A Ghost Of A Chance


by Saber ShadowKitten




Part Four





Buffy glanced out of the corner of her eye at the vampire beside her. He was gripping the steering wheel so tightly, his knuckles were white, and he kept glaring daggers at the rear view mirror. Every so often she would look into the back seat, wondering what he could be angry at.


She had heard him yelling from outside the door earlier when she'd wanted to get a glass of water before they left. She was surprised to find him alone and then again when he snapped at her for no reason. Something wasn't right in Spike-land and she aimed to find out exactly what it was.


"Turn left up here," Buffy said as they approached the back road to her dorm. He nodded, then she saw his hands tighten on the steering wheel the same time his back stiffened. He glared in the rear view mirror for a long moment, then returned his eyes to the road in time to turn. She looked behind her. "What's up with the convenience store robber routine?"


"What?" Spike asked, turning a puzzled frown on her.


"You keep looking behind us. Should I be worried?"


"Er, no," he replied. He gave her a half-smirk. "Too much caffeine."


"Uh-huh," Buffy said, skeptically. She glanced out the open side window. "Second building on the right."


"So this is your home away from home, eh?" he asked, pulling up to the curb and shutting off the motor. "Looks institutional."


"What gave it away, the matching stained curtains from the seventies in every window?" Buffy joked.


Spike chuckled and climbed out of the car. Buffy frowned at his empty seat, then was pleasantly surprised when he opened her door. "M'lady," he said, holding out his hand and executing a half- bow.


"Since when did you get manners?" Buffy asked, taking his hand and allowing him to help her out of the car.


He shut the car door with his foot and tucked her hand into the crook of his arm. "They were always there, sweet," he said, patting her hand, as they started for the door. "Just cleverly disguised as rage and violence."


"Have I told you that you were strange? If not, you're strange," she said. She rolled her eyes at his lopsided grin, took a deep breath and sighed. "I so do not want to study."


"What's the topic again?" he asked.


"Nineteenth century romanticism," she answered.


"'Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! On my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.'"


Buffy stopped walking and looked at him. "What was that?"


"Wordsworth," Spike replied with a wink. He stiffened for a moment, then relaxed again.


"Let me guess, you're an expert at nineteenth century romanticism," Buffy said.


"Considering I was around during the nineteenth century and your ex was a bloody toff, I'd say a little," he replied.


"You're hired."


"What?" Spike asked, giving her a confused look.


"You, my dear in-need-of-a-bleach-job vampire," Buffy said, changing their arms so hers was linked through his. "Are going to tutor me tonight in history."


"I are?"


"You are," she replied with a firm nod of her head.


"Shut up, Nia." Buffy heard him mutter, but shrugged it off, as she dragged him towards her dorm.


*****

"I don't love you no more," Buffy said, a pout forming on her face.


"Come on, Slayer. You know this," Spike prodded. He was sitting at the desk in the small dorm room, his feet propped on the fake-wooden surface, Buffy's history text in his lap. Buffy was on her bed, sitting cross-legged in her 'comfy clothes,' a pair of track pants and tank top. "Name the five major poets of the age of romanticism."


"Um, Wordsworth...Keats," Buffy replied. "Er, Byron?"


"That's three," he said with a nod.


Buffy thought for a moment. "Oh! That Sir Walter guy."


"Scott," Spike agreed. "One more."


"She's never going to get it," Nia said. Spike turned casually to the ghost sitting on Willow's bed and pinned her with a glare. "She's not. You've been over this how many times now?"


"Uh, I don't know," Buffy said, falling forward and face in the comforter. "I'm such the uber- moron."


"Told you," Nia said.


"Shelley is the last one, pet," Spike told Buffy.


"I'm never going to remember him," Buffy whined.


"'Sometimes
The Devil is a gentleman.'"


Buffy raised her head. "That describes you."


Spike's lips curled up in a smile. "It should. He wrote it about me."


"No way," Nia said.


"No way," Buffy said, straightening.


"He did," Spike said. "I met him in a pub around 1815. Bought him a pint, chatted with him, flashed a bit of fang at him out on the street later and he said that."


"You ate Shelley?" she said incredulously.


"No, I didn't eat Shelley." He scowled at her. "I was only playing around with the git. Besides, Angelus was calling after me like I was a bloody pup..."


