Fucking wanker! Spike hurled an ornamental table angrily and ineffectively at a passing minion, kicking out at his battered wheelchair with petulant fury. He'd show that overbrowed bastard who was a fucking invalid - just as soon as he managed to right the hated chair and drag his crippled form back into it. It was a tricky job, made slower by the vampire's impatience and frequent pauses to hurl things; by the time Spike was back on four wheels he couldn't be madder.
To think he'd welcomed the bastard back with open arms. Literally. Been dicking a Slayer, Angelus? Killing your own kind? Never mind, old chap, welcome back to the evil fold. He'd been pleased. To be taunted, tipped out of his chair for the older vampire's amusement, left impotent on the floor while that indescribable git went off to shag his girlfriend. He could still hear them at it, Dru's oh-so-familiar moans and squeals, the occasional low rumble of encouragement from her beloved daddy.
To make it even worse the poncy one's cracks about impotence had been right on the mark. Little Spike hadn't stirred since the Slayer'd snapped his spine, and feeding on Dru's leftovers was hardly enough to speed the healing. He was healing, Spike was sure. He could wiggle his toes now, if he put all his effort to it, a sure sign he'd be back on his feet eventually, but it couldn't come soon enough to deal with Angelus. Could send out a minion for dinner but they'd all fled his wrath and Spike didn't want the indignity of yelling for aid, afraid the useless little shits would ignore him. With no means of reprisal if they disobeyed, now wasn't the time to be testing his authority over minions who detested him; sometimes Spike suspected the only reason he hadn't found himself with a stake in his back was because the scurvy fledges were too afraid of Dru.
He'd just have to do it himself then, if the Slayer wasn't waiting outside to stake his defenceless arse. The thought of that bitch roaming free just added another layer to his frustrated rage, and the vampire was struck with a far better idea than trying to sneak past her. Wheeling his way over to the messy pile of weapons in the corner Spike dug out a shotgun taken from a night-watchman back when the vampire could still exercise such luxuries as stealth and, you know, standing upright.
Slayer's blood, that's what'd fix him. He'd bloody well show her defenceless. He'd shoot the bitch, spatter that vampire's ambrosia all over her slinky little body and lick his dinner off her stiffening corpse. Even after a gunshot wound there'd be enough blood left to fill his belly, finish knitting that spinal column. Then he'd go back with her head and show Angelus defenceless. Picking up a piece of wire from the dirty warehouse floor Spike attached the gun to the side of his chair, where it blended invisibly with the bare metal frame. Then he rolled determinedly into the night.
Right now, Buffy was cursing Dolce and Gabbana. The very favourite purchase that she'd wrangled from her guilt-ridden father over the summer in LA looked likely to be the cause of her death. For months the elegant stiletto sandals had been reserved for dates with Angel, until a fraying around the toe and the whole boyfriend-turned-evil problem relegated her pride and joy to patrol-wear. Turns out? $300 shoes? Great thing for the shopping buzz. Fantastic for stretching her calves just so in a Bronze-type environment. But even $300 didn't buy a lifetime guarantee and as Buffy had landed lightly to face the two fledglings foolish enough to challenge her, the elegant wooden heel shattered.
It was enough to turn a pair of easy dustings into a life or death situation; they rushed just as she lost her balance, and before Buffy knew where she was she was flat on her back. Even downed she managed to stake one but he'd wrenched free in a hopeless attempt to save himself as he dusted and taken her weapon with him to grainy oblivion. And even as she'd dealt that killing blow the other vampire was kneeling on her chest, his full weight knocking the breath out of the prone girl as he fought for access to her neck. She fended him off with one arm, the other groped for anything she could use as a weapon, but her desperate fingers could feel nothing but the graveyard turf.
Changing tack, Buffy made one last attempt to jerk upright and throw him off but the vampire held firm and as her body arched it gave the fledgling the opening he needed to sink his fangs into her neck.
To Buffy the dull scrape of teeth was echoed by a sharper stinging pain along her arm, and the load crushing her suddenly lightened. She threw the vampire off, blood flowing freely from the holes he left in her neck, and realised with one stomach churning glance that half his face was gone. His torso hadn't fared much better, half the ribcage opened up by the same metal buckshot that peppered her own arm.
