Begins a few hours after the end to The Road to Poofdom

Rating: Adult
Pairing: Spike/Xander
Summary: Spike and Xander have a lot of sex, deal with a lot of crap, and screw up a lot in their new relationship.
Feedback: Please? I’ll be your enthusiastic bottom-bitch.

Concrit: Send to bytemi66@yahoo.com. Be kind; no flames, please.
Distribution: Just ask me. After I get over the initial shock, I’m sure I’ll say yes.
Disclaimer: I do not claim any rights to these characters. I’m just using them for my own twisted gratification. No copyright infringement intended. This also goes for whatever product, movie, actor, television program, store, or any other pop-culture reference that may be included throughout the fic.
Warning: This is slash; there will be homoerotic smut and a lot of naughty language (because my muse has a vocabulary not unlike a sailor's). If you do not like this kind of fic, don’t read it. Consider yourself warned.
Dedication: To all the wonderful folks who responded to my request for help with medical information (a hell of a long time ago). Hopefully, I’ve got it right. If not, the fault is all mine and my non-medical muse.
Thanks: To Crazydiamondsue for stepping up to beta this monstrosity!<





The Road to Sex, Lies, and Duct Tape


by
Bytemi66



Part One

Spike and Xander slept for a few hours snuggled together under the plush, warm comforter before Xander’s growling stomach woke them up. They stumbled out into the kitchen and Spike sat down at the rather large kitchen table. Hmm. The table just might prove useful. Spike cocked an eyebrow at the thought of just what could happen on this table before he turned and watched Xander. Xander yawned hugely, stretched his arms toward the ceiling, and then scratched his right butt-cheek before he opened up the fridge and pulled out some blood for Spike and milk for himself. He pulled out one of the new black mugs and went about warming some blood for brekkies. The boy shoved some Pop Tarts in the toaster for himself, then handed Spike his blood after the timer went ‘ping’. He sat next to Spike and began to munch on the toaster pastries.

Spike sipped his blood. It was the good stuff, so he definitely didn’t want to rush. As he relished his drink, he watched Xander. His dark hair was delightfully mussed; a lock was sticking almost straight up in the back. He had a few small love bites along his neck and shoulders. Spike loved to drag his tongue along the boy’s neck and feel the strong pulse and muscles beneath the skin. The boy tasted wonderful. He watched the large, calloused hands as they picked up the milk and the Pop Tarts in turn, remembering how those hands felt gliding over his skin, the slight roughness and the greedy, grasping touch driving him wild. Made him feel desired and needed.

Xander got up again and put another pack of the pastries in the toaster, so Spike got another look at his boy’s posterior. Boy had a great arse. Firm, rounded globes just waiting to be clutched. He couldn’t wait to have his boy pounding into him while he held onto those cheeks and felt them clench under his hands with each powerful thrust. He tossed back the rest of the blood. To hell with making it last – he had a luscious boy to shag. Repeatedly.


~*~*~*~*~


Xander watched as Spike tilted his head back to down the rest of the blood. He was really glad he’d been able to get the human for him. Then his thoughts were distracted. He couldn’t take his eyes from the ivory column of Spike’s neck, marred only by several already-fading hickies, as Spike swallowed. His eyes followed the bobbing Adam’s apple and gave him the desire to lick on it, trace the cords of the neck and give his vamp a few more hickies to add to the collection. His eyes drifted down to the well-defined chest in front of him as he sat back down with his food. Those tiny nipples. A small, whimpery sound escaped his throat. Oh, how he wanted to drag his tongue over those miniscule bits of flesh and feel them pebble and tighten under his tongue. He wondered how swollen he could get them if he really, really worked at it.

Spike put the mug down, reached over, and clasped Xander’s hand, caressing the top of it with his thumb. He pursed his lips slightly, tilted his chin down and gave Xander the ‘I’m so bad, but I’m gonna be so good to you’ look. “So, luv. What’s say we take a quick shower and fool around a bit?” He paused and twitched his scarred eyebrow for emphasis before curling his tongue up to touch his top front teeth and adding, “I seem ta remember some hot bloke promising to bend me over the furniture a few hours ago.”

Oh, hell, yeah. Xander’s eyes grew wide and he wolfed down the rest of his breakfast, gulped down the milk, and dragged the sexy blond into the bathroom.

Quite awhile later, they were both squeaky clean, the shower curtain had died a painful and violent death, and they had both found out that using body wash for lube was not a good idea. Although, the foam coming out of Spike’s ass had been funny…to Xander, anyway.

The next event, after the foam removal, involved a pillow to prevent dangly-bit discomfort and the kitchen table. Xander discovered that bending Spike over the table while he sat in a chair brought that spectacular ass to just the right height for a long, leisurely exploration. He nipped one of the alabaster cheeks before spelunking into the cool cavern with his tongue.

Spike gasped as he was spread out on the end of the table. He knew it would come in handy. “Bloody hell, luv. Y-you just get better ‘n better at this.” He grasped the sides of the table and thrust against the soft cotton cover of the pillow. Xander brought his big, strong hand down in a hearty slap on Spike’s right cheek before rubbing the spot to soothe the sting.

“Uh, uh, uh,” he singsonged. “Stay right there.” Spike grinned an evil grin and began to thrust in earnest. He was rewarded by a several hearty slaps in succession.

“I told you to stop moving,” Xander reprimanded, bringing his hand down for another smack. “And, I’ve been reading up. Anya did supply all that helpful reading material.” He pulled apart the pale globes again, pressing his thumbs at either side of the winking pucker and dove back in with this tongue. Spike was overwhelmed by the sensation of Xander’s slick tongue and the stubble from his unshaven face rubbing against the sensitive skin of his arse. By the time they were finished, Spike had come twice, felt like he had rug burn on his backside, and Xander felt like he had lock-jaw.

