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Poppycock (Another Dead Things Fic)

 

Originally written for the Spuffyverse community, but it grew too long for them, so it’s just another re-write of Dead Things, which I swore never to do. Sigh.

 

Title: Poppycock (Another Dead Things Fic) (10/12/05)

Author: Slaymesoftly

Rating: NC17

Word count: 9250

Season VI: but twisted

Disclaimer: Joss made money from them, I just have fun.

Beta’d by the wonderful and accommodating Always_jbj.  (all bow)

 

 

POPPYCOCK

 

 

                “Do you even like me?”

 

                “Sometimes.”

 

                 Buffy peered at him from under her eyelashes, her lower lip coming out in the beginnings of a pout as though she was unhappy admitting to it.  Spike’s unbeating heart would have skipped a beat if it had been able.  The softness of her gaze was as unusual as the flirty, teasing look on her face and for a few seconds he allowed himself to believe that she didn’t mean it when she said there was nothing between them.  The Buffy he fell in love with didn’t jump into bed with men she didn’t care about.  And she certainly didn’t spend hours having urgent, passionate and occasionally violent sex with them.

 

                Feeling some confidence about their relationship for the first time, he pulled the handcuffs from under the nearby table and dangled them before her widening eyes.

 

               “Do you trust me?”  He watched as she looked away, biting her lip in indecision. When she turned back to him to whisper, “Never,” her eyes were not on his, but remained fastened on the dangling restraints.  He felt her heart rate increase and sensed the rise in her body temperature.  When he smelled her renewed arousal, he almost groaned as he leaned toward her and whispered, “Please, love?  Let me show you how good it can feel to let someone else have control.”

 

              Visions of herself at Spike’s mercy, hands stretched over her head while he ran his fangs over her throat, sent a new rush of moisture between her legs, even as she recoiled in fear.

 

               Grabbing the cuffs from him, she said quickly, “You first, Spike.  Do you trust me?”

 

               Giving her an unexpected grin, he held out his hands and said with a smirk, “Not for a second, pet.  That’s half the fun of it.”

 

               Instead of laughing with him, she dropped the handcuffs and stared at him with frightened eyes.

 

              “You don’t? You don’t trust me?  You think I would h-hurt you for no reason? “  Her terrified expression gave him his first real glimpse into how unsure she was of her life since her resurrection.

 

              Closing the small distance between them, he wrapped his arms around her stiff, trembling body and cursed himself for a fool.

 

           Bollocks!

 

                  “I’m sorry, love.  Please believe me.  I was just lettin’ my mouth operate without using my brain again.  I didn’t mean that.  You know I don’t mean that.  I trust you with my life.  I swear, Buffy.  Didn’t I come to you for help when I got chipped?  Would I have done that if I didn’t know that you wouldn’t kill me?  I’m sorry, pet.  Would never not trust you. Never.”

 

                   Buffy remained immobile as he babbled in her ear and struggled to soothe her tense body into relaxing.  When she finally sagged against him, he let out an unnecessary breath of relief; only to hold it again as she whispered, “That was the old Buffy. The good Buffy.  Not the one who was so…b…bad she couldn’t stay in Heaven.  Maybe you’re right not to trust this one.  Maybe I’m –I’m wrong.   You think I came back wrong, don’t you, Spike?  Isn’t that what you said? Is that why I’m here, doing these…things with you?  Am I wrong?”

 

                 He fell back on the pile of rugs, pulling her unresisting body with him and holding her as tightly as he could without cracking her ribs.

 

                “Bloody hell, sweetheart.  If I’d had any idea you were going to listen to me…”  He took a shaky breath and continued,  “You know I was just brassed off about the way you tried to kick me to the curb after we’d kissed.  I was just mad and …and hurt and I lashed out.  I’m sorry, Buffy. Never meant it – never should have said it.  You’re not wrong.  You’re perfect, pet.  Just like you always were.”

 

                “If I’m so perfect, what am I doing having sex with a soulless vampire on the floor of a crypt?  Why am I thinking about…” Her voice trailed off as she reached behind her and picked up the handcuffs.  She studied them for a few seconds as though pondering the uses to which they could be put, then raised her eyes to his again.  “Why is the thought of having you at my mercy so appealing?”

 

                 “Because you’re crazy for my hot, lil’ body?” he ventured with a tentative smile.  When her lips twitched in answer, he relaxed and held out his hands hopefully.  “Come on, Slayer.  I’m yours.  Do what you want with me. Let those fantasies come true.”

 

               Even as she fastened his wrists together and looked around for something to tie them to, she was muttering, “I don’t have fantasies about you, Spike, I have nightmares.”

 

               “ ‘S long as I’m in your dreams, love…” 

 

                  Buffy tied his cuffed-together hands to the leg of his heavy bed and sat back to look at the lean, muscular body now stretched out before her.  Her mouth got dry as she ran her eyes over his chiseled chest, and flat stomach. Her eyes were drawn from the light brown hairs on his lower abdomen to the rigid shaft rising from the nest of curls they led to. 

 

                   “Don’t point that thing at me,” she ordered, flicking it with her finger and eliciting a gasp from the vampire.  A quick glance at his face and rapidly darkening eyes and she knew the gasp was not one of pain.  She flicked his cock again, then began a gentle game of batting it back and forth between her hands.  She carefully avoided looking at Spike’s face, knowing if she met his eyes she would be too embarrassed to keep it up.

