Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Slash, language, smut.
Spoilers: Season five BtVS, up to 'Spiral'.
Pairings: Spike/Xander
Summary: Xander is attacked by Glory and when Spike finds him, he unwittingly becomes the boy's only hope of recovery.
Setting: Season five, Between 'Tough love' and 'Spiral'.
Feedback: angel-jade@buffyrocks.co.uk
Distribution: If you've had my permission before, you have it now. Anyone else, ask first please.
Disclaimer: I do not own characters or make money from using them.
Author's notes: Oh, bad me. I made Anya not exist. Shame. And the whole run away from Glory 'cause she knows who Dawn is is going to have to take place after this. Oh...and one more thing...Spike loving Buffy? Not gonna happen. And I know the sex scene would have involved more pain than stated, but it's fiction...and maybe Spike has a really little...well, you get my point.
Dedication: Late birthday fic for Sarah. Soweeee! Oh, and so ya know...comes complete with happy ending. Promise not to kill anyone this time.





Lost, Or Somewhere Near There


by
Angel Jade



Part One

"Don't touch me."

"Xander?"

"Don't touch me!"

Spike kneeled beside the shaking form hiding in the corner of the room, backed so far into the wall; he could barely be seen in the darkness of his apartment.

"Please, please, please..." Xander began to whimper and he buried his head into his dirty hands.

Completely shocked by his behaviour, Spike reached out his hand to place on the shivering boy's shoulder, only to pull back as Xander jerked away violently.

"Don't. Please, don't." Xander begged, before going back to mumbling incoherently.

"Xander, what happened?" Spike asked clearly, a little more worried than he should have been, but too preoccupied to do anything about it.

"Can't bring it back." Xander whispered.

"What? You're making no sense." Spike said, pulling away.

"You shouldn't move anything." Xander said, as if snapping out of it. He focused clearly on Spike, sitting up and leaning forward. "There's someone locked in the cupboard."

"Alright, either you've drunk yourself into insanity or you've finally lost it. Either way, I don't care enough to help you, I'm calling Buffy." Spike said, seriously.

Xander looked back down at his lap and began to stare with a pained look in his eyes. "Shhhhhhh."

Spike left Xander to talk to himself and tried to look for the phone amidst the mess. "Bloody hell, Harris. Don't you ever bloody clean this place?" He picked the phone off a dirty plate and cautiously looked around for Buffy's number on the list of speed dials. Pizza, Chinese, Willow, Buffy...

"Spike!" Xander cried out suddenly, clawing at the wall.

Dropping the phone, Spike was by his side, helping Xander to his feet as he clutched to Spike tightly, fear filling the air.

"Hey, s'alright. I gottcha." Spike said, walking Xander into the bedroom and lying him down on the bed. "Uh...pet, you gotta let go...I need to..."

Spike groaned and climbed onto the bed in order to pry Xander's hands off his clothes to get free.

"Shouldn't promise to make it go away anymore." Xander whispered at Spike before closing his eyes and tucking into a ball.

Spike slowly stepped away, walking to the door, confusion covering his face. Picking up the phone, he tried dialling Buffy's number again but no one answered. When he tried Willow's, he found the phone engaged. Slamming it back down, he went to leave, wondering why he even needed to bother anyway. It was only Xander.

"Spike!" Xander screamed. "Spike, don't leave me."

Groaning, he changed directions, heading back to Xander's bedroom to find Xander crying in the corner of the room. As the boy began to cough from crying so hard, Spike found himself once again by his side, trying to help him up.

"Get away. You can't touch me anymore." Xander yelled before resuming his crying.

"Look whelp, I don't have time to mess around. No one's answering the bloody phone and I can't stay here looking after you, you big loon. So just bloody snap out of it."

"I didn't...do anything." Xander told Spike, his finger nails digging into his arms. "I swear I didn't."

"And I believe ya. Now, if you'll just give me a number, I can call someone to look after you and I can be on my merry way." Spike said.

"Five five five five five." Xander repeated over and over.

"Telephone number, you twit."

"It hurts." Xander cried. "Make it stop, please."

"What hurts?"

"I can't breathe." Xander whispered.

"If you couldn't breathe, you couldn't talk." Spike pointed out.

"Please don't touch me." Xander pleaded.

"I ain't going near ya." Spike protested. "So why don't you just get on the bed and sleep while I go find someone to look after you, okay?"

Xander turned back to the wall and began to claw it again, as if trying to break it away.

"Stop that. Don't make me tie you down." Spike chastised, then began to mutter to himself. "Need a bloody straight jacket an' all."

"Please, oh God, please don't be there." Xander muttered. "You shouldn't be here."

"I only popped over to steal some of your food. I'm out of stuff and no bloody money." Spike told him. "Anyway, since you're mental now, you won't be needing all your stuff so I'll just grab it and go, that okay with you?"

"He's in my head. He's inside me...he's everywhere!" Xander yelled.

"Who?"

"There's pain...so much pain because they can't see him coming but I see him...he's here. You see him too?"

"I see me an' you." Spike said, hiding his smile. "Wish you'd have said you were planning on going nuts. I could have brought a camcorder."

"Touch me." Xander pleaded.

"What is it, touch you or don't touch you?" Spike sighed before cocking his head. "And touch you? Dirty pervert. Wait 'til your mates hear about this."

"It hurts, make it stop, please." Xander begged.

"I'd be happy to make it stop, but my chip has a policy about neck snapping so I'm afraid you'll have to deal with it for a while." Spike pointed out. "And while we're waiting, don't suppose you fancy filling me in on what happened, do ya?"

Xander stood carefully and shied into the corner, a look of terror on his face.

"What? What I say?" Spike asked.

"It was you. I saw you." Xander whispered.

"Yep, it's me." Spike said, exasperated. "Anything else to add to that?"

"You cause pain and there was too much pain." Xander told him, shaking.

"I'm not following. What pain?" Spike asked, annoyed he couldn't understand the boy.

Xander collapsed back onto the floor, his body shaking as he cried.

"Xander." Spike said, softly. "I need you to stop crying and talk to me, alright?"

Amazingly, Xander did as he was told and looked up at Spike. "Help me."

Spike nodded. "Alright. Just come with me, okay? I need you to walk, can you do that?"

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be bad." Xander told Spike, as he got to his feet.

"You weren't bad." Spike told him; relieved this new technique seemed to be calming the boy down.

Opening the door, Spike led Xander out slowly, praying Buffy would be home. Whatever had happened, it was beyond Spike's ability to help.


~*~*~*~*~


"Hello?" Spike called, banging on the door with one fist as he held Xander up with his other arm. "Buffy?"

"I can't find the windows..." Xander panicked, trying to pull away, "and there's no door. Please find the door."

Spike rolled his eyes and continued to pound on the door.

Finally, Dawn answered, a towel wrapped round her and her hair wet. "Xander? Spike...what happened?" She stepped back as Spike dragged Xander inside.

"Dunno. He's gone bloody mental, I can tell you that much." Spike muttered, dumping Xander down onto the couch.

Xander quickly reached out and wrapped his arms round Spike's leg. "Don't go, don't go."

"Not leaving, pet." Spike said softly. As Dawn raised an eyebrow, Spike went to explain. "Calms him down if I talk like this."

"Xander?" Dawn called softly, kneeling down to his level. "You okay?"

"It's so beautiful..." Xander said, gazing at Dawn. "The light..."

Dawn stood up and stepped back, her eyes wide with shock. "Oh God..."

"You think that Glory chick did this?" Spike asked, frowning.

"We need Buffy. Now!" Dawn yelled.

"Where is she?" Spike asked, still trying to pry Xander away from his leg.

"Patrolling. Spike...you have to find her. And Willow...Willow will know what to do. And get Giles. Just hurry," she ordered.

Spike cocked his head. "And I'd wanna do this why?"

"Because I'll kick your ass if you don't get out there and help Xander." Dawn hissed, shoving Spike.

"What am I supposed to do about my leg, 'bit? Leave it here?" Spike pointed out.

Dawn reached over to Xander to help pull him off but Xander used one hand to push her away. "Stay out! Stay out! There's no door. You can't be in here."

"Xander...please. Spike needs to find Buffy. We want to help you." Dawn told him.

"Xan? Come on..." Spike cooed. "Just let me go, alright? Gonna get you some help."

Xander relaxed his grip and closed his eyes. "It's dark when you're not here."

Spike watched Xander, confusion crossing his face. "Yeah, well...I'll be right back." He pulled away and ran out the door, leaving a now sobbing Xander with Dawn.


~*~*~*~*~


"Buffy!"

"Spike, go 'way. You're chasing the vamps away," Buffy chastised, idly, bored from the night's patrolling.

"Boy's in trouble," he said quickly. "Gone mental. Needs help."

Buffy's face hardened and she broke into a sprint, heading for home with Spike trailing after her.

"Go get Willow." Buffy instructed as they ran full speed. "And Giles. We need them there."

"Just like your bloody sister," Spike muttered, breaking away from her side and heading to Willow's.


~*~*~*~*~


"Red, open up!" Spike yelled through the door.

"Uh...hang on one minute..." Willow called back as a scrambling noise could be heard through the door.

"Get your bloody clothes on and get over to Buffy's." Spike shouted. "Boy's in trouble."

With that, Spike took off again, his mind floating back to Xander's face as he clung to his leg.

"It's dark when you're not here."

"Hang on, pet." Spike whispered to himself.


~*~*~*~*~


"Oh God..." Willow's face drained at the sight of her best friend, crying on the floor. "Xander?"

Dawn ran down the stairs, now fully dressed and joined her sister's side. "He hasn't stopped since Spike left."

Holding Tara's hand, as her girlfriend looked round the room, giggling at things no one else saw, Willow moved towards Xander. "Xander, it's me. It's Willow."

"They're all over my back. Digging, crawling, biting me...get them away. I can't move." Xander begged. "One's in my ear and I can't hear anything anymore. Can't hear Spike."

