Pairing: Spike/Cordelia
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Still not mine, but aren't they be great together?
Dedication: A secret santa gift for [info]claire_griffon , who wanted a fluffy story with Spike and any female. Figured I'd try something a little different from the usual- hope you like it!

Here With Him

Darkling Dawns

He's been waiting for an hour when she gets there. It's the longest she's ever made him wait, and the familiar worries start to surface, gnawing concerns that grow stronger with every second that passes. Spike does his best to drown them out- he downs three of the tiny liquor bottles without coming up for air, blasts the Clash and chain-smokes until the ashtray overflows with discarded butts, while his thoughts frantically chase themselves like a hamster running on a wheel. Is this the night that she doesn't show? Is this the night that their secret is discovered and she is kept from him while well-meaning friends 'take care of it'? Or worse, is this the night that the things in the dark win?

He begins to pace, trying not to think about the possibility that she might be lying broken in some alley, her life draining away on the asphalt. It's quickly becoming one of his secret fears, since he knows that he'd be lucky to find out without going in search of her, something they'd both agreed not to do when they first started this. If one of them doesn't show up, they've either lost interest or died, and the other one has to accept that. The condition was been an easy one to agree to at first, but he knows now that if she doesn't show up, he'll be on his way to LA by sundown tomorrow, condition and Angel be damned.

"Hey baby!" Her call cuts into his thoughts and he whips around to see her closing the door. "Sorry I'm late. Traffic was horrible, but I picked up Chinese before I left. Thought you might like to-" His lips on hers cut her off, and she lets the bags drop so she can wrap her arms around his neck. When she pulls back to breathe, Spike looks down at her, committing her to memory all over again. She's so damn beautiful that it hurts, even if she'd never believe him, seeing as how her hair's swept back in a ponytail and she has hardly any makeup on at all. A far cry from her former standards, but he likes this version of her better.

He strokes one thumb over her cheek, smiling as she leans into the touch. To look at her, no one would realize that she's been starving for years, dying for the smallest signs of affection, the briefest contact a feast for her soul. Maybe that's why he can't let her go- they're too much alike in that regard. The dark circles under her eyes are one thing he could live without, though. Does nobody in that lot of wankers she calls friends notice that she's wearing herself out?

Spike waits until she takes his hand and leads him over to the bed before he says anything. "Another one, pet?" She nods and he sinks down on the foot of the bed, drawing her between his legs, arms wrapping about her hips as his head drops down onto the curve of her breast. "Surprised he let you outta his sight," he grumbles.

Cordelia smiles and begins to pet him, hands slipping into his carefully styled hair, gradually working the gel out until it tumbles over her fingers in a riot of bright curls. Who'd have thought that Spike, the Big Scary Vampire that had given them all more than one scary dream, would have curls? "Like he'd be able to stop me. Please! And don't think I didn't notice that you were favoring your right side last time," she chides gently. "Is she still thinking she can whomp on you because her love life sucks?"

Spike tilts his head back and grins up at her. "Whomp? Improvin' your vocabulary there, luv?"

Steeling herself against the adorableness of him, she gives him a light swat on the back of the head. "Hush, you. Fred says it all the time and I can't help it if I pick it up, can I?"

"Just so long's you don't go pickin' up any of the boss' fashion sense." He lays back, pulling her down with him. She shrieks in surprise and then laughs, kissing him and curling up against him, playing with his fingers while he looks down at her and smiles. "So how's the little rabbit doing, anyway?"

"Pretty good, actually. There was that whole thing with the crush on Angel, but she seems to have realized that he's a complete disaster in the romance area, so that seems to be done with. She's coming out of her room more often now, and if my eyes don't deceive me, there may be another office romance brewing.”

“Oh yeah? Which one of the wankers is tryin' to muscle in on my girl, then?”

She laughs softly, the sweet sound worth every bruise the Slayer's fists left on him during her last temper tantrum. “Not me, you dork. Wesley's got a thing for Fred.” He snorts, ready to make a comment about his opinion of the ex-Watcher, but she looks up at him and smiles softly, and his snark fades away at the light he sees in her eyes. “It's sweet... seeing it unfold like that, y'know?”

