The Road to Sex, Lies, and Duct Tape


by
Bytemi66



Part Twenty-Five

Xander stroked his fingers up and down the soft skin on the underside of Spike’s forearm before picking up the surprisingly smooth, pale hand to place a kiss in the center of his palm, and finally twining their fingers together to rest on his chest. “Love you, Spike.”

Spike made an ‘mmm’ noise and snuggled in closer, his face snuggled up against Xander’s shoulder.

Xander turned and kissed the top of the tousled curls. Spike was either asleep or darn close to it. They’d spent the last hour or so experimenting with Swiss chocolate and lemon curd. Xander thought lemon curd was too tart but was definitely sweeter when licked off of Spike’s turgid nipples. Really liked playing with the chocolate, though. The smooth, creamy texture of the melted chocolate on his tongue was enhanced by the smooth texture and slightly salty taste of Spike. And sharing the chocolate via deep kissing wasn’t too shabby, either.

After that they took a nice, long shower together. Soapy hands gliding, touching everywhere, their eyes locked in a deep gaze. Slow, deep kisses under the spray. They changed the sheets and slipped between them, cuddling, touching, and loving each other. It had been the kind of love-making that was fun and sweet, slow and sexy. The kind that makes you feel closer to that one person than anyone else. Like you are the only two people in the world.

So why couldn’t he sleep? When he’d been staring into Spike’s eyes, all he wanted to do was talk to him. Pour out everything about the worries and fears about his job. About their reactions about him coming out. About how hurt it made him feel. Xander’s natural tendencies were to talk about everything. Over and over. It’s how he dealt with stuff. Well, except for certain things. Some things, you didn’t talk about...ever. Now, he was hiding something from the very person he most wanted to discuss it with. This wasn’t the first time he felt pangs about keeping something from Spike.

At first, he justified it. It wasn’t lying; he was protecting Spike. He remembered how Spike had reacted when he was injured. He’d seen something in Spike’s eyes he’d never thought he would. Fear. He didn’t want to see it again, not if he could protect him from it. If Spike found out, he’d want to protect him from it. Safeguard him from hurt, from harm…from humans. And that just wasn’t possible. Not for the first time, Xander felt resentment towards the chip.

That chip was both a bane and a blessing. He knew that he probably wouldn’t be alive today if Spike had never had the chip. Spike may have some patience issues, but Xander was certain that eventually Spike would have taken at least some of the Scoobies out. What Spike lacked in patience, he made up for in tenacity. And Xander also knew he – the Zeppo - was the weakest link. So, yeah. Blessing.

But now that he had Spike, he also saw the pain it caused the vampire. It effected how they lived, what they did. It made Spike vulnerable, even more vulnerable than Xander in a way. Xander knew when to high-tail it, to bravely turn around and run screaming for Buffy like a little girl. Spike could easily be beaten into a fine, red paste by a bitchy girl scout with a wiffle bat.

Ever since he realized he loved Spike, not one comment about impotence, bitelessness, or fluffy puppies with bad teeth had slipped past his lips. No ‘Fangless’. No Deadboy, Jr. No more ‘yay’ for the U.S. Government Technology. No more kicking him when he was down. ‘Cause that’s what it was.

He knew that Spike saw the human race as food. He also knew that the Scoobies were off the menu. But would Spike abstain from killing humans without the chip? Did Spike love Xander enough to give it up? Or, did he love Spike enough to make certain…concessions?

Why the hell was he thinking about his now? In the middle of the night? It could be months, years, before the chip came out or stopped working. A lot could happen in a few months, especially on the Hellmouth. He firmly put a clamp on thoughts about exactly what could happen in those few months. No use worrying about things that may or may not happen. He had enough to worry about right now.

Spike still went out at night. Alone. Xander figured he needed ‘demon-time’. He’d been around humans so much; he needed to have time to be the Big Bad. To strut around and kick a little ass. Xander couldn’t help but worry about him. But Spike always came home a few hours before sunrise so he could snuggle up against Xander. Xander never really slept well unless Spike was in bed with him, anyway. Cold feet and all. Although, it was nice that Spike had started to wear socks to bed. Which for some reason, Xander thought was sexy as hell.

