Quantum Xander 2
In Wake of the Curse


by
Jameschick



Part Fifty-One

It was daylight when Xander awoke. He groaned and then rolled off of his mate, wincing as their glued-together bodies pulled apart. He saw the vampire's eyes flutter open and then close again. He smiled and climbed out of bed.

"Come on, Spike. I can't believe we overslept! We have to get up and go find Spike and Buffy. Come on."

Spike grumbled but nevertheless got out of bed and followed Xander into the bathroom. He started the shower while Xander relieved himself and brushed his teeth. By the time Xander got in, Spike had already washed his hair and was in the process of rinsing it. Xander took the opportunity to ogle.

Spike stepped out of the spray and picked up the bar of soap. He began to wash himself and noticed that Xander hadn't yet made any move to even get wet.

"You plan on washing, love? Or does the idea of running around Sunnyhell smelling like spunk appeal to you?"

"Oh. Right."

Xander shook his head and stepped under the spray. He didn't dawdle; now that his mind was back on track, he was worried about his other mate. He hoped that nothing hellmouthy had happened to him.

Spike didn't even try to molest the wet, soapy human as he watched him bathe, which for an evil creature such as himself was a testament to his self control. He handed Xander a towel and then began to dry himself as well. He knew that Xander was worried about the other Spike, so he decided to be less than evil and play nicely.

"Where should we start the search, pet?"

"Dunno. I think we should check in with the others first. See if they've heard anything."

"Good idea. You call the slayer's house and I'll make coffee."

Xander went to the living room and picked up the phone. He put it back down and cursed. Spike popped his head around the doorway.

"Problem, Xan?"

"Phone's dead. Forget the coffee, let's just go. Okay?"

"Sure thing, love."

The two left the apartment and headed to the car. As they were driving toward Buffy's place, Spike watched the tense set of his mate's jaw. He frowned; Xander was obviously upset.

"What's got your knickers in knots, love? Are you that worried about them?"

"Yes."

"Why? Buffy is a slayer for Christ's sake, and Spike... well, he's me. And without a chip, I might add; nothing he can't take care of."

"It's not that; okay, it is that, but it's not just that. Spike, Buffy has been the strongest person I've ever known. For seven years she has kept me and everyone I love - mostly everyone - alive and sane. And they all just turned on her like that. I should have been there - regardless of not being able to change anything, I should have been there - at least to tell her that she still had me."

Spike nodded; this made sense to him. Xander always took on too much and now was no exception. But still, there had to be more to it than just the slayer.

"What else? That's not the only thing bothering you."

"I fell asleep. I said I would - we would - go and look for them - for him - and instead we went home. We made love and we fell asleep. I should have made sure he was alright first."

"Ah."

Now it all made sense to the brunette vampire. Xander was feeling guilty for enjoying himself, for being with him instead of out looking for the other Spike.

"No, you don't understand. He was afraid this would happen, that once you were back I would forget about him. I promised that it wouldn't - that I wouldn't do that to him. But I did; I fell asleep and God knows what might have happened to him."

"I get that. Do you think I haven't wondered the same thing? That you would choose him over me now that we're all together? He has a soul, love. Something I don't have - and don't want either - but it's something that makes him more acceptable. Your friends trust him; they don't have a problem with the two of you being together. I have a chip, Xander, but Spike already proved that a chip isn't enough to make us not behave like a demon. It seems that both of us have insecurities where you're involved. Can you really love both of us? We aren't the easiest vampires to get along with, you know."

Xander snorted.

"I know that! But yes, I can and I do love both of you. I want both of you. I don't know if that makes me perverted or greedy or what, but it's the truth. I fell in love with you during the craziest time in my whole life. You made that whole thing bearable - enjoyable even. If I hadn't found you, I don't think I would have made it home; I don't think I would have had the strength. And Spike? Shit, that wasn't supposed to happen, but I'm glad it did. He's a part of me now, and I wouldn't give that up for anything. He needs me, and I need him. I need both of you."

As Xander finished speaking they had arrived outside the Summers' house. He parked the car and turned off the engine. Spike leaned across the seat and gave Xander a gentle kiss.

"You have me, love. And I'm pretty damn sure you still have him as well. What say we go inside now? If no one knows anything, we'll set out on foot. See if I can track him down."

"Okay. Thanks, Spike."

The two men exited the vehicle and went inside the house. The gang was all grouped in the front room going over strategy. It looked as though Faith was ready to lead the girls into battle.

"Xan, new Spike. Love the hair, by the way."

Faith smirked at the brunette vamp who growled and flashed his eyes at her. Xander gave Faith a warning look and she returned it.

"What? I can't make a crack about his look?"

"Not unless you'd like me to change yours, slayer."

Spike may have agreed to help, might even want to, but he was not taking shit from a girl who under different circumstances would just be one more notch on his belt. In fact, the more she looked him over, the more he itched to make her number three.

"Ooo, tough words from the chipped vampire. Might I add that I kicked your double's ass even without the chip? So you'll excuse me if I don't tremble in fear."