 

                  Instead, she listened as he hissed and moaned, smiling when he arched his hips up toward the ceiling when she moved her finger tips to the very tip of his cock.  She toyed with the head for a while, smiling again when he growled softly with impatience, and risking another glance at his face.  His eyes were shut and his head was thrown back. His expression of ecstasy caused a little thrill to shoot through her body and she moved her hands to his sharp-edged hip bones.  Holding his lower body still, she buried her face in the silky skin of his lower abdomen, allowing the crisp hairs there to tickle her nose.  She inhaled the scent of their mixed spendings from the nest of curls surrounding his cock, burrowing further into them with her nose until it was touching his sac.

 

                 She ran a tentative tongue out to lick one of his balls, then abruptly sucked it into her mouth and began to play with it using her lips and tongue to roll it around in her mouth.  A guttural groan and a muttered, “Bloody hell, Slayer,” told her she wasn’t hurting him and she quickly moved one hand to cup the other ball and squeeze it gently in her warm hand.

 

                Tiring of groans and endearments coming from the bound vampire, she removed her mouth and ran her tongue up his shaft before releasing it completely.  A desperate whimper told her he hadn’t been ready for her to leave off her attentions and she found herself taking pleasure in his frustration. 

 

              She put her hands on his smooth chest and ran them down, raking her nails hard enough to make marks, but not hard enough to break the pale velvety skin under her hands.  Spike shivered under her hands and whimpered again when she stopped moving.  Experimentally, she took one nail and ran it around one nipple before running it back down to his hip, this time, putting enough pressure on it to raise a long red welt. 

 

               His growl made her glance back at his face quickly and she asked, “Did I hurt you?  I didn’t mean to. Not much, anyway,” she finished, remembering his words to her that first night.

 

              “Only in the very best of ways, pet,” he answered quickly.  “Only in the best of ways.  You make it hurt so good, Buffy.”

 

               Her own desire to raise more welts on that flawless skin, as well as the urge to sink her teeth into him somewhere caused her to sit back in fright. “But what if I really hurt you?  What if I forget how strong I am and I do something…”

 

              “Trust me, love.  I’m counting on how strong you are,” he said with a lascivious smile.   When her worried look didn’t go away, he squirmed until he could wrap one leg around her waist and pull her on top of him.  She settled down on top of his thighs, still wearing her dubious look.

 

               “Alright, Slayer.  We’ll do this the right way.  Should have told you the rules up front, I guess.”

 

               “Rules?  There are rules for this sort of thing?”  Her eyes widened in surprise, then narrowed when he laughed softly. 

 

               Choking back the laughter, he smiled reassuringly and said, “Well, not for vampires – cause, you know, evil and pain and blood…” 

 

              She nodded reluctantly, remembering how she had accused him of loving her only because she beat him up all the time. 

 

               “But for humans, there are,” he continued. “You just need to agree on a ‘safe’ word, and you have to trust your partner to respect it if you decide to use it.”

 

               “A safe word?”

 

              “Yes, love.  A word that you would only use if you wanted your partner to stop.”

 

               “Um, wouldn’t that be ‘stop’ or ‘don’t’?”  Buffy frowned in confusion.

 

               “Needs to be a word you wouldn’t be likely to say and not really mean it.”

 

              “Well, that’s just…of course if I said it, I’d mean it.”  She huffed indignantly, shaking her head at the foolishness of the whole thing. 

 

               He cocked his head and gave her one of his patented smirks.  “That so, pet?” he purred, running his bare foot up and down her back, then using his toes to pinch her ass.

 

                Buffy twitched and giggled, “Stop that! It tickles.”   When he immediately dropped his leg back to the rug, she stuck her lip out in disappointment. 

 

                  Spike watched her face as it slowly dawned on her what had just happened, smiling when she uttered a meek, “Oh.”

 

                  “Yeah, love,” he said softly.  “ ‘Oh’.  How often do you tell me to stop what I’m doing to you?  And how often do you really mean it?”

 

                   “Okay, okay,” she grumbled.  “I get it. So, we need a word that you can use to let me know I’m really hurting you.”

 

                    “If it will make you more comfortable, love.  I trust you.  I don’t think I need one.”

 

                   Buffy shook her head stubbornly.  “No, you should be able to stop me if I…not that I think I would, but…”

 

                    “Poppycock.”

 

                     “What?  No, it isn’t…poppy whatever and since when do you use words like that anyway?”

 

                      “That’s my word, pet.  Not one you’re ever likely to hear leave these lips, so if you hear it…”

 

                      “I’ll know you mean it,” she finished for him.

 

                    “Exactly, now where were we?  Oh, right, you were using your little fingernails to make me bleed…”

 

                     An hour later, when Buffy had indulged every whim she’d ever had when it came to exploring a man’s body with her teeth and nails, she finally lowered herself onto his aching cock and began to rock.  The vampire’s sigh of relief when he felt her warmth surrounding him echoed through the cavernous room.

 

                      Although his shoulders were aching from having his arms stretched back for so long, he refused to ask for release as he watched Buffy play with his immobile body and make herself wetter every time she put her mouth somewhere new.  In addition to not moving, he made a conscious effort to not speak either, not wanting anything to distract her from her explorations and experiments.  She now knew that sucking on the skin over his non-existent pulse could send him into a babbling frenzy of lust and make his fangs drop of their own volition. 

 

                     The last time she settled her mouth against his throat, she slid her arms up until her hands were entwined with his still-pinioned ones and she was lying flat against his chest, her soaking sex just touching him.  As though they were of one mind, she slid down just as he raised his hips and they both sighed as he slid into her.  The sight of Buffy riding his cock, head thrown back and breasts bouncing with the motion of her body, was worth every ache and pain from his long-suffering shoulders.  She rode him until she was quivering around him and just as she collapsed back down onto his chest with a muffled scream, his release shot out and into her, sending her into another small orgasm. 

