Title: season IV – Sequel to Her Last Request -- Promises Kept

Rating NC-17

Word Count – 29,000

AU season IV – Incorporates some story elements from the show

Disclaimer – Everybody belongs to Joss Whedon and ME

Distribution – Let me know. Please don’t take it without its prequel!

Comments – Spike returns to Sunnydale to help Buffy defeat Adam. Will the Scoobies accept him?  (This story is totally non-canon and will make much more sense if you’ve read “Her Last Request” first!)

 

 

Promises Kept

 

Prologue:

 

Buffy looked at the cell phone number written in beautiful script on the post card in front of her and bit her lip.  The card with the phone number had come in the mail over two years ago, just a month after Spike had kept his promise to leave Sunnydale but to keep in touch with her.  The message on the card was short and cryptic.  It just said, “Anytime” and was signed with an ornate “W”.  Underneath the initial was a drawing of a heart with what appeared to be a wooden stake through it.  The “W” had puzzled Buffy for a minute until she remembered that Spike’s real name was William.

 

While she hadn’t felt the need to use the phone number on the card to call for help (until now, anyway), she did take it out and look at it occasionally.  Usually after a particularly unsatisfactory romantic entanglement.

 

She dated when she could; had even tried seeing a souled vampire who came to Sunnydale to help her out for a while, but no one seemed able to hold her interest for long. She found that the men she dated couldn’t handle what she was if they knew.  And keeping them in the dark about her slayer responsibilities didn’t work any better, as the strain of constantly lying about what she was doing, not to mention the frequent broken dates if there was a crisis, were hard on a relationship.

 

And, if she was honest with herself, none of them could compare with her memories of her first lover.  She idly wondered if he had really been that much better than the two or three she’d tried since then, or if she had romanticized the experience until it bore no resemblance to reality.

 

Her latest boyfriend, a really nice guy from the Midwest, had accepted her calling, and in fact, seemed interested in it and so far, not intimidated.  Of course, she could tell he didn’t really “get it” and thought she just was just a very athletic girl who knew how to dust vampires.  Her friends liked him, but she could tell her watcher distrusted his interest in what they did and his apparent connection to the commandos they were investigating.

 

Just when she was beginning a relationship with a new boyfriend probably wasn’t the best time to be bringing Spike back to Sunnydale; but she was really not making much progress against Adam by herself and she knew she was going to need major help when she finally took him on again.

 

She sighed and put the card away for the time being and got up to go to the night’s Scoobie meeting.

 

Riley insisted on accompanying her to the meeting, which put a bit of a crimp in the conversation until he finally said with an exasperated sigh, “Look, I know there’s something going on here.  And I know you,” he looked pointedly at Buffy, “think it’s your job to handle it.  But there are other options.  There are other people working on this.  You can just relax and forget it.”  He looked at Buffy again and then around the circle at her friends and watcher – clearly expecting them to be relieved.  He was surprised when Giles just shook his head and took off his glasses to polish them.

 

Buffy laughed humorlessly, then said, “I’m afraid ‘relax and forget about it’ isn’t included in the Slayer handbook, Riley.”

 

The big man engaged in a brief glaring contest with her, then said, “Giles, surely you see the sense in it?  She doesn’t need to risk her life.  We – I mean, they – someone else can handle this thing, whatever it is.”

 

Buffy rolled her eyes and tried once more to explain about what a Slayer is, what she does, and that she is chosen.  “Riley, my participation isn’t optional.  Being the Slayer isn’t what I DO; it’s what I AM!

 

Riley appealed silently to Giles only to find her watcher in complete agreement with Buffy.

 

“She’s right, Riley.  Any activities that take place on the hellmouth are Buffy’s responsibility.  She’s also,” he added, “probably the most qualified to deal with supernatural forces.”

 

Riley glared at Giles for a minute.  “I thought your job was to keep her from harm’s way? What exactly do you do if not that?”

 

Giles sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Unfortunately, it is my job to place her in harm’s way – on a nightly basis.  With as much assistance as I can offer, of course.  But meeting the Big Bads is what Buffy was Chosen to do.  It is her destiny.”

 

“Destiny, apocalypse, supernatural – I’m sick of all this mumbo jumbo.  These sub terrestrials are just particularly nasty animals and all it takes to find and subdue them is technology and firepower.”  Riley paused for breath.  “How can you possibly think you’ll do a better job with swords and pointed sticks?” He threw his hands up in exasperation.

 

Giles’ usually mild demeanor faded and the Ripper emerged for a second or two.  In a calm tone, belied by his posture and the look on his face, Giles asked quietly, “How many ‘sub-terrestrials’ have you and your friends…” at Riley’s start of surprise, everyone laughed.  “…killed this week?”

 

Riley puffed his chest out and said proudly, “We captured one demon and two vampires.”  He looked confused and annoyed when everyone except Buffy laughed again.  Buffy looked uncomfortable and when Giles asked her, “Buffy, how many vamps did you slay last night?” she look apologetically at Riley before mumbling, “Six vamps and a Thedr demon.”

 

Riley goggled at her for a second, then recovered his swagger.  “Well, I’m sure that wasn’t an ordinary…” his voice trailed off as everyone snickered again.

 

He shrugged and admitted defeat.  “Ok, so your methods work too.”  He shifted his weight uncomfortably for a minute, then asked, “How did you know….?”

 

“We’re not stupid, Riley.” Buffy said coldly.  “It’s our job to know everything going on at the Hellmouth; including the arrival of mysterious commandos who hang around campus pretending to be frat boys.”

 

Riley looked embarrassed for a moment, then heaved a sigh of relief.  “Well, I’m glad that cat’s out of the bag.  I’m just not cut out for this undercover stuff.  More of a take ‘em on head first kinda guy.”

 

“Undercover?” Buffy asked carefully.  You are investigating us? 

 

Riley just barely picked up the dangerous tone in her voice.

 

 “Is that why you’re dating me?  To learn about us?”

 

Looking extremely uncomfortable by this time, he studied the toes of his shoes for several seconds before he could meet her eyes.  “Well, yes, sort of, at first.  But not now!” He paused and asked plaintively, “Could we talk about this somewhere privately?”

 

“I really don’t think I want to talk to you right now, Riley.” Buffy said coldly. “You’d probably better just go.”

 

After he had slunk out the door as best someone his size could, Buffy shook her head and said ruefully, “ Well, the Buffy Summers romance machine is in fine form again.”

 

The only one who didn’t groan in agreement was Xander.

 

“Buff? I think he really likes you – and it couldn’t hurt to have some help this time, could it?”

 

Giles nodded his head and said, “I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Xander on this, but he may be right.  Perhaps this isn’t something you should try to face alone.”

 

“I don’t plan to do it alone,” Buffy said softly.  She offered no explanation for her cryptic comment, just picked up her jacket and walked out the door.

 

 

 

The small blonde girl sat beside the phone in her room, looking at the card in her hand.   Then she let out the breath she had been holding and picked up the phone.

 

There were several rings on the other end and she was just about to hang up when a familiar British voice said “What?”

 

“Spike?” Buffy asked uncertainly.

 

“Slayer.”  The reply was gruff, but she could tell he was smiling.  “What’s up, love?”

 

“I…..I need you.  I mean, I need your help wi—“ She was interrupted by his terse, “Two days.”

 

“What? To what?”

 

“Two days, love. I’ll be there in two days.”

 

“Oh – OK, I’ll see you then – in two days.” She paused, started to speak, then changed her mind.

 

“Somethin’ else, pet?” he asked gently.

 

“No, I guess….no, nothing.  I just….     (I missed you!)     It’s good to hear your voice again.  That’s all.” She was blushing furiously and was glad he couldn’t see her.

 

He didn’t reply immediately, then said quietly, “I missed you too, Buffy. (You have no idea how much)   “I’ll be there as quickly as I can.  Wait for me, love.  Don’t do anything heroic and stupid before I get there.”

 

“I won’t.” she promised softly.

 

She carefully put the phone down on its base and gnawed on her finger. “This is either the smartest thing I’ve ever done, or the dumbest”, she mumbled. “Well, it’s done now.  All I can do is wait till he gets here and see what happens.” She tried to ignore the feeling of anticipation and excitement that she felt knowing Spike would be back in Sunnydale soon, but her body was tingling all over and knew her face was flushed.  “Great, at this rate, I’ll be a basket case by the time he gets here.”

 

 

Chapter One:

 

Giles tried several times to question her about her comments at the meeting, but she just put him off with an “I don’t want to talk about it yet. I’ll let you know when you need to know.”

 

She didn’t see Riley again and was grateful she didn’t have class with Professor Walsh the rest of the week.  The second night after her phone call finally arrived and she was dithering so much over her hair and clothes that Willow finally said, “Buffy? Are you going patrolling or on a date?”

 

With a guilty start, Buffy stopped fussing with her hair and replied, “Oh, just patrolling.  That’s all.  But you never know who I might run into.  I might meet a hot vampire, or…”

 

“Eeew!” Willow responded.  “Do you think you might see Riley? Is that why you’re so nervous?”

 

“Oh! Riley! Yes, that’s it.  I might see Riley and it would be good to see him, because….because….we need to know what they’re doing.”  She was giddy with relief at having an acceptable explanation for her behavior, although the truth was, Riley hadn’t crossed her mind since her phone conversation with Spike.  She wasn’t even sure if they were still together or not.

 

With a final coat of lip-gloss, Buffy dashed out the door and onto the campus.  It then occurred to her that Spike didn’t even know she was in college now and might have a hard time finding her.  While she worried over where he might be and if she should go to her home on Revello Drive so that he could locate her easily, she ran into Riley and a group of his commandos skulking through the woods around the campus.

 

“Buffy!” He seemed genuinely glad to see her and stopped immediately.  “Buffy, I’m sorry about the other day.  I really am.  We need to talk, I need to explain-“

 

“It’s OK, Riley.” Buffy reassured him, while her eyes darted around the woods. “Hey, I’m patrolling here, so why don’t you guys go….somewhere else?” she asked brightly.

 

Riley studied her carefully.  “So, we’re OK, then?” he asked hesitantly as he watched her look around nervously.  “Cause, I could…”

 

“No, no, we’re fine. We’ll patrol – I mean, I’ll patrol and you’ll patrol, but in different places.  And then, maybe later, or tomorrow, we’ll talk.  OK?” she was practically babbling in her eagerness to get rid of him.  She could feel her Slayer senses tingling and she knew it was Spike.  He was somewhere nearby.

 

“Well,” Riley hesitated again, “we’re sort of tracking something.  Probably a vampire – the heat sensors tell us it’s too cool to be human.”

 

Just as he finished speaking, Spike stepped out of the shadows and began striding toward them, his leather duster billowing out behind him.  He was glaring at Riley, and, although he wasn’t in game face, his eyes were flickering yellow as he strode toward them purposefully.

 

“There it is, Finn,” shouted one of the soldiers as he brought a weapon up to point at Spike.

 

“Oh!” Buffy gasped. “Oh, one vamp – no problem, guys.  I’ve got him. You go on.”  As she spoke, she tackled Spike to the ground and hissed in his ear, “Stay down!  Please!”  He gave her a startled look, but relaxed and allowed her to sit up and turn to look at Riley.  She raised a stake over Spike’s chest and said cheerily, “See? I’ve got him. He’ll be dust in a second.  Why don’t you guys go find some other vamps or demons?”

 

The soldiers looked at Riley for direction, and after staring at Buffy where she was sitting on Spike’s stomach holding her stake over his chest (and frowning at the way her short skirt had ridden up her thighs), he said uncertainly, “OK, stand down, guys. Looks like the Slayer has everything under control here.  Let’s go.”  As they moved off, he kept looking over his shoulder and wondering why Buffy hadn’t dusted the vampire yet.

 

When they were no longer in sight and she couldn’t hear them anymore, Buffy relaxed and started to lean forward. 

 

 (Am I going to kiss him? Is he going to kiss me?)  

 

Spike stopped her with a hand to her chest and whispered, “They’re not all gone, love, I can hear a heartbeat.  Besides yours,” he grinned as his thumb caressed the area between her breasts sending her heart pounding.

 

She shook his hand off and grumbled, “Damn! How am I going to get out of staking you now?”

 

“I’m going to use my supernatural strength and speed to escape,” he smirked at her.  “And you can try to catch me again.  Ready, pet?” he asked and tensed his body. Instead of answering, Buffy became lost in the feel of his hard abdomen against her  thong-covered crotch.  Unconsciously, she slid backwards toward his hips and tightened the grip of her thighs to hold him still.

 

He groaned as he felt the heat from her body causing the familiar reaction. “Uh, uh, Slayer, none of that.  I need to keep my mind on what I’m doing here. Don’t want to really hurt you, you know.”

 

She blushed hotly and relaxed her legs.  “Sorry” she whispered.  “I just…” Suddenly he was in vamp face and she went flying off as he bounced to his feet.  He gave her a wink, then turned and sprinted off at a speed no ordinary human could match.

 

              The Slayer jumped to her feet, sputtering in outrage, then took off after him.  As she vanished from the area, Riley stood up from behind the bush where he had been watching and looked after them in bemusement. 

 

(This is the girl who stakes five or six vampires a night? Why didn’t she stake him when she had the chance?)

 

 

Buffy ran as fast as she could and eventually she spotted a bright blond head turning into an empty building.  She stopped when she got inside the dark building and cast her Slayer senses around.  She could feel him in there and knew he was close, but even her Slayer enhanced eyes couldn’t quite see in the pitch-dark room without time to adjust.  Suddenly arms that felt made out of steel pinioned her and she felt sharp teeth graze her neck as he whispered, “The Big Bad has you now, Slayer.”

 

“Mmmmm” she murmured as her knees went weak and she allowed herself to sag against him.  She closed her eyes and leaned into him as he continued to kiss and lick her neck and earlobe.

 

For several seconds he just held her, inhaling her scent, running his lips and tongue up and down her neck and growling softly.  Buffy eventually roused herself enough to turn around in his embrace and nuzzle his neck.  He slipped his arms down around her waist and sighed.

 

“Hey, Big Bad.  I missed you,” she said shyly, snuggling into his embrace.

 

“I missed you, too, love.” He said, pulling her tightly against his chest.  “I missed you, too.”

 

He planted a gentle kiss on her forehead and loosened his grip, stepping back a little and looking at her quizzically. “So, what’s got you hollering for help, Slayer?”

 

Buffy reacted with surprise and disappointment at his suddenly “all business” attitude, but hiding her hurt as best she could, she stepped back also and said, “I really hated to bother you,  (liar, liar, pants on fire)   but you said –“

 

“I said that you were to call me whenever you ran up against something that you thought you couldn’t handle alone.  If that’s why you called me, then you did right.”

 

“Yeah, I know.  But I’m the Slayer and I hate asking for help.  I should be able to handle this.”  She turned away slightly so he wouldn’t see the disappointment on her face.

 

  (And what was I expecting? To be ravished on the spot?)  

 

 A voice in her head insisted that was exactly what she was expecting.

 

Using every ounce of control he’d developed in his one hundred plus years as a vampire, Spike resisted the urge to crush her against his chest and kiss her unconscious.  As much as he wanted to hold her and make love to her, he also wanted to know what they were facing and who the man was she had been talking to when he found her.  He was slightly embarrassed at his jealous reaction when he saw them talking, but their body language and what he heard of the conversation told him they had some kind of relationship.  He wasn’t about to let on how much he wanted this girl  (woman, she’s a woman now)  until he had some idea where he stood with her.

 

“Well, there are two things, apparently.  The one I called you about is a monster that seems to be part man, part demon and part machine.  We don’t know where he came from but he is very powerful; much stronger than me.  So far nothing we’ve come up with seems to hurt him.  He is gathering vamps and demons in the caves under the town and we think he’s planning a take-over of Sunnydale as soon as his army is big enough.  I’ve been slaying as many as I can every night, but they keep coming. I just can’t get them all.”  She stopped and her shoulders slumped.  For the first time, he noticed the circles under her eyes and how worn-down she looked.

 

“Not getting’ much sleep, are you, Slayer?” he asked gently.

 

She just shook her head “No” and tried to stand up straighter. “It’s OK.” She said in her perkiest voice.  “I don’t need that much sleep. Really!”

 

The vampire put his hands in his pockets so as to resist the urge to fold her in his arms.  Instead, he put on his most casual expression and asked, “And the soldier boys?”

 

“They’re the other thing,” she admitted.  “It’s some kind of secret government agency sent here to fight demons.  But they don’t kill them; they usually just capture them.  We haven’t been able to find out where they take them or why they want them.”

 

“Just demons?” he raised his eyebrow at her.

 

“Pretty much – they usually just kill the vamps.”  She looked at him apologetically.

 

“And Captain America?” he looked at her intently.  Buffy looked away and stumbled over her words as she said, “Well, Riley, he’s..uh…we were…but we’re not…at least I don’t think….” She raised her head defiantly   (I have a right to a life!)    “He is, or was, my boyfriend. We just got him to admit that he’s part of that group the night I called you.  It turns out he started dating me to find out more about me.  But now…..”

 

“Now he’s in love with you.” The vampire said flatly.

 

“I guess.  I don’t know.  We need to talk about it.”  She peered at him through her hair to see what his reaction would be.  A pang of something she chose not to identify went through her chest as he just shrugged and said casually, “Well, makes sense he’d fall in love with you.  I can understand that, Slayer.”  He looked at her intently and held her eyes with his as he asked, “Do you love him?”

 

Buffy felt herself falling into those incredible blue eyes and tried to form an answer that wouldn’t make them go away.

 

“I don’t know.  I guess I could.  Maybe I was starting to – it’s complicated.  He lied to me – and he was spying on us – and….”.(give me a reason not to love him)  her eyes pleaded.

 

For just a second, Spike went into game face and snarled.  He pushed the demon back and was quickly wearing his beautiful human face, but Buffy had seen the reaction and her heart skipped happily.  

