Pairing: Spike/Xander
Rating: NC17
Feedback: Please
Concrit: by email, please
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Warnings/Squicks: Tacky souvenirs, language, not sure yet.
Summary: Spike, Xander, road trip. Who could ask for anything more.
Notes: This was written for the lovely [info]secondverse.

Paradise by the Dashboard Light


Part One

Sunnydale to L.A.

Xander didn’t even bother trying to restrain himself. He was so excited he wanted to bounce, so bounce he did, even if the damned pull out couch had a broken spring.

“We’re going on a road trip! We’re going on a road trip! And Deadboy is paying! And Deadboy is paying!”

“Will you hush, pet? Don’t want to wake up those wankers you call parents, do you? Besides, what are you, twelve?”

Xander stuck out his tongue at his lover. “Nyah! I’ve never been on an honest to god road trip before. I got as far as Oxnard and look how well that turned out. We’re actually going on a trip! Just think, we can take some back roads and see some really cool stuff! And we’ll be away from the gang and not have to hide, or flirt with Anya or anything!”

“Anya’s not even gonna be here so it’s just as well, talked to her yesterday and she met up with an old friend and he’s taking her to Hawaii for the summer. Some sort of High Priest to Pele or something; he’s gonna work on getting her power center back.”

“Cool.” Xander liked Anya; she’d been a really good friend to both him and Spike. The gang all thought she was his girlfriend and for a while she was, but they were more like friends and fuck buddies. Anya had a hard time fitting in with normal humans and Xander helped her out. The favor was returned when Xander got involved with Spike after he’d moved into the basement with him. They’d even had a couple of threesomes, but Anya remained just a friend.

Spike he loved.

“Spike, why are we even going to see Deadboy again?” He pretty much had zoned out shortly after Spike announced that Angel was letting Spike have access to his accounts as long as Spike drove something somewhere for him. Visions of being a vampire’s kept houseboy had floated in front of his eyes, as he’d torn up his Mr. Freeze uniform.

Spike snorted and went back to packing some of their things up. “He wants us to take something to the middle of the desert to get rid of it, some sort of cursed object. Don’t know, don’t care. I’m just glad the bleeding poof gave me access to my money, finally; you’d think he was a Scot and not Irish, the way the bastard pinches pennies.”

Xander bounced off the bed and started putting his video collection in a plastic tub. There was no way he was leaving anything of value in his parents' basement while they were gone. He’d never get it back. Everything that wasn’t going on the trip was being put into storage with one of Spike’s demon contacts.

Besides, now that Spike had access to his money and had exchanged the DeSoto for an Acura that had air conditioning for his human, maybe they wouldn’t even come back to Sunnydale. It wasn’t like the Scoobies needed him. He and Spike had been working on a plan to maneuver Adam into helping destroy the Initiative and then the Scoobies could take down Adam. Who knew that Frankendemon had an off switch that Riley was able to use?

“Hey, did you get a CD player in the new car?”

“Only the best sound system for us, with a six disc CD changer, but you’re not bringing that country shite!”

Xander grinned and walked up behind Spike to kiss him on the back of the neck and nibble, just a little. “Don’t need it, that’s the music of pain and I’m happy. We’ll be together and away from the Hellmouth! No, I was thinking if we ran into a Cracker Barrel. You can rent a book on CD and then return it somewhere else down the road. Thought it might be interesting for areas like Iowa, or Kansas. There are only so many miles of cornstalks I can find interesting and then I’ll get bored and start annoying you.”

“Depends on what you mean by annoying me. If it’s car sex, I’m all for it. If it’s you trying to get me to play some stupid car game you can forget it, we’ll get the CD’s. Fuck, I’ll buy you the freaking Stephen King collection as long as you don’t try to play I Spy again!”

Xander laughed and moved away to pack the rest of his collection. “That was only because we were trapped with Buffy in the warehouse and I was bored. Not like we could have fucked in front of her; we’re trying to keep you undusty, remember? We can stop for some stuff on the way out of town, or better yet in L.A. There aren't many clothes I really want to take, I figured I’d just get souvenirs on the way.”

