FIC: Put the Masks Away 6/?

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Put the Masks Away
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Authors notes: This is the last part I have written. It isn’t the end of the story, although I thought I might end it here but I feel I still have a little more to write until I can end it. If you’d like to know when I update this please email me at smolderingheart@livejournal.com since I’m unsure of where I’ll be posting it.

Put the Masks Away

Part Six

“Love is the strange bewilderment which overtakes one person on account of another” – James Thurber & E.B. White
Love was not always a fairytale. Fairytales were overrated, no one ever knew what happened to Prince Charming and Cinderella after they got married. Apparently, they lived happily ever after but is that believable? Do people really live happily ever after? Relationships take work to maintain. They can’t always be full of sugar and spice, and well, everything nice. Two people in love face trials beyond whether or not their love can last forever. There are very few stories where the passion and madness of two lovers did not destroy them in the end. The fairytales of lovers never showed these unhappy endings, unless one traded in Disney’s remakes for the Brother’s Grimm fairytales. Their endings always made more sense to the reality of human beings. It was the idea of the unhappy ending that kept Buffy and Spike in their dreams, both afraid and sickened by the idea of waking up to the reality of their world where their hours together would have to be hidden like a disease. Their infatuation was of the worst and most fiery kind, the kind that was a secret that could destroy the makings of their strongest and most vital qualities, if they ever gave into it completely and lovingly.

Spike had begun dreaming in black and white the first night after his soul laid inside him in Africa. He’d never dreamt that way before, shades of white so cryptic and sullen that he looked paler than his vampire skin would allow in reality. Dreams weren’t reality though. According to some psychologists they meant nothing. That would’ve been easy to believe if the dreams hadn’t been so vivid, so traumatizing and when he awoke, didn’t fill him with bone crushing madness. Some nights he was killing Buffy, thrusting a knife into her abdomen and screaming from the agony the loss would eventually cause him. He’d awake, sweat dripping from his forehead and ache for the taste of human blood. That ache wasn’t as normal as it had been years ago, then the ache was so potent and real it had made him feel guilty. He couldn’t fill the thirst, and he couldn’t get rid of the dreams. The dreams of her with her head thrown back, and his body above her thrusting forward with so much ease and certainty it was difficult to awake and remember what had happened, what had sent him to the African desert. There was no peace, and the desert at night was no man’s land except for the occasional sounds of gunfire and when he heard it, he’d get up the urge to run towards it, to be someone’s savior but he never did. He couldn’t play that role when his mind was combusting within him. It wasn’t until Buffy slept beside him those early morning hours did his dreams turn to color again. The nightmares didn’t come, at least not the ones where he was killing her, although when he awoke all he could remember was the color of the sun.

He could feel her heart beating against his chest, her legs sprawled out on top of his own, while his back was pressed against the wall. He counted the beats, as he’d often done in his earlier years as a vampire before he murdered a victim. She was still asleep, breathing softly in and out through her nose, her fingers still latched onto his as if even during her sleep she was afraid he’d slip away. The smell of alcohol seemed to bleed off her body and into the air between them. The scents of their hours together had dispersed and he could no longer smell the spring weather in her hair, or the smell of orange on her tongue, all that was left was that god-awful scent of too much alcohol consumed. It was still too early to hear the pitter-patter of girl feet upstairs, and yet the mere idea of it coming, disgusted him.