 

(He cares, he does care).

 

“So,” he said with a growl, “he lied to you, spied on you, and is involved with a secret military operation that’s trampling around on your territory.  Want me to kill him for you, Slayer?” he asked, half-seriously.

 

“What! Oh, no.  God, no!” her panicked response made him grin, and she punched him lightly on the arm. “Stop that!  I thought you were serious.”

 

He stopped grinning and reached for her, pulling her close enough to touch her forehead with his.  “If he ever hurts you….” he rumbled, “you’ll see how serious I am.”

 

(Ok, a vampire is talking about killing my boyfriend for me. Why is that making me happy?)

 

“Spike,” she said very seriously, “I want you to stay as far away from Riley and his men as you can get.  To them you’re just another vampire. They’ll dust you or capture you, and I couldn’t…..” she stepped closer to him and looked up at him with fearful eyes, “and I couldn’t live with myself if I brought you here and something happened to you.”

 

“Why not, Slayer?  What do you care what happens to an evil vampire?”

 

(Tell me, love.  Please tell me.)

 

(Because it would break my heart) 

 

 “Well, it would be my fault.  And that’s just…wrong.  And I need you to help me fight Adam!”

 

A fleeting expression of disappointment flickered across his face as he stepped back and said coldly, “Well, don’t worry about it.  Big Bad, here, remember? I can take care of myself.”  Changing the subject quickly, he asked, “So, where’s this robot/demon/man hang out? And his name is Adam?  Sounds like a right ponce.”

 

“That’s what he calls himself.  We really don’t know much about him.  But I think Riley does – he was really angry that I wasn’t going to back off and leave him to them.”

 

Pushing back his demon, Spike managed to say, “Well, you obviously need to get back into the soldier boy’s good graces so you can find out what he knows then.”

 

“Yes, I suppose I do.  I’ll see him tomorrow and try to get him to tell me more about it. Now that he knows we know about the Initiative, maybe he’ll be more honest about what they’re doing there.”

 

They stood uncomfortably for several minutes, neither one wanting to leave, but both afraid to say or do anything that might invite a rejection.

 

(I guess he doesn’t want me any more – I probably wasn’t very good the first time.  He’s just honoring his promise to help me).

 

 Buffy tried to hide her disappointment behind chatter about the Scoobies and Giles.

 

(She’s grown up, moved on with her life. Got a boyfriend.  Probably disgusted with herself for what she did with me.  Just called me cause she needed muscle).

 

Spike tried to swallow his disappointment but his demon was screaming for Riley’s blood.

 

They talked as they walked back toward her dorm.  The tension between them was so strong it practically vibrated the air.  The vampire kept his hands jammed into the pocket of his duster; the Slayer kept hers busy twirling a stake.

 

Just before they got to the door they heard a scream and Buffy rushed into the darkened alley behind the building.

 

“Willow!” she cried as she waded into the pack of vampires surrounding her friend.  She staked two of them and was busy fighting two others when she saw the two holding Willow begin to drag her away.  She quickly kicked one of the vamps off and dusted the other as she flipped past him.  Suddenly, the two trying to escape were stopped by the sight of a blond master vampire blocking the way. 

 

“Spike!” Willow squeaked, sure she was going from the frying pan to the fire.

 

“Hi, Red,” he grinned. “How’s it going?”

 

“Um, can’t complain.  Well, except for these two guys  - ow!” she said as one of them tried to pull her around Spike.  It hurt her arm because the vamp holding her other arm was frozen to the ground with Spike’s hand around his throat.  The older vampire continued squeezing as he lifted him off the ground, until he had squeezed through the neck and the head popped off, leaving a drifting cloud of dust.  The one holding her gawked at Spike, then shoved Willow at him.  “Here, if you want her, you take her,” he said and ran off.  The blond vampire caught her easily and set her gently back on her feet.

 

Willow was eyeing Spike warily as Buffy ran up to them and she moved quickly to put Buffy between her and Spike.  She noticed that Buffy wasn’t surprised to see Spike and also didn’t seem inclined to stake him.

 

“Uh, Buffy?” she nudged her.  “That’s Spike. Shouldn’t you be doing something about him?”

 

“Well, you’re the one he saved Will. I think you should be the one to thank him:  She giggled at Willow’s expression then nodded her head at Spike and said, “I’m serious, Willow.”

 

“Er, um, thank you, Spike,” Willow sputtered out, shaking her head.

 

“Anytime, Red.” He smirked at her. “Anytime I’m not hungry, anyway….hey!” he laughed as Willow cringed away and Buffy punched his arm.

 

“Stop that! You’re scaring her.  Willow, he’s not going to hurt you – he’s kidding.” She looked at him anxiously, “You are kidding, right? You aren’t going to eat any of my friends, are you?”

 

“No pet, the Scoobies are safe from me.” He assured her.

 

Willow was looking back and forth between the two blonds, trying to figure out what was going on and why Buffy and her mortal enemy suddenly seemed to be friends.

 

“Uh, Buffy?  Am I in some alternate dimension? Why is Spike not eating us?”

 

Buffy and Spike looked at each other and he tilted his head and said softly, “You explain, pet.”

 

“He’s here to help me, Will.  With Adam.  I’ll explain it tomorrow, when we’re all together.”

 

“All?” he raised his eyebrow at her.

 

Buffy flushed and said, “I want everyone to see you with me. So they believe you’re here to help us.”

 

Willow watched in complete befuddlement. Buffy and Spike –not trying to kill each other.  Spike snarking, but not in a mean way.  Buffy hitting him – but more in play than like a Slayer.  Shaking her head, she said, “I can’t wait to hear this explanation.  But I’m going in now.  Good night Buffy.” She paused, “Good night, Spike. And, thank you again.”

 

“My pleasure, Red. See you tomorrow night.”

 

 

Chapter Two:

 

 

Buffy broke the uncomfortable silence that followed Willow’s departure by asking, “Where are you staying? How will I find you tomorrow night?”

 

“I’ll be in one of the crypts in Sunnydale cemetery. Tell me where to be tomorrow night and I’ll meet you there.”

 

(Or, you could spend the night with me)

 

“Oh.” Buffy tried not to sound disappointed. “ I thought it might be good if you came in with me.  Less chance of accidental stakeage that way.  But if you don’t want to… 

 

(If you don’t want me with you)

 

The two super-powered blonds stood a few feet apart – neither one wanting to say good night and neither one willing to admit it.

 

“Well…”

 

“I guess….”

 

“I was just going to say, I should probably be getting in. I mean if you don’t want – if you don’t need any help finding a crypt – or anything. “ 

 

(If you don’t want me)

 

“Sure, pet, I’ll be fine. I still remember where the cemeteries are in Sunnydale.  Sleep tight, Slayer.  

 

(With me, sleep with me)

 

“Ok, you too.”

 

“Oh, no problem. I’ll be out like a light”

 

Well, good”

 

“Yeah, nothing like a good night’s sleep”

 

“Um, Ok then. I'll just be going ….now….I guess…”

 

“Sod this!” he exploded. “I can’t stand it anymore.”  He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her roughly to him, capturing her mouth with his and losing himself in the taste and feel of her.

 

Buffy melted into him; surrendering to the kiss she’d been aching for since she first saw him.  She was almost sobbing with relief as he clutched her to him and murmured into her mouth.  When they finally took a break so Buffy could get more than a quick gasp of air, he noticed a tear. “What’s wrong, love?” he asked worriedly. “Did I hurt you?”

 

Buffy gave a shaky laugh and shook her head, “I don’t know,” she said.  “I just- I was so afraid you didn’t want me any more.  And I – “

 

Growling in her ear, he pulled her close again, “I will always want you, Slayer.  Don’t ever doubt that.”  As he held her against him, she could feel the proof of his desire pushing against her leg and suddenly removing the cloth barriers between them became the most important thing she could think of. Already Spike’s hands were under her shirt and moving around her back, sending shivers through her as he touched her bare skin.

 

She pulled him back into the shadow of the alley.  As soon as they were safely hidden in the dark, he pushed her up against the wall and ran his hand up her thigh where he found her already wet and throbbing for him. He pushed aside her thong and smiled at her sharp gasp as his fingers touched her.  He ran his fingers around her folds, flicking her clit with his thumb as he did, then put two fingers inside her and smiled again as she clenched around them.

 

Buffy’s legs were too weak to hold her up, but she kept an arm around his neck as her other hand fumbled at the waistband of his jeans.  As soon as she had him unbuttoned and unzipped, his erection sprang out and she wrapped her hand around its cool length.  His hiss of pleasure told her he still welcomed her touch and she squeezed gently, moving her fingers to run around the tip, spreading the pre-cum tantalizingly.

 

“Got to have you, now, love,” he said hoarsely. “Want you so bad…

Slayer,” he gasped,  “now, love? Please now?”

 

Non-verbal Buffy answered the only way she could –by jumping up and wrapping her legs around his waist.  She lowered herself onto him, never taking her eyes off his as she sank down inch by inch.  With a groan, he pushed into her warmth, then froze, trying to get some control before he started thrusting.  Impatient Buffy squeezed him gently with her Slayer-enhanced muscles and he twitched and murmured with a smile “”Ah, don’t do that love.  Want to make this last at least a few minutes.”

 

Buffy giggled and relaxed, enjoying the wonderful feeling of being completely filled by him.  For a minute, they just clung together, happy to be connected again and almost reluctant to move and hasten the end.

 

“You feel so good, love.  I could stay here all night,” he rumbled in her ear as he sucked on her ear lobe.

 

“But probably not a good idea – what with the sun coming up in a few hours.” She murmured into his neck.

 

“Soddin’ sun spoils everything,” he muttered, beginning to move against her almost against his will.   Buffy began to rock her hips in the same rhythm and it was like the past two years had never happened.

 

“Tell me this feels as good to you as it does to me, Slayer.” 

 

 (It couldn’t possibly, but tell me it does)

 

“It’s…..I…..there’s……  (How do I say how right this feels?)  Welcome home, Spike.”

 

Apparently that was a good answer, as he groaned and increased the pace of his thrusting, moving his hips just enough at the end to touch that little bundle of nerve endings that no one else had ever found.

 

Biting into his shoulder so as not to scream her pleasure aloud, Buffy’s orgasm left her shaking and unable to think coherently.  As soon as he felt her clench around him, the vampire growled his release and shuddered as he emptied himself into her.

 

After several minutes of mutual recovery time, Buffy pushed herself reluctantly away from his chest and slid down his body until her feet were on the ground. Spike gave a low growl as his softened cock slid out of her warmth, but he grudgingly loosened his grip so that she could lean back and breathe.

 

“Don’t go in, Slayer. You know we’re not half finished yet.”  He whispered, his breath tickling her ear and sending chills down her spine.  With a visible shudder, she shook herself and pulled away from him.

 

“I know – but I need to get inside.  Willow will wonder where I am, and….” The rest of the sentence was lost in another bone-melting kiss.  With a moan, she allowed herself to sag against him, knowing he wouldn’t let her fall.  As he pulled back from the kiss, she heard whimpers and realized they were coming from her throat.  Spike was kissing and licking her neck, sending her Slayer-senses into outright war with her hormones.

 

“It’s been too long, love.  I can’t let you go yet.  Want to love you forever.”  At her startled twitch, he froze and groaned, “I’m thinkin’ out loud again, aren’t I?”

 

She giggled softly and nodded her head.

 

“’S’what you do to me, pet. Being close to you turns my brain to mush.” He gave her a sheepish smile and ran his knuckles softly down her cheek. She smiled and leaned into his touch.

 

“I know what you mean,” she said shyly, ducking her head.

 

“Do you, pet? I wonder,” he said, tipping her chin up and staring into her eyes.  Buffy tried to meet his gaze, but the intensity in those piercing blue orbs was too much and she had to look away.  She couldn’t see the pain that flashed briefly across his face, but she felt him pull away from her.

 

“Right, then,” he said abruptly, as he straightened up and zipped his pants.  “Back to business. What’s the plan?”

 

Confused and hurt by his sudden change in attitude, Buffy didn’t answer immediately.

 

 (Is that all he wanted? A quickie in the alley?)

 

 She straightened her clothing, refusing to look at him as she did so.

 

“Well, I’m going to meet Riley tomorrow and see if he will tell me what the Initiative is doing with all the demons they’re capturing.”

 

“So,” he said as casually as he could, “you’ll be needin’ to spend some time with him. Smooth out any issues between you….” 

 

(If he touches you, he’s food!)

 

“I guess so….he certainly won’t tell me anything if he thinks we’re broken up or that I’m still mad at him…”  She glanced quickly at the vampire, but his face was closed and impassive.

 

“Right, “ he ground out. “Kiss and make up. That’s the ticket, then”

 

“No! I mean, yes, yes, that’s what I’ll have to do. I’ll have to make him think we’re still together….”

 

“Are you? Together? Tell me the truth, love. It won’t affect my helping you. I just need to know where I stand….” The cold mask of his face cracked for just a second and his eyes begged her to say what he wanted to hear.

 

Buffy searched his face with her eyes for a few seconds, then asked softly, “Is there a reason why we shouldn’t be?” 

 

(Please, Spike, give me a reason).

 

“Only you can answer that, Slayer. Depends on what this means to you.” The vamp pulled her head toward him and kissed her gently, allowing the kiss to deepen gradually until they were both oblivious to anything but the taste and smell and feel of each other. When he finally let her go, he waited patiently for her response with his forehead lightly touching hers. 

 

“You tell me, love.  Is there a reason?  What did that mean to you?”

 

“That you’re a really, really good kisser?” she ventured.

 

“True enough, but not what I’m lookin’ for exactly.  An’ you know it, Slayer.”

 

“What are you looking for, Spike? I want you. You know that. I couldn’t lie about it if I wanted to.  But I’m the Slayer, The Chosen One.  I can’t just fa – I can’t have a relationship with a soulless vampire.  No matter how much I might want to.” She finished softly, looking at her feet.

 

“Just tell me you want to, love,” he whispered.  “That’ll do me, for now.”

 

She looked up at him and flinched again at the intensity in those eyes.  “It’s wrong…I shouldn’t…I can’t….” As her mouth murmured protests, her eyes were filling with tears and her body was leaning into him so she finished her protestations with his arms wrapped around her and her head resting on his chest. “I’m a bad Chosen One.” She sniffled as her arms went around his waist.

 

“And I’m a pitiful excuse for a master vampire,” he smiled into her hair.  “So much for my reputation as a killer of slayers.”

 

Buffy twitched at this reminder of his vampire nature and pulled away from him.  

(You stupid git. You had to remind her, didn’t you?)

 

He reluctantly released her from his embrace and stepped back.

 

“I’ll let you go in now, pet.  Tell me where to meet you tomorrow night.”

 

“We’ll be at Giles’ apartment. Give me a few minutes to prepare everybody before you show up.”

 

“OK, love,” he said leaning in to run his lips down her neck.  “See you tomorrow night. Sleep tight, Slayer, “ he added as he pulled her earlobe into his mouth and sucked on it briefly.

 

Electricity shot through Buffy’s body and she pushed him away, smacking his chest.  “If you really want me to sleep, keep your lips to yourself.”

 

At his self-satisfied chuckle, she growled, “Two can play at that game, Fang Face”.  As she spoke, she lightly ran her fingertips across the bulge in his pants. She smiled at the groan she elicited from him and sprinted for the door of the dorm before he could grab her.

 

“Good Night, Spike,” she giggled as she ran into the building.

 

“Good night, Slayer,” he said softly as he turned away.

 

 

Chapter Three:

 

As Buffy approached the coffee shop where she had agreed to meet Riley, she took a mental deep breath and tried to push all the images of a sexy blond vampire out of her brain.

 

              “OK,” I she chided herself mentally. “This is Riley. The fact that he’s one of the commandos doesn’t change the fact that he’s a nice guy and he likes you.  Just explain how important it is that you know what’s going on…..”

 

              She fixed a perky smile on her face and entered the shop.  She spotted Riley and felt a twinge of guilt as his face lit up at her approach. He got up and hugged her briefly, then pulled out her chair for her and sat back down.

 

              “Well,” she said.

 

              “Yes, well,” he replied.  “ I guess we have some talking to do.”

 

              “Yes, I suppose we do,” she said carefully.  “Where do you want to start?”

 

              “Can we start with why you let that vampire get away last night?”

 

              Buffy’s eyes got wide and she cringed with guilt until she remembered that he had been spying on her.  “Well, we could.  But that would lead to questions about why you chose to hide and spy on me instead of leaving.  And I really don’t think you want to go there just yet.” She finished, her expression changing from “caught” to combative.

 

              “I was worried about you,” he mumbled. “I thought you might need help…”

 

              “Riley, I’ve tried and tried to explain to you what I do.  I rarely need help – and certainly not for one vamp.”

 

              “And yet, it got away.  And you obviously didn’t catch it since my men spotted it later that night leaving campus.”

 

              Buffy’s heart raced with anxiety as she said, “They saw him?  Did they…? Is he….?”

 

              Riley looked at her strangely as he replied slowly, “No, they couldn’t catch it. It seems to be a little smarter than the usual run of vampires around Sunnydale.”

 

              Giddy with relief, Buffy blurted out, “Yeah, Spike’s a master vampire. One of the few left.  You don’t get to be that old without learning a thing or …..” her voice trailed off as she saw Riley looking at her with horror.

 

              “Spike? It has a name?” he stammered.  “And you know it?”

 

              He has a couple of names – and yes, I know him.  He’s been to Sunnydale before.”

 

              “Why didn’t you kill him then?”

 

              “Oh, I tried, believe me!  But we’re very evenly matched, Spike and I, neither one of us was ever able to kill the other.  And then we, just……”

 

              “Just?”

 

              “We stopped trying to. We made a truce. He left Sunnydale and I went back to my usual slayage.”  Buffy hoped she wasn’t as flushed as she felt as memories of how and why they stopped trying to kill each other raced through her mind.

