"Sleep well, Slayer?"
She'd managed to avoid him all day. Now, surrounded by her friends in the magic shop, Buffy had nowhere to run. She should have known that as soon as Spike sauntered in he'd taunt her with an infuriating grin and a question so seemingly benign.
She glared at the vampire, ground out a "Fine," and dared him with her eyes.
"Good, 'cause I know I did."
"I couldn't sleep at all last night," said Anya. "It was uncomfortably hot."
"Vampires don't sleep at night," Tara said. "A-and come to think of it, they don't even get hot. Right, Spike?"
Buffy's face burned as she remembered the dream.
"Oh, we get hot." His eyes wouldn't leave the blushing slayer.
"Oh. I thought--"
"Had a great dream," Spike declared with a big smirk, sitting back and resting his heels on the table. "How 'bout you, Buffy? Have any good dreams lately?"
"No, just a great, big nightmare."
Giles took the pause as an opportunity. "Now that we've clarified whether Buffy had a pleasant repose, could we please move on?"
* * *
"God! Would you stop looking at me like that?"
"Like what?" Spike laughed as he fielded a swift left hook.
"Like a big--" right jab "peroxided--" roundhouse kick "pervert!"
"Pervert?" He'd caught her foot in mid-air. "I'm not the one who had the wet dream about me." With a nasty smile, he used her shock to throw her off balance.
She shot back up, kicking him in earnest. He hit the mat with a smack.
Her voice dropped to a venomous whisper. "Don't you ever say that out loud again."
"What?" Spike asked, then bellowed from his place on the floor, "That you had a hot, wet--"
Buffy jumped on him and tried to cover his mouth.
"--somehow bloody--" He attempted to pull the choker off her neck.
She had to hold his hands down. There was no way she was going to let him see the nail-inflicted crescents she was hiding.
"--obviously mind-blowing--" She tried his mouth again. He licked her hand. "--dream about snogging me into the bl--"
"That's it!" she popped him in the nose.
She hissed, "Shut up before I really kill you."
"It's alright to want me, pet. Why are you resisting?"
"I don't want you!" She jumped off of him and walked away. "That's not what it meant. It was a dream. It was symbolic."
He propped himself up. "And I symbolized... what? A terrific lay?"
"No... an arrogant vampire who can't keep his mouth shut." She folded her arms and said, sarcastic, "Oh wait, that's literal."
"All right, tell me." He stood and tried a more gentle approach. "What's it mean then?"
She turned away from him again. "I haven't figured that out yet. Can we not have this conversation?"
"Why don't you give me a blow--" she whipped around to face him and he threw his arms up in defense, "--by blow. Tell me what happened in the dream, I'll tell you if it's symbolic or not."
"Oh goodie, more fuel for the make-Buffy-miserable fire!"
"I'm not trying to make you--"
"Look, don't think you're special, okay? I was hot," she found herself saying, regretting it instantly. "And you happened to be the only vampire in the house."
He didn't get it immediately. "What?"
She grabbed his hand and brought it to her face. "Me hot." Then to his chest. "You cold. End of story."
Spike marveled at the beauty of it. So simple, yet so rife with implication. "You--"
"End of story, Spike."
His eyes lowered and lingered at her neck. "And the blood?"
Buffy exhaled heavily. He obviously wouldn't leave it alone until he heard the truth. Barely audible, she answered, "At the end, I let you drink from me."
Spike was speechless. She couldn't have uttered a more perfect sentence.
"I was delirious from the heat." Realizing that her hand was still resting on his chest, she quickly pulled away. "And I still must be, 'cause I'm standing here telling you this."
"Er, Buffy?" Giles' voice at the door.
"Nothing!" Buffy sputtered defensively, jumping halfway across the room.
Giles looked confused. "Er, yes. Well unfortunately, there is something."
"What is it?"
"I'm afraid there may be some significance to this heat wave after all."
