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Almost Home by slaymesoftly
 
Chapter Eight
 
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I think I did even more tweaking at the last minute (like, just now) than usual, so be assured any booboos you find are all mine and wonderful beta all4spike had nothing to do with them.
 
 
 
CHAPTER EIGHT
 
“Not that I’m complain’, love, but if you’re this eager to get home and to bed, I have to wonder if I wasn’t up to my usual standards last night.”
 
“Don’t be stupid,” she said, sending him warm thoughts about how satisfied and happy she’d been in the morning.  When she saw his smile widen, she slowed down and moved closer to him. “I just don’t like being reminded of how I treated you, or how different life might have been if I’d just—”
 
“Ah, sweetheart. It was what it was, and we were who and what we were. As much as I might have wanted to take care of you and the Bit, I probably would have bollixed it up at some point anyway. You were being loved by a demon, and he didn’t always make good decisions about how to go about wooing you.”
 
 
Their quick steps had soon brought them home, and they were entering their apartment as Buffy brought the subject up again.
 
“But still. You were trying to be what I needed, and I was being a bitch.”
 
“Never heard me complain, did you?” He reached for her and pulled her tightly against his body.
 
“Uh… yes? All the time? ‘Don’t leave me here, Buffy. Spend the night, Buffy. Tell your friends about us, Buffy….’ Am I ringing any bells here?”
 
“Okay, you win. I was a poor love-sick victim and you were a bitch.”  He stepped back and spread his arms wide.  “Feel free to do whatever you need to make it up to me.”
 
She giggled in spite of herself and grabbed the top button on his jeans, popping it open. “That was the plan.” She unzipped him, smiling to see his cock was already pushing its way out of his pants.
 
“Good plan,” he gasped as she fell to her knees and took him in her mouth. She teased him into a cursing, laughing fit, then stood up and stared at him until he stopped laughing and frowned.
 
He pulled his jeans closed and pulled up the zipper, leaving them gaping open just enough to be able to get out of them quickly.  “What’s wrong, love?”
 
“I… I changed my mind. I just want you to make love to me. Is that okay?”
 
You really need to ask? The warmth and lust in his response was impossible to miss.
 
 He swept her up and carried her to the bedroom, dropping to his knees as he laid her gently on the bed. He raised one hand and stroked her cheek.
 
“What’s going on, Buffy?”
 
“I just want us to make love the way you always wanted to.”
 
He shook his head and stood up to shrug out of his clothes before joining her on the bed and beginning to unbutton her blouse.
 
“I’m not sure where you’ve been these past two years, Buffy, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing that all along. Thought you were here with me….” 
 
She felt his confusion and pain through the bond and struggled to explain.
 
“I was. I am. I just….” She sat up and began to wriggle out of her own jeans and underwear while he gazed at her with a worried frown. She was silent until they were both naked and she’d pulled him down on top of her.
 
“I just want to be sure you know how much I love you. And I want to be able to say it back to you when you say it instead of running away or yelling at you.”
 
He rested his forehead against hers, blinking back tears. “Sweetheart, I canfeel you. You’ve got nothing to prove to me. Know you love me, don’t I? Even without the bond between us, I’d know you loved me, but now? Now I can feel it there all the time. Even when you’re brassed off or disappointed in me, I know it’s there.”
 
He shook off the emotion, raised his head, and nudged her legs apart.
 
“On the other hand, far be it from me to turn down a good shag just because I’m worried you’re feeling guilty.” 
 
He grinned down at her as she wrapped her legs around his hips and pulled him in.
 
“And there she is, my greedy little Slayer. Take what you want from me, love. You’ll never hear me complain about findin’ myself in this position. It’s my favorite place to be.”
 
“Spike…”
 
“Yes, love?”
 
“Shut up.”
 
Shutting up now.
 
 He began moving his hips, opening himself up completely so she could feel how happy he was to be there, feeling her squeezing around him and enjoying both the physical sensations and the emotional warmth he could feel coming from her. With the bond open and allowing them to feel each other’s pleasure and emotions, it took only a short time to climb to a mutually happy conclusion. One that went on for some time as the pleasurable sensations flowed back and forth between them on an enjoyable loop.
 
In spite of the communication path open and the emotion flowing through there, it was a surprise to them both when Buffy grabbed her marks in her teeth and bit down hard enough to draw blood.
 
