AUTHOR: Supergirl

EMAIL: supergirl-55@bolt.com

TITLE: A Simple Walk
GENRE: Romance/Angst

PAIRING(S): Buffy/Spike, minor Dru/Angelus, mentions of Spike/Dru and Angel/Buffy

TIMELINE: Season 2, some time during the episode "Passion"
SUMMARY: It's Valentines Day and Spike is frustrated about his love life. He goes for a walk and runs into his favorite slayer.
SPOILERS: None, beyond season 2.

RATING: Hard R/NC-17
DISCLAIMER: The characters aren't mine. I'm just borrowing them, and promise to return them in mint condition... well maybe with a few extra bruises and a hickey or two.
DEDICATION: To Angelus (although I realize he's not a real person), because he's one of my favorite BtVS/AtS characters, and because without him this story could never happen. Oh, and an extra thanks to my main beta reader, Patti.
FEEDBACK: I want it! I need it! I crave it live vampires crave blood!!
DISTRIBUTION: Outside links only please, unless I give you permission otherwise (I may, if asked nicely). And make sure to ask me first (even if you have my other stories), just so I know where everything is.

AUTHOR'S NOTE #1: This fic is a response to a Valentine's Day challenge issued by Andra on Crumbling Walls. As is customary, the requirements are on the bottom.
AUTHOR'S NOTE #2: Let's just say Angel hasn't killed Jenny Calendar. Because death and tragedy would really ruin the mood, wouldn't it?



Spike lay in bed, wide awake. He could pretend he didn't hear them. That's it, think about blood, think about violence, think about fighting, hunting, killing. Think about anything but them. Him. On top of her. Or beneath her, knowing Dru. Her riding him, as her eyes roll back, and she coos and calls him 'Daddy'. If only he could block out the images.

They were louder tonight than usual. Valentine's Day. Special, Spike bitterly thought. The time for flowers and romance, and tiny bright colored candies with poncy little messages written on them like 'I WUV U' and 'B MINE'. This year he'd given her a necklace; Angelus had given her a human heart. That wanker, always having to bloody show Spike up when it came to Dru. And Drusilla, of course, would always come running to him like a puppy after a piece of bacon. Louder. Damn them. As if he wasn't even there, on the other side of that wall, able to hear everything. As if he didn't even know. Oh, but they knew that he knew. Angelus wanted him to know.

'Just don't think about it, mate. Try harder.' Spike closed his eyes and tried with all his might to channel other thoughts. He began to think about using his legs again, about being able to once again hunt down his pray like the predator that he was. His mind conjured up a dark alley, the image becoming more clear as he concentrated. He had her cornered. A girl. She was trembling with fear, too scared to scream. She was young, fresh. Stalking closer, eyes fixed on hers; she was caught in his trance. He could see her better as he approached: hazel-green eyes, light blond hair just above her shoulders. Lips in a cute little pout. In his mind he was close enough to make out all her features now. The Slayer.

Suddenly she didn't seem so defenseless, as a stake materialized in her hand. But then, this was Spike's fantasy after all, so it was no problem for him to quickly grab the weapon from her and toss it aside as he seized her by both wrists and pinned her helplessly against the dirty brick wall. She struggled in his grip, eyes burning with hatred, and he reveled in the feeling of dominance. This was just how he'd always pictured it, the fantasy so vivid it almost felt real.

"I've waited a very long time for this, Slayer," Spike imagined himself saying, as he closed in on her neck. Some snide retort was at the tip of her tongue, but before she had a chance to speak he vamped out and went for her throat, sinking his fangs in and drinking deep, silencing her for eternity. He could just picture what her blood would taste like, rich and powerful, more potent than any he'd tasted in years. This imaginary scene felt so real that he thought could actually hear the last strangled scream that ripped from her lungs, a scream so loud that it echoed in his ears and rattled his brain. But then Spike's eyes snapped open as he realized that the scream was real — it had come from the other room. And it wasn't a scream of pain, but one of pleasure. Dru.

