Rating: R

Summary:  Xander and Spike relax together during the Independence Day long weekend.

For wiseacress.



Cottage Country


by
Circe



July 4th

They're sitting outside on the porch swing that Xander built, and the crickets are scritching and the loons are calling and the trees are waving gently in the evening breeze, and it's so damn peaceful here in the woods that Xander can feel every muscle in his body releasing with an almost palpable sigh of relief.

He leans against the curved backrest of the swing and lets his eyes flutter shut. Feels the weight of the world fade away, his universe settling happily into two things: the pine-scented air and the feeling of Spike's hand lying heavily on his thigh.

Mmmm, yeah. This is the life. Nature, and a Fourth of July holiday, and the sound of—

Xander's eyes snap open. Okay, what the hell is that?

Spike's got that smirk on his face, the one that made Xander say fuck it in the first place. The one that made him kiss Spike and invite him back to his place after patrol. Made him. As in, no choice. It's important that everyone understand this distinction.

'Cause really? Who could possibly resist those sloe eyes; that smooth-pale skin, those cheekbones?

And right now those cheeks are hollowed out, sunken in, and Xander's vampire is sucking on something, sucking hard, and Xander feels a shiver of sympathetic reaction in his cock. He knows exactly what it feels like to have those lips wrapped around--

"Spike? What are you doing? What is that?"

"Popsgnlll."

"Once more, with table manners. A what?"

Spike stares at Xander, expression set to "infuriate". Slowly, excruciatingly slowly, he slides the object out of his mouth with a loud SLURP. Xander's dick likes this; he's less impressed.

"Okay, world of 'ewww'. What is that???"

Spike manages to look both offended and sexy. The hand on Xander's thigh begins to knead gently.

"Well, clearly it's a popsicle." His tone sounds disdainful. His hand says something different.

"What kind of popsicle?" Xander asks suspiciously. He cranes his neck, trying to see into the cooler down on the deck.

"Don't think you'd like it."

"Oh, come on. I want a taste."

Spike's hand does some interesting things with Xander's fly. "It's a pretty red colour, isn't it? Like cherries." He holds out the melting popsicle, offering. It really is a beautiful deep crimson.

Xander leans in, and nearly falls for it. At the very last minute he realizes the cardinal rule of dating an evil vampire: You can let him fuck you. You can let him make you scream. Hell, you can even take him to the cottage on a long weekend. But never, ever trust him when he's wearing that smirk.

"It's blood, isn't it?"

Spike turns inscrutible. "Mebbe."

"Spike."

"S'nummy. Always liked a nice ice lolly." He pops it back in his mouth with another slurp. His blue eyes are gleaming happily.

Xander lunges across Spike's lap and dives into the cooler, coming up with a creamsicle. He sits back again, moving out of Spike's reach.

They're silent for a bit, eating. Then Xander curls his tongue and makes a suctiony noise.

Careful not to look over, he continues to work his popsicle. He sucks hard, he nibbles at it, licks it along its length. He gets noisier and noiser, more and more into the game. Plus, creamsicle! It's all good.

He can feel Spike's fascination like it's an entity of its very own. In a way, it is. No one can do attentive like Spike can.

And he's attentive. Oh God, is he attentive. The vampire's now scootching closer on the swing and he's easing Xander onto his lap. Xander wriggles a bit, deliberately taunting, then turns to kiss Spike. It's wet and cool and sweeter than oranges. Well, blood oranges, at least.

"Nummy," Xander mutters. He holds up the stick so Spike can lick off the last drops of sugar.

"Nummy," Spike agrees, and his arm tightens around Xander. "A real treat."



July 5th

Xander suspects he has a sunburn.

Of course, he can't prove it because he's really feeling no pain right now, and he's damned if he's gonna get up at this point. Not because he's unsure whether he could stand, but because it's comfy here out on the end of the dock, and duh this is where the beer is.

As if to punctuate this thought, he drops the empty bottle over the side and into the water, where it lands with a little PLOP.

He stares at the night sky.

"Are you wearing bug repellent?"

Ah. Spike's up. "Huh?"

"Bug repellent. That Off stuff."

Xander forces his sluggish brain to think. "Uhhhh, no."

Spike gets shirty. Literally. "And put some bloody clothes on, Harris. You askin' for trouble?"

Drunken construction workers rarely manage the truly lascivious smile, but he gives it an heroic effort. Xander then tries for the cool reply, something like, "Yeah, baby, why'dya think I'm lying here, naked and drunk. Look's like Trouble's found me." Kay, maybe that's not actually cool, but at least he can still form sentences.

In theory, 'cause Spike doesn't give him a chance to speak. "God, you're such a silly bugger, you know that? Am I the only one who watches the news around here?"

Ask a stupid question ...

"It's that West Nile thingy, inn't?" Spike continues. Xander stares up at him with something akin to awe. He's gesticulating wildly, and holy shit! Spike's wearing those shorts! And that Hawaiian shirt!

Oh.My.God.

Xander shakes his head helplessly, feeling the rough slats of the wood beneath him. His chest aches, and his palms tingle. And Xander knows it, bone-deep, for the first time.

"Love you, Spike."

Something on the vampire's face changes. He opens his mouth, and then closes it again. His eyes are the same dark fathomless blue as the lake around them.

"Better put some clothes on, pet. Don't want you getting bitten." He lies down beside Xander.

"Right. 'Cause there's only one bloodsucking creep that gets to bite me."

"Exactly so." Spike rolls a bit and peers over the edge of the dock. Xander looks, too. The beer bottles—nine of them—are doing a strange little dance underneath the water. They're upright on the silt, like they're plants or something. It's kinda pretty.

