Let's Talk About Sex
This was not his day. He hadn't been able to find anything nasty to kill. The only food he was able to buy was pig's blood. He was almost out of money, as usual, and when he tried to swipe some booze and fags he almost got the crap beaten out of him by some Chinese store owner's kung fu fighting son. Having to run away from a 16-year-old would-be JetLi was just one more nail in his coffin - all courtesy of the Initiative. God, I really hate this chip.
He had lost half his loot and his pants had a long horizontal tear just under his bottom, where the old Chinese shopkeeper had slashed his thigh with a butcher knife. Thank God he hadn't worn his duster! It was hard enough keeping it in good condition even without people shredding it with a machete.
Back in the tunnels, he quickly located the place where he had left Anya's stupid little Tupperware container. God, what a ridiculous sight, a master vampire prancing around through the sewers holding a little plastic dish under a blanket. So, why was he carrying the damn thing around? Because it was his only excuse to turn up at Harris's doorstep.
He arrived at Xander's apartment just after sunset. It was a nice place. He had climbed onto the balcony a few times and looked inside through the large windows. He had been curious what the boy's new home looked like. Yes, curious. Nothing more. Hell, he knew where Anya used to live, too. And the others. Always looking in from the outside.
He rang the bell, not entirely without apprehension. But it wasn't Xander who opened the door.
"Spike? What are you doing here?" Anya asked, surprised but cheerful.
"Was in the area and thought I'd drop this off." He held the plastic dish out to her.
"Thank you," she said, nodding. "Did you know that sometimes, when you lend things to people, they never bring them back? That's so rude."
Spike just shrugged, trying to get a peek into the apartment. Was Xander not in?
Anya paused and looked at him.
"Do you still have that chip in your head?" she asked.
"Yeah. I'm still all chipper," he said morosely.
"How do I know you're telling the truth?" Anya asked him.
"You don't." Spike shrugged.
"If I invite you in, will you promise not to come back and kill us in our sleep, when that chip comes out?"
"Yeah, alright, I promise. I mean, I won't kill you here, but I might do it elsewhere, you know, if we happen to bump into each other at the cemetery? 'S that alright with you?"
"Okay," Anya said, satisfied. "In that case you may come in, Spike."
Spike was never one to need a second invite. He slipped inside past Anya as she closed the door.
"Oh!" Anya exclaimed. "But you mustn't sit down anywhere!"
"I don't want you to leave blood stains on the upholstery."
"Still bleeding, is it?" he craned his neck, but couldn't see the gash in his leg. "Thought it might have healed already." He grinned inwardly. Looking at my bum, are you, Anyanka?
"If you take your trousers off I can put a band aid on your injury," Anya offered.
"What?" he was taken aback.
"We have a very well-stocked first aid kit. I even have band aids with antibiotic already on them. They were on sale. So, when Xander gets beaten up by vampires and demons he doesn't need to go to a doctor. He doesn't like hospitals and doctors. He is scared they'll give him injections."
He considered her offer for a moment. Oh, he could so picture himself lying around with his bottom bare (he never wore underwear) and Anya dabbing the wound with tiny balls of cotton and what not. Chances are, Xander would walk through the door at exactly that moment, jump to all kinds of wrong conclusions and stake him outright, no questions asked. Spike had long since arrived at the conviction that whatever power was responsible for the allocation of bad luck and bad timing, he, she or it had it in for him. Big time.
"Speaking of Xander, where is he?" he asked, trying - without great success - not to think about twosomes or threesomes. Damn you, Xander!
"He's doing the shopping for next week. I expect him to return any time now."
He smiled into Anya's pretty brown eyes. "Um, no need for a band aid..." Coward! "But if I could just use your bathroom to freshen up a bit?"
She showed him into the bathroom and gave him a cloth and a towel. He quickly undressed, washed himself, rinsed most of the blood out of his pants, wrung them out thoroughly and put them on again. Ugh, cold and sticky! Without any body heat they would take ages to dry. No longer William the Bloody but William the Wet he emerged from the bathroom.