Xander could see this was going to turn out all kinds of bad as Faith stepped up and got in Spike's face.

"Or should I be worried that you'll try to lick me to death? Seems you have a sweet spot for slayers going by how your blonde half trails after B."

"I have a sweet tooth for slayers. The only thing I want to sink into you is my fangs, luv."

Faith's eyes narrowed and she opened her mouth to reply, but Spike was quicker.

What's the matter, pet? The principal not doing it for you? Not enough of a man to satisfy you? Tough shit, girlie. I wouldn't shag you with Angelus' dick. 'Course you'd probably like that, wouldn't you? Always picking up Buffy's leavings. First Angel, then her soldier boy, yeah I heard all about that one; now you want a piece of the Big Bad, eh?"

Spike licked his lips in a lascivious manner and cocked his head to the side. Everyone in the room moved as far back from the pair as possible - except for Xander, who stepped closer to his mate and tried to draw him back toward the door. He didn't want them to trash Buffy's house, and he was pretty sure Spike no longer had a chip, and this was not the time for him to discover that.

"Pretty full of yourself for a guy who's taking it up the ass from Xander Harris, aren't you? I mean, if you were all that, you could do way better. I've had him, and believe you me, he was nothing to write home about."

Xander heard Willow mutter 'Oh shit' from the other side of the room just before Spike exploded. It was one thing to insult him, but no one insulted Xander.

Xander wasn't sure who was more shocked when Spike's fist connected with Faith's jaw and he didn't go down in blinding pain, the vampire or the slayer. All the same, the shock didn't last long as they flew at each other with intent to kill.

"Xander! Do something!"

Willow again. Her voice broke through his stunned paralysis, and without thinking, he shot his arms out toward the two combatants and yelled.

"SEPERATE!"

Faith went one way and Spike the other. They soon realised that neither could move from where they were sprawled on the floor. Xander walked toward Faith and crouched down in front of her.

"I realise that you are under a lot of stress right now, and that it's not easy filling Buffy's shoes. For that reason, and the fact that we need you in this fight, I won't let Spike make you his third slayer. But if you start it again, I won't stop him."

Spike snickered from his spot on the floor. Xander turned his glare on him and strode across the room. He looked down at the vampire and shook his head.

"You don't get off that easy, mister. We came here for Spike, not for you to make Faith your chew toy. Yeah, she's an obnoxious, arrogant pain in the ass, but you know better. This is not the time."

Spike nodded his understanding.

"Sorry, love."

"I know. And if it were any other time, I might have let you play with her a bit longer, but right now we need to find Spike and Buffy."

He turned around so that Faith could see him.

"Now, are you going to behave or do I leave you down there on the floor for awhile?"

Faith set her jaw and nodded her assent.

"Good."

Xander waved his hand toward her and then turned back to Spike and pulled him to his feet.

"Now, has anyone seen or heard from Buffy and Spike?"





Part Fifty-Two

The search was a bust. They had tracked Buffy's scent to a house a few blocks away but it was empty by the time they had gotten there. Xander was becoming increasingly worried, and even Spike was beginning to get concerned. He was still pumped up from fighting with Faith - the realisation that he was no longer chipped was making him want to celebrate. And he could think of no better way to do that than to throw Xander down and shag him into the middle of next week. Of course he couldn't do that until they found the missing blondes.

"Let's try back at the house again. If she was here and left, it's a good possibility that she went back there. If for no other reason, she'd want to check on her sis, right?"

"We don't have any other ideas, so let's try that one. But Spike? No fighting, okay? We'll need every fighter we have if we're going to beat The First."

"I know, love. She just really pissed me off insulting you like that."

"Don't take it too seriously. She's probably right. It was my first time and she basically just threw me down and climbed on board."

"Oh."

"What? Like you were some big stud your first time?"

Spike laughed.

"Hardly. I was sandwiched between two vampires, and one of them was draining the life out of me. Hardly my best performance."

"Geez, and I thought my first time was traumatic."

"Come on, pet, let's go back and see if the peroxide twins have made an appearance."

Xander smiled and slung his arm over Spike's shoulder.

"You know, if you keep insulting Spike's hair, I'm going to remind you of it once you're all shiny and blonde again."

"Wouldn't have it any other way, love."

The walk back to slayer central was made in silence. Xander had a niggling feeling that something was wrong. Terribly wrong. He just didn't know what. By the time they reached Buffy's house, Spike was starting to feel it too. They were met at the door by Robin Wood - who took one look at Spike at sneered.

"Oh, it's just you."

Xander rolled his eyes at the idiot.

"You know, for someone who was raised by a watcher, you don't have much of a survival instinct do you? I mean, first you go and try to kill my blonde mate, and then you go and insult my brunette one. Did you not see him kick your girl's ass earlier? And if that doesn't scare you and make you think twice, just think of what I could do to you. The only reason you are still in one human-shaped piece is because Spike figured he owed you for the trigger being disabled. That debt has been paid. Next slip up, you're gone."

