Two cold hands spread her thighs apart, baring her to his lust-filled gaze. He wanted her; she knew it. That didn’t change the fact that this was wrong. This couldn’t be happening, not again. She tried closing her legs, tried to will herself to find his touch undesirable.
“No,” she murmured, knowing she wasn’t using an eighth of her full slayer strength against him.
He chuckled, his breath tickling her inner thigh. “Your ‘no’ sounds a lot like a ‘yes’, pet.”
All her protests died as his head descended, kissing along her inner thigh. Reaching his destination, he placed a kiss on her already slick opening. She refused to admit that his mouth could do things to her she’d never experienced, even as she pulled his head closer to her aching sex. His tongue circled her throbbing clit, and she cried out. She was sure her erratically beating heart was a dead giveaway, letting him know she liked this a lot more than she’d have him believe.
“Oh, God!” She bucked her hips, fucking his face, needing more.
Stopping for a minute, he stared unabashedly into her eyes, taking her already labored breath away with a look of fierce desire. He inserted two fingers into her pussy, pumping them in and out a few times before sucking her clit into his mouth once more. Her hips lurched off the mattress at the contact.
Buffy woke with a start to a loud banging. She looked around quickly; assuring herself she was, in fact, alone in her own bedroom. With a groan, she realized she had been having a sex dream. A sex dream about Spike. She was even more disgusted to find her fingers still buried in her pussy, just waiting to scratch the itch dream-Spike had created.
“Buffy?” Dawn called out to her from the other side of the door. “Is everything okay in there?”
Buffy blushed. Thank God her door had been locked. “Fine, Dawnie,” she called back, finding her voice. “Just had a bad dream. Going back to sleep now!”
She held her breath until she heard her sister moving down the hall away from her door. Pulling her hands out from under the covers, she looked at them angrily, as if they had betrayed her. Damn that stupid vampire. A cold shower was definitely in order.
After she showered and dressed, she found Dawn and Willow downstairs in the kitchen. There was an aroma lingering in the air that smelled suspiciously of cheese and peanut butter. Willow looked as worn out as Buffy felt, but at the same time in better spirits than Buffy had seen her in since Tara had left.
“What’s up?” Buffy asked, taking a seat at the counter next to Willow.
“Dawnie was just generously scrapping her latest creation so we could grab some dinner together. Wanna come?”
“Yeah, Buffy, you should totally come,” Dawn agreed with a big smile. “It’ll be fun.”
“Oh, I don’t know. I really should patrol.”
“Come on, Buff, even slayer’s gotta eat,” Willow reminded her. “You can patrol after dinner.”
“U-unless there’s some big bad you’ve gotta take care of?”
“No!” Buffy responded quickly. “No, no big bad. Dinner’s a great idea.”
Dawn squealed girlishly, happy to have the attention of her sister and their housemate. “I’ll just run and get my jacket.”
“This’ll be good,” Buffy told Willow when Dawn was out of earshot. “I think Dawn needs some quality time with us.”
Willow smiled. “Yeah, definitely. It’ll be just like old times.”
They sat in silence waiting for Dawn to return, both too wrapped up in their own lives to notice the other.
Dawn bounced happily between the two older girls on their way home from dinner. She’d done most of the talking all night, trying desperately to fill the awkward silences. Buffy wasn’t the same these days, they all knew why and were waiting as patiently as they could for her to get some of her old fire back. Willow appeared to be taking her breakup with Tara hard, so even though they were supposed to be taking care of her, Dawn found herself doing her best to take care of them.
“You guys uh, wanna watch a movie?” Dawn asked hopefully as they walked through the front door.
“I’ve really gotta put in some slayage time tonight, Dawnie. Sorry.”
Dawn didn’t think she looked very sorry. Distracted, maybe, but not sorry. “Okay, what about you?” she asked Willow. “I think The Breakfast Club is on tonight. Popcorn, candy, and Molly Ringwald?”
