Betas: Mabel Masters and Slaymesoftly.
In Harm's Way
Chapter Twenty-three: Yes!
He had to be dreaming. The Slayer did not have her hot little hands moving across his back and under his t-shirt. She wasn't pressing up against him, trying to get closer. If it weren't for the solid lamppost behind him, he knew they'd be on the ground. Partly because he was shocked that she was kissing him and partly because at the rate they were going, getting horizontal was the logical next step.
Buffy kissed him with passionate abandon and he marveled at how small she really was in his arms. Though he had one hand tangled up in the hair at the base of her neck and the other around her waist, he let her control everything. For one, he loved the amazing feeling of giving up control to her and for another thing, he was afraid if he showed her just how much passion he felt for her, that she'd take off running.
She leaned back, still holding on, and just stared at him, her chest heaving as she tried to catch her breath.
He ran a finger over her bottom lip. “God, you look incredible with kiss-swollen lips.”
Buffy copied his movements and ran her finger over his lips; closing her eyes partway, she whispered, “You look incredible, too.”
Sucking the tip of her finger into his mouth, he ran his tongue over it before she had a chance to take her hand away.
“Kiss me again, Buffy.”
She shook her head slightly, but stayed in his arms.
“Don't think; just feel.”
Spike desperately wanted her to go back to feeling. He helped her along by running his hands slowly down her sides. Taking it as a good sign when she closed her eyes, he cupped her backside and pressed her closer. Buffy's eyes fluttered open and his knees nearly buckled from the raw emotion in them.
As she moved in to kiss him, he almost held her off. He wanted to savor the look on her face. Freeze it that way. But then she was kissing him again, and Spike, tightening his embrace, decided that he liked that just as much.
The look of pure desire that she'd given him would be etched in his brain forever. He kissed her back with fervor and made a small sound in his throat in protest when she pulled away.
“I need to breathe—I need to go.”
“OK,” he told her with a deep sigh. She wasn't looking at him now, and she began walking towards the college.
He saw the bag sitting on the ground and moved quickly, grabbing it and catching up to her.
“I'm a big girl,” she said softly. “I can get home on my own.”
He continued to walk beside her, but they were both silent. The streets were empty and he was glad for an uneventful trip to the dorms. They stopped in front of the glass doors of the building, and she gently took the bag from him.
“I'm sorry, Spike. I shouldn't have kissed you.”
“I'm not sorry.” He touched her shoulder to get her to look at him. “Are you going to continue to deny that there is something between us?”
Buffy shook her head and shoved her free hand into her pocket. “There's just... I'm confused. I can't do this right now. There are things that I can't change; things that are more important than how I feel or what I might want.” She bit her lip and gazed at him. “And I don't know what I want.”
He wanted to argue with her, but it was obvious that she was struggling with her emotions.
“I don't know what is going on, but I want to help. What can I do?” Spike asked.
“Give me some space.”
“OK, I won't press you for more, but I can't let you patrol alone and I won't stop coming around.”
He held the door open for her; she stepped inside and turned to stare at him saying, “One more thing.”
“Tell me—promise me that you won't hurt anyone.”
“I haven't yet, have I?”
She sighed and asked, “When I saw you running towards us at the cemetery, you know what my first thought was?”
“It lasted only a second, but I thought that you had set up those demons to come after me. I mean, I know you could just kill me on your own, but that was my first thought when I saw the demons and then you.”
He ran a hand through his hair, willing himself not to get angry. How could she possibly think that? All he'd been doing the last week was make sure she was safe. Unsuccessfully keeping the hurt of out his voice, he told her, “I'm in love with you. I've been doing everything in my power to keep you out of harm's way.”
“I know, but this is just so strange. I want to trust you. Just--we have so much history.” Buffy took a deep breath and quickly said, “Tell me you won't hurt anyone and I'll believe it.”
“I won't hurt anyone.”
“Thank you.” She visibly relaxed.
“Could I kiss you goodnight?” Spike asked.
“You said you wouldn't push,” Buffy said, backing into the building.
“Sorry, right. I didn't grab you and steal a kiss, did I?”
“No. You didn't do that.” She smiled at him, shaking her head. “Look, I have to go. I've got a test in the morning, so I need some sleep.”
