Pairing: Spike/Xander, Xander/ Orig. Character
Rating: NC-17
Feedback: please. It feeds me and makes me happy
Concrit: by email please- shadowzone@juno.com
Disclaimer: I own nothing- not Spike, not Xander, not Singles Cruises, nothing. So don't sue me. I'm not making any money from this. And I thank Joss and ME and FOX for bringing these characters to us.
Warnings/Squicks: slash!
Summary: Post- Chosen, Post-NFA. Shan-Shued Spike. Lonely Xander, though not if you ask him. And a Singles Cruise.
AN- This was written because my dearest Tanja wrote me a tiny little ficlet and I thought I should write her something... this is the result. Not a tiny little thing! Grrrrr! I wrote it during the boredom at work, starting the afternoon of 3/13/06 and just finished (lunch 3/15/06). Shoot me now. THIS IS UN-BETAED!




Lost at Sea



by

Elizabeth Ann




"Why am I going again?"

"Because you’ve been moping for 3 years and turning down every woman we point you in the direction of."

"And there isn’t even logic to how you’re turning them down!"

"Sure there is. I’m turning down all of them."

"Which makes no sense, Xan."

"Of course it does." He pouted.

"No, it doesn’t." Willow’s resolve face appeared.

"But… why this? This is a…" He broke off at the excited looks on Buffy’s and Willow’s faces.

"A SINGLES CRUISE!!!" they chorused excitedly.

"You two are much more excited about this. You go." He attempted to push his bag into their hands.

"Nope. Will’s still working things out with Kennedy and I’m not all that single anymore."

"She means that she’s narrowed it down to only 3 guys at the moment." Willow gave him a conspiratorial look, trying to hide the frown at her lovers’ name. "Besides we could only afford the one ticket. Otherwise, we’d all go." She gave him her biggest grin.

"But why do I have to go?"

"You might meet someone." Buffy said non-chalantly.

"And if not, it’s ten days with no apocalypses, no potentials, and no pushing from us."

"Well… since you put it like that… how can I refuse?" Xander took his bag from Buffy’s grip. He leaned over and placed a kiss on both girls’ foreheads and started walking up the gangplank. Halfway up he stopped and turned to face them. He looked at the girls for a moment before raising his arm and waving briskly to them. Then he turned and continued onto the ship.

"Think he’ll meet someone?" Willow asked Buffy, suddenly worried about the merits of their plan.

"Nah. But a couple days on that ship ought to remind him why he loves us and the apocalypses." Buffy’s smirk didn’t reach her eyes.


Xander tossed his duffel onto the bed in the center of the room. The girls may not have been able to afford much but the room was one of the nicest places Xander’d ever stayed. He wandered the room, picking up and putting down the various knick-knacks scattered about. He stopped in front of the window and looked out at what he could see of the Miami harbor. After a moments contemplation, Xander continued perusing the room, checking the bathroom and finding himself surprised at the size of it. A full size bathtub and separate shower stall stood on one side of the room facing a wall length counter and vanity. He ran his hand over the plush towels and enjoyed the softness of them. He returned to the main room and threw himself onto the bed, enjoying the bounce of the springs.


Beside him, on the bed lay a folder full of events schedules and other ship information provided to him by the concierge. He picked it up and quickly flipped through the schedules Singles events. Nothing of interest jumped out at him and he decided to just play his cruise by ear. Ten days with no worries about apocalypses, prophecies, potentials, demon of the week, watcher duties, or how to rebuild whatever had gotten broken during training. Ten days of peace and relaxation. Xander knew he was going to be bored out of his mind. It was heavenly.


A knock on the room door woke Xander. He stumbled off the bed and ran his hands through his hair and over his face. Waking himself and adjusting his eyepatch. He glanced around the room and saw that nothing had changed since he'd crashed on the bed earlier. A second knock brought his attention back to the door in front of him.

"Yes?" Xander peeked around the door. One of the ships crewman stood on the other side. A bored look on his face. Xander opened the door wider. "Can I help you?"

"Sorry, sir. You didn't check in for the first night's dinner. I have to check in on every guest and make sure they're alright."

"Oh. I'm fine. Just took a little nap." The younger man's eyebrow shot up. "I'm a little hungry though. Is dinner still being served?"

"No, sir. The main dining room has been closed since 10. But if you'd like, I could run done to one galleys and bring you back something."

"Actually... can you just point out the way? I'll go down myself." Xander picked up the folder on the bed again and pulled out the folded map of ship. The crewman walked into the room and pointed out the quickest way to the latest open grill.


Xander wandered the halls of the ship. His stomach full and satisfied. He wanted to get a feel for the ship while it was quiet. He ran his fingertips along the wall on his left side, adjusting his position in the hallway so that it would be difficult for anyone to come up on him unexpectedly. He'd learned a lot about his disability and how to keep it from keeping him from living his life in the years since Sunnydale but Xander was still vigilant in new surroundings.


After an hour of walking the interior of the ship Xander felt he knew it well enough to move out onto the decks. He'd passed very few other passengers during his walk. He assumed they were sleeping due to the late hour. He pushed open a set of large double doors and stepped out onto the main deck. The sky above was a dark blue full of bright stars and only a few scattered clouds. Xander moved to the edge of the deck and leaned on the rail, enjoying the night sky. Stars he had never seen before blinked at him from above.


