Fic: Loadstone North – 3

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Loadstone North
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Title: Loadstone North
Author: bearfacedcheek

Summary: Buffy Slips

Part 3: Fragile Fealty

“Xander?” Angels gone when Buffy emerges from a long shower and a short nap. But she finds something even better waiting for her in the dining room regaling Willow and Dawn with tales of his African travels.

“Hey Buff” he opens his arms as he greets her with a boyish smile and her heart swells with affection.

Three short strides and she’s swept up in one of those big strong hugs of his. “Xander it’s so good to see you”

He just nods and smiles and it’s like being dipped in warm honey. Oh how she has missed her friends. “I didn’t even know you were coming here”

“Wasn’t planned, but I heard you were having a reunion without me so…” he trails off with a shrug and a smile and she realises he’s flown all the way from Africa to be with them and the thought makes her eyes water.

He smiles and they speak their affection with their eyes and she can’t help thinking of Spike. Can’t help asking herself why their latest reunion-and all the ones before she supposes-couldn’t have been so sweet or easy.

“Damn” Faiths voice breaks through the moment and Buffy turns to see her and Spike lounging in mirrored poses against each side of the wide doorway. Ah yes, that’s why. The thought has a jealous bite that almost makes her wince and she finds suddenly that she can’t look at him.

“Faith” Xander greets with wary pleasure. “And Spike” he shakes his head as if in disappointment. “Heard you skipped out on the whole death thing you had going for a while.”

“Dead boring,” the vampire snarks. “Disappointed whelp?” animosity crackles faintly between them but there’s a sort of familiarity to the exchange that could easily be mistaken for something more like camaraderie.

“Nah” Xander shrugs. “Apparently resurrection’s the cool new thing for summer. Still you don’t write you don’t call… A person’s feelings could be hurt”

“Didn’t realises you’d be broke up over little old me” Spike lays a hand theatrically on his chest and smirks. “I’m touched. Really”

“Not talking about me” and with the sudden solemnity of that statement all the ease is gone from the room and the vampire’s eyes are shadowed in shame. “So” Xander claps his hands and breaks the tension. “Buffy kicked your pasty un-dead ass yet or can I still get me a front row seat?”

“Tickets available at the box office” Dawn joins in the joke and so does Willow with talk of popcorn and even Faith with a husky laugh and a slap on the back for Xander that makes him splutter. And in the end it’s just Spike and her caught up in the aftermath of Xander’s words and quicksand of each other’s gaze.

“‘M sorry,” he mumbles later when they’re all lounging around the common room only half paying attention to Dawn’s choice of movie and just enjoying being a gang again.

She knows he’d wanted to escape earlier but Faith had slipped in uninvited and settled herself in a seat next to Xander and Dawn had been so insistent that he stay that resistance would definitely have been futile. Still she’s glad he stayed, despite the slight awkwardness of it, because there’s no one quite as amusing as him when it comes to lampooning the TV, and Xander, and no one quite as making her sister feel special.

She doesn’t look at him as he sits cautiously beside her, as if afraid that Xander’s prophesised ass kicking might be scheduled for the immediate future, just sighs and watches Dawn and Faith tossing popcorn at Xander.

“Buf…”

“I know” she cuts him off. She hadn’t meant for her silence as a rebuff, she’d just found her throat too choked and her brain too foggy to make any kind of response. “I know you are”

She should just accept his apology, it’s been a long time after all and everything’s worked out for the best, but still she wants more. She wants to understand. “I just” she keeps her voice barely above a whisper not wanting to attract any attention. “I just don’t know why you didn’t…” she bites her lips and struggles against the sudden compulsion to cry. “Why you wouldn’t have wanted to see me”

“God Buffy” his voice hitches and she’s not sure why she feels the need to put them both through this. “I’ve wanted nothing more for two bloody years” he’s looking down when her eyes turn sharply on him and he doesn’t seem to have noticed that he’s added more recent times to their discussion. “Was just a sodding coward is all. Couldn’t face the thought of you not wantin’ anything to do with me, not after…”

He trails off and she can only guess-although she’s fairly confident she’s right-at what he’s meant to say. “How could you think I wouldn’t?” she asks and uses her fingertips against his cheek to turn his head so that she can watch his eyes while he struggles for an answer.

