|Part:||4. The One Who Knows|
Spike and Troy have a talk. The gang heads off with the Slammers to the fall Little League tournament. Buffy has a little plan to make the trip more interesting … or torturous.
September - October 2011
Warning: Absolutely, under no circumstance, should you do what Buffy does to Spike in the next couple of chapters! Always read and follow the directions and safety precautions on all sex-toys before using them!! This is a work of fiction and Spike is a vampire, not a human, so I'm not applying the same rules to him. In the same vein, using Ben Wa balls for extended periods of time is probably not a good idea either – again, Buffy's not a normal human, this is fiction, real life rules are not applied. Have fun but be safe!
Music Referenced: Centerfield, John Fogerty, http://youtu.be/04KQydlJ-qc
Some photographs courtesy of FreeFoto.com
|Thanks:||Thanks to YOU for reading! Without you none of this would mean anything! Thanks to Magnus for suggesting the talk between Spike and Troy. Giant thanks also to Anona for betaing most of this chapter (the first was added at the last minute and is unbetaed), including her grammatical and punctuation corrections, wonderful commentary, and final review. All mistakes are mine because I simply cannot stop fiddling right up to the very last moment.|
|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.
Five days later, Friday, September 23rd, 2011:
Spike looked up from the telly, cursing under his breath as he heard someone coming down the garden steps. Buffy, Bess, and Faith were supposed to be at one of the innumerable meetings in the Slayer Salt Mines … err, the Council, that is; the kids were all supposed to be in school. He and his little Testa Rossa were supposed to have the afternoon alone. Free to watch the telly in peace and bloody quiet!
“No!” ‘Kenzie squealed with a delighted giggle – her voice joyful rather than stern – when Spike paused his recording of the season premiere of ‘The Walking Dead’.
“Agree with ya on that one, Princess,” he muttered as the screen froze in a moment when a half-rotted corpse was tearing out someone's throat. Spike looked at the on-screen vision and smiled a bit in reflection. Ahh, the good ole days. He briefly thought of reclaiming a bit of his youth with whoever it was about to disturb his ‘gore-time’.
“Papa! No!” MacKenzie admonished him, reaching a hand out from her perch on his knee towards the TV.
“Shhhh, pet,” Spike cajoled, bouncing her lightly. “Now what ‘ave I told ya ‘bout that? If your mum hears ya saying that, it’ll hurt ‘er feelings. C’mon now, try again: ‘Mama’ … You say it now,” he instructed firmly.
“Papa! T.T.!” the nearly-year-old red-head retorted, giving him a dour frown, still reaching toward the T.V. … not the T.T.
Spike sighed and shook his head. “Most stubborn Summers yet, I’d wager,” he reflected as the door to the garden opened and Troy hobbled inside.
Spike stood up, cradling the baby on his forearm, and started toward the larger man. “Bess ain’t ‘ere – got one a’ them Slayer pow-wows,” he announced as he walked.
“I know,” Troy replied, holding a hand over his ribs. “Man, those steps are killer with broken ribs.”
Spike snorted. “Tell me about it,” he agreed.
Troy staggered to the nearest chair, half bent over protecting his ribs, and sat down with a moan of relief and pain. “How many times have you had your ribs broken?” he wondered as Spike leaned on the arm of the chair opposite Bess’ beaten and bruised suitor.
“Can’t count that high,” Spike replied.
“How many times by a Summers?” Troy continued.
Spike snorted. “Still can’t count that high.”
Troy started to laugh but caught himself. “Man, that hurts.”
“Didn’t they give ya any feel-good pills?” Spike wondered.
Troy nodded. “Yeah, took one … four days ago. It’s hard to go to class when you keep seeing giant butterflies dive-bombing VW Bugs.”
Spike quirked a brow. “Good stuff, that.”
“No doubt,” Troy agreed. “I just hate seeing innocent Volkswagens getting indiscriminately mutilated.”
Spike smirked at him, then settled down into the chair he’d been leaning on, jiggling the baby idly against his chest. “So, ya know Bess ain’t here, reckon that means ya came to see someone else.”
“You reckon right. Came to see you,” Troy agreed.
“So you’ve accomplished your mission. Congrats! If you’re done ogling me, I got a show t’ watch,” Spike dismissed him, standing back up.
“Mr. Weckerly, I … Please, I know you don’t like me, but … could I just talk to you a minute … about Bess?” Troy asked in earnest.
Spike sighed, rolled his eyes, and settled back into the seat across from the beaten man. Both of Troy’s eyes were purplish-black all the way around, but they were no longer swollen shut, his nose had been broken, his jaw was swollen and bruised, as were his lips. His arm was in a cast from wrist to elbow and, though Spike couldn't see it, he knew he must have some sort of wrap around his ribs. The big man looked like death warmed over. Spike had looked that way a time or two in his life.
“I told ya before that Summers women weren’t t’ be trifled with. Lucky she didn’t kill ya, Indy.”
“I get that,” Troy agreed. “She … says she’s sorry about it. Says it won’t happen again. Says … she loves me.”
Spike’s brows rose, wrinkling his forehead. “Does she, now?”
“Yeah … I just … Well, I was wondering … she seems sincere, but there was a lot about her that I didn’t know before, and … now I feel like maybe there’s still more I don’t know.
“So, I was wondering if you had any more … Summers women insight that you’d care to share with a novice,” Troy finished with trepidation.
Spike pursed his lips to conceal a smile. “Ya didn’t take the advice I gave ya before,” he pointed out.
“I see the error in my ways and assure you I’m not one to repeat my mistakes,” Troy replied seriously.
Spike nodded thoughtfully for moment, then looked down at the confounding baby in his arms. He wondered momentarily if one day he’d be having a similar talk with another young man who’d been beaten senseless – with either words or fists – by his youngest. It seemed almost inevitable.
Spike sighed and looked back at Troy. He didn’t really hate the git, in fact, he’d gained a modicum of respect for him since the mission to Arizona. He just didn’t want Bess hurt, her trust destroyed, her self-esteem crushed.
Finally, after being silent for a full five minutes, long enough that Troy had begun to think he wouldn’t get any answer at all, Spike spoke, “Summers women are smart as bloody whips – not always book-smart, but cunning, could even say devious at times. They’ll look ya in the eye and lie to you straight out – if it serves some purpose they deem worthy. Mostly that means they’re trying t’ save the world or some rot like that.”
Troy cast a questioning glance at Spike.
Spike shrugged and sighed.
“That’s about the only time they’ll flat-out lie to ya – for the greater good and all that. Or at Christmas,” he added hastily. “Christmas is a time of tall tales, all in the name o’ the little Christ child. Never quite followed that logic, but … no matter.” Spike waved a hand dismissively.
“Generally, though, rather than lies, their strategy is silence. Try t’ make you guess what’s goin’ on in that pretty, little noggin. Got fairly good at it over the years, I did, but Buffy can still stump me at times – and Bess … well … she’s a bit of a sticky wicket.
“Reckon she told you ‘er story, start to end, so ya know she was a child o’ the Victorian age – o’ the Gilded Age in America. She lived most of her life shut away from the world – in a hell dimension of man’s own making – then she got brought back, so t’ speak, into a world so changed that she might’ve been in a different dimension altogether.
