Beggar's Banquet

It's just sex. They’ve told themselves and each other that countless times. It’s there in their eyes when they look at each other. It is a reassuring notion. It's just sex.

He isn’t anything like Oz or Tara. She is nothing like Dru or Buffy. Actually they are nothing like anyone so much as each other. They have these needs, to feel connected, just to feel, and the sex might have satisfied them for a while, but they would have grown bored with it.

She’s sitting inside her circle, casting the spell, bound to a small fragment of quartz. As long as the quartz remains intact, the spell will hold. They can break it at anytime. He watches her, smoking a cigarette near an open window out of consideration for her. She doesn’t like the smell of his cigarettes. He doesn’t like the smell of his cigarettes on her, trapped in her hair to mingle with the fruity scent of the shampoo that they all use now. Nicotine and apples, cloyingly sweet. This week it's Suave apple blossom, and sometimes when he walks into the kitchen with the girls crowded in, competing for counter space, it’s all he can smell.

The carpet she is sitting on is dirty, and he feels a little bit bad about that. She deserves something more than this: the motel on the edge of town with the dirty carpet and the cheap furnishings, but she takes no notice of these things and in a few minutes he won’t care either.

It's just sex.

She finishes casting the spell under his careful eyes. He is looking for any sign that her magic is taking her somewhere dark, but if it is, he can’t see it. She looks peaceful and a little sad, but there is a soft glow to her. It might be the magic taking hold of him. Or it might be her. He doesn’t know. He doesn’t care.

She looks up at him and nods to let him know that it is done. The spell is done. She has her little rituals to complete. A moment of meditation. A quiet prayer of thanks for the gift that she has used that will never be taken for granted again. She has moments where she seems like a different person to him, but she’s the most changed, and she always has been. Every moment she has lived has left its mark on her.

He smokes his cigarette, watching her. His gaze has warmed and softened. He’s in the moment when he thinks that he really didn’t need this. He didn’t need a spell to feel what he feels for her, which they decided was a sure sign that the spell was working. He isn’t in a hurry. He isn’t anxious for her. He could probably forego sex and just be with her, be near her, in the soft wash of her heartbeat. There is no lust in the love spell that she has cast. Neither of them needs it.

She puts her things away, cleaning up the mess she has made. The crystal is the last thing that she retrieves and for a moment she clutches it in her fist, unable to crush it. She isn’t that strong, but her grip lets the margins of the stone bite into her palm. Then she lays in on the dresser, in plain sight, where either of them can reach it.


He’s been between her legs for what feels like forever. Willow’s hips rise, chasing his mouth, hearing him laugh softly. She opens her eyes to look at him, to watch him lick her tenderly, his eyes on hers, full of humor and pleasure and a certain wicked delight. It makes her feel something loosen inside her chest.

"You taste so good," he says, his voice a low, sexy purr.

It can’t be comfortable, the way he holds his head so he can look at her, but it is what she has come to expect. At first it was intimidating, and then she decided that it was because he needed to look at her and know who she was. But that didn’t explain the way he looked at her. It made her feel happy in a sharp, stinging way, like rubbing alcohol splashed over her heart. She loves the sound of his voice. Loves the things he says to her when he is fucking her with his mouth and his fingers and his cock.

His tongue teases her clitoris and she bites her lower lip, feeling it everywhere, feeling how wet his mouth is, how wet her cunt is from his mouth and her own fluids. Feeling his hunger as his tongue curls into the sleek wet gulf, capturing the taste of her on his tongue. "More," he breathes. "Give me more, baby. Love the way your cunt flows for me," he says.

So does she. She loves it that he makes her this wet, this needy, this wanton. Loves the way he teases and plays with her until she’s aching for him to fill her. Loves the way she feels as she pushes her cunt into him, rubbing herself on any part of him she can reach. Loves the way he laughs and moans and talks to her. She loves the way he touches her. Like right now, his thumb is stroking the inside of her hip where she is even more horribly ticklish than other places. This has always embarrassed her, how ticklish she is. She has always been afraid of what it really meant when Oz or Tara touched her and her first reaction was to flinch. But Spike seems to know what it means. His thumb sweeps lazily over her skin and is replaced by the palm of his hand, pressing lightly against the sensitized skin.

