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FIC: The Slayer's Vampire Tryst

Title: The Slayer's Vampire Tryst
Words / Rating: 5500 words / PG-13
Characters: Buffy/Spike
Spoilers: mid-S5, through "Into the Woods"

Okay, y'all, this is the real, honest-to-goodness Spuffy fic, begun years ago for seasonal_spuffy but never posted and now finished as a sort of late holiday present for all you Spuffy lovers on my flist. I'm serious when I say it's a present; I'd quite probably never have finished it if I hadn't promised in December that I would. It still feels a little unfinished, but then again nothing else is pushing to be put in, so we're going to call it done. Also, there's a bit in the middle that's a bit daft. (Actually, the whole thing's a bit daft. Fair warning.)

Finally, I seem to be a bit fixated on the whole "shag or die" trope, as this fic is basically one long exercise in making fun of it. Again.

Happy gift-giving season of choice, O flist. Y'all are the best.


She was the Slayer, right? She understood about sacrifice. She’d sacrificed herself to death, and that was only round one. The SAT’s said she was pretty smart, it turned out, but she’d given up her grades for what? Slaying. Her latest boyfriend? Scared off, due to slaying -- well, and a fully-armed horde of psychological issues that he’d somehow never seen fit to bother her with until the ambush and the ultimatum.

So, yeah, she understood what it was to give and give, to lose and lose. She got it, all right?

But Giles wanted too much this time. This total surrender of herself, her very being, practically. And for what? Oh, yeah, to stop the itsy-bitsy, we-forgot-to-mention-it, kill-us-all-dead apocalypse.

Here was Restfield -- funny, considering how unrestful the dead were around here -- and her delicately-heeled boot-clad feet were marching towards her particular least favorite crypt. Here they were, standing her in front of that gothic iron door, waiting for the signal to kick it in.

Because Spike had something she needed. If he’d give it to her. But he’d do anything for money, right?

Tomorrow it would all be over. Breathe, Buffy.

She took a Slayer-sized breath of fortitude, bounced on her toes, and just barely missed bashing Spike’s ribs in as he pulled the door open. She stumbled a bit, catching herself.

“Come to torment the poor helpless vampire again, have we?” he said.

She fished Giles’s money from her jacket pocket and flashed the money in Spike’s face.

He eyed it thoughtfully. “Every man has his price--”

“And what does that have to do with you, Spike?”

A muscle ticked in his jaw. “As I was saying, Slayer, every man has his price, but I’m not so sure mine’s money anymore.”

“Then what--” She caught that lustful glint, the lecherous arch in his eyebrow, and his mouth curving open to say something she absolutely definitely didn’t want to hear. “Harmony!”

“What?” He whipped around to look behind him.

“I’m looking for Harmony.”

“She’s not here,” he said, which Buffy wouldn’t have thought needed saying, but something in the inflection paused her next comment.

“Wait, she’s not here?” Buffy repeated. “As in, not right now? As in, she’s living with you?”

“No,” he said, with that wide-eyed, just-passing-through look of panic.

Buffy crossed her arms. “Where is she?”

“What’s it to me?” Buffy waved her floppy pile of bills at him. “Oh. Right. Well, not that I’d mind you staking her because she’s a bloody nuisance -- although she has got a nice pair of knockers, can’t fault those--”


“--but she’s gone off to the mighty metropolis. Shoes, I think she said.” He held a hand out.

“I’m not giving you money to tell me she’s not here!”

“It’s what you came for, isn’t it? Information. Now give.” He wiggled his fingers.

She’d known it. She’d known she wouldn’t be able to find Harmony, because that’d just be too easy. All she had left was Spike, and if she could think of a person in this world she’d less like to do this with than Spike...

Angel. It’d be worse with Angel.

She shook the thought away. “It’ll have to be you, then.”

“What’ll have to be me?” He looked affronted now.

“I need you to help me save the world,” she said. “Again. It’s a vampire/Slayer... thing. You know, the moon’s in the second house, and Jupiter something something...”

“That’s the Fifth Dimension, love.”

“Whatever. You, me, in a cave, with a ritual and this shiny rock.” She pulled the crystal out of her jacket pocket. It was actually pretty dark and dull at the moment, but Giles promised it’d glow with all sorts of colors of imminent doom later.

“Is this one of those shag or die things, then?” His tongue slid over his teeth and oh that grin made her feel dirty just to look at.

“No. No! Why does everyone think it’s about sex?”

“It’s not about sex?” He looked positively crestfallen, which just, ew.

“The Slayer and a vampire have to sit in some cave all night -- or stand, I guess, or lie down, or whatever--”

“Yeah, and?”

“--and tell each other the truth,.”

He gave a fly-in-his-ear headshake. “And do what now?”

She lifted the crystal. “It’s a truth battery or something. You tell the truth and it glows yellow, you lie and it glows red, you don’t talk at all and it goes dark.”

He peered at it and reached out a hand, and she snatched it back. “And you’re clearly feeding me a bunch of bollocks,” he said, “because it’s not glowing now.”

“No, just at the cave. With the ritual. All night. We have to keep it glowing yellow all night or else the dimension goes kaboom. You know.”

She watched all his thoughts flit one by one across his face: incredulity, grudging belief, greed as he glanced at the bills clutched in her other hand, and then a speculative glint that boded much worse.

