A Winiqua, slithering down a thin corridor. A fallen torch. A faraway chant. The crunch of bones as a Gansao's neck is broken. A golden disc skidding across a stone floor. The faceless woman, whispering, "The child is mine."
Buffy's eyes fluttered open. It took her a moment to orient herself: Spike's crypt. She sat up. Did she just have a dream? Something about a...
"Morning, sleepyhead." A styrofoam tray of breakfast food was plunked in her lap.
"Huh?" her voice cracked, hoarse from sleep. He got her breakfast? "How did you..."
"Turns out the local diner delivers to graveyards after all, long as you're breathing. Greased the groundskeeper's palm a minute before sunrise."
"The groundskeeper... there's a groundskeeper? And he knows you're here?"
"We have an understanding," he said. "He stays out of my way, I don't eat him."
"You can't eat him," she pointed out, opening the box.
"He doesn't know that." He nodded at the food. "Fresh out of the micro. If you don't want eggs--"
"I want, I want." She poked the eggs with the plastic fork. "Aw... Mexican omelette? You're so sweet and selfless."
Shoveling it into her mouth, she watched him carry an armful of empty jars and bottles and drop them into a cardboard box. "Whatcha doin'?"
"Fixing the place up. You gonna be staying here a while, I need to make it liveable."
She giggled at the irony. "You're the bestest demon boyfriend a girl could have."
"Don't you forget it." He smelled an old container of blood, wrinkled his nose, and threw it in the box. "Found a mattress last night, put it downstairs. I could move the linens there if you fancy more beauty sleep."
"Nah. I have to show my face at school at some point. Even if it is admittedly in dire need of beauty."
He squinted, closed the mini-fridge door, and moved to crouch down before her. "You don't have a clue how gorgeous you are, do you?"
"And you can say that with a straight face right now? I'm impressed."
"Buffy," he ran a hand through her tousled hair, "You are beautiful every hour of the day -- but especially in the morning."
"You've got to be kidding me."
"When you wake up, you're..." He got a faraway look in his eyes. "You're pure, you're raw. Nothing getting in the way of it, you're just... you. Perfection."
Mouth full of omelette, she asked, "Will you marry me?"
He laughed and rubbed her sheet-covered knee. "You know I will. Soon as I turn human and get a passport."
"Well, get a move-on," she said, working on her eggs again. "I can't wait around forever, ya know."
Eyes alight, he kissed her forehead and recommenced the cryptkeeping.
* * *
Buffy stepped out of Spike's poor excuse for a shower, shivering. "Can we maybe talk to that groundskeeper about using his facilities?" Turbaning a towel on her head and wrapping another around her body, she padded into the main room.
There, she was greeted with a heart-warming sight: the downstairs area, during the course of her shower, had been vastly improved -- an Oriental rug rolled out, a bureau dusted off and polished, the mattress and boxspring covered and dressed, an oil painting affixed to the wall -- all illuminated by the scores of candles that now dotted the room.
But mostly, it was him, passed out on the bed, mouth wide open, that made her melt.
Suppressing a giggle, she tiptoed up to him. "Guess even pretty vampires need their beauty sleep, huh?"
"Like berries," he breathed, eyes darting behind closed lids.
Buffy smiled. "Yeah, vampires and berries? Very similar." I should really get to school.
"Sweet. Like berries..."
She took an extra blanket from the floor and draped it over him. "You better be talkin' Buffy berries. You dream of Halle berries, and it's all over between us."
"And he's off the hook." She dried her hair.
"Lions in the forest..."
"Lions, huh?" She swept the towel over her body, one foot on the mattress. "Where'd all the berries go?"
"Down where?" This was way more fun than lecture hall. She spread her towel on a pillow and climbed in beside him.
Turning on his side to wrap his limbs around her, he gasped. "Not yours... My girl... Mine..."
"Yeah, I'm yours," she whispered, feathering kisses on his lips. "I'm all yours."
* * *
When Buffy slowly drifted back to conscious-land, Spike was holding her, watching her with a contented smile.
"Hey." She yawned, pulling an arm out from under him to stretch. Some of the candles had burned down. "What time is it?"
"Just past sunset."
She sighed. "You're screwing up my sleep schedule, you know. And my class schedule. Whatever scheduling I had is of the past."
"You needed rest," he said. "This is good for you."
"Yeah, but school missage. Again." Her eyes were inevitably drawn to his bare chest, down to the sheet that covered his lower half. Mm, naked Spike.
