S p i k e / B u f f y . F a n f i c t i o n . b y .K J .D r a f t
STILL LIFE IN SUNNYDALE
When Buffy wakes up, she feels a wet, insistent tugging on her middle toe. Blinks a few times and tries to focus. Looks down her body and sees Spike holding one of her feet up to his mouth and nibbling on it.
"You've got the cutest little piggies," he murmurs, grazing her lightly with his teeth. "Can I bite one of 'em off? I just want one. You can even choose --"
He runs his tongue along the arch of her foot and up to a different toe. It tickles and she wriggles away, sitting up and tucking her feet under her butt.
"What time is it?" she wonders aloud, foggy and disoriented.
"Noon or abouts. You've been dead to the world."
He instantly regrets his choice of terms.
"Yeah, that's me," Buffy responds wryly.
She stretches, looking around, slowly remembering the events of the previous evening. My clothes are all upstairs. Sighs laboriously.
Reading her mind, Spike reaches under his pillow and produces her wrinkled jeans and panties. "Brought 'em down for you. Clem's here, didn't want things to be awkward."
She sits back down on the bed, facing away from him. Slips her clothes on.
Great, just like old times, like leaving Lowell house after a night with Riley. All the guys around, shooting thumbs up to him behind my back, thinking I don't notice the macho posturing.
Without turning, she reminds him, "I need a shirt."
He brings one of his black T's over. Scoots behind her, pulls it over her head, smoothing it down, then wraps his arms around her middle. "Looks good on you." He licks a thin trail up her neck, squeezing her tightly against him.
This is just too bizarre, Buffy thinks. Snuggling with Spike the morning after. And what I say next is going to be even more bizarre...
She angles her head to regard him. "Are we doing something tonight?"
He nuzzles her neck some more. "I want to go dancing."
She shifts, curling all the way around, and straddles his lap. Hitches forward suggestively. "We can dance right here."
"Bein' literal. You. Me. The Bronze."
She debates the pros and cons to his proposal in her mind.
"I don't think you could keep up with me."
"We'll do a slow song."
One dance won't kill me, I guess.
He can sense her defenses crumbling. Presses forward. "I'm going to come up to you, front of all your friends, and hold out my hand. And you're going to take it."
She feels herself nod, even as she's uncertain what exactly she's agreeing to.
Upstairs, Buffy sees Clem sprawled on the couch watching a movie, unaware of last night's violation of the furniture. She keeps her head down and bites her lip, trying to scurry past without commentary, but Clem sees her immediately and presents her with a gigantic smile.
He pushes his large snack bowl toward her. "Hi, Buffy! Want some Pirate's Booty? It's real healthy."
"Oh, no, thanks. Uh, see ya around."
He waves and she returns the gesture, albeit in a miniature version.
At the door, she turns back briefly, just in time to see Clem flash a thumbs up to Spike. Rolls her eyes. Men.
"Let's ask Anya," Willow suggests, waving her over.
Is that absolutely necessary? Xander wonders, pouting to himself. He'd arrived early, snagged the best table at The Bronze, the cozy one in the corner with the low seats, and this is how Willow and Tara thank him?
Anya saunters over, appearing more than a little suspicious.
"Why did you gesture to me?"
"Have you noticed anything off about Buffy lately?" Tara questions.
"Hmmm. Well, she told me she got her new job by holding a gun to someone's head. I assumed she was being facetious, though."
"Has she started smoking cigarettes? Loading up on the black eyeliner? Dancing skanky at the Bronze? Sleeping with me? No, no, no and no," Xander insists.
Willow, Anya and Tara stare blankly at him.
"What? It's the Faith Checklist of Evil. Don't tell me you've never employed it."
"Am I free to go?" Anya asks impertinently.
looks at her. Thinks of what he could say to make things right, make
her stay and talk, if just for a minute. If such words exist, however,
he's certain they're not in his vocabulary.
At the far side of the club, Spike makes his way through the crowd, distressed that Buffy hasn't shown yet. Bugger. The whole point to the evening was to show up with her on his arm, deflect the Scoobies' constant ridicule.
He locates the Slayer's pathetic little posse in the corner. Wonders how early they had to get here for those prime seats. Losers.
Xander zeroes in on him, headed their way. "Great. It's Daft Punk. And his walk has prance like qualities."
Spike sits next to Tara, who scoots in slightly, out of nervousness or courtesy, he's not sure which, maybe with her they're one and the same, to give him more room.
