Thanks again to Abelina whose extra eyes kept me from making any plot dimples into actual holes. :) Obviously, I've tweaked after she saw things, so....
(Chapter Eight is what earned it the strong R rating - FYI)
The squad of six slayers, led by Suzie, spread out in well-disciplined fashion, maintaining enough distance to cover a lot of ground, but not so much that a girl couldn’t get help if she needed it.
“Take out the ones you know for sure are evil first,” Faith instructed. “We can clean up the rest later.”
Buffy held her communicator to her ear for a second, then beamed. “The girls came through as soon as the barrier went down. They’ve already advanced several blocks in from the perimeter.” She sighed. “I would have loved to see that. The barrier drops and all of sudden there are slayers everywhere.”
“Yeah, it would have been wicked cool to see – all those girls just showing up before the demons even had time to figure out they weren’t living in evil heaven anymore.”
“Okay, well we know where they are – more or less, why we don’t start hitting some buildings? If we find people hiding, we’ll just tell them to hang tight for a while longer, and if we find demons or vamps….”
“Something like that.”
By the time real dusk was falling, a fairly large section of the city had become almost demon-free, thanks to the forty slayers still hacking and slashing their way through. As soon as the sun was gone, Spike and Angel joined them only long enough to tell Buffy they had to check on something at the Wolfram and Hart building.
“Do you want me to come with you?” She frowned as they both shook their heads.
“No. Don’t want you anywhere near— No. We just need to check on a prisoner. Make sure he isn’t loose in the city.”
“I don’t think he could be. Even if those idiot demons let him out, he’s probably a real ghost again by now. He’s just as stuck in that building as you were. And I’m not sure even a demon would be stupid enough to let him out. ” Angel said, speaking only to Spike.
“Who?” Buffy was getting angrier by the second.
Spike put his hands on her shoulders and forced her to meet his gaze. “Trust me?” he asked. When she nodded dubiously, he continued, “Just an old evil guy who was haunting the Wolfram and Hart building… He was… Well never mind that. Point is, Fred managed to find a way to make a ghost solid—” Buffy frowned again when Angel growled, but didn’t interrupt. “And Angel put him away in a cell. I imagine he’s starved to death or the ghostly equivalent by now. We just want to be sure he can’t get out and about. If I have to, I’ll blow up the whole bloody building to keep him there.”
“All right. Well, we’re heading for another demon-owned factory that has slaves. Use the communicator I gave you to find me when you’re done with whatever it is you don’t want slayer backup for.”
With a final offended sniff, Buffy walked down the street to liberate another group of humans. When they got to the new factory, they found word had already spread of their earlier prisoner releases and subsequent death of the business-owners. So as soon as they’d fought their way in, the humans were shoved toward them while their former masters beat a hasty retreat.
Similar things were happening all over the city as groups of slayers descended on demon-run businesses and either destroyed them completely, or released all the prisoners being used for slave labor. The gathering darkness was full of small groups of people, some with slayer escorts, finding their way out of the city or back to their homes.
Two squads of slayers were assigned to do nothing but take out the vampires now emerging into the darkness. Those that survived the slayers soon took themselves elsewhere. As the night wore on, more and more areas of the city had been taken back by the humans. Even in areas the slayers hadn’t reached yet, word of what was happening had reached the demons and they were either going down into the sewers or finding some other way to make themselves inconspicuous. Those that could, left the city for remote suburbs where they could get away from the vicious little girls with axes and swords now working their way through Los Angeles, neighborhood by neighborhood.
It was getting closer to morning when Spike caught up with Buffy and assured her that Pavane was not going to be a problem for anyone.
“He was fading away. Couldn’t even curse at us as much as he wanted to. I’m pretty sure he was finally on his way to the hell he thought he could avoid by sending others in his stead. But just in case, we sealed off that section of the sub-basement. Took a while, but even if somebody goes looking down that corridor, they won’t notice that it ends with a wall that wasn’t there before.”
“Someday you need to tell me what that was all about.”
“Someday, I will. Now what’s going on out here? All the newbie slayers gettin’ the job done?”