"I shoulda known," Buffy sighed in resignation, following Giles out of the training room. "No rest for the wicked."
Spike just stood there, dumbstruck.
Slowly, a smile spread across his features.
"You said it, sweet bit."
* * *
"It appears that the heat wave is restricted solely to Sunnydale," Giles announced, newspaper in hand. "What's more, there's an unwarranted amount of humidity, unrelated to smog."
"And that means...?" Buffy asked.
"Demons," Anya said nonchalantly, tallying up the day's sales.
"Heat wave demons?"
"Do they look anything like Gladys Knight and the Pips?" Xander's joke was greeted by blank stares. "You know," he said, and half-sang, "'Heat wave... burnin' in my...?'" He trailed off.
Spike sauntered into the room and perched on the ladder, his eyes fixed squarely on his Slayer.
"I believe you're thinking of Martha and the Vandellas, Xander, and, no." Giles cleared his throat. "But there are several varieties of demons with the power to change the weather; some are quite harmless. Some are... not. And until they present themselves as any sort of threat, we should all just keep an eye out."
"Tara and I can do a demonic activity spell," Willow offered, giving her girlfriend's hand a reassuring squeeze.
"Is that the one where you teach 'em to fingerpaint?" Xander said, bouncing right back. "'Cause gosh darnit, there just aren't enough fingerpainting demons in the world."
"Activity as in evil energy," Willow explained with a smile. "Anyway, it might tell us what kind of heatwavey demons we're dealin' with."
"Yes, that'll be quite helpful. And suffice it to say, Buffy--"
"Got it. Off to patrol." She got up to gather her things. "Dawn? Will you be okay here for a while?"
"Sure, I'll hang with the gang. Do some researchy stuff."
"Good." Buffy noticed a certain vampire following her. "Spike, what are you doing?"
"What's it look like? I'm going with you."
Buffy thought to argue, then saw everyone watching. She sighed. "Come on."
As soon as he closed the jingling door behind them, she turned to face him.
"Look. I think you should just go home."
"I just... do."
"Just do? Good one. That'll keep me away."
She sighed in exasperation. "I can't just go slaying with you after we've..." her voice lowered to a whisper, "talked about what we talked about."
He smiled, charmed by her bashfulness, but unable to resist the alternative. "You mean you don't trust yourself to be alone with me. Afraid you'll jump my hide and make me drink from you."
"No," she said through grit teeth, "I'm more afraid you'll say something like that again and I'll have to kill you."
"Buffy," he laughed, "I'm sorry. Won't mention it again, I promise."
"Why don't we just split up. See what we can find out."
"I said I--"
"Spike! We'll get more accomplished that way." She looked at him pleadingly. "Please?"
He gave in with a sigh and plucked the Marlboro Menthol from his ear. "Alright then. S'pose I'll go check with Willy, see what's doing in the demon arena."
"Sure thing, kitten." As he inhaled the minty smoke, he watched her hips switch away from him.
Fighting the urge to follow her into the woods, Spike took off towards the seedy side of town.
* * *
It was getting late and the heat was getting to Buffy.
So far, it appeared the demons had no interest in cemeteries, woods or parking lots. Only two vamps had surfaced, with no information to share and even less fighting skill.
She wondered whether Spike had discovered anything yet. With that idle thought came other more interesting Spike-related musings...
Bad, bad thoughts, Buffy, she scolded herself. Work to do. Monsters to slay.
She rounded the corner to the Sunnydale elementary school playground, casting a glance over the perimeter.
Something seemed off.
Suddenly, the air around her was tangibly thicker and harder to see through. She felt close to suffocating, until for some inexplicable reason she felt... fully aroused.
"Whoa," she reeled as slippery fluid saturated her underwear.
Her body tingled with lust. Her clothing felt too tight, too restrictive. She wanted to peel it all off. What the hell is going on?
She sat down on the nearest swing to regain her composure.
There's a word for this kind of heat, it occurred to her. Sultry.