"No worries." He brushed an errant strand of hair out of her eyes. "I'll teach you everything you need to know."
"Oh yeah?" she asked, lifting her eyelashes while dragging her nails down his torso. "Like... what?"
"Don't tempt me," he warned with a smirk. "I'll ease down that road right now."
She gasped and swatted him. "One track mind much?"
"You were thinking of something else?"
"I wanna make you feel good," she insisted, peppering kisses on his neck. "I wanna know everything you like."
"Well, that'd be one of--"
She wrapped her hand around his cock and licked her way down his chest.
Spike groaned in approval... then heaved a sigh, miffed. "Bloody hell."
She lifted her head. "What?"
"Noise, outside." He grudgingly got up, and she followed.
* * *
"This is really starting to bug," Buffy said, stake in hand.
Spike agreed. "Oi! Show yourself! I got a world-class blowjob waitin' for me back at the crypt."
She turned to him, mouth agape. "That's 'everything you like'? That's all?"
"Well, yeah," he shrugged. "Thought you knew that."
"Oh." A beat. "Okay." She pushed him against the nearest tombstone and dropped to her knees.
"What are you--" Before he could finish that sentence, his pants were pried down to his ankles. "Christ, Buffy!" Looking around, he gasped as her ripe lips encircled his cock, and suddenly nothing else mattered. "Oh, fucking ...hell--"
"Mmm," she hummed as it lengthened in her mouth. She sucked him in, down to the base, letting it hit the back of her throat... hollowed her cheeks as she pulled back, lashing her tongue on the head while her fingers brushed against his scrotum.
He sucked in more air, blew it out, and grabbed a fistful of her hair. "Buff--! Yeh--!"
One hand grasping his ass, she went to town.
Buffy loved this part; hearing his awestruck groans and sputters, feeling his possessive tug on her hair...
Spike saw something flash by in his periphery, but he was beyond caring, too close to shooting his load. Long as whoever it was didn't get in the way of her warm, wet mouth and spiraling tongue -- oh yeah, just. like. ...THAT.
Buffy kept her head firmly in place, swallowing every drop.
At his last spasm, she shot up to kiss him hungrily and guide his hand into her pants. "Touch me, touch me."
He arched a brow as he parted her pussy lips. That wet just from sucking him off...
"Unh, Spike," she gulped in air as he ran his fingers over her swollen, slippery nub. "Yeah..."
"That's my girl," he whispered, rubbing harder, captivated by the hot pink blossoming on her cheeks.
She rode his hand, faster, faster, faster... "Unnh! Unh! Mmnn..."
When she sagged against him, shuddering with aftershock, he chuckled. "Better get you back inside, pet."
"Hnuh?" All she could feel was the pounding: in her chest, in her ears, between her legs.
"Think we're both easy targets right now."
* * *
After struggling with the last button of her favorite size 2 jeans for nearly a minute, Buffy exhaled, giving up. "Next stop: the fun and exciting world of maternity muumuus."
She picked through her bag and found a suede skirt that hung low on the waist. "Hello, last chance at fashion. Please don't let me down."
When it fastened without a hitch, she straightened her blouse and opened her makeup bag. Holding up a compact mirror to apply her mascara, she called out for him. "Honey?"
Slowly, the crypt door creaked open, Spike behind it, squinting suspiciously. "Did you just call me... 'honey'?"
I did. I just called Spike 'honey'. She smiled. "Well, you are my honey. Aren't you?"
Tossing his cigarette onto the grass and entering the crypt, he strolled up to her, arm sliding around her waist. "I'll be any sweet, sticky condiment you want me to be."
"Good." She touched his lips with her pinky knuckle and held the mascara wand at his eye. "I mean, I considered 'marmalade', but it's so cliché."
"Not to mention a tad emasculating." He pushed the mascara wand down with one hand while sliding another up her blouse.
"I've seen you wear eyeliner, Mr. Masculine."
"Eyeliner is punk. Lash-enhancement is drag."
"Stop that," she murmured, intercepting the course of his impish bra-unclasping fingers, "punk. Save it for when we get back."
* * *
The Bronze was packed; Willow and Tara had to push their way to the stage.
"They've never opened for anyone so big before," Willow said over her shoulder while waving at Oz, setting up his gear. He nodded distractedly. "See, he has to look cool and not get all goofy when he sees me onstage. Not that he's ever really goofy... I guess I wear the goof in the family."
"You're not a goof," Tara laughed. "You're totally cool."
"You think so?"
"Yeah! You're... Willow-cool."
