Pairing: Spike/Xander
Rating: PG-13 heading towards a soft R, unless you're my gran then you'd prolly consider it XXX
Feedback: No permanent damage, please

DISCLAIMER: Just playing with the pretty kittens. Unfortunately, they are not mine, but I will gladly groom and bathe them before sending them back home to Daddy (aka Joss/Mutant Enemy/et al).

Many, many hugs and thanks to the lovely [info]estepheia *shamelessly pushes ppl towards Estepheia's fic archive* for allowing me to abuse her 'sixty minutes' challenge!

Summary: This is Spike. Spike got a soul. Spike wants forgiveness.
This is Xander. Xander is human. Xander doesn't believe Spike.
This is Willow. Willow is a witch. Willow wants the boys to play nice.
See Spike prove himself to Xander.
See Spike and Xander become friends.
See Spike and Xander become more than friends!

AN1: Most of you know all those ’Hour’ fics brought on by [info]estepheia’s challenge...
Before we go any further Mys would like to clarify that absolutely, no offense to any author is meant by the following statement, Mys is simply stating a trend she noticed.
...this is what happens when Mys reads too many of them and notices that the majority focus D/s, BDSM, or just plain sex. Now, I was a ’Nilla Wafer for many years, so I have no problem with the BDSM scene.
Anywhose this is Mys’ take on the challenge.

AN2: William's thoughts in green
Spike's thoughts in navy
Don’t get freaked, I don’t have them as separate entities but they do have their own voices in Spike’s head, so navy italics indicates Spike’s internal musings and green italics represent the more William-y part of Spike.

AN3: It really is Joe Bob Briggs’ review of Chopping Mall; Yeah, I would have preferred to find a review of Pinata (even if it wigged the timeline it woulda been worth it!) or even Valentine *gags*, but it was not to be; although I was tempted to use the Scream 2 review, if only for the "Bimbo balcony-flinging" comment. *snicker*
AN4: Thanks to [info]wyvyrn and [info]geek_girl33 for suggesting Lusiphur and the Poison Elves comics.
AN5: Being the evil library monkey that I am, I just had to try to find out if there was an accepted answer to the education question. I asked around about this and, other than what the boy most likely did professionally, there wasn’t much agreement. So, I did some digging and choose University College part of the University of London as William’s alma matre, and yes, the information in the story surrounding that institution is factual.
AN6: The story title and section headings are indeed from Concrete Blonde’s Days and Days, but this is NOT a song fic- do I even have to mention how depressing this would be if it WAS a song fic based on Days and Days? *cringes*

And a final THANK YOU to [info]counterfeitcoin for her support and patience in enduring my babble! *hugs*





Hours of Forever


by
Cobalt Mystic



1...Crossroads of a Minute


"You’d really forgive him?" Disbelief coloured Xander’s words.

"Of course I would. He’s truly sorry. He fought for his soul so he could change."

"But Wills, it’s Spike, bottle-in-your-face, microscope-to-the-head, multiple-attempts-on-our-lives, not-to-mention-what-he-did-to-Buffy, Spike."

"I know Xander, but you forgave me and I had my soul and didn’t have a demon in me."

"You’re my Willow, you were hurting. How could I not forgive you?"

"The same way you won’t forgive Spike."

He knew she was right, and that it was the ultimate in hypocrisy for him to feel the way he did, but he just didn’t know if he could say he forgave the vamp and mean it. "You know, he offered me an hour."

Willow’s brow wrinkled as she tried to work out her friend’s statement. Giving up, she asked, "An hour for what?"

"Anything. Any revenge I want. For sixty minutes, he'd do it, take it, whatever- no questions, no lip," the dark haired young man turned pensive as he remembered the surreal conversation, still not knowing what to make of it.

"Goddess, he really wants this. I knew it was important to him, but to make that kind of offer. Xander, at least think about forgiving him- if not for him, then for me. Please."

Reluctantly, Xander nodded in agreement.


~*~*~*~*~


"Hey."

"Hey yourself." Xander eyed his oldest friend, after a lifetime together he knew when something was on her mind. "What is it Will?"

Sheepishly she asked, "Have you thought about the thing with Spike?"

Xander sighed deeply, he had been thinking about it and about why it was so hard for him to forgive his on-again off-again roomie. "Yeah, it’s just, how can I believe him? I think that if I knew that it was really Spike or his soul or whatever and not just the Big Bad playing another game, then maybe I could forgive him and mean it."

