Rating: Using the FRRS – FRAO (Fan Rated for Adults Only), SC (sexual content), P (profanity)
Author’s note: Set between S4 and S5. Riley packed up and left with the initiative, and Anya left Sunnydale right after Adam.
Disclaimer: The character's aren't mine - they're Joss Whedon's and ME's. I just like to play.

Written for: [info]troponin
Your Colour: Burgundy
Your Sound: Thunder
Your Random Object: Kittens.
Two things you'd like included: Supportive scoobies. Also, Spike and Xander caught outside in the rain.
Two things you don't want included: Character bashing and evil!Xander.



Ruby Raindrops and Burgundy Secrets


by
Chocgood84



"Xander!” Buffy shrieked, the high-pitched sound like a rake on slate. Everyone in the Magic Box winced, and aside from the heavy breathing there wasn’t any other sound.

“Jesus, Buff! Bring it down a few levels. You just woke up every dog in the neighborhood,” Xander snapped back. He couldn’t help it, really. This was a big deal to him; it would be kind of nice if his so-called friends could understand.

“Yeah, Buffy, calm down a little bit. No reason to get all, uh, squeaky?” Willow tried.

Calm?” She asked, her voice dropping a few octaves. “You want me to be calm? My friend, Xander – my very straight friend, Xander – just told me that not only does he enjoy the company of men, but that he particularly enjoys sharing a fold-out couch with a very undead – and evil! – peroxide-addicted vampire! Oh, I’m calm, alright.”

“Let he who doesn’t bleach throw the first stake, Slayer,” Spike snarled, his fists clenching and flexing instinctively. Fight was in the air, and it had been a long time coming.

“Oh, I’m so scared. What are you going to do, snark me to death?” Buffy scowled across the table at the fuming vampire. Both blondes were testing the water tonight, and it seemed like someone was about to take a dive.

“Oh, bloody great, Slayer – kill me with your mindless wit and endless flattery. Sounds to me like someone’s jealous –” Spike sing-songed.

“Of what!?” Buffy shrieked again, truly shocked by this accusation.

“Because your boy here got the better, not to mention better looking, vamp. At least he can shag me and not worry about my hair getting mussed up or me doing a bad impression of a Steven King novel.” Spike quipped. Grinning like some child in need of an exorcist, he turned to find Xander looking up at the ceiling, a very appealing shade of red blooming on his skin.

For the first time this evening, the store was quiet as even Buffy had to take a moment to process that information. Was it the hair bit or the shag bit that had halted the brain gears?

Slowly, surprise turned to shock which turned back to surprise, as emotions and reactions flashed through the Slayer’s face like a billboard in Times Square. Apparently, the information was reaching the brain, but the brain didn’t have the energy to process everything.

“Yeah, well – at least – at least my vampire had a soul. Er, has a soul. Uh, anyway, that’s not the point!” Buffy babbled. Much like Willow-babble, only not quite as intellectually phrased.

“You’re right, Buffy, that’s not the point –“ Xander tried.

“The point is, it makes him happy, Buffy,” Tara chimed in now that it she wasn’t in danger of getting between the trigger-happy vampire and slayer.

“But, he’s-“

“Look at him, Buffy,” Tara said, her voice soft but full of understanding, full of support.

“Yeah, Buffy,” was all Willow could manage through held-back tears.

Buffy said nothing, but looked back and forth between Spike and Xander, oscillating between glaring and puppy eyes.

Xander’s adrenaline was finally starting to drop below a quarter of a tank, and he took the momentary god-sent silence to take in his surroundings.

They all sat around the table in the Magic Box. A normal Scoobies meeting had turned into a re-enactment of Gettysburg once he’d dropped the first bomb – that he had Spike had been doing the naughty no-no for a couple months now.

It had started as just one guy helping out another guy in the middle of a dry spell after Anya had left. Only now it had become something else, something more. Xander couldn’t explain it – wasn’t sure if he wanted to – but he liked being with Spike. Liked coming home after working construction all day and finding Spike curled up in bed, purring like a wild cat off of the Discovery Channel. Liked how Spike held him when he slept, how he touched him, how he spoke and listened to him.

The past few months after Adam hadn’t been easy for any of the Scoobies, and it seemed like the more they tried to get back to square one with each other, the farther and farther they drifted apart.

Spike had changed that. For the first time in a long time, it felt to Xander like someone cared about him, like someone wanted him. And Xander had found over the past few months that it felt nice to be wanted; it felt nice to be loved. Because that’s what it was, even though neither of them had the balls to admit it.

