Story Title: Spirit Indestructible


Season 5. Begins with ‘Spiral’ in the abandoned gas station, and goes far off-canon almost immediately.

When Dawn makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her sister, friends, and the world, Buffy’s mind snaps. When Buffy's friends give up hope of her ever recovering, and become afraid that she’ll turn violent and uncontrollable, they call in the Council to help. Fearing what the Council will do, Spike, forgotten and ignored by her friends, steps in. Will he be able to reach the Slayer when no one else could? Will he be able to keep her out of the hands of the Council and away from her ‘helpful’ friends? How much heartbreak, guilt, and failure can one girl stand before her indestructible spirit finally resigns the fight and gives up hope?




25. Take My Breath Away


marmoreal [mahr-mawr-ee-uhl ] adjective. Of or like marble: skin of marmoreal smoothness.


Music Referenced:

Take My Breath Away, Berlin

Nelly Furtado - Spirit Indestructible


Some Screencaps courtesy of Broken Innocence (others from ScreenCap Paradise which is, sadly, no more). and also from



Thanks to YOU for reading and especially to those of you who take the time to email me feedback! Love hearing from everyone! Thanks also to Paganbaby for taking time out of her hectic life to beta this for me! Her suggestions ROCK! Lastly, thanks to 'T' from DTAS for suggesting a tool belt wearing Spike. All mistakes are mine because I can't stop fiddling right up to the last moment.

Rating / Warnings:

Warning for this chapter: Home Renovations Spuffy style.

NC17. Spike/Other. Main Character Death. Implied Rape. Plenty of angst.

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.

Two days after buying house…


Spike woke when the sun lightened the master bedroom through the threadbare curtains that hung, almost uselessly, over the east-facing window. They blocked the direct rays from entering, thank goodness, but there would be no sleeping, at least until the sun rose out of direct view of the window.


Well, if he couldn’t sleep, he was sure there would be some activity that could occupy his time for an hour or two. He turned over on the mattress – one of their first purchases – which lay on the floor, as they had no actual furniture yet, to wake his slumbering wife. He was surprised, however, to find her already awake, sitting up cross-legged in the bed with her back leaning against the wall. He could see by her face that something was wrong – her giddy mood since closing on the vintage house was gone, replaced with something much more subdued.


“What’s wrong, luv?” he asked, laying a hand on her leg that was closest to him.


Buffy turned her head to look at him, her unfocused gaze sharpening to meet his eyes. She gave him a small smile and shook her head. “Nothing, really.”


“Not having second thoughts on the house, are ya?” he wondered, worried.


“What?” she asked distractedly. “Oh … no. I love the house. It’s gonna be peachy with a side of keen when we get done fixing it up,” she assured him, giving him a small smile.


Spike relaxed a bit. If she’d changed her mind about this piece of rubbish house…  He let the thought go. “Then what is it, pet?”


Buffy took a deep breath and focused on him again. “It’s just … today’s Christmas Eve and …” she shrugged. “I miss … I had to leave all our … stuff. All the ornaments and …” She stopped again and dropped her eyes down to the bulge in her stomach, rubbing her hands over their babies idly. “It just feels weird not having all those mementos and … I miss Mom and … Dawn.”


Spike sat up next to her and pulled her against him, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. “Sorry, pet. Not used t’ celebratin’ the birth o’ Christ; haven’t done in ‘bout a century, I reckon. Lost track o’ the day.”


“No, it’s alright. I didn’t mean to … I’m not fishing for a present or anything. I just …” She stopped and sighed again, nestling her cheek against his shoulder.


“I don’t know if you can understand. The ornaments on the tree and the … the stupid, fake mistletoe Mom would hang up over the doorway, the dorky decorations Dawn and I had made over the years. It’s like a giant piece of my life is just gone. And, I know: duh! It’s not like I’ve been oblivious-girl to that, it’s just that it hit me harder this morning than it has been, with the Christmas tree miss-age.”


“Sorry I didn’t think t’ take any o’ that when we left, pet.”


“It’s not your fault. It’s not like we could call in Mayflower and pack up the house, and I was slightly less than a helpful elf then. It’s fine, really, Spike,” she assured him, curling more tightly against his side and taking comfort in the strength of his arms around her. “I’m fine … I’ll be fine, everything’s fine.”


That was a few too many ‘fines’ for Spike’s liking. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. In that moment the lost little girl inside the strong woman emerged, sad and helpless, and that girl brought out the protector inside Spike – her anchor. Spike squeezed her shoulder, hugging her tighter to him, and dropped a kiss atop her head, resolved to find a way to ease her melancholy before Christmas morning dawned.




Later that day, Buffy slumped down into an old kitchen chair that they had found in the garage with a glass of buttermilk. She hated buttermilk, but it was the only thing that could stop her nearly constant heartburn, at least for a while.


They’d been pulling up carpeting in the living room, foyer, and sunroom all morning. Most of it was now up, cut into strips, rolled into bundles, and stacked at the curb. As soon as they had a phone, she’d call the sanitation department to come take it all away with a special pick-up.


She propped her swollen and tired feet up on an old milk-crate that was serving as a footstool/end-table and took a deep breath. It had been a long day already, and it wasn’t even half over yet, but the wood floors that had been revealed under the carpet were just as she’d promised Spike: perfect. Well … they would be perfect as soon as the old varnish had been stripped and they were refinished, anyway.


As she relaxed a moment and sipped at her buttermilk, a shirtless Spike came in from the other room with a beer. He was wearing a tool belt which, along with his jeans, barely clung to his slim hips. Despite it being Christmas Eve, the day was warm and the work they’d been doing had been strenuous.  Spike had started the day off in jeans and a t-shirt, but even he had begun to sweat as the day wore on.  He’d eventually ditched the damp t-shirt in favor of damp skin. Buffy approved.


