And Let the Gods Do the Rest by Reremouse


Chapter 7

Then there's patrol and an invitation to join Buffy on patrol because she swears they'll meet Spike and Xander doesn't doubt it.

There's something about the way Spike looks when there's people to protect and stupid things to do like barging in during reconnaissance and trying to put the stake in stake-out.

Spike's a wacky guy.

And Xander's stomach is fluttering at the thought of Spike wackying himself into a pile of dust.

So he's relieved when they round a crypt and there's the vamp of the hour, leaning against the marble and smoking a cigarette as if he sprouted there - like some kind of weird, pale fungus.

Spike flicks the butt of his cigarette into the damp grass where it smolders out.

Then he flicks a glance at Xander that just smolders but that could be wishful thinking on Xander's part.

It leaves him feeling warm when it moves away and Spike pushes himself away from the wall with his shoulders and starts walking with them. Spike's looking at Buffy now and Xander realizes he's still looking at Spike.

Noticing things.

Xander notices he walks differently in his boots than he does barefoot.

And Xander's so not ready to be the weird guy who fixates on feet.

"Out for a walk?" Buffy asks and it's not as sharp as it used to be. Like she's trying too and that's not something Xander expected.

"Not illegal, is it?" Spike lights another cigarette and even though he's not looking straight at Xander, Xander knows he's being watched.

"And that's stopped you - when?"

Spike snorts and doesn't answer but when he gives Xander a straight look, the smirk's shy.

Xander reminds himself he's here to liberate his toaster - and feels the tingles from Spike's smirk all the way down in his toes.

More low-key banter between Spike and Buffy, but there’s something off about it – something forced – and a tension that vibrates around them and its pretty much a relief when a pack of vamps appears to provide a distraction. Spike and Buffy jump straight in and Xander is about to jump in after them, but gets caught up in watching.

Because when they fight, the awkwardness falls away and some sort of awareness seems to take its place and Spike has Buffy’s back and Buffy has Spike’s and it’s like a dance or something.

Then a stray vamp breaks free from the edge of the pack and it’s time for less watching, more dusting. And dust it Xander does – in short order, even – but his technique feels a bit… oafish.

Effective, but not pretty.

Not like Spike and Buffy as he watches them finish the rest off together, and it occurs to Xander that they know each other.


That he, Xander, is the outsider and that’s kind of a surprise.

He’d known, but he hadn’t known.

The fight finishes and they stand there, the awkwardness creeping back in through the settling silence. Spike lights a cigarette and Xander is jealous because smokers always have something to do when non-smokers are just standing there like idiots.

Finally, Buffy dusts herself off and says she’s gonna call it a night.

Xander doesn’t know what to call anything.

He’s not so sure he should have come because now he can't shake the feeling he doesn't fit in Sunnydale anymore. Like there was a Xander-shaped place here before but now there's not. Or maybe like he doesn't fit into the old Xander shape.

And maybe he shouldn't be making any moves at all in this whole big totally unfamiliar landscape that is the past three years in Sunnydale.

The enormity of what he doesn't know is big and has teeth. Xander sticks to what he does know. Spike's cigarette is almost gone. He should probably say something before they both have to stand around being awkward. “You stole my toas - coffee maker."

“Suppose you’ll want to come take it back then,” Spike says and Xander watches his boot crush out the cigarette butt he drops to the ground. “Seeing as how you drink so much coffee.”

And Xander’s about to deliver a witty funny guy come back - he's got a million of them - but then he actually looks at Spike - who's smirking again.

The tingly feeling comes back and brings friends.

And Xander holds Spike’s gaze and feels like - okay maybe there's movement possibility here after all. Groping in the dark movement. But moves. Groping. Spike's still smirking and Xander thinks he's grinning back. And possibly licking his lips and thinking thoughts that could constitute necrophilia in every state in the union. “Uh - Buff? Catch up with you later.”

There's silence and Spike looking over Xander's shoulder with a neutral expression on his face. Then the eyebrows go up and the head tilts and behind him, Buffy clears her throat. "Okay. So not asking. So not wanting the details. So spending the rest of my evening with chick flicks and pizza."

"Whoa, is that the exciting life of a Slayer these days? Chick flicks and pizza?"

"And Star Trek and beer are the social ambition of every young up and coming homosexual," Spike says and before Xander can recover from the wig of Spike defending chick flicks and pizza - or maybe the total non-wig of Spike mocking him and Buffy both - Spike's lighting another cigarette and jerking his head toward a crypt. "Look - are you coming to rescue your sodding appliances or not?"

"Meat Lovers," Buffy says, turning and walking away, "with extra pepperoni."