“Was like time-travel for her, I reckon; going from carts and horses t’ cars and airplanes, from town criers to the internet…”
“From the prudish, ‘Lie back and think of England', straight past free love to safe sex,” Troy interjected.
Spike inclined his head in agreement. “Outwardly, she handled it brilliantly. Bloody fool I was on that. Was just that patented Summers-silence, and when it finally exploded – which it always does sooner or later – it took a long while t’ clean up the fallout.
“Add to the Summers’ stubborn silence the power and aggression of a Slayer and you got yourself a handful o’ deadly wildcat. Top it off with the violence and strength of a vamp, and you’ve got a rabid wolverine on your hands, mate.
“So, you want t’ know if you can trust what she tells ya now, that it, Indy? Wonder if she really loves ya or if she’ll turn on ya again?”
Troy shrugged. “I … don’t really know what I’m asking. I believe her – I think she really means it … today. I guess I just wondered if someone like me – a regular guy – could…”
“Survive ‘er?” Spike interjected.
Troy shook his head. “No, sir. I wondered if I could really make her happy – in the long run – because that’s all I really want to do, sir.”
Spike stopped his gentle rocking of the baby in his arms a moment as he took Troy’s question in and considered it. It wasn’t until ‘Kenzie began to fidget that he remembered she was there and began bouncing her gently against him again.
Spike ran his free hand back through his hair and shook his head. “Not sure anyone can tell ya that but her, Indy. Seems to me she’s told you as much just by not runnin’ off – which I half-expected after the tiff you had.”
Troy snorted. “Tiff? That was a ‘tiff’?”
Spike shrugged. “On the verge of a row,” he acquiesced. “There was a time when I’d’ve said no way a human could make a Slayer happy … let alone a Slayer-vamp,” Spike admitted. “Got a question t’ ask you – a right personal one: has she ever bit you … drawn blood with her fangs?”
Troy furrowed his brow and shook his head. “Why would she? She eats … pig’s blood, right?”
“Yeah,” Spike agreed. “For sustenance, but there’s more to a bite than food value.” Spike’s brow furrowed as he considered this. “She didn’t even bite you when you were fightin’, did she? Didn’t even show ‘er demon to you, did she?”
Troy shook his head. “Not that I saw."
"Have you ever seen her in her full demon regalia?" Spike wondered.
"Yeah, I mean ... she showed me when she first told me about ... what she was – a long time ago."
"But not, for example, when you're practicing that safe sex you alluded to?" Spike continued.
Troy shook his head. "No. Does that mean something? Is that important?”
“Not rightly sure, Indy. Could be she was more in control than I gave ‘er credit for when she beat ya senseless – which wouldn’t bode well, t’ be honest.”
Spike caught up with Bess on patrol later that night. He’d followed her through two cemeteries, keeping his distance and watching. She’d staked two newly-risen vamps before they’d even made it out of the ground. There had been no fight, no Buffy-esque puns, no ‘spot of violence’ like he and Buffy used to revel in when they’d been the ones patrolling all those years ago.
As he watched her now, in a third cemetery, she faced a vamp that had obviously been out of the ground for more than a day or two. Likely he’d come to claim some recently-turned, but not yet risen, minions buried nearby. Bess fought well – as well as Buffy, he’d wager – but where his Slayer was invigorated – ok, turned on – by such encounters, Bess seemed stoic and businesslike.
When the vamp was dust, Bess searched out the freshest graves, and sat down to await the arrival of the now orphaned minions. Spike sauntered up to her as she waited, walking casually, as if he’d just been out for an evening stroll.
Bess looked up at him and gave her father a wry smile. “Wondered how long were you gonna watch me,” she said as he got near.
“Always been a sucker for a pretty girl kickin’ ass,” Spike excused, leaning on a nearby headstone as he tucked his thumbs casually into the pockets of his jeans, splaying his fingers out below them.
“Uh-huh,” Bess grunted. “Why do I think this is more than that?”
Spike shrugged. “Couldn’t help but notice you never go into game face when you’re slaying.”
Now it was Bess’ turn to shrug. “Is there something wrong with that?”
“No – just curious is all. That last one gave you a bit of a row. Thought the demon might’ve given ya the edge, is all.”
“I’m still here and he’s not. Don’t think I needed any more of an edge, do you?”
“Point,” Spike agreed. “It’s just that, to quote a great man, ‘Sometimes when you cage the beast, the beast gets angry’,” Spike continued.
“What great man said that? Shakespeare? Confucius? Einstein?” Bess wondered, her brow furrowed and head tilted in consideration.
“The X-Man … from the movies?” she scoffed.
“What!? Bloody brilliant that,” Spike defended, scowling.
“Your boy came by the house t’day,” he offered, changing the subject abruptly.
“Troy? He’s not a ‘boy’.”
“Is t’ me,” Spike retorted. “He wondered if a human could make a Slayer-vamp happy. Worried that he’s not enough for ya.”
Bess rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Seems like he should’ve asked me that, not you. What would you know about it?”
“Known a few Slayers in my day – and more vamps. Haven’t known any humans that could really … keep up with their darker natures.”
“Angel and Cordy seem fine,” Bess pointed out.
“Cordy’s not all that human – even before she got the demon-upgrade from Wolfram & Hart she wasn’t all that human,” Spike insisted.
Bess snorted. “I don’t think ‘Fashionista’ is actually a demonic infliction.”
“You didn’t know Cordelia back in the day,” Spike informed her. “Bloody scary she was if ya got between ‘er and next season’s fashions.”
Bess laughed. “I guess. So, what does that have to do with me, exactly?”
“You can’t hide it forever, pet. Can’t keep the demon locked up and not expect it t’ turn on you one day,” Spike advised.
Bess looked at the ground and shrugged. “We’ll see,” she countered.
“Not all that darkness you feel is the vamp. Ya gotta know, some is the Slayer … got more than one demon inside you,” Spike continued.
“I know – I can tell the difference,” Bess asserted. “They aren’t really the same, ya know. They’re like different sides of the same coin, similar, but they are different.”
“Not really fair to the boy to keep your nature from him, is it?”
“Pretty sure I gave him a good taste of it the other day,” Bess contended.
Spike shrugged noncommittally. “Didn’t bite him … didn’t even go into game face that he recalls.”
“And again I say: I won. Didn’t need the demon,” Bess shot back.
“What are you afraid of?” Spike wondered. “He’s too bloody stupid t’ run off – why are ya hidin’, pet?”
“I’m not hiding – I’m right here, totally un-hidey,” Bess contended, holding her arms out from her sides. “And I’m not afraid of anything. I’m stronger than any Slayer on the planet and 99% of the demons. There’s nothing for me to be afraid of.”
“Drop the tough-chit act and talk t’ me,” Spike admonished. “I’m bloody tired of dancing with you.”
Bess bit back an angry retort and looked back at the ground for several long moments. Luckily, the newly-made vamp she’d been waiting on chose that moment to reach a hand out of his grave as he struggled for the surface. Bess jumped down from her perch on the headstone and took his hand in hers, helping him up.
“Thanks!” the well-dressed young man said as his vampire face cleared the soil.
“You’re welcome,” Bess replied as she slammed her stake into his chest. He looked momentarily shocked, then burst into dust at her feet. She put her stake away, clapped her hands together to remove the dust that clung to them, then calmly took her place on the headstone again.
