They didn't talk much on the walk home. It was cold outside, and Xander was wishing they'd brought his car. Walking down the street with no shirt on, he shivered, and without a word Spike tossed him the leather coat. Xander put it on, momentarily jarred by the lack of body heat.
Normally, a guy gives you his jacket, and it's all warm and toasty inside. Well, I mean, not that guys give me their jackets a lot. Well, ever. But, you know, like when somebody gets off the couch and you nab their seat and it's all warm and toasty from their butt heat.
Come to think of it, that's kind of gross.
Every time he glanced at Spike, he saw only profile. Spike never turned to look at him. Spike had a very attractive profile, come to think of it. All sharp angles and soft lips.
Really soft lips.
Does he use Chapstick? Or are soft lips a vamp thing? Not that I'm going to go around doing an undead lip-lock survey or anything, but it's weird. It's weird that a guy more than a hundred years old, a dead guy ... it's weird that he has soft lips like a girl.
Spike just strode along at his usual clip, making Xander scurry to keep up, like a little kid trotting alongside a grownup.
And that's just wrong, because I'm taller than he is. He should be the one scurrying, right? But Spike never scurries. He strides. He stalks. He even, upon occasion, struts. But no scurrying. And that's just not fair. Why should I always have to be the scurrier? I'm a big guy. I shouldn't scurry.
Nonetheless, he scurried. And as they got closer and closer to the apartment, Xander began to get more and more nervous. Things had been intense at the club, but he still hadn't gotten a chance to really talk to Spike. And after what happened at the club, it seemed even more important to come clean.
"Hey, Spike, I need to tell you about something that happened during the time loop..."
"Hey, Spike, remember how I said you were the only guy I'd ever been with? Well, that's true, but it's complicated. See, during the time loop..."
"Hey, Spike, I know you're probably wondering why I volunteered for the spontaneous blood donation..."
"Hey, Spike, I know this probably seems like it's coming out of nowhere, but I've actually been in love with you since the time loop, because a lot of stuff happened that I sort of haven't mentioned..."
When they got to the building, Xander found his door and put the key in the lock, trying to breathe slow and calm, ready to launch the conversation as soon as they were inside. It was long past time.
But as he opened the door, Spike hustled him inside and closed the door behind them, turning the lock. And then he had Xander pushed up against the wall, looking him straight in the eye.
So much for the calm profile of a moment before. Now Spike looked half-wild, less controlled than Xander had ever seen him before. He'd seen him pissed off, but never this shocked vulnerability. This openness, as if his protective shell had shattered and the real Spike was suddenly revealed. As if some invisible wall had crumbled and fallen silently away.
Maybe now he would listen.
"Hey, Spike, I want to ... um ... well, there's this thing I've been wanting to talk to you about..."
And then Spike's mouth was on his and relatively soon afterward words seemed really really unimportant. He tried to think, really he did, but it just wasn't physically possible with Spike kissing him like that.
Spike pulled away just enough to push the leather coat off Xander's shoulders, down his arms, past his hands, until it crumpled in a heap on the floor and Xander's body was once again bared to his gaze.
He leaned in to kiss Xander's lips again, just once, a moist soft press of flesh, and then he pulled away and brought his hands up to rest on Xander's shoulders, leaning away to trace Xander's chest and belly and arms and neck and face with a light touch, his eyes following his hands, staring as if he had never seen anything so wondrous. His fingers traced -- once, twice, again and again -- over the white bandages, as if the cuts beneath were some sort of magnet, drawing his hand, as if the cuts were some sort of touchstone, giving him courage or reassurance.
He didn't bark out any orders, didn't demand dirty talk, didn't do anything but touch, and kiss, and look at Xander with wide dark eyes.
When he pulled his t-shirt off and moved close again, bringing their bare chests together, the white bandage on Xander's nipple rasped between them, the small sound seeming magnified in the heady silence. The cuts didn't hurt, just stung a little, and that stinging was actually making Xander even more turned on, reminding him of Spike's tongue on his skin in the bright light of the club, that blonde head bent over his body as if in prayer.