"And you went like a good doggie," Buffy teased. She tapped her lips with a finger. "I wonder. If you ate him, would he have become one of the romantic poets?"


Spike laughed and Buffy smiled at him. "Cor, pet, that's an idea. I wonder who I killed over time that could've been someone you had to study."


"Billy me boy, not liking the direction of this conversation," Nia warned.


Spike barely caught himself before telling the ghost to sod off. He thumped the textbook with the pen in his hand and changed the subject as ordered. "Well, Slayer, I think you've got everything pretty much down."


"You mean we're done?" Buffy asked hopefully.


"Yes, we're done," he replied.


"Yay!" she exclaimed, bouncing her head in a childish manner. "No more studying, no more studying."


"Your Slayer is not all there upstairs, is she?" Nia commented.


Spike scratched his neck, flicked her off, and scratched his neck again so as Buffy wouldn't notice. He'd happily kill Nia again if he could. Only he was allowed to insult the Slayer.


"You're getting possessive in your old age, Billy."


"Stop reading my mind," he muttered under his non-existent breath. "And stop calling me Billy."


"Anything you say, Billy," Nia replied with a salute.


Spike closed the textbook and set it on the desk. He glanced at his watch and was surprised at how late, or rather early in the morning, it was.


"Well, luv, I'd better go," he said to Buffy, rising to his feet.


"Yeah, I should get some sleep so I don't snooze through the test," Buffy said. "Not after you romanticized me like crazy."


He chuckled and headed for the door of the small dorm room. "I'll see you tomorrow night, Slayer."


"'K," Buffy replied.


Spike paused in the open doorway and looked back at Buffy. Her hair was falling out of its haphazard ponytail and she was freshly scrubbed of all makeup. His heart would have skipped a beat if it was active and he quoted:


"'For she was beautiful -- her beauty made
The bright world dim, and everything beside
Seemed like the fleeting image of a shade.'"


Buffy blushed prettily. "Who wrote that?"


"Shelley," Spike replied. Then he gave her a small smile and pulled the door closed behind him.

*****

"You are pathetic," Nia said as she popped up out of nowhere beside him when he was almost out of the dorm.


"Sod off," he growled.


"'Oh fair, Slayer. How do your big hazel eyes bat at me,'" Nia said dramatically. She changed her voice to high falsetto. "'Take me, Billy. Wrap your big, manly fangs around me.'"


Spike growled again, shoving open the main doors to the dorm and storming out into the night. "I said sod off."


"'The bells of hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
For you but not for me.
O Death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling,
O Grave, thy victoree?'"


"Will you give it a bloody rest already?" he hissed. He practically wrenched his car door off. "Cor, it's bad enough that I have to put up with your snide comments about me, but I draw the bleedin' line at you making fun of the Slayer!"


"Billy's gotta crush, Billy's gotta crush," Nia sang. She disappeared and reappeared in the front seat, then continued. "Billy's gotta crush."


"STOP CALLING ME BILLY!!" Spike yelled at her after he got into the car. He jammed his key in the ignition, started the car, then peeled away from the dorm.


"Woah, slow down there, cowboy," she said. "I wouldn't want you to kill yourself before I had the chance to kill you."


Spike abruptly pulled over to the side of the road and he faced the ghost. "Listen, you stupid sow, I am sick of this haunting bullocks. Either end my unlife or shut the bloody hell up and leave me alone for awhile."


"You don't get a choice, Billy," Nia said calmly. "The curse is a punishment, it was not placed on you because my tribe had nothing better to do one Friday night. Do you know what the definition of punishment is?"


"I just bet you're going to tell me," he said sardonically.


"It means that I can do whatever the hell I want with you and you have no say over it, understand?"


"Loud and clear," he spat.


"Good," Nia stated.


Spike pulled the car back onto the road and headed back for the mansion. He planned on hiding out in his room for the next sixteen hours to try and reign in his anger. Even though he said for her to kill him, he really wasn't ready for permanent death yet. Especially not since he'd forgotten how beautiful the Slayer really was.


"Billy and the Slayer, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G," Nia sang quietly.


"Sod off," Spike muttered. "And stop calling me Billy."


"Yes, Billy."