After a moment, she drew in a deep breath and huffed it out loudly before looking up at her father. “I’m not consciously denying the demon, Spike,” she assured him. “It just … it became second nature … hell, first nature to keep it down in the dungeon. Don’t you remember the rules? I do. I can’t forget them: ‘keep the demon down, no fighting, no biting...’ It's like a mantra in my brain – ingrained in me like ... like the need to breathe is to a human.
“I can barely force myself to do anything but ‘missionary position, vaginal first’, for God’s sake! I don’t see any reason to try and change my demon’s inclination now. It’s there – I know it’s there – but it’s not fighting me, not anymore. It did for a while … like the first fifty years … but not anymore.”
Spike considered this a few moments, then asked, “What about the Slayer’s demon? You keeping that chained up with the vamp?”
“That would be kinda kinky, wouldn’t it?” Bess joked, shaking her head.
Spike cocked a questioning brow at her.
She rolled her eyes and sighed.
“Look, I’ve lived with my demons a lot longer than any other Slayer out there and I know what they need, what they want, and how to handle them. Are you telling me that Buffy has never, ever just been a girl … a woman with you? Is she always dark and violent? Always the Slayer?”
“No, not saying that,” Spike replied.
“And you – are you telling me that you’ve never been gentle and loving with her? Are you saying you go for the jugular every time you screw? That your demon takes over as soon as your dick gets hard?” Bess wondered.
“‘Course not,” Spike shot back.
“Well, so what’s the diff?” Bess wondered. “I lived a long time with cold, hard, violent sex. Sex with no feelings attached. Bodies connecting without tenderness, without love, without compassion, without warmth. It was lonely and desolate, and my demons and I have had it up to here with that crap!” she contended, holding her hand up as high as she could reach over her head.
“Can I call on my demon to help me if I need to?” Bess brought up her game face in an instant, her fangs extending, her blue eyes glowing golden. “Yeah, I can – she’s here, ready to fight if I need her.” She shifted back into her human visage. “But mostly, I don’t need her and she’s fine with that.
“I don’t know if one day they’ll want more – if I’ll want more – but right now, me, myself, and I – the girl, the Slayer, and the vamp – are all happy with exactly what we’ve got. When I’m with Troy I feel loved. I feel safe and warm and happy. I feel everything that I never felt in all those years and … it scares the shit out of me that I’ll lose it,” she admitted, wiping away a stray tear that came unbidden to her eye.
Spike took two long strides toward her and pulled her into a hug. Bess dropped her face against his chest and returned the gesture, wrapping her arms around him.
“You’ll always be loved, pet. You know your mum and me love you – your brother and sisters love you.”
Bess nodded against him. “I know. I just … it’s different.”
“I know, luv. I know it is, but never feel like you’re alone. You don’t need t’ hide from us. If you feel like … like you’re losing control o’ your demons, come to us – we really can help. Know you think we’re a bit set in our ways…”
Bess let out a very unladylike snort at that.
“… but we’ve been livin’ with our untamed demons a while. They’ve never been held in check by anything but our own will … our own souls,” Spike continued. “Had to learn to indulge them just enough t’ keep them happy, but not so much to lose control of them. One day yours might need to be given a bit o’ rein … a bit of freedom. We can show ya how to do that and not lose control. Maybe not scare off the wanker.”
Bess nodded against him again and sniffed back her tears before pulling out of his embrace and sitting back on her headstone. “I get it, I really do,” she assured him. “I'll tell you if I think things are … changing.”
Spike nodded and wiped a tear from her cheek with his thumb. “So, he makes ya happy?”
“And you love the git?”
“His name is Troy,” she corrected, nodding.
“Yeah, yeah … still a wanker git,” Spike groaned. Then, growing serious again he said, “You know he’s gonna age and you’re not.”
“Yeah, or he could get hit by a car tomorrow or I could get staked tomorrow. I can’t … I can’t worry about tomorrow,” she told him. “When tomorrow comes, then I’ll deal with it – we’ll deal with it. I’m not gonna borrow trouble before it knocks me in the head.
“And, plus, when you married Buffy, she wasn’t all non-agey. Willow told me that happened after she died and got brought back with some hell-god blood. So … nice to meet you, Mr. Kettle.”
“Shirty little minx you are,” Spike grumbled. “‘Ave half a mind t’ turn you over m’ knee and give you a right thrashing.”
Bess laughed. “As if!”
“Don’t think I can?”
“I know you can’t.”
“Big talk for a little girl,” Spike growled.
“I’d prove it but Buffy would be mad if I beat you up too bad,” Bess contended.
“Yada, yada, yada,” Spike mocked, raising his hand and mimicking a sock puppet talking. “Some excuse is better than none, I reckon,” he declared as he began to saunter away from her.
“I love you, Dad,” Bess called after him, her voice suddenly somber.
Spike stopped and looked back over his shoulder at her. “Love you too, Buttercup. Tell that boy o’ yours … Troy that he owes me one.”
“For talking to me?” Bess wondered.
“No, for makin’ me miss my gore-fix this afternoon! Don’t know when I’ll ‘ave another chance t’ watch it. Your mum says it’s too violent for the bits, and she hates the yummy sound-effects they do when they’re ripping and tearing flesh. Says it gives 'er nightmares.”
Spike snorted and started walking again. “Bloody rich that, comin’ from the Slayer.”
About a week later, Saturday October 1st, 2011, 4:00am:
Buffy’s hand slid gently over Spike’s hip as he slept, his back to her. She wrapped her hand around his cock and gave it a gentle squeeze, eliciting a moan of pleasure from her groggy husband.
“Time t’ get up?” he asked in a grumpy, sleepy voice.
“Time for some things to get … up,” she replied coyly, sliding her fingers over his hardening length.
“Mmmmm,” Spike rumbled in approval as he turned onto his back, his eyes still closed.
Buffy shifted in the bed and replaced her hand with her lips and tongue, slowly teasing at least one of Spike’s heads to wakefulness. Spike moaned from somewhere deep in his throat and his hips shifted restlessly against her, seeking the warm embrace of her lips. Buffy obliged, sliding her mouth over the helmeted glans as she swirled her tongue over his cum-slit, lapping up the droplets of pre-cum that beaded there.
Buffy felt him harden further as she slid her warm mouth down his shaft, taking him in slowly, then pulling back with the same almost-sleepy motion. She continued her slow seduction until, when she pulled off him, his cock rebounded against his abdomen with a wet slap, and he groaned in protest.
Spike was just about to snarl something about being a cock-tease at her when he felt her hands on him again. He relaxed back onto the bed and just floated in the misty nimbus between sleep and wakefulness, enjoying the feel of the temptress pleasuring him.
Then a completely new sensation hit him and his eyes flew open in surprise. “What the bloody hell?” he asked as he reached for his vibrating hard-on.
Buffy had slipped a vibrating cock-ring around his hard dick. Unlike ones he’d worn before, this one had the vibrating bit at the base of his cock where it met his balls. To add to the fun, there was another ring, also attached to the small vibrator, stretched around his balls with little gel-like nodes that tickled his perineum, as well.
Buffy grabbed his hand, stopping him, and held up a small remote control. She clicked it and the vibration stopped.
