Crossing into unchipped country (22/22) by dutchbuffy2305
Timeline: At the start, around AtS 5.09 or 5.10
Author's note: Thanks to my dear betas.
Author's website: http:home.planet.nl/dutchbuffy2305
Feedback: Yes, please, to dutchbuffy2305yahoo.co.uk
A girl could get paranoid, suspecting her sister and her best friends of delaying her on purpose, because there has never been a day as long as this one. Buffy gets the urgent shopping because there was this mall that had clothes that would never reach Cleveland, and also the lunch at the unique Californian Tex-Mex-Japanese place, but it all totals up and she's seldom felt as drained as when she waves the Wolfram & Hart jet off. And yet her heart's doing a mambo, or maybe a Viennese Waltz, or the Frug; whatever it is, her legs aren't anywhere near keeping up, and her thoughts, well, they are at a place that is at the same time definitely down to earth and high above the clouds. Above the ozone layer, baby.
Exotic dancing or not, she almost falls asleep in the cab driving her back to Spike's place. And then his door is once more locked and impenetrable. She's waited here before, and she stands patiently although there's a growing conviction in her heart that he isn't in there. It reminds her uncomfortably of the last time, only a few days ago, although so much has happened since that it seems longer. She did tell Spike she was just taking Dawn and the others to the airport, didn't she? She presses her cheek and the palms of her hands against the door but she feels nothing. Not that her compass has always been pointing reliably north lately, but she feels pretty sure that this time it is accurate.
Okay. She finds her bags are sitting obediently behind the dumpster; they must feel right at home there by now. She could just wait for the hardworking hero to return, except maybe he's not working but resting. Her feet take her unerringly to Bare Naked Ladies. The front of this establishment oozes red lighting and a heavy bass beat, and Joe the doorman gives her a friendly nod. Spike's neighbors are uncannily good at recognizing people they've only seen once, by night and upside down.
"Hi," she says, a little hesitantly.
Joe keeps smiling and considerately blows his smoke away from her face.
"I'm looking for Spike. I thought you might have seen him?"
Joe is a man of few words. He grins even wider without losing his hand-rolled cigarette and jerks his head in the direction of the club's interior.
"He's in there?" Buffy asks. "Can I go in?"
"Sure," Joe says and removes his bulk a few inches to the side, so that Buffy can just squeeze through if she doesn't mind a little contact with his big belly.
Very pleasant. The things a girl has to do to get her man.
Once inside it's easy to spot Spike. He's one of only three customers, which doesn't surprise Buffy considering the general unattractiveness of the area and the club itself. On stage, two bored girls are flirting with a shiny pole and trying to make their fake breasts jiggle. Red and blue lights flicker uncertainly in an attempt to add mystery to the performance.
Spike is sitting at a table right in front of the stage, a whole row of glasses evidence of a lengthy stay. He's smoking pensively and staring into nothing. Or at the girls, Buffy can't tell. For a few seconds she debates getting onstage herself and shaking some booty but she decides not to, although it probably would get his attention. She settles for a lap dance. She sneaks up silently, circling behind Spike to approach him from the other side, covered by the sensual thrumming music the speakers produce.
"Hey, Buffy," Spike says without looking up.
His voice isn't slurred, but then he always could carry his liquor. Clearly, it's pointless to try and sneak up on a predator. Buffy walks up to him as she planned, puts her hands on his shoulders and drops a kiss on his hair. He doesn't react, so she proceeds to clamber onto his lap. He looks up at last and the expression in his dark eyes goes straight to her gut, or a little above and to the left actually.
"Hey," she says back and hugs him hard.
She hides her face in his neck and plans on staying there for a long time. His hands come up and fold over her back. He's the perfect size for her, large enough to make her feel feminine and delicate, but not too big and hulking like some guys she won't name. At first he holds her loosely, noncommittally, but gradually his arms tighten round her and his lips seek out the soft place below her ear. Buffy relaxes in the safe yet exciting Spike scent of hot metal and gun powder, laced with tobacco and cheap Scotch. The best smell in the world.
"I hope you didn't have to wait too long. There was emergency shopping, and lunch, and delayed planes. I'm thinking the revenge of Harmony," she says.
