The Hour

by Persephone

"I know I'm a monster, but you treat me like a man," Spike said.

Buffy stopped halfway up the stairs. She turned to look down at him. Exhaustion and ruthlessly suppressed tears of despair blurred the edges of her vision, but Spike's words made her take a moment to consider him. From this angle, the dimming twilight softened the hard planes of Spike's face and made his eyes seem gentle.

She felt a rush of gratitude to him, this leather-wrapped paradox. Dead and yet walking. An unrepentant killer who'd suffered torture trying to protect her beloved sister.

A soulless demon who said he loved her.

Looking at him, she couldn't still tell herself that he was lying to her.

Something inside her, something that had been running on empty for a long long time, shuddered quietly to a halt.

What the hell, she thought. The world's probably going to end tonight anyway. She took a deep breath. "We have an hour," she said. "Come upstairs."

Her bedroom was shadowy but Buffy didn't switch on the light. The tree she'd used a zillion times, to climb in the window from a hard night's patrol, was caressing the window gently with breeze borne leafy twigs. The familiar soft scratching sound soothed her. She turned to Spike as he entered the room close behind her and pushed his duster off his shoulders. It fell at his feet silently, a pool of midnight. Without its glamour wrapped around him, he looked younger, less intimidating.

She sat down on the bed and held out her arms to him. Looking hopeful and fearful at once, like a puppy wanting a treat but expecting a kick, Spike took a cautious step closer. Buffy wrapped her arms around his midsection, ignoring his sound of surprise, and rested her cheek against his flat belly. After a moment, perhaps figuring out that his immediate disembowelment was not her current plan, Spike awkwardly put his arms around her in return.

She rubbed her cheek on the soft fabric over hard muscle, allowing the preternatural coolness of his skin seeping through his T-shirt to calm her. It reminded her of Angel, bittersweet.

Another reason to do this, she thought, one better maybe than generosity or gratitude. Comfort her as well as comfort him.

Spike lifted a hand to thread his fingers carefully through her hair. "Are you okay?" he said.

Buffy closed her eyes.

I'm not okay, she thought, admitting it to herself at last. I haven't been okay since forever. There's no end to it. Even if Dawn...

Buffy's eyes prickled with tears and she gritted her teeth.

Even if Dawn dies, she thought, it'll never stop. God, she was weary, right to her bones.

But she didn't answer him out loud. Just hugged him harder for a second. Then she released him, lay back on the bed, and tucked her hands behind her head. She deliberately relaxed her muscles and did her best impression of a confident mama.

"Take your clothes off," she said.

Spike went still and his dark, scarred eyebrows drew together. Buffy regarded him calmly.

He gave her another cautiously hopeful look, reminding her of his face when she invited him into the house a few minutes ago.

Then he seemed to realize that she was serious. At flatteringly high speed he pulled his shirt off, dropped it carelessly, and then toed off his boots. He was reaching for his belt buckle when Buffy got up from the bed. He stopped dead.

"Hurry up," she said, the nervousness in her voice sounding to her own ears like irritation. "We've only an hour, remember?"

She turned away from him and removed her own top. She felt his hands close on her waist and his mouth on her bare shoulder. When she didn't pull away, he kissed and licked his way up her neck. She closed her eyes, trembling. Then he stepped away. She heard the clink of his belt buckle hitting the floor, rustling sounds as he finishing stripping.

She undressed with a minimum of movement, and got under the covers, holding them back for him. Spike slid in beside her and took her in his arms.

They lay facing each other. Spike held her like she was made of spun glass, his hands stroking the length of her back so lightly she could barely feel them. Occasionally they accidentally tickled, making her squirm: his hands were shaking. He stroked her back, her arms, her sides, and her collarbones - the known areas, afraid to trespass. His cock had ideas of its own though. It was hard against her thigh.

Pretty gratifying when she hadn't even touched him yet, she thought. Zero to sixty in nothing flat, just like a sports car.

"This is unbelievable. Somebody pinch me," he whispered. Buffy obliged him with a sharp nip to the skin over his right bicep. He let out what he would indignantly deny was a girly yelp.

She moved closer and smothered her smile against the smooth skin of his chest. Her face felt stiff. It was out of practice at this smiling thing. Nuzzling him, she wrapped one arm around his neck, and slid her free hand slowly down over his chest. He made gulping sounds in her ear. She circled her hand on his stomach, keeping to known territory for one last moment, hesitating.

Spike groaned, his hands clutching her, his legs moving restlessly. "For God's sake. Don't tease me."

Buffy moved her hand downwards and immediately Spike gasped, arching against her, pushing into her grasp. Buffy tightened her grip a little, moved a little faster. Spike was chanting her name and had his eyes squeezed shut. The long muscles in his throat were convulsing. One of his hands gripped her hip, keeping her close. The other clenched in the pillow. Not long now, she thought.

