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Title: True Love
Author: Isabeau
Summary: Be careful what you wish for; you may get exactly what you say you want.
This was written for Secret Slasha 2002, for Angelika.

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The hotel was small and dark, and looked like something that would actively repel light even in the daytime. Spike peered into the gloom of the narrow hallway; even with vampire sight he was having problems seeing the room numbers, dim peeling paint on what seemed like a thousand identical doors. He glanced again at the paper in his hand, on which the number 254 was scrawled in light pencil, and then moved forward.
When he reached room 254, he knocked once, more out of courtesy than any actual need, and opened the door. The bolt was flimsy, no match for vampire strength, and he stepped inside.

The room was barely different from the hallway outside, except that it smelled of old dusty magic. The man sitting at the desk by the window didn't look up, but two sprites, little blue balls of energy no bigger than a firefly, zoomed up and circled curiously around Spike.

"I hear you can do magic," Spike said, trying to ignore the sprites.

"Magic isn't real," the man said blandly. His voice had an English accent; somehow, Spike hadn't thought of the possibility of a British sorcerer living in a dingy Los Angeles apartment. "Or at least, that's what I've heard."

Spike, with an effort, kept himself still, when all his instincts screamed at him to kill, or at least maim. "I need a love potion," he persisted.

The man snorted without looking up. "Try flowers. Works like a charm, and doesn't cost so much."

To hell with keeping still. Spike, snarling, came forward to loom dangerously. The chip kept him from hurting anyone human, but not from acting threatening. Very few people outside of Sunnydale knew about the chip, and intimidation worked surprisingly well. "I know what you are," he said angrily. "I know you're a sorcerer. I know about magic. I know love spells exist. Now be a good chap and do one for me, all right?"

Unfazed, the other man just smirked. "Sit." The tone of voice was that of a mild suggestion, but Spike found himself pushed back by some unseen force to land heavily in a chair. The man looked up for the first time, and said mildly, "Now, what exactly did you want?"

"Love potion," Spike repeated. "Make a gal fall for the first bloke she sees."

"You?"

"Right," Spike scoffed. "What sort of vampire would I be, wanting the Slayer to fall in love with me?"

The man stared at him in something close to shock, and Spike bit his tongue, furious with himself. He hadn't meant to say that; even sorcerers didn't all know about vampires, and those that did wouldn't always help one. But when the shocked expression changed, it wasn't to fear or anger but to a wicked delight. "The Slayer. I'm guessing this isn't something she wants."

Warily, Spike said, "No."

"I'll help," the man said. "On one condition: I get to come and watch the effects."

Spike wanted to say no, because it was cleaner if the man didn't come along, but then he gave a mental shrug. "Sure," he said.

"Good," the sorcerer said, and his smile was not entirely pleasant.

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The potion was ready two days later. Spike had driven back to Sunnydale with the sorcerer in the back seat, and the man, who had introduced himself as Ethan, had moved into a hotel room that in very short order looked and smelled like the Los Angeles room, dark and gloomy, air heavy with the sulfuric smell of lingering dark magic. The potion itself didn't stink as much as Spike was expecting it to; it was odorless, and, the sorcerer assured him, tasteless.

It was not, however, invisible.

Spike uncapped the vial that he'd been given, a beer-bottle-sized flask of the love potion, sniffed warily at it, and tipped the bottle somewhat. The liquid inside was viscous, sticky-looking, and a brilliant, brilliant blue.

"Does it meet your satisfaction?" Ethan asked dryly from behind him.

Spike jumped, startled. He hadn't realized the sorcerer had come back. A bit of the liquid had splashed onto his hand at the movement, and he absently licked it off. As Ethan had promised, it was perfectly tasteless. "It's blue," he said, equally dryly, and turned around, holding the bottle up critically.

"It's effective." Ethan said. He sounded amused. "You merely have to get some into her food or drink; if she ingests it, it'll take effect."