“Seems like it. But I wish we could get the street lights back on somehow,” Buffy said. She pointed to a building that was well-lit on the inside. “It’s not like there’s no electricity. It just isn’t working out here. If we had streetlights going for us, we—”
Spike took her hand and turned her to face him. “You’re not going to fix it all in one day, love. When the sun comes up again, it’ll be safer for people to be out and about and someone will head for the switches that need throwing. The streets will have lights again soon. If not because of someone already here, then somebody from the power company outside.”
“There is no inside – outside anymore,” Buffy said.
“Kinda my point. Repairmen can fix whatever needs fixing, grocery stores can start receiving human food, and people from here can go wherever they want to eat or sleep. While you and your little army of slayers are snoozing during the day, things will be getting back to normal in here. Gonna take a while… and you’ll be busy at night, but the city’s on it’s way back.”
“Oh. Well then I guess…”
“Why don’t you let all these bloodthirsty little girls who had to wait outside get their fill of slays, and you come back with me to get some sleep?”
“You sure spend a lot of time worrying about how much rest I’m getting. A suspicious person might think you were trying to get me into bed.” She smirked at him.
He growled at her. “A blithering idiot would know that’s what I’m trying to do, Slayer. Suspicion has nothing to do with it.”
“So, you want our first time having—making love—in over two years to be in a hotel full of teenaged slayers? Not to mention Angel and Faith. I don’t know about you, but that thought isn’t making me all tingly.”
“Good point, love. We need a plan B, then.”
“I’m working on it. Meantime, let’s start heading back, just in case I don’t come up with anything.”
“How about something like that?” Buffy pointed at house with a “For Sale” sign in the yard. “If nobody lives there…”
“Taking over an abandoned house. I like it. It has historical resonance.”
“I mean, love,” he said as he opened the door and pulled her inside. “That it won’t be the first night we’ve spent in a deserted house that doesn’t belong to us.”
“Oh. No, it won’t, will it?”
“Happier circumstances this time, though.”
“Much happier.” She raised her face for the kiss she knew was coming. “Much, much happier,” she murmured against his mouth.
Buffy sank into the kisses she hadn’t been willing to admit she missed after she’d told Spike using him to make herself feel was killing her. Even as close as they became during that last awful year in Sunnydale, she’d kept a tight rein on her libido, telling herself that Spike was just a very, very close friend and his newly-souled emotions were very fragile. He was someone she cared about, but not someone she needed or wanted a physical relationship with. It hadn’t been that hard to do, with everything else that was going on around them, and the lack of sleep and general exhaustion. It had been easy to believe she didn’t love him in a romantic way. That sleeping in his arms was enough for both of them.
The “I love you” that popped out when she’d realized she was watching him die, caught her as much by surprise as it did him. The moment she said it, she realized the truth of it, but it was too late to do anything but try to get out safely and have herself the life he was buying with his. And if, during the time she’d thought he was gone forever, she’d had the occasional dream in which those lips were on hers — and on other parts of her anatomy, if she was being honest — she was able to push them away in the daylight, refusing to dwell on the fact that they were gone forever.
Except they weren’t gone forever. They were here, and kissing her until the only things holding her up were the strong arms banded around her body. Her own arms tightened around his neck and she pulled him close so hard he grunted.
“Never. Never thought… never…”
As if he knew exactly what she was trying to say, he added his strength to hers until their bodies were almost one. “Thought I’d never see you again. Never hold you, kiss you, taste you, smell you…. Missed this more than you’ll ever know, Buffy.”
“Don’t ever die again. Don’t leave me.”
“Right back at you, love.”
They loosened their embrace, allowing Buffy to pull some air into her lungs. Spike rested his forehead against hers.
“I love you, Buffy Anne Summers. Never want to be anywhere but by your side forever.”
“If I tell you I love you, will you believe me this time?”
“I… I believed you, sweetheart. I knew you meant it as you said it. But I just thought it was a time and place sort of thing, and was too cowardly to face you and find out you regretted it.”
