“Spike, what the hell are we doing here?” Buffy spoke up angrily. She’d remained uncharacteristically quiet the entire walk, instead studying Spike from the corner of her eye. But now, in front of the Magic Box, was entirely different story. She kept her voice low though, so anyone inside would not notice their arrival. “I told you I don’t want to talk to the others.”
“Won’t have to worry about that, love. There’s no one here.”
“There’s a light on.” She pointed out, though her voice was no longer hushed.
“So, your Watcher left one on,” Spike sighed. “I’m a vampire, remember, love? All that heightened smell and hearing. I can tell no one’s been here for a few hours.”
“So, what? We can’t just break into the Magic Box.”
“Not going to, Slayer.” Spike smirked, pulling a key out of his pocket. “We’re gonna do it all legal-like. Swiped the spare key weeks ago.” His smile grew.
“Yeah, because stealing someone’s keys is real law-abiding.” She rolled her eyes, but the smile quirking her lips was amused.
“What can I say, love?” He curled his tongue against his teeth, and Buffy shivered pleasantly. No connection, no connection… “I’m a very naughty boy.” He flicked his eyebrows at her as he turned to unlock the door before stepping back to let her pass him.
She gave him a confused glance as she passed by him, unaccustomed to the act of chivalry, but let it by without comment. He followed her in, closing the door behind them and heading towards the back room. He glanced back once to see if she was following, and switched on the light in the training room.
“Now, Slayer, let’s see if we can lose some of that tension, huh?” He motioned her towards the couch, and she furrowed her brow in puzzlement, but sat all the same. She watched him as he rummaged in the drawers in the corner, before he approached her, hesitating as he reached the couch.
She stared up at him for a moment, uncertain until he held up the bandages Giles usually wrapped her hands in when training. She scooted to the side, a wordless invitation for him to join her. His eyes lit up as he moved forward, joining her. She held out a hand, sighing pointedly. He chuckled, taking it in his and beginning the wrapping process.
Buffy watched his hands work almost absently, studying the way his hands moved around hers, encasing it. His skin was cool, but she didn’t flinch away like she knew she should. It was strange, the way she felt uncertainty with Spike around. It was a different kind of uncertainty than she felt around Riley. With Riley, she was always checking herself, trying not to show her full strength or outplay him in a fight. With Spike… it was like she was trying to make sure she didn’t show him a different side, but at the same time, she felt like she could be herself around him. Be both Slayer-Buffy and Buffy-Buffy.
Her eyes travelled from their hands to his face, and she let herself study him. He was focused completely on his task, his eyes on their hands as he worked, the slightest crease to his brow. His lips were parted slightly, and there was a slight curl to his hair that she hadn’t noticed before. His hands felt calloused but at the same time, gentle and soft against hers.
She froze. These were so not thoughts she should be having about Spike.
He felt her stiffen, and quickly finished his work, releasing her from his grasp. He smiled slightly when she didn’t snatch her hand away, but removed it gently. He loved the way her hand felt between his, he could almost pretend they were holding hands. If only, he sighed to himself, taking a moment to inhale her scent. It was intoxicating, like drowning in the Slayer herself. She was his asphyxiation. And he loved it. Loved her.
She stood quickly, stepping towards the middle of the room, facing him and giving him a questioning look, holding up her hands as if asking him ‘what am I going to do with these?’
His eyes flicked to the punching bag hanging in the middle of the room, and she followed his gaze, sighing heavily.
“Spike, I’m not looking to beat up an inanimate object.” She pointed out. “I need a fight. A real fight.”
Spike chuckled, standing and slipping out of his duster. He was wearing the usual ensemble; tight black jeans, heavy boots and an even tighter black tee shirt. “I figured that’d be the case, love. Thought I’d give you the option, though,” he added with a smirk. He held up his hands in a loose battle stance.
“Spike, how are you any better than an inanimate object?” She ducked her head as his expression turned to hurt. “I just mean... you can’t fight back. How the heck are you gonna provide what I need?”
A lot of Spike was telling him to tell exactly how he could ‘provide what she needed’. Another wanted to make a demonstration. But he bit his lip instead. “Don’t need to fight back, pet. Just need to be able to throw a punch.”
Suddenly, his left fist came flying out at her, directed at her face. She dodged it quickly, her hands coming up defensively. “Spike, what the hell are you—“ His fist came again, and she dodged, only to block a kick to her side. “But the chip...?”
“Doesn’t fire if there’s no intent, love. I knew you were going to block it, so so did the chip.” He danced on his heels, grinning. “Come on, Buffy, give it your best shot.”
She tried to glare at him, but her expression dissolved into giggles as he danced back in forth in front of her punching the air with a silly grin on his face. He punched her arm playfully a couple of times, and she tried to give him a stern look. He stuck out his tongue and waggled it at her.
With a smirk and a laugh, Buffy shed her hooded top, revealing a plain white tank top underneath, and joined the dance.
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