Setting: Season 4, shortly after Something Blue
Word Count: 28k, complete
Special Thanks: bewilde, Niamh, Behind Blue Eyes for betaing, teragramm for the awesome banner.
Summary: Buffy has a certain set of skills: staking vampires, slaying demons, preventing the apocalypse, and chasing off men after a single night. That last thing could stand being crossed off her list. Fortunately, she knows just the man—err, vamp—to help.
Note: I'll be posting the first three parts today and the following parts on EF and AO3.
Won't make much sense without having read Chapter One and Chapter Two. :)
Any second now, she’d come to her senses.
Any freaking second.
Buffy gnawed absently on the crust from the pizza slice she’d otherwise decimated, trying and failing to keep from snagging glances at Spike, who, for the world, looked like he had no idea she existed, let alone was in the room with him, his attention glued to the television. Her own damn fault for having not thought this thing through—this thing being whatever it was she was going to let him do tomorrow. Or do to him tomorrow. Or…
Those second thoughts were really taking their sweet time.
Though that could well be because she’d already run this race a time or two hundred. Gone through the steps, experienced the highs and lows of each argument and counterargument, and everything came back to the same. She’d made some flippant remark to Riley about how he had a lot to learn about women, and he’d turned it all serious on her by saying she, Buffy, would be the one to teach him. She, Buffy, the still-eighteen-year-old mess whose two sexual encounters had left her feeling used and discarded. Sure, Riley was a Swell Guy™ but Parker had seemed like one too. Like the perfect Swell Guy™ to help her move on from The One™. Not that there really was any moving on from The One™ because, well, he was The One™.
On a logical level, Buffy was reasonably certain that those two sexual encounters hadn’t sucked because of her. Well, mostly. There wasn’t much she remembered of her night with Angel aside from the awe that it was happening, the worry that it would hurt, the overwhelming desire to do it just right, to match whatever he’d experienced in the more than two hundred years he’d been getting horizontal with women. She’d been overly aware of the sounds she made—or didn’t make—how her skin felt when pressed against his, how her muscles, so used to fighting, had tensed when he’d started to press into her. He’d been sweet and gentle, made noises that had done more to heat her cheeks than anything he’d actually done to her, and then it’d been over. He’d asked her how she was and she’d said…something? Maybe? The truth had been rattled and shocked and yeah, she’d felt loved. Her body had done things it had never done before, things she hadn’t really understood but had liked, and she’d wanted the chance to do more. Have more. Explore more.
Waking up alone the next morning had been an insult, and everything that had followed—all of it—had more or less drowned out the few good memories she had of that night. It was hard to think of it in a vacuum when all she could see was Angel standing before her, feet from the bed where he’d taken her virginity, telling her just how awful she’d been.
And after Angel had returned from Hell, well, she’d never gotten around to asking him about that night. They hadn’t talked about sex at all if they could help it, even when they’d accidentally gone to see an erotic movie that one time. Seemed the subject was better off forgotten. Safer for everyone that way, especially, well, the world, because sex made Angel happy and happy Angel was homicidal in a leave-your-teacher-in-your-watcher’s-bed kinda way.
But now, sitting there, next to the platinum pest who had agreed to help her not suck at sex, Buffy found herself resenting that she’d never been brave enough to confront Angel about the things he’d said that day. And, truthfully, she resented Angel a bit, too—not for the whole going-evil thing, as that hadn’t been his fault, but that he’d never taken the time to walk back those things. Maybe he’d thought it was implied, or that discussing it would be too difficult for her. Maybe he’d thought it hadn’t been a big deal beyond the whole soul-ectomy thing, that that had been the banner headline for the next day, not that Buffy had given her virginity to him.
Except it made perfect sense why she’d never asked him, she realized a moment later. Because when she and Angel had gotten back together, Buffy had more or less accepted she was going to live out her days as a nun. There could be no more sex, so what did it matter if her first go at it had sucked beyond the telling of it? And when Angel had broken things off, well, her mind—not to mention her heart—had been all over the place. It hadn’t once occurred to her to ask him just what he’d thought of her performance, now that he was leaving so that sex could be back on the table.
And Parker was… Well, a non-starter. That time she had asked if she’d done something wrong, and he’d brushed her off. Willow and, well, Willow said that had to be him, but what did Willow know? Willow’s first time hadn’t been marred by her boyfriend going evil, and she’d had plenty of times after that first to build her confidence and stuff. When Willow was finally over Oz, the next guy she was with likely wouldn’t have the opportunity to screw with her head. Willow and her damn healthy relationships.
