Summary: My take on what might have happened when Faith switched bodies with Buffy.


"I can squeeze you until you pop like warm champagne and then beg me to hurt you again."

Spike was furious, and frustrated. First the Slayer had tempted and taunted him – in public, no less! Then she tells him she won't follow through because it would be "wrong". It certainly wasn't unlike her to get on her high horse about what was right and wrong; but to flirt with him first, or do much of anything besides insult or punch him, that was something new and different. To get him going like that and then leave him hanging – the bitch deserved to die.

Snarling under his breath, he took his beer and went out the back door into the alley. When he finished drinking he threw the bottle against the wall where it made a satisfyingly loud crash. The mildly destructive behavior made him feel slightly better, but didn't really do much for the uncomfortably hard bulge in his jeans. Cursing the Slayer for a cock-teasing bitch, he moved toward the entrance of the alley planning to kill anything he saw on his way home.

Suddenly he was thrown up against the brick wall and a warm fragrant body was pressed up against him, holding the point of a stake at his chest.

"Hey there, William the Bloody, that's littering you know. Shame on you."

He groaned as he looked down into glittering green eyes. "Is that a staking offense now, Slayer?" he asked somewhat carefully. There was something very different about her demeanor and attitude tonight and he definitely did not want to be on the receiving end of a slayer temper tantrum.

She eased back a little with the stake, but remained pressed up against him, effectively trapping him between her warm, soft body and the hard brick wall. He felt her perfect little breasts pressing into his chest and almost groaned again as the bulge in his jeans grew harder. Then he blinked in surprise. Was that arousal he smelled on her? Was the Slayer as turned on by their proximity as he was?

The small blonde shifted her hips and pressed up against his erection, rubbing her thigh against it. "You know what, chipped wonder? I think I don't care if it's wrong. I think I want a piece of William the Bloody and I'm guessing," she paused to rub against his throbbing erection again, "that you would like a piece of Buffy. Am I right?"

He briefly considered telling her "Hell no" and running away, but even if his body wasn't demonstrating how much he did, he knew he couldn't – wouldn't pass up this chance to get what he'd wanted since the first time he saw her dancing with her friends years ago.

Instead, he tentatively brought his head down to hers and whispered against her eager lips, "I could be talked into it, pet. No doubt about it." As he finished speaking, he fastened his lips on hers and lost himself in their soft, moist suppleness. As the kiss deepened, the Slayer dropped the stake to her side and began running her hands over his body.

The longer they stood there, kissing and pushing aside clothing to feel each other's bodies better, the more uncomfortable he became. The Slayer was saying and doing things he would never have associated with Buffy. He'd always thought she'd be a passionate partner, but the dirty words coming from her mouth were a revelation.

Shaking off the feeling that something wasn't right, he grabbed her ass and hoisted her up to put her legs around his waist as he ran his teeth down her neck and bit down with his blunt human teeth.

"Hey," she breathed, "not complaining here, but I thought you couldn't hurt anyone?"

"Not planning on hurting you, luv," he growled. "Not too much, anyway," he gave a feral grin before he went back to worrying the pulse in her neck, biting and sucking on the bite marks left by Angel.

"Oh, too bad," she purred. "I was kinda looking forward to it. Thought you'd be worth doing. Maybe I was wrong?"

"Oh, I can make it hurt, luv. If that's what you want, I'm your vampire."

Even as he indulged in more verbal banter and bragged about what he was going to do to her, he was becoming more and more uncomfortable with this version of Buffy. This feral, dirty-talking, pain-welcoming woman was not at all like the perky, virtuous girl he'd been attracted to and he found himself becoming less rather than more aroused as she told him what she wanted and how she wanted it.

It soon became obvious to the woman he was holding that he was losing interest and she glared at him and growled, "What's the matter, vampire? Can't get it up anymore? The chip really has made you impotent, hasn't it?"

As he looked into the angry eyes of the blonde woman in his arms he suddenly had the feeling that Buffy wasn't in there. He couldn't have said exactly when he started to notice the differences, but when the cumulative effect hit him he grabbed her arms and thrust her away from him, growling, "Where's Buffy? What have you done with the Slayer?"

"What the hell are you talking about, you bastard? If you can't get it up, just say so. Don't try to make it about me, cause I know I'm hot." She sneered at him, but he could see the fear in her eyes and smell it on her as she started to sidle away from him.

A sudden sound from the door to the Bronze opening caused them both to turn and look and when he looked back, she was running from the alley at a speed he wasn't sure even he could match.

"Shit!" he yelled, turning toward the people coming toward him. "She's getting away!"

Willow and Tara stared at him, then Willow walked up and grabbed his arm forcing him to look at her. "Who's getting away, Spike? Wasn't that Buffy?"

He stared into the eyes of the intent red-haired witch, then shrugged and pulled his arm away. "I don't know. I don't think so. It looked and smelled like her, but… I don't think it was."

To his surprise, instead of telling him he was crazy, Willow turned to Tara and nodded her head. "I guess you were right, baby. Spike," she said, turning back to him, "you need to come with us to Giles'. We have to figure out what's going on."

He looked at her like she'd grown a second head, then shrugged again and said, "Yeah, okay. Got nothing better to do anyway."

They arrived at the Watcher's apartment just in time to hear the girl wearing Faith's body say, "But I'm—"

"You're Buffy," said Willow as the two witches and the vampire walked in the door.

The strange brunette turned to them in relief. "Thank God! Somebody believes me!"

After introducing Tara to Giles and Buffy, as well as to Xander and Anya, Willow explained how Tara had picked up on the troubled aura surrounding Buffy in the Bronze, and how they had followed her outside only to find her running away from Spike who was also sure he hadn't been talking to Buffy.

Buffy shot him a look, demanding, "What was I… she… Faith – what were you two talking about?"

Spike ran an appreciative eye up and down the curvaceous body in front of him and leered at her. "Not sure you really want to know that, Slayer. Let's just say it was becoming pretty obvious I wasn't... talking... with Miss Goody Two-shoes." The way he drew out "talking" left no doubt as to his meaning.

For the second time that night, he was pinned up against a wall by an incredibly strong but feminine body as Buffy ground out, "What did you do with her, you pervert? What did you let her do with my body?"

