DISCLAIMER: The characters are Joss’, of course.
PREVIOUSLY ON BUFFY: Giles and Paul have gotten away with Doyle, while Joyce has settled in at the cabin…

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Chapter 48: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Though his body screamed in protest, Spike waited until the cabin was out of sight before grabbing Buffy by the upper arms and shoving her up against the nearest tree.

“What…?” she started to say.

But she was silenced by the force of his mouth crashing to hers, his body wanting and hard pushing her into the rough bark. He almost broke when her fingers lifted to coil in his hair, pulling him closer as her lips matched his. It was hard to fool himself into thinking this was a temporary thing for her when the echoes of what he’d overheard inside were so quickly followed by her demanding need.

“My mom,” she gasped when she broke for air. A slim hand feebly gestured in the direction of the house. “Just…inside the cabin.”

“Which is why we’re out here.” Releasing his grip on her arms, Spike slid his hands down Buffy’s sides to settle at her hips, grinding his pelvis and aching erection against her stomach. His mouth dropped to the small spot beneath her ear. “Heard what you told her,” he whispered. “Heard every word.”

Buffy stilled within his arms. “Did I say something wrong?”

He chuckled. “Said everything right.”

Her hot breath slivered down his neck, clouding in the cooler air to send wispy tendrils to curl before his eyes when his mouth returned to hers. The heat of those tremulous puffs of air were nothing compared to the inferno of her tongue as it swirled around his, inviting and as hungry as the longing he’d been stoking ever since Buffy had defended him for all and sundry to hear.

“You know…she knows,” Buffy said in between kisses. “What…we’re doing out here.”

“Don’t bloody care.” His teeth caught her bottom lip and tugged when she tried to pull away, a single hand lifting to the back of her neck to demand it if need be. Groaning when she slid a hand between their torsos to curl around his denim-covered erection, Spike attacked her mouth with a renewed fervor, not even noticing when the force with which he pressed her back into the tree knocked some snow loose to rain about their heads.

“You should.” Another kiss, longer and deeper and oh so ravenous that it left her panting and gazing up at him with black eyes. “Friends and family,” she said. “Part of the whole Buffy Summers package.”

Letting his grip in her hair go, Spike traced a path along her jaw, down the front of her jacket, and inside the waistband of her pants to find the hot moisture already seeping through her panties. “This part of the package, too?” he crooned, tilting his head and just savoring the way Buffy’s throat convulsed as she swallowed, the hypnotic pounding of her pulse in the tender hollow. He could have it if he wanted. She’d let him. All he had to do was ask.

But as powerful as the desire to taste her again was, the satisfaction he’d gained in hearing her declare her complete trust to the one person who meant the most to her was greater. There was no way he’d supplant that with his own base needs. He loved the bloody bird too much for that.

Didn’t mean he couldn’t still get a taste of her, though. Just a different kind.

Removing his hand from her pants, Spike ignored Buffy’s whimper at the loss and returned to kissing her, distracting her with long, sweeping motions of his tongue and lips as he took her wrists and guided her hands to the low branch just over her head. Buffy yanked back slightly when he curled her fingers around the limb, and he chuckled, a wicked grin playing on his mouth.

“Hang on,” he said, and let go, crouching down before her to swiftly undo her pants.

“Cold! Cold!” Buffy shrieked when the winter air hit her bare thighs.

He was standing again before she could react, his hands strong on hers. “Don’t,” he warned. “Trust me.”

She immediately relaxed, though a small line appeared between her brows as she waited for whatever it was he had planned next.

Dropping back to his knees, Spike pushed her pants down past her knees, and then grasped her shivering hips. He lifted her up, and ducked his head so that her trousers-bound calves were behind his neck and the back of her thighs rested on his shoulders. Even better, her lovely wet quim was just inches from his mouth, and he salivated as the scent of her arousal became all that stronger.

