Fic: Stitched Up (4/5/?)

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series Stitched Up
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Title: Stitched Up
Author: bewildered
Era: BTVS s2
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Something goes horribly, horribly awry with Willow’s ensoulment spell, and Angel’s soul finds an unexpected home – in his dirty laundry. Read now the tale of a Sock with a Soul; it’s on a mission to help the helpless, and it’s starting with Spike and Buffy.

Departs canon forever during Becoming Part Two. Has about the nuanced characterization one should expect from an Ensouled Sock AU. As seems to be my preferred genre now, this is a shameless smutty Spuffy farce, once I get that pesky canon drama out of the way.

Warnings: By the laws of California, Buffy is still under the age of consent (18) at the beginning of this fic, and will be for many more months. Spike doesn’t care (he’s evil) and Buffy doesn’t care (she’s a teenager who wants to be treated like an adult) and since Spike has the emotional development of a teen (or even tween) himself, we’ll call it good. She’ll be 18 before they get TOO far, anyhow. There will be sexual situations, bad language, character death (or characters-sucked-into-a-demon-dimension, which is close enough), and plain old explicit sex. Also an ensouled sock. If you keep reading, don’t blame me.

Temporary Spike/Drusilla & Buffy/Angel – nothing explicit, but given where this fic veers off, some mooning is inevitable.

11/15 Notes: Two more chapters today! Rest will be along on the next free-for-all day! Enjoy!!!!!

Click for more acknowledgments & notes & a chapter index!

Chapter 4: A Sock with a Scheme

A month later, the sock was still baffled. What on earth had happened?

Everything it knew about human relationships told it that Spike and Buffy had been mere inches away from The Kiss of True Love that night in the stacks. (Not to mention other, more intimate acts of True Love that it was too embarrassed to even think about, though it had been looking forward to watching.) And then the very next morning… nothing.

Buffy had started treating Spike with the cold disdain usually reserved for door-to-door salesmen, while Spike had withdrawn into a bitter silence, only coming up from his basement for research sessions at the library – which he spent sitting at his own tiny table in the corner, communicating through sharp negative shakes of his head. Buffy delivered mugs of blood to the basement regularly, but silently. Spike refused offerings of hot chocolate.

And every night, the two wept bitterly in their separate beds.

The sock had to do something. It had invested far too much time and effort (two whole months! Miles of travel!) into this particular relationship to start looking for another attractive evil vampire for Buffy now. Buffy was just going to have to suck it up and start getting along with Spike again.

The sock had some excellent ideas. It was time to put them into action.


Buffy felt stuck.

It wasn’t just the research, which continued to go nowhere, though she was spending more time now with her nose in books than she had ever spent on ordinary school. (Giles was ecstatic.) She had been prepared for the project to take forever, since she couldn’t let Giles or Willow in on the real goal of her studies, not until the very last minute. She had even been prepared for failure, intellectually at least. She knew trying to get Angel back was a long shot, she had known from the beginning; that was why she’d invited Spike in on it, because it would have been impossible alone, and a partner brought the odds up to merely improbable.

She just didn’t know how to move forward. She was mired down in her grief, like quicksand. The more she struggled against it, the faster she sank.

She had tried to find someone to talk to about it, but even though she had mostly forgiven her mom, she still didn’t trust her, not enough to talk about Angel, not enough to share her loss. Especially when she hadn’t liked Buffy being with Angel in the first place. Willow was willing to talk, and completely sympathetic, but somehow she always managed to bring things around to the spell again, how amazing it had been, how powerful Willow had felt, and Buffy felt like a real jerk, trying to make it about herself after that, so she just fell silent, nodding and smiling and empty. She couldn’t talk about Angel to Giles, not after what evil-Angel had done to him, not after Miss Calendar, and Xander was even worse, because – as he was fond of pointing out – he hadn’t liked Angel even before he lost his soul. Cordelia… Buffy sometimes thought Cordelia might listen, which was weird, because Cordy was as self-centered as they came, but part of her self-centeredness revolved around an image of herself as a Good Friend, and she was a lot less awful than she used to be – but of course she was dating Xander, and that meant she would probably talk to Xander, because Cordelia had absolutely zero filter between her brain and her mouth, and so it was just like talking to Xander directly, so no.

