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Staring at Your Window. by AmyB
staring at Your Window.
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Buffy sat on her bed, knees curled to her chest, wrapped in the largest sweater she had been able to find in her closet; funny how that had been her uniform all day, ever since she’d come home ‘sore and limpy and desperately confused’ Buffy.  It just seemed easier to hide—from herself, from her friends, from her Spike (whatever he was to her now)—if she could bury herself in layers of fabric and an air of business-only purpose.  Hair yanked back into severe braids, face bare of makeup and stark with her exhaustion, body shielding itself in reams of soft cotton, she had felt armored for what she had been sure would be a trying confrontation with Spike.  But he had helped her—making with the snark and the innuendoes all the while, but he had honest to God helped her—and yet he hadn’t had even the grace to pretend to be fooled by her armor.  He saw right through her—again.  He knew that she wanted him, knew that her body hadn’t stopped craving him, knew that she still shook with unspent desire when she recalled even the barest touch of his hands against her flesh…

Her chest suddenly felt impossibly tight and she found herself overwhelmed by the odor of the garlic she’d strewn throughout her room; desperately grasping the cross in her hand as though it was her only tie to the world around her, she gasped for breath.  She was deeply engrossed in her thoughts, so riveted by the frantic machinations of her brain that she rocked back and forth subconsciously to soothe herself as she scrambled to catch up with the events of the past 24 hours.

Just one day… one tiny day in the scheme of how many others… and it had completely shaken her world to the core.  Not that her world was anything less than shaky even on its best day, not now that she’d been torn from heaven and brought back to earth to fight a battle that hadn’t been hers to fight for far too long.  She wasn’t a warrior, not any more; she was an angel cast out of heaven who shouldn’t have to muddy her hands with vampire dust and demon gore night after night.  But she was only that angel to Spike; she could see in the way that he protected her, shielded her, and comforted her that he knew with every fiber of his being that her presence in this world was wrong.  He tried to make it better, to make the world less bright and less harsh; heaven help her, but the only comfort she could find in this hellish space was found in him.  He just listened, he just held, he just took what she could give him and gave everything he had in return.  He tried to put her back together nightly, brick by brick, carefully reconstructing everything that her friends had so thoughtlessly torn apart.

Her friends… her indelicate snort shattered the stillness of the room around her, and startled her into a complete cessation of motion.  There was a mess that she didn’t even want to bother with.  Xander and Anya and the endless nattering… could they really not see how grating it was?  How shrill and uncomfortable and false things felt when she was with them?  Tara… Tara was sweet—wonderful even—but she’d still helped with the spell, still let them rip her out of heaven, even if they didn’t know that’s where she was.  Giles didn’t count, not anymore—if he couldn’t be bothered to stick around and help after she publicly begged him to stay, she didn’t need him, and right now she certainly didn’t want him.  And Willow… God, who would have ever thought that sweet shy little Willow would start juicing herself up on dark power, much less abandon Dawn in a warlock’s den while she went to get her fix.  And if the way she’d scrubbed herself bloody in the shower long after the water had turned cold was any indication, Rack hadn’t wanted money as payment…
Which left Dawn and Spike.  Out of everyone in Sunnydale to whom she’d ever been close, she was down to two people that she could really, truly trust.  Hands down, chips down—two people who were there.  Her sister that really wasn’t her sister and shouldn’t even be a person, and a vampire with a chip and no soul.  And why didn’t she feel that she’d been cosmically screwed in this bargain?  Except that she hadn’t been, not really.  Oh, it was far from normal; but then again, it was her life.  Dawn may have been created by monks out of glowy energy, but she really did feel like her sister—Buffy certainly loved her like one, enough so that it survived Willow wiping their memories.  Yeah, she was whiny and a pain… she was fifteen, the little sister of a slayer, and she’d found out she wasn’t even real and lost her mother and her sister in less than six months—that explained most of it.  Whatever else she was, though, Dawn was also loyal and loving and trying so hard to be grown-up and brave and strong.
