“Look, I don’t know what else you want.”
“I want off this dung heap.”
“Well… yeah. But the first ship I could get passage on doesn’t leave for another week.”
“You’re still a white-hat.”
“You. You’ve a bloody white-hat after all this time.” Spike tossed back his shot. “You’re over 500 years old, Xan. Do something a little crazy once in a while.”
“Like you?” Xander poured them both another round of shots.
“Sure. You hafta admit that those years I spent bull-riding were pretty cool.”
“I really don’t.”
“You couldn’t have done it.”
“I didn’t want to. It’s never, NEVER, been a goal of mine to join a sport where being gutted by a horn is part of the fun.” He looked over at the blonde, “Or getting my balls stepped on by a two thousand pound animal.”
“That happened once.”
“And that was the worst year for both of us.”
“No the worst year was when we left Earth-that-was.”
“Well… alright. I admit to that being the worst year. Wait… what were we fighting again?” Xander tossed back his shot.
“I want off this rock.”
“Still got that California wit, I see.”
“And I’m still devilishly handsome.” Xander smirked at the blonde.
“Yes, luv, you are.” Spike leaned closer and brushed his lips lightly over Xander's. “But that’s my line.” He smiled broadly.
A loud crash from the far side of the bar brought their attention away from each other. Xander leaned around the edge of their booth and watched as a large dark haired man picked up a table and threw it into the chest of a smaller man. A second man backed up into the first, they danced smoothly around the floor, back to back, dodging fists and kicks but landing a few blows of their own. Xander slid out of the booth and moved closer to the brawlers. Spike followed, pulling their coats and duffels with him. He watched as Xander’s body vibrated with energy and his eyes glazed with a look of pure joy. Spike pushed him forward lightly, encouraging. Xander focused briefly on the blonde and then dashed headfirst into the fray, deftly muscling alongside the two men.
Spike watched as Xander moved into the fight. He was smaller then the large man, equal sized to the second one. But Xander threw attackers off him like they were nothing. He fought beautifully; Spike mused that it was like watching him dance. Xander’s expression was one of giddy joy. A child playing with a new toy. Spike found a wall to lean on as he watched the fight continue. He lit a cigarette and knocked out a would-be attacker without looking at him. His eyes completely focused on the three men moving in the center of the room.
A gun blast from the entrance ended the fight before Xander was even warmed up. He came out of a spin-kick and stood facing the door. The two men behind him shrugged at each other and moved away from the door slowly. Spike watched as a marshal moved into the room. His gun drawn on Xander.
“Son, you best be on your way before I decide to blame you for this mess,” he said, his gun holding steadily on Xander.
“Officer.” Xander nodded, but did not move away.
“Last warning.” The marshal had moved farther into the room and was now just past arms length from Xander. Spike watched as Xander worked through his options. He knew there were only three choices for his friend and only one got them out of there with no suspicions. The blonde made a soft growl and watched as Xander tried to fight it. He growled again, slightly louder. Xander’s shoulders slumped and his rigid posture melted. Xander stepped out of the marshal’s path and edged towards Spike. The marshal watched him for a moment and then continued into the room, intent on catching the culprits.
The two men had used Xander’s distraction to their best advantage and had slipped out through the back room. The marshal swore and turned quickly to point his gun on the boy and his companion but found the space where they’d been empty. He looked around and counted three bodies and eight wounded. The room itself was trashed. Tables upended and broken. Not a single chair had survived the fight. Bottles and glasses littered the floor.
“Ai ya, hwai luh!” he swore to himself.
Xander sat, his back against the tree, and pulled Spike down to straddle his lap. The blonde settled comfortably upon his younger friend. He ran his hands through Xander’s dark locks. Xander’s eyes closed contentedly as he leaned into the other man’s hand. A gentle purr rumbled through him. Spike smiled and began an answering purr.
“It amazes me. You’re still as dark as you were in Sunnydale.” Spike ran his hand lovingly down Xander’s cheek.
“Dark? My tan?” Xander looked at the contrast between his golden skin and Spike’s own alabaster. “I blame all of the different suns.” He closed his eyes again and relaxed into the Spike’s petting. Spike laughed and continued stroking Xander’s face. His other hand moved to unbutton the man’s shirt.
Xander let out an unhappy groan as Spike's petting was interrupted by a constant beeping sound. He leaned away from Spike and grabbed at his duffle bag. He pulled a small alarm clock out, turned it off, and tossed it back into the bag.
