Repossession by Lazuli Kat



Chapter 15

‘…I guess you could say, that I’ve been lucky.
I guess you could say, that it’s all because of you…’ 

“For pity’s sake, this bloody song is older than me.  Have you no shame, Harris?”

‘…If anyone should ever write my life story,
For whatever reason there might be.
You’ll be there between each line of pain and glory,
‘Cause you’re the best thing that ever happened to me…’

Xander was still clawing his way up from the very depths of slumber, and he rocked gently as Spike reached over him to switch off the alarm before returning to his sleeping spot on Xander’s chest, one of William’s customs he’d been happy to adopt.  That’s Spike, Xander acknowledged when his exhausted mind was capable of compiling a whole thought.  That’s my Spike.  Xander smiled and hugged the vampire tightly, loving the feel of the resilient, muscular body, so unlike the Spike he’d been afraid of breaking.  You could twang this Spike like taut elastic and he’d boing back for more.  Pleasurable shiver as Spike’s mouth fastened onto his neck and the vampire’s strong fingers dug into the flesh of his side.

“You sending me to work with a hickey?”


“You always were a bit of a bastard.”


Xander felt the chuckle in the mmm.

“I’m going on site with a hickey.  This is Christian to the lions territory.”

“My Xander,” Spike broke off long enough to say.

“What’s next?  Tattoo?  ‘Beware, property of…’?”  Spike nodded, still attached to Xander’s neck, and the human fought back an appreciative moan.  “Jesus, Spike, if you don’t let me up soon I’ll be here all day.”  Spike made a noise that sounded like ‘good’.  “Not good.  If I go in today I’m free for the next week.  Ready for the move.  You still want to mo—”  Xander’s words were cut off by a gasp as Spike’s fangs scraped his skin and body parts jumped to attention.  “Not now, not now, not now,” Xander rattled off, forcing himself to prise the vampire away and just catching a glimpse of game face as Spike transformed his features back to their usual handsome form prior to starting a whole new round of nuzzling, this time in the centre of Xander’s chest as his t-shirt was pushed up to expose more flesh.  “Still okay with the move?”

“As long as you don’t insist on giving me my own bedroom.”

“Not this time.”  Xander paused before tucking a finger under the vampire’s chin and bringing his face up; despite being fairly well distracted Spike immediately registered the anxiety on Xander’s face and in his voice as he asked:  “We going to be okay, Spike?”

“Is it me you want to live with?”

“Yes,” Xander assured him adamantly.

“Not William?”

“You, always you.”

“Then, yes.  We are going to be okay.”  Spike smiled kindly.  “We are, love.”

“D’you feel like we’re picking up where we left off?”  Spike gave a questioning look.  “Shouldn’t this be…less familiar?  After five years shouldn’t we be different?  Everything’s changed, but nothing’s changed.”

“Some things have.  Five years ago you wouldn’t have let me…”  Spike pushed past Xander’s hand and ran his sharp tongue over a very sensitive nipple, enjoying the hiss of surprise that burst from Xander, murmuring affectionate nothings as he went back for a second taste.

“Uh-uh.”  Spike was forcibly set aside and Xander was out of the bed in a desperate act of self-preservation.  “Go back to sleep.  Not another word, go back to sleep.”


Spike was face down in Xander’s pillow when the human came to say goodbye.  He kissed the back of Spike’s head and grimaced.

“I hate the smell of this gel.  I hate hair gel period.”

Spike turned his face to the right and responded dozily.

“Won’t use it again.”

Xander ran his hands over the unbelievably perfect back, pushing the covers down as he went.  Ohhhhhh…naked Spike.  Run away, run away!  He restored the covers to their previous position.  Hesitated.  Went to the end of the bed and uncovered Spike’s feet.  On his knees, Xander held them, studied their wholeness.  Flawless.  He admired, caressed, kissed them, smiling as toes wriggled lethargically under the attention.  Okay, even his toes were sleepy.  Xander tucked Spike back in and rose.

