11. Staying In
In Harm’s Way
Chapter Eleven: Staying In
Buffy placed her wrist back on the ice pack on the arm of the couch and scowled at it. She wouldn’t have full use for another day at least. As soon as she’d gotten up, she’d called Giles and told him about Riley’s phone call. He went into full watcher mode, handing out orders.
She couldn’t go to classes, and he didn’t want her leaving the house until they could come up with some kind of plan to locate and be rid of Adam. Giles did not want her to go after Adam until her wrist was fully healed, but she felt truly useless sitting in front of the TV like a couch potato.
With her good hand, she used the remote and changed the channel again. The soap operas were all over now. She’d read somewhere that people liked to watch soaps because it made them realize that their lives weren’t so bad. Well, after spending a day watching stories about characters that she didn’t care about fight and cheat and lie to each other, she concluded that anything the writers came up with on those stupid shows had nothing on her life.
If her mom would just spring for cable, there might be something interesting to watch. Now, almost every channel aired a courtroom show. How stupid were those shows? And boring, too.
Spike hadn’t surfaced yet. On one hand, she didn’t want to see him. On the other, she was so bored that she’d be happy to fight with him. She’d been worried last night that he would tell her mom about their accidental one night stand that when she’d come home from the grocery story and saw them laughing and having a grand old time in the kitchen together, she just about lost it. She didn’t want them talking, and the last place she wanted Spike to be hanging out was the kitchen.
As soon as she could, she was going to have a talk with her mom about not trusting vampires. Joyce had always hated Angel, yet she made hot chocolate for Spike and invited him to live with them.
“Coming up next on the Maury Povich show. Who’s the Daddy? Destiny says she knows for sure who the father is, but Little J is absolutely sure that he’s not the father. He claims that Destiny has had multiple affairs, and he refuses to pay child support until he knows for sure. Is Little J the daddy, or is this man, or this man? Stayed tuned. The show will start after this word from our sponsors.”
Buffy could not believe that people actually watched this stuff. Placing the remote on the couch, she got up to get a snack. She stalled just inside the kitchen, and watched Spike. He had the fridge and freezer doors opened and was distractedly reaching in the freezer with one had while holding up a paperback book with the other. Her heart nearly stopped when she saw him grab a box of frozen peas and push them to the side.
With a couple of quick steps, she was at the fridge. “What are you looking for? Let me get it.”
Spike looked up from his book. “What do you think I’m looking for? Bon Bons? Blood.”
“Well, if you’d put that book down long enough, you’d find it right--what are you reading?” she asked him with a giggle, snatching the book from his hands.
“Hey! Give it here.”
Buffy closed the book and held it up. “Johanna Lindsey? Warrior’s Woman?" she asked incredulously. “You read romance novels?”
He slammed the freezer shut and set about fixing his blood. “No. I don’t usually read romance novels. After you went up to bed, I got bored with the telly, so I looked around for something to read, and that was the only thing your mum had lying around.” Spike pushed the button on the microwave and then grabbed the book back from her. “It’s pretty good really. An Amazon-like woman from the future, space travel, and a fierce warrior who is supposed to be the enemy. They shag a lot though.”
Buffy looked away, finding a spot on the counter to stare at, feeling suddenly uncomfortable. Was he insinuating something?
The introductory music for Maury started, to Buffy’s great relief. “Well, my show’s on,” she said, abruptly turning and going back to her spot on the couch.
The ice from her pack was beginning to melt, but she placed her bandaged covered wrist on it anyway. She snatched the remote off the couch as Spike came and sat down on the other end.
“First up today,” Maury told the audience, “we have Keisha. Keisha is the mother of six-month-old Darius and is married to Walter. She’s here today to tell Walter that he might not be the father of Darius.”
Behind the guest, a picture of Walter and Darius came up on the big screen TV.
“Let’s bring him out.”
Spike stared at her from his end of the couch with a raised brow as the crowd went wild for Walter. “You mock my choice of reading material then sit down to watch this?”
“It’s either this or court room shows. And let’s not get in to a TV watching contest. Giles says you watch Passions.”
He waved his hand at her. “Passions is great. There’s this witch, Tabitha and her living doll, Timmy. They go about town thinking up ways to spread evil and cause mischief.”
“Yeah, I know. I watched your stupid show earlier. Witches aren’t really like that. I bet Willow hates that show.”