Xander followed the path of the rail, jogging up and down steps, learning the deck. He found two of the heated pools and the door to the sauna. He found the shuffle board area and quickly moved away, he wasn't quite retired enough for that game. He found area's that had been blocked off and were quickly being decorated by crewmembers, prepared for one party or another. By the decorations, Xander could tell he wouldn't find anything of interest at those parties. He wasn't sure how long he'd been wandering when he made his way to the closest entrance to his room. He reached for the door and saw out of the corner of his eye a blink of startling white. He turned to see what he'd caught sight of. A man leaned against the rail to his right. The moonlight made the white cotton shirt and pale linen pants he wore glow. His pale skin, offset by a head of honey curls, caught the light as well, giving him an ethereal glow. Xander swallowed and forced himself to breathe. What he seeing couldn't be real, no single person could be so beautiful. Xander felt himself leaning into the shadows along the wall, hiding. A noise to his left startled him and he briefly turned, losing the spell of the man and the moonlight. A drunken couple had tripped over a folded deck chair and upon falling against a wall had continued the necking that had caused them to fall in the first place. Xander shook his head and turned back to the door before he could be distracted again. He forced his eye to look straight in front of him as he headed inside the hallway and not to veer back to the man at the railing.

"Weird." Xander said to himself as he followed the hall back to his room.


The first few days of the cruise found Xander napping in deck chairs beside one of the pools, napping in his spacious room, or relaxing in the sauna. He spent little time with the other passengers and merely smiled at them in passing. He kept his hair long and loose, hiding his patch without really trying. And he avoided any awkward "singles" situations by simply avoiding anywhere he might be forced to participate. He'd decided that he may not have been able to choose his vacation but he was damn well going to make it one that he would enjoy. If the girls expected him to return and regale them with his conquests, they were in for a surprise. He had, once, contemplated joining the ministry so that his self-imposed celibacy would stop being an issue. But then he'd flashed on a memory of Caleb and he'd had nightmares for weeks. That had stopped any monastic thoughts. Since then he'd just promised the girls that when the right person came along, he would pursue it, and until that day they needed to leave him be. Buffy'd even tried to date him but he'd pushed her away saying there were too many memories. He knew they worried but if sending him on a "singles cruise" was their idea of sneakily pushing him without being pushy, they were in for a very unexciting surprise when he returned. Though he planned on being well rested and heavily tanned when he did return. Xander smiled to himself as he headed back to his room.


He past the interior entrance to the sauna and turned around a corner, almost running into the man with the honey curls. His head was down and he moved quickly around the corner, an oversized white robe wrapped around him. Xander stopped and turned to follow the man. He came around the corner in time to see the end of the robe slipping into a cloud of steam coming out the open sauna door. He moved to enter the room as well, stopping only as he realized that in his jeans and polo and sneakers, he wasn't quite appropriately dressed. He shook his head at his insanity, following some guy he didn't know, and turned back to head to his room. He ran into a small dark-haired woman as he turned the hall corner. She caught his arms to keep from falling and Xander immediately grabbed her around the waist to steady her.

"I'm so sorry." He said righting her and then kneeling to collect her purse and hat from the floor.

"It's alright." She said, smiling shyly. "I wasn't really looking where I was going." A faint blush stained her cheeks. Xander noticed that one of the items he'd returned to her was a map of the ship.

"Are you looking for something? Maybe I can help?" He watched as her eyes brightened. As he returned to stand next to her he surreptitiously gave her a once over. She was pretty. Small, smaller then Buffy. With a sweet smile and soft raven curls that hung around her shoulders. And she was dressed in a red halter-top bikini and red/gold/orange sarong, which accented her deeply tanned skin. Not his type at all.

"Yes. That would be great." She smiled brightly at him again and unfolded the map. "I'm afraid I was trying to find the Tiki Lounge. You know, from the cruise entertainment? But I can't remember what bar its supposed be."

"Oh. Well, I've been avoiding the cruise events but... I have the brochure in my room. It's around the next corner. Hold on, I'll go get it." Xander started moving towards his room. She reached out and caught his shoulder as he turned from her.

"Would you mind if I went with you? I'm afraid I'll start wandering if I have to wait and just get lost again." She let go of his arm and batted her eyes at him. "I'm not really a patient person." Xander laughed at that. He offered her his elbow and waited for her to take it. She slid her arm into his and together they started off to his room.

"I'm Xander." He offered.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." She laughed. Xander raised an eyebrow to her. "Patience. My name is Patience." Xander laughed again. His own smile bright. And the man in the sauna forgotten.


"So your friends really thought this cruise was the perfect vacation?" Patience asked. She picked up her fruity girly drink and sipped slowly from it.

"Yeah. They're a little pushy." Xander put down his own drink, a diet soda, and resumed picking at his fish. "They just can't get used to Single Xander. My girls are so used me being a part of a couple."

"But you said it had been a while?"

"Yeah. A little over three years."

"Really? Maybe your friends are right, maybe it is time to start dating." She put her drink down and took another bite of her shrimp salad. She'd taken all of the shrimp out and piled then on her bread plate. Patience didn't like seafood.

"Maybe they are. But I figure I've done pretty well on my own last few years, I'm not gonna rush it."

"You sure you're not hiding?"

"Hiding?"

"Because of your eye." Patience said it softly, not wanting to offend him. He knew that. They talked about it earlier when she'd told him this cruise was a gift to herself for being in remission. But Xander still froze at her words.

"No." He said it harsher then he meant to and immediately felt bad. "I'm sorry." He reached across the table and touched her hand. "I'm not hiding. Not because of my eye. Not for any reason. This," he touched his patch, "this is a trophy. A battle scar of a war we won. I wear it proudly. I reminds me of so many that were lost."

"You sound like a soldier." A shy smile turned up the corners of her mouth.

"I was. We all were. We fought to survive and we did."

"Fought what?"

"Demons." He stated. A questioning expression appeared on her face and he broke out into a wide grin. "Life, Patience. We fought to get through high school and become adults. My friends and I... we didn't come from a very safe area. But we survived. Some of us a little more scratched up then others. But I earned my survival. And my eye, my scar, it's like my own 'purple heart'"

"I get that. Like how I'm still here. The doctors told me so many times that I only had a few months to live and each time I lived past it. And now, look at me!" She smiled at him. "Look at my hair! For the first time since I was a teen, it's full and bouncy and NOT a wig!" Xander laughed with her, glad that the moment had passed. She was good company and he'd enjoyed the day spent with her.