“So you let me grieve all year….” She stiffened and almost pulled away as she remembered why she was mad at him. “If you were smart, you’d start kissing me again,” she said. “You need to remind me why I’m not making you grovel at my feet.”
“Got a better idea,” he said, stepping away, but pulling her with him. “Why don’t we find the master bedroom, and I’ll do my best to make you forget what a wanker I was.”
The master bedroom turned out to be quite large and nice, and with a big master bath attached to it. They looked at the large shower area, at each other’s dirty, smelly, and bloody clothes and hair, and grinned.
Spike turned on the water and shed his coat and boots while he waited for it to get nice and warm. He watched Buffy kick off her boots, then pulled her into the shower stall, clothes and all. Her indignant squeal wasn’t serious as she stood under the water and let it pour over her head. While she was enjoying the sensation of her first hot shower in several days, she could feel Spike beginning to remove her clothing. After he removed each piece, he kissed his way all over the exposed skin before moving on to another one. Removing her bra slowed him down a bit, as he felt he needed to suck on each nipple multiple times, egged on by Buffy’s contented moans.
Eventually, he undid her jeans and began to push them down her legs, surprised when she stopped him.
“Wait,” she said, tugging on his tee shirt until she could pull it over his head. “That’s better!”
They paused in their undressing to do more kissing, oblivious to the hot water pouring over them as they felt skin against skin for the first time in years. When Spike was having no success pushing Buffy’s now-wet jeans off while still pressed against her, he sighed and reluctantly pulled away long enough to drop to his knees and tug her jeans and underwear all the way down. Buffy lifted one foot at a time to help him get them off. No sooner was that done than he was kneeling in front of her again, his face pressed against her abdomen, her hands clutching his hair.
“Spread your legs, love,” he rasped. “Got to… want to taste you now.”
“Don’t you want to….” she gasped, even as she obeyed his directions.
“Do. Will. Trust me. But I’ve missed this so much….”
He buried his face as far into her as he could without knocking her down, nuzzling, sniffing and licking everywhere he could. With an impatient growl, he lifted her up far enough that he could get his mouth where he wanted it, and he held her there, mewling with need, as he worked her into a frenzy. When she cried out and her legs clenched around him, he slowly let her down, taking care to hang on until she was able to stand on her own feet again.
As soon as he could, he got to his feet and tried to remove his own pants, also soaked and uncooperative. With Buffy’s help, he finally got them down his legs and tried to shake them off.
“Lie down!” she ordered.
Grateful for the oversized shower stall, he complied, leaning back on his elbows and letting the water stream over him while she tugged his uncooperative pants off his feet and threw them away. Buffy crawled toward him on her hands and knees, pausing to give his swollen cock an appreciative lick before she moved forward to hover over him.
“I love you, William the Bloody,” she said, as she leaned in to kiss him, putting her body against his and making them both whimper with unfulfilled need. She slid back far enough to lower herself onto him, settling in place with a soft sound of appreciation. His hissed “yes!” complimented her moan and they remained still for a few seconds, just enjoying the sensation of being intimately connected again. The water continued to pour over them, unnoticed as they began to move together.
The years of pent-up desire meant they took very little time to reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion, and as Buffy collapsed on his chest, she noticed that the water was no longer as warm and welcoming as it had been when they started. With a shiver, she sat up again, smiling when he automatically pushed his hips up, already growing hard within her.
“Let’s get out of here and dry off,” she suggested. “Just hold that thought until we make it to the bed.”
Buffy got off, whimpering a little when his cock slid out of her, but getting to her feet quickly and stepping out of the now-cold stream of water. With a sigh, Spike also got to his feet and turned the faucets off. By the time he’d joined her on the oversized thick bathmat, she was holding out soft towels. They dried each other off with great efficiency to start, slowing down as they ran out of places that needed more rubbing.
Buffy turned her back, and as if they hadn’t been apart at all, Spike began to dry her hair as he’d done for her several times years ago, before it had occurred to her she was letting him be too caring and intimate. Neither of them mentioned those times, and when it was as dry as he could get it, and he’d combed it out as best he could with his fingers, he pulled her back against his chest.
