Title: Sleep on the Wind (2/3)
Rating and warnings: PG13
Word count: 6,032 total (2,014 this part)
Setting: S6, Dead Things
“Shouldn’t we be hurrying?”
Buffy looked over at Xander, “why?”
“Don’t you have to go to work?”
She shook her head. “I switched shifts.”
The training room door slammed open and Spike walked towards the group.
Willow leaned over Buffy’s shoulder and Dawn twisted from her perch on the metal ladder but no one acknowledged him.
Anya pushed a book towards Buffy. “Is this was you saw,” she asked. Buffy looked down at the picture and nodded. Anya smiled widely.
She pronounced the name of the demon easily and dropped the book on the table.
“You certain?” Spike’s voice came from behind Buffy.
Anya huffed. “Of course I’m sure. Although their prescence in our dimension is odd.”
“So this Rascalo-,” Xander asked.
Spike corrected his pronunciation and moved alongside Buffy. “Would make sense,” he said to Anya, gesturing at the open book.
“Why,” Buffy asked, deliberately not looking at Spike.
“It causes temporal disturbances. And hallucinations.” Anya seemed pleased she could offer information. She sat down on the bench beside Xander.
Buffy licked her lips quickly, “so that’s why time went all…”
“Floopy,” Willow offered and Buffy nodded.
“There’s something else,” Buffy said, “the girl. Her name was Katrina. She was…I met her that time I went to find Warren.”
“That weasel,” Willow exclaimed, “you think he had something to do with it?”
“Maybe,” Buffy admitted, pushing her chair away from the table and standing up quickly.
“Hold on.” Xander lifted his hands quickly. “How do we know?”
Buffy turned to stare at the row of bookshelves, Dawn’s bent knee in her periphery. “We don’t. But it’s something.”
Buffy retreated to the training room before anyone could say anything. Spike followed behind her and closed the door.
“Good news then.”
When she turned to face him, she looked as though she’d aged five years. “It doesn’t prove anything.”
He stepped closer, “proves you didn’t do anything.”
The corners of her mouth fell, “Spike, stop.”
“I’m serious, I can take of myself.”
Spike moved closer until he was directly in front of her. “Know you’re the one in control…” He ran a finger down her throat and Buffy shivered.
She slapped his hand, “no. Not here.”
He stepped backwards, hands buried in his coat pockets. “Fine. Forget I came by.”
Buffy waited until he was at the back door. “Why did you?”
Spike didn’t turn around. He bent down to retrieve his blanket from the floor, “don’t worry your pretty head about it.” Buffy watched him leave and let out a sigh.
She let out a frustrated growl, her head snapping back towards the ceiling. Arrogant, obnoxious, irritating….
Too keyed up to go back into the shop, Buffy toed off her shoes and faced the sandbag. She slammed her fists against it, each hit punctuated with a harsh exhale. A knock on the training room door onterrupted her rhythm and Buffy stepped away from the bag. “Yeah?”
The door swung open, Tara’s head appearing suddenly. “Sorry. I didn’t want to…but you weren’t at your house.”
Buffy shook her head, “I forgot.”
Tara stepped into training room. “Xander said you were back here. Is it a bad time?”
“No,” Buffy replied, “close the door.” She gestured with her arms quickly, movements mechanical.
Tara settled herself on the edge of the sofa, her back twisted so it was against the arm of the sofa. Buffy sat in the other side, hands clenched tightly in her lap. “What did you find?”
When Tara started talking about cells, Buffy interrupted. “What’s wrong with me?”
“Nothing,” the other woman said, shaking her head. “Some slight adjustments to a few molecules but nothing serious.”
Buffy shivered. “Then why is this happening?”
“Why is what happening,” Tara asked quietly, leaning forward.
“The only time I feel anything…is with him.” Buffy looked down at her hands, her chest rising quickly, and quickly back at Tara, her eyes wide. “Please don’t…don’t tell anyone. If they knew, what we…” Buffy made a sound in the back of her throat.
“Does he make you do things?”
Buffy shook her head, “no. It’s not like that.” She closed her eyes quickly, squeezing them until she could see spots amid the blackness, “promise me you won’t say anything.”
“I won’t,” Tara insisted. She touched Buffy’s hand softly, “it’s okay.”
Buffy felt the tears building in her eyes, choking her throat. She looked at Tara in surprise.
“He’s a vampire,” Buffy protested weakly, the familiar words like gravel in her mouth.
“He loves you.”
Buffy looked at Tara. The other woman knew what Buffy didn’t want to see. All of the excuses, the words she was quick to use, were foolish. Buffy shivered suddenly.
“Will that fix me?”
Tara patted Buffy’s hand, the same gesture she used to comfort Dawn or draw Willow’s attention back to the present. “There’s nothing wrong with you.”
Buffy nodded slowly, her mind already spinning faster, making plans forming ideas and rejecting them in quick succession. She opened her mouth again but Tara shook her head.
“Nothing,” Tara repeated firmly.
Buffy made her way through the cemetery quickly, barely noticing how different everything looked during the day. The trees cast long shadows on the path, making familiar curves seem new. Her feet moved steadily, body turning while her mind agonized. She felt as if she had run a marathon, her muscles shaking and twitching from exertion, her mind overwhelmed. Thoughts buzzed like hornets, interrupting her focus.
