"Who quieros cheeps y salsa?" Xander asked in a bad Mexican accent, carrying a platter into the living room.
"I do, I do!" Willow raised her hand.
"...Y muchos unidentifiable grayish stuff..." Xander added behind a shielding hand.
"It's called guacamole," Anya corrected, then added proudly to her guests, "I made it myself."
"Well, sometimes gray can be..." Tara looked at the platter, face falling. "...um, I'll have some later. Thanks."
Willow dipped a chip in salsa, avoiding Anya's questionable concoction.
"Give it here," Buffy said, arms outstretched. "It looks yummy, Anya."
"Thank you, Buffy!"
"Mm! And it is! Try this, Spike." She dug a chip into the guacamole and brought it to his waiting mouth, then paused to inspect it. "Is there any garlic in it?"
Buffy waited for an answer, failing to notice how much this unprecedented show of concern had bewildered her friends.
Spike, who did notice, had to restrain himself from tackling Buffy and kissing her breathless.
"No," Anya finally answered, "No garlic. The recipe on the box was all wrong, so I fixed it. I mean, lime juice? Who has that lying around?"
Spike crunched noisily and proclaimed, "Delicioso."
"Lemme try," Dawn said, sitting up from the floor to grab a bite. "Weird, but good."
Anya nudged Xander. "See? They like it."
"I take it all back, honey. You're the goddess of guac." Anya brightened and Xander rubbed his hands together. "So. Shall we begin?"
"What's first?" Willow asked.
"'Romeo Must Die'," he answered excitedly. "Kicks ass! You're gonna love it, Buff."
"Why," mumbled Spike, "'cuz all her Romeos run off and might as well die?"
Mouth full of Tostito, Buffy scoffed. "You're one to talk."
"Sorry, can't hear you with your mouth full." Spike casually motioned for the h'ors deurves tray on the coffee table.
Handing it to him, she said, "I'll give you a mouthful." Remembering that they weren't alone, she covered quickly with, "...of stake."
Xander was incredulous. "Is this the same Buffy I've known since high school? Because if it was, Spike would be a leeettle pile of dust right now."
Buffy gulped audibly. Caught. "Well... that would be messy. And, your couch..."
Xander scrutinized her suspiciously.
"I'm not a robot, Xander. I'm Buffy! The very same Buffy," she thought quickly, "who will love this movie because why?"
Xander's passion for the film got the better of him. "Because of the Matrix-worthy fight scenes, that's why!" He popped the DVD into place. "Behold. A true cinematic gem."
"Is it very violent?" Buffy queried, propelling the subject even further along. "Because Dawn--"
"I think I can handle it, Buffy." Dawn rolled her eyes from her spot on the floor.
"I'll decide whether you can handle it."
"So you're saying I can get sliced and diced by a Hellgod but I can't watch a pretend fight scene?"
Buffy blinked at Dawn.
"She's got a point there," Spike said.
Xander spoke up. "Nothing worse than your everyday slayage, Buffy."
"All right," Buffy allowed and relaxed next to Spike. Maternal mode: off. Secret Lovebunny mode: on. Her shoulder brushed against his. Okay, less bunny, more secret. She quickly put a little space between them on the couch.
Spike didn't look at her, but she saw a smile shoot across his face.
"Everybody comfy?" Xander asked.
"Snug as bugs," Willow confirmed, scooched a ways down on the same long couch, her head resting on Tara's chest. She looked up at her girlfriend. "Do you think bugs can actually be snug?"
"Only when they're in that rug," Tara quipped with a warm smile.
Xander took his place beside Anya on the facing couch and touched a button on the remote. "Now, watch and learn, children."
* * *
"This! This is the part! Watch this!"
The protagonist kicked his opponent in the head, and a special effect followed the internal course of each breaking bone down the spinal cord.
Xander gesticulated wildly at the screen. "Maximum pain!"
The opponent fell to the ground in a lifeless heap.
"'Cor, that was beautiful," Spike said, eyes misting.
Buffy scowled. "You think it's beautiful? Breaking bones are beautiful to you."
"Well, yeah." He used his hands to illustrate. "I've only ever heard it, you know, the crunching. Be nice to see it like that -- all close and personal, like."
"I know," Buffy suggested in a sweet voice, "how 'bout I take you to an X-Ray machine and kick your ass?" She leaned in and added saucily, "All close and personal, like."