Xander let his eyes go black to make sure the former principal got the message.

"Now, where is everyone?"

"They went after the weapons. If you had stuck around, you'd know that. They should be back anytime now."

Xander rolled his eyes and looked at Spike.

"Survival instincts of a lemming. Did I not just warn him?"

"That you did, love. But give him a break; it's not easy being left behind, knowing that your lover would rather put her trust in a bunch of children to watch her back."

Robin scowled and walked away. Xander smiled at Spike and leaned in and kissed him.

"You're evil, and I love you."

"Glad to hear it, pet. What say we go take a look-see at what the girls are up to?"

"Good idea."

Walking through the tunnels toward the location of Faith and the S.I.T's, Xander started to get that uneasy feeling again. He looked over at Spike and saw that he too was frowning and looking around the tunnel.

"Something's not right."

"Bringers. I can smell them."

"Let's go."

They took off running and as they got closer, they heard the sounds of battle. Spike shifted to game face and sprinted ahead; Xander followed him and hoped that they got there in time. The last Bringer fell by Spike's hands just as Xander exited the tunnel into the small dug out room.

"Yo, Faith. Check this out."

Kennedy was shining a light on a doorway in the corner. Faith went to investigate, followed by the rest of the girls. Xander and Spike took up the rear guard and made their way down as well. They watched as Faith broke the padlock off an old wooden box. Inside there was a detonator counting down.

"Everybody get down!"

The explosion rocked the cavern and Xander barely had enough time to throw up a shield. It wasn't a very strong one but it did protect them from the worst of the damage.

"Is everyone okay?"

Various girls responded that they were, but so far no response from Faith. Seeing as she had been the closest to the explosion, Xander went toward the last place he had seen her and began to dig through the debris. He found her face down in a puddle of water.

"Well, this looks familiar." Xander quickly pulled her up and checked her vitals. Her pulse was steady and after coughing up some water, she was breathing all right, but she was unconscious.

"Alright. Everyone, clear out."

The girls all did as Xander said, and Spike watched as Xander carried Faith toward the staircase. He shook his head, rolled his eyes and then reached out to stop him.

"I'll take her, love. I'm stronger than you are."

"You promise not to eat her? Um, I mean... "

"I know what you mean, git. And yeah, I promise. Where's the sport in killing an unconscious slayer?"

"Okay then."

Spike took Faith from Xander's arms and motioned for his mate to precede him up the stairs. They found Buffy waiting for them at the exit to the tunnel with the potentials all crowded around her.

"Buffy! Thank God!"

Xander grabbed her and crushed her to his chest.

"Are you okay? What happened? Where were you? Have you seen Spike? And oh yeah, what the hell is that in your hand?

"Fine. I was relieved of duty so I left. I spent the night in a house a few blocks away, and Spike was still there when I left this morning. He stayed with me. I, I asked him to. I'm sorry, Xander. I just didn't want to be alone - I needed a friend. As for this..."

Buffy held up a nifty looking axe thing with a stake on the bottom.

"I got it from Caleb. I knew he was hiding something, and I was right."

"I knew you would be; I'm sorry I wasn't there to defend you."

"I'm a big girl, Xander. I don't need you to stick up for me, but thanks. You sure you're okay about last night?"

"Yeah. I understand. I sort of figured that Spike was with you, that you'd need a friend. But uh, we tracked you to the house, and it was empty when we got there."

"Oh. Maybe he went home?"

Just then one of the girls screamed as a Turok Han came charging toward them. Xander released Buffy, Spike handed Faith off to a couple of the potentials who were also less then battle ready and the rest of the girls formed a barricade in front of the two injured girls who were crouching protectively over Faith.

"There's another one!"

One of the girls shouted, and sure enough there were now two of the Uber vamps making their way toward the group. Spike grinned wickedly; he was looking for a good fight, had been since Xander stopped him from pounding Faith earlier in the day.

"Xander, stay back. Let the slayer and me handle these two poofs."

"Yeah, sure, you do that. But uh, there are now three of them to handle."

"Right."

Spike turned to Buffy and grinned.

"What do you say, luv, feel like working off a little tension?"

"Oh yeah."

"Just remember, no staking the friendly vamp, right?"

"No problem there."

Spike and Buffy made short work of the Uber vamps; that new axe of hers was the perfect weapon for defeating them. Spike had pouted after it was all done since he didn't actually get to kill any of them, but he had had fun beating them up. When it was finished, Buffy looked behind her at the group of young girls, all standing ready to defend Faith and the two other slightly wounded girls, and felt pride in them. They had come a long way in a short time.

"Get the wounded. We're leaving."

Spike took Faith back from the potentials and walked to Xander. Kennedy looked around nervously and then turned to Buffy.

"Are there more?"

"There're always more. Let's move."

In silence, they made their way back to Buffy's house and through the front door. Robin was on his feet and heading for Spike as soon as he saw him with Faith in his arms. Buffy placed a hand on his chest and gave him a hard shove back into his chair.