Willow threw Buffy a look. "How did this happen?"

"Spike found him." Dawn reported. "Just in his apartment, acting like this."

"Glory did this." Willow hissed. "Tara was one thing. Now Xander? I'm going to make her wish she'd never been born."

"First off, I don't think God's are born." Buffy pointed out. "And second, we've got to reverse this. Two of our friends are...hurt. And it won't be long until Glory strikes again. We can't give her the chance."

"Which would be why I'm going to kill her." Willow said, steadily.

"Bone's are broken!" Tara yelped. "It hurts."

Willow stoked her hand soothingly as she continued to speak. "I think I've found a spell to reverse it. But I need Glory present. And doing both of them is going to be really hard."

Spike and Giles burst through the door together, rushing inside.

Xander immediately stopped crying as Spike returned to his side.

"Okay?" Spike asked, quietly, ignoring everyone gawping at the strange development.

"Spike said he talks to Xander in the right way, and that's why he stops crying and going crazy...er." Dawn explained.

Buffy frowned. "Spike, you better not have anything to do with this."

Spike growled. "How the hell am I supposed to pull this off? You got one crazy chick over there already...done by your archenemy and when it happens again, you point the finger at me? Nice logic there, slayer."

"Now, now...no one's pointing fingers." Giles intervened. "It just seems odd he's responding to you, when before he's only shown extreme dislike for you."

"Yeah well, can't help it if crazy people love me." Spike replied. "And I've had my fair share of experience. Know how to handle them, I do."

"Demon!" Tara yelled at Spike.

"Demon!" Xander yelled back, grabbing for Spike's leg. "Mine."

Spike smirked. "See?"

Buffy snorted. "So you just got made another crazy person's bitch, good for you."

"Hey!" Spike snarled, stepping forward menacingly, but being help back by the rather strong human still on his leg.

"Get out, Spike." Buffy said, angrily. "You're only making this harder. We don't need him clinging onto you all the time. We need to find Glory and get it reversed."

Spike shrugged. "You know what? That's fine. Don't know why I'm helping anyway. As if I care whether he's mad. Hope he stays that way. Serve him right, I reckon."

"Just leave." Buffy snapped.

Spike pulled Xander off him and gave the boy one last look. "Sorry, Xander. But you're on your own."

"Can't breathe, can't breathe, Spike..." Xander gasped and tried to follow as Spike stormed out, but Buffy held him back.

"Shh, Xander, it's okay." Buffy whispered. "We're going to make it all okay."


~*~*~*~*~


"Stupid bitch think she knows it all." Spike muttered. "She'll come crawling back when he won't let her sleep. Only wants me. And who can blame him? Reckon he wants me for more than my soothing voice." He began to laugh to himself. "No surprise there. Always knew he was a poof. Could smell it on him."

He stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, and looked down, before walking on.

"Not that I care. He's...Harris. Annoying and just damn...annoying all over again." Spike told himself. "True, I'm a sucker for the mentally insane, but he's no Dru. Who cares if he needs me? Let him suffer. Least this way I can have full use of both legs."

"You really think he likes you like that?"

"Shit, Dawn. What you doing out here?" Spike growled, spinning around to see the teenager right behind him.

"So much for vamp senses." Dawn smiled.

"Your sister's gonna kill me if she catches you out here. Go home." Spike warned.

"I'm only doing this for Xander." Dawn argued. "I know Buffy's a bitch, but Xander really needs you right now. He's crying and everything. It's horrible, watching him. And Tara's only making him worse. They're playing off each other's craziness and it's getting out of hand. Xander's calm when you're there. Please go back to him."

"S'not that easy, nibblet." Spike said. "Slayer runs the show. And she hates my guts. She won't let me near him, especially if it looks like he wants me to be there."

"So you do want to help him." Dawn grinned. "Knew it."

"Nothing in it." Spike protested. "Just...the beginning of my brilliant and very evil master plan, is all."

"Right." Dawn said, flatly. "So, you like him too?"

"What?"

"You were saying how you always knew he was a p..."

"Yes well, I was just being mean about him while he can't defend himself." Spike told her. "Evil, remember?"

"Methinks the vampire doth protest too much." Dawn smiled. "So, you think he's clinging to you because he hates you?"

"Look, Dawn...save the gay accusations for when he can fight back." Spike instructed. "Don't care if he likes me or not."

"Oh you so do." Dawn murmured.

"I can hear you when you do that, you know." Spike said, dryly.

Dawn smiled and turned away. "I know."

"Go home." Spike called after her as she walked away. "And don't you tell anybody anything!"

"I won't!" Dawn shouted as she went back into the house.

Spike began to power walk again, trying to get Dawn's words out of his head.

Xander Harris?

As if.


~*~*~*~*~


Tara lashed out, catching Xander's cheek with her fist. She glared at him, before bursting into tears and sitting down on the floor.

Xander didn't make a sound. He just looked around, as if seeing Buffy's living room for the first time. Before anyone could react, Xander reached out and threw all the books on the coffee table onto the floor. He began to kick the table, singing broken nursery rhymes in amidst the grunting and yelps of pain. Buffy ran to pull him off, taking him away from his latest punching bag.

Tara stood up behind Buffy, reaching out and shoving her hard.

Buffy fell, surprised by the attack, and Xander was free once again to look for something to destroy.

"Spike..." Xander called out. "The bugs are eating my ear again, Spike."

"Spike!" Tara mimicked. "Bugs ear eating Xander again, Spike."

Willow and Buffy looked at each other helplessly.

"Tara..." Willow called out. "Lets go and get something to eat, okay?"

Tara grabbed Xander's shirt and pulled him close, kissing him hard on the lips.

Xander lifted his fist and brought it down onto her head. "Burns, burns, burns!"

"Burns!" Tara hissed back. "No cake for you now."

Xander kicked out at the armchair, before working himself back into a rage and running into the kitchen, Buffy chasing after him.

"Bad boy can't see, the door's closed, but if he opens it the mice are going to tear him apart until everything's red again." Tara told Willow, before regaining her bashful demeanour.

Giles and Dawn ran into the living room, both screaming as Xander chased them with a pair of scissors and a box of cereal. Buffy dived after him, taking him down and carefully removing the scissors from his grasp.

Tara walked over, carefully, and knelt down beside Xander. She cocked her head so it was the same way up as his, then proceeded in picking up the bits of cereal, one by one, then throwing them behind her.

"This is ridiculous." Giles snorted. "I can't even have a moments rest without something going wrong."

"He's getting worse Buffy." Dawn pointed out. "Can we please get Spike, now?"

"We can tie him up. It's the only sensible option." Buffy decided.

"Yeah, mean much?" Dawn criticized. "That's Xander. And he's fine when Spike's around, so I don't see why you'd rather tie your best friend up than let him be calm and looked after."

Buffy went to reply, but she looked down at Xander and Tara licking her new shoes. "Ew!"

Xander responded by biting her ankle, as Tara crawled off to Willow's side.

"Get Spike." Buffy sighed, giving up.


~*~*~*~*~


The next day, Spike watched television all day, trying to forget yesterday's events. It had stirred up old feelings from his Dru obsession that he'd tried to bury years before. But it wasn't as if Xander was Dru. Xander was...male, for a start. And only temporarily insane. And definitely not a vampire. Not psychic. In fact, there really wasn't much linking the two at all.

So Spike had to wonder, why he felt the need to go back over to Buffy's and take care of the human boy he'd previously hated.

The only sense it made was not the kind Spike wanted to know about at this point in time.

Spike was brought out of his thoughts when he heard someone enter his crypt. He didn't turn around, merely waited for the visitor to speak.

"Spike, we need you at Buffy's house immediately," Giles said, urgency written on his face.

"Too pig headed to come herself, then?" Spike smirked.

"Buffy's the only one who can control him," Giles explained. "It's getting out of hand. He's become violent and so loud we've had neighbours complaining all afternoon."

Spike smiled to himself. "Tried to tell you all..."

"I can pay you..." Giles offered.

"Too right." Spike muttered, getting up and looking at the watcher.

"The sun's setting as we speak. I'd carry a blanket just in case. And I can't be sure how long we're going to need you." Giles told him.

"Oi, watcher?" Spike called, as Giles went to leave. "He been calling out for me or something?"

"Frequently." Giles replied, turning back to the door and walking out.

Spike grabbed a blanket and switched his TV off, before following Giles out the door.


~*~*~*~*~


"Spike, thank God you're here." Dawn sighed in relief. "We just had to send Willow and Tara home. Xander and Tara were making each other worse. Every time one did something, the other would do worse. It's like a loony bin in here."

"It's always a loony bin in here," Spike retorted, walking past her and into the living room, where things were smashed, knocked over and casually strewn across the floor.

Xander was in the middle of the floor, rocking back and forth and mumbling to himself, while Buffy stood to his left, waiting for him to start up again.

"Xander?"

"Beautiful green. Too bright for in here, but outside it's okay. In here it's dark and everything's closed up to keep the cats out." Xander said, looking up at Spike. "You're not a cat."

Spike smiled. "No, pet. Not a cat."

Xander got to his feet and eyed Buffy carefully. He then leaned forward and hissed at her.

Spike couldn't hold his laughter. "Doesn't like you much."

Buffy looked at Spike and rolled her eyes. "I'm the one who's been restraining him, of course he doesn't like me."

"Likes me though, don't ya pet?" Spike asked, getting closer.

Xander walked over to Spike and snuggled his head into Spike's chest, wrapping his arms around the vampire. "Cold."

Buffy sighed and looked at Giles, dejectedly. "Giles, I can't deal with two crazy people and a crazy God right now."

"What do you mean, you?" Spike asked. "Red's got the witch and I got Harris. You're free to go kick some God-like arse."

"It isn't that easy, Spike," Buffy pointed out. "Willow's got a spell, but we need contact...and getting Glory to stay still while we suck her brains out is not going to be easy."