They decided to give Xander’s jaw a break, so Spike got bent over the kitchen counter…and the couch. Finally, they returned to their old friend the kitchen table, this time with Spike on his back displaying himself and his flexibility to its best possible effect while he reached behind Xander to grasp at the boy’s clenching buttocks. By the time dawn broke on the other side of the black-out blinds, they were both laying in the middle of the living room floor, panting.

“So, Sweetmeat. What’s next?” Spike asked as he trailed a fingertip up the soft, sensitive skin of his boy’s inner arm.

Xander turned his head towards Spike with an incredulous look on his face. Spike was looking at Xander’s spent dick like it was the last Twinkie on the planet and he was starving. “You must be kidding,” came out of his mouth, very muffled, though. Sounded more like, “Ooo uh ee iddin.” His jaw still hurt. His dick was kinda sore, too. Even his balls, since they had spent the better part of two hours slapping against Spike’s ass and thighs.


~*~*~*~*~


Spike brought his eyes up from Xander’s groin and took in the boy’s exhausted expression. His hungry gaze softened. “How’s about a nice, long soak in the tub? Hmm? Since we slayed the shower curtain.”

Xander’s facial expression relaxed into relief and he nodded. Spike stood up, feeling the last load of spunk slide out and down his thighs to join the previous deposits. Yeah, a bath was definitely a capital idea. He took a look around the apartment and mused about the best way to get jizz out of the upholstery. Carpet, too. He briefly contemplated plastic slipcovers as he reached down and helped his boy up. He held the warm body against his for a couple minutes while he ran his hands up and down Xander’s back and kissed his neck. Xander snuggled into the cool embrace and nuzzled Spike’s neck, smoothing his lips over the new, purple love-bites there.

They returned to the much-abused bathroom hand in hand, and realized, to their extreme consternation, that there was no way on god’s green earth that the both of them could fit in the damned tub, unless they both sat with their knees against their chins and one of them had a spigot jammed into his back. Not conducive to a relaxing soak. Spike quickly rinsed the drying semen from his backside with the showerhead, being careful to not splash water all over the floor. Wouldn’t do to have his boy slip, now would it? He settled Xander into the tub while he filled it with hot, soothing water. Xander was too worn out to protest and insisted that Spike should go first, so he acquiesced and let Spike play cruise director.

Spike settled on the toilet lid next to Xander and leaned over to massage his neck, shoulders, and jaw. Xander groaned and grunted in relaxation and pleasure, his neck arching wantonly into the contact, making Spike’s dick twitch in response, but just a bit. Truth be told, Spike was rather ragged-out himself. Never had expected his boy to be able to go so long and for so many times. Guess he had the demon bint to thank for that, along with all the sexual, step-by-step instructions. Definitely enjoyed those. He felt the muscles relax under his hands. He leaned over further and wound his arms around Xander’s chest and rested his head on top of his boy’s. “Gonna take right good care of you, I am, Xan. Yeah.” He turned his cheek and placed a kiss on the boy’s damp forehead.

“Love you, Spike,” Xander replied sleepily and he brought Spike’s hand up to his mouth and kissed the palm. They held each other for a few minutes, until Spike reluctantly pulled away.

“Be right back, luv.” He went in the kitchen and got a big plastic glass and returned to the bathroom. He turned the hot water on a bit to warm it up some more before returning to his perch on the porcelain throne. “Sit up a bit and I’ll wash your hair.”

Xander sat up and Spike used the big tumbler to sluice water over the boy’s brown locks. He loved washing his lover’s hair. Had washed Dru’s all the time, in fact. But washing the boy’s shorter hair and feeling his fingertips massage over the warm scalp was much better. Also, not having to hear about the bloody stars and that it was Miss Edith’s turn to have her hair washed next was a big improvement. He sighed a bit as he dragged his fingers through the boy’s hair gently. He was satisfied, content doing things like this, things for the one he loved. Loved feeling needed. Bloody addicted to it. And this time it was better. This time it was reciprocated.

He attended to Xander until the boy was like a limp noodle way past al
dente. He drained the tub and reached in, picked the boy up and set him up on
the bathmat.

“Hey!”

“Hush, Sweetness. You’ve taken damned good care ‘o me the past few hours. Let me return the favor.”

Xander was so tired his eyes began to droop of their own accord. “Okay,” he said with a jaw-popping yawn.

He dried off his boy, took him to the bed, and tucked him in. Xander reached out and grabbed his hand. “I’ll be in, in a bit, pet,” he said as he kissed the warm hand gently before tucking it back under the coverlet.

Xander nodded, more than halfway asleep already. Spike reached down and smoothed an errant curl away from Xander’s forehead. His heart felt full to bursting. He had fallen so fast, and so hard. Even for him. He felt overwhelmed by emotion; love, desire, need…fear. Fear that he would lose what he had so recently found. Fear that something would happen…that he would do something wrong. That he would get hurt again, or that he would hurt Xander. No. No one would be allowed to hurt his boy. Never.

Spike heard Xander’s breathing even out and his heartbeat slow into sleep. He gently ran his fingers through Xander’s damp, messy hair one more time before he got up and stepped back into the bathroom. He took a quick bath and then decided to tidy up the flat a bit. The pillow they had used in the kitchen definitely had to go through the wash. Maybe twice. But right now, he just wanted to cuddle up with his boy and get a few more hours kip. So he returned to the bedroom, slipped under the covers and snuggled up against his Xander. Xander responded by rolling over and spooning the blond before wrapping a strong arm around his chest.





Part Two

They got up in the afternoon and put on some sweats and t-shirts and decided to just lounge around and watch T.V., perhaps a little snuggle ‘n snog.