Yep, here's my Slayer. All outraged virtue and passion.

"Don't get your kickers in twist, Slayer. I didn't do much of anything with her. Was shovin' her away when Red and her friend came out the door."

He pushed away from Buffy/Faith and moved further into the room. Buffy relaxed a little, then stiffened again.

He was pushing her – me away? I'm not good enough for the chipped vampire?

"You were pushing her away? Why?" she demanded, ignoring the looks on her friends' faces. "Why would you push me away?" She moved closer to glare at him again.

"Cause I knew it wasn't you, you stupid bint!" He glared back at her.

"It was my body, wasn't it?"

"Oh yeah, it was your body alright. No doubt about that," he said, looking her up and down again with his tongue between his teeth. "Definitely wasn't that body."

"So, my body wasn't good enough for you?" Without a thought as to why that hurt so much, she gave him a push that knocked him into Xander, dropping both of them on the couch.

"What the bleeding hell is wrong with you, woman? First you want to stake me for touching your precious body, now you want to hit me because I didn't? Make up your bloody mind."

"Did you, or did you not, try to have sex with Faith in my body?" Buffy was so angry she was trembling.

"I already told you – I stopped when I figured out it was just your body, not you," he yelled back at her.

"Why?" she asked quietly. "Didn't you want my body?"

The vampire just stared at her with his mouth doing an imitation of a fish gasping for air.

"Don't answer that," Xander whispered in a rare moment of male solidarity. "That's one of those questions with no right answer. Trust me."

Fortunately, Giles took the temporary silence as an opportunity to interrupt and get the conversation back on track. Pointing out that they needed to both find Faith/Buffy and come up with a way to switch them back into their own bodies, he managed to get everyone to focus on solving the problem and soon assignments were made and steps being taken. Willow and Tara said they would work on creating another orb to use for the switch and Xander and Anya agreed to go out looking for Faith/Buffy.

"Should someone tell Riley?" Anya asked innocently. "In case he sees her or something?"

Buffy/Faith's face suddenly went white. "Oh my god… Riley! What if she sleeps with Riley? He'll think it's me, but it'll be Faith!" She was getting visibly more agitated by the second, and soon headed for the door insisting she had to find him and explain.

The only one in the room with enough speed to get between her and the door was Spike and he used that vampire speed to cross the room so that he was in front of her when she reached the door.

"Get out of my way, Spike. I've got to go stop her before she..." He found himself oddly touched by the anguished look on the unfamiliar face in front of him.

"Buffy," Giles cut in as he reached them and touched her arm, "You can't go out there like this. Faith is a felon and also wanted by the Council. You can't afford to be caught again."

"But, Giles!" she pleaded with her watcher. "I can't let Riley... I don't want her to..."

"Bloody hell. Relax, Slayer," Spike finally spoke up. "If I was able to figure it out so fast, surely your boyfriend won't be fooled. Don't you think he'll be able to tell it's not you?"

"Much as I hate to agree with Spike," Xander put in, "I gotta say, Buff, if the evil undead could tell the difference, Riley'll know something's off right away."

Buffy wavered, then gave in with slumped shoulders, "I guess you're right. Of course he'll be able to tell. If Spike could tell, then my boyfriend – who knows me much better," she said with a haughty look at the vampire, "will definitely be able to tell the difference. He'll be fine," she finished with more confidence than she actually felt. The thought that Spike, her mortal enemy, and Tara – a complete stranger – had picked up on the fact that Faith wasn't her when her watcher and closest friends hadn't was an unpleasant fact that she buried as quickly as possible.

Denial, thy name is Buffy, was her wry thought as she allowed them to pull her back into the room.

Chapter 2

Spike was walking back toward his crypt several days later, carrying a bag of blood and cigarettes, when he sensed the Slayer just before he caught her scent. He stopped and waited for her to step out of the shadows.

"Slayer," he said flatly. "Back to yourself, I see."

"Yeah, I'm all me again." She shifted her feet uncomfortably and looked around the cemetery, finally meeting his curious gaze and blowing out the breath she'd been holding.

"Spike, I... I just wanted to... to... say... thank you," she whispered so softly he almost couldn't hear it even with his vampire hearing.


She twisted her hands together and stared at the ground intently as though daring it to contradict her. "For, not… not... I mean, when I, she, Faith. When Super Slut was in my body..."

"You're welcome, luv," he said, smiling at her discomfort. "So, Super Slut, huh? And here I thought I was the only bloke lucky enough to get that kind of offer from her."

"Apparently not," she said bitterly. "At least you knew it wasn't me!" She turned her head away, but not before he caught the glint of tears in her eyes.

At the sight of her tears, he dropped his snarky tone and put down his stuff to walk up to her. Tentatively, he put his hands on her arms and rubbed them up and down gently.

"Captain Cardboard didn't get the memo, huh?" he asked sympathetically.

What the bleedin' hell is wrong with me? Perfect opportunity to torment the Slayer and here I am playin' understanding friend. The chip must be frying my brain!

Is Spike being nice to me? That tears it. I am officially pathetic when my mortal enemy feels sorry for me!

She peered up at him suspiciously. "Why are you being nice to me? Don't you want to gloat?"

"God knows I should be, pet. Just can't work up as much enthusiasm for it as I used to. I'll try though, if it'll make you feel better." He tried to look like he was evil and gloating, but the soft expression on his face ruined it and she just laughed at him.

He picked up his bag and they started walking toward his crypt together; when they reached his door he stopped and looked at her curiously.

"Do you want to come in, Slayer? I might have some water or juice in the fridge..."

"Uh, no, no thank you. I just... I wanted to ask you..."

He tilted his head to one side and waited patiently. When she continued to hem and haw, he interrupted to say, "Sort it out, pet. I'm just going to go in and put this stuff away, alright? I'll be right back." He entered his home and put the blood away in the refrigerator. He took a new pack of cigarettes out of the carton and started toward the door.

When he emerged from his crypt, Buffy was waiting on a large tombstone; she patted the space beside her and he sat down at a companionable distance. She seemed calmer, so he lit a cigarette as he waited for her to try her question again.

She turned to look at him and he found himself getting lost in her soft eyes. Those eyes that could change from flashing anger, to amusement, to concern, and, at the moment were showing curiosity and some other emotion he couldn't place for sure.