"Slayers," Spike says around his cigarette. "Hungry or horny."

And, okay, that’s a setup for a cheesy line if he’s ever heard one, but Xander manages to keep his mouth shut.


By chewing on the inside of his cheek.

It’s a technique he’s honed since moving to Oxnard, where he learned the hard way that, in the bar scene, volume of babble tends to be inversely proportionate to amount of play. The principles of high school geometry had finally come in handy.

Or was it algebra?

Or maybe…

Xander looks over at Spike, who is doing something to his new cigarette for which the cigarette ought to press charges – or possibly send a thank you note.

Xander swallows.


Or maybe math is so not the point right now.

Xander wonders if there’s some part of his brain that he can chew on to keep himself from thinking.

And, okay – ew.

But anyway, Spike is walking now and Xander is following and that is of the good. They reach a crypt and Spike slides open its stone door – smoothly, like it doesn’t weigh a couple hundred pounds or so - holding it open for Xander to step through.

Who says chivalry is dead?

Of course, Spike is dead, so maybe the better question is: Who says the dead aren’t chivalrous? But Xander isn’t sure that anyone really says that – although they probably should, what with vampires being more likely to eat an old lady than help her across the street and all.

And Xander’s wishing he could chew on his brain again, but he looks around instead.

At stone, stone and more stone – with a subtle stone motif and elegant stone trim.

This is nesting?

“Wanker,” Spike says, because apparently he said that last bit out loud.


And apparently he said that out loud too because Spike's giving him the you idiot look but that's okay because it's followed by a look best described in Penthouse Forum if Penthouse Forum accepted letters of the gay and Spike's pushing him back against that door and Xander completely loses the thread to a mouthful of tastefully chilled tongue.

The crypt door's cold against his back and something Xander doesn't want to think about is brushing his neck. He'd rather think about the way Spike's hands are kneading his ass and the way his cock's trying to beat a hole through his zipper singlehandedly.

If a cock had hands.

And he thinks he's moaning again but the crypt has weird acoustics so he can't tell. He just sucks on Spike's tongue and kisses back with a clack of teeth and gets his arms under Spike's duster for a double handful of wiry ass until Spike's moaning too in a weird kind of harmony.

Xander finally remembers he has to breathe and throws his head back to connect hard with the door and stays there panting but Spike didn't get the cease and desist memo and those cool lips are marking territory down his throat which should be wiggy and weird and other words that start with ‘w’ but it's not.

"Whaa - " Xander tries to say before the word dies a sad, stuttering death when Spike bites his collarbone with human teeth. "How - ?" he says, getting farther before losing the thread because Spike's licking his shoulder and that's not as sexy as the collarbone thing. Xander swallows and gets the impression Spike's mapping out his veins.

As hello kisses go, this one's going down in history.

Chapter 8

Xander marshals his brain cells.

They fall in with untied boots, unbuttoned jackets and exposed tattoos they don't remember getting. "Where the fuck is the clock?"

Spike backs off, a blank look flickers over his face and is gone. It's replaced with the textbook example of 'incredulity' - a word Xander missed in a Junior English pop quiz. "You actually came for the sodding clock?"

The words filter in and Xander is an idiot. He grabs Spike by the hair and hauls him back to his lips. "Fuck the clock," he tells Spike's tongue, up close and personal.

Spike’s tongue implies that it’d rather fuck something else.

Right now.

Or maybe five minutes ago.

Which, yeah, would be good, because he’s been wanting this for… days? Has it only been days? Feels like weeks.

Feels like years.

Feels like if Spike doesn’t finish unzipping Xander’s jeans in the next point-five seconds, Xander may suffer permanent injury. Fortunately, Spike has that super-vampy speed thing going for him.

Spike also has that super-vampy no-breathing thing going for him.

Going for Xander.

Going on Xander.

Going and going and going and going and it’s like getting a blow job from the Energizer Bunny.

Except - you know - a whole lot sexier and without the bestiality angle.

And all too soon, Xander is coming and then he’s sliding.

Down the wall.

And what little may have been left of his brain is dribbling out of his ears.

Xander feels himself being dragged back up the wall. “Not done with you yet,” the evil-only-in-a-good-way, not-just-blood-sucking vampire says.

“Can’t move,” Xander says.

“Can still be fucked,” Spike says. And Xander has to admit that Spike has a point.

A good point.

A hard point, stuffed into obscenely tight jeans.

“God, yes,” Xander says. Spike starts to drag him across the crypt. “Where’re we going?”

“The bed.”

“There’s a bed?”

