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Could Be You ~ Chapter 10

Title: Could Be You Chapter: Ten
Previous Chapter:
Season 5
Rating: NC-17 for sexual situations, blood play
Summary:  You know you wanna dance.  Spike knew it, the fans knew it, and this time, Buffy knew it, too.  Begins in the alley scene outside the Bronze during Fool for Love and moves swiftly off-canon.
Word Count
: 2532
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.
Beta: dampersnspoons 




Could Be You
Chapter Ten


Quiet was something Buffy normally cherished, like the silence of the world after an epic fight or the still of a summer’s night patrol.  She craved those brief moments of solitude where nobody wanted her to do anything or be anyone—moments when she could just breathe and remember what life was like when she was Buffy without the Vampire Slayer. This quiet wasn’t like that, this strange weighty silence, louder than noise and echoing off the walls of her darkened house, refusing to give her a moment’s escape from reality. She just wanted to scream, or something, anything, to get rid of this feeling, this uneasy tickle at the back of her neck and the pressure of the quiet bounding in her ears.

She wandered through the house instead, tidying up, rearranging pictures and knickknacks just to keep her hands and feet busy.  Her mother was finally sleeping, though Buffy didn’t know if the pills had started working, or if her adventures in late-night breakfast-making with a side order of frightening Dawn had worn her out.  Dawn pretended to be sleeping the last time Buffy checked on her, but Buffy was sure her sister was suffering from the quiet, too, and still trying to think her way through what Joyce said to her.  She wondered if Dawn noticed how similar the words were to those of the crazy man from the hospital.

“I’m not stupid,” Dawn had said just a few hours ago.  No, she definitely was not.

On the heels of that thought, a tingling rush of heat zinged up her spine and lifted the hairs on the back of her neck.  The back door clicked open, the sound of it tearing through the quiet and muffling the roar in Buffy’s ears.  She already knew, even before she looked up from where she was crouched in front of the newly de-cluttered Tupperware cupboard, who she would find.  Spike stepped inside, his boots thumping solidly against the floor, breaking apart the restraints of silence as much as the sight of him untied the anxious, wriggling knot of tension in her belly.

Buffy stood and Spike hovered near the door, drinking her in with his gaze as though he hadn’t seen her in years.

“Spike,” she said, the word carrying more breath than sound.

“Hey, sweetheart.”

The pet name wrapped around her like a bed-warm blanket and she started forward at the same moment as he.

“I thought—I was afraid you weren’t coming.”

It wasn’t what she meant to say.  It wasn’t even what she was consciously thinking, but she could feel the truth of her words in the way his arrival soothed her anxiety.  Spike pulled her forward, tightening his arms around her as she laid her head on his chest.

“Buffy,” he said, voice muffled by her hair.  “Not coming isn’t an issue with you.”

She couldn’t help smiling as she looked up at him, and Spike’s lips stretched into that grin, the special one she hoped only she knew about. 

He swept the loose strands of hair away from her face, his fingertips brushing her temples.  “Got the ladies all settled in for the night, then?”

Buffy nodded, glancing in the direction of the stairs even though she couldn’t see them.  “I think they’re about as ‘settled’ as they’re gonna get.  I hope.”

“Bet Joyce was glad to be home.”

“Yeah.  I mean, I think so,” Buffy said, turning back around.  “Her surgery’s not ‘til the day after tomorrow and I don’t think she could stand the idea of just waiting around for everything to happen, you know?”

“No more than you could, I suspect,” Spike said, lifting his eyebrows.

Buffy sighed and leaned more of her weight against him.  “I’ve never seen Mom look so tired.  Dawn either.” 

“And you?” Buffy glanced up as Spike scanned the kitchen.  “Looks like a clean-up bomb went off in here.”

Buffy sighed, catching her lip between her teeth as she looked down.  “I kinda got carried away.”

“Could do with a bit of sleep yourself,” Spike said, his fingers lifting her chin until their gazes met. 

His eyes held that familiar intensity, as vivid as Spike himself and yet at the same time only a glimmer of the potential Buffy could feel surrounding them.  She fought the urge to look away, the emotions she read there almost too much for her tired self. 

