Tonight, it was the black ankle boots with stiletto heels. Spike had recognised them easily as Buffy came stamping over the stone of his crypt. The click of the metal heels was unmistakable: thin and deadly as the blades they were named for, thin and deadly as Buffy herself.

She usually wore boots for patrol: scarlet leather, or brown suede, or the black knee-highs that made his knees quiver, wanting to fold to the floor. But she wore only wore stiletto-heeled ones occasionally: generally when she had a plan, some big nasty to throw down with, and knew she wouldn't be walking through graveyards and sinking her shiny heels into the dusty Californian soil.

But she wasn't shouting for him, her imperious voice demanding that Spike come up and help bring down another demon. So presumably, tonight's big nasty to thrown down with was –

"Spike." Buffy's voice was cool as ever, as she came down the ladder. Her feet were first, and Spike drank in the sight, his eyes following the soft black leather to Buffy's black jeans. At her voice, his head jerked up to meet the hazel eyes that were viewing him with frank contempt, despite the hint of arousal he could already smell on the air.

"Buffy." His voice was hoarse, soft; it always was, in those moments when he first saw her. Her voice, by contrast, sharpened every time she said his name.

"Are you coming on patrol with me or what?" So it was to be the usual run of things: Buffy declaring that she was there to fight, making Spike demand and cajole and – some nights – beg, before she slammed him against stone, or allowed him to slam her, and the contact sparked their connection, lit the fuse and caused a – bang.

Some nights, she just walked in and went for him; others she forced them out onto patrol, and she'd kill a vampire or two, get her body revved up, heart pounding and forcing all that hot blood ever faster through her, before they fucked on a grave.

She walked closer. Buffy's arms were crossed, her lush mouth pursed firmly, her golden hair like sunlight, streaming down across the darkness of her clothing. Spike didn't move, or speak. He felt he couldn't quite do it. She'd let them go three nights without meeting, this time. It had been the longest gap since this impossible, filthy affair began and the smell of her was filling up his head, making his fangs itch and his cock harden and his heart ache. He couldn't do it, now; was in no shape to manipulate her, to use his knowledge of Buffy's dark places to get her to stay.

She was eyeing him impatiently. "Well? Move, Spike. I'm not waiting for you."

"I know," he said, subdued. Buffy came closer; she wasn't moving the way she often did when it was just them, each step soft, a small surrender to the way the world could be composed of just him and her. She was walking the way she did through Sunnydale's nights: like a general leading an army, knowing he was behind her and knowing she could defeat anything that tried her. It wasn't even a walk; it was a march. Those tough boots she could've worn on a night out seemed just right: the combination of battle-ready sharp heels and seductive leather was so perfectly Buffy.

"Spike." Her voice was sharper than ever, and Spike's head came up in reaction, a dog hearing its mistress' voice. He thought she'd called him already; but he'd been too caught up in contemplation of her that he hadn't heard.

Buffy's feet were planted firmly, her small hands on her hips. That light was in her eyes, and as Spike stared down into them, smelling her musk and feeling her strength, surrounded by that Slayer aura that he'd known from the first time he saw her... He was overcome; overwhelmed; overpowered by the sheer strength she wore so easily now, the air of command a mantle she never took off.

He sank to his knees before her, slowly, staring into her face.

"Spike – " Buffy's voice was thin. It faded to nothing, like a vixen vanishing into a hole, as he bent over all the way, his chin an inch from the ground, his back bending towards the earth. His hands were on the dirty ground; Spike could feel soil beneath his palms, imprinting them with the reddened points of filth pressed against them. He felt low, his whole body pressed close to the ground, while she stood above him.

His nose nudged between her calves. They were tense, the muscles coiled: ready to kick him in the head and run. But instead, there was a long pause while Buffy hesitated. Spike had shut his eyes automatically as he bent his back for her; now he strained his other senses. He could smell the leather of her boots; the scent made his whole body perk up, like a puppy hoping for a treat. He could smell, too, her increasing arousal as she stared down at him. Having him at her feet would surely appeal to Buffy; and she'd be less inclined to kick him, Spike hoped. Buffy may not understand all the nuances of this dynamic, but she wasn't stupid; and instinctively, surely, she wouldn't want to attack him when he was like this. It was too easy, with his chin poised above the point of her shoes.

For that long moment, while Spike smelt her leather and her musk and listened to the slowly-speeding sound of Buffy's breathing, his mind ran on. Rushing too fast, like someone running ahead of an avalanche in the moment before it hit.

Then it hit.

Buffy bent from the waist, stretching to reach his head, and stroked Spike's head: in a gentle curve from his hairline to the spot behind his ear that made him shiver. Spike moaned, blindly, and bent further down. He stretched out his tongue, and knew from Buffy's sharp intake of breath that she'd seen; then he licked her boot.

"Spike – " Buffy repeated his name, the way she always did when she was uncertain; she knew, Spioke thought, that it was a way for her to always draw his attention back, like a compass needle finding true north. He raised his head but not his body, staying curved over, curled around the point of contact: his fingers were curled round the sides of her feet, clinging, now. And after that moment, Buffy huffed out hot breath into the grave-cold air of the crypt. "Carry on."

He lowered his head again. Spike's eyes were closed, as he focussed everything on this task. He drew his tongue in long stripes, from the dusty toe round to her ankle. He was methodical and thorough, not moving to her right boot until he'd finished with her left. The leather gleamed from the wetness of his mouth.

