On Borderland We Run
"Early one morning just as the sun was rising, I heard a young maid sing in the valley below...”
Spike cocked his head, listening to the tune with all the outward appearance of nonchalance. "That's a nice little tune you got there." He reached over and clicked the mouse to stop the recording, turned a lambent gaze on the man sprawled on the floor, back against the wall. Looked, and smelled, like a damn banquet. Steady on... "Thanks, doc. You cured me after all. I got my own free will, now. Not under the First's or anyone else's influences now. I just wanted you to know that - " Lunge, grab, lift, change " - before I kill you."
Fuck…bloody brilliant, it was, the mouthful of warm human flesh, yielding and breaking under his fangs, the tiny music of capillaries bursting as bruises rose on the skin.
How, how had he denied himself this for so long?
Shuddering he took the first eager gulp without even tasting it, cognizant only of the hot thick slide down his throat, exploding like a dirty bomb in his stomach, shockwaves of heat to all his extremities. Makes you warm...makes you hard... He groaned and took the next mouthful more slowly, rolling it on his tongue, savoring the rich scents flooding his palate, tingling his sinuses, while his demon howled triumph over his helpless foe, tasting the man's defeat in colors of anger and fear and grief and sadness and - and -
What was that -
Time only for a sarcastic demon snort - Inherited that Slayer deathwish, did he? - before the rest of it struck like lightning. His fangs retracted and he dropped his gasping prey to the floor, staring, aghast.
Smells like her...his mum. Not Nikki the Slayer but Nikki the woman, sensuous Black is Beautiful incarnate, aromatic of rage and frustration but also sad acceptance and relief because her battles were ended. A warrior of light, grateful for death, for release.
Not again. I will not do this again.
He spun away, blindly reaching for his duster, the familiar swing and settle of leather around him somehow calming. But not enough...not enough. Something between a cackle and a sob wrenched his throat, fighting for release. The fugue, relic of the high school basement, beckoned him to return, to his own personal Hellmouth, separation from everyone, everything. NO. He shook it off. Gotta get out of here.
He pulled open the door.
"Spike! What happened?"
Bugger. Out of the frying pan... And, damn her, Buffy turned up the heat, moving toward him with a concerned expression, solicitous little hand reaching toward his bruised, burned face. He quelled her with a look and the iciest voice he could summon:
"I gave him a pass. Let him live. On account of the fact that I killed his mother. But that's all he gets." Her green eyes, searching his, were wide, a little frightened. Yeah. Me too, pet. He took a step, then halted. "He even so much as looks at me funny though, I'll kill 'im." And he was gone.
She didn't follow.
Thank God, she didn't follow.
This Bomb-blast Lightning Waltz
Sometime later he found himself at the dump, and grinned at the symbolism. Garbage, coming home to roost.
Eyeing a pile of scrap he reached over and selected a length of metal. Heavy cement filled pipe. Perfect tool for a vamp with his mad on. "Born to smash and bash and bleed." Oh, too right, Dru. He sniggered, then growled and swung the pipe. Metal hollered, glass shrieked. Bash. His fangs gleamed.
Smash. Again and again and again and again
He was still going hard at it when he felt her approach, a Chinook of a girl, sweet soft breeze diffusing the reek of refuse. Sod off, wanker, his demon bitch-slapped his soul and it cried out but stubbornly held its ground (stupid thing, what chance did it have against the other), while he tried to shut both of them up, get himself together. His features smoothed as she rounded a heap of garbage and caught sight of him, but he didn't look at her. Couldn't.
"I could hear you halfway across town," she said neutrally; his answer was another swing at the windshield of what had once been a PT Cruiser. Smash. With a squeak and a mild glare, Buffy dodged flying debris and moved behind him for cover. "You know, I think that's an improvement for that car. They are the ugliest things..."
"Go home, Slayer." Swing, smash.
"I wanna talk to you."
"Don't much feel like talking." The hood this time. Crumple-crunch. Lovely.
She pulled in a loud breath, through her nostrils. Irritated, Slayer? Good. Join the crowd.
"Okay, so just listen."
"Kinda hard to, with all this breakage going on," he grunted, hefting the pipe again, only to be forestalled on the downswing as she grabbed it. He turned and glowered at her. Sweetly insincere, her smile did nothing to improve his disposition.
Neither did her words. "If you've quite finished being such a drama queen - "
"Drama queen!" he roared. God, how she could push his buttons! Buffy Summers, Agent Provocateur. "Slayer, do you have any idea what happened tonight?"