 

              Riley just looked at her dumbstruck until he finally said, “So, he’s harder to kill than the average vamp – even for a Slayer.”

 

 

(Did I detect a bit of condescension in his tone?)

 

              “Interesting.  I guess we’ll need to be careful when we bring him in.”

 

              “Bring him in?  Bring him in where?” she tried to keep her voice even and unconcerned sounding, but her heart was racing at the implications.  “I think it’s time you shared with me, don’t you?”

 

              Riley sighed, then agreed, “I don’t have authorization to do this, but…..”

 

              Buffy smiled at him.  “I am the Slayer, Riley.  Surely it’s OK to let me know what’s going on with the demons in my town?”

 

              “You know, Buffy, most of us had never heard of you before a few weeks ago.  And those that had thought the Slayer was a myth.  Something to frighten baby vampires with.”

 

              “Well, here I am – all un-mythy and in the flesh. So share.”

 

              He shook his head saying, “I hope I don’t regret this.”  He then proceeded to fill her in on the Initiative and its mission to destroy demons and vampires.

 

              When he stopped, Buffy studied him for a minute, then asked, “So why capture them then?  Why not just kill them?”

 

              He looked uncomfortable for a minute, then admitted, “There’s some….experimentation going on, I think.  The labs are looking for ways to control them – put them to use maybe….”

 

              “Use? What use could a demon be?”

 

              “Well, they’re very powerful, and deadly, and, if they could be controlled –“

 

              “Weapons,” Buffy said flatly.  “You want to use them for weapons.” She got up to leave, spinning away from the table.

 

              Buffy!” Riley grabbed her arm, “This is why I didn’t want to tell you.  But why do you care? They’re just animals….”

 

              Buffy just looked at him.  “Is that why you want Spike?” she asked grimly.

 

              “Well, yeah, we have this new technology we want to try, but we need a strong vampire for the experiment.  He’d be perfect.”

 

              “Do not touch him, Riley!  He is not an animal to be experimented on.”

 

              “He’s a vampire, Buffy. A dangerous one. You said so yourself.  You should be happy to have him neutralized.”

 

              “No one touches Spike except me.  I decide if he gets ‘neutralized’ or not.

 

              She looked pointedly at his hand on her arm.  “I’m leaving now, Riley.”

 

              “Buffy, don’t leave like this.  We need to talk more.” His large hand was still clutching her arm.  He was confident she couldn’t leave until he let go and he smiled at her and said, “I’m not letting you leave yet.”

 

              She stared at him in astonishment.  “You haven’t listened to a thing I’ve said, have you?” she asked incredulously.  “About anything?”

 

              “Oh I know you’re a little physically enhanced somehow – just like we are,” he revealed.  “But, I’m twice your size…”

 

              His confident speech was abruptly interrupted as Buffy flexed her arm and threw him off into the table.

 

              “You’re an idiot, Riley,” she said as she left the shop.  “Spike will have you for lunch,” she muttered under her breath.

 

              ****************************************************

 

              Once the Scoobies were all assembled and looking at her expectantly, Buffy realized that they weren’t likely to be any more enthused about Spike’s presence than Riley was.  She considered the best way to approach the subject.  Taking a deep breath, she began,  “Guys, Giles, do you remember the other day when I said I wasn’t planning to take on Adam alone?”

 

              Giles looked at her curiously and said, “yes, I remember. I’ve been asking you to clarify it for two days.”

 

              “Well, I’m ready to do that now – but it’s going to take some explaining.”

 

              There was a gasp from Willow, whose eyes were huge as she realized who Buffy was talking about.

 

              Everyone looked at her curiously, then back to Buffy.

 

              “Willow?” Giles asked. “Do you know what Buffy’s talking about?”

 

              “I….I think so….”she said as she looked at Buffy for confirmation.  Her blond friend nodded her head briefly, then turned to the rest of the group.

 

              “Ok, guys, I know this is going to be a little hard to understand but I’m asking you to trust me.”  She took another deep breath and said as she let it out again, “Spikesgoingtohelplme.”

 

              Giles and Xander looked horrified as they realized what she said.  Anya and Tara just looked puzzled, as neither of them had been around when Spike was in Sunnydale before.

 

              Giles looked at her sternly and asked, “Did you just say Spike was going to help you?  Spike? As in, William the Bloody?  Slayer of slayers?”

 

              “Have you lost your mind?” Xander yelped.

 

              Buffy waited for them to stop babbling, then said quietly, “Did any of you every wonder why Spike disappeared so suddenly two years ago?   And why I told you I thought he was gone for good?”

 

              Giles shook his head, “I just assumed he’d decided he wasn’t going to be able to kill you and moved on to somewhere there was no slayer.”

 

              “We were just glad he was gone,” Xander said.  “Who cared why?”

 

              “So, Buffy,” Giles asked sternly, “Why did he leave?”

 

              Buffy felt the blood rush to her face as she tried to answer without revealing too much.

 

              “Well, we had a fight – another fight – and he…..he beat me.”  Giles blanched and Xander and Willow gasped.

 

              “You aren’t a vampire now, are you?” Anya asked.

 

              “No, of course not,” she snapped.

 

              “And why aren’t you?” Giles asked quietly, looking at her hard.

 

              Hoping her face wasn’t giving her away, Buffy responded with as much of the truth as she could.

 

              “He didn’t kill me right away – he asked me a question.  I answered it, and then we….talked.  Spike and I.”

 

              “You talked? You carried on a conversation with a vampire that was trying to kill you?”  Xander said in shock.

 

              “Actually,” Giles said, taking off his glasses and cleaning them, “that’s not a bad strategy for saving one’s life. I commend your creative thinking.  I take it, it worked, then?”

 

              “Yes,” Buffy said shortly, hoping Giles would never figure out exactly how “creative” she had been.

 

              “What did you talk about,” Anya asked brightly.

 

              “We, um, we talked about fighting and about how evenly matched we were, and how much fun it was to fight with each other, and….and after awhile we decided we didn’t really want to kill each other anymore.”

 

              “Must have been one hell of a conversation,” Xander snarked.

 

              Buffy struggled to keep her face impassive and wished for something to hide the color she was sure was flooding it.  Giles stared at her thoughtfully, but refrained from pursuing the subject in front of the others.

 

              “So,” he asked slowly.  “How does this conversation two years ago result in Spike’s helping you now?”

 

              “He was….worried….about me.  That I would meet something too big, that I couldn’t handle alone and he told me to call him if I ever needed help.  So I did, and he came.”

 

              “He what? He’s here? Spike’s back in Sunnydale?  Why haven’t we seen him?”

 

              “I’ve seen him,” Willow ventured.  While Tara and Xander gawked at her, she continued, “ He saved me from a group of vamps last night.”

 

              Disbelief clearly visible on his face, Xander said, “To eat himself, I’ll bet!”

 

              “Um, no. He told Buffy he wouldn’t eat any of us.”

 

              “Humph!” he snorted.  “I’ll believe that when I see it!”

 

              At the sound of knocking on the door, Buffy said, “Well, here’s your chance, Xander.” And moved to the door.

 

              The sight of the blond vampire standing in the doorway sent the whole crew of Scoobies retreating to the far end of the room.  Spike just laughed and leaned against the door jamb, cigarette dangling from his lips.

 

              “Well, Watcher, are you going to invite me in?”  He raised an eyebrow inquiringly.

 

              Giles looked at his Slayer’s anxious face and said, “I hope you know what you’re doing, Buffy.”  She nodded her head and said, “Please, Giles.”

 

              “Come in, Spike.” The watcher said clearly, moving closer to the door.

 

 

Chapter Four:

 

              The vampire sauntered into the room, casting an appraising eye at Tara and Anya, hiding behind Willow.  “Evenin’, Red,” he drawled. “Who’re your friends?”

 

              “Uh, this is Tara,” she stammered, “and this is Anya.”

 

              “Nice to meet you, ladies,” he said, giving them his most charming smile.  Tara blushed and looked down while Anya studied him appraisingly. 

 

              He ignored Xander completely and turned to ask Buffy, “So, pet, are we having a meeting or not?”

 

              Giles cleared his throat and said, “Yes, quite.  We should all share our information and see what else we’ve learned.”

 

              Willow told about being attacked by the vampires the night before.  Spike mentioned that it was strange they didn’t just drain her right there and she said they seemed to be trying to take her somewhere.  Buffy frowned at that and wondered out loud who would want Willow and why.

 

              Tara, who rarely spoke at the Scoobie meetings, stammered out, “W....well, you are becoming a very powerful witch – ma...maybe somebody wanted to use you for a spell or something.”

 

              “That’s certainly possible,” Giles agreed.  “Willow, perhaps you need to be more cautious than usual for awhile.  Next time, Buffy – and Spike – might not be there to save you.

 

              Buffy went on to talk about the info she got from Riley.  Spike became very still at the mention of the soldier’s name and remained quiet and impassive until Buffy got to the part about them wanting to experiment on him. He went briefly into game face and growled, sending everyone but Buffy cringing away from him.  He relaxed immediately, and smiled reassuringly at the girls.  When Buffy told about walking out and Riley’s attempt to physically stop her, both Giles and Spike sat up.  The watcher to ask, “What did you do?” concerned about what the answer might be.  The vampire just got up and headed for the door, eyes flashing yellow. 

 

              “Spike.”  Buffy leaped up and put her hand on his arm.  He stopped but didn’t turn around.  She could feel the tension in his body and she added softly, “Don’t. Please?”

 

              To everyone’s astonishment, after a tense few seconds, he visibly relaxed and turned around. He came back to his seat, shooting Buffy an apologetic look before he sat back down.

 

              “What the hell just happened here?” Xander asked no one in particular. Giles looked speculatively at the vampire and slayer – noting the little smile Buffy gave Spike as he came back in the room, as well as her sigh of relief when he sat down.

 

              “I repeat, Buffy, what did you do when he tried to stop you?”

 

              “I left,” she said flatly, daring anyone to ask any more questions.

 

              Undaunted, Anya asked cheerily, “Did you hurt him, Buffy?”

 

              “Yeah, Slayer.  Did you break the boy?” Spike snarked.

 

              Glaring at Anya and kicking Spike’s ankle hard enough to get a “Bloody hell” out of him, she answered tersely, “I doubt it. The table might have suffered a little damage, though….”

 

              Everyone laughed at the image of Riley being tossed into a table and Giles relaxed a little.

 

              “All right, let’s go over what we know – the Initiative is killing and experimenting on demons and the occasional vampire,” he glanced at Spike.  “They are also pursuing Adam – and seem to know something about him.”

 

              “Oh!”  Buffy piped up, “and the guys are much stronger than normal.  I knew Riley was pretty strong (under the table she pressed her leg against Spike’s in warning and he swallowed his growl), but he said something yesterday about my enhancements being like his.”

 

              Spike snorted and Giles smiled briefly before asking, “He’s as strong as you?”

 

              “Oh, no.  No superpowers that I can tell – not like me – or, or like Spike – but definitely more than a normal human.”

 

              “Could there be a connection between the Initiative and Adam?” Willow wondered. “I mean, enhanced soldiers, captured demons, man/monster combo bad guy?”

 

              “That’s an excellent thought, Willow,” Giles nodded approvingly.

 

              “And it would explain why they’re so hot to handle him themselves,” Xander put in.  “If they created him…..”

 

              “If they created him, they’ve got some serious  ‘splainin’ to do,” Buffy said grimly.  “He’s been responsible for a lot of deaths in the last few months.”

 

              “Didn’t you say they were experimenting with using demons as weapons?” Xander asked.  “Maybe he’s an experiment gone wrong.”

 

              “That makes sense,” Willow agreed.  “They made him and now they can’t control him and they’re trying to fix it.”

 

              “But, what would they want Spike for then?”

 

              “Hey, I’d make a great weapon!” he protested.

 

              “Riley said they had a new technology to control vampires – but they needed a really strong one to experiment on.  That’s why he wants Spike.”

 

              “How do they know how strong I am, pet?” he asked, looking at her out of the corners of his eyes.

 

              Buffy colored slightly and stammered, “Well, I might have…..he said they couldn’t catch you last night and I….might have mentioned that you were really old and….I’m sorry, Spike.” She sighed.  “I guess I put the idea in his head.”

 

              “Braggin’ on me, were you, Slayer?” he smirked at her.

 

              Buffy rolled her eyes and snapped, “I had to tell him something to explain how I let you get away, didn’t I?  I’ve spent all this time trying to make him understand how powerful I am and then he sees you toss me off like a flea….”

 

              “Well,” he drawled, “you could have told him you were distracted by-“

 

              Buffy’s eyes got huge, then narrowed as she gave him a glare that should have caused him to burst into flame. “Spike!” she hissed.

 

              He laughed, then noticed the looks they were getting from the Scoobies and he shifted slightly away from the Slayer as he said, “Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Slayer. I’m just having some fun with you.”

 

              “This is me, not laughing,” she grumbled at him.

 

              “All right, you two.  Whatever that’s about, we don’t have time for it now,” Giles interrupted.  “Buffy, exactly how do you expect Spike to be of help to you?”

 

              Buffy looked at the blond vampire and realized she hadn’t actually thought any further ahead than having Spike there.

 

              “Um, well, he’s really strong and he fights well, so I just thought he’d…..”she threw him a desperate look.

 

              “I’ll have her back, Watcher.  Or fight beside her if that’s what it takes to beat this thing.  ‘Sides, if he’s collecting vamps like she says, he might be real happy to find me.  I could get on the inside and maybe find out when he plans to take over.”

 

              “That’s not a bad suggestion,” Giles agreed at the same time as Buffy said, “No! That’s too dange-“ Spike touched her foot with his gently and she swallowed the rest of her protest.

 

              The meeting broke up with all agreeing that waiting to see if Adam made contact with Spike was the best plan.  Willow offered to go on-line and see what she could dig up on demon hybrids, animate weapons research, etc.  As everyone moved toward the door, Giles touched Buffy’s arm and said quietly, “I’d like to talk to you – and to you, Spike – for a moment.”

 

              Buffy and Spike exchanged glances, then he shrugged and came back into the room.  The vampire sprawled across an easy chair, swinging his booted foot and looking bored.  Buffy perched primly on the arm of the couch and said,   ”Yes, Giles?”

 

              The Watcher removed his glasses, cleared his throat and began, “Perhaps I should hold these conversations separately, but I would like us all to be on the same page here.”  He turned to address Buffy and asked, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing here?  This is Spike. A soulless vampire who has killed two Slayers.  What makes you think you can trust him?”

 

              Buffy sent a panicky look in Spike’s direction, then stammered, “I….I….uh, I just ….he promised…”

 

              “I keep my word, Watcher.” Spike said coldly.  “And the Slayer knows that.”

 

              “How do you know that?” Giles demanded of Buffy.

 

              “Because he always has.  Whether he was promising to kill me or promising not to.  He does what he says.”

 

Giles looked at the stubborn expression on her face and sighed.  “I have a feeling there’s more to this than you’re telling me.  But, I will trust your judgment  - for now,” he added, casting a suspicious eye in Spike’s direction.

 

              Turning to the vampire he asked, “Why are you doing this?”

 

              “I made a promise, and like I already told you, I keep my promises.”

 

              “But why would you make such a promise?  I would think you’d be happy if something took out the Slayer.”

 

              “Not this one,” he said shortly. “She’s mine.”

 

              “So, you’ve gone from killer of slayers to protector?” Giles asked skeptically.

 

              “”Well, this one, anyway,” Spike said, casting a look in Buffy’s direction.

 

              “Come on, Spike. Let’s get started,” Buffy said, edging toward the door. She was anxious to get out of there before Giles could ask any more questions.

 

              “What’s your plan for the night, then?” Giles asked them.

 

              Buffy was sure her plans for the night were written all over her face, but she gamely provided what she hoped was a reasonable answer.

 

              “I’m going to patrol for awhile – then I’ll go back to my dorm and Spike will try to make contact with Adam.”

 

              “And what will Spike be doing while you’re patrolling?”

 

              “Watchin’ her back,” he said flatly.  At Buffy’s indignant glare, he raised his hands in supplication and added, “From a distance, luv.  From a distance.”

 

              “I suppose that’s not a bad idea, just now.” The watcher reluctantly agreed. “We don’t know how many vamps and demons Adam has added to his army.  Even you can’t fight them all at one time, Buffy.”

 

              “Humph!” and an eye roll was her only response as she sashayed out the door.

 

              As Spike started to follow her, Giles stepped in front of him and looking every inch the Ripper, he met the vamp’s eyes and growled, “Do I even have to say it?”

 

              Spike shook his head and replied mildly, “I’m here to keep her alive, Watcher, not hurt her.  She’s safe with me. Or as safe as a girl in her line of work can be.”

 

              The watcher grudgingly stood aside and admitted, “I just worry about her. She’s a very special girl.”

 

              “D’you think you’re the only one who’s noticed that, Watcher?” he asked softly and allowed his cocky mask to slip for just a second.  While Giles was digesting what he’d seen and heard, the vampire slipped out the door and was gone.

 

 

Chapter Five

 

              “What was that all about?” she asked as he easily caught up with her.

 

              “’Bout what you’d expect.  If I hurt you, I’m a dust cloud, blah, blah.”

 

              Buffy moved closer to him so that their shoulders brushed as they walked along.  Every touch sent a tingle through her body and she wondered if he was as affected by her nearness as she was by his.

 

              Spike tried his best to be unmoved by her presence, but the warmth from her body was like a drug to him and he felt his cock twitch every time she touched him.

 

              When their hands brushed together as they both leaned in at the same time, he took her hand and entwined their fingers.  His thumb rubbed gently on her wrist and he could feel the blood pounding through the artery.  Instead of making him hungry, it made him more aroused and he anxiously pulled her toward the cemetery.

 

              Just as they reached the gate, they were discovered by a group of vampires led by the one that had tried to abduct Willow the night before. 