“You’re sure it’s not about sex?” he said.

“Spike, do you ever think with anything but your dick?”

“Not always.” There was that dirty-making grin again, with the tongue pressed against the teeth and the head-tilt. “Sometimes, I think with my fangs. Or,” he added, slumping a little, “I did.”

Okay, one thing Buffy did not need right now was nostalgia-vamp. “It’s not about sex,” she said.

“Just my luck,” he muttered. “All right, so what if I ask you a question?”

“I can’t lie,” though just how much truth was necessary, Giles hadn’t been sure. “And neither can you.”

He hesitated over that, and she wondered with fleeting curiosity what he could possibly want to hide. She was pretty sure any trouble he’d gotten into he’d be more than thrilled to boast to her about.

“So,” he said finally, “you and I are thoroughly, miserably honest with each other, as indicated by the mood rock there, and the planet carries on with the spinning and the not collapsing into a grain of sand, is that it?”

She dropped the crystal back in her pocket. “Pretty much.”

“And I get the handful of dirty rotten cash you’re holding.”

She wanted to say no and just threaten him with the end of the world, but the light shining through the crypt window was dimming, and anyway she was going to spend all night talking to him; she wasn’t going to haggle now any more than she had to. “Yeah. We have to get to the cave by full dark and we can’t leave until the moon sets.”

“Right. Give me a minute.”

She opened her mouth to complain, but he strode around the crypt with actual purposefulness, slipping into his coat and sliding a few bags of blood and a bottle of whiskey into the pockets. “All that talking, I’ll need something to wet my throat.”

On her way out Buffy snagged her bundle o’ supplies that she’d left by the door: water canteen, sandwich, fishy crackers, sleeping bag, electric lantern.

The walk to the prescribed cave was quiet; apparently Spike, too, was conserving his words. He seemed to be mulling something over, judging from the continual changes of expression. Arguing with himself about something, maybe. What did vampires argue with themselves about?

Well, she was about to find out, wasn’t she? Oh, for Harmony and fourteen brainless hours talking about shoes.


The cave was pretty much a cave: walls of rough volcanic rock, water glinting down the walls in a couple of places and pooling in dips in the floor. Buffy set the electric lantern on the floor, next to the sacred X scratched into the floor, which she so wasn’t done teasing Giles about.

“Cheery,” Spike said.

“As opposed to, say, your crypt?”

He shrugged. Apparently he was, for once, not just this side of a sarcastic fit, which Buffy supposed was probably just as well. If she staked him, the world would end; better if she weren’t tempted.

“How we doing for time?” Spike said.

Buffy glanced at the watch Giles had lent her; no way to tell moonrise inside a cave. “We’ve got a few minutes.”

“Right. Let’s get some things straight,” he said. Before she could protest him dictating terms, he continued, “What gets said here stays here, right? Unless the person gives the okay. No blackmailing or what-not. No spouting of embarrassing incidents to one’s friends and relations. And no staking if I tell you you look bloody stupid in those trousers.”

She glanced down at her exclusive Paris-brand-on-sale giraffe-print slacks. “I like these pants!”

“More’s the pity.” As she stalked forward, he stepped back, one palm over his nose. “So no staking, right? Not even after.”

Like she’d thought he wouldn’t throw everything in her face that he could think of. If her pants were the worst of it, then she’d have to get Spike checked for possession afterwards. She huffed. “No staking.”

“And the other.”

He looked so earnest. Like he was the one with all the embarrassing secrets? Which she was totally going to ask him about. But if it meant he didn’t tell the whole demon community what she wrote about Angel in her diary, or whatever stupid thing he asked her... “Fine.”

He nodded. “Right.” He glanced around the cave. “So, we sit?”

“I guess.”

They sat, Buffy near the X with the crystal in hand, Spike across from her, cross-legged. They waited, silent, while Buffy eyed the watch. Finally, she said, “Now,” and placed the crystal at the center of the X. From Giles’ paper she read the weird old Latin he’d made her repeat over and over until she got it right, ending with, “Veritas, veritas, veritas.” On the last syllable, the crystal lit from within with a brilliant orange glow.

“Okay, orange isn’t good,” Buffy said, glancing again at Giles’ cheat sheet. “Yellow is what we want. Yellow is truth and world-saveage. Red is—”

“Blood,” he said flatly. “Death, obliteration, triumph of evil. Have I got it?”

“Pretty much. And hey, look! Now we’re a few shades closer to a brighter tomorrow.” She pointed to the crystal, which had been brightening to amber as they spoke.

“All right, so let’s get it straight how this thing works,” Spike said. “I’m a vampire.” The light brightened a little more. “She’s a vampire.”

Instantly, the space flooded red, deepening with every second.

“I’m a girl!” Buffy yelled, telling herself that wasn’t an earthquaked rumbling deep beneath her feet. “And Spike’s an idiot! And if he tries that again I’m going to rip his head from his neck.”

“Slayer, come on! We have to figure out the angles now, before we talk about anything important.”

“How important are we planning to talk?” Buffy’d been expecting another chapter in the ‘always been bad’ Spikeian saga, ohyay.

But Spike was still intent on the crystal. “Here, look. Charlemagne’s favorite color was chartreuse.” It stayed the same blood-stained orange.