Holding her in place with one powerful arm, his other hand explored the front of her body while he nibbled on her neck and pressed into her from behind.
“Bed,” Buffy gasped, as her knees began to weaken again. Without responding verbally, he scooped her up and carried her to the bed, falling backward upon it so that she was again atop his body, squirming around and raising her face for kisses. He rolled them over and slid back into her, smiling as her hips rose to meet him.
“Hang on to your hat, Slayer. We’ve got a lot of wasted time to make up for.”
“Bring it, vampire.” She wrapped her arms and legs around him, pinning him in place. “Bring it on.”
And he did. Repeatedly. Until they both fell asleep sometime in the early afternoon.
They awoke, after dark, to the sound of Buffy’s communicator buzzing angrily.
“Uh oh,” she said, yawning and stretching. “I think we’re in trouble.”
“May as well stay here in hiding then,” he said, pulling her down on top of him.
Just then, his own communicator went off and he groaned. Buffy giggled and ran to the bathroom to fetch the noisy little devices from the floor where they’d left them.
“Here,” she said, handing his to him. “You talk to Angel. I’ll answer Faith.”
With a sigh, he touched the screen. “What do you want?” he growled, making no attempt to hide his bare chest.
“I want to know where the hell you two are!” Angel snarled. “And why you didn’t report in with everybody else.”
“Didn’t want to,” Spike said and flicked the device off.
Buffy had answered her own communicator and heard Faith say, “I told you they weren’t coming back today, asshole. Leave them alone.”
“Hi?” Buffy said, bringing Faith’s attention back to her.
“Sorry, B. Somebody’s being a jerk about what he knows perfectly well is why you and Blondie ran off together.” She sighed and continued, “But it is almost time to head back out. I’ve got the girls doing shifts – half of them are here resting while the other half are doing cleanup and moving across the city. And then they’ll switch. We should be able to have things in pretty decent shape in another few days.”
Buffy nodded. “Sounds good. Thanks, Faith. Tell tall, dark, and nosy that we’ll be back soon. We didn’t run away together, just decided not to get our sleep in a crowded hotel.”
“It’s all good. See you when you get here.”
Buffy said goodbye and flopped back on the bed. “Don’t,” she said when Spike reached for her. “I have to get back to work.”
“Know that, love. Wasn’t planning to start anything time consuming… unless you’d like to?” he interrupted himself to ask hopefully. When she shook her head, he nodded. “I just wanted to start the day with a kiss and a cuddle.”
Buffy gave him a quick peck, then jumped to her feet. “Kiss yes, cuddle no.” She went into the bathroom to see if the clothes they’d hung up on the towel warmer at some point during the day when they’d taken a break from their non-stop love making to remember they had to wear those clothes again, were dry. To her surprise, they almost were. Not dry enough to be really comfortable, but dry enough to put on to return to the Hyperion.
“Let’s go,” she said, tossing his pants and shirt to him.
“Bossy bitch,” he muttered, smiling as he said it. Buffy just grinned at him and began to dress.
They strolled to the Hyperion, pausing occasionally to look into any businesses that had been demon-run. Only once did they find one containing anything alive. The quite human-looking woman (if you ignored the tail and the horns) was working in a small café called “Lola’s”. Before they could throw her out, the human owner ran up and put her arm around the cowering demon.
“Leave her alone!” she demanded. “She’s the only reason I still have a business left to run. She let me hide in the basement while she kept the restaurant going. She works here. And Fiona will have that job as long as she wants it.”
The angry woman faced off against Spike and Buffy as if backing down armed slayers and vampires was something she did every day. Buffy looked at her with newly aware eyes, then glanced at Spike for confirmation. At his nod, Buffy smiled.
“If you say so,” she said. “We slayers have to stick together.”
“I’m not a slayer,” the woman muttered, still protecting her friend from them.
“You were probably too old when we did the spell,” Buffy agreed. “You’d aged out. But you’ve got ‘former potential’ all over you. I’ll bet anything you’re stronger and faster than most human women, and you’re obviously braver.”
