Title: Fools Rush In
Chapter 3: Idle Hands Are the Devil’s Workshop
Spike expected to find an irate slayer pacing the perimeter of 1630 Revello like an angry bobcat. Instead, he had to scan the front of the house closely before he spotted her, sitting hunched at one edge of the moonlit front steps, a small bundle of woe.
“Slayer.” Spike greeted her, ambling up the front walk, progress suddenly arrested as he came up against an invisible barrier. God, she looked unbearably lovely in the moonlight, he thought, and for a moment allowed his eyes to trail over the silvery sheen of her hair, bare velvety shoulders, a deeper shadow where her wisp of a tank top dipped low…
“I’m all alone in here,” Buffy said mournfully, looking up at him. “I can’t get out. And there’s nothing to do. I’m really bored.” Her eyes were huge in the darkness, pupils dilated to saucers. Definitely still under the influence of something, Spike thought.
“Ah, and isn’t looking for a little fun what landed you in this pickle in the first place?” he asked, hugely amused to see the Slayer in little-girl-lost mode. “S’true, you can’t get out. But I can get in.”
“You can?” said Buffy, brightening.
Spike stepped up, tested the edge of the ward with one hand. “Pateo sesamum” he said, rolling his eyes, then pushed against the now glowing barrier, which parted grudgingly to let him through, mending itself immediately behind him.
Spike strolled to the foot of the stairs and stood there, gazing down at the Slayer.
“You clear on what’s happenin’ here, Slayer? Read Willow’s note an’ all?”
“Yes, Mrs. Doubtfire.” Buffy rolled her eyes. “Party trick, blah-blah. Knick Knack spell, blah-de-blah. Turning into a demon, Spike’s gonna babysit, blah-blabbity-blah.”
Spike had to suppress a smile at this teenaged version of the Slayer.
“Stupid note.” Her lower lip came out in that delectable pout. “Stupid Tinkerbelle.” Then Buffy brightened again. “But now you’re here, and we can have fun, right? Oh! We could do manicures! ‘Cause, you really need some help there. And mud masks!” Buffy jumped up, fairly beaming in anticipation, and grabbed his hand, pulling him up the stairs. “Come on inside and let’s get started!”
“Now hold on,” said a suddenly reluctant Spike, horrified at the prospect of a hands-on salon session with the Slayer. Not that he had any objection to it in principle — as in his hands, on the Slayer — but a bloke could only take so much in the way of temptation. Given the situation, that way was sure to lead to dustiness when all was said and done.
“Let’s get something straight, right off the mark,” Spike continued. “Not here to party. Not here to entertain you. Just going to stay a few hours, keep an eye on things. You run along, do your girly foo-fahs. I’ll watch footie on the telly. When you start to feel off, give us a shout.”
Buffy’s eyes narrowed dangerously. “You’re not the boss of me.”
“Turns out, I am,” said Spike, mirroring Buffy’s expression. “And if you don’t behave, I’ll turn right back ‘round and leave you here on your lonesome.”
Slayer and vampire remained locked in a mutual glare for a few seconds. Then Buffy stood up, turned on her heel, and flounced into the house, slamming the door behind her.
Spike cast up his eyes and sighed heavily. Then followed in Buffy’s wake.
~ ~ ~ ~
Revello Drive, two hours later…
“… and if you don’t come ‘round and let me out right now, I won’t be held accountable for my actions.”
Spike spoke in an aggravated whisper, phone cradled between ear and shoulder as he lit a cigarette and took a deep drag.
“Yes, I bloody well am smoking in the house, and considering what I’ve put up with the last couple of hours, you’re lucky I don’t burn the place to the ground.”
There was a moment of silence while he listened to Willow’s reply.
“‘Course I tried the password other way ‘round, you nit! Any sane bloke would. Give you and the Watcher five minutes before you’d be trampling each other on your way out the door.”
There was a pause.
“What d’you mean there’s no password to get out! Call yourself a witch?”
“I know what I said, and Christ knows I love the girl. But she’s not herself. Acting all of fourteen, if that. S’like Dawn on steroids! And she won’t leave me be for more than two ticks. ‘Spike, come bake cookies! Spike, should I do the oatmeal mask or the apricot scrub? Spike, let’s do your roots!’” He delivered an uncanny imitation of the Slayer in bubbly cheerleader mode. “Can’t seem to settle anywhere. Won’t stop pestering me. What’s the bloody hell’s wrong with her, anyway?”
He listened intently.