And Spike—well, he didn’t seem to be doing so shabby with only the chip and no soul.  He had stayed and taken care of Dawn, grieved with her and treated her like an adult and not a kid; Buffy may have been lost in her own pain when she’d returned, but she hadn’t been blind.  She’d seen the way he and Dawn were with each other the night she came back, and more nights since, and she knew that some major bonding had taken place while she was… away.  And if she’d needed any other proof, she had the look on Spike’s face tonight when she’d mentioned Dawn’s name alongside Willow’s and Rack’s: the abject terror mixed with fury and an unwavering sense of purpose.  And when they’d found Dawn, she had watched in wonderment as all of his harsher emotions seemed to drain from him as he focused only gentleness and concern on Dawn; with only a glance from Buffy, he had pulled Dawn into his embrace and taken her to the hospital while Buffy dealt with Willow.  He always seemed to know exactly what to do, and just did it; she didn’t have to persuade him, to convince him—she said the word or gave him a look, and he had her back.
Which made last night and this morning so weird.  The chip didn’t work on her, and he had attacked her.  Not that she had been all moonbeams and roses with the taunting and the Bitchy Buffy routine since they’d kissed that first time, but still—he attacked her.  But… but he didn’t kill her, did he?  Suddenly, Buffy realized with perfect clarity exactly what their little pre-show in the alley and the house had been: he was tired of her treating him like some leashed guard dog that she could put back in the kennel when she was done.  He had wanted her to see what he could do versus what he was doing; while he could hurt her, sneak up on her, kill her, drain her, turn her *Bad Buffy brain!  Enough with the list! *… he helped her instead.  Fought by her side.  Babysat her little sister.  Got drunk with her when she wanted to escape her life, and helped her to fight back against her enemies.  Listened when she sobbed or talked.  Watched in silent support and unwavering devotion as she stared at the floor, aching too much to speak.
*He loves me.*  How funny that the realization would be so matter-of-fact when she’d always sworn it wasn’t possible for him to love her or anything other than himself; suddenly, however, it was the one thing she knew as clearly as her own name.  He loved her, and the fight had been the only way he knew to prove it.  He had to show her that he could kill her, so she would understand what it meant that he didn’t .
So then this morning… why had he been such an ass?  All Big Bad swagger and lewd innuendoes…  Except for the whole “the only thing better than killing a slayer” thing, which was so beyond uncalled for, it had really been kind of an awkwardly snuggly morning after the shock of waking up naked and together had worn off… until she had jumped off of him like he was on fire and called him a freak show, and convenient, and all those other nasty things she’d said… Oh god… no… she had been Angelus!
Buffy’s hand flew up to cover her mouth, and she felt like she might actually be sick.  She didn’t really know yet how to describe how she felt about Spike… but there were more fluffy bunny feelings than sharpen stake feelings, so why had she said those things?  She had always wondered what her face had looked like while Angelus had been taunting her, but she didn’t need to wonder any more… the hurt in Spike’s eyes this morning had given her a perfect mirror.  She had done nothing less to him than Angelus had done to her, and she still ached from that betrayal. 
But she didn’t want to hurt Spike… she didn’t want to see that look on his face again, and not just because it made her feel like a horrible person.  He was her ally, her confidante, and now, she supposed, her lover.  She cared about him in a way that twisted her insides into knots every time she felt him nearby, and knowing that she had devastated him… well, it ached.  So she was going to fix it, but damned if she knew how.  Suddenly exhausted, Buffy unwrapped herself and stood, rolling her eyes at the cross that had imprinted itself into her palm and tossing it across the room with a bark of sardonic laughter.  Standing, she decided to take down the ridiculous smelly window treatments and get to bed; there’d be time enough for fixing everything else tomorrow.
And that plan held until she heard the tapping at the window.
Spike nearly fell off the branch he was balancing on when Buffy opened the window; the stench of the garlic that she had apparently chosen to decorate with was horrendously strong, and he could think of only a few times in recent memory that he had been happier to not have to breathe.  Knowing full well what had prompted her efforts at redecorating, he swallowed back the hurt that was burning the back of his throat and gave Buffy a tentative smile, whispering, “Just thought I’d check in on you ‘n the Nibblet, luv.  Patrol wasn’t much of note… just wanted to make sure you were all tucked in tight and safe before I headed back to the crypt.”
“We’re fine, Spike,” Buffy answered just as softly, more than a little touched by the gesture.  It just made her feel worse about everything she’d said and done to him that day, but it was still sweet just the same.  “I wondered where you went when you left the hospital; I wanted to thank you for taking care of her.”  She took in Spike’s surprise-widened eyes and could’ve sworn that he blushed for just a moment before the calm veneer slid back into place.
“Ta, luv.  So how is the Bit?”
