The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Vampires
by Netgirl

Spike's plan had been fool-proof: he was supposed to roll off a cruise ship in some exotic moonlit locale, fall into the slayer's willing arms and spend the rest of his days fighting the good fight and shagging Buffy senseless.

Unfortunately things hadn't gone quite to plan. He'd rolled up in Turin (Bloody Turin, of all places) to find Buffy shacked up with some American soldier boy, and Willow in a tizzy because her ex-bird had turned up, which had probably been quite a shock seeing as the girl had been dead about eighteen months.

He wound up sticking around...what was his choice, run back to Angel with his tail between his legs? Turin, like every other non-descript city in the world, was crawling with vampires; it was as good a place as any to fight the good fight. It was also quite entertaining, seeing Will quietly freak out and watching her new squeeze Kenny? Kenzo? Kennedy? go on a jealous rampage of demon killing. As long as he stayed away from Buffy's new boy toy life was good here.


"Hello," If he hadn't known she'd always been that quiet he would have thought it was a side effect of being a ghost. Spike pushed away from the wall where he'd been lounging, keeping an eye out for the Arakap demon and turned to face Tara. She looked solid, but the fierce wind that was causing his coat to whip round his legs wasn't affecting her at all, not a hair on her head was moving.

"Well, if it isn't Casper the friendly ghost. Got a message for me from the slayer?"

Tara's head shook slightly, "I haven't seen Buffy. She's changed so much, it's too obvious how long I've been gone, how far Willow's..."

Spike lit up a cigarette and leaned against the wall. Tara was standing awkwardly to his left. "It didn't occur to you that your bird might've moved on, plenty more fish in the sea and all that?" His voice didn't come out as sarcastic as he'd intended...he hadn't thought that the slayer would move on either.

"I didn't know. I remember being with her, then there was blood and everything went blurry and every time I try to remember it more clearly it's like trying to hold water in my hands, then I was here and I'd missed so much. It was so quick, I didn't even realise I was dea...I'd been gone at first." Tara had been talking increasingly quickly as she went on. Spike thought she didn't realise who she was talking to, she just needed to explain.

He bit back a sarcastic remark about how stupid a person had to be not to realise they were dead and instead blew a ring of smoke into her face. She didn't cough like anyone who needed to breath would have. "Why aren't you with Red anyhow?"

"The first thing I did when I got here was go to Willow, she was with her girlfriend."

If she'd been corporeal Spike would have offered her a sympathetic smoke. "Got quite a nasty shock myself when I turned up to find Buffy snogging Riley Finn Mark II." Tara didn't say anything so Spike continued, "Willow went crazy when she thought you were dead. She'd probably throw the rich bitch over for you."

"It's not that simple. I'm not h-human, I don't know what I am. I don't remember much from when I was away, but I remember wanting to t-touch Willow, and I can't." She sounded on the verge of tears.

"Bet that's there's a few people round here who'd be surprised to hear that. You had everyone convinced that all you did was hold hands and kiss with your lips closed." Tara looked down at the ground, Spike realised this was not the time to tease her. "I couldn't touch anything at first when I was a ghost either. I learned to pick up mugs eventually." He realised this would not be particularly comforting to her.


"Yeah?" He scuffed the stub of the cigarette under his boot and fumbled in his pockets looking for another.

"How did you get your did get to not be...How did?"

"How did I regain the use of my stunningly attractive, refreshingly solid body?"

Tara's lips quirked up into that oddly knowing half smile of hers. "Yeah."

"Magic box, evil lawyer, long story. Think it was a one time only deal, ducks."

The smile disappeared from her face. It was a shame; the smile was probably what got her laid, Spike thought.

"I'm supposed to be dead."

"Rubbish," Spike didn't know why he and Tara were talking in the middle of a winter's night next to a Turin warehouse. But he did know that if they were meant to be dead Tara would be playing a harp on a cloud somewhere and he'd be having his bollocks roasted over a fire in Hell. "The powers that be are incompetent..." Spike had a few other words he liked to call them but Tara didn't seem the swearing type. "...but they aren't stupid. If you're here then it's cause they want you to be."

"I used to believe in fate..." Tara was running her hand softly over the blood stain on her shirt. For the first time in his unlife Spike found himself able to see blood but not smell it.

"There you are then, makes sense that you were never really dead."

"I was dead Spike. Willow told me that she used to visit my grave."

"So what? I'm dead in the having a grave sense. Anyway that grave of yours is at the bottom of a magical crater."

"I wish I was dead." Spike was about to snap at her (he did have better things to do than talk down suicidal ghosts) when she continued, "I wish I was alive, I can't stand this limbo."

Spike remembered walking through Angel's desk, he remembered Fred telling him he wasn't like a normal ghost, he remembered the first time he'd picked up a mug. When he looked up at Tara she was starting to blur around the edges. "Well there's always ways around these things if you know where to look, pet. I'll keep my ear to the ground for you, what do you say?"

