Chapter Notes:

Here we go with part 2! Twinkles made a lovely chapter banner to go along with her part, so here it is:


It was surprisingly easy to run while glued together at the hip by demonic energies. Buffy might’ve thought it’d be harder. You know, if she’d ever given it any thought at all. Which, possibly she’d just been lacking in imagination, because this was exactly the kind of whacked out crazy that happened to her on a weekly basis, but, well, she hadn’t. Honestly? Still didn’t want to think about it too hard. Luckily, finding a rhythm with Spike was disturbingly easy, just like it had been when they’d been fighting off demons earlier. And Spike being able to fight demons and potentially be actually useful was something else she didn’t want to think about too hard right now. Along with being glorious and that whole bathroom thing a moment ago. Mostly she just didn’t want to think about Spike, but that was gonna be hard, what with the demonic glue and all.

 

“Hey, Slayer, they teach you any Classics in that parochial little university?” Spike asked as they raced past the University of California: Sunnydale sign at the edge of campus.

 

“Classic what?”

 

“That’d be a no, then.” He sounded smug and amused, and not at all out of breath. Bastard. She didn’t have time to stop and smack him around, though. “Well, so happens that this little predicament brings Plato’s Symposium to mind.” She didn’t deign to respond, but of course that didn’t deter Spike from continuing. “See, there was this bloke, Aristophanes, who thought he’d have a bit of a joke at his mates’ expense, and started telling them how primeval men and women used to be joined together, and it’s only that we pissed off Zeus that he split us up.”

 

“You’re not a man,” Buffy panted as they pounded down the street.

 

“No, I’m better. Still got my man-parts, though. Know you got an eye-full earlier when my trousers were down,” he said, and god, she could hear the leer in his voice. “You blushing, Slayer?”

 

“Shut up, Spike.” She thought about it a moment. “You think that would work? Pissing off this Zeus guy? Because if there’s one thing you’re good at...”

 

Spike laughed. It was infuriating. “S’just a story, love. Besides, Aristophanes had them joined back-to-back and cartwheeling around all over the place. Not quite the same.”

 

He went quiet, then. It was weirdly abrupt, and definitely out of character, so she risked a glance over at him. He was frowning, looking lost in thought, even as he kept perfect rhythm with her.

 

They reached the graveyard in record time. Buffy spotted Anya almost immediately, pale face looming out of the darkness as they rounded a crypt.

 

“Buffy! Finally!” she said.

 

“Oh, that’s a charming welcome for the cavalry,” Spike said indignantly. Buffy couldn’t help a small smile at his (probably unwitting) attempt to defend her honor, but shushed him anyway.

 

“Where is he?”

 

Anya pointed to the crypt door. “In there. I can’t get in.”

 

Buffy eyed it. It was old, but looked solid. Could be reinforced from the inside, or with magic.

 

“Anya, listen,” she said quickly. “We went to the dorm but there was so sign of Willow, just a scorched circle on the carpet and Willow’s scent around it.”

 

“Looked demonic,” Spike added. “That’s right up your alley, innit?” The way he said alley, tonguing his teeth at Anya, was obscene. Buffy elbowed him hard in the ribs, then promptly stumbled when he doubled over like a big dramatic baby.

 

“Oh no,” Anya said, clutching at her hands. “About yay big? Did it smell of fire and brimstone?”

 

“What does brimstone smell li--?” Buffy started to ask, but Spike spoke over her.

 

“Yeah, your typical post-demonic-activity scent.”

 

“D’Hoffryn,” Anya said, face draining even further of color. “Bastard. He must’ve opened a portal and taken Willow through.”

 

“Who?” Buffy asked. “Why? Wait, doesn’t matter right now. Can you do anything to get her back?”

 

“I can try,” Anya nodded frantically. “Yes. Now please go rescue Xander.”

 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

 

The door to the crypt went down with a satisfying crash at their combined kick. Spike was shortening his stride to match Buffy’s almost instinctively now, charging in together like the bloody Light Brigade. Xander lay flat on his back in the middle of the crypt, unconscious, encircled by candles, and standing over him was an enormous, horny demon.

 

In both senses of the word.

 

“Ew,” Buffy said, wrinkling her nose in a way Spike tried really hard not to find cute. Edible. Yeah. That sat better.

 

“Eroin demon,” he said. “They only come to this plane to mate,” he added unnecessarily.

 

“Wow, this is a whole new level of demon magnetism. What is that smell?”

 

Spike had been trying really hard not to inhale, but it was kind of unavoidable if he wanted to keep his ribs safe from pointy little Slayer elbows because she’d be pissed if he didn’t answer.

 

“Pheromones,” he said. She looked a question at him. “Eases the way.” He shrugged, and tried to keep her in focus.

 

“Hey,” she said, frowning up at him. “You okay? You look a little…”

 

“I’m fine,” he muttered, wiping absently at the sweat that had suddenly sprung up on his upper lip. “Let’s get this done.”

 

When the fighting began, there was no adjustment period this time, just sweet motion and the poetry of violence. The Slayer really was glorious, the way she moved, the way she adjusted to accommodate being bloody attached to him, probably without even realizing she was doing it. She punched and he defended her left side from a swiping claw. He kicked and she blocked. Desperate and maddened, the Eroin charged at them, head down, huge, bull-like horns driving right at their respective midsections.

 

“Jump!” Buffy yelled, and smooth as silk, timed perfectly, they rose into the air, joined bodies an arc of energy over the demon’s head, and came down with a tuck and roll on the crypt floor behind it, candles scattering as they rose slightly less elegantly to their feet. Bloody hell, maybe Aristophanes had got it right after all. In the candlelight, Buffy suddenly seemed to glow, like some magnificent warrior of old, Athena come to life.

 

“Spike!” she hissed. “Get it together. What is up with you?”