“I-I don’t think I can,” she whispered. 

As much as she knew she needed sleep, Buffy didn’t think she could lie down and face the realities waiting for her the moment her head hit the pillow. Her breath hitched, and she squeezed her eyes shut against the oncoming prick of tears.

“I hate this.  Seeing her like this.  It’s killing me that I don’t know how to make it stop.”

Spike pulled her in closer, cradling her head in his palm as she buried her face in his chest.  He didn’t answer, but an answer wasn’t what she wanted.  Right now the feel of his arms around her was enough, even though her face and his shirt were now soaked with her tears.

Buffy was used to fatigue.  She’d lost count of how many times she had to operate purely on adrenaline, during an especially late night patrol or a fight that took a little longer than anticipated. This was different, and she didn’t understand how doing nothing could be so tiring.  She hadn’t had a physical fight in days, yet the exhaustion ran so deep it leached into her bones, made her hands tremble uncontrollably, and throbbed with an incessant ache behind her eyes.  She could easily drift away with Spike’s gentle swaying and the soothing caress of his fingers across her back.  He was humming softly, some tune she recognized but couldn’t place, washing over her like a punk rock lullaby.  It only encouraged her desire to fall asleep in his arms and stay there for days. 

“Let’s get you to bed,” Spike said, whispering the words into her ear and pulling her out of the weightless warmth of almost sleep.

“You mean us.” Buffy forced her eyes open, squinting in the kitchen’s faint light until she could focus on Spike’s face and the smile lingering on his lips.  She rose up on her tiptoes until their noses touched and slid her arms around his neck.  “Stay with me,” she said, pressing closer, feeling his erection against her belly.  “Please.”

Spike nipped at her upper lip and rubbed her nose with his.  “And him?”

Somehow, she thought it should have mattered more that she didn’t know where Riley was for a second night in a row, but she couldn’t muster up the strength to let it bother her. 

“He was supposed to help the gang patrol tonight, but Giles said he never showed.”

Spike’s grip tightened at her waist and his eyes narrowed as he muttered something under his breath.  Buffy didn’t catch the words, but the  menacing, low growl that followed was obvious. 

She touched her lips to his and stroked the back of his neck.  “Shh,” she murmured, drawing her tongue across his lip.

The growl subsided, replaced by a deep, chesty rumbling that vibrated through her like an earthquake.  Arousal flared hot in her belly, escaping unbidden with a raspy moan that prompted Spike to thrust against her.  She reached between them to squeeze his erection and he walked her backward until she hit the island, groaning as he trailed a path of kisses and nibbles down her neck.

“God, I missed you.” Buffy tossed her head back to give him better access, dug her fingernails into his side and pulled him closer.  Blunt teeth scraped at the barely-there bite marks he’d left her and she bit her lip to keep from crying out as the shivers of pleasure rippled over her skin.

“Missed you more,” Spike said, nibbling his way along her jaw.

“Spike.”  Buffy tugged at his belt buckle, pulling it free, then reached for the button on his jeans.  “Bed.  Come to bed.”

“Got one problem, love,” he said, pressing into her, trapping her hands between them before she could get to his zipper.  “Outside.  Something strange.”

That got her attention, and she freed her hands, laying them on his chest and urging him back just a little. “Strange like how?”

 “Smelled like...” Spike’s nostrils flared as he inhaled a deep breath.  “Like something that doesn’t belong here.”

She didn’t like the sound of that, nor the way the words prickled at the back of her neck in a way that was far too reminiscent of her earlier uneasiness.  Spike said nothing else, waiting for her to make a decision.  Buffy knew he’d forget all about it if she asked, take her up to bed and give her a good reason or two to feel exhausted, but anything that struck Spike as odd enough to interrupt what was heading into serious foreplay needed investigating.

Buffy sighed.  “You should probably go check it out.”

Spike nodded, but didn’t move away.  “I can be quick.”