Christ, she's beautiful. Inside and out.

The moonlight was illuminating his face and it emphasized the sharp cheekbones, deep set eyes, and full mouth. With a small start, Buffy realized that she was sitting next to a man who, with the moonlight on his face, could almost be called beautiful.

Not a man, a vampire. Been there, done that, got the scars to show for it.

"Spike," she started. "Why is it that you could tell it wasn't me trying to..." She lost her train of thought as she tried to come up with what to call what Faith had attempted with him but the vampire seemed to understand her instinctively.

"Don't rightly know, luv. Looked like you, sounded like you, definitely smelled like you." He grinned at the "eeew" face she made. "It's just, the more she talked and the more we... I just couldn't believe it was you. And when I called her on it, she couldn't hide her fear that she'd been caught. Then I knew. Didn't know what had happened, but I knew it wasn't you in there talkin' to me like that, doing those things..."

"Things? There were things? What things?" Buffy's voice had shot up an octave as she questioned him frantically.

"Relax, pet. Your virtue's intact. Pretty much, anyway. Was just a lot of talk about what would or could happen and some kissin'. Maybe a little touchin' before I lost interest..." He looked at her out of the corners of his eyes to see how she was taking that.

"You lost interest?" she asked in a small voice.

Spike remembered Xander's warning about answering a question like that, but he wanted her to understand exactly who he'd lost interest in.

"Not in you, luv," he said touching her cheek gently. "Just wasn't interested in havin' the body if Buffy wasn't in it. I figured if I was gonna have a shot at shaggin' the Slayer, I'd hold out for the real thing."

"As if!" she snarked at him.

"Yeah, that's what I figured," he said, dropping his hand. "But I'm just not a settle-for-a-fake kinda bloke."

Buffy remembered that he had been with Drusilla for over a hundred years and looked at him with a new respect and a touch of wistfulness.

I wonder what it's like to be loved for a hundred years?

She shook away that thought and came back to her original question. "I just don't see how you could tell it wasn't me and my boy friend couldn't. That's just not right!" she finished indignantly.

He laughed at her annoyed face and nudged her arm. "Oh, come on, Slayer. The poor git 's only known you a few months. I've been trying to kill you for years. Studyin' you, watchin' you, learnin' your ways. I probably know you better than you know yourself."

"Are you defending him?" she asked incredulously.

"Oh, hell no! " He recovered rapidly. "I think he's a first class wanker. No way should he not have been able to tell that kinky bint wasn't you, luv. I mean, I could tell and I've never even..." His voice trailed off as he remembered Willow's spell and the night he spent holding her on his lap and kissing those soft pink lips. He looked at her intently. "He should have known from the first kiss. The man's a fool," he growled.

"Did you?" she asked suddenly, also remembering the spell. "Did you know from the first kiss?"

He looked away uncomfortably, refusing to meet her eyes. "Well, I was a little... distracted. But I could tell eventually!" he added quickly. "I mean long before we actually got to... I could tell. I knew I wasn't kissing you."

"Was she a better kisser?" Buffy suddenly demanded. Spike could hear Harris' voice in his ear, "There's only one right answer here, Dead Boy," as he turned toward her anxious face.

Gonna go for it. What's the worst that can happen?

"Not sure I remember, luv," he purred, leaning in slowly and giving her plenty of time to move away. "It's been awhile since that spell..."

When she didn't move away from his slowly nearing face, he finished his sentence by putting his mouth on hers and applying gentle pressure. She didn't respond at first, but she didn't pull away and he continued moving his lips gently on hers and was rewarded finally with a tentative kiss back.

For several seconds they just explored each other's mouths. Buffy marveled again – as she had during the spell – that someone with such a hard body could have such soft, sensitive lips. And Spike was lost in the scent and feel of her. In addition to her warm, supple lips, his senses were swimming in the scent of her body, the sound of the blood rushing through her veins, the steady thumping of her heart.

He eventually yielded to desire, and allowed his tongue to run softly along her lower lip, asking, but not demanding, an entrance. When she opened her mouth and met his cool tongue with her warm one, he sighed and slipped his arms around her waist. As her arms came up around his neck, he slanted his head and deepened the kiss, putting into it all the pent up desire he'd been feeling for her since the first time he saw her.

Buffy tried to tell herself she was just thanking him for turning Faith down, but she couldn't pretend she wasn't feeling all the things he was putting into the kiss, and she couldn't deny the effect it was having on her. This was different from the kisses they'd shared while they were under the spell.

She remembered that in spite of the spell, their physical contact at the beginning had felt strange. As though, as much as they seemed to want to be kissing and touching each other, there was something wrong about it. As the night had progressed though, and as she spent more time on his lap being cuddled, kissed and, when Giles couldn't see, touched in ways that had her unwilling to wait for the honeymoon, their responses became more real and less artificial feeling. The feelings of love had still felt weird, but the lustful pleasure they were taking in each other and the frustration that was building up when they weren't allowed any privacy had been very real. When the spell was finally broken, there had been more than a little acting going on when she had to jump off his hard body and stop kissing him. By that point, even without the spell, neither one of them really wanted to stop the kissing, but they did what was expected of them and had soon been back to normal.

Now, all the pent-up desire that had been simmering was out and it wasn't long before Buffy was moaning into his mouth as he pulled her against his body and ground his erection into her hip. Spike finally broke the kiss to run his mouth down her throat, murmuring to her as he did so. When the things he was saying finally reached Buffy's overloaded brain, it was like someone had thrown cold water on her. Before he could say something from which there would be no turning back, she pushed herself away from him, ignoring the whimpers that wanted to come from her mouth at the loss of contact with his lean muscular body.

She placed her fingers gently against his lips to forestall any more words that she didn't want to hear and he stopped talking but kissed her fingertips and pulled one of them into his mouth.

"N… No, Spike. Please," she whispered. "I can't do this. You know we can't—"

"Yes, we can, luv. We can, Please, Buffy. I lo—"

"Spike!" Her frightened expression stopped his declaration before he could finish. "Please. Don't. I'm the Slayer. You're a vampire. If you lose that chip, I'd have to kill you. I can't go through that kind of pain again. I just can't."