 

                    For long minutes she remained on top of the uncomplaining vampire, gasping for air and trembling from exhaustion.  As soon as she could move again, she scrabbled for the key that she had carefully placed away from their coupling and moved up to unlock the handcuffs.  She noticed his wince as he brought his arms down to his sides and she looked at him apologetically, whispering, “Why didn’t you use the word?  Why did you let me keep you there so long?”

 

                   He smiled into her worried but sated-looking face and said firmly, “I’d have ripped my arms off if that’s what it took to bring that look to your face, Slayer.  Don’t worry about me. It’s not like I’ve got circulation to cut off, you know.”

 

                 He froze in surprise, fearful of moving or saying anything that would stop her, as Buffy began to vigorously rub his shoulders, massaging the stiff muscles until she could feel them relax.  The unusual actions from the girl who normally ran out after sex without so much as a ‘good-bye’ had him concentrating not to let the grateful tears out of his glistening eyes.

 

                   Fortunately, she was too busy trying to make his shoulders feel better to have noticed his awed reaction and by the time she stopped rubbing, his normal smirk was back in place.  He couldn’t control his mouth, though, and a soft “Thank you, love” came very close to spoiling the moment as the Slayer immediately moved away, mumbling, “You’re welcome” and searching for her clothes.

 

                   With a sigh, the vampire acknowledged that his time with Buffy was over for the evening and he sat up to watch her dress.  He raised an eyebrow at her and held up the handcuffs, asking with a leer,  “Should I keep these handy, then, pet?’

 

                  Buffy blushed and wouldn’t look at him, but she didn’t say “no” and she watched hungrily as he carefully placed them on the nightstand beside the bed. 

 

Next time, Slayer.  Next time, he promised silently as she disappeared up the ladder with a wave.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

              Buffy watched with quiet affection as her friends bounced around the dance floor, allowing the music to carry them away from the day’s problems.  With a sigh, she got up to get another beer, then abruptly changed her mind and headed for the stairs leading to the balcony.  It was an unusual place for a girl to go by herself.  A place usually reserved for couples more interested in each other than the dance floor or bar. But tonight, a weeknight, it appeared deserted and Buffy leaned her elbows on the railing and looked down on her oblivious friends.

 

             She felt the tingle in her neck just before his husky voice came out of the shadows.  She stiffened involuntarily, but didn’t turn around as the vampire slipped up behind her making her shiver from his cool breath as he spoke into her ear.  When he ran his hand lightly down her arm and then slowly up her leg, pushing her skirt out of his way, she felt the moisture pool in her underwear. His rings glinted in the reflected light from below as his hand slid into her underwear and her breath caught with a gasp.

 

              Before she succumbed to the lure of his touch and the excitement of being fucked in a public place, she had a brief moment of panic at her behavior. Spike’s voice, suggesting once again, that she belonged in the dark with him, rather than downstairs in the lights and music, only confirmed her sense of the wrongness of her being.

 

              Even as his hips moved against her and she pushed back into the hard shaft entering her from behind, she was trying to maintain some distance from her actions.  She shut her eyes, as though not seeing the lights and people below would make it all right to be enjoying a quick sexual interlude with a soulless vampire while her friends danced on.  But Spike would not let her have that denial, ordering her to open her eyes and see just what she was doing and where she was doing it.

 

               His insistence that what they were doing was not the sick action of two dammed souls but the freely expressed desire of two extraordinary people who loved and respected each other fell on deaf ears.  It was somehow easier to think of herself as so damaged that an evil monster could turn her on anywhere, anytime, than it was to see herself as part of a passionate and inventive couple indulging in some exciting semi-public love play. 

 

              She shuddered around him as his expert fingers rubbed her clit to bring her to orgasm just as he growled his own release into her ear, but his whispered, “I love you, Slayer,” was not enough to erase the memory of his earlier words and she shuddered again, less pleasurably, at the thought of her own depravity.  When he had melted away into the shadows as silently as he had appeared, she made a quick trip to the ladies room to clean up and then went downstairs to rejoin her friends.

 

                As they all sat around the table, laughing and enjoying their night out, she vowed that she would resist the unhealthy lure of the vampire’s arms and prove to him and herself that she belonged in the light.  That she was not the kind of woman who sought out a violent, bloodplay-loving partner for sexual release. Nor was she someone who could lower herself to fall in love with a man/vampire whose idea of foreplay involved handcuffs and hot wax.  Whatever strange compulsion that drove her into his arms when she first returned from the grave was not normal and not to be indulged.  The Slayer was made of stronger stuff than that.

 

            And yet, when evening fell again, she found her feet carrying her in the direction of Restfield cemetery, making unerring tracks right up to the heavy wooden door with the faint light streaming out under it. 

 

             Inside, Spike’s head went up as he sensed her approach; he put down the glass of wine he’d been preparing for her and moved to the door.  He could feel her on the other side, separated from him by only a couple of inches of old wood, and wondered why she wasn’t throwing the door open in her usual fashion.  Fear clutched his unbeating heart as he sensed her indecision, heard her heart rate increase and her breathing become uneven as though she was fighting back sobs.  Resting his hands lightly against the door, he unconsciously leaned toward her, as though his yearning would be enough to bring her into his home.

 

              Outside the door, her hand touching the barrier between herself and the vampire she could feel on the other side, Buffy fought and won the battle to stay away from her only refuge from the cold world she’d been forced to live in once again.  Before he could open the door and say or do something to change her mind, she turned and sped away, repeating to herself over and over, “Do not think about the evil bloodsucker. Do not think about the evil bloodsucker,” as though by repeating that mantra she could erase from her mind all thoughts of Spike and the pleasures he could bring.