“Welcome to ‘Payback is Hell’,” she said with a self-satisfied grin. “That stays on until I say it comes off. I have control of the clicker, for once. If I think you’re getting too comfortable with it, then …” she clicked the little device in her hand again and the vibrations began again in earnest, teasing him all the way from his taint to the tip of his cock.
Spike sucked in a gasp of pleasure and surprise, but knew that the pleasure bit would soon drive him crazy. “We’ve got Lemon Drop’s tournament this weekend,” he objected. “Ya can’t expect me to be around all them kids with a bloody stiffy the whole soddin’ day.”
Buffy just smiled at him. “Wear your duster,” she advised, clicking the vibrations off again. “And you best be nice to me … minion mine,” she warned.
“B-but … these are dangerous. Can’t wear ‘em for more than fifteen or twenty minutes – it’ll damage my delicates,” Spike continued to object.
“I walked around with Ben Wa balls up my hoo-ha for two days! Your super-strength vampire ‘delicates’ aren’t all that delicate,” Buffy retorted as she got up from the bed to begin getting ready for the day. “If your dangly bits can survive no-holds-barred Slayer muscles, they can take this. Man up, Spike. Refer to above re: ‘Payback is Hell’.”
Later that morning, 6:27 am:
“If we don’t leave this bloody minute, we’ll be late for the soddin’ team meeting,” Spike warned as he waited in the Blue Bomber with the engine idling. “Coach said anybody that was late would sit out the first innin’,” he reminded his missing passenger, yelling out the window into the early morning stillness loud enough to be heard inside the house.
“Ok, gotta go!” Buffy said as she grabbed her purse and camera. She hurriedly hugged Bess, then Troy. “We’ll be back tomorrow night. Try to keep Angelpie from eating all of Miss Kitty’s food. The old girl can’t chew that crunchy kitten chow stuff.”
“Ok, Mom – we’ll handle it,” Bess assured her as she and Troy followed Buffy out to the packed and waiting minivan that idled in the driveway.
“’Bout bloody time,” Spike growled under his breath as Buffy climbed into the middle seat next to MacKenzie’s carrier. She looked at the kids sitting in the bench seat behind her to make sure they were all strapped in. They were.
Annie had her head leaning on a pillow that rested against the window and had already fallen back to sleep. Dani and JJ were playing some baseball video game on their little gaming-thingies, while Billy read something on his Kindle.
Xander was sitting next to Spike in the passenger’s seat in front of her. He was squinting at directions under the dim overhead light.
“There’s a reading light over there,” Buffy told him, pointing with one hand at a button on the dash as she pulled her seatbelt across her shoulder with the other.
“Oh … I was afraid to touch any of the buttons. Spike’s very … choosy about who pushes his buttons,” Xander jibbed as he pushed the button Buffy had indicated.
“Too right, I am,” Spike agreed as he backed out of the driveway. “You’d be smart to keep your grubby fingers away from all my buttons.”
“Turn right, then go one hundred feet and turn left,” Xander instructed.
Spike clenched his jaw until a muscle twitched in his cheek. “I know how to get outta my own bloody neighborhood, Special Ed,” he snarled at Xander.
Xander held his hands up. “Hey – just doing as instructed here: reading the directions. You could use this handy GPS thingy, instead, ya know,” Xander pointed out, tapping a finger on the GPS on the dashboard.
“Bloody thing’s more annoyin’ than you,” Spike explained, the disdain evident in his voice.
Xander shrugged and held a hand up in surrender. “Well, keep in mind it’s not my fault that someone married to you, who shall remained unnamed, printed out the ‘Directions for Dummies’ version.”
“Should be outlawed. Anyone that can’t find their way outta their own neighborhood has no business being on the soddin’ road in the first place,” Spike snarked.
“Giles still gets lost in this area sometimes,” Buffy pointed out in defense of the directions to the sports complex in Torrance that she’d printed out.
“Case closed,” Spike asserted as he navigated to the main road and headed toward the freeway without the help of her directions.
Buffy shifted so she could look into the rearview mirror at the spot she knew Spike’s eyes would be if he had a reflection, then reached her hand into her purse and clicked the little remote device.
Spike jumped in his seat, only his vampire reflexes allowing him to not jerk on the steering wheel and crash the car, and glared at her in the mirror. Although the actual look was lost on her with the reflection-deficit, she knew exactly the look he was giving her. Buffy gave him her best, most innocent smile in return.
“What’s that noise? Do you hear a … buzzing?” Xander asked, looking around the cab.
Buffy clicked the vibrator off. “I think it’s one of the kids’ games,” she excused, smirking at Spike.
“Bossy bint,” Spike snarled under his breath as he shifted uncomfortably in the seat. This was gonna be a long drive.
Bess and Troy waved at the departing mob in the dark before dawn. When the Bomber turned a corner and was gone, Bess turned to him with a coy smile.
“Well, Mr. Malu, with Faith gone to check on a new Slayer in Chula Vista, I do believe we have the entire house to ourselves for two whole days. Whatever shall we do?”
Troy grinned, his white teeth gleaming against his milk-chocolate skin, and pulled her into a hug. His right forearm was still in a fiberglass cast, but the bone had only been cracked, not broken, and was healing well. He still bore some yellow-tinged bruises on his face, but the swelling was nearly all gone. His ribs were tender, but no longer restricted his movement, as long as no one punched him in them.
“Well, Miss Weckerly,” Troy replied in mock solemnity. “Perhaps a game of Crash Bandicoot?”
“Uh-uh,” Bess objected, shaking her head, sending her blonde hair tumbling around her shoulders.
“Ummm … Guitar Hero, then?”
“I know! Monopoly … old school! I get to be the wheelbarrow.”
“Nooo…” Bess crooned.
Troy puffed out a frustrated breath and shook his head as if in deep thought. “We could watch videos … a Star Wars marathon!” he suggested brightly.
Bess laughed, shaking her head, again sending her wavy, baby-fine hair swinging in golden waves around her face and shoulders.
Troy sighed. “Well … I guess that only leaves one thing then,” he admitted, sounding forlorn. “House cleaning,” he divulged, smirking. “I can tell you right now: I don’t do windows or vacuum under beds.” He suddenly bent down and scooped her up with one strong arm at the back of her knees, the broken one around her shoulders.
Bess shrieked and laughed, wrapping her arms around his neck as he started back inside with her. “That’s a good thing – I think the next thing on the to-do list after those chores is for Spike and Buffy to start giving kids away to the neighbors.”
“Oh, well … that’s to be avoided at all costs then,” Troy agreed, kicking the door closed behind them. Then he stopped a moment and furrowed his brow. “Who do you think they’d toss into the Punjab-pit that is Mrs. Katz?”
Bess bit her bottom lip and looked up at the ceiling in thought. “Ummm … probably me … or possibly ‘Kenz. They’re already taking bets on which one of the two of us will give them the most grey hairs. So far, I’m winning, but the fireball has lots of potential.”
“Oh, good. As long as it’s not Annie. I might need her help on my foreign language requirement,” Troy half-kidded.
Bess clucked her tongue reproachfully. “Better watch it, Mr. Malu. A very lonely Star Wars marathon may be looming in your future…”
Troy laughed and started for the stairs with his armful of Slayer. “Well, maybe we should just be safe and do no cleaning whatsoever all weekend. In fact, we should probably only get out of bed for food and drink … you know, just to be safe.”