Part Five





Spike kissed up Buffy's inner thigh, moving ever closer to the source of the musky smell that was driving him wild. The Slayer spread her legs further apart, giving him access and a perfect view of her dark pink folds and the dark curls protecting her womanhood. He slid his lips along her heated skin, bring his mouth within centimeters of tasting her. He raised his eyes to gaze at her anticipatory face...


...And found Nia standing beside the bed, watching.


"AAAHHH!" Spike yelled, sitting bolt upright in bed. The sheet that had been over his nude form fell around his waist as he looked wildly around the room. Faint daylight came through the dark curtains over the single window.


Running a hand through his short hair, he took a purposeful breath and let it out slowly. "Bloody hell," he cursed, shaken by the dream. It wasn't the first one, either. Almost daily, in the month that he'd been helping Buffy, he'd had erotic dreams of himself and the Slayer which were ruined by the ghost suddenly appearing.


Since his blow up in the car with Nia, he'd managed to get back on an even keel with her. She agreed not to torture him too often when he was working with the Slayer, for which he was grateful. It made it easier for him to help the petite blond and it gave him a chance to get to know her better.


Spike fell back onto the pillow and folded his hands on his stomach. He let his mind travel away from the disturbing aspect of his dream to the Slayer herself. She was such a bundle of contradictions. Smart and naive. Soft and hard. Weak and strong. Rough and gentle. Loving and deadly. One moment he wanted to fight with her, the next he wanted to make love to her.


Nia insisted that he was falling in love with Buffy, to which he scoffed at. There was no way he would ever fall in love with the Slayer, despite her being incredibly sexy and sensitive and so enjoyable to be around. He'd been in love before and look where that had gotten him -- stuck in Sunnydale helping someone who, conceivably, should be his enemy and haunted by a ghost who insisted on calling him Billy. He'd rather have his fangs pulled and take a bath in holy water than fall in love again.

*****

Buffy looked down at the picture she was doodling in her notebook during lecture and moaned quietly. While she was no artist, there was no mistaking the sharp cheekbones or the devilish glint in the eyes of the face she had drawn. She purposely turned the page, only to find it covered with drawings of the same type, however with more detail and sometimes a lot less clothing.


She put her hand over her eyes and whimpered slightly. For the life of her, she couldn't seem to get Spike out of her mind. He invaded her thoughts and daydreams during classes and walked, or rather strutted, beside her every evening. Then when nighttime came along and it was time for her to sleep, she was plagued with dreams that were so erotic, she woke up flushed and wanting him and having to take extremely cold showers.


It didn't help that he was fun to be around since he was not killing anyone but the bad guys. She had gotten an A- on her history test and, when she'd recruited him again to help her with English, she'd gotten a B+ on the test, both grades she never expected she would see. Her average tended to stay in the low B-/high C+ range because of her slaying duties. But, because of his help and her enjoyment in studying with him, she'd gotten better grades.


Academic wise was by far the least reason she enjoyed his company. He was witty, more intelligent than she'd ever given him credit for and a hopeless romantic -- which was really strange, considering he was a demon - who knew more poetry by heart than her English professor. He loved hard rock and classic rock, and sang really off-key when he was in a silly mood. One time, he was so hyper, he practically bounced between the trees and headstones like a vampire pinball. That was a very interesting night.


The only thing she had yet to figure out was why he would sometimes glare at nothing or mutter something so quietly, she barely caught it. She had talked to Giles about it, but he did not have an answer. Xander had helpfully suggested that a century of living with Drusilla and a century before that with Angelus had made him "zick in ze head." Willow's suggestion made more sense; his odd actions were something he'd always done, but she hadn't noticed because they weren't the best of friends before Spike had returned to Sunnydale.


Buffy was happy to put up with his oddities because of his help with slaying. Her job was ten times easier with him than without him. She was able to go after bigger groups of vampires and having someone watching her back who could easily take care of himself was wonderful. She loved her friends and Giles, but sometimes she was too worried about them being hurt than she was of doing what she was suppose to be doing.


Of course, she tried to convince herself that was the only reason she put up with Spike. However, her dreams and doodles told her otherwise. Especially the one of the heart with the words 'Buffy + Spike' written inside of it she'd just spotted on the page. She whimpered again and thudded her head on notebook a couple of times, hoping to knock some sense into her.


