|Story Title:||Can't Buy Me Love|
Tangled Up In You
Life goes on in SunnyD. Unbeknownst to each other, Spike and Buffy are both trying to find ways to solve their financial woes once and for all.
MacKenzie Verity Weckerly born October 9th, 2010
Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay born March 11, 2010
Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004
The twins (Danielle Dawn, "Dani" and William Rupert, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004.
Annie was born on February 14th, 1999
Spike and Buffy were married in February 1999
Buffy was born January 19th, 1981
William/Spike was turned by Dru in
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions and got the memories from the 'Rome' Universe in May, 2003.
The ‘Wish-World’ lasted from January 19th, 2005 to January, 16th 2010.
Tangled Up in You by Staind http://youtu.be/tEZ2BYDVXKw
ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise: http://www.screencap-paradise.com/?cat=3
Thanks to 'epd4' for betaing this chapter. Any mistakes are mine because I can't stop fiddling ...
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.
(1 week after Thanksgiving) Wednesday, December 1st, 2010, 2:00pm, Sunnydale:
Buffy eyed her adversary warily, circling slowly, first one way then the other, sizing the demon up. The light glinted off the beast’s shiny armor and flashed in the Slayer’s eyes at certain angles, making her shift her gaze downwards to the dark, sturdy legs and tail of her opponent. The long, thin tail which hung down to the floor sported what looked like a heavy mallet on the end … she’d need to keep an eye on that, as well. The demon seemed unconcerned by the proximity of the Slayer and mocked her by refusing to even acknowledge her presence – as if daring her to make the first move.
“I’ve fought worse than you and won,” Buffy informed the metallic beast as she continued to bide her time as she searched for a chink in its impressive armor.
“You think just because I’ve never faced your kind before that I can’t win … you’d be wrong,” Buffy continued as she watched the beast warily. “I’m the Slayer … and anything Spike can do, I can do better … or well … mostly – almost anything. I’m not great at the bitey, GRRR-ARGH thing …but this … I can do this.”
The beastly-machine continued to mock her, not moving, not responding, not making any concessions to her Slayerhood. If Buffy was going to prevail, she would have to make the first move … she would have to … sew.
Buffy sighed and sat down in front of her mother’s old Singer, pulling out the pattern that Billy had brought home from school the previous day and the material she’d purchased at the fabric store. Billy’s class was putting on a play for the holidays … but, in the spirit of being ‘politically correct’, instead of doing a Christmas play, they were doing a non-holiday, Winnie the Pooh production, and Billy had the part of Eeyore. But, in order to do that, someone had to create the costume for him…and that involved sewing.
Buffy had successfully conned Spike into putting buttons back on their clothing, but he wasn’t going for this – plus, he was just too knackered anyway. He’d been working his ass off trying to keep them afloat and, with December 25th fast approaching, the worry of how to provide any kind of decent Christmas for the kids was intensifying by the day.
Buffy continued to press Willow and Tara and even Annie, to a much lesser degree, to find an answer in those books that Giles had found and somehow come up with another Gem for Spike. He’d come home on Thanksgiving night beat all to hell … his back and shoulder looked like it had been through a meat grinder, he could barely walk by the time he got home and collapsed just inside the garage door. A Grox’lar Beast, he’d told Buffy, objected to being beaten at snooker. Buffy thought a Grox’lar must be a cross between Jaws and Freddy Krueger from the look of Spike’s wounds. On the plus side, Spike had won $500 from the beast, which he gave her to help with the bills, but that really was little consolation considering Spike’s injuries, which also made it impossible for her to thank him properly for his ‘Master Basting’ … which was disappointing for them both.
Then, on Saturday night, just as he was starting to get the use of his right arm back, he’d come home with fresh bruises on his face, some cracked ribs, and a stab wound in his left thigh that looked like a saber had gone all the way through his flesh from front to back. A Polgara demon, he explained as he gave her another $500 for the bills, took exception to being trounced at darts.
In actuality, of course, Spike’s second ‘No Holds Barred’ demon fight had been that Saturday. He’d had a couple of close calls in that one, too – particularly when the Polgara impaled him with one of its razor sharp bone skewers that jutted unexpectedly out of its arm. Spike learned firsthand what it felt like to be a shish kabob, but ultimately, the Polgara learned a harder lesson – what it felt like to be dead.
Out of the $5,239.50 Spike had won on Thanksgiving night, he’d given Buffy $500 and Raj $50, then he’d taken the remainder and bet on himself on Saturday night. As expected, since his first upset victory, the odds on him had come down considerably. Even with the Polgara’s size and natural weaponry advantage, the bookies wouldn’t do better than even money on Spike. He walked out of the club that night with $9,379 in winnings, plus $2,000 from Mr. Andreev. He gave Raj another $50 for placing the bet for him and Buffy another $500 for the bills, which helped explain his injuries, leaving him with just over $10,800.