The pungent taste filled his mouth; the smell of Buffy's lust filled his head, and made him feel light-headed. Then it abruptly grew stronger. He glanced up to see Buffy had undone her jeans, and was sliding a hand into her knickers. He didn't get a chance to see more: her other hand came down on the nape of his neck, and pushed him back down to her feet. "I didn't say stop."

He obeyed, curling his tongue slickly round Buffy's boots with a strange, soft sound of wet flesh dragging over leather. Spike knew his expression must be fervent, eyes clenched shut and mouth eagerly open as his tongue rasped over her boots. It didn't matter.

Then Buffy made him stop. She didn't step back, but pushed up a little with her left foot: the pressure on his chin was too light to be called a kick, but it pushed him back up to his knees. He stared up into her eyes, dark with lust and something else. Spike saw her eyes flicker to his crotch; a wicked smile curved the lips that were lusher than ever from her biting them as she touched herself. Buffy was still doing it as she took in the sight of him on his knees: her eyes clenched shut for a moment, and Spike felt his cock harden further at the sight of her flushed face.

Then she removed a slick hand from her crotch, and held it out to him. Spike leaned forward eagerly, and sucked her fingers into his mouth. The taste, and the way she moaned softly as he suckled at her slim, strong fingers... He moaned in tandem with her, and made a low, whining sound of loss when Buffy drew her hand back.

She folded her arms under her chest. "Strip."

It took a moment for the crisp word to sink in; then he was scrambling out of his t-shirt, knowing his hair would be sticking up in those stupid curls, but then she'd seen them already, hadn't she – He heard Buffy slipping from her clothes, but he was too busy fumbling with his own to look. It should be easy, getting out of his stuff, but his stupid docs were heavy and awkward, and for some reason his jeans wouldn't –

Still flushed and flustered from his struggle, Spike looked up. Buffy was standing in her sweet pink underwear, and the boots. Spike smiled, as he realised she must have pulled off her boots to get out of her jeans; but she'd put them back on for him.

She strode towards him, and pressed the sole of one boot against his chest. Spike felt the cool metal of the heel against him, and stayed quite still, staring up at her. Maybe she put them back on to watch what they do to me.

Then she pushed, ever so lightly. Buffy didn't force him; but it was an order, and Spike would never have disobeyed. He moved with the foot on his chest, falling back until he was flat on his back on the ground. He flinched upwards a little, as his bare back hit the chill of the stone; she didn't move an inch, and pain sang through him as her heel dug into his flesh.

"Stay there," she said softly. "You'd let me do anything, wouldn't you Spike? You'd never stop me."

"Never." He knew she wouldn't believe him, but maybe this time – "you know I love you, Buffy."

She said nothing; simply pressed a little harder. Spike's unnecessary breathing filled the air between them as she drew her boot slowly down his chest, pressing down on her heel. Buffy's eyes flickered between the livid red line she was leaving down the centre of his chest, and Spike's face. Spike never looked away from hers; her lips curled in a savage smile as she took in his drooling cock, and his back arched uncontrollably, one sharp helpless jerk that pressed him painfully into the sole of her boot. Buffy laughed softly as he fell back to the floor, a bitten-off sound escaping his mouth as his back touched the stone once more.

"All right," she murmured. She pulled back her boot at last – only Slayer skills could have stopped her losing her balance before this. And Buffy swooped down, straddling him abruptly so that the cool air all over Spike's skin was suddenly replaced by searing heat, by blood close to the skin and Buffy's scent. Her small hands were on his shoulders, keeping him down; she ground against his crotch as she leant down to kiss him.

Spike's mouth opened helplessly beneath hers, and her hot tongue pushed inside his mouth; her heat was pressed tightly against him. He bucked up as she pushed down; she pulled up away from the kiss, and laughed. He felt his human face slip in his outrage and thwarted desire, fangs coming to the forefront; Buffy gasped at the sight. Spike smiled around his fangs, then felt the moment of power lost again as she took her bra off and threw it at the wall, tore one side of her knickers then threw them off too.

"You always complain if I tear off your knickers," he commented hoarsely, trying very hard to remember how to form words as her slick slit pressed against his cock.

"That, Spike, is because you always do it with the expensive ones. Silk panties are in short supply in Sunnydale. Now – " she pressed a finger to his mouth, and rose up – "hush."

Spike desperately held in his long, hoarse groan as she slipped down around his cock. Then she started to ride him, and there was no hope for it. Her nails scraped down his chest, leaving marks to match the first; he groaned and arched into the feeling. She pushed forward, her breasts pressing against him; he squeezed a nipple as she kissed him again. Every movement speeded up, faster and hotter and more desperate, until Buffy's strong muscles clenched impossibly around him, and she came. He clutched her against him, and followed her over the edge.

Lying there, close as they only were when he'd given her oblivion, Spike stared at the ceiling and smiled. It'd been a long time since he'd played that way... and it hadn't been the same at all. Angelus' boots didn't have those heels, after all.

"So – "

Speaking was a mistake: he sighed, half-despairing and half-exasperated, as Buffy sprung up from her position cuddling at his side and reached for her bra. "You off again?"

"Of course." Buffy frowned at the knickers, gave them up as a lost cause and chucked them at his face. "Here, you can sniff these while you jerk off for a couple days. I'm gonna be busy looking after Dawn." She wriggled into her clothes, face already setting into its harsh lines; he watched with a roguish grin as she tugged her boots back on after replacing the jeans, but she didn't look round to share the smile.

Buffy's stride was dour and tough as ever, daring the world to do its worst, when she walked out. She didn't look back.