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A Certain Amount of Connecting by Sigyn


    Buffy glared at Spike, annoyed. She’d broken her own vow – again – and come to beg for release at the hands (and lips, and other things) of the evil-blood-sucking-fiend, and now he was turning her away? “What do you mean, no?”

    “I mean no!” Spike said. He jumped up out of his bed and poured himself a drink. “You show up, you beat me around a bit, and then you run off. It’s getting bloody boring.”

    “You’re bored with me?”

    “Love... why do you think I’m in for this?” She knew the answer. She knew how he felt. She knew she didn’t feel the same way. He shook his head. “It’s always the same, pet. I’m sick of playing your slayer victim.”

    That pissed Buffy off. “I’ve played yours. Run and catch, break out the chains, gonna eat me up and make me your toy, right?”

    He swallowed his drink.“Okay. So let’s play something else.”

    So he wasn’t saying no. Just... he wanted something else. Buffy tilted her head back. They had played games before. Racing through the cemetery very very late, one or the other on the hunt. Down here in his lower chamber, smaller, more intimate games; the chained vampire, or the captured slayer. Play something else?

    “Love?” he asked at her sudden silence. “What do you say?”

    “Um. Like what?”

    “Well....” He shrugged. “Who do you know how to play?”

    Buffy thought about this.“Well... I used to be a cheerlea –  No.” She’d dressed up in the outfit for Riley, but she wasn’t going to go all the way back to her house to get it.


    “Well, I have some ideas, but you don’t have the right... well... stuff here. Like props or outfits....”

    Spike smiled wickedly. “I’ve got a few things. ‘Sides. I think we can use our imaginations.”


    Buffy Summers lay on her stomach on her bed, flipping through a Cosmo, chewing on a piece of bubble gum, her feet in the air. Just back from cheerleading practice, she was bored, kinda annoyed, and not looking forward to the evening. She had some idea what was coming, after all. Homework. She had other ideas.

    A nervous sounding voice sounded in the door of her bedroom. “Um... you... um... you’re Buffy?”

    “Like you didn’t know,” Buffy snapped. She looked up and glared at the mousy little guy who had been sent as her English tutor. “How’d you get in here?”

    “Your mum sent me up,” her tutor said. He was wearing a ridiculous looking brown suit, which made him seem somehow younger than she knew he was, and a pair of fussy looking glasses under tousled blond hair.

    “Right. Well. I don’t wanna do this.”

    The tutor looked lost, and straightened up. “Um...”

    “I mean this English thing,” she added, and his face cleared. “I should get points just for speaking it, right? What do I need to ace a test for?”

    Her tutor smiled. He was a cute little thing, she had to admit. Kinda short for a guy, but he had pretty blue eyes, and it wasn’t skin and bones under that prim button up shirt. “I understood you weren’t to be allowed to remain in the cheerleading squad unless your grades picked up.”

    Buffy sat up, surprised. “What’s the accent?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “The accent.” She hadn’t expected him to sound quite like that, and she let herself giggle. It sounded so cute.

    “I’m English,” he said, stone faced.

    “Yeah, but since when...?” His voice was pristine. Upper-class and... posh was the word. She giggled again. “How long you been in the states?”

    “Long enough to know how to correct your spelling,” he said primly. “William - ah... Cambridge.” He held out his hand.

    “Cambridge, huh?” Buffy reached up and took his hand, pulling him and his books down to the bed with her. She was not going to waste precious time. “That a family name?”

    “I don’t think it matters, Miss Summers.”

    Buffy giggled again.

    “Since when do you giggle?”

    “Since always. Cheerleaders always giggle, you gotta know that.” Buffy tossed her pigtails, and William bit his lip, looking her over. Well. She knew she was turning him on, that was for sure. “Well, look, the thing is, Mr. Cambridge–”

    “You can... call me William,” he said shyly.

    Buffy reached up and touched the side of his face. He had remarkably strong cheekbones, this English tutor. Really, really bright eyes... And since she’d never met him before (right) and she knew next to nothing about him, (nothing at all) she was allowed to just admire how very pretty he was. And he was. Very. All cobalt blue eyes and sharp high cheekbones and long sweet smelling throat and... Oh, yeah. This might be fun, after all. “Okay,” she said, her voice soft. “William.”

    He shuddered as her voice caressed the name.

    “Thing is...,” Buffy said, coquettish, “I don’t think I really need to study to ace this class. I think... there are other ways.” She let her hand travel down his arm, just slowly enough to be a little more than friendly.

    William tilted his head back, beginning to see where this was going. “Oh.”

    “Yeah,” Buffy said. She inched closer to him on the bed. “See, the thing is... William... I kinda hoped that my report... well... wouldn’t take very long to write. Like, if I had someone who really knew what they were talking about to... you know... do some preliminary work....”

    “Preliminary work, huh?” William asked.

    “Yeah. Preliminary work. Like... writing up a whole report for me or something. So I wouldn’t have to.”

    “You want your poncy English tutor to just do the work for you,” William said with his eyes narrowed.

    “Yeah. And I’d be very... very... grateful....” Buffy slid her hand inside William’s suit coat and found that his body really was very toned beneath that crisp cotton shirt. She wondered how much longer she’d have to play this game before she could be fucking him.

    “I don’t think I need to buy your gratitude,” William said. He pulled abruptly away and pushed his book between them. “And I truly don’t believe you need to sell it.” He pushed the glasses up his nose in a businesslike fashion. “Now. Let us get started, shall we? You have to write a report on Keats, was it?”

    “Yeah, yeah, I guess,” Buffy said, disappointed. “Not really into all this poetry stuff, though.” She was about to say she’d rather be doing something else, and then show him exactly what she meant, already.

    He had other ideas. “You’d be surprised,” William said softly. Before she could respond he leaned forward and put his finger on her lips. His hand was cool and smooth, and smelled like cigarettes and Jack Daniel’s and, to Buffy’s surprise, old books. These books had been his, and he really had been fondling them before he came in. “Darkling I listen;” he breathed. His voice had taken on a sultry tone that made Buffy’s heart start to race.“And, for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death.” His blue eyes bored into her. He was very close.“Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath.

    Buffy swallowed, though her jaw quivered. The words spoke to her in a way she hadn’t expected. Why these words, why this poem? And why...? She tried to pretend it wasn’t having an effect on her. Back to where she was supposed to be. English tutors. Dull geeks. The head cheerleader was the one everyone wanted to be with. She was the one supposedly in control, here. And she didn’t like poetry. Cheerleaders were supposed to be stupid, air-headed bimbos and not like poetry. She knew that. “Yeah. Boring,” she said, dismissive, but he wasn’t listening.

    “Now more than ever seems it rich to die,” he murmured. “To cease upon the midnight with no pain, While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad, In such an ecstasy.” His cold eyes would not release her.

    Buffy’s groin clenched. Damn that voice. “Where’d you learn that?” she asked.


    “You’re not reading,” she noted, glancing down at the book before him. It was only opened to the flyleaf.

    William smiled. “You’d be surprised the things you’d find in my head, Miss Summers.”

    “Yeah, I think I would,” she said. She reached forward and grabbed him by the back of the head, pulling his mouth to hers. She didn’t have any more patience for games.

    To her surprise, he pulled away. “Really not why I’m here,” he said.

    “Isn’t it?” she asked.

    “I’m here...,” he took in a deep breath and steeled his face, though his tell-tale erection told a different tale, “to teach you poetry.”

    “Well, you start teaching,” Buffy said, pushing the books off the bed, “and I’ll start learning.” She climbed up onto her knees and straddled him, pushing off his suit coat. He had a matching waistcoat beneath it, and she set about unbuttoning it.

    He didn’t push her off, though she could see him debating it.“This isn’t... precisely how... most tutoring sessions go,” William said, but she could feel him tensing under her.

    “Isn’t it?” Buffy asked. This was ridiculous. She had reached the bottom of the waistcoat now, and found his erection straining at his clothes. She caressed it wickedly and leaned forward to kiss him. She’d show him what he wanted.

    William did kiss her back, almost reluctantly. It was... shy. Buffy pulled away. “William Cambridge, are you playing hard to get?”

    “Not used to my students being so... forward,” he said earnestly.

    Buffy sat back a bit. “You’re really getting into this, aren’t you. The accent, the suit–”

    “Miss Summers,” he said, stopping her. He tilted his head forward, looking into her eyes. “Why are you here?”

    Buffy stopped. Why was she here? Where was here? A clean white bedroom, a peppy cheerleading squad, an innocent English tutor, a forbidden tryst, a quiet life with a exciting sting of forbidden lust... not darkness. Not death. Not hatred or loneliness. Just Buffy Summers, head cheerleader, trying to improve her grades.

    “You see,” he continued, his voice very precise and careful, “Most of my students aren’t so eager to learn... poetry.”

    Buffy shrugged. “Yeah, well.” She reached forward and started to loosen his bow tie. “I suppose I kind of am.”

    “And if I’m not?”

    Buffy stopped. “Is William Cambridge inexperienced in the ways of the world?” she asked in a poor mock of his accent.

    “And if he is?”

    Buffy slowed down. “Then I think the head cheerleader is going to have to teach him a few things, herself.” She slowly and sensuously pulled his bow tie from his throat, and bent in to whisper in his ear. “But he still has to play the tutor, now, doesn’t he.”

    William smiled, and let his hand slide up her throat. His cool fingers caressed her hot flesh. “Still wouldst thou sing,” he said softly, “and I have ears in vain—To thy high requiem become a sod.

    “Which poem is this?” Buffy asked, unbuttoning his shirt.

    “Ode to a Nightingale.”

    Buffy sat back, still on his lap. With all the innocence of her youth she asked, “What’s a nightingale sound like?”

    William regarded her. “Like heaven took a little piece of the day and gave it to the night time,” he said. It still sounded like he was reciting a poem, his voice smooth like that. “Nightingales don’t twitter, love. They sing. They hum like woodwinds, and warble, and call. It seems impossible that all those songs can come out of a single bird.” He smiled, touching her face. His touch made her heart flutter. It was so gentle... so tender. It had been a long time since Buffy had felt... let herself feel... anything like that.... “But they do,” he said. “Dozens of different voices, all from the same small throat. Like a little piece of magic.” He let his thumb caress her heated lips. “And it was all gifted to the night, when all the humans are sleeping. The nightingale sings the music of shadows. And of moonlight. And of death....” He leaned forward and almost kissed her. “That’s what the poem’s about,” he whispered into her mouth. His breath smelled sweet and dangerous. “Almost crying out for death.”

    “Odd choice for an innocent English tutor to throw around,” Buffy said.

    “You’d be surprised, the darkness that can hide inside innocent men,” he said. He leaned back and let his eyes travel down her seductive form. “Not everyone can rely on the light. Death calls to us all.”

    “Don’t I know it.”

    William smiled. “What would a perky California cheerleader know of darkness and death?” he asked.

    Buffy shrugged. “Maybe I know other things.” She reached down and pulled up her sweater. She wore no bra beneath it. William drew in a breath at the sight of her pert, pink nipples. “Things I can teach my tutor.” She had managed to unbutton his shirt, and she slid it off his shoulders, revealing a pale and muscular chest.

    “Don’t you think your mum might hear us?” he whispered with a slight smile. “I could lose my job, love. We’d better stay quiet.”

    Buffy couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh, don’t you know anything, William?” She writhed atop him, making her breasts dance. “Cheerleaders cheer.”

    He gasped, and his hands went round her waist, firmly caressing the flesh.“Perhaps we shouldn’t do this, Miss Summers,” he said, though his tone belied his words. His sharp nails scratched little lines along her skin.

    “Oh, yeah. It’s really naughty.”

    His eyes closed, and he made a sound deep in the back of his throat. Buffy sank down over his erection, letting the bulge of it press at her through her underwear, under her short little skirt. She kissed him, tasting his cool lips, dancing and writhing atop him, and he groaned. He kissed her back, his hands caressing her smooth, warm flesh, and they both squirmed and thrust against each other, straining through clothes they were suddenly annoyed were still there. Buffy pushed him back onto the bed, her hands all over his torso, and William moaned. “Good god, you’re a hungry little thing, aren’t you.”

    “Starved,” Buffy said, running her nails down his chest. She found his trousers and unbuttoned them, hurriedly.

    William turned and pushed her down on the bed. “What could an innocent cheerleader be so hungry for, eh?” he asked. “There’s nothing you need. There’s no pain, no fear, no responsibilities. There’s nothing you need to do, no one you need to protect.” He kissed her gently. “No darkness. No grief.  Just how to move your body, and who wins the game.”

    “That’s what I’m doing,” Buffy said. She dragged his head back for a kiss and almost devoured him. “Winning the game.”

    He moaned, and finally reached up and held her arms down. He pulled his head back.  “I’m not doing this, Miss Summers,” he said. He stared into her eyes with a mischief she couldn’t miss. “It’s wrong.

    Buffy blinked. “Wrong?”

    “Very wrong,” he said, though his baited breath seemed to be saying the opposite. “So very, very wrong.” He lifted himself off her and lay back on the bed. “I’m here to teach you poetry, not corrupt a young lady’s virtue.”

    Buffy was losing patience with this. She wanted that hot body, she wanted it now, and she was sick of him playing coy. It was damn clear he wanted her, no matter how virtuous he was pretending to be. “Fine then, you teach poetry, and I won’t be any more corrupt than I already am,” she insisted. She flipped over and started dragging down his trousers. His cock was uncut, and large enough to please her, and she wanted it inside her.  “You don’t have to do a thing.”


    “Poetry,” Buffy demanded. “Tutoring me was your dumb idea.”

    William laughed. “Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird,” he whispered. Buffy found herself making a low sound at that, and he stopped. “Shall I continue?”

    “Yes,” she said. She pulled aside her panties and straddled him, no seductive preamble. He was hard and smooth and he filled the empty places inside her. She jammed her already wet pussy over him and started to ride him.

    “You are wanton little bint, aren’t you,” he groaned.

    “What happened to your accent?”

    “It got distracted,” William said. “I didn’t take this job for this, you know.”

    “Oh, didn’t you? Where’s the damn tutoring session. Poetry, or shut the fuck up.”

    William laughed and rolled over, pinning her down. “You want to hear the rest of the poem, Miss Summers?” He thrust inside her hard. “How’s this, then?” He carefully measured his thrusts along with the lines. “Fade... far away..., dissolve, and quite forget... What thou among the leaves... hast never known....” Buffy gasped beneath him, her legs spread wide, her cunt slick and hungry, as it had been since before he’d even walked into the damn room in that ridiculous suit.... “The weariness..., the fever,” he twisted his hips, and Buffy cried out as his cock caressed against her. “...and the fret... Here..., where men sit... and hear each other groan.” He said the last word in a groan himself. His deep, sexy voice was like an extra hand, caressing inside her, making her chest hum and her breath catch.