So tonight during the usual meeting, after Buffy had done her opening jokes on Spike’s chip, Xander decided he’d had enough. He was so tired of the fighting, and so tired of the bitching and ranting and stupid mindless jokes at Spike’s expense. It seemed only right that he should defend the man he…gulp…loved. And the only way he knew how to defend him was to show his friends how much it hurt him. So he’d told them. And now? Now Xander wasn’t quite sure why anything mattered but the way Spike was holding his hand.

Tara, gods bless her, was being level headed and supportive. Xander knew she’d suspected something way back at the beginning. But she’d never said anything; instead she’d waited for Xander to say something when he felt comfortable. Xander made a mental note to thank her later. She was definitely someone Xander was glad to have met, someone he was glad to have in his life, and someone he wanted to try and give the world to.

Willow was…Willow. She just wants everyone to be happy – especially her best friend in the whole world. Xander wasn’t sure quite how she felt about Spike being involved, but he knew she was happy and supportive of the gay thing. She wouldn’t do anything intentionally to hurt Xander – he knew that.

Giles, the poor man, had gone mute the second Xander had got it all out in the open. Hadn’t said anything; hadn’t even moved from where he leaned against the display case. Xander was a little worried about him – he didn’t look well.

Buffy was basically the only one who seemed to have a problem. Xander supposed he could see her reasoning – Spike had done a lot of bad things since he’d strutted into Sunnydale. But so had Angel. Hell, so had Riley. But she’d loved them anyway. Even after Riley had left once the Initiative had been shut down, Buffy still loved him. Xander just couldn’t understand why she didn’t see it that way – couldn’t understand why to her Spike was so different from the guys she’d fallen for.

So here they sat – one standing – at the table in the Magic Box. Spike beside him, their hands clasped together on Xander’s thigh, Xander leaning slightly against the cold weight of Spike’s arm. Willow was wrapped securely in Tara’s arms, the perfect picture for a lesbian greeting card. Giles still leaning on the display case. And Buffy, sitting across from Spike and Xander, her face still contorted with conflicting emotions.

The room was still quiet, and Xander’s nerves were slowly being grated on as he felt emotion pouring out of everyone present.

“I think we should go,” he said before thinking. Before he knew it, Spike was pulling him up and snaking a supportive and protective arm around his waist. It felt nice, that.

“Xander, no. You don’t have to-” Willow got up, trying to stop them.

“No, it’s okay, Wills. I just think…” Xander accepted the squeezing hug that Willow offered, kissing her forehead softly and brushing the tears off her cheeks with his thumbs.

“Buffy…I know this is a surprise. Hell, it was a shock to me, so I can only imagine what it’s like for you. We’re just going to go, give you some time to…deal.” Xander said softly, meeting Buffy’s gaze and seeing the choked-back tears in her eyes.

She nodded from where she sat, dropped her gaze to her hands.

“But Buffy? They’re right, Willow and Tara. I am happy. A lot happier than I have been for a long time. Happier than even Anya made me…” Xander felt his own tears well up. He leaned into Spike’s gentle touch and allowed him to guide him out of the shop.

As the bell over the door clanged behind them and the door shut, Xander turned and pulled Spike into a hard embrace. He smiled as he felt familiar arms wrap around him, pulling him even closer to the strong body he loved so much.

Spike pulled back slowly, bringing a hand up to wipe away the tears that had escaped Xander’s eyes. That touch that always stirred so much emotion, that always felt like silk and sunshine on his skin.

“It’s alright, pet. They’ll come around,” Spike whispered.

Xander could only nod as the familiar feeling of everything slipping away rose again in him. When Spike held him, there was only the two of them. No demons or robots or hellmouths or Scoobies. Just the two of them and the embrace they both needed so much.

Spike leaned in, his lips brushing against Xander’s. Both pairs parted as they enjoyed and savored a tender kiss that spoke more than words ever could.

“Come on, love. Wanna show you something,” Spike said, pulling away and taking Xander’s hand.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*


Xander soon found himself standing on the bluff overlooking the beach. Spike stood behind him, his arms wrapped tightly around Xander’s waist, his chin tucked warmly between Xander’s neck and shoulder.

Xander couldn’t see the ocean from where they stood; during their walk, the sky had clouded, blocking the moon’s rays and shrouding the night in darkness. But he could hear the waves, could almost feel the pull of the tide. Could feel the spray being windblown lightly into his face.

The night suddenly felt balmy and thick as syrup. Xander was so hot all of a sudden, and the only thing he could think of was how cool the water was, how great it would feel on his naked flesh. His breathing hitched, and Spike’s arms squeezed tighter around him.

