Conceit(s)

Conceit(s)

By tkp
Author's Notes

conceit
1. an excessively favorable opinion of one's own ability, importance, wit, etc.
2. a fancy; whim; fanciful notion.
3. an elaborate, fanciful metaphor, esp. of a strained or far-fetched nature.

1.

It’s simple. When beetle brow’s looking at her constipated (well, more constipated than usual) and Buffy’s looking at him like . . . how she looks at him. That thing between them, when they’re within two blocks of each other. You know, that thing. Spike knows what it is.

They need to fuck already.

You wouldn’t expect Spike to think about it. Or maybe you would if you know how pervy and obsessive he really is. Not thinking about it’d be just like Buffy, and Angel, BuffyandAngel, them—with the not fucking, and the pretending it’s not there. Spike’s just so bloody tired of it is all. If they just fucked, full stop.

Instead there’s talking. There’s bags and bags of talking and it’s not “let’s go shag” talk; it’s not even dirty talk; it’s not even slightly soiled talk. It’s all small. In reality it’s hemming and hawing around the not fucking, the huge not fucking elephant, the sodding fairytale first love elephant, the elephant with something about destiny and soul-parting is such sweet sorrow rot. It’s, “Hello, Buffy,” and “How are you, Angel.”

It’s, “What are you doing here?” instead of, “Thank fuck to Christ on a crutch you showed up when you did.” Because Angel never could admit defeat, and he still gets a look like he swallowed a fart when he takes the Lord’s name in vain.

It’s, “Heard you got yourself into a fight. Came to help,” instead of, “What the fuck’s it look like I’m doing, you deluded pussy-wipe? Saving your collective sorry arses!” Because Buffy still blushes at the word pussy, and . . . and it’s Angel she’s talking to, here.

And he doesn’t say, “Glad you’re here, light of my life, that I might lumber through this entire battle with this poofstering glowerface adorning my brow of doom.”

And Buffy doesn’t say, “Yes, O eternal forbidden—” Well, she doesn’t say that. And she doesn’t say, “I shall look with admiration as you lumber. Because I not so secretly long for your lumber.” (She thinks wood jokes’re crass, ever since the Nikki thing. Or something.) “And the look shall say that if anyone touches one perfect wrinkle of your massive cranial overhang, I will break them in two.”

The tosser wouldn’t even call her out on that. She’s looking at him like he’s her bloody cracker jack prize; unlike a proper Neanderthal he doesn’t even have her up against a wall, where she would look stronger, sexier, and more powerful still, writhing mess of brass between him and the bricks. Doesn’t threaten her there, “I shall loom over you with my large and muscular body and grunt until your huff-puff-to-English dictionary deciphers that I resent you coming to my town. It fills me with sweaty masculine lust. And at the same time it is an affront to said masculinity, taking over my battles and such. Also the sweat, it naps the hair.”

There wouldn’t even be intense grunting and maybe some leather clad thigh humping. This is what Spike means about the not fucking. She wouldn’t even be all, “Wow, can we get any more me-Tarzan, you-inconsequential? Fuck, Angel, couldn’t you just call me?” For one thing there’d be cuter Buffy quips, and she doesn’t use the word fuck all that much, either.

See, Angel, it’d kill him to find a mature truth. To look down past the hero story he gets stuck on replay, to get to the end of the epic he thinks he stars in, and instead see the part of him that shows how small he is when it comes to big things like love. Couldn’t just say, “I was afraid you wouldn’t come. Afraid you didn’t care, didn’t trust me, didn’t love me.”

And there’s a just as little girl in Buffy. A baby-new sixteen year old who’d rush into his arms and sing that terrible “I will always love you,” song, or at least tell him that he’s her boy, always. But Buffy doesn’t know that little girl, yeah? And would never tell him that again.

“So much’s happened,” Angel wouldn’t say. His hands folding her to him wouldn’t feel like prayer, like a man who still thinks there’s a power who can save him. “Wolfram and Hart, trying to get at it from the inside . . . it changes you. Thought maybe even this wouldn’t be the same. Should’ve known better, huh.”

“Well no, I didn’t remember you being stupid. I can’t believe you started an apocalypse without me. I didn’t get to start one without you. I didn’t get to even come back from the dead without you.”

“No rest, you’re wicked. And I couldn’t leave you alone.”

“You did,” wild horses would never drag out of her. “You have this big leaving me yen. You left me at least once a year.”

“Not the first year. And you know, second year a knew you, I was kinda forced to leave at sword-point.” He would never ever ever remind her.

“You were kind of a bitch that year. And very femmey, what with the eye-liner.” She would never make light. “It started out a good year, though.” Her mouth wouldn’t taste like birthday cake, and her iced-on lips wouldn’t melt like sugar candy in his mouth.

“Can’t. Jesus, Buffy, we can’t.” See, constipated. Or impotent, you know, that’s always a possibility.

“Yeah. Because that would be wrong.”

“Can’t kiss you, can’t touch you. Can’t love you, and can’t fuck you up against an alley wall.”

“Can’t grab your neck, pull your hair, force you back to me, you big body over me so I can open my legs for you, make you smell me, make every demon for a bloody square mile smell me.”

“Can’t tell you how soon you’d be missing your underwear. How much wider I’d spread your legs with my thigh, how I’d be jerking your head to the side so I can get at your neck, kissing you there until you bruise.”

