All About Spike - Print Version
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Sequel to Who Am I?; part of The Bittersweets Series
Summary: Will he? Will she?
Author Notes: This is the fifth in the BITTERSWEETS series, following "Who Am I?." The BITTERSWEETS are set in a AU season 6 verging off of "Wrecked."
Dedication: As always, for Kalima first and foremost. Also for the Bitches, and Deborah M.
Completed: January 2002.
Disclaimer: Joss creates, I borrow
Presently she's existing
Formerly she was a dead girl
Left alone and forgotten
Trying hard to find something she'd won
Leave her things scattered round her
Practising such restraint
But she'll find you and she'll get you
Even she's not one of God's damn saints
--Holly Beth Vincent, "Revenge"
came back from downtown in the early afternoon to find him, once more, sacked
out in front of the television.
Well, at least the Scoobies hadn’t come in and dragged him away
while she was out. Meeting her
responsibilities. Which in this
instance, had actually included picking up Willow’s dry cleaning.
yourself useful, I see,” she said.
waited ten seconds for the commercial to start before acknowledging her.
“When’s the next Big Bad gonna show up? That’s what I want to know. I want to mix it up a bit—get your back while you take
some screaming foe apart. Need to
tear some beastie’s throat out with my fangs. Mind you, the sex and the 250-channel cable here’s
going to have to cancel the cable.”
money’s not there, Spike. We have no income. I’ve got to get all the pipes replaced. And for that matter . . . if
you’re going to eat people food at
every meal when you’re hanging around here, then ends are not going to
meet. I don’t mind bringing
in the blood for you, it’s cheap, but another mouth—is another
and Niblet barely eat anything.
Skin an’ bones, you are.
Like a bit more flesh on you, for that matter. But all’s I do is finish up what you’d
just throw away.”
is that how you think of the five lambchops
you ate just now? That were
supposed to be tonight’s supper for all three of us, not your
examined his fingernails.
“Need to keep my strength up. Servicing the Slayer takes a lot out of a man.”
“Whatever. But I’m not rooting for the debut
of the next Big Bad. I’ve
got to find a job. And when I find
it, I’ve got to keep it.”
“Bollocks. What a helpful remark.”
“What you need is a salary
from the bleeding Council. Why
should they expect you to save the world for free every time? They pay bloody Rupert. Whom you are supposed to be on the
blower to right about now, petal, if you recall your promise.”
“I recall it.” She pouted.
The commercials were
over; he turned back to the TV.
“You get on to them and make them put you on the payroll. Pension, survivor benefits an’
all. Make ‘em pay for the
pipe-fitting too, while you’re at it. Don’t imagine they’re not sitting on an enormous
endowment, those spooks. Thousand
year old secret society—rolling in it. An’ you’re the best slayer they’ve had in
yonks, don’t think they don’t know it.”
“How do you know so much
about the Council?”
“Made it my business to
know. Hush! I think Gary’s about to jilt Lisa
here. Go make your phone call,
pet. Pubs’ll be open over
there in a half hour, and you’ll have missed him.”
God, he was bossy. And thoughtless.
Just like a man. They were all the
same, dead or alive. In bed Spike
might be all my mistress my heart my queen,
and making her come twenty times in a night, but the minute he was standing
upright in his clothes, he was just where’s the remote, where’s my
cigs, where’s something I can eviscerate.
Buffy wandered into the kitchen and stood looking at the five
lambchop bones in the trash.
He’d gnawed them right down, sucked out the marrow; they were
almost shiny. And the greasy
frying pan was still on the stove.
He hadn’t even put it in the sink to soak. She and Dawn would have to eat popcorn
for dinner. Or maybe cold
cereal. Far be it from Spike
to forgo two packs of cigarettes and buy them a pizza. Not that she liked to think about where
he got what little money he had.
She brought her address book and
the phone to the counter island and climbed up on a stool. Tried to think what she’d
say. The letter she’d
dispatched just yesterday wouldn’t be there yet, of course. So she’d have to tell it to him
after all, just the thing she’d dreaded doing. No one except Angel would be a less receptive audience. Buffy closed her eyes and tried to
picture Giles, in the flat she’d never seen, in a town—Bath, funny
name—that she had no mental image of, answering her call. How happy he’d sound to hear her
voice. Happy at first. And then what? Suddenly she heard Giles in her head,
saying You have no respect for me, or for what I do. Spike
didn’t even have the excuse of a soul to make him quasi worthy of
her. She was going to go down in
the annals as that shameful thing, the slayer who couldn’t keep her hands
off the stock in trade.
cool touch on the back of her neck.
She opened her eyes to find Spike bending over her.
“What? What do you want? You’ve already devoured all the
protein in the house!”
thought you’d like me to hold your hand while you talk to him,
“Giles! It’s me, it’s Buffy.”
“Buffy! How splendid. That is . . . is it splendid?”
. . . to hear your voice, yes! How
are you, Giles?” She glanced
at Spike, who was perched on the stool beside her, turning a cigarette over and
over between his fingers.
She’d declined the hand-hold, but was glad when he’d not
wandered back to the television.
along, you know. This and
that. What’s the
occasion?” Oh, for this
call. Shit, this was it.
“Giles, there’s something you don’t know about . . . about
me. Since I’ve been
At once, the quality of his silence
changed. Buffy thought she could
hear it through the line, Giles’ apprehension. In a moment, she knew, he’d be cradling the receiver
on his shoulder, taking his glasses off and polishing them. He always did that when he heard
something that astonished and disheartened him, and her news would do both.
tried to plunge on. “At first
I couldn’t really deal with it, because there’s sort of been a lot
going on here, with Willow and all, and I didn’t want to think about it,
you know me, Miss Plausible Deniability of 2001, but . . . um . . . I’ve been advised to tell you
about it, so . . . “
“Buffy. Slow down. Please just describe it as simply as you can.”
froze. How how how could she explain it, and then listen to whatever he would
say? Listen to his pained
silence? The strength just
She shoved the phone at Spike.
tried to push it back at her, but she shook her head fiercely. Then Spike shrugged. “Oi, Rupert. Your Slayer’s come back
wrong. Chip doesn’t fire
anymore when I bash her across a room.”
put her head up close to Spike’s so she could catch Giles’ end of
the conversation. At first there
was nothing to hear, just the silence that had turned from apprehensive to
. . . “Spike? Good
Lord—why—why am I suddenly talking to you? What have you done with
Buffy? Is she your prisoner? Is this some sort of ransom
demand? Or are you just calling to
taunt me before you—“
said she ought to tell you this herself,
but you know how she gets.
She’s right here, Rupes.
Talk to him, love.”
we’re in the kitchen at home.
I’m not . . . I’m not a prisoner, or anything.”
thank God. But—are you quite
sure? It’s not a trick? If he’s really holding you
‘Willow is well,’ and I’ll hang up and phone the Magic
Shop at once.”
I’m fine. Spike is too busy digesting five
goddamned lambchops thank you very much to
be doing anything more nefarious.
was where the glasses got cleaned.
Then, “So, ah . . .
why is . . . in short, why is he there, Buffy? And what was he talking about?”
wrote you a letter. I mailed it
yesterday. But you won’t get
it until next week, I guess.”
“Ah. A letter. And the letter said?”
it said a lot of stuff about how everything’s different and my priorities
have sort of changed, and things are weird and hard, but what it really came
down to was that, um, we’ve become involved. I’m involved.
With, with Spike.”
“Buffy. Good God.”
All at once her eyes burned; she
felt tears gather. “Just
please don’t be angry at me, Giles.
Spike is worried about me. Because of the chip thing. Showing that I’m not the same as I was. Not human, somehow. And we don’t
know what it means, or how to find out.”
silence. This really wasn’t
a conversation to be having on the telephone. It was a pace up and down the training room not looking at
each other but yet aware of every minute glance and expression conversation.
please. I can’t stand it when you—“ Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Spike listens to me, and . . . keeps
me from . . . from getting lost.
Because . . . something’s wrong, and I’m not—I’m
waited, her cheek pressed against Spike’s cool dry one, the phone
receiver clammy against the back of her ear.
the wire, a sigh. “Oh
Buffy. I see I shall have to come
back, won’t I?”
grabbed the phone and turned away from her with it. “Hey, before you do, Rupes—get on to those
council blokes and tell ‘em their slayer ought to have some bloody
remuneration! She’s drowning
in debt, threatening to cancel the cable, worried about groceries—we
can’t have that, mate.”
didn’t hear what Giles said, but Spike’s last remark before he put
the phone down gave her some clue.
“Yeah, well, maybe you should rethink that—what with us
looking after the same girl an’ all.”
couldn’t suppress her smile when he turned back to her. “Spike, sometimes
knock at the kitchen door cut her off.
Buffy shifted the curtain and saw Tara, eyes lowered, standing outside.
I come in?”
course, you—you live here.”
not really.” She blushed, and looked away. “Hello Spike.”
fidgeted with the points of her bodice.
“I came to get some things I left here. And to see . . . if . . . .”
stepped towards her.
“I’m all right, thanks.”
this she blushed harder, and tossed her head. “I’m glad.
I . . . I didn’t know ahead of time what they meant to do, or
turned to Buffy, and suddenly her voice was clear and strong. “I think you have the right to
love whom you please.” Then
the blush came up stronger than ever, and she pushed past them, saying
“Stuff’s upstairs, just be a sec’.”
there,” Spike said, pulling her into his chest, “we’ve got
one friend, yeah? And old
Rupert’s coming, you’ll like to see him again, pet.”
