Better Than Killing a Slayer
by AGriffinWriter

Lyrics to "Oh My!" by Lex Land (Buffy/Riley) and "Head Is Not My Home" by Ms Mr (Buffy/Spike)

Just fifteen minutes. All it takes is fifteen minutes at the Bronze, and Buffy already wishes she'd never agreed to come, wishes she'd stayed at home watching cartoons and eating pizza with Dawn. At least there she could've cranked up the AC as much as she wanted, blasting cold air throughout the living room.

But here, with Riley's wide, clumsy hands all over her, spreading his sweat everywhere he touches, Buffy is miserable. By this point, she'd even be willing to trade partners with Anya and take a turn dancing with Xander. What her high school buddy lacks in suave dance skills he makes up in cheerful enthusiasm, and at least he gives his partner space, unlike a certain Slayer's boyfriend who thinks it's the mark of an attentive dancer to grope his girlfriend after every few beats of the song.

She'd known going into this relationship that he couldn't dance – Willow had spilled the beans that night after the party, nearly a year ago, and Buffy can almost hear her best friend's cautious voice reverberating through her head now. "Buffy, Riley told me he can't dance. Really can't. He told me. And I… I know that's a big deal for you. Because you like to dance to much, and you're so good at it. Just thought you should know."

But of course she'd overlooked the dancing downside in favor of the numerous qualities about Riley that she'd liked… mainly his level of okay-ness with her being the Slayer. Yeah, at times that's a hot button issue in their relationship – especially recently, when the combined burdens of slayage, her college coursework, Mom's hospital trips, Dawn's mysterious identity and origin, AND keeping up with Mister Fragile Human Ego feel like the foundations of some huge building weighing on her shoulders. That's the main reason why she agreed to overlook her overwhelming tiredness and come with the rest of her friends to the Bronze tonight… to try to relax and let loose.

So far? A monumental failure.

For her sake, Riley usually tries to dance, especially once he's downed three or more beers… like tonight. No matter how many times she coaches him, he's still too slow and too off-beat and far too clingy… so by this time, their third song of the night, she's already eager to call it quits and dash back through the tepid November air to the shelter of her upstairs bathroom for a long, refreshing soak… probably with copious buckets of ice.

"Riley, this is the last one, okay?" she sighs, reluctantly gulping down half her glass of water and leaving it at the table with Willow and Tara, the first couple of the Scooby Gang to extricate themselves from the stifling dance floor.

"What's the matter, Buffy?" Riley grins goofily at her, tugging at her hand until they're back in the midst of the gyrating bodies. "I thought you liked dancing."

I do when my dance partner can hold a beat for two seconds put together and doesn't reek of beer.

"I do," is all that she says aloud, letting him rope his brawny arms around her neck and waist. The lead singer starts up the lyrics, and Buffy tries her best to lose herself in the upbeat music. She doesn't have the heart to tell him that the way he's got his arms arranged pulls them too close together to be comfortable, or that because he's so tall every time he looks down she feels like he's staring down her shirt instead of into her face.

All along thought that we were going strong
Oh my
Well I know that we've hit some bumpy roads
It's fine

Buffy realizes halfway through the first verse that part of the heat problem might be Riley's turtleneck. It may be November, but it's still California, the balmy temperatures barely ever getting lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. He's been wearing those stupid things a lot lately, probably because of some kind of ingrained instinct from his childhood in Iowa, where the seasons and their corresponding temperatures are a lot more distinct. It appears to be an extra thick wool one too, because of the odd bunching at his elbows and neckline.

"Riley, if you're gonna lead, you have to give signals. I can't figure out what turn you're trying to do."

"Sorry. Distracted."

Or drunk, her head complains. And would it kill him to keep his eyes any higher than my cleavage? God, I hate this.

Poor communication
Need an explanation

Riley's 'signals' don't help at all. When he lifts his arm and yanks her in an indeterminate direction, Buffy can't discern whether he means an inside turn or an outside turn, so she just spins, the whole motion feeling awkward and forced. He seems incapable of moving his whole body as a coordinated unit; instead his hefty limbs move jerkily, one at a time, like a poor attempt at dancing 'the robot'.

