full 3/4 1/2   skin light dark       
A Very Strange Vampire by slaymesoftly
<<     >>
Spike’s car was where they’d left it at the far end of the parking lot, and their clothes were still in the trunk.
“Are you goin’ to need anything else before we leave? Want to tell your mum where you’re going?”
Buffy shook her head. “I’ll call her from there just to check in, but I don’t want her to know what was going on here until I know it’s all over. And if I go home to get anything, she’s going use those “Mom” eyes to worm it out of me.”
He laughed and put his arm around her. “All right, pet. But if she comes after me with an axe because I took you off to Vegas without askin’ permission, I’m hiding behind you.”
“You were planning to ask permission?” Buffy gaped at him. “Is this another Victorian thing to remind me that you’re older than dirt?”
Spike coughed, but shook his head. “No, love, if I was going all William on you, I would have asked the Watcher. He’s the surrogate head of the family. The man in charge of your well-being?”  He tightened his grip on Buffy as he felt her working up a good tantrum. “Let me finish, Slayer.  Would have asked your mum because I like her... and I want her to like me.”
Buffy sagged against him, shaking her head and mumbling into his chest, “This is never going to work.”
“What? Why?”
She lifted her head to stare into his genuinely surprised eyes. “You do realize that my mom saw me after our little ‘dust up’ as you keep calling it, don’t you? I didn’t go home until I was a lot better, but I still had the broken ribs and a concussion. You’re just lucky you didn’t show up then. An axe would have been the least of your worries.”
“Fuck! I didn’t think about that. You mean she knows I...”
“Almost killed me and only stopped because of some macho need to beat me fair and square? Uh, yeah, she does. Trust me when I tell you that I have a lot of prep work to do before you show up at the house again.”
“Oh.” He rested his chin on her head and thought for a moment. “Don’t suppose we can convince her it was another one of those tests the Council of Wankers like to use to get rid of Slayers that get too independent?”
Buffy laughed. “Just so you know, she punched Giles unconscious after I killed Kralik. I thought she was going to kill him.”
“Surprised she didn’t, now that I think about it,” he said.
“Well, in his defense, he was very apologetic, said he had no idea they were putting me up against something like Kralik... and she was there when he called the Council and yelled all kinds of British insults at Travers. And he quit his job. Kinda why he’s not employed right now.... Anyway, it was months before Mom stopped swearing every time she saw him.  So, I’m thinking telling her that we have a—” She paused and looked up at him.  “I don’t even know what to call it. Maybe there’s nothing to tell. What would you call it?”
He pulled her into a tighter embrace and peppered her face with kisses until she pulled back and said, “Really not answering my question, Spike.”
“Don’t know what to say, luv. Don’t know what we have. I know what I feel, and I know there’s more to it than just the body part that always points toward you—I promise you that. But I’ve got no idea what’s going on in your pretty little head.  There’s a lot of heat between us. Always has been, probably always will be. But you’re young and haven’t had the best of luck with men. For all I know, this trip is just your idea of a way to relax after a bad week.”
“Spike the stress-relieving vampire?” she said with a wry twist to her mouth. “Is that what you think this is?”
“Something like that, I guess. Not saying it is, jus’ saying it could be all it is. I’m there, either way, but—”
“Do you really think I would use you like that?” She pushed against his chest until he let her go so she could back away. “That I would use anybody like that?”
The pain in her voice and the insulted expression on her face had him backtracking with great haste. “Ah no, love. I know you’re not like that. But I am bloody irresistible, and I’ve been pushing pretty hard....”
“Not that you couldn’t resist me if you wanted to. Absolutely, you could. Right you are, pet. Got all that Slayer determination going for you, you do. I’m just going to stop talking now...” He opened the passenger side door and stood there, holding it with a hopeful expression on his face. Buffy stared from him to the open door, then sighed and got in.
“We’re not through with this conversation,” she said, settling into the seat and crossing her arms across her chest.
She didn’t hear Spike’s muttered, “There’s a surprise,” as he shut the door and ran around to the driver’s side. 
With no worries this time about being seen, Spike pulled right up front and let the valet take the car, flashing his fangs at the boy as he instructed him to “treat my baby right.”  Buffy rolled her eyes and hefted her bag onto her shoulder, hearing the coins clink as she did so.  As they entered the hotel, Spike took the heavy bag from her and went to check them in, once again using a combination of hundred dollar bills and gold coins to ensure that they would be properly respected and pampered during their stay.
When they arrived at their floor and Spike put the key into the door of the same suite they’d had before, she raised an eyebrow at him.
“Two beds again?”
He laughed and leered at her. “Don’t have to use them both,” he said. “I just thought it would be nice to have the space.”
