Chapter Three: Romance and Desire
“Would you hand over the remote before I have to get rough with you, please?”
“Was that supposed to be a threat? Cause I like it rough.”
“And this is me,” Xander chimed in, “controlling my impulse to heave.” Dawn laughed as she wrestled the remote away from Spike.
“Aw, are we embarrassing you with our talk of roughness?”
“Embarrassing, sickening…you get the picture.” Dawn patted him on the back.
“Tough. I’ve had to listen to the intimate details of your sex life for years; I think you could benefit from a little payback.” Xander groaned as he looked at Anya.
“I knew that was gonna come back and bite me in the ass one day.” He grinned and pulled Anya into his arms. “But I wouldn’t have you any other way.” Anya smiled and leaned down for a kiss.
“And now I’m gettin’ ready to bloody heave,” Spike said as he relaxed back on the couch next to Dawn. She leaned her head on his shoulder and smiled happily. They’d been getting together with Xander and Anya a lot lately and things were really going great. Spike and Xander had gotten back to the verbal sparring she was used to, insulting each other with flair. It was nice to see them finally getting along.
Spike was also trying to let go of his fear over the dream. Dawn knew it was hard for him; he’d been so convinced that it was a portent of things to come, but here they were, two months later, and still nothing bad loomed on the horizon. He looked down at her and brushed his hand over her cheek and she melted inside the way she always did when he touched her. Unmindful of the others she brushed her lip against his before deepening the contact slightly.
“Seriously guys,” Xander complained loudly after his throat-clearing didn’t bring an end to the clinch. “Save that stuff for the bedroom.” Dawn laughed and gave him a friendly shove and then they all settled down to watch television. Yeah, Dawn thought, snuggling into Spike’s side. Life is good.
* * * *
She watched him move around the bedroom, her eyes bright with desire as she wondered what he would do next. She’s been chained up in here for over an hour while he got creative with the torture, and although she loved the foreplay, she rather wished he’d get on with the sex. She supposed he was punishing her for her earlier behavior, but it had been worth it. He had left her bed to greet one of his human women who had shown up unexpectedly. She smiled as she recalled the look on the young woman’s face when she’d seen Sorcha saunter into the room completely naked. Lucius had been sitting facing away from her, and she’d walked over and straddled him.
“Come back to bed, darling; I need to feel you inside me now.” The look Lucius had given her had made her move against him with pleasure. If he could have killed her then and there, he would have. But of course he hadn’t wanted to upset his little friend so he’d apologized and hustled her out of the house. When he’d returned he had hit Sorcha hard and then dragged her up the stairs. When they had gotten to the bedroom, he’d bent her over a chair and taken her hard and rough. After, he’d thrown her on the bed and taken out the chains. She loved it when he got like this.
“I should never have let you stay here. I should have sent you packing the second the meeting was over.” She smiled seductively.
“We have too much fun for me to be so far away. You need me close so you can hurt me and have me whenever you want.” He moved fast and had his hand wrapped around her throat in an instant.
“I do not need you for anything!”
“Then why do you keep me here? Why do you continue to let me into your bed?” He looked thoughtful for a moment and then he got a look on his face that Sorcha found decidedly unpleasant.
“You know, that’s a good question. I don’t know.” He released her throat and moved back off the bed. “Maybe I should think about that for awhile.” He was moving towards the bedroom door, and she had a feeling she knew what was coming next. He glanced at her with a sickening smile.
“I’ll be back later.” He opened the door to leave.
“Lucius, you had better unchain me or I will be very, very angry.” He didn’t respond to her threat, and she grew nervous. “Lucius?” The door clicked shut behind him and she heard him turn the key in the lock. “Lucius!” She glanced at the wall closest to the bed, the wall that contained three very large, very uncovered windows. It wasn’t long till sunrise; did he realize the curtains were open? What if he did know and he meant to leave her here to burn? She began to struggle with her chains, but knew it wouldn’t do any good. She was the one who had insisted the chains be so tight they hurt. Nothing left to do but enjoy the sunrise and hope he would come back in time. Son of a bitch!
* * * *
“So, what are you gonna wear?” Dawn asked with the phone wedged between her ear and her shoulder as she picked through the contents of her closet.