Xander moves closer to Spike, rests his head on hard, pale chest. No sunburn here. "What d'you want to do tomorrow? I thought we'd take the boat out?"

"Not much for water sports, pet."

"Oh. Right."

"Got an idea, actually."

"You do?" Xander twists a bit to look into Spike's face. He's smirking.

"Got a plan, don't I? Gonna write to those Good Humour people and tell them about Bloodsicles."

There's a long silence. "Uh huh."

"Gonna make our fortune, I am. Places like Willy's, the Sunshine Bistro, all the class demon joints'd buy 'em. Demons hate humidity, too, you know."

"Uh huh."

"'Sides, don't see why Peaches gets to be the only one who invents something."

"Angel invented something? Wait, don't tell me, hair gel."

"Bastard's always liked money. Living off the royalties for decades, inn't he? Didn't think that grand bloody hotel of his came out of pocket change."

Xander laughs, and leans over to brush his lips against Spike's.

They lie together and watch the stars.



July 6th

“Owww!”

“Stop whinging. You were the one who decided it’d be a bright idea to play in the sun all bloody day. And half-naked, too." He gently smacks Xander's bare ass. "Soddin’ exhibitionist, you are.”

“Your sympathy is overwhelming.”

“Didn’t you even think about that coconut stuff? Woulda spread it all over you if you’d asked.” Spike slaps a dollop of cream onto the nape of Xander’s neck and rubs. Breath tickles his ear. “Be kinda fun,” Spike whispers.

Suddenly hoarse, Xander manages, “If you’d made me an omelette for breakfast like I wanted, maybe I would have stayed in.”

He doesn’t have to see the self-satisfied smirk to know it’s there. “Don’t cook,” comes Spike’s smug response.

“Don’t lie to me, vampire. I’ve seen you do it. You make the best eggs I’ve ever tasted.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. The sun has clearly addled your weak little human brain.” Spike smoothes more cream along Xander’s back. Xander is hard-pressed not to moan.

“I wish we didn’t have to go home tomorrow. I could stay up here forever, with you.” The massaging hand stills momentarily, then continues.

“No reason we couldn’t.”

“Nah.” Xander shrugs. “Gotta be at work on Tuesday. Plus, no answer at Buffy’s. Called a few times. Better make sure everything’s okay.”

Spike grunts, but says nothing.

“Hey, you know what would be cool? We could use the tent tonight.”

“No.”

“Oh, come on. It’d be great! All cozy with the sleeping bags …”

“I’m not bloody sleeping in a tent, alright?”

“Why not?” Xander grins. “You afraid of bears or something?” He swivels to stare at Spike. “Oh my God, you are afraid of bears! The great William the Bloody—”

“Don’t effin’ laugh about it! You ever seen the claws on those buggers? Sharp, pointed teeth!”

“Um, Spike? You are aware of the incredible irony here, right?”

“Ever been to Canada? Nasty place. S’full of bears. Dru and me, thought we’d get some prospectors. Nice deserted wilderness, bit o’ gold dust for dessert. Didn’t count on the bears.”

Xander gets a weird feeling whenever he’s reminded of just how old Spike is. “You were up in the Klondike?”

But Spike is ignoring him. “There’s a reason vamps like cities,” he says.

“Gee, and I always thought it was because of all the people to eat.”

“An’ no bears.” Spike shudders. He pats a little more cream in, and suddenly Xander’s had enough.

“This isn’t working,” he complains. “Got to think of something else. It hurts.”

“Wuss.”

“Look who’s talking, grizzly boy.” Xander shifts uncomfortably. He wishes he could just peel off his skin. Oh wait, bad mental imagery. Hello, Warren.

“Could always go for a swim,” Spike says.

The evening’s clear and warm. The lake sounds like a great idea.

“Last one to the rock—”

Xander doesn’t even let Spike finish. He’s pushing out the door and onto the deck, running down along the wooded pathway towards the water. From behind him, he can hear muffled curses as Spike trips over tree roots in his haste to shed his clothing. Xander makes it to the dock first, and dives in, feeling the slippery cool of the water embrace his burnt body. Damn, it feels good.

He heads for the rock in the centre of the lake. He’s a strong swimmer; he was on the Sunnydale High Champion Swim Team, after all. Okay, so it was because his teammates were turning into sea monsters, but that’s not the point. He paid his dues. He wore his Speedo with pride, dammit.

And he can do a mean freestyle.

Water sluices along his body, and he makes it to the rock an instant before Spike does.

“I win,” he calls breathlessly, treading water.

Spike’s eyes spark. “Want your prize then, do you?”

“Damn right I do.” He stares at his vampire. Droplets of water slide along Spike's sharp cheekbones, which are brought into stark relief by the way his hair is slicked back from the wet. His skin is pale as the moonlight hitting the surface of the lake, and just as flawless.

Spike tilts his head, gives a devastating smile, and ducks below the water.

Xander gasps, legs jerking involuntarily. There’s a definite advantage to having a boyfriend that doesn’t need to breathe.

After Xander comes, hard, body melting until he can’t separate himself from the lake, they both roll onto their backs, heads lolling against the flat surface of the rock. Xander splashes idly, suffused with well-being.

Spike says: “So we have to go back tomorrow, do we?”

“Yeah.” He draws the word out.

“Can we stop off on the way home at that place? With the onion rings?”

Xander reaches up and smoothes a wet curl off of Spike’s forehead. “Sure. We can do that.”

The real world beckons, but Xander could stay up here with Spike forever.

And maybe in that world without shrimp, he does.




The End





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