Author's Note: This is also [info]suki_blue's birthday pressie a day late! Takes place some time after Season Four but after than cannon went out the window.





Cats and Dogs


by
Amejisuto



Part One

“This is all your fault, Spike!” Xander couldn’t help but bark at the smirking blonde.

“My fault? It was your fucking clown feet that stumbled into Red’s circle!”

“I didn’t see her, I was too busy wishing I could strangle you!”

Spike arched up and hissed at his rival. “Bring it on, mutt!”

They started fighting for real, rolling on the ground and clawing and biting. Spike managed to get a good swipe at Xander’s nose while Xander bit the end of Spike’s tail. They only stopped when two pairs of hands separated them.

“Here Tara, you carry Spike and I’ll try to keep hold of Xander. Goddess, Giles is going to be so mad at me!”

Tara struggled to hold on to a squirming Spike and tried to console her girlfriend. “It-it’s not your fault, Willow, we were in the middle of the woods. They just…stumbled into the spell at the wrong time.”

“I know, but still Giles will think I was being irresponsible, at least that’s what I’m afraid of.”

Xander didn’t pay much attention to what his best friend was saying, he was still trying to get to Spike and see if he could bite his tail off. His nose hurt too. They’d been on patrol and chasing some unknown demon and gotten lost in the woods. Of course, that smirking undead bastard Spike blamed it all on him and by the time he’d seen Willow’s circle it was too late, they’d crossed into the area and wound up like…this. It was so fucking humiliating. Bad enough Anya had left him because he couldn’t give good orgasms last spring, then the First Slayer stalked him in his sleep, now this.

He really needed to get the fuck away from the Hellmouth before something worse happened. But first Willow had to change him back!

“Stop it, you two! We’re at Giles’s so this will be fixed in a little while. Calm down or he won’t let you in!”

Xander stilled, knowing Willow was right. Didn’t mean he wasn’t going to get Spike back though, he just had to wait. He could do that.

He could hear Giles’s heavy steps as he approached the door. It opened slowly and he hunched in on himself and just waited for what was coming.

“Willow? What’s this?”

“Umm, Tara and I were trying to contact our animal guides and, well, Xander and Spike kind of tripped into the circle and we don’t know what happened but now they’re like this!” She unceremoniously pushed him forward and his claws scrabbled on the concrete porch.

“Oh my…you mean that is- is Xander?”

“Yes, and Tara has Spike.”

“A…all right, I can understand why Xander may be a dog, but Spike a cat? Good lord!”


~*~*~*~*~


Spike ignored the silly humans in favor of getting to actually look in the mirror at his reflection for once. So what if he was a cat, he still had bloody good cheekbones. He walked over to the edge of the table and looked down. Xander was below him on the floor, big puppy dog eyes watching his friends as they researched a way to change them back.

It was the whelp's fault they’d been lost; Spike had abilities and he knew which way town was but the silly sod hadn't wanted to listen. If it hadn’t been for the chip he would have ripped the bugger’s throat out. As it was, he resorted to arguing and snarking right back at the human and look where it got him.

Still, a cat wasn’t so bad; he had a reflection, and maybe during the day he could stretch out in a patch of sunlight and soak it up. Of course it could have been worse, he thought, smirking at the dog below him, he could have been a mutt too. He smiled a catty grin and looked at the book on the table beside him. Hell, if it worked for that Garfield cat in the comics, why not for him. He hooked one claw around the spine of the book and pulled it to the edge till it tipped over and hit Xander right on the head.

Of course the daft dog looked around for a moment before realizing it had been Spike to drop the book. And once he did he started barking up a storm and jumping up and down. Xander was a medium sized mixed breed of dog, with the same color hair and eyes he'd had when human.

Spike himself was quite a handsome cat. Large ears and blue eyes. He looked dainty to a certain point but he had powerful muscles under the ruffled looking white coat. The breed was called a Cornish Rex, he recalled. He had more than enough strength to take on a dog. He sneered down at his adversary.

“Give it up, pup, you can’t reach me from there with those short little legs of yours.”

“Come down here and say that, you big eared freak!”

“Oh, go lick your balls!”

“Ewwww! Spike!” Xander stopped mid-jump and stumbled. “That is so gross I don’t even want to go there!”

“What? You’re a dog now, I’d imagine it was every teenage boy’s dream to be able to lick his own genitals.”

“You… you cat! Like you’re any better up there looking at yourself in the mirror and preening. And you can go lick your own balls too. Heh, if we stay like this for long maybe Giles will get you neutered to compensate for you not having the chip in that form.”

“Bite your fucking tongue, boy!” He hissed at the very thought. The fucking chip was bad enough but not…that.

Xander backed off but continued growling. “Heh. Why don’t you make me! Here kitty, kitty, kitty!”

Spike gathered himself on his haunches and then sprang into the air, claws extended. He was going to do some damage to the little mutt for every fangless joke he’d had to listen to.

Unfortunately their fighting had been noticed and quick hands plucked him from the air mid-leap. He found himself closer to the Slayer’s breasts than he ever really wanted to be. He still had flashbacks from that damned spell Red did.

“Spike! Don’t be mean to Xander!” He was held up in the air, his back legs swinging as Buffy looked him in the face. “Aren’t you just the sweetest little kitty? You’re so cute like this! Aren’t you a sweetums?”

The girl’s voice had gone up a few octaves and it grated down his spine. Plus he really didn’t like being called cute or, ugh, sweetums. He narrowed his eyes at the blonde girl and swiped at her with one claw; only her supernatural speed keeping her from being scratched.

“Giles! I thought you said they could still understand us even if we can’t understand them!! Spike tried to claw me!”

Giles looked over to where Spike was sitting, glaring at the girl. “Yes, well, to be fair, if you had said that to me I would have taken a shot as well.”

“Giles!”

“Buffy, you sounded…shrill. Probably hurt his ears.”

Spike smirked and wandered over to the Watcher. He was the only one who hadn’t laughed at him or the boy-turned-dog and it was evident he had some sympathy for their plight. When the man reached out to pet him, Spike had to fight against leaning into his touch.

An hour later and the Watcher took off his glasses and pinched the ridge of his nose. “The only thing I can guess is that the animal spirits you were trying to contact did this to them in punishment for fighting in the circle. The spell can’t be broken by anyone but Spike and Xander.”