"Spike, Xander. Take Faith up to my room and get her comfortable. Giles, I think Amanda might have a sprained elbow. Can you look at it? Rona, find Andrew; tell him I want to know everything he and Spike saw at that church."

"I thought Spike would have told you?"

"He did. But I want to hear it from Andrew too; he might have seen something Spike missed."

Rona shrugged her shoulders and went to find Andrew. Buffy headed for the stairs to check on Faith.

"Um, Buffy? What's with that axe thing?"

One of the girls who had not been in the raiding party spoke up.

"I took it from Caleb. It might be important."

"Let's hope so."

Buffy nodded and went up the stairs. She found Spike and Xander in the hallway outside her bedroom door.

"How is she? Any change?"

"No, she's still out of it."

"Send Giles up when he finishes with Amanda."

"Sure, uh, Buff? There was a bit of a... fight earlier."

Buffy sighed.

"Who was fighting, and why?"

"Faith and Spike."

Buffy laughed.

"She seems to have a thing for pissing off Spikes, doesn't she. Apparently the other one went a couple rounds with her last night. What happened this time?"

Spike interrupted.

"She insulted Xander. Up until that point, I was just playing with her."

"I see. And I assume since neither of you are dead, your chip went off and Xander stopped her?"

"Yer half right."

Buffy looked at Xander for an explanation.

"Spike doesn't have a chip, Buff. He came back without it. But yes, I did stop it, and it won't happen again."

"Fuck. I don't need this shit right now. Look, Spike,"

Buffy turned to the dark-haired vampire.

"I'm going to trust you to keep your fangs in check. I need all the help I can get right now. Can I trust you?"

"Yes."

"Good enough."

Xander blinked in shock and Spike grinned.

"I can see why he fell for you, ducks. You're alright for a slayer."

"Gee, thanks, Spike. You're alright too, for a bloodsucking demon."

Buffy went into the room and Spike and Xander went back downstairs. Spike was feeling a little caged in what with all the humans in the house, so they went out on the front porch. Spike dropped onto the step and pulled out his cigarettes. He lit one and blew the smoke out through his nose.

"You want to go home? See if he's there?"

"Yeah. Do you mind?"

"Not in the least. Let's get out of here."

Just as they were heading for the car, a familiar blonde-haired figure came strolling up the street.





Part Fifty-Three


"Spike! There you are!"

"Hey love, I went by the apartment but you weren't there."

"I was - we were - out looking for you, then there were explosions and Turok Hans, and Faith being unconscious and Buffy has a neat new weapon she stole from Caleb and we came back here, and we were just heading home to see if you were there and God I missed you!"

Xander trailed off as Spike's arms came around him; the blonde pressed a kiss to his lips to further silence him.

"I missed you too, love. Remind me to never go anywhere with that Andrew again, would you? He's lucky I have a soul now, or I might have given in to temptation and had him for lunch. Bloody annoying, he is. Git never shuts up."

"Mmm hmmm. Can we go home now? I've had enough excitement for one day."

"You sure about that, love? I was kinda hoping to get you excited once we got home."

Xander's eyes glazed over and he jumped as the other Spike came up behind him and wrapped his arms around his waist and licked the side of his neck.

"Now that sounds like a bloody brilliant plan to me. Always knew I was a smart bloke."

Spike grinned cheekily at his double and then began to pull them both towards the car.

"Faster we get there, the faster we get you all excited, love."

Xander didn't need to be told twice. He dug his car keys out of his pocket and tossed them to the dark-haired Spike before being unceremoniously shoved into the backseat and then pounced on by the blonde one. The brunette Spike chuckled and climbed in behind the wheel. As he pulled the car away from the curb, he turned to the occupants of the backseat and spoke to his double.

"Oi, don't wear him out before we get home."

The blonde lifted his head from Xander's neck where he had been sucking and nipping a path up to his ear and grinned at his dark-haired doppelganger.

"No worries, mate; was just getting him warmed up."

Xander groaned and Spike went back to work teasing the skin of his mate's throat before sucking his earlobe into his mouth. Spike reluctantly tore his eyes off the rather erotic sight in the backseat to pay attention to the road. The streets might well be deserted, but he could still run them into a pole if he wasn't paying attention.

By the time they got home, the darker of the two Spikes was ready to shag Xander right there in the parking lot he was so turned on by the little show in the backseat.

"Inside. Now."

Spike opened the door to the building and the other two raced inside. Xander broke away from the blonde Spike and sprinted up the stairs to his apartment. The two Spikes looked at each other, shifted into their demon forms and grinned.

"Nothing like a good chase to get you in the mood."

The other Spike nodded and they proceeded to hunt down their prey. It wasn't much of a hunt, as they found Xander in the bedroom, naked and sprawled out on top of the sheets. In tandem, both Spikes discarded their clothes and pounced on either side of him. The brunette vampire - who just happened to be on the side closest to the nightstand - grabbed the leather wrist cuffs and waggled his eyebrows at the blonde. Blonde Spike smirked and proceeded to distract Xander long enough for his double to get the cuffs on his wrists and secure him to the bed.

