Rating: Mature
Word Count: 2,632
Warnings: Ill-advised sex, cheesy teen references, slapstick and second-hand nicotine.
Summary: It's the summer after Buffy's death. Everyone is dealing in their own ways. We get a glimpse into Xander and Spike's.
A/N: Written for [info]bruttimabuoni for the Spander Valentine's Day Ficathon (request after the fic).
Thanks to [info]savoytruffle for her awesome support and beta.

Better Days


He’s flying.

Well not so much flying as gasping.

Gasping and sweating.

And clenching his eyes shut.

It’s all about just feeling.

Xander flails his arms and manages to grab onto the headboard with one hand.

He hangs on.

Spike, on the other hand, is calm and mostly still.

And clearly trying to drive Xander crazy. With only his mouth.

It’s funny, he’s finally found the perfect use for Spike’s mouth. Well, it would be funny if he wasn’t writhing and panting and generally finding things too good to be funny.

His other hand reaches down to run through Spike’s hair, but he grabs the sheet instead. Touching like that would make things between them too… too… too…

“Oh, oh… oh yes,” Xander chokes out as he comes. Isn’t he supposed to have more control of these things as he gets older? Be able to hold out longer?

Xander fails as a grownup.

Most notable failures including breaking things off with Anya a week after proposing, not being able to drink enough to forget about Buffy and having ill-advised sex with the resident relatively-not-evil evil vampire.

He’s a walking advertisement for arrested development.

So when Spike offers him a cigarette, he accepts because, hey, why not? As dangerous and irresponsible goes, at least it’s kinda cool.

Though he sorta likes getting his nicotine second-hand. At least via Spike.

Spike, who’s leaning back with his boots on the bed, but since it’s Spike’s bed Xander doesn’t protest. He just inhales and tries not to cough like a twelve-year-old having his first cigarette. He can be a cool guy. Sometimes.

“Lookin’ in on the Bit tonight?” Spike asks like they’re guys who have conversations.

They’re not.

“Yeah, I think the girls need a break. And some sweet Sapphic loving.”

But apparently they are. Since they are. Having a conversation, him and Spike. It’s weird. But not weird. Xander’s thoughts run away from him, and he lets them. He’s tired of following.

“Might swing by.” Spike ashes on his boot. “Make sure things’re safe.”

“I’ll have you know the Dawnster’s in good hands with me.”

Spike gives him a look. It says you deluded git.

“I may not have magic powers, but I’m smart enough to not invite vamps into the house.” Memories of a sillier Xander fill his head. “Most of the time.”

“Yeah, you’re a sharp one Harris.”

It should sting but it doesn’t.

But that doesn’t mean he won’t call Spike on his superiority act. “You should talk. Who’s the one who tried to take out six vamps on his own and had to be rescued by Willow and Giles.”

Spike plucks the cigarette from his hand and rolls on top of Xander, pressing his hard cock against Xander’s leg. “Shut up, Harris.”

Calling Spike on his thinly veiled diversionary tactics, though?

Totally not worth it.


“But it would be so cool!”

Xander shakes his head.

Dawn pouts.

“You seriously think a puppy is a good idea on the hellmouth?

Dawn marshals her puppy eyes as her puppy defense.

Xander resists. Sometimes the force is strong with him. “There’s so much wrongness here I can make a list. One: a dog? A pet that needs walking at all hours? In Sunnydale? Yeah, we all love that… and so do the vamps.”

Dawn crosses her arms.

“Two: none of us are exactly rolling in moola. Who’s going to pay for it? You with your non-existent income?”

Dawn rolls her eyes.

“Three: do you really think that Willow and Tara are up for another pet so soon after the Miss Kitty Fantastico crossbow disas—er, let’s call it incident.”

Dawn has the decency to look penitent. But manages to keep up the puppy eyes and arm crossing, it’s impressive.

Xander smiles. Oh, impetuous youth and their crazy ideas and resistance-crushing eyes. “Fine. Ask the girls, see what they say.”

She sighs and flops down on the chair. “They told me to ask you.”

He laughs. “Guess you’re screwed.” Dawn sighs the dramatic sigh of a dramatic teen trying to manipulate him. He responds with the old Harris standby: turning on the TV.

A blond teenage boy appears on the screen exuding way more teen angst than ten Dawns combined, which is a scary thought. It’s something that could happen in Sunnydale so Xander quickly clamps down on any potential actualizing brainwaves. “Look Dawnie, that guy has way more issues than you do.”

“Please.” She humphs. “Dawson’s totally lame.”

There’s a scene with a blonde girl and her “Grams” that makes Xander miss his grandma. Or the grandma he might have had. Feisty and with-it instead of just old and confused. It’s about to send Xander down the garden path of sadness when the front door swings open.

Xander’s head snaps to the doorway expecting Spike to swagger in.

Instead they hear a, “Bollocks.” And a loud crash.

“That doesn’t sound good.” Dawn frowns.