As quickly as the intense heat had enveloped him, it was gone. And once again, it was only he and Spike here. Only the wind and the ocean and the sand beneath their feet. But still…

“Spike?” Xander whispered.

“What is it, pet?” Spikes words felt like satin against Xander’s ear.

“Why can’t she…” Xander’s voice was lost as the words dissipated. The slowly growing wind carried the unspoken words away like dandelion seeds.

“Don’t know, Xan.” Spike knew the question; knew his boy. “Buffy’s a…complex person. But even her complexity is simple, love. She’s not happy.”

“I know, I get that. I just don’t understand-“

“Why does it matter, Xander?”

“Because she’s my friend, Spike. I know we’re not as…close…as we used to be. But, her and Willow, Tara and Giles? They’re the only family I have. I just wish that they could-”

“Respect you? Accept you?” Spike’s hands started a slow stroke across Xander’s stomach. Soft caress and tender touches.

“No. Well, yeah, that’s part of it. I mean you. Buffy loved Angel. I don’t know why she can’t accept that I…don’t know why she can’t accept that we’re together.”

“Hard thing for a slayer to understand love, Xander.” Spike kissed Xander’s neck tenderly, savoring the smoke-sweet taste of honey and sawdust that was Xander.

“I guess…” Xander sighed into the delicate touches and soothing kisses. Could never get enough of this.

“Let it go, love. Just for now? Just be here…with me?” Spike asked, his words so full of concern, so infused with care.

“I don’t – okay, Spike. With you…” Xander turned in their embrace, wrapping his own arms around the strong vampire.

He leaned in for another kiss, enjoying the sensation as cool tongue met warm. Shuddering at the fervent feeling that raced through him as their mouths meshed and became one.

Their kiss was broken by a flash of white light, followed only seconds later by an earth-shattering roll of thunder. Xander looked to the undulating clouds and winced as another intense dagger of light slashed through the night sky, followed by another tremor.

Before words could escape either man’s mouth, the heavens broke open like a cracked egg. Rain fell in torrents as this instant storm swelled to majestic proportions. Thunder and lighting wracked the earth with its exquisite violence and the wind began to howl like a thousand beasts hunting for prey.

Xander looked back to Spike and found him grinning like a Cheshire. Spike bobbed in for a quick but so-passionate kiss. Taking Xander’s hand, he pulled him towards the ocean that was suddenly teaming as the tempest raged around it.

Xander hesitated, unsure. His eyes met Spike’s, whose were glowing amber and molten gold.

“Trust me, Xander,” were the only words the vampire supplied.

Another moment of hesitation, and Xander nodded, allowing himself to be pulled toward some unknown destination.

“I trust you, Spike,” he called above the wind.

Spike ran down the steep slope towards the ocean, howling into the wind and tugging Xander behind him.

Spike turned, just short of reaching the shoreline, breaking into a run as he headed north towards the rocks in the distance. Even almost a mile away, Xander could see them leaping and receding as the storm’s strobe light lit up the night sky like a Fourth of July fireworks special.

In what seemed like only seconds, the two of them were scaling the massive boulders that made up the intricate network of caves, coves, and small secluded beaches. Spike led him through and over and around what felt like miles of stone corridors and mountains of smooth and rough rock.

Here the storm seemed to rage even more. Rain fell like pebbles and the sky was constantly exploding, flashing white and blue and black like an old film-strip projector. Climbing over and shimmying around boulders as big as homes, it felt like the end of the world was upon them. And yet, Xander felt no fear.

Finally, they came to a halt in a small cove completely surrounded by rock and trees. A small beach of white sand led down to the water, but further up the slope was grass and brush. Nestled here in this private world of nature and mystery was what appeared to be a little stucco villa. An open veranda with proud columns and a wooden railing surrounded the tiny house. It was small, no bigger than Xander’s basement apartment. But it looked large because of its pitched terracotta shingled roof and the large French windows that faced the ocean. It was distinctly Greek and looked like something out of a Mediterranean brochure.

Xander’s breath escaped him. Here, tucked away where no human could venture without an experienced guide, was something so simple yet beautiful, it made Xander’s chest ache.

Spike took Xander’s hand and led him towards the little house. Up the slate stairs and onto the veranda and out of the rain.

“Close your eyes, love, and wait here,” was Spike’s only explanation.

So Xander waited as Spike opened one of the large windows – there was no door – and entered the dark space inside.

Minutes later, he felt the cool flesh as Spike’s hand found Xander’s once more. Xander felt himself pulled into the little place. Spike’s hands came up to cover Xander’s eyes, and he nudged Xander further into the room.

