This story was archived at Nummy Treats , which has become defunct. The author's own website and e-mail are also defunct. I have archived the story here in an effort to save it, but without having been able to contact the author for her permission. If you are the author please contact me if you want it removed and I will take it down immediately.

Pairing: Spike/Xander/PeterRating: NC-17
Fandom: Crossover between Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Angel the Series and The Amazing Spiderman comics
Archive: List archive and Sinister's page, others please ask.
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me. Summary: What happens when a spell malfunctions, dropping Spiderman in the middle of Sunnydale?
Story note: Point of view changes marked by ***

(Winner at The Candy Store Awards for Best Crossover, Runner up Best Threesome, Special Award for Most Original Pairing)

Dimensionally Challenged


Part One

Walking home was not supposed to be dangerous. Swinging through the city was dangerous, fighting criminals was dangerous, pissing off newspaper editors was dangerous, walking home was supposed to be a breeze. Peter blamed the normalcy of the day for what happened next. He was convinced for the rest of his life that if it had happened while he had been swinging through the city he would have avoided it and everything would have been irreparably different.

One moment he was trudging down the sidewalk, depressed, grieving, tired of his life. In the next moment, a gaping vortex of spinning darkness opened up directly in front of him and like the stupidest novice he walked straight into it. He reacted to his spider-sense shrieking just that split second too late. Helplessly spinning and tumbling through the dark edge of madness, weightless, with explosions of color all around him. He wondered if he were unconscious, delirious, or delusional, not that any of them would be that unusual considering his life.

Before he really had time to process and deal with what was happening, the vortex he was in decided to release him. Unfortunately, it happened in mid-air and he fell several feet to land in a light crouch. Looking around bemusedly, he surmised he was in a store. At least he thought it was a store, there was dark paneling, a cash register, shelves of books, and labeled canisters and jars everywhere. The atmosphere was eerie though, the symbols throughout the room screamed danger and magic. All of this was absorbed peripherally however as the people in the room held his attention.

There was an older gentleman with glasses, a blonde girl in a confrontational stance, a redheaded girl with startled eyes, a young man with tumbled hair, and a blonde punk. They were all staring at him with wide eyes. Looking around he noticed several curious facts: there were candles burning, the sharp tang of incense permeated the air and he had landed in the middle of a carefully drawn pentagram. Off balance by this entire experience, he shut down the part of his brain that insisted on logic and decided to simply go with the flow.

"Umm... hello," he ventured. "I don't suppose anyone could tell me what I'm doing here."

Blank stares and a heavy silence filled the room. The lack of noise took on an ominous weight, and he found himself shifting uneasily. Six against one was not bad odds and he could hold his own in an attack. However, he had no idea of the skills of the people surrounding him, so he fell back on the old standby of needling his opponents to keep them off balance.

"So, exactly what is keeping us from communicating here? Language barrier? Sound barrier? Stupidity barrier?"

With satisfaction, he noted that he had finally garnered a response from his involuntary hosts. The blonde girl frowned and stepped forward, gripping a stake tighter in her hand. A stake? Okay. This had gone beyond strange into the realm of the truly bizarre. What time did the train for this fun land stop, because he really wanted to get off. Suddenly he jumped as babbling broke out over the entire room.

"... doesn't seem like a demon..."
"...did the spell malfunction?"
"Where did he..."
"...consult the books."
"...prophecy... translation..."
"Human or something else..."

Peter shook his head at all the wrangling voices then sat down and made himself comfortable. Normally, he would plunge headlong into the situation, trying to fathom the strange happenings that invaded his life. However, too many things had crashed onto him lately and he found he did not have the mental energy to spare. He would wait until his hosts calmed down a little, and hope they would make more sense after they had yelled themselves out.

Dark boots edged into his vision and he looked up to see the blonde punk in the leather duster looming over him. In a lithe move, the blonde with the twisted smile and amused eyes settled beside him.

"So, mate, you don't smell like a demon. By that I gather the warlock and witch screwed up again." The seated man's voice was amused, sarcastic, and satisfied. Peter looked closer at his companion, the bright blue eyes, bleached blonde hair, sharp cheekbones, and powerful slender body radiated danger, sex, and power; but for some reason none of his instincts were warning him. In fact, he recognized some of his own emotions reflected back at him: cynicism, weariness, and frustration.

He let an amused cocky smile slip over his face for a moment, "Unless they were trying to summon a broke college student?"

A sharp bark of laughter was his answer. "Don't think so, mate. Although," a scarred brow lifted and curious eyes stared at him, "you don't seem very surprised to fall out of thin air."

Shrugging he looked around his surroundings again while he answered, "Probably just shock. Horror and fear will follow in due time, I'm sure." He winced as quarrelling voices rose even higher. He had the beginnings of a truly massive headache and wished his involuntary hosts would calm down. If he was not freaking out over being yanked across space the least they could do was be as sanguine about it. "Are they always this loud?" he asked plaintively.

The blonde sighed, "Afraid so. Bleedin' irritating if you ask me."

Thoughtfully, Peter looked around; the pentagram was set in the far corner of the room just feet from the back door. The group had obviously counted on magic to contain whatever they were summoning because they had not set a guard on any of the exits. He knew he could easily be up and gone before anyone could stop him but he did not want to attract that much attention. Thankfully, he noted that sneaking would work just as well. No one except the blonde was paying the slightest bit of attention; it was extraordinarily sloppy of them but worked in his favor.

Turning to his companion, he caught a glimpse of speculation in blue eyes. Smiling conspiratorially, he asked, "How about we take a walk while they calm down?" Blue eyes widened before a truly wicked smile spread across an amused face.

"After you, mate."

Smoothly and quietly, Peter stood up and moved; it was the work of a second to unlock the door and allow him and the blonde to slip away. He sighed in relief when the door shut and the arguing voices muted. Drawing in a deep breath of sweet night air, he closed his eyes to try to still the pounding rush of blood that was making it difficult to think. His stomach was not happy with his recent experience of travel by vortex either.

"Guess that proves you're not a demon." The golden accented voice was sardonic.

Opening his eyes, he tilted his head in question.

"You walked across the pentagram like it didn't exist. Gang's gonna' shit a brick when they notice." The blonde's eyes glittered with amusement and satisfaction.

"Did they think it would work?"

"Always has before."

He turned that response over in his head several times, so wherever he was magic worked and demons existed. He slowly walked out of the alley behind the shop and turned in a circle on the street outside. As far as he could tell it looked like earth; in pools of light from the street lamps he could see grass, trees, flowers, houses, sidewalks. On another circular turn, he stopped as he saw the blonde staring at him with avid interest and realized he was acting rather oddly. Should he have a nervous breakdown, become hysterical, or act like a normal person would in the same situation? Hell with it, he decided, he was too tired to go into an acting job tonight.

"So," he asked, "care to tell me where I am."

"Sunnydale, California."

In that case, he had traveled either across the country or across dimensions. He was leaning more on the dimension side. If his world had demons, most likely he would have run into them by now. He had confronted almost every other strange life form on the planet. Nodding, he walked down the street, ambling in and out of pools of light and watching the cracks on the sidewalk. The blonde man matched him on his left side and he could almost feel the wild curiosity. Whatever else he had done, he had provided someone with entertainment tonight.

Minutes later he looked up and saw they had entered a graveyard. A tall crypt drew him further into the dark silence, it was far enough off the ground that he would have a good vantage point in every direction from the roof; besides, he just thought clearer the higher he was. Silently, he circled until he reached a low overhang that would have been in the reach of a normal human and jumped. He easily pulled himself up, moving to the highest point before sitting down cross-legged and staring out into the night.

Vaguely, he noticed his shadow had followed his example and was sitting beside him. Perhaps he should waste more worry on the reality of being stranded in a strange dimension but found he really did not care right now. Only duty and responsibility had kept him getting up in the mornings back home. All of his friends and family were dead, insane, or enemies. Only Mary Jane was left, but she had turned down his marriage proposal for the last time, even he could take a hint eventually. Whatever this new place had to throw at him could not be worse than his normal life. Weary cynicism however forced him to add 'I hope' to the end of that thought. Closing his eyes, he let himself drift on the night air.


Spike rested his chin on one hand as he stared at the strange human. Bugger it all if he could figure this one out. He acted as if being summoned by magic spells was an everyday occurrence. He had been puzzled and bewildered but did not show the slightest sign of panic or fear, more of an attitude of "what has the universe thrown at me now?" The vampire suddenly had an itching curiosity to hear about the human's life, he had the feeling it would be a tale quite beyond the ordinary.

In addition, there was something just a bit off about the man. He did not smell or appear to be a demon but his scent was not entirely human either. Studying his motionless companion, he tried to pinpoint the origin of the strangeness. He was handsome but his looks were not extraordinary: tousled brown hair, light skin, full lips, and slender dancer's body. Maybe it was the eyes, he mused; the moment he had seen into the light hazel orbs, an electric shock of recognition seemed to fire his blood. Bitter weariness mixed with cocky self-assurance combined to make him feel as if he were staring into a mirror.

None of that was taking into account the way he moved, though. Spike did not think the man was aware of it, but when he was preoccupied, he moved with an almost unearthly grace, as if only the thinnest of threads connected him to earth and its gravity. He had pulled himself to the roof of the crypt without the slightest sign of effort, almost flowing to the top. A tiny whisper of unease crept through the vampire. Whatever the stupid pillocks had been trying to summon he had a feeling they had succeeded beyond their expectations.

"So," his quiet companion spoke, "do you have a name or should I just stick with my mental label of blonde punk?" A small smile accompanied the query and now that his companion was facing him, he saw the lines that laughter had carved into the young face, although right now, they looked more drawn by tension.

"Call me Spike," he said with a smirk. "And how about you, skinny guy that falls out of thin air."

A whisper of laughter floated through the calm night and brown eyes sparkled for a brief second. "While that might be descriptive, it would get tiresome. I'm Peter Parker." The smiling man held out a slender, muscular hand and Spike answered with a flashing grin and a quick shake.

"Hey guys," a voice sounded from the ground and Spike looked down to view Xander grinning up at them. "Care to give me a hand?"

"I don't know, Xan," he smirked. "I've only got two and might need both of them."

Xander rolled his eyes in exasperation. "Very funny, bleached wonder, help me out here would you?"

Grinning down at his brown haired boy he continued to tease him even as he spotted the best place to pull him up to their perch. Shaking his head in mock sorrow he said, "Sorry, luv, but I'd ruin my reputation if I started being all helpful like the pouf."

"Well," Xander stared upward with big soulful eyes for a moment before he turned away, "if that's the way you want it." The soft mournful voice drifted up to them, "Wonder if Deadboy needs another sidekick? I'm sure he would be nice enough to take in an unwanted, unloved stray. He probably does the comforting bit pretty good too."

Spike's eyes narrowed and ignoring the muffled snicker of his companion, he called out to the slumped figure shuffling down the overgrown path, "Xan."

A heartbroken face turned back to them, marred only by the barest suggestion of a twinkle in the dark brown eyes. "Yes, oh person in great danger of sleeping on the couch tonight?"

Giving up, Spike held a hand down and said, "Get up here, whelp."

The brown haired boy took a few hesitant steps forward stopping directly under Spike, and looked up with sad puppy dog eyes. "I don't want to impose," he whispered, "if you don't want me I can - "

Growling, Spike leaned further down and hauled the brown haired mortal up and into a possessive embrace. Pulling the boy close, he covered the pouting lips with his own and inwardly smirked when Xander moaned and moved closer. He delved into the hot cavern that tasted of chocolate, and lust, with a hint of sweet wildness. Minutes later, he pulled away to look into the panting, dazed face of his lover. Satisfied, he absorbed the flushed color on tanned skin, the reddened lips, and glowing smile.

A slight sound reminded him they had company and he looked over to meet an amused gaze. Xander followed his eyes and pulled out of his arms with a brief laugh. Dropping down beside the newest addition to their crazy life, he held out his hand and grinned. "Hi, I'm Xander Harris. Welcome to Sunnydale."

Spike shook his head in exasperated fondness before sitting behind Xander and pulling the mortal close. Contented, he breathed in the clean, sweet smell of his mate and watched him charm the amused man smiling at them. If anyone could learn anything about their strange visitor, it would be his Xander. He had such an endearing, ingenious way to him that you found yourself telling him all of your secrets without realizing it.

"Peter Parker," their guest introduced himself once more and then asked curiously, "How did you find us?"

Xander shrugged, "Cemetery, Spike, made perfect sense to me. Although," he complained, "do you have any idea how hard it was to sneak out of there? You two had it easy."

Spike frowned and turned Xander until he could look in his face. "Next time, stay put. I don't want you on the streets alone at night."

"Yes, dad," Xander sighed and rolled his eyes.

Irritation and worry bit into him as he looked at the fragile mortal in his arms. Reaching out he cupped Xander's chin firmly and growling he repeated, "You are not to be out alone at night." Narrowing his eyes he continued, "Demon magnet, remember? If you get yourself killed," he paused and lowered his voice, "I'll rip Sunnyhell apart starting with them." He made a quick gesture back the way they came. Solemn chocolate brown eyes held his gaze for a moment before Xander nodded.

"I didn't mean to make you worry," Xander lifted a hand, traced his cheekbone and smiled gently. Spike nodded and pulled him back to his previous position. He wrapped himself around the warm body and firmly dismissed the idea of Xander's eventual death from his mind.

"Are the nights here that dangerous?" Peter asked.

Xander sighed, "I'm afraid so. I'm so used to it I forget sometimes."

Peter groaned and sank his head into his hands rubbing at his temples, "Great. Frying pan, fire. Why can't I ever be kidnapped and end up somewhere nice. Disneyland would be great. Of course, with my luck, Mickey Mouse would be on a rampage," he muttered.

Spike snickered as their guest complained. Xander leaned forward in his arms as Peter continued to frown and rub his head.

"Are you okay?" Xander asked quietly.

Peter looked up and smiled tiredly, "My body is protesting my recent travel by vortex experience. Besides the headache from hell, I'm doing pretty good."

Rustling noises broke the silence, causing all three to still and look around. Spike made out the whiny sound of Buffy's voice and relaxed. "It's just the rest of the gang," Spike said.

Soon the others could hear the arguing voices coming closer and the occasional call of "Xander," "Spike." No one spoke until Giles spotted them and pointed them out to the girls.

"What the hell are you two doing?" Buffy yelled. Spike saw Peter wince at the noise and sympathized completely.

"Can't I kill her just a little bit, Xan," Spike muttered, "Please?"

Xander chuckled and patted his arm. "No, Spike. She may be irritating but she's a friend and the town needs her."

"Pity," he sighed as he watched the Slayer stomp up to the ground in front of the crypt.

"You didn't answer me. What the hell do you two think you're doing sneaking out like that and taking the whatever it is," she gestured to Peter, "with you."

Xander shook his head and sighed, "Yep, diplomatic girl strikes again."

Spike was busy watching their guest and he stifled a nasty smirk at the expression in hazel eyes. Peter had been watching with weary curiosity until Buffy's comment. Then his face hardened and the danger Spike had guessed lay beneath the surface shone brightly. He masked his expression an instant later but it made Spike very glad that he and Xander had made first contact with their visitor. Otherwise, the Slayer and her loose tongue could have made a dangerous enemy for all of them.

The Watcher laid a calming hand on his Slayer's arm. "Buffy, there is no need to yell or," his voice hardened, "be insulting towards our guest."

"But Giles -"

"Either control your temper or be quiet." Spike grinned at the Watcher's firm, cold voice. It seemed Ripper was coming out to play.

Buffy drew a deep breath but then contented herself with a glare in their direction.

"Gentlemen, if you would please come down. We have a lot we need to discuss."

A minute passed in which Peter stared down impassively, before fluidly standing and jumping off the roof to land in a smooth crouch. Spike and Xander followed seconds later and waited to the side as Peter walked to stand in front of Giles, ignoring the still fuming Buffy.

Giles held out his hand, "Rupert Giles."

Their visitor shook hands and then introduced himself for the third time that night. Giles introduced everyone else in turn. Willow received a polite smile while Buffy received a glare.

"Right," Giles said after the introductions were over, "I think we will be more comfortable at my place." He sent a questioning glance in Peter's direction and when he nodded they all began walking away from the crypt.

Giles cleared his throat, "Might I ask why you three were in the cemetery?"

Peter shrugged, "It was quiet."

"Ah, yes." Giles nodded and dropped the subject.

Peter fell back until he was beside Xander and Spike, saying nothing on the short walk to Giles' home. Xander reached out, grasped Spike's hand and ignored the disapproving frowns from the rest of the gang.

Once inside the Watcher's residence, Peter made it clear which company he preferred by sitting beside Xander and Spike on the couch. He leaned back and regarded the room.

"I think I've been patient long enough. I'd like to know exactly why I've been ripped across dimensions."

Everyone in the room turned expectant eyes to Giles. He removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes tiredly before looking at their visitor.

"Yes well, as to that, you are not exactly what we expected. We must have translated the spell wrong."

"And what was the spell supposed to do?" Peter asked patiently.

"Summon a spirit to help us with our current demon problem."

"A spirit?"

"Yes, we weren't trying to physically summon anything, we wanted a spirit that we could question about the Stheth'juth demons and how we could stop them from spreading. When the spell ended the spirit would fade back to its own plane." Giles looked embarrassed, apologetic, and shifted uncomfortably under Peter's flat stare.

Everyone was silent as their guest's gaze turned inward. The hazel eyes lost focus and it was minutes later before he spoke. "Time frame?"

There was an exchange of confused glances and Peter sighed impatiently, "What time frame are we working with? Minutes? Hours? Days?" When he did not receive an answer, he dropped his head back on the sofa, closed his eyes and muttered, "Amateurs."

Spike snickered as Buffy stiffened and most of the rest of the room frowned.

Peter opened his eyes and rubbed his temples, "Look, all I want to know is if I have time for a good night's sleep before we tackle your demons. I've got the headache from hell and I'd like to get some rest before we do any fighting."

Buffy chose this moment to vent her ire. She jumped up from her seat and stalked over to stand in front of Peter, who looked up at her questioningly.

"There is no we to this," Buffy spat, "you are not involved and we don't need your help."

Peter stared and then his lips turned up into a truly irritating smirk. Spike watched and learned, he was a connoisseur of irritation and recognized the presence of a master.

"If you didn't need my help you shouldn't have summoned me. I'm involved, so get used to it."

Buffy snarled and reached down to pull their visitor up by his shirt to face her, ignoring her Watcher's stern disapproval. At least she tried to pull Peter up; he sat looking up at her, continuing to smirk, without moving an inch. Slayer strength pitted itself against the unruffled object and it was quite easy to see which had won. Giles had risen and stood beside the two but was silenced by his Slayer's failure to intimidate. Instead, Peter reached up a hand, put it behind Buffy's neck and easily pulled her down to his level.

Peter's voice was mild, and slightly mocking, "I don't know what your problem is, but I suggest you get over it." He took no notice of when Buffy put her hands to his chest and tried to push herself away. Spike noticed that his muscles were not even tense, as if it were a negligible effort to control Buffy's strength. Peter also ignored Willow who had jumped up to side with Buffy.

Unfortunately, from Spike's point of view, nobody was attacking Peter. He had been looking forward to a blow-up because he had the strongest feeling that the man calmly controlling the Slayer could wipe the floor with all of them without breaking a sweat. Xander made a slight move in the direction of the others but subsided when Spike tightened his arms.

Peter's voice lowered and became more threatening, "I'm in a truly foul mood, and you people are responsible for it. I would suggest not pissing me off any further." With that he released Buffy suddenly and since she had been straining backwards she fell on her butt. She climbed back to her feet, and opened her mouth only to shut it when Giles moved to stand in front of her, glaring angrily.

"Buffy Anne Summers, you will cease and desist immediately. I know you are upset and worried but you have no right to take it out on our guest, especially since this situation is our fault. You will apologize this instant." The battle of wills between Giles and Buffy was brief, resulting in Buffy lowering her head with a sigh.

When her gaze lifted most of the antagonism was gone leaving tiredness behind. She looked at Peter and if her voice was flat, at least her words were conciliatory. "Sorry. I'm stressed but I shouldn't have taken it out on you."

Peter's gaze did not warm but he shrugged, "Whatever. So, back to my original question. What time frame are we working with?" His voice was weary, cold, and gave the distinct impression that he expected an answer immediately if not sooner.

"We have until tomorrow night," Giles quickly answered.

"Good," Peter sighed and leaned back again.

Xander turned in his arms and tilted his head in Peter's direction before slanting him a questioning look. Understanding what he was asking, Spike nodded.

"Peter," Xander spoke, "why don't you come home with us? Spike and I have a guest bedroom that you would be quite welcome to."

Peter's eyes opened and looked at them for a second before his gaze warmed considerably and he smiled. "Thanks, guys, I appreciate it. Could we leave now and figure out the rest of this mess tomorrow morning?"

"Sure. Meet back here about 10ish?" Xander asked everyone.

Upon receiving agreeing nods, Xander jumped to his feet and walked over to the couch to extend a helping hand to their guest. He received a startled look before Peter reached out and clasped his hand for a brief moment while getting to his feet.

The walk back to their apartment was short and quiet, although the silence had a different feel than earlier. The last walk had been filled with offense this one was permeated with exhaustion. Spike had the distinct feeling that Peter would have continued to walk blindly in the same direction for much of the night if Xander had not guided him with brief words and subtle touches on the elbow.

Spike felt the tension leave his spine as they finally reached his and Xan's apartment and passed through the wards to inside. Their apartment was one of the safest places in this cursed town; he had made sure of that with some very expensive sorcerous help. No one with ill intent against either of them would make it past the barrier that permeated the very walls of their abode. In fact, he was certain it would even keep Buffy out since she entertained murderous thoughts about him. The Scoobies had yet to pay them a visit at home and he was just as happy about that despite the fact that he would love to see the look on her face when she could not enter. It did confirm his feelings about their visitor though. Despite appearances, he had still been wary of a stranger around his Xan. Peter had not threatened them in any way but he gave off very dangerous vibes and it made him feel a lot better to find out he did not harbor any ill will towards them.

Shrugging off his inner musings, he saw Xander guide Peter to the nearest comfortable chair before going to get the guest room ready. Their guest sank down and his hands immediately went back to his temples, this time he merely held his head as if it would explode if he let go. Frowning, he studied Peter for several moments before he slowly moved to stand beside the hunched man.

"Let me help you with the headache, mate," he offered.

Wary eyes stared at him while Peter's body coiled tensely. Spike looked directly into hazel eyes and down to the soul of someone who was intimately familiar with pain and did not trust easily or often. "I'm not a nice man, luv, but I won't try to hurt you as long as you extend the same courtesy to me and Xan." He smiled genuinely at Peter and tilted his head, "So?"

Peter stared at him for a moment longer before he tentatively nodded yes. Spike motioned him to turn around so he was standing behind him. He lightly laid both hands on either side of Peter's head and stayed still as a shiver went down a tense spine. He started moving his fingers in small circles on the throbbing temples, feeling the rush of blood just under the surface. After a few minutes, he gently worked the rest of the scalp, running his fingers through soft hair. A pleasant, spicy scent rose up to his nose and he smiled in pleasure.

Looking up, he saw Xander come back into the room. The other man smiled at him and sank down on the corner of the couch to watch him relax their guest. Spike let his fingers drift down until they rested on tense shoulders and he began a gentle kneading motion, gradually increasing the pressure until he felt knots began to loosen. Inwardly, he marveled at the amount of muscle on the slender frame, Peter felt like molten steel under the loose clothes. He worked for several minutes on the upper back and then lightly pushed until Peter leaned forward enough for him to massage the lower back.

Peter murmured a faint sound of relief as tension released and Spike smiled in satisfaction. He pulled backwards and slid his hands around the vulnerable neck, marveling when the human remained relaxed. Of course, Peter did not know what a chance he was taking by baring his neck to a vampire, he thought wryly. Not that he was planning on killing him, especially with Xander watching, but he'd felt so many fragile necks snap under his hands that he couldn't believe a complete stranger would trust him.

He gently stroked the sore neck muscles, running his fingers down either side of the bones of the spine. His hands drifted back up to fragile temples and he massaged in soft circles. Finishing minutes later, he guided Peter back to rest against the couch. Their guest opened his eyes and treated them to a gentle, weary smile.

"Thank you, Spike. I can't tell you how much I appreciated that."

Spike nodded and Xander jumped to his feet and extended his hand to their guest for the second time that night, smiling when Peter reached forward without hesitation this time.

"Your room is ready," Xander said. "There's a bathroom off the bedroom and I've put some clean clothes on the bed. Let us know if you need anything else."

"I will, thanks," Peter murmured tiredly before closing the door and leaving Spike alone with his lover.

The blonde vampire smiled and slowly stalked towards the smiling mortal who was backing away from him. "Sleep on the couch, hmmm? I don't think so, luv." Xander laughed before making a dash to the bedroom with Spike just inches behind him. Spike pounced and then grinned at the flushed mortal staring up at him before leaning down to lick his way across sweet skin enjoying the appreciative murmur he received.

Xander shifted restlessly on the soft sheets of their bed and then arched up at the latest teasing lick, fearlessly baring his throat to his vampire lover. Spike immediately took advantage of the offer and lightly scraped his teeth down the bare throat causing a shudder of longing and a brief "please" to be whispered through the room. His earlier worry and fear for his fragile lover came crashing back and he pulled back to stare down at the man who was barely out of boyhood. This mortal meant more to him than anyone in his long life, even his dark princess, and he could have lost him tonight by being careless enough to leave him on his own. He knew how fearless Xander was and should have known better than to sneak out without him.

Suddenly desperate to feel skin against skin he made short work of their clothes, leaving pieces of cloth to lay in tangled glory throughout the room. Later they laughed about the sock hanging from the ceiling fan, but for the moment the heat, ice, and fire generated between them flared almost out of control. Desperate kisses, incoherent murmurs, and endearments whispered against soft skin.

Spike feathered kisses and bites across Xander's writhing body and laughed when loud complaints sounded when he bypassed the flushed and leaking cock to kiss his way down strong legs. He teasingly swirled wet circles on tense thighs and sucking strongly left a red mark of possession behind. The complaints dissolved into pleading moans and his unneeded breath caught in his throat at the beautiful mortal open and sensual in his passion.

Shaking, he fumbled for the lube they kept stashed at various places throughout the apartment and gingerly coated his own leaking member. With a swift change of position, he was lying on his back and Xander was crouched over him blinking dazedly. Xander approved the change with a lustful grin and the brunette moved until he was directly over the cold member before lowering himself slowly until just the head passed the tight ring.

Spike closed his eyes as sensation assaulted him, heat, fire, and tightness teased and promised ecstasy but he ruthlessly held himself still and let his lover take him at his own pace. They had not stretched Xander and if he was not careful, he could hurt him. An eternity later, Xander let out a careful breath and with slow steady pressure sank until he sat fully on him, engulfing him in fire.

At first, the motion was only a slight rocking, barely perceptible, more sensed than felt, sending ripples of pleasure echoing through him. Opening eyes he was not aware of closing, he devoured the sight of his beloved arched in bliss. Xander's dark hair lay in tumbled curls and he was panting in short gasps, punctuated with breathy moans. Spike almost came from the sight alone.

When Xander suddenly pulled almost off him and just as suddenly slammed himself back down, Spike howled. He forgot everything, decorum, sanity, guests, as the tight burning heat enveloped him. Soon they were both sobbing for breath, reaching for the pinnacle just beyond their grasp. Xander continued to ride him roughly and his face was a mixture of pleasure and pain so thoroughly intertwined as to be indistinguishable.

With a last almost vicious slam and twist, Xander came with a loud cry and the spasms of heat and life around his cock caused him to convulse and come deep inside the tight heat of his lover. Seconds later Xander collapsed panting heavily and he pulled him close and gently stroked the shuddering back as they calmed. Xander chuckled against his throat and his voice was embarrassed when he spoke.

"Wonder if our guest was tired enough to sleep through that?"

Suddenly reminded of the person sharing their space they exchanged slightly guilty expressions that dissolved into laughter.

Several minutes later when they were floating along hazily, Spike asked, "So what do you think of Peter?"

Xander's voice was thoughtful, "He sets off my Hellmouth radar, but not in a bad way." There was a slight pause and then he continued, "I get the feeling we may not have gotten what we wanted with the spell, but rather what we needed."

Staring into deep brown eyes that very few people saw serious, he considered what Xander said. Often his mortal lover saw things intuitively and his hunches were seldom wrong. "What we need?" he asked curiously.

A sad smile lit Xander's face as he moved and winced slightly as Spike's soft cock slid out of him. Once he cleaned them both up with towels they kept by the bed, he curled up half on top of and half beside him before finally answering his question. "These demons have had Giles worried for months. Even with your help we'd have a hard time defeating them. Maybe he's what we need to tip the balance."

"Bloody 'ell," Spike snorted, "You know the only reason I help the white hats is because of you. Otherwise I would be one of the things they would be fighting against."

A sleepy chuckle and Xander burrowing into his side before drifting off to sleep was the only comment on his complaint. Smiling, he looked down and shook his head in wonder. He still did not know how he had ended up in this position. He knew his lovers led him around by the nose; he had just never expected to love someone on the other side. It never would have happened without that wretched chip and Spike still shuddered remembering the helplessness and despair he had felt after escaping the Initiative.

His life had seemed to bottom out when he had been forced to live with the most useless member of the Scooby gang, as he had seen it at the time. He had kept up a cocky, vicious front with the boy, even as he had been struggling with almost debilitating terror and depression. Somehow, without ever showing pity or disgust, Xander had made his life almost bearable. Spike had expected the treatment he'd been given by the Watcher of being tied up and left forgotten in the bathtub, instead he'd found that the boy had brought in an extra bed for him and had created his own space.

Apparently, he had not hid his amazement very well because Xander had rolled his eyes and smirking had said that bondage had never been one of his kinks but if Spike really wanted to be tied up, he would see what he could do. After a blank second, he had laughed with true amusement for the first time since his capture. Xander had teased and cajoled him out of his depression and months later when he had asked what kinks Xander did have, he had been happily jumped and shown.

He had never been close to someone so laughing and loving and had quickly become addicted to a sane, happy partner. His only previous experiences had been Angelus and Drusilla and he had been ill equipped for someone who gave their love so freely and without pain. Xander had a firm grip on his dead heart and even after he had discovered a way to remove the chip, he had limited his killings to please his Xan. He had even continued to play the helpless vamp so that Xander's friends would not have a conniption fit.

He was quickly growing tired of Buffy's mouth and sweet little Willow's innocent digs though, and now that he and Xan had their own place and weren't dependent on the gang for anything, he wanted to tell them. Xander had agreed but had hoped to do it between crises; he did not want to distract everyone in the midst of a battle. Spike had agreed up to a point but if Buffy and her smart mouth got on his nerves one more time he was determined to rip her a new one.

Movement on his chest distracted him from his disgruntled thoughts and he smiled as even in sleep Xander cheered him up. Hugging the mortal closer, he settled into slumber.


Peter curled into the comfortable bed and was on the verge of sleep when he sat up sharply at a loud howl. His fuzzy brain took a second to process the sound before he fell back onto his pillows with a laugh. His hosts were apparently enjoying themselves quite loudly. Wistfully, he listened to the sounds of passion as loneliness ate into his soul. He did not begrudge his two new friends happiness but as he settled into the soft sheets, he wished that he had someone to share and understand his insane life.

After several minutes of loud moaning, silence reigned again and the pain and tiredness he had successfully put off to this point rose and dragged him under. Hours later he sat up gasping as he tried to clear his mind of screams. Too much darkness had invaded his life and he found himself helpless to control his dreams. He curled up to his knees as sweat poured off him and he fought his inner demons much as he had fought outer ones all his life.

