Title: The Dance (Pt1 The Peacemaker Prophesy)

Author: Nimue

Rating: PG-13

Feedback: Yes, please. Especially now.

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox, UPN. Anyone but me. Except those I made up. They're mine.

Summary: First chapter of the Peacemaker Prophesy, Sequel to New Life.

Spike and Buffy patrol and the new big bad settles into town.

Author's Note: I debated releasing this book, and have held off longer than intended because of the upcoming episodes of BtVS. I was not sure if this story had a place anymore. When I thought it through, and discussed it with fellow fans, I decided that this is *my Spike*, *our Spike*. This is where many of us thought the character should go, rather than where he has been taken. My apologies to all whom are as crushed as I about the show itself and I am truly sorry if you find this story troubling in light of the new episodes, but this is how I see Spike in my world. And how he shall ever be.

The Dance

The Vampire came at her with such ferocity that she barely had time to

react. Her foot hit the tombstone in front of her and she launched into a back flip, landing directly behind the startled creature and plunging the stake through his back. As the Vampire disintegrated into dust, the next grabbed her from behind and she kicked his shins, spinning and swiping his feet out from under him.

Out of the corner of her eye, Buffy could see that ubiquitous blond head

bobbing and weaving, the sound of his fists hitting flesh and the occasional *poof*. Kinda hoped it wasn't him *poof*'ing. Did he even *poof* anymore? After the rounds they'd had in the last few days, if he still *poof*'d, she would be the one to *poof* him herself.

"You alright, Pet?" Spike called, as the attacking Vampire gained his feet and launched back after Buffy. She jumped into the air, kicking the fledgling's jaw and knocking him to the pavement.

"Meet Mr. Pointy," she said, as she plunged the stake into the vamp. "Fine, I can take care of myself," she snapped at Spike.

"Take it easy, Goldilocks. Just a sodding question," Spike retorted,

dusting another without taking a step.

"What's going on in this town? Vampiralooza?" Buffy complained as her fist caught her third and the dance continued.

"You live for this and you know it," Spike called back as he got a fist in the cheek. "Ow, that *hurt*," he complained, wiping the blood from his mouth and plunging the stake into the young one at the same time. "Dunno, Pet, but they're out in full force."

"Would have never brought you with me tonight if it weren't this bad," she panted, ducking a right hook.

"Brought me? I think I can choose for my bleeding self," he huffed

indignantly, roundhouse kicking the next in line.

"One of us should be home. Emma's got a fever and what if Tara's protection spell doesn't hold." Buffy disintegrated another young vamp and leaned over, catching her breath. Spike was working on what looked to be the last one.

"First off," he preached, "these are vampires. Can't come in less you

invite them. Shoulda learned that by now." Buffy scowled. "All we've seen for weeks," he continued, non-plussed. He casually tossed a right hook at the fledgling and knocked him to the ground. Spike put his foot on the vampire's chest to hold him down. "Second, Tara's spell has worked smashingly. Surprised me, really. Even bounced old Clem cross the street before she adjusted it a bit."

Buffy was fuming. She hated it when he was right. Even worse when he knew it.

"Last of all, Emma's fever was exactly one-hundred when we left. Checked it myself. Babies get fevers like that all the time."

"What, your Mr. Spock now?" Buffy asked, annoyance rising in her voice.

"You might want to stake him," she continued, looking at the utterly

confused vamp under Spike's boot. "Think he's trying to bite your leg."

Sure enough, the fledgling was in game face and trying to sink his teeth

into Spike's calf. "Stupid, sodding whelp," Spike said, disgusted, leaning down to vaporize the vamp. "And it's Dr. Spock. Damn smart bloke."

"What with the correct-y-ness?" Buffy complained, assuming fighting stance again. Spike's head spun, looking for more vampires, but there was nary an undead body in sight. He looked back at Buffy strangely. God, she was beautiful when she was angry.

"Whatdya mean, Pet?" he hissed, striding toward her in his most annoyingly confident walk.

"Gotta be right about everything," she grunted as she spun, kicking him in the shoulder. The force was no where near her hardest, but it stung all the same. She wanted to dance. Never one to disappoint the lady.