First thing Monday night, before heading to The Fish Bowl, Spike stopped at Mr. Shark’s tank and paid him $10,000, keeping $800 to use for betting on the next bout. He would’ve liked to have kept more, but Spike thought that would show the loan shark that he was serious about paying him back and was good for the rest of the money; Mr. Shark wasn’t entirely impressed.
“I like you, Mr. Spike, but if I start letting people I like welsh on their loans, it sets a bad example,” the loan shark explained.
“Not welshin’,” Spike asserted. “Got two-thirds of it right there! I’ll have the rest to ya soon, just need a little more time.”
Mr. Shark sighed heavily and rubbed a blunt fin against his chin as he thought. “I’m only doing this because you’ve come through for my brother when he needed someone,” the loan shark finally acquiesced. “Another ten thousand by Nochebuena and we’ll call it even…”
“Ten!? But I only owe you five!” Spike argued in exasperation.
“Today you owe me five … on Nochebuena you owe me ten,” Mr. Shark informed him, using the Spanish term from his minnow days in Mexico for Christmas Eve. “I’m doing you a favor, Mr. Spike – you should be grateful.”
Spike rolled his eyes. “Don’t think I can handle many more of your bleedin’ favors…” Spike moaned, but finally accepted the deal. He didn’t really have a lot of options; well, none that involved keeping Buffy out of it.
“Whatcha doing, luv?” Spike asked a few hours later as he made his way gingerly down into the bat cave where Buffy had set up the sewing machine, a mug of blood in his hand. His leg still hurt like a motherfucker from that spearing on Saturday night, but, on the plus side, both his arms worked.
“Proving that anything you can do, I can do better…” Buffy replied haughtily as she held up two completed Eeyore ears, one on each side of her head.
Spike raised his brows and looked at her creations. One was about four inches shorter than the other and wasn’t pointed on the end, and rather lopsided, the point sticking out at an odd angle. The other one hung down properly but had more pink material, which was supposed to be just the inside of the down-trodden donkey’s ear, than grey.
“And how long did it take ya to do that, luv?” Spike wondered, taking a sip of his ‘breakfast’.
Buffy shrugged. “Well … five hours, off and on – but I had some interruptions,” she explained.
“You worked five hours and got two deformed ears done?” Spike questioned, cocking a brow at her.
“No … I told you, there were some breaks in there … and they are not deformed! They’re … unique … and … and endearing – they have personality!” she defended, lifting her chin in defiance before sighing heavily and pulling the ears away from her head to look at them. “And they’re totally deformed…” she moaned, dropping them onto the table next to the sewing machine.
“God, Spike – what am I gonna do? The seamstress in town is booked until after Christmas and, even if she wasn’t, she wanted $150 plus materials to make it,” Buffy lamented, dropping her head into her hands as she propped her elbows on the table next to the demon sewing machine. “I hate to tell Billy he can’t be in the play – he was so excited about it and he’d make such a sweet Eeyore … don’t you think he’d make a sweet Eeyore?”
Spike walked up to her and set his mug down on the table next to her and began massaging the tight muscles in her shoulders and neck. “He’ll make a brilliant Eeyore … if a bit disfigured…”
“Spiiike …” Buffy moaned, rolling her face back and forth where it rested in her hands. “Maybe you could…”
“Oh no, Slayer! You’re the one that told ‘im he could do it. You’re the one that promised the outfit …” Spike reminded her. “Yours truly is limited to sewin’ on buttons, and only ones I get to rip off.”
“You’re a big meanie,” Buffy informed him, moaning in pleasure as he continued massaging her shoulders and neck.
“Well – yeah, vampire, remember,” Spike pointed out with a smirk as he kneaded her tight shoulders with strong hands and magical fingers. “There are some things that are strictly mum jobs, and this is one of ‘em.”
“That’s very ‘Archie Bunker-esk’ of you …” Buffy told him, turning her face to the side and scowling at him.
Spike shrugged. “Right then, I’ll do the outfit and you can give ‘im ‘the talk’ in a few years. Talk to him ‘bout erections and wet dreams and practicing holdin’ back and how to make love to a woman – that’d be a fair trade, yeah?”
Buffy looked at him with wide eyes. “You practice holding back?”
Spike smirked at her. “It’s an art … and one only I can teach ‘im,” he asserted. “You wouldn’t want to deny him that skill, would ya? Could be right embarrassin’ for the lad one day…”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “You’re a meanie,” she repeated, dropping her head again and letting him work more of the stress out of her muscles.
“And you love it,” Spike teased, bending down and dropping a kiss on the back of her neck as he ran his hands gently down her sides and settled them on her hips.
