Thanks again to rabid1st for the lightning-fast beta on this part. I’m still uncertain about parts of this chapter, but I figured you’d rather have two more chapters today than not.
Tekubi, Chapter 3
Feedback: Absolutely. Including constructive criticism, should you have any.
He was where he’d scarcely dreamed he’d ever be again, in and above his lover, his Slayer. And this time they were moving with one another. He wasn’t battering his body against hers in a futile attempt to reach her. She wasn’t shutting out all of him but the parts she could use. From their affair, only the starkest mechanics of the act remained the same. Otherwise it was if they were making something entirely new. Something he had longed for but never had.
He felt a hitch where his heart lay silent every time she looked him in the eye and let him see what he did to her, what them together did to her. He’d seen her ecstasy before, but never her wonder, her joy, her shyness. Where before, at best, she’d marked him with sharp bites, at worst, with her fists, now her mouth and her fingers left only trails of moisture and brands of warmth. Imperceptible. Indelible.
She touched him tenderly, like she never had, like she’d never let him.
He raised his arm and brushed his wrist against her cheek.
She turned her face away.
His buried his face in the crook of her neck and thrust until he felt her fall. When he climaxed, his cry sounded like one of pain.
She held him tightly, eyes closed.
Buffy was determined to do her best to repair the damage done to Spike. Had he not been maimed, she might have considered a long-distance relationship with him, at least until Dawn was out of high school. As it was, she had few qualms about leaving Rome for L.A. Her sister boarded at her high school during the week and some weekends anyway, and there was no question in her mind that Spike needed her more right now.
In the wake of their second first time, she decided she ought to play the “good girlfriend”. Ok, so her previous attempts at the role had mostly been flops, but she had high hopes for this time. For starters, this was one relationship her Slaying wouldn’t disrupt. Short of her death, again, she doubted Spike would ever resent the demands her calling made on her. To Spike, nothing said “date night” like some rousing violence. (Of course, in her experience, the same could be said for most of Spike’s nights, including poker night, ladies night, and Tuesday.)
For another, Spike’s emotions were hardly as inscrutable as at least one of her ex’s. You couldn’t shut him up about what he felt. When he did withhold commentary, his face was a virtual neon sign announcing his moods — you could read, “Besotted with Buffy!” or, “Grouchy vampire within!” clear as day.
She knew playing the good girlfriend would be a challenge for her. She had trouble hitting her target on some of the traits she was aiming for, like empathy and supportiveness. But considering that the last time she’d been sleeping with Spike, she’d gone out of her way to ignore his feelings and crush his ego, she figured even a clumsy effort in the other direction would be appreciated.
She was curled into his chest, absently watching tv, when she broached The Topic.
“Spike? How are you dealing?” She fumbled for the words. “With your hands?” Not the most eloquent way of putting it, but she felt she’d conveyed the necessary concern.
There was a pause. “I’m alright,” he murmured finally. “Once you get used to it, most things are the same. Fighting. Drinking blood. Annoying Angel.”
Buffy giggled. It had only taken her a few days at Wolfram & Hart to realize that the apparent tension between the two vampires was mostly reflexive, a matter of habit rather than actual acrimony. When Spike was needling Angel, and Angel was disparaging Spike, these were signs that all was normal between them.
“So, what’s different?”
With his elbow braced on the back of the couch, Spike hovered his wrist above her head, then skimmed it down her hair in a ghost of a caress. It didn’t begin to satisfy his need to touch her.
“Oh, you know,” he replied lightly. “Playing cards. Applying hair care products. Don’t even ask me how I have to wank…”
Buffy smacked him in the stomach with a pillow.
She thought it sounded like he was dealing.
Things were alright with them. She knew they were. Great, in fact.
They made love every night. He kissed her like it might be his last chance every time. He looked at her with yearning even when she was in his arms. And if he could no longer work sleights of hand on her body with nimble fingers, his indecent mouth did double duty, goading her to new heights with words and worship.
It was better than it had ever been.
Which was why she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her mind simply refused to comprehend it.
He’d come to the rooms she’d taken, across the hall from his own on the Wolfram & Hart live-in floor, she’d thought for their nightly canoodle. He’d been crouched in front of her dvd player when his shoulders had slumped forward and his head had dropped in defeat.
“I can’t do this,” he’d said.
“Oh.” She’d been surprised, because even with his prostheses he’d managed to load disks into the player before. And he was usually bullheaded about admitting his difficulties, or letting anybody assist him in his tasks. She’d crossed the room towards him. “That’s ok, I can help.”
He’d shot to his feet so fast she’d stumbled backwards in surprise.
“No,” he’d snarled. “I can’t do this.”
That’s when the light had started to dawn.
Now her mind was awhirl. She’d moved to L.A., left Dawn behind at her boarding school in Rome, upended her life for him. She’d done her best to be supportive. And now Spike was breaking things off? With her?
She protested. She wanted to know why. Why on earth he was leaving her.
As it always seemed to, the answer took her by surprise.
Spike didn’t know what he was doing. He hated seeing the hurt in her eyes, and knowing he had put it there, again. He didn’t know how he would go on without her, and he didn’t know what kind of fool he had to be to choose to. All he knew was he couldn’t continue this way.
“Why, Spike? Why now, when things were going so well?”
Did she really think so? “You’re joking, right?”
“No!” she snapped. “As usual, Buffy is clueless. So tell me, what have I failed to do this time? Because I’ve done everything I can, and –”
He cut her off. “Being so close to you… being with you, being your lover, and still not being able to touch you… It hurts me. It’s killing me.”
The familiar words drew them both up short. Both their expressions were raw and wounded, pain mirroring back and forth until the air went heat-distorted and wavy between them. Then he realized that those were the tears.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/36792.html