"Really! ‘cause if you’re serious I may know how he can prove it to you."

The familiar glint of knowledge in Willow’s eye should’ve worried him, but when all was said and done, he still trusted her with his life. Stuffing his reservations away, he asked, "How?"


~*~*~*~*~


"You can’t be serious!?"

"You said anything!"

"Yeah, but…"

"But nothing, you want my forgiveness then this is the price, you want me to understand then make me understand."

Spike was floored, of all the things Xander could’ve done or asked for this wasn’t even in the same league he’d been considering. Thing was that Xander’s form of payback was either the most vicious and cruel form of torment (and considering his ‘family’ that was saying something) or the sincerest offer of redemption fathomable. Spike’s internal battle raged all of about a minute, the soul, convinced he deserved Xander’s torment and craving forgiveness, drowned out Spike’s demon. "Alright, when?"

With spike’s agreement, Xander managed to relax slightly. "Your penance, your choice. Just sooner rather than later, yeah?"

The human’s relief was palpable and Spike found himself reconsidering the boy’s motives. "When’ll you get home tomorrow?" Of course, he didn’t need to ask, he knew damn well when Xander got off work and when he’d get home, but it wouldn’t do to let on that the Big Bad paid attention to such things.

"I usually make it in by five."

"Right then, your place, tomorrow, half-past. That do?"

"Sure." Xander was still shocked that his terms had been agreed to and for some reason felt he should at least offer to make the vamp comfortable, "You gonna need or want anything?"

"Nah," Spike shrugged, his mind already going over tomorrow’s encounter.

"’kay, well, tomorrow then."

As Xander walked away he heard the vampire mutter, "Nah, don’t need nothin’, ‘cept a couple bottles of Jack and a good sharp stake."


~*~*~*~*~


Xander left work early the following day, giving himself plenty of time to prepare for Spike’s visit. He really couldn’t figure out why he was so concerned with making the vamp feel at home. After all wasn’t this about retribution and earning forgiveness? Still, somehow Xander found himself concerned about their once mortal enemy.

As Xander was putting away the fresh blood bags it hit him- Spike no longer fit in the category of ‘mortal enemy’, hells, he didn’t even fit in the’(supposed) allies’ category with Broodboy. Xander realized, quite terrifyingly that the Bleached Menace was actually a… a friend! And just as he realized that, he also knew that however tonight played out Spike would have his forgiveness. Willow had been right- to not forgive Spike made as much sense as not forgiving her.


~*~*~*~*~


Xander had left his front door ajar to ease the entrance of his combustible companion. Right on cue at 5:30 exactly, a smoking blanket barrelled through his door. In one of his more suave moves, Xander didn’t blink as he held out a steaming mug of blood, quipping, "Don’t go all dusty on the carpet! I just vacuumed."

Shrugging off the singed blanket, Spike snatched the mug and blatantly searched the apartment.

Xander barely stifled his laughter at the vamp’s confused expression. "Looking for something, Spike?"

"Jus’ checkin’ for pods and evil twins," the blonde stated matter-of-factly as he slid down next to his host on the couch.

Xander smiled into the can as he sipped his soda. "Can even wiggle my pinkies, too."

"Ha, bloody, ha."

The two sat in a surprisingly companion-like silence as they nursed their drinks.

Spike set his emptied mug on the coffee table, "Ta for the blood. Ya know you didn’t need to."

Xander shrugged, "Wanted to."

He wanted to!?! Maybe that evil twin idea wasn’t so off. That or something equally hellmouthy.

But Spike couldn’t ponder that too long, he was here to pay a debt after all. "We gonna do this?"

A long drawn-out sigh escaped the human’s lips, "Actually Spike, I don’t think we are."

No power on earth could’ve prepared Spike for that answer. He could feel his eyes go impossibly wide, "What the bloody effin’ hell do you mean?!?"

"Calm down Bleachy, just consider yourself forgiven, okay?"

"Xander?"

"I just… I needed to believe you meant it. You know, you weren’t just fucking with us… me. Alright? I guess your agreeing to this, not to mention your actually showing up, convinced me." For the first time since the vamp arrived, Xander meet his gaze, "I forgive you. Clean slate." Suddenly Xander’s serious look did the facial equivalent of a single somersault triple twist dive, turning into one of the boy’s brightest smiles, "So, wanna watch things blow-up? Got more blood and a bottle of Jack in the kitchen."

