Reviews • Rating: NC-17
Summary: There was no body to bury. There was no funeral. There was nothing but the three rules and the knowledge that a thousand years of torment was nothing compared to a world without her in it. Spike embarks on a journey through the Gates of Hell to rescue the one he loves, but in order to save her, he must risk losing himself.
He had never had an experience like this.
Spike had always known sex with Buffy would be revolutionary, but he hadn’t been prepared for whatever had took place. There was a clean distinction between revolutionary and life changing, but bugger all if he knew the difference. Perhaps it was all in his head. The only thing clear to him anymore was the magic of what happened. The beauty of what they’d created.
He hadn’t understood the term making love in its entirety until now, as bloody ridiculous as that seemed. He and Dru would go at it slow, and he’d equated lack of speed with tenderness. He’d never seen in his sire’s eyes what had positively shone in Buffy’s, and even if what she gave him wasn’t love, even if it couldn’t be love yet, she’d already gifted him with more affection than he could have ever considered.
He wasn’t used to his theories being proven—usually it went the other way. But lying with Buffy, her back pressed against his chest, the calm, regular breaths she took humming through her body, he touched something else. Something beyond this or any other world.
His fingers strummed along her belly, his cock hard and ready for another trip to paradise, but he shoved lust aside in favor of the quiet. She’d fallen asleep almost immediately, which amused him for reasons he couldn’t explain. Sleep was a state he couldn’t chase down; he was too wired to rest, too in need of something he couldn’t name to close his eyes, and too in awe of the woman sleeping beside him to close his eyes, lest it be a dream.
When they escaped, when the world awaiting them outside Hell became his again, he didn’t know what would happen. Didn’t know if the small measure of perfection he’d found in a land of nightmares would remain, but it seemed it would have to. If Hell gave him beauty, what could keep him from reaching that in a place where beauty was supposed to exist?
“Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you, tomorrow I’ll miss you,” Spike murmured under his breath, tightening his arm around Buffy’s middle. Her back was against his chest, the small, perfect breaths she stole ricocheting through his every fiber. “You were always the best of me, love.”
A small gasp erupted from her throat. Spike frowned and leaned in. “Buffy?”
She wasn’t asleep after all. His eyes collided with a soft, sun-kissed cheek, tears spilling down her skin. She didn’t move when he brushed damp hair out of her eyes, or when his lips kissed her sorrow away. His heart wrenched. How long had she been awake?
“The best of you, huh?” she asked.
Spike swallowed hard. “The very best. Why the tears, sweetheart?”
“I can’t…” Buffy shook her head, twisting in his arms so she was on her back, gazing up into his eyes. “I…I’ve never…nothing like that…I’ve never felt that.”
He smiled softly, running a finger down her cheek. “You mean you’d forgotten what it felt like.”
“No. I mean I’ve never felt anything like that before.” Buffy licked her lips, a shuddering breath racing through her lips. “Not before. Not ever. I mean it, Spike…I know I’ve forgotten a lot, but I remember a lot, too…and I know that much. Whatever it was…whatever we just did…I’ve never felt anything like it.”
Spike drew in a deep breath. At once, every nerve in his body sang. “Really?” he asked, then winced at the uncertainty in his voice. He hadn’t realized how afraid he’d been that it wouldn’t be good for her until that moment—until her own insecurities grew mute in favor of his own. After all, there had to be some measure of anticipation. She had to have had expectations going in, knowing what she did, how deep his passion ran, how much he’d been willing to sacrifice, the lengths he would go to.
He’d been a virgin coming to her in many ways.
Then Buffy’s hands pressed to his cheeks, her body rolling onto its side. “It was the most…it was more than anything I’ve ever felt. You…I didn’t know anything could feel that way. Especially here.”
A warm smile drew across his face. “Yeah?”
“You have to know already. Tell me you know.”
Spike nodded, though he only felt part of it. “It was the most perfect thing I’ve ever felt,” he whispered. “Ever.”
Her brow furrowed. “But…”
“You look like you wanted to say ‘but.’”
He smirked, his hand falling to her ass, fingers pinching and eliciting a shrill gasp from her round, perfect lips. “You mean like this?”
“Stalling much? What’s on your mind?” Buffy worried a lip between her teeth, running her fingers down his chest. “We’re a bit beyond being elusive.”
“No, I know ‘nothing’ face, and that’s definitely not what you have.”
Spike exhaled slowly, his head rolling back. She could get the most hardened criminals to confess their darkest secrets just by batting those eyes and doing that thing with her mouth. “I just worry,” he answered ambiguously.
“I know you said you’d let it be gratitude, and if that’s all you want then I’m happy to give it, love.” A long sigh rolled through his lips. “But it’ll never be enough for me, you hear? I’ll always want more…always need more. And having you just blew me out of the bloody water. I knew we’d be magnificent, but I wasn’t ready for that.”
