See You on the Flip Side

By Sweetprincipale

A sequel to Sex and Candy. Set during S. 5 At the very end of episode "Fool for Love?" and deviates in the midst of it.

Author's Notes: Short, smutty, Spuffy. I do hope you like it, I just needed a little break from my larger projects and thought this would make an interesting distraction.

Direct quotes from songs and shows are obviously not mine but belong to the enormously talented people who created them.

Dedicated to Hannah the Bloody, Lithium Reaper, Idiosyncratic Delusions, and Msnycegirl0820

Nothing of Buffy belongs to me, except my sincere admiration. However, this story is all mine.

Part I

It had been a bloody stupid idea to begin with. He never should have bedded down with her, even if it was only for one night, even if it was the best he'd had in a very long time. No, he'd done it 'cause he was savin' the kill for later. The flaw in your plan, Spike, (aside from her, which went without sayin' ) was that you should have made sure you'd be able to kill her soon afterwards. That meant being back on the vamp game. He'd tried! Tried very bloody hard to get the soddin' chip out of his cranium so he could do the job, end the temptation.

Because she was a temptation. He worked against her every chance he got, and then it seemed he started working with her just a little bit more than was strictly for personal convenience. Hangin' out around her place sometimes. But only for that intoxicatin' whiff of her. And it was just lust, only a temptation, that made him have that bloody awful nightmare where he said "I love you". And it was because the last time they'd deliberately spent time together at the Bronze that he'd ended up fucking her brains out back at her place afterwards, that now, here he was, sitting on his ass outside the Bronze, money all over him and feeling very- upset. Upset was a good word.

"Shouldn't have opened up at the end there. Made it perfectly clear that she was to do the persuin' if she ever wanted to go down the path to madness again, and I just about beg for it." He muttered. But she was all riled up, blood pumping, and yeah, she was turned on, he could sniff that. Easy to forget unspoken rules.

They had promised never to speak of the one night. And they never had, not in all these months. Months! Never even exchanged a wink and a nod over it, about how they'd already seen one another in all their glory. They both still acted like she was Ms. Blonde and Faithful, and when he did make an innuendo at her, it was so smutty and blatant, no one even dared to think that he might be speaking from experience. They were truly well matched, on the battleground, in the bedroom, in the deception game. Yet tonight, goading her, reminding her, with his little hint, "Come on. I can feel it, Slayer. You know you want to dance.", he'd forgotten the rules. Oh, she went higher than holier-than-thou. She went straight up to saintly.

It was because she asked for his soddin' life story, churned up all the emotions about Dru, an' Cecily, his victories with Slayers, an' he considered ownin' her sweet little body, even for one night, a victory second only to killin' was he was still sittin' on his ass, tears pricking in his eyes.

But he knew how to calm himself down. Don't think of all the fights they'd had, all the side by side they'd shared. Think about her lyin' to him, to his face, here when they were alone. He heard that mincing little voice in his head as clear as if she was still sayin' it to his face. "Say it's true. Say I do want to. It wouldn't be you, Spike. It would never be you." She'd pushed him, right to the ground. They didn't do that, not here, not alone. It was respect, y'see, two skilled liars, two skilled warriors, with a little truce for this evening. He'd told her the truth, minute details even, about how he'd killed the other two, an' she'd had the stones to scream an untruth to him. Damn her.

There. He looked up, wallowing done. Rage back inside him. Kill her. So it wouldn't be with style. It wouldn't be with dash, a flare, a final battle that gave them both a spectacular chance for death and glory. That was a shame. But he had to end this. Now.

She stomped home, taking her frustration out on the sidewalk. Okay, lying to everyone else, pretending nothing had ever happened between them, that was fine. That was her one justifiable pass. She'd had one night of meaningless sex (explosive, orgasmic, best EVER sex) with Spike, after finding out that everyone she was close to, mother, Watcher, boyfriend, and her two best friends, were unable to tell the real her from the Faith-inhabited her. And Spike had seen in it ten minutes.

Riley had slipped up, slept with her body, bearing someone else's soul. So she'd let Spike make her body and soul feel better, take the pain off, give her, oddly enough, a sense of self. Because he knew her. Her stupid, annoying punk rock reject knew her better than anyone else in the world. And they'd made a truce. He'd kept it.

So lying to him- well, he was a bastard that she should kill immediately. But she didn't, so lying was okay. No, it was lying to herself that hurt. And, dammit, yes, lying to him made her feel bad. Saying it didn't was only one more piece of self-denial.