 

Pheromones, he thought. Oh, balls. He’d only ever been close enough to an Eroin to be affected once before, some fifty odd years ago, and he and Dru had spent two solid days fucking until they couldn’t move.

 

“Got any weapons?” he managed. God, Buffy was fighting in a skirt and he couldn’t even admire it properly from his current vantage. He could imagine, though: flashes of tanned, forbidden thighs as she did those fancy high kicks she was so fond of, pert little mons he’d caught a glimpse of earlier.

 

...the very expression of his ancient need, his mind supplied. Well, Aristophanes could fuck right off. He was in the middle of something, here.

 

“Just this,” Buffy said, producing a stake from he knew not where. “I’m thinking, go for the eyes.”

 

The Eroin was rounding on them for another charge, but this time Xander was right in its path, and Spike didn’t think the boy’s soft, doughy body would survive the trampling. In fact, it would probably be downright colorful. Normally he’d be all for that kind of entertainment, but Buffy would probably be pretty annoyed that her buddy boy had been pasted all across the crypt floor, and why did he care about that again? He glanced down, and got a stunning view of her cleavage down the neck of her top. Oh yeah, tits. Tits were worth fighting for.

 

“Hey! Casanova! Over here,” Buffy yelled at the demon, dragging Spike with her so that they were clear of Xander’s supine form. The creature bellowed and charged again, but this time they were ready, and neatly side-stepped the lumbering body while Buffy lashed out with her stake. Her aim was true but the stake lodged in the Eroin’s skull, and the daft chit didn’t let go as the demon reared up with a low screech of pain. With a yell, Spike got dragged along behind her as she herself was lifted into the air.

 

“Slayer, hand!” he shouted. They clasped hands, and holding on mid-air and one-handed to her stake, Buffy was somehow able to swing him up and onto the demon’s back. Sodding glorious. It seemed almost easy, at that point, to reach forward, grab the beast by the horns, and give a hard twist so that it stopped, mid-rampage, and flopped heavily to the floor.

 

Spike was panting as the steaming carcass dissolved from between his legs. Completely unnecessary, but he couldn’t make himself stop. He couldn’t even smell the demon any longer, just Buffy’s shampoo and Buffy’s sweat and Buffy’s fight-arousal.

 

He staggered, vision swimming, body hot and screaming to be touched. God, he was so utterly screwed. Distantly he was aware of Buffy talking to him, Buffy shaking him, and he tried not to groan. The ground was a lot closer -- they were on their knees. She’d been pulled down with him. One of her hands was on his shoulder, the other in the middle of his chest, the hold awkward with the angle they were attached at, but she was still managing to shake him violently, cursing him through gritted teeth, “Spike. Will. You. Just. Get. U-- What the hell are you doing?”

 

Her growl became a squeak as he swayed towards her, nosing her hair, inhaling her heady scent. And yeah, Aristophanes might have been out for cheap laughs, but something about those split-up primordial humans yearning for their lost other halves had always moved him. Spoken to him. Echoed in his empty places.

 

The desire and pursuit of the whole is called,” he murmured, lost track, blinked, tried again, “is called lo--”

 

She shoved him back and slapped him hard across the face, looking almost panicked. “Snap out of it!”

 

Spike went suddenly, painfully hard. He reached down and gripped her bare thigh. She squirmed at his touch but that did nothing except cause her skirt to fall over his hand, a fluffy, silky, orangey invitation if ever he saw one.

 

...but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell,” he whispered, holding her glittering gaze as his hand crept higher in painful, slow increments, and of which she has only a dark and doubtful presentiment.

 

“Spike,” Buffy hissed, wrapping her hand around his wrist so hard the bones creaked. He couldn’t go any higher, but she wasn’t pushing him away, either. The moment throbbed.

 

And then Anya stuck her head around the crypt door. “Oh my god, Xander!” she yelped, and ran to his side.

 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ 

 

Buffy managed to tear her eyes from Spike’s (enthralling?!) gaze at last and turned to where Anya hovered over Xander’s still form. Breaking eye contact didn't help much. His hand still quivered in place on her thigh, almost vibrating with an electric tension that was doing funny things to places further up her body. Pleasant funny things.

 

Anya’s prodding managed to provoke a mumble and movement from he of the unconscious, so Buffy risked a glance back at Spike. Because she needed to know what the heck was wrong with him. Not because the way he'd been looking at her with that single-minded hot intensity made her want to answer him somehow.

 

But he was looking down now, at his hand on her thigh and hers on his wrist, and she realised suddenly that she'd let her grip soften until it felt more like a caress. The tendons on the back of his hand felt alive under her palm, shifting beneath his smooth skin and tight with yearning. She jerked her hand away.

 

Spike closed his eyes and drew in a slow breath through his lips, then with a shuddery exhalation he took his hand off her thigh to rest on his own. His eyes flickered back up to hers, dark and hungry and… afraid. He wore the look of a man standing on a cliff edge and thinking it would be a terrible idea to jump, whilst knowing he was about to do it anyway.

 

A dark and doubtful presentiment...’ echoed through her mind.

 

She jumped before he could, dragging him to his feet with her as she scrambled up. “Is he okay?” she squeaked at Anya.

 

Xander was sitting up, feeling out a spot on his head with a pained expression. “Just tell me I haven’t been impregnated,” he groaned.

 

“Of course not, Eroins lay eggs,” Anya supplied. “But Spuffy got here before he could fertilise you.”

 

“Oh thank god,” Xander sighed.

 

Spike was watching Xander now, with something appraising in the tilt of his head. As Buffy watched he slid his tongue firmly along the edge of his bottom lip, eyes narrowing. Oh no, they were not doing this one again. She jabbed her elbow into his ribs for the umpteenth time this evening with a hissed, “Spike!”