Sitting now Buffy turned to look at her rescuer and started to see a familiar leather-clad vampire, on an entirely unfamiliar wheelchair.
The vampire gave her a mocking salute with the still-smoking gun. "How do, Slayer?"
Buffy raised one hand to the still trickling wound at her neck and stared, open-mouthed, at William the Bloody. Her eyes flicked down to the mutilated vampire at her feet, indistinguishable from a corpse with half its brain blown out.
"I thought you were dead," she said eventually, and Spike raised his eyebrows in faked surprise.
"Do you know, Slayer? I think you might be right. Wanna take my pulse to make sure, like?"
"I... I mean... the church..." Buffy winced at the sound of her own stuttering but it was beyond her control. One second she was facing near-certain death, the next facing a more unlikely rescuer than her imagination could ever have dreamed up. It was enough to loosen a girl's grip on the English language. Still, as her mind groped for sense the Slayer instinctively kept one eye on the gun.
"You thought you'd got rid of me?" the vampire asked pleasantly. "You need to be working harder on those studies, pet. Church organs don't happen to be on the list of things fatal to vampires. Slowed me down, but."
Spike spread his arms in an 'as you can see' gesture, the gun in his hand naturally moving too and Buffy tensed, poised to leap for the nearest cover. He caught the tiny change in posture and smiled again, knowingly, as he tossed the gun away.
"These things are only good for two shots, and that blighter got both barrels."
"Oh," said Buffy stupidly. She could feel the blood from her neck seeping through her fingers, slower now, registering that the bite was only a flesh wound. But even if it had been her life's blood dripping onto the grass she wouldn't have been able to tear her eyes away from the vampire who watched her with barely concealed amusement.
"Was'a matter, Slayer? Your brain fall out too?"
"Maybe." Maybe she was dead and her brain, not ready to accept the fact, was hallucinating. It was more credible than what she thought her eyes were telling her. "Probably," she amended, "because there's no way you just saved my life."
Spike made a disgusted noise. "No way!" he agreed emphatically. "I kill Slayers, me. Grind their bones to make my bread, and that sort of thing."
"Of course you do," Buffy reassured. She looked down again at the grotesque vampire remains then at the scattering of pellets in her own arm. A few trickles of blood ran sluggishly across her skin but mostly the metal kept the red stuff on the inside and, like her neck, the wound merely stung. Nothing a half hour with some tweezers and a roll of band-aid couldn't fix. Nothing like fatal. "You're just a really crummy shot," she added doubtfully.
Spike opened his mouth to protest, shut it again. "Right," he said eventually. "That bugger was in the way of your head."
The implied death threat lacked edge, given Spike's current condition. Long years of political correctness and lectures on manners left Buffy a little uncomfortable about threatening back. It felt wrong to be exchanging insults with a cripple. She kicked off her broken shoes and started a little debate in her head over the ethics of slaying something currently harmless. There was some more staring, and a few seconds where neither moved. Shaking her head to clear the spell Buffy took a long stride backwards, waving her injured arm in explanation, ready and eager to flee this unlikely scene.
"I have to go take the bullets out, so..." She was already a good few steps between the gravestones, earth damp between her toes, when Spike's indignant 'hey' caught up with her. Reluctantly, Buffy turned around.
"Where the bloody hell do you think you're going? Come back and fight!"
And just when she thought this evening couldn't get any weirder. Buffy stared incredulously at the paraplegic vampire and he glared back. Buffy blinked. "You want to... fight? Now?"
"Mortal enemies!" Spike countered. "You going to run off home 'cause of a little scratch? I don't think so." He patted the arms of his chair meaningfully. "I think I'm the one with the real handicap here."
"You're in a wheelchair! What are you planning to do, arm wrestle me to death?"
"Well if you're scared..."
"Terrified," Buffy deadpanned. "I'll just stand here on this uneven ground..."
But Spike carried right on giving her that challenging look, pulled up his sleeves to emphasize just how much he meant business. Buffy frowned. She hadn't quite been prepared to stake a helpless vampire that had just saved her life, however much it might be her duty, but if he was literally going to ask for it... Still she paused, offered him one last out as she walked back to his chair.
