full 3/4 1/2   skin light dark       
Almost Home by slaymesoftly
Chapter Four
<<     >>
Hours later, the temporarily sated couple were relaxing on the bed, Buffy draped over Spike’s body while she rubbed circles on his chest with her thumb.
“We could really erase those old memories by spending the night here,” she said. “Just you and me. No worries about who might be wondering where I am….”  She sighed and sat up. “I don’t suppose you installed a bathroom in here this time?” she said wistfully. “I kinda need to pee and the idea of walking out to the sewer naked just isn’t all that appealing.”
“I did, actually,” he said with a laugh. “It’s not quite as elegant as I wanted it to be, but it’s almost private and easy to access without actually going all the way to the sewer.”
“Really?” Buffy gave him a dubious smile. “When did you find time to do that?”
“Once we’d gotten rid of the hell-bitch, you know the rest of the year was pretty slow. And summer’s been even slower. I’ve had plenty of time to work on my home-away-from-home while you were off shopping and doing other girly stuff with Dawn and your mum.”
Buffy cocked her head at him. “First you show me where my bathroom is, and then…..”
She stood up and stretched, giving him an arch smile.  “And then I’m going to make up to you for all the times I ran off without even thanking you for making the world go away for a little while.”
He leapt from the bed to his feet in one smooth move, took her hand and led her into the darkness. Buffy grabbed a candle as they went past the dresser and followed him only a short distance before he stopped and gestured into a small alcove. Holding the candle up at the entrance, Buffy gasped. Inside the alcove was a small, portable plastic shower stall, in which she could see her favorite shampoo on a shelf. Beside it was a toilet made to look like an old fashioned one with the tank for the water hanging over it.  A roll of toilet paper sat on the floor between the toilet and the shower. The floor was made of wooden planks suspended over the mud of the cave floor. Drains ran under the boards from the toilet and the shower. The entire small area could be hidden from prying eyes by a black shower curtain at the entrance.
“Whoa! And wow. You did all this?”
“If I said yes, would you believe me?” He  beamed at her skeptical expression, then laughed.  “No, one of the demons that works the sewers and does above ground plumbing on the side owed me a favor. He did most of the work. I just told him what I needed.”  He shrugged. “The shower works, but we don’t have the hot water part figured out yet. He thinks he can find a small electric water heater for me, but I told him it wasn’t a priority.”
Buffy smiled at him. “Considering that we have a perfectly good tub and shower at home, I’d say it wasn’t.” She looked around. “Where was this guy back in our time? This is a lot nicer than two boards and a toilet from the dump plopped down over the sewer.”
“Did the best I could then, love,” he said, suddenly more subdued.  “Didn’t have the money or the resources I do now.” He turned away. “I’ll just let you do your business then…” He walked off, shoulders hunched as if in pain.
Buffy stared at him, seeing his rigid posture, and going back over what she’d just said. With a strangled cry, she dropped her candle and covered the short distance between them in one bound, landing with her face pressed against his back and her arms around his body. She clutched him until he flinched, then loosened her grip.
“I’m sorry,” she said to his still stiff back. “I know how hard you worked to make it comfortable for me down here. I knew it back then­­. It’s just that it made me feel even more guilty about leaving you here by yourself, so I never said anything about how much I appreciated it.”  She forced him to turn around so she could see his face. “But I did. Appreciate it, I mean. I wasn’t complaining about it just now. It was just a joke. Not a very funny one, I guess.”
“It’s alright, love,” he responded, softening his expression. “That was just me remembering what I was askin’ of you back then. Knew spending the night in a big grave wasn’t your idea of a romantic getaway. Did what I could to make it seem less like a hole in the ground, but I know it wasn’t what you deserved.”
He pushed her away toward the bathroom and snatched his lighter off the dresser. Gesturing toward the now-darker area, he handed it to her saying, “Best relight that candle before you try to use your new amenities.” Buffy snatched up the candle and set it back in its holder. She set them on the floor, lit it, and pulled the curtain across.
