All About Spike - Plain Version
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Heart and Soul
By Cody Nelson
SPOILERS: Through "The Body."
SUMMARY: Buffy/Spike. As the battle against Glory heats up, Buffy has
to deal with her feelings about Spike.
FEEDBACK: Please, to firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCLAIMERS: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon, Mutant
Enemy, and probably some others who aren't me.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Thanks to Laura for fine beta and encouragement. I couldn't
have done it without you.
"Spike came to see me last night."
Buffy stopped. "Willow. You didn't let
him in, did you?"
Willow's mouth curled in that slightly
exasperated frown that always made Buffy feel like she'd just dropped
twenty or thirty IQ points. "No, of course not." Then she sighed. "But
he can't hurt me. You know that. And besides, you're the one he's in love
Buffy grimaced. "Don't say that.
He's insane, or in heat, or something, but it isn't love."
"I'm not so sure."
They reached the student's lounge and found
an empty sofa by the window. "So what did he want? He didn't try to make
you put a love spell on me, did he?"
"Oh, no, nothing like that. He wanted...."
Willow's voice trailed off as she sat, twisting the ends of her scarf
between her fingers.
"He wanted... ?"
"He wanted me to put the curse on him.
Like Angel. To give him a soul."
For a moment, Buffy could only stare. "You're
not serious. He's not serious. My god, he is insane."
"He was serious, Buffy. He said it was
the only way you'd ever... you know, like him. And he feels like he's
cursed already. He said he might as well go all way and have a soul."
"And then turn evil again the minute he
gets what he wants."
"Well, no, he did ask me to leave out that
part of the curse."
Buffy laughed. At least she thought it
was a laugh. Or maybe it was a stifled scream. "Well, of course, he would
think of that. God, Willow. You didn't tell him you'd do it, did you?"
"I told him I couldn't. It was a really
complicated spell, I'm not sure how I did it the first time. And I wouldn't
know how to change it to make it work on him. Or to take out the 'perfect
happiness' clause. But...." She began twisting her scarf again. "Are you
sure you wouldn't want me to look into it? Maybe Tara and I could figure
"Why on earth would I want Spike to have
a soul? He's bad enough mooning around without one."
"Isn't a vampire with a soul better to
have around than a vampire without a soul? Besides, he might turn out
to be nice."
Nice was not a word Buffy could
ever imagine associating with Spike, soul or not. "Or he might turn out
to be twice as annoying. And then I couldn't stake him if he really got
on my nerves. I'd like to keep that option open."
"You wouldn't really stake him. Not while
he's got the chip, anyway." Willow looked distressed, as if Buffy were
talking about putting down a stray puppy, not a stray vampire.
"Come on, Will. He doesn't really want
a soul. He has no idea what would happen to him."
"But once he had it, he wouldn't have much
choice, would he? He'd have to learn to live with it."
"Willow, please. Promise me you won't try
to do this, okay? I've got enough on my mind right now."
There was a lengthy pause. Willow's eyes
were troubled, and she seemed about to protest several times. She was
a soft touch, always willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt,
including your unfriendly neighborhood demon. It was one of the things
Buffy loved about her -- most of the time. But not now, not with Spike.
And Willow finally conceded. "All right," she sighed. "I promise. But
think about it, Buffy. What harm could it do?"
Buffy didn't want to think about it. With
Spike, there was no telling what harm it would do. No telling at all.
* * *
"So how was school today?" Buffy asked
"It was school." Dawn sat leaning against
the passenger-side car door, staring out the window.
"That's what it was, not how
Dawn darted an exasperated glance at her
older sister, and didn't bother to answer.
"Oka-a-y. Do you want to go hang out at
the magic shop while I patrol tonight?"
"I don't know why I can't just stay home.
I'm fourteen, I don't need a babysitter."
"Because a crazy goddess wants to turn
you into who-knows-what so she can use you to unlock a doorway to only-she-knows-where.
Dawn, you know this isn't about needing a babysitter. It's about protecting
you from forces stronger than any of us have learned how to deal with
Dawn shifted in her seat and sighed. "Yeah.
"As soon as we get this Glory thing straightened
out, you'll be able to do a lot more stuff. I promise." It was an easy
promise to make. Buffy only hoped she'd be able to keep it.
Dawn spoke so quietly Buffy barely heard
her. "I just wish Mom were here."
The pain was sudden and sharp as ever.
Buffy blinked back tears. "Yeah. Me too."
"I don't know why I can't just go and stay
with Spike. He'd protect me."
"Dawn! You can't stay with Spike. You know
what he did to me. I don't know how you can still want to see him."
"He only apologized for it about a hundred
and fifty times. Besides, he's nice to me. He can't hurt me."
"Just because he can't do you physical
harm doesn't mean he's not dangerous. And he only wants to use you to
get to me. He's evil, Dawn. Get it through your head." Buffy swung
the car into the driveway with a little more force than necessary.
Dawn snatched up her book bag and flung
herself out of the car. "You are so conceited! You think no one could
possibly be interested in me for me!"
Buffy grabbed her own things and followed
Dawn up the walk. "I don't want to argue about it. You are not
going to see Spike any more!"
Dawn whirled around, mouth tight, red spots
on her cheeks. "You're not my mother! You can't tell me what to do!" She
turned and ran into the house.
Buffy stood on the porch, staring at the
slammed door. Then she took a deep breath and went inside.
Yeah, that went well.
* * *
"Been dead long?" Buffy planted a kick
in the vamp's chest. He grabbed for her leg as he went down, pulling her
off balance. She jerked free, wobbled, and recovered as the vampire leapt
to his feet. "You really should have stayed buried."
Great. Next she'd be telling him he's ugly
and his mother dresses him funny. She threw a right to his jaw that spun
him around. He came back punching wildly, sending a glancing blow off
her left shoulder. She brought the stake up under his flailing arm and
jammed it into his chest.
Missed. He jumped back with a roar, clutching
his chest, just to the left of his heart. She kicked him again, and this
time followed him down, ramming the stake into his heart. He turned to
dust beneath her.
She got to her feet and stood for a moment
catching her breath. Never mind the lack of snappy insults, she was really
off her game tonight. She should have staked that one in thirty seconds.
What was wrong with her?
The fight with Dawn, for one thing. She
hated fighting with her sister, and that was all they seemed to do these
days. She especially hated fighting with her about Spike, who wasn't worth
the spit it took to argue about him. And the disagreement with Willow.
About Spike, again. It always seemed to be about Spike.
Spike. Damn him. No matter what she did,
she couldn't seem to get him out of her life. Now he was wheedling his
way into her impressionable little sister's good graces. Pressing Willow
to curse him with a soul. Next thing she knew, he'd be hitting up Giles
for a job at the magic shop. It was just becoming completely intolerable.
All right, she was going to stop it, once
and for all. She was going to have it out with Spike and make him understand
that there was never, ever going to be anything between them. And that
he had better stop pestering her family and friends or she really would
put a stake in his black heart.
Buffy tucked her weapons away and headed
off towards Spike's crypt. This time of night he might well be out doing
whatever it was that a de-fanged vampire did with his nights, but if he
wasn't home, she'd just go find him wherever he was and slam him up against
a wall and spell it out for him. Or chain him up in his own basement and
let him hang there and think about it for a couple of weeks. Or....
She punched his door open with the heel
of her hand.
Spike's lair was eerily dark. He had a
gothic taste for candles, but only half the usual number were lit. She
stepped forward into the flickering shadows, and the toe of her boot clinked
against something. A bourbon bottle, empty. A few feet away, there was
She shook her head in disgust. Not just
an insane evil killer, but now an alcoholic one. She stepped farther into
the crypt, peering into the gloom. More bottles; no sign of Spike. She
was about to leave when she glimpsed a dark bundle in the far corner.
A body? Could Spike have somehow claimed a human victim? Rage boiled up
Raising her stake, she approached the bundle.
It was a body -- but not human. Spike, passed out in the floor, more bottles
Furiously she swooped down on him, snatching
him up by the lapels and hauling him to his feet, slamming him back against
the wall. His eyes snapped open, and he stared wildly, struggling, until
his focus narrowed onto her and he slumped in her grip. His lip curled,
but it was only a shadow of his usual smirk.
