Your blood, like ice

One look could kill

My pain, your thrill

"Poison" Alice Cooper

He said I had a death wish once, that all Slayers did, that he was just waiting for the day that I would be ready to die. It's come and gone, and here I am, still alive, still breathing, looking for death in a thousand other ways. This is the best so far; it tastes the most real. There was fire when I died, a sudden flare of pain before it was all over. Now the pain is the only real thing in my world. I revel in it, would swim in it if I could; the rush of feeling is intoxicating, all-consuming, torrid. Beyond anything I could have imagined.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. First it was just a kiss, just a taste of the forbidden, to see if I could still feel. And oh my god, the things he made feel. Even as I pushed away from him that first time, shoving back from him like he was poison, I could still feel his kiss all through my body. It burned clear through me, a sudden, bright fire that devoured everything in its path. I hadn't believed I could feel anything, but I could feel that kiss in every part of my body. He just watched me, his eyes avid with hunger, his mouth soft and wet from our kiss. I didn't want to know what I looked like, didn't want to know what he saw in my face that made him look at me with that much need, that much desire. He was naked with it, face blazing with an emotion so pure that I couldn't face it anymore, couldn't face the truth I saw in his eyes, the joy he took in the first crack in all the walls I built between us. Dropping my stare lower was no good- no help or hope for me there. One kiss, one kiss was all I gave him, and he looked so hard already I was almost surprised that he didn't just take me against the wall and have done with all the waiting. I'm still not sure that I would've stopped him.

That was the first time I ran from him. It was too much, the shock of feeling again, the sandpaper rub of passion and yearning against my numb and empty soul. Running was easier than staying, and safer. There was no way a person could go from feeling nothing to feeling everything, not without thinking the sudden shift in perspective would destroy everything. All my careful balance, every one of my detailed masks, designed to fool everyone into thinking I was okay, all of them would be lost in the flash fire that was Spike's kiss. Even with everyone already knowing the truth, it was too soon to give up the pretense that had kept me safe since I came back. Too soon. It would always be too soon to risk losing everything. Over the sound of my own footsteps running away, I could hear him swearing, sudden and livid. He wasn't going to forgive me this easily, but that thought wasn't enough to slow me down. I was home before I could bring myself to slow down. Alone, I was alone again and safe behind my walls. And Spike was alone and cursing in the night. And my illusions were safe for another day. But I still burned for him, from him, and no amount of running was going to change that.

I told myself it would never happen again, but even I knew that I was lying.

But I ran again the next night, the feel of him against my body still vivid. I managed to last right up until he had found me at the Bronze, and then I broke. I wasn't going to, I was never going to again. Never touch him again, never lead him on. Never torture myself with things I should never have. I tried to be strong, tried to look away and be cold, but the beguiling heat he drew from my very bones called to me, and without even understanding what I was doing or how it began, I was against a wall and he was kissing me again. No sudden rush of passion of this time, no violent push of desperate lust. This was the slow curl and crawl of desire through the belly, the subtle snake of passion running through the blood. This kiss was more careful, even if it was just as clear in its intent. He wanted me, would take me if I let him. He was a thorough man- vampire- I had to grant him that. This was a slow burn, a steady smolder. I melted against him, into him, felt myself go weak and whimpering into his arms, ready to take whatever he wanted to give me. I could feel him tangling his fingers into my hair, his emotions into my cold heart, confusing me, bemusing me. He felt so right against me, fit so perfectly, all I wanted to do was to curl into him, around him, and never leave. How does this keep happening? So I went running again, from him, from this, and his curse words were more elaborate this time, even more angry than before. I thought I heard him call me a tease, with something cruder and more to the point before it and I winced at the words. Oh, yeah, that was the rep that I wanted since coming back from the dead: Buffy, the vampire tease. Somehow, less threatening- unless, of course, I was planning on killing vamps by getting them so frustrated that they offed themselves.

Offed... getting off... and I couldn't stop myself from wondering what he did after I ran. Did he ache like I did, did he touch himself and pretend it was me? Or did he go and kill, losing his lust in a different kind of desire? I think that was the first time I realized that something deep inside of me had changed, shifted in ways I couldn't understand, because instead of being horrified at either thought, I stayed hot for him, and had to fight myself to stay away and leave him to himself.

Two days. I made it only two days that time. It must be something about his kisses, because even when I told myself that it would never happen again, I could feel my body leap to attention when I saw him again. He was angry this time, no surprise there, and not even the anger cooled me down. My bones still ached from the fires that he started, and I hadn't been able to sleep for the thoughts whispering against my mind. He had been so hard, so hard, as I leaned against him, and the eyes he never bothered to close when we kissed had been staring into me so deeply that I thought he could feel his desire curl through my body even before he touched me. Or maybe that had been my own hunger, drawn the surface from the drugging bliss that was Spike's cool mouth devouring mine. Maybe his need for me, his yearning, was contagious, seeping into my blood like a sickness, making him the only thing that I needed to live.

