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Whispers 2b/4

My first Spuffy fic, Whispers, has never been posted to my journal (it’s at seven_seasons ), so I am doing that now.  If you’ve already read it, there isn’t anything new.  I just wanted to have all my stories available on my journal.  Also, if anyone felt like making a banner for it, I wouldn’t say no :)

Title: Whispers
Chapter: Two, Part B ~ She Said, She Said
Rating/Warning: NC-17 for sexual situations and blood play.
Summary: After Spike endures torture at the hands of Glory to protect the identity of the Key, Buffy is forced to reconsider everything she ever thought she knew about the vampire, leading to some startling revelations.
Setting: Season 5, immediately post-Intervention.
Disclaimer: The characters herein are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.  They are being used out of respect and admiration, and not for the sake of profit.  No copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: This story is self-beta’d and I know that there are errors and other things that could be fixed to make it better.  However, this is the way it was first posted and I am leaving it be.  The chapters are massive so they have to be posted in pieces.
Banner: xtanitx 
Previous Chapter: Chapter Two, Part A

Chapter Two, Part B
She Said, She Said

Buffy wondered if time stopped for Spike the way it had for her.  His fumbling hands stilled, chest froze mid-breath, and he slowly, warily raised his head to look at her.  His voice trembled as he whispered, “What did you say?”


Buffy tried to swallow, but her mouth had gone dry.  Her heart continued to pound and her hands trembled with nervousness at giving form to the notion that her one-time enemy, a soulless vampire, truly loved her.  “That you...love me.  I believe you.”


For a moment, he remained still and silent.  Then the glistening of hope in his eye intensified into that of unshed tears, and he blinked, ducked his head, and sucked in a deep, tremulous breath.  “Say...say that again.”


Buffy rose from her seat on shaking legs, and knelt down in front of him.  “I believe you, Spike,” she whispered, looking up into his uncertain face.  “I believe that you love me.  After what you did, everything you’re doing, how could I not?”


The silence stretched on while he took this in, staring at her with unabashed wonder.  He reached out a hand, timidly, and brushed back a lock of her hair, seemingly more surprised when she let him.  One corner of his bloodied mouth turned up into a ghost of a smile so tender Buffy wondered how she could ever have denied him this simple truth.


“Can...another bag, please?” 


She heard his struggle to keep his tone even, and stepped back to give him time to collect himself.  He nodded his thanks to her when she passed him another bag of blood, now cooled to room temperature, and bit into the plastic with his blunt teeth, maintaining his human visage.  Buffy returned to her seat and watched him surreptitiously as he drank, more than once meeting his eye over the curve of the bag.


When he finished, he set the empty plastic onto the growing pile on the ground beside him, and smiled subtly.  “Don’t know what to say to that,” he admitted.


Buffy couldn’t help grinning.  “Finally, I found a way to shut you up.”


Laughter flowed between them and it was easy and natural.


“Couldn’t replace you, you know,” Spike remarked, shifting his legs, bending one and draping the other over the edge of the couch.


Buffy took advantage of the additional room, and swivelled to face him, mirroring his pose.  “Hmm?”


“The bot,” he elaborated, mouth twisting hesitantly.  “Wanted to make it you, not just for...the other thing.  But it couldn’t be.  Figured that out right quick.”


Buffy tipped her head in acknowledgement.  She felt better with that affirmation, not only that he hadn’t wanted the robot just for sex, but that he realized how truly artificial it had been.


“It’s weird thinking about...what I’m trying hard not to think about,” she confessed.  “You know it was wrong, right?”


“Yeh, I know.”  If possible, he looked even more penitent, glancing at her only briefly before tipping his head back and scowling faintly at the cluster of roots above him.  He didn’t have to add that he hadn’t wanted her to find out about it.  “Thought it’d be the closest I’d get to the real thing.”


Buffy couldn’t deny him that rationale, no matter how wrong his actions had been, and so said nothing.  The silence that followed seemed headed toward awkwardness, until Spike took a renewed interest in the bag on the floor. 


“What else you got in there?”


Buffy followed his eyes and shrugged.  “More blood.  Stuff to clean your wounds.”


Spike chuckled quietly at that and replied, softly, “Vampire, love.  A bitta grit won’t kill me.”


“No,” she agreed, patiently, “but it’s gonna feel better clean.”


Buffy knew she was in trouble the moment his eyebrows lifted and his lip curled in that dangerously alluring grin.  “Maybe I like it dirty.”


Oh he most assuredly did, and damn him for the sudden heat in the room.  That voice coupled with that smirk should be outlawed, if solely for the completely unwarranted flush of desire currently coursing through her.  Well, she relented, perhaps not so much unwarranted as unsettling, because while Spike had certainly mastered the art of innuendo, Buffy wasn’t supposed to appreciate it.


“Oh, ew,” she protested, but it lacked conviction and the half-hearted attempt at a scowl ended with the corner of her mouth lifting in acknowledgement of her having walked head-on into it.