The only person she could possibly talk to was Spike. And he wouldn’t speak to her at all.

It was all because she didn’t want to stake him, and how messed up was that? That he was cutting her off when they needed each other, just because she didn’t want to kill him in cold blood? She had come to terms with the fact that whenever she staked a vampire, she was ending the existence of a sentient being, because she had to. That was her job. And she had tried to stake Spike at least a dozen times, back when he didn’t want to be staked, when he was trying to kill her right back. Why was the thought of staking him now, when he was begging for it, so awful?

Because they were allies.

Because he had held her while she cried.

Because she had held him while he cried.

Because her mom had fixed him hot chocolate.

Because she knew now that he liked mini-marshmallows in his hot chocolate. And hot wings and onion rings and chili dogs and those extra-spicy homemade tamales you could sometimes buy from little old Mexican ladies in the grocery store parking lot. Because he liked food, more than anyone she had ever known, even though he didn’t need it.

Because he had kissed her.

Because she kind of wanted him to kiss her again.

Because she really wanted…

Oh, god, she was demented.

She watched his evening mug of blood spinning in the microwave, going around and around and around, and she wondered if he would ignore her again tonight, and it hurt, because she knew, she knew he was going through the same thing she was, and he had even fewer people to talk to than she did, and it wasn’t fair that he wouldn’t talk to her anymore.

She cupped the warm mug in her hands and brought it down the basement stairs, watching out of the corner of her eye as he sighed and sat up and waited for her, looking off into the corner, deliberately not looking at her, and suddenly she was furious, incandescent with rage, and she serenely set the mug of blood on top of the dryer, walked over to him, and slapped him.

The force of her blow knocked his head to the side, and he kept it there, tilting his head just enough to glare up at her. “Got a problem, Slayer?” His voice was even, cold, and that just enraged her more.

“Get up and fight me,” she bit out, fists clenching.

“Why?” His voice was calmly amused, and she grabbed him by the front of his stupid black T-shirt and dragged him to his feet.

Because,” she said, and threw him across the room.

He rolled to his feet, bouncing a bit, grinning, and she grinned back, because this was what she needed, and when he threw a sharp punch at her ribcage, she blocked it and countered with a jab at his jaw. That rocked him back on his heels, and he growled something incoherent, exploding with a powerful backhand; Buffy ducked – his hand passed through her hair – and took his legs out with a leg sweep, but he had been expecting it, rolling right up to launch like a cannonball at her stomach, and they crashed together into the side of the stairs. Buffy shook him off and flipped to her feet while he rose malevolently into a deep crouch, and for a moment they just looked at each other, teeth bared, and then they both attacked at the same moment, and neither of them connected, but they were connecting now, they were together, and as they whirled and kicked and punched their eyes met again, and suddenly Buffy was crying, she couldn’t see, and Spike caught her and eased her down until they were sitting on the edge of the cot, arms wrapped around each other, and he was crying too, cold tears seeping into the fabric of her shirt as his hands bunched fabric at her waist.

This time, she was the one to turn her tear-streaked face to his, lips seeking, hands planted firmly on his wet cheeks. He started to pull away, and she urged him back, whispering gently, “It’s okay. It doesn’t count. It’s just right now. Kiss me,” and he groaned and sank his hands into her hair and kissed her back, and she cried harder, cried and cried, like a dam had broken inside her. “Kiss me, Spike,” she murmured against his lips. “Kiss me.” And he did.

He kissed her lips, sweet tender sips of kisses, and kissed her overflowing eyes, and kissed the tears off her cheeks, and kissed the very center of her forehead, and dipped his head down and kissed her right there, where her pulse thrummed in her throat, and then at last her lips again, lazy and open-mouthed and comforting, and Buffy kissed him back, anywhere she could reach, even silly places like the top of his ear and his temple and his hair and his nose.

When his lips brushed against hers again, she said, “You’re an asshole.”

He laughed against her, licking her chin. “Yeah. So?”

She caught his lip between her teeth. “Don’t be an asshole.”

He was shaking, hands trembling against her waist. “Fuck you.” He ran his blunt teeth down her throat, and she clenched her hands in his hair.