I won’t. You know he’s
so worried and angry and disappointed in me now. And he doesn’t want to keep getting sucked back
well . . .” Spike said, “you and he have that in common.”
bought pizza after all, without even being asked, and the three of them sat in
a row on the sofa, Dawn in the middle, and watched television. Just like regular people. Okay, maybe it wasn’t so regular
that Dawn was painting Spike’s nails black. Or that she herself couldn’t follow the simple action
of the program they were staring at, because her mind was full of dread at
Giles’ return, and wondering what Xander and Willow were doing, and
whether anybody would call her on the applications she’d filled out that
afternoon, and if she could really wait tables again anyway.
a twinge in her belly, and a familiar warmth, she rose and went to the
bathroom. It seemed a little
early, but then she’d been too preoccupied to remember to make a note on
the calendar, like she usually did.
She probably wouldn’t remember to do it this time either. Had Dawn used up all the Tampax again
without mentioning it? She rooted
around under the sink. Found
some. Swallowed a couple of pills
against the cramps that bloomed almost as soon as she stood up from her
crouch. Washed up.
she climbed over his legs to resume her seat, Spike caught her hand and pressed a kiss into the palm. She met his gaze for a moment. Cool, assuming, a boyfriend look. Dawn glanced at them, and smiled. A smile like the sun finally breaking
through at the end of a long overcast day.
dropped back into her place and hugged one of the sofa cushions to her
lap. She had no idea what the
program was about, and didn’t care enough to ask. Tipping her head back, she closed her eyes.
opened her eyes. Had she
dozed? The clock showed
ten-thirty. Dawn was getting up
without protest—something she never did for her. She
paused for a moment, then dipped down and kissed him on the point of one sharp
too,” Spike murmured.
lips felt very warm against her face; the lashes brushed her eyebrow in the
briefest of touches that nevertheless made Buffy shiver. “Sweet dreams, Dawnie.”
soon as she was gone, Spike slid across the empty space between them and
claimed her, a hand on her breast, another in her hair. She let him kiss her once, then got up.
want to sleep alone tonight.”
cocked her a look.
in the house. Just not with
am I being punished for now? The
“Nothing. Spike—nothing. I just—“
frowned, then a look of surprise flitted across his face. “It’s because you’re
on the rag.”
“Dunno why you’re so
coy. Can smell it on
you.” He sat forward, and
before she could shift away, took her hips in his hands and buried his nose in
“Spike!” She shoved him, and retreated to the
eyes had gone witchy with desire.
“Don’t turn me out, Slayer. Forget that damn plug you’ve got up there. I’ll drink you all night,
won’t spill a drop on your clean sheets. Make you come ‘til you swoon.”
twinge that began between her legs when he’d touched her was now a
flickering in her clit so intense it was almost as if he was there
already. “No. No! I’m not letting you drink my blood, Spike!
No way. That is just taking
things too far.”
rose and came to her. Movements
slow, languid. Put a seductive
hand on her belly, brought his lips down to her ear. “Won’t hurt you,” he whispered. “Never hurt you. Just want all of you, is all. Want your taste, want your
She pushed him back, hard enough to make him stagger, and for a moment
the coffee table was in doubt.
Then he straightened up, and smiled at her.
hurt to ask though, does it Slayer?
You smell so intense with
it. Marvelous. Maybe next month . . . if I’m a
good boy.” He picked up his
leather, shrugged into it.
are you going?”
I’d visit the witch, let her kill me.”
laughed at the small sound she made.
“No fear, petal. Just
going to Willie’s for a drink.
Round of pool. Don’t
fancy staying here with your bouquet at my nose and no sniffing
allowed.” He opened the
“Spike.” Her voice so tiny all of a sudden. “Be ca—watch yourself.”
blew into the kitchen, dropping the blanket he didn’t really
need—it was raining—in time to stop Dawn shillyshallying with her
lipgloss and missing the bus.
heard her stomping around before I got up. Went back to bed, I guess.” Dawn thrust her make-up bag into her knapsack. “Did you two have a fight last night?”
princess. Nothing of the
sort. Go on, now.”
she’d left, Spike prowled the kitchen for a few moments, listening to the
gurgling of the fragile pipes, the low hum of the furnace, and the dripping
gutters outside. He
wouldn’t have said no to a cup of tea, but he didn’t want to make a
pot and bring it up to Buffy. Not
what he had in mind for her that morning.
Not the way he wanted to start off.
took the stairs two at a time.
Her eyes, staring at the thing he
held, were the size of hubcaps.
“Spike. No way. All the no way that is, or was, or ever will be.”
pretended to shrug. “I only
thought, pet, as you’d been so keen with your little fingers the other
night, you’d fancy a chance to—”
shook her head, staring at it.
can’t believe you brought that into my house. Dawn
didn’t see you with that, did she?”
didn’t dignify that with a reply.
pushed it at her. “You put it away.
That’s the idea.”
soon as it was out of his hand and in hers, he threw off his leather, began
shucking his clothes.
“Don’t say you’re not interested in a bit of a knees
up. I promise not to yank at your
pretty white string.”
he brought his laughing mouth right up to ear. “C’mon Buffy. Give it me good.”
did you get this? I
mean—where’s it been?”
“Nowhere. Yet. What, you think it belonged to Dru?”
the mention of this name, Buffy grimaced.
I nicked it last night. Little
spot of breaking and entering down the shops. Fresh out of the box, it is. Go on.”
She waved it off. “Anyway,
it’s . . . I wouldn’t think you—“
take it? I’ve took worse. Or better, you might say.”
lot you don’t know about me, pet.”
wasn’t even quite as long as
Angelus, the thing she was making such horrified, fascinated eyes at, although
the thickness was about the same, and everybody knew that’s what really
counted. Although it was shaped
curiously like, might almost have been modeled off him, with that gentle curve,
the only thing gentle about his old grand-sire; which is what had attracted Spike’s
notice of it in the first place.
Almost made him feel nostalgic, like. Wasn’t going to point that out, though.
going into him with her fingers the last time was an amazing mind-fuck too, had
awakened patterns of lewdness in his head that shifted and bloomed like a
kaleidoscope. It was a good
twenty-five years since he’d given it up to another man, and he’d
never done the like with a woman before at all. Which he also wasn’t going to tell her.
he wanted to give it up to her.
He was kneeling up on her bed now,
and she stood just out of arm’s reach. Naked like him, but hugging herself as if it was cold in
here, which it wasn’t, and like she wasn’t ever going to take the
three steps towards him that she would take. He wasn’t a vampire for
nothing. He’d tangle her
gaze with his and draw her here.
was it. One foot in front of the
caught her by the waist, turned her around. Seemingly stunned, she didn’t resist him. “There you go, pet. Needs to be snug, but you say if the
straps’re too tight.”
glanced down at herself, and then away, as a blush raced across her chest, up
her neck to her cheeks. “Oh my God.
I look—oh my God.
This is disgusting.” She tried to push it off, then gasped.
right, love. Works both ways.
Little knob inside there, gives back everything you’re gonna give
me.” He grinned, grasped the
rosy round end of it, pushed down, and watched her start and gasp again.
way she wasn’t into it, the minx.
Pretending to be shocked.
he could practically sense the synapses in her brain firing as her imagination
raced, smell her excitement building; it fed his, made his prick bob, his fangs
tingle to come down. The
rich sanguine scent she gave off, the sight of her with that apparatus springing from her curls, a
golden androgyne goddess from the mists of time. Priapus as a girl.
This was going to be good.
He suspected, once she got the first taste, that she’d go at him
like nobody other than his Grand-Sire ever had.
rolled onto his stomach, looked at her over his shoulder.
“Come on, then. You know you want to stake me, Slayer.”
What, did he think this was
funny? Strapping her into this
fake prick and laughing at her while she blushed? Did he think this was a little game he was going to control? Had he forgotten whom he was dealing
Forgotten what she was dealing with?
. . . Okay.”
She dragged him up, threw him
across the room. Spike hit the
door with a loud crack; she leapt after.
One head-snapping blow toppled him to hands and knees on the rug. She dropped onto his back.
Did he really think she was just
going to let him take this lying down?
Now she was interested.
New weapons always were
She aimed and struck, drove it home
with one convulsive motion. Spike
shouted, tried to shake her off. She grabbed his jaw, wrested his head up, and
bit into his neck. He cried out
again, and his thin dead blood flooded beneath her lips.
shit—Slayer—little lube is
your own, Spike.”
dug in, clinging to his arched back like an angry cat. This was incredible. Scratched
the same itch that punching him did, but scratched it better, harder,
meaner. Took her outside herself
the way nothing had yet—this wasn’t even sex, it was sheer lunatic
aggression, and oh God she needed
it, it was perfect. She sawed her
hips, he cried out at every thrust, short little protesting cries that called
up all her hatred and rage, and now the thing felt like part of her, she
imagined she could feel through it the inside shape of him, his guts rippling
and clutching and screaming. There
was no difference between the thing and her own clit, every move she made in
him reverberated through her like the blow-back from a shotgun blast. This was filthy great! By time his channel got
slicker—blood, or what sort of spume, she didn’t know or
care—she’d already come three times, but each orgasm made her
stronger, hotter. Sweat dripping,
gluing her to the cool armature of his back, she made a pattern of bite marks
on his shoulders that welled up with red like freakish lipstick kisses. Spike
had his head down now, he was grunting and thrusting back at her, uhn,
uhn, uhn. Fine, let him screw himself on the thing, but when he tried
to hold them up on just one hand and grab his own prick with the other, she yanked
his arm up and back until he howled.
he think she was just some girl? Or that she’d forgotten who he was?
What they were to each other?
was electric, his body, her body, resonating like struck gongs. It was hell and degradation, agony and
torment. It was what they were
both built for. It was his idea, so he must have wanted it!
was a monster now, they were two monsters coupling like monsters and it was
hideous and obscene and right.