"Oh, bloody hell!!" the vampire swore as he bolted straight up in his bed. He couldn't take this anymore! He felt like he was suffocating, the walls closing in around him. He had to get out of there. Hearing them, hearing her? He couldn't bare it, another second and his head would explode! Air. He needed air. Outside. He needed to get as far away from this place as possible, and as fast as he could, before he went insane.

Climbing hurriedly out of bed, he thanked whatever heavenly or netherworldly powers for the fact that he was already dressed. Since he'd been in that wheelchair he had been helpless to undress himself, and he didn't much fancy having Dru tend to him like child. Of course recently he'd reacquired the full use of his body, but neither Drusilla nor Angelus knew that yet. He didn't want them knowing until the time was just right, until he could figure out how to use the surprise to his advantage.

Right now, however, they were both busy... ugh, he couldn't stand to think about it. Busy doing that, which meant that he could easily sneak out for the night without either of them ever noticing. That's it, go for a walk, clear his head. Get Dru and the poofter out of his mind. He'd be fine. Maybe find himself something nice and young to eat. Plenty of lovesick teenagers wandering the streets, after all. Spike threw his duster on and headed for the door. Yeah, if he could just get away from here he'd be alright. Maybe he'd even run into the Slayer. A good fight would be just the distraction he needed.

***

The air was cool that night and humming with energy, as dozens of cooing couples littered the streets, movie theaters, restaurants, kissing and hugging and exchanging trivial Valentine's Day gifts like teddy bears and red heart-shaped balloons. It all made Buffy want to vomit as she was forced to observe. She was walking home from her patrol, having finished faster then usual, since there didn't seem to be many vamps around tonight. Probably all out with their honeys, Buffy thought resentfully.

She walked very slowly, trying not to dwell on why she was doing so. For some reason the girl was loathing going home. Could it be because once she got there she'd have to go to bed and face the fact that she had spent her Valentine's Day miserable and alone? Not that she didn't have a boyfriend, it was just that that boyfriend had recently picked up a rather time consuming hobby which involved being evil and plotting the deaths of all friends. 'But I'm sure he could have squeezed me in for coffee if I'd asked in advance,' Buffy thought sardonically. Then she frowned. Thoughts were bad. Thoughts were not her friend. Not thinking, that would be good right now.

She found the only park that didn't seem to have annoying couples cuddling on every bench, and entered the gate. It was an old park — out of the way, dark and empty. She needed to sit and think for a while, or not think, maybe just take some time to wallow in self-pity. Then after an appropriate wallowing period had passed, perhaps she's be able to go home in peace. The stars were twinkling just as brightly in the sky above this park, and birds chirped just as sweetly, making the atmosphere just as sickeningly romantic as it was on the street. But the place was still darker, quieter, and unlike the streets completely devoid of people, which was a definite good.

Buffy wandered as far as she could into the park, wanting to make it as unlikely as possible for anybody to find her. Then finally, when she could no longer hear the noise from the outside, she found herself a bench and sat down with a loud sigh, cradling her aching head in her hands. Boy, holidays sucked, she thought. Especially this one.

***

Spike couldn't believe his luck when he saw her sitting there. He was beginning to think he wouldn't find any people at all in this park, but the Slayer? It was as if she was being handed to him on a silver platter. And she was crying too, bonus! Wait, no, not crying, just holding her head in her hands. Well she seemed more or less depressed at any rate, that was good enough for him.

He stood silently over her for a moment, unnoticed, before he finally spoke, startling her. "Damn, Slayer, don't mind me sayin' this but you look like yesterday's garbage."

She looked up at him, then down at her outfit. She had on a baggy sweatshirt and training pants, not having bothered to dress up since it's not like she had a date. For the same reason she wasn't wearing any makeup either. On top of that her hair was a mess, and she undoubtedly had circles under her eyes. Great, just great. He was the last person she wanted to see her like this.

