Spike wasn't alone.
He knew it the moment his focus downshifted from Buffy's cocktease of a goodnight kiss to a less distracting craving for nicotine.
Employing his bat-like radar, he detected that the lurker was female, soulless, not more than ten feet away...
...and up for conversation.
So much for radar. Or the fact that a friendly chat with anyone, let alone a late-night intruder, wasn't topping his list at the mo.
But, on the bright, it gave him time for a smoke -- and as he lit up, he caught a glimpse of a young blonde perched on the washing machine.
Hardly a code red, so he took a long, satisfying drag and played it blasé: "I don't believe I've had the pleasure."
"Yeah?" One of the drawbacks of immortality: running into one-night stands from god only knew what decade. He scratched his bare chest and said, "Well, I meant to call."
"Oh, no. If you'd had that pleasure, you would have called. And called, and called..." She spread her legs languidly as she spoke, then shut them like a trap. "Let's just simple it up and say... I'm an old friend of your ex."
He wasn't buying it. "I know all her friends. Most have horns and produce mass quantities of phlegm." Tucking his Zippo into a front pocket, he leaned back on his cot. "They also have penises. Have you got one of those?"
"Ouch," she said, tickled. "Still smarting from the breakup, are we? I don't blame you; you're all heart. It's what I like about you."
She hopped off the washing machine and strutted into a patch of moonlight. "Once upon a Hellmouth, Drusilla gave this body eternal life."
"Well, why didn't you say so," he said, sarcasm cranked. "Now we can share all our secrets and be best pals."
"Tch. I know all your secrets." She rolled her head from side to side as if it were a new sensation. "Yours and hers and everyone's -- they're all the same; the last as snooze-inducing as the first." Frustrated, she hissed at herself, "Speak English, you fool!"
"Super, another nutter." Watching her warily, Spike exhaled a lungful, stumped as to how this loony bird scored an invite into the Slayer's house. "She pass that on to you as well?"
In a flash, she closed the space between them and bent to meet him face-to-face, trembling with barely contained rage.
"Let's get one thing straight," Lamashtu said, her own rich voice filtering through the shell she wore, "I do the passing on around here and if you knew the extent to which you benefit, you would be on your knees before me, begging that I accept your undying gratitude. Night after blissful night, you delight in just a taste of the power that was once mine in the purest, truest sense and you will be weeping with regret when I've taken it all back -- the day your little apple-core is ripe and ready to fall from the vine."
Rattled as he was, he remained expressionless. "Uh-huh. Look, it's not that I don't fancy a little acute schizophrenia in my women every now and then, I do, but I think it's time you--" died, he meant to say with a deft plunge through the heart, but before he could aim, she overtook him on the cot and Kung-Fu-gripped his wrist so hard the stake popped out of his hand and fell to the cement floor with an impotent doink.
Clearly, he'd underestimated her. A lot.
Searching her eyes for clues, he said, "What the hell are you?"
"All in good time." Astraddle his knees, her fingertips trailed up his inner thigh, causing an immediate, involuntary reaction. "And my time is coming, puppet, you've seen to that." She turned her attention to his crotch. "How quickly it grows... Months into days."
He'd had quite enough of this unbidden tête-à-tête, but she was holding him in some kind of thrall and it took most of his energy to say, "Whatever you're selling, pet, I'm off the market."
"Oh, William." She stroked the outline of his erection and brushed her lips against his. "So loyal. So blind. You can't resist me, no one can. I'm all there is. I'm every heart's darkest desire. I'm the beginning..." she moved to his ear to give it a soft kiss, "and the end."
Flicking his lighter to set her product-enhanced flip-'do ablaze, he said, "Can I be the middle?"
"Bad boy," she scolded as if he'd done nothing worse than spill a glass of grape juice, then pushed him out of harm's way before fizzling to toast.
When the rank haze of burnt vampire dissipated and all that remained was an uneasy feeling in Spike's gut, the encounter took on the surreal quality of a dream: Was he seeing things? Had he fallen asleep? Was he sleeping still?