"Right," Spike said, sardonic. " 'Here, Buffy, have some blue slimy pizza.' Yes, that will work." He gave Ethan a disbelieving look; Ethan didn't seem to notice that the disbelief changed slowly to hunger.

Ethan's smile was close to a smirk. "You'll have to trust me. I've had experience with love potions, and experience with disrupting the Slayer and her...friends."

Spike stared at him.

"It won't necessarily take the entire thing," Ethan continued. "Just a few drops should be enough. Just ensure that you..." He visibly stopped what he was saying, and revised it to, "Arrange for the intended recipient of the Slayer's...affections... to be the first male she sees. This isn't an easily revocable spell."

Spike continued to stare.

The smirk was getting a slightly frosty tinge to it. "The sun has set. You should go. The longer you wait..."

"Right," Spike said slowly, and very reluctantly took his eyes off of Ethan, pretending that need wasn't stirring inside him. He lifted the bottle in a kind of salute, and then lowered it again, rubbing without thought at the place where the potion had splashed on his hand. "Thank you."

"Any time," Ethan murmured.

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"Good morning," Spike said cheerfully. It was just before sunrise, and Ethan, sprawled on the hotel bed, was looking half-asleep and distinctly cranky. "I brought you breakfast as part of your payment." He tossed a bag of donuts onto the bed.

Ethan muttered something that didn't sound polite, but he sat up anyway. One hand groped for the bag and pulled out a donut. "Jelly?"

"Enjoy it," Spike said cheerfully. "I saved the blood-filled one for myself." He watched intently as Ethan bit into the donut and licked a smear of very blue jelly from his upper lip.

"You're too bloody cheerful for this time of night," Ethan muttered.

"Day," Spike corrected. The hotel room curtains were ringed with a glow of early-morning daylight, although it was still fairly murky in the room itself. "Yes."

"It went well last night, then?"

"Yes."

Ethan nodded and then blinked, seeming to wake up. He stared at the half-eaten donut in his hand, staring just as intently as Spike was staring at him. "What the bloody hell did you--"

Spike held his breath.

Ethan shivered, once, and then stood up and approached Spike, his expression dangerous. "What," he began again, but didn't finish. His expression shifted. "That was a stupid thing to do," he said, with the last vestiges of sanity, and then kissed Spike fiercely.

"God yes, I know," Spike gasped, unrepentant. Ethan's mouth tasted of sugar and blue jelly. Spike felt himself shift to his vampire face, but didn't particularly care. "Need you. This was the only way."

Ethan didn't take his mouth more than a few inches away from Spike at any point, which suited Spike just fine. "You could've asked," he muttered, the words hot against Spike's skin.

"Like hell."

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The potion had been strong, and was more than effective. Spike found himself burning with desire stronger than he'd felt before, desire that was more a compulsion than anything else. He pressed Ethan backwards onto the bed, pinning his wrists, holding him down as he grazed fangs against warm skin. Ethan arched up underneath him.

"Don't try to get away," Spike muttered, fingers digging into Ethan's wrists to help pin them down. "You won't."

"I'm not," Ethan said. Spike could feel his chest rising and falling, quick and irregular, as he breathed. Spike took a deliberate breath of his own, and grazed his fangs down Ethan's neck, just barely not firmly enough to break the skin. He could taste the salty tang of sweat and instinctive fear.

It was one of the most delicious things he'd ever tasted.

Spike worked his way back up to Ethan's mouth for an unrelentingly fierce kiss. He could feel Ethan's tongue sliding hungrily into his mouth, thrusting and tasting and licking. Spike growled softly in pleasure. The man had a wide, wide mouth, built for smirking, built for kissing. Spike released Ethan's wrists, and immediately the warm thin hands started touching Spike, roaming over his chest and stomach and ass before coming around to unzip Spike's jeans. Tight black jeans they were, and Spike knew they made him look damn hot, but they also could be damn uncomfortable, at least when he was aroused. Right now he was hard enough that he could barely wriggle out of the jeans, even with Ethan helping him, if the frantic pushing and clawing and caressing could be considered helping and not hindering.