She looked back up at him again, and this time she actually looked surprised to see him. "Spike. You're walking."

"Perceptive."

"Why are you walking?" she asked, with a tone of irritation.

"Supernatural 'ealing ability, luv. Works wonders, it does. All vampires have it. You being the Slayer, I reckon you got some of that yourself."

"I do," she confirmed.

For about a minute they just stared at each other, then she groaned and got up. "If you're just gonna stand there and hover, like some great leather covered blimp, then I'm leaving." But just as she was about to Spike grabbed her arm. "What?!" she growled, annoyed, as he let go of her and she turned back to face him.

"Oh come on, you can't leave now. Don't you even want to fight?"

She sighed. "Not in the mood, Spike."

"Not in the mood? Honestly, pet, I'm disappointed. Thought if there was anyone I could count on, it would be you." He was being sarcastic, but there was truth in his words. He couldn't count on his love to be faithful to him, he couldn't count on his prick of a grandsire to do anything but belittle him and make his life hell. Lately, he couldn't even count on a descent meal half the time. But with her he could always count on a good fight.

"What's your deal, Spike? Having a bad night, decided it would cheer you up to make me miserable?"

He grinned. "You know me all too well."

Typical. She stood back and glared at him, hands on her hips.

At least she was finally ready to fight. Good. But best start with a little conversation.

"So, Slayer."

"Spike."

He smirked. Somehow it seemed funny how calm and collected she was through all this, so used by now to their casual banter. "Now tell me, luv," he began, in a smooth, silky voice, "what is a girl like you doing alone on a night like this? Shouldn't Barbie be off having herself a candle-lit dinner or a picnic under the stars with some prep school Ken?"

She blinked at him, not getting it. "Huh?"

Spike rolled his eyes. "You know, St. Valentine's and all that. Where's your date, Slayer?"

"I don't need to be with anybody," she quickly retorted before she could catch herself, remembering that she didn't need to explain herself to him.

"Oh, I see. Still not over Peaches, then?"

"So where's Drusilla?" she bit back snidely.

The vampire's face darkened. "That's none of your concern."

"Ah. So she's with Angel."

"I said it's none of your bloody business," Spike growled through his teeth.

She seemed unfazed. "Did anyone ever tell you your girlfriend is a major ho?"

He was about to get angry and say something back, but just then he remembered that she was right. Insulting her wouldn't make the statement any less true. Spike sighed, defeated. "You think I don't know that?" he said finally.

She looked at him for a moment, silent, surprised by his honest admission. After some consideration she asked "Why are you with her then?"

Spike was completely taken back by the question. Gone was the bitter, insulting tone she'd used with him just a moment ago. Now her voice actually seemed to have sincerity in it. And something else. If he didn't know better, he could've sworn it was... sympathy.

"I don't know," he replied, with another sigh. "I guess it's impossible to love and be wise."

"Guess so," Buffy agreed.

"Bacon said that, you know."

"Bacon? As in Francis Bacon, the poetry guy?" She blanched in disbelief. "You. Read Francis Bacon."

"What, surprised?"

"I just never figured you for the classic literature type, Spike. Didn't really figure you for reading any kind of literature, beyond the Sunday crossword puzzle."

Spike snorted, offended. "Could say the same about you, Slayer," he shot back, "What was the last thing you've read that didn't have Hanson or Jonathan Taylor Tomas on the cover?"

"Hey, I read!" she snapped defensively, then quietly adding "When it's assigned for school."

Spike laughed and she felt her face flush with humiliation, before remembering once again that she did not need to explain herself to Spike, of all people. She shook away the passing embarrassment and quickly replaced it with a look of annoyance, as she stood back and stared at the still laughing vampire, arms folded across her chest, glaring at him impatiently.

Finally she had to clear her throat loudly to get Spike to stop laughing. "Hey. Tickle-Me-Vampire? We gonna fight or what?"