Was Buffy all right?
* * *
"Rule breaker," Buffy murmured with a sleepy smile before turning for a kiss, only to stop when she saw his worry-face. "What is it?"
"Nothing, love." He kissed her forehead, the bump on her nose. "Go back to sleep."
"Did you have a bad dream?"
"Yeah," he said, pulling her to his chest. "It's all right now." He hoped.
Buffy nuzzled into him and drifted back to sleep.
Who was that apparition in the basement, and what did she want?
She was too real not to be real, but she had to be more than a mere blood-daughter of Dru's -- young vampires screamed and clung to life when they burned, they weren't eerily stoic about it. Plus, her caress stank of sorcery. He didn't want her in the slightest, yet if his mind wasn't so trained on getting the Zippo open, he might have shot a load in his pants.
Which may not have been too awful, considering the bloody traitor still hadn't gone down.
Buffy turned once more to press her back to his front, emitting a sweet, girlish moan.
If he'd gotten hard any other way, he'd be tugging down her PJs for a quick midnight special about now, but this, he knew, wouldn't be right.
Besides, he didn't want to give What's-Her-Evil the satisfaction.
* * *
"Buff--" Joyce swung open her daughter's door, and stopped in her tracks.
They slept, spooned together, Buffy in Spike's embrace, his chin buried in her shoulder nook. The tableau was so ironically precious that she was moved to back out on tiptoe.
* * *
"Got an I.D. on our bodyguards yet?"
There was a long, perplexed pause. "Who is this?"
"Your mum," Spike said, scornful. "Who do you bloody think it is?"
"Points for Team Oxford." He paced restlessly around Buffy's room, pink phoneset in hand. She'd left him for school that morning, he had yet to sleep, and something was still... up. "Bloody geniuses, you are."
"Yes, well," Giles said. "It's a bit unusual, you... phoning."
Spike broke his pacing pattern for a moment to emphatically roll his eyes.
"Right. No, nothing on them yet." Giles paused. "Oh, but a word from the doctor this morning: the test results are in, and everything seems on course. Mother and child in fine health... Although the vampiric tests were uh, inconclusive, unfortunately."
"Great." He cut to the chase. "What do you know of bodily possession?"
"Uh... Quite a lot, actually."
* * *
Buffy roamed the occult section, finger gliding over the call numbers until she found it: Angelic Demons, Demonic Angels - How Nature, Nurture and Television Turn Black and White to Gray. "Bingo."
She heard a giggle, and spotted the source as Willow and Tara studying in a nearby booth.
In an effort not to be seen, she quickly spun in the opposite direction -- and slammed into a large student body. "Oh! Sorry!"
"It's okay, I should watch where you're going," the tall, hunky Teacher's Assistant from her psychology class said, and as they both reached for her fallen items, their skulls collided.
"Oh god," Buffy held her head. She knew she shouldn't have gotten out of bed that morning.
"Stay." Pointing at her, he carefully crouched to pick up her things, and passed them over. "Interesting selection."
The Demon book and a Pregnancy for Dummies VHS tape. "Um, yeah. It's for a, a term paper."
"A term paper on demon pregnancy."
"No, well, yeah, in a... kind of..."
He held up his hands. "It's none of my business."
"No, it's fine." Why was she hiding it? She wasn't ashamed, was she? And it was gonna start showing sooner or later. "Actually, I'm-- with-- Pregnant." While she could clearly stand to work on her delivery, it felt good to share. "And as you've just witnessed, often a dummy."
He'd deflated the moment she uttered the magic word. "Oh. You are?"
So, there was a good reason to hide it after all: Sympathy Face. "Don't feel bad for me! I don't."
"I don't-- I wasn't... You don't look--" He shook his head to stop ogling her stomach. "I'm sorry. It's just... You're just so... young."
She assured him with a shrug, "I'm old in spirit."
He nodded, and began to walk with her. "So, is the father a demon or an angel?"
"Would you believe... a generous helping of both?"
Playful but curious, he egged, "How is that possible?"
