Note: Thanks to my beta t_geyer for her unending patience, perseverance and support.
SECTION 2 - ANOTHER SUITCASE IN ANOTHER HALL
So what happens now?
(Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now?
(Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to?
(You'll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to?
(Don't ask anymore)
(Barbara Dickson, Lyrics and Music by T Rice and A Lloyd Webber
[I know. I know. I'm eternally sorry but the lyrics kind of fit.])
Friday, May 17th, 2002
"I guess we better sort out what food we want before everywhere shuts, and then when Dawn gets back down, we can see whether she's going to want to share a bed with Spike and me or whether Wes gets to sleep on the sofa." Buffy crossed to the kitchen cupboard where the various food delivery menus were tucked away, picking up the handset for the cordless phone on the way.
Tara followed her and they pulled out stools so that they could spread out their array in front of them. "You know, about who's sleeping where..."
Buffy gave the girl a soft smile. "No, you can't volunteer to take the sofa."
"You think I'm that much of a martyr, huh?"
"Nope, I just know you're that nice a person."
"Not quite. It wasn't really tonight as such I wanted to talk about. What I was going to say was, assuming I stay, I wouldn't feel right about having the master bedroom.
I mean, I don't know if you'd want to move in there until the basement's ready, or whether you'd rather just wait and move once. Either way, it seems as if it should be someone who's really family who has that room. I guess it made sense when Willow and I were sharing, but not when there's just me."
"We've got plenty of time to sort all this out tomorrow, when Dawn and Spike are here. I guess, since the teenage terror volunteered us to do Willow's packing for her, that'll be the first priority. Then, we can work out whose things get moved into the space and fetch the rest of your things from the dorm, if that's okay with you.
Apart from anything else, it might depend on how things go with Social Services tomorrow. One of the reasons Spike took his apartment was that he was worried what they might say if he just moved in, but the case worker doesn't seem to have a problem with him being around, so if he's going to be here more, then it might make sense for us to have the bigger room, but if he's going to go back to only staying a couple of nights a week, then I guess whoever is going to be there in the long term should just move in.
And for the record..." She waited until she was sure the other girl was looking her squarely in the eye. "You are really family. In every way that counts, you're family."
With that matter resolved, Buffy moved on to more immediate concerns. "So, I know I said no more pizza, but with pizza comes Ben & Jerry's. Chinese means fritters. Not such a good score on the comfort food scale. And I'm guessing some comfort food would be good 'round about now."
"Ice cream sounds good," Tara agreed. "Or I could make pancakes, if you'd rather?"
"Nope, cooking... or housework of any kind is forbidden until tomorrow morning. We want food that comes in boxes and doesn't leave any more washing up than one spoon per person, which I guess means we get a pint of ice-cream each."
Dawn called through to the kitchen at this point, having made her way downstairs without either of the others noticing. "Did you guys mention ice cream? I had pizza at Brandon's but we didn't get ice cream."
"So, Giles is back. Is this just to help you out with the wedding stuff, or is it that apocalypse time of year again?" Tara asked.
"The latter. I don't think my wedding warrants two months of his precious time. He'll probably make time to give Spike 'The Talk' while he's here, though." Buffy gave a smile. "But then, if he does, I have a funny feeling he might end up on the receiving end of a lecture or two, himself."
"So what are you meant to stop, this time?"
"That's the thing. We thought it was the whole Willow, demon summoning thing... But Giles was doing the 'dark power' and I'm not even sure Evie would qualify as dirty grey."
"So, it's got to be Willow, then." Dawn added her bit to the conversation. "She's going to go majorly bad."
"Dawn..." Buffy's tone betrayed a level of exasperation. "Willow may have made mistakes, but she played a big part in finding you and she pretty much single-handedly saved Brandon's life. You can't just forget that as if it didn't happen."
"I'll have him send her a card," the teen responded bitterly. "It doesn't make her any less dangerous. She's still a manipulative, power-crazed, puppycidal bitch."
The sound of the front door opening temporarily caused a break in the conversation.
The puppy came bounding into the kitchen followed only seconds later by Spike and the former watcher.