“Oh, that’s just great! Gonna be like this until the change, that what you’re saying? Some kind of soddin’ Drith Nac catnip, am I?”
A brief pause.
“Easy for you to say, you’re halfway ‘cross town. Don’t need any bleedin’ patience for that. No, don’t you hang up, Witch. Don’t you hang — ARRRRRRAAAAAW!”
Spike slammed down the phone. Fuming, he returned to the couch and threw himself down full length, grabbing the TV remote and unmuting the volume. He was just starting to settle in and calm a bit when he heard the unmistakable sound of slayer feet tripping lightly down the stairs.
“Hey, Spike! Whatcha doin’ now?” Buffy entered the room, a veritable tsunami of perkiness. After half an hour upstairs in full salon mode, her vibe had left the small town of chipper and was rapidly approaching the metropolis of manic.
“Would think that’s obvious. Watching the bloody telly, aren’t I? Same as the last four times you asked.” Spike kept his eyes glued to the match — Man U in the process of being roundly trounced, as it happened — and tried not to breathe in the amazing blend of girly potions she’d concocted upstairs, all of it kicked up a notch by a hint of Slayer musk. Tried, and failed.
“Oh! I know!” Buffy bounced on her feet, clapping her hands. “Let’s go get pizza! No, two pizzas. ‘Cause, I’m really hungry. With anchovies, ‘kay? And extra cheese.”
“Not on, Slayer. Password only works one way. Can’t get out until Red takes down the ward.”
Spike could feel her coming closer. Best not even look at her, all soft and glowy and radiating enthusiasm for his company. Hadn’t expected the effects of the Drith Nac to make her so… friendly. Treatin’ him like her bloody best girlfriend, and it was pure torture. All right, a very pleasant kind of torture, but still, if he let his guard down, if he let her in, it would break his heart. And likely get him dusted in the bargain. Just how had he ended up in this fuckwit situation anyway? Oh, that’s right — love’s bitch as usual.
“Then let’s have the pizza delivered! You tell the delivery guy the password, and he can bring it in.”
“Not spending the rest of the evening with a pizza gofer underfoot. Besides, no telling who might be delivering the takeaway in this town. Not necessarily human.”
“But I’m hungry!” Buffy stamped her foot in frustration.
“Plenty of food in the fridge. Rummage somethin’ up.”
Buffy glared mutinously at the side of his head for a few seconds, then flounced into the kitchen.
“That’s gettin’ to be a habit,” Spike muttered, turning up the volume and settling back to watch the match.
Five minutes later he was nearly knocked out of his seat by a blast of music emanating from the kitchen. Boy-band rot, at maximum volume.
“Slayer, turn the bloody music down!” Even at the top of his voice, Spike could barely hear himself. Jumping to his feet, he stormed through the dining room and into the kitchen, where an oblivious Slayer was browsing in the fridge. Spike crossed the kitchen to where the radio sat on the far counter and flicked it off.
“Hey, I was listening to that!” Buffy turned to face him with a petulant frown.
“And I was trying to watch the match. Can’t hear a bleedin’ thing out there.”
“Too bad for you!” Buffy darted around him and turned the radio back on. A DJ’s voice blared into the room.
“Damn it, Slayer! Quit being such a pain!” Spike dodged around her to flick the radio off again.
“You quit! This is my house! And if I want to listen to the radio, I will!” Buffy reached for the radio again. Spike intercepted her arm and held it motionless with one hand. Picking up the radio with the other hand, he hurled it across the room with tremendous force. It shattered against the far wall, falling to the floor in a shower of broken plastic and twisted wires.
“I hate you!” Buffy shrieked, at a decibel level that would have done Dawn proud. Then she ran for the basement door, threw it open with a bang, and disappeared downstairs.
“That went well.” Spike tried to hold on to his anger, but in truth he felt a bit sheepish about ruining the Slayer’s fun. “Wanker.”
Grabbing the broom and dustpan, he swept up the remains of the radio and threw them in the garbage. Snagging a beer from the fridge, he returned to the living room and settled onto the couch, attention back on the match. He’d been watching for only a few minutes when the lights went out and the television fizzled to a blank screen.
Silence descended over the house.
“All right, that’s it!” roared Spike, leaping to his feet. “Turn on the juice again, Slayer, right now!”
“Bloody do it! Or I’ll put you over my knee and make you wish you had! Don’t think I won’t!”
His demand was greeted with silence. A thump. Then muffled laughter, followed by the sound of feet racing up the stairs.
