“So now what?”
Spike leaned against the wall and pulled her between his spread legs.
“I think we should take advantage of this little bit of privacy to do some snogging,” he said, suiting actions to words.
In a very short amount of time, Buffy was climbing his body and wrapping her legs around his hips as he tried to brace himself against the wall without crushing her ankles. He groaned when she rubbed herself against him, mixing sweet nothings with muttering obscenities into her ear, as they both became increasingly frustrated. With another groan, he managed to push her away far enough for him to say, “What say we find a place to get comfy? Not trying to force anything on you, love, but I could do a much better job of getting you off if I wasn’t trying to remain upright to do it.”
Buffy exhaled deeply and nodded, keeping her face down in embarrassment. “I’m sorry,” whispered. “I guess trying to pretend that’s not going to happen every time we start kissing is wishful thinking, huh?”
“Not what I’m wishing for, but, yeah. Seems like we’ve got a bit of a problem.” He adjusted himself without appearing to be at all embarrassed and stood up straighter. “So, if you don’t want to find someplace less public and more comfortable, what do you want to do?”
“I think it’s pretty obvious what I want to do,” she muttered, still not looking at him directly. “But I guess what I should do is go tell Giles what we know.”
“All right, love,” he said. “And I’ll go hang out at Willy’s for a while and see if I can find any minions with brains I can pick before I kill them.” When Buffy nodded, still without looking at him, he sighed and touched her chin, tipping it up until she had to look at him. “You know we’re going to have to sort this out soon. I’ll wait for you as long as I have to, but really not interested in walking around with blue balls while I do it.”
“Do you think I’m teasing you? On purpose?” Buffy’s eyes were wide as she reviewed her actions and wondered if she was being unfair to him.
“Ah, no, sweetheart. Of course I don’t. But your body’s sending mine signals I just can’t ignore. There’s no way I’ve got the strength to push you away when you’re like that, and it seems like that’s where we find ourselves every time we start kissin’. I just think, until you know you’re ready for more, we need to keep some distance between us.”
“You started it!” she said, glaring at him.
“I did. And I’m sorry… not for what we were doing, which was brilliant. But I’m sorry I didn’t think ahead to what it might lead to. Won’t happen again. I promise.”
“You’re never going to kiss me again?” Buffy’s horrified expression made him smile.
“Don’t be daft. Take that look off your face. Someday I’ll kiss you until you can’t breathe; I’ll kiss you all over your body. But not until you tell me that’s what you want.”
“I thought you were going to teach me how to… without actually…. Didn’t you say we could do that?”
“Did. And I will if that’s what you want. That’s really all I meant by taking it someplace more comfortable just now, but—” He took a deep breath and blew it out before continuing. “—we’re not—I’m not a kid. And I love you. I’ll take whatever I can get while I can get it, but you have to understand that what I really want is to make love to you with my whole body. And when it feels like that’s what you want too, it’s a mite too hard to ignore it sometimes.”
Buffy wasn’t sure if she should be worried or flattered. She thought she knew what he meant by “make love with his whole body”. But then, she’d been sure what she and Angel had done was making love, and then it was over so quickly and she’d fallen asleep and he was gone when she awoke. Now she wasn’t sure if she really did know what Spike meant. Should losing her virginity to Angel have been more involved than it was?
She frowned at him and moved slightly away, settling for an uncertain, “I don’t see what loving me has to do with anything, but if it means it’s different—”
“Sorry, love, didn’t mean to scare you. We’ll work it out, yeah?”
He took her hand and, first checking around the corner of the crypt, he walked out into the more open area of the graveyard. They walked toward the gate, holding hands as if they were strolling around a park, stopping when they reached the sidewalk.
Very reluctantly, Buffy released their linked fingers and pointed to the left. “I’m going to go talk to Giles. But maybe you should come with me? We know who it is now, so—”
“There’s still a lot we don’t know, love. I might pick up all sorts of information at Willy’s.”
“But it could be dangerous—”
“I’ll be fine.” He smiled at her worried expression. “Got too much to look forward to, to get careless. I promise.” He stroked her cheek. “I’ll be at the house sleeping while you’re in school tomorrow.”
“Okay,” she said, leaning into his hand. “But be careful, okay?”