His velvety tone started a warm, pulsing wave in her belly, and Buffy curled her hands into his shirt, pulling him down and crashing her lips to his. Spike groaned into her mouth and slammed her back against the island, thrusting his tongue between her parted lips at the exact same instant. Her elbow bashed into one of the countertop canisters, sending it crashing into its neighbour, and she dragged her mouth away from Spike’s, panting, to look toward the stairs.

“We can’t—” Disappointment flashed across Spike’s face, and Buffy ran her finger along his brow until the furrow smoothed and the tension left his jaw.  “We can’t yet.

His lips stretched into a smirk as he leaned forward to rest his forehead against hers.  “Oh, we could,” he said, tilting his hips toward her, cock hard between them.  “You just want your turn on top.”

“There might be some...top having.  Quietly,” Buffy said, her breath quickening just the slightest.  “After your strange, smelly monster’s taken care of.”

“I’ll check out the beastie.”  Spike touched his lips to her forehead and wrapped his arms around her shoulders.  “And you get to bed, all right?”

“I’m coming with you.”

Spike pulled back, his eyebrow raised up in a way that made him look both annoyed and amused with a hint of protective.   “Bed,” he said, stepping back and pointing to the ceiling in the general direction of her room.

Buffy tried to compose her features into something unyielding, but Spike’s expectant eyebrows refused to budge.  The throbbing behind her eyes intensified, heated by a wave of wriggling annoyance sweeping through her. 

“This isn’t your call,” she said, stepping out from between him and the counter and moving over to the door.  She couldn’t see anything lurking out there in the blackness beyond the porch, but she could feel it now that she knew what to look for. 

Spike gripped her shoulder and pulled her around to face him.  “Two minutes ago you were near comatose,” he said, eyes flaring with some internal fire that only fuelled her growing irritation.  “Give yourself a break and let me take care of it.”

“It’s not your family at risk here, Spike!” she said, shaking off his grip as she spun back around to face the window, crossing her arms over her chest.  “Taking care of them is my job, not yours.”

He snorted loudly and his boots thudded against the floor with heavy steps leading away from her.  “The hell it’s not!” he said, his voice hard, edgy, angry.

Buffy turned around and watched him stalk back toward her, vibrating with anger that seemed entirely out of place.  One hand landed on the glass beside her head, the other curled to a fist at his side, and he brought his face down level with hers, jaw clenched, eyes blazing with something other than the lust she was used to seeing there.

“We’ve got something here, Buffy,” he said in that same hard tone, free hand gesturing back and forth between them.  “It’s big and messy and wrong, but it’s fucking real, we both know it, and if it’s days or months or bloody years before we get there, if I have to wait you out through a thousand Riley Finns, I don’t care.”

Buffy inhaled a shaking breath and Spike’s palm flattened over her heart, which threatened to burst out through her chest any moment now.  He leaned in until all she could see were the blue flames of his eyes as he tapped his fingers in time to the beat. 

“’Cause whether I’m in there or not, you’re in here.”  He laid his hand over his own heart, still tapping, a soft but steady pat-pat, pat-pat of fingers on leather.  “A stubborn fire in my chest I can’t snuff out.  I fought it, Buffy.  I fought hard but I never had a chance.”

Awareness trickled through her consciousness like a burgeoning stream, rippling over the jagged remnants of preconception, smoothing out the rough edges of beliefs she once held so closely to her heart. 

“They’re my business because they’re yours,” he whispered, voice softer now, soothing.  “You don’t have to do this alone.”

He was shaking as hard as she, and Buffy thought that maybe this realization, this unwavering sense that there was nothing Spike wouldn’t do for her, was something completely new to both of them.  Slowly, because the world was still spinning, because she couldn’t understand how he could feel so much and love so deeply, but couldn’t deny it, Buffy leaned forward, cradled his face in her hands and pressed her trembling lips to his.

They had shared kisses, endless kisses these past two days, none of which wrapped her body in the swirling, terrifying, consuming warmth of this one.  She could get lost in it, so easily lost to the point where she’d never look back, and so she pulled away after a moment, a short sliver of time that was long enough to leave them both breathless in each other’s arms.

“Okay,” she said, as if that one, meaningless word could somehow make up for the billions she couldn’t find.