“How hard I’d ride your thigh, spreading myself over you, forcing your face deeper against me, making you take it, showing you how.”

“How soft I want to worship your breasts before pinching them, twisting, how soft I want to lave my tongue over where I’ve marked you. How my hand’s going to dip down and spread your cunt—testing you, looking at you—”

“How I don’t have time for looking, how I don’t have time for anything but your cock inside of me, and God, you’re so hard. Just brushing the tip at first, then I want to grab you, tug you to me.”

“Christ, Buffy, your fingers. Have I ever told you how much I love your fingers? The way they wrap around me.”

Make it look big. Yeah, you would like that.

“The way you’ve got your other hand, clenched around my—fuck, yeah—grabbing my balls and that’s just so—”

“So fucking hot, you throwing your head back like that, like you’re in pain, and I wanna jerk you to me, leash you, push you up inside me until I—I can’t—we—”

“We can, and it’s so . . . so motherfucking gorgeous. Your pussy is . . . just as warm, like fire and I didn’t remember it could be like this.”

“I did. How the rain washed us away, and everything was so—God, new, and how you feel . . . You make me feel alive. I died, twice, and I’m so alive, finally.

“Finally how forgiven I could feel, how this is . . . is worship, how it’s been so long . . . since you, since we . . .”

“Since it was like this, since I loved—hasn’t been like this since you.”

“Haven’t touched anyone like this. It’s more than just this—it’s more than bodies. It’s you and me, just us, only you, Jesus, talk to me, tell me, can you feel—”

“Only you. Like this. Forever. Only you.”

“Me too. Only for you does it really mean anything when I get growly like this, temperamental teenager like this, impossible to stand like this.”

“Only you do I let toss me against walls without also decking. Also. Only for you do I make bedroom eyes across a sodding battlefield.”

“Only for you, when I ram this big cock inside, does it mean anything. Because no one else busting their bloody arse for me in that fucking God-rammed and Hart alley means a worthless, second place, never-gave-a-damn thing.”

“Me too! Except without the cock. Because I don’t care if anyone else is alive, as long as you are. Even if they’re the ones who saved the bloody world. Even if I told them I loved them, and they maybe kind of did believe it even when they said they knew it wasn’t true and even though I really really sounded like I might mean—”

“Buffy, snook-ums, sweetie pie, my destiny—your hair. It is a trifle less bouncy. With you know, the mat of blood coating it.”

“Angel, O eternal forbidden love of my life, your chestnut stallion locks also appear to have suffered . . . sweat. And nappiness.”

“Holy lack of hair products!”

“Quick! To the shower, Robin! And shower sex, most like. Because we’ve both got the sex drive of naked starving . . . cheetah-monkey hybrids and it’s just us us us.”

See. Happily the fuck after. So bloody simple.

2.

You know, when they’re looking like that in the middle of a damned apocalypse, it’s not so bad. But when you’re locked with the two of them, that’s worse. They look at each other like there’s no one else in the room. So get a room already. It’s not like they can’t. It’s a fucking hotel.

Used to be Angel’s. Which doesn’t surprise Spike. Not just considering the Greek name. It’s the digs—just like the wanker to have a house with a hundred rooms or such, marble tiles and elevators and down pillows. Not that he’d ever use a pillow when goes all—all Greek on your arse.

Angelus—Angelus, now, he didn’t dick around. Or at least he dicked in everything. Mothers, children, priests, corpses—swear to God he did a goat once. Took his time about it too, because he was duckey like that. But at least he did it, you know, with his dick. None of this constant eye fucking and, and longing. Or whatever.

It’s not so much an issue of control. From time to time he liked Darla to march him around by his short stick. But he still got what he wanted, took what he wanted when he wanted it. If he would just—look, him and Spike, they’re uncomplicated. Always have been. Angel thinks he’s some poncey head honcho, Spike lets him think it then does whatever the hell he pleases, end of story. Makes it easy for someone like Angel, acting like he can control everything (so he doesn’t have to worry any more). What he’s comfortable with. Makes things simple, even when no one actually gives two shakes for a word he says.

But he doesn’t do that with her. Angel tells the apocalypse left-overs gang it’s like this, we’re going to do Plan A. But Buffy pipes up, “Plan B!” and he says, “How high?” Black eyes say, “Dare to come to my town, pretend to know what this is about. Gonna punish you for this, fuck you into the floor so hard, and you’re going to love it baby, ask Daddy for more,” but remember about them, and the talking. He doesn’t say that; they just make with the fuck me/you eyes and patient listening to Plan B/A.

Back in the day, when some smaller (just more compact, like) and much hotter challenged him like that and—okay, so it depended on which dirty blonde one it was—point is, he got it into his head his plan was best, there was no brooking opposition. There would be arguing and raised voices, maybe chest-thumping patriarch-of-the-brood stuff, and again depending on the offender, it’d be right there in front of the brood or on into a roomwithaview where everyone could still hear him going off anyway.

But Angel’s only patriarch of brooding these days. Time was there would’ve been some choking action. Some “remind me why we don’t kill you”s. Maybe grab Buffy’s arm as she turned her back on him. These small blondes all defy him—yeah, never give two shakes. When he grabs like that they haul off and slug him. Back in the day, he slugged back. Seemed to have this thing for cuffs about the side of the head.

Buffy used to hit back too. Spike knows that well enough. But for all her perky pluck this is Angel. Fist like that in her face from him, it’s more than just blow for blow one-twos. Indignation’d be there, sure, but she’d be surprised, maybe even hurt, and that’s what she’d react on most. With him. “You hit me,” ‘s all she’d say. Because it’s him.

