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Still Bluer by slaymesoftly
Chapters 1 - 5
Chapter One

It was two weeks after Willow’s “my will be done spell” and Giles had insisted that Xander take Spike to his place so that he and Olivia could have some privacy. The vampire was incredibly bored living in the Harris’s basement with Xander.

“At least at the Watcher’s I had somebody with a bloody brain to talk to,” he grumbled as he threw himself down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. He crossed his arms behind his head and resigned himself to another boring afternoon of TV before Xander got home from work and there was more boring TV, spiced with their usual exchange of insults.

Suddenly the door was flung open and an agitated Slayer burst into the room. “Xander! We need to-”

Buffy’s sentence ended abruptly at the sight of Spike lying on the bed. He raised his head briefly, then dropped it back down when he saw who it was. (Great, just what I need. The Slayer to come in here and make me remember things I don’t want to. Like perky little breasts, silky hair, smooth skin, soft, full lips....Argh!) He quickly began a litany to himself of disgusting things, (Watcher’s taste in music, the Whelp’s clothes, chip in my head, soldiers, cold pig’s blood....)

Buffy froze a few feet from the bed, trying desperately to look somewhere else besides the lean, muscular body in front of her. With his arms behind his head, Spike’s biceps were on display, as was his washboard stomach. (Ok, sooo not responding to that body. Spell is over and inappropriate dreams to the contrary, I do not crave that body. I don’t. I won’t. I......is that a bulge in his pants?)

“Whelp’s not here, Slayer. Won’t be back for a couple of hours yet. What’s the big emergency? Not that I really care,” he hastened to add.

“What are you doing here?” she said in a voice that sounded much squeakier than she intended it to.

“Watcher kicked me out. Has a friend coming into town and didn’t fancy me listenin’ to them shag, I guess.”

“Please do not use the words Giles and shag in the same sentence! Eeeww!”

Buffy groaned as she shook herself and tried to lose the image of her watcher having sex. Spike sat up and looked at her curiously.

“Why not? D’you think he’s a monk?”

“He’s, he’s OLD!”

“So am I, love. Older than he is really, and if you recall I still-”

“Don’t say it!”

(Because if you say it, I’ll think about it and I am sooo not going to think about it.)

The blond vampire smiled slowly as he heard her heart rate increase and felt her body temperature go up.

(Well, well. Maybe I’m not the only one with fond memories of our little romp on the floor.)

“Why not, Slayer? Does it remind you of something? Something you might want to try again?” He flowed off the bed and came to stand in front of her, breathing in her scent. He could feel himself getting harder as she filled his senses.

(Damn, she smells good. Haven’t been this close to her since......)

“Don’t flatter yourself, Spike,” She tried to sneer even as she felt moisture dampening her underwear.

(I never noticed how blue his eyes were. I don’t think we’ve been this close together since....don’t go there, Buffy)

"You disgust me! I wouldn’t-“ She stopped as he slid his hand up her bare arm, causing her to shiver as she struggled to ignore how she was responding to his nearness.

“That so, Slayer? Not what my nose says,” he tapped the side of his nose to remind her that she couldn’t hide her growing arousal from him.

“Remember what happened to your nose that last time you tried that,” she snapped, pulling her arm back to punch him. Unafraid, he moved closer to her and lowered his lips to her ear.

“I remember what came after that better,” he breathed. “Do you remember, Buffy? Do you remember how good we were together? I can’t think about anything else. I can’t be around you without wantin’ you, wantin’ to feel you, touch you, make you moan, feel you around me”

As he murmured to her, he was slowly pulling her unresisting body closer to his.

(Evil vampire here. Must move away before he touches me again – oh! Too late. He’s touching me. Bodies are touching. Ummmm. Nice body. No! NO! Bad Buffy. Bad.)

Buffy’s conscience was screaming at her, but her body was pressing up against the cool muscular one in front of her. When she felt his erection pressing against her stomach she tensed and brought her hands up to his chest to push him away. To her surprise, her hands seemed to be doing their own thinking as they slid up his chest and around his neck, thus bringing her lips into close proximity to his. Before she could do anything but mentally groan at her disobedient hands, he had swooped in and captured her mouth with his.

(OK, this is really bad. Kissing Spike – mmmmmm – No! No mmmmmm! Kissing Spike leads to nothing but badness........ Maybe it’ll be OK if there’s no tongue..........Damn, now there’s tongue. Where did he learn to do those things with his tongue? And why am I still kissing him? Just because it feels wonderful, is no reason to abandon my.......)

His cool tongue slid into and around her mouth, briefly tangling with hers, then continuing his exploration of her mouth and lips. His lips were soft and moist and their mouths fit together so perfectly it seemed as though they were made for each other. Buffy’s brain decided to go on complete vacation as she sank into the bone-melting kisses that Spike was only pausing when she needed to take quick breaths. While she gasped for air, he continued placing soft, feathery kisses along her neck and face, murmuring the whole time about how badly he wanted her, how wonderful she felt, how often he had dreamed of kissing her again. The sound of his deep voice was mesmerizing and she abandoned herself to the sensations he was creating in her body.

