Buffy shrugs her blouse down her shoulders, revealing a fresh bruise from Demon Chick After Xander's Blood #432 under the strap of her lacy peach camisole. It's slightly torn from the skirmish. Her brand-new camisole. The camisole that lifts and separates so well.

The camisole that Spike saw today.

She pauses to glance in the mirror, to see what it is he saw. She remembers her movement as she stood before him, impulsively shielding herself with her blouse, then unshielding, because Spike? Has already seen it all. She recreates the moment several times before realizing what she's doing -- then quickly balls up the blouse and tosses it into the laundry basket.

Not like she wore it for him, anyway. Except in the general and sweeping sense that whenever she dresses, a remote part of her brain asks if Spike would approve. But that's not the point. She wore it for someone else.

She sighs. It's time to pay the reality check: Giles is right. None of this matters. Now is not the time for frivolous... frivolity. Now is the time for action plans and strategy and, well, war.

"Sucks to be you," she asserts to her reflection.

Vaguely aware of the sound of steadily running water in the hallway bathroom, Buffy pulls the camisole by its sides and tugs it over her head. It loosens her ponytail on the way, so she slips off the band and lets her hair fall, feels it spill sensually down her back. Standing before the mirror, she watches herself intently as she unhooks her skirt and lets it drop to the rug, steps out of it, kicks it aside. Stands there, watching the orange candleglow dance on her naked skin.

She runs her hands up her torso, cups her breasts. Remembers his hands there. Once. Well, several... hundred times, but before... everything.

She lets her arms drop, tilts her head as she surveys her body.

She thinks of Principal Wood. Robin. She should probably call him Robin now. Son of Slayer, freelance warrior guy, full-time hottie. Robin.

What kind of sex would they have? Hard, fast, passionate? Slow, intense, Energizer-long?

Okay, she levels with herself, someone's hard up. And it's time to stop thinking about sex. It's time for bed. Rest. Sleep. Something she hasn't had much of lately. Like sex.

Besides, this whole thing with Wood -- Robin -- probably moot. Over before it began, now that he's picked up on the fact that Spike is on the bumpy side, and she obviously once partook in the bumping. Really doesn't take a genius, after all.

Not that he has any right to judge, or that she should regret her actions, or feel compelled to explain herself. She had a thing with Spike. It's over. And besides, he's different now. If people can't understand that, well...

Buffy slips under the covers, pulls the quilt up. Fresh, cool sheets envelop her bare skin.

Well, nothing. Doesn't matter, none of this matters, she chants to herself. Alphabetical list of things that do matter? Apocalypse, Big Bad, End of Life As We Know It, Evil, the First, fighting, game plans, strategies, training... no, wait, fighting comes before first... fighting, hottie, hotness, soft kisses, sex...

A dull ache throbs between her legs.

She sighs. Something about a date, whether it ends well or not. Makes you feel all sexy.

Her hands coast over her body, over her breasts, down her stomach, resting at the freshly shaven, smooth and soft flesh that longs to be touched.

She presses her palm against her pussy, imagining a strong, male hand there. Her clitoris swells, wanting... she glides her fingers up her labia and taps it once, shudders and gasps softly at the touch.

Would he touch her like this?

She sees him before her, gazing at her with those deep brown eyes, and slowly circles her fingertip, letting herself revel in another man's heated touch.

Puts Spike out of her mind. Out, out. Don't look at me like that.

Not looking back -- looking forward. Robin, his name is Robin, and his eyes are dark and glinting with mischief. Mystery. She wants to know more. Everything.

Doesn't she?

Yes, yes... She quickens the pace, rubbing faster, insistently, flings the covers off, letting him see all of her, all of her need.

And wouldn't it be so good if she let him? Wouldn't it be the best thing she could do?

Buffy arches and tightens her body, drops her head back on the pillow, clamps her eyes shut as silken juices slide out of her, drip down her ass. She contracts to lift her ass off the bed, caressing herself with one hand as she uses the other to probe the wetness from bottom to top, finally dipping one finger inside.

So wet, so hot, so tight, she hears Spike gruff in her ear... My Buffy, my Slayer...

Two fingers... three... Oh god...

As she thrusts and strokes, a forgotten image invades her mind: Him, on the motorcycle, leaning back against the seat, shirt off, holding her as she rides him fiercely, pinching his nipples. He watches her through heavy-lidded eyes. That mouth, that face...

His face the first time. That look of absolute wonder, astonishment... ecstasy.

And the feel of him that first time, as she sunk down onto his cock. Like she was lost and home, all at once.

She refuses to feel guilty about this. It's been too long since she's allowed herself to think of him this way, and dammit, it's fantasy, it's not real, and the world might end tomorrow for all anyone knows...

His mouth on her, sucking. His incredible tongue, oh god, that tongue...

Two fingers flatten against her slippery clit, acting as his surrogate tongue. She twists her nipple, arches her back in response.

Her head whips from side to side, and she whispers, "Spike, Spike, Spike..."

* * *

Spike emerges from the bathroom and readjusts his towel, closing the door softly behind him, careful not to wake the House of Sleeping Slayers. 3am -- only time you can get a decent shower in around here.

And then he hears it: "Spike!"

A whisper, a command. Buffy. She needs him.

He rushes to her door, opens it...

And sees her, convulsing on her bed, naked, hands on her sweet spot, working double time, head bent back, thrashing back and forth and finally facing him.

A brief look of surprise, but she's too far gone.

She's coming.

She emits a series of gasps as she stares, eyes glazed over, and shudders out a body-wracking climax.

Mouthing out his name.

He stands there transfixed, unable to move. His lips tremble.

She breathes heavily, coming down, and it occurs to her that he's really there.

Spike feels a painful twinge and realizes she's made him hard.

"Sorry," he breathes, and quickly leaves and shuts the door.

Buffy lies there spent, unable to process. Spike...

Just saw me. Heard me. Like this.

She cups her hands over her face. Feels the waves of shock, disbelief. The heat of embarrassment. The depths of wrong. The miles of necessary explanation.

She also feels him outside her door.

Buffy covers herself with the sheet, whispers, "Spike?"

Slowly, the door creaks open. A shamefaced Spike ducks in. "Yeah?"

She looks at him and forgets what she was going to say. "Can you... close the door behind you?"

He obeys, trying to shield his erection. Trying not to be overwhelmed by the all-too-familiar scent pervading the room.

Any trace of chagrin disappears as she looks at him. She doesn't feel humiliated or violated. She doesn't feel anything but ...comfortable. A question slips out. "Do you miss me at all?"

After a moment, he lifts his chin. "I never stopped missing you."

Her brow furrows slightly. He knows the resurrection didn't truly bring me back. I've been dead for so long... "I'm sorry."

His eyes smile. Tender. "I'm just glad you're back."

She is back, isn't she?

An eyebrow arches and she grins slyly. "Glad I'm back? Or on my back?"

"Well, that too, but--" he points at the door. "Yeah. I'm gonna go now."

As he closes the door, Buffy's voice drifts out to him.

"I'm glad you're back too."


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