She took the night apart. Why was she mad? Oh yeah, the little lies had been building. First, when Jonathan had cast a spell that made her seem like sidekick girl instead of hero girl, everyone willingly went along with it. Only Spike treated her like a threat. Not like a little tag along teammate. Even under a spell- he knew her. And then a few weeks ago, with Riley, it had almost slipped out. He thought he needed super powers to keep her. She said if that was what she'd wanted, she'd be dating Spike. She didn't want to date him. No, God no! But sleep with him again, when her idiot boyfriend showed his usual lack of perception about her, yeah, she'd wanted to take Spike up on his offer, give him a call, tell him to come in the window of her bedroom, and she'd toss her stake right out of it. Fair trade. One hard object for another...

Even that wasn't the worst. Tonight was the worst. Blatant lying and criticizing him. She was repulsed by what he said, saying the blood of the Slayer was an aphrodisiac... that he got off on it. That was wrong, and disgusting, and thoroughly of the bad. But when she had been with him, when she'd had her most powerful, mind-blowing, spine raking orgasm ever, what had he been saying? She replayed it in her mind, reliving it, trying not to go weak just at the memory.

"Even if you did stake me, Slayer, think that's the way we're gonna go, Luv. One day I'm gonna punch my fangs through your throat and suck you dry, hold you tight, watch you do your final dance, in my arms."

She gasped at his words, and her mind spiraled. Shouldn't be doing this, shouldn't be about to cum when he's telling me how I'm gonna die... But her body didn't agree, and she began her descent. And his voice just kept going.

"Or you're gonna shove a piece of wood through my heart, and I'm gonna shower you with dust." He'd started to release inside her. "And I'll still be all over you."

"Spike. Spike!" A broken scream and a final plunge. Just like he said.

She didn't get off on the kill. But him doing it, or her doing it to him- it'd be the best she could hope for in her line of work. And when he was inside her, whispering it to her, yeah, she'd gotten off on that. Maybe he was right about what he'd said tonight. How he told it like a story, so good with his words. Not like the dry accounts in the diaries. He spun it, he pulled her in. Because maybe she heard the truth underneath?

"Death is your art. You make it with your hands, day after day. That final gasp. That look of peace. Part of you is desperate to know: What's it like? Where does it lead you? And now you see, that's the secret. Not the punch you didn't throw or the kicks you didn't land. Every Slayer... has a death wish. Even you.

The only reason you've lasted as long as you have is you've got ties to the world... your mum, your brat kid sister, the Scoobies. They all tie you here but you're just putting off the or later, you're gonna want it. And the second- the second- that happens... You know I'll be there. I'll slip in... have myself a real good day. Here endeth the lesson. I just wonder if you'll like it as much as she did."

And he offered a substitute. Because they both knew, knew, they weren't able to give each other that death wish tonight. He'd offered a substitute. Something that had eased their pain before. She lied to them both. That even if she did want it, that other, almost equally forbidden wish, she'd never go to him. God, it was so wrong, but it was such a lie. She'd only go to him. He wasn't beneath her at all. He was her equal. They lived on two sides of a coin, exact opposites- with a scary recognition of one another. Oh, God.

She got home, felt dirty, felt sore, emotionally pained from her unsettling realizations, physically pained from her stake wound (not administered by Spike, but by some two bit vamp with a mohawk and BO, with her own stake! Now that was beneath her).And mentally exhausted, because, well- slayer suckage.

But there's no rest for the owie girl with the weight of the world on her sore but fashionably attired shoulders. Back to being a good daughter.

"Mom! I made that grocery list." She walked into her mom's room. Then she noticed the suitcases. Her mom asked something about conditioner and she answered reflexively. Then, "Mom? Where're you going?"

Her bad day got worse. "Oh, I was hoping to put this off but... you know the nothing that I've been dealing with the last couple of weeks? It might not be nothing." Her mother gave her a wan smile, a brave smile.

"What is it?"

"I'm staying overnight at the hospital for observation. I'm getting a CAT scan."

Scary words. Scary words, that took her own speech away. She stared stupidly. You can't be sick. I need you, even if you don't know who I am, even if you don't like who I am, you love me.

"It's only one night and they say even if there is something, it's still very early if they didn't see it before. I'm going to be fine."