Buffy shrugged. “A little … sometimes.”
(1 week later), Wednesday, December 8th, 2010, 2:00am, Sunnydale:
Despite making more money in one night fighting at Mr. Andreev’s club than he did all week at the bar, Spike continued working at The Fish Bowl – they needed all the money they could get. Even with the extra he’d been giving Buffy from the fights, the bills were still piling up and Christmas loomed like a dark cloud over the worried parents. Since the night of the big eBay blow-up, Buffy and Spike did their best to not argue about the money in front of the kids and they tried to pretend that things weren’t still horribly desperate, and but the truth wasn’t really lost on the children, especially Annie.
He’d won his third fight on December 4th, betting the $800 he’d kept back from his earlier winnings and ending up walking out with $3,600; $2,000 for the fight and $1,600 from the bet. Spike had given Buffy $600 to put towards the bills and kept the rest to bet the next week in hopes that he could earn enough to pay Mr. Shark off early and get him to come down off the $10,000 that he had quoted Spike. But, as usual, when shit starts sliding downhill, it generally doesn’t stop until it hits the rocks at the bottom and buries you in it. Despite them thinking that things couldn’t possibly get any worse, in fact, they could…
When he got home from The Fish Bowl on this night, he didn’t have to dodge the Blue Bomber to pull the DeSoto into the garage – the driveway was empty.
He came in and finally found Buffy behind the closed door of her office, sitting on the floor surrounded by past-due bills and credit card statements. She looked up from the chaos on the floor when he opened the door, her eyes red and swollen, her cheeks still stained with tears.
“What’s goin’ on? What’s wrong?” Spike asked as he closed the door silently behind him.
Buffy took a deep shuddering breath and wiped tiredly at her eyes. “The Bomber died tonight …” she told him, her voice cracking under the strain of one more thing to add to the weight on their shoulders. “I had just picked Annie up from rehearsal and it just died right in the middle of the intersection on Main and Caldera … it wouldn’t budge. I had to push it out of traffic with all the kids in there and …” Buffy dropped her head into her hands and tried to stop the tears from starting again. “ … Xander came and picked us up and got a tow truck. It’s dead Spike … it’s just dead.”
“Buffy … luv, why didn’t you call me?” he questioned, stepping over the piles of bills and kneeling down next to her.
Buffy shook her head. “You have enough to worry about at the bar … I didn’t want you distracted and maybe getting hurt again and … there wasn’t anything you could do.
“Xander had it towed over to Jack’s Garage … Jack said the computer that controls the … something … fizzled and fried … I don’t know – it blew up the motor ‘cos something zigged when it should’ve zagged and … Xander knew what he was talking about,” Buffy tried to explain with a heavy sigh.
“It needs a new computer and a whole new engine ‘cos now something’s cracked and there’s no vacuum … I didn’t know engines had vacuums …. What do engines need vacuums for, anyway? Are there little bits of potato chips floating around in there that it has to get up off the carpet? Do engines even have carpet?” Buffy prattled, looking at Spike with sad, exhausted eyes.
Spike sat all the way down on the floor and pulled her into a hug, tucking her head under his chin and wrapping strong arms around her. “Not a Hoover, pet … it’s a different kinda vacuum … How much did Jack say it’d be?”
“Six thousand for a new engine or three for a rebuilt one, then the computer is another grand … He said he could order one and you could rent a bay there if you and Xander wanted to do the work yourself; that would save about two thousand in labor…” Buffy explained what Jack had told them. “Spike … I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t go without a car – I have to run the kids all over town to their practices and go to Council meetings and PTA and grocery shopping ...
“I can’t even rent one – all our cards are over the limit and past due …” she reminded him unnecessarily, waving a hand at all the bills scattered around them on the floor. She’d been searching in vain for one that might not be past due … but she knew it was a lost cause before she started. She only did it because she just didn’t know what else to do.
“What are we gonna do?” Buffy whispered to him as she leaned against him and her tears began anew. She knew he was doing all he could, she was bringing in a little money with the stuff she was selling for the Council on eBay, but nothing they did ever seemed to be enough, they just couldn’t catch a break.
Spike sighed and stroked a hand softly down the back of her head, over her soft hair and down her back. “No worries, luv, I’ll take care o’ it,” he assured her.
“How?” Buffy wondered softly, looking up and meeting his eyes. He seemed so earnest, the blue seemed darker on this night somehow … determined, steadfast.
Spike shrugged slightly. “Talk t’ Jack and Harris in the morning ‘bout it, see if I can’t talk him down a bit, maybe Harris can check the junkyard and find one cheaper. I think Jack has a clunker there he’d let us rent. Not the best on the outside, but it’s dependable enough. I can use it; you can use the DeSoto for the bits. We’ll work it out, pet – we always do.”