Spike and Xander both looked from the opposite ends of the room they’d been sent to wait.

It was Willow who asked the question. “But…how do they break it? I mean, it’s got to be easy doesn’t it? They don’t have opposable thumbs or anything right now.”

Giles looked grim and Spike had a bad feeling. “It’s worse than that, I’m afraid. They have to stop fighting and get along peaceably.”

Spike arched his back and hissed at the very thought as Buffy looked from him to a snarling Xander.

“Oh yeah, this is so not going to be easy.”


~*~*~*~*~


Xander pulled as far ahead of Willow and Tara as his, ugh, leash would allow. At least it wasn’t Buffy walking him, she insisted in calling it “walkies” and reminded him of a blonde Elmira from Tiny Toons. She was always picking him or Spike up to cuddle and at first it was nice but after three weeks it was annoying.

That is when Buffy was home. They were staying at the Summer’s residence, neither Giles’s apartments nor the dorms allowed pets. Buffy’s Mom was being nice about it and both he and Spike did their best to keep the destruction of the house to a minimum. It was one of the first things they had agreed on. Buffy didn’t come around that much, and didn’t stay, mainly just staking her turn at taking him for walks and other petly necessities before going back to Riley, college and slaying.

Xander didn’t understand. If she had parents like his, then he could understand staying away but Joyce was a great Mom and a good friend. If she were his Mom he’d never leave home. Dawn was fun, but considered them her pets. It was annoying.

Xander stopped to sniff at the foot of a tree. It was amazing what he could smell as a dog, it was like a whole different language he was just learning. It was like different layers, human tracks crossing other animals and demons following them all, each with a different scent.

This is where a vampire had stood, which bothered Xander and he growled. He didn’t like the thought of vamps being too close to the house; it was his and Spike’s territory.

“Xander! Will you just do whatever it is you have to do and come on!” Willow’s voice was impatient. She really didn’t like giving him walks, he could tell, because she got embarrassed every time he had to stop and mark his scent. Tara, when she came alone was good, and Giles was always interesting because the man talked to himself. He didn’t even want to go when Riley came with Buffy, it was just too disturbing to keep breaking up their necking because he had to move on.


He finished with this tree and fell back with Willow and Tara instead of rushing to his next marker. Sometimes they forgot he could understand what they were saying and he’d learned all sorts of things.

In fact it had been overhearing Giles and Joyce talking that he realized he was loosing his humanity. Oh he still understood things, but his instincts were much more of a dog’s than a human anymore. Oddly enough it didn’t bother him. Of course if he had been human he’d probably been freaked out.

Today Willow was especially upset and he knew it was about him and Spike so maybe he’d better listen.

“I just don’t get it! I mean they aren’t fighting that much anymore! Why haven’t they changed back?”

“I-I think it’s more complicated than that, and besides they aren’t being friends either.”

“Well why not!”

He heard Tara sigh, and pricked his ears up to hear better.

“Think about it Willow. Xander and Anya started having problems when Spike moved in. Now, Spike could go and live anywhere he wanted, but he hasn’t left Xander’s and Xander hasn’t kicked him out.”

“That’s just Xander being nice, it’s like he said, the Initiative could still be out for Spike, he couldn’t go live in a crypt or something. And after Adam was defeated he was just used to living with Xander so he didn’t move out. The other demons don’t really like Spike anymore because he started helping us.”

“Willow think. They way they always fight but they patrol together, Spike watches out for Xander even though he’s the first one to argue with him. Xander calling him names…”

“Oh my Goddess! They’re in love!”

Xander stopped in shock. Both Willow and Tara thought he was in love with Spike? Vampire Spike? Male Spike? Pain-in-his-ass Spike?

The leash jerked and he stumbled along after the two girls. Thankfully neither one had noticed he’d stopped. He couldn’t be in love with Spike, Spike hated him and he hated the vampire right back. It was impossible.

Okay so he had admired Spike’s build, and only a blind person would not notice the man was drop dead gorgeous. Hell, he had even once admired Angel, of course that was before he met the personality behind the face.

But in love?

With Spike?

Not possible.


~*~*~*~*~


Spike stood up and stretched from his windowsill. The worst part about being a cat, he decided, was the boredom. He was going out of his fucking skull. What made it worse were the humans insisting it was too dangerous for him to be outside so he was stuck in the house, looking at the same thing every day. They didn’t even bring him in a mouse to chase or anything.

The whelp was acting odd too, for a week now. He wasn’t exactly a good conversationalist but he could at least talk to him. When he talked.

If he was asked he would admit to missing hearing the whelp babble right about now, even snarking at him was better than this avoiding him and giving him odd looks. Of course no one would because as time went on everyone forgot they weren’t really animals, and talked around them instead of to them. Joyce and Rupert were the only ones that would still occasionally talk, but then again both adults were busy with their own lives leaving the two animals to their own devices.

Add to that he couldn’t properly see the telly to watch Passions, Spike was just about to loose his mind from the monotony.

He jumped down to the floor and sauntered over to the dog. Xander actually made a cute dog, with short legs that spoke of terrier heritage but with both Labrador and retriever characteristics.

“Get up whelp. You’ve been sitting on your arse too long. We’re going out.”

“What? Spike what are you talking about? Hello, neither of us can reach the door and even if we could there are demons out there that would probably love to chew us up and spit us out.”

“Nah pet, we’re both too tasty, they wouldn’t spit either one of us out. Chew and swallow maybe. But you’re forgetting again that you aren’t a dog, you are a human and therefore are smarter than the average demon. And no matter what form, I’m still William the Bloody and I’ll rip them a new one if they try it. Come on, shift your arse. We need to hide by the door, the Slayer and her boy toy are walking you today and if we hide we can sneak out while they’re snogging.”

Spike hid on top of a table by the front door while Xander reluctantly crawled under it and squinched down. Soon the sounds of two people walking up to the porch could be heard and he gathered himself. As soon as the door opened he shot out, not even looking back to see if the pup would follow.

He could hear the girl calling for both of them to stop though, so Xander must have done as he was told, a first for once. He didn’t stop, only led the way through other yards and underbrush till he found a utility shed and ducked into the crawlspace underneath. Soon a cold nose was following him and Xander scraped to get into the small space.