"Buffy. Just can't keep your hands off
With a grunt of distaste, she jerked away
from him. "I just want to make myself perfectly clear." Her throat was
tight with anger. "I told you to stay away from my family and my friends.
I mean it. I am this close to staking you right now."
Spike raised his arm -- and clutched in
his fist was a stake. One of hers, sharpened to a needle point. He held
it out to her. "Go ahead, Slayer. Do your job." His voice was thick with
bitterness. "I'm just a bloody vampire. A useless one, at that."
She knocked the stake out of his hand,
heard it clatter to the floor. The stake in her own sheath burned at her
back. A small voice whispered, Do it. But she couldn't. Not like
this. Not when he was standing here defenseless and unresisting. "Damn
it, Spike! What's it going to take to get you to leave me alone?"
"Me? Leave you alone? You're the one coming
over here all the time to torment me. No way for me to uninvite you."
"You call this torment? I haven't even
started. You're still seeing my sister, aren't you?"
He shrugged. "She pops round every now
and then. I tell her to go home. She's as stubborn as her big sister.
What do you expect me to do?"
Her fist shot out, hitting his jaw with
a loud crack. His head snapped to the side and he winced, hard, before
turning back to face her, mouth clenched tight.
"I expect you to stay away from her. And
Willow. She's not doing any spells for you, so just forget it."
He squirmed, mouth twisted in frustration.
"Now what's wrong with that? Thought you'd be pleased if I got a soul."
"Why on earth would I want you to have
"You're always going on about how Angel's
got one, how it makes him good. I want to be good, too." There was a desperate
longing on his face -- for something he couldn't possibly understand.
Buffy almost laughed. "You don't even know
what you're talking about."
"I know I love you. I'll do anything...."
"You don't love me! Stop saying that!"
"I do love you! Why won't you believe
me?" His fists pounded the wall at his sides.
"You're a vampire. Vampires don't love.
They especially don't love Slayers."
"But if I had a soul, I could, right? So
why don't you want me to have one?"
"Get it through your head, Spike. With
a soul or without one, I will Never. Want. You." She punctuated each final
word with three fingers to his chest.
Spike pushed off the wall, shouldering
her aside, and strode away, pacing agitatedly for half a dozen steps before
coming back to stand mere inches from her, his eyes blazing into hers,
his smirk back full force. "You know what I think, Summers? I think the
reason you can't admit that I love you is that if you do, then you have
to wonder -- if a vampire without a soul can love you, why didn't Angel
when he lost his? You have to wonder if maybe Angel didn't dump you because
he lost his soul, after all. Maybe you just were that lousy in
Buffy launched herself at him, her fist
driving into his gut with all her strength. She lifted him clean off his
feet and sent him flying. He landed with a loud thump and a moan, curling
up on his side and clutching his stomach.
Buffy glared down at him. "You want to
know what I think, Spike? I think you're a monster. All you can
do is destroy. You can't do it with fists and teeth anymore, so you do
it with manipulation and lies. Killing Slayers is your favorite sport,
and you're still trying to hurt me. And that isn't love."
She turned to walk away. It was useless
to try to reason with him. She probably should just stake him and get
it over with, but right now she just wanted to get out of there and go
She'd almost reached the door when she
felt his hand on her arm. She whirled, trying to jerk away, but he held
her tight. So tight it hurt, and she could see the pain on his face, mirroring
hers, his eyes full and shiny in the flickering candlelight.
"Buffy." His voice, too, was full of sharp
bits of pain. "Nobody is ever going to love you the way I do. Nobody.
Not Angel, not Soldier Boy, not any of the hundreds of people you'll meet
in your life. You might meet somebody who'd sell his soul for you, but
you'll never find anybody else who'd buy one for you." He let go of her
arm. One bright tear dripped down his face.
She stared. For a long moment, he stared
back. Then she turned and walked out the door.
* * *
No one would ever love her like Spike.
God, that was a horrifying thought. And for all she knew, it was true.
Who else was going to want a Slayer? Even Riley had been intimidated by
her Slayer powers, although god knows that wasn't the worst of their problems.
And that was supposing she would be able to tell the next boyfriend about
the patrols, the undead, the occasional saving of the world. Was she ever
going to be able to have a normal relationship?
"Buffy, did you hear what I asked?"
Guiltily, she started up from her book.
"Sorry, Giles. Just got so fascinated by the, uh...," hastily, she glanced
down at the open page, "panda demon I lost track of time. What were you...
Giles stepped around the table to look
down at the drawing of the large-eyed, round-eared creature. "That's a
pendarra demon.... Although, come to think of it, it does look
a bit like a.... Well. Never mind. You've been distracted all afternoon.
Something on your mind?"
"No," she said quickly. Too quickly. Giles
sat down beside her and waited. "Giles, do you think Spike could really
be in love with me?"
He was startled. You could tell because
he blinked. "I... I don't know. You'd be in a better position to judge
"But he's a vampire. Evil dead and all
that. Can vampires be in love?"
Giles put his librarian face on. "You do
hear of them forming bonds, alliances -- the sire's relationship to the
sired is said to be particularly strong. And Spike...."
Buffy sat up and closed the book. "And
Giles busied himself polishing his glasses.
"Well, his feelings for Drusilla seemed quite deep and sincere."
"Until he dumped her." And threatened to
kill her for Buffy in the bargain.
"That was the other way around, wasn't
it? And they did last over a hundred years together. Rather impressive."
"So you think he could really be... ?"
"As I said, Buffy, I don't know. It may
be possible. You're not thinking of... encouraging him, are you?"
"Giles! Of course not!"
"No, of course not. Good. I just... well,
he is rather attractive. In a hooliganish sort of way."
Buffy couldn't help laughing. "Giles! You
think Spike is cute!"
"I didn't say 'cute,'" he protested sternly.
"I said 'attractive.'"
She sobered abruptly. "Dawn thinks so too.
She keeps sneaking out to see him. Probably as much because she knows
it drives me crazy as because she really likes him. I don't know what
"Would you like me to talk to her?"
"Would you?" Buffy brightened, then sighed.
"Are you sure there's no chapter in the Slayer's manual on raising a fourteen-year-old
"I'm sorry, Buffy. I wish there were."
She nodded, then opened her book briskly.
"Back to the panda demon."
"Are you sure there isn't anything else
you'd like to talk about?"
For a moment, she considered asking him:
If Spike could love me without a soul, why couldn't Angel? Instead,
she shook her head. "We're good."
He probably knew she was lying. But he
just nodded thoughtfully and returned to his own studies.
* * *
Well, all right, so Spike was cute. Attractive,
as Giles would say (and the thought of Giles even noticing Spike's looks
made her want to giggle uncontrollably). The way he strutted like a peacock,
all lean and hard and white skin and black leather. And supposing he was
in love with her, in whatever way a soulless demon could be in love. That
didn't make him any less evil. Or dangerous. Or annoying. It only made
it harder to keep remembering just how evil and dangerous he was. The
annoying part, that was easy to remember. He was a constant thorn in her
side. It was getting so she couldn't spend an evening at the Bronze with
her friends without Spike dropping in to complain about the new decor
and steal everyone's change.
In fact, she kept looking around, expecting
to see him swaggering in, one eyebrow cocked, arrogant smirk on his soft
mouth, leather coat aswirl. Kept expecting to hear his sly voice whispering
in her ear. Even when he wasn't around, he was annoying.
Sighing, Buffy got up from the table and
turned to go.
"Buffy? You okay?" Willow asked. She and
Tara were communing over glasses of herbal tea across the table. Xander
and Anya danced by, grinning cheerfully.
Buffy smiled. "Yeah. I'm just going to...."
go wash my mind out with soap "get some fresh air."
It was times like this she missed Riley
the most. She knew he'd been right to leave -- she couldn't give him what
he needed, and it wasn't fair to keep him hanging on. But he'd been nice
to have around, solid and dependable. Human. Normal. Why couldn't she
have fallen in love with him?
Ben. Now there was a nice, normal guy.
And here he was. Buffy smiled. "Hi. You probably think I'm a total flake."
