quinara: Spike and Buffy approaching 'their' tree in AYW. (Spuffy tree)
[personal profile] quinara
[start of fic and notes]

'I love you' is a thing you say to people who are dying

by Quinara


Season 7. Buffy/Spike. Some Watchers survived, because sometimes people do.

[bodies II]

bodies III

--the next time--

Dawn clocked her the moment they went out for the evening. “So, you’re going on patrol?” she asked as they were hanging in the kitchen, waiting for Spike.

The house was full again, now that everyone had come back from the mall, and the girls were back from the high school, whining. The whole place was full of purchases too – bags and boxes – and they’d interrupted Buffy and Travers' game of backgammon before she’d got to figure out who would win.

“Yeah,” Buffy replied, smiling at Dawn anyway. It had been nice to see her things, at least, and now that part of the day was over.

Of course, her sister was frowning. It was only then Buffy realised that the question hadn’t been about her schedule, the purchases distraction not so much about the purchasing. They’d come from the living room and there was an axe in Buffy’s hands, so the plans should have been pretty clear. That, apparently, was the problem

“We’ll be fine,” Buffy tried to reassure her. Looking down at her blade, she added, “I wouldn’t wait up, you know?”

“You know I worry,” was what Dawn said, darting a glance to the basement door. She looked concerned, and Buffy didn’t know what to tell her. Thankfully, then, she rolled her eyes. “And could I sound any more mommish?”

She said something else, but that was the moment Spike opened up that very basement door. It had been a long day – a long day which had gradually allowed Buffy to relax out from her state of nervous excitement – but the moment she heard that creak it was all on again.

The thing was, Spike was there, up and roused from sleep. Buffy’s eyes shot to his and her nostrils flared with the memory of those eyes locked on hers, the way he’d slid up into her like she was quicksand. She’d come as his conquest, but he’d got her to ride him anyway, still half-dressed and faux-modest in that nightgown she’d found. The ribbons had been untied; the buttons unbuttoned front and back; the shoulders had been sliding down her arms while he held her at the waist. She’d bit her lip, clutching his neck. He’d traced her collarbone, smoothed the bodice aside until the shoulders were at her elbows and useless, commanding her in a voice that was straight from a Dracula movie.

You feel that? Good. Now come here…

“I give up,” Dawn said when Buffy came back to the present. “Are you even…? I seriously give up,” her sister added, throwing up her hands as she left the kitchen. She sounded upset.

“Dawn!” Buffy called after her, immediately pulling free of Spike’s gaze to turn and follow her sister. He looked as worried as Buffy felt. “Dawn.

In the doorway to the hall, the girl turned around. “I wish I’d got the memo, you know?” She stared Buffy down, her eyes hot and angry. “When you told us before,” she said, “about how you wouldn’t protect us?”

Buffy shook her head, not sure what Dawn was getting at.

She was in too much shadows, halfway into the hallway, like there wasn’t enough light in this house or too many bulbs had gone. “I should have realised,” Dawn spat. “How you meant you weren’t gonna protect yourself.”

Really, Buffy was speechless. Had they not had this conversation? She looked at her sister and she felt it, she did. She felt loved. She felt like there was a teenager in her corner, full of fire and easy feeling, ready to protect her from anything a teenager could. “I don’t know what to say,” Buffy said, because she wasn’t sure there was any easy way to explain how it wasn’t about that, sometimes.

“You don’t have to say anything,” Dawn replied, damningly. She turned her fury over Buffy’s shoulder, then, casting her words to the vampire who, when Buffy glanced his way, was still standing awkwardly just free from the basement door. “You think I’m some dumb kid, but I know how this goes. I know it.”

That was all Dawn said, before she was spinning and dashing for the stairwell. Buffy clutched the axe in her hands more tightly, unable to go after her.




“Is Dawn all right?” Spike asked her later, shouldering the axe she’d given him. “Has she said anything to you?”

“About what?” Buffy replied, pulling hair out of her face and shoving her stake back in her waistband.

They’d cleared out a nest, straightened up some kinks: the dust was settling into the grass at the crypt front and it was in so many ways like old times. The moon was high; the wind was light and Buffy’s blood was pumping.