Now Buffy knew things were dire – Spike was going to allow her to drive the DeSoto … In all the years she’d known him, even when he was evil, no one ever drove Vader but Spike.
“C’mon, pet … let’s get some kip. Things’ll look better in the mornin’,” Spike cajoled as he stood up and pulled her with him.
Buffy snorted softly and shook her head as she stood up with him.
“Leave it to me, Buffy … no worries now,” Spike assured her as they headed out into the hall.
“Gotta get a shower, pet – smell like Fulox demon,” Spike excused himself outside the bathroom door. Buffy nodded absently and released him then went to check on MacKenzie, who was sleeping peacefully in the nursery, while Spike got his shower.
Buffy looked down on their littlest bit and ran a hand gently through her soft red hair. She was so tired of worrying about money with no end in sight. She’d long ago run out of the option of robbing Peter to pay Paul – there was no one left to ‘rob’ any money from – she just did her best to stretch the money as far as she could – she hoped her next grand plan to make a million dollars worked better than her first one. She wasn’t telling Spike about this one yet, though … she didn’t want to jinx it or get his hopes up – or hers, for that matter.
Buffy met Spike in the hall when he came out of the bathroom and they went together to their room. While Xander was repairing the house, she’d had him reinforce the sound-proofing in their room on the assumption that Bess would be home one day. He’d installed an intercom system too, so they could hear what was going on in the house without anyone outside being able to hear them unless they wanted to be heard. Now, if Bess would just come home they could really test it out on vampire hearing …
Buffy followed Spike into their newly refurbished and repainted room. The scars from the Grox’lar demon were still quite evident as long, red gouges down her husband’s still damp back. She ran her fingers along the slashes gently as she closed the door behind them.
“Do they still hurt?” she asked softly.
Spike shrugged, still facing away from her. “Still feel ‘em if I move a certain way,” he admitted.
Buffy slowly trailed a line of kisses down the widest one, pulling the towel from around his waist and dropping it to the floor in order to cover the entire length of the scar. “Is that better?” she asked quietly as she started back up the scar next to it.
Spike closed his eyes and moaned as her warm mouth caressed his back so softly that it felt like the breeze from the wings of an angel taking flight. “You always make everything better,” he answered her finally when she started back down the third scar with the same soft kisses.
Buffy moved slowly, tasting his soft, cool skin, kissing the dew drops from his back and wishing more than anything that she could actually make everything better … not just for a while, but forever. The hours after Spike got home and before dawn were magical; hidden away in their own private world, they could pretend for just a little while that everything was alright. That there were no bills or mortgages or blown engines; that there were no prophecies or Armageddons awaiting them, that Christmas wasn’t fast approaching and Santa had died and Bess still hadn’t come home. They could join, tangle, dance; skin on skin, touching, caressing, burning each other; heart on heart, they could lose themselves in each other’s love until the sunrise brought the world back into focus.
Buffy moved her mouth to his shoulder where the Grox’lar had ripped his flesh. There were still indentations in his muscles that hadn’t completely healed yet, even though the skin had closed, the muscle that had been torn away hadn’t been completely restored yet.
“Does this still hurt?” she asked softly as she rained more kisses along the angry red scar that still remained and trailed her tongue up and down the hills and valleys the beast’s teeth had left behind.
“A bit,” Spike admitted as he kept his eyes closed and just let his body feel the magic of her touch on his skin. Her soft lips feathered over his injuries like a healing balm, not so much healing his physical body, but something much deeper. She always made sure she was awake when he got home … she always made sure they had their own time, just the two of them. Some nights, those hours were spent just holding each other, talking softly about nearly forgotten dreams for the future, for their children, for themselves. Other nights they lifted each other to heaven, giving everything to the other and wishing it would be enough to transcend the darkness into the day – but reality was always revealed in the morning light, no matter how hard they tried to escape it.
The nights Spike regretted most were Saturday nights, when he came home bruised and battered and bleeding, sometimes barely able to stand or walk. As she tended his wounds he dropped money on the table and lied to her … oh God, he hated that. He’d vowed long ago to never lie to her again, swore he wouldn’t … but if she knew, she would stop him and he couldn’t allow that. He was determined to do what he’d promised, provide her with not only love, but security and peace of mind, as well. He was determined to win that tournament – he was determined to be the husband and father his family deserved.
Buffy continued her ministrations, tickling butterfly kisses on his skin as she moved over his arm and around to his chest where the Grox’lar’s bite had punctured and torn his pectoral muscles. Spike lifted his other hand and ran it softly down her back as she worked her miraculous healing magic on him.
Buffy dropped down to his newest wound, from just this past Saturday night, a large dark purple-black bruise on his side between his ribcage and hip bone where his opponent had caught him with a large pincer and tried, unsuccessfully, to cut Spike in half at the waist.
