Pairing: S/X, established relationship
Rating: PG13 - NC-17 Individual chapters will carry specific warnings.
Feedback & concrit: yes, please
Disclaimer: don't own them, never will, just playing with them
Spoilers: Primarily season 5, but anything from Season 1 on.
Summary: sequel to Nothing the Same , Books 1 - 3
WARNING: THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS EXPLICIT SEX
Previous parts here
Like he’d suspected, Toth had barely been worth the effort. The only reason Spike had gone after him with the Slayer was because she’d surprised him with the invitation to join her. Not like he was going to turn down an offer of a fight just because it might prove disappointing.
Toth had managed to fire two shots with his weapon before being disarmed, but both the Slayer and he had dodged the shots easily, so easily that Spike was a bit surprised that the Slayer had been hit at all during her first go-round with Toth. Granted, the weapon didn’t look like anything more threatening than a hollow tree branch and Buffy was more used to being hit with sticks than having them shoot balls of spell-fire at her, but still, she should have been more on guard. Not like her Watcher hadn’t told her Toth carried sophisticated weapons, which should have warned her that Toth’s stick was more than it appeared.
Spike dived to the side as Toth fired the weapon at him. The fireball chewed up the grass several feet behind him even as he rolled back to his feet in one swwift motion and came at Toth from behind as the demon swung the weapon around to line it up on Buffy. She threw herself into a tumbling roll and kept moving and Toth forgot about Spike for a moment too long as he tried to make sure of his shot on the quickly moving Slayer.
Spike timed his move carefully, waiting until Toth fired before hitting him from behind, one hand grabbing for the weapon in the same instant that he landed a savage kick at Toth’s knee. As he hoped, the big demon staggered from the unexpected blow, and Spike had been able to wrench the weapon from his hand and send it spinning across the clearing.
Once the weapon was gone, the fight had been boringly routine. Toth had proved to be a complete disappointment. Granted, he was as strong as the Watcher’s book said, the one blow he’d landed had thrown Spike ten feet across the clearing, but Toth had been slow and unimaginative as a fighter. Having enemies coming at him from two directions had seemed to confuse Toth and, as he and the Slayer took turns pummeling the demon, Spike thought scornfully that, if Toth was typical for his species, then he understood why Toth was the last survivor of his clan. The wonder was that Toth himself had survived as long as he had.
Really, Toth reminded him of nothing so much as Trick and his ridiculous Slayerfest a couple years back. Oh, mostly he’d objected to Slayerfest because it was unbelievably conspicuous, but he’d shut it down in part because that just wasn’t the way you hunted a Slayer. Slayers - at least ones who’d survived as long as Buffy and the two he’d killed - were opponents worthy of respect and a proper fight. Spike had taken both of his Slayers in clean fights, one on one, with as much chance that they would kill him as of him succeeding. Drinking their blood had been a celebration of achievement. You didn’t shoot them from ambush then crow over the corpse like you’d done something impressive.
“You were right, he wasn’t much of a fighter.” Buffy wrinkled her nose at the smell of the demon’s innards as she used a handful of Toth’s robe to carefully clean the sword she’d stabbed him with. The Slayer never did have an appreciation for the gory side of their work.
Spike shrugged, lighting up a cigarette and taking a drag before answering, his eyes scanning the area for threats but sensing nothing other than the small scavengers who always gathered following a bloody kill. “Told you. Wouldn’t have used that weapon if he’d thought he could take you without it.”
Buffy shot him an annoyed look as if mention of the weapon had just reminded her. “You could have taken that thing away before he fired at me,” she said, tone halfway to accusing.
“Thing used mojo. Figured the safest time to grab it was right after it had fired.” He smirked, sending a stream of smoke in her direction which she batted away like it was an enemy. “Not to worry, Slayer. We knew how to fix you if you were too slow.”
“Easy for you to say,” she muttered, then let it drop and looked around. “Speaking of which, where did it go?” Spotting the weapon several yards away, she began walking towards it. “Let’s take it back to Giles.”
“Plannin’ on using it at parties?” Spike asked, one eyebrow raised suggestively. “Could be fun.” He was amused by the disgusted look she threw him in return.
“You only say that because you didn’t have to deal with two yous running around.” Buffy snagged the weapon off the grass and gingerly examined it. Spike didn’t think it was a coincidence that the business end waved in his direction.
“Two of me wouldn’t be bad, Just be doubling the charisma and charm,” he said airily, as if the thought didn’t bother him at all.
“We can put that to the test, if you like,” the Slayer offered, a gleam of malicious amusement in her eyes as she looked up at him with a smirk. “I can probably figure out how this works.”
“No sense in worrying Xander,” Spike told her, resisting the urge to scramble away from the weapon’s path in undignified haste. He’d already decided he didn’t want two versions of himself created by that thing. He casually took a couple steps sideways and saw that Buffy had let the muzzle drop back towards the grass.