And instead of targeting that open bullseye of a mouth again, he’d think he could justify it. “Not to go all schoolyard on you, but you hit me first.” Think he had to justify it, instead of just doing it because he could. “In case you’ve forgotten, you’re a little bit—”

Hey, you know, two cents for the wanking ponce. She’s bloody stronger than him. She could wipe the sodding floor with—well, Spike could too. He did it once after all. But wouldn’t it just be . . . great if she took all that righteous indignation after all, said, “I’m a lot stronger than you, football shoulders,” and clocked him one right in the eye? Of course she wouldn’t but if she did, he’d go flying backwards and wouldn’t that be a sight for—well, for Spike, really. Then she’d stride right out of there, without a care, righteousness and wrath.

And thank you—but it wouldn’t take care of the whole not-fucking problem, which is why even if Angel were to drag her off by the hair to a roomofone’sown for a spat and also to, you know, facilitate things a bit, Buffy’d be having none of it. Still, if Angel didn’t have these puppydogs-kicked-into-a-corner in those sad eyes whenever he somehow (come on, it’s inevitable) hurts her, and instead got back some of that cool coal spark instead, eyes matching the shine of his boots, black of a mine shaft—then, maybe, he wouldn’t let her get away with that. He’d stand up from where she’d thrown him—and you got to hand it to the lug, for being such a hulking carcass he can move real quiet like. He’d just walk up behind her, and if he’d had breath, it’d stir her hair, but she’s busy with her fury stalk and doesn’t even know he’s there.

And all of a sudden he’s slamming her against the door she just with a loud bam slammed on him, hand bruising at her neck and another at her back, small of her Buffy back, hard up against the dimples above that firm, strong ass. And he says that thing, that thing: dare to come to my town--gonna fuck you into the floor, you’re going to love it baby, ask Daddy for more. Except without the “baby,” because he has to know she hates that. Also the “Daddy” part because—Buffy. Right.

Saying that to Buffy—well, that would be all fun and pulverized Angel games. Except they’re so bloody serious, like a funeral where all the good ones already got eaten. No mistake, Buffy, she’s a tease—raunchy and pervy as all get out and a tease, but her chia pet is a black hole sucking humor. He’d manage to make his biggest smackdown since—well since Spike last kicked his ass—as dreary and gray as—as fighting Glory because that bint’s quips were never funny.

If Buffy would just taunt him a bit as she pummels him. Or maybe even not pummel him at all, let him get an inch on, pretend to seize up with that fear he likes so well—just a little bit, get wet, just so’s he can smell it.

And he might actually get the idea he has the upper hand, which always was amusing, because even when he beats you physically he can never break the strong ones like he wants. He might think he has though and throw her on the floor, straddle her and say, “This is what you want, isn’t it.” Remember those hands. So deft when they’re opening her pants, so steady when the fingers fold themselves neatly over her pussy, weighing the dampness.

You let him do it—you let him do it for just long enough that he thinks you’ve given in. That’s how he knows that the whole time you were just taking the piss out once you throw him off and knock him one on the jaw, and it’s that that drives him crackers. Except you know Buffy’d be serious here. Hell, she’d be serious even when she busts his lips and even maybe breaks one of his ribs, when after that he still thinks he’s gonna make her obey. Pinning her against the wall with his hand down her panties like he thinks after just getting creamed he can make her—well. She wouldn’t even laugh at that, at him, for being such a flipping micromanager. Uptight, she is.

He’s going to work that out of her. He’s got this somehow soothing sawing motion going on between her legs, so steady and firm she just wants to melt all over it. And if she knew anything, she would. Then his fingers tickle outside of her—deeper—and he’s touching her arse, circling that small pink ring with wet fingers, and her heart ratchets up so he can almost taste it at her temple. His hand at her neck drops down her back, tugging down her pants, panties, displaying the globes of fine, ripe flesh. “You come to my town, into my business,” he observes. “This has to be what you were really asking for.”

This is where the fun starts. Or would start, you know, if this wasn’t the tale of two control freaks. This is where you let him work you, pretend to be breaking down, let him think he’s getting somewhere. You always know you’re going to have the last laugh and besides. It’s not like it doesn’t feel good in the interim. You can even beg. It’s got a ring to it and he thinks it makes you weak. He thinks just because he’s thrusting his big finger inside of you it’s his finger you’re wrapped around, and not the other way around. “I came to help you,” she could say. “You take this on all by yourself and don’t even ask me to come—”

“That’s it, isn’t it.” The hand in back is working her ass now, her own wet working his finger in. “You think I want you to come. It’s not that. It’s about me coming. It’s about me fucking you and you taking it. Begging me to use you.”

Hand in front’s risen up under her shirt, deftly somehow moving her bra, fingers wet from stroking her pussy now softly circling her nipple. The slight chill of it makes her throw her head back and gasp, slam a hand against the wall. Gives him this perfect view of her throat. “You’re not here to help,” he’d tell her. “This is what you’re here for. Because I know you wouldn’t come in and try to take over. I know you wouldn’t. Would you?”

