Fic: Stitched Up (7/10)

This entry is part 8 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.

Chapter 7: A Sock on a Rampage

Spike looked down at the page of writing in front of him. He didn’t know what to do.

The Fyarl book had, as it turned out, been a collection of oral histories and legends and prophecies that a particular tribe of the demons had recorded over the course of their mercenary travels, gleaned from the various demon races they had encountered. They were a mixed bag, ranging from the typical epics and hero-journeys (bloodier than their counterparts in human culture) to what Spike would swear was a several-generations-modified version of “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.”

Right smack in the middle was the prophecy that had caught Spike’s eye, entitled “The Bride of Acathla.”

He had wondered, when he started translating the passage, whether the “bride” was meant to refer to Buffy, or Drusilla, or some other nameless woman lost to history, but his confusion was quickly cleared up, because he could only imagine one woman in the history of the universe, one brilliant, shining paragon, that could conceivably be described as a “Mad Tyrant God-Queen.”

That’s my Dru, he thought with wry pride, stroking the words on the paper.

The Mad Tyrant God-Queen, according to the prophecy, would one day come to her people, ushering in generation after generation of conflict and bacchanalian extravagance. She had hair like the night and a face like carved bone. Her eyes shone with the light of her visions, and her visions brought her people to glory and despair. She would reign over the dimension with joy and whimsy and torture and effulgent songs, blood dripping down her white arms, for millennia.

Spike wasn’t quite sure of that last word. It might actually be “eternity.”

Interestingly, there was no mention of Angel – not a paramour, not a rival, not a God-King. Spike didn’t know whether that meant he had died, or left, or perhaps just wasn’t exciting enough for the prophecy to mention. (He suspected the last one, Angel being about as interesting as mashed potatoes.) What was most important, though, was not the prophecy itself. It was the provenance.

He now had the name of the dimension, and the names of three different demon breeds that came from it.

And he recognized them.

He looked at the notebook again, the jagged block-printing, a rejection of the copperplate penmanship of his human self. He still didn’t have the answer, not the complete answer, not the words and the ritual and the magickal components necessary to get Dru back, but he knew he would soon. He was one-hundred-percent certain that he would succeed.

He still wasn’t ready.

Last night, Joyce had asked him what kind of wine he would want to drink with Christmas dinner. (He had suggested the Zinfandel she had served at Thanksgiving.) Buffy had been artlessly feeling him out on his likes and needs, leading him to believe she was planning on buying him a present. (He had tried to hint that sending Joyce away for a spa weekend would be a lovely present for them both, but also had mentioned in passing that his favorite Sex Pistols CD had been destroyed when the factory burned.) He was disgustingly domestic and settled, and he despised and craved it at the same time.

Buffy hadn’t locked him up for longer than he could remember, had even fallen asleep in his arms a few times, and all he had done was pull her closer, kiss her forehead, and slide his hand down to cradle her sweet quim as they slept. Together.

What was wrong with him?

He didn’t need Buffy anymore. He had what he needed, the name and the breeds and the prophecy, and it would be the work of minutes to knock out the Watcher, take the books he required, and be on his merry way. He could wait and ambush the slayer, drain her dry before he left, then find a safe place to bring back his Mad Tyrant God-Queen, let her rule him for millennia or eternity or whatever the word really meant. Angel could rot in the hell he had opened for himself while Spike and Dru returned to their blissful unlife of blood and sex and murder. Logically, Spike couldn’t see a downside, not one.

But he closed the notebook, gently, so as not to attract the watcher’s attention – he was fussing about with some correspondence – and tucked it away on its shelf. He could kill Giles later. After he’d had his holiday wine. Perhaps rung in the New Year – Buffy had said something about the Bronze, and dancing, and he had been thinking how delicious it would be to bring her off in that little alcove behind the stairs, or maybe up on the catwalk.

He had ideas, was the thing. All sorts of ideas and fantasies and desires, and he couldn’t just abandon them, not until he had explored them. Particularly not now, when Buffy was proving that she also was just brimming with naughty ideas. The slayer was a fucking revelation. Dru would understand.

Besides, after reading the prophecy, he was quite sure she was off having the time of her unlife.

The bell rang, and he practically salivated. Lunchtime. He opened the book Giles was having him translate now, trying to look diligent.

Buffy would be paying him a visit soon.

