Author's Notes:

This started out as something silly on fagends (sb-fag-ends DOT livejournal DOTcom) and developed into an actual story. If you're not familiar with fagends, it is a spuffy prompts-based community with a maximum of 1000 words per prompt. Check them out! Chapter titles are based on the prompts used.

As always, Joss Whedon is a god who lets us play with his characters for entertainment purposes only.


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Part One – Welcome to the Jungle

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Spike whirled. "She's making a run for it!"

"Fuck! We'll never catch that thing."

Tugging her by the arm, he made to follow. "Maybe not on foot, love, but we know where it's gonna head. Can track it, chase it down."

Buffy dug her feet in, shrugged. "It's leaving Sunnydale. Not my problem anymore."

"What's this, Slayer? You gonna just let it get away? That's a pregnant female what snuck in through the portal. She lays eggs – bam. Won't be your problem anymore, all right. Won't be any humans left to save once those nasties are finished."

"And you care since when?"

Spike watched her, his eyes curious, intense. "If you want to let her go, that's your call," he said slowly.

"It's just – why bother? After this it'll be something else. Then something else after that. It never ends."

Spike didn't say anything. Didn't push her to do the right thing, didn't push her to snap out of her funk. Just watched her with eyes full of compassion.

Buffy spun on her heel. "We're taking the Jeep."

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She relaxed with every passing mile. At first. Dawn assigned to caretakers, nothing else to worry about but tracking the demon and Spike's driving, flying through the nights until the sun rose and they were forced to find a skeezy motel for the day.
"One bed only… You take it," Spike offered that first time.

Buffy flopped down, leaving plenty of room beside her. "Don't get fresh".

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By the third day they slept curled together, Spike's arms tightening around her every time the nightmares came.

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"Damn, this thing is fast. We're always one step behind."

"Might actually catch it if you helped drive."

"Didn't know you had a death wish, Spike." She peered at the mystical map again. "We're almost to the nesting site. If she gets there first…"

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She'd grown more and more agitated as the trees grew denser, the air more moist, and now, two days in under the canopy, following rutted roads, she was vibrating in her seat.

"We're right behind the bitch, pet, don't fret. She'll be demon shish-ka-bob in a matter of minutes."

"Funnily, that's not what I'm worrying about." He cocked an eyebrow. "Welcome to the jungle," Buffy said with a pained smile. "Stomping grounds of ex-Initiative ex-boyfriends."

"Ah. What are the odds?" She gave him a look. "Fair enough. You want for me to turn around? Leave them to it?"

Buffy straightened her shoulders. "I don't run."

"That's my girl."

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The demon was shish-ka-bobbed, only miles from her final destination, green, acidic blood dousing their clothes. Buffy glanced at Spike, hesitant, then stripped to her skivvies, flinging her ruined clothes to join his already discarded t-shirt on the ground. Spike tried to drag his eyes away but they kept darting back, zeroing in on her pert nipples.

Buffy crossed her arms over her chest. "This isn't a free show, buddy. I happen to have an aversion to flesh-eating acid touching, you know, my flesh." She scanned the area. "Gotta find something to rinse off with. And, uh…" she pointed to his jeans, the patches of visible skin growing larger by the second. "You might want to get those off too."

"Can't."

"Why not? Are they stuck to you?"

"Don't have anything on underneath," Spike mumbled.

"You… Guh… I won't look," she squeaked, eyes wide, pivoting away so fast she tripped. "'Cause if you don't… you're not gonna have any jeans left anyhow."

There was the snick of a zipper. "Right. So… I'll just go poking about the jungle in my altogether, look for a stream or something…"

At that moment, fat, heavy drops of rain began to fall, quickly turning into a downpour. Buffy's thin form shivered under the chill night rain. Spike deliberated then stepped closer, wrapping his arms around her from behind, careful to keep things in the platonic zone. "Can't warm you up much, but…"

She stiffened and he loosened his hold to step away, but she turned in his arms, pressing her cold, wet skin into his chest, chattering. "Gotta rinse – rub the acid off," she stammered, shivering violently in his arms.

"I'll do you for, pet," he said, rubbing briskly down one arm and then the other. Buffy reached up tentatively, doing the same for him, eyes locked on his.

His dick forgot to behave. Bloody impossibility, the way her efficient ministrations turned gentler, more exploratory, her hands fluttering over her chest.

"Buffy…"

She silenced him with her mouth.

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The odds played out as expected, oversized wankers interrupting what had promised to be a moment.

Surprisingly (to both of them), she didn't make excuses, didn't hide what was happening. The nudity was an issue, but the not the being nude together. Her belligerent posture dared the ex to say anything, and he showed some sense for once, treating the situation as one hundred percent normal and expected. Spike couldn't help but smirk.

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Back to the Jeep, back to clothing that fit rather than army castoffs, and on towards home. The first motel they reached, Buffy flopped onto the bed, right in the middle.

"Spike."

He was already there.

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