Spike tried to get Ethan's own pants off, but they seemed tighter than Spike's. With a growl of frustration, he gave up on niceties and ripped the pants open along a seam.

"Those were...good trousers," Ethan gasped into Spike's mouth.

"Buy more." Spike nipped at Ethan's lower lip, and Ethan groaned, pushing up against him. Spike worked one hand between them, easing Ethan's hard cock free, hand wrapping easily around it. Ethan made a hungry noise and pressed forward, thrusting against Spike's hand.

"Fuck," Ethan groaned. The sound was long and hoarse, barely understandable. Spike grinned fiercely. He pressed his index finger against Ethan's thin lips, and the mouth opened, sucking the finger in with the same steady rhythm as the thrust of Ethan's hips. Spike shivered, feeling the warm flush of arousal start. It was almost as good as what he got from feeding.

The best was when he got both at the same time.

Spike pulled his finger out of Ethan's mouth and replaced it with his tongue, taking his other hand away to brace himself. His finger, wet and slick and cool in the hotel room air, went down towards Ethan's ass and slid smoothly into the tight hole. Ethan made a choked noise against him and writhed, thighs part to allow him better access.

"You want this." Spike moved down to graze his teeth lightly over one of Ethan's nipples, which hardened immediately under the touch.

One of Ethan's hands gripped Spike's bicep, fingers digging painfully into the muscle; the other wrapped around his own cock, taking over where Spike had left off. "God, yes."

"Beg for it."

"I'll hex you if you don't," Ethan said, and Spike gave a laugh that was half amusement and half desperate hunger.

"Good enough." Spike withdrew his hand and sat back, stroking himself a few times in preparation. Ethan watched him with hungry dark eyes. "Turn over," Spike commanded, and Ethan's eyes got impossibly darker as he complied, going face down and ass up on the bed. The desire in Spike's blood grew stronger at the sight, and he lunged forward, taking half a moment to position his cock before he grabbed Ethan's waiting hips and pulled them towards him as he thrust in.

Ethan howled, the sound muffled by the mattress, and his hands made clawing motions against the sheets. Spike held still, an uncommon concern flooding through him, but Ethan turned his head to look back at him. "Move, damn you," Ethan whispered hoarsely.

Spike did just that, pulling out and then slamming back in, over and over, the friction a warm burn. Ethan was moving under him, surging backwards to meet each forward thrust. With a soft growl of hunger, Spike bent low over Ethan so that there was as much skin contact as possible, hot sweaty contact that felt like fire playing against him. Ethan's hands had moved up to the top of the bed, bracing himself against the thrusts. Spike licked his neck, tasting sweat and sex and desire. Underneath the fragile skin was the rapid thrum of blood, of life. He wanted to drink; he knew that the chip wouldn't let him, but his control was a thin thread at most.

Ethan made an inarticulate noise, and Spike's control snapped. "Fuck," he snarled, and sank his fangs into Ethan's throat at the place where the pulse thrummed shallow to the surface.

Along with the rush of sweet metallic blood came a blinding rush of pain from the chip; but Spike closed his eyes against the pain and kept moving, sucking in time to his increasingly desperate thrusts. Ethan cried out under him and went still, very still except for a shudder as he came. Spike's own climax was silent, just a single uncontrollable motion that impaled himself deeply in Ethan's body, shooting deeper still.

Ethan was trembling almost imperceptibly. Spike pulled out, licking at the already-healing wound on Ethan's neck. There would be a scar there, Spike thought, and smiled around the taste of blood and sweat.

"Needed that," Spike murmured. He gave one last lick to Ethan's neck and moved back up to his mouth for a long, slow, lazy kiss. Ethan murmured something inarticulate.

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"I'm worried about Spike."

Buffy's comment was met with looks of confusion and skepticism. "Really," she said. "He tends to hang around us, right? Except that he hasn't been, the last couple of days, and when I've seen him he's been acting... odd."

