Story Notes: Disclaimer: The work contained within is merely my playtime with the characters created by Joss Whedon and I in no way own any of them, or anything like that. Unfortunately. It sucks. But I'll just continue my plot to kidnap and clone James Marsters for myself.
Rated NC-17. Just in case.

Si Primo Venit

Sealed With A...

He'd been unable to get any rest after his encounter with Buffy the previous night. Her words, her simple outburst that he was hers - it confused the hell out of him. He didn't argue, and he knew she'd heard his confirmation as she'd left, and he would whole heartedly agree that he was hers if she asked him right now. He wasn't confused over his own feelings. He had come to terms with the fact that he would always love Cath, but his life was, and had been, a long one - it was stupid to think he could never have those feelings again. Which he did. For Buffy.

Even if other people had spotted it before he did.

But her feelings? They were the ones that confused him. It may have been a Freudian slip, but those were the truth, more often than not, and it warmed him a little to think that she considered him hers.

At the same time, it terrified him.

Angel was her first. He would always hold a piece of her, just like Cath would always hold a piece of him. But Catherine was dead. Angel was not. Angel was alive and very clearly still in love with the Slayer. And she still loved him. Didn't she?

His head thundered as he tried to process the thoughts. He knew he couldn't ever find out Buffy's innermost thoughts where it came to him and his brooding younger counterpart - and it would likely drive him nuttier than Drusilla if he tried. But her words kept coming back to him; her utter acceptance of him. Even without the soul, she had trusted him. Not that he wished to revisit that part of his time with her. Watching her fall apart without being able to do anything was not something he ever wished to see again.

Some remnants of the Lord and Gentleman in him demanded she be cared for, even if she had the strength to kick his arse across the country.

It hadn't taken long after sunset to need to get out. Even in spite of the Gem, he still liked to keep to his nocturnal hours. Maybe it was a wasted gift, if he didn't use it during the daytime, but at the moment he had no reason to, and exposing his ability would only make others covet it and increase the danger he put everyone else in. It was hard to shake the mentality that it was him that got people hurt.

After several hours in Willy's bar, downing enough Jack to give him a warm buzz, and not much more, he'd headed out, word reaching him across the bar that the two slayers were on patrol and that some demons had attached the Watchers. Balthazaar was the most likely culprit. He suspected Angel would be out as well, no doubt looking to help Buffy and Giles, even just to earn some good grace with the Watcher who still hated him.

It didn't take long to find Buffy, but she was pale when he did, almost shaking. If he didn't know better, he'd have said she was in shock. She didn't spot hi straight away, but when did, relief flooded her features.

'Buffy!' He said, moving to her side in an instance. The scent of human blood was an aura around her, but he knew Slayer blood well enough to know it was not hers or Faith's. He narrowed the scent down to her hand, and grabbed it. She tried to pull away but he held fast. 'Buffy, what happened?'

'There was - something -' she broke off, her eyes full of tears as she shook in his arms.

'Oh, Slayer.' He pulled her close and she shuddered against him.

'She - he - we...' She struggled to form the words as she gripped his coat with her clean hand. 'He's dead.'

Spike frowned, pulling away and looking down at her. 'Who?' His immediate thought was of the librarian and his dead heart seized a little. Giles was his friend - he didn't want to think of anything happening to him. Cos it would be your fault again.

'This guy...I don't know who he was...but he came out of nowhere and we w-were fighting, and Faith grabbed him and I yelled, but she-she didn't stop and now he's dead...and oh god!' She sobbed a little, and Spike pulled her closer for a second, before drawing away and looking down at her. He could sense Angel now, getting closer to where they were.

'Sssh, lamb, don't worry. We'll get this taken care of.' He sighed. 'We've got another problem. Word is that this Balthazaar has the Watchers.'

Buffy's eyes went wide as she looked up at him, and then she saw Angel approaching them from the darkness. 'They have Giles?' Angel nodded, ignoring the closeness of the two blondes as he came to a stop a few metres away. His eyes darted to Buffy's bloodied hand and he looked at her with a questioning gaze. She saw him looking and drew her hand behind her back. 'I'm okay.' She whispered, and Spike looked over at the younger vampire.

'I've just been to the warehouse. I was waiting for you. They've got Giles and Wesley there.'