God, he’d missed her.

***

The sock waited until Spike was deeply involved in his work to inch along the base of the bookshelf, headed for the notebook.

It had been watching Spike and Buffy for months, the whole fall semester, and it hadn’t taken long to figure out that Buffy was getting nowhere. She would spend half her research time glaring at pages she clearly didn’t understand, and the other half making eyes at Spike, and never wrote anything down at all. It was almost like she didn’t even care anymore.

Good, the sock thought, ribbing expanding in satisfaction.

Spike, though… Spike was a problem.

The sock had quickly figured out that there was a notebook that he only wrote in when Buffy was in class, that he casually slid under other books whenever the old guy came over to check on him. He might as well have lit up a neon sign over his head that said, “I’m hiding something! Ask me what!” With a huge glowing arrow. Maybe even some strobe lights.

The sock’s path was clear. The notebook held Spike’s secret research. The fact that he was keeping it secret meant that it was somehow important.

And that meant it had to be destroyed.

The sock had pondered many ways to destroy the notebook – setting fire to the library (pretty), luring a teething puppy into the room (adorable), even flushing it down the toilet (icky but symbolically satisfying) – but it had finally decided that the easiest thing would be to just steal it and hide it somewhere else in the book stacks. Maybe behind the Tolstoy. Nobody ever actually read Tolstoy, not high school students, at least; they just got the Cliff’s Notes, because the Cliff’s Notes were as long as a regular book. Yes, the Tolstoy should be a safe place. Right behind “War and Peace,” the Tolstoy-iest of Tolstoys. Nobody would ever check that out.

Stealthily, keeping watch on Spike in case he changed his mind about being done, the sock crept towards the notebook. It cautiously eased its ribbing around the spine, tugging it out a centimeter at a time until the book finally fell to the floor with a soft thud. Panicking, it scrunched up against the shelves, in case the small sound had caught Spike’s attention.

Spike didn’t even look around; he was staring at the book in front of him with a look of concentrated anticipation, which was strange, but the sock couldn’t complain.

It started to drag the notebook off towards the stairs.

When Buffy entered the library a few minutes later, the sock wasn’t even halfway to its destination in the Russian Literature section – it still had the stairs to navigate – and it froze in indecision. Buffy might suck at research, but she had incredibly sharp eyes; it couldn’t decide whether it was better to keep moving, or to find a closer hiding place.

“Slayer!” Spike hissed gladly, rising to greet her. “Come to favor us with your linguistic expertise?”

“Give it a rest, Spike,” Buffy said fondly. “You know I can’t just leave you unsupervised.”

“I am quite certain I count as supervision,” Giles interjected dryly.

“So, find anything good?” Buffy leaned against the table next to Spike’s research, twitching a loose sheet of notepaper up to look at it. She was holding it with the writing upside-down, but didn’t seem to care, as she was gazing at Spike over the edge of it.

Spike grinned at her, eyes sultry. “Yeah. Got something really good for you. Enlightening, you might say.”

“Oooh. Gonna show me?” Buffy raised her eyebrows, challenging. “Where is it?”

“Upstairs,” Spike said huskily. “On the back shelves.”

Buffy’s eyes flared. “Lead the way.” They headed towards the stairs to the second level, fingers intertwined.

Giles rolled his eyes behind their backs, and the sock had to agree. They weren’t fooling anybody.

Then the sock noticed the path they were taking to the stairs, and rapidly zipped out of sight. Whew! Close call!

Spike’s notebook was still lying on the floor, and the sock watched in horror as Buffy’s feet came closer and closer, until the toe of her boot hit the spine, sending the notebook skittering across the floor. It flopped open.

“Whoops! Better get that…” Buffy bent down and picked it up, idly glancing at the pages as she did. Then she paused, and gave it a more thorough look. “Spike, is this yours?”

Spike frowned back at the shelf where he usually kept the notebook. “Uh, yeah. Wonder how…”

Buffy was leafing through the pages. “Spike, when were you going to tell me about this?”

There was a moment when Spike was obviously trying to decide what answer would be least likely to lead to a massive beat-down. Finally, he shrugged. “Wanted to be sure, first. Still need to check some things…”

“You found them.” Buffy beamed at Spike. “You found them!” She hugged the notebook to her chest.

Spike bared his teeth at her. “Yeah. Suppose I did.”