She lets her fingertips drift over his face. When he turns his head to kiss her fingers, she runs her index finger over his nose to tickle him and then lets her finger fall over her own flesh, touching herself for him. Absorbing the happy sound of his sigh as he chases her finger.

He is an amazingly talented lover. Decades of practice, he claims with a pleased grin when she tries to tell him how he makes her feel. He is observant and he brings to this his rare and unappreciated ability to meet her on her level. She thought at one point that he made a point of lingering over oral sex to give her something that she might be missing from being with a girl. When she shared this observation with him while they were lying in each other’s arms with nothing but darkness around them, he had laughed at the idea.

And he told her what he loved about her. He loved how she tasted, how she moved. He loved the sounds she made and the way she clutched at his hair and shoulders. He loved the little tremor in her thighs when she was close to orgasm. He loved knowing that he would be inside of her, feeling around his cock what he had tasted and fingered. He loved how orgasmic she was.

The last time they were together like this he had spanked her, holding her down with one hand on the back of her neck, bent over the table by the window that was bolted to the floor, with her gauzy skirt flipped over her ass to pool in the small of her back. Now that the chip was gone, he could do things like that. He could spank her, his voice low and rough. Between hard slaps that rained down on her ass and her upper thighs, he had fingered her cunt, marveling at how wet she was, pushing fingers wet from her cunt into her ass while she mewled and writhed, grinding her clit against the hard edge of the table until she was bruised.

Later, he had been remorseful about that, about the bruising, about his failure to perceive that she was hurting herself. "Next time I’ll tie you up," he had whispered in her ear. "I’ll tie you up and take care of you."

She heard the little catch in his voice, and felt a corresponding ache. She understands needing to take care of people and she understands that despite their need, that they’ve both had their failures in this area. All week she has thought about being tied up. She would do it for him, though she’s never been interested in anything like that, or so she thinks, but the more she thought about it, alone in bed, the more intriguing the idea had become. She wonders what it would be like without the spell. To be tied up and at his mercy, except now he has mercy, and it wouldn’t be as exciting as when he didn’t.

When he was truly dangerous.

The thought took her a little outside of the safe place she was in. It was a thought that reminded her that she was someone she didn’t know anymore. Sometimes she thought that if she could only find the moment when she started changing into the girl with the scary thought processes then she could unravel it like a ball of string and not be so lost. There’s always a scary thought before, and before, and before, and the trip backwards in her head makes her feel the sharp edges of the broken parts of herself, and she doesn’t think there is enough pain in the world to keep her from finding her way back, but there is. There is always more pain than she can bear.

He can feel her slipping away from him, lost in a bad moment, but he knows how to make it better for her and ignores for a moment the way she’s crying soundlessly. It hurts her to feel happy, not all the time, but more often than not. He knows that there is something happy in her right now, even though it isn’t the most obvious thing. He crawls up her body, kissing her warm, slightly damp skin. She took a shower right after they checked in and she’s all dewy and soap scented. He recognizes the scent. It’s Cashmere Bouquet. With all the girls in the house and money tight, Anya’s been buying the cheapest soap, shampoo, toilet paper and generic brand cereal she can find. It’s just by coincidence that the motel stocks the same soap.

When he gets to her neck he finds the place there where his head fits and he strokes her hair and brushes away her tears, and he tells her that he’s happy too, for the first time today. His throat gets a little tight and he feels the sad part of it, because being happy with her isn’t what he really wants any more than being happy with him is what she really wants.

But the love of her life is buried in the cold ground and the love of his life is someone he hopes he hasn’t met because so far it isn’t working out so well for him. The latter wry observation was something he shared with her on one of their walks through Sunnydale at night that made her laugh a little even as she had given him one of those looks, soft with understanding, but searing too.

