For [info]savoytruffle   Happy Birthday, baby! ♥ ♥ ♥

Pairing: Spike/Xander
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2,120
Feedback: I love comments. Concrit is very welcome by email.
Disclaimer: Sadly not mine, Joss own them.
Summary: The title basically says it all, other than that this is set a number of years post-Chosen/NFA.
Thanks to spookymonkey for the awesome beta! Any mistakes are mine (and you're always welcome to point out any to me!).



Five Times Xander Doesn't Tell Spike He Loves Him

(And One Time He Does)


by
Cordelianne






One

The leaves crunch under Xander’s feet as he zips his jacket against the cool wind. He misses California. There’s nothing like the first hints of winter to have him cursing Cleveland and reminiscing longingly about the warmth of his very first hellmouth.

Spike’s jacket hangs open. Apparently the cold doesn’t bother the undead, and really you’d think he’d remember that about Spike by now. Xander decides to blame being knocked around by too many demons – it’s affected his memory. It sounds like a good excuse in his head and since he’s not sharing, he’ll stick to it.

“’S bloody cold,” Spike says, exhaling smoke and disapproval.

Okay so maybe his memory isn’t that bad after all. “What are you talking about? I thought you didn’t feel the cold.”

Spike waves a dismissive hand. “Just don’t like it.”

“Oo-kay.” Sometimes Xander doesn’t understand vampires. Or maybe it’s just a Spike thing, he’s never exactly been a typical vampire. “You do know you’re weird, right?”

“Weird?” Spike exhales more disapproval. “That the best you can do? What happened to your sharp wit?” He stops and tilts his head. “Oh right, that’s me.”

“You’re just overflowing with funny tonight, aren’t you?” Xander shakes his head. “I’ll have you know I’ve been making people laugh since 1996.”

Spike snorts.

“Okay, so that’s probably not so long ago in vampire years but that’s a conservative estimate.” He almost trips over Millicent Barry’s tombstone but Spike grabs his arm just in time. “Are vampire years sorta like dog years? And do you know how dog-to-people years works?”

“Dog years? Never cared for dogs.”

And since that suggests the possible killing of dogs in Spike’s evil past, Xander decides it’s time to change the subject. “So how many patrols do you wager this is for us?”

Spike goes along with the latest twist in their conversation with the ease of someone who’s used to this sort of thing, which he is. “Never thought to count.”

They walk along in silence, broken only by the bushes – very innocuous and demon-free – rustling in the breeze.

Spike drops his cigarette and grinds it out. “Though if you think about it, we’ve probably done this together more than sex.”

Xander does think about it. “God, you’re right.” He runs a hand through his hair. “That’s depressing.”

“Quit your whining.” Spike slings an arm over Xander’s shoulder. “We’ve got some catching up to do, is all.”

Xander thinks about it some more. “Sounds like we should get to work.”

He knows without looking that Spike is smirking like the smug bastard that he is. And he’s totally okay with that.

He’s also okay with being literally dragged out of the cemetery towards home.

And ‘okay’ doesn’t even come close to being the word for how he really feels, and he’s okay with that too.




Two

“We should do this every day!”

Spike swivels his head and just looks at Xander. Spike’s driving, and it goes on for long enough that Xander gets antsy about safety.

“The road!” Xander says, pointing. Okay, he admits it was more of a flail but he’s not up for dying, especially since he just escaped death at the hands of a slimy blobby demon. Spike’s eyes flick to the road and back again.

“What?” Xander asks with as much innocence as he can muster.

“You made me drive over 200 miles so you could get soda and ice cream in a cup?”

Some of the soda and ice cream almost comes out of Xander’s nose when he gasps in horror. “This isn’t just…” he sputters and holds up his cup. “This is a Blended Root Beer Float! It’s awesome and totally worth a five hour trip. Plus there were demons to fight.”

Spike snorts. “Plenty of demons in Cleveland. And you can get that from the 7-Eleven ten minutes from our place. Probably get some demons too.”