He smirked at her. "Now that wouldn't do. I wouldn't get to see it. But if you take Xander here..."
"Hey! How 'bout I kick both your asses if you don't shut up?"
Vampire and Slayer turned to him, brows raised.
Xander stuttered, "Not you, Buff. Just him."
"Why me? She bloody started--"
Buffy covered Spike's mouth and whispered, "Sorry Xan. We'll be quiet now."
Xander sheepishly turned his attention back to the screen.
Buffy sat back and crossed her legs. Spike coughed as her skirt tumbled back slightly, revealing a smooth, golden thigh.
He bit his lip, controlling his immediate urge to touch her, to roll his fingers slowly upwards, to explore her hot, supple skin.
Bathroom, maybe? he thought quickly, considering the options. Balcony? All would be too obvious. Unless--
Buffy caught his gaze, startling him out of his wanton thoughts.
Oh hell, you're in trouble now, he told himself with a sigh.
A tiny smile curled her lips.
Or not... He cocked an eyebrow.
She looked him in the eye, and shivered. "I'm freezing," she announced loudly, and plucked the woolen throw off the back of the couch.
"I could turn down the A/C," Xander offered.
"No, this is fine," she said quickly, covering her lap and purposely flopping the throw over Spike's closest arm.
Why you little vixen. Spike was thoroughly impressed.
She flashed him another quick smile.
He surveyed the room and found everyone deeply engrossed in the climax of the film.
Spike grinned. It was time for a little climax of their own.
Slowly, he inched his hand towards her leg. As he swept upwards, Buffy's head made tiny indiscernable nods. She was shaking with anticipation. Bonus.
When he was sure that no one was looking, he dove lightning-quick inside the elastic of her panties.
Dipping his finger into her once, he found her swollen nerve center and administered one good tap. She bolted upright.
At that motion, Willow glanced at Buffy, who immediately gave the impression of someone absorbed in a cinematic experience.
Careful not to move his hand too much under the blanket, Spike gently circled her clit, listening and waiting. When she finally held her breath, he rubbed just a touch harder.
As the credits began to roll, Buffy let out an, "OH!"
Everyone looked at her.
"Yeah." She exhaled deeply. "Good movie."
"What'd I say?" Xander prodded.
"Very gemmy," Buffy confirmed, attempting to sound normal.
Intoxicated by the knowledge that he'd just made Buffy come in front of all her little friends, Spike smugly sat back, pulled his hand away and grabbed a Tostito, smothering it with both sauces. After his bite, he sucked on his finger and said to Buffy, "Mmm, good combo."
"I'm the guacamole goddess," Anya said.
Xander rubbed his fiancée's shoulder affectionately. "That's my girl."
That's MY girl, Spike thought proudly as he watched Buffy come down, eyes a little glazed, cheeks just a little flushed.
"Aaliyah is SO cool," Dawn said, perusing the DVD jacket.
"She really is," Willow agreed.
"Is that so?" Tara teased, nudging her girlfriend.
"Well, no, I mean, as an actress."
"Uh-huh," Tara said. "She's a master thespian."
"A master what-now?" Willow asked, and they both fell into giggles.
"I'm the master lesbian," Tara joked. "She's the thespian."
They doubled over in hysterics.
"Oh good," Anya said briskly. "Lesbian humor."
"You know," Tara explained, body quaking. "Lesbian? Thesp--"
"No, I get it," Anya spoke over her, nodding, stonefaced. "It rhymes. Xander? The next movie?"
"I'm on it," Xander said, rummaging through his selection. "Let's see... rugged Romans or romping cheerleaders?"
"Romping cheerleaders," Willow and Tara voted enthusiastically.
Spike agreed, "I'm with them."
"Bring it!" Dawn whooped.
"Whatever," they grudgingly answered in unison, then glanced at one another.
"'Bring It On' it is."
* * *
"Wow," Willow said, pointing at the new character who appeared on the screen. "She looks sorta like Faith!"
"No, she looks exactly like Faith," Anya established.
Spike was hit by sudden comprehension. "Oh-ho!"
"What?" Xander asked him.
"Nothing," Spike answered, eyes fixed on Buffy, who sat with her arms crossed and face blank.