They entered the room and it was immediately quiet. Spike closed and locked the door, just to have something to do, while Buffy cleared her throat, her sudden discomfort more than visible.  “I’m just gonna...” She gestured at the bathroom and ran into it, using the toilet and flushing it, just to prove she hadn’t been running away.  She washed her hands and studied her face in the mirror. “What are you doing, Buffy?” she whispered to herself. “Have you lost your mind?”
Suddenly afraid to face the vampire waiting for her in the room with two big beds, she sat on the closed toilet and put her head in her hands, moaning.
“Buffy? Slayer? Are you alright?”  Spike rattled the doorknob, but didn’t try to open the unlocked door. “Talk to me, pet.”
She sighed heavily and stood up, walking to the door and opening it to stare into Spike’s worried eyes.
“I’m fine,” she said. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
He studied her face for a few minutes, then took her hand and led her to a chair, gesturing for her to sit down. He dropped to his knees in front of her, startling her out of her daze.  In all the years she’d known Spike, on his knees in front of her was the last place she would have expected to find him. He took her hands and raised them to his lips, then put them gently back into her lap.
“Why don’t we go down to the casino and see if we can make ourselves richer? Or, are you hungry? That’s it – we’ll go get some food into you.”
“Don’t you want to—” She broke off, blushing and staring at her folded hands.
“Do. Never doubt it. But I don’t think you do....” He tipped her chin up to make her look at him.  “Let’s just go have ourselves a good time for a while, yeah? That’s what I promised you. Waitin’ won’t kill me.”
Buffy gave a small smile and shook her head. “Just when I think I know you....”
“You don’t know me, Slayer. But you will. I promise you that.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her theatrically, and licked his lips, smiling when she broke into a genuine laugh.
“All right, vampire. Let’s go. I think you did promise me a good time.”
“One good time, coming up,” he said, rising to his feet and pulling her up to face him.  Instead of the deep kiss she expected when he remained facing her, he just brushed his lips across hers before turning away and walking toward the door. Buffy shook her head and followed him out the door and into the brightly lit hallway.
“Are you trying to get me drunk?” Buffy waved her empty glass at Spike.
“Wasn’t tryin to, but it looks like I should’ve asked you if you could hold your liquor before I started buying you drinks.” He leaned back in his chair and grinned at her indignant expression.
“I can hold my liquor!” she protested. “Unless it’s beer... beer is bad.... Buffy and beer... not mixy.”
“Un huh,” he said. “Sure you can. That’s why you’re leaning over there and almost falling out of your chair.”
She straightened up, holding herself rigid. “I am not leaning anywhere. See! Perfectly straight up Buffy, right here.”  She glared at him, then slumped back and sighed.  “I might be just a little, teeny, weeny bit drunk. I dunno. Do you think I’m drunk?”
“I think you’re adorable,” he said, smiling at her with such a soft expression in his eyes that she blushed.  She pushed one shoe off and began to run her bare foot up and down his lower leg, giggling when his eyes darkened and he growled under his breath. Encouraged, she slid down in her chair and moved her foot up to his thigh, stopping only when she ran into an obstacle.
“Oopsy?”  She giggled again when his growl deepened, then gave a little “eep!” when he stood up and threw money on the table.
“Let’s go, pet. Time to put you to bed.”
“Hah!” she said, getting to her feet and almost falling down as she tried to get her shoe back on.  “You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Holding herself up by the back of her chair, she raised her chin to give him a challenging stare.
“Think we’ve pretty well established that, Slayer.” He took her arm and half-escorted, half-dragged her out of the bar and down the hall.  When she spotted one of the “special” working girls from their previous stay, Spike had to grab her around the waist and carry her, protesting and squirming, into the elevator to keep her from following up on her threat to “teach her a lesson about messing with my vampire.”
When the elevator door had closed, Buffy stopped struggling and went llmp.

“You can put me down now,” she said, yawning.
“Don’t want to,” he whispered in her ear, still holding her tightly. She twisted her head around and tilted it to gaze up at him. His arms were wrapped around her torso, holding her back against his body as he smiled down at her.
“Do you love me?” she asked suddenly, then ducked her head and stared at the carpeted floor of the elevator wondering where that had come from.
“Think I might,” he replied, trying to hide his shock at her question. “Is that alright?”
“It’s kinda... weird... in a nice way,” she added quickly. “But weird, don’t you think?”
“Prob’ly. But like you keep telling me, I’m a strange vampire.”
With the brutal honesty that comes with alcohol having removed all inhibitions Buffy said. “I don’t think I love you.” She looked up at him again. “But I think I like you sometimes.  Sometimes I like you... a lot.”
