Sequel to Predatory Acts
Thanks again to Green and Yindagger for their work as beta readers and for giving me much needed help and encouragement and to dutchbuffy2305 and Fitofpique for their thoughtful feedback. This is the sequel to Predatory Acts and is set two years after that finishes.
Preying On My Mind
Sunnydale November 1999
Spike sighed as he settled himself into the chair, trying to anticipate
which position would be most comfortable for the long hours ahead
before he was tied in place. The last two nights had been enough to
teach him that it was unlikely it existed. He’d wrenched his neck
trying to scratch an
itch on his nose the first night, his backside was still numb from the
second and if Xander made the ropes bite in any harder tonight, they’d
Silent, his face puckered with distaste, Xander came over to Spike and began to wind the ropes around him. As Spike had guessed, he pulled them tight.
“Why do you hate me, Xander?”
The words came out with a thread of genuine interest woven through them and Xander’s lips thinned. “You’re a vampire, dumbass. Your kind’s killed more of my friends than I can remember.”
“Yeah, whatever. Wasn’t what I asked. Why do you hate me? What have I ever done to you personally? Apart from knocking you out that time. Oh, and the night -”
“Maybe you talk too much, Spike. Yes, in fact you do. Maybe I should gag you as well as –”
He paused. Something dangerous had flared in Spike’s eyes and his hands curled into fists. When he spoke, his voice was mild, almost gentle. “I really don’t advise it, Harris.”
Xander backed down but the sullen anger in him smouldered as he finished tying Spike’s ropes. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he had to let Spike stay here, now he was getting threatened by him.
“So - no answer. Figures. Not got the balls to admit you just get off on all this?”
Too much. Two nights of pretending to sleep with Spike a few yards away had exhausted Xander. He was losing the last scraps of control over a situation that time had failed to make easier to bear. Making a noise that was halfway between a sob and a curse, he stalked over to a locked cupboard, opening it and fumbling around inside. He came back to stand in front of Spike, mutely holding out a small object. Spike frowned as he recognised a memory charm. “How’d you get hold of one of those?”
“You gave it to me.”
Spike’s eyes flew up to meet Xander’s, startled and wary. “I bloody well didn’t, mate. Do you know how much they cost?”
Xander’s lips curled disdainfully. “Didn’t cost you much. He owed you a favour and you traded it for one of these. Except it wasn’t one. It was two. Not that I knew that of course. Not then.”
Spike groaned with frustration. “You’re not making any sense. You’ll have to do better than this. Tell me straight or shut the fuck up.”
Xander’s fist whipped across Spike’s face, throwing his head back against the chair. It was the first time he’d touched him, skin on skin, and it felt good to hurt back, good to leave his mark, if only for a moment. “You want to know? You sure? Want me to tell you all about the night – two nights – we spent fucking each other till we couldn’t stand? How you gave me this so I could forget about it all? You want to know now but you chose, deliberately chose, to wipe it out of your memory. You wiped me clean away, Spike. What’s the matter? Big Bad can cope with the memories of a century of slaughter but not with anything involving feelings or, or...”
Xander’s tirade faltered, his face working helplessly to stop the tears from spilling down. He sat down on the edge of the bed, one hand clenched on his knee, the other cradling the charm protectively. Spike stared at him, silent in the face of clear insanity. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” he said at last, forcing a sneer to his lips in an effort to hide his reaction. “Nice one, Harris. Almost had me there. ‘Course the fact that you’d cut your bloody dick off before you’d let it touch any part of my tainted, soulless body was a bit of a giveaway. Now piss off. This just isn’t funny.”
Xander looked up, anger stemming the tears. “Oh, it’s touched you, Spike. It’s been in your hand, your mouth, your ass. It’s rubbed against your body in a dozen places. I came over your back, your front, your face. The air in the room was thick with our scent. You filled me, held me, made me think I wasn’t alone. Said we were the same, even when it was just me, not the hyena, you said it. Then Angel offered you my neck that night and your eyes....they were empty. You didn’t know me, you didn’t care. All you were interested in was him. Just like Buffy. All she saw was him. I was nothing.”
The bitter, furious words sputtered from his mouth. He felt drained, spent, but it hadn’t helped to leech the poison from his soul. He was empty and hollow. He’d given Spike enough ammunition in one minute to fuel years of taunting but it didn’t matter. He’d felt like a child who had breathed on a snowflake and made it vanish. The only thing he’d had left were his memories and now he’d flung them at Spike’s feet to be ground into the dirt.
Spike opened his mouth, a dozen questions demanding to be asked, changed his mind and then said simply, “When?”