"If I’d seen you first," he says now, a bit wistfully. "If I had only seen you first."

It’s a lie, but it’s a good one. He did see her first. He saw her sitting at a table at the Bronze, one of the lights in the ceiling hitting the back of her head just right, spotlighting her for him to see. He had stared at her, absorbing a quick impression of her earnest and helpful expression, and that was it. He had dismissed her without another thought.

She rubbed her cheek against the top of his head, sighing a little, but willing to play along. "I guess that it’s a lucky thing that you didn’t," she said, trying to sound plucky. "I’d be a vampire," her voice wobbled on the old joke.

Evil, skanky, leather wearing, and kind of gay.

"Oh, I don’t know about that," he lifted his head to look at her. "I might have kept you like this for a few years," he cupped her breast, luxuriating in the warmth of her. "My own little bed warmer."

Her nose wrinkled. "I don’t know," she looked skeptical. "What would that have been like? Wouldn’t someone have noticed if I started wearing a leather collar and leather underwear?"

He tilted his head back to look at her. She was in her gentle way making a joke and feeding him a question. He thought back to the things he had said to her over the years. They had never talked a lot, but the conversations that they had were memorable. He kissed her throat, the throat he had admired at least twice with deadly intent. "Nah," he denied around the lump in his throat. "Too obvious. I would have gotten you something delicate and sparkly," he said, using the tip of his tongue to trace a lacy pattern on her neck. "And Dru would have put you in dresses when you were with us."

Dru would have brushed her hair for hours, until it shone, and dressed her in the high waisted dresses that she favored with ribbons in her hair. Dru would have loved her in the all consuming way that had eluded Willow in other relationships, right down to her last gasping breath.

"Dru would have been there?" she sounded curious about that detail.

"I think so," he paused in his attention to her neck, wondering if it would intrigue her. He had fantasies of her with Dru. It was something that he savored. He had never imagined Dru and Buffy together. They cancelled each other out, but he could imagine Willow with either of them, and him. Easily. Happily with Dru. Unhappily with Buffy.

"If Dru is there, then why me?" she asked.

He smiled at that. "Because we would love you," he said. It was the most obvious thing to him. They would have loved her. In his fantasies it wasn’t always sex. It was her coming into their dark world, carrying in her bright colors and soft textures and wide-eyed wonder, and the pain that she buried.

He never told her that he imagined her that way with Buffy too. That sometimes he wondered if she couldn’t be a bridge to Buffy and the thing that filled the empty notes between them. Propping her fragile ego up and taking care of her while she took care of them by providing herself as one point that they could agree on. He was afraid that it would hurt her, and he didn’t want that anymore. He was still jealous of her too. Jealous of the loyalty and love she commanded so effortlessly. He might have hated her for it, because she seemed to hold it so cheaply.

It didn’t lift her up. She was not exalted by forgiveness.

Distracted from the thoughts that had brought her to tears, she stared at the ceiling with a dreamy expression. She was stroking his hair, her fingers moving slowly over his ear to the nape of his neck. He nibbled on the underside of her stubborn chin, in no particular hurry to get to her mouth, though that was what he was thinking about. Kissing Buffy had always been a battle of lips and tongue and teeth. She never let him kiss her the way he wanted to. Willow did. He could spend hours kissing her and being kissed back.

He hadn’t seen her until all the parts of her that he might have loved were all mixed up and broken. For a moment he felt it as a loss so bitter that it made him want to cry out as she ducked her chin and kissed the corner of his mouth, the tip of her tongue delicately probing his lips. He gathered her closer instead, running his hands through her hair, letting her slip out from under him lying on his stomach as she explored the contours of his face with soft lips and a damp tongue, finding places he could hardly remember anyone ever touching while her hand stroked his back.

Later, when she was lying across his back, straddling his ass, her warm, damp cunt rubbing against him, he carried her fingers to his mouth, kissing them as she pressed her face into his neck, humid breath gusting against his neck, soft, pleasured sounds weeping from her throat as she rocked herself to a sweet climax. She was like a blanket, settling around him, warm and heavy with relaxation, peppering his shoulders with sweet kisses. The sheet under him was soaked from the fluid leaking from his cock creating a maddening friction against the wet sheet with the slow rock of her hips against his ass.

