Ficlet: Lessons

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My day already! Real life conspired to make this less than I’d hoped, but it was nice to be writing again. With grovelling apologies for lack of beta’dness – work calls…

Title: Lessons
Author: Cass
Rating: R (maybe – no worse)
Summary: Post NFA fluff. He survived. They got together. No arguments.

The panic hit her with the force of a brick wall. Everything she’d learned, all her supposedly razor-sharp slayer instincts – everything flew from her mind to be replaced by mind-numbing, single-minded panic. She kicked down hard, and then all she could do was hold tight, eyes screwed closed, and wait for the tortured screaming to stop.

In the final silence redolent with the reek of burning rubber, she opened one eye and turned slowly to look at him. Braced in his seat, eyes fixed straight ahead, he’d turned, if it was possible, a whiter shade of pale.

He swallowed hard. “Well, pet, seems you got the hang of the brakes.”

She smiled uncertainly and looked back at the road. “I missed the squirrel.”

“Oh, good.” Spike turned his head to look back at twin black streaks ground in street-light greyed surface of the road and tried not to think of exactly how much rubber had been stripped from his tyres. “That’s OK then.” He eased his locked fingers from the dashboard, shrugged the tension from his shoulders, and turned to her. “Let’s try that again, love, shall we?”

“I can’t!” Buffy wailed. “I told you! Buffy and cars. Non-mixy things!”

“Yes, you can. S’nothin’ to it.” His voice was determinedly calm.

“I don’t wanna do this.” Buffy folded her arms and pouted. “Cars are stupid.”

“Cars aren’t stupid. It’s all down to the driver…”

“Oh, so now I’m stupid?”

“I didn’t say that!”

Buffy sniffed. “Implied.”

“Look, just start the bloody car!” Spike’s calm was rapidly fraying at the edges.

“Now you’re angry.”

“I’m not angry!”

“Are so.”

He closed his eyes briefly. “Buffy… pet. You can do this. Just start the car, huh?”

“Well… OK…” She drew a deep breath, restarted the reluctant engine, slipped the DeSoto into drive and moved off unsteadily.

Spike tried hard to look relaxed and resisted the urge to grab the steering wheel. “There you go. S’not like it’s difficult.”

“It’s way difficult!” Buffy frowned in concentration as she negotiated a corner. “Having to do stuff with your right hand and your left hand and then your right foot and your left foot AND keep watching the road…Why do you need all these pedals…?”

“All..? It’s an American car! Only got two bleedin’ pedals to worry about. Stop. Go faster. What’s hard?”

“It’s alright for you to say that! You’ve been driving for, like, hundreds of years!” Buffy turned to glare at him, and the car took advantage of her momentary lapse of concentration to bump up onto the sidewalk, narrowly missing a small group of demons out for an innocent – or possibly not so innocent – late night stroll. “Oops!” Buffy straightened the wheel quickly and the car bumped back onto the road.

“Bloody hell, woman! You’re more dangerous with a car than you are with a soddin’ stake! Maybe that’s the secret! Run the buggers over, save the forests.”

“I didn’t hit them!”

“Not for lack of tryin’…And will you mind my suspension?”

“Right. Enough.” Buffy suddenly swung the car hard to the right, leaving the highway with a squeal of rubber and heading up a rough track.

“Where are you going?” Spike glared at her uneasily.

“Detour.” Buffy’s voice was strained from between clenched teeth.

“Detour! For fuck’s sake!” Spike railed as the car bucked across the uneven ground, the exhaust making painful scraping noises on hidden dips and hillocks. “Wha… Will you slow down!”

“Oh, so now I’m going too fast! Not so long back it was all ‘a blind, one legged Sluggoth demon could go faster than this –tied to a tree!’ Make your mind up!”

“That was on proper roads, you stupid bint! This…” he gestured out of the window wildly, “…this barely qualifies as a dirt track! Even the most simple minded…” There was a dull thud and a sharp crack from underneath the car as it landed after a particularly vicious bump. “Bloody hell! There goes the suspension!” Spike was virtually incandescent with anger. “Have you any idea what you’re drivin’!”

Buffy sighed. “A 1957 Dodge DeSoto Fireflite. Black. Whitewalls. Near mint condition. Two careful owners. Almost as good as the one you used to have. I know. You told me a coupla hundred times.” She rolled her eyes. “It’s only a car.”

“Only a…!” Spike paused in mid diatribe as Buffy slammed on the brakes and the car shuddered to a halt. “Why have we stopped?” He peered out at the encompassing darkness, the outline of winter-bare trees stencilling the star-stippled sky. “And why here?”

Buffy carefully put the DeSoto into park and switched off the engine. She took a deep breath and let it out on a sigh. “I think,“ she said, eyes fixed on the night beyond the windscreen, “it might be better if you don’t say anything for a while.”

Long experience meant that Spike recognized a slayer at the end of her tether and he backtracked rapidly. “Look, pet, I was just…” He tried for reasonable, all honeyed voice and little boy, wide-eyed earnestness. Might work.

Or then again…

She turned to him, grabbed the collar of his duster and pulled his face toward hers sharply. “I said…” she repeated slowly and carefully, “it might be better if you don’t say anything for a while.”

“Bu…” Spike managed before he was forcibly silenced by Buffy’s lips on his, her tongue duelling his into submission.

She pulled herself onto his lap, straddling his hips. “God, you’re so sexy when you’re angry,” she growled against his mouth.

Somewhat surprised, but far from disappointed, by the sudden turn of events, Spike was more than willing to go with the flow and enjoy the moment, the warmth of her body against his, the taste of her mouth, the smell of her perfume and her arousal, the feel of hot little hands undoing his shirt and sliding over his chest, dipping lower to his stomach and…

“Erm… pet?” he said, eyebrow cocked when she eventually paused for breath. “You do know that’s not the gear shift you’re holdin’ there?”

“Figured as much.” Her eyes sparkled mischievously in the moonlight. “Wanna get in the back and fool around?”

He gave a snort of laughter. “Do I wanna what? Is that the sort of line your dates used to use on you?”

“Hey! I was a good girl! Never parked up with a boy. C’mon.” She ground her hips against his and purred as he gave a gasp of pleasure. “You know you wanna.”

“You think you’re gonna get round me that easy? After what you did to my car?”

Buffy pulled back to look at him consideringly. “On the whole…” She raised herself from his lap, deftly unzipped his jeans and wrapped one hand around him, “I think…” she watched him under lowered lashes “…probably yes…”

He rolled back his head and she kissed the curve of his throat. “You might be right,” he gasped as her teeth grazed his neck, nipping gently in time with the movement of her hand.

“Thought so. Now get in the back.” Her grip tightened.

He gasped. “Well, pet, seems you’re the one who’s drivin’.”

“And you,” she laughed as she opened the door, “are the one giving the lessons. Think you’ve got something you could teach me?”

He followed her onto the warm, worn leather of the back seat. “Oh, I think maybe a few advanced manoeuvres,” he growled, closing the door behind him.


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