Buffy would have to leave before the house erupted with noise as to not draw attention to herself, that he knew, and in his mind had already forgiven her for. The small amount of sunlight that drifted through the window where Buffy had sheepishly placed a book, drew shadows along the concrete floor, ending right next to the stairs where he already had visions of Buffy taking her leave. Spike tugged her body closer to his. She moved like a rag doll, easily and steadily sinking into his body as perfectly as when their eyes had closed. The wind blew loudly against the window, shaking dirt from the ground upon it; making the noise of small pebbles hitting glass. He stared up at the ceiling, and then closed his eyes as he remembered her lips upon his own, and the way her teeth tore into his skin in fits of ecstasy. If his emotions weren’t so slaughtered, if he didn’t feel so weak he would beg her to leave for his sanity was already lost, locked up inside those kisses and orgasms. The way her hand felt in the palm of his much larger hands, was beyond torturous, it was malicious, his punishment for all the lives he’d taken, this he was sure. The woman he loved in his grasp and he must give her up to save the world, to save all those lives he took so that she could never be his, not completely, not always. A tear rolled down his left eye, but he didn’t bother to wipe it away as it slid down his jaw and landed on his collarbone. It was too far gone to be seen. Buffy stirred against his body, removing her legs from atop of his and stretched them out as her eyelashes sputtered open. He opened his eyes just in time to see hers, the color of jade, looking up at him from where her head rested on his chest.

“Morning pet,” Spike whispered, in what he hoped appeared to be a semi cheerful voice, although he was sure she would see through such an attempt either way.

She managed a tiny smile in between nodding and yawning. He felt cold alongside her warm body and she sunk deeper into the curves of his body to warm him, shifting herself comfortably so as to not break the makeshift bed. She imagined after the war between the “first “ ended, and she was still breathing that she’d find Spike an actual bed to sleep in opposed to the hardness of a cot that left something to seriously be desired. Buffy could already feel the cramps in her back seeping in, although she was indeed the slayer, so hopefully the pain wouldn’t last too long. Her lips felt bruised and battered from their kisses, and she glanced briefly at his to see if his lips looked as her felt. They did, and out of some innate reflex she waved her free hand up to his lips and ran her thumb along his bottom lip where bits of skin looked as if one more kiss would tear them right off. She felt him flinch a little, surprised by her touch and she quickly placed her hand back down to her side and wondered if anyone would notice that these lips of theirs looked as if they’d just waged a war between two countries, when they had to return to reality.

“What time is it?” she asked, letting go of his hand in order to stretch her arms out before her.

Spike looked down at his empty hand, and held back the desperate plea within himself to him to beseech her to hold him again. He brushed his fears away, momentarily, in order to answer her question. “They’re not up, if that’s what you mean.” He responded, his eyes never looked down at her, just straight up at the ceiling. The less he saw of her, felt of her, the more stable he could think; the less he would feel he’d lose his mind.

She sighed, and stretched her body upwards, away from him, as her feet settled on the cold concrete. She ran her fingers through her tussled and knotted hair, grimacing at the pain she caused at breaking some of the knots within her scalp. “Well that’s not what I asked but that’s fair,” she whispered, twirling strands of her hair in between her fingertips, lifting hair up off the back of her neck. She was sure if he could breathe she’d be able to feel warm breath lingering there. It was a fair response he’d given, although it did irk her. She often wished their relationship did not have to feel like a ping-pong match, one always wishing to get to the punch before the other. “I’m sorry,” Buffy said and released her hair from in between her fingers and dropped her hands to where her sweat pants touched her thighs. Spike looked away from the ceiling long enough to see sadness lacing her eyes, and felt a pang in his chest. He’d almost forgotten that she’d been crying before they’d both drifted to sleep the hours before, and now he felt insensitive and hypocritical. He had to put up a shield in order to deal with the fact that she was leaving.

“That’s life, love. You have a war to fight,” he mumbled, reaching under the cot for his pack of cigarettes, aching for the taste of nicotine on his lips. He needed something to soothe him. Buffy stood up, placing her hands on her hips as she watched him search for his pack of cigarettes. She bent over, looking under the cot and found them near the end of her bare toes and quickly swiped them up with her right hand and threw them onto the cot. His lighter popped out of the opening, and she raised her eyebrows at him and smirked. “Thanks,” Spike said, grabbing the lighter and pulled a cigarette out, and threw it back between his lips where he lit it sharply, sucked in and let the nicotine take it’s course in his undead body.