“I have no idea,” Anya replied. “Did Spike tell you where we were going?”
“Mr. Mysterious? Not bloody likely.” Anya laughed at Dawn’s muttered impersonation of Spike. “All he told me was to get dressed up.” Anya sighed in disgust.
“I guess guys don’t get that ‘dressed up’ is not definitive. There are about a million different variations of ‘dressed up’ that you could wear, but which one you choose has everything to do with where you’re going.”
“And yet guys can slap on a jacket and a tie and fit in anywhere!” Anya sighed again.
“It is definitely not fair.” They were silent for a second. “I’m thinking we should go shopping.”
“I’ll be there in five.”
They decided to take Dawn’s car so they could put the top down and then they were on their way. Anya leaned back and closed her eyes, enjoying the warmth of the sun on her face and the wind in her hair. Dawn glanced over at her friend’s relaxed pose and smiled.
“You look like you’re doing better.” Anya smiled slightly.
“You were right about the therapist; she’s been great. I’m on some medication to help with the anxiety and my sleeping problems. That helped a lot, and we’ve been doing some different exercises to help me control my fear and deal with it and everything. She’s nice; I like her. And, uh, Xander and I had sex last night. Three times!” Dawn shot her a look.
“Normally, I would consider that too much information, but since you’ve been having a problem with the sex stuff I’ll just say ‘yay, you!’ and we’ll both agree to move on.” Anya laughed.
“So how about you; is Spike still worried?”
“He’s getting better.”
“You know, you never told me what that was all about.” Dawn looked at Anya briefly, trying to decide if she should tell her. “You remember that bad dream you had awhile back? That one about me, I mean.” Anya shuddered.
“How could I forget; that was awful!”
“Well,” she paused, “Spike had a similar dream and it really freaked him out.” Anya looked at her wide-eyed.
“I can imagine! That must have been awful for him.” She thought for a second. “Not to mention really weird.” Dawn gave her a questioning look. “Why do you suppose we both had that dream?”
“Uh, cause you’re both a little nutty?” Dawn said lightly, trying to dispel the intensity of Anya’s question.
“I’m serious! I mean, it’s a little odd. Don’t you think?”
“Well, like I said you two are a little odd.”
“What? It was a coincidence! I would know if something was about to happen. Besides…” She broke off abruptly.
“Besides what?” Anya prompted.
“In Spike’s dream he did something that I know he would never do.”
“What was it?”
“I’m gonna respect his privacy on that.” Anya let out a low whistle.
“That bad, huh?”
“Yeah. He felt awful; I think he expected me to be angry or something. But I know him; what happened in that dream? Never happen in real life.”
“Positive. It ranks up there with what Xander accused him of.” Anya nodded.
“Spike would never do anything to hurt you.” She glanced at Dawn. “That’s what you mean, right?”
“Got it in one.” They were silent as Dawn pulled into the parking lot of their favorite store. She shut off the car and turned to Anya. “Okay, are we ready to be done with the serious talk for now?” Anya smiled.
“More than ready. We have much more important matters to deal with.”
“Think we can get in and out without buying more than what we came for?”
“Never happened before.”
“Right, but this time we should really try to resist temptation.”
“Okay. So, one outfit each and then we’re outta there.”
“We’re so full of it.”
“I know. Let’s go.”
Spike woke up abruptly, unsure what had awakened him. He lay there for a second and then he heard it again; someone was knocking on the door.
“Dawn? You gonna get that?” No answer. He glanced at the clock by the bed and saw the note she’d left – Gone shopping!!! Love, D. – and dropped his head back on the pillow. “Bloody hell!” The knock came again, more insistent this time and Spike grabbed his pants, pulling them on as he walked to the door. He pulled it open to find Xander waiting impatiently. “Jeez, Harris! You knocking or trying to break the bloody door down?” Spike headed for the living room, leaving the door open in invitation.
“Is Anya here?” Xander asked, shutting the door behind him as he followed Spike into the other room. “She left while I was at the store, and left me an unreadable note. All I could make out was Dawn’s name.”
“Sorry, mate. They’re not here.” He pulled a cigarette from the pack and lit it up, inhaling deeply. “Went shopping.” Xander dropped down on the sofa next to him.