Without realizing it, she allowed him to back all the way to the bed, pulling her with him as he went. When he turned her so that her knees were pressed against the side of the bed, it just seemed reasonable to allow herself to sink down onto the soft mattress with him. As soon as he didn’t have to hold her up anymore, Spike’s hands began moving around her body, leaving heat and tingling everywhere his cool fingers touched. When he pushed his hands up under her shirt and stroked the bare skin on her back without protest, he began to hope this would be more than a heavy make out session.

(Bloody hell, she wants me as much as I want her. I can tell she’s fighting it, know she thinks it’s wrong. Please, baby, please, let me touch you, let me feel you around me again, let me love you...)

He could tell the effect his kisses were having on her and he made a point of maintaining lip contact as he tentatively pulled her shirt off and undid her bra. When she didn’t pull away or hit him, he relaxed and slid his mouth down her neck, across her collarbone and down to take one rosy nipple in his mouth.

Buffy gave up any pretense that this wasn’t going to happen and arched up into his mouth, moaning as she did so. She began yanking on his tee shirt, anxious to feel his cool, hard chest against her bare skin. With both of them now desperate for skin on skin contact, their clothes were soon lying on the floor and their hands were free to move around wherever they wanted them. Spike was running his talented mouth and hands down her body, keeping up his running commentary of how it felt as he did so. “So beautiful, so soft, so strong, so warm. Got to taste you, love. Got to taste you now.”

(Taste me? What does he mean he wants to taste me? What is he doing down there? Is he going to bite me? What is he.....? Gaaah! Not biting. Definitely not biting! Oh my god!)

Buffy’s hips came up off the bed as Spike’s cool tongue licked her back to front, then began teasing her clit with short, hard strokes. Her whimpers quickly turned to mewing gasps as he brought her to climax with just a few seconds of attention to her throbbing clit.

Before she could get her breath back, he quickly slid up her body and positioned himself between her legs. He was mentally telling himself to take it slow and make it last, just in case he didn’t get another chance, but as soon as he felt her warm walls close around him he groaned and started thrusting hard. The Slayer met him thrust for thrust, raising her hips to meet his and grinding her pelvis into him. It didn’t take very long for both of them to be climbing toward orgasm and Buffy’s keening wail was matched by the vampire’s roar.

For the next several minutes, they lay comfortably on their sides with their arms around each other, struggling to come down from the incredible highs they had both experienced. Finally, Spike said in a shaky voice, “You are bleedin’ amazing, pet. Absolutely amazing.”

“You’re not so bad yourself, vampire,” she said shyly.

Her obvious embarrassment reminded him that she was really very inexperienced –
(Nothing but one time with the bloody poof and that soddin’ frat boy who dumped her. Hell, she’s been with me more than she has with any of her boyfriends!).

With no urge to examine his motives, he found himself wanting to make her feel appreciated and he pulled her in closer and kissed the top of her head.

“I was bloody inspired, love. Bloody inspired.”

They rested quietly a little while longer; Buffy’s hand resting on his chest as he gently stroked her arm and shoulder. He could tell by the change in her heart rate that she was thinking hard about something.

(Don’t let her be wanting to jump up and run away like last time. Not yet, Buffy, not yet, please.)

While he worried that she was regretting what they’d done, she began rubbing small circles on his chest with her hand. When she rubbed across his nipple, it hardened and she stopped to flick it with her fingernail. His hiss of pleasure brought a smile to her face and she looked up to see him gazing at her like she was something precious.

“So, then, you think I might.....might be worth a second go?”

As she spoke, she mentally cringed at leaving herself so vulnerable in front of her mortal enemy. Remembering how he had cruelly mocked her after the Parker fiasco, she immediately regretted saying anything and started to pull away from him, turning her head so he couldn’t see her face.

She was so sure he was going to cut her down and insult her that it took her a minute to notice he was trembling. Before she could ask him what was wrong, he grabbed her chin and turned her face so that he could look her in the eye. His eyes were flashing back and forth between blue and gold and he began speaking as if he could read her thoughts.

“Don’t you ever believe what that bleedin’ bastard Angelus said about you. He was just being his usual psycho self and messing with your head. He didn’t lose that soul because you weren’t any good. Use your common sense, Slayer. You made him so happy he lost his bloody soul! Not worth a second go? I don’t think so.”

Buffy just stared at him in astonishment. (Is Spike trying to make me feel better? William the Bloody is feeding my ego?)

“And don’t even get me started on that ponce of a college boy,” he growled as he settled back down onto the bed. “Not a gentlemanly bone in his body. I get this chip out – he’s dead.”

Spike turned his head to see the Slayer staring at him with her mouth open and very confused eyes. (Sod it all! Now I’ve gone and done it. Sounding like a poof myself now.)
He peered up at her carefully, waiting to see how she was going to respond to his rant. When she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his in a chaste, but warm kiss, he swore he felt his dead heart skip a beat. “Thank you, Spike.” She said softly as she settled back down beside him and resumed rubbing his chest. “That was very sweet.”

“Well, don’t be spreadin’ it around, Slayer. Got a reputation to protect,” he said gruffly.
She giggled and he marveled at how different she sounded from the grim Slayer he was used to. “Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone would believe me if I did tell them. William the Bloody being nice to a Slayer? Not likely,” she snorted.

“Just so we’re clear on that,” he growled.