Maybe it was just selfish. Yeah. It was selfish of him to want to burden Spike with his silly problems. They guys at the site just needed to get used to the idea. He was the same guy he always was; except now, he had a boyfriend. They’d accept him and everything would be fine. There would be no reason to bother Spike with it. No reason at all.

“Xan? Stop thinking so bloody hard and go to sleep,” Spike’s muffled voice said against his neck.

“Sorry, baby,” he whispered before rolling them both over so Xander could spoon behind him and rub his warm feet against Spike’s cool, sock-clad ones.





Part Twenty-Six

It was an hour after sunset before Spike and Xander made it over to the house on Revello. Since Xander had so much trouble sleeping the night before, Spike had turned off the alarm before it went off, so the boy could get a little extra rest. They let themselves in.

“Hey, Wes, Gunn. Whatcha doin’?”

“Consuming chocolate genitalia. Would you care for one?” Wes answered politely.

“Yeah, man. Take one. They’re cream-filled,” Gunn encouraged.

Spike said under his breath, “They usually are,” while he watched a milk chocolate penis disappear between his lover’s lips.

“Shh. Be quiet,” Dawn admonished them. “The baby’s sleeping.”

When they looked up, they saw Buffy watching Connor cuddle Mr. Gordo in his sleep. A wistful, sad expression was on her face.

“Buff? You okay?” Xander asked quietly.

She gave them a slight smile and nod before turning and going into the kitchen.

“Slayer alright, Bit?” Spike queried.

“I dunno. She’s just been by the playpen all day. Staring. He is cute, isn’t he?”

Before either of the men could answer, there was a knock at the door. Xander stepped over to open it and then shut it quickly in shock after he did. “Um, Spike?”

“Yeah, Luv?”

“Is there such a thing as a Christmas demon?”

“Not that I know of. Why?”

“Uh, ‘cause there’s one at the front door.”

“Xander, precisely what do you mean by ‘Christmas demon’?” Wesley asked.

“Green skin, red eyes, Santa hat, red satin smoking jacket…ring a bell?”

“Man, that’s Lorne. He’s cool. Go ahead and let him in; he’s with us,” Gunn informed him.

“Oh, okay,” Xander said with a shrug as he opened the door again.

“Well, a Merry Christmas to you, too, Cupcake.”

“Sorry.”

Lorne waved at him offhandedly. “No apologies necessary, Sugarplum. I’m parched. Could I trouble you for a Seabreeze?”

“Sorry, we’re not that close to the ocean, and the windows are all closed anyway.”

“Xander, you dork!” Dawn exclaimed kiddingly. “That’s a kind of drink. Didn’t you used to be a bartender?”

“Oh. Sorry again. We’re fresh out, and Dawn, all I ever served was beer…and be-spelled beer at that. I can get you a Coke. Is that okay, Lorne?”

“Sure, Sweetness,” Lorne said, settling himself down into a chair. Xander smiled and nodded, then went into the kitchen to get the drink.

Spike growled. He was the only one who called Xan ‘Sweetness’.

Lorne looked around on the floor. “Do you have a dog?”

“No,” Dawn said smirking. “We have a Spike. Spike – Lorne. Lorne – Spike. I’m Dawn, by the way.” Dawn came forward and offered her hand.

Lorne turned her offered hand to place a kiss on the top of it. “Enchanté, mademoiselle.”

Dawn giggled. Spike growled again.

“Problem, Blondie? Wait. The Spike? William the Bloody?” The green demon gave a low whistle. “After Darla, I’ve made it a point to avoid all of Angelcake’s kin. It’s healthier. I must say, the whole ‘bad boy’ thing is definitely working for you, though. Kudos.”

Dawn picked up the now-awake baby. “Nice to meet you, Lorne. I’m going to take Connor upstairs. Cordy wanted to give him a bath after his nap.”

“The pleasure’s all mine, Pumpkin. Hi, Connor!” Lorne said, giving the baby a silly wave while Connor blew bubbles. He turned around in the chair and watched while Dawn climbed the stairs with her arms full of squirming baby.

“Lorne? Has the situation been resolved?” Wes asked with obvious eagerness, drawing the demon’s attention back into the room.

“Hmm? Oh, sorry. Distracted. That girl has the strangest aura…”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Can we go home?” Gunn asked, cutting the red-eyed demon off mid-thought.