He smiled, hesitantly almost, or perhaps awkwardly.  “Just thought you needed the sleep, is all.”

An understatement in all senses of the word, but she could forgive it in the wake of understanding why.  “I think maybe killing something might do me some good.”

“All right.” 

When he stepped out of her hold, he wouldn’t quite meet her eyes.  Buffy reached for his hand, twined her fingers with his and tugged him back.  She traced the scar above his eyebrow, watching his eyelids flutter shut as he leaned into her, and the solid connection of his body against hers seemed to drive away the awkwardness as though it had never existed.

“Thank you,” she whispered, and he nodded, looking down at her with misty eyes through half-shut lids.

He pulled her coat off the counter and handed it to her, then opened the door without a word and followed her into the night.



>>To Be Continued in Chapter 11


( 13 have spoken — take the speaking stick )
Sep. 24th, 2010 11:06 am (UTC)
This was such a great chapter, so beautiful in it's quiet intensity. I must express again how much I wish things had gone this way in the show.
I hope we get another update from you soon!
Sep. 26th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I like "quiet intensity" -- makes me smile. I'm glad you're liking the direction I'm taking this, and another update shouldn't be too far away.
Sep. 24th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
Fantastic chapter! All that closeness and touching made me swoony. Spike was so wonderfully there for Buffy. Can I have this Spike? Pretty please? :)

And Happy Birthday tomorrow, Abby!!! *throws confetti*
Sep. 26th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
Swoony is good! Hmm, not sure you can have him, but you're sure welcome to borrow him for your reading pleasure any time you like. Thank you so much for the review and for the birthday wishes.
Sep. 25th, 2010 08:35 am (UTC)
Wonderful update.
And the ending with Spike's declaration was moving and has a burning intensity about it that made me shiver. I love how you build their relationship here.
Thank you , it was what I needed this morning.
Sep. 26th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked the chapter. So cool about the shiver -- love that feedback, thank you. I'm glad I could help your morning go a little better for you :) Thank you very much.
Sep. 25th, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
Hi Abby ... Great chapter! I've been reading this story over at Elysian Fields and for some reason almost never comment over there (I also have a different name). But I LOVE this story and the way you allow the feelings between them to blossom and grow so naturally. I do have worries about what will eventually happen when Riley rejoins the picture. Look forward to more! And happy birthday!
Sep. 26th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC)
Who are you over at EF? Or is that a big secret? Anyway, thanks for commenting over here. Sometimes my LJ feels a little bit abandoned when I post fic updates!

I'm glad that you're enjoying this, and thanks for your review. You're probably right to worry about Riley, though. More should be soon, and thanks for the birthday wishes!
Sep. 27th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
I use 'the_big_bad' over there... Lol! Not sure why anymore!
Sep. 27th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
Well, hellooo...
I just stumbled upon this story after a quick search for some Spike action, and I'm very glad I did! I've been immersed in Team Jacob for the last few months and felt the need to come up for air and return to Spike, a long time love of mine.

This story is wonderful, I'm so pleased to have found it. There are lots of things that I find well done (such as Spike's dialogue - spot on), but as I seem to fail at leaving proper reviews, let me just thank you for re-igniting the flame I have for Spike.

It would appear that birthday greetings are in order - many congratulations on another trip round the sun! It's my birthday tomorrow too, but I plan to stay in bed and hope it goes away.
Sep. 27th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Well, hellooo...

Glad you stumbled upon this! Thank you for the feedback about Spike's voice, that's very much appreciated. Don't worry about how proper your reviews are -- just dropping a little note like this is a fantastic thing, so thank you!

Thanks as well for the birthday greetings, and I shall in turn send you a "happy birthday" of your own. Thanks for dropping by!
Sep. 28th, 2010 11:38 am (UTC)
Re: Well, hellooo...
I'm very critical about how Spike's voice is written, due to being British myself. My father's family are Londoners, so I get quite cross when Spike isn't written well. You did a sterling job m'dear!

Can I friend you?
Sep. 28th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Well, hellooo...
Of course you can!
( 13 have spoken — take the speaking stick )


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