Nibblet Ch. 14bybadgirl298©
Angel lay on his back, an arm thrown carelessly over his eyes in his big lonely bed like he’d done on thousands of other nights. But this night being alone bothered him. Try as he might, he couldn’t shut out the sounds of the humans that currently resided in his hotel. He could hear Dawn’s heartbeat. It was steady and even, comforting in the darkness. He could hear her small sighs as she shifted position in bed, lost in a dream filled slumber. The sleep of the innocent.
Faith, on the other hand, was restless. Her heartbeat was erratic just like the sounds of her soft footfalls on the carpet as she paced. Evidently, she was having as fitful a sleep as he was. Angel knew about sleepless nights. About terrible things that jostled around in your mind in the middle of the night. Hell, he’d been the cause of most of his own dark thoughts. Part of him wanted to go to her room, offer to talk. But talking might lead to other things. Especially considering the amount of alcohol he’d consumed. It would loosen his tongue and his inhibitions. . .and that was dangerous.
His feelings for Faith were complicated enough without mixing in his attraction to Dawn too. At this rate, he wouldn’t be able to sleep at all. Angel closed his eyes again. He was determined to fall asleep. He rolled onto his side and pressed his cheek against the cool cotton. Angel deliberately stiffened and then relaxed his muscles, waiting for the safe oblivion of sleep. He felt himself begin to drift off.
Spike, who had been concealed in the deep shadows in the corner of the room sighed in exasperation. He sat the Ming vase down reluctantly that he’d been holding. It was a pity, really. He’d been looking forward to bashing Peaches over the head with it. He’d even grabbed one of those nancy boy doilies Angel had on the top of his chest of drawers to muffle the noise of the breaking pottery. Nothing would keep him from Dawn’s room. Nothing! Except for a locked door. Smashing it in would have ruined the stealthiness of this operation. The sweetness of the surprise. But it would have been fun.
No, the only path to Dawn was blocked by Angel himself. So, he’d snuck in Angel’s room after the older vampire had fallen asleep the first time and was about to open the door that connected to Dawn’s suite when he’d woken up again. Spike had silently cursed his sire as the older vampire tossed and turned. Luckily, Angel was not quite sober and had been unable to detect his presence.
Spike crossed to the door and opened it quickly, sliding inside Dawn’s room easily. He leaned against the door and feasted his eyes on the vision before him. He’d observed her like this before, only she didn’t know it. Often, when he’d been obsessed with the Slayer and had been lying in wait for her to get back from patrol he used to sneak into Dawn’s room. Something about the girl captured his attention. She confounded him with her mixture of youth, beauty, and ageless wisdom. At the time, he’d thought nothing of it. Put it off as an offshoot of his obsession with Buffy.
On his furtive forays into her room, Spike usually watched her sleep, wondering what she dreamt about. How could she be so unspoiled and untouched while living on the Hellmouth? Once he even laid down on her bed beside her, listening to the soft sound of her breathing and inhaling the scent of lilacs from her pillow. He’d been so bold as to stroke her hair. Almost willing her to wake up and speak to him. Instead, she’d relaxed into his touch and even curled her little fingers around the soft leather of his duster. It had felt so right somehow. So right that he’d flown from her house, Slayer stalking be damned for the evening.
Spike towered over her as she once again lay on a bed. Dawn was no longer a precocious child and he wanted to do much more than just lie beside her. She was so lovely. Heartbreakingly beautiful, to be exact. Dawn lay on her back, glorious chestnut waves fallen like a shadow around her delicate face. A shapely cream colored leg had escaped the warm mass of covers that lay over her. Her arms were still tucked beneath the blanket. Her feminine curves were outlined clearly by the moonlight and the clinging blankets she clutched.
Spike licked his lips as he approached her. A hungry wolf in the hen house. The desire to touch her. . .take her was almost unbearable. Had he ever had such a hard time controlling himself? Spike’s hand shook as he reached out, intending only to touch her satin cheek. He brushed the back of his hand over her face. She sighed and tilted her face up to his slight caress. “Mmm. . .Spike.” She murmured. His hand froze. Then, the wickedest of grins slid over his aquiline features. She’d been dreaming of him? He pounced, using his full strength to pin her down.
Dawn awoke with a scream, which was muffled by Spike’s skillful hand. She glared at him furiously, blue eyes shooting sparks at him. He smiled back enjoying her fury and her struggles. Then Dawn grinned. . .as she brought her escaped leg up against his hip and knocked him off balance.