They'd rescued the Watchers without much trouble, although the simpering nancy boy that was Wesley had almost caused some for them. Spike was beginning to dislike the man more each day - his cowardice grating on his nerves. Giles had been curious about Buffy as they left, questioning her quiet demeanour, but Spike had warded him off, explaining that her and Faith had a row that was playing on her mind. Angel had narrowed his eyes at the explanation and offered to walk her home, but she had refused. Spike had expected her to refuse him as well, so when she had asked for his company, he had been shocked yet pleased, although he knew it was likely because he knew the truth.

'Are you okay?' He asked, reaching out to touch her arm gently as they walked through town. She nodded.

'I should go and speak to Faith.' She said quietly. 'See if she is okay.'

'No.' Spike said, disagreeing with her. 'You should get home and get some sleep.'

'That's your solution for everything.' Buffy sighed, a little edge of humour in her voice. He chuckled.

'Worked wonders throughout history. Much like tea.'

She pulled a face, looking at him and then towards her house, which loomed as they turned onto Revello Drive. 'I'm not a tea fan. But sometimes it's nice. When I feel sick or something.'

'You'd prefer an extra tall latte with whipped cream and a shot of hazelnut syrup right?'

'It's creepy you know my drinks order.' She raised an eyebrow at him and he shrugged.

'I pick things up.' They stopped at her house, and Buffy looked towards the driveway. The lights were on, despite the late hour, and she knew her mom was still up, waiting for her and probably asleep on the couch. It had become a ritual lately - her fear for Buffy's safety a regular argument. Nothing serious, but something that would forever crop up between them.

'I guess this is goodnight.' She sighed, looking over at him.

'Yeah.' He pulled his shoulders in tight. 'Don't worry about this, Slayer. I'll take care of it, okay?'

'How do you mean?' She asked. 'You're not going to tell Giles, are you?'

'It would be best if Faith came forward on her own. Mistakes happen. But she's gotta be pretty torn up about it. Maybe I can reach her, talk to her.'

'I didn't think she wanted to talk to you.' Buffy said, jealously colouring her tone. Spike arched an eyebrow, looking at her with amusement.

'Now, now, Slayer.' He smiled a little. 'You know I'm yours.' She looked taken aback by the statement, and he smiled, moving in closely. 'Don't rightly know what that means...but I'll take it.'

'N-neither do I.' Buffy whispered, her eyes on his hands as he reached out and grasped her right wrist, bringing the hand up to kiss her knuckles.

'I don't expect anything from you, Buffy.' He said quietly, even as she moved closer to him subconsciously. 'Don't force yourself to-' She cut him off by pulling him down and kissing him hard. His eyes went wide in shock and for a second he didn't react, until he melted into the kiss, feeling the warmth of her body seep into his cold bones, her hands coming up to wind her fingers into the hair at the back of his head. He surrendered to her completely, letting her take full control.

It was several lifetimes before they parted. She was panting heavily as she brought lust-riddled eyes up to meet his darkened gaze.

'Sorry.' She whispered. 'It's just...I wanted to do that for a while.'

He chuckled and looked up to her house. 'You best go get that sleep, pet.' He kissed her lightly on the forehead. 'Before we both do something we regret.' She blushed and pulled away from him, turning and running to her house without a goodbye. But he didn't need one. He stalked over to the tree in her front yard and stood, listening as she said goodnight to her mother, as she got ready for bed. He listened until her breathing evened out and her heart rate slowed. The lights in 1630 Revello Drive went off, and Spike pulled himself away, satisfied she was safe for the night.

He turned onto the street, picking up the pace as the sky lightened a little. It was very late.

And he had another Slayer to see.

Faith was lounging on her bed when he arrived at the run down motel. He'd knocked and waited for an answer, receiving one quickly. She looked shocked to see him as she stepped back and invited him in. Her words confirmed she had been expecting Buffy to show up.

'I was expecting Buffy.'

He arched his scarred eyebrow and she shrugged, turning away from him, her arms wrapped around herself. She looked for all the world like a lost little girl.

'You alright?' He asked, not moving from by the door. She looked back at him, dropping her arms and Spike could almost see the walls go up around her, shutting him out. But for all the bravado, he knew one thing; she was just like him really. Trying to avoid getting hurt, putting on a badass attitude to ward off the world. She was probably terrified.