 

              “Look!” he shouted.  “It’s like I told you – he’s with the Slayer.” They all turned toward the two blonds who had immediately dropped hands and gone into  fighting stances.

 

              “Get them!” he directed as he carefully put the others between himself and the Slayer.  The others were all fledglings and it only took Spike and Buffy a few minutes to dust most of them.  When the first vamp saw how the fight was going, he tried to run but was stopped before he got to the gate by a very angry Slayer. After knocking him into a near-by wall, she pinned him          to the ground with a stake over his heart.

 

              “Where were you trying to take Willow last night?” she demanded.  “And why?”  She pushed the stake into his chest hard enough to draw blood and waited for an answer.

 

              “The, the master, Adam, wanted her,” he stammered.

 

              “What for?”

 

              “I don’t know. He just said to get her.”

 

              Buffy ground her teeth in frustration and shook him as though she could get more information that way.

 

              The vampire’s eyes were going back and forth between Spike and Buffy and he gave Spike a “we’re in this together” look and  said, “Sorry I interrupted your hunt.  She’s a slayer, you know. I could help you kill her…”

 

              “I don’t need help from the likes of you,” Spike snorted in amusement.

 

              “Well, you could help me out!” he begged. “She’s hurting me!”

 

              “He probably doesn’t know anything, Slayer. He’s just a minion.” He said to Buffy and smiled at the relieved look on the vampire’s face. “You might as well dust him.” He shrugged and watched the relieved look change to one of terror as the captured vamp realized what he had just heard.

 

              Buffy punched him hard enough to knock him unconscious, then stood up to ask Spike, “Couldn’t we follow him back to Adam?  I could let him get away and….”

 

              “He’s already seen me with you, love. Sorta spoils my chances of lookin’ like the Big Bad, doesn’t it?”

 

              “Damn! I guess it does. Oh well, can’t let him go, then –“ she turned just in time to see the vamp jump up and tear off. “Hey! Come back here! I wasn’t through with you!”

 

              ************************************

 

              “Damn, damn, damn,” Buffy chanted as they moved through the cemetery.

 

              “Relax, Slayer. I’ll come up with some excuse for being with you and we’ll just go on with the plan.”

 

              “No – you can’t go in there if they know you’re helping me.  It’s too dangerous.”

 

              “Worried about me, are you, pet?” he asked softly, as he stopped and cupped her face with his hand.

 

              She leaned into his touch for a second, then pulled away.

 

              “We’ve got to stop touching in public. Adam will never believe you if his minions keep seeing us together.”

 

              “I suppose you’re right, pet. Not to mention what soldier boy might think.” He growled at the thought of Riley having any claims on Buffy.

 

              “That too,” she agreed.  “If those commandos think I’m evil too….”

 

              “What?” he sputtered. “You’re the Chosen One, The Slayer, Heaven’s warrior.  Are they daft?”

 

              “Calm down.  They really don’t know or care what the Slayer is – or who chose her, for that matter.  If they see me hanging out with you, they’ll think I’m one of the bad guys.  Then I’ll never get a chance to find out more about them.”

 

              “Well then, Slayer, we’ll just have to be sure they don’t see us….” he smirked as he motioned toward one of the crypts.  Buffy raised her eyebrows, but followed him into the dark mausoleum.  As soon as she was inside, he kicked the heavy door shut and pulled her into his arms.  She tilted her head up for his kiss and felt the world vanish as his soft, cool lips touched hers with a gentleness that took her by surprise.

 

              He ran his tongue lightly around her lips and she immediately parted them to let him in.  The kiss was gentle at first. Full of tenderness that tugged at her heart.  The longer it continued, the more they were lost in the feel, smell, and essence of each other.  Buffy tasted cigarettes and mint and Spike.  She could inhale and smell leather and tobacco and his own unique scent.  He filled her senses in way no one else ever had or could.

 

              Spike was totally lost in her.  With his enhanced senses, he felt like he was drowning in her.  He heard and felt the blood rushing through her body, the pounding of her heart, the smell of her arousal as the kiss continued.  He was sure his heart was going to start beating any second and he would be as alive as she made him feel.

 

              Before the kiss could turn into another hurried, bodies-against-the-wall shag, he broke it off, smiling at her whimpered complaint when he took his lips away.  He dipped in for more quick kisses as he moved her into the room and gently pushed her down toward the floor.  She was surprised to feel, rather than the cold concrete she was expecting, a soft cushion under her knees.  Spike gave her one more quick peck, then vanished for a second.  There was the snick of a lighter and suddenly the room began filling with warm light as the candles Spike was lighting suffused the dark with soft illumination.

 

              Buffy looked around in wonder.  She was sitting on a queen-size airbed, covered with soft red linens and quilts.  Beside the bed was a low table with a candle, a bottle of wine, two glasses and a box of chocolates.

 

              The candlelight softened the edges of the room making it seem cozy and warm rather than hard and cold.

 

              “D’you like it, pet?” he asked trying not to sound anxious.

 

              “I love  it,” she breathed.  “When did you….how?”

 

              “I got the stuff last night and put it together today.” He said. “Wanted you to have something better than wet grass and brick walls this time,” he added gruffly.

 

              With the candlelight reflecting yellow in his eyes and casting shadows that made his cheekbones stand out, he looked like a beautiful devil standing over her.

 

              She held her hand up to him and he knelt down to face her.  She ran her fingertips lightly over this face, touching his eyebrow, tracing the scar, following his cheekbones and finally touching his mouth.  As her fingertips played over his soft lips, she wondered how someone with such a hard body could have such a soft, supple mouth.

 

He kissed her fingers, then gently pulled one of them into his mouth and began sucking on it.  His eyes were dark with barely suppressed desire and with a little moan Buffy closed the distance between them and replaced the finger in his mouth with her tongue.  As they sank down on the bed, she was already pulling at his shirt, ripping the buttons in her haste to remove it and get her hands on his smooth muscular chest.  At the touch of her warm hands, Spike growled and surrendered to the desire flooding his body.  He dropped his shirt to the floor and began removing Buffy’s clothes one piece at a time. 

 

Every time she tried to hurry him, he shushed her with a kiss and kept his cool hands moving around her body, loosening and removing items.  As soon as he exposed another section of skin, he spent time worshipping it with his mouth and tongue – sliding down her neck, across her shoulder, back across her chest to her breasts – each one of which got attention from his mouth while his hands were busy pulling off her tight pants and lacy underwear.  When he had worked his way down her body to her soft curls, her breath was coming in gasps before his lips or tongue had even found the folds hiding her clit.  Burying his face in her, Spike paused to inhale her scent before running his tongue up and down her slit.  Holding her down with a hand on her soft-skinned stomach, he ran his tongue over and around until she was pulling on his hair and begging him to let her come.  He pulled her into his mouth, biting down gently as he sucked hard on her, sending her hips off the bed and causing her to shriek his name.  Her body continued to shake with tremors for minutes after.  He slid back up to her head and kissed her ear whispering, “I’ve been waiting for that taste for two years”

 

              “Too long,” Buffy mumbled into his neck.  “It was too long.”

 

              “Yeah, it was love, it truly was.”  As he spoke, he was gently pushing her legs apart again and she felt him nudge gently at her entrance.  Instead of pushing in, the vampire stroked up and down with the tip of his cock, causing them both of moan and shudder every time it reached the opening and then slid away again.  As painful as it was for him to wait, he held off burying himself inside her warmth until she grabbed his ass with both hands and pulled him to her, demanding, “Now, Spike!”

 

              “Now what, Slayer?  What do you want?”

 

              “You.  I want you. Inside me. Now.”

 

              His moan of acquiescence as he quit fighting his own body and slid into her came at the same time as her whispered, “Please”.

 

              As soon as he was filling her completely, they both sighed with relief and pleasure.  Content for a moment to savor the feeling.

 

              “Slayer, Buffy, around me, under me, touching me – so warm, so soft and strong, my golden girl, my Slayer,” Spike’s murmuring made a soothing backdrop for the utter contentment that suffused Buffy at the feel of his hard, smooth body on hers, the chill column of his cock cooling her burning interior.  She wrapped her arms and legs around him in a grip that would have broken bones in a human man and clenched her internal muscles around him.  He hissed in pain as she squeezed him and growled his pleasure at the sensation.

 

              Buffy felt the vibrations of the growl throughout her body and moaned  at the sensation.

 

              “Liked that, did you?” he rumbled in her ear.

 

              Buffy blushed, then admitted, “It makes me all tingly”

 

              “If a growling vampire can make you all tingly, it’s a wonder you weren’t dead years ago.” He snarked.

 

              “Not just any growling vamp,” she said shyly, “Only one.”  Then she continued brightly, “Of course only one has ever growled at me from that particular position, so maybe…..”

 

              “And only one bloody well will!” he growled again, sending the same incredible vibrations through her body.

 

              “Mmmmmm” was her only response as she arched her back and pressed against him even tighter. That movement was more than Spike could take and he began rocking his hips against hers in an easy rhythm, thrusting in and out.  Soon the only sounds were the Slayer’s gasps and grunts of pleasure as the vamp slammed into her over and over.  As her orgasm built, she wrapped her legs around his thighs, pinning his lower body to hers.  He pushed his upper body up on his hands so he could angle his hips in a way that allowed him to touch the bundle of nerves he was seeking and start her screaming his name. 

 

              He looked down on her sweaty, flushed face, thrashing back and forth in a tangle of golden hair and thought he’s never seen anything so beautiful.  As her muscles spasmed one last time, her eyes flew open and met his.  The raw emotion she saw there was met by the undisguised awe on her own face.  For just those few seconds that it took him to find his release and collapse on to her, they looked at one another with complete honesty.

 

              This time the vampire didn’t allow her to pull away and he remained inside her, basking in her warmth and the feel of her body under his.  Eventually Buffy found she was having trouble breathing with the weight of his undead body on her and she gathered her thoroughly relaxed muscles enough to flip them over so that she was lying on top of him.

 

              “Mmmm, much better,” she murmured. “Air is good.”

 

              Spike shifted his weight underneath her and said, apologetically, “You should have said something, love. I would have moved off.”

 

              She picked her head up to look at him, “Didn’t want you to not be in me. Just needed to breathe.”  As she spoke, she sat up with her knees on either side of his hips.  She felt him twitch back to life and smiled as he hardened and swelled to fill her again.

 

              “Gotta love that vamp stamina,” she said as she leaned back until her hair was brushing his legs.  He grabbed her hips with his lean fingers and held her in place as he began moving his hips up and down.  The sight of her body leaning away from him, all sweat-sheened and golden, taut muscles and pert breasts made him groan in pleasure.  The sight of her soft brown curls meeting his where their bodies joined was almost enough to make him come before they even started.  He watched in wonder as she rode him to her climax, reveling in the sounds she was making and the way she gasped his name as she came.  As soon as he heard his name and she clenched around him, he roared his release, pulling so hard on her hips that his fingertips left bruises.

 

              After the necessary minutes to get her muscles to respond again, Buffy pulled herself back to a sitting position on the vampire and wriggled her hips suggestively.  He laughed at her and pulled her down onto his chest.

 

              “Not this time, love.  Even vampires need some recovery time!”

 

              “Party pooper,” she pretended to pout. “And here I thought you missed me…”

 

              Taking her lower lip in his teeth and biting it gently, Spike said, “I did miss you, pet.  You’ll never know how hard it was for me to stay away from you.”  Her only reply was to snuggle into him as though she couldn’t get close enough.

 

              After a few minutes of comfortable silence during which he stoked her hair gently, he asked carefully, “So, pet.  I guess you didn’t miss me so much? What with the boy friend and all.”

 

              “I started missing you as soon as I couldn’t see you anymore,” she whispered.  “Life got very boring without you around.”

 

              “A Slayer’s life, boring?” he raised his head and cocked an eyebrow at her.

 

              “She shrugged and admitted, “Well, in a whole fighting-demons-every- night-stopping-the-occasional-apocalypse kind of way.”

 

              He chuckled and said, “Not like fighting with me, huh, love?”

 

              “No, not like fighting with you.  Or – or – like not fighting with you.” She added, blushing furiously. “No body else can-“

 

              His savage snarl and yellow eyes stopped her cold and she tensed until the yellow went back to blue and he gave her an apologetic squeeze.  “I’m sorry, love. I can’t stand the thought of anyone else touching you.  Not very realistic of me, I guess.  You’ve got a right to enjoy your life.”

 

              “And who taught me that I should?” she asked slyly.  He sighed and chuckled. “Touché, pet.”  Then she huffed, “And I suppose you’ve been living like a monk for the last two years?”  

 

(Lie to me, Spike. Please lie to me)

 

He paused for a minute to think about what he needed to say, then began, “I’m a vampire, Buffy.  We do what we want, when we want. Sexual fidelity isn’t a part of our lives – even when we care about each other.”  He could feel her body grow rigid and she tried to move off him, but he held her tightly.  “No, love, let me finish, please.”

 

              She stopped struggling to get away, but remained stiff and unyielding in his arms.  Tears prickled behind her eyes, but she held them back grimly.

 

              “I would never knowingly do anything to hurt you.  You have to believe that.  (Please believe that)   But, I didn’t know if I would ever see you again.  Or even if you would want to see me again.  So, yeah, I’ve had a few birds in the last two years. Mostly other vampires.  They didn’t mean anything to me.  Just a way to scratch an itch for awhile.”

 

              “Is that what this is?” she asked in a subdued voice. “Am I an itch-scratcher?”

 

              “No, love.  You are the itch!” he said as he kissed the top of her head.  “And that is most definitely not what this is to me.”

 

              “What is it then? What is it to you?”

 

(Everything. It’s everything)

 

I don’t know that I’m clear on that, Buffy.  Depends a lot on what it is to you I guess.”

 

              “Oh,” she said meekly.  “I don’t know what it is to me.  (more than I want it to be!)   I don’t know if it can be anything.  You know, you vampire – me Slayer.  Mortal enemies and all that.”

 

              His face closed down and he said flatly, “Right, no future in it. That’s for bloody sure.”  His face and voice were cold, but his arms tightened around her almost imperceptibly.

 

              Buffy stared at his face, trying to decide if she should listen to his words or his body.  When he glanced at her briefly and she saw the flash of pain in his eyes, she knew.

 

              “I didn’t say that,” she said quietly.  “It’s just very complicated. I’m the Slayer. I can’t just go around falling in...into relationships with vampires.  It’s wrong. The council would-“

 

“Wankers” Spike muttered.

 

              “Yeah, well, got to agree there. Whatever a wanker is.” The corner of her mouth crooked up slightly. “But they do keep an eye on what I’m doing. Even if, or especially if, I’m not doing what they want.  I guess they can’t fire me, though, can they?” she added cheerfully.

 

              “No, Pet, they wouldn’t fire you,” he said very seriously.  “But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t find a way to see that you weren’t able to keep doing whatever they didn’t like.  And they definitely don’t like me!”  He sighed, and eased her off to lie in the crook of his arm so that he could look at her easily.

 

              “You’re right, love. They wouldn’t like it at all.  And I’d have to be a right selfish bastard to do anything to give them cause to…..terminate your employment.”

 

              “Ummmm” Buffy crooned as she nibbled on one of his nipples, “good thing they can’t see us in here, isn’t it?”  She ran her nails down his stomach and smiled as his cock came to attention again.

 

              “Yesss” he hissed as she continued to rake her nails over his velvety skin.  “It’s a very good thing.”  He turned to pull her over again, but she batted his hands away and said, “Stay”.

 

              “What am I, a lap dog?” he grumbled, but he was smiling and he stayed still while she ran her hands and teeth around his body, scratching lightly and taking small nips of skin here and there.  When she got to his throbbing cock, she bit down gently on the tip and used her teeth and tongue to pull the foreskin back.  Spike’s fingers were digging into the bedding as he struggled to remain still.  “Bloody hell, woman. What are you trying to do to me?” he gasped out.

 

              “I’ve been doing research on vampires,” she said. “I want to show you I can be just as itch-scratchy as any female vampire.  I know biting is a part of lov- of sex for vampires. So you just lie back there and let me show you what a Slayer can do.”

 

              He groaned as she squeezed his balls in her warm little hand – just hard enough to hurt, but not hard enough to injure him.  “Do you like that?” she purred.  “I could do it harder….” A strangled “No” was all he could gasp out as once again this Slayer proved she was not like any other he had met.

 

              She used her lips and tongue to soothe the bite marks she was leaving all over his cock so that he never knew if her mouth was going to cause pain or pleasure. She took the tip in her mouth and sucked on it as hard as she could until she pulled all the blood to the tip and then, just as he was on the edge of release, she stopped and began planting soft kisses all over it.

 

              “You’re killin’ me here, Slayer,” he groaned.

 

              “Ask nicely and maybe I’ll stop,” she said sweetly.

 

              “Don’t want you to stop.  Don’t ever want you to stop, “ he croaked, “just want…aaaah!….please, love,  please, Buffy,  please.”

 

              Using her nails and strong little hands and her blunt little teeth, she continued what she started until he vamped out and exploded.

 

              Very pleased with herself, Buffy curled up beside his trembling body and gently stroked his chest.

 

              “How about that for itch-scratching?” she asked smugly.  “Better than some vampire ho?”

 

              “No comparison, love. You win, hands down,” he said when he was once again capable of speech.

 

              He pulled her close and tugged one of the quilts over them so she wouldn’t be too cold and buried his face in her neck, enjoying the feel of her silky hair and the tang of her sweaty skin.  He used his tongue like a cat to lick the drops of sweat off her face and neck, causing her to giggle when he dropped down to her collarbone.