“Does this still hurt?” she repeated the same question again.
Spike winced when she touched it with her lips, sucking his abs in reflexively. “A bit…” he groaned out between clenched teeth.
“Sorry …” Buffy murmured against his skin, skirting the worst of the bruise and Spike let out the breath he’d been holding as her kisses tickled the soft skin above and below the tenderest spot.
Buffy dropped down further to the small scar on his thigh where the Polgara demon had tried to turn him into a shish kabob and kissed a circle around it before touching her lips down lightly on the scar itself.
“Does this still hurt?” she asked again as she feathered her soft lips over his upper thigh.
“No…” he assured her. It was funny, it had still hurt when he was in the shower a few minutes ago, but somehow, her healing touch had suddenly made it feel much better.
Buffy slowly stood back up, leaving a trail of damp heat along his skin as she did so as her tongue traced a meandering path up his body.
“Anyplace else hurt?” she asked when she was standing in front of him.
Spike opened his eyes slowly and looked into hers. It seemed like he could drown in their green depths so easily … he almost felt like if he just believed enough and dove head first that he’d find himself completely immersed in their bottomless warmth and passion.
Spike touched a finger to his lips and Buffy smiled softly as she lifted up onto her toes and brushed her honeyed lips against his. “Better?” she breathed against his skin.
Spike shook his head slightly and Buffy pressed her velvet lips against his again, trailing her tongue softly along his full bottom lip before snaking it into his mouth to find his. Spike’s mellifluous moan and his arms wrapping around her body told her that her healing power must’ve found its mark. Their tongues danced that ageless waltz, turning and swirling round and round the other as their hands roamed the other’s skin, tingling them both with desire.
When the kiss broke, Buffy stepped back, pulling out of Spike’s embrace. She pulled her t-shirt up over her head to reveal her golden skin and full breasts to her husband. Spike’s eyes caressed her body with adoration – it didn’t seem to matter how often he saw it, it always felt just like that very first time; it always had the same effect on him.
He remembered what Amanda had found about the spell the monks used to create Annie – she said they borrowed part of the life force from Buffy to make him alive at just the right moment. Spike thought that was the perfect way to put it, because when he was with her like this, he felt like she was enfolding him in her life force … pouring it over him like warm, sticky, golden honey and making him feel more alive than he ever had as a human. He sometimes thought that he could actually feel his heart racing in his chest just being near her; the magic that was Buffy always made him feel alive.
Buffy slid her shorts down her legs and stepped out of them as Spike’s eyes came back to hers. The power of that silent connection between them never ceased to amaze her. It was more than words, more even than the bond … she thought that it must be their souls seeking out their other halves. It held them both transfixed for some time, neither moving or breathing or wanting to do anything to break that unfathomable link … the link which joined their life forces.
Keeping her eyes locked with his, Buffy backed up until her knees hit the bed and she sat down, then slowly crawled back on the soft mattress and silently invited Spike to join her.
Spike stepped towards her, letting her eyes pull him forward. Spike crawled over her on hands and knees like a graceful panther until their bodies were close enough that Spike could feel the heat from hers rising up and engulfing his. He leaned down and captured her lips in a slow, sensuous kiss, holding his body up above hers with strong arms. Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck as she savored the tender sweetness of his kiss. There were times that she needed fast and frantic, and times that she needed fun and teasing, and times she needed gentle and lingering; there were times she needed the demon, and times she needed the man, times she needed the poet and times she needed the warrior. She didn’t know how he knew what she needed when, maybe it was the words she used or the way she moved, or the way she moaned or maybe it was that connection, but somehow he always seemed to know.
Spike dropped down to his elbows and rested his hard body gently against her suppleness as he began to sprinkle soft kisses over her face, on her eyelids, the tip of her nose … then down her jaw to her neck. His movements were unhurried, deliberate, as if this night would last forever.
“I love you, Buffy… love you so bloody much…” he murmured against the skin of her neck, his deep voice vibrating against her heated flesh.
Buffy placed her hands on each side of his face and lifted his head back up so she could see those words reflected in his eyes … the eyes that he contended ‘didn’t talk’. “I love you too, Spike,” she replied huskily as she watched her words sparkle in those deep chasms of blue which had a language all their own.
Buffy lifted her legs and wrapped them lightly around his hips, inviting him into her. Spike lifted up and pulled back slightly and Buffy guided his cool hardness into her soft heat. That moment of entry … as her body gave and stretched to accept him inside her, never failed to send pure bliss tickling over her, raising chill bumps on her hot skin. Whether a fast and frantic plunge or a sumptuously slow seduction, the act of her damp, supple flesh enveloping him was a feeling she’d yearn for until her dying day.