The reassurance game. She could play, too. And she needed to. It had to be fine. "I know you will." She hugged her tight. Please be okay. If you're not, I don't know how to fight this. How do I fight a headache? Headaches. CAT scans. Tumor. Cancer. Debilitating disease. None of those are in the slayer handbook. "C-can I do anything tonight?"

"No, Honey, I'm fine. Actually, I'm better than fine. They gave me some pills and I took two. In about ten minutes, I'll be out like a light. The doctor said, and I quote 'Five of these babies will knock out a rhino.' Two of them just makes me pain-free and sleepy."

"Oh. Okay, Mom. I-I'll come with you tomorrow?"

"Oh yes, Sweetie, would you? And keep Dawn with you?"

"Of course, Mom, whatever you want." She pressed her lips to her mother's temple, willing whatever caused the pain to leave.

"I'm gonna turn in, Buffy."

"Good night, Mom."

"I love you."

"I love you, too."

She checked on Dawn. Sound asleep, head resting on an open journal, pen tucked in her sprawled hand. Good. She couldn't deal with her questions and demands right now. She made it to the back porch before she broke down. Headaches. CAT scans. Tumor. Cancer. Debilitating disease. Mom. Not my mom! Take me instead, God, please, it should be me. I'm the one with the deadly calling. She owns an art gallery. She should get paper cuts and pulled muscles from lifting packing crates, nothing more than that, ever.

He found it, loaded, still ready for use. A gun. How-human. How mundane and unsporting and utterly, utterly beneath him. But that was the point, yeah? Put her beneath him, six goddamn feet under him. If only his current creature comfort, emphasis on creature, would stop her soddin' yappin'!

"Okay, I'm trying to be supportive here so don't drive a stake through my heart like last time, but you can't kill Buffy. She's the Slayer. She is so gonna kick your ass." Harmony followed after him as he prepared to leave the crypt almost immediately after returning to it.

"I've got two barrels here that'll prove you wrong." He was dismissive. He was always dismissive of her. She was arm candy, a substitute for what he should have, his dark goddess, his Drusilla.

"I knew you'd take this personally. You are so sensitive! How are you going to kill her? Think! The second you even point that thing at her, you're gonna be all arghhh!"She clutched her head.

Spike could've killed her then. How dare she bring up the fucking chip? She'd been his second, the one to watch the doc remove it, and she'd been fooled. Watchin' the soddin' operation, an' she'd been fooled! But she wouldn't shut up. He really should have killed this one, or at least made good his threat and rip her tongue out. Vamp powers were remarkable, but limb and organ regeneration once the part was removed wasn't one of their abilities.

"And then you'll get bitch-slapped up and down Main Street unless she's had enough and just stakes you!"

Let her stake me. I want her to. If I can't have her, then she can bloody well have me. At least I go out with someone worthy, not by some stupid army goon, but by a proper slayer, the best I've ever seen, best there ever would be. A legendary death. Unless he settled for giving her a mediocre send off. He hoisted the gun and grabbed the girl, jerking her out of his way. "Sure, it'll hurt like hell for about two hours...But she'll be dead just a little longer than that." He heard her gasp of pain but took no pleasure in it. No pain tonight, but the Slayer's, only wanted to hear her gasps. Actually, he'd have settled for her gasps of pleasure, but no, she had to be a lyin', degradin' bitch. He threw her away hard. A throw away girl all around. Buffy's what he wanted.

"Fine! But don't come crying to me when you fail. You couldn't kill her before you got the chip. You had plenty of chances!"

He didn't bother with a reply. He knew the reasons. They were his own, and no one truly knew them, not even Dru with her barmy visions. It was respect. The longing for a fair fight. One on one, both of them at the peak of their powers. His third Slayer. She had to be the best, the jewel in his triple crown of battles. They'd just never had the chance. But he was tired of waiting for it. Shouldering the gun, he strode to her house.

She was still sobbing uncontrollably when he got there. She felt him before she saw him, but she knew he couldn't do more than insult her, glare at her, maybe tell her some more unwanted truths, that she would only deny. And then she heard the metallic click.

She looked up. Shotgun. Wasn't it? She didn't speak gun. Now if it had been old fashioned and made of wood... She wasn't even scared. "What do you want now?"

Brave until the end. Had to admire that. He put his finger on the trigger, and wondered when the chip would fire and why it hadn't already. Not because I can't kill her. I fucking can.

Buffy watched him aim at her, hard features even harder than usual as his finger deliberately moved. Why aren't I scared? Do I want it? Do I want that look of peace so badly? What about her "ties" to the world?