She sunk her teeth into his nape,
deep, deeper, filling her mouth with his salty blood, letting it run out at the
corners and drip down his neck. Punishing him, beating on him with her fists,
while he lowed and shook beneath her, her mount, her beast, her cunt, and it
all just built and built and built, spiraling, dizzying, the uncontrollable
shaking loathing fucking gnawing madness until—
pain, when he came back to himself, was everywhere, radiating out from the core
of his body. He couldn’t
exactly locate the pleasure, although there must have been some, because he was
lying in his sticky drying cum on the rag rug. His neck and upper back from shoulder to shoulder were laid
open, in ragged overlapping bites that oozed and stung as he tried to shift
himself. Her hair and cheek were
stuck to the wounds; her weight on him dead, and the thing still lodged inside,
a cold merciless instrument, impaling him, stirring his guts to nausea.
he whispered. “Buffy . . .
love . . . come back to me.”
. . . .”
hell— Don’t move yet. Shit . . . slowly.
Pull . . .it . . . out . .
. slowly. Christ. There’ll be my innards with
was up on hands and knees now, still straddling him, but God what a relief to
have her off! Have it out. His broken skin seethed. He wanted to roll over, but that
wasn’t an option—not for a day or two. He could feel her looking at him, surveying her handiwork,
but he didn’t open his eyes.
her little voice. “Jeez.”
And she was up on her dainty feet; he felt the few steps she took on the
board floor through his aching bones.
Heard her fumbling with the straps, and then the thing hit the floor
beside his head. Another few steps,
and the door shutting, and he was alone with the ongoing sound of the rain.
was shaking, weak as a kitten as he dragged himself out of her room. He supposed she was in the other
bathroom off the witches’; didn’t question that as he ran the bath
hot as he could stand. Almost
yowled as he slid into the water and every hurt place on his body
experiment not quite what he’d anticipated.
wanted her to make free of him.
her to be wild. So they’d be
wild together, for a little while.
expected that merely strapping her into the thing would cause the door to her
inner blast furnace to fly open and the fires to come roaring out. Not prepared for that much hatred. Or the depth of her
self-evisceration. Her horrible
negation, of him, of herself, of the progress he’d thought they’d
made. The distance between sexual
pleasure and any kind of reconciliation between Buffy and life . . . between Buffy and him. Stupid. But then, he’d always been stupid about her. Imagining he could kill her like
he’d killed the other slayers. There was no other like her. Then that he could love her like a
man. And worst folly of all,
that anything had really changed because she’d wept in his arms, and
kissed him and called him William.
water seeped into his cuts; they stung and throbbed, and he, stung, throbbed
with grief at what he’d attempted and how he’d failed and been
Went back to her room for his
clothes. No sign of her, although
he could still sense the signature of her menstrual blood in the air; she was
somewhere in the house. The clock
showed it was short of half ten.
How had despair made such a complete invasion in just two hours? The same rainstorm still sluicing the
windows, Dawn barely into her second class of the morning.
Gingerly, he knelt to retrieve his
jeans. Bending over was too
painful. She’d given him the
rogering to end all rogerings.
Behind him, the bedroom door opened. He glanced over his shoulder.
There: his queen, his tormentress,
his conquistadora. Wet hair
slicked back off her face, wrapped in a white towel. Cheeks and eyelids pale. Pale lips parted.
torn.” She came up behind
him, laid a finger without weight on his nape. Looking as if she had no idea it had anything to do with
her. Pale concern in her
eyes. “I can put some
Vaseline on . . . it’ll feel better.”
“Bites’ll knit up on
their own,” he said. His
head so close to her belly, he could smell it again, the stirring sanguinary
center of her, and hastened to rise.
She looked up at him. Something so blank in her face, it made
Two empty words that floated in the
air before her lips, connected to nothing.
He thought on this for a moment,
wanted some anger to rise against it, but what else should he have expected of
his dirty little scheme? Of her,
in her condition? Stupid.
“No, pet. I suited you up, you played the
Once more he reached for his
trousers. Buffy threw herself
across the bed. The towel fell
open, and there were her pretty breasts, her belly and her sex. A woman again. Everything pink and fragrant from the
bath. He eased himself into his
jeans and turned his back on her to zip the fly.
When he glanced back, she’d
parted her legs, and one indolent hand lay on the inner thigh.
He longed to walk out the door,
leave and never come back, but found himself instead approaching her. Cripes, he was so predictable. No pride when a woman was in it. Well, the woman. Which was her now.
Looking right down at her uptilted impassive face. Unable to help himself, to refrain from
dropping a kiss on each rosy clean nipple, on the small curve of her stomach,
on the hand that rested still against her thigh, a mysterious gatekeeper, neither
friend nor foe. The aroma of her
pussy, the blood, went to his vanquished head like wine; he waited to be pushed
away, and meanwhile looked his fill.
Her hand didn’t move. Her breath quickened, the thighs
settling further back.
He spotted it then.
“Where’s your little string, love?”
“Do what you wanted to do.”
Oh, it was terrible. His love and acceptance and worship
were terrible to her. They must
mean she was unfit for any man but a demon, because it took a demon to know
her. He did thoroughly know
her. Knew just how low and corrupt
she truly was. She’d tried
for years to deny what she was—pretended she could slay, fulfill her
destiny, and still be a nice girl with a regular life.
It was a delusion.
She threw back her head, closed her
eyes. Didn’t want to see the
beast while she let him have his depraved way with her.
But she would feel it, everything
he was about to do. Vamp out, grab
her hips and latch on like a leech. Wasn’t this almost his final
triumph? It lacked only the
bite. The kill. But perhaps those would come in a few
minutes, when he lost the semblance of control. He was, after all, what he was. Fitting that it be there,
and not the neck—right for the Slayer who fucked the monsters she was
meant to kill.
His hand stroked her leg, softly
from the crux of her hip to the knee, up and back, up and back. Lulling, hypnotic. His head was pillowed on her other
thigh. He sipped at her, tongue
lapping far up inside, but so softly, as if she was made of some gauze that
might tear at the least pressure.
Pointless, really, of him to be so
delicate. Wasn’t she already
And pointless for her, to think
she’d get her quietus this way.
He was too strong for her, still.
Each stroke of his hand up her leg
laid her a little more open. His
swallowing was a small steady sound, like a cat drinking milk. After a while, like a cat, he made a
low steady sound in his throat.
The sound seemed to sink her further into the pillows, further into her
knowledge of herself, the demon’s unclean mistress. From stroking her leg, his hand moved
to cup her mons, the thumb flicking softly across the wet clit that already
stood up ready for it.
Why, she thought, resist this
She shivered under his fingers, his
steadily lapping tongue.
Too late for anything else, after
The demon adored her.
Her breath caught, and the shiver
beneath his moving thumb spread out through her to her toes and finger’s
ends. He raised his head off her
thigh for a moment, and their gazes locked across her recumbent body.
“This is heaven. My heaven.”
She stroked his damp hair through
her fingers, and gently bent him back to his place. After all, why
shouldn’t he have a brief taste of it too?
When he stopped at last, she felt
as if roused from a stupor. Coming
back from far far away to open her eyes and find him sitting cross-legged,
looking at her in the grey nonlight of afternoon. Sound of rain still rattling in the gutters, and the hollow
quiet of the house.
He’d kept his promise: not
spilled a drop. No traces on his
face, except the expression, sated, content. Not what she expected, still, despite the quiet with which
he’d taken her: where was the gloating possessor? A tiny panicked voice deep inside her
stilled mind cried out What have you done! Given over your blood,
But it was such a tiny voice.
Buffy sat forward, touched the marks on his shoulders, open, red and
“You are so patient
with me.” Touched the places
on his neck where she’d sunk in and not let go. “Why are you so patient, Spike?”
He shivered and turned from her
“Someone has to be.”
Her expression confused him; there
was something of Dru’s madness in it, and something else that was too
ancient to shine out of the eyes of a twenty-year old, even the slayer, that
filled him with pity and revulsion.
She made a gesture at his
waist. “Show . . . show
yourself to me.”
He knelt up, undid his belt buckle,
his fly. She stared,
contemplative. Of course he was
hard and aching.
This time, taking him into her
mouth, she knew just how to please him.
He’d never, in all his years, he thought, had a better seeing
to. From this hollow-eyed creature
who was half-way out of this life anyway, and the other half consumed with
sadness. Who had raped him and
somehow didn’t know it. Of
course he forgave her. Forgave her
with all his might.
“Now I know you’ve got
a full house working, ‘cos of what’s on the table, and what’s
in my hand. I keep count, Little
Bit. That’s how I
Buffy came into the kitchen and set
the bags down on the counter. The
rain was still sluicing down. When
she’d gone out to the market, everything looked flat and grey and out of
place. She’d tried not to
speak to anyone, or look into anybody’s face. Without being asked, Spike had given her money; offered to
go with her—it was already dark—but she told him Dawn
shouldn’t come in to an empty house. Glad of her demurral when she spotted Xander framed at the
beer cooler at the end of one long aisle, and hid herself behind a pyramid of Libby’s
Creamed Corn until she was sure he’d
“Spike. Don’t teach my little sister how to be a card
Dawn rolled her eyes. “Buffy. You never let me do anything. Besides, this is
educational. Math is
said. “It’s a useful
life skill, innit, Slayer?
Knowing how to play a friendly game like a gentleman. Stand the Niblet in good stead when she
goes off to college.”
“Oh, as if you were ever a
“He was, though,” Dawn said. “I mean—when he went to Cambridge,
he—“ She stopped. Spike’s stare had dropped to
forty below. Hey, Buffy thought.
She could look at Dawn
like that, but he wasn’t supposed—
“How would you know about
that?” Spike said. His voice
steel-tipped. “Not from
Buffy said “Cambridge? As in Cambridge University?”
“I . . . I don’t know . . . didn’t you tell
me?” She fidgeted with her
cards. “I thought you
“You’ve been prying
into my box. My locked box.”