"This is going to be no kind of fight, you do realise that? More like putting down a sick dog, which, okay, appropriate, but..."
Spike shrugged, though his gaze never wavered. "Make a better tale of it for the Watcher's Diaries, would you pet? Epic battle, blaze of glory, bit of a dramatic touch?"
Buffy took the last step to within striking distance. She half expected him to leap from the chair and shout surprise but he didn't, just waited. His human face, as expressive as any real person's, held a touch of pleading and something softened in Buffy. Vampires regularly threw themselves onto Buffy's stake in moments of overconfident stupidity but she'd fought Spike too many times to write him off as entirely stupid - things must be bad indeed if he was ready to let her end him. But there was something in his eyes that dared her to pity him at her own risk and Buffy was certainly not going to lose sleep over a vampire that wanted to be dust so she reached out to snap a branch off a convenient tree. Still Spike didn't move, watching her approach calmly; didn't so much as twitch as she raised the makeshift stake to his chest.
It didn't look like he'd offer even a token resistance for her to 'make a better tale of' for the history books, and that struck Buffy as rather sad. Evil though Spike was, you couldn't argue with his status as worthy opponent and this end was an anticlimax. Better if he had really perished in that abandoned church. Of course, Buffy had to concede, if he had she'd've recently been drained by an incompetent fledge but that didn't make it any less sad, for him. She couldn't remember ever having staked a vamp in human face, they always brought out the fangs to fight, and Buffy found she couldn't drive the stake home with those blue eyes staring back, unblinking. She turned her head away to finish the task.
It was a weakness of heart rather than shoe that was to prove her undoing this time; in a movement too fast for Buffy to process, let alone prevent, Spike struck. In the second she glanced away the vampire's weapon appeared and for the second time that night Buffy found herself with fangs stuck into her neck as strong arms grabbed for hers. To jerk away now would leave half her throat in his mouth and herself fatally wounded, but bent in half and pulled off balance against his chest Buffy was at a perilous disadvantage. And every moment that he suckled at her neck turned the tables further in his favour.
Whatever injuries she'd dealt him last month weren't severe enough - in that weird second a brain takes for abstract thought in moments of extreme danger Buffy wondered if wheeling himself around hadn't rather built up his upper body strength. He was too strong or she was too slow and then it was too late for thought or action as he dragged her into his lap, her own hands pinned tightly behind her back and her struggles weaker by the second. Instead of her life flashing before her eyes - she'd lived very little in the five minutes since it last flashed - Buffy cursed her own stupidity.
She was starting to feel light-headed as he pulled her close against him, mouth tugging hungrily around the new holes in her neck. Buffy felt him shifting his bear-hug around her and binding her hands with wire and just as her vision started to blur the fangs slid out. A rough tongue cleaned the dribbles of blood that leaked from the wound as Buffy fought to stay conscious, and by the time she was sure she'd won the fight those clear blue eyes were back, laughing at her.
"Of course," the vampire drawled cheerfully, "there's always an outside chance that I might actually win."
Buffy took a deep, panicked breath and forced herself to take stock of her situation. She was sitting astride Spike's legs, short skirt fanning over his lap, knees jammed into the sides of his wheelchair and two strong arms holding her firmly in place. Thin wire bound her hands behind her back - so tight her fingers were tingling. Her head was swimming with bloodloss.
So not a good situation then.
Even under-strength she might have been able to snap the wire, given purchase, but Slayer flesh was soft as any other and the more she struggled the deeper the wire bit, until she was forced to cease or slice off her own hands in a bid for freedom.
On the plus side, he still couldn't use his legs - she only had to get back on her feet to survive tonight's second near-death experience-and he seemed to be taking the textbook villain moment to gloat. So in a nearly hopeless attempt to turn the false-sense-of-security thing back on him she stopped struggling, lifted her chin defiantly.
"It's not enough to kill me, you have to get the last word in too?"
The vampire grinned wider. "Spoils of victory, Slayer. You win, you get to decide which word is the last."