Well, maybe it'd help if he made eye-contact! It's not like my boobs are going to give him directions.

I've, I've got this feeling inside
That you and I were fine
Oh, oh, oh my

"Riley, give me some space! You're sweltering me!"


Yup, definitely the stupid turtleneck, Buffy complains to herself, squirming around until she's slightly farther away from Riley's sweaty torso. In contrast to him, she may as well be dressed for the blazing heat of summer. Remembering the last clammy dancing disaster, she'd picked out thin jeans in a light wash, paired it with a sleeveless and filmy white blouse, and pulled her hair up in a high ponytail, relieving her neck of most of the heated strands. But so far her airy outfit hasn't done her much good.

I made amends but you wouldn't comprehend
Oh my
Is this a trend, or is it really the end
This time

"Riley, no, your hand goes on my other shoulder blade," she tries to point out, repositioning his large palm. "You don't have to reach it all the way across my back. No, here! Ouch!"

"Sorry," he mutters, raising his left foot – at his point, either one would classify as the left foot, apparently – off of hers.

"It's nothing," she sighs. Her throat is already parched, the fleeting relief of the water now completed evaporated. "Let's try again."

Poor communication
Need an explanation

Riley… is… a clod. A half-drunken clod. There's just no gentler way to say it. Buffy wonders just how many more times it'll take for her toes to get trampled on before even Slayer strength isn't enough to keep them in one piece, and she internally sends up a prayer of thanks that she'd decided on boots instead of sandals.

"Riley, space! Shesh! You're not patting me down for weapons, okay? You don't have to touch me every stupid second of the song!"


He certainly doesn't act sorry, his hands still constantly moving over her body, lingering on her chest and ass, just shy of groping.

I've, I've got this feeling inside
That you and I were fine
Oh, oh, oh my

Please let the song be over soon, please let it be over, please let me get out of here…

She feels bad that she hates this so much, when it's obvious to her how hard he's trying… but he just doesn't get it. It's not about any moves in particular, or even about having a partner to dance with. It's just about moving, finding the beat and letting her body give the orders. Her hips should be able to shimmy in sultry circles, her arms free to toss her hair, her feet capable of tapping a rhythm without fear of being trampled. She should feel powerful and beautiful… not trapped.

How I feel about you
Honey, I don't know
There's nothing that I can do
I've, I've got this feeling inside
That you and I were fine
Oh, oh, oh my

Finally! She gasps inside her head and fidgets until she's arms-length away from Riley as the final drumbeats of the song echo through the Bronze. Instead of being able to relax while dancing, Buffy finds herself nearly twice as stiff and knotted up as before.

But the moment she worms free, Riley reaches for her again, his palm smearing across her breast.

"Come on, Buffy, let's do another…"

"Riley, I told you that was the last one. I'm beat, okay?"

"That was only a two-minute song! What happened to all that Slayer stamina?"

Monsters are way easier to squash than your dance eagerness, bucko. I literally feel like I've just been whacking down vamps for hours, except without the recharging bursts of adrenaline… or, come to think of it, the plus to my sex drive. What does that say about me… that I get horny fighting vampires but not from dancing with my own boyfriend?

"Buffy," Riley nags again, "this is for you. I've seen you dance for hours before. What gives? Can't you just–"

"The lady said she's takin' a rest, mate," a cool British voice interrupts.

Cool… As Buffy turns to face the vampire, she wonders why she so quickly labels even his voice with a low temperature, guessing it is her need for a soothing ice-bath to wash off all the sweat and grime which seems to coat her. But one look at him… at Spike… confirms the description.

Everything about him exudes cool, his platinum hair, his pale face, his dark clothes that seem to shade him from the heat and taint of the Bronze's sweltering atmosphere. But his eyes are the pinnacle… gleaming, radiant ice blue… as though instead of heat vision those dazzling eyes could emit a ray of frost.