Xander quickly realised his situation and swallowed hard. He looked from one Spike to the other, taking in their matching leers.

"Ho, boy."

Blonde Spike licked his lips and looked at his lovely mate laid out naked, hard, and restrained to the bed. He turned to the other vampire with a smirk and a raised brow.

"Now, I seem to recall there being other toys in that drawer. Think we might find a use for them as well?"

"I said it once, and I'll say it again, I always knew I was a smart bloke."

Spike reached back into the drawer and pulled out the flogger, the anal beads and a tube of lube. He tossed the lube and the beads to Spike and then ran the soft leather tongs of the flogger through his fingers.

"Mmm, all that lovely skin, and me with no chip. Whatever shall I do?"

Xander might have panicked if he didn't trust Spike implicitly. But since he did, he merely groaned as his cock twitched, and then arched off the bed as the blonde between his legs inserted a slippery finger into his ass. He looked once again to his dark-haired mate and smiled nervously.

"Won't hurt you much, love; and I promise you, it will hurt so good."

Xander just nodded his head and then his attention was drawn back to the other Spike who had begun slowly inserting the beads inside him, one at a time.

"Oh, fuck."

Xander let his eyes close and his head fall back to the pillow.

"That's what those are for?"

Both vampires chuckled at the innocence of their mate.

"What did you think they were, pet?" Blonde Spike asked.

"Wasn't sure. Never seen them before."

"Never had a chance to show him before the accident," the brunette replied.

"We'll make up for that now. Just relax, Xan. We'll take good care of you."

While Xander was distracted by the sensation of the beads being fed into his ass, Spike attached the cock ring and then stood back to look at his work. He wished for a minute that he had grabbed a set of nipple clamps while they were in the sex-shop, but figured he'd purchase some at another time.

Xander's eyes flew open as the leather connected with his thigh. It hurt, but it was only a small sting. Spike moved around the other side of the bed and struck the other leg in the same spot. Xander watched as his mate looked him over, deciding where to strike next. He tensed his stomach muscles as the flogger made contact and then moaned out loud as the blonde Spike chose that moment to pull the first bead from his ass.

"Christ!"

The sensual torture continued for some time; the vampires switched places and Xander learned about the sweet sensation that was pleasure/pain. Finally, The brunette Spike crouched between Xander's spread thighs; lubed cock in hand and slowly entered him. Blonde Spike straddled him and when Xander had expected to be presented with his cock to suck, he was instead given a sweet, slow kiss and then Spike turned around - facing the other Spike and impaled himself on Xander's aching shaft.

At that moment, Xander was extremely grateful for the cock ring. The feel of having both his mates at once was beyond anything he could have imagined. Blonde Spike rolled his hips and at Xander's groan, looked over his shoulder and winked at him before turning back and kissing brunette Spike.

Xander watched in shock and lust as his mates kissed each other passionately. Then they both began to move at once and Xander's eyes rolled back in his head. Not for long though, 'cause the sight of his mates hungrily kissing one another while they fucked him was too hot to not watch. He wished he wasn't still cuffed to the headboard; he was desperate to touch them.

The vampires moved in tandem, never faltering as they increased their pace. Xander spared a moment to marvel over the wonders of demonic strength and flexibility - knowing that he would never be able to pull off the position Blonde Spike was in - before he lost all ability to think as the catch on the cock ring was released and he was screaming his completion.

Both Spikes were lost in their own pleasure, bloodied lips smashed together as they came in unison. Blonde Spike toppled off to one side of Xander and the darker of the two lay down on the opposite side. They each reached a hand up to undo one wrist cuff before flinging arms and legs over their mate and purring happily as they drifted off to sleep.

Xander looked down at his sleeping vampires and smiled. This had gone a lot better than he had expected, but he knew better than to think it was going to be this easy all the time. Sooner or later, one of them was going to snap.





Part Fifty-Four

He was awakened by the sound of the telephone ringing. He crawled over the form of his dark-haired mate and headed for the living room to answer it. He stopped briefly in the doorway and smiled at how the vampires had curled into one another in his absence. He shook off the look of fondness, and suppressed the urge to "Awwww" and went to answer the phone.

"Hello?"

"Xander, it's me, Buffy."

"Hey Buff, what's the up?"

"Uh, I need you to do something for me. Something important."

"Anything, Buffy. You know that."

"Can you come here? This isn't an over the phone kinda favour."

"Sure. Should I bring the Spikes? Or let the sleeping dead lie?"

Buffy giggled.

"Totally up to you, but if you do bring them, try to keep the hands-in-naughty-places to a minimum, okay?"

"Ah, not sure what to tell you there, but I'll do my best."

"All I can ask, Xan. Thank you."

"No prob. I'll be there in a few, with or without company - I don't know yet."

"Okay; bye, Xan."

"Bye, Buff."

Xander hung up the phone and then blinked in confusion. Hadn't the phone been dead the last time he'd checked? He shrugged his shoulders and headed back to his room. He smiled at the sight of his lovers - naked and intertwined on the bed. He wondered how long the peaceful feeling in his body would last.

