By joan the english chick

A Vague Disclaimer Is Nobody's Friend: The characters and locations of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" are property of Mutant Enemy Productions (Grr, argh) and FOX Television, and are used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is property of the author, and may not be reproduced, retransmitted, or posted anywhere without my expressed permission.
Warnings/Ratings: This story is rated R for sexual situations and some four-letter words.
Timeline: Takes place before, during, and after the final scene of episode "Wrecked."
Spoilers: "BTVS" 6th Season through "Wrecked"

Buffy steps out of Willow's room into the hall. There's a nervous flutter in her stomach before she forces herself to turn toward Dawn's room and look in.

He's still there.

Spike sits on a chair beside the bed, watching Dawn sleep. The cast on her arm glows bright white in the dim room. She looks tiny in the bed, brittle and vulnerable with darkness around her eyes. It makes Buffy hurt to look at her.

Spike turns and catches her watching. There's darkness in his eyes too, but that's nothing new. Buffy sucks a chilly breath into her queasy stomach and gives a little beckoning motion with her head. Spike glances back at Dawn, gets up quietly and comes out into the hallway, pulls the door mostly shut behind him.

Buffy puts her body a good foot away from Spike's and speaks softly, but not in a whisper. A whisper would seem too, you know, seductive. Oh God.

"Spike," she says low and firm, "I meant what I said before. I want you gone, out of here."

He gives her a look like he would argue but, out of deference to Dawn, he doesn't. Just a move of his head to indicate the sleeping teen, and he says just as low but just as firm, "Promised her I'd stay all night."

Buffy grimaces and huffs and generally displays her displeasure, but of course her guilt for Dawn wins out and she sighs, shrugs, turns away angrily. Doesn't bother watching Spike slip back into the room; just goes storming down the stairs. Only the whole storming effect is ruined by tiptoeing. Dammit. Sisterly responsibility, fear for Willow, fear for herself, and that ugly nasty other thing she doesn't want to acknowledge, all knotting together into a dense lump. She tries to drown it all out with anger, holds on tight to the words she spoke to Willow. Tries to ignore the memory of other words spoken by other people. Did you convince yourself?

Buffy goes to the kitchen and gathers up all the garlic she can find. Her anger, her resolution, her determination carry her through hauling the smelly load upstairs and festooning the perimeter of her room with it. But then the energy drains out of her; she sits down on the bed with her favorite cross in her hands and stares at it while she tells herself all the ways in which she's not like Willow. And puts her fingers down the front of her pants and rubs herself, but then pulls them out again, her face hot with shame.

It's late now. The house is dark except for Buffy's small lamp. Willow has joined Dawn in sleep. Buffy knows that Willow will toss and turn, but Dawn is out like the proverbial light, thanks to teenage metabolism plus the drugs.

So she's not really surprised when her partly-open door swings slowly inward and she sees him standing there.

He takes in the hanging ropes of garlic and the cross in her hand, and smiles a little, not a smirk, just a smile that's mostly sadness. Ducks down to avoid hitting his head on the garlic, and enters the room. Buffy sighs, realizes she should have remembered. The garlic only works if it touches the vampire's skin. Of course she *did* remember, somewhere. She holds up the cross, half-heartedly.

Spike just bats her hand aside, sits on the bed next to her, kisses her softly. She gives in, of course. Drops the cross onto the floor, shoves her fingers into his hair and turns the kiss into something much harder, darker. She's hot and desperate and Spike's cold and desperate, his lips smooth-soft on hers, her knee pressed against his thigh.

Spike breaks the kiss and takes her hand, brings it to his face and she knows he's smelling her and she blushes in agony, but he just gives her a heavy-lidded look and puts her fingers in his mouth, sucks on them. Buffy has to bite down hard on a moan, her harsh breaths stinging her throat.

But she won't have sex with Spike here, now, not in her bedroom with Dawn and Willow sleeping just feet away, it's too weird and scary and she just can't. He seems to understand. So instead it's just a few hopeless minutes of fierce kissing and groping, and then Spike puts his hand down her pants and rubs her and she bites down on his shoulder to muffle her noises as she comes.

And then Spike licks her juices off his fingers and kisses her again and goes into the bathroom. Buffy changes slowly into pajamas, her hands and knees trembling, pretending she doesn't know what he's doing in there. She gets into bed clutching the cross, her entire body vibrating to the silence, twitching at the soft sounds of the water running and the bathroom door opening and his footsteps. But he goes back into Dawn's room, and Buffy lies in her bed as tense as a stick of wood for a long, long time before exhaustion claims her.

In the morning she hopes he'll be gone. But when she gets up all bleary-eyed and comes out of her room, she finds the bathroom door open. She pauses to take in the scene.

Dawn sits on the closed toilet, her face turned up to Spike. He's standing in front of her, changing the bandage on her arm, his touch so tender, so gentle Buffy can hardly believe those are the same hands that were gripping her flesh just days ago.

Dawn's brushing her hair with her good hand, but it's awkward trying at the same time to keep her other hand still. The hairbrush catches on the half-healed cut on Dawn's cheek, breaking the scab, making the girl jump and whimper a little in pain. Spike reacts quickly, takes the brush from her, tilts her head up so he can look at the cut.

"It's fine, it's nothing," Buffy hears him murmur. Dawn lifts her hand to the cut, looks at her fingertips. Looks up at Spike. Lifts the bloody hand up toward his mouth.

Buffy starts forward in alarm, but it's unnecessary. Spike has already recoiled, pulled back, pushed Dawn's hand away with a sharp "Don't!" He half-turns to go, catches sight of Buffy watching. Angrily, he pushes past her and away.

Buffy goes in and finishes bandaging up her stricken sister. Says some meaningless words of reassurance, does the whole hugging and being strong thing. Knows that the sounds she's hearing are Spike taking a blanket from the linen closet and leaving.

And knows that things aren't simple. And knows that it's not over.

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joan the english chick
Last updated December 7, 2001