Spike noticed the blood-crusted mug he’d missed earlier and put it into the sink to soak. Xander noticed where Spike was and said, “By the way, don’t try to use the disposal.” At Spike’s questioning look he continued, “Let’s just say I found out that stuffing a pair of hose and a garter belt down it was not a good idea.” He shrugged. “What can I say? So not a rocket-scientist here, and hey, I was pissed at the time. Um…pissed angry, not pissed drunk.”

“Well, that solves the lingering lingerie mystery.”

“Hey, do you wanna stop by your crypt and pick up some of your things tonight? I don’t think we can bring everything back tonight, but we can get clothes ‘n stuff.”

“Sure, luv.”

“Cool. We definitely have to get a new shower curtain. Maybe two? Ya know, have one as a backup? I have a feeling they’re gonna be dying like cannon fodder. Oh! Hungry? I can order a pizza.” At the disgusted look on Spike’s face, he asked, “What?”

“Luv, have you ever seen me eat pizza?” Spike said in an uncharacteristically patient tone.

“We order it all the time.”

“Yeah, but have you ever seen me eat it?”

Xander thought about it for a moment. “Well, no, I guess not. Why? Don’t ya like it?”

“It’s got garlic on it.”

“Nuh uh. I never order it with garlic.” Xander shook his head for emphasis.

“There’s garlic in the sauce, pet. Sometimes even garlic on the crust. It’s
bloody Italian. It’s all got garlic in it.”

“Really? I’m sorry, Spike. I didn’t realize. I guess the Xan-man’s gonna be eating a lot less pizza.”

Spike looked contrite – it was a new look for him. The boy did love his pizza. “That’s okay, Xan. You order what you like. I’ve got that nice, nummy human blood in the fridge to snack on, thanks to you. Just remember to brush your teeth before we snog. Your kisses get me hot, but I definitely don’t want to start burnin’.”

Xander’s eyes got wide. “You’re that sensitive? Damn, I’m sorry, Spike.
And, no, I’m not bringing any garlic-filled nastiness into our home. There’s
a deli down the street that delivers, I’m sure they have some nice, garlic-free
sandwiches.”

“But, Xan, I know you like…”

“Yep. Like the pizza. Love you. Now, whatcha want on your sandwich, hot stuff?”


They spent the next thirty minutes making out on the couch while waiting for their food to arrive. Both really appreciating the fact that neither one of them had bothered with underwear. No major naughty-touching, just deep kissing and butt-groping. Xander forgot how much fun just making out was, and god, could Spike kiss. When the food finally got there, their hair was a mess and their lips were swollen. They were rather pissed at the interruption when the delivery boy knocked at the door.

Xander reluctantly got up and answered the knock and the yelled, ‘Milo’s Munchies’.

The pimply-faced, teenaged boy at the door looked profoundly bored, as only a teenaged boy could. He nodded in Xander’s general direction. “Hey, man. That’s two Milo’s Mountain roast beef subs with sharp cheddar and extra creamy horseradish sauce, no garlic dill pickles, and a king-size order of Kettle Krunchers chips. Seventeen ninety-five, man.”

“Thanks, er...” Xander said, pausing as he read the boy’s nametag. “Todd. Keep the change,” he added, as he peeled off a twenty and handed the boy another five bucks. Kind of a big tip for a delivery but he remembered having, and losing, many a thankless job like that one.

The size of the tip sparked the kid’s interest. “Thanks, man! And remember, Milo’s makes the most magnificent munchies!” Xander smiled at the acne-challenged kid and closed the door.

They sat on the couch and ate, Spike occasionally dunking bits of his sandwich in his blood, which, oddly enough, didn’t really seem to bother Xander that much anymore. Xander turned the T.V. on, and they watched it half-heartedly while they crunched their chips. After they ate, Xander cleared away the garbage and returned with a couple packs of Twinkies. Spike gamely opened his pack and tried one.

“Oi, Xan. What are in these bloody things, anyway?” He grimaced at the taste as the gooey snack cake left a funky coating on his teeth.

“Nothing resembling real food. Mostly chemicals beginning with poly, mono, or diglyceride.”

Spike set his aside and thrust his tongue against his teeth and palate as he tried in vain to dislodge the chemical film in his mouth. “Why do you eat the bloody things, then?”

Xander looked at Spike like he sprouted tentacles. “’Cause they taste great, and hey, cream filling!” He swooped down and polished off Spike’s Twinkies, too.

After he finished wolfing down the artificially flavored, ultra-processed, pseudo dessert, Xander reached over, grabbed Spike and kissed him. Twinkies may be repulsive, but Twinkie-flavored Xander wasn’t half bad. They kissed, and cuddled, and talked about everything and nothing.

“So, I was your very first guy?” Xander asked while holding Spike against his chest and running his fingers through the ungelled locks, paying little attention to the muted television in front of them.

Spike lay with his head on Xander’s chest, listening to his boy’s voice resonate through the broad, muscled chest while hearing and feeling his heartbeat under his fingertips. “Yeah. Well, except for that one time with Angel.”

Xander stopped his fingers and stiffened. “Angel?”

“T’was nothing. Bloody tosser had a roving eye, he did. Kept trying to get a leg over. Never would let ‘em though.”

Xander relaxed and commenced carding his fingers through Spike’s hair. “So, Deadboy had the hots for you, huh?”

Spike chuckled at the nickname. “Never did like the stupid sod. Kept trying to take Dru away, and succeeded most of the time. Not like I’d look twice at the bog-trotter, anyway.”

“But you said ‘that one time with Angel’.”

“Well, a couple years before he snacked on the gypsy, we went to a big, hoity-toity party, got rip-roaring drunk, ate all the guests, and generally had a fucking wonderful time…”

“Less gory, more story.”