Spike smirked at that. "But we were having such a lovely conversation... Well alright, luv, if you insist." With that he took a step back and then hit her with a roundhouse kick to the stomach, before she had a chance to react. She staggered backwards, doubling over, then lost her balance and landed on her butt in the grass. But in a split second she sprang back to her feet and quickly retaliated with a kick of her own, followed by a right-left into his chest then a hook to the jaw, sending Spike reeling back from the blow.


Only one of them needed to breathe, but they were both huffing as they circled each other, the same fire in both their eyes. Buffy easily blocked Spike's punches, but he just as easily blocked hers. "I've missed this, Slayer," he panted between hits, a malicious grin on his lips, "Now I remember why I'd rather have you as my valentine than any other bint."

"You mean even more than Drusilla?" She knew just how to get under his skin.

Spike growled and lunged at her, but she dodged his attack, causing him to stumble and fall, landing with his face in the grass. "You know, I've missed this too," she said, quickly taking advantage of his weakened position and barely giving the vampire enough time to roll over onto his back before she was straddling him, stake already in hand.

"Ooh, Summers," he teased in a husky, suggestive voice, "I've always wondered if you were the type who liked it on top..."

"Funny." She made a face to show just how much it wasn't. "I really have missed this, with you, Spike," she admitted, "Makes me almost sad to have to do this."

"Kill me?" he asked casually, and she nodded.

"Um, yeah. Duh."

"Oh, you don't want to kill me, Slayer," Spike said, that sexy smile appearing on his face that always annoyed the heck out of her.

"I don't?" Buffy asked, bemused by his total lack of fear.

"No," he repeated, "You don't."

"And why, pray tell, would that be?" She raised both eyebrows at him questioningly.

"Same reason I don't wanna kill you." With that he quickly grabbed the arm which held the stake and twisted, bucking her off him, and in seconds he was the one on top, pinning her in the soft grass. "Think, luv, it's Valentine's Day after all," he ground his hips against her to illustrate his point, forcing Buffy to gasp and her eyes to widen in shock at the feel of his erection, harder than either one of them would've expected, now pressing shamelessly into her crotch. "Why would I want to kill you," he continued, "when there are so many better things I could do to you?"

And then, before she could stop him, his mouth was suddenly on hers, his tongue forcing itself between her lips, pushing past her tightly clenched teeth. She realized he was gripping both her forearms tightly as he held her down, making any attempt at struggle nearly impossible, rendering her helpless beneath him.

A million thoughts raced through Spike's mind, not the least of them 'What the bloody hell am I doing?' This was the Slayer, the creature he loathed, the killer of his kind. He was supposed to despise her with all his being, he was supposed to want her dead, her blood drained dry and staining his lips. Right now all he wanted was her naked and tied to a bed, and the only way he'd want to kill her would be by shagging her to death.

He didn't even realize what his hands were doing as he kept kissing her, losing more and more of himself in the sensation. Buffy dug her fingers into the ground beneath her, not noticing when he'd let go of one of her arms until both gasped and both pairs of eyes snapped open at the sudden realization of where Spike's left hand had gotten to. For some reason she wasn't moving to stop him, and he pulled back slightly so he could watch the emotions flitter across her flushed face as his hand slipped past the elastic of her pants and down into her lacy Victoria's Secret panties. He saw first disbelief, then fear, then utter shock at what he was about to do... then as his fingers began to work her, it was all replaced by an expression of such extreme pleasure, more even then he himself expected see from the beautiful slayer.

And then he knew exactly why he was doing this. She was Angel's, reserved only for him, and he wanted more than anything to take her like that wanker had taken Dru. Oh, he'd like to hear her scream the way Drusilla had... No, louder, he could make her scream louder. He'd like to have her panting and moaning and writhing underneath him, know he was satisfying her better than Angel had. How he'd love to hear the bint call out his name as she climaxed, not the poof's but his, HIS.