“About me,” Spike replied, oblivious but pretty hot in his coat. “Got a threat to worry about, you know,” he reminded her, glancing around like he was embarrassed. “The little arsonist said I’d wake up on fire if I stepped out of line.”

Buffy smirked, stalking over to him. The vampire watched her hips move, but it was only for a few steps before he looked up to her face, still concerned. That part was the soul. “Are you scared?” she asked him anyway, leaning in to rest her hands on his shapely manly muscles. He breathed. “We could get you a nightlight,” Buffy suggested, going for sly. Should have put it on the list for the mall…

That at least made Spike take notice. Even as he pitched his axe to the ground, he frowned at her. “I’m being serious,” he said.

Buffy tried to look innocent. The thing was, she did care about all this stuff, but sooner or later it wasn’t going to matter. As for this fight, it had been a good workout with the stakes more than low enough (apart from hers and Spike’s, which had been just the right height), so she’d been able to enjoy it. Now, afterwards, there was a thing where Slayers weren’t in the mood for serious conversation so much as something else.

“How about a bodyguard?” she suggested, leaning even closer. It was seriously, seriously Bizarre-o-land how good Spike smelled when Buffy got up close to him like this. Cigarettes and vamp dust weren’t a winning combination, and yet.

Again, Spike’s eyes met hers. He glanced at her mouth uncertainly, but he was breathing her in. His fingers appeared to delicately trace Buffy’s lips. “You offering?” he asked softly, before they dropped away to her waist.

Warm with the glow of victory, Buffy tipped her chin up and whispered right into his mouth. “Maybe,” she said, and that was enough for Spike to pull her up against him.

The fireworks were there as always, but this was different. As Buffy laughed, the sound travelled. The cemetery was an open park, clear grass and air around them on all sides. Pretty much all the times Buffy had kissed Spike, she was certain, there had been walls involved, or trees, or refrigerators. Even as their mouths moved against each other now, there was no force in it, like they wouldn’t need support to keep standing up – like one of them wouldn’t end up shoved on the ground.

It felt almost strange. Easy. Like maybe, actually, all of this would be OK. Buffy opened her mouth to the bottom of Spike’s and he caught the move to throw it right back at her; she wanted tongue and tongue was there. It didn’t even seem necessary to clutch at Spike’s t-shirt. She clutched anyway because she wanted to, but she also took the chance to feel him up and trace her fingers under his chin. It was like she could feel everything that was connected into kissing her.

Even with the moon it was dark tonight – yet there were no secrets, no promises that couldn’t be kept. Buffy figured she could have stood in that cemetery forever, stretching herself against the front of Spike’s jeans while she kissed out the last racing beats of her pulse and he remembered how to grope her ass.

The action moved, because they were people with short attention spans. Biting at her ear, Spike nonetheless told her straight, in a grumbly voice, “I’m not as easy as you think.” Buffy rolled her eyes, still working on his neck. Sometimes his prick jumped when she sucked. “For better or worse,” her vampire valiantly continued, “the girl’s important to me. I want things to be right with her.”

There was a muscle between Spike’s shoulders and his throat, not a delt and not quite a neck muscle; it moved when he moved his arm. Buffy figured everybody had one – and its partner on the other side – but on Spike it was her favourite muscle out of all of them.

Giving in, Buffy stopped nipping and just nuzzled into the friendly little hunk of flesh. Spike’s arms, up her back now, relaxed around her into something still sexier than a hug. “She loves you,” Buffy reassured him about Dawn, not without a sigh. It was obvious, wasn’t it? “She’s just… Burned out on it for now.”

Spike held her close, but he didn’t say anything for a long time. Buffy wondered what he was thinking. She was caught up remembering all the parts of him she loved for herself.

Eventually, Spike did up, but his limbs were all a bit wooden when the murmur passed through them. “I don’t deserve her love,” he said, apparently more than able to ignore the ‘burned out’ part.

With her eyes closed shut, Buffy made sure to watch her words. “Who cares?” she asked him, even though the sting in her sinuses made it all almost like the night before.

