And Let the Gods Do the Rest by Reremouse


Chapter 13

Over the next few days, there’s progress.

At least if you count ‘the slow gathering of weapons and information that just might but probably won’t be enough to save the world in a final showdown that’s coming up all too soon and you're not all likely to survive’ as progress.

Which Xander does – because, yeah, he’s known the plural of apocalypse for years.

So, there’s progress.

And a whole lot of sex.

And not just Spike and Xander, either. It’s a regular orgy on Revello Drive.

Well, not that kind of orgy.

The kind of orgy where people have sex in twos and in separate rooms and do it quietly.

Okay, so not always that quietly, but they all feign mutual deafness as necessary. There’s an understanding.

Faith says that danger makes people horny.

She’s not wrong - how else does an extremely literal ex-vengeance demon with a tendency toward overshare end up with an extra dry ex-watcher and his stiff upper lip? And boy would Xander have appreciated actual deafness last night when that finally came to fruition - but Faith doesn’t have the whole story either.

The truth is, love is making Xander hornier than danger ever has. And even if he knew he and Spike had years instead of wondering if they were down to days, Xander still wouldn’t be able to keep his hands to himself. It’s a strange feeling. No matter how close they are, it’s never close enough.

He always wants more.

And the feeling seems to be mutual.

He feels the infamous rooftop-shouting phase coming on, but it’s neither the time nor the place and from the looks he gets from the girls, it’s not really necessary.

Willow can’t stop smiling at him.

Dawn tends to ogle them both.

And Buffy has this happy-sad-lost thing going on in her eyes that makes Xander want to hug her tight and tell her it’ll work out for her someday, but he can’t because he doesn’t know it’s true.

Angel, when he arrives on the scene, takes one whiff in their general direction and looks not so much wistful as totally wigged – even after all these years Xander can’t say he doesn’t enjoy seeing Angel squirm.

And doesn't not enjoy seeing Angel and Buffy walking off together every night, shoulder to elbow, toward the nearest cemetery.

It shows.

It's also shared.

Spike's got a speculative look on his face.

Because Angel's showing no signs of going away even now that Caleb's not an issue and Xander's not so sure he trusts whatever motivation Angel's got for staying if it's one he's not willing to share.

With anybody but Buffy.

"It'd be totally wrong to follow them and spy on their conversation," Xander says. "Completely unethical."

"Sod unethical." Spike's already walking. "I don't trust that bogtrotting poof and Buffy's got enough on her mind without him brooding all over her."

He's got a point.

Which is how they end up following Buffy and Angel in a totally non-stalkery, non-snoopy way through Restview Cemetery,

Except it’s hard to snoop when there're no words.

The stalking part they've got down because Spike's clearly a bad influence on him.

And there's a whole new awkward silence when Buffy and Angel stop next to a crypt and there's soft words and gentle hands and the kind of kissing that should be private. The kind of words that should be private. "You don't have to do this, Angel. It's not your responsibility anymore."

"The First Evil? It's not responsibility making me do this, Buffy - it's more like a grudge match. Like Ali versus Frazier. It has to be me."

Buffy speaks for Xander too when she says, "Huh?"

"It's a big showdown that's been a long time coming. And I'm gonna win."

And then Spike's dragging Xander off in another direction and Xander's not sure what happened but it seems to make sense to Spike.

Who's muttering. Things like poof and overdramatic wanker and figures, doesn't it?.

Xander catches the coat tails of the last one. "It does? Wait - what does?"

"Angel's motivation."

"There's motivation?"

"The grand gesture. The great finale. The bloody hero of the sodding hour. Ending out of a sodding gothic romance."

"You got all that from smoochies?"

Spike did.


And boxing.

Because life with Spike was full of surprises.

Like ulterior motives for getting Xander out here in the middle of the night - ulterior motives and a blanket stashed behind some rocks on the lake shore, a soft patch of grass, and a tube of unscented lubricant in Spike's duster.

Like a trip to Spike's crypt a couple nights later.