It startled her when his eyes popped open. It surprised her even more when he grabbed her hand and held it away from him. "Wait a minute," he said.

Buffy raised an eyebrow at him. "Could have sworn you were enjoying it," she said, a little breathless herself.

"Terribly funny," he said sarcastically, rolling on top of her. His shoulder muscles became tight cords under her hand, but when she didn't push him off they smoothed out again.

He was quite heavy for such a thin guy, she thought.

He moved his hips, nudging between her legs, getting comfortable with many small savouring murmurs, and she relaxed her thighs and simply let him. She took slow deep breaths, preparing to feel him push inside her. It had been a while since she'd done this, and he was big.

Spike stroked one hand down her leg and pulled up her knee so her leg automatically wrapped around him. She held her breath involuntarily but again, he didn't move to get inside her. Instead he bent his head and kissed her cheek. A brief peck. Buffy blinked at him. Another brief peck, this one a touch longer, a little closer to her mouth. His lips were warmer than she expected, slightly rough textured, dry.

As he dropped another kiss closer to her lips, Buff smirked at him. He squinted at her suspiciously but continued patiently moving at glacial speed towards his goal.

Buffy rolled her eyes impatiently. What did he want, she thought, permission? An engraved invitation? His hips were rocking very gently against her with the same gentleness and irregular rhythm as the leaves against the window outside.

It was kinda nice, she thought, and not at all what she expected. She took a discreet look at her watch over his shoulder.

Time was marching on.

So the next time he kissed her, she turned her head to connect their mouths. Instantly everything changed. Spike let out a groan like a dying man and sealed his mouth over hers, his hands grabbing her wrists and pinning them to the bed above her head.

Like that would do him any good if she wanted to move, she thought. His hips suddenly were grinding into hers with force and intent. His tongue was sliding into her mouth, his kiss deep, urgent, eating her alive. His cock, God, his cock rubbing her up exactly the right way. Buffy's toes curled. She tore her hands out of Spike's grip and pushed his head away long enough to gasp for air.

Spike allowed her three gulping breaths, his eyes glittering, and then quick as a snake he was on her again. He kissed her deeply, then lowered his head to her breasts and without preamble sucked hard on one nipple, his fingers roughly pinching the other. Buffy bit her lip, feeling pleasure and panic and pain mix and build and roil in her stomach. His fingers slid down, between their bodies, finding exactly the right spot as though he'd touched her before. He stroked her rapidly and bit down lightly on her nipple and suddenly Buffy's body was going up in flames and her head was spinning.

Her train of thought was lost, derailed, in a train wreck featured on the evening news. Hadn't this been about comfort and gratitude and not the kind of sensation that threatened to do dangerous things to her sanity?

She whimpered under him as he slid two fingers down into her and started a gentle thrusting, curling his fingertips up a bit as he slid them out, pushing them back in again, tender, relentless. The feeling made her want to squeeze down on his fingers, tighten down on something. She panted and writhed under him, and dug her nails and heels into his back without even realizing it.

Abruptly Spike slipped his fingers out of her, drinking in her moan. He deliberately looked her in the eye as he sucked her juices off his fingers. Buffy blushed hotly, throwing her forearm over her eyes to block out the sight. He seized her ankles, dragged her closer, and draped her legs over his shoulders.

Buffy nearly died of embarrassment as he plunged enthusiastically into licking her right... there.

Oh God, oh God, Buffy thought frantically, trying not to groan the words aloud, trying not to beg for more. Then he got his hands into the act, spreading her most secret places wide open, gorging himself on her with wet slurps of total enjoyment, his restless tongue everywhere, inside her, driving her crazy.

Buffy pressed her hand hard over her mouth to keep the helpless sounds back but it went on too long and then, God, then he went and sealed his mouth over that spot that drove her out of her mind and sucked hard and that was it. Meltdown. Scalding intense ecstasy. Her eyes rolling back in her head, her back arching, her muscles cramping with it.

With an effort, Spike managed to stop himself luxuriating in the tastes and textures of her body. At least for a while. He pulled back a little to allow her to recover. He let her legs slip off his shoulders, but held himself poised over her, his cock twitching and drooling and begging him to shove inside her while her defenses were down. He stayed rock-like, motionless except to lick her delicious flavour slowly off his lips, and waiting impatiently for reality to float back into her wide glazed eyes.

"Come on baby," Spike whispered. "Come back to me."

As soon as she was able to focus again, he whispered urgently, "Say my name." Buffy frowned, her kiss-reddened lips trying to shape a question. "Say my name," he demanded.

"Spike," Buffy whispered.

She knew whom she was with. Spike couldn't resist any longer. With a low growl, he kissed his way down her white throat, pushed her limp thighs farther apart. "Tell me to stop," he said.

