Title: Grandma Got Run Over by Sleipnir [1/3]
Era/season/setting: Post-series, no comics
Summary: ‘Tis the season at the Slayer Academy, and the night is dark and full of terrors. Join Buffy, Spike, and the rest of the Scoobies for monsters, (mostly) chronologically-appropriate pop culture references, and just a bit of smut. Takes place about three months after the main events of Liebestod, but can be read as a standalone if you ignore the handful of references to preceding events and Spike being randomly human-ish.
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there's no such thing as Santa
But as for me and grandpa we believe
She'd been drinking too much eggnog
And we begged her not to go
But she forgot her medication
And she staggered out the door into the snow
When we found her Christmas morning
At the scene of the attack
She had hoof-prints on her forehead
And incriminating Claus marks on her back.
It all began when they saw that damn dog. Well, maybe not a dog exactly. She’d had thought it was a dog, at first—a big, black, shaggy thing—like a sheepdog, maybe. But then it had come skulking out of the shadows and Buffy, Senior Slayer Extraordinaire, she who had faced down everything from slimy worm demons to hellgods—she, Buffy, had let out a veritable squeal of terror. This thing had the wrinkly face of a very ugly monkey, its large saucer-like eyes staring.
Spike pulled her back by the elbow. “Best leave it be, Slayer,” he said quietly. “If that’s what I think it is, anyway.”
Buffy eyed him skeptically. She wasn’t in the habit of slaying pets, but this thing was large. Ginormous, even. No way was it a regular dog.
The beast blinked at them impassively for a while. Finally, it let out a snort, and slinked back into the alley whence it had emerged.
“Not that I’m itching to stake Rover,” Buffy muttered to Spike, “but what exactly do you figure that was?”
Spike shrugged, eyes still narrowed in the direction of the shadowy alleyway. “Lots of names for those buggers, as I recall—Hellhound, Black Shuck, Barghest, Freybug, Grim—”
“Wait—” Buffy furrowed her brow. “Grim, like in Harry Potter?”
“Don’t reckon this one’ll be turning into anyone’s hot uncle anytime soon, pet.”
“Aren’t they, like, all death omeny or something?” Buffy asked a bit nervously.
“Nah,” Spike answered. “Load of tosh, that is.” Then he paused, and reconsidered. “Well, not from a practical human standpoint, I suppose. Often means there’s some other nasties lurking about, waiting to take a bite out of you. And this time of year—who knows—”
Buffy almost sighed in relief. “Great! I could go for a demon or two. After the last few years, I think I’m all death-omened out.”
Spike shot her a knowing smile. “Nothing to worry about, love. They’re pretty common round these parts, beasties like that one. Especially once December rolls around. We’re not what they’re after.” He looked up at the starless sky. Tiny snowflakes swirled wildly down from above, caught on the northern wind. “Best head back anyway, though. Cold as balls out here.”
Buffy wrapped a hand around his leather-clad waist, thinking passively that it was really his own fault he was freezing. Mid-December, and he still wouldn’t give up on that damn duster. At least this time around she’d wheedled him into putting on a nice thick sweater underneath. She gave it until early January before he finally capitulated to the need to keep in his newly acquired body heat and started dressing like a normal person rather than a vampire without her prompting.
“Let’s go get your balls into a nice hot bath, then,” she grinned up at him suggestively. “That’ll warm them right up.”
“Can think of a few other ways to warm ‘em up, love,” he shot back, tongue curling behind his teeth.
“Well, they’re not mutually exclusive, are they?”
Spike chuckled, pulling her tighter against him. Around them, the snow was now falling in big fluffy clumps. They leaned contentedly against each other as they strolled back to the school, paying no heed to the three pairs of glowing saucer-like eyes that watched them from the shadows.
Buffy stretched lazily as she rearranged herself underneath the warm blankets. It was late morning, though the school was still quiet. Their numbers ranged into the hundreds these days but most of the Slayers and quite of few of the staff had departed home for the holidays. Only those with nowhere to go remained—girls who came from troubled homes, or else no homes at all. A few Watchers. Some support staff who lived nearby, just to take care of the essentials.