He trembled with the effort of lying still for her, sucking hungrily on her fingers. He wanted to flip her over on her back and fuck her, wanted it and savored the wanting as much as the wanton writhing of her body. He hadn’t forgotten his promise to tie her up. They had all night. He had spent the week seeing all the things that he could use to restrain her. He had even considered sneaking into the room that she now slept in and going through her drawers to find something of hers, something that she would never look at the same way again.

He had never gotten past the stairs. She was in the room that was once Buffy’s, and he couldn’t bring himself to enter that room, to see it changed, to root through drawers the way he had once before for reasons that were similar and unutterably different. He ended up in a sex shop instead and he had gone a little crazy. For days his purchases had been tucked away under the cot that he slept on in the basement. For the first time since they had started this, he had been willing to imagine her while he lay awake. During the week he replaced Willow with Buffy and relived every moment he had spent with her.

He wasn’t sure why that had changed, but he didn’t feel bad about it. He had slept better than he had in months, tossing off with his head full of images of Willow.

When she was lying quiet on him, shivering a little as the air conditioning dried the sweat on her back, he shifted his weight to gently roll her to her back and started to get up, feeling her reach for him, her hands seeking his cock. "Where are you going?" she wanted to know. "It’s your turn."

She propped herself up on one arm, pressing her hot face into his abdomen, licking the sticky traces of pre-cum off his skin as she stroked his cock. She moved to her knees in front of him, looking up at him. He took her sweetly heart shaped face in his hands, watching her close her eyes as she absorbed the coolness of his hands against her skin. He always felt a bit odd about this with her. He thought it was something she did for him, and that was sweet, but unnecessary. He didn’t need her to do things that were hard for her just to please him.

His thumb tested the fullness of her kiss swollen lower lip. He marveled that no one ever noticed this. After they spent the night together, her lips looked bee stung from kissing for hours.

She took it as an invitation to kiss his thumb, her clever tongue stroking the pad of his thumb. She wrapped her arm around his waist, pulling him to her at the edge of the bed. His knee was still resting on the bed and she bent her head to kiss the inside of his thigh, using her teeth to pull on his skin. He bit his lower lip, eyes narrowing at the playful pinch of her even white teeth, trembling a little when she started kissing his cock, licking it like it was a Popsicle, turning her head to use her lips to pluck at the taunt, pliable skin that covered his cock.

Buffy had sucked him with all the care and finesse of a prostitute, never letting him get off. She had one goal in mind. Getting him hard to fuck her hard. Willow kissed and nibbled and licked him. He thought that it was probably because she really didn’t know what she was doing. She paid too much attention to the parts of his cock that were not particularly sensitive. She didn’t seem to know what to do with his foreskin, and he knew that it was at least in part because it was foreign. She was a quick learner, though, using her lips to push it back from the head of his cock and delicately rimming the collar of flesh until his hands were fisting in her hair and his hips were flexing, shoving his cock in her face.

She took him into her mouth, her tongue swirling around him as her hand stroked him. Her palette was sensitive. She had developed a strategy to deal with this, and as soon as she started to feel her throat tighten up, she would back off, kissing him, bathing his cock with her warm tongue while she got her breathing or her throat under control. The back of his fingers feathered over her cheek and she looked up at him.

"You don’t have to do this for me," he told her, feeling a wave of tenderness.

She smiled. "I think I do," she told him, holding his gaze as her mouth closed over him again.

It shouldn’t have taken him more than a few seconds to come. Just listening to her when she was grinding her clit into his ass had him so hard. The heat of her mouth was always a little startling, the guilty feeling that she was doing this for him gnawed at him, but then she closed her eyes, breathing through her nose, butting her head against him when he lifted her hair off her sweaty neck and he felt his orgasm rushing to meet her.