In the end he gives up with a shrug and another mumbled “sorry” that makes her heart ache. “Spike” she doesn’t know what to say all she knows is she can’t bear to see this pain in his eyes. “It’s ok. I’m sorry too”

He gives a bemused shake of his head but she won’t let him tell her there’s nothing she should regret. “When I saw you in LA. I’m sorry I was such a bitch” he looks about to cut in so she keeps talking fast. “I’m not saying I didn’t have every right to be mad at you, but I should of let you at least tell your side before I kicked your ass.”

That makes him laugh and her heart lifts a little at having driven some of the hurt out of him. “I guess we both messed up,” she says because its true and she hates for him to shoulder all the blame.

“Story of our lives eh pet?” there’s something sad lurking behind his wry smile and it makes her eyes water as she nods her agreement. Story of their lives.

***

When Angel gets back from work she doesn’t bring up their earlier exchange. Just asks about his day and tells him in a pleasant voice about Xander’s arrival and how nice it was to spend the afternoon with the old gang.

He doesn’t ask if the old gang includes Spike and she doesn’t mention the vampire either, but she’s acutely aware that he’s on both their minds.

It’s ridiculous, she’s not even sure how it became and issue. Angel had been fine about her history with Spike until they’d come here and now his jealousy peeves her. She’s never given him any reason to doubt her fealty and she can’t imagine where this churlish insecurity stems from. She’s resolved to ignore it. He’ll get over it eventually and there’s no way she’s going to stop seeing an old friend just because he’d got his panties in a bunch.

“You patrolling tonight?” Angel’s the one that eventually forces the issue and she can feel the tension between them stretch to almost snapping point.

“Yeah. We’re trying to have teams on the ground all through the night just in case.” She tells him, pointedly ignoring the unasked question. If he wants to know who she’ll be patrolling with that badly she’s definitely going to make him say it.

He doesn’t ask and she’s perversely disappointed that she doesn’t get the chance to tell him what he can do with his suspicion. Instead he tells her to be careful and kisses her and she feels like a bitch for thinking that way.

“Angel” she stops him when he moves to leave and pulls him back into a warm lazy kiss. “I love you”

He nods and smiles a melancholy smile. “I love you too Buffy”

***

“Angelus” Spike greets jovially as he enters Angel’s room uninvited and hops up onto the desk crushing papers and knocking his highlighter so that it slithers over the edge of the desk and on to the floor.

“Spike” he keeps the annoyance-a programmed instant reaction to the vampire’s presence-out of his voice as best he can. Worst possible thing to do with Spike is let him know he’s getting to you.

“What you doin’?” Spike sounds so much like a little boy looking for someone to play with that Angel feels a little bad for feeling so unfriendly.

“Working” he replies and shoves Spike in the ribs, tipping the vampire’s light form enough that he can dislodge a paper from under his thigh.

“You really are a dull bastard aren’t you?” Spike asks rhetorically. “And here I was hoping getting made human woulda removed whatever got shoved up-”

“Spike I’m really-”

“Got any booze” Spike slips gracefully from the desk and squats down to open one of the draws.

“No” the draw almost catches Spike’s fingers as Angel slams it shut. “Go away Spike I’ve got work to do”

“Right” there’s something wounded in Spike’s eyes and Angel remembers suddenly that at the end in LA they’d almost been close. Competitive and bitchy as hell but close for all that and it’s hardly Spike’s fault that he’s got a jealous bee in his bonnet.

“Spike” he calls, stopping the already retreating vampire. “Maybe later”

“Yeah” Spike doesn’t turn round but Angel can hear a brittleness in his voice that makes him feel guilty. “Maybe”

Then Spike’s gone leaving him feeling like and ass and more annoyed than ever with the blond.

***

She glares at him as he brushes dust from the sleeves of his denim jacket, keeps glaring until he notices with a defensive “What?”

