Written for the cya_ficathon. The request was: Spander, season 4 - what if it was Xander who was looking after Spike right after he got chipped instead of Willow? I took "looking after" to mean the scene in the dorm room where Spike attempts to bite Willow and fails to, uh, perform.
I have taken a few liberties with the timeline and certain events to make it flow smoothly. Nearly all dialogue is taken verbatim from the show, up to the crucial scene at which point it varies a bit of necessity to suit this AR. The title is from an REM song.
Pairing: Spike/Xander, non-graphic Xander/Anya
Disclaimer: Characters not mine. Full disclaimer here.
Many thanks to apreludetoanend and madame_meretrix for superb (and last-minute) beta reading, and to cordelianne for MSN chats, canon discussions and general encouragement. :)
Near Wild Heaven
Xander’s finally got his own place. So it’s a basement. So it’s his parents’ basement. It’s still his place, with its own door and its own ceiling and he’s hanging his very own mirrorball from it because that’s what you do when you’re a young, single, hip and happenin’ kind of guy. Even if – maybe especially if – you’re the non-college-going kind of guy.
He’s just about got the ball to hang correctly and spin freely, when somebody knocks on the door. He’s concentrating so hard on not dropping it that he forgets all Sunnydale protocol and absently says, “Come in.”
He nearly swallows his tongue when he realizes, but it’s too late. Fortunately, it’s not a demon at the door, merely an ex-demon.
“Anya. Hi again.”
She looks askance at his attempt at decorating. “Your mother sent me around from the front of the house. She said to ask you to add fabric softener when the timer goes off. Can we talk some more?”
Xander winces internally. He’s not sure which is worse: that his mother’s seen Anya, or that Anya wants to Discuss Their Relationship again. “Yeah, I suppose. Would you like something? I have cran-apple.”
He heads over to the fridge and rummages around a bit, buying himself time to think. She’s pretty. Prom was… okay. Sure, she’s got a questionable past, but she’s on the vengeance wagon now and it’s not as if normal women are throwing themselves at his feet. Why is he so lukewarm about this?
“You know, it is customary to call before you show up. Not that – ”
He turns around. Anya is standing there naked as the day she was born so many, many years ago. The cran-apple spills, forgotten, to the already-sticky floor.
She talks. Xander stares. Eventually, he realizes he probably ought to be listening.
“At that point the matter is brought to a conclusion with both parties satisfied and able to move on with their separate lives and interests. To sum up, I think it's a workable plan.” She nods, with a satisfied look.
He wonders if he fell off the chair when putting in the hook for the mirrorball. Or maybe he stared into it too long and now he’s hypnotized or hallucinating. “So, the crux of this plan is – ”
“Sexual intercourse. I've said it, like, a dozen times.”
He must have hit his head. “Uh, huh. Just working through a little hysterical deafness here.”
Her look is not so much seductive as determined. “I think it's the secret to getting you out of my mind. Putting you behind me. Behind me figuratively. I'm thinking face to face for the actual event itself.”
A naked woman is standing in front of him, Xander Harris, freely offering him sex. He is astounded by what he says next.
“Ah, right. It's just – we hardly know each other. I mean, I like you. And you have a certain directness that I admire. But sexual interc – what you're talking about, well – and I'm actually turning into a woman as I say this – but it's about expressing something. And accepting consequences.”
He’s apparently not cut out to be a young, single, hip and happenin’ kind of guy.
“Oh, I have condoms. Some are black.”
“That's... that's very considerate.” Gods. He is turning into a woman, and Anya seems to have cornered the market on hip and happenin’.
“I like you. You're funny, and you're nicely shaped. And frankly, it's ludicrous to have these interlocking bodies and not... interlock. Please remove your clothing now.”
It’s safe to say this isn’t something he’d expected. Or even fantasized about. His fantasy lovers tend to sound less like Data. Although since this summer, he’s as likely to dream about Riker as he is Deanna Troi. While high school taught him about literature, geometry, physics, vampires, Slayers, witches, werewolves, and giant snakes, Oxnard provided an entirely different, but equally world-view-changing kind of education.
But she’s here, she’s naked, and his body’s got the message that there is sex to be had. He starts to drift towards her. Their orbits are intersecting, and you can’t fight gravity.
“And the amazing thing?” he mumbles. “Still more romantic than Faith.”
Just as they kiss, the buzzer for the dryer goes off. The romance doesn’t stop, it seems.
“Fabric softener,” Anya reminds him.
Xander laughs and kisses her harder.