 

              “Tickles,” she murmured as the steady lapping lulled her to sleep.   The vampire, exhausted from fighting his demon – which wanted nothing more that to sink his fangs into her neck while he came, drifted off with her.  They spent the rest of the night tangled together under the quilt.  Even in their sleep, their bodies responded to one another and at one point Buffy woke up with Spike inside her. His eyes were closed and he was purring while his strong arms kept her pulled tightly to his chest and his hips rocked gently against her buttocks.  One hand strayed down to her clit and rubbed softly so that she responded even as she tried to drift back to sleep.  When she felt him shudder and thrust into her in release, she push hard against his hand and felt him tug gently on her until she came with a whimper.  She was back asleep immediately – not even sure if it was real or a dream.

 

 

 

Chapter Six

 

                Buffy awoke with a start and then relaxed as she remembered where she was and whose arm was across her body.  She turned her head and smiled as she saw Spike gazing down on her.  “Mornin’, Slayer,” he said as he pushed her hair back from her face. 

           

              “Morning?” she yelped, then groaned as she noticed the light filtering into the crypt around the door.  “Oh my god.  I stayed all night?”

 

              “Yeah.  I didn’t want to wake you.  You looked like you needed the sleep.” (And I didn’t want you to leave).

 

                “How long have you been awake?” she asked curiously.

 

“Uh, awhile.  Not too long.  But you know, vampire – nighttime is my daytime……”  No way was he going to  tell her he had spent hours just watching her sleep and marveling at how beautiful she was.

 

              “Oh, right.  Guess it cut into your time – having me here all night.  You should have woken me up and sent me home.”   <I>(But I’m glad you didn’t).</I>

 

              He touched her chin and turned her face up to his, “There is no place else I would rather have been, Buffy.  And nothing more important than being with you.”

 

(Careful, wanker, you’re going to say something you shouldn’t and scare her away!)

 

Reluctantly pushing herself away from him, Buffy looked around for her clothes and began pulling them on.  “I need to get back to the dorm and think about what I’m going to tell Willow about where I was tonight.  I might even go to class today – who knows?”  She looked at him over her shoulder as she ran her fingers through her tousled hair.  “What are you going to do?”

 

“Uh, again –vampire, pet.  I’m going to sleep.  As soon as I can move around outside, I’m going to go looking for this Adam character.  Should be somebody at Willie’s can tell me where to find him.”

 

“I don’t think that’s very safe.....that vamp that got away the other night, he’s seen us together twice.  If he tells Adam you’re helping me...”  Her forehead knit in worry as she looked at him.

 

“I’ll be all right, love.  Got too much to live for to be careless.”  He pulled her down for a lingering kiss.  “And, I’ve got two years of missing you to make up for yet.”

 

Buffy smiled at him and brushed her hand across his cheek as she promised, “And I’m going to make you account for every minute of those two years.  But,” she added as she stood up again, “right now I have to get back to the school.  I’ll find you later tonight. OK?”

 

“OK, Slayer.  Till tonight.”

 

 

 

            Buffy went through the day’s activities with a far-away but satisfied look on her face that had Willow puzzled and somewhat worried.  Finally, as they both arrived back at their dorm room to get ready for dinner, she pushed Buffy down onto her bed and ordered, “OK, dish.  What’s with the Cheshire cat look today?  What don’t I know that, as your best friend, I should?”

 

Buffy tried her best to look innocent as she replied, “I don’t know what you mean.  What look?”

 

“That one!  The one that says ‘I have a wonderful secret’ and I.......Oh, Goddess!  Is it Spike?”  She stared at her friend with eyes like saucers.  “Buffy?”

 

Buffy tried to look shocked, but finally succumbed to both the guilt of keeping secrets from her best friend and the urge to share.

 

“Yes,” she said, bowing her head.  “It’s Spike.”

 

Willow struggled to maintain her “supportive friend” face as she asked, “But, Buffy?  Evil vampire?  Good Slayer?  How are these mixy things?”

 

“I don’t know, Will,”  she groaned.  “I just know he makes me happier than anyone else every has and I know I need him right now to help me with Adam.” She paused and looked apologetically at her friend, “Are you disappointed in me?”

 

“Hey, not one to talk about the unconventional relationships here – I mean, werewolf and.....Tara.  Although, granted, they are both alive and non-evil.....”

 

“Look, Will, I know this is hard to get used to.  I’m not used to it either.  And I don’t know where it’s going, if anywhere.  He’s probably just here to keep his promise to help me with my slaying and when we kill Adam he’ll probably go back to whatever he was doing before....” Her voice trailed off as a physical pain shot through her at the thought of Spike’s leaving again.  Shaking off the fear that he would soon be gone, she focused back on her friend.  “Let’s just not tell Giles or Xander yet, OK?  I don’t want them to freak.”

 

“Ok, Buffy.  I won’t tell.  But Giles isn’t stupid, you know.  He might figure it out.”

 

“I’ll worry about that when the time comes.  Right now I want to worry about Spike and Adam.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As soon as it was dusk, Spike wandered down to Willie’s and ordered some O Neg and scotch.  As he sat nursing his drink, he looked around the room idly wondering which of the demons and vampires there might be working for Adam.    <I> (Must be my lucky night)</I>  he thought with satisfaction as he saw the vamp that had escaped from them twice entering the bar.  The scruffy looking vamp picked up a take out order and as he turned to leave, Spike slipped out the door behind him and put his hand on his neck.

 

The other vampire swung around in game face, then when he saw who was holding him by the neck he groaned and tried to pull away.  “Hey, man, I don’t want any trouble,” he whined, looking around.  “Where’s the Slayer?”

 

“She’s busy elsewhere,” Spike replied.  “Not that her comin’ and goin’ is any of your business,” he added with a growl and a shake of the other vampire’s neck.

 

“Right, right, not my business. Got it! No problem.”

 

“Now that’s settled, take me to Adam,” Spike ordered quietly.

 

“Uh,  I don’t think that’s a good idea, man.  Adam isn’t going to want the Slayer’s......”

 

“The Slayer’s what?” Spike said with a dangerous glint in his eye.

 

“Urk!” the other vampire said as Spike squeezed his neck. “You....she....”

 

“Not your concern, mate.  Just take me to your leader.”  He smirked and laughed.  “I always wanted to say that!”

 

The other vampire shrugged and said, “Your funeral” as he headed off toward Adam’s lair.

 

As they entered the lair and Adam looked up from his computer console, Spike took in his appearance.  (Ugly bloke!)  he thought as his guide groveled in front of Adam, apologizing for bringing Spike along.

 

He stopped speaking as Adam waved his hand dismissively and waited anxiously to see what he would do about Spike.  The blond vampire casually lit a cigarette and leaned against one wall as the mechanical/human/demon hybrid approached him.

 

“So, you are the vampire that is helping the Slayer,” he remarked.  “Is there a reason I should not kill you?”

 

“Well, yeah, you stupid git.  Because I can deliver the Slayer to you.  Whenever and however you want her.”

 

Adam shot a look at his minion and said calmly.  “I’ve been led to understand that you have some sort of ...relationship... with her.  Why would you turn her over to me?”

 

“The ‘relationship’, which your minion there is too stupid to recognize, is that I have her in a thrall.  Have had since two years ago.  She’ll do whatever I say.”

 

“If she’s in your thrall, why isn’t she dead?  Why haven’t you drained her? You do drink blood, do you not?”

 

“Let me explain this in small words so your mechanical mind can understand it – live Slayer in thrall means I can do what I want in Sunnydale. Dead Slayer means a new one is called and I have to fight a new Slayer every time I kill one.”

 

“Ah, I see,” Adam said.  “this is a strategy then, not some kind of unnatural relationship.”

 

“Exactly”  Spike threw his cigarette butt on the floor and crushed it with his boot.

 

“So, you want to talk to me for what reason?”

 

“Want to work out some kind of arrangement.  I help you and keep the Slayer away, you give me my choice of whatever I want when Sunnydale is yours.”

 

“I will think about this, vampire.  I may ask you to demonstrate your thrall at some point.”

 

“No problem, mate.  Just let me know.”

 

“Are you believing him?” the minion asked in astonishment.  “I already told you I saw him kissing the Slayer.  What kind of thrall is that?”

 

Adam looked curiously at Spike who smirked and shrugged.  “The Slayer’s a hot little number.  No sense wasting a perfectly good thrall, just cause I’m not going to eat her.”

 

Adam frowned and shook his head.  “This desire for physical contact is one of the things we will eliminate in our new race of warriors.  It is an unnecessary use of energy.”

 

“Yeah, whatever.” Spike replied.  “Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.”  He straightened up and turned to go.  “So, do we have an arrangement?  I keep the Slayer away, you give me what I want?”

 

“I will think about this, vampire.  Return tomorrow night and I will let you know my decision.”

 

Shooting the minion a two-fingered salute, he sauntered out of the cave and headed back to his crypt.

 

 

Chapter Seven

 

Buffy was waiting for him when he got to the cemetery.  Her facial expressions went from relieved, through happy and directly to brassed off within the few seconds it took for her to see that he was back and in one piece.

 

“Where have you been?” she exploded at him, fighting the urge to punch him in the nose.  “I was worried – “ She was cut off in mid rant as he picked her up and captured her lips with his.  She assured herself she would continue to tell him how stupid he was being just as soon as she was tired of kissing him.

 

He kicked open the door to the crypt and carried her inside, dumping her unceremoniously onto the bed.  Before he even looked at her again, he prowled through the crypt sniffing and checking the traps he had left to see if anyone had been in there while he was out.  Satisfied that no one had been, he dragged a heavy sarcophagus over to the door and effectively blocked the only way in.

 

“Spike?  What are you doing?  Is something wrong?”  She jumped to her feet to face him.

 

“Don’t think so, love.  Just don’t want to take a chance on unexpected visitors.  Don’t like surprises.”

 

“Oh,” she said offhandedly, “Then I guess I’d better warn you I’m not wearing any underwear rather than let you find out yourself....”  She giggled as he grabbed her and ran his hand under her skirt to check the truth of what she was saying.

 

He growled into her neck as he ran his hand over her firm cheeks and squeezed them.   “You ran around town like this?  You shameless vixen.  I think you need to be punished.”

 

“Do you?” she breathed, not really sure what he meant, but liking the look in his eye.  “Who’s going to punish me?”

 

“Big Bad, here, Slayer.  I have just the punishment you need.” As he spoke he was sitting down on top of a sarcophagus and pulling her into his lap. He laughed at her indignant “Hey!” as he flipped her over and pulled up her skirt to expose her ass.  “Beautiful” he breathed as his hand hovered over her creamy skin.  “But you have been very bad, you naughty girl,” he said as he brought his hand down with a hearty smack.

 

Buffy gasped as his hand came down on her bare skin.  The surprise and sting of his hand was quickly followed by a flood of warmth where he had hit her and she was surprised to find it wasn’t at all unpleasant.  The next slap was on the other cheek and now both were warm and tingling – as was another part of her anatomy.  The vampire kept up the slaps, alternating cheeks until her entire rear was red and warm. 

 

The longer he slapped her cheeks, the warmer Buffy got and she found herself grinding her pelvis into his thighs as he held her lightly in place.  They both knew she could have easily escaped any time she wanted to, but curiosity and the growing wetness between her thighs kept her in place.  Spike looked at her rosy cheeks and lowered his head. 

 

“Bad Slayer. She’s been punished, now I have to make it better,” he said softly as he kissed and licked until his cool tongue and lips were as warm as the cheeks of her ass.

 

 

While he was “kissing it better”, Buffy’s hands were reaching for the buttons on his jeans and when she finally freed his hard shaft she pivoted on his lap and sat facing him, lowering her wetness slowly onto him.  He sucked his breath in sharply as she teased him, sliding up and down but not quite letting him all the way in.

 

“Who’s being punished now?” she purred as he threw his head back and growled in frustration.  She continued to tease him as long as she could stand it, until she decided it was frustrating her as much as it was him and she suddenly dropped down, letting him fill her completely.

 

The steadily mounting desire brought on by Spike’s spanking as well as her prolonged teasing had them both already close to the edge; it didn’t take long before she was clenching around him as she screamed his name, and he was roaring his pleasure as he thrust into her.

 

Foreheads pressed together, they rested for several minutes until Buffy straightened up and said reluctantly, “I can’t stay tonight.  I promised Willow I’d be back sometime tonight so that I wouldn’t miss class tomorrow. And......and.....” She took a deep breath and held his face in both hands so that she could look into his eyes.  “And, I promised Riley I’d meet him for patrol so that we could talk some more.”

 

She flinched as Spike’s eyes turned golden and his forehead wrinkled, but she kept her hands on his cheeks and stroked them gently. 

 

“It’s just patrol.  I promise.  I need to do this.  I need to find out what he knows about Adam so we can figure out how to kill him.  I can’t afford to pass up a chance to get more information just because you....we.....” Her eyes pleaded with him to understand and to be all right with it.

 

After a tense minute or two, Spike forced his demon back down and sighed as he turned his head to kiss the warm palm resting against his cheek. 

 

“It’s OK, Slayer.  I know you need to find out everything you can.  I’m not sure how much I’m going to learn.  I don’t think the science project trusts me enough to let me in on too much.”

 

Buffy slumped with relief and put her head against his chest.  As she did, she felt his cock, which was still inside her, twitch back to life and she smiled up at him.

 

“Of course, I do have about 45 minutes before I said I’d meet him.......”

 

Standing up and keeping her in place, Spike walked to the bed and stood over it.  Buffy’s legs were around his waist and she was squeezing his cock rhythmically as he walked.  He dropped to his knees and gently laid her down on the scarlet linens.  In a replay of the first time they made love, he slid out of her warmth and began removing her clothes.

 

Buffy’s whimper when he pulled out soon turned to mews of pleasure as he licked his way around her body while removing her shirt and skirt.  In no time they were both naked and she pulled him down on top of her demanding, “In me, now!”

 

“Bossy bint, aren’t you?” he said with a smile as he complied.

 

“What’s a bint?  Are you insulting me?” she muttered as she wriggled under him.

 

He just shook his head and groaned at the feel of her warm walls clenching around him.  “Never mind, pet.  You can boss me around anytime.  As long as you follow it with something like this anyway,” he smirked.

 

As he began moving within her, thrusting in as far as he could and adding a twist at the end that rubbed against her clit each time, she completely forgot about being insulted and concentrated on being soundly shagged.

 

Forty minutes later, as Buffy was collecting her clothing and preparing to leave for her patrol with Riley, she noticed that Spike was once again struggling to control his demon.

 

“What’s wrong?” she asked softly.  “I thought you were OK with this?”

 

“You’re going out to patrol with another man wearing that short skirt and no knickers.  What the hell do think is wrong?” he snarled.

 

“Oh!  I almost forgot!” she giggled as she reached for her weapons bag. While he watched curiously, she pulled out a pair of jeans, a pair of cotton bikini panties, socks and sneakers. 

 

“Ta da!” she said, waving them in his face.  “I brought these to change into.   The skirt was just for you,” she added shyly, blushing slightly.

 

“Oof!” she gasped as he swept her into his arms and twirled her around. “So that’s Ok, huh?” She giggled at him again.

 

“You are amazing, Slayer.  Full of surprises, you are.”  He put her down and stoked her cheek gently. 

 

(NOT going to scare her away by telling her how I’m falling in love with her.  Don’t care how much that ponce, William, wants to, I’m not going to do it.  Will ruin everything.)

 

Buffy stared back at him, trying to read his face and wondering at the confusion she saw there.  She could see that he was struggling with something, but was afraid to think about what it might be.

 

(Vampire Slayer, here.  Incredibly sexy and sweet vampire there.  But evil.  There will be no falling in love with the evil vampire.  None. Nope.  Not happening.)

 

Both blonds simultaneously pulled back and looked away quickly.  Buffy pulled on her clothes and grabbed her weapons bag, edging toward the door.

 

“Well, I’ve got to go now.  To meet Riley.  To talk...and patrol...and find out about Adam.” 

 

“Yeah, You need to go be the Slayer.  That’s what you do.  That’s what you are.”  Spike walked over to the door and pulled the sarcophagus away far enough for her to open the door and squeeze through.

 

Buffy’s hand was on the door when she suddenly dropped her bag and leaped onto his body, throwing her arms around his neck.  The vampire caught her in mid leap and pulled her into an embrace that would have broken ribs in a human girl.

 

“Wondered if you were gonna go without a good night kiss, Slayer,” he murmured as he captured her lips and slid his tongue into her waiting mouth.

 

Buffy was too busy kissing to bother to answer him.

 

 

Fifteen minutes later she was walking through the campus with Riley making uncomfortable small talk.  Finally the big man stopped and blew out his breath.  “Buffy, we’ve got to talk this out.  What ever went, or is going wrong between us, we need to work it out.  I...I miss you.”

 

Buffy winced with guilt as she read the truth in his honest open face.

 

 “Riley, I’m sorry.  I don’t know what to say.  I told you what I was very early on, and although I know you don’t really understand what I am or what it means, at least I was honest with you.  You, on the other hand, didn’t tell me about your involvement with the commandoes until we busted you.  You’ve been dishonest with me, you and your men have been capturing vampires and demons to use for weapons, and worst of all, I know you know more about Adam than you’ve told me.”

 

“I was just trying to protect you, Buffy.  I didn’t – don’t – want you to get hurt.”

 

She shook her head sadly, “My point exactly, Riley.  I was Chosen to protect the world.  As soon as I was called, when I was fifteen, the safety of you, your men, and everyone else in the world became my responsibility. You can’t protect me from that.  It’s my birthright.  When you keep important information from me, you aren’t protecting me, you’re making my job that much harder and more dangerous.”

 

“Does your birthright include hanging out with vampires?” he asked coldly. “Cause I’ve got to tell you, seeing you walking and talking with the one you told me to leave alone makes me wonder just what you were chosen for.”

 

“Have you been spying on me again?”  A man more familiar with the Slayer would have recognized the dangerous tone to her voice, but Riley was still thinking of her as his girl friend.

 

“We just happened to be out patrolling when you two passed by.  I guess you were so busy thinking about how to slay him you didn’t notice us,” he said sarcastically.