“I’ll be right out. You’d better be naked.”
“I am naked!” he said. “And so are you, you silly bint.”
There was no verbal reply, so he got back onto the bed and leaned against the headboard as he waited for her. The whoosh of water released from the tank into the toilet was quickly followed by Buffy’s appearance at the exit from the tunnels. She set her candle down on the dresser and studied him, hands on hips.
“I wonder where I want to start?” she said, more to herself than to him.
She laughed when he slid down and canted his hips up, making it obvious where he wanted her to begin.  She walked toward him, licking her lips and never taking her eyes off the body part swelling up in front of her. When, instead of climbing onto the bed, she walked around it, still watching the still-growing cock, she could hear a low rumble building in Spike’s chest.
“Relax,” she said with a giggle. “I’m just planning my approach. I don’t want to rush this.”
“Rush away, Slayer,” he growled. “Nothing wrong with a little rushing now and then. I’m all for it.”
Buffy paused at the foot of the bed and nodded. “This is as good a spot as any,” she said, kneeling on it and nibbling on his big toe. She worked her way up one leg, nipping just hard enough to be felt, but not hard enough to draw blood. When she got to his balls, she nibbled on each of them before beginning to bite her way down the other leg.  His rumble that had become more of a purr, went back to sounding like a growl as she worked her way away from his now fully erect and straining cock. When his growl approached a snarl, she stopped and glared at him before biting down hard on his thigh.
“Aaaah,” he gasped. “Do that again, love.”
She shook her head. “I almost forgot how much you like it when I hurt you,” she said with a sigh. “Silly me.”
She nibbled her way back up the inside of his thigh, biting down hard just often enough to keep him guessing when it was going to happen. Once again, she by-passed his cock and began to kiss and nibble her away across his lower abdomen from one side to the other, pausing to sink her teeth in just enough to be painful when she was over his femoral artery. She sucked hard there, pulling the blood to the surface and making him swear in several languages. She licked the area, smiling at the very temporary love bite she’d managed to bring out, but then she responded to his incoherent mutterings, nudging his cock with her nose.
His sigh of relief when she put her lips on him didn’t last long, as, instead of taking it in her mouth, she began biting her way up and down and around. Only when it began to sound as if he was going to vamp out did she slide her mouth over the head and begin to bob up and down on him.  His “yeeessss!” made her smile around the head, but she never stopped what she was doing and it wasn’t long before he was arching up into her and shouting her name as his pleasure flowed through the claim and brought her to her own small orgasm.
When he’d relaxed enough to begin a satisfied purr as he stroked her head, now resting on his stomach, she kissed the tip, turned her head and smiled up at him. “Did you like it?”
“If I didn’t know who it was that taught you how to please a vampire, we might be havin’ a real unpleasant conversation about now,” he said with snort. “I’m pretty sure you could tell how much I liked it.”
“Oh, I dunno. A lot of what you were saying wasn’t in English.”
“Bloody good thing it wasn’t,” he said with a laugh.  “C’mere you.” He tugged on her arms until she was once again lying across his body with both his arms around her tightly.  “You know I love you more than life itself,” he murmured into her hair.
“I know,” she agreed, then lifted her head to meet his soft gaze. “And I love you too. You believe me, don’t you?”
“I do. Don’t understand it sometimes, but I believe it. You can’t fake something like that when you have a claim.”
“What else can I do to thank you for how good you were to me back then?”
“I think that rather spectacular blowjob has gone a long way to remove any debt you might think you have.” He chuckled, then added quickly, “Which you don’t. You let me love you and let me pleasure you… and myself…. Gave me a lot more than that crumb I’d hoped for. For every time you were bitchy to me, I’m sure I was givin’ as good as I got. You were in hell, and I was one of the monsters you had to share it with.”
He pulled her closer and hugged her tightly. “Did I wish for something more like what we have now? Of course I did. But you gave me what you could, and I took it. Wouldn’t give up that time for anything.”
She snuggled even closer and closed her eyes. “Okay, then. Let’s just get some sleep.”