    “God, I hate this,” Buffy said, meaning the opposite.

    “Do you, pet?” William said. “Bad slutty cheerleader seducing her tutor?” He sped up his thrusts, and she wrapped her legs around him, pulling him close. She grabbed him, scratching down his back hard, and he grunted with the pain of it. “Maybe he’s not so innocent, under that posh veneer.” He sat up and grabbed her hips, up on his knees, thrusting against her with force.

    “Are you saying... you’re no saint?”

    “Worst kind of tutor, baby. Use his position to take advantage of the innocent teenage vixen.”

    “He doesn’t sound so posh anymore.”

    “Camouflage,” he said. “Best way to get invited in.”

    Invited. Buffy opened her eyes and looked up at him. “How evil is he?” she asked.

    Yellow suddenly flashed through his beautiful blue eyes, and dark fangs sprouted in his mouth. “Incarnate,” he said darkly.

    Buffy stared up at the vampire as he thrust in her wildly.

    “That’s right, baby. You should scream.”

    She could see it. Screams, blows, wrestling, victim, beast. That was nothing new.

    She’d been enjoying the poem.

    Buffy gazed up at the vampire with clear green eyes, and she bit her lip. Buffy Summers, head cheerleader, did not scream. “Where’s my poetry, Mr. Cambridge?” she asked. “I won’t pass the test if you don’t teach me.”

    William Cambridge paused, slowly smiled, and his eyes slipped back to blue. Buffy sat up, turning him over, and pressed him down onto the bed, covering him with kisses. “I never knew poetry could be so exciting,” she said. She slid up and down over him, riding atop him. “This is so naughty of us. I hope my mom doesn’t catch us.”

    “I’ll lose my job for sure,” William murmured.

    Buffy was very close now, and William knew it. He slid his hand between her legs, sliding beneath her trimmed hair into the cleft that hid her clit. He moved his fingers, working her deftly, and she was almost there... “Worth it?” she asked, striving toward climax.

    “Every second.”

    Buffy cried out as the climax struck her, and William twisted beneath her. “Oh, thank god,” he muttered, and then groaned. How long he’d been holding back, Buffy had no idea. She fell down atop him, her hot body caressing his. He put his arms around her and kissed her temple.

    “How does that poem end?” she asked.

    “Was it a vision, or a waking dream?” William whispered heady in her ear. “Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?”


What You Want

    “That was... different.”

    “Kinda the point.”

    Buffy looked down at Spike. “Now what?”

    Spike smiled. “Now who do you want to be?”

    Buffy held his arms down. “I think the question is, who do I want you to be.”

    “Whatever you need, Summers, you know that.”

    “I don’t want what I need,” Buffy almost snarled. “I want what I want.”

    Spike shrugged. “Then I’ll be that.”


    Queen Fi of the Poorly-Researched-Caliphate lay back on her luxurious bed of silk and gazed at her handsome eunuch. Because she was the sultan’s wife, she was not permitted access to complete men apart from her husband (whose name she couldn’t remember just now.) But because she was one of a harem of nearly a hundred wives, she hadn’t seen her husband much since the marriage, and she was getting just a little bit sick of going to bed alone. It seemed to be her lot in life – unsatisfactory relationships. This one... there was no question. He had no choice whatsoever but to do everything she wanted.

    “You,” she said to her eunuch. “Come here.”

    He was a slave, of course, this eunuch. He was not permitted clothing beyond a loincloth, because that was his uniform, so all could be certain he was not keeping any kind of weapon on his person. His chest was finely chiseled and his arms were firmly muscled and his legs – particularly his thighs – looked strong enough to lift houses. And he was all neatly bound up, and all hers. Every inch of him. She eyed him hungrily as he clinked his way over, his legs and arms in chains.

    “Why are you in chains?” she asked, her voice languid and sultry.

    “Because you put them on me, your majesty.”

    “And why did I do that?”

    “Because I tried to escape last week, your majesty.”

    “And why did you do that?”

    “Because I thought your husband was going to kill me, your majesty.”

    Oh. “And why was that?”

    “Because King Cardboard spends too much time getting his jollies from his questionable concubines,” the eunuch said, “instead of bowing at the feet of his magnificent sultana. And I went and told him as much.”

    Queen Fi sat up, her sumptuous jewels glittering around her nubile body. “You leave King Cardboard out of this.”

    “I intend to.”

    Queen Fi lay back again. “Come here, eunuch.”

    He looked up. “Excuse me?”

    “You heard me,” Fi said with a mischievous grin.

    “You said I was a slave.”

    “Ya-huh,” Buffy said. “And you’re neutered. Come here.”

    The eunuch glared at the ceiling for a long moment with an annoyed look on his face. “You’d better be bloody worth all this, your majesty,” he growled. “It was kinda hot getting these on, but–”

    “Rub me down, eunuch,” Queen Fi said. She reached for the side of the bed and pulled out the cut crystal vial of oil. “I want your hands all over me.”

    “Oh, is that what this is.”

    “Hey! Where’s my title, slave?”

    “Your majesty,” he said, sounding bored.

    “Yes,” Fi said. “That’s what this is. You’re going to rub me down, and give me what I want, and you’re not... capable... of taking anything for yourself.”

    The eunuch examined her. “Sick of selfish wankers, are you?”

    “None of your business. You just get to tend me, damn you, and shut up.”

    The slave’s eyes traveled down her form, dressed in golden chains and glittering rings, with a little scrap of a sheet – ah, toga – her only covering. “In a moment,” he said. His chains clinking, he pulled a brush from the bedside – ah... chest. The candles flickered, and he bowed his head meekly. “I shall tend you, your majesty. Allow me?”

    Queen Fi regarded the brush in his hand. Her hair was shorter than it used to be... it was still long enough to brush. It would probably feel good.... She sat up. “All right.”

    The eunuch climbed up beside her on the bed, and she turned her back on him, tossing her head so fast her hair hit him in the face. Her rich golden mane shimmered in the candlelight. Hampered by the fact that his chains only allowed him a foot or so of play between his hands, he reached up and ran the brush through her golden hair. Over and over again he passed it through her sweet tresses, until the hair was smooth and shiny as silk.

    “Oh, god. The scent of your hair,” he murmured in her ear, and was rewarded with a responsive shiver. “Your majesty,” he added slyly. “Drives me positively mad. I may have to be a very... disobedient slave.”     

    Queen Fi turned and slapped him. “You dare!”

    Her eunuch grabbed her and yanked her back against his chest. “I’m. Tending. You,” he growled. “Let me.”

    Queen Fi shuddered at his strength, but he didn’t do anything else. He released one shoulder, having abandoned the brush, and ran his fingers through her hair. His nails lightly massaged the scalp, and it made her gasp. Eventually she relaxed, and his other hand released her. “There,” he breathed. “I’m only your servant, your majesty. You know that. But a cat may look at a king.”

    “You’re not a cat,” she said.

    “We could pretend I am,” he purred. “But a servant can think what he likes about his mistress.”

    “I’m not your mistress.”

    “You know you are.” He chuckled. “Oh... my queen....” He kissed the side of her neck, just under her hairline. “Your hair is so luxurious, your majesty. Your body... like fine art.” He let his nose travel down around her ear, his breath tickle at her neck. “You’re worth so much more than that pissant fool of a king. He must have been blind to want any other creature to touch him.... Why couldn’t he see.”

    “I don’t want to talk about him,” Queen Fi said.

    “To bow at your slightest whim,” he whispered. “To be your willing slave for the merest crumb. Any man should be kneeling in gratitude for even that much. What more could he possibly have wanted, but the grace of your mere gaze?”

    “That’s enough.”

    “It would never be enough,” the eunuch said. He slipped his hands down the back of her neck, pressing with his fingers at her shoulder muscles, his chains resting on her back. “But it would be worth every second....” He pushed his body against her, and she made a small noise, but –

    “No,” she said slowly. “You get nothing.”

    He chuckled. “We’ll see about that,” the eunuch whispered. He finally took up the oil jar and poured some on his hands. He slid them down her neck and shoulders, sliding her toga down lower on her back. Her smooth skin became slippery beneath his hands, and her breathing quickened. With a clank of his chains he pushed her down roughly on her face. She almost sat back up with an indignant squawk, but his hands were on her then, holding her down, and then sliding up and down her back with smooth and even movements, working in the oil. She moaned instead, relaxing into the covers.

    He was strong. So much stronger than her stupid ex – sovereign. Her king, who claimed he loved her, and then... yes. Ran off with his skanky concubines, and said it was because she didn’t love him enough. It didn’t matter if she loved this slave. He had no rights, could not demand her perfect love. He was here for her, he belonged to her, and there was nothing she couldn’t do to him. He had no right to complain. No one to complain to. And he couldn’t run away. She was his queen, and he was just her prisoner.

    She didn’t have to be perfect.

    The strength of his powerful fingers manipulating her muscles made a warmth build inside her core. There he was, moving over her smooth skin, massaging her just at the edge between pain and pleasure, touching every single part of her back and shoulders. He slipped along her arm, massaging her bicep, working oil into her elbow, down her forearm, working out the sore tendons in her callused hands. (No. Soft hands. Queens don’t do dishes or flip burgers or wield stakes. Their hands are soft.) It felt good. Queen Fi moaned and melted into the bed. He climbed over her and massaged down her other arm. His chains clanked with every movement. Tink, clink. Tink, tink, clink. The touch of the chains brushing against her skin was cold and... and bad, he was so bad. She was worth more than some captured slave, she knew that. It was wrong to let him touch her. God, she didn’t want him to stop.

    He returned to her shoulders, her neck, and then traveled down her spine. He pushed against her toga, sliding it down and unwrapping it, revealing her bare buttocks. He slid his oiled fingers down over her glutes, digging in his fingers, working through the muscles, loosening all the knots. Her skin shone in the candlelight. “Look at you,” he whispered to her. “Glowing...” She knew how wrong this was. She never let him just... worship her like this. But – but he was her slave. She could make him massage her if she wanted.

    She wanted. She moaned as he slid his strong fingers between her legs, but he was only rubbing her thighs. First one, then the other, working out all the kinks and aches and sores that came from... ruling all day. He slid down one leg and rubbed all up and down her calf, adding a little more oil when his hands began to catch. She could feel his strong body against her leg, and found herself almost wishing he wasn’t really a eunuch.

    No. Better that way. He didn’t deserve pleasure. Even as he switched to her other leg and worked all the tension out of it, as if he cared – no. No, he was just a worthless eunuch....

    Who was sliding his strong hands along both legs again, and back up to her buttocks. Somehow managing to pull her legs apart as he did...

    With fresh oil on his hands he started sliding along her glutes, then slipped down along her ass. His finger slippery with oil he tickled at her anus. The little rosebud clenched, and twitched, and Buffy bit her lip. “Eunuch, am I?” he whispered. “I can still penetrate you, love.”

    “Oh....” Queen Fi felt her mouth open as her anus slowly relaxed. Without consciously deciding on it, she lifted her hips, bending her knees till she lay spread and angled up, as her eunuch gently worked in and out of her, caressing her inside, smooth and even, claiming her with his fingers. Her cunt slowly moistened until it seemed about to drip sweet juices onto the bed. “More,” she whispered.

    “What was that?” her eunuch murmured.


    “Say again?”

    “More!” she demanded, and he chuckled. He slid his fingers out of her turned her over manually.

    “Did you say you wanted more, your majesty?” he asked. “From me?”

    “Yes, damn you,” she snapped.

    Her eunuch smiled. He had such keen teeth... Queen Fi sat up and seized him, planting her lips against his in a fiery kiss. He tasted like sweet liquor with a hint of blood behind it. He nipped at her lips, and then pulled away, shoving her bodily onto the bed. “As you wish, your majesty,” he purred, and he dove between her legs.

    At the first touch of his tongue to her clit, Queen Fi cried out to the ceiling, no doubt alerting the whole harem to her seduction of this poor enslaved eunuch. He licked her, lapping at the swollen nub, laving it with his whole tongue. She moaned and spread her legs wide, pressing herself against him, as hungry for his touch as he seemed hungry for her.

    He brought her close... close... and then moved, lowering his tongue to lap at her core, sliding it inside her and licking, circling, seeming to devour her, then back up to her clit, over and over again. She lost count of how many times, her heart racing wildly. She cursed him, her hands laced through his hair, striving against him. Finally he had mercy upon her and sucked at her, drawing her tender bud into his mouth, and then grinding his tongue against her. Her hips bucked in desperation as she forced the sensation deeper and deeper. He slipped his thumb into her cunt, and his still oiled fingers back into her anus. Heat built between her legs, slowly glowing pleasure, and she tilted her head back, waiting for it... waiting.... There! She came, her inner muscles clenching around his hand, screaming until the chamber echoed.

    No doubt her husband would hear of this and kill the damn eunuch. Served him right.

    Queen Fi lay back panting, only to feel her almost naked eunuch climbing over her, his strong, hard body arching against hers as she lay, beaded with sweat, heart racing with spent lust. He kissed her, barely touching her hot lips with his cool ones. “Not capable, am I?” he whispered into her mouth. “Clipped, bound, impotent.” He kissed her over and over, as if tasting her, each tiny touch not quite enough. “You sure about that?”

    “Yes,” she whispered.

    “Can’t fight... can’t bite... can’t take my pleasure...” He kissed her further, holding her arms down. Touch, touch, touch, and his whole body pressed down along her, the weight of it heavy and sweet above. “You sure?”


    “That’s how you want it?” he asked. “Some... tripped up little housebroken puppy?” He expanded his kisses, each of them still tiny touches, but they traveled over her face, along her cheeks, caressing her cheekbones, her eyelids, her brow, down along her jawline, her chin, back to her lips. Her skin tingled and her breathing came hard. “You sure?”


    He kissed down to her throat, and started nibbling on it, sharp, wicked little teeth like rats biting at her, while his soft smooth lips made her skin hum with life. She made small, whimpering, humming noises, quite unable to control herself. The feel of his strength above her made her writhe, still hungry for more. Her legs spread, she lifted her hips to rub against his... loincloth. She wanted more. She needed more. His body felt cool and she welcomed it, reaching for it.

    He shifted, and suddenly the chain was against her throat. A little too tight to be entirely comfortable, but not dangerous. “You think I can’t hurt you?” he asked, his tone dark. “Incapable, am I?”

    Buffy was breathing hard, but, “Ya-huh,” she insisted

    “Neutered, am I?”