There were a dozen things she could say to that, innuendos and insults and flat-out invitations, but she wasn’t ready, she was terrified, so she just kissed him again, her thumb at the corner of his mouth. He turned his head to kiss her thumb, gently, then sucked it into his mouth, and she just watched, breathless, as he caught it between his teeth.

“None of this counts,” she whispered.

He nodded, nipping delicately at her wrist.

“This is just for right now,” she insisted.

He kissed the inside of her elbow, dark eyes meeting hers briefly.

“I hate you,” she moaned.

“I hate you too,” he murmured into the hollow of her throat.

“Good,” she muttered. “Kiss me more.”

He obliged.


The sock had outdone itself.

Last night, instead of watching Spike spend another miserable evening alone, the sock had slithered up to Joyce’s room, waiting until she was fast asleep before booting up her computer.

The internet was awesome.

It hadn’t taken long for the sock to figure out search engines, and even less time after that to do what it needed to do. Inputting the delivery address and Joyce’s credit card information was nothing; the sock had grown nimble through weeks of navigating the Summers residence. It had taken care of other preparations a few days before, when Joyce had dragged Buffy to the mall for some back-to-school shopping.  Tonight, Joyce had another opening at the gallery, a wine and cheese affair that she expected to run late. She would be gone for hours.

The sock was pretty sure it wouldn’t need more than thirty minutes to bring its plans to fruition.

The shoes were off, now. The sock was serious. It was going to get Buffy and Spike together if it killed it.

And it was a sock. Socks were pretty darn hard to kill.


“Are you sure you’ll be okay?” Buffy’s mom had plenty of concern in her voice, but she was checking her earrings in the hall mirror as she spoke, and was obviously not planning on delaying her departure, even if Buffy suddenly came down with the grippe.

Buffy had no idea what “the grippe” was, but it sounded really dramatic and deadly.

“I’ll be fine,” Buffy insisted, giving her mom a quick hug. “You go eat your overpriced cheese.”

“Overpriced is right,” Joyce said, rolling her eyes. “If I’d had time to make up the hors d’oeuvres myself, I would have saved a fortune.”

“Yes, but you would have gotten cheese on your classy black dress,” Buffy pointed out.

“There is that.” Joyce smiled gratefully at Buffy. “Are you sure you don’t need anything?”

“I’m fine. Really.” Buffy sighed. “I’ll order a pizza for dinner, watch some martial arts movie with Spike, and get to bed at a decent hour. Promise.”

Joyce looked at her shrewdly. “Martial arts?”

Buffy shrugged. “That, or horror. Spike likes the decapitations.”

Joyce shuddered dramatically. “Girls and their boyfriends…”

They both froze at that.

“Spike is not my boyfriend,” Buffy finally said, cautiously.

“I know, dear,” Joyce said quickly. “It was just, you know, Friday, and movie, and…”

“I get it,” Buffy smiled, reassuringly. “Don’t worry. We’ll be fine.”

Joyce fussed for a bit more, but she had a business to run, and soon she was backing her SUV out of the driveway.

Buffy sighed. She wished she were spending Friday night with a boyfriend, like a normal girl, instead of with an evil vampire who was really incredibly good at kissing, or would be if the kissing part had happened in the real world, instead of the grief-coping-timeout world. But at least in the real world he was talking to her again, and things were back to as normal as she was ever going to get.

Still, it was Friday night. She zipped up the stairs to change into something… not more comfortable. Just different. Different was good.

Different, and maybe a little bit sexy.

Something red.

Spike liked red.


The sock waited until Buffy was upstairs before putting the final stages of its plans into effect.

It flicked the lights off with a casual twitch of its heel.

Huddled around the lighter it had liberated from a nearby gas station, it cautiously flicked the wheel until a flame burst forth, then carefully lit the scented candles scattered about the room. That was the dangerous part, since the sock itself was highly flammable; although it had taken the precaution of dampening itself in the sink ahead of time, it still heaved a sigh of relief when the room was moodily candlelit.