Mine! You are mine, Spike.
 
Always was, always will be. And you are mine.
 
Never loath to renew the bond, he had already slipped his fangs into her throat, and he took several deep draughts before licking his mark closed.
 
Yours. No matter what.
 
With matching sighs, they relaxed bonelessly, still intimately connected, but temporarily satiated.
 
“We should do that more often,” Buffy said, dropping her legs to wind around his and hold him in place.
 
“You’ll get no arguments from me,” he said, still licking his marks.
 
“Why don’t we?”
 
He stopped licking to bring his head back and to meet her gaze.
 
“Why don’t we what? Do it more often?”
 
“Yeah. Why don’t we do it more often? It’s okay to renew it, isn’t it? Is there a reason why we don’t?”
 
“No… of course not. If we were both vamps, it would probably happen all the time.”
 
Buffy stiffened beneath him.
 
“It’s because I’m not a vampire? Is that why we don’t do it? You don’t want to bite me?”
 
“Bloody hell, Slayer! Are you really that stupid?”
 
 He regretted his word choice immediately, but it was too late to apologize before she threw him off the bed. He stared at her from his place on the floor, his common sense, as well as the fury coming through the claim, telling him to stay down. Without looking at him, Buffy grabbed her clothes and ran into the bathroom. He still hadn’t moved when she came out a few minutes later, and pulled on her boots.
 
“Buffy? Love? Where are you going?”
 
“To kill some vampires. Don’t follow me.”
 
With that she threw the door open and left, leaving it open and quivering behind her.
 
Spike slumped onto the floor and shut his eyes.
 
“Bloody buggering fuck,” he muttered.
 
XXX
 
Buffy’s anger carried her all the way downtown before she slowed down enough to notice her surroundings. When a wall just ahead of her began to shimmer, she paused and stepped behind a small tree. Her eyes narrowed when a scruffy-looking man stepped out and glanced up and down the street.  She left her tree and walked up to him.
 
“Are you Rack?”
 
“I might be, darlin’. Who are you?” He looked her up and down and gave her a leering smile.
 
“I might be a stupid witch coming to you for more magic,” she said, stepping closer. “But I’m not. I’m Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and you’re out of business in my town.”
 
When he flinched back, held up his hand, and began to chant, she drove her fist into his diaphragm, then brought her other fist up to hit his chin, now conveniently within easy reach as he doubled over. Two more punches and he was lying on the sidewalk, moaning but still conscious.
 
She leaned over to growl at him, “Have I made myself clear? You need to leave.” She glanced down at him and shrugged. “As soon as you can walk.”
 
She felt along the wall, looking for the door, but found nothing. Suddenly it appeared just to her right and she whirled to see if Rack was already on his feet, only to find Giles and Winston looking at her with some disappointment.
 
“We were going to handle this, Buffy,” Giles said. “How did you find him?”
 
“I didn’t. I was just walking here and he stepped out in front of me. I wasn’t looking for him, but I figured as long as I found him I might as well make sure he knows to stay away from Willow.”
 
“Why were you trying to find the door?” Winston asked, reaching past her to push it open. When Rack gave a gurgling noise of complaint, one flick of Winston’s hand froze him in place, his eyes wide with fear.
 
“I dunno. I guess I thought I should make sure he doesn’t have any magical prisoners in there or something.”
 
“Well, let’s check, shall we?” Winston gestured for her to precede him.
 
Giles cleared his throat and pointed to Rack whose eyes indicated he was conscious and struggling to retaliate, but even as they darkened with magic, it faded away and he was still unable to move. His once again normal eyes showed his frustration and growing apprehension.
 
“No problem.” Buffy grabbed the immobile man by one arm and lifted him just far enough that she could drag him after her into the building. She dropped him on the floor inside and watched curiously as Winston and Giles entered and the door closed behind them.
 
They began to gaze around the small apartment, Giles and Winston exchanging occasional comments that meant nothing to Buffy. She gave a small cry when she spotted a girl sleeping on a cot in the corner of the main room.
 
“It’s Amy!  Willow must have de-ratted her already.”
 
“I beg your pardon?” Giles frowned at the girl.
 
“Amy. She went to high school with us. You remember—her mom was a witch—a bad witch? Amy got turned into a rat… accidentally,” she hastened to add as Giles and Winston frowned. “Willow’s been keeping her as a pet until she can turn her back into Amy.” Buffy frowned down at the sleeping girl. “If she’s here, I wonder if that means Willow’s already been here?”
 