“Uh, actually, I was gonna see how Amy’s adjusting.” Willow looked nervously at Buffy. “Unless you need me to stay home with Dawnie.”
“Hello, teenager in high school here!” Dawn reminded them. “I so do not need a babysitter!”
“Are you sure?” Buffy asked. “I could call Anya and Xander to come keep you company.”
“I’m sure.” Dawn plopped down onto the couch, crossing her arms over her chest. “You guys are coming home tonight, though, right?” she asked meekly.
Dawn seemed happy with their simultaneous assurances. She picked up the remote, not sparing them a second glance as they walked out of the house.
Buffy carefully avoided his cemetery. She really didn’t need to run into him tonight, especially since she still had a dull ache between her legs from her dream this afternoon. So far she hadn’t seen a single vamp and that, was doing nothing to take the edge off. She needed to fight something, anything to distract her from the unwelcome thoughts and images crowding her mind.
What the hell had she been thinking? Oh, God, what would her friends think if they ever found out? She shook her head with conviction. No, they could never know what she’d done in that deserted building with their enemy. They wouldn’t understand, hell, she didn’t even understand. She didn’t need to understand because it was never. Gonna. Happen. Again. Best all around if she just forgot about it entirely.
She smelled the smoke before her slayer senses alerted her of his presence. Ignoring him, she kept walking in the direction she’d been headed. One more cemetery, and she’d go home. She really needed to start spending more time with Dawn.
“Avoiding me now?” he called out to her, stopping her in her tracks.
She spun around, glaring at him. “Hardly,” she scoffed. “Slayer, remember? I have a job to do.”
Spike flicked the cigarette, sauntering up to her and as usual, invading her personal space. “Know all about it.” His hand ghosted down her arm. She shrugged him off. He sighed, shaking his head. “Didn’t take your normal route tonight.”
“I don’t have a normal route,” she lied.
Buffy really hated it when he sounded that way, like he could see right through her. “What do you want, Spike?”
“I think you know what I want, Slayer, ‘cause you want the same thing.”
She tried her best to look disgusted, but her panties dampened all the same. She wanted to punch him in his smug, stupid vampire nose. “What I want is to finish patrolling, so I can go home to Dawn.”
Buffy turned to leave but Spike was quicker, around and blocking her way in an instant. “We both know that’s a lie,” he told her. “Know you’ve been thinking about last night just like I have.”
“Please! Why would I want to remember something so—so—“ Amazing. Incredible. “Gross!”
Spike raised an eyebrow at that. “That’s not what you were screamin’ last night, love.”
“Whatever happened last night, there is no way it’s happening ever again,” she told him, crossing her arms.
Spike pouted. “Why not?”
“The first on a long list being that I left Dawn home all alone last night.”
“Is the bit okay?” he asked, not sounding very concerned. There was no way Buffy would be so calm if her sister was in danger.
“Well, yeah, but that’s beside the point. I forgot about her, Spike. Something could have happened to her-“
“But it didn’t. Not really seeing the problem here.”
“Yeah, you wouldn’t,” she muttered under her breath, pushing past him. He grabbed her arm to stop her, and she instinctively swung, landing a hard punch to his cheek.
Spike staggered back, but didn’t fall. He had the nerve to chuckle. “I’m sensing a repeat performance here, love.”
“Stop calling me that! There will be no repeat anything.”
Spike was there again, pulling her up against his body, rubbing his erection into her stomach. “I know you want me, Slayer. Know you want me just as much as I want you.”
“No,” she murmured, a lot like she had in her dream. Her panties got wetter just thinking about him going down on her.
“Yes,” he whispered back to her before his lips crashed down onto hers. She gave in, her arms wrapping around his neck.
“Can’t,” she gasped in between kisses. “Not…out here…in…the open.”
Spike rubbed himself against her again, letting her feel how aroused he was. “Crypt’s too far away,” he told her, his fingers moving to unbutton her jeans. “Never gonna make it.”