“Why do you insist on carrying that antique with you?”
“Same reason I stick with you, antique boy.” Xander chuckled and brushed his fingers through tangled blonde curls. Spike grumbled.
“The least you could do is fix it. It goes off randomly.” Spike stared at Xander. “And I’m no more antique then you, pet.”
“Ha. You’ve got a good hundred and fifty years on me, old man.” Xander smiled up at Spike, it was an old game.
“One hundred and thirty, thank you very much.”
“I’m counting the living years too, buddy.”
“That’s not fair! We never count your living years.”
“Well, Spike, that’s because we agreed to forget about those years. Better things to remember.”
“Right, luv, much better memories.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Xander's. Xander responded immediately and they kissed passionately. Xander ran his hands down Spike's back, sliding them into his trousers. He kneaded the tight muscles he found. Spike's hands had gone back to Xander's shirt and were quickly pushing it off his shoulders.
They broke from the kiss and moved down each other’s neck. Spike ran his hands down Xander's chest, raking his nails over nipples and abs. Xander heard the change happen for Spike and relaxed as he let his own demon out.
They licked at each other’s necks. Spike reached the juncture of neck and shoulder and his fangs slid into the golden skin. He waited while Xander moved to the identical spot on his neck and slipped his fangs in. Together they drank from each other, a gentle wind arising around them tossed their hair and blew lightly at Xander’s open shirt. They drank their fill of the other and then slipped fangs out of the delicate skin.
They moved back to a kiss, the distinct flavors of each melding as they explored each other’s mouths.
Xander pulled back first, leaning back into the tree as his demon receded. He gulped in air, forgetting he didn’t need to breath. Spike leaned into him, wrapping his arms tight around Xander's torso, his head resting above Xander's heart. Xander laughed as Spike's face shifted back to human and Spike made a questioning noise.
“Sorry, it tickled.”
They remained snuggled together under the tree until the sun faded from the sky. Xander pulled a blanket out of one of the duffels and wrapped it around them as the temperature dropped.
“Ya know, it’s great to not be effected by temperatures but damn I hate being cold.” Xander pulled Spike in tighter.
“Know what you mean, pet. Being out at night makes me miss my duster. That coat could really hold the heat in.”
“You never told me what happened to it.”
“Lost the original in Italy.”
“Yeah, the one I took from Nicky.”
“So if that was the original, what were you wearing after that?”
“Italian office of Wolfram and Hart gave me a replacement.”
“And I buried it with Buffy.”
“What?” Xander pushed Spike up enough so that he could see his face.
“Seemed right. ‘Twas the end of an era, wasn’t it? Her death. She was the last Scooby. Bloody miracle she lived that long.”
“Yeah, I think it was hard on her. Watching everyone pass before her.”
“Probably why she asked me to turn you. Too hard to lose you.”
“She asked you?”
“We’ve talked about this, Xander. You know why I turned you.”
“You always said that you couldn’t lose a friend. That it wasn’t my time.”
“You’ve never told me she asked you to turn me.”
“I said no.”
“What? Then what the fuck, Spike? Why am I still around if you said no.”
“She told me she wasn’t ready to lose you. She said that Red had lost too much. She told me how much she needed you around.” Spike had linked his hand with Xander's and was holding it between them. “I sat with you for days after the accident. The nurses kept telling me to leave but I never did. I thought about everything I knew about you. Remembered every fight we’d had. Remembered everything. And it clicked for me. How much you mattered, luv.” Spike looked into Xander's eyes. “I couldn’t do it for her, I wouldn’t do it for me. It wasn’t right. But for you…I could give you the chance you’d never had. I could turn you for you.”
“Spike…” Spike placed a finger on his lips to silence him.
“I don’t know how your da’ found you. Or why he bothered to attack you after all that time. Or even why you still wouldn’t hit him back. But you didn’t deserve it. I wanted you to be free of it.”
“Spike, it’s all good. Sure, when I was a kid I would’ve been angry to be turned, but you gave me so much. I can’t repay you.”
“Just promise not to leave me.” Spike looked into Xander's eyes. Xander could see hurt and pain just below the surface.
“William,” Spike flinched at the name, Xander held his face and looked into his eyes, “Love, I haven’t left you in over five hundred years and I promise I never will.”
Spike’s eyes lit up at Xander’s words and he leaned into the larger man. Their lips met in a chaste kiss, just a brushing of lips. Xander wrapped his arms tight around the blonde.