There is indeed a bed. It’s downstairs. Or down-ladder, really, which is sort of a problem since Xander can’t feel his legs just yet.

Falling? So not sexy.

But Spike really doesn’t seem to mind and Xander finds himself hauled up again and hauled over to the bed. Xander flops back onto the pillow and summons up the energy to look around.

Clock, coffee maker, toaster oven, stereo, bookshelf - with books and everything.

“Nesty,” Xander says.

Spike pulls off Xander’s shoes. Spike pulls off Xander’s pants. Spike pulls off his own tee shirt. Spike pulls off his own pants.

Suddenly, Xander is back in the game.

All in.

So very, very in.

Spike starts crawling up the bed.


Too slowly and Xander levers himself up, grabs Spike by the back of the neck, and crushes their lips together. And Spike's got some kind of suave vampire mojo working for him and there's no way he hasn't done this whole gay ass sex thing before.

There's no one finger, two finger, three finger, thrust from this vampire.

No sir-ree.

Just hard cold tongue and a hard cold cock lining up where Xander wants it and riding in on a coat of slick so thick the rest dribbles and leaks down Xander's crack but he's okay with that.

Totally okay with that.

So okay with that because it burns and fills and beats the life out of Xander's itch like his itch has never been beaten before.

It seems Spike is a vampire of talents. Talents and a strong grip on Xander's ankles, lifting his legs high and wide in a way that'd be embarrassing if it didn't feel so good.

Sure, Xander's pretty sure there was supposed to be conversation before sex, more conversation than where's my clock? but less than Oprah but he doesn't think Spike's fuck yeah and god, Harris counts as conversation because Xander is so not holding up his end.

His end is in fact being held up. Being held up and fucked and bruised and abused and he'd feel used if it wasn't for the way Spike was watching him - him. Not his dick or his Ab Roller abs - his face and Xander's pretty sure that breaks some kind of rule in the playbook of casual gay sex.

And Xander's not ready to think this isn't casual because it's totally gay and unquestionably sex. Toe-curling, spine-tingling, ball-throbbing sex Xander's going to remember for the rest of his hot young life - if he survives it.

He does survive it - a fact of which he becomes aware after he comes to, having come so hard he blacked out. And it’s black out when he opens his eyes - black in that way that only the subbasement of a crypt can be once the candles have been blown out and his brain has been blown out with them - but he can feel himself blink, so he knows that he survived.

He survived the Second Great Spike-Induced Orgasm of 2002 and he wonders if they make a tee shirt for that, but it doesn’t really matter because he’s happy to be naked at the moment.

Naked and clean, he realizes suddenly. Not like fresh-from-the-shower-with-a-fresh-bar-of-Irish-Spring clean, but I-remember-I-came-all-over-my-own-torso-and-someone-seems-to have-wiped-me-off clean. Naked and clean and lying back against a fluffy pillow, covered in warm blankets and a cool vampire, and it feels like more than just survival.

Xander’s last thought before he drifts into sleep is: I could get used to this.

Xander’s bladder forces him out of bed earlier than he wants the following morning. He goes upstairs and outside, throwing up a hand to block the invasion of the evil, nasty sunlight as he staggers over to the nearest tree to take care of business - because peeing on someone’s grave would just be wrong.

He gropes his way back through the crypt as his eyes struggle to readjust to the darkness and he does manage to make it down the ladder quietly and without falling this time, but his stomach growls as he crawls back into bed and Spike stirs, then slides closer to his warmth and mumbles: “Sorry, luv, no human food lying about down here.”

“There’s food back at my apartment.” The words come out of Xander’s mouth without clearing it through the proper channels.

“Bit of a walk, isn’t it?”

And Xander should be glad Spike’s being cool, but instead: “And a bathroom. It has a bathroom. Bathrooms are good.”

“Never cared for ’em much myself.”

Spike traces lines over Xander’s chest, idle figure-eights around his nipples, and Xander means to drop it - never meant to pick it up in the first place, but…

“Come back to Oxnard with me,” he says.

And the finger on his chest stops moving, along with Xander’s heart and lungs, leaving perfect silence - even by vampire standards.

"Can't," Spike says and then after a moment's thought adds, "Won't." But he doesn't move away from Xander and the idle figure eights start up again.

"That's it?" Xander's got an arm around Spike and he doesn't feel like moving it. It's a weird kind of intimacy after blunt rejection but Xander's a master of rejection and as rejections go, this one's not bad. It's pretty nice. There's no queasy feeling in his stomach and no urge to go to a bar and get drunk.

"Yeah," Spike says and curls closer like a heat-seeking, blood-sucking, slow-moving missile with a mouth doing crazy things to Xander's neck.