"Sure," was the vamp’s stunned reply as he decided that now would be a good time to explore that ’something hellmouthy’ possibility from earlier.

Four breasts, three pints of blood, one liter of robot blood, ten dead bodies, three dead Killbots, one exploding head, three twisted-metal explosions, kamikaze forklift, gratuitous Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, Dick Miller, foldout Fu, pink laser Fu, and turpentine Fu later, Spike was no closer to anything resembling a reasonable answer, and Xander was messing about in the kitchen.

When the mortal returned, he set two glasses and a hefty bottle of Tennessee’s Finest on the table in front of the brooding blonde vamp. "If you’re gonna mope, can we at least get drunk first?"

Xander hadn’t finished pouring the first drink when Spike seemed to find his voice.

"You know I used to fancy myself a poet." It was more a statement than a question. Spike had come here to lay himself, his life, his un-life bare to this man who had taken him in (however reluctantly) twice, who he had wronged more than any other human, who was one of the few people- human or demon- who could take the piss with him and give as well as he got. And he’d be damned- well, more than he already was- if he didn’t give the whelp something for his …trust …forgiveness …friendship …whatever it was going on between them.

The human finished pouring and handed a glass to Spike before taking a long swig of the bitter liquid and scrutinizing the souled vampire next to him, "That, my peroxide predator explains so much."

Spike downed his drink in one go and turned an arched eyebrow at Xander, "Do tell."

Xander took another gulp, "Bet you’re all educated, too, college grad and everything. Right?"

His comments were met with a stoic silence.

"Ha! I knew it. You are." Xander wasn’t even attempting to hide his mirth- sputtering and giggling merrily.

Spike, on the other hand, was trying hard to calm his demon.

Stupid tosser

Shut up.

Why’d you think he’d be any different?

Thought he meant it.

Prat. Maybe one day you’ll remember that you’re the only one you can trust. You always have and always will be ALONE.

His whole body was tense, his eyes squeezed shut in concentration, and his teeth audibly grinding as he clenched his jaw.

He barely noticed the words being spoken to him, until a large warm hand squeezed his shoulder. "NO!" he hissed through deadly fangs and his eyes shot open revealing their demon amber.

Xander blanched and the smell of fear wafted to Spike’s acute senses. But there was something else, hurt… sadness even.

"Spike?" The young man turned warm chocolate eyes on the vampire. "I’m sorry… it’s… you’re such the stereo-typical anti-hero, the snarky Big Bad helping the good guys, and to find out… well, it really does explain a lot."

Told ya he meant it.

We’ll see.

"Just don’t start dressing like Heathcliff, okay."

Spike let himself relax some, "Nah, think I’ll leave that to the Poof." He poured himself another large shot of Jack before quirking a scarred brow at his drinking partner, "Where’d you learn about anti-heroes anyway? For that matter, Heathcliff? Never took you for a Bronte man."

Rolling his eyes, "For a guy who’s spent as much time as you have pawing through my stuff, you sure don’t pay attention."

The vamp continued to look quizzically at Xander.

"My comics, Spike. What’s the one thing they all have in common?"

Spike quickly ran through a mental tally of the comics he ribbed the boy about so often. Well bugger me!

"Not to mention, your other favourite topic of torment- B5. Hello, G’kar, Garibaldi, Marcus, Neroon!? Can’t get much more anti-heroic than that bunch."

Spike gave a smirking nod and toasted the air with his glass, "Point." Knocking back his drink, Let’s see how much the boy does know. "More of a Lusiphurian myself."

Xander sputtered and tried not to spew his mouthful of liquor over the vamp. "Alright, now that surprises me- you read Poison Elves!?!" He shook his head, slightly amazed, "Guess there’s hope for you yet."

"Funny Harris, I was just thinking the same about you."

The two men shared open, amused smiles and clinked their glasses in toast.

"Now then, Bronte?"

"Hardly. Your turn Bloodbreath- how educated are you?"

"Matriculated university in ’78. Bronte?"

"Not so fast, what was your degree in?"

"Didn’t get a degree- least not the way you lot mean. University College didn’t get sanctioned to grant degrees ’til close to twenty years after I was turned."

"And in English?"

Spike rolled his expressive eyes, "Was English, moron, but for you I’ll try to dumb it down."

Xander didn’t react other than to pour up more whiskey for both of them.

