Written for the "Love With Its Back Turned" festival at [info]windles_orbit, because anything based on a quote from Terry Pratchett has to be worth doing. Particularly with Spander. The quote in question: “Hate is a force of attraction. Hate is only love with its back turned.”

Set during "Normal Again". Spike speculates as to the real reason Xander couldn't go through with the wedding, and cuts a little too close to the bone. Rated R, 1266 words, standard disclaimers apply.
Many many thanks to [info]cordelianne for the beta!



Boy’s on form tonight.

Spike’s never seen him fight quite like this. Low and dirty, single-minded. As if he’s got his own demon driving him, and maybe he does. Brought down the glarghk guhl kashma'nik while Spike watched and smoked and kept up a running commentary – and Spike got the distinct impression that if someone had taken the tranquilizer gun away, Xander would have overcome the crazy-making demon with just his fists and head-butts and possibly even teeth.

After they deliver the demon goods, Xander’s still jittery, fidgeting, overloaded with adrenaline. Itching for a fight. Spike knows the signs well enough; he’s feeling edgy himself.

Not enough that she left him, and meant it this time. Not enough that she walked out of his crypt and hasn’t been back. No, she has to leave the whole damn world. She’d rather believe her whole life is a fantasy than believe that she –

Because she didn’t. Never could. He’s an evil, disgusting thing that someone like Buffy – no matter how dead and resurrected and dark and fucked in the head – could ever love.

He feels the need to destroy a few things too.

“I’m heading for the Magic Box.” Willow throws Xander a contrite look. “No magic! I just need some stuff to brew the antidote. Are you gonna hang here, keep an eye on Buffy?”

“Think we’d better patrol?” Spike flips a stake hand to hand. “The nasties aren’t going to wait for the Slayer to finish her time-out.”

Xander nods a few more times than necessary. “We’ll keep this town safe while the Sheriff’s off duty, ma’am.” He gives Willow an overblown wink. She returns a weak smile.

Town’s as quiet as a grave ought to be but seldom is around Sunnydale. They can’t find a single malefactor to fight.

All that energy’s got to go somewhere, though.

“Best thing you ever did for Anya. Girl deserves better than you.”

“This from the guy who harbored the delusion he might have half a chance with Buffy? After slaughtering half of Europe, trying to kill us all, and bleaching his hair?” Xander gives Spike a fake pitying look. “Nice to see that you finally figured it out, went back to slumming. Your wedding date was a real quality piece.”

“Least I took my date with me when I left.”

“Shut the hell up!” Xander stops and turns, fury evident in every line. “You have no idea what happened. None. So shut the fuck up about Anya.”

“Heard you had a vision. Some great truth, scared the shit out of you.” Spike isn’t fazed. “You ran because you couldn’t face it, you pathetic poof.”

He almost misses it. The tiny flash of fear in Xander’s eyes, behind the anger.

So that’s it.

“Ran because you saw something you couldn’t deny.”

He leans toward Xander.

“What did that vision of yours really show you? Did it show you that you’re like your Dad?”

He doesn’t think Xander’s aware that he’s started to slowly back away.

“Or did it show you – that you’re not? That instead, you’re what your daddy always said you were?”

Bullseye. That hits home. He can almost hear the thunk as the barb embeds itself.

“You’re not the marrying type, Harris. Pretend all you like, try and conform, but you’ll know, deep down, it’s just a mask.” His eyes glow golden for a moment. “Something you wear to hide your… difference.”

He closes the distance between them, puts on a slink.

“Can’t hide your true nature. What you really… want.”

He’s got his best leer in place, taunting, teasing. Little flick of the tongue across his lower lip. Eyes narrowing, knowing glint. It’s fun pushing Harris to the edge.

Rather, it’s fun until Xander slams a fist into the leer, a fist powered by hatred and fear and denial and guilt and all the other ugly things that once crawled out of Pandora’s box.

Spike blocks the next few swings, deflecting, dancing out of reach, but defensive moves can only take you so far. The best defense is a good offense, they say, and technology’s removed that option.

Xander corners him against the Baxter mausoleum, pins him against the stone with a forearm to the throat and a hipcheck that confirms two things Spike had suspected. One, Xander had in fact been checking out his ass; two, he – or his dick, at any rate – liked what he’d seen.

He tries to throw Xander off without actually hurting him but the boy’s too strong, shoves him roughly back against the wall, smiling vindictively as Spike’s head cracks on the stone.

Fuck it. Spike kicks out and smashes forward with his head. Xander’s hold relaxes but Spike can’t get free; the chip goes off hard enough to render him half-blind and useless. By the time he recovers, Xander’s got him pinned again, arms above his head, chest to chest, knee to knee.

And Xander’s got a punishing look on his face and is slowly grinding against him. Taking what Spike was blatantly offering – though he’d never intended to make good on the promises.

His body, though – his body’s used to this. Being thrown around, slammed into walls or tombstones, punched and suffocated – standard Slayer foreplay. His cock responds like Pavlov’s dog, sitting up and salivating. It’s been starving for attention.

Xander’s clearly taken aback when Spike starts moving under him. He doesn’t let go, though. Speeds up the pace, shifts his legs slightly for better friction, and starts thrusting harder and faster. There’s no joy in his expression, but it’s a familiar one – the same desperate, guilty need that drove Buffy – and it meets its twin in Spike.

They’re rutting hard and breathless against each other, each taking from this, no giving, no middle ground. Their eyes are still battling, gazes like lasers, making a heroic last stand in the fight their bodies have given up on – damn treacherous bodies, with their animal instincts and lusts – but from one instant to the next there’s an infinitesimal shift. And suddenly their stares aren’t pushing them apart, they’re pulling them even closer together.

He can’t look away from Xander’s face, where rage is transmuting, alchemizing into something equally intense and crazy. Very likely just as destructive, too, but Spike’s committed now.

Xander’s losing all rhythm, hips jerking erratically as he pushes Spike even harder against the wall. His eyes are wide and dark and disbelieving, pupils blown, and he doesn’t close them as he comes. Spike can feel him pulsing even through two layers of denim, and fuck, he’s so close, but he needs more.

Still shuddering and gulping for air, Xander drops his head on Spike’s shoulder, and bites him hard.

It’s almost like having the chip fire. He’s half-blind and useless; he’d have fallen if Xander hadn’t held him through it.

Xander backs away, closes his eyes, and sinks down against the mausoleum wall, unmindful of the dew on the grass. He stares blankly at his hands.

“I know why I did that,” he says finally. “But why did you?”

“Surprised you need to ask.” Spike lights up. “Evil. Disgusting. Deviant. Vampire, remember?”

Xander sits through three cigarettes before saying quietly, “Yeah. I remember.”

He stands and looks at Spike with a surprising dignity, only slightly marred by the damp patches on both front and back of his jeans. “So what’s my excuse?”

It surprises Spike, how much it hurts to watch him walk away in the cold grey light of approaching dawn.

The End

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