With their latest fight, or “bloody fuck up”, as Spike preferred to call it, out of the way, they tried to settle into a new routine that would allow Spike the freedom to hang out with other demons, play poker and still be around enough that he could keep an eye on Buffy; and one that relieved her of worry about what he might be doing while he was gone. She couldn’t have explained why she trusted the vampire so much – her only excuse was that she believed him when he said, ”I cheat at poker, I drink, I drive fast, I steal, I like my spot of violence, and I’m a killer...but I’m not a liar. If I’m going to start eating my way through the populace of this colder version of Sunnyhell, I’ll tell you first. And we’ll have a go about it and one of us will win and that will be that.”
“Just like that?”
“Just like that. If I win, you let me find my meals on my own; if you win, it’s bagged pig swill.”
“What if one of us kills the other?”
“Not gonna happen, luv. I’m not goin’ to kill you, and you can’t kill me. Not yet. But we’re goin’ to fix that...”
Torn between indignation at his confident assessment of her skill level, and curiosity about what he meant by “fixing it”, she settled for glaring at him and twirling her stake.
“What do you think’s going to happen to them?”
Buffy’s question, murmured into Spike’s bare chest as she curled next to him, broke into his thoughts; thoughts that had been following the same path as hers. He stroked her arm absently as he thought about it.
“Don’t rightly know, love. I don’t think we can even guess until the Bit has visited them and found out a bit more about where they are. And won’t that be an interestin’ conversation...”
“Oh yeah, I can see me – her – now when Dawn pops out of the air and says, “Hi, I’m your little sister, but I’m older than you are right now and I didn’t exist until a few years ago, but it’s all good and I’m not evil... Yeah, that’s going to be fun. Not!”
She frowned with genuine concern, remembering how suspicious of anything unfamiliar she used to be – and still was, to a great extent.
“You don’t think I’ll hurt her, do you?”
“No, love,” he said soothingly. “You’re not that much of a judgmental bitch. I’m sure you’ll give her time to explain before you start threatening to stake her.”
“Oh, okay, if you don’t think I—What do you mean ‘not that much of a judgmental bitch?’” As his actual words penetrated her thoughts, she glared at the laughing vampire and grabbed him by curly brown hairs on his lower abdomen. “You take that back, you...you...jerk!”
“Ow! Ow!” He managed to speak between gasps of laughter. “Stop that, you—“
His words stopped when she moved her hand from his hair to his rapidly swelling cock. He pushed up into her hand, groaning, “If you’re tryin’ to punish me, pet, I think it’s only fair to tell you—“
He was interrupted again when she lowered her head to blow across his now rigid shaft.
“Take it back,” she murmured, her warm breath tantalizing him with promise. “Take it back, or this is all you get...” She deliberately exhaled again, smiling when his cock twitched in front of her.
“And they say I’m evil,” he growled, pushing fruitlessly toward the mouth hovering just over him.
“Take it back,” she ordered.
“Take what back?” He did his best to cling to some dignity, even as his hips kept pushing off the bed in a vain attempt to make contact with the smiling lips just out of reach.
“You know what – take it back or I’m going get dressed and go over to Mom’s.”
“And leave me here? Like this? You wouldn’t do that to me, would you, Buffy?” His voice lowered to the purring rumble that made her knees go weak, and he turned his head to nip at the plump cheek that her position over his cock was presenting to him.
“Yes,” she gasped, smothering a surprised squeak. “Yes, I would. You called me a bitch...a judgmental bitch,” she continued, her voice losing its forcefulness as he grabbed her legs and swung her over his face. “You can’t...oooh!...I’m not a bitch! Not anymore...I’m all...ahhh...understanding Buffy...”
“You are,” he agreed readily, his tongue wriggling its way into her suddenly damp folds. “You are so understanding, and sweet, and...delicious...”
Deciding that was as close to an apology as she was likely to get, Buffy surrendered and dropped her head until she had taken him into her mouth. She swirled her tongue around briefly, then set up a vigorous sucking that had the vampire arching up into her and growling around the little piece of needy flesh that he had sucked into his own mouth.
