Bitch's Brew


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Spike was desperate to get laid. Even sex with Harmony was better than no sex at all. It had been far too long and he was in no mood to yank himself. The filthy streets of Los Angeles were laid out before him like a maze of lonely concrete jungles. On every street corner, hookers leered and wiggled their tongues at him. It was inviting. Fucking anything, anything at all would be better than driving around so stiff it hurt.

He wanted Dru. He wanted her so bad it ached inside but she had pushed him away for the final time. The things she had said and the way she had pounded his flesh with her bony little arms had killed it. There would never, ever be a reason to make him go back to his insane lover. He had taken a gut full of her abuse and when she pushed him away with force he knew right then that he’d never go back.

Unless of course she asked.

Snarling, Spike slammed his fist against his steering wheel. It had been the worse day of his life. He had lost the Gem of Amarra to the torture demon who had cost him an arm and a leg. His hair had caught on fire thanks to a hole in the ceiling that let sunlight in and a five-foot tall wereboy had gotten the better of him. And the kid hadn't even gotten out of the van to do it. Fucking was the only answer to his problems so he pulled up next to a curb, ogling several prostitutes. One did not look half-bad and he motioned her to come to the window.

The woman complied and leaned down low, bringing her face within inches of his. “What’s your poison, precious?”

With a heavy sigh, Spike pushed her back out and said, “Lift the front of your skirt.”

“Excuse me?” She stood up straight and stared down at him like he had just asked her to give him a free blowjob. “Who do you think you are?”

“I’m a paying customer and I want to make sure you have the right parts before I offer you a ride. Do you know how many men dress like you and then rob people?”

With a coy smile, the woman backed up and lifted her skirt, exposing what she possessed under the leather. Spike shifted in his seat and motioned her to join him. As soon as she was inside, she held her hand out for money. Spike dug through his pocket and gave her several twenties.

He would get it back in a little while anyway.

__

Thirty minutes later he was about to explode and had buried his fangs in the woman’s neck. As soon as he tasted her blood he recoiled and spat furiously. He pulled himself from her even though he hadn't yet finished. “You’re a demon!”

“And you’re a vampire!” She replied, sitting up and yanking her skirt down. “You could have killed me.”

“Could have, my ass. I am –going- to kill you.” Spike grabbed her by the throat and squeezed as hard as he could. “What is the world coming to when demons hoard in on the oldest profession known to humans?”

The woman didn’t struggle. Instead, she smiled widely. A thin veil of light blue smoke trailed slowly from her nose and mouth, burning Spike’s flesh and making his eyes water. He released her as quickly as he had grabbed her and rubbed his face. “Fuck me!”

“Yes.” She nodded at him. “I curse you, vampire. You have become my enemy. As punishment, you must seek and fuck –your- enemy and give her the pleasure I did not receive. You bad lay, you!”

“WHAT?” Spike glared at her through bloodshot eyes and shook his head. Bad lay his ass! “What are you talking about?”

“I don’t like being a meal, young man.” The woman, who had been a red haired beauty, quickly changed into an old hag and began to cackle loudly. “A curse on you and that beloved dick of yours. If you don’t fuck that which is known as a vampire’s mortal enemy, your dick will fall victim to leprosy and rot off.”

“A Slayer is a vampire’s mortal enemy.” Spike said, not believing what this thing was saying or that his pecker had touched her. He spit into his hand and began rubbing his cock furiously, trying to wash her off of it.

“Three days, night child. Three days and you will become reliant on those fangs for the only pleasure in your life.” With a toothless grin, the woman stepped from his car and leaned back in, blowing more billowing smoke into the car. “And you may not take it with force. She has to want your manhood in order to save it.”

“NOOOO!” Spike quickly leapt from the car, intent on killing her but she had vanished into thin air along with his money and his sanity. Instead of doing anything, he tripped over his pants, which were around his ankles and jumped back into the car. “That’s bullshit. She can’t do anything. She…”

A sharp pain hit him between the legs and he looked down at his exposed crotch in time to see the blue smoke disappear into his penis. Spike yanked his pants up as fast as he could and pointed his vehicle back towards Sunnydale. He didn’t know how he was going to accomplish it but he had to find Buffy and make her want him.

__

“Buff, I say this as a friend,” Xander waved his hands back and forth in front of Buffy’s face. “If you stare at Parker much longer then your eyes will get stuck that way.”

Willow tapped Buffy on the shoulder when she didn’t acknowledge Xander’s comment. “He’s right, Buffy. I think Parker’s just doing it to upset you anyway.”

Buffy nodded, but kept staring at the boy who had taken advantage of her and made her first weeks of college a living hell. He had moved from college coeds to High School girls and was currently frenching Aura in the corner. Aura had majored in boys in school and was repeating her senior year because of it. Sighing, Buffy slammed her forehead on the table and said, “I can’t take it. I can not take it anymore. I hate it. I hate being lonely and I hate being me.”

“A mopey Buff is a boring Buff.” Xander wagged his finger at her and she lifted her head enough to glare at him. “Look at it this way, if you keep filling the pity pool then sooner or later you will get tired of treading water and drown.”

“Xander!” Willow narrowed her eyes and shook her head. “Don’t you know anything? You don’t mention dying to people who are suicidal!”

“Now I’m suicidal?!” Buffy cried. “I’m mopey and suicidal? I’m going home!”

“That’s not the answer.” Reasoned Willow, glaring from Parker to Buffy and back at Parker. “If you leave then he’ll think he won.”

“He has won.” Buffy stood and gathered her belongings. She paused beside Xander and loudly added, “I have to go meet Blaine. He’s such a hottie.”

Xander and Willow raised their eyebrows and watched her leave. Willow sighed and shook her head, “Blaine? That’s the best she could do?”

“She likes men with girly names like Angel.” Xander shrugged.

__

Spike was pacing in front of the campus pub, half hoping he would run into Buffy somewhere and debating going for a cold beer. He started toward the door just as it opened and Buffy stepped out, bumping straight into him.

“Slayer!” Spike cried. “Just the cutie I was looking for.”

Buffy brushed the tears off her face and tried her best to glare at him. “What do you want?”

“Are you crying, luv?” Spike hated the sound of his voice as much as he hated feigning interest in her pathetic existence.

“I am not your love.” Buffy pushed past him and started to walk away, then she spun back with a stake in her hand.

Spike’s eyes widened as he intercepted the piece of wood just inches from his heart. He wrestled it from her and tossed it over his shoulder before turning back toward her. “What the hell was that for?”

“Let’s see…” Buffy pulled another stake from her pocket and patted it against the palm of her hand. “Number one, you’re a vampire and this is the best way to kill you…although beheading you has been a secret fantasy of mine. Two, I don’t like you which wouldn’t be enough to get you killed if you weren’t a vampire because if not liking someone was enough to kill them then Parker…Parker…” Her voice cracked and she sobbed loudly as she added, “doesn’t want me, Spike.”

He watched her sob for several seconds before he poked her on top of the head. “Could you actually not do that right now?”

Buffy gasped and she composed herself somewhat. “What?”

“I need to talk to you and you bawling is distracting me.”

“I’m supposed to reign in my emotions just because you say so?” Buffy punched him hard in the jaw and added, “Fine. When I’m not bawling… I’m brawling.”

Spike recoiled and caught himself before he fell over the curb and into the road. “Bloody hell, Buffy! Knock it off!”

“Knock it off? I’m upset! I need violence!” Buffy started toward him again and Spike quickly moved so that a parked car was positioned between them. “Coward!”

“You’re upset over fucking some idiot and I’m upset over the prospect of never fucking again unless it’s you. And I don’t know which is worse to be honest.”

Buffy shook her head and pressed a thumb to her temple. Surely she had not heard him right. “Did you just say something about fucking me?”

“Yes! Do I have your attention now because I have a big, big problem!”

“It’s your problem, it’s not mine.” Buffy’s curiosity had the better of her though and she remained firmly planted on one side of the car.

“It is your problem! It is entirely your fault! Every single fucking thing that has happened to me in the last three years has been YOUR fault. You put me in a wheelchair, you made Dru hate me and you made that fucking dickhead of a sire of mine have an identity crisis and…”

“Get to the point!” Buffy yelled. “As much as I love this walk down memory lane and being reminded of the many times I got the better of you…I don’t want to listen to you any longer than I have to.”

“You don’t have to listen to me.” Spike smirked. “You’re listening because you like the thought of me fucking you.”

“I wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot pole!”

“Then why are you listening?”

“Morbid curiosity!” She fired back, perplexed that she actually did like the thought. “And I’ve heard enough.”

She started to walk away but he quickly intercepted her and shook his head. “Please! I’m begging you to help me.”

“Why don’t I just kill you and put you out of your misery if it’s that bad?”

“Why don’t you just close your bitchy little mouth and hear me out.”

Rolling her eyes, Buffy led the way toward a bench that sat next to the pub. “Make it quick.”

Spike followed her, keeping an eye on the stake in her hand. “Can you put that away?”

“No. I might not like what you have to say.” She took one look at his face and reluctantly slid the sharp piece of wood up her sleeve. “Spit it out.”

“I went to a hooker in Los Angeles because…”

Buffy exploded with laughter and pointed at him. “You’re such a loser!”

Licking his upper lip he glanced skyward, ignoring her and continued, “I went to a hooker in Los Angeles because I’m a loser and wanted to get laid. I was desperate and in a foul disposition and...”

“And this is new?”

“SHUT. UP.” Spike leveled her with his deep blue eyes and then sighed, dreading telling her the truth. “I picked up this bitch and screwed her silly then started to feed on her and she was a demon. Anyway, I couldn’t kill her…”

“Because you’re a loser?” Buffy grinned when his jaw tightened. “Go on, you big baby.”

“I tried to kill her but the thing wouldn’t die. She cursed me. She cursed my dick. “

“I’m thinking, ‘yay demon’ and then I’m thinking ‘what does this have to do with me?’” Buffy cocked her head to one side and stared at him.

“She said if I don’t fuck my mortal enemy within three days then my dick will fall off.” He replied in a small voice with no inflection.

“Well, no one likes you, Spike. So you have a million enemies to choose from.” Buffy stood, quieted the laughter that was escaping in small snorts and smiled sweetly. “Good luck!”

Spike yanked her back into the spot beside him and shook his head angrily. “She was specific. It has to be you.”

“Then I suggest you bend over and kiss it goodbye.” She patted his leg affectionately and mustered a sad face for his benefit. Inside she was screaming with satisfaction and wanted to scream it from the rooftops.

“It’s not like you won’t be getting anything in return, Slayer.” Spike was at his wit’s end. Being nice to her was excruciatingly painful and the thought of screwing her was excruciatingly sickening. “I know I’m better than anyone you’ve had.”

“This is just gross. How dare you come here and think that I will help you after you’ve tried to kill me a thousand times?” She shook with fury as she brushed his hands off her arm.