“Well, if you’re sure,” she said, still grinning at him.
“Right,” Spike said firmly, changing the topic, although he was fairly sure she hadn’t been serious. “Let’s head back to the shop. Watcher can play with his new toy and I’ll take my boy home.”
Not waiting for an answer, he set off across the lawn, hearing the Slayer jog to catch up and fall in step beside him. Spike smoked his cigarette down to the butt, then flicked it away, glancing across at Buffy, curious about her unusual silence.
She was frowning to herself, lost in thought as she kept pace with him, Toth’s weapon swinging idly from one hand. Seeming to feel his eyes on her, she looked up at him. “What do you think would have happened to Xander if this had hit him?” She asked out of nowhere, lifting the weapon briefly.
“Pretty much what happened with you, I imagine,” Spike answered. “One half would have gotten the self-defense and carpentry skills, the other would have been less confident and maybe a bit clumsy.” He wasn’t sure which half would have gotten Xander’s knack for crazy plans. Maybe the successful ones would go to the stronger half and the weaker half would have been spouting some of Xander’s crazier ideas - the ones Xander himself usually figured out weren’t going to work. He shrugged indifferently. Hadn’t happened, why worry about it.
“Do you ever wish….” the Slayer trailed off without finishing but Spike knew what she was asking.
“Don’t be stupider than you have to be,” he said rudely. “You don’t just love someone for their good parts. I love all of Xander, even the parts that drive me mad. Not settling for half of him.” He gave her a withering look, knowing the question hadn’t really been about Xander. “If you’re thinking your tin soldier only wants half of you, then you two don’t have any kind of future.”
His harsh response was met with silence and Spike felt an unwilling twist of sympathy for the uncertainty in her face. Xander had had similar doubts, once upon a time, worrying that, as a human, he couldn’t keep up with Spike. Spike had long since set those doubts to rest in his Claimed. Unlike Spike, soldier boy obviously didn’t know a good thing when he saw it. Not enough to settle his own issues and insecurities enough to reassure his girlfriend.
Buffy obviously thought that soldier boy only wanted her Slayer side. Which was a laugh, given what was going on inside the soldier’s body recently. Idiot thought he could keep up with the Slayer’s demonic heritage through will power alone. Wanker.
“I just think it would be easier for Riley if I was just regular, normal Buffy,” she said quietly, almost to herself.
She thought the soldier wanted her weaker half? Spike came to a halt, looking at her in astonishment. Who’d want a weak half over a strong one? That made no sense to him at all. The idea left him absolutely speechless.
“Never mind,” Buffy said, waiving off the idea. “I’m still just a little freaked from being two people. I’m probably not going to even tell Riley about this.” She waved Toth’s weapon illustratively as she spoke and began walking in the direction of the magic shop again.
Spike shook his head, putting the whole pathetic mess of the Slayer’s relationship problems out of his thoughts. Humans. Couldn’t ever just shag and be content. Always needlessly complicating things. Demons were much more sensible.
“So,” Spike began smugly as they reached the door to their apartment. “Killed the demon. Didn’t kill the Slayer, just for you, pet. All’s well in Sunnyhell. Think I deserve a reward.”
Xander nodded in agreement. “Way ahead of you, Spike.” He pushed open the door, throwing a proud smile over his shoulder at Spike. “I have microwave pizzas ready to go.”
He laughed at the look on Spike’s face and darted inside the apartment, heading for the refrigerator. “What? You spent the whole walk home complaining about what a lame-ass fighter Toth was. You expected something more than pizza?” he asked, trying for injured innocence but knowing his grin was giving the game away.
Spike growled and snatched him off his feet, carrying him into the bedroom and tossing him onto the bed. Xander laughed again as Spike flung himself on top of him, perching triumphantly on top of Xander’s hips and bending down to say threateningly: “Gave up my third Slayer for you, pet. Think that’s worth more than soddin’ frozen pizza.”
Xander opened his mouth to offer him a side salad with his pizza but Spike’s mouth covered his before he could get a word out. Spike’s hands pinned his wrists to the mattress as he kissed Xander hungrily. Xander parted his lips under the onslaught and Spike’s tongue darted inside, teasing, stroking, exploring as if it were unknown territory.
He struggled, trying to bring his hands up to pull Spike closer but Spike kept them pinned effortlessly, drawing back just enough to drawl: “Not happening, luv. Wouldn’t give me what I want, so you’ll just have to lie there while I take my reward.” He ground his hips down against Xander’s in illustration and Xander felt Spike’s erection against his own burgeoning one.
“Take away,” Xander told him, rocking his hips against Spike’s, eager for more.