Xander glanced around the room and saw that many of the people that had come on board had hooked up with or, at least, met someone over the last few days. He saw that no one seemed to be alone, either eating with a partner or a small group. Some couples had moved onto the dance floor and were swaying softly to the soft jazz music. He looked back at his partner and felt nothing, nothing more then friendship, for the beauty at his table. She picked at her salad, digging for more shrimp, he thought, her lower lip extended in a slight pout. She'd pulled her hair back and tucked it behind her ears and accented it with a white lily. She'd changed into a pale blue cotton sundress for dinner. She was a vision of loveliness and he wished that he did feel something for her. She was nice and sweet. They'd spent the day wandering the ship. He'd taken her to the lounge and then after ordering her a sufficiently girly drink and a soda for himself he'd proceeded to teach her the ship. Wandering in smaller and smaller circles until they'd learned each deck. She's laughed at his methods but hadn't complained. They'd talked of unimportant things, like hobbies, simple conversation that he hadn't had the luxury of in so long. Too many years being friends with a slayer, he reasoned. She'd made him laugh and smile more in those short hours then he could remember doing in quite some time. And she was a ravishing beauty. He'd been reminded of Cordelia when he looked at her when she'd been sitting at the bar. She'd noticed his sad expression and that had led to their only deep conversation- her Leukemia and his eye and other losses. He'd felt bad lying to her, but after three years, he was an old hat with the stories he told about his wounds. She'd smiled and listened intently and looked him in the eye, never once making him feel different or monstrous. God, Xander wished he was attracted to her.


They finished their dinner in pleasant conversation, returning to the light banter they'd enjoyed earlier in the day. She'd eyed the dance floor and he'd escorted her suavely onto you, dancing along to several songs. They'd even stayed around dining room long enough to see the "King and Queen For a Day" crowned. Xander whispered some remarks about how they seemed to pick the unlikeliest people to hold the title everyday. Patience responded that she thought it was sweet that the King was a middle-aged balding shoe salesman from Peoria. Xander remarked that the Queen didn't seem so thrilled. Patience pointed out that with all the botox she probably couldn't show an actual emotion. And on that note the pair had stumbled out of the dining room, laughing loudly and holding their sides. They stood and enjoyed the view from the railing until Xander caught Patience yawning and deemed it past her bedtime. He offered her his arm again and escorted her swiftly back to her room. She made a quiet invitation for him to join her but he declined saying that that he just wasn't ready. She laughed and said they could just talk, but her speech was punctuated by yawns. Xander leaned down and kissed her lightly on the top of her head and smiling, turned to go.


Two days later found Xander and Patience still spending their time together. Both enjoying catnaps by the pools and people watching. They'd made up several games telling each other stories about the couples they saw. For the most part, the avoided all of the cruise activities, partaking in the semi-formal dinners only. Neither one feeling the need to be stuck anywhere with the crowds that appeared at every event. They'd even grabbed their belongings and ran when a limbo event had invaded their pool area.


But every so often Xander would catch the honey-curled man in the corner of his eye. By the time he could turn to look the man would be out of sight. Patience gave him strange looks but never asked. He'd just smile and go back to mocking the crowds with her and soon the man was forgotten.


On the seventh day of the cruise Xander had claimed a headache when Patience arrived to rouse him for their daily mocking and with a pout she'd left to sun on the deck alone. She'd promised to check on him later though. Xander had fibbed; he didn't have a headache. He'd woken in the middle of the night from a dream that had shocked him to the core. He'd dreamt he was out to dinner with the core Scoobies- Willow, Buffy, Giles, Cordy, Anya, and Dawn. They were led into a very expensive dining room by a maitre'd and it was only when he'd gone to pull out his chair that he realized he was holding someone's hand. And it wasn't Anya's. Or any of the other girls. The person was standing on his left and when he looked at his hand and saw the one in it, a kiss was placed on his left cheek. He watched as the hand let his go and long fingers pulled away. He turned and wasn't even slightly surprised to see Spike smiling at him. He slowly leaned forward and they met for a kiss. Xander'd woken then, feeling more alive and scared and right than he had in years. He'd sat for hours in the chair by the window, watching the sky lighten, lost because it was a dream of a dead man that made him feel alive. He knew he'd never have that in his life. He couldn't. Spike was gone.


He stayed in the room for the entire day, though he'd moved back to the bed after Patience stopped by. Once the door had clicked shut behind her his tears had started flowing. The grief and loss for everyone he'd left behind hitting him hard. He'd cried and grieved a lot over the years, but he felt like he was finally letting go of them. And that's what was hurting him. He'd liked gripping his memories tightly. Holding onto every moment with Anya. Every closet he'd shared with Cordy. Watching all of the potentials train. Even memories of Larry trying to help him 'come out' had made him whole. He hadn't known if he could survive without the memories. But he felt that this moment, this release was him finally understanding that he could survive without them. That he was Xander and that wouldn't change if he unlocked his heart. He cried quietly until he fell asleep again, this time to a dreamless sleep.


Xander awoke after dark. His room was full of the deep shadows caused by a moonless night. He'd quickly turned on the bedside lamp to aleve the darkness. After a long, hot, relaxing bath, he'd dressed and headed out to one of the smaller grills for food. He considered going by Patience's room to check in with her but decided against it when he saw the time, past when he usually left her for the evening. He made a mental note to apologize the next day. Xander knew he couldn't head back to his to sleep as he'd barely been awake an hour, but none of the ships night time activities appealed to him. He decided to walk the ship again, the exercise bound to do him good.