 

His eyes flew back to her. Which was much better, because Xander had already made his feelings clear. Not because she was jealous, or anything, because eww, it was Spike, very much out of bounds with the soulless undeadness and the piggish insults and the everything else. Even if he was being surprisingly chivalrous about this whole thing, and even if he did have really very nice eyes… “Pheromones!” she squeaked at Anya. “Spike was saying something!” Buffy looked back and forth between them for an explanation.

 

“The Eroin!” said Anya. “Its mating scent will drive every demon within half a mile into a crazed sexual frenzy. We better run if we don't want to be caught in the orgy.”

 

“Running,” said Buffy, and hurried to Xander’s side to help Anya lift him to his feet. Spike moved with her smoothly, attention outwards now and making a low and quiet growling sound that was ominous in its possessive threat. She jabbed him in the ribs a final time with her free arm and the sound cut out with a yelped curse.

 

Xander proved able to run once he found his footing, so the four of them took off for Giles’ apartment.

 

“I’ll need something to draw a circle with,” Anya panted on the way.

 

Buffy nodded. “There's chalk in the left drawer of Giles’ desk. White. Will that do?”

 

“Yes. You guys cover me and I'll try to summon him.”

 

Spike's arm had dropped around her waist as they sprinted, and somehow he was finding the time to rub his fingers sensuously across her hip bone. The pheromones must be affecting her too, because suddenly she wanted him to reach a little further, slide those fingers under the edge of her skirt and down to--

 

She shook her head and made her own (more irritated) growling sound. Then she threw her arm around his waist in return. It really did make running together smoother. Uh huh.

 

They burst into Giles’ and halted as something thunked into the wall; she shouted at him to drop the crossbow he was pointing blindly in the rough direction of the door. “We think we know where Willow is,” she told him. “Anya needs to draw a circle, and there's probably a pack of horny demons on our tail.”

 

“Upstairs,” he said. “There's chalk in the--”

 

“Got it,” Anya said, already on her way to the stairs.

 

Buffy relieved the blind man of his weapon and told Xander to help him up to the safety of higher ground, then moved back to the front door to check the lock. As she turned away from the latch Spike’s left hand slammed against the door, caging her behind it but with something almost desperate in the way he clung to the wood. His chest was heaving and his eyes seemed to glow black as they swallowed her up.

 

“Sodding glorious,” he murmured, inching closer to her face.

 

“Stop!” she shrieked at him. “Pheromones! You're under the influence.”

 

“Making it hard to keep from doing what I've been picturing all night,” he panted. But he'd stopped advancing, fingers clenching tighter on Giles’ weird door panels as he seemed to hang frozen in place.

 

No one would blame her, she realised. What happened in times of crazy, stayed in times of crazy. And Giles couldn't see. “I'm blaming the pheromones,” she whispered. Then she kissed him.

 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

 

Spike groaned against Buffy’s mouth and pressed her into the door, his fingers making indents into the wood of Giles’s door. Buffy wrapped her arms around him and pulled him tightly against her, surrendering to the kiss and the heat it brought, despite his cool lips.

A loud noise from outside startled Buffy, and she pulled away. “We should”—her eyes zeroed in on his mouth again and she gave it one more peck—“go upstairs and help the others.”

“We should.” Spike kissed her deeply.

Buffy moaned when he ground his hips into hers. She broke away again. “Demons are coming.”

His eyes flared and he nodded against her forehead, pressing his groin firmly against her. “Bloody right they are.”

Spike.”

He kissed her silent.

God, this was wrong. Terribly, horrendously, beautifully wrong. There were pheromone demons and a possibly vengeanced Willow and a blind Giles, and very important things to do upstairs, but she couldn’t bring herself to break away from Spike. Spike, whom she definitely did not like and was stuck to her like a barnacle. Who had his hand under her shirt and stroking the soft skin of her stomach. Who’d just done something wicked with his tongue that made her shiver. Made him hold her tighter.

Distantly, she heard the low growls of approaching Eroin demons. Spike desperately reached for the zip of her skirt and kissed down her throat.

“Spike.” Buffy stilled his hands, holding his wrists. Spike paused and glanced up at her with a glazed expression. “Not…not like this.”

That seemed to wake him up. The haze in Spike’s eyes cleared and he looked down at her. The growling outside grew louder and Spike slipped his trembling hands away until they linked loosely with her fingers. “Right,” he said. “Right.” With a tremendous amount of self-control, Spike let go.

“Upstairs,” said Buffy, and Spike adjusted himself beside her so they could walk in tandem. They found Xander drawing a circle around a seated Anya while Giles sat on his bed, blinking unseeingly and clutching his glasses. Quickly, Buffy closed the bedroom door behind them.

She felt Spike jerk a little against her as Xander circled past them. “Is that good enough?” Xander asked Anya.

“Perfect. Okay, no one distract me.” Anya closed her eyes. “Blessed be, the name of D’Hoffryn. Let this space be now a gateway to the world of Arashmaharr, where demons are spawned.”

A loud bang downstairs followed by a series of snarls startled them.

“Good lord,” Giles muttered.

“Anya, faster,” Xander said, panicked. “They’re gonna mate with me!”

“They’re not mating with you,” Buffy said firmly. “I won’t let them.”

Loudly, Anya chanted, “We bend as the reed, in the flow of the…no, wait…we c-come as the flow…”

Xander started pacing cagily. “How? You’ve got a horny vamp attached to your hip and I’m fresh meat.”

Buffy glanced at Spike. He was tense and pressing against her again, his fingers stroking the bare skin of her arm. The look he gave her when their eyes met had a shiver of excitement run through her.

Spike closed his eyes and clenched his jaw, forcing himself to shift away from Buffy as much as he physically could. “I can fight. We’ll fight them ‘til the spell is done.”

Buffy nodded, the corner of her mouth lifting.

The door burst open.

 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ 

 

A draft of air rushed in through the open door, preceding the demons gathered in the small area outside it. Spike moaned.