“You almost got us killed,” she declares with a school ma’am sternness than makes him squint at her in annoyance. “That was stupid”

“Bollocks”

Her eyebrows go up at the denial and she grits her teeth. “What the hell do you call charging in without a weapon or a plan?”

“Er, fun” he shakes his head and his expression is one of incredulous annoyance

“Fun?” he’s so infuriating. She can honestly say, hand on heart, that she has never met anyone who makes her quite as angry as he does. “Not my kinda of fun”

At that he raises and eyebrow and watches her until she fidgets because he knows her well enough to know that despite her protestations she got off on the excitement of those odds just as much as he did. Denying it will only give him ammunition so she merely stomps past him with a deliberate bang of her shoulder against his.

“Slayer” he growls as he comes after her and she just knows this is going to turn into a running battle between them.

But then they’re both brought up short by the sudden appearance of eight foot of armoured Brelrog female. “Bugger” she hears Spike curse behind her and echoes the sentiment in her mind. They’re both a little bruised after their ‘fun’ with the nest of twenty vampire’s Spike just decided they could take out without back up and she thinks that maybe she was right to give him a hard time as she thinks of her baseball bat exploded to dust in the hands of a overweight eighties reject vampire.

Then he’s in motion and there’s nothing she can do but follow him.

The demon takes some killing but in the end they manage it. The battle’s a bit of a blur as they stand panting in the aftermath. She remembers Spike tearing a stone angel from the head of a grave and using it to batter the creatures skull, Pain shoots up her spine and she remembers flying backwards through the air and cracking the wall of a tomb with her back. She remembers excitement and exhilaration, a little bit of fear and whole heap of pain. She remembers how gratifying it is to find yourself so utterly in sync with your partner that you seem to move as a single fighter.

She remembers Spike fighting hard with amber eyes and blooded fangs. She remembers him dangling in the creature’s clawed grip as it had sought to tear off his head and how it had given her a burst of formidable power as she’d beaten the thing until it had released him.

He’s breathing hard and his eyes search her body for damage just as hers do his. She sees deep puncture wounds in his shoulder and purple bruises on his throat and she shivers at how close she might have come to loosing him tonight. On his cheek there’s a trickle of crimson against alabaster and she looses the ability to think.

***

“Hey” Faith stumbles across him in one of the town’s seedier clubs, still caked in blood and drinking hard. “You look like shit”

“Piss off rouge” he doesn’t look up, just pours another hefty measure of rye from the half empty bottle on the bar. “Not in the sodding mood ok”

“Whatever man” she ignores his dismissal as she slips onto the stool beside him and orders herself a beer.

She lets him down another three shots before she speaks again. “Rough patrol?”

“Nah” he turns drunk sarcastic eyes on her. “Was a blast! Thought I’d have a drink or two to celebrate”

“Screw you Spike” she’s not exactly a sympathetic ear his Faith but maybe that’s why he finds he can sometimes actually talk to her.

“Killed the female” he tells her and counts the bottles on the wall behind the bar. “Bitch put up a hell of a fight though”

“You and Buffy?”

He grunts and his body tenses. Looks like Spike’s got slayer problems again. “She alright?”

“She’s a heinous bitch but that’s nothing new” he’s slurring a little now and she’s knows she’ll have to carry him home if they’re going to beat the dawn.

“Come on” she slips her arm under his and hoist them both up so he can lean on her as she turns him for home and snatches up his half empty bottle of Jack because something tells her he’ll want the rest of it tonight.

***

“Yay for Buffy” Willow takes a seat opposite her in the canteen the next morning and the slayer abandons pushing her pancakes around her plate to look up at her friend. “Heard you and Spike made with the slaying last night”

The sound of the vampire’s name makes her jump guiltily and she returns her attention to drawing syrupy patterns on her plate. “Yeah” she answers with a dejected sigh.

“Buffy?”

“You ever have one of those moments when you suddenly realise nothings like you thought it was?” she’s not sure why she’s doing this. She should just keep quiet and try and forget about it, no good can possibly come from telling Willow.