Ben smiled back. Warm, friendly smile.
No smirk. "Hi, Buffy. No, not a total flake. Coffee, that can be a big
step. Probably should have started out with something a little less intense."
"Mineral water? Less of a commitment."
"Definitely. No caffeine on the first date.
I should never have suggested it." Thick, wavy brown hair. No bleach for
a guy like Ben.
Buffy laughed. "Thanks. You're being incredibly
nice about this."
"Nice is my middle name."
"How about a completely beverage-free moment?
I was just going to go get some fresh air."
"I'd be happy to share some air with you."
They went outside and breathed the air.
They talked about nothing. It was blessedly normal. If you didn't count
the constant presence of a bottle-blond with razor-blade cheekbones lurking
just over Ben's shoulder.
Finally, Ben pleaded an early day at the
hospital and left. Buffy scanned the area once more for blond demons,
then went back inside.
* * *
Homework. Somehow, it didn't seem fair
that with a little sister to take care of, a god to defeat, and vampires
to slay, she still had to do homework. Buffy stared at her philosophy
text book, tapping her pencil against the margin. Philosophy. A lot of
dead guys thinking about thinking. She couldn't even think about turning
the page. Maybe she'd just save it for tomorrow. Get Willow to help.
The doorbell rang. Dawn jumped up from
her end of the couch. "I'll get it."
"Dawn -- " Her sister was already out in
the hall. Buffy sighed. "Tell whoever it is to go home."
Too late. "Spike." Buffy pushed her book
off her lap and stood. There he was in the hallway, doing his best to
look all wide-eyed and innocent, not that she'd ever believe it of him
for a minute. "Dawn. How could you let him in here?"
Dawn stuck out her chin defiantly. "He
said it was important."
Spike broke in. "Buffy, I saw something
tonight you need to know about."
"Fine." Buffy crossed her arms and glared.
"Dawn, go upstairs."
Dawn held her ground. "It's about me. About
Glory. I have a right to know."
"Spike doesn't know anything. He's just
wasting my time."
"Buffy," Spike tried again. Still laying
on the sincerity with a trowel.
"All right. All right. Tell me what you
have to say, then get out of here."
Spike stepped into the living room, a bit
of swagger already creeping back into his attitude. Getting ready to tell
a tale, and Buffy had no doubt it would be a tall one. "Right, then. I
was out for a walk, minding my own business, no particular reason to be
anywhere, when I happened to see this fellow Ben...."
"Ben? I thought this was about Glory."
Buffy was beginning to grind her teeth.
"It is. I'm getting there." He gestured
widely, leather coat sweeping the room. "Like I said, I just happened
to see him, going into this grand old house out the north side of town,
and then after a bit, I saw him through the window, and then he goes whoosh,
and turns into Glory."
"What?" She shook her head in disgust.
"You don't seriously expect me to believe that."
"No, really, Buffy, I saw it. It was Ben
and then it was Glory."
"He's right," Dawn blurted.
Buffy stared at her sister, who was wide-eyed,
a sudden light of realization on her face. "What?"
Dawn continued excitedly, "He's right.
That's what happened. At the hospital, the night I found out about being
the Key. I was with Ben, and then he was Glory. Just like that."
"Dawn, you said you couldn't remember what
happened that night."
"I thought I couldn't. I mean, it didn't
make sense, so I thought I must have forgotten what really happened. But
that was it. I told him about the Key, and he got really upset. 'She's
coming,' he kept saying. 'You have to go.' Then he said, 'She's here.'
Only it wasn't him saying it, it was her. -- I was so scared...."
"But Ben can't be Glory. He knows about
you. She doesn't."
Dawn shook her head. "They're not the same
person. Glory said something to me...." She frowned, struggling for the
memory. " 'That was Ben you were talking to, not me.' I think maybe he's
Buffy didn't know what it meant. But it
was important. She had to call Giles. And Willow and Xander. They'd figure
it out together.
Without Spike. "All right, Spike. You've
delivered your news. Now go home."
He frowned fiercely at Buffy, looking far
more offended than he had any right to be. Then, "You're welcome," he
muttered, and swept out.
Buffy hesitated a moment, then swore and
flew out of the house after him. "Spike, wait!"
He turned on the walk and stood, all stiff
I must be out of my mind, Buffy
thought. But there was no one else she could ask. And she had to ask someone.
"Why couldn't he love me without a soul?"
His face softened. "Worrying about that,
are you?" His voice was almost tender.
"Just tell me."
He considered for a moment, then nodded.
"You remember the Judge, right?"
"Big blue guy. Wanted to suck the world
"Pure evil, that bloke was. Out to scour
all trace of goodness from the world. Touch you and poof, up in smoke,
if there was any non-evilness in you. Fried a couple of vampires right
in front of my eyes. Not bad enough for him. Right out of the box, first
thing he says to me and Dru, with a nasty curl of his big blue lip, is,
'You two reek of humanity. You share affection.' Never let him within
two feet of me, I can tell you. But Angel -- the Judge put his hand right
on him. I was really looking forward to seeing your ex burst into flames,
I was -- but no, all he did was laugh. 'This one's clean,' says the Judge.
Pure evil, through and through."
Spike took half a step toward Buffy. "Shades
of grey, love. I know you'd like your world to be all neat and tied up,
black and white, vampire and Slayer, but that's not how it is."
"And you're a good vampire, is that it?"
Buffy said, voice dripping with sarcasm.
He inclined his head, smiling ironically.
"Oh, I'll always be a little bit evil. You wouldn't have me any other
She slapped his face, hard. Watched him
stagger a step, gasp in pain, then suck it all in and turn back to her,
frustrated smile on his face. "I came here to help you."
She almost slapped him again. "You were
spying on me. You saw me with Ben and you were jealous. You followed him
hoping to get some dirt on him. Well, you got what you wanted. Don't expect
me to thank you for it."
His eyes sparked and he seemed about to
protest, but then he leaned in, spoke softly right next to her ear, in
an insinuating purr. "If you were really so eager to get rid of me, you
wouldn't keep hitting me all the time when you know how much I like it."
Before she could stop herself, she had
slammed both hands into his chest. He fell to the ground with a thump,
wincing and laughing at once. He pushed himself up onto his elbows and
sat there, leaning back, grinning insolently up at her.
Furious, she whirled and ran back into
the house. His grin, like a Cheshire cat's, followed her.
* * *
"You're going to take Spike's word for
it?" Willow was incredulous.
"No, of course not," Buffy said. The only
thing she liked less than talking to Spike was talking about talking to
Spike. "But Dawn confirmed it. And it fits what we know about what happened
when Glory found Dawn at the hospital. She'd been talking to Ben and all
of a sudden Glory was there."
"Are you certain she isn't just supporting
Spike's story because of her... infatuation?" Giles asked. They had gathered
at the magic shop in the morning before it opened: Giles and Buffy, Willow
and Tara and Xander and Anya.
"She wouldn't," Buffy shook her head. "Not
about something like this. It's too important."
"But Ben...," Willow began to protest,
"He seems so nice."
"He is nice," Buffy insisted. "I
don't know exactly what kind of body-sharing thing is going on, but they're
not the same person. Ben tried to protect Dawn from Glory. He knows Dawn
is the Key. Glory doesn't."
"It could be a displacement manifestation,"
Anya offered helpfully. They all stared at her. "You know. If she can't
manifest physically on this plane, she might have to borrow someone else's
being while she's here."
Giles frowned. "But if Ben knows about
the Key, he has to be involved with Glory somehow. He's not just an innocent
bystander whose body is being borrowed."
"Then it's a shared manifestation," Anya
said. "Only one of them can get through to this plane at a time. When
she comes through, he goes back. And vice versa."
"Does that mean Ben's a god, too?" Xander
asked. "He just seems so un-godlike."
"Glory isn't exactly the godliest of gods,
either," Buffy countered.
"Oh! Oh!" Willow burst out. "I have an
idea! What if we do a spell so Ben has to stay Ben? A sort of frozen into
one person spell? So Glory can't take over his body? Will that keep her
from coming back?"
Giles considered. "It might work."
"Can you do it, Will?" Buffy asked.