Got her, now. Pinching her nipple sudden, hard, and he’s just thrust another finger up, too hard and dry, and it splits open her lips, small sob of need guttering out of her. “Would you?” he asks again. At the no, his hand is soothing at the areole and releasing at the anus, pulling out and slicking up so it’s easier to get inside, so he can say, “Right. Wouldn’t stick your sword in my battles. You wouldn’t fuck me up the ass like that, because—” feral grin—“that’s my job. Isn’t it, baby.”

He’s dropped his hand from the nipple to his own pants, hear the belt buckle from behind. That zipper coming down, that’s the only sound in the universe. Then the head of his cock between the cheeks, his hands steadying the hips—grip firm, stabilizing, but not demanding because he doesn’t need that for ownership. Just needs the slow passage of his cock inside, the slow groan of it, the little whimpering needy sounds forced all the way up the other end. “That’s it,” he whispers, heavy, dark, like the feel of him in the shadows. “You’re here to get fucked. There’s no two champions. No two destinies. My town. My battle, my business.”

And the hating him, and the need, and the hating him, and the resenting him for getting on top again, and mostly just the hating him, and finally, the last laugh. Head thrown back and laughing laughing laughing at him, while he fucks you hard and frustrated ‘cause for the bloody life of him, he just can’t see what’s so funny. It’s, “You can take what you want. Have what you want. But nothing is ever yours.”

And he’s on with the no, and the mine, mine, and God, shaking the walls he’s slamming in so hard—

And she’d laugh and say, “Not even him.”

3.

Visible, this thing between them. Not just in the looks. Yeah, there’s hooks in both their eyes, but a fishing line—space between them’s tangible like that. Can see how he’s gonna stick it in her, and she’s gonna stick it in him, too—and that particularly’s a fine visual. Except for the whole Angel part.

The others are blind to it, though. Spike would’ve guessed Faith, not so much, but she’s got her own lusty looking at them thing going on, and about that, Spike still doesn’t get why there’s not fucking when there could be fucking. The wee picket line, at any rate, is too busy in awe of Buffy and on suss of Angel to take note of the—well, the fishy whatsit. Even that bint Kennedy doesn’t see it; still thinks there’s this Buffy and Spike thing.

And there is. Because it’s Buffy, and Spike, and they have a thing. Things. They have multiple things. They have so many things. So many things and they’re very complex and variegated like Proust or Sarte or whatever that poof reads, except it’s even more complicated, and there are aesthetics to it too, because Spike and Buffy are so much prettier, and Spike keeps those things close to the vest like because it’s none of your business, because there are so many, you know, things. For one Spike banged her way more than Angel ever dreamed of.

For another, Spike would’ve fucked her by now. Or she’d’ve fucked him. Or whatever, there would be lots of fucking and none of this bait and tackle thing. Or lots of tackle, because they did a lot of that, and Spike thinks the difference is Angel thinks she’s fragile somehow. Like she’s some kind of sun on the water or swan, like he thinks he needs to swim up towards her, but breaking the surface of those still pools of wanting’s going to drown her, or break her too.

For her, he acts like there is that top and bottom. Repression, never put his demon inside her, his dark. Fears the murk and muck on us bottom dwellers. They never talk about Acathla, and he doesn’t know she can stand as much Hell as he has. Doesn’t know how she likes the plunge. She’s a nasty bitch, this Slayer, and she loved it when Spike told her so, made her raw and foul and obscene the way she is inside. She’s feeds off that dirt, even if Spike sees now how to be a hero she burns it up within her to fuel her shine.

They get back from patrol, cleaning City of Angel’s mess—literally. He’s sweaty and streaked with dirt and it’s like literal grunts and macho beekcakeness all over his skin. She’s blood soaked and goo covered and it’s like she’s drenched in liquid sex. First order of business? Go their separate ways and shower it all off, like it’s too much to take.

Much less than not shagging then, they should’ve shagged before even coming back. Just the climax to Buffy’s style of slaying, you ask Spike—and Spike’s style of murder too, you can bet. Pulverize the nasty and then the real fracas with whoever it is you’re fuckingloving. Buffy should’ve thrown Angel down and mounted him. Maybe Angel would’ve been confused, because remember how he thinks she’s fragile. Might’ve said, “Oi. What’s this then?” ‘Cept in a much more panty-waist way.

“Watched you play with that thing,” she would’ve said, nodding at the demon.

“Play?” he says. “That was killing. It’s dead.”

“So are you.” When he tries to get up she shaks a finger in his face, an ah ah ah.

His eyes are matte, flat, can’t see the hurt beneath them. “It was a monster,” he finally says.

“So are you,” she repeats, and rolls her hips. “Show it to me. That’s the part of you I want, part of you you never gave me. Show me the monster.”

Thing is, she let him lead, let him pretend Angelus was another person. And ‘cause it was Angel, and he didn’t deserve Hell, she thinks he needs to be reeled up gently. Thinks he needs the incandescent, or maybe just the innocence—jail bait—and she’s somehow got it in her head that she’s none of that any more, so she can’t catch him. But the lunk doesn’t follow the gossamer line—he follows his cock. And anyone’ll tell you cock hasn’t got a thing going for it. The way it hangs there, it’s ugly and it’s funny colored and for instance Spike would tell you, Angel’s hangs a little to the left like? But grab it and yank, and swear to you he’ll follow, hook, line and balls.

He didn’t need to be forgiven; he needed to be fucked. When she killed him, should’ve forgotten about Acathla or the end of the world. Should’ve been sticking it to him, not just sticking the sword in. And right now, should’ve forgot about the demons and small fry still on the streets, because still each other they should be fighting. In falling down houses, in alleys, right under everyone’s noses, Spike doesn’t bloody care.