In a very short period of time, she was gasping for air as they simultaneously collapsed in completion. Buffy’s head was resting on Spike’s muscular thigh, while he left soft kisses across the silky skin of her stomach. With a small moan, she rolled off and squirmed around until she was curled back into his side. They lay quietly for several minutes, basking in the afterglow and enjoying the complete relaxation that always followed their lovemaking.
“So,” she continued as though there had been no interruption. “You think they’re going to be all right?”
He chuckled and squeezed her reassuringly. “They’re us, love. They’re going to fight and yell at each other, and kick the arse of anything that needs kickin’. An’ if they’re very lucky...” He dropped his head and placed a long, sweet kiss on her waiting lips. Buffy finished his sentence for him.
“If they’re very lucky, they’ll fall in love and have wonderful make-up sex every time they fight.”
“Exactly,” he said smugly. “They’re going to be jus’ fine.”
With Spike going off to play cards with Clem at least one night a week – verified by the wrinkled demon when Buffy casually commented on it – and his picking her up after work becoming a more hit or miss thing, Buffy no longer felt that he was watching her every move, and Spike relaxed enough to make a place for himself in the demon community. For whatever reason, the local demons who knew of his living arrangements and his friendship with the Slayer did not share that information with the vampire population of Winterset, so he was able to mingle freely with the other vampires in the town without fear of being labeled a traitor.
Not that the small population of vampires left in the city were likely to want to anger the blond master who had so inexplicably decided to move there. Those who had remained untouched by the Slayer’s stakes were not particularly violent vamps, and they had no interest in challenging Spike about anything. There were quite a few like the waitresses at the Devil’s Rest that got their daily blood from willing human donors who enjoyed the extra rush that accompanied sex with a bloodsucker. And there were also, he found to his surprise, quite a few who were happy to exist on pigs’ blood from the several local butchers. In reality, the vampire population in the city was quite small, consisting either of fledglings that never made it out of the cemetery, or non-violent vampires that remained below the slayer’s radar.
Just as Buffy, through meeting Clem and working in the mall, had found that not all demons were evil or dangerous, Spike was discovering that it was not uncommon in this world for vampires to co-exist with humans without feeling it necessary to kill them all. Still, he maintained his Big Bad image – never letting on that he himself wasn’t draining someone every night. By default, he seemed to slip into the vacant place in the demon hierarchy that should have been occupied by the Master of the city.
The gang from which Spike and Buffy had obtained their TV set was actually one of the few remaining vampire clans left in Winterset, and Buffy soon found herself with little or nothing to do most evenings on patrol. So, it was with a jolt of surprise and no little excitement that she found herself facing three clearly older and more experienced vamps as she entered the last cemetery on her rounds.
“Hi, guys! Looking for someone?” she asked cheerfully, twirling her stake and balancing on the balls of her feet.
The three vamps that had just been leaving in disgust, after having not found any new minions to take back to their master, stopped and snarled at the foolish blonde girl.
“You’re a bit on the small side,” the leader remarked, gesturing for the other two to flank him. “But, you’ll do.” He leapt at her, fully expecting to carry her to the ground, only to find that she was no longer in front of him, but had flipped over his charging form, managing to stake the slower moving of his companions as she did so. He stopped and shook his head in bewilderment and frustration.
“What the hell...?”
“Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t introduce myself, did I? I’m Buffy? The Vampire Slayer?”
As she spoke, Buffy swept the legs out from under the remaining minion, planting a small foot on his face to hold him down while she watched the leader circling her warily. When he didn’t attack immediately, she took the opportunity to bend down and stake the still-stunned vamp at her feet, rising just in time to meet another charge. Without the advantage of surprise this time, and in an off-balance position, Buffy found that the much larger vampire was able to pin her to the ground. She was able to hold him away from her neck with one powerful, slender arm, but she couldn’t free up the hand that was holding the stake. They remained at an impasse – the vampire snarling at her throat, the Slayer struggling to get her stake into position to use it.
It was the loud snarling and snapping that alerted Spike as he was strolling into the cemetery, following Buffy’s trail with the intention of joining her after her patrol. He sped up, following the sounds of a struggle and quickly reaching the two combatants. He circled the two straining figures, staying close enough to step in if it looked like Buffy might need help, but far enough away that he wasn’t interfering. The other vamp didn’t spare him a glance, just snarling, “Get lost, this one’s mine.”
