As soon as Xander entered The Bronze, he knew, though he couldn't have said how he knew, that Spike wasn't there.
In the back of his mind, Xander was aware that on a normal day, he'd have felt immediate and crushing rejection and the terror that it'd all been a game to Spike, and that he'd now lost interest. The pendant, the wish, and the spell had to be making the difference, because rather than of all of that, Xander felt immediate worry.
Because there was no way, after the look Spike gave him last night, that Spike was going to just blow him off.
So instead, Xander headed to the bar. "Excuse me. Have you seen Spike tonight?"
"Pale English guy with bleached hair? Billy Idol look?"
"Oh yeah, him. He was here earlier playing pool. Left about fifteen minutes ago when a little blonde girl hooked up with him."
Xander felt a creeping cold tingle begin in his fingertips and toes, sliding upwards. *Buffy.* "Did you hear anything they said?"
"Just the usual. She got all up against him, said something about taking him any time."
*And there's the bad.*
"Sorry if you were looking for him, man. But I don't think he's coming ba- well, okay, if that's the only reason you came in," the bartender finished to Xander's retreating back.
Xander hit the back door at a run, then froze just outside of the doorway when he heard the sound of a body bouncing off the wall and sliding down the dumpster. With a sick feeling, he had no illusions whose body it was.
"Never - pegged you for the jealous type, Slayer." Spike's voice was breathless, but even still, he laughed, and Xander could swear he heard a crunch in the blow that followed.
"I am not jealous, Spike. I am just looking out for some poor girl who doesn't deserve to have you stalking her."
"Shoulda taken me up on the offer when I still wanted you." Spike's voice was wet. That was the only word Xander had for it.
"I wouldn't take you up on an offer if you were the last being on earth, Spike. You're beneath me."
Spike's laughter was cut off abruptly with a thump against the wall, and his answer was little more than a snicker. "And yet, you can't seem to keep your hands off me."
"Oh, well, if you're tired of hands..."
"Hey! Whoa! Whoa, put that down!" Xander heard Spike scramble to get away in a clatter of trash cans and realized with sudden terrible clarity that that was the sound of a Slayer pulling a stake on one defenseless William the Bloody.
"Give me one good reason why I should."
"Because it's not in the Slayer handbook to pick on the defenseless," Xander said, stepping out into the alley lights only to find a stake pointed right at his heart. "I'm not a vampire."
"He is. So this? Is between him and me and is none of your business." Xander noticed that Buffy didn't lower the stake though.
Xander looked past Buffy to Spike, lying crumpled and bloody like a broken doll, left leg bent at a sickening angle, and watched his eyes widen in recognition. "Yes it is."
"Uh huh." Buffy looked him up and down. "Why?"
Xander brushed past Buffy, shouldering the stake aside to crouch over Spike, gathering him up, though the knowledge that Buffy was back there with a stake and a mad-on made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and tingle. "If you can't see it, I'm not gonna waste time explaining it."
"What I'm seeing is some demony guy getting in my way. Do you know what he is?"
Xander froze. Demony? Spike's voice echoed in his mind again. 'What are you?' He shook his head to clear it, and glanced from Spike to Buffy. "Vampire," he said, standing with Spike in his arms for the second time in three nights. "Chipped. Wanna stand aside or do I put him down while we find out what a demony guy like me can do?"
"And what is a demony guy like you?"
"Dunno. Why don't you have a research party and look it up?" He pushed past Buffy, keeping his body between her and Spike, feeling his knees go weak by the end of the alley way despite the spell, and nearly jumped when Spike's hand came to rest on his chest.
"Heart's going like mad, pet. First time you've met a Slayer in person, then?"
Xander shivered, realizing what that prickling, tingling feeling around Buffy was. "Yeah." *As a - demony guy, at least.*
Spike's fingers patted listlessly at his chest. "S' okay, pet. Gets - gets easier. Just don't get in the way of her bloody boots." He let his hand fall down against his own chest, listless while being carried. "Can walk, y'know," he grumbled. "Don't need no - sodding white knight."
"I don't think the white knight is supposed to rescue the demon," Xander said, feeling a warm glow in his chest though, because he did rescue the demon. *And stood up to the Slayer.* The warmth was promptly doused with ice water. *Shit. Shit shit shit. I faced down Buffy?*
"All right, mate?"
"I faced down the Slayer."
"Yeah," Spike said. "Shoulda seen the look on her face. Good job of it, by the way. I would've used a bit more colorful language, maybe a good kick...Well, would've if she hadn't snapped my bloody leg, but you mark my words, mate..."