"I..." Spike went to reply, but he was momentarily distracted by fingers playing idly with his waistband. By jolting away, Spike startled Xander. "Sorry, luv. Just...don't mess down there...trying to talk with your boss."

"Pretty..." Xander whispered in Spike's ear.

Spike frowned. "Okay, someone remind me to tease him mercilessly when he gets his brain back."

"He's insane, he doesn't know what he's doing." Buffy excused, quickly.

"How about I get him out your hair for a while. You can't deal with Glory while he's here. And I'd rather not be here when the sun comes back up. Scratch that; rather not be here at all. I'll take him to mine and..."

"Leave him to hurt himself?" Buffy finished. "Try and kill him?"

"As if I could. Chip...duh." Spike reminded her.

"There is no way you'd offer to take Xander out of my hair for me for no reason." Buffy said, suspiciously.

"He's getting paid for it." Giles interrupted.

"Oh." Buffy shook her head in disgust. "Look after him. Your life depends on it."

"Yeah yeah," Spike said, rolling his eyes. "Come on, loony tunes. Let's go."

Xander pulled away from Spike. "You did it! You! I saw!"

Spike looked at the others. "Don't look at me, don't have a clue."

"I'm bleeding." Xander said, emotionlessly, looking down at his wrists.

Spike looked him over. "You're fine. Now can we make a move? Don't wanna spend a second longer in 'the house of slayer', thanks very much."

Buffy, Giles and Dawn watched as Xander was taken by the hand and led out of the house, waving at them like a child.

"Maybe I should go with them," Dawn mused.

"Maybe not," Buffy argued. "You're not leaving my sight until Glory's just a memory. Alright?"

Dawn just sighed and walked out, heading upstairs to get some peace.


~*~*~*~*~


Spike was grateful to be out of there. It was awkward enough with the way Xander was acting with him, but to be constantly watched was enough to drive him insane. He really didn't want them seeing how he was dealing with Xander. Being nice wasn't a reputation he wanted to have.

"It's so cold..."Xander whispered, looking round the street as they made their way to Spike's crypt. "The walls are crying, the rain's making them cold too."

Spike hesitated, before taking off his jacket and wrapping it round Xander's shoulders. "There. Not cold now."

Xander smiled, wistfully. "Sun's hiding in the box and it can't get free."

Spike nodded. "Be out soon. Better if it's night right now. I don't like the sun, remember?"

"It burns." Xander nodded, giggling to himself.

"Yeah," Spike smiled, happy with his progress, "it burns."


~*~*~*~*~


Helping Xander inside his crypt, Spike closed the door behind him and shrugged off his duster. As he did, Xander pulled off his own jacket.

Spike frowned, then pulled his duster back on, watching Xander's reaction.

Xander's jacket was pulled back over his shoulders.

"Okay, not funny." Spike warned.

Xander just twirled around, wandering off to find something to play with.

Spike tried to pretend he was alone so he could get on with his normal activities. He didn't want to seem too helpful. After all, if Xander ever got his sanity back, he might remember everything. And that would only bring Spike his own teasing, witty retorts about Spike's eagerness to look after Xander. At least Xander's humiliating actions were done under the influence of mental illness.

No, it would be better all round if Spike ignored Xander as much as possible.

But Xander didn't quite like that plan.


~*~*~*~*~


Nothing on TV, nothing to do period. Spike sat in his chair, trying not to look over at Xander, who was busy untying his own shoelaces.

"Spike..."

"Yeah?" Spike had no choice but to look over.

"Spike..."

"What?"

"Spike..."

"Shut up, Harris."

There was a strong silence between them as Xander dropped the shoelaces on the floor and remained perfectly still. Spike turned back round. He smiled to himself. No one was going to laugh at him for being too nice now.

A quiet thud caught Spike's attention and he spun around looking at the spot where Xander had been.

His eyes trailed round the room until he saw Xander, sitting down on the floor, his body twisted and turned against the wall. Xander took one hand away from the wall and hit it, hard.

"Open it!" Xander yelled, desperately. "Please open it. I can't get out."

Spike jumped to his feet and ran to Xander, kneeling beside the shaking human. "Hey...come on, it's alright..."

"Oh God, I'm stuck in here all night and day. No one sees me." Xander wailed, now beating the wall furiously, blood appearing where the roughness of the walls ripped at his skin.

Spike grabbed both wrists and pulled Xander to him, sick with worry. Xander threw his arms around Spike's chest and put his head against the spot where Spike's heart once beat. His breathing was still erratic, but Spike could feel his pulse slowing back to normal. "Xander? You alright?"

Xander's hands relaxed their grip a little, then began to move slowly over Spike's back, as if he were trying to give Spike a massage.

The vampire held back a laugh as Xander pulled the back of Spike's shirt up, trying to pull it off.

"Uh...pet, you might not wanna go there." Spike insisted. "You'll only have me staked when you get your brain back."

"It's stopped now. But he'll come back if we're not careful." Xander whispered, pulling away.

"Who'll come back?" Spike asked, wondering if there was anything useful in what Xander was babbling.

Xander leaned back into the embrace and rested his forehead on Spike's chest. Looking down at Spike's groin, he decided to poke Spike, to see what the reaction might be.

"Bloody hell!" Spike yelped. "What the hell are you doing down there?"

Xander laughed to himself, before doing it again.

"Stop it!" Spike whined, making no effort to pull him away.

Rather than poking, Xander decided to try his luck with Spike's zipper again.

As the hot skin brushed with his own cold skin, Spike realised he should probably stop Xander before they both did something stupid. That and he wasn't one hundred per cent sure Xander wouldn't just try and pull his dick off.

"Xan..." He cut off as the hand slipped under all the material, hot fingers wrapping round a slowly hardening cock.

"Found it!" Xander said, triumphantly, as he began to rub his hand up and down, satisfied with Spike's reaction.

Spike snapped out of it and frowned. This wasn't right...this was very, very wrong...

"Stop it..." Spike snapped, yanking Xander's hands out his pants and doing the zip up. He got to his feet and walked away, ignoring Xander's pained cries.

"Didn't do it, didn't do it, didn't do it..."

Spike stopped, rubbing his jaw, trying to think of a way to make what had just happened disappear.

Xander rolled onto his back and began to bang his head on the cold stone floor, an "ow" after each bang.

Spike turned round; face emotionless, and picked Xander up. He deposited the boy on his bed and pulled the covers up, over his face.

Leaving Xander to scream about the sun, Spike went to sit in his chair, tossing aside anything that got in his way.

He closed his eyes, deep in thought about how close he'd come to letting Xander do it.


~*~*~*~*~


The covers twisted perfectly around their bodies, until they were bound together, the heat driving Spike insane. Skin against skin, their bodies moved together, their groans catching in midair and stretching out until they became a beautiful song representing everything they were together.

Xander's hands clenched and unclenched, dragging the sheets below them into his fist, then releasing them. His whole body tensed with each movement, pleasure being the most enticing of tortures.

Unrecognisable words were uttered from both sides, begging each other to continue the way they were. The excitement and pure pleasure built up until it exploded inside them, thousands of volts of orgasm hitting every nerve in their bodies until, exhausted, they collapsed.

*****

Spike's eyes jerked open and he looked around, horrified. "Bloody hell..."

Still in his chair, he quickly got to his feet and went straight to his bed.

Xander lay on top of the covers, curled up in a ball, shivering from the cold but too unconscious to care.

Spike watched him, the very vivid dream scenes replaying in all their glorious detail. Stepping closer carefully, he hesitantly reached out, brushing a finger against Xander's cheek.

As the human stirred slightly, Spike jolted back, remaining perfectly still and silent until Xander appeared to be settled again. He pulled the other half of the covers Xander wasn't sleeping on, over the shivering form, then pulled up the small chair close by and sat down.

With a warm feeling in his heart and a sick one in his stomach, Spike tried to sort through the confusing details that were thrusting themselves into his life.


~*~*~*~*~


Spike knew he needed to take Xander back to Buffy. The new development wasn't one he could ignore. But he was finding it rather hard to let Xander go now.

Xander had woken up and just laid there, eyes open but not actually seeing. He didn't move, he did nothing but breathe.

It was painful to admit, but Spike was more than worried after three hours of nothing but silence. He'd tried everything.

"Xander?"

"Xander!"

"Wake up, you lazy fuck!"

"Xan, pet, you gonna snap out of it?"

"A naked blonde walks into a bar..."

Nothing worked. Xander responded to nothing.

He was ready to pick Xander up and take him to Buffy's... but then an idea hit him. Not one that would have hit anyone else...but one that might have perhaps hit someone who'd thought about Xander sex non-stop. Perhaps someone like Spike.

It was rather cliché, bit too fairytale for Spike's liking. But if it worked, it would definitely be worth it.

He crouched by the side of the bed where Xander lay, staring at nothing. He waited for Xander to snap out of it and tell him to get out his face...or to stop being weird. But that Xander was gone. All gone now.

He leaned forward and kissed Xander gently.

No response. He pulled back and waited.

"Huh, you're desperate to fuck me all last night and now you don't even wanna kiss?" Spike teased, regretting it as only the silence replied, mocking his own brand of insanity. "Yeah, I do realise I'm nuts. If you remember this, I'm gonna tell everyone about your little hand exploration last night. Got that?"

Xander closed his eyes briefly, before opening them and looking directly at Spike. "The monsters are eating my arms."

Spike laughed, relief flooding his eyes. "Your arms are fine. You'll be fine. Don't worry..."

Xander sighed, then lifted one of his legs over the side of the bed. He couldn't quite hold himself and managed to slip, falling to the floor.

Spike's hands shot out, catching him as he went. "Careful."

"All the pretty colours..." Xander smiled.

Spike lifted him back to his feet and smiled back. "Welcome back, luv."

Xander's smile faded and fear crossed his eyes. "Stuck, couldn't find you. Lost in there," he pointed to his temple, "didn't mean to make you mad."