Spike shuddered, once, but then he was pulling away – rearing back from her and patting down his coat like he was looking for cigarettes. “Haven’t we got vampires to kill?” he asked, flustered and scowling. He picked up his axe.

“Actually…” Buffy took a stance, buffing her nails on her palm. It was fun to watch him, and she wasn’t quite so ready for a re-run of Buffy’s weepy-fest any more than him. However, when Spike finally stopped blustering and looked at her, she knew what she wanted. “I was thinking we could get home early tonight.”

Spike just looked back at her, his expression caught between hope and suspicion.

--back then--

It was a few days before the girls first started laughing at Buffy’s jokes. She hadn’t made any before, but this time she put in the effort – and from the point when they worked, it seemed like the ice was broken.

Around about then, Buffy also realised she was practically enjoying their afternoon training sessions. Mostly she ran the girls through drills, because the thrill seemed to have gone out of that for Lydia, and it was clear as anything that the girls needed some combat discipline. Every now and then she and Nigel set them sparring one another, but they weren’t so great, bar about four of them.

Nonetheless, Travers and Althanea watched every day from the porch with tea and stir-up lemonade while Giles ran the research operation from inside the house. More than once, Buffy caught herself worrying what the Watchers made of her efforts, because no matter what Giles said, this wasn’t a role she was made for. Every now and then, though, she would look back to Travers, shielding her eyes from the sun with her hand, and he would nod as he drank whatever he was drinking. It was as if for the first time ever she was doing a good job.

By the end of the week, Buffy realised she even wanted to give them some advice.

“OK,” she told Amanda that afternoon. The girl been the first to volunteer for the demonstration; Buffy was growing to like her. “So,” she said, looking at how awkwardly she was standing on the grass. They would have to work on defensive stances. “I want you to attack me. Any way you want – anywhere you feel like.” Going by Amanda’s face, she seemed to think this was a trick. Buffy smiled encouragingly. “Don’t tell me what you’re gonna do – just do it. The thing you think I’ll least expect. Try and lay something on me.”

With no particular beat or rhythm to the opening, because Buffy had at least taught them that, Amanda stepped forward and tried to land one particularly girly kick to Buffy’s shin.

To be fair, it wasn’t what Buffy had been expecting. Nonetheless, she stepped easily to the side so the sun was on her back and she was facing the crowd of girls. “So it didn’t land,” she said, raising her voice to make sure the rest of the group were paying attention. They didn’t precisely look bored. “Now, Amanda,” she addressed the girl, who had her front foot now not far from where Buffy had been standing, “don’t move.” she said and Amanda held herself. “It doesn’t matter, right?” she explained. “You can’t have really thought you were gonna get me anyway.”

The Potential shook her head, clenching her hands in fists ahead of her. She was frowning, her face all confused and freckley, waiting for the next instruction.

“But what I want you to tell me,” Buffy said, raising her finger to make sure everyone got that this was an important point, “is what am I gonna do next? How am I gonna come at you?

“Umm…” Amanda began, clearly racking her brains for an answer. Her hands relaxed slightly, because she clearly hadn’t been expecting this. “I don’t know,” she said. “Anywhere?”

Anywhere?? “Well, sure,” Buffy replied, going for patience. “Maybe.” Or maybe not. “But I’m an experienced fighter, right?” she reminded them all. Amanda nodded, tucking her hair behind her ears when the breeze blew it. “So what am I gonna want,” Buffy asked, “to make sure this fight goes my way?”

They knew this. All of them knew this, Buffy was sure of it. Thankfully, even as Amanda turned pink, she seemed to remember. “To get me on the ground, or back against a wall.”

“Right,” Buffy agreed, smiling. She glanced around to make sure the others had heard. Kennedy was rolling her eyes, like this was baby stuff; Vi had her notebook in her hand. Caridad looked intent, like she was anticipating the next point. “Good,” Buffy continued, turning back to Amanda. “And what’s the easiest way to do that?”

“Catching me off-balance?” Amanda replied quickly, like she was remembering this now. She looked hopeful.