"Well, yeah." Heavy 'duh' implication. "Robin triggered your demon so he could kill you, and found out he'd bitten off more than he could chew." She grimaced and chuckled. "Ugh. Bad punnage."
Spike groaned. "'S'not funny!" He twisted the pipe from her grasp and sent it spinning whup-whup-whup over a wall of trash; they heard it land and slide in a shower of junk, come to rest with a clank. Heedless of the dirt, he rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands. "Coulda killed 'im. Wantedto kill 'im," he muttered.
He felt her take a step toward him and he tensed - for flight? Attack?
"I got that part," she said, more softly. "But you didn't, and the trigger's gone, so I'm chalking this one up in the win column."
He raised his head and stared at her. "What?" She grinned, and sod it all if that didn't scrape his last, raw, stretched-to-the-breaking point nerve. Was she laughing at him?
Mocking him? For a brief crazed second he thought she was the First, but no, she'd grabbed the pipe -
And then a horrible notion coalesced and swept through him, raking his gut like a toothy clawed parasite so that he moaned and nearly doubled over, wanting to purge it, vomit it out.
Win column? What - Did she help to - set up the game?
"Spike, what's wrong?" Brow furrowed, she reached out to him again, but he staved her off with an upraised hand and a wild, accusing look.
"Was it your idea? Test o' some sort?"
She tottered back, shocked, lips forming a perfect 'O'. "No!"
"No? Isn't this what you wanted? The 'Spike who's dangerous'?" He glowered at her, chest heaving, as he straightened. "Remember that, I do - you slicing my balls off in front of everyone - "
"Well, it worked, didn't it?" she spat, fine nostrils flaring.
Vamp-fast he invaded her space, got right up in her grill, and she gasped and stepped back. He followed, grinning ferally. "Yeah. Worked just fine," he purred, golden eyes glowing into bewildered green. He brushed knuckles against her cheek. "Is this what you want, Buffy?" and he snarled, grabbed her face in his filthy hands and kissed her, painfully hard, crushing his fangs against her soft lips. Pulled back, growling, "You want this?" and fastened on her again, harder, bruising her lips open. She whimpered - pain? desire? - and he plunged his tongue into her mouth.
Like immersion in a hot tub, brief sizzly burn and then the heat permeating in waves deep through every molecule, sinking in, sinking in until there was nothing else
the taste of her the taste of Buffy
The only Heaven he would ever know.
His demon yelped and ran for cover - his soul clamored at him to stop - but the man, oh, the man was lost, simply lost in her, sinking deep, deeper
Oh, love - Soft, softer now -
Sweet, so sweet, better than blood, better than life - won't hurt you - love you so, Buffy – Buffy
She wasn't fighting him - too stunned, maybe - and the implicit consent spurred him on. He clasped her to him with one hand splayed between her shoulder-blades and the other sliding down the taut curve of her arse, down her thigh to the bend of her knee, lifting, wrapping it around him and grinding against her, hip swivel hardness into heat just the way she liked it and oh yeah, there she was, frozen no longer, little moan into his mouth, hot little tongue stroking his, wrappy leg and strong little hands pulling him closer, and her scent -
She was responding - responding to him -
Him! Disgustingrapistthing - abomination -
Of all the - Bleeding, buggering fuck -
He pulled away, turned away, shaking so hard with horror and shame and desire that his very bones rattled. She could - she should end him now, for that violation. No forgiving that. He choked out, a strangled echo: "Is this what you want, Buffy?"
Gentle touch on his shoulder, a tremulous but fervent whisper: "Yes."
A sob tore at his throat and he spun blindly, wrapping her in his arms. Hers stole around him and held on just as tightly, as the dam burst, tears pouring down his face. Through his idiot crying he heard her murmur into his chest, directly to his aching, unbeating heart, "I need the Spike who's dangerous and can stop himself when he has to. When it's time." Her hands flowed warm and calming across the planes of his back. "Like you did with Robin. Like you did just now."
"Like I couldn't - then - " he groaned, letting it all hang out now, why not, he was too shattered, too tired to be polite, to avoid going to that place they'd avoided for so long, the white-tiled abattoir of his hope.
Soft little gasp. "Spike...you did stop."
What the - He drew back, eyes wide and wet, mouth slack in disbelieving astonishment. His head rapidly, jerkily shook No even as her lips curved in an almost-smile and she nodded.
"No, Buffy - if you hadn't - "
"I saw your face, after I pushed you away. You looked so - horrified... no, shh," she soothed as he hiccupped an attempt at apology. "I've thought about it a lot, since then... You didn't know, until I pushed you away, that I really meant No that time, did you."