Blonde Spike opened sleepy blue eyes and then sat up in alarm.

"OI! Ya bloody pervert! Get off er me."

Xander sighed. Apparently the feeling would only last until they woke up. Brunette Spike scowled at his twin and then crossed his arms.

"You weren't calling me that when you were snoggin' me earlier. Poof."

"Oh, you bloody bastard!"

"Souled up wanker!"

"Poncy haired git!"

"Slayer-shagger!"

Xander saw that this was going to go very badly and decided to step in before anyone said anything that couldn't be taken back.

"HEY!"

Two sets of gold-tinged blue eyes turned to him.

"Enough. You guys are going to have to learn to get along. I'm not giving up either one of you, so I suggest you kiss and make up."

He tapped his foot impatiently as he watched his two mates continue to glare silently at one another. Finally the blonde shook his head disgustedly, muttered something under his breath and looked the darker vampire in the eye.

"You're not a pervert. Just wasn't expectin' to wake up next to ya, is all."

"Neither was I."

At Xander's annoyed look he continued.

"And yer not a poof."

Spike snorted. The other one did too. Then they both cracked a grin.

"Well, technically,"

The blonde looked at the other two men in the room.

"We all are. But I don't exactly see that as being a bad thing."

"True, and I'm sorry I called you a souled-up wanker."

"'Kay, I'm sorry I made fun of yer hair."

"No you aren't.

"Okay, I'm really not. But I shouldn't have said it."

"I shouldn't have called you a slayer-shagger."

Pause.

"Even though you are. Well, were anyway."

Xander just shook his head. At least they weren't fighting anymore.

"Buffy called. She needs to see me, so I'm heading over. You guys coming with? Or can I trust you to stay here and not kill each other?"

The Spikes looked at Xander and then looked at each other. With matching grins they leaned in and kissed gently, tongues brushing sensuously together, hands coming up to run gently over each other's body. Xander watched in wide-eyed fascination, his breath catching as his cock filled almost painfully. He made a small sound of protest as they ended the kiss and turned their heads to look at him. Brunette Spike climbed out of bed and handed the blonde his jeans and t-shirt before pulling on his own clothes. Xander was still standing slack-jawed and glassy-eyed as the blonde stood in front of him.

"Xander?"

The blonde vampire tilted his head and then tried again.

"Xander, love? Didn't you say you were needed at Buffy's?"

Xander blinked, shook his head and then looked at his lover in confusion.

"Wha... huh? Buffy?"

The vampires both chuckled and Xander glared at them.

"Oh, very funny. Get the human all worked up and then send him to a house full of women he thinks of as sisters and little annoyances."

Brunette Spike smirked at him.

"Well, you did say we had to kiss and make up. We were just doing as we were told."

They both nodded solemnly and put innocent expressions on their faces. Xander couldn't help but smile. He caught the clothes that were thrown to him and began to dress as he wondered if he would ever get over the sight of the two of them together. Their pale, perfect bodies touching, their lips pressed together, the expressions of passion etched so clearly on their faces. He was definitely a lucky man.

"Come on, let's go. I'm driving."

At the car, Xander rolled his eyes heavenward and prayed for strength as his mates both grinned at him and climbed into the backseat together, leaving him to try and drive to Buffy's house without wrapping them around a pole because he kept looking over the seat to watch them. It wasn't as though they were really doing all that much; just kissing and touching each other above their clothes, but it was almost too much for Xander to bear. He desperately wanted to just stop the car and climb over the seat. When the sounds of a zipper being lowered and a low moan met his ear, he swore under his breath and pulled the car to a stop.

"That's it! You two are the evilest vampires I've ever known!"

He shook his head at their chuckles and opened his door. He stepped out into the dark street and walked around the car to the back passenger side door. He opened it, reached in and hauled the closest vampire he could reach out into the cool night air. There was a muffled complaint from inside the car before the other one joined them.

"You two did this on purpose, didn't you?"

They both wore "who me?" expressions on their faces and Xander couldn't help but laugh.

"Innocent really isn't a believable look for either of you."

And then Xander crushed his mouth to that of the dark-haired vampire in front of him. He then spun him around so he was up against the car and pushed his duster up over his hips.

"I know you carry it with you, where is it?"

Spike smiled, reached into his pocket and drew out a battered-looking tube before passing it back to his mate. Xander wasted no time in undoing Spike's jeans and pulling them down. He nudged the vampire's feet apart and then began preparing him to be entered.

"Here."

Xander said as he passed the tube back to his blonde mate and wiggled his ass.

"Want you in me."

Spike groaned at the desire in Xander's voice and took the tube from him. He had to admit, having the other vampire around was proving to be a hell of a lot of fun so far. He undid Xander's Dockers and slid them down his thighs. He took a moment to appreciate the beauty of the man in front of him. Half naked on the side of the road in the moonlight, and Spike had never seen Xander look so sexy.

"Spiiiike."