Buffy nodded. “And what’s your balance like right now?”

Amanda looked down at herself, wobbling in various directions in her sneakers. The wind blew. She had one foot in front of the other, her kicking foot slightly over-extended where it had landed in Buffy’s wake. Like usual, Buffy knew she could have Amanda the Vampire on her back and staked in about three seconds flat, but she was hoping Amanda the Potential would figure out how to survive a little longer.

“I’m OK,” Amanda began hesitantly, “you know, forwards and backwards?” She wobbled again on the grass to make the point, not moving very far. “But side-to-side…” In that direction she teetered in the wind, like a willow tree about to snap. “I’m not so good.”

“So where am I gonna hit you?” Buffy asked her, putting the girl straight on the spot.

Amanda looked back, the sun lit on her face. “In the side,” she said, and it at last wasn’t a question.

“So what are you gonna do?”

It was like magic, then. In a move that was almost actually elegant, Amanda leaned into her front foot and pivoted on the lawn, ninety degrees away from Buffy. She then stepped backwards – one, two steps – and any weak flank that Buffy had had her eye on was completely vanished from view. The girl’s strongest front was facing her again and she had all the leverage in the world to capitalise on a weakness Buffy might choose to reveal.

On top of that, she was standing in a way that was finally, at last, a decent defensive position.

“And that’s what we call finishing your attack,” Buffy told the girls. “Good job,” she added to Amanda, who smiled but didn’t move, like she was trying to imprint her own muscle memory. “Any time you make an extension,” Buffy continued loudly, looking at the group of bright faces, “you need to know what your follow-up attack’s gonna be if it hits and what your get-out move is gonna be if it doesn’t. That’s the key. Any questions?” she finished.

One hand rose, not so tentatively as it might once have done.

“Molly,” Buffy called on her.

The girl stood up on her toes, raising her voice from near the back of the crowd. “What if he goes at you from the front anyway,” she asked, “the vampire?”

Buffy frowned, wondering what Molly’s point was. She thought they’d been over this. “Well, you’ll be OK, ‘cause you’re in balance, right?” she tried to repeat yesterday’s lesson. “You can hit him straight back.”

“Yeah,” Molly agreed, clearly not happy with that entirely. “But, like,” she explained, “before that, you’ve not gone over backwards, I get that… But you’re gonna get your nose smashed in, even if you make the move that Mandy made.”

The way Molly said it, it was like a broken nose was the worst thing she could imagine happening. Buffy really wasn’t sure what to tell her. It was another one of those moments in training that she’d been dreading, when they all looked at her and she felt terribly, terribly old. “I…” she began, unable to think of a nice way to say it. The wind was still breezy. “Yes,” Buffy agreed.

“So what do you do,” Molly pushed the question, “if he doesn’t go for you where you’re weakest? If he goes for you where you’re strong?”

“You – you keep going,” Buffy said, warming up to this point. The crowd didn’t look terribly happy about it, but it didn’t look like they were angry with her – yet. “I mean,” she persisted, “that’s what’s gonna lose him the fight, if he keeps fighting like that.”

She looked back to Amanda, who was set in her defensive stance, her forward-back line of balance the best.

“Say I hit Amanda in the face right now,” Buffy made the example, gesturing with a light fist on this warm afternoon. Instinctively, Amanda’s hands started coming up and Buffy nodded approvingly, looking back to Molly. “Maybe she gets a broken nose, but she could also grab me – do whatever. It would be a waste of a hit.”

There were birds hanging out in the trees. Nigel was chattering to Giles. It sounded idyllic almost, her garden, all the while Buffy taught them about pain.

The girls didn’t look happy, but Buffy tried to tell them. “Our bodies can take a hell of a lot of punishment before we fall down and die, you know?” She looked at each of them, wondering how many had ever felt it – if any of them ever would. “You’ve gotta learn it,” she said, even knowing that it couldn’t really be taught, “which are the hits you wanna take and which are the ones you wanna avoid. Pain itself…” she finished. “It’s just a distraction. The question’s how you’re gonna win the fight.”