The elevator stopped and the doors opened. Spike swung Buffy up and into a more normal carrying position, one arm under her knees, one supporting her upper body.  He didn’t respond to her until they got to their door and he had to let her feet down so he could get the key from his pocket. He slid it into the slot, waiting for the click before opening the door. Still without speaking, he picked her up again and carried her into the room, placing her gently on “her” bed. He went back to close and lock the door before turned to look at her.
Buffy was peering up at him with a worried expression.  “Are you mad at me because I don’t love you?”
“No, love, I’m not mad at you. Wouldn’t have expected anything else.  It just reminds me of the long road I’ve got ahead of me.”  He sat down on his bed and took off his boots and socks.  “Why don’t you sleep off the booze, and I’ll just watch some telly?”
Buffy got up and pulled her sleeping clothes from the still unpacked bag, carrying them into the bathroom to change.  She splashed some cold water on her face and looked into her own almost sober eyes. “Go Slayer healing or Gem – no hangover for this girl,” she said to own face.
She came out to find Spike, true to his word, stretched out on “his” bed and scrolling through the channel menu. The blackout curtains had already been closed when they checked in and even though it was well into the day by now, the hot Las Vegas sun was only visible as a thin streak against the far wall.
Thinking to herself that he’d have been smarter to get naked, or at least take off his shirt while she was out of the room, she stood beside her bed and bit her lip.  When she hadn’t moved for some time, Spike glanced over at her.
 “It’s all right, Buffy. Don’t want anything you aren’t ready to give me. You’ll be worth the wait.”
“You don’t know that,” she said, remembering how little she had in the way of experience. “Angel only... and then Parker... Maybe I’m not worth a second go. Isn’t that what you said to me?”
Spike moved so quickly, she never saw him get off the bed; he was just right in front of her almost before she’d finished speaking.
“Whoa – I must still be drunk. I never saw you move.” He ignored her words and put his hand on her cheek.
“You have never had the love of a good man... and alright, maybe I don’t fit that description very well, but those wankers wouldn’t know a woman worth having if they fell over her. You know I only said that to hurt you and make you weak. You know that, don’t you?” His eyes were almost frantic with fear as he waited for her to tell him that she believed him.
“I’m just saying... maybe you won’t think—“ Her words were cut off by Spike’s mouth as he captured hers in a kiss that quickly reminded her why she was standing in a hotel room with a man vampire! who had been trying to kill her only a few weeks ago.  In spite of the intensity of his kiss and Buffy’s enthusiastic response, Spike didn’t do anything except nuzzle her neck when they finally broke apart.
 “Come sit with me,” he whispered. “Just watch the telly and relax. There’s nothing to worry about.”
With a nod she followed him back to his bed, taking the pillows from her bed to put behind her. Spike settled back against his own pillows and extended one arm in invitation. With a shy smile, Buffy nestled under his arm and promptly took control of the remote.
“You didn’t seriously think I was going to let you pick what to watch, did you?”
“You hurt my feelings, Slayer. For all you know, I was going to pick a nice, romantic chick flick.”
“Right. You never even noticed those porn channels.”
“There are porn channels? Here? I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you!”
“You are so full of it...” Finding an old Bruce Lee movie, she clicked on that. “Here. Maybe we’ll learn something.”
“We’re going to watch violence... and bloodshed?” He tightened his arm around her. “Knew there had to be a good reason why I fell in love with you.”
Buffy flushed, embarrassed by his ready acceptance of his feelings and his willingness to express them, as well as by her own inability to reciprocate.
“You are so strange,” she mumbled as she settled against his chest to watch the movie.
He didn’t reply, just kissed the top of her head and leaned back against the pillows.  The movie kept them interested for some time, Buffy commenting on different moves and techniques that she recognized, Spike bemoaning the wasted blood being splashed around.
“You know that’s not real blood, right?” Buffy said, nudging him in the side when she noticed his eyes changing color.
“Looks real,” he said, shaking off his fangs. “Sorry, pet.”
“Are you hungry?” Buffy suddenly remembered that, while she’d eaten before they started drinking, Spike had been with her for almost twenty-four hours during which time he’d had only a few sips of her blood and a substantial amount of alcohol.
He shook his head. “I’ll be alright. Left word when we checked in to keep the mini-fridge stocked. If I get hungry, I know where it is.”
“Okay,” she said, snuggled against him and letting her eyes drift shut. “Just so you don’t go looking for one of those stupid ho girls....”
Bringing his other arm across her body, he took the remote from her limp hand and turned the TV off. “You have my word, love,” he whispered as he let the sun send him to sleep. 
TBC – one more chapter go go!
<<     >>