Buffy paced from one end of the apartment to the other, listening to her Watcher "yes I see" on the phone.
When he hung up, he was unable to face her. "That was the Council. They've contacted the coven... who think an overseas psychic power shift will be too dangerous."
She nodded numbly. "Probably for the best. I mean, I don't think I could handle that kind of power. Not that I know anything about the... other kind..."
"Buffy, if you want to back out of this, just say the word--"
Three loud, leisurely knocks interrupted them.
Buffy mustered some sarcasm. "That'll be my date!"
"I'll get the crossbow," Giles said.
Pausing to take a steadying breath, she marched to the door and opened it to reveal a smug blond leaning loosely on the doorframe.
"Spike?" Giles sputtered, almost dropping his weapon. "You chose Spike?"
She quieted him with a look.
Spike smirked. "Watcher."
Restraining his disapproval, Giles centered the crosshairs and said, "You may come in."
Eyes on Buffy, the vampire sauntered in the room. "Pretty dress."
"Shut up, Spike." She bolted the door.
"Got all dolled up for our 'transaction', didn't you?" he said with haughty amusement, enjoying the way she blushed in response. "Did your hair, freshened your lip gloss, spritzed on some..." he inhaled, "what is that? Tea Rose?"
"No, it's--" She stopped herself mid-sentence, and over his laughter, she said defensively, "Hey, you're wearing cologne! And you... bathed."
"Now this is 'date' jewelry if I ever--Ahhh!" Reaching out to touch the brown choker around her neck, he yelped, shook his smoking hand in the air and glared at her like she was insane.
"Little wooden crosses all in a row." She grinned. "What, you thought I'd give you an all-access pass to my neck?"
"Well, I am gettin' one to your--" he pointed at her behind and blocked her subsequent fist. "Saw that one coming."
"How shocking." She reversed the grip on him. "Let's go."
"What? No dinner? Candlelight, soft music?"
"Shut up," she enunciated slowly, dragging him toward the stairs, "and follow me."
He winked at Giles. "Women, 'ey?"
Giles looked ready to let the bolt fly.
"Remember, don't come up unless I scream," Buffy told Giles as she ascended the steps with Spike in tow.
"In a bad way, she means," Spike asided. "You do know the difference, right, mate?"
Giles rolled his eyes, and Buffy scoffed.
"What? Excuse me for not wanting to be pierced through the heart because Cuppa Tea over here's never pleasured a real, live woman before," he said with a self-congratulatory chuckle.
"I am so gonna stake you after this," Buffy said.
"Ah ah ah, you're not allowed."
As the unlikely couple disappeared into his bedroom, Giles muttered, "Allow me instead."
* * *
"This is kinky, even for you," Spike observed as he closed the door behind him. "Doin' it in your Watcher's bed?"
"It's not for kink, Spike." She kicked off her shoes. "It's the only place that... certain people wouldn't come looking for me. And I get a bodyguard to boot."
"Certain people? That code word for Angel?"
She pursed her lips. "Are we done talking about him?"
"I'm fine with that, yeah." He slid off his coat and threw it on the armchair, then got to unbuttoning his shirt.
"What are you doing?"
"What's it look like I'm doing?"
"I don't want to see you naked! Clothes on."
"Y'know, I don't know what--" Angel taught you, he wanted to say, but amended, "you've learned in the past, but normally it's not possible without some clothing removal."
"Minimal removal," she sounded out. "You open your pants, and I take these off." Bending forward to reveal a view down her neckline, she stepped out of her panties and tossed them aside.
His mouth went dry. Somehow, it was one of the most erotic things he'd ever seen.
"Now, here's the deal. You don't go all the way in. Just enough to make you -- you know."
He finally registered what she'd said. "What?"
Exasperated, she explained, "If you don't go all the way in, it's not technically sex."
He arched a brow, thought to object, and let it go. "Whatever you say, pet."
"And I'll have a stake nearby just in case you're stupid enough to try anything."
"Right then. Good. I always perform well when there are killing implements on the bedside table."
"I don't need you to perform well," she ground out. "I just need you to perform."
"Well, that's downright romantic. I'm all aquiver."
"You want romance? Try finding another criminally insane--" Buffy stopped herself. Don't piss off your only hope. "I just need you to get it done and get out."
"Bossy little bitch, aren't you?" He squinted. "Did Angel have to deal with this?"
A brief look of hurt, covered by a glare. Dead, you are so dead.
He heaved a histrionic sigh. "Boss away."
So. Nothing left to do now but... Buffy sat down on the bed and scooched backward rigidly until her shoulders hit the headboard.
"Right then." Seeing her there waiting for him, bouncy hair shining in the brighter light of the sidetable, he suddenly felt... awkward. "Can I at least take the top shirt off? And my boots?"
"Whatever," she rolled her eyes to her side, drumming her fingertips on the sheet Giles had draped over the coverlet for them, no doubt planning to burn it afterward. She snuck a glance at Spike, pulling off his boot. It's not really sex... in the sense of being sexy. It's saving the world. It'll be technical and quick. And no one has to know. Not Angel, not Willow, not anyone but us three. Provided it works. Oh god, what if it doesn't work?
Spike was tempted to fold his red button-down before placing it on the chair. Get it together, mate, he told himself. She's the Slayer, not your soddin' childhood crush. You're William the Bloody -- cornered the market on killing her kind. Hell, you could kill this one tonight if you wanted to. Snap her neck while she's in the throes of--
"Spike? Sometime today?"