Spike freed his wrists and tore Xander’s t-shirt off with one quick move, then his hands were back, fingers twining with Xander’s, holding him still as he bent down to nip and lick at the exposed skin.
Xander closed his eyes, loving the feel of Spike’s lips and tongue and teeth exploring his body. Crouched over him, lean hips still pressing down against him, Spike was rocking slowly against him, in a rhythm that was going to drive him out of his mind soon. Spike was nibbling and tonguing his nipples now, teasing them into tight, aching peaks, lavishing attention on first one then the other until Xander was arching up into his touch, desperate for more.
“Damnit, Spike!” he managed to gasp. “More ravishing, less teasing.”
“Patience, luv. Busy here.”
Xander swore, bucking against Spike’s restraining hands, trying to bring his legs up to wrap them around Spike, but Spike shifted his weight slightly and the angle was wrong and Spike just laughed down at him. “Someone’s in a hurry.”
“Who’s fault is that?” Xander growled, bucking his hips up.
Spike rode his body easily, keeping their hips locked together, erections straining against the fabric imprisoning them as Xander bucked and twisted, trying to get more movement and pressure against his cock. Spike shifted his arms until he had both of Xander’s wrists gathered together in one hand and Xander almost sobbed with relief as Spike dropped his free hand to Xander’s waist, fingers nimbly unfastening his fly and freeing his penis.
It still amazed him how quickly Spike could bring him to the peak of arousal. Oh, they had their nights spent in hours of tender lovemaking but there was something unbelievably arousing about times like this when his yellow eyed demon lover tore his clothes off and teased him to the bursting point.
And that’s exactly what Spike proceeded to do: long slow strokes of his cock that gradually increased in speed until Xander was gasping incoherent encouragement, head thrown back against the mattress, his whole body straining for the orgasm that Spike was driving him towards, climax building but always withheld, his hand never quite moving fast enough or hard enough for Xander to fall over the edge.
Lost in sensation, Xander’s eyes flew open as Spike bit down without warning, renewing his Claim mark, needle-sharp fangs sliding inside him with the exquisite eroticism of the mingled pain and pleasure that was Spike’s bite. At the exact same moment, Spike tightened his grip around Xander’s cock and began pumping hard. Xander screamed hoarsely as he erupted into orgasm, his release spurting between their bodies as he thrashed and writhed in Spike’s hold, pinned beneath Spike’s body, his orgasm seeming even more intense because of his restricted movements.
Xander came back to himself, his own breath sounding harshly in the quiet room, feeling the slight roughness of Spike’s tongue laving over the marks on his neck. Xander slid an arm around the cool body lying half on top of him, feeling languid and incredibly sated.
“Mmmm, did you…?” he remembered to ask.
Spike’s low chuckle reassured him. “Came in my jeans like a human, luv,” he said, the breath he needed for words tickling Xander’s ear. “Seeing you that way’s enough to send me over. So beautiful.”
Xander meant to say something, but Spike twined a leg firmly around him and Xander fell asleep, lulled by the soft contented purring of his vampire beside him.
“I talked to Riley,” Buffy said, out of nowhere, just as Xander was beginning to think it was time to pay and free up the table. “I told him what happened with Toth.”
They’d long since finished eating and the waitress had cleared away their plates, leaving the bill behind, a hint they’d ignored as they continued talking. Buffy was leaning her head on one hand and she had a shy, pleased smile on her face that made her look startlingly beautiful: soft and gentle in a way that she rarely looked.
“I asked him if he would rather I’d stayed split, so he could have just Buffy-Buffy instead of Slayer-Buffy.” Her smile turned secretive and Xander thought Riley had probably really come through for her with his answer. He stayed quiet, eyes resting on her, enjoying the pure happiness on her face, unmarred by the responsibilities and darker thoughts that so often shadowed even her most carefree moments.
Buffy started, and seemed to remember she wasn’t alone. She shook her head. “It’s funny, I’ve spent so much time since I was called, wishing I could be normal. And yet, this is the second time that I’ve lost my Slayer powers and I hated it both times. You’d think that I would have learned by now that maybe I kind of like being the Slayer.”
Xander smiled, remembering how upset she’d been when the Council neutralized her powers for that crazy test on her 18th birthday. “I do remember you saying something back then about how you didn’t know what you were if you weren’t the Slayer.”
“But, I don’t want to be her either. She was…”
Buffy hesitated, maybe at a loss for words, maybe just reluctant to criticize herself and Xander filled in for her:
“Single-minded? Driven? No fun?”
Buffy smiled ruefully. “Something like that.”
“Spike thinks you’re a better fighter than she is.” He hoped Spike wouldn’t kill him for telling her that.
“Really?” She looked surprised and extraordinarily pleased.