“What? Charlie who?” He sounded vaguely familiar. From a study session? “Is he in one of Giles’ old books?”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Probably, seeing as he was the biggest cheese in Europe since the Roman emperors and founded a few monarchies to boot.”

“So how do you know you his favorite color?”

“I don’t. That’s my point. Here.” He addressed the crystal. “Charlemagne’s favorite color was periwinkle.” Again, the crystal stayed the same. “See? It’s not gonna tell me what the truth is if I don’t know it. But now, see, I’m a devilishly handsome bloke.”

The crystal remained unchanged. Spike frowned.

“Let’s try this,” Buffy said. “Spike thinks he’s something to look at.” The cavern brightened. “See, now it’s turning more yellow. Facts, not opinions, right?”

“That was a fact,” Spike grumbled.

With some more trial and error and another plunge towards rumbling crimson disaster – Buffy’s, this time, when she apparently pushed the crystal’s interpretation of sarcasm past the breaking point – they had the basics figured out. Commands, opinions, kinky-sounding British cusswords, and statements the speaker didn’t know the truth of didn’t have any effect at all. A question asked gave the answer an increased effect, one way or the other. And if they didn’t talk at all it gradually darkened and reddened all on its own.

“So, are we clear?” Buffy said finally.

Spike nodded. “Think that’s about done it.”

“Great.” Buffy rubbed at her eyes. Three hours’ patrol would have been better than the last forty five minutes. She was already tired of talking to, with, at, or about Spike, even though he’d mostly been pretty businesslike, although the why-he-cared of it was still beyond her. She didn’t even want to think about how long this night was going to be. “So, I was thinking we could talk about Glory. Maybe if we had a big hash-out, something would make sense?” As long as she didn’t say anything about Dawn...

“I’m sorry,” Spike said.

“Sorry about what?” A half-dozen blood-soaked scenarios leapt to mind: Glory, Harmony, random vamps, some demon Buffy’d never heard of. Buffy sat straight up. “What did you do, Spike?” Her hands closed in fists all by themselves. “If you did something and I can’t get out of here and fix it, I will—”

“Not like that!” He was scowling at her. “Wasn’t what I meant. I didn’t do anything. I mean, I’m sorry about that whole cock-up with your boy toy.”

It took her a moment, riding the adrenaline rush, to follow the change in subject. “What about it?”

“You see the rock?” he said, pointing. It was yellow. “I’m sorry, all right? I didn’t mean... Bloody hell.” He slid a hand over his very shiny head. “I didn’t do it to hurt you.”

And he’d been almost bearable, for almost an hour. “I don’t want to talk about that,” Buffy ground out.

“Well, I bloody do. Look, you see it’s getting brighter.” He pointed again. True, it was a bit brighter than when he’d pointed before. “I was trying to help.”

“So you drag me out of bed in the middle of the night to watch my boyfriend get sucked on, why, out of the goodness of your heart?”

“Yes. No!” Spike said, as the crystal’s color flickered. “I mean, I’m evil, right? No goodness.” He eyed it warily, but it didn’t get any farther. “But it wasn’t right, what he was doing. And bloody dangerous! Suppose he got turned. And it wasn’t fair to you.”

“Like you care,” Buffy said, crossing her arms. “Any more reasons?”

Spike took in a deep breath, opened his mouth, and glanced at her.


He sighed. “Well, I never did like the wanker, did I? Him or any of his playmates. Wanted him out.”

“And you didn’t think that would hurt me?”

Spike wouldn’t meet her eyes. “Just didn’t think, I guess. But I was trying to help! And I’m sorry, all right?”

Buffy sighed. “Fine, you’re sorry. Great. Can we talk about something less depressing and O-drama-that-is-my-life? You know, blood, death, murder?”

Spike opened his mouth again to say something pretty big, it looked like, but then he sagged. “Yeah. Fine.”


“Your best lay.”

“Spike, do you think this is a slumber party? I’m not answering that question.”

“Way I figure it, you’ve got Angel, you’ve got that one mealy-eyed git with his hair in his eyes—”

“Parker,” Buffy muttered.

“And you’ve got the ever-popular GI Jack. Not a really likely lot—”

“Riley,” Buffy said. “Riley by a mile.” God, I can’t believe I’m having this conversation. “I mean, Angel, I...” She flushed.

“What?” Spike propped himself on his elbow. “What about Angel?” And wow, that was some serious voyeuristic kink he had, the way he was staring at her.

“It stays here, right?”

Spike shrugged the question aside. “Right. We said that.”

This was incredibly stupid. “I didn’t know what I was doing, with Angel. I mean, I wanted it, but I didn’t... really know what I wanted, exactly.” She squeezed her eyes shut. “And I wasn’t very good.”

She startled upright at the sound a rock hitting the wall to her left. Spike was just turning back to her, his glare slightly terrifying in its intensity. “Never mind,” he said, a little guttural. “On with it.”

She shrugged and settled down again, scraping her bare shoulder against a rock in the process. Next time? Definitely bringing an air mattress. “Parker was just the one night. And I liked it fine, but it was mostly because I thought we were, you know, together. It turns out getting my dimpled knees pried apart, as I think someone said once—” Spike winced. “—isn’t all that entertaining when it means getting dumped the next day.”

“And Riley? Some disappointment that must have been.”