 

Buffy’s guilt over deceiving Riley about Spike and their relationship was the only thing that kept her from decking him on the spot.

 

“Look,” she began, running a hand through her hair in frustration, “Spike is here to help me.  That’s why I want you to leave him alone.  I may need him when it comes time to tackle Adam.  Next to me, he’s the strongest fighter around.”

 

“So, you’ll accept help from a vampire, but not from me?”  He made no attempt to keep the pain and anger out of his voice. 

 

“Riley, I can’t do this right now.  I’ve got a battle to fight and if you can’t help me by giving me more information about your escaped weapon-“ She almost grinned at his start of surprise.  (Bingo! Now we know Willow’s idea was right.) “Then the most helpful thing you can do is stay out of my way.”  She finished talking with her hands on her hips and with a harder look than he had ever seen on her face.

 

The soldier studied her for a minute, then spit out, “He’s practically indestructible. He has a poisoned skewer that comes out of his left arm, an energy cannon in his right, and he’s powered by a small nuclear device in his chest.  Unless you can get close enough to rip out his power pack, I don’t know what you can do to stop him.”

 

She relaxed and allowed her face to soften as she said quietly,  “Thank you.  And...Riley?  I’m sorry.  I really am.”

 

“Yeah, me too.” He spun around on his heel and marched away quickly.

 

 

Chapter Eight

 

Buffy did a quick patrol after dark the next evening, then headed for Giles’ apartment to bring everyone up to date on what she had learned from Riley.  She asked Spike to meet her there so that they could plan a strategy.

 

When she reached the door, she was surprised to find it already open and she got a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach as she entered and saw an overturned table next to an unconscious Anya and Tara.  Anya appeared to have a vampire bite on her neck, but she was alive and breathing.  Tara was clutching a wooden stake in her hand and had a small dusting of something on her clothes.

 

As Buffy knelt beside the two unconscious women, she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up and the familiar tingling that meant there was a vampire near. She whirled in time to see a skinny, dark figure trying to escape out the door.

 

“Hey!” she shouted as she jumped to her feet and sprinted toward the door.  She stopped abruptly as she nearly ran into the fleeing vampire – now held aloft with Spike’s left hand wrapped around his neck.

 

“Lose somethin’, pet?” he drawled as he brought the struggling vampire back into the apartment.

 

“What happened here?” she ground out, ignoring Spike’s question and pinning the vampire with a glare.  She was pure Slayer as she pulled the vampire out of his grip and shook him.

 

Spike watched her in admiration as she pressed a cross to the vampire’s face and repeated her question.

 

“Th-th- the master wanted us to bring him your watcher and the witch.  We took the man too just in case.”

 

“What happened to Tara and Anya?”

 

“We....we....were hungry?” he offered in a shaking voice.  “We tried to eat them, but they fought back and Joe got staked, and then I heard you coming, and-“ His confession was brought up short by the stake Buffy drove through his chest.

 

By the time Buffy finished with the vampire, Anya and Tara were awake and clinging together as they eyed Spike warily.  They confirmed the minion’s story and said Giles opened the door to what he thought was one of Riley’s commando buddies, but which turned out to be a human/robot creature that did not require an invitation to enter the apartment.  When he had thrown Giles out of the house, he then invited the rest of the attackers into the building and they proceeded to knock Willow out before she could work any magic on them.  Tara had staked the vampire that was attempting to feed on Anya, but was then struck on the head by something.

 

“Let’s go, Spike,” Buffy said grimly as she headed for the door.

 

“It’s got to be a trap, love.  You know it is.”

 

“I know,” she sighed, her shoulders slumping.  “But what else can I do?  I can’t let him turn my friends in mechanical zombies or vampires...”

 

“All right, pet.  We’ll do it.  He won’t be expecting both of us.  I think I have a plan to get us in safely....”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

As Spike and Buffy strode through the caves to Adam’s lair, the Slayer concentrated on looking dazed as though she was in a thrall.   She trailed behind Spike as he confidently walked into Adam’s inner sanctum and began the story they had prepared.

 

Against the wall Buffy could see Giles, Willow and Xander.  Willow’s mouth was taped shut; Buffy assumed so that she couldn’t make a spell, and Giles and Xander were tied up.  Willow appeared to be free but she was guarded by a young minion who straightened up threateningly every time she tried to move.

 

Adam looked at Spike with his usual lack of expression and said coldly, “And once again you are with the Slayer.  Why is this?”

 

“Saw her headed here with fire in her eye and thought I’d follow along to see if you needed me.” Spike replied with no trace of guile or concern.  “Put her back in the thrall first, just in case.”

 

Behind him Xander was sputtering and cursing as he heard what Spike said.  “You see!” he snarled at Giles and Willow.  “I told you she couldn’t trust him!  He was lying about helping her. Now he’ll-“ He was abruptly cut off as Willow smacked his face and glared him into silence.

 

Adam studied the young brunette for a minute then turned to Spike to ask, “Her friends knew about the thrall?  And they didn’t stop you? I find that very hard to believe, vampire.... they seem to think you were assisting the Slayer.  I would find that very.....disappointing.”  He stared at the vampire speculatively.

 

Xander paled as he realized what his ranting had done.  He shrank back against the wall as Spike fixed him with a look that clearly promised the imminent removal of his lungs.

 

“Of course I wasn’t helping them, you git.  Had to tell them something to explain the Slayer’s lack of killin’ me, didn’t I?  Why don’t I prove it to you by eating that wanker right now?” he growled as he turned toward Xander. He reached for the young man and managed to slash his bonds as he lunged at his throat with his fangs. He shoved the shaking boy into the watcher and slashed his ropes quickly also.

 

Xander was gibbering in fear and shrinking away from Spike as he screamed, “Buffy, Buffy! Help me!”  Giles, however, was much quicker on his feet and grabbed both sets of ropes and held them behind his back so as not to give away their new unfettered status.

 

Buffy was saved from the sight of her lover tearing out the throat of one of her friends by Adam’s, “No, I think not. Stop now, vampire.”

 

Spike appeared to reluctantly pull away from Xander’s throat, leaving only two tiny holes where his fangs had pierced the skin.  He looked toward Adam and snarled, “What?”

 

 “I have a better idea.  Why don’t you prove your thrall by drinking from the Slayer.  Now.  Where I can see you.”  The cyborg’s voice indicated quite clearly that he was issuing an order.

 

Spike became, if anything, paler than normal as he turned a panicked face toward Buffy.  Before he could do or say anything that would get them all killed immediately, she raised her chin and offered him her throat.  Her eyes gazed into his with complete trust and his unneeded breath caught in his throat.

 

“Come here, Slayer,” he managed to snarl out, never taking his eyes off of hers.  He hoped Adam would attribute the long term staring into each other’s eyes as part of the thrall process and not recognize it for what it was – an apology on his part and permission on hers.

 

When Buffy had walked up to him and once again tilted her head to give him access to her neck, he leaned in to her and whispered,  “I’m so sorry, love,” as he slipped his fangs into her throat.

 

He held her up as he pulled the precious and strengthening Slayer blood into his mouth, taking care not to let his demon take over and drain her.  He could feel his body exploding with energy and borrowed strength from her blood and when he felt her begin to weaken, he pulled back and whispered,  “I love you, Buffy” as he threw her to Giles.

 

“Get her out of here!” he cried, as he intercepted the minions rushing to recapture them.  With his borrowed power, he was able to hold off the entire group of vampires, whirling, kicking, punching and breaking bones with such speed and strength that they couldn’t get past him to follow the rapidly escaping Scoobies.  The large numbers of opponents actually made it easier for a while as they got in each other’s way more than they helped.

 

Spike’s innate fighting ability, combined with the extra strength provided by Buffy’s blood, allowed him to cripple or dust almost all the minions Adam had with him in the lair.  However, even enhanced as he was, eventually the sheer numbers took their toll and he ended up unconscious on the floor at Adam’s feet.

 

The cyborg shook his head almost sadly and said, “What a perfect example of how incapacitating emotions can be.  This one could have been my second in command.  Instead, his emotions have turned him into an enemy.”

 

The remaining vampires, all nursing various injuries inflicted by the unconscious blond at their feet, asked if they could drink from him.  They jostled each other to get closer in hopes of tasting some of the borrowed Slayer blood.

 

To their great disappointment, Adam instructed them to carry Spike to the entrance to the Initiative’s complex and to leave him on the doorstep.  In spite of his insistence that emotions were a waste of time, he found the thought of Spike’s being experimented on by the Initiative to be very pleasurable.

 

 

Chapter Nine

 

Since it was obvious that Giles’ apartment was no longer safe from Adam’s army, the Scoobies hustled to Xander’s house and huddled in his basement room to discuss the situation.

 

Buffy was furious with them for taking her away and leaving Spike to fight by himself, but had to admit that, weak as she was, she would have been more of a hazard than an aid.  Her frustration at having to lie around regaining her strength was making her more short-tempered than usual.

 

When Xander reminded her for the third time that Spike had bitten her, she threw the empty orange juice carton she had just finished at his head and screamed, “What part of ‘it got us out of there alive’ are you not getting?  I’m not dead; I’m not drained; and I’m not really even hurt.  Give me another hour and I’ll be fully recovered.  That borrowed Slayer blood is what allowed Spike to hold off forty other vampires while we escaped.  I do NOT want to hear about it again!”

 

She stopped and glared at her friend, with no trace of anything but the Slayer on her face.  The young man shrank back away from her in fear.  He had seen that look before, but never directed at him and he quickly determined that he never wanted to see it again.

 

“I’m sorry, Buffy,” he mumbled.  “I just thought.....”

 

She whirled away from him and glared around the room.  “Does anyone else have a problem with what I did?”

 

The other youngsters all hastened to assure her that they were fine with her decisions.  Her watcher met her glare steadily, then nodded his head.

 

“It was a good decision, Buffy.  It would, obviously, not have been my first choice, but it did allow all of us to escape.”

 

“Not quite ALL of us, Giles,” Buffy said quietly as she turned away so they couldn’t see the tears in her eyes.  She blinked them away, then turned back to the room.  “I have to find him.  I have to know.....” She drew a ragged breath instead of finishing her sentence.

 

Her surrogate father’s voice was gentle.  “Buffy, you know it is very unlikely that he survived that battle.  As strong as he was-“ at a look from her he amended his verb.  “is, as strong as he is, the chances that he was able to defeat that many other demons, as well as Adam himself.....”

 

“A chance is a chance, Giles.  I won’t believe he’s gone until I see the dust.”  She turned away to indicate that she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. She went to the small refrigerator and pulled out another carton of juice.  While she drank, she paced the small room impatiently.

 

While they waited for Buffy to regain all her strength, they were startled by a knock on the door.  Xander hesitantly put his hand on the doorknob as the Scoobies moved away from the door and picked up weapons.  Buffy got up from where she had been resting on the bed and stood to his side, balanced and ready for whatever came through the door.

 

“Who’s there?” Xander asked loudly.

 

“It’s me, Riley.  I need to find Buffy.”

 

At her nod, Xander opened the door and let the burly commando into the room.  Riley stopped abruptly when he saw Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies.

 

 

“Buffy! You’re all right!”  The relief was evident on his face and she softened her look as she answered him.

 

 

“I’m alive and not being turned into a robot,” she allowed.  “I think all right might be a stretch.  What do you want, Riley?” she asked, not unkindly.

 

“Well, when we found your....vampire....” He tried to ignore her gasp as she turned a hopeful face toward him.  “When we found Spike,” he spit out the name as though it was something distasteful, “and saw his condition....”

 

“Condition?”  Buffy wrapped herself in her Slayer persona to keep the quiver out of her voice.

 

“He was badly beaten.  Lost a lot of blood I guess and had some broken bones.  Someone had left him at our front door.  I guess they thought we could use him.  Maggie – Professor Walsh – was happy to have him.  Even though he killed two of our men before we got him into the cage.”

 

 He glared at Buffy, daring her to defend the vampire, but she ignored him except to say, “I told you to leave him alone.”

 

Riley stared at her with disbelief.

 

“Did you hear me, Buffy?  I said he killed two of my men.”

 

“Did he eat them?” she asked calmly.

 

“What?  No, no of course not.  He was fighting them, trying to keep them from putting him in the......”  His voice trailed off as she raised an eyebrow at him.

 

“So,” she said conversationally.  “You found someone you knew I was counting on to help me.  He was badly injured, but instead of calling me or helping him, you decided to keep him to experiment on and use as a disposable weapon.  And when this badly injured...friend... of mine killed two soldiers while trying to defend himself, you decided to come and complain to me?

 

“Does that about sum it up, Riley?” she asked, slipping immediately into Slayer mode and chilling him with the look on her face.

 

“He’s a VAMPIRE, Buffy,” he blustered.  “A thing.”

 

“Where is he?” she asked shortly.  When there was no response, she grabbed the large man by his shirt and pinned him up against the door.  “I asked you where he was, Riley.  Tell me. Now.”  She emphasized her seriousness by shaking the large man she was holding with one hand and banging him against the wall.

 

Riley stared back at the girl he had thought he knew and spat out, “He’s in the lab.  Being fitted for the chip.”

 

Before he finished speaking, she dropped him to the floor and pushed him toward the door.  “Take me to him,” she ordered as she grabbed Willow’s hand and pulled her out the door with them.

 

 With Riley as their very reluctant driver and guide, they sped toward the Initiative base.  When he balked at helping them get in, Buffy turned toward him and took a deep, calming breath.

 

“Riley,” she began carefully,  “Listen to me.  That...man...in there knows where Adam’s lair is.  He is capable of fighting over 40 demons at one time and surviving it.  He killed two physically enhanced, well-trained commandos while he was suffering from broken bones and blood loss.  Do you understand why I want him out here, fighting by my side when I take on your walking proof that demons don’t make good weapons?”

 

Riley looked back at her and asked quietly, “Is that why you want him out, Buffy?  Because he can fight?  Or is there some other reason?”

 

Buffy rolled her eyes.  “I so don’t have time for this kind of crap right now.  Yes, there’s another reason.  There are several other reasons, one of which is that I asked him to come here and help me.  I put him at risk and I owe it to him try to save him.  Not to mention, he got into that condition saving my life, and we’re wasting time standing here arguing about it!”  She whirled around to keep him from reading the guilt in her eyes.

 

(No need to mention that I think I love him and if anything happens to him I won’t want to live.....)

 

Using Riley’s ID and knowledge of the facility, they were soon entering the lab where technicians were attempting to implant the controlling chip in Spike’s brain.  Buffy burst into the room through the steel door and shoved an angry Maggie Walsh into the wall hard enough to knock her out.  The doctor that was working on Spike’s open head glanced up, holding the chip in shiny forceps. 

 

“Do it!” she heard Riley shout behind her.  As the doctor’s hand moved toward Spike’s open brain, Buffy screamed, “No!” and rushed across the large, open room.  Beside her, Willow took in the scene and threw her hand into the air, fingers pointing at the doctor.

 

“Away!” she shouted and smiled when the doctor flew back away from the table.  The chip flew out of his hand and skittered across the floor.  By the time the doctor had stopped sliding on the tile floor, Buffy had reached Spike and was stroking his slack face, searching for signs of life.

 

She could see blood seeping from his still exposed brain and knew he couldn’t afford to bleed any more than he obviously already had from the many wounds on his body. 

 

The doctor was staring at the two women in fear and curiosity.  The daily work with demons and vampires had expanded his scientific notion of what was possible in this world, but a red-haired coed who could knock him down from 20 feet away and a petite blond who could break in a steel door were not on his list of physically possible things.

 

Buffy noticed him watching her and growled urgently, “Get up here and stop this bleeding.  Sew him up – now.”

 

The doctor took a moment to look at Riley for guidance, but one look from Willow and he quickly approached the table where Buffy was holding Spike’s hand and staring anxiously at his still-exposed brain.  When she gave him another glare, he picked up his instruments and began the process of repairing Spike’s skull.

 

When he was finished and had moved back away from the table, Buffy pulled Spike into a sitting position and patted his cheeks trying to wake him up.

 

“Come on, baby,” she muttered.  “Rise and shine, Spikie.”

 

When she got no reaction from the limp vampire, she glared at Riley and the doctor, demanding, “What’s wrong with him?”

 

The doctor hesitated, then at a nod from the Commando, he explained.  “He was given blood with drugs to make him sleep.  It was the only way to get him in here without risk to our personnel.  You really shouldn’t get so close to him,” he added, as Buffy continued to hold Spike up.  “ He is quite vicious and dangerous.”

 

“Not half as dangerous as I’m about to be,” she snarled at them.  “Help me get him out of here and maybe I won’t show you how vicious a Slayer can be when her... friends...are abused.”

 

Riley cast an apprehensive look at the still-unconscious Professor Walsh, then reluctantly agreed to help.  Buffy let Spike lie back on the gurney while she and Willow donned technician’s coats.  When they were ready, the doctor pushed the gurney out through the broken door and into the main area.  Following Riley’s broad back, the walked quickly past any initiative employees they saw, hoping the curious looks would not become actual questions.

 

Apparently the presence of Special Agent Finn, as well as the doctor was enough to compensate for Willow and Buffy’s lack of ID, and they were allowed to proceed unhampered to an unguarded door that opened near the fence.  On the other side of the gate, Xander and Giles waited with the car.

 

As Buffy and Willow went to push the gurney toward the gate, Riley grabbed Buffy’s arm again.  He quickly released it when he felt her muscle grow rigid, remembering how easily she had manhandled him earlier.

 

“Buffy,” he started, “I know you’re angry at me – us…” He waved his hand to indicate the Initiative complex, “but we’re all on the same side here.  We need to stop Adam before he becomes too powerful.  Please, let me – us – help you.”

 

She blew out the breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding, then nodded her head. 

 

“All right, Riley.  You can help us.  But I’m going to take care of Spike first.  When he’s awake and can tell us what he knows, we can discuss how to get in there and what we need to do to destroy your escaped weapon.”

