Five Words or Less

Author: AGriffinWriter

A/N: Shout-outs to Mystic4Gohan and sunraye36 for reviewing! Please keep the reviews coming; let me know if you like how I'm Spuffifying this season! The feelings between the Slayer and our favorite vampire are about to heat up!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. This chapter draws heavily on S5:7 "Fool for Love", including both direct and slightly altered quotes. Some content from "Into the Woods" as well.

Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike dumps Harmony, helps fight off the Lai-ach demons, defends Tara's humanity, and gets invited to her birthday party at the Bronze. He sniffs Sandy – the flirty vampire – on Riley (yes, this plot point has been moved up) and guesses that Soldier-Boy's been letting someone other than Buffy get some. However, he doesn't want to spoil the birthday mood, so he leaves the Bronze and decides to follow Buffy on patrol for the next few weeks . . .

Chapter 3: Love Hurts

Sunnydale Cemetery is as quiet tonight as it usually is – where "quiet" means that several freshly spawned vampires are clawing their way out of their graves and skulking about until they come face to face with the Slayer.

"You know, it's probably none of my business," Buffy taunts between jabs, exchanging blows with a particularly nasty-looking vampire sporting a shaggy black mullet., "but I just gotta ask . . . Did you smell this bad when you were alive? If it's a post-mortem thing, then hey, so not your fault, and boy, is my face red . . . But just so you know . . . The fast-growing field of personal grooming's come a long way since you became a vampire."

Punching him backwards with ease, Buffy raises her stake and swings it toward the mullet-ed vampire. But the moment she expects to make contact, he sidesteps, grabs her arm, twists, and uses her own stake to stab her right in the stomach. The stake enters deep, just under her ribs. Gasping in shock, Buffy manages to shove the vampire away and slowly pulls out the stake.

"Aah!" she cries out, letting the bloodied weapon fall through her fingers onto the grass as she holds both hands over her wound.

"You going?" the ugly vampire sneers, advancing on her as she turns to run, stumbling slightly. "But you were having so much fun a minute ago . . ."

He leers and crouches as though to pounce, but with a yell a blur comes crashing down on him, tackling the vampire. His light hair a streak of white in the darkness, Spike flips the hideous vampire several feet farther from Buffy and takes a fighting stance in front of her, bouncing on the balls of his feet like a boxer.

"That's right, oaf! Pick on someone your own size! What? Eh! Get back here, ya sniveling git!" he snarls after the vamp as it vaults over a tombstone and disappears off into the night.

"Guess they don't make Big Bads like they used to, eh?" Spike turns back around to Buffy and sees her sitting on the ground with her hands around her sweater. "Slayer? What happened?"

She lowers her hands slightly, and the sharp scent of blood wafts through Spike's nostrils.

"Oh, God, Buffy . . ." He rushes to her, drops to his knees, and holds her, glancing around in desperation. "Just hang on, luv. Where do you want me to take you. Giles's? Your place? Where's closest? Oh, Buffy . . ."

"Sh-shut up, Spike," Buffy huffs, barely keeping her grip on consciousness. "R-r-riley will . . . c-c-come help m-m-me . . ."

Spike bites down hard on his lip. He still hasn't dared to tell Buffy that her ex-military boyfriend spends most of his recent nighttimes getting suck jobs from two-bit vampire trollops at a seedy flophouse downtown. He's surprised by how quickly Captain Cardboard got addicted to the rush.

"Riley's . . . not in this part of the graveyard, pet," Spike justifies, though why he's making excuses for Soldier Boy at the expense of his own chance for Buffy, he can't imagine. Perhaps it's that he doesn't want to put her in any more pain, got enough to handle at the moment.

"Want . . . R-r-riley . . ." Buffy moans. Then, without warning, she collapses in his arms.


Spike shakes her shoulders gently, but she doesn't wake. Eyes wide in panic, he yanks the hem of his black t-shirt out of his belt and rips off a piece about the length of his leg, then bunches the fabric against Buffy's bleeding wound. Keeping one cool hand pressed over her belly, Spike reaches under Buffy's legs, hefts her limp body into his arms, and takes off toward downtown Sunnydale, walking as quickly and smoothly as he can. The moonlit streets are empty of passersby, just a stray cat that yowls and scampers away at the sight of Spike charging toward the Magic Box. Without breaking stride, he kicks in the locked front door and saunters inside, Buffy still slung across his arms, her head lolling against his neck.