“I’ll phone later.  If you want me my cell phone’s on memory one.”  Don’t leave while I’m gone.


“I’m glad you’re back.”  My Spike, my Spike, my Spike, MY Spike.


“I love you.”


“You asleep?”


Well, that was hell.  Walking away from the site having been the morning’s running joke, Xander was simultaneously laughing and cursing the vampire.  Really looking forward to getting to the office, oh yeah.  Glancing at his watch he hoped it was late enough to phone home.  Please be there, please…

“Why do you think I was able to go out yesterday without this twat getting all uptight about it?” Spike demanded before Xander had a chance to greet him.

“And hi to you, too.”

“Yes.  Hello, Xander.”

“Having problems?”

“I’m just…well, I’m worried about going out.  What if it happens like last night and…and you’re not here?”

“What made yesterday different?  Tell me what you did.”

“Woke up.  Really woke up.  Fed, showered, dressed, went out.”

There was a pause as Xander considered.

“You had your card and keys, so you read the letter.”


“And the letter said to go shopping.  William had permission.”

“You think it’s that simple?”


“Yeah, that’d be right: simple for a simpleton.”

“Don’t, Spike, he’s a part of you.  Didn’t you say he got you home last night?”

“Only after he made it impossible for me to manage by myself.”

Xander sighed heavily, giving up on his pathetic attempt at arbitration.


“So…do I have it?” Spike asked with audible embarrassment.


“Your permission to go out today.”

“You don’t need my permission to do anything,” Xander hurriedly assured, “but for William’s benefit, yes, yes, you do.  Go out, have fun, spend.”

Xander could hear subdued muttering and didn’t even try to imagine what Spike was saying to William.  He did, however, wonder why Spike felt the need to say it aloud bearing in mind that his companion was in his head.

“Right.  He’s convinced and I’m out of here.”

“Spike.  You will be there later?”

“Will I…?  You really think I’d up and go?”

Xander cringed at the irritation in the vampire’s voice.


“You think I’d leave?  After I’ve waited so long to be with you again?  For fuck’s sake, Xander, I’ve been waiting eight years just to kiss you, and when…”

“Eight years?”

“…and when…”

“Eight years?”

And when I do…I promise you it is going to be proprietary.”

There was a long pause; Xander could hear Spike breathing and that put him on edge.  Piss him off enough and he’ll go, whether or not he’s waited…

“Eight years?”

“So hard to believe?”


Spike laughed; Xander relaxed a little.

“You better be worth waiting for.”

“I doubt it.  Seriously out of practise.”

“Come home now and let’s find out.”

“I have to get finished up at work so…”

“You can take the week off, I know.”

“Still, if you’ve waited eight years…  Eight years?”

“You were an appealing boy, Xander, but you make a stunning man.  And I’d almost forgotten how glorious you taste.”

“Can you hear me blushing?  Listen.”

“Come home, Xan,” Spike purred.  “Want you so badly.”

“Stop it!  I know when I’m being played.”  Spike snickered and Xander was turning the key in the Merc’s ignition.  “I’m going to the office.  That’s memory two if you have to call.  Do something useful, can’t you?”

“Like what?”

“Pack stuff.”

“Done that.”

“You have?”

“One of us insisted,” Spike grumbled.

Ah.  The William factor.  Let’s not visit Little Sunnydale right now.

“I’m going.  You take care, all right?”

“Don’t forget the blood.  And Chinese, bring home Chinese.”

“Good as done.  I’ll see you later.”

“Tell me, Xander,” Spike insisted, sounding curiously insecure.

“I love you, Spike.”

“Tell me.”

“I love you.”

“Okay.  Go.”