It made her jerk back a little when he flooded her mouth. She swallowed almost convulsively, wrapping her arms around his waist to hold him there while she got her breathing and swallowing under control. It was the way that she held him that left him speechless for a moment, that made him slip to his knees to lick the residue of his orgasm off her chin and nuzzle her neck.

"Put your arms around my neck, baby," he whispered to her, and when she did, he picked her up and carried her into the bathroom.

"Weird," she said, sounding goofy. She was looking over his shoulder.

He knew without her saying anything that she was seeing herself in the mirror and that he wasn’t there, which was the weird part.

Her nose wrinkled. "I guess I’m all sweaty and stinky," she said when he put her down in the bathtub.

Sitting on the side of the tub, he looked up at her with a wicked grin and turned the cold water tap on. She shrieked at the shock of the cold water hitting her, falling against the tile to get away from it as he turned up the hot water until the spray was warm but not particularly hot. She had turned away from it, facing the tile. The spray hit her lower back and ran down her ass and her legs. Last week her ass had been red from his hand and he could feel his cock hardening at the memory of spanking her and fingering her cunt and her ass. He had wanted so badly to put himself there.

He stared at her, reaching out with one hand to run his finger over the cleft of her ass in a fleeting caress that made her look at him over her shoulder. He was already getting up, climbing into the tub, closing them in by drawing the vinyl curtain around the outside of the bathtub. She turned around to face him. With her hand on his chest she pushed him back into the spray of the shower head. He tilted his head back to let the water soak into his hair. She splayed her hands over his chest, playing with his nipples.

"You’re so pretty," she said, sounding almost annoyed about it.

He slanted a look at her. "Pretty?"

She nodded earnestly. "Prettier than me," she admitted.

He snorted. "I think that all that mojo you were doing gave you brain damage," he told her.

"Brain damage," she nodded, and then her smile wobbled, "heart damage."

He felt a stab of remorse for his carelessness. "It was just a bad joke, love," he stepped out of the spray to kiss her forehead.

They washed each other without the Cashmere Bouquet. When they left the shower, he blotted her wet skin with one of the cheap towels, hating it that there wasn’t something better. She loved soft things next to her skin. His fingers feathered over the soft curls between her legs, loving the silky texture. She had shaved her legs and under her arms. He slid one finger between the lips of her cunt, "Want to fuck me now?" he asked.

Her fingers slid through his hair, pulling him down for a kiss, moaning into his mouth as his fingertip pressed against her clit.

"Is that a yes?" he teased when the kiss broke off and she grabbed his hand, pushing against his fingers.

"Uh-huh," she breathed.

He pulled his hand away from her and smacked her ass. "Bed," he ordered. "Now."

She made a face at him as she went through the bathroom door, rubbing her butt where he smacked her. She went to the bed, climbing in and reaching for the sheet.

He went to his bag. It was a plain brown paper bag, and she had said something earlier about his thoughtfulness in bringing snacks. Sometimes she was so wonderfully, thoughtlessly naïve. He opened the bag while she pulled the sheet up to her breasts. He paused. "Don’t think I care for you covering yourself up," he told her.

She wasn’t comfortable with her body. Even as she dropped the sheet, he knew that she would twist her awkwardness into something that she could cope with. She flopped back on the bed, striking a mock sexy pose for him, one hand cupping her breast, the other teasingly playing with her navel. Her expression was something out of a soft-core porn magazine.

He smiled at the performance. "Don’t mind me," he nodded to her with a smirk. "I love watching you finger your pussy."

She smiled back at him and slipped her hand below the sheet.

"Now, that’s cheating," he scolded, carrying the bag to the bed. The sheet draped her legs still and covered her to her hips. He could see her hand moving. He picked up the sheet and tossed it back in a billow of cloth that landed at the foot of the bed. She spread her legs a little more, her fingertips slipping between the lips of her cunt. He had thought about getting a blindfold for her, but it was too much of a loss for him. He reached into the bag and found one of the manacles that he had found for her.

