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Beneath Me

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"'S weird, this," he says. "Not used to bein' able to kick your arse so easily, Slayer."

With an effort that costs her the last of her failing strength, Buffy wrenches her arm from his grip.

Shards of the Scythe clutched tight in her uninjured hand, she retreats until the wall slaps her in the back. All she can do then is watch his slow advance, prowling, predatory; a big cat toying with its kill.

She's seen him like this before, of course, so many years ago, stalking her in the high school corridors. He'd sent shivers down her spine at the time, along with raising her hackles (whatever those are).

He was just a vamp, like all the others, she remembers thinking. She would not be intimidated by his bad boy act.

And even then, there'd been ways to get under his oh, so sensitive skin. It'd taken her all of ten seconds to find one.

"Do we really need weapons for this?"

A smirk, a pale hand reaching down to frame his crotch.

"I just like them. They make me feel all manly."

But things are different this time. The face he turns on her is implacable. It doesn't understand the concept of mercy - not even enough to sneer at it.

Fists thud into the wall on either side of her head. There's the sound of crumbling plaster. She raises her chin defiantly and looks him in the eye.

"If you're gonna kill me, damn well do it. But you're not him, Illyria. You're not friend. Stop pretending to be."

He stares at her a moment from Spike's blue eyes, but then the blue darkens, to violet, to indigo. His lips are tinted blue too, and blue shadows lie under his cheekbones.

He tilts his head, like Spike and yet not, gaze intense and unblinking. One hand drops onto her shoulder, and she finds herself pushed inexorably downwards.

"I am not him, it is true," Illyria says. "For now it's you that are beneath me."