Xander carried Spike the rest of the way to his crypt in a daze.
Xander kept his head down, listlessly turning pages in his book. He shouldn't have suggested a research party to Buffy last night, because when he'd turned up at the Magic Box that morning, he'd walked in on a pile of books, an empty donut box, and the sound of Buffy beating the hell out of the punching dummy in the back room.
She really really didn't like Demony Guy.
"Who - uh! - does he think he - ugh - is lecturing me about - uff - staking Spike?!" Xander winced at the sound of the punching dummy flying across the room to land, from the sound of it, on the pile of folded practice mats.
"Are you quite certain you don't have any idea why he might have felt the need to do so, Buffy?" Giles asked, and Xander tightened his grip on his book, because Giles had asked that question before and the answer had been the same each time.
"No. Some kind of - demon who likes vampires, I guess. And if you ask me, that can't be a good demon. Cause I'm on board with the good demons. But vampires? Not good demons." Buffy stomped through the doorway, grabbing a bottled water as she went, then pouted over the table. "We're out of donuts?"
Xander hunched over his book, feeling that prickly tingle he now recognized as 'pissed off Slayer'. "Um. You know, what? I'm just gonna," he said, gesturing to the door while trying to gather his coat without taking his eyes off of Buffy, "get those donuts and come back later."
Like maybe when Willow was out of class.
He could feel Anya and Giles watching him strangely as he hurried out of the shop, hearing Buffy's loud question before the door closed behind him. "Now do you believe me when I tell you Xander's been acting weird?"
*Buff, you have no idea how weird.*
As soon as Xander turned the first corner, he slowed down, stuffing his hands in his pockets and just - thinking. And when he closed his eyes, he could feel Spike's fingers in his hair again, stroking. He knew that Spike saw someone who was Not Xander when he looked at him, but he didn't know what, because when he looked, he still saw Xander. Sexy and confident, sure, but still Xander. So he wondered if his hair felt the same to Spike too or if the spell even changed that.
He wanted to stop by Spike's crypt to see how the vampire was doing, but he doubted Spike would want a visit from Xander "Donut Boy" Harris, not when his head was full of Demony Guy.
Who was so not Xander Harris that it was beginning to depress Xander to think of him.
Because it was nice being able to - not be the hero the way he thought he had at first, but being able to make things happen instead of having to react to the things other people made happen. It was nice knowing what to do, and not doubting himself.
Okay, so it hadn't been quite so nice setting Spike's leg with nothing but a bottle of Wild Turkey for anesthetic, but he'd done it right, and it'd been very nice after when Spike curled up against his chest with that slow sweep-sweep of his hand, and the naughty fingers that slipped past his belt buckle, and-
Xander had to stop and lean against a tree, feeling the roughness of the bark in his hair to bring him back from the cool smooth tug-and-slide of Spike's hand around his dick, and how satisfied Spike had looked bringing that hand to his lips and licking off every trace of Xander's come like it was chocolate.
"What do I taste like to you?" He hadn't been able to not ask, the question slipping between his lips like a wriggling fish.
He'd only meant to ask if he tasted like a human, a demon, or a vampire, but Spike had pressed a slippery fingertip into Xander's mouth, eyes flaring dark as he'd watched Xander take it in. "Spicy sweet. Like Christmas eve, pet." And Xander had been able to taste it too, faint, like an aftertaste he'd never noticed before. "Feel like Christmas eve too. Like I'm waitin' till midnight to unwrap my pressie."
Xander's stomach did a little flip again at the memory of Spike's words. They had to be coincidence, but he hadn't been able to hide his reaction as Spike had lifted his head, looking at him closely, truly closely with an expression not entirely unlike disappointment. Gonna leave me at midnight again, aren't you?"
"I have to." It'd been so hard looking at Spike's battered face and lying to him. At least by omission. But it really wasn't Xander he wanted, or had. It was Demony Guy. And Demony Guy had a non-negotiable midnight curfew. "We've got a few hours. I won't leave until I've got to."
He'd been so relieved when Spike smiled, uncoiled, and lay back willingly, letting Xander return to the long job of cleaning up his cuts and bruises from the fight with Buffy. "Thanks, pet."
And then, when Xander really had to leave, or risk being caught in the cemetery without Demony Guy reflexes, Spike had caught his hand in a grip surprisingly strong for someone who still couldn't even walk and was half drunk on whiskey. "Meet me tomorrow?"