It all conspires to make it easier for Xander to ask, "Why?"

"Move back to Sunnydale," Spike says and Xander gets it - gets that there's a place he's needed and a place Spike's needed and they're not the same place - and gets Spike getting it because Spike's rolling him over and rolling on top of him and looking at him with eyes that kinda glow in the dark and that's kinda freaky to be noticing now. "A white hat's the heaviest kind, pet."

Xander's kind of grateful he doesn't have to come up with an answer for that because Spike's kissing him again and it doesn't feel like ‘goodbye.’

It doesn't feel like ’hello’ or ’where'd I leave the lube?’ either. It feels - like Spike.

And him.


And hey stranger things have happened in Sunnydale and Xander doesn't have anywhere to be.

Xander finds himself standing by a bus holding a scrap of yellow invoice paper with The Magic Box letterhead and ten digits on it. It's funny how he never thought about Spike having a phone number before.

Spike's smoking, third cigarette since they left the crypt, second since he handed Xander his phone number and there's a weird kind of reluctance to get on the bus and leave Xander hasn't felt since high school.

"I have two days off in a row next week," Xander hears himself saying, hears himself jingling his keys which isn't as cool as smoking.

Xander works with what he's given.

Chapter 9

The next time Xander gets on a bus, he’s been given grape Gatorade. In spite of the fact that he clearly punched G6 into the vending machine keypad and was supposed to have gotten a Coke. He stuffs a small duffel bag in the overhead storage and takes his seat, twists off the cap and takes a big gulp.

Slaps a hand over his mouth and tries to keep it from coming back up.

Okay – the only thing worse than grape Gatorade?

Grape Gatorade just after brushing your teeth.

Xander stares at the bottle in deep loathing for a long minute, then the bus starts to move and Xander stops caring. He’s never been so happy to be on his way to Sunnydale. He glances down at the bottle again, shrugs, and finishes it in two long swallows.


Xander is still smiling two nights later when he breezes into Fabulous Ladies three minutes before the start of his shift, duffel bag still in hand, having come straight from the bus station.

Three minutes isn’t bad.

Better than earlier that night when he had to run all the way from Spike’s crypt to the Sunnydale station, arriving with a scant thirty seconds to spare, out of breath and still buttoning his shirt.

Damn close… but so worth it.

And the afterglow? Still very much of the fresh.

Danny turns to look at Xander as he steps behind the bar. Danny raises his eyebrows and laughs. “Somebody had a good couple of days off.”

Xander just keeps grinning.

“So,” Danny asks, “how is your crazy, hot friend. That was crazy-comma-hot, by the way.”

Xander grins some more. “Not so much with the crazy anymore, but definitely still with the hot.”

Danny shakes his head. “Damn, man, you’re glowing. You’re totally going to rake in the tips tonight. And I totally cannot go home alone now.” Danny scans the room. “Hey, Kevin,” he calls, “wanna go back to my place?”

The pale, awkward boy at the end of the bar leaps off his stool, knocking over his drink as he grabs his jacket and fumbles for his wallet.

Kevin?” Xander asks under his breath as he grabs a rag and starts over toward the spill.

Danny shakes his head again as he reaches for his own jacket and grabs his tips, mumbling under his breath. “Yeah, and it’s all your fault. Lucky bastard.”

Xander is still grinning as he watches Kevin and Danny walk out the door.

Oh yeah - love? Is in the air.

Okay love or something like it. Maybe lust.

Lust's a good word.

And lust in the air of the Fabulous Ladies Night means good tips.

And good tips means hopping, skipping and jumping his way down to Sunnydale more often for more of that lusty air.

Life's looking up - or possibly in Spike's case death is looking up. Because Xander's pretty sure Spike's happy with this whatever thing they've got going together - this fucking, shagging, buggering, kissing, blowing, hand-holding while watching Leno thing they've got going together - too.

He's even more sure when he sees the pile of cigarette butts outside the back door of the club after last call on Friday. "You know - some guys bring chocolates," he tells the darkness.

"I'm not bringing you poncey chocolates, Harris," the darkness answers - and it seems the darkness brought beer. Or possibly stole beer but Spike looks too calm for a vampire on the lam and it's the good beer too.

The darkness is also gonna walk him home and suddenly Xander's very glad that Thaddeus doesn't need a nightly escort anymore.

"How'd you get here?"

"Fancy contraption called a bus," Spike says.

"And the idea of you on a bus is in no way less weird than the idea of you bringing me chocolates."

"Don't be a berk, Harris." Then Spike's handing Xander a motorcycle helmet and they're stopping in front of something low and sleek with lots of shiny black and chrome.