Then suddenly he was lifting her off the ground, shoving her up against a tree, their mouths once again melding together. Her hands seemed to move of their own accord to find his fly, tugging at it urgently. Then as he pulled back from her mouth, his eyes wide in disbelief, she quickly retracted her hands, shocked and embarrassed at her own actions.

But now it was too late to take it back, he was already pushing her pants down her hips, along with the red lacy panties. Red? So she had remembered Saint Valentine after all...

And then she realized that he didn't have any boxers standing in his way. 'Just like Spike to go commando,' was her last coherent thought. Then before she knew it he was... Oh. Oh God. And then, then it was sparks, millions of bright white sparks dancing behind her eyes as every nerve in her body seemed to explode from the sudden sensation of him, filling her completely, hitting her very core.

Her own body was betraying her as it responded, quicker then she could process what was happening. She was arching her back against the tree, welcoming the sensations that washed over her like electric waves crashing against the shores of her consciousness. She heard moans, and she recognized them as her own. What was she doing? This was wrong! This was beyond wrong: it was Spike! Why was she letting him do this to her? Why was it that even as her brain screamed 'stop', her whole body was desperately begging for more?

This was entirely different than how it had been with Angel, different on so many levels, she thought, as he was hoisting her up, his hands on her butt and lifting her, prompting her legs to wrap around his waist before she could even think about it. That night had been so gentle, Angel seeming almost afraid, doing everything he could to spare her innocence. Spike cared not one bit for her innocence, and why should he? What they were doing right now, what he was doing to her, there was not a bit of gentleness in it, not the slightest shred restraint. It was rough, animalistic, and a thousand times better than anything she had experienced.

Then Spike sped up his rhythm, rocking against her harder, pressing her into the roughness of the tree behind them as their pelvises clenched so tight they seemed to fuse together. At that moment it again became impossible to think, as wave after wave of pleasure rolled over her, sweeping her into blissful oblivion.

His mouth was on her neck now, kissing it over and over, listening to the pulse of her jugular, fighting the temptation to vamp out and drain the sweet blood that pumped beneath her skin, seeming to keep in tune to his movements down bellow. Instead of sinking his fangs into her he bit down with dull teeth, rewarded with a gasp and then a loud moan that sounded like her saying something. He recognized that word that had escaped her lips as his own name.

"Spike..."

"That's it, baby, say it. Say my name."

"Spike, harder... please..."

It was like music to his ears. The Slayer begging for him. Angelus's Slayer, begging for him! No, he wouldn't kill her, not now, not until she came. And not even then, he thought, as her fingers dug into his scalp, nails biting through the skin and drawing blood. No, no, she had to live after this. They both had to live with the memory of what they'd done and what that felt like. He'd live forever with the knowledge that she was now his, that nobody else could claim her after this night, no matter how many other lovers she might have. He'd forever have her taste upon his tongue, the sounds of her strangled cries of pleasure echoing in his ears. And she would live, too, with him burned into her memory, imprinted on her thoughts. He wanted her to live remembering, always remembering, what it had been like, what he had done to her, how it had felt.

She couldn't hold the scream in any longer, and as she let go it wasn't only the sound that tore from her throat, but it was her whole body screaming from the intensity, from the blissful release that hit so sharp, so hard and brutal, that every nerve ending, every brain cell seemed shattered by the impact.

Oh, she'd remember. She would remember well. He knew, or guessed, that she hadn't been with anyone since Angel, or before. That would make Spike only her second. It didn't matter. By the look on her face as another orgasm, greater than the first, rushed through her, causing her body to shake and convulse violently, he could tell that this was the pinnacle for her, above all past, present, and future. No matter how many other guys would have her, none of them would ever be able to have her truly. Not after this. Not after what he'd given her, what he'd made her feel; not after what he'd done to her, was still doing to her. She was forever his.