Xander brushed a shaking hand across his eyes and sighed. At least Spike wasn’t laughing. In fact, he looked – concerned? That couldn’t be right. “Years ago. About five, six months before you came here with Dru. We met in an alley behind the Bronze. I was possessed by a hyena spirit – God, even the field trips are dangerous in this town – and you were, well, you were feeding. The blood called to me and you – shared. We fed and you took me with you, back to your place.”
Spike closed his eyes, letting himself go back to that night. “Yeah, I remember that woman, but not you. I fed, went back to my digs, got drunk...spent a day or two kissing up to the Master and went back to Dru.”
Xander shrugged. “Yeah. You said she was ill and you were going back for her. Well, we all know how that turned out. She dumped you. Guess you chose the wrong one.”
Spike glared at him. “You stupid, useless wanker. You don’t know jack about what happened and you don’t get to comment. If what you say is true, though God knows I’m having a hard time accepting it, then there’s only one reason I can think of that I can’t remember it.”
“What?” said Xander, a flicker of interest in his eyes. Spike being insulting was soothing, a return to their normal relationship. He could cope with him angry or sarcastic.
“Dru. She would have plucked you out of my memory like an eyeball from a skull. She’d have come for you. If I took one of those charms, and I suppose I did, I saved your bloody life, mate. Trust me on that.”
Xander looked at him, biting his lip. There had been too many nights spent restlessly fingering memories until they became dulled with handling, too many days spent denying everything the brief time with Spike had taught him about himself. Accepting that Spike had acted out of concern meant releasing a grudge that had turned into a prop.
Spike watched him think, his own mind working furiously as he came to terms with what he had learned. Xander and he had been lovers? And Xander must have felt something or he wouldn’t have bothered to hate him so much. Spike knew better than anyone what excesses frustrated love could produce. A faint warmth kindled in him. Wanted. He’d been wanted. It wasn’t much in the wasteland that his life had become but it was something. His eyes raked Xander appraisingly, approving the strength of the body, remembering the courage he’d shown in a dozen fights. Lad had a mouth on him, of course, but so had Spike. Xander’s description of their time together had made him so hard, so ready, that he was having trouble sitting still. He felt his muscles tense and relax in a rhythm that matched Xander’s breathing, as he tested the ropes that bound him.
“It doesn’t matter,” Xander said finally, breaking a long, thick silence. “You forgot, and I should too.” He looked at the silver sphere and then directly at Spike. “Going to get rid of you, Spike,” he said, his voice taunting and vindictive. “Going to forget you –”
His hand moved towards his mouth and Spike felt the demon rise. His. Xander was his and he was going to break that link? No. Wasn’t going to let him. With a low growl, he pulled against the ropes. The knots had been tied cruelly tight but it didn’t matter. Spike could always have broken free if he’d wanted to. Just didn’t seem worth mentioning. Xander glanced up in alarm as the ropes snapped and Spike came for him, game face on, golden eyes blazing with anger and desire. Spike’s hand clamped firmly but gently around Xander’s wrist as he bent over him, going from a rush of speed to stillness in a heartbeat. “Drop it. Now.”
“No,” snarled Xander. “Not going to suffer like this any more. Do you know what it’s been like? Watching you, wondering if you’d remember, if you’d tell them all. Wondering if you were pretending, just waiting for the right moment. Wishing I could just ask you, but not daring to. Too much. It’s just too fucking much”
He squirmed, trying to break Spike’s hold, but the vampire clung to his wrist. “Xander, I keep this up and the bloody chip’s going to have me on my knees. Please. Give it to me and give me a minute to think.”
Xander’s lips set stubbornly and Spike let the panicked rage surge up inside him, riding out the pain that sizzled through his head as he squeezed Xander’s wrist hard enough to numb it so that the charm fell to the floor. Spike pinned Xander in place with a warning look and then slowly bent to pick it up, slipping it into his jeans pocket. “Right. Now suppose we fill in some details.”
“Oh, I think yes.” His limited patience exhausted, his head throbbing, Spike gathered Xander’s shirt in his hands and hauled him up the bed, letting him fall and straddling his body. Xander could have thrown him off easily enough but he lay still, dark eyes searching a face that had sharpened with emotion until it looked all straight lines, angular and hard. Spike leaned forward slowly, sliding his hands along the crumpled sheets, not touching Xander’s body. He could feel Xander’s cock harden beneath him, see his breath catch in his throat; hear the pulse hammering away in the hollow of his neck. With a deliberation he’d forgotten he had, Spike paused, straightening his arms so that he hung over Xander, suspended above a body that was quivering with need against his. “You’re still mine, aren’t you? Don’t know what I did, but it marked you. Tell me. Tell me what we did.” His voice was husky, slow and knowing.