Hour into patrol, should’ve started out as half-innocent conversation. “No bad guys yet,” he should’ve said.

“Why do you have to sound so disappointed?” she complains.

He shrugs, fingers the blade of his ax. “Just want to kill, I guess.”

She stiffens. “I see. That’s all this is to you.”

Grabs her wrist, spins her around to him. Leering down at her because he’s hurt and angry and so goddam hungry for her. “What do you want? This to be about us? You and me, time together, fairytale, loving again, making love again? Because that works out so goddamn well for us.”

She hits him. Hates how he could make her feel so low, so fallen from what they were, and so she hits him hard. And because it’s all he can do, he hits her back, and then they’re fighting, her balling his groin and his big square fist balling up under her chin. Back and forth, thrust for thrust like fucking, until her blows are more like scratches and his feints are more like grasping. When you’re fucking someone just to feel some life it’s a need thing, not a love thing or even a want thing. The curse doesn’t break any more, never would again with these two—demons, dead things.

They don’t break either. They don’t even bend. He’s solid, like a rubberband wrapped over a rubberband wrapped over a rubberband and on. That’s another thing to hate about him, how wound up he is, how he can’t unravel—but he doesn’t unravel, that’s the point. He bounces back. And she—she doesn’t bend either, but stretches—and let’s not even get into how fucking limber that tight little Slayer body is, the positions she can work herself into when she’s in a sweat already. She’s the last rubber around you, the biggest and the thickest, and the farther you pull her away the harder she snaps back, perfect size, perfect fit, shaping you creating you a part of you and hurting you so hard it makes the rest of you throb with it.

And she is the big one, the thick one. With the way she rebounds off so hard, recoiling from you and rebinding you, there shouldn’t even have been that patrol. She should’ve had him barely out the door, right where everyone could see her, fucking in the middle of dirt and dust and hotel grounds, reclaiming him. “Shouldn’t run from it,” she should’ve said. “Shouldn’t hide it. Know it can’t turn out well. It can’t be a fairytale, and it isn’t making love. But it is you and me. It’s all about you and me. It’s all about this.”

“Then. Show me. Show me—who you are. I want to know—what we can be.”

“This is all we can be,” she grunts. “In the dirt.”

“You’re showing them. In front of them, so they can see what we are. Want to show them how vulgar you are, how filthy?” He arches under her, face a mask of surrender, cradling her even as she ricochets into him. “Show me.”

“It is for them. Fucking them. Did you know I did that to a thousand girls, raped them like they did me? Made them Slayers, demons, monsters. Maybe I’m not something you want to see.”

“You think I don’t know what you look like?” His voice is so soft.

“I killed you,” she whispers.

“If we’re going by body count, I win.” He wraps his arms around her, hard. She’s still going at it, but her ragged, meaty clenches around him are slowing, rocking into him with wetter sounds. She melts around him, reforming, her sheath holding his cock tight, but now not to choke him, now to hold on. “And you, I’ve killed you. Every night, I kill you. I want that kill.”

Her hair gleams with sweat; her eyes limpid. “You kill me; I kill you. What we do.”

“It’s about this,” he tells her, and they are swimming through sun-kissed water, their movements slow and torpid that way, slick and almost too easy. No friction, swimming; it’s about being in the water. “What we do.”

“Do you trust me?” she asks.

Without hesitation. “Always.”

She takes a grip, on either side of his shoulders. “Okay. Okay, then I want to show you.”

“Yeah,” he says. “Yeah. Show me.”

Still, she hesitates. “Are you sure?”

“Christ, Jesus, Buffy. Just fuck me.”

She really buckles down. He tests the bonds of her, struggling to come up for air, and she bears harder over him, and when he surrenders to her he doesn’t even know how it happens. His face is pressed cheek down in the dirt; he babbles when he comes. “Under you, on my back, in the mud—and you, always wanted you this way, raw—bitch—fuck me harder—Slayer—”

4.

Whether it’s the promiscuous against-the-wall ass fucking, or in-the-dirt demon humping, they still have that, that space between, the frission in the air. That stars- or maybe eyes-crossed lovers look, still doomed and destined and sod all Gone With The Wind. Mash them together every which way and it still isn’t bloody simple.

It’s not about the shagging, actually. These days, there’s bags and bags of shagging. Straightening of clothes afterwards, combing back of hair, brushing off of dirt and desire and pretending like they can go on as before, when that’s not the way to do it at all.

See, this is about the morning after. They never got one, never got to be in each other’s arms afterwards and talk about it. That’s the little chorus of birdies, and Angel damn well knows it.

You wouldn’t expect Spike to know anything about that, right. Angelus never talked to him afterwards; Drusilla came crying Angelus’s name. The rest never mattered except for Buffy, and she never talked to him afterwards. Look at that, a coincidence. Maybe if you know how conceited and fanciful Spike really is, you’d know he knows it all.

Might not’ve been all the center of Dru’s world like she was of his, but Drusilla talked to Spike. Babbled for hours, and Spike knew her. Knew Angelus, too, because when Angelus didn’t talk to Spike, Spike talked at Angelus. Found his sores, weak spots. Found bruises with his nails, the soft spots around the eyes. Angelus laughed him off or thought he could toss Spike around for it, but in Angel those spots are still there, tender like never before. Spike can slip a slender finger under and dig, pushing on the soft until Angel’s off the handle without quite knowing why, knowing that he’s the same person Angelus was.