“S’long as I get final say. Now that I have the dosh you don’t need to keep looking like a rubbish bin reject.”

Xander laughed and wiggled his butt at his lover. He was wearing a pair of old jeans cut off at the knee that were so faded they were soft to the touch, a pair of old leather sandals and a t-shirt from Spike with the sleeves torn off. He was dressed so differently Willow would never recognize him. “Fine by me, Spike. As long as I get some colors I don’t care. Hey! Do you know if you show up on digital cameras?”

Spike looked up from where he was shoving clothes into a suitcase. “Dunno, hadn’t thought about it, pet. Why?”

Xander just grinned. “You’ll see!”


"This is where Deadboy lives now? A hotel? A derelict hotel? Gods, he should have just gone for a mansion on the coast with a cave, like Batman.” Xander leaned against the passenger side of the car and looked at the front of the Hyperion.

Spike joined him but didn’t put an arm around his waist like he normally would. They were trying to keep things from Angel’s gang, at the very least. They’d left a message on Giles' answering machine about Spike needing to go on a trip and paying Xander to go with him.

They had kept their relationship a secret from all of Xander’s friends. They had both discussed it and had decided that together. It wasn’t that either man was ashamed; it was the fact that they were being selfish and didn’t want to deal with the others perceptions of their relationship. In front of the Scoobies they were weird, sort-of-friends that snarked at the same time they watched each other’s backs.

At home they snarked at each other while they washed each other’s backs. There wasn’t that big a difference except for the “naughty touching”, as Xander put it.

They both pretty much figured that going on a long road trip together would give their attachment to each other away, but were hoping to at least get out of California before having to deal with the fall-out. That was why they were going to try to fool Spike's Sire and his minions. He only hoped that Angelus was still as stupid as he looked.

“C’mon Harris. Let’s get this over with. The sooner we do this, the sooner we can get the fuck out of here.”

“Whatever. Not like I want to see Deadboy either.”

Xander’s sarcastic drawl grated just slightly on Spike’s ear and he ground his teeth. He really was looking forward to doing this road trip that Xander had always wanted. A chance to drive around and just have fun with his lover. He knew Xander had never had many opportunities for vacations and sightseeing and the like as a child, and Spike was going to try to make up for that.

Even if that meant he was going to be the first vampire to visit Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Spike lit a cigarette and took a deep drag before letting the smoke out slowly. “Sod it, let’s go!”

He growled slightly as they entered the lobby and he could feel Xander watching him out of the corner of his eyes. His lover didn’t miss much, and Spike just knew that his “Big Bad” act, as Xander called it, was being pulled apart and analyzed. Xander knew all too well how to read people, and sometimes it was just damned annoying.

After all, it wouldn’t do to let his human lover know he was nervous.

“Where the fuck is everyone?” Spike growled and walked over to the lobby desk and banged on that stupid bell that seemed to be in every hotel on the planet. The ringing sounds echoed in the large room.

Xander had come in and flopped down on the round couch in the middle of the lobby. He had his arm thrown up over his head, as if he was suffering, and Spike could see a thin strip of skin where his wife beater pulled away from his shorts. “Maybe they went out demon hunting. Maybe Angel snapped and killed them. Who knows? I just want to get the package or whatever the fuck it is and get going.”

Spike went behind the counter to look around. He finally found what he assumed was Angel’s office. Big desk, big swivel chair. He entertained the thought of playing with Xander for a bit and decided that, as stupid as Angel was, if he walked in and saw both of them with their pants down around their ankles and Xander bent over the desk, he’d figure it out. Eventually.

Maybe they could stay in one of those damned Holiday Inn Suites for executives one night. Just to get a desk.

“You know, if they were going to go out it would have been nice if they would have left a note, or just the package with a sign that says “Take it and leave”. It’s not like Angel likes either one of us. Even if he wanted us to wait, it’s awfully stupid of them to leave the door unlocked. Demons aside, some homeless person may wander in and set up shop in the upper parts of this place. It’s not like anyone would notice.”