That was the time I couldn't stop myself, didn't want to stop myself, the time when all of this started. I can't even blame it on him. He was punching me, taunting me, and suddenly all I wanted was the taste of him in my mouth again. He made me feel, when I thought nothing could anymore, and the rush it brought was incredible. It was me that took his mouth, me that took his body, me that took everything. He looked surprised, almost gentle for a moment, and then the need that had been building crashed over us and there was only the slick friction of our bodies. Only his eyes on mine, staring all the way into my heart. The coldness of his skin matches me, fits me perfectly. Human warmth seems strange, but the ice pale perfection of his body is like a miracle to me.

So I've come back to him again, after all my promises and protests that this over, that we are done. I'm still bruised from the last time, still sore and throbbing in places I had forgotten I had, and I've come back. The pain he leaves behind never really hurts me; it's just another reminder of what I could have if I was strong enough to take it.

I come to him in silent invitation, leaning against the wall, arms spread, body ready for him, waiting for the things only he can give me. All the knowledge of life and death is in his eyes. We're a study in it, him and I. I come to him in white, pretending to be something I lost, something left behind in heaven, and he waits for me in black and leather, pretending nothing, offering everything. I'm drawn to him because of the pain, I know that deep inside, my body crying for him on those few nights we're apart. But knowing the truth of what we have is still not enough to keep me away from him.

I think maybe he never wanted to hurt me, not really, not when I don't drive him to it, but it's all I want. He was right, I did come back wrong, because I never wanted anything like this before, the pain, the fire. I was a normal girl once. Normal things turned me on. But now it's just Spike, and the darkness in his eyes, and his hands so hard on my body I feel the bruises down to my bones. Do you know how hard it is bruise me, to make the marks even show? They're everywhere now, hidden by my clothes, a secret need that follows me wherever I go.

"Slayer?" Spike asks, the word bitter in his mouth like the taste of old cigarettes. He wants me to talk, he wants me to make this real, pure, something true. He wants things I can never give him, and I try to sate that need with my body, with my own blistering desire. This is all I have to give, all I can take. It's more than I ever thought I would have again.

I only raise my eyes to his, and arc my back. His eyes follow me, follow the moves and read the invitation burned in every cell of my skin. Every night, the fear drifts through me, the fear he will say no, the fear that he will refuse the only thing I need to live. Spike swallows hard, and I fight the urge to go to him and bite into the beauty that is his neck. This was as far as I come. The rest of the steps, he needs to take himself. I need to know he wants me as darkly as I want him.

"I want you to love me," he finally rasps, refusing to move and maybe this is the night that he will do nothing more. I only stare; there's nothing I can say to that, nothing I can do. There's no love in me anywhere, no love for anything or anyone.

When he speaks, I can barely hear the words, I'm was so intent on watching his lips they move, the way they wrapped around words, the way I want them shaping against me. His words are nothing to me, a brush a wind against my face. I only want to taste him again, to take him into myself and never let him go. I never respond, there's nothing to say. We know what we're doing, the wrongs and the rights of it. What else is left? If I don't talk, this is never real. He talks enough for both of us, the only way to shut him up is to kiss him. If I never ask, if I never say what it is he does to me in these dark nights, no one will ever be the wiser. There is only the silent testimony of my body, the bruises like heavy lace across my skin. It should hurt, but it never does. His touch is addictive, I burn for it when we're apart and writhe for it when we're together. Exposed for him, naked to his eyes, he can do anything he wants to me as long as he can just make me feel again. Feel anything. Pain is a pleasure to me now, as pure as anything I have ever known in the past.

He stays still, his eyes bright in the darkness. I know him as well as he knows me, can read his body like paper; he'll break soon. My dress is light, easy to slip out of, and he catches an unneeded breath as he sees the bruises again, the marks of his hands and other, darker things against me body.

I would love him if I could. He's the only thing in all the world that understands me. But the words are impossible to say.

"I want you to hurt me." The only words I've ever spoken, and then he's on me again, and I'm lost in the feeling, lost in his touch, lost in the pain only he can give. There's pain in his eyes when I say that, but I look past it to the need. He won't turn me down, he can't, he wants this as much as I do, even if maybe not in the same way. No matter what he thinks of my new tastes, he'll take me any way he can.

He burns like whiskey down my throat when I taste him, sudden, raw, sharp, impossible to ignore. He's been waiting for this even longer than I have, and neither of us are gentle to the other. I don't want him gentle, or kind, or any of those other, softer emotions the people who call themselves my friends show me. No, I want Spike because he wasn't afraid to hit me, wasn't afraid to hurt me. I want him because he gives me what I need. It's not like I can feel, not like I'm real in this word and shadows and hard corners, where everything hurts. I'm a ghost of myself, nothing tangible or real until he touches me, and makes me feel again. I think I can taste my own blood in my mouth, whether it's from his hands, or kisses that are too deep and hard, I can never tell, and Spike is lapping it up, alternately kissing me and drinking deep from the blood he already drew. I can hear him groaning, just a little, at the taste of fresh blood again, or maybe just the taste of me, even more of a surprise, I'm sure. I don't care, the feel of him in my mouth, under my fingers, in my body, hard and solid and so real I can't avoid or forget this happening, is all I need. He makes me burn, the fire licks my bones and I cry out for the things that only he can give me.

And I even as I burn and die in his arms another night, I know that I'm another night closer to the time when he finally tells me no. Another night closer to going back to hell that is my life on earth.

No, I'll save her,

Then I'll kill her.

"Walk Through the Fire" Joss Whedon