Bess grinned at him. “That sounds like a solid plan.”
With barely a minute to spare before the pre-game team meeting was supposed to take place, Spike pulled up in front of the Little League baseball complex in Torrance. “Go!” Spike ordered as soon as the minivan came to a stop. Buffy slid the side door open and jumped out, followed quickly by JJ and Dani.
Buffy looked around quickly and finally saw the red uniforms of the rest of the Sunnydale Slammers. “There!” she pointed at the group as she, Dani, and JJ took off running for the meeting.
Xander had just gotten the sleep wiped from his eyes and stammered, “Are we there yet?” when Spike pulled into a parking place that he deemed to be out of range of foul balls a few minutes later.
“Some bloody navigator you are,” Spike groused as he got out and went to the back to retrieve MacKenzie.
Xander yawned and stretched his arms over his head before rolling out of the comfy seat. “It’s not my fault,” he excused his lack of actually navigating most of the trip. “I’m not a morning person.”
"Or an afternoon or a night person," Spike added under his breath. When Spike slid the rear, driver’s-side door open, Annie and Billy tumbled out past him, forestalling his mission of retrieving the baby and her carrier. As they clambered by with JJ’s and Dani’s equipment in their hands, one of them banged him in the knee with Dani’s bat.
“Oww!” he exclaimed, rubbing his knee. “There is another bloody door, ya know,” he growled at them.
“Yeah, but this one was already open,” Billy pointed out as he pulled a Slammers cap onto his head, flattening his blond curls beneath it.
Spike took a deep breath and blew it out, shaking his head. This was starting out to be a bugger of a day, and it had barely even started. With the bats, gloves, hats, coolers, blankets, snacks, chairs, diaper bag, large sun umbrella, and sunblock in hand, the five remaining travelers headed off into the rapidly growing din of shrieking children, grumbling parents, and pleading coaches to find their team and what field they’d be playing on first.
As they walked, Spike wondered how it was he’d traveled around most of the world with barely more than the clothes on his back, while a day at the ballpark with a family required enough equipment and food to seemingly supply a Mongol horde for a fortnight. Not even Dru had needed this much … stuff. A trunk for her clothes and dollies and she was happy.
Shit! Dollies! Spike had forgotten to get MacKenzie’s Whoozit stuffed toy off the floor in the car where she’d tossed it. He looked back toward the parking lot – it seemed like ten miles back to the minivan from here, and walking with his cock and balls in traction wasn’t really working out for him terribly well. Sod it. She’ll probably never miss it.
“We’re on Field Three,” Buffy informed the group as they approached, pointing at the furthest field.
Spike rolled his eyes and groaned. Hiking over hill and dale lugging a bloody ton of supplies with his jeans stressed nearly to the bursting point really wasn’t high on his list of things he felt like doing just then.
“Where’s ‘Kenzie’s Whoozit?” Buffy asked immediately when she took the baby from Spike.
Spike sighed. “In the bloody car.”
Buffy looked at him with a ‘how could you have forgotten that’ look.
“She probably won’t even miss it. Plenty t’ keep ‘er occupied, what with all the screaming bits about,” he reasoned, waving a hand vaguely at all the kids in the area.
Buffy rolled her eyes and gave him a ‘yeah, right’ look, but turned with the baby and started following the team to the field. Like the leader of an expedition up Everest, she simply assumed her Sherpas would follow – they did.
After their long walk, Billy, Annie, and Xander dropped their loads and flopped down on the grass under a lone pine tree near field number three.
“Tossers,” Spike taunted them as he put down the cooler he’d been carrying. The thing had wheels, but tended to want to topple over when it encountered ruts or divots in the grass, so he’d just carried it.
“I resent that,” Xander complained, reaching for the cooler Spike had just put down and dragging a Coke out. “I’m built for speed, not endurance.”
Spike snorted. “Yeah, that’s what demon-bird says too.”
Xander flushed, but didn’t even retort. He was too tired already, and it was barely nine am. Maybe he should start going to the gym again – get back down to his old fighting ... or running away weight.
Buffy had walked past the tree toward the bleachers, but came back when she saw that her entourage had stopped. “Are we camping here, then?” she asked, looking at the field. “Can’t really see the batter very well from here,” she pointed out. “There’s a better spot up there along the first-base line,” she suggested.
“‘Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him who first cries ‘Hold! Enough!’’” Spike quoted, picking the cooler back up. He’d be damned if he’d let her see that he was suffering from her little game. The others groaned as they got to their feet and gathered up the gear and supplies they’d dropped.
“I thought it was ‘Lead on, Macduff,’” Xander observed as they started walking again.
“That’s what ya get for thinkin’, Special Ed,” Spike retorted with a smirk. “Best t’ leave that to the professionals.”
After another half an hour, they were settled in on a patch of grass on the first-base line, and the first game of the day had started. The coach had Dani hitting cleanup, fourth in the lineup, but her first at-bat yielded a grounder right to the shortstop and a quick out at first. The game was fairly uneventful, with the most interesting bit coming when their catcher let a pitch get past him and a runner on third tried to steal home. The ensuing collision looked and sounded spectacular with dust flying and a loud thud, but no one was seriously hurt. The runner was tagged out, much to the other team’s chagrin.
As Spike sat under the big umbrella watching the game, his cell phone binged announcing a text. He pulled it out and looked at it. Meet me by the pine tree, was all it said. It was from Buffy. He looked around and saw her duck behind the tree, out of his view. He smirked and jumped up, asking Xander to keep and eye on the bits for a minute. It had taken ten years to get from the tree to the first-base line earlier; it took ten seconds for him to get back.
“What’s up, luv?” he asked, as he turned the corner around the tree and she came into view.
Buffy looked down at his crotch and raised her brows. “You tell me…” she cooed, giving him her best ‘come hither’ look.
Spike cocked a brow at her and pressed her against the tree. “Didn’t know you were this much of an exhibitionist, luv – but whatever floats your boat,” he purred against her neck just before he kissed the warm, salty skin beneath her ear. “Knew you wouldn’t make me wear this contraption all day.”
Buffy moaned and pressed her body against his. “I have them in,” she whispered against his ear.
Spike pulled back and his gaze dropped immediately to her shorts, then darted back to her eyes. “The balls?” he asked, his eyes glittering.
“Mmmhmm,” she confirmed, pulling him back against her so her mouth was near his ear. She spoke in a very low whisper so no passerby could possibly hear. “Remember what you said you’d do with them in there? How you’d make me cum with your long, lovely fingers? I can’t wait to feel you inside me, Spike. Sending me over the edge with those beautiful digits of yours; fucking me to heaven with them.”
Buffy pulled one of his hands up and drew two of his fingers between her lips, sucking down on them hard.
“Bloody hell…” Spike moaned, the discomfort in his jeans suddenly doubling.
“What feels better? My mouth or my pussy around you?” Buffy wondered, still talking low.
“Not fair t’ choose, pet. Both drive me mad,” he admitted.
She began dropping soft kisses on his fingers and across his palm. “I can’t wait to lick my cum off your fingers. Oh, Spike … I’m so wet right now. I want you inside me so badly, baby.”
