Author: Holly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rating: NC-17 (for language and adult scenes)
Timeline: Rewrite of Season 6's Afterlife
Summary: 'He watched her pause, watched her trembling hand form a fist and unfurl again. So unlike the Buffy he knew, the Buffy preserved in his memory. That Buffy would have smarted off and popped him in the nose for daring to share her space. This Buffy did neither.'
Prompt Request: Episode Re-write of After Life with some sweet, tender smut. Can be all sweet or go dark. I want Spike to cry.
Betas: Mari and Lauriel
Written for spikeslovebite, in honor and loving memory of her son, Kain.
“They can never know.”
For as often as he’d dreamt he’d see her again, as much as he’d tortured himself replaying the night she’d jumped, all the things Spike wanted to say gathered in the back of his throat and stayed there. He didn’t know why he’d come here today…only of course he did, because he couldn’t keep away. What did you say to the woman you loved after every fevered dream entertained over the past one hundred and forty eight days had become a reality?
Nothing, apparently. Spike could think of nothing. He could only stare at her back as she contemplated the line between shade and sun. He could only watch, utterly floored by the secret she’d entrusted him with.
Heaven. She’d been in Heaven.
Such a foreign concept, Heaven. Spike hadn’t given Heaven, theology, or any sort of religious institution serious thought since his William days, but even trying to peel back the layers of his memory didn’t yield results. Becoming a demon tended to warp one’s view of all things holy. He couldn’t touch crosses or drink holy water. If Buffy was from Heaven, could he touch her?
Why would she trust him with something so…
“Wait,” he called.
He watched her pause, watched her trembling hand form a fist and unfurl again. So unlike the Buffy he knew, the Buffy preserved in his memory. That Buffy would have smarted off and popped him in the nose for daring to share her space. This Buffy did neither. Instead, she stood there, tension tightening every line of her exquisite body, her head slightly turned.
The fact that she stopped at all left his foundation shaken.
“Do you…” Spike cleared his throat and pushed himself to his feet. “I don’t think you should be alone.”
She didn’t turn. Didn’t respond. Didn’t move.
“I don’t want you to be alone.”
Buffy was still another long moment, then at last she turned and looked at him. And for a long moment they just stared at each other.
“Do you still have a crypt?” she asked.
The question hit him from left field. “What?”
“The last time…I think I remember a crypt. Isn’t that where you live?”
Spike took a step forward. She’d been there earlier today, hadn’t she? Shown up like a bloody vision and stared at him with a hauntingly vacant look while he rambled about things he knew didn’t matter to her but mattered the world to him. Did she not remember that, or had he dreamt the whole thing?
Either way, he decided not to pursue it. Instead, he nodded and said, “Yeah. Cozy little place. Want to—”
“Can you take me there?” Buffy wet her lips and glanced around the empty alley, rubbing her arms. “I think you’re right. I don’t want to be alone. And I don’t want to be with people, either.”
“Where do you want to be, pet?”
“Where I belong.” Her eyes welled, and his heart twisted. “I want to go home, Spike. There is no home here. I look around and I see places I recognize. People I know. People I love.” She shivered. “Take me somewhere I don’t know.”
“You’ve been to my crypt before.”
“I have. I think I remember that.”
“Earlier today,” he elaborated.
Buffy frowned as though not believing him, but nodded anyway. “I…but it’s not—”
“A place you cared about.” Spike nodded, a small smile twitching his lips. “No, love, I follow you.” He reached for her hand. “If we wanna get there without me going up in flames, I’ll have to show you the back route.”
Buffy inclined her head and laced her fingers through his, sending a jolt of electricity through his body. God, she was warm. She’d blister him if he wasn’t careful.
But fuck, he didn’t care. It was Buffy, and she was here. Her hand was in his. Her eyes were on him.
And then she parted her lips and graced the air with what Spike decided was the single best word in the English language.
Of course, once he got her to the crypt, he had no idea what to do next. He couldn’t offer her anything to eat, because his fridge lacked decent human food—Clem had taken it upon himself to eat up all the ice-cream, and whatever was left was several days past the sell-by date. There was booze, and though Spike figured Buffy wouldn’t say no to shooting back a few drinks, he didn’t want her sloshed out of her mind right now.
If her agreeing to accompany him came under the influence of stone-cold sobriety, he didn’t want to bargain what getting her drunk could do. Hell, she might start ringing up the Initiative boys. Or worse. She might get it in her head to visit Angel.