 

                 The fight with the time-shifting demons, which culminated in the apparent accidental murder of the tall, brown-haired girl, drove all thoughts of anything except her own guilt from her mind.  She allowed Spike to drag her away from the scene, her brain too numb for her to fight him about it.

 

                  By the time she had determined to turn herself in to the police, and had garnered more guilt for her soul when Dawn chose to see Buffy’s surrendering to the legal system as a way of leaving her troublesome sister rather than the right thing to do, the Slayer was moving under her own black cloud.

 

               A cloud that suffused her entire being with a sense of despair and longing for her peaceful grave.  Nothing she’d done since she came back had been right or good.  She’d neglected her little sister, run to a soulless monster for the physical release that helped her forget her life for a while. She worked in a dead-end job that made her exhausted and smelly without providing enough income to make their lives easier, and, now, in the process of doing the job for which she’d been chosen without anyone asking if she wanted it, she had killed an innocent bystander. 

 

               So wrapped up was she in her own misery and sense of the wrongness that was her life that she failed to notice Spike until he stepped in front of her.  When it became obvious he was not going to give up the argument that she shouldn’t turn herself in, it was frighteningly easy to slip into a physical confrontation with him. 

 

                When he exploded at her that he’d tried not to love her – that he didn’t want it any more than she did, it was the final insult to her sense of self-worth.

 

                “Try harder!” she snarled, turning her back and taking the first steps toward the entrance to the police station. 

 

                 If she’d been asked later how they went from her angry reply to her sitting on him and beating his beautiful face to a bloody pulp, she couldn’t have told you.  Words fell from her mouth- ugly, hurtful words.  Words meant to wound as much as, if not more than, the blows she rained down on his face and body.  The monster who claimed to love her just lay beneath her, encouraging her to take out her emotions on his unresisting body.

 

                  A sudden pause in the rage fueled by her self-loathing, and she shrank back in horror from the battered man in front of her.  Even with his face swollen and bleeding, he managed to smile at her as he said softly, “You always hurt the one you love, pet.”

 

               Leaping to her feet, she tried to block his forgiving face from her mind as she stepped over his reaching hand, ignoring his frantic call as he realized she was still intent on turning herself in. 

 

              Ten minutes later, when she had overheard the victim’s name and remembered Warren’s ex-girlfriend, she left the station as quickly as she’d entered it, turning away from the alley in which she’d left Spike’s bruised and wounded body. She walked home in a daze, her innate ability to deny what she didn’t want to see, allowing her to concentrate on plans to find the real killer and ignore the fact that she’d left the man who loved her lying helpless on the ground.

 

 

Chapter Three

 

               She was well into her conversation with Willow and Dawn in which she explained why she was sure it was Warren who was somehow responsible for the death of Katrina when the words, “You always hurt the one you love,” slipped from her mouth.  With a rush that was physically painful, she remembered who’d last used those words and the state in which she’d left him.

 

               She stammered an explanation to Dawn and Willow and flew out of the house and down the darkened street.  She used every bit of her Slayer speed to get back to the alley in which she’d left the man whose only fault had been to try to save her from making a gigantic mistake, only to find nothing there but a small puddle of clotting blood.  Her eyes followed the dark streaks made as something was dragged from the area until they stopped abruptly.

 

                 Her eyes darted around frantically, her breath catching in a gasp at every speck of dust or cigarette ash she could find in the dim light.  She sank down against the wall, holding her knees and rocking back and forth as she had to admit there was no way to tell if Spike had dusted or not. If he had, there was not enough left to even be bothered trying to save.  She never questioned why she would have wanted to keep Spike’s dust if the spirit that inhabited it was no longer there.  All she knew was that she could not accept that he might be gone from her life.

 

                  Pushing herself to her feet, she wandered blindly through Sunnydale, pausing to stake a fledgling vampire - too new and stupid to know who she was - with a viciousness that startled her momentarily.  Anger that the vamp tingles she’d felt just before he attacked her were not from the vampire she wanted added force to her blow, shattering the vamp’s chest before the stake could reach his heart.

 

                 The sudden interruption of her misery-filled walk around town had her looking up to find she was just outside Restfield Cemetery.  Telling herself she wasn’t masochistic enough to spend the night on Spike’s now-empty bed, she never the less walked slowly toward the familiar door.  She remembered vividly standing outside that same heavy door earlier in the evening and forcing herself to walk away.  Walk away right into the time-shifting demon attack that had indirectly led to her mindlessly beating her lover to death.

 

                 She placed her hand against the weather-roughened wood and pushed gently, slowly opening it to peer into the candle-lit interior.  Her gaze was immediately riveted on the still body sprawled atop the sarcophagus.  Without thought, she raced across the big room to fall to her knees beside the crypt crying with relief.   When she saw his hand twitch, she stood up and leaned over to sob on his chest,  “I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.  You were right- it wasn’t me. It was Warren.   I’m sorry, Spike, please forgive m-”

 

                  Spike was struggling weakly to push her away, something she would have never expected, and she renewed her apologies, sure that she had finally succeeded in destroying his love; that even Spike had his limits and her touch was no longer welcome.  She looked down at him, seeing not the rejection she was expecting, but a warning in his eyes as he continued to try to move her away.  She frowned at him in confusion, then jumped at a sound from behind and to the side.

 

                  The familiarity of the voice that reached her ears was as startling as was the tone of disgust in it.

 

                 “YOU did this to him?  This was you, Buffy?”