And Spike knows Buffy. Talked at her, too. And in the end, she’s the same, too, the contusions hidden to the naked eye. They’re dusky shadowed, like on skin, secret deep and violet dark. Spike opened her legs and showed them to her. She saw herself with him like never before and she still doesn’t know herself like he does.

That’s the crux of it, really. They don’t actually know each other. Might have once, but Spike seriously doubts it. And anyway, lots has happened since that moment when a Slayer was a beloved, normal girl for once and the Scourge of Anything Interesting was for a life shattering moment completely redeemed by her.

Thing is, they changed after that. He lost his soul, yeah, but played with her head, changed her too. He went to Hell and back, left her, made friends and influenced people, got a cushy evil exec three thousand dollar desk chair. Meanwhile she went to Heaven and back, moved on, lost friends and got kicked out of her house, got a new Immortal boyfriend. Not like either one knows any of that about the other. Told you, they don’t talk about Acathla.

If they just did, maybe. If after Angel pounding Buffy against the wall like that she hadn’t just drawn up the zipper of her dignity, if she hadn’t tried to walk out on you in that self-righteous way she has. You know she couldn’t ever admit it was something more, but in that case, if, at least, she could stick around and pretend it was something less, then . . . Then.

Take off her jacket, ‘cause he wouldn’t even have bothered, and sling it across the desk chair. Sprawl herself there with her feet up off the desk, watching the frustration and difficulty understanding what just happen play blindly across his face in the dark. Could remember suddenly and dig in the coat again for the cigs, then cant up her hips a bit to dip inside her jeans to fish for the other element. In the sudden light of Spike’s lighter, her smirk would repeat, nothing, nothing is yours.

Of course Buffy would never do that because she hates the things, hates the smell of smoke. And if she ever did take it up that blockhead wouldn’t even bother coming up with some lame Sunnydale Harris quip like, “Wait, does this mean you’ve lost your soul?” and would just end up spluttering, “When/where/why did you start that?”, ‘cause he honestly wouldn’t know.

Like how after tumbling ‘round the dirt in front of the hotel in front of God and stray cats and everybody, first thing Angel would want is a shower, because he is very mousse and shower lather and GQ like that, where you’re pretty sure that stands for gay and queerer. But anyway, the thing to do of course is leave the muck all over you and clamp your hand about her wrist, and convince her she likes it too. Tell her how there isn’t any shame in it and how if you want it you can take it, and you’ve got to accept that darkness inside or it’ll overrun you.

Of course Angel would never say that because even though he’ll do a thing like eat Drogyn, it still won’t save the world. He knows that, and it still disappoints him. And Buffy would say, “How the heezy did you get so devil may care?” ‘cause she honestly wouldn’t know.

What if they got a chance to know? One chance, just one William Wallace bang-up Braveheart chance, to wake up beside each other, to go back there and tell them that they could take his soul, but they could never take their freedom! Or dicky undying love for each other. Or our brilliant coiffures, or whatever.

That’s right, Spike would even settle for a confab on the merits of Vidal Sassoon, “and your hair is all sticky from it, kinda like that demon brain last night, which, ew,” Buffy would say, twitching her fingers in the hair by his ears. Apparently she wouldn’t like Angel’s extreme compulsive need to go shower and suit up after they’d just fucked in the alley beside the hotel any more than Spike did.

And Angel’d shift irritably away from her, mummifying his legs in the sheets. Frown a little and say, “Look who’s talking, bed-head.”

“Yeah,” she’d grog out, voice still dewy with sleep. “I remember just exactly what you think of my bedhead.” And she’d rise up in their bed; blocking the sun, she’d be limned in light. Crepuscular hands extend for him spread wide, sun’s rays, kissing him with tiny circle finger-tips. As far as Spike knows . . . this is what he thinks of her hair, her hair lighted up in early morning fire.

He’d recede, settling into the shadows’ nest she’s built for him, soaking up her warmth. “Yeah,” he’d say, soft. “Still true.” His hand stirs beneath the shelf of her body, sliding up the crevice of her legs and still deeper towards the center of her, where she waits, wet and vital. He looks down at her, and his voice sinks into a husky, “Hey. You ever think about not dying your hair?”

She’s blanketing him now, a shield with a pointy chin. She digs into him as she tucks her head inside the flow from his jaw to shoulder. “What kind of,” she pants, “question,” her insides seem to sweat, “is that?” as his fingers move beyond the shelter of just skin.

He wraps his other hand in her hair, pulls her head back so he can see her eyes. “Ever going to cut it?” And the kind of question it is is one about a completely different blonde dyed brunette. His fingers are telling her things the words aren’t, one hand inside her and one hand sifting gold. His brown eyes coursing over the small of her, the visionlessness of her the nonCordelianess of her are telling her he knows the difference, loves the difference, hates the difference. The careful kiss upon her brow is a kind of mourning; Cordelia died with coma-hair.

Her soft touch on his cheek is an acceptance. Her hand tugging his hips flush with hers is a reclamation. The arch of her back away from him as he enters her, the disclosure of the east-facing window as her shoulders twist to show him it, is a revelation. She knew love with Riley, even happiness, even strolls in the park and picnics in the sun. The burn of sudden sun where she’s no longer shadowing him, the opening reams of flesh on his other shoulder where her nails drag down, is just another exposure. She knew Spike, too.

