Chapter Eighteen: A Brief Respite
With the continuing threat of an attack hanging over their heads they all felt they should put off the trip home for awhile. No one knew how long they would be staying, but they agreed that they should stick together. Giles continued to have questions for Dawn, many of them she couldn’t answer, but he persisted nonetheless. She told him what she knew about Sorcha and he researched her background further, hoping to find something useful.
Anya had a lot of bad dreams and would wake up screaming some nights. Giles thought she should get some professional counseling, but she didn’t feel ready to talk to a stranger about her ordeal yet. She talked to Xander and Dawn a lot and while it was cathartic for her to talk about what she had gone through they both knew there was only so much they could do to help her heal.
Dawn found it comforting to get back into her regular schedule at the club. Spike was there every night and the whole experience of being with him had a new intensity. Their connection was stronger than ever now; the energy between them pulsating with life. She could feel each of his emotions as they slid through him, sharp and clear as if they were her own. It was strange this new element to their relationship; everything was magnified about a hundred times, new and yet familiar at the same time. She had never felt so close to someone before in her life.
Spike found everything Dawn did and said endlessly fascinating. He had always considered her intelligent and loved being with her, but the wisdom she had displayed since her change was amazing and their whole relationship seemed to be supercharged. When they were together they were so in tune with each other that it was like they were one person. He loved her more every day.
“I want to do something fun,” Dawn said suddenly as they lay in bed one night. Spike chuckled as he rolled from his back to his side and stroked her thigh teasingly.
“I thought that’s what we did a little while ago, luv.” Dawn smiled as his hand inched higher.
“I meant something fun out of bed, Spike! Although,” she said as she rolled towards him, “the ‘in’ bed fun is always amazing.” She touched her lips to his softly, her body filling with familiar heat again. He pulled her closer as he deepened the kiss gently, his mouth moving hungrily. He pulled back slightly to ask,
“So what did you have in mind?”
“Hmm?” she said distractedly, drawing an amused smile from him.
“This out of bed fun you spoke of, what did you have in mind? Or should I just continue with the fun at hand?” He stroked his palm down her back and she shivered.
“I want to finish what I was saying first.” He kissed the spot behind her ear.
“Are you sure you don’t want finish what you were saying,” he nipped at the side of her neck, “after?” Dawn moaned, pulling him closer.
“You never play fair,” she pouted. He leaned up and smiled.
“And you love it.” She grinned as she twined her arms around his neck.
“You know me so well.” She bent her knee and ran her foot along the back of his calf, pressing her thigh close against his hip, and the air practically sizzled with electricity. “Isn’t it amazing, what happens when we touch?” He growled as his mouth moved against her skin trailing slowly down her body. Her back arched as he cupped her breast, taking her into his mouth and she pressed her hips eagerly into his. His hand dropped from her breast to gently caress her stomach then slowly moved lower to where she was burning for his touch. She moaned over and over as he brought her to a shuddering climax with a few quick strokes.
He smiled at how ready she had been and slid slowly into her before the tremors had even subsided. Her breath caught and she wrapped her legs tightly around his waist as he started to move and the pressure began to build again. He stroked his fingertips slowly up her arms until he got to her hands. Clasping them gently he moved them from around his neck and held them pressed loosely into the pillows next to her head. She met his eyes with a small smile as she lifted her hips to meet his. He leaned down to kiss her and she bit his lip gently; he grinned and took her mouth with a passionate ferocity that stole her breath.
He moved inside her, fanning the flames that licked across every inch of her skin, her nerve endings screaming with sensation that hovered somewhere between pleasure and pain. She kissed him back, hard and deep, fueled by an almost insatiable hunger. The kiss went on and on and they melted into it helplessly, heading slowly over the edge. As the energy arced between them Spike let go of her hands and they clung to each other as their bodies were rocked by wave after wave of sensation. Everything spun around them and it seemed like an eternity before they were even able to speak.
“God! That just gets more intense every single time,” Dawn said as she lay wrapped around him. “Seriously, one of these times I’m just going to shatter into a million little pieces.”
“Did we go somewhere that time? ‘Cause the room got all weird and I swear we were someplace else!” Spike insisted. Dawn waved her hand wearily before replying,
“It’s a possibility. They didn’t go into great detail about what would happen during sex.”
“They?” Spike asked curiously.