"Sorry."

Oh, sheepish Spike. Not something I ever thought I’d see. He’s kinda cute when he looks like that. And I so did not just think ’cute’ and ’Spike’. Hey, booze- talking, right. "No problem Bleachy. It’s hard to change the habits of a lifetime… or three."

"Cheers, mate." He sipped his drink thoughtfully. "When I went to university, you read your subjects and when you finished your studies you took your exams and then received a degree. Thing was, not all universities had their own examination boards. The practical upshot was that a person could complete their studies and graduate, but, until they faced the exam board, they didn’t get a degree. Understand?"

Xander stared open mouthed at Spike. Okay. He looks like Spike. Smells like Spike- cigarettes and leather- when did I notice Spike had a smell? It’s Spike’s voice but He’s Talking Like Giles!!!

Spike sighed, "Don’t know how to make it any simpler."

"N…no, I get it," he managed once his jaw stopped doing its’ fish impression. "So what would it have been in?"

"Uhn-uuh," the vamp grunted as he examined the rapidly depleting bottle of whiskey, then refilled both their glasses. "Bronte first, then m’ studies."

Taking a bolder gulp, "Fair enough. But just so we’re clear, I’m not a Bronte-guy!"

"Mmm-hm." If a sound could smirk that one did.

"I’m not," Xander snapped defensively. "I just decided I wanted to understand the jokes and references in my comics and shows. That’s all."

Xander was so intent on starring sullenly into his drink, he almost missed Spike’s next words.

"You’ve actually got a brain under that mop, Harris. Why d’ya insist on hiding it?"

"Why do you Mr-ultra-educated-mockney-man… vamp?"

"Touché."

They finished off the bottle of booze, guffawing at Jackie Chan antics.

Spike was absently patting his pockets for his smokes, when Xander’s sleepy, drunk voice asked, "Was it any good?"

The eye and lip quirk Spike bestowed on the boy asked quite clearly, ’Are you nuts?’, but the audible question was, "Was what any good?"

Too far gone to notice or naturally oblivious, Xander waved a hand in the air as if it helped explain, "Your poetry."

"Not so you’d notice," the vamp mumbled.

"I bet it was."

"What?!?!"

Xander looked at Spike as one would a particularly dense child. "Your poetry- I bet it was good."

Spike gaped.

"Prolly, like you. All pared down, hard edges, sinewy- raw and honest and larger than life. Am I right?"

"Right, mate- think it’s time to get you to bed."

"Aw, Spikey, you really do care!" Xander practically cooed before he started giggling drunkenly.

Spike led his human to bed, stripping his pants and shirt before tucking him under the soft royal blue bedding.

Before letting himself out, Spike poured a large glass of water and set it on Xander’s bedside table. As he turned to go a warm hand snaked out to grab him.

"Spike? Thanks."

The vampire allowed a small smile to slip out as he spoke, "’night, Whelp."





2...Never Saw it Coming

”So?”

”So what?”

Willow swatted at her friend, ”How’d it go? You know, with Spike?”

”Jeez, Wills, do ya have to make it sound like you’re asking about a date?”

The petite redhead giggled, ”Sorry, Xan.” She paused for effect, ”But you two would make a cute couple.”

Adopting a stern expression, ”Willow, you know I love you, but I said ’gay me up’ NOT ’set me up’- especially not with the not-so-evil-undead.”

The life-long friends shared a laugh before Willow turned serious again.

”Seriously, Xander, how’d it go?”

Sighing, ”It was fine. We talked, watched some bad movies, and got drunk. Normal guy stuff. It was actually kinda nice.”

Willow watched her friend in awe. She wondered if he knew how truly happy he sounded, at that moment, talking about his evening with Spike. A sad smile flitted across her face as she remembered Tara once telling her how perfect Spike and Xander were for each other, like a living yin and yang. Taking in the memory and her friend’s appearance, the witch decided to have a word with their resident vamp. And if his reaction was anything like Xander’s then she was going to unashamedly play the role of matchmaker for her boys.


~*~*~*~*~


”Spike? You got a minute?”

”Always for you, ducks.”

Willow descended the stairs into the basement and made her way to the vampire’s perch. As she sat down next to Spike on the cot, she asked, ”You and Xander, you’re okay now?”

”Yeah, Red, we’re fine. Had a nice little chat with him.” The vamp chuckled as he played with an unlit cigarette. ”Might even ask him to do it again sometime.”