The growl sent vibrations shivering through her body, vibrations that reminded her that she was lying next to a naked and very sexy vampire. She nuzzled his chest, drinking in the unique combination of tobacco, alcohol and musk that was Spike. She ran her tongue over his nipple, bringing on another growl; this one lower and not at all threatening. “I’ll bet there’s something in the Slayer handbook that says I shouldn’t think that’s sexy,” she murmured into his neck as she slid her leg over his and shifted her body to press it against him.

“There’s a Slayer handbook?” he asked as he nibbled on her ear and pulled her completely up on top of him. “Is this in it?” he added as he positioned her over his ready cock. Buffy moaned as he held her hips, keeping her in place but not letting her lower herself onto the hard shaft that was teasing her entrance.

“Well, Slayer?” he insisted as he kept her from moving. “What would they think of this?”
Suddenly her face changed, her moans stopped and she looked at him in horror.

(Oh my god, I’m about to climb on top of Spike! Spike who has killed two slayers and is only not killing because of the chip in his head. What is wrong with me? He has no soul, he’s a killer, a mass murderer and I’m in bed with him.)

(Bloody hell, I have got to be the stupidest git on the planet. You’d think after 125 years I’d have learned to keep my big mouth shut.)

While she struggled to move away from him and he tried to pull her back down onto his throbbing cock, he babbled whatever he could think of trying to take the shocked and disgusted look off her face.

“No, love, don’t go. Please, Slayer, Buffy, I didn’t mean to.....Please, baby, please, stay. Let me –“ he cringed at the pleading tone in voice, but couldn’t stop himself as she continued to pull away from him shaking her head vigorously.

“No!” she shouted, wrenching herself free and frantically reaching for her clothes. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I can’t believe I actually.....that we....”

She was almost sobbing as she pulled her clothes on, refusing to look at him. Anger at herself and at him was the only thing keeping her from dissolving in tears. He moved off the bed ignoring his nudity and tried to pull her into an embrace.

“Please, Slayer. I never should have said that. I was just playing with you. Don’t leave like this – at least look at me,” he finished as she edged away from him, shaking her head and refusing to meet his eyes. When he moved toward her again, she shoved him hard – sending him flying across the room into the wall.

“Stay away from me, Spike! This was wrong on so many levels I can’t count them. Stay away. I don’t want you touching me again. Do you understand?”

“Oh I understand all right, Slayer. I understand that you got what you wanted and now you’re taking it out on me because you’re feeling guilty about it. There was nothing wrong with what we did. It was bloody brilliant and you damn well know it!”

He stalked toward her like a jungle cat, his eyes flashing gold as he put a hand on either side of her head and leaned in toward her face.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t want it, didn’t enjoy it and don’t you bloody well tell me you didn’t feel something between us while we were doing it! We’re not done yet, Slayer. Not by a long shot!”

“Yes, we are, Spike.” She said in a calm tone of voice he found more frightening than her earlier yelling. “We have to be. I’m the Slayer. I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this and I won’t.” she finished firmly, finally meeting his eyes.

His stomach clenched at the resolve he read there and his anger evaporated as quickly as it had exploded. He leaned in and touched his forehead to hers. “Alright, love. I won’t push you. But if – when - you change your mind, I’ll be waitin’ for you.”

“I’m not going to change my mind, Spike. This was a mistake and I don’t intend to repeat it. It’s never going to happen again.”

Before she could turn and open the door, he tilted his head and captured her lips, kissing her gently until he felt her mouth soften and respond to him. He kept the kiss soft and tender, just lightly running his tongue over her lower lip and pulling on it gently as he stood up straight and took his hands away from the door.

“Told you the last time, Slayer. Never’s a long, long time.” With a final smirk, he turned back to bed and starting pulling on his pants. He winced as he heard the door slam shut and he dropped back onto the rumpled bed with a sigh.

Chapter Two

Several Weeks later

Riley glanced at the blond man at the back of the room and forgot about Buffy’s accusation against Maggie Walsh for a moment.

“That’s Hostile 17! We’ve been searching for him for weeks.”

Spike’s attempt to pretend he was a friend of Xander’s was obviously not going to work with him back in his own distinctive black clothes and he quickly gave up. “Yeah, I’m your guy.” He agreed with a shrug.

“Why have you been hiding a hostile from us?” the soldier demanded, turning to Buffy. He went on at some length about their having hidden one of the Initiative’s escaped prisoners from him until Spike got tired of the tirade and interrupted, “A little off-topic there aren’t you, Capt’n? Your sleazy boss tried to kill the Slayer and you can’t think of anything to do about it except yell at her about me? The important thing is she could’ve been killed by a couple of your tame demons!”

“You’re a vampire. What do you care what happens to her?”

“I care because she’s mine,” Spike growled with a hint of yellow in his eyes and a furrowed forehead.

Every eyebrow in the room went up as high as was physically possible when they all turned to stare at the vampire incredulously.

“Yours?” Riley said coldly. “You think she’s yours?”

Buffy’s stomach clenched in fear as she waited for his answer, knowing it could reveal much more than she wanted Riley or her friends to know about her.

(Bloody Hell! Did I say that out loud? How do I get out of this one?)

“To kill, I mean. She’s mine to kill.” Spike amended quickly as he felt the hostility in the room increase tremendously. “It’s what I do. I kill Slayers and this one is....is...on my list. Just waiting to get this soddin’ chip out.”