Xander holds up a hand. “A slushee is totally different from a blended float. Totally different.”

Something that sounds like “hm” is all the response he gets, so Xander returns to enjoying his worth-a-200-mile-drive beverage.


~*~*~*~*~


Xander wakes with a jolt when the car door slams. He peels his face off the window and there’s an unfunny popping sound as he unsmooshes. He looks down and discovers that he’s cradling the styrofoam cup that now contains a sad-looking melted float.

They’re stopped in front of a 7-Eleven, in fact it looks like the one near their place. Xander blinks his eye and looks around. Yep, this is their neighborhood.

He peers into the cup and tries to decide if warm non-float will be stomach-worthy. As he gets older this is something he has to consider because his stomach? Not as strong as it was back in the day when he could eat a foot long hot dog and then ride an upside down roller coaster.

“Here.”

A plastic bag with something heavy in it lands on Xander’s lap.

Spike slides in the car and starts the engine, humming some song Xander doesn’t recognize under his breath.

Inside the bag is vanilla ice cream and Root Beer.

“We’ve got a blender,” Spike says, eyes on the road.

“That we do,” Xander agrees. He stares at his 7-Eleven gift and then glances over at Spike. “It’ll be way better than this melted Sonic stuff.”

Spike returns to humming his song again.

“I’ll make you one, you’ll love it.”

“Doubt it.”

“I know you will, it’ll grow on you.”

The corners of Spike’s mouth twitch. “Ever heard of a vampire drinking stuff like that?”

“You’ll be the exception to the rule. You are special after all: a vampire with a soul, helping the helpless, rescuer of –”

“Fine. I’ll try your drink. Just stop with the do-gooder bollocks.”

“Oh yeah, you’re such a bad ass. A bad ass who just saved an orphanage overrun by demons.”

“Damn right.”

Xander runs a finger around the soda’s lid. ‘Damn right’ is alright with him.




Three

“Lift up,” Spike says. Xander does and a pillow gets shoved underneath him. “You have a hard head.”

“It’s done a good job protecting my brains all these years.” He settles back, the pillow’s actually comfy.

“Not something you should brag about.”

Xander rolls his eyes and grabs a handful of popcorn. Salt and sugar topping, just how he likes it – you get both your salty and sweet craving fulfilled at once, what could be better?

Spike’s fingers thread through Xander’s hair while his other hand demonstrates how quickly he can channel flip. If there was a competition for it – and who knows, maybe there is – Xander suspects Spike would win. After all, he’s got the dual advantages of having been around since the inception of the remote control and having a short attention span.

“Oh! Stop here,” Xander says, hitting Spike on the leg.

Spike doesn’t stop. “No Frasier. We’re not that gay.”

“We watch gay porn, what could be gayer than that?”

“’S different.

“How?” Xander runs his hand along Spike’s leg.

His hand gets batted away. “That tickles.” Xander represses an evil laugh, largely ’cause it would be more of an evil giggle. “Porn is sex. And it gets you horny.”

“True.”

The TV stops on Cribs and just as Xander’s about to point out that Spike’s fascination with celebrity homes is kinda gay, Spike’s second hand joins the first in Xander’s hair. He lets out a groan and closes his eyes as the massaging starts.

Screw complaining, at this point he’d watch two hours of commercials if it would keep up the massage.

“Like that, don’t you?”

“Mmmhmm.”

“You like it so much you’ll wash the dishes later, won’t you?”

“I’m not that easily manipulated.” There are fingers rubbing his temples with just the right pressure. He sighs. “Maybe.”

Xander decides to stop speaking. He’d probably agree to anything right now and he should be careful because his boyfriend is formerly evil and despite how surprisingly sweet he can be sometimes he has to still have some tricks up his sleeves.

Not that Xander would ever risk telling Spike that he’s sweet.

Some things are better left unsaid.




Four

Xander is sprawled naked on the bed, gasping.

He thinks he may be lying across it widthwise, but he couldn’t care less right now. In fact all his brain is currently processing is Oh god, that was amazing.