They stayed wrapped together until a loud rumble and shouting had them scrambling for their belongings. Xander held the blanket and grabbed at his duffle as Spike scooped up his duffle. He picked up a smaller bag and threw it across his chest. He slipped a jacket on over it and slid the small bag around so it rested slightly behind his hipHowH. His hand moved to rest on his side arm as he moved to stand against the tree. Xander pulled his gun out and moved to a crouch beside him. They remained still as the rumble grew louder and closer. The shouts tapered off.
“Think they found out about the gems, Xander?” Spike whispered, one hand going to the small bag.
“Doubt it. Sounds like they’re looking for a man and a woman. Pretty as you are, Spike, I’d hardly call you a woman.” Xander grinned up at Spike.
“Quiet. They’ve stopped the vehicle, mule I think.”
“No horses?” Spike looked around their hiding spot. He didn’t see a better place to conceal themselves or an escape route.
“Not yet. But I’d bet there’s some on the way. Smell of these boys.”
“Think we should move to the trees?”
“Best place to hide. On three?” Xander turned to his partner to find Spike already scurrying up the trunk. He turned to face the tree and jumped about halfway up the trunk, scrambling up beside Spike.
“No, I’m not sure they came this way. But I know I heard voices from over here,” the first man said.
“Sam, if they made it this far already with the goods- they’d have to be using a mule. We won’t catch ‘em,” said the second man.
“They ain’t using a damn mule. They’re on foot!” replied Sam.
“Then we’d do best to double back now. We’re ahead of them.”
“I’m telling you I heard voices over here,” Sam insisted. He shined a light in the direction of Spike and Xander's tree.
“Sam, just get back up here. I’m heading back. We’ll catch ‘em if we hurry.” The second man gunned the mule’s engine. Spike and Xander watched as Sam made one last pass with the light before jumping back onto the mule. They watched as the mule sped off in the direction it’d come. Xander quickly stuffed the blanket back into his duffel and moved as though ready to jump down from the tree. Spike grabbed his arm and Xander turned to see his mate in gameface and pointing just to the side of where the mule’d been. Xander quickly vamped and let his senses loose. He picked up a familiar scent as his eyes finally spotted what Spike was watching. The smaller man from the bar fight a few days before. He was moving quickly through the woods with a woman trailing behind. Both appeared weighed down by bags and bundles but also had guns drawn.
“That’s one of the men from the bar.” Xander said.
“Yeah. And it looks like we’re not the only ones looting this worthless dustball.”
“Huh. Wonder what they stole.”
“Do you wonder enough to follow them?” Spike glanced at Xander, cocking his head at him.
“They might have a ship.”
“True. And they might shoot us for following them.”
“Since when are you afraid of a bullet?”
“Since they bloody well hurt!” Spike growled quietly.
“Says the man who let a bull stomp on his balls.”
“Give it a rest, Xander. That was a long time ago.”
“Nope, not giving that one up.” Xander grinned at him. “I say we follow.”
“Fine.” And soft as a cat, Spike dropped from the tree. Xander followed and they set out to follow the pair. Their demon faces receded as they came into a clearing. The pair they followed moved swiftly through the clearing to the Firefly class ship on the far side.
“How should we play this?” Xander asked, adjusting the duffel on his shoulder.
“I say we move around, come at it from the other side. Play the weary travelers. You use those puppy eyes.”
“Yeah, those don’t work anymore.” Xander gave Spike a look. “How about we just pay?”
“That takes the fun out of it.” Spike picked up speed and ran around to the far side of the ship.
“Maybe but we might get off this crap planet before daybreak.” Xander remained beside the other vamp.
“Good point.” Spike slowed and walked up to the ramp. A soft, brunette girl stood at the top talking to a stiff looking young man on the balcony. She turned quickly at the thud of their duffels hitting dirt. A large smile broke upon her face at them.
Spike and Xander assumed innocent and defenseless postures. Hands far from their weapons. Easy expressions on their faces. Nice guys out for an evening stroll. They didn’t falter at the sound of a gun cocking behind them. The girl moved slowly down the ramp, stopping just short of its edge.
“Can I help ya folk?” her easy, friendly way a comfort to them both.
“Just looking for some passage off world, miss.” Spike slipped into a fine Victorian accent.
“We ain’t a passenger ship.” A gruff voice growled behind them. Xander turned slightly, making sure not to make any threatening moves, and spotted the big man from the bar fight standing behind them. A large gun in his hands and pointed right at him. He nodded slightly and turned back to the girl.