The last flicker of defiance in Xander’s eyes was quenched when Spike dipped his head and nuzzled into his neck, letting his body rest lightly against his. “I’d bite you just here if I could. You know that?” Tongue and teeth worked his flesh ruthlessly. “But I can’t. Can’t do anything any more.” Anger roughened his voice, “And you tell me you’re going to turn your back on me?” The edge smoothed away and he chuckled. “Only when I tell you to, Xander. Not until.”
Xander stared up at him. “I thought you didn’t want me,” he whispered. “Thought I wasn’t – good enough.” There it was, all the pain in two short sentences. Spike felt the words pierce him. Not wanted. Not good enough. Oh, he knew all about that feeling. He was getting the sense that he was almost there, almost solving the puzzle that he’d wondered about now and then – that deep down look of scorching anger in Xander’s eyes. He should probably take it slowly, not jiggle the precariously poised pieces but that wasn’t his style. He could be subtle, but patient? Not so much.
Spike sighed, sitting up again reluctantly and smoothing back his hair. “Doubt it. If I’d just fucked you, Dru would’ve understood. Made me pay, mind you, weak as she was, but she’d have not cared all that much. No, must have been more to it than that, but unless you open up, I’m not going to be able to tell you.”
Xander closed his eyes. “Get off me then,” he said. “How can I think when you’ve got me so fucking hard it hurts?”
Spike laughed. “Ten out of ten for honesty, mate, but don’t expect any sympathy. I’m not exactly relaxed myself.” Xander’s eyes flicked down automatically and Spike grinned, knowing that his cock was thrusting eagerly against the soft, worn denim, his arousal on display. Rolling off Xander, he lay beside him on the bed and waited. After an endless silence of about ten seconds he heaved a weary sigh and slid an arm around Xander’s neck, pulling him close. “There. Now you don’t have to look at me. Talk. Or I’ll...”
“What?” said Xander, breathing in a scent he thought he’d remembered and discovering he hadn’t come close to capturing it in his memories. “What can you do to me now?”
Spike grabbed his hair, pulled his head back and leaned in to kiss him, his lips hard, rubbing away another layer of denial. “What can’t I do?” Spike murmured.
Xander’s mouth opened under his and just for a second, it felt familiar to Spike, but it was like trying to catch water. The ghost of a memory hit the barrier of the spell and dissolved into nothingness. Spike pulled back, frowning, but before he spoke, Xander came to a decision.
“I’ll tell you. Some of it, well, it’s fuzzy. Once the hyena spirit left I could still remember everything, but they weren’t my memories in a way. I can’t relate to them, so they don’t seem real.”
“Whatever. Just talk.”
“You know it already. We spent two nights together. The first night I was possessed, the second I wasn’t.”
“Hang on. I can see the first night happening but you came back for more? I wasn’t chipped then. Weren’t you scared of me?”
Xander smiled at the affront in Spike’s voice. “Terrified,” he said. “Scared stiff that you’d lick me to death.”
Xander propped himself up on his elbow and looked at Spike. “You came up to me on the street. Said we had unfinished business and if I’d let you finish it, you’d give me the charm. Meant I could forget I’d fed on a human. I could do whatever I wanted with you – and that covered a lot of ground, trust me – and then forget it all. You’d go on your way and I’d be happier. Didn’t tell me you had a charm too.” He lay back against Spike’s shoulder, the tiredness tugging at him. So comfortable here, so safe...
Spike frowned, his hand stroking Xander’s back automatically, feeling him curve against him. “So why didn’t you take it, Xander?”
The final puzzle piece fell into place as Xander’s drowsy voice answered automatically. “I thought you loved me.”
Spike groaned. “Oh, God.”
Xander froze, his body going from pliant to rigid as his own words echoed in his head. “I didn’t mean that! I just didn’t want to forget, that’s all. Didn’t trust you. Could have been poison or some weird magical mojo.”
“Too many reasons. Keep it simple when you lie, pet.”
Xander shrugged off the arm around him and sat up, his face tight with anger. “I’m not your pet. I’m not your anything. We had sex. Two years ago. It was hot, yes. But it’s nothing that we have to do anything about. You tell anyone and I’ll dust you.”
Spike made a contemptuous sound that flicked Xander’s raw nerves like a whip. “No you won’t, and yes we do.” He studied the flushed, furious face, noting the panic, and set himself to calming him down. “Strip.”
Okay, it hadn’t worked. “Xander, you’re so jumpy you’re making the bed shake. Let me just –”
“Fuck my cares away? Not going to happen.”
Spike shrugged and skinned off his T shirt, his hands going to his belt. Xander’s eyes got large. “Stop that!”
“Nope. Getting comfortable. Do you sleep in your clothes? Not a good idea.”
Spike’s jeans followed his shirt onto the floor and he lay back on the bed, relaxed and at ease. Xander gritted his teeth. “Very clever.”
Spike smiled happily. “Like what you’re trying very hard not to look at, pet? Going to tell me I’ve lost weight, or I must have been working out?”