Riley looked at Buffy who was rolling her eyes and shaking her head at Spike’s stammered explanation.

“Buffy, he says he wants to kill you. Why would you shelter something like that?”

Buffy rolled her eyes again and asked, “Spike, how many times have you tried to kill me? Rough estimate.”

“Uh- don’t rightly know, Slayer. Let’s see, there was Back to School Night, then the Judge and ......bugger all. I don’t know. Lots?”

“Am I dead yet?”

“Obviously not,” he grumbled. “Only a question of time, though, Cutie. Only a question of time.”

Ignoring the implied threat, Buffy turned to Riley and said, “See? What he wants to do is irrelevant. It isn’t going to happen. He hasn’t been able to kill me yet and I doubt he’s gotten any smarter or stronger lately.”

“Hey! You take that back!” the indignant vampire stood up and came up to glare at her from close range.

Standing toe to toe and meeting him glare for glare, the Slayer snapped back at him, “I don’t think so! Who was so stupid he got himself captured and chipped, huh?”

Riley gaped at the two blonds standing so close they were practically touching while they glared at each other and exchanged insults. To his surprise, no one else seemed particularly interested in or bothered by their behavior. “Uh, guys? Shouldn’t we...” he gestured at the two arguing killers and looked to the Scoobies for help.

Anya looked up briefly and shrugged, “No, we shouldn’t get in the way. They do that all the time. One of them will get really mad and stop in a minute. There! See”

Riley turned back to see that Buffy had thrown up her hands and stamped away growling “Moron!” over her shoulder at the equally disgusted vampire who was stomping in the other direction and snarling, “Bitch!”

Buffy was still breathing hard when she turned back to Riley and said, “So, you see, Spike is not nearly as dangerous to me as your boss is.”

Riley refused to let it go, asking, “Well, if he’s tried so many times and hasn’t been able to kill you, why isn’t he a pile of dust? Isn’t slaying the vampires you fight what you do?”

Buffy blinked several times as she struggled for an answer that made sense.

(OK, there are some perfectly good reasons why Spike isn’t dust. I just have to think of them.)

“Well,” she started, “I....I....guess I just had more important things to worry about at the time, so as long as he wasn’t a danger any more...... Look, he just got away a lot, OK?”

(Good job, Buffy. He got away a lot. That’ll show him!)

“And you couldn’t be bothered to chase him down?” her boy friend asked suspiciously.
“You know what, Riley? Spike really isn’t the topic we need to be discussing here. Your boss and whatever she’s hiding in 314 are what need to be investigated, not my decisions to slay or not to slay.”

While Buffy had Riley’s attention as she argued for an investigation into the hidden parts of the Initiative, Spike took the opportunity to slip out the door and run away. Buffy tried very hard to convince herself that she hadn’t been worried about him and wasn’t glad that he had escaped.

(I’m just worried about him because he’s helpless. This has nothing to do with the fact that he’s the best kisser I’ve ever met.)

Chapter Three

“Giles! This is not fair. I’m perfectly capable of handling whatever I find in those tunnels all by myself. I got out okay the first time, didn’t I?” the Slayer glared at her Watcher and stamped her foot.

“Yes, you did, but just barely as I recall. Having Spike with you means an extra set of eyes and ears – enhanced ones, I might add – as well as back up that is almost as strong as you.” Giles shook his head slightly and pleaded with his slayer, “I’m not trying to insult you, Buffy. I’m just trying to ensure that you have help with you in the event that the tunnels are guarded.”

Buffy snorted in disgust, but knew that Giles was making sense. He was beginning to look at her with real curiosity as she argued against taking Spike with her and she knew it was time to stop arguing.

(Telling my Watcher that I’m afraid to be alone with Spike because I might jump his bones again is definitely of the bad. Better to just do what he wants and exert some self control. I can do that. I’m all about the self-control. Slayer strength and all that....)

Her thoughts became less coherent as the blond topic of discussion came into the room, pulling on his duster. She was grateful that he insisted on wearing the billowing coat everywhere as it covered his lean, muscular body and helped her avoid un-Slayerly thoughts.

(Okay, I can do this. As long as he keeps his coat on and doesn’t give me any of those sexy smiles, or .......)

“Hey, Slayer. You ready to go kill stuff? The watcher tells me I get to go along this time. You don’t mind, do you pet?” he asked, giving her one of those smiles.

“If I have to, I have to,” she said haughtily. “But don’t get in my way, and you have to do what I tell you.”

“I’ll be your willing slave, love.” He smirked at her, managing to make it sound like it had nothing to do with killing demons.

Several hours and a few dead demons later, they were no closer to learning more about the Initiative’s secrets then they had been when they went in. They were also, apparently, lost.

Buffy groaned as she sank down with her back against the wall, stretching her legs out in front of her.

“Note to self. Do not wear new boots with heels for cave exploring.” She tried to rub her foot through the leather, then flinched when Spike reached for her foot and pulled it into his lap.

“What are you doing?” she demanded, trying to sound angry but too tired to bother yanking her foot back.

(It’s just a foot. What can he do to a foot? This is perfectly safe.)