Xander tried a blinkered approach at work, ignoring the smirks and the curious glances, single-mindedly getting on with what he had to do.  Single-mindedly for a while at least.  He took time out to ring The Dark Place and order more blood, hanging up as Patrick knocked and poked a head around his door.  Xander waved him in and they spoke about the new development for a while before Patrick pulled an envelope out of his pocket and handed it over.

“That’s the lease and final specs; Jake’s checked them out and they’re all in order.”

Xander looked over the paperwork.

“Our house,” he said quietly to himself, riding the swell of pleasure that flooded through him.  “We’ve got a house.”  He glanced up at his boss.  “Thanks for this.”

“How’s Spike?”

“Much better.  You’ve got to come over soon, say hello properly.”

“I’d like that.”  Patrick leant onto the desk.  “You know everyone’s talking about you?”

“What, like…Alex finally got some?”

“Something like that.  Enigma becomes slut.”

Xander laughed, reaching for a pen and signing the contract, officially taking possession of his new home.

“They’re in for a surprise.  Don’t think anybody bet on the likes of Spike and don’t try to tell me there’s no book going.”

“Alex…  Are we being discreet?  I mean, I don’t want to say something I shouldn’t.”

Xander sat back in his chair, thinking about that question for the first time.  He came to a fairly easy conclusion.

“Don’t worry about it.  Say what you like.”

“It’s not like I want to broadcast it, but…”

“I know what you mean.  But if I’m out, I’m out.  I’m not ashamed of Spike or myself, so what the hell.  You tell Beth?”


“You get the third degree?” Xander grinned knowingly.

Patrick rolled his eyes despairingly as he dug in his pockets and brought out four sets of keys, dropping them directly in front of Xander.  “Congratulations, Alex.  Cedar House is all yours.”  Xander stood and they shook hands on the deal before Xander automatically returned one set of keys to Patrick in case of emergencies.

“We’re not going to do the housewarming stuff.  Think anyone will care?”

“Rafe will fall into decline and need some intensive bar-crawling and male bonding but he’ll forgive you eventually.  Just do what feels right for you and Spike.  You know that, you don’t need me to tell you that.  Anyway, I’d better leave you to it if you’re ever going to get out of here.  Best of luck with the move; let me know how you get on.”

Patrick headed for the door, Xander circumnavigated his desk in fast pursuit.

“Pat.”  As Patrick turned, Xander threw his arms around him.  Patrick laughed and reciprocated, slapping Xander’s back.  “I.  Am.  So.  Happy.”

“Good.  Good.  About time.”


It took longer than expected for Xander to clear his desk before the week off; luckily Max, the owner of The Dark Place, was kind enough to hang about after hours to hand over the blood, but it was gone eight by the time Xander let himself into the apartment.

“Hey, honey, I’m home.”

Xander’s heart tripped lightly into double-time as the empty-nest feel surrounded him, and it was with extreme caution that he entered the living room.  He took a deep breath when he found Spike lounging on the sofa, poring over one of his books with a distinct frown on his face.

“Dirty stop-out,” Spike grumbled without looking up.

“I’m sorry, but the work had to be done, then I had to go for the blood…”

“You wouldn’t have left him for so long.”

“Ah, come on, Spike, don’t give me a hard time.”

“I won’t be giving you a hard anything until you apologise properly.”

Xander put the cooler and bag of Chinese food in the kitchen then returned to his peeved friend, kneeling beside the sofa and leaning on the vampire’s cushion, utilising the big-eyed puppy-dog look for the first time in years.

“What do you want me to say?”

Spike put the book aside and leant toward him, resting his lips on Xander’s ear and speaking confidentially.

“William is driving me insane,” Spike confessed in a total change of subject.

“There’s no point in whispering,” Xander replied in the same hushed tone.  “He’s in your head and is aware of every seditious thought.”

“What am I going to do?”

“Drink blood, eat Chinese.  Listen to me rant about what you did to my neck and my reputation.”

Spike dipped his head and kissed the mark on Xander’s neck.