To Spike’s knowledge, no one had mentioned her great poofter of an ex. He wasn’t about to be the one to start that conversation.
“Nothing good,” he murmured, looking nervously around the suddenly small and incredibly messy space he called home. At once bringing her here seemed like the dumbest of dumb ideas. The girl had just clawed her way to freedom. She didn’t need to be here. She didn’t need to see this.
Yet, Christ, he couldn’t bear the thought of letting her out of view. What if he awoke and the past day turned out to be his overactive and downright sadistic imagination playing another round of what-if on his grieving psyche? He couldn’t bear it.
But she smelled real. Her scent had long ago crawled up inside him and taken residence. And for as vivid as his imagination was, he’d never been able to summon those smaller things that made Buffy Buffy. Things he reckoned only a vampire would know to miss.
“I, ahhh…” He blinked dumbly when she turned from the wall she’d been staring at. That look was back. The one from earlier. The one that stared right through him without seeing a thing. “You wanna…see what’s on the telly?”
A long groan fought for freedom against his lips. Fuck all, when had he become so sodding pathetic?
“I think I’m a bit behind on my old shows,” Buffy said. Though she didn’t crack a grin, and though her voice retained the same even calm from before, he would have sworn a hint of humor tickled her tone.
Spike laughed nervously and slid his hands into his duster pockets. “You’d think I’d never had a pretty girl over.”
Buffy nodded, though not in agreement. He didn’t know how he could tell, but he could. “Is Harmony still here?” she asked.
He balked. “What?”
“I remember you with Harmony.”
“Fuck…” Spike tore a hand through his hair. He hadn’t thought of Harmony in what felt like several lifetimes. He’d lived and died so many times over the summer. Every night, as he’d told her. Every night he died again. “No, love. Harm’s gone. Long bloody gone. She left me the night I…” Well, shit. “This is awkward.”
“You chained me up downstairs.”
No condemnation. No anger. No emotion of any kind.
How much of this Buffy was his Buffy?
“Yeah,” he drawled cautiously. “And threatened to feed you to Dru.”
“If I didn’t…” She wrinkled her nose. “Oh.”
“Yeah. Not my best moment.”
That flicker of not-quite-emotion crossed her face again, only this time it came with a subtle lip twitch. “You love me.”
A statement. No accusation. No question. She looked at him point-blank and fed him the sentiment that had crawled into his chest sometime last year—the same she had rejected time and time again. Three little words had all the power of a punch to the gut. He had no idea how to respond.
Except the sudden rush of unmanly tears stinging his eyes. Fuck, he was so sick of crying over her.
“I do, Buffy.”
She nodded, more involved this time, and took a step forward. “I don’t remember love,” she said. “I mean…I remember feeling it, remember…but I feel so cold.” One of her hands twitched and found its way to her chest. “I used to be warm.”
“You still are, love.” Without thought, he closed the space between them, his hand falling over hers where it lay against her heart. Again, that funny, familiar, and fucking wonderful spark of life flickered where they touched. The tears stinging his eyes grew stronger, harder to blink away. “Feel how cold I am? You couldn’t if you weren’t about to burn me up.”
Buffy’s face lowered, her gaze seemingly drawn to the contours of his fingers. “Hmm…”
“You used to paint your nails, didn’t you?”
Spike smiled, looking down. “Yeah. Stopped right after…” He swallowed. “Buffy…”
“There are…things.” She frowned and pressed closer. “On the corners of my mind. I’ve already forgotten so much of the place I was in. There was such clarity. I felt love. Felt warmth. Felt everything I don’t feel now.” She raised her eyes to his, and the look there stole unneeded breath from his lips. “I knew things, too.”
He tilted his head. “Like what, pet?”
She shuddered and frowned, but still didn’t move away from him. “Everything,” she whispered. “I knew my friends were okay. I could see so many things. Things that were, things that could be. Things that could have happened but didn’t.” Buffy wet her lips, and unbidden, Spike’s cock stirred to life. Fuck, she was close. Her scent was in his lungs, her body heat alighting him from within. At once he remembered just how much he’d wanted her, how badly he’d yearned for her flesh against his, her body beneath or over him, her mouth on his skin.
Spike’s jaw tightened and he did his best to stem his body’s reaction. The last thing she needed was to feel his dick rubbing against her. That would certainly break the moment, and he wasn’t ready for her to leave.
Granted, he would never be ready for that. Not now that he’d gotten her here.