The wistfulness he can hear in her voice tears at him, and he silently curses the miles and circumstances that keep them apart yet again. A girl like Cordelia deserves so much better than these stolen hours in cheap motel rooms. She should have a man that can stand beside her every day, ease the tension of her headaches away with every vision instead of just the occasional ones, and he knows that he should give her up so she can have that relationship she deserves. It's the right thing to do, the noble thing, but nobody's ever accused Spike of being noble. He's not his sire, willing to walk away from the woman he wants, even if holding on hurts both of them.

Besides, he doubts she'd let him go as easily as the Slayer did. Cordelia's not exactly the type to stand and watch him leave- tracking him down and screaming at him until he gives in and does what she wants is more her style. His girl's selfish that way, and that selfishness is one of the things he likes most about her. He's not suicidal enough to try telling her that, though, so he just kisses the top of her head and holds her close, then says, “Speakin' of romance... I tell you some spotty-faced ponce took Bit out last week?”

She'd heard all about it from Willow when it happened, but she doesn't tell him that, just snuggles next to him and listens to him tell the story of Dawn's first date in the way that only Spike can. Moments like these, it would be so easy to fall irrevocably in love with him- she's already only a few inches away from it, anyway, and listening to him go on and on about the boy that had summoned up the nerve to make a move on his precious Bit just makes him all the more desirable. He's sweetly endearing like this, confused at this sudden proof of Dawn's feminine appeal, like a father who can't quite believe his little girl's actually growing up, and she smiles and scoots up to kiss his cheek. “She'll be fine,” she assures him. “And if he hurts her, you can call me and I'll come up there and show him what fear really is.”

He laughs, the rich, warm sound like a velvet blanket that makes her want to wrap up in it and not come out for years. “Yeah, you do that, Duchess. Scare him right an' proper, you would.”

There's a small trace of the old Queen C in her nod, a touch of regal grace that never fails to remind him of why he likes this girl. “Just as long as you remember what I'm capable of, Buster,” she teases, giving a poke in the ribs that makes him immediately roll her over and tickle her in retaliation until she's flushed and panting. Her ponytail is coming undone, but her eyes are sparkling, and there's no sign of pain or fatigue on her face when he's done.

Seeing her like this, limp with laughter and more alive than most people ever are, he can't help bending to steal a kiss. Playfulness gives way to kisses that start sweet and leave them both breathless, but Spike isn't about to let the chance to spoil her a little go, so he forces himself to back off. “Go run us a bath an' I'll get the food all set,” he tells her, dropping a kiss on the tip of her nose to emphasize the order.

It's not often that they have a room with a tub, and her happy squeal when she sees it and the candles he's already set up around it are worth every penny of the extra twenty-five dollars he had to shell out for it. Besides, it wasn't his money to begin with, and he grins at the thought of Harris' reaction if he knew what the money he'd stolen was going for. The boy might have his demon girl now, but Spike would be willing to bet hard cash that he'd still give his right testicle for the chance to see Cordelia in the bath. Not that it wasn't a sight well worth that and a hell of a lot more.

His erection, already uncomfortable just with the thought, becomes downright painful when he walks into the bathroom and catches sight of the reality. Bubbles skate over golden skin, offering up tantalizing glimpses of delectable curves that are absolutely mouth-watering. Setting the food down on the floor within easy reach, he hurries to undress, making quick work of his clothes, then slides into the tub with her. After a little bit of maneuvering, they end up cuddled together amid honeysuckle-scented bubbles, and he feeds her bites of Chinese food between kisses, his hands only occasionally 'accidentally' slipping under the surface of the water for brief gropes of her sweet ass.

They stay in the bath until the food's completely gone and the water goes cold. Only when she starts to shiver does he force her out. He wraps her in terrycloth towels and kisses her again, then scoops her up and carries her back to bed, where he puts the full force of a century to work seducing her, and they make love, slow and steady and sweet. Afterwards, he holds her close, luxuriating in the warmth and solid reality of his lover's body in his arms, unwilling to join her in sleep lest he lose even a second of time with her.

Too often, they had to make do with snatched hours here and there, quick encounters that didn't allow for romance, but he's going to see to it that they get the whole night tonight, no matter what it takes. No phone calls, no pages, no visions- even if the world ends, he's keeping her here with him. He just wishes he could make it so they didn't have to get up and go their separate ways in the morning.

The End

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