Buffy ducked a blow from a big, lumbering demon that looked kind of like a bull, but instead of striking at its exposed flank, she did a flashy backflip. Spike smoothly moved in with a showy spin kick that made the itty-bitty skirt ride up, exposing his butt for a second along with….
Nope. No. Nuh-uh. She totally had not just seen Spike’s balls, because Spike was a vampire, and vampires didn’t have balls. Except for Angel. And the few times when she’d used a kick between the legs to gain an advantage in a fight. But other than that, totally Ken dolls. Yep, absolutely.
Spike whirled around behind the bull demon and jumped up, hands on its shoulders and legs spread very wide for a moment before he wrapped his thighs around the demon’s neck. Oh boy. Not a Ken doll. Seriously not a Ken doll. Guh…. She shook her head to clear it, then took several steps back before doing a tumble routine – quick enough to keep from flashing her own goodies – that ended with her punching the demon just as it passed out from Spike’s choke hold.
Spike rode the beast down, then hopped up to his feet and, well, strutted a bit, though not for her benefit. She fought the urge to roll her eyes as he curled his tongue behind his teeth and flirted outrageously at the empty area where the audience would have been in an actual show arena. That’s basically what the gladiator events they were being trained for were. They weren’t completely fake like wrestling, but it was just as much about the showmanship as the fighting. Spike, of course, was taking to it all like a fish to water.
It had been a couple of days now since the big brawl. A few of the slavers had argued animatedly about the possibility of training her and Spike as pair fighters, while some of the others had waded through the downed slaves, removing the tags from several of them. Finally, the argument had stopped, and the two of them had each gotten a second tag attached to their collars. She didn’t know what had happened to the tagless slaves – though she suspected they’d just been taken back to the general training area – but all of those with at least one tag had ended up in a different part of the compound.
“Good,” their overseer grunted in approval as he beckoned them over. “Segikata-nen-karen-su.” It was her designation. The telepathic slug in Buffy’s head didn’t translate it out, but she knew it was the code for her home dimension, processing number, skillsets, and training regime. “Tomorrow, there will be high kicks.” He handed her a small bundle before turning his attention to Spike. “Segikata-fua-kara-su….”
High kicks, Buffy thought as she took her bundle over to the watering station. She was good at them, but she so did not want to be doing high kicks in an outfit that didn’t include underwear. Not that she had any say in the matter. Arguing about it would just lead to “discipline” – jolts of pain from the slug – until she did what they wanted anyway. Obedience led to privileges and treats like the one in her bundle. So, as if whoring out her abilities as the Slayer for entertainment wasn’t bad enough, she’d be showing off her private parts to her trainers and, eventually, crowds of thousands.
She sniffed and angrily swiped away the moisture gathering at her eyes. God, she wanted to be home. Home, where her mother, magically all better now, would cuddle with her on the couch while they had popcorn and watched Thelma & Louise. And Dawnie would be there too, but no one would be after her because the ho in red had tripped in her ridiculous heels and snapped her neck, and, and….
She wanted a drink – being a slave was thirsty work – and she wanted her treat, damn it! She’d earned it. So she got a drink at the fountain, sat down on a bench next it, and opened up the bundle. There were two twinkie-sized loaves of soft, lightly sweetened bread filled with some sort of custard-y stuff.
A few moments later, Spike joined her on the bench, a lit cigarette in one hand and a lidded bowl in the other. She shuddered at the thought of what was in the bowl – an animal heart that had been frozen after extraction, then warmed and soaked in human blood for him – glad that she had a strong stomach. It was majorly of the grossness, but she’d be able to eat her snacks without barfing.
He watched her for a moment, looking like he was about to say something. Then he shook his head and just enjoyed his cigarette. Buffy did the same with her treat, the two of them sitting in companionable silence.
Rather than the general cattle yard they’d been in for the first week, the part of the slave complex housing gladiator trainees was a bit like a dormitory. There was a large common room with various types of seating, a communal dining area and showers, and rooms shared by two or three. Spike and Buffy had a room together, and that was where they retreated after the day’s training was over. It was a simple room with two cots, plus a loo and sink tucked away in something the size of a closet.