On his third pass around the main deck, he spotted the man again. Directly in front of Xander, once again leaning on the railing. Tonight he wore gray linen pants and fitted charcoal sweater, the loose material of the slacks flapping around his legs in the breeze. His head was resting against his hands as they rest on the rail. And Xander noted that he was barefoot. He continued to watch the man as his feet moved forward towards him.

"If you're planning on jumping, it's probably easier from the bow of the ship." Xander said as he reached the man's side.

"Ha, bloody, ha, mate. Sod off. I'm not bloody suicidal." The man didn't show any other reaction to Xanders presence. Xander's stomach dropped at the voice. It was his imagination. It had to be.

"Good to know. I'm sure the captain and crew will sleep better knowing that."

"What part o' SOD OFF did you not understand?" This time the man's head turned slightly to look at him. Xander stared down at the strikingly blue eye that peaked out at him from beneath honey curls. "Bloody hell! Xan?" He stood up straight and turned to face Xander. Xander's breath caught in his throat as what he'd thought he'd imagined turned out to be true. It was Spike. Spike was alive and standing in front of him. On a Singles Cruise. A giggle bubbled up and out before he good stop it and soon Xander was collapsed against the railing at Spike's feet holding his sides to stop the laughter. Spike knelt in front of him, head cocked to side, staring at him as only Spike could. "You off your rocker, pet? Someone I should call for you."

The thought of Spike being concerned for him threw Xander even further and he did the only thing he could, he reached out and caught Spike around the shoulders and pulled him into a hug.

"Oh, god, Spike." Xander buried his face against Spike's neck and didn't care if the vampire knew he was crying. He could take any teasing Spike wanted to give. Except for the fact that the body leaning into his wasn't quite as cool as it should be. And against his cheek he could feel the soft pounding of a pulse. "Spike?"

"Ya', pet?" Spike wrapped his arms around Xander and allowed the larger man to hold him.

"You have a pulse."

"I know."

"Um... why do you have a pulse?"

"Bloody Shan-shu."

"Huh?" Xander loosened his hold enough for Spike to lean back from him, enough to see his face.

"Soddin' prophecy meant for sodding Angelus." Spike said the name like it was poisoned and he had to get it out of his mouth as fast possible. Xander saw Spike look around the deck and realized the sight they must have made.

"Spike, come back to my room and tell me all about this pulse prophecy thing."

"Inviting me to you bed chambers, Harris? You hardly know me." Spike bat his eyelashes innocently at Xander. Xander could see the leer that made the look anything but innocent.

"Don't get your hopes up, fangless. I just don't feel like having a deep conversation with you sitting on my lap on the deck." He laughed at himself, the favored nickname still applied.

"So... I could sit on your lap somewhere more private?" The leer thickened and Xander wasn't sure if Spike was joking anymore. He pushed Spike lightly on the shoulder and watched as the man stood as gracefully as he had when he was a vamp. Then he hesitated a moment before accepting the offered hand up. He started back to his quarters, Spike at his side. He noted that Spike had started on his left side and then before they even taken 5 steps had appeared on his right side. In his line of sight. When he gave the man a look, Spike just shrugged his shoulders and gestured for him to continue leading the way.


The pair arrived at Xanders' suite and Xander gestured for Spike to enter, carefully not saying the invitation. Spike stepped quietly into the room visibly enjoying that no barrier stopped him. Xander moved quickly to the chair by the window. He turned the second chair to face his and gestured for Spike to take it. He did, pulling his legs into the overstuffed seat with him. Xander thought he looked a lot like a lost little boy.

"Where are your shoes?" Xander asked, again noticing Spike's bare feet.

"Some chits suite."

"You left your shoes?" Xander couldn't keep the laughter out of his voice.

"Well, she threw 'em at me when I tried to grab them. I think I was pretty lucky to get out with as much as I did."

"And why would a girl being throwing your shoes at you if you were in her room?"

"Tried to bite her."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"'T's a damn hard habit to break, i'n't? I was a vampire for a hundred and thirty odd years, Xan. Not something that just goes away. Not over night."

"And just what happened to vampire you?"

"I told you, stupid prophecy." Spike was absently toying with the curls on his head as he talked. Xander took the time to really look at the man. "It was supposed to be Angel's reward or some such, the vampire with a soul yadda yadda will become human blah blah. Only the poof went and signed his claim away in order to fight a big apocalyptic battle a few years ago."

"The thing with Wolfram & Hart?"

"Yeah." Spike stopped playing with his hair. "So he gave his claim on it away and that left me. The Powers That Be, or whomever, felt that we'd earned the reward and POOF! I'm a bloody human. No memory. Apparently the mind of child. I have no clue. Angel did his Sirely duty and looked for some way to help me. And he was his usual useless self until about a month ago. He shows up at the center he'd stuck me in, tells me to drink this god-awful nasty green sludge, and whatever wall the Powers had put up to let me be 'normal' was gone. I remembered everything. And I mean everything. And it hurt." Xander watched Spike fold in on himself, make himself as small as he could. He reached out and touched the only part of him he could- his foot. He lightly ran his fingers over the top of Spike's foot.

"So it's a reward? Why'd they put up a wall?"

"Something about letting me be 'normal' I guess. But the problem with trying to block all of my history and memories is that my soul had been at peace with what I'd done. So it went all catatonic. That's why there were problems. The Powers didn't care because they still had their champion." Spike shrugged and pushed his foot a little closer to Xander's touch.

"That's pretty messed up, Spike."

"Tell me about it. But the great poof felt so guilty about sticking me in a home that he finally released my accounts to me. Almost makes up for losing my immortality. Almost."

"How much is almost?" Xander's hand rubbed lightly against Spike's ankle bone.

"Haf a Billion."