"Nobody asked you," scoffs Riley, turning a scornful gaze on the vampire. "Why are you here anyway?"

Spike opens his mouth to retort… but for some reason he changes his mind, just regards Riley with bridled enmity. Without even meaning to, Buffy scrutinizes the vampire's face and is astonished to see a hint of a fading bruise on his cheekbone, and the slightest of half-healed cuts on his lip.

I haven't been beating him up… so I wonder who has…

"How's Mum?" asks Spike, and it takes Buffy a moment or two before she realizes he's addressing her.

"Oh… oh, she's… they're, um, taking her in for more tests," she mumbles. "Right now we're thinking the best option is probably surgery."

"I thought 'bout bringin' her a fruit basket or somethin'. It's… what visitors used to do, in my time."

"That's… um, I know she'd like that."

As she speaks, Buffy feels Riley shifting at her side, most likely bored by the turn of the conversation, frustrated by the moment of camaraderie between her and Spike.

"You want something?" she demands, tilting her head up to her boyfriend and smiling stiffly. You know, my life isn't all about you, Riley. I've got a mom and a sister and a freaking destiny that are all a tad higher on the Buffy priority list.

"Uh…" Riley looks around, clearly startled by the scathing tone of her voice. "Just, um… I'll go see how the gang's doing. Let you two discuss the… fruit…"

Riley gives Spike one more glower before he stomps away to rejoin the other two couples, and Buffy glances over the vampire again. This time, she notices the bottle of beer he's holding in one hand, the condensation dripping slowly down the sides of the glass and over his fingers… slick and tantalizing…

Buffy licks her lips without meaning to, then flushes when his keen eyes catch her movement.

"I… th-thought you said you didn't like cheap American beer," she blurts the first thing that pops into her mind.

Spike just grins. "I didn't fancy the one you bought me on our little date last week. I didn't say all Amer–"

"It wasn't a date, Spike," she quickly corrects him. "I was just pumping you for information."

Raising his scared brow, he swigs a small sip of his beer and runs his thumb down the center of his chest, the moisture from the bottle leaving a barely perceptible trail.

"Really? Pumpin' me?"

"You're such a pig, Spike," she glares.

"Just repeatin' you, cutie." He leans one elbow on the counter, so relaxed-looking that Buffy's instantly jealous. She still can't get her body to stop sweating, still too attuned to this sickening haze of partying bodies.

Turning her back on Spike for a moment, she eyes her group of friends on the other side of the club, and then she furtively slides onto the stool beside Spike and heaves a sigh. He watches her with soft, studying eyes.

"Want anythin' to drink, Slayer? Look right parched."

"I am parched, but… it's a school night," she grumbles. "I've got class in the morning. And besides, Buffy and booze are non-mixy things."

Spike gazes at her for a couple more seconds, a smirk on the corner of his mouth, and then the hand not holding his own beer ducks into his duster pocket and pulls out a dollar bill, which he slides along the counter until the barista notices him.

"Coke on the rocks. Extra rocks on the side."

"You're getting a drink with rocks in it?" Buffy splutters at him.

Spike's eyes roll to the ceiling. "Ice, Slayer. 'Rocks' means a drink on ice."

"Oh. Why are you getting extra ice?"

His tongue curls along the edge of his upper teeth.

"You'll see, luv."

Buffy frowns, swapping her own sweaty neck with the back of her hand. Spike continues staring at her, and he's so frustratingly calm – not to mention so cold that she's having difficulty grabbing his wrist and holding it against her forehead – so she tries to agitate him.

"Were you in a fight recently? You've got a bruise."

Spike's eyes narrow for a moment, but he shrugs it off, along with his duster, which he folds over one arm.

"Was wonderin' if that'd faded yet. Whole lack of reflection has its price. Yeah, I was in a bit of a tussle. Willy's Place isn't the seediest demon dive around here, if you can believe it. Got mixed in with a certain crowd that, er, recalled seein' me give you an' your peanut gallery a hand."

"So a bunch of other demons ganged up on you and beat you for helping me?"