Getting out of bed, he hid his spider-suit before wearily pulling on the sweatpants that his hosts had left for him, quietly opening his door and wandering out into the living room. Sleeping again directly after one of his nightmares was impossible as well as ill advised. Curling up on one corner of the couch, he stared into the night as he tried to convince his tired, dazed mind that a new world meant a new slate and he really didn't need the old darkness to follow him into a new life.

He did not know how long he had been staring blankly into the dark before the other bedroom door opening distracted him and Spike slipped out. The slender blonde settled on the couch near him and asked quietly, "Couldn't sleep, mate?"

Peter remained silent for a long moment before answering. He had the distinct feeling that Spike had experienced his own night terrors before and would understand. "Nightmares," he explained briefly.

The blonde nodded, "About what?"

Oh, the usual," Peter said with a dark laugh and shrug, "death, despair, insanity, screams."

A soft laugh came from Spike, "Yeah, sounds pretty familiar."

Peter looked at the smirking blonde and was not surprised. He had the distinct feeling that Spike's earlier assertion that he was not a nice man was an understatement. He saw darkness and blood dancing in the blue eyes and rather thought only Xander's influence kept him in check.

Spike looked at the bedroom door a few seconds before Xander shuffled out sleepily. "What's everyone doing out here?" The young man yawned and sat down close to Spike and snuggled into his side. The blonde pulled him close and laid a gentle kiss on the top of his head.

Yes, he thought, Xander had Spike wrapped around his loving finger. Turning his eyes back to the blonde, he wondered what he was. He had not missed the chill of the fingers that were kneading his skin earlier or the lack of a heartbeat. Deciding that he did not have enough knowledge to make an educated guess, he decided to simply ask.

"You're not human," he said bluntly, staring at Spike, "what are you?"

Xander stiffened and stared at him warily. Spike did not seem perturbed; he just lifted a scarred brow and stared back impassively.

"I'm a vampire, mate," a cool voice stated.

"A vampire," he repeated.

"A vampire," Spike confirmed with an amused smirk.

Hell, why not, he thought wearily. It seemed this world derived its strangeness from the supernatural rather than mutations or technology.

"Tell me about it," he asked.

"Tell you about it?" it was Spike's turn to repeat sentences.

"Yes. Are vampires born or created? How do you feed? Weaknesses? Strengths?" he shrugged, "I'm new to your world, and I need a primer on the beings I'll be encountering."

"Oh," Spike looked at his lover, "this is more your area than mine, Luv."

Xander nodded and then grinned wryly, "Where do I start? All the ghosties, demons, and supernatural boogedies that you told yourself in the light of day don't exist," a brief pause, "do. Vampires, demons, werewolves, witches, magic, ghosts... you name it we've got it. Although," Xander shook his head, "they're not high profile and most people don't realize it."

Peter closed his eyes and leaned back with a sigh, letting Xander's voice wash over him.

"Most of the traditions and folktales are correct. Vampires are not so much evil as amoral, they drink blood and normally kill their victims, and they are immortal, strong, and fast. They're vulnerable to sunlight, holy objects, beheading, and wooden stakes through the heart. To become a vampire, a victim is drained of blood and then fed the blood of a vampire upon which time their body dies, their soul leaves and a demon takes over."

"Good summary, luv," Spike laughed.

"Thanks," Xander said with a brief kiss and continued for the next half hour explaining the details of the supernatural world in which Peter now found himself.

Finally, Peter raised a hand and indicated a halt. "Enough, I think I've gotten the gist of it. Sunnydale is on a mouth of hell, Buffy is a vampire slayer, Giles is her trainer and researcher and the rest of you help for various reasons. That about it?"

"Basically," the young man said with a shrug.

"Okay, so what can you tell me about these Sethjuh demons?"

"That's Stheth'juth, mate."

"So," Peter sighed patiently, "what can you tell me about these Stheth'juth demons?"

Xander giggled and Spike laughed at his overly patient expression, causing a brief smile to break out over Peter's face.

"Not much, I'm afraid," Xander frowned, "they're toxic and only surface every half century. Giles hasn't been able to get a handle on where they'll emerge and so when Willow suggested the Mother of Webs spell Giles reluctantly agreed with her."

Peter choked and his eyes widened, "Mother of Webs?"

"Yeah, something about how the planes were connected like spider webs and, well," Xander grimaced, "I didn't understand much of it."

He felt the blood drain from his face even as he began to laugh helplessly. Oh, god. They had been performing a spell about spiders, webs, and dimensions and had somehow managed to drag Spider-man into their world. It figured. His life was a sterling example of costly mistakes and unlikely happenings. Another darker thought stopped his merriment: if they had screwed up the spell so badly in getting him here, the chances of them being able to return him were unlikely. It appeared he would have to become accustomed to his new world for chances were he would never be leaving it.

The last thought finally broke the edges of his self-control. Even he had limits and it appeared he had just reached the end of his own. Wanting to be alone, he stumbled up from the couch and past his hosts who were staring at him. He just wanted to curl up on the bed and pretend the events of the past day had never happened. Let someone else be the hero this time, he had had enough. A slim, warm hand stopped his progress and he looked up into concerned brown eyes.

"Peter, are you all right?"

The concern in the young man's voice was his undoing and he managed a single shake of his head before collapsing and surrendering to the darkness edging his mind.


Xander stared concerned into hazel eyes that seemed glazed with shock. Their visitor had obviously reached the end of his endurance and Xander barely managed to break his fall as he collapsed bonelessly. Spike was quickly at his side and after making sure that he was all right, he effortlessly lifted Peter into his arms and strode towards their bed. Xander felt an eyebrow reaching towards his hairline but wordlessly followed his lover. Spike obviously felt a connection with their guest and he had to admit that the quiet, dangerous, and strangely vulnerable man had gotten past quite a few of his own defenses.

The blonde vampire laid him in the middle of their bed and then looked at him uncertainly. Shrugging, Xander got into bed and lay close to Peter's side. Spike smiled and then climbed in on the other side, pulling the unconscious man into his arms and then linking hands with him over their guest's body.

"So, I'm guessing you like Peter more than the usual humans around here," Xander said smiling.

Spike shrugged with an uncomfortable look and reached out to run a gentle hand down his face. "You're corrupting me, luv. It's just..."

"I know. He is completely alone and chances are we won't be able to get him back home. And his eyes," Xander's voice lowered to a whisper, "so much pain and so many dark shadows."

Actually, he thought to himself, Peter reminded him rather painfully of his lover after the behavioral modification chip had been implanted. Pain, rage, and so many haunting fears, even the snarky sarcasm and cynicism were the same. One of the few differences however was while Spike was gentle with those he cared about; Peter seemed to be an intrinsically gentle soul.

Sighing, he moved closer and between them, they cradled their guest. Of course, it did not hurt anything that Peter was beautiful, with a strong muscular body. The gray sweat pants had hung low on the slender hips and he had found his gaze trying to drift southward several times earlier. It was nice to have a warm body to snuggle against, he thought sleepily.

Hours later, he woke to a low moan and saw Peter twitching restlessly. Shiny beads of sweat began to gather on his brow and tangled brown hair swayed as he began to shift. Spike was awake on the other side and began murmuring quietly, "Shhh, luv, it's all right. You're safe." Xander and Spike stroked the dark hair as they tried to soothe Peter from his nightmares.

Suddenly Peter was sitting up in bed with Xander and Spike's wrists imprisoned within his grasp. Xander stiffened but was surprised to note that the man who could control the Slayer without even tensing his muscles had the gentlest of grips. Peter's hand was as ephemeral as a butterflies' kiss but as unbreakable as iron he discovered when he tried to tug his wrist free. He looked up and saw that Spike was just as stunned, as his own pulling with full vampire strength did not shift the grip. However, Peter glanced down at the tugging and immediately released them.

"Damn, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to..." Peter's voice was husky and distressed as he tried to apologize.

Xander interrupted him with a finger over his lips, "We didn't mean to startle you Peter, and you didn't hurt us."

"No, you didn't," Spike said thoughtfully staring sharply at the man sharing their bed.

Peter stiffened warily at the tone as groggy, hazel eyes looked around bewilderedly.

Xander shrugged when the confused eyes looked at him. "You collapsed earlier and we didn't want you to be alone."

"Oh," Peter shifted uneasily, a flush climbing up his cheeks.

Both the lovers watched the rise in color appreciatively. The confusion made the slender man appear young and vulnerable. Which he might be emotionally, Xander frowned, but he had certainly proven he was not physically.

"How did you learn to control your strength so well," he asked curiously. "Even coming out of a nightmare, your touch was barely light enough to feel."

Light hazel eyes studied him for a moment and then shifted to Spike's equally curious blue eyes. "I suppose you do deserve an explanation." Peter shifted his weight in preparation for getting up only to freeze as Spike wrapped an arm around his waist.

"Going somewhere, luv?"

"Ummm, yes... I would rather..."

"Nope," Spike said interrupting, "tell us here." With that, the blonde vampire pulled the stiff but unresisting Peter back into his arms and shifted until he was leaning against the headboard with the slender man lying against his chest and cradled between his legs. Xander laughed at the expression of absolute bewilderment that graced Peter's face as he twisted to look up at the vampire and then back at Xander.

Xander shifted until he was lying on his side with a perfect view of the two men. They were slender, pale, and beautiful; Spike was cocky and confident, however, where Peter was shaking slightly. Despite knowing that the other man could have easily freed himself from the embrace, he still appeared vulnerable. It was painfully apparent that he was unused to comfort in any form. Xander moved to his knees and took the pale face between his hands.

"We just want to help, Peter. Its okay to take comfort in a friend's arms."

Swallowing, the slender man nodded but he relaxed only marginally. Xander met the amused blue eyes above Peter's head and shrugged slightly.

"So, luv, about the strength?" Spike prodded.

"Right," Peter said huskily, nervously clearing his throat, "from what you've told me vampires are about five and at most ten times stronger than a normal human. Well, I'm," there was a very long pause and Peter almost whispered the next few words, "closer to fifty times stronger than a normal human."

Stunned silence pervaded the room and Peter's voice was loud in the hush. "I've trained myself to never act reflexively, never grasp anything unconsciously with my strength. Otherwise, I could bump into someone and send him or her through a wall. I have enough on my conscience without accidentally hurting anyone else."

The slender man shifted and bit his lip at the continued stillness. Xander forced himself to speak at the glimpse of hurt in quickly shuttered eyes. "That's pretty incredible. Were you born like that?" He reached up and began running a slow hand down a tense arm.

Peter remained silent and Spike smiled mischievously. "Ve haf ways of making you talk," he said with a deplorable accent and he bent his head and licked the side of the slender neck. Peter shuddered slightly and Spike let his fangs scrape lightly across the white skin.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Peter warned in a quiet voice.

"Oh, and why is that," Spike purred.

"My blood is radioactive."

"Ooookay, I hadn't planned on biting, luv, at least not yet, but thanks for the warning."

"Right... ummm... if you weren't going to bite, what were you..." the slender man's voice trailed off into an embarrassed, comprehending silence.

"Peter," Xander leaned over and framed the other man's face in his hands, "we're not trying to make you uncomfortable, but we like you and, well, no one should have to face the world as alone as you are."

Xander sighed, as he looked into the confused, tired eyes of a man almost beyond hope. Peter did not look for happiness or comfort from anyone because he was certain it would not be offered. How had this dangerous, tormented man made a place in his heart so quickly? Not that he was the only one, he thought with amusement; he had never seen Spike so quick to warm up to someone. The blonde vampire usually thought of humans as happy meals on legs or necessary nuisances at best. Looking at his lover cradling what was almost a stranger, he searched his heart and tried to find jealousy. He was only mildly surprised when he did not find any. He knew beyond doubt that Spike loved him and would do anything for him. If he expressed the slightest concern about having Peter here the other man would be gone in the next second.

Mentally shrugging off the musings for another time, Xander smiled rather sadly at the slender man sharing their bed. "It's okay, Peter. We're not going to hurt you. Why don't we get some more sleep, we can figure the rest out later." When Peter nodded Spike and Xander shifted until the slender man rested between them and the vampire began a soothing rumbling purr that eventually had the exhausted man relaxing and returning to sleep. The two lovers exchanged comments and questions with a glance, before smiling, linking hands and drifting into sleep themselves.


Spike's eyes flickered open alertly the next morning and he grinned as he felt two warm bodies sprawled over him. Well, technically, only Xander was sprawled over him, Peter was curled up into his side, but he felt a whisper of incredulous mirth at the idea of William the Bloody, scourge of Europe waking with two humans cuddled to him. The most ridiculous thing of all was that he was enjoying every damn moment. Xander was incredibly fun with his laughter and passionate approach to life and Spike loved him with every fiber of his demon heart. Peter however was a surprise, he had known the man for less than a day and already he was becoming important to him. He was nowhere near as important as his Xan, but Spike had the strangest feeling he could be with time. William the Bloody loving humans, he thought with a trace of exasperation, his life resembled nothing so much as an effin' soap opera.

With typical unconcern for proprieties, he dismissed his musings and concentrated on enjoying the warm, breathing bodies, soft skin, and silky hair that was teasing him. Not to mention the sound of their hearts beating, he mused. He was curious to know what Peter had meant last night when he had said his blood was radioactive. Was radiation responsible for his strength? Whatever was responsible Spike had a strong feeling that they had caught only the slightest hint at the hidden depths of their new friend.

A sudden shift in heartbeat alerted him to the fact that Peter was waking up, he was curious to note that Peter's heart rate was the only thing that changed, his breathing remained the same and not a single muscle tensed. It was as if he was used to waking up in hostile situations and having to gather information before giving away the fact that he was awake.

"Well, I have to admit as strange as my life is I've never woke up in bed with two guys before," Peter's voice was sardonic, with an edge of uneasiness. "Actually," he continued thoughtfully, "I've never woke up in bed with one guy before much less two."

Spike chuckled and rubbed his face in the thick brown hair. The slender man had curled under his right arm while Xander sprawled all along his other side. He moved his right hand up until it hovered just over the exposed skin at the small of Peter's back and then feathered circles on the delicate area. The slender man froze and Spike grinned at the small shudder that rippled through the lithe body. He did not try to restrain him when Peter pulled away and climbed to his feet, he just pulled Xander closer and smiled. Slow and sneaky was the way to seduce the innocently wary and the blonde vampire was looking forward to the chase.

Light hazel eyes studied them, "Do you mind if I take a shower?"

"Not at all, luv. Let me get you some clothes to wear. Not that you have to change on my account," he said with a grin and an appreciative once over of the slender tight muscled body, tumbled brown hair, and air of unearthly grace. Damn, he is gorgeous when he blushes, Spike thought. He gently shifted Xander off his chest and kissed the end of his nose at the youth's sleepy grumble. He found a red t-shirt and black jeans that looked like they would fit and handed them over before showing Peter the bathroom. With a pointed look, Peter shut the door in his face, leaving a snickering Spike on the other side.

Still laughing, the blonde vampire climbed back into bed and pulled his human close. Xander stretched and then climbed over his body until he could look down into his face and bend down for a drowsy morning kiss. "So," Xander mumbled, "just so we're on the same page, we plan on seducing our delicious guest and hopefully persuading him to stick around once we get rid of the Sethjuh demons."

"That about covers it, luv. And it's Stheth'juth demons."

"Whatever. May I ask why we're seducing him?"

Spike stared at the ceiling and shrugged, "If it bothers you...?"

"Not really," the youth frowned thoughtfully, "it should. However, for some reason it doesn't. It's almost as if we've known him in another life and are merely becoming reacquainted. Don't think Buff and the others will see it that way though." Xander groaned and flopped onto his back to stare at the ceiling. "They've just barely gotten used to the evil vamp as lover thing, never mind we haven't told them about the removal of the chip. I don't even want to think what they would say about a mnage a trois with someone we kidnapped from another dimension."

"Mnage a trois? Careful, pet, your education is showing."

"Don't worry, blondie," Xander said with an impish grin, "the image of airhead Xander is too firmly entrenched in the minds of our stalwart comrades for them to ever accuse me of being intelligent. My secret," his voice dropped to a whisper, "is safe."

Spike laughed into twinkling brown eyes and pouted as Xander leaped from bed and began rummaging for clothes. "What's your hurry, pet?"

"It's close to 9 o'clock. We have to be up, showered, dressed, fed, and to the Magic Shop in about an hour. Up and at 'em."

Spike groaned and tried his best bedroom eyes on Xander only to get a sweet laugh and a quick kiss before Xander bounced from the room. William the Bloody fell back on the bed with a sigh; it had started so well, he thought wistfully, but the prospect of no morning shag had darkened an otherwise perfect day. Not that he really enjoyed being up during the day, but if he had to be up then he wanted sex.

"Spike," Xander yelled from the kitchen, "come and get it while the blood is still hot." The blonde felt a smile sneak up on his face, only his Xan, he thought with an inner snicker.

Stretching languidly, Spike moved from the bed to the closet. Well, he thought, shall it be the black jeans today, or the black jeans. Oh, what the hell, live a little, how about the black jeans? Oh, bloody 'ell, he must have popped his cork to be joking to himself about his clothes. He thought for a moment and then shrugged; he lived with Dru for over a century, insanity was a way of life.

Strolling into the kitchen, he stopped for a brief moment to enjoy the sight of the young men chatting at the table, two beautiful brunettes each unique in their own way. Xander shone with an inner joy and his beautiful brown eyes danced with merry laughter. Peter was more solemn but there was an edge of amusement lurking in the curve of his mouth.

Strolling in, he grabbed a quick kiss from Xander before settling down with his breakfast. He took a sip and then grimaced, nasty just did not begin to cover the taste of lukewarm blood. Ignoring Xander's 'I told you so' smirk he reheated it and crumbled Wheetabix into the cup. He smiled at Peter's disgusted expression and immediately felt better.

"So luvs, shouldn't the two of you be on your way? Slutty and company await."

"What makes you think you get out of this delightful experience?" Xander said with a frown.

"Vampire. Sunlight," he explained with a smirk.

"Don't try to pull that on me," Xander scolded, "I know you have ways of moving around town during the day. In fact, I know there is a sewer entrance in this building. If I have to put up with Buffy then so do you."

"Bollocks," Spike muttered, "this is what I get for taking up with humans. I thought vampires were masters of torture, but having to put up with Slutty and Red is torture of a whole new variety."

"I'll make it up to you," Xander whispered. He got up from his seat and moved into the blonde vampire's lap. He sprinkled teasing kisses over his face, then fastened his lips on Spike's and did his best to scatter his brains to the wind. With a growl, the blonde pulled Xander close and kissed his mate until Xander pulled back with a dazed, happy look. Spike looked up and spied a wistful look on Peter's face for an instant before it changed to amusement.

"Shall I leave and let the two of you catch up later?" Peter said with a grin.

"No need to leave, pet," Spike purred.

A blush stained Peter's face causing the blonde vampire to smirk appreciatively and Xander to smile.

"Quit embarrassing our guest, blondie," Xander said with a smacking kiss before getting up and putting the dishes in the sink. "We'll meet you there, Spike."

"Why don't you two come with me and we'll all go together."

"Euuuuww. Travel in the sewers? I don't think so."

"You are so going to owe me for this, whelp," Spike said with a growl and then moaned. "Sod it, not only am I whipped but I'm starting to talk like a teenager too."

Xander giggled and hugged him before strolling out the door.

"I hope you realize how lucky you are. He's laughter and sunshine," Peter said quietly.

William the Bloody smiled with incongruously gentle eyes. "Even a demon knows when he's got a good thing going. And going is what you better be doing before Xander starts yelling for you."

Barely were the words out of his mouth before Xander's voice sounded. They exchanged amused glances before Peter walked out of the room. Spike had an urge to grab their guest and plant a goodbye kiss on him also, but he managed to restrain himself. This one would not be seduced by brute force, subtlety would be much more effective. At least until they could catch him off guard, trip him, and kiss him senseless, he thought wickedly.

With Xander kisses, Peter seducing, and Buffy tormenting in mind, he started down the stairs of their building to the basement. It was with great effort that he repressed the cheerful grin that wanted to break over his face, in fact the best he could do was change it to a smirk. That was sufficient for anyone who knew him however and several of the building's demons took one look at him and ducked immediately out of his way. Oh yeah, I'm the Big Bad, he crowed inwardly, and didn't even notice the smell of the sewer as he traversed the underground pathways of the city, dodging grates to avoid the deadly sunlight.

Half an hour later, he reached the warehouse adjacent to the Magic Shop and picked up the tarpaulin they had stashed for just such an occasion. With a quick dash and just a bit of singe he was safely inside the doors of the shop. Once inside he stopped and looked around at the room's occupants. Bollocks, he thought irritably, I must have missed all the fun. The tension in the room was thick enough for even a zombie to notice.

Buffy was red faced and glowering as if she had been shouting, as if that were a surprise to anyone who knew her. Willow looked tearful and even Giles looked noticeably ruffled. Xander was white-faced and clearly angry; Spike moved to him and wrapped his arms around him from behind. Peter did not seek his support obviously but Spike noticed he moved until he stood beside them. Unobtrusively Spike laid a hand on Peter's back and his worry and ire tightened a notch at the quivering tension in the coiled body. He opened his mouth to demand an explanation when the answer suddenly became apparent.

"That's what I mean," Buffy exploded and gestured in their direction. "It's not natural. Xander has been deluded for months into believing that Spike cares about him and now he's got the new guy doing it. Spike is a demon and the only reason he's not trying to carve bloody chunks out of us is because of the damn chip."

The blonde vampire in question was clenching his jaw tighter and tighter and now the comfort in the room was going in the other direction. Only Xander and Peter kept him from igniting. Calm down, he thought, you can't kill her; Xander would be upset with you. You can't nail her to the wall with rusty spikes and then carve out her liver with a chain saw. Besides, think of the mess, and the waste of all that Slayer blood. Perhaps I can just break a couple of bones, he thought hopefully. Just then, Xander turned worried, gentle eyes up to his face and Spike sighed in resignation. A quick glance at Peter showed almost identical worry in wary hazel eyes. Bugger! How had he managed to get mixed up with one Boy Scout much less two of them? He must be a masochist; it was the only thing that explained it.

With a shrug, he squeezed Xander briefly and patted Peter on the back. "Don't worry, I won't permanently damage anything," he whispered, "but I think it's about time that Slutty and I had a little talk."

"I agree, love," Xander said quietly, "acquaint her with the facts of life."

Blinkin' hell, Slutty must have really pissed Xan off, Spike thought amazedly.

A grin stretched his mouth briefly and then twisted into an annoying smirk. "That's where you're wrong, ducks." He strolled slowly over to the glowering Buffy. "You see it's not the chip that keeps me from driving a rusty stake through your heart." With blinding speed, he grabbed the Slayer by the neck and slammed her into the wall. "It's Xander." He pulled her head back and slammed it once more for good measure before dropping the dazed girl to the floor. He strolled back over to Xander and Peter and smirked with true enjoyment at the mingled amazement and horror rippling through the room. True to form, Giles grasped the full picture first.

"Good lord," Giles murmured and adjusted his glasses. "You really do love Xander."

"Giles," Buffy yelled, "focus here. Spike's chip isn't working anymore." She was crouched in the same spot that Spike had dropped her and had produced a wooden stake from somewhere. She moved in a determined prowl towards the smirking blonde vampire only to halt when both Xander and Peter moved in front of Spike and scowled at her. Actually, Peter's menacing look halted her. She would not soon forget the humiliating events of the day before when the slender young man had treated Slayer strength as if it were negligible. Although, Xander's skill would surprise her if she tried him. Unlike his friends, Spike had not been satisfied with letting luck keep the laughing young man alive, he had drilled Xander in every fighting technique he had learned in over a hundred years of conflict.

"Listen," Peter growled and the tone that caused Buffy to back up in alarm shivered down Spike's spine seductively. "I don't know what your problem is girl, but you are really getting on my last nerve."

"My problem is that Spike is a demon, a bad guy, and no one seems to care about that but me!"

Willow, who up until this time had been reenacting the human version of a tennis match by swiveling her head between Buffy and the guys, brightened, she had finally realized what Giles had known from the moment Spike had released Buffy after slamming her into the wall. She moved forward and laid a calming hand on Buffy's arm. Buffy glanced over at her but her glare went back to Peter when he spoke.

"I suppose you're the good guy in this scenario."

The Slayer frowned in confusion, "Well, yes."

"God help us all," Peter groaned.

Willow tightened her grip as Buffy made a motion to move forward. "Buffy, wait," Willow said, "I think I know what Giles meant." She glanced over at the man in question who had moved over to the hot plate and was unconcernedly making a pot of tea. Obviously, Giles was not going to be any help in this altercation. Willow sighed and tried to explain.

"You were arguing earlier that it was the chip that was controlling Spike's behavior and that without it he would attack and kill Xander. His attack on you proves that he doesn't have the microchip in his head anymore, or at the very least, that it isn't working anymore." Willow was becoming increasingly excited as she spoke and her words started running together as her hands began to move illustrating her points. "Therefore, that means that he is controlling his behavior himself because of his feelings for Xander, so in conclusion we can state that he really does love Xander and that by extension he won't hurt us because we're Xander's friends." The redhead finished with a decisive nod that was a bit marred at Spike's snort at her last sentence.

"So you're saying he's one of the good guys now," Buffy exclaimed incredulously.

"Not quite," Giles murmured from his chair where he was sipping on a calming cup of tea.

"So what exactly? You know what, never mind. He's a vampire; I'm a vampire slayer. I've always been a slay first ask questions later kind of gal." With that, she flipped the stake in her hand and launched it at Spike's heart with blinding speed.

Xander gasped and Spike stared in shock at the sight of the stake in Peter's hand just inches from the blonde vampire's chest. Spike shook slightly at how close to the final death he just came and did not protest when Xander clutched him close. Peter reacting with the growling rage that Spike would have if he had not been so shocked.

With the stake still in hand, Peter glided towards the fuming girl. "I have had it. If you represent the good guys around here, it's no wonder your world is in trouble." The hazel eyes that Spike and Xander had seen as gentle, embarrassed and even shy were now hard with anger and disgust. Peter did not even flinch as Buffy landed an enraged punch firmly in his gut. Spike was finding it easier and easier to believe Peter's claims of greater than fifty times normal human strength as he picked the slayer up by her neck as if she were a doll and growled directly into her face.

"I've only been here two days and you've insulted me, ignored me, pissed me off, denigrated my intelligence, attacked me repeatedly, and generally behaved like the villain in this scenario." Peter shook her for emphasis and taking note of the blue features of the Slayer, set her back on the floor. He didn't give her much time to process the fact that she could breathe again before he drug her over to a chair and pushed her into it. "Now, you are going to sit here, shut up, and behave or I swear I'll take you over my knee and spank you like the snotty, misbehaving brat you're acting like." He glared at the still angry girl until she subsided into silence.

"Now," Peter said with a huge gust of air, "let's get everything straight once and for all. Because the next time you," he paused and slanted a very harsh glare at the Slayer, "try to kill one of my friends I'm going to go medieval on your ass. So why don't you try to explain to me why you're so intent on killing Spike, because frankly between the two of you he's shown much more hospitality and humanity than you have." Peter paused and pinned a questioning look on Buffy. "Well?"

The Slayer slumped back against the seat and a tired look passed over her face. "I don't want Xander to get hurt anymore. First preying mantis lady, then mummy girl and ex-vengeance demon, now a vampire. Spike at one time or another has tried to kill all of us and damn near succeeded several times." A frustrated look passed over her face. "I should believe he's changed because he's in love now?"

Spike did not resist as Xander pulled out of his arms and went to kneel in front of Buffy's chair. "Buff, I appreciate you trying to protect me." He shifted until he was staring straight into the Slayer's eyes. "But if you had killed Spike, it would have destroyed me." His voice lowered to a whisper, "just as worry for Riley is destroying you. I understand that you're stressed but please don't take it out on us. If you kill Spike, you'll have to kill me next."

Slow tears started leaking through tired hazel eyes. "He really loves you?" Buffy asked quietly.

"Yes, he does," Spike answered coldly. "And while I won't say you lot are exactly safe with me, because of Xander I won't eviscerate your spleens and bathe in your blood." Judging the immediate crisis over and frankly not interested in the Slayer's little breakdown he slouched onto the couch and lit up a cigarette. He stared through the smoke that rose lazily and watched as everyone but Peter moved to comfort the distraught girl. Like himself, Peter seemed to be the type to hold a grudge. The brown haired man moved and sat to one side of him on the couch and while he did not smoke, he assumed an unconcerned sprawl. Spike cleared his mind and tried to forget that a day that had started so well, had gone downhill ever since.


"So who's Riley?" Peter asked quietly while he leaned back and stared at the ceiling.

"Slayer's boyfriend, he's mixed up with a military organization and they've been pumping him full of experimental drugs," Spike shrugged. "He's had a bad reaction and they won't tell anyone how he's doing. Slayer has had her panties in a twist ever since." The blonde vampire blew a smoke ring and spared a glance at the crying tableau in the corner of the room. "Normally she's slightly tolerable, lately I've wanted to break her bones more than usual."

Peter laughed softly, "You're an interesting man, Spike. I'm glad I didn't meet you pre-Xander."

The blonde vampire laughed but his reply was cut off by Giles voice. "Buffy, I'm sorry you're worried about Riley but I'm sure they're doing everything they can. However, I believe we are forgetting the point of this get together. We still have to deal with the Stheth'juth demons."

Attention in the room shifted to the ex-Watcher. Willow settled next to Buffy and Xander made his way back over to Spike where he settled on the side opposite Peter. Giles adjusted his glasses and rubbed tired eyes. "After researching several obscure resources, I believe I've located the demons but I still don't know how to subdue them. We cannot puncture their skin because it is acidic and their blood is corrosive. Like vampires, they are vulnerable to sunlight, unlike vampires that is their only recorded vulnerability. They hide in subterranean caves during the day. So we either confront them on their home ground, defeat them and somehow drag them above ground. Which," Giles cleared his throat uncomfortably, "is not something I recommend."

"Very bad tactics," Peter muttered in agreement.

"Or we confront them above ground during the night and somehow contain them until daylight."

"Much better and less likely to get all of us killed," Peter's voice was absent as his mind whirled in thought. It seemed as if this world needed not just Spider-man's abilities but Peter Parker's as well. His web fluid sounded like the perfect way to contain the demons, even exposed to acid it should hold them securely with repeated applications. Luckily, he never went anywhere without his web shooters, but even with extra cartridges he did not have enough to contain more than a dozen of the beasts. Could he find the chemicals he needed to make more? Could he devise something for the others to use to dispense the fluid? Questions careened through his head and it was several minutes later before he realized the others were trying to get his attention. None of their words made it through the swirling thoughts but Spike tapping on his cheek did. He focused back on the outside world to find the blonde vampire smiling at him while everyone else stared quizzically.

"Think of something, luv?"

"Yes," he frowned as he marshaled his thoughts. "First of all I have a few questions. Such as, what average size are the demons, are they humanoid shape, do we know how fast they move, how strong they are, how many demons are we dealing with, are they loners or pack animals, why are they coming to the surface?" Peter paused for breath and a flustered Giles interrupted.

"Ummm... yes, well let's see. The Stheth'juth are about half again as large as an average human, and very strong and fast, at a guess I would say two to three times a human. There could be as many as fifty of them. They seem to be pack animals, so the chances of a stray are low, but the chances of being ganged up upon are high. And they're coming to the surface to feed." Giles stopped and smiled faintly, "Next set of questions?"

Peter blushed slightly; his mouth had gotten ahead of his brain again. He had all of these questions and his lack of knowledge was making him edgy. He took a breath and tried to speak more slowly. "Do you have access to a chemistry lab?"

"A chemistry lab?" Giles repeated confused.