Healthy except for the whole werewolf-cheating-manslaughter thing, but by Hellmouth standards, that was almost Hallmark.
Buffy fidgeted, tossed the half-eaten crust into the box and pulled her legs up so she could wrap her arms around them.
“Just tell me what you decide, pet. You welsh on this and I need to find some other way to undo whatever those soldier boys did to me.”
It was the first thing Spike had said in more than an hour. Must have been a personal record for him.
Buffy shot him a glare and was annoyed to find he was not looking at her. He hadn’t even bothered to turn away from the television. “What are you talking about?” she demanded.
“Not exactly hard to read, are you?” Spike shot back in a droll, almost bored voice. “Think I counted six times you’ve been through it now.”
“That little conversation you’re havin’ with yourself. Whether or not learnin’ how to do a man right is worth the cost of your dainty virtue.” Now he did look at her, a sly from-the-side look, accompanied by that insufferable smirk of his. “Did I get the count right?”
Buffy stared at him, torn between the very understandable desire to rip his head clean off his shoulders and melting into a puddle of embarrassment. This was the side of her no evil fiend should ever see—all her decisions were absolute when she was on the battleground, after all. She couldn’t second-guess anything about her actions or decisions or herself—that was for before and after. The planning part and the licking-her-wounds part.
It was the same reason she’d been so taken aback the day Spike had strolled into the sunshine right after Parker had told her that they’d had fun and it didn’t need to be more than that. Spike had caught her at a personal low and, monster that he was, utilized that to his advantage.
Now he was again, which bothered her more than the thought of actually having sex with him did. That he knew where she was vulnerable and how little he’d have to do to go for the hurt. No punches need be thrown, no blows exchanged, just the knowledge that as good a slayer as Buffy was, she utterly sucked at being a woman. Sucked so much, in fact, that she’d stoop to asking her mortal enemy to bang her so he could help her suck a little less.
But then something happened—the malicious glint in Spike’s eyes seemed to flicker out, the corners of that confidence-killing smirk of his softening.
“Did a right number on you, didn’t he?” he asked a moment later in a soft tone she didn’t think she’d ever heard from him before.
She winced—cursed herself for wincing—and tore her gaze from his. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Bollocks, it’s not like I care, is it?”
That sounded more like the Spike she knew and despised, at least. When she looked up again, that confusing softness had faded and he was her mortal enemy again, staring forward, though not with the same determined focus as before.
After a moment, his face still in profile, he flicked his eyes back to her. “Wanna know why I hate the sod so much?”
“Because you’re evil?”
“Yeah, and if memory serves, so was he. Came to you then, didn’t I? Bloody lost everything because I came to you.” Spike paused, then barked a laugh. “Not that I had anything left to lose at that point, anyway. Just had convinced myself that he was the problem.”
“What are you even talking about?”
Now he turned to her fully, his nostrils flared and jaw set. “Angel,” he snarled. “Angel and his bloody women. If not Dru, then you. If not you, then I’m sure some other sorry chit down the line will fall for those big cow eyes of his and get herself what every bloody woman who’s ever crossed his path’s got. He drove Dru mad but that wasn’t even the cruelest thing, was it? He bloody well became her madness. Wanting him. Needing him. Desperate to please. Begging for a sodding biscuit when she did something she thought he’d like. Seems he just can’t help himself, can he? Not sure what that soul of his is worth these days.”
Spike rolled his eyes and brought his hands up. “Here it comes.”
“Here what comes?”
“The excuses. The reasons it’s not like that, right? Slayer, not three hours ago, you asked your mortal enemy to shag you because of somethin’ he said to you, when? A year ago? Two? Closer to two now, right?” Spike arched both eyebrows. “But there’s nothin’ we can say against Saint Angel, is there? Not you or Dru.”
“Stop comparing me to Drusilla!”
“Afraid the shoe might fit too well?”
“I am nothing like that raving lunatic and you know it.”
He huffed a little laugh. “Yeah. He just stalked you both, tormented you both, got inside both your heads, made himself right cozy, twisted you up about him, made sure he was your whole bloody world, then left on his terms. Not sure where I got this barmy notion you and Dru had anything at all in common.”
“He was evil then! Whatever he did to Dru, that wasn’t Angel.” Buffy didn’t care for the shrill in her voice or the way Spike snickered and shook his head like she was the most pitiful thing on the planet. Because, dammit, hadn’t she lived it? The guy who had held her as she trembled, told her that he loved her and couldn’t stop, pressed her down on that mattress was nothing like the monster that she’d met the next day. “That was the demon.”