They were just toys, but they looked real enough. Leather, lined with foam and velvet, fastening with Velcro, constricting, but nothing she couldn’t break free of if she wanted to. The stunned look on her face was worth it. He knew that she was going to go for it. He fastened her left ankle first, looking up in time to see her slide her fingers into her cunt. He made an appreciative sound and kissed the arch of her foot, hearing her gasp at the sensation of his lips on her foot.

When he was attaching the second manacle to her right ankle, she bit her lip nervously. "No tickling?" she made it a question.

He raised his eyebrows. "You want to do this or not?"

She frowned, looking down at herself. "I don’t know. It sounded sexier in my head," she admitted. "I don’t want to look all cheesy porn girl without the boobs," she gave her small breasts a disapproving look. "I don’t have the boobs for this."

He rolled his eyes at that. She was getting a little nervous. She said the most amazingly stupid things when she was nervous. He fastened the first of the manacles for her wrist around her left wrist and leaned over to suck on the nipple she had been toying with.

Her right hand, between her legs, started moving again in a slow rhythm as she finger fucked herself, her thumb making circles around her clitoris. Between licking and sucking on her nipple he stroked the inside of her thigh, feeling the muscles in her thigh quiver as she neared an orgasm.

"I love watching you finger yourself," he told her, attaching the second manacle to her wrist. The feeling of the manacle tightening around her wrist made her moan and buck her hips as her fingers worked. "You’re so close, aren’t you? You’re going to make yourself come aren’t you?"

Her head fell back as her hips rose and with a wicked smile, he used the manacle to jerk her hand out from between her legs, working quickly to clip the manacles together to the hook he had set into the wall beneath the bolted-in headboard. The wrist manacles were fastened much more securely. She could get out of them, but she’d have to call on magic to do it.

Trembling on the edge of orgasm, she stared at him with a look of patented disbelief. They played little games with each other, but cheating her out of an orgasm was not one of them. He got in bed with her, kneeling between her legs, watching her eyes darken with lust as he ran his hands over her thighs. She lifted her hips in invitation, plainly expecting him to fuck her now.

His hands slid up her thighs, his thumbs spreading her open to his greedy gaze. She was all pink and dusky purple, wet and swollen. He had some idea about taking off the edge of his desire to taste her early in the evening, to lessen the temptation now, but the sweet musky scent of her and the way she looked, all spread out for him like a banquet was testing his resolve.

"Spike," she whispered his name.

"Sssh," he soothed, forcing himself to remember her disparaging comments about her breasts. That was just all kinds of wrong. He leaned forward, balancing on his elbows. "I think I’ve heard just about enough from you about your gorgeous tits," he told her, mock stern.

"Fuck me," she wasn’t having any of it. If bondage was all about cheating her out of an orgasm, then it sucked, she decided.

He smiled at her. "I’m going to," he promised. "I’m going to fuck you so good, darling. Pound into you so hard and slow," he bent his head to her other breast. "But first, I want to enjoy these tits of yours," his tongue circled her nipple. "Such pretty tits you have. Love kissing them," he kissed the tip of her nipple. "Licking them," he painted a wider circle on her breast with his tongue. "Sucking on them," his tongue flicked over her nipple before his lips fastened around it, tugging on it.

Her back arched. He made enough room between their bodies to slip one hand between her legs and she mewled a throaty, relieved moan when she felt his fingers on her. "You’re so wet, baby," his fingers moved from the slick gulf of her vagina to her ass, slick from her. His finger probed at her asshole, feeling her clench a bit at the intrusion.

"Slow down," he told her. "It will last longer."

Lasting longer wasn’t necessarily good. Tara was all about the scenic route, going slowly, taking her time. Willow thought it had a lot to do with feeling good about slowly reducing her to a quivering, whimpering frenzy. That had to feel good, to have that kind of power, but it wasn’t all about the power to do it, it was her that they were playing with. It was the part of her that wanted too much and was too anxious.