Spike sighs deeply and draws back to look at her again. She smiles a careful little smile, not at all sure what's going down with him, and the tiny twitch of his lips she gets in return has more impact than the widest grin. Warmth spreads out from somewhere in the vicinity of her ribs and blossoms behind her eyes, loosening every facial muscle she has. She can't breathe, she brims over with the intensity of her joy but she feels unaccountably sad at the same time. Is this what it's like, when you smile at him, and he looks back, and you know you love him and he loves you? She doesn't know what to do with her hands, so she kneads his shoulders desperately. Breathing can't wait any longer and comes in short pants, and a quivering starts up in her thighs.
"Buffy…" Spike says.
They kiss and Buffy experiences serious tunnel vision. Her eyes try to close all the time, but she wants to look, she doesn't want to miss any one of his many expressions. She can just see one of his eyelids, oddly delicate and threaded with tiny blue veins, his long lashes trembling with her breaths. The curve of his nose blocks her view of the club and she traces the hollow beneath his cheekbone, up towards his ear and his hair, where the skin becomes fine and white instead of rough and male. He tastes like danger and home at the same time, a taste that needs exploring. The insides of his soft lips, the curved and full lips themselves, his tongue, his smooth hard teeth.
Buffy breaks loose, gasping. She's forgotten to breathe because he doesn't need to. He used to start breathing because she did.
She sits on his lap, her chest heaving, her pulse racing and her breasts and belly pressed up against his hard chest as close as they can get. Spike's thumbs find the sensitive spot below her hipbones unerringly and she twitches when his hands grip her there and around her hips. He shoves her into a better position for his hard-on and Buffy starts rocking on it, determined to make the most of every single moment.
A hand descends on her shoulder. "Spike, lad, why don't you take the lady somewhere else, eh? The other customers are complaining that they want what you're getting and the girls don't like it."
Spike rises up and sets her down on the floor. She wobbles a bit, but a steadying hand at her middle is already in place. He shrugs into his duster, throws some money onto the table and nods to the manager. "Sure, mate. Consider us gone."
One of the girls shoves her silicone chest in Buffy's face as they thread their way through the empty tables. "You treat him well, girl, you hear? Some bitch stepped on his heart real hard, and he deserves a break."
Buffy can only hope her blush isn't visible in the club's muted lighting and nods. "I'll take care of him," she promises earnestly. "Cross my heart and hope to die."
"Good luck, Spike!" the girl calls out after them.
Spike squeezes her hip and propels her further to the exit. As they stumble outside, too tightly entwined to notice the step, Joe catches hold of her elbow and shakes a meaty finger at her. "No funny business, girlie, or we'll know where to find you."
Spike's got some partisans lined up alright. He must be a regular here.
"Lay off, Joe," Spike says. "We're good."
Whoa. Those are powerful words and Buffy floats to Spike's apartment, safely caught in his arms, holding on tight to his hip in case he suddenly disappears.
The bright light that floods the apartment is harsh and unforgiving, highlighting the remaining souvenirs of fighting on Spike's face. Buffy doesn't know what she looks like right now. She hasn't seen a mirror since the airport toilets, but she doesn't care what the fluorescent glare reveals, nothing he hasn't seen before. She slides a tender finger over the green bruise ornamenting his left jaw and kisses the healing cut on his lip.
Spike is the one who's most affected by the change in surroundings. His hands dangle from his wrists like empty gloves and he's looking agonized and torn. Buffy flicks a look toward the narrow monkish bed. Not right now, she guesses. Talk first. She grabs one of his hands and tugs him to the kitchen table. There's a big carton of musty old books and other junk on it. She fingers a lopsided lamp, its tassels bleached and uneven.
For some reason this snaps Spike out of his funk. "About time, innit?" he drawls.
He switches on a few smaller lamps and turns off the overhead light. He's so the romantic. Then the sexy prowl returns as he advances on her. His hands have remembered how to function properly and Buffy gratefully allows herself to be drawn into his embrace. Spike has another goal than the kitchen chairs and drives her towards his saggy red couch.
He rucks up her skirt and rubs his jeaned erection against her bare hips. She gasps, in a much bigger hurry than she was a minute ago. He's so exactly right in the way he feels and smells and the small grunts he makes while urgently undressing her, trying to open her zipper and undoing her bra at the same time. Her breasts spring free of Willow's bra, and they're so sensitive, she can't help moaning loudly when his hands roughly brush one and tweak the other.