"You didn't." Spike assured quickly.

"It's coming. It's all going to end." Xander panicked, holding onto Spike. "You can't be here now."

"Shhh, calm down." Spike whispered, soothingly. "How about we get you something to eat, yeah?"

"Can't find it." Xander told Spike. "You're standing on it."

Spike couldn't believe how relived he was to see this Xander again. It may have been bad having an insane Xander, but a comatose one was definitely less fun.


~*~*~*~*~


"I'm dirty." Xander exclaimed as they walked back to Buffy's, side by side. "Bad, dirty, bad..."

Spike said, nothing, just wrapped his arm round Xander's shoulders casually, holding him close to soothe him as they walked.

Xander remained silent the rest of the way.


~*~*~*~*~


Willow was there to meet them at Buffy's door, panic crossing her face.

"Spike, this afternoon, did anything happen to Xander?" she asked, worriedly.

Spike looked at Buffy and Giles who'd gathered in the hallway to wait for an answer. "Uh, yeah, it did. He...didn't move for a while. Just lay there. Like he was gone, if ya know what I mean."

By the look on Willow's face, she wasn't sure whether that was something to be relieved about or not.

"Why? Something happen to your girl?" Spike asked, unintentionally holding onto Xander's arm, his thumb moving slowly over the jacket in a massaging manner.

"She won't move...she just lies there." Willow told him. "What happened to Xander? How did you get him back?"

Spike froze. Now, how was he going to explain this one? "Well, uh..."

"Spike! We don't have time for this, you must have done something." Buffy demanded. "Tara's been like this for hours."

"Let me speak to Red alone." Spike ordered. "I'll tell her."

Buffy snorted. "You'll tell us all."

"Buffy..." Willow said, softly. "Just please, let him talk to me. It's for Tara."

Buffy looked uncertainly at Giles.

"There's no harm." Giles told her. "Let's go into the living room and give them some space."

"Come on, Xander." Buffy called.

"He can stay with me." Spike said, quickly, his grip tightening round Xander's arm, almost scared Xander would follow her.

Buffy frowned. "Fine."

As they left, Willow stepped in closer, waiting for Spike's story.

"Well, I guess...I talked to him. A lot. Yep, I talked to him. And...yelled at him. Told him to wake up." Spike explained.

"I've done that. What else?" Willow demanded.

Spike was so tempted to keep it a secret. This would only bite him in the ass if Willow ever told anyone. "I...uh..."

"Kiss me." Xander blurted, looking at the back of his hand. "Kiss me, kiss me."

Willow frowned. "What?"

"Ignore him, he's babbling." Spike dismissed.

"Spike, what else? Please..." Willow begged.

"Look, he's been coming on to me ever since this whole thing happened, so it kinda made sense that it might snap him out of it." Spike babbled.

"What did you do?" Willow asked, getting angry.

"I just...you know..."

"No, I don't..." Then it hit Willow. The realization could be seen in her eyes. "You did what?!"

"Hey! Not guilty. It was his fault." Spike pointed out. "I've done nothing wrong. He's the one with the naughty touching and the...okay, this isn't helping, I see that. I told you didn't I? Just don't tell Buffy. She'll stake me and that's all I bloody need. I only did it for..."

Willow's eyes softened. "Him."

Spike tried to deny it, went to, but stopped. "Yeah."

Willow bit her lip. "He really came onto you?"

Spike smiled. "Yeah. Think Harris has some explaining to do when he gets his mind back."

"I'll say." Willow said. "Look, thanks. And I won't say anything. But...if you dare take advantage of him like this, I'll burn your body and send you to the vilest hell dimension I can find. Understand?"

Spike nodded. "Course. Not like I'd want to anyway..."

Willow gave him a lingering look, before running upstairs to her own sleeping beauty.

Spike relaxed, looking at Xander who had his eyes closed, humming a meditation like tune. "Thanks for your help there. Appreciated it."

Xander opened one eye. "So noisy in here, tell all the voices to stop."

"Yeah, you pretend you don't know what I'm going on about. I know your game." Spike said, holding back a smile. "Just keep your mouth shut about kissing from now on."

"Kissing!" Xander yelled.

Spike tapped the back of Xander's head, lightly. "Behave."

Xander just started itching at his arm.

Pulling him along, Spike walked into the living room where Buffy and Giles sat together, talking. They looked up expectantly.

"She's trying what I did. Not sure it'll work though. It wasn't like what I did woke him up, he just did..." Spike told them. "But I tried my best."

Buffy nodded. "Thank you."

"How's Xander been, other than his trance?" Giles asked.

Spike tried not to smile at the thoughts of what Xander had been up to. "He's been pretty quiet actually. Nothing much happened."

"Xander, do stop picking at your arm," Giles chastised as Xander managed to draw blood from his scratching.

Xander ignored him.

"Stop it, pet," Spike said, softly.

Xander left his arm alone and reached out and grabbed Spike's instead.

Buffy and Giles exchanged looks.

"Maybe I should check on Red, see if she's doing it right," Spike pondered. "Think you can look after him for five seconds?"

Buffy raised an eyebrow.

"Right. Be right back then." Spike broke free and slipped away as Xander concentrated on something else.


~*~*~*~*~


A minute later, Spike returned, a look of surprise on his face.

"Did it work?" Buffy asked, anxiously, Xander's head on her lap as he muttered angrily.

Spike looked at her guiltily. "They're, um, still...working...on...it. I mean, doing stuff...not stuff, they're...not ready yet." He looked away, bad, bad images in his head.

Buffy and Giles didn't seem to notice, so Spike left it at that.

"We're still no closer to finding the answer to destroying Glory," Buffy sighed. "And Willow doesn't think she can get Tara and Xander back. At least not both of them. We have to start planning the big attack. We have to be ready to fight, because we're getting nowhere just by protecting Dawn."

Spike held out his hand slightly, watching to see if Buffy or Giles noticed. They didn't. But Xander did, and he got up from his uncomfortable position with Buffy and walked back over to Spike.

Xander stumbled over the mess on the floor, before brushing up against Spike. "Fuck now."

Spike just laughed it off as Giles and Buffy gave an alarmed look. "Right nutter, this one."

Buffy went to say something, but changed her mind, at a loss to understand Xander's bizarre behaviour.

Spike gave Xander a wink, inwardly thrilled the boy was responding to him and him only. It may only have been temporary, but for once Spike felt like himself again. Or maybe a different, better version of himself. Spike, much to his reluctance, was rather enjoying having Xander around.

He almost didn't want the insanity to end.


~*~*~*~*~


Willow walked slowly inside, Tara leaning against her shoulder and very much awake.

Buffy and Giles stood, relief on their faces.

"It worked." Buffy smiled slightly, throwing Spike a thankful look.

He ignored it.

Willow held Tara close and avoided eye contact with Spike, looking only at the others. "Uh, yeah. Like a charm."

Spike cleared his throat and kept his eyes on Xander.

"Uh...thanks Spike." Willow muttered, without looking at him.

"Yeah, no problem." Spike replied, quickly.

"I'm going to check on Dawn, she's being way too quiet upstairs." Buffy told them, excusing herself.

"Giles, could you maybe look after Xander and Tara while I have a word with Spike?" Willow asked, guiding Tara over to where Giles stood.

"Of course."

Spike pried Xander's fingers from around his wrist and followed Willow, groaning as Xander followed him. "Stay."

"Stay."

"No, you stay." Spike demanded.

"Monster. Bad man, biting." Xander pointed at Giles.

Spike frowned. "Fine." He took him by the hand and led him into the hallway where Willow waited.

"Don't you know how to knock?" Willow hissed.

"Told you to kiss her...on the lips," Spike shot back. "Not my fault you got a little over excited."

Willow flushed red again. "It didn't work. I thought maybe it...that I needed to do something else."

"Well, it worked," Spike pointed out. "So I can't have been far off."

"I don't get it though. I mean, why would this happen anyway? And why would kissing them bring them to? And most importantly, why the hell would Xander want to kiss you?"

"All good questions," Spike answered, casually. "Don't have a bloody clue."

"I have to tell Giles about all this." Willow said. "He might know something. Or at least be able to look it up."

Spike panicked. "No! Can't do that. You promised. I saved your girl didn't I? Slayer'll stake me if you tell her what I did."

"Scared of Buffy now?" Willow smiled, rather amused by the look on Spike's face.

Xander stepped forward and slapped Willow. "It's burns in another room for being bad, so stay away."

Willow held her cheek, frowning at Spike. "Is he protecting you?"

Spike smiled proudly. "My new guard dog. Figured he'd come in useful."

Willow sighed. "Xander's going to hate himself when this is over."

Spike grinned and nodded. "Most likely."

"But, at the risk of another slap, I do have to tell them..." Willow said, awkwardly.

"Don't you dare." Spike warned. "I..."

"Where are they? They're gone, gone!" Tara screamed in the other room.

Willow took off, leaving Spike with Xander.

"Listen," Spike started, looking Xander in the eye. "You're insane, that's fine. But I'm not and I can't get away with the stuff we...you...did last night. And earlier. So, there can't be anymore of it. You hate me, I hate you. It's the way it works. No more kissing, no more touching, no more..." Spike broke off as Xander leaned in, cuddling into Spike's chest as his hand played idly with a belt loop on Spike's pants. Spike smiled unintentionally. "Well, maybe you can do that, but not around people, okay? We've both got reps to uphold you know."


~*~*~*~*~


Spike knew from the second Giles and Willow re-emerged from the kitchen that she'd told him. He nearly flew into a rage; ready to say whatever he needed to in his defence.

But Giles said nothing, and looked at him no different to how he had been all day.

Willow gave Spike a reassuring smile, though it did little to reassure him. Buffy obviously hadn't been told yet.

"Pet, don't poke her, you're making her cry," Spike chastised, as Tara's eyes filled with tears. Xander looked up at Spike innocently and hid his finger behind his back.