“God, Buffy…” Spike moaned as he sank ever so slowly into her. His cock glided gently into her wet, velvet glove as her womanhood welcomed him, pulling him deep into her core.
When Spike’s hips met hers, Buffy pulled his chest back down against her body. “Hold me …” she murmured against his ear as she wrapped her arms tightly around his back.
Spike laced his arms under her, around her shoulders and relaxed his body against hers. “Forever…” he promised as he rested his head down on the pillow next to hers, closed his eyes and let his other senses take control. The fragrance that was nothing but Buffy filled him with joy as he breathed her in, her warm body beneath him, her passion surrounding him, it seemed to make all the worries of the world fade away – he would gladly stay here holding her forever if he could.
Buffy held him to her tightly as if he was her anchor in a tumultuous, stormy sea. He covered her with security and filled her with hope, and the broken car and the bill collectors and the impending disaster some people called ‘Christmas’ blew away like the ocean’s foam on a windswept beach. There was nothing but this moment. These few hours between the end of one day and the sunrise that signaled the start of another was their time, and there was nothing but them in these moments.
Buffy grazed her hands lightly over the hard muscles of Spike’s back, over the hills and valleys of flesh and bone. He fit her so perfectly and she him – it was like they were made for each other – not just on the inside, but on the outside, too. Like two pieces of a puzzle that had been lost, leaving the picture unfinished, then were miraculously found after many years apart – they completed each other and together created a beautiful picture which included their family and friends. Without those two pieces, the whole puzzle’s potential would’ve remained unfulfilled, would have never seen the light of day, but rather languished in some dark corner for all eternity.
Spike lifted up and met her eyes before dropping a soft kiss on her tender lips as he began moving his hips against her slowly. Buffy moaned into his mouth, not wanting to ever move from the comfort of his embrace but at the same time wanting more. His body moving against hers felt so good, so right; the gentle thrusts and retreats of his hips were like soft waves washing over her, mesmerizing and building higher with each measured stroke. As he paused to grind his pubic bone in unhurried circles against her clit with each downward push, the waves began to rise higher within her and she clung even tighter to her anchor.
Spike rose up to straight arms and bent his head down to suck one hot, hard nipple between his cool lips, flicking the tip of his tongue against her dusty-pink skin and bringing another wanton moan from Buffy’s throat as her back arched against him.
“Oh, God, Spike … yes, baby … so good,” Buffy murmured as he increased the tempo of his thrusts and she matched him, raising her hips up to meet him with every blazing stroke.
“So beautiful you are, pet …” Spike whispered back to her. Her face and body flushed with the heat of her desire was one of Spike’s favorite sights … right up there with that indignant pout she had when things didn’t go her way or uncontrollable laughter over the silliest things or the adoration in her eyes when she held their children … I guess you could say he loved all of Buffy’s looks, all except tears; the tears cut straight to his heart and brought him to his knees.
The lover’s dance lifted them slowly higher, like a small bird just learning to fly, they rose and retreated, then rose again – higher this time, before gliding down and rising back up yet again; each ascent took them higher, closer to heaven. It was what they both needed … time in each other’s arms. There was no frenzied, possessed madness that sometimes overtook them, just a feeling of serenity being with the one they loved, giving the other pleasure and accepting the gift the other offered.
Buffy felt like they were floating in a sea of tranquility and the blissful waves were washing over their bodies, tickling their skin like champagne bubbles as they rode the undulating surf ever higher. As the current surged and swelled within her, she opened her eyes and was immediately surrounded by the blue flame of Spike’s soul, which bore into her and set the sea afire with pure devotion. She suddenly felt a profound peace curl over and around her as her orgasm washed gently over her like a sea wave that had traveled many long miles before reaching the beach.
It wasn’t one of the earth moving, scream-inducing orgasms, but more of a soft caress which left her feeling serene and placid – like she was floating on a cloud. It was exactly what she needed this night – the poet, not the warrior; the gentle man, not the wanton demon.
As Buffy’s eyes met his, her body tensed and her womanhood constricted around Spike’s cock, pulling him deeper and deeper until he thought he would surely be drowned in her. Spike took the joy that she offered and allowed himself to let go. His cum surged up, pulsating his hard rod within her sugar walls and spilled into her, lifting the poet up to that halcyonic cloud with her.
Everything suddenly went completely still – no a breeze billowed, no birds sang, not even the rays of the sun reached through the hazy nebula that surrounded and buoyed them. All there was were two souls at peace; two hearts giving all they had to the other; two life forces joining into one, floating high above the world that seemed to want nothing more than to tear them apart at every turn.
Buffy pulled Spike’s body back down against hers and clung to him tightly as her heart raced and thudded against his chest which brought a smile to his lips as he wrapped his arms around and under her. There it was – that feeling of being alive – she was pouring it over him again.