    He ground his hips against her, no doubt saturating his loincloth with her juices. “You feel that, princess? You want it, don’t you. All of it. The strength and the power and the things you’d never admit to. You want me, princess, all of me. Admit it.”

    “Queen,” Fi insisted. “I am your queen.”

    The eunuch chuckled. “That you are,” he murmured. He lifted the chain from off her throat and slipped it over her head, so that he was holding her, bound to her, chained to her. “Your majesty. My queen. My keeper. My only, my goddess. I am your slave. Your willing servant, your lackey, your thrall. I want to bow before you and lay my kill at your feet.” It was a little violent for a cowed and coward slave, but, oh, what the hell, he came from warrior stock in the North. That made sense. “But you don’t want a puppy. You want the bad dog at your heel, and you know it, don’t you. You want me as potent and dangerous and deadly as your... royal guard.” He kissed her, biting her with strong, brutal little teeth. “Your eunuch’s got a secret, my queen.” He ground it against her. “And you know you want it.”

    Oh, fuck, god damn him for being right. “How did that happen?” Queen Fi asked, straining up against him. “No men allowed in a harem. So you tell me – why aren’t you neutered.”

    “Well, I’ve been keeping it just for you, my queen,” he whispered. “Had myself smuggled in here, to be your personal body slave. Wrapped up in a carpet like Ali Baba.”

    “Ali Baba?”

    “One of the Arabian Nights anyway,” the eunuch said. “Someone was carried in wrapped in a carpet. I can’t really remember which story just now.”

    “I thought you knew literature.”

    “That was someone else, love.”

    “Right. And you’re just my eunuch.”

    Her eunuch growled, and ground himself against her. “I thought we just established that that was not the case.”

    “Maybe not,” Queen Fi murmured.

    “Say it!” he growled. “Say I’m complete, say I’m a whole man, dammit!”

    “You...” Queen Fi wanted to say he was nothing, but she couldn’t. It simply wasn’t true, no matter how much she wished it. “You’re everything,” she breathed.

    “Damn straight, sister.”

    “But you’re mine,” she heard herself begging. “Right?”

    His face softened. “Oh, yeah, baby. I’m all yours.”

    “All mine?” Queen Fi asked. She desperately wanted to hear him say it, suddenly. “All of you?”

    Her slave kissed her tenderly. “Every drop of blood in my body is yours,” he whispered. “Every breath that passes my lips I take for you. Every move I make is in honor of you. Every glance is full of love for you. You are my goddess, my queen, my heart, my everything.” He kissed her again. “I give my all to you. Your devoted slave.”

    “Unh!” Queen Fi was drowning in his ice blue eyes, lost in his voice, burning beneath his touch. She wanted him inside her. She reached for his loincloth and unwrapped it, running her hands over his ass as it was revealed. Her slave yanked her upright as he shifted, revealing a full length and soft balls which did not, in any way, mark him as a eunuch. His chains were taut across her back, and she couldn’t escape unless he let her, now that she thought about it. He was chained, but she was bound within his arms...

    It didn’t matter. He had slid down, and his cock found her, and oh, but he was hard. He filled her, and he yanked her hard against him, bucking and grinding into her. “That’s it, my pet,” he was whispering. “Come for me again. Come, my queen. I’m all yours. Completely yours.”

    If she came, it was hard to tell, specifically. Her whole body was afire, her heart sending blood through her so powerfully she felt she was about to burn within the circle of his arms. She cried out, and he roared his own release, and he reached down and bit her throat hard enough to bruise. But whatever happened to her, she was left feeling warm and sated and tingling all over, barely able to move.

    He did not release her flesh for a long time, holding it with his blunt teeth as if he were contemplating biting a chunk off. After a while Queen Fi felt it necessary to shift her neck – the pain was starting to numb, and that could be dangerous. The slave – not a eunuch at all – sighed and released his jaws. He gazed down at her with a soft look in his eyes. She blinked, flushed, lips red, eyes shadowed with pleasure, golden and glowing and soft beneath him. “There, my queen,” he whispered softly. “I trust... that was what you wanted.”



Be Buffy

    “Was it what you wanted?” Buffy asked.

    “What’s that matter?”

    “Spike,” she said, breaking character completely. “Do you actually want to be my slave?”

    Spike sat back and looked down at her. “Sometimes. Sometimes I want to be your slave, sometimes your master. Sometimes your enemy, sometimes....” He sighed and looked away. “It doesn’t matter,” he said.

    Buffy sat up. “What do you want?”

    “Buffy... you know what I want....”



    “Spike-obsessed Buffy-bot.”

    All good humor dropped out of Spike’s face. “Don’t.”

    “Why not? You had it made–”

    “Out of desperation,” Spike snapped. “It was a mistake – you have no idea how much of a mistake.”

    Buffy gazed at him. “So you didn’t get any enjoyment out of it at all?”

    Spike looked at a loss for words for a long moment. “It was like drinking water for blood,” he said. “It filled me, but it couldn’t cure the hunger. It wasn’t what I wanted.”

    “But she wanted you,” Buffy said. “Only you.”

    “And she wasn’t real, was she,” Spike snapped. “Can we talk about something else?”

    Buffy got up and started putting on her clothes. Spike sighed. “And she’s off. Give my best to Dawn – oh, wait, you haven’t seen me. Never mind.” The scorn was sharp in his voice as he wrestled his chains off.

    Buffy finished buttoning her blouse, ran her fingers through her hair, and then turned back to Spike, who had just dumped the chains in the chest he’d taken them out of. “Well?” he asked. “Aren’t you gonna kick me in the head or something?”

    “Oh, Spike!” Buffy said, her eyes blank and distant, her voice vapid and cheery. “Don’t be so mean!” She pouted a little.


    “I want you, Spike. Your washboard abs and your bright blue eyes. I’m helpless against you, you–”

    Spike grabbed Buffy by the hair and glared at her. “Don’t make fun of me!”

    The vapid smile fell off Buffy’s face, replaced by something mischievous and sly. “Why not? This was what you wanted, wasn’t it?”

    “A long time ago,” Spike said. “I was... it was before you... before you....”

    “Died. I can say it, why can’t you?”

    “You know why not.”


    “Buffy, this isn’t a game!” Spike said. “You want to play with me, I’ll play, but not this. That was a dark and lonely time, followed by a darker and lonelier one.”

    “You said you wanted to play a different game,” Buffy said. “This is one, isn’t it?”

    “I didn’t mean this!”

    Buffy pouted.

    “Oh, bloody hell. That’s cheating, that is.”

    Buffy added puppy-dog eyes. Spike groaned. She didn’t relent.

    “Fine. Fine. Bloody Buffybot. God, I hate that thing.”

    “How could you? It was exactly what you wanted.”     

    “No, it wasn’t,” Spike said. “Don’t you see? It wasn’t you.”

    “Yeah, well... this time... it is.”


    The sex-bot bit her lip provocatively and smiled up at her master. “It’s me, Spike. Spike. You gorgeous creature. Do whatever you want with me. This is what I’m made for.”

    Spike’s eyes narrowed. “That’s what you want now, is it? To do whatever I want?”

    “Of course!” The sex-bot smiled.

    “You might be surprised.”

    “No I won’t. We can have sex now. In lots of different ways.”

    “Ah.” Spike sat down on the bed and dragged his sheet over, half covering his physique. “So that’s what this is. You want to know what I–”

    “Tell me what to do, Spike,” the sex-bot said. “Do you want me to–” She reached for the sheet and began to reach her hand up under it.

    “No,” Spike said. “Just stand there.”


    “You’re a bot. Just stand there. Stand there and look pretty for me.”

    The sex-bot felt a little confused – that is, its programing searched for hidden meanings – and finally arrived at the conclusion – ah, calculated – that the best thing to do was just obey. That was what it was made for, after all. To obey. It put back its shoulders, lifted its head, and stood there, looking pretty.

    It stood there for what felt like a long time, but was really only a couple of minutes. The strange thing was, minutes stretched on and on and on for a – robot – meant for action and movement. It was rare that there was any need to just stand still and on display. Every second, every... replicated breath, became another pebble of time dropped between them.

    Spike sat back and gazed upon the robot like it was some kind of statue. Finally his intent gaze shifted into something amused, and then positively wicked as he grinned at the bot’s growing confusion. But the sex-bot knew it wasn’t supposed to move. Or was it? This was supposed to be a mechanical girlfriend, not just a sex-toy. Right. The programming should have... remembered that. “How long should I stand here, Spike?” it asked with proper perky tones.

    “Until I’m tired of looking at you,” he said through his grin.

    The robot fought a desire to roll its eyes. Or drop the whole pretense and... and no, robots don’t have those kinds of thoughts. “Do you want a shoulder massage?” the bot queried.

    “No. But why don’t you undress,” he said, the wicked grin softening. The bot started to unbutton its shirt, and – “Slowly,” Spike said.

    The bot looked up at him, servos quietly whirring, head lowered, eyes provocative. “Oh.” It slowed down. One button slid through, slipped out of the connecting cloth, and free. Then another. Then another. Each and every movement revealing another inch or two of flesh-colored tegument, Spike’s blue eyes catching every second of it. The automaton was clearly on display. A machine of physicality only, made to be enjoyed and nothing more.

    But that wasn’t right. Because the thing had been made for Spike. She’d better check and make sure she was doing it right. “Is this how you want it, Spike?”

    “It’s what I asked for, innit?”

    “Yes,” the bot said with merry politeness. “But I need to make sure. After all, it’s important to please your man.”

    Spike’s smile widened again, but he seemed more amused than pleased. “Is it, now.”


    “And how are you gonna please me?”

    The bot unzipped its skirt and it slid around its ankles. It stood in matching bra and panty set – only a little frayed from rough use – and stepped out of the rest of its clothes.

    “Stop there,” Spike said.

    The bot stopped, obediently. It was kinda nice not to have to decide what to do next.

    “Now just stand there, and look pretty.”

    She stood there for another minute in her underwear, and started to feel self-conscious – except she didn’t, because robots don’t feel self-conscious at all. Such a thing as “self-conscious” shouldn’t be in her programming. Her pretty robot hands began to clench into slayer fists, and they trembled because... “Robots are supposed to be given orders,” the bot said, after searching its memory banks for something to say.

    “And I’ve given you one,” Spike said. “Stand there, and look like the slayer.”

    “For how long?”

    Spike’s eyes narrowed. “Robots don’t care how long.”

    The trembling wasn’t going away. Buffybot stood there with her hands clenched and her heart – clockwork, whatever – whirring with anticipation of – of what? The next order?

    The bot was hyper aware of everything, the temperature of the crypt, the sounds of the water running through the pipes to the irrigation system of the cemetery, the scent of the candles, the must of the earthy walls. And Spike... Spike lying there like a piece of chocolate drizzled cheesecake, just waiting to be devoured. The sheet covered just enough to tantalize.

    And she knew he knew it, too.

    “Are you sure you don’t want to have sex with me, Spike?” the bot asked happily. “I’m right here. And a girl gets bored if she has to stand still too long.”

    “I am having sex with you,” Spike said.

    “You’ve got a pretty weird definition,” the robot said – uh, after initializing back-talk subroutines. (That was a program, right?)

    “Broad,” Spike said. “I have a broad one. You’re here. You’re sexy. You want me, I want you. I can hear your heart beat, catch the scent of you.”

    “I’m only a robot.”

    “You’re still here,” he said. His eyes flickered up and down her form in a way that made the bot’s capacitor a bit incapacitated.  “What are you looking at?”

    “You, Spike.”

    “And what am I?”

    The bot grinned. “You’re an evil, murderous fiend,” she said.

    “Am I. Go on.”

    “You’re a vampire. And I know you’re only wearing that sheet to tease me.”

    He laughed outright. “Hungry little bot, aren’t you.” He stood up. There he was, in all his muscular glory. Fry my circuits, but he was cut.

    “Goodness, Spike,” the mechanism gushed fondly. “Check out that lean and muscular body. I can’t help myself. I have to touch you.” The bot fell against him, her hands running along his smooth chest, her nails gently scratching his cool skin.

    “You like it, do you?”

    “You know I do, Spike. How could anyone not?”

    “Tell me more,” he said.

    The bot gazed at him. “Your washboard abs are irresistible,” she said. “And your strong arms. Those are... good, good arms to have. And your tight ass is enough to drive a girl round the bend.”

    “Is it?” he asked, clearly loving how she used his own words back at him. “Show me.” He grabbed her head and pushed her down between his legs. It was rougher than he usually – than the bot thought – processed

    It was rough. Disrespectful. But the bot supposed she deserved that. She obediently opened her mouth and licked at his soft cock. The foreskin was still moist. Victorian, uncut, not like Riley. She liked that about him. It made for a smooth sliding as he fucked her – not that robots can have opinions about such things. Or that a Spike obsessed Buffybot would ever have fondled anyone else.

    The sexbot gently slid the foreskin back with her hand and pulled the soft organ into her mouth, licking and sucking at the frenulum. She touched with just a hint of teeth, and then pulled back as Spike hissed. Then she did it again, and his hand went into her hair and pulled. The pain... wasn’t pain, because she was a robot, just a thing, and couldn’t feel pain. She groaned anyway, and took his hardening cock deeper into her mouth.

    Spike’s breath grew heated. He swallowed and tensed beneath her as she did everything in her power to pleasure him. She fondled his balls and pulled on his cock with her hot little mouth, until Spike grunted and trembled. She felt him stiffen further, moaning, and then he abruptly pulled away. Buffybot wasn’t having that. No. She was going to pull it out of him if it was the last thing she did. It was what she was here for!

    She wanted it. She wanted him to release inside her, to take in all of him, dammit. She was his which meant, by extension, that he was hers. Her owner, her creator, her master. She grabbed hold of his hips and followed, pulling him toward her, swallowing him down, pulling harder on his cock, sucking at it, his long shaft filling her mouth. She’d let him spill himself all over her and down inside her, the evil wretched thing, which was no more than she deserved. She was a machine. She was empty inside. She needed him to fill her.

    Spike stopped trying to pull away. Good. She didn’t deserve consideration. She was only a robot. She sucked and pulled and he tensed and gasped and... there! There he was, all of him, his essence poured inside her mouth. She’d tasted it before. Vampire. He tasted slightly of blood. She’d often wondered if Angel would have tasted the same way – and she suddenly gagged. As a robot, she thought Angel was “bloody stupid,” and she wouldn’t have ever wanted to touch him. No. This was Spike. This was what she was made for. She stopped thinking about anyone but him, and it tasted like sex, and she wanted to swallow him down. And did.

