Palpatine 10/18/17 09:43 pm Granted, and thank you, Pari, for pointing that out to me, so that I could write to the author and address the issue personally. I'm most grateful. Pari 10/07/17 01:42 am @Palpatine authors are in charge of the banners they add to their stories, so you will need to contact them personally to let them know their banner pic is not showing. Pari 10/07/17 01:41 am @kelticmoon, I added some back but they are not updated, meaning things you find on the default skin may not be on the other skins :) kelticmoon 10/05/17 10:47 pm Where are the other skins that use to be here? Palpatine 10/05/17 03:52 pm Some of the pictures seem to be having real trouble being looked at, they keep on saying "enable third party hosting", a real problem it seems. Pari 09/25/17 10:11 pm Hey nmcil we got this strightened via email, thanks for the donation. Thanks to all who donated as we are now paid up through/to Jan 2019! nmcil 09/21/17 03:08 am How can we contribute using PayPal? nmcil 09/21/17 03:05 am What happen to the PayPal donation. I USE PayPal. squawks 05/18/17 09:16 am pj! I remember wishing one of your stories would be finished seriously about a decade ago. Amazing. I just tried an old password I used to use and amazingly got in too. Memories! pj 03/20/17 06:20 am 10 yrs later, i finally rem my username and password. Pari, you rock. Hope you are well.
A/N: This picks up immediately at the end of the episode, when Xander mentions Angel's visit, and Buffy drops her fork in shock. I.E.:
"Angel was here? Angel was here?!"
Giles sputtered, "I-I told him it was terribly unfair--"
"And you knew?" Buffy's chair flew backwards as she stood up. "You all knew?"
"I didn't," Spike volunteered.
"I can't believe you all knew!"
"I'm sorry," Willow fretted, "he just didn't want to get you--"
"How dare he!"
"--upset," Willow finished with a frown.
"How dare he come here and lurk around in the shadows, conspire with my friends and leave!" She crossed her arms over her chest. "Let me guess. The PTB faxed him a Sunnydale code red."
"His, uh, seer had a vision," Giles revealed sheepishly.
"The vision implied that you were in grave danger."
"Well, I'm touched," Spike said, smug.
"Not you, ya' moron. The Indians!" Off of Willow's sour expression, Xander amended, "The Native Americans!"
"Well, look, I'm fine. Killed 'em," Buffy said glibly. "No danger here."
"He did help out a little," Willow said.
"That's it." Buffy threw her hands up. "I'm going down there to give him a piece of my mind."
"Ooh," Spike said, pretending to care. "I sense a Crossover Event."
"And I sense a split lip," Buffy retorted, and began to pace.
"Someone's testy," he observed.
"Buffy, Angel only came 'cause he cares about you. He just didn't want to get in your way."
"I know, Willow, it's just--" She plunked down and pouted, "He ruined my Thanksgiving!"
"No, a big BEAR ruined your Thanksgiving," Spike corrected levelly. "When do I get to eat?"
Buffy pointed at Spike. "Can I knock him unconscious now?"
* * *
"Before you go running off to L.A., we have to decide what to do with Spike," Giles quietly reminded Buffy.
"Yeah, like, when do I get some blood?" Spike loudly interrrupted.
"Not a drop for you until you're securely bound."
"Rupert, you dirty dog," Spike goaded. "Never pegged you as the whips and chains type."
Buffy rolled her eyes, and said to her Watcher, "We need something stronger than rope for him. Shackles or something."
"Stop it, pet! You're turnin' me on."
"And you're making me nauseous." She turned to Giles. "Do you have anything like that?"
"Yes, you'd think I would, what with all the 'whips and chains' 'round here," Giles said, sending Spike a quick glare. "Alas, no."
"All the stores are closed, what are we gonna do?"
Too hungry to wait, Spike reluctantly piped up. "I've got some."
Everyone in the room, even Anya who was deeply engrossed in the CBS showcase of The Wizard of Oz, turned to consider the vampire.
"Yeah, I got shackles. Back at my old lair."
"Remind me never to ask about that," Xander said.
Anya said, "But I thought you liked to be tied--"
"An!" Xander yelped. "Remember the 'time and place for everything' rule?"
Spike eyed Xander. "The shackles are for stringing idiots like you up for dinner." Then he added under his breath, "Most of the time."
"Now that I'm scarred for life from that word montage," Buffy said, "where is your old lair?"
"The north woods. A cave,'bout forty meters from the overpass construction site."