Buffy rolled her eyes. “We had enough time to figure out what I liked and what he liked, and we cared enough to actually make sure that we each got what we wanted. Hence the best-in-show.”

“One trick pony, though, wasn’t he?”

Buffy reflected back on a particular role-playing idea Riley’d had, and said, “Really not.”

And now Spike looked disappointed, which didn’t really track with the voyeurism thing. Weird vampire. Just weird.


“You’re gross.”

“I am not!”

She counted off on her fingers. “You live in a moldy, musty old crypt which has no running water--”

“It does so.”

“--and probably rats.”

“Does not,” he muttered.

“You smoke, which, can I just say, yuck with a side of cancerous yucktacular.”

“It’s an accepted and historic practice the world over.”

“Except sometimes you’re so drunk that the booze smell kind of overwhelms the smoke smell.”

“You’ve just never figured out how to have fun when you’re properly soused.”

“Not to mention you’re dead.”

“Didn’t figure that’d bother you much, seeing as--” He choked on the last few words, mostly because she’d wrapped both hands around his neck and squeezed.

Don’t finish that sentence,” she said. He glared, but eventually he gave a tiny nod. She loosened her grip and sat back.

He rubbed at his neck. A little raspy, he said, “Serve you right if I couldn’t talk at all, after that.”

She ignored him. “Ooh, and here’s the biggie, the reason why no sane living woman would want to go out with Spike.” She waved her thumb in front of him. “Because Spike kills people.”

“Well, I don’t anymore, do I,” he said sullenly.

She rolled her eyes. “So you have a chip. You’re still a killer.”

“I can’t be a killer if I can’t kill!”

“Are you arguing semantics with me? You have killed, therefore you are a killer. Notice the pretty tenses.”

“But I’ve changed,” he said plaintively.

She looked at him, hard. It was the line right before the punchline, when he’d snicker at her for thinking he could possibly be sincere.

But he didn’t look he was joking, and he wasn’t really all that good at poker faces. There was a certain lost-puppyishness in the earnest way he was peering at her that didn’t make sense.

“You’re a vampire. You don’t change.”

“But I have!”

“Yeah? Who was the last person you wanted to kill?”

“You,” he muttered. “Right about now.”

“Before me. Who was the last person you weren’t mad at, that you’d have eaten?” She glanced pointedly at the rock.

He darted a glance to the crystal and back at her. He opened his mouth and closed it again, the frustration on his face mutating to a vague, trapped sort of panic. Which was entertaining enough, all by itself -- since when did Spike mind telling her how evil he was?

“Yesterday,” he ground out finally. “Shopkeeper of that bookstore on Main. Was on her monthly -- she smelled like a sodding banquet.”

“I think,” Buffy said faintly, “that my brain is squashed flat with the ick of that statement.”

“Not like that’d be very hard,” he said, scowling at the ground. “But I wouldn’t have done it.” He saw her skepticism and snarled, “I wouldn’t! And anyway, vampire here.”

“That’s what I said. No changey.”

“Well, I like you now, don’t I?”

A beat of total silence. Even the stalactite’s drip paused.

“You what?” Her thoughts were having trouble lining up into any kind of order, but she managed to notice that Spike’s wide-eyed, gap-mouth stare was now a total and very specific panic. “You do not like me. Like, like like me?” Her own panic was rising to match. “Oh, God.”

“Hey, no need for that.” He looked... It couldn’t be possible, but he looked hurt. “It’s flattery, a bloke having feelings for a lady.”

Feelings?” Okay, didn’t know her voice still hit that register.

“It’s not unreasonable, is it?” He swept her up and down with a gesture. “You looking all sunny with your California tan and your Hollywood hair—”

“You said my hair was stupid,” Buffy said.

His shoulders hunched. “Well, I lied.”

A hysterical giggle snuck up Buffy’s throat. She swallowed it, because this was, oh God, this was not funny. Reasonable, Buffy. Go for reasonable. “Spike, you want to kill me. You can’t have feelings for me.”

He looked affronted. “What, you think the two are mutually exclusive?” Before she could answer that, he turned away and muttered, “Anyway, I don’t anymore.”

“Oh.” Buffy blinked. “Well, that was fast. Uh, glad we sorted that out. I kind of thought it’d take longer.”

Suddenly Spike was on his feet and looming over her. “I mean, Slayer, that I don’t want to kill you anymore!”

“No?” Buffy stared up at him and calculated a sweep to the ankles. “Because you’re doing a pretty good impression.”

He growled – the really, seriously pissed-off vampire growl – stalked straight to the nearest rock wall, and slammed his fist into it. Buffy winced.

“I don’t want to kill you,” he ground out.

“So, what? What do you want, Spike?” Sex, violence, kind of a package deal to vampires, right? “Is this all about prying apart the dimpled knees?”

“No! Yes. Some. They’re bloody distracting knees, all right?”

That was worth another blink. He fantasized about her knees?

“Yes, okay, I want to shag you. Man, here.” Spike was pacing now, circling her with a prowl that was less predator than it was, oh, distraught accountant? “You’re always stalking around my graveyard in your little fluttery skirts and your ridiculous boots. You slam me into walls and then walk away like it doesn’t mean a thing. You break my nose, and you know, in some parts that’d be called teasing unless you kissed it better, not that you’d ever do that, because what you are, Slayer, is a bloody sadist, getting a vamp all worked up and then just leaving him there in a lather, and—”

Spike.” He paused his prowl and turned to meet her eyes. “Thing one, what I said about you being gross? Double that.”