Spike lifted his head to look at her face. The tears had dried, the stress and worry that had creased her features before had softened; she’d wanted the poet to help her find that tranquility … he wanted the woman to remind him what it was to be a man. They both gladly gave what the other needed.
“They say you only truly fall in love once, but that’s bollocks,” the poet whispered to her. “Every time I look at you, I fall in love all over again.”
Buffy smiled softly as she drank in the love that shone down on her, touching his cheek gently as she relished the feel of his body against hers and the serenity that they’d brought each other this night.
“That is so cheesy…” Buffy teased lightly, her smile widening.
Spike shrugged and returned her smile. “Thought you liked cheese.”
“Nope. I love it.”
(The following week) Friday, December 17th, 2010, 7:00pm, Sunnydale, Wilkins Elementary School:
As he’d promised, Spike had ‘worked something out’ with Jack and the Blue Bomber was being fitted with a rebuilt engine and a new computer brain. The day after it broke down, Spike took his $3,000 that he was going to use to bet with and paid $1,000 of it to Jack so the mechanic could get started. That left Spike with $2,000 to bet. After winning his fight last Saturday and ending up with a total of $6,000 (the $2,000 he bet won him another $2,000 and Mr. Andreev paid him $2,000 for the fight), he paid Jack the remainder for the engine and computer and the labor – another $3,000, which left Spike with $3,000 to bet tomorrow night. Needless to say, he wasn’t able to go to Mr. Shark and try to talk him down off the $10,000 the loan shark wanted by Christmas, but if Spike could just keep winning fights, he was confident that he’d be able to clear that obligation easily. He’d been summarily vague with Buffy about what he’d ‘worked out’ with Jack … she was so elated that he’d been able to handle it, that she didn’t press him for details of his deal.
The minivan wasn’t repaired yet, though, so the whole family packed into the DeSoto for the short ride to Billy and Dani’s elementary school this night. The cafeteria/auditorium was packed with family and friends for the politically-correct, non-holiday, Winnie the Pooh play. Children ran and laughed in the aisles as their parents found seats and readied their cameras to capture the historic event.
Billy had been giddy with excitement when Buffy took him backstage earlier to get ready with the other performers. She had finally, after many excruciating hours of torturous and concentrated battling, and more than one trip back to the fabric store, defeated the demon sewing machine and produced a costume for her son that he could wear proudly without fear of ridicule. The ears were both the same length, the legs and arms weren’t too long or too short, the tail didn’t drag the ground and swayed just right when he walked and was attached with Velcro so he could ‘lose it’ and have it reattached, and even the bit of dark mane between the ears was centered just right.
Billy had everyone in the mansion helping him rehearse his lines over the last two weeks until they all knew all the lines for the whole play – which, granted was only about thirty minutes worth in total, but still. It’s a good thing it wasn’t a murder/mystery or all the suspense would’ve been completely lost on his audience. Now Buffy just hoped that the other kids were as well prepared as her son was and that he didn’t get stage fright and totally freeze up when the curtain rose. Buffy had been in a play in elementary school too … she couldn’t actually remember any of it because she’d totally blocked the traumatic experience from her brain, but her Mom said that she came out onto the stage and froze. The other kids just kept going without her, skipping her lines and making the whole show completely incomprehensible … which is a pretty good feat for an elementary school production of Billy Goat Gruff. Buffy still had a picture of herself in that hideous goat costume … hidden somewhere she hoped no one would ever find.
When Buffy came back from dropping Billy off, she found the gang seated in the third row back from the stage – Spike was holding MacKenzie and saving a seat for Buffy next to him. Billy’s cheering section took up nearly the whole row with Xander, Anya, and JJ along with Giles, Lorne, Faith, Spike, Buffy, and the other Weckerly kids. Wes had regretfully declined the tantalizing invitation, citing a very vague prior engagement elsewhere.
Buffy sat down next to Spike and offered to take the baby, but she was sleeping, and it’s best to leave sleeping babies lie, so he just kept her.
“How was he?” Spike asked her when she’d settled in her seat.
“He seemed fine … excited but lucid,” she assured her husband, holding up both hands with crossed fingers.
A few minutes after the scheduled start time of 7:30pm, the lights in the ‘theatre’ went down and all the patrons quieted. One of the teachers organizing the play came out to set the scene for them and then the play was taken over by the kids with the teacher on the floor near the stage to help with forgotten lines and missed cues.
Buffy held her breath when the curtain rose as she waited for Billy’s scene …
“There now,” said Christopher Robin as he re-attached the donkey’s tail. “Did I get your tail back on properly, Eeyore?”
“No matter,” Eeyore sighed, his head drooping as he looked back at his tail. “Most likely lose it again, anyway.”