“Ooo. M’ boy’s jealous,” Spike said, pleased with his boy’s reaction as he smiled against Xander’s chest.

“I just don’t like to think of you with another guy, but especially that sanctimonious, pompous dick-head.”

“Big words, pet. Calendar again?” The boy did seem to get some use out of that word-a-day calendar that Red got him as a ‘coming out’ present.

“Yeah, and don’t get off-subject,” Xander said, tugging at a blond lock. “Alcohol, dead bodies, yada, yada.”

“Right then. To make a not-so-long story bloody short, I thought, ‘what the hell’ and snogged the bastard.”

“That’s it?”

“Absolutely. Had a tongue like a camel, he did. Bloody disgusting."

“Eww. Well, there’s another reason for me to dislike him. I know he saved my life when Faith tried to kill me, but…”

“When was this, luv?”

“Well, since I’d had sex with Faith…”

“You bedded a slayer?” Spike brought his head up to look at Xander’s face.

Xander grimaced. “Not really. I was pretty much thrown down and attacked. It was a ‘wham, bam, thank you Xan’ kinda night. It was more like a drive-by. Then, when she tried to strangle me…”

“What?” Spike asked, wide-eyed and alarmed.

“I tried to talk her out of… Oh hell, never mind. Deadboy saved my life. I don’t think he did it for me, though. It was always all about Buffy.” Xander’s annoyed tone came through loud and clear.

“Let’s change the subject luv. Enough talk about Paingel and the Slayer.” Spike rubbed his cheek against the soft cotton of Xander’s shirt and sighed in contentment. Another thought crossed his mind. “What happened to the wig ‘n scarf?”

“Horatio wanted to use the wig for a Veronica Lake outfit. Who’s Veronica Lake?”

“Blonde actress in the thirty’s, luv.”

“Oh, anyway that’s what he wanted it for. I didn’t think that you’d want it back. I could ask Horatio…”

Spike waved off that suggestion. “Nah, luv. Poof’s welcome to it. I figure it’s your turn to dress up next anyway, and I see you as more of a brunette.”

“Don’t call Horatio a poof. He’s a nice guy, Spike. And I am so not dressing in drag.”

“I call Angel a poof all the time.” Spike chose to ignore the last part of Xan’s statement. He had his ways, he did.

“Yeah, well I don’t like Angel. Liking him less and less actually, every time you take a stroll down memory lane.”

“Aww, pet. You hate Angel more because of me? Gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling, it does.”

“That warm fuzzy feeling is the sweatpants against your bare ass, Spike. Anyway, we’re the poofs now, too, ya know.”

“Does this mean we’re going to be arsing about with all the other little fudge-packing friends of Dorothy?”

“Occasionally, and don’t call them that! The PC term is gay, Spike.”

“When have you ever noticed me giving a flying fuck about what’s PC, luv?”

Xander gave in and sighed, “Ya gotta point there, blondie...Hey! What about ‘Blondie Bear’ for a pet name? An oldie but a goodie!”

Spike gave him 'the look'. “Not if you want to keep all your parts.”

“Oookay. Scratching Blondie Bear. The pet name has joined the choir eternal. It is pushing up the daisies. It is an ex-pet name.” He gave the former Blondie Bear a crooked smile.

“Well, it’s not bleedin’ pining for the fjord.” He snuggled in further.

“Spike? Um, while we’re talking about the whole pet name thing and since, well, I let you veto Blondie Bear, could you possibly call me something else besides Sweetmeat?” Xander asked, clearly uncomfortable with bringing it up.

“What? Don’t like it?”

“Well…it’s not that I don’t like it.” Xander paused for a moment, thinking.
“I just don’t, um, like it.”

“Why not?” Spike actually looked a bit perplexed.

“It’s kind of, uh, what’s the word? Smarmy?”

“Well then,” Spike began while he scooted so he could pull up Xander’s shirt. “What about Sweet?” He dipped the tip of his tongue into Xander’s navel and felt the boy tremble beneath him. “You taste sweet.” He placed a sucking kiss on his boy’s abdomen and worked his way up Xander’s chest. “Smell sweet,” he said, breathing deep. Xander’s own breathing began to pick up and he began to make little grunty-whimpery noises. Spike’s lips turned up in a wicked grin at the sound. “Sound sweet.” Spike’s mouth found Xander’s collarbone and latched on, sucking blood to the surface.

Xander made a noise which, roughly translated, was something like “Oh, god.” Xander spread his legs to let Spike lay between them and bucked up against the wonderful sensation of friction.

“Feel sweet, lying under me.”

Xander reached up and grabbed the back of Spike’s head and drew it toward his for a needy kiss. They lay that way for awhile, kissing and thrusting slowly against one another. Xander’s warm hand found its way back into Spike’s sweatpants and his rough finger gently trailed along the cool crevasse. Spike cried out softly and latched onto Xander’s left nipple. After they tumbled after each other into a gentle, satisfying orgasm, “So, Xan, what do you think?”

“Think?”

“About the pet name business?”

“There’s a business?”

Spike chuckled and Xander could feel the vibrations pass from his lover’s chest to his own. “Oh. Yeah. Sweet. That’s okay. Even Sweetness and Sweetheart are fine. Kinda nice, actually.”

“Right, then, Sweetness.” He snuggled back down and took a deep breath drawing in the sweet scent of his boy and their recent activities.

Xander grinned a little goofily. He was someone’s Sweetness. He’d never had anyone get sappy-romantic with him and was pleasantly surprised that the sappy romantic was Spike. Who’d a thunk it? He twined his fingers through the curling hair at the nape of Spike’s neck.