“My Xander.”

Xander sat back on his heels.

“Want to come and eat?”

“In that order?”

“You have way too much time to think.  Come on.”


Over dinner Xander spread out the wad of papers Patrick had given him, pointing various features out to Spike, particularly explaining about the ninety-nine percent light-proof security shutters that, once operated, would make the house extremely vampire-friendly.

“…And you get a remote control that can operate the shutter system from every room in the house.  Patrick was very thorough.  Mind you, I think once he’d seen you he would have pulled out any stops to make you feel safe.”

“Is that what this is about?  Safety not daylight?”

“Both.  I want us to be secure.  It’s going to feel strange at first: the house is away from the main development and gives the impression of being completely isolated, specially with the new planting.  I’ve never lived without people around me in some respect.  Even here I’m aware of the other residents.  Tell you what, after dinner we’ll take a drive out there.”

“Isn’t it too dark to see anything?”

“Power’s on.  See these…”  Xander pointed out scattered symbols on the property overview.  “Security lighting.  The sensors pick up anything, they all switch on.  There’s also general lighting that’s on a timer; when we get there the house and grounds will be stylishly lit and ready for us to swan around like we own the place.  Which we do.”

“How far is it from here?”

“About thirty minutes.”

“Can I drive?” Spike asked with a smirk, knowing the answer.

“Not my car, no.  But we’ll go out and buy you something of your own in a couple of days.”


“Sure.  Think about what you want.  Could go the classic route.  What about another DeSoto?”

Spike mulled it over before shaking his head.

“You choose.”

“Seriously?  You don’t want to pick your own car?”

“You choose.”

Xander was quietly delighted with that decision: he already had a vehicle in mind that positively shouted Spike.

“Okay.  Guess we need to get you a driving licence.”

“I don’t need…”

“If you get pulled over I want you to have a pseudo-legitimate licence to flash instead of risking being hauled off.  I’ll talk to Angel, he’ll be able to fix something up.”


“Y’know…  I keep wondering why I can’t call Willow or Angel with the good news about you.”

“Angel?  You’ve been in touch with Angel?”

“I needed to.  When I was…”  Xander took a deep breath.  “I was really upset about you and I had to talk to someone.”

“He knows everything then?”  Xander nodded, reluctant to look at Spike and see God knows what on his face.  “Was he angry?”

“Enough to deal with the people that took you.”

“He…dealt with them?”

“Put it this way: they’re so not in a position to do it again.”

“You mean…”

“Wiped out the entire facility.”

Now Xander glanced up; Spike looked stunned.

“He did that for me?”

“Willingly,” Xander bent the truth a little.

“Does that mean…  Are they all gone?  Is it over?”

“I’ve spoken to Willow and to Giles about the watcher connection and…”

“Wait, wait.  There was a watcher connection?” an exasperated Spike reiterated.  “Those bloody untrustworthy buggers.  What have I told you about them?”

“It was a connection in the loosest possible sense allegedly.  But it seems they were all killed because they were based at the facility, making with the mojo and ensuring their ‘guests’ couldn’t be tracked down with magic.  The military connection though…”  Xander’s voice trailed away and he sighed.  “Let’s face it: there’s a constant supply of gung-ho shit-for-brains superheroes waiting to kill anything that’s a little different from them.  However, they appear to be a little short on unbarbecued leadership right now.”  Xander read the anxiety on Spike’s face, reached out and squeezed his wrist.  “You’re safe.  You are safe.”

Spike looked anything but convinced.

“Course I am, pet.”  The smile had ‘fake’ written all over it.

“You know, if you want to talk about…”

“No, Xander,” Spike answered sharply, and if Xander was filling in the Spike’s-state-of-mind form he’d have   to tick the box marked ‘scared as hell’.  And the expression on Spike’s face that he turned his head away to hide…  Xander was getting pretty scared himself and it wasn’t as if he had to know.