“Shhh. Don’t whine or anything, she’ll hear us.”

“I doubt it, she’s not got that good of hearing.” Still Xander laid his head down on his front paws and Spike curled up next to the dog, soaking up the heat. They waited till they were sure no one was around to crawl back out.

“Ouch. Damn it Spike couldn’t you find a bigger hiding spot?”

“Don’t bitch, there wasn’t anything around big enough for your big fluffy arse that didn’t have an occupant in it already. Fuck, I didn’t realize just how many things hid in boxes and dog houses around here.”

“Demons? Was it demons? Spike we’re gonna get eaten, I just know it! That’s why they keep walking me and won’t let you out, and they’re gonna be right but they won’t be able to say I told you so ‘cause I’ll be dead!”

Spike turned and hissed at the obviously frightened dog. “Will you stop it! If we’re careful we’ll be okay, stop being such a big girl’s blouse! Just follow me.”

Xander sighed and then stared walking so Spike sped up so he could lead the way. “All right Spike, I’ll follow you, but damn it if we die I reserve the right to rub your nose it in when we get to pet heaven.”

“I’m not a pet, and you’re not a pet. That’s why we had to leave whelp, you’re getting too complacent sitting there. Need to go out, hunt, do something before we’re stuck with a life of eating Alpo.”

“Oh as if you don’t like it! You can sit in the sun…and the chip’s either not there or not working so you’re ahead of the game. I’m…I’m not stupid; I realize we’re loosing our, our humanity. I just don’t care.”

“Whatever Odie, just follow me, eh?”

“I still don’t wanna know what you’re doing reading Garfield Spike.”

“Not a lot to do during the day is there? Now shut your yap and come on! Bet there’s something we can get into downtown.”

As they left the suburbs of the town, with its perfect lawns and perfect houses, to enter the busy area with the coffee shops and restaurants, Spike found himself feeling less restless. He was bored and there was probably some alley cat stray he could beat up for fun, and Xander, for all he probably would deny it, would probably love to chance to dig through a back alley for left over take-away.


~*~*~*~*~


Xander followed Spike quietly. He really didn’t know why he’d listened to Spike, but he had found himself running right behind him when Buffy had opened the door. He blamed it on his little doggie brain.

This stupid spell was messing with is entire life. He couldn’t go to work at the construction site, unless he managed to get paid for fetching tools, so he’d been fired. No money, no rent and his lovely parents had kicked him out. He didn’t even know till Joyce and Dawn had taken him for a walk one afternoon and went by his house and they’d found his stuff at the curb. The gang had been able to pack most of it and store it at the Summer’s house but if he ever got undoggified he’d have no place to live.

What if he had to move in with Spike?

He was still confused about Spike. He was a vampire, loved violence and blood. Always would. There were parts of Xander that wanted to torture the bad guys of the world too. That didn’t bother Xander so much as killing innocent people. He just couldn’t stand the thought of someone like Willow being killed just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Xander sat back on his haunches to wait while Spike got in yet another fight. The cat was taking delight in brawling with everything from stray cats to medium sized dogs. So far he had scratches on his back and a tiny rip in one ear and Xander was just waiting for something worse to happen. The other shoe was dangling over his head, or was that supposed to be a sword?

He watched as Spike defeated the latest of his enemies, a scarred old tom twice his size. The poor cat was probably embarrassed that something as delicate looking as Spike kicked its ass.

“What is the matter Harris, you’ve looked like someone’s taken away your favorite squeaky toy for a week now!”

“Nothing. Everything. Things just may be simpler if I stay a dog.”

“Good god! Knew I was right to get you out of the house, you’re obviously going nutters.”

Xander started to back out of the alley, leaving Spike to follow or not. He was just so confused, and his brain was getting doggier by the day. He really wasn’t actively fighting with Spike anymore, but he had been avoiding him since overhearing Willow and Tara’s talk. He might, just might, be ready to admit he found Spike attractive, but love?

Okay Spike did save him from the horny ghosts back at Lowell House, when Buffy and Riley was making with the energizer bunny sex. Spike could have left him to be drowned in the bathtub, but he didn’t, he’d hauled Xander out bitching the entire time. After it was over Spike had just said he’d owed the man and told Xander never to get that close to drowning again. And the vampire had worked with them to trick Adam.

“You can’t be serious.”

Xander turned to look at his companion. “What, about staying a dog. I dunno, maybe I am. If I stay this way long enough I won’t give a damn about anything other than milk bones and rawhide. Won’t have to worry about work, or a place to live once this is over or…anything else. It’s a dog’s life, might as well embrace the lifestyle. Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it.”

The cat gave him an odd look and walked into the next alley before he said anything.
”Right. Well it’s like this: Nice seeing the sun again, but I’d much rather have opposable thumbs. Nice not having to worry about the chip, but all I’m doing is beating up freaking animals. Not the same thing. At least humans, most of them at any rate, are intelligent.” At that Xander snorted.

“Well I did say most of them. Killing off the stupid ones helps the gene pool, that’s what predators are for Xan, remember that. We kill off the slow, the weak, leaving the strongest to survive. Without big predators around to eat humans they would have never formed packs of their own for protection. You think the first git with fire decided he wanted a weenie roast? Hell no, some great big ugly thing was probably ready to make Captain Caveman a midnight snack and somehow he got a hold of fire and used it as a weapon. Evolution, pet. Humans need predators just like any herd animal.”

Xander thought about what Spike was saying, really thought about it. It did make some sense. Humans did have overpopulation problems, but… “What about the demons that go all out? Angelus wanted to kill all of us, there are others like that. How would that have been a balance?”

Spike stretched and clawed at a crate in the alley before jumping on top to sit. “Well vamps aren’t meant to have a soul, so when Angel got all bumpy and grindy with Her Slayerness and Angelus came back he was more than just a little loony. He made Dru look sane. If he would have stopped and thought about it he’d be killing off our food source. Not smart. Just like humans, we vamps have our psychos too.”

Xander lay down and put his head in-between his paws. “God this is too much to think about when my brain is this small.”

“See, that’s why we need to get all bi-pedal again. M’tired of using a fucking litter box, and can you say you really enjoy going on “walkies”?”

“God no! I swear to god the next time Buff says that, I’m peeing in her shoe closet. It’s annoying as hell!”