"Sure. Same time at The Bronze?"
Spike had shaken his head, and drawn Xander's fingers to his mouth, lips closing around each knuckle in turn in a way that made Xander shiver to remember. "Meet me here. Same time. I don't want the Slayer interruptin' us"
Xander let out a shaky breath, rubbing his hand over the butterflies that seemed to have taken up long term lodging in his stomach. He was pretty sure Spike inviting him to come back to his crypt was the vampire equivalent of the infamous post-date cup of coffee. He was also pretty sure he was crazy, but god he'd have to have been even more crazy to turn Spike down.
And playing pool with Spike, as much fun as it had been, couldn't hope to compare to what he hoped would happen during some private time together in Spike's crypt. Without Buffy.
Who he really, really did not want to run into with Spike again. Because even during the daylight hours, he was about one sentence away from taking a swing at her. And he had a lot better ways in mind to spend the night with Spike than tending each others' wounds and wondering how far the $37 in his bank account would take them from Sunnydale before Buffy brought out the big guns.
"Spike?" Xander called, hovering in the doorway to Spike's crypt in a flood of moonlight as his eyes adjusted to the gloom. The crypt looked empty, but it didn't feel empty, an anticipation thrumming on the air that matched the hum of expectation that had been building in Xander's chest all afternoon.
He took a deep breath, scenting the air, and wondering if this was part of the wish package or if he'd just never noticed how many scents there were in Spike's crypt. "You're picking now for a game of hide and seek, Spike?" He turned dust, green moss, mold, Doritos... *Clem must have been visiting.*
There was a faint metallic tang to match a dark brown stain in one corner, but in only one direction did Xander catch whiffs of the scent he was searching for. Smoke and whiskey.
Two smells he'd never previously expected to make his mouth water, not because he wanted to taste them, but because he wanted to taste them on Spike. He heard a low chuckle and froze, then turned slowly to scan the room, feeling watched. "How badly do you want it, pet?" Spike's voice was just on the edge of hearing, curling around him like the fog outside and making his dick harden in his jeans.
He let his head drop back with a growl that surprised himself, his body knowing this game even when his mind wasn't entirely sure what Spike was up to. "Wanna find out?" Xander felt the slow smile stretch his mouth and let his head fall forward again, eyes open now on the rug beside the sarcophagus. He kicked it aside, looking down a ladder and into Spike's darkened eyes, the skin showing beneath his open shirt made warm by flickering candlelight. "How about right now?"
"Pull the rug back over the opening when you come down, pet. Don't fancy interruptions."
Xander swung his legs onto the ladder, pausing long enough to smooth the heavy rug over the hole in the floor then gasped when he was grabbed from behind, plucked easily off the ladder and thrown onto his back on a mattress. Then, Spike was on him in a flash, lips to his throat, hands over the hardening bulge in Xander's jeans, rubbing, rubbing just light enough to make Xander need more.
"What makes you think you'll be the one doing the taking?" Spike's words buzzed against the side of Xander's throat, his tongue flickering out to take little tastes along his vein.
Xander thrust upwards, hard into that hand, trapping Spike's leg with his own and burying a hand in Spike's hair, yanking his head to the side so that he could speak directly into his ear. "What makes you think I want to be the one doing the taking?" The words scalded his tongue, sliding like lead into his aching balls as the truth of them made itself known, and Xander drew a shuddering breath. "I want you in me. I want you pounding into me until I can't breathe." Xander swallowed the next words that wanted to come, shaking with the effort of resisting them before giving in, whispering against Spike's ear. "I want you to fuck me like a vampire."
Spike drew back with a hiss, eyes flickering golden in the candlelight. "This some kind of vampire fetish?"
Xander felt the feral expression come over his face, slid his arms up above him on the mattress, and deliberately tilted back his head, offering. "No. Just you." Xander stretched, feeling the ache and burn as his muscles reached their limit, the tingling, tantalizing brush of Spike's inseams against his hips and waist. "Fuck the chip." He felt Spike go utterly still above him and opened his eyes again, watching the play of emotion over Spike's face. "Have me. I only look human." Xander gripped the metal bedstead with both hands, grinding against Spike, slowly. "It knows. And I want you."
Time spun away from Xander, flowing hot and red like every sip of blood Spike took from him, shoulders now, then back, even his thigh once, breaking through his flesh like a crisp apple and making Xander come so hard he saw white without so much as touching his cock. With every shift of skin over muscle, he felt the long scratches and half moons that Spike's fingernails had left in his skin until it flared and burned then blissfully cooled under the sweeps of Spike's tongue.