"Whenever they're together, they act like kids. It's really unnerving," Willow stated, watching the two amuse themselves with anything and everything.

"Xander is a big kid," Spike pointed out. "Not Tara nor getting his brain fried's gonna make a difference."

Willow shot him a look. "Giles wants to talk."

Giles' unemotional face suddenly became very awkward as he looked from Willow to Spike. "Ah, yes...well, I suppose it should be done...now."

Spike rolled his eyes. "Wasn't my fault, he attacked me first, was only doing it so I wouldn't get staked, didn't want to and definitely won't again, don't blame me."

There was a short silence before Xander started laughing at Spike.

Giles smiled. "That's not important Spike, what I need to discuss is exactly what went on before and after you found Xander this way. Willow thinks there may be a key to unlocking this mess without having to use Glory. Both Tara and Xander were affected by the same incident at similar times. This alone indicates a link between the two and possibly a link between them and Glory. We might not find a cure, but if there's any chance we could find out something about Glory that we don't already know, further study into this would be quite beneficial."

"All right watcher, you're not asking for a bloody grant, you do your little project and I'll do what I can to help." Spike said, rolling his eyes at Willow.

Giles looked at Willow. "Perhaps it might be better not to tell Buffy."

Willow thought about it, looking at Spike who was being kept busy by Tara's hand trying to bury itself up his trouser leg. "I think you're right."

"Great, so bitchy doesn't find out, I stay alive and everyone's happy." Spike grinned.

Tara screamed as Xander pulled her away from Spike by her hair.

"Maybe not everyone, but I am. And that's all that matters," Spike added, pulling Xander closer to keep him from causing any more trouble. "As for you, behave."

Xander lay his head on Spike's lap, his hand slipping silently past his head, down into Spike's crotch.

The vampire bit his lip, going to move Xander's hand before anyone noticed. But Xander didn't want to move, he was quite happy fondling the helpless vampire in front of his friends.

"Spike?"

"What?" Spike jumped, yanking Xander's hand away and trying his best to look innocent.

"If Buffy asks, we're looking into the idea that Xander and Tara are linked to Glory. Nothing about the cure, okay? Only me and you know. And if you want to stay alive, it needs to stay that way. If she thinks Giles knows, she's gonna wanna know. Oh, and don't tell Dawn. She'd only say something and also, it's kinda icky."

"Right. Icky. Check." Spike nodded. "Except Dawn already knows. Not...about...but, she knows...or thinks she knows, that...Xander's a pervert."

Willow blinked. "Huh?"

"Xander's...a pervert?" Giles tried to work out what the hell Spike meant.

"She just has this crazy idea Xander actually...likes me like that. She thinks he's acting like he's desperate for a shag because he feels that way even when he's not crazy. And he doesn't. Because that would be insane." Spike looked at them for confirmation.

Giles and Willow exchanged looks.

"Yeah, insane. Of course. Nothing gay about Xander." Willow said, behind an amused smile.

Giles shook his head, a confused frown on his face. "Dawn thinks Xander's a pervert?"


~*~*~*~*~


"I think I may have found an explanation." Giles whispered, as he joined Spike and Willow on the couch. Buffy was arguing with Dawn in the hall and Xander and Tara had both fallen asleep, exhausted from the screaming and running around they'd done for the past four hours.

"For what?" Spike asked, leaning over to get a better look at Giles' book.

"Willow and I have discussed the possibility of a connection between all of Glory's victims and herself, and this would certainly provide evidence to that theory." Giles explained. "It discusses the science behind soul and mind extraction and the effects on both the extractor and victim. The idea that because great power is needed to cause effects such as those we've seen, the process itself becomes far more intricate than originally thought. I won't bore you with the details,"

"Too late." Spike muttered, lying back into the couch and trying to remain in focus.

Giles threw him a look. "In simple terms, Glory took their conscious mind and left barely enough to keep the body going. Because that in itself is such a difficult process, it takes a lot of her strength to do it, and she unwittingly leaves part of herself behind in the person's mind. Whether this is intentional or not is not certain."

"That would make sense," Willow chimed in. "If she does have a connection with all her victims, wouldn't that mean she'd be able to control them to some extent?"

"It has been done before," Giles answered.

"So as well as her minions, she'd have loads of mindless humans doing whatever she wanted," Willow said. "More productive than killing people."

"She apparently feeds on minds, they give her the sanity she needs to keep control," Giles explained.

"Wouldn't exactly call this bint sane," Spike interrupted.

"Well, regardless, this would explain why both Tara and Xander were affected by the earlier situation," Giles told them. "But it doesn't explain why it happened."

"Maybe she had a fainting spell too," Spike suggested. "Or she didn't feed in time and lost control of everyone."

"Perhaps." Giles thought for a moment. "And why Tara and Xander responded to your...cure?"

Spike shrugged. "Only thought of it because Xander's been right horny since this whole thing started."

"And Tara?" Giles asked Willow.

"Uh, nothing abnormal I guess. She likes to cuddle sometimes." She frowned suddenly. "It did take me a lot longer to get her to wake up than it did for Spike. He just kissed Xander and he woke up. I had to...it took longer." Willow babbled.

"And what finally woke her?" Giles questioned.

Spike shot Willow an amused look.

"You shush!" she warned. "I just put my arms around her and told her I loved her. I kissed her cheek and a few seconds later she started muttering about toast."

"I think it's a fair conclusion these instances were brought upon by affection from someone they cared about," Giles pointed out.

"Whoa, wait a minute." Spike jumped in, standing up in protest. "He might be a horny little bugger, but there is no way Xander cares about me. We hate each other."

"Spike, the way he's been acting, it's not like him," Willow argued.

"That's because he's insane. Insane behaviour, hello? Am I the only one who's realised he's lost his bloody mind?" Spike shot back.

"What's going on?" Buffy asked, walking in with a rather moody Dawn in tow.

"Nothing. Just arguing about...whether I should look after the boy anymore," Spike said, quickly.

"You changed your mind all of a sudden?" Buffy asked, going to sit between Giles and Willow.

"Yeah, want nothing to do with any of this," Spike told her. "Bored. Going home to catch up on some TV. Good luck trying to kill a god. I'm sure you'll need it."

"Spike!" Willow shouted after him as he walked out, ignoring the annoyed look Dawn gave him.

"What just happened?" Buffy asked as the door slammed. "One minute he's like a kid with a puppy dog, the next he doesn't want to play anymore? Not that it bothers me, it's just...we really need a babysitter right now."

Willow frowned at her. "He doesn't just baby-sit Xander, he looks after him. He's the only one Xander trusts. There's more there than you think, Buffy."

Buffy looked at Giles, a look on confusion on her face. "Okay, I really did miss a lot. Is Willow trying to tell me what I think she's trying to tell me?"


~*~*~*~*~


Spike almost expected to hear Dawn behind him again. Or even Willow. Someone to stop him and tell him Xander needed him and he didn't need to run away because he obviously had feelings for the whelp.

No one followed.

He tried really hard to think of a reason why he should walk away. There were too many to count. Buffy trying to kill him being high on the list. Xander getting his sanity back was another big one. But it didn't seem to be convincing him as much as it should have.

He liked the walking away part. Not having to discuss theories with Giles, being told what to do by Buffy...and being given that 'you're-so-falling-in-love-with-him' look by Willow and Dawn. They were bonus points. But he'd much rather have been walking away with 'those' arms wrapped round his chest, with 'that' head resting against him...and 'those' eyes looking at him as if he was the most important thing in that person's life. He'd much rather have been walking away with Xander.

The thought actually scared him. He was beyond stupid feelings like fear, but for some reason, the rules had changed. He wasn't scared of Buffy. Or scared of having feelings for someone he'd really enjoyed hating.

But when Willow finally worked out how to undo Glory's handiwork, Spike knew that it would be over. And that scared him. Because when Xander finally got some sense, he'd laugh in Spike's face and that would hurt far more than Buffy beating the crap out of him for messing with one of her friends.

Just because Willow and Dawn thought Xander's behaviour said something about his feelings, didn't mean they were right. To Spike, it was too simple. Sane Xander hated Spike's guts. Insane Xander didn't. Therefore any behaviour exhibited by Xander whilst insane meant nothing.

The girls were just messing with his head. Stupid ideas that Xander could actually like him...

Wasn't possible.

"Oh God, someone please stake me." Spike muttered as he spun round and headed back to Buffy's.


~*~*~*~*~


"Back already?" Buffy asked, amused smile on her face.

Spike ignored her, pushing past and upstairs, straight into her bedroom where Tara lay sprawled out on the bed. He turned round and headed into Joyce's old room, where Xander was sleeping. Spike watched him briefly, knowing instantly he was doing the right thing.

"What are you doing?" Buffy demanded from the doorway.

"Taking care of him," Spike said, clearly. "Problem?"

"Actually, yeah." Buffy replied. "You're acting weirder than him. What's going on?"

"Me and him have a thing, alright? I have some company that doesn't hate my guts, and he has someone who'll look after him." Spike said, turning to look her in the eye. "Say what you want, but you need me. He needs me. And until the witch puts him right again, he's mine. Understood? No more telling me what to do. No more insults. Just let me do my job."

Buffy gasped. "Oh my God..."

"What?" Spike's face fell. He almost expected her to grab a stake and start charging at him.

"What is the deal with you? You in love with him?" Buffy laughed. "You are..."

"What?" Spike wasn't sure what was confusing him more, the fact she'd jumped to this conclusion or the fact she'd jumped to it without violence and death threats.

"Willow was trying to tell me earlier and now it all makes sense." Buffy shook her head. "This is why you want to look after him?"

Spike snorted. "Why the hell would I be in love with Harris?"

"You've got a thing for insane people." Buffy rationalized. "Too bad Xander's straight."