“Absotively posilutely. Apparently the little dumpling could only be used for the spell on the third day after solstice. Why? I have no idea. You’re the research guru. Not me. So, yes, Wes. We can go back to home sweet hotel as soon as you’re ready.”

“Not to be rude or anything, ‘cause it’s nice to meetcha, but why didn’t you just call?” Xander asked while handing Lorne a soft drink brought in from the kitchen.

“Angelkins called late last night. He wanted me to come and read somebody.”

Spike spoke up at that. “Read somebody?”

“I can ‘read’ people when they sing. Ya know, get impressions, insight, possibly a look into the person’s future. That sort of thing.”

“And just who is it that Peaches wants to sing?” Spike asked with obvious irritation.

“Peaches?”

“Captain Hairgel, the Bog-trotting Bastard, the King of Brood, etcetera, etcetera, ad fuckin’ infinitum...you know ‘em as Angel, Kermit.”

“Angel’s last name is Kermit?” Xander asked, puzzled. His attention had been squarely fixed on Spike’s ass.

“Now, now, Billy. Let’s not resort to name-calling.” Lorne waggled his finger at Spike. “And I don’t know who I’m supposed to read. He didn’t tell me. Where is Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Lurking, anyway?”

Xander commented again, “There’s no way that kid isn’t gonna be teased. Connor Kermit? What was Angel thinking?” He shook his head.

Everyone just turned to stare at Xander.

“What? What did I say?”

Spike leaned in and brought Xander up-to-speed by whispering in his ear.

“Oh,” Xander replied, blushing. “Sorry, so not the brightest bulb in the box today.”

“He’s a hell of a shag, though,” Spike commented with a smirk.

Xander’s blush grew even more heated and he drew Spike over to the other armchair and pulled his lover down into his lap, hiding his face against his neck.

“I do believe Angel went on patrol, since last night’s was unsuccessful,” Wes informed Lorne before popping another chocolate in his mouth.

“Whatcha got there, Wes?” Lorne asked, his interest peaked.

“Oh, terribly sorry. Where are my manners? Chocolate penis?” the bespeckled man offered while extending the jar towards the green demon.

Lorne’s eyebrows shot up. “Um, Wes? Forgive me if I’m wrong, Muffin, but you don’t exactly strike me as the chocolate-penis-eating type.”

“They were a Christmas gift. Do try one; they truly are quite tasty,” Wes encouraged while he rattled the half-empty container.

“They’re cream-filled, man,” Gunn contributed.

“Really? Usually, they’re a bit chewy.”

“Chewy?” Xander asked, in a somewhat muffled tone of voice, since his mouth was pressed up against Spike’s neck.

“Well, yeah. Choxuvian demon penises generally are. They’re kinda like big Raisinettes.”

Wes started to choke and Gunn pounded on his back.

“Oh, man! That’s gross! I can’t believe you thought Wes was eating demon dicks!”

“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it,” Xander commented without thinking, since all of his blood was flowing away from his brain.

Spike snickered and wiggled just-so on Xander’s lap. Lorne gave them both an appraising look, and Wes and Gunn just looked shocked.

Xander noticed everyone was staring. “Oops. Sorry, TMI?”

Wes and Gunn nodded in unison. Lorne just smiled.





Part Twenty-Seven

“Xan, Luv?” Spike said, catching his boy’s attention.

Xander raised his head from the pillow on Buffy’s couch. “Hmm?”

“You’re completely knackered, Sweetness. Why don’t I drop you ta home and then I’ll do a patrol?”

“Isn’t Buffy patrolling?” the brunet asked while he rubbed his bleary eyes.

“Don’t think her mind is in the game tonight. I volunteered to do a quick sweep. Give the chit a break. Seeing Paingel and progeny really took a lot out of her.”

“Now who’s mollycoddling?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll kick her arse in gear tomorrow, alright? Now, let’s get you tucked all snug in bed. I need you well-rested for what I have planned tomorrow.”

“Round two of the leather and lemon curd gymnastic event?”

“I think we should add a cock-ring and some clotted cream to our routine, luv.”

“That could make for a slippery dismount. We might get a lower score,” Xander theorized with a wry grin.

“Practice makes perfect, pet.”

“I can wait up, you kn-“ Xan began to say before a yawn interrupted him.