Buffy nodded her head, while Spike placed his own bare feet on the ground and leaned his back into the wall where he felt the bone of his spine meet the bricks. Buffy picked up a playing card from her foot and made a scoffing noise with her tongue, then threw it onto the cot and crossed her arms, suddenly feeling naked and cold. She could smell the alcohol she’d consumed sweating off her, and could still taste him on her lips, flashes of their lovemaking danced through her mind making her feel nauseous and dizzy. She placed her hand to her forehead and tried to shake the sickness off. Spike watched her, letting smoke drift out of his mouth and up to the ceiling where it danced in circles.

“You okay?,” Spike asked, watching her skin turn pale. Buffy took her hand away from her forehead, and shook her head yes, stretching her arms up in the air above her trying to crack the pain out of her back. He laughed. “This doesn’t make for good sleeping,” he said patting the fabric beneath him that covered only metal.

“No, it really doesn’t,” Buffy replied throwing herself back down, slithering herself up against the wall, inches apart from him while she brought her knees up to her chest. “We’ll have to get you something else when all of this is over.” She looked over at him, just as more smoke escaped from his lips.

In her mind she could see herself leaning over and kissing him, briefly on the cheek and then he instantly would grip her chin and bring her lips closer to his where their bruises mingled together, although it wasn’t until she could feel his tongue thrust against the side of her mouth did she realize it wasn’t in her mind. It was actually happening. He let the cigarette burn out in between his free fingers then let it drop to the floor so that he could wrap his arm around her as her body began to inch closer and closer to his. Neither one of them understood what was happening, although that had been the theme to all their lovemaking and the need and desire to be fulfilled by one another before their tie was cut. She bit into his bottom lip with the knowledge that it probably couldn’t take much more aggression but she couldn’t help it. It was some sort of reflex that had developed. Spike grimaced a little as her teeth made another mark on his lip, and he let go of her chin and placed both hands on her waist, easing her upwards so that she landed on top of him, straddling her legs along his thighs. He leaned his head back, causing their lips to part. He then stared at Buffy who was about to go in for another kiss until she realized he wasn’t taking a moment to breathe, and she realized he didn’t do that.

“You need to go upstairs,” he said, looking down at where their bodies seemed to meet in-between their clothing. Buffy felt that dizziness collide with her again, although she couldn’t let it come over her completely, so she pressed the palm of her hands onto the wall behind him and removed her body from on top of his without looking into his eyes. Spike closed his eyes, feeling sick. He was amazed he could show such self restraint but they ran the risk of being found out if they escaped within one another again and he couldn’t live with the guilt of that, although selfishly he wanted desperately to be inside her one last time. Spike could hear Buffy’s heart pounding beneath her flesh and bones, and the rhythm began to play music inside his brain. Sometimes she looked like a child, forlorn and broken, waiting for someone else to pick up the pieces, this was one of those moments but there was nothing he could say, nothing he could do to come to her aid.

“Well that killed the mood,” Buffy mumbled, rolling her eyes. She paused, staring at the window where the sun seemed to be glaring at her. “But you’re right,” and she hated to admit it.

Buffy was used to tragedy in her life, in fact it’s essence was something she’d grown accustom to in her early teen years and then became much more aware of after her mother’s death. As she stood there, her body cold and tense from her own emotions, she couldn’t help but think of how tragic her love life had always been and whether or not this was her doing. Was it people she chose to attach herself to romantically or if it had just always been in the cards for her to never be happy with someone? Spike had changed, and grown up even, but their relationship still held the intangible qualities it always had and she was starting to believe that that was all her fault. She had used her lovers to fill something up inside of her she’d always felt she was initially missing, and when they did not fulfill that need, she quickly blamed them for her own misgivings. When she left Spike that morning, which she was sure she would, she’d do her best to ignore the feelings that had transpired between them. It was not because she didn’t care for him but because she wanted to keep something to herself. Now it wasn’t about being ashamed as it had been a year ago. It was about not wanting to expose her emotions to anyone around her but Spike. She wanted to scream, ‘I don’t want to go,’ like some child whose mother was dragging him or her out of “Toys r Us” but it wouldn’t be appropriate or even the rational thing to do. If she told him she loved him, even though she wasn’t sure what kind of love it was, would that ease his own pain? Her thoughts were all in shambles, broken and shattered, breathing agony and heartbreak into her veins.