"Are you shitting me?" Xander's hand stopped rubbing and instead grabbed the ankle. "You were ripping me off on a daily basis and you're a fucking millionaire?"

"Not like wondervamp would let me touch it." Spike shrugged again. He stretched his leg further, poking at Xander with his toes. "What do I owe ya? Couple hundred? Got it in my room. Unless that other girl ran off with it. Oh well. It's not a big ship, she couldn't have gotten far." Spike waved his hand, dismissing the problem and returned to poking at Xander.

"What other girl?" Xander released his hold and went back to absently rubbing the leg.

"Some bird I picked up when I got on board. Thought she'd be good company but she makes Drusilla look sane." They both laughed.

"Oh, I got one for you- what the hell are you doing on a Singles Cruise?" Xander grinned at the man across from him.

"Didn't care what it was. Just wanted out. Wanted to be free and away. On my own, no sire watching over my every step. Gave the agent the necessary money and told her to put me on a trek. I think I head back to the continent when we dock. A month of travel all planned out and then I have figure out the rest of my life again." Xander noted that Spike looked a little defeated at the prospect of having to figure everything out again. "What about you, mate? How'd you end up here?" An evil glimmer in his eyes.

"Buffy and Willow. And probably Dawn. They figure that me turning down every woman they send after me is a sign that I need a different pool of women to dig through. They didn't listen when I told them that I wasn't interested in dating anyone. Not since Anya. Not since Sunnydale."

"Wasn't interested? What about now?"

"Had a bit of a cathartic moment last night. I think I finally let An go."

"Good on you." Spike wiggled around in his seat slightly, trying to get more comfortable. "Got anything to drink in here, pet?"

"There's a basket with waters in it on the vanity in the bathroom." Xander watched as Spike rose from his chair and walked into the bathroom. He returned a moment later with two bottles. He handed one to Xander and opened the other, moving to stand in front of the window, staring out.

"Did this catharsis of yours bring about any other changes? You finally decide that a career in modeling isn't in the cards?"

"Hey, I'll have you know that I turn a lot of heads. I could model if I wanted to."

"I'm sure you could, pet."

"But yes, it did bring some new things to light for me."

"Like what?" Spike turned a little to look at Xander. Xander stood and moved closer to Spike, almost looking out the window too.

"Like I shouldn't turn away from opportunities."

"Well, that's just fortune cookie talk. You should know better then to turn away from an opportunity. It's common sense, i'n't?"

"Maybe."

"What kind of opportunities?"

"Well... like this-" Xander turned to face Spike. He leaned in like he had in his dream and suddenly their lips touched. He felt Spike stiffen slightly before relaxing into the kiss. Xander tossed his unopened bottle away and brought his hands into the action. One hand moving up to grasp Spike's silky curls, the other moving around the other man's waist. A moment later Spikes hands joined the game. He ran one hand up and through Xanders' long hair, guiding his head. The other moved down Xander's back and grabbed his ass. Xander flinched slightly and moaned, opening his mouth to Spikes tongue.

Their mouths fused together, their tongues battling for dominance in a war neither wanted to end. Spike leaned his body further into Xander's, pushing the larger man against the window. The cool glass felt wonderful to Xander's heated body. They pulled apart long enough to breathe; each gasping deep lungfulls of precious air. Not letting anything but their lips stop touching.

"You remember what you asked me on the deck?" Xander asked, seeing only a sliver of blue in Spike's dilated eyes. Spike shook his head no, the tousled curls bouncing slightly.

"Something about if you could sit on my lap in a more private place." Xander moved his other arm down and around Spike's waist. He lifted the smaller man slightly, just enough to carry him, and moved to sit on the corner of the bed. Spike stood in front of him for a minute until Xander reached out and pulled him to straddle his lap. "I think I'd really like that." He leaned up and kissed Spike again.

It felt like hours to both men but it was only moments before they had to part again to breathe. Spike moved his hands up Xander's arms and drew them down his chest to where his polo shirt was tucked into his jeans. He tugged on it until it was free and then pulled the offending garment off of Xander. He leaned back slightly and cocked his head on an angle as he ran his hands up and down Xander's golden chest. He tweaked a nipple here, rubbed an ab there, and then he pushed Xander back onto the bed and followed the movements of his hand with his tongue. He left no area of Xanders muscular chest untouched by finger or tongue. Xander, meanwhile, had kicked off his own shoes and wiggled out of his socks. He worked his belt free and undid and removed Spikes, too. He ran his hands down Spikes back as Spike worked at his chest and upon reaching the waistband he slid his hands under it and over Spikes tight ass. No underwear. Spike growled when he'd grabbed his ass. He pulled his hands out of Spikes pants, Spike whimpered at the loss, pulling Spike's sweater out too. He pushed it as high as he could without forcing Spike to stop his assault. His fingers traced patterns over Spikes bunched back muscles. He rubbed each one, soothing away tension. Spike pulled away from Xander's chest and leaned up to kiss him gently. Xander followed Spikes lips as he sat up and pulled his sweater over his head and off. And then Xander was distracted by the pale, sculpted god above him. His hands skated over Spike's warm skin; a light flush arose in their wake, from Spike's chest up through his cheeks. But he remained still and allowed Xander's exploration.


After a few minutes Spike couldn't take it more and he pushed Xanders hands away and laid fullout on top of Xander. He forced Xander to wiggle higher up onto the bed; so their entire bodies lay on the bed, with Spike draped on Xander.

"I think we're a little over dressed." Xander said. Spike smiled in response, but a shadowed expression quickly overtook him.

"What exactly are we doing here, luv?"

"If you don't know then we're in a boatload of trouble, Spike. I don't have any experience with the interlocking parts of guys." Spike chuckled at Xander's answer.