She had tears on her face. Oh bloody hell, the last time he'd talked to her with the tears runnin' down her sweet little cheeks he ended up in her bed, misplaced comforting (oh no it wasn't that. It was mutual gratification. He hadn't cared if she felt better, had he? No, he'd just cared if she came, that was a bit different.) Yet he still heard himself asking. "What's wrong?"

"I don't want to talk about it." She couldn't. It hurt to speak.

I can't care about her, can I? No. But I guess I can be curious. He lowered the gun slowly. He did feel something for the girl, that misplaced sympathy. The grudging respect. Oh bloody, buggering hell, his mouth was going again."Is there something I can do?" She looked at him, helpless grief in her green eyes, swallowing hard. He could smell the pain in her. And it was delicious. Then sickening. He couldn't hurt her now. His enemy was not looking out at him from behind that brokenhearted face. He crept up beside her slowly, gun aside. Hands empty. Not gonna hurt you, he was tempted to say, but that was not strictly true. Gonna bloody kill you- but I'll wait 'til you're feelin' better. A smirk flickered and died without making it to his face. One of us has to be on top of our game when we go out, either you or me. I'm helpless by default, she's helpless in this damn sea of tears. No one dies right now.

She was shaking, and the tears kept falling. She was wrapped in silence. His hand found its way to her back, and patted her awkwardly. Patted again. And again. In silence.

She came out of herself slowly, dimly aware of a weight, not a warmth, just a weight, on her shoulder blade. A steady patting. He's trying to comfort me. "I'm sorry."

"No problem, Luv, you cry." He said automatically.

"I'm sorry I said you were beneath me. I'm sorry I said it would never be you. You were very honest."

"Tryin' to shock me to death?" Spike responded with a harsh laugh, completely blown.

"Whatever works." She put her head further into her hands, almost to her knees.

"What happened, Slayer?"

"Mom's sick."

Two words, and the bottom dropped out of his plans. Well, he'd known it would happen, hadn't he? Plans, plus slayer, equals soddin' great cock-up, and not in the pleasurable way.

"Joyce is sick?" He'd seen a bit of her in the last few months, not much, but they'd bumped into each other a few times. Not just on slayer business, either. He stopped to buy his smokes and get his bagged blood, do a bit of robbery, and two or three times she'd been workin' late at her posh little gallery. They both liked to get coffee at the place next to the mini mart. Never anything much, they never spent more than ten minutes, and she did tend to watch him warily. That might be why he liked her so much. She still regarded him as a threat, she treated him with respect, not someone crippled. Hell. Did I just admit I like the lady? I respect her. I admire her. Sod. I do quite like her. And if I respect and admire Joyce, and I respect and admire her daughter... oh no.

"They think so."

"Sick how?"

"Bad headaches. She- she needs a CAT scan."

Headaches. Brain issue, bound to be. Or eyes. Or sinuses. Most likely brain. If only he'd been able to taste her, he could've told- wait, how the bloody hell was this workin' out in his mind? You taste somethin' off, you stop, do a bit of diagnostic work, and save the Slayer's mum? Well, yeah, alright, he coulda done that. He had no quarrel with Joyce. "When?"


"What can I do?"

"Nothing. There's nothing we can do." Her shoulders convulsed again.

"Shh, Slayer, you don't give up so quick, do you? They can do plenty these days with modern medicine. Look at me, I mean, not a good example, but look at the type of brain surgery they did on me. Pretty damned effective, an' I'm dead."

"N-not helping. Shut up." He obeyed, for once, and resumed patting her rhythmically. "Were you gonna kill me with that?"

"I was gonna try. Knowin' you, it wouldn't've come off." He gave her a half grin.

"And now you're being all nice?"

"I am not nice!" He jerked away like she'd burned him. "I have a bit of respect for your mum! You remember when we-" He stopped. They didn't talk about it. Not even with each other, as they'd proved so well tonight.

"You were scared of her."

"Respectful! There's a difference. I like your mum, Slayer. She's got class. She treats me like a threat."

"She has trouble with vampire basics." Buffy sighed. "Only my mom would invite Dracula in but be afraid of Billy-Chips-Ahoy-Idol."

"Oi! I've still got the soddin' gun here!"

"I know." She looked at him. "She does think you're a threat, but she kinda likes you I think. Or at least she feels bad for you. With the Dru thing."

"She always asks after my love life when I see her."

"When do you see her?"

That was a slip. "Round the shops. Nothin' major, don't do a freak out right now, alright, Slayer?"

