Spike stepped out of the swirling vortex, and he looked around at the drifts of blowing snow. "Well, Slayer, this certainly puts a new spin on hell freezin' over."
“It does look like a cold day in hell,” Buffy replied. She pulled her coat tighter around her body. She wasn’t happy about going on a mission so close to Christmas, but she knew they needed to find a weapon that would defeat Glory. “I’m glad Mom made me dress warmly after Anya warned us about this place.”
“Now that we have the puns out of the way, where’s that shiny, magical ball of yours?” Spike glanced up at the sky. While he was glad for some alone time with the Slayer, he wasn’t exactly happy about getting stuck where they were. “I have the feelin’ it’s gonna snow again really soon.”
A gust of wind blew a cloud of powder fine snow around Buffy. “Are you sure it’s even stopped snowing? Sure doesn’t feel like it to me.” She shivered while she pulled the guiding sphere that Giles and Willow had made them before Spike and she came to Hell.
“Any clue what the doodad we’re lookin’ for looks like?” Spike asked.
Buffy shrugged. “Giles just said it was called The Crystal Heart. So … heart like?” She turned around in a circle until the ball started to glow more brightly. “This way, I guess.”
“Lead on, oh fearless leader,” Spike said with a flourish.
“Wish you’d quit calling me that,” Buffy huffed. Spike had come up with the new nickname around Thanksgiving time when they had raided a local vamp whorehouse together, burning it and the vampires inside to the ground.
Spike wiggled his eyebrows at Buffy. “You like it and you know it, Slayer.”
“Humph!” Buffy marched off in the direction indicated by the ball. She didn’t even look back to see if Spike was following. She knew he was, just like at Halloween when they investigated the Toys R Us looking for ghosts.
Spike trudged through the snow behind Buffy. Even he was starting to feel the effects of the cold in this snow-filled Hell. “Wish I brought my flask,” he muttered. For a change, his non-existent breath hung in the air, making him realize that he was still warmer than the air around him. He wondered how long that would last.
The snow swirled heavier and colder around Spike and Buffy while they continued to follow the guidance of the steadily brighter ball. Spike let out a muffled grunt when he walked into Buffy, who had stopped in front of him without warning. He put his hands on her shoulders to steady himself. “Slayer?”
“Is that a building?” Buffy pointed a cold, gloved hand at a shadow in front of them.
Spike peered into the white landscape. “A tower, maybe,” he replied. He glanced over Buffy’s shoulder at the ball. Its glow was still intense and steady.
“Let’s stop and warm up,” Buffy suggested. She was getting colder by the second. “Maybe someone there will know where the heart thingie is.”
Buffy led the way towards the shadow. The closer Spike and she got, the taller it appeared until she decided Spike was right. It was a tower.
As they approached, Spike used his supernatural sight to look for an entrance. He noticed there was no door until Buffy and he were within five feet of the building. “Door just appeared now.”
“I saw,” Buffy said. She looked down at her hands. “The ball is pulsating too. We’ve found the heart.”
“Guess it’s inside with us then.” Spike stepped towards the door, and he put a hand out only to have the entrance swing open for him. “I hate it when they do that,” he muttered.
“Scarier when they close on you,” Buffy replied. She peered inside the tower. The room looked warm and inviting with a big fire in the fireplace and a table laden with food. “You think they were expecting us?”
Spike shrugged. “Maybe they greet all their visitors this way. Let’s get inside. Your lips are turnin’ blue, pet.”
Buffy nodded before she stepped inside the tower room. She was hit by a wave of heated air that made her fingers and toes tingle. Buffy let out a sigh of relief as the warmth seeped into her skin. “Nice,” she murmured.
Spike closed the door behind him when he entered the room after Buffy. He too let out a sigh of pleasure when he felt how heated the roaring fire made the space. “Let’s get you out of those wet clothes, Buffy.” He went around Buffy to unbutton her coat and ease it off her shoulders.
Buffy switched the glowing ball to one hand, and then the other, while Spike removed her jacket. Her gloves peeled off with the sleeves, leaving her fingers bare in the balmy air. “Anyone here?” she called out.
Spike paused in his actions. He tilted his head to listen to the building, but the only things he heard was the crackle of the flames and Buffy’s beating heart. “Doesn’t appear to be.”
You are not like those that came before.
The voice echoed through Spike and Buffy’s minds.
“Who’s there?” Buffy looked around the room.
I am what you search so desperately for. I am the Crystal Heart
Buffy gave Spike a wild look. “You don’t seem surprised that we’re here.”