He shook his head and his shoulder twitched; she deserved a better answer but he had none for her. Countless guilt-shadowed rehashings of that night had merged with the event itself and he just wasn't sure anymore. Wasn't sure he'd even heard the No.
"I didn't - " He just didn't know. Maybe she was right...and maybe not...
"And you didn't come back at me, after." She cupped his cheek in her palm and stroked away his tears with her thumb, green eyes shining compassion into his. He bit his lip to quell a fresh flood of tears. How could she be so sure of him, when he wasn't?
Bloody amazing, she was. Miraculous.
"I shouldn't have - "
She gently pulled his head down to her shoulder and sighed, as if she was just as weary as he. Probably was. "Yeah. You shouldn't have," she agreed softly.
And with that, the terrible compressing tension broke, dissolved. Something inside him that had been clenched into a tight aching ball released, uncurled and stood up, looked around and cautiously stretched, and smiled when it found no limits.
He slid to his knees, face pressed to her stomach as he struggled for control, and to rebalance himself now that he was so much lighter. Recalibrate his reality now that the burden had been parceled out properly and he could carry his portion without being crushed.
Trust. Such a rare, precious gift.
His demon tried to rally enough to sneer at his poncy weeping, but it was just as wrecked as the rest of him and gave up. A small thing, but capitulation nonetheless. And when Buffy's hands moved from his shoulders to the back of his neck, gently massaging, the damn thing started purring.
Lost in the comfort of her touch, the crashing weariness of all that had happened, he didn't even realize it until she gave a little giggle and her massaging changed to gentle scratching, right there on his scruff. He blinked up at her, registered the purring, and scowled.
Bugger. Shut up, already.
Releasing her, he lurched to his feet, stepped back and brushed the grit from his jeans. When he risked a glance, her eyes were gleaming with amusement, though she wisely refrained from comment. Huh. Probably figures I've had enough humiliation for one night, he snorted to himself, backhanding away the last of his tears. Not wrong there.
She observed him quietly for a moment, then asked, "You okay?"
His quirked eyebrow replied eloquently and she winced, shrugging acknowledgment. But he replied softly, "Yeah."
She lightly touched his arm. "Let's go home."
We'll Build a Bridge
At her front door, she paused and cleared her throat. "Spike, that - thing back there - "
His mouth curled; he'd been expecting this the whole not-uncomfortably silent walk home. "Yeah?"
" - not that I didn't, you know, sorta enjoy it - "
Full-fledged smirk now. Sorta? Right. Oh, he was still evil enough to enjoy her racing heartbeat, the sound of the blood rushing to her cheeks. Or maybe it was just sheer masculine pride in his prowess at revving his girl's engine. Mad hotwiring skills, yeah. A smart slap on the back of his head interrupted his preening. "Oi!" Rubbing the sting, he glared at her. "I didn't even say anything!"
"Yeah, well, I know what you're thinking."
He shrugged, conceding the point, and they traded knowing grins. It wasn't long before hers faltered and her eyes went a little shy, a little hesitant, but still - resolute. Not running away, or hiding, just...hitting Pause on the TiVo. "I just think we should, you know - "
"Not rush into things?"
Relieved sigh. "Exactly."
"Right. Moratorium on kissing, starting now." It'd be okay. He could live off that memory (and others) for a good long while. Maybe forever. Might have to...
"Yeah." She looked at him sidelong, lips twitching. "Status to be reviewed periodically."
...or not. He covered the surge of hope with an eye-roll and a snarl: "Bugger. Cut the soldier-speak, will you?"
"You started it, Mister 'Moratorium'!"
"Oh, very mature, Slayer."
She shook her head, abandoning the field but not admitting defeat, for such was just not in her idiom. Live to fight another day was more her style. "You coming in?"
He extracted his cigarettes from his duster pocket and lipped one out, grinned at her around it. "In a bit." He lit up. "Go on, luv. Give Rupert the bad news."
Her eyes flashed the Wrath of Buffy and he winced in sudden unwonted sympathy for the Watcher. Oi, Rupert. Better duck and cover. When she looked at him again, though, her expression had softened. She touched his cheek where the healing burn still stung. "How's that feel?"
"Likely be gone by morning. Don't worry about me, pet. I'll be fine." He caught her hand on the descent, raised it to his lips. Felt her pulse jitter, and smiled into her skin.
"Cheater," she chided, even as her fingers curled around his.
"Well, you know...evil."
"Oh, yeah. You're still the Big Bad," she chuckled, releasing his hand and opening the door. "G'night Spike."
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