“She’s hurting, but they doped her up pretty good… I don’t think she’ll be awake anytime soon.  Which is probably best, ‘cause she got to miss the other half of the show.”
“So there were fireworks with you ‘n Red, then?  Didn’t know if there would be… thought you might need to talk, and with the Nibblet bein’ out for the count…”
Buffy was stunned.  After everything that had happened between them, all the bitter words back and forth, he came to see if she needed to talk because he knew she couldn’t come to him with Dawn hurt.  Seeing him watching her expression closely and noting his curious look, she hastened to answer. 
“No fireworks.  Waterworks, though, and plenty of them, which makes it way too hard for me to be pissed and stand my ground.  It’s like most everything right now, Spike—I just can’t convince myself that it’s worth the effort to try to make it better.  She feels sorry for herself right now; she might or might not be sorry for what she did tomorrow.  I can’t make her do what she should do, even if I knew what that was.  She just abandoned Dawn while she whored herself out for a black magic fix, Spike, and then she damn near got her killed… how am I supposed to bring her back from that?”
“Dunno, luv.  Whatever’s been brewin’ with Sabrina there has been goin’ on since they brought you back… that wasn’t light mojo she was workin’ there, Slayer.  There’s somethin’…”
“Wrong about her?  I know, Spike… but they all feel wrong to me now.  Why are you and Dawn the only ones who feel right, Spike?” Buffy murmured, guard completely down for a moment as she voiced her earlier thoughts aloud for the first time.  Quickly catching herself, she broke eye contact and looked back over her shoulder.  *Can’t look him in the eye until I figure this out.  He’ll figure it out first if I’m not careful… I can’t hide anything from him…he always sees right through me.*
Spike’s eyes had widened with her admission, but he covered his surprise and hope quickly, sensing that she was about to get prickly—she’d just given herself away, and she knew it.  That never made for a happy Buffy.  But he’d play her game this time; between shagging him senseless the night before and what she’d just said, she’d given him much more than the crumbs he’d once begged for, and now that he knew what was going on in her head he could be patient.
Gesturing to the window frame and its new embellishments, Spike raised an eyebrow at Buffy as he lit a cigarette.  “What’s all this then, Slayer?  Scoobie pasta night fast approaching?”
Buffy had the grace to look extremely embarrassed; she fidgeted uncomfortably as she mumbled, “I was getting ready to take it down.”
Spike couldn’t help but laugh, both at her discomfort and at her thinking that garlic would do anything to him.  “Buffy, ‘s not like I don’t know they’re a little present for yours truly.  What exactly did you think the nummy little bulbs would do?  I eat spicy Buffalo wings, slayer.  Made with garlic.  They go in my mouth, down my throat, into my stomach, and here I stand.  You really think that usin’ it for tinsel’s gonna keep me out if I really want to come in?”
Buffy’s head shot up; god, she was so completely mortified that she’d been caught doing something so unbelievably stupid.  Deciding that covering was the best way to get out of this mess, she channeled Bitchy Buffy again and snapped, “It’s late, Spike.  I want to go to bed.  It’s been a very long day…”
“Was an even longer night last night,” he teased smoothly, relishing the sight of the tiny grin she couldn’t keep from crossing her face before she once again snapped back to cranky.
“I told you this morning, Spike…” she started in what she hoped (but seriously doubted) was a warning tone; even to her own ears it sounded thin and more than a little flirtatious.
“You told me a year’s worth of bollocks this morning, Buffy, an’ the both of us know it.  That’s why you’re redecoratin’, luv, in case you haven’t realized.  It’s not that you want to keep me out.  You’re afraid of lettin’ me in,” he growled back, tiring of her game very quickly despite his earlier vow of patience.
“And a world of ‘Huh?’  I’m TIRED, Spike…I don’t want to play Freud.”  Seeing Spike’s scarred eyebrow raise provocatively, she raced to add, “or any other kind of doctor with you right now.  I want to go to sleep.  I don’t want to try to figure out the difference between wanting you to stay out and not wanting to let you in.”
“’s not what I said, luv.  I said you’re tryin’ to keep me out cause you’re afraid to let me in,” he replied, voice low and even.  “There’s a world of difference between the two, luv.  You’re puttin’ up all these ornaments to keep me away, but I told you this morning, and I’m tellin’ you again:  I know where you live now, and I don’t mean just this charmin’ little bungalow.  I’m in there—in your mind, in your cells…maybe even a bit in your heart.  An’ you know it, an’ it scares the hell out of you.  You’re tryin’ to hide behind reminders of what you think I am—garlic and crosses and fuckin’ Hollywood vampire legends—but we both know I’m more than that.  I’m more than just any other vampire, Buffy, an’ you know it.  You’ve seen it.  That’s why you’ve already let me in, Buffy… and you can’t put me back out so easily now.”