Spike hasn't slept there in who knows how long, but Xander could swear Spike snuck off to dust it out because it's surprisingly dust-free and surprisingly romantic by candlelight.

It's also the first place they fucked and Xander remembers it well and maybe that's what's got him feeling all sentimental.

Or maybe it's the end of the world breathing down their necks.

Or maybe it's Spike, breathing down the back of Xander's neck as he explores Xander's body inch by sweat-slicked inch like they've got all night but may not have tomorrow, and Xander's glad Spike thought to bring them here, away from all the others.

At least until he finds out why.

"Angel belongs in L.A.," Spike says. As far as pillow talk goes, it's an odd choice.

"Huh?" Xander thought they'd just fucked their brains out, but apparently it was just his.

Spike is reaching for his pack of smokes and lighting up. "Things go tits up here in Sunnyhell," he says, "someone's gonna have to dig the new trench."

"And again I say, 'Huh?'" Xander blinks and gropes around for his gray matter. "Angel's gotta wear the mystical necklace, remember? Tacky drag saves the world?"

"Not Angel, just 'someone ensouled, but stronger than human.'" Spike pauses - exhales. "A champion."

It takes Xander three... two... "Oh no. Oh hell no. No fucking way."

Xander's heart is about to break his chest but Spike is as calm as Xander's ever seen him. "It's for the best," he says.

Xander shakes his head, but he wants to shake Spike. "Spike, you can't."

Spike takes another drag. "You don't understand, I - " He breaks off as his face falls. He blinks at Xander. "A champion," he repeats. "You don't think I'm good enough to wear it."

"What?" This time he does shake Spike - hard. "Are you crazy? You're too good to wear it."

Spike scoffs and shrugs Xander's hands from his shoulders. "Yeah, right. The world needs Angel."

He lifts his hand to take another drag, but Xander rips the burning cigarette from his fingers.

"Fuck the world.” He tosses the cigarette across the room. “And fuck Angel. I need you."

The words seem to chase the hurt from Spike's face, but the eerie resolve returns and Xander's lungs are turning to ice.

"It's no big deal," Spike says. "Same plan, 'cept Angel goes back to L.A. and I go in badly accessorized."

Xander wants to believe him, but he looks around at the candles, remembers Spike's lips against his skin, and he knows. "You go in with that on, you're not coming out."

Spike doesn't bother denying it.

"I need to do this," he says. "You don't understand."

"You're right. I don't." Xander thinks he might be yelling but the world sounds like it's wrapped in cotton.

"It has to be me." From the look on Spike's face, they might as well be discussing who's going pick up the take-out and Xander wants to keep shaking him, but his hands feel like barbells.

"Why?" he asks.

Spike shrugs. "It just does."

Not good enough. "Why?"

"Because it does."


Xander's tone shatters the glass.

"Because I deserve it."

There's no air in the room and Xander can barely draw the breath to ask: "You what?"

"The soul knows what I've done," Spike says. "It reminds me every day." He lights another cigarette. "Maybe this'll shut it up."

Xander stares at the cherry on Spike's cigarette while it flares and fades.

"Maybe it will," he agrees and sits up. He's sitting on Spike's hips but nothing's ever been less sexy than sitting right here right now with the top of his skull buzzing. It's a waiting game and Xander plays to win. Which will happen pretty much when Spike looks at him because there's a serious lack of eye contact going on between them.

Xander takes Spike's cigarette.

Spike looks at him.

Xander plays his cards and holds Spike's eyes - or at least one of them. It's the best he can do and he's gonna do it. He flicks the cigarette after the first one. "Maybe it will, but I won't."

"I'll be dead, you berk." And that's where Spike's voice cracks and that's the crack Xander jams his fingers into and pries at.

"You'll be a big, dead, selfish, champion-y coward - with stupid hair - who's too scared to live with the shit he's done and - " Which was possibly going too far because Spike's stare's gone through all the stages of what the fuck, Harris? and landed on what?


"You have stupid hair." Xander says, except it comes out with a catch in the end and he leans hard on Spike's chest catching his breath because it's not like Spike needs his chest to breathe and Xander doesn't want to hear any more he has to say yet. "You have stupid hair. And you're taking the easy way out."