He nodded and with a small wave, he said, “Goodnight then.”
Spike jogged away with Buffy watching him from the other side of the glass doors. Once he was sure he was out of sight, he stopped for a moment and raised both fists in the air. “Yes!” he told the sky. Then, he ran back to his new house.
Clem was sitting on the sofa, watching My Three Sons on the TVLand channel. “Hey there, Spike. You look positively cheerful.”
“Thanks, mate. That's because things are really looking up.”
He sat with Clem for a bit and told him how the girl of his dreams was finally noticing him and in a good way now.
“You're good, Spike.” Clem took a drink of his Mountain Dew and stared at the vampire in awe. “I never thought the Slayer would go for you.”
“The Slayer. How did you know?”
“Come on. She's all you talk about on poker night. How you want to kill her and how she drives you crazy. The drunker you are, the looser your tongue gets.”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
She seriously despised the alarm clock. Buffy slapped at it, even as she sat up. Willow's bed was still empty and made up. There had been a message from Willow on the machine when she'd come in last night, letting Buffy know that she was staying late, doing research with Giles.
The bathroom was crowded with girls, so she brushed her teeth while waiting for a free shower. She watched the other girls laughing and talking about a frat party that everyone was going to. They all seemed so happy and carefree. She wished she could be like that. But she had responsibilities and things were only going to get more difficult.
She stepped into the shower, pulled the curtain over and disrobed, dropping the clothes into her bag just outside the cubicle on the floor. Buffy let the warm water fall on her as she thought about the dream she'd been having right before she woke up. There had been no talk show stage, no talk show host; just her and Spike at a kitchen table, looking at a piece of paper. Everything happened in slow motion. He'd leapt to his feet, knocking the chair over, and with wide, misty eyes said, “I'm going to be a father?” His smile was exactly like the one he'd gotten when she'd put the mood ring on the other day.
She leaned against the stall and closed her eyes as she worked shampoo into her hair. Did she want Spike to be the father? Is that why she was having these crazy dreams?
Maybe that was it. She remembered kissing him last night and she couldn't even bring herself to be embarrassed. All she could think about was how amazing it felt to be in his arms. Safe, wanted, loved. But, that didn't mean he could be a father. Perhaps it was just wishful thinking that the Gem would make him able to have children on top of being able to walk safely in sunlight, have warm skin and other things.
Buffy rinsed her hair out and was just soaping herself up when she heard a commotion in the bathroom.
“Have you seen Buffy?” Willow asked someone. “Buffy!”
Peeking out, she saw her friend wildly looking around.
“She was here a minute ago,” a girl said, going around Willow to the exit.
“Willow? What's wrong?”
“I've got to talk to you. In the room. Hurry up.”
She turned off the shower, wrapped one towel on her head and one around her body. Then she grabbed her bag and walked quickly back to the room.
“It wasn't that urgent,” Willow said with a smile. “You could have gotten dressed first.” She was sitting on her bed with an old book opened.
Buffy didn't want to talk shop. Old books and Willow meant spells or research for Giles. She didn't want to discuss either. She had to get in a little study time before her English test. “What was so important that you had to drag me out of the bathroom?”
Willow sat up and settled the book in her lap. “OK. So last night, after you and Xander left, we hit the books. Remember the shipment of books Giles was telling us about, that he'd gotten from the Watcher's Council?”
“Vaguely, yeah,” Buffy said, opening the closet. “Should I wear this?” she asked Willow, holding up a wispy green top and long brown skirt.
“Sure. I like that shirt. Anyways, so there was a pile of about twenty books and I knew it was going to be a long night. There were yellow sticky notes from the Council research department in a few of the books, pointing out stuff of interest, so we started with those.”
Buffy sat down across from Willow to put her boots on. “Learn anything interesting from those books?”
“Nope. All of them had just small snippets of information about how the Gem of Amara was thought to be only a legend and that no one had ever seen it. But,” Willow said excitedly, “there were four books in the pile with no sticky notes. We spent the rest of the night reading those all the way through.” Willow got up and sat next to Buffy on her bed, putting the book on their laps. “This is the last book that I picked up. It's so old that it's handwritten, not printed and it's full of short blocks of information that I think haven't been read in ages. After I read it, I slipped it into my book bag. Giles doesn't know about it yet.”