It wriggled over to the VCR. It knew that for Movie Night Romance, the choice of movie was key, so it had decided ahead of time on “Dirty Dancing,” which was both sexy and socially aware. Of course, once it had made it to the mall – having hitched a ride on the bumper of Buffy’s mom’s SUV – it had decided the Blockbuster on the corner was just too far for it to travel, and had settled for the closer, bunker-like business with the “XXX VIDEOS” neon sign on its stucco side. The sock had no idea what XXX meant, but once it wriggled its way inside, it had had no problem finding the shelves of videos, and conveniently “Dirty Dancing” was right there on the bottom shelf. Well, the box said “Dirtier Dancing,” but given the sock’s general physical limitations, it figured an unauthorized sequel was good enough. It had dragged the video right out the door and tucked it behind the license plate for transportation back to Revello Drive. Now, it tenderly tucked the video into the VCR, just enough that the slightest push would start the movie playing, and wriggled right under the VCR, so it could give said push at the appropriate moment.

The sock took a moment to regard the scene it had arranged. Perfect. All that remained were the final deliveries, and the stage would be set.

Buffy didn’t stand a chance.

She was going to fall in love with an evil vampire tonight.


Buffy came down the stairs to a dim, candle-lit living room and frowned for a moment, but she knew vampires had weird ideas about nights out, so she shrugged and opened the door to the basement.

“Spike, I’m going to start the movie in a minute,” she yelled. “Get your ass up here!”

The doorbell rang and she frowned again, because she hadn’t gotten around to ordering the pizza yet. She opened the door to… a man in a tuxedo?

“Living room or dining room?” he sniffed, in a way that indicated he made more in tips each day than her yearly allowance.

“Um, living room?” Buffy said tentatively.

The man snapped his fingers, and a trio of tuxedoed waitstaff bustled in, arranging a pair of covered plates with wineglasses and an assortment of bread on the coffee table. Buffy gaped at them as they fussed over the china and arranged the folded cloth napkins just so.

When they bustled out, the tuxedoed man handed her a note and bowed obsequiously. “Bon appetit!” he declared, and was gone.

Buffy looked at the note, which had “Romantic Dinner Solutions” printed along the top; it noted that a bin had been placed outside their door for discreet place setting pickup the next day, and had a circled total cost at the bottom that made Buffy’s eyes bug out. The name on the invoice was Joyce Summers.

Buffy had no idea what she was supposed to think. Was her mom trying to tell her something?

Spike suddenly appeared at her side. “Feeling posh tonight?” he murmured. His voice ran up her spine like an electrical shock.

“It’s just movie night,” she replied brusquely, stomping over to sit on the couch. Spike shrugged and took a seat at the opposite end.

The covered dishes turned out to contain oysters on the half-shell, which Buffy had never eaten before in her life; she stared at the shells helplessly.

At his end of the couch, Spike made an approving noise and picked one up; Buffy watched him out of the corner of her eye as he tipped it right into his mouth. Was that how you were supposed to eat them? Or was that just a Spike thing? She picked up a piece of bread and started shredding it.

Spike picked up another shell and paused, looking at her speculatively. “Are you going to eat yours?” he said in a hopeful tone of voice.

“Of course I am!” Buffy said bravely. “I just…”

She watched as Spike sucked up the contents of his second oyster shell. Oh, god.

Needing something to distract herself from what Spike had just done with his lips, she picked up one of her own oysters, looking at it dubiously.

Spike laughed. “Need help, love?”

Buffy rolled her eyes, hoping she looked like she ate expensive seafood all the time. “No!” Buffy put the oyster to her lips and sucked it up, trying to emulate Spike. Which she realized moments later was possibly a bad idea, because picturing his lips and trying to match her lips to his and then feeling the oyster sliding into her mouth was somehow more carnal than just kissing him. And then she looked at his mouth and wanted to kiss him. Even without the fighting-and-crying buildup.

They weren’t allowed to do that, were they? She didn’t think so. They needed to be under the flag of a crying-truce to kiss. Like last night.

That had been a really good cry.

She looked away from Spike and ate another oyster.


The sock watched avidly from under the VCR. Phase One of its cunning plan was going very well; Spike and Buffy had eaten the Expensive Aphrodisiac Meal and were giving each other surreptitious glances that were obvious signs of heightened physical awareness.

Time for Phase Two.

The sock cautiously extended its cuff and pushed the videotape the rest of the way into the VCR.