Spike jumped down beside him. “See Xan, you still have worries even as a dog. Now come on I’m getting bored.”

“Spike can vampires, or cats for that matter, have attention deficit disorder? Cause they make drugs for that now.”

“Look who’s talking, Mr. Short Attention Span Theater.”

“Hey! I can’t help it I liked that as a kid. And that’s how Jon Stewart got his start!”


~*~*~*~*~


As Spike sailed through the air and hit the trunk of a tree he realized that he was either going to die or have to listen to the whelp say, “I told you so”. On one hand he didn’t want to die at the hands of some bloody lower-level demon, on the other hand he really didn’t want to hear the dog’s victory speech.

They had been making their way slowly around town, and as it got dark Spike turned towards the Summer’s house. He'd wanted to get out, kick some tail, and not get killed. Tell that to the lara demon that’d decided the two animals made a good snack. He really hated insect demons.

He tried to stand but found he must have a concussion. The world spun and he was too dizzy to do much more than sink back to the ground.

The demon scuttled closer and Spike tensed. Before it could open its giant mandibles though, the dog that had so far been watching from the sidelines jumped to defend him, snarling and barking.

It was obvious Xander was working from instinct, he had gone for the underbelly of the beast where usually it was soft but the lara had a strong carapace shell and it wasn’t working. Still Xander showed amazing courage, he always did even as a human. Finally he was shaken off but he managed to put himself between Spike and the lara and growled.

Spike really wanted to offer advice or encouragement, but when he opened his mouth the mice he’d hunted earlier threatened to make a repeat performance. He hated not being a vampire, hated being weak. Plus the mice hadn’t tasted that good anyhow, he really didn’t want to taste them again.

He could see Xander circling the demon, looking for weak points and had to hand it to the dog; he never backed down from a fight. He might joke and act a coward but when it came down to brass tacks Spike was sure Xander made a better hunt partner than anyone, including Angelus ever did. He was tenacious, never gave up.

He stopped his confused thinking when he heard the snarls. He’d zoned out and Xander had attacked again, this time aiming for the junction of the neck and the thorax. The lara tried to shake him off but the dog held tight, even though he was being banged on trees and the side of a house.

Finally Spike heard a cracking, Xander had managed to use his jaws to crush the armor and was slowly breaking the lara’s neck. Again Spike tried to get up just to watch and this time he managed to lean against the tree he’d been slammed into.

The lara fought, but Xander held on, even through the demon’s death throws. Finally the insect lay still and Xander shook it, just to make sure it was dead before dropping it and working his jaw. Spike could understand, the thing probably had been hard to bite and if it tasted anything like it smelled? Urgh.

The dog trotted up to where he was standing and Spike was subjected to Xander’s snuffling nose and worried once-over. He even thought the pup gave him a lick where he’d hit his head, but well…he’d hit his head. Xander would never do something like that.

“Spike! Spike are you okay? It didn’t kill you did it? Of course not you’re standing, but you’re not standing straight, did you hit your head? Oh gods I thought you were dead!”

“Yeah, well I would’ve been, if it hadn’t been for you. So…thanks. Enjoy it, I won’t bloody well say it again!”

Spike realized that the dog must have gotten a blow to the head as well because he backs up and starts almost convulsing on his back feet. “Harris! Xander? Fuck, are you all right?”

“Huh?” Xander stopped and went back to all fours but he had a doggy grin with his tongue sticking out that Spike had to admit was adorable as hell. “Nope, just doing the Snoopy dance of victory! ‘Cause I was right and you were wrong!!”

Spike hissed at the dog but didn’t argue. He knew it was going to happen and had to admit that he deserved it. The pup didn’t have to take such joy in it though.

“If I had fingers I’d flip you off.”

“Aww. Surely by now you’ve learned to do that in cat? ‘Cause I think Giles has finally figured out when I’m trying to call him an asshole.” The dog peered at him through his bangs. “You okay to get back to Buffy’s?”

“I was knocked in the head, not crippled.”

“Well excuse me for giving a damn. Fine, walk back on your own, see if I care! Maybe something else will stop to have a snack on the way. Damn it Spike I’m only trying to help!”

Fuck. Sometimes the boy was worse than a bird, changing emotions from one moment to the next till Spike wasn’t even sure if he was coming or going.

“Sure, since when do you try to help me? Like you even give a shit if I live or die!”

“Of course I fucking well care, I love you…you ass!”

Well, Spike thinks, that was unexpected to say the least.


~*~*~*~*~


Xander whimpered from his hiding place under Mrs. Summer’s car. He really didn’t mean to say that, hadn’t even really said it to himself. Spike was looking at him in kitty shock; blue eyes wide and Xander turned tail and ran before he could be made fun of.

His brain must have gotten stupider to blurt that out. He had been wondering about his feelings but hadn’t really thought about Spike more than he was sexy. Very sexy. Then he’d seen the cat fly through the air when that cricket looking demon threw him and Xander was sure his little doggy heart had stopped.

It was one of those moments where everything moved in slow motion and was crystal clear. He really did love Spike, head-over-heels full on romantic schmoopy type love. And there Spike was about to be eaten. He moved quickly to attack, without even thinking and had been so glad to see Spike stand up while he’d been crushing that thing’s windpipe that it had given him added strength to hold on till it died.

Then he had to go and blurt it all out even before he figured it all out. What would Spike want with a mortal boy anyhow? He wasn’t sexy, or strong or anything like that. Hell Spike was five times his age or more, he wasn’t sure the blonde never really said exactly how old he was and changed the age he claimed frequently.

“Is it true?”

Xander curled up in a ball behind a tire. “Go ‘way.”

“You can’t just say that and run off Xander.”

“Can too. I just did. This is now me hiding. Maybe if I stay here long enough, when Mrs. Summer’s leaves in the morning she’ll run me down and put me out of my misery.”

He could hear Spike sigh and found himself almost shaking with fright. He really didn’t want to talk.

“Right. Stay put Xan; don’t wanna have to go running after you again. Least you were smart enough to run for the Slayer’s house.”

“If you remember I wasn’t the one who wanted to leave.” He heard a noise and look up to find the cat crawling under the car with him. Great. Spike sat next to him and didn’t say a word. The other shoe Xander had been waiting for had dropped on his head and he wasn’t sure what to say now.