 

Buffy slid a quick glance his way. Her eyes widened in alarm when she realized that Spike's had closed in bliss. His sensual mouth was parted slightly as he huffed the now pheromone-laden air into his heaving lungs.

Growling in frustration, Anya took a deep breath and started over. “Blessed be, the name of D’Hoffryn.”

 

Buffy stared at Spike's lips and licked her own, suddenly feeling parched and filled with a burning desire to kiss him. Were the pheromones now affecting her, as well? She couldn't tear her gaze away from Spike's sex face, which she knew was bad, but she couldn't quite recall why.

 

“...to the world of Arashmaharr, where demons are spawned.”

 

Buffy surfaced from her daze when Xander squealed in terror. Oh, right, demons!

 

The snarling Eroin demons were surging through the door, bypassing Spike and Buffy and heading straight for Xander. Buffy nudged Spike with her elbow, hard. She moved forcibly around his unresponsive form, dragging him along in a tight spin, to tackle the leading demon. She managed to snag its arm just before it scuffed Anya’s spell circle.

 

Spike opened his eyes and watched avidly as Buffy used her momentum around him to spin the first demon into the rest of its demon friends, knocking them down like ninepins.

 

Xander pulled a lamp off the nightstand and darted forward to smash it over the demony head of one of the Eroins now rolling around the floor in a tangled mass of limbs.

 

“Good Lord!” Giles exclaimed in alarm, turning his head towards the sound of breaking ceramic.

 

“A little help, here, Spike!” Buffy panted as she drove her booted foot into another demon’s ribs before it could get up. “You won't think I'm so glorious...” she ducked a clawed strike and punched a demon in the side of his head, “...when I'm all dead...” she hooked Spike by the elbow and used him to knock another attacking demon back down on the floor, “...and you're dragging my corpse around at your side!”

 

Despite the many distractions, Anya had finally managed to open a portal. D’Hoffryn appeared in front of her, holding a nervous-looking vengeance demon version of Willow by the elbow.

 

“Anyanka!” D’Hoffryn greeted Anya warmly, before an Eroin slammed into his side, propelled by a powerful roundhouse kick from Buffy. He looked around at the group of growling, riled demons filling the room and promptly released demon Willow's arm. “Well, it's all yours! Good luck!” he intoned cheerfully before he blinked out of sight.

 

Xander was holding off an Eroin demon by poking at it with a chair. It smashed the wood into kindling, but retreated as Spike took exception to the scattering bits of pointy wood flying his way and attacked it with a roar and a flurry of blows that finally left the demon unconscious on the floor. Buffy took the chance to catch her breath as she was dragged along behind Spike's advance, leaving her opponents momentarily behind.

 

Willow's eyes zeroed in on Xander, and a determined look settled on her face as she started moving purposefully in his direction.

 

“Hey! You stay away from my boyfriend!” Anya intercepted Willow mid-stride and yanked her around to face Anya’s righteous wrath.

 

Willow and Anya had squared off and were now standing toe to toe in front of Giles, undisturbed by the battle like they were in the eye of a storm, and arguing loudly. Giles sat on his bed, his glasses back on his face despite his blindness, and whipped his head between them to focus his attention on whoever was currently shouting like he was watching a particularly vicious tennis match.

 

“You!” Anya hissed. “You take this terrible spell off Xander right now, before he gets damaged!”

 

“It wasn't me! I didn't do anything!” Willow stammered, obviously upset.

 

“Willow, you—” Xander tried from his defensive position against the wall, only to be cut off by his girlfriend.

 

“You did a spell! Don't try to deny it!”

 

“So what if I did? It wasn't for Xander!” Willow sputtered with indignation. “Don't blame me for his demon troubles!”

 

Buffy had taken the lead again and with Spike now fighting at her side, despite the superheated glances he kept casting her way, they were gaining ground. They had managed to drive the remaining demons back towards the door.

 

“It's obviously your fault!” screeched Anya. “Hoffy didn't just turn you into a vengeance demon for nothing!”

 

Giles started in surprise. “Willow? Willow is a vengeance demon?” Both of the women ignored him.

 

Willow paused for a moment, turning hesitant. She suddenly sounded more like her usual, sweet self. “He said it was my fault, too, but I still don't see how I did this!”

 

Anya rolled her eyes. “You're playing with magic you don't understand like it's no big deal!” She stomped her foot, her short stylish hair quivering around her flushed cheeks.

 

“Well, excuse me for wanting to end my pain!” Willow pouted, which looked really strange with her veiny, new, vengeance demon face. “None of you—”

 

A loud crash drowned out her voice as a demon, temporarily airborne from a flawlessly synchronized double kick delivered by Spike and Buffy, sailed out of the room, completely shattering the door.

 

“Oh, for the love of…!” Giles lost all patience and lurched to his feet. He reached out and groped blindly over Willow's chest, startling her into a sudden silence. Locating her vengeance power centre by feel, he grasped it firmly and yanked, breaking its chain and flinging it to the floor, then proceed to stomp wildly until he got lucky.

 

The sound of the pendant crushing under his shoe ended his frantic frenzy. Nearly everyone else, including the demons but not Spike, remained frozen in place, staring at him in slightly stunned shock.

 

While the battle was halted in favour of the floor show, Spike had again succumbed to the pheromones that had built up in the small space. He wrapped around Buffy in a passionate embrace, one hand cupping her breast and the other fisting her hair at the back of her head as he kissed her ardently. Buffy was tense but unresisting in his arms, staring at Giles from the corner of her eye.

 

“Willow! Please break your spell and put an end to this madness, before I am rendered homeless as well as blind!”

 

The sound of Giles’ authoritative voice broke not only the silence but also the momentary truce. The demon closest to Xander charged past Spike’s turned back and lunged towards the boy, toppling sideways into the wall as Anya shoved him bodily off course. Giles winced as the wall responded with an ominous creak.