"Yes, a lab. I think I know how to contain the demons from a distance for the required length of time. Back home, I developed a pressurized fluid that hardens and becomes a solid within seconds of exposure to air. The tensile strength is very high and the hardened web will hold beings thirty times stronger than a human. The downside is I don't have enough with me to hold more than a dozen demons. So I need a lab to make more."

"What kind of fluid?" Willow piped up curiously.

"It's a type of glue polymer formed from proteins that contain polar and ionizable chemical groups. These groups participate in the linking of the glue molecules to the substrate and to themselves forming an interconnected network. The cross-linked polymer is elastic and can diffuse stress throughout its matrix. However, the addition of a bulking agent to the glue causes some changes in the chemical and physical properties of the protein network that..." Peter trailed off as he saw the glazed looks throughout the room. Even Willow looked like she was in information overload. Oh well, he sighed softly; it was too much to hope that he would find someone in this group to talk shop with. "I call it webbing," he finished simply, "and I need a lab to make more of it. I already have my web shooters and I can rig up some fluid guns for the rest of you. That is if I have access to a lab." He quirked an eyebrow at Giles and groaned at the slightly befuddled look he received.

"Perhaps a demonstration is in order." Giles suggested.

"Right," Peter sighed, "I'll be just a moment. I'm not wearing my web shooters just yet; they're a bit noticeable under a short sleeve tee. If you'll excuse me?" He slid to his feet and retired to the bathroom for a moment. He spent a moment staring at the mirror as he tried to come to grips with what was happening in his life lately. Being stranded in another dimension was bad enough, but he had to land in one inhabited by creepy crawlies and every other creature of the night. Add to the fact that he was attracted to one of the creatures of the night as well as his human boyfriend and it surpassed strange and went straight into episodes of the Twilight Zone. Buffy and her animosity was just icing on the cake. He could understand her worry about her boyfriend but if he tried to kill someone every time he became stressed then...well he would sure as heck have a few less enemies, he thought with weary humor.

Funny, the problem that had brought him to this world in the first place was turning out to be the least of his troubles. Just a different brand of bad guy to send packing, more of the status quo, demons weren't quite what he usually fought but they couldn't be that much different than mutants. At least, he hoped.

What was he going to do about Spike and Xander? His thoughts continued as he automatically strapped on his web shooters and checked the cartridge fluid levels. He had been attracted to a few guys in his life but never two at once and never any two so dangerous. He had not missed the references that others and Spike himself had made to his personality. The vampire might be charming, seductive, and intelligent but he was also a borderline if not a downright sociopath. Society's rules seemed to mean nothing to him; the only thing that mattered was his lover's rules. Could that work for both of them? Could he come to have the same influence on Spike that Xander did?

Oh my god. Was he actually thinking in terms of becoming involved with them? Maybe he was the insane one. He did not have the first idea of how to have a relationship with a guy; he barely had the hang of having one with a girl. Much less, a relationship with two guys, one of which was not even human. I thought superpowers were confusing, he moaned silently, they're nothing compared to figuring out a relationship. Wait a minute; maybe I'm misinterpreting things. Spike and Xander have been flirting with me, but that doesn't mean they want anything serious. I'm probably just imagining things, he convinced himself even as his mind drifted back to the sardonic, sexy vampire and impish, laughing Xander.

A wave of mixed panic and loneliness swept through him. Confused, he tried to decide if the emotions were at the thought of the other two not being serious or the possibility that they were. Sighing, he rested his head against the door before leaving as he tried to slow the storm of thoughts in his head. Being this confused was not normal for him and he did not like the sensation.

Making sure he presented a calm front to the others, he made his way back to the main room of the Magic Shop. He was not surprised at the strange stares that his web shooters received. Amused, he wondered how they would have reacted to the full costume. As strange as this world was he probably would have been mistaken for a demon.

"Interesting toys, but what do they do?" Spike questioned.

Peter leveled a mock insulted look at the vampire. "These aren't toys, they're weapons; non-lethal weapons, but weapons nevertheless." Not to mention transportation in the city, he thought. That was not information he planned to share though. His strength was something already demonstrated and he was in the midst of giving away another secret, he was not in the mood to tell them everything until he was surer of his involuntary hosts.

"Unless you want web strands hanging over the shop for the next hour, I would suggest doing this outside. Spike can watch through the windows if he's interested." Peter sent a questioning glance at the blonde vampire and was satisfied with the nod he received in return. The others agreed and everyone who was not sunlight challenged made their way to the alley behind the shop.

"What would you like me to demonstrate on?" Peter asked while looking around at the scenic view of bricks, trashcans, and weeds. The smells were in keeping with the dcor and Peter wanted to get the demonstration over with so they could return to a more pleasant environment.

Giles shrugged and pointed at the only obvious target around, the large metal trashcans.

Peter nodded, shot out a stream of fluid, and formed a net over the nearest one. Strange, he thought, he had never done this out of costume before, it felt wrong to see the web with his naked eye and not through the eyeholes of his mask.

There were several exclamations from behind him including a "cool" from Xander and a "most interesting" from Giles.

"And this webbing is strong enough to stop these guys?" Buffy asked skeptically.

"See for yourself," he invited.

The Slayer walked over to the can and tried to remove a piece of the webbing. She frowned in surprise when it resisted her efforts. Frowning, she exerted more force, eventually resorting to full strength. The web only stretched slightly despite her efforts.

Peter smiled and resisted commenting. Instead, he drifted back inside, stood beside Spike at the window, and watched the Slayer's increasingly frustrated efforts until everyone else finally came back inside.

"Okay," Buffy said with the beginnings of respect in her voice, "I believe you. But what if we accidentally get some on ourselves or one of the group?"

"My best advice," Peter said soberly, "is don't. It won't hurt you but it will leave you vulnerable. I suggest that we come at the demons from opposite directions." The brown haired man paced slowly up and down the room as he thought. "An elevated position would be best. Spike and Xander can be at one end and Buffy, Willow, and Giles at the other."

"And where will you be placed?" Giles asked.

"In the middle of the fight. As the one with the most experience with this, I'll need the most maneuverability."

"And what if a stray web catches you?" Xander asked.

"Highly unlikely," Peter shrugged, "chaotic battle conditions are the norm for me. Although, I don't often work with a team."

"What do you do back at your home anyway?" Buffy asked. "In all the chaos, I don't think anyone asked."

"No, they didn't," Peter frowned, "for a group that fights evil on a daily basis, you're way too trusting."

Buffy and Willow bristled but Giles shot them both a stern look before asking what he meant.

"Yesterday, you preformed a spell to summon a demon. According to Spike, the pentagram would have been sufficient to contain a genuine demon, but you should have prepared for the unexpected. And once you discovered something went wrong, more attention should have been given to what you summoned not less." He shook his head in disapproval. "How long did it take anyone to notice that Spike and I were gone?"

Giles looked chagrined and even Buffy looked disturbed.

"Your inattention could have gotten you killed. Just because I didn't attack when your back was turned doesn't mean the next thing you summon won't. Although," Peter shot a hard look at Giles and especially Willow and muttered, "I hope that neither of you will be performing that spell again any time soon."

"No worries about that," Giles said firmly. Willow did not comment but Peter warily considered the slightly rebellious glint in her green eyes and decided to keep a close eye on the novice witch.

"And while we're on the subject and out of not so idle curiosity. Do you have any idea how to return me home after we take care of your little demon problem?"

Giles and even Willow looked uncomfortable and avoided his eyes thereby giving Peter the answer he had suspected. Sighing, he settled into the couch and stared silently at the ceiling. Did he even want to go home? There was nothing for him back there. Aunt May was dead, Harry had followed in the footsteps of his insane father the Green Goblin, Mary Jane liked him but obviously not enough to marry him, society viewed him as a public menace and the media waged a constant smear campaign against him. Moreover, while he did help people he was not indispensable. Someone would take up the slack, perhaps the Fantastic Four. Johnny Storm could use some more villains; it would give him less time to show off, he thought uncharitably.

Spike nudged him out of his thoughts when he sat down beside him and dropped a casual arm around his shoulders. "I'm sorry, luv," the vampire offered quietly.

"It's okay," he sighed, "there wasn't much to go home for anyway." He leaned slightly into the cool body beside him. It had been so long since someone had tried to comfort him. He discovered that he liked not having to be the strong one all the time.

Spike reacted to his minute movement by pulling him closer and all three of them ignored the stares when Xander snuggled on Spike's other side. Peter felt a spurt of amusement and realized despite the uncertainty of his new life he was almost content. He allowed himself another moment of silent enjoyment before focusing back on the day's problems.

"So," he said into the silence, stifling a smirk as Buffy and Willow jumped at the sudden sound, "about the chemistry lab?"

Giles who was staring at them as if he had tasted something sour, nodded. "I have a mini-lab in the back of the shop, if it is sufficient then I'm sure we can obtain the chemicals you require. This way please." The older man's voice was absently polite as he showed him to the lab.

Peter looked around the small but efficient setup of beakers, burners and measuring devices, and nodded in approval. This would do quite nicely. Although, he thought with a raised brow, he doubted he would be using the dried toadstool or pickled cat's eyes. In fact, he did not recognize half of the items in the jars and tubes scattered around. No matter, he found five of the seven ingredients he needed. He informed Giles of the two that were lacking and the need for pressurized equipment to expel the liquid. The older man looked thoughtful for a moment before going to the phone. Peter listened in briefly but when the language changed from English to something he did not recognize, he decided he did not want to know.

Irritably he rubbed at his temples, the headache he had arrived with yesterday had never really gone away, it had just softened enough for him to be able to think through it. He startled when cool hands replaced his own and looked up into sardonic blue eyes. He shivered slightly and then closed his eyes in enjoyment as the strong cool hands soothed the throbbing pain. The slight pressure of small circles drawn on his temples sent waves of relaxation through his head that echoed through his body. He jerked again as warm arms slid around his waist from the back and Xander's warm breath blew on his neck. They had never covered this situation in the superhero handbook, he thought nervously.

Slowly he relaxed and let warm arms cradle him close while cool hands absorbed his pain. Meeting these two was worth jumping dimensions for, he thought vaguely. He realized he was gently being seduced and decided he liked it. It was nice to be the pursued rather than the pursuer for a change. Tingles ran across his skin when warm lips brushed his neck. He shivered slightly as he leaned back against the young man holding him and breathed in the combined scent of leather and sunshine.

A cleared throat interrupted them and he opened his eyes to see Buffy standing several feet away with a determinedly neutral expression. Good, he thought with satisfaction, she was finally starting to show some manners.

"While Giles is arranging the delivery of your chemicals, I thought we could spar. If that's okay with you?" Buffy asked.

Knowing this was her way of evaluating him, he nodded. She was wise not to take an unknown quantity into battle. He had demonstrated strength, but that was only one component of a fighter's skills.

The Slayer nodded, pleased, and turned from the room. Peter smiled at Spike and lifted his hands to cover Xander's warm arms wrapped around him. "Thank you, both of you. So far you've made this involuntary trip not just bearable, but enjoyable."

A chuckle sounded softly and a small kiss was placed behind his ear before Xander released him. Spike cupped his face briefly and ran gentle fingers down his cheek before stepping back. Peter found Buffy waiting in the hall and followed her to a well-used gym; training area, he corrected himself after taking a closer look around. It was a modest room but well equipped and obviously heavily used.

"Weapons or bare-handed?" Buffy questioned.

"Whatever suits your mood," Peter said with a shrug. He did not normally fight with weapons besides his web shooters but he knew the basics. If he needed a weapon in a fight, he usually improvised.

The blonde girl tilted her head and gave him an assessing look. "Let's try barehanded first."

Peter nodded agreeably, relaxed and blandly watched her take up a grim stance in front of him. Cautioning himself to not underestimate the young Slayer he waited for her opening move. Buffy circled for a moment before she launched a blindingly quick kick to his chest. He smoothly pivoted and the blow landed on air.

A deadly punch followed the kick and Peter felt the swift rush of adrenalin pulse through him. A grin stretched his face as he evaded the powerful attack. Peripherally, he noticed the others enter the room and set a portion of his attention on monitoring their movements. He smiled in appreciation when Buffy launched herself in a flip over his head; he tumbled forward quickly to evade her. He resisted the urge to bounce off the walls in his usual style but could not resist the need to taunt his opponent.

"C'mon blondie, I'm not going to break if you land a blow," he teased as another of the Slayer's strikes landed on air. Seeing the frustration building on her face, he decided to change tactics. He wanted the girl to realize he was a formidable opponent but he did not want to build on her animosity. Striking out, he landed a light blow to Buffy's chest and watched her rock at the impact. Determination gleamed on the sweat streaked Slayer's face and Peter slowed to allow her to land a kick. He nodded at the sting; the girl was very strong for a human and well matched to vampires and most demons if he understood correctly; however she would have been in the minor leagues among the mutants, villains, and aliens back home.

Perhaps, he thought unexpectedly, he should begin thinking of this world as home. Distracted by that thought, his eyes unfocused and he uncharacteristically turned his attention away from the fight. Absentmindedly, he dodged and swayed as his spider-sense warned him while he tried to process the loss of an entire world. Every time that he thought he was starting to deal with it, the idea would drop on him again. He would probably never see anyone he knew ever again, he was dead to them.

To the spectators, it developed into one of the eeriest matches they had ever witnessed. Buffy was attacking fast and furiously, her hair swinging wildly and sweat dripping off her face, whereas Peter seemed to be in another world. He moved with uncanny grace and one would have thought him completely oblivious with his blank eyes, except that not a single blow landed on him. He was not sweating or breathing hard, his long limbed body seemed to flow with the ease of water across the floor. Flexing fluidly, he spun, did a back flip to dodge a combination attack of the Slayer and landed still staring ahead with unfocused eyes.

"Shit," Buffy finally said explosively; she halted in the middle of the room, placed balled up hands on her hips and glared at her opponent.

Peter blinked as the curse caught his attention. Startled, he stared at the glaring girl as he realized where they were. Damn, he thought worriedly, I have never spaced out in the middle of a fight before. Thinking back, he could not remember a single thing about the last few minutes. It was not the first time he had lost contact with reality since he arrived here, he realized. Were these fugue states his way of coping or a result of crossing dimensions? Feeling his focus begin to narrow again he irritably shook himself and looked back at the still glaring Slayer.

"I'm sorry," he sighed, "my attention wandered." He grimaced knowing that was an inadequate explanation.

"Your attention wandered," Buffy repeated incredulously. "Do you always fight on auto-pilot? If so, you're going to get someone killed."

He flushed slightly and then glared at the blonde girl, "Don't worry, Miss Slay First Ask Questions Later, when the time comes for a real fight I'll be paying attention. I've just got a lot on my mind."

"Oh," Buffy asked sarcastically, "what do you have to think about?"

Peter stared at her incredulously, "How about the loss of everything and everyone I've ever known?"

Ignoring the dismayed look that appeared on the Slayer's face, he stalked from the room. Damn it, damn it, damn it, if that child and her sarcastic mouth got on his nerves one more time he was going to, going to... damn it, he groaned silently. He wanted to hand the Slayer her head, but he knew what worry could do to a person, especially a teenager who apparently had little tact in the first place. He was trying very hard not to blame the girl and her friends for the miscast spell that stranded him here and she was making it almost impossible. He took several deep breaths even as he strode determinedly towards the door; he needed some time alone.

Slamming the door behind him gave him a second of satisfaction before he took off at a swift walk. He did not care where he was going as long as it was away. He heard a voice call his name and broke into a run. Minutes later, he spotted one of the taller buildings in the small town and after glancing around he ascended the side in a rapid crawl. Upon reaching the top, he settled into a crouch and stared into space. Emotions clamored for attention but he rode the
storm until they calmed and he drifted into an emotionless void.


Spike cursed himself for being a second too slow to catch Peter as he darted out into the deadly sunshine. Xander went after him but returned minutes later shaking his head.

"He took off when I called his name, all I saw after that was a streak of red lightning," Xander said.

Spike felt rage curling through his veins; he was still in a bit of shock from his narrow escape earlier and now the stupid chit had opened her mouth again, visions of blood flowing and bones breaking screamed crimson across his vision. His face shifted and he felt his canines elongate as he stalked across the room to the stunned girl. His punch caught her off guard and she slammed into the ground.

He growled and a dangerous grin streaked his face as the Slayer rolled to her feet. He was holding on to his rage by the slimmest of margins and he hoped that for Xander's sake she did not open her mouth. He felt a blow land on his face and ignored the blood leaking from his split lip. Spinning he knocked her legs out from under her and felt satisfaction when she landed hard. She flipped backwards a second later; Spike circled her and dodged a lethal punch. Lashing out, he caught her full on the chin and she collapsed dazed. Crouching over her, he gripped her face tightly enough to leave bruises.

Waiting until her eyes focused, he growled, "Learn to watch your tongue, Slayer, or I'm going to cut it out." Still growling, he dropped her head with a thud and stalked to the corner punching bag. Xander moved to cover his back as he expended his bubbling rage with kicks and punches. The demon in him was clawing and screamed in rage as he focused his attention in front of him. When he was finally in some semblance of control, he turned to see everyone in the room, with the exception of Xander, staring at him in frozen confusion. His lover had his back to Spike and was watching the others with a wary, hard stare.

Still growling faintly, he pulled Xander back into his arms. The brown-eyed mortal immediately tilted his head in invitation. Growls turned to purrs as he inhaled the scent of his human; delicately he pierced the skin and drank slowly of his lover's thick blood, relishing the shudder and press of the hard body against him. Love and trust flowed through the salty, sweet liquid and he savored the exquisite taste. He stopped after only a few swallows, his demon was sated on his mate's blood and he did not want to weaken Xander. He lifted fangs still gleaming red and slowly licked them as the others watched in mingled horror and fascination. Once his canines were clean, he licked Xander's neck until the holes closed and then placed a gentle kiss on the throbbing pulse.

"Hard truth time, guys," Xander stretched sensually and stared flatly into three sets of disapproving eyes. "Spike and I love each other, he drinks my blood and we both enjoy it. Furthermore, we have every intention of seducing Peter and convincing him to stay with us. Frankly," Xander said coldly, "we're both tired of disapproving looks, and sarcastic remarks. Not to mention murder attempts. Either start behaving like the friends you're supposed to be or Spike and I are gone."

Spike nodded in firm agreement and added, "And since none of you three have bothered to be nice to Peter, I'm fairly sure he'll come with us."

"If he comes back," Xander said worriedly.

Spike nodded and smiled viciously, "How does it feel to have screwed up Sunnyhell's chance of survival, Slayer? Without Peter you don't have a plan and the Stheth'juth will take over the town."

"He'll come back," Willow said uncertainly.

Spike stared at her wordlessly and shrugged. He agreed with her even if he was not going to say so. Peter was one of the good guys and they had that stupid code of honor they lived by. He could not see Xander letting innocents die and he figured their new friend was just the same. That did not mean he could not taunt the others with the possibility though.

"Shit," Buffy sighed again and scrubbed her face. She looked haunted suddenly and slowly walked to stand in front of the two still entwined in an embrace. She stared silently for several moments before speaking, "Okay, I admit it, I've screwed up. I'm still worried for you Xander," a tired smile at the brown haired boy, "and I still don't trust you Spike," a cold look at the glaring vampire, "but I'll try to act like a friend rather than an enemy in the future."

Spike's expression did not change even as Xander pulled out of his arms to hug the blonde Slayer. It would take a lot more than a single apology for him to change his mind about her, a frontal lobotomy maybe, but lacking that she had to stop hurting those he loved.

"I know it's hard to absorb, Buff, but it means a lot to me that you're going to try." Xander's voice was soft but Spike noticed that the mortal was still standing between him and the Slayer. His pet had a long memory and he knew that even if Xander forgave Buffy it would be a long time before he trusted her again. Buffy moved out of the way to make room for Willow, the red-haired witch had been uncharacteristically quiet even before the spell that had brought Peter to them.

"I'm sorry, Xander. I've been distracted lately and not paying enough attention to my friends, especially my oldest friend." Willow glanced warily at Spike. "I also haven't been very supportive of your new relationship. All that matters is that you're happy."

Spike rolled his eyes and decided he had had all the sappy shit he could stand. Next thing he knew, Ripper would be blubbering and that would definitely be the last straw. He whispered in Xan's ear that he was going to watch the telly and slipped out of the room before he was permanently traumatized. A quick glance back showed Giles moving forward and he hurried to get out of earshot.

Gratefully slumping down upon a chair in the outer shop area, he noticed the time and grinned delightedly. Flipping on the telly, he turned the stations until he came upon Passions and settled down to find out what had happened since he had last seen it. The soap opera was one of the few things actually stranger than his life on a daily basis and he enjoyed seeing others get into unlikely scrapes. He was enjoying the plights of the denizens of the town of Harmony when a sound distracted him. The others were still bonding in the training room but the noise came from the lab. He gave one last look at the telly before getting up to check.

He stopped in the doorway at the sight that met him. Their dark haired guest was busy mixing and stirring powders and liquids together. Spike leaned in the doorway and simply watched the graceful hands move fluidly and competently. Peter bent over a beaker of bubbling liquid and quickly moved it off the heat and poured it into little containers he had sitting nearby. A quick twist of the top and Peter slipped them into a belt of some kind that Spike had not noticed earlier. Peter finally looked up when Spike moved further into the room and closed the door behind him.

"Not to seem nosy or anything, but..." Spike lifted a brow and looked around him. He had been in the main room of the shop and Peter had not come past him.

"I met the guy with the supplies at the door," Peter shrugged, "and then slipped in through the alley."

"Trying to avoid the others, eh?"

"Yeah," Peter sighed and looked down at the counter in front of him.

Spike moved closer and lifted the downcast chin until he could look into tired hazel eyes. "I'm sorry, luv. They don't understand what it's like having your world ripped out from under you."

"But you do?" Peter whispered.

"That I do, pet. Not the exact same way, but close enough."

Hazel eyes searched his own for a moment and must have found what they were looking for because Peter nodded. "I'm trying real hard not to feel bitter towards them but they're making it difficult."

Spike nodded and pulled the other man close. He was delighted to note that there was no resistance in the slender body and satisfied to hear Peter refer to the others as them. It meant that he did not count Spike and hopefully Xander in with the others. He turned his attention to the slim man in his arms, the dark head rested on his shoulders and he could not help tightening his arms as Peter shifted closer. He purred in the rumble that soothed Xander and felt pleased when the mortal sighed softly. Holding the enticing body close he resisted the urge to do anything else, Peter smelled wonderful, the scent of fresh breezes with a hint of dark spices. However, this was not the time to start something, the other man was looking for comfort. Besides, they did not have time for anything and he did not want to leave Xander out. Minutes later, Peter pulled away and smiled at him. There were traces of tears on his cheeks that Spike pretended not to see as he smiled back.

"I don't believe I said thank you yet, luv. Being dust would not be a good look for me."

Peter laughed, "No, it wouldn't match the jeans at all and you're welcome. Buffy seems to be a thorn in both our sides."

"Oh, I think between us we're starting to teach her some manners."

Peter looked at the smirk on his face and his eyes darted across his split lip for a moment before he grinned, "Is she still in one piece?"

"Only banged her around a bit, luv. Oh, and threatened to cut her tongue out if she didn't watch what she said. Xan would be upset if I broke anything."

Spike grinned at the husky chuckle; glad he had brought a smile back to the previously solemn face. Their attention swung to the door as they heard voices in the outer room. Peter's smile dimmed and Spike shook his head.

"I'll see they don't disturb you. Come out when you're ready."

He was dismayed to see how relieved the other man was and smiled rather sadly before slipping out and closing the door behind him. Standing just behind the opening that separated the private portions of the shop from the public, he watched the others come in. They all looked happier and more relaxed than they had earlier. With the exception of Xander, their happiness bothered him, remembering the sad eyed man in the room behind him. He stepped forward and stared impassively at the occupants.

"Spike," Xander said turning around, "I thought you'd be watching Passions."

"I was, pet. Just got distracted for a moment," he smiled briefly before resuming a blank expression.

His lover sobered, "What's wrong?"

He crossed over and took Xander's hand so his lover would not think he was accusing him. "You three have the devil's own luck," he said musingly. He stared darkly at the Slayer, ex-Watcher, and Witch. "You bollox up a spell and manage to kidnap someone from another dimension. You strand the guy, destroy his life, insult him, and try to beat him up." Spike felt his eyes change golden as he became angrier. "And what does he do?" His voice lowered to a hiss, "He devises a plan to save your arses. Personally I'd let you all rot in hell."

The blonde vampire stared coldly at ashamed faces. He was a bit bemused himself about how angry he was. If it had been anyone else, he would have joined in on the taunting. However it was not, he was finding that he could no more hurt Peter than he could Xander. He had never really believed in love at first sight but it was either that or Xander's reincarnation theory. Or perhaps he'd found someone that reminded him so much of himself, both the human William and the vampire Spike. Whatever the reason, he would defend Peter like his own.

"Is he back?" Xander whispered.

"Yeah, pet. He's back and working on that webbing of his."

"How is he?" Xander's voice was quiet and concerned.

Spike hesitated as he looked from worried chocolate brown eyes to the solemn figures standing several feet away. "He'll be okay but he doesn't want to see anyone just yet."

There was silence until Giles spoke, "I imagine he doesn't. Why don't we get something to eat while we wait for him to be finished?"

Nods and agreement went around the room and everyone made less enthusiastic than normal suggestions. Pizza became the final choice because no one felt like going to pick up anything. Spike wrinkled his nose at the thought of the Italian treat and was grateful that he kept blood in the shop's freezer. He felt a tugging on his arm and realized Xander was dragging him towards an armchair in the corner. Amused, he let himself be manhandled and was pleased with the result when Xander pushed him down and curled up in his lap.

"How is he?" Xander whispered again.

Spike sighed; he should have known that his lover would see through his bland answer. "Tired, sad, unwilling to open himself up for more pain. Damn it, Xan," he growled quietly. "How'd he get in my heart so quickly?"

"I don't know, blondie." Xander laid his head down and stroked Spike's chest with idle fingers. "You know, Anaheim isn't that far from here."

Spike confusedly tried to follow the change in conversation. Sometimes Xan could be as difficult to follow as Dru, unlike Dru though he usually made sense, eventually, after following a circuitous route. He shrugged and followed along.

"Few hours, pet."

"Maybe Peter really would like to see Disneyland; I know I would. All three of us could use a vacation and," Xander's voice dropped and was muffled against his chest, "maybe the others would appreciate us more if they had to do without us for a while."

He sat dumbfounded as the idea circulated through his brain. Disneyland ranked right up there with places he would rather be tortured than visit. Kids running rampant, teeth-gratingly cheerful music, people running around in stupid costumes, just the thought made his head hurt. It also sounded like something Xander would delight in; he had certainly never had a chance to be a kid when he really was a child and it would be the perfect way to take Peter's mind off his troubles. Maybe, he thought musingly, he could send the two off to enjoy the saccharine sweetness during the day and just reap the benefits of their sugar and adrenalin high at night.

Hell, he thought after kissing the top of Xander's head, even putting up with Mickey Mouse would be worth it just to get away from the Hellmouth. It was the first time Xander had suggested they leave for even a day and he certainly was not going to veto it because of the destination he picked. Moreover, he thought with a vicious grin, he would love to see Slutty's face when she realized how much of the local nightlife him and Xan had been taking care of for her. Oh yeah, she would certainly appreciate them much more in their absence.

"Sounds like a plan to me, pet," he finally said.

Xander just nodded, kissed his neck and then bolted upright and out of the chair just as the smell of tomato sauce hit his nose. Amused, he watched as the brown-haired boy practically tackled the pizza boy and lifted a slice of the food to his mouth. Xander bit into the wedge appreciatively and it seemed only seconds before he was working on the next piece. Spike expected him to immediately go for another one, since four was about the average, but he understood the hesitation when he saw him looking towards the lab. He nodded when Xander glanced at him and watched approvingly as his lover piled several pieces of pizza on a plate and grabbed a drink before quietly slipping out of the room.


Xander moaned appreciatively as hot, sweet tomato sauce, salty cheese, and warm, crusty bread slid down his throat. He ignored everyone's laughing eyes at his antics, if nothing else the Hellmouth had taught him to savor his pleasures, and good pizza was definitely a pleasure. Even with the demands of his stomach distracting him however, glee danced along the edges of his brain. Spike had agreed to go to Disneyland. Disneyland. Home of Mickey Mouse, stomach curling rides, and teeth rotting candy. Oh yeah, he thought happily, blatant consumerism at its best. He felt just a bit guilty because he knew he could have suggested Iceland and Spike would have agreed just to get them away from the Hellmouth for a while, but he really, really wanted to go to Disneyland. Hopefully, Peter did too, and even if he did not, Xander would make sure that both of them had fun, even if it killed them.

He stifled a giggle at the last thought and started to reach for a third slice of pizza when he hesitated. Unless Peter had stopped for something while he was out, he had not eaten since breakfast. He looked at the lab thoughtfully and then glanced over at Spike. Heartened by the nod he received, he quietly gathered up some food and slipped from the room.

He hesitated at the closed door of the lab and then knocked quietly. "Peter, it's Xander. I brought you some lunch."

"Come in."

Xander slipped inside the door and quietly closed it behind him. Peter was sitting in a chair and staring out the window. He looked up and smiled briefly when Xander came up beside him. He smiled back even as his heart ached, Peter's lips may have moved but his eyes were almost unbearably sad.

"I can just drop this off if you'd rather be alone," he said quietly.

Peter shook his head, "Company would be nice. It would help distract me from my thoughts."

"Oh, distraction," he nodded sagely, "I'm good at distraction." He gave Peter his most innocent grin and was delighted when sad hazel eyes lightened and he received a true smile in return. "Dig in," he said with a gesture to the pizza he had sat on the windowsill. He leaned on the wall and chatted as they ate. They did not speak of anything important or momentous, just simple things people spoke of when getting to know one another: favorite foods, sports, and other neutral subjects. In the process, they learned that their worlds were much alike.

"By the way," Xander said, "I noticed you didn't answer Buffy earlier when she asked what you did."

"Darn, I was hoping that had slipped by everyone."

"Nope, sorry. Like I said I'm good at distraction and," he paused briefly considering and then continued with a shrug, "noticing when someone else is being deliberately distracting. So?"

Peter finished off the last bite of his pizza and returned to staring out the window. Late afternoon sunlight was shining into the room, highlighting the golden strands in Peter's dark hair. A pensive silence embraced the two as one thought and the other waited patiently. Letting his eyes roam during the hush, Xander studied the man that he and Spike were hoping to seduce and keep. He had never really contemplated a three-way relationship, but his love life had never been normal. Until Spike, he had stumbled from one dangerous crush and heartache to another. Strangely enough, finding out that he was gay was not nearly as frightening as sleeping with a crazed Slayer or an ex-vengeance demon.

Spike had always been in the background from the very first. In the beginning, he was a terrifying nightmare come to life. Angel offering him as a gift to the smirking blonde vampire was one of his most interesting memories of his lover. Even through the mind numbing terror, his wayward libido had still registered Spike as sensuous, feral, and beautiful. However, his curiosity had not overridden his wariness until the Initiative had implanted the behavior chip. Despite glaring evidence to the contrary, he did possess a sense of self-preservation. The temptation of being able to interact with a safer Spike proved to be irresistible and he had invited the blonde to live with him. By the time that Spike had found a way to remove the chip, Xander was in love so deep that he could not conceive of fear. If the blonde vampire had ripped his heart out as his first act of freedom, Xander still would not have regretted a thing. Lucky for him, Spike had fallen hard for him as well. He could not contemplate life without his snarky, teasing, and bad-tempered demon anymore and that was just the way he liked it.