The young witch positively beamed. Yin and yang, just like Tara said. Now, she just had to make sure it happened.


~*~*~*~*~


Two days later, to their mutual surprise, the two men got paired off for patrol. As patrols went, at least recently, it was rather calm.

Spike got to eviscerate some skanky tentacled thing, along with a plethora of feisty fledges.

For the first time in ages, Xander contented himself with picking off the stragglers and those foolish enough to attempt escape, and allowed himself to actually watch the vampire fight. Sure, he’d watched Buffy fight and seen the pair spar more than once, but his focus then was usually on Buffy. When she fought it was about strength and talent. Spike, well, Spike was animalistic- graceful and primal, all at once. It was the way he had always thought sex should be.

By unspoken agreement, Spike walked the young man back to his apartment.

”Ah, home, sweet home.” Gods he hoped he wasn’t making a mammoth mistake with this, ”Um, you wanna come in before heading back to estrogen central? I still got some blood from the other day- if you’d like.”

”Thanks, mate, don’t mind if I do.”

He asked! He asked! Didn’t have to ’cause he did.

Shut up- don’t know why yet. Probably wants something.

Don’t care- he asked.

For the second time in less than a week, Xander found himself quite happily sharing his couch with Spike. ”You never did tell me what your degree would’ve been in.”

”Hmm, you’re right, Whelp, I never did.” Spike replied smugly. He swirled his blood thoughtfully,

See, he did want something. Wants to embarrass us more.

Doubt that. He hasn’t mentioned the other stuff.

Give ’im time.

then spoke, ”Literature, was a bloody library clerk.”

”Wow. Really?”

The vamp nodded.

”Cool.”

The boy gave a depreciating snort and Spike was suddenly aware of the aroma of disgust pouring off of him.

What the hell?

Told ya- matter of time.

Looking over his friend,

Yeah right.

He IS.

Hmph.

Spike took in the slouch and disheartened look in Xander’s deep eyes. Steeling himself for unwanted answers, ”What’s the matter, mate?”

”Oh, nothing, just realizing how truly out of place the Xan-man is.” Gods, I did not just tell Spike that!

Ha, wasn’t us.

Well, we brought it on.

Then we fix it.

”What the devil are you on about, Xander? You belong more than I do.”

Xander actually laughed at that, ”Spike you’re one of the gang and have been since Glory. It just took me a while to realize it.” He squeezed Spike’s shoulder companionably. ”I seem to be doing a lot of realization lately.”

Xander’s scent changed yet again, this time, rather than disgust, it was laced with resignation. Spike growled.

No.

No.

Before he knew what was happening, Xander was pinned against the couch with a face full of snarling game-faced vampire.

”Listen here, Whelp,” his voice was a low steady growl, ”I don’t know what or who has given you the idea that you’re not worthy, don’t belong,”

If I find out I’ll rip their guts out through their nose.

Gladly!

”but it’s bollocks. You, Xander ’Pain-In-My-Undead-Ass’ Harris, are important,”

To me.

To me.

”needed,”

By me.

By me.

”and wanted.”

By me.

By me.

”Understand?”

”Sp-Spike!?”

Confused brown eyes locked with Spike’s golden ones and once again the mortal’s scent changed. Now there was hope and something else the vampire couldn’t quite identify- though it stirred memories he’d thought long dead.

Quickly, Spike’s face dropped to his human visage and crystal blue eyes, every bit as confused as his own, caressed Xander’s face and an elegant pale hand petted his cheek.

”So warm…” the vampire murmured. Then, ”You are important, pet, don’t doubt that.” Leaning in, Spike swiftly kissed the young man’s lips.

It was barely more than a brush, a touch, but it sent waves of heat and electricity through both men.

Then, as suddenly as it had begun, Spike’s lips were gone and Xander was no longer pinned down.

The swish of leather and a calm, ”Thanks, mate,” were all Xander heard before the door closed behind the vamp.


~*~*~*~*~


What the ’effin’ hells were you thinking?

Me?

Fine what the hells were WE thinking?

That despite everything, he accepts us.

It’s a front, has to be.

Does it? He let us into his world.

Hmph.

Alright, we were also thinking that he’s kind, loyal, loving, and beautiful.

And kissable, don’t forget kissable.

Spike’s fingers touched his lips as his internal conflict continued.

Yes, kissable.