 

“Spike, stop that, we still have demons to kill!” Buffy was shoving against Spike and kicking out at the passing demons. Spike clutched her closer, lifting her off her feet by the waist and slamming her back against the much-abused drywall. He ground his erection against her and growled sexily.

 

The next demon grabbed Anya by the neck, obviously intending to kill her or at least fling her out of its way. Xander stabbed at its face with a broken chair leg and it jolted back with a scream and a gush of stinky demon blood, dropping Anya in the process.

 

Willow recoiled from the spreading mess and knocked into Giles, who sprawled on his bed with a cry of surprise. Pulling off his glasses, which had been knocked askew by his fall, he flopped back on his mattress, rubbed at his useless eyes in desperation and demanded immediate action. “Willow, NOW!”

 

Willow, now human again and feeling very vulnerable in the melee - and more than a little violated by Giles, thank you very much - gulped in a panicked breath. Clutching at the sleeves of her bright red jacket with nervous fingers, she raised her voice to hear herself over the renewed sounds of battle and Spike's impassioned rumble scattering sweet poetry and crass innuendo against Buffy's neck.

 

“Let the healing power begin. Let my will be safe again. As these words of peace are spoken, let this harmful spell be broken!”

 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ 

 

Buffy wondered why she and Spike hadn’t sprung apart. It took the long second of everyone pausing in place for her to realise they were indeed no longer joined by magic, but Spike was still under the influence of the pheromones and very much intent on giving way to their will. It was his need keeping them pressed tightly, body on body.

She shoved him away. He looked at first confused, then injured. She told herself it wasn’t real – that he didn’t really care – but dammit now she cared that she might have hurt him.

The other demons in the room shook off their shock and looked intently at Xander, as if wondering what to do now. Buffy wasn’t going to give them a chance to get mad at being controlled or decide to hell with it and go ahead with their mating plans anyhow.

“Help me take these guys out,” she said to Spike, her voice low. She wasn’t entirely sure if she intended to imply a promise in her words that she’d return the favour and sort out his… issue afterwards, but he nodded, having seemingly heard what he needed anyway.

Together, they made swift work of dispatching the last of the Eroin, after which everyone made their way downstairs. Spike and Buffy were at the back of the group. She tried not to think too deeply about the trill of excitement that went through her when his hand grazed hers. For a second, she thought he was going to take it fully, but he seemed to be holding himself back. Only just. The looks he was throwing her were hot enough to start a forest fire.

Xander and Anya left and Giles sat Willow down, clearly preparing to have a long conversation with her about magical ethics. Buffy made for the door, Spike following in her shadow.

Giles looked up. “Where are you going?”

“I, uh…” dammit. Just ‘cause he can see again, he has to notice everything.

Spike came to the rescue by pointing at the broken door. “Place isn’t secure. Slayer, bein’ the hard ass she is, wants to take me somewhere else until it’s fixed up.”

“Tha-that’s right,” Buffy stammered. “We can’t risk more chaos of him getting loose and–”

“Fine, fine.” Giles waved away their excuses. Mention of the door had him glaring at Willow again.

Spike and Buffy took their chance. Once out of the house, they fell into a run. Finally, he took her hand for real.

“Where to, Goldilocks?”

She stopped long enough to kiss him. Deep. It was all she could do not to give into the pheromones’ effects there and then.

“Back to the dorm room. It’ll be a while before Willow will be–”

They took off running again, not bothering to finish the explanation. The second they were inside, Spike pinned Buffy against the door and had one hand inside her bra.

She groaned and pushed him back, onto the bed where he took in the view of her removing the bra and her top in one movement with wide eyes.

“Come here,” he said, his voice heady.

“Take off your clothes first.”

He didn’t need to be ordered twice. Pushing his supernatural speed to its limits, he disrobed and pulled her on top of him, at which point things slowed right down again. They didn’t waste time with foreplay – hell, the whole day almost counted as that – but Buffy appreciated the great pains he took to make sure she got what she needed as much as him.

She could not believe he was so tender and attentive. Surely the demon hormones couldn’t have had that effect, as well? She didn’t know. She didn’t care.

Wholeheartedly, Buffy turned her thinking brain off and gave herself over to the feel of Spike’s body over, under, and around hers. She lost herself to time and wasn’t anywhere near done when Spike began to pull away.

She pulled him back, but he resisted, though not much.

“What is it?”

“Willow,” he said. “She’s coming.”

Buffy shook her head. “There’s no way Giles would have let her go that quickly.”

Spike grinned and looked past her. She followed his gaze to the clock on her nightstand. Holy hell, had the whole night gone already?

“I’m happy to carry on, pet, but I don’t want you havin’ a conniption when your mate walks in and catches us at it. Though…” he looked thoughtful. “If I do get staked for this, I can’t say it hasn’t been worth it.”

Buffy swallowed. The thought of Spike being dust on the wind had never seemed less appealing. Reluctantly, she let him go.

Willow seemed to be standing outside the door psyching herself up to enter. It gave Spike just enough time to grab his clothes, kiss Buffy on the forehead, and exit via the window.

It wouldn’t be long until sunrise. Buffy pulled the covers around herself, at first hoping that he would find shelter before he got fried to a crisp and then realizing that she wasn’t supposed to let him go at all. Giles was going to freak when he found out he escaped, but what could they do? There was no way of pretending what had happened hadn’t happened if they were sat together on her unmade, now semi-broken bed.

When Willow finally came in, Buffy was too emotionally wrought to say anything. Once more, she’d given her body to someone and had it end all too soon. It was Spike, though. She wasn’t supposed to miss him. She wasn’t supposed to be feeling anything despite horror at what pheromones made her do.

Willow babbled an apology and offered to perform a forgetting spell in a tone of voice that made Buffy think even she wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not.

Dammit it all, but she turned to face the wall and cried. She was exhausted but was only able to fall into a restless sleep.