Spike sighed in contentment. “Why didn’t we get together before this, luv?”

“’Cause nothing says ‘let’s get together’ like concussing someone with lab equipment and threatening their best friend with evisceration via bottle?”

“You’ve got a point there, Xan.”

“We weren’t ready. Now we are. Hey, look.” He gestured towards the television. “The Addams Family. I like this show.”

“It’s bloody old.”

“So’s my boyfriend.”

“Right.” Spike grinned at the title of ‘boyfriend’.

“I always liked Gomez. Thought he was cool. Ya know, with the ‘Tish! That’s French’?”

“Definitely had joie de vivre, huh, Sweetness?”

“Why Spike! That’s French!” Xander exclaimed, rolled on top, grabbed Spike’s arm, and began to kiss his way up. Spike laughed, and began to say every French word he could think of. After Xander had kissed his way up both arms and both sides of Spike’s neck, he gave him a soft, sweet kiss on his lips. He loved the sound of Spike’s laugh, and wanted to hear more of it. He scootched down and wrapped his arms around Spike’s torso and hugged him hard. “Love you, baby. So much. Guess we better get goin’, huh? Burning moonlight here.”

Spike didn’t want to get up. He just wanted to stay here with his boy wrapped around him. He sighed again. “Alright luv. A nice, romantic stroll through the cemetery sounds like just the thing.”

Xander reached over, grabbed the remote, and turned off the T.V.





Part Three

They were holding hands and walking trough the cemetery, stopping every so often to have a quick snog against a mausoleum or a grope against a tree when the demons appeared.

The shark demon stepped from behind a large crypt. Xander took one look, blinked, and said, "Spike? We're gonna need a bigger boat."

Spike went for nonchalance. He pulled out his Zippo and a cigarette and lit up, not even acknowledging the demons' presence.

"So, Mr. Spike," the loan shark began, his shiny suit catching the meager light. "The reports I heard are true. I see you've switched sides…so to speak." He stood in their way, flanked by two fledges in cheap, polyester suits.

"Bloody hell. Now what?"

"There's still the matter of those kittens, Mr. Spike." The demon's dead, shark eyes blinked.

"You'll be paid, you tosser. I told you." He flicked ash on the nearest fledge's shoe.

The shark stepped forward, his hands spread apart in a placating gesture. "Now, now. I'm sure we can come to an agreement. The boy does look somewhat succulent, and if you're finished with him…"

Spike shoved Xander behind him, got in fighting stance, and growled low and threateningly. "Look, you cretinous arsewipe. You so much as look at my boy and they'll be nothin' left of you but chum."

The shark backed off. "Of course, Mr. Spike. I'm sure we can come to a…mutually lucrative agreement. I'll be in touch." The demons backed away and left.

"A loan shark demon, Spike? Wow, that's specialized," Xander commented.

"Don't mind him, Sweetness. I'll handle the riff-raff."

The loan shark and his minions paused behind a nearby crypt. "Keep a watch on the human. That's his weak spot. I want to know what the human does, who he sees, everything. Hire other humans to keep tabs on him during the day. We'll get to William the Bloody through his human." The minions nodded and walked away. The demon's toothy grin stretched wider.


~*~*~*~*~


They continued to Spike's crypt a little more subdued than before. Spike worrying about the demon's interest in Xander and Xander worried about Spike's debt. As they approached the crypt, Xander's hand went out and took Spike's, squeezing it gently. Spike brought their joined hands up to his lips and softly kissed Xander's knuckles.

The vampire dropped his boy's hand, opened his crypt door, and stepped in. Xander followed. Spike started to sort through his stuff as they chatted about this and that. Anything except the shark demon and the debt. Spike realized that there really wasn't much up top that he wanted. He led Xander into the lower chamber.

Xander climbed down the rickety ladder and looked around. He whistled lowly, obviously impressed. "Wow Spike. You've really worked on this place. Nice bed."

"Thanks. Don't rightly need it now."

"Wouldn't say that. You are kinda rough on furniture. Maybe we should take the frame back, just in case."

Spike rolled his eyes. "Alright, pet. But not tonight, eh?"

"Oh, no. I'll have to borrow a truck for it. We can take any of the big stuff you want then, okay?"

"Sure, luv." Spike looked around and picked up a few things; clothes, a couple nick-knacks, and a few books, and put them in a duffle bag.

The worry about the demon was eating away at Xander. Never one to hold anything back, he blurted out, "Spike. We have to talk about the loan shark. We can't just ignore it! What do you want to do? Blow it up with an oxygen tank like Roy Scheider?"

"I thought he electrocuted it with a bloody huge cable."

"Nah. That was Jaws 2…or 3, I can't remember. And don't change the subject! How much do you owe him?"

"You sure, luv?"

"Spike!"

Spike sighed and resigned himself to the fact that he couldn't avoid the conversation. He flopped himself down on the bed. "Forty Siamese kittens."

"Huh?"

"Forty Siam…"

"Oh, I heard what you said. I'm just trying to absorb it. That's a whole lotta pussy, Spike. What in the hell do they want with kittens?"

"Bit of a delicacy, Xan."

"They eat them? Gross, much? I mean ittle bitty fuzzy balls of cuteness? We can't give Jabberjaw kittens! Won't they take something else? Fish sticks or something? Couple gallon-sized jugs of tartar sauce along with? Look, I've got some money saved and I took Anya's ring back to the store..."

"I'm not takin' your money, Xan," Spike replied, his jaw set. "I know how to handle the demons, alright?"

"Yeah, okay, but…"

"I'll deal with it," he said, cutting Xander off.

"Can you do it without the whole kit and caboodle?"

"I suppose."

"'Cause that would be a cat-astrophy."

Spike rolled his eyes and stood.

