Am-Chau Yarkona

Summary: In the afterglow, a few facts emerge.
Rating: R
Story Notes: Dedicated to P., who greased the slope for me.
Disclaimer: They aren't mine. Joss owns all.

"I don't think they're going to like this," Fred said quietly, her eyes darting about the room, though she didn't seem to be looking at anything.

"Who aren't?" Spike asked, slowly combing his fingers through her hair. In his half-asleep state, he thought it was like Drusilla's, though perhaps a little softer. Dru's was always a little rough.

"Angel. Gunn. Wesley. Anyone." She was starting to sound nervous again, the way she'd been when they first met, so Spike kissed her. It helped a little, and she went on. "They aren't going to like me sleeping with a vampire."

"Look, love, they can't really object. Angel's a vampire, isn't he?"

"A vampire with a soul," Fred corrected, almost automatically.

"A vampire—with a soul—like the one I've got. Yes?"

"His was a gypsy curse and yours was given to you by a demon, but even the Watcher's Council admits—I mean, admitted—that a soul is a soul, no matter what the source. They said so in 1584 when they had to have a Slayer re-ensouled by a shaman, because a demon had managed to remove hers."

"You carry a lot in that pretty head of yours," Spike commented, impressed.

Fred giggled a little at the compliment, and shrugged. "Actually, I went and looked it up while you were asleep."

"After we..."


"Are you always this trusting of strange vampires?" Spike rolled a fraction closer to her.

"No, only the ones that make me laugh. When I'm armed."

"Armed? How?" Spike enquired, moving away again, suddenly wary. This girl had depths he hadn't seen.

"Left arm and right arm," she said, demonstrating by hugging him tighter.

"And here was me, thinking you were an 'armless girl."

"Not me. Two arms, plus a stake." Fred looked so pleased with herself that Spike couldn't quite point out that merely having a stake wasn't enough.

"Where do you keep that?" he said instead. "I've done," and he demonstrated, running a hand down her side, "a pretty through strip search."

Fred reached backwards, away from him, feeling for something tucked between the mattress and the bed frame. "Here."

He looked at the stake suddenly in her hand, and his eyebrows shot up. "You're good."

"It's better than being evil," she giggled, "And it wasn't my idea. I think Wesley put them there first, in case he ever had to deal with Angelus suddenly, and Gunn didn't object because he likes to be armed all the time anyway. Every bed in the Hyperion has one."

"Wesley was worried about having to deal with Angelus in bed?"

Fred blushed, more for the tone than the words. "And there's one in the back of the fridge," she said, her eyes widening. "They must have…"

"Sounds like this hotel's seen plenty of action," Spike smirked, and Fred recalled his explanation for being in LA. "I'm looking for the action—Sunnydale's too quiet these days," he'd said—but he wasn't thinking about Sunnydale anymore. "On that basis alone, I don't see them raising many objections." His exploring hand was creeping lower.

Fred moved back a little, replacing the stake in it's hiding place, and swept her gaze down Spike's body, all on glorious display. "You've raised something, though," she said, trying to match his smirk but ending up with a smile as sweet as the pixie sticks the Nibblet had shared with him once or twice.

"Very clever, pet," he said, his voice low. He mirrored her movement, drawing back, and then pounced.

"I do my best," she whispered before she let his lips silence her. Then she added in the rare moment of quiet in her mind, "And that seems to be enough for you. Thank heaven."