Taking her small frame into his arms, he moved them to a nearby tree that would give them the most privacy available in the open cemetery. Getting lost in him, Buffy quickly forgot that anyone could happen upon them at any time. She let him push her jeans past her hips, as she fumbled with freeing him from his own.
Not wasting any time, Spike thrust into her. Propping himself up on one arm as he rocked his hips slowly, he worked on exposing her pretty, perky breasts. Bunching her shirt high on her chest, he moved aside her lacy bra, taking a nipple between his teeth. She sighed, arching her back into his touch. He needed to show her this wasn’t just a fuck for him. He loved her, and one of these days she was going to realize it.
The next night, Buffy avoided the cemeteries all together. Starting out in the alley behind the Magic Box, she worked her way through all the alleys in Sunnydale’s downtown district.
No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t stop thinking about Spike. Did she actually like the things he did to her? No, no way. Maybe. Okay, she might like the things he could do to her, but that didn’t mean she liked that he was the one doing them.
Either way, she really needed to stop obsessing over the blond vampire. She wouldn’t waste another minute thinking about the things he did with his hands, teeth, or tongue…
No. That kind of thinking was never helpful. She needed to concentrate on slaying. She hadn’t slain anything in two nights, and she was feeling all kinds of restless.
As she approached the back of the bank, she heard a commotion, some sort of rustling. It was long past banking hours, and the alley should have been vacant. She pulled her stake out of her jacket pocket, ready to kick some serious vamp ass.
“—you said I could push the button!”
“Nuh-uh. He definitely said I could push the button.”
Buffy stood a little shocked by the scene in front of her. Was this an actual bank robbery? Weren’t those guys a little too dweeby to be robbing a bank? Two of them looked like—
The three nerds stopped bickering and spun around.
“Shit, it’s the slayer,” the third, a yet to be identified blond, whined.
“This has nothing to do with you, Slayer,” Warren called out to her.
It took Buffy a minute before she noticed the van they were standing next to. The same van she’d seen at Xander’s construction site. She put her hands on her hips. “You’re my pain-in-the ass stalkers? Following me around, playing jokes on me?”
“We’re your arch nemeses…es,” Warren told her, more confident than he had any right to be.
“Seriously?” Buffy asked, holding back a laugh. They couldn’t be serious. “And who’s this guy?”
“Andrew. I, uh, summoned the flying monkeys that attacked the high school.” Buffy still looked confused, even after he clarified, “During the school play?”
“It’s Tucker’s brother.”
“Whatever!” Buffy shouted, shutting them up. Only a few minutes with them, and she was developing a serious headache. “Why don’t you guys take your creepy little van, and get out of here before someone gets hurt?”
“Only one in danger here is you, Slayer,” Warren threatened.
“You do know what a slayer is, don’t you? She with the strength to kick the asses of little nerds?” Buffy tucked the stake back into her pocket. She clearly wouldn’t need that to fend them off.
Warren signaled to his two partners in crime, who took off for the van. “Wouldn’t come any closer, Slayer,” he warned, backing up toward the van.
Buffy rolled her eyes. Would it really be so wrong to rough him up a little? She advanced on him slowly, directly behind the bank when he jumped into the back of the van. She realized too late what Warren was holding in his hand as the van peeled off out of the alley. Turning, she tried to run to escape the impending blast.
The pungent stench of disinfectant hit Buffy’s nose long before she opened her eyes. The odor was oddly familiar, but she couldn’t for the life of her connect it with any particular place. The sounds around her were muddled, like she was submerged in water. Her hand felt heavier than she thought it should. She felt so weak, only managing to lift a finger off the bed she was lying in.
Someone took her hand and she squeezed back as hard as she could, her strength already increasing. Opening her eyes, she saw people rustling around her. She looked around the unfamiliar room. The walls were a bland, neutral color. The bright lights hurt her eyes, so she closed them again.