“Oh ho. Whatever you say, love.” Spike snickered again, settling back as though the matter was closed.
Which it should be—she gained nothing by pursuing this line of non-logic with the peroxide nightmare, but dammit, now she was just itching to fight.
“I suppose you want to tell me how wrong I am?” Buffy asked in what she hoped was a suitable I-couldn’t-possibly-be-less-interested-b
“Not really,” he replied before rising to his feet and approaching Giles’s television. “Has your Watcher ever heard of a bloody remote?”
Buffy, who still wasn’t quite over the novelty that was Giles having a television in the first place, watched numbly as Spike twisted the dials and hopped between stations. She thought about protesting, saying she’d been watching whatever he’d just turned off even though she’d be hard-pressed to name a single detail about it, but Spike moving around this space like he had a right to it was just…wrong. As was his neglecting to take the bait.
Stupid confusing vampire.
“I’m not even convinced he watches it all that much,” Buffy said, crossing her arms in an attempt to restrain herself from outright staking him before he could be of any use to her. So she sat, glaring at Spike’s too-perfect backside as he fiddled with the dial, switching between the four working stations that came through Giles’s older-than-dirt set until he landed on what looked like a terrible daytime soap.
“Not like he has much else to do these days,” Spike replied absently, walking backward until his legs hit the sofa and he came crashing down again.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Would have to be around to notice, wouldn’t you?”
“Your old man’s going bloody stir-crazy. Doesn’t seem there’s much for him to do here, is there?” Spike waved at the room. “Went and blew up his only source of income, right after getting him sacked from the Council of Wankers or what all across the pond.”
“You mean after he drugged me and tried to get me killed by a vampire even crazier than your ex?”
“Way I hear it, that vamp didn’t stand a sodding chance. Bloody irritating chit you are, superpowers or no.” He swung his head to face her, eyes narrowing. “And here I thought for all the bloody bitching and moaning you do about bein’ the Chosen bird, you’d be after Rupert to dose you up with that juice more. Handy little excuse, yeah?”
“An excuse for what?”
Spike rolled his eyes. “To not be the Slayer. You know, the chorus to that song you’ve been singing ever since I’ve known you?”
“Oh, you’d just love that. Get me out of the picture once and for all.”
“A picture you don’t wanna be a part of to begin with.”
Buffy didn’t know how to respond to that, because, well, it was a bit on the nose. Thinking about last year was still a bit painful for numerous reasons. Well, mostly Angel-shaped reasons. How she’d come to him in a panic that he wouldn’t want to be with her if she were just Buffy Summers, Average Citizen. How terrified she’d been that her powers had truly gone the way of the dodo and she’d become just another student. How she didn’t think she had it in her.
“Isn’t that the reason you said the enormous forehead gave you before he pranced off to LA?” Spike continued. “So you could do the normal gig like you have that in you? Mighta been a bit more charitable if he’d dosed you up with that rot, himself. That’s as close as you’ll ever get to it.”
Somehow they’d circled back to Angel. Which was good because she still wanted him to give her the answer to the question she hadn’t asked in a way that was easy to throw back in his face.
“Angel had reasons to leave. Good reasons.”
“Yeah. All starting below the belt.”
Buffy bolted to her feet. “That is so not true!”
Spike just stared up at her with that bored, impassive expression of his. “Oh no? Didn’t come up once, did it? That you and he get a little too close and suddenly he’s ready to suck the world back into Hell. Seems likely.”
“Angel’s leaving had nothing to do with sex.” Except that was a lie, Angel had mentioned it specifically, like it mattered. And that had been one of the primary driving forces behind her coming to Spike—Angel had said she deserved someone who could have sex with her, except if she wasn’t any good at it, what did it matter?
“Of bloody course it did, you dizzy bint. Why the hell else do you think you’d be over here, ready to throw your knickers in my face?” Spike sprang to his feet, his eyes burning into her. “You never talked to him about any of this, did you? What you did that he liked, things you might skip the next go ’round, just what it was that made him so bloody happy the soul left the building.”
Heat stormed Buffy’s cheeks, but dammit, she was not going to lose ground here, even if Spike was suddenly saying a lot of things that she’d been thinking. “I couldn’t talk to him about that!”
“Yeah? Why not?”
“Because it… It’s dangerous! You should know!”
Spike’s eyebrows did the arch-thing again. “You mean he had such little control over himself that even mentioning the night he popped your precious cherry mighta set him off? Or would he have just shoved you against any available surface and let the monster loose?”
She didn’t give herself time to think, rather acted on instinct.
And slapped him.
A slap. Not a punch. A totally girly move. Something a scorned woman might do—not something the Slayer would do.