“I’m going to stay here till everyone is up,” Spike said, lighting another cigarette.

Buffy shook her head, spinning around on her heels before walking towards her jeans, laid on the wooden railing. He wanted to ask her to stay, but this wasn’t a drama where if the guy asks the girl to stay she suddenly throws down her bag on some expensive couch, runs to the guy, bats her eyelashes happily and the end credits roll. This was not a movie. Spike would have to watch the woman he loved struggle up the stairs with her jeans in her hands as she held onto the waist of her sweatpants and listen to the click of the doorknob as the door opened and try to drown out the noise of it closing behind her. He already missed her and it throbbed inside him. And once again he’s reminded his heart doesn’t beat but it seems surreal since he’s positive it’s breaking inside his chest, like pieces of glass ripping through his intestines. He coughs as some smoke catches in his throat and he flicks the cigarette to the ground where Buffy turns from her position to watch smoke twist up off the ground. She thought about moving to pick it up, to put it out but it felt like something a lover would do and she had to resist such ventures. After the cough left him he stood up, bent over and put the cigarette out then grabbed one of his many black cotton tee shirts from the side of the cot and slipped it on over his head covering his bare chest.

Buffy’s back was turned to him as she played with the fabric on her jeans that were still suspended on the banister, nervously. Spike could feel himself edging closer to her, although he was unsure in the moment if that was the best idea but the way her hair fell on her shoulders and along the straps of her tank top, sparked a hunger in him to touch her again, to consummate the fire that was burning between them. When he was finally in touching distance he couldn’t touch her, it felt like a violation since he’d been the one to stop their intoxicating kisses only minutes before. She could feel him standing behind her, even if there were no noise or indication of breathing. She’d learned a long time ago that her body had adjusted to his presence long before they’d ever become lovers. Buffy closed her eyes, stepped backwards and let her back rest against his chest.

As a child, she’d always been drawn to Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast, although she’d never expected any of the story to play out in her own life, in any context. Belle was a naïve little girl, and once upon a time so was Buffy but she entered into a dark, mysterious world that was tempting and this Buffy learned later on in her own life, that being normal and being the slayer didn’t connect. Buffy had loved Angel, even as a beast and she’d been attracted to Spike because he had been beastly in past lives, had even tried to kill her. Most women would not be attracted to such negative, haunting traits but eventually Spike’s beastly qualities became what she desired and needed, to survive her own ugliness. They weren’t beauty and the beast. Spike wouldn’t suddenly become human once she gave herself completely to him, and they wouldn’t live happily ever after like all those pretty pictures in the fairytales. This had been pounded inside her head ever since she’d become a woman, and sometimes she desired to go back to the girl who could believe that love could overcome all.

The space between them, or rather the non-existent space, was suffocating both of them especially since neither of them moved to touch the other. They just stood near one another. Buffy held back the onslaught of tears, and stepped forward taking the jeans off the banister and swung her body towards the edge of the stairs where the sunlight crept upon her face making her sadness that much more visible. “Okay… I’m going now,” she uttered, her olive colored eyes glistened at him. Spike managed a small, tight lip smile and winked at her before her feet slipped up the stairs. He had stepped closer to the stairs, placing his hand on the railing and as she passed, her fingers lightly stroked his knuckles. The sound of a click and a thud came seconds later. Spike walked back to the cot, and noticed that she’d left her socks. He shoved them under the cot, where the evidence of their lovemaking had gone. He knew where she was heading, like him she desired to remove the scents of the night whether that entailed the scent of alcohol or not.