I must admit it has been a while since … you … were here last, Slayer and Champion.
“I don’t know who you think we are,” Spike snarled. “But I’m fairly certain neither the Slayer nor I have been here before, together or separately.”
The Heart hummed. It has been a long time since that happened. A millennium ago.
“There. See. Couldn’t possibly be us then,” Spike said.
The storm worsens.
Sure enough, the wind outside whistled loudly while it buffeted the tower. In response the fire burned brighter, lighting the whole room with a cheery glow. Even the darkest corners were exposed in the light.
“We need to get home,” Buffy protested. “It’s Christmas Eve. I wanted to spend it with Mom and Dawn.”
You won’t miss anything, Slayer. Eat, drink, and wait for the storm to abate. All will be well.
Buffy huffed. “I don’t like waiting.”
“I don’t either, pet.” Spike shrugged out of his duster. “I doubt we’d find our way back to the portal out there now.”
Buffy let out a louder huff of air. “Fine, but if I miss Christmas someone’s gonna meet Mr. Pointy.”
“You just love that stake, don’t cha?” Spike sauntered to the over laden table. He was surprised to find a pitcher of blood heated to exactly the right temperature waiting for him.
Buffy put the glowing ball with her coat and gloves. She pulled the cap off of her head and grimaced when she realized her hair was all static-y. Buffy tried to comb her hair out with her fingers. “Of course I love Mr. Pointy. I don’t leave home without it.”
“Thought that was American Express.”
“Someone watches too much television.” Buffy approached the table where she discovered a pitcher of perfectly cooled eggnog. She didn’t drink the sweet drink very often, but it was Christmas Eve. Everyone knew food had no calories on Christmas Eve.
Spike looked the table over while he tried to decide what to have. There were so many delightful choices.
“It’s still cold,” Buffy said in wonder while she poured herself a goblet of eggnog.
“I’m havin’ some of the Buffalo wings and a bloomin’ onion.” Spike pointed out his food choices.
Buffy sipped her eggnog while she perused the food. She zeroed in on what she wanted and grabbed a plate.
Spike watched in amazement while Buffy started to pile the food on her plate. Usually the Slayer barely ate enough to keep a bird alive, and he worried sometimes that with her metabolism, she wasn’t eating enough. “Hungry, luv?”
“It’s Christmas. No calories.” Buffy continued to put delicious smelling food on her plate. Nobody, not even her own mother, knew that seafood was a true temptation for the Slayer. Onto Buffy’s plate went an avocado and lobster salad, crab cakes, crackers slathered with crab dip, two kinds of shrimp -- a stir fry garlic and deep fried-- fish tacos, and oyster shooters.
“Are you sure about that last one?” Spike looked skeptical. “I can smell the vodka and horseradish from here.”
Buffy wiggled her eyebrows in a flirtatious manner. “Maybe they’re not for me.” Then she sashayed over to the rug in front of the fireplace where she gracefully settled on the floor. She put down her plate and crooked one finger at Spike. “Come here.”
Spike grinned. He grabbed his plate and goblet. After he sank to the floor next to Buffy, he whispered, “Have I told you how glad I am that you let me tag along on Halloween?”
Buffy caught her bottom lip between her teeth and shook her head. It had been a memorable night for her, too.
Spike tucked a lock of hair behind Buffy’s ear. “Well, I am, pet. Very glad.”
“Maybe that’s what I should call you. My tag along vampire.”
Buffy’s tummy rumbled loudly. She looked down in embarrassment. “Guess we should eat.”
Spike smirked and grabbed one of the oyster shooters off Buffy’s plate. He watched her face while he tipped the shell against his mouth to let the slippery, spicy delicacy slide across his tongue.
“Hey, those are mine!” Buffy spluttered, even though she’d really picked them to feed Spike. She watched in fascination as the vampire swallowed the oyster whole.
“Delicious, but you should work your way up to them.” Spike grabbed a crab dip covered cracker and held it up to Buffy’s mouth. His eyes zeroed in on her lips when she opened her mouth to engulf the cracker and his fingertips. Her warm, wet tongue lapped at his skin as she removed the tidbit from his hand.
Buffy moaned when the crab dip hit her taste buds. Nothing had ever tasted so good before. This was ambrosia, the nectar of the gods. She abandoned her seduction plans to dig into her food.
“Don’t get between a Slayer and her food,” Spike laughed. He joined Buffy in eating until the only things left on their plates were the oyster shooters on Buffy’s dish. “You gonna try one now?”
“Just a minute.” Buffy picked up one of the shells. “These are some monster shells,” she commented as she scooted closer to Spike to press the oyster to his lips. “You first.”
