Buffy eyed the mostly empty target in frustration. Eight tries with the crossbow. Eight.
“Three, Buffy? That’s good! Most people couldn’t get one!”
She looked at Jonathan, his reassuring smile, his kind expression, and felt empty. “You would have gotten them all,” she said after a minute.
“Buffy, comparing yourself to me will only make you feel bad. I don’t want you to focus on the negative. You expect too much of yourself—after all, you’re only human.”
“You’re human,” she whispered.
Nobody heard her.
The Bronze was big. It was crowded. And best of all, it was noisy. So noisy that she could pretend not to hear Riley when he spoke to her without hurting his feelings. She didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
She just didn’t want to be around him.
She didn’t want him to bend over her to ask what she wanted to drink; she didn’t want him to put his arm around her; and she most definitely didn’t want to dance with him. But Jonathan was encouraging them, and it was almost impossible to refuse him. He was right, she knew that. He always was.
But this time doing what he wanted made her skin crawl.
She forced herself not to cringe as Riley put his arms around her. He was just being normal. Just being a boyfriend. A boyfriend who couldn’t tell the difference between her and Faith.
That’s not fair, she reminded herself. Faith looked just like her.
She didn’t act like her. And she recognized Giles when he was a great big demon who could only speak gibberish.
It’s not his fault it’s not his fault.
“God, look who’s here. I don’t know why Jonathan doesn’t get rid of him. He’s dangerous.”
Buffy didn’t follow his glare. She knew who it was; all night she’d been watching him skulk around the club, playing pool with frat boys and casting her unreadable looks.
“Somebody should warn her off.”
Buffy froze for a second, almost afraid he was talking about her. He doesn’t know anything. Nobody knows.
She looked up and saw Spike dancing nearby with a girl she’d never seen before. Pretty. Tall. Human. “He’s chipped. He can’t do anything,” she reminded Riley in a murmur. “He’s harmless.”
Spike’s head snapped up and he met her gaze. She smothered a gasp and quickly turned her head to face Riley. He’d heard, she knew he did. And he looked angry.
Despite herself, despite her caution and her general grossed-outness, she looked back and there he was, his lips against the girl’s ear, whispering. The girl laughed, low and suggestive, and Buffy’s heart sank. Spike took the girl’s hand and led her off the dance floor, drifting out of sight.
It was none of her business. Spike could do whatever he wanted, with whoever he wanted. He couldn’t hurt the girl, and that’s all Buffy had to worry about. Which meant she didn’t have to worry about anything.
“I have to go to the ladies’ room,” she told Riley, pulling away. He looked hurt. She felt bad in a detached way.
The balcony wasn’t as crowded as the first floor. The front of the balcony had several people leaning on the railing, observing the dancers, and at the back of the balcony were tiny tables, littered with beer bottles and crumpled napkins, most taken up by drunken college students.
Spike and the girl were nowhere to be seen.
“They have to be somewhere around here,” she muttered, squeezing her hand around the stake she’d slipped out on her way up the stairs. As she headed toward the back corner of the balcony—the erogenous zone, Xander had called it years before, enviously—a hand closed over her upper arm and jerked her around, her stake clattering to the floor, and there he was. Alone.
He smiled maliciously. “Looking for something, pet?”
“Where is she?” Buffy demanded suspiciously.
“I think you’ll find her downstairs, complaining to her friends.”
“If I what? I’m harmless, remember?” He brushed his fingers down the neckline of her camisole. “Although I seem to remember leaving a few bruises the other night.”
Buffy shivered. “Stop,” she said weakly.
He shrugged and released her arm, walking past her to slouch down into a chair at the little table wedged in the corner. She carefully didn’t look at him as she bent to grab her stake; looking at him was dangerous. It could lead to other things. When she straightened he lashed out with his foot, hitting her ankle and knocking her forward into his lap. “Well, well, look what I’ve got here,” he drawled, caging her with his arms as he briefly winced at the jolt from his chip.
“Let go, Spike,” she spat.
He brushed his lips behind her ear as he began stroking a hand up and down her exposed leg. “Make me.”
She shivered. She didn’t know why she wasn’t moving; it wasn’t like he could hold her there.
A shadow fell over them, dropping them into further darkness. “Can I get you guys anything?”
Spike tightened his arms around Buffy. “Maybe later,” he said pleasantly, and the waitress wandered off. Buffy moved to stand, and he took advantage of her movement to slip his hand between her thighs. “Don’t go off, love. We’re just getting started.”
She gasped and grasped his wrist. It didn’t much matter; he didn’t need much range of motion for what he was doing. “No panties? Did you take them off for me?” he teased, and she reddened. “Stick them in your purse before you came up to find me?” He drew a finger between her soft pussy lips and nudged it up until it just brushed her clit. She gasped and clenched her legs around his hand. He chuckled softly and rewarded her with a tap against the swelling nub. “That’s my girl,” he praised, dropping his head to brush kisses along her shoulder.
“I’m not your—not your—” she broke off as sensation began to overwhelm her, and her head started to thrash against his shoulder.
“Sure you’re not,” he soothed, thrusting his index and middle fingers into her channel. She began to keen and he withdrew his hand from between her legs to grasp her knee and urge to around to straddle him. His hand brushed against her as he worked his fly opened and she ground herself against his knuckles. He grated a curse and guided himself into her with the other. His hands clutched her hips beneath her skirt; if anyone could actually see them in the dim corner, they merely looked obnoxiously demonstrative. He knew it was something that would bother her when she realized what they were doing, but personally, he didn’t care if people took pictures.
He could feel her legs begin to shake and her panting become rapid, and he knew she was close. She leaned back a little and clapped her hand over her mouth but he torn it away, grasping the back of her neck and dragging her down for a kiss, devouring her cry of pleasure.
It took some minutes for her to come back to herself. “I can’t believe this is real,” she said, a little dazed.
He ran his hand through her hair, slightly damp from their exertions. “Oh, it’s real, love. It’s the only thing in your life that is. Everything except this bores you to tears. Going to classes you’re not interested in, playing second fiddle to Jonathan, watching as your mates pair off with people so boring talking to them’s like scooping your brains out with a rusty spoon, fucking some cardboard cutout who can’t even tell the difference between the real you and some crackpot wearing your skin.”
She jerked in shock and he reached up to grip her chin, lips almost brushing hers as he spoke. “Yeah, I know about it. Know what he did when Faith was going around in your body, know he looked at her and didn’t see you weren’t inside, know that he gave it to her and couldn’t even tell the difference. Well, I did, Slayer. She came onto me like gangbusters and I didn’t touch her. When I had you I was going to have the real you, nothing else.”
She looked stricken, and for a moment he thought she was going to cry.
She pulled off him. He swore under his breath and tugged his duster over his lap. “Here, you might need this,” he taunted, tossing a napkin after her as she stomped off. He used one himself before buttoning back up. Having the Slayer the very first place he’d seen her, while Captain America and Team Jonathan milled about downstairs, oblivious?
Life was good.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/287427.html