Buffy immediately dropped down onto her cot with a sigh, staring pensively up at the ceiling. Poor chit. Probably homesick, worried about her sickly mum, and not exactly chuffed over what was expected of her tomorrow. Not much Spike could do about the first two, but the last….
“They don’t give a crap about your knickers, or lack thereof,” he said bluntly as he sat down on his own cot. “The vamps and some of the more human looking demons might enjoy an ogle, but the trainers?” He shook his head. “We’ve the wrong body types for any of that lot but perverts to get their jollies from watching us.”
“Then why the skimpy outfits?” Buffy demanded, sitting up and glaring at him.
“Uniforms, so they can tell at a glance what a slave’s purpose is, and where they’re supposed to be.” She flinched a bit at the reminder of what they were now. “That’s what we are, pet. Slaves. Property. And property has no need for modesty. The only reason you’ve that breast band is so you don’t flop about during fights.”
“I don’t flop!” she huffed indignantly.
He could be reassuring and kind now, or he could twit the girl. A slow smirk was the answer to that. “No, you don’t, at that. Right perky pair of tits you’ve got.” He gave her a proper leer.
She screeched wordlessly and threw her pillow at him. He caught it easily, the pillow she rested her head on every night, imprinting it with her scent. Just barely holding back the urge to sniff it, he laid down and tucked it under his head.
“Hey, give that back,” the Slayer demanded, standing up and stalking the few feet over to his cot.
He glanced at her, then away. “Sorry, love, shouldn’t throw things you want to keep. ‘S mine now.”
He rolled over and pressed his face against it, pretending to sleep. Slow, deep breaths that caught her scent. God, it was wonderful. Sunlight and wildflowers and the spicy musk of Slayer, all mixed with the strange but pleasant scent of the soap stocked in the shower area. He had that scent about him as well. It was something they shared, and the thought of it sent shivers through him. It was the slimmest of silver linings, but it was there, and he focused on it, along with how good it felt to fight alongside her all regular like. If he let himself think about the slavery, it would overwhelm him. Drag him even deeper down than he’d been before the fighting had pulled him out of his funk.
Mustn’t think on it. Mustn’t dwell…. A stranger owning him, someone he hadn’t chosen holding his leash and commanding his every moment. Someone else in charge, laying claim to his very self, just like….
Warm fingers suddenly attacked his sides, tickling up along his ribs. Spike yipped in surprise and turned, giving Buffy an opening to grab back her pillow. Oh, no, she wasn’t winning that easily. He grabbed hold of one end of the pillow before she could scurry back to her cot.
“Give it!” Buffy snapped, giving the pillow a hard tug.
He tugged back. “Told you, Slayer, it’s mine now.”
They tugged back and forth for a moment until she gave it a good yank that was like to rip the bloody thing in half if he didn’t let go. Or…. Thinking very firmly about the fact that he was not actively trying to harm her, Spike let himself be pulled off the cot, which ended with him crashing into her and knocking them both to the floor. He gazed down into her murderous glare. Flushed cheeks, blazing eyes, heartrate and breath both coming fast. Brassed off and beautiful.
She flipped them suddenly and smacked him across the face. Then she stuck her tongue out at him before getting up and taking her pillow back to her cot. Spike slowly reached up to touch his stinging cheek. God, what a woman.
She was back at home, in her room while soft, romantic music played. She walked, hips swaying, towards her bed and the blurry figure lying across it. Then she crawled onto the bed, feeling powerful and womanly as she gazed down at the man beneath her. She kissed him, and the cool lips were familiar, stirring memories of a spell and a wedding that hadn’t happened.
That wasn’t what she wanted, what she’d seen. She shivered and made her way down his body, lips, tongue, and even teeth working at his throat, making him moan. Down onto the toned chest, giving the nipples the same attention before moving down, nipping along the chiseled abs. Down, down, down. And there it was. The prize. Hidden behind a tiny leather skirt.