The mood soured. Buffy felt it as Amanda slipped back into the crowd, as they all looked away from her eyes. It felt like rejection, the way it had in the weeks before, as though this experience Buffy had was unsightly. It was as though she was the problem in their lives, not the Bringers or the First. She was the thing they had to fight.

Another hand rose into the air. “Yes, Kennedy,” Buffy said, grateful for the distraction.

“Can I have a go?” she asked, her expression like spits of fire.

Buffy knew she had walked into this, starting a demonstration where the girls got a chance to hit her. “Tomorrow,” she agreed anyway, looking around at the demoralisation she’d wrought yet again. “We’ve had enough training for today.”




Like a good little Slayer, Buffy checked on the researchers before she found out what the plans were for dinner. There was nothing going on she needed to know about, but it seemed like they’d strengthened the wards again. Giles looked proud and Willow smiled with fear in her eyes.

When it was clear Anya had dinner under control as well, Buffy waited until she scurried somewhere to let herself into the basement. It was easy.

When she shut the door this time, also, Buffy discovered that Xander had apparently found a moment in the last few days to fit a lock. Whether it was a gesture of goodwill or the first part of a plan which included Xander and Anya co-opting what was clearly her and Spike’s private space, Buffy didn’t know.

As she pulled the bolt across, Buffy decided, as the saying went, that she didn’t care. I owe you, Xand-man…

Downstairs, Spike was sat up against the wall, some old book in his hand. He looked pretty into it, but Buffy caught the way he peered at her over the top of the pages. Rather unceremoniously, then, because she knew he would’ve checked the page number the moment he’d heard the door, she pulled the book out of his hands and dumped herself in his lap.

Straddled up close to the guy who’d pretty much signed a contract to make her life more about the happy, Buffy pouted and threw the book somewhere else. “The Potentials were mean to me,” she said, planning to ignore the real problem.

“Oh, poor baby,” Spike humoured her, a pout of his own on his face. His hands found the various curves of her ass and thighs – made her wriggle. Even if there wasn’t a contract, he seemed to enjoy making things right anyway. “You want me to make them apologise?”

“No…” Buffy allowed, her gaze slipping to the brickwork. She could admit to herself, really, that it wasn’t anybody’s fault. “But you could take your shirt off,” she addressed Spike again, as though this was an idea that had only just come to her.

Lightness all over his face, Spike laughed. “Is that right?” he asked, leaning a little forward from the wall.

“Yuh-huh,” Buffy agreed as he reached back over his head, doing as she bid. Really, she was already feeling better. “And then you can kiss me,” she added, helping Spike pull himself free, “and then you can tell me I was never so self-obsessed when I was sixteen.”

That idea made Spike laugh again, so Buffy figured her work down here was mostly done. Of course, she was then pulled into the kind of kiss that sent most thoughts of being sixteen out of the window. She wasn’t quite sure how Spike did it, since this was mostly one long drag on her lower lip and the tips of her teeth, but it pulled her bolt upright all the same.

“Mmm,” Buffy told him afterwards, both arms around his neck. She wasn’t making use of the chest Spike had just given her to play with, but she figured she’d get there. “Never getting tired of that.”

“And you were never, ever – and still remain to become – self-obsessed,” Spike intoned, like a schoolboy forced to pledge allegiance – before he winked.

Buffy grinned, caught up in her need to blush as she looked down. “So, how was your day?” she asked, figuring it was time to start her work on the Chest-o-Spike in front of her. There was a ticklish spot under one of his ribs, but she’d forgotten which one and where. The only option, really, was to start from the top. She had to check these pectorals for new places too. They were flexy.

“It was all right,” Spike replied, forbearing her investigation. Parts of him were clearly enjoying it, as Buffy was in just the right position to recognise. She had a mission, and it involved the other thing she was good at, apart from fighting. The thing no one asked her advice for. “I only woke up a couple of hours ago,” the object of her mission continued, not complaining.

That was around the time she’d come home from work, Buffy imagined. Not that she was self-obsessed; it was simply the sort of thought Spike’s actions were prone to encourage. “Mmm hmm,” Buffy continued, maintaining her concentration. The top ribs were clean. “And what are your plans this evening?”