Spike clenched his jaw, his hands curling into fists, near to tearing the room apart. But then a thoughtful expression crept over his face, clearing almost immediately to one of decision.
“Slayer wants to play, does she?” he murmured, voice heated. “Needs my attention, Witch said. Right. See how she likes this game.”
Bending down, Spike removed his boots and socks. Prowling to the bottom of the stairs, he vamped out and stood absolutely still, unleashing his preternatural senses to their fullest. Ah. There. A rapid heartbeat. Coming from the upstairs hall, by the sound of it. And what’s this? A tang of excitement. Slayer still hopped up on Drith Nac fumes, apparently. Oh yes, this could be very interesting, indeed. Hand on the newel, Spike began a stealthy ascent, balanced on the balls of his feet, his every sense attuned to the Slayer hiding somewhere above him.
“Here, kitty, kitty, kitty,” Spike crooned, at once serious and mocking, knowing the Slayer would recall precisely when and where she’d first heard those words.
With one hand on the bathroom doorknob, Buffy froze at the sound of Spike’s voice, not so intoxicated that she couldn’t recognize the predatory overtones kindling there. But instead of the sobering effect she might have expected, his words seemed to ratchet her giddy mood all the higher. What was wrong with her? A vampire — correction, a Master Vampire — was loose in her house. The Slayer’s house. Whereabouts unknown, but clearly on the move. Stalking her. She should be running for the nearest stake, or at least the nearest exit, but now that she finally had Spike’s full attention, she was locked in a state of almost unbearable excitement.
Taking a deep breath, Buffy slipped quietly inside the bathroom and closed the door, then leaned her forehead against the cool glass of its mirrored back. Eyes closed, she thought she could almost see him now — lean and panthery, coming after her through some kind of hot, green darkness, ready to take her down with all the tenderness and hunger he could muster. Gah! Where were these thoughts coming from? Stupid party trick! She was acting like prey. Thinking like prey. And it felt… um, really interesting, actually.
Buffy had never given much thought to what the payoff on this end of the cosmic dance might be — ‘cause, hello, slayer here — but she was getting a taste of it now, and it was heady stuff. And it felt strangely necessary in a way she couldn’t quite explain. It was as if the needful fretting that had infused her ever since she’d cracked open the Drith Nac was finally being answered. And okay, in some fundamentally tingly way that had Spike’s name written all over it, but she didn’t want to think about that right now.
“Get a grip, Buff,” she muttered, stifling a laugh. Then went deathly still at a tiny creaking sound from out in the hall.
At the top of the stairs now, Spike could hear the increased pounding of Buffy’s heart, the tantalizing whoosh and halt of blood moving through her veins. Oh, delicious. Not that he could or would drink her if he caught her — when he caught her — but god, the hunt! He hadn’t felt this alive since before the chip, since before Dru left him. Maybe not ever.
“I can hear you, Slayer.” Spike’s voice seemed to electrify the silence. “Like music to me, you are. Gonna catch you. Make you sing a pretty tune.”
Cocking his head, he fixed easily on Buffy’s location, and crossed the hall to stand within inches of the bathroom door, pressing both hands to the smooth wood. He could feel Buffy just on the other side, simmering like a kettle on the hob. Now, how to do this, exactly? Didn’t fancy a scene in the bathroom. Not room enough there for a proper battle. Needed to get the drop on her somehow, lure her out into the open. But how? And then he knew, the plan springing fully formed into his mind.
Moving quickly to the hall closet, Spike opened it just wide enough to grab the ball of twine he’d seen on his last snooping foray at the Summers residence. He ghosted silently back down the hall, entered Buffy’s bedroom, crossed to the window and opened it wide.
Exiting back into the hall, he ignored the bathroom door in favor of Joyce’s old bedroom, entered it quietly and closed the door behind him. Palming a paperback from the bedside table, he tied a length of twine tightly around it. Then he crossed to the window, opened it, and pulled himself out onto the ledge. Reaching back through the window, he stood the book upright on the sill and let the sash drop until it met the book’s topmost edge. Almost done now.
Spike was up and over the roof in seconds, unspooling the twine as he went. Dropping down to Buffy’s window ledge, he ducked inside and stepped soundlessly onto the carpet. Then he yanked hard on the string. On the other side of the house the book pulled out of true, and the window fell shut with a muted thunk. In a blur of speed Spike crossed to the bedroom door, opened it a fraction, and peered out.