Spike scoffed. “Live as long as I have and you’ll meet some pretty devious witches.” He leaned to the side as if he was conspiring with her. “Say, can you tell me what happened today?”
“The same old thing that happens on every soap opera every day. Nothing exciting. Someone named Teresa went around doing stupid things to get this guy Ethan’s attention.”
“That one’s pathetic,” Spike said. “Can’t take a hint.”
“Yeah, but Ethan seems to be stringing her along, so I can understand why she’s obsessed with him. He tells her he’s in love with Gwen, but his eyes say something different. He obviously has some feelings for her. He’s not bad looking either.”
They focused on the TV, once Maury came back from a commercial. Buffy stole glances at Spike every now and then, not really believing that they were sitting on the couch together in her living room, companionably watching a “who’s the daddy” episode of Maury together. Strange things certainly happened on the Hellmouth, but she was sure that they were starting up a whole new category of strange.
The crowd went wild. Walter jumped up and down in relieved glee when he was told that with 99.8 percent accuracy that he was…not…the father. Spike put his empty mug down on the coffee table and said, “I knew he wasn’t the father. It's plain as day, that bird gives it up to any bloke that comes along.”
“Don’t any of these people believe in using protection?” Buffy asked, shaking her head.
“We didn’t,” Spike said, matter-of-factly.
The companionable feeling in the room suddenly dropped into an icy silence. The TV continued on with Maury promising to bring Destiny on next, before going to commercials, but Buffy’s world pretty much came to a halt. While she was awake, she’d been doing a decent job forgetting about her spell-induced seduction of the vampire next to her. Now, he was throwing it in her face again.
She snapped, “Vampires can’t have children. There was no need.”
“True,” said Spike, obviously enjoying her discomfort. “What about with Parker?”
Suddenly, her wrist began to hurt. “It’s none of your business what I did or did not do with Parker.”
“OK, but if you feel the need to go on Maury in the near future, don‘t involve me.”
Spike ducked when she threw a cushion at him, but was up when she cried out in pain. “Is it your wrist?” he asked, kneeling by the couch‘s arm.
He seemed so genuine in his concern for her well-being that it freaked her out. In a split second, she convinced herself that he was only acting because he wanted the Gem of Amara. If he had that now, he wouldn’t be so nice to her. He’d be trying to kill her and her friends. She glared at him. “Don’t pretend like you care. And, it’s none of your business, but Parker did use protection.”
Spike stood up, an indulgent smile on his lips. “I’ll go get you some more ice.”
Jumping up, she winced, but tried to ignore the pain. “I’ll get it! I don’t need your help.” She felt a pang of regret at his hurt expression, but she wanted him as far away from that freezer as possible.
Buffy was just walking back to the living room with a new ice pack when Spike called out to her.
“I think you’re going to want to see this.”
He raised the volume.
The “breaking news” bar scrolled across the bottom of the screen. A woman was crying hysterically as she was guided into a car by a police officer.
The camera panned back to the on scene reporter who asked a teenage witness to tell the public, in his own words, what he had seen.
“Alan was the one who found him. I only got a quick look before we ran back to call the cops.” The boy stopped, choking up. “It was awful, man. It was like a monster had ripped the kid open. There was blood everywhere.”
“Thank you, David. Did you know the boy?”
“He was my neighbor and a good kid. He was only six years old. I can’t talk anymore, man.” The teen went out of the camera’s view.
The reporter wiped at her own eyes and said, “This is a very sad situation here. The police say that it wasn’t an animal that did this. The child’s organs had been systematically removed and placed to the side. This is the work of a deranged person and they warn us all to be cautious, especially if you live near the UC Sunnydale Campus.”
“Oh, God!” Buffy exclaimed. “Adam. He killed that little boy. While I’ve been sitting here hiding like a coward, he’s been out there, killing innocent people!”
“You couldn’t know he would do that. Riley told you that his goal was to kill you, as he had been ordered to do.”
Of course, Spike could rationalize this. He was evil. He killed all the time. But for her, knowing that the little boy would still be alive if she’d gone after Adam right away, weighed heavily on her heart. “I’ve got to call Giles.”
Spike disappeared into the basement when she made her call. By the time she hung up with Giles, he was back again. She noticed his bare feet right away. He held the duster, wrapping it tightly around him.
“So, what did the watcher have to say?”