Over in the adjacent bathroom, Spike was shaving while singing “When Doves Cry” badly off key. Buffy smiled and briefly wondered what that Lorne guy would make of it. The one who had told her she’d better make sure she was up to date on her vaccinations after he’d cajoled her into humming a few bars of the first thing that popped into her head. That was all the way back when they’d shown up in LA a year and a half ago—after Sunnydale—before everything else. Never mind that the first thing that popped into her head had happened to be Rick Astley—she blamed that on the extreme emotional distress of having watched the man she loved die in a fiery blaze only twenty-four hours prior. In retrospect, psychic aura-reading demons aside, the choice did seem ironically appropriate. The man in question had indeed not given her up, let her down, nor deserted her. She rolled over and stretched again, passively contemplating how she might lure him back into bed so that he could not desert her some more.
It had been about three months since their final throwdown with the First Evil. To her surprise, his aversion to warm clothing notwithstanding, Spike had taken to his newfound humanity like a fish to water. She supposed it helped that his strength and reflexes hadn’t exactly taken a hit—Slayer blood had its benefits. Between that and human taste buds, he appeared to be in absolute paradise. Buffy, for her part, still couldn’t believe they’d gotten so lucky. Who actually got to have this? Not her, surely.
Vampire activity had been a bit of a wildcard since they’d performed the mass soul-restoration spell. Reports from the field indicated that the number of new fledglings was dropping by the day. It wasn’t that every vampire had suddenly turned noble. But, like other demons, they seemed to be weighing their options a bit more carefully these days—thinking about their social footprint, as it were. Still, demons were gonna demon. Under Giles’ leadership, the Council had become more transparent and less absolutist, but their core mission remained the same. Keep the demon-world in line. It made for interesting work.
Giles had even pulled some pretty impressive strings and set up a pipeline between the school and the University of Bath. There were enough Slayers these days that going away to one’s college of choice was not the impossibility it had once been, but it was nice to have a local option. Buffy thought so too. She was part-time, herself—working outside of the Council was not on her immediate radar, after all, and so there was no need to rush. Mostly, she was grateful for the opportunity to read, and write, and think.
Just now, though, she was looking forward to not doing much of anything. Except for Spike.
“Spiiiike,” she called sullenly in the general direction of the bathroom. “Come back to bed, damn it. It’s too freaking early.”
It was not. In fact, it was creeping up towards noon. But they and the rest of the Scoobies, Giles exempted, had stayed up the previous night, catching up on “Firefly.” Somehow the show had come out right as their whole world had gone to shit and things around them had stopped making sense entirely. Now, finally—shockingly—they actually had time to sit around and watch TV, even if they were a couple of years behind the times. Once it hit three in the morning, however, it had been decided that the rest of the series was best left for the next day.
Spike craned his head around the doorjamb, wearing a look of supreme gravity. Buffy was nevertheless satisfied to find that supreme gravity appeared to be the only thing he was wearing. “They’ll start without us, those wankers. You know they will.”
She rolled her eyes. “They will not. Not after the last time—I’m pretty sure you scarred poor Andrew for life. I don’t think it had occurred to him that entrails could be used that way before.”
“Bloody right.” Spike glared at her impatiently. “Don’t know that they can be, mind you. Had to take a bit of poetic license—desperate times and all—and speaking of desperate times. Chop, chop, pet. Up and at ‘em, yeah? Snappy dialogue and violence await.”
“So that’s what this is about,” she pouted playfully. “You just wanna see if the crazy sister will finally beat the crap out of some people. Isn’t that your theory? Better be careful—jealous Slayers are no joke, you know.”
That hooked him. He grinned, ducked back into the bathroom to turn off the tap, and stalked towards the bed. She yelped as he yanked the covers off of her but, fortunately, the blast of cold air didn’t last long. Moments later, his warm body was draped over hers. Blunt teeth nibbled along her neck as deft fingers burrowed under to squeeze the cheek of her buttocks.