    But Spike pulled away, still gasping. “Get up,” he growled. “Get off your knees.”

    The bot obeyed, but it was curious. “Why?”

    “You don’t get to ask why!” Spike shouted.

    The bot was taken aback by how furious he sounded. “What did I do wrong, Spike?”

    “Stop asking questions!”

    The bot felt terribly wounded. “I was trying to make you happy.”

    “Yeah, well, you don’t! Do you hear me, you don’t! I can’t do this, you stupid bloody machine.”

    Buffybot was confused. “I don’t understand.”

    Spike glared at her. “What was that to you? What are you trying to pull, here? You hate what you are, is that what this is?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “I heard you gagging,” he said. “Is it me you find disgusting, or just yourself?”

    “I... I didn’t... I was thinking about....” The bot stopped. “There was a flaw in my processors,” she said, squaring her shoulders. “It had nothing to do with you.”

    “It has everything to do with me,” he said. “And nothing to do with you. What flaw is it? That you want me in the first place? Is that a programming error?”

    “I... I don’t know,” the machine said. It tried to force a smile, but the program didn’t seem to be proceeding according to specs. “I do want you. That’s... that’s what you made me for, right?”

    “Shut up,” Spike said. He grabbed the bot by the hair and pushed it against the wall. “Shut up. Right, I made you. I made you for me. You’re mine, you hear me? You’re all mine. There’s nothing in you, nothing to you, the only thing about you is that you’re mine.”

    Buffybot trembled, splayed against the cold stone. She could feel Spike’s cool body against her back, and she knew she could fight back. She’d been constructed strong enough to fight back. But... robots... didn’t want... to fight back....

    No. They didn’t. She sagged against the wall. “No, Spike,” she whispered. “There’s nothing. Nothing inside me. I’m all yours.”

    Spike froze and twisted her head by her hair. She could see him out of the corner of her eye. He was searching her face. “All mine?”

    “All yours,” she said. “Spike. I want you. I was made to want you. I was made for you.” He released her and she turned to him, her head tilted up invitingly. “Don’t you love me anymore?”

    “I never loved you, you wretched thing,” he growled, but the growl was soft now. The anger was gone. “You’re the worst thing I ever did. I hate everything about you, the need I had that made you, the loss that put you in front of me, your voice and your body and your eyes that just. Aren’t. Buffy!

    “I don’t mean to displease you,” the bot whispered.

    “Well, you do,” Spike growled. “I never wanted to want you. I wanted everything you weren’t.”

    The bot stared up at him. “Then you’d better punish me.”

    Spike hit the thing. It moved with the blow instinctively, and then lashed out, and Spike blocked its blow in turn. “That what you want, you thing?” he asked. “Oh, that’s always what you want. Well too bad! I’m your sodding master so just stand still!”

    The bot froze, perky grin still on its face, and Spike picked it up. He carried it a few steps and then threw it on the bed so hard it nearly bounced off. Spike followed. He grabbed it by the throat and held it down, glaring blue murder out of those eyes of his. “You’re not Buffy,” he told it. “You’re not human. You’re not anything. You don’t deserve to be treated well.”

    “No, Spike,” the bot whispered. “I don’t.”

    Spike ripped off the bot’s bra from the front, and followed suit with her panties – so much for that outfit – and then held her arms down. “You can’t move until I tell you, right? You’re mine. All mine, you’re just a bloody doll.”

    “Just a doll. I’m sorry, Spike. I’d be what you want if I could be.”

    Spike swallowed. “I know it,” he said. “And that’s why I hate you.” He pushed her down by her shoulders. “You hear me? I hate you! I hate everything about you!”

    “I know,” the machine whispered. “That’s what I deserve.”

    “You’re gonna get what’s coming to you,” Spike told it. “I’m gonna burn myself out in you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” He reached for his bedside drawer and pulled out a tube of something. He grabbed the bot’s legs and lifted them up, bending it, exposing its ass. “That’s it,” he said, rubbing slippery lubricant over the bot’s anus. “Gotta lube you up, ‘cause you’re not real. There’s nothing real about you. There’s nothing in you, nothing for you. There’s only me. You got that, you wretched thing? Only me.”

    “Only you,” it whispered. “Thank you, Spike. Thank you.”

    “That’s right, you thing. Thank me. Thank me for using you. Thank me for hurting you. Thank me for hating you.”

    “Thank you,” it whispered, the feel of his smooth fingers sliding in and out of her, opening her slowly, slowly, her simulated body inflamed, her sensors overloading with sensation. “Thank you, Spike, thank you, thank you.”

    “You want this,” he said, shifting so his cock tickled at her anus. “You want me in you, you want me to fill you so there’s something inside you. Say it!

    “Yes, Spike. Fill me.” She cried out, but she made herself say it. “Fill me, there’s nothing in me. I need you in me!”

    “That’s right, bitch,” Spike snarled. His cock touched the entrance, and he pierced her, sliding deep and then deeper inside her opened bud. The bot’s legs trembled, and her back was bent almost unnaturally far. Her thighs pressed against Spike’s white chest. He moved in her, moving her whole body as he thrust. The bot’s mouth was open, crying out uncontrollably as he filled her, moved her, owned her.

    He didn’t touch her clit. He didn’t try to pleasure her at all. He just took his own, forced himself in her. She was a robot. She didn’t deserve consideration. She didn’t deserve anything but punishment, for not being what he wanted. Not being what he loved. It felt right, to be used like this. To be nothing but an object, for him. It was what she wanted.

    “I’m sorry you don’t love me,” she whispered.

    “I don’t,” he said, grunting into her. “I don’t love you. I don’t love you at all, you thing, you machine, you monster. I hate everything about you. I hate your fake hair and your empty eyes and your dead skin and your plasticine scent and your perky sodding voice and your jerky mechanical fighting and your stupid flattery! I hate your damn idiocy and how you follow me around like a bloody puppy and how I can’t. Bloody. Kill you! because you’re not alive!” He roared suddenly as he came, but he didn’t let himself linger with it. He surged up and over her, and held her down, his hand on her throat. “I hate you, you bitch!” he snarled low. The bot saw that there were tears in his eyes. “You dead, fucking, bitch. How could you do this to me?”

    The bot stared up at him for a long moment, her circuits glowing. Touched. He looked so tormented. So lost. So alone. “I’m here now,” she whispered. Softly, gently, she turned the vampire over and kissed him, then kissed his eyes, his cheeks... even his tears tasted faintly of blood. “I’m here for you now, Spike,” she whispered. “Only for you. I’m here only for you.”

    Spike just closed his eyes and let the bot kiss him. “I’m yours,” she whispered. “Your own. Your toy. I only want... I only want to be with you. I lo...” The bot stopped, her circuits seizing. “I live for you,” she said. “I live for you, Spike. I’m here with you.”

    Spike slid his hand behind her head and kissed her passionately. Then he pulled her against him, slid his leg over her, cuddling her close. “I love you, you wretched thing,” he whispered to her. The bot wasn’t at all sure he’d stopped crying.

    She couldn’t help it. “And... the other Buffy?”

    “The other Buffy hates me,” Spike whispered. “The other Buffy’s dead.” He kissed her sweetly. “I’ll take what I can get, you know. Whatever that is. Even if it’s not what I really want.”

    “And I’m not what you really want?” the bot asked.

    Spike almost laughed, his breath coming out in a small scoff. He kissed her briefly. “You’re just a machine,” he whispered into her mouth. “You can’t feel anything. What does it matter if I want you?”

    “I want you to want me,” she whispered back. “I was made for you. I want to be what you want.”

    Spike sighed against her, kissed her again, leaned against her forehead so her visual lenses couldn’t focus – just a blur of pale skin and blue where his eyes should be. “Then just be Buffy,” he whispered. “Please. Please. Just be Buffy.”



Thin Red Lines

    They lay together for what was to Buffy a long time. She didn’t let Spike snuggle. She never really did. Sometimes she was too exhausted to stop him, but this time... there was something different. She wasn’t too tired to move. She just... wasn’t moving.

    “I can’t do this,” Spike finally whispered. Buffy shifted. He had definitely stopped crying by now, but the pain was still laced through his face. She’d only wanted an excuse to play a little submissive for once, turn the tables on the slave scenario. She realized now she should have done something more direct. Something that had nothing to do with either of them. She’d always seen the Buffybot as something sordid and kind of funny. A big sick joke. It hadn’t even occurred to her how deeply tangled up Spike’s psyche would be about it.

    But he didn’t have a psyche. He was just a thing, just a...

    A thing.

    Yeah. That had been a mistake.

    She was still kind of glad they’d done it.

    “Then some other kind of master, slave thing,” Buffy said. “Victim?”

    “We’ve done that,” Spike said, the weight sliding off him – not easily, but he wasn’t closed off anymore. “And slayer. Over and over. I told you, I’m sick of those.”

    “What do you want to play, then?” Spike lifted himself onto his elbow and looked at Buffy. “You want to be on top next time?” she asked.

    “No,” he said. “I don’t. I don’t want top or bottom, I’m sick of both.”

    “Then what...?”

    “How about something where we’re equal, pet?” He laughed at the blank look on her face. “I didn’t just suggest something sacrilegious.”

    “Like what? A couple of athletes?”

    Spike laughed. “I think we’re already that.” He got up and cleaned himself a bit at the bucket and washcloth he kept in his lower crypt for precisely this purpose. “No fighters, either. No soldiers. Nothing like what we are.”

    “Sounds boring,” Buffy said honestly. “Turn on your average cable porn. What, you want a couple co-eds?”

    Spike shrugged. “We could do that, sure. Though when I was in school, there were no co-eds. It was all boys.”

    “Well, we can’t do that.”

    Spike got a strange look on his face. “Sure we could.”

    “Um... not really,” Buffy said. At Spike’s raised eyebrow she gestured at her very feminine body. “Hello, equipment?”

    The strange look turned to a wicked grin, and he reached back into that ubiquitous bedside drawer. “Remember, Buffy? I said I had a few things.”

    He did have a few things. Things he hadn’t bothered with, or things they hadn’t needed, and some things – like handcuffs and stakes – that they’d already used. There was also a strange shaped... Buffy blushed at the sight of it. “Um. Why do you have a strap on?”

    “For the same reason you’re blushing,” Spike said.


    “Hallo, then. I’m Will Pratt, welcome to Posh Academy.” The young man held out his hand to shake. “Been told to show you around?”

    “Uh, yeah. Yeah, just transferred from a school in America,” the new student said, taking hold of Will’s cool palm.

    “Well, I’m sure the boarding schools there are a little different,” Will said. “I’m the prefect. Heard you were going to be in the same year as me?”

    “Yeah. How old are–?”

    “It don’t matter about that. What’s your name, mate?”

    “Buff-eeee... Buff. Buff Slayer.”

    Will grinned so broadly that Buff was relieved. She– He had thought he’d gotten off on the wrong foot, and he felt more than a little awkward about to enter a... a new school. But Will had a very, very charming smile. He made a move that was almost too intimate, as if he’d found what Buff had just said delightful and wanted to hug him, but changed his mind. “Buff Slayer. Nice to meet you, Slayer.”

    “Same to you,” Buff said. And then he felt helpless. He didn’t know anything about... British schools.

    “Well, I thought you might want to see the dorms first,” Will said. He gestured to the – nearest – militarily made bed, and straightened his blazer. “And, uh, we’re going to have to get you into a school uniform, you know that, right mate? Can’t have you prancing about in those American clothes now. It’s against school rules.”

    “And you never break school rules?” Buff asked with a smirk.

    “Never. Soul of respectability, me. Honor, Honesty, Modesty, and Virtue, that’s the school code, you know.”

    Buff laughed. “Virtue,” he said. “You expect me to believe you are virtuous. And that hair’s school uniform, is it?”

    Will looked slightly annoyed. “No rules about hair except length,” he said. “Though they’ve been debating adding in a new rule since I showed up like this.”

    Buff slid up closer to Will. “You’re telling me you’re so unruly they’re building new rules just to rule you?”

    Will’s delighted grin flashed over his face again. “Sommat like that,” he said. “But I rule within the rules. Better than getting the ruler.”


    Will pulled a small strap of wood from the table beside the dorm bed. “Ruler,” he said. He slapped it against his hand. It made a stark noise in the hollow... dorm room. “They’ll hit you with it pretty hard if you’re not careful.”

    Buff looked at him. “Did they hit you a lot?”

    “Not since I became prefect,” he said. “But when I was a first former, oh yeah, they beat me lots.” He came up close to Buff. “I can take it. Learned how real good. Wanna see?”


    “Wanna see how much I can take? I can hold my hand steady as a rock, not a flinch. Try me.” He put the ruler into Buff’s hand.

    Buff was actually surprised at how this was going. “They really do this in British schools?”

    There was a charged hesitation at Buff’s shock, and Will seemed surprised she didn’t know this. “Yeh,” Will said, and that was definitely seduction in his tone. “Yeah, they did. All the posh little boys got beat if they were bad. I was a very bad boy. I learned how to take it.” He glanced down at the ruler in Buff’s hand. “Try it.” He held his hand out stiff and still, not a tremble, and stared her down. “Go on. Hit me.”

    Buff stared into Will’s eyes for a long moment, wondering if he did mean it. His eyes were blue and clear and bright, and it was Buff who was trembling when he lifted the ruler and smacked it onto Will’s pale hand. Will was right. He didn’t flinch. “You’re gonna have to hit harder than that, mate,” he said. “The masters know what they’re doing.”

    Buff raised the ruler and hit the hand again. Then again. Then again. Will stayed still as a statue for every blow. Buff became fascinated. Would he really just stand there and take it? Will’s blue eyes shone as they stared into Buff’s, riveted. The only movement he made was a slight flaring of his nostrils as he took in steeling breaths. Buff hit the hand again. Will’s muscles corded as he made his hand wait for the pain. Buff found himself hitting harder and harder, trying to make the other boy flinch, and he couldn’t do it. He looked down and stopped himself with a gasp. He’d raised welts on the back of the boy’s hand and wrist. “God, I didn’t mean–”

    “I told you I could take it,” Will said. “Can you?”

    “What do you mean?”

    Will finally lowered his welted and likely bruised hand and gently took the ruler. “Can you? You’re gonna be part of this school as much as me. You’ll have to take everything I had to. Every time you flinch, they’ll add another blow. Think you can do it?”

    Buff squared his shoulders. “I’m sure I can,” he said. “I’m as tough as you.”

    “Are you? Are you really? Five strikes, then.”