He lost his grip on her then and she took the opportunity to push him off of her slight form and then flip him over. Then she rested her weight on top of him, deftly pulling a stake from underneath the pillow and pressing it above his heart. “I think you bit off more than you can chew, Spike.”
“I was about to say the same thing to you, luv.” He quirked an eyebrow at her and rolled his hips, making sure she felt every inch of the lean body beneath her.
“What the hell are you doing in my room?”
“Why, I’m visitin you’, nibblet. Trying to be sociable. Thought you might need some company. ” He let his eyes drift down her torso, letting her know exactly what kind of ‘company’ he had in mind. She realized that he was getting quite an eyeful too. She wore an old t-shirt that only came to mid thigh. It was thin in patches and made her skin visible. It wasn’t threadbare in the best places. Spike’s nostrils flared, he really did love unwrapping his presents. He wished he weren’t wearing so many clothes. He was completely dressed in black jeans that had seen better days and his tight black t- shirt, his worn leather duster lay spread around his body.
Dawn blushed, wishing now that she’d worn the new pair of satin pajamas she’d gotten on her last shopping trip instead. “Oh yeah? You always visit people at,” She glanced at the alarm clock by the bed. “Three in the morning?”
“Uh huh.” She noticed that Spike had that sultry look in his eyes. Dangerous. Predatory. The look that made her want to melt into a little puddle at his feet. She pressed the stake against him harder, enjoying their game of cat and mouse. But who was the cat and who was the mouse?
“Be careful, nibblet. You want to give me a splinter?”
“That’s all you’ll be getting from me.” She gave him a smug smile, making sure to graze his skin before removing the stake and moving off him. Spike looked put out. “I was sleeping, Spike. I have to get up early tomorrow.”
“What for?” She was a Slayer for pity’s sake, she should keep vampire hours.
“Angel is teaching me pilates. Then we’ll do aerobics.”
Fabulous, they were going to talk about Peaches again. “Aerobics, eh? Does he wear pink tights?”
“NO!” She pressed the stake back against his chest again.
A pissed off Slayer was no one’s friend. “I’ll be serious now. Put your pointy wooden toys away, please.“ She put it back under her pillow. He grinned before continuing. “The poof bundles you out of bed at some undemonly hour so that the two of you can do some of that poofy stretching?” She nodded solemnly, her mouth twitching the slightest bit. “Sod that! Why don’t you sleep in tomorrow? Have some waffles in bed? Or even read the bloody paper? You’ve earned it, luv.”
“Can’t. I have to be in the best shape possible. Sacred duty. . .yada. . .yada. . . yada.”
“It’s your sacred duty to sweat to the oldies with that git?” She rolled her eyes. He’d convince her sooner or later. If things went well, she’d be lying beside him in the morning. He merely had to get her in an agreeable mood. “Come on, don’t you want to have a little fun? Let’s go to the roof, pet. Take a gander at the stars.”
He looked like a little boy begging for a piece of candy. She started to refuse him yet again when he tilted his head to the side, his lips puffing out the slightest bit. “Please?”
She gave in. “Alright. But only for a little while.”
Angel could have sworn he heard voices next door in Dawn’s room. He strained to hear but couldn’t make out any now. He rubbed his head, maybe he’d dreamed it. “Must be the alcohol.” It had been a very long time since he’d drank so much. His youth had been a blur of tavern wenches and all night benders. Of course, he’d quite a higher tolerance level than he had now.
A soft knock sounded on the door. “Angel? You awake?”
Faith! He pulled his covers up to his chin like one of those silly Victorian virgins he’d been so fond of eating in the bad old days. He released it with a sigh and stood up. “Yes, you need something, Faith?” He hurried to the door, wearing only his satin pajama bottoms and opened it a crack.
She wrapped her arms around herself, looking uncomfortable. She wore a tank top and pair of sweat pants. “I can’t sleep. I heard you over here, I was wondering if–“
He couldn’t possibly refuse her. ”Come in, Faith. We could. . .talk.” Yeah, that’s about all I can do with her.
She drifted in his room and sat on the big chair beside his bed, folding her legs up under her. She looked at the floor, the wall, the ceiling. Anywhere but his face and that smooth chest of his. “Bet you know I’m restless. Why can’t you sleep?”
“My mind keeps working. I keep thinking.”