“River Tam’s got nothing on you, love.” He looked down at her, eyes twinkling with amusement. “Also? Very different coloring.”
She snorted with laughter, then gasped when his mouth clamped down around her nipple. Her fingers tangled in his curls as he released the small pink mound with a wet plop and moved lower. His teeth nipped at the flesh over her hip bone as one long finger traced her slippery opening.
“I see the trouble now,” he grinned up at her. “Been layin’ here, all warm and snug, getting yourself worked up for me for a while, have you?”
She arranged her face into something that came as close to a glare as she could muster at the moment. “Well, if you hadn’t leapt out of bed like—guhhhhh—”
The finger had slid inside her as his thumb pressed into her clit. “What’s that now, love?”
Her eyes had fallen shut and her mouth had fallen open and thus Buffy was forced to admit that glaring had now become a futile pursuit. He wasn’t exactly taking his time, she noted. His mouth had replaced his thumb and a second finger had joined its neighbor in massaging her from the inside. Not that she was likely to complain. It could take a minute or an hour, depending on his mood, but he always knew exactly how to get her off.
If her brain had been capable of anything close to coherent thought, she might have registered this as a new record. His mouth was relentless—tongue swirling, lips pulling and sucking. She was over the edge before she could even see it coming. The tingling warmth flooded her, sending little spasms of pleasure along every inch.
He crawled back up her body, kissed her, and—just as she’d moved to grab his ass and urge his hips closer—was gone. Instead, she watched that same chiseled ass retreating once more towards the bathroom.
“Spiiiiiike—” she called again.
“Want more, Slayer?” he replied as she heard the shower start. “Get your fine quim in here—no reason we can’t multitask.”
She grumbled but submitted. Scooting herself off the bed, she padded—legs still a bit shaky—into the other room. He was already busy rubbing shampoo into his hair by the time she joined him in the shower. His curls were a bit longer now, with nearly an inch of fresh growth at the root. It turned out that human skin, even the quick-healing kind, did not hold up nearly as well to the bi-weekly bleaching he’d previously indulged in. Unaccompanied by crazed muttering, as it had been when she’d previously seen it like this in the high school basement, it wasn’t a bad look. In fact, it reminded her more than ever of the man she hadn’t been able to help but love—that ever-so-pure version of him that made her wish she could spend the rest of her life in Victorian London.
There was nothing pure about the look this version of him was giving her, however. And for that, she was grateful. He leaned his head back into the tumbling current of water and rinsed away the lather. She watched as its dense bubbles cascaded down his body—down the smooth expanse of his chest, over the well-muscled plane of his belly, down his narrow hips, and his thighs—all the meanwhile framing his erect and bobbing cock.
“See something you like?” he smirked at her.
She should have blushed. Maybe she did—it was tough to tell here amidst the steam. But then, they were really beyond that now. She was definitely entitled to look.
“You really have to ask?” She returned his smirk and pulled him towards her, fingers coming up to smooth the wet hair out of his face.
There was something tender in his eyes as he dipped his head to kiss her. “No, I suppose I don’t,” he muttered against her lips. “Like when you admit to it though.”
She was in the habit of admitting to a lot of things these days, she supposed. And three months on, somehow it all still felt pretty new.
“Love you,” she said softly as her hand wrapped around the length of him, fingers stroking.
His eyes fluttered shut. “Fuck—Buffy—”
“Yup, that’s what I came here for.”
Something between a chuckle and a moan rumbled in his throat. Pulling her hand off his cock, he spun her around and pressed it into the wall of the shower. His own fingers laced through hers as his other hand slid down to guide him inside. She lifted one leg and braced her foot against the edge of the tub to give him better access.
“Tell me again.” The tip of his cock slid maddeningly against her lower lips.
Her brain drew a blank. “Hmm?”
His brow was pressed against the back of her head, lips just barely grazing her ear. “You know.”