Xander swallowed and then deliberately relaxed, letting his eyes wander openly, taking his time. “You look about the same. Probably something to do with being an ageless, undead vampire.”
“You think? Can still get out of shape you know. Have to work to look this good. You do think I look good, don’t you, Xander?”
Xander nodded casually, refusing to respond to the smirk on Spike’s lips. “You look good for your age, yeah. So?”
Spike crossed his arms behind his head and stared up at the ceiling. “You think I’m trying to tease you. Or seduce you maybe? I’m not.”
“Then why are you naked in my bed with certain bits of your anatomy standing to attention?”
“You were an animal. You know what I’m doing.”
“Help me out, Dr Doolittle.”
“You’re not working with me here, are you? You’re clothed, I’m exposed. You’re in control, I’m open. I’m trying to make you feel better.”
“Well, it’s not working! All I feel is...is...”
Spike glanced over at him. “Yes? Share a little, huh?”
Xander rolled on top of Spike, grabbing his wrists and holding them in place. “I feel like I want to kill you.”
“Not from where I’m lying you don’t.”
“Didn’t say I wouldn’t fuck you first.”
“That’s my boy.”
Xander moved off Spike and started to pull his shirt over his head. In the
brief moment that it was covering his face, Spike rolled onto his side and
kissed Xander’s flat stomach, swirling his tongue against the skin in a thoughtful,
Xander froze, still blinded by fabric. “Don’t stop,” said Spike. “Take it off. Take all of it off. I want to look at you.” His fingers began to move against Xander’s skin, cool and supple, exploring and caressing. Xander remembered the bruises those fingers had left on his arms, bruises that had taken days to fade completely. He had measured Spike’s pleasure with his pain, each mark driven into his flesh by climaxes too intense to leave room for control. He couldn’t find it in him to blame Spike; his own teeth had drawn blood, his nails had dug deep. The wounds Spike made just lasted longer – and they hadn’t all faded.
As soon as he fought free of his shirt, he reached for the button on his jeans. Spike slid further down the bed so that his head was level with Xander’s hands and looked up expectantly, like a cat looking to be fed. Xander laughed, his fingers stilling. He was so hard that unzipping was something to be done very carefully but he made it even slower than he needed to until Spike growled a warning. The sound sent a shiver through him and his hands jerked away, as though the metal of the zip had flared white-hot. Spike glanced up again, surprise giving way to approval, and used one hand to delicately fold back the jeans so that he could reach Xander’s cock. He studied the boxer shorts that were all that covered it, and then ignored them, licking and mouthing through them until the thin fabric clung damply to the hardened flesh. Xander gasped for air that seemed to have left the room, his hips jerking and thrusting upwards helplessly. He was wondering how Spike managed to stay so calm when his hand fell against the sleeked back hair, moving down to grip the back of Spike’s neck. The combination of caress and control seemed to shatter the vampire’s fragile composure, and as Xander watched, he hooked his fingers into the shorts and tore them open.
Xander had memories of being held in place by nothing more than an accepted dare as Spike spent an hour teasing him to a climax with tongue and mouth and fingers. He had begged, writhed and screamed for mercy and enjoyed every minute of it. Now he was discovering that when he put his mind to it, Spike could produce the same effect in under thirty seconds. Spike was too aroused to bother with technique. If he wanted the taste of Xander in his mouth and on his hands as soon as possible, he got it. Xander came in silence, too caught up in pleasure to be capable of sound, shuddering as Spike released him from the cool prison of his mouth.
Spike’s face replaced the ceiling as he moved on top of Xander and filled his vision. His face was so blank of expression that Xander felt a chill run through him until he saw the lips tremble and Spike’s teeth bite down savagely to still the quiver. Xander realised that Spike was on the edge of losing control and seemed to be terrified by the prospect. He decided, with motives that included kindness, though it was far down the list, to give him a little push. Holding Spike’s wild eyes with his own, he dragged his thumb nails down Spike’s back, pulling the blood to the surface in two wavering lines. Spike arched his back and cried out as Xander’s hands cupped his ass, spreading him open and holding him like that for an endless moment before letting his fingers drift between and inside. Spike surged against Xander, his cock frantically seeking enough friction to trigger his release - finding it and coming, in less time than Xander had taken.
Spike let his head fall against Xander’s shoulder and lay still, unspeaking. The curve of his shoulders was eloquent enough. Xander waited a moment and then said, “Spike? Are you O.K? Because some of us need to breathe and you’re a dead weight. Umm. Didn’t mean it like that. Well, maybe a little. Listen to me. I’m babbling.”
“Yes. You are. Shut the fuck up.”
Spike peeled himself off Xander and lay back, moodily mopping up his wet stomach with what Xander couldn’t help but notice was his shirt. “Uh, that’s ...oh, never mind.”