“You’re like a little kid trying to get his love’s attention by putting their hair in the inkwell aren’t you?”

“What?”

“Just that. You don’t know how to say you like someone so you pinch ‘em, or pick fights. That’s what it’s been about all this time ain’t it?”

“Maybe, I dunno.” Xander sighed. “It’s not like I know this stuff, I just kinda figured it out. I thought you were dead Spike, the final kind of dead and that just…ripped something out of me.”

Spike curled up in a ball beside him and he fought to stay put. He really wanted to run but knew that it wouldn’t help, Spike would stalk him for days just to annoy him, and now that he had potential ammunition? The thought was frightening.

“Don’t you wanna know what I think of you Xan?”

Xander could guess. “Not really Spike, think I have that part figured out already. I may be a bit dense but I’m not stupid.”

“Yeah, well, you have been taking me at face value haven’t you?”

“I really don’t know right now Spike, I mean I know you can love but…I just don’t know.”

“Can’t say that I’ve thought of you that way before Xander, but I can’t say that I ain’t thinking of it now. You aren’t hideous, and well, you may be a few cards short of a deck but you’re still less of a loon that Drusilla was.”

Xander snorted. “Way to romance a guy Spike. I’m not making kids cry with my looks and I don’t talk to dolls, those are my good points? Besides, you’re evil and I’m… not. And I’m younger and well, I may not be hideous, as you say, but I’m not as sexy as you are.”

“I am a sexy bastard aren’t I? Still you’re all tall and dark. You’re just fishing for compliments aren’t you?”

“No Fang, I’m nineteen and confused about my sexuality, homeless and jobless and a fucking dog. Then I go and blab that I like you and just leave myself open for all sorts of teasing and crap.”

“Okay let’s get this straight, I may poke at you for your clothes, your choice of telly to watch, your music, and many, many other things. It’s easy to find a subject. Not gonna make fun of you about love. Been there myself, it’s not easy. Come on, lets go curl up on the porch and I’ll tell you about Cecily Adams while waiting for them to find us. You’ll see, I’m just as much a sucker for love as you are.”

Xander thought about it, Spike was telling the truth he could tell. He kind of felt a bit better for saying it now, plus Spike had said he wasn’t awful, even said he was tall and dark.

“Okay but when we can talk again and they ask this has all been your fault.” He followed Spike up to the porch and they curled up together, Spike purring ever so slightly.

“Course pet, I’ve been leading you astray. Wouldn’t have it any other way.”


~*~*~*~*~


They had ended up talking well into the night and Xander had fallen asleep listening to Spike’s purr. The first thing he noticed on waking up however was the sound of Buffy screaming, and the feel of cool air on his skin.

Wait, skin? Not fur? Xander yelped, opened his eyes and closed them really fast. He was still curled up with Spike but they were both in their original forms and nude.

“Moth-er!! They’re here! And the dork twins finally figured it out! Get me a couple of blankets and then we’ll call Giles!”

Xander found himself too embarrassed to speak, but of course Spike being who he was never got embarrassed. “Fucking hell Slayer! Anyone ever tell you your voice can peel paint?”

“Shut up Spike, and please, don’t stand up. It’s too early for the full monty. Good thing you guys picked the back porch, it being on the west side of the house now that you’re back to your bad boy self.”

Xander opened his eyes. Buffy was standing there with her hand on her hip acting like she found two grown naked men on her porch every morning.

“Umm, Buff? Can you wait on all that till after we have some pants? Shirts maybe?”

Buffy laughed and disappeared into the house, calling out behind her shoulder as she went. “You’re just lucky Willow picked up your boyfriend’s duster when you guys first went all furry.”

Their voices mingled in outrage. “He’s not my boyfriend!” Xander thought his eyes would bug out. Sure they had talked and well, were bipedal again, but Spike hasn’t said he was interested.

“Hey! I might have been a cat but I don’t get off on puppets girly, or stuff toys! Get your mind out of the gutter!”

Xander turned a bewildered look at Spike. “Huh? Do I even want to know?”

“It’s like this Xan, a furry is a bloke or bird that gets off with puppets or those mascots like that Chicken that danced around at ball games and…”

“Don’t want to know, ignorance is bliss. Please let me stay blissful?”

“Well that’s what they were saying about that Walt bloke with all those three fingered mice he kept drawing.”

“Buffy!!! Clothes? Pretty please? Desperate here!”

“Why Xander, I would think the both of you are a little bit less desperate now, and you’re both so cute curled up like that.”

“Mrs. Summers!” Xander blushed even more as he and Spike were both handed blankets and Spike was given his duster. “Can I please die of embarrassment now?”

“No Xander, wait until you find out that Dawn has been taking pictures when you two didn’t notice.” Xander groaned as he wrapped himself up. Then Dawn popped her head around her Mother’s side.

“Spike and Xander sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!”

Spike vamped out and growled at the girl, but of course Dawn just flippantly ignored him and Xander wondered if he could smother himself with a polar fleece blanket. Of course Mrs. Summer’s just laughed as she herded Dawn back to the house and he could hear Buffy’s delighted chattering with Willow over the phone how he and Spike were found that morning.


”Don’t worry Xander, it’s all in good fun.” Spike was smiling and not making a big deal out of their state of undress, thank god. Any more awkwardness and Xander was sure he’d spontaneously combust, not a good thing to think about on the Hellmouth.


“I know. It’s not serious.” He meant more than his friends teasing, he meant the thought that Spike was his boyfriend. They had talked about many things, but not that last night, Spike hadn’t brought his declaration of love up and Xander was just too unsure.

“You know Xan, we’re gonna have to do something to make you a bit more confident in yourself. ‘Course we gotta find us a place first yeah? Don’t know about you but I don’t want Dawn popping up to watch each time we try to snog.”

“Snog? What’s that?” Spike smiled at him and crowded into his personal area, something Xander wasn’t used to, and he found himself flushing even more.

“This.” Suddenly Spike’s lips was on his and he moaned, opening his mouth and then Spike’s tongue was there and Xander just sagged against the side of the house, enjoying the feeling of Spike owning him.