Angel met her eyes, still shadowed in the darkness. The truth shall set you free. “You.” ********
Dawn sat down gingerly on a slab of concrete in the center of the rooftop patio. Luckily she’d had a pair of leggings in the adjoining bathroom and hadn’t been forced to search for her pants in front of Spike. That would have been too humiliating. She’d come up here barefoot though. Who could think of silly things like shoes when you were with Spike?
Spike was staring off into the night, puffing a cigarette. He seemed to be on the verge of a profound discussion. He turned towards her suddenly, his face set in determined lies. “How do you feel about me?”
Dawn ducked her head. Dammit. She was hoping for some light conversation, some flirting, and maybe even a kiss. She didn’t want to lay her feelings out to him, leave herself exposed like that. Not so soon. “I. . .I like you. I care for you, Spike. You know that.”
“Yes, nibblet, I know that. I’ve always known that. Besides your dearly departed mum, you’re the only one of ‘em that gave a damn about me. But is it more than that?” He sighed, blowing out a stream of smoke. “Are you playing with me to get Angel?”
This she could be honest about. “No.” **********
Faith gulped in air. “Why would you be thinking about me?”
“I always think about you.” He cleared his thought. “Don’t you want to know, Faith? How I feel about you?”
This was the stuff of dreams and nightmares. She didn’t know if she could take it if he said something negative. “Do you want to know how I feel about you?’
Angel tensed, his eyes becoming hooded. “Well, since you avoided me after you got out of prison, I think you hate me. But you’re grateful that I helped you save yourself. So you don’t know how to act around me. Part of you wants to thank me. Part of you wants to stake me because you had to depend on someone else. . .especially a man. Am I right?” *********
He seemed satisfied by that answer. Maybe it was the truthful look in her eyes or the way she tilted her head when she said it to him. Sincerity. “Good. Then what have you been doing with him?”
“I know it’s a bit more than that, luv.” He widened his eyes.
“Some kissing.” Dawn hedged. “I don’t know how I feel about him. He’s so–“
”Irresistible? Evidently. Buffy couldn’t get over him. Dru’s been hung up on him for over a century. And Darla. . .well, don’t get me started.”
“He’s not you.” Dawn said suddenly, tears gathering in the corners of her eyes.
“You think you’re the first woman to compare me to him and found me lacking?”Spike said fiercely.
“You don’t get it.” Dawn shook her head.“Yeah, he’s handsome. Intelligent. Funny and God know’s he’s sexy. And the way he touches . .never mind. What I’m trying to say is that as wonderful as he may be, he’s not you. He’ll never be you.”
Spike looked as confused as she felt. There it was, she’d blurted it out for the whole world to see. “I’m special to you?”
“Very.” She went up and put her arms around him to whisper in his ear. “I don’t think you know how special. I had such a crush on you with your bad attitude, blond hair and that killer leather jacket.” She didn’t want to lose him, didn’t want him to turn from her. She thought about what Lorne said. It was time to get to know the real Spike.
“Did you?” Spike pulled her to him, relishing the contact with her willowy form.
“And you knew it too. I even had some interesting dreams about you.” She had a mischievous look in her eyes when she traced the curve of his ear with her small warm tongue. She heard him groan. Then she sank two of her pearly white teeth into the lobe, biting just enough for him to feel it.
“Bloody hell, nibblet.” Spike said hoarsely. “What are you trying to do to me?”
She released him so fast that he didn’t have a chance to stop her. “You mean you don’t know?” She wrinkled her nose. Then, a light entered her eyes. “Remember when I caught you spying on Buffy during her birthday?”
He suddenly found the ground interesting. “Yeah.”
“And you called me little red riding hood?”
“Yes.” What was she getting at?
Right now, she didn’t want to worry about Angel. Or Faith. Or Buffy. She wanted him. “You’re the big bad wolf.“ He’d probably been warning her away from men like himself.
That predatory glint entered his eyes once more. “You think so?”
“Yes.” She put her arms back around him. “So, don’t be a sheep in wolf’s clothing with me. Be a wolf.”
Spike’s answer was a fiery kiss. ************
“I think I should be going.” Faith said, standing up with a weary sigh.
“I want you to stay.” Angel caught her eyes with his own. “I don’t want to be alone tonight.”
She looked back down at him. “What’s going on with you and D?” She shoved an impatient hand through her long hair. “Look, I know that you two have known each other a long time. You’ve turned her into one hell of a fighter, but there something else there.”