Spike took a long swig from the beer bottle, tilting his head and shoulders back. The action stretched his abdomen, making him appear even thinner, and allowed the belt slide down a bit lower. Buffy thought if he had one more bright, shiny – but very manly – tool hanging from the belt, it would've slid to the floor with that motion. She watched as he sat the beer down on the floor, then turned his attention to the rancorous front door.  He opened it, then closed it, then opened it again, and closed it. With the old carpet gone, the door now opened without any difficulty, but it was a bitch to lock, taking all Buffy’s Slayer strength pressing against the door to get the deadbolt to line up with the … deadbolt-lining-up-thingy in the jamb.


As Buffy watched, Spike opened the door again and squatted back on his heels to peer first at the deadbolt on the door, then at the metal plate on the jamb that the lock was supposed to line up with and slide into.


Buffy couldn’t help but lick her lips, despite the taste of buttermilk, as she watched the corded muscles of Spike’s back, shoulders, and and arms flex and relax with each movement. His dimples of Venus winked at her from beneath the tool belt, and she had to suppress a giggle as she watched him work. Oh yeah ... she was likin' the 'Handyman Spike' look.


After a moment of contemplation, he pulled a screwdriver out of the tool belt around his waist and began to unscrew the worn plate on the door jamb. Apparently, the screw had rusted in place or had just been driven in really well, because it took a good deal of effort for Spike to turn it. Buffy watched the glistening muscles of his arms bulge with the effort of loosening the screw. Even with his vampire strength, Spike’s triceps and biceps swelled and gleamed as they strained against the stubborn bit of metal.


Finally it gave way to his persistence, protesting the defeat with a squeal of metal against metal. With each turn of the tool, the muscles of Spike’s arms, chest, and back rippled, flexing and relaxing as he moved. Spike repeated the procedure with the other screw, and dropped them both into one of the pockets of the tool belt at his waist. Finally, he pried the worn, bent, and painted-over strike-plate off the jamb. It would need to be replaced – that should fix the problem with the deadbolt slide not working properly. He’d send Joan off with it later to get a replacement.


With victory over the worn strike-plate literally in hand, Spike stood up and reached over to pick up his beer from the floor near the door. He ran the cool bottle across his brow, before taking a deep draft of the refreshing beverage, never acknowledging his wife or even seeming to notice Buffy watching him.


Buffy stared as a drop of the golden liquid escaped the corner of his mouth, ran down his chin, and dripped onto his chest. Buffy couldn’t take her eyes off the small drop as it slid along Spike’s already glistening body. Like a river, it followed the path of least resistance as it traveled down, snaking between his Adonis-like pectoral muscles, then traversing his six-pack with astonishing grace.


The little droplet seemed to want to touch each one of his abdominal muscles as it zigged and zagged its way south, traveling on the sinuous grooves between each morsel of yummy perfection.


Buffy’s mouth began to water as the tiny drop picked up size and speed, gathering some of the glistening dampness from Spike’s torso as it went. As it exited the labyrinth of abdominal brilliance, the tasty droplet disappeared into Spike’s cute little ‘innie’ bellybutton. Buffy leaned forward and waited with bated breath for the tiny traveler to resume its trek, her eyes focused intently on Spike’s lower abdomen.


After what seemed an age, the sweet little drop reemerged, apparently refreshed from its layover, and continued downward. The path it had chosen took it into the wispy forest of Spike’s happy trail. It was slowed in its mission as it navigated the thin line of dark curls that caressed Spike’s lower abdomen, but it persevered.


Buffy thought it would’ve had an easier time if it had chosen to traverse Spike’s 'love grooves'. Perhaps he would dribble a few more drops from his lips and another droplet would choose to slide down the glorious ‘V’ that ran south from his hips, guiding the eye right to the treasure in the center.


Buffy’s eyes were wide with anticipation as she watched the drop slide lower, dividing then merging again, as it edged ever-downward.


“Like what ya see, then?” Spike drawled, pulling her from her reverie.


Buffy had been so engrossed in the lovely little trek that his voice caught her by surprise. Her wide eyes darted back up to his as her face turned pink, then vermillion, then flew through scarlet and finally settled on fire-engine red.


Spike smirked at her before draining the rest of his beer, taking care not to obscure her view of his bare torso.


Buffy swallowed hard and regained her composure, although she was sure her face was still flushed bright red. She bit her bottom lip coyly and stood up, moving over to him.


“Oh, well … it’s alright, I guess,” she teased with a nonchalant shrug. “I mean, if I liked shirtless, hot, sweaty handymen in tool belts, then I suppose you’d … pique my interest.”


Spike quirked a brow at her. “So, ya don’t like shirtless, hot, sweaty handymen in tool belts, then?”


“Oh, well … I didn’t say that, did I?” Buffy retorted as she made it up to him. “It is nice to have someone around the house that’s so … good with his hands. And you should never underestimate the value of a man that really knows how to use his … tools to their fullest potential.”


“That right?” Spike questioned, his gaze quickly turning into a leer.


“You really seemed to know how to … screw,” she observed. “Nailing is good too. You do know how to … nail, don’t you? I mean … can you really drive it … hard and deep?”


Spike pursed his lips, exaggerating the hollow of his cheeks and turning his cheekbones into razorblades against his skin. “Never had any complaints ‘bout my … nailing technique,” he replied lecherously, his voice a deep rumble in his throat.


Spike abs quivered as Buffy zigzagged her finger over his abs, tickling a line of fire over his glistening skin.


 “And are you … well equipped? I mean … I’ve heard having the right tool for the job makes the completion much more … satisfying.”