Buffy clicked the remote and Spike’s hips jerked against hers where he had her pinned against the tree. “Bloody hell, woman. You tryin’ t’ dust me here or just get us arrested for lewd and lascivious?”
Buffy moaned as the vibrations pulsed against her crotch, his hardness pressing against her hungrily. “Can’t wait to fuck you with that on,” she whispered to him. “Want to feel your balls slapping against my ass, feel your quivering cock buried in me. Oh, baby … do you want me?”
Spike ground his raging hard-on against her in answer. “What do you think?” he breathed, bending down to capture her lips with his wanton mouth.
Buffy returned his kiss ferociously for a few seconds, then pushed firmly on his shoulders with both hands. Spike had to take a small step back to keep from being pushed off-balance, and when he did she clicked the cock-ring off. She gave him her sweetest smile, reached up and touched a chaste kiss on his lips, then sauntered away, back to the chairs and blankets of their ‘campsite’.
He watched her go, her hips twitching back and forth like a model walking down a runway, and his hard-on grew even more urgent. “That woman’ll be the death o’ me yet,” he muttered as he watched her look back over her shoulder at him and give him a knowing smile.
His phone binged again and he pulled it out. What’s up now, lover?
“You bloody vixen…” he groaned, as he looked up to see her watching him from one of the chairs next to Xander.
Spike pulled his duster closed around his body and began walking back to join the group. This was gonna be a long, hard day.
The Slammers won their first game with little fanfare with a score of one to nothing. Dani’s bat connected with the ball twice. She got on base once, got thrown out at first once, and struck out once. JJ had actually been the one to drive in the scoring run this day, although not with anything as spectacular as Dani’s homerun. His line drive had gone through the shortstop’s legs and rolled into the outfield. The shortstop had then run after it and collided with the left fielder when they both reached the ball at the same time. Fueled by two errors, JJ’s base-hit turned into a double and had allowed the base runner who had been on second to score.
After the game, the team, along with their entourage of coaches, parents, siblings, and friends, commandeered a large section of picnic tables and had lunch. The affair was a mish-mash of snacks and sandwiches brought from home, and hotdogs and hamburgers purchased at the over-priced concession stand. The children all talked at once about the game just past and the upcoming games, with many off-topic conversations about school, TV shows, movies, and video games tossed in to spice it up.
Spike had gotten their group a huge basket of French fires and onion rings from the concession to go with the sandwiches that they’d brought from home. He sat across the long, crowded table from Buffy, surrounded by their kids, and nibbled on the onion rings while the others ate their sandwiches and the fries.
He had just opened his mouth to tell Billy and JJ to stop wielding their fries like light-sabers and dueling with them when Buffy’s bare foot pressed against his crotch. He stiffened, his mouth snapped closed, and his eyes darted to hers across the table.
Buffy tilted her head to the side and smiled sweetly at him even as she rubbed her foot against him harder.
What the bloody hell are ya doin’, Slayer? he demanded through the bond. He’d only recently discovered if he concentrated hard enough he could force some of the blood back into his body past the cock-ring, and relieve some of the pressure on the straining zipper of his jeans. Her foot against his crotch was not helping with that endeavor.
Buffy’s smile never wavered as she stroked her toes up and down his hard length, and clicked on the vibrator strapped to his genitals. Spike growled, but the sound wasn’t even noticed by all the jabbering Jawas at the table.
We’re surrounded by bits! he reminded her, dropping a hand under the table to grab her ankle and stop her assault.
They aren’t looking, she assured him. Scoot up against the table, they won’t be able to see.
Spike’s brows shot up and he looked around. She was right – no one was paying any attention to things happening under the table. Buffy wriggled her toes against his vibrating hard-on, and Spike had to bite down on his bottom lip to keep from moaning. Ignoring his better judgment, he did as she suggested and slid forward on the bench until his stomach was almost touching the worn wood. He let go of her ankle and, for good measure he propped his elbows on the table and leaned his chest forward as well, letting his duster fall forward to help shield her groping foot from wandering eyes.
The pressure against his crotch increased immediately. Buffy’s toes curved around the head of his cock through the denim, then raked down his length roughly. He never knew she was so talented with her bloody toes. She pressed her foot under him, wedging her toes between his ass and the seat. The extra pressure against the vibrator sent even more tingling electricity up through his balls and into his cock.
His cock re-stiffened, growing harder by the second, threatening the heavy fabric that contained it against his body and, he thought, possibly even the cock ring. It was out of some flexible gel-like stuff, but still … everything has a limit. Including him. Things can only go so far before they pop. The thought of the tight band popping against his dangly bits made him wince slightly, but Buffy’s foot pressing against him drove the worry from his mind. He’d heard a quote once which said that God gave men a brain and a penis, but not enough blood to power them both at once. He was fairly certain he was proving that to be true at that moment.
Spike’s eyes closed and he stifled another moan as Buffy’s toes kneaded his balls and then began back up the length of him. She pressed the arch of her bare foot over his full length again, wriggling her foot and toes in a sensuous undulating motion, which only enhanced the vibrations of the cock-ring.
Can’t wait to feel you inside me. Can you imagine it, Spike? Can you feel my wetness squeezing around you, sliding over your cock like a velvet glove? Mmmmm… Buffy moaned to him through the bond.
“Bloody hell,” Spike groaned aloud, his eyes closed, her voice drizzling over him like liquid silk. His cock strained against the ring, forcing more blood through the restriction, making him so hard it hurt … a lot.
Are you gonna cum right now, lover? Buffy wondered, as she began pressing, then releasing, then pressing down again against his quivering hardness in a slow rhythm.
“Bloody right I am…” he murmured aloud, his eyes still closed, imagining. He no longer cared where they were or that they were surround by children or even that he was about to cum in his jeans like a thirteen-year-old virgin.
“Have an onion ring, then,” Buffy suggested, her voice changing from silk to burlap in an instant. She pulled her foot away abruptly, clicked the vibrator off, and shoved the plate of fried food against one of his elbows where it leaned heavily on the tabletop.
Spike’s eyes shot open and he glowered at her. He took a deep, calming breath as he suddenly remembered where they were.
“Did you say something, Dad?” Annie asked from next to him. She looked over at him, waiting for his answer. “Are you alright? You look … weird.”
“Brilliant. I’m … brilliant,” Spike ground out as he grabbed an onion ring and stuffed it in his mouth, his glowering eyes never leaving Buffy’s.
She gave her husband an innocent smile and took one of the French fries from the plate. She sucked it into her mouth slowly like … well … not like a French fry. When it disappeared between her luscious lips, the tip of her tongue darted out and glazed gently over them, picking up all the stray salt that had stuck there.
Spike began to choke.
Annie patted a hand down on his back from one side and Billy picked his Coke up and handed it to him from the other. Spike took it and swallowed a few gulps until the choking ceased.
“Need t’ … errr … find the boys’ room,” Spike stammered, as he began to stand up.
“Oh – honey, would you take ‘Kenz with you? I think she needs to be changed,” Buffy requested, her smile never fading. She stood up and lifted the baby, in the carrier with the sun-shade pulled down, over the table to him, then handed him the diaper bag too. “Billy and JJ might need to go too,” she suggested. “Don’t be long,” she continued genially. “We need to get to Field One for the next game pretty soon.”
You are not going into the bathroom and wank off, Mr. Weckerly. You can just forget that, she sent through the bond, still smiling at him.
