Quite short fic.  Romantic but not insipid. Post-coital whatevers going through Buffy's head as she watches Spike sleep.  Sometime after Wrecked. 
The characters aren't mine, but they're fun to borrow.  Commentary is always welcome.  And there's no names in this because I'm lazy.  Besides, it adds to the mood.

One Step Down From Love

By Rashaka

"You can't deny that you felt something."
"Not love."
"Not yet."

        She twisted the short lock lightly around her forefinger, pulling slightly and then watching in gentle-eyed enthrallment as it popped back down into a curl again.  Her fingers danced lightly through the dyed hair, teasing his scalp and satisfying her lethargical whimsy. A long night of body-on-body contact that varied from languid to volatile—like so many other aspects of their odd relationship—had served to muss the heavily bleached and gelled strands from slicked back waves to short, impossibly bouncy curls, made soft by sweat and sex.  She wished he would let it be curly all the time; it smoothed the hard edges of his style, but in a way that added to his sexiness instead of detracting from his hard-earned menace.

        His cheek rested comfortably on her stomach, the sheets of his huge bed tangled around them, and she indulged herself in the fantasy of watching him sleep.  Then they'd ran into his catacomb that night, giggling and gasping and sometimes crying as well; she'd touched his skin to find it not the stark chill she'd expected, but somewhere just less than warm, his skin having already adapted to the temperature of his surroundings, body drawing what warmth it could from the air around him.  Now, as he slept and she watched, his figure was startlingly heated, almost to the point where if she listened hard enough, she thought she might hear a heartbeat.

        It was she that did this, she knew.  It was her breath and her body that warmed his, her love-making that gave him deceiving affectations of humanity.

        But when she was watching him sleep, she simply didn't care.  It was an unconscious pact between them: he'd bring the laughter, and she'd bring the life.  They'd both bring their fists and their tears, and somehow, it would all twist and twine together, till all they had was passion.

        As her fingers swam caressingly through his hair, she conceded to herself what she had yet to acknowledge but both knew: that though passion was just one step up from lust, that it was also just one step down from love.