She paused, drawing inside herself."What if they can't fix her?"

"You like to head right for the bottom of the glass, Luv." Spike told her, slightly amused.

"Whatever that's supposed to mean."

"Your glass isn't just half empty, it's bloody dry, an' probably cracked as well. It could turn out to be a bad sinus infection! A blocked tear duct or migraines! Could you wait 'til tomorrow's tests to panic? She'll probably be jus' fine." She offered him a tiny nod. "Jus' like her daughter, yeah?"

"You don't believe that, do you? You know me. Bad stuff happens to me."

"Bad stuff happens to me, too, you know. Look at this farce. Me an' my mortal enemy."

"I'm the bad stuff that happens to you? You're the bad stuff that happens to me!"

"Am I? Oh, Slayer, you do care." He joked, mockingly flattered. He lit a cigarette and blew a halo of smoke to the side.

"If something happened to her-"

"Back to the bottom of the glass, I see." He chuckled.

"And then something happened to me-" She trailed off, twisting her fingers nervously.

"You worried about the bite-sized one?"

"Do not call her that." Her eyes blazed, and he relaxed. As long as the anger was somewhere inside, she'd be okay.

"You got mates. They'll look after her."

"They're not strong enough for what's after- us." Buffy hastily covered. Spike cocked his head.

"I got no quarrel with your mum, nor the little one. Only you. And your mates, yeah. The boy. The Watcher. Iowa-boy. The girls- actually, I rather like the girls in your group." He hastily covered. "Not that I'd hesitate to sink my fangs into their ripe little necks given the chance."

She sighed. Unspoken agreement hung heavily between them. The girls, her family, were safe-ish. Especially her mother. Thank God.

"You wanna call your bit of Apple Pie over? Have him come for the comfortin' bit?"

"No." She scoffed, and covered her mouth hastily. Spike smirked but hid it quickly. "I mean- no."

"No?" His smirk returned. "You two havin' a little tiff? A little lovers'- I mean, likers' quarrel?"

"No!" She protested. A shade too much, and he knew it. "No... there's all this stuff. On my mind. He doesn't get it. He thinks I'm shutting him out."

"And aren't you?"

"Shut up."

"Am I ever allowed to say anything?" He grumbled.

"Not when it's true." She finally whispered. He looked taken aback. "No. That's- go ahead. Say what you want. You like to hurt me, right?"

"Yeah, Pet. Love to hurt you." He admitted. His hand tightened on her shoulder. "But we both know I can't."

"You do okay with your words."

"Hey. The truth hurts, Baby."

"You know what, Spike? You wanna hear some truths? You will never, ever kill me. You say you have all these big reasons, you say you'll slip in, get me on a 'good day', you say you'll wait, 'til you're better, or I'm better. But it isn't that. You can't kill me."

His anger burned and he reached for the gun. And stopped. "Why?"


"Why can't I?" His voice grew stronger. "An' why can't you kill me, Luv? You got a list of reasons as long as mine. I helped you. I'm defenseless. I'm your informant. You've been off your game, I've been off mine. But what's the real reason?"

"I-I don't- that's not true. I just- it's wrong to kill something that can't fight back."

"But I've done it. Don't you want to avenge all the sweet little innocents I've eaten? Isn't killing me your sacred job description? Or is it simpler? You liked fucking me so much you can't bring yourself to do it?"

"It's none of those." She stood, and he did, nose to nose.

"No, no, it's nothing so simple, so basic." He reached for her cheek. "You know exactly what it is. Why we put it off, why we lie."

"If you even think of saying you love me..."


She regarded him, startled. Oh, damn...

"No. No, it's not that." His voice was calmer. "What you see in me- you see in yourself."

"Two sides of the same coin." She whispered unthinkingly.

"Not exactly."

"You see me." Buffy regarded him stonily.

"I showed you myself. In that story."

"Like calls to like..." She quoted an earlier conversation. A conversation from that night.

"Tired of playin' this game, Luv? You want out?" His voiced dropped to a bare wisp, smoky, raspy, his hand leaving her cheek, sliding down to her neck, digging one finger in softly.

"Say it's true, Spike. Say I do want out." She pierced him with her green depths. He tensed. Eyes hardened, he thought she was about to replay the words she'd said earlier, the lie she told. " Maybe I do want it. But it would only be you. It would only be you, Spike." He's my death wish. And my insurance policy. He can't kill me. I won't kill him.