Tara said nothing, merely disappeared. Spike had the feeling she wasn't being sucked down to hellfire and brimstone when she vanished.


Things carried on quietly enough for a few weeks. Spike killed demons, things seemed to calm down in Buffy's theatre of the absurd. Then two things happened in quick succession: he heard a rumour of a door in Prague and the slayers soldier boy got sick if Spike hanging around and showed it by repeatedly trying to stake him.

That was how Spike found himself in a car with Tara, driving from Italy to the Czech republic. Tara was being even quieter than usual; Spike remembered how difficult it was to stay in a moving vehicle when you were non-corporeal and didn't push her for conversation. They were nearing the Czech border when she spoke up for the first time.

"Did you mean what you said, about me not being really dead?"

"Makes sense. The first evil wasn't scary, but he wasn't thick either. If I'd been him I would have appeared to Will as you and got her to open the hellmouth for me."

Tara shivered even though she couldn't feel the cold. "What about this door, you didn't tell me?"

"Well apparently there was this guy back in the bad old days, got cursed by this demon to be unable to touch anything. His wife was a witch who got all spelled up and created this door, which her bloke only had to walk through to make himself solid again." Spike left out the ending where the guy had been disembowelled by the demon three days later.

"And this door just sitting there for anyone to walk through, unguarded?"

Spike deliberately looked out of the driver's side window. "Yeah, probably, maybe."


Spike remembered there being a lot of churches in Prague, but he remembered most of them being above ground. The underground building was laid out like a church with pews on either side of a centre aisle, but the ceiling was cave rock and instead of a crucifix at the bottom of the aisle there was an intricately carved pentagram. The doorway into the church was an open set of heavy wooden double doors; Latin was carved over the doors, shining crystals set into the dark wood.

"Guess that's the magic door, love."

"Yeah," Tara swallowed nervously. "Narnia here I come."

"You seek passage?" They were almost at the doorway when the throaty voice came from just behind them; Spike could feel breath on the back of his neck. He turned, finding himself face to chest with a red scaled demon, who lowered it's head to show a pointed spear emerging from the crown. That would sting a bit, Spike noted.

"Yeah, that going to be a problem?" He aimed for a casual breezy tone.

"A witch created this doorway, only her kind can use it." Spike grimaced, the demon's breath was rancid.

"That's lucky, cause Elvira here," Spike gestured to Tara with a thumb. "-happens to be a witch."

The demon gave Tara an appraising look. Tara smiled back nervously. "She's a ghost, not a witch."

"Yeah mate, but if you'll just let her walk through the door then she'll be a witch again and we're all happy." The demon considered for a moment then nodded in assent. Spike had always found that you could get quite far by counting on the laziness of your opponents.

"Go on then, pet." Tara walked through the doorway, turned, looked back at Spike and shrugged. "Well?" he demanded.

"I don't know, I didn't feel anything."

Spike moved to follow Tara. "Well try walking back this w- Fuck!" Mid sentence a blow hit him in the small of the back.

"You are a vampire, you cannot use the gateway!" Before Spike could turn the demon had grabbed the back of his coat and thrown him forwards. Spike hit Tara, who had run back towards them as soon as the demon attacked Spike. Instead of flying through her as he would have done five minutes ago he collided with her with a reassuring thud, sending them both sprawling onto the stone floor.

Spike had always thought of Tara as sexless, what with her baggy clothes and recent lack of ability to touch anyone, but now lying on top of her it was impossible not to notice that she was certainly female. "Guess that answers the question of whether or not it worked, love."

Tara was smiling-- not her trademark half smirk, she was grinning from ear to ear. Before either of then could say anything else Spike was wrenched backwards by the guard-demon. "Run!" Spike ordered. Tara scrambled down the aisle towards the pentagram. 'Thank God', Spike thought. 'Finally a woman who doesn't try to be a hero and runs when I tell her to.'

He vamped out, turning to face his opponent. "I'm gonna stick that horn where the sun don't shine, mate."


Spike was limping slightly when he entered their hotel room in central Prague; Tara hadn't come back his way so he assumed she'd found a way out the way she'd run. The hotel was quite posh; Spike could afford it thanks to some embezzling from Evil and Hart.

Tara was sitting on the bed wrapped in one of the hotels robes; he noticed that her bloodstained jeans and shirt were stuffed in the bin. He couldn't blame her for wanting to be rid of the clothes she'd died in. Spike slipped out of his coat and sat down next to her on the bed, "See you found your way back."

"I-I'm sorry I didn't come back and help you with the demon, I-"

"Don't worry about it, pet. It took a bit more than a sunshine spell to take that one out." Tara was playing with the leather of his coat, Spike remembered the first thing he'd wanted to do when he'd gotten his body back was touch, anything and everything. He took in the scene around Tara: an open box of dark chocolates and empty miniatures from the mini-bar. He snatched up an empty vodka miniature, "Always had you pegged as more of a wine cooler or cheap American beer type."