Buffy looked closely at the small yet meticulous writing and asked, “Why not?”
“It says here that a vampire named Amara was rumored to have had a child.” Willow stared pointedly.
“Let me see that. Where?” Buffy said, quickly scanning the words.
“It's in old English. Kind of hard to read, but it says that a powerful seer was in love with Amara and that he did some sort of magic, so that she could walk in the sun with him. According to this, the last time anyone saw the seer, he was getting on a ship that was headed for parts unknown with a small child and no Amara.”
“It...Does it mention a ring?”
Willow shook her head. “This is in the unconfirmed section of the book, but her name was Amara, she supposedly could go out in daylight, and she was rumored to be able to have children.” She closed the book and stood up. “Buffy, she could have children.”
Buffy stood up with one hand on her stomach. “My dreams.”
“Could be telling you the truth. Think about it. If he has a working digestive system and has to use the bathroom, what else might be in working order?”
The thought was mind blowing, but she'd been mulling it about in her brain for a while now. Spike a father? Wow. Leave it to her to not only get pregnant, but also get pregnant by a vampire.
“There's no way to say for sure. Parker could be the father,” Buffy said, grabbing her book bag.
“I doubt it,” Willow said sympathetically. “You used protection and I'm guessing that, given his reputation here, he was very careful. None of his other conquests are pregnant.”
Buffy glared at Willow.
“Oh, sorry, Buffy. I didn't mean it to sound like that.”
“Would it be such a bad thing if Spike was the father?” Willow asked. “I'm mean, at least he's still around and—he says he loves you, right?”
“I kissed him last night,” Buffy said quickly.
“You did!” Willow stood before Buffy. “Tell me all about it.”
“Later, OK? I've got a class in thirty minutes and there's a test. I need to go get something to eat in the cafeteria and study.”
“I can't believe you,” Willow teased with a big toothy smile. “You tell me about kissage and then leave me hanging without the details.”
Buffy hugged her.
“I'm sorry, but I do have to go. I'll see you at lunch, OK?” Buffy left with a wave, but came right back. “Oh and please, let’s keep all of this to ourselves.”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
The doorbell rang as Spike cleared the basement stairs. It was past six and he was just about ready to find Buffy and see what time she planned to go on patrol. Clem came down the stairs and pointed at the door.
Spike said, “Just stay in your room until I call you.”
He waited until he heard Clem's door shut before going to the door. The bell rang again and he opened it. Grandma Carol and little Anabella stood together with the little one holding a big Tupperware bowl.
“Hi, Spike,” she said. “I brought you something.”
“Evening, Poppet. What do we have here?” he asked, taking the offered bowl.
“Brownies. I made them. Grandma helped.”
Carol smiled at Spike. “Are you settling in good?”
“Yes, thank you.” He bit into one of the brownies. “Mmm, that is good. Come in.”
He stepped aside.
“Thank you, Spike, but we have to get ready to take Anabella's daddy to the airport.”
“He has a bery important meeting,” Anabella said, eying the bowl.
“Well, here,” Spike said. “Take a brownie before you go.”
“No, thank you. Granna says I can't have anymore. I've got to save room for dinner with my daddy.”
“Good girl,” Carol told her and then said to Spike, “She's had three already. Well, welcome to the neighborhood.”
Anabella ran circles around her grandmother and giggled as they walked down the street. Spike closed the door and called out to Clem. He came running down the stairs.
“Who was that?”
“The landlord. Want a brownie?”
“Oh, yum!” Clem took two and sat at the kitchen table. “There's a poker game tonight. You in?”
“Uh, no. Got things to do.” He took his coat from the hall closet, put it on and came back to the kitchen for the bowl of brownies. “If you win, don't bring the bloody kittens back to the house. Exchange them right away. We've a no pets policy.”
Once outside, he put his sunglasses on, lit a cigarette, and inhaled deeply. It was getting dark later and he enjoyed a leisurely stroll down the street bathed in the light of the sunset peaking through the trees. Almost to the end of the block, he noticed an elderly lady struggling to drag a trashcan up her driveway. He walked past, but stopped and grumbled to himself. “I'm becoming a bleeding humanitarian.”