“We can pay.” Spike kept his voice light. He could see the man and woman moving up behind the girl. The man handed his bundles to the woman and stepped up beside the girl.
“We got some trouble here?” He moved up so he stood between the girl and Spike and Xander.
“No trouble, Cap’n.” her voice light, “these folks were just seeing if we had room.”
“Payment isn’t a problem.” Spike moved his conversation to the man in front of him.
“Well then, you best try over at the docks. This here ain’t a passenger ship.”
“Done that. We’ve passage on a ship three days from now.” Xander said. The captain turned to him, recognition sparking in his eyes.
“Then you’re all set.”
“True.” Spike agreed, his accent slipping back to his usual growl.
“‘Cept that we’re not so welcome in town right now,” Xander pointed out. He felt the man behind him move and prepared himself to move. The girl seemed to sense the tension and shifted to a position directly behind the captain. Xander knew that Spike was ready to move if this turned ugly; he hoped it wouldn’t.
“Jayne.” The captain said, his eyes not leaving Spike. And the big man behind Xander lowered his weapon and moved around them to stand slightly above the girl on the ramp. “You did us a service the other day. Though I doubt Jayne sees it that way. You say you can pay. If that’s true then, we have room. But this ain’t no cruise ship, you’re off at next port.”
“Agreed.” Spike nodded and stuck out his hand. The captain hesitated momentarily but then shook his hand, sealing the deal. “William, this is Alexander." He stifled a grin at the soft growl from Xander.
“Malcolm Reynolds. You’ve met Jayne. And this here’s Kaylee. Welcome abroad Serenity.”
Spike raised an eyebrow at the name but picked up his fallen duffel and started up the ramp. Xander followed suit. Stopping to shake hands with the captain and Kaylee. He offered his hand to Jayne but the larger man just looked down at it. Xander shrugged and followed everyone else into the cargo hold.
Xander watched as the stiff looking young man came down from the balcony and stopped beside Kaylee. She smiled up at him. Xander waxed nostalgic over her reaction to the young man, remembering romances past. He looked over at Spike and watched the end of the credit exchange. The captain seemed satisfied as he hit the button that closed the ramp. Mal hit a second button and waited for acknowledgment.
“We’re done here, River. Get us off the ground when you’re ready.”
“Aye, aye, captain.” A young, female voice crackled over the intercom.
“Kaylee, show our passengers to the guest quarters.”
Kaylee threw Mal a mock salute and bounced out of the cargo hold, the young man following behind. Xander and Spike shouldered their duffels and followed as well.
“This is Simon.” Kaylee said, indicating the young man. “He’s the doctor.” Simon offered his hand to the men.
“Nice to meet you.” Xander said. Kaylee’s smile was infectious. “I’m Xander.” Spike snorted. “That’s Spike.”
“Spike? I thought his name was William?” Kaylee stopped walking and questioned Xander.
“Bit of a nickname, inn’t, luv?” Spike said, his voice taking on a sexy growl that had Kaylee leaning away from Simon and towards the blonde.
“Don’t mind him. He thinks he’s the Big Bad.” Xander laughed as Spike sported a hurt expression.
Kaylee laughed and Simon seemed to relax at the sound. Unconsciously his hand reached up and played with her hair.
“I didn’t think Firefly class came equipped with doctors.” Xander mused.
“Not usually. Came on as a passenger. Just sort of stuck around.”
“I can see that.” Xander laughed again as Simon seemed to realize he’d a strand of Kaylee’s hair around his finger.
“Come on, pet, leave the lad alone. Show us to our suites, m’lady.” Kaylee blushed at the title but continued on to the guest quarters.
“Alex,” she said-
“Xander,” he said.
“Sorry. Xander. This is your room. We weren’t expecting passengers. I can clean it up for you in a minute.” Kaylee gestured to the room on the right.
“It’s fine. Don’t trouble yourself.” Xander eased past her and dropped his duffel at the foot of the bed.
“And Spike,” Kaylee turned to the room across from Xander's, “this is your quarters.”
“Wonderful, ducks.” Spike sauntered into the room, tossing his duffel against the wall.
“Is there anything else? Dinner's at seven. Someone will come by to show you the way.”
“Just point me to the showers,” Xander said. Across the hall Spike grinned at his mate's forwardness.
“I’ll show you,” Simon volunteered. He waited till both men had gathered their belongings and showed them the way.
“Mighty fine looking crew you have, Mal,” Spike said pouring himself another drink.