And because he was Spike, he didn’t react the way a normal man would, rather just chuckled.
“That what you call foreplay, pet?” He rubbed his cheek, dragging his tongue over his teeth and favoring her with a grin meant for sin. “How you would get him all hot for you?”
“What? Ew, Spike. That’s disgusting.”
“That’s bein’ with a vampire.” Spike prowled a step forward, looking her up and down now, the fire in his eyes raging harder. “Get us all roughed up just the way we like. Makes it all the more sweet when we’re finally inside. Bloody animals clawing at each other for blood and gettin’ something so much better instead.”
Buffy did not squeeze her thighs together. No, she certainly did not. Nor did her heart skip. Well, it did, but with disgust because that was what she was. Disgusted. And deranged. That she’d ever thought this was a good idea certainly had to mean that some part of Willow’s Will Be Done spell hadn’t completely worn off, right?
“That’s not Angel,” she said in a voice that didn’t shake too horribly much, but probably still enough for Spike to notice. “And it’s not me.”
He drew back with mock astonishment, then smirked again and took a long, exaggerated breath. “Not what it smells like to me, Slayer.”
“Come on then.” Spike spread his arms, the smirk fading into a mad kind of grin. Wild and untamed, his eyes now bright with challenge. “Wanna get started right here, love? Here’s the first lesson. Fighting gets you hot. Gets vamps hot, too, and we can always tell. Always bloody know. The more you pound on us, the more we want it.”
“That is disgusting and sick.”
“And it’s your world, pet. No sense hiding from it.”
“It’s not what I want! It’s not—I asked you to help me not suck at sex. I am so not going to be beating up my next boyfriend.”
“Never say never. Could turn out you can’t turn it off. And that’s been the problem, hasn’t it? No matter who you’re with, no matter what you do, you’ll always be you. And even when you’re not, you know it’s what you want.”
Another step. He was close now. Too damn close. All up in her space, her senses, and he’d be even closer if she went through with this. Closer than he was now, closer than he’d been during the spell, closer than anyone except Angel or Parker had ever been to her, and suddenly that thought was too much. Much too much. She didn’t want him there or anywhere—she wanted out.
“Still don’t believe me?” Spike lowered his gaze to her lips, and her heart, her thoughts, her everything seemed to come to a screeching halt. “Let me show you.”
Then his hands had closed around her arms and his mouth was on her mouth, biting and nipping and tearing and doing all the things she remembered from the spell, except she’d forgotten how he smelled and tasted, how he seemed like a man starved, attacking her with lips and teeth and if he added tongue to the mix, she might just die. But this was not the time to die—this was the time to shove him back, away from her, grab the nearest pointy-ended piece of wood and eliminate all evidence that she’d ever been insane enough to come over here at all.
Buffy fisted his shirt, getting a good hold so she could toss him across the room, then he was pressing his thigh between her legs and suddenly there, against her sex which was—oh my god—on fire. A good kind of fire, the kind that licked and spread and warmed the places she’d at one point sworn would never be warm again. Not for anyone else, at least, as that path held badness and danger. Had she been like this the entire time or was it him? No, it couldn’t be him. That was impossible and gross and disgusting and why the hell wasn’t she throwing him across the room, already?
“Oh,” she managed to whisper against his lips. And he seized the advantage like the evil fiend he was, plunging his tongue into her mouth and feeding her a groan that seemed to originate from somewhere deep in his chest. And that was just so presumptuous of him, like she wanted his tongue in her mouth, that she immediately set to pushing it back with her own, which made him make that sound again. That deep, guttural, oh god oh god sound that had her skin so hot it seemed ready just to melt right off.
Instead of pushing him back, she realized, she’d pulled him to her. And the whimpers and grunts she heard weren’t just from him, but she was making them too. Rather, he was pulling them from her with each hard stroke of his mouth. He had an arm around her waist, holding her to him as he thrust his hips and rubbed against her, and holy cannoli that had to be Spike’s erection.
Spike had an erection. And he was thrusting it against her, grinding it into her, and she was letting him. Dear god, she was letting him.
At last, Spike tore his mouth from hers, breathing hard and nudging her brow with his. “Fuck,” he growled in the space separating their lips. “Knew it. Bloody knew it.”
Well, that was good. At least he knew something. Here Buffy was struggling to remember her name.
“So hot.” He stole another kiss, this one somewhat gentler but no less intense. Then he was moving again and she was moving with him, back, back, until her shoulders hit the wall and she stopped needing to rely on her own stupid self to keep upright. Spike growled and took her mouth once more, and the whole melting process started over.