“That’s Peaches for you. He tends to forget the little things once there’s a damsel in distress. He just gets up on his high horse and goes.”

Spike wandered around the lobby as Xander fidgeted. It was a warm night in late spring and neither one of them wanted to be just sitting there, waiting. They were both bored, but it wasn’t like they could alleviate their boredom in the usual way. Finally, Spike sat down on the stairs and lit yet another cigarette.

“I spy with my little eye…” Xander’s voice was muffled from where his arm was still covering his face.

Spike jumped up from where he was sitting and stomped over and kicked at his lover’s leg. “Not that again. And shove over, you’re hogging the pouf.”

“I’m bored. And quit hogging the what?” Xander lifted his arm from his face and sat up halfway, and Spike managed to slip onto the couch beside him.

“The pouf. That’s what the thing you’re sitting on is, it’s a pouf.” Xander jumped up and Spike immediately laid down in the warm spot his lover had created.

“Pouf? That…round couchie thingie is called a pouf? That’s ridiculous!”

“S’not as bad as ‘round couchie thingie’, but, yeah, it’s silly.”

Xander started laughing, and continued laughing until he had nearly fallen over. Words like “Peaches!” and “Pouf!” were gasped out in between bouts of laughter.

“What the hell is going on here?” And there would be Angel, sounding righteously indignant. Spike ignored him, preferring to watch Xander make a laughing idiot out of himself. Not that he wasn’t grinning in sympathy. Xander looked up at the voice, though, and laughed even harder.

“Is he possessed by a hyena again? Because, I’m here to tell you, I’m too tired to give a damn.” Spike turned to answer Angelus’s secretary and stopped, mouth gaping open.

Angelus, his Princess and a scrawny looking bloke in glasses stood there, all three of them covered in purplish goo. Angelus’ hair was plastered down around his face and the tail of his coat dripped goo in a soft pat pat pat.

And Spike joined Xander in his laughter. He spared enough brainpower to wish that they had that digital camera Xander had been talking about. He would have taken a picture and made a million copies. Then he’d stand on top of the highest building in every city they’d visit and throw handfuls off the roof.

Just so everyone in America could see how funny Peaches looked at that very moment.

“It’s not that funny William, so you can stop laughing now. Really. Before I let slip about the time you were drunk and fell in the midden.”

The poof’s secretary looked pissed but the former watcher with the poncey name was trying to hide a smirk. Spike growled at him and stopped laughing. That was during a time when Dru had left him again, this time for Darla, and he and Angelus had gone out and gotten drunk on ale and other beverages. Wasn’t like he meant to fall in a dung hole.

Of course, Xander’s spotty education had to make an appearance. It was obvious that Xander was picturing Spike in the latrine by the strength of his laughter.

“Bloody hell. Shut up laughing, boy, before you make a bigger arse of yourself.” He prodded Xander with his toe. “This trip is just starting out so fucking nicely.”

Part Two

Xander’s sides hurt from laughing and Spike was sulking. It didn’t bother Xander too much, though, since all it would take was a really good blowjob and maybe some rimming and his lover would stop acting like a four year old. Meanwhile? The pout was damn cute.

They were waiting for Angel and his team to de-slime themselves. They had left Sunnydale and most of its mental crap behind. It just wasn’t safe anymore. He’d thought that after the whole “Oz being used as a were-guinea pig” thing that Buffy and the others had gotten a clue that the soldier boys were bad.

He and Spike had even secretly worked in a sort of demon underground, helping smuggle harmless demons out of town. When Faith had shown up and then Adam had escaped, the military had started building roadblocks on the way out of town. Even though those two threats had ended, there was still people watching the roads. As it was when they had driven out, Xander was at the wheel and Spike huddled on the floor.

Xander had even started being paranoid about the phone lines being bugged and worried about soldiers breaking down the door to take Spike back. Yes, it was definitely time to leave Sunnydale for greener pastures.