 

               

 Buffy whirled toward the familiar voice and met the confused brown eyes of her best male friend.  Xander was staring at her with an expression she’d never seen from him before. He looked back and forth between the battered vampire and the woman he thought of as a hero, correctly reading her guilt and Spike’s dismay at having been caught out.

 

                “You told me it was a bunch of ex-Initiative guys,” he said accusingly, glaring at the immobile man on the stone slab.  Spike gave his best attempt at a shrug and closed his eyes again.

 

                “Buffy…” Xander shook his head in confusion.  “What did the evil undead do?  And, if it was that bad, why didn’t you just stake him?  Why would you…” He gestured wordlessly at the bruised and bleeding body lying in front of her.

 

              “I…we…he…he tried to…” Buffy fumbled for an explanation, knowing that there really wasn’t one that was going make her friend feel any better about her.

 

              “He tried to what?”  Xander transferred his question to the inert body lying on the lid of a coffin.  He started to move toward the vampire he’d just rescued, not sure what intentions he had but positive the Slayer would not have done something like this without a good reason. Buffy’s hand on his arm stopped him.

 

             “Nothing – he didn’t do anything to me. He was trying to stop me from…from making a big mistake.”

 

            His gaze flickered back and forth between them again before he said slowly, “Remind me never to get between you and any errors in judgment you might want to make.”  He gave a crooked grin to indicate he was kidding, but the smile didn’t reach his eyes.

 

               “Will you help me get him downstairs?”

 

               “You know there’s a downstairs?” 

 

Without answering him directly, Buffy carefully lifted Spike off the sarcophagus and put him gently on the floor.  She cringed when the movement caused him to moan softly, even though he seemed to be unconscious. The effort to push her away so that Xander wouldn’t see her touching him with tenderness had exhausted whatever life he had left in him.  When he was as comfortable as she could make him on a concrete floor, she stood up and easily slid the stone lid off the entry to Spike’s bedroom.

 

                 Xander watched with his mouth open as she picked the unconscious vampire up and propped him against the stone wall.

 

                “Here, you hold him up and when I get downstairs, you can hand him to me.”

 

                Without waiting to see if he needed more explanation, Buffy stepped over the edge and went down the ladder, quickly lighting a lamp before stopping at the bottom of the ladder to call up, “Okay, now see if you can lower him down to where I can reach him.

 

                “Be careful!” she hissed when the vampire whimpered as his arms were pulled over his head while his body was slowly lowered to the waiting hands below. 

 

                By the time Xander had followed Spike down the ladder, Buffy had already carried the still inert vampire to the bed and lowered him gently onto it.  She spent a few minutes moving the rich-looking coverlet and blanket away from its bloody owner and settling his head on a pillow before moving into the cave entrance to get water and washcloths from Spike’s makeshift bathroom.

 

                When she came out carrying a basin of water, towels and washcloths as well as a first aid kit, Xander was almost too preoccupied with gawking at the lavish furnishings, soft rugs, and new huge four-poster bed to notice the familiarity with which Buffy made her way around what was clearly Spike’s bedroom.  Almost, but not quite.

 

                 His mind went back to the day Buffy had been invisible and he had surprised Spike “exercising” on his old bed. He groaned in sudden realization of what he’d actually been seeing that day.  His gaze went back to the girl he was just beginning to sense he really didn’t know as well as he thought he did, and he watched quietly as she carefully washed the blood off her lover’s face and tenderly applied ointment to the places her fists had opened cuts over his sharply-defined bones. 

 

                  When she struggled to hold Spike up while she pulled his shirt off, Xander stepped to the other side and supported the still unconscious vamp for her.  She shot him a startled look, then smiled softly and finished removing the bloody tee shirt.  They lowered Spike to the bed and she went to work on the now-exposed bruises they could see all over his torso.  She stood up quickly and ran to the ladder.

 

                “Where are you going?” Xander’s suddenly frightened tone suggested he had no desire to be left alone with an unconscious vampire in a crypt in a Sunnydale cemetery in the middle of the night.

 

              “I’m just going to get some ice, Xander.  I’ll be right back.”

 

               “I knew that,” he blustered.  A twitch from the vampire brought his attention back to the bed and he saw Spike peering at him with one eye.

 

                “Sure you did, whelp,” he whispered hoarsely, trying for a smirk but failing to move his bruised lips.

 

                Xander glared back at him momentarily then said, “So, push-ups to stay in shape, huh?”

 

               The fright on Spike’s face told him more than he wanted to know about whatever was going on between the vampire and the Slayer.  He sighed heavily and gave Spike a reassuring pat on the shoulder.

 

               “Relax, if she didn’t want me to figure out what was going on, she wouldn’t have been so quick to let me see how well she knows her way around your bedroom…or your bathroom.   No matter how bad she might be feeling about what she did to you,” he added with a grimace. “And trust me when I tell you I am so grateful that my girl friend doesn’t have superpowers and a violent streak.”

 

               He jumped when Spike growled, “Don’t say anything like that to her!  Not tonight.”

 

                “She almost killed you, Spike.  As much as I might applaud your demise, this just isn’t right.  Especially if you two are…have been…okay, not going down that road, but still…”

 

               “Leave it, Harris,” the vampire said, his eyes drifting closed again.  “Jus’ leave it.  Girl’s got enough on her plate.  I’ll mend.”

 

                The conversation ended with Buffy’s entrance holding a bowl of ice cubes and some paper towels. She looked curiously at the two men, but Xander’s face and the vampire’s closed eyes gave her no clue what they might have been talking about.  She shrugged and began making small ice packets to place around Spike’’s head and body everywhere there was a visible, fist-shaped bruised.  When she was finished, Spike lay immobile with small bunches of ice cubes carefully balanced all over him.