She’s nothing if not enthusiastic, and although it may have been eons since she last interlocked, her parts are fully functional. She’s also loud. For the first time ever, Xander is thankful that his mother is listening to Michael Bolton at top volume.
Xander is equally functional but less loud. And if he’s also less enthused than Anya, he’s enough of a gentleman not to let on. His body’s having a good time, at least.
Things come to their inevitable, breathless conclusion. He discovers he dropped his shirt in the puddle of cran-apple.
Anya is pulling on her clothes with economical movements. “So,” she says. “I'm over you now.” She shakes her hair back, and looks at him expectantly.
Clearly, he’s supposed to reply. Trouble is, nothing about their entire interaction this evening has followed any kind of script he could have written. His brain is still happily disengaged in post-sex mode. He has no idea what to say.
Agreeing with women is generally the course of action least likely to get him in trouble.
This is apparently one of the exceptions. Anya looks appalled. “Okay?!”
He runs his fingers through his hair. “Yeah?”
Anya stalks away. The door slams with unusual force. Michael Bolton takes no notice.
It’s weird seeing Giles in a non-library setting.
His apartment is… pretty library-like. But it’s got records. That just seems weird. It’s even weirder that Oz is sifting through them like he’s panning for gold, and finding it. And making cracks about moving in.
It is a nice apartment, sure, but Xander couldn’t live anywhere that didn’t have a –
“Whoa, Giles has a TV! Everybody, Giles has a TV. He's shallow like us.” Somehow, this is the weirdest thing. He realizes he’s never thought much about what Giles does in his spare time. Which he must have a lot of now.
“I got to admit, I'm a little disappointed,” says Oz, cocking his head at Giles. Xander blinks, but the look in Oz’ eyes has vanished. If it was ever there.
“I, uh….” Giles shuffles books, seeming oddly disconcerted. Xander supposes the whole visiting thing must be weirding him out too. That, and discovering that Spike’s back, apparently searching for something the books said didn’t exist. It really throws Giles off when books can’t be trusted.
“Well, maybe it doesn't work. Like a piece of art?” Willow offers.
Xander tests this hypothesis. Willow’s wrong. He glances at the TV, half-expecting to hear that hell has frozen over. Giles has a TV, and Willow is wrong.
Hell hasn’t frozen over, but yet more weirdness: today, it’s the TV that holds the answer, not the books.
“…near the UC Sunnydale campus. Officials attribute the unusual occurrence to weakening of the supporting topsoil nearby. City work crews denied any tunneling has been done in the area…”
Giles shuts the book with a bang. “Tunneling. Spike. Xander, find Buffy and meet us there.”
Finding Buffy is more complicated than it sounds, given that she’s not in her dorm but for some reason Anya is. Why Anya is looking for him in the girls’ dorm is something Xander will doubtless worry about later, but right now he really doesn’t have time. From the look she shoots him as he dashes down the hall, he’s thankful she’s not active in the vengeance department these days. At least, not mystically.
How to find Buffy when she could be anywhere on campus, or off it? Maybe they should all have two-way radios. Or tracker devices. Or communicators. Yeah, communicators. Computer, locate Buffy Summers.
Or he could just follow the screams, and run towards whatever everyone else is running from. Standard Hellmouth operating procedure.
His brain has trouble processing the scene. The bits don’t fit together; it’s as if Luke Skywalker suddenly materialized on the bridge of the Enterprise. Buffy is fighting Spike. In broad daylight. The Gem of Amara is real.
His feet slow unwittingly as he watches. They’re so beautiful in the sun.
Both of them.
Buffy’s taking a beating. Spike, vamp face to the fore, has her pressed up against a pole. She manages to get her hands up and throttle him – geez Buff, vampire? doesn’t breathe? – and shoves him back with a kick to the stomach. He falls but he’s up in an instant, spinning, launching a kick at her. Moving like a panther, lithe, black and deadly. Dancing in delight.
Crash of glass as Buffy hits a table. Xander speeds up again, crazily wondering if the area’s got security cameras – and if Spike would show up on them. Girl throws self through table after being dumped by callous jerk. She rolls to her feet and Spike drops her with another series of blows.
“Getting tired, Slayer?”
Time is moving like toffee, sticky and slow. He’s almost there. Buffy needs him.
She throws him a disbelieving look. “Xander, get out of here!”
It hurts. Not quite as much as being seized, shaken, and thrown into a pole by Spike, but it hurts.
Xander lies there and watches the rest of the fight play out. He’s fairly sure he’s concussed. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be thinking about how strong Spike’s hands were on his arms, or the brief moment when he was pulled against that hard, cool frame. Or the terrible, intense glee in Spike’s eyes. Ice shards in the sun.