"Your pants are wet," Anya said, ogling the way the damp fabric clung to the man's bottom. "Do you want to borrow some of Xander's?"
"I'd rather go naked."
Anya gave him a blank stare but then she smiled. "Ah, humor. I get it."
"Nice digs," he said, truthfully, after dutifully admiring the large living room and the kitchenette. "What do the other rooms look like?"
Anya was pleased, because she did not often get an opportunity to show off her worldly possessions. To her, they signified success. So, she showed him around, yammering on and on about pieces of furniture she still wanted to buy and about how they had lost their cleaning deposit. Then she showed him her laptop computer and the website she had designed for the Magic Box. But they quickly moved on to other subjects, and ended up talking about the other Scoobies. Before he knew it, they had spent the better part of an hour shamelessly gossiping about Willow's claims on Xander's friendship, Tara's horrible family, Angel's sex life or lack thereof and Buffy's non-existent love life.
"Would you believe that she was actually interested in this guy Ben? What a lapse of taste!" Spike complained.
"I bet she was glad she never had sex with him," Anya pondered. "Can you imagine having sex with a man, and he suddenly turns into a hellgod, and a female one at that?" She sounded fascinated.
"Yeah well, I wouldn't have touched either of them with a barge-pole." Spike said, truthfully. "Good riddance."
"Sorry," Anya said, suddenly remembering something Xander had tried to explain to her about being a good hostess when they had guests. "I should offer you a beverage. But I have no blood in the fridge. Perhaps you would like something else to drink?"
"Not to worry," Spike said. "Actually, I've got some pig's blood right here, so if I could use your microwave to heat it..."
"Sure. Well, if you and Xander are going to be best male friends, perhaps I should stock up on some."
While Spike was fixing his blood in the kitchen, Anya was busy spreading a garbage bag on the sofa so that it wouldn't get wet when the vampire sat down. As Spike came back into the living room to take a seat, they heard the key rattling in the lock. "Anya, I'm home," Xander declared.
"Spike! What are you doing here?" Xander asked, louder than necessary. When he had fled from Spike's crypt he had been confused, but soon confusion had been replaced by anger. In fact, he had been so pissed at the vampire for turning him on like that, he had almost forgotten that HE had initiated the kiss. Almost. Accordingly, his shopping trip had been an ordeal. Everything had taken a lot longer than usual because he had been distracted, trying very hard and without any noteworthy success to NOT think about the way the vampire's hardness had rubbed against his thigh. And now, the direct cause of his turmoil was sitting comfortably on his sofa, carefree, cocky and undoubtedly laughing about him or worse, spilling the beans to Anya.
He kicked the door closed with his heel, dumped the shopping bags on the counter of the kitchenette and marched over to the couch where Spike was lounging. Why is he sitting on a garbage bag? Xander wondered distractedly. He noticed that the vampire was sipping blood out of his favorite mug, which didn't improve his temper.
"What's it look like?" the vampire asked offhandedly.
"Like you're talking to my girlfriend."
"Oh right, the crime of the century! So, now I'm public enemy number one again?" He put the empty Spiderman mug on the table and got up.
"Out!" Xander snapped.
"Xander! What do you think you're doing?" Anya asked.
"Huh? What do you mean?" Xander stared at his fiancÚ. She was standing in front of him, hands on hips and looking a shade more than irritated. The peroxided pest stood right behind her, a defiant grin on his face, and... oh no, he was doing that THING with the tip of his tongue! Licking his bottom lip and making it dart out between his teeth.
"I invited him in," Anya declared. "He's a guest. YOU taught me how to treat guests. Even though I think it's stupid having all these rules. I'm sure there are better things I can do with my brain than trying to remember all of these strange rules of conduct, but if you say 'embrace' that's what I do. I was a really good hostess, wasn't I, Spike?"