Now this newcomer had appeared, tugging on both of their heartstrings. Xander thoughtfully let his gaze linger on the sunlight dappling Peter's skin golden. Peter in some strange way seemed to be their balance. He had Spike's sarcasm and fighting skill without the blood thirst and Xander's white knight complex. Peter also seemed to need Xander's laughter and the sense of safety he found in Spike's arms. Xander looked forward to delving into Peter's complexities; he was such a mix of contradictions, vulnerability paired with inhuman strength and skill.

A soft sigh broke the silence, "Well," Peter said softly his head bent and studying his feet, "officially I attended college and was a free-lance photographer, unofficially," he lifted his head and wary hazel eyes studied him closely, "I used my abilities to fight crime and help people. Much like Buffy, but without the support group," Peter finished with a twist in his smile.

"You didn't have anyone to help?"

A brief hesitation, "I didn't have anyone that knew."

Xander was silent for a moment as he thought about the answers to his questions. That kind of life sounded incredibly lonely. Even the Slayers before Buffy had had Watchers, someone who connected them to the real world and knew all of their secrets. He followed Peter's gaze to the corner of the windowsill and saw a spider-web glistening in the rays of the sun. Sparkles of light shown in the gleaming strands and the small black spider sitting in the middle of the web almost seemed to glow for a brief moment. Returning his gaze to Peter, he wondered at the bitter twist to his lips and the old sadness that haunted his eyes.

Crouching down until he was level with the man still in the chair, Xander spoke quietly and confidently, "You don't have to be alone anymore, Peter. You don't have to worry about frightening us, or even freaking us out. Spike is a one hundred and twenty-seven-year-old vampire who has traveled the world causing mayhem and I've lived on the Mouth of Hell all my life. I've fought snake demons, bug demons, computer demons, invisible people, ghosts, vampires, homicidal robots, I've been possessed twice, been split into twins once, dated an ex-vengeance demon and well," Xander smiled into incredulous eyes, "the list is never-ending. Whatever your life was like, whoever you are and whatever you've done will be accepted."

He dared to rest his hands gently on the strong thighs in front of him and managed to ignore the heat rising off the tantalizing body under his fingers. "I sincerely doubt that you could say anything that would shock us for long. Unless of course," he straightened and pinned Peter with a serious look, "you're the reincarnation of Elvis. That would seriously weird me out. You're not are you?" He finished with a wide-eyed look of mixed hope and trepidation.

Husky laughter echoed through the room and tense muscles relaxed. "No, I can safely say that I'm not Elvis reincarnated."

"Well, that's a relief, luv," Spike's voice said with a hint of laughter causing both men to spin. The blonde vampire was relaxing against the closed door.

"Dang it, blondie," Xander muttered, "I'm seriously going to put a bell around your neck one of these days. Quit with the sneaking already."

"Sorry, pet. Habit, you know."

"Right," Xander sighed even as he smiled at his lover, "I suppose it has nothing to do with the shock effect, right?"

Bright blue eyes widened innocently and the look might have appeared genuine if it had not been for the hint of sly twinkle. Spike moved closer and stopped just on the outer edge of the sunlight drifting through the window. Xander saw a hint of wistfulness in Spike's gaze outside before Peter reached over and drew the blinds over the window plunging the room into shade.

Peter must have caught the slight longing in the vampire's gaze because he asked thoughtfully, "What is it about direct sunlight that causes vampires to burn? Ambient sunlight doesn't have the same effect, so is it the strength or some other factor?"

Xander and Spike leveled identical bewildered stares on the oblivious scientist.

"Vampires obviously have no melanin production, similar to albinos but the reactions are intensified. I wonder if there is a certain wavelength that you're more sensitive to." Peter's attention turned inward and Spike and Xander's gaze went to the tender lower lip being worried and bitten between strong white teeth. "Have you ever tried sun block?" Peter asked abruptly.

The vampire barely had time to bemusedly shake his head before Peter nodded and began muttering again. "It would help if I knew if it was UVA, UVB, UVC, visible light, or ultraviolet light that causes the unfavorable reaction. Of course it could be a combination, I would need to perform experiments testing all of the wavelengths and then various mixtures."

Spike involuntarily stepped back when Peter stared at him thoughtfully. Xander shuddered at the word experiment and immediately pulled Spike into his arms. The memory of the Initiative and their torture disguised as experiments was too fresh in both of their minds for either of them to be comfortable with that word.

"What kind of experiments?" Spike asked warily with a cold edge to his voice.

Peter blinked, considered their embrace of mutual support and frowned in confusion. Seconds later comprehension dawned in his eyes. "I'm sorry," he said quietly, "I get carried away sometimes. I was speaking of experiments done on scrapings of your skin under the microscope." The tenor voice was soothing even as the hazel eyes were sad. "My apologies for bringing up distressing memories. I would never do anything to hurt you."

The blonde vampire hesitated and studied Peter for a second before nodding, "Why do you want to experiment on me?"

"Well," Peter tilted his head up to stare at the entwined lovers, "If I knew the wavelength or combination of wavelengths vampires were vulnerable to, I could probably develop a sun screen that would allow you to go out in the daytime."

"Really?" Xander said excitedly, "That would be wonderful." Spike had not been in the sunlight in over a hundred years. There was so much that he had missed, so much that Xander could introduce him to. Xander drifted into excited plans and daydreams as he imagined his vampire's white blonde hair gleaming and beams reflecting off pale skin.


Bloody hell, Spike thought incredulously, vampire sun block. The thought was so simple as to be ludicrous but as far as he knew no one had ever tried it before. He could see a sunrise again; see golden rays highlighting his beautiful boy. He could go where he pleased and not be stuck inside when restless urges hit him. "Do you really think it would work, pet?" Spike asked slowly with a rising edge of excitement.

"Nothing is guaranteed but I don't see why not," Peter shrugged and smiled slightly.

Spike's eyes lit from within and golden specks swirled amidst the bright blue. He squeezed Xander tightly before sauntering the few steps to stand in front of the seated Peter. With a wicked grin and a murmured, "Let me thank you in advance, pet," he straddled Peter's chair, sat in his lap and ducked down to steal a kiss. He settled his hands on either side of the warm face and tilted it until he could cover the startled mouth with his own. Peter was stiff and unyielding for a moment but Spike gently teased and nipped at the closed lips until the tenseness melted. He smoothed his thumbs up and down Peter's slightly rough jaw line and savored the slight prickles. Peter's lips were warm, firm, and slightly wet from his teasing.

He shivered when hesitant hands rested on his thighs; he could feel the heat from each separate finger burning into him. Sliding his tongue along Peter's closed lips, he coaxed and tempted until he was admitted to the wet heat. Triumphantly darting inside, he tasted warm spices and an unexpected depth of sweetness. Peter's lips trembled slightly as he explored; Spike exulted in having such a powerful man shiver at his touch. He couldn't wait to tumble Peter into bed, so much sweetness and hesitance mixed with unbelievable strength was a powerful aphrodisiac.

A shy tongue slipped out to meet his own and he quickly entangled it, surprising a small moan out of the other man. He could feel a rising hardness that matched his own and almost moaned himself when Peter flexed his hands. A faint sound impinged upon his consciousness and he reluctantly pulled back slightly. 'Effin gorgeous, he thought, as he proudly surveyed his handiwork. Peter's eyes were wide and slightly out of focus, his lips were flushed dark pink and slightly swollen, and his skin had a slight blush. Only then did Spike turn his attention toward the room and noticed an uncomfortable Giles standing in the open doorway. He turned a faintly accusing glance towards Xander who shrugged with a grin.

"Sorry," Xander said sheepishly, "I was enjoying the show too much to pay attention to the door."

Spike grinned back at his lover, he would have been distracted himself if it had been Xander and Peter. He turned back to Giles and asked impatiently, "Now that you've interrupted us, what do you want?"

"Ah yes, well," Giles nervously adjusted his glasses before clearing his throat uncomfortably again, "I was wondering if Peter's web devices were finished yet. It is almost dark and we should probably plan on leaving as soon as possible."

Spike growled irritably but nodded, looking down at the man in whose lap he was still sitting, he noticed Peter had blushed to a bright red. "It's okay, luv, nothing Ripper hasn't seen or probably done before."

"The web shooters are done, yes," Peter said huskily.

Nodding, Giles quickly exited back the way he came.

"Bugger, I suppose duty and all that rot must come first," Spike grumbled. He leaned his forehead down until it touched Peter's and rested for a moment savoring the heat that seemed almost molded to his body under him. He rocked once slightly and licked his lips at the short gasp and wide startled eyes. The hazel gaze was strained now with passion rather than sadness and Spike thought it was a definite improvement. Sighing he dropped one more kiss on the tempting parted lips before moving. Once standing, he reached down a hand and pulled Peter up.

Xander walked over and lifted a finger to trace Peter's lips. "I haven't had my turn yet, but I'll wait until we have more time," he said mischievously. Xander laughed when Peter's blush, which had barely begun to fade, burned brightly again and pulled the other man into his arms for a comforting hug. Spike grinned and wrapped his arms around both of them. The three-way embrace lasted for several moments in which Spike reveled before they all grudgingly pulled apart.

All the sadness had fled Peter's features as he raised a hand to cup both of their cheeks briefly before turning away to start picking up the web guns he had designed. Spike's mind turned from the delicious kiss to the upcoming fight and a whisper of adrenalin began teasing his blood. A good spot of violence would be an excellent way to end the day. Between the three of them, they carried all of the equipment from the lab into the main room of the shop.

As soon as Peter appeared Buffy approached him, "It seems I owe you another apology, Peter. As Spike has so eloquently reminded me," she touched the bruises on her face, "I need to learn to think before I speak."

"I too, would like to apologize for pulling you into this mess and I'm sorrier than I can ever say that we stranded you here. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know." Giles said solemnly and then repeated, "Anything."

"I'm sorry we took you from your home," Willow quietly added, "it was unforgivable, but we hope that you can forgive us anyway."

Peter just sighed, nodded and turned his attention to battle strategy. Spike was amused to note the very simple language Peter used in explaining how the web guns worked. By the time everyone ran out of questions, dark had fallen and they all set out to the location that Giles had determined the Stheth'juth would emerge from. The drive was only slightly uncomfortable as everyone with varying degrees of effort tried to be pleasant.

Spike was not the least bit surprised to find that they ended up in one of Sunnydale's numerous cemeteries. He was sure that the dead outnumbered the living on the Mouth of Hell. Luckily for the residents, not all of the dead had risen into un-life.

Peter and Giles, the strategists of the group, studied the terrain surrounding the cave where the demons were supposed to emerge. Spike and Xander chose a high spot off to one side partially shielded by concrete tombstones and the others stationed themselves on top of a crypt on the other side. Spike met Xander's worried eyes as they watched Peter sit nonchalantly on a bench about a dozen yards in front of the cave opening. Peter had changed into a tight fitting long sleeve red t-shirt tucked into a pair of Spike's black jeans. A breeze ruffled through his dark brown hair as he unconcernedly leaned back. The vampire let his gaze roam and appreciate the strong muscles outlined by the tight clothes and concluded that the other man looked good enough to eat.

They all waited tensely as the night deepened, spelling each other on watch as midnight came and passed by. Spike was shifting restlessly when Peter's head snapped up and he yelled, "Heads up, here they come."

The fight that followed would live forever in Spike's memory. Peter stood motionless as the demons emerged, even as the others began to spray the area with sticky webbing. The Stheth'juth were huge and looked toxic with gray slimy skin. They were humanoid shaped but no one would ever mistake them for a human. A smell reminiscent of decomposition and acid rolled through the air and irritated everyone's eyes. The demons may have looked clumsy but many of them nimbly slipped away from their fellows mired in the hardened web and closed in on the one human lounging in front of them sporting a taunting grin.

Peter suddenly exploded into action with a mocking laugh, "C'mon slime balls, let's see what you can do." Twisting and turning impossibly fast, Peter danced among the demons and web streams with lethal grace. He seemed to have eyes everywhere as he dodged the snarling gray demons and the blankets of glue. Streams of webs shot from him to form into nets, ropes and sheets. His red shirt was a blur of color as he bounced and turned. Spike gaped in amazement as Peter ran straight up the side of a crypt only to back flip off the top to land behind the demon chasing him. His body seemed boneless and was gravity had no hold on the lithe body as he landed lightly. Damn, Spike thought in amazement, they should have tagged along just to watch the show because Peter sure didn't need their help.

Spike revised his opinion a minute later when several dozen more demons poured out of the hole. Fuckin' hell, he thought, as he began shooting web streams in an almost continual spray. Some of the demons coming around the sides managed to slip around the whirling dervish that was Peter and advanced on their attackers. Spike heard one of their group cry out even as he ran out of web fluid. Cursing furiously, he swiftly ejected the empty cartridge and fumbled for another one. Just as he shot the cartridge home, a demon loomed over him and grabbed him. Crying out, he lurched away only to yell as another one threw him through the air to land against a wall.

Ignoring the acid burns bubbling up on his skin from where the demons had touched him; he shook his head clear and frantically searched for Xander. His lover was in the same predicament he had been in earlier and was fumbling for a new cartridge as two demons converged on him. Spike ran recklessly forward, knowing that he would be too late, frustration and desperate fear burning a hole deep in him. He sobbed in relief when a red blur tackled Xander just as the demons reached him. Peter rolled out of the way with the younger man cradled carefully in his arms. Once out of reach, he turned and sprayed both of the demons, halting them in their tracks.

Just as Spike reached the two, Peter launched himself over their heads and back into the thick of the fight. Taking a split second to determine that Xander was unhurt, Spike turned around only to see that there were no demons left to fight. Peter was taking care of the last one as it stalked Willow. With a quick glance around, he saw that all of their group was mobile. Relived, he turned and pulled Xander to him desperately. Plundering the sweet mouth, he wrapped himself as far around Xan as he could; he had come close to losing him tonight. Minutes later he pulled back only to bury his face in his mate's neck as he breathed in the reality of Xander's presence.

"Spike, love, I'm fine and you can fuck me through the bed when we get home to prove it," Xander whispered, "but we need to get your burns tended to and see if the others are okay."

He nodded, took a deep unnecessary breath and released everything except Xander's hand. He needed something to hold onto for a few more minutes. They carefully moved around immobile but snarling demons until they reached the others. They found Peter carefully tending superficial burns on the other three. Buffy was the worst; both of her hands had burned where she had grabbed one of the demons. Peter looked up at them with a weary smile, paused for a second and gestured for Willow to take his place in bandaging Buffy's hands.

"Sit down and take off your shirt," Peter ordered. Spike was about to protest when Xander pushed until he sat down and then immediately started unbuttoning his shirt. Grimacing, he held still as Xander eased the material off his burns. Peter hissed in sympathy before bending down to pour a cool liquid over the blistered area. Spike sighed as the pain immediately diminished and reached to stop Peter before he started bandaging him.

"Don't bother, luv. This will be healed before the night is through."

Peter raised an eyebrow but turned his attention to Xander. "Did you get burned anywhere?"

"Nope," Xander shrugged, "between you and Spike not a single demon got close enough."

"Good," Peter said firmly, before rising to check on the demons they had captured. He wove his way among them, ignoring their growls and screams, reinforcing the thickness of the webbing here and there and making sure all of them were secure.

Spike shook his head at the scene; it was surrealistically haunting, as if it had been conjured straight from Purgatory. At least fifty scarred, gray demons were bound in various positions throughout the cemetery; moonlight touched on the lonely graves and tombstones and highlighted the stray strands of webbing blowing in the wind. Howls and screams from their bound prisoners echoed in anguish through the night, as if to summon the tormented to rise from the bowels of the earth. Spike shook slightly and pulled Xander close as his lover began shuddering. They both sighed in relief as Peter began systematically sealing up the demon's mouths and the noise diminished to normal night sounds.

They all slumped down wearily when Peter rejoined them. "We'll need to reinforce the webbing every half hour. What time is it?"

"1:30, about three and a half hours until dawn," Giles said. "I'll set the timer on my watch to half hour increments."

"Perfect," Peter sighed and rubbed his forehead tiredly.

"That headache still bothering you, luv?" Spike asked.

"It's never really gone away, just changed intensity levels."

"What level is it at now?" Xander asked quietly while moving closer.

Peter smiled wearily, "I'll be fine, guys."

"How bad?" Spike asked the question again firmly.

"Bad," Peter said quietly.

Xander frowned, "Let's sit down. If Spike sits with his back to my chest we can avoid his burns and Peter can put his head in your lap and get some rest."

"Sounds like a plan to me, pet." He waited for Xander to settle against a tree before sitting between his legs and leaning back. Spike looked up at Peter, "C'mon, luv, put your head right here," he patted his lap, "and let me help you with that headache." He smiled as the tired man slowly sat down and then curled up with his head resting in his lap. He drew feathery circles over Peter's temple and tried to soothe the pounding rush of blood. He used his other hand to slowly stroke up and down the tense muscles of his back until the other man's breathing gradually slowed into sleep.

Xander slid his arms around Spike until his hands rested against his stomach and brushed a kiss across Spike's hair. "I love you, blondie."

"I love you too, Xan." Spike twisted until he could catch Xander's lips in a brief kiss before settling back contentedly. He looked at the others to see that they had settled also and true to form, all eyes were on them. Bollocks, he thought irritably, what makes us so bleedin' interesting. Deciding to ignore the attention, he closed his eyes and turned until his head rested over Xander's heart. With that comforting beat against his ears, he slipped into a light doze.


Peter woke up to a light beeping, he watched Giles and Buffy patrol through the demons and reinforce all of his webbing. Since his spider-sense never twinged, he judged it safe enough for him to stay where he was. Besides, he was comfortable and his headache was slowly tapering off. One of Spike's cool hands was still resting alongside his face while the other was relaxed on one hip. Peter was amazed at his position and the absolute comfort he felt. He had never felt as safe or cared for as these two made him feel, or as aroused he thought, flushing.

This world obviously needed him more than his own. From Xander's tales demons and the supernatural abounded here, and only a few lone beings stood against the tide. Much different from his old world where superheroes were around every corner. In addition, he had two people here who cared about him. Frankly, he was satisfied with how things were turning out. He might still have some melancholic moments but overall he was determined to make a better life here. Smiling drowsily, he closed his eyes and drifted through the hours until morning, waking up briefly every time the alarm sounded. Considering all the trouble they had put him through, he did not feel any guilt at letting the others do the work.

"It's almost dawn everyone," Giles said quietly.

Peter yawned and sat up slowly to keep from jarring his head. He climbed to his feet and stretched. Turning, he pulled Spike to his feet and then gave a hand to Xander. Spike glanced around uneasily and after a quick kiss to each of them, he retreated to a nearby crypt that had a sewer entrance. Peter was amazed at how quickly he was becoming used to the affectionate touches of the vampire and smiled when Xander moved close and looped an arm around his waist. Putting his own arm around Xander's shoulders they watched as the sun began rising over the horizon. He studied the demons for a moment, when a thought came to him.

"Guys, I think we should web up the cave entrance and then move way back. We don't know yet how the sunlight affects them. If they turn to dust like vampires that's good, if they explode into acid clouds that could be very bad," Peter said quietly. "I suggest we join Spike in the crypt, a solid wall between us and them sounds like a very good idea."

Everyone looked startled at the thought but quickly nodded. No one wanted to be in the middle of an acid shower. Peter told the others to go ahead and aimed web shooters at the cave entrance, after covering it with a dense sheet he quickly checked each demon to make sure none were working themselves loose. He tried to avoid looking directly at any of the bound creatures, even if they were demons it would be the first time he had ever had a hand in killing intelligent or even semi-intelligent beings. He could not see any other way though, these demons could not be reasoned with and there was no way to hold them safely.

Perversely glad that their mouths were sealed, he hurried to the crypt and joined the others. Everyone but Xander had gathered at the window to see what was happening. Deciding that he really did not want to know and that his spider-sense and the others would warn him if anything went wrong, he walked over to where Xander was staring thoughtfully at the ceiling; his gaze immediately shifted to Peter as he walked up.

"Are you all right, Peter?"

"I'm fine, it's just," he trailed off uncomfortably and shrugged.

"What is it?" Xander's voice was warm and concerned and Peter met caring chocolate brown eyes.

Sighing, Peter cleared his throat and then lowered his voice, "I've been in a lot of fights, put away tons of criminals and seen death but," he whispered, "I've never caused it."

"Oh," Xander sighed, "yeah that's a hard one." The young man was silent for a moment before he looked up with an old sadness in his eyes. "My first kill was my best friend, Jesse. He was turned not long after I learned about vampires. I didn't mean to kill him but he was threatening me and I had the stake pressed to his chest. Someone knocked him off balance and he fell; before I knew it, my best friend was nothing but swirling dust."

Peter could not help but reach out to Xander and pulled the young man to him. They wrapped snug arms around each other and soaked up mutual comfort. Peter shuddered when howls sounded from outside and Xander began whispering soothingly in his ear. The warm air moving past his ear distracted him enough that he barely heard Spike's exclamation of, "blinkin' hell, look at them explode." He did hear it though and started shaking even more.

"It seems a distraction is in order," Xander whispered and then licked his ear. Peter shuddered again but for a different reason this time. Xander continued to lick and place warm kisses around his ear and then down his jaw until he reached his lips. Peter shivered at the still strange sensation of a masculine body held close and the outside world fell away as a warm tongue licked his lips and asked entrance. He opened and Xander swept in licking and tasting, pulling back every couple of seconds to place tiny, teasing kisses along his lips and cheeks.

His second kiss with a male was both similar and different from his first experience. Spike had coaxed, seduced, and taken possession. His cool tongue had swept in and blown his thoughts and reservations away; need and pleasure had seeped through him in equal measure and he had reveled in both the dominance and possession of the cool body astride him. Xander was laughter, heat, and comfort; he teased, enticed and sent heated thrills through his body.

Xander's hands drifted down to his ass, where they gripped firmly, Peter moaned quietly and felt the heat of each finger shiver into him. The strong, sturdy body against him was so hard and hot that only the faint remembrance of others in the room kept him from arching blissfully. Growing bolder, he snagged Xander's tongue with his own and sucked on it briefly, rewarded with a groan. They separated several minutes later, both of them breathing heavily. Damn, Peter thought hazily, Xander can distract me any day.

With the thought of what he was being distracted from, he turned his head towards the window to see four sets of fascinated eyes glued on them. Spike's stare caused him to blush with the heat and fire contained within the glowing golden blue orbs. The others looked amused, uncomfortable and faintly flushed.

"That was quite enlightening as well as extremely sexy. I don't suppose you two would take pictures of what happens later?" Willow's voice was mischievous and she choked down a chuckle as Xander shook an admonishing finger at her.

"Wills, that was a naughty thing to say," Xander grinned widely, "I'm glad we're finally having an influence on you."

Willow laughed and came over to give both of them a hug. "I really have been a drag lately haven't I? Can we get together later and talk," she asked Xander, "there's something I'd like to discuss with you."

"Sure, Wills, I always have time for you."

"I know and I have taken it for granted way too often."

Peter observed the witch closely and began to see the friend that Xander had talked about having since he was five. Glancing over at Giles, he asked, "Mission accomplished?"

"Yes," Giles answered, "all of the Stheth'juth demons have been dispatched back to their native plane. Your webbing certainly did the trick and the idea of retreating behind a stone wall proved to be quite intelligent since the demons-"

Peter cut Giles off with a raised hand, "Please, I really don't want to know. Can we go now?"

"Quite, I think we'd all like to get home so that we can get some rest," Giles agreed.

"Rest sounds like Nirvana," Peter sighed.

"Right, well I'll see you two in the car when you're ready." Giles exited, herding the two girls in front of him amidst quiet snickering.

Spike strolled over with a leer, "You two looked delicious, luvs. If there was a bed in here I don't think I'd let either of you leave."

Xander grinned delightedly while Peter blushed again, silently cursing that annoying and revealing habit. Spike only grinned and gave him and Xander another brief kiss before pushing them towards the door.

"Go, get home and get some rest."

Peter nodded and smiled before exiting with Xander through the crypt and getting into the back of Giles' car. They wearily leaned against each other as he thought longingly of a shower, bed, and lots and lots of sleep. Xander had to nudge him when they stopped; he climbed slowly out and stumbled up the steps. Once inside, he was pointed towards the shower while Xander headed towards the

It was with distinct relief that Peter shed his clothes and stepped under steaming hot water. He wanted to enjoy the pounding heat but he was so tired that each drop felt like a small hand hammering against his skin. He stayed in only long enough to quickly wash before he climbed out and pulled on sweats and a tshirt that someone had left on the sink. With no further delay, he went to the guest bedroom and climbed between the sheets. He groaned as the soft cotton rubbed against his skin and he started to relax for the first time in days. Minutes later he floated back to consciousness as a warm body slid in beside him.

"You're in the wrong bed," Xander grumbled before curling around him and drifting into sleep. Peter smiled sleepily and snuggled closer before drifting back into slumber. He roused again hazily as a cool body slipped in with them but was asleep again as soon as he was comfortable. Hours later he rose up through the layers of sleep into wakefulness and became aware of the tangle of bodies cuddled up in the bed. Thoroughly entwined with the other two, he could only tell whose arms were around him and legs resting across him by the temperature of the skin.

Taking a deep breath, he savored the absence of pain. The stabbing headache he had been plagued with for days had finally subsided. He still felt a whisper of tiredness thread through him, a residual of last night's fatigue but overall he almost felt normal.

He lay listening to the sounds around him and just enjoying. Rain was dripping down outside, the splashing and crackling noises made him want to snuggle down and return to sleep. He was supremely comfortable where he was and felt no inclination to move. Spike was holding him close in an embrace from the back and Xander was sprawled along his front.

The vampire's cool lips rested near his ear and it was eerie not to have any breath blowing across his cheek. The long, lean body behind him felt strong and the hands that lay on his stomach possessively made him feel secure. He shivered as Spike moved slightly and cloth brushed against bare skin. Apparently, the vampire did not believe in bedclothes.

Xander moved as Spike did and Peter twitched his nose as soft brown hair brushed and tickled him. Xander yawned and cuddled closer, tucking his head under Peter's chin and wrapping his arms around both of them. The younger man shifted his legs and Peter stifled an appreciative moan as the movement brushed against his morning erection.

He was comfortably floating and content so of course his mind inevitably drifted to the fight of the night before. Howls and screams that had been drowned out by the taste of Xander's lips slowly flooded his mind. Even in his darkest days with the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus, he had never succumbed to the urge to kill his enemies. However, last night he had been directly responsible for the deaths of dozens of beings. Could he really justify it to himself because they were demons? After all, he was sleeping in the same bed with a self-proclaimed demon. Slowly a creeping tide of depression slid over him. Shaking, he huddled closer to the two sleeping men twined around him. Make that one sleeping man, he thought as a cool hand slid along his skin in a deliberate caress.

"You're thinking loud enough to wake the dead, pet. What's wrong?" Spike whispered in his ear.

Peter felt an involuntary grin quirk his lips at Spike's statement. "Nothing important," he whispered back.

Xander shifted, rubbed his face in a cat like caress across Peter's chest and blinked open sleepy eyes. "Why are you shaking, Peter?" Xander asked in the middle of a yawn.

"It's nothing, guys," Peter sighed, "I was just thinking about... well..." his voice trailed off as he tried to think of a suitable answer that did not involve him telling the truth.

Before he could come up with a solution, Xander sat up with his head tilted, chewing on his lower lip, and studied him intently. Uneasily, Peter looked away, the other man might display a careless front but he could reveal a penetrating intelligence if you looked closely into guileless eyes.

"You're still upset about killing those demons this morning, aren't you," Xander said quietly.

Swallowing, he shut his eyes; he did not want to see the other two's disappointment. Gentle hands cradled his face and shook it slightly. Opening his eyes, he looked into an understanding, compassionate gaze.

"It's okay to be upset, Peter, but try not to dwell on it. Concentrate on how many lives you saved last night, human and demon. The Stheth'juth were a danger to everyone and everything they encountered. The last time they emerged they killed hundreds." Xander leaned forward, placed a gentle kiss on his lips, and bit slightly before pulling back.

"Okay?" Xander asked intently.

Nodding, he licked lips that were tingling slightly and resolved to try to remember what Xander said. He would do no one any good if he fell into a depression.

"Good," Xander said with a slow grin that lit up his entire face. "And now how about a distraction to take you're mind off brooding. Which by the way if you don't stop, we're going to have to tell Deadboy you're horning in on his gig. So anyway, distraction... hmmm... let's see..." Xander fingered his lower lip thoughtfully and Peter felt tendrils of heat slide through him at the mischievous, hungry look Xander swept down his body. "Oh, I know," Xander said brightly, "how about this?"

Peter gasped as Xander swept the covers back, slid warm hands under his shirt and across his nipples just as he leaned down and fastened his lips on Peter's own. Warmth invaded him as the supple lips teased and licked. Spike kneaded his stomach and began nibbling on his ear. The double assault was mind bending and Peter gave up on thinking for the time being as his brain cells scattered through the room. He breathed in Xander's warm breath as the hot tongue slipped into his mouth and mapped the insides. Groaning, he began kissing back and savored the brush of prickly stubble against his face.

Xander pulled back when they were both panting for air and grinned at him. "God, you two are so gorgeous together," Xander muttered, "Night and day, sunshine and shadow, and both of you sexy enough to die for. How the hell did I get so lucky?"

Peter felt faint vibrations all along his body as Spike laughed behind him and the vampire reached up to cup one side of Xander's face. "The rewards of living a virtuous life, pet."

"Oh," the brown-eyed youth laughed, "then what's your excuse?"

"I've lived a virtuous life, luv," the blonde protested, "for a demon that is," he added with a grin.

Giggling, Xander turned his attention back to Peter, "This may seem a strange time to mention it but I wanted you to know that Spike and I are serious about you. We want you to stay here and make a new home with us. You don't have to agree right now just think about it."

"Enough talk, luv. More shagging."

"Yes sir," Xander said grinning. He swept his hands under Peter's shirt and waited patiently until Peter lifted his arms to remove it.

Shivering, Peter lay passive for the moment as his mind tried to catch up to reality. They were serious about him, he thought with wonder; they wanted him to live with them. The sheer relief, wonder and joy in the thought stunned him. He'd been avoiding thinking about what he was going to do in a new world where he had no I.D., no job, no source of income, nobody to fall back on and now he had two people to depend upon. Moreover, he had two people whom he was beginning to care for and maybe even love. He was jolted out of his thoughts as Xander leaned down and teethed one of his nipples as Spike's hands drifted down to cup his cock through his sweat pants. Damn, he thought as he arched upwards with a gasp, these two were going to drive him around the bend, but he sure as hell was going to enjoy every second.

He gently ran his fingers through soft brown hair as teeth nipped at him and a wet tongue licked at his skin. He was careful not to apply any pressure as he held Xander's head close. When that nipple was wet and throbbing, Xander worked his way over to the other one by a circuitous route, kissing and licking his way all across his chest. Spike shifted behind him and the cool, satin skin rubbed against his bare back, rippling down his spine and heat pooled in his groin where Spike's cool hands were still cupping him possessively. He leaned back into cool strength and fearlessly tilted his head as the vampire nuzzled at his neck and inhaled deeply. Cool lips nipped and licked and he shuddered as the fragile skin behind his ear was sucked on until it burned and tingled.

He opened eyes he was not aware he had closed when fingers fumbled at the drawstring of his pants and two pair of hands worked together to strip him of the garment. Xander grasped the top of his pants and slowly, teasingly worked the material down his hips and legs until he pulled them off entirely. Peter blushed dark wine red as Xander sat back and hotly admired his naked body. He felt vulnerable and the feeling increased exponentially as Spike's cool hands slid down his groin to his thighs and slowly pulled apart his legs and held him open for Xander's gaze. Cold and hot shivers ran feverishly through him as his blush spread over his entire body.

"You're so bloody gorgeous like this, luv," Spike murmured in his ear.