He reached down with one hand and pulled the quilt up from the floor, covering them
“Good night, my love.”
“Night, Spike. I love you.”
They didn’t linger in the morning, Buffy making it very clear that as nice as the shower was, she was not interested in beginning her day with a cold one.  Spike laughed at her and, while she dressed and straightened up the bed, jumped in and out quickly, only to realize there were no towels.
His happiness at waking up in the crypt with Buffy still beside him couldn’t be ruined, even by her snickers when he had to use his tee shirt to dry off enough to get his clothes on, and they were soon on their way out of Restfield and on their way home.
“So, does this make us rich?” Buffy asked.
He frowned. “We are rich, sweetheart. More or less, anyway. Does what make us rich?”
“Owning two homes,” she explained. “Isn’t that what rich people do? They have more than one house so if one gets dirty they can just go to the other one?”
He laughed and put his arm around her. “I guess we could look at it that way, but I doubt very many in the jet set would consider a crypt in an old cemetery much of a second home.”
“Hmmm. Well, I’m just going to pretend it’s on the Riviera or something.”
He laughed. “Can pretend whatever you want, love. As long as you’re there with me, I’m happy.”
They were quickly back to their apartment, giving Max a cheery wave as he came down for the morning paper.
“You two are up early,” he said.
“Oh, we spent the night in our other house,” Buffy said, waving her hand around airily. “It’s on the Riviera.”
Max had clearly seen Spike’s rolling eyes or heard his scoff, because he just nodded and smiled. “Well, I’m glad you’ve had a nice vacation. Welcome home.”
Buffy looked at Spike. “I don’t think he believes me,” she said with a mock pout.
“Be surprised if he did.” Spike shook his head. “But if you want to believe the Sunnydale sewers are the French Riviera, love, you go right ahead.”
“Sewers?” Max seemed intrigued.
Buffy hastened to explain. “We spent the night in the… where Spike lived for a few years back in our time.  He fixed it up again and showed it to me last night.”
Max raised an eyebrow at Spike who shrugged.
“It’s a crypt. A big one, with two levels and access to the tunnels under the city. It was pretty perfect for a vampire who ran around a lot in the daytime.” He smiled at Buffy and stroked her hair.  “And not a bad place for a newly alive and not very happy about it slayer to hide from the world when she needed to.”
Buffy leaned into him and nodded.
“And that. Most especially that.” She straightened up and said more briskly, “Spike staked his claim on it again this time just in case we needed a hidey hole last year, but we didn’t have to use it.”
“So, you really do have another home?” Max looked thoughtful. “I hope I’m not losing my favorite tenants.”
“Not a chance,” Spike growled. “We know when we have it good. The crypt may be comfy for a giant grave, but we’ll never be as safe there as we are here.”
Max shrugged. “Not that I want you to leave, but if you think you might be spending time there, I’m sure either Winston or I could add at least a minimal level of protection to your ‘vacation home’.”
“Wow. That’s really a good idea,” Buffy said, beaming at Max. “Why didn’t we think of that, Spike?”
“Wasn’t something we did in our time. We left all the magical stuff up to Rupert and Red.”
Buffy frowned, then shrugged it off.  “And only my mom and Dawn actually hid out in the crypt, so it probably didn’t occur to anybody to put wards on it.”
“Doubt they would have wanted to protect it anyway,” Spike snorted. “If neither one of them had enough sense to protect your mum’s house or your dorm room….” He shook his head. “I’m a little disappointed in the watcher that your mum’s home wasn’t protected. Pretty sure that’s basic watcher training. Keep your slayer safe when she’s sleeping.”
“Well, vampires couldn’t get in the house anyway… except for you, I guess….”
“Until you locked me out,” he growled.
“I let you back in… eventually. Quit pouting about it.”
“I’m sure there’s a very entertaining story behind this budding argument, but I believe I’ll just skip it and take my newspaper to read with my morning coffee.” Max smiled at them to show he was kidding, and turned to leave. As he walked away, he said, “Let me know if you want my assistance with securing your other home.”