If his breath is coming fast and shallow watching the vampire move – well, his ribs hurt.
Buffy has Spike by the hand. He can’t shake her. “Take it off me this way, we both burn,” he threatens.
Burning would be bad. Xander starts to struggle up. Concussed or no, he doesn’t want to see Buffy burn. See them burn.
Buffy, who is not concussed, doesn’t buy Spike’s bluff. The acrid smell of smoke finally banishes the leather-and-whiskey that lingered around Xander. Clears his head. He won’t spend any more time thinking about the way Spike moved. Or how unearthly his skin looked in the sun. He’s not a creature meant to be seen by daylight.
Of course Buffy wants to give Angel the ring. She never thinks straight when Angel’s involved. Sleep with a vampire and apparently they own your soul. And he’s going to stop thinking about sleeping with vampires. Now.
But he doesn’t make a fuss about the ring.
Anya shows up in his apartment two weeks later. Not even a knock this time. She berates him for not calling. He can’t seem to care. It’s flattering that someone wants to have sex with him more than once, but his ego is the only thing that swells. She makes a few blunt comments about his living arrangements and lack of higher education. The conversation, already stuttering, chokes and dies. They stare at each other in silence. Her eyes are – the wrong colour.
After she storms out, Xander finishes making the bed. His housekeeping’s been atrocious lately, but he’s been doing a lot of laundry. It’s been necessary, since nearly every morning he wakes to soaked boxers, and often sticky sheets. And while cold stickiness is uncomfortable, it’s vastly preferable to the morning that he woke with boxers shoved down around his thighs and a death grip on his cock, shaking and gasping, seconds away from coming. He refuses to think about that morning, when, desperate for release, he allowed himself to imagine that the fingers on him were cool as well as strong, and the gaze pinning him to the bed burned him like frost. Other nights – well. He can’t be blamed for his dreams.
He pokes about, straightening things, finding old pizza boxes and yet more laundry. He feels oddly disconnected.
Perhaps beer will help him process whatever the hell is wrong with him these days.
He puts his feet up on the coffee table and chucks the cap at the trash can, missing it by inches. Tonight, his mother’s playing Celine Dion. He retaliates with REM, although he’s not feeling particularly shiny or happy.
Halfway through his third bottle, there's a knock at the door.
Oh God. Maybe if I just ignore her, she’ll go away? Xander takes a deep swallow, and reluctantly decides that’s probably a bad move. “Sure. Come in.”
The door slams open and shut in a split second. The person now on the inside of the door is definitely not Anya. Or human, for that matter. Xander’s brain short-circuits as he realizes that for the second time in a month, he’s invited an unseen guest in. Fuck.
“Spike! You’re, uh – not Anya! What are you doing here?”
Maybe if he acts nonchalant, Spike won’t suspect he’s about to – oh.
Spike easily grabs him as he attempts to dive past out the door, and throws him back against the washing machine. Ow. The fabric softener bottle cracks when it lands. Xander’s floor is reaching new heights of stickiness. At least it’s summer-fresh. I’m losing it.
“I’ll give you a choice.” Spike stalks over towards him. “Now, I’m gonna kill you. No choice in that. But… I can let you stay dead. Or…”
Most of Xander’s brain crawls into a small dark corner and wibbles at this point. A small, disconnected part notices that he is now face-to-groin with Spike.
“…or bring you back, to be like me.”
Be like Spike. Be with Spike.
No. He doesn’t want to be a vampire. He also doesn’t want to be getting painfully hard, but his dick has an agenda of its own.
“You wouldn’t dare. Buffy would – ”
Spike growls, picks him up and throws him across the room again. Xander lands on the sofabed with a crash. Celine Dion and Michael Stipe take no notice.
“Buffy won’t be a problem,” Spike leers. “We’ll take her down. Together.”
Cold horror hits Xander as he realizes that it’s true. That he undoubtedly would go after Buffy.
“No!” he yells and lunges for Spike, trying to punch him, kick him in the groin, anything. Spike laughs, holds him at arms length, and easily forces him back down on the sofa. Leans down towards his neck.
The wibbling bit of Xander’s brain curls into a small ball and hums to itself. The apparently suicidal bit is distracted by the way Spike’s black tee-shirt stretches as his arms flex, and the faint shadow of stubble on his jaw. Didn’t know vampires could get five o’clock shadow. What time is it anyway? Shit, I’m going to die. At least I had sex again. Even if it was Anya.