Finally Spike pulled back and Xander wonder if he’d melted into the porch. He felt as if he’d stuck his finger in a light socket, but in a good way, all tingly and alive; he knew he had a goofy grin on his face. Spike took his hand and started pulling him into the house.

“Let’s go pet before you’re dating a pile of dust. Thank god, no more nine lives!”

“Ow Spike! Quit pulling!”

Spike froze. “I hurt you Xan?”

Xander rubbed his shoulder. “Not bad, I think I’m just sore from attacking that bug thing last night.” Then what he’d said hit him. “No chip?”

“No Chip, pet.”

“Oh. You gonna kill us all now?” he searched blue eyes that he had come to know and, yes, love for the answer.

“Nope, wouldn’t be polite after they’ve taken care of us and all.”

“Oh. You gonna eat innocent people?”

“Well, as a favor I might just hunt the diseased ones, like pimps and things. You’d have to make it up to me though.”

At Spike’s look Xander found himself nervously swallowing. “H-how?”

“I’m sure I’ll think of…something.” Xander felt wobbly. Spike’s voice still had a purr to it even though he wasn’t a cat anymore and conjured up all sorts of wicked pictures the likes of which Xander had never thought about before.

And from inside the house he could hear Buffy joining in with her little sister. “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Spikey with a baby carriage.”

“It will have to be something good too Xander, just to keep me from killing those two birds for that.”





2 May I Take Your Order Please?

Author's Note: Okay there is a bit of a story to this one. See the great and wonderful [info]saifai made me a really pretty manip here and I wanted to surprise her with a fic today.
I tried writing phone sex. It was so bad I flamed myself.
So this is what I came up with. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, and I don't own any of it. Follows Cats and Dogs.

“Thank you for calling Geeno’s, this is Xander. May I take your order please?”

A nasal sounding voice answered. “Yes, I’d like a pizza boy with extra sausage.”

“Spike!” Xander grinned and looked to make sure Cooper and the manager were in the back. Both were very homophobic, which was odd considering Cooper had some twisted sex stories that had even made Spike cringe when Xander bitched about his co-worker. He had said that even vampires had limits and avoided the Animal Channel for a week.

“Coming home soon, pet?”

Xander looked around. He was supposed to get off at nine, but it was Two for Tuesday and while he had kept the front line and the small dining room pretty clean the back was a mess, while Cooper and the manager had talked and flirted. They could never afford to schedule him to work till close and after but nine times out of ten Virgie would offer him money under the table and a pizza to help clean up.

And he’d do it because he was desperate for money since leaving the Basement of Doom. But he was really tired of spending the time away from his lover and Spike had called five times already through the day, just to talk to him.

“Well, I’m supposed to get off in twenty minutes, but I may be a little bit later. You know…”

Spike’s voice was clipped. “Yeah, those lazy buggers you work with can’t be bothered to do their own work and will expect you to do it.”

“Yeah, well not this time. This time I have something better to do.”

“Namely me.”

Xander stretched the phone cord and got two pizzas out of the oven while still talking. “Yep. Or you could do me. Either way is of the good and isn’t that weird coming out of my mouth?”

“We’ll have to find something else for your mouth to do then.”

“Guh.” Good thing he wore a smelly green apron. It was ugly but it kept the worst of the oven grease off him. And covered his instant erection when Spike said things like that.

“See you when you get home, pet.”

Xander grinned and hung up the phone and started cleaning up the pizza cutting area. He sure as hell wanted off in time.


~*~*~*~*~


Forty-five minutes later he had all but closed the front line, even though Geeno’s didn’t close for another hour and a half. There were no pizzas in the oven and just two orders of breadstick waiting to be picked up and the dining room only had one couple, who were working on their second pitcher of beer. He had swept the lobby and cleaned the bathrooms.

He was twenty minutes late and he really wanted to go home. He had a hot date. Or a cool boyfriend. Either way he wanted to leave, now.

The phone rang again and Xander automatically answered it. “Thank you for calling Geeno’s, this is Xander. May I take your order please?”

“Yes, my pizza boy is late. Does this mean I get to keep him free?”

“Yep, you can keep me however long you want.”

“Are you at least bringing me home a pizza Xann-der?”

Spike growled out his name and even over the phone Xander felt himself react, knees nearly buckling at the images that came with the sound. He could also hear the faint chuckling and knew that Spike heard his heart rate go up. Xander whimpered.

“No, there’s garlic in the pepperoni and the sausage, not to mention in the sauce and I prefer you without the pain that happens to you with garlic.”

“Know of one sausage that don’t have garlic in it.”

Xander smiled and stood up from where he was leaning on the counter. “Yeah well, I don’t really wanna bake that in the oven. Gimme a sec and I’ll see if I can go.” Xander set the phone down and walked through the swinging door to the back. Cooper was leaning on the dishwasher, talking to Virgie while she was reading a newspaper. The grill needed cleaning, the fryer needed straining and the trash still needed taking out.

He walked over and leaned on the back area of the oven, letting the residual heat soothe the sore muscles in his back. He’d been slinging pizzas for over nine hours now and his body was bitching about it.

“Front’s cleaned up, just need to change out the pizza sauce and wash up the cutting area. I broke the soda machine down except for the coke and diet. Stick a fork in me?”

He watched as Virgie looked around the front and then the back and tried to ignore Cooper’s teasing about having a hot date. He thought of Spike and didn’t deny it either. They’d only been together a little while; Anya had fled the Hellmouth when the poltergeists had taken over Lowell House and he and Spike had been the ones to brave the house to get Buffy and Riley. Spike could have left him to die in that bathtub, but he didn’t.

Then came the summer and what had started out to be a disastrous spell finally made Xander stop and figure things out. It had also made him jobless because he couldn’t work at his construction job, but at least he had given puppy-dog eyes to Giles and the watcher had helped him get a new apartment. His parents had kicked him out of the basement for lack of rent. Not his fault he couldn’t work as a police dog while under the spell.

“Who’s on the phone?”

“Huh?” He’d been daydreaming. “Oh, that’s Spike, my boyfriend. I’m late and he was making sure that I didn’t get mugged on the way home or anything.” At their dirty looks Xander thought he should have kept his mouth shut. Then again, he really didn’t like them and didn’t care what they thought of him.

Virgie looked around the kitchen. “Let me and Cooper take a smoke break out back and then you can get out of here.”