“Always am,” he said. Her only reply was a snort of disbelief as she turned away, leaving his laughter behind her.
When Buffy appeared at the door so soon after having left, Giles frowned and looked behind her for Spike.
“Was your meeting not successful?” he asked as he closed the door.
“It was, but Mr-I’m-a-master-vamp-and-I’m-not-afraid-of-anything wanted to go to Willy’s anyway.”
“I see. So, what did you learn?”
When Buffy had filled Giles in on who was the apparent demon planning to ascend, he said, “That explains a lot about Snyder’s antipathy toward you as well as his worrying so much about the graduation ceremony this early in the year.
“It isn’t going to be easy, having the man who runs Sunnydale aligned against us.” He sighed. “I’ll research him immediately, but you and Faith will need to be very careful from now on.”
“Speaking of Faith…” Buffy stared around for any sign that her sister slayer was still there.
Giles shook his head. “She was not interested in learning more about Spike… or Angelus. I did get her to believe that he is on our side, I hope, but she is never going to be very fond of him, I'm afraid.”
“Just as well,” Buffy growled. “If she tries to put her skanky hands on him….”
Giles rolled his eyes. “Let’s just hope for a lack of hostility on her part, if that’s all right with you?”
Buffy flushed and nodded. “Of course it is. I just hate not knowing how much to trust her.”
“Well, until such time as she does something to prove us wrong, I suggest we treat her as what she is. A slayer,” he added at Buffy’s expression. “She is a slayer by training and birth. We need to assume, no matter how unusual her attitude and upbringing, that she will want to remain on the side of good.”
Buffy frowned. “Have there ever been any slayers that didn’t? That went all evil?”
Giles looked down and cleared his throat. “It may have happened once or twice. It’s not common. Slayers are chosen for a reason by the Powers That Be, and they rarely make mistakes.”
Buffy cocked her head. “What happens to those ‘rare mistakes’? Do they get early Cruciamentums?”
Giles looked away from her as he muttered, “Something like that, I imagine.”
“You imagine, or you know?” She narrowed her eyes at him, but he refused to respond to her glare with an answer.
“I don’t believe it’s relevant. Faith has given us no reason to suspect her loyalties and certainly no reason to dwell on what she might do if they change.” He walked to the door and put his hand on the doorknob. “If that is all you have to report, I suggest you go home and get a good night’s sleep. We will meet again tomorrow night to discuss this information, as well as whatever Spike learns tonight.”
“Awesome. I have to spend the day tomorrow in the same building with the little weasel that is conspiring with a demon. And I’m supposed to ignore it?” She marched to the door and yanked it open. “If he wasn’t human, I could just slay him. It would be like a…a community service.”
“I somehow doubt that your new information about Principal Snyder has affected your relationship with him at all. And we do not want to tip our hand as to what we know this early in the year. We have a great deal of planning and preparation to do before the ceremony. In the meantime, you must act like a typical student.”
When Buffy just gaped at him, he coughed, adding, “In as much as that is possible for you, of course.”
“Of course,” she snorted as she went out the door.
Spike left Willy’s in the company of a vampire he’d discovered was one of the mayor’s top lieutenants. After some time bragging at each other about their respective ages and the evil they’d done, Trick had agreed to introduce Spike to his boss.
“If you’re telling the truth about killing two slayers, I’m sure he’ll be interested. We’ve got two of them here, and they need to go before the Ascension.”
“Haven’t been able to take them out yet?”
Tricky looked annoyed. “Should have had the one when I first got here with Kakistos. Thought he was going to kill her, but the little blonde bitch was with her and somehow they killed him. I wasn’t about to take on both of them by myself.”
“So you ran off?” Spike gave his voice a contemptuous edge.
“Did you miss the part where there were two of them? That blonde one is not going to be easy.”
“I don’t like easy,” Spike said with a shrug. “It’s not as much fun.”
As they rounded a corner, they almost ran into Faith walking out of an alley and shaking dust off her hands.
“Shit…” Spike said without explanation when Trick glanced at him.
“That’s one of the slayers. We should be able to take her together.”
“Ya think?” Spike snorted, his disdain clear. The other vampire bristled and rose to the bait.
“That’s the easy one,” Trick said. “If she’s alone, I might have a go at her by myself. Assuming you’ve got my back.”