He felt high, drugged, like he should be sated on the sex, and the heat, and the friction of Spike's body over him, in him, rubbing slow and fluid against him while he took Spike's mouth, sweeping in to taste and claim, going to the source of that rich wood smoke and whiskey flavor, drinking down Spike's moans that left him light-headed. *I did that.*
Each orgasm flowed into the next until at last, Xander found himself on trembling hands and knees, legs splayed wide and back canted like a bitch in heat beneath Spike, fingers fisting restlessly against the sheets as they rocked together deep and slow. Spike's lips and teeth, blunt and human now, drifted down his back, dotting a kiss, a bite, a lick to every standing knot of Xander's spike, then dipped, swirled, and traced the bold black lines between Xander's shoulder blades with the tip of his tongue making Xander glad, so so fucking glad that he'd gone into that tattoo shop in Oxnard as he shuddered beneath the slick and nimble tracery of Spike's tongue.
"God, pet, taste like mulled wine. Could get drunk on you."
"Thought - thought you said I tasted like Christmas." Xander swayed under the slow, stretching slide of Spike's cock, and the slick sting of mingled sweat along his scratches.
"You are Christmas, pet. Gonna unwrap you." Spike's lips buzzed against the nape of Xander's neck. "Gonna have you."
Xander moaned, feeling those strong fingers, no longer cool, but hot, warmed with blood and heat and friction, sliding over his cock and down, down to squeeze the base, leaving Xander shuddering beneath him.
"Say you want me, pet." Spike stroked him, once, hard, then stopped, giving him no more than that barely-there in and out slide, faint and obscenely slick on the edge of hearing.
"Better yet," Spike said, tongue rasping over the one bitten wound on Xander's throat, and over, and over until Xander keened, dropping his head down between his arms. "Say you want me to keep you."
"Please..." Xander tried to buck, tried to impale himself harder on Spike's cock, *so close so close so close* but Spike only rocked with him, lips and words buzzing into his skin. "Anything!"
"I want to open my Christmas pressie." Cold, cold metal snapped around Xander's wrist, and the headboard clanked, jerked when he reared back against the handcuff, eyes wide.
"Yesss," Spike hissed into Xander's ear, rocking in fast, and hard and right there until Xander saw stars, the click and tap of Halfrek's pendant against his chin counting them closer to midnight, closer to the fiery orgasm he could feel building, tightening in his balls until he came with a desperate groan, the handcuff biting sharply into his wrist as he bucked back against Spike and the world went white.
When he came to again, it was to Spike curled up against his chest, tracing a lazy vee beneath Xander's collarbone, back and forth, batting the pendant this way and that as his lips moved silently against Xander's shoulder. "Tick tock, Christmas boy. Santa's due any minute now."
Xander felt a rush of cold through his veins and pulled away, rattling the handcuff against the bed. "You've got to let me go, Spike. You don't understand!"
"Oh, I understand." Lazily, Spike unfolded himself from Xander's body, watching Xander twist until he landed on the floor, one foot braced against the iron of his bedstead. "Understand that midnight's a tricksy time. All sorts of things...change at the witching hour." He leaned over the end of the bed, picking up his cigarettes and lighting one, blowing a stream of smoke at the ceiling. "Including, I'm thinking, you."
Xander locked his fingers around the cuff and pulled, flying across the room as the metal of Spike's bed gave way with a wrenching clatter, dropping vampire and mattress onto the floor. "I'm sorry, Spike. Jesus... You have no idea how sorry I am." Xander scrambled across the floor, jerking his jeans on and gathering his clothes as quickly as he could as the stunned vampire watched him, cigarette dangling from limp fingers until Xander was at the ladder.
Spike leapt across the room, hard fingers catching Xander's arm, hurt blue eyes meeting panicked brown for a bare instant before Spike crushed his lips to Xander's in a desperate kiss. "Come back?"
"Tomorrow," Xander promised, stealing a desperate glance at his watch before scrambling up the ladder and out of the crypt with a bang of the outer door. "Tomorrow, I promise!"
Spike sank slowly to the floor in the chaos left behind with his broken bed, the musk of sex thick on the air as he laid his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. "Don't want to fuckin' wait, pet. Want you."
He smoked his cigarette to the filter, crushing it out and tossing it aside before he went to examine the bed, tripping over a shoe.
Spike picked it up with a slow smile. Well, then.