And there she was, his Slayer, right on schedule — emerging from the bathroom and backing slowly towards the stairs, attention riveted on Joyce’s bedroom door. Shaking off game face, Spike stepped silently out into the hall, positioned himself directly in her line of motion, and opened his arms.
Buffy bumped into him with a shriek, struggling instinctively as his arms came around her like a vise.
“Ah, ah, ah. None of that, now,” Spike said, in a voice like silk over steel. “Caught you, Slayer, fair and square.”
His face was alongside Buffy’s, her velvety cheek pressed firmly to his. He felt her body still, then tense, and tightened his grip in anticipation of battle. But instead of the fight he expected — a punch to the nose, a painfully placed elbow — she suddenly gentled in his arms. Perplexed, he relaxed his hold and let his hands drop lightly to her waist. He expected that any second she would pull away, snap into pissed-off slayer mode. So he was utterly gobsmacked when she simply nestled back against him with a quiet, “Mmmmm.”
He’d touched the Slayer before, of course — in battle, wound tending, and, more memorably, in the grip of Red’s thy-will-be-done spell. Always gotten a thrill from it. Only natural. But something about the nature of this contact — intimate, deliberate, almost compliant — had him instantly, shockingly aroused. And yet he knew her behavior had to be a Drith Nac-induced fluke. If she remembered it at all, it would be with dismay and a killing anger.
All right then, time to release the sweet, warm curve of her body and retreat into safer territory. Spike straightened and started to step back, but Buffy caught his hands and held them pressed tightly to her body.
She guided his fingers down her sides and molded his palms snugly to her hipbones, then used his hands to set her hips to rocking side to side in a lush hypnotic groove, brushing that beautiful peach of an arse indolently against him, over and over and… holy mother of God, was she trying to drive him mad?
“Stop it, Slayer.” Spike stilled her motion and tried to pull his hands away, but she gripped them with slayer strength.
“Touch me, Spike. I’ll die if you don’t touch me.” There was a tinge of desperation in her voice.
“That’s just the Drith Nac talking, love. You don’t want this.”
“Oh, but I do.” She turned suddenly in his grasp and wound her arms around his neck, face tilted up to meet his gaze.
If he had any sense at all, he knew, he would end this, go back downstairs, turn on the lights. But the look in her eyes was so soft and open, so completely undefended, it was like he was seeing her whole for the first time — the girl, the woman, the Slayer, all the way through. Was this what she’d shown to Angel, he wondered, only to have him walk away? Or to that git, Finn, who wouldn’t know a diamond if he found one in his pocket? Christ, it was like a knife to the heart seeing her like this, when it wasn’t really for him. Would never be for him.
Buffy leaned in even closer, up on tiptoes now, her breath warm and sweet against his face.
“I’ve never forgotten what it was like to kiss you.” He shivered as her fingers toyed with the curls at the base of his neck. “I need to kiss you. Spike, let me—” Her lips were almost touching his now, the scent of her body rising up to strike him like a velvet hammer.
“Slayer,” he whispered, caught in her gaze and near to trembling with the effort not to take her, take everything she was offering, even if it got him dusted.
“Oh, Spike,” she said, and pressed her lips softly to his.
The words rushed over him like ice water, and he reared back from her kiss. The ‘bot had said those same words in just this way – so warm, so willing, so unreal. But this was no ‘bot. This was the Slayer. His Slayer. And the woman he loved.
Spike reached up and pulled her hands from around his neck, cupping them firmly with his own and bringing them down to rest gently against her chest.
“Stop this, Buffy. It’s a spell, yeah? Making you think you need something from me. It’s not real.”
“But I’m real.” God, those eyes, looking at him with such longing. “And you love me. That’s what you said, remember? That night in the warehouse?”
“Said it. Meant it.”
“Then don’t push me away. Please, Spike. I need…” she paused then, brows knit into an uncertain frown. “I’m… not sure exactly what I need. But I’m…I’m…”
“Can’t give you what you need, Slayer.” Spike brought her hands to his lips and kissed them softly. “‘Cause I know what you are. My angel. My queen.”
Suddenly a small, choked noise emerged from the Slayer’s throat. Her body stiffened against him like a board, and she threw her head back, gasping.
“Slayer?” Spike dropped her hands and gripped her by the arms, holding her steady. “Buffy!” He gave her a gentle shake, and she collapsed bonelessly into his arms, eyes closed now, her body surrounded by a pulsing greenish glow.
“About bloody buggering time!” Spike said, and swept the unconscious Slayer effortlessly against his chest. Then he vaulted down the stairs en route to the back steps.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/155306.html