“Yes, there is.” He admitted. “But it isn’t–“
”Don’t.” Faith held up a hand. “I’m not letting you come between us.”
“I’m not trying to cause trouble between you and Dawn.”
“No, you aren’t. But you will whether you mean to or not.” She took out a smoke. “She’s my daughter. I would never take anything or one that D wanted for her own and that means you’re off limits.” Faith tried to light her cigarette, but her hands were shaking.
“Here, let me.” Angel cupped his hands over hers, blocking the wind and steadying her. He always seems to do that, one way or another, she thought. “What about Spike? You seemed pretty cozy with him.”
Faith stared at him for a moment as she took a drag off the cigarette. “For someone who has been around as long as you have, you’re not very quick on the uptake, are you?”
“What are you talking about?” Angel turned slightly away from her. “Why do you always have to make it so hard on yourself? The world isn’t out to screw you over. You are. Why are you so afraid to be happy.”
“I’m not. I’m happy.” Angrily, she threw the filter on the ground. “Why is it so hard for you to believe that you’re just not a part of that?”
Angel grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her to him. “If I’m not a part of it, than why were you pacing tonight, instead of sleeping? Why do you walk back and forth, and come towards my door and then change your mind? I can hear you.” He looked into her eyes. “I listen to you pace all night. You work out. You patrol. You take cold showers. And you tell yourself you’re happy, because you’re doing what you’re supposed to. Because you found a way to shut everyone out and still be one of the good guys.”
“Let me go.” She tried to shove him away but he persisted. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You’re scared spitless. Scared to let anyone in. Scared to care about this new life of yours. Because you’re scared that someday, someone will take it away. You’re afraid some one is going to realize that it was all a mistake, and you didn’t really deserve a second chance, and they’re going to take it all away. You’re still in prison, Faith. And the way things are going, you’re never gonna get out.”
“So? What do you care? Are you gonna save me, Angel?” She sneered.
“I care, Faith. Because I did it, too.” He shook her gently. “You have to let someone in eventually.”
“I did. I let Dawn in.” She shoved at his chest. “As a matter of fact, I’m going to go check on her.”
“I think she’s with Spike. I can’t hear her in there.”
“Aren’t you worried?” Faith looked confused.
“No, strangely. She can handle herself.” Angel steeled himself. “Are you upset about Spike?”
Faith gave him a disgusted look. “No. I gave up on guys who pick Summers’ girls over me a long time ago.” And she turned and walked out the door without a second glance. **********
Spike sat on the cold cement. He thought there might be a pebble under his leg but at the moment he didn’t care. Dawn was cradled in his lap and he was kissing her. Deep, lasting kisses than only increased their longing for one another. Spike’s mouth slid down to her neck. Her pulse picked up when he permitted himself to slide his cool tongue over her jugular vein. Her head fell back, exposing her neck to him. Offering herself to him. Ecstasy. Agony. He couldn’t bite. She would know about his chip. He wasn’t sure if she was ready to handle that yet. Loving a chipped, soulless demon would be hard enough. Spike willed himself to calm down. He pressed a closed mouth kiss to her smooth neck before cradling her to head to look in her eyes. “You’re cold, nibblet. Let’s go inside and get warmed up under your covers.”
She nodded her head in agreement, still dazed from his attentions. At that moment, she would have followed him anywhere. **********
The next morning was disgustingly beautiful. He wasn’t sure but Angel thought he had a hang over. He couldn’t even drink his mug of blood this morning. Angel sat on his black leather sofa with a surly look on his face. He’d gone to Dawn’s room, wanting to wake her up for their calisthenics only to find her curled around Spike’s lithe body. They were both wearing clothes so there was no dust in the bed now. He hadn’t woken them up verbally but he’d slammed the door on his way out. He really hated Spike. And he vary obviously needed to have another talk with her about dating the undead and its dangers. Maybe he should have opened the blinds and told her he’d just killed a dust bunny demon.
Faith was nowhere to be found either. He’d gone to her room with a glass of orange juice and a cup of coffee seeking to smooth things over. He’d come on a little strong last night. He’d worriedly checked her closet and was relieved to find her meager selection of clothes still there.
He took another sip of his coffee. The phone was ringing. Angel looked around, realizing he’d been looking for Cordy. She loved answering the phone. He hated answering it. He walked towards it and picked it up as if it were a snake. “Hello?”