He carried the sneaker to the bed, sitting down and setting it beside him, looking at it, and wondering why it seemed familiar.
"Honestly, was it something I said?" Buffy pouted, focused on unwrapping the white tape from her knuckles. "I mean, I know I'm not the only one who thinks he's acting seriously wiggy lately."
"He's not acting wiggy, Buffy." Willow passed her a croissant. "I told you, he called me this morning to tell me he's sick, so he's not coming in today. It's nothing big, just a cold and a little fever, and so he's gonna spend the day sleeping."
"But he could sleep here. He's slept here before." Buffy looked around for confirmation. "Hasn't he?"
"Several times," Giles said, "and often on the most delicate books. May I ask where this new fixation on Xander's whereabouts comes from Buffy?"
"What? I can't worry about one of my friends? And what is this?"
"And the English are too good for donuts or something?"
"For God's sake, Buffy! It's - it's jam filled, it will do."
"But it's not a donut."
"Then why don't you walk down the street and get a donut yourself?"
Buffy gave Giles her most puppy-eyed look. "Because they have calories if you buy them yourself!"
Giles opened his mouth as if to answer, and then thought better of it. Much better of it, and took off his glasses for cleaning. "But if Xander were to buy the donuts, they wouldn't have calories?"
"Right," Buffy said. "But he's not here, therefore, no calorie-free jelly-filled goodies for Buffy."
"Oh, go ahead, Slayer. You could stand to put on a few pounds. Starting to look like you'll blow away with a good stiff breeze."
Buffy whirled on Spike. "Know what else blows away with a good stiff breeze? Dust."
"I'm terrified," Spike said without the vaguest sincerity and plucked a croissant from the box, sniffing it and taking a bite. "Really," he added around a mouthful. "Ta Rupert! You got the raspberry croissants. Must have shown up early. These sell out before- Hey!" He complained as Giles snatched the pastry from his fingers.
"How did you get in here? I didn't see you come through the door, and believe me, it's rather difficult to miss when you do."
Spike snatched back his croissant, taking a mutinous bite. "Got in through the tunnels, didn't I?"
"There are tunnels?" Giles turned to appeal to Anya, peering at her through spotlessly clean glasses. "Why didn't I know there are tunnels leading into my shop?"
She took his arm with a smile, patting it reassuringly. "We wouldn't want to turn around the demonic customers, would we, honey?" Anya waved an arm at Spike, currently the only demonic customer present to make an example of. "They're paying clients too."
"I'm quite certain Spike doesn't pay.”
"Well, maybe not, but I check your security for you!" Spike broke a piece off of his croissant, licking a drop of jam off his thumb. "You ought to be paying me. And it's not like I steal much. Dirt cheap for security analysis if you ask me."
"I don't need security analysis."
"Actually, you do." Spike's eyebrows knit and he cocked his head. "See, there's this collapsing wall in the tunnel system about three blocks over. Gonna be funneling all the nasties into your shop pretty soon if you don't put in something better down there."
"Do they need magical supplies?" Anya asked.
"Suppose they might," Spike admitted. "I could ask around a bit. Let you know."
"I'll give you some business cards to take with you."
"Anya!" Giles stopped her with a hand on her arm. "We are not advertising our services to the town demons."
"Spike comes here. Hallie comes here. Why can't others?"
"Because we - I don't want Spike to come here. Spike, why are you here?"
"Huh? Oh. Legitimate business this time. Come to look up a little symbol then poof, out of your hair."
"This is a shop, not a library."
"Oh come on. It won't hurt your precious books for me to look something up in them."
"You've got jam on your fingers."
Spike glared at his fingers, then stuck the offending digits into his mouth, smirking around them when Anya looked interested and Giles paled.
"Ew! Spike, could you be any more disgusting?"
At Buffy's outburst, Spike looked at her with eyebrows raised. "Oh yeah. Lots more," he answered, with perfect honesty.
Anya sighed, looking at the box of croissants with greater speculation in her eyes before turning to Spike. "Well do you have the symbol with you?"
"Yeah, right here." Spike pulled a piece of paper from his duster, handing it to Anya. "Got any idea what it is?"
"It's a protection symbol that was worn by the ancient Vikings."
"Don't look like any Viking symbol I've ever seen."
"Well, no, but you see, Xander had it done in a little tattoo shop in Oxnard, and they talked him into making it more- Spike?" Anya called after the vampire's retreating form, and they all heard boxes clatter to the floor as he passed.
"For god's sake. What's he broken now?"