“All my equipment’s top o’ the line. Always got the right tool t’ make the job fulfilling,” Spike assured Buffy, his breath hitching in his chest as her finger continued to spark a line of desire down his body.


When she swirled her finger slowly around his bellybutton, then dipped it into the soft curls that flowed southward, Spike’s cock jumped and twitched in his jeans.


When Buffy’s finger met the top of his tool belt, low on his hips, she traced a line back and forth over the soft, alabaster skin above it.


She looked up at him through her lashes, a coy smile on her lips. “Mmmm, well, that’s good to know, ‘cos all that hard screwing you were doing got me to thinking: maybe a hot handyman out of his tool belt might have its advantages too.”


In the next moment, the tool belt hit the floor with a clatter, bright, shiny new tools scattering everywhere.


Buffy giggled and squealed as Spike swept her up off her tired feet and began up the stairs with her.


“You forgot your tools,” Buffy joked as he took the stairs two at a time.


“Got all the tools I need t’ fix you up, luv,” Spike smirked, running his tongue over his teeth lecherously.


Buffy grinned wickedly. She couldn’t argue with that.




That night after his shower, Spike came into what would eventually become the nursery – the room directly across the hall from the master bedroom – to find Buffy on hands and knees ripping up the filthy brown, low-pile carpet. He stood in the door as she worked vehemently, struggling to pull the carpet, heavy with years of accumulated dirt, off the tack strips that anchored it around the perimeter of the room. She was dirty, sweaty, and tired; they’d been pulling up carpet all soddin’ day it seemed – beginning downstairs and working their way up. Ok, there was that two hour break in the middle there … but otherwise, they’d been at it working, that is  all day.


Buffy had been right about the hardwood floors beneath – they were gonna be brilliant after a sanding and refinishing. They looked like cherry to Spike. They were solid, uncracked, and unmarred except for little holes left by the tack strips, which could be easily filled. Why anyone had put down the carpet over them was beyond him. On the plus side, it had served to protect them, for the most part, from excessive wear over the years.


After struggling with a particularly stubborn area in the back corner of the room, Buffy huffed out an angry curse at the infernally rancorous carpeting that refused to budge. Kneeling, she dropped her butt back onto her heels in defeat, mopping the sweat from her brow despite the open window letting in a cool breeze now that the sun had gone down.


“Don’t ya think we’ve done enough for one day, pet?” Spike wondered as he sauntered in and, using a different angle, pulled the stuck carpet up with one hand and very little effort.


Buffy glared at him. “How long have you been standing there watching me fight this demonic floor toupee?”


“Only a minute … or ten,” he admitted, smirking at her. “Always loved watchin’ you fight, pet. Gets me all hot and bothered, it does.” He curled his tongue over his teeth and wagged his brows at her suggestively. “What say we pack it in for t’night? Don’t want t’ get done too fast and not have anything left for t’morrow, now do we?”


Buffy snorted. “Yeah, like that’ll happen,” she groaned as she reached a hand up to him for help up to her feet.


Spike pulled her up and against his chest. “Love it when you’re all sweaty – bloody sexy it is. Always smell delicious, like …” he began, softly nuzzling her neck. Suddenly he pulled back, looked down at the carpet then at her. “… cat piss and vomit,” he finished, wrinkling his nose up.


“What? Ewwwww!” Buffy exclaimed, looking at the decades-old carpet and then at her own hands. “Oh, grossness beyond gross!” she exclaimed, holding her hands away from her body as she raced for the shower.


Spike smirked. 1. Get Buffy to stop working and into the shower. Check. His plan was going perfectly thus far.


Buffy half-expected Spike to join her in the shower, but he never showed. She then expected he’d be waiting for her in their room, but he wasn’t there either. Perplexed, she pulled on a clean pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, and headed downstairs to see where everyone was.


The single overhead light in the living room was off and the bottom of the stairs was hidden in darkness. She went slowly, first because her balance wasn’t quite what it normally was with the extra weight in front, and second because she still wasn’t familiar with the house and any little stumbling points there may be. When she got to the bottom of the stairs she stopped and waited for her eyes to adjust to the dark. There weren’t any lights on downstairs at all. Had Spike and Joan gone outside for some reason?


Buffy had taken only a couple of steps toward the front door when the living room was suddenly bathed in a plethora of colorful light.


“Happy Christmas, luv,” Spike called from beside the now twinkling Christmas tree.


“Spike … I … what … when …?” Buffy stammered, taking a step toward him.


“It was my mission to procure a tree and decorations today while you toiled inside,” Joan divulged from the opposite side of the tree. “It was difficult to find a traditionally shaped specimen with adequate needles still attached on Christmas Eve, but I endeavored with robust enthusiasm, as always.


“I do not fully understand the custom of killing a living tree to celebrate the birth of a legendary savior whose Father purportedly created and coveted all living things. Does this sacrifice have significance to infants? When our babies are born, shall I cut down more trees to honor them?”


Buffy laughed as she drew near the tree. “No – you don’t need to cut down any trees for our babies,” she assured Joan. “We’ll just go with cake and ice cream – the traditional, non-legendary-savior sacrifice.”


As Buffy got near the tree, she realized there were no decorations on it save for the lights. She’d no sooner taken this in than Spike handed her an ornament.


“Our first ornament for our first Christmas, Mrs. Pratt,” he explained as she took the pink, porcelain, Wedgwood wedding cake ornament from his hand.


It was an elaborately decorated, three layer wedding cake with the year, 2001, adorning the topmost layer. On the bottom of the delicate, porcelain cake Spike had used a red paint-pen and drawn a heart. Inside the heart he’d written their names in his flowing, Victorian hand: Spike, Buffy, Joan.


“Sorry I didn’t ‘ave time for a proper engraving or whatnot,” he said meekly as she studied it without saying anything for several long moments.