“When I was in the coma and all was revealed,” Dawn answered saying the last few words dramatically before giggling.
“Did they happen to mention anything about sex making you silly?” Spike asked jokingly. “Oh, wait, you were like that before!” Dawn laughed and shoved his shoulder weakly. They lay there holding each other quietly as their strength slowly returned. Spike gently kissed her jaw as he rolled to the side and pulled her against him. He took a deep, unneeded breath trying to clear his mind from the haze that always followed making love to her. “What the hell were we even talking about?”
“I believe the topic was fun,” Dawn said sleepily.
“That’s right. What was it you were wanting to do, sweet?” Spike brushed her cheek with the backs of his fingers then tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear.
“I want to go out on a date. You know, get all dressed up and fancy?” Dawn smiled up him in anticipation. “We haven’t had a night out in awhile. You could get all handsome and dashing, and I could wear one of those tight little dresses you love so much; it’ll be great.”
“Definitely a fan of the tight dress,” Spike agreed. “And I always love stripping them off of you when the evening is through.”
“So is that a yes?” Dawn asked eagerly.
“You know I never say no to anything that makes you happy; of course we can go out. Maybe dinner and dancing.” Dawn leaned up and kissed him soundly.
“Yay! And no offense to the others, but I want it to be just the two of us.” Spike nodded in agreement and she snuggled happily into his arms as they drifted off to sleep.
She looked absolutely incredible and she knew it. Spike had been reaching under the bed for his other shoe when he felt that certain shiver that told him Dawn was nearby. He looked up to find her leaning seductively in the doorway, her arm stretched along the frame above her head. Her hair was upswept and she was wearing a sexy black dress that embraced every inch of her body as though it had been painted on. The neckline plunged all the way to her navel with a flimsy little crystal closure nestled between her breasts that did little but keep the dress from becoming indecent. It hugged the curve of her hip and skimmed her thighs stopping just above her knees. Her legs as always were gorgeous, covered in sheer silk stockings ending in a pair of impossibly high, black strappy heels. She watched the path his gaze had taken, a gleam in her eye.
“So,” she said casually as she stuck her foot forward slightly. “You like these shoes.” Still on his knees beside the bed, he watched wordlessly as she slunk towards him, her hips moving provocatively. He stood slowly as she came to a stop in front of him. She brushed her hands over his chest and watched as the flames climbed higher in his eyes.
“Yeah, those shoes,” he began as his look trailed fire up and down her body. “Bloody fantastic.” Spike’s voice was low and deep as he brought his arms up to pull her close. His eyes widened as his hands touched her back and encountered nothing but bare skin. He took her hand and turned her around slowly so he could get the full effect of the dress. “You just love to torture me, don’t you? Like I’m even going to be able to think when you’re sittin’ across from me wearing that!” She kissed him lightly on the mouth and slipped from his arms as she turned to go.
“Wait till you see what I have underneath,” she said with a come-hither look over her shoulder as she left the room, laughing when he groaned. Spike finished dressing and came into the living room looking stylish as ever in tight black jeans, a dark blue, long sleeve, knit v-neck sweater and his black leather blazer. He pulled Dawn in close to his side giving her a brief, punishing kiss. She smiled, knowing he was still all wound up from earlier.
“Look at you two!” Anya exclaimed. “You guys are just the sexiest couple ever,” she said teasingly. Xander smiled as they bantered back and forth, but didn’t join in the repartee, knowing things weren’t fixed yet between him and Spike.
“Ready to go?” Dawn said as she caressed Spike’s cheek.
“Always,” he replied hotly, bringing a smile to both girls’ faces.
“Don’t wait up!” Dawn called as they headed out the door.
The restaurant was lovely with delicious food, good music, and a large dance floor that Dawn and Spike planned to utilize after they ate. They talked and laughed and generally had a wonderful time, but Spike found he couldn’t wait to get out of the place. Everything Dawn did was laced with innuendo, and it was slowly driving him out of his mind. The way she looked at him, the things she said, everything seemed designed to seduce. She enjoyed teasing him while they sat at the table, brushing up against him as they looked over the menu, gently caressing his thigh when no one could see; she kept him highly aroused and slightly on edge.
Dancing with her, holding her close, her body moving sinuously against his was like the sweetest kind of torture. He couldn’t seem to keep his hands off the supple skin exposed by her dress. Her back, her arms, she was so warm and soft and sweet. They eventually moved back to the table; they talked about a lot of things, but she kept giving him that look, the one that made him want to leap across the table and have his way with her so he wisely signaled for the check.