Spike wasn’t showing any signs of leaving but Xander felt uneasy as the silence continued. Tentatively he reached over and touched Spike’s shoulder. “Spike?”
“Took the words right out of my mouth.”
“Is that right.”
“We can play this game of answering a question with another all night but you know, I think sleeping sounds like more fun. I can dream that this was a nightmare. Won’t tell you to get back in the chair but don’t hog the covers and the no biting rule still applies.”
“Why are you acting as if nothing happened?” Spike said. He sounded bewildered and Xander frowned.
“I’m not. Plenty happened and I’m lying in a damp patch to prove it. I just don’t know how I feel about it right now and – oh shit, yes. I’m doing a great job of messing it all up for the second time, aren’t I? Sorry. This isn’t easy for me, you know.”
It was Spike’s turn to frown. “I’m talking about me having the self control of a bloody kid. Spoiling it for you like that. I’m not usually...well, am I? Was I? Oh, God. It’s the chip! I can’t kill and it’s making me come too fast!”
Xander stared at him, mouth hanging open for three full seconds before howling with laughter. “Spike – you, oh that’s just too funny. What about me? Between us we both came in less time than it takes me to brush my teeth but so what? It was good.”
“You don’t count,” said Spike, not unkindly, but as one stating an obvious fact. “You’re human.” He looked at Xander, eyes pleading. “Tell me I was better before?”
Xander considered the possibilities inherent in that plea. Revenge. It was within his grasp. So was Spike’s body though and he knew first hand which was tastier served cold. “Want some statistics do you?” he asked offhandedly. “Something to compare to current performance?”
“Well, I don’t know – what statistics? Are you trying to tell me you kept notes?”
Spike’s voice squeaked with outraged disbelief and Xander bit back another chuckle. “Not exactly. Just had a long time to think it all over.” Like every night and a large part of the day for an endless succession of weeks and months. “Let’s see. We were in that room for a total of fourteen hours over two nights. Asleep for some of it of course. You came nine times, I came seven. Average time from commencement of foreplay to ejaculation was –”
“Xander! Shut up.”
“Won’t. Let me see, yeah, about 13 minutes twenty five seconds. Positions used, well, were there any we didn’t try? Don’t think so. Want diagrams? I can sketch them if you like.” He waited for Spike’s defeated shake of the head and then reached out and gently patted his shoulder. “It’s not about time, Spike. It’s not about performance. It’s about ... connecting. We had fun. I probably made it into more than it was because it was my first time, but still –”
“’First time’? With a vampire? With a bloke?” Spike watched the blush spread over Xander’s face and grinned, self esteem restored. “I was your first anyone?”
“Yes. I was only sixteen!”
Spike looked at him appraisingly, the smile fading. “So you were.” His voice was soft as he asked, “Was I – nice to you?”
Xander looked at him. “You were – are – an evil vampire. What do you think?”
Spike’s eyes flickered. Shame or regret, Xander wondered? Probably not but he didn’t look happy either. “I think I hurt you.”
Xander thought back to the bathroom tile smooth and cold against his face as he watched Spike walk away from him. “You could have. There was one point, when I was possessed and you were angry with me, you nearly forced me to – but you didn’t. After that you did nothing to me I didn’t want you to do.” He pulled Spike to him, his face serious, his arms wrapped around the tense body beside him. “Nothing. And believe me, we did just about everything.”
Spike shrugged. “Have to take your word for that, won’t I?” His eyes darkened as he studied Xander. “So what did I teach you?” He ran one finger along Xander’s collar bone and then cupped his shoulder. Pushing against it, he sent Xander to his back and looked down at him. “What did the big, bad vampire teach you to do, hmm? And have you forgotten any of it? Better not have.”
Xander listened to his voice, silky and insinuating, impossible to ignore, and felt his cock stir to life again. “Shouldn’t we talk about this, think about what we’re doing?” he asked. “Shouldn’t we – oh God, do that again!”
Spike arched an innocent eyebrow. “What, this? I don’t have your advantages, see. I don’t know what you like, so I’m going to have to find out all over again.”
“I like that.”
“Thought you wanted to talk.”
“Later’s good. And it will be bloody later, too.” Xander was barely able to speak over the buzzing in his ears as Spike’s fingers wandered his body, but he managed to raise a questioning eyebrow. Spike bared his teeth in what might have passed for a smile in the dark. “Going to improve that average. You come too fast and I’ll rip your balls off.” He glanced down and looked disappointed. “That was a joke, you know. Give me something to work with here.”
“Oh, you’re just asking for it now.”
Xander pushed Spike away, reached into the drawer of the night table and tossed a small bottle at Spike. “No. Now I’m asking.”
Spike looked down. “Unscented? Not very adventurous.”