Willow looked at Tara. Who looked back.
Witchy communication happened. Or maybe it was girlfriend-y communication.
In any case, the matter was presently settled and they nodded simultaneously.
"I think so," Willow turned back to Buffy. "We'll work on it."
"Should we talk to Ben?" Xander asked.
"If he's on our side, maybe he can help."
Buffy shook her head. "Not yet. He seems
to be on our side, but I don't want to take any chances. Let's make sure
we have the spell first. And keep an eye on Ben in the meantime. Willow,
will you see what you can dig up on Ben?"
"Got it," Willow nodded.
"All right. We have a plan."
* * *
"For a woman with a plan, you don't seem
very happy." They'd gone their ways after the meeting: Giles and Anya
to open the magic shop, Willow and Tara to study their spells. Xander
walked with Buffy towards the university.
"Oh, I'm happy." Buffy smiled. "See me
"Is it Ben? I saw you with him at the Bronze
last night. Thinking potential boyfriend material?"
"No, not really." Buffy laughed wryly.
"Although I was thinking how nice and normal he was."
"On the Hellmouth, any half-way decent
guy who's sharing a body with a god seems normal."
"At least he's not a vampire, right?"
Xander stopped. Looked at her strangely.
Uh-oh, busted. "Actually, I was thinking about Spike."
"Now, that's depressing."
"Xander, what if this turns out to be the
answer to defeating Glory? And I owe it all to Spike."
"The word 'insufferable' comes to mind."
"He's insufferable now. I don't know how
to get him to leave me alone. Beating him up doesn't help. In fact, it
just encourages him. I've told him and told him I don't want anything
to do with him, and he just keeps coming back."
"Have you tried talking to him?"
"Xander, I just told you...."
"You've tried yelling at him. Have you
tried talking to him?"
Buffy began to protest, then shook her
head. "He makes me crazy. Spike and rational just don't seem to go together."
"Buffy, as long as he knows he can get
to you, he isn't going to give up."
"Well, then, I just won't let him get to
me." No problem. Like stopping the sun from going down.
They walked on. Xander seemed about to
say something, then stopped.
"Okay, Xander, spit it out."
"Promise you won't hit me? Unlike Spike,
I have a low pain threshold."
"Out with it."
"Sorry, Buffy. But I can't help thinking...
the way you are with Spike -- kind of reminds me of the way I was with
"Xander! This is nothing like you and Cordelia.
You were...." lifelong enemies... constantly fighting... obsessed with
each other... "completely different, that's all."
"Yeah," Xander agreed.
Now she was really depressed.
* * *
Buffy burst into Spike's crypt, staring
around wildly, kicking an empty bottle across the floor. "Dawn!"
Spike pulled himself up to peer over the
back of the sofa, grimacing. "Now what... ?"
She rushed over to him, grabbing up fistfuls
of his shirt. "Where's Dawn?"
"How the bloody hell should I know?"
She shook him, hard. "Where is she?"
He caught her wrists. "I haven't seen the
little bit in days. You must have finally put her off coming here. What's
She let go with a push, so hard that he
rolled off the sofa and onto the floor. "She didn't come home from school.
She's not at the magic shop. None of her friends have seen her." Buffy
paced, frantic. "I thought she had to be here. Oh god, I hoped she was
Spike got to his feet and came around the
sofa to put himself in her path, taking her by the shoulders. "Buffy,
take it easy."
She pounded his chest. "You help me find
"All right, all right. Settle down. Have
you been to Glory's?"
"That big old place on the north side I
told you about. Where I followed -- er, saw Ben that time."
Buffy turned for the door. "We'll go there
now." Abruptly, she stopped. "No, we need to get the others."
"Look, you go get the Scoobies. I'll go
on ahead to Glory's."
She grabbed his coat sleeve and hauled
him after her. "No. I'm not letting you out of my sight. You're the only
one who knows where it is." He shook himself free and followed.
She couldn't lose Dawn. That was all there
was to it. Never mind Glory, the Key, the end of the world, whatever.
She couldn't lose her sister. She'd already lost her mother. Dawn was
all she had left. She'd promised her mother she'd take care of Dawn. She'd
promised herself. She couldn't let her down. She'd already let her down.
Why didn't she know where Dawn was? How could she have let her come home
by herself? She'd been selfish, too busy, afraid to get into another confrontation
with her, preoccupied with damned Spike and his damned obsession --
Damned Spike striding along beside her,
keeping pace easily with his long legs, all menace and passion and strength.
Damned Spike with a stake tucked into his
belt -- the same one he'd been clutching when she'd last come to the crypt.
Weapon? Souvenir? Fetish?
She snatched it out of his belt. He stopped,
grabbing her arm. "Hey! That's mine."
"Actually, it's mine. What are you doing
with it, Spike?"
He reached for it, but she held the stake
away from him. He dropped his hand in frustration. "You really want to
talk about this now, Slayer?"
"No," she said abruptly. She handed it
back to him. "After we save Dawn. If I don't decide to stake you first."
She rushed on. He was right behind her,
muttering, "Right. You'll stake me. Tell me another...."
It seemed to take hours to get back to
the magic shop, half-walking, half-running, every second a nightmare of
things that could be happening to Dawn. Buffy cursed herself for taking
even a few seconds to rail at Spike, cursed Spike for being so infuriating
that she had to stop and rail at him. She took the last block at an all-out
run, and flew into the magic shop gasping, stopping with Spike right behind
She ignored the astonished stares of her
friends. "Spike knows where Glory's holed up. Dawn might be there. He's
taking us there now."
"Buffy...." Giles began.
She cut him off. "Now!"
The magic shop burst into a flurry of activity
as weapons and amulets were gathered. Minutes later, they were all rushing
out to the street, piling into Giles's car, driving north towards Glory.
* * *
The house was huge and sprawling, built
out on a hillside, with tower rooms at each corner. Buffy's eyes widened
when she saw it. She'd been here before, almost -- right down that hill
was where she'd fought the Sobekite demon Glory'd conjured to find Dawn.
Another twenty yards and the demon would have reached her. They'd been
that close. She shivered. Then she took a deep breath.
"All right, Spike and I will circle around,
find the best place to go in. The rest of you stay here. Willow, is the
"Yes, it's ready. I think. But Buffy --
if it's Glory, the spell won't work. I mean, it will work, but it won't
help. It has to be Ben."
"I know, Will. Got any spells for conjuring
"Never mind. We'll just do our best. Spike,
One thing vampires were good at was stealth.
Spike slid silently beside her. On the downhill side of the house, he
put his hand on her arm to stop her. His fingers were cold and hard, and
strangely reassuring in her present mood. He nodded towards the huge picture
window taking up most of one wall.
"There's where I saw them," he murmured
softly into her ear.
At first she saw only a vast empty room.
Then Glory came into view, walking slowly, something bright in her hand.
Behind her, one of her minions scurried. She was walking toward a flickering
red light, as if from a fire.
A muffled scream pierced the night air.
"Dawn!" Her exclamation was stifled to
a harsh whisper. Buffy started to run towards the house.
Spike caught her, pulling her to a jolting
halt. "Buffy! You can't get in from this side."
"She's in there!" Angrily, she tried to
jerk away from him.
"As long as she's screaming, she's still
alive. Come on, let's go get the Scoobies and go in the front."
She wanted to smash his face. But he was
right. She turned and raced back around to the front of the house. "They're
in there, let's go." With a solid kick, she knocked down the front door
and tore through the foyer and down the hallway, searching for the room
where they'd seen Glory.
There. She caught a glimpse of the ratty
little demon minion in a doorway. "Over here!" she called out, and burst
into the room.
"Buffy! Help me!" Dawn was tied hand and
foot to a huge four-poster bed. On the floor at the four corners of the
bed were firepots, each glowing with red flames shooting a foot and a
And Glory, all in red, shadowed and ominous
in the firelight, turned to the doorway with one hand on her hip and a
look of pure rage on her face. "You! You had my Key all along but you
wouldn't give it to me! And now you're spoiling my ritual!"
Buffy stepped forward. "She's not your
Key. She's my sister. And you're not going to touch her."