“Uh, uh. Tomorrow is another day.”

“Thanks for reminding me, Scarlett. But I don’t wanna go to sleep, yet.”

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. You need your rest and you’re going to get it even if I have to chain you to the bed.”

“Promises, promises.”


~*~*~*~*~


It took a few more minutes of cajoling to get Xander up off the couch and into the car. His boy really was worn out. It took even longer to get him in bed. Finally, Spike was able to get out of the flat. He rolled his tense shoulders. The Slayer wasn’t the only one affected by the L.A. crew. Although he had gotten a lot of shits and giggles out of taunting the poof. He clenched his jaw as he thought of earlier this evening.

Angel had dragged him out back. Xander had been right on their heels until Angel had assured him that he wouldn’t hurt Spike. The usual death threats were exchanged, Xander went back in, and Mr. Green Jeans came out.

“I don’t trust you, Spike.”

“No? Why, Angelus, I’m shocked.”

Angel had ignored the comment and continued. “You’re going to sing for Lorne.”

“Please tell me that you didn’t get your singing ability from Grandpa, here.” Lorne had begged.

“Ah. Torture by Manilow? That’s sadistic. Did he have that pesky soul at the time?”

“There is nothing wrong with Barry Manilow…” Angel had begun.

Lorne had finished with, “That judicious use of plastique and a timer couldn’t solve.”

Spike had nodded, commiserating. “’Copa Cabana’?”

“Worse. ‘Mandy’. Just thinking about it gives me the vapors.” Lorne had shuddered for dramatic effect.

“I dunno. ‘I Write the Songs’ always made my arse twitch.”

Lorne had then nodded back. “You’ve got a point there.”

Angel had rubbed his temples. “If you’re both done Barry-bashing, can we please get down to business here, Spike?”

“So impatient, this one,” the green demon had commented while gesturing toward Angel with one hand and putting a hand on his hip with the other.

“If I do this, will you bugger off and leave town?”

“We’ll leave tonight.”

“What do you want to know, you wanker?”

“I want to know your intentions toward Buffy, Xander, and the rest of them.”

“Fine.” Spike had turned to Lorne. “What do you want me to sing, then?”

“Whatever floats your boat,” the Pylean had said, obviously eager to get out of Dodge, as well.

Spike had taken a deep breath and begun, “I get no kick from champagne. Mere alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all…”

Lorne had cut him off. “Got it. Interesting choice, Blondie.”

“I don’t like to be predictable.”

“Nice pipes, too. If I wasn’t so eager to get outta town, I’d have listened to the whole enchilada. This town puts off a strange vibe. Can’t wait to hit the road.” He turned to Angel. “Good news, Angelpie. He has only the best intentions. He actually does love them. Can we go now?”

Angel had nodded in relief. “Keep in touch, Spike. Or I will,” Angel had said before he walked in the house.

Spike had made a move to go in next, but had been stopped by a well-manicured, green hand on his arm.

“Listen, William. I didn’t tell him everything. Your intentions may be good, but you know what paves the proverbial road. Be careful with your actions, or they could cost you.”

“Specifics too much of a chore, Little Sprout?”

“Don’t kill the messenger, Blondie. I can only see what I can see.”


~*~*~*~*~


Spike shook the conversation from his mind and got out of the car. He had business to attend to. He walked through the cemetery, leaned against the front of his old crypt, lit a cigarette, and waited. Trying not to think off all the ways this could go pear-shaped. Fortunately, or unfortunately, he didn’t have to wait long.

“Mr. Spike. How good of you to be punctual. That’s very professional,” the shark demon complimented.

“Get on with it.” Christ but he hated this tosser. He did his best to keep his hate in check. He didn’t want anything to jeopardize this deal. The last deal.

“How is the shipment?” the demon asked, tapping his fin-ish hands together.

“It’s fine. I’m keeping ‘em cool, like you said.” He could swear the bastard actually grinned.

“Good, good.”

“We agreed. This is the last job.” Spike hated that he just blurted it out, but patience never was his long suit.

“Once the shipment is picked up, your debt is clear. Unless, of course, you’d like to remain as an associate?”

“No.” Once he was sure this was over, that Xander was safe, there would be no aquarium big enough to hold this son-of-a-bitch. Had to get the chip out, first. He was useless against the humans the big fish employed during the day.