They drove for awhile listening to music and letting the breeze drift through the windows and wind around them. It was very peaceful and some of the tension drained out of Spike’s body. Being with Dawn like this was something he was grateful for every day. Sharing a quiet moment, an intimate look, just holding hands; he had come so close to losing her that every moment was precious. Instead of going home Spike turned off and headed towards a special place, a place where they could sit and look at the stars with no one else around to intrude on their evening. He parked the car then put the top down before pulling Dawn over next to him. She went willingly, resting her head on his shoulder as they gazed silently at the night sky.
“Did you have a good time tonight?” Spike asked.
“I always have a good time with you, no matter what we’re doing.” Spike smiled.
“Even when we’re fighting off monsters?”
“You know I love a good workout. Besides, it’s fun to watch you when you’re in your ‘bad ass’ mode.”
“Hey!” Spike said in mock indignation. “That’s not a “mode”; I am a bad ass!” Dawn laughed.
“Who do you think you’re talking to here? This is me, the person who knows for a fact that you’re just a big softie at heart.”
“That’s just for you. I’m not like that with anyone else.”
“Only because you don’t let yourself, not because it isn’t there.” They were quiet as they gazed at the stars above them. “Have you ever considered all the things that had to happen to bring us together? All the things that could have gone so differently,” Dawn said reflectively.
“I never really thought about it that way,” Spike replied.
“You should have been dead and buried over a hundred years ago and I wasn’t even a person. Those two things alone are remarkable, but you factor in all the other stuff we’ve been through and it’s just…”
“I know,” Spike interjected. “It boggles the mind.” They sat in companionable silence for awhile, but soon her hand moved to stroke his leg. Spike smiled and stilled the movement of her hand as it crept higher. “Whoa, there! You’ve been teasing me all bloody night; I can’t take much more.”
“No, no, no, see teasing implies I have no intention of following through. No, what I’m working on is foreplay.” She smiled wickedly and moved her hand slightly beneath his palm. Spike brought her hand to his lips, tenderly kissing her fingertips.
“Maybe you should wait till we get home for the foreplay, sweet.” Dawn turned toward him, her body pressed tightly to his side as she placed moist, open-mouthed kisses along the cord in his neck.
“What’s wrong with here?” She whispered against his skin.
“What are you doing to me?” he groaned.
“We’ve never made love by starlight; I bet it’s beautiful.” She trailed her fingers up his chest and turned his face towards her for a kiss. He growled low in his throat as he gave in and pulled her up so they were face to face. She straddled his legs and leaned in to deepen the pressure of her lips against his. He pulled the pins from her hair so that it fell down around her shoulders like a cloud of silk. He stroked her cheek, pushing her hair back slightly and then drew his fingers down her spine. She shivered and arched her back, pressing her hips into him.
He groaned and brought his hand around to caress her hip, sliding up to the opening of her dress. He leaned forward to kiss the bare skin there and moved his hand to her breast, rubbing his thumb across the tip. He undid the closure of her dress so he had better access and she moaned, her head tipping back at the sensation of his mouth moving on her aroused flesh. She brought his face to hers and their mouths met in urgent, aching need. His hands moved to slowly caress her thigh, inching her skirt upward as he stroked higher and higher. His movement halted abruptly and he broke off the kiss to look down at where his hand rested on her leg. Their eyes met and Dawn smiled slightly at the look on his face.
“You’re wearing a garter belt,” he rasped as he pulled on the skinny strap hooked to her stocking. Dawn glanced down and replied nonchalantly,
“Yeah, it’s new. You like it?” Flames leapt in his eyes in response and she leaned down to kiss him again, whispering into his mouth, “I’m not wearing anything else.” Spike groaned and crushed her to him, his hands pushing her dress up further and moving to begin an intimate caress that drove her wild. Dawn reached down to pull his sweater up and off over his head, needing to touch bare skin. Her movements were jerky as she kissed wherever she could reach, his neck, his shoulders, his chest then back to his mouth. She whimpered with need as her body wound tighter and tighter. She was more than ready when she reached for the snap of his jeans and undid his pants. She moved onto him quickly, moaning as he slid inside her.