"No, he's... Spike broke off. "Yep, you're right, straight. Not that it matters because you're wrong. I don't love anybody. I'm evil."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "Hey, you better not be taking advantage of him. I can't believe I let an evil gay vampire take care of him..."

"Hey!"

"You have no morals, vampires are just known to be horny 24/7 and the fact you like guys..." Buffy frowned. "Well, did you?"

"Did I what?"

"Do anything?"

Spike put his hands up in protest. "I didn't touch him. Nothing happened."

"This is just like you, to hurt an innocent boy when he's down..."

"I would never do that to him!" Spike yelled back.

"Spike?"

"What?" He waited for the attack.

"I'm just messing with you." Buffy grinned. "Just wanted to know if it was true."

"Uh...what?" Spike composed himself. "What's true?"

"Willow told me everything." Buffy told him.

"And now she will die a horrible death!" Spike shouted, hoping the redhead would overhear.

"Spike, I meant what I said, you hurt him or do anything he'll regret when he's sane, I'll kill you." Buffy said, seriously. "I don't have time to try to figure this mess out and you're right, I do need you to take care of him right now. If you really do like him like that, please wait until we have him back before doing anything. Xander, as far as I know, is straight."

"Why're you acting all mature and accepting? I was expecting stakes and pointy objects thrown at my head." Spike asked, awkwardly.

"Willow and Giles talked a lot. Willow seems to think it's okay and I trust her judgement. I also don't have time for the distraction. But it would have been nice to have been informed."

"Sorry, didn't know I had to report my sex-life to you," Spike muttered.

"I meant about the research you've been doing," Buffy pointed out. "And there better not be a sex-life to talk about!"

Spike rolled his eyes. "Have you stopped lecturing me now? Because I have a witch to hurt very badly."

Buffy sighed. "I feel so sorry for Xander if this is the crap he's gotta come back to."

"Won't be crap to come back to. Nobody says anything to him. If he remembers any of it, we'll let him think it didn't happen." Spike told her. "This has gotta be bad enough for him. God knows the state he'll be in if...when, we get him back. So we're not gonna make it any harder on him. Alright?"

Buffy watched Spike, all signs of sternness and amusement gone. "You do, don't you?"

Spike looked at Xander. "Just care is all."

Buffy smiled softly. "I'll be downstairs if you need me."

Spike frowned as she walked away. "Yeah...thanks."

As soon as the door shut, Spike couldn't help but laugh. He'd actually just had a semi-friendly conversation with the slayer. Smiling, he kneeled beside the bed and linked his hand with Xander's. "You hear that? She's okay with it. Not that I am. And I can't see you being okay about it. But that's okay; you don't have to deal with it. I figure once you're back to normal I won't even like you let alone..." He broke off and rubbed his thumb across the smooth skin of Xander's hand. "I'll help you get sorted and then this can just be a memory. Mine if you like. You can forget it all. Maybe you will anyway... But it's okay if I remember it, right? Give me something to think about once in a while."

The sleeping body stirred slightly and Spike quickly broke away, waiting for the human to fall back into deep sleep again.

"Anyway, seeing as you can't hear me and wouldn't understand a word of this anyway, I'm gonna go help your mates out. I'll be close by..."

Spike walked out, relieved to see no one was outside the door, listening in. He felt like a ponce, but he still loved doing it. Talking so openly to someone was something he hadn't done since Dru. He had missed it more than he realised.

Maybe Buffy was right. Maybe they all were.





Part Two

Spike flicked through books, scanning for references to anything they could use. But everything was useless. Nobody had found anything and time was growing short.

"How's the spell hunting, Will?" Buffy asked, pausing her reading to check on her best friend, who sat as far away from Spike as possible.

"Just some smaller spells that, if used together, might be able to get me into Glory's head," Willow said, shrugging. "But I don't really want to do it that way."

"Would it work?" Spike asked, frowning at the idea of her dismissing it so easily.

"I could get into her head, but navigating it, finding Xander and Tara and then getting out...that would be near impossible." Willow told him. "I can't even be sure things would be that simple. I'm working on the idea that Tara and Xander's consciousnesses are stuck inside hers. For all I know, they could be stuck in their own minds. Or worse..."

"Worse?" Buffy asked, dreading the next bit of bad news that would only make their struggle harder.

"Well, we can't be sure they're even around anymore. I mean, what if they're gone?" Willow asked, the strength of her voice weakening slightly.

"Not gone," Spike said firmly. "Xander's in his own mind. I know it, alright? That's what we've got to work at. Setting them free."

"Spike, we don't know that," Giles argued. "We have to look at all the possibilities."

"If Xander as we know him wasn't in there, he wouldn't be the way he is. He might be insane, but he's Xander. Just the way Tara's still herself. Just a little lost, is all," Spike explained. "If you went inside their heads..."

"That's extremely dangerous, not to mention difficult," Giles pointed out.

"If it's the only way, I'll do it," Willow said, firmly.

"Show me how and I'll go and get Xander out. In fact, I insist on it," Spike told them.

"That won't be necessary," Giles interrupted. "We'll find anther way."

"We better, because there's less than a day left. Glory's going to be looking harder than ever," Buffy warned them.

"Wait, this..." Willow read over the page quickly. "This I could work with."

"What?" Spike jumped from his seat and was by her side, reading over her shoulder in seconds.

"I can link Glory to me. Bind her consciousness to mine. Then, I can use that link to set Tara and Xander free from the hold she has over them and hopefully that will bring them back," Willow explained.

"That sounds dangerous," Buffy commented.

Giles shook his head. "The risks you would take would be phenomenal. We have no idea what the side effects are. You could gain Glory's personality traits, even to the point of being taken over by her until none of you is left. And if she were to die...I can't let you take that risk."

"Will someone please shut this man up?" Spike grumbled. "Two people have lost their minds and he wants to try getting them back from the evil god with no risks attached? We need them back now. Risks are just something we've got to take."

"Spike..."

"No, Giles, he's right," Buffy interrupted. "We don't have time to be careful now. We have to act. And if it means taking risks, we do it."

"Or we could just turn the page over and find a better spell," Willow chipped in.

"A better spell?" Giles leaned over to read it.

"If I can get her to touch one of these..." Willow showed them all a diagram of a specially crafted jewel. "While Xander and Tara hold one too, I can return anything that doesn't belong to its rightful owner."

"It sounds vague," Giles murmured. "Nothing specific?"

"Well, it's under the mind control section of the book, so it'll do the job it's supposed to. Also, if anybody in the triangle is wearing something that doesn't belong to them, it'll go bye bye."

Willow looked at Buffy, noticing the slayer looking off into the distance.

"Like that?" Buffy asked, looking over towards the living room doorway.

Everyone turned their heads to see what she was looking at.

"Jesus Xander!" Spike cried out, jumping up and running over to the naked boy, watching them all.

Willow and Giles quickly averted their eyes, while Buffy stared, her eyes wide with shock. Xander quickly threw his arms around Spike's waist.

Spike noted Buffy watching them and frowned. "What's the matter? Never seen a bloke naked before? Though I suppose with your taste in blokes it may come as a shock to see a real man," he quipped, holding on to the squirming boy that no longer wanted cuddles, but wanted to scare the girls in the room with his rather obvious erection.

Buffy's cheeks flamed red and she looked away. "Will you please dress him again?"

"Planning on it." Spike said, trying to lead Xander out and towards the stairs.

"Too hot, burning. It's all burning in here. You'll burn too, stay away!" Xander yelled at him.

"Spike!" Buffy yelled as an after thought. "Remember what you promised."

"Yeah, yeah, no touching," Spike muttered, before taking Xander out of there and leaving the three humans to their embarrassed silence.


~*~*~*~*~


"Spike." Xander smiled, proud with himself for remembering the vampire's name.

Spike tried not to, but cracked a smile back anyway. "You really know how to keep a vamp on his toes."

"It hurts." Xander whined, looking down at his groin. "I'm on fire. Put me out."

Spike raised his eyebrows. "Oh, you want...no. Can't do anything about it, pet. Promised Buffy, I did. And you're gonna be normal again soon. Can't have you thinking I... Don't give me that look, you can do it yourself. I'll go wait outside or something."

Xander grew bored with the conversation and lay back on the bed, looking up at the ceiling. His eyes closed, as if he were in real pain. "Make the noises stop, they're too loud. Talking, talking, talking. My ears, they're...hurting. Everything hurts."

Spike watched him helplessly. "S'alright, be over soon."

Xander started scratching at his chest. "It's okay, I'll get them out, I'll make them stop."

Spike walked over, grabbing Xander's wrists to stop him from hurting himself. "You're a devious little bastard, you are. But there is no way I'm going to do anything to you, understand? Don't care how loud you play the guilt trip song."

Xander kicked out, catching Spike's hip. "The bad man shouldn't play in here anymore because he locks the door and boards the windows and it's his fault everything's so cold."

Spike lay down next to him on the bed. "Yep, that pretty much covers it."

"Did you feed the cats? The cats are trying to get out and they keep crying." Xander whispered. "I have to go..."

Spike sat up quickly as Xander did, watching with confusion as Xander walked away, his face emotionless. "Hey, wait..."

Xander tried to get free, but Spike held on tight. "Gotta get you dressed, then you can run off."

Holding onto the squirming boy with one hand and grabbing at the discarded clothes with the other, Spike attempted to dress Xander.


~*~*~*~*~


"Buffy!" Spike shouted, as he walked down the stairs after Xander, who seemed to be on a mission of his very own.

Buffy, Willow and Giles appeared, followed by Dawn from upstairs. They watched as Xander went for the door.

"I think he's being called somewhere," Spike told them.

A door opened upstairs and Tara appeared, pushing past Dawn to walk downstairs, in the same manner as Xander had.

"Should we stop them or follow them?" Willow asked Buffy quickly.

"We're not ready for the spell, we'll have to stop them for now. Dawn, get the rope out of the basement," Buffy instructed. "Spike grab Xander, I'll get Tara. Giles get some chairs and Willow...hurry up with the spell stuff."