Spike went back and had the lady hold his bowl while he brought all her cans from the curb to the side of the house and told himself to remember that Friday was trash day for his street.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Spike balanced the plastic bowl in one hand and knocked softly on Buffy's door. Willow opened it, looked startled and then said hello.
“'S Buffy here?”
Willow opened the door further. “She's in the bathroom. Come in.”
He cursed himself for being so impatient and not waiting outside like the day before. “Want a brownie?”
“See, now that's the way to Buffy's heart. Bring her chocolate.”
He took the lid off and held the bowl out. With his head tilted, he asked, “What do you mean?”
“I know that you’re in love with Buffy. She told me,” Willow said brightly. Pulling out Buffy's desk chair, she said, “Have a seat. She should be back in a minute.”
She took one of the brownies from the offered bowl and sat on her bed, chewing slowly as she stared at him. When the door opened, the redhead stood up. “Buffy. Spike's here.” She raised both brows and smiled. “And he's brought chocolate.”
He gave Willow a quizzical look and then stood, offering the bowl to Buffy. “Anabella made them.”
Buffy put her makeup bag away and took the bowl. “Anabella can bake? Isn't she five?” Not waiting for an answer, she turned to Willow, “Anabella is Spike's new neighbor. She actually lived in the house that Spike is renting, but now she lives down the street with her grandma. She's really cute.”
Willow smiled at Spike. “Aw, how sweet. She baked for you.”
“Yes, well, her grandmum helped. They brought them over to welcome me to the neighborhood.”
Watching Buffy take a bite, Spike practically drooled. Her lips were luscious and juicy and very tempting and oh, how he wished he was a brownie.
“Mmm, these are very good. I haven't eaten since lunch and that just hits the spot.”
“Buffy,” Willow scolded. “You can't just have a brownie for dinner. You've got to start eating right.”
He watched Buffy give Willow a death glare and frowned in confusion when Willow straightened her shoulders and nodded.
“Oh, right,” Willow said, then stood next to Spike and pointed at Buffy. “Look at her. She's so skinny. Don't you think she should eat better?”
As old as Spike was and having lived with an unstable female for years on end, he knew a damned if you do and damned if you don't question when he heard one.
“I think the Slayer is perfectly proportioned just as she is. She's small, yet curvy, but I am under the impression that all humans need to eat food and a lot of it. At least three times a day.”
“Thank you, Spike,” Buffy said, walking towards her bed. “I am kind of hungry.”
“It's early yet, and there's plenty of places to stop on the way to the cemeteries,” he suggested. “You want to get a bite to eat?”
“You don't have to patrol with me. I've got it covered,” Buffy said, grabbing the weapons bag from under her bed.
“Maybe so, but I think I'll just tag along if you don't mind.”
Buffy shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
“But you'll get a bite to eat first,” Spike suggested, winking at Willow.
“Yes, but there’ll be no biting for you,” Buffy countered.
“Gave that up, didn't I?” he said grudgingly. Even though he didn't need to feed, he kind of missed the violence and the hunt. Willow went to sit at her desk, and deciding that it would be best to keep her on his good side, Spike asked, “Don't you need to eat, too? Want to come along?”
Willow yanked her full book bag onto the desk. “That's so nice of you to offer, Spike, but you guys go ahead.”
Buffy handed Spike the weapons bag and put her jacket on. “She does this every Friday. Gets all her homework done. She's sick like that.”
“Hey, I just want to get it all out of the way so I can enjoy my weekend,” Willow said with a pout. “It doesn't make me a nerd.”
“I used to do the same thing, when I was at University,” Spike offered.
“You went to college?” Buffy asked.
“Don't look so bleedin' surprised. But, yes, I did.”
“Wow,” Willow said. “I'm impressed.”
“I'll see you later tonight, then,” Buffy told Willow. “Don't study too hard.”
“I won't. Don't have much. Plus, I'm going to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Party.”
As they walked down the hall, Spike said, “Red's got a full evening planned.”
“Yeah, well she's all about the whole college experience this year.”
“What about you?”
“Don't have time for all that.” Buffy shrugged. “The demons aren't going to take a few years off while I party and get my degree.”
“That they won't. So, where do you want to eat?”
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