Leaving had been odd. They had left a message for Giles on his answering machine, and one for Willow. And that had been that. The Scoobies didn’t even know they were together, much less that he and Spike probably wouldn’t be back for a long time.

He kind of figured that Willow would figure it out first and do some sort of locator spell when he was least expecting it. They’d probably be in some hotel in the middle of nowhere with his knees around his ears and then the phone would ring.

He wasn’t even going to contemplate the conversation that would follow.

Noises from upstairs and Wesley came down in a button down shirt and a clean pair of slacks. He nodded to Xander and studiously ignored Spike, choosing to go around the lobby the long way rather than get near the “evil vampire”. Spike growled, Wesley jumped and Xander had to cover a snort.

Spike may not want to admit it, but nowadays the most evil thing about him was his sense of humor. He liked to think it wasn’t just the chip’s influence, either, that it was his own. One day they’d get rid of the damn thing and Xander figured he’d find out.

He wasn’t too worried; after all, he had a secret weapon. Spike tended to turn into mush if you licked him on the back of his right ear. That was how he’d gotten the stubborn vampire to use something besides his old Desoto for the trip.

Spike was growling a bit more, just to watch Wesley jump, and the poor man looked like he was going to have a heart attack. He had changed some since Xander had seen him last but he could tell he was still a bit nervous.

“So, what are we taking where and why?” Xander hoped he’d get Wes’ mind off Spike’s teasing.

Instead the former watcher jumped about two feet in the air. Xander rolled his eyes. He really wished these people would give them the evil knick-knack they had to dump so he and Spike could leave.

“Oh! What…oh, yes. That.” He nervously picked at his glasses and then turned and pulled a book from the shelf he had been standing in front of. He opened it on the checkout desk and then ignored it, speaking from memory.

“It’s an urn, containing the remains of a rather evil human whose spirit has lived on past his death. He was a convicted child molester and murderer. After his death, he…continued his practices in the astral realm. We had to find his remains and trap his spirit with them. Unfortunately, it can only be handled safely by the dead, which is why Angel will have to bring it. He’s hidden it somewhere in the hotel for fear of someone living touching it. You…or rather Spike, will need to drive it into the desert somewhere remote and bury it, hopefully somewhere without any landmarks so his spirit can be trapped for eternity.”

“That’s it? We just take Freddy Kruger in a box out to the middle of nowhere and bury him? No blessings, chants, consecrated ground or whatever?”

“That’s it. The hardest part will be digging the hole, I should say.” He fiddled with the book in front of him. There was a noise on the stairs and Xander saw Angel coming down. Wesley had a half-embarrassed, half-excited look on his face and Xander grinned to himself. It looked like someone had a crush on Deadboy!

“Good. Now get the box and we can get the fuck out of here.” Spike sounded cranky and Xander couldn’t blame him. Angel had kept him from accessing his accounts till he agreed to do this errand for him, but it was something pretty simple that even Angel could have accomplished.

Xander really didn’t care; he just wanted to get going so they could visit a couple of places before leaving town.

“Patience, Will. It’s not like you have anywhere to be. Xander, why are you here?”

“Like Spike is going to go out to the middle of nowhere and end up hiding in the trunk until the sun sets in case he gets caught out? I don’t think so, bastard doesn’t like being cooped up in the basement during the day. I’d hate to see him after crawling out of the trunk of the car. He’s paying me good money to go with him and drive during the daylight hours.”

“You—you’re willing to be in a small space with William the Bloody for money? Really, Xander, that’s quite…foolish.”

Spike growled and got up. “'M chipped, aren’t I? Not like I can hurt him. Bloody idiot would probably taste too sweet with all the crap that he eats, full of preservatives too, I bet. Just give us the bottle full of evil and we’ll go. The boy will make sure I hide it somewhere good. Don't worry your poofy hair over that, Angelus.”

“It’s Angel.” The other vampire growled and Spike switched to his true face and growled back.

“Just like my name is Spike, not Will or William. You lost the right to call me that long ago, Peaches.”