Xander bristles. "Did the words, 'Hey, Spike, pull up a chair!' just come out of my mouth? Why no, no, I don't believe they did --"
"Shut it. There's no where else to sit."
"You know who you're like?" Xander questions. "You're like Wile E. Coyote."
"Oh, wonderful, a cartoon metaphor from Drunk Boy. This should be illuminating."
"Yeah, you're coasting along in the air, you've fallen off the cliff already, but you don't know it. And as soon as you look down, it's all over. Save us the time and aggravation and look down already! Buffy doesn't want you!"
"I was thinking he's more like the skunk," Willow remarks.
"I'm sitting right here, thanks," Spike mutters.
"Who? Pepe Le Pew?" Xander clarifies, ignoring him.
"Right, right! The skunk who chases after the cat. And the cat hates him. And he never really gets her. Because, you know, they had to keep making cartoons."
"I thought those cartoons were cautionary tales," Tara offers. "Didn't they have some type of moral?"
"Yeah, 'wise up'! There's your moral." Xander smirks at Spike.
Tara and Willow glance at each other, decide to depart the adolescent passive-aggression in favor of a dance.
Spike immediately moves chairs so he's next to Xander. Speaks crisply, a hint of joviality. "You've known Buffy how long? Six years? And never once got to stick it to her?"
"Get. Away from me."
Spike chuckles but acquiesces, leaning back slightly, hands behind his head. Stretches his legs out. "Itching to, though. I can tell. Been bloody long enough, hasn't it? You've been patient, played the part, by her side, stalwart and true. Don't you think it's finally time to claim that land for your own? Ram your flag pole into her soft, tight -- "
"Shut up!" Xander's hand strikes out toward Spike's throat. Spike easily deflects, blocking and grabbing his arm, twisting it painfully behind Xander's back.
"Must drive you a bit nutty. 'Specially since I've had your demon girl."
He stands now, moves behind Xander, keeping his arm contorted. Whispers in his ear. "I could kill you without a thought. Only reason you're not dinner for maggots and earthworms is because of Buffy. Never forget that."
Then he's gone, moving off, a dastardly figment of Xander's self pity.
Xander watches him go, and starts breathing again, his heart slapping violently in his chest. Well, shit. Go ahead and kill me, asshole. Go ahead.
Buffy enters, and Xander witnesses something that makes him want to
Now that is rather strange, Anya acknowledges, observing Buffy in Spike's arms, swaying slowly to the band's seductive ballad.
"Odd sort of vengeance," Halfrek concedes. "Making her need him. But it's what he wanted."
"You did this," Anya realizes, turning to Halfrek with escalating horror.
Halfrek smiles and sips more of her daiquiri.
At first, there was only one rule: No killing anyone not sanctioned by Buffy. Of course, one became two, two became three, and suddenly Spike can't keep track of every item in her non-verbal, implicit tablet of commandments. Sometimes he lists them grudgingly to himself.
Never talk about the kill
He's allowed to create confusion for the police, though. Buffy encourages that. Sometimes he uses arson, other times creates a scene straight out of a burglary. Which is pretty accurate, actually, though he never mentions the items he steals. Their arrangement is near perfect, the days and nights a hungry, sex and blood filled blur, interrupted only by occasional squabbles:
How come I never get to kill females? Their necks are tastier.
Because women shoplift and men kill, Spike. Way of the world. I need you to take out violent scum, not bored malcontents.
They might have continued that way for some time, had he not insisted on buying her flowers.
Sitting in the living room with Dawn, it occurs to Spike that he's made a crippling mistake. Usually after a hit, he stops at his crypt for a drink or to clean up and make himself presentable for patrol or sex. But tonight he was on such a high that he skipped the grooming and headed straight to Revello Drive.
And now he has to deal with Dawn's skepticism.
"Since when are you guys all about the flowers?"
He runs a slightly shaking hand through his hair. "Since now, don't make a fuss."
"But don't you think she's acting different lately? And don't you think it's weird that Buffy dumped you, but now that you have the chip out, you're like, practically going steady?"
Without forethought, he snatches her tiny wrist.
She gasps, disconcerted. "You're hurting me!"
He twists. Mocks her with an accurate impression of her voice, " 'Dear Diary, today Spike was a big jerk. Why is he like that?' "
Vaguely ashamed, he releases her. Dawn rubs her wrist, resolute in her don't look at him stance.