The woman didn’t reply, but the demon nodded at them. “She is. She’s brave and strong and takes care of others.”
“There you have it,” Spike said with a grin. “Slayer to the core.” He let his grin fade. “We’ll tell the others, but just in case, you should probably keep her out of sight for a while.”
“I’m going back into the kitchen where I belong,” Fiona said. “Running this place is much too stressful for me. I’m a cook, not a boss.”
“Nobody will see her,” Lola said. “They never noticed her before, and they won’t notice her now. She’s worked here for years. We just had to switch places for a while.”
“Good job,” Buffy said, her smile including both of them. “Sorry to give you a scare.”
“Have a nice day, ladies,” Spike added as he followed Buffy out of the building. His ears picked up the conversation behind them.
“Did we just meet a real slayer and a real vampire?” Lola said, forgetting that, as a demon, Fiona had met plenty of vampires.
“I’ve got a feeling that was more than just a slayer and a vampire. I think I know who the vampire is, and the power coming off that slayer was enough to knock me to my knees without her raising a hand to me. I think we just met Spike – one of the two vampires that were trying to help people before and after the battle.” Fiona frowned as she remembered that the two vampires may have had something to do with causing the event itself, then shrugged it off. “I’m not sure who his girlfriend is, but I’ll bet you she’s somebody special.”
“Well, I’m glad they found us rather than one of the other slayers running around the city.”
“Me too. But just in case, I’m going back to the kitchen. You’re on your own out here.” Fiona gave Lola a grin and retreated to the out-of-sight kitchen where she’d reigned since Lola hired her several years ago.
“Coward,” Lola said, but she smiled. “But smart.” She went back to organizing the tables and making notes of what items needed replacing before she could open for business.
Spike’s laughter made Buffy frown at him. “Were you eavesdropping?”
“Was. Couldn’t help it. You’ll be happy to know the demon bint recognized me, and figured you for both my girlfriend and somebody a bit more special than just another slayer.”
Buffy nudged him with her arm. “Which of those came first? Girlfriend or special slayer?”
“Does it matter? I can tell you which one is most important to me…” He reached one arm around her shoulders.
“I guess it doesn’t,” she agreed, letting him pull her into his side. They finished the walk to the Hyperion side-by-side, shoulders brushing occasionally.
Several days later, things at the Hyperion had settled into a routine and the non-active slayers were becoming restless. They’d taken to hitting all the shopping areas and malls, “just in case there are demons hiding there” they assured Buffy and Faith who rolled their eyes, but let it go.
The city was gradually returning to normal, the surprisingly large number of humans that had remained safely hidden emerging to go back about their business, the ones who’d been blocked out by the spell coming back to retake possession of their homes or businesses, and the ones who’d been trapped inside, returning to their friends and families in the unaffected areas.
“Can you imagine how long this would be taking if that spell had covered the whole of Los Angeles and not just the center of the city?” Buffy shook her head. “I’m not sure we have enough trained slayers to have cleaned that up. Half of them aren’t even old enough to drive, and in LA that’s just….”
“Yeah. We’d have to be running a shuttle service to get them around.” Faith peered at Spike. “Although your honey there makes a decent bus driver, he could probably—”
Spike snarl interrupted her comment, but couldn’t prevent her laughter. Still laughing, Faith said, “Jeannie heard from Giles. She said he wondered how long we were going to stay here.”
Buffy’s eyes narrowed. “Until we’re damn good and ready not to,” she said.
“That’s pretty much what I told her to say,” Faith snorted. “But we do need to think about how to wrap this up.”
Buffy nodded. “I’m thinking we leave two squads here to continue clean-up and discourage any ideas the vamps or demons might have about trying for a comeback. We can decide later how many slayers we should put here permanently.”
“I—we—can handle our own city now,” Angel growled, waving at Spike who exchanged a quick look with Buffy.
“About that….” Spike began, frowning when Angel cut him off.