“You don’t…  I mean, it’s not like you have to…”

“Stop it,” Spike told him flatly.

“Yeah.”  Barely audible to disguise the new guilt.  He squeezed Spike’s wrist again, not enough contact, comfort by far but at least it was there.  Spike was there.

“How is our Rupert?” the vampire asked with forced casualness.

“Fine,” Xander gratefully snatched at the change in subject.  “Sends his love.”  Spike cocked an eyebrow at that.  “Okay, his kindest regards or whatever it was.  Same difference.”

“I think you’ll find it isn’t to him.”

“I should call him,” Xander frowned.  “And Willow and Angel, but I…  You want to call them?”

“No,” Spike said vaguely, mind evidently elsewhere.  Xander watched as the vampire’s hand rose to his neck and stroked, realising he’d witnessed the same gesture time and again from William and now Spike.  “I need to see him though.”  Neck, Angel, association?  Which would mean he’d been thinking about Angel all this time.  And if he’d been thinking about Angel, then maybe he could ask…

“Spike, do you remember when you were…”  Staycalmstaycalmstaycalmstaycalm.  “…given to the demon by…”

“You mean the Srumanteshtak?”



Willow said you forgave Buffy and Angel for that.”  Spike nodded.  “Why?  I mean, how?  I was so mad at them…”

“Me too.  But it saved your life, so how could I stay mad?”

Xander hesitated.

“My life?”

“Well, everybody in Sunnydale, but you were the one who mattered.”

“It was that dangerous?”  Spike nodded again.  “They should’ve told us.”

“They couldn’t at the time.  Didn’t Red explain any of this?”

“Yes, but…”

“No but. I kicked their sorry, soul-burdened arses, graciously forgave them, I even—”


“Talked to Angel,” Spike offered cautiously.


“Us.  You.  Us.  Like you, I didn’t have anyone else.  I mean, I wouldn’t have tried it with Angelus, but talking to Angel, it’s like talking to a priest.  And there’s a bizarre thought.”

“So…when I spoke to him he knew.  How you felt.”

“How I feel.  Yes.”

Xander flushed with pleasure at the correction in tense and hoped he hadn’t but didn’t actually care if Spike noticed.

“What did he say when you told him?”

Spike paused, smiled slightly, seemed a little embarrassed.

“To keep the hope alive.”  Xander slid his hand over Spike’s, briefly earning himself the adoring look he associated more with William than Spike.  “Hate it when the old poof’s right,” the vampire joked.

“He said I was family.”

“He would,” Spike confirmed ambiguously before abruptly announcing: “I need to go back to Sunnydale.”

“To visit?”

“Of course to visit.  You still think I’m going to leave?  To go back to Sunnyhell?  Don’t think so somehow.”


“You certainly haven’t lost your piercing conversational skills.  Spit it out, Xan.”

“I don’t deserve you staying.”

“Says who?”

“It isn’t…”

“Come on, who?”

“I didn’t…”

“What kind of berk would think that, eh?”

“Can we go now?  I’d forgotten what hard work a conversation with you could be.”


Leaving the tidying up for later, they pulled on their coats and Xander handed over a set of house keys.  They looked at the keys, knew what they represented.

“I’ve got a good feeling about this, Spike.”

“Me too, mate.  Shall we?”

Xander locked up and they headed for the elevator.

“Still not smoking?”

“Not like I need it, is it?”

“Another of my memories corrupted, “Xander sighed comically.  “Whatever happened to the lean, mean, dog-end machine?”

“Haven’t you ever heard of passive smoking?  Think I’m taking any chances…”

“This is it?” a clearly amazed Spike asked as they pulled into the drive of Cedar House.

“More than you thought?”


“Isn’t it great?”

“This is yours?”



“Yeah, ours,” Xander grinned, knowing if he didn’t get out of the car he’d be reduced to bouncing in his seat from the excitement.  “Come on.”


