Things That Go Bump in the Night by Slaymesoftly

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: Set several years post NFA, Buffy has moved on, is no longer in mourning for her two dead vampires. Then Dawn calls her for some help and she finds something she never expected to.

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Chapter 23

As the week went on, Spike became uncharacteristically quiet. He still went to the school with Buffy, and he wandered around the gym, correcting a lunge here, explaining the finer points of beheading there, but he rarely touched anyone except her. When he saw Giles watching him with a speculative frown on his face, he knew that the watcher had seen.

Spike sent the man a challenging stare, daring him to say anything in front of Buffy. After a few minutes, Giles gave a nod and turned away, his heart already aching for the woman who would always be “his slayer”. He returned to his office and picked up the phone.

“Willow? How are you?.....Fine, thank you…Do you think you could spare us another visit?.... Yes, I’m afraid Buffy may be in need of some support from her friends sooner rather than later…. Yes, it is a shame, but it appears to be happening. I don’t believe he’s told her yet. He appeared to be trying to hide it, but I watched him fade away several times during the course of the hour. He clearly has no control over it, and according to witnesses, at least the first time it happened he was also non-corporeal. I think we have to assume the worst.”

With Willow’s promise to wrap up her work in London and be on a train as quickly as possible, Giles sat back and pondered the unbelievable saga of William the Bloody. From Victorian poet, to one fourth of the Scourge of Europe, to the Slayer of Slayers, to a harmless vampire in love with a slayer, to the only one who could use the force of his newly acquired soul to close the Hellmouth, Spike had carved his own way through the world. Even certain death under Sunnydale hadn’t prevented him from coming back to fight evil once again. And, now, it seemed that his time was finally going to be over. Not in a blaze of glory while battling at Buffy’s side, but by slowly disappearing while instructing novice slayers or working in his restored garden.

Giles brought out his hidden bottle of scotch and poured himself a full glass. He raised a silent toast to the vampire he’d tried so hard to keep away from his slayer before giving in to his rage at the unfairness of it all and flinging the glass across the room to shatter against the heavy oak door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


“It’s happening, isn’t it?”

Buffy’s voice was calm, but her grip on Spike’s shoulders tightened to the point of pain. He gave a heavy sigh and pulled her into his chest. Instead of answering, he buried his nose in her hair and nuzzled at her neck.

“How long were you going to wait to tell me?”

He shook his head and pushed her out so that he could look her in the eye.

“Until I couldn’t hide it anymore,” he admitted. “I didn’t want you to worry.”

Buffy’s gasping laugh had a hysterical edge to it. “You didn’t want me to worry? You fade away right in front of me, you won’t touch me unless you know I’m not depending on you to hold me up, you don’t touch anyone else at all…” She took a deep calming breath and blew it out forcefully. “I’m not worried; I’m terrified.”

“I’m sorry, love. You know if I had any control over this at all, a flock of dragons couldn’t force me away from you. But I can’t control it. I just come and go – bit longer each time I’m gone.”

“Have you tried?” His raised eyebrow wasn’t really necessary to remind her how unfair her question was, and how unlikely it was that Spike wasn’t trying. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I didn’t mean that. You know how I get when I can’t fight something.”

“I do know, love. I wish it was something you could beat up with those deadly little fists. I do. I wish it was something that I could fight. Know how to do that, don’t we?”

“How—how long do you…”

“No idea. I know I’m gone longer every time; and it’s that much harder to get solid again. But it’s not like I’ve been given a schedule. I’m just taking it as it comes.”

“So, one of these times you’re just going to fade away and never come back?”

“Seems like. Don’t really know, do I?”

Buffy made a strangled cry and sank to the ground. They were in their garden but had just decided it was becoming too chilly to sit outside when Spike had vanished again, remaining gone for several agonizing minutes. Buffy buried her face in her hands and fought the urge to throw herself onto the newly restored flowerbed to kick and scream and pound her fists into the loose soil. With an effort she tried to hide, she gained control over her emotions and stood up, raising her face to meet his worried gaze.

“I don’t want this to hurt you, love. Please. I know you’ll miss me and my tight little body, and my charming wit, and the amazing sex, but…”

“Are you listening to yourself?’ Tears forgotten, she stared at him, taking in the cocky grin and hip-forward stance. Then she caught the shadow in his eyes. “You ass,” she said, hitting him on the chest with the flat of her hand. “Do you think you can distract me that easily?”

“Was worth a shot,” he rumbled, catching her hand and kissing it. “Part of me can’t help but be pleased to know you’ll miss me – but I promised I’d never hurt you again, and now…”

“And now you will,” she finished for him.

“I’m sorry, Buffy.”

“Quit apologizing,” she said automatically. “You’ll make it worse.”

He laughed and pulled her down onto a bench with him.

“I think that ship has sailed, don’t you? Whatever was between us needed fixing must have sorted itself out while we were busy not apologizing to each other. Or, it had nothing to do with anything in the first place and it’s just coincidence that my time is up now.”