At Xander's whine, the blonde stepped closer and began to ready Xander. He opened his own jeans just enough to free himself and slicked his cock before pushing slowly inside the tight heat that was his mate. He heard twin groans as his thrust pushed Xander into the Spike in front of him.

"Fuck! Oh God, not gonna last long!"

Xander was sandwiched between two hard, cool bodies; he was pretty much naked from the waist down, and he was fucking and being fucked up against a car outside, on the side of the road. He knew at that moment, that he was well and truly corrupted. But he really didn't give a shit.

Spike sped up his thrusts, pushing harder and faster into Xander, in turn making Xander thrust harder and faster into Spike. Xander's hand came around Spike's waist, his fingers encircling the dark-haired man's erection. Spike howled at the extra sensation and came with a roar. Xander followed behind him and then finally, as the blonde Spike sank his fangs into Xander's skin, he too came with a muted howl. The three men slumped against the car, Xander panting harshly and the vampires using their tongues to clean both him and each other up.

Finally, Xander pulled himself away from the side of the car and fastened his pants. He climbed into the back seat and stretched out across it. The vampires climbed into the front of the car - blonde Spike driving - and pulled back out onto the road.





Part Fifty-Five


"You got it?"

"Wait. I'm not to the "got it" place yet. I'm still in the neighbourhood of "you've gotta be kidding".

Buffy sighed.

"You know it's for the good."

"I don't. I have power now; finally I have something to offer in the fight against evil besides my wicked carpentry skills. Buffy, do you get that?"

"I know. That's why I need you to do this. Xander; I need someone that I can count on no matter what happens."

Xander shook his head.

"I just always thought that I would... I would be there with you... you know, for the end."

Buffy looked indignantly at him.

"Hey."

"Well, not that this is the end."

Xander babbled and then grinned at her.

"Thanks a lot."

"No, no, no. By the end, I meant, uh... a heroic, uplifting way."

Buffy smiled at him.

"I know what you meant."

"I should be at your side. That's all I'm saying."

"You will be. You're my strength, Xander. You're the reason I made it this far. I trust you with my life. That's why I need you to do this for me."

Xander's shoulders slumped and he shook his head sadly.

"I'm sorry Buffy. I can't. I need to be here for this. I can't explain it, but I just know that my place is here. I promise I'll do whatever it takes to keep Dawn safe, but I can't leave. Besides, do you really think she would leave willingly?"

Buffy smiled a bit sheepishly and pulled a bottle of chloroform out of her pocket.

"I kinda doubted it."

Xander laughed a bit and shook his head.

"You thought I'd actually knock her out?"

"Hey, it's not as if all the women are jumping at the chance to run away with you."

Xander looked at her affronted.

"Don't look at me like that. You're the one who said I'm gonna die."

Buffy walked toward the door. Xander followed her, scowling playfully.

"I never said you were gonna die. I-I implied that you were gonna die. It's totally different."

"Yeah, Okay. Sure."

"Besides, if you die, I'll just bring you back to life."

Xander shrugged his shoulders.

"That's what I do."

The two vampires had overheard the entire conversation and were both at odds with their feelings. On the one hand they both wanted Xander by their sides where they could watch out for him, but on the other hand, if he had agreed to take Dawn and run, then he would be safe. The fact that Xander had power, that he was more than capable of looking out for himself, never crossed their minds. As far as they were concerned, it didn't matter. Xander belonged to them and they protected what was theirs. Of course, the wanting Xander beside them won out over any other feeling so they were both relieved by his refusal to leave.

Spike - the darker of the two - had no qualms about leaving with his mate if he had decided to run. He didn't owe these people anything; the only reason he agreed to fight was because of his mate, and because he liked the world as is, but if Xander had left, he would have gone too. It wasn't so cut and dried for the peroxide vampire. These people were family to him. Okay, so Buffy and Dawn were family to him. The others - Giles and the witches - were merely people who abided his presence and didn't actively try to kill him. The potentials were just scared little girls learning that the world was a crueller place than they'd thought. He pitied them. But moreover he pitied himself, 'cause if Xander had agreed to leave with Dawn, he knew he wouldn't have been able to follow. He owed Buffy far too much to just abandon her in her darkest hour. Whether she thought she needed him or not, he knew that his place was here, just as Xander did.

As Buffy came into the room, her eyes locked on those of the blonde demon and she smiled hesitantly. She looked behind her and saw the other Spike pull Xander into his arms and kiss him. She shook her head at the weirdness and then after another look at the blonde vampire went back into the kitchen. Spike stood and followed the silent summons. He found her holding the scythe and staring out the window into the darkness.

"So you did it. Fulfilled your mission. Found the Holy Grail. Or the Holy Hand Grenade, or whatever the hell that is."

Buffy turned away from the window and faced Spike.

"Right now we're going with scythe. You like?"

"Well, pointy and wooden is not exactly the look I wanna know better, but it does have flair. Can see why a girl would ditch a fella for one of these."

"I'm sorry about that."