“I’m all out of wild cherry.”
Xander’s voice sounded odd and Spike glanced at him. “Is that a joke I’m supposed to get?”
Xander opened his mouth and shut it again. “Doesn’t matter.”
Spike looked down at the lube and several excellent places to apply it and then back up at Xander’s shadowed face. The bottle landed on the floor and Spike had Xander in his arms before the first tears fell.
Spike had forgotten how hot tears could be. Xander’s were trickling
over his skin, his head was resting in the curve of Spike’s neck and he
had his arms wrapped around him as tightly as he could. If Spike had
stopped to think, the conflicting emotions probably would have had much
the same effect as
the chip firing, but instinct had made him pull Xander close, give him
place to hide the tears so that he could pretend they didn’t exist if
to. Xander was crying as silently as he’d come, his body shaking, his
heaving against the unmoving rock that was Spike. Spike’s eyes fell and
watched his hand moving in a rhythmic pattern against Xander’s back. He
a voice whispering soothing nonsense, recognised it as his own and felt
confusion melt away.
Xander was hurting. Xander was his. He had to make it better. Spike had no hang ups about tears. Vampires didn’t cry as a rule but their victims did. They cried, they begged, they screamed for mercy. It was a human thing. Deciding that Xander had cried enough, he forced his head up and studied the wet face. After a comprehensive glance he said tersely, “Sniff. Better, but not good enough. Here. Blow on this.”
“That’s my shirt.”
“I got it messy anyway. Blow.”
Xander obeyed him and was about to mop up his face with a relatively clean bit of shirt when Spike took it from him and tossed it on the floor. “I’ll do that.” Leaning forward he stroked the tears from his face with the back of his hand and then gently closed Xander’s eyes, brushing the last of them away and kissing Xander’s mouth as a grace note. Xander’s eyes opened for a startled second and then shut on a sigh as the kiss deepened. When Spike’s teeth bit into his lip, tasting the salt, he moaned and pulled Spike back with him so they were lying on the bed, legs tangled and hands free. The kisses grew harder, their hands more demanding, and when Spike found his arms pinned above his head as Xander’s other hand blurred on his cock he decided Xander was feeling better. When Xander leaned over and snagged the discarded bottle of lube, smoothing it over himself in a way that suggested he’d had a lot of practice, he was sure of it. Xander entered him with one long steady thrust, his teeth clenched to hold back a whimpered moan, and Spike grinned up at the contorted face above him and whispered wickedly, “You’ll scream before I’m done with you and that’s a promise.”
Xander curved down to bite Spike’s shoulder, tasting his own tears. “You first.”
Xander sighed sleepily, one arm flung across Spike’s chest, his mind and body both finally relaxed enough to find the rest that had eluded him. As he sank into an exhausted sleep Spike studied the face of a man he would have sworn was his enemy and smiled ruefully. Full of surprises, this place was. It took the Hellmouth to make William the Bloody fall for a human but it looked as if that was what had happened, if not two years ago, then in the last two hours. His smile faded. The lost memories were a problem. It infuriated him that he couldn’t smash down the wall that separated him from what had happened. He wanted to know, wanted to find out just what had happened. His love for Dru had been strong enough to endure for over a century and yet he’d felt enough concern over Xander to rob himself of what sounded like a couple of wild nights. Why? Another look at Xander gave him no clues. His life had changed so much in such a short time. Dru had gone. Left him after more than a century of what he had believed to be mutual love. It had been. It was Angelus coming back that had unsettled her, made her leave. Spike found himself growling as the memories twisted around him like brambles, painful and clinging, and stopped as Xander’s forehead creased with worry, his hand reaching out blindly. Spike covered it with his own, squeezing gently, watching the frown smooth away.
Sighing, he settled down to sleep.
Xander woke with his dreams rolling away like jewel coloured marbles dropped from a bag, vanishing in the dusty corners of his mind. Finding that Spike was still curled up against him forced a hasty re evaluation of some of the dreams. Memories. Real. Not his fantasies any more. He felt a tingling, grinding heaviness as his cock, for once brighter than the rest of him, worked out the correct response to what was probably the vampire sign language for ‘good morning’. Spike’s fingers curled under his balls and Xander frowned. Was that something to do with how he took his coffee?
“Morning, pet,” Spike murmured, his fingers gently prowling as Xander’s clouded eyes began to clear.
“White, two sugars.”
“I beg your pardon?”
Xander smiled. “I’m still half asleep, ignore me.”
“Suit yourself.” Spike rolled over, his back to Xander, and stared at the wall.
Xander opened his mouth to protest and then studied Spike’s back. It didn’t look offended. It looked...expectant. He reached out to hug Spike, letting his hand trail down over ribs and stomach to an erection that matched his own, nuzzling and nipping at the curve of his neck. Spike shuddered and he bit down harder, his hips matching the movement of his hand as he rubbed his cock against Spike’s ass in slow, sleepy upward thrusts.