“Great. I guess that’s what we get for springing this mysterious night out on them.”
“You’re the one that said we should do something special for them.”
“Something special, not something that required new clothes! What did you tell Dawn, anyway?”
“Nothing! I damn sure didn’t say the evening required new clothes.”
“What did you say when she asked what she should wear?”
“I just told her she should dress up.” He saw the look on Xander’s face. “What?”
“Anytime I tell Anya to get dressed up she starts talking about how men have it easy and don’t understand the concept of appropriate dress.” Spike gave him a funny look, and Xander shrugged. “Yeah, I don’t know.”
“Well, I’m sure they’ll look great.”
“And it is good for Anya to get out of the house.” Spike grabbed the remote.
“So, you want to see if there’s anything on?
They had found some great stuff but it took them all afternoon, and the sun was setting as they got home. Dawn managed to open the door even though she was holding several bags. As she and Anya stepped inside they heard the guys talking.
“This is what I don’t get - why did they bring all their money and clothes with them if it was just supposed to be ‘a three hour tour’?”
“What I don’t get is why the blasted show is still on the air. It’s completely ridiculous.”
“Are you kidding? When the world finally ends, the cockroaches will probably be watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island.” Spike chuckled and Dawn and Anya smiled at each other.
“Hey guys,” Dawn said from the doorway. Spike held his hand out to her and she walked over to cuddle up next to him. He pulled her down into his lap for a kiss that left her breathless. “Mmm, thanks for the nice welcome home.”
“My pleasure,” he said with a smile as she slid to sit next to him.
“Again with the touching!” Xander complained as Anya sat down next to him. Spike smiled as he wrapped his arm around Dawn.
“Xander and I were just talking about you two lovely ladies.”
“No you weren’t,” Anya contradicted. “You were discussing Gilligan’s Island.” The guys exchanged slightly embarrassed looks.
“He meant before that, An.”
“Yeah, we were wondering if you had bought out the store.” Dawn gave him an indignant look.
“I’ll have you know we showed remarkable restraint!”
“Oh, yeah?” Spike peered through the doorway at the pile of bags they had left just outside the room. “So, what? You left ‘em with one pair of shoes?” She slapped him playfully on the shoulder.
“It’s not that much stuff. And I got something special.” She leaned in and bit him gently on the shoulder. “For later.”
“Well, in that case…” He whispered the rest in her ear and she laughed seductively, running a hand up his thigh.
“Should we leave?” Xander asked, breaking into their private moment. “Cause I’m really not up for the floor show.” Dawn blushed and moved her hand to a safer place on Spike’s arm.
“We’ll stop, we’ll stop!” Dawn assured him. “I’m just excited about this mysterious evening you two have planned.” She smiled. “So you guys really planned all this together?” The guys looked at each other and Spike said,
“Yeah, but don’t make a big deal out of it. We still hate each other.” Xander smiled.
“Yeah, you think I’d work with this son of a bitch if it weren’t for you two?”
“Well, I think that was a little unnecessary,” Spike complained.
“I was gonna call you a jackass, but son of a bitch packs more of a punch.” Spike was thoughtful for a second then nodded.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Dawn shook her head and got up off the couch.
“You guys!” She pulled Anya to her feet. “We’re gonna go get ready.” Spike glanced at the clock.
“Already? We’re not leaving for an hour and a half.” As they walked out Dawn turned and gave him a sexy little smile.
“Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll find the results to your liking.” He leaned back; his hands linked behind his head and met her smile with an even sexier one of his own.
“No doubt.” They continued to look at each other and Spike’s smile widened as he tilted his head slightly to the left and let his gaze drift down over her body. Xander coughed discreetly, ending the moment and the girls picked up their bags and left, their laughter drifting back to the men.
An hour and a half later Spike and Xander were dressed and ready, watching the clock impatiently as Dawn and Anya finished getting dressed. Xander sighed wearily and leaned his head back on the couch.
“You’d think with all that time, they’d be waiting for us, right?” Spike nodded in agreement.
“Dawn only takes this long when she’s planning on bringing me to my knees.” Xander let out a laugh.
“I’ve been there, brother.”