“Relax, Slayer. Jus’ goin’ to help those cute little feet feel better,” he said as he slid his hand up her leg and unzipped her boot. Buffy’s brain was telling her not to let him touch her, and certainly not to let him start removing items of clothing, but her body was sinking into a pleasant stupor as his talented hands began massaging her foot.

Against her will, a moan of pleasure slipped out of her mouth as he rubbed the ball of her foot, massaged each toe, gently caressed her arch and worked his fingers into the soft areas on either side of her Achilles tendon. She didn’t even stir as he set that foot down and began to unzip the other boot.

Time seemed to stand still as the vampire worked both feet until they were warm and tingling with renewed vigor.

“Is that better, love?” he asked softly as he planted a gentle kiss on her big toe. She noted that she was no longer wearing socks and wondered when he’d taken them off and why she hadn’t noticed. In response to his question, she just slid a little further down the wall and murmured, “Oh yeah. You could do that all night.”

Spike gave a soft chuckle and kissed her other toes. Buffy struggled to sit up, groaning, “Tell me I didn’t just say that out loud.”

“Fraid so, pet. All night it is, then,” he said as he continued rubbing and kissing her feet. Suddenly, instead of putting her to sleep, his formerly soothing hands were causing unwanted sensations in entirely unrelated parts of her body.

When his hands moved up to start massaging her calves, she tried to tell herself to make him stop, but the gentle kneading of her sore muscles was too wonderful and she decided to see how far he would go. When he got to her thighs and began smoothly stroking the aching muscles, she tried to pretend she wasn’t noticing that each stroke got closer to her now-damp crotch, but she knew the hitch in her breath every time his thumbs brushed against her was giving her away.

Buffy opened her eyes to tell him to stop and was paralyzed by the raw desire she saw reflected in his face. There was another emotion there too, one she wasn’t sure she wanted to identify. Spike held her gaze for just a moment, then quickly regained his usual cocky smirk.

“Somethin’ you want, love?” he drawled as his thumbs stroked her outer lips through her jeans. He gave up any pretense that he wasn’t trying to turn her on and slid closer to her. Buffy’s body was at complete war with her brain. Her senses were filled with him – his scent – cigarettes, leather and something that was uniquely Spike. Before she could succumb to her raging hormones, he suddenly stiffened and raised his head, listening.

“What it is?” The Slayer immediately took over and Buffy grabbed her socks and boots as the vampire stood up and stared intently down the tunnel.

“Let’s go, pet.” He said without any trace of affection or lust. “Now!”

Zipping up her last boot, Buffy took his outstretched hand and allowed him to pull her up. As soon as she was on her feet, he took off running, pulling her along with him. Using speed that no ordinary human could match, vampire and slayer had soon outdistanced whatever had been approaching them in the tunnel.

They stopped briefly so that Spike could listen. When he relaxed a little and started walking normally, Buffy finally ventured, “What was it? What did you hear?” They had gone some distance before she noticed that he hadn’t released her hand yet and they were basically strolling along hand-in-hand like a couple.

Buffy reluctantly pulled her hand out of his; smothering the little pang of loss she felt when her fingers were no longer linked with his. He sighed, then shook himself and answered her.

“Not completely sure, pet. Heard a lot of footsteps. Mostly human, but some were too heavy to be human. Maybe some of those tame demons, or something else heavy. Didn’t sound like anything we needed to be takin’ on by ourselves if we didn’t have to.”

Buffy nodded her head in agreement. “I guess that’s why Giles was so adamant that I take you with me. I never would have heard them in time...”

The vampire shot her a sideways look and murmured, “Almost didn’t hear them myself. What with being distracted.....”

Buffy blushed and looked away from him. She wanted to tell him there hadn’t been anything to be distracted by, but even her uncanny ability to live in denial wasn’t strong enough to ignore the truth in his words.

“Spike, about that.....”

(About that what, Buffy? What are you going to say? I wasn’t responding to you? I don’t want you touching me? I don’t want...)

To Buffy’s complete amazement, instead of the argument she was expecting about giving in to what her body clearly wanted, he tipped her face up to his and looked at her intently.

“I said I wouldn’t push you, Slayer. And I meant it. If you’re not comfortable with........with whatever it is between us, then nothin’s going to happen. I really didn’t mean for that to go where it did back there. You were in pain and I only wanted to make you more comfortable. Just don’t have as much self-control as I’d like to sometimes and I got carried away. I’m sorry. Won’t happen again.”

Buffy’s head was whirling. (Is this Spike? Evil, soulless, piggy Spike? He’s apologizing? To me?)

“Did we fall into an alternate dimension? Who are you and what have you done with Spike?”

The vampire snorted and shook his head. “You just don’t know me as well as you think you do, pet.” He shot her a look from under his thick lashes. “You don’t know me very well at all.”

Buffy was looking up at him with confusion, her full lips slightly parted and a small frown creasing her brow. For a second she was sure the vampire was going to kiss her. He leaned forward, eyes on her lips, then suddenly straightened and pulled away.

“Right then. That’s all settled. Let’s get out of here.”

She hastened to catch up with him as he strode off, duster billowing behind him. She was torn between being grateful to him for not kissing her and indignant that he was able not to when she knew she would have fallen right into his lips if given a chance.

Chapter Four

As they sat around the table in Giles’ apartment the next evening, Buffy found herself wondering briefly where Spike was. She mentally gave herself a shake and chided herself for including him in their group.