"Oi! Watcher! Red!" he shouts into the darkened, empty shop. "Somebody help her!"

Her scent is overpowering, her golden hair splayed all over his shoulder, her hot blood sticky against his torso. He's soaked in her, drowning in her . . .

Holding his breath against the alluring fragrance, Spike swipes an arm over the table, sending books and candles spinning across the floor, then lays Buffy out on her back. He stumbles back, gasping for clean air, but the whole room is already laced with the scent of Buffy's blood, a heady mist, beckoning him to drink, to devour his helpless, beautiful enemy. It would be so easy to bend his lips to her and take his fill. She wouldn't even feel any pain . . .

"C'mon, Buffy, wake up," he pleads, cradling her head in one hand, thumb caressing her cheek. "Please, luv . . ."

He kneads her forehead with a rough, cold kiss, then pushes away from the table before his self-restraint runs out. "Gotta have a first-aid kit somewhere in this bloody shop!" Nearly yanking the cupboard doors off their hinges, Spike digs through the cabinet where Giles keeps his tea, then starts tearing through the shelves underneath the cash register and along the wall behind the counter. "What kind of half-arsed Watcher wouldn't have . . . here!"

Snatching up the white plastic box, Spike hurries back to Buffy's side. He pulls out a gauze square, medical tape, and cotton balls, then rips open a packet of antiseptic wipes with his teeth. Choking back his desire, he gently rolls Buffy's shirt up to just above her ribs and begins cleaning the wound, blotting her blood with the fluffs of cotton.

"You'll be alright, luv," he whispers, noticing with relief that her midsection has nearly stopped bleeding. Thank his lucky stars that accelerated healing powers come with the Slayer package.

"Riley . . ."

Her head thrashes slightly from one side to the other, and one of her hands finds Spike's, holding it tenderly. He grits back tears and starts to withdraw his hand.

"No, pet, it's just me."

"No . . ." Buffy whimpers, still unconscious, clinging to his cool fingers. Working with his other hand, Spike sponges up the rest of the blood and guiltily stashes the stained cotton balls and the bloodied strip of t-shirt in one of his duster pockets before covering Buffy's injury with the gauze and tearing several sections of tape to wrap around her.

"There, luv. All patched up, be right as rain in a day or two."

Buffy smiles in her sleep, refusing to release his hand, and Spike bends toward her and strokes one finger along her jawline.

"Why do you torture me so, Slayer?" he whispers sweetly after a few minutes of tender silence. "Is this my curse, my cup of perpetual torment? To be so close to you, and not have you . . ."

"Anybody in here?"

Breathing hard, Riley comes sprinting through the broken door of the shop. His sleeves are rolled up, and there's a tell-tale bandage in the crook of his elbow. His shocked eyes take in the sight of Buffy out cold on the table, the helter-skelter items littering the floor, and Spike leaning over her, blood on his hands and shirt.

"Well, it's 'bout time," Spike huffs angrily, quickly retracting his hands from Buffy. "Right proper boyfriend you are, Soldier Boy, leaving your damsel in distress to fend for her– hey! Hey!"

Before he's finished speaking, Riley yells in hot rage, charges at him, and grabs a fistful of his blond hair, yanking him roughly away from Buffy.

"Oi! I was defending her, you ponce!" Spike protests as Riley slams him up against a wall, ignoring his outcry. "Where were you, eh? With your sodding vampire whor–"

Riley's fist slams across Spike's jaw with a crack! The second punch drives him to the floor, but Spike deftly rolls over and springs to his feet before the commando can land another blow.

"Get out!" Riley roars. "Get out before I kill you!"

"I'd like to see you try," Spike murmurs with a glare, spitting a mouthful of blood on the floor as he backs away towards the shop entrance. Consumed with fury, Riley storms over to the weapons chest in the corner and draws out a stake, but by the time he turns back around, Spike has fled.

He jogs until the Magic Box is out of sight, then stuffs his hands deep in his pockets and trudges back to his crypt, disregarding his bleeding lip and nose. He enters the dark mausoleum, shrugs off his duster, and shuffles over to the sink in the corner. Tugging his ripped t-shirt up over his head, Spike holds the bloodied portion up to his nose and breathes deeply, filling himself with Buffy's scent until his entire body aches for her. Then he drops the shirt in the basin and turns on the tap. He wipes his own blood from his face and takes one long look at his hands before immersing his fingers in the little stream of water and washing their mingled blood off his palms.

A/N: "Fool for Love" will continue in the next chapter!