"It sounded like the crate of singing pebbles we ordered in from Borneo," Anya said helpfully. "I'm fairly certain that they're too small to have broken, only spilled."
"Oh good lord. Buffy, would you fetch a broom, please?"
"What? But, I just had a manicure, and I'm the Slayer, not the-" Buffy caught Giles' look and swallowed. "I'll just be getting the broom and dust pan now."
"Come. On! Fucking...Jesus, ow!" Xander grunted, as if ordering the metal to give way would help as he sawed at the handcuff still around his left wrist.
His left hand stung, and his right arm ached, fingers cramped and swelling from his grip on the saw, and still, when he tested the handcuff with the fingers of his right hand, he found nothing but scratches. He'd barely made a dent in the hard steel.
A pile of snapped and broken hand saws littered the utility sink basin, and Xander had accumulated enough scratches across the back of his hand that more than once, he'd flashed to the image of making things easier on himself and just sawing his hand off, because there was no way he could take this hand cuff to Giles and endure that knowing look.
And there was no way he could take it to Spike either. Because knowing Spike, he'd snap the other end around his own wrist, and then the game would be so, so up.
Every scratch and cut of every slip with the saw stung and burned with the sweat dripping down his arms, making it so goddamned hard to keep a fucking grip on the metal until Xander slipped again with a hiss, the blade biting deep into the back of his hand this time and he dropped the saw, lunging for the cold water tap and turning it on full blast, sticking his aching wrist and hand under the flow as he leaned heavily on his elbows.
"I am so fucked," he whispered into the water, flexing his aching hand under the flow and praying that none of the saws carried anything nasty in their teeth. He wanted to just bury himself in a cocoon of blankets, cradle his hand to him, and disappear until everything stopped hurting. With a sigh, Xander let himself slide forward until his head was under the faucet, going utterly limp and letting the cool water soak his hair and wrap in rivulets around his face that tickled his ears.
It was because Xander had his head under the water that he didn't hear Spike come in, didn't hear the quiet prowl of well-worn boots on concrete. He'd only caught the first whiff of wood smoke and whiskey before strong hands grasped his hips and pulled back, hard enough to make Xander yelp, hair flinging water across the room as he straightened and tried to twist in that immutable grip. *Shit. He’s still stronger than me?!*
But Spike held fast, leaning over Xander's back, close enough that Xander could feel the brush of Spike's duster, smell the smoky tang that meant it was still daylight out and that Spike had run in under cover of his coat.
He shivered, heart pounding so hard it hurt, waiting for Spike to speak, knowing suddenly that Spike all ready knew, but instead, Spike only smelled him, soft breaths against his neck, his hair, the skin between his shoulder blades where he made Xander jerk forward against the sink by tracing the lines of his tattoo with his too-cold to be human tongue.
Then, Spike straightened, and Xander held his breath, sure that Spike was going to speak, but instead, the vampire only took his left wrist in hand, pulling it up by the handcuff, cradling hand and metal in his grasp as he ducked his head, tongue flickering along the latest seeping wound to taste as his body held Xander against the sink.
"You still taste of Christmas...I wonder," Spike whispered, and Xander moaned in spite of himself as he felt Spike's cool lips skate back across his neck to the other side, where the bite still stood out livid against Xander's skin, tongue flickering out to taste it. "If your demonyness is only until midnight. Can I hurt you, Xander?" Spike's voice dropped to a purr, and he dragged the flat of his tongue over Xander's mark, thrusting his hips hard into Xander's ass through the flimsy plaid of his boxers. "Do you still want a vampire? Pet?" Spike bit off the word, somewhere between silky smooth and a snarl, making Xander catch his breath. "Answer me."
A full body shudder ran down Xander's spine, and then he knew, had only one answer, one chance for one answer, and he pushed back against Spike, arching his head away from the vampire's teeth and rubbing against him as much as his trapped position would allow. Pricks and sparks of pain where Spike grasped his injured wrist and where his tongue had rasped away the forming scab over the bite on his neck flared along Xander's nerves, leaving him breathless. "Yes."
"Yes," Xander choked out, hand scrabbling along the rim of the sink for Spike's, grasping his fingers as the truth of the answer made his stomach flutter nervously, "I'm still a demon after midnight," he whispered, and he was; he could still feel the change, humming in the back of his mind, prowling through his veins.
He felt Spike's tongue trail up his throat to his ear where he latched on with blunt teeth, speaking around the flesh of Xander's lobe, low and growly, but with the barest thread of uncertainty. "Still want me? The vampire?" Then, the teeth were sharp, pricking Xander's skin.