Spike groaned, barely able to hold on as she began to move frantically, desperate for release. It was quick and intense as they went over the edge together, Dawn clinging to him unable to hold in her excited moans of pleasure. She kissed him sweetly, wanting to be connected to every part of him as she slowly came down from the heights of passion. She muttered something and for a moment they were in the most beautiful place Spike had ever seen and he knew they had left their own world, but then in the blink of an eye they were back in the clearing under the stars. He glanced at the amazing woman he held in his arms and knew that in his whole existence he had never felt the kind of love he felt for her, and he wished they could stay in this moment forever.
Afterward they sat nestled together side by side, Spike bare-chested and smoking, Dawn sleepy and thoughtful. She traced her fingers up and down his arm and when she looked up she found he was watching her, his eyes filled with curiosity.
“Where did you take me?”
“Here in the car, have you forgotten already? I think I’m insulted,” Dawn said teasingly. Spike laughed in appreciation.
“You know that’s not what I meant. Where did we go?”
“It’s a place called Caelum; it looks like how I always pictured paradise.”
“Why did we only stay for a moment?”
“If you stay too long you lose the will to leave; it’s something in the atmosphere I think, it affects the mind.” She looked up at him. “I knew we couldn’t stay long, but I wanted to show it to you. The trip didn’t make you feel sick did it?”
“No, that first trip when you rescued us, that made me sick, but I think I’m getting used to the sensation.”
“I figured you would. The others, I think it will always make them sick.”
“Because they’re human?” She nodded.
“Humans weren’t meant to travel like that.” Spike nodded in agreement. He studied her appraisingly. “What?” she asked. He continued to look at her and his expression grew serious.
“Every time we’re together I feel so…complete, like everything in the world finally makes sense. When I look at you I see my salvation, and I know how lucky I am. I know I don’t deserve you. I’ve done so many horrible things and sometimes it seems like the good I’ve done really doesn’t mean much, but you make me feel like what I do is worthwhile and important, like maybe I could be a hero for once. I’ve never been a hero, not when I was alive and definitely not after I died.” Dawn put her arms around him and kissed his cheek.
“You’ve always been my hero. You’ve always been the one protecting me and comforting me. Don’t you know by now how much that means to me? How much every little bit of good you do means to the world? Every time you choose to fight against evil you’re doing something amazing, something worthwhile.”
“Thank you,” he whispered and leaned in for a soft kiss, holding her gently against his chest. “We should probably head home; with everything that’s happened lately I wouldn’t want to worry them.” Dawn reluctantly agreed.
“I guess you’re right, but I could stay here forever.” Spike put his sweater back on and started the car while Dawn straightened her clothing. She flipped down the mirror to examine her makeup and used her fingers to comb through her hair. Spike smiled and said,
“Leave it, you look good with your hair all mussed and your lips swollen from kissing.” She gave him a funny look.
“Yeah, you must be in love; I look awful!”
“You look sexy.” Dawn slid over and snuggled up against his side as he drove.
“I love you.” Spike put his arm around her and they headed home.
When they got home Xander and Anya were still up watching a movie. Anya was sitting on the couch with her knees drawn up, a bowl of popcorn in her lap; she smiled as they came through the door and gave a little wave.
“You guys were out pretty late,” she said with a knowing look.
“You didn’t have to wait up; I hope we didn’t worry you,” Dawn said as she dropped into the chair.
“No, I just…couldn’t sleep. Xander suggested watching a movie. So, did you have good time?” Dawn looked up at Spike and blushed.
“Yeah, it was great.” Anya laughed.
“Where is everybody?” Spike asked.
“Since we wanted to watch the TV, Willow and Tara are sleeping in our room, and Giles is sacked out in the den,” Xander replied. Just then the room began to shake and a rumbling noise could be heard. It lasted for a couple minutes and then stopped abruptly. Everyone was frozen for a moment and then Anya said,
“I thought you didn’t have earthquakes here.” Dawn’s face had grown pale.
“We don’t. That wasn’t an earthquake; something is coming.” She turned to Spike. “Hurry, wake the others. It’s not safe for us here; we have to go.” Spike ran to get them and Xander held onto Dawn who looked like she might faint at any moment.
“Are you okay?”
“There’s not enough time; I don’t think we’re going to make it.” The room rumbled again and cracks ran down the wall around the door. Dawn stared at the wall as it began to disintegrate. “It’s here.”