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I Would Die For You by slaymesoftly
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Chapter Two

After they had found and dusted a gang of young vamps they came across standing by a new grave in anticipation of the rising of a new member, Spike insisted on walking her back to the house on Revello drive, telling her it was just a short distance from Restfield and no trouble for him.

Whereas to have Riley insist on seeing her safely inside normally made her impatient and annoyed, it somehow seemed right for Spike, who was, she admitted to herself, more of an equal. True to his word, he had only watched her back when they fought the gang of vamps, stepping in only when one would try to sneak up behind her. By the time they were all dusted, the two blonds were working together in perfect synchronicity – Spike’s quiet, “behind you, Slayer,” all that was necessary most of the time. Although, when he saw her begin to tire, he did pull the biggest of the vamps out of the melee and take out a few of his own frustrations on the other demon. He left the vamp unconscious on the ground while he watched carefully for any sign that he needed to remove any others.

Buffy tossed him an extra stake, not even looking at him to see if he would catch it, and without breaking the rhythm of her fight with the remaining vamps. He quickly dispatched his still-unconscious opponent and stepped up beside the Slayer with a grin.

“You want to keep all this fun for yourself, or can anybody play?” he asked, punching the angry young vampire closest to him.

“Well, I wouldn’t let just anybody play,” she responded, kicking a snarling female away. “But you can. Race you to see who gets done first.”

With a whoop of joy, Spike threw himself into the fray, making quick work of the two vampires left on his side, while Buffy gave up the punches and kicks in favor of simply trying to get the stake into the hearts of her two opponents as quickly as possible. When the last two vamps exploded into dust, they were left facing each other, breathing hard but exhilarated.

“I won!” he crowed, “What’s my prize?”

“You so did not!” she responded indignantly. “If anything, it was a tie, so if there’s a prize, we have to share it.”

“And what would we be sharing, exactly,” he purred, moving into her space and ignoring the stake still held loosely in her hand. “What do you give yourself when you win a fight like that?”

Buffy swallowed hard before answering. “Um, a hot bath or shower and a good night’s sleep?” she squeaked.

“Sounds like fun,” Spike grinned. “Your place or mine?”

She slapped at his chest and moved away saying, “I’m going to my mother’s for mine. I don’t know what you’re doing to do. Unless you’ve got running water in that crypt…”

“Hmph,” he grumbled as he fell into step beside her. “I knew there wasn’t really going to be a prize.”

When they reached Revello Drive, their feet seemed to slow of their own accord, the last one hundred yards to the house taking as long as the first half-mile. But even walking slowly, they eventually arrived at her front porch and she stopped at the bottom step, turning to say “good-night” only to be shocked into silence by the naked desire on his expressive face.

A look he quickly changed to his normal smirk when he realized she’d caught him.

“Home again, all safe and sound,” he said briskly. “Time for all good little slayers to get into bed…”

Maybe I can get another kiss out of this…

There’s nothing wrong with a good-night kiss between friends..

Buffy was just leaning toward the equally intent vampire when a movement from the street caught her eye and she peered around him with a frown.

“Not quite what I was goin’ for, Slayer,” he growled when instead of her lips, his mouth met the side of her head.

“Shhh! Somebody’s watching us,” she hissed. “I can’t see what kind of car it is, but there is definitely somebody in there looking over here.”

“Have a seat, pet,” he said tightly, resisting the urge to whirl around to stare at the vehicle and gesturing casually to the top step. Following his own instructions, he leaned back on his elbows striving to appear uninterested in his surroundings. Once he was seated, he shifted into his demon visage and used his enhanced night vision to identify the vehicle as one of the Initiative’s SUVs. He covered his scrutiny as best he could by fumbling for his cigarettes and making a big production out of lighting one and leaning back again to blow out the smoke. He could just make out the camouflaged commandos inside the vehicle and the hand-held cameras pointed at the house.

“It’s your boyfriend’s buddies, Slayer. The question is, did they follow us here from the cemetery, or have they been here all along staking out your house?”

