Note: Thanks to my beta t_geyer for her unending patience, perseverance and support.
SECTION 4 - ELSEWHERE
I love the time and in between
The calm inside me
In the space where I can breathe
I believe there is a distance I have wandered
To touch upon the years of
Reaching out and reaching in
Holding out and holding in
This is heaven to no one else but me
And I'll defend it
As long as I can be
Left here to linger in silence
If I choose to
Would you try to understand?
(Sarah McLachlan, Album - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy)
Thanks also to Emma for suggesting this way back
when I started FTE, even if it did take me three
months to follow through.
Hope she's still reading.
Sunday, May 19th, 2002
Tara's eyes flicked suddenly open. She looked around the room. Dawn, Giles and Wes were still seated, each within their own individual sand circle. The first light of predawn had given way to full mid-morning sun, but the light seemed grainy, almost sepia toned, though she supposed that perhaps the pall of incense smoke in the room could be partially responsible. She pushed herself to her feet, aware of a disorienting fuzziness to her actions. The normal, everyday sounds of the house seemed muted somehow, the hum of the refrigerator, the noise of children playing in the street outside. All seemed distant, as if somehow, she existed on the border between their reality and another.
She turned toward the kitchen, thinking to check through the house for other influences before finally going in search of the vampire, and froze in terror. A demon stood behind the island in the middle of the room, his head only an inch or two short of brushing the ceiling. He wore armour in a style that Tara knew from her art history course had not been widely seen since the time of the crusades, though the helmet, which he carried tucked under one arm, had to be more ceremonial than functional, as the 'wings' on either side of the piece would be more likely to deflect a blow towards the top of the head than away from it. His eyes were pools of darkest ebony, with no obvious irises or whites, and Tara knew she should find them unreadable, yet after her first initial shock, she found that she began to be drawn toward the figure. His pose seemed both at ease and alert, as if he waited to be needed, his huge right hand resting on the pommel of what to a human would be a claymore, but to the figure before her, seemed more in the nature of a bastardsword. Tara reached out toward him, knowing that he meant her no harm, but also knowing that a great injustice had been wrought and would have to be corrected soon if the cosmic balance were to be maintained.
She picked up Buffy's purse from the island, her eyes flashing violet as she did so. She watched as the demon put on it's helmet and changed it's grip on the huge sword. Then, the image of the demon began superimposing itself over her own body, so that to the witch, it now seemed as if she had donned the winged helmet and accompanying armour. The whole process took just a fraction of a second. The spirit who now imbued her with his strength and invulnerability had shifted into a state of combat readiness. Tara was aware of the puzzlement of the spirit within her. He... no, it, she realised, had no concept of how it had been separated from its people, or what might be happening to them now that their guardian had been stripped from them. It bore no ill will toward those in whose company it now found itself, but its over-riding concern was to return to those for whom it had given its life and over whom it had sworn to keep watch, even in death, taking on the role of warrior and protector so that the rest of its kind might live lives of meditation and study.
Tara opened up the purse and taking out the orbs, held one in either hand, separating them until the purple light flashed once more in her eyes before the spirit left her body, and she could see clearly once more instead of feeling as if her view was restricted to what she could see through a visor slit. She made her way to the dining room, pausing to look at the photographs there and how in some Dawn's image seemed to fade in and out, even though in the later ones she was as real as anyone else. Having exhausted the possibilities of the ground floor, Tara turned for the stairs even as Wes's eyes flicked open to see the Wiccan apparently being stalked by the huge sword-wielding demon.
"Oh god, Spike. Ah, Spike, please..."
The demon's gaze met that of his lover across the lusciously curving planes of her upper body. He loved it when she became incoherent, when all that remained for her was him and surges of sensation. He watched her face as he pushed her lower lips open with a broad stroke from his tongue before making teasing forays around her swollen clit. When he finally took the bud between his lips, sucking gently at first, Buffy thought she was going to die. Surely, such a rapid heartbeat was a sign of arrhythmia. Then, two slender fingers pushed inside her warmth, gently curving to find her G-spot and stroke it with a sensually circling caress. As he increased the pressure from his mouth, sucking harder, so that the lines of his perfectly crafted cheekbones were emphasised even more prominently than normal, he could feel the first fluttering of her vaginal muscles around his fingers. He lifted his head, returning once more to a gentle licking motion, letting her body shift slightly back from the brink even though his skilled fingers inside her wouldn't let her slip too far.
Buffy gasped for every breath and her eyes finally flickered shut. She caught the delicate scent of cherries in the air as his fingers left her and strong arms pulled her up to her knees, wrapping her arms around his neck as her breasts were crushed to his chest. She gasped as she felt his cool member push between her thighs from behind, the coarse mat of his pubic hair brushing against the curves of her ass, and the head of his generous shaft teasing her over-stimulated clit. Her eyes opened wide once more as she realised the impossibility of what she was feeling.