Buffy shook her head, and when her eyes met his they were shimmering brightly with unshed tears. “No … I’d ... this is better. This is … perfect,” she assured him, giving him a smile. She reached out and slid the loop of the ornament over a sturdy branch in the center of the otherwise barren tree.


“Know it’s not much, luv, but it’s a start, yeah? Thought we could … make our own ornaments as we went along, ya know, t’ replace the ones … we left behind.”


Buffy nodded and blinked back her tears. “That sounds perfect, Spike. Thank you … it’s really … perfect.”


Buffy reached up and touched her lips to his in a gentle kiss. He wrapped her in his arms, pulling her close, content in the knowledge that his plan to 'save Christmas' had been a success. Buffy reached a hand out to Joan and Spike drew her into the hug, as well.


They all three stood silently for a long while, bathed in the twinkling lights of their first Christmas tree. Buffy’s heart was buoyed as she realized that despite all she’d lost, she’d also gained a lot as well: the love of a good vamp, the friendship of a too-honest twin, two well-developing babies growing in her womb, and a fresh start as Mrs. Pratt – wife, mother, home-remodeler, and ex-Slayer.




A month later…


Spike trudged up the back steps from the garage with heavy, tired steps. His arms ached, his back ached, his legs ached … hell, he just ached all over. He was laden down with the spoils of war, his shoulders being nearly pulled out of their sockets from the weight he carried in the multitude of bags that hung from his numb fingers.


He fumbled with the doorknob, trying to lift the heavy weights and turn the knob at the same time. His treasure nearly spilled from one of the bags as he tried to finagle the tricky back-door latch, but thankfully, Buffy came to his rescue just in time.


“What took so long? Did you get it? Where have you been?” she asked frantically as she pulled the door open and began snatching the bags from his hands.


Buffy spilled Spike’s bounty out over the kitchen table, her eyes searching for her prize, but not finding it. “Spike! Where is it?” she asked desperately as she rolled pint after pint of ice-cream over, reading the label and moving on to the next one.


“Went t’ three Randalls, two H-E-Bs, even bloody Wallyworld … no one’s got it, luv,” he told her, dropping down into the nearest chair in exhaustion.


Buffy’s eyes went wide with panic. “What?! Did you … did you ask? Maybe they had it in the back!”


“I asked, pet … none t’ be had,” Spike assured her.


“Did you … but …” Buffy’s words came in fits and gasps as panic rose in her chest. “What about that little bodega at the other end of the park?”


Spike shook his head. “They don’t sell Ben & Jerry’s there, pet. You know that.”


“But … Spike!” Buffy whined, sorting through all the flavors of Ben & Jerry’s on the table again. It looked like Spike had found and purchased every flavor but the one she wanted. “How could they not have it?”


“My best guess is ‘cos some ex-Slayer livin’ in the area is preggers, and she’s eaten a year’s worth in the last two months. They gotta ramp up production to cover the demand … takes time, that does.”


Buffy scowled at him. “That’s not funny.”


“No – but true,” he agreed. “Look, pet,” he cajoled, leaning forward. “I got every flavor they had. I figure, if you mix ‘em all together, then you’ll have the same thing as that ‘kitchen sink’ rot you like.”


“It’s not the same!” Buffy protested, stomping a foot on the ground petulantly. “And it’s not called ‘Kitchen Sink’! Maybe that’s why you couldn’t find it! You weren’t looking for the right thing!” she suggested hopefully.


“Buffy, luv, I know the name o’ the soddin’ stuff. I’ve bought enough of it, haven’t I?”


Buffy dropped down into the chair opposite Spike and suddenly began to cry, then sob uncontrollably. “I just wanted one little pint of ice cream,” she blubbered through her tears. “Is that too much to ask? One pint…” she cried. “The universe hates me… it’s conspiring against me ‘cos I won’t be the Slayer anymore and it’s punishing me.”


Spike pulled his lips between his teeth to keep from smiling. “Ya think the PTB are behind the ice cream shortage, then, eh?”  He nodded thoughtfully. “Tracks, I reckon. You stop bein’ the hero o’ the people, they take away your ice cream. Only fair, pet.”


Buffy looked up and scowled at him through her tears. “You’re making fun of me,” she whined, her voice laced with hiccups from crying.


“Never, luv,” Spike objected.


“You hate me. I’m getting too fat and so you won’t bring me anymore ice cream,” she accused.


Spike sighed and rolled his eyes. “That’s bollocks. I spent two bloody hours looking for the buggering flavor you wanted. Brought twenty pints – which is meltin’ here on the table, I might point out. Did everything but drive t’ Round Rock, for fuck’s sake.”


Buffy blinked up at him through tear-laden lashes as her bottom lip crept out in a dangerous pout. She looked at him with sad, puppy eyes, appearing like a lost little girl in need of rescue.


Spike sighed and let his head fall back in frustration and defeat. After a few moments, he grabbed his keys off the table and stood up stiffly.


“Be back in a couple o’ hours,” he groaned as he headed for the back door.


“I love you,” Buffy called after him sweetly.


“Yeah, yeah,” Spike replied in a defeated tone as he pulled the back door open.


“Do you still love me?” Buffy asked coquettishly.


“Goin’, ain’t I?”


Buffy smiled, her tears drying, and pushed herself up from the chair heavily. “You’re the best husband ever,” she continued, stepping around the table to follow him out.


“Yeah, get that a lot, I do,” Spike teased, stopping and waiting for her to catch up to him.


“Do you? Just how many wives do you have, Mr. Pratt?” Buffy joked, moving up near him.