“I dare because it’s my fucking dick and that’s PRICELESS!”

“To you, maybe! To me it’s poetic justice.”

Spike moved in front of her and squatted down, biting back the urge to panic. What would he be without his dick? There was no way he would survive a week without it. “I’m down on my knees begging you! For the next three days I will do anything you want me to do if you will just –think- about helping me.”

Buffy crossed her arms and leaned back against the bench. “Will you stop killing people? For good? Not just three days?”

“Yes. I’ll bag it.”

“Will you stop being a dickhead the entire time you’re awake?”

“Yes. I’ll only be a dickhead in my dreams.”

“Will you use me and then abuse me as soon as you get what you want?”

“Yes, I’ll…” Spike’s eyes widened when he registered what the question had been. “I mean, NO! No I won’t, Slayer. I’ll be your fucking toy for the rest of your fucking life. Please help me. Please?”

“Okay, Spike. For the next forty-eight hours you do what I say when I say it and then we’ll see.” Buffy had no intention of sleeping with him at all but she couldn’t resist the prospect of breaking him down before he lost his dick.

“I’ll take what I can get.” Spike stood and started to walk away.

“Where are you going?”

“Home.”

“No, you aren’t. I own you, remember?” Buffy walked beside him, unbuttoned the top three buttons of his shirt, and smoothed his hair down.

“What are you doing?” He shoved her hands off and covered himself like she had violated him. His skin crawled and he shook all over.

“You start now. We’re going into this club and you’re going to act like I’m the most attractive person alive and you’re madly in love with me.”

“Nobody is that talented of an actor.”

“Think of your rotting er...thing... and you’ll give an oscar winning performance.”

Spike followed her through the double doors thinking about how exhilarating it would be to kill her as soon as he had fucked her senseless. There was more than one way to skin a cat in this town and he was the resident evil. He would torture her long and hard for this and then kill everyone who had ever spoken to her just because they did it. No one was as bad as he was and he was his own man. < Who am I kidding? She had my balls in a sling and the worst part is, she knows it! I should have just lied... >

Xander was the first to see Buffy and Spike walk into the pub together and he spit the soda he had been guzzling halfway across the table. It splattered Willow right in the face. “Ah, Willow. How long does it take someone to become a vampire?”

“Twenty four hours! Give or take a few.” Willow snapped and dabbed at her face with a stack of napkins she had grabbed out of the container. As soon as she had blotted her eyes enough to focus, she followed his gaze and gasped. “What is she doing with Spike?”

Xander gaped at the couple as they walked to the dance floor and began to gyrate sensuously against one another. “They’re doing very naughty things, Will. He changed her!”

“She left ten minutes ago. She can’t be changed.” The redhead got to her feet and strode onto the dance floor with Xander on her heels. “But she could be drugged!”

Buffy’s head was thrown back and Spike’s face was buried at the base of her neck, nibbling gently toward her cleavage. When she had told him to act like he was hot for her, she hadn’t anticipated getting hot herself. The feel of his narrow hips rubbing against her and the wonder of his mouth trailing all over her neck was enough to make her go weak in the knees. She was thankful for the arm that he had wrapped around her, steadying her.

Willow cleared her throat and Spike stood up straight, pulling away from Buffy but keeping his arm in place. He was not going to admit the fact that he was enjoying the feel of her hot skin under his mouth but he wasn’t going to pretend that it wasn’t annoying to be interrupted either. With a roll of his eyes, he said, “Hello, witch. Leave.”

Buffy leaned in close to Willow and whispered, “I know how it looks and I’ll explain later. For now, just go back and sit down.”

Xander shook his head and stepped toward Spike. “Do you want to take this outside, buddy?”

Spike puffed his chest and moved nose to nose with the boy. “Do you?”

“I have a stake with your name all over it, Billy Boy.”

“And I have a healthy appetite. Even for weasels like you.”

“Quit it!” Buffy stepped between them. “Guys, I know what I’m doing, okay? I ’ll tell you everything later.”

“The hell you will.” Spike yanked her beside him and growled under his breath. “The circumstances here are to remain private. As in, me and you.”

“What circumstances?” Willow glanced from one to the other and put her hands on her hips. “Did you drug her, Spike?”

“No, but I’d like to give her a sleeping pill. Several hundred actually.” Spike glanced around the dimly lit room and noticed a familiar set of eyes on them. The boy Buffy had slept with was there with another girl. He slipped his hand around Buffy’s waist and nuzzled her behind the ear, keeping up his end of the deal and hating it. “The idiot’s watching us. Are you using me to make him jealous?”

Buffy turned and smiled mock-affectionately at the blond vampire. Her nose touched the tip of his and she rubbed it back and forth. “Of course I am, moron. What else are you good for?”

Chuckling, Spike ran his fingers through her hair and fought the urge to yank it as hard as he could. He made a vow to himself then and there that once he got what he needed from her he would dance all over her with steel toed shoes. “I hate you so very, very much.”

“Likewise, I’m sure.” Buffy turned to her friend’s and pushed them toward their table. “Just go. I’m fine. And nothing you see here means anything.”

Xander started to protest but Willow pulled him along behind her. She knew perfectly well what Buffy was up to. She was going to use Spike to get to Parker. Willow couldn’t exactly blame her since Spike was as handsome as anyone else she could have picked. However, unlike anyone else, he was a vampire. She didn’t know what was going on, but she intended to stay there until she could figure it out.

Spike watched them until they were out of earshot and then gripped Buffy’s upper arms, keeping his false smile in place. “If you blab about my situation I swear that all bets are off and I will kill you.”

“What about your…”

“It would be worth it! The pleasure I would feel at your death would more than compensate for a lifetime of celibacy.” Spike tugged her against him as a slow song began to play. “Now stop talking and don’t look at me so I can pretend you aren’t you.”

“I thought you said you wouldn’t be a dickhead anymore.” Buffy turned them on the dance floor so that she could peer at Parker over Spike’s shoulder and drew great satisfaction in the fact that he was watching them intently. She ran her hands down Spike’s backside and gripped his ass firmly in both of her hands as she ground her pelvis into his.

Spike’s eyes widened as his body reacted to her touch. He turned them again roughly and snapped. “I’m the man. I lead the damn dancing.”

“You keep on with this attitude and you won’t be a man much longer.” Buffy turned again and her breath caught in her throat. Parker was striding toward them with a look of determination. “Oh God.”

“Say a prayer for me too since I’d catch on fire if I did it myself!” Spike snapped, then turned when someone tapped him on the back.

“May I cut in?” Parker asked, his eyes never leaving Buffy.

“No, you may not.” Spike stated matter-of-factly. He wondered, not for the first time since he had seen this bloke, what Buffy had seen in him.

“Buffy?” Parker extended a hand toward her.

Spike caught him before he could touch her. “Mate, if you want to keep that arm attached to your body then I suggest you keep it away from her.”

The vampire spoke with such conviction that it shocked Buffy. “Parker, I’m sure you remember Spike.”

The boy nodded. “I remember that you said that the two of you weren’t dating.”

“We weren’t. He didn’t realize how much he wanted me until he saw me wasting my time with you.” She grinned when Parker’s face fell. “Who needs a boy when I can have a man?”

Spike patted the boy on the shoulder, thoroughly enjoying his discomfort. “Thank you for showing me the way.”

“You used me to make him notice you? To make him jealous?” Parker crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head. “I can not believe you.”

“It was fun.” Buffy repeated what he had told her. Ordinarily she would have felt guilty that she was behaving this way but she was past the point of caring. He had hurt her as much as she had ever been hurt, if not more. “Didn’t you have fun, Parker?”

“I don’t like being used.” He replied, raking his fingers through his floppy hair and stepping from one foot to the other before he reached for her again.

“You’re about to be abused. Don't touch her.” Spike told him, knocking his arm away angrily. “Now get out of here.”

“You’re trash, Summers.” Parker ignored him, speaking instead to Buffy, “I had you pegged for an easy lay the minute I saw you but I didn’t have you pegged as a worthless tramp.”

“I was hoping you would say something like that.” With a wry smile, Spike drew his fist back and slammed it against the side of Parker’s face. The boy landed flat on his back and quickly began scooting away. Spike gripped the front of his shirt and pulled him back to his feet. “I have you pegged as the apologetic type. Tell Buffy you’re sorry.”

Parker licked the blood that was trickling from his lip and then swung at Spike, who had anticipated as much. He sent the boy flying against the wall like he was a ragdoll and then hauled him to his feet again. “I can make it hurt if you don’t.”

“Fuck!” Cried Parker, clutching his face in both of his hands and then moving them to glare at the blood. “You broke my nose.”

Spike reached up and tweaked his bloody nose, twisting it in his fingers. “I don’t hear an apology. Yet.”

Squealing, he tried to pry Spike’s fingers off of his face but couldn’t. “I ’m sorry, Buffy!”

Nodding, Spike turned the nose the other way. “Now tell her that she’s worth more than you anyway.”

“I’m not worthy! You deserve better!” Howled Parker who sank to his knees as soon as Spike released him.

A large bald man with the word ‘Bouncer’ written across his shirt was stomping their way and Buffy quickly grabbed Spike’s arm. They hurried toward the door, oblivious to the fact that Willow and Xander had shouted for them to stop. Once outside, the broke into a run side by side and didn’t stop until they were in the woods behind the dorm building that Buffy called home.

Spike had no breath to lose and silently came to a halt behind her. Buffy, on the other hand, leaned against a tree and drew ragged breaths until her adrenaline stopped pumping furiously. Finally, she lifted her gaze to Spike and burst out laughing. “I can not believe you did that, Spike.”

With a modest shrug, Spike picked a dead limb up off the ground and began to pick at it. “I would have killed him but you made me promise to be good.”

“You did more than enough.” Smiling, Buffy replayed the look on Parker’s face through her mind. “Did you see his face?”

“Up close and personal. Although, not as personal as you.” He tossed the stick and dug through his pockets for a cigarette. “What did you see in him anyway?”

“I was lonely.” She replied quietly and her smile faded. “Being lonely makes you do stupid things.”

When a search of his pockets didn’t turn up any smokes, he concentrated on her. “You were desperate is what you were. There are a million men better than him who wouldn’t have been such bastards.”

“I was not desperate.”

“Were too. Desperate and pathetic and stupid and…” Spike’s feet were knocked out from under him by the fuming Slayer and she kicked him in the ribs before he could grab her foot. He rolled fast, before she could kick him again and caught her behind the knee, yanking her down on the ground beside him. “You better knock it off before…”

“Oww! OWW!” Buffy leaned low and massaged her calf. “My leg hurts.”

“You’re just trying to change the subject because the truth hurts.” He glanced skyward and estimated that it was almost two in the morning. If he left now then he could find someplace to sleep that wasn’t Harmony infested. Getting to his feet he said, “I should probably be going. I’ll see you tomorrow, yes?”