Xander felt the urge to just slam their hard heads together. He didn’t want to be reminded of the weird vamp family past they had. “Look, can you two quit having a pissing contest since neither of you can piss? Give us the box, we’ll bury it in the middle of nowhere and I’ll even stop and pick up a five pound bag of quickcrete and a couple of gallons of water before we go. We’ll stick Freddy in the ground, and seal it in concrete. And then we can go back to ignoring each other and if we hurry I can go by La Puente and get some doughnuts. “

Spike stopped glaring at Angel and stomped over to sit on the other side of the **snicker** pouf. “See! He can’t even get decent snacks! Who lives off doughnuts, soda and pizza? He’s gonna die of a heart attack before any demon does the deed.”

Angel looked at both of them and Xander wondered if they’d given themselves away. Spike was always onto him about his eating habits, going so far as to throw out any Twinkies and goodies he brought home while Xander was out. It had been annoying as hell.

And then Xander realized that it was just Spike…taking care of him. Making sure he was eating right. It was a sweet reminder of how much he was cared for.

That didn’t mean he wasn’t going to stop for doughnuts, though. Twice, if he had his say. He wanted tacky souvenirs and Randy’s Donuts had tee shirts. He figured Spike would want to go to the Donut Hole in La Puente because if you had a dirty mind the structure of the building was vulgar.

And Spike? Had a very dirty mind.

Angel opened his mouth to say something and then closed it and turned around and stomped off. Xander would have said he looked…puzzled. That is, if anyone could decipher the other man’s facial expressions. Wesley looked worried and followed and Xander figured that he would probably be the best one to figure Angel out, being in love with him and all.

“Someone’s got a crush.” Spike’s voice was mocking and Xander reached around the couch and smacked him on the arm.

“Hush! Don’t make things any weirder. Let's just get the evil jack in the urn and go. I want doughnuts! I want tacky tee shirts and lots of sugar. We can bury the Freddy Kruger wannabe in the desert past La Puente, towards Phoenix. We can get a camera and some stuff there.”

“Anxious to get going, pet?” Spike had pitched his voice low and the sound of it went to Xander’s groin.

“Yes! I just want…” He couldn’t say it out loud, he didn’t know how well Angel would hear him. He just wanted to quit the acting and be with Spike. Leave evil spirits, Hellmouths and friends who ignored him behind.

Angel came out of the office, his face grim as he stomped into another part of the hotel. This time, Wesley didn’t follow but just slipped upstairs, mumbling something about checking on Cordelia. He risked looking at Spike, who looked just as confused as Xander felt.

Angel finally came back in, his face grim. He handed Spike a box that was about the size of a shoebox but made out of wood. There were beautiful carvings covering it and Xander was curious but he didn't touch. His short stint as a carpenter had been his favorite, but he had found that he liked making things that looked good better than just putting up shelves.

“There it is. Don’t let anyone living touch it or else the spirit might find a way to possess them.” Angel’s voice was serious and Xander found himself off the couch and halfway to the door even before the sentence had finished coming out of Angel’s mouth.

“O-kay then! Let’s get Freddy out to his new home in the middle of the fabulous California desert. Not that we don’t like you, Angel, but…”

“We don’t like you. Thanks for the box of evil, have a nice brood. We’ll just be going now.” Spike got up and followed Xander out the door. Spike used his keys to unlock the door but Xander waited until the box was put away and strapped into the backseat before moving to the passenger side of the car.

“Where’s the DeSoto, Spike? I can’t believe you’ve traded it for something with…air bags? As if you actually care if…someone got hurt in a crash?”

Xander turned from the side of the car in shock. He hadn’t even heard Angel follow them out of the hotel. He kept his mouth shut and looked at Spike and, for once, his lover didn’t seem to have a quick comeback.

He opened his mouth to say something, anything, but Angel shook his head. “Don’t. I really don’t want to know. If Buffy or anyone asks, I want to be able to claim complete ignorance. Just…be careful.”

He turned and walked back into the hotel before either Spike or Xander could say anything. Xander got into the car, and looked at Spike.

“That…was seriously weird.”