When Spike reached down to unfasten Xander's jeans, it was a revelation. Spike had never undressed him, never touched him like this, with this gentle urgency, this needful intimacy. Xander stepped out of his jeans and kicked them aside, then fell to his knees and rubbed his face against the front of Spike's jeans. Spike hissed out a surprised breath and closed his eyes, his hands coming to rest in Xander's hair.
It was different from the other times. Better. And when Spike's jeans were opened, fallen to the floor, when Xander had taken him in, with the taste of Spike's skin and pre-come on his tongue, Xander found himself wondering if it was really true ... if he was the one with the power. He thought of everything he and Spike had done and realized that he'd always trusted Spike to stop if he said no. He'd always trusted Spike not to really hurt him, and not just because of the chip. He'd trusted Spike. He'd always known that everything would stop if he said no. That, in a weird way, when it mattered, Spike would do what Xander said.
And so ... maybe the power really had been his all along.
Was that why Spike had been acting so weird? Was Spike really truly scared? The idea seemed ridiculous ... except ... during the time loop he'd seemed ... maybe...
Somehow they ended up on the couch, lying full-length on it, making out and rubbing against each other like teenagers. Spike pressed his face to Xander's neck, behind his ear, and murmured, "You smell good. Always smell so good..." And then they were kissing again.
But things could only go so far on the couch without some potentially painful gymnastics, and Xander's back twinged enough at work as it was.
I'm no spring chicken anymore. Not even a winter chicken. Or a summer chicken. No kind of chicken at all. Nope. Not chicken. So if I'm not chicken, then why am I still here and not dragging Spike off to bed like I want to?
Xander reluctantly extricated himself and stood up, smiling hesitantly. He reached out to take Spike's hand, but Spike jerked sharply away, frowning.
Guess Spike just isn't a hand-holding kind of guy. I probably shouldn't be surprised.
"Come on," Xander said quietly instead, and turned to walk into the bedroom, hoping Spike would follow and that dragging would not actually be required.
When he got to the bedside table, he turned around to see that Spike had indeed trailed after him and now hovered uncertainly near the foot of the bed. Xander opened the drawer, took out a small bottle of lube, and walked over to put it into Spike's hand.
Spike stared at it as if he'd never seen the substance before, then looked up into Xander's face as if he were searching for something.
"I want to," Xander said quietly. "I want you to..." He didn't know how to finish that sentence. "Fuck me" sounded too crass for this new thing they were doing. "Have sex with me" sounded too clinical and formal. "Make love to me" sounded too candlelight-and-roses.
"I want you to," he repeated helplessly, because there were no right words. He pushed the blankets aside and climbed onto the sheets, sitting down and looking up at Spike again.
Spike stood there with the clear bottle in his hand, watching Xander for a moment, his expression difficult to decipher, and then he climbed onto the bed and they tangled in a knot of arms and legs and lips and all of it rubbing and touching and when Xander found himself on his knees, Spike held him, pressed against his back, wrapping his arms around Xander's body to caress his chest, his dick sliding between Xander's buttocks, sliding along where he wanted it to go, and Xander whispered, "Please, Spike. Please."
Those words seemed to let something loose, and Spike pressed kisses to Xander's spine as he slid his fingers where Xander wanted them, circling, teasing, testing, and finally in.
Slick fingers pressed into Xander's body, trembling, shaking. Xander could feel the tremors, could feel Spike's shivering, shuddering body behind him and above him and inside him, and then it was Spike's cock sliding inside him, and Spike's chest was pressed to Xander's back, his hand reached around to grip Xander's cock as he thrust slowly in.
And then Spike froze. One thrust, and then nothing. He was motionless, his body suddenly tense, as if he were surprised. Shocked. In that moment, Xander wished he could see Spike's face, have some chance at guessing what he was thinking, but the body behind him gave little clue.
And then the moment of stillness was gone, and Spike began to thrust, stroking Xander's cock in a punishing grip, pulling and squeezing and thrusting all at once, like a whirlwind of slippery sensation. But something was different now. Spike wasn't trembling or exploring or whispering that Xander smelled good. No kisses on his spine.