"Oh, no, believe me, I know all about how to do this. I'm just wondering about the why. Last I knew you hated me. And here we are, necking the first chance we get."

"Part of my cathartic dream. And I haven't hated you, not for a while. Or really ever. I was jealous, yeah. And angry about the whole Buffy thing. But I got it. Mostly. And I worked through the other stuff. And the guy thing... well, I think Anya was it for me. The best woman for me. Time to try other options." Xander babble was on in full force.

"So if this doesn't work for you, what? You're going to try dating Xeligh demons?"

"How much slime?"

"No slime. But they have these tentacles that excrete-"

"Nevermind. Obviously, they're off the list of potentials. But yeah. I'm branching out." Xander saw a hurt look flash in Spike's eyes. "But mostly this... this is because I've always had a thing for you. You're so beautiful. And this mouth. God! The things we said to each other. How that turned me on."

"I liked the banter too." Spike ground his hard length against Xander to show him how much.

"Oh god. I want that." Xander arched into Spike. "Spike. I want you. All of you." He looked into Spike's bluer-then-blue eyes as he said the last. Spike leaned down and laid a chaste kiss on Xander's lips.

"Have me." Spike rolled off of Xander, pulling the larger man with him. Xander leaned up on an elbow and let his gaze roam over the former vampire. He let one hand drift down from Spike's lips, over his sternum, around his belly button, and stopped at his waistband again. He paused for a moment before rolling onto his knees next to Spike. His fingers fluttered on the button and zipper easing the fly of Spikes slacks open and allowing his cock to spring free. Spike watched as Xander watched the cock bob momentarily and then reached out and touched it. Xander ran his fingers gently along the dark vein and then around the muscle. He lightly grasped it, weighing it in his hand. Spike groaned at the light touches.

"You can't break me, pet." Spike quirked an eyebrow at Xander.

"Um... I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to do here." Xander sat back on his heels and looked up at Spike, his hand still lightly clasped around Spike's cock.

"Just do what feels good, Xan. What you like."

"It's been a while." His hand reflexively moved up and down on Spikes shaft. Spike arched into the movement. Xander watched in fascination and tightened his grip. "Oh."

"Yeah, oh." Spikes hands clawed at the bedsheets. He tried to be still and let Xander work at his own pace but he was so turned on just by being touched, he was so close to cumming. "Xander, I'm so close. I need-"

"What? What do you need, Spike? Tell me." Xander continued jacking Spike.

"More." Xander looked blankly up at Spike. And then he moved, licking Spike's penis from root to tip. It was enough. Spikes body pulled tight and his spine arched like a bow. And then he was cumming, spurting semen onto his stomach and chest. Xander watched, fascinated. Spike calmed, breathing deeply, relaxing the tensed muscles.

"Well, that was new." He purred.

"What?"

"My first orgasm as a human." Spike blinked up at the Brunette.

"Since you came back? Go me."

"Not quite, pet. I actually mean that that was my first orgasm as a human. Or at least my first one as a human with someone else actually involved." Spike stopped himself before he started babbling.

"Huh?" Xander stared. "Oh. Wow. Go me again." They both chuckled.

"Yeah, Xan, go you." Spike started wiggling, moving his slacks over his hips and down his legs. "Help me get these off, pet, dry cleaning when traveling is a right bitch." Xander stood up and pulled the slacks off Spikes legs. He picked up Spikes sweater from the floor and put both items on one of the chairs. He closed the drapes over the window and turned back to face the bed. Xander reached for his own zipper and quickly dropped his jeans and boxers to the floor. He left them where they fell.

"Come 'ere, luv. Let me take care of that for you." Spike indicated Xander's hard shaft. Xander started to cross the room to Spike's outstretched hand. "Wait. Xander, do you have any lube?" Xander stopped, stared, and turned towards the bathroom. He came back out a minute later carrying a small gift bag. He walked quickly to the bed and crawled till he was kneeling over Spike. Then Xander dumped the contents of the bag onto Spike's chest. Spike was soon buried under a variety of condoms and small packages of lubricant.

"Gift from the girls. When they gave me the cruise ticket."

"Remind me to thank them." Spike brushed the pile off of his chest, his fingers sliding into the sticky remnants of his orgasm. He brought his fingers to his mouth and quickly licked them clean. Xander'd watched, interested in Spike's actions, and then he copied them brushing his fingers through another puddle of cum and bringing his hand up to his mouth. His tongue poked out and tentatively he tasted the liquid. A bitter and salty flavor lit up his tongue and soon Xander was sucking his fingers clean.

"Oh, pet." Spike's eyes were rolling back in his head at the sight.

"Sorry." Xander grinned at him. "So what are we doing?"

"You are going to fuck me."

"Aroogaa?"

"You heard me." Xander looked at Spike. Spike held out the first tube of lube he could find. Xander looked blankly at Spike and then took a deep breath before grabbing the tube. Xander scooted until he was kneeling between Spike's raised knees. He pushed the overflow of condoms and lubricant out of his way, stopping to pick up one condom. He quickly opened it and sheathed himself before smearing lubricant over his cock.

"Pet, what are you doing?"

"Huh?"

"Don't need a condom for me, luv. Vampires don't carry diseases and you're the only one I've been with as a human."

"Right. But I was with several girls and it’s been a while since I got tested. Better safe then sorry, ya know?" Xanders hands were shaking as he coated a finger in lube.

"Thank you."

"For what?"

"Caring enough to want to protect me."

"Thank health class. Some of the videos they showed were enough to scare me into thinking a garbage bag would be more useful then a regular condom." He moved his greased digit to the opening to Spike's body and just sort of brushed over it. Spike reacted instantly, moaning and beginning to writhe on the bed. Xander repeated the action, watching. "I get the logistics, sort of, but you need to tell me what to do here, Spike."