“Go Buffy sounds like you had an epiphany?” Willow’s goofy smile fades at the slayers troubled expression.

“My first” she gives a shake of her head and lines of disquiet pinch her forehead. “Always thought it’d be shinier”

“Buffy?” the witch looks quizzical. “Shouldn’t that be a good thing?”

“You’d think”

“I kissed Spike last night” she speaks again before Willow can respond and casts shame filled eyes up to meet her friend’s.

“What?” Willow gasps and her eyes bulge comically in surprise

“We were fighting that demon thing and he got cut” she runs a manicured nail lightly over her own cheekbone. “Just here. I wanted him so much Will, more than I thought I’d ever want anything again and I lost my head”

“But Buffy Angel”

“I know” she buries her head in her hands and her voice is muffled when she speaks. “I’m not a cheater Will, I’ve never done anything like that” her eyes are full of tears when she looks back up and her guilt is painted in lurid colours on her face. “And god it’s Angel. What’s wrong with me?”

They’re quiet then. It’s not for Willow to sit in judgement so instead she sits in silence and waits for her friend to speak again. And when she does her voice is distant as if she’s not speaking to Willow but rather just aloud to make some sense of this.

“The night he attacked me he told me real love consumed like fire. I said love like that couldn’t last that it burned itself out and I still believe that”

“But?” because surely there must be something more

“All this time, years without even seeing him and I’m still burning. I touch him and I’m on fire”

“Well there you go then” Willow smiles encouragingly. “It’s just a sex thing. I mean no denying Spike’s a serious hottie and you and him always had that whole mortal enemies sparkage going on”

“You’re right” the slayer gives a determined nod of her head. “Its just some weird slayer-vampire animal lust thing. It’s like fighting with him just got messed up in my head with wanting him, that’s all it is ”

“Definitely” the redhead’s smile is broad and forceful as if she can make it true with the power of her encouragement.

“So why does just looking at him break my heart?” she bites her lip and looks up with eyes full of confusion and dashed with water. “Why do I see him hurt and know I’d tear myself apart to keep him safe?”

“Oh Buffy. I…” the witch trails off. There is no answer she can give; only Buffy knows the truth of it. Still she feels she should steer her in the right direction. “You care for him, it’s natural. But you love Angel don’t you?”

“I do.” The slayer’s response is so forceful, so immediate, that Willow knows it’s true, just as it’s been true since she was sixteen years old. “I love Angel like I love Dawn, like a part of me. When I’m with him I’m more than just safe, I’m home. Ya know?”

“Yeah” Willow’s voice is soft and she has Tara in her eyes for just a second. And though she hates to ask: “And Spike?”

“He makes me crazy” her response is sudden and viscous and she’s back to stabbing jerkily at her breakfast. “I mean he shows up here after two years-two years- with Faith hanging off his arm like some trophy wife and has the nerve to question my ability to slay. And I still can’t believe he didn’t tell me when he came back from the dead. He’s a selfish arrogant insecure arsehole and he just makes me so arrghh” she takes a deep breath and puts down her fork with what looks like a monumental effort of restraint. “But when I kiss him nothing else exists, not even Angel

“And this is Angel” the slayer continues after a moments silence. “My big love. My fairy tale romance, with a once in a lifetime actual fairy tale ending, and he makes me so happy, everyday”

“Then Buffy you need to stay away from Spike. Away from temptation”

She nods and hopes that her friend can’t see the desperate. “No no no” that thought triggers in her mind. “But I can’t can I?” she responds fights to keep the relief off her face. “Not with the big old demon sex fest in full in swing”

***

There is a plan. A plan formulated in this very library while she’s spent the day dodging Spike and dodging Angel. And Willow of course because she knows. And Faith because Spike’s hers now. And Dawn and Xander and Giles and anyone who might be able to look at her and know what she did or worse still what she’s thinking. What she hasn’t been able to stop thinking since they drew apart last night and watched each other’s eyes for just a moment.

They’re all here now though and she couldn’t have avoided the meeting anymore than Spike could have. She’s just grateful Angel’s late back from work because she isn’t sure she could be in the same room as the both of them.