A raw smile touched Glory's mouth. "Oh,
I'm not going to touch her. I'm going to rip her to pieces and
reassemble her the way she's supposed to be."
"Not while I'm alive."
"No problem." Glory launched herself at
"Giles! Get Dawn!" Buffy ducked, sidestepped,
As Buffy settled in to the battle with
Glory, she caught the rest of the scene around her in glimpses. Giles
skirted the fighting to try to get to Dawn -- but every time he approached
the bed, the fires blazed up with a roar, driving him back, and making
Dawn scream in terror. Xander and Anya engaged the minion, a feisty little
demon, much stronger and quicker than he appeared. Willow and Tara took
up a position in the corner, hands clasped, and began chanting. Spike
seemed to have disappeared.
Meanwhile, Buffy was fully occupied with
staying alive. This Glory was not the one who'd already beaten Buffy twice,
fighting casually, almost offhandedly. This Glory was determined, and
deadly. Buffy's blows seemed to bounce off her, when they connected at
all. Glory's blows sent her flying across the room with bone-crunching
force, again and again.
There was a crash behind her at the door.
Buffy managed to turn to look. Three of the Knights of Byzantium had burst
into the room, with crossbows at the ready, pointed at Dawn. "Giles!"
Giles turned, reached for his own weapons
-- but too late. The Knights were already inside the door, ready to loose
their bolts, to destroy Dawn before the Key could be used.
Out of nowhere, a flash of black and white
flew across the room: Spike, face distorted in full vampire fury, fangs
bared, roaring with battle lust. The lead Knight screamed and went down
under the assault, crossbow bolt flying wild to lodge in the ceiling.
Grinning and dancing, Spike turned to the other two, who dropped their
crossbows to join the close-quarters fight. Now Giles jumped in, engaging
the Knights alongside Spike. They seemed to be holding their own.
But Buffy wasn't. Glory picked her up and
hurled her into huge oak chest of drawers; she felt her spine crash against
the edge, felt her head snap into the mirror, shattering it to pieces.
She gasped in pain and fell to the floor. There was a heavy pause before
she was able to bounce back to her feet. She knew she was weakening, and
she hadn't made a dent in Glory's defenses. Before she could make her
own move, Glory had grabbed her by the hair and flung her to the floor.
Then Glory leaped on top of her, sitting on her chest, hands tight around
She tried to scream for help, but no more
than a mousy squeak would come out of her constricted throat. She punched
Glory's face, kneed her in the back, struggled with all her might. But
Glory's hands remained fixed around her neck, thumbs digging into her
throat. Her vision began to go black and blood was singing in her ears.
Her tortured lungs felt like knives in her chest.
An animal growl split the air. Spike landed
on Glory's back like a wildcat, burying his fangs in her neck. Blood sprayed,
Glory howled with rage and reared back, letting Buffy fall to the floor
gasping for breath. Glory staggered under Spike's weight, pulling at him,
trying to free herself. He clung to her, eyes glowing, mouth fastened
to her neck, feeding.
Buffy rolled onto her side, coughing, reeling.
Her stomach lurched. Glory wasn't human, but it was still horrible to
see Spike in full vampire mode, with his teeth in her neck, blood dripping
from his mouth. Buffy turned her head away, then looked around to survey
Giles stood over the three fallen Knights.
Dawn was still tied to the bed, surrounded by fire, but alive. Xander
and Anya were sitting on the struggling minion, and Willow and Tara wove
their spell surrounded by glowing lights. Everyone had done their part.
Everyone except her -- Glory had defeated her; it had taken a vampire
to slow her down.
Glory fell to her knees, still hitting
and clawing at the creature on her back. Her nails raked Spike's face,
her fist punched his nose over her shoulder. Finally, he lost his grip
and fell back. Glory knelt gasping, eyes dark with fury. She seemed to
gain strength with every breath.
"Willow! Tara! Call Ben." Buffy had no
idea if they could, but if they couldn't get Ben here soon, Glory might
still have her way.
The chant changed, rose in pitch and quickened.
Glory's face suddenly went slack, and she fell back, body twitching. "No!"
she screamed. Her hands and feet pounded the floor.
Then they were Ben's hands, and it was
Ben's face contorted in anger, and Ben's voice forming the final "Oh!"
He sat up, staring in confusion, Glory's red dress stretched foolishly
around his body.
Willow and Tara's chant changed again,
and the lights swirling around them flashed and sparked and moved to the
center of the room to hover over Ben. With a final shout, they finished
their spell, and the lights streaked into Ben's body, glowed red to blue
to white again, then faded to nothing. The witches slumped in each other's
The fires in the firepots died down to
tiny flickers. "Buffy!" Dawn called out.
Buffy struggled to her feet. Was it over?
She didn't take her eyes off Ben, but there was no sign of Glory coming
back. "Giles, get Dawn." At last the walls of flame no longer threatened,
and he was able to go to the bed and began to untie Dawn's bonds. Buffy
looked around. Even the minion had stopped fighting, and was lying dejectedly
with Xander seated on his back. "Willow, did it work?"
"I think so."
Then Spike popped to his feet, a mad grin
on his vampire face. He laughed drunkenly, wiped his mouth and licked
the blood from his fingers. "God's blood," he said, laughed again, then
leaped into the air, shaking his head and shouting in ecstasy. "Never
had a god before. Tastes like...." He took two running steps towards Buffy
and took her by the arms. His hands were hot, hotter than human. "Beautiful...."
She flinched away from him. "Spike -- "
How could he call her beautiful, how could he think... ?
He cocked his head, grin softening. Then
he shook his vampire face away. "Beautiful...," he repeated dreamily.
But his eyes were wild, and there was still blood on his mouth.
Suddenly, he pulled her to him, pressing
his mouth to hers. Buffy tried to moan a protest, but her words were swallowed
up in his kiss. His mouth was hot, and his chest was hot, and heaving
against hers with unnatural breath. His tongue slid inside her mouth,
powerful and urgent. He tasted coppery and bright as smoke, and for a
long moment she clung to him, her own body alight, overwhelmed.
Then she pushed him away in horror. "Spike!
He licked his lips and smiled, fingertips
brushing her cheek. He spoke slowly, as if in a daze. "I love you."
She knocked his hand away, face blazing.
"Spike! Go home. Now."
He blinked. The dreamy look faded to confusion,
and he shook his head slightly. "Buffy...."
More gently this time, she repeated, "Go
He took a step back, frowning intently.
Then he laughed. "Right, Buffy. Whatever you say." Laughed again, turned
toward the door, took one slow step, then another, then suddenly he was
running out of the room, leaping, coat streaming behind him.
Buffy found that she was trembling. Then
Dawn, finally free, came pelting across the room and flung herself onto
Buffy hugged her sister, squeezing her
tight. "It's all right now. It's all over." She looked over at Ben, still
sitting in the floor in Glory's dress. "It's all over, right?"
He nodded, pushing himself to his feet.
"Um, I'm going to go change clothes now." Then he walked out of the room,
wobbling a little unsteadily. Xander got up off the minion, who scurried
away as well.
"Everybody okay?" Buffy asked. The answering
nods were a little shaky, but unanimous. Dawn was safe, Glory was gone,
the Key unturned in whatever lock she'd planned to use it. They'd won.
Then Willow gestured towards the Knights,
still lying on the floor. Her face was troubled. "Buffy, Spike fought
two of them. It didn't hurt him."
Buffy froze. "They're human." The chip.
Oh god, somehow he'd deactivated the chip. "Are they dead?"
Giles shook his head. "No, they're just
Buffy breathed a sigh of relief. At least
he hadn't killed them. But that didn't change anything. "I have to go
"No!" Dawn protested. "He saved me. He
"I know, Dawn. But he's out there now,
drunk on Glory's blood, without anything to stop him from doing whatever
he wants. I have to find him."
Dawn pulled away from Buffy, tears forming
again in her eyes. "Don't hurt him. Please."