He took a deep breath preparatory to she didn’t want to know what.

“And thing two, I wasn’t trying to turn you on. You get that, right? That was not me flirting. That was me beating you up for information.”

Frowning, he said, “Ingrained habits. Pavlov’s vampire, and all that.” He dropped to a crouch and peered into her face almost desperately. He must not have found what he was looking for, or maybe he saw what’d he’d been afraid he’d see, because he slumped onto the cave floor. “So, you won’t go out with me, then?”

The question was so bizarre and Spike so forlorn that her initial Hell, no stuck in her throat. She swallowed and tried again. “Okay, first, there’s the you not having a soul part. Do you have any idea what I and my friends and a bunch of innocent, oblivious people went through the last time I cared about someone without a soul?” Spike opened his mouth, but Buffy continued, “Second, there’s the you being a vampire part. Vampires are kind of what I’m supposed to kill, and jury says it works best when I pretty much just stick to that.”


“Also there’s the you being a guy part. And I suck at guys. Don’t say it,” because she could see his mouth opening again. “I make guy lose their souls. I bore them until they dump me the night of the homecoming dance. I’m such a miserable girlfriend that guys pay vampires to feed on them to make up for what I can’t give.”

Buffy shut her eyes. Suddenly, after hours of forgetful bickering, Riley was only three weeks gone and it felt like the hole he left in her chest would suck her in whole.

Think about the next thing, Buffy.

She swallowed. “And finally, I’ve got a hellbitch who will tear apart this earth to lay her hands on my little sister—”


Crap. Crap crap crap.

Spike was peering at her, head tilted in that way that meant he was puzzling something out. “What about Dawn?”

She’d have to kill him. Not right now, because there was still the world-saving mission. At first light, though, she’d have to do it, because there was no chance in hell he wouldn’t use this. She’d have to thrust Mr. Pointy through his heart and watch as all the Spike-motes howled into oblivion.

And here he’d been almost friendly, in between the sniping and the declarations of lust. Now she had to kill him, when she was going to be sorry about it. Figured.

“Buffy?” Spike inched forward. He reached towards her and she shied back, already lifting the stake. “Can’t hit you,” he said, eyeing it. Slowly she lowered it, and then he reached and patted her arm, sort of stiff, awkward, like that one night on the porch. Like he was really long out of practice. Like she wasn’t going to kill him in the morning.

“I won’t tell,” he said solemnly. “Whatever it is about Dawn, I won’t tell.”

Buffy laughed shakily. “Like I can believe you.”

“I swear it, I won’t.” He looked around the room. His eyes lit as they fell on the glowy rock of doom. He pointed to it. “I’m not gonna tell.”

Buffy closed her eyes. “Spike, we already know the crystal doesn’t know the truth if we don’t. You don’t know the future.”

He huffed. “Fine. I don’t want to tell... whatever it is that I know, which isn’t anything, really, except something about the Summers kidlet. I can’t think of any reason I’d change my mind. Not for money or, or to get my chip out. Are you looking at this, Buffy?”

She opened her eyes. The crystal glowed a retina-burning yellow. “Yes,” she whispered.

“Not for a really brilliant shag, or blood straight from the vein—”


“Right, not that that’d matter, because I don’t do that anymore.” He peered at her. “Whatever’s got you wound so tight, I’m not gonna tell. I promise.”


His brow dropped. “Because... you know why, Slayer.”

“I do?” She wasn’t sure she knew anything at all; adrenaline was still ricocheting through her brain.

Now he wouldn’t look at her. “Because I can’t stop thinking about you. I’ve tried and I’ve tried, because this, this” -- he gestured back and forth between them – “is unnatural and, and wrong. I can’t get free of it, or of you. But you hurting – and whatever it is you’re worried I’ll say, it’s got you bloody terrified – that’d be even worse than whatever the hell’s wrong with me now.”

“Oh,” Buffy said. There ought to be more to say, she thought. Her brain should have cooled off by now, but what Spike said wasn’t making a lot more sense than before.

“You gonna laugh at me?” Spike said, still not quite looking at her. “Tell me again how I’m beneath you? Because you know, Ms. High and Mighty—”

“No,” Buffy said. That was a good word. A firm, strong word. “No, I wasn’t going to say that. Just now.”

“Oh.” After a pause, he said, “Does that mean if I, say, invited you—”


“Ah.” He nodded.

“All the reasons still stand. You soulless vampire, me sucky girlfriend, my life in crisis. Also: gross.”

“What if I quit smoking, then?”

Halfway to an eyeroll she stopped, because the aftereffects of total panic were setting in, and if he said one wrong thing she was pretty sure she was going to cry. “Spike, can we not right now? Please?”

After a moment, he nodded again. “All right.”

There was a long pause while Buffy breathed out-in, out-in, until the rest of the panic was gone. She rolled her shoulders, but some of that tension was in to stay, she thought. Water continued to trickle down the cave wall.

Finally Spike, eyeing the crystal, said, “So, uh, what do you want to talk about?”