She hesitated in front of the entrance to Spike’s crypt. Her hands were cold as she traced the heavy stone with her fingertips, knuckles on her right hand still tender. She could feel her pulse thundering in her ears and swallowed despite her dry throat. Buffy opened the door quickly and stepped inside.
The upper level was empty. She closed the door behind her, careless of the noise it made, harsh scrapping that seemed to echo. Buffy slipped out of her coat, draped it across the sarcophagus. She went down the ladder in a quick leap, landing softly on the floor, weight on the balls of her feet. Buffy stood up smoothly, brushing her hands down the front of her thighs, jeans rough beneath her palms.
There were still candles burning and Buffy blinked quickly, her heartbeat increasing. It wasn’t intimate, she told herself, no more romantic than movies set decades before electric lamps were standard-issue.
Everything looked the same, rugs stacked over rugs, clashing patterns of burgundy and purple and blue. Buffy roughly rubbed her hands together. It should have been damp but the air was humid.
If she squinted her eyes, blurred her vision slightly so the room was out of focus, Buffy knew it would look different. The rock wall could be trendy exposed brick, dark shadows from paint and no overhead lighting. Mismatched furniture typical for a bachelor who didn’t care about style, the only decoration books he wouldn’t admit to reading.
Buffy turned away from the ladder and noticed a lamp on a pile of rocks, an enormous hurricane lamp from the hardware store that regular people took camping. It cast a weak circle of yellow light over the floor. She bent over the lamp and reached forward to turn the small knob. The light flared. She quickly turned it the other way until the glow was soft gold.
She moved closer to the bed. Spike was sprawled on his stomach across the mattress, one pillow beneath his head, arms flung across the empty space, a white sheet barely covering his ass. His right foot was uncovered. It was the first time she had noticed his foot, his toes, the sharp contours of his ankle. Buffy stood beside the bed, her eyes tracing the lines of his leg. She took in the lines of his calf, how slender the back of his knee was, the long muscles of his thigh lax in sleep.
If he had noticed her presence, Spike hadn’t moved. Buffy slipped out of her clothes quickly, grimacing as her feet touched the gritty concrete. Nude, she pulled at the sheet quickly, her eyes on his face. She caught the edges in her hands, the material cool. Buffy tossed the sheet onto the empty space beside Spike’s head, a rough mess of fabric. She shivered slightly as she maneuvered herself across the mattress, draping her body over his.
He stirred when her thighs touched him. She stretched her arms along his, her chest against his back and his hips rolled beneath her. She lifted her chest, raised herself up on palms and knees, and Spike rolled easily onto his back, so they were face to face. Buffy leaned in quickly, her lips poised above his, ribs pressed into his chest, her hands on either side of his head.
“Buffy.” His voice was a rumble in the quiet room. She nodded. “What’s happened?”
She tilted her head to the side. He stared at her. “What’s wrong?”
“Does something have to be,” she clenched her legs around him for an instant before relaxing slightly, “wrong?”
His eyes were alert, a knowing smile on his lips. He shifted so he was raised on one elbow. “Course not.”
She traced one hand across his solar plexus, down his shoulder, stopping just above his elbow. Her fingers were cold. He watched her, not breathing.
“Why did you come to the shop today?” Buffy looked down on the last word, suddenly aware of her nudity in the silence.
“You know why.” He pushed her hair back with his left hand. She looked at him as best she could in the dim light. The truth Tara saw was obvious.
Buffy nodded slowly. “You said,” she began but her mouth was dry and she struggled to form the words, “you said you loved me. Did you mean it?”
“What?” He leaned forward suddenly, nearly smashing their heads together. Buffy tensed her legs but he didn’t push her away. Spike raised himself on his elbows, pillows abandoned beneath him.
Spike’s mouth tightened, “what’s going on? Fishing for compliments isn’t your style Slayer.”
“Like you would know,” she retorted, flexing her feet, toes digging into the mattress. Spike’s stare was intense, his body poised for the sting of her next words. Buffy inhaled quickly, her throat constricting. The corner of her mouth fell and she shook her head.
“Stop,” she said, brushing her fingertips over his lower lip. “Please.” Words meant for him as much as herself. She allowed her mouth to curve into an almost smile and made body heavy against him.
Spike nodded deliberately, his head moving up and down slowly, eyes never leaving her face. He opened his mouth slightly and traced his tongue around her middle finger. Buffy relaxed, left hand on the mattress beside his head supporting her weight. She curved her right hand against his neck, fingers teasing the soft hair at the base of his skull.
“You’re naked,” he said. He traced her shoulder with one hand. Buffy’s right hand drew a slow line down his neck toward his chest, her touch barely grazing his skin. “And in my bed.”
“Now he notices,” she quipped softly, her lips curved in a stranger’s smile. He said her name softly and she met his eyes, nodded once but didn’t continue. His eyes were enormous, practically black in the dim light. Buffy smiled again, a generous coy smile that sent warmth through her body and made her bold.
“Think the bed’s strong enough?” She leaned forward slightly; weight balanced on her forearms, legs stretched long against him.
“One way to find out,” Spike replied. When he kissed her Buffy didn’t think about the exposed rock or rugs. She felt his lips against hers, hands tangling in her hair and teasing her bare skin, heard the rush of blood in her ears drowning out any other thoughts. She allowed him to roll them gently, arms and legs tangled. He increased the pressure of the kiss, demanding her full attention, and she tightened her legs around his lower back, pressing their bodies closer together.