Spike replied with a widening leer that now included one suggestively curled tongue, and to her horror, Buffy felt her cheeks darken treacherously.  She looked away from Spike to the relative safety of the bag, not missing the huff of his delighted chuckle. 


“Will you let me clean you up or not?”  The shortness of her tone only betrayed her fluster, but for once the vampire had the good sense to ignore it.


Spike pivoted until both legs draped over the edge of the couch and pulled his tattered shirt over his head.  “I’m all yours, Florence.”


Buffy’s next breath caught in her throat as she took in the extent of Spike’s injuries.  Livid bruising wrapped wicked fingers around his sides, hinting at more extensive contusions to his back.  A long knife wound marred the left side of his chest and a grisly puncture mark — she did not want to know what made it — puckered the flesh on the right.  More bruises ringed the wounds and littered his abdomen, and the mixture of purple and red colouring to his right clavicle suggested it might have been broken.  She suspected more than one of his ribs were, too, and his leg bore sufficient injury to render it incapable of bearing his weight.


It hurt just looking at him, except, with their little exchange not minutes old, it also really didn’t in a way that set her heart beating just a tiny bit faster.  Beneath the carnage, Spike-without-shirt quickly added up to Buffy threatening to drool on hers, and try as she might to focus solely on his wounds, Buffy could not stop herself from noticing and admiring his well-sculpted torso.  Not a chance in hell.


She had always taken note of Spike’s form with the appreciative eye of another whose wellbeing counted heavily upon physical fitness.  Xander’s narrative of compact but well-muscled described aptly the vampire’s physique.  Spike wasn’t a large man by any means, but what he lacked in stature he more than made up for in personality, strength and attitude. 


He looked smaller now, with the latter two by the wayside, but also, beautiful in a way she’d never truly considered.  Attraction to Spike was not something she generally let herself focus on, but in the back of her mind swam the constant knowledge that for all he was technically her enemy, Spike possessed a magnetic attractiveness that could not be denied.  It was only partly based on looks.  The slayer in her was attracted to his strength, his tenacity, his passion for what he called the dance every bit as much as the woman in her appreciated his physical attributes.  After everything else she’d admitted to herself tonight, Buffy found that the knowledge that she was indeed attracted to Spike settled in with little or no resistance.  Not that she would let him know that.


The glint in his eye told her, however, that she’d likely given away too much with whatever expression currently occupied her face, and she realized that she had actually been staring.  She resisted the sudden urge to check her chin for drool.


“Um, that looks painful,” she muttered lamely, quickly averting her eyes.


The warmth of his answering chuckle did nothing to slow her heart.  “Doesn’t tickle,” he drawled, and when she glanced back at him, his whole face was alight with mirth, despite the butchery.


Buffy reached for the bag and scooted over next to Spike, aware more than ever of his proximity.  That awareness had shifted from the basic Slayer/vampire tingle into something less duty-bound and more physically tingly, and Buffy wondered when exactly this had happened.  Now conscious of it, she realized it wasn’t something new at all.


Turning her focus once again to his wounds, though the other simmered in the back of her mind, Buffy rummaged through the bag for the first-aid supplies she had purchased before her stop at the butcher’s.  She bought only saline for cleaning, knowing even without Spike’s reminder the uselessness of more expensive antiseptics.  She poured the salty liquid into the provided bowl and opened the package of gauze squares into it.  Spike took the bowl, setting it on his thighs with a steadying hand wrapped around it.


“Lean back,” she instructed, and Spike complied, his back meeting the couch while he tipped his face up, both eyes closed, a subtle smile lingering on his lips.


Buffy hesitated a moment, studying his face, knowing how much the idea of her tending his injuries appealed to him.  Her desire to do so should have felt wrong, but it didn’t.  Compassion for her one-time enemy topped the list of emotions she felt as she gently started cleansing his wounds, and Spike sighed softly, relaxing into the couch and taking on an air of contentment.    


Buffy was conscious, as she worked, of the amount of physical contact necessitated by her task.  Both knees nestled snugly against his leg, and her forearm rested alongside the sculpted muscles of his upper arm, fingers splayed over his shoulder blade.  Her breast brushed against his chest each time she reached to grab a fresh piece of gauze from the bowl and straightened to apply it to his face, and her rebellious thumb was actually making purposeful circles into the smooth skin over his scapula.  Buffy thought it likely that Spike was even more aware of it than she; each time she moved, Spike gripped the bowl tighter and inhaled, holding unneeded breath in a clearly anticipatory way.  He tried to be subtle about the squirming of his hips as he attempted to ease the strain of his jeans over his obvious erection, just as he struggled not to groan when her hand dipped into the bowl resting against it.  She should mind that particular portion of his reaction, but she found she could not.  At one time, she would have found the idea of affecting him thus cause for immediate disgust, but if nothing else, her relationship with Riley had given her an insight into her own sexuality.  Nothing about Spike’s reaction came from piggish maleness; it was all about her, and she knew it, and the thought was purely exhilarating.  When he dared allow his hand to rest on her knee, Buffy did not protest. 