"Hey, um, you want me to get us something to drink?"
"Oh, I'll come with," Willow linked her arm into Tara's, "I don't wanna lose you."
* * *
"Wait, don't tell me -- the 'bloody amazing blooming onion'?"
"That's right," he flashed a bad-boy smirk. "And a plate of chicken fingers for the lady."
"Comin' right up, Spikey." The gorgeous waitress hip-switched away, leaving Buffy dumbstruck.
He threw up his hands in a 'what can I do?' gesture.
"What was that all about?"
He shrugged. "We've talked once or twice."
"Talked? Talked how?"
"Like people do when they open their mouths and words come out." His lips spread into a grin, and he leaned in. "Are you jealous?"
"No." She folded her arms, petulant. "I'm just not used to giant slutbombs calling my boyfriend 'Spikey.' I don't even call you 'Spikey.'"
"You are jealous!" he teased, unendingly amused.
"Should I be jealous, 'Spikey'?"
He laughed, "No! Told you, we've only talked. She's... friendly. That's all."
"Right. And by 'friendly' you mean 'seconds away from giving you a sweaty lapdance'."
"I'm not interested in the bloody barmaid!" he laughed. "I'm only interested in you."
"Have you looked at her? All Angelina-injecto-lips and long, wavy hair and belly-chain and all 'Ooh, your accent is so sexy, wanna see my blooming onion?' And did you see the way she condescended? Like I'm the Sandy to her Cha-Cha!"
"The who to her what?"
"Grease. And stop laughing at me!"
"Buffy," he said, taking her hand. "Have you looked at you? I, for one, can't stop."
Rolling her eyes, Buffy cracked a reluctant smile.
"Guinness tap for you," announced the waitress, placing two glasses between them, "And a Diet 7-Up for the 'lady.'"
Scowl on, Buffy made eye contact for a silent 'step off'. When the girl walked away smirking, Buffy rose out of her seat. "That's it, I'm kicking her ass."
Spike hooked her arm and pulled her down into his lap. "Now, now, pet." He ran a hand up her thigh. "No need to get violent."
Feeling his arousal jut into her through two sets of clothing, she scoffed over her shoulder, "Don't tell me this is some big male fantasy of yours -- chicks going Springer over you?"
"Just you, caring enough to fight for me," he replied as he lightly caressed her hair, neck, collarbone. "All it takes. I'm easy like that."
"Well," she defended herself with a pout, "you're my baby daddy."
"That I am, sweet." His thumb grazed her nipple, back and forth. "Now, I recall you mentioning something about a lapdance..."
Skin tingling, eyes rolling back, Buffy realized she was already involuntarily rubbing against him. How did he do that? Just one heady whisper in her ear and she was as good as naked.
"Up for it, Slayer?" he murmured, voice husky. "Not like anybody'd be the wiser. Lights are low... band's about to start... I could just inch up your skirt, and--"
The Bronze's main attraction struck up, drowning the remainder of Spike's sentence in overamped guitars. People scurried out of the bar area to rush the stage. Normally, she'd be up there too -- it was a band Buffy liked and hadn't seen live before -- but she was too focused on his hands lifting her skirt, his lips against her ear, and the fact that when a big, national act like this starts its set, no one stays in the bathroom.
As ideas went, it was pretty rash, and not entirely unslutty -- but it was better than right here in front of everyone, or outside, where vampires might spoil the fun.
Should she do it? What if someone she knew was here? Oz's band was on the bill, but they usually left soon after a gig. Scanning the crowd, her eyes finally settled on the bitch-waitress, who quickly looked away. With a wicked smile, Buffy craned her neck to give him a command. "Follow me."
You walked in
Just like smoke
With a little come on, come on, come on
In your walk
Well, come on
He didn't ask, just took her hand.
I've been waitin'
Are you waitin?
For my move, well I'm makin' it
They lost contact in the crammed main area, and then he spotted her strolling backward down the restroom hallway.
He grinned, and went after her.
When he caught up, she pushed him into the empty ladies' room, shoved him into a stall and clasped her mouth roughly over his.
A set of tinny speakers filtered the live music into the room.
I'll be down on my knees
Screamin' take me, take me, take me, take me
"Fuck me," she whispered hotly, unzipping his jeans. "Now."
Spike wasn't about to disobey: he furrowed her skirt, boosted her up to get her legs around his waist, and... she wasn't wearing panties.
He gasped. She smiled.