"I'll let you know when I find out." She rapped her fingernails on the book.
"I'm Riley, by the way. Riley Finn."
"I know, you're my T.A.," she said, taking her usual care not to shake hands too hard. "It's okay, I don't expect you to recognize my random face in the crowd. I'm--"
"Buffy Summers, Row 3. Except for yesterday, when you were allll the way in the back."
"Um, yeah," she said, surprised and flattered. "Wow, you must have a file cabinet up there."
"Not really," he said with a good-natured but slightly guilty smile, and it dawned on her: Cute T.A. has a crush!
Her immediate impulse to rush to tell Willow was replaced by the depressing truth that Willow was no longer her best friend. And that her best friend these days was... Spike?
Yeah, life was weird.
* * *
As she deadbolted the front door, Buffy could hear that the shower was in use. Good, she thought, hanging up her jacket, Cleanliness is next to sexliness. Or, cleanliness makes me wanna get next to Spikeliness... sext by... oh, forget it.
Just as she gave up on fashioning that raw material into a zingy soundbite, a moan of agony echoed from the bathroom.
Worried, she made haste up the stairs and into the hallway bath. Head hung in defeat, Spike had one hand on the tile wall and the other on his erection.
"You started without me?"
He opened the stall. "Oh, thank god you're here."
"I can't get rid of it," he whined, gesturing at his hard-on. "It won't go down on its own or from anything I do to it. It's driving me mad."
Buffy slid her ponytail holder off, one corner of her mouth turned up. "This looks like a job for the Slayer."
* * *
Buffy peered at him under furrowed brow, insulted that her zealous blow job had yet to do the trick.
"I'm telling you, someone spiked my blood with Viagra." Or more likely, that thing masquerading as a vampire had done something to him... but he couldn't bring himself to tell her about that yet. "It's not you, baby, you're the best! You're the best at everything."
But, Buffy realized, they hadn't done everything. There was a promise she hadn't delivered yet, and surely a new experience would get him off -- her too, by proxy anyhow, since she loved to see him lust-whipped.
Making up her mind, she stood up in the filling tub, pressed her palms against the wall and arched her back, the hint unmistakable. "It's your lucky day, Spike."
His mouth went dry. "It... is?"
"Mmhmmn." She showcased for him, briefly spreading her cheeks. "You know you wanna."
"God, yes. I mean, no! I can't." Running his fingers over her irresistible, soap-lathered ass, he said, "First time should be special, Buffy, with candles and soft linens and buckets of lube--"
"Now. Before I change my mind."
Persuaded all too easily, he swiped a bottle of Baby Oil from the nearby sinktop. "This'll work."
* * *
Is it still a curse, Spike wondered, if the pain it causes comes with this much pleasure?
It had to be, because despite the unprecedented dirty-talking and squirming and jiggling she was doing as she rode him on the tub floor like a horny cowgirl, Spike could not come for the unlife of him.
She, on the other hand, had just crested orgasm number five and was fast approaching six. Spurring her on was the dangling showerhead's spray that grazed her clit on every upstroke, the sumptuous warm water that gushed and lapped between them on every downstroke, and, oh yeah, the anal sex.
For Buffy, this new frontier was a revelation. She'd registered that he had yet to come, but once she'd rocked back into him, his full length sheathed and pulsing in her rectum, sending sharp tingles up her spine, she'd kind of ceased to care.
"Yeah, you love it," he snarled. "You love it, you horny little slut."
"Fuck you," she said, panting and convulsing as she came... AGAIN.
This was killing him. Here was pious, demure Buffy, cursing him out and violently climaxing while he ravaged her virgin ass -- an image so beautiful and messy and hot, and yet he couldn't express how much he appreciated it! Also, his scrotum was about to petrify, the agony was so intense.
Even with repeated musings like, You're fucking The Slayer in the ass. You're buggering Angel's Girl. Buffy is begging you for more -- all of which would normally see him shooting like a fire hose -- an end to his torment was nowhere in sight.