She sneaks a look at the vampire and her eyes find his flawless cheek. No sign now of that trickle of scarlet that addled her brain less than twelve hours ago. She doesn’t know what it was about that tiny rivulet of plasma that had made her step in close and run her fingers over the wound so that she smeared crimson smudges on his cheek. All she knows is that it had stolen her senses and when he’d looked at her with such an intense question in his eyes the only answer she could find had been to take his face between her palms and kiss him

No one seems yet to have noticed that neither she nor Spike has said a single word during the course of the meeting but she knows how suspicious it is and tries desperately to focus enough on Giles’ words that she could at least make a comment if she were asked a direct question. But her eyes keep going of their own accord to his turned cheek and her heart just wont stop pounding.

She glances up again as if to reassure herself that the shallow cut is really gone and finds his eyes for just an instant before they both look hurriedly away. “This is ridiculous,” she chides herself silently. “It was just a little kiss. No big”

Or rather it had been two kisses because he’d pulled away and said her name all question and worship and she’d dragged him back and silenced him with her mouth before she’d given herself a chance for doubt.

Faith says something beside her and she feels a fresh twist of guilt and repeats in her mind over and over that he is Faith’s now.

“So we’re agreed” Giles speaks with an air of conclusion in his voice. “Buffy? Spike?”

The vampire looks as startled as she feels and she understands that he’s been as distracted as she has. “Sure” he answers after getting a slight nod from Faith and because she supposes they know what they’re doing she mirrors his agreement with a “Yep” and a forceful nod of her own.

“Right then. You two will do recon soon after sunset while Faith organises the patrols.” Giles stands and it seems the meeting is over. “All of you get some rest tonight

“Rouge” she glances back at the sound of Spike’s growl in time to see him make a grab for Faiths arm as they all exit the library.

“Sorry Spike” Faith ducks away from him and saunters after Xander. “Gotta run” she calls over her shoulder as she catches him up. “See ya”

Xander turns to regard her with his good eye and she slips her hands in he pockets looking more coy than a jailbird like Faith has any right and then they’re gone and she’s alone with Spike. And for Buffy being alone with Spike is quite simply unacceptable.

She’s paralysed by his gaze, the hapless prey, hypnotised by swaying cobra. A car crunches over the gravel of the courtyard and it can only be Angel back from work. She jumps a little and her heart takes off at a gallop but she’s still too tangled up in his eyes to make her escape.

“Run off then pet” Spike sneers as her eyes flash worriedly towards the main entrance. “Angel cakes’ had a hard day at the office. ‘Spect he’ll want the little woman to welcome him home”

His bitterness frees her and she goes full of turmoil and fake cheer to greet her Angel.

***

She covertly applies a little make-up before heading downstairs to meet Spike for patrol. Tells herself flimsy lies that she doesn’t do it for his sake. But when Angel looks at her she fancies that he notices and his expression darkens though there’s a chance she’s imagining things.

“Why don’t you wait up,” she offers awkwardly before she goes in a voice she thinks doesn’t sound like her own. “I shouldn’t be back too late”

Spike and Faith are taking turns swigging from his dented hip flask when she enters the library and Xander is complaining about being left out of the action.

“It’s discrimination,” he says with his usual dry humour. “Either because I’m disabled or because I’m a man. You know I’m not sure which one I hate more

“No” Spike drawls and she notices how tense he is beneath the easy languidness of his pose. “It’s because you’re a dough filled pansy with the proportional strength of a ferret.”

“Hey” Xander makes an inarticulate noise of offence. “I’m in great shape”

Spike raises and eyebrow. “Then why don’t you go with the rouge?” he suggests and Faith shoots daggers in his direction. “You’ll look after him wont you pet?”

“Man…” Faith looks unusually awkward and her excuse is too long in the making.

“Rupert,” Spike calls to the distracted watcher. “What you say we have Bob the Builder watch my Faith’s back while I’m hunting your demons”

“Yes, yes, quite” Giles doesn’t look up But the vampire seems to take that as victory and Faith sighs with resignation.