Buffy nodded and got to her feet. She started to walk past him and then she dropped to the ground and started rolling. “My leg!”

Without thinking, Spike kneeled beside her and ran his hands up and down her leather pants, not knowing what to expect. He felt the tight angle of her calf and said, “You’ve got a charley horse! I thought you really had something wrong with you.”

“I do!” She cried, rocking from side to side.

“Well stretch the bloody thing and it’ll go away!” He yelled.

Buffy attempted to straighten her leg but the pain intensified. “Oww!”

“Stretch! Don’t moan about it.”

“I can’t!”

“How in hell did you get the job of being a Slayer when you have no threshold for pain?” Spike grabbed her shoulders and flopped her onto her back. He stood quickly and straightened her leg, pushing her foot upward.

Buffy grunted and tried to pull away several times but he held her firmly. Finally the pain subsided and he released her. She sat up and scooted back against a tree, feeling embarrassed. “Thanks.”

He nodded and sat across from her, also leaning against a tree. He should have said goodnight and made his way across town but she wasn’t making an attempt to leave so he wasn’t about to. Maybe she would thank him for helping her by letting him have the most important piece of ass in his life. “So?”

“So?” She glanced at him and then quickly back to her hands in her lap. He had shocked her with the way he defended her. She knew he was just pretending long enough to get what he wanted, which was exactly what Parker had done, but at least Spike was upfront about it. She suddenly remembered Harmony and casually asked, “So, where are you living now?”

“You’re a comedienne.” He scratched the side of his face, ashamed to say that he didn’t have anyplace to go. “You expect me to tell you that? So you can come stake me in my sleep?”

“You expect me to sleep with you? I mean, consider that. I’ve seen two of your girl friends now and I gotta be honest…”

Spike rubbed his hands across his jeans and got to his feet. “You’ve seen two of my girlfriends. Big deal. You will never be my girlfriend so there is nothing for you to compare it too or to worry about. We have a business arrangement and nothing else.”

Biting her lip, and trying to ignore the sting his comment caused, Buffy nodded. “I know and I didn’t mean…”

“Forget it. I’m going to go find a place to sleep for tonight. I’ll see you tomorrow when the sun goes down.”

“Sleep for tonight?” Buffy followed him, not wanting to go to her dorm and face the emptiness. He was company and she needed company. Even if she didn’ t like him most of the time he was someone new. Willow and Xander were wonderful but they didn’t challenge her. Spike challenged her. He was intense. “Why not just go back to wherever you were with Harmony?”

“You know Harm, Slayer.” He shrugged. “And you know that I’m in a very bad situation.” When she nodded, he added. “Could you, in my situation, be within a mile of her?”

“I couldn’t be within a mile of her on my best day.” She chuckled, then smacked herself on the forehead. “It’s Friday!”

“Technically it’s Saturday.”

“Mom’s gone for two weeks starting today. You can crash at my house.” Buffy glanced at him and added, “Follow me. I need to get my dirty laundry and leave a note for Will.”

Spike gazed after her as she trotted ahead of him. < Working her charley horse out, defending her honor and doing laundry with her. We may as well be married! Someone end the world now!>

__

An hour later, Spike tossed the garbage bag over his shoulder onto the couch and stretched. “Bloody hell! If I had known you had that much laundry I would have walked all the way back to my car and driven back!”

Buffy shut the door behind them and flipped the lamp on. “Unlike some people in this room, I have more than one outfit.”

“Yes, but I’ve noticed that most of your outfits are little more than scraps of cloth so you must have your entire wardrobe in here for it to be this heavy.” With a contented sigh, he collapsed into a recliner and put his feet up.

“What are you doing?” Clearly agitated, she swept his feet off of the footrest and closed the recliner.

He opened it up again and shut his eyes, “I’m going to sleep. You said I could sleep here.”

“No, I said you could crash here and I also mentioned laundry.” She ripped the garbage bag open and dumped the contents in his lap. “You can crash after you do my laundry.”

“WHAT?” Spike shouted, as he knocked several items of clothing into the floor. A stray pair of panties got wrapped around his fingers and he shook his hand back and forth several times before they flew across the room. “I am not washing your knickers!”

“If you intend to get into my knickers then you better wash them.” She retrieved the underwear off of the lampshade where they had landed and held them out to him. “If anything fades then so will your dick. It will fade into obscurity.”

With wide eyes, he watched her head toward the stairs. “What are you going to do?”

“Sleep.”

__

Spike spent thirty minutes looking for the washing machine. He checked every room in the downstairs and was about to head upstairs when he saw a door inside the pantry. He opened it and found himself at the top of very narrow stairs. He fumbled with his armload of whites and began descending into the basement carefully. For the most part, there was no sunlight that he could see. He felt along the stairwell for a light switch to no avail and then felt something brush against his face. Moaning and thinking of spiders, he stumbled forward and toppled down the stairs.

Thankfully, he landed flat on his stomach and the armload of clothing he was carrying broke the fall. He sat up and pulled a pair of panties off his face, glaring at them. They consisted of white lacy satin with a thong backing. Narrowing his eyes, he glanced toward the top of the stairs and quickly brought them to his nose, inhaling her scent. His cock sprang to life and he grinned, thinking about releasing himself all over her clothing before he washed them.

Buffy clapped her hands twice and the basement light came on. Spike sat at the bottom, sniffing her panties and patting himself between the legs. Her eyes widened and she shouted, “Spike, you nasty little worm!”

He shot to his feet, bumping the top of his head against the fuse box. “I wasn’t…”

“You don’t have to smell the laundry to wash it! I can assure you it’s dirty!”

Grinning, Spike held the panties up and leered at her. “Smelled great to me.”

Buffy felt the blood rush to her face and she slammed the door and latched it, locking him in the basement. “Don’t try to escape. It’ll be daylight soon.”

“I’m hungry!” He screamed, already on his feet and rushing up the stairs.

“We have mice!” She replied through the door. “Sleep tight.”

Cursing her loudly, he turned and stormed back into the basement. He forgot he was on stairs and fell again, smashing his backside against the concrete floor. The sound of the Slayer’s laughter could be heard for several minutes before she finally grew quiet. “You better not still be laughing at me up there.” He snapped loudly.

“Nope.” Buffy said happily. “I’m having a late snack. Mmmm! It’s so good. See you later.”

Spike stood up and stomped all over his clothes, leaping up and down and kicking them all over the place. For good measure, he leaned over and grabbed a handful and tossed them against the wall.

Promising himself she would pay with her life, he gathered everything and tossed it in the washer, squinting in the dark to make out the detergent. He vowed that after he killed the Slayer, he would go find the nasty old bitch who had cursed him and make her regret the day she had met William the Bloody. He was the baddest mother fucker who ever lived.

His eyes widened when he realized he had forgotten the fabric softener. Laundry just wasn’t laundered without the softener.

__****__

Buffy awoke, pulled from a wonderful dream where she was eating chocolate covered strawberries from a hand that stroked her face. Smiling, she wondered who the hand had belonged to and glanced at the clock. It was just after four in the afternoon and she was refreshed from sleeping for almost ten hours. She couldn’t remember ever sleeping so deeply before.

The phone rang and she quickly rolled to answer it. “Hello?”

“Buffy Summers, I have called you all day!” Willow cried. “I was about to come over there! What are you doing?”

“Lying in bed. I slept so soundly I didn’t hear the phone.” Buffy replied, twirling the telephone cord. “Why?”

“Where is Spike?”

“Spike?” The Slayer sat up quickly and tossed the cover back. “He’s in my basement. Oh god, I had forgotten he was here.”

“Why is he there? What’s going on?” Willow glanced at Giles, who was watching her expectantly. She nodded and mouthed that Buffy was okay and the watcher put a hand to his chest and mumbled something about her being the death of him.

Sticking her feet into the slippers beside her bed, Buffy gave Willow a quick run down on what Spike had told her. She let her know that the prostitute had blown out some sort of smoke and that Spike had felt it and seen it go into his penis. Both girls giggled like mad when Buffy said that she was the cure and then Willow gasped and said, “You’re not thinking about doing it are you?”

“NO!” Buffy shouted into the receiver, hoping Willow was more convinced that she was. “Even though he is kind of pitiful.”

“That curse can easily be broken without you doing it.”

“How?”

“Come over to Giles’s soon. And don’t do anything yet.” Willow glanced around the empty room and whispered, “Unless you just want to.”

Smiling, Buffy hung up the phone and then dialed Willy’s bar. The man answered on the third ring and she told him that she needed fresh blood brought to her house. He didn’t ask any questions and promised to be there within the hour. Satisfied that there was enough time, she padded into the bathroom and took a quick shower.

She dressed in a pair of tight black pants and a blue halter top. As she was tugging on her boots, she heard the doorbell and ran down the stairs to get it. Willy simply handed her the box and smiled, telling her that she was as pretty as a picture. Buffy took the blood, offered him money and shut the door in his face when he refused. She had more important things to do than talk to him.

In the kitchen, she emptied the blood into a tall glass and warmed it for a minute in the microwave. Her hair was still damp as she opened the door into the basement and she shivered as cool air blasted her. There was no heat there and she had completely forgotten that. “Spike?”

He appeared at the bottom of the stairs and glanced up at her with his hands on his hips. “You rang? Finally.”

“I got you some food. I also closed all the blinds in the house so come on up.” Buffy left the door open and walked back into the kitchen. “Are you cold?”

“Always.” He appeared behind her and peeked into the room, confirming that she had sun-proofed everything. “But that doesn’t mean I liked being locked into a cold, musty basement. Just because I’m dead doesn’t mean I should be buried.”

“That’s a matter of opinion.” Buffy opened the microwave and handed him the glass.

Grimacing, he took it and stared at it. “When you said you had food for me I thought you meant one of your teenage pals. This is disgusting.”

“If you aren’t hungry then give it back.” She held out her hand and smiled as he began to slurp it through the straw. “Good dog.”

He glared at her until the glass was empty and then sat it on the counter. “I don’t even want to know what that was.”

“Good because I don’t know.” She shrugged and headed toward the living room.

“What do you mean you don’t know?” He shouted. “You fed me something that you can’t even name?”

“Did you enjoy it?”

“I would enjoy anything after being starved enough to eat my own damn arm.” Spike flopped into a chair beside the couch and grabbed the remote. “That doesn’t make it right.”

Buffy saw him out of the corner of her eye while she fished through her paperwork and schoolbooks. “Give me that, asshole.”

“Wha…” He held his hands up innocently as she snatched the remote away and flipped the television off. “I wanted to see if you had any good channels since I’m going to be here for the next day!”

Gathering a book and a notepad, she smiled at him. “You’ll be far too busy to watch television. You have two papers due to me by midnight. I’ve outlined everything. One is about a hobby I enjoy and one is already written, you just have to type it for me on mom’s computer. No mistakes. If you screw this up then I’m not getting near you.”

Angrily shaking his head, Spike refused to take the supplies she was offering. “If I do it for you then what have you learned?”