Fuck it. He had meant to save that for later, but he had been thinking about it all week. He sat up and delved into the bag for a tube of lubricant and the small vibrator he had bought for this. Just thinking about pushing the vibrator into her ass made his cock jerk. He slathered it with lubricant and got it into position. Catching on at last, she pushed her hips down to avoid it, and he cursed his impatience. He had meant to introduce this a bit more slowly.

"I don’t want that," she started to struggle with the manacles around her wrists.

"Willow," he shook his head. "It’s okay. It was just an idea," he said, surrendering it. "I thought you might like it."

He looked so worried and guilty that she found herself feeling ridiculous. "Oh," she frowned. "I’ve never done that," she admitted, wincing inwardly at how it sounded. He had fingered her ass a couple of times and she had been surprised at how much she liked it. But fingers and larger objects were different.

"It’s the whole bondage thing," she told him. "I feel stupid."

The corners of his lips twitched. "Snob," he scolded. "Stupid isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Stupid doesn’t get confused about what it wants."

"I’m not confused," she wriggled her hips under him. "I want you to do boy-girl stuff with me, which is kind of weird, but not confusing."

"I want to do ‘stuff’ with you, too," he said. "I thought about it all week."

She looked a little startled by that. "You did?"

"Yeah," he pressed the cool tip of the vibrator against her ass, turning it on. "I thought about all the things I was going to do when I had you like this."

She squirmed a little. "It tickles," her nose wrinkled.

"Good or bad?"

"Both," she admitted. "When you were thinking about this, did you . . ." she nodded to his weeping cock.

He grinned at her. "Oh, yeah." He stroked his cock as he pressed the tip of the vibrator against her, increasing the pressure until he could feel it slowly entering her ass.

"I thought about it in so many different ways," his voice was deepening in a way that was familiar.

She watched him touching himself, recognizing that it was completely unlike the way she touched him. He wasn’t gentle or playful about it. She could feel the lubricated vibrator humming inside of her. The sound was even more familiar than the way his voice deepened when he was all full of testosterone. The summer after Buffy died, Dawn had a sleepover at Janice’s and she and Tara had the house to themselves. Before Glory had invaded Tara’s mind they had an argument that was about a lot of things that were never really resolved. Magic. Sex. Trust.

Tara surprised her that night in bed with a vibrator. Willow had taken one appalled look at it and wondered about Tara’s notions about the scope and size of the actual male part it was meant to take the place of. They had laughed about it and Willow thought it was a closed subject until Tara turned it on and used it to replace her fingers inside of her. Sex with Tara was an act of love. It wasn’t naughty touching and fucking, except with the vibrator, and she had been taken aback to discover that Tara wanted that too.

Silky dirty blond hair in her face as she gasped and moaned, and full soft lips next to her ear whispering to her.

Her back arched and her head fell back with it. Just the sound of a vibrator humming could make her so wet. "Fuck me," she panted.

He shuddered. The idea of being inside her while feeling the vibrator filling her ass under his cock had been enough to bring him off when he was just thinking about it and not wallowing in the luscious reality.

"Sssh," he soothed. "It’s too much, baby. I’d never do anything that would hurt you."

She released a pent up breath. "I’m not a wind-up toy. I’m me. I’m me," she mewled. "And I want it," she clawed at the manacles.

For a second he sat between her legs, feeling a little unnerved by her vehemence, willing her to calm down, to not hurt herself. It wasn’t supposed to be about her being mangled by desire. Burn the fluffy angora exterior away and she was a girl with serious control issues that he had probably tested too far.

She broke a fingernail on one of the buckles, and he reached her the only sure way he knew how to. He bent his head to her and took her clit into his mouth, plucking at it with his lips, hearing a sound stick in her throat, and settle in there to live in every breath that pushed past her lips.

"That’s it baby," he breathed as she started to respond. He sucked on her clitoris, lashing it with his tongue to distract her, careful not to go too fast. The whole point of it was that she was supposed to enjoy it. Once the vibrator was in her as deep as he thought she could take it comfortably, he turned up the vibration and she arched up off the bed with a frantic sound.