Oh. “I love you—William—”
He pressed himself into her with a groan. She didn’t call him by his given name very often, but it felt appropriate at times like these. That part of him was all hers now. No one else was around to remember it.
His left hand still pressed hers into the cold tile as his other arm wrapped around her middle. He moved in and out of her slowly, but his breath was ragged against her ear.
“Fuck, Buffy—God—I love you—”
Some muscle in her shoulder pulled uncomfortably as she craned her neck to kiss him, but she couldn’t bring herself to care.
“Should have stayed in bed,” she complained, her forehead finally falling against the tile of the wall inches from their clasped hands.
His right hand traced watery trails along her spine. “Plenty of time for bed later.”
“We’re not exactly multi-tasking though are we? Just standing under water doesn’t count.”
He grunted, but betrayed no inclination to alter the leisurely movement of his hips. “Distracted me, you did. Bloody minx. With your wiles.”
“You complaining?” She reached back, and finally succeeded in grabbing his ass, hand sliding along the flexing muscles, fingers clawing, encouraging.
The tempo of his thrusts increased ever so slightly. “You really have to ask?”
Every stroke hit some perfect place deep inside of her. Every swirl of his hips made her ache for more. And for once, impatient friends and imminently cold water aside, it seemed like they had all the time in the world. It had been an odd realization that had dawned on them over the preceding months—they could have this. And so here she was, safe, and warm, and being thoroughly fucked in the most delicious way. It was perfect—except—
“Mmm—touch me—” she moaned breathlessly.
His own breath was coming hard and fast against her ear. “Am touching you, love—” He was. His free hand was busy fondling her breasts. “Wouldn’t dream of stopping—”
“No,” she leaned her head back against his. “You know. Please, Spike—”
“Now who’s in a hurry?” he chuckled shakily, but his hand obediently slid down her belly. It settled on her clit. Pressing, pinching.
“Not in a hurry, just—so good—guhhh—oh God, Spike—” She felt her second orgasm rippling through her. She contracted around him, body seizing and trembling.
Buried in her and wrapped around her as he was, it seemed like he was trying to hold on to some measure of control. But it was fruitless. She heard him gasp and felt his own body pulse. “Fuck, Buffy—oh love—perfect tight little—huuughh—” He spilled himself into her with a guttural moan.
They stood there for a good long while, breathing in time with one another, the warm water cascading down their backs. Finally, Spike dropped one last kiss on Buffy’s shoulder and stepped back, steadying her with a hand on her hip. He reached for the bar of soap. She turned around and leaned back against the tile, its cold surface now feeling like just what she needed. From this position, she watched him contentedly as he distributed the soap’s lather over his front.
“Best not be looking at me like that, pet,” he warned, a soft smile belying his stern tone.
She grinned back at him, noting the edge of urgency in his movements as he rinsed away the suds. “Go, go—I’ll be quick,” she said soothingly, reaching for the shampoo bottle. “Grab me some coffee? A caffeinated Buffy is a speedy Buffy—”
It was another half hour, at least, before they made it downstairs. Sheepish eyes greeted them as they entered the common room.
“It’s like something from a fable!” Mal Reynolds was saying to Inara as they strolled onto the screen. Xander took a break from looking guilty to flinch visibly. He did this whenever Nathan Fillion popped up unexpectedly, though no one could exactly say as to why.
Spike growled and Andrew reached for the remote, finger desperately seeking the rewind button as his other hand hovered protectively over the general vicinity of his viscera.
With the school’s inmates mostly gone, it was the closest thing to a vacation that any of them had had in years. Evening found the Scooby gang gathered around one of the large coffee tables in the common room, fervently engaged in a board game. There had been no going outside today—they’d gotten over a foot of snow just since the previous evening and it showed no signs of stopping. Giles maintained that he’d never seen anything like it. But they’d managed. At Dawn’s insistence, the eggnog was flowing and so, therefore, was the merriment. Just then, though, tempers seemed to be running high.