She shook her head. "I want you," she said, and he shuddered against her.

I'm dreaming, he thought. I'm going to wake up cold and alone.

But this was no dream. Her hand was wrapping around his eager erection and she was actually, unbelievably guiding him. He eased inside her as slowly as he could. She moaned as he sank into her.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he gasped above her, shuddering as the aftershocks of her pleasure rippled through their joined flesh. She was unbearably soft and wet and so, so hot. He stayed still, trying to let her get used to him, trying desperately not to just pound into her like a madman. His arms trembled with the effort to hold his weight off her.

"S'okay," she murmured. She shifted and stretched under him, around him, like a cat. Spike bit back a whimper. Whimpering wasn't manly.

"You can move any time you like," she said.

"Don't want to hurt you," he managed to say. For answer she simply lifted her hips and savored his reaction as he squeezed his eyes shut and ground out a curse. She did it again and Spike's control started to crack. He pushed forward into her, then again, then again, and she rocked her hips to match him, every stroke, until they had a sweet hot rhythm going. "This is heaven," he croaked out. He watched the remaining lines of strain ease out of her face, watched her cheeks start to glow, the smile on her lips, and dropped his head to her shoulder. He couldn't look at the sensual pleasure on her face, pleasure he had by some miracle caused, and still keep the pace slow and gentle.

Buffy had other plans. Unseen by him, her eyes gleamed with challenge. "Faster," she whispered.

Spike's whimper was muffled against her skin as he obeyed helplessly, pumping into her, increasing his own pleasure. Buffy lifted her head and licked his ear to reward him.

"Jesus," he said.

She wrapped her legs around him, whispered "Deeper," and he obeyed instantly. He was slamming into her now like a wild animal, growling and emitting strangled cries. He could feel his face changing against her shoulder as he began to lose control.

Spike was on the edge. He couldn't believe what she was doing to him, what she was permitting him to do to her. This was better than his hottest fantasy. She was so tight, so hot, and so incredible. She was driving him insane. With his one remaining coherent brain cell, he hoped she would shut the hell up, because one more husky command from her and he wouldn't be responsible for his actions.

Under him, Buffy arched up into the hard pounding and felt warm pleasure wash over her again, leaving her breathless and relaxed. Spike felt her muscles clench around him, lifting his head in time to see her mouth open in amazed joy and the hammering pulse in her neck speed up as the feeling crashed over her. The sight was so erotic that he couldn't help speeding up his movements, his hips a blur, and to his horror heard her soft voice whisper in his ear "Harder." And that was it for him.

Game over.

His hips moved in a rhythm he could no longer control, until he was so deeply embedded in her he thought he would never be free. He froze inside her, roared and bit down on her jugular, sucking her blood as he spurted into her. The endless spasms of pleasure racked him until he thought he would lose his mind.

When eventually it began to ebb, he tore his mouth away from her wounded neck, and collapsed on top of her.

What the hell had he done? Had he hurt her? Buffy was bound to stake him for behaving like a rutting animal. And he deserved it.

He tried to raise himself off her, tried to find the words to apologise, but he was utterly exhausted.

Buffy sighed quietly. He felt her lift a hand and turn her wrist. Checking her watch, he thought blearily. She stroked her little hands down his back caressingly and said, "It's time we got moving." She wriggled a bit under him and he managed to find the energy to carefully pull out of the warm sanctuary of her body and roll off her. She got up, went off somewhere and he heard water running.

He just lay there, beyond words.

"Spike, get up," she said, coming back looking edible in pants and a white top, her hair wet and loose around her shoulders. She picked up his pants and threw them at him. He caught them and sat up as the recuperating abilities of the vampire lent him enough strength to move. He stared at her warily, flinching when she looked at him, and began to fumble his way into his clothes.

Buffy ran lightly down the stairs. The stress of the last while had melted away with the pleasure she'd shared with Spike. She felt like she was a hot meal, a night's sleep and a warm hug to the good. Her focus had returned and the crippling despair had lifted. Maybe she couldn't defeat Glory, but if she was going to go down, she was damn well going to go down fighting. She gathered her equipment quickly and waited, tapping her foot, while Spike got dressed and joined her downstairs.

He wouldn't meet her eyes.

What's up with him, she wondered? Better find out, she thought, I don't want any distractions later. "Spike, thank you," she said.

He gaped at her and covered it with a small fake cough. "No, thank you, I mean... sorry about your neck," he said awkwardly.

"It's fine, healing already." On impulse she went upon her toes to drop a quick kiss on his cheek. "Whatever's happened between us in the past, I do consider you a friend. And I know you'll have my back tonight."

"Always," Spike said, the timbre of his voice and the look in his eyes giving the single word the resonance of a vow.

Buffy nodded once, decisively, and then led the way out into the night.


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