Buffy closed the door softly behind her, and leaned against it, breathing in sharp deep breaths until she could breath normally again, whatever normal was. She felt like she was just a shadow of the girl she was constantly trying to be, that girl would never wake up in his arms, seemingly unaffected by the genuine emotion that was rushing through her. “Breathe Buffy,” she whispered to herself, pressing the palm of her right hand onto her abdomen as if that would control the depth of panic that was seething throughout her entire body, echoing in the corners of her soul. The house was quiet, which was odd, considering usually, someone would be up by the time the sun shone so brightly through the windows. She took another deep breath in, let her hand drop and threw her jeans over her right arm. She walked away from the basement door, then around the corner towards the stairs where she ran lightly up the stairs, skipping as many as she could. Once she stood in the bathroom, she turned the light on and closed both doors, locked them and shed her clothing. His scent was all over her. Despite the alcohol sweating off her, she felt as if it was some sick joke it made her feel as if he’d been tattooed to her skin so that she could never hide from what happened between them. The hot water came spiraling out as she turned the knob in the shower and soon enough she stood in the shower, behind the curtain.

The water burned on her skin, making splotchy red spots on her abdomen especially where the water hit hardest. His scent was stuck to her, no matter how hard she applied the soap, body wash and someone else’s shampoo to her hair, it remained, choking her, reminding her that she’d left him down in that cold basement by himself. She closed her eyes, letting the steam take in her tears. She turned around letting her back face the harshness of the water while she used her hands to wash out the soap that dripped over every strand of her hair. The smell of something tropical wafted through the air as the soap dripped down the drain, making a trail down her legs before doing so. She hadn’t bothered to look at the scents of anything she’d used. It didn’t seem to matter when she was trying to replace one scent with another.

The pounding on the door came after she’d rinsed out the conditioner. It got louder and louder as the seconds ticked by. “Okay, hold your horses!,” she screamed through the shower curtain. She turned the shower knob off, rung some of the water out of her hair and grabbed whatever towel she could find to wrap her body in. In her frantic emotional state she hadn’t thought about getting a fresh towel, or clothing to put on after her shower. She opened the door, and her mouth getting ready to scream at the person who was no doubt one of the potentials until she saw the person standing in front of her. “Spike,” she said gently, stepping backwards while holding onto the towel next to her chest to let him into the bathroom where steam resided.

“What are you doing?” Buffy asked, as he closed and locked the door behind him. He looked down at his left hand where he was holding her socks.

“You forgot these,” he mumbled handing them to her. She took them with her free hand, looking at him with an eyebrow raised curiously.

“Um… okay,” Buffy responded, throwing the socks to pile of clothes that were accumulating with time. “You do realize you could’ve left them downstairs, right?”

Spike rested against the bathroom counter, where his reflection couldn’t be seen. “Yea…” he ran his fingers through his messy hair, where curls had started to sprout from the dampness in the small room. “I don’t know, what I’m doing.” He rubbed his face with his hands as if trying to shake himself back to his senses. Unfortunately it wasn’t working. Buffy stood, watching him, still holding her towel close to her chest. It seemed funny in a sense, since he’d seen her naked numerous times but she still got shy around him, especially now. “I should go.” He moved his body forward and planted his hand on the doorknob, hoping she would say something, anything. The fact that she was naked underneath the towel felt like some cosmic joke, last year he would’ve taken full advantage of such a moment but now all he could think about was getting out of their fast enough, before his own sexual arousal was not exposed.

“Spike,” Buffy whispered, reaching out to touch his arm and in that moment her towel dropped and the space between them collided full ahead. It didn’t matter that they were now upstairs away from the seclusion of where their hours together had begun. She wanted him, and there was no turning back from that. His body needed to become a part of her own. Even though the satisfaction would be momentary, it felt like the only thing to do and she reached up and felt their lips meet and her body buckle against his as he held onto her while her legs wrapped around his waist. That was all he’d needed to stay. He regretted not taking the opportunity to be inside her again, and now he couldn’t hold himself back. Their tongues were wet, entangled together and her heat bounced from her to him. It felt as if together they might combust before he was able to get his clothes off.