She was shaking all over and her eyes were swimming with unshed tears. Spike felt a corresponding prickle behind his own eyes as he struggled to swallow the arguments he wanted to make in favor of a relationship. He knew she was right. Anything between them was doomed before it began, but the poet in him was screaming that they could make it work.

He leaned in and touched his forehead to hers. "I can't give you up now, Buffy. Don't ask me to. Not now that I know you—"

She leaned into him for a minute, savoring the sound of his voice and the feel of his cool hands on her shoulders. Then she opened her eyes and stepped back again.

"I am asking you, Spike. I'm asking you to forget this ever happened. We go back to our lives and to being – whatever we are – enemies? Slaying buddies? Friends? Whatever you want as long as it doesn't involve kissing or touching or... or anything that might make it too hard to kill you if I have to."

She stepped away from him completely and turned to leave trying not to see the pain in his eyes. "I'm sorry, William. I really am," she whispered softly as she walked away.

Spike did his best to stay away from her for the next few weeks. He tried to tell himself he hadn't meant what he almost said to her. "Just trying to get into her pants. That's all it was. Not like I was serious. William the Bloody in love with a slayer? Hah! That'll be the day!" he huffed as he walked into the Bronze. "I'll find myself a willing bint to take home, get my rocks off, and that'll be the end of it."

He swaggered up to the bar, ordered a drink and let his eyes rove the room, looking for someone to take home and prove to himself that he wasn't, absolutely was not, in love with the Slayer. A shapely blonde in a short, body hugging dress caught his eye and his gaze followed her across the room until he saw her stop at a table occupied by the Scoobies and Riley Finn. He groaned as she turned around and he recognized Buffy.

"Bloody buggering hell! What do I have to do to get away from that woman?" he grumbled as he turned his back on the room. He sulked for several minutes, downing several shots of scotch in a row, when he felt a light tap on his shoulder. Turning around, he saw two giggling girls wearing tight mini skirts and halter tops pushing each other forward toward him.

The vampire raised his eyebrows at them and putting on his most charming smile he asked, "Can I help you ladies? Buy you a drink maybe? Drive you home?"

They giggled again, then moved up to either side of him. "We just love your accent," one of them breathed in his ear. The other leaned in the other side and ran her hand up his chest, toying with the buttons on his shirt. "I'll bet you've never had two girls at the same time before."

Spike had a very healthy ego, but he knew there was something off about this sudden attention. They he realized he wasn't hearing a heartbeat from either girl.

Bloody hell, these stupid fledgling bints are trying to pick me up expecting a meal. They deserve what they get for not noticing that my heart isn't beating either.

He was getting ready to send them on their way and tell them to get out of the club when he saw the Slayer glaring holes in them. From where she was sitting he knew she couldn't tell they were vampires and she was trapped by her self-imposed rule not to harm humans. He could see Riley trying to get her attention, but she never took her eyes off Spike and the two pretty girls hanging all over him. He was too far away and there were too may people for him to pick up her heart rate, but he didn't need to hear it to know it was pounding. Her red face and clenched jaw told him all he needed to know about her state of mind.

With a smirk in her direction, he relaxed and leaned back on the bar allowing the girls to rub up against him and run their hands around his body. When they, inevitably, suggested they all go outside, he willingly followed them after checking to see that he had a stake in the pocket of his duster.

When Buffy saw Spike get up and allow the two sluts that had been hanging all over him to lead him outside, she jumped to her feet and tried to leave the table. She pushed down the hurt she was feeling and embraced the anger she needed to take out on somebody or something right that minute.

"Buffy," Riley said with irritation, "Where are you going?" It wasn't lost on him that she'd been watching Spike and the two barely dressed bar girls for the last ten minutes.

She shook him off and growled, "To kill a vampire," as she left the table and headed for the door to the alley.

Outside, the two fledgling vampires had just discovered that their intended victim was not only just as dead as they were, but he wasn't really interested in them. Anger at losing what they thought was an easy meal, as well as the insult to their feminine wiles, caused them to overlook the fact that he was obviously much older and therefore undoubtedly stronger than they were, and they attacked him at once.

He held one up by her neck as he punched the other one off him long enough to pull the stake out of his pocket. The fledgling's return to the attack was interrupted by the sound of the door slamming open and Buffy's arrival. "Is this a private party, or can anyone play?"

"Always room for one more, luv," he answered, holding up the stake and raising his eyebrow questioningly. He was sure she had one somewhere on her person – although he made a mental note to ask her someday where she hid them in dresses like that – but he wanted her to know there was another one available if she needed it.

Shaking her head, she grinned in a way that could only be described as bloodthirsty as she stalked toward the female vampire looking back and forth between Spike and the Slayer in bewilderment. The fledgling shrugged and decided to tackle the human girl first. She was still anticipating how the blood would taste when she found herself flying backwards and striking the brick wall with her head. She looked up groggily to see a very angry slayer preparing to hit her again as she growled, "Touch my vampire, will you? Come in to my club and try to hit on my vampire? " Each statement was driven home with a fist or a kick. Within a very short space of time, the unlucky fledgling was reduced to a moaning, broken heap on the ground and Buffy was still hitting her. Finally she realized her behavior was becoming uncomfortably similar to Faith's anger-fueled approach to slaying. Pulling a stake out of its holster on her thigh, she drove it through the vampire's chest so hard she hit the ground underneath the resulting dust.

The female vampire Spike had been holding was chattering in terror from what she had just seen and she struggled vigorously to get away before the Slayer had time to turn around and notice at her. Insisting that she had "never touched the guy," wasn't "planning to touch him" and hoped they'd be "very happy together", she tried to run away only to explode into a dust cloud when Buffy threw her stake with unerring accuracy through her back and into her heart.

While Buffy and Spike were still brushing away the vampire dust and studiously not looking at each other, Riley and the rest of the Scoobies burst out the door.

"Buffy?" Riley glared at the blond vampire, but only spoke to the Slayer. "What happened out here?"

"Nothing, Riley. Sheesh! I saw those vamp ho's with Spike and thought he might need some help, that's all." At his skeptical look, she added, "It's what I do, you know. Slay vamps."