“That true, Slayer? Are you his? Old Granddaddy’s likely to take that amiss, you know. He’s possessive that way.” He sat down on a nearby tombstone and continued in a conversational tone of voice. “O’ course, if there’s no Angelus in this world, then I guess this wanker won’t be too worried about brassing him off, will he?”
“Spike,” Buffy gritted out, still struggling to free the hand that was trapped between her body and the snarling vampire’s, “Are you going to do anything or just sit there all night?”
“I’m thinkin’ I’ll just sit, luv. See how you get yourself out of this.”
“What?” The attacking vampire blinked as the tiny girl who was holding him off with one hand actually seemed to snarl back at Spike.
“You don’t want me followin’ around like I don’t think you can handle yourself, I guess you’re going to have to show me that you can.” He leaned back and took out his cigarettes, tapping one out of the pack and grinning at the outraged expression on her face. “Let’s see what you’ve got, Slayer.”
“You son of a bitch!”
Fueled by her fury at Spike’s laughing teasing, Buffy bucked the vampire off far enough to get a knee into his chest and shove him to the side. As soon as her stake hand was free, she drove the point into the surprised vampire’s chest, coughing as the dust drifted down around her face. She leapt to her feet, stake still clenched in her fist, and glared at the smiling blond.
“Nicely done, pet,” he said mildly, rising to his feet. “Now the question is, how the bleedin’ hell did he get you into that position in the first place!” As he continued with his question, his voice rose until he was practically shouting at her. Buffy flinched back, then stepped into his space to snap back at him.
“There were three of them, you asshole! And they weren’t fledglings – I could feel it. They were older and smarter.”
“Then you have to be smarter – or you won’t get any older,” he growled back, already moving as her fist came flying toward his face. “Atta girl,” he encouraged when she followed it up with a flurry of punches, a few of which connected.
Before she realized it, Buffy was in a full-out fight with the vampire she had thought was her friend. Spike pulled no punches, although he never went into game face and made no attempt to follow through those few times that he was able to knock her down. She soon dropped the stake that she already knew she wasn’t going to use on him, and concentrated on trying to wipe the confident look off his face. The closer she came to actually beating him, the wider his grin grew until he finally held up his hand and laughed with delight.
“That’s enough for tonight, Slayer.”
“I haven’t kicked your ass yet,” she grumbled, more than willing to allow her rapidly-tiring arms to drop to her sides.
“No,” he agreed with a soft smile, “you haven’t. But you came closer than I thought you would.”
They began walking home, the Slayer keeping a small distance between them as she mulled over the night’s events. Suddenly, she stopped and grabbed his arm.
“You made me mad on purpose, didn’t you?”
“Ah,” he chuckled. “There are brain cells in there.” He moved easily away from the half-hearted punch she threw at his bicep; her hand barely brushed the leather as she expressed her annoyance the only way she knew how.
“You’re still doing it,” she muttered, fingering her stake meaningfully.
“I’m sorry, pet,” he said his grin fading to a soft smile. “I wanted you to save yourself back there and I figured getting you mad at me was they best way to see that it happened. I knew you’d have to take care of that pillock before you could try to pound on me the way you wanted to.”
“Humph!” was the only thing she could think of on short notice, so she just began walking again, this time close enough that their shoulders brushed occasionally. Spike happily accepted this sign that she was no longer really angry at him and he enjoyed the rest of the walk home – even if his cock did twitch a little every time the Slayer’s shoulder came into contact with his.
Happy to have figured out what the vampire had been trying to do, and grateful that he hadn’t come riding to the rescue, Buffy was lost in her own thoughts and it took her a while to notice the tingle she got every time her shoulder came into contact with his arm. Once she did notice it, she also had to acknowledge the little flutter in her lower abdomen that accompanied the tingle. She gave a guilty start at the thought that she might be getting turned on by Angel’s grandchilde, and she reluctantly moved just far enough away that the accidental contact was no longer happening.
Spike did his best to smother his disappointment until they reached the sidewalk in front of the house. He was just opening his mouth to say something when there was a loud “pop” right in front of them. He shook his head to clear the ringing in his ears and fell into a fighting stance beside the already-poised Slayer.
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