Come time to wake up, only an hour or two later, Buffy was the relieved to see Willow was gone again. Probably to class. Buffy didn’t think she could face either it or her friend but got up and dressed anyway.

She paced and considered everything that had happened afresh, glad that Willow had been too caught up in her apologies the night before to realize that Spike wasn’t there when he should have been.

Spike.

God. Buffy couldn’t pull her thoughts away from him. But it wasn’t just thoughts. She wanted him, and not just physically. She wanted to make sure he was safe and hadn’t gotten attacked by more horny demons or the mystery military guys, and that had nothing to do with wanting him around for information.

A sick feeling spread through her stomach. What if Willow had been serious about the forgetting spell and tried it out only for it to backfire as well, meaning Spike was now the only thing she could focus on? It was the only explanation that made any sense, but what could she do about it?

If she confronted Willow, she might say more than she intended and let slip about all the sex, and she didn’t want to go to Giles until she was free from the new spell and had retrieved her vampire.

Resolutely, Buffy walked to the Magic Box, hoping to find what she needed there. Maybe the general reversal spell Spike mentioned would be easy to cast on her own. She opened her mouth to ask the lady behind the desk when a familiar bleached-blond head caught her eye.

Spike stepped out of the shadows.

Buffy felt herself blush as the shopkeeper looked between them.

“How can I help?”

Buffy shoved her embarrassment as far down as she could and said she needed a general reversal spell at the same time Spike asked if he could get a forgetting spell.

They stared at each other, everything between them still electric as it had been the night before.

The shopkeeper grinned a little to herself. “I think I have what you both need,” she said, placing a bottle of Jack Daniels on the counter.

Spike paid her without ever looking away from Buffy.

Buffy took the bottle and followed him out the back way of the store. Two steps into the shadow covered alley, and her lips were on his again.

 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ 

 

Buffy broke the kiss first, panting a little but forcing herself to ask, “Why do you think she gave us this?” Buffy held up the bottle and squinted at the label, but she couldn’t make out a word in the darkness of the alley, and she didn’t think alcohol could help with reversal or forgetting. Well, maybe temporary forgetting.

Spike sighed and snatched the bottle from her grasp. With an expert hand, he unwrapped the cap and swirled it open. “To do this, I’d wager.” He took a long draught of the alcohol, cherishing the low burn as the liquid slid down his throat. Not the best, but it’d do until he could get his hands on a bottle from the Watcher’s not-so-well-hidden stash under the stairs. “Reckon the alcohol takes the edge off the desire we both have to go at it like bunnies. And forgetting goes along with it. If you drink enough. Your turn.”

“Blech. No thanks.” Buffy studied Spike’s face and the way the light from the street caught the hollows of his cheeks and hinted at the blue in his eyes. She still felt drawn to him – her body coming alive in his presence as if he’d never left her side, as if Willow hadn’t ended the spell, as if there hadn’t been some demon who made other demons want to have sex.

Buffy licked her lips and found herself drawing closer to him, which only made her body hum with need. Realizing what she was doing, she seized the bottle and jerked it back from Spike’s possession. Her lips, which would rather be elsewhere, slid around the glass opening, and she threw her head back so that whiskey filled her mouth in a rush. Before she could spit the alcohol out, she swallowed and almost immediately gasped with the heat and a sharp pain in her chest.

The result was a round of exuberant coughing as she practically hacked her lungs up and onto the dirty ground by the reeking dumpster.

Spike was more than a little amused that the Slayer couldn’t even take a sip without falling apart. Somehow, he found that endearing, and he decided that he didn’t care if the sentiment was left over from the fading Eroin pheromones.

He rubbed her upper back with one hand, relishing the feel of her and missing the closeness they’d so recently lost. As her coughs trailed off, he asked, “You okay, love?”

Ignoring his use of the moniker that not too long ago annoyed her, Buffy swallowed and dabbed at her lower lip with a finger, hoping there was no apparent drool. “T-that’s worse than the beer.” She passed the bottle back to Spike.

He lifted his scarred eyebrow at her and couldn’t help but bite. “Beer?”

She shrugged. He’d seen enough of her now, so it didn’t matter what he thought about drunk Buffy. Still, she couldn’t make eye contact. “Buffy and lots of magical beer equals badness. Five million B.C. badness. Literally. I may have clubbed my horrible one night stand with a big stick. And more than once.”

Spike chuckled.

Buffy felt her shoulders tighten in defensiveness. “What’s so funny?”

“Imagining the look on the git’s face when he got his due.”

“Oh.” She peeked up at him and saw genuine caring in his eyes. Was it possible that something had shifted in their relationship with the spell and literal bodily connection? She was starting to believe that the answer was firmly in the affirmative.

Spike took another deep mouthful of the whiskey and then held the bottle toward her. “Try again.”

Her stomach churned at the thought of ingesting more. She wrinkled her nose and stuck her tongue out at the vampire. “I don’t think so.”

He shook the glass container so that the alcohol sloshed inside, tempting her. “Sip it slow this time. Just a bit. Gotta work up to it.”

Buffy bit her lip, considering her options. Give in to demon pheromones/whatever spell Willow had cast or blur out her desire for Spike with inebriation? She set her jaw and accepted the whiskey from Spike. Her fingers brushed over his cool ones, and she shivered with desire. Was it weird that she wished that she was still attached to him? But in a different way other than being joined at the hip. Pushing past the fog, she asked, “Sip it?”

“Go on, pet,” Spike nudged. The sooner she drank, the sooner he could get the bottle back to hide how the slip of her fingers on his made his undead body come alive and his jeans tighten. Sodding hell. He had it bad for the woman standing before him. This was very bad. He centered his attention on helping her.

Taking a breath, Buffy took a dainty sip as suggested. The taste wasn’t as bad as the first time. She swallowed and tilted her head to one side. Waited. When the world didn’t end, she slung back a little more, feeling braver. Oof! That was a little much. A giant “blech” burst out of her mouth.