"I just don't see it," Xander said, squinting at the TV.
"How can you not see it?" Willow said. "She's like, the spitting image! Right, Buffy?"
"I guess so," Buffy replied with great disinterest.
"And where's this Faith bird now?" Spike pressed, trying to get a reaction from his seatmate.
"In jail," Willow grumbled. "Where she belongs."
"Ooh, a bad girl." Spike saw Buffy's knee jerk, and continued. "I like bad girls."
Xander laughed. "You two? Made for each other. Match made in Hell."
"You think?" Spike asked, speculatively rubbing his chin.
"Oh yeah," Xander replied. "She's psychotic, you're psychotic... It's perfect, really."
Spike noticed Buffy's knee jerking in steady rhythm. "Maybe I'll arrange a conjugal visit sometime."
"Believe me," Xander confided, "So not worth it. But then again, you'd probably go for..." His eyes darted to an increasingly miffed Anya. "Milkshakes."
Spike chuckled. "Milkshakes? Really?"
Suddenly, Buffy stood and walked out to the balcony, sliding the door behind her with a loud bang.
"What's up with her?" Anya asked.
"I don't know," Willow said with concern, hazarding a glance at Spike.
"I'll go see," Spike volunteered with an overburdened sigh. "Time for a smoke break anyway."
Buffy was standing by the far railing, her back to him.
"Hey," Spike said softly. "I was only messin' around in there."
He took a step closer and reached out to touch her hair. "Baby--"
She jerked away, refusing to look at him.
Spike couldn't help but laugh at her fierce jealousy. "Buffy, I was just kidding! You're the only one I--"
"God, can you be any louder?" she hissed angrily.
He lowered his voice. "Baby, listen to me."
"Why?" She spun to face him. "So you can make more funny jokes about fucking my archrival? Because so not laughing here."
"That's not--" He growled in frustration. How could she be so dense as to think he wanted anyone but her? "Look. If I knew it would bother you this much--"
"It doesn't bother me, okay?" she said emotionlessly. "Just forget it." With that, she turned and left him there, alone on the balcony.
"Pfff," Spike exhaled through his teeth, shaking his head. "Good going, mate."
He decided to have that cigarette after all. And maybe a few more after that.
* * *
Buffy heard Spike at her bedroom door, trying to turn the knob. Ha. Locked out. She heard his footsteps retreating and settled against her pillow. So there.
She tried to sleep, but the image of Spike passionately intertwined with Faith was emblazoned on her brain. She hated this. First Angel, then Riley... and now she had to worry about Spike.
But this was real worry, based on fact: Spike had a thing for slayers. And bad girls. Faith was a slayer gone bad who would eventually get out of jail, and most likely return to Sunnydale. And knowing Faith, she'd be all over the prospect of taking Buffy's man.
Xander's words rang loud and clear: "Then again, you'd probably go for..." Yup, he probably would. Buffy had to face it: Spike liked to be freaky in bed, and Faith was naturally freaky -- without the aid of horny demons. AND he thinks she's pretty. Bastard.
The sound of metal slicing across metal roused her from her thoughts. He was back at the door again. In a second, he'd unlocked it, and stood there wielding a butter knife.
So much for security.
"Spike!" she stage-whispered. "What part of 'locked' don't you understand?"
"None of it, I'm afraid," he said with a rakish smile, dropping the knife on her dresser.
How dare he break in here, with his shirt off and his hair all messy and... "Get out."
"No." He moved closer.
"Leave me alone."
"Won't get rid of me that easy," he said, crawling up the bed.
"I mean it," she insisted.
He was pulling her sheet down, slowly, exposing her nude form. "Then why are you so naked?"
"Because this is how I sleep."
"If you really didn't want me here," he drawled, hand sliding down her inner thigh, "You wouldn't let me do this."
It wasn't fair. Her double crossing body was much too receptive to his touch.
Caressing her slick labia, he said, "So swollen. Must be expecting a visitor."
She clamped her legs shut and willed her body to stop. "Visiting hours are over."
He chuckled and slipped a finger in. "Then why is the door still open?"
She slapped his hand away and rolled onto her side, back to him. "I mean it. I don't even wanna look at you."
"Buffy. Baby. Don't be this way."
"I am this way. Deal with it."
"Why?" he asked earnestly, touching her hair.