"That is so not a bus."

"What? You're expecting me to give up lying too? 'M not that good."

Fifteen minutes later, however, Xander is begging to differ.

Begging being the operative word.

As in, Pleaseohgodyespleasemorefuckdon'tstoppleaseSpike.

Because Spike is that good. He's that good and a bag of chips. And as far as aphrodisiacs go, the motorcycle doesn't hurt.

Well, the handlebars hurt a little where they're pressing into Xander's back, but Xander's too busy begging to complain. Spike has a hell of sense of balance and no sense of public decency.

Thank god.

Decency, Xander has decided, is highly overrated. Along with traditional notions of goodness. Who's Xander to object to a little lying, cheating and stealing?

Or, more to the point, how's Xander to object - in the absence of things like rational thought, coherent speech and, um, breath.

Because it turns out it's awfully hard to breathe when you're perched on the front of a motorcycle with your back against the handlebars and your jeans shoved down your thighs and your knees hooked over the shoulders of a compact but well muscled vampire who's pounding into you like there's no tomorrow.

Which, it turns out, is getting to be less of an expression and more of a strong possibility. At least that's the message Xander reads behind Spike's words as he's eased off the bike in a post-most-amazing-fucking-orgasm-ever haze.

"Go inside and pack your kit," Spike says, patting Xander on his well used ass. "Buffy needs you."

Spike has a unique method of breaking bad news, but Xander's not complaining. He's not asking questions either. He goes inside and packs.

And as it turns out, Spike's right.

Buffy does need him and Xander basks in it for exactly four point eight seconds before he gets down to business.

"So what's the what, girlfriends?"

Buffy gives him a once and twice over. "You really are gay now, aren't you?"

"Card carrying." Condom carrying too until recently but Buffy doesn't need to know that. Not that she doesn't know about the whole not needing condoms with the undead thing but she doesn't know about Xander and the undead thing and that's a thing that's still too private to make not private in front of a house of little ears. "When's the world ending?"

"No date," Buffy says. "But we've got a perp."

"Perp. Somebody's been watching the cop shows."

"Somebody's got a thing for handcuffs." Buffy crosses her arms and gay or not Xander falls in love with her all over again. "It's a guy named Caleb. Some kind of priest."

If there's one thing Xander's learned in all this time, it's: "Evil. It's always cliche."

"Cliche but badass." And there's a voice Xander didn't expect to hear.


She nods and gives him a twice over. "Harris. Looks like there's been changes."

"You are so much more right than you know."

"Caleb." Buffy brings them back around to the point and that's new too. "Heard of him?"

"Not since Sunday School at the Holy Mother."

"You went to a church called Holy Mother?" That's Faith again and she's got a grin that reminds parts of Xander of the scariest night of Junior year and he sends up a quick prayer of thanks to any god who might be listening that he turned out gay.

"There's lots of churches in Sunnydale. Bound to run out of names eventually."

There's movement to his right and Xander looks to find Giles lurking at the edge of the dining room and somehow it doesn't matter that he's been fighting without pseudo-parental guidance for over three years now, Xander feels a surge of comfort like now things have to work out right.

"Watcher man!" Xander smiles and crosses the space between them in two long steps, enfolding Giles in the kind of hug Xander always felt but wasn't able to give until he realized there was nothing unmanly about loving other men, or about showing it. Giles feels stiff in his arms, but Xander chalks it up to residual England and figures it'll wear off in a couple of weeks.

"Nothing like an apocalypse to bring the old gang back together, eh?" Xander's still grinning as he steps back, but when he gets a look, a good look at Giles' face, his smile fades. Giles looks down and doesn't answer and Xander glances back at the others and it's like the temperature in the room has dropped about fifty degrees.

"I'm going to go check on the girls," Buffy and Giles say at exactly the same time.

"In the yard," Buffy clarifies, her tone covering the room in an extra layer of frost.

"In the kitchen," Giles says and his voice isn't cold so much as sad, but it still sends a shiver through Xander.

Xander looks back and forth between the empty spaces and blinks. "Geez, do I know how to clear a room or what?"

"'S not you," Faith says, stepping forward to pat him on the shoulder like the passage of time has made them old friends and maybe she's not entirely wrong. "Seems things've been a little tense since the watcher tried to kill our new soul-vamp."

It takes Xander a minute to process this and come up with... "Giles tried to kill Spike?"

Faith just shrugs and Xander has no idea how he should take this news - has no idea how he is taking this news - so he turns to Spike, who offers a shrug of his own.

"I know," he says. "Who knew the old man had the knackers?"