"Giles? Drive me?"
"Wait, you're leaving him alone with us?"
"Even if he could hurt you, he's weak," Buffy told Xander. "I'm sure you can handle him."
He glanced at Anya and puffed up. "Yeah. Of course. I can handle... Where are the stakes?"
Buffy casually flung one his way, barely missing Spike's chair.
"Hey! Watch it with that thing!" Spike eyed Xander suspiciously. "That goes for you too, Blotchy."
"Blotchy? What does that -- Okay, I'm just gonna get this over with now."
Spike hopped backwards in his chair. "Oi! Slayer! Tell him he can't kill me!"
"Have fun, kids!" Buffy said cheerfully, and left with Giles.
"Thanks, love," Spike groused. "Always knew I could count on you."
"Are ya hungry?" Xander taunted the vampire, inches from his face. "Hungry for some... stake?"
"Oh, now that is lame. I can see why you're not the Slayer."
"Hey, I don't have to be. I've got the stake, and I know exactly where your dead, unbeating little heart is." Xander pressed it to his chest.
"Ow! Stop that!" He looked over the boy's shoulder. "Willow!"
"We have to find out what he knows about the demon-hunting squad," Willow said calmly, eyes on the TV. "Don't kill him yet."
"Yet? Not at all, you mean!"
"Or... not at all. Whatever."
"He doesn't know anything," Xander dismissed with a wave of his hand.
"I bloody well do! All I'm asking for is some food!"
"Buffy can't get you blood tonight anyway," Xander pointed out. "All the butcher shops are closed."
"Yeah, well, Buffy might not come back alive," Spike said, grinning. "And that's just as pleasant."
"What are you talking about?"
"The lair. It's Harmony's." He sighed happily. "She'll prob'ly kill her."
"You mean Buffy will kill Harmony."
"Or vice versa. See, that's why I love this town so much. So unpredictable."
Xander turned to Willow. "Should we go warn her?"
"I don't know. She can handle Harmony... right?"
"Of course she can." Xander stood up, on edge.
"Why don't you two go? I'll watch Spike," Anya said nonchalantly. "He doesn't scare me."
"Hey, I'm scary!" He morphed. "Look!"
"Your bumpiness doesn't frighten me. I'm an ex-demon you know."
"Yeah? What kind?"
He laughed. "Well, well. Xander's in for a treat."
"Not as long as he behaves himself," Anya giggled conspiratorially with Spike.
After watching the two like a tennis match, Xander sat down. "Okay," he resolved. "I'm not going anywhere."
"What's the matter?" Anya asked.
"I don't want you getting conspirey with him."
Anya scoffed. "Are you giving me orders?"
"Uh-oh," Spike sang jauntily. "I smell a vengeance comin' on."
"And YOU are just one step away from fitting into a teeeny-tiny urn."
Spike wasn't impressed. "Yeah, you're real manly, threatenin' the neutered demon."
"Yeah, don't threaten the neutered demon!"
"Anya!" Xander blurted, frustrated. "Can I... please talk to you alone for a second?"
* * *
Buffy and Giles returned to find Spike still bound to his chair, arguing with Willow about the motivations of the Wicked Witch of the West.
She presented her spoils. "Creepy set of medieval shackles, check."
"Buffy!" Willow cried in relief. "Did you run into Harmony? 'Cause Spike told us after you left that Harmony..."
"Yup. She's the one who gave 'em to me."
"She gave them to you?" Spike said in surprise. "She really must hate me."
Buffy nodded. "She really does."
"You talked about me?"
"Unfortunately. I couldn't get her to shut up."
Spike cocked a brow. "That's my Harm. Finds an ear and just... pummels it 'til it bleeds."
Buffy blew a strand of hair out of her face and held the chains up to Giles. "So where do you wanna put him?"
Xander emerged from the hallway, holding Anya's hand. "Giles! Buffy! Hi! Didn't know you'd come back so soon!"
"What's with the yelling!" Buffy yelled.
"Nothing!" Xander said defensively.
Giles pointed at his bathroom. "Were you two just in there together?"
"No... Yes. We were just talking, okay?"
"All... right then," Giles said, blinking. He headed for the bathroom. "Perhaps the bathtub has a secure enough faucet. The pipes are quite strong here."
"Oh, yeah," Xander replied without thinking. "They're very -- secure and don't ask me how I know."
Anya eagerly supplied, "Because we just had sex in there!"
Xander closed his eyes. "Anya."
"I made sure he was disease-free, of course."