    Buff closed his eyes for a moment, steeling himself, and then held out his hand. He swore to himself that he wouldn’t flinch, and the first time he didn’t. But Will wasn’t holding back. He hit square and he hit hard, and Buff actually grunted with the sudden pain of it. When Will raised the ruler again, Buff was able to hold his hand out still, but he did flinch.

    “Six strikes,” Will said.

    He raised the ruler again, and hit. Buff kept his hand still that time. It was hard. The ruler made a burning smack of pain that seemed wholly unreal, completely unlike the feel from a blow or a fight. There was no purpose to it. It was only to cause pain. Will hit again, and Buff felt his hand jump back at the pain. This was madness! He was a tough... young man, Buff Slayer, he knew how to handle pain! But this pointless, unwarranted attack that he just had to endure? It seemed so unfair! Every instinct inside him fought against it.

    “Seven,” Will said evenly.

    “Wait,” Buff said.

    “Hold it still, and the strikes won’t go up.”

    “But I’m not trying to stop you,” Buff said. “I could. I’m stronger than you.”

    “Don’t flinch. Don’t wince. Don’t pull away. Those are the rules.”

    “That’s not fair.”

    “I did it,” Will said. “I learned to do it from the age of eight. Yeah, it hurts. You learn the pain, like you learn the books. Maybe they don’t do this in America, but they did as I was growing up.” Buff stared at Will. He meant that. This... this was how he was raised. Hit the bad boy, and so he learns. “You can take it, Buff. I know you can. You ready?”

    Buff held out his hand. “Yes.”

    He raised the ruler up again and struck. And struck. And struck again. Buff whimpered with the pain, but tried to keep his hand as steady as he could.

    Will stopped at twelve strikes. Buff suspected Will had let him cheat a little, and didn’t count a couple of flinches, but his hand stung with heat, and he didn’t want any more blows. “Twelve,” Will said. “And done.” Buff released a sigh of relief, and Will took up Buff’s red hand. “Terrifying, innit?” he said, his cool breath a soft feather on Buff’s pained skin. “What you can just make yourself take? How brassed off are you right now, Slayer? I’ll bet you wanna rip my head off.”

    “It does seem really unfair,” Buff said low.

    “You feel helpless in it,” Will said. “And the scary thing is, you’re helpless against yourself. So small and weak, and you stare up at that big tall school master, and he makes you hurt, and you have to just stand there. And let them.” He shook his head. “Even if you could fight back. The rules all say you can’t. And you have. To follow. The rules.... If you’re human.”

    Buff thought about this. “Is that as bad as it gets?” he asked. “A slap on the wrist?” His burning hand belied the dismissive connotation for that phrase. “I have to know.”

    “You’ve never been caned?” Will asked. “All school boys are caned.”

    Buff hated that idea. “Yeah,” he said. “I’ve been hit.”

    “But most schools just go over the clothes, you know that, right?” Will’s eyes flicked down Buff’s form. “Eton and some of the really posh places. We use the birch. A whole bundle of canes. And that’s always done with your trousers down.”

    “Trousers down?” Buff asked. “Is this in public?”

    “Sometimes it’s in the dorm,” Will said. “When a prefect does it. Over the bed. Sometimes there’s other boys watching. The masters, it’s usually in their private study. We... use a cane here,” he said slowly. “But otherwise, it’s like Eton.”

    Buff’s mouth went dry. Will went over and picked up what he termed a cane. It was a thin whippy rod of wood, about a yard long. “Why do you even have that?” Buff asked.

    “I’m a prefect,” he said. “It’ll be my job to cane you if you break the rules.”

    Buff looked down at his American clothes. “Oops,” he said. “I think I broke the rules already.”

    Will grinned, stifling a laugh. “You that eager to see how this thing flies?” He swung the cane sharply, and it sang, cutting the air.  The very sound of it made Buff flinch. “Wicked, innit.”

    “You’re going to do it eventually,” Buff said. “I might as well see what I’m in for.”

    Will took hold of Buff’s arm and stared into his eyes. “Not holding back,” he said. “I’m doing it just like they did to me.”

    Buff was touched. “If you can take it, I can. I’m no stranger to pain.”

    “Then assume the position,” he said.

    “Which is...?”

    “For a dorm? Trousers down, bent over the bed. Unless you want me to tell you to just grab your ankles.”

    “What about other than a dorm room?”

    “Over the desk, or a whipping horse.”

    “They had whipping horses?”

    “Posh Victorian schools, love. What did you think happened there?”

    Buff felt a spasm in his chest. He’d had no idea....

    “Don’t think on it,” Will said. “Assume the position. You said you’d been caned before.”

    Buff swallowed. “Right. Right. Before.” He turned and unbuttoned his trousers, working them over some... unfamiliar sensations. The trousers went around his ankles in a way that seemed much more humiliating than merely taking them off would have been. They were hobbles. He imagined what this would be like in a full dorm room, with other boys watching and possibly jeering. Or in a private office with some greying older guy.

    He shuddered.

    “Ten strikes,” Will said. “Count aloud.” He bent over, and Buff felt his trousers against his bare bottom. “You’re allowed to flinch this time,” he whispered into his ear.

    Buff’s breath caught, and he trembled. Will had this ability to make him tremble....

    Will stood behind Buff, and waited... and waited... and waited.... Whip, SMACK! The cane whipped down onto Buff’s bare backside. He froze, startled at the sharp pain, breath frozen, eyes wide. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god...! What had he just signed up for?

    “Count. Aloud.”

    Buff had to find his breath. “O-one,” he whispered.

    Whip, SMACK!


    Whip, SMACK!


    Will waited a long moment before again, Whip, SMACK! “Ahh! Four!” Buff hadn’t been able to keep back the tiny scream as the cane struck at his newly tender buttocks.

    Whip, SMACK! Buff’s breath was gone again. It had escaped with the scream, and each line of the cane could be felt like a burning brand. Will had hit a slightly different spot each time, painting on Buff’s flesh like an artist. “Count.”


    He was halfway through. He could endure this. The anticipation between each measured blow was the worst part. But, “Six!” felt like the cane was made of fire, and “Seven!” was so low it nearly made his knees give out. “Eight!” and “Nine!” came as grumbling roars of resentment, and “T–”

    He never got out ten, as Will broke the rules and whipped Buff at least six times in quick succession, not as hard as before, but with no breaks, no reprieve, SMACK, SMACK, SMACK, SMACK, SMACK!

    Buff lost his temper and struggled to stand up, fists clenched, but Will was up against him then, and the cane was on the bed beside them, and Will’s smooth cool fingers were soothing the fire on Buff’s skin. “Terrifying, isn’t it,” he whispered into Buff’s ear. “The anticipation. The waiting... and being made to count it out. To know what’s going to happen next?”

    “You cheated,” Buff growled, but he wasn’t trying to get up. Will’s hand on his hot buttocks felt too good. “At the end there.”

    “Did I?” His breath tickled at Buff’s ear, and his hand slid lower on his buttocks, sliding between his legs to where his balls would be, petting at the soft flesh he found there. “It ever get you hard?” he whispered. “When you’re stripped down and whipped like that? The good punishing the bad, through humiliation and violence. What’s good? What’s evil? What’s right and wrong, and the thin red lines between them? It ever get you off?”

    Buff trembled beneath him, and his breath came in tiny pants. He felt near to tears, and he wasn’t sure if it was pain, terror, humiliation... or something else. Buff felt like he understood Will so well suddenly. Like the white haired young man made perfect sense. All the broken rules, the hunger for pain, the confused relationship with authority, with right and wrong. It wasn’t something twisted and... and demonic in him. It was something he had been taught, brutally, day by day, year by year, through childhood up through youth, long before he had been made into a... a prefect. And the power had been put in his hands.

    “Yeah,” Will said softly, his tone heady and seductive. “You’re getting it. Your blood’s up, isn’t it, Slayer? You wanna feel the power?” He pushed up against him, and Buff could feel him hard through his clothes. As hard as the member he sported, that he could feel against the bedclothes, straining, pushing up against him. Ready to work.

    Will’s hand slid back up Buff’s backside, rubbing at the still stinging flesh, and tickled at his already slick and worked anus. But he abandoned it quickly. “Bet you can’t make me cry out,” he said.


    Buff turned as Will lowered his trousers, revealing an already straining cock. “Your turn, Slayer. You do it. You’re a fine looking boy, I’ll bet you’ll be made a prefect one day.”

    “Is that who is made prefect?” Buff asked. “The fine looking ones?”

    “Prefects spend a lot of time with the school masters,” Will said. “In some places, it’s just the ones best in school. The leaders. The ones who deserve it. In some... in some places it was the pretty boys, who wouldn’t talk back... or talk at all.”

    The intimation was terrifying. “That... that...”

    “Was considered perfectly normal, Slayer,” Will said.

    “And which were you?”

    Will didn’t answer. Buff was almost terrified that he would, but he didn’t. “Take up the cane, Slayer,” Will said. “Show me your mettle.”

    That British accent, heightening the T sound made Buff’s groin clench. He wanted Will on his knees, at his mercy, bent over the bed awaiting punishment. Oh, yeah... oh, god, yeah! Buff snatched up the cane and Will assumed “the position” easily.

    Buff gave him no number. “Count,” he said. Whip, SMACK!

    “One,” Will said evenly.

    Whip, SMACK!


    Whip, SMACK, whip, SMACK, SMACK, SMACK, whip SMACK!

    “Three. Four, five, six, oh, god!”



    Buff couldn’t take it. Things were swollen and straining and dripping and he needed his hands on Will. He dropped to his knees and pushed up against him, making him kneel upright, let Buff gnaw on the side of his throat. “What do I do?” Buff whispered earnestly.

    “Soften it,” Will said, no less heated. “Soften it, open it. Too much is almost enough.”

    Buff reached for the oil. It would have been linseed oil, used to maintain cricket bats. Will had already had it ready. He squirted a liberal dollop on his fingers and slid up Will’s backside, finding the little bud, touching it gently, spreading it carefully. It was rough and the friction quickly made it warm. It fought him at first, then suddenly opened, and Buff’s fingertip slid in, then deeper, then deeper. Will groaned and bent back over the bed, gasping. “Deeper,” he whispered. “God, Buffy....”

    “More?” Buff whispered.

    “Yes,” Will said. “And more... the front... oh god!” He couldn’t control his voice as Buff twisted his finger and massaged the little nub he found inside. That... that was actually the base of Will’s penis. The only way to touch it was to reach up inside and find... the whole of him.

    More oil. The sounds Will made were making Buff need to be inside him, to move against him, to be part of him. He poured oil on his member, so much it spilled off and stained the floor. Buff took hold of it and held it against Will’s opened and softened anus.

    “Slow,” Will said evenly. “Slow. This is wider than... oh!” The sound he made then was almost a sob.

    Buff had second thoughts. Third, hell, they were probably fourth thoughts by this time. “Are you sure you want...?”

    “Yes!” Will kicked off his trousers and tore at his own shirt, kneeling naked before Buff, his white flesh and his white hair making a pristine angelic virgin just begging to be violated.

    Buff wanted it too. Really wanted it. But, “We shouldn’t be doing this.”

    “Good!” Will arched his back toward Buff, presenting his buttocks for him. “Do something bad.”

    Buff didn’t hold back any longer. He took hold of his stiff, rubbery member and slid the tip against Will’s softened opening. Will moaned softly, so Buff slid in a little more. It took more force than he’d thought it should take. He pushed in, deeper, then a little deeper. Slow, just as Will had said. “Slow... take it in, take it in,” Buff found himself whispering. Until he found he couldn’t push himself in any deeper, and the length pushed up against him as well, and he couldn’t help but thrust. And thrust, and thrust, and god! the power in it! Piercing him, owning him, inside him, the violation, perhaps, but... but the welcome. He wanted Buff inside. He wanted to feel this invasion of his most personal space.

    Buff thrust and thrust, riding against him, hands reaching around to hold his cut, tight torso, pull him closer. He could do this for hours, he thought. Just be in him, be with him, and Will arched his head back and gasped and choked. “Oh, yes. Yes... fuck me. Oh, god, yes, Slayer, fuck me!” It almost seemed he was crying, but it wasn’t like... before (that never happened!) with the robot. (Stop!) This joy, this was disbelief. This was pure surrender.

    It always was, when you let a man inside you.

    The thought made Buff thrust harder, the sensations sliding up her groin, and coming surprised her. Him. He hadn’t expected it to work so very well. He cried out but kept thrusting, still hard inside Will – one advantage to his current anatomy – tenderly sliding in and out until Will groaned, and then moaned, and gripped the covers, and finally fell backwards, almost smothering Buff. Will slid himself off the thick member and took hold of Buff’s hands. They were both breathing hard, excited, intense.

    There had never been this charge between them before, something shared, something equal, something almost pure in its mischief. “I think,” Will said, smiling and panting. His blue eyes shone as he gazed at Buff. “I think... that that’s the tour,” he said. “What did you think of the school?”

    “Some interesting places,” Buff said, but he couldn’t stop smiling. “It wasn’t like I thought it would be. I wasn’t at all sure I’d fit in here.”

    Will laughed and hugged him, then kissed him, and then looked down on him with genuine glee. “I think you fit in very well.”




    “That was fun,” Buffy said, grinning. “That was like... way fun.”

    Spike reached out and caressed her hair. “‘M glad of that, pet.”

    Buffy picked up the cane and twirled it like a stake. “Think you could take any more?”

    “Within reason. Why should I?”

    “Um.” Buffy thought. “Because you’re a wicked serial killer, and I have to interrogate you to find the bodies.”

    “Um, no,” Spike said.

    Buffy rolled her eyes. “Aw. Why not?”

    “No police, love.”


    Spike only looked at her pointedly. Oh. Right. Robot was too close to home, and so would the police be. He’d only recently gotten over those bruises from that night behind the police station....

    “Okay, no police. Um... enemy spy?” she tried.

    “I play a good Nazi,” Spike grinned.

    “Eh, wait, no. Too much Captain America commando crap.”

    “Good point. Though how’s your bad Russian accent? If you can do a decent Natasha...”

    “Do you really think you should be trying to play the good guy in this scenario?”

    Spike chuckled. “Probably not. Witch trial?”

    “More equipment?” Buffy asked.

    “They tried men, too, I heard. Don’t know a thing about it, personally.”

    “But you’re not a witch, you’re a demon. Ooh, how about a devil?”

    “Betraying the host of heaven?” Spike asked. “I could get down with that.”

    “Good,” Buffy said. She pulled back out the chains. “Then down on your knees, devil man.”