“I’ve learned that I have you right where I want you. That old hag might be the one who cursed you but I’m the one nailing your dick to the wall.” Buffy grabbed her purse and patted him on the head. “Spell check is your friend. Use Microsoft Word.”

“I don’t know how to spell check!” He shouted, rising to his feet as she strode toward the door. “I don’t know anything about computers!”

“Well, learn. Mom’s got the Idiot’s Guide To The Home PC on her desk.” Buffy blew him a kiss and added, “Be a good little servant. And wash my colored clothes while you’re at it.”

“You’re a bitch!”

“And you have to appease the bitch.” She shut the door quickly, just as he s tarted another rant and headed quickly toward Giles’s.

__

Spike sat down clumsily in Joyce’s computer chair. He wasn’t prepared for it roll and it slid away, causing him to stumble all over the room. He yanked the chair back under the desk and flopped into it, crossing his arms over his chest. “New fangled technology sucks. Who needs to roll about when they can walk!”

Reminded of his wheelchair days and despising the fact that he had wheel chair days to recall, he snatched the notebook into his lap and thumbed through it. The Slayer’s handwriting was nauseating. She doodled in the margins and wrote entirely too big. She did have everything in order though. The first essay was about a hobby she enjoyed and she had chosen wood-crafting, which was ironic to say the least. In a girlish voice he pretended to toss his hair over his shoulder and said, “My name is Buffy. Yes, stupid name, I know, and I’m into wood crafting. Yes, wood crafting. For all you daft arses in the audience, I like to fashion wood into stakes and ram them into unsuspecting vampires because I am an unrelenting, life force sucking bitch.”

Licking his lips, he stared at the computer monitor. He didn’t see a power button or a remote control, which he had mastered in the sixties. Scratching the side of his face, he recalled that the Slayer had clapped her hands and illuminated the basement. Figuring it was worth a try, Spike clapped his hands loudly. A bedside lamp came on but he computer remained dark. “Bloody hell.”

On the desk was a book called, ‘The Idiot’s Guide’ and ‘Computers for Dummies’. “Am I an idiot or a dummy?” He grabbed the Idiot guide and thumbed to the index. Not quite ten minutes later, he had located the power switch on the back of the mini tower and was able to stumble onto the monitor switch by accident. Relieved, he waited for the Window’s Screen to disappear. When it finally did, he shook his fist at it and swore at all the icons he had to choose from. “What did she tell me to use? Microsoft Works or Microsoft Word?”

He clicked on word and nothing happened. Groaning he opened the book again, read for several minutes and then double clicked over the icon. Propping the notepad against the printer, he began to form sentences out of what notes Buffy had outlined and not quite an hour later, hit spell check. He read back through the essay and nodded proudly. “That should earn the twit a passing mark. Not that she’ll be alive long enough to turn it in.”

Hitting the printer tab, he thumbed through the notebook again until he found the next assignment. While he waited for the pages to come through, he stretched out on Joyce’s bed and began to read.

Who I Am
An Essay By: Buffy Summers
Introduction to Psychology
Professor Walsh

When I was given this assignment, I cringed. We were told at the beginning of the term that our final grade would depend on how well we studied and got to know our subject. I had hopes that my subject would be a child or a classmate or a friend. I never thought that I would have to study myself. I am a child, a classmate and a friend.

But I am also a stranger.

Getting to know me began with old videotapes of myself. I journeyed to my mother’s house and asked her to watch the tapes with me. I am an only child so my parents devoted countless hours to videotaping everything about my life. My first bath, first haircut and first day of school are all there, frozen forever on a two- dollar VHS memory. My mother coaxes me to smile in every film and I comply. I pull my lips back, some of the home movies show me with no teeth, some show me with teeth too big and some show me hiding my smile with my hand. My mouth smiles. My eyes do not.

I knew early on that my mother and father had problems. By the fifth hour of film I hear it. They leave it on me while I’m eating at the dinner table. I’ m probably about eight years old. I see the look on my face as their shouts intensify and I wonder how they could have overlooked it for so long. I know exactly what I’m thinking. I am sitting there wondering what I did wrong. Did I not smile enough? Did I not make them happy? I don’t finish my dinner. I’m not smiling here. I’m oblivious to the camera and I begin to play with my food. A door slams, the little girl I once was jumps and drops her plate in her lap.

Mom’s sitting beside me on the couch watching that same tape and she still doesn’t notice the look on my face. She’s commenting about the fact that I hadn’t kept my dress clean after she had told me to all day. Even now, my mouth smiles. My eyes do not.

It took me about two weeks to sift through the tapes and I realized that I am not going to get to know me that way. I wasn’t me on those tapes. I was someone playing a part. “Smile, Buffy. Don’t you want this to be a happy tape to share with your kids one day?”

If I wanted to share anything with my kids it would be not to smile when your heart isn’t in it.

The next leg of my getting to know me journey was fun. I passed out papers to friends and family members and asked them to list words to describe me. I calculated everything and chose the top five answers. The ones that most people used. Beautiful, gifted, loving, witty and determined. Beautiful was the number one answer. I would rather be known for my determination. I earned that, I think.

It wasn’t until after I read their replies that I realized that they don’t know me either. Only I know me and the assignment was to get to know me better. I spent the night staring at myself in the mirror. I don’t see beauty. I see a nose that is too crooked, eyes that are too big and teeth that could have used braces. I guess my folks were too caught up in one another to notice that little detail when I smiled for the cameras.

I see hair that is dyed and a body that most women would say is perfect. It’ s not though. I don’t feel comfortable in it and I don’t like the way other women glare at me and then look to see if their boyfriend is looking at me too. If this is beautiful in other people’s eyes then I would rather just be ordinary. Ordinary people only smile when they have a reason. I smile because I am forever hidden behind that facade.

Staring at the mirror didn’t answer anything either. The truth is, it took something else to make me realize who I am. It took the silence of my life and the loneliness of my nights to make me see it. I am a child who started the journey into womanhood with blinders on and then had the yanked off my face savagely before I could protest. It is in those dark nights where I confront my biggest fears, my strongest weaknesses that I show my determination. Alone, I am determined. I am strong but I am vulnerable. It's my strength that hides that vulnerability and closes me off to the world.

Outside of the night, I am nothing.

Who I am is not defined by my crooked nose. It is not defined by my blond hair. It is not defined by my smile. It is defined by the fact that I care enough about people’s perception of me to live a lie. Who I am is a liar. Who I am is an actress living a play that I let other people write for me. I didn’t pick my life but I accept it. I am determined not to fail and I am determined not to fall apart.

But I am also determined to play my part until the curtain fades on the final scene.

**

Spike flipped the pages furiously, looking for the rest of the report. He found more notes and a chart and several cue cards for an oral report but there was nothing else. “That can’t be it! This isn't who she is.”

He skimmed it again and then tossed it on the bed. Joyce had a photograph of Buffy on the night stand and he snatched it up. “Slayer! You left out the part where you’re annoying and self-righteous and hateful. Not to mention vile and disgusting…” His thumb traced along her face. “ly beautiful. Disgustingly beautiful and determined to make me insane. That’s your determination.”

Still staring at the photo he sat back at the computer and began to type the 'Who I Am' report.

But he left Buffy's version on the bed. He would get that version a little later. For now, he had something to say.

--

Willow opened the door and yanked Buffy inside before she could knock. She had spent the last hour watching for her at the window and as soon as she rounded the corner, Willow was poised to barrage her with questions. “Giles has gone to the store for supplies. Did you do it? Did he hurt you? Was he good? Did you…”

“No!” Buffy grinned at her friend as she shut the door. “What did you find out?”

“Well, we think it was a witch.”

“WE!?” The usually agile Slayer stumbled over a throw rug as she digested that. “You told Giles?”

“Not everything!” Willow flopped down on the couch and patted the spot beside her. “I posed a rhetorical question and he replied.”

“And said?”

Picking up her tea, Will took a deep breath. “Basically, there are two types of demons that use smoke to infect their victims. A Glassimer, which is the worst case scenario, or a witch, which I can handle.”

“How do we know if it’s a Gas Minor?”

“Glassimer.” The red head corrected, rolling her eyes. “A Glassimer is like…an evil cupid demon. It pits mortal enemies against each other and they usually wind up killing one another.”

“Why? What does the demon get in return?” Buffy leaned forward and grabbed a handful of popcorn out of a bag on the table.

Willow plucked a book off the pile in the floor. “For every entity that it’s responsible for killing, the demon gets years added to it’s life span. Humans, vampires, anything that dies because of it grants it more power. Shapeshifting, magical power and all sorts of other demon goodies.”

“How do you kill it?”

“You don’t. The only way to stop a Glassimer is if it’s victim achieves it’s goal. The Glassimer is banished into hell for however long the victim would have added to it’s lifespan. Are you following me?”

Chomping her popcorn, Buffy nodded and took several sips of Willow’s soda. “I guess. But we’re thinking witch, why?”

“Spike said it turned into an old hag.”

“But that’s fairy tale witchcraft. Real witches don't do that.”

"That's true." Willow nodded in agreement. "But I want to exhaust all the options. If it’s not a witch then the only way to stop it is by doing it with Spike. So…I’m going to mix up a brew for him to eat and we’ll see if that gets rid of the curse. If not, you’ll have to decide how important it is to you to cure him.”

“I guess we’ll see.” Buffy gathered her things and hugged her friend tight. “Don’t say anything to anyone, Will. Even Spike.”

“About what?” She smiled and watched Buffy walk out into the sunset. If she didn’t know better she would think that Buffy was hoping she couldn’t cure Spike.

__

She entered her home with more blood for Spike and a pizza for herself. Intent on enjoying her break from schoolwork, she had rented several movies as well. Sitting her stash on the island in the kitchen, she quietly followed the sounds of the printer up the stairs. Having Spike do her laundry and her schoolwork was something she could have easily gotten used to. Having him around at all was something she could easily get used to.

Spike had his back to her and was gazing intently at the screen when she poked her head around the doorjamb. A thick pile of paper sat to his left and his hands were in his lap. When he leaned to retrieve the newly printed document from the printer tray, Buffy saw why. He had found his way online and was currently downloading and printing photos of naked women.

“Spike!” She stormed the room and quickly snatched the mouse away from him. As soon as she saw what his hands had been doing in his lap, she dropped the mouse and wiped her hands furiously on her pants. “Eww! You were touching the mouse after…THAT?”

Chuckling, he stuffed his manhood back in place and zipped his jeans. The red crimson tint on the Slayer’s cheeks was enough to fill him with glee for the next century. She was gorgeous when she blushed and when she yelled and he would bet that she was breathtaking when she fucked. “Don’t be so bashful, pet. You’ll be touching it soon enough.”

“Sick!” She snatched a tissue from the box on the file cabinet and yanked him out of the chair. Placing the tissue over the mouse, she opened a new browser and quickly scrolled through the history. “Naked celebrities. Naked virgins. Triple x-rated fetishes? You have a fetish?”