“Got the barmy preggers one, the hammer-swinging, paint-slinging bossy one, the nutter that invited the Jehovah's Witnesses in for a soddin’ orgy, the sexy one that rocks m’ world every bloody night, the sweet one that helped the little bit next door get ‘er mangy cat down outta the tree, the brave one that’s faced hell-gods and earthly-devils…” Spike began, wrapping his arms around her neck and pulling her against him.


Buffy wrapped her arms around his waist and laid her head on his chest. “Sounds like you have your hands full.”


Spike smiled and dropped a kiss atop her head. “No doubt ‘bout that, luv.”


“Which one do you love best?” Buffy wondered, snuggling her face against his t-shirt.


“Ah, well … can’t choose, can I?” Spike answered gently. “Love ‘em all … need ‘em all.”


Buffy looked up at him and gave him a sweet smile.


“‘Course, wouldn’t mind booting out the one that has a cravin’ for impossible-to-find ice cream,” he added, smirking.


Buffy huffed and smacked his chest playfully. “You rat!”


Spike laughed and leaned down to capture her lips in a gentle kiss. “Love you, Buffy,” he rumbled against her warm mouth when the kiss broke. “Love all of you.”




Two months later…


“Spike!” Buffy screeched as she waddled into the formal dining room where he was working. “Beige! I said beige! What … that’s … green!”


Spike turned from his work and looked at her. “You said ‘sage’,” he insisted as he thrust the paint-roller back into the paint tray and continued his assigned task.


“Noooo …” Buffy countered, planting her hands on her hips. “I very clearly said ‘beige’.


“Would you stop painting already!? That is not beige!” she insisted, moving further into the room, her face reddening with impatience and consternation.


“Buffy,” Spike replied, his voice the epitome of patience as he continued painting, never turning to look at her. “I have vampire hearing. You said ‘sage’, luv. Clear as day.”


“Well your vampire hearing is color-blind because I distinctly remember saying ‘beige’. Would you please stop!?” she insisted again as she got to him and put a hand on the long extension-handle of the paint-roller.


“There’s nothing wrong with my hearin’, pet,” Spike assured her as he let her take the roller from his hands. “You told me t’ paint the dining room ‘sage’ above the dado rail and wainscoting – that’s what I’m doin’.”


“Now I know you’re delusional, because I never said anything about a dildo rail,” Buffy contended. “What does that even mean?” she asked, her brows furrowed in confusion.


Spike barked out a laugh. “Dado, pet … not dildo. Dirty mind you’ve got there for a mum.”


Buffy gave him ‘the look’. He knew the look. With one glance it said, “You have gotten on my very last nerve and if you don’t step away now, you will regret it for the very short amount of time you have left to live.”


Spike sighed and looked around. He’d nearly finished painting. If she’d just have waited another ten minutes he would’ve been done. “Sorry, luv. Really thought you said ‘sage’,” he apologized. “Ya know – ‘cos it would be brilliant with your vintage Wedgwood china set.”


“Well, I didn’t say ‘sage’! Geez, Spike … I mean why would I … huh?” Buffy looked at him, searching his face, his eyes for some clue to what he was talking about. “What vintage Wedgwood china set?”


“Oh, you mean you don’t have a china set t’ match the walls? Bugger! Thought I saw a whole china cabinet full in the kitchen, luv,” Spike remarked innocently.


“What?” Buffy turned and hurried from the formal dining room to the kitchen just across the hall, still carrying the paint-roller.


“Oi! Don’t be dripping paint on my bloody floors!” Spike called as he strode after her.


“Oh my God!” Buffy’s exclamation could be heard through the whole house. “Spike! Oh my God! Where … when … where?


“It really is Wedgwood! Spike! How?!” she continued, looking at him with wide eyes as he came into the kitchen behind her.


There were several boxes of vintage Wedgwood china on the counters. Everything from plates, cups, and saucers to gravy boats was included, all clearly antique but in pristine condition. An intricate floral design in pinks, lavender, and greens wound over a white background on the serving plates and saucers. The lively floral design was balanced with a simpler design of white plates with wide, sage-green borders on other pieces of the place-settings. Not surprisingly, the sage-green matched the walls in the formal dining room to a ‘T’.


“Happy hundredth anniversary, luv,” Spike said softly, his eyes glittering with the sight of her excitement and glowing beauty.


“Hundredth?” Buffy questioned. “I know time flies when you’re remodeling, but …”


Spike came up to her and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her as close to him as her bulging stomach would allow. “You’ve been Mrs. Pratt one hundred days tomorrow, pet,” he explained, dropping a kiss on her lips.


Buffy’s arms went around him, the paint-roller with the sage-green paint on it still in one hand. “You are an evil fiend,” she accused when the kiss broke.


“Well, yeah. Vampire, remember?” Spike agreed, smirking.


“You almost had me thinking I’d lost my mind and said ‘sage’ instead of ‘beige’,” she admitted.


“Did I now? Would’a kept on with it if I’d ‘a known. Directly I’d’ve had you agreeing to all sorts of lurid colors. Blood red for the bedroom, purple for the parlour, lime green for the loo …” 


Buffy laughed. “I may be losing it, but I’m not quite that far gone.


“Oh! Did you feel that?” Buffy wondered, pressing her stomach harder against Spike’s as one of their little ones made their sentiments known with a wicked kick. “Little William doesn’t like those colors either.”


“Could be ‘e does … or little Dawn does. She’d stand by me, I reckon.”


“Oh, you think you’ll have a daddy’s girl, huh?” Buffy wondered, smiling up at him. “Why do I think you’ll be the one wrapped around her finger, not the other way around?”


“Never happen, pet,” Spike contended seriously. “Already wrapped too tight around yours.”


“Oh, you are sooo …” she began sweetly, then quickly said, “… full of malarkey that your butt’s turned green!”