After they left Xander let the eye roll happen. Virgie and Cooper had already been on five smoke breaks and he knew that despite it being against the law they smoked inside after closing as well. If going outside to take a break on the Hellmouth wasn’t going to kill them then cancer would.

“You heard?”

“If they take longer than twenty minutes I’m coming over to rip their spines out.”

Xander just laughed. Even though Spike’s chip was out his lover had kept what hunting he did far from Xander and preyed on those that deserved death. Xander still had some problems with it, but not enough to give up Spike. It was one of the many things they were working out slowly.

“Spike! If you do that, I’ll have to stay and close. And I’ll have dishpan hands from all those pizza pans.”

“Right, I’ll kill them when you’re off then.”

Xander had nothing to say to that and he bet Spike could sense his discomfort. “Well…when you get home, I’m going to shove you in the shower, get all that nasty smell off you. Garlic butter is more evil than I am. I’m gonna watch you shower once, watch you get all soapy and foamy and slick.” Spike’s voice had moved from angry to seductive. “Then when you’re all clean I’m gonna get in there and shower with you again, make sure you’re spick and span by washing you all over with my tongue.”

By this time Xander was leaning heavily against the counter and thanking god the couple in the back were totally drunk. He was all but humping the pizza cooler, he was so excited.

“Then, after I make sure you’re all clean, gonna push you up against the wall and spread those lovely arse cheeks of yours out for my dinner. Gonna eat you up till you're begging me to take you, and then I’ll lick you some more. When I finally slide into you, you’ll be hoarse.”

Xander whimpered at the image and he could hear Spike’s chuckle. He looked in the back and his co-workers still weren’t done yet. He so wanted to go home and get laid!

“Then, Xander, then I will pound you into the wall. After I come, I may or may not let you come. We’ll see. Depends on how fast you get home.”

“God.” Xander reached down and adjusted himself. “If I get a ticket coming home will that mean I get punished?”

“Yeah, I’ll have to give you a good seeing to then. Make it so your cheeks are all nice and rosy.”

Xander finally gave into the urge and started slamming his head down on the counter. It was either pain or pleasure and he really didn’t want to jerk off to the smell of garlic butter and beer.

“Now, now, Xander, it’s not a good thing to hurt yourself, love. Besides, you’re beautiful when you’re hot for me, I like you looking like that, knowing that’s what I do to you.”

“Huh?”

“Look out the front window, pet.”

Xander looked up from where he was hitting himself and out the lobby. Spike was coming up the sidewalk, talking on a cell phone of all things. He grinned and quickly hung up the phone.

“Spike!” He thought for a moment and then shrugged, leaning forward for a kiss.

“Hello pet, thought I’d come and drive you home.”

Xander heard his boss and co-worker come in the back door. “Just in time.” He went back to clock out. “Night, guys.”

Cooper went up to the front and peeked out the small window for orders. “Is that your boyfriend? He looks…different. Guess you’re the girl in the relationship? Like taking it up the ass?”

Before Xander could say anything Spike was through the door and had Cooper up against the sandwich oven by his throat. Since becoming a couple even the Scoobies had learned not to tease Xander that much; his lover was a tad overprotective.

Of course Cooper turning blue was more than a little overprotective; then again, Xander really didn’t like him and didn’t like the comment.

Virgie was speechless, a mixture of horror and glee on her face. He figured that she disliked the man just as much as Xander did, it was just that Cooper would kiss her butt more than Xander and therefore was in a more favored position.

“You don’t say things like that about him. If I had my way you wouldn’t say anything ever again. Those tongs you use for flipping burgers over there would work just as well to pull out your tongue by the root. A human tongue is a lot longer than you’d think; then again, you flap your jaws so much it might even be stretched out longer than normal. What do you think, Xan?”

Xander crossed his arms over his chest. He wasn’t sure how serious Spike was. He could be aiming to make the other man piss in his pants, or he could actually rip out his tongue. “I’m thinking I don’t want his slobber anywhere near you. Let’s just get out of here.”

He took off his apron and laid it on the table, along with the stupid hat and nametag. “By the way, I quit. For your own good, I’d not say anything; he gets a bit testy sometimes.”

“But you can’t quit!” Virgie’s voice was high pitched and Xander watched as Spike shook his head and released Cooper, letting the gasping man slide to the ground.

“He can and he will. My Xander’s too good for the likes of you and I’m tired of him smelling like grease. You don’t pay him enough for his work anyhow. He needs a better job where he doesn’t wear a nametag. Come on Xander, let’s get the fuck out of here.”

Xander just shook his head as they walked out. “My hero, defending my honor. You’re so cute, Spike.”

“Xander, I just threatened to maim your co-workers and egged you on to quitting your bloody job, and you’re calling that cute?”

“Well, yes. I mean, you did it for me, so in your own vampiric way it's cute.”

“Xander love, I don’t know whether to be angry you’re calling me cute, or glad that you’re weird for a human.”

“I’ll suck you off in the parking lot.”

“Right. Glad it is.” They had reached the DeSoto and Xander was pressed against the car hood before being released. “Home first, shower. Then you can suck me off.”

“Of course, you’re helping with bills with the money you steal from the drug dealers you kill.” Xander looked at his car and shrugged before getting in with Spike. He’d come back for it later.

“To keep the smell of garlic out of the apartment, I’ll go find the demon equivalent of the Godfather and steal the bugger blind. After ripping off his head of course.”

“Sounds good to me.” Spike looked at him as if he’d grown another head. Which he had, it just wasn’t on his shoulders. He was still having problems with Lil’ Xan loving Spike’s growlyness.

“Once again glad you’re odd, love. Shower, sex, more sex. I’ll burn those work clothes tomorrow night.”

“I love a vampire with a plan.”





3 Dia de Los Muertos

Author's Note: Today is Dia de Los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead. After reading this fic if you feel the need for treats I have some recipes for the holiday for you.

Xander found himself laughing as he ate the sugar skull Spike had made specially for him. There weren’t that many Xander’s wandering around L.A., or that many Spikes’ but they’d waited while the vendor had one made specially for them. It was folklore to eat the calaveras, the skull, to accept one’s own death and Xander could understand that more than anyone.