Buffy's heart sank. Dawn was right. Without
Spike, they might not have defeated Glory. But she was the Slayer, and
Spike was dangerous now. "I'm sorry, Dawn. I have to go." She pulled Dawn
back into her arms for a brief hug. "Guys, please take her home. And wait
Then she let Dawn go, and hurried out of
She could still taste the blood in her
* * *
Spike had kissed her. She could still feel
the heat of his body, singing with the blood of a god. Feel his fingers
digging into her arms, his hard chest pressing against hers. Taste the
metallic tang of his mouth. Blood. She'd tasted Glory's blood in Spike's
kiss. What horrified her most was not the taste of an enemy's kiss, but
her own unwelcome response. Oh, yeah, she'd pushed him away. A good ten
heartbeats later, after wrapping her own hands around his waist and pressing
her mouth into the heat and the blood. While her friends stood there watching.
And now she was going to -- what? Put a
stake in his heart and watch him crumble to dust? If she found him standing
over a human victim, reverted to his bad old self, she would have to.
She would have no choice, any more than she'd had a choice not to put
a sword through Angel and send him to hell. But if she found him at the
Bronze, drinking beer and complaining about the menu -- then what? Stake
him because he could kill, whether or not he'd actually done it?
Even if he hadn't killed yet, what would
stop Spike from doing it later, now that he'd managed to deactivate the
chip? Could she trust him to defy his own nature, even supposing he claimed
to want to? He'd told her he'd "give up evil" for her, but that was when
he had the chip, and had no other choice. He was a vampire, and she was
a Slayer. It was her job to destroy him. It was her destiny.
He wasn't at the Bronze. She began to describe
him to the bartender, who said, "You mean Spike? No, he hasn't been in
Great. Spike had become a regular. "Okay,
So he hadn't gone to the Bronze. Where
else would a drunk vampire go to party?
Buffy searched the alley and nearby streets,
growing increasingly frantic. She had no idea where he might have gone.
And the longer she spent looking for him, the more time he had to do god-knows-what.
On the other hand, she had told him to go home. Would he have done
it? Drunk and in love and "Whatever you say"... ?
Well, she might as well patrol the cemetery,
* * *
She entered the crypt slowly, stake at
the ready. The shadowed interior flickered with candlelight. There was
a low chatter of noise -- his television, softly playing unheeded. No
sign of Spike.
She continued to search, stake lowered
but on the alert. There was nothing here but a few empty bottles. Well,
it was too much to hope for, that he would be innocently sitting here
waiting for her to come and murder him.
No. It wasn't murder. You couldn't murder
a creature, a monster. "Spike?" she said softly.
He could be downstairs. She hesitated before
pulling the slab away from the opening in the floor, remembering what
had happened the last time she'd gone down into Spike's basement. She'd
found his shrine to her, a creepy collection of photographs and drawings
and half a department store mannequin, wearing a blonde wig and Buffy's
blue cashmere sweater. Spike and Dru had found her there. Spike had chained
her up and threatened her and forced her to listen to his ridiculous declarations
But Dru was gone and Spike was... Spike.
She'd never feared him before and she wasn't about to start now. She climbed
down the ladder.
The shrine was gone, just a scatter of
broken wood and torn paper. The chains still hung from the ceiling beams.
Some furniture, chairs, wooden chests, curtains, placed seemingly at random.
A torch burned in the wall.
And across the room, half-hidden by a curtain,
was Spike's bed -- not a coffin, but an ordinary full-size bed, with sheets
and blankets and pillows.
And in it was Spike. Sleeping it off, apparently.
He lay tumbled among the pillows and blankets, perfect hair mussed, blanket
fallen down to partially expose a muscular white torso. His chest rose
and fell almost imperceptibly with his breathing, and it troubled Buffy
to see it. Vampires didn't need to breathe, and yet they did. They talked
and laughed and smoked cigarettes. They suffered when you choked them.
And at least one of them gasped with pleasure when he came.
Now, she told herself. Do it
now, get it over with. He's no sleeping innocent, he's a killer. He'd
turned vamp and fought humans and drunk blood tonight. Not human blood,
this time, but who could say about the next time? Unless she ended it
Buffy crossed the room, stake raised to
His eyes snapped open, widened when he
saw the stake. He started to raise himself up, started to speak. Her arm
slashed down, and he fell back down to the bed with a sharp intake of
breath, a tensing of his muscles, pressing his eyes shut, steeling himself
for the blow.
With a stifled gasp, she wrenched her arm
to a halt, stopping the stake just before it pierced his skin. He lay
frozen for one awful moment, then his eyes slowly opened. He was as still
Buffy sat on the bed, leaning over him
with the stake poised over his heart. "How'd you get rid of the chip,
He swallowed before answering, and spoke
warily. "When Dru was here. She zapped me in the head with the cattle
prod. Hurt like bloody hell, but looks like it fried the little bugger."
Since Dru? But that was months ago. No,
that was impossible. If Dru had freed him from the chip, he would have
gone with her -- his sire, his one true love. He wouldn't have threatened
to kill her for Buffy. He wouldn't have stayed here, pining after the
Slayer, helping her, giving up the opportunity to hunt and feed and kill.
"How many people have you killed since?"
"Not a one." She gave him a tiny jab with
the stake, making him flinch. A spot of red formed under the point. His
mouth tightened. "I haven't, Buffy. You know it. You'd know if I was on
And that was true -- if he'd been feeding
here in Sunnydale, she'd have known about it. Known something was up,
anyway, and there'd been no increase in vampire activity lately, no rumors
of new players on the scene. "So you've been lying low. Why?"
He closed his eyes, and on his face was
a look of pure despair. "You know why."
"Because you're in love with me," she mocked.
When he opened his eyes they were shiny
with tears. But his mouth was set, and when he finally spoke, his voice
was slow and measured and weary. "I wanted to prove myself to you. That
I'd changed, it wasn't just the chip. I told you I'd give it up for you."
And supposing it were true, what was she
supposed to do? Trust him? Believe that love would make him good? Let
him live, and just hope he didn't fall out of love? "For how long?"
He lay perfectly still. His eyes were dark
in the torchlight, the deep blue of a starlit night. The hollows of his
sculpted cheekbones lay in slate grey shadows. His mouth looked silky
soft. "I suppose until you kill me."
Her hand gripped the stake tightly. She
wanted to do it. She really did. She willed the stake to move, to enter
his flesh, to pierce his heart and make him fall to dust. But her arm
was frozen, the muscles locked in place.
Slowly, he raised his hand to hers, fingers
gently curling around her fist, caressing it, stake and all. His hand
was cool now, the earlier blood heat faded. A strange current trickled
through her body, and a tiny sound escaped her, something like a whimper.
He lifted his head, lips parted, and brought her hand to his mouth, gently
kissing her fingers. His lips felt as silky as they looked. He gazed up
at her and waited.
She couldn't do it. It was probably the
biggest mistake she'd ever make in her life, but she couldn't force herself
to stake him. Not like this.
And if she couldn't kill him... ? Gently,
she pulled her hand away from his. She held the stake over him for a moment,
then lowered the point to his cheekbone, and ever-so-carefully drew it
down his face.
A tremor passed through his entire body,
and he sucked in air. "Buffy," he groaned, as if she were torturing him.
Or making love to him.
She tilted her head and regarded him: a
vampire lying in his bed, enthralled by the stake. This is sick, she thought
idly. Sick and wrong in so many ways, she didn't even know how to begin
thinking about it. She placed the point of the stake in the hollow of
his throat, and began to trace a line down his chest with it. His back
arched, and she eased the stake up so that it would ride lightly along
his skin. She didn't even know why she was doing it, really. Except that
he was helpless to it, under control at last. No smirk on his face now.
No arrogant grin. There was fear, but more than fear. There was desire,
rampant need. His eyes were shiny with it. It was intoxicating
to see him like this, she was almost dizzy with it.
She moved down the bed, pulling the blanket
aside, and watched his body tremble as she ran the stake across the chiseled
muscles of his abdomen, then through the honey-blond tangle at his crotch.
He tensed up and gasped and forced himself still. It was delicious, the
way he wanted it, even while he feared it. It made her... want him back.
Want to sink down into all that gorgeous need, soak it up, wallow in it.
His penis lifted the blanket, and sprang up when she pulled the cover
away, full and pink. It was not something she usually thought about men's
penises, but Spike's was pretty. Big, but somehow delicate-seeming, with
skin as transparent as porcelain. She was aware of her own breath quickening,
heat gathering between her legs.