"You have to stretch me. Just slide a finger in until I tell you to add another. Then you scissor 'em until I tell you to add a third. You have to make me open enough to take you in." Xander looked down at his cock and watched as his finger slid in and out of Spike's body.

"I'm never going to fit there."

"Yes, you will. Takes a bit of time to relax everything-" Spike moaned as Xander rubbed against his prostate. "Oh, Xan, right there. Touch right there." Xander did, fascinated by Spike's reactions.

"What is that? Is that your prostate?"

"That, pet, is little slice of heaven." Spike moaned and wiggled, fucking himself on Xander's finger. "Add another finger."

"You're so tight, Spike." He added a second finger and slid them in and out slowly until he could feel the ring of muscle relaxing around him. Then he started scissoring the fingers, stretching Spike.

"Was a virgin when I was turned." Spike said, reaching down and pulling his knees up, opening himself further to Xander. "Another finger." Spike was almost panting, his own cock hard and tight against his stomach. Xander slid a third finger in and continued scissoring them. He bent forward slightly and licked a trail up Spike's dick, stopping to blow softly on it. Spike tensed, biting his lip. "Now, Xan, now. I need you in me."

Slowly, Xander pulled his fingers out of Spike. Spike whimpered at the loss but moaned as he felt the head of Xander's penis pushing against him. Pushing into him. He held himself as still as he could, trying to relax his muscles so Xander could push in faster. Finally, Xander was fully sheathed inside Spike. Spike lowered his legs and wrapped them around Xander's hips. Xander held himself, collecting his breath and leaning forward to kiss Spike. Then he started to move. They were both lost to amazing feelings. Spike had never felt so full and Xander had never felt that he fit so perfectly before. Their eyes met and they stayed locked on each as Xander pounded into Spike. Spike's cock was caught between them and each of Xander's thrusts pushed hi against it. Suddenly, Spike was arched tightly again, grabbing tightly onto Xander's shoulders and spilling himself between them. His muscles clamped down on Xanders body pulling his climax from him. They collapsed onto the bed, both breathing heavily. Spikes legs fell from Xanders hips, leaving the larger man lying in a cradle of Spikes body. When Spike's breathing was under control he peppered Xander's face with gentle kisses. Slowly, Xander pulled himself from Spike's body, both groaning at the loss of connection. He took off the condom and tossed it in the trash. He pulled some tissues from the box on the bedside table and quickly wiped off some of the drying semen. Spike watched him, trying to stifle a yawn. Then Xander was pushing Spike onto his and spooning himself around the smaller man.

"That was incredible." Xander said. Spike chuckled quietly. "Go to sleep Spike." Xander placed a chaste kiss on the base of Spike's neck and tightened his arms, drifting off to sleep. Spike following right behind.


Xander almost spilled his coffee when there was a knock at the door. Carefully he put it back down on the table and picking up the last bits of his croissant he crossed the room to the door. He wasn't too surprised to see Patience standing there, dressed for a day in the sun in another bikini/sarong and her hair pushed back out of her face by the sunglasses resting on the top of head.

"Mornin' Xander. Or actually, afternoon." Her smiled beamed at him and he smiled back laughing softly as she bounced into the room. Xander quickly closed the door and picked up his shirt off the bed, dressing quickly. "I thought I'd let you sleep in late today since you had that bad headache yesterday."

"Thanks." Xander went back to sit at the table again, sipping at his coffee.

"Oh good, you're eating. I was afraid once I pried you out of your room I'd have to wait for you to eat before we could go lay out."

"Um, no. Called down and had some food brought up. I was pretty hungry when I woke up." A soft blush was rising up on his cheeks. "Patience-"

"Xan, do you think we could run down to my suite? That sweaters too warm for daytime. And I need to borrow a shirt, got anything that isn't a polo?" Spike said coming out of the bathroom, towel around his waist and another roughly scrubbing his curls dry. It wasn't till he threw the smaller towel onto the bed that he looked up to see they weren't alone. Spike's eyes got wide and he chewed on his lip as he turned a questioning look at Xander.

"There's a couple of tank tops in the bottom of the bag you can go through." Xander pointed to his duffel that lay on top of the dresser. "This is Patience."

"Um... hullo." Spike said offering her his hand. She slipped hers into it and he bent slightly and laid polite kiss on the back of it. Xander noticed that his other hand was tightly holding his towel closed and snickered quietly.

"Hi." A slight blush painted Patience's cheeks and she giggled a little at Spike's old-fashioned greeting. And both Xander and Spike noticed her giving him the once-over.

"If you'll excuse me, I'll just be getting dressed." Spike turned to the bag and pulled out the first tank he found and scurried back to the safety of the bathroom. Not noticing the two sets of eyes following his every move.

"Spike?" Patience quirked a brow at Xander.

"An old friend. From back home."

"Oh."

"I thought... I thought he was gone and then we ran into each other last night." Xander tried to hide his expression behind his coffee cup.

"Oh." She gave him a knowing look. "Well, if I'd known you were gay, Xander, we could've spent the week scoping men instead of just mocking the silly couples." Xander was momentarily shocked at her statement but then started laughing.

"I'm not gay. We're not gay." He stated. Behind him he could hear Spike coming back out of the bathroom and padding over to them. He picked up Spike's tea and held it out to him.

"Speak for yourself on that one, mate."

"What?" Xander's jaw dropped and Spike laughed and settled into his lap.

"What do you mean what?"

"Spike? You're gay? What about Dru? What about Buffy? Harmony?"

"What about 'em?"

"Um... they're girls."

"So?"

"I can see I've interrupted something. I'll just be going." Patience picked up her small bag and headed to the door. "I hope I can count on you both joining me for dinner."