“The world is so much bigger than us,” Buffy whispered, her voice washing over him. Still she pressed nearer, close enough now to feel his erection. Either way, she didn’t respond. “Bigger than cold and warm. I saw that there. But it’s like a dream. I keep losing it, and I don’t want to. I don’t want to forget what I saw, what I learned.”
“What did you learn?”
Buffy hummed softly and leaned her head forward until her brow was pressed against his. “I didn’t have to die.”
Spike swallowed and those damn tears resurfaced. “No.”
“And all of them would have died for me.”
“All of who?”
“My friends.” Her voice steeled. “They pulled me from Heaven, but any one of them would have died for me. In my place. Except Anya. The rest would have, though. They loved me that much.”
“I would have, too,” Spike said quickly. “Buff—”
“I know, Spike. I saw that.” She shivered. “I saw you. And others. Angel—”
There it was. That goddamn name. His teeth ached and he fought off a burst of fang. He didn’t want his wanker of a sire’s memory hovering between them now. Not when Buffy was so close. Not when he was swimming in her scent. Not when she was pressed against him and not running away.
Not when she was here at all.
A small chuckle, unbidden and beautiful, rushed through her lips. The sound was so unexpected he would have fallen off his feet if he weren’t so damned intent on staying against her. “I forgot,” she said softly. “You don’t like him very much, do you?”
“Putting it mildly, pet.”
“I feel like I need to say this before it goes away.” Buffy expelled a deep breath. “Before I forget it altogether. But I do remember…I saw so much, Spike. I felt so much. The world here. The world I died to protect…it’s so different than I thought it was. All those things that could have happened but didn’t.”
Buffy pursed her lips, her eyes fluttering shut. “I guess that’s what I mean. I didn’t just lose Heaven. I lost everything that Heaven is. I lost that knowledge. It had become a part of me and I lost it. And I’m still losing it. I’m losing everything. What I learned there. What I felt. What I saw. They stole everything from me.”
Spike couldn’t help it; he brushed a kiss across her brow, and relished the taste of her flesh. “I’d like to say I’m sorry,” he replied honestly. “But Buffy…”
“You weren’t there when they did it.”
“And you would’ve stopped them.”
That he wasn’t so certain. Having her here, against him, not running made him feel the price was worth anything. But the heartbreak in her voice would wear down the hardest of men. And truly, he wasn’t sure what he would have done had they let him know. If those words he spat at Xander the night before hadn’t been earned. Spike had already discovered the hard way that a Buffy substitute, even if it looked and sounded like her, would not satisfy him. Looking at the bloody bot had all but killed him in his Slayer’s absence. And there was no telling that Willow would be successful. Fuck, it wasn’t so long ago that the little witch mucked up even the simplest spells. Raising the dead, giving Buffy back to the world, took power he wasn’t prepared to admit she had.
Not even after everything that happened the previous year. Not even after Glory.
Spike blinked and came back to himself. “What?”
“For not lying to me,” Buffy replied.
“Can’t lie if I don’t know the truth.”
“I think if anyone can, it’s you.” At last, the hand beneath his stirred and slipped away, leaving his fingers over her chest, feeling the echo of her heartbeat. Then she was gripping his forearms, holding him to her like an anchor.
“You want me,” she whispered. “I can feel it.”
Another nervous laugh bubbled through the air. He’d never felt embarrassed about sporting a stiffy, and though he didn’t aim to start, her bluntness had a way of making him feel frail and human. “Always want you, pet. Couldn’t help that if I tried.”
“I don’t know what I want.”
“I didn’t bring you here for that.”
Buffy pulled back just slightly and frowned into his eyes. “Didn’t you?”
Then, before he could blink, her lips were on him. On his mouth, pulling away hot, desperate kisses. Spike was, at first, too bloody stunned to respond, but after a moment his instincts kicked in and he remembered what to do. Remembered this part. A low moan rumbled through his throat as he hiked her closer, thrusting his pelvis against her hips, rubbing the ridge in his pants against the soft, silky material of her dress. How was she here at all? Against him, whimpering into his mouth, linking her arms around his neck and thrusting herself into his arms.
This wasn’t Buffy.
But oh, yes it was. It was all Buffy. He knew her too well to doubt.
Still, as though from a distance, he heard himself protest. “Buffy—”
“Help me remember, Spike,” she murmured against his lips. “I don’t want to forget.”