 

She started pushing the gurney toward the gate, saying over her shoulder,  “I’ll call you later to tell you where we’ll be.  You can meet us tonight and we’ll go over things then.”

 

He looked at the still un-conscious vampire dubiously and asked, “will he be able to tell us anything by then? He still looks pretty--”

 

“He’ll be fine,” Buffy said cryptically.  “I know how to fix him.”

 

She ignored the shocked look Willow sent at her and continued pushing Spike toward the gate.  The red-haired witch hurried to catch up, waving a quick good-bye to Riley as she ran after her friend.

 

Buffy gently put Spike into the back seat of the car and climbed in after, putting his head in her lap.  She gave Giles directions to the crypt Spike had moved in to and settled back against the seat with her eyes shut.  Her fingers were gently stroking the vampire’s head as she relaxed for the first time since they had escaped from Adam’s lair.

 

When they reached the crypt, Buffy insisted on moving Spike by herself.  (No reason to let Giles or Xander see this set-up)  she though, remembering the soft bed, crimson linens and candles inside.  (It looks just like what it is – a place to have lots of mind-blowing sex.)

 

When she had settled him on the bed  -- carefully pulling the sheets into some semblance of neatness first -- she quickly hid most of the candles, the wine bottle and the chocolates.  As soon as she felt that it looked more like a place for a master vampire to bed down for the day, and less like a place for planned seductions, she allowed Giles and Xander to come in.

 

They glanced around curiously and Xander couldn’t resist commenting, “So this is where evil bloodsuckers stay when they can’t get a motel room.  Got to say, Old Drac’s castle had a lot more class.”

 

Giles had no comment and his continued silence was making Buffy very nervous.  Somehow she was sure that he wasn’t being fooled at all about her relationship with the blond vampire.  However, as long as he didn’t say anything to her, she was more than willing to pretend he didn’t.  Denial was no problem for the Chosen One.  No problem at all.

 

Giles insisted that his apartment would be perfectly safe now that they knew what to be wary of, and he wanted to get back there to see what else Willow could find on-line about Adam or creatures like him.  And, he wanted to get to his weapons chest and be sure they had everything they would need for the planned attack.

 

When he suggested they all leave, Buffy stared at him steadily as she said, “I need to stay here with Spike.  I’m not leaving him defenseless.  As soon as he’s OK, we’ll meet you there.”

 

Her Watcher looked at her grimly.  “Buffy, I don’t thin-“

 

“Giles.  It’s my decision.” 

 

Only Willow had any idea what the staring contest was about.  Xander was looking back and forth between the Slayer and her Watcher in bewilderment.

 

“I know I’m missing something here, Will.  Care to fill me in?”

 

“Uh – no, no I don’t know what you’re talking about Xander.  Just Buffy and Giles having a.... conversation.”

 

The staring contest between Buffy and Giles could have gone on much longer, but the Slayer finally turned away and walked further into the crypt saying over her shoulder, “We’ll see you later this afternoon – or tonight.”

 

The older man clenched his jaw, but managed to grit out,  “I hope you know what you’re doing”

 

“I do, Giles.  Believe me, I do,” she answered softly.  Her eyes pleaded with her only father figure to understand.

 

Shaking his head, he finally turned away and walked out the door, calling to Willow and Xander over his shoulder as he did so.

 

 

Chapter Ten

 

When the group had left and Buffy had dragged the sarcophagus over to the door again, she finally took a good look at the still-unconscious vampire.  She could see the bruises, bites, and scratches from his fight with Adam’s minions.  She could also see the edges of his broken ribs pushing through the skin on his chest.  She knew, from Riley’s description of him, that there were other broken bones hidden by his jeans.

 

In spite of the drugged blood that he had been given at the Initiative, very little healing had actually taken place; no doubt due to the additional trauma of having the top of his skull opened and his brain poked and prodded.  The incision of the top of his head still oozed slightly around the hasty stitches that the doctor had taken to close the wound.

 

Buffy sank down beside the battered vampire and allowed tears to flow down her cheeks for the first time since they found him.

 

“Oh, Spike,” she murmured, as laid her cheek next to his.  “I’m going to make it better, baby.  I promise.”

 

Clearly there was no way the comatose vampire was going to be able to drink from her through a bite, so Buffy searched the crypt until she located a knife that looked sharp enough to do what she needed it to.  Sitting as close to Spike as she could get, she gritted her teeth and ran the knife across her wrist.  She pressed the now-bleeding wrist over his mouth and verbally encouraged him to drink.

 

“Come on, Spike, Slayer blood.  Take it, please.  You know how good it made you feel the last time.......Made you fight like a....like a champion.  Take it now and get better.  For me.  Please?”

 

As she spoke, she was prying his lips open and dripping blood into his mouth and onto his tongue.  Without opening his eyes or giving any sign that he was aware of what was going on, the vampire growled and fastened his mouth on her wrist.

 

As soon as she felt him sucking hard, Buffy relaxed and let her self sink down beside him on the bed, careful to keep her arm where he could reach it.  She was surprised to find there was no pain, and in fact, she was feeling a pleasantly euphoric sensation that extended to parts of her body not at all connected to her wrist.

 

When she felt herself getting light-headed, she remembered that he had already drunk from her once in the last twenty-four hours and realized she probably wasn’t back to 100% herself.  Reluctantly, she sat up and got ready to pull her arm away from his mouth.  To her surprise, he let go the instant she moved and when she looked at him, he was staring at her in awe and adoration.  The intensity of the devotion in those incredible blue eyes was so strong that she almost flinched.  Instead, she smiled at him and said softly,  “Welcome back.  I thought you were going to sleep all day.”

 

“Feel like I already have,” he smiled back at her.  “Amazing stuff, your blood.  A bloke could grow addicted to it.” 

 

She flushed and looked away, “Yeah, well don’t think it’s gonna become a habit.  ‘Cause that would mean you were getting hurt all the time and I...” She looked back at him with complete honesty,  “and I think I’ve seen all of that I want to for a long time.”

 

“Me too, pet.   Me too,” he sighed and pulled her back down beside him.  “So, Slayer, what did I sleep through?”

 

Buffy snuggled up beside him and rested her head on his chest.  She tried to surreptitiously check his ribs for healing, but he felt what she was doing and stopped her hand gently.

 

“They’re healing, love.  I can feel them knittin’ themselves back together.  Jus’ need a little more time and maybe more blood.”

 

“Oh!” Buffy jumped up quickly, then fell back against him when dizziness caused her to almost black out.

 

“Easy, love.” He rumbled with concern.  “I been takin’ too much out of you recently for you to be leaping around like that.  Stay put for a while.”

 

“No,” she insisted as she sat up again more slowly.  “I’ll be all right. I need to get to the cooler and get you some more blood, and some water or something for me.  We need to get ourselves back up to speed as soon as we can.”

 

Moving much more slowly, she stood up, stretched and walked to the cooler where Spike had been keeping his bagged blood and the goodies he had bought for her.  She took out several bags of O Neg, and several bottles of water and the chocolates.

 

He watched her walk back to the bed with her supplies and knew he was hopelessly hers forever.  When she presented her throat to him in Adam’s lair, he was humbled by the trust she was showing him and he blurted out his feelings, thinking he was probably going to be dust before she got home. He knew the gift was only because it was necessary to give them time for the escape attempt, but his heart had rejoiced all the same.

 

To wake up and find her again sharing her powerful blood with him; this time for no other reason than to help him heal.....  The poet in him struggled to find words to express how completely he was hers to do with as she wished.  His demon, on the other hand, was demanding he claim her.  That he make that incredible blood and the woman it came from his forever.  He fought to push the demon back, knowing his place was as her willing slave – not her partner. 

 

Completely oblivious to the thoughts going through the vampire’s head, Buffy sat back down and shyly handed Spike the bags of blood.

 

“I don’t think I can give you any more right  no-“ She was interrupted by the vampire’s “Bloody hell, woman!”

 

She blinked at him in surprise and hurt.  “I...I’m sorry.  I just don’t think....”

 

(Is he mad at me because I don’t have any more Slayer blood to spare? Who the hell does he think he is?)

 

He could see the anger replacing the concern on her face and hastily completed his thought.

 

“I meant, you silly bint, that you’ve already given me more than you should have.  For god’s sake, Buffy, don’t be apologizing to me because you can’t let me drain you!  You’ve already done more for me than I have any right to expect.  More than I deserve....”

 

As quickly as it had risen, Buffy’s anger dissipated.  “You saved us all, Spike.  You could have...died.”  She allowed him to see in her eyes exactly how she would have felt if that had happened.  “You deserve whatever you need to recover from it. And if that means more of my blood, then more of my blood is what you get.”

 

He looked into her expressive green eyes and tried to control the hope he was feeling at what he thought he saw there.

 

(Don’t read too much into, mate. She’s just feeling grateful and her sense of fairness is making her do and say things she doesn’t really --)

 

His internal scolding was interrupted by Buffy’s soft, warm lips as they met his and she murmured against his mouth.  “I thought you were....gone.  I don’t ever want to feel like that again.  Promise me you won’t every leave me.  Promise me.”

 

He groaned and folded her in his arms, ignoring the pain in his ribs.   “I will never leave you, my love.  I’m here for as long as you want me to be.  Nothing could make me leave you now.”  He buried his face in her neck, licking the wounds from his bite the day before.  Again, his demon was screaming for him to claim her and his inner poet was begging him to grovel at her feet.

 

When Spike’s tongue went across the almost healed bites on her neck, she felt the tingle all the way down to her toes.

 

(How can a lick feel that good?  Makes me want to.....No! Bad Slayer thoughts.  I do NOT want him to bite me again.  That would be very wrong, and bad, and.....really, really hot.  Gah! Not thinking that!  Not, not, not!)

 

Spike felt her heart rate go up and her body tense slightly.  He immediately stopped licking, but couldn’t resist smiling when he heard her whimper softly at the loss of his tongue on her neck.

 

“What’s wrong, love?  I’m not goin’ to bite you again.  I promise.”

 

Buffy buried her blushing face in his neck and mumbled, “That’s what’s wrong.  I think I want you to!  Something must be very wrong with me!”

 

Spike brought her chin up so he could look into her eyes.  His hand was trembling as he lightly held her face up.

 

“It’s the bite, love.  My demon wants to claim you and you’re feeling those affects through the bite.  ‘S my fault.  When I bit you, I was thinkin’....” He paused, wondering if she remembered or had even heard what he said as he finished drinking from her in the cave.

 

She looked at him with sudden understanding.  “You were thinking...you said.....” She couldn’t finish, but Spike did it for her.

 

“I was thinking jus’ what I said.  I was thinking I love you – more than anything in the world.  That I would die for you if I had to.  That’s so close to a claiming, my demon must have started to feel it.  And he’s making you feel it,” he added softly.  “I’m sorry, love. I think it’ll fade away as long as we don’t –“

 

She met his eyes steadily and stated firmly, “We won’t.  Now.  But someday we will.  If your – if you still want to.” She ducked her head shyly and missed the look of complete and utter joy that crossed his expressive face. 

 

When he could finally speak coherently, he pulled her into his chest again and whispered against her hair, “I will always want to, love.  Never doubt that. But it doesn’t have to happen.  Don’t ever think that it does.  I’m yours forever.”

 

He held her gently for several minutes, then realized she was falling asleep.  Shaking her gently, he tried to get her to sit up and drink the water she brought over.

 

“Com’n, Slayer,” he coaxed.  “No sleeping until you’ve put all that liquid back.  See, I’m drinking my blood right now.”  He sounded almost like a parent trying to get a child to eat.

 

Buffy sat up long enough to drain both bottles of water, then snuggled back into his side and pulled the quilt up around them.

 

“Sleep now,” she mumbled against his neck.  “Kill Adam later.”

 

The vampire’s eyes drifted shut as he joined her in the healing sleep they both needed.  “A’right, pet.  Sleep now.  Kill later.”

 

 

The next time either of them awoke, Spike’s vampire senses told him it was late afternoon.  He tried to read his body without actually moving it and disturbing the fragile-looking girl sleeping in his arms.  He could tell the bones were knitted and healed, and most of the cuts had closed up.  He gingerly felt the top of his head and wondered briefly how he got so injured up there. He frowned slightly as he felt the stitches and looked down at the sleeping Slayer. 

 

The slight movements he’d been making were enough to interrupt Buffy’s dreamless slumber and she stirred and stretched before turning to smile up at him.

 

“Hey,” she said softly when she met his soft gaze.

 

“Hey yourself, pet,” he smiled down at her.  “How do you feel?”

 

“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?  You’re the one that was all beat up.  All I did was donate a little blo-“

 

She was interrupted by his,  “All you did was everything.  It was everything.”

 

Buffy blushed and changed the subject.  “So, bones all back together? Wounds healed? Head....” She stopped, remembering that he didn’t know what had almost happened to him.

 

“Uh, yeah, about my head....” he looked at her and raised an eyebrow.

 

“Do you remember anything after we....left the cave?”

 

“Remember one helluva fight.” His eyes lit up briefly as he thought back to his one-man war in Adam’s lair.  “Think I might a’ lost it though.”

 

“You think?” she snarked at him.  “Do you remember anything else?”

 

“I dunno.  Think I remember fightin’ with Capt’n Cardboard and his toy soldiers, but I guess I was just dreamin’ and wishin’. Know they weren’t there.”

 

Buffy sighed and proceeded to fill him in on what had happened to him and what was about to happen when they found him.  He seemed more disturbed at the thought that he’d killed two of the commandos than he was at his close call with the behavior modification chip. He studied Buffy’s face as he asked carefully,  “So, I killed two of those military wankers......”

 

 He waited for her to tell him how wrong it was of him to kill humans, but to his surprise she just muttered,  “I told them to leave you alone.  Stupid soldiers.”

 

“So you’re OK with that?  That I killed two humans?”

 

“Well, I’m not feeling real cheerful about it,” she allowed.  “But they WERE soldiers, and they were trying to cage you, and you didn’t eat them – so it was self-defense.  Not slay-worthy,” she finished, smiling up at him.

 

He just shook his head.  “You continue to amaze me, love.”

 

Buffy blushed and ducked her head shyly.  Somehow all the things that were so bothersome to her watcher felt so right when she was around Spike. She knew that Giles, at least when he was feeling Ripperish, was okay with violence towards humans when necessary.  But she also knew that he would see no gray areas when it came to a vampire killing humans whatever the reason. She wasn’t looking forward to the conversation she knew they were going to have once Adam was defeated.

 

Sighing slightly, she put it out of her mind for the time being and simply asked, “How do you feel?  Do you think you’re ready to go with me to Giles’ apartment and talk strategy?”

 

“Yeah, I’m workin’ on being fine.  Let’s go kill things.”

 

 

Chapter 11

 

When the Slayer and her vampire walked into Giles’ apartment, they braced themselves for the condemnation they knew was coming.  Buffy had wrapped her cut wrist and was wearing long sleeves, but she knew that was not fooling Giles or Willow.  The very fact that Spike was up and bouncing on his toes ready to fight again was a dead giveaway as to how he got better.   To the vampire’s great surprise, she took his hand in hers and walked in to face her surrogate father and her friends.

 

There was silence for several long seconds as the Scoobies read the silent message in front of them.  Buffy kept Spike by her side, making no attempt to hide their linked hands, long enough to be sure everyone got the picture.  When the expressions of surprise and/or horror had faded to resignation, Spike gave her hand a little squeeze and moved away from her to sprawl in a chair.

 

“Well then, Rupert.  What’s the plan?”  He forced the watcher to meet his eyes and read the truth of his feelings there.  After several tense seconds, Giles nodded slowly and everyone relaxed.

 

“We’re just waiting for Riley and his men –“ Everyone flinched as the vampire snarled and went into game face.  At a look from Buffy, he forced his demon back and slumped back in the chair.  When he was sure that was the end of Spike’s comments, Giles continued, “ When they get here, we’ll decide where and how we want them to start the distraction so that Buffy,” he paused and looked back and forth between his Slayer and her vampire, “and you can get into the lair.”

 

He leaned back and added, “Although I’m still not sure how you two will be able to kill something that powerful.”

 

“Think Red can give us a bit of mojo?”  The blond cocked his eyebrow in Willow’s direction.  “Just enough to get us close to him.  I think we can do it from there.”

 

“I can hide you for a while.  Maybe work a cloaking spell like the one Tara did on the demons last month.....but sooner or later he’s going to know you’re there.”

 

“He’ll know the Slayer’s there – I’m not so sure he’s wired to pick up on a demon’s scent.  He’s all about the mechanics and technology.  Don’t think he’s ever been up against a master vampire before.”

 

Buffy was looking at him suspiciously.  “What makes you think he won’t see you?”

 

He grinned at her and shot a look around the room at the other Scoobies.  “Jus’ because I don’t use all those gypsy tricks like Drac does, doesn’t mean I can’t, pet.  I can be pretty invisible and stealthy if I want to be.”

 

She looked at him dubiously.  “Then why am I still alive?  How come I wasn’t Spike-lunch the first time we met?”

 

He looked at her and ignored the other people in the room.  “Because it was all about the fightin’ with you.  Not so much the killin’.  Wouldn’t have been any fun if I’d snuck up on you, now, would it? Where’s the sport in that?” 

 

He grinned as she turned crimson, remembering their first time together and the fight that preceded it.

 

Giles cleared his throat, interrupting them.  “Yes, well, if we can get past this little trip down memory lane.....”

 

The knock on the door was a welcome interruption and Anya hastened over to open it.  Outside stood Riley Finn and several of his commando buddies. The atmosphere in the room became thick with tension as the soldiers looked at the vampire that had killed two of them, and the vampire glared back at the men who had almost neutered him.  Buffy stepped as casually as she could between her lover and her ex-boyfriend, poised to jump if she needed to separate them.