"Here, love." The gentle whisper in her right ear was echoed by the lips in front of her just before they claimed her own. A familiar hand reached from behind her to cup her breast. As Spike continued she heard him not with her ears, but in her mind. 'Relax, love. It's a dream. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. It's all me. You're safe.'
"But whose? I mean, is this your fantasy, or mine?"
'Does it matter? Seems pretty good to me. Something about the idea of making you come every which way at once really turns me on, but I think that's hardly news. Personally, though, I suspect I would have conjured up multiple Buffys. Who knows? It could be my way of compensating for not being able to keep you awake all night.'
Buffy's eyes widened as she felt the cock behind her being replaced by a finger that pressed gently on her anus coating the puckered opening with lubricant before easing smoothly inside. "Chill, honey, nothing we haven't done before, just not all at once," the voice at her ear whispered huskily before she felt a sharp tweak at her nipple and arched back, letting her head drop onto the shoulder of the Spike behind her. The demon at her back was unable to resist the temptation and kissed and nuzzled against her collar bone and the smooth column of her golden neck, paying particular attention to her claim mark, nibbling at the flesh there with blunt teeth.
"Oh god. You really are going to kill me."
"There's a reason the French call it 'Le Petit Mort', pet."
The finger inside her began to shift from side to side, loosening her tight muscles until there was enough space for a second finger in the narrow cavity. Spike in front of her dropped his head to her free breast suckling there as he had earlier on her other perfect pink bud. Once more, Buffy could feel herself approach the edge of climax. A thumb moved within her lips, grinding her clit against her pubic bone in circles that began slowly but as she panted harder and harder began to speed up. At the same time a third finger joined the first two in her ass and they began to thrust in and out in place of their previous motion.
Buffy's whole body began to tremble and she knew the only things holding her up were the hard bodies on either side of her, even as she thought this, some agreement seemed to be reached between the two Spikes. 'Open your eyes, baby. See what's yours.'
With some effort Buffy pushed open lids that she hadn't been aware of shutting. The man behind her was in complete control of her body now. His arm around her holding her up, his mouth on her neck making her shiver uncontrollably and his fingers bringing her to orgasm in a way that only he ever had. 'Look at me, honey.' Her eyes finally focused on the man in front of her, making her gasp as she realised what he was doing. She watched, fascinated as dextrous fingers massaged his penis, spreading lubricant thickly over its silky length as he pumped slowly up and down. 'You know what's coming, don't you? You know what I'm going to do? Think you can take it, baby?'
Buffy barely managed to nod. The combined sensations the other Spike was causing enough to make any thought difficult.
'Do you want it, Buffy? You're as ready as we can make you but it's probably still going to hurt a little.'
Again she moved her head to show her assent, unable to form words. The men shifted until they were right and left of her instead of in front and behind, holding her up on either side. the Spike who had been behind her continuing to lavish attention on her claim mark and to thrust in and out of her in a slow rhythm until the other Spike took position on his knees behind her. Buffy gasped as he took over from his doppelganger, his languorous thrust taking him far deeper then his counterpart had penetrated and stretching her so taut that it did hurt, but she knew that the pleasure to come would far outweigh any pain. Spike wondered again that such a tiny woman could accommodate him so completely, sliding slowly deeper and deeper as the other Spike watched.
Buffy could feel his satisfaction as he seated his dick inside her, and was glad again for Riley's prudery that meant this one thing was his and his alone. She gasped one word, letting him know how she felt. "Yours."
"That's right, baby. You're ours and we're going to take real good care of you, but you have to stay with us. You have to try to hold off coming as long as you can, in case you wake up."
"Spi-ike..." she moaned as if he asked the impossible.
A hand settled on each of her hips as Spike began to withdraw, but before she could miss the feel of him inside her the other Spike moved round to face her.
"Don't worry, love," he reassured her, his fingers gently stroking her cheek. "We love you. You're safe with us. We'll take everything nice and slow." The vampire behind her showered her shoulders in feather-light kisses and nips that left pink marks that would have faded in a few hours, if this were real, as he moved inside her, pausing when only the bulbous head of his cock was left inside her before pushing back into her welcoming warmth unbearably slowly. The Spike in front of her reached between her legs, positioning himself at her opening. Waiting until the other Spike paused again, barely inside her, he thrust up into her, withdrawing almost completely before the one behind her took his turn once more.
As the vampire had promised they built up a tortuously sensual rhythm until Buffy relaxed completely, only tensing slightly when one of the four hands and two mouths found a new way to make her gasp and moan. At first one vampire would wait until the other had almost completely withdrawn before he thrust into her, but as they slowly gained momentum they could feel one dick sliding past the other with only a thin tissue membrane separating them, and Buffy could feel them, too. She had never felt so completely filled in her life.