Tara looked down, lips quirking up, "I wanted something that I could taste, you know? That I could feel."

The hotel robe was one of those huge, one size fits all deals, but it was belted at the waist, giving it a plunging neckline and giving him a glimpse of very promising cleavage. Very shapely legs emerged from the slit in the robe. Okay, so maybe it was more than the come hither smile that got the girl laid.

"Well, if you're onto the hard stuff these days, pet, we should get some absinthe while we're in town." Spike let his hand slip down onto the leather coat that was lying between them, let his fingers settle on top of Tara's. "The first thing I did was have sex. Absolutely mind blowing it was." He moved his hand over to trace circles on her thigh.

"S-spike," He wasn't sure if that was an objection or an encouragement. The girls eyes had fluttered closed. It was intense, he knew, the first time anyone touched you after ages of not being able to feel anything, only the taste of ash in the back of your throat to remind you that you existed.

He moved his other hand under the robe onto her hip, short nails biting into her flesh, the girl gasped. Her eyes were still closed. And when your eyes were closed a hand was a hand, a mouth was a mouth and sometimes it didn't matter who they belonged to. She drew her knees up, parting her thighs and his hand automatically dipped lower. He got a good eyeful as well and didn't remember how he could have ever considered her sexless.

Spike traced patterns just above her patch of hair, considering if he should check if she was really up for this. Before he'd even asked she answered, her hips jerking up and his fingers were plunged into her wetness as her upper body collapsed back onto the sheets. His thumb found her clit easily and rubbed over it in purposeful strokes, and if he hadn't thought it would ruin the big bad image he'd invest in some loose pants like Harris used to have because he was painfully hard inside his jeans.

Judging by the amount of moisture, this wasn't going to take long. Shame, because Spike was having a great time, but Tara was shuddering and whimpering so Spike took pity. Keeping up his purposeful strokes over her clit he slipped two fingers inside her and curled them forwards in a come here gesture.

"Fuck!" Tara called as she came. 'Hmm,' thought Spike, 'didn't know the little bird knew that kind of language.' He slumped back next to her by the head of the bed, and grappled with his belt, pulling open his jeans and gasping as his cock sprang to attention, free from its constraint. He fisted it in the hand that was still wet from being inside Tara and pumped up and down, teeth gritted. Tara blushed and looked away, rearranging her robe closed over her thighs. Tough luck, Spike thought-- he didn't expect her to touch him, but he wasn't going to do this in the bathroom like some human teenager just to spare her girlie sensibilities.

His hand moved faster and faster, fingers gripping tightly. He felt the mattress shift and assumed it was the witch going to wait outside until he'd finished the nasty. But when he looked Tara had rolled onto her side to face him and was watching him through dilated pupils, eye's drifting from his face down to his cock, where he was pumping so quickly his fist was almost a blur. She made no move to touch him or touch herself, just watched and gripped her robe shut under her breasts.

Spike roared his climax, "-Bloody fucking Hell!" and jerked into a hotel towel that he'd grabbed off the bedside table. He tossed the towel onto the floor when he was done.

Tara's breath hitched when she said, "I don't think that's hygienic."

"Well, you can clean it up then, can't you, love."

"I-it doesn't matter," Tara blushed.

Spike didn't bother doing up his jeans and Tara didn't seem bothered by what was on display, "I suppose you'll be going back to Italy, claim your girl?" Spike asked.

"I talked to Willow before we left. I told her I realised that we were both different people than we were before all this. And that I accepted that she'd moved on and I had to too."

"Can't have been easy for you."

Tara shrugged slightly. "Whatever I think of Kennedy, she loves Willow and Willow loves her." That was much nicer that anything Spike had managed to think about Phil, Buffy's new Boy Boring.

"What are you going to do?" she asked.

"Go back to England, I think. Italy's a bit high on fatal sunshine for me."

"M-maybe I c-could..."

"Maybe you could what, ducks?"

"I can't go back to Willow, and Sunnydale doesn't exist anymore. So I've been so nice that maybe I could come with you...but if you don't want..." Tara seemed to run out of sentences she could fail to finish.

Spike thought about having Tara with him in England, thought about her trailing after him all weak and girly and nature loving, stopping him having fun. And to his surprise he didn't find the thought at all distasteful.

"That'd be good," he answered.

Tara smiled at him. Spike had the feeling that smile was going to be the end of him. "This..." She gestured between them and then down at her crotch. "...was nice. Thank you."

"No problem at all, love. If you're still on this sensation kick when we get to England perhaps we'll eventually be able to work up to a proper shag?"

For his answer Tara hit him in the face with a pillow.


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