Buffy jumped as the TV came to life and the familiar opening chorus of “Time of my Life” blared out. “Oh. Movie.”

Spike frowned. “Did you sit on the remote?”

“I must have.” Buffy watched as the camera on-screen panned across a wide shot of a family camp in the woods, then glanced over at Spike. “This movie okay? I don’t think it has any decapitations…”

With a shrug, Spike settled deeper into his corner of the couch. “It’s all right.” He sounded secretly pleased; Buffy supposed that if Dawson’s Creek was his favorite show, Dirty Dancing wasn’t too far off his tastes.

“I usually cry when I watch this movie,” she said suddenly, looking off towards the dining room.

“Is that a fact?” Spike’s voice was dry.

“Just letting you know. In advance. There might be crying.” She looked back at him, shyly. He was regarding her speculatively, fingers twitching.


“So, um, truce?”

“Thought we already had a truce.”

“No. Like… like when we’re crying. A crying truce.” She felt herself turning red. “The kind where nothing counts.”

“Ohhhhh.” Spike dragged it out, grinning at her evilly. “You want to cry, is what you’re saying.”

Buffy stuck her chin out belligerently. “This is a very emotional movie for me. Got a problem with that?”

He looked away suddenly towards the TV. “No, no problem.” He frowned. “Huh. Thought there was a whole bit with a watermelon before we got to this.”

Buffy didn’t comment on the fact that Spike actually knew “Dirty Dancing” well enough to spot a missing scene; she looked over at the screen. It was the dance studio, and Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey were crawling towards each other on their hands and knees.

She looked again. “I don’t think that’s Patrick Swayze,” Buffy said doubtfully, tilting her head and squinting. The music wasn’t right, either. Wasn’t this supposed to be the cutesy “C’Mere Loverboy” scene? There was something jazzy and seventies going on instead.

The woman on-screen suddenly ripped open her blouse, exposing huge, bouncy breasts. Spike sat up abruptly, laughing. “Fuck.

Buffy squeaked, pulling her feet up under her. “That’s definitely not Jennifer Grey.”

The soundtrack shifted to the traditional bow-chicka-wow-wow as not-Jennifer-Grey pulled not-Patrick-Swayze right into her ample bosom, moaning dramatically.

Spike grinned over at her. “You usually cry during this movie, do you?”

Buffy threw a pillow at him and buried her face in her hands. “Oh, god. Where did this even come from?” She should get up and stop the tape – God, did it belong to her mother? – but she kept on watching through her fingers, secretly fascinated. Not-Patrick-Swayze was doing something really interesting with his tongue, and she suddenly pictured it being Spike’s tongue and her own (considerably-less-ample) breasts, and the thought froze her in place.

She was suddenly glad she had flown the flag of the this-doesn’t-count truce well in advance, because watching porn with Spike definitely was not an experience that belonged in the real world. Especially since he was regarding it with the same casual look on his face as he wore when watching his prime-time dramas and soaps. She half-expected him to start offering the on-screen couple unsolicited relationship advice.

When not-Swayze’s pants came off, her mouth fell open. She risked a glance over at Spike, thinking he had to be shocked too, but instead he looked a trifle smug. Thoughts of just why that might be swirled naughtily around in her head, and she whipped her gaze back to the TV screen, where not-Jennifer was starting to show that she did, indeed, have dance training of some sort.

A few minutes later, Buffy giggled nervously as the couple on screen merged in a pretzel configuration. “Oh, I don’t think that’s even physically possible.”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Course it is.”


“And I’m saying it is.” When Buffy gave him a disbelieving glance, Spike sighed dramatically. “Here, let me show you.” He tugged abruptly at her legs and arms; Buffy squeaked as Spike positioned her all pretzel-like, settling himself comfortably in the middle of it all. ”See?”

Buffy looked at Spike’s face, suddenly very close to hers, and flushed bright red. He stared at her in sudden shocked realization before they each shoved at the other, disentangling their limbs. They quickly retreated to their separate sides of the couch, eyes glued to the heaving flesh-pretzel on the screen. Buffy’s mind was racing, along with her breath and her heartbeat and every inch of her body.

This doesn’t count.