"Oh, God, love, you burn me with your skin...so hot…so smooth…"
She fights the buttons of his jeans and finally wins. Spike utters a strangled yelp when something goes a little bit wrong when she yanks the pants down his legs, but he's a vampire and his big hard cock settles solidly in her hand, quivering against her belly and she can't wait another second, she wants him inside her.
Spike grunts a laugh. "You're like a queen, impatient woman that you are. Let me just get my jeans off, you know that makes it better if I can move my knees, don't you?"
"Yeah, yeah, hurry already."
Maybe it isn't such a good idea to try and get his t-shirt off at the same time he's taking off his pants. In the end Buffy's rewarded with the whole length of incredibly silky vampire skin, slightly cooler than hers, which always makes her feel powerful and hot and majorly sexy. He slides in as though he does this every day, and she remembers exactly what it used to feel like. It ought to feel completely different and better because she loves him, but it's mostly the same. Why can't her stupid body distinguish between her Spike and the one from the other dimension, souled and unsouled? His skin is best double cream in every incarnation, his eyes as blue with the right lighting, his voice the same cooling butterscotch chocolate. Their taste, their scent, identical. Inside this pretty velvety wrapping is someone different from all the other existing Spikes, and that man is the only one who deserves her love.
She loves him. She will love him well. The thought makes her tremble inside and if she hadn't come right then just from loving him she might have had to stifle a sob, but the orgasm that crashes through merges all feelings into one big burst of rapture. All that exists is the slide and thrust of his hips against her pussy, angling her legs just so that he hits her good spot inside, while she clutches his back with her hands spread as wide as they can go, glorying in the feel of the muscles working beneath the smooth skin. He bends over her closely and licks her neck. She shivers straight through to her clit, so good, her man finally with her in the way he's meant to be.
Spike's eyes are narrowed by lust, staring intently into her own. Can the color blue burn, so hot it scorches you? Buffy thinks it can, like the sky over a desert, or the place where a flame is the hottest.
"This is much better when I can see you," Spike says.
The last remaining doubt slips from Buffy's shoulders and her ribs heave with a sharp intake of breath.
They tear and worry at each other frantically. Buffy gasps and contracts until she can't keep her eyes on Spike's blissful face any longer. She clenches his biceps so hard she must be leaving bruises but she can't stop. His hoarse shout of release fades away and Buffy finds herself upside down on the couch, clothes still stubbornly adhering to her wrists, bra around her neck. Spike is sandwiched between her legs, half on the floor, his hair wildly spiraling away from his head. He sinks down on her with a groan and his muscles relax. This starts them sliding and Buffy gives him the last little push to land on the floor. She giggles and gets on her knees to look down on him. Spike stares back at her wordlessly, drinking her in and she feels suddenly shy.
"Did you maybe wanna, like, talk?"
"I am talking to you, Buffy. My body speaks to you of love. Do you feel it?"
"I…" Buffy can't answer, her heart is too flooded with tears and gratitude and happiness.
Spike's voice is cracking, so soft that she has to strain to hear it. "You don't have to say it, Buffy. Your body is telling me. You see? You're shaking all over, your heart's doing the pogo, there's salt in your eyes and your throat is thick with love. I know what you want to say. I believe you."
Buffy understands with perfect clarity why he didn't believe her in the Hellmouth. Her mouth was speaking, and with her head she meant what she was saying, but her heart was somewhere else, still fighting the übervamps. It wasn't the right moment. It's not surprising he kept believing she loved him way back when, because she sure as hell had no idea what to think or feel at that time.
Spike looks up at her, his eyes big and dark when the light of the sad lamp no longer illuminates them. Buffy bites her lip, rhythmically stroking his hair, trying to find words. She would like to tell him again she's sorry, take back everything she's said the past years, but she already knows this doesn't work. She needs to find that place of certainty and passion inside, because that's the place where she and Spike meet.
She grabs his wonderfully big hands and twines her little pointed fingers inside his. There's no bursting into flame, no sudden magical signs. It's just his hands against hers. She doesn't regret that, because they're past that, she thinks. They're free, no prophecies or sacred destinies to work around. She doesn't have to love him, they can simply choose each other.