“Ready, Xan?” Spike’s voice again in Xander’s ear, melodic and sweet.

Xander nodded, and as Spike’s hands slipped away, once more Xander found himself without breath.

The room was lit entirely with candles, glowing in hurricane lamps and ruby-tinged votives. All the windows were open to the tempest’s wind, and crimson drapes fluttered as they caught the swiftly moving air.

There was only one room, and the way it sparkled in the flaring and flittering candlelight reminded Xander of a ruby caught in the glow of a spotlight.

The whole room was draped and swathed in ruby reds and burgundy wine colors. The drapes over the windows, the fancy Oriental rug on the floor, even the walls were all a brilliant shade of burgundy. In the center of the room, facing the open windows and the rampant storm outside, sat a bed as big as Volkswagen. Made out of rich mahogany, it appeared to be gilded in the golden light of the hundreds of candles strewn throughout the room. Its four columns soared to the vaulted ceiling, and hung from them were long silk panels of the rich burgundy wine color. The bed itself was dressed in all shades of blood and ruby and rich vibrant reds, piled high with down pillows and cushions that looked as expensive as the bed itself.

There were other pieces in the room, like a great old roll-top desk and a deep sensuous black leather armchair next to a bookcase that held a small treasure of ancient looking books

Outside, the storm seemed to reach its climax as the thunder clapped an ovation the likes of which even the Paris Opera House had never heard. It seemed to Xander that the mountains had just come crashing into the ocean and waves had finally come to life, clashing into the earth with the power of a thousand atomic bombs. The rolling clapping thunder and the incessant strobe of the brilliant white lightening seemed to lull him into a state of nothingness.

Here in the middle of it all, in what could only be the eye of the storm, it felt as if everything was still, everything was blank. In this cone of thunderous silence, there was no Buffy, no sexuality, no life and no death. There was only Spike’s slow stroke against his wet back. There were only tender lips against his, only the cold flutter of frozen electricity as it surged between the two of them.

It felt for both of them that the storm was guiding them, instructing them, and persuading them to give themselves to each other. To unite and become one in the only way they knew how.

Moments later found both men, naked and squirming, writhing against each other as ice cold flesh sparked against steaming hot. The bed seemed to swallow them whole, inviting them into comforting arms, warm and dry. Xander was drunk on the color, and his eyes glazed over as he felt cold hands stroke his so-hot flesh. He felt lips and tongue around him, on him, inside of him. He was no longer coherent, no longer himself – only a heap of flesh and nerve endings with no mind, no sense, and no cares – save one. Spike’s touch and Spike’s taste as Xander sucked and nibbled on milk-white cream-smooth skin.

He savored the tobacco smell of Spike’s musk as he sucked in and swirled his tongue around that rigid steel of iced flesh. He felt like Prince Charming breathing life back into his one true love.

He was only minutely aware of any pain as he felt the vampire enter him, slow and devastatingly teasing. Felt Spike’s hips meet his as the he drove his cock deep inside of the mortal who was panting, begging, sweating and screaming. His voice drowned out the storm that still waged outside like a battlefield long forgotten. He was mad with desire, insane with lust, crazy in love.

He kept up with vampire, meeting him thrust for thrust, flexing his muscles and grunting with every recession and every reentrance. Spike drove his cock in hard and slow, tender and rampant. Rocking and slamming like two pistons, they could hear the slap as flesh slammed against flesh. The burning fire of passion was their only breath, their only blood. It was their life and their death. It consumed them both until finally, finally, the vampire called out, screaming around his fangs.

“Loooooove you, Xander!” He shouted challenging with his voice the power of the storm. He spent himself inside Xander, filling him with churning liquid ice that felt to Xander like burning wax, even in its coldness. That was all Xander needed before screaming out his own orgasmic climax, feeling his seed flow from him like an ocean tide, coating them both in the fruit of their lovemaking.

The last thing Xander saw before his eyes closed in sleep was Spike’s face – smiling and looking angelic, even in its demon façade. His last thought, though, was love


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*


Xander awoke to the silence of the early morning darkness. A subtle breeze flowed over his naked flesh, smelling of sea and jasmine. No more thunder, no more lightening; the storm was over.

Smiling to himself, he rolled over to find Spike laying in bed next to him, their arms still woven together. Spike was awake and looking at Xander as if he were a rare Picasso.

“Have a nice rest, love?” Spike asked, kissing Xander softly, sweetly.

“Mmmm…the best” Xander said, stretching his whole body from head to toe. He snuggled into Spike’s embrace, cherishing the moment and enjoying the feel of skin on skin.