    The demon knelt at the altar of heaven, his head bowed in supplication. He was stripped naked, chained hand and foot, the flickering fires of the heavenly host glittering around him. Before him, the speaker of the angels gazed down upon him in judgement. She wore black, a full black – ah, robe – but wore nothing beneath, so her feet shone out beneath the black leather, innocent as children. Her hair was her halo, golden and glowing in heaven’s candlelight.

    And she was going to make him pay. The rod of punishment rested easily in her hand, and the thought of the coming retribution for the fallen angel’s sins... yes. This was going to be immensely satisfying.

    “You,” she intoned in voice sharp with disgust.

    “Me.” The demon looked up, yellow eyes glinting, monstrous features plain to see. There was no artifice. He was a follower of evil, and there was no mistaking his wickedness.

    “You, demon, have betrayed your maker. You have become a follower of Lucifer and turned against the host of heaven.”

    He grinned, showing off rows of sharply fanged teeth. “That I have, pretty angel. That I have. And had a damned good time doing it, too.”

    The speaker grabbed the chains and yanked the demon roughly. “You mock this trial?”

    “Is that what this is?” he asked. “A trial?”

    “Trial. Retribution,” the speaker said. “Before the entire heavenly host, your betrayal will be revealed.”

    “And when it is?” he asked. “When that happens, what? Will I be properly cast down? Or hasn’t that already happened?”

    “You will be used in the way all evildoers must,” the speaker said, “to bow before the host of heaven and swallow the fruits of your transgressions.”

    “Swallow, huh?” he asked. He grinned, through fangs as sharp as his tongue. He slid his chained hand up beneath the black robe and touched the warm legs of the speaker of heaven. “How do the fruits of my transgressions taste? I’m betting sex and grapefruit, with the salt of the mother ocean...”

    “Shut up,” the speaker snapped, and threw him back to the ground.

    He chuckled and climbed back to his knees. “Am I meant to give it all up, then?” the demon asked. “Is that it? ‘Cause penitence ain’t my scene, love. I’m more of the unrepentant and remorseless school.”

    She hit him across the shoulders for that, and he grunted, but actually bent his back up toward the rod of heaven, arching his spine. He shrugged his shoulders sensuously and smiled through his fangs. “You enjoy that, don’t you, my angel,” he said. “Beating the bad out of the demon.”

    “I have no hope of that,” she said, her voice cold. “You’re too corrupt. I don’t ever expect you to be one of our host again.”

    “Too right,” he scoffed. “Bunch of stodgy toe-rags toadying up to the powers that be? I’d rather reign in hell, love. And you know it, too. That’s why you’ve chained me down.” He rattled his chains, and couldn’t help but notice her smile as he drew her attention to them. Yes, she liked those, too. She liked the rod and the chain and the role of the justice. She liked to be the one in control.

    “You cannot be trusted unbound within these hallowed halls,” the angel said, pacing before him. “These... these pearly gates contain the highest and purest angels of heaven. And you are nothing but a demon in the thrall of the devil. And I am going to see to it you pay for every transgression.” She stopped before him and glared down in judgement. “Confess. Your. Sins.”


    She smirked. “So long as you are honest before the host of heaven, you might not have to endure... the full extent of our wrath.” She slapped the cane into her hand, and the demon allowed himself to wince.

    But not to back down. “I’d rather lie,” he said. “And cheat, and steal, and kill. And you know it, too, or I wouldn’t even be here before you.” He raised a thick eyebrow, and his yellow demon eyes flashed their evil. “That’s why I’m here, innit? You don’t want some pitiful no-account naughty. You want the big bad, chock full of all that evil your pretty angels won’t let themselves feel. You want to indulge in your hatred, let the dark hide in the coat of righteousness. If I wasn’t a filthy pile of dirt, you wouldn’t even want me here before your throne of angels.”

    “Silence!” She slapped the cane down across his shoulders again, and the demon flinched. “You corrupt our court with your insolence.”

    “You love my insolence,” he said, expecting her to hit him again. But she didn’t. He took in a deep breath. “You’d rather that than my silence. You want I give you a pretty show of evil for your audience out there.” He nodded out his chin to indicate the... unseen heavenly host that had to surround them.

    “Your evil is self-evident, it is your repentance I demand!”

    “You can demand all you like, you daft bint,” the demon snapped. “I know my rights!”

    She struck him, thwack, thwack, thwack! “You have no rights.”

    “Bitch,” he muttered.

    “And do not address me so uncouthly!” she demanded. “Call me by my title.”

    “Which is?”

    “Um... uh... the bright... um... splendid....” She paused, lost for a moment.

    “Effulgence?” he said suddenly.

    There was a moment as she gazed at him, startled. His eyes, despite their yellow glare, seemed almost soft.

    “Forgive this lowly demon, Effulgence,” he said evenly. “I should respect the dignity of this host.”

    She tilted back her head and looked down at him with her shoulders straight and head held high. “Yes,” she said. “Yes, you should. I’m not some petty cherub or seraphim. I’m... I’m a higher angel than that. An... an archangel, and... and I can whip you to within an inch of your life, you pathetic little imp.”

    The demon broke into a laugh, his fangs gleaming. “Right. Too right. Didn’t mean to denigrate the proceedings.”

    “Well, good,” the archangel said.

    “What, exactly, are the proceedings?” the demon asked. “Apart from giving you the excuse to thrash me proper with that pretty stick.”

    “Shut up!” the archangel said, thrashing him once properly with the pretty stick. “We are here to determine how you fell.”

    “Oh, is that all?”

    She struck him once for his insolence, and he made himself stop laughing, though it was pretty funny. “Well, it was a dozy devil, wa’n it?” the demon said. “Lucifer’s pitch to the tatty wankers who were sick of you blighters and your holier-than-thou.”

    “That’s all you have to say?” the archangel asked. “The devil made me do it?”

    “Well, what else is there? Here, Lucy says, why don’t you come following me, and I’ll take you out of this dumb cloud of bleeding-heart nancy-boys, and lead you down to the warm pretties of hellfire. Seductive little tart.”

    “You’re saying Lucifer’s a woman?”

    “I’m saying it don’t matter,” the demon said. “Evil is Evil. There’s no body to it, but it’s all about the seduction.”

    She arched her neck and stared at him. “And Evil itself seduced you?”

    He looked back up at her through hooded demonic eyes. “Oh, yeah,” he said. “Got right up into my face, left her sweet breath prickling at my skin, until I was lost in her. I drowned in the evil, she swam into my blood, surged through my body and down into my loins. Folded me into her warm embrace and dragged me down with her.” He smiled at the effect his words had had. The archangel was sweating. One pale hand was sliding down her long throat, and her breath caught as he caressed the words.

    “Couldn’t help it,” he said, his voice like fingernails scratching seductively down her flesh. “I may have been an angel, but she was all I really wanted. She was everything. I’d been watching her for what felt like a lifetime, and I knew. I knew it had to happen. Been leading up to it, closer and ever closer every night until there was no more chance of missing it. And then she took me... and I took her. Her arms went about me... and I fell into her kiss... let her slide over my body... work her way into my blood. And I opened my eyes, and there was nothing left in me but the evil itself.” He chuckled as he saw her hand tremble around the rod. “Sweetest night ever.”

    She hit him for that, the hand with the cane sliding up and down faster than his eye could follow. He grunted with the pain of it. “Evil isn’t sweet,” she said with her teeth clenched.

    His voice was a purr. “She is to me.”

    She hit him again.

    He cried out, but he looked back up. “And I’m gonna stand by her.”


    “No matter what you do to me.”

    Thwack! Thwack!

    “Is that all the host of heaven has at her disposal?” he demanded with an evil smile. “A sharp cane and a heavy chain?”

    “What else is she meant to have?” the archangel asked. “Some alternative?”

    “Well... thought you were heaven. Aren’t you s’posed to try and redeem me?”

    The archangel grabbed him by the hair and pulled his head back. He hissed with the pain of it. She was very strong. “You’re past redemption,” she spat in his face.

    “Yeah... I knew that,” he said, still with the seductive tilt to his voice. The pain in his scalp made him breathe hard. He was trembling with the power of her grip. “But how do you know it?”

    “I’ve seen what you do,” she growled. She pushed him onto the ground and held him down with her bare foot, knocking the breath from him. He almost laughed with how deeply she was into abusing him. “You kill, you lie, and you cheat. You rob others of their hopes and their dreams and their future, and you laugh while you do it.”

    “And you expect me to feel bad about that?”

    “No!” she snarled. “I don’t expect you to feel bad. I expect you to pay!” She went down to her knees to beat him in earnest.

    She hit him again and again and again, grunting with the release of it, and for a long, almost interminable interval, he let it happen. Strike. Strike. Strike. The whip, SMACK! of the cane made a regular rhythm within the candlelit grotto before heaven’s altar.

    But after a while the demon shifted. He was clearly uncomfortable, but she didn’t stop

    “Enough,” he said.

    She struck him again. And again.

    He shifted again, trying to get out from under her. “Enough,” he groaned. “Stop!”

    She forced him back down, beating him again and again.

    “Hey!” That was an angry bark. He shifted, turned beneath her, his chains clanking, and he snatched the cane out of her grip. “That’s enough of that, Effulgence,” he said, gasping. “I thought the host of heaven was merciful.”

    “There can be no mercy,” she snapped. And to the demon’s surprise, she hit him in the face with her fist to the rhythm of her words. “You. Don’t. Deserve it!”

    This was more than the prescribed punishment of heaven. Very suddenly, the demon realized, this... this was personal. What was going on...? “Now, hold on a second,” he snarled. He already knew what would happen if he let this continue.

    But she didn’t seem to care. She hit him again. His chained hands went up and caught at her wrists, but she pulled away and kicked at him, kicking him halfway across the grotto. “No!” she barked. “No! I’m not letting it escape! Not tonight. Not this time!


    “Shut up!” the archangel yelled. She grabbed him by the shoulders and hit him in the belly, over and over again, and he kinda just let her, because he wasn’t sure what was happening. “I – am gonna beat – her – out of you! And you are gonna just sit there and take it!” she barked into his face.

    “This isn’t what–”

    “I said shut up!” She hit him in the face again. “You! You!

    “Quit it!” he snarled. “What the hell did I do!”

    “You betrayed heaven!” she said, surprising him. She was still an archangel? “You were one of us! You were an angel!” She hit him over and over, and she sounded almost like she was sobbing. “You were Angel, and you fell!

    And the demon’s fanged mouth fell open at the realization that bringing the word angel into this trial had been one of the biggest mistakes that could ever have been made. After all that had happened, all the moments the two of them had shared, the archangel was deep, deep down within her own psyche, had unearthed something there that might have been better left buried. “Wait,” he said. “Wait, not me!”

    “Yes, you!” she hissed, though she let up on the hitting, her fists clenched, trembling within her leather robe of judgement. “You! She touched you. The unclean thing held you and fucked you and corrupted you, and you fell, and I can – beat – her – out of you!” She slapped him over and over, open handed, now, but it still stung like nettles.

    With another startling realization the demon looked up. She meant that. She meant every word of that. That it was only touching the unclean which could strip an angel of his goodness. That it was the devil woman’s fault that he went bad. Which meant... which meant....

    “Wait,” he snarled, backing away. “Are you telling me,” he asked, to be absolutely sure, “she should never have... seduced me into touching her? That it was her act alone that made me evil?”

    “What else?” she snapped, her mouth tight with disgust. “You were one of us until that night. An angel. You were good, you were clean! You protected the weak and stood for the righteous and sacrificed  for the good of all. And then she touched you, and look what you became. A vicious,” she struck him with each inflection, “murderous, demon. A devil, that didn’t. Care. About. ANYONE but himSELF!”

    The demon accepted each blow in a kind of daze, bewildered at the loathing of the archangel. How could she think that? How could she remove the blame entirely from the corrupted demon, and place it on... on....

    “You forgot how to love!” she yelled at him. “You forgot... forgot everything that we’d done for you! How we trusted you! You were one of us, and at the moment of deepest trust, you betrayed me!” The demon winced at the pain in her voice.

    “Maybe–” he tried to say.

    “Every death,” she went on. “Every scream. Every moment of terror. All the pain and all the anguish happened from that night! You let her seduce you. You let her corruption inside you! You let her burn out your soul!

    “No!” With a sudden roar of fury he tore his arms apart, the chains of heaven splitting beneath his strength. This was no game any longer. He grabbed at the archangel’s wrists and held her, staring into her with all the strength of his demonic power. “Don’t you get it? I wanted to be corrupted. Maybe I was an Angel, but I was never pure. I was never good to my core, being good never gave me any joy. It was only when I could take what I wanted that I was happy, do you get that? When I could hunt, and... and own, and let the evil slide into me, and corrupt the innocent, that’s what turned me evil! That’s what let the evil that was in me – always in me – loose.”

    He touched the archangel’s hair, brushing it out of her flushed face. “Look at me. The evil in me... it’s my own. Lucifer didn’t bestow it on me. My own lust for her let it loose. My own.” He pushed her firmly against the wall, so she could feel his strength against her. “Listen to me. The corruption. It wasn’t her doing. I reveled in how much I corrupted her. That was what thrilled me, that’s what burned out my soul.” He caressed the angel, touched her, gazed into her. “Lucifer. Who was she? The shining one, the light bearer, the bringer of dawn. The best of us.”

    “And she fell,” the archangel whispered. “She fell from heaven. She chose to touch you.”

    “Yeah,” the demon admitted. “That she did.”

    “She corrupted you.”

    “I corrupted myself,” the demon said. “All she did was let me take what I wanted to have, and that let me be what I wanted to be. She pulled away all the lies – the lies! – about how good I was and made me an honest monster.”

    Tears touched the eyes of the archangel. The demon wanted to lunge at them, lick them from her cheeks, tear into her flesh. It was what his every instinct told him to do. But she was the greatest of the angels, and he loved her beyond instinct. There was power in her pain, but he only held her. He trembled as he held her.

    “Do you hear me, Effulgence?” he whispered to her. “I wanted to be corrupted. The corruption was inside me. It wasn’t caused by her.”

    The archangel cried. “No,” she whispered. “No. That’s... the only thing that made sense. Good... doesn’t just... go away like that. Not because of love.” He nearly groaned. Love was so tainted to her. “She let it happen... it... it had to be her.... She shouldn’t have let it... never have made him touch her...!”

    The demon’s still heart hurt for her disillusionment. He held her cheek and brushed the tears away with his thumb.

    “An angel is not supposed to fall,” she whispered, her throat full. “He’s better than that. He’s better! Anyone I love has got to be better than that!”

    “That’s not how it works.”

    “It is! If I could love, then... then... the judgement. My judgement is wrong...! Angels are good. They’re good! He’s supposed... supposed to stand... and be trusted. The... the trust is....”