This time, Spike’s laugh was genuine and…joyful? Buffy blinked, clearing her head briefly of the alcohol and magic. Spike wasn’t being sardonic and defensive and miserable. He wasn’t cursing his fate or pushing all her buttons to provoke her. There was something about his laugh that made her feel free.  

Spike frowned. Buffy was gazing at him as if she saw right through him, and he had to distract her and himself because really, he’d worked too hard to be seen as anything other than the Big Bad, especially with this chip in his noggin and his pride all bruised and battered. He closed his eyes briefly. Who was he kidding? He didn’t have pride. He scooped away the liquor and clasped her suddenly free hand in his, dragging her out of the alley. “C’mon.”

Buffy surprised herself by following him without hesitation. “W-where are we going?”

“Dunno. Out of this alley.” He took a deep, unnecessary breath. “Out...with you.”

 

“H-how? It’s daylight.”

 

After handing back the bottle, Spike produced a giant umbrella from behind the dumpster and opened it, slinging it over his shoulder and taking her hand again.

 

“Oh.”


Buffy’s heart skipped a beat as they stepped onto the street in front of the Magic Box. They meandered along together, passing the bottle back and forth and hanging on to one another. Somewhere along the way, Spike tucked Buffy’s hand in the crook of his arm, and when he began to sizzle a little, they walked so close that their hips touched, much as they had not long ago.

Buffy leaned her head on his shoulder briefly as they crossed the street, hugging his arm close. Her body was humming with longing again, and she still didn’t know if it was the vestiges of Willow’s spell or the pheromones or the little bit of alcohol she’d consumed. All she knew was that she longed to feel his skin on hers. She didn’t even care if he saw her naked, and though she’d seen him half naked, there was a whole other half to explore.

Spike tossed the empty bottle of liquor into the trash as they stepped up onto the sidewalk. He glanced down at Buffy who was nuzzled up against him as if she were a girl in love. He suddenly decided that he didn’t care the reason for the swelling in his heart and his pants; he had to kiss her.

In the space of a heartbeat, the umbrella was discarded, they were under a shady awning, and Buffy was up against the glass of a window display. Spike’s hand was in her hair cradling her head so it wouldn’t hit the hard surface, and her hands were palm down on his chest. His lips found hers, hungry and eager, and she matched him move for move, relishing the return to their earlier passion. He pressed his hips against hers as she jumped up to meet him, her legs going around his waist. His fingers slid up her skirt (a pink one and not the orange fluffy one), and she felt herself growing wet for him. Oh, god.

She drew back to breathe, and Spike let her down as another couple passed them by. Spike laughed again.

“What?” she asked, her cheeks burning in embarrassment.

He straightened her skirt and nodded at the display. “Look where we ended up, pet.”

She glanced over her shoulder, still a bit dazed by the alcohol and Spike’s kisses. They were at a wedding shop. “Oh.” She smiled.

A group of chattering teenagers was coming down the sidewalk with popcorn boxes, candy boxes, and large soda cups. The movies must have let out. Buffy had no idea what was playing. College and slaying kept her busy. Too busy for movies - day or night.

As the group passed, Spike hid her body with his and whispered in her ear, “Let’s go in.”

Before she knew what was happening, she was following him into the bright little boutique.

A middle-aged woman with curly dark hair greeted them warmly, “Welcome! How may I help you love birds this fine day?”

“The lady’d like to try on dresses,” Spike announced. “Where’s the changing room?”

“Only if you try on a tux, honey,” Buffy teased, running a finger over the cotton of his black T-shirt and batting her eyes at him.

Trying on wedding garb entailed getting naked, and with the liquor remedy a complete failure, Buffy and Spike gave up the fight.

 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ 

 

Buffy looked over her shoulder, wrinkling her nose at her reflection in the changing room’s mirror. The white dress kind of made her butt ginormous. The fabric was itchy, and really, the whole thing wasn’t nearly as nice as she’d thought it was when she’d just been admiring it in the window.

“You’re stunning, pet,” Spike said, and her head whipped back around. He was standing close, just inside the changing room’s door. Of course she hadn’t been able to see him in the mirror, which was too bad.

Spike had changed into a tux. The bow tie was loose around his neck, and not all of the shirt’s buttons were done up, but the red satin vest hugged his torso under the black jacket in a way that should probably be illegal. His back pants hung just right, and, oh god, she really wanted to touch him.

Instead, she swung around so that her back was to him. Her gaze rose to the mirror, landing at where she thought his eyes would be if he had a reflection. Without him being in the mirror’s image with her, it felt like something was missing. A puzzle with the edges there, but the center not put together so you didn’t know what the whole thing looked like.

Buffy closed her eyes. “Do you think this dress makes my butt look big?”

Spike’s chuckle was warm and rich. “I wasn’t born yesterday, which means I know I can’t answer that.” His hands slid over her rear on their way to grip her hips. “It sure feels right.”

She sighed. “The clerk—”

“Is fast asleep and I locked the door.”

“Spike.”

“I didn’t hurt her. Couldn’t. I’ve knicked a few things at the Watcher’s place, including a bit of sleeping potion. I dumped it the bint’s coffee when she wasn’t looking and she’s already out.” He brushed Buffy’s hair away from her nape and pressed a kiss there.

Buffy moaned softly but then turned in his arms. “Spike, um, these pheromone thingies—” She broke off and gestured vaguely. Spike cradled her head in his palms and bent to catch her lips. Buffy turned her head so that he only caught the corner of her mouth. “Wait.”

He sighed dramatically but straightened up. “What?”

“Now that I’ve had a second, these scent things…do you even have a choice? Are you just wanting this because I’m close?”

“Are you?”

“It’s not very strong for me.” She kept her eyes locked with his, at least until he rolled them. Then they got hard to follow.