"Sorry, Bite Size. I'm just a bit on edge." Pause. "You ever express your little theories to Buffy?"
Dawn rapidly shakes her head.
Spike continues, "Best she make up her own mind, innit?"
"Like she'd listen to me, anyway."
A car horn honks in the driveway. Dawn leaps to her feet. Yells up the stairs, "Bye, Buffy!" Doesn't express anything further to Spike before charging off, letting the front door slam in her wake. He sighs. Better do some damage control later for that one.
Buffy treads down the stairs and Spike stands at attention, holding the bouquet.
Buffy simply stares at him, hands pasted to her sides. My hit man has brought me flowers. This is a beautiful moment we're having here.
"I took care of that guy," Spike fills her in regally. Smiles wickedly. "His girl no longer needs a restraining order."
Buffy nods curtly. "Good."
Enough pleasantries. Spike thrusts the flowers toward her, trying to appear nonchalant, trying to appear as though he doesn't doubt what her response will be. And it seems to him, if she would just open her hand, all the secrets of the universe would come pouring out, freed like butterflies. Open your hand... please, open it, just this one time...
"I don't..." she falters, looking down.
He retreats slightly, bumping into the table, jerking his arm in protectively. Holds the roses now in front of his chest like a shield. "You don't what?" he interrogates.
"I just -- don't get the point of flowers."
He moves toward her again, beseeching. "There's no point to flowers, they're flowers, they -- "
"No, I know, but... They sit around for a couple days, you water them, if you remember, and then, it doesn't matter, because, because they die -- "
"I'm not asking you to keep the petals in one of those wax ledgers, it doesn't take any effort, I'm just giving them to you, so that you'll take them from me."
He realizes it's futile to convey the importance of his pitiful request. Revealing the ease with which she can convert his wretched courtship into something bearing airs of legitimacy will simply make her not want to do it.
"I don't get the point," she reiterates. Her voice is soft, plush, melancholy, and for the first time he wonders if maybe she doesn't intend to hurt him, if maybe it has nothing to do with him at all, that she truly doesn't get the bloody fucking point of --
"Fine." He marches into the kitchen. She follows, mentally preparing herself for the temper tantrum sure to occur any second. And five, four, three, two... He pries the lid off the garbage can with his hands, even though there's a foot lever, and crams the roses inside.
Lets the lid go. It snaps shut, pinning part of the bouquet, making an indentation on petals and stem. He doesn't set it straight. Turns to her.
That's when she sees the blood on his shirtsleeve. Her eyes crawl up, linger at the center, ingest every spot of it, dotting and streaking all over, and if he was a regular guy and she was a regular girl, it would just be red paint. She wishes briefly that it was red paint. Imagines the lives they'd proceed with from this point on if it was just red paint; he'd wash the shirt, no, she'd wash it for him, even, then she'd take the roses out of the garbage, smooth them gently, plop them into a vase and apologize, laugh a little...
Spike emulates her stare, remembering too late. Whoops. Shrugs, mildly apologetic. "He gave me a bit of a scuffle. And he was a spurter. Forgot."
He starts to take the shirt off. Her voice scrapes the air like a banshee's.
"You look like shit! How could you come inside my house like that? With Dawn there?! What were you thinking?"
"Dawn's the reason I got the bloody chip out!" He roars, then pauses, mashing his lips together tightly. Shakes it out. "No, of course she's not. You are." Always you, fucking hell.
He circles closer, dangerous. Accusatory. "You never gave me any reason to keep it in."
"What reason could I possibly give you, if you couldn't come up with one yourself? If you didn't have enough manufactured decency to understand one? We make our own choices, Spike, and you chose this, I'm just responding to it -- "
He continues as though she hasn't spoken, "If you had, even once, I would have kept myself caged, never killed anything human again! I did so much for you, I fought alongside you, for you, changed my nature --"
"But I never asked you to! Don't you get that?" she almost laughs in her astonishment. "We both know I never asked you for anything!"
"And you damn well never gave me anything, either, for my efforts --"
"It's not my responsibility! I'm not gonna waste all my time and energy making sure you stroll the straight and narrow, awarding you with gold stars and a pat on the head."
His voice drops as he calms down slightly. Loathing and an odd type of respect shade his words. "Yeah, well, I have to commend you for that one. You were always quite mindful never to say anything that could incriminate you later. God forbid. Once. Even once. 'Thank you, Spike.'" 'I love you, Spike,' he adds silently. She hears him, though. Loud and gauche and obvious.