Spike paused, watching Buffy process what he’d just told her.  As he waited for the words to work their way through her defenses, to get at least some kind of reaction from her outside of the opening and closing of her mouth, his own brain finally caught up with her mumbled response to his original question.
“You were taking it down, luv.  Why?” Spike asked, eyes narrowed as he studied her now-flushed face closely.
“What?” Buffy blinked, eyes impossibly wide and not just a little frantic.
“You said you were taking all the garlic down, Buffy.  Why?  Why were you taking it down?”
“Because it stinks and I can’t sleep with that smell in here?” Buffy answered, hating that the high pitch of her voice was giving her away.  She watched as Spike cocked his head as he studied her, and she saw the slow grin began to develop across his face.  *Shit!*
“Well, that might well be true, luv… but that’s not really why, is it, Buffy?”
Eyes darting frantically around to take in the view behind Spike, the room behind her own shoulder, a nice view of her shoes—looking anywhere and everywhere but at him—Buffy looked very much like a frightened child.  Spike, however, knew better; he’d spent far too much time with this girl, watching her, studying her, loving her.  This was the look she got when someone was far too close to a truth she didn’t want to admit. 
“You feel it too, don’t you?  You know that you let me in, Buffy—you know I’m inside you now, in your system…”
“I’m not letting you in anywhere, Spike.”  Buffy crossed her hands over her chest and tried for determined, but ended up far short, somewhere around pleading.  *Why won’t he just go?!  I can still pull this off if he’ll just go now.*  
“Is that right, luv?  Well, if you won’t let me in… maybe you should come out here,” Spike murmured suggestively.  He could see that she was weakening; she was absolutely teetering on the verge of throwing caution to the wind and joining him on the branch.
Looking deep into Buffy’s eyes for the first time since their conversation had gotten so intense, Spike realized that he had a few things to tell her about their vituperative conversation that morning; he had a feeling that her hesitation was due in no small part to all the little nasties they had thrown back and forth at each other.  Taking a long, slow breath, Spike reached across the barrier of the window frame for the first time since the beginning of their conversation, simply cradling one of Buffy’s hands in his.
“I was an ass this morning, Buffy.  I said some damned stupid things to you and set you off, and then I said plenty more because you pretty much flayed me alive and stood in the gore.  I’m so sorry, Buffy… I’m sorry I reacted the way I did and spoke without runnin’ the words through my head beforehand.  But you’ve got some apologies to be makin’ too, luv.  So if you really don’t want to let me into your life, if you really don’t want to deal with the hard work, you stay inside alone.  But if you want to try to make it better with me, luv, come out here with me and we’ll make it better together.”
Time seemed to stop while he stared into his Slayer’s eyes, waiting for an answer and desperately hoping it would be the one he wanted.  His heart dropped a bit when Buffy turned from the window, but she simply walked to the nightstand, unbraiding her hair along the way.  He watched, transfixed, as she shook her hair out loose and reached back up to her neck, unfastening the large cross necklace that she had been wearing all night.  She met his gaze unblinkingly as she let the chain and charm puddle into her hand before she set them aside.   Crossing back to him, she held out her hand, and he took it and helped her to step across the window threshold.
Bloody hell, she had really done it.  He had drawn a line in the sand and the Slayer had stepped across it, onto his side, knowing full well what the implications were. 
He stepped backwards cautiously, balancing on the thick branch and leading her gently backwards with him until his back was flush with the solid center of the tree.  He held Buffy stable with his hand as he lowered himself into a comfortable sitting position, pleasantly surprised by the width of the juncture between the branch and the shaft of the tree.  To his surprise, Buffy positioned herself in his lap, straddling and facing him as their bodies adjusted subconsciously to maintain their equilibrium. 
Buffy looked down shyly, the impulse that had arranged her in his lap having taken the last of her self-confidence.  “So I’m here…” she whispered quietly, so low that Spike was thankful for his enhanced hearing.
“So you are,” he answered, placing his hand under her chin and raising her face until her eyes were level with his.  “Why are you here, Buffy?”