“And, when you’re done, be a sweetheart and go back to the car for her Whoozit doll … she’s getting fussy and needs a nap. It helps get her to sleep,” Buffy added for good measure.
Spike growled and mumbled something under his breath about bossy bints, but took the baby and the diaper bag, and headed off for the facilities. JJ and Billy traipsed after him, each still with a French fry in their hands, taking swipes at the other like Musketeers, or Jedi Knights, as they walked.
The ‘Dani and JJ Fan Club’ packed up their camp and moved it to Field One in preparation for the second game of the day. As the team started warming up again, their entourage got settled into the chairs and on the blanket to await the start of the game.
Between having her cherished doll back and the gentle rocking motion of Spike’s steps, the fussy MacKenzie had fallen asleep on the walk back from the parking lot. She'd also seemed to pick up a new word from Spike along the way: 'bint'. Although he wasn't sure that was what she was trying to say, it sounded awfully close – too close for comfort. His little fireball still steadfastly refused to say 'Mama' for him, however. Stubborn little ... Spike sat her carrier down on the grass and plopped down on the blanket next to it so he could keep rocking it for a while, just to make sure she stayed asleep and didn't mutter any obscenities in earshot of Buffy.
Near him, Annie had taken one of the chairs and was reading something on Billy’s Kindle. Billy had gone onto the field with the team and was running down stray balls and tossing them back to the players. Xander was watching the other team warm up and making comments about the relative talent of each player, but no one was actually listening to him.
Buffy came back from the girls’ room and settled down on the blanket between Spike’s outstretched legs, pushing them apart to give herself room. She wriggled and scooted until her back pressed against his chest and her butt pressed against his crotch.
Spike draped his free arm around her shoulder and pulled her back harder against him, still rocking the baby with the other hand. “A cheeky wench, you are,” he whispered in her ear, his breath cool under the warm afternoon sun.
Buffy grinned, pleased with herself. She put a hand behind his head and pulled him forward so her mouth was near his ear when she turned her head. She blew gently into his ear, then bit down softly onto the lobe. Spike actually shivered, despite the heat of the sun.
“Wouldn’t my tongue feel good on your cock right now?” Buffy wondered, her voice so low that only Spike could hear her. She trailed the tip of her tongue over the outer shell of his ear, just in case he’d forgotten what her tongue felt like. “I want to lick every inch of you. Taste your sweet cum as it shoots out like a geyser of bliss. Old Faithful Spike … Mmmmm…”
Buffy slid her hand from the back of his head to his cheek and turned his face to hers. She nibbled on his soft, full lips, then deepened the kiss. Spike completely forgot about rocking the baby. Both arms wrapped around her, pulling her body even tighter against his. He was on the verge of flipping them over, of ripping her shorts off, and grinding his hips against her when MacKenzie’s shrill cry broke into his hormone-driven plan, shattering it.
Buffy pulled back from the kiss, gasping, and reached out to begin rocking the carrier again.
“God, I want you. Come with me now – into the woods, back there,” Spike whispered in her ear, motioning with one hand at the stand of trees behind the complex.
“The game’s about to start,” Buffy pointed out as the baby quieted back down.
“Sod the game, Slayer,” Spike hissed in her ear, kissing her neck with urgent lips.
Buffy stifled a moan. His lips felt like heaven on her heated skin. The little balls inside her were having a ‘par-tay!’, revving her own desire up on par with his. But that wasn’t the plan. The plan was to tease. To torture. To taunt. To drive insane. Then, and only then, would the rapture be released.
“Hey! Dani’s up already,” Billy announced.
When had he gotten back? When had the game started? Buffy and Spike both turned their attention to the batter. A look at the scoreboard and the bases told Spike she was batting third now. One out. One runner on first.
“One off game and the wanker pulls her from clean-up?” Spike growled.
“You know they shuffle them around all the time,” Buffy pointed out before letting out a cheer of encouragement for their daughter.
“Bloody hell. Why doesn’t the soddin’ coach tell ‘er to keep her elbows up?” Spike groaned as he watched her. Dani swung at the first pitch and missed.
“Balls!” he growled and jumped up, nearly toppling Buffy over as her backrest disappeared. He began jogging – each step drawing a groaning wince from his lips – towards home plate, shouting at Dani to keep her elbows up before he got halfway there.
Buffy laughed. “‘Sod the game, Slayer,’” she mimicked him with an eye roll. “Yeah, right.”
Dani backed out of the batter’s box when she heard her dad yelling. She found him in an instant, running towards her through the throng of families and children. Oh shoot! Elbows! she realized what he was saying after a moment. She nodded at him, stepped back up to the plate, and began her pre-pitch ritual, making sure to add in a check of the position of her elbows at the end.
Spike hit the tall chain link fence on the side of the infield near home plate with his hands just as the next pitch came at her. He could see it was gonna be a perfect strike – right in her hitting zone. “C’mon…” was all he could get out before Dani swung.
The ball connected with the bat with a solid, ringing thump and sailed into the air. “Yes!!” Spike screamed, raising his arms in the air. “Run!” he yelled at her when she just stood there and watched it, awestruck.
Dani dropped her bat and began to run. The centerfielder began backing up, then turned and began running back. The second baseman moved out further into the outfield to help relay the ball back into play, and the shortstop covered second.
The ball dropped in the field of play, out of reach of the centerfielder, and rolled to a stop on the back fence. The first-base coach sent Dani to second as the outfielder scrambled after the ball. The third-base coach sent the other base-runner home. Dani looked up as she approached second to see the ball being tossed to the relay man. She ran faster and hit second at full speed, turning the corner and heading for third.
Everyone was screaming. The players were screaming at each other, her coach was screaming, her team was screaming, the fans were screaming. Above all the screaming she could hear her dad’s voice, though, telling her to run. She looked up at the third-base coach. He was holding his hands up: stop. Her dad was still screaming at her to run; somehow she could hear him clearly above everyone else.
She hit third and rounded the base, looking up in time to see the ball being tossed from second base to third. She’d already committed – she couldn’t get back to it before the ball got there. She kept going.
Everything suddenly seemed to go into slow motion for Dani. She could see the catcher hovering over home plate, glove out, ready, waiting for someone to throw the ball. He was yelling, she could see his mouth moving, but the words just blended in with the cacophony of voices and sounds that assailed her.
Run! was the only clear thought she had in her mind. The word seemed to solidify in her gut and urged her on. She could feel her cleats digging into the hard clay, pushing with all her might, her arms pumped, and she leaned forward, head down, running as hard as she could.
Her body was leaning too far forward to take the base in a proper slide. She would have to dive for it. She felt more than saw the ball whip past her head as it was thrown to the catcher. He was bigger than she was, and the pads and mask he wore made him look huge and unmovable as a mountain. But she was fast and nimble, and he was standing with his feet spread apart – the safety of the base between them.
Dani dove at it. Dirt and dust filled the air, covered her face, and choked her. She closed her eyes and stopped breathing as she slid across the rough ground, arms stretched out as far as they would go above her head. She felt the catcher’s mitt come down hard on her back just before she came to a complete stop.
The world stopped. Someone had pressed the ‘pause’ button. No one seemed to move or breathe for a moment. Then, just as quickly, everything started again, back to regular speed.