“Eh,” Spike hedged, casually, playing with a piece of her hair. He pulled on it experimentally. “Might go out – might stay in. It depends, really, on…”

As Buffy moved ribs, his breath hitched, breaking into his sentence. Bingo, Buffy thought. She’d found her tickly spot.

As she glanced up, it was clear that Spike knew it too. He looked at her and Buffy looked at him, and in an instant she was going in for the strike while he grabbed at her hands to try and wrestle her away.

They’d been doing this a lot the last few days: making out; fooling around. It was fun as all get out – and, considering how boring the rest of 1630’s entertainments were, there were moments when Buffy thought she was the luckiest Slayer there had been. Sometimes she needed a situation where she knew how to win.

Of course, there wasn’t all that much room on the small single bed, but they had a good throw around anyway. Buffy was able to swallow back her shrieks, for the sake of everyone upstairs, but giggles took up what felt like permanent residence in her nose as she flexed and tried to free her fingers from Spike’s hands.

She got him on his side, squished between the bed and the wall, but then Spike was complaining and she yielded, just a little, enough for him to take aim for Buffy’s own ribs where her shirt had ridden up.

Then she wasn't winning anymore. “You are such a – cheater!” Buffy accused, trying to squirm free. Spike was as merciless as she was, though, so it wasn’t easy. She ended up hanging backwards over the side of the bed with her legs were hooked under Spike’s arms.

“Gotta say ‘mercy’, love,” Spike told her, looking down from above. Apparently this was what they said in England. Spike had told her once, last year. She’d always resisted.

“Never!” she told him again, right now. Really, Buffy knew when she’d been beaten, and it wasn’t all that much worse than winning. The thing was, there were several ways to give in, and she’d long decided it was her prerogative to choose her favourite.

Hiccoughing with her giggles, Buffy grabbed Spike’s head by his ears and his hair. He complained, but she distracted him by sticking a thumb inside his mouth, then encouraged him down to her bellybutton where he would get the idea she wanted attention at a few proxy orifices.

For all their fooling around, after all, there hadn’t been too much more than that. A lot of feeling each other up; a lot of her getting Spike out of his shirt because he didn’t really need one anyway. No more than that.

And that was fine by her, really. Buffy knew they should take plenty of careful time. The thing was, she also knew she couldn’t help it that certain parts of her felt rejected.

Lying back, Spike’s hands were flat on her ribs to hold her safely on the edge of the bed. He was tonguing her more than enthusiastically. Figuring she was half upside down anyway, Buffy blinked past the stars on her vision and decided it was time to help her shirt come down the rest of the way off, because she didn’t see why she shouldn’t. She grabbed her sports bra on the way, taking that too, even though the suggestion it had fallen free on its own was going to be a little less believable.

When she was done, Buffy took one more shallow breath and crunched upwards, ready for the consequences. She dragged her way back around onto the mattress and lifted Spike’s head by the chin, forcing him to look at her. There was no doubt in her mind where she wanted him, but there was kissing to be done first.

Of course, Spike did better to banish her last seed of uncertainty on the way. When their eyes met, it was like he pretty much had plans to devour her whole, and he crawled forward onto one elbow so his shoulder was hunched like a panther’s. As his other hand trembled, right at the top of her stomach, Buffy figured this was it for her.

“Say it,” Spike whispered, just before their lips met. He kept a small gap between them.

“Mercy,” Buffy gave in, then met him halfway. What was the point in holding back?

They kissed for a long time then, until Buffy was short of breath and she had pretty much every single hair on Spike’s head pulled up into tufts. His hand didn’t lose its tremble, stroking her ribs and then upwards a little, hooking the web of his thumb and forefinger into the part of her where muscle changed to flesh. Pretty much every time their lips met his thumb would close in, but then he’d pull away down to her stomach, in a move somewhere between a tease and an escape. Buffy just kissed harder, sucking at Spike’s tongue so that he would get the picture.