 

                    “Now what, Buffy?”  Xander’s question startled her out of her bemused study of her handiwork and she flinched slightly.

 

                   “Now I guess I’ll make sure you get to your car safely and then I’ll…I’ll wait here…with him…to make sure he’s going to be okay.”

 

                     Now that the initial shock and panic over Spike’s condition was over, realization of what Xander had seen and heard began to sink in and she sent a quick look out of the corner of her eye to see how he was taking it.  To her surprise he just shrugged and said calmly, “Sounds like a plan. I should get going. Anya’s going to be wondering where I’ve been.”

 

                    The Slayer nodded and preceded him up the ladder, waiting for him at the top and walking with him to the still open door.  She saw that his car was parked just a short distance away and wondered how she hadn’t noticed it when she first approached.  Xander opened the unlocked door and from force of habit checked the back seat and the floor before getting in.

 

                    Buffy smiled at the sight of the automatic ritual; without which anyone who had grown up in Sunnydale would never enter a vehicle.  She touched his arm before he could get in and reached up to give him a grateful hug.

 

                  “Thank you,” she whispered, the phrase meaning so much more than simply gratitude for his recent assistance with Spike’s unconscious body.

 

                  “You’re welcome, Buffy.”  He stared at her still-troubled face and added, “You’d better get back in there and make with the TLC.  I need somebody to shoot pool with this weekend.”

 

                   “He’ll be fine by then, Xander.  I promise,” she said firmly as she stepped back from the car.  “He’ll be just fine,” she repeated softly as she watched her old friend drive away.  “I’m going to see to it.”

 

 

Chapter Four

 

                 Buffy quietly let herself back into the crypt, closing the door firmly behind her.  She walked quickly to the ladder and dropped down to the rug-covered floor below, landing softly so as not to wake Spike if he was sleeping.  She knew that the more he slept, the faster he would mend, but she also knew what else he needed even more; almost as much as she needed to give it to him.

 

              Slipping off her shoes, she carefully lowered herself onto the bed, edging as close as she could without knocking off the sleeping vampire’s ice bags.  She curled one hand around an unbruised place on his arm and allowed herself to relax and give in to the relief she’d felt at finding him alive. 

 

            (He could have been dust. This vampire - no, this man who loves me so much he let me beat him almost to death - could have died because of me. Because I couldn’t stop myself.  Wouldn’t control my anger even when he didn’t fight back. Why didn’t he stop me?  Why didn’t he fight back?)

 

               Tears began to leak from her eyes and she trembled with a suppressed emotion that she didn’t want to examine too closely.

 

                 “Why didn’t you use the word,” she whispered with a sob, not realizing she was verbalizing her thoughts.  “Why didn’t you use the safe word, Spike?  Why didn’t you say—“

 

                   “Poppycock,” he whispered hoarsely.

 

                    Her head snapped up and she saw him looking at her with the one eye that wasn’t too swollen to open.  She saw no anger there, none of the disappointment in her she had every right to expect.  She saw nothing but a calm acceptance of both his condition and the woman responsible for it.

 

                     “Not NOW, you moron!”  Even as she chastised herself for getting angry again, she couldn’t stop the abusive terms from falling out of her mouth and she cringed internally at her own insensitivity.  “Then!  Why didn’t you say it then?  Why didn’t you stop me?”

 

                  “Weren’t playing a game then, were we, pet?  You needed to beat on me.  Needed to let that anger out before it consumed you.  I thought if I let you take it out on me…”

 

                 “You thought I’d change my mind about turning myself in…” she finished for him.  “If I took it out on you, I wouldn’t feel the need to punish myself.”

 

                 “Well…yeah,” he admitted, shifting his body with a wince and sending several of his ice packs skittering onto the floor.

 

                 She shook her head slowly, understanding gradually sinking in.  “You stupid vampire,” she added softly with no anger, just a resigned sigh.

 

                    “Might not ‘f been one of my better ideas, now that I think on it a little more.” 

 

                His lips crooked in a gentle smile that did nothing to make her feel better about what she’d done.  She stared at him, completely astonished at the soft, joking tone of his voice.  From out of nowhere a bolt of pure understanding went through her and she recoiled from him involuntarily.

 

               No one has ever loved me like this man does.  No one ever will. If I didn’t have him in my life…

 

                   She watched the hurt cross his face when she flinched away, and quickly leaned in to kiss his cheek and whisper, “Your ideas never work out.  I would have expected you to know that by now.”

 

                     While he watched her suspiciously, she sat up and began to unbutton her blouse, shrugging it off and tossing it to the end of the bed.  He frowned at her as best he could with his swollen face and began,  “Buffy, I don’t think I can…”

 

                  “Shush,” she murmured, pushing the rest of the ice bags off onto the floor.  “I just don’t want to get blood on my good shirt.”

 

               She ran her hands over the puzzled vampire’s chest, carefully identifying where the cracked ribs were and where it might be safe to touch him.  When she was sure she had found a way to straddle him without putting pressure on too many of his bruised and broken bones, she slipped on top of him and lowered her face to his.

 

                The look he gave her was one of profound hurt and disappointment then he shut his eyes with a resigned sigh.   With sudden insight, Buffy realized that he thought she was going to fuck herself on his broken body.  Once again, tears filled her eyes at this proof of how thoroughly she had convinced him that she only cared for one thing.

 

                “Spike,” she whispered, her voice thick with emotion,  “look at me, Spike.  Please?”