“In the shower,” she managed to sputter out during one attempt at some air. She unwrapped her legs from around his waist and stepped back to the tiled floor where she tugged at his shirt, bringing it up around his neck. Spiked lifted his arms up while Buffy slipped his shirt over his head, letting it fall to the floor. Buffy rammed her lips back to his, her bare chest pressed against his own while his icy hands laid gently on the small of her back. They weren’t close enough, not yet and their bodies understood this as Buffy unbuttoned, unzipped his jeans but there didn’t seem to be enough time to step out of his pants before Buffy was beckoning him again with ravenous kisses that screamed more, more, more. Finally Spike’s body was clear of clothing and Buffy breathed hot warm air onto his skin. He could feel her, wet and anxious, next to his body, and he quickly placed his hands around her waist and moved her to the side so that he could turn the shower on. The water came spurting out, hot and clear, falling into the drain. Buffy squeezed his hand, kissed his lips sharply and intently before she stepped in. Spike followed, pulling the shower curtain across its line letting the steam dance around their bodies.

She couldn’t think, her brain seemed to have drawn a complete blank and all her insecurities and fears had been wiped away. All she wanted, all she could see was Spike as he lifted her body upwards and back against the tiles in the shower where he easily slid into her. When she could feel him, her eyes closed and she wrapped her arms around his neck, buckling her legs once again around his waist. She pushed herself over and over again along his pelvis where her hip bones hit hard. They didn’t talk but she’d never understood conversation during sex unless it was to tell the person to go faster, harder, or to slow down in that last moment of ecstasy. Their eyes caught momentarily as Spike ran his thumb over her bottom lip and as she went to bite him he dropped his finger and pressed his lips into hers. Their kisses seemed to hold more passion and hunger then their actual lovemaking, as if they were trying to pass along all that desire upon one another’s tongues but they knew the desire was too extreme, too wild to be tamed in any manner. It was impossible for either of them to think that it could ever reach a level of normalcy. There was so much between them and not between them, things that had never been said, and harm that had been caused over the years and yet when they orgasm together something was released. Buffy regained her breath, placing her feet back down and brushing her once again wet hair out of her face. She touched her lips and imagined the bruises their kisses left, plumping them up further.

“Here, I guess it’s your turn to take a shower.” Buffy said smiling awkwardly and pressed her hand along his waist and moved around him. The water had left splotchy red marks on both their skin but neither had noticed how hot the water had gotten. It really didn’t matter since they’d been trying to fulfill a thirst that kept leaving something to be desired. “You can turn that knob for the cold water,” she mentioned, waving her right pointer finger at the right knob as she walked to the back of the shower where she’d started to pull the curtain back. Spike grabbed her elbow, causing her to turn back and look at him with a question in her eyes.

“Buffy…” he whispered, not sure of what he was trying to say or wanted to say but all he could think about again was how he didn’t want this to end, whatever this was. There was a masochistic theme to it all since it wasn’t as if they could even walk out of the bathroom together. It would cause too much suspicion if someone saw them and they were already riding on all their free passes. They were bound to get caught soon as any minute the house would explode with voices and girls pounding on the bathroom door ready to shower and start their day of training. It was going to end whether he wanted it to or not and the end was riding right up on his heels, and there was nothing he could say or do to stop it. “Never mind.” Spike let go of her arm and turned back to the water, rinsing over his abdomen. He clutched the bar of soap that had been sitting on the edge of the tub and began to scrub it against his flesh as the sizzling hot water left more marks on his pale skin.

“I’ll wait for you, since it will sound a little weird if the shower is still running and the door opens again,” Buffy said, stepping out of the shower. She grabbed the towel that had fallen off her skin and wiped the steam off the mirror and her reflection surprised her. She did in fact look as she felt, sad and confused with a bit of heartbreak mixed in there. She hadn’t expected for her appearance to show even the slightest bit of what she was feeling deep inside. Most of the time she was able to disguise her emotions and put a mask on so that no one could see that there was something else going on with her. She quickly pinched her cheeks trying to get the rosy tint back to her face but the pinching was useless. She started to smack her cheeks a little bit, not too hard but enough to pump some life back into them.