"I just need the Ametrine stones, I have everything else. The spell's already started, it just needs to be cast," Willow told them. "I can get the stones at the Magic Shop, they stock loads. They're usually used as spiritual cleansers."

"Go with Giles, and be quick." Buffy told her, holding onto Tara as she followed Spike into the living room.

Both holding onto a crazy person, they waited for Dawn and Giles to get everything in place before tying the two down.

"Sorry, luv." Spike murmured at Xander. "Know you're in a hurry, but you've only got to wait for Red to get back. We've figured it all out. Not long now." He stood, checking the security of the ropes before looking at Buffy.

"You've really got it bad," she sighed. "You're talking to him like he can understand you."

"He does understand me," Spike protested. "You just don't understand him."

"I hope Willow and Giles get back soon, this might be our only chance," Buffy said.

"Glory hasn't figured out who the key is, her time's almost up," Spike pointed out.

"Which means if we don't get to her soon, she'll come looking for us. I don't think I can protect everybody. I need to get Dawn out of here."

"Get Giles to take her somewhere. Me, you and the witch have got to help Xander," Spike told her.

"And Tara," Buffy reminded him.

"Right, yeah. Both of 'em," Spike agreed.

"I don't know if we can pull this spell off," Buffy said.

"Sounds easy enough, get Glory to hold a stone, chant a few words. That's it," Spike pointed out.

"What if we don't even have time for that? She might just kill us all and..."

"She doesn't know who Dawn is." Spike reminded her, his hand stroking Xander's hair as the boy began to mutter his annoyance at being tied down.

"I know, but..."

"Don't worry 'bout it, pet," Spike said, softly. "One thing at a time."

Buffy watched him, intently, before nodding. "Yeah."


~*~*~*~*~


The front door slammed open and Willow ran inside, Giles close behind. "I've got everything, now we just need Glory. Give me five minutes to imbue the stones and close the spell and we're set to go."

Buffy nodded. "Right, I hope we're ready for this."

"How are you going to distract her?" Spike asked, still standing close to Xander as the young man struggled under the ropes.

"I'm gonna let her kick my ass," Buffy replied. "Or try to kick hers. Both probably."

"Then what, we throw a stone, she catches it and the witch mutters a few words." Spike snorted. "Sounds too easy to me."

"I know, but I trust Willow. She knows what she's doing," Buffy told him. "And you know what you're supposed to do?"

"Hold onto Xander, make sure he holds the stone at the right time," Spike checked. "Then duck as he attacks me for everything that's happened."

Buffy managed a wry smile. "We'll deal with the little problems after the big ones."

"I don't know, he might be a wimp, but when he gets pissed off..." Spike stopped. "I'll go, after this."

"Go?"

"Leave. Make things easier," Spike told her.

"Look at you, calling Xander a wimp when you're the one running away," Buffy commented. "And just as I was beginning to respect you."

Spike raised an eyebrow. "Because I lo...like, your mate? That's what it takes to get respect?"

"No, because you've done all this for nothing," Buffy pointed out. "I didn't expect you to stick around and help after you got used to the chip. But you did. And you've been here for Xander when he needed it the most. Not many soulless people out there would have done that."

"Supposed to be somewhere!" Xander yelled at them

"Be there, now. Going, need to be going." Tara muttered.

Spike remained silent, thinking it over, before frowning. "And for your information, William the Bloody does not run away. He walks away. There's a difference."

Buffy shook her head. "Just promise me you'll stay until we know the spell has worked and Glory's dead."

"Can't promise you anything," Spike murmured.

"Then promise me you'll stay until we know Xander's okay?" Buffy asked.

He looked at her. "You know I will."

"Okay, the spell's cast," Willow told them, walking in, her eyes now completely black.

"Uh, Will...are they supposed to be that colour?" Buffy asked her, awkwardly.

"What? Oh! Don't worry about it, I've got a lot of magic running through me. It's kinda playing havoc with my body. But I need it right now if I'm going to have the power to pull this off."

Buffy nodded. "Alright. Let's set them free."

"I like how you're sure they'll take us to Glory. For all we know, they could have had a unanimous urge for a Burger King." Spike pointed out.

"It's our best shot, Spike." Buffy said, beginning to untie Tara.

Spike followed cue and started to free Xander. "Right, yeah..."

"Before we go, Willow and I had a few ideas on the way," Giles told Buffy.

Dawn appeared with the Buffybot, smiling at her sister. "Cool, huh?"

"It should keep Glory busy for a while," Willow added.

"No, it can stay here," Buffy told them. "And protect Dawn."

"What? I wanna go," Dawn argued.

"Nibblet, do as you're told," Spike warned her. "This isn't a game. Glory wants to cut you open and use your blood to open a very dangerous portal that will eventually destroy the world."

"Well, when you put it like that..." Dawn sighed.

"And this..." Giles dragged a familiar object in with him. "Might do some actual damage."

Buffy looked over the heavy and extremely powerful hammer. "Hope so."

"Feel free to take if off me before it pulls my hands away from my wrists," Giles urged.

Buffy took the hammer off him and laid it down beside her. "Everybody ready?"

Spike looked at Xander. "Ready."

"Me too." Willow told them, holding onto the three stones carefully.

"As ready as we can be." Giles added.

"Spike." Buffy indicated at the ropes, as she pulled the last of hers away from Tara.

Spike did the same, freeing Xander and letting his hand linger on the boy's shoulder until Xander began to walk away.

They began to follow the two, Buffy holding onto the giant hammer, Willow with her stones and Spike and Giles following close behind.


~*~*~*~*~


"What are they doing here?" Glory demanded as Xander and Tara walked into the enclosed area where a mass of crazy people were beginning construction.

"They're with me," Buffy said, smirking as she came into view. The hammer swung from below, catching Glory on the chin and sending her flying.

Glory stood up and nursed her face with one hand. "You are going to die so much." She brought her fist up and smacked Buffy hard, knocking the slayer to the floor.

Spike and Willow quickly thrust a stone into the hands of their partner, before Willow turned to face Glory, waiting for the right moment. "Hey, Glory!"

The stone flew at Glory's face and she caught it effortlessly, laughing at Willow's efforts. "Throwing stones? That's the best you've got?"

By force of heart and mindful power,
By waning time and waxing hour
I echo Diana when I decree
That they I love must now be free!

The words seemed to echo through the suddenly silent air. And for a moment, a split moment, everything froze. A blinding white light detonated between Glory, Tara and Xander, spreading like fire until it was drawn into the glowing stones held in their hands. Screams came from the three as their bodies felt as if they were being turned inside out and cleansed of everything that didn't belong to them. The light finally sank into the stones, disappearing into a small fade. And then nothing.

Glory sank to her knees, feeling as if she hadn't eaten in decades. She no longer held the minds of her victims. Her eyes rolled back and she collapsed, transforming back into the human male she'd shared a body with her entire existence in this dimension.

Spike ran to Xander's side as he stumbled and fell, his eyes clenched shut from the light and his ears ringing with the sheer power of the silent force that had ripped him apart and put him back together. Piece by piece.

"Xander? You okay?" Spike called out, his practiced cool failing and worry controlling his voice.

It hurt to think, hurt to exist, but the voice still soothed when it should have made things worse. "Sp...ike..."

Spike glanced over at Willow, who was near exhausted from the spell, but still managed to cradle a shocked Tara in her arms. He felt Xander trying to stand and helped him up.

Xander tried to catch his breath but there was no oxygen to catch. Everything stopped spinning and suddenly...there was Spike. Worried look, hand outstretched in a hesitant help offering. It hit Xander like a tidal wave, and without warning, he bolted.

Spike watched him run, making a great effort not to chase after him. It was what he'd expected, but it still hurt to watch it.

Buffy stood above Ben, trying to figure out what it all meant. Had Ben been Glory all this time? Was he an alter ego of the Hell God? She raised the hammer and closed her eyes, before bringing it down.


~*~*~*~*~


Xander stood by the living room doorway, watching Willow hold Tara and whisper things they wanted no one else to hear. He looked across and saw Buffy, who stared out of the window, both happy and afraid of what had happened. Giles was trying to keep it all together, cleaning the house and ensuring everybody ate on time. But Xander saw the pain in his eyes. Giles wouldn't stay with them much longer. That Xander was sure of. Dawn sat by herself, pondering what she was now...what it all meant. Xander wanted so badly to comfort them all. So lost in their own losses and pains that they failed to see what was happening to anyone else. No one offered him comfort. But no one saw what he'd been through. Not even Tara.

He walked out, none of them even noticing.


~*~*~*~*~


He couldn't sleep. Hadn't expected to be able to. Couldn't even watch TV. He was going to leave, wanted to. But he'd made a promise. One he wanted to keep as much as he wanted to break. So he told himself he'd wait a day. One day more. He'd go back to England for a while, find some old friends that hadn't heard about his chip. Pretend he was back to normal for five minutes.

He sat in silence, waiting for the sun to set so he could go out and find the nearest bar. Drinking always was his way.

He heard the door open hesitantly and laughed quietly to himself. "Haven't left yet, slayer. Told ya to leave me in peace."

"Spike."

The smile faded as the sound of the voice sunk in. Quick decision and he knew that a lot could count on the one he made. Act cool or be honest.

It was no competition.

"Harris, what you doing all the way out here?" Spike asked, not moving from his seat.

Xander went to leave, but stopped, taking a deep breath before walking back over and into Spike's view. "I want to talk."

"Thought you were Buffy," Spike smirked. "She was here before you know."

"I know," Xander answered. "When I asked her where she'd been, she stuttered so much I thought I was talking to a broken Buffybot. Wasn't too hard to figure out she'd been here. None of them will talk about you. And also Dawn keeps going on about 'Will and Grace' and how cool it is to be gay these days. I think they're waiting for me to tell them something."