Spike leaned back enough for Xander to kiss him. The angle was awkward but the kiss made up for it. Spike twisted around and the kiss turned from tender to fierce, desire blazing up from embers that hadn’t cooled overnight. Xander knew how this would end but it was the middle that was so full of unknown possibilities.
“Xander,” Spike said, his tongue doing its best to make a shower unnecessary – or possibly essential – “Someone’s coming.”
Xander went numb with horror. His first thought – that Spike was joking or giving a running commentary – died as quickly as his erection. He could hear Willow’s high voice making polite chit chat with his mother and he knew that it was only a matter of moments before they exhausted all they had to say to each other and she came down the stairs.
“Spike! It’s Willow! Do something!”
Spike gave him a disgusted look and slapped his backside hard. “Calm down, Harris.”
The slap didn’t do the trick – far from it – but being called ‘Harris’ did. Xander took a deep breath and jerked his head towards the shower. “Go in there. Don’t come out until she’s gone.”
Spike opened his mouth to argue and then shrugged. Rolling off the bed he strolled towards the small bathroom throwing in a gratuitous wiggle of his backside that had Xander transfixed for precious seconds. As soon as he was out of sight Xander grabbed the first clothes he could find and skinned into them. The lube he slid under the pillow, he threw the covers up over the rumpled sheets and when Willow entered after a pro forma knock, he was lying on the bed watching TV.
“Top of the morning to you my little Willow tree!” Too enthusiastic and hyper. Willow frowned. “Too much coffee,” he added, trying to scale down his twitchiness. He heard the shower start and relaxed a little.
Willow continued to stare. “Xander? Why are you wearing Spike’s T shirt...back to front?”
“Spike’s? This isn’t...oh, so it is. Didn’t sleep well, no I did sleep well. I’m still half asleep. I’m – Willow, did you want something?”
Willow’s eyes widened. “Giles asked if you could go see him later, if you’re not busy. He’s trying to put up some shelves and they keep falling down.”
Xander nodded, trying to keep his eyes on Willow instead of the door Spike had gone through. “Sure. He couldn’t have phoned, though? Since when did you become his messenger?”
Willow said gently, “Your phone is off the hook.”
Xander glanced at it and remembered just how it had got that way. Bent over the table, pushing it out of the way as he collapsed forward with Spike lying on him like fluff on a rug. A blush spread over his face as he turned towards it and he was just getting it under control when Willow drew in her breath sharply. Time slowed as Xander watched Spike come back into the room, a skimpy towel wrapped around his hips, a larger one drying his hair. Willow was too busy gaping to notice Xander’s reaction which was just as well.
Hair all soft and mussed (want to smooth it down and mess it up again). Skin all damp with water drops here and there (want to lick them up, drink from him). Towel clinging, outlining a slowly stiffening cock (want to fall to my knees and pull it loose with my teeth to get at what’s underneath). Xander swallowed and summoned the strength that had kept him alive on the Hellmouth.
“For the love of God, Spike. Put some clothes on. I haven’t eaten yet and you’re making my eyes hurt with all the dazzle. Haven’t vamps heard of fake tan?”
The words were edged with panic and came out sounding so vicious that Willow flinched. “Xander!” she protested. “There’s no need to be so mean.” She turned to Spike and gave him one of her goofy grins; the ones that made her look cuter than anyone had a right to be. “Though he does have a point. You’re awfully...bare.”
Spike’s face softened. “For you, Red, I’ll get dressed.” He flicked his eyes at Xander. “If I could have my gear that is.”
Xander peeled off the shirt and threw it at him in a wadded up ball. Willow glanced between them, worry plain on her face. “This isn’t working is it? I’ll tell Giles he has to have you back, Spike and –”
“No!” Xander smiled weakly as the word came out at twice the volume he’d intended. “No need for that. I’m just a bit cranky with Spike snoring all night. I’ll call Giles; tell him I’ll be over later. Thanks Will.”
Willow nodded and backed away. “I’m late for a Wicca meeting. I’ll...I’ll see you later, Xander.”
She left quickly, the door slamming behind her. Xander dragged his eyes off Spike who was still holding his T shirt, still half naked and walked up the stairs. Bending over he shoved the wedge he’d whittled under the door. His mother had refused to let him lock it and this was his small rebellion against that order. Going back down the stairs to face Spike was the most difficult thing he’d done in a while but he did it anyway. He hated himself for doing it, but he attacked instead of apologising.
“Did you have to embarrass me like that in front of Willow? You couldn’t have stayed in there a minute longer?” Actually, now he said it, he thought he had a point.