"But you've got to reckon they've at least got a decent chance this year," the vampire was arguing.
"I'm not saying they don't have a chance-."
"Come on. If the bloody Yanks can qualify, anything can happen."
"As I said, we have a chance. I just think that realistically, in the end it's going to come down to either Germany or Brazil. Beckham's good, but he's not a miracle worker."
The puppy made her way around the group of women, while the two men were speaking, going from one to the next, getting very excited at Dawn's new apple-fragranced scent. Buffy treated the girl to a warning frown, to prevent her from fussing over the puppy when she'd supposedly washed up ready for bed. The frown was replaced by a look of dawning comprehension at the mention of Beckham's name. "Soccer. World cup, I think. Beckham's that one who married a Spice Girl." Her explanation was followed by the same look appearing on the other two girls' faces.
"So? Like you girls've been discussin' world politics?"
"No, but we have been discussing the fact that we don't really think Evie qualifies as a 'dark power' so you might not make it to your precious World Cup."
"Hey, now. You're even worse than him. Your lot's got a stake in this too, you know. You're just goin' to have to find this 'dark power' that Rupert's so fond of 'n' explain that we just can't be havin' any doin's with 'im... or her until the traitorous watcher 'ere 'n' me 'ave settled our little wager. Or you can kick his arse. That works too. We'll even help... if there isn't a match on."
"So, I have your endless devotion and support, just so long as twenty-two men aren't running round in shorts chasing a ball that isn't even the right shape?"
"Hey, she's learning. She knows how many are on a team now. But you forgot the ref, pet, so twenty-three really."
"Am I going to have to put up with this every year?" Buffy asked with a resigned expression.
"Hell, no, pet. You'll learn. It's every four years. Course, the Premier League runs every year. We'll have to get the sports channels added to the cable subscription before that starts."
She almost believed him before she caught the teasing glint in his eye. "Evil vamp!"
"Bad to the bone," Spike concurred as he swaggered across to take hold of Buffy by the waist, spin her so that she had her back to him and then picked her up as he turned round himself to rest his back against the kitchen units. His cheek brushed against Buffy's, stubble grating lightly against her soft skin, and his arms wrapped around her waist. Buffy was all too aware of the affect her proximity was having on the vamp and was torn between pulling away before it became even more obvious and staying where she was in order to hide the evidence. Her decision was further complicated by the fact that the pup seemed to find the pair of them very interesting.
"So, if Anya's luscious blue friend isn't Rupe's 'dark power' where does that leave us for suspects, other than Red?" the vamp asked, shifting his weight slightly so that Buffy felt his cock twitch against her ass. Dawn took on a smug expression at the vampire's words.
"Nowhere, exactly nowhere," Buffy said as she struggled to hide her reaction to what would appear to be a chaste and fleeting kiss to her neck, so far as all the others in the room were concerned.
"Once I pick up the keys for the house tomorrow, I was planning to head for LA to get my car and the rest of my things," Wes offered. "Once I have my books I can start checking for prophecies. There may be something I've missed until now."
"We'd offer to help but we've got the SS coming tomorrow, after we get Willow's things moved out." Buffy looked apologetic,
"I could go, maybe," Tara offered. "I only have a couple of classes tomorrow. I'm finished at eleven. I've got my driver's licence, and if it helped I could probably handle the Harley though I'm kind of more used to dirt bikes. I mean I'd rather bring the bike back than drive a car with a trailer... if you need a trailer. And it would still save you from having to get a flight down there."
All eyes suddenly focused on the shy blonde.
"Joys of an American rural upbringing," Spike suggested. "Let's guess. Come their sixteenth birthday, Donny was it? ...and all the other men in the family got cars and bikes, and all the women got something useless like a pair of earrings, but our Glinda borrowed brother's bike and taught herself, anyway."
"Pretty much." Tara blushed under the attention she was receiving.
Spike reached in his pocket and pulled out a set of keys, tossing them to her. "Might do better to take mine rather than watcher boy's pristine machine. It'll get you there and back. It runs fine, but nobody'll notice an extra scratch or two. I'd loan you the car but we're goin' to have to do some shopping tomorrow, maybe take the mutt to the vet's an' get it checked over.
