Part 2: Arrival
A ghost of that sexy smirk twisted his lips. "We'll have a go at it, then?"
"Yes," Buffy held out a hand to help him to his feet. "They're playing our song. Let's do it right, just this once?"
He took her hand, sending a thrill of electricity singing through her veins. They'd make their own music for this.
He rose to his feet with a grace that had been absent more than present since his return. With a glance, he pulled his hand from hers and ducked his head at the gleam in her eye.
"Won't be easy, you know," he said, raising his chin and holding her eyes with his. "I'll hold on for as long as I can--we'll make it good. The other one will run, or beg you to end it quickly. Of course it will gladly dance, though you may not like its tune." Spike tilted his head as if listening to some silent song. "Him, though. He wants you dead, not dancin'."
Buffy watched as the sometimes dear, often hated face passed from elation to timidity, through lust to pain, then back again, when the blank look she'd almost grown accustomed to settled in.
He spoke with icicles on his words, and they chilled her to the bone. "All of us want to play, my dear...come now." He did a pirouette ending in a bow, "It's showtime." He slanted a cold, calculating glance her way as she reached for the stake and threw him against the crypt door.
Showtime, indeed. All or nothing, this time around, and she couldn't hold back an inch or an ounce for either of them to survive. "You could die now," she purred, "But you promised me a dance." She traced the stake along his neck and pointed it directly at his heart. "Since when do you break promises to ladies?"
A rapid succession of expressions crossed his face again as he reached up to grasp her wrist. Never had the crossbreed lilt of his voice been more welcome than when he whispered in her ear, "Did you say the music's playin' for us, love?"
Ah...there he was. Relief filled her where the dread had been. This one she knew how to occupy. Sliding her knee between his legs, she tilted her head upwards and trailed her tongue along the underside of his chin, ending at his ear. "It's the prelude to a dance," she whispered, then snaked her ankle behind his to throw him back through the door and into the crypt. Her voice grew stronger as she finished, "And we've not been introduced."
A wicked glint entered his eyes as he bounced back to his feet. She could almost hear the rustle of leather swinging around his ankles at the move. He made a run at her, and at the moment of contact, she froze. His hands slid up her arms as if she belonged only to him, and for the briefest of instants, she did. But when her breath released in a harsh gasp, he shoved her away.
Turning his back to her, he began pacing inelegantly, head down. "Introductions...yes, yes. A little late now, though. Still--" He turned to stare nervously at her, then bowed with a courtly flourish. "As milady wishes."
Long, delicate fingers stretched out, proffering a waltz with a shaky hand. "I've been here from the first...though the poorer for only now having met such beauty. Will you dance?"
Buffy looked at him and saw the young man he'd been looking back at her through ghostly glasses. Reaching forward to smooth the hair from his forehead, she smiled, "It's nice to meet you."
She'd known him all along, and had never allowed him entrance. Dawn had sworn it was true, but she'd never really believed. After all, the hotter than hell stuff he'd spouted over and over as they'd pulled the crypt down around their ears time and again would hardly have come from this creature's mouth. A shudder ran through her at remembrance of the heat only he could generate.
Almost without thought, she took his hand. It might have been that her touch was flame to his incandescence; his eyes were alight as his chin burrowed into the soft black cotton of his shirt. She'd hate to lose this one now that she'd found him.
"You shouldn't touch us," he murmured as the whisper of his hand in the small of her back showed her why, in his day, the waltz had been reserved for those betrothed and married.
She gave away a bit of her soul in that moment, clinging tightly to his hand and moving in time to the chirping and creaking of a lonely, wistful night's dream. Her fingers wound their way into the tiny, curling hairs at the back of his neck, and she giggled at his tense lead of their dance across Eden, in moonlight.
Then a sigh followed, from one or both, only the tombstones could tell. It broke her heart, that they'd never love, and he heard it. In a desperate motion, he threw her swirling from him, "You shouldn't touch us. Dirty, nasty, evil things." He spat at her feet. "Not good enough to touch, to love..."
She reached for his chin, pulling his head up to look at her. Determination that she'd succeed confronted his despair as she finished for him, "...you."
The fear she read in his eyes mirrored her own. Leaning against a cobbled wall, he dropped his head back and threw his arms apart. "Just do it then."
The plea in his voice brought her low, cutting deeply where she had the least protection, and she pulled him in close, dragging the stake to his heart as she tried once more to find his strength. "Not until he's gone."
He was still too frightened. Perhaps she needed to have go at the devil she knew before taking this poor soul in hand, and heart.
Slowly and quite deliberately, she took the tip of the stake and drew it across her collarbone, cutting deeply enough to let the blood well up but not spill. She'd walk the edge more closely than ever before, and she'd win what was lost all those years ago.
Spike let loose a wild cackle and shoved her body forward while holding tightly to her hand, then reeled her inward until there was no space left between them.
"The poet knows the steps," he growled. "But not how to use them."
Buffy felt herself drowning in the pool of his embrace. This was the man--demon--she knew. He hissed as she sank into him, sliding her hand up his shirt and bursting the buttons from it.
The smooth flesh of his chest was exposed, a canvas to burn her impression on, rub her essence in far enough that he'd never escape. There was a smell to their dance, all green wood and smoky bourbon, and she could lose herself in it for always and ever.
His mouth was on her neck, a delicate touch winding its way up to her ear. Slithering tongue flicked at her skin, teasing, barely touching, as wicked whispers sank past hearing to light a fire in her core. Buffy's eyes rolled back, closing on the flood of returning memories. There was nothing he could do now to surprise her, no place he could touch that was unguarded.
Her imagination laid faint promises of his touch where she craved them most, heightening the sweetness of the pain that flared when he sank fangs deep into her earlobe. Her breath jerked sharply, and her grip tightened around the stake.
His mouth was sharp and soft all at once, pulling and sucking at the sensitive flesh of her ear, jagged edges of teeth dragging through pinprick wounds to create an uneven gash from which blood began to drip, then run. Her free hand reached up to feel the ridges of his forehead, and she willfully opened her eyes to stare directly into glowing yellow ones. Her hand stroked his misshapen cheek, then descended to wipe her blood from his mouth.
Buffy hesitated only a moment before taking the next step. Her only prayer was to keep him off balance, to call them both together to do overthrow the other. Steeling her resolve, she stared at the blood on her hand for an instant. Deciding that it just might be enough to send this one over the edge, she pulled her fingers into her mouth, licking her own salt first from them, then directly from him in a wild, deep, desperate kiss.
"You want to bite someone, Spike," she breathed into his mouth, "you bite me."
More to come