He was shaking almost continuously now and watched wide eyed as Xander traced one tanned finger over his hard cock. The light, simple touch sent traces of lightning over his skin. He stiffened in shock as Xander crouched between his spread legs and traced the veins on his cock with wet licks and sucking kisses. The sight of the dark head bent over his groin and the white hands branded on his inner thighs was too much and he closed his eyes as he moved his hands down to grip the bed, trying to remember not to tear the sheets.

Groaning harshly, he began panting as Xander swallowed him and began sucking enthusiastically. His world narrowed to a hot wet mouth, pressure and unbelievable heat. He restrained himself and refused to thrust upwards despite the unbelievable temptation. Moaning, he shifted restlessly as Spike kneaded his skin and twisted his swollen nipples. He let out a shuddering sigh of both relief and disappointment when the wet warmth disappeared. He stared upwards, mesmerized by the sight of Xander, flushed and unbearably erotic. Sweat had dampened the dark curls and they twisted in loose waves around his face. His lips were swollen and lush, promising carnal delight. His long, dark lashes shielded his eyes for a moment before they lifted slightly, showing a slumberous, heated gaze.

With a sensuous wiggle, Xander slipped out of his sweats, his shirt had disappeared earlier. Crawling fluidly over the sprawled men, Xander settled himself in a straddle position directly over Peter. They both moaned raggedly at the pressure against their cocks and Peter arched slightly as Xander thrust downwards. He shook as Xander watched him with hungry eyes and gasped as Xander stiffened and his mouth fell open in harsh pants. Looking down he saw that Spike's hands had disappeared behind Xander and he could only imagine by the blissful expression and downward thrusting movements of the other man's body what was happening.

Moments later, he froze with uncertainty and overwhelming terror as Xander shifted over him and held his cock in a firm grip. Oh god, what if he hurt the other man, normal humans were so very fragile. He willed himself to trembling motionlessness even as a ravening heat began to consume him. Xander lowered himself with a consuming slowness, engulfing Peter in a hot, wet vise. Peter clenched his fingers tighter and distantly heard the sound of ripping sheets.

"Oh god, Spike, please don't let me hurt him," he whispered desperately.

"Shhh, luv," the vampire said quietly and ran soothing cool hands down his arms and grasped his hips firmly. "I've got you. Just relax, you're not going to hurt him." His voice lowered to a sexy purr, "Look at how hot he is; our Xander loves to ride."

Shakily, Peter focused on the other man and saw bright, feverish eyes focused on him worriedly. He nodded slightly and Xander grinned dangerously before sliding slowly upwards and just as slowly lowering himself back down. Peter felt as if liquid heat was engulfing and burning him. With the cool hands on his hips to restrain him he relaxed as much as he was able. Tension still rippled up his spine but the slick heat and deliberate movement combined to blow his mind and he barely noticed when one of the pale hands on his hips moved to stroke Xander's cock.

Peter felt his balls draw up tight, he stiffened just before he exploded and came with a throat-tearing groan. Seconds later, Xander raked his nails down Peter's side and tightened around him in pulses as he came in shuddering bursts over Spike's gripping hand. Xander collapsed over him and Peter shuddered hard before he put careful arms around the exhausted youth to hold him close. Spike wrapped his arms around them both and murmured, "'Effin gorgeous, we're definitely keeping you."

Peter felt a small smile tug at his lips when Xander mumbled, "Damn straight," in his other ear and placed a gentle kiss on the mark Spike had made on his neck. Shivering pleasure was still running through his veins and a ripple of sensation ran through him every time Xander tightened in a slowing pulse around him. They both moaned in disappointment when they finally parted and the brown haired youth yawned and slid off to the side. Drifting in a delicious languor, he did not react when Spike slid out from behind him and turned him to his stomach.

Cool, knowing hands moved caressingly over his back and began kneading out the remaining knots of tension, leaving him in a dreamy lethargy. He started paying attention when a mouth started placing wet, nibbling kisses along his spine. The caressing hands turned hotly sensual, ran the length of his body, lingering in spots that caused him to catch his breath. The small of his back was licked and cool air blew across it as he shivered in rising desire. The licking continued down further and he shuddered as sharp canines whispered over his ass.

"I want to be inside you, pet," Spike rumbled in a dark purring voice, "May I?"

Gulping, he nodded shakily and a last dark knot of tension began unraveling inside of him. He turned his head on the pillow until he could see over his shoulder. The pale vampire was crouched over him and eyeing him predatorily. A soft touch in his hair distracted him and he looked over at Xander. The other man was sprawled on his side and watching the other two with lazy, appreciative eyes; his free hand was gently stroking Peter's hair out of his face.

Spike reached for a pillow and after a whispering caress lifted his hips and arranged the pillow so he rested with his ass tilted upwards. Shivering, he spread his legs slightly and felt Spike move his knees even wider. Surprising even himself, Peter did not tense when a strong finger ran along his ass and danced around his opening. Seconds later, the slippery finger slid inside as if coming home and Peter groaned at the new sensation; Spike was motionless waiting for him to adjust. The intrusion felt both strange and wonderful and need unfurled inside him as he relaxed completely.

"That's it, pet. Relax and let me in," Spike purred. "So beautiful like this, spread open and waiting."

Slowly the finger inside him began to slide out and back in and he hissed in pleasure as another finger was added. He felt stretched wide and full, vulnerable and yet safe. He shuddered when brushed over a spot inside him that sent spasms of pleasure throughout his body.

"So hot, luv. Can't wait to get inside your tight heat." Spike's voice rumbled over his skin causing prickles and waves of need and desire.

"Going to possess you, own you," the vampire said, "you're ours and we're not letting you go."

Moaning, he gasped as the fingers were removed and Spike's cock settled against his entrance. Pressure gradually increased until the blunt head slipped inside him, the slow movement never ceased and he panted as Spike pushed inside until he was resting flat along his back. Peter could feel the full length of the vampire's body over him and the throbbing of the hard cock inside him. He felt sheltered and owned; moving slightly he groaned as the hard length impaling him brushed against his prostate and sent shivers rippling over him.

"Let go, pet," Spike crooned, "I'll take care of you, just let go and enjoy." The vampire punctuated the words by withdrawing and thrusting deeply.

Peter groaned and gave his body into Spike's care as dark words of desire and need washed over him. Spike withdrew and thrust, slowly speeding up until he was pounding Peter relentlessly into the mattress, causing the springs to creak. Peter moaned continuously as the deep, almost brutal thrusts caused a tidal wave of ecstasy. He was blind to the world, his only reality the wild vampire taking him, owning him and possessing him. Black lightning shot behind closed lids and the universe exploded as Spike reached under him and grasped his cock tightly.

"Come for me, pet," the vampire whispered softly in his ear and Peter screamed as he spurted streams of semen across the tight fist. Spike thrust into him twice more before cool seed shot in streams inside him. He shuddered weakly at the sensation and determined he was never giving up either of these men; he would face a lot worse than the Hellmouth could ever throw at him to stay in this relationship.

He floated on exhausted waves of ecstasy and only vaguely felt the warm cloth cleaning him and Xander and Spike's whispered words. He did notice though when Xander climbed into bed and he immediately wrapped his arms around the warm youth. "Love you both," he whispered on a thread of sound and then succumbed to the dark tide of sleep that swept him under its tide.


Spike grinned and traced a finger down Peter's sleeping face. "We wore him out, pet." Spike's smile slipped slightly as he looked into Xander's troubled eyes. His boy cuddled close into Peter's protective arms.

"What's wrong, luv?"

"He was much more open and unrestrained with you," Xander whispered quietly.

"Ahhh, luv," Spike sighed and placed a soft kiss on Xander's sad face. "He was afraid he was going to hurt you. I don't think he'll ever be very comfortable as the one in control." Spike caressed the dark hair of his lover as he confessed quietly, "I worry at times that I'll hurt you with my greater strength and it must be a hundred times worse for him. However," Spike smirked mischievously, "I can tell you that he is a perfectly luscious bottom."

"I could see that," Xander giggled. "Well, if he's more comfortable that way, I'm certainly not going to complain. As a matter of fact, it gives us an almost perfect mixture," Xander continued thoughtfully, "You don't like being on the bottom, I like it either way, and Peter doesn't like being on the top."

Spike laughed as he got up and stretched. Yes, he thought with almost feline satisfaction, this was working out better than he could ever dream. The three of them meshed seamlessly, Spike had worried that Xander was ignoring some of his desires because of Spike's dislike of being penetrated. Too many bad memories, he thought with a shudder. He loved being inside a human's tight heat though and Peter was unbelievable. He sighed contentedly as Xander slipped out of bed and he wrapped his boy in his arms. They both turned to watch the sleeping man sprawled so deliciously over the bed.

"He is going to stay, isn't he?" Xander asked uncertainly.

"Of course he is. But if it will make you feel better, we'll ask and make sure."

"Thanks, blondie." Xander's stomach picked that moment to make itself known, causing them both to laugh at the rumbling sound. Xander pulled away and strode to the kitchen. Just as he reached the door though, he turned back and said over his shoulder with a lascivious twinkle, "So does this mean that next time I get to be in the middle?"

He must have had a dumbfounded look on his face because Xander laughed merrily and skipped away to the kitchen with a grin, leaving Spike with seriously scorching visions of the three men writhing in a tangle of limbs. He looked forward to blowing his impish lover's mind by fucking him while he was fucking Peter. Growling lightly, he shook himself before he succumbed to temptation and jumped his two lovers for a repeat performance. The sound of shifting sheets turned him in the direction of the bed; he encountered thoughtful, hazel eyes and went to sit beside his newest lover.

"Thanks for smoothing things over with Xander," Peter said quietly, "I didn't mean to hurt his feelings, it's just-," Peter hesitated.

"I was right," Spike finished.

"Yes," Peter blushed brightly.

"Don't worry, we love you because of your quirks Peter, not in spite of them." Spike grinned down at the delicious mortal and frowned slightly at the amazed look he received in return. Amazement? Spike ran the conversation back through his head and nodded. Oh, he had said that they loved him.

"Yes, I said love, Peter. Get up and come into the kitchen, Xan and I want to ask you something."

Peter looked hesitant but climbed out of bed. Spike eyed the toned, muscular body, admiring the rippling muscles and passion marks their earlier play had left. He could not resist a proprietary pat and caress on the firm ass when the slender man bent to pick up his sweats. Peter blushed bright red and shot him a chiding look that he responded to with laughter. As soon as Peter had tied the drawstrings on his pants, Spike ushered him into the kitchen and sat him down at the table.

"Xander said earlier he would give you time to decide if you wanted to stay with us. Well, frankly he's got more patience than I do." Spike nodded his head and looked disgruntled when Xander snickered, "So, are you staying?"

Peter's face relaxed, he did not leave them in suspense for very long. "I'm staying," he said firmly.

Xander and Spike's faces lit with relief and excitement as they both rushed Peter's chair and covered his face in kisses. Unfortunately, they discovered the un-sturdiness of the kitchen chairs when they both tried to climb into his lap and the wood collapsed with a crash, tumbling them in a laughing heap to the floor.

"Tickle fight," Xander crowed and sat about reducing his two stronger lovers to giggling helpless messes.

"Mercy," Spike finally cried as the clever, agile fingers found another weak point on his ribs.

"Yes," Xander crowed and jumped up to dance around the room, "Winner and still champion."

Spike looked at his fellow giggling heap and grouched with a twinkle in his eye, "You were supposed to distract him so I could get the drop on him."

"Sorry," Peter said around a hiccup, "the fastest fingers in the west got to me first."

Grinning, Spike staggered to his feet and leaned down to pull Peter upright. Suddenly he laughed as he heard the rumbling of stomachs in stereo. Both Peter and Xander grinned and headed for the refrigerator.

"Leftover pizza?" Xander queried with a lift of the brow.

Peter nodded and they sat down, happily munching on cold pizza, to the great disgust of Spike.

"How can you two eat that? At least heat it up first."

Xander and Peter turned identical astounded looks on him and broke up into more laughter.

"Pot calling kettle there, blondie," Xander snickered as Spike removed his blood from the freezer.

The two humans exchanged laughing glances and wrinkled their noses when Spike added crushed Wheetabix to his blood before pushing the entire mess into the microwave. Spike stuck his tongue out childishly at the other two, laughing as he retrieved his blood and noisily slurped to their gagging noises.

The phone ringing interrupted their silliness and Xander went to pick it up. "Oh hey, Willow."

Spike listened to Xander's side of the conversation that consisted mostly of agreeing noises and lifted a brow questioningly when Xander looked in their direction.

"Just a minute, Willow," he said, and then covered the mouthpiece with his hand. "Willow wants to meet with me. I know you two probably don't want her here so I'm going to meet her for a coffee, okay?"

"Take your cell phone and be careful," Spike said with a nod.

Xander smiled and went back to his phone conversation. They arranged to meet up and with a round of kisses and hugs the youth was gone.

"It must be hard not to wrap him in cotton," Peter said quietly, staring out the door.

"It is," Spike sighed, "but he won't stand for being treated like a child. I learned that pretty quickly."

Peter nodded silently and Spike eyed him thoughtfully. "Since Xander's not here I think it's only fair that I warn you about the upcoming trip he talked me into."

He sighed at Peter's curious look, "He's decided we need a break and he wants to go to Disneyland."

"Disneyland," Peter repeated.

"Disneyland," he said with a groan, "This is all your fault you know, one little Mickey Mouse comment and he decides you need to visit the Magic Kingdom. Bugger, all those rug rats running around, sappy music, stupid blighters walking around in cutesy costumes."

"If you hate it that much, why did you agree to go?" Peter had a twinkle in his eye that said he already knew the answer and only grinned when Spike threw him a grumpy look.

"Cause he wants to, of course," the vampire frowned. "He didn't have much time to act like a kid when he was one and gets even less time now. Besides," he said resignedly, "I would have agreed to go anywhere as long as it was away from the Hellmouth and the gang for a while."

"So, Mickey Mouse, hmmm," Peter said musingly, "a vacation would be nice. I haven't had a vacation in -" he blinked for a moment and continued slowly, "a very long time."

"Good, because I'm not facing that nightmare alone. Oooohhh, maybe we can stop off and irritate Peaches on the way." Spike grinned at the thought and immediately began planning the approach to piss off his sire the most.


"Oh sorry, luv. Forgot you haven't been around this lot for long." Spike slung his arm around Peter and guided him over to the couch. Pulling the human down into his arms, he launched into the tale of his sire, the Slayer and Angel's little psychotic episode, the pouf's subsequent retreat to Los Angeles and his fight against the, Spike paused for dramatic impact, "Forces of Darkness."

Peter laughed at his dramatic tone and agreed that anyone who had managed to piss off both Spike and Xander deserved whatever he got. Spike learned that his new pet had a truly wicked mind as they came up with scheme after scheme to drive his sire batty.

They never noticed as the afternoon hours crept away as they laughed and plotted. Spike and Peter finally looked up as the outer door clattered and smiled simultaneously as Xander bounced into the room. He had a smile that practically screamed, 'I've got a secret'.

"What's up, pet?"

"Guess what, guess what, guess what," Xander bubbled as he plopped down on the couch with them.

"The Slayer is moving to Siberia," Spike guessed, "Rupert ran out of tweed, chocolate has officially become one of the major food groups -"

Xander interrupted the ridiculous answers with a crowing singsong voice, "Willow has a girlfriend, Willow has a girlfriend, Willow has a girlfriend."

"You mean the chit's bent and she still had the nerve to get upset when you told her you were gay," Spike growled.

"That's one of the reasons she's been so distant lately. She was ashamed because of how badly she overreacted when I came out to her. Of course a lot of the problem was the person I came out with," Xander said with a fond smile. "Anyway, I met her girlfriend, her name is Tara, and she seems really sweet, if a bit quiet. I think one reason Willow waited this long to introduce her is because she's afraid we'll scare her off," Xander frowned.

Spike stifled a snicker and pasted on his best innocent 'who me?' look. Xander grinned and punched him lightly in the arm.

"Oh, and almost forgot," Xander added, "Riley's going to be okay. He called Buffy and they had the whole tearful reunion thing."

Spike growled in disappointment, Riley was far from his favorite person. In fact, if it would not upset Xan, and now Peter, he would like to see what Riley's insides looked like splattered over the room. He was never going to forget that the man had helped put a microchip in his head to control him like an animal. Riley was damn lucky Spike was not an animal or he would have gone with his homicidal impulses and damned the consequences.

Xander leaned across Peter and gave Spike a kiss that quickly spiraled into a heated exchange of tongues and lips, heat and warmth. Spike murmured irritably as Xander pulled away. Peter was watching the two of them with a smile and a far off look in his eyes.

"Do you think Giles would let me use his lab for a few days?" Peter asked.

It was a good thing he had experience with people that went off into tangents without warning, Spike thought with a smile as he answered without missing a beat. "I'm sure he would, pet. However, if you're going to work on that sun block it might be better not to do it in front of the watcher. If it works, it would be best if as few people know about it as possible."

"Yes," Peter nodded thoughtfully, "if any other vampires found out, it would be very bad. Perhaps... I believe you told me earlier about the Gem of Amarra that conferred invulnerability to vampires. Why don't we find a gem, amulet, ring, or something and tell anyone that finds out about your invulnerability to sunlight that the jewelry is responsible." Peter looked at them questioningly.

Spike smiled broadly, "You, luv, are a natural."

"That's great, Peter. By the time whoever it is learns differently we'll either be gone or they'll be dead."

"So, if not Giles lab then where?" Peter asked.

"We can use the guest bedroom, there's plenty of room and you won't be using it anymore, right?" Xander said pointedly.

"Good idea, pet. I know someone I can call to get us setup. He should be able to do it tonight."

"Tonight," Peter blinked, "That's kind of short notice isn't it?"

"He owes me," Spike said with a hard smile.

"Right," Peter nodded and wisely refrained from commenting.

"So excuse me for a minute, luvs." Spike unwound himself from the couch and strode over to the phone. His hearing caught snatches of conversation behind him and he laughed silently as he realized Xander was telling Peter about their upcoming trip to Disneyland. He turned his attention back to the phone as Rahnar answered and began speaking in the guttural Kresnin language. He pulled in his marker from the demon and nodded with satisfaction before motioning Peter to come to the phone.

"Tell Rahnar what you need and he'll see that you get it," Spike said.

Peter frowned dubiously but cautiously said hello. Soon technical and chemical phrases began rolling almost non-stop from his mouth. Spike shook his head in amusement and left Peter to work the deal out. The techno-babble might as well have been another language as far as he was concerned. He strolled over and dropped to the couch beside Xander.

"So pet, I was hoping we could stop in and see Peaches on our way to Disneyland."

"Oh," Xander arched a brow, "I thought you were in the 'hate the 'effin pouf stage'."

"Yeah, but Peter came up with some neat ideas to drive Peaches batty, besides," Spike sighed and lowered his voice, "he's my sire and I miss him, even when I do hate him."

Xander nodded sympathetically, "Sounds good to me, torment Deadboy, visit Cordy, go to Disneyland, in fact it sounds great. I can't wait to go on Space Mountain. It's going to be so cool. Whooshing through the dark on a roller coaster, it'll be like flying. And did I tell you about -"

Spike smiled as he listened to Xander's excited chatter. The rides at the park actually did sound like fun and anything that made his lover this happy was okay by him. He noticed that Peter joined them sometime in the midst of the happy chatter and together they listened to Xander enthuse about the amusement park.

Finally, Xander ran down and blushed as he realized what he had been doing. Spike and Peter laughed and hugged him.

"So, Peter how'd the negotiations go?" Xander asked with an abashed grin.

"Quite well, Rahnar will have everything I need delivered tonight. In fact, deliveries should start soon. Your," Peter paused for a second, "acquaintance, Spike, was quite knowledgeable. It was nice to talk geek speak for a few minutes," Peter smiled.

Conversation halted when the doorbell rang. Peter whistled, "That was fast."

Spike and Xander spent the next couple of hours helping Peter set up his lab. They left him happily muttering to himself and organizing his chemicals and the space to his satisfaction.

The pattern for the next few days was set; Peter tracked the vampire down for occasional samples and disappeared into the guest room, now lab, muttering and absentmindedly chewing on his bottom lip. Xander spent the time gleefully gathering all of the known information in the universe on Disneyland, along with packing and planning their itinerary. Spike just shook his head and left the two of them to enjoy themselves while he went out hunting bloody mayhem and a hot meal. At night, he came home and dragged Xander away from planning and Peter away from the lab and made sure they both ate and slept.

One morning several days later, he grumbled as Peter slipped out of bed but shifted closer to Xander and went back to sleep. Later, an excited Peter, who almost danced into the room, awakened them.

"I found it, at least I'm pretty sure I found it. It was a combination of ultraviolet light and UVB, strange combination and I'm still not sure why vampires react that way but-"

Spike resorted to the method he often had to use on Xander to get a word in edgewise and placed a hand over Peter's mouth. "The sun block works?"

"Yes," Peter said, his words muffled but clear, his eyes shining brightly. "All the tests succeeded and it should work."

Spike moved his hand away and looked at Xander who was blinking sleepily but showing a rising excitement. The vampire firmly suppressed his own wildly excited reaction and smirked, "I suppose you want me to field test it for you, luv?"

"If you wouldn't mind too awfully much," Peter said solemnly with only the barest hint of a twinkle.

Peter jumped up and went back to the lab with two eager men trailing behind him. Once there, Peter handed Spike what looked like a bottle of lotion. "Rub this into your hands thoroughly and then we'll test it in the light from the window."

The vampire's hands trembled slightly as he rubbed the lotion in. He could not tell any difference and looked down doubtfully at skin that felt the same. Peter moved to the back of the room and lifted the shade on the morning sunlight. Spike eyed the deceptively beautiful, deadly rays for a long minute before he edged closer. He studied Peter's encouraging, animated eyes for a moment before he moved. He touched only the periphery of the sparkling light for several tentative moments. When nothing happened, no burning, no smoke, no warning tingles, he slowly put his hand into direct sunlight for the first time since he had had brief possession of the Gem of Amarra.

Fascinated, he turned his hands over in the light and watched the sun highlight the tracery of blue veins under his skin. "It works," he said in stunned wonder. "It really works," he repeated elatedly and looked at a wildly grinning Xander and a quietly proud Peter. The scientist motioned him to move back and handed him the bottle of lotion again.

"Cover every inch of your skin thoroughly." He pointed to a spray bottle and a smaller bottle. "The spray bottle is for your hair, and the other is eye drops. The eye drops are not as strong as the lotion, so you'll have to wear sunglasses with UV protection but you should be able to move freely outside during the day like anyone else. The lotion is waterproof and should last about twenty-four hours. Well, what are you waiting for?" Peter grinned, "Get ready so we can go outside."

Spike immediately stripped to a very appreciative audience, he was serenaded with a few wolf whistles, courtesy of Xander. The vampire grinned when Xander grabbed a handful of lotion and began rubbing it into his back. He arched into the wonderful feel of strong, slick fingers massaging his skin. He glanced at Peter, who had flushed and was watching wide eyed. He chuckled low in his throat and held out a hand to their still shy lover. Peter moved closer and soon his light tentative touches blended together with Xander's massage. Spike closed his eyes in bliss and shifted his legs wider as hands moved to his ass. Only the prospect of experiencing daylight kept him from moaning in loss as the fingers moved down to his legs.

"If you'll sit down, I'll get your hair," Peter said quietly.

Spike sat on the edge of the guest bed that had been pushed into the corner and enjoyed gentle hands carding through his hair. Peter sprayed warm liquid on his head and worked in until his hair was thoroughly damp.

"What about when his hair dries?" Xander asked worriedly.

"The liquid soaks in and bonds to the hair follicles, it will actually last longer than the lotion."

"Cool, you thought of everything."

"I tried." Peter turned to Spike, "Last step, eye drops."

Spike obligingly tilted his head and tried not to flinch as the liquid dripped into his eyes. Peter smiled and silently handed him a pair of sunglasses.

"Are you ready to test it in full daylight? We should stay near the doorway and bring a tarpaulin if we go anywhere just in case."

Spike just nodded, his stomach was so full of rampaging fear monsters that he could not talk, he wanted this to work so badly. Taking a deep, unnecessary breath he stepped closer to the window. As before, he slowly edged his way in, bit by bit until he was standing full in the path of the morning sun. Awed, he lifted his face to savor the heat that had changed from deadly to gentle comfort. The light warmth reminded him of when he was human. Lost in memories he smiled and drifted as he soaked in a lost bit of humanity.


Xander watched in quiet glee as Spike stood in the sunlight with a blissful smile. He wanted to dance and shout with happiness but he did not want to interrupt his lover's thoughts. Happy dances were taking place in his head though. He swung his gaze to Peter and saw pride and joy shining from his hazel eyes. Xander moved behind Peter and pulled him back into his arms, hugging him tightly for a moment, before loosening his grip and resting his chin on one shoulder. Peter leaned into his embrace and rested his hands lightly over the arms Xander had clasped at his waist. They spent long moments simply watching and enjoying the happiness permeating the room. Finally, Spike stirred and turned to them with an almost child-like delight in his eyes.

"I want to go outside," Spike stated firmly.

Xander and Peter were both quick to agree and minutes later all three were striding through the town to the nearest park. Once there, Spike noticed an abandoned Frisbee and tossed it through the air towards Xander. Soon they were all leaping about happily, chasing the spinning disc through the air. Xander noticed that no matter how far off the Frisbee was, Peter never missed a catch. He moved so fluidly that you almost did not notice how fast he was.

Looking around he saw that they were alone, so he threw the Frisbee deliberately wide and laughed as Peter launched himself in a extraordinary leap to catch it and toss it in Spike's direction. All of their faces were bright with laughter and Xander could not remember a day he had enjoyed more. The fun just reminded him how badly he wanted to get out of Sunnydale for a while. The disapproving atmosphere was too rampant to be washed out by a few apologies and although he did not show it, he was still furious at Buffy for trying to kill Spike. He would not soon forgive her for that transgression and although his friends did not realize it, he was perilously close to telling his lovers he did not want to return.

He refused to stay in an atmosphere of repression and anger anymore. It reminded him too closely of his childhood and of how much this dark town had stolen from him. In fact, his off-hand comment earlier about seeing if Deadboy wanted any sidekicks was sounding more like a plan than a joke every moment. Shrugging, Xander decided to wait and see how things went. He jumped suddenly as the red Frisbee came in his direction and tossed it wildly to Peter. A while later, they all collapsed in a tangled heap under a shade tree.

"Guys," Xander asked, sitting up to look seriously at the other two, "Can we leave today? I've got almost everything packed that we'll need for our trip. And frankly," he looked down, "I really need to get out of this town." He continued quietly as two sets of arms snuggled him close. "Buffy may have apologized, but she's been a real bitch lately and I'm tired of it and Willow may have decided to talk to me again but I still feel like she's almost a stranger. I just want to get away for a while. Please?"

Gentle, cool fingers tilted his chin up and he stared into the beautiful blue eyes of his demon lover. "We'll be gone as soon as we throw the bags in the car," Spike promised.

Peter smoothed his hair back and traced a line down his cheek with one finger. "Let's blow this Popsicle stand," he smiled.

"Thanks," Xander whispered, a deep relief filling him.

They chased each other back home in laughing rushes and mad dashes, tumbling through the doorway to fall in a heap on the floor. Xander immediately jumped up and ran for the bedroom, in seconds he had their suitcases out on the bed and was throwing in the last minute items. He quickly closed the bags and pulled them to the living room where he stopped in amusement. Spike had Peter pinned to the floor and looked as if he was trying to suck his tonsils out. Not that Peter looked like he minded.

"Guys," he said scolding. "Pack and leave now, play tonsil hockey later."

Laughing, the other two drew apart and Xander almost changed his mind when he saw Peter's flushed face and wet lips. He held strong though and pointed imperiously to the bags and then to the outside door. Tapping one foot impatiently, he raised a brow in enquiry, "Well?"

His lovers exchanged amused looks but they got the point. When he said he wanted to leave now, he meant now, not tomorrow, not later in the day, not after dinner, now. A quarter hour later, they had packed all of the bags comfortably in the car, filled the cooler with human snacks and vampire snacks and they were ready to go. The only thing left was informing the rest of the gang that they were leaving.

A couple of quick phone calls and we are out of here, Xander thought jubilantly, Disneyland here we come. On second thought, as he looked at his cell phone, why not call on the way. Peter offered to drive and after much pouting on Spike's part, the vampire finally agreed. Since the cooler took up the remainder of the front seat, Xander and Spike settled into the back.

Xander stared at his phone for a minute and silently wondered if he could put off calling until they reached L.A. but decided that would be the coward's way out. Before he could convince himself that being a coward was a good thing, he determinedly punched in Willow's number.

"Hey Wills," he said cheerfully as she answered the phone.

"Hey Xander," Willow answered, "What's up?"

"I just wanted to let you and the gang know that we're going out of town for a while."

"Out of town? Out of town for what?"

"We're going on vacation. We'll probably be back in a couple of weeks, but if we're not I'll let you know."

Willow was silent for a moment, "What if something happens?"

Xander stared out the window and watched the Sunnydale city limit sign pass by. He smiled as he saw Spike pout out of the corner of his eye. The vampire took a fiendish delight in wrecking the sign on entering or leaving town. Unfortunately, Peter did not share his love of property destruction.

Turning his attention back to the phone, he sighed, "Something is always happening. You and the gang can deal with it yourselves, or you can call Angel for help."

"But what if-"

"Willow," Xander interrupted, "I need out of this town and frankly I need away from you, Buffy, Giles and Riley for a while."

He bit his lip at the dead silence that answered him and gripped Spike's hand tightly for comfort.

"Oh, I was doing it again, wasn't I," Willow said in a small voice.

"Yes, you were doing it again," he said. This is exactly the reason I need away from here, he thought tiredly. I want my best friend back, the one who would have answered, 'Cool, Xan, have fun, take lots of pictures, and tell me all about it when you get back', the best friend who once thought of me as a person first instead of simply a resource to use in fighting evil.

"I'm sorry, I promised to do better and I'm already backsliding again. Maybe we can get together before you leave and you can tell me all about where you're going."

"We're going to Disneyland and we passed the city limits sign five minutes ago."


He could almost see Willow make an effort to be more cheerful and when her voice came back on the line, he winced at the artificial cheer. "Disneyland, cool, you've always wanted to go there. I hope you guys have a wonderful time."

"Thanks. Tell the others for me, will you? I'll talk to you later."

He barely waited for her acknowledgment before he hit the end button to terminate the conversation. Broodingly, he stared at the phone in his hand before carefully turning it off and placing it in the bag at his feet. Once the phone was safe, he clenched his hands and resisted the urge to scream. All it had taken was one phone call, one phone call to ruin his mood. He could not even blame it fully on Willow because he had known how she would react before he even called. He did not look up from his hands even when Spike reached over and brought each clenched fist to his mouth and kissed each knuckle.

"Damn it," he mourned, "I'm so fucking sick of their attitude. They ignore us, treat us like shit and yet still expect us to be at their immediate disposal."

"Forget about those wankers, luv. All you have to worry about in the next few weeks is how much junk food you can eat without getting sick, how many rides you can fit into a twenty-four hour day, and whether or not we let you out of bed in the mornings."

Xander felt a smile crack his face and looked along the hands that were still holding his, up the arms and into the sharp featured face of his favorite demon. The smirk on the beautiful, pale face almost hid the concern deep in blue eyes. He looked up to the front, met another pair of worried hazel eyes in the rear view mirror, and could not help smiling. How could he remain depressed with two people who cared about him so much?

"Okay, guys, I promise no more imitating Deadboy."

"Good," Spike said firmly, "I don't think the world can handle more than one of the Pouf."

Xander laughed and leaned back, stretching to get more comfortable. Peter had woken them early this morning and he found he was a bit sleepy. Any drowsiness fled though when he felt a light pressure feather up and down his cock. Even through the thick material of his jeans, the action was arousing. He looked up into twinkling blue eyes.