Buffy’s face fell into serious lines then, eyes running across Spike’s face, then she grabbed his hand again, tugging him up the stairs. “The thing. On the back shelves. The thing you found. Show me now.” They disappeared into the stacks.

The sock followed cautiously, hugging the base of the bookshelves as it inched its way into the depths of the library. By the time it got there, Buffy and Spike were locked in an embrace, kissing hungrily. As the sock watched, Buffy broke free, took Spike’s hand and slid it under her skirt, eyes locked on his. The sock couldn’t see exactly what was going on, but a second later, Spike jolted.

Fuck, Slayer, you been like this all day?” His voice was rough.

Buffy nodded, moving her hips against his hand. “I didn’t even put them on this morning,” she said in a low voice, gasping.

“Fuck.” Spike pressed his forehead to hers, looking down her body. “Let me see, love.”

Buffy’s hands pulled up the hem of her skirt, bunching it at her waist, a faint, knowing smile on her face The sock inched a few feet more, trying to see what Buffy was talking about – it was pretty sure it knew what she meant, but she could have been talking about socks or something – but Spike was in the way, curling his hand under her thigh and lifting it up and to the side, fingers trembling.

“For me?” Spike said softly, pulling back to meet Buffy’s eyes.

“For you,” Buffy whispered back, biting her lip as Spike’s free hand slipped in to stroke her. Then they were kissing again, Buffy moaning quietly into Spike’s mouth as his hand moved between them.

Months of watching Buffy and Spike make out at every opportunity had left the sock jaded; as they continued to writhe against the shelves, it turned its attention to the important thing: the location of the notebook.

Ah! There it was, tucked on the shelf behind Buffy’s head. As the sock watched, Buffy threw her head back, biting her lip to hold back a scream, and her hair slid across the cover. Well, there was no getting it now. Even in the throes of ecstasy, it was unlikely they would miss a sock moving around two inches from Buffy’s ear. The sock could bide its time.

On the bright side, time spent smooching was not spent researching. The sock approved.

It inched its way back downstairs, where Giles had turned on the radio, a look of disgusted resignation on his face. The sock slithered into Buffy’s backpack and settled in to wait.

It had gotten good at waiting.

***

Buffy barely made it to class after lunch – she had to make a quick pit-stop in the bathroom to clean up – and Willow greeted her with a smile of relief as she slid into the desk next to hers.

A few minutes into class, Buffy felt a nudge at her elbow, and looked down to find a folded note. Warily keeping an eye on their teacher, she unfolded it and read.

How is the research going? There was a sly-looking smiley face next to the words.

Buffy flattened out the note on her notebook, nonchalantly writing her answer. Good. Spike found something really useful. She stretched casually, dropping the refolded note on Willow’s desk.

A few minutes later, the note came back. Yes, but how is the research going? (For the record, by “research” I mean kissing.)

Buffy felt her face turning red. She hastily scribbled her answer. Why would there be kissing?

Buffy had to wait a long time for an answer; she surreptitiously rubbed her lips, wondering if the fact that she had in fact been doing a lot of kissing just before was totally obvious. Could people tell? She never could, but maybe other people could. Then she wondered if people could tell when other people had been doing other sexy things, because Spike had been really inspired by her no-panties stunt.

Not inspired enough to let her unbuckle his jeans, but she could tell he was wavering by the way his voice had caught when she brushed the buckle on her way to touch him through the denim. He had even fallen to his knees, so that he could see what he was doing better, and she could tell he wanted to do something more while he was down there, she had been tense with anticipation hoping he would, and when he had reluctantly let her skirt fall so she could get to her afternoon classes, he had pressed a reverent kiss against her, kissing her right there through the fabric of her skirt before rising to his feet, and she had finally resolved that she was going to ask him, no matter how embarrassed she was, she was going to ask him to kiss her there without any fabric in the way, because time was running out, and she had to know what it felt like before she gave it up forever.

She wondered if he would let her kiss him through his jeans, or if that was against the rules. Stupid rules.

The note under her elbow startled her out of her naughty thoughts.

It’s okay. I’m dating a werewolf, remember? And Xander’s dating Cordelia. You can kiss Spike.

Buffy looked at the note for a long time, thoughtful. Finally, she wrote her reply and passed it back.

Can we talk after school?