(He’s not one of us. Never was, never will be. Just because he can help me slay demons once in a while, doesn’t mean he...)

Apparently she wasn’t the only one thinking that way as Willow looked around and asked Xander, “Where’s Spike?”

“I dunno. Out doing creature-of-the-night kinds of things, I guess. He said something about checking on a place to live.”

“He’s not going to stay with you anymore?” Buffy asked more sharply than she intended.

“No,” Anya piped up. “We need our privacy so that Xander can give me more orgasms. Spike has been inhibiting Xander. He had to go.”

“It’s all right, Buffster. We know he can’t hurt anybody. Nobody human, anyway. Maybe he’ll just leave town and we won’t have to worry about him anymore.”

Buffy tried very hard to ignore the way her stomach was clenching at the thought of Spike’s being gone from Sunnydale.

(I don’t care if he leaves. Leaving is good. It means no more kissing, or touching, or....)

She leaped to her feet and in a shrill voice announced a sudden need to patrol. When her friends just looked at her incredulously, she flinched and added lamely, “I mean, if I want to find the commandos as well as stake vampires, I need to get an early start. Evil is afoot and I need to...to....find it.”

She bolted from the house before anyone could ask her any more questions, and let her feet carry her toward the closest cemetery. She told herself very sternly that she was not looking for Spike, did not want to find Spike, and certainly wasn’t worried because she wasn’t finding him. As the night wore on and she found no trace of the bleached vampire anywhere, she repeated her litany of denials as though saying it often enough would make it so.

As she was skirting the edge of campus and muttering to herself, “I don’t care where he is. I don’t want to see him. I don’t need him. I don’t –“ she was interrupted by her head’s abrupt collision with a large, heavily armored chest. She looked up in surprise and fell back in to a fighting stance.

She found herself looking up into what seemed to be the face of one of Riley’s friends. However, the face she remembered had not had artificial eyes and pieces of metal embedded in it.

“F-Forrest?” she asked carefully. “Is that you?”

Without answering her, the zombie-like soldier swung his fist and connected with her unsuspecting chin. Buffy flew backwards and landed hard on the ground, staring up at the creature in front of her. She kipped back to her feet and took another fighting stance.

She aimed a roundhouse kick at Forrest’s head and smiled when she felt it connect. Her smile quickly faded when he appeared to barely register the blow and continued toward her. A series of punches and kicks later, and she found herself tiring as the former commando repeatedly aimed his owns punches and kicks at her. When a particularly hard punch connected with the side of her head and sent her back to the ground, she felt the first tinge of fear.

Giving her an inhuman smile, the creature that looked like Forrest lifted a large rock over his head and prepared to smash it down on her. As Buffy frantically rolled to the side, she thought she saw a flash of platinum hair shoot past her and she heard a thud as something connected with robotic man, knocking him back from her.

If she’d had any doubt as to Forrest’ apparent loss of humanity, it was quelled as she saw Spike exchanging punches with the creature. There was no sign that his chip was firing at all. There was also no sign that he was going to be able to take the half-robot, half-man by himself. As he came flying back to join her on the ground, he shook his head and growled, “I don’t think we’re winnin’ here, pet.”

“Yeah, got that message when he knocked me down for the third time,” Buffy agreed.

They both leaped back to their feet and went into fighting stances as the creature that used to be Forrest charged them

“I’ve got a plan, luv,” the blond vampire said as he dodged a haymaker.

“Oh good. Cause those always work out so well for you-” Buffy leaped into the air and planted both feet in Forrest’s chest, knocking him to the ground briefly.

Before she could ask what the plan was, Spike had grabbed her hand and was pulling her after his swiftly moving feet.

“Good plan,” she gasped out as they rapidly outdistanced the former commando.

Once again, as soon as they appeared to be safe, they slowed down and began walking. This time, he started to release her hand as soon as they stopped running, but was surprised when she laced her fingers through his. Spike took a quick glance at her out of the corner of his eye, but she stared determinedly ahead and refused to meet his eyes.

After several minutes of uncomfortable silence, Buffy said softly, without pausing to look at him, “Thank you.”

Spike squeezed her hand gently and replied, “You’re welcome, pet.” He waited another minute then asked, “What were you doing out there anyway? Thought you guys had a Scoobie meeting tonight at the Watcher’s.”

Buffy mumbled something unintelligible and hoped it was too dark for him to see the rush of blood to her face. He couldn’t actually see it, but he could hear the increase in her heart beat and feel the extra heat coming off her body.

“What was that, pet? I don’t think I heard you.”

“I said, ‘Iwaslookingforyou’,” she got out quickly, then stiffened in anticipation of what he would say next.

He stopped abruptly, shocked by her admission.


“Why, what?”

“Why were you looking for me?” He waited patiently; wondering if she was even aware that their hands were still linked, but unwilling to let go until he had to.

Buffy looked around frantically for something else to talk about. She looked at the sky, behind her at the campus lights, down on the ground as though there was something terribly interesting crawling on her boots. When she ran out of other things to look at, she finally raised her eyes to his and said reluctantly, “Xander said you might be leaving Sunnydale and I just didn’t want....I mean, you can go wherever you want to....but I..... Look. I just was! OK?”