This is beyond a doubt the most surreal thing to happen to him in – possibly ever.
“I don’t understand.” Spike looks morose. “This sort of thing’s never happened to me before.”
They’re sitting side by side on the sofa. Xander wonders if he could make it to the door, but he’s pretty sure it would result in more throwing and more bruises. Possibly an even stickier floor. Drying blood is very tacky stuff. And bleeding all over hungry Spike is probably a bad idea.
“Maybe you were nervous?” He’s reassuring a vampire – a leather-clad, bad-ass, hypersexual vampire – about performance anxiety. Did I really turn into a girl when I wasn’t looking?
“I felt all right when I started,” Spike snarls. “Let’s try again!” and he lunges before Xander has time to process or even blink. “Ow! Damn it!” He backs off, tries again, flinches away. His hands, however, remain on Xander’s shoulders. Cool and strong.
Xander’s veins are awash with adrenaline, and his cock throbs. He tries to will down his arousal through logical reasoning, but his body seems disinclined to listen. Oh, come on. Danger should not equal “sex now!” He figures he must be wired wrong. Too much time on the Hellmouth, and suddenly mortal peril’s an aphrodisiac. He briefly, suddenly wonders if that’s the deal with Buffy.
Spike throws up his hands in disgust, rises and starts to pace. Xander feels oddly bereft. “Maybe you're trying too hard. Doesn't this happen to every vampire?”
Spike kicks the washing machine, denting the door. “Not to me, it doesn't!”
“It's me, isn't it?”
Even as the words leave his mouth, Xander can’t believe he’s saying it. Neither can Spike, it appears, who turns and gapes at him. “What are you talking about?”
Xander’s mouth continues to speak for his hormones instead of his brain.
“You don’t really want to bite me. If Buffy were here, you’d be all over her neck. I just happened to be convenient. No wonder you can’t… perform.”
Spike’s eyebrows reach new heights.
Xander slumps deeper into the sofa. “I’m not much of a prize. Not someone you’d want to sink your teeth into. Probably not even someone you’d want to hang out and drink beer with.” He waves his now-empty bottle. “Help yourself, by the way.”
“Don't be ridiculous. I'd bite you in a heartbeat.”
“Really?” Xander picks half-heartedly at his beer label.
Spike drops down on the sofa beside him again. “Thought about it.”
“When?” This time, Xander’s eyebrows go up.
“That time Angel offered you to me? You smelled delicious. All fear and anger and rushing blood.” Spike snorts. “Sad, that. Got my ass kicked by the Slayer because I was distracted by her nummy treat of a sidekick.”
Xander feels numb. “I never would have guessed. You played the blood-lust pretty cool.”
Spike shrugs, and morphs back to his human face. “I hate being obvious. All fangy and ‘rrrr!’ Takes the mystery out.”
“But if you could...” Xander tries to bite off his girly tongue before it embarrasses him further.
“If I could, yeah.” Spike puts his feet up on the coffee table and looks morose. His eyes are dull. Not the way Xander remembers them, ice and fire.
“You know, this doesn't make you any less terrifying,” Xander offers.
And sucks in a panicked breath as Spike is suddenly in his face, one hand each side of his head, almost spitting with rage. “Don't patronize me!”
That’s how his eyes ought to look. Xander stares at them and can’t move. He’s a broken-winged baby bird and all he can do is hold the snake’s gaze and wait for it to strike.
Spike is practically in his lap. The smell of leather is all around. He remembers the way those pale fingers dug into his arms, and his cock jumps. He can barely breathe.
“So that’s how it is.” Spike’s voice is almost a purr. Xander hears the tone but not the words. He’s burning up and the ice is so close.
“Delicious little morsel you are. Shall we save the biting for later?”
The hands are on him, now, just the way he remembers and dreams. Spike swings a leg over and straddles his lap. His thighs are a vise. Xander’s thighs are trembling.
When the kiss finally comes, it isn’t a serpent strike. It’s surprisingly gentle.
Spike’s mouth slants over his possessively but softly. His lips are cool, too. Xander closes his eyes and is back in his dreams. He doesn’t wonder about why Spike hasn’t killed him by now, and simply moans as Spike deepens the kiss. Their tongues taste, tease, retreat, return. Xander begins stroking up and down the vampire’s spine in long arcs, pulling their bodies together, and moans again at the unforgotten feel of Spike’s chest against his.
His hips rise, at first unconsciously, but then Spike makes this little noise deep in his throat, and Xander starts writhing beneath him, trying to elicit more. Spike is hard against him and Xander’s rendered more breathless by this evidence of Spike’s interest than by the unending kisses. He moves his hands to Spike’s ass and squeezes, arching up. Spike responds by sliding his hands under Xander’s shirt.