"Oh, yes," he said happily, taking in the way she was twisting, her head thrown back. "That’s my girl. That’s my beautiful girl," he licked her cunt, sliding one hand under her to support her lower back. "I wish you could see this," he said. "You’re so wet," his tongue fucked her, his nose rubbing against her clit. The muscles in her ass were squeezing the vibrator, pushing it out of her, and he was slowly pushing it back in while she cried out. He sucked on her clitoris, "Do you like it, baby? Do you like getting your ass fucked while I lick your cunt?"

Even as she tried to get more of his mouth, grateful for the arm under her back, there was a voice in her head mourning this. Just because it was possible to turn her inside out, he did this, and Tara did this, and Oz probably would have if he had known and Xander definitely would have if he thought of her that way.

He could feel her shaking. "That’s it, darling. I want to make you come. I want to taste your sweet come."

"Don’t make me beg."

For a moment he wasn’t sure that he heard her right, but she said it again, and she was so close to it. To breaking down. To begging. And he knows about begging and what it does to you when you have to work too fucking hard to get the only thing you really want or need.

He let the toy slide out of her ass and pushed it aside for maybe never again, and he was the one who was shaking as his cock sank into her. Kissing her calmer. "Slow and hard," he managed to say between kisses. "We’re beggars."

She took a shaking breath, opening eyes squeezed tightly shut, wondering if it is remotely possible that he won’t disappoint her. "Orphans," she adds.

"But we aren’t alone," he offers.

"Not when we are together."

If he had had a functioning heart it would have stopped, or at least skipped the way Willow’s did, an audible shudder that made him bury his face in her apple scented hair and her hot neck.

If he hadn’t felt how badly she needed this, if he hadn’t thought that she would mistake any pause as a manipulation, he would have stopped and ripped apart the restraints that he had placed on her with some sorry idea of seeing her come apart for him.

"I’m here," he reminded her, because it wasn’t about the orgasm that was building. "I’ll always be here."

It was one of the most exhausting nights they had ever spent together, and at some point, with dawn approaching, he realized with a sense of panic, that it was probably the last night they would spend together like this. They knew things about each other now, things that couldn’t be ignored. The crystal had dulled to a faint purple. He wondered if it meant that the spell had faded before either of them had thought to break the crystal, and as he stared at it, holding her limp body in his arms, he wondered what it meant if he didn’t need it anymore.

He could love her without it, and Buffy too. They didn’t cancel each other out.

He felt her stir, lifting her head, and smiled to see that her eyes stayed closed as she yawned and resettled herself against him more comfortably, feeling her way from his arm to his hand to briefly thread her fingers through his and give them a small squeeze.

"Do you mind if we keep it going until I wake up?" she asked. If her spell had lost its hold on them, she wasn’t aware of it.

He smoothed his hand over her hair. This is where they started. This is what she missed. Sleeping in the arms of someone who loved her. It was what he had been denied.

"My selfish, needy, greedy girl," he shifted her to her side, spooning in behind her. She moved the arm that was under her neck, pulling it around her neck.

"Just a little while longer?" she wheedled.

"As long as you need me." Her hair was in his face, smelling of apples and sweat and sex, bitter and sweet.

Her eyes opened and she turned her head, looking for him. "This is the best part," she whispered.

They didn’t say the words, not when the spell sufficed. They knew what love looked like in each other’s eyes. She had seen it there for Buffy. He had seen it there for Tara.

"You," she said.

"And, you," he answered watching her eyes close.

He would tell her when they woke up. If he was right, the feeling would still be there.

"We’re beggars," he whispered.

"Orphans," she answered.

He closed his eyes. "You're alone until you die," he told her. It was cheaply melodramatic, but he had heard it, and it sounded like a depressing truth.

She patted his arm, pursing her lips to make a sleepy kissing sound. "Not when we are together. Go to sleep, Spike. We can talk about it later."

He drifted into sleep. He could love a girl that could give him the assurance that there would be something more later. That was why Willow and Buffy couldn't cancel each other out.