And suddenly, the ugliest demon she'd ever seen appeared. It towered at over seven feet tall and was covered in horns and slimy pustules.
"And you must be one of the Pips," she said, standing, trying to push away the lusty feelings that definitely shouldn't be felt around a revolting hellspawn. "Or Martha or whatever."
She couldn't tell, but it seemed to smile. It also spoke, but not a language or even a sound pattern that she could understand. The only way it could be described was... gurgly.
"Well, now that we've been introduced--" She went for him. A punch to the stomach that... made no impression at all. He still stood there.
And she could tell it was a he, because suddenly something was growing. Something from his midsection. A huge, grotesque, horn-shaped phallus that was aiming right at her.
"I see," she said, backing up, "You're not just a horny demon... you're a horny demon."
She marveled at her still-aroused state. Am I completely sick? she asked herself. Then it hit her. The fog. The heat. It was getting her... ready. For him. For it. Eww!!!
"What is it about me?" she wondered aloud. "Do I have 'Demon Whore' stamped on my forehead?"
Buffy turned to run, but the demon caught up with her and slapped her down against the old merry-go-round. He was strong. And the lust-heat was weakening her.
He was coming ever closer with that godawful thing pointing at her, and she didn't know if she could fend him off because her body was reacting in all the wrong ways.
"Need help, or should I leave you two alone?"
Buffy had never been so happy to hear that voice. "Spike!"
The demon turned to eyeball Spike.
"That's no way to treat a lady," Spike gruffed, and descended a razor-sharp axe across the thing's phallus, slicing it clear off.
The demon gurgled and fell to the ground, its midsection spewing green goop.
Buffy rolled away to avoid the spray. "Ugh!"
Spike took her hand and pulled until she was pressed snugly against him.
"Thanks," she said breathlessly. "And also... gross choice of dismemberment."
He smiled. "That's the only way to kill it."
"Oh. You know what he is?" She was fidgeting, her hands dancing on his chest.
"No, but I heard about a demon girl got attacked -- raped -- by one of those buggers. Nearly tore her apart. Her boyfriend tried chopping off its head, but it just kept goin'. Only way was..." he motioned a slice with his free hand, the one that wasn't snaked around Buffy's waist.
"Yuck. All around yuck." She continued to shift from one leg to the other, her hands getting more intimate.
"You... You alright?" he asked, noticing the glazed look in her eye and the finger brushing over his nipple.
"Mmhmm. Just... weird, I guess. And..."
"Well, there's this thing. I think the heat is um, getting to me."
"Getting to you... how?" He also noticed her pelvis gyrating against his.
"The heat -- has some kind of aphrodisiac in it, I think." She was gazing at his mouth.
"I see..." No wonder he could smell her from a mile away this time.
She touched a finger to his bottom lip.
Spike made up his mind. "Okay, Slayer, we're gonna get you home," he said, removing her hand.
"What? Home? Why?"
"Not gonna take advantage of you like this, though believe me, I'd love to."
"Advantage? What advantage? I'm the Slayer--"
"Yeah, you are. And tomorrow morning you'll shove a pointy piece of wood into my chest like a slayer's sposed to. So, come on. Let's get you to bed."
"To bed?" She smiled coquettishly.
"To sleep," he stressed.
"I don't wanna go to sleep," she whimpered. "I'm all hot and... wet. You wanna feel?" She grabbed his hand.
Spike inhaled sharply. "Yes..." Then he pulled away. "But I'm not going to."
She stomped her foot like an angry child. "When did you suddenly grow a conscience?"
"When I fell in love with you," he answered without thinking twice.
Her anger melted. She had nothing to say.
"Come on, Slayer," he said, scooping her into his arms. "Let's get you home."
She surrendered to him and nuzzled into his chest.
"I like it when you're nice."
"Yeah," he said, trying not to focus on the yielding, aromatic body in his arms. "I know."
Spike let out a feral growl. Nice, she said.