 

                When he opened his one eye obediently, she almost choked on the pained resignation she saw there.   She leaned down and, being careful not to touch the broken ribs, began planting light kisses on his neck and jaw line.  She worked her way up to his mouth, whispering, “I know what you need to heal those bones, Spike.  I want you to take it from me.  Let me do this for you. Take my blood, Spike, please.”

 

                   She felt his body tense in shock as he understood what she was offering, but he made no move to let his fangs drop or to touch her neck which was placed as close to his mouth as she could get it.

 

                    “What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing, Slayer?”  His voice was still raspy from the abuse his windpipe had suffered at her hands, but she could hear the horror and fear in it.  “I’m not going to kill you, Buffy.  I know you want to go back to…where you were…but I’m not going to be the instrument you use. I don’t care how guilty you feel about this, or how unhappy you are here.  Don’t ask that of me, Buffy.  Please, love, I can’t….”

 

                     She shook her head at his denseness and tried again.  “I’m not asking you to kill me.  I’m asking you to take what you need to heal.  Slayer blood is the best medicine for a vampire and I want you to feel better – now.”

 

                   She looked at his dubious face and smiled as she stroked his cheek softly. “I don’t want to be dead again.  Not anymore. I have too much to live for. I have good friends, a sister who needs me, a sleazy robot-builder to bring down...and a man who loves me…” She stopped, willing him to see in her eyes what she wasn’t yet able to put into words.

       

                    Even with one eye closed and his face too battered to show much expression, Buffy could tell he was looking at her with amazement and reverence.  For the first time since he’d come out of the shadows, clapping and promising to kill her, the vampire who had become such an important part of her life was rendered speechless.  She gave a little giggle and dropped her face down to nuzzle his neck and suck on the spot she knew made him crazy.

 

                  When she felt his body shake with a deep growl, she pushed down the Slayer’s reaction and sucked harder, bringing the borrowed blood to the surface of his silky skin.  His arms went around her body, pinioning her with no regard for his broken ribs or bruised chest, and she felt his face shift.

 

                  His cool tongue running up the side of her throat made Buffy shiver all over, and when he lightly ran his fangs over the same area she felt unexpected moisture pooling in her underwear.   She gasped in surprise and felt him smile against her neck as he continued to lick and tease the skin on her throat. 

 

                 He slid his fangs in so quickly and gently that she wasn’t even aware that she’d been bitten until the unmistakable feeling of having her blood pulled from her body sent a thrill right down to her core.  Heedless of his bruises, she allowed her body to melt into his, grinding their pelvises together and moaning. She momentarily worried that he would think he was hurting her, but found herself unable to remain quiet in the face of her body’s reaction to the bite.  Spike’s demon had no trouble recognizing the moan for what it really was and he continued to pull long, slow draughts from the Slayer until he felt her begin to weaken.

 

                He pulled his fangs out gently, taking care not to tear her delicate skin, and running his tongue over the small punctures until they stopped oozing.  His body began knitting itself back together almost immediately and Buffy could feel the bones in his chest as they shifted beneath her.  Spike could feel his cuts closing as Buffy’s magical blood worked its way through his body. He brushed his still swollen lips against her forehead and breathed, “Thank you, my love.”

 

              Buffy’s only response was a soft sigh as she snuggled into his newly healed body and fell into a restorative sleep.  As soon as he was sure that she had not been harmed by the amount of blood he’d taken, Spike allowed himself to join Buffy in exhausted slumber.  His rapidly healing lips were curled into a small smile as his body relaxed and healed while he held her in his arms.

 

                During the course of the next several hours, while Buffy’s remarkable powers of recuperation replenished the blood she’d lost and the vampire’s own quick healing was enhanced by the powerful elixir he’d taken from her, their positions had shifted so that Buffy was lying on her side, her back pressed against Spike’s chest with his arms still wrapped around her protectively. 

 

                 Buffy awoke gradually, aware of very little at first except that she felt very cherished and unquestionably safe.  Bits and pieces of memories came floating back as she struggled toward wakefulness, and she knew without looking in whose arms she was so lovingly wrapped.  Where before she would have shrugged him off with irritation, now she simply turned her head slightly to plant a kiss on his bare arm, bringing the vampire out of his own restful sleep.  He smiled against the hair tickling his face and tightened his grip imperceptibly.

 

                 Buffy turned slowly until she was facing him and could look into his still swollen, but open eyes.  The wonder and adoration she saw there made her blush and she ducked her head with embarrassment, burrowing into his chest and putting her own arms around his waist.  Wisely deciding not to force the issue, Spike just dropped a kiss on the top of her head and said simple, “I’m yours forever now, Buffy. Never leave you, my love, never.”

 

                 “Don’t want you to,” she mumbled against the skin on his chest, breathing in the scent she loved and sticking her tongue out to taste his newly repaired skin.  She giggled when he hissed at the touch of her warm lips on his skin, eliciting a low growl that she felt down to her toes.

 

                “Have I ever told you how sexy that is?” she asked shyly.

 

                  “Can’t say that you have,” he rumbled, the vibrations from his voice sending more shivers through her body.

 

                  “Well, it is.  It makes me feel all…” For lack of a good word to use, she just wriggled against him, provoking another growl and a noticeable hardening in his jeans.

 

                  “Watch it there, Slayer, I think I’ve got all my body parts in fine working order thanks to that wonderful elixir flowing through your veins.”  He began to run his lips over her face, working his way toward her mouth.  “You don’t want to be bringing anything up that you didn’t mean to.”