“Ah, well. It’s to be expected. How is your boy?”

“You don’t speak of him. Ever,” Spike growled out before he could stop himself. Jabberjaw loved to push his buttons. And Spike hated to let him know how it bothered him.

“Now, now, let’s not get testy, Mr. Spike.”

“Fine. When’s the pick-up?” Spike resisted the urge to clench his fists tightly, even though he had them shoved in his duster pockets. It wouldn’t do for the demon to smell the blood from the cuts his nails had made. Wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

“Three weeks…Doctor.”





Part Twenty-Eight

After Spike checked on Xander, he drew himself a hot bath and soaked. Tara had given him a little bottle of homemade bath oil that smelled nice but wasn’t overpowering. He’d lit a few candles before he got in and let the heat of the bath and the soft glow of the candles relax him. Or at least try to. He needed the time to think.

He was glad that Xander was sleeping deeply. His boy usually had trouble sleeping when Spike wasn’t in bed with him. He’d be even more glad when this job was over. Then, he’d be able to get in bed with Xander sooner. The boy would need more sleep, especially when he started back to work next week.

He dreaded Xander going back to work. He couldn’t protect him during the daylight…or from the humans. Boy seemed enthused about the new job, though. Came home all smiles the day he went in to get the paperwork rolling. He wanted Xander to be safe. To be happy.

Hopefully, with all the unsavory jobs he’d been doing for the loan shark, Xander would be safe. He’d been breaking kneecaps, or the demon equivalent, for weeks now. Playing the enforcer. Collecting debts. If he wasn’t unpopular after he started working with the Slayer, he sure as hell was now. Playing both sides of the fence never won anybody a popularity contest. Either he was killing them for the Scoobies, or he was maiming them for the shylock. Hell of an unlife. But it was for Xander, to keep him safe. It was worth it.

Spike was relatively sure that if Xander found out what he’d been doing, he would be a little ticked. He did lie about the debt being taken care of, in a way. But at least he’d been doing it to demons. Now, this last job…this was the big one. He knew, absolutely knew, that Xander wouldn’t understand. The loan shark could give him every assurance he wanted, until those things were out of his crypt and out of Sunnydale, he wouldn’t be able to shake this feeling of absolute dread.

The things that those demons would be capable of when they hatched… He felt torn. He reveled in the thoughts of violence, the rending of flesh, the wanton destruction. But the thought of what these could do to those he had come to care about… What one of these could do to Xander, or Dawn, or any bloody one of them. He would just have to make sure they were out of town. Soon. Away from his family. Let them kill and maim someone else’s family. He didn’t give a rat’s arse about anyone else.

The debt would be paid in full. Xander would be safe. And that was what was important.

He covered his face with a washcloth and slid down in the tub. If that was what was important, why did he feel like utter shite? He’d kept things from Drusilla all the time to protect her. Half the time the sodding stars would tell her anyway, or that busybody Miss Edith. But last night, when he’d stared into Xander’s eyes, he’d wanted nothing more than to tell him everything. With every stroke, every touch, every whispered word of endearment, he had to swallow around the lump in his throat to keep from spilling everything that happened.

But now, he was afraid. What if Xander did find out? Xander might leave him. Might kick him out. He remembered being cut off after the debacle of chaining Buffy up in order to declare his undying love. A little taste of shunning. A little taste of what it would be like with Xander, but it would probably be a thousand bloody times worse. There would be no love spell, no tying him up and torturing until he loves him again, no big romantic gesture like slaughtering a Slayer, that would bring him back.

No. If this came out, he would probably lose Xander forever. So it could never come out.

That decided, he pulled the plug and climbed out of the bath. He toweled off quickly, put on a pair of socks so his cold feet wouldn’t disturb his boy, and left the bathroom to get in bed and snuggle up. As soon as he got in bed, a muscular arm slid over him and pulled him flush against a soft, warm body. Xander spooned him, holding on to him tightly and threw a leg over Spike’s hip.

He felt Xander’s heartbeat against his back and his breath against the nape of his neck. He never wanted to lose this. He sent up a brief but heartfelt prayer to The Powers That Be. Just let this go off smoothly. Let the debt be paid. And please, let Xander never find out.




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