A flat palm at his shoulder, the hard heel of her hand dragging down his back, small fingers bearing into him from behind—teach him something she learned in Rome. The baring of fangs against her own shoulder—relive his last kill.

His fingers drop down again, digging past the briary part to what we’d metaphorically call a sleeping beauty, except he’s traced a circle of black thorns there against her pubes and clit. Her body tightening around him maybe once was like life, but now she knows what rigor mortis feels like and this feels more like that, shows him that, tells him that, pours all of heaven out of her like light and into the night of him.

And in the firefall of those stars, he bites down and makes her taste what it felt like, what he saw that one night when it did rain fire. Shares with her the loss of bliss and loss of gods, the loss of his son in the taste of her blood. Makes her feel the pain of forgetting, the horror, and most of all the hope. The hope in the way he touches her, wondering, hands skating back up over her thighs and up the sides of her breasts, showing her the barely held belief that he can make new beginnings, for others if not for himself. He tells her about Connor, with those kinds of touches, and Spike never knew a goddamn thing about Angel’s boy.

But all he says is, “Buffy.”

Her response is the blanket quiet in a coffin. But though she’s felt that, they’ve both felt the way the end feels, he’s just told her that’s not what this is here. And the clenching in her cunt is not, after all, the end, but strength. Slayerness. Times one thousand, immortal and primordial. It coils down her veins, red inside her pushing out, until it pulses tight against her skin so hard it brings release. For a moment all she sees is that red: the color of killing; that’s what she is. War. Blood. That hatchet, and then everything is white—Willow’s hair and all the other girls, Slayers now times one thousand, all Called, all Chosen, and she is not alone.

She tells him her dreams for what comes next. Spike knew her every dirty little secret and her favorite color. Knows better than anyone in the stupid sordid bloody world about how to get her off and the brand of her underwear and how she’ll eat mad mix-ups like Pringles and marshmellows and the way each of her secretions smells. But he never knew a goddamn thing about her dreams.

They’re pig-ignorant, only got one thing going for them: they know that one moment, when the night that surrounded her was gentle, loving in its caress, when for the first time in a century, he felt the dawn because it rippled out of her from mouth to cunt in a burst of light. It’s a stop time; you don’t know whether it’s day or night; Spike doesn’t know anything. Doesn’t know what their hope is like, what a future is, what new beginnings are; all anyone ever taught him are endings. Instead they—they, Buffy and Angel, BuffyandAngel—know everything.

Know it all by heart without discussing explaining or talking, shh, no more words. For them, it’s just so bloody simple. That thing, that thing between them, when they’re within two blocks of each other. You know, that thing. To Spike, it’s the most incomprehensible thing in the world.

5.

Spike’s been dreaming up scenarios in the unconscious part of his head, the part that can’t keep still, the part that drums his fingers and lives out his cigarette, the part that makes him ache at night and call out names he’d rather not. By now, he’s dreamed five ways to have a three-way, but none of them includes him in quite the way he hopes. He wanted to be primary, and instead he stalks the perimeter, watching burning never ever getting.

He wanted to be the first person, and instead there’s this third person; Buffy and Angel always slide to the center of his stage. He wanted to control it all, to narrate events, and instead they narrated him, shunted him to the side to be nothing but a spectator.

Spike’s slumped against the outside of the hotel, chain smoking like a freight engine. He can’t be inside any more and listen—notlisten; they still say no words—to them fuck. To them care and understand each other like no other, to their motherbloodyfucking destiny or whatsit, when he still knows so much better than him.

Butts are littered all around him; he’s been there for hours, by now. Somewhere tucked into a cranny in the loose bricks of the wall he’s got a brown bag with booze. Somewhere further down the alley is where maybe Angel might’ve pushed Buffy up against the wall, where Buffy might’ve fucked Angel, that first day when she showed up to help in Angel’s sodding apocalypse. Somewhere further out is the Octo-demon with Harris shirts. Somewhere, Faith is mirroring Spike’s pose, in her case more liquor and less cigarettes, notlistening to those blighters love.

Spike fucked Faith, earlier on, and thought about them. He knew it was a bit of alright, that Faith was thinking about them too. Well, for one thing, they were both loud about it, talked up a storm about it without saying a single tossing thing, yelled it when they orgasmed and argued about it for an hour afterwards with smoky growls like dried out husks of better things.

It was almost good, so almost good, that Spike thought about fucking Faith and thinking about Faith, but it seemed like after a while, after a long while his head was too crowded for it, for her. Spike knows too much, yeah? Knows himself, which knows Buffy and Angel way too inside out to ever forget them, way too much right now to move on. Spike has all the words the others don’t say, has the three words Buffy said to him once and didn’t mean, has words Angel never even thought of breathing to Spike, no room inside his head.

You’d think there’d be room, it’s a fucking hotel. That’s probably why Buffy and Angel finally up and decided to get their own. A part of Spike even would’ve been content to get a foot in, to be just inside that door, instead of all the way here outside the building. But Buffy and Angel still look at each other as if there’s nothing else in the room, and it never mattered Spike wanted to come between them. They see right through him.

That doesn’t even matter to him any more. He would bear it; he could stand it; he could be their medium. They don’t know each other, but he knows both of them; they could know each other through him.

He could show Buffy what Angel was once. The way Angelus forced Spike, used him, and the way Spike took it, laughed, and used him back. Remind Angel of what Angel was once, reteach him the old lessons—nothing is yours, nothing.