So her next sentence might be her dying words - Buffy used them to show she wasn't afraid, although she was.
"Technically, you haven't won until I'm dead."
"Give us a minute. Haven't had a belly this full in quite a while. Don't want to waste the rest of that lovely Slayer blood by doing something rash like snapping your neck, do I?"
"Oh, by all means, let your first course go down," snapped back the Slayer. "I wouldn't want my last act on this plane to be giving you indigestion. And by the way? So not fair! I wasn't even going to stake you until you practically asked me to."
"And you wouldn't have been around to stake me if I hadn't just saved your arse. Easy come, easy go, eh love?"
"I didn't come easy," said Buffy furiously. "I was ten and a half pounds, my mother spent 23 hours in labour. And I'm not going easy either, damnit." With these words she flung herself to the ground, or would have done if she had had the leverage of her arms. As it was, each of her shins were trapped between an armrest and a denim clad thigh and though the chair wobbled dangerously she remained firmly wedged with only the slightest effort from Spike. To be sure he pulled her flush against his chest. Buffy did her best to wriggle backwards but froze as she found to her horror not everything below the waist was completely immobile. She felt a growing bulge rubbing against her inner thigh, the vampire noticed her noticing and chuckled.
"Gotta thank you there, pet. I haven't had a stiffy on since you severed the old spinal column."
Hands on her hips, Spike pulled the weakened girl closer until her knees were digging painfully into the depths of the chair and the bulge was rubbing directly against cotton panties. Spike leaned forward as she leaned back to add: "Amazing what a few shots of Slayer's blood will do for a bloke's constitution."
Making no effort to hide her disgust, Buffy's eyes were wide as she made another desperate bid for freedom, twisting her shoulder into his chest to shove herself backwards off the chair. But without arms she was no match for his firm grip on her waist and her efforts were openly amusing the vampire. He closed his eyes with an exaggerated sigh and, confident she was safely trapped, let his hands slide down to cup her buttocks, the better to grind himself against her. "Just a little to the left, love."
It was enough to make Buffy give it up. The effort of straining against him was making her dizzy and getting her nowhere and deep down she knew it was a useless struggle. Worse than useless, the sick little bastard was getting off on it. There was real fear now, of a kind Buffy wasn't used to. She'd done the facing death thing last year, it hadn't been as bad as she'd expected. Not that she hadn't felt a flutter of terror as Spike sucked the life out of her but that death at least would have been relatively painless. And though Buffy had never, ever, ever let the thought to the surface of her conscious mind, her death would make Angelus some other Slayer's problem and maybe that helped take some of the sting out of her impending demise.
This was looking to be infinitely worse than death - this was being helpless. Humiliating enough that she'd been so easily neutralized by a paraplegic vampire. Such a stupid slip that moment of compassion, from the one girl in all the world that should know better; so stupid that maybe she deserved the ignominious death, but Buffy wasn't about to let him do worse. The hands clutching her butt took on connotations besides restraint and Buffy gulped, knowing the vampire was enjoying every nuance of her reaction. He leered down her blouse with theatrical lasciviousness.
"Whatever shall we do to pass the time, sweetheart?"
Buffy jerked forward, smashing her forehead into his nose. In life-saving terms it was a pointless gesture but Buffy was fighting for more than her life now and if her only line of defence against rape was to batter at him until he killed her then it was a line she was willing to take. Besides, it was worth it for the split-second it wiped that smug smile off his face. Only for a second and then he was grinning again, extending his tongue to clean the blood dripping from his broken nose.
"That wasn't very nice. Don't you want to be friends, kitten?"
"Don't you touch me!"
The vampire hooked his fingers through the wire binding her wrists, freeing his other hand. He raised one elegant eyebrow and poked her deliberately in the stomach. "Or...?"
Buffy went for the head butt again, but his grip on the wire pulled her sharply back, digging into her skin, twisting the muscles in her upper arms. The eyebrow climbed higher.
"Let's assume I'm not stupid enough to fall for the same trick twice, shall we? So you got anything else?"