“No!” Spike made a move to grab the mouse and hit the ‘clear history’ button but she was too fast. She double clicked the URL and a panty fetish page loaded. He groaned. “I…I …Slayer, I was just curious.”

“That’s a ten year old’s alibi!” Buffy laughed as she viewed the page. “Pink panties, silk panties, leather panties and thongs. Which ones do it for you, Spike?”

“Piss off.”

“Aww, poor wittle Spikey has a panty fetish and the big, bad Slayer is going to tell.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Is it leather, Spike? Does it throw you back to the eighties when Billy Idol was making millions as the ‘it’ boy and you were actually in style?”

“He never went out of style.”

“Please. He’s so dated his own grandkids don’t even know who he is.” Buffy hit the history button and scrolled again. “Erotic Dawson’s Creek fanfic? Joey and the Jungle Gym? Dawson and His Delicious Dick? Jen’s Genitalia?”

“That must have been your mother, not me.” He would have gladly disappeared into a dust plume if there was anything to poke through his chest.

“It shows the date right here, Dye Job.” Buffy tapped the screen. “It’s official. You are the most disturbing man alive.”

He grabbed the essays he had done for her and shoved them in front of the screen, blocking her view. “Here’s your school work. Spell checked and everything. Shouldn't you read it and find something to berate me about?”

She snatched the papers and shoved them into her lap, clicking again. “I’m busy here. So, you’re a fan of bondage? That’s good since since your balls are still in a vise grip.”

“I’m going downstairs!” He shouted and stomped out the door. Truth be told, he was secretly enjoying the hell out of her reaction.

Giggling like mad, Buffy erased the history and picked up the stack of naked women in various poses he had printed out. By the time she had shut down the system, he was shouting at her from the bottom of the stairs. “I’m about to put all your colored clothes in the washer and pour bleach in it!”

She charged down the stairs and into the basement, catching him just as he was about to make good on his threat. “Give me that bleach!”

“Give me those photos! You can’t get free porno like that anywhere else.” He clutched the bleach in his hand like it was a gun. “I’ll do it, Slayer. Don’ t tempt me.”

“You want these photos?” She yanked the one off the top of the pile and glanced at it. “Pamela Anderson Lee.” Smiling, Buffy ripped it down the middle and let it slip to the ground.

Spike reached into the washer and yanked out a pair of red pants. He dropped them in front of him and doused it with bleach. “What about that, then?”

“You…” With her mouth agape, she watched as her favorite drawstring pants turned pink in several places. “will replace that.”

“When you replace Pam.”

“She’s fake!” Buffy cried. “It’s just like a man, even a stupid old vampire man, to like someone so plastic!”

“Don’t you have a plastic vibrator?” He asked casually, a small hint of accusation in his tone. “I bet you like it just fine.”

“You went through my things?” Buffy screamed, ready to stick her head in the washer and drown.

A wry smile turned the corners of his lips and he shook his head. “Nope. But I take it you do own one. Battery powered or does it have an adapter? Something tells me you would outlast that fuzzy energizer rabbit.”

“Ohhh!” She growled and wadded the papers in her hand. He took a step forward and she quickly dumped them into the washer, which had filled by then.

As she silently stomped up the stairs, he scooped out the soggy printer sheets and added a downy ball to her laundry. Stepping over her speckled pants, which still lay in the floor, he felt his back pocket. His version of who she was still rested there, pressed into a tightly folded note. She was only proving herself to be everything he said.

And more.

And he couldn’t wait to show it to her.

< I’m a fool. >

Buffy didn’t bother glancing at him when he came into the living room and paused. Instead, she concentrated on the pizza she had laid before her and the coming attractions that played on the television screen. He cleared his throat and she turned the volume louder.

Spike strode to the television and flipped it off. It was just about time to have a little understanding instead of what they currently had. “Don’t you think it might be easier for us to screw if you stop being a bitch for a while?”

She took a big bite of her pizza and wiped her hands before she grabbed the remote again. The television clicked on and Spike clicked it off. Sighing, she flipped it back on and then hid her amusement when he yanked the plug from the wall. “What do you want, Spike?”

“Let me tell you what I don’t want.” He began to pace in front of her, finding the words to convey his thoughts. He couldn’t very well tell her that he wanted to argue with her because she was so damn fun to banter with. So instead, he played it close to the vest. “I don’t want to be cursed to a piece of your ass. The fact that I came to you in desperation and you further entrapped me is just wrong.”

“Entrapped you?” Buffy tossed her pizza crust into the box and began eating another slice. “How did I entrap you?”

“Do my laundry, do my schoolwork.” He prissed, mimicking Buffy, trying to bait her, before he growled and added, “I’m a male fucking Cinderella.”

“You fucked Cinderella?” She arched her eyebrow.

“What? That’s not what I meant…”

“I know what you meant, Spike. I was playing with you. Loosen up. And sit down and be quiet so I can watch Ever After. It’s a story about Cinderella.”

“Oh! Of course! This just gets better and better!”

Buffy waited for him to sit down and said, “Spike, could you bring me the salt out of the kitchen? It’s on the bar.”

“Why sure! Why the hell not? It’s not like I have any say in the unethical treatment of me.” He stormed away and Buffy chuckled, staring at his ass. Since he usually wore his leather duster she never got to see the glory of what he had under it. She closed her eyes and imagined raking her nails across his back while her body shook with an orgasm.

“Here!” He tapped her on the forehead with the salt shaker. “What are you thinking about? More ways to use me?”

She smiled secretively and shrugged as she dusted her food lightly with the salt. “Mmm.”

“That’s all the salt you wanted?” When she nodded at him, he tossed his hands in the air and flopped back into the chair. “For that you could have rubbed your hands back and forth over it and salted it fine.”

“Oh! I left my drink in the fridge. Will you get it?” Her voice was laden with syrup and she batted her eyelashes.

“No.”

“Spiikke.” She drawled. “You’re getting a major payoff for this. I suggest you not blow it.”

“I suggest you blow it.” He stood and grabbed his crotch, shaking it at her before he headed into the kitchen again. Smiling, he yanked the refrigerator open and scanned the content. He was enjoying himself far too much. Pretending to be angry with her was just too fun. He selected a Coca-Cola and made his way back to the other room.

As he held it out to her, Buffy shook her head. “I’d rather have Dr. Pepper. If you don’t mind.”

Narrowing his eyes, he stalked back to the fridge and yanked it open. As he was pulling out a Dr. Pepper she called out to him. “Spike? I changed my mind again.”

“Thank you for telling me.” He replied. “What do you want, Slayer?”

“What do we have?” She asked, giggling into her hand like a silly school girl.

“Milk, orange juice, tea, coke, Dr. Pepper and beer. One beer, which I am drinking so you can’t have it.” He snatched it out and quickly opened it.

“Unless I want it.” She replied. “What else?”

“Water.” He replied after he had drained the beer bottle.

“Can you make some kool-aid?”

“Bloody hell!”

“Top drawer under the microwave.”

Spike opened the drawer and dug around, locating several packets of Kool-aid. “What flavor?”

“What do we have?”

“Orange, strawberry, cherry and grape.”

“Can you look around for pineapple-orange?” She had stopped eating and listened to the cuss-words he was mumbling under his low growl. Cold chills dotted her body as she imagine him growling against her flesh and calling her name. There was no doubt that she would be calling his name within seconds of him touching her. < It is so wrong to want him so badly. >

“There is no pineapple-orange.”

“I’ll just take the coke then.”

When he returned to the living room with the can that he had offered her the first time, she accepted it and smiled. “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.” He backed away slowly, pretending to plug the television back up. He couldn’t wait to see her open the can. It was everything he hoped when she finally did. The drink exploded, sending ice cold liquid all over her face and between her breasts.

“Ahhh!” Jumping to her feet, she wiped her face and glared at him.

“Damn, someone must have shaken the can.” He replied evenly. “That must be uncomfortable.”

“I am about to show you discomfort.” Buffy made her way around the table, intent on smashing his jaw. Then she paused, mid-swing as an idea hit her. Looking at naked pictures had aroused him completely. What would looking at a naked Slayer do? That would be more uncomfortable than a broken face. < Set him up and shoot him down.> “I need a bath.”

“It’s that way.” He pointed toward the stairs. “Why don’t you drown while you’re at it.”

Buffy drew a deep breath and pulled courage from someplace deep in her gut as she yanked her halter top over her head. Her breasts spilled free and she traced a pink fingernail all over the drying, brown cola. “Bathe me.”

His eyes were glued to her perfectly sculpted breasts. They stood before him like majestic peaks promising untold treasure as they rose and fell with her breathing. He struggled to say something witty but all he could concentrate on was the fact that she was there and he was too unsure of whether or not to touch her. Everything in him began to ache.

“Now, Spike. Bathe me now.” Her voice sounded calm, too calm. Inside she was shaking with fear that she was taking it too far. < I’ll be able to stop him when the time comes. He won’t get to go all the way until the last minute and even then it’s very doubtful. Willow will cure him first. I’ll just pay him back now for everything he has done to me. >

Spike stepped forward and reached for her hand, ready to take her to the tub but she stopped him.

“Bathe me with your tongue.” Buffy whispered quietly, no longer sure of herself. He would laugh at her any moment now and she was afraid to look at him.

Sucking in air he didn’t need, he stared at her in shock. Surely she wasn’t stringing him along or trying to embarrass him. Spike noted the way she looked down at her feet when she said it and tilted her chin upward. His shock abated when he realized how uncomfortable she was in her role of ‘boss ’. “Never, ever be ashamed to say what you want.”

< Oh god, he’s going to kiss me. > She closed her eyes as he lowered his head and anticipated his mouth on hers. Instead, she felt his tongue on her cheek, lapping at the sugary droplets. He traced a pattern down one side, under her chin and back up the other cheek. Buffy clutched his forearms as he moved his hands to either side of her face, hanging on for dear life as he ignited something in her body.

Spike lifted his head and glanced at her neck. He didn’t know how to move her head back so that he could access it without her thinking he was trying to bite her. Her breasts were pressed against his chest and when he saw that, he forgot her neck and dropped to his knees. She was even more perfect at eye level. How had he been so blind that he waited for a curse?

Buffy watched him as he licked his way across the top of her chest and down into the valley between her heaving breasts. Her hands somehow found their way into his hair and she closed her eyes. < This is wrong. I shouldn’t be enjoying him like this. > Instead of pushing him away, she pushed him toward her nipple and moaned slightly when he sucked it into his mouth. “Spike…”

He gripped her hip with one hand and began massaging her neglected breast with the other. She bucked against him and he pulled away, aiming his kisses for her belly button. Covering her abdomen with small licks and nips was enough to push him over the edge. It wasn’t the soda he was smelling and it wasn’t her soap he was smelling. This close to the juncture between her thighs all he could smell was her arousal and it was like a drug.