Willow and Buffy stared, noses wrinkled.
"Good god man," Giles sputtered. "Couldn't you have waited 'til you got home?"
"Someone better clean it out first," Spike said. "I don't fancy sleeping on Xander spew."
"Eugh!" Buffy groaned. "Can we please stop with the graphic descriptions and get to the shackling here?"
"Every time you say that, pet, I get all tingly." Spike's tongue curled under his teeth.
Buffy closed her eyes and exhaled heavily. "Somebody get a gag for him, please."
"Just for the record, it's clean in there," a red-faced Xander mumbled before fetching his and Anya's jackets.
"Yeah, cheers, thanks alot," Spike said. "Prob'ly still reeks."
"Someone! A gag! Please!" Buffy repeated.
"Bye guys, Happy Thanksgiving, it's been the best ever," Xander called, and hurried out the door with Anya.
* * *
"This sucks," Buffy said, as she started to drag Spike, still strapped in his chair, into the bathroom.
"If only," Spike said, gazing at her neck.
Buffy frowned down at him and called out, "Didn't I ask for a gag?"
Both Willow and Giles were transfixed by the television. "Hold on a second, she's about to melt."
"Forget it." She kicked the door closed behind her.
"Caving in to peer pressure, are you?"
She regarded him quizzically.
"The door. Your friends. What they did in here."
"Please, Spike, I don't have time for your little innuendoes right now."
"Do you ever?"
"No," she began to untie him, "but especially not tonight."
"Why, because you're all wonky with images of Angel runnin'through your head?"
"I am not... wonky," she replied. "Whatever that means."
"Of course you are. He threw you for a loop again. It's his specialty, after all."
"Ugh! I know!" she cried, forgetting who she was talking to. "Where does that come from anyway? I didn't ask for it! You don't see me going, 'One order of the Loop Special, extra angst, hold the mayo!' God, he drives me crazy!" She set his feet free. "I mean, does he think I'm some little china doll? Like I'd just... break if I saw him?"
Spike shrugged. "He's got a saviour complex. Powers that Be got his head all in the clouds, got him thinkin' he's the next blimey comin' of Christ--"
Buffy yanked the rope from his skin extra hard. "Rhetorical question, Spike. Look it up."
"Like you've ever cracked a dictionary."
She continued to rant, ignoring him. "The funny thing is, I sensed him. I knew he was here, but I didn't trust my instincts. What harm would it do to just show his face?"
"I'm beginning to see why he wouldn't," Spike eyed her, finally unbound from his chair. "Have you always been this prattly?"
"And who does he think he is getting my friends to lie to me?"
"Bleedin' ponce is what he is," he answered matter-of-factly.
She glared at him. "Who asked you?"
"Get in." She pointed at the tub.
Spike grumbled, "This is humiliating."
"Good," Buffy said.
"I hate you, you know that?" he said, stepping over the tub.
"Mutual," she replied with a shrug.
Spike sat down slowly, getting a feel for the tub. He made a face. "As I thought. It does reek."
She sat beside him and grabbed a shackle, already secured to the tub. "I don't smell anything."
"Well, lucky you, you're not a vampire."
"You can... smell sex?"
"Oh, yeah. I can smell sex, I can smell arousal... I can smell that blood on your arm," he trailed off, fixated on the blood scent.
Buffy glanced at her bandage. "You can smell arousal?"
"From yards away."
"Girls, mostly. They're the most fun anyway."
"Oh." She closed the first shackle around Spike's ankle.
"Why would I be worried?"
He bent forward to speak in her ear. "About all those times your panties soak through when you fight me."
Buffy's eyes widened, but she continued. "I don't know what fantasyland you're living in, but..."
"S'alright, Slayer. It's perfectly natural. I get hard when I fight you, too."
Buffy made a face. "I really didn't need to know that."
He grabbed her hand. "You can't pretend with me, Slayer. I always know."
"Spike, you don't know anything." She pulled her hand away. "You take a shot in the dark and pass it off as wisdom."
"Got a hundred years on you that proves otherwise, Slayer. 'Going to go see Angel.' Hmpf." He reasoned, "You know if you go down there to chew him out, it'll only make you all lovey dovey and horny, and you can't do anything about that."
"You're wrong." She manacled his wrists.
Buffy locked the chains together, and slipped the key into her pocket. "Enough small talk. Tell me about the commandos."
"Tell me about some blood."
"I told you, I don't have any blood."
"Sure you do. It's right there," he said, eyes fixed on the crimson circle seeping through her bandage.