Buffy had to stop. Not only was she physically wrecked, but so far she'd broken a faucet knob, detached some of the Mexican tile splash and just about yanked the showerhead from the wall -- one more tub-shaking orgasm and the entire house might cave in.
Gasping for air, she turned off the water and said, "I've gotta... I can't... anymore..."
Seated on his haunches beneath her, he groaned in frustration and shook her on his cock.
"Really?" She threw in some alluring swiveling. "Still nothing?"
"Any other day, I swear to you, I'd have been done for thirty seconds in."
"So you're saying I should be thankful?"
"Very funny." He whimpered, desperate, "Buffy..."
"I don't know what else to do!" Taking pity on his poor non-existent soul, she offered, "We could try face to face."
"Yeah... Yeah, that might help."
He cleaned up while she stepped out of the shower, spread a towel on the floor and waited for him on her back.
As he crawled over her, he said, "I love you, you know that?"
"You better," she said.
He pushed into her wet, clenching pussy, and, looking into her fluttering eyes, he came on the third thrust.
Face contorted in ecstasy, Spike froze in place until the last glorious spurt.
She laughed when he dropped his head on her chest, exhaling in relief as he said, "Oh, sweet salvation."
"Well, can't say it's not an ego-boost. You really like looking at me." Funny, she could almost feel it inside her, warm and... minty-fresh? Did he not rinse off all the Irish Spring?
"I really do." He nuzzled his cheek against her soft breast, resolving never to move again. "Thank god it's over."
"Hey," she smacked his head.
Mouth smushed against her skin, he said, "You know what I mean..."
"I know. That was mostly for calling me a slut."
"That was the blue balls talking."
"Suuure," she said, twirling a damp lock of his hair on her fingertip. "Oh my god, you've been lying to me."
Spike tensed. How could she tell?
"Your hair is naturally curly. How cute is that?"
And he was off the hook. "Bite your tongue! 'Cute', she says."
"Mini-us might have curly hair."
At that, he raised his head. Her smile was dazzling... and contagious. "I'd almost forgotten about our Mini."
"How could you forget? She's practically coconut-sized," she said, knocking on his coconut head.
"You're exaggerating. She's..." he touched the slight swell of her belly, "not even peach-sized." When he looked up, she was gazing adoringly at him. "What?"
"You said 'she'."
He hemmed and hawed until he settled on, "I was humoring you."
"I love you," she said, and passionately kissed her new best friend.
* * *
"...Rolling boil," Spike read aloud, then peered into the pot. He had no doubt about the boiling; it was the rolling he wasn't so sure of. With a shrug, he poured in half a box of pasta shells, popped a fallen shell in his mouth, crunched on it, and spit it into the sink.
The back door opened, and Joyce paused, grocery bag in hand. "Oh. Hello, Spike."
He wiped his mouth, hoping she wouldn't broach the awkward subject of finding him in bed with her daughter that morning. "Joyce."
"Are you doing what I think you're doing?"
He shrugged. "She craves, I cave."
For the second or third time that week, she thought He truly loves her... followed by the umpteenth rerun of He's a hundred year old monster who could turn on a dime. The two concepts together didn't add up, and frankly, she was tired of doing the math. Filing a few groceries into the fridge, she asked, "What's her highness up to? Lounging majestically?"
"Doin' her homework. That grapefruit juice?" At her nod, he took it and added it to a glass half-full of O.J. "Thanks, saved me a run."
"Two parts orange, one part grapefruit?" she asked, referring to Buffy's childhood comfort drink.
"And 'a little-bitty shot of V8, don't forget the sprig of celery', unquote."
"Really? That's new."
"The squirt talking, I expect."
She watched him for a moment. "You know, for a creature of the night, you're awfully considerate."
He closed the bottle and handed it back with a wink. "Let's not spread that vicious rumor about, yeah?"
"I wouldn't dream of it. Oh, here -- why don't you put these up tonight." She slung a plastic bag across the island that contained a set of long, chocolate brown drapes. "The darkest ones I could find."
Spike inspected them, confused. The basement windows were too small for drapes.