“Safe!” yelled the umpire, waving his hands in a sweeping motion in front of his body.
The Slammers exploded in excited joy while their opponents began screeching objections. Dani pushed herself up, nearly knocking the catcher over from where he still stood above her. She coughed and spat red clay out of her mouth, rubbed at her eyes, and patted down her uniform. Her teammates surrounded her with hugs and praise and walked her back to their dugout.
The coach looked at her a moment and motioned for Spike to come over to the dugout. When he got there, one of the assistants was washing the clay from Dani’s face and out of her eyes, but the real problem was her hands. They were both bleeding from being scraped along the hard ground.
“I’m fine,” the girl insisted, moving her fingers to demonstrate, but she winced when the assistant poured water on the wounds.
Spike looked at them. They weren’t deep – abrasions really – but they’d be painful. When they stiffened up, she may not be able to bat anymore this weekend or even field a ball.
“Got a first-aid kit in the car. We’ll be back in a bit,” he told the coach as he began leading Dani out of the dugout.
“I’m fine…” Dani objected again. “I can play.”
“Quit arguing and come on,” Spike said more sternly than he intended. He knew how much she’d looked forward to playing in this tournament and he knew she didn’t want to let her team down, either.
He pressed her forward and they headed out to find the Blue Bomber.
“Papa, I’m fine,” she said again as they entered the parking lot.
“I know you are, but a little salve won’t hurt,” he insisted.
“Salve? I can’t play with salve on my hands. First of all … it’s against the rules and second…” she began.
“No worries – got a different kinda salve,” he assured her.
At the minivan, Spike opened the back hatch and sat Dani down in the floor there behind the seats. He pulled a first-aid kit out from under the bench seat at her back and opened it. “Right,” he began, running a hand through his hair nervously. “What I need you t’ do is close your eyes and don’t look.”
“What? Why? I’m not a baby,” Dani argued impatiently.
“I know that,” Spike ground out. “But … maybe I am. So do as I say so I can fix this for ya.”
Dani scowled at him. He thought she had a better scowl than Buffy – be bloody scary if she wasn’t three feet tall.
“Close. Your. Eyes,” Spike repeated emphatically. “And no peekin’.”
Dani sighed, rolled her eyes, but then closed them, squishing her lids together tightly. “No peekin’,” he repeated. “Promise.”
“I’m not…” she defended. “I promise,” she added dejectedly.
“Right. Just gonna put this … salve on now. Might feel funny, but it shouldn’t hurt,” he told her as he lifted her right hand. He looked around one time to make sure no one was about, then began sucking and licking the blood and embedded dirt from her wounds, coating her hands with his healing saliva.
“That tickles,” Dani observed, keeping her eyes closed as she’d promised.
Spike spat the blood and dirt out onto the ground and looked at her hand. It had stopped bleeding and started healing already. He licked it a few more times and the skin seemed to pull back together, closing up most of the wounds.
“Keep your eyes closed…” he reminded her as he took her other hand and repeated the process.
“Right then – how does that feel?” he asked when he was done.
“Can I look?”
“Yeah, you can look now,” he agreed.
Dani opened her eyes and flexed her hands, making fists, then opening them again. “Wow! It’s … all gone,” she observed with a tone of wonder.
“Might be a bit thin though, not tough like it was, yeah?” Spike warned her. “You go back t’ the game and I’ll see if that bloody annoying GPS thing’ll find me a sporting goods store ‘round here. Get ya some batting gloves, yeah?”
Dani looked at the untouched first-aid kit, then back at her father. “What salve did you use?”
“I … uhhh … private stock – special recipe,” he stammered as he closed the kit and slid it back in place under the seat.
“You never used it before,” she observed.
“Well … I … it’s only for special occasions, I reckon. Not for just everyday scrapes,” he explained sheepishly, not meeting her eyes.
“Go on then – back t’ the game with ya,” he demanded brusquely, waving a hand toward the field.
Dani jumped down off the back of the minivan and wrapped her arms around his waist. “Thanks, Papa.”
“No worries, Grasshopper,” he assured her, patting a hand down on her back.
Dani released him and turned to head back to the field at a trot.
“Oi! Brilliant hit an’ base runnin’!” he called after her.
Dani twirled mid-step into a graceful pirouette, grinning back at him. “Thanks, coach!!” she called back, waving, then twirled back around without missing a beat, and kept going.
Buffy met Spike not far from the dugout when he returned with batting gloves for Dani. He stopped before getting within arm’s length of her.
“Dani showed me her hands,” she said, her voice even, not exactly accusing.
Spike ducked his head and studied the gloves he had in his hand, unable to meet Buffy’s eyes. “Yeah,” he replied noncommittally.
“We don’t have any salve that would do that,” Buffy continued coolly.
“No,” he agreed again.
“Spike? Was that really a good idea?” she wondered, taking a step towards him and into his personal space.
He finally looked up at her. “I spit it out – didn’t drink it,” he defended immediately. “She wanted t’ play so bloody much … and … she wouldn’t’ve been able to. I just … want t’ fix it for ‘er.”
Buffy tilted her head and her expression softened. “I know, but…”
“I’ve never tasted any of the bits’ blood, Buffy – ever,” Spike cut her off, his voice adamant. “Just wanted t’ fix it,” he repeated.
Buffy nodded. “I know. And I know you’d never hurt them. It’s not in you, Spike. She doesn’t know exactly what you did … said it tickled. The only problem is: what happens next time? How are you gonna explain that you can’t do that every time one of them gets a boo-boo? And what if someone had seen you? How would you explain that to another parent? They’d think you were some kind of … pervert or something.”
Spike shrugged and looked back down at the ground, fiddling with the gloves in his hand. “Told ‘er it was a … a limited supply – not for everyday. I checked t’ make sure no one was around first.”
Buffy sighed, suddenly feeling bad for chastising him. “You’re a good dad, Spike,” she assured him, reaching out and laying her palm on his cheek.
“Yeah? Not sure sometimes,” he admitted as he looked up and searched her eyes for the truth of it. “Vampire and all…”
Buffy shook her head and gave him a small smile. “You’re a dad first. A good dad that loves his kids and wants to do all he can for them.”
Spike nodded and gave her an apologetic smile. “Thanks, pet.”
“C’mon. Your daughter needs those gloves. Coach has her sitting out until she gets them and she’s going crazy,” Buffy told him, touching a finger down on the small batting gloves in his hand.
Spike nodded and they began walking towards the Slammers’ dugout.
“You wanna take ‘em in to ‘er?” Spike wondered, holding the gloves out towards Buffy.
Buffy snorted derisively. “Oh no, buster. You bought pink gloves, you get to give them to her,” Buffy retorted. “Just make sure you keep all your dangly bits protected when you do. I have big plans for them later.”
“Was the only color they ‘ad small enough t’ fit ‘er,” Spike defended. Then, his voice growing thick, he asked, “Big plans for my naughty bits, eh?” He curled his tongue over his teeth lecherously. “Care t’ give us a bit of a preview o’ the coming attraction, then?”
Buffy gave him a coy smile. Her eyes went wide and she began to nod. “Nope.”
Next: More torture time and the conclusion of the tournament. What plans does Buffy have for Spike's naughty bits and will he talk her into acting on those plans soon?
Centerfield, John Fogerty
Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out
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