The whole situation did nothing to alleviate the warmth in her chest or the flush of her cheeks started by the relatively tame verbal exchange earlier.  It seemed that the moment she allowed her brain to accept her attraction to Spike, her body took the opportunity and ran wild with it, leaving her heart pounding and her stomach fluttering madly.  Some vestigial part of Buffy wanted to want to ignore the effect Spike was having on her, to want to see him as a disgusting monster, to want to pretend that she and Spike weren’t both becoming increasingly aroused with each swipe of the gauze and that he didn’t know it.  The truth remained, though, that once her perceptions of Spike altered, everything changed, and the disgusting monster fell away in favour of the brave, loyal man whose devotion to her and her sister resulted in this brutal beating.  The same man who was now making her feel more feminine, more powerful than she had ever felt before.  The sense of disgust over sharing such a moment with Spike never came. 


Spike’s fingers curled into her leg and his smile broadened, but he refrained from speaking in favour of just enjoying the moment.  It wasn’t every day, Buffy reasoned, he had a hot and not-so-bothered-about-it Slayer willingly playing Nightingale.


But things were becoming fairly intense, incongruously to the relatively innocuous contact between them, and she needed to break the silence in order to bring herself down a bit.  “So here’s the thing,” Buffy began, sounding far huskier than she wanted to consider. 


Spike’s eye fluttered open at the sound of her voice and focused on her as she continued speaking.


“I’ve been kinda, no, not kind of, more like very, or-or something bigger than very,” she stammered, sitting back a bit to swab at his chest wounds, though leaving her knees in contact.  “What’s bigger than very?”


His face shone with amusement.  “Incredibly?” he suggested, hissing softly when she inadvertently re-opened his knife wound.  “Immensely, enormously, or—”


“Enormously, that’ll work,” Buffy decided.  “Enormously blind.”


She tried to ignore the way his curl-lipped smile set her heart fluttering and the fingers on her thigh, now moving in an obvious caress, spread a trail of heat straight to her core.  “Your eyes were workin’ a few minutes ago,” Spike teased.


His voice rumbled seductively beneath her hand on his chest and reverberated through the subterranean room.  Buffy had been more blind than she realized not to have noticed before what a thoroughly and intensely sexual creature Spike was.  He’d turned on the charm the moment she’d given him an opening and knew very well what he was doing to her.


“I’m trying to tell you something,” she protested, though she sounded less than convincing in her complaint.


Spike’s fingers stilled but he kept his hand on her leg, and despite his lack of body heat, her skin beneath his palm burned hotter than her reddened cheeks.


“This, today, isn’t the first thing you’ve done, but it’s what made me open my eyes,” Buffy explained, speaking quickly, staring at his hand to avoid the smouldering look in his eye.  “You...I see how you’re trying, a-and I can’t, I won’t ignore it anymore.”


She glanced up and saw the smoulder replaced by something intense but unnameable that more than adequately conveyed how much her words touched him.  For a moment, Buffy thought he might say something, but he settled for bobbing his head and resuming the gentle circles on her leg.  Spike continued to watch her as Buffy drew her eyes away to tend his wounds, and she found this affectionate scrutiny far headier than his more obvious seductive efforts.


When she finished, their eyes met again and they shared a smile.


“Thanks, love,” Spike said tenderly, setting the bowl on the floor and then reaching to brush her cheek with the backs of his fingers.  A shiver ran through her in response, and Spike took in a deep breath, wincing notably.


“If it hurts, why are you breathing?”


“Habit,” he answered, now trailing his fingers slowly down her arm.  “Strong emotion or...other things...and I can’t help it.”  He paused, glanced down quickly and then looked back up.  “That meant a lot to me.”


They looked at each other for a long moment, Buffy’s breath coming heavier than usual in response to his persistent but gentle caresses and the potency of his emotions.  The intensity was building again and oh how easy it would be to just give in to it, give in to him.  He was barely touching her, and nowhere more intimate than her arm and clothed thigh, and already her pulse was racing fast enough for her heart to burst through her ribcage.  Each light touch sent slivers of lightning through her body, stoking the fire blooming low in her belly, and the achingly wet flesh at the apex of her thighs pulsed in time to her raging heart.  The ease with which she had reached this point with him surprised her, and her thoughts and feelings about it were confused enough that she knew she had to slow down before she lost her head completely.  Spike’s actions were as much, maybe more, based in emotion as they were in lust, and impulsiveness on her part may well lead to heartache for him. 


“Can you...not do that?” she whispered, and cringed when she saw the hurt creep into his face.  “No...it’s just...too fast, okay?”


The implication that an acceptable speed existed wiped away the wounded look, and he regarded her adoringly even as he rather grudgingly pulled his hands away from her.


She sighed her relief, though the loss of his hands did nothing to dampen her keyed-up state.  “Do you want more blood?”


The look of hunger in Spike’s eye had very little to do with blood, and she knew it, but he nodded anyway.  “Please.”



>>Chapter Two, Part C


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