Xander opened the door and invited the vampire in, showing Spike where the alarm control was situated and keying in the code, explaining how the alarm system worked.  Spike listened and took the information in before wandering off; Xander followed a few steps behind, thoroughly enjoying Spike’s reactions.  An hour later and the house had been covered.

“The gardens are pretty special,” Xander said as he drew the conservatory blinds and unlocked the french windows.

“What’s through there?” Spike indicated an archway to their right.

“Pool,” Xander grinned.  “The conservatory extends along the entire back of the house and we have our own heated pool.  Come on outside.  Patrick found some really good landscapers and paid big bucks for this.  Think it’s his housewarming gift.”

Spike watched Xander stroll out onto the deck and took a step forward, step back.  Even with the lights in the garden there were pockets of darkness that he found intimidating.  He’d believed that once his night vision had returned his problems with the dark would recede, but he was still waiting for that development.  The stairwell had been dark, he remembered with a shudder.  Feeling ridiculous, and hoping Xander was out of earshot, he took a couple of deep, psychologically fortifying breaths, then rapidly pursued the human, feeling Xander’s surprise when he linked their arms, sliding into Xander’s pocket to find his hand and entwine their fingers.  Feeling more secure, Spike let Xander lead him further away from the house so they could turn back and admire the tastefully spot-lit elegance.

“A long way from that bleedin’ awful basement.”

“I did this for us,” Xander said under his breath.  “Not a loser, not a Zeppo, not a screw-up, not an errand-boy.  I did this.”

Spike retrieved his hand and grasped Xander’s shoulders, coaxing him around and bringing them face to face.

“You never had anything to prove, Xander.”

The human took a sharp breath and tried to look away, not wanting Spike to see quite how emotional he was.

“I did.  To me.”

“Look at me.”  Xander did after a few false starts.  His eyes were black in the subdued light and they sparkled with moisture.  “You’ve proved what you had to?”


“Are you happy?”

Xander gave a breathy laugh.


Spike let his hands drift up, stroking Xander’s face and hair, studying him embarrassingly hard.

“You’re so…special.  I can’t believe…”

Stepping closer he rested his cold cheek against the warmth of Xander’s, pausing for a moment to drink in the toe-curling scent of this man, then he pulled back slightly, gazing into Xander’s eyes and wallowing in the affection he found there.  He felt Xander’s hands clutching the front of the duster as his breathing sped up, tongue flicking expectantly over his bottom lip.  The gesture reeled Spike in and, after eight roller-coaster years, he finally had what he’d been waiting for.  Lips parting just a little, he covered Xander’s mouth in a sweet, gentle kiss, demanding nothing, but moaning in the back of his throat when he felt the equally undemanding yet heartfelt response.  Barely enough and far too much.  Overwhelmed, Spike eased out of the kiss, leaning his brow against Xander’s and taking a long, shuddering breath.

“Oh…” floating on a gasp, was all Xander could manage.

“Love you, Xander,” Spike murmured.  “Always loved you.”

Xander pulled the vampire into a tight embrace and they remained there for a long time, appreciating the solace the contact offered, hoping that they could begin to heal the damage that separation had caused, that they’d finally, and literally, come home.

As they travelled back to the apartment they discussed the house, what room Xander could use for a study/office (and, yes, Xander would teach Spike to use the computer, even if the vampire did only want the knowledge to allow him to send pornographic e-mails to Xander at work), which bedroom Willow or Dawn would prefer when they came to visit, if there was room for some gym equipment.  ‘You, hot, sweaty, muscles rippling?  We’ll find room.’  All the while, though, they were aware of the undercurrent that whispered of getting back to the apartment, to comfort and privacy, to each other.

Xander was not prepared for the huge wave of apprehension that struck him the moment they were inside the front door.  As Spike reached for him he stepped back out of his grasp.

“I…umm…want to clear up in the dining room.”