Buffy glared back defiantly without answering, and he could plainly see that she didn't. On top, quite literally, it felt like she should be able to act, but she couldn't. He'd taken more blood than she liked to think about, even thinking was getting difficult and every slight movement left her head swimming. The only thing she hadn't tried yet was biting his face and even that was impossible with him pulling her shoulders painfully back. And unless she lucked out with something important, like an eyeball, he'd only laugh at her again and Buffy didn't really want to end her life with an eyeball between her teeth.
Really didn't want to be raped either. And that had to be impossible, to rape someone sitting on top of you. Buffy tried to tell herself he was just taunting her, enjoying her poorly concealed horror at the idea; she was determined not to give him another reaction. But she could feel the bile rising at the back of her throat as he coasted his free hand down her blouse, fingers running lightly over her breasts through the thin material and finishing on the patch of bare skin at her midriff.
"So whatcha gonna do about that, then?" he asked with a smirk. "Scowl at me?"
"You can't rape me," she said, trying hard to make it sound like a certainty.
"No," he agreed solemnly. "That would be evil and... Wait a minute - I am evil!"
His nails were bitten down to the quick, Buffy noticed as he undid the bottom button of her blouse. She managed to wriggle enough to fumble his grip as he went for the second button but the small movements seemed to give him more pleasure than exasperation and he pulled her tighter against his crotch with a wink.
Of course, this put her in head butting distance again.
"Fuck!" His eyes flashed yellow as his hand abandoned her buttons to fly to his increasingly misshapen nose. "Would you cut that out! You're spoiling the pretty."
"You're trying to rape me!"
"And you're making it much less pleasant than it ought to be." Licking the blood off his fingers Spike shifted his grip to the back of her neck. "Why not have some fun before you die, eh?"
Buffy shuddered. "I'd rather just be dead, thanks."
"Oh well. You were stupid enough to wander onto my fangs, which makes you outvoted, darlin'." No fumbling with buttons this time. Spike gave the front of her blouse a sharp tug and they pinged every which way. He bent his neck to lick at her collar bone, tracing a line down to the lacy border of her exposed bra. The hand gripping her neck followed the general trend downwards leaving her head free but Spike's nose was well out of range for a third head butt - so Buffy bit his hair instead. That distinctive platinum was all hardened clumps thick with gel and she ripped out a sizeable tuft, solid and sticky between her teeth.
"Ow!" Spike's head shot up. "Of all the childish, girly-"
Buffy spat the clump of hair at his open mouth then spat some more to get rid of the disgusting taste. Spike growled and got in her face, putting his nose in just the right place for that third head butt.
"Tell me again, Spike," she mocked. "How many times will you fall for the same trick?"
Pain and murder flashed across his face, blood now running freely over his lips and down to his Adam's apple. Fingers caught her chin in a bruising grip and Spike leaned forward until they were mouth to mouth. "That's it, bitch. No more Mr. Nice Guy."
His eyes yellowed an inch from hers, the fangs descending; Buffy had never seen the change so close up and for a split second she was fascinated. Then she remembered she was about to die, either right this second or slowly, horribly, and took the only course of action left to her - bringing her bound hands up and over her head and his.
It hurt. The skin of her wrists tore as her hands twisted inside the tight wire and there was an audible pop as her right shoulder dislocated. Pain and bloodloss combined to shake Buffy free of her tenuous grasp on consciousness and though she fought to make that one final move that might save her life the world went red and then black.
When Buffy's brain floated back down to reality the eyes in front of her were blue again, and laughing. Too busy laughing to realise that now, with her arms around his neck, he didn't have her so securely pinned.
"If you'd wanted a cudd-"
But Buffy wasn't about to wait and listen to even one more witticism. A sharp jerk and this time her hold took Spike sideways with her. The chair toppled, her dislocated shoulder hit the ground as they rolled, and Buffy blacked out again.
When she came to it was the middle of an earthquake and instinctively Buffy made to get up and run for the nearest doorway but she couldn't. It only took a split second to remember what had gone before, and as her vision cleared Buffy added a few new facts. She was hopelessly tangled in vampire limbs and twisted metal, and what she'd thought for an instant was rumbling ground was actually the vampire beneath her, convulsing with helpless laughter.