He could show Angel what Buffy needed once, in those days back from the dead, the down and dirty, the filthy whore that the Slayer was and needed to be. Show Buffy just how much of that same monster would answer in Angel, rise in Angel, the deeper parts of Angel just as dark and hideous as Spike ever was, until Angel was begging Buffy to fuck him right into the dirt.

Buffy and Angel don’t talk, but Spike could talk for both of them. Would even brave the inevitable conversation about hair products, Vidal Sassoon, Angel asking whether she would always dye it, and Buffy telling him his chestnut stallion locks have suffered nappiness, and Angel grunting that her showing up inside his battles ruins his whole look, and Buffy telling him to get inside of her, and Angel telling her she worships her, and Buffy saying she loves him.

Buffy and Angel are cursed to be apart, but Spike could be the curse-breaker, the one guard against perfect happiness. The sentry at the gate, the outsider at the door, the cold wreck of a man against the hotel wall. He’d be willing, he’d be a simultaneous translator, he’d be anything, if they just let him in.

If Angel just came out right now and said, “You know, you’re being an ass.”

If Spike just answered, “yeah, and what’s it to you?”

“Get inside.”

“Fuck off, mate.” If Angel would just grab his arm, so Spike could shrug him off and say, “Go back to the Slayer fucking. Not interested in you up my arse again.”

“Come,” Angel would breathe, and Spike would clock him a good one in the eye. There would be rolling around, more punching, fighting, rolling around in front of the hotel in the sight of God and alley cats and everybody, Angel whining, “Why are you so fucking stubborn?”

“Because I sodding hate you, you gigantic poof! Haven’t figured out by now?”

Angel rips Spike’s fangs from where they’ve lodged in his forearm and slams him into the hotel doors. “Get inside the goddam door, Spike.”

“Make me,” Spike says, and Angel does.

If only Buffy would pass them in the hall, Angel dragging Spike along and Spike keeping up resistance for the sake of appearance. Buffy would stop and glare at Angel, hands on hips, demand of both of them, “What’s going on?”

“He’s a sodding pillock,” Spike spits.

“You know, it’s enough I have to denmother thirty girls. Why in the name of Cider House Rules do I have to put up with stupid little boys?”

“Not little,” Angel grunts, but manages to look sheepish.

“You,” Buffy whirls on him, “were jealous and you,” she jabs a finger at Spike, “are an idiot.”

“Was minding my own business,” Spike mumbles.

“Yeah.” She’s looking at the cut on the side of his face, trickling blood down his temple. “Looks like it.” Her hand comes up to soothe a flap of skin back over the wound.

He bats her hand away. She rolls her eyes and grabs his hand, pulls him into her room. Angel fills the door—door-shaped, did that get mentioned—tall and brow furrowed, dark and waiting. Buffy does her Buffy things, her little first-aid kit she doesn’t actually need, but she has this bandaging fetish. She touches Spike again. “Let me,” she says.”

“Don’t need it.” He bats her away again.

“Let me,” she whispers again, and kisses the side of his mouth.

Startled, he pushes her away. She clocks him on in the jaw. “Ow, Christ,” Spike mutters, and there’s another rough and tumble, this one much shorter, because she’s bloody stronger than him, can wipe the bloody floor with him. Can force him up against the wall, and heaven help you when she’s got you there, because Spike remembers the sound of that zipper, the only sound in the world.

Instead she says, “Angel, come in. And close the door.”

If only they would lay him down on their bed. If only Buffy’s hands would move, quick and nimble as she cleaned the wound, and Angel was beside her, handing her the gauze, the tape, as needed. If Angel would hold him down with heavy hands so he couldn’t protest her care, and Buffy was kissing him so he couldn’t protest Angel’s hands.

If only Angel would be the one to force him off the bed, to slip off his coat. Buffy tearing at his mouth while Angel’s hands slowly tugged up Spike’s t-shirt. Buffy’s hands hard on Spike’s vulnerable white stomach, slipping up over his hard chest, slowing lips and worshipping wrists, wondering at the expanse of bared skin. Angel the one impatient now, tugging down Spike’s jeans from behind, kicking them away, forcing Spike back down on the bed.

And in that sheltered place of shadows, where Buffy lets the sunshine in, if only they would tell him all their secrets. If only Angel would slip down between Spike’s thighs, wrapping his big, solid hand around Spike’s cock, gently cupping Spike’s balls so Spike can know what Angel knows, feel what Angel feels.

If Buffy would kneel over him as well, gently place herself against his mouth, hold his head between her legs gently, so Spike can know what trust feels like, so that in the darkness of her thighs he can learn her light, the parts of her she never let him touch, her hopes and dreams.

And of course, in the end, if Buffy was astride him, and Angel was behind him, and he could feel both of them, moving on him—then, oh then, this thing, this thing between them, when they’re within two blocks of each other. You know, this thing. Spike knows what it is.

Love.

“Spike,” someone breathes, and he demands to know who, which it was. It’s so bloody simple, and incomprehensible. If only they would fuck, because Spike knows what fucking is, not this. If only they would talk. If only they would explain what the hell is—

“Shhh, Spike. No more words.”

The End

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Author's Notes:
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Used to be "5 Ways B/A Never Shagged", but Spike decided to make it eponymous. B/A, with a heavy B/A/S at the end.
Notes: For Chrislee

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