The bell rang just a bit later, and Buffy met Willow’s eyes shyly as they both got up for passing period, braced for rejection, but Willow just nodded, smiling wryly. “Where should we meet?” the redhead said casually, as if she hadn’t just busted Buffy for lip-locking with the evil undead.

“Um, not the library. Maybe outside? That bench?”

“Okey-dokey.”

Then Xander joined them, making some lame joke that Buffy barely heard as they walked down the hallway, and things were sort of normal again, a nice surface normal that almost made it possible for Buffy to ignore the way she was shaking inside.

It was good that things were moving along at last, right? She had always known things couldn’t go on like this forever.

Even if she sometimes wished they could.

***

The sock woke up when Buffy carried her backpack out into the sunlight, and for a moment it was disoriented, because Buffy usually headed straight to the library after her last class, to get back to the books, and it had expected that today of all days she would be eager to get back to work.

But no, she was sitting in the sun somewhere – the sock could feel the heat of the sunlight through the backpack, though it was gentler now that they were into December – and a short while later the sock heard her greet Willow. They chatted a bit, walking, before settling down somewhere shady. The sock cautiously poked out of the backpack enough to see leaves waving overhead. So, under a tree. This could be interesting; the sock nudged the zipper of the backpack up just enough that it could see and hear more clearly.

“So. I hear you’re making progress on your research,” Willow said in a voice of loving mockery.

Willow.

“Sorry, I’ll stop teasing.” There was a crack-and-hiss as Willow popped the top of a soda. “So, is this when I get to find out about the super-secret project?”

“Yeah. Yeah, it’s time.” Buffy sighed, opening her own drink. “Spike and I have been trying to figure out a way to get Angel back.”

Willow was silent for a long time before speaking. “And this is a good idea… why?”

“He’s my boyfriend, Willow. I can’t just leave him in a hell dimension. Not if I can get him back.” Buffy was plucking blades of grass from the ground, scattering them around her feet.

“Not to throw cold water on this, but do you really want him back? I mean, you haven’t seemed like…” The sock listened avidly for Buffy’s reply.

She shrugged. “Of course I do. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff he needs to make up for, but that’s all stuff he did without his soul. Once we give him back his soul, he should be okay again. He won’t be evil anymore.”

“Yeah, I mean, I was going to mention that the last time Angel was around, he was all with the killing people and the making tropical fish necklaces and the trying to end the world, but, um, that actually wasn’t what I was talking about.”

Buffy frowned. “What are you talking about, then?”

Willow sighed in exasperation. “Buffy, you have a new boyfriend now.”

“I do not,” Buffy whispered, looking sulkily at the ground.

“When you spend all your time with someone, doing things together and talking and laughing and sneaking off to kiss every chance you get? That’s a boyfriend. We’ve all had plenty of time to accept it. Maybe you should, too.”

Buffy looked at her little pile of shorn grass for a long moment. “Spike doesn’t want to be my boyfriend.”

“Really? Then why is he going along with all of this, the research and the not-killing-people and all that?”

“We’re going to get Drusilla back, too. That’s why he’s helping.”

“So he follows you around like a puppy dog because he’s in love with someone else?” Willow’s voice dripped with disbelief.

“He doesn’t… I don’t know, Will.” Buffy ran a hand through her hair, sweeping it off her face. “It’s like… It just happened. We were both so sad, and he was there and I was there, and we cried for weeks, and then the kissing happened, but all the time we’ve been talking about Angel and Dru, how we’re going to get them back. Like we’re just… killing time until we can get back to our real lives. This is all just a time-out.”

Willow’s lips were pressed together, like she had something to say but didn’t want to say it. Finally, she said, “So, you’re sure this is what you want?”

“Of course,” Buffy said softly, but she was looking away. “Spike wants Drusilla and I… I want Angel. We want them back.”

The sock couldn’t see her face, but she didn’t sound sure. She sounded sad.

Willow sighed again. “Well, if it’s what you really want, you know I’ll help you. What do you need me to do?”

“I need you to get together what you need for the ensoulment spell. The herbs, and candles, and, um, the Orb of Jessica.” Buffy’s voice was firm and determined. “Do you still have that?”