There’s a Sex good in there somewhere too.

And also I love you. I love you so much.

He’s still tingling all over, and when he closes his eyes, he can see those phrases flashing like Vegas signs over his head.

He doesn’t even open his eyes when Spike manhandles him lengthwise on the bed and wraps an arm around him.

He’s certain that Spike will be pleased by the first two reactions, but that last one? Not exactly the most romantic timing. Or, come to think of it, the most believable timing. So he decides to go with ego-stroking.

“T-that was…” is all Xander can choke out before his parched throat closes in and refuses to work until its demands are met.

“Water on the nightstand,” Spike mumbles to Xander’s back.

Xander leans up and gulps down half the glass and his throat returns to work, happy – but possibly creeped out about being personified. He offers the water to Spike, who just shakes his head.

“Amazing,” Xander finishes as he flops back down and shifts even closer to Spike.

“I know.” No humility there. But then again, who can blame Spike? He does have mad skills.

“Sex good,” Xander mumbles. In his head he adds the missing words in between, ‘with you is.’

“Yeah, it is,” Spike agrees.




Five

“Spike?”

“What?” It’s an annoyed ‘what.’

“Are you having trouble sleeping too?”

“Only because some git won’t shut up.”

Xander rolls onto his back and props his arms under his head. “Aren’t you supposed to be a creature of the night?”

Spike lifts his head up enough to glance at the glowing numbers of their alarm clock. “It’s three twenty-three in the morning. Not night.” He collapses back on his pillow.

Xander sighs.

There’s grumbling into the pillow next to him that he can’t hear and decides it’s best that he doesn’t, then “What?”

“Do you ever think it would be nice to take a vacation? Get away from our hectic fighting evil schedule?”

“And do what?”

“I don’t know.” Xander tries to envision a life without slayers and vampires, and that’s impossible since he’s pretty attached to his vampire. Not that he thinks he owns Spike, it’s just… Spike’s his, the same way Xander is Spike’s. “Maybe lying on a beach, at night of course. Drinking those fancy drinks with umbrella things.”

Spike’s hand rests on Xander’s chest. “Gets boring.”

“We could have lots of sex.” Even in the dark he knows Spike is smiling. “And it would be just for a few weeks, a short getaway.”

“We could do that,” Spike says. He’s lightly – and possibly absent-mindedly – brushing a finger across Xander’s chest. “Ask Buffy about it tomorrow after the meeting. At nine in the bloody morning.”

“And that’s reason enough for a vacation right there.”

“You’re not wrong.” Spike’s hand stills over Xander’s heart. “What kind of a slayer schedules a meeting in the morning?”

“The crazy kind,” Xander sighs. “But we’re crazier ’cause we agreed to attend.”

“Won’t make it if you don’t shut your trap.”

He’s not wrong.

Spike leans over and kisses him. Now Xander can sleep.




One Time He Does

Spike’s asleep. Well, Xander’s pretty sure he is since you never know with a vampire, what with their whole non-breathing thing.

He now knows what ‘sleep like the dead’ means. Literally.

It’s actually not that bad. Kinda peaceful, which yeah, is a cliché, but whatever. It’s Xander’s head, he can think what he wants.

And he’s gotten himself off-track. He grabs his thoughts and returns them back to their original course. Spike’s asleep. All the telltale sleep signs are there: lack of movement (all the pillow adjusting ceased a while ago) and no grumbling about being spooned or about Xander’s hot breath on his neck.

Xander presses against Spike and closes his eyes, giving into the relaxed vibe that’s going on right now.

Before completely succumbing to sweet sweet sleep, Xander whispers, “I love you,” against Spike’s neck.

He’s drifting off when Spike grumbles, “I heard that.”

He chuckles. “I guess you did.”

“Wanker.”

“You love it.”

There’s a snort.

Xander kisses Spike’s neck and pulls him closer.

There’s a long suffering sigh and he feels Spike shake his head. “You know I do too.”

He smiles and mumbles, “I know.”

“Now go to sleep.”

He does.




The End





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