"Not going to break, Spike. Want it faster, harder. Want to feel all of both of you inside me at once."
At her request, the vampire behind her paused once he was buried deep within her. The Spike before her searched her face, making certain she was absolutely sure before he gave a savage push into her. Buffy's head dropped back, onto the shoulder of the man behind her, once more, a low moan of satisfaction escaping from her throat. As both men began to withdraw simultaneously she could feel them press tight against each other. The vamps began to push into her harder and faster swiftly reaching the frenetic pace and savagery she had wanted.
Finally, she could bear it no longer. "Spike... gonna come... real soon..."
However, she should have known that the vamp could read her pulse and respiration as if it were as clear as a road map. "We know, baby. We know. It's okay. You, come for us. Come for your boys. Let us know how good we make you feel. Let it all out."
His words of encouragement were all she needed to tip her over what by now was not so much the edge as a precipice, her teeth embedding themselves deeply in the flesh of the vampire in front of her, as all three of them came with a breathtaking ferocity.
"Tara, look out!" Wes called, trying to pitch his voice so that the witch couldn't fail to hear him, but also so that he wouldn't rouse Giles or Dawn from their meditation before they were ready. Tara, spun on her heel to see what the danger was, as the watcher made to make a grab for the demon.
"No, Wes. It's just these." She held up the orbs, one in either hand, still keeping them several feet apart. "The orbs are imbued with the spirit of the demons' racial guardian. That's where their power comes from."
Her warning came a little late as Wes discovered the yielding nature of what was after all, simply a visual manifestation of the magic of the orbs. Tara went to grab Wes's arm before he could fall and then realised that both her hands were already full. Fortunately, Wes's dignity was the only casualty. "I'm guessing some invulnerability isn't going to go amiss if we can get Spike to hold them. I feel kinda stupid that it took an eight foot tall apparition to remind me."
"At least you worked out where the apparition came from."
Tara shook her head. "I just had longer to adjust than you did. Come on. I couldn't see anything downstairs, well nothing I didn't expect, but I haven't checked on Spike, yet."
Tara knocked quietly at the couple's bedroom door, reluctant to awaken them if they were getting some much needed sleep. When she received no response, she pushed the door open. The protective circle around the bed shimmered with a buttery yellow light that rose to a height of about five feet slightly obscuring her view of the bed, so that it was only when she stepped within its bounds that she realised it was no longer occupied. If it hadn't been for the missing comforter and pillows she might have been concerned. As it was, she simply strolled around to the far side.
What she could see from there, however, caused her to blush profusely and wave Wesley back toward the door. So far as she could tell, beneath the haphazardly draped covers, both Buffy and Spike were dressed as they had been earlier with the exception of Buffy's robe, but the figures that floated in the air above their heads were wearing nothing at all. Tara determinedly searched the area around the vampire for signs of hostile magic, even, finally, pulling back the covers to his waist to search his flesh.
She swore under her breath at what she saw there. There was no tell-tale pointer to indicate magic, just red-purple bruising that covered the vamp's abdomen, which, to her, indicated some form of internal haemorrhage. She leaned forward to press the orbs into the vampire's hand where it wrapped around Buffy's waist.
Rogue watched her every move from where she lay by the couple's heads, as if she felt that Spike required a canine guard in his weakened state. The orbs slid from the vampire's hand almost immediately, but when Tara saw the figure of the demon merge with Buffy's sleeping form, she simply picked up the orbs and placed them by Spike's back instead of in his hand. As the armour wrapped itself around Spike's body, Tara breathed a sigh of relief and backed away toward the room door.
"What's wrong?" the former watcher asked as she pushed him back onto the landing. "You look like you've seen a ghost."
"Spike's getting worse. His face is starting to look like a skull. He's still running a fever and I think from the bruising on his stomach there's internal bleeding. The thing is that there's absolutely no sign of anything magical, except some very personal astral body type stuff that seems to be going on between the two of them."
"The shared dreams?" Wes asked.
"That could be it. Let's just say, if Dawn makes it into a trance, she isn't old enough to go into that room."
"So how long exactly does the REM state last?" the Wiccan asked.
"Long enough for us to make a pot of coffee and some toast," Wes suggested.
The pair made their way downstairs and through the dining room into the kitchen.
As Wes rinsed out the filter from the coffee-machine, Tara pulled open the fridge door to get the coffee canister and the milk. What caught her attention was the icky green glow around the jug of blood that sat in the fridge. A small seal decorated the side of the jug, a mark personal to the mage who had altered the liquid, a mark the Wiccan recognised all too easily.
As she let the door swing open and stepped back to let Wes see, she sighed her disappointment. "Oh, Willow!"
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