Xander’s heart agrees but he says, in what he hopes is his most reassuring tone, “I’m sure it’s nothing. You stay here, I’ll check it out.”

Of course Dawn doesn’t listen and follows him into the hall where they find Spike unconscious on the floor. His hand’s still clutching his stomach, blood pools around it.

Dawn grabs Xander’s arm. “Oh my god, is he dead?”

The question snaps Xander out his heart-pounding, gut-clenching fear.

“It’s okay Dawnie, no one’s dead.” He wraps an arm around her and can feel her exhale. “Well, not any deader than he has been for the last hundred years, anyway. It’s just he’s… fainted.” He feels a laugh rising up inside him. “From the blood.”

Xander bursts into laughter. He can’t help it. It’s party hysterical and partly – well, if he were admitting anything which he isn’t – relieved.

“Xander!” Dawn kneels down beside Spike, pressing her hands into the blood. “A little help here.”

Xander jolts back to reality again. He doesn’t faint at the sight of blood. He springs into action, directing Dawn to get the first aid kid while he starts tending to the wound.

He can’t wait until Spike wakes up. This is serious mockage material. It’ll keep him busy for months.

Dawn hands him the first aid kit with a glare. “Good. You’ve stopped giggling.”

He rips the plastic off some gauze. “I’ll have you know I don’t giggle, that was a series of manly chuckles.”


Xander decides to ignore her and focus on fixing Spike up. “Help me get him to the couch,” he says when he’s finished

Together they manage to drag Spike into the living room, only banging his head on a doorframe once.

He’s a vamp. It won’t leave a bruise. Probably.

Once he’s satisfied that the pillows are correctly positioned, Xander collapses down on the chair with a sigh. He realizes Dawn is looking at him.

“What?” he asks in a totally not defensive way.

“You were just fussing over Spike the way Buffy used to over Angel when he’d get injured.”

“Spike is way cooler than Angel. And I don’t fuss,” Xander says without thinking. This is why he should have listened to Miss Kumita when she tried to teach him the distinction between his inside and outside voices. Not listening to teachers comes back to haunt him again.

Dawn gapes.

“Oh, oh, no, no. No. I didn’t mean it in that way. Stop thinking whatever it is you’re thinking right now. I mean obviously Buffy and Angel were disgustingly in love, and Spike and I…” And that’s where he runs out of words.

Stupid words, they’ve never failed him before.

He sees it as a personal betrayal. See if he helps them out when they need him. Stupid fair weather friends.

Dawn opens and shuts her mouth a few times.

Xander is certain he’s blushing all over. Even his baby toes and belly button must be bright red.

“Oh. My. God.” Dawn takes a deep breath. Xander grips the arm rests. “You are totally in love with –”

There’s a groan from the couch.

“ – chocolate,” she finishes. “And I need some right now.” Dawn literally runs from the room.

“Bit?” Spike blinks. “Harris. What the bleeding hell is going on?”

“She’s just happy you’re okay.” Xander moves to sit on the coffee table beside Spike. “You gave us a scare there, what with the big bad vampire fainting from the sight of blood!”

He flashes Spike a big grin.

“Fainting? Wha– for fuck’s sake, Harris, I didn’t faint, I passed out. There’s a difference.”

“Su–ure there is.”

Spike pokes at his wound and frowns. “Never gonna live this down, am I?”

“Nope,” he replies with a smile.

“Is everything okay, can I come in?” Dawn yells from the kitchen. “I’m not going to see something gross am I?”

“Nothing gross about a little wound,” Spike calls back.

“It’s not the wound thing,” Xander hisses. “She may have figured out that we’re, um, you and I,” he gestures between them, “are, well, a thing, or whatever. You know.”

“Harris, no one knows anything from what you just said. What’re you freaking out about? Of course we go patrolling together.” It’s possible there’s an evil glint to his eye and a hint of a smirk.

“That we’re having sex, okay!”

“Sex?!” Shrieks Dawn, who’s way closer than Xander had realized. “I thought you two were just kissing and in love and...”

“And what, holding hands?” Spike scoffs.

Xander feels a bit dizzy.

Maybe a little nauseous.

So this is what it feels like when all your secrets are let out of the closet. It’s like he’s just declared to the world that he loves listening to Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely on repeat, he crushes on Kirk, and gets a little turned on browsing power tools at Home Depot.

Except those are all stones in the ocean compared to illicit sex with Spike.

“Are you going to faint too?”

“Didn’t faint,” Spike grumbles.

Dawn’s question alerts Xander to his current position: hands on his head and head between his legs.

He sits up straight.

She sighs. “Willow’s right, guys are weak.”

Weak?” Spike and Xander ask.

“Jinx! You owe me a beer,” Xander says, certain that Spike will never actually buy him a beer. “Why would Willow say that? Is this because of that one time I had her help me open a jar. I’d hurt my hand at the site, otherwise I’d totally have been able to open it. I’m strong. And very manly. I mean, come on, I work in construction!”