"What's the matter, Evil Undead, were those two bimbos too much for you? Or did Buffy interrupt something else? Maybe staking them wasn't what you had in mind? Or maybe it was – just not with wood, or..." Xander eventually realized that every woman in the alley was glaring at him and decided that as much fun as he was having making Spike growl and snarl at him, it was time to quit.

"What? If I didn't give him a hard time about leaving with those two underdressed, over-developed... things... he'd think there was something wrong with me!"

"There issomething wrong with you," Spike growled.

Secretly, he was grateful that Xander's teasing about the two vamps had taken everyone's attention away from him. As happy as it made him to think Buffy had been jealous when she saw him with two other girls, he knew he wouldn't be able to do anything about it with Riley there.

Riley looked back and forth between Spike and Buffy before finally asking her, "So, you knew they were vampires all along?"

"Well, of course I did! Why else would I follow Spike out into an alley?" She tried her best to look offended and innocent.

"Why, indeed?" the vampire muttered too low for anyone except Buffy to hear. It earned him a glare from the Slayer, but he just smirked back at her, his mood much improved by the thought that she was willing to leave her boyfriend to keep him from going anywhere with another woman.

While Riley digested what she'd said and glared at Spike suspiciously, she strolled over to where her stake was lying in a pile of dust, picked it up and put it back in its holster. Spike cocked an appreciative eye at the shapely, muscular thigh exposed and snarked, "Always wondered where you kept them in those skimpy little dresses, Slayer."

To his amazement, she walked over to hand him his own stake and murmured in a voice too low for anyone without vampire hearing, "Play your cards right and maybe you'll get a chance to find out where the rest of them are."

She gave him a brilliant smile as he stood in the alley, mouth open and eyes bulging; then took Riley's arm and said in her perkiest tones, "Okay, everybody, bad guys, er, girls, are slain. Let's go have fun." Looking over her shoulder at the still stunned vampire, she added, "Are you coming, Spike?"

Chapter Three

The vampire stared after the Slayer as she sashayed back into the club. Had she really just asked him to join them? Was she flirting with him? Was he incredibly stupid to still be standing there gawking when the door was already closing behind her?

Spike shook himself out of his daze and moved to the closing door in time to grab it and slip inside. He paused to take a deep, unnecessary breath and slip into his Big Bad persona before he stepped out of the hallway and into the main room. His eyes went to the table where the Scoobies had been sitting and he saw that they were all gathered around it again.

Before testing his welcome at the crowded table, he first went to the bar and got a fresh bottle of beer to take with him. He could see from there that Riley and Xander were not happy about Buffy's invitation. He briefly considered avoiding the whole thing and just staying at the bar, but the chance to annoy the Initiative soldier was just too tempting.

He glided up to the group, making no attempt to pretend he thought he was welcome. There were no open seats left and he stood there for a minute, trying not to appear uncomfortable. Raising his eyebrow at Buffy, he silently asked permission to join them. When she smiled up at him and moved over closer to Riley, he reached for a chair behind him. He pulled the chair over and went to put it between Buffy and Anya.

Riley's face darkened and growled, "There's no room for another chair at this table."

"That's okay, Riley. We can make room," Anya smiled at Spike in a moment of demon solidarity and pulled her own chair closer to Xander's.

Spike smiled gratefully at the ex-vengeance demon and slid gracefully into the chair. Unable to resist the chance to irritate the other man, he leaned back in his chair and let his legs sprawl out in front of him, putting them close to, but not touching the Slayer's tanned, smooth ones.

Buffy's look told him she knew exactly what he was doing and she frowned slightly and pulled her legs away a little. Her distancing herself from the vampire wasn't enough for Riley, and he put his arm around her, pulling her closer to him and away from the smirking man next to her.

When the large quantities of beer that Riley had been downing all night had their inevitable effect on his bladder, he reluctantly excused himself from the table and with a glare at Spike, went off to join the line to the crowded men's room.

Spike immediately took advantage of his absence to move closer to Buffy and ask her quietly, "Can I have this dance, love?"

He stood up and held out his hand to her, silently pleading with her to give him these few seconds of normality. The Slayer looked into those expressive blue eyes and took his hand, slowly nodding her head.

The two lithe blonds stepped onto the dance floor and melted together as though they had been dancing for years. Buffy's head fit perfectly under his chin and she sighed as she put her head on his chest and allowed the music to flow over her. She knew her friends were looking at her with amazement and that Riley would be furious when he got back; but for just those few minutes she could pretend that she and Spike were not Vampire and Slayer. She could pretend that they were just a man and a woman enjoying a romantic dance together.

Spike was sure if he turned to dust right that second, he would have died happy. Feeling Buffy's body in his arms, the scent of her hair in his nostrils, her breath warming his chest through his tee shirt – he would have been content to stay like that for the rest of the night. He was so absorbed in the way the girl in his arms was filling his senses that he didn't feel Riley's approach until he was yanked violently away from Buffy.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" the furious man yelled at him.

Spike glared right back at the much larger human, fighting to keep his demon under control. The last thing he wanted was for Buffy to see him vamp out at her boyfriend, knowing in his heart that seeing him like that would only serve to remind her that there could never be anything between them.

Before the testosterone-fueled staring contest could escalate into something ugly, Buffy stepped in between the two posturing men and addressed Riley sharply.

"What's wrong with you? Why did you do that?"

"What's wrong with me? I'm not the one snuggling up with a demon, Buffy. What were you thinking?"

Buffy's jaw clenched and she struggled to control her temper.

"I was thinking, Riley, that I might have a dance with one of my friends. Is that a problem?" The look she was giving the angry man was pure Slayer and he had the good sense to lower his voice and look somewhat apologetic.

"You couldn't have danced with Xander?" he asked meekly. "Why Spike?"

"I'm dancing with Spike because he asked me... and because there was no reason not to." Her cold stare made it obvious that she did not want to hear any argument about it.

Spike waited quietly. The joy that went through him when Buffy referred to him as a friend was almost enough to make up for the physical loss he felt when he was pulled out of her arms. He promised himself he wouldn't do anything to make the situation more difficult for her, but he couldn't resist a smirk in Riley's direction when she turned to him and said softly, "I'm sorry, Spike."

" 'S okay, Slayer. Thanks for the dance. Guess I'll go see if Harris wants to part with some of his money."

