In Plain Sight


“I am never going to get laid.”

“Quit bitching.”

“Seriously!” Xander slumped heavily on one elbow and waved a finger at Spike. “First, there’s the whole can-we-get-through-the-first-date-without-an-apocalypse thing. I’m telling you, at least half the time Buffy calls just after we’ve ordered food. And then…” he drained the last of his beer and put the bottle down with unnecessary force, “…assuming they survive the first date and don’t run away screaming, or get kidnapped or sacrificed, then I’ve gotta find time for a second date before they think I’m the kind of asshole who doesn’t call back. Did I tell you about Sarah? She – ”

“Yeah, you wouldn’t bloody well shut up about her and her legs and her – ”

“ – and you’d think the fact I was in hospital with a concussion would be a good enough excuse, but no – ”

Spike stared pointedly at the ceiling.

“And then!” Xander took a deep breath to continue his diatribe. “On the rare occasions I am lucky enough to find someone who is willing to go out with me, understands the weirdness that is Sunnydale, and doesn’t mind my bizarre ‘work’ hours… then I have to introduce them to the gang.”

“I’d dump you too, friends like those,” Spike agreed.

“No, no.” Xander shook his head vigorously, grabbing onto the bar counter for support as he overbalanced and nearly fell off his stool. “They get along fine at first. But then somebody has to bring up the damn syphilis.”

Spike narrowly avoided snorting beer through his nose.

“It’s always the beginning of the end,” Xander said mournfully.

“Huh,” Spike said. “Well, seems pretty obvious to me.”

“What does?”

“You’re chasing the wrong kind of person.”

Xander’s mouth twisted. “Yeah, haha, very funny. Xander can’t possibly date a normal woman; he’s, like, monster bait. Never heard that one before.”

“Your track record speaks for itself.”

“Fuck off, Spike.”

“No, hear me out.” Spike started ticking things off on his fingers. “You need someone who knows about the Hellmouth. Someone who can hold their own in demon encounters. Someone who can put up with your godawful mouthy friends. Someone who won’t get their panties in a bunch when you don’t call or bring flowers or remember your two-and-a-half-week anniversary. And you for bloody well sure need someone who’s a tiger in the sack, because you weren’t half this whiny when you were sticking it to Anyanka on a regular basis.”

“I’m not whiny.

Spike snorted. “You whine more than Wesley Crusher.”

“And they call me the geek.”

“Not much on at four in the afternoon,” Spike shrugged. “Quit getting sidetracked. There’s an obvious choice.”

Xander blinked. “Who?”


Xander stared for a moment, then burst out laughing.

It didn’t take vampire senses to hear the strained note in the laughter, or note the slight widening of the eyes. Probably no one but a vampire would have heard the escalated heartbeat, though, or sensed the faint prickle of sweat.

“Nice one, Spike.” Xander planted his palm on the bar, shook his head again. “For a moment, I thought you had a real answer.”

No one but a vampire – or, okay, over forty different types of demon, but none of those were in the immediate vicinity – would have been consciously aware of the pheromone rush, the twin smells of lust and guilt.

“I’m dead serious,” Spike said casually, stretching his arms up and cracking his neck, suppressing a smile when Xander’s eyes zeroed in on the strip of skin between his tight black T-shirt and even tighter black jeans. “You want to get laid. So do I. We should fuck. Don’t have to tell your friends if you don’t want to, but ’s not like the Slayer’s got any right to complain about people fucking vampires.”

Xander opened and closed his mouth a few times.

“Quit the fish impression,” Spike advised. “Not your best look.”

“Why me?”

Spike shrugged. “You smell good, and I’m horny.”

“But you could have anyone,” Xander blurted. “You’re all – sexy and clichéd and there’s the vampire thing, women seem to really go for that… You got Buffy, for crying out loud!”

“Yeah, and that worked out so well,” Spike muttered. “Kind of killed my prospects, to be honest. Buffy and Red keep scaring off any humans, and nobody from the demon side’s too keen to be seen with the Slayer’s ex.”

He squared his shoulders and summoned a leer.

“So what’s it gonna be, Harris? You game?”

He picked up his almost-empty beer and tipped the last dregs into his mouth, lips closing suggestively and working around the neck of the bottle, tongue poking into his cheek.

“Angelus said I gave better blowjobs than Darla,” he said, putting the bottle down, “and she was a professional. Anyanka was always going on about your stamina. Want to put it to the test?”

There was a very long pause. Spike dropped his gaze to the bulge in Xander’s jeans, and raised an eyebrow.

“Only if you swear never to talk about Angel and sex in the same sentence again,” Xander said finally.

“Deal,” Spike said, and hauled him out of the bar.

The End