"Easy? I'm going to die, Harris."

"Dying's easy!" The cotton wool's gone.

And Xander's ears are ringing.

His eye's swimming.

And his patch itches where it's wet.

He takes it off.

"Dying's easy." It comes out better this time. Better and softer and his hands are on Spike's face, holding it and Spike doesn't pull away. He lifts a hand and rubs the skin under Xander's left eye socket where it still aches.

"I'll be saving the world, pet."

"Let Angel save the world."

"My soul - "

"Look me in the eye when you say that."

Spike does. "My soul wants it."

"Fuck your soul. Dare you to live."

"It's not a game, Xander."

"It's really not."

"You don't know all I've done."

"I know it's gonna take a really long time to make up for it the hard way." Xander's close now. Close enough for kissing but they're not. "Dare you to."

Spike's not looking at him again.

"Save the world, Spike. One puppy at a time."

Spike looks at him. "That's bloody ridiculous."

"Are you in?" Xander takes one of Spike's cigarettes and lights up. The effect's spoiled by how loudly his heart's beating. "Or are you a coward?"

"Harris - "

"Xander." The cigarette shakes on the way to his lips. "Call me Xander while you tell me you'd rather take the easy way out and leave me behind and I'll go down fighting in there, too."

"Champions only, mate."

Which pretty much does it and this time Xander's hold on Spike's face is a lot harder and he's a lot closer to it and if the end of the world doesn't kill him the stress will. "Look me in the eye and tell me I don't belong in this fight."

Spike looks him in the eye but he says, "Not your time to die."

"It really sucks watching the one you love go off to die when you can't do a damn thing about it." Xander crushes out the cigarette. "Doesn't it."

They leave the crypt together but that's all Xander can say for the wonderful world of togetherness.

He's pissed. He's hurt. And he's about as scared as he's ever been in his life.

Spike's - inscrutable - and if there was ever a time for a SAT word like that one, this isn't it.

They undress together too - back at the house on Revello.

Down to their jeans because in this house there's no telling who'll come down the stairs and neither one of them's in the mood for girly innuendo and wacky end-of-the-world teasing.

They lie awake together.

"You're not really going in there - are you?"

Xander feels Spike's fingers brush his and curl them together in the dark. He lets out the breath he's been holding too long and says, "No. It'd be suicide in there with only one eye. I'm driving the bus."

"Yeah," he says and Xander starts to roll over onto his side.

Away from Spike.

Who stops him.

"Don't know what I'll do, after we win," Spike says against his ear, quiet and there's a shake in it. "Where I'll go."

And when Spike shifts, Xander makes room. "I'm always looking for new recruits. My pulchritudinous charms only get me so far.”

Spike raises an eyebrow.

“What? You said it. I looked it up. And you could spend the off-season bouncing for the club - not that there's much glory in that part unless you count the holes type and we mostly spackle those closed when we find 'em - "

The kiss happens.

There's an apocalypse happening any time now. Plans to be made. Sleep to be had. But apparently it can all wait because Spike's kissing him again and the apocalypse seems a long way off while Spike's really really close. "What are you doing?" Because someone has to ask the dumb questions at the awkward times.

Spike doesn't mind.

He answers.

"Letting Angel save the world the easy way."

Chapter 14

“I can’t believe you made me save a sodding puppy.”

“You were the closest one. And besides, mortal-type people can’t just go running out in front of cars.” Xander tries to snake an arm around Spike’s waist, but Spike is having none of it.

“A puppy,” he says, lighting up and dragging on the cigarette as if he’s got to get the taste of the deed out of his mouth. “Sure, soul ‘n’ all now, but a vamp’s got his limits.”

"Like puppy saving." Xander gets his arm around Spike's waist and slips it into his front pocket before evasive maneuvers can be taken.

"Puppy saving's the top of the sodding list." Spike stops walking and glares at the hand in his pocket.

Xander wiggles his fingers.