Her kisses returned before he could muster a reply. Spike’s brain might have checked out, but his hands knew what to do. In easy seconds, the fabric of her dress was bunched around her hips, the scrap of her knickers the only thing separating him from her liquid heat. A rumble sounded low in his chest, and the back of his legs hit something—his rocker—before he landed himself ass-first in the seat.
Then she was on him. Buffy in his lap, Buffy’s hands on his cheeks, Buffy’s hips grounding into him.
Too good. Too good. Had to be a dream.
“Help me be warm,” she whimpered. At some point, her hand had wiggled between their bodies, cupping his erection with delicate sweetness.
The part of him that was greedy, wholly male, and desperate to quench months—and if he was honest with himself, years—of desire, delivered a swift kick to the softer part of his sensibilities. The part that knew her too well to dare hope this was really what she wanted. Buffy hadn’t been herself at all in the time she’d been back. Once she returned, once that glorious fight sparked behind her eyes, she would stake his undead ass, and rightfully so.
Taking advantage of broken girls was something Angel would do.
The thought was enough to jar reason to the front of his mind. With a whimper, Spike pulled back and found himself gazing into eyes darkened with lust.
Lust for him.
“Can’t catch a fucking break,” he muttered.
Buffy frowned. “What?”
“You won’t want this when you remember,” he said, fighting the urge to palm her cunt and explore the honey between her legs. He could smell her. Buffy was wet and ready for him, the spicy fragrance of her arousal tugging on his dick harder than any hand ever could.
He was either the world’s biggest dumbass or the most chivalrous man on the fucking planet. He couldn’t decide which was worse.
“No,” Buffy replied, deftly lowering his jeans’ zipper, and before he could think, his hard cock was in her hand. “I told you…”
“Oh, fuck me.”
“That’s the idea.”
“Buffy, you might not…oh God…remember this now, but you and me? We don’t—fuuuuck—do this.”
“You want to.” She punctuated her words with a timely squeeze of his cock. “You love me.”
And there’s the rub. Spike gritted his teeth and somehow summoned the strength to seize her wrist, effectively halting her movements despite his body’s protest. “I love you,” he agreed, “too much for this.”
Buffy frowned and sat back. “This isn’t going away, Spike.”
“You’re not yourself.”
“No,” she returned. “I’m not. Not the girl you remember. I don’t know who I am anymore. My memories are scattered and my head feels like it’s been split. But you were supposed to listen. I can’t forget what I learned there. I can’t forget—”
“What in the sodding world does Heaven have to do with fucking me?”
She went quiet, her eyes going distant. And for a long moment, nothing passed between them. Spike sat in his recliner, gulping deep lungfuls of unneeded oxygen with his hard dick between them, the perfume of her heat teasing his nostrils, and watching that faraway look on her face.
“I can only remember being happy once before,” Buffy said at last, her hand batting his away to claim his cock again. “Really happy.”
“You remember the spell we were under?”
The spell that had first introduced her lips to his mouth? The spell that had added hard study to the fantasies he’d entertained since he first laid eyes on her? Spike’s head rolled back, his objection dying as her sweet hand starting pumping his shaft. “Mhmm…”
“That’s it. The happiest I can remember being.” Buffy dragged his foreskin over the head of his cock and squeezed, then slowly rolled it back. “It wasn’t real. How sad is that? My happiest moment on Earth was a lie.”
Spike forced his eyes open. “Thought you asked Willow to make you forget about that.”
Buffy snorted and arched a brow, and at once she looked so much like herself he thought he might weep. “Get real, Spike,” she said. “After she accidentally got us engaged and all that other stuff, do you really think I was going to give her access to my mind?”
He grinned, unable to help himself. “Little sneak.”
She nodded, the familiar fire in her expression fading a bit. “Happiest time I can remember was a lie. Except Heaven. Nothing lies in Heaven. And they took that away from me, too. But I can’t forget.”
“Don’t let me forget, Spike.”
He didn’t know how she did it, how she managed it. He hadn’t even felt her move enough to shift her panties aside. To introduce the head of his cock into her hot sex. All he knew was one moment she was looking at him, asking things of him he wanted to fulfill but didn’t know how, and the next she was impaled upon him. Her pussy hugging him deep, drawing him into the ecstasy of her body. Spike whimpered in full and threw his head back again, his hands finding her hips.