Buffy looked confused, worried, which only made his words more convoluted and ridiculous. Christ, he was a git, but he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Regardless of what the present gave, the part of him used to living in the moment had died somewhere along the journey. Once upon a time the immediacy of her skin would have been enough. Bugger tomorrow, the moment was now, and try as he had to convince himself that was still the way the world operated in his eyes, having had a taste of eternity had a way of changing the landscape. He could push the future away, but not far, and not for long. It kept coming back, lurking around every happy thought and shadowing every smile.
Hell had given him what the world could not. Not just Buffy; the wisdom to understand what he’d lacked before. He could give as much of himself as he liked but without the right reasons, the right motivation or the right insight as to what she truly needed, he was aiming blindly at a moving target.
“We’re getting out of here,” Spike swore. “Dunno when, but we will. And I just can’t help but think…”
“What we have here is all we’ll have?”
He hesitated, then nodded.
Buffy licked her lips. “I couldn’t do that.”
“If you’re asking me about the future, I can’t help much,” she volunteered, “but I do know a few things. You know that…you read the letter.”
The letter. He’d nearly forgotten. Spike swallowed hard and nodded. “I’m not afraid things’ll go back to the way they were,” he said. “But I’ll want this, love. Whatever we have here, I’ll want it for the long haul.”
“What makes you think I won’t?”
Spike drew silent at that. He had no response based on reality. “Nothing you’ve done.”
“I’d think not.”
“Things change. I know that.”
“Yeah,” Buffy replied. “But they very rarely change back. Even I know that.”
He offered a watery smile, twisting so he was again on his side, head propped on his hand. “I’m a bloody coward.”
“I just have everything now. Everything I ever…and I’ve had it before. Never like this, but I thought I had everything once and it went to shit before I could sodding blink.” He sighed. “I’ve never been good at thinking how fleeting a moment is or any of that rubbish. But if the most perfect thing I’ve ever had or felt took place here…in Hell… what’s that say for what’s waiting for me out there?”
Buffy studied him for a long minute before her eyes fell to the space between them. “I was wondering the same thing.”
“About what will happen now that I’m not miserable. Hell is supposed to be Hell for a reason, right? What if…whoever pulls the strings decides you can’t be here anymore because you’re giving me…” She blinked rapidly to battle away tears, but it didn’t take, and in easy seconds she began crying again. “You made me…what happens when they decide I can’t have it anymore?”
Spike’s jaw tightened. “Rot.”
“I bloody well earned my way in, love. After everything…they aren’t tossing me out. And even if they do—even if they do—I’ll get back in.”
A long, rattling sigh rolled off her lips. “What if you can’t?”
“But what if—”
“Don’t think like that.”
She gestured emphatically. “I can’t help but think like this! I’ve been living as a…someone I don’t know, half a person, or whatever. The idea of never getting out makes me wanna hurl, but I know I can deal as long as you’re with me. As long as you’re with me, Spike, this isn’t Hell. This is something else. A thing I need to defeat, one of our Big Bads or something. And I can deal with that, but don’t they know that? Doesn’t…whoever…the guardian….”
The thought of the demon put his teeth on edge. “Larry,” Spike practically snarled.
“Right. Doesn’t he know I’m not miserable? That as long as you’re here, Hell isn’t Hell anymore?”
“If he does, he can shove it.”
“He could take you away from me.”
“He won’t,” Spike said again. “And if he does, pet, like I said…nothing can keep me out.”
Buffy licked her lips. “Really?”
“I love you.” It was as simple as that. He had nothing else. “I love you. I’ll fight until there’s no fight left, and then I’ll push on, you hear? Until I’m dust, I’ll be right here.”
She looked at him for a long minute, eyes searching, heart open and in his hands, and he saw something there he hadn’t seen before. Something he couldn’t name, something he needed but had no words to describe.
Something remarkable and without definition.
“People like us don’t get happily ever afters,” she mused wisely. “We keep fighting for it, but…I haven’t believed in them in a long time.”
“We’ll get you one,” Spike said.
“You can’t guarantee that.”
“No. And you can’t guarantee we’ll have whatever this is forever.” Spike released a long breath and shook his head. “I’m such a berk, love, I’m sorry. This is bloody—”
“—ridiculous. I used to be able to shut it out, but fuck it, I can’t do that anymore. I just love you.”
He met her eyes steadily. She didn’t respond, though something in her gaze told him she wanted to, and he felt like a git all over again. She was just as scared as he was. She didn’t want this to be a fleeting thing; she wanted permanence as well. She wanted whatever they had to last. He saw it as clearly as he’d seen anything, and it provided him with peace.
Buffy wouldn’t fuel him with blind hope, but she wanted this just as much as he did.
“Do we have to do this now?” she asked.
“No,” he answered immediately. No, that had never been his intention. He knew they had a lot to suss out but they didn’t need to worry about it at the moment. The moment was for living, or at least it had been once, and he was determined to seize it again. “We don’t have to do anything right now.”