“Um…” It was hard to concentrate. Buffy bit her lip. She was willing to bet that he had nothing on underneath the coat. Trying to squelch the grin that was creeping up on her, she looked away. Visions of Spike flashing her flooded her mind, causing her to think that she was really depraved. Her grin faded, traitorously thinking that she wouldn’t mind another look at his toned and perfect body.
Spike frowned at her. “Well, if it’s some top secret thing that you won’t share, all you have to do is say so.”
He moved past her and began to climb the stairs. “Oh, yeah. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m washing my clothes. I thought I’d take a shower while I wait for them. Which one is the bathroom?”
“Um… I’ll get you a towel and show you.” Buffy took the stairs two at a time to get ahead of him and put some distance between them.
She handed him a fluffy yellow towel and pointed at the bathroom door. Spike stared at her with a curious tilt to his head.
“You all right, Slayer?”
“Yeah. I’m just going to go…” She turned and pointed to her room, but didn’t move.
Inwardly, she berated herself for drooling over the thought of naked, wet Spike. She felt like groaning when he smirked wickedly at her.
“You want to join me?”
Without thinking her response through, she said, “I can’t. Giles and the others will be here in twenty minutes.” Shaking her head, she quickly added, “I mean, no! And don’t ask me things like that.”
Spike shrugged and closed the door part way. “I could use some help washing my back is all. And, I’m not opposed to a repeat of what happened a couple of weeks ago. I'm always up for a good bit of rough and tumble… but, then, you know that already.”
It was a good thing he slammed the door when he did. She cursed him loudly and had to restrain herself from kicking the door down and beating the crap out of him when he chuckled at her through the door. The sound of the shower running sent her scurrying to her room.
Flopping onto the bed, Buffy rested her head on the pillow with eyes closed. Try as she might, she could not ignore the sound of the running water. She imagined him hanging up his coat on the hook, slipping into the shower, and running soapy hands over his flesh. She gave a quick glance at her door. She’d locked it when she came in. Had Spike locked the bathroom door?
Don’t think that way! Forcing herself to think of a neutral non-hot vampire subject, she leapt up and zipped down the stairs to make snacks for her friends.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Tilting his head up, Spike let the water fall over his head and rinse the shampoo out. It was wishful thinking, but he hoped the green apple smell would wash out, too. He thought it could be worse. He could come out of the shower smelling like roses instead. Giving up on trying to reach his back with soapy hands, he stood under the water and daydreamed.
It was obvious now that Buffy’s little speech a couple of weeks ago up on that ridge was the truth. The way she ogled him and forgot herself when he teased her about joining him in the shower told him that she did have the hots for him. Too bad she was so uptight that she couldn’t let herself go. That love spell could come in handy about now.
He was feeling lonely all by himself. He closed his eyes, let his hands slide down his stomach, and pictured what it would be like if Buffy entered the bathroom naked. She’d be shy and hesitant, but he’d open the shower door and help her in. Then he’d show her what showering with him could be like. He’d soap her all up before enveloping her in his arms and massaging her back and arse. Getting one leg between her feet, he’d rub his leg on her more sensitive parts and guide her soapy hand to his.
Wrapping his own hand around his hard and slick member, he continued to think about her.
He’d make sure she was satisfied before turning her and positioning her over the edge of the tub. Then he’d enter her from behind while the warm water beat down on his back. The sounds Buffy made when she came were etched in his mind. He’d make sure to hear them again, but not until he drove her wild by going excruciatingly slow so that she’d have to take matters into her own hands and move with him to quicken the pace while touching herself. He’d make her beg for more, before he would pound into her until she cried out in pleasure.
Spike leaned against the shower wall, panting heavily while the spasms racked his lower body. Then he stood under the stream of water and washed himself off. Perhaps one day, he could tempt her into a shower in reality. Until then, he’d have to make do with his fantasies. Ones that he knew by heart and had been having long before they ever tumbled into bed together, but they’d gotten more real and intense since that morning.
The best he could find in the way of hair products was a purple can of Aussie Mousse. Again with the pretty smelling stuff. Spike liberally coated his wet moussed hair with Aussie Hair Spray, before grabbing his coat. Briefly, he thought of walking down the stairs with his coat on his arm, but the chance that Joyce might be home or the Scoobies having already arrived encouraged him to be a good boy and cover up.
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