Spike's a pretty forgiving guy with the wiggling of the fingers and naughty touching.


"As soon as we get home, I promise I'll make it up to you." Xander nibbles at an ear.

Spike tilts his head away. "What? You think I'm that easy?"

Xander just moves from ear to neck. "I know you're that easy."

"Pup-py," Spike says again, but he's not exactly squirming away.

"I heard Angel saved a puppy once."

Spike's glare intensifies. "That's supposed to make me feel better?"

"Well, hey, I figure with Angel back among the undead and corporeal and all, maybe you two could start a little club." Xander almost manages to keep a straight face - does some squirming away of his own so Spike won't manage to strangle him.

"Fuck you, mate," Spike says.

"Use plenty of lube and you are so on, buddy."

"Were you always this randy?" Spike squints at him. "Seem to remember spending more time with our clothes on once upon a time."

"There was an apocalypse going on and a house full of Slayers. Not what I call the right time for naked time." Xander shakes his head. "And since when do you complain about horn dog Xanders?"

"Horn dog?" Spike demands.

"Randy?" Xander rejoinders.

"The point is..." Spike trails off.

"Um, yeah, what exactly is your point here? That you'd rather brood about a puppy than have sex with me? 'Cuz I've gotta say, you're straying awfully close to Angel territory..."

"You had sex with Angel?"

"Okay - first? So not the point. Second? Euuugh!"

"So you and Angel - ?"


"Right. So, you and Angel - ?"

"Me and Angel." Xander holds up a finger.

"Well - "

"Me and Angel?" Xander points the finger at himself.

"Yeah, okay. That's sodding ridiculous."

"The soddingest."

"Okay," Spike says, tossing away his first cigarette and lighting up a second one, "I think there's something we need to agree on."

"Leaving Angel out of our foreplay?"


"Motion seconded and carried," Xander says. "We now return to our original agenda. Which, in case you lost the plot, was getting home so that I can make this evening up to you in the dirtiest way possible."

"Dirty, yeah?"

Xander nods. "The dirtiest."

Spike takes a quick survey of the deserted streets around them and smirks. "Then why don't you make it up to me right here?"

"That's dirty," Xander concedes.

Xander also agrees.

Agrees and takes Spike by the hand and does that walking backward toward the bed thing he's getting good at except there's no bed out here.

Unless a guy counts the bed of pansies Xander's got his heart set on desecrating about now.

"Just so we're clear - you do know how to break us out of the back seat of a cop car," Xander says on the way down into the pansies with a grip on Spike's belt.

"’Course I do."

"And you know people who can get the record of public indecency erased," Xander rolls them over and yanks open Spike's belt.


Xander's mouth is busy.

"Fucking hell."

Xander gives a happy murmur of agreement, which also gives a happy to Spike, who's doing that gaspy whimper thing that he insists he never does because it's unvamplike.

Right. Like saving puppies.

"Wha - what did you say?" Spikes gasps between whimpers.

"Doesn't matter what I say," Xander says around Spike's cock. "It's all about the vibrating vocal chords."

Xander knows Spike didn't catch a word of that but -

"Right, then. Bloody hell - just keep talking."

- he's definitely gotten the gist.

Xander holds Spike's hips steady and keeps going.

He has a lot to say.

He gives a swallow that has Spike shuddering beneath him, then lifts his mouth off Spike's cock for second. "Okay?"

Spike blinks. "Okay? Buggering hell, yeah. More than. 'Cept for the stopping."

Xander smiles. "Great. He'll stay on the couch and he won't make a peep."

"Wait - " Spike's clearly marshaling brain cells. Brandishing the whip. Failing totally when Xander wraps his lips around Spike's cock and does that thing where his tongue and Spike's foreskin get jiggy with it. Spike grips his shoulder and gasps. "Who?"

Xander mumbles around Spike and the grip on his shoulder would be setting off the chip if there was still a chip to set off.

Spike pulls him off with both hands.

There's a wet pop and Xander's rubbing up and down the underside with his thumb and for a while it's looking like a Mexican standoff so Xander's not about to let go of his weapon.