He looked at her embarrassed face for a few seconds then, surprised her by nodding his head and continuing their walk. “OK, pet. That’s all right, then.”

They walked on slowly, neither one paying much attention to their surroundings and neither one ready to stop holding hands. Suddenly Spike’s vampire hearing picked up another sound besides the soft noise of their feet in the leaves and he went into game face in an effort to see better in the dark. He threw his head up and sniffed the air, then yanked Buffy with him into the shadow of a large crypt.

His cool hand over her mouth smothered her angry questions and when she realized he was listening intently, she stopped struggling and relaxed against his chest. He dropped his hand from her mouth, but kept his arms around her, pulling her tightly against his body as he shrank back against the rough stones.

Using his vampiric ability to be perfectly still, he blended into the shadows on the building. He knew whatever was coming toward them, if it was human, would never be able to spot him. Just then, the approaching men got close enough for him to see that they were commandos with infrared goggles on. While he would remain invisible to them, Buffy’s heat signature would stand right out, shadows or no. Without questioning why it would be necessary for Buffy to hide from the Initiative, he quickly he turned them both so that she was pressed up against the side of the crypt, completely hidden by his body and his flowing leather coat.

Buffy’s face was pressed uncomfortably against the rough stones in front of her, but she remained silent and still as she felt Spike become completely immobile. She had no idea the hyper active vampire could be so still for such a long period of time and wondered briefly what else she didn’t know about his capabilities. She tried hard not to squirm, as she remained flattened between Spike’s hard body and the wall.

(Potentially dangerous situation here. Not going to be distracted by the hard body pressed up against me. Nope. Slayer here. Totally focused on the situation. Can’t even feel that object pressing itself into my butt......oh my god. There’s something long and hard pressing into my butt!)

As luck would have it, the soldiers chose the area in front of the crypt to stop and discuss their mission. They casually glanced around periodically, looking for signs of activity, but completely overlooked the immobile vampire and the human he was sheltering. Even without vampire hearing, Buffy was able to pick up a word here and there. She startled slightly when she thought she heard them say “Slayer”, but from her position behind Spike she couldn’t really hear what they were saying.

When they finally moved on and Spike could no longer see or hear them, he shifted his weight and pulled Buffy away from the wall. She turned around, trying not to notice that his arms were still encircling her, and rubbed at her cheek where it had been pressed against the stones for so long.

“Whew! And Ow,” she said as she gingerly touched the scratch on her cheek. “

“Sorry, love. I didn’t mean to mash your face into it; was just tryin’ to.....”

“It’s Ok, Spike. It’s not like you haven’t done more damage than that throwing me into walls through the years. At least this time you weren’t trying to hurt me.” She gave him a small smile to show she wasn’t mad. In the shadow of the crypt, she couldn’t really see his face, but she could feel his eyes on her and she felt the heat as blood rushed to her cheeks.

Spike almost groaned as he felt her temperature go up and smelled the blood seeping from the scratch on her face. His arms were around her loosely, not really touching her, but keeping her within his reach. He was sure he was trembling as he leaned in slowly and offered, “Could stop that bleedin’ for you, Slayer.” He paused with his lips not quite touching her cheek and waited to see what she would say.

“Why?” she asked breathlessly. “It’s just a scratch. It’ll stop by itself any second now.”

Before he answered her, he ran his tongue quickly over the small cut, effectively stopping the bleeding and closing it.

Buffy gave a surprised squeal and pushed him away asking, “Why’d you do that?”

“Because,” he growled, dropping his arms, “I’m having a hard enough time just being this close to you without having to smell your blood too!”

Buffy gasped and flinched back from him, suddenly remembering what had been pressed up against her when she was against the wall. Spike stepped away, struggling to gain some control over his demon.

The easy camaraderie that they had been sharing before they ran into the commandos was gone as both Slayer and vampire tried to pretend they weren’t being affected by the other’s close proximity. In an effort to change the subject, Buffy asked, “Could you hear what they were saying? I thought I heard them mention the Slayer, but I wasn’t sure.”

“You heard it all right. Seems like your soldier boy toy is having a hard time convincing them that you’re for real. They think the Slayer is a fairy tale to frighten baby demons with and they want to prove it to him by capturing you.”

“What! What good would that do them? I wouldn’t let them-”

Spike made her look at him and see the seriousness of his expression as he reminded her, “That place is a giant prison and laboratory designed to hold supernatural creatures. Remember what they did to me? I don’t want you takin’ any chances around those wankers, Bu-Slayer. I can’t help you fight off humans. Much as I might want to rip their throats out.....”

Buffy smacked him on the arm and said, almost absently, “Don’t talk about killing humans, Spike.” She was thinking rapidly and trying to decide what her next move should be.

“I need to get back to Giles’ and tell him about Forrest and....what you heard just now. Let’s go!”

She turned and started off at a brisk trot, not even looking back to see if the vampire was following her. It took Spike a minute to realize that he was following her obediently, and another one to decide he was indignant about her casual assumption that he would come. He opened his mouth to protest, then shrugged as he admitted to himself that he would have gone with her anyway.

(Turnin’ into a bloody ponce, I am. Couple of quick shags and I’m the Slayer’s lap dog.)
Chapter Five

By the time Buffy and Spike returned to Giles’ apartment, the others had given up waiting for her and gone home for the night. The older man shook his head as Spike told him about the overheard conversation concerning his surrogate daughter.