"You're not dull, are you Slayer? I think I like you. You ever considered living forever?"
Buffy ignored him - there was one fear she would never, ever come to terms with. Gingerly she tried to move again, with a great deal of pain and little success. Her bound hands were still looped around Spike's neck, Buffy's weight sprawled across his chest, one of his arms trapped beneath her. Her legs lay between his, left feet tangled together in the toppled wheelchair.
"If you lift this arm up," Spike suggested helpfully, "you'll be able to get this one out from underneath."
Just how blonde did he think she was? Okay, there'd been that one, tiny, near fatal error of judgment but she'd learnt from it and on the best of days that tone would have raised suspicion. Technically, she could see he was correct. One wrist was under his neck, one over, bound on the other side so her one arm was effectively pinning the other in place. With Spike's neck in between.
"Do you mean the arm that's stopping you biting me?" she asked sweetly. Spike chuckled again.
"That's the one. Don't fancy it, huh?"
"Not so much."
Buffy waited out the silence patiently, tensing for his next move, but Spike didn't move. And slowly it dawned on Buffy that he couldn't. Legs useless, and as trapped as hers were in the frame of the chair, one arm pinned by her weight, his options were as limited as Buffy's. Couldn't roll her off him because they were effectively tied together, didn't have the balance or leverage to sit them both up. Any false move on his part would give Buffy her hands back and even Spike must realise that wasn't something he wanted to risk. Likewise Buffy couldn't move because if she shifted her weight he only had to lift his head to sink his fangs back into her neck and Buffy had already lost as much blood as she could survive in the one night. After a few minutes of pregnant silence Spike sighed theatrically and rolled his eyes.
"Fine. I propose a truce. We'll call this one a stalemate and walk away, yeah?"
"You have got to be kidding me!"
"What's your grand plan then love? Gonna chew my head off? Might take a while with those itty bitty human teeth."
"It's a better plan than trusting you. You tricked me!"
"Did not! I didn't know you'd be moronic enough to put your neck where I could bite it. Can't blame me, Slayer. I've got all these animal instincts, see?"
"You've got lying evil thing instincts. 'Please stake me Slayer, I'm just a helpless little vampire,'" Buffy mimicked, sounding more like Dick van Dyke than anything human. "You've played that card, buster."
"I promise this time, Slayer. Straight up. Vampire honour."
"Oh yeah, that infamous vampire honour! I don't think so."
Spike sighed again and she could feel the muscles tensing in his neck as he gritted his teeth. "Look pet, we either cooperate or stay here forever. Does that sound like a better idea to you? Because I'm not getting any older."
"Nope. But you'll get a little flamier." Buffy had a plan. It was hardly a brilliant feat of derring-do and it did involve spending the next six or so hours tied to the most annoying vampire in existence, but it beat the hell out of dying. She felt as smug as she sounded when she added: "Sun'll come up sooner or later."
"Oh great idea," Spike agreed sarcastically. "Let the vampire you're laying on top of catch fire. You're bright as a fucking button, you! I'm sure it'll say so on your headstone when you've been bleeding well incinerated."
It was more or less impossible to shrug with your arms tied around someone else's neck but Buffy was sure Spike got the gist of her meaning. "Not combustible," she said. "Slayer healing. I'll be a little bit singed and rolling around in your dust. Sounds like a fair trade to me."
That gave the vampire pause. For the first time there wasn't the faintest trace of humour in his voice as he exclaimed: "You cannot be serious?"
Buffy didn't bother to answer. He might be right, it wasn't a flawless plan, but on balance still a better chance of a long and fruitful life than trusting Spike again. And it seemed to annoy Spike, a tiny payback for the terror he'd caused her.
"What are you going to do if another vampire comes along, you little ninny?"
"That's my problem."
"Oh come on, Slayer! That's just no way for a master vampire to die."
Buffy glared. His face was so close to hers that her eyes nearly crossed with the effort. "Do you really think I care? Do you think I wanted to be raped and murdered?"
"Better than this! In fact," and despite his situation Spike managed to inject the words with a suggestive leer, "sounds like a nice way to go."