Spike downed the alcohol soaked seafood. Before he could taunt Buffy again, he found himself being thoroughly snogged by the Slayer. Her tongue pressed against the seam of his mouth until he opened it. To his delight, Buffy swirled her tongue around his mouth before she pulled back.
“Yum, alcohol tastes good on you.” Buffy set their plates and goblets aside. Then, she tugged Spike’s shirt over his head and licked her lips in anticipation when she saw his sculpted abs
“Like what you see?” Spike stretched his arms into the air and threw back his shoulders to show off his chest.
“You betcha.” Buffy took the time to admire Spike’s body. She was intrigued by the bulge in his pants. They had been just playing games since Halloween and she was ready for the real thing. “Off with the boots, too.” Buffy tugged at one boot herself.
“Hold on there, pet. Let me do that.” Spike quickly shed his footwear and socks. He lay back against the rug with his arms behind his head. “I’m all yours, Slayer.”
“I know,” Buffy said. She discarded her shoes and lifted off her heavy shirt to reveal a tank top beneath. Then, she leaned over Spike to kiss him again. Her hands roamed over his biceps and chest, stroking and pinching at his cool flesh.
“Ssssslayer,” Spike hissed against Buffy’s lips when she caught his flat nipple with a particularly vicious twist. Her tongue immediately slipped past his lips to tangle with his.
Buffy straddled Spike’s thighs, which put her mouth level with his chest. She gave his nipples the same attention he might give hers if their positions were reversed. She nipped and sucked first one and then the other until Spike closed his eyes and threw his head back against his hands. Then, she changed her tactics to twisting and biting until Spike bucked his hard cock up into her belly.
“Buffy,” Spike grunted. He started to pull his arms out from behind his head.
“Don’t move,” Buffy cautioned. “I’m not done with you.”
“But I like to touch.” Spike pouted.
“Later.” Buffy slid down Spike’s legs leaving a trail of kisses in her wake. When she was level with the top of his jeans, she popped the top button. She looked up at Spike’s face.“You’ll tell me if do something wrong?”
“Pet, short of biting it off, there’s not much that you could do wrong,” Spike assured Buffy.
Buffy finished unbuttoning Spike’s jeans. “Raise your hips,” she said. In a few seconds his pants were gone, and she was confronted with the steely erection she had been feeling during their playtimes for the past two months. “Not a natural blond,” she teased in a nervous voice.
“Not hardly, Slayer.”
“That’s okay. Neither am I.” Buffy gathered her courage and leaned forward to kiss the top of Spike’s cock. He twitched beneath her lips. She licked him from base to tip, where she swirled her tongue around to taste the clear fluid that leaked from the tiny slit. She hummed happily at the taste.
“You’re such a tease, Slayer,” Spike moaned.
Buffy gave a husky chuckle before she engulfed the head of Spike’s cock with her mouth. She used both her mouth and hands to pleasure the vampire until he was moaning loudly. It didn’t take long for Spike to erupt in Buffy’s mouth. She was surprised when he stayed hard in her mouth. Must be that vampire refractory thing he’s always going on about. Buffy licked her lips as she pulled away.
“My turn now,” Spike rasped. He surged to a sitting position and grabbed Buffy’s arms. He quickly crushed his mouth against hers, his lips sucking at her bottom lip. With an easy twist, Spike had Buffy flat on her back with his body wedged between her thighs.
Buffy put her arms around Spike’s bare shoulders. The last two months had been foreplay where he had catered to her every whim, even to the exclusion of his own pleasure. She needed no more foreplay. She pulled her lips away from his to peer up into his face. “Hurry up, Spike. I want you in me,” she whispered. “No more foreplay.”
“You’re the one that hasn’t taken off the rest of your clothes yet, luv,” Spike teased. He scrambled up on his knees and yanked Buffy’s tank top over her head. Then, he unbuttoned her jeans and pulled them off her legs, which left her naked before him. “No panties, Slayer?” he quipped as he hovered over her, the heat in his blue eyes scorching her.
“Guess I was in a hurry to get dressed this morning,” Buffy pouted. “And besides, it’s not like you ca…”
Then, all rational thought fled as Spike sank into Buffy with a hiss.
Buffy’s eyes fluttered closed as Spike’s shaft stretched her sheath. She spread her legs further apart and hooked them around his hips. “You feel so good, Spike.”
“So do you, Buffy,” Spike said from between clenched teeth. He was trying to hold back his instinct to pound into the warm body beneath him. He wanted this to be good for Buffy.