When Anya turned towards him, the vampire's smirk quickly transformed into a charming smile. "Perfect," he said, his voice a deep, resonant rumble.
She turned back to face Xander. "And now you want to throw him out!" She continued to rant. "That's not in the rules. And it's rude. And you said rude equals bad."
"Anya, he's not a guest, he's a vampire! You don't invite a vampire into your home unless you're feeling suicidal."
"Oh right, is that why you let him stay in your basement several times?"
"Um... valid point."
"Besides I'm not stupid. Before I let him in I made him promise not to kill us in our own home."
Xander was about to contradict her, about to explain that relying on a vampire's word of honor WAS stupid. But then, even he had to acknowledge that Spike was a man who kept his promises. Feeling a bit deflated he realized that he was overreacting. He was being way over-protective. He was in panic mode. Was this Spike's idea of payback for the way he had chickened out? Not that it had been intentional. But still...
What if Spike had already told Anya about that kiss? What would she think? Would she consider it cheating? Anya was very touchy on that subject, so she probably would. Cheating on someone who had spent the better part of a millennium making men's privates shrivel, rot, fall off or combust was not high on his list of things to do. Okay, so Anya didn't have her powers anymore, but she kept an impressive collection of carving knives in the kitchen.
Spike recognized the panic in Xander's eyes. Oh yes, he WAS feeling vindictive. When Anya wasn't looking he wriggled his right eyebrow suggestively and blew the boy a kiss.
Xander took a threatening step towards him, but Anya intercepted him. "Stop it!" she exclaimed. "You said you had a good time with him, so why are you two fighting again?"
She looked at them alternately.
Spike's expression changed to one of hurt innocence, nicely rounded off with a touch of contrition, which seemed to convince Anya. But there was mischief in his eyes.
"No!" Xander explained hurriedly. "No fighting. No two-ness. No nothing."
"What's the matter with you? Don't you want to let Anya in on our little secret?" Spike smiled. Now, that should put the screws on.
"Huh? Secret?" Xander asked, his voice slightly higher pitched than normal.
"You and Spike have a secret?" Anya interrupted. "I don't like secrets, especially when no one lets me in on them. They're just so... secretive."
Spike tilted his head. He was talking to Anya but he kept his eyes on Xander the whole time, relishing the pleading look in the boy's eyes. "I bet Xan 'ere I could scare the willies out'a him even WITH my chip... Anyway, I won, and now he owes me fifty quid."
"You're betting away MY money?!" Anya shrieked, utterly horrified. Her eyes darted back and forth between the two men. Then, "I mean, our money?"
"Sorry Ahn," Xan said, both relieved that Spike had not let the cat out of the bag and somewhat uncomfortable about the deception.
"So what exactly did Spike do to scare you?" she asked bluntly.
Spike grinned behind Anya's back and blew Xander another kiss, clearly enjoying himself.
"What do you mean what did he do?" Xander stalled nervously. He's so going to pay for this.
"Come on, mate, pay up," the vampire interrupted, making a gimme-gimme gesture and saving Xander from further inquiries. "Unless... you want to pay in goods or services? I have a little problem that needs fixing back at the crypt."
Xander hurriedly brandished his wallet. But his fiancÚ had different plans. "Sure," she exclaimed enthusiastically, nudging Xander with her elbow, totally oblivious to the double entendre. "Xander is really good at fixing things."
"Never doubted it. How 'bout tomorrow afternoon?"
"He'll come," Anya declared firmly, glad that they didn't have to part with any money.
"Right then," Spike said. "Must be off, now. Anya, thanks for the invite and the nice chat. Xander, see you tomorrow. Don't forget to bring your tools." He grinned mischievously.
He put his jacket on, grabbed his blanket and the bag with his loot, gave them a cheerful wave and exited the apartment.
Xander simply stared at the departing vampire, his mouth open.
"What happened to his pants?" he blurted out.
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