Buffy gasped when he stood abruptly and pulled her into his arms. His mouth was on hers in an instant, taking her breath away and leaving her helpless to push him away. His hands found her ass, lifting her off her feet and she relented by wrapping her legs around his waist. There had never been anything she wanted more than the blond vampire who infuriated her but she couldn’t bring herself to tell him. The feel of the wall against her back, the feel of him wedged between her thighs and the strength of his tongue as it dueled with hers was enough to make her talk. She pulled away and caught her breath. “I want you.”

Nodding, Spike let her slide down his body and unbuttoned her pants for her. “I want you so much, Slayer.” < I’m awake now after being so blind for so long. >

Toeing her shoes off, she stepped out of her pants. Spike caught her leg as she was about to kick them away and dropped to his knees again. He positioned her leg over his shoulder and slowing licked up her thigh before parting her body with his fingers. Her musky sweetness assaulted his senses and he dared a small taste of her, darting his tongue into her folds briefly. Part of him was screaming that the other shoe would drop soon and he glanced up at her.

“Spike, please, yes.” She cooed, pulling his head back and standing further on her tiptoes. “Don’t stop.”

He growled against her swollen clit and she squealed in delight, pressing her mound downward onto his face. Sucking on her hardened bud, Spike slipped his hand between them and slowly wormed his thumb into her tight channel. He worked it in and out, his fingertips kneading against her ass as he did so. Hungrily feasting, he never pulling his mouth away. Every muscle in his body tensed and ached to be in her, be one with her.

The orgasm came swiftly and overtook her senses. Screaming and half sobbing, Buffy collapsed against the wall and was only vaguely aware of Spike placing her gently on the floor. Her vaginal muscles clenched and unclenched, silently begging to be stretched from the inside. She whimpered, ready to beg him for more when he was suddenly between her legs again. Feeling his cool naked flesh sliding over hers, she peeked through heavy eyelids and wondered how he had gotten his clothes off so quickly. Her answer was a small grin and a wink and then he was sliding into her filling her body and her mind with ecstasy.

Spike’s eyes bulged as her body accommodated him one inch at a time. He was gentle at first, then realized the degree of her wetness and abandoned the idea that he was hurting her. Pulling his hips back, he slammed into her and elicited a cry from both of them. He felt her heels on the backs of his thighs and felt her breasts brushing against him and lost control. Fast and furiously, he claimed her and was astonished at how willingly she surrendered to him, raising her hips to meet his blows.

Buffy could feel herself about to come again and called out. “Spike, come with me.”

“Oh, Buffy.” He felt her tense and tensed as well, spilling himself deep inside of her. His demon emerged and he licked across her neck, still tasting the remnants of the cola before he sank his teeth into her tender flesh.

Buffy landed fast and hard, unable to yell at the injustice of it all. He was feeding off of her, killing her. With an agonized cry, she tossed him away and grabbed a thin piece of wood off of the pile of logs that decorated the fireplace. “Why?” she sobbed. “Why, Spike?”

Spike realized what she must be thinking and shook his head. “No, Buffy. I wasn’t trying to kill you.”

She watched as her blood ran from the corner of his mouth and shook her head. “Get out.”

“Listen to me! Vampires do this, Buffy. They do it in the heat of the moment and I couldn’t hurt you even if I wanted to.” He moved toward her, wanting to say so much, but she raised the wood threateningly. “Please, luv?”

“I SAID GET OUT!” Buffy screamed, too stunned to get to her feet and force him. “Leave!”

Spike started to protest but a sharp pain forced him to double over. Blue smoke exploded from his cock, forcing him to grab himself and make sure it was still there at all. “The curse. I think it’s broken. We did it!”

Buffy bit her lower lip and watched as a smile lit up his features. How could she have been so blind. His entire agenda had been to kill her from the beginning. “You got what you wanted so leave me alone.”

He shook his head and held his arms out, begging her to hear him out. “Come here, baby. Please listen to me.”

“I may be stupid, Spike. But I’m not a fool.” Shaking, she rose to her feet and yanked the crucifix off her wall. “I can make you leave or you can leave on your own. I think you know which way will hurt like hell.”

With his shoulders sagging in defeat, Spike stood slowly and gathered his things. “You’re wrong.”

“Yes, I was wrong. About you.”

__

As soon as Spike was out the front door, Buffy bolted the lock and composed herself enough to call Willow and let her know that the curse was broken. Then she sobbed and told her to bring supplies for the entry reversal spell because she wanted him out of her home for good. Willow asked questions but Buffy couldn’t form any more words and hung up.

The next thing she did was gather her clothing, which was as rumpled as her dignity and threw it all in the garbage. Willow had a spare key so she stormed into the bathroom and turned the water on as hot as she could stand it. That was where Willow found her. By then the water had turned cold and Buffy was crouched under the spray.

As soon as she saw her, Buffy began to cry again and stepped into the towel Willow offered and let herself be led to her bed. Willow watched her closely, dreading the truth but finally asking, “He raped you, didn’t he?”

Buffy sniffled and whispered, “No.”

“Tell me, Buffy.”

“I wanted him. I started it and he acted like he wanted me. Really wanted me and I figured it was inevitable anyway. He made me feel like I was all he saw.” She shivered and pulled her comforter higher. “It was worse than if he had forced me, Will. He made me trust him and it was amazing.”

“And then what?”

“Hit bit me.” Sobs wracked her body and she leaned her face into her pillow. “He tried to kill me while we were doing it.”

Willow was momentarily sidetracked from what needed to be said, “That’s normal.”

“What?” Buffy sniffled, drying her eyes.

“Didn’t Angel bite you when you two had sex?”

“NO!” Buffy sat up in the bed and Willow flopped down on the edge.

“Hmm.” Willow tucked a piece of hair behind her ear and cleared her throat. “Buffy, I’m not Spike’s biggest fan or anything but there’s a chance that he wasn’t going to kill you. Vampires are primal and animalistic and they drink blood. It’s only natural for them to feed when their energy is being spent by lovemaking.”

“We didn’t make love.” Buffy snapped.

“Whatever you want to call it. The act of becoming aroused and then…well…coming can deplete them entirely. Then there’s the whole ‘marking his territory’ aspect of it … which makes me think of dogs pissing.”

Gasping, Buffy remembered what he had said to her. “He tried to tell me something. He was saying that all vampires do that and that he wasn’t trying to hurt me. What am I going to do, Will?”

The redhead shrugged and took her hand, depositing two tablets in her palm. “Sleep for now. I’ll stay awake and perform the anti-invite ritual.”

< And try to figure out what I’ve done. >

__

Spike paced in the street and glanced back at Buffy’s front door. He had been hiding in the bushes when Willow hurried up the sidewalk and let herself in. Caught between the urge to follow and the urge to walk away, he slumped on the curb and rested his head in his palms. There was a time when he would have sworn that being a vampire was the best thing to be. But at that moment he loathed what he was more than anything.

Willow was about to nail a small cross over the door when she saw Spike through the window. Keeping it in her hand, as well as pocketing a stake, she pulled the door open and walked slowly down the sidewalk. “Spike, don’t even think about hurting her. I’ve revoked your invitation.” She lied. She had just begun.

His head was still bowed when he nodded and whispered, “Thank you.”

“Thank me?” She asked, a sense of dread building in the pit of her stomach. Surely it couldn’t be what she thought it was. There was no way this had actually happened. “Why would you thank me?”

“Because if you hadn’t revoked it I would rush in there and plead my case again and probably wind up staked or beheaded or worse.”

Willow relaxed a little since he was making no move to get up. In the few times she had contact with him he was loud and obnoxious. He was subdued and melancholy now, which convinced her that she had done a very bad thing. “What could be worse than that?”

“I could see the hurt on her face again and kill my own damned self and save her the trouble.” He turned and saw the crucifix in her hand and cringed. “I can’t help what I am. I didn’t choose to be a vampire and I didn’t choose to bite her. I hate it.”

Willow sighed and sat down next to him. Buffy was probably going to kill her if Spike didn’t so she may as well take her chances. “I know all about vampire lore. I told her that you probably didn't intentionally hurt her.”

“You know vampire lore?” He cocked his head to one side in disbelief. “Well, tell me this then. Why am I sitting here feeling like shit because I upset the Slayer. I should be out rejoicing my victory and bragging that I just fucked her silly. And that she called my name and that she came with such force it almost sucked my dick...”

“Spike!”

“Sorry.” He dropped his head again. “Instead, I’m wishing she would walk out that door and into my arms. Just this morning I hated her with a passion.”

“Yeah, but you spent time with her. As Xander would say, you got hit by the Buffinator.” < And me. Oh, what have I done? >

“Yes, I did.” He glanced over his shoulder toward the house. “Is she okay?”

“She will be. I gave her a sleeping pill.”

“What’s happened to me, Willow?” He opened his arms wide and gestured to himself. “I used to have an edge. Where is my edge?”

“Still in the cheekbones. They’re edgy. Very prominent.” She smiled then grew serious when he scowled at her. Grasping at straws, she said the first thing she could think of to comfort him. “Listen, Spike. Giles once told me that there were two types of demons. Those who enjoy being demons and those who don’t. Sometimes, the ones who don’t can change. It’s kind of like the forces of good taking back a little of the bad.”

“What are you saying?” He cried. “That I’m on my way to poofiness?”

Willow looked confused. “What?”

“Am I Angel bound? If so, kill me now.”

“No. You can’t have a soul. Well, unless you want one and then I can..”

“I don’t.” He replied sternly.

“All I’m saying is that when demons start hating what they are...some…not all and maybe not you… can change for the better.”

He nodded and then stared off into the distance. “Or maybe someone can come along and change us for the better?”

“Buffy?” Willow smiled. “She sure changed all of us for the better.”

“Yes. All of us.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Willow was poring over a book when Buffy entered the kitchen wearing a robe and slippers. It was after one o’clock in the afternoon and Willow had been awake for most of the night, too stunned to sleep. She glanced up with a fake smile plastered on her face and said, “Hey Buff! Are you okay?”

“Yes. No. I mean…I’m fine but no I’m not really…fine but..ugh...” Sliding into the chair across from Willow, she groaned. “I am so confused.”

“You sound confused.” Will took a sip of her orange juice and then handed it to Buffy. There was something that she needed to tell her but she didn’t know how to say it and still walk away breathing. How do you possibly tell your best friend that you may be responsible for the heartache she is feeling?

“Interesting reading?” Buffy reached for the book and began thumbing through it. “Magicks of the Heart?”

Willow toyed with the placemat in front of her. “I brought it with me last night and it only confirmed my suspicions.”

Concern etched into her features, Buffy watched her friend. “Go on.”

“Spike told me last night that he doesn’t like being a vampire. He said that after he did what he did to you he hates himself. I did a little research and...”

“You talked to him last night?” Buffy asked. “When?”