She stole a sidelong glance at Spike, who was watching the movie with such deliberate focus that she knew he was as aware of her as she was of him. She knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that he was turned on right now; even through two pairs of jeans his erection had been obvious, especially when he had ground it right up against her. She wondered suddenly if it was from watching not-Jennifer-Grey, or if it was her.

She wanted to ask.


The couple on the screen shifted positions, and Buffy took a deep breath.

“I don’t think that one’s possible, either,” she said softly, watching Spike.

He turned his head slightly, regarding her through his eyelashes. “You don’t, do you?”

Buffy shook her head.

“Pretty sure it is, pet.”

“Prove it.”


The sock glanced out from where it had been grooving along with the music, and sighed. How clueless could those two get? Here it had set up the perfect date, and instead of kissing, they were doing yoga.

Clearly it was going to have to bring out the big guns next time.

It wondered how hard it would be to get a copy of “Titanic”…


Twenty-three positions later, Buffy was shaking, and she could see that Spike was, too, even though they were both still fully clothed. Neither of them had broken the polite fiction that they were merely having an intellectual discussion regarding the realism of the patently-unrealistic movie, keeping their actual words neutral and noncommittal. Like right now.

Buffy let her head fall back against the arm of the couch, biting her lip. “No,” she said conversationally. “I don’t think this is it. See, her toes are pointed at a different angle. Maybe sixty degrees?”

Spike laughed shakily, pressing his thumbs into the backs of her knees, shifting her thighs around his hips. “Like this?” He gave an experimental thrust against her, denim growling against denim. “This angle would account for that sound she’s making.”

Buffy pulsed against him. “Almost. That’s, um, sixty-five degrees.” Spike shifted her again, with a bit more grinding. “Oh, too far, that’s fifty-eight.” Another shift and thrust. Buffy couldn’t think of another number in the vicinity of sixty, so she nodded reluctantly. “Ok, I think that’s it.”

“You sure?” Spike ground against her again. “So, what’s the verdict?”

“You’re right. It’s possible,” Buffy said breathily. Also amazing.

Spike politely folded Buffy’s limbs back to her side of the couch, and they both resumed watching the movie. “So,” Spike said after a bit. “How many was that?”

“Twenty-four. With twenty-two possible, one definitely not possible, and one that might be possible but we don’t have room in here to do a lift.”

Spike shrugged. “Could go outside.”

“I am pretty sure the neighbors would complain.”

“Pity, that.”

“Time of your Life” was playing again, and Buffy was suddenly sad, because it looked like the film was winding down, and in the meantime she was all wound up, and when the movie was over technically so was their truce, and they hadn’t kissed once, hadn’t done a lot of things she really wanted to do. Meanwhile, the couple on the screen seemed to be done with the acrobatics and were into the romantic end game.

Well, romantic end game would do.

Buffy looked at Spike sidelong, daring. “Ok, now I know that one’s not possible.”

Spike leaned towards her, eyes dark, not even looking at the screen now. “That’s the missionary position, love. As basic as they come.”

Buffy sank a little lower into the couch. “Show me anyway.” Her voice was the barest whisper.

He oozed over her, tenderly pulling her down until she was flat on her back, a pillow under her head, and lay flat on top of her, tugging her thighs out on either side of his hips, his elbows to either side of her head. “See? Possible.”

Buffy looked up at him, breathing hard. “Why do they call it the missionary position?”

“Dunno.” He slid his body against hers minutely. “Does it make you feel like converting?”

“Converting to what?” Buffy shifted beneath him, licking her lips.

Spike shrugged, but didn’t answer, instead sliding his hand down the outside of her thigh to the bend of her knee. “Technically, missionary position includes anything where the man’s on top and you’re face to face.” He had adopted the pedantic tone of a lecturer, though there was a slight betraying quiver under it all. He leaned down and brushed his nose against hers. “But there’s lots of variations.” He tugged at her knees, urging her legs up to wrap around his waist. “This one gives you a lot of control, can use your thighs to make it harder or faster.” He tucked his arms inside her legs, hooking his thumbs under her knees and sliding them up to his shoulders. “Can get a bit deeper like this. Not my favorite, though, having your legs all in the way.” He took her by the knees again, pushing them towards her shoulders and a little bit outwards. ”This is a lovely way to fuck. All open and unfurled, like a flower.” He rolled against her, delicious hard friction, and nuzzled in against her throat. “Bet you’d scream,” he whispered into her pulse, and that was it for her, she was done, and she clutched his hair and dragged him up to her mouth and kissed him, winding her arms and legs all around him in a close approximation of Position Number Twelve.