Even as he thought it, Spike realized that the same was true for him. Only he'd realized it too late. There was no going back now, not after... Not after how she felt when her muscles were clenched around him, so bloody tight. Not after that initial shock at the intensity of her heat — he'd been with human women but almost never a willing one, and never, never, had it felt so scolding hot — and not after that shock didn't wear off, when they'd been going at it for... minutes? hours, was it? God, it felt like days!

Now he was hers just as much as she was his. Now when his Dark Princess would touch him all he'd be able to think about would be the Slayer, how her skin was so soft to his touch, so warm, how her body had melded so well to his, as if they were made to fit together. He'd think of how those small, supple breasts had flattened against his chest as she pressed her body to his so urgently, arms and legs tightly wrapping around him, clinging to him for dear life. He would remember how she arched her back against that tree and moaned, a sound so erotic that his own pleasure was ten times magnified by hers, causing him to lose all coherence in his unbound ecstasy.

He would remember that look on her face, that look of total and complete abandon, the look that told him she had never felt like this, that she never would again, not with anyone but him; that only he could satisfy her like this. Earlier, trying to be cruel, he'd said she looked like garbage. But even thought her hair was still a mess, she still wasn't wearing any makeup, and the darks circles were still present under her eyes, he now thought that she had never been more beautiful than at this moment, the moment when she came, with a cry of intense pleasure and his name upon her lips.

Bloody hell, what had he done to himself allowing this to happen? This wasn't how he'd planed it at all. But then, he hadn't planed on shagging the Slayer, had he? No, he'd planed on fighting her, getting to kill her if he was lucky. Getting a few good punches in, at least, if he wasn't. His plan hadn't been to take her like this, it wasn't his intent to give her the greatest orgasm of her life... or to have the greatest of his. He wasn't supposed to want her so badly, wasn't supposed to be getting hard again less then a minute after...

'So fast,' Buffy thought in amazement. It hadn't been that fast with Angel. Angel had taken his time, held her in his arms long before he'd wanted to start again. And it had only been a few times with him — two or three. With Spike it felt like they could go all night, if only her body would withstand it.

Now she was whispering something into his neck, mumbling barely intelligible pleas, begging "Again... Spike, please don't stop..." And then she was saying his name over and over as he started up again and began to pick up speed, and he was telling her to say it louder, and she panted harsh labored breaths and kept repeating "Again, Spike, again, oh please, again!"

No, it was never planed to be like this. He wasn't supposed to never want to stop, he wasn't supposed to wish, more than he'd wished for anything in his unlife, to just stay in this moment forever. It was all wrong, it wasn't at all what he'd intended. He wasn't supposed to be in love with her.

He wasn't supposed to be realizing that now, now when they were joined like this, when he was thrusting into her so hard and fast that his own fervor frightened him, and they were moving as one in an intimate dance that neither one could break even if they'd wanted to. And now he felt it approaching again, her third? Was it her third? It could have been her billionth. And he was pleading, whispering softly in her ear, "Come on, Buffy, come for me. Come for me." Bloody hell, why was he calling her 'Buffy'?

No. No, damn it, no! He couldn't love the Slayer. But he did. All hell be damned, he did. If only he could have kept himself from the realization. If only he could have... But no. It was too late now. As that dawned on him, the fact that there was nothing he could do, Spike finally let go. If it was too late, then what was the point of thinking? Wasn't it better to just surrender to the sensations, forget about Dru, forget about Angelus, forget about why he was doing this, why he'd told himself he was doing it, and just let the pleasure take over completely?


Which orgasm was this? The fifteenth? The twentieth? They'd both lost count, and each seemed greater than the last. This one was the biggest of them all, its force shaking both of their exhausted bodies so hard that for a moment Buffy thought she might have brain damage from this. It was so powerful that it caused all the nerves in each of their systems to explode, making both scream out in all-consuming ecstasy, followed by an endless series of delicious aftershocks coursing through each of them at the same time, as through one body. Now, after hours and hours of mind-numbing pleasure, both their bodies finally gave out, the slayer and the vampire both slumping limply against the tree behind them, still reeling from the force of their last encounter.

