Tell me,” she
Spike made ‘long-suffering’ noise, but knew he could refuse
her nothing. He said, “I didn’t know sex could be like …”
“Love? Like making love?” she said.
It wasn’t a word he could work his conscience around yet. He
glanced at the window. “Almost dawn,” was all he said.
Her voice grew grave. “Spike, do you think we’ll have time
to … ripen?”
“Don’t know if we’ll have time,” he said. “But you
will. Brand new start for you. You’ll be the most astonishing peach the world
ever tasted. Already are. You’ll just get peachier.”
She beamed… beatific, fulfilled. “You’re turning into a mighty peachy peach yourself, you
He lit up from within, and returned her gaze. Calm,
They heard stirrings upstairs. The day had begun.