She rose to her feet indignantly. “It doesn’t matter! Either way, they’ve got no business following me and I’m going to tell them so!”

Before he could stop her, Buffy was crossing the street and heading for the SUV, righteous indignation flaring in every line of her body. Just as she reached the middle of the road, the engine roared to life and the vehicle backed up quickly, turning around when it was far enough away and speeding off into the night.

Buffy stood on the street, her hands on her hips, glaring after the rapidly disappearing truck. She started slightly when the vampire came up behind her and lightly rested his hands on her shoulders.

“Think you scared them off, pet,” he chuckled. “A brassed off Slayer must look pretty scary through infra-red goggles.”

“I’m not going to look any more pleasant in the daylight when I go in there tomorrow to find out what the hell they were doing here,” she growled. Suddenly she turned to him, concern evident on her face. “Maybe they were following you,” she said, a bolt of fear going through her at the thought. “Maybe they want to recapture you.”

He shrugged. “What else can they do to me? They ran all their bloody experiments before they put the chip in. Hey! You don’t suppose they want to take it out, do you?” He suddenly looked eager to follow the now-invisible truck.

Buffy just looked at him with disbelief until he dropped his head and said sheepishly, “It was just a thought.”

“I don’t think you should go back to your crypt tonight,” she muttered, walking back towards her front door. “They might be after you. You’d better stay here until I find out what’s going on.”

“I can’t do that, pet,” he said quietly, stopping on the bottom step.

“Of course you can!” she said indignantly. “Mom won’t mind. It’s only one more night. Just until I get this straightened out.”

He stepped up on the porch until he was hidden in the pool of darkness there, then pulled her unresistingly into his arms. He nuzzled the side of her neck, ghosting his tongue over the marks left by Dracula and smiling when she shivered against him. He ran his tongue up the side of her throat until he reached her lips, then ran it lightly along them until they parted for him. He made no attempt to hide his burgeoning erection as he plunged his tongue into her mouth. When he had kissed her into a state of dizziness, supporting her whole weight with his arms when her knees weakened too much for her to stand, he finally withdrew, pressing his forehead up against hers as he said hoarsely, “I really, really can’t do that, Slayer. Want you too bad to pretend otherwise, pet. I’ll fight with you, I’ll watch your back, I’ll even help your Scoobie friends help you fight evil; but don’t ask me to watch you sleep unless I’m doin’ it from a spot right beside you in the bed.”

He released her trembling body, stepping back as soon as he saw that she wasn’t going to fall. He ran his hand lightly over her cheek, saying, “I appreciate the thought, pet. But we’re both better off if I stay in my own place for a while. I’ll be fine. Don’t know what those wankers were after, but I’m sure it wasn’t me.”

Brushing his lips lightly across hers one last time, he whispered softly, “Good night, Slayer. I’ll see you tomorrow night.”

While Buffy stood dumbly, her hand to her mouth, he disappeared into the night, his hair the only thing visible as he headed back to his home at a pace no human could have matched.


Before Buffy headed for Sunnydale University and her much-neglected classes there, she went past Dracula’s castle, only to find it had reverted to its former identity as an abandoned dog pound. After looking around carefully and finding no sign of the old vampire, she breathed a sigh of relief and continued her journey towards the school.

A whispered conversation with Willow during the first lecture brought the red head up to speed on the evening’s events and they continued their discussion on the way out of the lecture hall. Buffy was surprised to see Riley in his normal place, assisting Professor Walsh with the class. While it would have been perfectly possible for her to recover overnight from that much blood loss, she was surprised to see that he had also seemed to make a full recovery. She made a mental note to ask him exactly what sorts of methods the Initiative used in their medical facility and why they weren’t sharing those secrets with the Sunnydale Memorial Emergency Room staff.

Just as Buffy and Willow were about to leave the building, Riley came running after them, calling to Buffy to wait for him. He caught up to the two curious girls quickly, smiling at Willow and giving Buffy a quick, dry peck on the lips, frowning when she flinched away from him.