“Buffy, it doesn’t work like that. I could fuck my fist, or walk outside and pick some bird up as easy as you please. No problem at all. She’d be polishing my…” Spike took a step back, and Buffy realized her anger must be showing on her face. “Sorry, not the best time to say that.”

“Never would be a good time.”

“Right, so…the point I was making is that I choose you. I’m not doing something I don’t want to. I’m not even slightly mad that you barely have to look in my direction and my cock’s raring to go. It’s not all that different than usual, anyway.”

Buffy relaxed her fists and wiggled her fingers. “Alright, you’re choosing me.”

“You got it. Buffy, you’re the chosen one.”

She laughed, falling against Spike’s chest. All the weirdness of the last few days—it was a lot—was suddenly much more bearable. She was laughing with someone who understood. He even made jokes. “I choose you too.”

Spike licked his lips, slowly and deliberately. “There’s so much I want to do to you. I want to drag my tongue over your cunt for hours. Make you come so many times you can barely breathe, let alone walk.” He leaned in closer to her. “I want to paint you with come until your skin is as white as this dress.” Buffy shivered, biting back a moan. “But right this moment, I want to fuck you with it on. A beautiful bride deserves a beautiful wedding night.”

God help her. She wanted to believe him. That they’d do every dirty thing imaginable, along with a few that weren’t, and make them all glorious.

He made her believe she was glorious.

“What if you turn back around?” he asked, putting a hand loosely at the base of her throat and stroking her pulse point with the pad of one finger. “You could watch yourself in the mirror, see how lovely you are when you come.”

“No.”

His brow raised.

“I want to see you. I don’t want to be alone in the mirror. I want you.”

“Fuck, Buffy.” Her name came out as a low growl that made her knees weak.  

Spike pushed her back against the mirror, lifting and pinning her there before tugging the bodice of the dress out of the way to free a breast. Buffy’s legs went around his waist, and she dragged her fingers through his hair, freeing it from the last bit of gel that was holding it in place.

His tongue flicked over her nipple, making her gasp. He did it again and again, before yanking down the other side of the dress and doing the same to that defenseless nipple.

Buffy tightened her hold on him and yanked him closer to rub on the hard bulge tenting out the front of his pants. She could feel it even through the layers of the wedding dress.

Spike lifted his head. The beginnings of a smirk lifting one corner of his mouth. “You going to be okay with me taking my trousers off?”

“Were you not going to?”

“Wasn’t very long ago you were worried about being uncovered around me.”

“Pheromones. Lots of pheromones since then. And since I had to walk a mile next to your shoes…just get less pants on.” She gripped his hair harder, but Spike didn’t move.

He was gazing at her with that ‘you’re glorious’ look again. Glorious. Glo-or-ious. Glo—oooooo---oooooo—orius. Her mind was stuck on the word. Had that part been from a hymn? Wait, that was Gloria.

Close enough.

“Buffy,” Spike said, sounding amused. “I have no idea what goes on in your head. And I can’t tell if you meant to say ‘next to your shoes’ or ‘in your shoes’ and whether or not I should laugh about it.”

“It was the first. I was making with the puns like I do when I slay. But mostly I have a hymn stuck in my head right now.”

Spike gave a long-suffering sigh and bowed his head. This time he sucked her nipple all the way into his mouth. She moaned. His hips bucked up against her, and he rubbed himself against her, or a little against her and a lot against the skirt.

She started gathering it into her hands. “Help me,” she said against his lips. Between them, they got the skirt hiked up and mostly out of the way.

“This was sexier in my head,” he said as his fingers curled around her thigh, working their way towards her core. “It’s mostly a lot of fabric.”

With a laugh, Buffy caught his chin in her hand and tilted his head back. His lips glistened, wet from how he’d been playing with her nipples. Both were now aching points, and her clit was throbbing. She kissed him, her lips over his, sucking gently as his fingers reached her pussy. He stroked it. “You minx, you don’t have any knickers on.” His rough fingers brushed over the bare skin she had down there, and she mewled. “You’re so wet that this will be easy.”

“I want you.”

Spike’s hand disappeared from her pussy and wormed its way between them to pop open the front of his tuxedo pants. Spike positioned his cock, grasped her hips, and drove in hard. She grunted. Now he was really--

Buffy buried her face against the side of Spike’s head and tried not to giggle.

“Luv, you might want to share with the rest of the class.”

“We-we-we’re joined at the hip.” Buffy felt like a shaken soda can and couldn’t hold in her laughter any longer. She quivered with it.

“Bloody hell, why couldn’t Willow’s magic have picked this route? It’s much—” He snapped his hips forward, and Buffy yelped.

“It’s much more fun,” she said breathlessly. His thrusts gentled, and she pressed soft kisses to Spike’s jaw.

“I was hoping we could continue to have fun together, for a while,” he said, his words just above a whisper. “More than tonight. More than a week’s worth of nights. More than a year’s. Just…more.”

“I am wearing a wedding dress.” She slid her arms around his neck. “Maybe we can skip to the honeymoon phase.”

“And here I was thinking I was all done with skipping,” Spike said with a laugh.

Buffy inhaled sharply as his movements became rougher again. “We really would be good at three-legged-races now.”

Spike paused, made a face, and caught her mouth in a messy kiss. Buffy sank into him, getting lost in the way their bodies melded together. An orgasm snuck up on her, and she was glad for Spike’s strong arms holding her in place as she came.

He pressed his face against her throat, his tongue painting her racing pulse, and her hand curled into his hair, holding him there, trusting him there.

Spike’s release was with a harsh grunt. They ended up sliding down to the floor, Buffy straddling him as they both panted. She traced a finger over the strong lines of his cheek and jaw and soft pout of his lips.

He kissed her fingertip. “I hate to say it, Buffy, but I think from now on, you really are stuck with me.”

“Like glue.”


Chapter End Notes:

Thank you everyone for reading, and to the authors, artists and beta-readers for helping to make this happen! Happy birthday, bewildered!



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