Xander continued, "We wouldn't want to pussyfoot around them forever." He poked Spike in his side. "It could cause a cat-aclysmic event." Spike cracked a tentative smile. Xander added, "You wouldn't want to be charged with a feline-eous assault."

Spike's smile widened. "That last one was a bit of a stretch there, Xan. Don't worry; I'll suss it out. He's a businessman. We'll do business, then he'll bugger off and swim downstream."

"Okay. I trust you. Just know that I'm here if you need me, right?"

"Right, luv."

Mood once again lifted, they made their way back through the cemetery and to the Magic Box to check in with the girls.


~*~*~*~*~


When the bell jingled, they all looked up. Everyone was there except for Tara, Giles, and Anya. Probably packing or whatnot, Spike thought. And who knows where the blonde witch was.

Buffy spoke first. "There you both are! I think I have something that belongs to you," she said sternly as she got up and stepped into the back room.

"Slayer sounds none too pleased, luv."

Xander just rolled his eyes, walked over to the table, and sat down, pulling Spike onto his lap. When both pairs of hands started to move south, Willow cleared her throat and nodded towards Dawn, who was grinning like the Joker at their PDA.

It was Spike's turn to roll his eyes. He gave Xander a quick buss on the cheek and stood up, wandering around the shop.

Buffy came back in holding what appeared to be a Ziploc baggie at arms length with a pair of tongs. "Here," she said, thrusting them at Spike. "I think these are yours since you guys were the only ones back there last night. And…ewww."

Spike arched an eyebrow and took the baggie from between the tongs. He examined the contents. "Hey! Look here, Xander."

"Hey Buff, what's with the bagging and tagging of the underwear? Waiting to release them into their natural habitat?"

Buffy glared at Xander and snapped the tongs at him. "That'll be enough outta you, mister. Retrieving panties off the floor of the training room was so not in my job description."

"Giles gave you a job description?"

"No. Anya did. It's thirty-two pages long and has diagrams and scenarios. It's deeply frightening."

"Where is the ex-demon bint anyway?"

Dawn piped up. "They'll be here soon. They went out to have a romantic dinner or something. So, you and Spike are together now, huh?"

"Yeah, Dawnster. You okay with that?"

"Totally." She turned to Spike. "So Spike, did you, like, 'boldly go where no man has gone before'?"

"Nibblet!"

"Dawn!"

"What?"

"That was evil, pet. I'm so proud."

Dawn preened. "Thanks, Spike. But you didn't answer my question."

"Not gonna, either, Bit."

"So it's official now, Xander?" Willow asked shyly.

"Yep. After Anya, I thought my next relationship should be a study in moderation." At everyone' puzzled looks he began to explain. "He's less rude than Cordelia…"

Willow and Buffy gave him a 'you must be kidding' look.

"Less psychotic than Faith…"

"Oi!"

Xander placatingly held his thumb and forefinger apart a scant inch. "Just a bit. And he embarrasses me less than Anya."

"Yeah. 'Cept I got a dick."

"Well, maybe not that last one."

The bell jangled as Giles and Anya walked in, holding hands and smiling. "Oh, hello Xander. Frightfully good to see you," Giles said in an uncharacteristically good humor. "Spike," he acknowledged with decidedly less cheer.

Dawn piped up again, "Xander and Spike are together now. Isn't that great?"

"That's great, Xander!" Anya gushed. "Now everyone can have orgasms. Except Buffy, 'cause she's alone. And, well, Willow, because Tara dropped her like a hot rock. And Dawn, since she's too young to have a sexual relationship. Hmmm. Maybe I should get everyone vibrators for Christmas. They'd be great stocking-stuffers."

"Uhhhhh…" Buffy began, unsure how to respond to Anya's gift idea.

"We have news as well," Giles began, a little bit deflated from when he had first come in from the news he had received upon entering. "Darling, why don't you tell everyone?"

Anya shoved out her left hand. "Look! Rupy proposed and I accepted. Isn't it wonderful? It's a whole carat!"

The girls all flocked to look at the ring, chatting excitedly.

"Congratulations, Giles. I know you'll be very happy together," Xander said, genuinely happy for them both. He got up and crossed the room to shake Giles' hand.

Giles looked at him seriously. "Thank you, Xander. I really feel I must speak with you about these sudden developments."

"I'm absolutely okay with you and Anya."

"It's about Spike, actually."

Spike's eyes narrowed. "I'm in the bloody room ya know, Watcher."

"Thank you Spike. I am well aware of that," Giles commented with a steely edge to his voice, not bothering to look at Spike while he waved his hand in a dismissive manner.

Spike got very anxious. Everyone else had taken their new relationship relatively well. Even the Slayer. And hadn't that been a bloody kick in the head? But the Watcher…he was one to worry about. He met Xander's eyes.

"Pet?"

Xander motioned him over and Spike practically sprinted to be next to him. Xander hugged him and whispered in his hear, "It's okay. Just give us a few minutes. It'll be fine, I promise." He kissed Spike on his ear and released him.

"Right, then. I'll be out back havin' a smoke. Be back in a few minutes." He looked at Giles pointedly.

Giles returned the look, unblinking.

After a moment, Spike turned, swirling the duster around himself, and stalked out the back. Willow slipped away, unnoticed by the others, and followed Spike out. Xander and Giles moved over by the counter to get a measure of privacy.

"Xander. Why Spike? He's a vampire. He is dead. Surely that cannot be what you want, what you need?"

Xander looked Giles in the eye, but didn't say anything, so Giles continued. "I want you to know that, despite all appearances to the contrary when we were under that spell, I do not harbor any ill feelings towards homosexuality. It seems as though, no matter the circumstance, Spike tends to bring out the worst in me." He paused and took a fortifying breath. "If you believe that you need to be with a man, then of course, I will support your decision. However, I cannot bring myself to support this…this, situation you seem to have with Spike."