'Five by five. You know me.' He nodded, out of habit more than agreement. He looked around, seeing the sink full of bloodied water, a pile of clothes haphazardly thrown in the corner. The scent of human blood lingered in the air. His gaze returned to her as she glared at him.

'Buffy told me what happened.'

'Yeah?' She threw off a careless tone, folding her arms again, but this time the action was more hostile than frightened.

'I know you think you can handle this. And you're used to being on your own. You got your tough loner act down pretty good, pet.'

'Thanks.' The brunette slayer spat, her face a mocking scowl. Spike sighed, shaking his head slightly.

'Maybe you don't think it's an act. But I've seen this, Faith. I've been this.' He eyed her carefully. 'You're not the one who invented it, you know. You're in deep, and we need to figure out how to take care of this.'

'I was doing my job.'

'Being the Slayer is not the same as being a killer.'

She almost growled. Her eyes were full of venom as she glared at him. 'And you'd know that right? Slayer of Slayers? How many people have you killed? Come to tell me how to atone? How to make amends for what I've done?' She was mocking him now, but he kept his cool, not biting back, even when the demon inside him wanted to tear her a new one and show her exactly what a killer was.

'You can't shut everyone out, Faith. Sooner or later, you have to deal.'

'Wrong.' The girl replied flippantly.

'I can help you.' He offered but she shook her head.

'I don't need you.'

'Yeah? Who's wrong now? Sooner or later, they will find the body.' He pointed out, and Faith turned to him with a chilling smile, something he'd seen before and not something he'd ever wished to see on the face of a young girl.

'Okay. This is the last time we are having this conversation, and we're not even having it now, understand me? There is no body. I took it, weighted it and dumped it in a river. There is no body.' Spike froze at her words. She'd disposed of the man she'd killed. Just A treacherous voice in his head said. Pity you aren't still evil. She'd have made a hell of a vampire. He felt sick at the thought of it. All these years and sometimes the demon could still sicken him. But he paid no mind to it now. Faith was his only concern here. She was slipping - and fast.

'Getting rid of the evidence doesn't make the problem go away.' He said slowly. She smiled again, shrugging lightly.

'Does for me.'

'I don't think you're getting this. You killed a man, Faith.'

She turned to him, her face a picture of unfeeling, unrepentent energy that chilled him to his already cold bones. She shook her head, smiling at him.'No, you don't get it.' She paused. 'I don't care.'

He didn't know what to say to that. She was beyond his reach now, and she mirrored the vampire he'd once been. Could it be that she had tasted blood and enjoyed it too much? Suddenly he couldn't stand to be in the same room as her, and he turned, his presence ignored by Faith as she flopped back onto the bed, putting her TV. Spike stumbled out of the apartment, almost tripping down the steps as he gasped for unneeded air. She felt nothing, nothing about killing someone.

What the hell was he going to tell Buffy?

He'd watched. Faith had gone about her normal business, and Buffy had drawn further and further into herself. Naturally she was taking it as hard as if she had dealt the killing blow herself. He knew she hadn't confided in anyone about, although he had his suspicions it would come out tonight, as she was visiting with the little redhead. Buffy couldn't keep this to herself for too long; she was collapsing in on herself and someone would notice.

The question was...what did he do now? He'd been trailing Faith round the city for a half hour, and when she'd decided to wander elsewhere, he'd headed for the library, knowing his following her wasn't doing any good. It was best to tell the Watcher.

When he'd entered the library, he'd breathed a sigh of relief that junior Watcher wasn't there. God knows what he would do. Probably call back in those berks that held him hostage during Buffy's birthday. And Spike was in no rush to see them again. He knew the only person he could trust with this was Giles. Not even Angel would be of any help - he'd try to reason with the girl and even Spike saw that as a difficult task.

And he wasn't normally one to quit.

'Rupes?' He announced his arrival with stealth and when he spoke Giles' name, the librarian just about jumped out of his skin, tipping a bit of his tea down himself.

'Spike!' He sucked in a breath of air as he scowled at the vampire. 'I do wish you wouldn't sneak up like that.' The vampire didn't smirk or give a snappy retort, and immediately the man knew something was wrong. 'What is it? Is Buffy okay?'

'We need to talk.' Giles sat down, and Spike knew he was preparing for the worst. He nodded, leaning against the wall. 'Seems the girls had an incident on patrol. Someone got hurt...'