“Oh.” She smiled softly, shyly, her eyes again falling to the space between them. “I…I thought maybe you could…”
“Could what, love?”
“Ummm…earlier, I said…you were going…ummm, down, and you…I said later.”
Spike grinned wildly, tension rolling off his shoulders. He knew how to handle this part—this part was easy. The rest could wait a while. “You have an itch, sweetheart?”
She nodded, wiggling. “I…I just want…”
He closed the space between them to deposit a soft kiss, rolling her onto her back. “I know what you want,” he whispered, falling between her legs, his thick cock resting against her stomach. His lips brushed her cheeks, then kissed her mouth before beginning a slow descent.
Not an inch of her went untasted. He peppered kisses down her throat, hands playing with her breasts before his mouth took over. A woman’s breasts couldn’t know too much attention, and Buffy’s were no exception. She was round and perfect, rosy nipples slaves to a hungry mouth and prisoners of equally hungry fingers. Simply feeling her cradled against his palm was enough to put his teeth on edge, and as much as he wanted to worship her properly, his mouth yearned for something more.
“Love this skin,” Spike murmured, pressing his lips tenderly to her belly, hands splayed on her hips.
“It’s icky skin.”
He frowned up at her. “Says who?”
“Says a thousand years without lotion or sunblock.”
“No sun to block.”
“Yeah, but I still get all burned and stuff.”
“Bollocks. You’re perfect.” His mouth wormed through her soft, feminine curls until he was pressing hot, open kisses on her soaked labia. “God, so perfect.”
He spread her pussy lips apart, eyes fixing on her small, perfect clitoris. “You’re beautiful,” he murmured, two fingers nudging her opening. “Could stare at you for hours, love.”
She wiggled self-consciously. “Please don’t.”
More wiggling. “Impatient.”
“Mmm, yeah. You and I have that much in common.” He paused, then slowly drew a circle around her clit with his tongue. The moan he earned made his blood sing. “Fuck, but you taste good.”
Spike grinned, slipping a finger inside her. “Like this, baby?” he whispered. “Tell me what you want.”
“What you need.”
Buffy drew her lower lip between her teeth. “Just love me,” she whispered. “Spike, please…just love me.”
Spike’s heart caught in his throat and he nodded raggedly. Love her? It was the easiest thing in the world. Perhaps words, here, were unneeded. He loved words, thrived on them, lived on their power and used them to his advantage at every turn, but there were times when words hindered rather than helped. He was just as content to nibble on her clit as his fingers explored her opening, pumping sweetly into her body, enjoying the wetness that pooled and overflowed. His eyes absorbed every roll of her hips; his ears drank in every whimper that fell from her lips. He explored, played with her. When she mewed her encouragement at the small laps his tongue took around her clit, he altered tactics, wanting, needing to prolong the sensation. He’d had this before—her taste in his mouth, in his throat, he’d drunk from her fountain, but he hadn’t let himself experience it fully. This felt like the first time.
The real first time.
“So pink,” he murmured, unable to help himself. “So pretty.”
Buffy softly murmured her encouragement, but the sounds never translated into words.
He smacked his wet lips together, curling his fingers inside her. “This good?”
She nodded. “Good,” she agreed. “Oh, God…”
Spike grinned, his fingers sliding out of her pussy and into his hungry mouth. She truly was delicious—warm and rich, the very essence of Buffy. His tongue was too curious to let his fingers have all the fun, so he turned them over to her clit, carefully rubbing her, mindful that he wasn’t too rough, before dipping his tongue inside her body.
“Mmm,” Spike purred, licking his lips. “You like that?”
She nodded again, shuffling her hips as though to gain his attention. “Touch me.”
“I am touching you.”
“No…” She shook her head. “Please. Don’t be afraid to hurt. It won’t hurt.”
Spike looked at her a second longer before nodding, though more to himself. His fingers began rubbing in earnest, harder than before, while still keeping the hungry demon at bay. When her moans resumed, more pronounced, his tongue seized that as permission to continue its explorations, and thrust deep inside her.
He could have done this for hours; tasting her, licking her, drinking her in as her body broke into uncontrollable tremors, quaking and quivering, hands grappling. But he wanted to feel her come, wanted the welcome baptism of her orgasm to wash him away until there was nothing left between them but the pleasure of release. He wanted her to deafen him with her cries, squeeze his head with her thighs, scratch at him and beg to let her feel him inside her again, because Christ, his cock ached and the demon was starved. Leaving her opening with a parting lick, Spike turned his mouth’s attention again to her clitoris, pulling her swollen flesh between his lips and giving her a good suck.
And that was all it took. Her body broke into wild shudders, harsh gasps clawing at her throat. And when she looked at him, he felt welcomed into a brave new world.
“Need to be inside,” Spike gasped, crawling up her body. “Please…”
Her arms wound around him and held as he pushed himself into her body.
It was the warmest homecoming he’d ever known.
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