He smiles, and she's determined to remember every little crinkle in the corners of his eyes, and also that his scar is on the left and that his right eye has a brown spot in the blue. His one eyetooth is a little bit crooked and it's more perfect than the smoothest Hollywood smile.
There's a sadness, a resignation in him that makes her frantic. She wants him to be as happy as she is right now. They're not gonna end, she doesn't want them to end, ever. He slips his hand out of hers and smoothes a spot between her eyebrows.
"Don't worry so much, Buffy. Relax. This is now. This is the first time we're really together. Let's just lay back and enjoy it, " Spike says. "Shall I tell you what I love about you? Yes, exactly, the way you held your breath just now when I kissed your nipple, and I adore your bellybutton, and the way your belly slopes down to your pussy like this, and the way you're so responsive that you're just about quivering right now, every hair on your body is standing up and waving at me…"
Buffy wants to reciprocate but his tongue makes her feel as weak and floppy as a jellyfish and she just sinks back into the pillows and lets him lick her into oblivion. Her thighs shake and she clamps them around his head to have more contact with his body. He understands and shifts around so she can feel his full length against her. She angles her head backwards and licks his cock, draws the foreskin away so the glistening purple head is visible. She tastes the salty velvet of the skin. Delicious as it is, this is not intimate enough. Spike may be able to read her every thought through the quivering of her muscles or the beating of her heart, but she needs to see his face to feel the connection.
"Spike, get inside me? I wanna see your face."
His tender half-smile when he looks down at her is too much and she quells the urge to scream and drum her heels in ecstasy because she's a grown woman. She doesn't want to start crying again either, and the sheer amount of emotion she feels is just scary. Who knew feelings could be so big, could make you feel like they're sitting on your ribcage and crushing the breath out of you?
"Not going anywhere, sweetheart. Just hold on tight and I'll give you a ride," Spike says with a curl of his lip and he's so perceptive, he just knew she needed this to lighten the weight of all that love.
She can talk again. "I love you," she whispers shyly, and it's still new enough to make her blush from top to toe. Look at that, even her nipples are blushing, and Spike bends over to give them an appreciative kiss.
"Ready?" he asks.
"Ready," she says and gives him a wiggle.
His first thrust is slower than she'd like and she lifts her hips to give it extra impact. Their gazes tangle and there's the good kind of tension again. It's like sparring, like a race, only now it's about who can make the other come first instead of landing the first blow. Her body knows how to do this without self consciousness and she tenses and prepares for the counter attack. Her feet scrabble to get some traction and they're off again, dancing their dance.
Later, they settle against a chimney stack up on his roof, where there is plenty of space to sit and look up at the foggy sky, their only company ancient rusted television antennas and, surprisingly, a fishing rod. Buffy sits on Spike's lap and leans her head against his shoulder, dreamily content, while his fingers roam idly over her breasts and belly.
"So – all the things you said to me the other morning – you're not thinking that anymore?" she says.
"I still feel the same way, Buffy. That hasn't changed. It's just that I can't not take a chance on us and go for it."
Her brand spanking new certainty that all was right vanishes in a puff.
"Oh," she says in a tiny strangled voice. "What does that mean?"
"That I'm not so sure we're gonna make it. You know, sunset, riding off into. But I'd still rather have the pain than be all safe and free and alone, see?"
Buffy swallows hard. She can do this. What does she know, anyway? She's never had what you might call a successful relationship. But, pain? She's guaranteed to bring pain? Not what a girl likes to hear, but she doesn't want to be all-about-me Buffy anymore. She can be mature and wise, too.
"I'm good with that, Spike," she says. "We'll just give it a shot. Picket fence and fat grandchildren can go to hell. We'll just be that weird, incredibly handsome couple who get to see the world and have fun adventures in the dark."
His smile is a little wider already. "Take it a day at a time? Warts and all?"
"Shut up about warts alreadt, Spike, you're wigging me out."
She slaps him playfully and then takes a sharp breath, not sure how he's gonna react to even a light slap. Better get used to thinking first; there's so much history. Spike grins and twists her nipple hard. Buffy sighs in relief. Not everything that went down between them two years ago was bad, but it's hard to distinguish what was and what wasn't.
She turns onto her back and snuggles against him. "This is nice, you know, looking up at the sky like this. I could get used to it."
Spike gathers her closer. "Next time you visit, I'll have some furniture up here. Plants, even."