Spike greets her then with a curt nod as he picks up his baseball-bat. “Ready Slayer?”

“Ready” she hoists an iron bar onto her shoulder and follows him out into the night.

The night greets her like a mother, soothing away her worries and clearing her mind as they walk. He talks a little shop and she plays along, grateful neither of them seems likely to mention last nights indiscretion, although it seems the more they ignore it the larger it becomes in her mind.

She tries to distract them both with meaningless chatter. “I hope Xander’ll be alright out there”

“Be fine” Spike assures her as he draws on a cigarette and doesn’t look at her face. “Faith’ll take good care of him.”

“Strangely not that comforted” she says with a roll of her eyes. “Besides I thought he was watching your Faith’s back” she says it a little snidely but he lets it pass in silence and she ploughs on regardless. “Don’t know why you were so keen to send them out together Faith nearly killed him once you know”

“She’s different now” he squints out into the darkness and she wonders why, with his eighty-eighty vision or whatever super sight vamps have. A habit she supposes, from centuries ago. He probably doesn’t even know he does it. “Bit o’ time on there lonesomes and he’ll see that”

She stops at that and hears his earlier manipulations for what they are. “Are you trying to set them up?”

“What? No” his expression hovers between offended and embarrassed. “Matchmaking’s for school girls” he pauses and picks at his nails. “But she’s a good girl underneath it all, she just needs a good man to bring it out. ‘Specially after that idiot principal shafted her.”

“But…”

“Not saying I’m suddenly Blue Beard’s number one fan or nothin’.” He qualifies as they duck under an arbour of low hanging branches. “But his heart’s roughly in the right area and she seems daft enough to like him”

“But…” She stops and shakes her head confusedly at him.

He catches up with her misapprehension and chuckles. “We’re not together Buffy”

“You’re not?” her voice comes out reedy and high pitched so she sets her shoulders and tries again. “You’re not?”

“Bloody hell no” He gives a wry tilt of his head and smiles a winning lopsided smile that she has to return. “I may have piss poor taste in women but I’m not that bigger sucker for punishment”

And she tries not to show how glad she is. Tries hard to keep her voice bland and friendly as she probes deeper than she knows she should. “I just assumed. She’s been kinda grabby-”

“Playin’ one of her sodding games I reckon.” He sets off again through the undergrowth and she scurries after him with her mind buzzing. “Best to ignore her” he holds back a branch for her to slip by and there bodies brush together as she passes. “She’s only after a rise anyhow.”

“Oh” she knows she sounds a little nonplussed but the revelation has thrown her for a loop because there had been a sort of, not exactly comfort, but a slight lessoning of her discomfort in the knowledge that Spike and she were both equally guilty of faithlessness.

“So-”

But his hand goes up to silence her and its time to go to work.

And it’s so easy working with him again. All the awkwardness and tension I gone and there’s an understanding between them that feels almost symbiotic. They slip silently through the undergrowth scanning the scene before them with sharp professional eyes.

“Looks like they’re sitting tight for now.” Spike whispers as they watch the pair of Brelrogs lazing around in the clearing below.

“Not for long” Buffy catches his arm and points northward where a circle of freshly placed stone monoliths ring a crude granite alter.

“Come on pet” Spike jerks his head to indicate that they should leave and she follows him back through the scrubland towards home.

As they walk the silence seems to grow heavier by the stride until her feet are dragging and her shoulders slump beneath its weight. It’s a good thing, she tells herself repeatedly, that he hasn’t mentioned they’re kisses. They both know it was crazy mistake and if he’s willing to let it go she should just be grateful.

They top the brow of the hill and slayer HQ’s high walls stand out black against the purple tint of the night sky, they’re just minutes away now and her heart is suddenly in a flutter of panic. Because if they don’t talk about this now then they never will and it will either grow so large and dark and silent between them that she won’t be able to see him for it’s brooding bulk. Or wither until it’ll evaporate to nothing and neither of them will ever be sure if it really happened.

That last should sound like an ideal but it doesn’t and her mouth moves without command. “Spike about last night-”

“Don’t” his voice is hoarse and clipped over the word and she swallows hard.