Spike heard the sound of skin hitting skin and peaked out of the curtain, raised an eyebrow then went back to rinsing out the shampoo he’d applied to his hair. Once Buffy felt satisfied she wrapped the towel back around her and began searching for a comb for her hair. She figured while she waited for Spike she could be sort of productive, although she couldn’t find a comb that resembled one of her own and felt a little OCD about using one of the other girls. Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the water turning off in the shower and the curtain being thrown back to reveal a very wet and naked Spike. She tried not to stare as he had tried not to stare at her earlier before her towel dropped to the floor.

“Towel?” he said blinking back the water on his eyelashes.

“There,” Buffy replied pointing to the pile of towels next to the pile of clothes. Spike frowned. “Hey, I’m sure someone just used it to clean off their clean selves,” her voice sounded like a song towards the end of her words. Spike couldn’t help but smile when he went to pick up one of the towels and dry himself off. Buffy turned her head away from him. Wiping the mirror with her hand, she smirked at her own playfulness. Somehow he’d brought that out in her more than anyone had in the past few months. She bent over and picked up his pants tossing them onto the toilet lid that was down.

“Thanks,” he said dropping the towel to the floor and kicking it back into the pile. He stepped into his jeans and zipped and buttoned them. Buffy had plopped herself up on the bathroom counter away from the sink and was kicking her legs in and out, waiting for him to put on his shirt before she planned their escape.

“All fresh and so clean?” Buffy asked as he smoothed his shirt over his stomach. He let out a small laugh.

“It appears so,” and his eyes drifted towards the door.

Buffy opened her mouth about to speak but her words were quickly lost as Spike brushed his thumb along her chin and kissed her delicately even lovingly on the lips in one last attempt to say goodbye. When he parted his lips from hers Buffy couldn’t help but run her fingers along her lips where the purity of his emotions had laid. If there was a quick pill she could take to make this tumultuous affair easier to deal with, she would’ve swallowed ten at a time, but no such things existed so she placed the kiss inside her brain and locked it up for the time she would need it to re-emerge to bring her affirmation that the moment had actually happened so childishly and beautifully.

“Alright. I’ll check the hallway,” Buffy said jumping off the counter while holding onto the towel wrapped around her body. “Oh, wait can you grab those for me?” she asked nodding her head towards the jeans she’d hung on the towel rack before she’d stripped herself of clothing. Spike took them off the rack and hung them over his left arm. “Thanks,” Buffy grinned, hiding the sadness in her eyes and the worry that they might be on the brink of getting caught and that would destroy the innocence of their connection, of their lovemaking and she couldn’t stand that idea. It was too taunting, too wretched of an idea to even comprehend fully so when she unlocked the door and opened it she was terrified to see Dawn standing there waiting for her turn for the bathroom. “Dawn!,” she screamed using her right leg to hit spike in the knee in an attempt to push him behind the door. He of course followed the gesture and stuck himself behind the halfway opened door still holding onto her jeans.

“Buffy,” Dawn said, staring at her sister strangely. “Why are you screaming?” she asked scrunching up her forehead, holding a towel, her clothes and toothbrush in her hands.

Buffy stepped into the hallway a little, closing the door slightly but still held onto the doorknob. “Oh, sorry. I was just surprised to see you up this early.” Buffy answered, grasping at the towel draped around her chest.

“I have school today, Buffy.” Dawn responded, still staring at her sister as if she had two faces.

“Oh, yea. That’s right,” Buffy replied thinking about what she was going to do with Spike.

“Can I get in there now?” Dawn asked taking a step closer to her sister. Buffy stepped backwards, still holding the doorknob tightly.

“One Second. I have to get my jeans,” Buffy said slipping back into the bathroom and closing the door sharply behind her and locking it. “Fuck,” she turned to Spike who was looking down at the floor trying not to laugh at the audacity of the situation.

“Looks like we have a dilemma, pet.” He whispered handing her the jeans. She tossed them over her left arm.

“Quick, get in the shower,” Buffy screeched quietly pushing him towards the shower.

“Wait a minute,” he hissed. “She’s going to get in the shower.” Buffy continued to push him, her strength overpowering his feet being able to stay in one place enough to stand some sort of ground.