"Don't sound so surprised, luv," Spike scoffs, snapping his fingers to hasten the barista's attention to their order. "Been gettin' the mickey taken outta me ever since I sussed out I could still brawl with my own kind. Got this nasty tendency to bite off more than I can chew."

Buffy sweeps her eyes over him again, realizing she rarely ever sees him without his trademark leather coat on. He must have tailored his t-shirt sleeves, because there's no way he could look so muscular otherwise, his alabaster bicep bulging under the black cotton. The shirt is tight across his chest, highlighting the cleft between his pectorals.

"Like what you see, Slayer?"

Buffy looks up sharply and blinks, disoriented both by the curious tilt of his eyes and by that exasperating chilled aura he emits. He really thinks I was checking him out? Oh, please! Well… maybe a little… but I have a boyfriend, a very human boyfriend… who can't dance.

Looking away, Buffy sighs frustratedly, mopping the ongoing sweat out of her eyes.

Finally, the bartender slides a tall glass of iced Coca-Cola over in front of Spike, then deposits a handful of ice cubes on a napkin beside it.

"All yours, pet," the vamp murmurs, shifting the drink to her.

"Really? Oh, thank god."

She stabs a straw amidst the ice cubes, wraps both hands around the base of the glass, and gulps, feeling Spike's eyes widen as he watches her, his mouth opening a tad.


"Uh… nothin'."

She takes another long sip, keeping her eyes on Spike, who tilts his head, smiling in what looks almost like affection, but she writes it off as amusement.

"Now you gonna tell me what your extra ice is for?" she demands, eyeing the little stack of cubes on the napkin.

Grinning again, he cups one ice cube in his palm and raises it to the back of her neck, underneath her ponytail. She shivers at the first contact, his cool hand cradling the base of her skull, pressing the rapidly melting cube against her vertebra, but with each passing second the relief seems to multiply.

"Spike… whoa… oh my god, that feels amazing."

"Knew you'd like it. Fancy another?"

"Please. I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier."

He picks up another bit of ice and presses his one to her forehead. It melts almost on impact, the water trailing down her face like tears, continuing down the column of her neck until it's indistinguishable from the sweat on her torso. But the vampire's cooling fingertips provide the same relief even without the ice, his thumb and forefinger rubbing gentle circles between her eyebrows.

New music suddenly starts up, the bands having switched in the interim. Buffy stands, looking around warily in case Riley tries to corral her into another dance. Spike remains leaning against the bar and sets his beer beside her drink and the dwindling cubes atop the soggy napkin.

"Thanks for the Coke," she mumbles. "I'd better go before Riley tries to–"

"Would you dance with me, Slayer?"

Caught off guard, Buffy stares, trying to interpret his expression… an almost humble look, if such a thing is possible for a soulless vampire. She shrugs, crosses her arms, and then drops them back to her sides, wavering between which position gives some slight semblance of being less blazing hot.

"Spike… I'm not really in the mood to dance. It's just too warm in here. You'd think someone could open a door or something. And besides… I think I'm taking a hiatus from partner dancing. It just isn't as fun."

"Only when your bloke isn't doin' it right," murmurs Spike, draping his duster over the barstool she'd vacated. "Tell me somethin', Summers. When you dance with Captain Cardboard–"

"Don't call him that," she snaps defensively, earning another eye-roll from the vampire.

"When you dance with your boyfriend," he starts again, "do you feel beautiful? Do you feel worshipped?"

Buffy blinks, staring him down for a few moments before she drops her gaze to the inside of her almost-empty Coca-Cola glass.

"No. I… I feel like I'm babysitting the Hulk."

She blushes, ashamed by her own honesty. Spike chuckles and picks up the last bit of ice, his eyes turning sultry again as he runs the tip of frozen water across her brow.

"There's your problem right there. He thinks the dance is about him. You see, Slayer… I was taught that a man's role in a dance is to make the woman look and feel as beautiful as he can. He's just a prop, invisible, drawin' all eyes only to her."

"Somehow that doesn't line up with the 'William the Sad and Pathetic Poet' story," says Buffy, raising an eyebrow.