"What do you want?" she questions, mirroring his fraudulent tranquility. "Do you want me to lie?"
"I want you to accept your part in molding me, but most of all, I want you to accept that this blood is entirely on your precious, dainty little hands. Make no mistake, we're in this together."
He's close enough to grab her now, and does so, forcing her hands onto his shirt, rubbing them roughly over the material, until red seeps onto her skin. She snatches her hands back, revolted. Knowing he's right. I came back wrong. I don't care what Tara says. I'm wrong, and sick, and evil and perverse... Oh God, help me... I'm worse than him, because he doesn't know better... he latches onto me for morality, which is insane, he shouldn't do that, especially because I can't, I can't give him any... oh, God...
He tramps toward the exit.
She crumples to the kitchen floor, wraps her arms around her knees, tries to wipe her hands off, leaving brown stains on the linoleum. They're just Popsicle stains, she thinks, It's summer. There would be Popsicle stains, that would make sense.
Because this can't possibly be her life.
Spike is unnerved by the image of her on the floor. Embarrassed for both of them. Distaste sinks into his mouth, disturbing him in ways he can't articulate.
He turns and squeezes his fingers around the doorknob, tighter than necessary. "I won't stay here for this abuse."
She's sincerely perplexed. "You're going?"
He keeps his back toward her, upright and stiff. "You've made it clear you don't like yourself when you're with me, don't like being confronted with what I do for you."
He's half way across the side yard when he hears her cry.
"I need you!"
The sound produces a chilled ball in the middle of his back, expanding in both directions of his spine. A few seconds later he hits the ground. She's tackled his legs, now crawls up his body. Props herself onto his chest by her elbows.
Says it again, rich and thick and forceful. "I need you --"
"Exactly." He shoves her away, teeming with more bitterness than he knew he had capacity for. Stands, leaving her to flounder alone on the ground. "Not love. Never love, is it?"
"People walk away from love all the time." Tears fill her eyes, overflowing down her face, endlessly reforming and spilling.
Spike knows, with every fiber of his dead blood and tissue, that she's referring to Angel. He wants to gnaw through his own mouth, shove a fistful of glass inside, crunch it down like a bag of crisps, cut his lips and tongue to shreds. And that's just for starters.
Buffy keeps talking, nearly heaving with sobs: "They don't walk away from need. This is how it is, this is better. Neither of us ever leaves." And she whispers it again, "I need you. I need you."
She brushes her face into his pants leg, making it absorb her tears. Runs her fingers up his thigh. Caresses the line of his zipper once before pulling it down. He's stricken mute and motionless, aroused despite the location and circumstance. She doesn't even unbutton the top, just slides her hand in, finds her prize and strokes him to full hardness. Closes her soft lips around the head of his dick.
"What are you doing?"
What does it look like, dipshit? "Making up."
"We're outside, anyone could -- "
"Don't tell me you're Mr. Modesty now?" Points. "You fucked me behind that tree a couple months ago!"
He turns to look.
She gets back to work. He arches his neck, bites back a fervent moan.
Pre-cognitive dread gradually encases him. He thinks of Dawn's comments... Xander's and Willow's. He'd not given them credence before now, but it should have been obvious, even to a complete fool.
The last month rewinds inside his mind, Buffy was always saying she "needed" this that or the other -- "I need you in the worst way" "I need a quick favor," "I need you to kill this guy" Rewinds to the moment at the bus stop with Anya, 'I wish Buffy needed me.'
And oh, it's hideous to think... My darling Buffy...
What have I done to her?
"Buffy, Buffy, stop," he pleads, threading his fingers into her hair, pulling her face gently off and back. Zips up.
She fixes him curiously with wide, clear eyes. "What's up?"
She's totally unaware. Have to get out of here. "I'm sorry Pet, I need to go, I'll be back later," he tells her, nauseous, his voice light, floating out of reach. He's not even certain it's his, or if those words come from his mouth. Isn't certain he stands on solid ground.
She frowns. Agitated. "Don't make me wait."
"I won't. Promise."
"Come to my window. Don't wake Dawn."
Buffy stands, somehow retaining her dignity through the ordeal, and heads back inside.
Spike makes it around the corner before he retches. Bends over and hacks up all the blood he ingested only thirty minutes before.
It splashes the pavement, like red paint from a swaying bucket.
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