He wouldn’t say anything about Dawn. She trusted him not to say anything about Dawn – a news flash in its own right. He... liked her? Was in love with her? Something like that. And it had been a really, really long night.

“I’m really tired of my life,” Buffy said. “Can you talk about your life for a while? I don’t mean the mass murder part, I mean the part before. Which, I guess also murder, but less of it?”

“Not so much, actually,” he said. He was doing the not-looking thing again, though his glance kept flicking down to the cheery yellow rock between them.

“Pick-pocket, gang, ruled the streets?”

“Yeah, well, I lied about that, too. You know what I said before about embarrassing incidents?”


He shrugged. “That was my life as a human. Mostly one long embarrassing incident.”

“Oh.” She could ask about that, if she wanted. Maybe he’d tell; he could be pretty certain she wouldn’t share. She didn’t really want to ask, though. “Just tell me what it was like then. Like, did people speak English yet?”

“Oi! How old do you think I am, Slayer?”

“So tell me.” Buffy grinned a satisfied grin and wriggled into her sleeping bag. “Did you ride horses? What did you eat for dinner?”

“You really want to know?” His skepticism showed on his face.

“We have to talk about something,” Buffy said. “And I wasn’t ever very good at history.”

“Well.” He seemed to come to a decision. “All right, then. I grew up in a house on the—”

“Did you have servants?”

“No interrupting,” he said, waggling his finger at her, and then he began again. “I grew up in a house on the shabby genteel side of London...”

Buffy let the words wash against her, a tide against the shore. Some of it was kind of interesting, although it was still history, and probably she still wouldn’t remember it later. Spike liked telling it, though; without the smirk he looked sort of nice, almost, his face all lit with the memory of some stupid boy escapade.


“So this is it, then?” Spike said, staring out at the lightening sky. Convenient for him that it was moonset they needed, not sunrise. He’d probably just have time to get home.

“This is it. Oh!” Buffy slid her backback around until she could reach in and pull out Giles’ money. Good thing for the world he was willing to fund its occasional salvation. She handed the bundle to Spike.

“Thanks.” Instead of pocketing the bills he flipped through them, first in one direction and then the other.

“If you don’t want it...” Buffy said, holding out a hand.

“No, you don’t,” Spike said, stuffing the whole roll into his coat pocket. Then he turned and faced her straight-on. “I won’t tell about Dawn. I promise.”

Here she was, Buffy Summers, taking the word of a vampire and a mystical rock. More fool she, maybe, but she was doing it. “Okay,” she said, and rubbed at her eyes. She was due a really, really long sleep. Buffy Van Winkle, that’d be her. “Ugh. I think it might have been easier if we’d just had to have sex.”

His eyes lit. “You know, we could still—”

“Don’t even say it.”

“Right.” After a sort of foot-shuffle, he said, “I’m not going to stop asking, you know.”

“For sex?” Maybe she’d kill him after all.

“No! I mean, if you like.” He danced away from her threatened swing. “I mean, you and me, out on patrol, maybe a picnic basket and some candles for the romantic atmosphere – it’s gonna happen.”

“It’s not going to happen. Spike, the answer will always be no.”

He smiled a thin-lipped, secretive sort of smile. “See about that, won’t we?” Before she managed to even move, he snuck in and pressed a quick, cool kiss on her lips.


He was already sprinting away. “Got to go,” he called over his shoulder. “Gotta beat the sun.”

Her first thought, watching him run, was what Angel’d said long ago: Once he starts something he doesn't stop until everything in his path is dead. And she thought that, as long as everything in his path was a demon, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad, him finishing what he started.

Her second, saner thought was, Crap. I can’t ever beat him up again.



( 83 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 17th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
I love this with the passion of a thousand fiery suns.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
(no subject) - timeofchange - Jan. 17th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - Jan. 17th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 17th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC)
Fabulous last line! And I really liked the twist on 'shag or die', turning it into 'share real intimacy or die', with the telling of uncomfortable truths and the sharing of deepest insecurities and concerns.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
And I really liked the twist on 'shag or die', turning it into 'share real intimacy or die',

That's exactly the note I wanted to hit. Hurrah!

I'm so glad you enjoyed the fic. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Spike was so adorable here I just wanted to hug him. And Buffy being her usual confused self. Good stuff.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
Aw, he does have his cute moments, doesn't he? That's part of what I love about him at this point: he's trying so hard and he's so clueless as to how to go about things.

Glad you enjoyed. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
This was awesome and spot on for the time. Love, love, love it.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
Yay, thank you! I was really concerned that it sound right for the time period and I worried a bit that Buffy softened up a bit, so I'm really glad to hear it hit the right notes for you. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
Wonderful!!! I absolutely love this one!
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)
Yay, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC)
This is a very sweet story. I love the premise, that the Slayer and a vampire have to be honest with each other. It's incredibly clever and original, and the potential for different plotlines is huge (as opposed to there being an *obvious* ending). I love that Buffy hoped Harmony would be there (it's so logical, and I feel like Buffy would actually enjoy the evening if she were forced to talk about shoes and "girly" things that her Slayerness usually precludes). I love that Spike is the one who's so nervous about the truth-telling and how confused Buffy is. I love that his first instinct is to apologize about Riley (and that Buffy is still heartbroken over the break-up; I mean, I hate Riley, but it makes sense for her character at this stage of the show) and that he's honest about having wanted to kill the shop-keeper (it's so tempting to romanticize chipped!Spike, and it's wonderful that you don't).