The only thing it did was make the professor call on her.

*****

"Nia, my favorite ghost," Spike called as he emerged from his bedroom. "Where are you?"


Nia looked at him with an arched brow from her seat on the couch in the main portion of the mansion. "What's up with you?"


Spike hopped up on the edge of the couch, swinging his legs around so his rear was on the arm and his feet were on the cushions. After his disturbing erotic dream had woken him up, he'd managed to fall back to sleep again for a record five more hours. Five hours of perfect, dreamless sleep. He felt wonderful, cheerful, giddy, jubilant, ecstatic, energetic, joyous, silly, happy, marvelous...


"Oh no, you're hyper," Nia realized, dread in her voice. "This is not good."


"I'm not hyper," Spike said, scowling at her. He began to bounce his toes off the couch cushion.


"Right," Nia said. "And I'm not a ghost."


"I," he said, pausing dramatically. "Am going to go to the mall. There's a new recording I want to get, which means you," dramatic pause, "are to be on your best bloody behavior."


"What about your Slayer?"


"What about her?"


"Duh, helping her," Nia said. "Or have you forgotten your reason for still living, Billy?"


"Stop calling me Billy," Spike told her. "And the Slayer has some stupid dance thing to go to at nine, so I'm as free..." He suddenly launched into song. "As a bird now. And this bird you cannot cha-a-a-ange..."


"Someone kill me," Nia whimpered, holding her head in her hands.


Spike smirked at her. "Too late."



*****

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no," large sigh, "no, no, no, no, no, no, no..."


Nia stared at Spike as he flipped through CD after CD in the music store. He was driving her crazy, which was what she was suppose to be doing to him. If she wasn't already dead, she'd happily throw herself in front of a fast-moving truck just to put herself out of misery.


Spike didn't get completely hyper too often because he couldn't sleep long enough to get that way; but when he did, look out. He was worse than a five-year-old on Christmas morning after Santa had visited.


"Billy, you do realize that people are looking at you," Nia said.


Spike looked up from his perusal of the CDs to see a teen in another aisle practically laughing at him. With a wicked smile, he flashed his true face and the teen bolted from the music store. He chuckled. "Not any more."


A new song began to play over the stores speakers and the blond vampire began to sing along with it. Luckily, in Nia's opinion, he was singing to himself, rather than belting out the lyrics as he did on the walk over to the mall. "'Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogie said up jump the boogie. Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogie said up jump the boogie.'"


"Oh god, not this song," Nia sighed. She looked around for some way to get him to stop singing as he continue to flip through the CDs.


"'And this is for the questions that don't have any answers
The midnight glancers and the topless dancers
The gang of freaks, cars packed with speakers
The Gs with the forties and the chicks with beepers
The Northern Lights and the Southern Comfort
And it don't even matter if your veins are punctured
All the crackheads, the critics, the cynics
And all my heros in the Methodone Clinic
All you bastards at the IRS.'"


Spike was oblivious to Nia's search for her sanity. He was glad the store was playing something he recognized, rather than the crud they'd been playing when he'd first arrived. He picked up the new Nine Inch Nails CD and looked at the back as he continued singing.


"'For the crooked cops and the cluttered desks
For the shots of jack and the caps of meth
Half pints of love and the fifths of stress
For the hookers all trickin' out in Hollywood
And for the hoods of the world misunderstood
I said it's all good and it's all in fun
Now get in the pit and try to love someone!'"


Nia saw her savior just passing outside of the store with a bag in her hand. Appearing at her side, the ghost did something she had not tried before -- talking to someone other than Spike.


"Buffy," she projected to the blond. "Buffy can you hear me?"


Buffy stopped and looked around. Nia grinned. "Buffy, go into the music store."


"Is someone talking to me?" Buffy said, turning in a circle.


"Please go into the music store," Nia said, slightly begging.


Buffy looked at the music store with a frown. She took a hesitant step towards it, then shook her head and started down the hall again.


"Buffy, Spike wants you in the music store," Nia said, hoping that would get the blond's cooperation.


"Spike?" Buffy said. She looked back into the music store and a smile crossed her face.


Nia breathed a sigh of relief as the Slayer headed into the store. Perhaps Spike would calm down because of Buffy's presence and stop driving her up a wall.