“When we shag, Slayer,” Spike said against her lips a moment later, still panting like he’d run a marathon. Like running a marathon would make him pant. “Be a love and bring all this heat with you. Might be what does me in, but what a bloody way to go.”
It came slowly—well, both slowly and much too fast. Reality. The reality that she was propped up against a wall and somehow her legs had wound themselves around Spike’s waist, that he was hard and rubbing up against her, his mouth swollen from kisses she’d wrestled from it, his eyes wild and dangerous. That she’d crossed a line she couldn’t uncross, because dammit, Pretty Woman had it right. Hell, Spike had it right. Sex could be business, but kissing was personal. Intimate. Way intimate. Kissing Spike before had felt like a violation because of it, even more so than what he’d done to her in the kitchen during that spell.
Something she should so totally not be thinking about right now.
“You get it, don’t you?” Spike asked, smirking down at her. “Or should I demonstrate some more?”
That did it. The lusty haze he’d cast over her mind dissipated. Buffy lowered her legs to the floor, planted her hands on his chest and this time managed to shove him away. Far enough away that he wasn’t clouding every one of her senses—that she could breathe without breathing him in.
“Don’t do that again,” she said in a tone that sounded way calmer than she felt.
“Do what? Be right?”
“Kiss me. We’re not doing that.”
If she didn’t know better, she would have sworn something like disappointment flickered across Spike’s face. But that couldn’t be right. If she understood how intimate kissing was—she with her near-virgin sensibilities—then he had to know. Right? And given that he hated her almost as much as she hated him, keeping his lips to himself would be a good thing.
“Not like I wanted to,” Spike barked. “Just trying to make a point.”
Yeah, she’d definitely imagined the disappointment there. Definitely. His voice was pure venom.
“And what was that point?”
“That what gets you hot is no different than what gets me hot.” He waggled his eyebrows and leaned in. “Only difference is I don’t have any trouble admitting it.”
Buffy shoved at him again, though she really didn’t need to. He stepped aside as though her every move had been telegraphed, and hell, maybe it had. From the beginning, it had certainly seemed that Spike had the choreography down in advance. Either she was easy to read or he was good at making improvisations look staged.
“I’m going on patrol,” she announced, finding her bag and fishing out a stake. “And you’re coming with me.”
“Sorry, I’m what?”
Buffy smirked and turned around. Finally, she’d thrown Spike off his game. That had taken long enough. “I have to watch you. I have to patrol. I can’t patrol from here, ergo you’re coming with me.”
“Yeah, you tried to woo me into doin’ that a couple hours ago. Answer hasn’t changed.”
“You act like I’m giving you a choice. News flash—so not.”
“Told you before, but apparently some things need repeatin’ before they stick in that bleeding head of yours. I can’t fight.”
“Not my problem.”
“So, what, you’re gonna protect me and the world at the same time?”
Buffy blinked. “Who said anything about protecting you?”
The lusty gleam had officially vacated his expression, thank god. Now he was Spike again—Spike as she knew him, glaring daggers at her as though he could will her head to explode.
“Can’t help you shag better if I’m a pile of dust,” he growled.
“Yet somehow, someway, I think I’ll manage.” Buffy tapped her stake against her palm and nodded at the door. “I can dust you right here if you prefer, but out there you’ll at least have a sporting chance.”
He glared at her a moment longer before starting toward her, and no—no—electricity definitely did not zing through her skin or land anywhere near her clit. It did not. Whatever she felt had just been confused because of the impromptu and unwanted make-out session. Nothing more.
“Who knows?” he said at last. “Could be tonight’s the night.”
“The night some nasty gets a chunk of you. And yeah, now that you mention it, that’s the sorta thing I’d like to have a ringside seat for. So lead the bloody way.”
Buffy rolled her eyes, snickering. “You’re not that lucky.”
“Dunno about that, pet. Seems my luck is changing.” This he punctuated by running his hand down his chest in such a manner she had no choice but to follow the movement with her eyes. And when he cupped his erection through his jeans, the appropriate response was not to stand there and ogle him like a dummy, but punch him in the nose, rattle off a quip, and storm for the door.
But Buffy did not get that memo, so she ogled. A lot.
He was still hard? Talking about all this hadn’t made that go away?
“See,” Spike drawled in a low purr. “Luck’s changing.”
That much was enough to startle her right back into her skin. She aimed him her best if-looks-could-stake glare before making for the door in hard, hurried strides, doing her best to block out the sound of his low chuckle.
God, this was such a bad idea.
And she had yet to talk herself out of it.