'Tonight?' Giles asked and Spike shook his head. It dawned on the former Watcher then, that he was talking about the deputy mayor. He'd read about it in the papers and Wesley had instructed both Slayers to look into the problem. He'd not thought much of a human murder in the town - but this was something entirely worse than even a demon killing. 'The deputy mayor...what happened?'

'Faith. She didn't see him, went on instinct, killed him.'

'Oh lord.' Giles exhaled. He stood, removing his glasses and polishing them. 'Thi-this is not the first instance of an accidental killing, I'm afraid. Slayers are very strong and occasionally, accidents happen.'

'Yeah well, this accident is having some consequences.' Spike drawled. 'Faith doesn't care. Not one jot. She disposed of the body. Like it was trash.' Giles' eyes bogged and Spike nodded. 'The girl has some issues, Rupes. Buffy's torn up about the whole thing, like she's the one that did it - but Faith, she's acting like it was a day at the fayre.'

'We will need to speak to her.'

'Tried that. Didn't take.'

'If Wesley finds out, he will call the Council.'

'That probably won't take either. She's alone, afraid and backing it up with attitude. She needs someone who she can trust right now.' Spike stiffened. 'And she's on her way here.'

'You can sense that far?' Giles asked, looking towards the door. When he looked back, Spike was gone and he blinked, wondering how vampires managed to do that. The next second, Faith appeared in the doorway, her gaze serious. 'Hello, Faith. What can I do for you?' He tried to keep his tone neutral, despite his knowledge of what had passed.

'Yo. We need to talk.' She hovered in the doorway.

'What's the problem?' He asked, placing his glasses back on his face. She walked into the office a few steps before shrugging.

'Something happened...on patrol. There was an accident.'

'Are you okay?' He asked, wondering if she would tell the truth to him.

'Five by five.' She almost smiled and he cringed internally. 'But...Buffy? Not so good.' She bit her lip. 'She killed someone, Giles.'

The librarian could only stare.

Outside the library, Spike growled from his hiding place in the stacks.

He'd slipped out when Buffy had arrived, and the brunette had left. Following her had been his priority, but upon seeing her return to her motel and not emerge for a while, he decided to return to the school. When he got there, he'd followed his sense to the cafeteria, to find Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles sat at a table, discussing Faith.

'Fancied a change of scenery?' He asked, looking around.

'Change is good.' Xander remarked, pushing a chair out for the vampire. Spike took it gratefully.

'We were just saying we should talk to Faith together.' Willow repeated, and the vampire raised an eyebrow. He looked at Buffy, who nodded, confirming that she'd told the others too. Obviously he had filled Giles in earlier, so Buffy's innocence hadn't been questioned, even when Faith had tried to pin the murder on her.

'You mean, like that intervention thing that you guys did on me? As I recall, Xander and I nearly came to blows.' Buffy pointed out. Xander cleared his throat.

'Uh, you nearly came to blows, Buffy. I nearly came to loss of limbs.' The boy pointed out and Buffy tried not to smile.

'No.' Giles interrupted, his eyes focused on the table as he thought. 'Faith is too defensive for a confrontation like that. She'll respond better to a one-on-one approach.'

'Well, I can be the her one.' Xander said, earning confused looks from everyone except the vampire. Spike almost smirked as the boy's heart rate went up and he guessed exactly what one-on-one he had in mind. 'Let's rephrase. I think she might listen to me. We kind of have, um, a connection.'

'A connection?' Buffy frowned. 'Why would you think that?'

'I'm just saying it's worth a shot.' Xander sighed. 'That's all.' Buffy and Willow looked at each other as Giles shook his head.

'No. I don't. I don't see it, Xander. I mean, of, of all of us, you're the one person arguable that Faith has had the least contact with.' Giles looked at the dark haired boy with confusion.

'Yeah, but we hung out a little...recently, and she seemed to be, um...responsive.' Willow's eyes went wide and Spike knew she'd guessed. Buffy scrunched up her nose.

'When did you guys hang out?' She asked, confused.

'Oh she was fighting one of those, uh, apocalypse demon things and I helped her. Gave her a ride home.' Xander's face was getting redder by the second but Buffy didn't seem to notice.

'And you guys talked?'

'Not extensively, no.' Xander admitted and Spike chucked as Buffy's eyes went wide and she caught on. A few seconds later, Giles also got the message. They both looked at the redhead, who'd shrunk into her seat.