“Oi, Watcher is hoarding all the bloody sheep,” Spike exclaimed, rifling through his cards for the fifth time as though this would somehow change the contents of his hand. “How’s a bloke supposed to build any settlements when one wanker has a bloody monopoly goin’?”
Giles, who did indeed appear to be positively swimming in sheep, poured more rum into his eggnog and took another swig. He said nothing.
Next to Spike, Buffy was rummaging through her own hand, her brow crinkled in concentration. At Spike’s outburst, she shot him a critical, if slightly unbalanced look. “You should be talking, mister— Who exactly has been sitting on a pile of wood and refusing to trade?”
Spike returned her glance, eyes twinkling as he dipped his chin meaningfully. “Got some wood for you right here.”
Buffy glared but, over on her other side, Dawn emitted a wild cackle. “Wood—I get it,” she declared proudly before dissolving into more giggles.
Spike evaluated her skeptically. “How much rum you got in that eggnog, bit?” he asked before rubbing his own eyes. “Bloody strong stuff.”
“I have decided that I am feeling munificent—” Giles declared suddenly, his accent a bit rougher than they’d heard it in some time. “I shall grant you one sheep in return for three of your finest woods!”
“Soddin’ racket,” Spike grumbled, thumbing his cards before sliding three of them over in Giles’ general direction.
Buffy’s eyes were shooting daggers. “He gets the wood? Don’t you even—” she cut Spike off, clearly anticipating a rearticulation of his previous offer. “I’ll show you wood—you’re just lucky you’re not stakeable anymore—and… and… fine! I don’t even want your wood! That’s right—none of it—no more wood of any kind for Buffy!” she waved her finger in his direction with great implied significance.
Spike had the decency to look genuinely concerned.
Meanwhile Xander had taken to whispering something to Dawn, causing her to double over in a series of ever more intense giggles, and Andrew appeared to be studying his collection of little wooden road pieces with overwrought intensity. Only Willow sat surveying the unfolding scene a touch of apprehension as she sipped on her glass of Chardonnay.
Twenty minutes later the game had been abandoned entirely.
“Uhhh—guys—” Willow was attempting, for at least the third time, to marshal the attention of the rest of the group. Thus far, she had not succeeded. “Guys—don’t you think something weird is going on? I mean, I know there was rum but—”
Her query once more fell on deaf ears. Xander and Andrew were now engaged in a shouting debate over whether “R” plus “L” did indeed equal “J.” Despite appearing to be highly technical in nature, the argument had by this time escalated nearly to the point of violence—at least if you could count Andrew chucking game pieces in Xander’s general direction while bellowing something about a blue rose in a wall of ice as violence. Giles, for his part, had wandered off to another corner of the room, complaining loudly about Spike’s “nancy-boy nicotine patches” and the sudden lack of “bloody smokes” anywhere on the premises, all while strumming an invisible guitar and humming something that sounded suspiciously like Black Sabbath.
The aforementioned complains might have bothered Spike had he not been otherwise occupied. Buffy, it seemed, had utterly forgotten her angry renunciation of any and all varieties of wood. Willow had watched as her friend had nearly dropped her mug of eggnog in an attempt to refill it, and bobbed woozily in her chair, before setting her sights firmly on Spike. Spike, who had up until this point remained the only one still committed to the game—no doubt due to his commanding lead—had been busily trying to determine whether or not he’d indeed succeeded in constructing the longest road. Unfortunately, these efforts were continually thwarted by the fact that he kept losing count of the pieces whenever he got past three.
In light of this, it was perhaps for the best that Buffy had put a conclusive end to the whole endeavor by draping herself over Spike’s lap, causing his fumbling hands to scatter the tiny wooden pieces in the process.
“Oooops—” she giggled. “Bye bye, tiny roads.”
Spike glared at her. “Don’t you go dismissin’ my road—bloody Via Appia, that was—worked on it for a soddin’ long time, I did—”
Far from feeling reprimanded, Buffy giggled again. “Words funny—” She tightened her arms around Spike’s neck. “Spike pretty̦,” she declared, gazing at him with a vaguely unfixed but decidedly affectionate expression. “Ohhh! Spike—tell me pretty words—tell me—tell me—poems!”