Made us feel alive.

That he did. … … …want ’im.

We’re not using him to replace her!

’course not. He’s better than her anyway.

Really...

Oi, you’re not the only one who can be the voice of reason. Managed a hundred plus years without your pansy ass.

Sure, tell yourself that.

Bloody loudmouth- liked it better when you couldn’t talk!

Yes, yes, much easier to ignore then.

What’s it matter? You want him, too. …don’t you?

Of course I do- WE kissed him!

Sighing happily at the memory, Spike sat on the back steps of the Revello Drive house to have some smokes and attempt to figure out his unlife.

A soft feminine voice broke through his reverie, ”Hey Spike, how was patrol?”

The vampire looked up at the young witch who had always been kind to him, whether he deserved it or not. ”Was fine, Red. Made sure Xander got home safe, too.”

Sitting down next to the vamp, she asked, ”You sure you’re okay Spike?”

”’m fine, pet, been thinkin’ is all.”

Willow nodded knowingly, ”It’s hard. Adjusting, I mean. Makes you see things different. Life isn’t quite so black and white anymore.”

”Never was to begin with.”

She leaned her head on Spike’s leather clad shoulder, ”She used to try to tell me that. Always pointing out the dark and the light- looking for the balance. I thought I understood.” Willow sniffled and wiped her watery eyes. ”I miss her.”

”I know, luv, miss her, too.”

”Spike?”

”Yeah, pet.”

”Do you think there’re people out there for us?”

”For you- I don’t doubt it. For me…”

Dru only truly wanted ”Daddy”.

Cecily wanted anyone but me.

Buffy...

...was a mistake.

And Xander...

And Xander...

”…I don’t know,” he finished quietly.

Willow leaned in and kissed the vampire’s cheek, and as she stood to leave she added, ”Give him a chance, Spike. You both deserve it.”


~*~*~*~*~


Xander sat on his couch, a hand on his lips, and his mind racing. He should call Willow. And say what? ‘I just had the most intense kiss of my life, and it was from Spike.’ Spike! Spike kissed me. Drop-dead gorgeous, sex on legs, can have virtually anyone he wanted, Spike kissed me, the Zeppo, Donut Boy extraordinaire, the normal one. And gods it was soft. He was soft, like he actually cared. And warm. How could he be warm? But Xander swore he was- something had to cause the wonderful burn that travelled from his lips full circle through his body.

If that was just a kiss, what would touching and being touched by that marble flesh be like, what would a KISS be like- would that warmth consume them. Gods, he wanted to know. He needed to know.

The sun rose and Xander still sat dumbfounded on the couch. When the phone rang, he barely noticed, he answered it in a daze pleading a family emergency kept him from work and had distracted him from calling in. As soon as the line disconnected, he dialled Willow’s number.


~*~*~*~*~


When Willow arrived she found Xander in much the same position as when he’d called her- sitting on the sofa with a dreamy look in his eye- though she obviously couldn’t know that.

Taking a position next to her friend, she took his hand and asked, “What happened last night, Xan?” The young witch nervously gnawed her lower lip, fearing she’d somehow hurt her friend, misread the signs maybe.

Xander chuckled, “What happened? What happened was I watched Spike fight- he’s beautiful when he fights, when we got back here I invited him in, we started talking again, and he…” Xander just stopped, he didn’t know how to explain it.

“Goddess,” Willow whispered. “What did he do Xander?”

Xander shook his head, this was ridiculous.

“Xander, please, tell me what he did to you. If only so I’ll know how badly to hurt him before I turn him into a pile of dust!”

The threat of dustage snapped Xander to attention. “NO!” He looked pleadingly at his dearest friend, teary eyes begging her to understand. “He… he told me I was important and then…” the boy gulped in a deep breath, “…then he kissed me.”

“Xander?” Her small voice spoke oh-so-quietly, relief flooding her. “He didn’t hurt you.”

“No, he barely even kissed me, but Will…,” he began to smile goofily as he warmed to his subject, “it was incredible, like completing a circuit, warmth and energy and power coursing between us- through us. I’ve never felt anything like it.”

Willow squeezed her friend’s hand tightly, “Xan, you know how Tara always tried to see the good in people and the balance in, well, pretty much everything?”

The dark boy merely nodded, knowing how much it still hurt his Willow to talk about the blonde witch.

“She always thought you and Spike belonged together.”

Xander’s eyes grew wide at the revelation.

