"What the hell was that?"
Spike hadn't been sleeping. He'd been waiting for her to storm into his crypt like this, angry as hell and ready to stake him good and proper this time.
He held his breath. There was nothing he could say.
"Tell me, Spike." She stalked over to him. "Tell me why I woke up this morning alone."
"Buffy." He paused, and looked at her for the first time since she'd arrived. "What?"
"I mean, I can't figure it out. It's not like you had a soul to lose. And I know I'm not a bad lover."
A bad lover? She thinks... "What?"
"If you think you're gonna pull that now-that-I've-banged-you, don't-call-me riff, you've got another fucking think coming."
"Buffy!" He stood up and grasped her shoulders. "That's not why I left!"
"So why did you?" She looked ready to cry.
"Because I failed you!"
She knit her brow. "Huh?"
"You were... vulnerable and, I, I was weak. You were counting on me to take care of you. But then there was blood, and I couldn't stop myself. And now..." He sat down on the bare sarcophagus. Now I'm nothing but a monster to you.
Buffy's tone softened. "You did take care of me." She tried to make eye contact. "It takes two, you know. I wanted it."
He bristled. "Yeah, it. Not me."
"What are you talking about?"
"Buffy. In that state you would've pounced on the nearest vaguely human-shaped body." He shrugged. "I just happened to be that body."
"So that's what this is about? Your ego is bruised?"
"You know," Buffy said, "for one of the most annoyingly perceptive people I've ever met, you sure are an idiot."
He looked at her.
She sighed in exasperation. "Think for a minute, Spike. Why did I dream about you that first night? I mean, for all intents and purposes I could've dreamed about anyone. And what the hell does an aphrodisiac demon have to do with letting you suck my blood?"
Spike was quieted.
"Why do you think I wanted you and you alone, the one and only Spike, William the Great and Bloody, to take care of me these past few nights?"
Though unable to answer, he smiled a little at the extension of his moniker.
"I'll give you a hint. It's not just because you're almost as strong as me."
"Why, then?" He eyed her suspiciously, noticing that she was wearing a cruelly irresistible little pink wraparound dress.
"Because I like you!" she cried, arms outspread. "Because I have a thing for you. And because," she sighed and lowered her voice, "you're the only one who can make me come."
Was this a trick? Had she sent in the Buffybot to toy with his emotions?
She approached him slowly, confidently. "You know that moment," she said as she straddled his lap, "when you're so close..." her arms around his neck, fingers brushing over the nape, "and you just need something to think about; that one thing that flashes in your mind to..." her eyelashes swept down and up, "push you right over the edge?"
Spike nodded, entranced. He knew that moment all too well: the one where anything goes. Where she'd taken up residence for years before he admitted his attraction.
"It's always been you," she whispered.
Spike was astonished. He whispered, "Me?"
She nodded with a womanly smile.
Their lips touched. He fingered the soft fabric of the wrap dress he was about to unwrap. "What's this, anyway?"
Buffy smiled. "It was the frilliest thing I had. Not a cheerleading uniform, I know--"
"You wore it for me?"
He answered with a deep, searing kiss.
* * *
"Always me, 'ey?" Spike said, grabbing the lighter from his jacket pocket.
"I can see I never should have told you this." Buffy rested on his bare chest, exhausted from another earth-shattering orgasm.
"All the years I've known you, all the tossers you've shared a bed with, all the times you've pleasured yourself." He beamed with male pride. "You thought of me."
"Only for like, a second. And, just for the record, there haven't been that many... tossers. It shouldn't merit an 'all'."
"Your dirty little secret." He shook his head and lit the cigarette that jutted from his mouth. "Spike, all along."
"You're never gonna let this go, are you?"
Spike exhaled. "Not until I know exactly how, when, where, etcetera etcetera."
"I am not telling you anything."
"Ashamed you've always wanted to shag me, are you?"
"Hey, sexual fantasies can have nothing to do with what you want in real life."
"I believe that's usually followed by, 'as long as you don't act on them'."
She giggled. "Oh, yeah."
"Looks like you're past the point of no return, love." He ran his thumb along her rapidly healing bite marks.
"Looks like." Buffy twined her fingers in his. "You said it yourself, I've got 'bleedin' tragic taste in men'."