He presses one hand dramatically to his chest. "Such barbs, cutie. Anyone listenin' would think it's your sacred duty to wound me or som'mit like that. An' you're missin' my point. You like dancin' alone, don't you? Feelin' in control?"

"Yes…" she replies, hesitating only because she can't figure out what his catch is.

"So, dancin' with a partner should enhance that, not bollocks it up."

Extending one hand, he skims the very tips of his fingers across her arm, and Buffy leans almost imperceptivity into his touch, still surprised that he's just as cool as the ice cubes.

"I could make you feel like that, Slayer. How you deserve to feel. Glorious and ravishin'… the woman every man in the room lusts for. Free to feel your own strength. Your power and beauty."

"You didn't just suddenly develop mind-reading powers, did you?" she asks suspiciously.

Spike shakes his head with a grin. "Why? Did I hit the mark dead-on? Sussed out what you're cravin'? Want to try it out? Let me show you how a proper man should worship you?"

He licks his lip, and a flush creeps up Buffy's cheeks. She's damp now, in more ways than one.

"I… I don't think I want you to make me feel that."

His face stiffens as though she'd slapped him.

"Why not?"

"Because you're… you."

Spike swallows, his Adam's apple bobbing in his strained marble neck, and that indiscernible look is back in his eyes, like adoration, but that couldn't possibly be it.

"Pretend I'm not me," he murmurs, in a voice that nearly sounds like begging. "Please… pretend I'm anyone you'd like. Just dance with me."

Surprised by his fervor, Buffy stares at him, her conscience arguing against her curiosity. What would it feel like to have a dance partner who could hold his own, strengthen me instead of drain my energy? Would it be wrong to use Spike for that? Do I even care if I'm using him?

Making up her mind, she takes hold of his hand and slowly backs up, pulling him a few steps onto the dance floor. His mouth opens in astonishment, but he quickly recovers and moves in closer, his left hand clasping her right, his right hand skimming tenderly up her back to rest against her shoulder blade, only his fingertips actually touching her.

"Just so we're clear, I'm only letting you do this because you're the only body in here that isn't drenched in sweat," she says, feigning more grumpiness than she honestly feels, just because the sensation of his lean, cool hands is so nice, so different from the pawing ones of Riley.

This space is not my home
This head you dwell in is not my home
Made a vow to cut it out
Take things slow as we may bruise
To ease our predictable goodbyes
Your heart, your heart
Understood mine

Well, so far all ten toes are intact, Buffy considers. They haven't moved much, really just swayed in place, testing each other, unable to switch off their mutual predator-prey vibes.

"Tense, Slayer?"

"Well, I am dancing with a vampire," she mutters. He's doing that mind-reading thing again!

"Thought I suggested you pretend I'm not me."

"Easier said than done."

"Mmm… you lead first, luv, loosen up a bit. Then I'll show you my moves."

Her brows narrow. "I thought most men throw little hissy fits when the girl takes the lead."

Spike shakes his head, leaning forward just enough for his cheekbone to brush against her hair. "Not when you're callin' the shots, Slayer. Any man ought to consider it an honor. You're an amazin' dancer. Knew that the first moment I laid eyes on you. C'mon, baby. You know I don't bite…"

Stupid charming vampire. Buffy reluctantly turns her back on her former enemy and backs her hips into his. Slowly at first, she sways, and he mirrors her exactly, his body seemingly acting as an extension of hers, moving in tandem.

"Relax against me, luv…"

Her body obeys before she even processes his words, melting against the coolness of his form. Each of her hands intertwines with his, one pair resting over her stomach, the other tucked against her shoulder.

"That's it, Buffy… guide me… control me…"

Found in forbidden nights
Sharp as glass and twice as bright
Ignore the promises we made
Forgotten now we'll never get
Home, home, home, home…

"Close your eyes, Buffy."

"Why?" she whispers, startled by the breathlessness of her own voice.

"Trust me, pet."