There's an appalled look in Spike's eyes. There's also a really lusty look and Xander waits for them to duke it out with a loose grip and a hand on Spike's ass. "How long?"

"Couple of nights while he's following up this crazy slayer lead in LA," Xander says and gets back to that humming and sucking thing that was working so well for him. "He's bringing a few slayers along, but hey, that's why we got a place with a guest room," he says around a mouthful of Spike.

But either Spike's hearing is getting better or his cock's growing ears because Spike transfers his grip to Xander's ears and eases him off.

They look at each other.

The caballeros circle each other, guns drawn.

"It's not a guest room,” Spike says. “It's a training room."

"With a bed."

"That's not - "

Xander stretches out his tongue and licks.

And it's white flags all around and Spike's hands in Xander's hair and back to the gaspy whimpers. "Couple of nights. And you owe me - fucking hell - a great shag," Spike takes this opportunity while Xander's speechless to make his demands. "And blows every night at the club. And - "

The last demand was destined to remain unknown because Spike tenses and comes and kneads his fingers in Xander's hair, catching breath he totally doesn't need. It's kinda flattering.

It's kinda hard on his scalp.

Xander pries Spike's hands open and then tucks him away. "And?"


And the leg cramps and sore knees are totally worth the fuck-dumb look on Spike's face so Xander kisses him. "They get here tomorrow. I'm sure they'll be in and out so fast we'll hardly even notice."

Xander closes the door, locks it, and leans against it for good measure. "Thank fucking god."

Spike takes out a cigarette and lights it - shoots Xander a look daring him to say a word about smoking in the house, exhales. "A few slayers, he says."

"That's what Andrew told me. Who knew he was even capable of understatement?"

Spike shakes his head. "You so owe me."

Xander holds up his hands. "Hey, I suffered too. Andrew owes you."

They both think about that one for a second. They look at each other.

"Ew," they say.

"Hold on, Buff. You are not sending me a crazy slayer."

"She’s recovering really quick. Dr. Valerio says that in a few months she won't even have the dreams." A pause on the other end of the line. "Often."

Xander glances over at Spike, points to the phone in his hand - rolls his eyes. "She cut off Angel's hands."

"They sewed them back on."

"I like Spike's hands. They're good hands." Xander reaches out and grabs one of those hands, holds the phone between ear and shoulder to play with those fingers. "I enjoy Spike's hands," he says. "On a daily basis."

"TMI, Xan."

Xander rubs a thumb over Spike's palm. "Anyway, I think we've got it under control. Team Oxnard is officially apocalypse-ready."

"But you called for help."

"Actually, you called me. About new shoes." Xander frowns. "I'm not sure how we got on apocalypses."

"Um... Oh! I was saying they reminded me of my old favorite pair that got swallowed up by Sunnydale."

"Right. And then I said it was that time of year again here in the land of sun and surf. And that's when you offered to send Dana to cut off my boyfriend's hands."

Buffy’s sigh crackles against his ear. "She wouldn't - "

"We're good," Xander says. He smiles. "You know Spike - loves a good apocalypse."

"Uh huh."

"He does. Lots of demon fighting. Ass kicking. Good times."

"Fucking," Spike supplies - loudly.

"Okay - hanging up now," Buffy says.

And does.

"You don't approve of my friends." Xander sets down the phone and gives Spike the you don't love me anymore look that always used to be good for free drinks.

These days it's good for a whole lot more.

"Your friend wanted to send a deranged slayer to chop off my hands." Spike wiggles fingers in front of Xander's face.

"O-kay. And I don't approve of my friends either." Xander takes the fingers, plays with them. "Bad friends. Nice hands."

He's tasting the fingers - tang of nicotine on his tongue - when something occurs to him.

"Hey, um... the apocalypse love. We are talking love of the ass-kicking and name-taking variety - right? We're over the whole down in a blaze of glory thing?"

Spike looks at him like he's an idiot.

Xander goes back to the fingers. He likes knowing he'll be seeing that look again.

And again.

And again.