Written for fall_for_sx.
Standard disclaimers apply; also, I think of this as being set in reremouse's awesome Newspaper!verse, which she was gracious enough to let me dabble in once before.
Thanks to madame_meretrix for beta-reading - any remaining mistakes are mine.
God Save The Queen
“Hey, Spike? You’ll never guess what.”
Xander sauntered into the room, affecting an air of nonchalance. Rather, he managed to keep a nonchalant expression on his face; every other bit of him was vibrating with suppressed glee. Spike eyed him suspiciously.
Xander held out the folded section of newspaper.
Spike glanced at it and nodded.
“Yeah, I heard. On the telly last night.”
Xander dropped onto the couch next to him. “And… you’re not... even remotely excited?”
“There’s a time for everything.” Spike stared out the window. At nightfall, Xander had pulled back the curtains; a few high-magnitude stars were visible despite the constant glow from the city.
“I don’t understand.” Xander’s grin was fading into bewilderment. “You play them at least once a week. You’re always complaining about all the wannabes and posers that came after them.” He looked down at the paper, then threw it onto the coffee table. “And they’re only playing five shows. If you wanna see them, this is the time.”
“Wouldn’t be them. Not really.”
Xander frowned. “But… it said they’re the original members.”
“’S the point, innit?”
“Well, yeah. It’s a reunion tour. How is this not a good thing?” Xander spread his hands. “I can’t believe it. You’re practically a walking advertisement for them. How can you not be interested in seeing the Sex Pistols?”
Spike sighed and turned to face him. “Bunch of old buggers now, yeah? Pistols probably don’t even shoot half the time.”
He ran a hand up Xander’s leg. “Saw ‘em in Manchester in ’76 – now that was worth seeing.”
Xander opened his mouth to speak but Spike leaned in and kissed him roughly, then continued talking while Xander blinked. “Music like that takes passion. Fire. You play like that when you’re young, angry,” he undid Xander’s belt one-handed, “and ready to fuck or fight on a moment’s notice.” He shoved a hand down the front of Xander’s pants; Xander gasped and let his legs fall apart as Spike gripped his swelling cock.
Spike’s hands were rough and his voice almost angry. “It never works, trying to recapture that. Trying to turn back time.” He yanked open Xander’s fly and wormed his other hand in around Xander’s balls. “They were bloody brilliant. But their day’s past. Should just let it go.”
“Live fast, die young?” It was hard to get words out, let alone in the right order, while on the receiving end of a truly magnificent handjob, but Xander persevered. “All good things come to an end?”
Spike was silent, eyes and mouth inscrutable, but his hands used every trick and familiarity they knew, hard and fast and just the right side of too intense, and it was good. And, eventually, it ended. Too soon, not soon enough.
Xander slumped where’d he’d fallen sideways on the couch, feeling come slowly trickle down and pool in the crevices around his ass and thighs. He couldn’t care enough to move. Every nerve buzzed a low-level hum of satisfaction.
“Yeah,” Spike said.
Xander’s brain, which had been happily ticking along in neutral, was unhappy at being asked to engage first gear. The clutch was sluggish, but eventually the synapses fired and he remembered he’d asked a question.
“So… this is like not visiting Grandma?”
Spike raised both eyebrows at that. “You didn’t visit your grandma?”
Xander mustered enough energy and coordination for a glare. “I did – and let me tell you, the cemeteries around here are a hell of a lot livelier than the nursing homes – but that’s not the point. I mean, people always say they don’t want to see Grandma when she’s all decrepit and forgetful, ‘cause they want to remember her the way she was before. For most of them, I figure it’s a convenient lie.”
“Probably is,” Spike agreed.
“But you’re using it.”
Spike shook his head. “It’s different for vamps.”
“Because you eat your grandmothers?”
Spike snorted. “Apart from that.”
“Did you visit her before that?”
“I didn’t eat my grandmother! Can we leave her out of this?”
“You brought it up.”
“I did not! It’s your bloody stupid analogy.”
“You’re the one who doesn’t want to see your favorite band because they’re old.”
Spike grimaced. “’S not that simple.”
“Neither am I.” Xander began pulling his clothing together. “Try me.”
Spike fiddled with his rings for several moments.
Xander kept silent.
Finally Spike spoke. “Being undead… puts you on a different time scale. If you keep clear of the Slayer, sunlight, holy water, etcetera, etcetera – you’re potentially immortal.”
“Well, yeah,” Xander said.
Spike shook his head. “No. You don’t get it either. Most vamps don’t, come to that. They still act like they’re human.” He abruptly rose and began pacing. “They get attached to things – people, places – and forget those things can’t keep pace with them.”
He scrabbled a hand through his hair. “It always hurts. Usually it’s what gets them killed. It’s almost never worth it.”
Silence. A cat yowled in the night.
Xander said carefully, “I can see that.”
“Best to just move on. Let things go.”
Spike turned and for a moment, his face spoke of loss and longing down all the years. Of being fixed in time while mortal things faded and broke and decayed.
Then it fell back into one of its more habitual expressions, that of smug sexiness, and Spike dropped back down on the sofa. “There’s exceptions.”
“Glad to hear it.”
“Probably ought to talk about it one of these days, though.”
Xander made a noncommittal noise.
“No rush. Should think about it before the nursing home stage, is all.”
“Definitely. Do old people taste gross? How was your grandmother?”
“I didn’t eat my grandmother!”
“I bet you’ve eaten someone’s grandmother.”
“And if I had, you wouldn’t want to hear the story.” Spike dug around in the sofa cushions and tossed the phone at Xander. “Pizza?”
“Pizza,” Xander agreed, hitting speed dial.
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