Her skin is still crawling hours after she gets home, after Willow fields her roommates’ questions and sends her to bed before they can kick her out for good. And she’s huddled under her blanket now, her body itching and alert and unable to sleep because of the adrenaline still coursing through her.
She feels…dirty. Violated. Like something precious had nearly been stolen from her, like bits of it have already been tainted by Severin and now it…
She looks up swiftly, eyes meeting Spike’s knowing ones where he’s sitting perched on the edge of the open window. “How’d you get up here?”
He shrugs. “You left your window open. I thought it was an invitation.”
“Stalker.” It had been, but he doesn’t need her acquiescence to know it. It hadn’t been anything official, really, she’d just opened it for the night air to wash over her, and she’d wondered offhandedly if Spike was going to drop by, the same way as he had back in Xander and Dawn’s apartment until she’d moved out. And she hadn’t closed it, because that would be rude. And send a message that she’d never been less interested in sending.
He smirks, challenging. “Well, if you want me to go…” But he doesn’t shift from his spot, and she smiles softly. “Come in, Spike.” There’s something freeing about those words, no matter how often she says them or whether or not he actually needs them. They bring them closer together each time, letting him into places she’d never dare show to another soul, and now that he’s back in her life, she finds that she’s missed that keenly.
He slides down the window to the floor, ducking inside with as much grace as is possible when climbing into an apartment with windows this small. “It burns?” he repeats.
She nods, wrapping her arms around herself self-consciously. “I’m still me, I think. I don’t feel like I’ve lost my strength. There’s just…”
“Something missing,” he agrees, and now he’s standing right in front of her, and she sees his hands twitch toward her before lets them fall again. “S’the demon for me. It isn’t any quieter or dormant, but…” His voice trails off and she thinks to hell with it , he nearly died for her today and that’s reason enough to break through this tension- and she takes his hands in hers.
“You shouldn’t have come after me,” she murmurs, watching him stare at her hands as they stroke his own absently, thumbs tracing the curve of his fingers. “I would have survived. You…you wouldn’t-“ She can’t bring herself to say anymore. “You shouldn’t have put yourself in that much danger.
And she sees his eyes raise to meet hers, sharp blue and swimming with emotions that she hasn’t recognized in him for what seems like forever. “How could I not?” he breathes, and his hands are now the ones clasping hers, fingers fitting together like they once had far too many years ago, and she suddenly can’t breathe.
Their lips move together as though caught in a magnetic pull, his head dipping downward toward her and hers raising to meet him, and when they finally meet, it’s a kiss that’s gentle and sweet and longing, a quiet return that effectively hides the suddenly roaring need within her, overpowering the crawling in her skin in an instant and replacing it with pure desire.
Spike pulls away, far too quickly, and she blinks at him confusedly as he mumbles, “I shouldn’t have-“
“Spike!” She tugs him back to her before he can say something he’ll regret, and their lips are fusing together again, she’s jumping up to wrap her legs around him, and they’re crashing into her bed, frenziedly scrabbling at each other, breaking the kiss and renewing it every few seconds, desperate to pull each other closer and closer until she’s fumbling with his jeans (has it always taken this long?) and he’s kissing a trail down her neck to her shoulders and-
“Is now a not an appropriate time?” rumbles an unfamiliar voice behind them, and Spike jumps up to stand in front of her protectively, blocking her half-bare front from the man standing hunched over in front of them.
“Oi! Ever heard of knocking?”
“You didn’t.” The hooded figure moves forward, and Buffy realizes that it isn’t a man at all, but the demon she’d thought she’d seen earlier with Spike, watching them both with mild amusement.
“Do you know each other?” she asks, straightening her rumpled clothing and running her fingers through her hair in a vain attempt to flatten it down. When she turns, she sees Spike watching her, the demon forgotten. “Spike?”
He sighs. “Yeah.” But her fingers creep back toward his as he reluctantly introduces them, and she can feel their hands clasp in reassurance as the phantom itching fades away again. It isn’t over this time, and neither one of them is dead yet, even.
It’s a heady feeling.