“You can say that again, luv, but don’t.”

Xander smirked at his lover as they drove off. “Spike!” He laughed. His vampire knew him so well. “Whatever. I want to go by LAX before we leave.”

“What for, pet?”

“Randy’s Donuts, of course!”

Part Three

The lights of Palm Springs illuminated the sky and Spike glanced at his sleeping lover and smiled. Between digging a hole to bury “Freddy”, as Xander had insisted calling the box, and a glazed doughnut induced sugar high, Xander had crashed not long after they had finished burying the box.

Which was fine with Spike. He had plans for Xander that didn’t include driving hard to get to Phoenix before the dawn and checking into a Motel 6. Now that he had money again, he could treat his lover to the finest of everything. Xander didn’t seem to understand that, and Spike understood. He hadn’t learned just yet how to appreciate such things.

Spike figured that a week at one of Palm Springs' resorts would be just the way to teach him.

Xander had been taking care of Spike for months now. Oh, he did it subtly; at first he didn’t even notice it. But, while the human he’d been forced to live with whined and moaned about it, there was twice as much pig’s blood than there had been at the Watcher’s place, and after a week there had been extra cereal and beer that, while still inexpensive, was more his taste.

Then came the day when everything just seemed to sodding well fall around his ears. When Xander’s jackass of a Da came down and yelled at him drunkenly before realizing that Spike wasn’t Xander. His clothes had been ruined and he’d been forced to wear some monstrosity of Xander’s that was ugly as sin. He’d finally gotten frustrated with the pipe bursting and had decided enough was enough. If his unlife was going to be that pathetic from now on, he was better off as dust.

His plan, as usual, fell apart when the door opened and Xander came in. Not only did the boy keep him from staking himself, but he found him a decent shirt to wear and took him along to stop the apocalypse.

It had felt so good to be able to fight demons, just to know he wasn’t vulnerable anymore. Then half of the old ruined school tried to fall on him and he thought it was his usual fucking luck, getting killed just when he wanted to live again.

It was Xander who pulled him out and saved his life, and it was Xander who covered for him with the Slayer’s honey, the one Spike remembered as being one of the bigger muckety-mucks at the Initiative.

After that he could have left the Basement of Doom behind. Sure, he’d run the risk of being captured again by the Army gits but he didn’t have to worry about other demons killing him for fun anymore. Except he didn’t; he stayed with the human boy with no powers who held different crap jobs down and made sure that there was plenty of blood in the fridge and extra snacks in case he felt like human food. Who went out of his way to buy Spike new clothes since his were ruined.

The only human who didn’t treat him like a mad dog or an idiot.

Christmas was a week or so after that and everyone seemed to have somewhere to go or something to do but him and Xander. Usually he either ignored it or spent the day giving Drusilla pressies and killing carolers for her amusement. Xander didn’t do anything special either, other than watch some cheerful holiday drivel on the telly. But Spike could tell he was embarrassed and his whole demeanor had a “kick me” look to it. But for some reason he’d held his tongue.

He didn’t even make fun of the way he flinched every time something broke upstairs. He did find himself growling when Xander admitted that most Christmases he spent camped outside, but it was only because he found himself ready to tear the throats out of both the gits upstairs screaming at each other and his friends who didn’t seem to give a shit.

Still, he’d been completely unprepared for what happened a week later, when Xander mumbled something about getting his New Year’s resolution over and done with at the start of the year and as they watched Dick Clark on the old telly he’d pulled Spike in for a kiss that curled his toes.

Just thinking of it now made Spike smile and he reached over and mussed Xander’s hair. The sign for their exit shone green in the headlights. He grinned. It was going to be so great, getting a good look at Xander’s face when they got to where they were going.

He took the exit and headed down CA-111 South. After a few minutes he was turning on South Warm Sands Drive. Spike snorted when he thought about what little he’d had to do to get the money out of the Poof. Probably Angelus was willing to let go of the money out of guilt for not taking care of his chipped Grandchilde but didn’t want to just hand it over. Oh no, he had to make Spike ask and do his bidding one last time.