“She said you were the perfect balance. I used to think it was only her wishful thinking, but when I saw you the other day after… and then Spike was just the same. I think she was right, Xander. Especially if a kiss had that effect.”

Releasing a calm, almost contented sigh, Xander asked, “So, what do I do now? Sure as hell not going to have this out with the teeny-patrol around.”

Giggling, “Yeah, worse than being trapped in a room full of Cordettes.”

The memory and visual had both laughing merrily.

“I know, I’ll send Spike over tonight and you guys can talk in private.”

“You sure the Buffster won’t mind?”

“Of course not. How’d you think you two wound up patrolling together?”

Xander growled in mock indignation, “You sneaky little…”

“Yeah, but you still love me.”


~*~*~*~*~


Spike knew the instant Willow returned to the house; she was covered in Xander’s scent and his tears. The tears were what jerked him from his less than comfortable sleep and had him charging heedlessly up the stairs.

Willow’s hand was poised to knock when Spike flung the door open causing the shocked witch to squeak.

Scared blue eyes ringed with gold searched hazel ones, “Why was Xan cryin’?”

Smiling reassuringly, “Can I come down, Spike?”

The vampire reluctantly moved back and trailed the witch down the stairs to sit, once again, on his cot/bed.

“Xander’s fine, Spike, okay?”

“But he was cryin’- can smell his tears on you,” the vamp stated matter-of-factly.

Just as she had with Xander, Willow took Spike’s hand, “You two need to talk. No pretences, no agendas, no expectations, no interruptions, and no running away.”

“Nice dream, Red, but, in case you hadn’t noticed, got Potentials to train and an apocalypse on the way.”

Slipping into resolve-face as easily as Spike would into game-face, Willow brooked no argument, “Listen here mister, there’s always an apocalypse on the way, we can handle the Potentials, and Xander needs you as much as you need him. You are going to go to him tonight and sort this out.”

“Willow, I…” but the words trailed off and the vampire closed his eyes attempting to gather his thoughts.

Willow’s next words were soft-spoken, “He was crying because I threatened to dust you.”

Spike’s eyes shot open, fear, shock, and hurt plain on his beautiful face.

Thought we could trust her.

You’ll never learn.

The witch squeezed the pale hand she held, “Spike, I… I thought you’d hurt him. He wouldn’t tell me what happened and he looked so vulnerable.”

“Never hurt him.”

“I know that, Spike. I knew it then, I wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry. See, it was my idea to send you guys on patrol together, so if anything happened it would’ve been my fault. I had to protect him.”

Grrrrrrr, protecting the Whelp is m’ job!

Our job. The important thing is she meant well.

Grrr.

Oh, calm down!

Taking several deep, albeit un-needed, breaths, Spike calmed himself. “Red, Willow, I would never hurt Xander, anymore than I could hurt the Niblet. Thought you, of all of ‘em, got that.”

“I’m so sorry Spike. Please?”

“’s ok, pet.” The vamp wrapped an arm around the redhead, hugging her gently. “Gods, we’re a pair.”

The witch chuckled quietly, “We’re all misfits here, Spike. I think that’s why it works.”

“Ha! Could be.” The vamp smiled brightly even as he shook his head in disbelief. “So, got any advice for me and Xan?”

“Just remember I have a shovel and I’m not afraid to use it.”





3...Seemed Like Forever

That was the last night either man would spend alone for quite some time.

It would be a hideous understatement to say that those first few minutes between Spike and Xander were anything but awkward. Two proud men with histories of broken and trampled hearts trying to come to terms with being wanted by the one they longed for.

Eventually, they found their way and by the following morning, they were curled together, arms tightly wrapped around each other, snuggling on that blasted couch.


~*~*~*~*~


Almost five weeks had passed, Buffy and co were being all but overrun by Potentials and the pre-apocalyptic portents were proliferant. But today none of that mattered to Spike and Xander. Today marked one month since that fateful kiss. Today marked one month of not feeling alone. Today marked one month of being together. Today marked one month of feeling whole.

When Xander got home, he barely had time to get the door closed before Spike pounced.

Skilful hands, blessed with preternatural speed divested him of his jacket and the bags of food and blood he carried, while an equally skilful mouth divested him of breath, speech, and coherent thought.