“Sure. Knock yourself out,” Spike said, trying to signal Faith with his eyes that she shouldn’t let the other vampire know she recognized him.
“William the Bloody,” she snarled. “And with a major bad guy vamp. What a surprise.”
She fell into a fighting stance, stake in hand, but Spike could feel the fear coming off her. Still hoping she’d play along, he said, “She called me out by name. I think this one should be mine.”
“How does she know your name?” Trick looked back and forth between them. “Have you already fought her?”
Spike shrugged. “We had a little dust up when I first got to town. I was in a hurry and couldn’t finish it at the time, so I let her go after I had a little taste. Didn’t tell her my name, though. She prob’ly knows who I am from the other slayer and her watcher. If she described me, they’d know me from last time I was in Sunnyhell.”
“So you know the other slayer too?”
Spike silently cursed himself for not being more careful what he said.
“Fought her a couple of times, last year. Had her pinned the first time, but her mum hit me in the head with an axe and she got loose. The other times, we just got interrupted by something else. And after she let Angelus loose, she stopped worrying about me and concentrated on him. Killed him. Sent him right into the hell he was trying to bring about.”
“How do you know?”
“Was there, wasn’t I? Took my lady and left while she and my grandsire were fighting. Since she obviously won that fight, seems like leaving was the right decision.”
Trick was staring at him with suspicious eyes and Spike wondered how much the other vampire knew about the events of the previous year. Faith was listening to them, watching warily as she edged farther away from the alley and more out into the street where, even this late at night, there might be onlookers.
“Then why are you back?” Trick seemed to be more interested in his story just then, so Spike turned his body and tried to signal behind his back for Faith to run.
“Heard the message. Jus’ like everybody else. Big Ascension planned, all vamps and demons welcome to come share in the spoils. Dru and I are having one of our breaks, so I thought I’d come back and see if there might be a spot for me. And maybe get a shot at the Slayer again.” He grinned at Faith, showing his teeth at her. “Didn’t know I’d be gettin’ two for the price of one.”
He could see the instant Faith realized his stalling was giving her an opportunity to get away and she wavered, her uncertainty clear. Spike’s snarl as he moved in her direction seemed to make up her mind, and she whirled and ran toward the center of town. Although Spike had acted as if he was attacking, he managed to keep himself between Trick and Faith long enough for her to get to safety.
“Fuck!” he snarled. “Too much talking, not enough biting. Bitch is getting away.”
“We’ll get her again,” Trick said. “If they’re going out alone, we might be able to get both of them between the two of us.” He seemed to have accepted Spike at face value and assumed he was now a comrade.
“If we catch her alone again,” Spike said, staring in the direction Faith had run. “I think she was afraid of us.”
Trick nodded. “Yeah. I remember that from when I first got here. She was scared shitless of Kakistos, but she ended up dusting him anyway.”
“True. It’s really the other one we need to worry about. She’s not afraid and she’s one hell of a fighter. But you already know that, I guess.”
“I do. I do indeed. I’ve been looking forward to another match up since last year. I’ll let you have this one. The Summers bitch is mine.”
“You know her name?”
“Don't you? Haven’t you studied your enemies?” Spike stared at Trick as if he’d just confessed to drinking milk instead of blood.
“Uh… yeah, of course. I mean, the old man does. He knows all about Sunnydale. I just wait for him to tell me what to do and who to do it to.”
“Right….” Spike drawled. “Well, I’m going to head off. You can let your boss know William the Bloody is back and he’s ready to help.”
“You want to work for him?”
Spike snarled. “I’m nobody’s minion. I was the master here for a good bit of last year. He should remember that. I work with, not for.”
“I’m not sure he’s going to like that, but I’ll pass the message on. If you can rid him of the slayers, he might be okay with it.”
Spike shrugged. “He can be okay with it or not. Either way, I’m here for the Slayer.”
They parted company and Spike debated about trying to locate Faith’s home to make sure she knew he was saving her life, not threatening it, then shrugged it off. He set off for the mansion, a bottle of O Neg in his pocket, reminding himself to drink it and get rid of the evidence before Buffy got out of school that afternoon. He didn’t mind drinking pigs blood for sustenance, but his demon demanded some of the real thing from time to time, and he liked to keep it happy.
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