"You think I'll feed you my blood? You're out of your gourd."
"I'm hungry!" he whined, shaking his chains.
"Oh, for god's sake. Here." She unwrapped the bandage and stuck it in his mouth. "Suck on that."
Buffy blanched as she watched him milk it for all it was worth. "That is the grossest thing I think I've ever seen."
He spit it out. "Yeah, well, what do you expect? I'm a vampire. Angel'd do the same."
"Don't bring Angel into this."
"Don't have to. Angel's already here. He's all you're bloody thinkin' about."
"Look, I gave you blood. Start talking."
"Think that was enough? Not a peep out of me until I have actual, warm liquid blood."
"How do I even know you'll talk?"
"You have my word."
"Oh, and Spike's word is bond."
"It is! It is bond!" He looked at her arm. "Look, it's all ready to spill. All you have to do is de-scab it and pour it into my mouth!"
"That's revolting, Spike! You're not getting my blood!"
He tried a different tack. "I'll tell everyone you get turned on when you fight monsters." He narrowed his eyes. "Or is it just me?"
"Don't flatter yourself, Spike."
"Oh, so it's all of us." He yelled, "Buffy gets--"
Her fist connected with his nose. "Shut up."
He shook off the pain. "I swear I'll tell if you don't gimme."
"Say whatever you want. They won't believe you."
"Oh Buffy," he moaned loudly and kicked the tub. "Ohhh, Buffyyy--"
"Spike!" She hit him again. "I swear to god--"
He threw his head back. "Buffy, yeah! Oh yeah, that's so good! Don't stop! Auhhhh--"
Buffy covered his mouth, mortified. "Don't listen to Spike!"
"We're not," Giles and Willow answered from the living room.
Spike licked her hand, and she recoiled. "C'mon, love. Just a taste. Just one little drip. Then I'll tell you everything."
Buffy sighed. As she peeled away her scab, she muttered, "Why couldn't I have been chosen to fight robots, or members of Congress or... tartar? Of all things it just had to be vampires..."
Spike's eyes glazed over as she raised her arm above his mouth... and squoze.
He vamped out and opened wide.
A droplet of blood fell onto his tongue. As it hit the back of his throat, he burned for more.
He expected Buffy to stop, but she didn't. She continued to squeeze her wound, and blood continued to drop out.
She watched, fascinated and kind of amused. He looked like a baby bird at feeding time. A really evil baby bird.
Unwittingly, she brought her arm closer and closer to his mouth.
When her skin grazed his lips, Buffy started, but didn't move. Strange, she thought, but strangely not repulsive.
Rattling his chains frustratedly, willing his hands free to grasp, he began to suck her arm in earnest. Loud suckling noises and moans filled the room.
"Mmf," he mumbled, quieting down.
Buffy was reminded of the night that Angel drank from her. When he'd needed to. He'd almost killed her, but the intimacy of the act rivaled that of the only sexual experience they'd been allowed to share...
So why was she letting Spike do this?
She pulled away, horrified at herself.
He looked disoriented and slightly drugged. "What? What is it?"
"Please," he urged huskily. "I won't hurt you. I can't."
If anyone had asked Buffy at that moment why she brought her arm back to his mouth, she wouldn't have been able to answer.
Once again, he sucked hungrily at her flesh. He was drinking blood, heavenly slayer blood, and he wasn't going to stop until whatever was rigged in his head set off.
The expression on his demonic face was one of pure ecstasy. Well, of course it is, she thought. He's sucking the lifeforce out of a slayer. Her eyes drifted out of focus. Out of... me...
Suddenly, an intense throb pulsed between Buffy's thighs.
Spike stopped sucking.
Buffy tried to mask her arousal, but a tiny whimper betrayed her.
As he slowly swiveled to face her, Spike's vampiric features melted away.
For a second, their eyes met.
"I, um," she said, swiftly taking her arm back. "I have to..."
"No." Avoiding his gaze, she ransacked the cabinet for fresh gauze, hurried out and slammed the door behind her.
In the bathtub, a shackled, near-delirious vampire was left to sort out what had just happened.
Did Buffy Summers just give him an in?
And did William the Bloody actually want to take it?
Probably not, on both counts.
But it couldn't hurt to stick around and feel out the situation.
Because if that was just a taste...
Eyes rolling up as he savored the lingering traces of slayer essence on his tongue, Spike lay back against his cold porcelain bed with a contented grin.
"Just a taste."
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