“They’re a fine bunch,” Mal agreed, accepting the proffered drink.
“I like ‘em best when they’re rag tag. My boy and I used to work with a crew like yours. Good people.”
“You getting maudlin?”
“Yeah. To the good ol’ days.” Spike raised his glass and tossed back his drink.
“Where’s this crew now?” Mal sipped at his drink.
“Long gone. Me and the boy are all that’s left.”
“Not much of a boy.” Spike chuckled at that, a glint in his eye.
“You’re right about that. He’s all man.” Spike chuckled again as Mal choked on his drink. “What?” he asked, eyes wide and innocent.
“Nothing.” He quickly wiped up his spilled liquor and tossed back the remnants in the glass. Spike laughed again.
“So, where are y’all leaving us?” Spike switched to safer topics; mischievous glint still twinkling in his eye.
“Have business on Persephone. Can leave ya both there. Good a port as any.” Mal poured himself another glass and missed the look that crossed Spike’s face. Missed his skin paling further.
“Umm…” Spike thought about how to word his response.
“Not so welcome on Persephone.”
“I knew it. You’re a thief.” Mal pointed his glass at Spike. “Knew it when I saw ya.”
“Well, congrats, luv. But only on occasion.”
“You admit it?”
“Why not? Been a lot of things in my time. So has Xan. Doesn’t do a bloke any good to be uncomfortable with his work.”
“Any chance we can get off this boat before the big P?” Spike rose and gathered up his bottle. “You can keep the dosh. Just can’t be there.” Spike ducked his head, affixing a shamed expression.
“Would ‘preciate it.” Spike ducked through the doorway and left the mess.
“Let me get this straight- he’s the doc and you’re the engineer?” Xander sat on the floor of the engine room, fiddling with tools he picked up off the floor. Beside him, Kaylee lay on her back adjusting the couplings on the ______.
“You make it sound crazy for a girl-”
“No. No, that’s not what I meant. I’ve always been around girls who did quote unquote manly things. No problem with that.”
“So what bothers you about it?”
“Not bothered. Just trying to understand. I like to get to know people. I’m a people person.” Xander gave the engineer his best innocent grin.
“Uh-huh, sure.” Kaylee reached for the wrench in his hands and slid back under the machine.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Of course.” Her voice slightly muffled by the machine above her.
“How come everyone on board is so quiet?”
“What do you mean?” Kaylee slid out to look at him. Xander turned so he faced her.
“Well… at dinner, for instance, no one talked. I mean, you tried to, but it seemed that everyone else wanted the quiet.” He played with the hem of his sweater. “Is it us? Because Spike and I are here?”
“Yeah.” She sat up and faced him. “In part. It is you. Jayne told you that we’re not a passenger ship. Don’t hardly ever take on passengers.”
“But Simon said he and River were passengers.”
“They's crew now.” A slight smile lifting the edges of her mouth.
“Yeah, cool. But there’s all those guest quarters. Ya just leave ‘em empty?”
“When cap’n says it's time we take a passenger or two. But that don’t happen often.”
“So it’s us. Strangers among ya that’s making y’all quiet?”
“Not entirely.” Kaylee looked down at her tools, looking like she was working something out. “We lost some friends-”
“Kay Winnet Lee Frye.” A harsh voice said from behind Xander. They both turned to see Zoe standing in the doorway of the engine room. Her arms crossed and a stern expression on her face.
“Hey, Zoe.” Xander could hear Kaylee trying to lighten the mood with her cheery greeting.
“Mr. Alexander. I think it’s time for you to join your companion in the guest area, don’t you?”
“Um… yes ma’am.” Xander stood and wiped his grimy hands on his pants.
“It’s alright Zoe, we were just chatting. Xander knows a bit about Fireflys.” Kaylee stood up too, grabbing a rag and wiping her hands. She brushed hair out of her face and smeared a grease streak. “I’m done tinkering, I’ll walk him back to his room.”
“That’s alright, Kaylee. I’m already heading that way. After you, Mr. Alexander.” Zoe stepped aside to allow Xander to leave the engine room.
“It’s just Xander. No mister.” Zoe just stared at him. “Besides, it’d be Mr. Harris. And there ain’t been one of them in a long time.” Xander stood up straighter and waited for Zoe to acknowledge him. Zoe just stared at Xander. The moment was broken by Kaylee squeezing in-between their bodies on her way out of the room.
“I’ll just go find Simon then.” And she was gone down the hall, headed towards her quarters.