"Spike always acts odd," Dawn said cheerfully.

"Odd for Spike, then," Buffy said, and shook her head. "I don't know. I just get the feeling that he's up to something. Something bad, knowing him."

"So you gonna check up on him?"

"I probably should," Buffy said, and stood up. "Just in case."

"Don't stay out too late," Xander called after her as she left, and then turned to the others. "So, who wants pizza?"

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The stupid thing, Spike thought, was that he was practically wheedling by this point.

Ethan shuddered over-dramatically, and said, "No."

"It can be a small one," Spike said, and pressed a light kiss to the inside of Ethan's elbow. He was in human face now, not vampire, but he let his teeth graze over the surface of Ethan's skin in a suggestion of fangs. "Please? You'd look adorable."

With a noise that could have been either a laugh or a growl, Ethan wrenched Spike away from his arm and pulled him up for a fierce kiss that was more of a bite. "I am not adorable," he said, punctuating his words with nips at and around Spike's mouth.

"Sexy, then?" Spike asked hopefully. He wriggled against Ethan, searching for a more comfortable position.

Ethan gave a patient sigh. "The last tattoo I had nearly got me killed," he said. "I don't plan on repeating the experience."

"Being killed can be sexy." Ethan slapped Spike's thigh, hard enough to sting, and Spike gave him a hurt, pleading look. "Besides, I'd bet your last tattoo didn't have hearts involved."

"No..." Ethan smirked, a beautiful sexy quirk to his lips. "But there was a lot of sex." He paused. "And death."

"Oh, I do like that."

"And the demon," Ethan said firmly, "is dead now. Sorry."

"But you're not."

"I'd noticed." Ethan shifted, rubbing himself against Spike. There was a hardness in his groin, even through a borrowed pair of Spike's jeans, and Spike felt himself growing aroused again. He growled softly and nuzzled at the spot on Ethan's neck where he'd bitten earlier.

"Need you," Spike murmured, and then pulled back and shook his head fiercely, trying to clear it. "Bugger. Why the hell am I talking like this? I paid you to do me a love spell for the Slayer, which didn't happen. I should be beating your face in right now. Why am I not, again?"

Ethan gave a wry smile. "It's the bloody spell."

"Ah," Spike said. "Right."

"Besides," Ethan said, straightfaced, "you love me too much to hurt me."

Spike took a deep breath that he didn't need and shifted to vampire face. "Really," he said.

"Yes, my darling vampire pet, my cuddly wombat--"

Spike gave Ethan's neck a sharp mock-bite before sliding to his knees. "Wombat, am I?" he said. "I suppose I shouldn't do this then," and he buried his face against Ethan's groin, mouthing at the bulge there.

"Fuck," Ethan gasped. His hands fell to Spike's head, but didn't do anything beyond resting there, trembling slightly. "Don't-- bloody hell-- don't tease--"

Spike grinned.

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Buffy stared somewhat dubiously at the motel she'd been pointed towards. Spike hadn't been in his crypt, or any of his usual haunts, but a couple of demons had seen him going into a hotel room here.

What was Spike doing with a hotel room? she wondered.

...What was Spike doing?

Buffy went to the room she'd been told about, though the only one with an actual room number for her was a demon whose breath smelled strongly of whiskey and kittens, and she wasn't entirely sure he was a reliable source. "I hope this is the right room," she muttered to herself, and kicked in the door.

The people in the room.didn't notice. They were far too busy--

After a moment of staring wide-eyed, Buffy forced herself to look away, but her mind continued to replay the images she'd seen. It was the right room, yes -- Spike was there; she couldn't see his face, but, pathetic as it was, she could identify him just by the back of his head -- but he wasn't alone. He was kneeling before someone else, very clearly another man, who was standing with his pants lowered, his legs spread, his head thrown back, and pleasure in every tight line of his body. Spike, for his part, was nuzzling with unabashed eagerness at the other man's groin.