Spike gasped in mock surprise. "'Sthat how you think I talk?"
"It is how you talk. Bleedin', bloody, bollocky, blah blah blah."
"Hate to tell you this, love, but you've got the worst English accent I've ever heard."
"Oh yeah? Tell me you're a 'friend of Xanderrrrrzzz.'"
"Alright. Fine. I won't fake yours if you don't fake mine."
"Deal." Buffy moved on top of him and snatched the cigarette out of his mouth, flinging it across the crypt.
"Don't tell me you're gonna make me quit now."
"No. I just need your mouth."
* * *
"Buffy. Spike. It's been... a few days," Giles said.
"Yeah, major demon-slayage," Buffy said casually. "Did you need me?"
"Well, actually, yes. We've discovered something quite unsettling about these, er, Zuxugnas."
"More unsettling than them wanting to mate with me?"
"I suppose not. But there have been a great deal more attacks. It appears an entire army of Zuxugna males escaped from the portal."
"Those crazy demons. They just keep a-comin'," Xander said.
"Xander!" Buffy wrinkled her nose at him and turned back to Giles. "How many make an army?"
"Oh. Great. Looks like the fun's just started." Buffy took a seat at the table.
Spike knew enough not to sit next to her. Instead, he stood where he could see her.
"I like your dress," Anya said.
"Thanks, Anya," Buffy said, surprised at the compliment.
Spike smiled. After all, he'd had a hand in picking it out.
"Buffy, I think it may be wise for all of us to work together on this. You can't fight an army alone. Or, rather, Spike can't."
"Hey!" Spike said.
"W-what do you mean, work together?" Buffy stammered.
"We should all be on patrol with you. If they're as easy to kill as you say..."
"Willow, can't we just find a way to send them back to their own dimension? Like the troll guy?"
"I'm on it already. It'd be tough though, with so many. They'd all have to be in the same place at once. And sending something back to its exact dimension is tricky."
"Who cares as long as its not this one?"
"It could be a land of-of fluffy bunnies," Tara offered. "That could be a real disaster."
"Bunnies?" Anya cried. "Bunnies?!" She looked to Xander, who put an arm around his panicking fiancée.
"S-sorry," Tara apologized. "It was just an example."
"In any case," Giles began, "until we learn how to banish them, it would be best if we all came with you, just in case you're outnumbered."
Buffy sighed and looked at Spike. Almost imperceptibly, he nodded. "Okay," she said. "But you guys should keep your distance 'til they show. They won't come after anyone but me unless they think you're in the way."
* * *
"Spike, I've got an idea," Buffy whispered, feeling her temperature rise.
"You guys?" she called out to her friends who trailed behind. "They're close! Stay back for a minute!"
Five silhouettes stopped at the top of a hill behind them.
"C'mere." Buffy grabbed Spike and pushed him into the nearest crypt, ushering him into a dark corner. She lifted the hem of her new dress.
He grinned. "Love, this is hardly the--"
"Don't argue. Fuck me."
Shrugging, he spun her around to face the crypt wall and unbuttoned his jeans, then pushed her panties aside.
"Keep quiet," he said.
* * *
"It's okay, they're still up there." Buffy tried to discreetly wipe away the mingled ejaculates that trailed down her bare inner thigh.
"No demons yet," Spike said.
"Good timing, baby."
He looked at her. "I think I'd like to hear you call me that when you're not under the influence."
"What are you talking about? I'm not."
Spike was visibly perplexed.
"Duh! Why do you think we just... did what we did?" she asked, aware of her slowly advancing friends.
"'Cause you're horny?" he whispered.
"Well, yeah. But also 'cause it neutralizes their power over me."
"So you're one hundred percent now."
"One hundred percent."
"And you just called me 'baby'."
"Buffy! Behind you!" Giles' voice.
She back-snap-kicked the demon and sent it flying.
"Sorry, the Buffay's not open today," she punned with a smile. Then, grabbing the axe from Spike's hand, she chopped cleanly across the offending object.
The gang came running.
"Buffy, that was splendid," Giles said, catching his breath. "I thought you were powerless against them."
Buffy shrugged. "I'm learning to overcome."