Curious – and knowing that with the piece of government hardware in his brain, preventing any aggression, what's the worst he could do? Lick her? Mmm, yes, he could… – Buffy concedes, letting her eyes flutter closed, her head bending back onto Spike's well-muscled shoulder, her hips still undulating to the song's beat.

"You're so beautiful… Ah-ah-ah, keep your peepers shut now, precious," he smirks as her eyes momentarily flash open with a disapproving glower. "Can a man not fawn a bit over his lovely partner?"

"You're not a man," she huffs, this time keeping her eyes shut.

"No… 'M not. But this wouldn't feel quite so good if I was now, would it, pet?"

My mouth, your lips
Your hands, my hips
Hard time right now
Will set us free
And relieve us
Of our misery
Home, home…

His lips explore, roving across the back of her ear and then down along her jaw, and his hand on her waist pulls just the slightest bit tighter, until the whole length of her back is flush with his, feeling his coolness between the two thin layers of fabric separating their skins.

"You… are so gorgeous, Slayer," he murmurs, his voice smoky and tantalizing. "Bloody goddess, you are. Stolen all my breath away."

"Good thing vampires don't need to breathe," she smirks. Shesh, he's almost too good at this.

"Accept the metaphor, silly bint," grumbles Spike, nipping his blunt teeth on the lobe of her ear, the tip of his tongue as gloriously cool as the ice cubes. Then his voice turns husky again, and his nibbles transition to kisses. "Dearest Slayer… have you any notion of what you do to me?"

"You… you are acting, right?"

He hesitates just long enough to make her suspicious. "Sure, luv. Just being the man you deserve. Makin' it easier for you to pretend this isn't me. Is it working?"

"Almost too well," she admits, molding herself against him, bringing relief to her muggy skin. "You're… you're really good at this."

"Thank you, pet. Just reflectin' you…"

Secrets lie in our wake
Your kiss takes better outside the light of day
Gnaw your shoulder, scratch your back
Break my knuckles, feel them crack
I'll reveal nothing
We'll both play it fake
Pretend not to worry
Our hearts, your heart's at stake

The music is brisk-paced, but they sway slowly, immune to the wildness of the couples around them. If this is a thrall, Buffy doesn't care. Spike is so deliciously, wonderfully cold. His icy lips touch down on her shoulder, and Buffy squeaks once, then relaxes, his mouth gently kneading a stiff spot in her muscle.

"Ohh… That feels incredible. You're so cold. Please don't stop…"

He obliges, tenderly sliding his left palm down along her ribcage to rest over her stomach, while the other lifts her arm to hook it around his own neck, then skims his velvet fingertips along the underside of her bicep. Welcomed shivers prickle across every inch of her exposed skin, and she flattens her back to his chest, needing more of that chilled body closer to her, that ice sculpture, frigid and hard… and ohhhhvery hard.

"I'll never stop, Slayer. I've found the one thing better than killin' you."

Brows drawing together in confusion, she turns her head, crushing her hair against his shoulder so she can meet his glassy cobalt eyes with her jades.

"What? What's better?"

Spike grins, and Buffy's eyes are suddenly drawn to the moisture on his smirking lips. God, even his lips look so cold… so good…

"Wouldn't you like to know, baby?" he murmurs, almost crooning, as his mouth brushes softly against the side of her nose. Instinctively, her hand around his head tightens in his hair, keeping his face where it is, wonderfully close, his refreshing breath coasting over her cheeks, her lips…

My mouth, your lips
Your hands, my hips
Hard time right now
Will set us free
And relieve us
Of our misery
Home, home…

"Where's… where's Riley?" Buffy suddenly asks, realizing that no matter how much she's enjoying this, her boyfriend will throw an absolute fit if he sees them.

"Gone out for a piss, I think," Spike whispers against her ear. "Not surprising, the number of brews he knocked back. Why?"

"I… I kinda want you to keep kissing me."

Spike chuckles, a low purr in the back of his throat. "Careful, little Slayer. I'm very easily seduced."

I'm not seducing you, cries one part of her mind, but the other half immediately shushes her protests, content to just melt against him like the condensation on his glass.