Still it was almost too pretty to eat with all the candied jewels decorating it and when he did eat it Xander imagined he could almost feel the sugar rushing through his bloodstream and couldn’t help the laugh. He’d already frightened Spike with the amount of wonderful food he’d ate at La Golodrina.

Then they had joined the parade and dancing through some of the side streets of Olivera Street. A pretty girl had come up and kissed Spike on the cheek and given him a marigold and Xander had laughed at the confused expression on his lover’s face. Xander figured it was because Spike was a vampire and the girl had noticed that. He didn’t get jealous because he was too busy making fun of Spike having a flower behind his ear.

Then they had danced, Spike showing him the complicated steps to the salsa and how to mambo till he had become lost in Spike’s voice and touch. When they finally broke apart there had been applause and Xander had blushed as Spike took a bow.

Now they were having desert, having cups of spicy hot chocolate that Xander was dying for the recipe and the candy skulls and huesos, bone cookies. He had so much energy he could go all night and Spike had a “isn’t he cute” look on his face.

“Thank you for bringing me here Spike, I’m having loads of fun!”

“I can tell Xander, what from the way you almost let me bend you over in the street earlier and are bouncing now. What do you want to do now?”


Xander looked around at the crowds. There was drinking, and more dancing and people in masks. Then there was a cemetery tour starting, for people to visit the graves of famous people and leave flowers. The area they were in, Union Station was very touristy, but he was having fun.

“I don’t know Spike, what do you want to do.”

“Have an idea pet, it’s why I brought you here really. Come on. Let’s go.”

They walked hand in hand through the crowds and Xander was content to let his mind wander and enjoy himself. His relationship with Spike was still new and he’d just quit crappy job number four hundred and five and Spike had decided he needed cheering up.

Finally they came to a graveyard and Spike let go of his hand to get a bag from behind a tree. He figured Spike had something planned, he’d been acting secretive all week but Xander had no idea what was happening.

“Listen, you were acting weird a bit ago and I got to worrying. Talked to Red and her bird a bit. She told me about…about Jessie. What happened and how they consider him still missing. Not like you can go up to his parents and tell them he got vamped and you accidentally staked him now is it? So I thought of this.”

Xander was in shock, his mouth hanging open as he was dragged to a grave with different dates, but Jessie’s name on it. The grave was one of the few decorated, there were lit candles all around it and heaps of marigolds along with a black cloth on the top.

“See it’s like this Xander, Dia de Los Muertos isn’t just about accepting your own death and not being frightened, it’s about celebrating people who’ve died already, not in a sad way but in a way to celebrate their life. So I got Red to gather up some things and thought you’d like to talk to Jessie, sort of say good-bye or something.”

“Spike? You…why?”

Spike kissed him softly on the cheek. “Because you still feel guilty, even though you shouldn’t. Because you never really got a chance to say a proper eulogy. You do that now, I just need to run across the street for something.”

With that Spike left him, literally holding the bag. Xander looked in the bag and could tell that Willow had definately had her hand in it. There was a picture of the three of them their first day of high school, and then one of the last ones taken of Jessie, about two weeks before he died.

There was also stuff that he’d thought he’d hidden. Jessie’s favorite car that he’d given to Xander after he’d broken his arm, his favorite comic, the tee shirt he’d given Willow. He carefully placed these items on the black cloth on the top of the grave. He’d seen others do this, watches and crosses and knick-knacks.

Finally he got things arranged how he wanted them and stood back. It looked right.

“Hey Jess. Guess this is Spike’s way of telling me I need to lighten up about you. That’s what kept us apart so long I think, the guilt. I hated that I killed you, even though you were vamped. Then I go falling in love with a guy that’s a vampire. It kind of confused me for a while. It wasn’t until that spell backfired that I had time to stop and think about it.”

He sighed and sat cross-legged on the ground. “In a way I should be pissed, Spike going behind my back like that. But it’s just because he cares. You’d be surprised, for a guy that doesn’t have any problem eviscerating someone he’s a great boyfriend. I’m just glad he’s still acting like the chip still works, well for the most part. Didn’t have a problem beating up on my co-workers when they gave me problems about being gay. That was fun actually. You’d like Spike if you were still around; he’s the first person since you that will watch Benny Hill with me. I…we miss you, me and Wills. Funny thing, she’s gay now too. Her girlfriend is Tara, she’s really nice.”

Xander just sat there, talking to Jessie about Willow and Spike and what was happening in his life. Spike was trying to get him to go to school or something; he’d lost his construction job late in the summer while spelled and had just quit his pizza job. He must have talked for a good thirty minutes before he noticed Spike was back.

“Hey.”

“Hey yourself. Have a good chat?”

Xander took the offered hand and stood up. It had been nice, to properly talk to Jessie again, not in sadness but just as a friend.

“You were right Spike, I needed that.”

“What was that Xan?”

Xander laughed and hit Spike on the arm. “I said you were right, no need to make a big deal out of it.”

“Oh like you didn’t do that stupid snoopy dance when I admitted you were right.”

“Hey! I was a dog at the time, gimme a break!”

Spike pulled him into a hug and they just leaned on each other. Once you got past the snark Spike was a great person to know. He’d just always been too busy snarking back to notice till he was forced to.

“Here Xander.” Spike thrust a paper plate at him with some sort of bread and a bottle of milk. “Leave that out for Jesse and let’s go. Plenty of night still left for us to enjoy, and you’re still hopped up on sugar.”

Xander did as he was told, leaving out the treats for the dead before latching onto his lover’s hand and walking with him through the graves. There were other people here, visiting as well.

“So what do you want to do now Spike?”

Spike just grinned at him. “Well, we’ve visited your dead, lets go visit mine. We’ll see who can make Angel loose his temper, winner gets rimmed.

“Gibble. O-kay. That sounds good. Really, really good. Added bonus to who can make Cordy scream. Of course it’s late and they might all be asleep.”

“Guess we’ll have to wake them up then won’t we?” Spike’s voice was smooth and Xander could tell he was planning something…nasty.

“Hey can we stop for some more of that hot chocolate? Maybe some more huesos?”
“Why not? The bigger the sugar rush the more we can torture the poof. We’ll get you another skull too.”

“You’re evil Spike, don’t let anyone tell you any different.”

“Glad you think so Xander. Now lets go bug Angel.”




The End




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