“Good. Feel better?”

“Much…Spike?” Xander asked, looking into Spike’s eyes.

“What is it, love?” Spike asked, his eyes even bluer against the backdrop of burgundy and crimson.

“Did you mean what you said…before?”

Spike gave him an inquisitive look, his eyebrows arching and his mouth smirking.

“Always mean what I say, Xan. ‘Cept when I’m hungry – then all bets are off.”

“Uh, I mean…you said you love me. Do you? I mean…love me?” Xander’s voice was much more timid than he wanted it to be. Much more scared.

“Of course, pet. I love you,” Spike said, not batting an eyelash. “Do you…?”

“Yeah. I do, Spike.” Xander could honestly say he knew what love was now. It was the way this man in his arms looked at him, how he touched him, how he loved him, how he made love to him.

They both leaned in and enjoyed a searching kiss, a confirming kiss. The perfect way to end a night neither would soon forget.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*


Dawn was nearly an hour away when they found themselves back on the beach, Spike’s little hideaway far behind them in its secret cove.

Their clothes were still wet as they walked barefoot in the sand along the now-calm sea, their hands linked together.

“How come you never told me about that place?” Xander asked, his voice humming with happiness.

“Was a secret. It’s where I go when I want to be alone and don’t want the slayer finding me.”

“A secret? Then why did you take me there?” Xander inquired.

“Don’t want any secrets between us, love,” Spike responded honestly.

Xander didn’t say anything, couldn’t say anything, because he was once again struck by how much he shared with this man, how much he cared for and was cared for by this vampire.

“Love you, Spike-”

“Xander!” A redhead squealed as she tackled Xander to the ground.

“Willow?” Xander asked, laughing as the girl tickled him.

“That’s my name, mister,” she said through a smile as big as a yacht. “Don’t wear it out!”

“What are you doing here? How’d you find us?” he asked.

“Did a little locater spell. Buffy said she wanted to talk to you as soon as possible, so I mojo’d some stuff, and here we are.”

“Buffy?” Xander asked, startled when he got to his feet to find Buffy standing close by. Surprisingly, Spike didn’t growl at her.

Before either could say a word, Buffy launched herself at him, squeezing him tight enough to cut off circulation and block critical airways.

“Sorry Xander, I was a big poohead. So here’s me being non-pooey. Yup, pooey-free from now on.” Buffy said, looking at Xander from under her lashes.

“Thank you, Buffy,” Xander said, pulling her back for another hug.

“Oh, gosh! Let me in on the Scooby loving!” Willow called, adding her arms to the pile, followed quickly by Tara’s. Spike opted out, and instead looked to the sky as if to wish for a lightning bolt.

“Now come on, we’re going to go back to Buffy’s to watch some movies,” Willow said, skipping ahead of them and linking arms with Tara.

Xander looked to Spike who looked not-happy about spending more time with the gang. But he nodded anyway, letting Xander know in his own way he’d follow him anywhere.

“You know, Xander,” Buffy said as they walked back towards town. She lowered her voice so Spike couldn’t hear her from where he walked ahead of them. “Spike wasn’t completely wrong…”

“I know, Buff,” Xander said, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. “It can’t be easy. Now that Riley’s left. But, cheer up, you’ll find someone eventually. Look at me and Willow – we both found people. Er, a people and a vampire.”

Buffy laughed softly to herself.

“I know, I know I will. It’s just frustrating, you know? Now I’m the only one who doesn’t have anyone.”

“Neither does Giles!” Xander exclaimed, enjoying the smile that graced Buffy’s lips. “Where is he, anyway?”

“Still back at the Magic Box, leaning against the counter. Told him I’d come by tomorrow and check on him. He didn’t even blink when we left,” she laughed.

Xander was hurt by this; he hoped Giles wouldn’t take it so bad.

“Don’t worry,” Buffy chided. “Giles will be fine. Just needs to…deal, that’s all.”

Xander smiled and hugged Buffy again.

“You know, Buff. You could always get a pet – like a kitten or something,” Xander offered.

“This is true,” she replied. “Like a little Siamese or a calico or something. All snuggly and warm and-”

“Spike actually has some connections. Can get you quite a few,” Xander joked.

“Er, nevermind. I’ll stick to Mr. Gordo,” she looked horrified, but laughed nonetheless.

Spike held back a moment and caught Xander’s arm in his and the five of them walked back towards town.

This is how it’s supposed to be, Xander thought to himself as he tightened his arm in Spike’s and walked with his family.




The End




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