Total Chapters: 1

Mid Season 6. Spike cares for Buffy the only way he knows how.

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Angelus once told Spike that in order to kill Buffy, you had to love her. Spike never really knew what that meant, but he was starting to get an idea.

She was with him but wasn’t. She stared at him with hollow eyes that didn’t see. At least she didn’t pretend to listen. That provided some semblance of normality. But all the same – he wondered if she really even knew he was there, lying beside her.

-It’s okay. I can be alone with you here.-

Their bodies were mere inches apart, close enough for him to feel her warmth – like he was curled up in a spot of sunshine – but no part of them touched. Not after they fucked. Wasn’t allowed. Spike, however, never was one for rules – especially when she wore that haunted expression he’d grown to fear. She would never reveal exactly what triggered these spells that frightened him so. Didn’t trust him or anyone else with that dying part of her. He wondered where she was as he searched her face. Was she remembering how she’d clawed her way out of her grave – or perhaps fantasizing about finding it again?

Rising up on his elbow, he brushed her cropped hair away from her neck and traced her throat with the pad of his thumb. His lips thinned when her pulse didn’t pound against him in reply, the way it always had at the beginning of their affair. The simplest touch would send her into a tailspin in those days – seemed like a lifetime ago. She was growing numb, his girl. He was losing her, piece by precious piece, no matter how hard he tried to hold the fragments together. The sex brought a bit of life into her, but it was superficial, fading away as quickly as the afterglow – even Spike could see that, though he didn’t want to. He felt helpless when he looked at her.

She flinched away when he ran his knuckles over the hollow of her cheek. Even in moments like these, when she lay motionless under the crush of unspoken pain, she refused to let him be tender with her. She just lay there with her unseeing eyes leaking tears onto the sheets. Probably didn’t even realize she was crying. But his unwanted touch had eased a slight reaction out of her. That was promising – a small sign that she might be coming out of her daze – but he wanted more.

Her eyes fluttered shut when he guided her onto her back and moved over her. She probably thought he was gearing up for another fuck, else she wouldn’t have permitted his touch. He rested the full weight of his body on hers, straddled between her sticky thighs, but he made no move to enter her. When he kissed her mouth with soft, parted lips, he felt her pulse quicken – not in excitement but in anger. She didn’t permit kisses of that sort. Not from him. Her body grew tense and unyielding, like the stone sarcophagus beneath them. That was exactly what Spike wanted – to piss her off, to get her spitting with anger. If pushing him away in disgust or beating him bloody was what it took to put some life back into her, so be it. Physical pain was temporary. It would hurt him far less than that vacant expression she wore.

“Stop it,” she whispered, turning her face away.

Yes, baby. Talk to me – stay here with me. Come away from that dark place you hide in. My darkness is safer.

He dipped his head down to her throat and tasted her pulse. “No.”

At the sound of his quiet refusal, her heartbeat quickened again. It began to hammer furiously against his quiet chest – but even then she wouldn’t push him away. She was so far into herself at that point that she was unwilling to even exert emotion. He knew exactly what she was doing. She couldn’t feel the pain when she let herself go numb – but he’d be damned if he was going to let her fold into herself like that. One day she might linger there too long and forget to come back to him. It was time for her to wake up.

When he slid into game face, he felt her gasp more than he heard it. Her breathing became hitched, rising tight against his chest. He let her feel the prick of his fangs on the soft skin behind her ear. “Could turn you, you know,” he whispered. “All the pain would go away, then.”

Oh, she was getting angry. He could smell it coming off of her in waves, sharp like electricity, mingled with the scent of their lovemaking. He had no intention of siring her, of course, but she didn’t know that. Why hadn’t she shoved him off of her yet?

“Just a little pinprick,” he continued, sliding his lips down her throat, tonguing the raised scars he found in his path. “That’s all it would take. Be here when you woke up, all shining and new.” His words about death were cruel, and he knew it – didn’t care. He smoothed the hair back from her tear-stained face as he mouthed gentle kisses across her skin, knowing how much she would hate it. Too intimate. And still, she didn’t respond.

So he sank his fangs into her neck.

He was unprepared for how satisfying the bite was, in and of itself – the delicious way her skin puckered and gave way to his fangs. The taste of her exploded on his tongue. The richness of her blood nearly sent him into incoherence, but he managed to keep a grip on his control, ensuring that he didn’t go too far. The bite was shallow. His girl would live to see another day, whether she wanted to or not – but that didn’t mean he was gentle about it. He made sure there was pain. She needed that to wake her up. And wake up, she did – but not in the way Spike was expecting her to. He froze when she burst into tears.

His game face melted away unnoticed. Withdrawing his mouth from her neck, he sat upright and pulled her quaking body into his lap. The sound of her weeping was the most pathetically sad thing he had ever heard. His heart was about to rupture with it – but at the same time, he almost wept himself in relief as she clung to him, letting the hurt ease out of her system like poison. She had never let him hold her like that before – she had never held him back. The heady smell of her blood was distracting, making him dizzy with want. The fierce pounding of her heart only made the blood gush faster from the small wounds. He lapped at the flow, hoping to slow it and soothe her at the same time. She soon grew placid in his arms, neck stretched out to him as if he had her in a thrall. Her glassy eyes stared through him.

He drew his mouth away, more afraid of her stillness than anything else. “Stay with me, sweetness. Don’t slip away again where I can’t follow.”

A sharp breath hissed from her lungs. He didn’t realize that she’d pushed him back, off of the sarcophagus, until he collided with the ground. His head cracked against the stone floor with a sickening thud, and stars danced before his vision. There was no time to react before she was on him again, screaming her frustration into his dazed face, beating at his chest and punching him repeatedly until at last, the frantic rage left her.

She melted down onto him then, curling her body around his as she shook with sobs. He didn’t dare move. Probably couldn’t have if he’d wanted to. He felt the soft pit pat of her blood leaking from the wounds on her neck onto his chest, flecking his pale skin with crimson droplets. By the time the room came back into focus, her tears had slowed into quiet hiccups. She pushed off of him, her face stained with tears but calm. Briefly she paused to touch his bruised cheek with the tips of her fingers before she rose to find her clothing. That was her quiet way of saying she was sorry, he knew – that she understood what he had done and why. There would be no repercussions. Not tonight, anyway.

She was gone before he found the strength to get to his feet, but the room was still thick with her scent, like a ghost hovering at his side. He stared at the place where they’d laid, side by side. It was washed in her blood. He ripped the tangled sheets from the sarcophagus, their pitiable excuse for a bed, and carried them down the ladder to the lower level of his crypt, his movements slow and pained. A bit of cold water, he thought, running the once-white cotton through his hands, and the bloodstains should come right out.

The End.

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