“After you went to sleep.” Willow bit her lower lip and leaned forward, watching Buffy closely. “How do you feel about him today?”

"I hate him and hope I never see him again.” Buffy said her words fast. Too fast. It was almost like she was racing to convince herself she meant it.

“That’s not true, is it?”

“No.” Slamming her forehead on the table, she was quiet for several seconds. “Willow, I feel so drawn to him and I… want him.”

“I know why.”

“What? Why?” Buffy’s heart thumped faster in her chest as she lifted her eyes to Willow’s. “Did you sleep with him too?”

“NO!”

“Oh. Good. Cause that would be, like, awkward.”

“Promise not to kill me? I didn’t mean any harm.”

“Willow, what have you done?”

“I was afraid. I was afraid that he would hurt you and afraid that he would force you to do it with him. Men will do anything for their penises and he’s such a bad guy. I did some magick after you left.” Willow stopped talking when Buffy made a whining sound and laid her head back down. “I’m sorry, Buffy. I didn’t know what else to do.”

“What kind of magick?”

“I called on Aphrodite, the goddess of love, to grant you guys a night of passion and let you bewitch him for the night but…oh god.. Buff, I think I may have called Cupid instead. I did it in the name of vengeance and that was wrong. And Cupid is the avenger against this Glassmier demon that may have infected Spike so he would have come and I didn't even know..."

“Cupid? The valentine that wears diapers and runs around hitting things with darts?”

“Bows.” Willow corrected. “But that’s not true. He doesn’t really shoot anything through people’s hearts. He…he binds their hearts.”

“For how long?”

“Buffy, promise me you won’t hurt me? I mean, I can't even be sure I did it...it could have just been a witch and this means nothing but if it was a Glassimer demon and I sought vengeance in your name then...”

“HOW LONG?” She shouted in response.

“An eternity.”

“UNDO IT!”

Willow shook her head and said, “I don’t know if I can. I talked to Spike last night and he’s crazy about you. Head over heels does not even begin to describe it, Buffy. He’s in..”

"Don't even think it." Buffy said. "Willow! I thought you were going to mix something to make him get rid of the curse without sex. You caused sex!"

"No, I didn't! I didn't make you have sex with him. If the spell had gone the correct way he would have been gentle and soft with you instead of callous which is what I was afraid he would do to you. You wouldn't have been under any spell if it had gone right, he would have." She took the book again and added, "But I don't think it went right. I mean, you feel stuff for him and he feels stuff for you. You hated each other..only cupid can step in there!! I can't undo it. At least not right yet."

“I’ll undo it!” Buffy stood up and started out of the kitchen. “I’m going to go to him and tell him that it’s all a crock of…”

“He’s in the basement.” Willow glanced at the pantry and smiled apologetically. “I didn’t have the heart to send him away and he doesn’t know....”

“I’m telling Giles, Willow! I hope he throws away all his books that like!” Buffy stormed into the pantry and yanked the basement door open, then stomped down the stairs.

Spike was asleep on a fold out cot in one corner of the room. He was on his side with his knees drawn upward and his leather duster pulled over him. She paused when she saw him. He looked so innocent and human that she almost forgot who he was and what he had done. While she watched him, he whispered, “Tasty.”

Narrowing her eyes, she stalked to the washing machine and lifted the lid. As soon as she slammed it down, he yelped and rolled off the cot into the floor. “Bloody hell!”

“You were dreaming about something tasty. Could it have been my blood?” She put her hands on her hips as he climbed to his feet.

Spike took in her appearance and forced himself not to smile. She was wearing a robe with dainty little ribbons and lace all over it. Her feet looked like powder puffs encased in a pair of fuzzy slippers. Remembering what he had done to her, he glanced at her face. The hurt from the night before was hidden behind an icy glare. “Buffy, are you okay?”

“I will be as soon as you leave. I kicked you out. That doesn’t mean for you to leave and then come back when I fall asleep.”

He took a step toward her and then stopped when she quickly stepped away. “Will you please just let me explain?”

“No.” She crossed her arms, hugging herself. Deep down, she was imagining his arms around her instead of her own. “I’m going to talk. Not you. Willow just told me that she screwed around and called on Cupid because she was upset about this whole mess and...”

“You told her about it after I asked you not to?” Spike demanded, only hearing that part.

“You didn’t ask me. You ordered me and I don't take orders from a vampire.” She held up her hand when he started to speak again. “Now, I don’t know what you told her last night but she has it in her head that you aren’t a rat bastard piece of shit even though we both know you are. She thinks you care about me.”

“I do. But after that comment…especially coming from a stubborn, mule headed…”

“I’m still talking here, Spike.”

“Go on then. But watch what you say.”

“You snowballed her and she thinks that this stupid Cupid thing worked. I’m not snowballed. I know what’s on the menu and it’s not love. It’s me, served up on a platter medium rare.”

“Can I say something here?”

“What is it, Spike?”

“You’re rare.”

“You should know since you bit me.”

Spike inched toward her slowly. “No. I mean you’re a rarity. Unlike anyone else.”

Caught off guard by his comment, she wasn’t aware that he had moved to stand in front of her until he brushed her hand. “What are…”

“It’s not a spell and it’s not Cupid... even though he may as well have sent one of his swords through my heart.”

“Bows.” Buffy replied and watched as he brought her hand to his chest. “Don ’t.”

“It may not beat but it feels alive for the first time since Angelus changed me.”

“It’s not real, Spike.” Inside she was screaming for it to be real. She was desperate to give in to temptation and give herself to the last man she would have dreamed she’d want. “It’s not real.”

“Tell that to my heart.” Still clutching her hand to his chest, he used his other hand to tilt her chin upward and slowly brushed her mouth with his. “I know you feel it.”

“It’s not real.” She whimpered. “It’s all a lie. We’re feeling manufactured feelings.”

“Then you do feel it?”

“I feel you here.” Buffy brought his hand to her head. “I feel you here.” She brought his hand to her heart and lingered there before she pressed his fingertips to the small scabs on her neck. “And I feel you here most of all. And it’s the feeling there that proves it isn’t real. You were killing me.”

“No.” He growled, struggling not to shake her. “No! I wanted to kill you at the beginning but it all changed when you left me to go see Willow.”

“I know! She did the spell! Don’t you see?”

“It changed when I was doing your assignments and read your essay. That wasn ’t cupid, it wasn’t a spell and it wasn’t Willow. It was you.”

“My…my essay?” Buffy let go of his hand and moved away. “Listen to yourself."

“Listen to yourself!” He yelled, digging through his back pocket for the paper he had written himself. “You said that someone yanked your blinders off of you but you still have them on. You can’t see anything. Not even yourself.” He threw the note at her and stomped up the stairs, turning briefly to add. “I see you. It took that idiotic paper to make me see you but I see you now. I know you better than you do, Slayer!”

Buffy caught the folded up note and opened it. She sat on the cot that Spike had slept in and began to read.

Who You Are
As seen through the eyes of your mortal enemy: William “Spike” Tiernon

Timelessly beautiful, you wear your face like a perfectly sculpted mask pulled over your true self. Why you would hide who you are is a mystery to me. Cloaked in fashionable clothing and made up in pink rouge, you try to blend in. Don’t you realize that you will never just fade into the background? You will never be able to hide from what you are. You are time. Time well spent, time enjoyed and timelessly beautiful.

Layered in disappointments, your heart became a patchwork quilt too soon so you close doors and lock yourself tightly into your safe existence. Blame is something you force feed yourself when deep down you know that you are only truly responsible for your own path. The child in the videos was no more responsible for her parent’s divorce than the parent’s were for what their child was destined to be. We only control our own destiny, luv, and yours isn’t meant to be fulfilled hiding behind a fake smile. Let it go. Scream and tell them what they did to you even if they aren't close enough to hear. You will hear and that's what matters.

A Slayer is a vampire’s worst nightmare and from the first time I saw you, you plagued mine like an irritable boil. It took spending a few hours with you and having the opportunity to kill you to realize what I think I knew all along. I couldn’t kill you. Not because of your determination but because of your vulnerability. That’s what you’re hiding, and you think you hide it well, but I see it with frightening clarity. That’s who you truly are. You’re a vulnerable little girl who was snatched from safety and forced into the night alone. And you’re scared. You would never admit that because it would compromise the walls around you but I know you are and you know you are. You should be. You’ve seen what the night truly brings.

The final thing that you are is salvation. You bring it every night to the demons that you release from their cold, dark hell. You bring safety to mortals and never once bask in the glory of that. You modestly view it as part of your job and walk away when you should be heralded for it. I respect you for that. Anyone else in your place would demand respect for doing what you do. You earned it.

You are remarkable and you star in a play that you can re-write at will. Take control of the pen and paper, Buffy. Set your heart free and unlock the mysteries of what you possess inside and try to see you from my point of view. I hated you so much it pained me to even think about you. But one day…one single day…changed all of that.

You said that the top five things that people called you were beautiful, gifted, loving, smart and determined. When I see you, all of that is evident but I also see someone so much like myself in my mortal days. It's like a mirror for the first time in two hundred years. I see someone who just needs to be. You need to be loved for who you are instead of what you are. I saw you during this time we had together as something other than the slayer. I saw you as a girl. A perfect girl. I pity you the fact that you can’t see through my eyes. And I pity the fact that I can’t put into words the effect you have had on me.

Exist for you, pet. And maybe someone will come and exist alongside you that will challenge you enough to peel away the petals and reveal the you I see. I hope I can be there to see you experience yourself for the first time.

I’m sure you will be as stunned as I was.

-Spike

__

Buffy read through the note from Spike three times before she clutched it to her chest and flopped back on the cot he had slept on. Part of her wondered if it could really be true and another part of her didn’t care if it wasn’t. All she cared about was the fact that she felt it and he felt it and nothing else mattered.

Rising to her feet, she called out his name and charged up the stairs. Willow intercepted her in the kitchen, trying once again to apologize but Buffy pushed past her and darted up the stairs to her bedroom. “Spike?”

It was broad daylight outside and her open window sent a rush of fear through her body. < Surely he wouldn’t be stupid enough to dust himself over this. Wait..if I feel like I would die without him then… >

Something thumped in the hallway and she turned, craning her neck to listen for any more sounds. Then she heard the water turn on in the shower and quickly made her way to the bathroom. She opened the door slowly and saw his familiar red shirt and black pants lying on the floor. “Spike, I want to talk to you.”

“And I need to take a shower. Go ‘way.” He muttered, from behind the shower curtain. Then his face appeared and he glared at her momentarily. “It’s not like you’ll believe anything I have to say anyway.”

“Yes I will.” She sat on the toilet and ran her fingers through her tangled hair. “Spike, I believe you. I don’t think you wanted to kill me.”

“I’m not listening.” Spike moved back behind the curtain and began to hum loudly.

“And you called ~me~ the stubborn one.” Buffy mumbled, biting her lower lip.