    “I know,” he whispered. “If she could love what was evil... she must be evil. And if touching him made him evil... she must have wanted him that way. But that’s not how it works,” he said. “There’s a reason the devil is called the Prince of Lies. The truth hides, and love doesn’t know the future. Love can’t see the truth. Why do you think they call it blind? She wasn’t loving the evil, and she didn’t bring it out. It just happened, that’s all. That’s all it was.” He swallowed. “It wasn’t her fault.”

    “But lies are evil... and truth is good... and the truth about evil... what’s that?”

    He shrugged. “I dunno. But it feels better to be an honest demon then a lying angel.”

    “Honest evil.” She trembled and looked up at him. “You.” And she crumbled, sobbing in his arms like a little girl. He pulled her against him and sat on the floor, rocking her slightly. And she let him.

    The demon looked down. This was wrong. Something wasn’t right. He couldn’t leave it like this. He could leave the halls of heaven, and cradle her, but... it didn’t feel right to, even though it was clear things had gotten way out of hand. Why didn’t it feel right?

    “So what does that make me?” she asked, her voice very small.

    That was why it didn’t feel right. It wasn’t finished.

    He had two options. You’re an angel trying to fall. Fall into the dark with me. That’s where you belong. He considered saying that. He considered it hard. Earlier in the night, he’d have said it without question. It was what he wanted all along, her to walk in the shadows with him, that corner between dark and light, the edge of evil, the catwalk above the good. It was where he felt she belonged. With him.

     But... that wasn’t what she wanted. And he knew it. After all this, it seemed wrong to just claim that and make that ugly truth his victory. And this was a game, dammit. It was supposed to be a fantasy.

    “What of you, love?” he whispered. “Archangel.” He let his nose caress her damp forehead. “Better than the angels. Highest of the heavenly host, most pure, most perfect.” He wiped her tears with his fingers and looked down at her through his yellow eyes. He held her down by the black leather, caressed her arms beneath the sleeves of the robe. “An archangel, the chosen of heaven. You.”


    He let her go, setting her on her knees by the wall, and then pulled away a bit. He gazed at her, naked, his chains broken, his face harsh and fanged. “Touch me, Effulgence?” he whispered. “You, white goddess. You, the chosen one.”

    The angel stared at him, trembling slightly. “Why?”

    “Because you, Effulgence, are perfection. You cannot corrupt, you can only purify. Do you hear?” She stared at him as if in shock, power burning in every line of her, but dormant. Confused. “There is nothing dark or unclean in you, Effulgence. You are brightness, you are sunlight. You can only burn away the evil and leave purity behind.” He stared into her with yellow eyes that screamed of evil with every glint.

    “Corruption,” she breathed.

    “Yes, yes, corrupt,” he said. “Corrupt the evil with the good, bring me back into the arms of heaven. You have the power, my archangel, I know it. You are perfection, you are goodness itself. You’re the One.”

    “A mistake.”

    He shook his head. “A creature such as you... no mistake. Not a single flaw. You are the opposite of corruption. You can only heal, only save, only purge the evil from me. You can bring out only truth, Effulgence.”

    “And the truth is evil,” she said pointedly.

    “Let’s see,” he said. He leaned back further. “Touch me.”


    “Touch me. Touch me, know me, make love to me. Make yourself part of me and see what happens.”

    “What happens....”

    “She made love to good and it turned evil,” he said, his head lowered. “You. You make love to evil. Turn it good.” He held out his arms, the broken chains dangling from them. “Turn it good.”

    The archangel stared at the demon, wicked, corrupt, full of evil so raw it glittered in his eyes, dripped from his sharp teeth, burned in every clean line of his powerful flesh.

    “Take off that coat of judgement,” he said quietly, “and see what happens.”

    It was as if a cord was cut. As if a boat had been caught by the tide and was straining against the ropes holding it, and someone had just cut it loose from the dock. She had felt something similar to this before, but this was subtly different. There was something gentle in this, something pure. This didn’t feel like diving into the darkness, as if she was being dragged and the restraints had snapped. This was just... let go.

    She stepped away from the wall, and he must have unbuttoned the coat before he pulled away, because as she shrugged her shoulders it stayed behind, and she let it. She stepped naked into the candlelight, and touched his pale, demonic face.

    Her hands felt very hot on his cold flesh, and he breathed in the scent of her, so strong through his demonic senses. His mouth opened automatically, and he turned his head, catching the base pad of her thumb – what Drusilla had always called the mound of luna – in his sharp teeth. She let him for a moment, and then she pulled her hand away.

    If she’d stayed still, her hand would have been marked, but no more. As she pulled her hand away the sharp fangs scratched her, just a slight scratch, but it left droplets of blood on the demon’s teeth.

    He was already harsh faced and yellow eyed and hungry, the evil stark in his guise, but she could see his pupils dilate as he drank in the taste of her. He trembled, and ground his sharp teeth together. “Oh, god,” he growled.

    The archangel moved the hand back in front of his face. “Can you withstand the temptation?” she asked. “Can you endure what it would take to purge you?”

    The words sounded angry as they came out through clenched teeth. “Try me.”

    The archangel slapped him with her blooded hand, leaving a smear of her blood on his cheek. She stopped and stared at him, and he stared back. “Again,” he said, the word stark.

    She hit him again.

    He drew in a breath, and then made himself look back at her. “Again.”

    She hit him one more time.

    When he turned his face back this time, his eyes were narrowed, and his voice came out in a growl. “Make it real.”

    “I’ll make you real,” the archangel said, and she grabbed him by the back of the neck and stared into his face. “How much can you endure, demon?” she asked. “Can you take what I have to offer?”

    “I will take. All that you have. And more,” the demon said. He knew what a dangerous thing he’d just said.

    “Then take it!” the archangel snarled, and her hands went around his throat. He grabbed at them and struggled. She was strong, stronger than he was, and it was hard to resist her, but she needed the resistance, or it wouldn’t be real. He forced her hands off his throat, and they were wrestling, his hands around her wrists, her strength pushing against his, and she was winning. She was winning, and he was falling, and he fell backwards, and they were rolling... rolling... rolling, the strength and the heat of her swimming through him both together, and he wanted to kiss her, but a searing pain suddenly shocked him, and he groaned. The scent of demonic magics, almost an incense of burning demon, and he quickly rolled off the pile of clothes that had been left on the floor earlier by... some other angel. Among them was a simple silver cross, part of the usual wardrobe. The archangel sized the cross and held it, staring at the demon, as if saying, “I dare you.”

    He dared. He leaned toward her, head held up and shoulders back, steeled to endure the pain, and she pressed the cross against his bare chest, just over his heart. She held it there, and held it, and held it, and then let go before the burn could start to smolder, and she pulled the cross away, and he was branded by her. He relaxed as she let it go. Left there long enough, and he could have ignited, he could have been dust. But they’d both known that. She held out her hand with the cross in it, and he reached for it, their fingers intertwined. Smoke leaked from between their hands, and his flesh sizzled. Held... held... held....

    When she finally let go, he had a stigmata on his hand, in the shape of a cross. He breathed in and out to control the pain, and she moved the cross, and dared him to take her other hand. He did, seizing both of hers, and they stared at each other locked, one hand smoking, one in pain. The cross grew hot between them. The archangel opened their clasped hands and the cross fell to the ground, but she didn’t let him go, leaving their fingers laced. Both their breath was coming in harsh gasps, as if the pain had ripped through both of them.

    No doubt it had.

    “Do it,” the archangel said.

    He almost didn’t know what she meant. Then he decided he would wait for her to make it clear anyway.

    “You have to do it,” she said. “Feed of my flesh, drink of my blood.”

    She smelled of lust and sorrow and bloodshed. The offer ripped through him like a blade, tore him asunder, made him want to kneel at her feet. He wanted it more than anything, and he was scared to death. “Not yet,” he said.

    “Why not? Take it.”

    “I won’t take it.” Her lips were parted, red as her blood, which he could still scent from the scratch on her hand. God, did he want that blood. He shook his head and licked his own lips through his fangs. He released her hands, letting his fingers slowly inch up her arms, pull her close. The sundered chains clicked as they brushed against her flesh. “You’d have to give it freely,” he whispered into her ear.

    “And if I am?”

    It was too much. He’d be lost, one way or another, if he took her blood. Oh, hell, he was lost anyway. Unable to stand it any longer, he did fall to his knees before her, his head bowed, and her soft, warm hand caressed his pale hair. After a few moments she lifted his head, her fingers under his chin, and he gazed up at her with absolute devotion. I am your teacher, I am your slave, I am your master, I am your friend, he thought. I could be your disciple. The idea appealed to him. She searched his face silently for long moments, and then sank to her knees, kissing him passionately even through his fangs, her body pressing against his, the hot flesh making his burns smart and his blood sing.

    She kissed him more fiercely, her tongue caressing his fangs, slicing itself slightly on his sharp teeth, and his mouth filled with her blood. He was hard pressed not to clamp down on her tongue and just bite it off, sever the lingual artery, suck her dry through their kiss. He’d done it before...

    No. Not with her. Never with her, no matter how possible it was. He pulled her atop him instead, straddling him, her legs wrapped around his back, his body finding the hot core of hers, plunging his cock into her instead of his fangs, forcing the bloodlust back into simple lust.

    She clutched at him, and removed herself from his kiss, and pressed her throat against him. “Will you do it?” she offered.

    He wanted to. “No.”

    She shifted, all but shoving her flesh into his mouth. “Do it.”

    No, he thought unable to speak. He would not bite down. He thrust up into her, and she squeezed at him, clutching his cock with her powerful muscles, dragging pleasure out of him. Not yet, not yet, not her... “Ahh!”

    It should have been release, but instead it was more pain. She had found the cross again, and had seared its mark into his back. “Do it,” she told him. She burned him again, a different spot. “Do it!” Again and again she burned him, and he kept shaking his head no, until she cried out in frustration and threw the cross away. “You have to do it!”


    She stared at him, her eyes hungry and just as scared as his. “I don’t know, I just need you to,” she whispered.

    He was touched by the plea. And plea it was, the desperation was in her eyes, in her voice, in the feel of her hands on his skin. She needed him to do this, if only this once. The taste of her blood was already in his mouth. The scent of her was already coating his flesh. The feel of her warmth surrounded his cock. And if she threw this away tomorrow...? Oh, bloody hell! There was only tonight. He opened his fangs and sank them into her throat.

    She thrust hard at him as the pain struck, and she kept thrusting, so hard he spilled his drink, and blood trickled down her pale skin, so hard he couldn’t make the bite gentle, or smooth away the pain of it. All he could do was take in gulp after gulp of living, hot, angelic blood, lapping at her, trying hard as he could to hold it. The demon in him roared the perfection of it as he thrust up inside her, the release pouring all through him, almost sobbing. She screamed with it, pain and pleasure combined, and her hands bruised his burned shoulders.

    God she was strong. Between what was around his cock and what was around his shoulders he lost his grip on her throat completely, and cried out with pain and pleasure himself, his head arching back, the demonic roar echoing ‘round the chambers of heaven.

    And a moment later the archangel looked down at the demon... his eyes blue and clear, his face open and childlike, his innocent lips parted with awe. The demonic twist had faded from his face, the sharp fangs were gone, the evil... she couldn’t see a trace of it. She had claimed him back with pleasure and pain, with sacrifice and commandment. Bruised, burned, bloodstained, he looked up at her, and she gazed down upon what she had done.

    And she wept.


One Last Game

    Spike held her tenderly, gently kissing her temple as she cried and cried and cried. Eventually she became aware that he was whispering to her. “I’ve got you, love. It’s all right. It’s all okay, I’ve got you. It’s all over now. You’re here. You’re here, I’ve got you.” Over and over again, his tender words sliding into her being. Buffy wanted to melt, to stay there, to fall into him, to try and burrow her way inside him and never come out. His arms, his scent, his voice, all of them penetrated her, more than his cock had ever done.

    They were too deep inside her. Too deep. He’d already found too much. She’d given too much away. She started to tremble, terror ripping through her, and she suddenly pulled away. “I have to go,” she said.

    Spike looked shocked. “What?”

    “I have to go, I have to go!” she said. She pushed herself roughly out of his comforting arms and almost knocked him to the ground as she scrabbled for her clothes. She was almost tempted to run out without them, but... no. If anyone caught her, open and vulnerable like this. A vampire she could stake, but if Xander...? Or Dawn!

    “Dawn’s home alone,” she muttered. “I have to... I have to go. I have to go home.”

    “Buffy, don’t do this,” Spike said.

    “Shut up!” Buffy snapped. “You don’t get to say what I can and can’t do!”

    “Buffy!” He glared at her, and then wrestled off his remaining chains. “God, I hate that you do this. Why do you throw away happiness with both hands?”

    Buffy kicked him as he came toward her, and he grunted as he was pushed back.

    “Don’t go like this.”

    “No,” Buffy said. “I have to. I have to go. I have... to go.” She couldn’t find her damn shoes! She scrabbled under furniture, knocking over candles in her haste.

    Spike watched her for a long moment. “Not like this.”

    “Like what?” Buffy snarled. “I’m going.”

    “One more,” he begged.

    Buffy scoffed. “No. No, no, I’m going.”

    “One last game.”

    It tasted like fear, the offer. If her mouth hadn’t already tasted like blood, it would have then. She swallowed. “No more games, Spike. No.”

    “Just one more,” he said. It was a plea, she could hear it. “One more, Buffy. Don’t leave like this.”

    She was tempted. He was open and vulnerable and covered in bruises and red marks that she had inflicted. Her own blood graced his lips. A bite mark – god, how was she going to explain that? – was on her shoulder, almost on her throat, still oozing blood. He was inside her now. She was inside him. She should go, she should leave him, she should never have come here... “No, I’m leaving,” she said. She jammed her feet into her shoes and headed for the ladder, still attaching her skirt.


    “Shut up.”



    “Joan!” he called out.

    She stopped. She looked back at him. He had wiped the blood from his face, and he stood naked and vulnerable in the center of the room, one hand held out in invitation. There were no costumes. No weapons. No equipment. There was only him.

    Joan. What he was offering, what he was asking for... no history. No baggage. No demands. Just him, and... her.

    “Please don’t leave, Joan,” he whispered. “Not yet. Just one more.”

    She stared at him for a long moment, and history, and fear, and regret, all of it fell away with his offer. She found herself dropping the ladder, dropping her jacket, dropping everything, and suddenly his cool hand was in hers, and they stared at each other. “Are we safe?” he asked, and she knew he was already there. One more game, and it had started already.