His glare faded at the sight of her guileless smile. A moment later, he too was staring at her with unreserved adoration. He furrowed his brow in profound concentration, thought for a few seconds, then took a deep breath. “See the mountains kiss high heaven and the waves clasp one another,” he finally slurred triumphantly, as Buffy gasped and promptly occupied herself with pressing her lips to every square inch of his face. “No sister-flower would be forgiven if it disdained its brother. And the sunlight clasps the earth and the moonbeams kiss the sea—what is all this sweet work worth if thou kiss not me?”
Buffy squealed in utter delight and cut off any further versifying by sticking her tongue emphatically down Spike’s throat.
Dawn was out cold under the table.
“Guys—” Willow tried again, with growing desperation. “I—uhhh—I really don’t think this is normal—”
Not normal didn’t really begin to cover it, but no one besides Willow seemed to be paying attention to this fact. With a frustrated huff, she plopped cross-legged onto the floor, took a deep breath, and reached out with her mind. Something supernatural was definitely going on.
An hour later, they were all gathered together on one of the room’s many couches and, to a one, looking rather discomfited. Willow had ended up performing what amounted to a mini group exorcism.
“So, the spirits came with a side of actual spirits?” Xander asked dubiously, scratching his head. “Is that a thing that happens?”
Willow shrugged. “Not usually. Maybe someone’s messing with us? Or maybe—well, they were nature spirits, as far as I could tell. I think maybe sometimes they just like to get up to no good. Play tricks and stuff.”
“So, what?” Buffy asked skeptically. Her clothes had emerged from the excitement a bit the worse for wear. Of course, that was nothing compared to the tatters to which Spike’s shirt had been reduced. They sat on opposite sides of the couch now, both looking a bit self-conscious. “Are we thinking this is just a one-off?”
“I don’t believe we have any reason to suspect otherwise,” Giles said, cleaning his glasses for what must have been the twenty-seventh time. “Though I imagine it wouldn’t hurt to exercise a bit more vigilance going forward.”
“Well, I’m going to go exercise that vigilance in my bed,” Dawn said blearily. “Who knew passing out could be so exhausting.”
And with that, the meeting was adjourned.
“Doesn’t it make you feel kind of icky?” Buffy asked Spike later, as they tiredly crawled into bed. Even when it was relatively mild, as Willow has insisted, possession seemed to knock the wind out of you all the same.
He shrugged. “Could’ve been worse—wasn’t anything I wouldn’t’ve done in my right mind. Not like we were picking out stationery patterns or arguing over the virtues of Bette Midler.”
She snorted. “Could have done without the audience.”
“Don’t think they were much payin’ attention, pet. Well, except for Red, I suppose.”
Buffy snuggled into the crook of his arm, then craned her chin up at him, eyes narrowed. “Actually, as I recall, you had nothing against Bette Midler—”
Spike grunted a bit obstinately. “Well, bird’s got a decent set of pipes on her.”
“You’re such a softie.”
He pulled her a bit closer to him. “Yeah, well, I’m too bloody exhausted to show you otherwise, just now. And, as I recall, you had nothing against my more sentimental tendencies—not during Red’s spell, and not during your little Victorian adventure either. Head over heels, you were.”
Buffy pressed a kiss to his shoulder. She’d be the worst kind of liar if she didn’t admit she was glad they were both over their insecure posturing. Instead she smiled. “I was. And speaking of, you should really break out the poetry more often—a girl could get used to that—”
His fingers tangled in her hair as he chuckled lightly. “I am two fools, I know, for loving, and for saying so in whining poetry,” he spoke softly. She glanced up at him again, expression suddenly rapt. Her brow creased, as though she were trying to remember something. He continued—
“But where's that wiseman, that would not be I, if she would not deny? Then as th' earth's inward narrow crooked lanes do purge sea water's fretful salt away, I thought, if I could draw my pains through rhyme's vexation, I should them allay. Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce, for he tames it, that fetters it in verse.”