She was intoxicating. Waves of pain, and desperation, and grief spurred passion. "An' I can't give it to you." He licked his lips. How perverse. Wrong in the grand scheme of things, but how perverted for him. How rebellious, how dark was this. Slayer admits I'm her ticket out, and I'm closed for business. "Sorry, Luv." Their eyes remained locked, and she breathed onto his perfect white skin, cool to the touch, warming him more than the smoke, this sweet steam she generated. "You know I've got the next best thing."

She nodded, throat too tight to speak. Guilt, grief, and lust, all choking her.

"You know what the French used to call it?" Voice dropping even lower, lips now against her ear. "What they say about givin' you pleasure?"

"What?" She breathed out in confusion.

"When you cum. It's la petit mort. The little death." Lips snagged her lobe, he dragged his words out slowly, caressingly.

"Spike. All my stakes are at home." She pulled back and looked at him meaningfully. That was the deal. If she ever wanted it again, she'd invite him. And his request? She was to leave the stakes at home.

"No good, Slayer. We're at your home." He grinned, just to mess with her. The words were all figurative, finding the Slayer without a stake would be like finding Jack without Daniels attached. And besides, that was half the thrill. Knowing she could kill him, and wondering how the hell he'd get out of it when she tried.

"In that case- I left them all someplace else."

"Good." He smiled wickedly. Then frowned. "Your mum. I don't wanna upset her. No, I'm not sayin' it out of self-preservation. If I gave a toss for that I wouldn't be hintin' at shaggin' Duster of the Year. If she's not well, I-"

"She's- she's on pain pills." Buffy leaned against the porch frame suddenly, arms wrapping protectively around herself, grief flooding back into her, worry soaking her. "She said they make her sleep through anything."

"The girl?"

"Sleeps through anything anyway. But we can put on some music."

"I can be quiet when I have to be." Spike assured her, and then cursed himself. Don't I sound all placating and kindly? "Not that I would be tonight."

"Except you don't want me to suddenly find a stake and ram it through your unbeating heart, right?"

"That's a very good reason." He nodded, suddenly feeling that being agreeable was appropriate.

"You know what this is, right?" She paused before opening the door.

"Some sort of death wish modified due to the fact that neither of us wants to die anytime soon, an' if we go out, we wanna go out with a worthy opponent? i.e., Us."

She blinked. "God, Spike, you need to talk to people more. All those words bottled up inside? Wow."

"I have to put up with Harmony. I avoid talking at all costs." He smirked. "Plus, I actually went to university an' passed."

"Your professors weren't insane though, were they?" She spat. They exchanged a look. Neither of them wanted to be reminded of Maggie Walsh or the Initiative, or Riley. Of anything really.

"Give you that. Alright, so in Slayer lingo, words of two syllables or fewer, what is this?"

"Enemies with benefits." She replied in silky voice.

"That's new." He felt himself rising, hardening, scenting his prey. Able to hunt or not, he was still about to catch her. "And this applies to-"

"Tonight. You and me. A one time deal."

"Like our last 'one time deal'?"

She was quiet. She didn't feel like lying. If she needed him again, for this, she'd ask for it. If she didn't want it, she wouldn't. "I don't know." She looked at him nervously. Does he think I'm bad now? Wait, stop thinking like that. Spike is the one who really knows you. He knows you're not bad. He just also happens to be what you want at the moment.

He sniffed in, nodded. "Fair enough." He smiled brashly. He watched her enter ahead of him. Cursing himself heartily, he caught up with her and put a gentle hand on her arm. "Just 'cause we're enemies, doesn't mean we're not going to have a good time, right?"

"Right." She gave him a small tentative smile. "I- last time- I was upset, and it was kind of revenge-y."

"And this time you're sad an' scared for your mum."

"Yeah. So..." She trailed off. "Might not be as good as the last time."

He appraised her. Acres of want and need in that body, all of it there, trapped, because she wouldn't let Captain America try to shoulder the burden. When she released it- it'd be just as passionate, in a whole new way. "Oh, I doubt that very much, Luv." He purred.

The glint in his eye sparked one in hers. Well, he knew her better than anyone else, right? Her strange counterpart. It would feel good if she could let go of everything. Like she had that one time, that one night. "Have you ever been wrong about me?" She asked suddenly.

He thought hard. "Not since I've met you in person, no."

"Then you're probably right about tonight." She squared her shoulders and led him silently through the black hallways of the house until they arrived in the darkness of her room.

To be continued...