He spread his legs for her, and then it was her face between those pale thighs instead of a demon’s neck, and her mouth was exploring what she’d seen, tongue mapping out the contours. Oh god, the taste of him, the feel. And the breathy, needy sound of his voice as he called out her name –
Buffy’s eyes snapped open. She was on her cot in the room she shared with Spike, body aching with frustrated arousal. Oh god, she’d been having an erotic dream about Spike. It… wasn’t exactly the first time – that, embarrassingly enough, had happened when she’d fallen asleep in history class two days after he’d crashed parent-teacher night. Stupid hormones, and stupid sexy Spike, running his hand down his body while talking about feeling manly – but the dreams had never been quite so, uh, accurately detailed before.
She heard the sound that had dragged her out of sleep again. Spike, softly moaning her name. She peered over at the other cot, the moonlight coming in through the windows just bright enough to make out his sleeping form. What was he doing? It looked like he was twitching or maybe jerking against something. She squinted, and suddenly realized that Spike’s pillow – which he was lucky she hadn’t taken when she’d wrestled her own away from him – wasn’t under his head. It was…. Oh, ew! She quickly looked away, her cheeks heating in embarrassment… and renewed arousal.
Why was he dreaming about her instead of Dru? Or that skanky ditz, Harmony? Probably for the same reason you were dreaming of him, she thought. They were stuck here together, wearing skimpy clothing most of the day. It was just how dreams worked. It didn’t really mean anything. Right?
Okay. Okay, they were both adults, and getting weirded out by Spike would be kind of pot/kettle-y, considering her own dream. And as adults, they had certain… needs that they both had the right to take care of. So…. She settled more comfortably, her hand creeping down towards the wetness between her legs as she forced herself to think of Riley. He was her boyfriend, even if they were in different dimensions right now. Even if he could be kind of a jerk sometimes about the slaying.
She imagined that her hand was his, touching and teasing, stroking just the way she liked. But as she lay there, listening to Spike panting softly and murmuring her name, the image in her mind began to change. By the time her orgasm washed through her, it was Spike in her mind and his name on her lips.
She knew, somewhere in the back of her mind, that she should be ashamed of herself. That she should feel dirty and wrong, but all she felt was satisfied and sleepy. And desperately grateful that she wasn’t in this all alone.
Her best friend was all alone in some strange dimension, but Willow couldn’t help the feeling of elated accomplishment as she stared at the dead snake monster thing in the street. She didn’t know why Giles had been so freaked out over the thing – you know, other than the whole big snake monster running loose dealie – but he’d ordered Anya to watch Dawn while practically shoving all the rest of them out to his car. Willow had done a guiding spell so they wouldn’t lose the monster, and then….
She grinned at Tara in delight, despite the chunks of giant snake splattered everywhere, including on them. They’d channeled their magic together, their very essences mingling in a way that had been, well, downright magical, in every sense. Their combined powers had stopped the beastie in its tracks, and then they’d managed to blow it up. Tara looked a little dazed and kind of green around the edges, but Willow felt like she was on cloud nine. She wrapped her arms around her girlfriend and pulled her close, trailing kissing along her hairline.
“It’s okay, baby,” she murmured. “Giles said we had to stop it before it got wherever it was going, and we did.”
Why was that, anyway? They needed to find the woman in red, and if this monster was hers, it could have led them right to her. Why destroy it before it could do that? Willow frowned and opened her mouth to ask some questions, but Riley beat her to it.
“What the hell is going on?” he demanded, kicking at the largest chunk of snake monster. He and Xander had both gotten out of the car to investigate the remains as soon as they had stopped. “Why did this thing act like it was scared of Dawn?”
“It wasn’t afraid of her. It….” Giles sighed and slumped a bit in the driver’s seat. “Bloody hell,” he muttered, pulling out a miraculously clean handkerchief to wipe the gore off of his glasses. “Only gone for thirty minutes, and I already have to break Buffy’s trust.”
He told them, then, about what Dawn really was. A key meant to unlock other dimensions. A key made into a flesh and blood human sister for Buffy, who was trapped in another dimension. Ideas flitted through Willow’s head, some rejected and others put in a maybe folder inside her mind. She could do this. She knew she could do this. She’d figure out a way to use Dawn to pinpoint the dimension Buffy was in and open up a door into it. They’d have her safely back home before she had time to do more than smell the otherworldly flowers.
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January 4, 2021 11:34