Xander and Zoe leaned away from each other, and turned sharply, heading for the guest quarters. They remained silent as they went. Xander felt tingles down his spine from his companion and he tried to shake them off. He fought hard to keep his demon under control. He’d noticed her staring at him at dinner and had first felt the tingles then. He was going to ask Spike about it first chance he got.
The door to Xander’s quarters stood open when they arrived and Zoe moved her hand to her sidearm. They peered into the room to find Spike passed out on the bed. Zoe relaxed. Xander moved into the room and saw that Spike had started removing his boots before passing out. He sat on the end of the bed beside Spike’s feet and continued the job. Zoe stood staring down at him.
“He usually miss his own room?” she whispered.
“We don’t usually have separate rooms. Waste of credits,” Xander said, not bothering to whisper. Zoe arched a brow in question.
“I’ll leave you to take care of your friend.”
“Thanks.” Zoe turned and quickly left the guest area. The tingles running down Xander’s spine stopped the further away she got. He quickly finished removing Spike’s boots and his own before shutting and locking the quarter’s door. He undressed both Spike and himself and pulled the blonde under the covers with him, reveling in the luxury of a real bed after so many days of camping. Xander was asleep within minutes.
Spike woke with a start and sat bolt upright in the bed, dislodging Xander, who’d curled around the smaller man in his sleep. Xander groaned at the movement and rolled over, facing away from his bedmate. Spike let out a low growl and Xander quickly came fully awake sitting bedside the blonde. They morphed to vampire and growled quietly as they peered around the dark room.
Spike slipped out of the bed and moved slowly towards the door, unconscious of his nudity. He palmed the doorlock and both men quickly returned to human face as the door slid open, revealing a slight dark-haired girl standing on the other side. Xander moved to stand behind Spike, pulling the blanket from the bed and wrapping it around them. The tingles he’d felt from Zoe were nothing compared to the waves of pure power coming from the girl. He forced himself to remain in human guise and to keep standing where he was, not giving the girl an inch. Spike was a mess of tense and bunched up muscles in front of him.
“Vampire,” she said. Spike recognized the voice as that of the pilot, River.
“Slayer.” She giggled at the title and leaned against the wall, not moving into the room but not allowing an escape either.
“But you’re a funny pair.” River reached a hand up and lightly touched Spike’s forehead. She ran her fingertip from the top of his forehead down the center of his face, over his nose and lips, and stopped at the tip of chin. She looked over Spike’s shoulder at Xander but Spike shifted slightly, shielding the younger man. “Too bright. Not right. Not vamps. Something more.”
“You could say that.”
“We like to think so.”
“She reminds me of Drusilla.” Xander said quietly.
“Not a bit, are ya, luv?” Spike relaxed a little.
“Not a bit, William. Can’t be a Scooby, without a soul.”
“May I come in, William?”
“Give us a minute, luv. The boy and I aren’t decent at the mo’.” River nodded once and danced away from the door towards the common area near the guest quarters. Spike palmed the doorlock again and the doors whooshed closed in front of him.
“What the gos se was that?”
“Surely you remember slayers, pet?” Spike turned to face Xander, running his hands up and down the larger man’s arms, a smirk on his face.
“Of course, I do. But we haven’t seen one in over fifty years, Spike.” Xander backed away from Spike and reached into his duffel for clothes. He noticed Spike pulling on his clothes from the previous night and thanked whoever watched for demons like them that they’d been able to shower and change when they settled in to the ship.
“I know. But with humans so spread out in the ‘verse, does that really surprise you?”
“No.” Xander chuckled and finished getting dressed. “I guess it’s more that she’s here. On the spaceship we hitched a ride on, because you’re an impatient bastard. Our luck was getting good.”
“And she hasn’t staked us yet. I’d say our luck is holding just fine.”
“Oh. Good point.”
“I thought so.”
“I got tinglies from Zoe earlier. Did you notice anything about her?”
“The amazon beauty?”
“Didn’t notice anything. But I’ve been feeling this one for a while… I might’ve been distracted.”
“Well then… quit being distracted, fanged one, and let’s go deal with this slayer.” Xander moved to the door and it opened as Spike finished lacing his boot. They moved slowly, maintaining a few feet between them, just in case, into the common area. River had collapsed onto one of the couches and was waiting quietly for them. She had a bit of a glazed look to her and Spike was hesitant to announce their presence when she hadn’t reacted to their appearance.
“Silly, vamp. I know you’re there.” Her eyes refocused and she turned a wide grin to Spike
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