“I’d like to believe that, but we both know it isn’t true. You were a ghost for a long time before I came along and started making you remember things. This is all my fault. I should have walked away when I wanted to. Then you’d--”

“Then I’d still be here, never knowing you, not knowing what it was like to have you wrapped around me, hearing you tell me you love me…knowing that you--” He shuddered. “No. It kills me that I’m going to hurt you, Buffy, but I wouldn’t give up these past few months for anything.” He cupped her face with his hands and forced her to look at him. “If I have to leave you, I’m leaving with memories that will make Heaven look like a cheap resort. And that’s because of you, sweet girl. All because you took a chance on me.”

“I think we need to go inside now,” she said, seemingly apropos of nothing.

“We do? Why?”

“Because it’s too cold out here to be naked, and I want to make love to you as often and as much as I can until…until I can’t anymore.”

With a choked laugh, he rose to his feet, pulling her with him. “A woman after my own heart, you are,” he said, slipping out of his coat. “Here, put his over your shoulders for a bit.”

“But…” Buffy automatically slipped her arms into the familiar leather, staring at him with puzzled eyes.

“Shhh, just trust me,” he murmured. “Want to enjoy you in the sun, yeah? Love seeing you in the sunlight – all golden and warm.”

He gently pushed her back onto the bench, kneeling in front of her and sliding his hands up her legs. He pushed her full denim skirt up leaving just her bare legs and boots below the lacy thong she wore. He pulled her forward and dropped his head between her thighs inhaling the scent that wafted into the crisp air. Pushing the thong to one side, he began to lick and nip at the exposed flesh, smiling to himself as her moans turned to gasps and panting repetitions of his name.

When he’d brought her to a shuddering climax at least twice, he moved onto the bench, picking her up and settling her on his lap where she immediately unzipped and unbuttoned his pants.

“That’s my girl,” he encouraged as she pulled him out and began to stroke him. “That’s my very special girl.”

“Your girl,” she whispered. “Always your girl.”

“Mine.”

“Yours,” she agreed again, fastening her mouth on his. Spike moved his hands to her hips and picked her up, closing his eyes and making a low sound deep in his throat as she slid onto him. While the sinking late autumn sun made a golden halo around Buffy’s hair, it turned the ghostly vampire into a translucent shimmer of golden specks. Whispering, grasping, sliding around each other, they repeated the words that each had waited so long to hear. They repeated them over and over until, with muffled cries, they shuddered against each other in a seemingly never-ending spiral of sensation.

When breathing was restored, and they had stopped shaking, they rested, Buffy’s forehead against Spike’s lips. She shivered, the rapidly dropping temperature reminding her that she was sitting outdoors, partially naked.

“You cold, love? Even with my coat on?”

“Parts of me aren’t all that covered,” she pointed out, even as he pulled her skirt down and the coat more tightly around her, covering her bare thighs. “Can we go in, now, Natureboy?”

“In a minute,” he chuckled, leaning in to kiss her. She rested her head on his chest while he stroked one hand through her hair and spoke, almost as if to himself.

“It’s been good, hasn’t it, love? What we have. It was good.”

Buffy had begun to nod when she caught the change in verbs and her eyes flew to his. Even as she watched, he became more and more transparent, until the only thing she could see was the adoration shining in his eyes as they stared into hers.

Using every ounce of will power she had, she bit her lip and accepted the inevitable.

“It’s been very good. Even when it was bad, it was good. I love you, William.”

“Love you, Buffy. Always will. If there’s a way--”

She touched her fingers to his lips.

“Don’t,” she whispered. “Don’t say it…don’t…don’t promise... I don’t want to be the one who pulls you out of Heaven.”

“Can’t be Heaven if my girl isn’t there, can it?” He touched her trembling lip and murmured, “Don’t cry for me, love. Promise me you won’t cry?”

Through the tears already clogging her throat, Buffy choked out, “You know you’ll be really be pissed off if you don’t see me crying when you look down.”

“I probably will,” he agreed, his own voice not only growing choked, but becoming less easy to hear. “I admit it. But when I get over it, I’ll be glad you weren’t sad.”

“Just because you don’t see me cry won’t mean I’m not sad.”

“Well, you won’t seem sad, and that will make me feel better.”

“You’re going to be in Heaven, you big jerk. You won’t need anything else to make you feel better. You’ll be all content and happy.”

“Not if I don’t have you, I won’t,” he said stubbornly. “I’ll be bloody miserable, I will.”

“You are such an ass,” she said softly, stroking what she could see of his face.

“Is that any way to talk to somebody who’s going poof?” he asked, leaning into her hand. He brushed a barely felt kiss across her palm, then abruptly sat up and lifted her off his lap, depositing her carefully on the bench and pulling his coat around her as best he could with hands that kept slipping through the leather. What she could see of his face was twisting in anguish as he struggled to speak.

“I’m sor—“

And he was gone.


~~~~~~~~~~

Buffy waited, huddled under his coat; waited, her legs cramping and her body shaking with shivers that she couldn’t control as the sun disappeared and dusk deepened. She stayed on the bench, shaking and refusing to cry, waiting for him to reappear.

That’s where Giles and Dawn found her the next day, when they came to see why she hadn’t shown up to teach her class.

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