“What’s wrong?” he asked casually, hoping she had not actually seen who was in the vehicle she had frightened away from her house the night before.

His hopes were crushed when she shook off his hand and asked tensely, “Would you like to tell me what your buddies were doing staking out my house last night?”

The big man fidgeted from foot to foot, before answering evasively, “It was just an error. They weren’t supposed to actually be watching you – just keeping an eye out for Dracula or any other vamps.” The scowl on his face told her exactly who he was referring to as “any other vamp” and she glared back at him.

“If you are talking about Spike, they have no business following him either. You’ve made him incapable of feeding or killing, so there’s no reason for the Initiative to pay any attention to him anymore. Leave him alone!”

“I’ll leave him alone when I stop seeing him going in and out of your house at all hours of the day and night!”

In his anger, he blurted out more than he intended and he backed up slightly in the face of Buffy’s change in demeanor. Although he towered over the petite blond, he had seen her in action often enough to know that she could kill him with one blow if she wanted to. And, from the expression on her face, it was possible she really wanted to.

“Exactly how long have you been spying on us—him?” she asked coldly.

“I’m just trying to protect you, Buffy,” he started to explain. He noticed Willow’s eyes rolling and her head shaking sadly, but had no time to read the signals she was unintentionally sending as he tried to finish his explanation. He also missed the stiffening of his girlfriend’s already angry posture as he continued. “I don’t understand why you think you can allow this animal the freedom to enter your home whenever he wants to. Or why you went to his crypt last night after just getting free from another vampire!”

Buffy gaped at him for so long he was beginning to think she hadn’t heard him.

“Have you forgotten just HOW I got free from that ‘other vampire’?” she asked incredulously. “Spike saved my life last night! AND yours, and Giles’ and probably Xander’s. Stop me when I get to someone who sounds even remotely important to you!”

He had the grace to look briefly ashamed before recovering quickly. “I know he helped us get out of there. I just don’t quite get why. He probably has a history with Dracula and wanted to thwart him, even if it meant rescuing you.” He looked at her earnestly. “Buffy, you need to get over this obsession with these older vamps and begin treating them the way you do any other demon. I’m just trying to help you see that.”

“When I need your help to choose my friends, Riley, I’ll ask for it.”

Buffy’s posture when she turned away and gestured for Willow to leave with her should have been a clear warning that he had crossed a line; a line that the big commando apparently hadn’t noticed as he grabbed her arm to stop her from leaving.

“We’re not through talking about this,” he said firmly. “I want you to come with me to meet with our psycholo—“

Buffy did not even bother to warn him, she simply picked his hand off her bicep and yanked the much larger man to his knees.

“Don’t ever touch me like that again,” the Slayer said in a voice that chilled him as she squeezed the bones in his hand. For the first time, he began to reconsider Maggie’s insistence that the Slayer was as much a demon as the creatures she hunted. He remained on his knees as she strode off so quickly Willow had to run to keep up.

He remained on his knees briefly, massaging his sore hand and staring thoughtfully after the two girls. He did his best to ignore the smothered laughter from passing students who had seen the tiny blond bring him to his knees. When he was sure he had no broken bones to worry about, he got up, still cradling his aching hand, and headed for Lowell House and the entrance to the Initiative.

The rest of the day passed uneventfully, although Buffy remained angry enough to accidentally break two pens and a pencil while trying to write. After class she went back to the dorm room that she hadn’t stayed in while Dracula was around, and gathered up her dirty laundry to take home over the weekend. As soon as the sun went down, she picked up her stakes and headed for the town’s cemeteries, determined to get as many newly risen vampires as she could before the Initiative soldiers could find them.

Just as she entered one of the older cemeteries, she spotted an empty, black SUV and she slowed her steps, looking around cautiously. Murmured conversations ahead of her had her ducking behind shrubs and tombstones as she tried to get close enough to hear what was going on.

“Why do we get stuck with the job of picking up the new vamps and Finn and his crew get the easy job of grabbing the one that can’t fight back?” someone groused aloud.