“Well, it’s a very nice tail,” Christopher continued.
“Thanks. It's not really much of a tail, but I'm sort of attached to it,” Eeyore lamented, wiggling his bottom and swishing said tail towards the audience which drew giggles from the crowd.
Then everything went silent … Buffy bit her lip as everyone waited for Pooh Bear to make his big entrance … and they waited and waited…
As the audience began a low murmur, Eeyore motioned to someone off the stage for them to come out … then Christopher Robin did too and even the teacher who was standing near the stage joined in – but still no one came out.
Eeyore sighed heavily and ad-libbed, “I better go find Pooh … he’s probably stuck in the honey tree again.”
Billy, as Eeyore, ran off to stage left and grabbed Pooh’s hand and coaxed the frightened girl playing Pooh out onto the stage.
Buffy’s eyes met Spike’s, her hands covering her mouth in worry. She knew just how that girl felt …like she wished a hole would open up in the floor so she could disappear.
Billy leaned in and whispered in her ear and the frightened girl finally stuttered out her line, “Good morning, Christopher Robin.”
“Oh, good morning, Pooh Bear,” Christopher replied and Owl joined in, wishing Pooh a good morning, as well.
Buffy bit her lip harder, hoping Billy wouldn’t forget his own line now that he’d saved Pooh … but she needn’t have worried …
“If it is a good morning, which I doubt,” Eeyore moaned heavily, moving back to his proper place nearer Christopher Robin.
Soon Piglet and Roo and Tigger joined the group on stage and, despite a few more forgotten lines and awkward silences, the play went on without any more really big problems. Even Pooh had finally settled down and ended the show with an emphatic, “Oh bother!”
The assembled onlookers clapped and cheered for the players as if they’d just delivered a Tony Award winning performance of Macbeth and the kids took their bows on center stage with giddy grins plastered on their faces. Some, like from the girl playing Pooh, wore grins of relief that it was over; for others, like Billy, they were grins of elation.
The ‘after party’ back at the mansion included cake and ice cream (sorbet for Dani) and everyone congratulated Billy on his performance, which just made his grin widen. When everyone had been served and had scattered a bit while eating their treats, Buffy saw Billy over at the research table by himself, checking on Bess.
“Too bad she wasn’t here to see your debut,” Buffy offered as she walked up behind him. After leaving Philadelphia, Buffy had been hopeful that Bess would come back to Sunnydale, but, instead she’d gone back to Cleveland and had been there almost three weeks now.
“I told her about it … she said she was sorry that she wouldn’t be able to come,” Billy told his mother. Since that dream on Thanksgiving night, anytime Billy found himself in a dream with Bess, she’d welcomed him and talked to him, but she never said if she was going to come back or not. He hadn’t given up hope, though – just the fact that she was talking to him again made him think that she would come back – one day.
“Well, hopefully she can be here for the next one …” Buffy sighed, ruffling Billy’s curls. “You did really well, helping Pooh out was … well, it was very nice of you.”
Billy shrugged. “She was just scared ‘cos of all the people.”
“But you weren’t,” Buffy observed.
“Naaa … I thought it was fun. You can be anybody you want in a play! Next time I think I want to be a human, though… that costume was kinda hot,” Billy admitted.
Buffy laughed lightly. Two weeks of blood, sweat, and tears for the costume to be used once … and be hot.
“Well, you made an excellent Eeyore. We’re really proud of you,” Buffy told her son. “You never know, you might be the next Robert Redford.”
“Who’s Robert Redford?”
“Just this old actor guy …” Buffy explained with an eye roll, feeling more like her own mother every day, making references her children didn’t get.
(The next day) Saturday, December 18th, 2010, 10:00am, Sunnydale:
Buffy made it upstairs from the basement just as the answering machine was picking up the phone. Spike’s voice came on the speaker,
“You’ve reached the Weckerly’s.
If we owe you money, the check’s been posted,
If you’re selling something, you’re wastin’ your time, all our money’s in the post,
If you owe us money, leave your number and we’ll call ya back right quick …”
Buffy picked up the phone before the beep, “Hello?”
“Buffy! It’s Tara,” came the excited response on the other end of the line.
“Hey! Did you get them? What do you think?” Buffy asked just as excitedly, setting down the basket of laundry she’d been carrying.
“They are sooo cool! We love them! Can you make more? I can send you some fabric that I know will look great and go with a bunch of my outfits!” Tara replied eagerly.
“Sure! Just send it and I can have more in no time!” Buffy agreed, thrilled that Tara and Willow had liked the presents she sent. The two weeks battling the demon Singer hadn’t all been spent on Billy’s costume.
“What did you say they were called again?” Tara asked.
Tangled Up in You - Staind
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