He suddenly shot a suspicious look at the vampire. “Exactly why were you hiding Buffy, anyway? You had no reason then to think she had anything to fear from the Initiative. It is her boy friend’s unit; after all, “ he huffed. He was still annoyed that Buffy had begun another romantic relationship without his knowledge and the fact that Riley belonged to a covert group of soldiers had done nothing to allay his concerns.

Spike was momentarily at a loss for an explanation for his actions, then perked up as he reminded Giles, “Well, we’d just finished fightin’ with Frankenstein, hadn’t we? Not like I knew for sure what was comin’. Coulda been more of those....things.”

“Ah, yes, quite. Well then. Buffy, we’re going to have to keep you out of sight until we find out exactly what those men have in mind. I suppose you could stay here, but I would guess they know to look for you here....”

“I could go home, Giles. My mom was expecting me this weekend anyway. She’s got to go on a buying trip and I told her I’d watch the house for her. No one from the college knows where I live......”

“Not even Capt’n Cardboard?” Spike grumbled.

She gave him a glare, then snapped, “No, I’ve been too busy to introduce him to my mother yet.”

“I suppose that’s as good as anything, “ her Watcher said dubiously. “But it would be very easy to get your mother’s address through the school. I really think we need to find someplace less....obvious.”

Spike shuffled his feet for a minute then offered softly, “There’s an apartment on the edge of town, she could use. They won’t look for her there.”

“An apartment? What apartment? Whose?” Both Slayer and Watcher looked at him expectantly.

“Uh, well, it’s....it’s mine, actually.” At Buffy’s skeptical look, he quickly said, “Being aroun’ Harmony too long can...wear on you, you know? I just needed someplace to get away, so I rented this place. Haven’t been back since the chip, but no reason why it shouldn’t still be empty.”

“You RENTED it?” The Slayer looked at him in disbelief. “Or you killed the rightful owner and moved in?”

Spike rolled his eyes and stretched his neck as he fought down his irritation. “I rented it, you stupid bint. It’s in a demon-owned building.” He paused and tried to look uninterested as he said, “Look, I’m just offerin’. Do you want it or not?”

He thought if he had a beating heart it would be thudding hard as he waited for her to decide. Buffy looked at Giles questioningly and he studied the vampire for a second then said, “They certainly won’t be looking for you in a demon’s apartment.”

Buffy stared hard at Spike, but he showed nothing but mild curiosity as he waited for her decision. There was no trace of guile or lust on his face, just a willingness to help.

(Ok, he said he’d give me space. I’m an adult. We can do this. I can stay in Spike’s apartment without wanting to get him naked. I can do that.)

“Well,” she exhaled forcefully. “I guess that’s a plan, then. I’ll just run by the dorm and get some clothes and my toothbrush-“

“Do you think that’s wise, Buffy? Your dorm would be an obvious place to look.”

“Fine, I’ll call Willow in the morning and ask her to bring me some things. Let’s go, Spike. I’d like to get at least a few hours’ sleep tonight.”

Giles offered to drive them to the apartment building so as to avoid any more potential run-ins with Initiative personnel. The trip only took a few minutes in his car and once again Buffy reminded herself that she really needed to learn how to drive some day. He dropped them off with an admonition to check in frequently and drove away leaving them on the sidewalk arguing about who had actually stopped Forrest long enough for them to get away.

“I hope they don’t kill each other before tomorrow,” he muttered as he watched them in his rear view mirror.

As the argument tapered off into growls and mutters, the two blonds turned and started into the building. Spike held up his hand and stopped Buffy before she opened the door.

“Let me go first, Slayer. Wouldn’t do for you to be seen here – or for me to be seen bringing you in. Be worth my head, it would.”

When he could see that there was no one around, he gestured for Buffy to follow him and led her up the stairs to a second-floor apartment. He pulled out a key and unlocked the heavy oak door, holding it for her so that she could precede him into the room.

Buffy almost laughed at the thought of Spike holding a door for her, but bit back the sarcastic remark she wanted to make and just smiled her thanks at him.

(Spike holds doors for women. Who knew?)

She stopped abruptly as she got inside and stared around the apartment. Instead of the garish blacks and reds she expected, it was tastefully, if soberly, decorated in what appeared to be genuine Victorian era furniture. The walls were muted shades of gray and green, with heavy dark green curtains hanging over the windows. One wall was completely lined with built in shelves full of books and there was a large comfortable-looking chair set under a reading lamp.

The room smelled a little musty from being closed up for so long, and Spike pulled the drapes and opened the windows to allow some fresh air in the room. He showed Buffy to the small bedroom and the bathroom attached to it but didn’t actually enter the room himself.

He waited in the doorway as she surveyed the large bed and then sat down to remove her shoes. Without looking up from her feet, she asked carefully, “And where will you.....?”

“Vampire, pet. Not ready to go to sleep yet. You get some kip and I’ll see you in the morning.”

Before she could register her surprise and disappointment, he blew her a kiss and walked out, shutting her door softly behind him.

Buffy was too tired to dwell on his unusual behavior and just crawled under the crimson sheets and covers and closed her eyes. Her last thought was that the pillow smelled like Spike and she found that oddly comforting.