“Because I was wrong.”
“What were you wrong about, Buffy?  About coming out here?” Spike asked, trying to shield his emotions while praying to every deity he could recall that her answer to that question would not be yes.
“I was wrong this morning,” she murmured.  “We’re not a freak show, Spike, and you’re not convenient.”  A short bark of sardonic laughter escaped her lips before she continued, “nothing in my life is convenient any more; I can’t really remember now if it ever was.  You’re not convenient, but you’re a constant, and you’re comforting, and I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Spike was gobsmacked—completely and utterly.  He’d been surprised that she’d come outside with him, but to have her talk to him like this… he hadn’t a soddin’ clue what had brought it on, but apparently some of those deities answered prayers from vamps.  Good to know.
“So where does that leave us, Buffy?  You aren’t still denying there’s an us, are you?”
“I’m not denying it, Spike,” she sighed quietly.  “There’s no point—if the truth made it past my denial, it’s pretty much unavoidable.  And I guess that leaves us as… well, lovers?… That is, if you want to be?”
Spike nearly choked; as it was, he felt all the unneeded air rush from his lungs, and he knew that his jaw had dropped.  He couldn’t help it.  She hadn’t really said…  Had she?
“You know how I feel, luv,” he reassured her, tucking a strand of hair behind her ears and leaning forward to ghost a kiss across her lips.  “I love you, Buffy.  That hasn’t changed.”
“I’m so sorry for what I said.  I didn’t mean it,” she whimpered, tears beginning to drift down her cheeks.  “I need you, Spike.  Please don’t leave me, too… I can only really be who I am now with you and Dawn, and I don’t want to lose you… please…”
“Buffy, shush,” Spike comforted, wiping her eyes with the pads of his thumbs.  “Not going anywhere, luv.  ‘s why I’m here now.”  He pressed another soft kiss to her lips, surprised when she took the initiative to deepen it, sliding her tongue tentatively into his mouth before growing bolder and more passionate in her exploration.  He had only meant to comfort her, but if this was what she wanted…
Spike growled low in his throat as he felt her hands slide up under his shirt, her nails scraping gently along the planes of his abs.  God, what this little vixen could do to him… such a strange combination of naughty and sweet, innocence and experience… no one else had ever been able to undo him more quickly—no one else had ever come close.
Returning the favor of her caresses, he shifted his hands upward to cup her breasts through the cotton of her sweater, lightly pinching each erect nipple before flicking it with his thumb.  She gasped and broke the kiss, arching into him, suddenly frantic to have more contact with his flesh than was possible at that moment.  She could hardly believe that it was only last night that he’d first touched her like this; their bodies seemed to have an instant recall for each other, and hers was already burning with the memory of what those hands could do to every inch of her body.  Desperate to feel him, she tore over her head the garment that had been her shield; she didn’t want to hide anymore, not from him, and she couldn’t bear to be concealed any longer.  She tossed it backwards, not caring where it landed, and Spike chuckled in approval at the discovery that she was already braless.
“Such an eager little kitten,” he encouraged huskily as he felt her hands working impatiently at his duster, pushing it urgently back.  He leaned forward and helped her to shrug his arms out of it, mindful of their balance but allowing her passion to absorb and carry him along.  His shirt soon followed her sweater, tossed somewhere behind her; as a reward for her forwardness, he gripped her waist tightly and tugged her to him, crushing her bare breasts against his naked flesh as he plundered her mouth.  This was familiar to both of them, this fire that had swept them away just last night, but he wasn’t going to let it get as out of control again.
He brought one hand up to curl into her hair, and he tugged her head back from their kiss to both give her a chance to breathe and to force her to meet his eyes.  “Not gonna be a repeat of last night, luv,” he said hoarsely as he took in the flush that colored her chest and face.  She was glorious, this wanton little creature in his arms.  When she gave a little nod, he bent down and took one taut rosy nipple into his mouth, teasing it gently with his teeth before rasping his tongue over the sensitized flesh. 