“Leave it till the morning.  Xander, can we just go to bed?  Please?”

“I’m…I’m pretty nervous about this.”

“Why?  You’re not going to tell me you haven’t had a whole stream of men and women in here making the most of your general lusciousness.”

“I haven’t.  The only person who’s ever shared that bed is you.”

And William.  William was here first, and you blew the…


“But true.”

“You prefer theirs then?”

“No, I just haven’t had anyone,” Xander protested before dropping his voice again.  “And I’ve never…been…with a man.”

“I appreciate your honesty.  Want to know how many people I fucked to get you out of my head?” Spike taunted, still pissed off about William.

But Willow said…Willow said…  Xander paled, not positive he could cope with that information.

“Only if you feel you have to tell me.”

Spike took one look at the troubled expression and relented, raising his hand and giving Xander a wiggly-fingered wave.

“Xander Harris, meet my sex life.”  Xander felt some of the tension drain from him, caught the hand and kissed the palm.  In his mind’s eye Spike saw William, two nights ago, receiving that affection, that…pleasure.  Jealousy twisted his perspective and he snatched his hand back, furiously rubbing Xander’s kisses away with white knuckles.  “I waited.  Wish you could’ve.”

“No, Spike, I promise you…”

“William,” Spike snarled, and Xander’s tension level took a u-turn and soared.  “William was here first.”

Xander braved the demon and ran his fingers along Spike’s jaw-line.

“Come on, Spike, don’t go nuts on me.  This is who I saw.  I saw the man I love.  I only want you.”

“You wanted him.”


“And you took what you wanted.”  Xander blushed with shame, dropped his head.  “Is that what you need, Xander?  Some subservient little fuck-toy?”

“I need you.”

“Then why didn’t you wait for me?” Spike demanded, breaking away from the human to pace off some of his mounting fury.

“I thought I had.  I saw you, Spike.”

“But you don’t want me now, right now, do you?”

“I didn’t say…”

Spike gestured to his face.  “Has this changed?  What do you see?”


The vampire stalked toward Xander, coming nose-to-nose with him and glaring with gold-tinged eyes.  His voice was low and measured, far scarier than the ranting.

“And who is it you want?”

“You,” Xander whispered, thoroughly intimidated.

“Then why don’t you play like a nice boy, get into that bedroom, out of those clothes and let me have you?”  Me, want me, me, not William, not WilliamnotWilliamnotWilliamnotfuckingWilliam.

Xander swallowed hard, wondering if he was still capable of speech.

“No.”  It was a start.

“Why not?”  Spike leant forward and ran his tongue over Xander’s chin, down to his throat.

“I’m not ready,” Xander croaked.  “Not for what you obviously want.”

Spike abruptly pulled away, affecting a cheerful manner despite the malice in his expression and voice.

“Tell you what.  Won’t put you under any more pressure from what I obviously want.  I’ll go out for a while, get laid, take the edge off it.”  He dipped a hand inside the duster, pulled out the Gold Card and waved it.  “After all, I can afford the best, don’t need any old piece of scrag off the street.”

Spike turned on his heel to go.  Xander swallowed hard again as, deep inside, anger and frustration vied with humiliation.  Time to exploit the weirdness.

“William,” Xander called, voice back in control and decidedly cool.  The name brought Spike to an immediate halt; William forced him to turn back.  Xander could see, sense the difference in the vampire and smiled warmly.  “William, let Spike do whatever he wants to.”  Nod.  “But keep him safe.”  Nod.

Spike shook his head angrily, game face coming and going.

“Not funny, love.”

“I won’t wait up.”


Xander walked into the living room and paused, waiting for the slam of the front door before he went through to the dining room to clear away the remains of their dinner.  He began to shake.  Shake hard.  Sinking into one of the chairs he grasped the edge of the table with both hands, vainly hoping to control the trembling.

“He’s gone.  Oh, fuck, he’s gone.”