Unbeta'd at present. Thanks to Copykween for the quick read through to make sure it was fit for public viewing.

He didn't know what it was or how she'd infected his system the way she had. That's what it was—an infection. Wasn't any other way to describe it. He'd fought against it, vehemently denying so much as the suggestion that the Slayer was anything more to him than a snack. He knew it was wrong, was against all the bloody laws of nature and came with a far higher cost than he ever wanted to pay. But even as the chit held death pressed against his heart—her strong little body pressed oh-so-delightfully against his—he knew that all the nonsense Dru had been spouting since they'd left Sunnydale was right; the bloody slayer was in his blood. What he didn't know was what he was gonna do about it. Killing her was the best option; leastways that's what his brain said. Other parts of him had different ideas and as she leant closer to mouth some idle threat or another he couldn't help but think his brain could go take a nice long hike.

He shifted his hips fractionally beneath her—a slight squirm like she was making him nervous with that bloody spoon—and was rewarded by the slight flush of red in her cheeks and barest hint of her arousal perfuming the air when his now-aching cock brushed against her warmth. She covered it up right smart, her face closing off as she murmured more threats. The poof must have scented it too and the permanent brood deepened and a flash of jealousy lit his eyes as he glanced briefly at his former-paramour.

Thinking quick, despite the lustful fog that threatened to overwhelm him, Spike played his trump card and watched in triumph as the cogs turned over in the Slayer's mind. Knew she'd let him go; wouldn't sacrifice her friends not even to rid the world of a renown killer—the girl was too soft, had too much heart. Was her weakness, that. And he knew that one day it would probably be her undoing—maybe even today if he played his cards right.

He allowed himself to be hauled roughly to his feet; her warm little hands sending jolts of electricity through the thin layer of black cloth as they curled into his t-shirt. Spike shot a soft apologetic smile to the Slayer's mum as he was shoved through the door and out into the street. Right nice lady, Joyce; knew what he was but still treated him like a guest in her home, let him pour his heart out to her like she cared. Didn't imagine she'd treat him so well if she knew what he wanted to do to her daughter. Not that he was sure himself what he wanted to do to the girl; fucking her, or killing her both held a certain appeal—the problem was he didn't know which he wanted more. Maybe he could do both; that ought to get her out of his bloody system.

Her hand slid from its resting place on his shoulder, trailing tantalisingly down his arm before tightening once more just above his elbow and he caught another waft of her body's exquisite perfume. Spike swallowed hard suppressing a groan as he allowed her to manhandle him, delighting in every touch of her warm little body. Maybe it was a little soon to think of killing her? He needed some time to think, to regroup. He'd go along with her demands for now; maybe he could even milk it so he could spend a little more time with the chit. There was no doubt in his mind that the slayer was reacting to his presence just as much as he was reacting to hers; if only he could get rid of captain forehead and get some time alone with the girl. It was pathetic the way the great lumbering git hovered around her like a lost puppy. Peaches was weak—Spike could sense that—whatever had happened after he carried Dru out of the mansion had somehow returned his much-despised grandsire's soul turning him once more into the woeful, brooding waste of space he had been when Spike had first arrived in Sunnydale, it had also sapped most of the older vampire's vitality leaving him seemingly weaker than the average fledgling. Why the Slayer was having anything to do with the erstwhile love of her life he would never know, and he suppressed a growl at the thought that Angelus might worm his way back into the girl's heart and possibly even her pants.

When the attack came he was quick to take advantage of the situation; waiting until the Slayer was occupied and accidentally knocking his weakened grandsire towards a group of three large vamps before rushing to help the girl with her fight.

He ripped his opponent's head off and when the dust settled their attackers were history and Peaches was nowhere to be found. He offered Buffy a hand and, delighted when she took it, gently helped her up from where she'd landed only moments before on the hard ground. He made a show of helping her look for the poof before gently agreeing with her whispered assessment that Angel must have died during the fight. Gently brushing the slowly falling tear from her cheek, he mumbled quietly that he'd take her to her friends. She'd been through enough for one night, he told her. And he didn't really want to cast the spell anymore; if Dru didn't want him without magical interference he didn't really want her either, he confessed quietly and was rewarded with the slayer's sympathetic hand on his arm.

He could get used to this, he mused. As long as he didn't do anything to cock it up, he reminded himself. Patience wasn't his strongest attribute, but in this case he figured the reward was more than worth it. Just have to take it slow, play it by ear. Slayer's a skittish little thing and no good was gonna come from pushing her too soon but as she offered him a weary smile he decided that maybe his unlife was looking up after all.