"I'm bored," Spike whined, "Are we there yet?"

"No, it will be another hour or so," Xander answered with a twitch to his lips.

"But, I'm bored," Spike pouted, "What am I going to do until then?"

The pressure on his cock became firmer and he shifted his legs wider to give the teasing hand more room. The hand that was not caressing him was busy with his zipper and soon he shivered, exposed to the cool air conditioning of the car and the cooler hands playing with and stroking his length.

"Is this the part where I offer myself up for your entertainment?" he said with a gasp.

"Mmmm, a sacrifice, how luscious," Spike purred.

With a flash of speed the vampire was kneeling on the floorboard between the mortal's knees, holding his thighs tightly in an unbreakable grip. The firm clasp shifted and he gasped as he was helplessly pulled forward into a tight, wet mouth. The beleaguered mortal thus attacked could only moan and clutch his assailant's shoulders.

A swirling tongue darted rapidly around the head of his cock as tormenting ripples of heat shivered across his skin. His knees were wedged into the seat in front of him and strong hands seized his wrists and held them prisoner. There was no escape from the inexorable stings of sensation overwhelming him. The leather interior of the car faded around him. His clothes were suddenly abrasive as his skin's sensitivity overloaded.

Engulfed and surrounded, he shook when the slick, wet heat retreated to just the tip of his cock. The air blowing against his exposed skin was unbearable and he whimpered in relief when slow movement began and then groaned when the motions only increased his need.

"Please," he begged blindly, not knowing how to quench the fire burning him to ashes.

Darker, deeper, hotter, faster, the assault continued until he exploded in overpowering pleasure. Hot fluid flowed into his conqueror's mouth and he spasmed helplessly through the aftershocks that beset him. When he came down far enough to acknowledge the world around him, he dazedly looked into wicked, shining eyes.

"You can be my helpless sacrifice anytime, pet," Spike smacked his lips, "luscious and delicious."

Xander laughed aloud, suddenly feeling a million times better. Endorphins ran rampant through his blood due to the mind-blowing orgasm. Suddenly, the day brightened again and his normal optimistic outlook on life returned. Of course, the fantastic blowjob had nothing to do with it, he cheerfully insisted to himself.

"You two almost caused three wrecks, you know," a laughing voice came from the front seat. "I almost took out this really pitiful Citroen, nearly jumped three lanes of traffic, and came close to being creamed by a semi while I was trying to watch the road and the backseat show simultaneously."

"Sorry," Xander said ducking his head and looking up through his eyelashes.

"Well, if you're feeling left out, luv," Spike said, while making as if to climb over the seats.

"No," Peter said hastily and Xander fell into a fit of uncontrolled giggles.

"Okay, luv," Spike said with an unconcerned shrug. The vampire lit up a cigarette and blew smoke towards the ceiling. "So, are we there yet?"

"We just passed into the city," Peter said quickly.

Spike just nodded nonchalantly, regally ignoring Xander's continued glee.

"So, directions?" their relieved driver asked.

Xander stared out the windows at the tall buildings that were so different from their little town as he slowly calmed. Streets teeming with business people, teenagers, bums, shoppers, idlers, children, and various other lifestyles and choices passed by as Peter slowly navigated through crowded streets. Minutes later they pulled into the parking lot of the current residence of Angel Investigations.

They climbed out of the car, and when Xander pulled the tarpaulin from the back Spike nodded and draped it over himself. The two Sunnydale residents did not think that Angel would abuse the knowledge of the vampire sun block but they had no illusions about Angelus. With a final mischievous grin, Spike sprinted for the door and slammed his way through the entrance cursing and swearing.

Xander and Peter followed at a more leisurely walk. Oh good, I'm in time for the floorshow, Xander thought wickedly, as Angel suddenly burst into the room with a crossbow.

With casual speed, Peter was suddenly in front of Spike, helping him to pat out non-existent sparks and smooth his coat into place, and non-coincidentally, Xander knew, placing himself between the vampire and the wooden weapon. Spike stopped his swearing to smile at Peter, and whisper in his ear for a moment. Peter appeared doubtful but nodded and moved back to Xander's side.

Xander put his arm lightly around Peter's waist and leaned in to whisper himself, "It's okay, it would take a lot more than just irritation for a sire to stake his childe. Deadboy would only do it under extreme provocation and as a last resort."

"That's what Spike said," Peter murmured back, while never taking his eyes off the souled vampire.

Smiling affectionately at their determined protector, he snuggled close when Peter draped an arm over his shoulder.

"Oi, Peaches, nice digs," Spike said after settling himself to his satisfaction.

Looking around, Xander had to agree. The hotel where Angel and company had settled was old but retained a faded majesty. Hardwood floors that probably creaked, faded red velvet curtains, golden oak wood furniture, and dusty chandeliers created an atmosphere of tired grandeur. The setting suited Deadboy, Xander thought; he had never seemed to entirely live in the current century.

"Spike," Angel sighed, lowering his crossbow warily. "What are you doing here?"

"Can't a bloke come visit his sire without enduring a bleedin' inquisition?"

"Not when it's you, Spike, what do you want?"

The blonde vampire shrugged and tilted his head, "Have you done something to your hair, it looks... well..." Spike paused, squinted, and finally shook his head in dismissal, "never mind."

Stifling his amusement, Xander watched Angel reflexively move a hand towards his head before jerking it down and scowling darkly.

"William," Angel growled.

"Don't get your knickers in a twist, Peaches, we're just passing through."

"We?" Angel looked around and finally spotted the other two.

Oh, way to hone the observation skills there, Xander thought sarcastically. He could tell Peter agreed when he murmured, "Not too swift, is he?" It looked like Angel was fast making the same bad impression that most of the Sunnydale crew had made on their new lover.

"Xander," Angel finally said in greeting.

"Deadboy," he returned, inwardly smirking at the wince the old nickname caused.

The somber vampire turned and lifted a brow at the man he did not recognize.

Much to his amusement, Peter simply stared coldly and made no effort to introduce himself.

Spike strolled up and cupped Peter's face for a moment before dropping a brief kiss on his lips. The blonde murmured, "Relax, luv. He can't help being a prick, we've got a lot of bad history." Spike smiled once more before turning around and linking arms with Xander around Peter's slim waist.

"Peaches, meet Peter Parker, my lover. Peter luv, meet my sire, the Pouf."

Peter nodded his head neutrally in greeting.

"You've taken a human for a lover?" Angel's voice sounded in the old building, sending echoes of incredulity bouncing from one wall to another. The exclamation halted the three chatting people just walking in the door. Cordelia, Wesley, and a black man he had not met stopped and stared in confusion.

"No, actually," Spike's voice was throbbing with rich amusement and he looked thrilled at obtaining a larger audience, "I've taken two humans as lovers."

Xander snorted at the muttered comment from the black man, "What is this, a harem?"

Cordelia took one look at Spike's arms around Xander and Peter and drew the obvious conclusion, "Oh my god, my ex-boyfriend is in a mnage a trois with a vampire. Total Geraldo moment here."

"Nice to see you too, Cordy," Xander said blandly. Before Spike, this kind of scene would have left him babbling in nervous discomfort and almost comatose with embarrassment. Now a situation that would once have caused cringing only caused amusement.

"A vamp?" the black man tensed.

Everyone ignored him as all eyes focused on Angel's scowling face. The dark vampire stalked forward until he was in front of the smirking blonde. "What are you playing at? These children don't deserve to get hurt because of your games."

Spike slowly straightened up and the smirk slid off his face, replaced with dangerous golden eyes. "I'm not playing."

Angel glared back and a hint of gold seeped into the edges of his hard brown eyes, "Since you can't hurt humans, you've suddenly decided to play nice, is that it?"

"I'm not playing, I'm not nice," Spike spat, "and for your information the damn chip came out months ago."

At that revelation, Xander slipped around until he stood in front of Spike, where he was immediately pulled back into a firm embrace. Amusement because of their astonishment was one thing, but Angel's disbelieving fury was beginning to scare him. Spike ran a soothing hand up and down his arm even as he glared at the glowering dark vampire. Xander snuggled closer as he tried to comfort Spike; he knew that Angel's reaction was hurting the vampire even if he did not want to show it.

Peter stepped closer and laid a light hand on the blonde vampire's back. "Spike wouldn't hurt us," Peter spoke up quietly, "and we're both old enough to make our own choices."

Angel turned a frustrated face to the slender man, "I don't know about you but Xander isn't even legal age yet."

"He's fought, bled, loved, and almost died on many occasions and he has by far earned the right to make his own decisions. And as for me, well I'm old enough and anything else isn't any of your damn business."

"Newsflash, Deadboy," Xander added, "the relationship between Spike and I isn't new, we've been lovers for a while now and most of that time was without the chip."

"But-" Angel pleaded.

"I'm having a Sunnydale type reaction here, guys," Peter interrupted.

"So, luvs, same solution?" Spike questioned.

"Yep," Xander said shortly.

Without another word, all three turned as one and headed straight for the door. All of them had reached their threshold for shit and determined they were not putting up with any more.

"Wait, Xander, where are you going?" Cordelia protested. "At least stop long enough for a coffee, I haven't talked to you in ages."

"As long as it's elsewhere," Xander said, "we obviously aren't welcome here."

"Well, you're welcome at my place, let's go over there and we can talk."

"Aren't you the least bit freaked over this, Cordelia?" the black man asked quietly. He was still staring warily at Spike, and the other two received their share of suspicious looks.

"No offense, guys, but I gave up on Xander's love life being normal ages ago. A giant preying mantis, a mummy, an ex-vengeance demon, why wouldn't vampires be next on the list? Although," the woman tapped perfect nails on her lip and tilted her head, "I am impressed with the two at once thing and I want details, Xan, lots of details."

"Cordy," Xander said laughing as he gave her a hug, "I've missed you."

"Well of course you have," the brunette woman nodded firmly. "Now I haven't been properly introduced to your other lover." Cordelia lifted an imperial brow and smiled.

"Sorry, Cordy. I'd like you to meet Peter Parker. Peter, this is Cordelia Chase, an old friend from High School."

"It's nice to meet you, Cordelia," Peter said with a beautiful smile as he gently shook her hand.

"So," Cordelia said hooking her arm through Xander's on one side and Peter's on the other, "let's go get some coffee and blood. And wow, that sounds incredibly icky."

Spike laughed, "Thanks for the thought, princess."

"Welcome," Cordelia shrugged, "Want to come, guys?" She directed the question at Wesley and the black man who had somehow missed out during the introductions.

"Wait," a voice came softly behind them. They turned and Angel walked slowly up to them. His face was impassive, no longer showing any anger.

"You're serious about them?" Angel questioned intently.

Spike stared back expressionless for a long moment before he nodded without speaking.

"You are a troublesome and difficult childe but you've always known how to love. You and yours are welcome here, please stay." Tired brown eyes smiled for a brief moment into shining blue before impassive shields returned to both vampire's faces.

Xander eyed them both thoughtfully and took the decision out of everyone's hands by plopping down on a couch cushion and exclaiming, "Cool."

Cordelia, who was far from slow, sat down beside him, and the others slowly settled about the room. Xander nodded in approval when Spike pulled Peter down to share a large chair with him. Peter blushed but quickly settled within the circle of Spike's arms, looking more relaxed than he had since they entered the hotel.

"Hi Wesley, didn't get a chance to greet you earlier," he nodded at the ex-Watcher.

"Hello, Xander, it is nice to see you again."

Cheerfully nodding back, Xander turned to the black man who still looked rather dubious about the proceedings. "Hi, I don't think we've been introduced, I'm Xander Harris, the guys in the chair are Peter Parker and Spike."

"It's nice to meet you Xander, Peter, and," the black man paused for a moment staring uncertainly at the blonde vampire, "Spike. I'm Gunn."

"Don't look so worried, mate," Spike smirked, "I don't eat the good guys anymore."

Conversation faltered for a minute, but Wesley smoothed things over. "That's a relief to hear, so what brings you three to L.A.?"

"We're just passing through," Xander said grinning as he started to bounce a bit, "we're on vacation and on our way to Disneyland," he crowed. He muffled snickers as he saw disbelief light every face in the room before eyes went to the lounging blonde vampire.

"Disneyland, Spike is going to Disneyland," Angel said incredulously.

"Yeah, mate, I'm going to Disneyland. Something wrong with that?" Spike's voice was belligerent and challenging.

"No, it's just," Angel trailed off and looked blank.

Xander stifled unmanly giggles at the dark vampire's shock; he rather thought a trip to the "happiest place on earth" would do the brooding vampire some good himself. He did not intend to have any guests on this trip though.

"Neat," Cordelia said, "take lots of pictures because I expect a full report. And," she leaned closer and lowered her voice to a whisper; "I'd pay good money to see a picture of Spike in Mickey Mouse ears."

Xander looked over at his blonde, sarcastic lover and grinned at the thought, the grin soon transformed to unrestrained laughter. "Done," he promised, gasping for air through his mirth.

"Care to share the joke, luv?" Spike asked with a suspicious look in his eyes.

"Ummm, nope. No sharing going on, it's a secret."

"Oh," the vampire lifted a brow and frowned slightly. The frown transformed to a slow, seductive grin when Peter leaned back and whispered in his ear. When Peter looked over at him and they both grinned at him, he shivered. Uh oh, he thought gleefully, I'm in trouble now. He distracted himself from delightful visions of what his two lovers might do to get him to talk by turning and chatting with Cordelia.

Gunn drifted over to the couch and he and Cordelia began regaling the black man with stories from High School. Wesley settled near to Spike and Peter and seemed perfectly comfortable carrying on a conversation about England and various travels with them. Angel watched over the gathering with a quiet, brooding expression. Xander was a bit surprised that Spike was on his best behavior but attributed it to Peter's distracting presence.

When one too many yawns disturbed the chatting, the gathering decided to break up for the night. Angel quietly offered them a room after everyone had drifted away. Xander accepted for all three of them and Spike after a look of veiled gratitude, offered to get their bags.

Peter looked around their room silently and seemed just a bit melancholy to Xander's eyes. "Spike both loves him and hates him, doesn't he?" Peter's voice was musing.

"Yeah," Xander sighed, "their history is complicated. They've laughed, hated, loved, craved, tortured, and lusted, sometimes all at the same time."

"Do you think tonight helped them to make peace with each other?"

"It was a good start. Now enough about Deadboy, I want to talk about you." Xander slid closer with a grin. "Actually talking is optional."

Peter smiled slowly, his eyes lighting up from within, Xander stepped close and threaded his fingers through the thick reddishbrown hair and drew those sweetly curved lips to his own. He bit down gently on the lower lip before sucking it into his mouth. His tongue reached out and slipped around white teeth to tease and caress. It was sweet, slow, gentle and unbearably sensual. He slid his hands down strong, muscled shoulders and settled firmly on the small dip in Peter's back.

Peter's hands alighted on his back with light feather touches and gently stroked. Xander shivered at the barely there touches and the careful tenderness. Peter's hot breath mingled with his own and they moaned in unison. Xander drew away breathlessly and sprinkled small kisses on cheekbones flushed with color and lost himself in shining, bright eyes. Beautiful hazel eyes flecked with gold that had a slightly darker ring around the outside edge and burnt with need and love.

Xander pulled them even tighter together as if trying to push them into each other's skin. Fire and heat burned brightly in him and he rubbed against Peter's strong body, lifting one leg up to curl it around and grind himself closer. Peter responded by sliding his hands down Xander's ass and cupping it. The firm hands never faltered as Xander put more weight on them until they were supporting the younger brunette's full body as Xander wrapped both legs around Peter's hips, trusting in his lover's strength.

The hold on his bottom was gentle and secure with no sign of strain and Xander laughed breathlessly as he leaned back. He smirked wickedly at having his hands free while Peter's were occupied. Starting slowly on the buttons to Peter's shirt, he opened them one at a time until he could feel bare skin and circle small hard nipples. He scraped his fingernail over them slightly before rubbing them with the pads of his fingers. He smiled as they peaked under his attention and Peter hardened even further against him.

Xander lifted his arms and shed his own shirt. He then began tracing patterns on smooth, light muscle. Peter's skin was almost as pale as Spike's was with only a light sprinkling of hair down his stomach and disappearing into his jeans. Leaning forward, Xander latched back onto Peter's mouth and did his best to devour it, sucking hungrily.

Pulling away with a breathless pant, Xander ordered, "Bed."

Peter licked already wet lips and backed up until his knees were against the furniture and then lowered them. Xander began rubbing himself up and down the luscious body under him as soon as they were vertical. Peter's hands roamed his back, caressing and touching. Xander groaned as hands fumbled at his zipper and moaned approval at being stripped of his pants and underwear. He thrust down hard once, then forced himself to move, biting and nipping his way down the firm chest, he dipped his tongue into a shallow navel, and deftly undid the top button of Peter's jeans. Peter helped by lifting his hips and he drew the jeans down muscled, tense legs. Underwear was next and Xander sat back on his heels as his hands absently fondled and stroked smooth skin.

He still had trouble believing that he had one lover who brightened and enriched his life, two was a gift unparalleled, Peter was a blessing that neither he nor Spike had known that they wanted. An expected gift, wrapped up in a pale, muscular body and protective, daring arms. Xander leaned down, ran his tongue in a moist line down the right inner thigh, and then gently laved soft skin in wet heat. Peter's muscles trembled with fine shudders and he moaned, "Xander," when he took the swollen cock head into his mouth. He lapped and sucked softly and reveled in the shudders of the man sprawled on the bed.

He removed his mouth after one more delicious lick and watched Peter open slumberous, dazed eyes. Peter swallowed once heavily and raised a hand to trace his face. "Spike was right, you know. You are gorgeous and I'm the luckiest man in the world," Peter whispered.

Xander felt happiness glow in veins as he smiled hugely at Peter. "We're just as lucky."

Never taking his eyes off Peter, Xander licked his fingers until they were wet and slick and reached down and circled Peter's opening. He was amazed and gratified when Peter blushed dark wine red but immediately spread his legs. Given tacit permission, he gently slipped one finger though the tight ring of muscle. Peter shuddered, moaned his name and quivered as if live energy ran through his nerves when Xander brushed and teased the small nub deep within.

Blessing the fact that living with Spike had caused him to always be prepared, Xander drew out a small tube of lubricant from his discarded pants. Peter's reaction was driving him up the wall, the small involuntary movements and low cries were flaming through his will and blinding him to any goal except getting inside that tight heat. He was extremely grateful Peter stretched easily and relaxed quickly. Pushing Peter's legs up, he slowly eased inside, shuddering at the slick heat.

Peter groaned harshly, stiffened, and then seemed to simply melt around him as he opened and loosened. Xander felt possession and heat tangle together within and began thrusting into the willing, hot body under him. He gloried in Peter's responsiveness and shifted to massage his prostate at every lunge.

"Well, well," a voice came from the doorway, "see what a bloke misses when he stops for a smoke break."

With an effort that left both men moaning in need, Xander halted his movements and looked over his shoulder. Spike stood leaning in the doorway, eyeing both of them with hot, hungry eyes.

"You're here now, so there's no reason to miss the party," Xander wiggled his butt invitingly and grinned at the choked sound that produced in the prone man under him.

Spike prowled towards them shedding clothes with vampire speed. Xander shuddered as cold hands spread his cheeks and a wet tongue plunged directly into his hole. Stifling a shriek, he lunged forward and Peter breathed in on a harsh exclamation. One hand reached down to grasp his balls, and squeezed and released them in a slow rhythm. Groaning and shuddering mindlessly, he held on to the last shreds of his self-control as strong, slick fingers replaced the wet tongue.

"Please," he begged shamelessly, "fuck me, Spike."

"As you wish, pet," Spike laughed. "I'm going to fuck both of you through the mattress."

He was not the only one that moaned helplessly as Spike slowly slid into him with one smooth thrust. Peter groaned at the increased weight and his fingers tightened on his own knees as he held himself open for the combined thrusting of both men. Xander shuddered as cool hardness filled him while he burned buried inside a hot furnace. The feeling was like nothing he had ever experienced and he began moaning continuously as Spike kneeled over them and plunged inside, forcing him to pound inside of Peter.

The speed and force of the thrusts continued until his brain overloaded and he existed in a world of exploding pleasure. Slick, hot skin rubbed him from both sides and he begged as he was impaled and taken, pushed past what he thought were his limits as he screamed. He barely heard Peter's choked cries and Spike's chant of "mine," as he released everything in a tsunami of sensations. He stiffened and buried himself as deep as he could in Peter's welcoming body as he exploded into ecstasy.

He collapsed limply as every dreg of energy drained from him. The other two had come as he had and they lay in a knot of limbs. Laying his head on Peter's sweaty shoulder, he smiled faintly as cool lips brushed a kiss over his brow and warm hands stroked down his back. Gods, he thought blissfully, I'll be a Xander sandwich any day. He drifted away on that thought and never felt himself being cleaned up and settled between two protective bodies.


Peter woke silently to the sound of screams following him from his dreams. He froze for a moment as he assured himself that it was just a dream before he sighed raggedly. The nightmares had decreased in frequency after he had become involved with Spike and Xander but he still had nights like tonight when subconscious fears attacked him viciously. Staring at the ceiling of their borrowed room, he knew he could not stay here or he would only wake his lovers with his restless shifting. He quietly slid out from under Xander's arm, thankful it was not the more alert Spike, and silently dressed.

Opening the door barely wide enough to slip out, he wandered down to the lobby of the old hotel. He remembered seeing a bookshelf earlier and hoped that he could find something to help take his mind off the nightmares that haunted him. Finding the books, he wrinkled his nose as he ran his fingers across dusty tomes of witchcraft, demonology, sorcery, and paranormal phenomena. Not the light midnight reading he was in the mood for, he thought amusedly. He finally came across a section of poetry; he shook his head at Donne, did not even consider Byron but smiled when he came across a collection of Rumi. The 13th century irreverent, passionate poet-philosopher suited his mood perfectly tonight.

He settled into a corner of one of the couches and soon was engrossed in lyrical verses. A while later he looked up at the doorway, where Angel entered seconds later. He did not notice Peter immediately, giving the other man a chance to study him unsuspecting. The pale vampire looked as haunted by his nights as Peter ever had been. Weariness and sadness seemed to cling to the tall form and unwillingly Peter felt sympathy rise within him. Looking up, Angel noticed him and immediately most of his emotions fled behind an expressionless mask. Pretending not to notice, Peter nodded greeting.

"What are you doing up this time of night?" Angel asked quietly.

"Same reason as you, I'm guessing."

When Angel tilted his head enquiringly, Peter shrugged, "Nightmares."

Dark, guarded eyes studied him for a moment before Angel sighed. "Do you mind if I join you?"

"Not at all." Peter put his book down and turned his full attention to the dark vampire.

Angel sat in a nearby chair and settled back comfortably. He stared at Peter intently, before asking, "Tell me about Spike?"

Peter blinked in confusion, "Isn't he your childe? Don't you already know about him?"

"Yes, I know the vampire, Spike, that Angelus created. What I don't know is the Spike that you two see."

Peter smiled and looked through Angel into the distance. "You would do better to ask Xander that question, he's known him a lot longer but I'll tell you what I can. Spike is bloodthirsty and craves violence but he has channeled that need since he's met Xander. He loves that boy as if he was his lost soul and other half. He's controlled himself around the gang in Sunnydale despite some rather harsh provocation." Peter grimaced at the memory and looked closely at Angel. "I understand that you once loved Buffy and hate to say anything harsh about her but for someone that fights the supernatural on a daily basis she has a remarkably closed mind."

Angel shifted uneasily, "I think it is her way of dealing with the realities of her life. She's had a heavy burden placed on her shoulders."

"Yes, she has and we'll all be glad when she starts growing up and bears it with more grace. We all have burdens to live with." Dropping the subject of the Slayer, he went back to talking about Spike. "Spike has little patience for fools and he's not too big on sentiment but he can be remarkably reassuring and gentle with those he cares about. He's irreverent and snarkily amusing, and uses that humor to cajole Xander and I out of our funks." Peter paused and fixed Angel with a hard look, "He'd also step between Xander and certain death and you better pray you're not around if Xan ever does get killed because Spike will rip the town apart."

"You talk as if you were not a part of them."

He paused and said slowly, "I'm still getting used to it, I've only been with them a few weeks."

"A few weeks?" Angel's voice was surprised. "If you've only known them a few weeks, are you sure you know what you're doing?"

Peter looked closely at the solemn vampire and this time saw the worry and concern that he had missed at the earlier confrontation. He could not blame Angel because his usual confrontations with Spike, by his lover's own words, were brutal, violent and bloody. The dark vampire had seen little evidence that his bloodthirsty childe could change his ways. In addition, just by appearances he would appear to be an impressionable child barely out of adulthood to a vampire who had roamed the world for over two hundred years.

"Angel," he said gently, "please don't worry about me. Spike and Xander make me feel more loved and safe than I've ever felt in my entire life. And," Peter lowered his voice, "although Spike doesn't show it, he misses his sire. Try to get past your history with him and get to know him."

Angel's dark eyes saddened and his voice was hushed, "I'll try."

"Good," Peter nodded firmly.

The conversation drifted then as they both made a decision to speak of lighter things. Peter slowly relaxed and a yawn suddenly wreathed his face.

"Perhaps you should try to get some more sleep now, Peter."

"He's right, luv," Spike's voice came from the shadows and he stepped forward to look down at the man on the couch. He was dressed only in low hanging jeans and looked sinfully gorgeous. "I would have thought you'd be too tired to move until morning," his blonde lover smirked, laughed and slid a finger over his burning cheeks. "Nightmares?" Spike questioned quietly, ignoring his sire seated several feet away.

Peter nodded silently.

"You should have woke us, luv."

He shrugged, "I didn't want to bother you."

Spike frowned, "You're not a bother." The blonde vampire leaned over the back of the couch and kissed the edge of his mouth. Strong, sharp teeth nipped his bottom lip and then a cool mouth sealed itself over his. Peter forgot about Angel, forgot that they were not alone and simply enjoyed the pleasure of Spike's kiss. Cool, dominating lips that cherished and reassured and a wet tongue that tasted of night blooming jasmine and the copper tang of thunderstorms.

A ringing sound intruded onto his mind and he looked up as Spike pulled away. He saw Angel's back as he went to answer the phone. He blinked and then looked down in embarrassment at necking in front of what was effectively Spike's father. He was going to have to get over that reaction, because it was clear that his lover had no inhibitions.

Angel came back into the room, moving swiftly. He made directly for the weapons rack, took down a crossbow and an axe, and turned around. "I've got something I need to take care of. I'll be back later." Angel made for the door with no further explanation.

That, Peter thought, is almost as irritating as the Sunnydale gang, if in a different way. The Sunnydale gang took Xander and Spike for granted, assuming their help and sniping at them irritably. Angel took for granted that they would not help and so did not bother asking.

"What's going on, Peaches?" Spike asked, stepping into Angel's path.

"Cordelia had a vision, Kerlosh demons are going to attack one of the nightclubs downtown," Angel said shortly.

Spike's eyes lit up at the idea of a fight and he grinned excitedly. "Wake up, Xander, luv. I'll make sure the pouf doesn't leave without us."

Peter nodded and swiftly left the room, ignoring the fading sounds of protest he could hear Angel voicing. He would rather have left Xander sleeping and safe, but knew the other man would not thank them for protecting him. The young brunette had curled into a ball and looked lonely all alone in the bed. Peter sat down beside him and gently shook one bare shoulder.

"Xander, wake up, please," he said softly.

The other man woke up swiftly and looked around with sleepy but aware eyes. "What's wrong?"

"Cordelia called with a vision, demons attacking one of the nightclubs downtown. Spike is making sure Angel doesn't leave without us."

Xander nodded comprehension and swiftly slipped into his clothes and shoes. Peter put on his own shoes and grabbed Spike's along with a shirt for the blonde vampire. They also delved into the bags that had been brought up earlier and armed themselves. Minutes after Peter had entered the room, they both exited ready for a fight.

They entered the foyer to find Angel pacing restlessly and Spike lounging carelessly against the door. "This is dangerous," the dark vampire protested, "you two should stay here."

Peter and Xander both ignored him as Peter handed their lover the rest of his clothes and weapons. "Thanks, luv," Spike murmured as he shrugged into the clothes and armed himself. They all turned to Angel expectantly and the other vampire finally threw his arms up in disgust.

"Fine, just watch out for them, Spike," Angel sighed and exited out the door, leading the way.

Peter and Spike exchanged glances, silently agreeing to watch out for their more fragile lover. They placed themselves protectively on either side of Xander and grinned unapologetically as he rolled his eyes. Their hurried strides took them through the night streets at a rapid pace, passing the darker denizens of the city who only came out at night.

They reached the nightclub, Exotic Dreams, minutes later and found Wesley and Gunn waiting outside. Wesley spoke as soon as they were within hearing distance. "I believe Cordelia said that they entered through the back. Gunn and I scouted and there is an alley behind the club where we can set up and stop them before they can enter."

"Good job, Wes, Gunn," Angel said and as a group they walked around the block and stopped at the back of the club.

Peter wrinkled his nose at the smell of refuse and the garbage gathered in the corners of the dark alley. Oh yeah, this was his life, he thought ironically, smelly, refuse strewn, pitch dark empty environs soon to be invaded by demons. How could he contain his excitement? Eyeing Spike's dancing eyes, he was glad that at least one of them was enjoying this.

Angel situated them around the alley in a loose circle. Peter smiled when he noticed that he and Xander were at the very back of the alley, in the most protected position. Making sure that his young lover's back was to the wall, he settled in to wait.

A few minutes later, beings that could have passed for human, if not for their strange green coloration, slinked into the alley. Angel immediately stepped out to stop them and warned them that the town was under his protection. Peter rolled his eyes and sighed; everyone knew that the 'give up now or get your ass kicked' speech never worked. Sure enough, the demons snarled and attacked. Spike gave a cheer and dove in amidst the swirling chaos; Peter stood back for a moment, assessing the situation.

There were about twenty of the demons and the alley mouth filled to capacity. Gunn and Wesley stood to the side, firing crossbows while Spike and Angel fought hand to hand or hand to axe as the case may be. Their blonde lover was grinning wildly as he moved fluidly and laughing as he broke skin and blood flowed. Shaking his head at the psychotic vampire, he shifted his attention to the others. Angel was very skilled but he fought without the joyous edge that made Spike so engaging to view. Peter was content to simply watch, making sure Xander was safe, as long as everything was under control.

That contentment vanished when a demon knocked the crossbow out of Wesley's hand and he went down hard. Nobody was close enough to help and the alley was too crowded for him to muscle his way through. Wesley looked dazed and blood was trickling out of the corner of his mouth. Gunn was shouting frantically but could not fight past the two demons attacking him.

Barely pausing to decide, Peter leapt to the wall and swiftly crawled along it in a fluid crouch over every one's head. He launched himself at the demon that was aiming a fatal blow at Wesley's head. Landing on top of the demon, he delivered a quick punch that knocked the green being unconscious. Moving to Wesley's side, he picked up the moaning man and jumped back to the wall, walking horizontally along it until he reached Xander's side again. He gently laid Wesley down, asked Xander to watch him and dove back into the fight.

He did not want anyone else to get hurt so he set himself to watching everyone's backs. He took out one demon edging too close to Gunn and snarled as Spike fell. The blonde vampire immediately jumped back up, kicked the demon's face in, and then ripped his head off with a growl. Demons were dropping swiftly, they littered the alley in broken and bloody heaps; the fight seemed to be winding down. Peter's head suddenly snapped up as his spidersense screamed. Two of the demons had broken through the defender's barrier and made it to Xander's position.