“She’ll turn the water on before she gets in,” Buffy replied. “Just stand at the back and you won’t get wet,” Buffy tossed open the curtain. Spike shouldn’t have been surprised that Buffy would’ve thought of how to get away with it all. Dawn would open the curtain put one leg in and Spike would quickly step out before Dawn ever got a glance at him then he’d wait for the sound of Buffy’s soft knock on the bathroom door to let him know he could leave without being seen by anyone but her.

“Okay then,” Spike said, his accent soft and wispy as he stepped into the back of the shower, he gave Buffy a look of annoyance as she closed the curtain. Buffy went to unlock the door, and let Dawn in.

“It took that long to get your jeans?” Dawn asked curiously.

“Um, yea… okay.” Buffy answered, stepping out of the bathroom and closing the door behind her. And just as Buffy had thought, it played out, as far as Dawn and the shower were concerned. Dawn turned the hot water on, waiting a few minutes before the steam started to rise then turned on the cold faucet. She put one leg in as Spike put one leg out. It was at times like these that he didn’t mind not having a reflection. Once his whole body was on the other side of the curtain he took the few steps to the door where he pressed his ear against it, listening to hear if he heard anything from Buffy.

Buffy stood outside the door, leaning against the wall ready to knock on the door to let Spike know it was clear until Willow came striding by, still in some strange cartoon pajama pants and a white cotton tank top. She stopped in her tracks, noticing Buffy. Buffy hid her nervousness and tried to stay in control of the situation, whatever that entailed.

“Buffy,” Willow called, enfolding her arms across her chest and stared at Buffy whose hair was dripping with water that fell to the carpet in little round droplets. Spike stepped back from the door, tucking his hands in his pockets when he heard Willow’s voice, shaking his head and thinking about the mess he’d gotten himself in, regretting a little, his impulsive decision to return her socks to her. The water was still going so he assumed he had a couple minutes to make it out of there free and unscathed.

“Hey Will,” Buffy replied, wiping her eyes with her hand.

“What are you doing?” Willow asked, curiously.

“Oh, I… um… left something in the bathroom. I’m just waiting for Dawn to finish her shower to get in there,” Buffy answered with a tight lipped-smile, waiting and hoping she would leave soon so that Spike could escape that steam embedded room where her sister was naked in the shower and the idea of Spike seeing any of that made her terribly uncomfortable and even, in some way, concerned.

“Oh, okay.” Willow said. “Well I’m going to go downstairs to make some eggs. Want some?”.

Buffy shook her head yes, anything to get Willow out of there. “Sure. Yea. Okay.” Buffy replied. Willow shook her head and began to pad away towards the stairs. Buffy turned her attention back to the door, and whispered “She’s gone,” then knocked on the door lightly. Spike unlocked the door, opened it a little and twisted the lock so that it would lock behind him.

“That was close,” Spike said in reference to, well all of it. Dawn and Willow had almost uncovered their big secret. Buffy shook her head, trying to hold back her laugher. The stress was making her feel delusional. She thought maybe if she hadn’t been so concerned with keeping it a secret, it would’ve made things, everything, so much easier for her and Spike along the way. “See you for breakfast?” he asked, hopefully.

“Eggs it is,” Buffy nodded yes. “I did tell Willow after all,” she winked at him before turning around.

He watched her for a few seconds, the way she glided across the carpet down the hallway like some non-human entity, although sometimes he couldn’t believe she was any part human considering the strength and stamina she possessed. It was over now, he thought, although the taste of her and the feel of her remained potent on him and inside him but he assumed that was the way it would always be. He’d get drunk off her, no matter how or why. The cards had been dealt for him as far as she was concerned and he couldn’t complain. The cards played their tricks, but it was his soul that in some essence made their goodbyes much easier to deal with. He had to live with it, or not live with it depending on how one saw him but he’d never regret one moment he spent with her and he’d never regret any kiss he had the opportunity to lay upon her lips that was returned fully and passionately.

TBC

 

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/84821.html

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