Xander moaned, closing his fingers hard around Spike's and bucking back against him. "Jesus. Yes. Please.” He tried to twist again, lips catching Spike’s temple, still unsure whether he was wanted or about to die, had to know. “I want to kiss you.”
“Shh. Almost. Almost.” The rough denim of Spike’s jeans rasped uncomfortably against the ache in Xander’s ass. For a moment, Spike’s voice sounded almost as unsteady as his own, and he let Spike tilt his head back, tongue flickering along the seam of his lips, but not in, not yet.
Only tantalizing brushes that weren’t enough and felt so surreal in his basement. In daylight. Where Spike was still supposed to hate him and only know him as the donut boy. “Please.”
He felt Spike's fingers close on the pendant and froze as Spike murmured into his ear. "Still gonna hide from me?" He unfurled a finger, stroking down the length of Xander's throat, riding the swell of his Adam’s apple as he swallowed. "Can't have me and hide, pet. I want you." He gave the pendant a tug, and Xander could feel it bite sharply into the back of his neck.
Xander thought of Buffy's face when he came between her and Spike. Thought of Willow's worried voice over the telephone when he told her he was sick. Thought of being the Zeppo. The donut boy.
And then, he knew he didn't want to hide anymore, didn't want to hide being strong, didn't want to hide being a...whatever he was, and most of all, didn't want to hide Spike who was making him feel so very…wanted. He shook his head. "I don't want to hide," Xander finally whispered, and tensed as the bite of the pendant’s chain increased – and then disappeared all together, the charm falling against his collarbone with a soft thump. “What?”
“Shh.” Spike’s shush stirred the hairs at the nape of Xander’s neck, and he shivered at the feeling of Spike’s fingers on the clasp, delicately unfastening it. “You have a piece of jewelry to return to the lady, yeah?” Xander let Spike lift his right hand, uncurl his fingers, and fold the pendant and chain safe against his palm.
Xander jolted, breaking free of Spike’s grasp and twisting. “How did you know?”
Spike leaned forward, feathering kisses across Xander’s eyes, nose, cheeks, until he hovered over Xander’s breathless lips. “Knew a lady once. Had just this necklace.” Xander’s lips barely moved under Spike’s, and he shivered with each brush of Spike’s tongue as he spoke. “Thought at first…it was a love charm.” Spike’s hands were cool, sweeping up and down Xander’s sides, soothing the scratches he’d left the night before with harsher touch.
“It’s not,” Xander breathed, swaying under the hypnotic rhythm, eyes closed.
“Yeah. Known a fair few justice demons in my time, pet.” Xander tried to answer him again, but only moaned at the cool slide of Spike’s lips against his, and the flickering touch of Spike’s tongue curling up behind his teeth in a way that made Xander’s breath hitch. “Tell me what you wished for.” Spike’s whisper was so quiet Xander barely heard it over the blood rushing in his ears.
“You?” Spike nudged at Xander’s jaw with his nose, nipping the soft skin beneath. Smooth hands splayed over Xander’s back, sweeping him from shoulders to the curve of his buttocks as Spike worked his way down Xander’s throat, laving the line of reddened skin left by the pendant’s chain. “Wished to be a demon?”
“No.” Though shivering, now, under Spike’s touch, knowing what else that touch could do when it didn’t fear the chip, Xander wondered if he would have wished to be a demon if he’d known. “Wanted to be – special.” He swallowed, looking away in embarrassment at how stupid that sounded out loud, half naked in front of Spike in the basement.
He’d expected a quip, or at least a dismissive snort; Xander could have gotten behind the dismissive snort. So when Spike’s lips covered his again, kissing him so gently it left him breathless, he could only open his eyes and stare back at Spike. “I can do that for you, pet.”
“No. Daft git.” Spike’s smile, and the way he dipped his head to dot kisses the length of Xander’s shoulder took any sting out of the words. “Gonna make you feel like the only man on the sodding planet.”
Xander yelped as he was picked up, but this time, instead of throwing him, Spike laid him out gently on the unfolded couch, and crawled over him, coat, boots, and all, watching him with a gleam that was both possessive and…longing. “Got a pressie to unwrap,” was all he said, hooking gentle fingers into the band of Xander’s boxer shorts and lifting them up, then down, revealing him to the basement air as Spike just looked at him.
“Spike-“ Xander moved to – he didn’t know what, cover himself, touch himself, push his boxers the rest of the way down, something that wasn’t Spike staring at him with a gaze he could feel.