When she opened her eyes again, someone was standing over her repeating the same word over and over. She tried to focus on what the woman was saying. Bunny? Buddy? Buffy? No, that couldn’t be right. Her voice came out hoarse when she tried to respond; her throat felt like it was on fire. Someone else quickly shoved a glass of water into her hand and instructed her to drink. The cool liquid rolling down her throat felt incredible, so she tried again.
“Where am I?” she croaked.
“Buffy, my name is Dr. Stevens, and you’re at Sunnydale Memorial Hospital.”
Buffy turned her gaze from Dr. Stevens to the bed, the gown she was wearing, and the machines she was hooked up to. She was in the hospital, but she couldn’t remember why she was there. She wracked her brain, because she had to know this, but came up empty. Having no other option, she asked the doctor.
“You were in an accident,” Dr. Stevens told her kindly. “You’ve been unconscious for three days due to swelling around your brain. I have to say, you’re healing a lot faster than anticipated, but we’re going to keep you here for observation.”
A young girl rushed to her bedside once the doctor left the room with a promise to check in later. “Oh, Buffy, thank God you’re okay,” she gushed, throwing her arms around Buffy in a crushing hug. “We were all so worried.”
“Everybody’s here. We sorta set up camp in the waiting room.” The girl took her hand, squeezing it lovingly, relief coursing through her body.
The girl continued with a story that Buffy didn’t have the strength to listen to. An older man rushed in just as she was about to ask the girl to let her get some rest, relief also evident on his face as he embraced her.
“How are you feeling?”
“Like I fell off a skyscraper. What happened to me?”
He took off his glasses and began cleaning them with a cloth from his pocket. “It seems there was an explosion while you were out patrolling three nights ago.”
“What do I…can I have a mirror?” The effects from her accident were starting to scare her. These people obviously knew and cared for her, but she couldn’t put together how she knew them. Maybe, if she saw her own face it would all come back to her.
He left the room and came back with the requested mirror. She took a deep breath before holding it in front of her face. A tiny gasp came from her mouth as she took in her appearance. The entire right side of her face was bruised. Tiny scratches covered her skin all the way down to where the gown fell on her chest. She pulled it down a bit to see more purple bruises covering her milky skin.
“It’s not so bad,” the brunette girl said in a tiny voice. “You know how fast you heal. You’ll be all better in no time.”
Discarding the mirror onto the bed next to her, Buffy looked at the girl. She stared so long that the girl grew uncomfortable, but Buffy still couldn’t put a name to her face. She repeated the action with the man before realizing with growing frustration that not only couldn’t she remember who they were, she had no clue who she was.
“Are you…are you my father?” she asked. Somehow she knew that wasn’t right, but she wasn’t sure how she knew that.
“What? Buffy, no. That’s Giles.” The girl exchanged a worried look with Giles.
“Dawn, why don’t you go find Willow and Xander. They’re going to want to know that Buffy has regained consciousness,” Giles suggested.
Unsure, Dawn looked at Buffy, who smiled her approval. “Uh, sure, okay. I think they went down to the cafeteria.”
Giles took the seat Dawn vacated, looking at her with worry in his eyes. “I’m going to assume it’s not only me that you can’t recall.”
Frustrated tears burned her eyes. “No,” she admitted. “I’m trying so hard, but I don’t even know who I am.”
“Dear lord,” Giles muttered under his breath, trying to come to terms with the fact that his slayer would be at her most vulnerable until she regained her memory.
After alerting Dr. Stevens, who assured them that memory-loss, was not uncommon in cases of severe head trauma, Giles filled her in on only the most necessary information. She was introduced to her friends and sister, whose faces all expressed a perfect mixture of relief and concern.
Over the next two days, Buffy’s body continued to heal itself at an amazing speed. Dr. Stevens and the nurses commented on her miraculous recovery, and she had a feeling they were surprised she survived the explosion at all. She wanted to ask her friends more about the night of her accident, but they seemed to be avoiding the subject.