“I just-”

“I said don’t” he walks away from her with fast determined strides and HQ seems to race ominously towards them as she catches him.

“Spike” her hand on his arm stops him and he studies it for long silent moments before bringing stricken eyes up to meet hers.

The intensity of his broken gaze steals the embryonic words from her mouth so that she’s just staring mutely at him.

“You got anything to say that aint gonna be a kick in the balls slayer?” he asks and though he should sound bitter he just sounds forlorn and she longs to tell him she has something other than heartbreak for him.

“I…”

“Didn’t think so” he drops his head and heaves an exhausted sigh. “Let it go yeah slayer”

Her hand moves over his arm and she feels herself all filled up with gentleness and aching hard in her chest for hurting him. “I’m sorry. But-”

“Grrr” his sudden growl surprises her with its savageness almost as much as do his rough hands suddenly shoving her back against the brooding oak that stands alone on the hilltop. “Let. It. Go” he punctuates each snarled word with a vicious shake that makes her teeth snap and her head hit the unyielding wood at her back.

His chest heaves and his jaw clenches and there’s that desperateness of passion in him that has always struck her into silence. Her own breath comes too in jagged ins and outs so shallow that her heart struggles to pump enough air into her rigid muscles.

“I’m sorry,” she says again but it’s like a forged masterpiece, pretty but utterly worthless all the same.

The fight goes from him and he shakes his head. “Don’t want you to be sorry Slayer”

She nods, even when she wrongs him-as she always seems to do- she knows he doesn’t want to see her choked up with regret. It makes her heart rise and fall with an overwhelmingly tenderness and since her fingers don’t have anything terribly pressing to do right at that moment so she runs them up the length of his arms and into his hair.

“Missed you so bloody much Slayer” he murmurs in a soft hypnotised voice and she feels herself falling into trance with him.

“I missed you too,” she admits because whatever magician put this spell on them has commanded them to only speak the truth. “I kept thinking I shouldn’t, but I did. Why didn’t you come to me?”

She doesn’t know why she keeps coming back to this. What is it she needs him to say? That he doesn’t love her? Just the thought of hearing that confirmed makes her throat constrict and her body tenses in expectation of pain.

“Told you why”

“No” she shakes her head and brushes her thumb across his temple. “You didn’t”

He looses his arms and moves to pull away but she holds him fast and locks her eyes challengingly on his. “Why? You don’t love me anymore? That’s fine. But you still coulda-”

She’s cut off by the sudden attack of his mouth on hers. She’ll wish later that she could say she hadn’t been able to think, that the feel of his lips had sent rational thought flying. It isn’t true. Her thoughts are crystal clear. The first is stern and unequivocal. “You shouldn’t be doing this.” The second follows close after as he pushes her hard against the bark and his hands roam over her breasts. “Fuck it”

She knows his taste so well, draws hungrily at it with her tongue and loves the contradictions in it, dark metallic blood and fresh peppermint. She’d cleaned her teeth too before coming out and she thinks that in retrospect they both knew this would happen.

Her hands take an initiative of there own and push his denim jacket off his shoulders and she knows she won’t be able to stop now and she just doesn’t care because his body feels incredible under her palms and her own is resonating with the hum of his power. “God Spike” she gasps into his mouth and he echoes the sentiment with a gruff whimper.

Her fingers are already fumbling with his belt when the electronic trill of her cell phone pours freezing water on them both and it takes long moments of listening to its cheery tune just holding his buckle and staring at him before she gathers up enough composure to reach into her pocket.

“Hey Giles” her voice sounds shaky and she’s aware of him a step away watching her as he clumsily lights a cigarette. “We’re almost back

“Excellent. Did you manage to discover anything that might be of use” her watchers voice comes strongly through the phone and she knows Spike can easily here him. “Buffy?” he questions when she doesn’t answer. “Do you and Spike have anything?”

“Yeah,” she answers her watcher but her eyes are on the vampire’s and it’s him she’s speaking too. “We have something.”

 

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/153157.html

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