"Can't help I'm just smart like that," he shot back, deflecting a right hook aimed near his face. "Gonna hafta do better than that to get at me, Pet."

Those eyes. That smirk. She didn't know whether she wanted to kill him or drown in him. Her heart raced, her blood pumping fast and furious. Maybe a little of both. Had to bait him first.

"What? You don't even care your daughter is sick?" she tossed out,

regretting it as soon as it slid off her lips. Oh, that hit the button all right. His face blanked and his eyes dropped.

What the hell?, he thought. She knows better. She...she said that on

purpose. Ah, women. "That was low."

For a moment, she felt truly guilty. He saw it flash across her face,

before she danced again. "A little," she fired, catching him with a

forceless left jab. He shot one back, admittedly not as hard as he would have in the past or did in training. Training was different. Here she was Buffy, not the Slayer. Her eyes twinkled as she responded to him with another kick, pushing him back. Spike began to spar with her. He could tell she wasn't aiming to hurt anymore. This is just what she lived for.

Not just any dance. His dance.

Fighting him was erotic, primal, beautiful. Part of her he knew she would never let go. He never wanted her to let go of it. They would never find out who would win. Didn't really matter anymore because, in the end, neither of them would. It was never the fight. It was about the heat.

"What, can't take a hit anymore?" Buffy baited, as Spike reeled back from a roundhouse.

"Can," he said, hoarsely, grabbing her wrists as she swung her arms forward. "But that's not what you're after," he growled, pulling her hard against him. Her chest banged into his and he held her arms behind her back with equal force. "You're just getting warmed up," he whispered, letting his lips brush lightly against hers in stark contrast to her aggressiveness. A little mewl escaped her lips and he responded with a ferocious, bruising kiss that melted her knees and made her whimper for joy. Buffy trembled against him, setting his body on fire with her vulnerability. God, this girl was perfect.

She hopped up, wrapping her legs lazily around his waist without ever

letting her mouth move from his. The friction of denim on denim nearly did him in. Hell, looking at her all flushed and pretty was nearly enough. He stumbled back, trying to still his reeling mind and backed her to the crypt door.

"You don't live here anymore," she panted, as he backed through the door. Buffy was still latched around his waist, driving him insane with her warm, sweet breath and her tight, pretty legs.

"Consider it a summer house," he responded. He'd kept it up in case they ever needed a place to hide, or, well, in case of this, he admitted to himself. She chuckled softly as her tongue traced his lips.

"Planned ahead?" she asked, as he set her gently on the arm of the couch.

"Boy Scout," he whispered, shrugging off his duster and unbuttoning her

blouse simultaneously. She ripped his shirt, pulling him to her and falling back onto the couch.

"My shirt!" he panted, indignantly as she reached for the waistband of his jeans. Then he felt her hands.... "Hell with it," he growled, his lips finding hers again. Yes, this dance was more fun.

*****

They walked lazily home, her fingers weaving loosely in and out of his,

tracing his palm. The one thing about parenthood, Spike thought, was there was never enough time for her. Never enough to explore Buffy the way he wanted to, to give her everything he wanted to give. But Emma had been worth every minute.

"Record time," Buffy joked, glancing at her watch. "Patrol and extra

curricular rough and tumble in three hours flat."

"I'll remind you that patrol only lasted an hour," Spike responded, "and you got the abridged extra credit simply because of a sickly tot."

"Oh, now you're all noble," she answered, rolling her eyes. "Could have

fooled me back there."

"Only give what I am asked for," he answered, smiling softly.

"Touché."

Spike was silent, thinking as her fingers brushed his hand. "Buffy?"

"What?" she asked, lazily wrapping her arm around him. They turned the

corner onto Revello. He stopped, turning her towards him. Looking at her pretty doe eyes.

"What you said back there.... You know that I... That nothing comes before you and Emma. You know that, right?" His crystal blue eyes were so serious. So tender.

"What... what did I say?" Buffy asked, her mind still dancing and foggy

from the crypt.