“Thessulah. Um, yeah, about that. You know in ‘Labyrinth’ when David Bowie’s doing that really cool thing with the glass ball?” Buffy nodded encouragingly. Every girl remembered everything David Bowie did in Labyrinth, didn’t they? “Well, last time we watched it, Xander decided to try it out, and… Let’s just say I don’t, in fact, still have it.”

“Do you think you can get one?”

“Probably. They’re not actually that rare, for some weird reason. I’ll head by the magic shop now, see if they have any in stock. I can pick up the rest of the stuff we need, too.”

“Thanks, Will. I, um, don’t know when we’ll have the rest of the research done, but I think it would be good if we have it all ready. So we don’t have to wait. I can’t bring him back if we can’t give him back his soul.”

“If you say so.” Willow sipped at her soda. “You know, it didn’t work last time. The spell.”

“It’ll work this time. It has to.” Buffy glared at the ground, eyes hard.

Willow’s face crinkled with doubt. “And if it doesn’t?”

Buffy shrugged, but there was an awkwardness to it, as if she was feeling less-than-sanguine about the situation. “Then I’ll kill him again.”

They finished their sodas in silence.

The sock considered this turn of events thoughtfully. So, if Willow couldn’t cast the spell, Buffy couldn’t bring Angel back? This might be easier than trying to halt the research, certainly now that Buffy had seen the notebook. It would have to wait and see what this “Orb of Thessulah” was like.

It hoped the Orb was fragile.

***

Willow came back to the library before they broke for dinner and patrol, carrying a bag brimful of supplies. Buffy greeted her with a huge smile, trying to cover the fact that the whole afternoon, while she and Spike had worked together to find out more about the hell dimension now that they had a name, she had felt sick. She told herself it was just that she was worried that things would go wrong, that she was nervous at the prospect of failure, but Willow’s words from the afternoon stuck with her.

Was Spike her boyfriend?

Her brain kept telling her that no, Angel was her boyfriend, and Spike was her temporary-something-more-than-a-boyfriend, but Willow was probably right that that didn’t exactly make sense. So what was Spike, really? She had watched him across the table, as he leafed through books and jotted down notes and occasionally said something snarky, and the more she watched him, the more confused she got.

Could Spike be her boyfriend? She kept twisting the moral issues and philosophical implications around in her head, and she kept coming up empty. Spike didn’t have a soul, which she knew meant something, but she wasn’t sure what anymore, because everything she had thought went with having a soul – love and laughter and tenderness, all the things Angel had lost – Spike had in spades. And even though he still had a monster inside him, still loved the hunt and the kill when she took him with her on patrol, well, so did she, when it came right down to it, and he had been able to follow the rules Buffy had laid down for him, living off blood from the butcher and not harming humans, easily if not happily. What was it he had that made him Spike and not just a slavering beast? Where did the love come from? Because, as much as she wanted to dismiss what he felt for Drusilla as not-real-love, she had spent months of nights curled in his arms, talking about everything and anything but especially Angel and Drusilla — she knew him now, and she couldn’t just wave it all away. There was something real inside Spike, something capable of feelings and humor and affection, something that she liked. Something that she might even love, if she let herself.

She just didn’t get it.

She wondered if she could maybe figure it out, if she tried hard enough and long enough. Like maybe all her life.

But Willow had brought the bag of supplies, and she guessed none of her musings really mattered anyhow, because Spike was going to leave forever once he had Dru, and she would have Angel with his soul, and the details behind it wouldn’t matter so much then. She peeked into the bag. “Is this everything?”

“Yep!” Willow gave a cheery grin. “Everything except the herbs that we’ll want fresh. I have the rune stones at home still, of course, but I can bring them in tomorrow.”

“They had an Orb of Thessulah in stock, even?” Buffy wondered why she felt disappointed.

“Yeah, they had a bunch. I guess they sell really well as stocking-stuffers. They’re so shiny.”

“Want one in your Hanukkah stocking?” Buffy laughed, setting the bag of supplies out of the way, by her backpack.

“So, do we have a plan yet?” Willow sat down at the table, looking at the papers spread out in front of Spike. Spike glared at her briefly before turning back to his work.

“Not yet.” Buffy cast a furtive glance at Giles, making sure he was out of earshot. “We, um, don’t want to rush things. We need to have everything right.”

Willow followed Buffy’s glance. “Oh. Giles doesn’t know?”

Buffy grimaced. “I can’t tell him. Not with what Angel did. Once he’s back and good again, I think it’ll be all right, though.”

