Title: Eyes like Sky

Title: Dangerous to Know (1/1) by Starbaby


Rating: G for a little bit of groping.

Disclaimer: Only in my dreams…

Summary: A little B/S Vignette. Buffy hops on the clue bus. Flowers get squished.

Dangerous to Know

By Starbaby

Oh, love is a journey with water and stars

With drowning air and storms of flour;

love is a clash of lightnings

two bodies subdued by one honey--Pablo Neruda

I'm lost.

So lost, an entire search party couldn't reunite me with my common sense. I'm undone, unthinking, soon to be unzipped.

Just treading water here.

Adrift, but not alone.

Never alone, because we're in this together, he and I. The vampire and the slayer, the demon and the mortal, the soulless and the ensouled.

No good will come of it, mark my words, just pleasure, and grief, and a memory that will live in me long after he's gone; the memory of the most grown-up passion that I have ever known. With Angel, I was still a girl, and, with Riley, the girl he wanted me to be. This time, I'm a woman, older, if not wiser.

"You're not a schoolgirl," he told me.

But I might have been, had I not been chosen, or if my mother had lived; if Dawn were a normal child and Spike hadn't made me his new life's work. No good will come of us, but that doesn't matter; not now, when I'm lost in the romance of the very creatures I'm sworn to kill, drowning in the tragedy of heaven's lost children, the fallen angels of our time. I've always been drawn to them. Is it because of the darkness in me, or the light in them, the spark that remains? First, there was my soulful Angel, whose eyes are so firmly fixed on heaven that he overlooks chances here on earth. Now, there's his renegade offspring, who walks the centerline between two worlds, glories in toppling over--and wants to take me with him.

There is good, there is evil…and then there is Spike.

He's shades of gray, the one person in my life who can't be labeled family, mentor, lover or simply friend. He occupies too many points in my universe--far too many for either of us to ever back away. This attraction is wrong, and disturbing, and probably a sacrilege, but, just maybe, it's the inevitable conclusion. I've been to the source, and seen what waits there. I no longer fear death, in any form, not even when it masquerades as a black-hearted man with moonlight hair and eyes like a summer sky. Xander told me what Spike said about magic having consequences; his Turning, and my resurrection were both violations of nature, the black arts at their most potent. We're the children of spells, living on borrowed time in brokered bodies. Maybe neither of us has much time left.

Or maybe I'm as selfish and covetous as he can be, grasping at the coattails of immortality. Maybe I want to be remembered in a hundred years, or a thousand, if only in the memory of a passionate and untamable man. When we give in, and all is said and done, nothing will ever compare again. Being held by a vampire is a powerful experience, second only to dying. And even the fleeting touches since my return--he doesn't take liberties anymore, you must have noticed--have sent shock waves up my arms and through my body, making my nerve endings sing an aria of forbidden anticipation. He's forbidden but, oh, so fascinating, like a mosh pit is fascinating, or a speeding car, or a razor blade that's sharp, and deadly, and makes you feel so fucking beautiful. That could be the answer--of all men, Spike makes me feel desired. His passion for me shines like a searchlight, casting me in a reverential glow, even when I'm bloody and dirty and newly returned from the dead. That passion might overcome anything, even his bloodlust and my fear that we'll part as we met, haggling in an alley over the lives of innocents.

But in this moment, I'm running toward him, not away.

Running, and lost, and not afraid for the future, as long as we have one.

The demon we were chasing has Spike's own stake--once I rescue him, I'll kick his ass for losing it--poised over the silent heart that hasn't beat since the days of Queen Victoria.

I'm running toward them, and not afraid.

We're inevitable, like wind meeting sea, night flowing into day, man loving woman. It won't last forever--the wind that rushes through my hair might carry his ashes away from me someday, a loss I'll feel keenly. Who knows us better than our enemy, or loves us more? My own hand might hold the stake. But the only stake that matters now is the one I'm tossing away from an ugly demon with donkey ears and skin like green polyester. Spike is still stunned, lying on his back and blinking up at the fight as we sidestep over and around him. Dancing. It always comes down to dancing. Finally, Dumbo scampers off through the tombstones.

I told Dawn to be brave. To live in this world, as hard and cold and unforgiving as it can be. I wanted her to grab every moment, because they can be gone in a heartbeat, like first loves and mothers and childhood dreams and annoying, sarcastic vampires who can see straight into your soul. I told her to live.

So I will, too.

It doesn't matter, as I'm yanking a startled Spike up by his leather collar, that he's assaulted, threatened and betrayed me in the past, or that, in my attraction and fear, I've refused to recognize his sea change between then and now.

It doesn't matter, as I'm crushing my mouth to his, that we're in a public cemetery, not far from the grave of Jenny Calender, a tragic reminder of what can go wrong when humans mix with the undead. It doesn't matter that we've just crushed a flower arrangement, because we're rolling, rolling, rolling across the grass, and it's glorious to be clasped in a man's firm grip again. There's nothing like the feel of leather-clad arms around you, unless it's the touch of pale, elegant hands to the small of your back. Or the soft yelp he gives as the duster goes flying.

It doesn't matter, I think wildly--and this is my last coherent thought for many hours--that he is too good to last. That he lives with a skeleton.

He gets ashes all over my lawn. He drinks blood.

He eats kittens.

He hits girls.