He couldn’t warm her with his body heat, but he could use what he could to shield her from the cold, curving his arms around her thighs and stroking up and down along the goose-bumped flesh. Leaning forward, he pressed his mouth to the dampness of her underwear and just sucked, the faint tang of her juices rousing him even more than he had been.

Around his shoulders, Buffy’s legs tightened, drawing him closer in silent demand for more. Letting his fangs extend, Spike sliced the delicate fabric, exposing her even more, and smiled when she gasped at the sudden chill. “I can always stop if you’re too cold,” he said, pretending to pull away.

With a harsh tug, her calves drew him back to her heat. “Then you’d better make sure I stay warm,” she replied.

“My pleasure,” Spike murmured. His tongue slipped between her slick folds, and he focused his senses on listening to the torturous rhythms of her body, letting the pounding of her heart and the racing of her blood set his tempo. Up and down, around and around, and every swipe and every lick added a beat to her cascading pulse until his skin vibrated along with her.

She ground against his mouth, trying to focus his attention on her clit, but Spike taunted her with only the barest of nips at the sensitive nub before returning to his feast. He could keep this up all night, just drinking her down and---.

“Spike,” Buffy hissed.

He was jerked forward when her legs tensed even more. “Bossy wench,” he murmured, but knew she couldn’t hear him over her ragged breathing. Tearing one hand away from the strength of her thigh, he pulled it back into his body so that he could begin stroking her opening, sliding a single finger in and out as he continued lapping at her juices.

Slowly, Buffy began moving her hips, lifting them and then letting them fall as she fucked herself with his finger. When he added a second and then a third, her gyrations grew more frenetic, her skin rasping against the bark, and one of her hands released the branch overhead to tangle in Spike’s hair.

As soon as he felt her touch, Spike broke away from the draw of her pussy, rising back to his feet as he fumbled with his fly. He had little room to move; the circle of her legs, closed by her pants caught at her ankles, was tight around his hips, but determination and desire made him struggle to make it work. Pulling out his cock, Spike gave it a strong pump before guiding it to her opening, and then dropped his head to her shoulder when she fell from the limb to slam down the length of his shaft.

“Buffy…” he groaned, and held still as he felt her mold around his length. The contrast between the chilly bite in the air and the sultry moisture of her quim was making Spike shiver, and he had to cup her ass to steady himself as he slowly began to slide in and out.

He didn’t want it to end. If it wasn’t for the cold, he’d keep his Slayer out all night so that he could keep her wrapped around him, on him, in him, skin to skin and flesh to flesh. He hadn’t completely expected her to defend him so vigorously to her mother, and then hearing the words…

Spike buried his face in her neck as she clung to his back, her strong thighs around his hips so tightly he feared she’d snap him in half. “Love you…” he murmured. “So much…”

“Me, too,” Buffy whispered. Her teeth nipped at his ear, before traveling down his neck to bite at the curve just bared at his t-shirt.

Faster and harder, harder and faster, until all he could feel was Buffy, and all he could smell was Buffy, and nothing else mattered in the space beyond their arms. The force of his driving her against the tree rubbed his hands against the bark, and though he felt the first tricklings of blood start to drip from his knuckles, he went on, taking the pain and powering it into his thrusts, listening to her gasp and moan and whisper his name for more.

He came first, though he so desperately wanted to wait until she had, and as he shot deep within her pussy, Spike released a single hold on her bottom to reach between their torsos and pinch her clit.

Buffy cried out, squeezing around his cock so tight that the orgasm he’d thought was done renewed itself with another surge. The ripples undulating down her inner muscles tugged and pulled him into one last thrust, his hips finally stilling as they both rode out the waves of their pleasure.

In order to escape the circle of her legs, Spike had to slide down her body, but when he reached the swelter of her dripping pussy, he couldn’t resist leaning in to devour the juices, sucking at her opening and causing her to gasp when his tongue went diving in deeper for more. She squeaked from the surprise, and reached for the branch overhead to steady herself as he finished his post-coital treat, writhing in another orgasm when his teeth joined his tongue.

