Summary: Sometimes words aren't necessary. And sometimes they are, but it works out anyway.
Disclaimer: Not mine, all theirs.
A/N: This is dedicated to whichclothes.
Xander Harris Has A Tiki Bar
It had been part of Anya’s design scheme and not at all in keeping with the style of the apartment, but, as she had keenly observed, there was no home without a bar at the pinnacle of our civilization’s slavish devotion to homemaking. She may have held the entire chauvinistic institution in disdain, but it was a human cultural ideal, and Anya was nothing if not dedicated to the proposition that she would be a Real Human Girl.
No longer part of that ideal, she’d left the bar when she’d moved out. Xander was thankful and also drunk for the better part of the following week. Willow wrung her hands, Buffy nagged, Giles frowned and cleaned his glasses but Spike, well, Spike showed up at his door with two bottles of Jack Daniels and a shrugged explanation that a man shouldn’t drink alone when his heart’s been broken. It made the kind of drunken sense that Xander could appreciate in his inebriation.
Two weeks later, the apartment was littered with bottles, take out menus and the scattered remains of a dozen or more Chinese meals and also a vampire who had taken residence on his couch and seemed disinclined to leave. Regretfully sober, Xander couldn’t find the energy to protest the presence of the one guy who’d had enough sense to not make him try and analyze his fucking love life until he was damn well good and ready. So Xander double checked that the curtains in the living room were pulled tight against the midmorning sun, blearily grabbed a trash bag from under the sink and started quietly digging his way out of the garbage and back into his life, such as it was, without Anya.
And when he emerged, Spike was still there.
They sat side by side on the couch, Xander’s hair and collar still damp from the shower and Spike looking like the wrong side of a two week bender, and by unspoken agreement, they came to a mutually satisfying arrangement.
“Got a lamp might look good in here.”
“The mercury glass one? You finally got it rewired?”
“Yeah, 220 an’ all. Give the place a bit of class.”
“I like that lamp.”
It glowed softly in the front window when he came home from work and matched the art deco aesthetic of the architecture. Spike and his stuff blended pretty seamlessly into Xander’s life when all was said and done, and privately he thought that was pretty much okay. They kept opposite hours, so outside of patrol or the occasional excursion to the Bronze for pool, beer and wings they didn’t see much of each other, but that was okay too. He had Spike’s boots by the front door when he left for work and incongruously elegant script on yellow post-its reminding him to pick up beer and lime tortilla chips stuck to the fridge.
Eventually Spike handed over his crypt to Clem. Neither of them commented on the significance of making their arrangement less transient.
Spike did say, “Ought to have the birds over one of these nights. Got a proper bar you hardly ever use.”
Xander nodded in placid agreement, without looking up from his bowl of cereal or the Sunday funnies sprawling over the table. “Wanna invite Clem?”
“Might do. Friday you think?”
“I’ll ask Willow to bring dip.”
And so Xander found himself at the liquor store Friday afternoon, perusing the aisles of potent potables, grabbing a six pack of beer for himself, a bottle of Jack for Spike and was debating flavors of wine coolers for the girls when a bottle of strawberry margarita mix caught his eye like a shameless, boozy hussy and all but threw itself into his cart.
Xander dropped the paper bag on the kitchen counter. Spike was in the shower. He left a note.
Forgot chips. Back in fifteen.
When he returned, Buffy was happily blending the margaritas behind the bar and the smell of bean dip wafted through the room. Willow, Tara and Clem chatted happily about his plans for his new digs and Spike was sitting on the sofa, clutching his bottle of Jack and staring into space with a lost expression.
And apart from Spike’s potted plant impersonation, a lovely time was had by all.
Spike finally broke form an hour or so after everyone had gone home while Xander was sorting the recyclables. He took a long swig from the bottle and set it on the coffee table forcefully.
“Right. Be back in a few,” he said, toeing on his boots and swirling his duster majestically around his shoulders as the apartment door closed behind him.
“Whatever,” Xander amiably replied, trying to determine if the bottle the margarita mix came in was PETE or PVC.
He was mindlessly channel surfing when Spike returned like a man on a mission twenty minutes later.
“Where’d you run off to?” Xander asked.
Spike said nothing in response, squared his shoulders, marched forward purposefully and hauled Xander up by his collar before mashing their lips together awkwardly.
“Mmmph!” Xander exclaimed in surprise, hands flailing as he sought to keep his balance before finding purchase on Spike’s coat. Spike seemed to take this as a sign of encouragement and redoubled his efforts with a little moan of enjoyment. Xander remembered at that point that he ought to remove Spike from his face to find out what the hell was going on, but at the same time, hands were touching him in a way that wasn’t altogether unpleasant and really, what would be the harm in seeing where he was planning on going with this? Xander relaxed his lips and kissed Spike back.
Spike groaned and pulled away.
“Bedroom?” He asked.
Xander nodded dumbly. Then there was more kissing, and less clothing and several hours passed and both men lay side by side in Xander’s bed staring at the ceiling slightly confused but surprisingly content.
“Not that I’m complaining or anything, but you wanna tell me where that came from?” Xander asked after a while.
Spike sighed and turned on his side to look at Xander.
“We have a good thing going here, Harris. Didn’t want to blow it, but since you made the first move, an’ all, figured I’d let you know I have the stones to see it through.”
Xander blinked. Spike’s expression was as earnest as he’d ever seen it and he didn’t want to ruin the moment but, “What move? There was moving?”
Spike actually blushed. “Well, yeah. Leastways, I figured…I mean, bollocks, hang on.” Spike got up and padded naked out of the bedroom, returning a moment later with a plastic jar he threw on the bed. Xander picked it up and read the label.
Oh, sweet Jesus.
Xander blinked. “Spike that was for the margaritas. To rim the glasses.”
Spike’s eyes widened, then rapidly averted as realization dawned. “Oh. Well then.” He looked somehow extra naked then, and seemed to be scanning the room for a place to hide.
Self-examination, Xander decided, was overrated.
“It’s almost three. I have a site visit at seven.”
“Turn out the lights before you come to bed.”
And Spike did.
The sugar, they discovered, was far too sticky for any practical application in the bedroom and was exiled to the tiki bar. They never spoke of it again.
But the next time Spike made Buffy a margarita, Xander snorted tequila out his nose.
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