He walked toward the pool table, brushing his hand lightly against Buffy's as he did so. As he waited for Riley to let him by, his face gave no hint of the battle he was having with his demon. When the soldier refused to step aside, Spike stepped into him and used his shoulder to shove the bigger man out of his way. The quick stab of pain from his chip was more than offset by the satisfaction of seeing Buffy's boyfriend stagger and almost go down from the reminder that Spike's chip had only taken away his ability to feed, not any of his supernatural strength.

Buffy walked stiffly back to the table and sat down, reaching for her drink as she did so. In spite of how much she had been enjoying her abbreviated dance with Spike, she was beginning to think asking him to join them was not one of her better ideas.

Spike spent the next hour or so at the pool table; first winning enough from Xander to keep the beer flowing and then taking on a few other men who hadn't been watching the previous games. Between winning enough to keep himself in cigarettes and beer for several nights and having danced with Buffy, he was feeling pretty good when he left the pool table and headed for the Scoobies' corner.

As soon as Riley saw Spike heading in their direction, he whispered in Buffy's ear, asking if she wanted to leave. She looked at him sharply and then saw the vampire approaching.

"No, Riley, I'm still having fun. I'm just going to run to the ladies room for a minute and then I'll be ready to dance some more." She quickly got up and headed for the restrooms, dragging Willow and Tara with her so that neither man would try to follow her into the hallway.

When she returned, Spike was once again sprawled in his chair; ignoring the furious glares Riley was sending his way. The only vacant chair was between Spike and Riley and she hesitated as she approached the table. Suddenly Riley put his arm around her and pulled her down on his lap. She was so surprised; she didn't react immediately, and then wished she had as she saw the look on Spike's face.

The vampire visibly flinched when he saw Buffy sitting stiffly on the commando's lap. His demon was howling as Riley put his large hand on Buffy's thigh and rubbed it possessively. His good mood was suddenly gone at this reminder of with whom Buffy would be going home that night.

Without a "Good night" to anyone, he stood up abruptly and stalked toward the door, his leather duster billowing behind him. The minute he was away from the Bronze, he let his demon out and headed for Willy's. He was sure he could find a good fight there and he suddenly needed very badly to hurt something.

As soon as Spike had stalked out the door, Riley released his grip on Buffy, leaving no doubt in her mind that his sudden show of affection had more to do with testosterone poisoning and little to do with her. She slipped off his lap and settled into the chair vacated by Spike. It wasn't lost on anyone, least of all Riley, that she was putting some distance between them.

Spike's abrupt departure, and the obvious chilliness between Buffy and Riley was enough to put an end to the evening and it wasn't long before the Slayer and her boyfriend were the only ones left at the table.

Buffy was still angry at Riley for his deliberate show of possessiveness and refused to look at him. She just made wet circles on the table with the bottom of her glass and pouted.

Finally, the silence got to both of them and they spoke simultaneously.

"Riley, I..."

"Buffy, let's..."

They shared a small smile at their mutual discomfort; then she deferred to him, saying, "You go first. What did you want to say?"

"I just wanted to say... I'm sorry if I came on too strong tonight. I know Hostil- Spike spends a lot of time with you guys; but I can't forget what he is and it bothers me when you seem to be forgetting it."

As she remembered the intensity of the kiss she and Spike had shared several weeks ago, and her reason for running away from him, Buffy said sadly, "I never forget what he is, Riley. Or what he can do."

When she didn't elaborate on her statement, Riley decided to leave his questions about why she allowed him to hang around for another night and tried to change the subject.

"Are you staying in the dorm tonight?" he asked her as they gathered their jackets and started to leave.

"Yes, of course. Where else would I be staying?" She looked at him with genuine confusion.

"Well, I thought... I mean, I know you were upset... but it's been a long time and..." He didn't finish the thought as the expression on her face told him she had followed his train of thought and didn't like it.

"Buffy," he pleaded. "You can't still be mad at me about Faith? You know I would never have... I thought she was you. How was I supposed to know it wasn't just you in a strange mood?" He reached out and pulled her against his body. "I miss you, Buffy. How long are you planning to punish me?"

Instead of answering his question, she pushed herself away gently and asked, "Riley, did you know that Faith came on to Spike that night too?"

He stared at her with shock and horror on his face. "Oh, Buffy! She didn't... Oh my God, no wonder you're so freaked. She... Spike... how can you stand to be around him now?"

"No, Riley." She shook her head. "I don't think you're getting the picture. I said she came on to Spike. I didn't say he fucked her." She ignored Riley's flinch at her language. "He realized it wasn't me. He turned her down and went with Willow and Tara to tell Giles."

She studied his stricken face for a minute.

"So, can you tell me why a soulless vampire who'd never touched me, except for a few kisses when we were under a spell, could tell it wasn't me and my own boyfriend couldn't?"

When it became obvious that Riley was going to remain speechless, Buffy sighed and said, "Yeah, that's what I thought. So, yes, I'm going back to my dorm tonight – alone. Good night, Riley." She turned and began walking away, paying no attention to the worried man hurrying after her.

Chapter Four

Spike strode into Willy's, game face on and snarling. When the other vampires in the bar all made a hasty exit, he growled and walked up to the bar.

"A bottle of Jack D., Willy. Just leave it."

The bartender took one look at the ridged forehead and visible fangs and hastened to comply.

"Sure, here you go, Spike. It's on the house. Just – just don't wreck my bar, OK?"

Spike grabbed the bottle and glass and without answering made his way to an empty table. He threw himself into the chair and started his serious drinking. The longer he sat there and drank, the more morose he became. Eventually his game face went away along with his anger and he was left with the knowledge that Buffy's need to pretend she was normal would always get in the way of anything between them.

What was I thinking? Asking her to dance. Trying to behave like some lovesick schoolboy. She's the Slayer. She wouldn't have anything to do with me even if she wanted to. As much as said so, didn't she?

He cheered up slightly when he remembered her exact words and realized she had basically said she did want him. That her assumption that he would go back to killing if he got the chip out, and her fear of the pain it would cause her to have to kill another lover were keeping them apart.