*****

Buffy giggled when she heard Spike singing along to the song over the store speakers. His head was slightly bobbing to the beat and he was using two hands to flip through CDs, one of which was hooked over his wrist by the security holder.


"Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogie said up jump the boogie
For the love, and for the hate
And for the peace
WAAAAR!!'"


She started to clap and his head shot up. She gave him a mocking look and he grinned sheepishly. "Hello, luv," he said.


"Are you going to sing an encore?" Buffy asked sweetly.


"No," Spike said as a new song came over the speaker. "But I will dance."


"Wha-Spike!" Buffy exclaimed when the blond vampire pulled her up against him.


"Think of this as practice, Slayer," Spike told her. Then he began to rock their hips back and forth erotically, keeping her molded to him as the song filtered down into the store.


Dead I am the one, exterminating son
Slipping thought the trees, strangling the breeze

"Um, Spike, this isn't a dance song," Buffy tried to protest.


Dead I am the sky, watching angels cry
As they slowly turn, conquering the worm


"Then we won't dance," Spike replied with a shrug, not letting her go. He gave her a wicked grin. "Think of this as sex with clothes on."


Dig through the ditches
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my Dragula
Dig through the ditches
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my Dragula


Buffy couldn't believe he said that. She couldn't believe that she was aroused by it. She couldn't believe she was still rocking against him as the song continued to play.


Dead I am the pool, spreading from the fool
Weak and want you need, nowhere as you bleed


Of course, Spike would know the words and would have to lean forward so he was practically growling them in Buffy's ear. She was going to melt into a puddle on the floor any moment. Either that, or she was going to do something extremely arrest-worthy. It was still up in the air.


Dead I am the rat, feast upon the cat
Tender is the fur, dying as you purr


"Oh god," Buffy breathed, her knees going weak as Spike began to purr. He slid his hand up her back until it was between her shoulder blades, his other one was wrapped tightly around her waist. He brushed her hair off of her neck with his nose, then nuzzled the long column as he continued to purr erotically. "Oh god."


Dig through the ditches
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my Dragula
Dig through the ditches
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my Dragula


She no longer had any logical thoughts in her mind. All she knew was that the man dancing so wickedly with her was turning her into a quivering mess. Her eyes fell shut and her neck tilted slightly, giving him more access. His purr became abruptly louder for an instant, then fell back into its soft, teasing noise.


Dead I am the life, dig into the skin
Knuckle crack the bone, twenty-one to win


"Hey, you two, enough of that."


Buffy's eyes shot open and she saw the store manager glaring at them with his arms folded over his chest. She slapped Spike on his shoulder and he raised his head from her neck. "Stop," she hissed. "We're going to get kicked out."


"Sounds like fun," Spike told her in a low, husky voice. His mouth curled up in a predatory smile.


Dead I am the dog, hound of hell you cry
Devil on your back, I can never die


"If you two aren't going to buy something, I'm going to have to ask you to leave," the manager said.


Spike sighed dramatically and released Buffy. He turned and showed the man the CD on his wrist. "I'm going to get this, you-" Buffy cleared her throat loudly. "-Sir."


"Then I suggest you do it now," the manager stated.


Dig through the ditches
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my Dragula
Dig through the ditches
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my Dragula


Buffy nodded. "Yes. We'll buy it now. Right, Spike?"


"Er, right," Spike agreed. Buffy took his arm and led him towards the registers. When they got there, he plunked the CD on the counter and dug several crumpled bills out of his pocket. While he waited to be rung up, he tapped his fingers on the counter.


Buffy studied him out of the corner of her eye. She couldn't believe he had just practically mated with her standing in the middle of the music store -- and she was all but screaming "fuck me, baby!" If the manager hadn't interrupted them, she may have done just that.


She had no clue what possessed her to come into the place to begin with. She still had to pick up the dress she had on lay-a-way down the hall for the dance. She glanced at her watch, then swore. "Damn. Spike, I have to go."


"Why?" Spike asked, his voice sounding very childish.


"I have to get my dress before the store closes," Buffy answered. Plus, she really needed to get away from him before she suggested they find some remote corner and pick up where they were interrupted. "I'll see you tomorrow night, ok?"


She rushed out of the store without waiting for an answer.



NC-17 Version
PG-13 Version

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