Bloody hell! I feel like I'm living in the middle of the Waltons or something. You know dogs are supposed to come under the heading of food for vamps, not pets. You see what you've done to me, woman?"
Buffy shifted against him, just slightly, but enough to prove her point. "I know exactly what I've done to you... And you love it all."
The vampire merely grunted in response. "Pet, how long have we got before the food arrives?"
Buffy checked the kitchen clock. "Another fifteen minutes unless they're early."
"In that case seein' as I think we're out of 'dark power' candidates to discuss, I'm going to go grab a shower and get rid of the dog smell before I eat."
Spike stuck his hands in the pockets of his coat making sure that when he sidestepped from behind Buffy the leather would screen from view the tangible evidence of his arousal.
He had been upstairs less than a minute when Buffy made her excuses and followed him. "He's going to need some fresh towels. I best go find some."
"Like he couldn't find the linen closet on his own." Dawn snorted as her sister headed upstairs. "At least they're not quite as obvious as Xander and Anya. And Buffy doesn't send me off to spend the night at other people's houses any more."
Wesley flushed slightly. "I'm sure they're not..."
"Okay." Dawn suggested. "It should take Buffy two minutes to go up there, find some towels, and give them to the pseudo-albino. Ten dollars gets you twenty that neither of them shows until after the pizza."
"I really don't feel that this is a seemly topic for a wager," Wes argued.
"Or you think I'm right but you don't want to admit it?"
"Or I think you're right and I won't admit it."
Tara gave a quiet smile but her eyes sparkled behind her curtain of hair. "I'm sure she's just going to help him with those hard to reach areas."
Buffy checked her own room first, but found only a pile of discarded clothing. Scooping an armful of fresh towels from the closet on the landing as she passed, she pushed open the bathroom door to find the naked vampire just turning on the shower to let the temperature stabilise before he got in.
"Need a hand scrubbing your back?" she asked, as she set the bundle of towels on the floor beside the bath.
"That depends. Bit sleepin' in her own bed tonight?" Spike asked as he tenderly brushed a stray hair from her cheek.
"She's going to give it a try."
"In that case let's not start anything that we're not going to have time to finish properly. Remember the last time we got carried away in here, and how you felt after. This time the whole house would know." His tongue ran along his upper teeth. "Not that they won't all know later, anyway."
With a good-natured swat to his behind Buffy turned to go. "You know, if you build up all this anticipation then the main event's going to have to be pretty spectacular, or it's going to seem like an anti-climax."
"Have I ever given you reason to doubt?"
"We-ell... There was that one time when Xander interrupted."
"Hey, now! Extenuating circumstances. He'd make anybody lose the mood," Spike protested. "Well, except the demon bint."
Buffy dropped a kiss on his cheek. "Best hurry. Food'll be here soon. And before you come to bed tonight...get a shave."
She turned away from him, drawing her eyes from his nakedness with obvious reluctance. She hesitated for a second or two with the door ajar before she closed it once again, and locked the two of them in together. Spike's head tilted to one side and that deliciously scarred eyebrow arched upwards. She reached toward him, her fingers skating over the still shiny scar tissue where his neck met his shoulder. The tantalising touch was enough to break the demon's reserve even before her mouth replaced her fingertips.
His hands pulled her close against him, then slid over the rounded curves of her butt to part her denim-clad thighs and lift her until she wrapped her legs around his waist. The change in their relative position not only made it easier for Buffy to kiss and nibble and bite at that area of flesh where, despite Dru's efforts, he still appeared to be singularly attuned to his mate's touch but brought her own neck easily within Spike's reach at the same time, and the vampire wasn't slow to return the favour.
Each touch of his tongue, his lips and his teeth seemed to pull at the muscles of her womb, leaving her wet with desire. Her jeans crushed her lower lips so tight that the whole area seemed to burn. The rush of hot water against her skin made her gasp and she renewed her efforts with increased vigour, goaded on by the knowledge that for Spike to have carried them to the bath his legs must still be considerably less unsteady than her own. Then, her back was slammed against the cool tile of the wall.