"Of course, pet, we'd love to." Spike spoke for both of them, turning to look at her over his shoulder. She gave a small wave and slipped out the door. Spike started to slide off of Xander's lap and move over to the vacated chair but Xander grabbed at his hips and kept him where he was.

"Okay... you have to explain yourself."

"What do you want to hear? I'm from a time where I did what was expected. Meaning I was expected to marry and carry on the family name. Blah blah blah. So I lusted after the most unattainable woman I could. At least publicly. Privately... I was pretty much only attracted to my classmates. My male classmates." Spike shrugged. "Dru offered a chance to get away from what was expected of me. I loved her for that. And the demon... well, vamps'll shag anything."

"What about Buffy?"

"Another beautiful and unattainable woman. I loved her for who she was. Didn't matter the packaging. Or plumbing."

"Okay, that's a slightly disturbing image." Spike laughed at Xander's disgusted expression. "So, this with me... what is it?"

"Do you mean, is this it? A one night thing? Or is there more?"

"Yeah. That's what I mean."

"Xander." Spike turned Xander's face to him, looked him in the eye. "I'm not sure about you, but I'm a long haul kind of guy. When I give a piece of myself, I give myself entirely."

"Me too." Xander whispered, still looking into Spike's eyes.

"That's good then. I always thought you were incredibly shaggable." Spike smirked at him. Xander laughed.

"I was a nummy treat."

"Still are, luv, still are."


The pair spent most of the day in bed touching and kissing and talking. Xander told Spike about the things Giles and the girls had done with the new watchers council. Spike told Xander about working with Angel in LA and then what he remembered about the years that he spent in the home. Xander talked about how he'd taken a job teaching wood working at a community center type place. He said that it was his time- no slayers, no demons, no potentials, just Xander and a couple of students and some wood. Spike had made the requisite naughty jokes about Xander and wood. Spike asked questions about where Xander lived, about his dreams, about anything that came to mind. They spent the day reacquainting themselves with each other.


They forced themselves to leave the room early enough that they could go to by Spike's room before dinner. Xander wandered around the room as Spike quickly changed. He started when there was a knock at the door and at Spike's request he answered it. A steward stood waiting. Spike quickly came up behind Xander and handed his bags to the young man. Told him to take everything to Xander's room. Xander grinned at Spike. Spike was moving into his room. The steward took the items and the hefty tip Spike gave him and double-timed down the hallway to Xander's suite.


They were almost late to dinner that evening and almost immediately left when Patience couldn't stop her knowing grin and giggle. But they stayed and the three had a wonderful evening, complete with both men taking turns on the dance floor with her. And when another man asked for a chance to dance with her, the boys smirked at each other and took a spin on the dancefloor together.


The last days of the cruise were spent the same way- the boys basked in each other all day and night, only coming out of their room for dinner with Patience. And the young man who'd asked her to dance and then taken Xander's place as her cruise "buddy". His name was Sean. He was a doctor. And from the same city in Florida as Patience. Spike and Xander teased her mercilessly and she counterattacked by telling them how cute they were. Spike would tell her he wasn't cute and they'd go off for a few minutes arguing good-naturedly about that. Xander would take that time to quiz Sean and see if he was good enough for Patience. He was.


The boys were hardpressed to pack their belongings and leave the ship when it docked in Miami. Spike had snuck a couple of Xanders shirts into his bag and Xander had a digital camera full of photos (some not suitable for younger audiences) of Spike. They didn't talk about parting ways. Spike had a car waiting to take him to the airport for a flight to Greece to start his month long adventures. Xander knew Willow and Buffy, and maybe Dawn, would be waiting to take him back to England with them. He'd given Spike his address and number. Spike had promised to call. They picked up their bags and headed for gangplank on back to the real world. At the top, Spike excused himself for a moment and told Xander he'd see him at the bottom. He kissed him quickly, patted him on the butt and disappeared into the crowds. Xander waited a minute, his sad eye searching the crowd for honey gold curls, and then he marched down the walkway. Right into the waiting arms of Willow. Buffy pounced him from behind and made a Xander sandwich.

"So? How was the cruise?" Willow said, her voice muffled against his chest.

"Yeah! Meet any pretty girls?" Buffy asked, looking at him over his shoulder.

"Hello, ladies." He squished them both tighter to him. "And yes. I spent some time with a beautiful girl." Both girls squealed in delight. He quickly released them and threw his hands over his ears.

"Tell us everything." Willow bounced. Xander finally noticed the coffee cup in her hand. Caffeinated Willow. Joy.

"I will."

"Pet?" Xander looked up to see Spike standing behind the girls. A stretch limo open behind him. "I have to go."

"Spike?" Buffy and Willow asked.

"I know." Xander wanted to move forward, step to him. But his feet wouldn't budge.

"I'll call." Spike nodded quickly at the girls and turned to get into the car.

"SPIKE!" Xander pushed away from the girls and quickly caught the door before it could close. Spike stepped back out of the car, the door in between them. "Show me the world?" Xander asked.

"Always." Spike smiled at him, his hand reaching up and pulling Xander in for a kiss. Xander moved around the door as Spike tugged him into the car. He turned and saw the girls staring with open mouths, Spike laughed at the sight they made.

"I'll call." With that he closed the limo door and the car ambled forward.

"Was that Spike?" Willow asked.

"Did Xander just kiss Spike?" Buffy asked.

"That was so hot." They said in unison.


"So, how do we change my tickets so that they match yours? Is it going to change your plans having me along?" Xander asked, his hand tightly gripping Spike's.

"Not a problem. I called my agent before I left the ship. Made all the arrangements."

"You knew I'd go with you?"

"No. But I hoped I'd have the guts to ask you."

"Spike..." Xander started, leaning into Spike for another kiss.

"I know, luv. I feel the same." Their lips met and it was like their first kiss all over again. It was fireworks. It was passion. It was home.




The End





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