"It doesn't matter. You're back in the bosom. All's forgiven. And, uh, last night...was just a glitch. A bit of cold comfort from the cellar dweller. Let's don't make a thing out of it."

"Great. I have work to do."

Buffy turned her back to the vampire once again.

"Oh, yeah. Another solo mission, of course."

"Yeah, it is."

"That's fine. You don't have to get shirty about it."

Spike turned to leave the room. He suddenly wanted to feel Xander's arms around him, to remind himself that he had someone real, someone who loved him, who he loved in return. He didn't understand why being around Buffy made him act this way. He was over the slayer. So why did she still have the capability to make him so damn defensive?

"I'm not shirty. And what is shirty? That's not even a word."

"All right. All right. Big secret mission. It's fine."

And it was fine. He knew she was more than capable of looking out for herself. She didn't need him, and truthfully he wanted to be with Xander anyway, not off trolling around in the dark with Buffy on some secret mission.

"It's not a secret. Well, I mean, it is, but that's the point of the mission. Find out the secret. This thing was forged by - I don't even know. I mean, something about... a tomb on unconsecrated ground. That's what I have to do. I need to find out what this is and why I have it."

Spike looked closer at the weapon and then looked at Buffy.

"And that's the thing the preacher man was so anxious to keep out of your mitts?"

"That it is."

"Well, maybe I'll swing by the vineyard when you go, take Xander and the other me; make sure he's sitting tight."

"Great."

"Okay."

Spike headed for the doorway again only to be stopped by a soft hand on his shoulder.

"Spike, You're a dope."

"I'm a what?"

There was genuine confusion on his face as he turned to look at her.

"You're a dope. And a bonehead. And you're shirty."

"Have you gone completely carrot-top?"

Buffy just smiled.

"Do you see this?"

She held up the scythe.

"This may actually help me fight my war. This might be the key to everything. And the reason I'm holding it is because of you. Because of the strength that you gave me last night. Because you held me and told me you believed in me. Because I really needed a friend and you were there for me. You made me believe in myself again. I don't know what you felt, how you feel about last night but..."

Spike cut her off.

"Terrified."

"Of what?"

Spike took a moment to think about what he felt, how last night had changed him, changed how he felt about Buffy, how he felt about Xander - hell, how it changed how he felt about the other Spike coming back.

"Last night was... God, I'm such a jerk. I can't do this."

"Spike..."

"It was one of the best nights of my life. If you poke fun at me, you bloody well better use that, 'cause I couldn't bear it. It may not mean that much to you, but..."

"I just told you it did."

"I've never really had a friend before, Buffy - well not before Xander, and now I feel like I do. I loved you, still love you, but last night, I held you in my arms as you slept and I realised that as much as I loved you, I love Xander more. I didn't think I could ever love anyone more than you. I was gonna stake Dru for you! So, terrified pretty much sums it up, but at the same time, I feel free. You freed me."

"From what?"

"Fear. Of not being good enough. You trusted me to keep you safe when your world was falling apart. You made me realise that I'm worth something, that I have value. That I didn't need to be afraid that Xander was gonna forget about me now that the other Spike is here. That I can be loved for myself. He tried to tell me, but I was too afraid to listen."

"He does love you. I can see it in his eyes when he looks at you, when he talks about you. It's real, Spike."

Spike ran his hands through his hair.

"Did you ever love me, Buffy? Even a little?

"I... I don't know. What we did, what we had, it was so..."

"Messed up? Wrong? Doomed to fail?"

"Yeah. I used you, and I regret that. I'm not the one, Spike. Xander is. I get that now. If things were different now, maybe you and I..."

"No."

Spike held up his hand to stop what she was about to say.

"Let's just leave it."

Buffy sighed but nodded her agreement. Maybe she did love him, but he wasn't her one either, and deep down she always knew that. She just wasn't sure who her one was anymore.

"We'll go be heroes. It's what we do."

Spike nodded and followed her back out to the living room. Xander reached out for him, and Spike allowed himself to be pulled into his mate's arms. He felt the gentle press of warm lips on his neck and smiled. Yeah, Xander was definitely the one. He turned his head slightly to the other side and blinked at the open look on the other vampire's face. Then he rolled his eyes, realising that he had overheard every word he had spoken to Buffy. Too late to change anything, and he'd just blame it on the soul if he gave him a hard time over it.

"You're not the only one with fears, mate."

The unsouled Spike leaned in and whispered to him. Spike nodded his understanding and felt that he was one step closer to letting go of the last of his apprehension.

"Well, as much fun as this is."

Buffy spoke up.

"I have to go track down the maker of this scythe. Spike? You still planning on swinging by the vineyard?"

Spike looked to Xander and his double and at their nods he answered.

"Yeah."

"Good, let's move then. We don't know how much longer we have."

Xander stood and followed Buffy into the dark night, his vampires on either side of him. They climbed into the car and drove toward the vineyard as Buffy set out on foot. He really just wanted to go home and fall into bed between his lovers and sleep until the apocalypse had passed once again.




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