She sighed. "Because Faith is..."
"No one to me," he finished.
"You don't understand. It's like Xander said. You and her... perfect match. You're the same."
"Buffy, we're the same." He shook her shoulder. "You and me."
"Now you're being delusional."
"No, I'm bein' honest. And you'd do well to admit it sometime."
"What are you talking about? You're just trying to change the subject."
"This is the subject. We're the perfect mates -- you and me."
"Spike, we're polar opposites. We have nothing in common."
He sighed and rolled onto his back. "If you say so."
"If you met her..."
"Buffy. I have met her. I didn't like her."
"What?" Buffy turned to face him. "You said you never saw her before."
"I didn't. See her. I met her when she was prancin' about in your body."
Buffy's brow furrowed. "How'd you know it wasn't me?"
"Word does get out, love. Anyway, it all made sense, in hindsight."
"What'd she say?"
"Well..." he hedged, sorry he'd brought it up. "That's not important, is it?"
"Since you put it that way, I'd say YES."
He sighed. "She came on to me."
Buffy's voice rose in anger. "She did what?"
"Nothing happened. The bint teased me mercilessly, then left me high and dry -- just when I was thinkin' you'd go for me, too."
"You must've hated that," she said sarcastically. "This really isn't helping..."
"Buffy, in the three minutes I got to know to her, I learned that Faith tortures people for fun, doesn't care about anyone but herself, and underneath her Badass bluff there's a miserable, confused mess just beggin' for intensive therapy." He topped it off with, "Not my type of girl."
"I thought that was just your type," she teased.
"Who are we talking about here?" he teased back, curling a lock of her hair around his fingertips.
Buffy searched his eyes in the dim light. "You really didn't like her?"
"Not one little bit."
"But you didn't like me either--"
"You I hated with a passion. That's different."
She smiled. "Promise?"
He nodded, and moved in to plant a feathery kiss on her lips. "Promise."
She remembered something she'd said when they were under a spell, something about fighting to cover up how they really felt. And now she felt... what, exactly?
"Spike," she whispered.
"Shhh." He captured her mouth with his. "Don't say any more."
She gave in. Make-up sex now, thinking later.
* * *
"Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, Buffy," he said her name with each blinding thrust.
Hazily, she noticed the sound of the headboard banging against her wall. "Spike..."
"Spike, the pillow..."
Without breaking his rhythm, he looked down at her and realized she was saying something relevant. "Wha'?"
"We forgot... the pillow..."
"Right. Pillow." He grabbed one from behind her head and stuffed it behind the headboard. He tested it to be sure the sound was muffled. "Better?"
"Better," she said, smiling up at him.
God, she looked beautiful when she smiled. Especially when he was the source of it. He loved the sight of her in exquisite agony, but he adored the sight of her grinning from ear to ear. She truly enjoyed sex. And he was the lucky bloke who got to enjoy it with her.
He watched a vein bulge in her neck, and bent down to catch it, to feel it pulse in his mouth.
As she felt his blunt teeth on her skin, something occurred to Buffy. She knew she had to try it.
Keeping him inside of her, she reversed their positions and went for his neck, biting hard enough to draw blood.
In shock, Spike flailed beneath her. Buffy was biting him? Buffy was biting HIM!
He grasped her bare hips and surged. "Fuckk -- Buff--"
His enthusiastic reaction was worth the unsavory taste of blood. It was worth anything.
Suddenly, he convulsed wildly and a bellowing roar pierced the air.
Buffy's head popped up. She covered his mouth, but it was too late. The damage had been done.
As she stared at him with an expression of pure fear, the consequences of his indiscretion hit him. Dawn. Shit.
They stayed completely still for several seconds. When she finally let go of his mouth she admonished, "Spike!"
He gave her his most innocent look. "What do you expect?! You BIT me!"
Buffy covered her own mouth, horrified. She'd bit him, and made him yell loud enough to wake the dead. So much about that was bad. And funny. She started to twitch with laughter, snorting through her fingers.
It was infectious. Spike began to laugh too. She toppled forward and giggled into the pillow beside him.
He felt her still wet, still throbbing walls quaking around him.
"C'mere, you," he said, and rolled them around. "I'm not finished with you yet."
"Oh, good," Buffy said with a silly grin.
He slid down her body.
"Very... very... good..."