Willow’s face was doubtful. “If you say so.”

There was a sudden crash behind Buffy; she jumped to her feet, eyes scanning the room for a threat, but all she saw was a little pile of glass on the floor, just below the tipped-over bag of spell components. How anticlimactic.

“What the hell?” Spike bit out next to her; she glanced over to see that he was ready to fight as well, and just as frustrated as she that there was nothing to hit. They really needed to patrol tonight. Or maybe just make out. A lot.

Yeah, that would work.

“Aw, the Orb of Thessulah!” Willow pouted, leaning over to look at the shattered pile of glass. “How did that happen? I know the clerk wrapped it up really well, and it was at the very bottom of the bag.”

Buffy shrugged. “Gravity is a harsh mistress. Anyhow, can you get another one?”

“I guess. I won’t have time to go by the store for a few days, though. Is that okay?”

Buffy tried not to feel relieved, but she was. “Yeah. Yeah, whenever is fine.”

Willow fussed about cleaning up the broken glass before heading home, waving off Buffy’s offer of an escort since the sun was still up. Buffy sank into a chair across from Spike and tried to scan some more Latin, but she couldn’t concentrate.

Spike suddenly looked up at her. “Slayer, you still not wearing any knickers?” His voice was unconcerned, as if he had just asked her the time.

Buffy bit her lower lip, letting her teeth drag across the surface before answering. “No. Or yes.” She flushed, but kept her voice nonchalant. “I’m not wearing any.”

Spike nodded, then turned back to his work. “Good,” he said quietly.

Giles came over to the table then. “Spike, have you made any progress on that translation from the D’Angelo text?”

Spike rolled his eyes and handed him one of the papers. “Finished it yesterday, hardly worth my time. Already on the G’Nedd prophecies.” He glanced at Buffy, a smug look that she suspected was a little dig at the fact that he was still kicking her butt in the research department, but she grinned back at him, because she was still kicking his butt in just about every other department. Also, there was something extra-sexy about Spike looking all scholarly, with ink-stains on his fingertips.

“Ah, yes, very good.” Giles wandered back to the circulation desk.

When he was gone, Buffy leaned across the table towards Spike. “Any progress on our end?”

“Working on it,” Spike huffed. “Give us a little time.” He eyed her neckline. “You know I can see all down your shirt. Is there a national underthings shortage?”

Buffy smiled. “No. Just making a statement.”

“And that statement is…?”

“My mother is gone again tonight. She went to Sacramento for the weekend.”

“And?” He put down his pen, started to shuffle the papers into a neat stack.

“What do you think?”

Spike leaned forward, mirroring her. “I think you want to scream tonight.”

Buffy just smiled.

***

The sock was feeling pretty smug as it inched its way out the library door. Smashing that glass ball had been chancy – coming out of the backpack when anybody could have seen it and raised a fuss – but it had been worth it, both because it had successfully set back the spell-working and because, as it turned out, smashing things was fun.

And it had more fun ahead of it, too. Before smashing the thingamabob, the sock had checked out the receipt tucked into the bag, which conveniently had the address of the magic shop printed on it. It would take it a couple of days, the sock judged, and there would be some disappointed children come Christmas morning, but if the sock had anything to say about it, no shiny glass balls would be sold to anyone in Sunnydale this holiday season. Especially not red-haired witches.

The sock had a Grinchy mission: to smash every Orb of Thessulah in the town.

It gleefully set forth on its quest.

***

Spike had been pissed off at first about his hand being forced, now that Buffy knew about the progress he had made on his research, but after a while he was able to shrug it off. He still could stab her in the back any time he chose. And right now, he chose to spend a luscious evening making the slayer come over and over again. He left her clothes on, just pushing her shirt and her skirt up, because that was the whole point of going without knickers, and he could always get her naked later. They had all night.

Of course, she had turned the tables on him when she had pushed him back on his cot, kissed her way down the center of his bare chest, and kissed his cock, right through the denim of his jeans. “Is this all right?” she had asked, eyes hot, and he had nodded slowly, then closed his eyes as she proceeded to nibble and mouth his cock through the denim, and for a moment he had dizzily imagined just letting her have it all, letting her slide her hot mouth over his cock, even if it meant Drusilla would cut him off for a century, and just the thought of it finished him off and he came in his jeans, swearing. Buffy had laughed gently, crawling back up him to snuggle into his neck, and he had taken her chin in his hand and kissed her deeply, wishing he could taste himself on her mouth.