"It's true… You've enslaved me, luv, enthralled me with your charms… My beautiful Slayer… oh, Slayer…"

His lips meld against hers, and Buffy moans just a little, only loud enough for him to hear. Her hand in his hair clenches, disheveling the gelled platinum into its natural curls. She arches against him, seeking relief for the sudden explosion of heat inside her. When she gasps for breath, his tongue traces the inside of her cheek, delving into her, exploring ravenously.

Hard to believe
You could cause me harm
This could cause me harm
Hard to believe
You could cause me harm
This could cause me harm
Home, home…

She should be struggling, wrestling free of this demon-man's arms, but she only leans closer to his marble body, whimpering when his lips leave her mouth and caress her neck again.

"I… ohh… I sh-shouldn't be enjoying this. You're… mmm… you're a cold-blooded killer… ohh…"

"Yin and yang, baby. I'm just the ice to your fire… Slayer, I want you… want to worship you…"

"Spike… Spike, yes…"

"Gonna give me a taste of your garden, Slayer? Imagine all the places I could put these lips…"

His mouth laves her throat, and his fingers trail down past the waistband of her jeans, skimming atop the denim, but giving her the impression that his cool fingertips are directly on her skin. His arms are encircling her far tighter than Riley's had been, and yet she feels free, like she's flying, caught up in his flattering words and ice-cold kisses and the picture he's now painting inside her head. Spike… on his knees… trailing an ice cube along her sweat-speckled inner thigh… her nails digging into his pale shoulders… then his icy lips exploring the hottest, most hidden place of her…

My mouth, your lips
Your hands, my hips
Hard time right now
Will set us free
And relieve us
Of our misery

She gasps, bowing back against him as the sensations he's kindled inside her finally roar into a flame, building and spiraling.

"Spike… ohhOh!"

He grunts softly in her ear, holding her up as the muscles in her legs shake and shudder.

My mouth, your lips
Your hands, my hips
Hard time right now
Will set us free
And relieve us
Of our misery

The music ends, and applause fills the Bronze's dance floor. Buffy remains where she is, her hips still gently swaying, cradled by Spike's, her body slowly climbing down from her unbelievable high.

"That… wow… ohh…"

He didn't even touch me… not THERE at least… oh my god…

"Happy to serve you, luv." His lips sweep tenderly across her temple. "So lovely…"

"Spike, th-the song is over. You don't need to… keep up the… you know."

"Don't I? You think just 'cause there's no tune you're somehow less of a goddess than a moment before?"

"Spike, enough, okay? Any more and I'll start thinking you actually mean it."

He stiffens almost imperceptibly for just a moment, and his hands on her waist and shoulder tremble slightly.

"Tell me somethin', Buffy. If I was anyone else, any other man in this room, would you have been so quick to doubt every bleedin' thing I've been sayin' to you?"

Buffy bites her lip, her attention fixed since he said her actual name. Her legs finally stable again, she turns in his arms, facing him.

"If… if you were anyone else it wouldn't have felt so good," she finally stammers, echoing his words from the start of their dance. "Vampire. Hence the nice coldness."

"Oh, I see. It's all 'cuz I'm not a man. I'm a cold beast on your leash."


"You're tellin' me a monster's words mean jack squat, that I could wax poetic on your beauty an' your strength an' these bloody feelings I can't drink away."

"Spike?" she repeats, his words striking her oddly.

"Because I meant it. Meant every soddin' word. You deserve to be loved and worshiped."


"Your army brat's back," he grumbles, eyes on the side doorway. "I'd better sod off before he decides to point fingers."

And he breaks away, stomping back to the bar counter with his head bowed and jaw clenched. After one open-mouthed second, Buffy follows, stopping just short of his reach.


He pauses, halfway in the process of donning his duster.

"What, Slayer?"

"Next time… teach me your moves."

She doesn't know what makes her say it, or why her brain doesn't filter the words before they slip out of her mouth, but the grin on Spike's face makes it well worth it.

The End.