Buffy cried out and pressed herself even closer to him, grinding her hips down against his.  “Won’t be like last night… I promise… want this, Spike… want you… please let me have you….” Buffy panted, mindless with desire as he finally released his grip on her waist; the hand still in her hair forced her mouth back down to his, and she met his tongue thrust for thrust as they dueled frantically, lost to another round of all-encompassing desire.  She shifted sideways, carefully straddling one thigh, and her hands drifted down to the waistband of his jeans; she popped the buttons on the fly quickly, and he lifted his hips as much as possible, aiding her efforts at tugging the denim down.  She managed to strip him from waist to mid-thigh before she gave into temptation and reached for his erection, wrapping her hand around him and giving him a hard stroke as a tease, a surge of pure feminine pride filling her as he hissed in appreciation.
“Just like that, luv… touch me… Christ, such a hot little thing, aren’t you?” Spike groaned as Buffy’s hand worked up and down his cock, squeezing him firmly just to the cusp of pain and caressing him in an ever-changing rhythm.  He was amazed by how quickly she’d learned his desires, and how well; every move she made was exactly what he needed.  He watched fascinated as her breasts bounced in time with her hands on his shaft, and he realized that he hadn’t quite gotten to finish what he’d started with those perfect rose-tipped mounds.  Careful not to interrupt the motion of her hand, he bent his head forward and caught the neglected nipple between his teeth, joying in her strangled moan as he flicked it mercilessly with the point of his tongue. 
Buffy was sure that she couldn’t survive much more of this; the feel of Spike’s cock in her hand, cool and hard and throbbing, was erotic enough on its own.  When he added the sensation of his tongue and teeth on her sensitive nipples to her experience, she couldn’t stop herself from pressing down onto his thigh, savoring the pressure of the taut muscle against her aching clit.  The primal growl that emanated from his chest startled her, and her hand stilled as she met his gaze.  The predatory look in his eyes should have frightened her, but instead it filled her with an incredible sense of abandonment and power, and she held his stare as she ground herself down in a slow circle against him again. 
The growl grew louder, and before Buffy could be entirely sure how it had happened she was smashed against him, held sideways in his lap as he tore at her jeans with his free hand.  She managed to help unfasten the button and zipper, but not fast enough to prevent the rip that she heard as she felt a cool breeze envelop her lower body.  She glanced down in time to see shredded denim drift to the ground below, but the feeling of his fingers teasing her entrance effectively stymied any protests she could have made.
Spike brought his mouth back to hers, teasing it open in a gentle kiss much different than the bruising one she had been expecting.  Buffy moaned helplessly into his mouth, submitting to his ministrations as she felt two fingers slide deep inside her core and his thumb begin to circle torturously slowly around her clit.  Whimpering and grinding upwards, she nearly wept with relief when his thumb pressed directly onto her clit, manipulating it skillfully and sending her speeding towards climax.  She felt Spike kissing and nipping his way along her chin, and she shivered from the force of another blast of erotic intensity when she felt his lips press against her ear.  The second he started to speak, however—cool breath teasing across overheated skin and that deep accented drawl wrapping around her like velvet, she knew that her orgasm was only a matter of seconds away.
“Won’t let you pull away from me this time, luv… won’t let you mock me, pretend you don’t know how I feel.  I’m going to tell you, beautiful little slayer, exactly how much I love you until I feel you come around my fingers.  Then you’re going to hear it with every thrust while I’m inside you, and you’re not going to have any choice, luv… you’re just going to have to believe me.  So go ahead and come for me, Buffy… show me you understand… please…”
It was the “please” that sent her over, although she certainly wouldn’t have lasted much longer even if he hadn’t said it.  But the raw need in Spike’s voice, the pure unvarnished emotion, made her want to give in to him, to let him have what he sought.  She turned her head and sought his mouth frantically, crying out her orgasm against his lips as she shuddered through her climax in the safety of his arms.
The last tremors hadn’t yet faded when Buffy felt herself being lifted and found herself again straddling Spike, poised above his cock and staring down into his eyes.  She lowered herself slowly, inch by inch, letting him see the effect he was having on her as he stretched and filled her; the look of awe and lust and love in his eyes was the same as it had been the night before, and she had the distinct suspicion that it was mirrored in her own.  “Tell me, Spike… you promised that you’d tell me…” she panted as she began to move, holding his gaze while raising up on her knees and lowering back down in a strong, steady rhythm, grinding her pelvis against his on each down stroke.
“I love you Buffy… I love who you are… I love how you try… I love your strength… I love your beauty… I love your weaknesses… I just love you,” Spike murmured against her lips, a different vow each time they came together fully.