The silence hung heavy between them for a moment, then.
“I dreamt of you, you know,” she said finally. He looked down at her, not quite comprehending. “When you were gone, I mean. After Sunnydale. I don’t think I ever told you that.” He craned his head a bit at that, but remained silent, so she went on—an odd sort of smile played across her lips. “And you always talked in poetry—it took me a while to figure that out—I still didn’t know what you were saying half the time, even at the end. I couldn’t figure out if it was somehow really you or not—you don’t remember anything like that, do you?”
He thought for a moment. “I don’t know, love. Can’t say that I remember anything from that time—nothing solid, anyway—it’s like it’s all in bitty shards, somehow. Did it mean anything to you, the stuff I said? These Slayer dreams you’re talking about, or something else?”
“Some of both, I guess,” she said thoughtfully. “It wasn’t random. Just cryptic. Some of it—what I can remember anyway—makes more sense now, looking back. And it was all definitely poetry. Real poetry. I’d recognize a line every once in a while… you know, just from stuff I’d read in school. I don’t know how my brain would’ve come up with all that on its own.”
He was staring off into the distance, now. “You know, come to think of it—when I met you—when you went back, I mean. I remember having a couple of dreams that were right bizarre—enough to stick with me, anyway—like it was you an’ me, but not really me. And graphic, too. But then—I dunno—hazy-like.”
“Weird,” Buffy said.
“Yeah,” Spike answered.
She wriggled herself to lay on top of him then, despite the protests of her weary limbs. “I’m really glad you’re here, Spike—” she paused for a second, looking down at him in the silvery moonlight. Her fingers skimmed across his temple. “—William.”
He lifted his head to kiss her. “Me too, love. Cursed rum and Bette Midler and all.”
“You really wanna bring Bette Midler back into it?” she smiled against his lips.
He kissed her again. It was a gentle movement, his mouth closing over hers in a soft, gliding pressure. “Would dance with you to anything you bloody want, Buffy.”
There was something unexpectedly raw and earnest in his tone, just then. It made her want to wrap herself around him, to crawl inside him and to devour him all at the same time. At the very least, it made her want to rub herself against him until he was hard again, then sink onto him and ride him until he spilled himself into her. But she was much too tired, she knew. And there would be time. Instead, she slid off to his side, ensconcing herself back into the crook of his arm, and pressed one final kiss to his jaw.
“Good. Don’t you forget it,” she mumbled sleepily.
Buffy awoke several hours later to a ragged and desperate gasping. At first she’d thought she must have dreamed it but, as her foggy brain snatched at consciousness, the noise only intensified. She finally understood, with a sinking panic, that the gasps were coming from the body right next to hers—that they were coming from Spike.
She opened her eyes against the murky darkness. He lay on his back beside her, just as he had when they’d drifted off to sleep, but now a crouched black shape sat upon his chest. It was a cat, she realized. Instinctively, she swatted at the thing, but it was like hitting a large boulder. The animal was heavy as lead and, try as Buffy might, she seemed unable to dislodge it. A sickly-sweet, unpleasant stench hung in the air around them—it was not a living smell. Spike was still gasping roughly, struggling for breath, though his eyes remained shut.
“Spike!” she yelled as she shook him.
His eyes snapped open at that—confusion, then fear, then panic filling them in turns.
“Fuck!” he coughed, arms flailing. His hands scrambled to beat frantically against the animal on his chest. It hissed at him, long yellow teeth bared, but didn’t move.
“It’s too heavy—” Buffy shouted. “Why the fuck is it so heavy!?”
Finally, bearing down upon the crouching form with all of their combined strength, they managed to push it off. The cat pounced, scampering across the bed like a dark shadow. Buffy spun around and clicked on the nearest lamp. She squinted against the sudden burst of light even as she searched for the fleeing animal—but it was nowhere to be found.