“I don’t know; it seemed like a “brother” moment.” Xander turned his head slightly to look at him. “Was I wrong?”
“Beats me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a “brother” moment. What is it exactly?”
“I’m not really sure, but it seemed appropriate.” Spike looked back at the ceiling.
“Works for me.” There was a long comfortable silence and then Spike said, “I’ve got a question.”
“Let’s have it.”
“Did you have any doubts when you accused me of hurting Dawn?” Xander sat up straight, immediately tense.
“Uh, maybe you could warn me next time before we get into the high intensity stuff.”
“Now don’t go getting’ all twittery; I didn’t mean it as an accusation. Oddly enough, and I’m turnin’ into a bloody ponce as I say this, I thought maybe we should talk about it.” He didn’t look at him. “So?”
“Well,” Xander cleared his throat self-consciously. “I think I went on auto-pilot as soon as I realized the chip didn’t work.”
“Long version or short?”
“Let’s go with the long.” Xander nodded.
“Well, before Buffy came to town I didn’t even know there were vampires, much less that they lived in the same town. After that I only really knew what I saw and what Buffy told me. When Angel came along, I was jealous and I never trusted him, but I put up with him for Buffy. When Angel went bad it confirmed everything I thought I knew about him and vampires. I saw what he put Buffy through and it tore me apart. After he got his soul back I don’t think I was ever really able to separate Angel from Angelus. Like before, I put up with him for Buffy’s sake but…I think you get my point.
After Buffy…died and you stayed to take care of Dawn, I was the last one to accept that maybe you had changed. It was only after you left and we started the phone calls that I realized you really cared for her. But I still didn’t really have to deal with it because you weren’t around. When you and Dawn got together I was happy for you both. Honestly, I was, but in the back of my mind it was like I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Always waiting for something to go wrong. If the timing had been different,” He shook his head, “maybe things would have gone the same way, or maybe I wouldn’t have…” He trailed off. “As it was, finding out the chip didn’t work right after Dawn was attacked – it was like a switch flipped in my brain. I had found what I’d been waiting for, and I wasn’t gonna let anyone talk me out of it. I’ve done a lot of things that I’m not proud of, but I’m pretty sure what I did to you was the worst. There’s no excuse for it, really.” Xander slumped back on the couch and they were silent for awhile. Spike rubbed a weary hand over his face before quietly saying,
“You’re wrong, you know.” Xander closed his eyes sadly.
“I know; I was very wrong, and I’m sorry. You don’t know how sor-”
“No!” Spike broke in irritably. “I didn’t say you were wrong; I said you are wrong.”
“What are you talking about?”
“She made me watch. When she…hurt Anya; she made me watch and I begged her to stop, but it only spurred her on.” He sat staring at nothing, but in his head he could see it all again. Xander watched the anguish spread across his face and marveled at how utterly wrong he had been about Spike. “I loved her, for over a hundred years I loved her. The…animal that tortured Anya and nearly killed Dawn; I looked at her and in her eyes where I used to see my salvation, I saw how completely insane she was, but you know what else I saw? I saw me. I saw what I used to be. I could remember every single time I had tortured someone and how I use to revel in the destruction. And then I looked at Anya, at her suffering and I thought about how it could just as easily have been me…hurting her. It made me sick to think of what I’m capable of, and I finally understood why you hate me so much.”
“Dude, I just tried to tell you that I don’t hate you. What happened? That was all me; that was me being an idiot.” Xander shook his head. “I don’t hate you. I’m…I’m glad you’re on our side.” They looked at each other silently for a second then Spike said,
“You’re not waiting for a hug are you? ‘Cause I have to say I don’t really go in for that.” Xander laughed.
“NO, I don’t want a hug, you jackass!” Spike smiled.
“Good, cause I was starting to worry there towards the end.” Xander threw the cordless phone at him and it bounced hard off Spike’s shoulder earning him a dirty look. Just then Dawn peeked around the corner and said,
“Sorry it’s taking so long! We’re almost ready, I swear. How are you guys doing?”
“Fine. We’re just talking.”
“About Gilligan’s Island again?” Spike smiled.
“Yeah, something like that,” he replied and Xander burst out laughing. Dawn rolled her eyes and disappeared back down the hall, shaking her head at their silliness.