 

To Spike’s surprise, Willow slipped over to his chair and put a gentle hand on his shoulder.  When he blinked up at her, she gave him a small smile and said, “Let’s go talk about that mojo, okay?”

 

When he saw the pleading look in Buffy’s eyes, he lowered his own gaze and swaggered into the kitchen in the witch’s wake.  His vampire hearing allowed him to follow the conversation in the living room while still talking to Willow about how long they would need the spell to last and what it needed to conceal.

 

Riley gave up any last hope of salvaging his relationship with Buffy when she launched into a discussion of the plan for killing Adam.  She was all business and treated him no differently than she did Forrest or Graham.   One soldier to another, she laid out their plan and told them what she needed them to do.

 

If they could launch a serious enough looking decoy attack from the Initiative itself, she and Spike would slip in through the cave entrance and hopefully catch Adam when he had few or no minions around to help him.

 

“You’re sure the power pack is in the front?” she asked.  “I won’t get more than one shot at it, I’m pretty sure.”

 

“Yes, but I still don’t see.... how are you planning to remove it?” Forrest asked in genuine confusion.

 

“Spike will hold him while I rip it out of his chest,” the Slayer said calmly as though she pulled internal organs out of things on a regular basis.

 

A chill went through Riley as he realized that she very likely did exactly that from time to time.  For the first time, he really understood the deadly power contained in that small body and got a sense of the darkness behind it.  Suddenly it didn’t seem so strange that her slaying partner of choice might be a vampire, or that she might have feelings for what was to him a completely unnatural and evil being.

 

With a sense of relief, he let go of the last vestiges of his emotional attachment to the small blonde and mentally stepped back to observe and admire her. 

 

When Spike and Willow returned to the living room, there had been a noticeable change in the room’s dynamics and they stopped to study it for a minute.  The witch quickly picked up on the different vibes coming from Riley and Buffy and Tara nodded at her to indicate that she read the auras that way too.  Much of the tension in the room had dissipated and everyone appeared much more relaxed.

 

Spike studied the big soldier for a minute and noted that his demon wasn’t picking up any trace of threat to his claim.  When Riley met his eyes and nodded slightly, the vampire resisted the urge to smirk at him and simple nodded back before crossing the room to stand beside the Slayer.

 

Chapter Twelve

 

The commandos left to begin their assault on Adam’s lair from within the Initiative complex, and the Scoobies left to assemble near the cave entrance that Spike and Buffy were planning to use.  All had agreed that Buffy and Spike would wait until the battle was well underway before approaching the inner caves.  The hope was that all or most of the minions would have been drawn off to the fight, leaving Adam alone in front of his computer monitors.

 

At a signal from Xander, who was holding the walkie-talkie and thoroughly enjoying playing soldier, Willow, Giles, Spike and Buffy entered the caves.  As they had hoped, the caves were very lightly guarded.  In spite of Adams’ disdain of any human emotions, he was not immune to arrogance himself and clearly felt invulnerable in his lair.

 

Buffy easily dispensed with the few vampire and demon guards they met on their way in.  When they knew they were just outside the control room, Buffy nodded to Willow and she began the cloaking spell.  As soon as Buffy and Spike became invisible, Willow nodded to Giles and they retreated to the outer cave area.

 

With a quick squeeze to Buffy’s hand, Spike pushed open the door and slid into the lair.  He immediately moved up the wall, using small hand holds in the rock to climb up to the ceiling.  Buffy made a mental note to remember that some vampires can climb like spiders before she eased into the room after him and hugged the wall.

 

Adam raised his head suspiciously, and sent his infrared eyes roaming the room.  When he got to Buffy, the heat of her body triggered an image on his brain and he smiled to himself.  Without letting her know he had seen her, he allowed his gaze to continue to track around the room and up to the ceiling.  However, Spike’s lack of body temperature meant that there was no image to pick up and the cyborg’s eyes went right past him.

 

Adam walked in the general direction of the Slayer, then suddenly reached out and grabbed her by the throat.  Lifting her up off the ground, he tilted his head as though he could see what he was holding and asked her, “Did you really think you could beat me, little girl?”

 

 Buffy brought her feet up and kicked out into the monster’s chest, freeing her throat and allowing her to croak out, “Thought crossed my mind, yeah.” She flipped backwards and went into a fighting stance.

 

Adam shrugged and said, “I don’t have time for this human posturing.”  He raised his right arm and prepared to blow her to pieces with his energy cannon.  Just as she rolled toward him on the ground to avoid the blast, Spike dropped from the ceiling and pinned Adam’s arms behind him.

 

“Now, Buffy!” he shouted, knowing that his hold was very tenuous and not likely to last long.  Adam registered some surprise at finding another opponent in the room, but quickly recovered and pulled his arms loose, reaching around to grab the vampire.  As he threw Spike across the cave and into the wall, Buffy finished her forward roll and popped up in front of him.  His arms were in the air over his head, preparing to throw Spike and he could only watch as the Slayer plunged her hand into his chest and pulled out a glowing orb.

 

 Momentum allowed him to complete his toss of the vampire, but before his dismay and astonishment could fully register on his face, he was falling toward the Slayer, crashing to the floor with her under him.

 

For long seconds it was very quiet in the room, then the blond vampire lifted his head and crawled toward the collapsed cyborg.  He could see Buffy’s hair behind her on the rocky floor, but her body was completely hidden by the much larger monster’s inert frame.

 

“Buffy?  Slayer?  Talk to me, love.  Are you alright?”

 

Muffled curses from underneath the heavy, partially metal body indicated that she was at least alive.  With Spike’s help, she was able to lift the body enough to worm her way out from under it.  She lay beside him on the dirt, panting and gingerly touching her ribs where the mechanical monster had fallen on her.

 

She rolled her head over to look at the equally battered vampire. Blood was seeping from the lump on his head where he’d met the rocky wall of the cave.

 

“I think we won,” she said with a small smile.

 

“Yeah, pet.  I think we did.” He smiled back at her tenderly.

 

“Yea us.”

 

They rested for another few minutes, then Buffy sat up groaning and pulled on his arm.

 

“Come on.  Let’s get out of here and see how everyone else is.”

 

Spike staggered to his feet and swayed briefly before straightening and offering her his arm.

 

“At your service, milady.” He smirked at her and tucked her hand in his before leading her out of the now-abandoned room.

 

 

************

 

 

 When everyone had checked in and casualties had been taken care of, the Scoobies decided to head back to Giles’ apartment to relax. 

 

The commandos had done a good job of destroying most of Adam’s minions and those that escaped had appeared to be leaving Sunnydale as quickly as they could.  When Riley saw the bleeding, battered Slayer and her vampire, he tried to smother the urge to take Buffy to the nearest hospital and watched instead as they laughed and joked about their injuries. 

 

Spike made gentle fun of the Slayer’s language when he found her pinned under Adam, and she mocked him for his flight across the lair and into the wall.  Neither one seemed overly worried about the injuries they clearly had sustained in the short fight and that, more than anything else that he had seen, gave Riley some insight into exactly how different Buffy’s life was from other girls’. 

 

He stared at the compact blond at her side, but when Spike sent him what was clearly the British version of a “fuck off” gesture and Buffy did nothing but shake her head and smile, he turned and marched off after his men.  If he hadn’t been sure before, their behavior now made it very clear that not only could he not compete with the vampire; he wasn’t even in the running any more.

 

Buffy was sitting in Spike’s lap in the crowded car, her head resting on his chest.  As they passed the cemetery, Spike spoke suddenly.

 

“Oi, watcher.  Let us off here, mate.”

 

Buffy raised her head sleepily, saw where they were and dropped it again after agreeing, “Yeah, Giles.  We can get off here.”

 

There was a tense silence in the car as her Watcher met the eyes of the vampire.  He looked at Spike steadily and asked, “So, Spike. Now that you’ve given Buffy the help she requested with Adam, I guess you’ll be anxious to get back to.....wherever you were before?”

 

He held the vampire’s eyes and hoped the message he was sending was coming in loud and clear.

 

Spike looked back at him steadily and answered with no trace of his usual cockiness, “I guess that’d be up to the Slayer.  Don’t think I want to be that far away from her anymore.  Just in case she needs me again,” he added for the benefit of the other Scoobies.

 

“We all want what’s in her best interest, don’t we?”  Giles refused to give up the subject.

 

“Hey! Right here in the car!” Buffy sat up to complain.  ”Giles, just drop it.  Please”

 

Her Watcher sighed and remained silent as his surrogate daughter and the vampire who loved her got out of the car.  He drove off and left them standing at the gate to the cemetery, holding hands like they had just left a movie.

 

 

Chapter Thirteen

 

Several hours of healing sleep later, the small blond woman stirred and turned to face the man spooning her body.  When he didn’t respond except to shift his legs to allow her to press up against him, she reached up and began pressing kisses along his jaw line and down his throat.   She bit gently into his throat with her blunt little teeth and he growled softly, opening heavy-lidded blue eyes that darkened with passion as he looked at her.

 

“Do you want somethin’, Slayer?” he rumbled as he pulled her closer to his chest.  “Somethin’ I can do for you?”

 

Buffy felt the usual thrill run through her body when his growl vibrated against her, and her breathing got faster as she felt his body responding to her. Although both Slayer and Vampire were still sore and tired, Spike pulled her leg up over his hip and slid into her already wet entrance gently. 

 

As she lay on her side facing the vampire, feeling him filling her as only he could, Buffy could almost believe that they were just an ordinary couple. The touch of his cool fingers on her ass as he pulled her hips toward him reminded her very quickly that this was not an ordinary man and that life with him could be very complicated.

 

They sighed together, content for the moment to remain connected without feeling any urgency to proceed. 

 

“I wish we could stay like this forever,” she whispered into his chest.

 

“Nothin’ lasts forever, love.  You know that,” he replied, kissing her forehead.

 

She stuck her lower lip out in a small pout and grumbled, “Well, I want it to.  I don’t see why not.”

 

The vampire smiled and gently pulled on her lower lip with his teeth.  “Well, because then we couldn’t....” He rotated his hips carefully, rubbing her clit just enough to make her gasp.

 

“Oh!  Well, that would be not good.  Because this is...” She used her internal muscles to squeeze his cock rhythmically making him groan in pleasure.

“...good,” she finished breathlessly.

 

They were soon moving easily against each other, each trying to provide maximum pleasure with minimal pain and damage to already battered bodies.  Bruises and cuts were soon forgotten as their desire built and they fell against each other shuddering with the force of their release.

 

They stayed intimately connected as Buffy’s breathing and heart rate returned to normal and the vampire gently stroked the silky skin on her back. Suddenly he took an unnecessary breath and looked down into her questioning eyes.

 

“Sla- Buffy, you know how much I love you, don’t you?”  He willed her to see the truth of it in his eyes.  “I would die for you.  And I don’t ever want to do anything to hurt you...”

 

Buffy looked up at him with the first glimmer of fear in her eyes.  “Why does it sound like there’s a really painful ‘but’ lurking in there somewhere?” she asked calmly.

 

He sighed again and pulled her tightly against him. 

 

(I’m not a strong enough man for this.  Know it’s the right thing to do, but....)

 

“Buffy,” he finally said, “Your watcher is right.  If I was lookin’ out for your best interests, I’d leave here immediately.  Before the Council of Wankers finds out, before your friends figure it out... “

 

She felt a ball of ice in her chest as she realized what he was saying. “You’re going to leave me?” she asked in a very small voice.  “You don’t want to stay with me?”

 

“More than anything in the world,” he breathed into her ear as he clutched her harder.  “You’ve got no bleedin’ idea how much.  But the Council of Wankers will never let you...... and you’ll never be able to have a normal life if I’m in it.”

 

“Hello!  Vampire Slayer here!  Not expected to live past twenty!  Fights vampires and demons every night.  Lost her virginity to a 126-year-old master vampire.  Fell in love with said vampire.  Saves the world every spring...stop me when I get to something that sounds remotely normal to you.”

 

Her voice had risen as indignation replaced her fear of rejection.

 

(Who does he think he is, making decisions about my life for me?  Him and Giles  - talking about my future like I have nothing to say about it!)

 

              As she ranted, she had pushed herself up away from him and was now sitting on him, still impaled on his rapidly hardening cock and glaring down at his smiling face.

 

              “I don’t know what you’re smiling about,” she growled at him.  “I’m mad at you!  How could you even think about making that kind of decision without talking to me about it?  What about the claim?”

 

He continued to gaze up at her, admiring the way her breasts moved with her indignant huffing and the animation on her face.  He could almost feel his demon and William wrestling with each other for dominance.  William, of course, wanted to do the noble thing and leave Buffy to go back to her life.  The demon was raging against any suggestion that he leave this woman to whom he was almost mated.

 

Buffy’s voice and expression softened as she watched the war of emotions going on behind those intense eyes.

 

“What about the claim?” she repeated softly.  “Doesn’t that make me yours?  Don’t you want me?” She unconsciously squeezed him with her internal muscles as though her body was trying to cling to whatever part of him it could.

 

With a groan, he lost himself for seconds in the sensation of being sheathed in her wet heat, surrounded by everything Buffy.  He fought his way back from the urge to surrender to his demon’s demands and said hoarsely,

“We never really completed a claim, love.  It will fade over time and ...and...we could move on to other.....”

 

              Suddenly the worried girl was gone and the Slayer was staring down at him.  “You try moving on, vampire, and I’ll ....”  Too quick for him to realize what she was planning, Buffy dove toward his neck and bit down as hard as she could with her blunt human teeth.  She didn’t stop, in spite of his bucking beneath her, until she had drawn blood.  Then she kissed the wound and said softly, “Mine. You’re mine, Spike.”

 

              At the first pinch of her teeth on his neck, Spike’s demon threw William completely out of the contest. When he felt her break the skin, the demon emerged in all its primal glory.  With a roar, he fastened his fangs onto her throat and answered her claim with his own.  He slipped his sharper teeth easily into her soft skin and pulling fiercely he growled, “Mine.”

 

              Visions of William, his mother, Cecily’s cruel comments, Drusilla, pain, darkness, clawing desperately out of a grave, Angelus, Darla, bloodshed, other Slayers, running over the Sunnydale sign, watching Buffy, fighting with Buffy, making love to Buffy on the damp grass of the graveyard – all those scenes flashed through the Slayer’s mind as she swallowed the blood on her tongue and felt the vampire’s pull on hers.

 

As they shared the blood from their wounds, the intimacy between the two supernatural beings increased exponentially.  Neither one could say where he/she left off and the other began.  The swirl of emotions and memories made them both dizzy.

 

 Without actually moving, the still-connected couple was suddenly shaken by orgasms so powerful that they both lost consciousness.  They fed on each other’s ecstasy in a continuous loop that only ended when their overloaded brains were no longer able to experience it.

 

When Buffy came to her senses, she found that she was still sucking gently on Spike’s neck as he licked her softly and purred into her throat.

 

“Whoa,” she gasped.   “That was....was....Help me out here, poet.” She laughed as Spike winced at her newfound knowledge about William’s life before he was turned.  He smiled ruefully with her, then his expression turned serious.

 

“It was forever, love.  I hope you’re ready for that.” He stroked her face, letting her see how shaken he was by the experience and how much it meant to him.

 

She gazed back at him and answered with complete honesty, “As long as you’re with me, I think I can be ready for anything.  I love you, William.”

 

 

 

 

Epilogue

 

“Well, Spike, we’ve faced Giles and the Scoobies, we’ve faced down the Council and got them to agree to leave us alone as long as you aren’t killing; this is all that’s left.  Are you up for it?”

 

The well over a hundred-year-old master vampire looked around nervously and slowed down his usual ground-covering strides.

 

“I dunno, pet.  You mother doesn’t keep any axes around the house, does she?”

 

She smiled at the reminder of how her mother had interrupted his quest to kill his third Slayer at Back to School Night.  It seemed like much more than two and half years ago that Spike had first come into their lives.

 

“Trust me, if my mother wants to make someone uncomfortable, she doesn’t need any weapons,” Buffy said wryly.

 

“Well that’s bloody encouraging, love.  Why don’t I just wait out here while you explain things to her....” He paused on the sidewalk and looked at the front door of the neat bungalow on Revello Drive.

 

She turned to face him and reached up to touch her lips to his softly.

 

  “Don’t be such a coward.  You know my mother likes you.  And she’s grateful to you for coming back to help her daughter. It’ll be fine.”

 

“Helpin’ her daughter fight baddies is a long way from claiming her forever,” he grumbled as he followed her up the steps and opened the door for her.

 

Buffy tossed her hair at him and walked into the house without looking back to see if he was following.  She actually wasn’t as confident as she pretending to be.  She was well aware that her mother still struggled with the idea that her daughter was the Slayer and that the normal, happy life she wanted for her was not likely to happen. 

 

And, while her mother did genuinely like Spike, and seemed totally unfazed by the fact that he was a vampire, Buffy really wasn’t sure how she was going to take the news that he was now a member of their small family.  They’d not really made any attempt to hide their feelings for each other, but Buffy had never told her mother about the mutual claim or what it meant in terms of her future and she wasn’t really sure how the older woman was going to take the idea that her only daughter was essentially married to a much older, much less alive man......forever.

 

Spike stood behind her, shuffling his feet nervously and studying the rug on the floor as Buffy called out, “Mom, we’re here.”

 

When Joyce came out of the kitchen carrying a tray on which she had put mugs of hot chocolate with small marshmallows floating in one of them, the Slayer relaxed and gave Spike a brilliant smile.

 

The smile Joyce gave Buffy and Spike was warm and welcoming, but there was a trace of sadness visible around her eyes.  She could feel the connection between the two blonds in front of her without even seeing the looks they were giving each other, and she regretfully let go of any last dreams of grandchildren she had been clinging to as she said, “ So, I understand you two have something to tell me?  Why don’t we all have some hot chocolate while we talk about it?”

 

The End

 

Prequel: Her Last Request  http://spuffystuff.org/lastrequest.htm

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