Buffy said, “What box?”
and Dawn said “No!” and
Spike, leaping up from the table, said “Fucking hell, you miserable child,
you broke into my box!”
“I didn’t, I
didn’t,” Dawn cried, “it was an accident!”
Spike turned his back on them, his
shoulders heaving, and let out a roar that made both girls jump. Grabbing up a
stake from the junk drawer, Buffy scrambled to get between him and her
sister. Behind her, Dawn broke
into fear-struck sobs. Spike came
around then; Buffy expected to see his vamp face and had the stake half way
into position before she saw only William, looking uncertain and angry.
“There’s some things
kiddies aren’t meant to see.”
He addressed this to Buffy, like a plea. “And my box is full of such.”
“What is this box?”
“My mementos. My history. Mine and Dru’s. Mine and An— . . . I’ve brought it with me
everywhere. It’s not meant
for anybody’s eyes but mine.”
“Well then what’s it
doing in my house? Keep it in your
crypt where it belongs.”
“But the crypt’s all
broken up.” Dawn sniffed,
and wiped at her eyes with the heel of her hand. “Willow and Xander and Anya wrecked it the other night
and burned all Spike’s stuff.
He almost couldn’t get the box at all. Willow blew it at him out of the fire with magic, it knocked
him out, I thought it had killed
And—and—and—I swear, Spike, I took it upstairs like you said to, and then it fell open
when I was trying to put it down.
I’ve only got one arm now, it was heavy. The lock was broken. All the stuff fell out. So . . . so I saw some of it. Just a little. While I was picking it all up off the
Spike said “Oh bloody fucking
Christ you stupid girl!” and Buffy said “Wait a minute, you left the house without telling me and went to the
cemetery?” and Dawn said “I
couldn’t help it!”
Buffy rounded on Spike. “I can’t have this! I can’t have this in my
house—you, your filthy influences—your devices—!
Now how the hell am I going to wash her mind out with soap? I’ve got to wash mine!”
“Get out! Get out of here this minute!”
“Spike, really, I
didn’t see anything—just a few envelopes, pictures—I swear I
“Out! I should never have permitted—
You’ve crossed the line. Get out!”
“I’ve crossed the line—? I’m the one covered in your bloody—“
“Shut up and get out!”
“All right, fuck you
then. Let me get my blasted box
and I’ll go. See if I save
the Niblet’s hide or yours ever—“
“Dawn,” Buffy said,
“open the kitchen door, please.”
Dawn was sobbing again, chanting
“Don’t do this don’t do this don’t do this stop
door, unless you want to see a Spike-shaped hole in it.”
“This is how you serve me, bitch,
after everything I’ve done for you an’ her! God all mighty, what does it take,
woman? What does it take to get
you to stop hating me?”
The sound Spike made when he hit
the back porch boards face first was drowned out by the crash when Buffy
slammed the door. She grabbed the
little notepad out of the same drawer that held the stake, and began at once to
chant the words handily written out on it for just such an emergency, the spell
that would bar him from the house.
Sobbing and wailing, Dawn followed her from door to door of the house as
she sealed them all against him. “It’s not his fault. It was an accident. Why are you being so mean to
Buffy rounded on her. The sight of
Dawn’s tear-streaked near-hysteria made her wild. What had she done, allowing this undead
demon to influence her sister, to inject her young mind with his taint?
“Us? Us? You
and Spike are not us! Spike is not us with anybody in this house! Do you hear me!”
“Buffy, he’s my
friend—! He took care of me
when you were gone, and . . .and I thought now he was your . . . that you two
were . . . it’s not fair!”
“Life’s not fair. Get used to it.”
“I knew you’d say that! You’re such a flaming bitch!”
Dawn took the stairs two at a time, and Buffy practically flew up after
her, catching her bedroom door before Dawn could crash it shut in her
“Give me the box. And everything in it. You may not have it in your
Dawn drew herself up. “No.”
“What did you say?”
“I said no. It’s not yours. If I give it to you, you’ll
destroy it, and then—“
“Dawn. If you ever want to set foot outside
this house for the next three years, except to go to school, Give. Me. The.
Her face crumpled. “Take it! I don’t know you anymore! You’re crazy!”
There it was on Dawn’s desk,
the size of a small footlocker, dented and singed. Buffy snatched it up and stalked out with it, while once
more the house shook with the reverberations of a slammed door.
box. As soon as she was in bed,
lights off, the house ticking and creaking to itself as it did in the night,
and the muffled sound of Dawn’s sobs still echoing in her ears, Buffy
could think of nothing else. What
was in it? What had Dawn seen,
which she could never unsee now?
Mementos, he’d said.
What sort of obscene mementos would a vampire keep? One as obsessed and perverted as Spike
didn’t want to look.
Didn’t want too much information forced upon her: it was bad
enough that she’d gone so far with him just knowing what she knew
already. The memory of what
she’d permitted him to do this afternoon filled her with
loathing—what had she become, that she could let him drink her, and
luxuriate in it! Him!
She’d seen him brag and gloat over his past kills. Two slayers. Two. Seen him attack people, seen him feed. Always known he was unclean down to the
marrow of his bones.
Soulless. And yet
she’d managed somehow to put all that out of her mind, and allowed him
close to her. Allowed him all the
knew the only thing better than killing a slayer would be f—
God oh God oh God what have I done?
threw back the covers. Switched on
the lamp. Too much
information? There could never be too much information—she owed it to herself
to know what he really was, so she could remember, every moment, why she was
never going to make that mistake again.
Never let him into the house, never let him into— She pulled the box off her dresser,
spilled its contents across the floor. She would rub her own nose in his muck, she would
shiver with the shame and horror of what she’d indulged herself in. And then she’d turn her back on
it for good.
She spent little time with the
musty black silk stocking or the doll’s head, its yellowed porcelain
cracked although it was wrapped up in a twist of newspaper that was itself
forty years old. Knew whom they
A three inch square of linen,
yellowed too, came beneath her fingers.
It was stiff with dried blood, the spots faded to a light brown. A record of some act of violence so old
as to seem almost benign: whose death did this commemorate? Only he knew.
The earrings startled her for a
moment by their forgotten familiarity.
Hers. The pair she’d
been wearing the day she died. Buffy wondered if he’d taken them from her
corpse by stealth or if someone—Willow? Dawn?—had given them to him. It didn’t seem important now, except that she
didn’t want him to have them.
She tossed them onto the dresser top.
Glanced indifferently at the little
volumes of poetry. The Poetical
Works of Keats was marked inside as being
given on Prize Day at Harrow School, for excellence in Latin translation, 1870,
to William______. So that was the
full name of the man—a boy, then—whom Spike now impersonated. She sounded the syllables on her
tongue, not saying them out loud.
Dead for a hundred and twenty years.
A photo fell from one of the
volumes: two boys in boater hats and pale soft tweeds, their smooth adolescent
faces creased into affected frowns of disaffection, posing beneath the trailing
branches of a willow. One wore
little spectacles on his nose, held a book with a finger thrust between the
pages to keep the place. She didn’t recognize Spike in either of them,
and nothing was written on the back.
Bundles of letters, smaller and
squarer than she was used to seeing, tied up in string. Addressed to that same William at an
address in Cambridge, in two or three different feminine hands. Pale brown ink, the same color as the
stains on the square of linen.
Something told her they weren’t love letters. She set them aside unplumbed.
picture she plucked from the jumble showed a group of young men not much older
than the first two, standing outdoors against the backdrop of an old stone
building, formidably gothic. So
odd, none of them bareheaded, none without a coat and cravat, all looking so
serious, like men twice their age.
Members of Magdalene College, 1873. Clipped to this was a piece of
yellowing parchment that Buffy didn’t need to read Latin to see was
William’s degree. She
squinted at the faces, but wasn’t sure which one was Spike. None looked definitely like him. Perhaps it was the fellow standing
second from left; or it might be the one in the front row of kneelers, fourth
from the right. Or neither. They all looked so antiquated.
flat cardboard box of the kind stockings were sold in in the 1940s yielded up
more photographs, but these were all of Spike and Drusilla. Buffy never could get over the oddity
of vamps’ unchanging faces down the decades. The daguerreotype reproduced in one of Giles’ books was
just like the Drusilla she first saw talking to Angel in that playground across
town . . . and here she was again, and again and again, usually looking out of
time, or at least rather out of fashion.
Conforming only to her own idea of herself. Unlike her, Spike kept
up. When they’d won a dance
marathon in New Orleans in 1925—Buffy gaped at the oddity of that, the
shiny cup and the fistful of twenty dollar bills they held up, grinning before
the camera—his dark hair was slicked back from his bony forehead, and a
slim dark moustache rode the line of his upper lip. For the next twenty years he’d stuck to pinstriped
suits. The cut of them, the shapes
of the hats—hats!—he wore low over his brow changed gradually with
the years, but his face was always the same, whether he and Dru were posed
against the running board of a car like Bonnie and Clyde, or captured in one of
those four-for-a-quarter strips you got at amusement arcades. Leather—a motorcycle jacket
straight out of The Wild Ones—made
its first appearance around 1950.
After that, he was every shade of punk the last half of the century
offered, while Drusilla reverted more and more to the clothes of her own
grandmother’s youth. There
were lots of Polaroids they’d obviously snapped of each other over four
decades, backgrounds murky with suggestions of rumpled beds containing corpses,
or cobble stoned alleys, ditto.
In the bottom of the box were a
century of train ticket stubs; a confetti of colors, languages, shapes. Buffy stirred through them idly with
her finger tip. He’d been
pretty much everywhere that had trains, except Australia and Black Africa.
Beneath the stocking box she found
two carved wands, like short chopsticks, lashed together with an intricately
knotted tress of dry black silk.
murdered her, that girl in China.
Sought her out, killed her, and stripped off not just a lock of her
hair, but the very ornaments she’d used to bind it up. His trophy.