Spike growled in her ear even as his hands massaged her breasts his thumbs tracing her wet hard nipples through the translucent fabric of her top. "Clothes, off, now, love. Or I rip them off." As if to emphasise his point his hips ground hard into hers where he had her pinned.
"Do it!" Buffy ordered, inciting him even further. One long sensuous rip split her top from hem to neckline and cool hands slid it from her shoulders. Sharp demon teeth teased at each of her nipples in turn. The knowledge that one extra ounce of pressure could leave her scarred for life only excited her further as her fingers wrapped themselves into his white-blonde curls.
"Stand up, baby." Buffy somewhat belatedly mourned the fate of one of her favourite pairs of boots as she realised why her feet failed to find purchase against the slick porcelain of the bath.
She expected the blonde to start at the fly of her jeans. Instead, he swiftly removed her footwear, kissing each bare toe before returning her foot to the surface of the bath. Then he gripped the bottom hem of one of her jean legs, ripping apart the heavy wet denim along the outer seam as if it were no more than thinnest muslin. The other leg swiftly followed, and Buffy was left in no more than a scrap of scarlet lace. Two taloned fingers flicked out with unerring precision to slice through the delicate fabric while leaving her flesh unmarred.
The display of tempered strength and violence had her panting in anticipation as he scooped her from the bath, laying her on the floor so that her hips were cushioned by the bundle of towels that she had brought him earlier.
As he came to lie above her his dick was pinned between their bodies and he supported himself on his elbows. His eyes were a glowing gold as he teased her.
"Tell me what you want, baby. Tell me... Do you want my fingers?" As he spoke he matched gestures to words, morphing back to human form so that his talons wouldn't graze her sensitive flesh he slipped a finger between her outer lips, spreading them open as he savoured their dampness. His thumb found her clit, grinding it in slow circles against her pubic bone until her muscles loosened at his touch and he slipped his middle two fingers into her moist heat. He moved them in slow circles, stretching her open wider before he added a third finger, beginning to piston them in and out.
"Is that good, my love? Is that what you want?" Even as he spoke the first flutterings of her vaginal muscles told him he was unlikely to get a coherent answer. His poor baby had been all wound up for nearly three days now. She was so ready for him. "Who's your man? Who makes you feel good?"
Buffy tried desperately to hold off her climax, knowing if she let the moment pass it could be a long time before she plucked up the courage again.
"Spike? Want you... Want your dick inside me. Want your teeth in my neck. Want to put my mark on you again."
The vampire had to bite down on his tongue to prevent himself from coming all over her stomach.
"Whatever you say, love." In one deep thrust he buried himself inside her. He withdrew slowly, only to ram home forcefully once more as Buffy flattened her feet against the floor and pushed up with her hips to meet him. She reached to twine her fingers with his then spread her arms so that he collapsed against her, his full weight pressing her to the floor as they moved. Buffy soon found herself teetering once more at the edge of the precipice as Spike moved gradually faster and harder inside her and against her.
She raised her head to capture his lips and he knew that it was time. He switched to his demon face as he teased Buffy's tongue with his own. When she pressed her tongue against one of his fangs spilling precious slayer's blood in his mouth his hips seemed to press into her with even more vigour. Then as they simultaneously bit into the other's neck with one last thrust he spilled his seed inside her as her spasming muscles milked him dry.
"Mine." Spike was the first of the two to collect enough brain cells to speak before lapping softly at her wound with his bleeding tongue.
"Always..." Buffy gasped. "Mine?"
"For eternity and beyond."
"Even if there's soccer on the TV?" Buffy raised an eyebrow in a gesture that imitated his own.
"Even when there's footie on the telly."
"Oh God!" Buffy's words mirrored the vampire's own thoughts as a pulsing began in his temples and his eyes locked with hers for a second before his lids closed and he felt the visions start.
This time, they were a warning and from the emotions that were coming from his fiancée as they clasped each other's hands even tighter, it was one that they had both heard loud, if not exactly clear.
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