Spike batted his hand away impatiently, straddling Xander’s thighs. With intense concentration, he trailed his fingers up the under-side of Xander’s cock, riding Xander’s shudder as he slid over the sensitive crown to sweep a pearl of pre-come from the tip, and held his gaze intently as he brought his finger to his mouth, sucking it in, the taste of salt, and sea, and musk bursting over his tongue and making him want. “Want to see all of you,” he said instead, dragging Xander’s boxers off his legs and flinging them from the bed, ducking his head to lick a long, broad stripe up Xander’s length, feeling the heat and pulse against his tongue, warm, willing.
And when Xander clutched his fingers in Spike's hair, and whispered his name in that voice of so much need, Spike groaned and took him in, hard and hot and silk against his tongue, world narrowing to a single pounding heartbeat and the girth of Xander's cock stretching his throat all musk and sweet and sweat.
As Spike drew back, drew off of Xander with a last flicker of his tongue that made Xander shudder, he drew breath to speak, then yelped when Spike darted aside and sank his fangs into his thigh. “Ow!”
He stared at Spike, met by the unrepentant blue gaze and the tip of Spike’s tongue, swirling over the tingling wounds in a way that left Xander shaky and light headed, and not entirely wanting him to stop.
“W- what was that for?”
Spike stopped his tracing with an apologetic kiss, and a wicked gleam as he bent Xander’s leg back to nip at his inner thigh, then swipe with cool tongue across Xander’s hole, making shivery sparks dance their way up his spine. “Just makin’ sure you were still all…demony.”
“Why now?” Xander gasped out, surprised he could get more than two words strung together with Spike’s tongue dancing circles over puckered flesh that still ached and burned from the night before.
“Because I don’t want to wait.” Spike’s words buzzed against Xander’s thigh, pushed up and back. “And I don’t wanna find out I can’t have you when I’m doing this.” Spike’s slick tongue, undead-strong stabbed through Xander’s resistance, making him arch high and hard off the bed until Spike caught his other leg, pushing them both up, and back, leaving Xander writhing beneath the assault of lips and tongue and the slow burning fire working its way up his spine.
"That," Spike said, lifting his head slowly, and popping the buttons on his jeans, a hungry gleam in his eyes, "is exactly what's going to happen."
And they - well - y'know - happily ever after.
Untitled Donut Boy!Verse morning after
If someone - let's say Oz – (because good old Oz wasn't around anymore to freak Xander out by actually asking this) asked Xander what his first thought would be upon waking up the first morning of the rest of his life with an unbreathing mouth between the shoulder blades, Xander would have said corpse! (or vampire! - which was equally important in Sunnydale and more accurate) or even holy crap, that was incredible sex. Who knew Evil Undead could fuck like a professional whore and maybe if I'm really good, he'll do it again.
He wouldn't have said did I remember to tell Willow I'm actually gay?
Willow knew he thought he might be kind of gay.
Shopping around gay.
Window-shopping, browsing the aisles, strictly not touching, not milk drinking and definitely not buying the cow gay.
Boy did that change.
Hey, Wills. How am I doing? Oh. Fine. Fine. Bought a cow...dead one.
Yeah. I'm pretty sure. My ass thinks its got a lifetime all-rides pass to Happyland and the rest of me feels all tingly and wants to ride the Loop The Loop again – or maybe the Wet ‘n’ Wild. Yeah, I'm sure this is the cow for me. I am a lactose tolerant, wild ride taking, one cow crazy guy.
Xander winced. Okay so that probably wouldn't go over so well.
Way too far with the pastoral imagery. Because ew.
"What's so funny?"
Vampire breath between the shoulder blades tickled.
"You're my cow," Xander informed him and let Spike roll him over onto his back in a boneless sprawl.
"Beginning to see why you weren't popular with the ladies, luv."
"Done buying milk at the store. Pretty much done buying milk. Not - y'know - that I was a regular milk buyer or drinker before you. I liked to think about milk in a kind of nervous 'are you sure it's been pasteurized and is disease free?' way."
Spike was peering deeply into his eyes and not in the romantic besotted way - okay, not much in the romantic and besotted way.
"Lookin' to see if I knocked something loose in there last night."
"Oh there's plenty loose in here. In fact, feeling very loose. And slippery. Also free and easy. Possibly a little squish - "
Xander moaned into Spike's mouth and gave it up for buying the cow.
"Moo," Spike said.