Buffy turned a glare on Rack, who in spite of not being able to move, managed to cringe. She walked over to Amy and tried to wake her up, then glared at Rack again.
 
“Why can’t I wake her up?” she demanded. Before he could cringe again, the door opened and Willow entered. She stopped just inside the door, staring from Buffy to Amy to Rack.
 
“What are you doing here, Willow?” Buffy demanded.
 
“I… I just came to get Amy….” Willow responded, trying not to look at Rack where he was lying on the floor.
 
“You knew she was here? You knew how to get in?” Buffy’s accusatory tone had Willow going from embarrassed to angry.
 
“This is magic stuff, Buffy,” she said with a haughty sniff. “It’s got nothing to do with vampires or demons or anything that’s your business—”
 
“Indeed,” Giles said quietly. “It would be our business.”
 
Willow whirled, obviously not having noticed his presence or Winston’s. She had a moment of brief hesitation before standing up straighter and giving them a confident glare.
 
“You’re not the only magic people in Sunnydale. I have a right to go to somebody else for… stuff.”
 
“People do not come to Rack for ‘stuff’,” Giles said, shaking his head. “Why didn’t you ask me about him before you decided to seek him out?”
 
“It was Amy,” Buffy said. “I remember now. She de-ratted Amy and they started hanging out together after Tara—”
 
“After Tara what!” Willow turned on Buffy. “Are you telling her things about me? Are you trying to break us up?”
 
Buffy shook her head. “No.” She gestured around the sleazy apartment, and to the unconscious girl on the cot. “But this kind of crap will.”
 
She let that sink in, giving Willow time to remember that Buffy knew what could happen.
Willow seemed genuinely frightened of losing Tara, so Buffy softened her tone.
 
“We need to wake Amy up and get her out of here,” she said. “Do you know how to do that?”
 
Willow glanced from Rack to Amy, then nodded. She walked over to Amy’s cot and mumbled a few words as she waved a hand over her head. Then she shook Amy’s shoulder and said, “Wake up, Amy, it’s time to go.”
 
Amy blinked, rubbed her eyes, and sat up, looking around the room. She noticed Buffy and smiled. “Hi Buffy! I’m not a rat anymore.”
 
“I see that. Congratulations,” Buffy said. “Now get out of here and don’t come back.”
 
“That won’t be a problem,” Winston said smoothly. “Mr. Rack is taking his business elsewhere, so the shop will be closed.”
 
Willow looked from Winston to Rack, finally noticing his battered condition, and back to Buffy.
 
“Did you do that to him? Why?”
 
Buffy shrugged. “I was in a really bad mood when I bumped into him.” She rolled her shoulders. “I feel a lot better now.”
 
“Why isn’t he moving?” Willow’s gaze went from Buffy to Winston, then back to Buffy.
 
“Because he can’t,” Winston said without his usual polite charm.
 
“Well, I can fix that,” Willow said confidently. “I need to talk to him, so…” She waved her hand and muttered another few words, frowning when nothing happened. “That’s weird.” She tried again, adding more words.
 
She glared at Buffy. “What did you do to him? Why won’t he move?”
 
“All I did was beat him up. You’ll have to talk to Winston about the not moving.”
 
“He’ll be able to move as soon as we ascertain that your friend here is the only magical victim in the flat. Then we will escort him to the bus station or to his vehicle if he has one, and he will leave Sunnydale.”
 
“What if he doesn’t?” Amy demanded. “What if we want him to stay?”
 
“He willbe leaving.” Giles said. “You’re welcome to go with him, Miss—Amy. But he will be leaving.”
 
Winston remained where he was, where he could see Rack as well as Willow and Amy, while Giles and Buffy quickly looked around the small apartment. Every now and then, Giles would pick up an artifact or an amulet and mutter to himself. He began dropping things into a small bag he’d picked up causing Buffy to ask, “Are you stealing his things?”
 
Giles shook his head. “I’m merely removing potentially dangerous items from a place where they could be misused.” He paused beside a small cabinet and pulled it open. “Bloody hell,” he murmured, stepping aside so that Buffy could see the small statue of Acathla there.
 
“How many of these things are there?” she said in disgust.
 
“I’ve no idea, but finding two of them in Sunnydale
 
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