Xander had been wanting this for so long, and now that it was happening it was nothing like what he'd wanted. This wasn't about sharing ... it was about dominating. Somewhere along the way, it changed, and now Spike was using him, treating him like an object or some ... some slave. Someone he didn't even like. As if Xander didn't matter at all.
Xander put his head down and weathered it as if it were a storm. Spike raged against him, over him, inside him, and it was like howling winds and crashing waves and Xander held on to the sheets beneath him if only to keep himself from being swept away. To keep himself from being lost in all that rage. To keep himself from being crushed or blown apart.
His body didn't know the difference, and he came with a small cry, an orgasm torn out of him by Spike's rough touch. He let his head hang down, loose, exhausted and betrayed, and could see Spike's body between his legs. Could see Spike still thrusting into him, the rhythm now fraying, unravelling, and finally dissolving into frantic chaos as Spike thrust a final few times and came. Soundlessly.
And then immediately withdrew and rolled away.
Xander opened his mouth to ask what the hell that was all about, but Spike was already on the move, getting up off the bed and stalking out of the room.
Xander got up and followed him into the living room. He could feel a trickle of come winding its wet way down his leg and wished he could go clean himself up first, but this thing with Spike seemed more urgent.
He found Spike pulling on his clothes with jerky, clumsy movements, lacing up his boots with harsh yanks that threatened to snap the laces in half, but didn't.
Xander hesitated in the bedroom doorway, confused. "Spike?"
Still sitting on the couch where he had put on his boots, Spike looked up, looked Xander in the face, and it seemed like there was a strange tension in the air, like static electricity, like a storm brewing again, but Xander wasn't sure exactly what was happening. He had only a split-second to notice Spike's face suddenly twisting with rage before Spike was on his feet, in his face, lashing out and striking a blow that sent Xander sprawling to the ground, one ear ringing with the impact.
At the same moment, Spike crashed to his knees, both hands pressing to his temples as he roared with pain and rage.
And then silence.
You hit me. You actually hit me. Here I've been trusting you -- god! -- loving you, all these months, and you hit me. You don't hit people you care about. That's sort of a rule in Xander Land. You don't hit people you care about. You don't. You just don't. But you did. You did, Spike. Why? I trusted you!
And then, at last, Spike's voice, low and hard, "You lying piece of shit."
Oh god. He knows about the time loop! Willow told him. Wait, no, Willow wouldn't do that. But I haven't been lying about anything else, so what in tarnation is he talking about?
Spike awkwardly climbed to his feet, still rubbing his temples. "If this'd been the first time you had a dick in your ass, it would've hurt a lot more for both of us. Chip barely twinged."
Xander's jaw dropped. "You hit me because ... because the sex didn't hurt enough? Because my ass didn't meet your fucking specifications?"
Spike's chin went up. "Don't give a flying fuck about your slut ass."
Xander turned around and walked out of the room. He heard Spike cry out, "Hey! Where are you going?" and he sounded annoyed and confused.
When Xander came back into the living room, Spike was standing near the door, obviously getting ready to leave, but he turned to look when he heard Xander clear his throat. In his hand, Xander held a fairly sizable purple dildo, which wobbled a bit in his grip in a way that would have been comical under different circumstances.
Xander looked at Spike, grim with self-righteous anger and betrayal.
Spike looked at the dildo, his face slack with surprise, his eyes filled with confusion and ... maybe that other bit was horror.
And then Xander, drained, lost, broken, said quietly, "Get out, Spike." He turned his back and walked to the kitchen. Come was still dripping down his leg and his cuts were stinging from all the movement. It all felt horrible now. Wrong. His stomach did a lurching unhappy thing. He'd had enough hitting in his life. He felt like he might throw up. Or start crying.
His voice was even quieter the second time, tighter. He didn't turn around. "Just get out."
He took a package of frozen corn out of the freezer. By the time he had it pressed to his jaw and turned to look back into the living room, Spike was gone.