It was fast and slow, hard and soft. Her soft bounces, her slight cries, the way she clung to him as she came down upon him again and again. His mind was a blank slate, flooding and clearing over and over again. Buffy against him. Buffy over him. Buffy’s pussy swallowing his cock. He couldn’t think and he didn’t want to, but at the same time he was so afraid this would never happen again he couldn’t help but switch his brain over to record.
Buffy cupped his face and stared into his eyes as she brought her lips to his. Her tongue caressed the inside of his mouth, her thumbs rubbing soothing circles into his cheeks. Then she pulled away and buried her face in the crook of his neck, sobbing her pleasure into skin.
“Love me,” she begged him softly. “Please, Spike…”
Tears stung his eyes again but this time he couldn’t fight them. Didn’t even try. Instead, he pressed one hand to her ass and slipped the other between them, working up and down the seam of her vaginal lips as she drove him in deeper, harder, closer to fruition he’d never thought he’d see.
The pad of his thumb kissed her clit. Once, twice, harder and harder with each thrust, until at last her body tightened and exploded around him, muscles he’d only dreamed of clenching and milking his cock to release.
Then they stilled, the air thick with sex and the sound of their mutual gasps. She was so hot. Sweat dotted her brow, her pretty breasts heaving against him. All the while his mind spun in a thousand directions, trying to suss out what in the hell had happened and how quickly it could happen again.
Buffy. His Buffy.
“Love me,” she said again.
“You know I do,” Spike told her, his heart constricting. For a wild moment, he thought the damn thing might actually beat. But it didn’t. Miracles didn’t happen…at least not twice in one day. “I love you, Buffy.”
She nodded against his chest, then, without warning, burst into tears.
By the time they left the crypt, night had fallen over Sunnydale.
Spike was happy to keep her pace. Buffy didn’t seem overly anxious to get home, and he certainly didn’t want to say goodbye. He didn’t want any of this—the wonder that had been this afternoon—to fade into nothing. Fuck all, he had no idea what tomorrow would bring. She hadn’t said much in the time between giving him a soft, tender kiss and crawling off his lap. The shell of a girl he’d taken from the Magic Box had seemingly returned, but enough of her—the Buffy she’d let him see—remained to know she was still with him.
“Your mates are gonna be worried,” Spike said as they turned onto Revello Drive. Even from here, he could see every light in her house was on. If he tried, he wagered he could hear voices inside.
“Yeah,” she agreed, seizing his hand without warning. “You’ll come in with me, won’t you?”
Spike’s throat tightened. “I’ll do whatever you want, pet.”
Buffy nodded in that newly-developed absent way of hers, then abruptly pulled him to a stop.
“I don’t remember love,” she said.
Spike swallowed. “It’s all right—”
“No, it’s not. I know I’m supposed to love. I feel like I left it behind.” She sighed and flicked a glance down the road. “Dawn. I know I love her. Love her so much I died to save her. I know I love my friends, no matter what they’ve done. And Giles. And my mom.” Buffy blinked, and though the scent of her tears thickened the air, she didn’t cry. Instead, she worked a breath through her lips and looked back at him. “I want to remember.”
“Like riding a bicycle, love. Or so I’d wager.”
“Not just love. I want to remember…” Buffy shivered but didn’t look away. “I saw you, Spike. When I was in Heaven. I saw all of you. I would have forgotten what I saw…what it meant…it’s there now, in my head, but it was going away. I don’t want to lose that. Not ever.”
He nodded like he understood, feeling like a prat but unable to help himself.
“I don’t want to go back to seeing the world like a human,” she said. “And I don’t want to lose today.”
Spike squeezed her hand. “Today’s not going anywhere.”
She bit her lower lip. “You’ll help me remember?”
“I’ll do anything you ask.”
She smiled softly. “Just keep loving me, Spike. And help me remember how.”
A jolt of what could only be called pure elation shot through his chest. “Scoobies won’t like it,” he warned her. It was only fair.
“I don’t care.”
“You will someday.”
Buffy shrugged a shoulder. “Maybe. But by then, I’m hoping to have remembered how to love.” She paused. “I’m hoping I can say—and feel—that I love them. And you. I want to love you, too. I want to say it to you and mean it.”
Then she shuffled closer and kissed him, and he felt just how much she meant those words.
Felt how much she wanted to love.
Felt how much she had changed, and how close she’d come to losing it.
At once he understood everything she’d tried to tell him today, and he felt himself fall in love with her all over again.
Not the girl who jumped. The girl who lived.
Current Mood: accomplished