"Visit?" Buffy says, with a repeat of the sinking feeling. "I was thinking of living here."
Now Spike looks really surprised. "But – Dawn. Your friends…"
"We couldn't have done this in Sunnydale, but things do change, you know. Dawn is graduating next month. She's going to college in the fall, and taking summer school in England. The others don't need me. I'm a free woman, Spike. I can live wherever I want."
She's stunned him; she can see that, made him silent. She's gonna try so hard to also make him happy.
"Do you want me to live here? Or should I get my own place?"
"God, Buffy, I never thought – of course you can live here." He looks around in despair. "It's a terrible place. You can't…I should make a garden for you here. You could potter about in the daytime and stuff."
"Spike? Sweet thought, but when have you ever seen me potter about in a garden? Put me in a mall and I'll lead you to Target in a second, but tracking and killing a weed? Just not me," she says, trying to make him laugh.
"Right." He pulls her up roughly and kisses her hard. "I was sure you were gonna stay in Cleveland, guard your Hellmouth, and I didn't plan on joining you there. But if you're coming here…" he doesn't finish the sentence but hides his face in her neck.
Buffy tangles her fingers in the soft curls at the nape of his neck. "I can slay anywhere. Maybe do some demon hunting for bounty, you know?"
"It thought you were dying to be normal girl. What changed?"
"Come on, Spike. I suck at normal things, like work or college. I've never even dated a normal boy more than once. I mean, what was I thinking? Slaying is the only skill I have, and now I don't have to, I'm beginning to enjoy it."
Off his disbelieving look, "I know, fighting the First, or Glory have never been fun. Or coming back from the dead. But staking vampires, or killing demons? I just love the hunt, and the fighting, and the awesome sex after. I was just finding that out when all the bad stuff happened and hit me dead on. Mom dying, Glory, me dying. You know that, you were there."
He murmurs something against her neck.
"How long can you stay?" he repeats.
Buffy ticks the dates off on her finger. "Couple of days; I have to be back on Sunday. Then Dawn goes to England at the end of May. So, not long until I come back here. And maybe you can come up to Cleveland sometimes?"
Spike stretches luxuriously. "I could. Take the jet again."
Buffy follows the stretching with her eyes and can't keep her hands from wandering after. The skin of his arms is softer and whiter on the inside, and the line of his outstretched arms and body make a perfect triangle from his hands to his waist.
"You know, if I could, I would say something about male beauty right now. Sculptures and stuff."
If vampires could purr, Spike would, Buffy's sure. He stretches even harder, tilting his body over to be in easier reach for her and she slides admiring fingers over his hipbone and buttocks. He sighs deeply and slides his hand on her neck, under her hair. He's still a neck kind of man.
The Los Angeles night sounds make a romantic background to their lazy stroking and slow talking. Cicadas, car horns blaring, gun shots, snatches of rap music. Buses rumble by like thunder, elephants trumpet.
"Spike? Are there wild elephants in LA?"
"You never know in this town. Could be they're filming Hannibal's attack on Rome?"
"Hannibal attacking Rome? Ew. But why the elephants? To carry Starling?"
Spike kisses her through his smile, which is much more interesting than Julianne Moore or Jodie Foster. He stops too soon and pricks up his ears.
"Elephant, eh? I think we're not hearing trumpets or buses. That's a unicorn. Let's go get it, love."
Buffy zips up hastily and helps Spike tuck himself away and do up his buttons.
"Aren't unicorns rare?"
Buffy snuggles up to him while they lean over the parapet and watch the purple monster trudge up and down the alley, occasionally raising its ugly horned muzzle and bellowing sadly at the moon. It's a disconsolate sound and Buffy shivers, glad to lean her head against Spike's solid shoulder.
"It's a girl," Spike says, and he sounds regretful.
"No need to be sexist," Buffy says. "We could still kill her."
"She's probably searching for her mate."
"Did we kill its mate? Oh, Spike, that is so sad! I feel awful. And now it's doomed to wander the earth, forever searching for its lost soulmate? Shouldn't we kill it to put it out of its misery?"
"Nah," Spike says. "Who knows, the unicorn guy might come alive again, or she could find another nice boy unicorn."
They leave the demon to its mourning and jump hand in hand to the roof on the other side, in search of something really evil to kill.