Buffy pulled away, holding the paint-roller up as Spike reached behind him and touched his hand to his butt.


“You cheeky wench!” he accused when his fingers came back wet and quite green. “Don’t ‘ave a pair a’ jeans left that ain’t got paint on ‘em!”


He lunged at her, going for the paint-roller. Buffy shrieked as she tried to dodge him, but her evasion skills were less than stellar with the beach-ball that currently adorned her stomach. Spike grabbed the handle of the roller and jerked it away from her as she turned and fled the kitchen. Spike gave chase as she giggled and ran into the living room. Spike easily caught her before she’d gotten very far, and adorned the back of her t-shirt with a wide stripe of green paint.


Buffy screamed again, laughing and dodging around pieces of furniture covered with plastic dropcloths as he continued chasing her. He wasn’t really trying all that hard to catch her – chasing the laughing Slayer was half the fun now that he’d gotten his revenge with the paint-roller. Spike laughed with her as they both feigned and juked around the furniture, trying to outwit the other and get past their adversary – to go where, neither actually knew or cared.


It only took a few minutes before Buffy was winded with laughing and the extra effort it took to jump around with a heavy medicine ball strapped around her middle, and Spike caught her. He’d set the paint-roller down on a plastic-covered table, and now wound his arms around her and drew her to him.


She was still tittering when he began to nibble a tingling line of sparks down her neck, and her giggles turned into a sweet moan of pleasure. Spike reveled in the sound, and his cock, which had grown hard with the chase, twitched anxiously in his jeans. Buffy’s hand found the bulge immediately and began to stroke him through the denim, exacting a matching moan of pleasure from his lips.


“We’re never gonna have the house finished in time for the babies if we keep indulging in … extra-curricular activities,” she warned him.


“Little bits don’ need the whole soddin’ house. Nursery’s nearly done, innit?” he pointed out as his mouth stopped at the curve of her neck, suckling and nibbling lightly on the pulse-point there.


“Mmmmmm,” Buffy purred, tilting her head to the side to give him better access.


Spike took that to be agreement, and bent down to scoop her into his arms and carry her to their bedroom.


“I’m all paint-y,” she objected. “So are you.”


“Yeah, and?” he wondered as he lifted her up into his arms with a bit more effort than it used to take.


“There’s no drop-cloth on the bed … Here. Let’s stay here…” she suggested, burying her face against his neck and kissing the soft skin she found there.


“Your wish, my command,” Spike replied, setting her back down on her feet. She leaned against a plastic-covered, antique sideboard that she and Joan had found at a garage sale. They’d gotten it cheap because it needed to be refinished. Joan, it turned out, was quite adept at the more tedious, detailed tasks – which was lucky, since neither Spike nor Buffy were – and she’d restored the ornate, rosewood bureau beautifully. It was just waiting for the formal dining room to be painted so it could take its proper place there. It would have to wait a little while longer.


“The paint’s gonna dry on the roller … again,” Buffy murmured as Spike began peppering her neck and face with gentle kisses.


“Mmmm, shame that,” he agreed absently, as he reached for the collar of her shirt and tugged it up over her head, being mindful to not get too much of the wet, green paint in her ponytail as he did so. Buffy lifted her arms and he removed it completely – only the tip of her ponytail ended up green.


“It’s the last one we have,” Buffy pointed out, her words breathless.


“Gretchen’s got more…” Spike asserted as his shower of kisses resumed.


His hands went to her full breasts, swollen like her belly with manna for their little miracles. He gently caressed her nipples through the fabric of her bra, intent on gentle pleasure.


Buffy’s body reacted, momentarily forgetting how tender her breasts were. Her back arched and pressed into his touch, but Spike’s hands moved with her, not increasing the pressure or inflicting pain.


“Think you spend … more time … with her than me,” Buffy accused between gasping breaths.


“Reckon that’s true. Warned ya ‘bout that ‘fore we bought this house, luv,” Spike reminded her, touching his lips to her collarbone, then slowly trailing his mouth lower. “Hard t’ resist a girl with paint on ‘er hands.”


Buffy laughed lightly and held her paint-spattered hands up. “Good thing I qualify or you’d never leave Home Depot.”


Spike looked up at her, a sparkling, teasing gleam in his blue eyes. “You, luv, got paint all over ya,” he pointed out, touching his mouth to dry smudges of color on her shoulders, her chest, even her bulging tummy. “No contest,” he divulged, looking up at her face through his lashes.


Buffy laughed joyfully. Spike was sure that was what heavenly angels singing must sound like. He was sure he’d never get close enough to hear actual angels singing on high. This was his heaven. Right here, right now, with this paint-spattered woman; this gorgeous, laughing woman of his dreams.


“Knew you’d be a heavenly vision, round and glowin’ with m’ babies,” Spike muttered as he dropped to his knees before her. His hands and mouth slid down to her round stomach and he began worshipping it with both. “So bloody beautiful you are, pet.”


Buffy shook her head and rolled her eyes, but she couldn’t wipe the smile from her lips. “You’re delusional, you know that, right? And possibly blind. That’s like calling the Goodyear blimp ‘beautiful’.”


Spike looked up at her from his kneeling position in front of her. “You really ‘ave no idea how dazzling you are, do ya? Being with you is as close as I’ll ever get t’ standing in the sun again – close as I’ll ever get t’ heaven. You’re right, ya know? I am blind … you blind me … stun me with your radiance.”


Buffy reached a hand down and cupped his face gently. “Have I mentioned that delusional is of the good? I really love delusional … and blind.”


Spike leaned into her warm palm, letting his eyes fall closed as he relished her gentle touch for a long moment. The magical touch of his angel, his goddess, his heaven.