He was beautiful. How could she never have
noticed before? Not just cute, or attractive, or any of those silly words
you used to talk about puppies or little kids or other people's boyfriends.
Beautiful, like some dark angel in a Renaissance painting. Like something
ancient and pure and drenched with sex. Evil, she tried to think, but
he didn't look so evil, all naked and hard and wanting in his bed. A little
bit evil, just as he'd said -- the wicked glint in his eyes, the dashing
scar zigging through his left eyebrow, the rebellious black paint on his
fingernails. Yes, he was beautiful. And she could have him if she wanted.
Any way she liked.
A voice inside was screaming at her to
go, get out now, stop acting so crazy. But another voice was whispering
seductively, along with the throb in her clit, Go on and do it. Take
him, use him, why not? Sure, it's insane, it's all insane, and there's
nothing you can do about it. So ride him to Hell. If that doesn't get
him out of your system, nothing will.
Buffy sat up, drawing a trembling breath.
She tossed the stake aside and got to her feet, standing unsteadily at
the side of the bed.
Spike reached out one hand for her, eyes
bright with tears. "Buffy, please...."
She touched his lips with her fingers and
Then she stepped back and began to unbutton
* * *
She let her clothing fall to the floor,
piece by piece, as Spike watched, still as a hunting cat, as if afraid
the slightest motion would startle her away.
Naked, she went back to the bed, lifted
her knee and slid on top of him, straddling him, leaning over to brace
her hands by his shoulders. His firm body was cool between her legs, and
his mouth was cool when she bent down to kiss it, but he was all fire
as he wrapped his arms tight around her and kissed back, open-mouthed
and hungry. He didn't taste like blood any more, just long-pent-up need
and a hint of something old and fine, like aged brandy, leaving her light-headed
He clung to her, kissing her greedily.
Then he buried his face in her neck, moaning her name, his mouth open
on her skin. She felt a momentary chill at having a vampire's teeth so
close to her neck -- but then she felt his whole body convulse in a choking
sob, and he was crying on her shoulder, and all she could do for a little
while was hold him and wait and wonder that she had brought him to this:
he wanted her so badly it made him cry. She felt strange -- a little guilty
to have made him break down, but gratified that she could do it. In a
little while his sobs quieted and he began to nuzzle her cheek, kissing
her jawline, licking his own tears from her collarbone. Then suddenly
he flung himself onto her, laughing, and they were rolling and tangling
in the sheets, growling and nipping and sucking at each other's mouths,
grabbing at each other's bodies, all fingers and teeth and chests and
groins and knees.
Buffy found herself laughing, too. This
was fun; pure animal fun, and how often did she get to have that?
She didn't have to hold back for fear of hurting him, like she did with
a human man. She could feel the steel in his arms, the power in his thighs,
the sheer rock-hard solidness of him, all a match for her Slayer strength.
When she accidentally cracked him in the ribs with a stray elbow, he didn't
curl up in pain, he just chuckled breathily and came back for more. When
he wrapped her up in his arms, she felt held. And, oh it was good.
Had anyone ever held her like that? So tight it nearly took her breath
away? Had anyone ever been able to? Well, Angel, but even he -- oh god
it was so long ago, and she was so young, her very first time -- Angel
had been gentle and tender and no, he hadn't pounced on her and scooped
her up like a doll and covered her with kisses.
Because Angel had rejected his vampire
nature, while Spike reveled in his. She was having fun with a vampire,
because he was a vampire, a perfect match for her, and that was
Spike must have noticed some hesitation,
some change in her body language, because he stopped in an instant and
gazed down on her intently, solemn blue eyes boring into hers. "Buffy,
"You're a vampire," was all she could think
After a thoughtful moment he smiled. "You're
the Slayer," he responded. "Bloody humiliated, I am." He bent down to
mouth her earlobe. "Never be able to show my face at Willy's again." His
lips trailed across her jawline. "I'll be a laughingstock. 'That Spike,'
they'll say. 'First he got a chip shoved up his head, and now he's all
Slayer-whipped? She couldn't help laughing,
but there was an edge in it. "Spike...," she managed. "This is wrong."
He tilted his head in that way that he
did. That suddenly she found made her warm in all the right places. "It's
not wrong, Buffy. It's just you and me. Not doing any harm to anyone."
Was that true? It felt true, although
maybe that was just Spike running his fingertips down her chest, between
her breasts, circling her belly button, in a delicate replay of the path
she'd taken with the stake on his body earlier. He knew how to be tender,
too, and maybe that shouldn't have made it feel all right, but it did.
They began again, slower this time, and
with care. He rolled on top of her, and he seemed light as a feather,
as if his body had no weight, only friction. His skin was cool and dry.
For a moment, she thought of a serpent curling between her legs, a smooth
and silky one, with fangs. Then he slid his hand down, sensitive fingers
exploring her folds, stroking her clit, sending shockwaves of pleasure
through her, and she forgot about serpents, and moaned, "Spike...."
She wrapped one leg around him and dug
her fingernails into his back, while his slow hand did its magic on her.
He took her to the brink and back with maddening precision, until she
was writhing under him, moaning into his neck. A hundred years of practice,
Buffy managed to think, and he'd used it well. He was moaning too, and
pressing himself against her thigh, all the while his fingers moved over
and inside her, and she felt herself swell around them.
Not yet. She couldn't let it end yet. She
groaned and grabbed his shoulders and rolled him over, and he went easily,
moving under her with willing grace. She felt another stab of pleasure
at that: his responsiveness, his eagerness to please. How far did it go?
She knew he liked to be hit. What else did he like? She sat up on him
and took his arms, pinning his wrists to the mattress. He hissed and arched
under her, then relaxed into the restraint, chuckling softly. She felt
his penis twitching behind her. Oh yeah, he liked that. And he looked
beautiful that way, arms spread, pinned down on the bed. His smooth white
skin took on a warm glow in the torchlight, shadows emphasizing the cut
of his chest and abdomen. Beautiful and strong -- strong enough to fight
her, or to play with her, but willing to be subdued. It was a heady thing,
an unexpected thrill, to have this power over him, to have him want
her to have it.
Not like before, when she was angry and
frustrated and used that power just to make him stop driving her crazy.
This was different. This was having power because it felt good, because
it was fun, because they both liked it. She was so used to being afraid
of her strength when she wasn't fighting. Even being ashamed of it. Spike
loved her strength. He adored for her to use it on him. He made her feel
powerful and proud of it. And she could only feel grateful to him for
She lowered her head and swirled her tongue
around his nipples, feeling them harden into little points. His skin was
dry and tasted faintly earthy, reminding her of old forests and summer
sun. It was a little strange, but nice. His vampness was beginning to
feel comfortable to her, even right. She took one of his nipples between
her teeth, biting gently, rolling it with her tongue. She liked the way
it made him twitch and shiver and moan her name. His arms strained, but
not enough to break her grip. She pressed his wrists harder to the mattress,
pressed her wet heat into his groin. She rubbed against him while she
teased his nipple, and his moans turned to helpless whimpers. She could
bite much harder, she thought, and he would only love it more. She liked
knowing that, but didn't do it, not yet anyway.
At last she released him and slid off.
They lay facing each other, and he held her breast in his hand, while
he covered her face with fervent kisses. She stroked his back, slowly,
letting her fingers trail down the curve of his lower back, over the slight
swell of his buttocks, teasing lightly between them. He wriggled a little,
his mouth forming smiles on her cheek. His thumb found her nipple and
began caressing it in slow circles. She felt lost in a haze of golden
pleasure, sweet and heavy and almost achy. She let her hand slide over
his hipbone, through the crisp curls at his crotch. She took his penis
in her hand and held it, feeling its weight, engorged with blood, slightly
warmer than the rest of his body, and decided she wanted it inside her.
She held him and rolled him over onto his
back, sliding on top of him as she did so, trapping his thighs between
hers. He was pliant as a sleepy kitten lying in the sun. He lay back with
a lazy grin and waited for her to have her way with him. She kissed the
grin off his face, then watched him squeeze his eyes shut and bite his
lip as she guided him into her. His fingers tightened on her shoulders
and his hips lifted into hers.