"Spike's up to something," Buffy muttered. "Right, Buffy, very perceptive." She started to walk out, and stopped, as her mind's replay brought another detail to her attention. "Wait a minute. I know you." She whirled on one heel and stalked over, ignoring the noises the two were making; Spike made a protesting noise as Buffy grabbed the other man's arm and pulled him away. "You," she said flatly.

Ethan blinked at her, gaze returning to near-normal from its previous passion-glazed look, and gave a weak smile. "Hello, Buffy." Without any apparent embarrassment he reached down and pulled his pants up. Buffy tried to ignore that too.

"What are you doing?" She was aware that she was squeaking slightly. "Never mind. I don't..." She held up her hands. "I don't want details. But, you-- I thought that you were, uh, with the Initiative."

"Ah," Ethan winced. "Yes, well, I escaped."

"Escaped?" Buffy squeaked. "A high-security facility?"

"You are so smart," Spike cooed, draping himself across Ethan.

"Oh, God," Buffy said. She wrenched Spike away; he pouted. "Don't do that," she snapped, "it's disgusting."

"Jealous, luv?" Spike asked.

Buffy ignored him. "You escaped?" she said again to Ethan.

"I had help," Ethan said, a bit evasively.

"I think you are," Spike said.

"I don't care," Buffy shot back, not looking away from Ethan. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"He asked me to come." Ethan sounded rather smug. Spike looked equally smug.

Buffy glared at Spike. "Tell me what's going on. Now."

"Nothing," Spike said innocently, and sidled up to Ethan again, rubbing suggestively against him

"That is so wrong," Buffy muttered. "I didn't want to see this."

In a reasonable voice tinged with impatience, Spike said, "Then go away."

Buffy glanced at Ethan. Really, she knew, she should take him away-- but where, now that the Initiative was gone? And he hadn't done anything wrong. This time. "Fine," she said, and then held up a hand in warning. "If I ever see this again-- if I see you again--" and she glared at Ethan.

He smiled thinly. "Understood. You won't see me, or this, again."

"God, I hope not," Buffy said, shuddering, and all but fled.

"Buffy," Ethan said, and she halted on the doorway, reluctantly. Sweetly, he said, "Don't tell Ripp-- Rupert-- about this, all right? He might get jealous."

"Jealous--?" Buffy half turned. Ethan just smiled at her, knowing that they both looked rumpled and well-fucked. A look of disbelief crossed her face, and she said, "I don't want to know," and hurried away.

Ethan grinned.

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"Hey, Buff. There's cold pizza left if you want it."

"Don't feel like you have to, though," Dawn added, mouth full, mostly-eaten pizza slice in her hand. "I don't mind if there's leftover pizza. Really."

"Thanks," Buffy said, a bit distantly, and started to wander upstairs.

"Hey," Xander called after her, "did you find out what you were looking for? Was Spike okay?"

Buffy paused on the stairs. For a long moment, she was silent, clearly struggling for what to say. "Don't ask," she finally said. "You don't want to know."

Dawn stared after her as she disappeared up the stairs, and then shrugged. "Whatever. Ooh, hey, more pizza."

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"Do you think she knows?" Ethan said, when Buffy had left.

Spike snorted. "What, that we're shagging? We weren't exactly subtle."

"No -- that it was a spell behind it. She's got witches as friends; they could break the spell, if they knew."

"Yes, and Red just adores love spells, she does," Spike murmured. "If she breaks the spell, we won't be together."

"True." Ethan smirked, and added, "I don't think Buffy will tell anyone though." He pulled Spike in for a kiss, and then snuck a hand inside Spike's trousers, fingers seeking the hungry cock that was already half-hard. "I will not, however, get a tattoo."

"If you say so," Spike murmured cooperatively, leaning forward into Ethan's touches, eyes fluttering closed. After a moment he opened one eye and added, "...my darling pookie."

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Finis

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