Finally breaking free from the draw of her flesh, Spike immediately regretted the lack of her heat, but when he started to reach for her hips again, Buffy batted his hands away.

“One of us has body heat that’s escaping,” she warned. Dropping to her feet, she bent to pull up her pants. “Ewww.” Grimacing, she squirmed slightly as she did up the button and zipper. “How can you go commando? This just feels weird.”

Spike grinned and reached inside the waistband of her trousers to rip the remains of her underwear free. “It’s all about access,” he said, tucking the scrap of fabric into his coat pocket. “You’ll save yourself more than a few quid if you just stopped with the delicates all together, luv.”

“But then you won’t have anything to steal from me,” she said in wide-eyed innocence. She laughed at the obvious shock on his face. “What? You think I hadn’t noticed that some of my underwear was missing? You kind of gave yourself away, Spike. With it only being you and me, it was pretty obvious the line-up had a grand total of one suspect.”

When she slid her arms around his waist and rested her cheek on his chest, he wrapped her within the confines of his coat to help her warm up. “Thank you,” he murmured, dropping a kiss to the top of her head.

“For not busting your chops about stealing my panties?”

“For not running in the opposite direction when your mum showed up.” He ducked his eyes at her curious glance, suddenly embarrassed that he’d ever thought it could be a possibility at all. “Meant a lot to me, hearin’ what you had to say.”

“I don’t see why you’re so surprised. It’s all true.”

He had nothing to say to that, and instead devoured her mouth in a languorous kiss to convey the depth of his gratitude. When they broke apart, her mouth curved into a mischievous smile.

“I don’t think Fyarls are so easy to catch, do you?” she asked. “And there are an awful lot of trees in this forest…”

Spike ran his tongue over the edge of his teeth. “Not too cold?”

“Nah. For some reason, I’m feeling all warm and squishy.”

All of a sudden, she was gone from his embrace, and he turned to see her make a dash through the trees. Her laughter floated back to him as he started the chase, a grin splitting his features.

Life was good.

It was almost a shame they would have to go back to Sunnyhell in a couple days.

*************

Considering how little they had to work with, Joyce was impressed with just how homey Buffy and Spike had made the small cabin. The handmade Christmas decorations warmed the bare interior, and the few toys that were scattered about reminded any and all that a child lived there. She wasn’t sure she wanted to consider why she found one of Buffy’s bras slipped behind the stack of firewood at the side of the hearth, but considering the revelation that her daughter was sharing a bed with Spike, she thought she already had a pretty good idea.

Curling up on the couch with one of the books from the shelves, she read while she waited for them to return from their demon search. An hour had elapsed before she heard a sound, but the door that opened was not the one she expected.

Holly stood framed in the dark bedroom doorway, a ragged doll clutched tightly to her chest. Her cheeks glistened with the tracks of dried tears, but she could only stare as Joyce set down her book.

“What’s wrong, sweetie?” Joyce asked gently.

“I heard something.”

She held open her arms. “Come here.”

Though the child hesitated, her eyes were luminous as she slowly stepped forward, stopping short of the offered embrace. Her gaze flickered over the invitation before returning to Joyce’s face.

“Where’s Buffy and Spike?” she asked. Her voice was tiny, but the fear in it was not.

“They went out for a little while. They’ll be back soon.” In lieu of holding the little girl to console her, Joyce patted the seat next to her on the couch, smiling when Holly climbed up and tucked her knobby knees beneath her tiny chin. “It was probably one of them you heard. So, nothing to be scared of.”

“Why don’t you like Spike?”

It was not a question she expected. “I like Spike just fine,” Joyce said. “Who do you think taught him that hot chocolate recipe?”

“He thinks he’s scary, but he’s not. He’s my friend.”

“I know.” Her smile grew gentler. “He cares about you a lot.”

“He said he loves me.” Wide eyes. A mouth that contracted into a tight “o.” A whisper. “I wasn’t supposed to tell that.”