Xander’s never paid much attention to his nipples, figuring that’s a girl thing. Clearly, he was misinformed. Spike rubs and pinches and each rough touch sends a new jolt to Xander’s leaking cock. He whimpers, shoves his hands down the back of the impossibly tight jeans, and keeps kissing that mobile, amazing mouth. If he can keep kissing forever, he doesn’t have to think.
It’s Spike who breaks the kiss, finally, and leans back. Xander holds his breath, but Spike merely moves his hands down and starts undoing Xander’s pants. Xander once again forgets how to breathe, until cool, strong fingers wrap around him and he gasps. He’s back in his dreams, lost in Spike’s taste and feel and smell, in wintry eyes that burn with want. For him.
Spike is stripping him expertly and he’s on the edge already, driven by adrenaline and lust. His balls tighten and his head falls back in anticipation of release. Spike stops, gripping the base of his cock tightly. Xander whines in frustration and disbelief as Spike stands - but then drops to his knees, nudging Xander’s legs apart.
“I’m still hungry, boy,” Spike purrs.
Dear God. Spike is on his knees and lowering his mouth to Xander’s so-ready cock. He watches in disbelief as he’s taken between those perfect lips, as Spike’s cheeks hollow even further with suction, and then he’s screwing his eyes shut and thrashing, choking back a scream, as he pours himself into Spike’s mouth.
He’s still shuddering, twitching with aftershock, as Spike pulls off and stands, ripping open his fly. He manages to open his eyes. Spike is jacking himself relentlessly, looking Xander over with an inscrutable expression, and then he grunts and his face contorts in a purely human way. Xander watches in stunned fascination as Spike shoots messily over Xander’s stomach and thighs. Splatters of cold come land on his spent cock. It tickles.
He just sits. He has no idea what happens next. I just got sucked off by a mortal enemy. Who then came all over me.
Spike shoves himself back in his jeans, does them up hastily. He looks – angry? Bitter? Disgusted? Whatever it is, it’s not a good post-sex look. Not a good look in general. Xander thinks he really should move, but his muscles aren’t cooperating, and his brain is too fuzzy to recall the location of the nearest stake. Spike sits beside him and leans into his neck once again and Xander knows he should be freaking but his nervous system can’t handle any more excitement at this point.
“Maybe if I work up to it gradually?” he hears Spike mutter, and there’s a rasp of tongue up the side of his jaw, followed by the lightest graze of still-blunt teeth. He has to stop this. Now. This is Spike trying to eat him. This is not supposed to set his skin quivering and his dick filling again.
Spike stops in mid-lick. He appears to be listening to something beyond the range of Xander’s ears.
“Fuck!” Spike’s on his feet, heading for the door. “They’re here.” He whirls back, levels a finger at Xander. “You never saw me.”
Xander looks down at the white smears on his clothes. “There’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.”
Spike snarls and yanks open the door. “Cut the comedy. I wasn’t here.” He pauses momentarily, leers down at Xander. For a moment, he’s the cocky, beautiful predator Xander remembers dancing in the sunshine.
“I will be though. Be seeing you again.” And he’s gone.
Xander’s just pulling off his come-soaked jeans when there’s a crashing knock at the door. He yanks on a pair of sweat pants and hops towards the stairs. “Who is it?”
“Special Ops. Open the door, please.”
What the fuck?
He slowly opens the door. Wow. There’s a bunch of guys in camouflage, face masks and night goggles on his doorstep. Heavily armed guys. One of them steps forward.
“We’ve been called in to deal with an escaped criminal, highly dangerous. We have reason to believe he’s in this area. Have you seen or heard anything suspicious tonight, sir?”
Xander shakes his head. “It’s been a, uh, quiet night. Nobody else here. Some guy came to the door, I think selling something, but I was, uh, busy. I told him to get lost.”
He smells of semen. Busy. He can’t see their expressions behind the masks but he’s pretty sure they’re failing to keep straight faces. The leader’s voice doesn’t change though, as he says “Sorry to have bothered you, sir. I suggest you keep the door locked and don’t let anyone in. The fugitive may be armed.”
No, Xander thinks. No, he’s not. And he’s glad that he didn’t get eaten, but he keeps seeing the bitterness in Spike’s gaze, and the desperately sad droop in his shoulders.
The army guys leave. Xander looks down at himself and resigns himself to another load of laundry. I’ll be seeing you again.
God help him, but he hopes so.