They were taking a break now, hands lazily wandering over each other, Buffy nuzzling into the hollow of his throat. After a bit, she suddenly spoke, voice quiet.

“Where will you go?”

Spike didn’t pretend not to understand what she was talking about, though it was a bit of a non sequitur; there was only one thing she could mean. He shrugged, enjoying the feel of her cheek against his shoulder as it moved. “Dunno. Away.”

“Oh.” She rubbed her forehead into his neck.

“Does it matter?” He curved his hand around her breast, thumb idly stroking her sweet hard nipple.

She made a pleased sound, shifted under his hand. “No, I guess not.”

“You’ll stay here. With Angel.” He could feel his hand growing rougher at the thought, and forced himself to relax. It wasn’t going to happen anyhow. He had already decided to stab her in the back. Hadn’t he?

It was Buffy’s turn to shrug. “Yeah. Hellmouth.”

Spike rolled over her then, looking down at her, stroking her hair away from her face. “You should see the world. Travel.”

Buffy smiled up at him, shyly, though her hands were planted very unshyly on his ass. “Travel sounds nice. I’ve never been out of California.” She let her legs fall open, cradling him between them.

“Whole world out there. You’ve saved it, few times. You should get to see it.” Spike could feel himself warming to the idea, picturing Buffy in a few of the places he had been. She would glow. It meant he would have to not kill her, but he pretty much already knew he wasn’t going to anyhow, no matter how many times he told himself he would. Hell, he probably wouldn’t even kill the watcher. What a fucking sap he was turning out to be.

He could still kill Angel, maybe. If the soul-spell went wrong. That would be all right. Dru would bitch about it, but it would be worth it.

Buffy sighed, smiling. “I’ve always wanted to go to Paris. Maybe Italy.”

Spike snorted, shifting to the side to lean on his elbow, watching his other hand as it ran the length of her body. “Yeah, if you want to be boring.”

Buffy glared at him, blowing her bangs out of her eyes with an irritated huff. “Paris would not be boring!”

“Not boring, then,” Spike conceded with a grin. “Pedestrian. Doing what’s expected of you.”

Buffy’s eyes seemed to double in size, all teary and pleading. “But, Paris.” She waved a hand in the air, trying to convey the grandiosity.

Spike sighed, touching a finger to the tip of her nose. “All right then. Have it your way. You can go to Paris.” He leaned in for a kiss then, long and lascivious, mouths open and tongues sliding, and they stopped talking for a while as his hands traveled south. It had been at least ten minutes since his fingers had been inside her, and that was far too long. She was still hot and swollen and sensitive; it took hardly any time at all to make her come again, quivering against his fingertips. Fucking glorious.

Buffy was gasping and shaking, but her eyes focused on his again. “You’ve been there right? Paris?”

Spike stroked his wet fingertips across her stomach. “Well, yeah. Paris and Rome and Berlin. Prague. Moscow. Lots of little towns in between, too. There’s a lot more than just the big cities that’s worth seeing. And that’s just Europe. There’s all of Asia, and Africa, and South America. Canada. New Zealand. Hong Kong.”

Buffy smiled at that, then pouted and thumped her fist lightly on his chest. “I want to start with Paris,” she said stubbornly.

God, she was hot when she was bossy. Spike laughed indulgently and settled her more comfortably against his shoulder, sliding his arms around her. “Fine. I’ll take you to sodding Paris.”

Buffy looked at him with her big eyes, mouth trembling a bit, and he realized what he had said, and hastily backtracked. “If we don’t get them back.” That was less comforting than it might be, as close as they were to finishing their project, but it was an escape route, and he took it.

Buffy looked up at him, face serious. “I thought you wanted me to stake you. If we don’t get Dru back.”

Was that what he had said? Of course it was what he would want, he couldn’t go on without Dru, but now, with Buffy warm and sweet in his arms… “Yeah. Yeah, I do. But… after. You can stake me after Paris.”

Buffy narrowed her eyes. “I don’t want to.”

Spike went on, ignoring the little thrill that rushed through him at what she was saying. “You’ll like the bread there. We can eat at the best restaurants, have espresso in pretentious cafes. Eat crepes from street vendors.”