    She thought about it one more time. Were they safe? “Yes,” she whispered. “I think we are.”


    “You got bit, can I help?” Randy asked, gently touching the wound.


    “Come on.” He led her over to the side of his room to a recycled chest of drawers. He reached inside and pulled out – Joan chuckled – a bottle of peroxide. “Here.” He poured a little on a handkerchief and daubed it on her bite. It bubbled and stung, but it felt good, really.

    “You’re gonna stain my shirt.”

    “It’s peroxide, not bleach,” Randy said. “Here, though.” He unbuttoned her shirt, carefully not pointing out that it was haphazardly buttoned and lopsided, and then pushed it off her shoulders to get to the wound. She wore nothing beneath. He tended the bite gently. “You gonna be okay?”

    “You don’t look great yourself,” Joan pointed out.

    “It was a heck of a fight,” Randy said. “I guess that happens when you’re superheros.”

    She chuckled. “Wish I knew how we got that way.”

    “I don’t,” Randy said. “And neither do you, really. I mean... must have been epic, but... I kinda like what we have.”

    “Well, it’s clean,” Joan said quietly, meaning every word. “Uncomplicated.” She stopped his hand. “I think that’s clean, too.”

    “Is it?” he asked.

    She gently touched his face. “Yeah.” She gazed at him for a long moment, trying to read his blue eyes. “You’re the weird one. Fighting other vampires.”

    He shrugged. “I just want to be helpful.”

    “And you think you have a soul,” she said.

    He opened his mouth a moment and then turned away, unable to find any words for that. He went and sat down on the side of the bed. He leaned on his elbows and without hiding his face he still seemed to curl into himself. Joan was touched. She sat down beside him. “What does that mean to you, anyway?” she asked. “When you decided that? I always wondered.”


    She shrugged. “Yeah. I mean, why not something else? Like, I’m not hungry right now, or I’m some animal-eating breed of vampire, or we have a business deal, or, I don’t know, government chip in your head. Why did you jump straight to I must be a vampire with a soul?”

    “You said it was lame,” Randy said.

    Joan shrugged. “You gotta admit, it is kinda lame,” she said, and they both chuckled.

    Randy shook his head. “I don’t know. It just seemed to make sense at the time.”

    “Well, why? I mean... isn’t the evil kinda intrinsic?”

    “I guess not. Or... or if it is, there were other things that were more important than that. I dunno, I mean, I just thought about why I’d be on your side instead of theirs, and that kinda... popped into my head. It really did seem logical then, though now I... I don’t know. But... I mean why would I love you if I didn’t...” he trailed off.

    Joan was actually a little surprised. “You loved me?” she asked. “I mean even... just after we woke up, there? Even then?”

    Randy smiled at her. “Yeah. I didn’t know sod all about myself, I didn’t even know I was a vampire at first, but loving you? Yeah. That I knew.”

    She doubted it. “First sight?”

    “No,” he said quickly. “Not first sight. Probably from just after you staked the vampire, but the way you just took charge, and there was something in how you were looking after... Umad.” They both chuckled again. “I dunno, touched me, I guess. I was gonna wait until things were calmer and then ask... if you felt the same way.”

    Joan looked down. She hoped he wouldn’t ask. Asking was so dangerous....

    “Did you at all?”

    “How can you ask me that, I knew nothing!” she said, somewhat annoyed.

    “That’s why I ask,” he said quietly. “I mean look at me. If you knew nothing about me, nothing about my history, what would you think? What did you think? I mean, you knew you and – and Umad were sisters.” She said nothing. “What did you feel about me?”

    “I don’t know,” she said quietly. She picked at her fingernails in nervousness. “I mean... I don’t know.”

    “You know something,” he pressed. He knew she had to feel something.

    “I trusted you,” she said finally. “I did. I trusted you. I... I felt really betrayed when I turned around and saw you all bumpy.”

    “Did it bother you after that?”

    “I don’t know.” She thought about it. “Not after you said you didn’t want to bite me.” She looked up at him then. “Do you really not want to bite me? At all?”

    He shrugged. “You don’t smell like food to me,” he said. “I know your scent too well. There’s too many other things than hunger tangled in it. You smell like....” he trailed off, and swallowed. “Can I hold you?” he asked, very casual.

    Joan closed her eyes, and then nodded. Randy’s pale arms went around her, pulling her warm body against him, and god, he did feel good. It felt right, entwined in him. Joan put her arms around him, and he hissed. “Ow!”

    “God, your back! I forgot...”

    “It was a heck of a fight,” Randy said easily. “I don’t mind. Come on back.”

    She put her arms around him more gently, and he buried his nose in her hair, then Randy was kissing her throat, and it felt good, so she let him. She didn’t just let him, she melted under him, moaning a little with the pleasure of it. She felt insanely tired. Like she’d been fighting for hours, battling she knew not what, but it was time to stop, now. Just time to stop, time to curl up in Randy’s arms and let him take care of it for a while.

    After a little while he looked up and gazed down into her face. Her eyes were closed, her lips parted, her expression was completely at peace. “You look half asleep,” he said. “Maybe we should–”

    “Don’t stop,” she whispered. She sounded like a little girl. “Please don’t stop.”

    Randy kissed her, his lips sliding over hers, cool and smooth and sensual. His tongue entered her mouth lightly, just the tip, teasing at her teeth, her tongue, the inside of her lip. “Did you like that?” he asked.


    Randy lay her down on the disheveled bed and ran his hands down her body, stripping her slowly and sensually before he slipped alongside her and set about kissing her in earnest, slowly, deliberately, firmly. Her heart began to beat faster, and she put her arms around him, sliding up and down the cords of his neck, along his collarbone, down across his arms, and back again. He caressed her, just firmly enough so that she could feel his strength without there being any pain. After a little bit he pulled back and gazed at her. She was heavy eyed, languid, beautiful. “You are marvelous,” he whispered to her. “Did you know that? You’re exquisite.”

    She smiled up at him. “You’re not so bad yourself.”

    He looked shy. “Really?”

    “Mm,” Joan said. “In bed with a hottie. I can’t complain.”

    Suddenly Randy looked like he might cry. He shook the emotion off with a breath and kissed her forehead. He reached up and caressed her breast, and the nipple hardened under his ministrations. Joan hummed with contentment. “What about the evil?” she suddenly whispered.

    “What do you mean?”

    She opened her eyes and gazed up at him. “Vampires are evil. Don’t you want to go... conquering the world and such?”

    He grinned, showing surprisingly keen teeth, even when they were human. “I’ve got enough to conquer right here,” he said. “And it can be more fun being conquered.”

    She grinned back. “You want me to conquer you?”

    “Too late.”


    She relaxed beneath his hand – which had somehow switched breasts – and Randy took the opportunity to kiss her again. And again. And again. He slid his body half over her, put his leg over hers, held her close against him. “Do you want this?” he whispered.


    Randy shifted so he was more over her, looking down upon her. “Do you want me?”


    It came so easily. He kissed her, and she opened beneath him like a flower, no resistance, no demand, just... they fit together, like matching puzzle pieces. He slid inside her, and she slid around him, and it was so exactly what he was thinking that he didn’t even notice at first when she said, “Welcome home.”

    When he realized he’d actually heard that, and not just felt it, he looked down upon Joan. He couldn’t think what to say. Maybe, he realized, not saying anything was more important now.

    For her own part, Joan wasn’t thinking at all about what to say. The vampire moved within her evenly, softly, and she looked up at him and just... let herself enjoy it. It was wonderful, so freeing to have nothing in her past to think about, no future to try and contemplate, no self to try and sort out. As Joan she just was, and here was this vampire who was trying to be good, and okay, maybe he wasn’t great at it, but he felt good against her, good atop her, good inside her, and god, he belonged to her, didn’t he. Completely and utterly belonged to her. That was a good feeling, to have someone who belonged to her.

    And man, but his cock filled her right. She could feel him sliding in and out, over and over again, and suddenly he slowed, pulled out, slid back in so slow, and then did it again and again, taking long, exquisite seconds between each thrust, letting her body close, and then opening her again. It sent the sensation of him right up through her spine, making her very heart open and close, and her breath grew shaky. God, he felt good.

    He smiled as he sensed she liked that, and did it more, slowing even further, slowly filling her completely before leaving her utterly empty, over and over again. Then he plunged into her, shockingly sudden, and she cried out. Once, twice, and then he pulled out again, just tickling at the edge. Her groin clenched in anticipation. Would it be fast or slow? Hard or gentle? Hard! Yes! Yes! Then he stopped, and went slow and full again, and she gasped and cried out and clutched at him.

    How long this went on, she couldn’t say. She was so tired, so flushed, they’d been at these pleasure games so long, and they’d gone so serious, and so strange, and so confusing, she found herself needing to be closer and closer to him, pulling him against her. His cool flesh felt like a soothing balm against her own skin, his weight felt like the comfort of a favorite blankie to a child, his scent was as welcoming as homebaked cookies, his cock between her legs was a gift, a treasure, a calling, and the movement, the life between, the sound of her heart, the feel of his breath, the taste of passion, weight of his love – “I love you.”

    The words rose from her, unbidden and unconsidered, and as she heard them she paused, trying to force herself to take them back, to be someone who cared, who wouldn’t believe it. If he had stopped, if he had looked at her, if he had made it real in that moment, she’d have taken it back, or added more – your cock, your body, something. But he gave no indication that he had heard, made no demands with his eyes or his face, and the words were left to float between them, and bounce back, and rise again. “I love you,” she said again, the words tasting like flowers in her mouth, fresh and sweet and not made to be swallowed. “I love you, I love you, I love you....” They fell from her, the words, she was made of them, they were freedom.

    He shifted his weight, gazing down upon her now, bearing down more on her clit, filling her, holding her, and she held him back, and suddenly the joy of it just filled her. “I love you,” she whispered. “I love you.”

    “I love you,” he said back, and then he groaned, almost sobbing as if he’d had a festering thorn taken from his flesh. “Oh, god. God, I love you, I love you.”

    She returned the words, they became almost a mantra between them. “I love you. I love you. Love... love... oh, god, love....” The words and the thrusts and the warmth and the closeness, the slick sliding of him inside her, all grew, and swelled, and rose to a crescendo. More, more, “Yes, yes, love, love you, yes!” She cried out as the pleasure crested and crashed, and he groaned with release as he finally let himself go. “God, I love you!” he breathed into her ear.

    “I love you, too,” she finished, and then said what had to be said. “Randy.”


    The moment shattered, the dream died, the game ended. Just. Like. That.

    Spike pulled away and looked down at her. Her face was clear and cold and he knew Buffy wasn’t in there. If she had ever been.

    He pulled himself off her and stared. He couldn’t even glare. He couldn’t even be angry. He wished he could be. He wanted to be furious. He wanted to break her spine and rip her to pieces and spread her remains over half of Sunnydale. He wanted to make her into mincemeat. He wanted to sink his teeth in and drain every last drop of her traitorous, treacherous blood, suck her inside himself so that she had no doubt that every last inch of her belonged to him.

    And he wanted to cry.

    The two impulses tore him across, canceled each other out, and all he could do was sit there, staring.

    Buffy sat up and pulled her skirt from the foot of the bed, sliding it on with neither hurry nor reluctance. “Thanks,” she said cooly. “This was fun.”

    Spike stared at her in what he was afraid was shock as she reached down, found her shirt, retrieved the shoes he’d placed at the side of the bed. Sunday morning after a college tryst, he half wondered if she’d even remember his name in ten minutes. You have to know how cruel that was, he wanted to say. He wanted to berate her. But suddenly he was scared. Because she did know. She had to know. Which meant she’d done it on purpose.

    Unless she hadn’t.

    “Buffy...” he said.

    “Yeah?” She glanced over at him, casually hooking her silver cross back around her neck. There was no hurry here. Her shirt was buttoned and only a little disheveled. Okay, so her bra was ripped and lost, but you couldn’t tell with her perky breasts.

    There were a thousand things he wanted to say to her, starting with Don’t go and ending with I’m gonna kill you, you fucking bitch!

    When he said nothing she smiled – cold and friendly, and she leaned forward. She kissed him, a thank-you peck almost on the lips, and it was like being touched by an ice-cube. “We should do this again sometime,” she said, with all the merry perkiness of a valley-girl coquette.

    He couldn’t believe that after all of this, she was about to pretend none of it had ever happened. Was none of this real? How could it not have been real? She felt it, he knew she’d felt that love, he’d heard her say it! “Buffy, don’t.”

    “It was a game, Spike,” she said. “Just one last game, like you asked.” Her words weren’t as cold as they had been, but they were very firm. She stared at him, and he could read the plea in her eyes. Let it go, let it go, please, please, just let me go!

    He trembled. It wasn’t fair. But it had been what he’d asked for. This whole night had been what he’d asked for. Something other than the violence and the hatred they’d been wallowing in for months. It had been naughty, and seductive, and confusing, and friendly, and powerful. And loving. It wasn’t hate. It was exactly what he’d wanted.

    He wished he’d never asked.


    “I gotta get home, William,” she said suddenly. “Thanks for the poetry lesson, it was neat.”

    A laugh escaped him, hysterically. Poetry? She was back to the sodding poetry?

    But she was. She was Buffy the promiscuous teenager, and Queen Fi the Sultana of all, and the emotionless robot, and the youth experimenting in secret, and the avenging archangel, she was all of these as much as she was anything else. She was the Slayer. She stood alone. He’d been trying to reach out, trying to connect to her, somehow, in some way, get through the walls she’d constructed. And... and he had. But he couldn’t hold her.

    “I tried,” he managed to say.

    “I know. But I’m not very good at this sort of thing.” She swallowed. “I’m sorry, William.” She reached out one warm hand and caressed his cheek, his throat, and god... her eyes hadn’t changed from what they’d been when she stared up at him as Joan, desperate, honest, so loving. Then she stepped away, turned her back, and walked off.

    “Another time?” he said as she approached the ladder.

    Buffy stopped, and looked at him. “Maybe.”

    At least it wasn’t never. But it wasn’t good enough. He wasn’t good enough. “Buffy, what can I do?” he begged her.

    “I... I don’t know,” she said quietly.

    But she did know. She’d just as much as said it in his arms just now. She’d only love him as Randy, and Randy wasn’t Spike. Randy was the vampire... with a soul.

    Bollocks. There had to be something else.

    “At least this wasn’t boring,” Buffy said. He barely remembered he’d said he’d been getting bored with the way they’d been doing things.  

    “This isn’t a game, Buffy.”

    Buffy stared straight at him. “Yeah, it is.”

    She was too far away to hear when he managed to find the next words.

    “It doesn’t have to be.”