"Right. Uh, sorry."
He planted his knuckles on the mattress and crawled up the bed toward her, pausing at her feet. Freshly pedicured with a coat of pearlescent garnet. When she'd sat in the salon, had she been thinking about him gazing at her feet? What color he might like?
"Here." When he looked up, Buffy was holding the amulet's necklace open by the corners of its chain. "Be kinda pointless without this."
Nodding, he climbed closer and ducked through the chain.
His face inches away from hers now, she touched the amulet and said nervously, "Not a look I'd generally choose for you. Functional, yes. Fashionable? Not so much."
Mesmerized by her lips, he moved to kiss her.
She pushed him back, all shock and revulsion. "What are you doing?"
"Breakin' the ice! Gettin' in the mood! Isn't that what--"
"There will be no kissing," she established, waving an index finger in front of his nose.
"Fine," he hrumphed. "Didn't want to kiss you anyway."
"Good to know the feeling's mutual. Can we start now?"
"You are one hell of a bedmate, you know that? No wonder A--"
She drew back a fist, daring him to finish that sentence.
He rolled his eyes. Couldn't see her naked, couldn't go all the way, couldn't even taunt her about Angelus. This was turning out to be less fun than he thought it would be.
Buffy collected herself. The sooner this was over, the better. "Hurry up, open your pants."
"I'm gettin' there girl, give me a bloody sec..." Hovering over her, careful not to touch, he pulled his belt out of its loops, flung it off the bed, and unzipped.
"Okay." Buffy lifted her chin, determined not to look down. "Go for it."
She looked at his face. "What?"
"I need a little help here."
She glanced. "Why?"
"...That's not hard?"
"Not entirely, no. Haven't really given me a reason."
That's not hard? "Well -- do something."
"Me, do something? You do it."
She wrinkled her nose. "What do you want me to do?"
"Touch it, play with it, give it a kiss, I don't bloody care."
Scoff. "'Give it a'...? No way!"
"Or, you could lose the dress."
She raised her brow at that. "You play with it. I don't have to do anything but 'accept your cold, dead seed,' according to the book."
"I know that, but -- Oh come on, we're wasting time!"
"Look, woman, I don't care what the bloody book said, alright? I'm helping you out, you damn well better help me out. Tit for tat." He smiled. "Well, not necessarily tit--"
She emitted a growl of frustration. "Fine."
"Look, I'm not jumpin' for joy over this either, Summers."
"I gathered that." She glanced again.
"I just want to get this over with so we can go our separate ways, yeah?"
"All I've been saying..." Training her eyes on the ceiling, she reached down to wrap her fingers around his supposedly not-hard penis. Well, he wasn't lying, she realized, and grudgingly began to tug, feeling the foreskin roll back and forth at her touch. The absurdity of the situation hit her. This isn't me. I'm not me right now. I'm watching a movie of someone who looks like me. I hate this movie.
Hot little hands, he thought, watching her move to look him in the eye.
"I hate you," she spat.
It jumped in her hand.
After a moment, he asked, "Why?"
Pumping slowly, softly, eyes still on his, she said through grit teeth, "You're a despicable, evil bastard, that's why."
He hissed, and his cock lengthened.
She gripped a bit tighter, at the base, fingertips brushing against his balls. "I hate the way you look at me."
Gazing at her lips, her eyes, his voice turned low and reedy. "How do I look at you?"
She pulled faster, watching his expression. "Like that."
Suddenly, it strained against her palm, hard as stone. She let go, looked down, and saw it bobbing in mid-air. "How's that?"
"That's good," he breathed.
"Then it's showtime."
'Hey Buffy, what'd you do last night?' 'I made Spike come in me so I could save the world.'
She clicked off the bedside light, leaving only the dim glow of the antique lamp on the bureau. When he looked down to watch her lift her dress, she yanked his head up by the hair. "Don't. Look."
He could've complained or made a hurtful comment, but he knew something she didn't: she was liking this.
"Now bring it close to me," she instructed, loosening her grip on his hair. "Slowly."
One arm outstretched, eyes focused on hers, he pressed the tip of his cock against her crevice and tried not to smirk. Just as he'd suspected, she was wet. Almost wet enough to take him completely. He rubbed it against her clitoris and back down a few times, making more dewy liquid emerge.
Okay, that felt... Anyway. She wasn't here to feel good. "Stop that."
"Just situating, love..."
"Well, stop 'situating' and put it in."
Now that's the kind of bossing he could abide by. Obediently, he popped his tip through her velvety threshold and let slip a moan. Took every bit of strength he had not to drive all the way in. Well, that, and she was holding him up with one hand.
For Buffy, the whole watching-a-movie detachment approach had suddenly lost steam. This was all way too real, Spike was on top of her, inside her... Not sex, not really sex... "A little bit more, but that's it."
He nodded, and corkscrewed his hips to maneuver into her further. Wet, yeah -- but she was tight as a virgin. Had she not done this with anyone since what's-his-name?
"Okay," she gasped, halting his chest, preventing further progress.
"Alright, love." He began to pump, keeping his hand on the base of his cock, not trusting himself to stop at such a shallow depth without it. But god, this felt good. Even just the tip being kissed by her sweet slippery lips... yeah, this might do.