At least Dawn wouldn’t have
known what to make of that.
trophy would she find of the other, the one in New York?
next thing that came to hand: an oval wooden frame, the glass shattered into a
spider’s web, held a discolored photo of three hollow-cheeked girls in
the stiff poses of long ago. Buffy
saw they were just teenagers, although it seemed odd to call them such, when
they were so very still and decorous, their strangely greased-looking hair
severely parted in the middle and drawn down over their ears. Dressed in identical high-necked
frocks, unsmiling, arms clasped around one another’s tightly-laced
waists. They all had the same air
of patient melancholy, and the same hawkish nose, and so must be sisters. In a brown velvet case that looked like
some sort of wallet, Buffy discovered another picture, this one apparently on
glass. It was silvery and hard to
see until she held it just so under the lamp. A young man, seated, a woman standing. Solemn, almost blank faces. Both in black clothes up to their
necks, down to their wrists. The
man wearing a clerical collar. The
woman with that same nose.
family he’d ripped to shreds.
was more, but she’d seen enough.
Began heaping the things back into the metal box. Thought of burning them, releasing the
dead victims held there by their captured images, erasing the gloating record
of Spike’s triumphant wickedness.
The Chinese slayer’s hair, she thought, she’d keep until
Giles came. They could make a
proper ritual of it together, something suitable to the terror and waste of her
she’d swept everything back into the box, one item remained. A discolored envelope bound tight round
and round with a pink velvet ribbon so pale it was almost white. First she tried to dislodge with her
fingers the tight knot that showed her Dawn hadn’t penetrated this far,
anyway. Then, with a rush of
anger, snipped through it with her cuticle scissors. Fuck him and his privacy. Fuck him for what he’d made her do. Made her feel.
The envelope disgorged three
postcards, faded sepia images like she’d seen sometimes in the antique
shop on Main Street, the points of their corners broken off, the French name of
the photographic studio stamped in gold at the bottom.
She blinked at them, unable at
first to comprehend what they showed, and then taking them in all at once with
a rush like a boot to the gut, so she choked and coughed. Even with eyes squeezed shut, the
images remained indelible: Angel, no—Angelus, seated before a studio backdrop, in a suit of
evening clothes over a pale waistcoat, a cravat with a pin in it, top hat set
rakishly back from his forehead.
Holding a cigar in one enormous hand, and the other arm curled
possessively around a slim young man.
A young man whose fairish hair curled over his forehead, whose chin was
tipped saucily up. A young man who
wore nothing at all but a floppy white shirt open halfway down his chest. Who was seated, obviously bare-assed,
straddling Angelus’ left knee.
Whose erection, barely concealed by the shirt draped over it, was
gripped tight in Angelus’ fist.
second picture, a sort of mirror image of it: Drusilla, in just her corset and
black stockings, on Angelus’ right knee. Staring out of the last century with that mind-melting look
of hers, full of melancholy madness, lascivious pain, and awareness of her
sire’s hand holding the lips of her cunt open to the camera’s
the third postcard, it was the three of them. One straddling each leg, arms draped over his shoulders,
facing the shutter with the bold expressions of seasoned whores, and
Angelus’ eyes burning out of the photograph, owning and defiling and
devouring everything his gaze touched.
made it to the waste basket on the other side of the room before she vomited.
was pretty drunk when he started the fight at Willie’s, and not much less
so an hour after he’d been pitched out into the alley. Even so, everything that ached before
roared twice as much now. When he
limped into the Seven-Eleven for cigarettes and another beer to cool his mind,
it was close to half-three, and he didn’t expect to see her, of all people.
there she was, staring into the ice cream freezer as if it was the Delphic
Oracle, the frozen steam rising around her fingers.
misery rising off her like the rime. All surface, all soul, she was. Out at the dead hour of the night,
looking for solace in sweets. Pathetic.
He grabbed a couple cans of Guinness and took them to the counter.
packets of Marlboro.” He
pitched his voice low so she wouldn’t hear, and thought he’d made
good his escape, until a quick plucking at his sleeve stopped him at the door.
gave him one of her side-long looks, flashed a too-brief smile, and subsided
“Everything all right, pet?” Of course it wasn’t all right, because if it was, the
witch wouldn’t be here conducting a mind meld with Ben & Jerry.
“Is everything all right with
you?” she said. “Buffy
send you out for . . . uh . . .”
“Some midnight beer and
smokes? No, she did not.”
“No, my little
petunia, I’ve joined you in the Heartbreak Hotel. A hotel which, unfortunately, has no
physical address. So I wander,
lonely as a cloud, until sun-up when I shall no doubt catch on fire because I
just don’t bloody care enough to stay in out of the California
Shit. He really was
Tara eyed him for a
moment, then started to go out and held the door open behind her. “Good thing I’m alone in a
followed her back to the dormitory.
Watched silently as she pulled the curtains closed over the dark
windows, and draped beach towels over them for good measure before she made up
the empty bed. “I have an
early class, but you can hang here all day if you need to.”
one’ll come here?” The
shook her head. The sadness poured
if I smoke?”
shrugged. Took off her jeans and
climbed into bed in her teeshirt and panties. Spike removed his leather and stretched out on his bed, lit
a cigarette. He’d have liked
to take off his shirt, which irritated the bites that weren’t closing up
fast enough to suit him. But even
after Tara switched off the light, that didn’t seem appropriate. Anyway, he didn’t want her to get
a glimpse and wonder.
could hear her breathe. She was
pretending to be asleep, and not fooling him for a minute. He finished his smoke and lit another. “I’m sorry,” he said into the
dark. “You were a pretty
little pair of cooing doves.”
broke my faith. Broke my
get over her, pet. In time.”
but time, and he’d never get over her. Never get past her.
don’t want to get over her.”
think of anything but her. Bloody
broken doll. Broken things are
dangerous. Sharp edges will cut
take her back then.
S’probably suitably chastened by now.”
. . . I don’t think I trust her.”
that was the magical word, wasn’t it? Without it, you were nowhere, heap
up the love any way you liked.
course, his girl didn’t love him, AND, after today, he was afraid to
trust her. Not when every couple
of hours some force he didn’t understand hit her reset button. So, double-whammy.
off before, he thought. Better off
when she was just dead. Both of
them. Better off.
to get the box out of the house.
As long as it was here, she didn’t trust Dawn not to look for it
and find it . Or let Spike back
into the house so he could find it. God damn him, now he’d destroyed
her confidence in her own sister’s loyalty. His evil spread out from him in a hundred subtle fingers,
tainting everything it touched.
he’d made her do. Her body shuddered at the memory of it,
tongue curling away from the sensation of his skin in her teeth, that fake thing strapped to pelvis. Ugh.
where to take it? Then it occurred to her. Tara. Tara was
still her friend, Tara wouldn’t turn her down. I think you have the right to love whomever you like.
Yeah, Buffy thought, And I can refuse to love whomever I like,
That unclean beast.
Tara would keep it for her in her
dorm room while she waited for Giles to arrive
. . . and Giles
could decide how best to dispose of it. Probably he’d want to send it to the Council for
their archives, which would be fine; just so she never had to see it again,
just so it would never fall into Dawn’s hands ever again.
meant to take the box around to the university as soon as Dawn left for school,
but then the phone started to ring and in quick succession she was booked for
three interviews for jobs she didn’t want. She could try to talk her way into waiting tables at the
IHOP out by the freeway, clerking at the Gap, or making lattes at the Espresso
Pump. By time she’d shown up
in person and ruined her chances for all three, it was dinner time. Dawn refused to eat what she fixed, or
talk to her, or even look at her, and decamped to a friend’s house as
soon as Buffy picked the plate up from in front of her.
the box under her arm, Buffy knocked at Tara’s dorm room door. There was no answer, and just as she
decided to swing by the library and see if she could find her there, Tara spoke
through the door.
Buffy. I was hoping you could do
me a favor.”
door remained closed. She frowned
at it, then lowered her voice and said, “I’m alone. I mean—Willow’s not with
me, or anything.”
didn’t think . . . wait a sec’.”
she opened the door, Tara’s cheeks were red, and she didn’t meet
this is a bad time—“ Buffy said.
no. Come in. Sit. Tea?
thanks. I . . . Can I put this
down here?” She set the box
on Tara’s desk.
“I was hoping you could keep this for me. Just for a few days. Until Giles gets here.”
is coming back?”
. . . yes. In a couple days, I think. I’m going to give this to him,
but until he gets here . . . .”
“Oh.” Tara glanced at the box, but made no
move towards it.
would really be a help to me.
Actually, could you do a spell on it? Make it . . . harder for anyone to find?”
going to be looking for it? Is it
“Dangerous? No! I wouldn’t ask you to keep anything that was dangerous. But
Dawn . . . might be looking for it, maybe. I’d prefer she not get her hands on it
expression seemed to hold a demand for some further explanation which she was
apparently too polite to voice.
Buffy said, “It’s Spike’s. Things that were Spike’s, but which really
shouldn’t be allowed to fall into the wrong hands, not again anyway, so until Giles gets here, I was hoping
think you n-n-n-need to give Spike’s box back to Spike.”
. . . what?”
not yours. It’s not
Giles’. It belongs to
Spike. It’s important to
had to put the heels of her hands against her forehead and press before she
could bring herself to answer.
But before she could speak, Tara
said, “Yes, I’m sorry, I’ve talked to him.”
shit. You’ve talked to
not taking sides. I’m sorry
you two aren’t getting along.
I just think . . . it’s not yours to dispose of.”
spoke to you.”
about . . . I mean, I don’t know what you quarreled about. I don’t know anything,
really. Just that he was unhappy
about you, and worried about his things.”
grabbed up the box.
“Okay. Coming here,
big mistake. Going now.”