Still, the money came in handy. It was the promise of a couple hundred extra that got them a room saved despite the fact they hadn’t reserved one weeks ahead. They were even aware that he was arriving in the middle of the night and didn’t say much about it. Money would also get actual human blood delivered to the room once he made the call.

He’d been drinking human for the past week and a half, once Angel opened the purse strings up, and he could tell the difference. He had more energy, needed less sleep and healed faster already.

Still wanted the bloody chip out, if only so he could punish Xander for being a brat sometimes. Only in the best possible way, of course.

He turned into the entrance for the resort, and the grin on his face only got wider. It was a fun sort of tacky, with a bloody chandelier hanging in the trees and hibiscus everywhere. He snorted at the giant rubber plants because it was just too funny for words…a resort for gay men with a rubber plant. Xander would howl with laughter at that and then wonder if there was a lube plant somewhere on the grounds.

Speaking of his better half, he parked the car to check in and looked over at his boy. He was breathing softly, slight drool coming out of the corner of his mouth, and radiated a heat that made Spike want to crawl on top of him and never move.

He lovingly pushed the hair out of Xander’s eyes and caressed the side of his face. Spike would make sure Xander was taken care of good and proper. Xander turned towards him, even in his sleep, and Spike grinned. He let his hand run down Xander’s neck and back, caressing ever so softly. When his hand reached Xander’s ass his grin turned evil and he pinched that beautiful expanse of flesh, putting up with the short warning zap from the chip.

He pulled back as Xander jumped and looked around. Xander saw his grin and narrowed his eyes.

“I’ll get you back for that, Spike. That was so not necessary. You could have just shaken me awake or something. Evil bastard.”

“You say the sweetest things, luv, and I’m counting on you paying me back. Looking forward to it, in fact. Meanwhile, we’re at the hotel and I thought you’d like to wake up a bit while I get us all checked in.”

“Huh? We’re in Phoenix already?” Xander yawned and stretched and Spike found his eyes caught by the lovely bit of flesh that showed in between his shorts and top. So damn lickable.

“Spike!” A sharp slap against his arm brought Spike’s focus from his lover’s taut, ready to nibble on belly and up to his smirking face.

“Yeah, Xan?”

“I asked where we were. This doesn’t look like how I pictured Phoenix.”

“Always knew you were a bright lad. S’not Phoenix, it’s Palm Springs. Thought we’d start our touring with a bit of pampering so we’re at a resort. You’ll love it, promise, pet.”

“A resort? In Palm Springs? Where Sonny used to be Mayor and all sorts of stars and rich people hang out? I can’t stay here, Spike; it’s like taking a mutt to a fancy dog show! I don’t have anything to wear and can I sound more like a girl?!”

Xander’s eyes were wide and he smelled panicked. Spike swore in his mind at every single person that had ever put his pet down, from his sodding parents to his so-called friends. Yeah, this week would do Xander some good, get him used to being out with Spike and being all…sexy. If Spike had his way, that is, and he usually got it when it came to Xander.

“Don’t worry so much, luv. We can buy you some nice clothes, yeah? Get you a right proper kit. We wanted to do some shopping at our first stop anyway. Besides, this place has a pool and a Jacuzzi and you know how much you love water.”

Xander looked through the windshield and Spike could tell he couldn’t see too much in the dark. “If you say so. We’ll have to go shopping first, though. All I have to wear is an old Sunnydale High Speedo and I’m not sure I brought it.”

Spike just chuckled and got out of the car, waiting until the last moment before sticking his head back in to answer. “Don’t have to worry about that too much, pet. This is the Desert Paradise Resort Hotel, a private men’s resort. Gay men. And it’s clothing optional. Just think, you can go swimming starkers.”

As he slammed the car door shut and walked up to the doors of the lobby he could hear Xander’s heartbeat speeding up, either in fear or arousal or both, but the “Oh my god! Clothes are so not optional! I’m not running around naked! SPIKE!” was clearly audible, even without vampire hearing.


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