“Because our girlfriends aren’t hanging out with the easy one, and his is.”

Laughter at Riley’s expense greeted the remark, as Buffy growled softly under her breath at the implication. If I’m going to get blamed for sleeping with Spike, I might as well be doing it, flitted though her mind, as she listened to the bawdy banter between the commandos. It wasn’t until one of them mentioned “teaching that chipped bloodsucker a lesson” that it occurred to her that Spike might be in danger.

Ignoring their startled shouts when she burst out of the shrubbery and began sprinting toward Restfield, she began mentally cursing both Riley and the secret organization for which he worked. Her feet flew as she covered the distance to Spike’s crypt, only slowing when she saw the open door dangling from one hinge.

One quick glance inside, and she gave a low moan of distress. The interior had been thoroughly trashed, the TV was smashed, the refrigerator on its side and open, blood spilled on the floor and candles smashed into small pieces of wax. Buffy found a candle that was still intact and quickly lit it, searching carefully for any sign of a pile of dust or any indication that something as large as a body might have been dragged out of the crypt.

She almost sobbed in frustration when the flickering candle made it impossible to see for sure. There were so many boot prints in the dust on the floor that there was no way to tell if they’d taken anything with them when they left. Buffy slumped against the sarcophagus, telling herself that Spike probably hadn’t even been home when they came in and was now walking around Sunnydale somewhere, looking for her. When she noticed his bedding lying in a messy heap on the floor she automatically bent down to pick it up, bumping her butt against the top of the sarcophagus as she did so. She startled when it shifted behind her and she whirled to watch with wide eyes as a pale, slender hand cautiously pushed it even further open.

Grabbing a stake from her waistband, she waited while the lid was gradually raised and a pair of amber eyes peered out, catching the light from her candle. Buffy held her stake at the ready until a familiar voice grumbled, “Bloody wankers, coming in here and tearing up my new house. I don’t know who they think they are…”

Before he could finish his angry rant, a joyful Buffy had shoved the lid all the way off and pounced on the emerging vampire, knocking him onto his back with a grateful Slayer lying on top of him.

Bewildered, but willing, Spike held the half-laughing, half-crying girl while she kissed his face and neck, telling him how glad she was to find him undusty. So happy was she to find him alive and free that it took Buffy a few minutes to notice where they were. When he shifted under her uncomfortably, complaining about being poked in the back, she took in their surroundings and asked, “Spike, are we lying on top of BONES?”

“Well, as a matter of fa—“ he was cut off as, with a piercing shriek, she rose straight out of the stone coffin and landed on the floor without even touching the sides. The vampire sat up and looked at her with confusion.

“What’s the matter, luv? What did you think I was lying on, down pillows? It’s a bloody sarcophagus, not a feather bed.”

“You didn’t think to get rid of the previous owners before you moved in?” she demanded, hands on hips.

“Was kind of in a hurry just then, Slayer. What with your Neanderthal boyfriend and his low-browed minions,” he growled. “Any way, I don’t see what the problem is. They’re just dead people, pet. They have a right to be here too.”

“I am NOT going to sleep on top of a dead body, or bones, or…”

Spike was out of the sarcophagus and standing beside her before she had finished speaking.

“If you’re sayin’ what I think you’re sayin’, they’re gone. Won’t take me but a few seconds. You wait right here while I--“ He reached into the grave and began to pull out the bones that had covered the bottom of it, tossing them onto the floor to be swept up later.

Buffy shuddered and moved away from the flying debris, trying not to giggle as the vampire raced to remove any trace of the former residents from his bed. He threw an arm bone at her in retaliation for her giggles and she had just caught it when a bright beam of light fell into the crypt, illuminating the vampire with his hands full of broken bones and the Slayer holding the one she’d just snatched out of the air.

“I believe you are right, Agent Finn,” came the unmistakable voice of Maggie Walsh. “She is obviously just as big a ghoul as the vampire. I wonder if she was planning to gnaw on that bone in her hand?” the older woman mused to herself as she and Riley followed the light into the crypt.

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