Spike lost his cool and smiled. "Yeah, well, we all act weird when we lose our minds. It's the whole point of losing your mind. Get to do whatever it is you wouldn't do when you're sane. Not that you'd want to...when you're, now you're sane. You probably didn't want to...uh, hang on, I'll get it right in a minute."

"Now you're doing it," Xander chastised. "Is no one going to be normal around me anymore?"

"Well, you did flash everybody," Spike pointed out. "Disturbed them all, no doubt."

"Thank you," Xander said, suddenly.

"What I do?" Spike asked.

"Well, you stopped me from doing some pretty insane things," Xander told him. "And you were civil to me."

"Civil?"

"Okay, you were nice. Nicer than everybody if I recall." Xander looked away nervously. "Just...that was more than I would have expected from you."

"Well, only did it because..."

Xander looked up, waiting for Spike to finish.

"Because...I...wanted the money. Giles paid me," Spike said, quickly.

"Oh."

"Wasn't so bad anyway. We had some fun, right?" Spike asked.

Xander snorted. "Fun? Spike, I stripped in front of Buffy, Willow and Giles. I hit Willow, I said some really weird things and I practically attacked you."

Spike couldn't stop his smile. "You didn't attack me, exactly. Nothing I couldn't have stopped."

"Did you mean any of it?" Xander asked.

"Of what?"

"The things you said. I remember them. Most of them." Xander looked down at his feet. "You said you...liked me."

Spike said nothing.

"It's okay if you didn't mean it. Or if you did. I just need to know."

"Why?"

"Because it matters."

"Does it?" Spike asked, walking away.

"Haven't you learnt anything? Jesus Spike, I was all over you the whole time and you really think I did that because I was crazy. Okay, so I did do it because I was crazy, but there was a reason I chose that particular crazy behaviour, you know."

"Listen, everything that's gone on is way over my head. I don't help slayers, I don't fight Hell Gods and I don't love..."

"Me." Xander finished.

Spike stared at him, wishing for once he had the power to say what he wanted to. "I promised her I'd stay until you turned out to be okay. So I guess I can leave now."

"But I'm not okay," Xander argued. "Far from it."

"You're alive and sane." Spike replied.

"But not okay," Xander said. "You know, I'd go out and get my brain messed with again if it would make this easier. I want you to stay."

Spike raised an eyebrow. "Why?"

"Because I love it when you insult me, why do you think?" Xander sighed. "Stay. With me."

"You don't really..."

"Oh, I do," Xander interrupted. "I really really do."

"Really want me to stay?" Spike asked him.

"Want me to prove it?" Xander asked. "Name it. I'll do it."

"Xander..."

"No, come on. You need proof. I'm gonna prove it. Tell me what you want," Xander demanded.

Spike smiled. "Just you."

"You got me," Xander said, softly.

"Do I?" Spike asked. "Do you even know what that means?"

"Want to stay here, with you. Want you to be the one I wake up to. God, even want everyone to know about us."

"They know," Spike told him. "Knew before we did."

"That's typical. How am I supposed to shock and traumatise those I love with a coming out speech if they already know I'm out?" Xander joked.

"You really want to stay tonight?"

"You know I do," Xander answered.

"Want to tell your friends first?" he asked.

Xander shook his head. "They're all somewhere else at the moment. Leave it a few days. Then we can tell them what they already know."

Spike smiled. "Got you to myself for a few days?"

Xander laughed. "This is the real test, whether we can stand each other for forty eight hours straight."

"I think I'll manage. I had to baby-sit you while you were a loony nymphomaniac, I'm sure I can handle you like this," Spike pointed out.

"We'll see." Xander smiled, leaning forward and kissing Spike gently.

Getting over the surprise quickly, Spike pulled Xander's body to his and kissed him back, a surge of relief and excitement filling his mind.

And that's when he knew. Spike, big bad vampire, was in love with a human.


~*~*~*~*~


"Was scary, you know? Like I was there, but I was locked away in this room. And it was just so dark and cold. And the noise, it was so bad, Spike. I thought I was dead. She took me out of myself and made me suffer like that. Why? I mean, it doesn't make sense."

"She fed on your sanity, pet," Spike told him. "But we found you."

"You found me," Xander said, quietly.

"Witch did all the work, I was just there to hold your hand," Spike corrected.

He sat on the edge of the armchair, next to Spike, every so often moving a little closer. He was now practically on the vampire's lap. And neither of them seemed to mind.

"You must be so tired, you can have my bed," Spike offered.

"With you in it?" Xander asked, playfully.

Spike snorted. "Well, I wasn't gonna sleep on the floor, was I?"

Xander smiled mischievously. "I'm not really tired, but I wouldn't mind going to bed now."

Spike raised his eyebrows. "Now? We have two whole days together and you want to do it now?"

"We can do it later too. And after that. And pretty much..."

"Alright, I get the picture." Spike shook his head in confusion. "I was expecting you to want to wait, be friends first and all that."

"Okay, you met me while I was insane, right?" Xander teased. "Seriously, I don't want to wait. I've really waited long enough. And maybe it's rushing, but I don't want to have to sleep in the same bed as you and not touch you."

Spike held up his hands in protest. "Don't have to convince me, I was with you at 'now'."


~*~*~*~*~


Spike was sure he'd lost his mind. He was letting his guard down and letting this human in and technically, they'd only really admitted to liking each other a few hours before. But he wanted Xander more than he could express, and the idea that Xander wanted him just as much was enough to make it all worth it.

He made the first move that night, kissing Xander softly, as if he was afraid Xander would change his mind.

He didn't. And held Spike closer to him, pouring all that desperate want into it until he was left breathless and had to break away.

Xander pulled his sweater over his head and threw it aside, leaning in to start on Spike's shirt buttons. He looked up at Spike as he undid them one by one, their eyes locked on each other.

Xander pulled Spike's shirt back for him and it fell to the floor. His hands immediately rose to the bare chest, captivated by the look and feel of Spike so close to him. Spike tilted Xander's head back up to kiss him, their bodies now pressed together. Spike could feel Xander's erection through his pants and broke away, cocky smile on his face. His hand went for Xander's zipper, quickly pushing the pants down along with Xander's boxers.

Xander closed his eyes as Spike's hand wrapped around his cock, moving slowly across the hard length. He began to breathe harder, his grip on Spike's arm tightening.

Spike stopped suddenly, before lowering to his knees. Xander watched in awe as Spike brought the tip of the cock to his lips, his tongue extending to taste it before he took the head into his mouth. Xander almost gasped at the feeling of Spike's tongue teasing and playing mercilessly before he took the length deep down his throat.

"Fuck, Spike, don't stop..." he cried out, his eyes clenched shut with the sheer pleasure it was sending through his body.

Xander didn't last long under the practiced technique and he came with a sated groan, his hand running through Spike's hair in appreciation.

Spike stood, taking his own pants off and releasing his hard dick. He began stroking himself as he looked at Xander. "Get on the bed."

Xander couldn't contain his excitement and bounded onto the bed, the last of his clothes being removed quickly.

As soon as Spike was completely naked, he moved closer, climbing on and over Xander before reaching under his pillow for his lube.

Xander watched with interest as Spike ran his coated hand across his cock, covering himself before looking back at Xander. "Turn over, it'll be easier for you this way."

Xander turned onto his stomach, waiting for Spike to carry on.

Spike moved over until he kneeled between Xander's legs. His hands rested on Xander's legs, as he looked Xander's amazing body over. He was so hard, he was afraid he wouldn't last two seconds once he was inside.

Xander shivered at the feeling of Spike's hands on his legs, so cold against heated skin. They travelled up his thighs with slow deliberation, resting softly on his ass, caressing the tense muscles into relaxing. Spike uttered a few words of encouragement to quell Xander's fears before he used a lubed finger to push inside Xander's ass, gently. It moved slowly, easing Xander's muscles into a relaxed state.

As a second finger eased inside, his other hand slid up Xander's back, sending shivers up his spine. A third finger was inserted and Xander allowed himself to moan in appreciation.

"Oh God, Spike, feels so good..."

Spike smiled, his spare hand rubbing in a circular motion across Xander's back, both relaxing and stimulating the rest of his body. "Gonna fuck you now, pet, just relax. I'll try not to hurt you."

Xander nodded, too busy biting his lip to answer back. He felt the fingers being pulled away and they were soon replaced with something much larger. Xander clenched his fists as Spike eased his cock inside, stretching Xander until he groaned loudly.

"You alright, Pet?" Spike asked, stopping quickly before the chip could fry his brain.

"It's okay." Xander whispered. "Just feels weird."

Spike nodded, cautiously continuing until he was all the way in. He began to move slowly, his hands now clasping Xander's hips. "So tight...fuck, Xan, you don't know how good this feels."

Xander soon got used to the feeling and as the discomfort faded, the pleasure began to set in. He moved his ass with every movement Spike made, groaning as Spike began to pick up speed.

Spike's hands held onto Xander hips, occasionally running up to his waist, shaking with the movements of his pelvis as he thrust back and forth with rising speed.

Spike's own moans pierced the silent crypt, filling Xander's ears with his pleasure, which only served to heighten his own. Just one touch was creating orgasmic vibrations under the skin that teased every inch of his body.

Spike felt the orgasm hit and he thrust deep inside, coming hard and fast.


~*~*~*~*~


Xander lay, exhausted, over Spike's chest, his ear against Spike's dead heart. They sat in comfortable silence, enjoying the afterglow in their own special way.

Spike was the first to break the silence, his hand skimming against Xander's cheek to bring him out of a daydream.

"Gotta tell your mates soon."

There was a hesitant nod from the human. "Until then, can we just be us?" Xander asked him, his arms still wrapped protectively across Spike's chest.

"We can be 'us' for as long as you like." Spike told him, his hand brushing across Xander's hair playfully. "M'not going anywhere."

Xander smiled up at the vampire. "Good, 'cause I kinda like you right here."




The End




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