Xander took a deep breath and stood up straight. "Giles. I respect you. I do. And I know you want what you think is best for me. But somehow, I fell for Spike. Really fell for him. I love him."

Giles appeared startled at this revelation and opened his mouth to speak. Xander held up his hand to hold off the comment and continued, "I know what he is. I know it's probably not the best thing for me. But I need him. The very thought of not having him makes me feel like someone has kicked me in the gut and knocked all the air out of me. I think…I think that I've had feelings for him for a long time and just not known or understood what they were. Repression thy name is Xander. But they're here and they're real. And no one and nothing is going to make me give him up."

"Xander…" Giles began, sounding world-weary as he took off his glasses and rubbed at his eyes.

"I know you don't think this is right. I'm just asking you to be my friend and let me live my life. Return the favor, G-man." Xander looked toward Anya to make his point.

Giles sighed. "I do believe you are making a rather spectacular error, but I will refrain from further comment. Just know that I will be there for you should you ever need me to be. I do care for you, Xander. You have become a fine young man and I do not want to see you suffer needlessly." Giles reached over and clasped Xander's arm.

"Thanks, Giles. It'll be okay. For both of us. You'll see."

Giles released the young man's arm and gave a half-hearted grin that blossomed into a full-blown smile as he looked over at his darling Anya.





Part Four

Spike was already puffing away when he heard Willow come out. He took one last drag and flicked the cigarette away into the alley. Willow watched the cherry of the cigarette arch in the night air and hiss out as it hit a puddle on the pavement.

“Time for the infamous shovel-talk, eh, Red?” He whirled around and pinned her with a look. He stalked towards her and shoved her against the wall, his teeth clenched from the twinge the chip gave him. Willow opened her mouth to speak and he interrupted her. “Save it, witch. ‘Cause you know what? Xander is mine. I bloody well love the boy. And no one and nothin’ is gonna touch him. You do any of your mojo again ‘n hurt him and the last sodding thing you’ll see is me beatin’ you ta death with a shovel! Don’t care if the fucking chip makes my bleedin’ head explode. Got that, Red?” He gave her another light shove against the wall and stepped back.

He lit up another cigarette; his palm cupped around the lighter against the light breeze, and spoke again, talking around the filter in his mouth. “By the way, same goes for the Nibblet. I promised to protect her, even if it’s from you.”

Willow’s mouth gaped open like a fish. Then, she threw herself forward and gripped Spike around the chest hugging him hard and crying.

Spike was gobsmacked. He grabbed the cigarette hanging from his lips and held his arms out away from her as though fearing contamination. The chit was holding on for dear life and was cryin’ hysterically. He rolled his eyes and patted her back awkwardly. “There, there. No need ta get all worked up. Have no plans to kill you any time soon.”

She began to speak into his chest but it was muffled from his shirt and all the crying.

“What’s that?”

She pulled back so he could hear her and sniffled. “Thank you, Spike. Thank you for loving him and taking care of him and being there for him when I messed up so badly. I only want the best for Xander and if you are what’s best for him then I’ll support you one-hundred-and-ten-percent!” She pinned him with a look of her own and continued, “But same goes for you, Spike. You hurt him and we’ll see just how badly a chipped vampire fares against an off-the-wagon witch. So, keep your undead patootie in line, mister.” She poked him in the chest for emphasis and nodded in affirmation before throwing herself against him and hugging him again.

That was shocking enough, but what really done him in is when she went up on tip-toe and kissed him on the cheek. “Thanks, Spike,” she repeated softly before she sniffled again and walked back inside.

Women. Thank all that was unholy he was a poofter now. Blokes were a lot easier to deal with. His bloke. Xander. He took one last drag, flicked the cigarette away, grinned, and stepped inside to be with his boy. Everyone was sitting around the table chatting. Willow looked at him knowingly. Right unnerving, that one. He turned his attention to the group.

“And then we’re going to Paris for our honeymoon! Isn’t that romantic?” Anya gushed.

“Gonna go up the Eiffel Tower, pet?”

Xander couldn’t help himself. “Spike! That’s French!” He got up from his seat, launched himself at Spike, and began to kiss his way up the vampire’s arm.

Spike giggled.

Everyone else froze in place, their jaws dropping to the table.

Spike slipped back into his big bad persona. “What?” he demanded defiantly.

“You giggled,” Dawn stated in wonder. Everyone else nodded in agreement, jaws still slack.

“Did not.”


“Did too.”

“Didn’t.”

“Did too, did too, did too!”

“I bloody well did not!

“’Fess up, Spike. You so did,” Buffy added with a smirk on her face.

“I don’t have to confess anything. I’m evil, remember?”

Everyone rolled their eyes and went back to their conversation. Huh. Synchronized eye-rolling. A new soddin’ Olympic event. Spike was just glad he was no longer the center of attention. He gave Xander a look that promised punishment when they got home. Xander smiled, reached under the duster, and pinched Spike’s denim-clad ass. Spike jumped slightly, turned, arched his eyebrow at his boy, and slid into a vacant chair. Xander sat in the one next to him, reached over, and held Spike’s hand under the table, caressing the cool, silky palm with his callous-rough thumb.

Bloody hell. More talk about fucking France. Sick of it, he was. Brought back unpleasant memories of that bint Harmony. “Only one thing wrong with soddin’ France. All the bloody frogs.”

Willow jumped in her seat. “Frogs?” she asked, alarmed. “Sorry. I have frog-fear.”

Xander smiled at her and turned to his boyfriend. “Okay, Spike. I’ve lived on the hellmouth too long. Frogs?”