“Oh. Well . . . I hope no hard
“Tara. In case you haven’t noticed,
there’s nothing around here but
hard feelings. You can find any
soft ones anywhere, hang onto them, because they’re rarer than
Tara closed the door on Buffy’s back, Spike stepped out of the
be getting out of your hair now, pet.”
. . . I’m sorry. I couldn’t just take it from her
and give it to you. You understand
that, don’t you?”
“Perfectly. It’s fine really. I’ll just catch up to her, tear
her head off her shoulders, and when I’m done devouring her
blood-drenched heart, I’ll have my box back again, and bob’s yer
put out a hand to touch his leather-clad arm, but he was already gone.
when they wanted to, could move so fast.
B, which was really more like Plan X, so far down the continuum of her
preferences did it fall, was to secret the box in the Magic Shop basement
amongst all the other junk, and ask Willow to do what she could spell-wise to
keep Spike out of the shop. Which
would mean admitting that she’d made an atrocious mistake about Spike and
having to listen to them all express their relief and ask her what the hell
she’d been thinking to let him touch her in the first place. Not to mention encouraging Willow to do
magic when she was supposed to be abstaining. Although if Dawn hadn’t exaggerated, she’d done
some in the cemetery the other night, so wasn’t exactly on the wagon
jogged through the warehouse district and took her usual back ways through the
alleys of Sunnydale’s downtown.
The rear door of the magic shop was in view at the end of the alley when
Spike stepped out from behind a pile of pallets and sent her sprawling on her
face with a blow.
was on her, snarling, before she could spring up, grinding her face into the
grit. Flailing, she got in a kick
that freed her to roll, and came up with her boot in his face. But the next moment he’d slammed
her against the wall, his hand flattening her throat against the brick so that
black spots flashed and popped in her field of vision. Yellow eyes and fangs glittered in the
ambient light, and there was nothing human there, no communication beyond the
wounded lion’s ravening.
to get in one breath, one blow, Buffy suddenly found herself on the ground
again, gasping like a caught fish, and Spike three yards away, pacing with
fists clenched, vamp face gone, and—was it?—the gleam of tears in
can’t do it!
Can’t fucking hit you
, can’t kill you!
Everything about you hurts me, Slayer! It’s beyond the fucking chip, it’s you, you
merciless cunt! I love you and it
in breaths, she stared at him, holding her aching throat. He turned his back, started to stalk off,
then spun around to face her again, still keeping his distance. Stake in hand, she scrambled up and
circled him in the direction of the fallen box. He turned with her movements to keep his eyes on her.
“I want to go from you. No matter what I do, you’re cruel
to me. I could stand it before, when there was no question of
having you, but since . . . I can’t stand it anymore. Set me free, Slayer, so I can
“What do you mean? Who’s holding you? Not me! Go!”
“I promised you I’d not
abandon little sis. Gave my word.”
His glance broke from hers.
“An English gentleman’s word . . . not given lightly.” Found her eyes again. “Release me from it. Release me, so I can leave here and try
to forget about you.”
An English gentleman’s
The black spots that had cleared a few moments ago marched back across
her vision. Was he crazy? Was everybody?
Cruel to me.
She’s always been cruel to
him, of course. Even when he was
helping her. But he was a
vampire. And it was easier that
way. Anyway, it meant nothing,
because they were nothing to each other.
Spike’s here because he is
Buffy. Do you think that’s wise?
Oh, his mouth against
hers . . .
She blinked, trying to clear her
eyes. A terrible humming was in
her ears now, just as loud as when he was choking her, and her heart seemed to
have swollen up to fill her chest and press itself up into her throat. What was this? What was happening to her?
She sniffed, blinked the tears
back. Tears? When?
“I don’t care what you do. Only . . . only Dawn needs you.”
“But she’s lost so many
already . . . .”
“So does everybody,
Slayer. I’ve taken a fair
few thousands out myself in my time.
Better her heart’s destroyed early, like yours is. Better all around. Release me.”
The humming inside her ratcheted
up. Dawn weeping and wailing,
following her through the house, plucking at her arm. It’s not fair! And. Up on the tower, blood dripping from her toes. Then her mother, splayed out lifeless
on the sofa, and at the same time telling her not to come back if she walked
out that door. And. Angel. Waiting for daybreak on the hill, while she pleaded with
him, weeping, not to leave her, not to hurt her. I can't breathe, Will. I feel like I can't breathe. The alley disappeared, the
voices and faces and all that hot salt water swirled around her, rising and
rising, consuming and pulling her under.
“I . . . I’m not
cruel.” Her voice sounded to
her like a child’s, and she wasn’t sure he heard it at all; she
couldn’t really see him anymore, everything was thick and she was
drowning, trying with all her might to cling to that one tiny spar of not
Then she did see him, because he
was up close to her, although she’d not been aware of him moving. He didn’t touch her, but it was
as if he opened her with his hands and pushed each word he spoke inside, so she
could not refuse to hear them.
“I am in love with you,
Buffy. I don’t need a soul
for that, or a beating heart.
I’m ready to fight alongside you, and fight for you, and fight with you if I have to, the way a man and a woman
fight. But I’m done fighting
you. I can’t do it anymore. It’s not what I wanted you for. Keep my fucking box. Give it to Giles, pick me apart like
I’m just some specimen.
Think of me as a thing.
Whatever you have to do, Buffy, to forget that there was a man who knew
you and wanted you and was strong enough for you and didn’t quit you
until you’d broken him. I
thought you were finally finding your way to me, but I was wrong. You don’t know who you are or who
I am, or else you wouldn’t treat me this way. And you won’t find the answers in that fucking
box. But it’ll be all
you’ll have, so keep it. I
consider myself released.”
was gone, and she was left awash in her terror and sorrow. Disoriented in an alley—why did
this keep happening to her?
Her not-cruelty wasn’t a spar after all, she’d been mistaken
about that, it was a floe of ice, hard to cling to and getting smaller and
smaller all the time in the boiling sea she’d fallen into. It bobbed and rocked and melted as she
grasped it and there was no comfort there. Another lie.
Spike always tell her the truth?
hadn’t realized she was sitting on the ground again until she glanced up
to find Anya standing over her, holding a broom.
“I thought there were a couple of cats going at it
out here,” she said, indicating the broom. “So I came out to break it up.”
“But it was you. You were making such an odd noise. Such a loud, odd noise.” Anya offered her hand, and Buffy let her drag her to her
“I’m sorry I reminded
you of cats,” Buffy mumbled.
She scrubbed at her eyes, and knew she had mascara smeared all down her
face. Not that it mattered. Everything was too late. She’d
remembered at last who she really was, but it was too late.
There was the box. She picked it up.
bunnies,” Anya said with a philosophical shrug. “Why don’t you come inside?”
“Anya . . . “ Buffy stumbled behind her, and realized
that she’d broken the heel off her boot. “Am I . . . I’m not . . . would you describe me
Alone in the back of the shop, she
changed her shoes, washed her face in cold water. Her skin was abraded where he’d forced her down, but
she couldn’t bring herself to care about that. She was still trembling all over with caring about too much
else, so many of the things that had seemed impossibly far off and not to do
with her since she’d come back were terribly important now, and she
couldn’t grasp them all. She
was disconnected from everybody who was important to her. Spike’s words echoed in her head,
as the sensation of his body against hers, his mouth on her mouth, echoed in
her flesh. The way he looked at
her when they fucked, you couldn’t get that for the asking, not just
anywhere. She’d stopped
crying, but little sobs still came over her like hiccups. In the front, Anya was cashing
out and getting ready to close.
She heard Xander come in, but Anya didn’t mention her
presence. Then they were
She had to find him, give him back
his box. Because she wasn’t cruel, and she wouldn’t rob him of his
keepsakes, all the things he’d faithfully held onto, this creature
who’d claimed to spend his whole un-life in the present tense. The box held obscene things, images of
the slain, blood-stained relics, stolen lives. But it wasn’t for her, Buffy who was Buffy again, to
commandeer it. Buffy
wouldn’t do that, not to Spike who’d defied his nature to be good
to her sister, to her mother.
Hefting it under her arm, she went
out the way she’d come in.
Carried it first to Willie’s, where she went up to the bar, a
humble supplicant, and asked if Spike had been seen there, or was
expected. “Tell him I want
to give him back his box.”
She glanced down the bar, at the skittish vamps and demons sitting there
slouched over their drinks, and pitched her voice to them as well. “If any of you see Spike tonight,
Went to the other bars where demons
hung out. Looked in on
Spike’s regular poker game, spoke to the players who gaped at her out of
their misshapen faces as they stuffed kittens up their sleeves and under the
table. Went to the Bronze. The box
dug into her hip as she carried it, but she ignored the dent it made in her
skin. Knocked on Tara’s door
again, told her. Spike’s box
was his, and she would give it back.
As soon as she could find him.
Oh, where was he? Told the
clerk at the stores where Spike got his smokes, at the liquor store. Told the laundromat attendant. Went to his crypt, saw the door yawing
open, the inside a shambles of broken odds and ends, and the remnants of the
bonfire, a heap of char still smoking a little despite yesterday’s
rain. All her anger at her friends
for what they’d done here came back afresh, and her eyes stung as she
looked the scene over. Evil as
he’d been, he’d not deserved that. He’d not deserved any of it.
But then, they were only trying to
look out for her, the Scoobies.
Like they always did. So
many mistakes, but all from love.
Love that cut so many ways.
She rested there for a few minutes,
hoping he might be watching her from the shadows; she said her little speech
out loud for his ears, but the whole cemetery was quiet, the trees whispering
to each other in the night breeze.
They whispered in every cemetery in Sunnydale, as she traversed them
all, softly calling his name.