“That’s OK. I kind of figured that part out for myself.”

Holly chewed at her lower lip, visibly weighing her next words. “Spike loves Buffy, too.”

Hearing it spoken out loud was different than seeing it acted so covertly before her eyes. Taking a deep breath, Joyce decided to change the subject. “You want to wait here with me until they get back?”

The child nodded. “Spike plays with me, too.”

“Do you want me to play with you?”

A shake of her head. “I just want you to know.”

Apparently, Holly wasn’t going to let the topic get dropped.

“Why do you think Spike…feels that way about Buffy?” Joyce asked carefully. She couldn’t say the words herself; that made it just a little too real.

“Because he cried when he thought she was going to die.”

“He…what?”

She’d witnessed Spike’s tears before, of course. Comforting him when he’d been so broken about Drusilla. She’d seen the anguish that had been tearing him apart. For some reason, she had a hard time picturing that same anguish in relation to Buffy.

“He was sad,” Holly said solemnly. “Don’t you cry when you’re sad?”

“Well, yes…”

“And then he was happy again when she got made all better. So, see? He loves her.”

Joyce’s smile was slightly patronizing. “Oh, sweetie, it’s not that easy.”

“Yes, it is.”

The earnestness in the little face was too heartbreaking to argue with. When Holly looked at her like this, Joyce could easily understand how Spike could get so smitten with the child. He had a soft spot for being needed.

The thought made her pause. Was that what had happened? Buffy had been incapacitated from the car accident. If she’d taken Joyce’s advice and been nicer to Spike during a time when she was relying upon him, it was entirely possible that he might have lowered his guard with Buffy to let her see some of the person beneath the rough exterior. That was how Joyce had come to see the softer side of Spike. The qualities Buffy had described were just some of what Joyce had seen.

“Why don’t you tell me about some of the other things Spike has been doing?” Joyce coaxed. Maybe if she knew more about how their lives had been on a day to day basis over the past two weeks, she might better understand the relationship that had developed.

For Buffy’s sake, she hoped she could.

*************

They registered under Doyle’s name in hopes that it would at least slow any attempts Maria might make to locate them. Though the hotel didn’t have any rooms with three beds, almost immediately, Doyle relinquished any claim to needing one, using his ghost status as the reason once they were out of earshot of the clerk. Giles was relieved to be able to stretch out, even if the mattress was less than optimal and the blankets smelled like cigarette smoke, taking pleasure in the soothing darkness to quickly fall into a deep slumber.

He woke to the sound of voices arguing, and blinked into the murk to see a crack of light coming from the closed bathroom door. Paul was still out, and the clock on the nightstand read just a few minutes before midnight. The one missing was Doyle, but who he could be talking to, Giles had no idea.

Wincing as he sat up, he had to wait a long moment before he could find the strength to stand. He had a strong suspicion that at least two ribs were cracked and knew he most likely shouldn’t be moving at all, but he was just so weary of secrets being kept that he couldn’t help but drive himself upward, to step quietly toward the bathroom in order to hear what was going on.

“…should’ve known,” Doyle was saying. “That’s one determined woman, that Joyce.”

In spite of himself, Giles smiled. Joyce must’ve found Buffy after all.

“Buffy had to get it from somewhere.”

His smile vanished. His heart clenched.

He knew that voice.

“How’d she take the news?”

“Tara said it looked good, considering. She got there too late to actually intervene, and has just been watching Joyce to make sure everything’s OK.”

Giles’ trembling hand came up to the door. He couldn’t be this close and not see her. Perhaps just a small peek…

The conversation paused, and he held his breath as he waited for them to continue. When the door began to move away from him, he couldn’t react, so frozen to his spot as he merely waited.

And saw.

Jenny smiled when she saw him, her dark eyes sad. “Hello, Rupert,” she said.

 

To be continued in Chapter 49: Said the Night Wind to the Little Lamb