When his eyes opened, they sought hers. Blue locked onto green like a magnet to steel. More, it seemed to Spike, passed between them in that moment than could be said with a thousand words … a million words, a thousand-million words.


Despite his steadfast refusal to admit that Buffy had been right about the house, and his constant grumblings about the long hours they’d spent working on it, he had fallen in love with it just as surely as she had. She’d simply been able to see the promise beneath the dilapidated façade sooner than he.


He felt some kindred with the old house. He, after all, had a veneer of his own hiding unknown promises beneath. She’d been the one – the only one – to bring his poet’s heart to the fore, to reach beneath the surface of the demon and touch the man, just as she’d reached beneath the ramshackle exterior of this house and found its heart.


He knew that she knew that he knew that she was right about the house, but neither admitted it. The verbal sparring about it was comfortable ground for them, but it had never gone past that – light banter. They had laughed more than argued during the remodeling. There had been blunders, mistakes, miscues, but they’d been able to handle them with humor. They’d fixed the broken windows, with caulking and paint they'd concealed the fact that neither of them could cut a 45% angle to save their lives, they'd spackled the inadvertent holes in the walls, and moved on. They teased each other about their tastes in colors, fabrics, and designs rather than hurtling barbs, and in the end, they’d found some middle-ground that suited them both in each room they’d tackled thus far.


Spike had left the décor in the nursery to her, his only stipulation that it not be ‘too poncey’. She’d gone with bright, gender-neutral colors. The walls were painted with wide stripes of yellow and white, the bedding she’d found had a background of spring-green adorned with bright flowers in primary colors. Each time Spike went into the cheery room, he felt like he’d just stepped out into a bright, sunny garden. He couldn’t have asked for anything better for his babies to come home to.


The tedium of scraping the peeling paint from the old-but-sturdy, wooden shiplap siding and the porch railing had been handled by Joan with her typical enthusiasm. While Buffy and Spike worked mainly inside the house, Joan had tackled the outside. More than one of their neighbors had stopped by when they’d seen the transformation taking place to welcome the trio, offer assistance, advice, encouragement, and best of all, brownies! The visitors would tell them how much better the old house was looking and what a difference it was making in the whole neighborhood, inspiring others to do some of those long put-off repairs. Although the blondes got a couple of curious stares, and Spike got more than one envious look from the men that stopped by, no one had questioned the strange little family: a man, his pregnant wife, and her twin sister.


Buffy, Spike, and Joan had even started making friends with some of the younger people that lived nearby. They’d gone out to dinner twice with one couple, had been introduced to the dance clubs downtown by a popular local artist that lived nearby, and had found the best Tex-Mex restaurant a few blocks away, which was owned by another neighbor. And, to top it all off, not one demon, not one vampire, not one strange dream, or magical spell had shown up to ruin their new, semi-normal, idyllic life. It was almost too good to be true, and Buffy knocked on wood every single day, hoping their luck would hold out forever.


They’d been working through the house methodically. They’d started in the kitchen, which had been the most in need of updating. They had done the demolition, but realized early in the remodeling that installing cabinets which incorporated plumbing and electrical was not their strong suit, so they'd hired that done. Now Joan had a beautiful, gourmet kitchen for creating her healthy, but often less-than-palatable meals. Thank goodness there were lots of fast-food restaurants right near Home Depot – which was a daily destination – otherwise Buffy might’ve starved.


From there they’d remodeled the master bedroom, Joan’s bedroom, and the nursery for the babies. Although Joan had her own room, she spent many nights, and a few lazy days, with Spike and Buffy in their large, king-sized bed. Those envious looks Spike garnered from the neighbors were well deserved.


The bathrooms, although tiled with colors from the fifties – pink and green and black – were serviceable. They only required vigorous cleaning; remodeling of those could wait.


There were still two more bedrooms to be painted and decorated, but those could wait, as well. They were now working on the public parts of the house, the dining room, the living room, and a cute little sunroom that looked out over the large backyard.


Buffy really hoped to have most of the downstairs done before the babies were born, but at the rate they were going, she wasn’t sure if it would happen. Especially when Spike kept distracting her with … Ohhhh … his tongue and … Mmmmm … his fingers and … yesss … his lips.


Buffy’s comfortable sweatpants lay discarded on the cardboard that protected the beautifully refinished floor of the living room. Her ass stuck to the plastic that covered the sideboard she was now sitting on. Her feet were propped up on Spike’s shoulders, her legs spread wide for him, his tongue circling her quivering clit.


Buffy tangled her fingers in his platinum locks, freeing his curls from their gel prison as he lavished her with his tongue, and …


“God, Spike … yes, baby,” she breathed as his fingers delved into her throbbing hole.


“Mum needs a good fucking, she does,” Spike whispered, his breath cool against her heated skin. “You bits look the other way now,” he advised her tummy. “Can’t deny your mum a nice, long, hard shag. Needs more than my fingers, I’d wager, don’t ya, luv?”


“Yes … Spike … need more,” Buffy agreed, ignoring the weirdness of him talking to their unborn babies. He did that a lot, usually trying to entreat them to take his side in a decorating choice, or telling them to forgive her for her strange taste in duvets. The talk about shagging was especially wig-some, but Buffy endured, especially when he was doing such wonderful things with his fingers.


Spike sucked down on her clit, worrying it with his teeth as he growled against her slick bundle of nerves. Buffy’s body arched into him and she pulled his face against her as her thighs closed against the sides of his head, trapping him. He continued to nibble, lick, and suckle her clit as he kept up the vibrations of his growl against her pulsating pearl.


Buffy screamed out as her first orgasm washed over her body like molten bliss; heating her, burning her with rapture. Her thighs quivered against Spike’s head, tightening further through no will of her own, crushing him to her delicious pussy with passionate abandon.