It was the deadest part of night
when she walked back up Revello Drive, clutching the box now to her chest, so
she could smell its odor of fire and rust and drying paper. She was tired out from her rounds, and
from crying, but most of all from bearing the weight of his accusation.
Buffy was a nice girl, before. Not
Come back wrong.
As she walked up the path to the
front door, Spike stepped out from behind the tree, the one he always hid
behind to watch for her. A
cigarette bobbed on his lip; he didn’t remove it before speaking.
“Got the message. Give it over then, and I’ll be on
She tried to meet his eyes, but he
wasn’t going to allow that now. He dragged on the cigarette.
“There’s . . . there’s
something I took out of it.
It’s in the house.
Wait while I get it.”
He shrugged, followed her to the
porch, and sat on the steps.
He’d never looked at her.
When she came down again she saw
him through the screen. The box
was open beside him, and he was holding some object in both hands, looking at
it in the yellow light that spilled out of the front door. She couldn’t see what it was, but
he held it quite still, and seemed to be concentrating on it, as if some truth
about it would come to him through his fingers.
She opened the screen door with a scree, but he didn’t glance up. Now she was standing at his shoulder,
she saw it was the oval picture of the three girls.
For a moment that felt far too
long, she thought he wasn’t going to acknowledge her at all, and her
throat tightened into a hard ache.
Then he sat up a little straighter
and sighed. “Yes. My sisters.” He touched a fingertip to each in turn
behind the shattered glass.
“You killed them.”
“No. I was the oldest, at twenty-seven, and
the last of mamma’s children to die.”
He pronounced the word, so odd
coming from Spike, with the emphasis on the second syllable.
Still looking at the picture, he said “Bella and
Sophie had the consumption for so long, it was almost a blessing when they
went. Sophie in February, and
Bella in July of ’78. Sophie was at the seaside, papa’d
sent her there hoping she’d rally, although there really wasn’t the
money for such stuff. I
didn’t get to say goodbye to her.
And Jem . . . my little Jem.
We lost her early in ’79, she was just seventeen. The traffic in London, the fog, you
can’t imagine what it was like in those days. No order to it at all.
They told mamma that Jem never knew what hit her, never suffered. I don’t know if I believe that,
though. It’s what people
liked to say. A hackney cab, it
was, coming sharpish round a corner on Oxford Street. The wheel caught her skirt. After that it was just mother and me. My father had taken a chill, the
previous spring, after sitting up all night with a sick parishioner. He was gone in three days.”
Now Spike looked up at her. Distant, hard, the glitter of his eyes
in the dim light. “You have
this notion, Slayer, I don’t know where you got it, that the vampire is
not the person. It’s not
“It is true.
Giles says so. All the
books say so.”
“It’s comfortable for
you lot to think so. Just like its
comfortable to say my sis didn’t know anything when she was dashed
against the pavement. But ask a
real vamp, get the real story.
I’m not merely a demon who took over William’s body, his
memories. I’m William turned
into a demon. What I was when I
was alive, I still am, and Spike’s layered on top of that. So it’s quite a different
thing. Quite a more complicated
one. It’s the same for every
one of us.” He paused. “Your Angel too, of
She closed her eyes as tight as she
could, trying by main force of will to deny his words, to deny those poses
she’d seen, Angelus and William the Bloody, flaunting their lascivious
connection before the camera’s unblinking eye one night in a Paris
photographer’s garret. Their depraved faces the same ones she’d
looked into, confided in, covered in kisses.
But she’d never been able to
stop loving Angel. Nothing she
ever heard about him, even from his own lips, could stop her.
She knelt beside Spike. Put a hand on his shoulder. He flinched away, and then she
remembered—how had she forgotten?—the bites she’d inflicted
“Was Jem your special
“Of course.” Spike’s voice was thick. Still wouldn’t look at her, eyes
fixed on the wooden oval in his hands.
She noticed then that his accent
was different: smoother, softer.
It had changed, she realized, when he first pronounced those three
mellifluous, old-fashioned names.
She moved out of her crouch, swinging her legs around to sit beside him
on the steps. Half-expected him to
jump up and depart, but he only tucked the picture back into the box and felt around
in it for something else.
“I’m sorry I tried to
take all this away from you.”
“Did you read her
letters? She wrote me such pretty
prattling letters, when I was away at school, and up in Cambridge. I was the alpha and omega for her. Never lasted long enough for it to be
anybody else.” He took out one of the bundles she’d not
examined. Held them for a moment
up to his nose. Extracted from the
middle of it another photograph, showed it to her. A serious-faced little girl of seven or eight, framed in her
long fairish hair, wearing a white pinafore over a dark dress.
“I’m sorry I got
between you and Dawn. I know you
mean a lot to each other . . . things I wasn’t around to know about. I shouldn’t have tried to
interfere with that.”
He dropped the packet of letters
and stared into the open box for a short time, then shifted and felt in his
pocket for cigarettes. Buffy
noticed the quick grimace he made when he moved; sitting was painful.
He opened the velvet-covered box
that held the delicate cabinet daguerreotype.
portrait. They were married in
1852. Papa held a small living at
a suburban church that was never very well attended. He was too High for the neighborhood.”
“I have no idea what that
means. I assume not that he was
stoned all the time.”
“No. It’s not important
“And your mother?”
“She was unlucky. Lost everyone she had. After I met Dru, I never saw her
again. She was expecting me, that
evening . . . and I did not come.”
He paused, and for a moment his lips moved, but she couldn’t make
out what the word might be.
“I was afraid I’d lead Angelus to her. I knew what he’d done to Dru’s
people. But then Darla wanted us
to go to the Continent, and I was able to sneak back on a Sunday evening when
my mother was at church, and steal away my things. Got her little maid of all work to let me in, and then
didn’t have the heart to kill her.
God knows what she told mamma when she came back. I don’t know when my mother died,
or where or how.”
Spike. I . . . I’m so
tossed the picture into the box and slapped his hands down on his thighs. “Yeah, well, I’m not. Because had I not been vamped by
Drusilla, I’d have had a miserable, shabby genteel life, and coughed my
lungs out like my sisters before I was much older. I’d certainly never have traveled the world. Never had any good balls-out fun in the
night air. Never would’ve
even lost my bleeding cherry, I was such a saddo.
instead of that grim fate, I’m immortal, I’m strong, I’m
bloody good-looking, and I’m smart—I’ve outfoxed all your attempts to finish me off, right?—and
I’ve experienced the ecstasy of a consuming, unreasonable passion with a
ravishing, engrossing, unreasonable woman who never bored me, not once. I’m the luckiest bloke out, I
am. Can’t no one touch
me.” He tossed his spent
cigarette away and lit another. “So,
Slayer. Where’s the last bit
you went inside for? I’ll
have it now.”
All along she’d had them
tightly squeezed in her fist. She
held her hand out to him.
Spike looked at the golden hoops,
linked together, and made no move to take them. She moved her hand a little nearer. “Go on, Spike. They belong in your box just as much as
Jem’s picture, and Drusilla’s stocking, and—“
“And?” He lit the
cigarette, and in the flare of the Zippo she saw his eyes were still closed to
So she said it.
“And Wu Xia’s hair.”
He took a long drag of the
cigarette, and then picked the earrings off her palm. His fingertips icy against her sweaty skin. He turned them between his fingers, so
that the yellow light sent glints and gleams off their surface.
“You an’ Rupert take
custody of that. Do what’s
fitting with it.” Putting
down the cigarette, he unhooked the hoops from one another, and turning to her,
fixed them into her lobes. His
touch was sure, and calm, and very cool.
“Never thought,” he murmured, “they’d get to go
back where they belong.”
While they’d been talking,
the air had changed. The chill of
night starting to give way to the softer air of encroaching daybreak. Buffy got to her feet. “Spike. Come in to bed
Again there was a moment when she
thought he’d refuse her, and the back of her eyes burned. But he closed the box, hefted it as he
rose, and took the hand she held out to him. She was careful, as she started to pass through the door
ahead of him, to turn at just the right moment and repeat her invitation, so he
could pass smoothly in.
In the kitchen she helped him out
of his shirt, and gasped when she saw the marks she’d left on his
skin. Spike wouldn’t meet
her eyes, but he let her apply unguent and bandages to his neck and shoulders
while he drank the blood she’d warmed for him out of a glass.
Of course she thought of the night
when she’d bandaged Angel’s wound in this same room. Yesterday she’d have been sure
the girl who’d done that was someone else, not her, that it was another
of the denatured memories, emotionless, they’d somehow stuffed into this
reanimated head. In the last
couple of hours, like a fog lifting, the feeling that her inner joins were
faulty had begun to dissipate. The
same girl who’d been with Angel in this kitchen, was here with Spike
now. All that had elapsed since
then was still painful, but not an unbridgeable chasm anymore.
There was such relief in this. Still, she couldn’t pretend
she’d not done what she’d done. As she fixed the last bandage,
smoothing the tape under her fingers, she murmured into his ear. “I’m sorry I hurt
Spike tipped his head back, so for
a moment his cheek was pressed against hers. Then he drained the glass.
“Shall I make tea? Something to eat?”
He shook his head. His expression was still wary, but
instead of avoiding her, as he had on the porch, she noticed how he followed
her with his eyes as she moved around the kitchen putting things away.
In her room, he set the box down on
the floor by her bed, and rose right into her waiting kiss. She whispered into his parted
lips. “What would you like? Guaranteed cruelty-free.”
There was a pause. Then he whispered back. “Whatever you fancy, pet . . . as
long as you look at me all through.
Want to see you seeing me.”
“I wish I had some
candles,” she said, turning off all the lights but the one by the bed
where he was already stretched out.
“Would you be more comfortable on top, or . . . .”
With a laugh, he caught her around
the waist. “No, my
queen. Climb up. Give us a kiss first. Give us two.”