Spike shrugged, his eyes empty. “Can’t help it can I? I’m an embarrassment so I embarrass. Or are you going to try and say you’re proud of the fact you spent the night fucking the undead?”
“I’m not saying –”
“Forget it.” Spike began to walk towards Xander, the towel starting to unwrap. Xander watched it fall to the floor and couldn’t help following it. By the time Spike reached him he was on his knees, lips parted.
“Good boy,” Spike murmured. “You know I won’t believe anything you say so you tell me you’re sorry a better way.” He held his cock in his hand and brushed it teasingly against Xander’s lips. Then he turned away and went over to his jeans, lying in a heap beside the bed. “Sorry, mate. Going to take more than that.”
Xander was left in the middle of the room feeling rejected and foolish. The humiliation might have turned to anger but he knew that everything he felt Spike had gone through too. Standing up, he walked over to Spike and reached out a hand to touch his arm. “Spike? I am sorry. I was scared and I panicked.” Irritation flared and he added. “But there was still no need for you to come out! It was bad enough you tried to bite her last month; you didn’t have to flash her too.”
The coldness melted away and Spike pulled Xander to him, kissing him with a possessiveness and hunger that left him trembling. “Want to change your mind about my apology?” Xander asked when Spike pulled back enough to let him speak.
Spike looked as if he was about to agree and then shook his head reluctantly. “Later. Got to talk.”
“Talk about what?”
Spike looked at him incredulously. “There’s the little matter of my memories? Not to mention there’s still a lot you’re not telling me.”
Xander flushed. “Can’t we just forget about that?”
“No, we can’t just forget about it! Do you have any idea how I feel? I’ve got to know what happened. Come nightfall, we’re going to see that demon.”
Xander gaped at him, floundering in confusion. “You want to remember?”
“No reason not to. Not like Dru’s going to pop up again.” He sounded resigned rather than bitter.
“Why do you need me?”
“Just do,” said Spike evasively, drumming his hands against the night table. “And you’d better bring your charm with you.”
Xander glared at him. “You wouldn’t be thinking of making me take it, would you? Because that’s just so not going to happen!”
Spike laughed harshly. “Now that never even crossed my mind.” He looked at Xander. “You’re not going to be allowed to forget me, you understand?”
“Didn’t I just say –?”
Spike was on him in a heartbeat, arms tight around him, teeth digging into his neck, just below the chip’s boundary. “Mine...” he whispered. “I think you need reminding of that before you go off to see your little friends.” Xander felt Spike’s mouth high on his neck, sucking fiercely. He knew exactly what Spike was doing and why and he stood still and let him do it.
Spike broke away, his eyes glazed as he fought to stay in human face. “Get out and go see Giles,” he said. “Be back before sunset. I want this over with.”
Xander dressed in silence and left Spike lying on the bed, his face averted, moodily flicking through the channels on his TV.
Giles greeted him with an awkward smile. “Xander! There was no rush, really. Anytime would have done. You said some time ago that if there were any odd jobs I needed doing – paid of course. I don’t expect you to work for free.”
Xander waved a dismissive hand. “If you just want shelves putting up and you’ve got all the supplies, it’s on me, Giles.”
“Well, we’ll see about that later. I’ve put all the wood and such in my room upstairs. Now I no longer have my office at school I find I’m –”
Xander tuned out Giles’ gentle babbling as he followed him upstairs, wondering if he was going to be able to make it through another hour without going back to his room and lying down next to Spike. He flinched as Giles said his name sharply and smiled. “Sorry. Didn’t get much sleep.”
Giles looked at him with concern but said nothing. Xander was shown the lumber and set to work, asking Giles a few questions about the distance apart he wanted the shelves and then getting on with it, trying not to wince as he filled the holes Giles’ earlier attempts had left in the walls.
After a while Giles appeared at the top of the stairs. “Thought you might like a drink,” he said, holding out a can of soda.
Xander took it gratefully, popping it open and then turning his head to nod at what he had done. “Going to look good, isn’t it?”
The light from the window fell on his neck, illuminating the mark Spike's teeth had left. Xander heard Giles make a small sound but his mind was already back on his work. He set the can down and turned back to the shelves. Two steps and Giles was behind him, his body so close that Xander felt dizzy with the heat he radiated.
“What did he do to you?” Giles said in a voice Xander had never heard him use before, crackling with icy rage. “Answer me!”
Xander tried to reply but Giles’s hands were on him, tearing at his T shirt, ripping it up to expose his back. Xander began to struggle but Giles locked one arm around his neck and forced Xander to turn so that his back was bathed in the sunlight. Xander knew what Giles was looking at, knew whose nails and teeth had written words of love on his back in crimson letters.
A hand rested against the small of his back, warm and gentle. “I will kill him for this,” said Giles softly.
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