When Buffy’s climax at last waned and her trembling legs relaxed, Spike pulled back, trailing soft kisses along her thighs. Buffy’s fingers trailed through his hair, back to front, and left it a disheveled cacophony of sharp peaks and soft curls. Her half-lidded eyes gleamed down at him wantonly as she took the opportunity to ruffle his hair further.


Spike stilled her hand with his and pulled it to his lips, kissing her palm gently. He then ran his fingers through his mane, attempting to tame the riot she’d created, but failing miserably.


“Tryin’ t’ turn me into a ponce, you are,” he accused as his efforts were less than successful in smoothing his curls.


“Never,” Buffy assured him as she grasped the front of his t-shirt and pulled him up to his feet.


Buffy wriggled on the plastic she was sitting on and was finally able to slide off the cabinet and onto her feet in front of Spike. She pulled the hem of his t-shirt up and off, revealing the smooth, sculpted marble of his torso for her inspection. Her eyes drank him in as if she’d not seen such a sight ever before. Her fingers wandered over his perfect body – as hard and flat as hers was now round – finding every dip and hill of corded muscle and tracing each one reverently.


Spike moaned and his eyes feathered closed when her hand delved below his belt and cupped his cock through his jeans. “Need you, pet,” he breathed as she slowly stroked up and down his hard length.


“Need you too,” Buffy replied as she deftly unbuckled his belt and released the pressure that strained the buttons of his fly one by one.


His cock jumped into her waiting hand as his loosened, paint-spattered jeans slid down his slim hips and gathered around his knees. Buffy moaned her approval as she wrapped her hand around his shaft and squeezed gently.


“Love your body … love how hard you are for me, even when I look so hideous. Gives me hope that you might actually still want me when I’m old and wrinkled.”


Her breath caught in her throat when his eyes flashed open, the glint of gold overbearing the blue, and his fangs momentarily lengthened.


“You don’t see what I see,” he replied with a tone of barely-controlled anger. He took a calming breath, closed his eyes, and forced his annoyance and his demon back. A moment later, he opened his eyes again; his tone softened as he continued, “You couldn’t be more beautiful, Buffy – and I’ll always want you. Told ya before, love more about you than what I can see. I’ll always love you. Always want you. I can promise ya that, luv.”


Buffy swallowed back her emotions, which had lodged in her throat and were compressing her chest, and nodded. “I just don’t want to ever be … a burden or …”


“You bloody daft woman,” Spike interrupted, pulling her to him roughly and crushing his mouth against hers in a passionate, breathtaking kiss.


When the kiss broke, Buffy clung to him for support and panted for oxygen. “Only sure way t’ get you t’ stop talkin’ that twaddle, I reckon: take your soddin’ breath away.”


Spike turned her around and pressed on her shoulders until she bent forward, her arms supporting her upper body over the sideboard where she’d been sitting a few moments ago. Still not quite recovered from the kiss, Buffy gasped when his cock slid down the crack of her ass and then between her thighs. Spike pressed forward, letting his hardness slide between her drenched pussy-lips before entering her hot, wet quim.


Another gasp and a moan rolled from Buffy’s lips as her back arched, raising her ass and opening herself up to him fully. “Oh, God … yes,” she groaned, grasping the edges of the sturdy wooden furniture tightly for support. “Don’t look, kiddies … daddy’s coming for a visit,” she breathed as Spike jerked his hips and buried himself in her heat.


“Bloody right he is,” Spike growled as his hips began to piston against her, driving her breath from her lungs again. Soon the only sounds in the old house were flesh slapping against flesh, the wet, squelching sound of her pussy welcoming his thrusting cock, and Buffy’s ragged, uneven panting. Moans, hisses, grunts, and exclamations of pleasure all joined the sexual chorus as the lovers began their ascent to the mountaintop.


They often found themselves back at Gibraltar, on the edge of the world in these moments. And when they fell into the depths of ecstasy, it was a white, misty shroud that enveloped them in its blissful embrace. There was nothing else in that cloud of rapture – no future, no past, no sorrows, no worries. There was only them, only love, only joy, only now and yet forever.


When the mist cleared from Buffy’s vision, Spike’s lips were showering her back with gentle kisses. She still had her bra on – it was painful to take it off these days, flopping was not of the good – but he never complained. He simply kissed around it, over her shoulder-blades, down her spine, across her ribs.


When he heard her breathing returning to normal, he leaned forward, his mouth near her ear. “Now, ya gonna stop yammerin’ nonsense or do I need t’ take that breath o’ yours again?” he wondered.


Buffy sucked in a deep breath and replied with a pout, “My boobs will be all droopy, and my butt will be all saggy – I doubt ‘Little Bad’ would even be able to stand at attention…”


Spike growled against her neck, and Buffy giggled as she felt him begin to stiffen inside her again.


Oh yes, the sideboard would have to wait a bit longer for the dining room to be ready.




Take My Breath Away, Berlin



Watching every motion

In my foolish lover's game
On this endless ocean
Finally lovers know no shame
Turning and returning
To some secret place inside
Watching in slow motion
As you turn around and say

Take my breath away
Take my breath away

Watching I keep waiting
Still anticipating love
Never hesitating
To become the fated ones
Turning and returning
To some secret place to hide
Watching in slow motion
As you turn to me and say

My love
Take my breath away

Through the hourglass I saw you
In time you slipped away
When the mirror crashed I called you
And turned to hear you say
If only for today
I am unafraid

Take my breath away
Take my breath away

Watching every motion
In this foolish lover's game
Haunted by a notion
Somewhere there's a love in flames
Turning and returning
To some secret place inside
Watching in slow motion
As you turn my way and say

Take my breath away
My love
Take my breath away
My love
Take my breath away
My love
Take my breath away


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