 

                ‘Well,” she breathed, turning her head to meet his mouth.  “I didn’t really MEAN to, but if it happened …” 

 

                 Spike’s lips were still slightly swollen, but when Buffy tried to pull away with a sympathetic wince, he pulled her closer and fastened them on hers, whispering, “Vampire, love, remember? We like a little pain with our love making.”

 

                 For the first time, Buffy didn’t contradict his use of the term to describe what they were about to do.  She just wriggled closer and purred,  “Then a little pain is what you’ll get, vampire,” as she grabbed his lip in her teeth and shook it gently. With another growl, he flipped them over so that she was underneath him, looking up into his eyes with complete trust even as he went into his game face again.

 

                “But just a little,” she whispered.  “I think I’m done with hurting you.”

 

                Just as quickly as they had appeared, his vampire features went away and the face she had been afraid she would never see again was looking down at her.

 

                 “Not even if I ask you nicely?” He smirked at her serious expression.

 

                 “I’m trying to set a tone here,” she grumbled.  “There’s just no point being nice to you, is there?”

 

                   “Don’t know, pet.  Might take me a while to get used to it.  Kindness from the Slayer – not something a vamp is likely to see very often.”

 

                 “How about kindness from his…girl friend?”  Buffy’s voice was hesitant and she bit her lip uncomfortably, but forced herself to meet his eyes firmly as she gave him the crumb he’d asked for so long ago.

 

                Trying to sound casual, even though he was sure his heart was going to begin beating any second, Spike said with a shrug, “Well, I guess from a girl friend it would be alright, if it didn’t happen too often…”

 

                 “I think you can pretty much count on that,” Buffy said with a sheepish smile.  “I’m fairly sure bitchy Buffy isn’t going too far away.”

 

              “Well, that’s good then.  I’d probably miss her.”  As he spoke, he was nuzzling the marks he’d made on her neck, smiling when she shivered under him.  “Like that, do you, love?” he murmured, beginning to unfasten the snap on her pants.  He popped it open and slid the zipper down, brushing his knuckles over the soft skin of her stomach as he did so.

 

              With a little mew of contentment, she got her fingers into the waistband of his jeans and yanked until they popped open. She slid her hand in and wrapped her fingers around the smooth, hard shaft she found there.

 

                “Is this what you were afraid I might bring up?” she giggled, stroking him the way she knew he liked.

 

                 A heartfelt groan was her only answer as he rolled them over again so that he could push her pants down her legs.  Buffy obligingly kicked them off, then moved away so that he could wriggle out of his own jeans.  He slid back into vamp face and used his sharp fangs to slice through the sides of her underwear, leaving them to fall onto the mattress while his hands were busy unfastening her lacy bra.  They had reached an agreement weeks ago that Buffy would buy cheap panties at Wal Mart for him to rip apart and/or steal, but that he would keep his claws and teeth off her expensive Victoria’s Secret bras.

 

                  Running his rough tongue down her chest to her belly button and tickling her there, he remained in his vamp face, using his enhanced senses to drink in her scent.  He used his hands, being careful not to scratch her with his claws, to pull her legs apart so that he could move his mouth down to begin lapping at the moisture he found there.  He used his rougher vamp tongue to spread the moisture, sending Buffy into a moaning frenzy.  Knowing her slayer healing combined with his saliva would close the wound quickly, he allowed one fang to nick her clit when she clamped her legs around his head and arched her back keening her pleasure.

 

               With a quick lick to close the tiny wound, he slid back up her body and placed the head of his cock at her entrance.  He waited until she had stopped trembling from the after shocks of her orgasm before nudging his way in far enough to get her attention.  When her eyes focused on him and she wiggled her hips slightly, he grinned and asked politely, “May I come in, love?”

 

              “Ooooo, inviting a vampire in, I don’t know.  Sounds dangerous.”

 

    Even as he played the familiar game with her, he was sliding into her welcoming warmth, sighing softly as she gave his cock a gentle squeeze.  They both moaned with satisfaction when he was fully buried, losing for just a second the thread of the conversation.  Then, as Spike began to rock his hips he took up where they had left off.

 

                 “You’re the Slayer, love.  What’s the worst that could happen?”

 

                 His hips were moving harder and faster and he had dropped his head onto her shoulder so he didn’t see her face as she whispered, “I could fall in love with him.”

 

                 “Well, yeah, I guess that could…” 

 

                 He froze in place, sure he’d misheard her. He raised his head slowly until he was looking down into her frightened but resolute face.

 

                 “Buffy?” The hope and fear in his voice was almost painful to hear.

 

                “I…I mean, it could happen, couldn’t it?  Maybe by accident?  When I wasn’t paying attention and it kinda snuck up on me and I—mmmph!”

 

                 The only sounds to be heard in the underground room after that were moans, gasps, whimpers and panting cries as the Slayer and the vampire who loved her tested the limits of their super strength over and over again until the arrival of the dawn began to force Spike into the deep sleep he needed for at least a portion of the day.

 

                Instead of jumping up to run home when he sleepily informed her of the time, Buffy snuggled into his side, yawning and pulling the blankets up over them.

 

                “You’re not going home?” he asked dubiously.  “What about the Bit?”

 

                “She’s a big girl.  She can get herself off to school. Anyway, Willow’s there.  She can do something to earn her keep for a change.  I’m going to sleep. Here.  With my l…lover.”

 

                 Spike was rendered completely speechless – sure that anything he said would cause her to wake up and rethink what she’d just said.  He nodded dumbly and pulled her closer, burying his nose in her hair and purring quietly as he drifted into a dreamless sleep.  Just before he lost consciousness, he thought he heard her mumble, “Xander will tell them where I am when he picks Dawn up for school.  It’s all good….”

 

The End

 

                

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