“I don’t want to stake you.” Buffy was growing agitated, and he ran a soothing hand through her hair.

“You promised, love.” She hadn’t, he knew.

Buffy knew it, too. “I didn’t. I never promised.”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Fine. Don’t stake me. I’ll take care of it myself.” He kissed her again, because it was wonderfully sweet that she didn’t want to stake him, bleeding adorable.

The staking question resolved, Buffy got back to the Paris fantasy. “So how are we going to pay for all this food?”

Figures she’d be all practical about it. “Got ways.”

Buffy fixed him with a knowing, disapproving look. “You can’t steal anything. Not when you’re with me.”

Bugger.” Spike kissed her hard. “All right. I’ll cut back on smokes for a while before we go, use the watcher’s dosh. Maybe you can get the Watcher’s Council to pay for the trip, tell them you’re taking out a nest. Probably be true, too, there’s always a nest of something in Paris, ‘cause of the sewers. Be brilliant, hunting there with you.” He drifted off a bit, imagining prowling the streets of Paris with Buffy by his side. Those French vamps were an irritating lot, anyhow. Be a favor to the evil community, taking them out.

Buffy grinned impishly up at him. “So a slay-cation?”

Spike laughed at that, shortly. “Yeah, all right. We’ll live off bread and cheese and water, blood from the butcher. Can still get the crepes. All the cafes in Paris are pretentious, so we’ll get our espresso from the cheap pretentious cafes. Happy?”

“Yes.” Buffy cuddled up to him again, tracing shapes on his chest.

“Lots of things you can do in Paris cost hardly anything. We’ll go up the Eiffel Tower at night, look at all the lights, and take a boat ride on the Seine and walk by the Moulin Rouge and visit Jim Morrison’s grave. Go to the good nightclubs, the ones that aren’t fancy. Go dancing.”

“I like dancing.” Buffy’s eyes were closed.

“I know. I like watching you dance.” He remembered that first night he had seen her, happily dancing at the Bronze, while he prowled the edges of the dance floor, watching, wanting her in every possible way. “One night I’ll take you out just before dawn, fuck you under the Arc du Triomphe.”

Buffy’s eyes opened in shock, then fluttered most of the way closed. She looked up at him with the eyes of a siren. “You could f-fuck me right now.”

Spike froze. God, even stuttering, hearing those words coming from Buffy’s lips was… god. He wanted wanted wanted, was a hair’s breadth away from begging her to help him break his vow, but he had hesitated too long, and Buffy was already withdrawing.

“Or not.” She said it like she was laughing, like she had only been kidding, and Spike felt something shift inside him. He didn’t recognize it at first, but he thought it might be guilt. Was that even possible?

He kissed her forehead, quickly. “I’m sorry, love, I…”

Buffy shrugged, smiling bravely up at him. “It’s okay. I understand. Dru.”

Spike looked down at her, at this brave, beautiful girl who was giving him everything, even when he was holding back, and he made a decision. Not the decision, but a small concession, a tiny gift. “Got something else you might like, pet…” He kissed his way down her stomach, past the waistband of her skirt, spreading her thighs wide; she gasped in pleased surprise.

He hadn’t missed her subtle hints at lunch, that she wanted this, and as he stroked his tongue along her sweet wet quim, he admitted that he had wanted it just as much. Had craved it, all this time.

She tasted like heaven, like sins forgiven, a reward that he would never deserve. But she deserved this, deserved all the pleasure he could bring her. Which was a lot.

He gave it all.

***

The sock surveyed the scene of destruction around it. Shattered fragments of glass littered the floor of the magic shop, glittering in the light of the streetlamps that filtered in through the blinds. Not one Orb of Thessulah remained on the shelf with the cheery sign advertising “New Age Paperweights!” The sock had checked the back room as well, nosing around the boxes of stock to ensure that there weren’t any more just waiting to be put out on the shelves. They had all been demolished.

That had been fantastic! Definitely worth the two-day trek through the streets to get to the store. The sock was beginning to think it had a knack for high adventure. It was itching to hit the road, go out into the world with its mission of helping the helpless. That would kick butt!

It just had to take care of Buffy first.

The sock sighed and started its lonely trek back to the Summers residence.

End Chapter 7

Chapter 8

 

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/534821.html

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