"I can't stay still for six hours, you hear me? I'll annoy you so much you'll be ready to off yourself before the sun comes up." It was, Buffy had to admit, a distinct possibility. But suicide-by-irritation was still better than moving. And irritation went both ways, Buffy happened to know just what pushed Spike's buttons - she ignored him.
"Slayer! You've not thought this through. Let me up and we'll do this proper."
Meditation, that was the answer. Of all the techniques Giles had tried to teach her there had to be one that could drown out a vampire, or make six hours fly by.
"I'm not gonna just lay here, you stupid bitch. Let me up and I'll kill you quick."
Lacking a crystal with a flaw or a shiny coin - unable to see anything but Spike's face in extreme closeup without exposing her neck to him - Buffy focused on the blue of his eyes. As a crystal substitute they were surprisingly apposite. The colour ran deeper than should have been possible, a sparkling swirl of canyons and shades and flaws that seemed to be moving.
"Angelus'll be out on the prowl. Whatever will your boyfriend think when he finds you crawling all over me?"
Meditate, meditate, meditate. Look at all the pretty colours. Close as she was losing visual focus was easy and Buffy allowed herself to be hypnotised by all those different blues.
"Slayer! This is fucking ridiculous! You miserable, stinking coward - you let me up and fight like a... girl."
He was shouting right into her face but Buffy concentrated on the ignoring. A chant, that's what was called for, something of the 'om' variety. She started humming. Spike made the same futile attempts at escape that Buffy had tried earlier, bucking and wriggling beneath her. But the meditation was working, or maybe it was the pain fading, either way Buffy's thoughts were clearer and she could see as well as him it was useless. Buffy stopped humming long enough to allow herself a smug smile.
"Fucking hell, Slayer! I'll die of boredom if you take all night to dust me. At least talk to me."
That was a little too much for Buffy to let by. "You can't seriously expect me to take pity on you," she said, humming forgotten.
"I saved your life!"
"You tried to kill me!"
"I'm a soddin' vampire!"
"And I'm a Slayer. And this is me, slaying you."
"Well it's not on." Spike gave up straining and let his head fall back with a thud. "Aren't you white hats supposed to be all moral and humane? This's gotta be against the Slayer code of conduct."
"Well your dust can file a complaint."
"Slayer..." He was pleading now, pouting in what he must think was an appealing fashion, as if he seriously thought she might give in and feel sorry for him. "Let me up and fight."
"You mean let go of your neck so you can bite me."
"I won't, I swear. C'mon, I can't friggin' well stand up, what are you so afraid of? Better odds against me than hoping nothing else is out on the prowl tonight. This is Sunnydale."
He'd made an effort to turn the volume back down, sound conciliatory, but Buffy wasn't buying. She started humming again and Spike sighed, rolled his eyes back to glare at the sky.
"I suppose this isn't so bad," he said eventually. "Tied to a pretty girl. Least it's nice and warm. Cosy, almost, don'cha think Slayer? Intimate. Like we're friends or something."
The less irate Spike became the harder he was to ignore. That last comment caused a definite stutter in Buffy's humming but she stuck to it with resolution.
"Anyone comes looking for you might jump to the wrong conclusion," Spike continued conversationally. "Be embarrassing that, wouldn't it? You know, if I was you I'd want to forget this ever happened. We could just both get up, go our separate ways. Never mention this day again."
He left several pauses for her to respond but every time she didn't carried right on talking. Buffy was starting to wonder if he was physically capable of shutting up.
"I don't do boredom, you know. You don't entertain me and I'm likely to combust way ahead of schedule. 'Specially if you keep flashing you titties at me."
Buffy screwed her eyes shut. No way would she give him the satisfaction of glancing down. Her blouse was probably open but he bra still on - thank god she'd taken to sensible underwear since Angel's deflection - and she was pressed up against him. He couldn't possibly see much.
"Slayer's blood is a powerful aphrodisiac, did your watcher ever tell you that?"
Spike wiggled again under her and Buffy lent her weight forward as far as possible, elbow digging into his collar bone, but she soon realised his purpose was something other than escape. Her thigh, laying between his legs, could feel something it hadn't felt a moment ago.