“Mmmm, missed you,” the vampire purred, nuzzling and scenting his Xander. He loved how Xander smelled. It was something he discovered shortly after their relationship took it’s current turn. His Xander had a base smell that was earthy and spoke of safety and home and family. Then he had a myriad of secondary smells- his emotions, smells from the site, from patrol, from other humans- which ran like a story waiting, begging to be read.

“Missed you, too,” Xander managed before his voice was lost once again in the battle of lips and tongues.

Like everything else about the vampire, his kisses were intense; they were complete, overwhelming, encompassing, taking everything and giving more. His cool tongue would caress and hold, taste and lick, never forgetting to make you feel. And when he was gentle, gods. His languid sensual thrusts and curls of tongue were like being worshipped, not merely worshipped, but worshipped by a god. Being with Spike made Xander understand the depths of ‘being kissed stupid‘. Xander was sometimes extremely thankful that he had to breath, otherwise he thought he’d go through life in a daze of cool tongue, soft lips, and hard body pressed to his. It was far from an unpleasant concept, but he and his vampire had people who counted on them.

Finally, Spike tore himself away from his lovely, hot human. He snatched up the bags Xander had brought and headed for the kitchen.

By the time Xander had control of his faculties again, Spike had already set out their dinner and heated a nice bag of O pos. “You just like having that kind of power over me, don’t you?”

“You know it, pet. Now sit yourself down so we can eat.” Spike’s smile was lecherous as ever and his eyes sparkled with impish mischief. “I, for one, am anxious to get to dessert.” The vamp threw in a suggestive eyebrow wiggle for good measure.

The mortal laughed happily, even as he found himself torn between hoping that tonight they would become lovers in more than name and terrified of that self same desire.

Ever aware of his love’s scent, Spike gently took Xander’s hand, “Only what you want, pet.”

Xander squeezed the hand holding his and smiled. Evil bastard, always knows what to say. And when to say it.

Dinner passed quickly, neither man speaking much. Both anticipating the evening to come.

As the last of the dishes slid into the sink, Spike slid his arms around Xander, pulling him close to rub his face into Xander’s neck.

The young mortal relaxed into Spike’s strong form, allowing his head to loll against the vampire’s shoulder. The words came unbidden and all the more truthful for it, “I love you, Spike.”

His body tensed at his own words, just as his lover’s did at hearing them.

Neither man attempted to moved away and slowly cool lips traced over hot pulsing flesh, teeth nipping at the jaw-line and ear.

Xander moaned and turned in Spike’s embrace, so his own arms could snake around the vampire’s waist. “I’m…”

“Shh,” Spike interrupted. “Unless you didn’t mean it, I don’t want to hear that. Alright, luv?”

He didn’t speak, only nodded.

“Good, ‘cause I love you, too.”

As they kissed, they led each other to the bedroom, shedding clothes as they went, until, they lay together, naked, on the bed, kissing and petting each other.

Soft words flowed from tender lips, “Tell me what you want, pet.”

His voice trembled with his reply, “I… I… don’t know.”

Spike caressed his soon-to-be-lover’s bare leg slowly. “Yes, you do,” he purred. “You’re just afraid to admit it. Now tell me.” He leaned in so his breath tickled the young man’s ear, “Tell me your deepest desires. Tell me the secret wishes you won’t even tell yourself. Tell me Xander. Tell me.”

The vampire’s voice was hypnotic, he couldn’t resist the sensual need and strength of it. Closing his eyes, he made himself speak, quietly, “Touch me.”

“How? Where?” The questions flitted breathily on the air like feathers sailing leisurely on the wind.

“Everywhere,” Xander pleaded.

Spike waited, he knew Xander would tell him; it was simply a matter of time.

Sooner than the vampire expected, in a voice barely above a whisper, “…want to feel you …touching me …your hands running all over my body.” Once they had started, the words seemed to escape with a will of their own. “…caressing from my head to my toes, tickling, covering every inch of flesh. I want you to tease me, play with me, kiss and lick every place that makes me jump and then do it again. I want to feel you inside me, on me, feeling me.” Xander was all but sobbing with the emotional release flooding from him. “That’s what I want; I want you to touch me in everyway imaginable… please.”

Petting his boy’s face, he gently wiped tears from the flushed cheeks, Spike smiled, “Thank you.”

A muted, “Why?” escaped between Xander’s sobs.

“For trusting me. It’s the greatest gift.”

Xander managed a smile as the words warmed his being, relaxing him more than he thought possible. This was love.




The End




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