The young man was fighting valiantly, but in trying to protect Wesley, he left himself open. One of the demons grabbed Xander around the neck and pulled him off his feet. Peter felt an unfamiliar scarlet rage scorch through him at his lover's panicked face. Screaming, he used the nearby wall to bounce off and launched himself to the back of the alley. He kicked out at the demon that was reaching for Wesley and snarled as the demon holding Xander tightened his grip.

"Watch him die, little man," the demon hissed through sharpened teeth.

Peter's hand shot out in a blur too fast to see and an instant later the demon's arm was hanging useless, broken. Xander crumpled to the ground, gasping for air. In his anxiousness to check on him, Peter used a bit more force on the shrieking demon than he meant to. The strike that should have just pushed the demon out of the way sent him smashing across the alley and imprinted his body inches into the brick wall.

Kneeling down, he carefully checked his young lover for injuries. He felt only faint relief as he found no visible wounds. "Xander," his voice shook as badly as his hands. Seconds later Spike knelt behind Xander and pulled him into a supportive hug.

Their young lover opened his eyes and stared blankly outward for a moment before blinking dazedly. "I'm okay, guys, just got to get my breath back. Check on Wesley," Xander whispered before shutting his eyes and leaning back into Spike's strong arms.

Peter swallowed dryly and stared for several more seconds before he tore his gaze from the pale face. He turned only to find Angel and Gunn at Wesley's side. Angel was gently checking for broken bones while Gunn hovered anxiously. Wesley moaned and opened dazed eyes just as the examination finished.

"Wes, are you okay?" Angel asked quietly.

"I think so," Wesley answered slowly, slurring his words.

Sighing in relief, Peter closed his eyes and tried to control the sick nausea rolling through him. He did not want to see the bodies strewn throughout the alley; some of them were unconscious but many of them were dead, at least one by his hand. He found that killing was no easier the second time around, and resigned himself to more nightmares. Swallowing hard, he firmly brought himself back under control. They did not have time for him to lose it; he could have a nice scheduled breakdown later, when they were all safe. Pep talk given, he opened calm eyes and studied the lightening sky. While it was possible that his sunscreen would still work on Spike, Angel had no such protection and dawn was not far off.

"We need to get out of here before sunrise," he said quietly. Reaching a hand down he drew Gunn to his feet and reached for Angel when he noticed the dark stain seeping through the vampire's clothing.

"You're hurt," he said concerned.

"I'll be fine," Angel said and stood, propping Wesley up with a grimace.

"Of course you will," Peter sighed and then snapped, "Gunn, make sure Angel doesn't fall on his face." He walked over to Wesley's side and bending, lifted the man into his arms. Shifting, he settled him comfortably, amused when Wesley murmured and buried his face in his chest. Looking over he saw that Spike had done the same for Xander despite his protests. "Let's go, people," he said as he strode briskly out of the alley, away from the bodystrewn battleground.

He kept an eye on everyone, especially Xander, as he set a good pace back to the hotel. He set himself to forgetting the battle even as he ignored the curious and slightly awed looks aimed at his back. The way things were going he would soon be out of secrets and the funny thing was he could not even bring himself to regret it. He still felt guilty at actually taking life but he could not help feeling as if he was making a real difference here, protecting the innocent from the predators. Sometimes in more creative ways than others as he thought of Spike and the man he had cradled in his arms.

A strange sound intruded on his thoughts and it took a minute before he could make out humming. He looked over at Spike and felt his spirits lift at the wicked look in sparkling eyes. Ah, phase one of "Operation Drive Angel Batty" was commencing; he had rather thought that Spike was behaving too well. Peter was especially proud of this gambit, since he had been the one to think it up. Humming one song repeatedly would irritate anybody but humming the obnoxious Barney song, "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family" was enough to jangle anybody's nerves.

He noticed Xander bite his lip and turn his face into Spike's chest, undoubtedly to hide the unholy mirth dancing on his face. The blonde vampire's face was a study in innocence as he interspersed the humming with snatches of the song. Angel's growing grimace was priceless and he looked as if he wished to place his hands over his ears but was too polite to do so. Spike had been diabolical in choosing the time to start his campaign. Angel could not, without looking like a boor, yell at Spike while he was carrying a wounded Xander in his arms, not to mention, when the talk with Peter about how Spike cared what Angel thought of him was still fresh in his mind.

Gunn was the one that finally snapped and just as they reached the hotel, he growled, "Stop the damn humming already, before I stake you."

Peter choked slightly at the relief filled glance that Angel sent Gunn and the innocently bewildered look that graced the impish vampire's face.

Reaching the lobby, Peter laid Wesley gently on one of the couches and stepped back as Gunn leaned over and checked him again carefully. Angel watched closely and added, "His pupils are still a bit dilated, he probably has a light concussion. As long as we can wake him up every hour or so today, he should be okay."

Gunn nodded and slumped tiredly onto the couch near Wesley. Angel eased into a chair nearby and Peter spared another worried look at the blood soaked arm. Vampire or not, he would not be able to rest he until he made sure the other man was all right. Putting it off for a brief second, he went to where Xander and Spike lounged on another couch across from Wesley. Peter was relieved to see Xander sitting up and reassuring Spike he was okay.

Deciding he needed to be reassured himself, he knelt and lightly touched Xander's bruised throat. "I'm sorry I didn't get there in time, Xan."

The young man rolled his eyes and said hoarsely, "Don't be stupid, you're the reason we all made it back in one piece. A few bruises are a small price to pay for Wesley's life."

Peter knew he was right but could not help feeling guilty. Spike had trusted him to watch over Xander and he had let him get hurt. What if the vampire blamed him for their lover's injury? He looked at Spike uncertainly and relief filled him when he received a smile.

"Don't be an ass, luv. Even you can't be everywhere at once," Spike said softly.

He sagged in relief and bowed his head for a second before straightening, "Be back in a moment." Striding over to Angel, he gestured to the coat. "Take that off and let me look at your arm."

Angel waved his good arm dismissively, "It's nothing, don't worry about it, Peter."

Peter glared, "I'm not in the mood to put up with stoic shit. The coat comes off. Now," his voice was hard and irritated.

"Might as well give in, Peaches. He won't rest until he's made sure everyone's okay." Spike's voice rumbled with warning and he gave Angel an impatient look.

The dark vampire sighed and stood up; he took off the coat and exposed his ripped shirt. Peter stepped close and pulled open the edges of the fabric to look at the wound. It was not a clean slice but rather a ragged, torn gash that looked nasty. Peter grimaced and pushed Angel back into the chair. "Wait here," he ordered and went upstairs for his medical supplies. Coming back into the room, he saw the bemused glance that Angel and Gunn exchanged but ignored it.

Carefully, he cleaned the wound and poured his own brand of antiseptic/anesthetic over the torn area. He could tell by the subtle relaxation of the large arm in his hand that the painkiller was taking immediate effect. Stupid ass vampire, he thought irritably, rather be in pain than ask for help. He knew it was unnecessary to stitch the wound so he placed a couple of butterfly bandages on the worst spots and left it at that.

Straightening up, he patted Angel absently on the shoulder and went back to Xander and Spike. Xander had curled up in the middle of the couch with Spike beside him, so Peter sat down on his other side and pulled Xander close, reassuring himself of his young lover's safety and presence.

There was silence for a long moment before Gunn cleared his throat, "Okay, I just gotta' know, did I really see you run across a wall like it was flat ground?"

"Yes," he said simply, looking up at the ceiling, avoiding the stares from the room's occupants.

"How?" Gunn asked with wonder coloring his jaded voice.

Angel spoke when he did not answer for a moment, "You're stronger and faster than a vampire also. That demon you shoved nearly went through the wall."

Peter winced at the reminder and continued to stare at the ceiling. Sighing, he gave in to the inevitable, "A few years back I was bitten by a radioactive spider during an experiment and gained some of the spider's characteristics such as strength, speed, agility, and the ability to cling to any surface at any angle. End of story." He rubbed irritably at his forehead even as he yawned at the resulting silence. He knew he had just given a pitifully inadequate explanation and found he really did not care. He had gotten almost no sleep for the past two nights and it was beginning to show in the reoccurrence of the pain pulsing behind his eyes.

Spike's cool fingers brushed his forehead and he looked over at concerned blue eyes, "You've got another headache, don't you?"

He nodded silently and obeyed the urging of the cool hands when they pulled him down and settled his head in Spike's lap and his torso across Xander's, with his back facing the rest of the room. Tension began seeping out of his spine as two sets of caring hands began soothing his pounding headache.

"Go to sleep, luv," Spike ordered softly.

Peter did not think twice about obeying the order as he curled up tighter, putting his arm around Spike's waist and clasping one of Xander's hands. He drifted off safe in the comfort of his lover's arms, knowing they would take care of everything.


"He killed a demon, tonight," Spike said softly as he stroked the sleeping Peter's hair gently, savoring the silken texture.

"I know," Xander said sadly.

"I don't understand," Angel's voice said quietly from the chair several feet away.

Spike looked deeply into Angel's brown eyes and evaluated them carefully. He could not deny that the souled version of his once ruthless Sire really did care. And while he did enjoy taunting the older vampire, if only to get him to loosen up some, he also wanted to be on friendlier terms with him. Finally, he answered the concern in deep brown eyes, "He doesn't like to kill anything, he's had nightmares ever since our encounter with Stheth'juth demons several weeks ago." He absently continued to stroke Peter's hair and soft skin as he continued, "He's deadly and efficient but he has a remarkably soft heart."

"Gods," Angel exclaimed, "Stheth'juth demons, how did you deal with them?"

Xander answered when Spike was silent, "Peter of course, why else do you think he's having nightmares?"

"Do you two believe his story of an irradiated spider?" Gunn asked skeptically.

"Yes," Spike and Xander said immediately.

"How did you meet him?" Angel asked

Spike chuckled, "Now there's a story and a half, Peaches. Would you believe Rupert and the witch accidentally performed a summoning spell and pulled him from his home dimension?"

Angel and Gunn blinked in disbelief and looked to Xander for confirmation. They were amazed when he simply nodded corroboration.

"What spell were they using?" Wesley's soft voice surprised them all.

"Wes, are you okay, man?" Gunn asked, helping the British man to sit up.

"Other than a rather excruciating headache, I believe I will be fine," the cultured words were clear and Wesley was focusing even if he was squinting. The relief in the room was tangible and even Spike unbent enough to smile briefly at Wesley.

The British ex-Watcher smiled shyly at everyone and adjusted his glasses. "I remember seeing Peter jump in front of me just before I blacked out. Am I given to understand that I have him to thank for saving my life?"

Xander was about to answer him when the front door slammed open and Cordelia stomped in, looking grumpy and pissed. "So," she said with a glare, "I see no one is dead or dusted, do you think next time you could call and inform me of that little fact?" She gracefully sat down on the couch next to Wesley and frowned indiscriminately at everyone in the room.

"I'm sorry, Cordelia," Angel said quietly, "some strange things happened and I'm afraid we got distracted."

"Strange things?" she said suspiciously.

"During the fight, Peter showed some," a brief pause, "interesting abilities," Angel said slowly.

Cordelia raised a brow and Spike snorted, "What he means, princess, is that he walked on walls and threw demons through the air like fluff."

"He what?" Cordelia and Wesley exclaimed in unison.

"Weren't you there?" Cordelia confusedly asked.

"Unconscious," Wesley explained shortly.

Cordelia nodded and they both turned equally demanding looks on an amused Spike.

"Okay, to recap for our listeners who were either not here or unconscious at the time, Peter was bitten by a radioactive spider several years ago and gained its powers like strength, speed, clinging to walls, etc," the blonde vampire explained, laughter in his voice. It was too bad Peter was missing this, it was the most fun he had had with his sire and friends in ages. On second thought maybe it was a good thing, he didn't want Peter feeling like a freak.

"And we met him," Xander continued the story, "when Giles and Willow performed," he shot a look at Wesley, "the Mother of Webs spell and accidentally pulled Peter from his dimension into ours."

"It was pretty funny, mates, you should have been there," Spike snickered, "Everyone was expecting the spirit of an information demon when this man falls out of thin air and lands in the middle of the pentagram. There was dead silence while Peter looked around confusedly and then he sat down with this resigned look on his face. He asked where he was and when no one answered him he said," Spike cleared his throat and put on his best dead-pan expression and dry voice, "So, what is keeping us from communicating: language barrier, sound barrier, stupidity barrier?"

Xander and Cordelia dissolved into giggles while Gunn said, "No way, he said that?"

Spike nodded and looked affectionately down at the man sleeping in his lap, "He's a real work of art, most people would be scared shitless at being stranded in a strange dimension, he just sighed and looked skyward with a 'what now' expression."

"Wait a minute," Angel interrupted, "what do you mean stranded?"

Grimacing, Spike involuntarily held Peter closer protectively as Xander answered quietly. "Giles and Willow have no idea what went wrong with the spell and so they don't know how to get Peter back home. I'm afraid he's stuck here."

"Mother of Webs and he was bitten by a spider," Wesley mused, "maybe they're connected, I could do some research and try to find out what the unexpected factor was."

"He's happy where he is," Spike said darkly and glared at Wesley. Peter and Xander were his and he was not letting either of them go. His demon screamed possession and rage; no one was going to take his lover. He clutched Peter closer and accidentally woke him up.

"What's wrong?" Peter asked sleepily, looking up at him with blurry hazel eyes.

He could not lose this man, he screamed silently, Peter held part of his heart and loosing him would kill him as surely as loosing Xander would.

There was a heavy stillness as no one dared to speak in defiance of Spike's menacing glare. Angel broke the silence; "Wesley might be able to figure out how to get you back home."

Spike stared venomously at his sire, visions of decapitation dancing through his brain. If Peter left, Angel was dust he thought with vicious finality. He smiled with cold satisfaction as he saw dismay shine on the other vampire's face.

"He deserves the chance to choose," Angel explained quietly, pleading silently with dark eyes.

Xander had stiffened beside him and he knew that they were both scared they were going to lose a man they had just started to love.

"Hey," Peter said softly as he sat up. He moved until he was crouching between the two men, almost sitting in both of their laps. Lifting his hands, he laid a gentle palm on each man's cheek. "I said earlier that I was staying and I don't make idle promises. I have nothing to go home to and two very good reasons to stay here."

"Good," Spike growled, "because you and Xander are mine and I won't let you go."

"Thank you," Xander said softly and pulled Peter close for a seductive, gentle kiss. "Love you," Xander whispered.

"Love you too," Peter whispered back.

Spike watched his lovers approvingly and when they drew apart, he threaded his fingers through Peter's thick soft hair and demandingly drew him into a passionate, dominating kiss. Holding the stronger man still, he plunged into the hot depths, licked and bit wet lips until they were swollen, and sucked on the other's tongue until Peter was moaning softly and panting.

Pulling away, the blonde vampire stared into heavy, dark eyes and growled, "mine." His demon howled with joy as Peter immediately whispered back, "yours." Nodding with satisfaction, he turned to Xander and claimed his mouth just as demandingly. He growled out again, "mine" and felt vast contentment fill him at the whisper, "yours."

Peter turned around and curled into his left side while Xander snuggled into his right. With the two warm, beloved bodies on either side, Spike calmed and managed to stare out into the room without wanting to tear anyone into little bleeding chunks.

"So," Peter said, "have we gotten to the part where Angel changes his mind and warns you about me rather than me about you yet?" The slender man's voice was bland but his eyes twinkled.

Spike laughed, "No, pet, we hadn't made it that far."

"Oh, excuse me for interrupting, please carry on." Peter waved a hand and pasted on a studious, interested expression.

Angel actually smiled faintly and shook his head, "You three seem to have things in hand without any more interference from me."

"Damn straight," Xander muttered and yawned. Peter and Wesley echoed the yawn and exchanged tired grins.

Wesley got up slowly and walked to the other sofa beside the three entwined men, "Peter, thank you for saving my life." He held out his hand and Peter clasped and shook gently.

"You're welcome, Wesley. I was glad to do it."

"I would like to stay longer but my head is protesting volubly. I hope that the three of you come back to visit soon." He smiled and turned to leave.

"Wes, wait a minute, man. Let me drive you home," Gunn said as he got up from the couch. The large black man walked to the trio and stared silently for a moment "Well, it's been... interesting." His mouth stayed open for second as if he were looking for something else to say and then he just shrugged and turned away.

Peter chuckled silently, Xander snickered, and Spike smirked as the two walked out the door. Cordelia stood up next and stretched tiredly. "I've already done this once," she groaned. Walking to the sofa, she pulled Xander into a tight hug, "Have tons of fun, take lots of pictures and come back soon," she ordered.

Xander laughed, "Gotcha, Cordy."

She smiled and turned to Spike, "You're a lot more fun to be around now, I like the no eating Xander's friends rule."

Spike laughed loudly, "Glad you approve, princess."

Cordelia grinned brightly and looked to Peter, "If you had to be dragged into this world, I'm glad that you ran into these two. Take care of yourself and come back to visit soon, okay?"

Peter smiled and blushed when Cordelia leaned in and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you, Cordelia." She smiled at all of them once more, leaned in, whispered to Xander, "Don't forget my picture," and left the room.

Angel stood as well, "I'll leave you three to your rest. All of you are welcome to stay as long as you wish." The dark vampire padded silently away leaving Spike alone with his two half-asleep mortal lovers. With much tugging and a couple of soft pleas, he managed to get them all back to their room and into bed. He let out a huge breath in contentment when two warm bodies sprawled over him on either side and snuggled close. He put his arms around both men and soon joined his lovers in slumber.

Several hours later, Spike awoke and stared at the ceiling. He still felt a left over battle high and twitched restlessly. He also felt a growling hunger that reminded him he had not eaten lately. Stealthily, he maneuvered out from under the two bodies twined around him, shivering slightly as warm, soft skin rubbed across his. He really did not want to wake his two humans and smiled triumphantly when he was finally standing by the bed and Peter and Xander still slept.

He froze when Xander shifted restlessly and mumbled a muffled complaint but relaxed when the sleeping man shifted over to Peter and crawled on top of him, laying his head in the crook of Peter's shoulder. Peter's breathing hitched slightly but he put his arms around Xander and his breathing returned to the normal rhythms of sleep as he buried his nose in dark hair. Spike stood, smiling tenderly at his adorable lovers for several moments before he could bring himself to leave.

Slipping into his jeans, Spike sauntered to the kitchen and looked longingly at a covered window. He would have loved to go out in the sun again and get a fresh, hot meal but knew that doing it from here would be far too conspicuous. Regretfully, he opened the refrigerator and stared glumly at the bagged animal blood residing on the shelves. Giving in to the craving burning his stomach, he filled a large mug and put it in the microwave. Opening cabinets, he looked for something to make the meal more palatable. Fresh, hot blood pulsing with life directly from the vein, throbbing with emotions needed no help, but re-heated animal blood was stale and lifeless and he did his best to never drink it plain. Frowning he gave up on finding any Wheetabix, his favorite additive, and opened the last cabinet. Smiling in delight, he saw a bottle of Bailey's next to a can of coffee and pulled it down. Pouring a generous shot into his hot blood, he leaned back on the counter and sighed. That was much better, he thought contentedly.

After savoring his breakfast, or late lunch according to the time of day, he restlessly paced up and down creaking floors until he sighed and flopped down in front of the telly. He had finally managed to become interested in an old movie when he felt someone come into the room. Looking up, he sighed irritably, the last person he wanted to see was his sire. He still felt leftover shards of rage from the situation earlier that morning.

"Mind if I join you?" Angel asked quietly.

"Yes," he snapped.

Angel raised one brow and settled into a chair off to one side. "Mind if I join you anyway?"

"Bugger," Spike sighed, "make yourself at home."

"Thank you, Spike," Angel said as gravely as if he wasn't in his own abode.

Rolling his eyes, the blonde focused back on the movie and ignored the other occupant of the room. His attention was scattered though by old memories; quiet times between him and his sire had been rare but they constituted some of his favorite reminisces, curled together in front of a fire, Angelus' melodious voice reading aloud and one hand absently ruffling through Spike's long hair. There were more numerous memories of splashing blood and dark joy but the quiet times lingered with him long after his sire had abandoned him. The lilting voice was so much a part of his memories that it took a moment for him to realize that Angel was speaking to him.

"You've changed, Spike."

"Not really," he snorted, "I've always been love's bitch, you're just lucky I fell for the white hats this time."

"Whatever the reason, I'm glad you're back, William, I've missed you," the soft voice was barely a whisper.

Spike looked up to be caught in intent brown eyes, he felt a rush of pleasure thread through him at no longer being at odds with the vampire that made him. He smiled very briefly in acknowledgement and then looked away. Tension dissipated, they companionably watched the rest of the movie, occasionally inserting comments, and slowly building back a relationship that had shattered almost a century ago. Spike found himself discarding the rest of his plans to get on Angel's nerves. He felt their relationship was too tentative at this point to upset the balance, so he put his and Peter's schemes on hold for another time.

Peter and Xander wandered in just as the credits were rolling on the second movie. Eyeing the sleep-rumpled forms appreciatively, he frowned at the tired lines still around Peter's eyes. Catching Xander's gaze he tilted his head, the brunette frowned and mouthed back, "Nightmare." Sighing, Spike pulled Peter into his arms, stroking his hair when Peter laid his head tiredly on his shoulder.

"C'mon, luvs," he said pulling them both towards the kitchen, "lets get both of you fed and get on our way. With Xander running you ragged on the rides during the day," he said to Peter, "and both of us fucking you stupid at night, we'll keep you too exhausted for any more nightmares."

"Spike," Xander protested, laughter shining though his voice. Peter flushed bright red but looked amused. Spike glanced back, startled at husky laughter and looked into his sire's dancing eyes. He grinned briefly before propelling his lovers to chairs and bustling around the kitchen. Angel wandered in and sat beside Xander, watching Spike with faintly disbelieving eyes.

"He cooks?" Angel asked quietly.

"He learned to save me from myself," Xander said with an embarrassed shrug, "I can make coffee and bake a pizza, but that's about it. Spike took over when I almost burned the kitchen down the last time I tried to make breakfast."

"He's hopeless, he is." Spike dropped a kiss on Xander's brow and went back to scrambling eggs. "Of course, I think he just likes seeing my cute ass in an apron." Spike wiggled said ass and flashed them a sly smile, provoking laughter from all of the table's occupants.

"Oh, that's definitely a benefit," Xander chuckled.

Soon enticing aromas spread through the room, fresh baking biscuits, hot spicy sausage, and warm, buttery eggs. Placing a plate in front of each of his humans, Spike grinned, "Eat up, luvs." The only sound from the two for the next few minutes were hums of appreciation and forks scraping against swiftly emptying plates. Smiling his enjoyment, the blonde vampire sat back with a cup of coffee, savoring the dark, bitter liquid, and watching his efforts be inhaled. After eagerly eating seconds, both men sat back with satisfied smiles.

"You are a veritable god in the kitchen," Xander said expansively gesturing with one empty fork.

"Truly, a genius among chefs," Peter said gravely.

"The meal was an absolute cornucopia of delights," Xander praised.

"An exquisite feast for the taste buds."

Xander mock swooned, "A banquet that will be heralded throughout history."

"Bards will sing of your culinary skills throughout the land."

"A repast to cause the gods of Olympus to weep in longing."

Peter agreed, "Ambrosia itself would be prostrate with envy."

Spike by this time was almost prostrate himself he was laughing so hard. Even Angel was chuckling at their silliness. Peter and Xander exchanged high fives with a grin and sat back to wait for Spike to calm down.

"You two are insane," Spike said through a huge grin. "Let's get out of here before they call for the white coats to cart you loonies away." He dissolved into laughter again when Xander tapped Peter on the shoulder, yelled, "You're it," and made a dash out of the room, with a hot in pursuit Peter on his heels.

"God, I love them," Spike said with a smile still on his face.

"And it's obvious they love you, Will."

"Yeah, they do," Spike agreed.

"I'm glad for you," Angel said simply.

"Thanks," the blonde vampire said and began cleaning the room. Wordlessly, Angel helped him straighten the kitchen in a companionable silence.

Finished, Spike turned serious eyes to the older vampire. "And what about you, sire? Do you plan to spend your life alone?"

Angel's eyes darkened with regret and pain. "Without a soul, I don't have your humanity or self-control. I can't risk inflicting the monster Angelus on the world once more."

"But, sire-"

"No," Angel interrupted, "I hurt everyone I touched before, even you Spike."

When the blonde vampire still looked as if he would protest, Angel whispered, "Do you really think that Xander and Peter would be safe if Angelus came out to play?"

Fear immediately flashed across Spike's face and Angel nodded sadly. "Being alone is a small price to pay for my soul, childe."

A small noise at the door turned them and they saw a solemn Peter and Xander. From the expressions on their faces, they had obviously heard the last part of the conversation. Xander immediately went to Spike and enveloped him in a hug. Peter stood staring thoughtfully, chewing on his lower lip. His gaze was distant, as if he saw another landscape across his mind's eye. Even after only a few weeks that look was familiar to his lovers and they stared with muted excitement at the distracted brunette.

"What's going on?" Angel asked, confused.

"If anyone can come up with a solution to that little happiness clause, Peter can," Xander whispered.

"If anyone is the genius in this group, it's him," Spike agreed.

"With a copy of the curse, could Wesley figure out how to circumvent the restrictions?" Peter asked abruptly, his eyes sharpening.

"Probably," Angel said slowly, "but there are no more surviving copies, Angelus made sure of that."

"But you've heard the words to the curse at least twice and Willow has performed the curse once, correct?"


"Good," Peter nodded in satisfaction and his eyes gleamed, "Scientific evidence supports the theory that everything you have experienced is recorded in your memory, it's all a matter of accessing it. Is Wesley familiar with hypnotic regression?"

Angel blinked and shrugged.

"I'm sure he is, pet, and if not Ripper probably is," Spike interjected.

"Right, then what you need to do is set up a series of hypnosis sessions where separately you and Willow recall the words of the curse. Compare the results and repeat the sessions as many times as needed to obtain accurate data. Once you have the curse, Wesley and Giles can translate it and come up with a way to anchor your soul." Peter paused and muttered, "And boy, does that sound weird. Sometimes, I think I landed in the Twilight Zone."

Angel's eyes were blank for several moments before a smile spread slowly over his face. "Damn, if that might not just work," he marveled.

"Told you," Xander crowed, "when he chews those luscious lips, he's on a roll."

"Huh?" Peter looked confused, and then he just looked happy when Xander tackled him and spread kisses all over his face.

"Do you really think it will work?" Spike asked quietly.

"It just might," Angel whispered, with a small light of hope burning in his eyes. The dark vampire's dazed look turned to astonishment when Spike hugged him briefly before gathering both of his laughing lovers up in his arms and kissing them senseless.

Xander recovered the fastest and began chanting, "Disneyland, Disneyland, Disneyland." He continued chanting and laughing when Spike threw him over one shoulder and carried him out to the car in the deepening twilight. Spike shook his head at the laughing lover he had draped over one shoulder, who was currently chanting and using his hands to explore Spike's ass. Life with these two would certainly never be boring, he thought with satisfaction and amusement.


Peter laughed light heartedly as he strolled after Spike and Xander. They made an amusing sight with the larger, brown haired man draped upside down, hair falling towards the ground, chanting like a loon. Not to mention, the shenanigans those loose hands were getting into, he grinned as Spike slapped Xander's butt after having his own pinched. The slender, blonde vampire in the leather duster acted as if he carried a giggling madman over his shoulder every day.

Peter and Angel loaded up Spike's Desoto while the other two played. Peter turned to the vampire when they were finished and smiled, "We'll stop by here on our way back to see how things are going."

Angel nodded, "If you three ever get tired of Sunnydale, you have a home here."

Peter eyed the giggling duo thoughtfully before turning back to Angel, "We just might take you up on that offer. Xander was pretty desperate to get away from his so-called friends in Sunnydale and I don't know if he'll be ready to return after our vacation."

"And what about you and Spike?"

"Spike hates Sunnydale, he's only staying there for Xander. And me, my home is wherever they are."

"Well, the hotel is certainly big enough for everybody and I would love to have you stay."

Peter smiled at the serious vampire and on impulse hugged him, "Thanks for the offer and for making peace with Spike."

The tall vampire returned his hug gently and smiled, "You're welcome on both accounts and thank you for giving me hope about this curse."

"It will work out, Angel. And if it doesn't we'll just try something else until it does."

A loud noise startled them and they looked up to see Xander motioning to Peter excitedly from the back seat of the Desoto as Spike gunned the engine. Peter grinned once more at Angel and strode to the car, getting in the back seat beside Xander. He had barely shut the door before Spike was flying out of the parking lot like a vampire chasing after his first meal. Peter caught Xander in his arms when he slid across the seat after Spike went careening wildly around the first turn. Cradling him gently, he cushioned Xander as the car bounced and skidded. There was a screaming screech of tires as Spike barely made the next turn and even Peter's eyes widened as they cut around a semi with inches to spare. The laughter had faded from Xander's face and he paled as he huddled in Peter's arms. "Spike," Peter said quietly, "you and I would probably survive any wreck you got us into, Xander however might not."

The car immediately slowed and Spike looked back apologetically, "Sorry, luvs, bad habit."

Peter just nodded while Xander swallowed dryly for a moment before croaking, "s'okay." He was still shaking slightly though and Peter began to pet his hair, humming along to the music blaring out of the speakers. Xander quickly relaxed and nestled closer to him. The warm bundle in his arms, the motion of the car, and even the heavy throbbing beat of the music soothed Peter and soon he slipped into a light doze. The cessation of movement woke him and he opened his eyes to see Xander's excited face staring at him.

"Disneyland," Xander whispered with a child like joy shining in his eyes.

Peter felt a smile start all the way at his toes and explode outwards as he grinned back at his thrilled lover. Much like Spike, he would have gone all the way to Iceland if it would get him that joyous grin.

"Disneyland," Xander whispered again and began bouncing up and down on Peter's abdomen.

Delighted laughter spilled from Peter's lips as he hugged Xander close. "Yes, Disneyland," he confirmed.

After giving him a blinding smile and a huge smacking kiss, Xander shot out of the door like his tail was afire, danced around the car and stood by the trunk with their bags, vibrating with pent up energy.

Blue eyes met hazel amidst vast amusement. Humoring the younger man, they both quickly got out of the car and took their bags in hand. Xander had already made all of the arrangements at their hotel so they had a quick check in with a very nice black haired lady who could not seem to stop smiling at Xander's excited babbling. Peter and Spike just shook their heads and trailed behind, conserving their strength. A bellhop showed to them to their elegant room with the king size bed and Peter watched Xander practically rebound off the walls in his enthusiasm.

"We'd better go out and do something, if he doesn't expend his energy he'll never get any sleep tonight," Peter said quietly.

"Yeah, and then he won't have enough energy to run you ragged at the park tomorrow," Spike snickered.

Peter eyed the vampire closely and smiled evilly. There was one little fact that seemed to have slipped his lover's mind. "Spike," he said gently, "I brought plenty of vamp sunscreen, so don't think you're getting out of this whole experience."

He fell on the bed in a riot of laughter at Spike's horrified expression and could not stop laughing. He laughed until tears streamed down his face and Xander pounded him on the back asking what was so funny. Peter pointed to the blonde vampire who now looked agonizingly resigned, "He forgot," he gasped and snickered, "that the sunscreen," a pant and wheeze, "meant he would be coming with us tomorrow."

He collapsed into renewed howls when Xander turned sad pouting eyes on the outmaneuvered vampire. "You don't want to come with us," Xander said dejectedly. His lip quivered and a slight tremble shook him as tears gathered in his eyes. Peter might have been worried if he couldn't see the almost maniacal amusement gleaming in the chocolate brown orbs.

"Oh, bloody hell," Spike moaned and slumped down with his head in his hands.