As she made love to him,
barely moving except to flex
around him inside, looking down into his eyes, smiling at him so he would smile
too, Buffy thought of the other men she’d had. Not of the aftermaths, but just of the moments like this
one, when she’d ridden them and seen them and loved each one thoroughly
in the moment. Angel, after
he’d taken her maidenhead and before she’d taken his soul, had lain
on his back and smiled at her while she explored him. At last she’d lowered herself, with shy gingerly
movements around her soreness, onto his cock for a second round, while he
squeezed her hands in his massive ones.
Parker had looked so beautifully glassy-eyed and innocent from this
vantage, and Riley had had a particular indulgent, libidinous look he kept for
the times when she rose and fell on him, hands on his shoulders, gazes
locked. She could allow all these
bittersweets to press right up against her, to tease and lick and nip her like
puppies. They were Buffy’s
memories, and she was Buffy.
Buffy found again.
They’d none of them been
right, those men, and they’d left her.
Whereas Spike was right in a
category of rightness she’d not known existed until tonight, and he would
not go. She’d caught him in
It was late afternoon, and Dawn
would be returning from her friend’s house. They’d have to get out of bed soon, dress. But not just yet.
She’d asked, and he’d
shown her, told her about, everything in the box. She knew now that the square of blood-dappled linen marked
not a kill, but his sexual initiation at Angelus’ hands, shocking and
brutal and ecstatic by turns.
She’d blushed as he described it, then murmured, “I
don’t know why I was surprised.
. . . He’d told me, not that, but what sorts of things he’d
done.” She knew he kept the
stocking to mark Drusilla’s erotic thrall over him, though it was severed
now, and the cracked doll head as a remembrance of her madness. That the trophy of the Chinese Slayer
commemorated not just his triumph over her but his attainment at last of Dru,
after twenty frustrating years of being kept from her by Angelus. He explained how for two decades all
his Grand-Sire had permitted him to do was mind her, clean up her various
messes, keep her out of Darla’s hair. How he’d not been allowed to bed Dru—but was
often there in bed while Angelus had
her. Had them both, turn and turn
about. Made to watch while he damn near turned Dru inside out . . . made to
hold her down while Angelus gave her to strangers he’d met in the
streets, men he’d eviscerate after they’d spent all the spunk that
was in them . . . made to go down on her until his face ached and she’d
fainted away and allowed no release until Angelus fucked him on his knees. He told it all not to hurt her, but
because she’d seen those postcards, and was ready, at last, to hear all
the truth. She seemed to listen
with her eyes, which were huge, and which she kept bravely fixed on his as he
told the story.
“Ask me now, pet, because we
won’t speak of this again,” Spike said, when he saw her eyelashes
dip and her lip quiver.
“Was . . . was it always
“No, love. And even when it was . . . after the
first time . . . it wasn’t.
What it always was, with Angelus, was complex.”
He told her that the boy in the
boater hat and spectacles was William, standing on the riverbank beside his
best boyhood friend, who’d died the next year of typhus, aged twenty-one.
“My God . . .” Buffy
said, touching the picture with reverent fingers, “everybody you ever
cared about . . . .”
“Why do you think I
didn’t fight my Dru when she found me in that alley?”
“What were you doing in that
He didn’t answer. Truth-telling was necessary, and even
pleasant, but there was no point going too hog wild with it. Still thought he’d given Cecily
what she deserved, silly cow, and at least he’d seen to it that she hadn’t died a virgin.
But there was no need to tell Buffy
about any of that. He’d give
up Wu Xia’s hair to please her, but didn’t intend to tell her the
provenance of the duster, although she’d asked if he’d kept
anything of Nikki’s. No way
was he giving that up, would feel naked without it. Anyway, wouldn’t do to let Buffy think he’d gone
too tame. She seemed different
now, easy and glowing like he’d never known her, but the last few weeks
had taught him well not to get too relaxed around her. This sweetness now didn’t mean
that they weren’t still Slayer and Demon. Eventually, Spike thought, they
might yet fight to the death. His
death. Or hers.
“How long have we got before
the Niblet’s expected?”
“An hour, hour-and-a-half,
probably, because she’s always late. Which I really need to speak to her a—“
Spike put a finger to her
lips. “Buffy. There’s something I want you to
do before we get up.”
His solemnity touched her at once;
her expression darkened.
“Want you to fuck me.”
“Didn’t we just, all
“No, I mean,
“Oh.” She flinched, and dropped her
“You didn’t get rid of
it, did you?”
“No. No, it’s—But wouldn’t
it hurt you?”
“Wouldn’t ask if I
didn’t want it. Please,
Standing with her back to him, she
felt his hands tremble as he tightened the straps, and couldn’t tell if
it was with nerves, or desire. For
her, it was almost all nerves. Why did he want to do this? Was it another example of his endless
macho, trying to prove to himself that he was tough?
He turned her to face him on the
bed, and slicked the thing up with a handful of lube. Glanced up at her face, and then at her belly, and smiled a
small tight smile. “Still
think you look gorgeous with that on.
You’ve got no idea.
“How . . . how should I do
He was so different in
this aspect. Presented with his
back, Buffy felt almost as if he was brand new to her. The way the hair grew on the nape of
his neck, and the neck itself, surprisingly slender and vulnerable. She dotted kisses between the bandages,
ran her tongue down into the dip between the shoulder blades. Traced the spine with just the tip of
her tongue as he sighed. His skin
was so white; he smelled, as always, of leather and cigarettes. Without perspiration, he had so little
scent of his own; sometimes she missed getting a snootful of funky male
musk. After a fuck, his cock gave
her back her own scent, slightly transposed. Even so, his asshole, which she’d never given any
thought to before invading it the other night with her fingers, still frightened
her a little as she moved towards it with her mouth. She’d never done this before, with anyone.
He was clean there, as
everywhere. The skin was reddened,
still a little swollen, but it didn’t look as bad as she feared. When she kissed it, poking her
tongue a little way in, he thrashed and groaned.
She started. “Oh! I’m sorry—!”
stop—God, your sweet mouth—!”
He went on murmuring
while she licked him, and slipping a hand underneath, she found his cock hard
and straining. She worked it in
her tight grip the way he liked, and hoped he would be content with this, and
not ask her to do the rest.
he turned onto his side, and peered down at her along the line of his
body. “I’m ready. Lie behind me. That way we can—“
crawled up alongside him. Uneasily
aware of the thing springing from her that seemed to poke every which way at
once. “Like this?”
right, pet. Now give me just a
little—ah! Wait a bit . . .
it’ll go easier if you put your—“ He brought her hand around again to his cock, held it in his
while she stroked his length.
“That’s good, Buffy.
That’s good love.
Now, a little more. A
little more—wait, you be still, and let me—“
you sure this doesn’t hurt?”
He worked himself back on it until
they were spooned together. Then
Spike was still, breathing around it, letting it settle.
She could feel his burgeoning
excitement feeding back to her through the thing that connected them. Her clit quivered and swelled where it
pressed on her. When he turned his head they could look at each other, and
“That’s good, I’m
all full. Now move a bit,
pet. Just enough to please
yourself, will suit me.”
She began a soft rocking, and as
the device did its work on her, pressed herself closer to him, buried her face
in the crook of his neck and thrust one leg between his. The whole thing still felt odd
and unnatural, fucking turned inside-out somehow, and lonely to have him turned
away from her. But she liked
feeling his trust in her, his pleasure.
His cock filled her hand, and his still covered it, guided its
“Good, Buffy. This is good. What I wanted.”
She raised her head and took the
kiss he had ready for her. In his
eyes she could see that he was thinking, as she was, of what she’d done
to him yesterday, and of what Angelus had done to him long ago. But there was more to it than that: he
just liked it, the way she liked having him inside her. That made it easier. She could do this, it was just another
way to make love to him.
She realized, as she moved against
him, that she’d had two men whose strange connection began before her own
grandmother was born. We’ve come full circle, Buffy thought, my demon lovers and me, and didn’t know if that was good or bad or
how it made her feel, except that the idea brought out a blush in her whole
Spike must have felt it, because he
chuckled, and said “You’re so warm,”
“Spike? Do you forgive me?”
“Hush pet. We’re doing this now. Ah . . . just there, that’s good
my queen, keep moving . . . just . . . like . . . oh God, you’re hitting
it . . . ”
This, she supposed, was all he was
going to say about her transgression, but it was enough. She and Angel had forgiven each other
with fewer words than that. He rocked
back against her, his cock jumped in her hand, and he began to come. Riding the vibration of his climax, she
wriggled and spent, clinging to his back.
As soon as he was still she
withdrew and wrenched the thing off.
It only had two modes: in play or in the way. “Don’t leave me alone back here.”
Spike turned to face her, pulled
her into his arms.
“That was lovely. You’ll be pretty damn great at
that soon, with a bit of practice.”
“Spike . . . don’t make
“You liked it, pet. I could tell.”
“I like it better when
you’re inside me. You know,
boy and girl stuff. Instead of
. . . boy and toy.”
“You just haven’t had
enough experience yet.”
“Haven’t had enough yet
of something,” she agreed,
touching his cock that soon stirred obligingly in her palm.
He slid his hand in between her legs.
“Need more kisses,
too,” she murmured.
And so they began to do it all over
Of course she’d have to talk
to Giles, to her friends, find the way to put those pieces back together. Rebuild the fallen bridge to Dawn. Still had the mystery of the chip to
solve, and a living to earn. Had
to visit Angel. Let him see that
things were getting better with her.
Tell him why.
The world with all its confusions
and uncertainties and choices was going to crowd in on her again, very soon
But for now, in bed with Spike, she
knew what she wanted, and there was nothing to stop her having it.
Downstairs, the porch boards
creaked, and Dawn’s shout reverberated through the house. “Buffy, I’m back!”
Spike paused in mid-thrust. “Slayer. You remembered to lock the bedroom