Spike groaned and kissed her back, running his hands all over her thighs and ass, and she reached down and grabbed his hands, pushing them up under her soft red shirt, and he laughed against her lips and obligingly cupped her breasts, thumbs rubbing her nipples through the lace of her bra.

He sat back and looked down at her, all angled shadows in the candlelight, and then he pushed her shirt up until it bunched at her armpits and flicked open the front opening of her bra and spread it wide, eyes flaring.

Buffy looked up at him shyly. “They’re not very big,” she said hesitantly.

Spike shrugged and curved his big hands around her breasts, eyes unfocused. “Feel all right to me,” he breathed, and then he was bending down and his tongue curled around one nipple and she made a noise like she’d never heard before, because it was wonderful, and then she heard her mom’s keys jingling at the door.

She shoved Spike back to his side of the couch, hastily doing up her bra and tugging her shirt into place and sitting up on her end of the couch, trying to look bored and not at all like she had been watching porn and kissing Spike. He, in turn, was suddenly very interested in the TV Guide that had been on the end table.

While they had been kissing, the video had ended and rewound; the TV was showing nothing but static.

Truce over.



The sock woke up at the sound of the door opening. Whoa, had it fallen asleep? It had really worn itself out, lighting all those candles… It glared at Buffy and Spike, who were still sitting on opposite ends of the couch. Not snuggling, like they should have been doing. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!” Those words had been scientifically proven to melt even the hardest of hearts. Didn’t Buffy and Spike have any romance in their souls?

Oh, wait, it knew the answer to that one. Spike didn’t even have a soul. Maybe that was the problem.

Anyhow, the sock was disappointed. All that hard work, wasted and unappreciated. Not even one tiny smooch. Did it have to handcuff them together? The sock started to ponder the logistics of the manacles downstairs…

Joyce’s keys jingled onto the table by the door. “Buffy, what is going on?”

Buffy looked up at her mom, confused. “What’s going… I thought you were the one who set this up?”

Joyce flipped on the light switch. “Why would I light candles all over the living room?” She made a sound of dismay. “And without any sort of holder… The wax better not have ruined the finish of that table, young lady.”

“And how was the gallery, Joyce?” Spike’s voice was deliberately bright as he walked around the coffee table to block Joyce’s view of the television.

Joyce peered past him. “Are those oyster shells? And wine?”

Buffy stood up next to Spike, frowning. “Mom, don’t have a cow. You’re the one that ordered us dinner.”

Joyce folded her arms. “I didn’t order anything! Especially not oysters!”

“No, mom, look, they brought a receipt…” Buffy handed her mother a printed sheet of paper.

Joyce let out a little shriek. “Oh my god. Buffy, this meal is coming out of your allowance.”

“Mom, I didn’t order it! I just opened the door and they brought it in!” Buffy wrung her hands. “You can’t take it out of my allowance! That’s, like, months of allowance! Almost a year!”

“Well, I can’t imagine who else might have…” She trailed off and she and Buffy both turned to look at Spike.

He drew himself up in offense. “What, someone makes illicit use of a credit card and you automatically blame the evil vampire in the household? That’s evil-discrimination, that is.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Though in most cases, probably a good guess. But not this time.”

As the argument continued, the sock casually tugged the videotape out of the VCR and slid it and its box under the TV stand. No sense leaving more evidence around.

It wondered if it was too late to cancel the order of boutique laundry detergent currently on its way from France. It had tried so hard to resist, but the ad had been very persuasive, with that very attractive stocking lounging like a French postcard, and of course the sock had been starting to feel a little dry at the heel. It had been the sock’s planned reward for a job well done.

It shrugged. Eh. That could come out of Buffy’s allowance, too.

She owed it one, after all its hard work on her behalf.

The sock went back to sleep.

End Chapter 4

Chapter 5

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