'I don't need to say "oh". I got it before. They slept together.' Her tone was defeated and Buffy gazed at her with sympathy. Willow stared off elsewhere, looking at anything but Xander. Silence fell over the group until Spike grew tired of it. Personal drama. Too much of it round here.

'Let's move on, shall we people.' He looked over at Xander. 'Look, no offence or anything, but I've spoken to the girl at length. Before all this. She's not the type to take the guys she's shagged seriously. She's pretty much unhinged.'

'They're a big joke to her. No offence.' Buffy said, genuinely not meaning to offend Xander, but managing it all the same.

'Oh, no! I mean, why would I be offended by that?'

'I still require help with research.' Giles asked. 'If you wish to be of assistance. We have the business of the Mayor and Mr. Trick still to attend to.'

'Yeah, they seemed awfully cozy the other night.'

'Other night?' Spike asked, wondering what she'd been up to. Buffy looked over at him.

'Yeah, Faith and I scoped out city hall. The guy...that...anyway, he was deputy mayor and into some dark stuff. Mayor's up to something. Being buddies with a vampire isn't usually a sign of kosher activity.' He raised and eyebrow and she sank into her seat, embarrassed. 'Unless it's, you know, you.'

'Willow, do you think you could access the Mayor's files?' Giles' voice dragged her back into the room and Willow nodded gently.

'Oh. Uh, sure. I can try.'

Giles stood, smiling. 'Good. Yes. Because clearly we, uh, we need to take a harder look at him. He's, he's, um, he's obviously up to something.'

'What about Faith?' Buffy asked, her eyes darting to Spike before returning to her Watcher. The librarian shrugged.

'I don't know. I need time.'

'She needs help now.' Buffy said, her voice a little plaintive. 'I owe her that.'

'Spike.' Her voice stopped him on his way out of the cafeteria. Willow, Xander and Giles had left and he'd intended to follow suit, but her voice made him grind to a halt. He was so whipped, it was almost sad.

'Buffy?' He asked, turning around to face her. She stepped closer, hugging herself a little, stopping when she was a step away from him. His body vibrated with just being so close.

'What was mistake.' She said quietly and his heart dropped like a rock to the bottom of a lake. 'I was upset.' He didn't respond, waiting for her to finish speaking. 'I think-' she closed her eyes before looking up at him, her gaze locked with his. 'I kinda know how you feel about me. And scares me. It's intense.'

'I already said I don't expect anything from you, Buffy.' His voice was soft and gentle as he spoke. 'You've already given me more than I deserve.'

Buffy smiled softly, her eyes twinkling in the dim light of the cafeteria. 'I know you said that. But I-I expect something from me.' She scrunched up her nose in that adorable way of hers. 'If that makes sense.' He chuckled a little, but let her continue. 'What I mean is - I'm confused. This whole year, ever since...' she trailed off.

'Acathla.' Spike murmured and Buffy nodded.

'I'm's a mess.'

'I know you love Angel, pet.'

'No.' The conviction of her one word shocked him momentarily. She shook her head, not noticing his shocked reaction. 'No...I don't love Angel. Not like I did. I still care deeply for him and I always will...but since he came back...something changed. We both changed.' She sighed. 'But I don't love you either Spike. And it's not fair to lead you on.' He swallowed hard. It hurt to hear it, even if he hadn't been expecting anything to come of his feelings for her. She watched him, drawing closer and taking his hand. 'I know that sounded horrible. But I do care about you. I know that much. And maybe, with time, once my head isn't so jumbled...' she left her words hanging in the air around them and he didn't say anything for a moment. He just stared at her, memorising her face as if it were the last time. A small smile tugged the corners of his mouth as Buffy spoke again. 'Getting into something now would only cause more drama. You understand right?'

He nodded, before reaching up and putting his hands either side of her face, running his thumb over her cheekbone as she looked up at him, her eyes gazing into his blue ones.

Then he leaned in, kissing her hard and quick for a moment, then pulling away smirking. 'Sorry, luv. Had to do it one more time, just in case.'

She stared at him, her fingers coming up to touch her lips for a second before her hands dropped and she glared at him. Spike burst out laughing as she folded her arms in indignation.

'You're a pig, Spike.'

'Oink, oink, Slayer.'

To Be Continued...

Shock and horror. Did I just retract the Spuffy? Maybe I did...maybe I didn't...