“’S what we Brits call the French, luv.”

“Oh. Okay. Hey. All this talk about the French. I want some fries. Ya ready, Spike? Let’s hit the Doublemeat; they’re open late.”

“Right, luv. Let’s go then.”

Xander got up, still holding Spike’s hand. “Goodnight, everyone. Congrats Anya. You too, G-man.”

Anya smiled while Giles nodded distractedly and gazed with obvious discomfort at their joined hands as the two left.


~*~*~*~*~


One super-size fry and a dead old-lady-snakey demon later, and they were en route to Wal-Mart.


“Okay, a-shower-curtain-buyin’ we go,” Xander said as he swung out of the car. When Spike didn’t open his door to get out, Xander ducked down and peeked in at him.


“I’m not going in there.” Spike sat with his arms crossed and glared at him.

“Why not?”

Spike looked at him like he’d just announced that Dolly Parton and Johnny Rotten had a love child. “It’s Wal-Mart, Xander,” he said, as though talking to a four-year old.

“Well, I guess I’ll just have to go in by myself. Even though it’s late at night and we’re on a hellmouth. I’m sure only nice, upstanding, human citizens shop at Wal-Mart. It’s brightly lit. I’m sure I’ll be perfectly safe going in there. Alone. Without you.”

Spike’s look said he was not amused. “Fine. I’m comin’. But I’m doing it under protest.”

Xander nodded. “Right. Under protest. Check.”

Luckily, Spike didn’t see the self-satisfied grin on Xander’s face while he got up and closed the car door. Xander felt kind of proud of himself. His first blatant, induced guilt trip visited upon his honey. He managed to restrain himself from doing an impromptu Snoopy dance, but only just.

The Wal-Mart greeter, who looked like an apple doll in an Eva Gabor wig, put a smiley face sticker on the lapel of Spike’s duster when they walked in. He growled at her. Xander swallowed a chuckle and greeted the greeter. “Hi, Myrtle. How are you tonight?”

“Just fine, young man. Thank you. Thanks for shopping Wal-Mart!” Myrtle smiled widely displaying her loose dentures to their best advantage.

Xander smiled back and grabbed a cart. He noticed something after pushing it out into the aisle. “Geez, Spike. These fluorescent lights make you look really pale. Like cadaver pale.”

Spike again arched an eyebrow in his general direction. He was absolutely not happy about this. Big bads did not loiter about Wal-Mart. It was…unseemly.

“Um…right. So shower curtains, shower curtains, where or where are the shower curtains?” Xander sing-songed as they wheeled the cart down the aisle. “Ooo. Look! Ho-Hos are on special.” He tossed a box in the cart as they paused by the ‘Watch for falling prices’ cardboard cutout.

“Those any better than those twiggies?”

“Twiggies? Oh, you mean Twinkies. These are chocolate-flavored with a chocolate-flavored coating on the outside. Way different.”

Spike snorted.

“Hey! Do not blaspheme against the holy trinity!”

“Holy trinity?”

Xander nodded solemnly. “Yeah. Dolly Madison, Little Debbie, and Hostess.”

Spike just looked at him and wondered who the bloody hell were these Dolly and Debbie bints he was talking about. And hostess? What the…oh, sod it. Spike nodded back in agreement. “Right.” He walked along with Xander as they continued through the store. Xander kept tossing various genuine-imitation foodstuffs and other assorted crap into the cart as they went through the overly-lit, cavernously-huge store. “I thought we were just gettin’ a shower curtain, pet.”

Xander turned a shocked expression towards Spike. “But this is Wal-Mart! You have to make every trip count to make sure you save as much money as possible.”

“How is filling your cart with assorted twaddle when all we came here for is a bloody shower curtain saving you money?”

Xander seemed to mull this over for a moment before giving in. “You just do.” Spike was contemplating the certainty that Sam Walton must have been some sort of demon, when the cart finally came to rest next to the shower curtains.

Thirty minutes, one four-hundred and fifty pound polyester and spandex-wearing bint, two unidentifiable demons (or really ugly men), three screaming rugrats, and four illegal aliens later and they were finally checking out. Spike suspected he now knew what Hell was like, if Hell had musak and the demons wore cheap, poly-blend, blue vests. The check-out lady, who was wearing red lipstick, powder-blue eye shadow, and a button proclaiming ‘Ask me about my grandchildren’, peered over her bifocals at the two of them as they held hands. She tisked in disapproval. “That will be eighty-nine dollars and thirty seven cents.”

“Here you go…” Xander handed her his card and looked at her nametag. “Eunice.”

She smiled at him, obviously changing her opinion of Xander, while letting Spike know the jury was still out on him. “Thank you sir, have a pleasant evening.”

They filled up Xander’s trunk. Just before Spike got in, he peeled off the smiley face and slapped it on the BMW next to them, setting off its alarm. He smiled in satisfaction as Xander put the car in gear and they peeled out of the parking lot.

“Do you know everybody in this stinking hellhole?”

Xander turned onto the main road. “Whatcha mean?”

“Eunice, Myrtle, Todd?”

“Oh, that. Just about any job that makes you wear a nametag is a crap job. I’ve had a lot of crap jobs, Spike. Just actually making contact by using their names and treating them like real people makes things a little better and makes them feel a little more appreciated and less invisible. I’ve seen what happens when people become invisible and it doesn’t look pretty…okay, that made no sense, but you know what I mean, right?”

“It’s harder to eat the barnyard animal after you name it, pet.”

“Oookay. Not going there Mr. Slaughterhouse Five. I just want to treat them like I wish I’d been treated when I had jobs like that.”

“Right, pet. Did you actually read ‘Slaughterhouse Five’?

“It was a book, right?”

Well, that certainly answered that question.




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