Buffy threw her head back and concentrated on clenching her muscles around his invading cock. A sultry smile crossed her face when he let out a low growl and dropped his face to her neck to suckle on her warm skin. Her hands roamed across his back while she tried to urge him to start moving.
The Slayer and her vampire were so intent on each other and their lovemaking that they didn’t notice the green glow that surrounded them. As they climbed towards their climax, the glow became brighter and more intense. When their cries rang out, echoing through the room, the light flared to its most brilliant hues yet.
Spike and Buffy lay panting in the aftermath of their passionate orgasms. Spike looked down at Buffy’s neck and realized he’d left a giant hickey against the golden skin. He smirked with masculine pride, but he let out a grimace when he went to move off her. The movement pulled the tender, torn skin of his back and it was apparent that Buffy had left behind her own mark of ownership.
The storm has abated. The Crystal Heart’s voice echoed through Spike and Buffy’s heads. You have all that you need to defeat the threat that is upon you.
“What?” Buffy asked in confusion. “How is that possible? Giles is gonna flip his wig if we don’t come back with you.”
You will know what I mean when the time is right. I have changed since you were here before, my dear. I shared my power with you, so I don’t need to go with you to your dimension. Now, get dressed, my lovelies. It’s time for you to go home. You don’t want to miss the presents, do you?
“Presents?” Buffy scrambled for her clothes. “I almost forgot about it being Christmas! How long were we here? Did we miss it?”
Spike chuckled. “It just said that you didn’t miss the prezzies, Slayer.” He grabbed his own clothes and made a show of putting them on. Then, he walked to the door to check on the storm. “You gotta see this.”
“What?” Buffy hobbled over to the door with one boot on. She let out a gasp of surprise when she saw that it was no longer cold and white outside. Instead the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the world outside was green with springtime. “How did that happen?”
Your love caused it.
“But…” Buffy looked confused.
I can see your heart, Senaya. Do not deny what is within. You are full of love. It gives you power that Glorificus can only dream about.
Buffy’s eyes dropped to the ground. “It doesn’t matter what I feel if he doesn’t feel the same.”
“Bloody buggerin’ hell, Buffy. I love you. Have for a long time now.”
Buffy immediately stared up into Spike’s face. “Really?”
As much as the love fest makes me thrilled, if you don’t get a move on, you’re going to miss Christmas morning with your mother and sister.
Buffy tugged on her other boot and stepped outside. Spike followed her, pulling on his duster as he went. Hand in hand, they walked towards the spot where the portal had spit them out just hours before.
“I still say Giles is gonna freak when we don’t have the heart,” Buffy said. “He’s not gonna believe us when we say it gave us its power, and we have no clue what it is.”
“The Watcher will just have to deal. We still haven’t figured out what the hell Glory is,” Spike replied. “He needs to research that if we’re gonna defeat the bitch.”
Spike and Buffy entered the clearing where the vortex swirled open in anticipation of their return home. Spike looked down at Buffy. “It’ll work out, pet. You’ll win because that’s what you do?”
“What if I don’t, Spike? What if this is the one time I lose? What if Glory is the one that has that one good day?”
Spike leaned down to plant a kiss on Buffy’s lips. “Then she’ll be going through me first.”
Buffy smiled against Spike’s mouth. “Let’s go home, Spike.” Together they stepped through the vortex where they were greeted by Joyce and Dawn passing the time singing Christmas carols.
ONE WEEK LATER, NEW YEAR’S EVE
“I realized something today, Slayer.”
“Oh?” Buffy looked up from the vampire she was beating up next to him.
“Yeah, I haven’t had any blood in a week. Not since we got home.”
Buffy staked the vampire. “Weird … and you’re not hungry?” She stood up and dusted herself off.
“Not in the least. Anything different for you?”
“I haven’t noticed anything.” Buffy tilted her head in thought. “I’ve been happier, but I thought that was all you.” She smirked at Spike while she winked at him. “You’re pretty good with the smoochies.”
“Yeah, noticed that too. I don’t think I’ve seen you this happy since that first night at the Bronze when you were dancin’ with Red and Harris,” Spike replied. “Back before the poofter caused all his heartache.”
Buffy shrugged. “I guess I’m really over him. Why would I want him when I have the most perfectly evil vampire here with me catering to my every whim?”
“Come here, pet.” Spike opened his arms, and he let out a whoosh of air when Buffy slammed into him. He could feel his ribs cracking under the pressure of her hug, but he didn’t care. He had his third Slayer at last. Just not in the way he’d first intended.
This was better!