“What did you say to me?” His face reappeared, his head covered in shampoo and his eyes wide.

“You aren’t listening, remember?” She grinned and shrugged. “I’m not going to repeat myself.”

“You better tell me what you just said.” He growled, then yelped as soap dripped into his eye. Blotting in furiously with his wash cloth, he moaned. “Owww! You did that on purpose.”

“I haven’t left my seat, Spike. How did I do it on purpose?”

“You came in here and got me upset and you’re always trouble! Trouble, trouble, trouble. Slayer and trouble go hand in hand.”

“Do you want to hear what I have to say?”

“No.” He rinsed the soap from his hair and then stood under the water, angrily tapping his foot. When she didn’t reply, he leaned his head closer to the shower curtain, trying to hear her breathing. After several minutes of silence, he stuck his head back out. “Slayer, don’t you dare ignore me. Where are you? BUFFY!!”

While he had his back turned, she had soundlessly shed her clothes and stepped into the shower behind him. She smiled and tapped him on the back. “Bloody hell!” He shouted, whirling to face her and letting his eyes wash over her. Scandalized, he covered himself with his washcloth and wagged his finger her way. “What are you doing now?”

“Proving that I believe you.” She pulled his mouth down to hers and kissed him, her fingertips raking through the back of his hair and her body pressing his.

Spike pulled back and looked down at her. “What about the Cupid thing? Manufactured feelings and it being unreal?”

“I don’t care. I don’t care why we feel it…all I care about it the fact that we feel it. Please, Spike? Pretend I never kicked you out.” Her eyes brimmed with tears when he only stared blankly at her. “I’m sorry.”

With his thumb, he caught one of her tears as it fell down her cheek. Hating himself for it and wishing he had more conviction in his anger, he softened his glare. There was still far too much to talk about but he needed her to know how he felt more than he needed to hear her grovel. “Don’t. It’ll be okay.”

“When? When will it be okay?”

“As soon as I pin you to this shower wall and have my way with you. I’m thinking right about then it should be just fine.” A small smile curved the corners of his lips and he winked at her. “Unless of course you want to talk more?”

“No, no.” She shook her head adamantly. “I like your plan.”

“I am nothing if not clever.”

“And useful too.” Grinning, she cast her eyes lower and nodded at the wash rag that was still over his manhood. Now it was hanging limply over his erection instead of being held there by him. “You just can’t have enough places to put stuff in the shower.”

“I can think of one place to put it.” He bowed his head and captured her mouth in his, sliding his hands under her armpits and lifting her upward.

Relief washed over her as soon as he buried his face in her neck and began to kiss the small scabs he had left when he fed. She wrapped her legs around his waist and keened softly when he murmured more apologies for scaring her the night before. With one hand under her backside and her clinging to him, he was able to snake one of his hands between them and gently began massaging her inner fold.

It was only a matter of minutes before she threw her head back and gasped his name. She was still surfing on an orgasmic tide when he shifted her and pulled her down onto his cock. Her body was incredibly slick and he was able to move in and out of her in a slow, steady pace. There would be time later to thoroughly cover her from head to toe. For now, he needed to show her that he could do it. He could stop himself from biting her.

Buffy clenched and unclenched as he rocked into her. His mouth played along her collarbone, over her earlobe and back to her lips, eliciting small moans of pleasure from her. Desperate to come again, she whispered. “Harder, Spike.”

Without a word, he complied and began to drive into her fast and furiously. As he neared his release, he felt his demon surface and turned his head away. He could feel Buffy begin to buck against him and heard her screaming as another orgasm hit her but he didn’t claim her. Instead, Spike continued to slam into her and buried his fangs in the palm of his hand.

Breathing hard, Buffy lifted his head and pulled his hand away from his mouth. His eyes met hers and she smiled. “I trust you.”

“I want you to know that I can…”

“I want you to know I can too. I can trust you.” She pulled his face to her neck and hissed as he bit and began to thrust again.

As her blood flowed into his mouth, he closed his eyes and exploded inside of her. As quickly as he had bitten her, he retracted his fangs and ran his tongue along the wound before pressing his thumb against it. Making sure there was no blood on his face, he lifted his head and gazed down at her. “I wanted to show you that I was strong enough and that I…”

“And I wanted to show you that I am okay with who you are, Spike. You showed me who I am.” She pulled her legs off his waist and stood up. “Did you mean what you said in the note?”

“All of it.”

“Would you be interested in being the certain someone who comes along and helps me peel away my layers?”

“Try to stop me. As a matter of fact…you didn’t make your bed today. Go get under all the cover and I’ll be right there to unlayer it one piece at a time.”

Giggling, Buffy stepped from the shower and headed into the bedroom. Spike stepped out behind her and looked around the small bathroom. “Show yourself. I know someone is here.”

A chubby man with a baby face and a cigar materialized from the shower steam and smiled. “Damn vamps and their eight hundred senses.”

“Did you enjoy the show?” Spike eyed him up and down and shook his head. “Cupid I presume?”

“Yeah.” The man adjusted the diaper he was wearing and kicked at the throw rug with his bare foot. “I was drunker than hell and passed out which is why I was so late.”

“Late?” Spike raised his eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

“Well, I came here to put the old bow and arrow to good use but I see I’m too late.” Cupid puffed his cigar and blew several smoke rings. “You guys beat me to it.”

“What are you banging on about?” Growling, Spike covered himself with a towel.

Cupid threw what was left of his cigar in the toilet and shrugged. “You guys don’t need me to make you fall in love. You fell all by your lonesomes.”

With wide eyes, Spike watched the man closely. “You mean that you aren’t the reason I feel so…so…poof-like? So pussy whipped? So soddin’ Angelic?”

Cupid shook his head.

Spike clutched the edge of the sink and sat on the toilet. “And you aren’t the reason I feel so…so…smitten with her? The Slayer!”

Cupid shook his head again.

Clutching his chest, Spike leaned forward. “And it’s love that I feel? You’ re sure I didn’t eat something bad?”

“L.O.V.E. You’ve felt it for a long time but you mistook it for lust.” Cupid leered at him. “But damn, look at that Slayer and tell me who wouldn’t want to bang her and…”

“Hey!” Spike rose and grabbed the man by the front of the diaper since he didn’t have on a shirt. “You’re talking about the woman I love.” As soon as he said it, Spike sat back down again. “Oh…I…said…love.”

“And the curse…” Cupid smiled and watched the vampire closely. “That wasn’t really a curse. It was Bitch’s Brew. Cooked up by a horny she-devil who wanted the satisfaction that you didn’t give her.”

“I felt my dick get cursed!” Spike said, pointing at his crotch. “And uncursed.”

“That old hag who did it was just jealous that you were thinking of the Slayer the whole time you were screwing her. She figured it would punish you more to get a taste of the Slayer and then never get it again. Bitch’s Brew feels real enough…but there's nothing to it.” Cupid yawned and stretched. “She wasn’t planning on you actually succeeding or the Slayer being so easy and …”

“Watch it.”

“I should probably go.”

“Yes, you should.” Spike looked at the floor than back at Cupid. “Does she love me?”

Nodding, the man smiled. “She does. Let it happen slowly though. Speaking of love…do you know anyone who needs to get the old bow and arrow? I’ll get into trouble if I don’t hit someone on this outing.”

“Oh yeah. I know exactly who needs it. A certain little meddling red haired witch who turned my world upside down.” Spike scratched the side of his face. “Give her who she wants. Whoever that may be.”

“Done.” Cupid backed away and vanished.

Spike leaned over the sink and splashed his face with cold water. If this was true and he felt love then he was worse than Angel. He was horrible and a disgrace to vampires everywhere. It was wrong and vile and he needed to do something. He quickly dried his face and opened the bathroom door. The something he needed to do was actually a someone and she was giggling under a pile of cover waiting for him.

__

Willow’s book blew closed on its own and she glanced around the room. “Hello?”

She paced slowly through the living room and then glanced up the stairs. Clearly, Buffy and Spike were fine based on the delighted shrieks and moans that were coming from Buffy’s room. Something tugged at her heart though, something she couldn’t quite put her finger on. She had been so lonely without Oz and now she was lonely and worried that Giles would kill her when he discovered what she had done.

GILES!

She

Wanted

Giles.

Willow slumped on the stairs and rested her elbows on her knees. A million different thoughts ran through her mind, not the least of which was a thought that she would like to put cool whip on his…

A loud knocking forced her to shelve that thought and she quickly opened the door. Giles stood on the other side wearing a beige sweater and brown pants. Willow licked her lips and smiled appreciatively. “Hi.”

“Willow, is everything all right?” Giles brushed past her and paused in the foyer, slowly turning to look at her again. “My heavens, Willow. You look…stunning.”

She looked down at her pink overalls, blue shirt and orange sneakers and then back up at him. “You do too.”

“Willow, I…feel so…”

“Me too.”

“Can I…would it be too forward of me to kiss you?”

“No. It’s backwards to ask though.”

“Oh. Okay.” Giles stepped forward and kissed her fiercely. His hands roaming all over her like she was meant to be his.

“She is.” Cupid whispered and lit another cigar. He blew the smoke at them before he smiled proudly and vanished.

__

Who I Am
An Essay by: Buffy Summers
Introduction to Psychology
Professor Walsh

When I was given this assignment, I cringed. We were told at the beginning of the term that our final grade would depend on how well we studied and got to know our subject. I had hopes that my subject would be a child or a classmate or a friend. I never thought that I would have to study myself. I am a child, a classmate and a friend. But I am also a lover, a fighter and a young woman afraid of getting lost in such a large world.

I could have written about my childhood videotapes here but that would have meant me telling you who I let the camera see. From an early age, I learned how to hide behind a false smile and put on a show for whichever parent had the camera. I’m not an actress though and I can no longer pretend to be.

My parents are divorced and for a long time I laid all the blame on myself and never stopped to think that a kid can’t unmake a marriage. A child can’t undo love and if anything it should make it stronger. That took a long time for me to accept and I only mention it now because it helped make me who I am.

I suffered loss.

Out of that loss though I gained my life and I am eternally grateful for my life.

It took getting to know someone else. Someone I viewed as the bad guy, the lesser of beings and the only thing I ever hated to show me the truth. And in that truth he gave me the ability to see myself through his eyes. He lets me see who he sees and I am a wonder in his eyes.

When I am strong, I see pride in myself through him. When I am hurt, I see hope. When I am at my wit’s end, I see a light and when I am mad, I see love. He gave me his love and made me feel worthy. For the first time in my life, I feel like I deserve it. He makes me feel normal when I’m not and safe when I’m surrounded by Hell.

He makes me.

The answer to who I am is an ever unfolding mystery to me because every single day he introduces a new part of me. He shows me things that I never would have seen.

Who I am…is his creation and his love brought me to life.

_*_*_*

Professor Walsh reread the paper several times before she marked it with an A-. Anyone who had that much conviction in God had to know who they were.

The End

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