Now he wouldn’t look at her. “Because I can’t stop thinking about you. I’ve tried and I’ve tried, because this, this” -- he gestured back and forth between them – “is unnatural and, and wrong. I can’t get free of it, or of you. But you hurting – and whatever it is you’re worried I’ll say, it’s got you bloody terrified – that’d be even worse than whatever the hell’s wrong with me now.”
That's such a gorgeous and accurate description of his feelings for her. You captured his feelings in "Intervention" without just parroting that epi's dialogue, and it's brilliant.

I love that he kisses her at the end and that he swears it will happen someday. Spike's so vulnerable during this fic but he's still cocky at the end when it counts, and it's completely in character. I think I would have preferred this fic's S/B interaction so much more than "Crush."
Jan. 18th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your lovely, meaty comment. I had to take a bit to think about it so I could do it justice. :)

You know, I think an hours-long conversation between Buffy and Harmony could go several ways. Yes, girly stuff, but also Harmony ditziness, not to mention Harmony condescension, which she still managed even after being turned.

Now I'm intrigued, though. Buffy/vamp!Harmony bonding is, uh, not something I've seen a lot of (the only example I can think of is in the middle of Anaross's Long Day's Journey), but it has the potential to be a lot of fun.

it's so tempting to romanticize chipped!Spike, and it's wonderful that you don't).

I'm so glad you think I didn't! I actually worry about that a lot with my soulless Spike, that I'm making him too nice. But no, he's still got plenty of bloodlust at this point, even though "Triangle" indicates that he realizes it isn't quite the thing anymore. Poor boy. He's trying so hard to make himself into something Buffy will like, and he has so little idea how to go about it!

That's such a gorgeous and accurate description of his feelings for her. You captured his feelings in "Intervention" without just parroting that epi's dialogue, and it's brilliant.

Hooray! This fic does really mush a lot of the key points of Intervention and Hush together, in a slightly earlier timeframe. I'm glad it doesn't feel like a do-over. (I confess, I have a tic about dialogue from the series being parroted in other contexts.)

I didn't like Crush at first, but it's really grown on me. Even though Spike makes an idiot of himself, he's rather an adorable idiot, with the clothes and the "date" and all. Plus the Spike/Dru scenes are smokin', and I truly love that bit when Dru's broken the girl's neck in the Bronze and offers her to Spike to eat. That's the Marsters brilliance on display right there.

But thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for the lovely, lovely comment. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 05:35 am (UTC)
This is why I love late prezzies! Unexpected and they make you smile :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
Yay. I'm glad you enjoyed your delayed present. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 06:25 am (UTC)
LIKE! Am especially amused by your subversion of the Riley-is-vanilla trope.

When you first described the rules for the glowy stone, I considered presenting it with the statement, "This sentence is a lie," but I suppose that would only turn it a cranky shade of orange.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
Hey, "outfits" are canon for Buffy/Riley. I make no apologies. (Honestly, are we Spuffyites so threatened by Riley that the only way we can feel secure is by ragging on his sexual performance? Seriously.)

I meant to include a paradox in there! I forgot. Just as well that Spike didn't think of it, though. This rock has the power to destroy the whole dimension; do we want to make it cranky?
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:55 am (UTC)
Hee!! This was great! :D Especially -

“No! Yes. Some. They’re bloody distracting knees, all right?”


“You’re always stalking around my graveyard in your little fluttery skirts and your ridiculous boots. You slam me into walls and then walk away like it doesn’t mean a thing. You break my nose, and you know, in some parts that’d be called teasing unless you kissed it better, not that you’d ever do that, because what you are, Slayer, is a bloody sadist, getting a vamp all worked up and then just leaving him there in a lather, and—”

Tee hee hee hee hee...
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed. I confess, I had a blast writing the dialogue in this one. Spike and Buffy are just so much fun at this point in canon.
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:28 am (UTC)
I loved this! Lots of gorgeous snark and Spike all bubbling over with emotion, and just a crumb of Spuffy Buffy at the end. Brilliant idea, brilliantly executed.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
Yay, I'm so glad! I confess, I had an awful lot of fun writing it. So much opportunity for banter.
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:39 am (UTC)
Wonderful. Fantastic character voices and a great, great premise.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! The premise has been stewing in my brain for a long, long time, but I just recently managed to sit down and write most of it out.

Thanks for the comment, and for the lovely rec. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 10:03 am (UTC)
This is so, so awesome. Dynamite Spuffy.

“You said my hair was stupid,” Buffy said.

His shoulders hunched. “Well, I lied.”


Jan. 17th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
Hey, the truth comes out. We all know how Spike feels about Buffy's hair, yes? *g*

Glad you enjoyed. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
Absolutely spot on!!
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
Spike was pacing now, circling her with a prowl that was less predator than it was, oh, distraught accountant?

Oh nice. He totally loses his cool and reverts to William when his heart's on the line.

You slam me into walls and then walk away like it doesn’t mean a thing.

This is brilliant. That whole paragraph, laying out how beating him up really is like third base for him is perfect, and naturally makes me love the closing line all the more. She can't beat him up again (darn) because a) he likes it? b) it would be leading him on? or c) that's how she was expressing her attraction all along and he's on to her? Hee!