“So that’s how it’s going to be? Buffy comes waltzing in here – like she couldn’t be bothered doing when your hands were cut off – and you’re going to leave with her.” Angel sneered in a way that reminded a shocked Buffy of Angelus. “I guess I can’t expect anything else from somebody who brags about being Love’s Bitch. You’re obviously Buffy’s bitch.”
While everyone in the room gaped at him with varying degrees of surprise and dismay, he snarled and stomped across the lobby to fling himself into a big chair.
Spike frowned, clearly not sure how to take Angel’s anger and accusations. Buffy, who had initially flinched when Angel mentioned Spike’s hands, was now glaring at her former boyfriend with eyes that didn’t bode well for his continued existence. Spike reached for her hand and pulled her toward him.
“Didn’t mean to speak out of turn, love. But if you think I’m not sticking as close to you as I can from now on….”
“You weren’t speaking out of turn. I mean, I know we haven’t talked about it yet, but I wasn’t planning to leave you here. Not without me.”
“Looks like Angel hadn’t thought that far ahead. Maybe I should go talk to him.”
“I think I should go talk to him. I thought we’d settled all this when we first got here. He can’t tell me who I can see.”
“I think you should both stay here and let me drag him into the real world.” Faith shook her head at them. “It’s less likely to get bloody.”
“I did tell you he was yours to beat up,” Buffy said with a sigh. “But he can’t talk to Spike like that. Like he’s some kind of minion or something and I’m a—”
Faith and Spike exchanged looks. “I don’t think that’s what’s going on, Buffy,” Spike said softly. Faith nodded her head.
“He knows how you feel about Spike, and how Spike feels about you. I think this more about how he feels about Spike, and knowing he’s going to be losing all that’s left of his family here. He’s having a tantrum, but I can just about guarantee you he’s wishing he hadn’t said those things right about now.”
“That’s why I should talk to him,” Spike insisted. “It’s me he’s brassed off at for wanting to leave.”
“You’ll just get into a fight. I’ve got this. You two can go for a walk. Plan your happy-ever-after or something.”
A dubious Buffy and Spike allowed Faith to push them out the door into the just darkening night. By mutual agreement, they got into the SUV that was parked by the loading dock and drove off to see what was going on in the city. When they found no pockets of demons to harass, Spike steered the car out of the city and up to the hills above it. He parked in one of the overlooks, and settled back against the seat, pulling Buffy over beside him.
“Are we parking?”
“Might be. If you’re not afraid to be alone in a car with the Big Bad.”
“Are we gonna make out?”
“Oh yeah. That we are.”
“Okay then.” She settled into his side and joined him in taking in the view.
As Spike had predicted that first night, most of the outside lighting and street lamps had been fixed or turned on by now, and they stared out over the lights of greater LA.
“Penny for your thoughts, love,” he said.
“I was thinking how this should all feel more familiar than it does. I mean, other than Sunnydale, this is where I spent most of my life until just last year. But it doesn’t really feel like… I dunno. It’s not like I need to be here. It’s nice to visit, but…”
“So where are we gonna go? Back to Rome? Or Merrie Olde?”
“I was thinking… there’s a hellmouth in Cleveland. We stopped there on our way back to England, but we didn’t leave anybody on it. It’s not much. Nothing like Sunnydale’s, but it is a hellmouth and, you know, things happen there.”
“Things that might require the presence of the world’s best slayer and her bitch?”
Buffy stiffened. “That’s not—” He stopped her with a languid kiss that lasted long enough for her to forget her indignation.
“I know that, love. Was just yanking your chain. But I am yours. Make no mistake about it. Where you go, I go. If that makes me your bitch, I can live with that.”
“That makes you my partner,” she said. “Or my boyfriend, my lover, or my… whatever.”
“I can do whatever,” he said, nuzzling the side of her neck. “How about I do all of those things?”
“Can you do them in Cleveland?”
“If that’s where you want to be. Maybe it’ll turn out to be a nice place to retire. Just enough activity to keep us from getting bored, not so much that anybody’s likely to have to die to fix it.”
Buffy shuddered against him. “Never again. Neither one of us.”
“That would be the plan.”
The (pathetic) End.