It was natural – completely natural, if very much encouraged – when Spike eventually kissed down her chin and the front of her throat, avoiding the bruises on her neck and grazing blunt teeth down her sternum where she had it arched. Buffy moaned and panted and gasped, cradling his head and encouraging him when finally, after a week of kissing her, Spike realised how some other tender parts required his mouth’s attention.

It didn’t go as planned. Maybe it was because they’d been acting like children; Buffy couldn’t say. The sweat on her was starting to evaporate and she was shivering. She figured it was the same with him, so she didn’t set much store in it when Spike shuddered fully, the first time. She was busy, mostly, enjoying the moment.

One second, though, Spike was kissing her boob – sucking on it. Suckling. The next he had stopped, a huge shiver and a cough running through him to splat a nasty, hot breath of air right on her chest.

“Spike?” Buffy asked, confused, her eyes blinking open.

He looked at her. He just looked at her, like he couldn’t be sure he knew who she was anymore. From the back of her mind, Buffy recalled a story Spike hadn’t told her the details of, about his mother, from the trigger trip with Lydia.

He was starting to pull away, self-disgust screwing up his face. “Oh no – honey…” Buffy found herself saying, sitting up so he was no longer the one in her arms.

There wasn’t really anywhere Spike could go, so all he did was shove himself back against the wall, knees up to his chest and his face in his hands. He didn’t even leave the bed. A grim frown was set on his mouth, like he was refusing to cry and possibly failing.

Buffy ignored all of it, wriggling between his arms and legs so he would hold her, which he did. Once she was there it was like Spike was never going to let go, and he kissed her temple fiercely, shaking. “God, pet, I’m sorry… I’m… There’s…”

Ultimately, Buffy couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t pissed off. They’d been together for… Well, it depended on when you booked the anniversary, but all this time Spike had completely failed to tell her that this trauma the First had been using about his mother had any sort of sexual side to it. For a start, it sounded creepy, and she figured she had a right to know about creepy. Second of all, Buffy didn’t think she was that bad a listener.

And yet, even though it was a surprise to herself, it seemed as though Buffy could sometimes be reasonable. The thought crossed through her mind and a voice came right back with the counterargument. Spike was telling her about it now, wasn’t he? What more could she ask from him?

With a slight feeling of helplessness, Buffy tucked her arms between their chests and listened. She couldn’t do it, she realised. She couldn’t be angry with Spike. She couldn’t keep hitting on him and hitting on him and expect for everything to work out fine. He wasn’t ready for that any more than anybody else was.

“I dunno what to do,” Spike admitted as he finished the story. Buffy had long let her eyes fall shut. She wondered if his were closed too. “She was good to me, all my life,” he explained into her jaw. “And I betrayed her, the way I do. Now you’re being good to me with all this – stuff, and I feel like it’s only a matter of time before…”

“I’m being good to you,” Buffy promised him, “because…” She held herself back, wondering what she had to give him. “Because I want to.”

Never could it be said she didn’t have trauma of her own, after all.

“Tell me what you need,” she added, kissing Spike on the ear and poking her tongue in just a little – because she couldn’t not be weirdly horny when she was here like this.

In response, Spike at least laughed a snuffly sort of laugh. “I don’t know,” he said, sounding honest, and pretty much like there would be no sex this evening. “I find myself afraid when I shouldn’t be, wishing I wasn’t… So weak.”

“Who told you you were weak?” Buffy asked, shoving her libido back inside its homey little box. She’d figure a plan for that later. This was more important. “They were lying.” Everyone needed a break sometimes, after all. Even her.

“It’s what she said,” Spike admitted, the tears dry on his eyes when Buffy kissed them. “After she… After I –”

“Lying,” Buffy repeated, opening her eyes to look Spike in the face. And, OK, it was difficult to get her libido box entirely closed, even if her chest and the rest of her was off-limits. “You’re gonna prove it, right?” she told his hungry expression, glancing down at herself and what were now some pretty sexy-looking walls. She could lose. She could happily lose for this.

Just call me Scarlet O’Hara, Buffy thought, as Spike swept her off the bed.

His heart wasn’t really in it, of course, but Buffy made up for that.

.

[bodies IV]
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Quinara

December 2015

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