Spike snorts.

Dawn smirks. “Methinks he doth protest too much.”

“She’s got a point there,” Spike notes in an annoyingly reasonable tone.

“No fair using school learning for evil.” He points at Dawn. “And you!” He turns his wrath to Spike. “We’re supposed to be on the same side here, she said guys, that was plural not singular and definitely not Xander.”

Spike shrugs. “I more identify as a vampire than a guy.” He tilts his head to the side. “And I know I’m not weak.”

Xander starts to wonder if he’s hallucinating. The conversation has definitely taken a turn for the very very weird.

He sends out a psychic cry for help to Willow. She’ll save him, that’s what friends do.

Willow walks in the door, followed by Tara.

He jumps up and hugs Willow. “You’re here! It worked!”

Now everyone is giving him weird looks. It’s sad that this is a regular occurrence.

“Did you get in the chocolate again, Xander?” Willow holds him at arm length and inspects him, like she’ll find chocolate smeared on his hands or clothes.

“What? No. It’s just…” And again words fail him –his far too fair-weather friends.

But Spike turns out to be all-weather. “It’s just that Harris and I need to split.” Spike pushes himself up and throws an arm around Xander’s shoulder. “He owes me a beer.”

Surprisingly everyone thinks this is a reasonable explanation, except for Dawn who starts coughing so hard she might choke.

Xander decides they should make their escape while they still can.


When he said escape, he didn’t meant it literally.

But why should he be surprised? The hellmouth loves fucking with Xander Harris.

He’s not sure how he’s managing to curse the hellmouth and run from the deceptively fast demon who’s lumbering close behind him. Years of practice?

It seems inevitable when he’s grabbed from behind and left to struggle in its grip in a poignant homage to Fay Wray.

And couldn’t he have come up with a more flattering comparison?

And why is he worrying about this when he’s about to die any second?

He seriously needs to get his priorities straight.

Which he may have time to do, because he doesn’t die. He flies through the air instead and lands on the not soft grass. Xander would complain but since his ass has just been saved it’s okay if it has a few bruises.

Spike might be overcompensating for his earlier fainting spell because he’s attacking the King Kong demon with exta relish. And a dash of mustard. Xander giggles out loud at his own lame joke.

Fortunately, Spike’s too busy to notice or mock.

He has King Kong in a headlock and is pummeling it. An impressive feat, considering the demon’s size and the recent pummeling Spike received.

When Spike finishes off King Kong off, Xander’s almost disappointed, but at least it’s not as sad as when the real one dies; Xander seems to get a bit of dust in his eyes every time. But he’s definitely keeping that secret in the closet.

Spike reaches out a hand and Xander accepts it.

He keeps holding it when he’s on his feet and pressed against Spike. “And you said we don’t hold hands.” He flashes Spike his best evil smile.

Spike looks down, sighs. “Yeah, whatever. Let’s just keep it between us.”

He extracts his hand and then extracts a cigarette. Lights it, takes a long drag, and offers it to Xander.

Xander accepts. “I can do that.”

Spike’s arm winds around Xander’s waist and starts tugging Xander in the direction of his crypt.

He passes the smoke back to Spike. “I have a condition.”

Spike stops and pulls back. He puffs away, looking at a knocked over headstone.

“We go to my place. Comfy bed, beer, cable. What do’ya say?”

Spike puffs some more. “Yeah, sounds good.” He’s the king of nonchalance.

In front of Xander’s building, Spike stops and lights up another cigarette. “So, the Bit knows. Not the end of the world, is it?”

The question almost sounds rhetorical, but it’s not.

Xander leans against a tree and shakes his head at the offered cigarette. He watches the paper burn down as Spike inhales a couple of times. He knows he should be thinking but he’s just staring instead.

And since it’s time to give an answer, he goes with what is normally the worst option: opening his mouth and letting the words tumble out. “It was. But I think…”

“Didn’t know you thought, Harris.” There’s a friendly tone to the mocking.

Xander exhales the breath he didn’t know he was holding and knows the answer. “I think – I think it’ll be okay.”

Spike’s sigh is a good imitation of Dawn’s. “Guess I can live with people knowing I’m with you. Could be worse.”

“Yeah.” Xander looks Spike up and down, takes it all in. “Could be worse.”

Spike tosses his cigarette. It arcs through the air before landing in a small burst of flames on the street.

He leans in and kisses Xander. It’s light, but Xander feels the intensity just below the surface. He wraps his hand around Spike’s wrist and tugs.

“Let’s go inside.”

The request
How Spike and Xander express their love: resentfully
When Spike and Xander express their love (what era Spander you want): pre-comics, preferably the summer after The Gift
Where Spike and Xander express their love (optional): your choice
Who else (if anyone) is involved: Dawn definitely, Faith possibly
What else (if anything) is involved: smoking (either or both), sense of happiness/fun (doesn't have to be fluffy)
Up to three things you don't want: being too mature about things, serious violence, songfic

The End

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