Buffy was completely lost to bliss; feeling him inside her, listening to his words and seeing the truth of them in his eyes was the most intensely erotic experience she had ever had, and the combination of all of those elements sent the last wall she had built around her heart tumbling to the ground.  “Spike… oh god… I love you too,” she gasped out as he pulled her down against him, his pelvis brushing her clit hard and sending bolts of liquid fire through her body.
Spike couldn’t quite believe what he knew he’d just heard, and he froze for a moment, staring at Buffy and waiting for her to come back to herself.  She stared at him in confusion for a moment, but suddenly her eyes flew wide with the realization of what she’d said. 
“Spike, I…”
Don’t bloody well try to take it back, Slayer,” Spike snapped, beginning his thrusts again and imbuing them with even more passion and strength than before her admission.  His grip on her hips tightened on her down stroke and he began to take over the movement of her hips, grinding her down against him more firmly and making her gasp from the intense pressure against her clit.  “Remember what I told you Slayer… if you don’t stop… being a bitch… I will bite you… and taking that back… would make you a bitch… don’t you agree?”  Each part of the question was accompanied by a solid, deep thrust and a wicked little twist to her clit, courtesy of the hand he had snaked between them; completely overwhelmed by both her emotions and their passion, Buffy found herself unable to even try to argue with the truth of her own feelings.
That didn’t mean she couldn’t still have some fun.  Giving him a wicked grin that gave away her intentions, she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his ear and whispered, “I’m taking it back, Spike.”  She shivered in desire when she heard his bones shift as the demon came forward and gave a little hiss in pleasurable pain as he nicked her throat lightly with a fang.
“Sure about that, Slayer?” Spike taunted, well aware that the game was afoot now.  She wasn’t going to back down… not until she got his bite.  And that was fine with him.
“Yes… I’m taking it back… I’m taking it back…” she chanted until his fangs pierced her throat.  Gasping as his grip tightened almost painfully around her, she cried out at the intrusion of his fangs and then again from the pleasure as she felt her walls begin to clench around him in time with his pulls on her blood.
“Spike!” she moaned as she gave herself over to the pleasure, grinding herself mindlessly against him as she pressed her throat against his mouth.  “I love you… I do… I won’t take it back… I won’t… I love you!”
Spike could feel the tightness building in his stomach and knew that he was on the edge; he quickly withdrew his fangs and lapped at the wounds before bracing his hands on her shoulders and hammering up into her, harder and faster with each stroke until he felt his balls tighten and his seed begin to spill.
“Christ… Buffy… love you…” he gasped, burying his face again in her throat as he emptied himself inside her.
She collapsed, panting, against him, and his arms tightened around her as he felt the urge to just hold her close.  Forgetting their location as she snuggled contentedly into his chest, Buffy shifted to the side to curl into him and miscalculated, slipping off the branch.  Gripping Spike frantically as she felt herself begin to fall, she succeeded only in tugging him off balance and pulling him with her. 
Fortunately the fall was a short one; not from a great enough height to break bones, but more than enough to stun.  It was Spike who recovered first, and Buffy rolled to stare at him in bewilderment as he laughed hysterically until he was nearly sobbing.  He stood and refastened his pants before picking her up, holding her protectively to his chest as he carried her back towards the house. 
“What’s so funny?” she finally gasped out, relieved to be regaining her breath.
“Just wonderin’ if we’re gonna have a one-story fall every time we shag, luv, or if it’s a twice-in-a-lifetime only kinda deal.”
Buffy couldn’t help but respond in kind to his infectious, joyous laughter.  “Tell you what, Big Bad… as soon as I’m breathing normally again, we’ll give it another go.  Even though it already looks like I’m about to be ‘sore and limpy’ Buffy all over again.  How’s that?”
“Sounds like a right nice plan, luv.  For scientific purposes only, of course.”
“Of course.  I’m all about the research,” she teased, grinning wickedly.  “Well, you know, I did decide that I love you… so that makes the whole experiment better.  But it’s really a public service… ‘Cause you know, it would just be good info to have… I mean, it limits the places we can ‘shag’ if we’re always bringing down a building or crashing to the ground, doesn’t it?”
“That it does, luv, that it does,” Spike answered between laughs.  The sounds of their laughter echoed down a darkened Revello Drive long after the front door had closed behind them. 
Tomorrow would still have its questions and its problems, but they had found no small measure of certainty in their love for each other.  Despite the insanity and chaos that characterized their lives, it was somehow more than enough for both that neither had to face tomorrow alone or unloved.