Xander lost it then and fell back on the bed, laying his head on Peter's stomach to giggle helplessly. Spike shot them a sour look that only increased their hilarity. The vampire growled at them and pounced, pinning them to the bed and tickling them ruthlessly until they were shrieking and begging leniency. When their breath began hitching uncomfortably, Spike stopped and stroked their stomachs softly until they calmed.

"You two are going to be the death of me, you know," Spike sighed. He tried to frown at the watery giggles he got in answer but a smile leaked and he grinned down at them.

Peter felt boneless and weak in the aftermath of the explosion of mirth. Leftover tears of laughter dripped from the corners of his eyes and landed on the red satin covers of the bedspread. He had never laughed that hard, nothing in his life had ever prepared him for the sheer fun he was experiencing. Closing his eyes, he reveled in the bubbles of exhilaration floating through him.

"Are you okay, luv?" Spike asked softly.

Opening his eyes, he smiled, "Do you know I've laughed more in the past few weeks than in my entire life? I was known for my sarcasm, but there was little in my life to laugh about."

He figured it was a good thing he was stronger than normal because Spike and Xander did their best to hug the stuffing out of him. They held each other in silence for several content moments before Xander pulled away.

"I want to go dancing," the brunette said firmly.

Peter and Spike exchanged glances and shrugged, it sounded like a good idea to them. "Do you know a place we won't stand out too badly?" Peter asked.

"Yep," Xander nodded enthusiastically, "there's a club not a mile from here called Bent Promises, we should fit right in. From what I could gather, it's an anything goes club: gay, bi, lesbian, straight, mixed, whatever.

"What did you do, Xan, research the entire town?" Peter said with a laugh.

Xander grinned back, "Yep."

"Sounds good, pet, let's get ready."

Lounging back on the bed, Peter watched his lovers moving around the room, changing clothes and basically, if he dared say it, primping.

Xander came back to the bed and frowned down. "Aren't you going to get ready," he asked.

"I am ready," he shrugged.

"You can't wear that," Xander protested.

"Why not?" He looked down at his blue jeans and t-shirt. They had become pretty standard wear over the last few weeks and he was comfortable in them. Clothes meant little to him, so he hadn't bothered to supplement his wardrobe. He figured he would buy more as he needed them.

"Jeans and a t-shirt are okay, but not those. They're baggy and don't show you off at all," Xander said with a naughty smile.

"He's right, pet, really can't let you out looking like that," Spike agreed.

"Okay," he said agreeably, "what do you want me to wear?"

He watched, amused, as his two lovers conferred seriously and dug through their entire luggage, discussing various items of clothing, discarding some until the final choices were decided upon. Tight, thin black jeans that molded to his skin, a dark red shirt that clung to his muscles as if glued and was transparent enough to see his nipples, black boots, silver studded belt and a black leather jacket to finish the outfit. He felt ridiculously exposed and on display in the outfit and shifted uncomfortably trying to convince himself it was no different from his spidersuit

Xander wolf-whistled, "You look like sex on legs, Peter."

He blushed, okay, so there was a difference between this outfit and his spider-suit.

Spike prowled forward with a dangerous grin, "You're a wet dream come to life, pet."

Ducking his head for a moment, he looked up through his lashes at his lovers. Xander looked delicious and edible in tight, dark blue jeans and a silver muscle shirt. Spike looked sensuous and dangerous in black leather. Shivering, he licked his lips at the heat pouring off the other two.

"We are going to seriously rock the house," Spike purred.

Peter could only agree as they left the room and strolled across the lobby. Already they were garnering admiring, lustful stares. The black haired woman at the desk, who had laughed at Xander's antics earlier, was flirting outrageously now as she gave them directions. Xander twinkled back, his smile wide and naughty. Peter could only shake his head and grin when the girl sighed and made a disappointed sound when they walked away.

The whispers continued through the streets as Xander bounced along enthusiastically. Spike prowled dangerously beside him, growling at anyone who got too close. Peter strolled along behind them, admiring the view. The vampire's long duster hid most of his body, but the dark material of Xander's jeans lovingly outlined his cute ass.

When they reached the club, Peter flashed the ID that Spike had procured for him and upon entering, paused in awe, "Damn, this looks like Disney on acid," he said while eyeing psychedelic swirls and splashes of color. The furniture was a bizarre mixture of curving plastic and stainless steel and the walls looked like an abstract painting gone mad. Bold flashing lights and ear pounding music complimented the effects but the people really made the scene. It was obvious that this was a town hot spot and a plethora of eclectic styles abounded throughout the room. There were yuppies, cross-dressers, punks, and every pairing imaginable with accoutrements ranging from pink feathers to leather whips.

Men and women writhed and jerked in wild abandon on the dance floor causing Peter to shake his head in dismay. Leaning close to his lovers, he shouted, "I'll be at the bar, you two have fun."

Spike frowned and Xander pouted, "But Peter-"

He shook his head firmly, "I can't afford to dance wildly like that, if I accidentally hit someone..." he trailed off and gave them a significant look.

The other two looked disappointed but nodded reluctantly. Peter gave each of them a quick kiss and smile and threaded his way through the mass of people and snagged a bar stool just as someone was leaving. He ordered a Coke from the leather clad bartender and turned to watch the dance floor. With his spider-senses, he could have danced safely but he would have been on edge and the adrenalin would have pumped through him as if he was in a fight. He would not have enjoyed it much and he was glad Xan and Spike had not insisted.

His eyes trailed over the crowd until he caught sight of his lovers and he smiled in appreciation. Spike was moving in a sensuous, powerful display of danger and sex while Xander shimmied and shook with innocent, sweet enthusiasm; they made an eyecatching couple. Xander threw himself into the music, closing his eyes, seeming almost transported with joy. Spike circled and danced around him, eyeing him with predatory hunger.

Peter looked over at a tap on his arm and smilingly turned down a dance with a slender, laughing, dark haired man. Over the course of the next half hour he found that sitting by himself at the bar had been a bad idea. He ended up turning down two more polite invitations from men, one vulgar male invitation and one forward suggestion from a scantily clad woman. He sighed when the man who had just slid onto the stool next to him gently tapped his arm to get his attention away from staring into the depths of his soda.

"I'm taken," he said shortly without looking up.

"I know," a laughing voice said, "I've noticed you turning everyone down. That's actually the reason I came over."

Curious, Peter lifted his head and turning stared into dancing blue eyes. Long, curly brown hair spilled all around a beautiful face with the most sensuous lips he had ever seen.

"My partner was supposed to meet me here, but he's running late. I thought if we sat together and talked it would help keep the vultures off both of us."

Peter smiled, "That sounds like the best idea I've heard all night."

"Cool," the other man bounced, and stuck out his hand. "Blair Sandburg."

He gently shook the outstretched hand, "Peter Parker."

"Nice to meet you, Peter. Man, can you believe this crowd, we've got nothing like this back in Cascade."

"It's pretty wild, my first reaction when I walked in the door was Disney on acid."

"Hey, good description suits the place perfectly."

"Thanks, so are you here on vacation?"

"Don't I wish," Blair rolled his eyes, "we're in town for a police conference."

"You're a cop?" Peter arched one brow. The small, sturdy man with the beautiful face and light laughter did not fit the mold of any cop he had ever seen.

"I'm just a consultant, my partner is the cop," a slender hand waved in the air, "long story. I also teach Anthropology at Ranier University. What about you?"

"I'm a freelance photographer and majoring in chemistry but I'm between semesters now since I just moved."

"Oh, you just moved to Anaheim?"

"No, we're on vacation, I just moved to Sunnydale, about three hours south of here." Moved, he thought with amusement, well that was one way to describe being summoned by a magic spell from another dimension.

Blair opened his mouth to reply but stopped when a heavy hand gripped Peter's shoulder. Looking up, Peter wrinkled his nose; an overgrown drunk Neanderthal loomed over him. His huge body was decked out in studded black leather and he leered down in what he obviously thought was an attractive fashion. "Hey, baby, come dance with me," he slurred.

"No thank you," Peter said politely, shrugging the hand off his shoulder.

The hand returned in an even tighter grip, one that would have been painful for most people but was a barely felt annoyance for him. "Think you're too good for me, pretty boy? I said I want to dance."

"And I said no," he said, irritated.

"Hey, man," Blair cut in, "the bouncers will kick you out if you harass the customers. Why don't you go find someone who wants to dance."

The heavy head turned in Blair's direction and the large man snarled, "Go away, little man." He then raised a hand to either shove Blair off his stool or hit him; Peter was not sure and did not wait to find out. He grabbed the man by the leather collar at his throat with one hand, and with the other hand he gripped the Neanderthal's balls painfully. Easily pulling the man's face down to his level as his prisoner started to howl, he quietly said, "Shut up." When he was not obeyed, he tightened his grip on the large throat until the man did not have enough breath to voice his pain. Wild, intoxicated eyes that were quickly sobering stared at him while frantic hands plucked at his grip. Loosening enough to let the cretin breathe, he said coldly, "I would learn what the word no means, because the next person you harass may not be so nice."

"He giving you problems, luv?"

Peter smiled as Spike stalked to stand beside him. The blonde vampire's eyes were almost glowing and there was a possessive, feral look on his face. He glared messy, violent death at the quivering man in Peter's grip, who was turning whiter by the second. Xander stood beside Spike, and the usually cheerful face was dark with anger.

"Nothing I can't handle, Spike."

"Good," the vampire purred in a voice dripping menace, "because otherwise I'd have to rip his balls off and choke him with them before I tore out his intestines and decorated the room in his blood."

Shaking his head at his psychotic love, he turned back to the terrified idiot he was holding, "See," he explained slowly, "that's an example of the not so nice person you could run into." Letting the man go, he said gently, "Now if I were you, I'd leave." Taking his advice to heart, the man set off at a dead run out the door.

Spike snarled and spit at the man's retreating form before stepping behind Peter on the bar stool and molding himself to Peter's back. Spike clasped Peter's jaw in a sideways grip before ravaging his mouth with a possessive kiss. Groaning, Peter relaxed back into the strong embrace and shuddered when Xander climbed into his lap, straddling him on the stool, and began sucking on his neck. Need and passion spiraled in coiling bursts inside him and the pulsing throb of the room became echoed in his thundering pulse.

Xander's hot, sweaty body smelling of musk and sunshine rocked over his groin in tiny movements while he kissed and bit at Peter's strained neck sending bursts of pleasure-pain through him. Spike kissed him hard enough to drive the air from his lungs and held his hips in a blatant display of ownership. When they finally drew away, he gasped for breath and leaned weakly into supporting arms.

"Mine," two voices snarled in unison, one a purring rasp, the other a dark rumble.

"Yours," he said clearly, stroking two beloved faces to calm them. Xander responded first and with the confrontation over, the excitement began leaking through again. Peter smiled at the flushed cheeks, dripping hair and shining eyes of the young man still sitting in his lap. "Having fun?" he asked.

"Am I ever," Xander grinned and bounced slightly causing Peter to stifle a groan at the pressure against his straining cock. "The music here is so awesome and no one is laughing at my attempts at rhythm and dancing with Spike is so exhilarating, but, " Xander frowned, "I miss you."

"Sorry, if a slow song comes on, come get me. Otherwise I feel more comfortable out of that mess."

"Okay," Xander sighed and slumped down only to bounce up a second later.

"Xan," Peter said in a strained voice.

"Yeah, Peter?" Xander asked brightly.

"Could you please stop bouncing?"

The young man looked confused for a second before a wicked, unapologetic smile crossed his face. "Sorry, love."

Peter laughed as Xander slid off his lap to stand between his legs. He pulled him close and placed a gentle kiss on soft lips, "Sure you are."

Xander winked at him outrageously and turned to where Blair had been watching the scene with wide eyes. "So, who's your friend?"

"This is Blair Sandburg, he's waiting for his partner to show up. Blair, I'd like you to meet my lovers, Xander Harris and Spike," he said, gesturing over his shoulder at the blonde vampire that was still holding him tightly.

"Pleased to meet you," Blair said.

Spike looked Blair over closely and then nodded shortly in greeting. Xander began chatting animatedly, leaving Peter free to turn around so that Spike was standing between his legs. Reaching up a soothing finger, he stroked it up and down a sharp cheekbone. "Hey, you okay?" he asked softly.

Spike sighed and brought the stroking finger to his mouth for a gentle kiss, "I'm fine, luv. I know you could have thrown the bloody pillock through the ceiling if you wanted to. I just hated seeing his hands on you."

"You have a protective, possessive nature, Spike. As long as you don't get yourself or Xander hurt trying to take down something I can deal with, I don't mind."

A thoughtful look graced the vampire's face as he absorbed the gentle admonition. "I'll do my best," he finally said quietly.

"All I can ask for," he returned just as quietly. Turning back to the others, he laughed at Xander's animated, bouncing form. "Haven't you worn him out yet?" he asked Spike. "You do remember the more energy you leave him with, the more ragged he's going to run us tomorrow."

Xander stuck his tongue out at both of them and Spike finally relaxed with a laugh.

"Go wear him out so I can sleep in tomorrow," Peter said with a shooing motion, "I'll yell if I want to leave."

His lovers gave him another quick hug and kiss before drifting back out to the dance floor.

"Damn," Blair said quietly, "when you said you were taken you weren't kidding."

Peter smiled at laughing blue eyes. "They are something else, aren't they?" he said fondly.

"So how'd you end up in a triad, if you don't mind my asking?"

"Because Xan and Spike decided they wanted me and sat out to seduce and get me," he said grinning.

"Whoa, that must have been some experience."

"You have no idea," Peter said, "I'd never even been with one guy before much less two."

"Man, oh, man you don't believe in starting slow, do you?" Blair laughed, "So what are you guys doing tomorrow that you want Xander worn out for?"

Peter's eyes sought out the energetic, laughing figure of his human lover on the dance floor and groaned, "We're going to Disneyland. God," he sighed and laughed at the same time, "he's going to kill us both."

He mock frowned as Blair began chuckling, "Good luck to you, man." Blair watched Xander for a moment and then shook his head, "You're going to need it."

Peter copied Xander's gesture of sticking his tongue out and then laughed heartily along with Blair's silver laughter. He tensed subtly as a man appeared at Blair's side and put an arm around his shoulders but relaxed when Blair's eyes lit up and he said, "Jim, you made it."

"Yeah, chief, sorry for being late."

"No problem, big guy, Peter here has been keeping me entertained," Blair said with a mischievous smile.

Peter laughed, "Glad you enjoyed the show."

Jim turned piercing blue eyes on him and Peter nodded to himself. This man was much closer to his idea of a police officer: large muscular body, short military haircut, and serious assessing demeanor.

"Peter," Blair said, "I'd like you to meet my partner, Jim Ellison. Jim, this is Peter Parker."

"Nice to meet you," Peter said.

"Likewise," Jim said politely with an edge of possessiveness that had Peter and Blair exchanging laughing glances. "Don't worry, big guy," Blair said sliding his arm around Jim's waist, "I wouldn't make a play for Peter, Spike would probably rip my arm off."

Peter smirked, "I'd like to say you're kidding but-" he stopped and shrugged.

"Spike?" Jim questioned warily.

"One of my lovers," Peter answered easily.

"One?" Jim said, surprised.

"Yeah, Jim, he's part of a triad." Blair bounced excitedly and Peter laughed to himself at the similarity of this enthusiastic young man to his human lover.

"Isn't that cool," Blair continued, "The sociological aspects of multiple pairings would make a great study. Just think-"

He was stopped from his bright-eyed spiel by the large hand over his mouth. "Whoa, Darwin, if you get started with experiment ideas, Peter and his lovers are likely to run for the hills."

Peter smiled but could not help agreeing with the large cop. Spike would never agree to being studied by a complete stranger, not to mention him or Xander.

Blair drew the hand away from his mouth and kissed the palm, "Sorry, Peter. Ignore me, my mouth and curiosity get away from me sometimes."

"No problem. Now that Jim's here, you two probably want to get some dancing in, so go dance," he said with the same shooing motion he had made to Xander and Spike earlier.

"Are you sure?" Blair asked with a quick glance around.

"Yes, I'm sure," Peter said, leaning back against the bar and surveying the people around them. "After the show earlier, I doubt I'll be bothered. You two go have a good time."

"Okay," Blair said with a bounce and grin, "It was nice meeting you, have fun tomorrow."

Jim nodded to him and steered Blair to the dance floor. Peter laughed as he heard the big cop ask just before they left hearing range, "What is this show you two are talking about?"

Peter found that his prediction was correct and he was left to himself. He relaxed back and lazily watched the swirling motion on the dance floor. Closing his eyes, he let the rhythm of the music pound through his blood and transport him away on rippling wings. He lost himself in his solitary enjoyment until a warm familiar body stepped close to his side and kissed his closed eyelids.

He opened his eyes to a loving smile, "Spike bribed the DJ to play a slow song next, come dance with us, please," Xander pleaded.

Unable to refuse, he nodded and let them guide him to the edge of the dance floor. When the slow, smoky song came on next and the crowd slowed enough, they moved forward. Spike moved behind him and slid his hands under Peter's arms to rest on his stomach. Xander snuggled into Peter's embrace and rested his hands on Peter's hips. They swayed and moved gently around the dance floor in perfect unison. Peter gave up all control and simply relaxed into gentle arms, allowing them to guide him. Closing his eyes, he laid his head back onto Spike's leather clad shoulder and smiled dreamily at the brush of lips across his cheek.

The slow song ended much too soon for his taste and soon the pulse pounding, ear rattling beat was back. Dancing gently to the music, he made sure to keep his movements small, careful not to bump into anyone. Spike must have felt the tension gathering in his spine, because he steered them all off the dance floor.

"Ready to go, luv?"

Peter nodded and the three of them made their way through the crowds and out of the club. When the door shut behind them, the sudden silence was almost surreal. He blinked in disorientation for a split second then re-focused when Xander linked arms with him and Spike and strolled down the street towards their hotel. Smiling at the tired happiness radiating from Xander, Peter considered their mission accomplished.

Yawning, Peter floated along in a happy daze, following his lovers through a dark alley that Xander swore was a shortcut. A tingling at the back of his head caused him to squeeze his lover's arms slightly and look around for the danger he knew was lurking. Sensitive to body language and well inured to menacing shadows skulking through the night, Spike and Xander relaxed into battle readiness.

Six human thugs melted out of the darkness. Their leader was the stupid cretin that Peter and Spike had threatened earlier. Apparently, he was even stupider than Peter had thought. As a point in his favor though, he was no longer drunk. The remaining five looked like they were auditioning for the part of Hell's Angels. They bristled with leather, metal, knives, and nasty grins.

"We'll see how you like having your balls cut off," the leader sneered viciously in Spike's direction.

Spike hissed and vamped out tossing men into the brick walls of the alley to get to the leader, who looked like he was beginning to regret opening his mouth. A dirty blonde man with greasy hair spit out an obscenity upon seeing Spike's game face. The vampire responded with a mocking laugh and a backhand blow that spun the man unconscious to the ground.

Xander ducked and then landed a neat right cross on the skinny redhead that slashed at him with a knife. Spike had taken out two in his rampage to get to the leader, Xander was taking care of one of them and the last two headed in Peter's direction.

Mockingly, Peter shook his head at the two idiots, "Didn't you guys have anything better to do tonight than get the snot kicked out of you?" His two opponents growled at him and charged, Peter jumped several feet off the ground and snapped out a double kick that threw both the idiots into the darkness of unconsciousness.

The redhead Xander had been fighting sprawled unmoving on the ground. Peter walked over and wrapped himself protectively around his younger lover. Together they watched Spike toy with the furiously scared leader. The big man, who was no longer so obnoxious, had blood slowly dripping down his face from a broken nose and one of his arms was hanging at an angle.

"Damn it, what are you freak?" the big man babbled as he backed up.

The blonde vampire followed him in a slinking prowl, hissing and laughing through his fangs. Peter watched in worry, he didn't want the idiot killed because of him. The man may have been a useless drain on society but he didn't want the cretin starring in his nightmares.

"Spike," he called out softly and pleaded silently when the golden gaze turned to him.

The vampire stared intently at him and then the glowing eyes softened slightly, "I won't kill him, luv, but I'm hungry."

Peter nodded, relieved. He rather thought that a few pints of blood were equal recompense for the aggravation the man had put them through tonight. Spike kicked the terrified man's legs out from under him and bared his throat by yanking back on his hair. He clamped one hand over his mouth to still the begging cries and lowered his fangs to the straining neck. He drank for a minute as the fight drained out of the man and pulled away as the big man dropped into unconsciousness.

Standing up, Spike left the human sprawled at his feet and licked his blood red lips. Peter shivered as he stared at the true form of his demon lover: blood stained lips, golden slitted eyes, ridged face, and gleaming sharp fangs. He froze as Spike sauntered towards him, glowing eyes fixed on his face. Xander wordlessly pulled out of his arms and stood to the side as Spike stopped in front of Peter. Strong arms closed around him and a firm leg pushed between his. One hand closed in his hair and tilted his head back gently as the other cupped his ass firmly, pressing him close to the vampire's body.

Gleaming, red lips closed over his and he shuddered at the bitter, copper taste of blood. He felt the razor sharp tips of Spike's fangs touching his bottom lip, not biting, just resting there as if in promise and he shivered with heated desire. Spike's fangs receded as he kissed him forcefully, rocking his body against him in increasingly vigorous thrusts. Peter moaned, stumbled, and felt distant relief when Spike backed him into a wall.

The night air was cool on his overheated skin and the sounds of life just dozens of feet from him had him stifling the moaning cries he wanted to make. He already thought it was a miracle no one had come to check on the sounds of the fight. He hoped their luck held because he really did not want an interruption at this point. His normally sharp mind stopped working at this point, fogged over with desire, and he made no objection as Spike unzipped his pants and reached inside to cup him.

The leather scent of the jacket, the fragrant night air and Spike's warm spiciness flooded his nostrils and he writhed against the rough brick at his back. He opened almost blind eyes and turned his head to gasp in a breath. Xander stared hungrily at the two of them, his eyes almost black with lust. He was panting lightly and rubbing a hand down the front of his pants as he watched them.

Peter stumbled as Spike turned him around and wrenched his pants to his knees. A slick finger suddenly thrust inside him and he strangled the harsh scream that wanted to erupt from his throat.

"I love the noises you make, pet," Spike purred in his ear. "They make me want to fuck you stupid just to hear those pretty whimpering moans."

Peter spread his legs as far as he could with his pants still hampering him and dug his fingers into the brick wall in front of him as a cold hand began pumping him and the finger inside him increased to two. Mortar and brick crumbled under his fingers as his body was plundered mercilessly. Spike delicately licked his ear and held him when his knees trembled. Tears leaked down his face as the vampire moved closer and a large cock pushed into him. He trembled on the cusp of pleasure and pain as Spike pulled out and slammed back in faster and faster.

A shift in angle had him crying in ecstatic pleasure, distantly grateful when Spike muffled his cries with a hand over his mouth. He rocked almost off his feet with every thrust and his prostate was pounded ruthlessly. A cold, hard hand pumped his cock and Peter felt a slow explosion begin in his balls and rocket through his body as he came violently enough to see an outburst of stars behind his closed lids.

Spike stiffened with a harsh cry behind him and one more thrust rocked his body before he felt cold seed spill inside and mark him. Trembling, he melted bonelessly against his lover. He drew ragged breaths and moaned quietly as Spike carefully pulled out of him and turned him around. Sagging back against the wall, he made no move to help as his pants were tugged up and zipped.

His head was floating several feet off the ground, out of touch with reality. Opening blurry eyes, he tried to focus on his lovers but soon gave it up as a lost cause. He should have felt stupid when Spike picked him up and cradled him close, but he only felt relief that he did not have to try and get his legs to work. The next sensation he registered was hands stroking his skin softly as he slid between cool sheets. Mumbling in contentment, he curled up and drifted into slumber.


Xander laughed softly and smoothed his hand down Peter's warm skin as he watched him curl up on the bed. He could not believe that the other man had remained insensible as Spike carried him through the streets the few blocks to their hotel. The picture had been too sweet, Peter's smooth, youthful face was innocent in sleep and he rested easily with his head nestled on Spike's chest. Not that Peter didn't deserve the rest, Xander thought grinning, their blonde demon lover had fucked him into unconsciousness.

God, he shivered, what a sight that had been. Xander had barely needed any pressure on his own cock to come, the scene before him had been enough to send him into orgasm. Peter with those tight black pants twisted around his ankles, showing his perfect white skin, spreading his legs wide in submission. Spike growling in game face and almost brutally fucking Peter's yielding body. He knew that Spike had let all of his vampire strength out to play, knowing that Peter could handle it. Xander would never feel Spike's entire strength and he better understood Peter's fears of hurting them after watching Spike let go. Smiling tenderly, he kissed one of Peter's shoulders before joining Spike in the bathroom.

"Hey, blondie," he said softly as Spike stepped out of the shower and gave him a wet kiss.

"Hey, luv," Spike yawned.

"Go on and keep Peter warm, I'll join you as soon as I wash up."

The vampire smiled and kissed him on the nose before getting into bed behind Peter and drawing him into his arms. Xander quickly stripped, washed, and climbed into bed behind Spike, wrapping an arm around him and snuggling close. With a contented smile, he drifted to sleep.

Next morning, his eyes opened and the first thought in his mind was: Disneyland. Only the two sleeping men kept him from bouncing in joy. He could not remember a time in his life when he had not wanted to visit the Magic Kingdom. It had been a wistful dream from the time he was a child and now it was going to come true.

Slipping out of bed, he pulled on his clothes and went downstairs. He would be better able to entice, cajole, and as a last resort dump his lovers out of bed if he brought food, so he arranged to have a sumptuous breakfast brought to their room. He even had human blood generously laced with Jack Daniels for Spike. Not that his lovers would need their energy or anything, he thought wickedly. Slipping back in, he waited impatiently until he heard room service knock, and quickly ushered in the servers with the meal. Once everything was arranged and he had privately heated up Spike's blood, he sat on the bed and bounced. Bounce, pause, bounce, pause, bounce, pause. On the last bounce warm arms pulled him close.

"And what has you so excited this morning?" Peter asked, as innocently as if he did not know the reason.

"Disneyland," Xander whispered with bright eyes.

"Oh, is it that day already?"

"Yes, get up, get up, get up," he caroled, giggling.

Peter laughed at him but rolled out of bed, threw on a robe and wandered over to get a cup of coffee. One down, one to go, he thought happily. Spike would be the harder one to get up though. "Spi-ike," he said in a singsong voice. "Time to rise and shine, it's Disneyland time. Rides, and cotton candy, and Mickey Mouse." This time he left out the pauses and went straight into bouncing: bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce. Long, slender arms snaked out, pulled him into a strong body, and then rolled him so Spike was staring down at him. The vampire was frowning ferociously but he could see the amusement and love in the lines of Spike's face and the laughter in his eyes.

"Oi, whelp, why are you bouncing on the bed at this ungodly hour of the morning?"

Xander scrunched his brow in deep thought before his face cleared and he grinned. He whispered as if imparting a great secret, "Disneyland."

Spike grinned at him and shook his head, "We obviously didn't tire you out sufficiently yesterday."

"You should have fucked Xander stupid instead of me," Peter called laughing, "then we could have gotten some more sleep this morning."

"Now you tell me," Spike sighed mournfully.

Xander grinned and wiggled out of bed, tugging on Spike's hand until he got up. Apparently, his lovers were resigned to his enthusiasm because they ate breakfast at a reasonable pace, showered, and changed into comfortable clothes. Spike treated himself with Peter's sunscreen and packed the light weight reflecting blanket that Peter said would be more effective at blocking the deadly rays than a tarpaulin and easier to carry. Xander was all but vibrating with eagerness as he waited by the door for them. Finally, they were on their way. He excitedly directed them into following the huge signs advertising Disneyland until they pulled into the parking lot of the amusement park.

It took half an hour to work their way from the parking lot to the main gates. By that time, Xander was almost exploding with eagerness. They quickly paid and strode through the entrance into Disneyland. He tried to look every direction at once as he absorbed the laughter, the noise, the bright colors, the people everywhere, the kids rushing around with bright grins. Almost immediately, he spotted Mickey Mouse waving at everyone and excitedly rushed up and gave him a hug. The person inside the suit laughed and hugged him back.

"Hey, Xan," Peter called, "look this way."

Turning, Xander grinned at the sight of the camera in Peter's hand. He posed for several pictures with Mickey before rushing excitedly off to do something else. The next few hours were a smorgasbord of fun with him dashing between rides, chatting with other people in lines, and stuffing himself full of ice cream and hot dogs. Peter got into the spirit early and soon was laughing and enjoying himself as much as Xander was. Spike took a bit more work but eventually the resigned look faded and a cheerful grin took its place.

Wandering into one of the gift shops, he spied a pair of Mickey Mouse ears and remembered his promise to Cordelia... hmmm, now how to go about getting a picture of Spike wearing them? First step was to buy them, so he walked up to the cash register and paid for them. Peter laughed at the sight of him wearing them and snapped several more photos.

"I want a picture of you in the ears, Peter, please?" he begged, batting his eyes outrageously.

Peter backed away and hid behind a grinning Spike shaking his head. "Oh no, I don't think so, Xan. I don't do hats, especially ones with huge ears sticking out of the top."

He turned on his best pout and let his lip quiver slightly, "Don't you love me, Peter?"

Spike was laughing outright now and only snickered when Peter moaned and rested his head on the vampire's back. "Traitor," Peter accused.

Xander sauntered towards them with evil gleaming in his eyes, snickering when Spike ducked and left Peter exposed. Resignedly, Peter stood still while Xander adjusted the hat on his head, making sure the ears were at the perfect angle. Xander handed the camera to Spike, slung his arm around Peter's shoulders, and grinned. He whispered in Peter's ear, "After the picture, take the camera back from Spike and wait for the opportunity to snap his picture with the ears on."

That brought a grin to Peter's face just as Spike snapped the picture. Peter leaned close, "He's not going to do it willingly."

"I know," Xander giggled, "that's why I'm going to trick him."

Peter laughed softly, "Now this I've got to see."

"Watch and learn, young Jedi," Xander whispered before taking the hat back and placing it loosely on his head.

Walking up to Spike, Peter scowled at him and muttered, "traitor," again before taking the camera back.

Spike only laughed, "No, that would be evil vampire, pet."

Rolling his eyes, Peter stood to the side as Xander bounced up to Spike and looked at him with wide eyes, "Have I thanked you yet for bringing me here?" Twining his arms around the vampire's neck he drew him into a steamy kiss as he concentrated on blowing the vampire's concentration. He ran his fingers gently through Spike's hair, stealthily lifted the hat from his own head, and suddenly jammed it down on the blonde locks. He immediately danced away, chortling with glee as he saw Peter snapping picture after picture of the vampire who looked stunned for a single second before he grabbed the silly hat off his head and roared, "Xander!"

Shrieking with laughter, Xander stood his ground as Spike stalked towards him and blinked innocent eyes at the scowling vampire standing with his hands on his hips. "Love you," Xander said before grinning and dashing off for the next ride. He looked back once he was in line and almost doubled over in hysteria at the sight of Peter patting Spike on the back while the vampire grouched and whined.

Hours later, they were standing in the line for Space Mountain and he watched eagerly as the line in front of them grew shorter and shorter. Finally, it was their turn and he sat down, almost breathless with anticipation. Spike and Peter were also grinning; the adrenalin rush of the rides had them all on a high. With a slow, gathering rush of air they were off and Xander screamed his delight as they gathered speed and rushed around turns in mad abandon. He looked over to see his lovers screaming in excitement also, their faces shining in enjoyment.

Flinging up his arms, he laughed in mad joy. Their life could not get any better, he thought happily. The three of them were together and in love. Peter was letting go of his demons and beginning to enjoy life. Spike had started making peace with his past. And, he had finally broken away from the darkness in his life that had been pulling him down. He did not know what the future held for them, but he knew they sure as hell were going to enjoy the ride.

The End

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