I was also quite taken with his emotional reaction to her "I'm no good with guys/in bed" routine. That she's still counting Scott F-ing Hope in her failures column is pretty awful. That she would consider using this as a reason not to go out with Spike is a bit counter productive (what does she care if she scares him off?—basis for some great funny/hot fics), but then I remember her pumping the nun for lifestyle info at around this time and well...

Nice and chewy, darling!
Jan. 18th, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
That whole paragraph, laying out how beating him up really is like third base for him is perfect

Hooray! You know, some of the dialogue in this fic I had to think about some, but that paragraph there pretty much wrote itself. (Most of the fic did, really; I sat back and let it loose, and then sort of herded it back in the right direction now and then. Yay dialogue. If there were actual plot in the fic, I'd have to think a lot harder.)

I was also quite taken with his emotional reaction to her "I'm no good with guys/in bed" routine.

Oh, good. I'm glad that came across. I didn't feel I could explain his hurling a rock into the wall any more than I did, but in my head I imagine Angelus did plenty of jeering to his captive audience about Buffy's lack of prowess, back in S2. (Also, I'm glad that the "best lay" conversation didn't come across as too daft; I kept planning to leave it out, but it was so much fun...)

then I remember her pumping the nun for lifestyle info at around this time and well...

Yeah. This is right circa "Triangle," and she was awfully low at that point. Poor girl.

It's a very silly fic, really; I'm so glad you found chewiness along with the cotton candy! Thank you so much for you lovely, meaty comment. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Thanks!
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
Ah, the glow-y apocalypse rock---
Sarcasm - not allowed
Opinion - not allowed
but banter and growing UST truth is.

I love this. I love this.

[I'd put it in caps but that's not polite]
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, sarcasm and opinion are allowed, they just don't help. *g*

I'm so glad you enjoyed! For the record, I am not personally opposed to caps of enthusiasm; I've been known to use them myself from time to time.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
This is lovely. Just lovely. Great voices, great location in canon, sweetness without being sickly... Thank you for our gift!
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm especially glad to know I managed the non-sickly sweetness. I love sentiment as much as the next person, as long as tempered believably, you know?

And this is such a fun time in canon. So much potential for awkwardness and misunderstandings.
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)

Beautiful and brilliant and completely in character!
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
I loved this!! I needed a good laugh and lots of smiles and this certainly delivered. Thank you for an entertaining read. The image of Spike galloping away after sneaking in that kiss is going to last for a bit. So cute!
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
Yay, I'm so glad! Entertainment was definitely the main goal of this particular fic.

I confess, I wasn't quite sure if Spike sprinting away worked. He sidles more than he sprints, you know? It made emotional sense to me, though, so I'm glad to hear it worked for you, too. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:45 pm (UTC)
Season 5 Spuffy! Love it!

Okay, I have an odd favorite of a line here.

He gave a fly-in-his-ear headshake. “And do what now?”

That was just the absolute perfect way to describe it.
Jan. 17th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
I adore S5 Spuffy. It's just so fun and cute and relatively angst-free! (Well, it is when you don't write it. *g*)

Hah, I love knowing everyone's favorite lines. I think it must be a good sign when everyone quotes something different.

Glad you enjoyed. :)
(no subject) - angearia - Jan. 17th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - Jan. 17th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 17th, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
I really, really enjoyed this.
Jan. 17th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
Yay, I'm so glad. Thanks for the comment. :)
Jan. 17th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
This is what happens when I don't check my flist for like a week! I MISS YOU WRITING ACTUALLY BUFFY/SPIKE FIC!

I am vomiting rainbows! And now you know what that means! So in character and making fun of the shag-or-die! And realistic for the time period! I love everything about it!
Jan. 18th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
Ah, so that's where you went. I noticed you weren't around much. Did you see I'm watching BSG now?

YAY, I am so glad you like the fic! Yes, me ACTUALLY WRITING BUFFY/SPIKE. Can we even stand the shock? Some of it might feel familiar, though; I posted a wee snippet of it at least a year ago, during that WIP meme.
(no subject) - penny_lane_42 - Jan. 18th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snickfic - Jan. 18th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 18th, 2011 05:15 am (UTC)
This was just delectable. Season 5 Buffy/spike to snarky, UST-y, hilarious perfection.
Jan. 18th, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
Hooray! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)
Jan. 18th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
love love love love love

So beautiful.

This made my Tuesday-feels-like-Monday.

Aw, Spuffy! They have no trouble telling the truth, do they?
Jan. 19th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
Yay, I am so glad to make your not-Monday day.

Aw, Spuffy! They have no trouble telling the truth, do they?

Weeell, except for all the times when they can't seem to actually state what they're feeling to save their lives. This is a frequent Buffy problem, but sometimes Spike has it, too...
(no subject) - hello_spikey - Jan. 19th, 2011 02:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 18th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
And here I was afraid there would be no good Buffy/Spike this year! Thanks.
Jan. 19th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC)
Then I am so glad to prove your worries wrong! Although, as seasonal_spuffy mod, I feel beholden to say that I'm expecting good things of this next session.

May 2011 be a very Spuffy year. *g*
(no subject) - ladyofthelog - Jan. 20th, 2011 07:02 am (UTC) - Expand
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