I've never felt so out of control
You don't even know what you're doin' to me
Come on and do it to me
Eyes on his, Buffy gripped the tops of the stalls on either side of her and let gravity take over.
Come on, come on
Come on little rabbit
Show me where you got it
'Cuz I know you got a habit
* * *
"I feel kinda guilty," Willow yelled over the song, "that we were talking all through Oz's set and not, you know, vibin' on the music?"
"There's always the next show," Tara said, following her down the hallway.
The restroom door flew open in front of them, and two teens walked out, noses wrinkled. "How rude is that?" One turned to Tara. "I'd go to the men's room if I were you."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Tara frowned as the girls ran off tittering.
"Maybe somebody puked." Willow creaked open the door. It was near-empty -- only one stall was occupied and the floor was fairly clean. So far, no rudeness readily apparent.
Willow and Tara exchanged a shrug and chose their stalls.
But when she clicked the lock, Willow heard something over the music. Heavy breathing, followed by grunting.
The sound of lips smacking. The sound of... other things... smacking... yuck! The entire row of stalls shuddering and vibrating.
Okay then! She flushed the toilet and fixed her skirt, rushing out to the sinks. Tara came out too, eyes sliding toward the stall and back at Willow.
I know! Willow mouthed, washing her hands. Get a room!
"Tell me about it," Tara muttered, unhinging a paper towel.
The faster they got out of there, the better. Willow opened the restroom door, and--
She froze, eyes widening. Spike? In here with some random skank?
A gulping, gasping, hoarse, "Yeah!" answered her question. As did the orgasmic "Buffy!" pant she could hear over the thunderous applause.
"Buffy?" Tara repeated to Willow, her volume unchecked against the post-applause lull.
The sex noises stopped.
"Let's get out of here," Willow said, rolling her eyes.
"Wait -- Willow?" Buffy's voice.
After some rustling and zipping, the stall opened. A shamefaced Buffy walked out first, and cleared her throat. "Hi."
Willow scoffed. "'Hi'?"
"Yeah, we were um -- we were just--"
"Getting it on in a public bathroom?"
Buffy looked at her. "Leaving."
Spike stepped out, guardedly eying the pair of witches.
"Whatever," Willow said, sick to her stomach.
"Will--" Buffy stepped forward.
"No," she stepped back. "I don't... I can't." Her throat constricted. "It's like I don't even know you anymore."
"Will, I'm sorry I didn't tell you--"
"It's not just that, Buffy. It's--" She sighed. "I've gotta go. C'mon, Tara."
Spike stepped forward. "Hey!"
Buffy held a hand to his chest, staring after her friend. "Don't."
* * *
"Over here, then?"
"Huh?" Buffy glanced up from her textbook, distracted, the previous night's encounter with Willow fresh in her mind.
She was so haunted by those words -- It's like I don't even know you anymore -- and that look of utter disappointment... I should write a book, she thought. How to Lose Friends and Alienate Family.
"Patch of sunlight comes in right on this spot -- see? Be nice for him. I mean, provided he's not allergic like his pop."
"You want to..." She trailed off.
"You think it should be downstairs then?" He sniffed, thinking it through. "Yeah, you're prob'ly right."
She put her textbook down and stood up, finally realizing what all his yammering had been about. "Are you out of your mind?"
He looked at her, expression guileless. "What?"
"You want to put a bassinet in a crypt?"
"What's wrong with that?"
"How about everything?!" When he didn't respond, she elaborated, "It's dirty, it's dank, it's cold -- the floor is pure concrete..."
He frowned, affronted. "Don't hear you complaining when you're sprawled across it!"
"That's different! I'm not an infant! Sure, it's all well and good for kinky sex between two consenting superheroes, but can you even contemplate how dangerous a room like this would be for a baby?"
"I said I'd put wall-to-wall carpeting down, pad the sharp edges, and... Did you just call me a superhero?"
"Spike!" she yelled, arms akimbo. "I am not raising my child in a cemetery!"
"Your child?" he shouted, compliment forgotten. "Oh, so now it's just yours?"
"Well, I'm the only one here with half a brain!"
"Right, sure! First you don't even want it and now only you know what's best for--"
Their heads whipped toward the door, and back to each other.
When she moved to answer it, he pulled her back, shaking his head. The sun ruled out a vampire visitor, but other beasties didn't mind the daylight.
Knock, knock, knock.
Granted, they didn't usually knock first.
"I'm going," she whispered, and slowly opened the door.
The person she came face to face with was so unexpected and out of place that it took Buffy a moment to recognize her.