She eased herself onto him slowly, feeling
every inch of him as he filled her. It was almost like a meditation --
the careful movement, the concentration of feeling between her legs, the
blissful absence of all other thought. When she at last had him fully
inside, she began to rock her hips, just the barest of motions, pressing
her groin into his, while he held her and moaned and buried his face once
more in her neck. The sweet heat built gradually inside her as she pressed
herself against him, spreading through her belly and thighs, tingling
in her whole body. She could feel it building in him. He was first to
slide over the edge, with a cry and a shudder, his hips thrust up into
hers, his body spasming as he came. And finally she slid over with him,
and her orgasm washed over her in waves, again and again, until at last
she collapsed onto him, spent.
He continued to clutch at her, holding
her to him, and maybe he was crying again, because there was a sob in
his voice as he said, "Buffy, I love you, oh god, I love you so much."
And she believed him.
* * *
They lay in a satisfied heap while her
heart slowed and her breathing evened, and then she gingerly rolled off.
He gasped a little and tried to hold her to him for a moment before letting
her go, but she stroked his face and he relaxed, curling up at her side
with his head on her chest.
"I can hear your heart beat," he said,
"That's generally considered a good thing."
She supposed it wasn't such a cliché to a vampire, to listen to
a lover's heart beat.
He chuckled softly. "Never been with a
live girl before."
"Never? You mean... never? Not even when
you were alive?"
"Not even. Victorian London, love. Times
were different then."
Then he'd been a virgin when Drusilla found
him... she didn't know whether to find the thought horrifying or terribly
sweet. "I didn't know they were that different."
She felt him shrug. "I didn't want to shag
some servant girl. I wanted love."
She stroked Spike's hair thoughtfully.
A hundred years with Dru, his first. And apparently he took his fidelity
seriously. "Then, how many girls have you been with, if you don't mind
"Well, there was Dru. And Harmony, stupid
cow, who hardly counts. And you."
"Wow." A hundred and change, and he'd only
been with three women.
"What about you, then? There's Mr. I've-Got-A-Soul
and Soldier Boy and me... oh, and that poncy frat boy, what was his name?"
Buffy felt her face heat. "Parker. Don't
tell me you don't remember. You had enough fun with it at the time."
"And you gave me a good thrashing for it,
so don't go getting all prickly. -- And you have to admit, you were right
pathetic about him."
It was impossible to be mad when he was
so damned cheerful about it. Not to mention right. "I guess you could
say he's my Harmony."
He chuckled again, and she could hear the
vibrations in her chest. It tickled. "Anyone I've missed?"
"No, that's the damage."
"You're one up on me, then."
"Does that bother you?"
He buried his face between her breasts
with a growl, and gave her skin a lick. "Do I look bothered?"
She laughed. "No, I guess not. So what's
it like, being with a live girl?" It had never occurred to her that it
might be as strange to him as being with a vampire was to her.
He propped himself up on one elbow. "There's
the heart thing. All that blood swirling around inside you, pounding against
your skin." He ran his finger in lazy circles around her stomach. "You're
hot. And wet. I like it."
"That's good." She pulled his head down
and kissed him. "So what was the deal with Harmony, anyway? You didn't...
love her, did you?"
"God, no. She was just... there. Didn't
have much to choose from. Most vampires don't care about hooking up, except
with their sires. I'd already lost mine...." His voice got pensive at
the last, and Buffy felt a strange pang. Not jealousy, surely. Besides,
Spike had already chosen her over Dru, rather spectacularly.
"Have you ever thought about... siring
"What, me? Nah, not my style."
He lay back down, head on her shoulder,
and paused a moment before answering. "You never know what it's going
to do to someone, when they change. How much of the human they were stays
with the demon. I wouldn't want to change someone, not knowing if I'd
still want them, after."
Buffy took a deep breath. That was good
to know. She wouldn't have to worry about Spike ever wanting to change
her, to make her like him. But it also made her sad, somehow, although
she didn't know why. Because he was lonely? Suddenly, she felt that she'd
been through as much as she could handle for one night.
"I'd better go." She slid over him and
out of bed, began picking up her clothes from the floor. She felt all
sticky, but there was no running water in Spike's crypt, no way to clean
up. She'd just have to wait until she got home. It was just as well. She'd
been away too long already.
He rolled over, reaching out a hand to
She stopped for a moment. Warm bed, cuddly
vampire, all-you-can-eat love buffet... and he looked so forlorn it made
her feel bad, but she had no choice. "I can't. Everyone's waiting for
me. They'll be worried."
He let his hand drop. "What are you going
to tell them?"
"That I didn't stake you." His eyes narrowed,
and she had sudden visions of Spike telling everyone he could corner that
he'd bagged another Slayer. "Look. I'd really appreciate it if you wouldn't
say anything about this to anyone. I just... I know how they'd react,
and I'm not ready to deal with that."
He regarded her thoughtfully for a long
time. She was beginning to be uncomfortable when he finally spoke. "Are
you going to wake up in the morning all 'oh my god horrid vampire what
have I done' and everything's like it was before?"
Well. Good question. Was she? She was already
beginning to wonder what the hell she'd done by starting this. And in
the cold light of day, in the face of Giles's and Willow's and Xander's
sure disapproval, and the complete impossibility of getting involved with
another vampire, especially one without a soul....
But one thing was for sure -- things wouldn't
be like they were before.
She went to sit beside him on the bed and
put her arm around him. "No. I promise." She kissed him one last time,
then got up and headed home.
* * *
Dawn, at least, was overjoyed to hear that
she'd left Spike unstaked. Everyone else was ambivalent, to say the least.
Was she sure it was safe? How could she trust him? Xander wondered if
she was planning to keep Spike on a leash, and declined to play vampire
babysitter this time. How could she be sure he hadn't killed anyone since
Dru left? He wasn't like Angel. He didn't have a soul.
But he did have a heart, and he loved her.
She told them that much, and hoped they wouldn't guess the rest, or ask
her any questions she wasn't ready to answer. It wouldn't have helped
to tell them, anyway. I know he's not evil because he's great in bed.
Right, like that would reassure anyone. If this thing with Spike, whatever
it was, continued, she supposed she'd have to tell them something eventually.
But not now, not yet, not when she wasn't sure herself what had happened.
So she just kept repeating, He won't hurt anyone. He loves me.
And in the end, they accepted her decision,
mainly because there wasn't much else they could do. And because it was
late, and they'd all had a harrowing day. Finally, Dawn went up to bed,
and Giles yawned and said they'd all be better for a night's sleep, and
he left, and Anya kept elbowing Xander until the two of them went home,
and it was just Willow and Tara and Buffy.
The two witches looked at each other for
a long moment, and Buffy wondered enviously if she would ever be able
to talk to someone without actually speaking, and finally Willow said,
"We were wondering if you'd thought any
more about the curse for Spike. You know, the soul one. Since he's de-chipped
now. It would be one way to be sure of him."
Buffy started. No, she hadn't given the
curse a thought since the day Willow had first brought it up. She'd thought
it was a bad idea then, and she thought it was a bad idea now, but for
a completely different reason.
"Tonight I asked Spike if he'd ever sired
another vampire. He said no, because you never know how it's going to
change a person. He said he wouldn't want to make a vampire, and then
have them turn out to be someone he didn't like. I guess... it would be
the same thing if I tried to give him a soul. If he won't do it, how can
"Besides, there are plenty of people out
there with souls who are killers. It's no guarantee. He's okay now, let's
just leave him alone."
Willow looked troubled, but Tara gave her
such a warm smile, Buffy suddenly felt embarrassed. She knew. Buffy didn't
know how, but Tara knew. And she was happy.
Buffy smiled back. "I've got to sleep now.
We'll talk tomorrow."
Willow forced a smile and nodded, and she
and Tara left.
Buffy walked slowly up the stairs. She
ached all over, but she felt good. Glory was defeated, Dawn was safe,
and Spike... well, who knew how that would play out? But for now, for
tonight, everything was all right. For tonight, that was enough.
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