Could just not kill. Maybe just bite a little and drink what I need? Just bite low-lifes and bad guys? Got to be a way to work this out. I could do it. I could be good – okay, I could be slightly less evil – for her. Know I could. I could be anything for her.

Argh! I'm turning into a bloody ponce like William! I'm Spike, William the Bloody, the Big Bad, Slayer of Slayers. Not gonna be housebroken by some skinny little chit with big green eyes and soft warm lips, and...

Spike's internal monologue and argument were interrupted by the stumbling arrival of two Faryl demons, which had obviously had too much to drink already. When they lurched into his table and knocked his almost empty bottle over, his eyes glittered with delight. Here was the fight he'd been itching for since Riley interrupted his dance with Buffy. Leaping to his feet, he went into game face immediately and roared his challenge.

With Willy running around in circles begging them not to wreck the bar, Spike and the two demons squared off in the center of the room. With something in front of him on which he could vent his frustration with the Slayer, the vampire leaped into the battle with joyful abandon. Unfortunately for him, two Faryl demons, even two that were as drunk as he was, proved to be a little much for one inebriated vampire and Spike soon found himself out in the alley feeling very much like he'd been through a meat grinder.

When he regained enough use of his limbs to try to leave, he staggered off toward the campus of Sunnydale U. Half-formed thoughts of pledging his devotion to the Slayer and her unending battle against evil fought with visions of tearing the throat out of her commando boyfriend and licking his blood off her naked body.

When she had finally gotten rid of an apologetic but still amorous Riley, Buffy went to her dorm room and fell face down on the bed. She really hoped he had gotten the message that she was not having sex with him any time in the foreseeable future. Arguing with him was becoming exhausting and she really wasn't sure if anger at his sleeping with Faith was the whole reason she didn't want him touching her anymore.

What is wrong with me? I have a perfectly nice boyfriend – even if he does seem oblivious much of the time – and all I can think about is what a good kisser a soulless vampire is. Good kisser, with a sexy smile and bedroom eyes and a body that feels like... Gaah! Need to stop now. No more thoughts about sexy vampire no matter how good a kisser he is.

Thinking about what a good kisser Spike was turned out to be a really bad idea as that led to thoughts about how good his body had felt pressed to hers, and how his hands had felt roaming freely and touching her in places and ways neither Angel nor Riley had done. She moaned into her pillow and tried to think of something else.

When thinking of something else turned out to be more difficult than she expected, she gave up the fight and went to take a cold shower. Somewhat distracted by her shivering, she got into her pajamas and climbed under the covers of her bed, vowing to go to sleep and worry about Riley and Spike tomorrow.

That thought was enough to relax her, and she fell into a deep dreamless sleep. A sleep that was soon interrupted by pounding on her door. She could hear shouts of complaint from other rooms on the floor as the pounding continued. She jumped out of bed and threw open the door with a, "Dammit, Riley, I told you to—"

The rest of her tirade was lost as she took in the very drunk, bleeding and bruised vampire leaning against the doorjamb. With curious heads beginning to peek out of other rooms, she had no choice but to grab his lapels and yank him into the room.

"What the hell are you doing here, Spike? Have you lost your mind?"

"Want to finish our dansh, Shlayer. Ol' Cap'n Cardboard innerupted me 'fore I was ready to let go of your little shlayer body." As he spoke, the vampire was noticeably weaving and, just as he finished, he pitched forward onto Buffy. The force of his fall and the dead weight sent both of them crashing to the floor – Buffy on the bottom with an unconscious Spike on top of her.

Since he was obviously unaware of where he was or what was going on, Buffy chose to remain in place for a few minutes and savor the feeling of that lean muscular body on hers. His face was buried in her neck and he was snoring softly.

What is it with this vampire and breathing? He snores?

She tried to picture Angel snoring, but it just wasn't imaginable. There was no way the tightly wound and controlled souled vampire would ever be relaxed enough to snore.

Spikes cool breath on her neck was making her shiver every time he breathed out. And the feel of his body on hers was giving her very un-slayerly thoughts. She squirmed a little to try to worm her way out from under him, but the movement against his body only added to those thoughts

Her slayer senses were on overload with the master vampire's mouth touching her neck so lightly and they were screaming at her to throw him off. Her hormones, however, were enjoying the way he filled her senses and the tingly feelings she was getting from her neck to her toes. She experimentally rolled her hips up toward his and was rewarded with a soft groan from the still unconscious vampire.

She froze, wondering if he was waking up, but when he didn't move or make another sound, she relaxed and went back to enjoying the feel of his body on hers. She remembered how well they had seemed to fit together when they danced and slid her arms around him as though they were still doing so. She unconsciously moved her legs slightly apart and gasped as Spike's hips slid between her thighs. Suddenly there was a suspiciously large and semi-solid object nudging at her crotch. Said crotch of which was growing wetter by the second and she felt the bulge grow and harden even more.

She couldn't resist a small moan as she pushed her hips forward and felt his hard-on rubbing against her. Her breath quickened and she felt herself growing warmer as the urge to wrap her legs around his hips and pull him into her became almost overwhelming.

Okaaaay. This is bad. Very much of the bad. I've got to get out of this before he wakes up. Can't let him know I was...

Steeling herself with every shred of Slayer strength she could find, she forced herself to push Spike off and to the side. She almost whimpered at the sense of loss she felt when he was no longer lying between her legs.

For seconds she just lay on the floor beside him, breathing hard and fighting the urge to crawl on top of his sprawled out body.

I can do this. I can resist touching the sexy, unconscious vampire. I am the Slayer. I do hard things all the time. Difficult! I do difficult things, because to do hard things would mean that I might... gaah!

She moved slightly away from Spike, now lying on his back and still snoring softly. She finally had time to notice all the bruises and cuts and realized he was not in the best of shape.

Terrific. Not only was I molesting an unconscious man, but an injured one. Way to go ho-bag Buffy!

She stood up and lifted Spike onto her bed. When he still didn't move, she went to the bathroom and got a small basin of water and a washcloth. As she gently bathed his cuts and gingerly felt around his body for broken bones, she had a chance to study his face as he slept. Without the perpetual smirk that he wore when others were around, he looked like a young boy sleeping innocently. She wondered briefly what William had been like before he was turned and if she would have liked him.