They waved and walked around to the entrance to their own apartment. Using his completely unnecessary key, Spike unlocked the door and held it for Buffy. She had no sooner taken off her jacket and put her phone on the kitchen counter than it began to ring. A glance at it showed her it was Giles.
“I guess that vacation is over,” she sighed as she picked it up again. “Hi Giles. What’s up?” She made a face at Spike who was making “hang up” signals.  “Oh. He does? They do? Yeah, I guess we can­—” She stopped and frowned at the phone. “Okay. We might have to talk about that.  What time do you want me there?  Uh huh. ‘K.”
She put the phone down and responded to Spike’s curious expression. “Wes wants to meet with me…. without you. Giles said he and Winston would be there too, but Wes specifically asked that you not come with me.”
Spike shrugged. “Whatever you want, love.  Maybe he’s worried you won’t tell the truth if I’m there. It’s not like he can hurt you.”
“I guess not. I don’t know what else I can tell him that we didn’t cover yesterday, but maybe something came up when he and Winston were talking. We’ll see. The less I talk to him, the less likely I am to say something I shouldn’t, though. You’d think Giles would realize that.”
“We have become a bit complacent, haven’t we, love? What with everybody we spend time with in the loop, haven’t had to watch our words since the soldier boys left here.”
“Exactly! None of us are used to being careful anymore. Anybody could slip up. Even Winston or Giles.”
Buffy took her time getting to the Magic Box, having a leisurely breakfast and stopping at the coffee shop for a latte before making her way there.  She gave Anya a wave as she came in and glanced around.
“Where are they?”
Anya pointed to the training room. “They want privacy, I guess. Giles said to tell you to meet them in there.”
“Privacy, huh?” Buffy frowned into her latte. “Are we supposed to be telling secrets?”
“It’s fine with me.  It’s disturbing to customers when there are a bunch of non-customers sitting around the back of the store.”
Buffy nodded her understanding of that concern as she reached for the door to the training room. “I never thought about that. It’s just what we did, you know?”
“What is what you did?”  Wesley greeted her as he pulled it open and held it so she could come in. Buffy stumbled and almost spilled her coffee.
“Uh – meet here in the Magic Box, which is a store and has customers and we just all hang out in the back like we own the place.”
“I do ‘own the place’,” Giles said. “Was Anya complaining again?”
“Kinda? Not really. She just said it makes customers uncomfortable when we’re all sitting around out there.”
“It’s a fair concern, I suppose.” Giles looked around the training room. “We could bring in more chairs….”
“Why not just put up some sort of decorative screen?” Winston asked. “The customers don’t go back there for any reason, do they? So something that seems part of the décor, but blocks their view of the table and any deliberations going on there should be sufficient to prevent any discomfort on their part.”
“That’s a great idea!” Buffy said.
Giles agreed, adding, “I will leave it to you to share this excellent suggestion with Anya.”
Buffy and Giles beamed at him. Laughing when he pretended to be frightened.
“It does seem a good suggestion,” Wes said, a puzzled frown creasing his brow. “What is so amusing?”
“Anya is very protective of her—Giles’s— store, but Winston has a… a knack… for wording things in such a way that even suggestions that might not be welcomed manage to appeal to the recipients of his charm.”
“Charm, right,” Buffy snorted and they all three laughed, leaving Wes still frowning. 
“I feel I am missing something,” he said.
Giles clapped him on the shoulder, saying, “Don’t worry about it. You’ll have time to study him and figure it out.”  He turned to Buffy. “Thank you for coming in again. Wesley has more questions for you and he would like to return to Los Angeles later in the day.”
“Okay. I wasn’t planning anything special today.”  She plopped down on a stack of mats and took a big drink from her cup.  “So what’s he want to know?

Wesley met her curious gaze with his own intense stare before saying, “I’d like to know from how far in the future you have been sent back here, and why that caused you to form a relationship with William the Bloody.”
<<     >>