"About not caring that Emma was sick."

The guilt struck her like a freight train. She had wanted to bait him, to rile him up, not to hurt him. Buffy didn't want that anymore at all.

"Spike," she stuttered," I know that. It was the wrong thing to say. I'm sorry."

Spike looked at her in shock. "Did the Slayer just apologize with minimal prompting?" he snarked.

Buffy smiled slyly. "*Very* good mood," she answered, starting to stroll back down the street, his hand still woven in hers.

*****

"Rough night?" Dawn asked from her perch on the couch as Buffy and Spike walked through the door. Spike glanced down at his tattered shirt and quickly excused himself up the stairs. Buffy walked into the living room. The coffee table was covered in books. Not a sight she was used to seeing in front of Dawn, but welcome all the same.

Tara walked through from the kitchen, brushing Buffy softly on her way past. "Looks more like date night to me," Tara whispered, smiling softly, and heading into the dining room.

"Hungry," Buffy said quickly, clapping her hands together nervously and

speeding off towards the kitchen.

*****

Spike pulled off his shirt as he walked down the hall, tossing it through the bedroom door as he passed on his way to Emma's room. He could hear the baby gurgling happily from the hallway. "How's my girl?" he announced as he stepped through the doorway.

Emma was curled in Xander's arms, tugging on the sleeves of his shirt, her happy eyes dancing almost as much as his. They were parked in a chair near the door. Her feet were kicking with wild delight at the faces the whelp made at her.

At the sound of Spike's voice, Xander looked up, startled almost out of his skin. "Uh...I'm... she woke up and she... was crying.. and..." Xander began to stand, nervously shuffling his feet.

Spike thought for a moment. Hard. Part of him wanted to take the baby away from the git who had invested so much effort in hurting him over the years. The other, more foreign, half felt sorry for the bloke. Knew Buffy'd be all right with it. Knew the bugger hated him but would never in a million years hurt a baby. 'Specially not Buffy's. "No, no. It's fine," Spike muttered, leaning down and tickling the baby's stomach. She wriggled, laughing in Xander's arms. "Need to take a quick shower anyway. Mind her for a few more minutes?"

"S..sure," Xander stuttered, settling back down into the chair. The shock was evident in his eyes as well as in his voice.

"Right then. Back in a minute, mite," Spike whispered to Emma, kissing her forehead then spinning back out of the room.

*****

The lighted flickered, shooting an orange flame, igniting the end of the

cigarette. The red glow grew and spread. He snapped the silver box closed with a flick of an elegant wrist and slid it slowly into the pocket of his crisp, pressed slacks. He leaned against the lamp post on the corner across the street from the Slayer's home, watching. Waiting. Finding the pattern.

The protection spell had been well cast. The good witch may not have been as powerful as her mate once had been, but she'd done this one right and proper. The sandy haired man had sent his best to test it in the hours just before morning and they had barely reached the sidewalk before being ejected back across the street. He took another long draw from the cigarette. This would take more...finesse.

He had watched the Slayer and the Vampire in the graveyard. It would not be an exaggeration to suspect that, as a unit, they were unbeatable. Apart, there was a chance. Their connection was strong, as if the movement flowed from her body to his and back again. Even as they battled each other, they completed each other's movements with the fluidity of a ballet. The sandy haired man smiled at himself. Oh, to be in love.

Boy's turned out to be quite a fighter, he thought. Never expected that.

It was fascinating how their sparring turned, without hesitation, into this primordial, ancient love. How the fists stopped and eyes locked and muscles used for violence suddenly melted seamlessly into one. That ballet, it seemed, was the one that truly mattered. There was a tenderness in even their force, a sweetness in their anger. Ash slipped to the ground as he remembered the one woman the sandy haired man had loved like that. Loved with every fiber, ever muscle, every tick of his once beating heart.

He flicked the cigarette to the pavement in disgust. Love had no place in the game. No place in the world. Nor did peace. Not after all this.

There was a way. In the meantime, he'd just bide his time and watch.

The sandy haired man turned on a well-polished heel and disappeared back into the night.

To be contd.