"And all that heat. Does things to a fella."
Well there wasn't enough meditation in the world to block that out. Spike was wriggling against her in earnest now, thrusting his denim clad crotch against her thigh, rucking up her short skirt. Buffy's leg was stuck where it was, her bare foot trapped against his heavy boot in the frame of the chair and Buffy didn't know what shift of weight might let him up. She screwed her eyes tight shut against the smirk she could hear in his voice.
"Mmmm, that's good, love. All warm and enticing. I think I could just come in my pants, you smell so good. I'm just going to imagine your hot little-"
"Okay! Stop!" That squeak was not the Slayerly tone of command she'd been going for.
"Stop what, love?" Spike purred. "Humping your leg? Because it feels so-"
"Shut up! I give in, okay? Truce. We'll untangle, just... shut up. Stop moving."
And for once, maybe realising he'd pushed his luck far enough, Spike complied. "Move your arm then, pet," he said, his voice instantly different from the seductive tone he'd been putting on.
"You've got to promise," said Buffy suspiciously. "You won't even move until I've got this wire off my hands."
"Well if I'm promising you have to too. No staking, right Slayer?"
"No fucking way. As soon as I get my hands free I'm ramming that tree branch into you. And if it takes me a few goes to hit the heart then so much the better."
"Okay." Spike started to move again and even through his restricting jeans Buffy could feel another movement. It was a decent sized bulge, Buffy had to admit, before realising she was speculating about the size of Spike's penis and would have to wash her brain out with soap. Trustworthy or not, she was beginning to decide the risk was worth escaping this mental trauma.
"I'm happy here, Slayer. I've changed my mind," Spike was saying. "If I'm going to die either way I may as well co-"
"OKAY! No... fighting. We'll just- Forget this ever happened. I'll kill you tomorrow instead."
They both waited in expectant silence for a minute or two. "You have to say it too," Buffy prompted. Spike rolled his eyes.
"Bleeding hell, Slayer. I promise, okay? No biting, no violence. You get the fuck off me and I'll be the bestest behaved, non-Slayer slaying Slayer of Slayers you even did see. Scout's honour."
Buffy ran that convoluted sentence through her mind, checking for get-out clauses. "You weren't a boy scout."
"No," he conceded. irritation creeping back in. "Was a bit old to sign up, time they started. And also dead. But I've eaten quite a few."
"You try anything..."
"You'll dust me. Repeatedly. With just the power of that cute little glare. Just bloody well move."
It took more wriggling in much closer proximity than Buffy would have liked but in a couple of minutes they were both sitting, now joined only at the foot. Spike reached for the wire binding Buffy's wrists and she belted him soundly with her joined hands.
"Helping!" the vampire protested, holding up his own hands in surrender. "Not so sure I want to kill you now anyway, Slayer. This is the best fun I've had in ages."
"Well yeah. Someone broke my spine - I ain't been getting out much."
He watched Buffy fumble with the wire for precisely a second and a half before losing patience and reaching out again. Though it went against every instinct Buffy held still while he unwound it.
"Right little goer, aren't you? Don't ever quit, I like that in a woman."
"It was a compliment. Best Slayer I've ever fought, if a little slow on the uptake. We'll have to do this again soon."
Her hands free, Buffy wasted no time in releasing her foot from the chair and scrambling up. She was a little wobbly, and several of her joints didn't feel quite right, but she was upright. Checking the damage could wait until she was safely home. She looked away as Spike licked her blood from the wire in his hand.
"The next time I see you you're dust," she snapped, pulling her torn blouse tightly around herself. For good measure she kicked the chair, sending it out of Spike's reach. "You and your crazy girlfriend."
Later Buffy would ask herself why she didn't stake him, promise or no, but right then she just wanted to be out of there so she went. Turned a blind ear as Spike shouted after her.
"You know, love, we worked together we could take your ex down without breaking sweat. We'd make one hell of a team."
Buffy walked faster, the feel of cut grass under her feet soothing to the ache of movement. She was well out of sight by the time Spike moved, didn't see him haul himself to his feet or the tentative, unsteady steps he took toward the chair. She missed his grin of triumph.