Spike wrapped his arms around her tightly, holding her against him with a gentleness she didn't expect from him. Her whole body was still trembling, and he smiled into her hair, pleased by the knowledge that he was the one who had done that to her.

"Sleep now?" Buffy whispered, as she sank bonelessly against his chest.

"Yes, pet, sleep," Spike softly replied.

Carefully, as if she were breakable, he scooped her against him as he stepped away from the tree and lowered them onto the grass. Setting her down he got up to remove his coat, and as he spread it out next to them he moved them both over to lay on it. The leather wouldn't do much to soften the ground underneath them, but it was better than nothing.

She curled into a ball, snuggling against him, and he cradled her body to his possessively. This night had changed everything for them, never to be the same, but he didn't want to think about that now. Right now it was late, only a few hours of rest left 'til sunrise, and sleep was already hovering over them both, draping the two figures in a soft blanket of post-orgasmic relaxation.

They lay together under the stars, wrapped in each other's arms, two mortal enemies turned lovers. It was still Valentine's Day, Spike absently thought, though technically it was after midnight — already the 15-th. It seemed ironic: Drusilla, the professed love of his life, wasn't he supposed to be spending this night with her, holding her body lovingly to his and smelling her silky black mane instead of the blond locks of the girl who seemed his princess's complete opposite?

Dru wasn't his anyway, deep inside he'd always known that. Angelus never loved her, nor anyone for that matter, but still if Drusilla's heart belonged to anybody it would belong to him. Certainly not to Spike. Spike was but a toy to her, just as she was nothing but a toy to her own sire. No more then a mere plaything: pretty to look at, fun to touch. Daddy's little girl. But never the one he really wanted. The girl Angelus really wanted, and also the one beloved by his even poofier souled counterpart, was strangely enough the very one who was curled up against Spike right now, his arm gently draped over her shoulder and her heartbeat humming in his ears almost as if that fragile little heart was beating behind his own cold, lifeless chest.

It seemed like the powers had played some great cosmic joke making him fall for her. It was just so strange that the woman Angelus had never really wanted had nonetheless chosen him over Spike, yet the woman whom they both had wanted — and now it seemed to Spike that he'd always wanted her, even more than Dru — she had picked the blond vampire over the brunet. Now that the initial thrill of victory had worn off, now that he'd realized that getting revenge of Angel wasn't his real reason for wanting her, the whole thing, including his feelings for the girl, seemed almost amusing in its supreme irony.

"What's so funny?" the Slayer sleepily asked as she felt his chest softly vibrate, realizing it was laughter.

He pulled her closer, protectively. "Seems ironic is all."

"What does?"

"Just that," he paused, "I think I'm in love with you."

'Why's that funny?' she wanted to ask, but what came out was a simple "Why?"

Spike thought about it, closing his eyes lazily as he was beginning to succumb to the invisible force that pulled them both to slumber, and then his last thought before drifting off to sleep was to give her the only answer that came to him, the only one that seemed to make sense. He sighed as he repeated his earlier words: "It is impossible to love and be wise."

~END~




~~8~~@ @~~8~~

CHALLENGE:

"Write a B/S Valentine's day fic, including the following elements - Candy hearts, a red, heart shaped Mylar balloon, a picnic under the stars, and the quote 'It is impossible to love and be wise' (Francis Bacon)."

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AUTHOR'S NOTE #3:
I've been getting a lot of great reviews for this story, and I just want to thank you all, but also to say that if you like this, please go read my other stuff, especially "The Alternative to Conversation". It only has 5 reviews, and it's very lonely.

AUTHOR'S NOTE #4: Also, be sure to check out Annalore's response to this same challenge, the wonderfully bittersweet "Secret Valentine." You can find it at http://www.midnightmist.net/fiction/story.php?no=10