Buffy was released from the hospital on the sixth day. Giles and Willow assured Dr. Stevens that Buffy would be taken care of at all times. They were dismayed to learn that Buffy’s memory loss could be permanent, but had hope she would heal as quickly in that department as she had physically.
Like much else, her house felt familiar to her, but it was as if she was seeing it for the first time. She wandered from room to room on the first floor, looking for anything that would jump-start her memory. Nothing was working. Not the pictures on the wall or the mantle, not her bedroom, or the other two on the second floor.
Buffy took Willow up on her offer to rest. The redhead, her best friend apparently, helped her get changed into sweats and comfortable in bed. Willow’s movements were erratic, like she was nervous about something. She kept wringing her hands in front of her.
“We live here by ourselves?”
“Yep, it’s just us and Dawnie,” Willow confirmed with a tense smile.
“Where are our parents? I mean, we seem a little young to be living on our own with a teenager.”
Willow cleared her throat, obviously uncomfortable with her questioning. “Why don’t you just get some rest? We can fill you in on all the details later, okay?”
Buffy wasn’t satisfied, but nodded anyway. She tried to sleep, but it was early evening and the California sun was still shining brightly through her closed blinds. After trying unsuccessfully for an hour, she kicked off the covers and made her way down the hall. The smell of something delicious woke up her hungry stomach, propelling her down the stairs toward the aroma. She stopped close to the bottom, eavesdropping on a conversation being had about her in the dining room.
“She needs to know. We have no idea how long her amnesia will last, and we cannot leave the Hellmouth unguarded.”
“I’m on board with the guarding of the Hellmouth, Giles, but are we sure Buff’s cleared for slayage? She’s not looking too spry, if you know what I mean.”
“Xander does have a point,” Willow agreed. “We could take over patrolling, like we did this summer.”
“I’m sure Spike would help out,” Dawn inserted with a mouth full of food.
“No! No, Spike. We’ll be fine on our own without the bleached menace,” Xander insisted, angrily.
“As loath as I am to request Spike’s help for anything, I have to agree with Dawn,” Giles said with a sigh. “He’s the only one whose strength is comparable with that of a slayer.”
Buffy stepped out from her hiding spot to address the room. “What’s a slayer?”
Five pairs of eyes stared back at her. Giles directed her to have a seat, cleared his throat, and then began telling her the most insane story she was sure she’d ever heard. Not only were vampires and demons real, it was her sacred duty to slay them every night. Her face must have given away how ridiculous she found it all.
“I know this can’t be easy to learn, but it is true,” Giles assured her. “Six years ago I was sent to Sunnydale to act as your watcher, and you’ve been slaying ever since.”
“I don’t feel like a superhero. I mean, seriously? Look at me. I’m tiny,” she argued as she tucked into her third slice of pizza. “This stuff is amazing. So much better than hospital food.”
“Once we get back to training, I have no doubt you’ll realize just how strong you truly are. Until then, you should rest to regain your strength.”
“So you’re staying then?” Dawn asked Giles hopefully.
Giles assured with a kind smile and a hand on her shoulder her that he was in fact, staying.
“Staying? I thought you said you were my watcher. Wouldn’t you have to live around here to ya know, watch me?”
“Yes, quite right, but I returned home to London a few weeks ago. I’m sure you were doing just fine in my absence, but with the current circumstances I’ll be remaining here.”
Willow jumped up, still jittery. “Why don’t I go find Spike and catch him up to speed on the uh, situation. I’m sure he’s gonna wanna know Buffy’s okay.”
Xander snorted and rolled his eyes as Willow left the house. Buffy watched the reactions of her other friends at the mention of Spike. Giles didn’t look as annoyed as Xander, but he didn’t look pleased either. Anya, who had been silent for most of the conversation with the exception of inserting blunt and mostly inappropriate comments, had no reaction at all. Dawn smiled with a dreamy look on her face.