"If you're going to be sleeping above ground, I'd like you to be safe." When he got the picture, she smiled warmly and left him there to stare at the offering, touched beyond words.
* * *
"What the fuck?"
Spike opened a groggy eye as Buffy rushed to her full-length mirror crying, "Not again!"
When she gave him a profile view, he saw it: She was bigger. Months bigger. Coconut-sized, come to think of it.
"What happened yesterday?" Buffy began to pace, hands in her hair. "What did we do different? I went to school, the library, spoke to Riley, walked home, ass sex..."
"Did anybody give you anything, do anything...?"
"Well, your mother gave me the drapes..." He pointed at the freshly-dressed windows.
Her eyes narrowed. "You."
He blinked. "Me? What'd I--"
"You," she marched toward him. "It was warm. Why was it so warm?"
"When you came inside me, I felt it. Why did I feel it?"
"Because I was in the bath so long? I don't bloody--" Then he remembered, whispering, "Months into days."
He stared at her, horrified. "How quickly it grows."
"You're freaking me out, Spike. Stop it."
"We need to see your watcher. Right now."
"No. You're gonna tell me what's going on. Right now."
* * *
"I'm not speaking to you!"
"I told you I'm sorry!" He tried to keep up with her, but it was tough with all the shadow-hopping he had to do. "See, I knew you'd go off like this, it's why I didn't tell you!"
"If you'd told me, this wouldn't have happened!" She gestured at her distended belly, and kept walking.
"Oh, like you could've pieced it together? You're such a genius you'd have figured out that a possessed vampire witch infused me with some kind of fetus-expanding superjizz."
"No," she spoke to him as if he were a moron, "I wouldn't have touched you if I knew some skanky whore got you horny!"
"She didn't get me-- Oh, bloody..." He ducked under an awning, a down duvet his only protection from the morning sun. He hadn't even had time to put on a shirt, what with all the face-saving. "I couldn't help it, alright? It was magick!"
"That's what they all say. 'It wasn't my fault, it just happened, it was magick!'"
"I burnt her to a crisp! What more proof do you need that I wasn't into it?"
"Oh, whatever! That's like flirting for you!"
"Don't be such a ninny."
"Don't be such a jackass!" She pounded on the door and Giles opened it, allowing the maelstrom that was Buffy and Spike into his living room.
"Rupert, tell her I'm not to blame." Spike cast down his blanket and stomped on it to put out a smoldering fire. "Tell her about the possession thing, the power, and all that other rot you told me yesterday."
"He knew about this yesterday? God, this is just like the Ginsu! Why are you always going behind my back? Augh!" Buffy shrieked. "MEN!!"
"Good," Giles said, visibly pained. "My eardrums are in serviceable order after all."
"Look at me," Buffy demanded of Giles. "I'm a freakshow. And it's all his fault."
"Fair enough," said Giles.
"Oi, whose side are you on?"
Buffy sneered, "A side you haven't been on long enough to lay any claim to."
"Oh, easy for you to say, the good fight being your bloody birthright! You know how hard this is for me? What it does to my image alone--"
"Oh," Buffy poured on the sarcasm, "Satan forbid all your make-believe followers have to go find some other imaginar--AH!" Suddenly she doubled over, a blow inside her forcing her to her knees.
Spike rushed to her aid. "Baby, what? What is it? What happened?"
Clutching her stomach, she looked up at him, an awestruck breath catching in her throat. "I think he kicked."
His little slugger packed that much of a wallop? It was enough to make him misty-eyed. "Guess he doesn't like Mum and Dad fighting."
She said gamely, "Looks like he's got our strength."
"Looks like." He kissed her face, then her ear, whispering, "Forgive me, please. I'm a colossal idiot."
"Yeah, you are." She sniffled, tapping his bare chest. "No more secrets, okay?"
He clasped his hand over hers, looked deep in her eyes. "Cross my heart."
The kiss passioned up -- until they remembered where they were, and guiltily turned to Giles, who was exhibiting his usual Herculean patience. "Now then. Who wants to tell me what this is all about?"