With his face relaxed in sleep and his body hidden by the duster he was still wearing, he looked more cute than sexy and Buffy told herself it would be fine to leave him in her bed. I'll be under the covers and he'll just be lying there all unconscious and unsexy and it won't be any problem. No problem at all…

She carefully slid into the other side of the bed and pulled the covers up to her chin. For some reason, the knowledge that Spike was laying peacefully beside her rather than in his crypt was very relaxing and she was soon sound asleep.

Chapter Five

Buffy was dreaming. She was being held closely and someone was planting light kisses all along her hairline and down her to her chin. Whoever it was moved one hand and began gently stroking her hair and face, murmuring softly to her the whole time. She felt warm and loved. Anxious for more contact, she rolled over in her sleep and snuggled her head into the chest of whoever was holding her.

His arms tightened around her and when she heard her name carried on cool breath that smelled of tobacco and whiskey, she squeezed her eyes shut in an effort to keep from waking up and finding out her dream was over.

As soon as Spike felt her heart rate increase and the tension in her body, he knew she was awake. He went silent immediately, but only loosened his hold on her slightly, keeping her body close to his for as long as he could.

They stayed like that for minutes. Neither one willing to speak or move as though by not acknowledging where they were, they could stay there forever. Finally, Buffy opened her eyes and saw the black tee shirt and leather coat she knew she was going to find in front of her. When Spike felt her pull back, he sighed and loosened his hold on her. He cradled her loosely in his arms, but made no attempt to caress or talk to her.

She rolled onto her back and looked up to meet his eyes, becoming acutely conscious of the few layers of fabric separating their bodies and the arms lightly holding her. She brought a hand up and tentatively touched his bruised face.

"You're hurt," she said softly.

"Yeah, 'm a little the worse for wear. A bit confused, though. Looks like somebody cleaned me up." He raised one eyebrow and waited to see what she'd say.

Buffy flushed and looked away as she mumbled, "Well, couldn't very well have you bleeding all over my bed."

"And that'd be the second source of confusion. What am I doin' in your bed? What are you doin' in your bed, for that matter? Didn't go home with Capt'n America, then?" He tried to keep the hope and elation out of his voice.

She blushed furiously and answered part of his question, "I didn't want to leave you on the floor, all passed out and bleeding. And then you were asleep, and looked so... cute..."

She giggled when he snarled indignantly, "I am not cute!"

The sound of her giggle and the look on her face drove his anger away immediately.

Okay then. I can be cute. If she wants cute – she gets cute. Evil and cute. Cute and evil. I can do that.

He caused more giggles by groaning aloud, "I'm such a bloody ponce!"

"You're cute when you giggle," he said suddenly. He pushed her hair back off her face and continued, "I like it."

"Hey! Little girls are cute. I'm the Slayer. The stuff of vampire nightmares...j"

"Vampire dreams, for sure," he answered, running his hand down her bare arm. The blue eyes that had been laughing with her suddenly darkened and she felt herself getting lost in what she saw there.

Spike tightened his arms around her again, pulling her against his body and inhaling the scent of her hair. He could feel her breasts pushing into his chest and her legs tangling in the sheets as she tried to slide them around his. He groaned again and moved his head, searching for her mouth. When he found it, already tilting up towards his, he breathed out, "Buffy" as he claimed her eager lips and tongue.

The sound of her name on his lips removed any shred of resistance she might have had left and she willingly gave herself up to the sensations he was creating with his mouth and hands. She found herself kicking at the bedding until she had pushed it all down to the bottom of the bed and there was nothing between them but her flimsy pajamas and his tee shirt and jeans.

She pushed on his shoulders until he realized what she wanted and shrugged out of his duster. While he was doing that, her hands were slipping under his tee shirt and exploring the cool, hard planes of his chest. She heard him hiss as her palm slid over a nipple and smiled at the reaction.

"Two can play at that game, Slayer," he growled as he ran his hands under her pajama top and pushed it over her head. His cool fingers on her warm breasts made her shiver and he smiled in his turn and put his head down to suck one nipple into his mouth.

Buffy arched up off the bed as his tongue swirled around one breast and his hand caressed the other. Spike put one denim-clad leg over hers to hold her still while he licked and sucked his way around her upper body. When he worked his way back up to her mouth, she fastened her lips on his and began kissing him with a hunger that surprised them both.

As it had with their first kisses in the graveyard, time and the world seemed to disappear, and all they were aware of was each other. Without ever breaking the kiss, Buffy's pajama bottoms went the way of the sheets and Spike's jeans joined his boots on the floor.

The first touch of bare heated skin to cool was almost more than they could stand. Matching moans of hunger and need fueled the fire between them and they were soon locked in a timeless rhythm that carried them to almost simultaneous releases.

Spike vamped out briefly as he roared her name at the same time she bit down on his shoulder to smother her scream. They were both trembling as they gradually recovered from their mutually mind-blowing climaxes.

"Wow," Spike gasped out as he regained his ability to speak.

"Double wow, wowie wow," Buffy agreed. She decided that pretty much exhausted her ability to speak for the moment and opted for burying her face in his chest while she tried to control her thoughts.

I just had sex with Spike! Absolutely incredible, mindblowing, fantastic... Okay, off topic. I just had sex with an evil, soulless vampire. Why doesn't that feel more wrong than it does? Oh yeah – she glanced up at the expression of complete adoration on his face – that's why.

When she finally brought her face out of his chest and gazed back at him, the obvious love he felt for her pushed her reservations away and she reached up to gently stroke his cheek.

"There is going to be some major wiggage in Scoobyville," she smiled up at him.

He shook his head slightly and smirked, "In spite of your abuse of the English language, I think I get that. I take it that means we're going public with this?"

Buffy blushed again, "Well, not exactly public – or not like this, anyway!" she gestured to their naked and still closely-pressed bodies. "But, yeah, they need to know that you... that I... that we're..."

"Together?" he added for her hopefully.

"I... I guess. I mean, are we? Together?"

"We're whatever you want us to be, love. I'm just your willing slave."

Buffy chewed her bottom lip briefly. "Well, I want us to be together… a couple. We can do that, right?"

He stroked her face gently, trying to smooth away the worried look. "I think together we can do just about anything, pet. Maybe even save the world."

The End