“Says her fighting style is too mechanical. That you do unexpected things that makes you more unpredictable and harder to beat.” He smiled at her. “I’d say your Buffy side balances the Slayer physically as well as mentally.”
“That’s actually the main reason I didn’t like her much,” Buffy admitted. “She was so sure that my human side had nothing to offer.” She propped her chin on her fists and looked pensive. “So, I don’t like being just human or just the Slayer. Pretty whiney, huh?”
“A little, but you’ve got more cause than a lot of people,” Xander told her easily. “Most of us are a little more in the college or trade school range of choices, not normal versus superpowers. I mean, if I’d been the one to get split, would you even be able to tell the difference between me?” He frowned. “Me’s?” He shook his head. “Whatever.”
Buffy grinned. “Yeah, the pronouns were a bitch. But what I meant was, it kind of feels like someone or something is telling me to shut up and deal already. I mean, losing my powers once, I can put that down to the Council being evil. Twice?” She grimaced. “Someone’s trying to tell me something.”
“Twice is coincidence,” Xander said firmly. “And maybe living on the Hellmouth, which has way more than its share of evil humans and wacky demons.”
“Maybe.” Buffy didn’t sound convinced. “Even if it is coincidence, that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from it.”
“So, what have you learned, young padawan?” Buffy looked blank and Xander sighed to himself, missing Oz who understood his geek movie references without explanations. “Star Wars reference, forget it.”
Buffy gave him the look she always gave him when his sci-fi geek crossed her path but obligingly didn’t say anything. Instead, she looked pensive. “Riley and I have been trying so hard to be just Riley and Buffy, not commando and Slayer. And it’s been good,” she added hurriedly, “but a little too much like when I was trying to date people who didn’t know I was the Slayer. We’ll never get anywhere if we don’t see each other as whole people.”
“You know, I think we had this conversation a few weeks ago,” Xander couldn’t help saying.
“And I’ve had an up-close and personal look at what being nothing but the Slayer really looks like. Like I said, I don’t want to be her. And I’m sure she doesn’t want normal-guy Riley.”
Xander tilted his head, curious. “So, you’ve decided to accept that you are both of you, not just human or just the Slayer. Where does that leave you and Riley?”
“That’s where I’m kind of stuck. I mean, I want Riley to patrol with me but I don’t want him to get hurt. So I don’t want him to patrol because he’s going to get hurt on of these days. Vicious circle.”
“What does Riley want? And can you handle him patrolling with you, if that’s what he needs to be happy?”
Buffy sighed. “He wants to patrol.” She looked decidedly unhappy as she added: “He’s been patrolling without me anyway, so our whole ‘no Slayer-no commando’ trial is looking more and more stupid.”
Xander sat back and pulled out his wallet, dropping twenty dollars into the little tray and pushing it to the edge of the table. “You know, Riley’s just as worried about you getting killed as you are about him getting hurt,” he told her.
“What? That’s….” she bit off what she’d been about to say and had the grace to look embarrassed.
Xander just looked at her, both eyebrows raised, and waited for her to put two and two together.
“Ok, point taken.”
“It really is as dangerous for you as it is for Riley.” She opened her mouth to protest and Xander held up a silencing hand. “I know you’ve got all the Slayer advantages, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be killed or hurt. It also means that a lot of things are gunning for you that aren’t interested in Riley. Trust me, it’s a big advantage that people underestimate us mere humans.”
He stood up, thinking they’d hashed this to death already and wishing Willow was better at sympathizing with Riley’s side when she and Buffy discussed this. From her emails, Willow tended to think that Riley should sideline himself if it made Buffy happy. “Just try and remember that the most fragile thing about guys is our ego. Riley can heal from a broken bone, but keeping him out of the fight - he’s not going to recover from that.”
Buffy stood up as well, frowning, and Xander threw her arm around her shoulder. “All I can say, Buffy, is that if you didn’t want to deal with the macho he-man that comes with whole guy-package, you should follow Willow’s example.”
It took a moment for Buffy to figure out his meaning and she predictably wrinkled her nose. “No, thanks. Happy member of a dying breed here - 100% heterosexual.”
“Well, you’re certainly in the minority. Between me and Spike, Jonathan and Larry, Willow and Tara” - ok, they weren’t officially a couple but Willow talked about her an awful lot in her emails - “and Giles and Ethan, you are way outnumbered.”
Buffy looked at him in horror. “No way! Giles? And Evil Chaos Guy? You’re making that up.”
“‘Fraid not. I’m cheating because they aren’t officially a couple but it’s not through lack of effort on Ethan’s part.” He grinned down at her. “Like I said, a serious minority.”
Buffy muttered something under her breath about how she was sure she could get someone to make an exception to the no killing human rule when the human was a chaos mage and laughed at her. He thought Giles was more than a match for Ethan but Buffy was obviously going to need some time to deal with the idea.