Rating: R for language and implications
Summary: Xander deals with the aftermath of drinking too much at Clem’s birthday.
A/N: This is based on an email joke that bmblbee sent to laazikaat, and she sent on to me, with the suggestion for Spanderisation. Thanks gals. Hope it works.
Betaed by laazikaat
Xander woke to the sound of a jackhammer. Well, not so much the sound, but there was definitely something banging away somewhere. Every time he moved it got louder, and surprisingly painful. Best to stay still then. Still was good. Still didn’t hurt. Still tasted bad.
Xander experimentally rolled his tongue around in his mouth. Socks. Since when did he sleep with socks in his mouth? And dirty socks at that. Hmm, they actually tasted worse than they usually smelled. No matter how much he wriggled his tongue around, the socks wouldn’t come out. Xander gave it up as a lost cause when the jackhammer started up again in response to his tongue movements.
Maybe if he pulled the pillow over his head he wouldn’t be able to hear the noises. Rolling over and stretching out an arm added an impact drill and nail gun to the cacophony. Grabbing the pillow set off an orbital sander, and slamming it down over his head switched on the chainsaw. Xander didn’t remember even his worksite being this noisy. And the noise never hurt this much before.
Gradually, the sleep-fog cleared, and Xander realised the house was quiet. It was Saturday sometime, Spike was gone, and he was alone in the bed. Fully dressed in bed. The pounding, stabbing, screeching and thumping was entirely within his own brain. He poked a finger cautiously into his mouth, and, finding no socks, groaned.
Xander was not a drinker. Far from it. Granted, he could polish off a gallon of soda in a sitting, but any kind of liquor, hard or soft, was usually a no go. Learn from someone else’s mistakes, and learn good, was Xander’s motto. And he had two perfect mistakes to show him the error of their ways as he’d grown up.
But last night had been entirely accidental. He'd thought. There were only flashes so far. Clem’s birthday party, games, potato chips, bad music, and drinks. Many, many drinks. Drinks that looked like soda and tasted like soda, but were highly unlikely to be soda. Not if this morning’s state of affairs was anything to go by.
While Xander didn’t suffer the aftermath of a bender often, he still knew what to do. Get up. Oh, god. Up. It could be done. Nay, it must be done, for in the direction of up there would be pain relief. And water. Precious water. Ignoring the cranial construction crew, Xander threw back the covers, but held the pillow tight to his face. No need to greet the world too eagerly. Not when he had the sneaking suspicion it was going to be flood lit. Wherever Spike had gone, it must have been via the tunnels.
He slowly sat up, bracing himself against the rocking motion. Interesting new feature of his bed. Xander gently lifted one corner of the pillow and bright light poured into his left eye, stabbing at his brain. Huge mistake. Perhaps he could make it to the bathroom without lifting the pillow. Gingerly, Xander pushed himself up off the bed, and waited till the new undulating floorboards came to a stop.
Okay. Xander turned left and headed in what he could only assume was a straight line. A straight line would lead him to the bathroom. Step by careful step, he inched across the floor, pillow firmly in place. As far as epic journeys went, this was not as bad as it could have been. Xander only had to pick himself back up off the floor twice. Once, when his left foot forgot which way was forward, and again when his hip discovered the corner of the drawers and sent him crashing heavily to his ass.
Eventually, though, he was in the bathroom. Xander knew that with the one small window, the room would be delightfully dim. He eased the pillow off his face and winced. Yes it was dim, but apparently today, dim was equivalent to a small supernova. Gritting his teeth, Xander dropped the pillow and leaned his hands on the basin, not yet ready to meet his eyes in the mirror.
Xander would have maybe, possibly, eventually looked up sometime, but there was something wrong. Even with his head bowed and eyes focused on the plug hole, he could tell there was something new. Trying mightily not to move his head, Xander flicked his eyes- ow- to the left. Nothing. To the right. Nothing. And that in itself was the strange thing. There was nothing. Nothing out of place. The bathroom was spotless.
With herculean effort, Xander stood upright and forced his eyes open wider. Two towels were hung- and folded- over the towel rail. The toilet seat and lid were down. The bottles of lotions potions, gels and creams were all gone. Xander opened the cupboard door a crack and yep, there were all the bottles, neatly lined up inside. A quick recon of the room had Xander staring, with his mouth gaping.
The bathroom was the one place in the house that Xander liked to keep clean. Kitchen, living room, bedroom, not so much. But the bathroom? Well, Xander liked it dry, shiny and tidy. And was it ever? Hell no. Spike left his towels on the floor, his boots on the floor, his demon sludge on the walls, his bleach boxes on the counter, dirty clothes over the bath. Generally, he was a pig. It was the one thing they fought about most.
“Can’t you just pick up-.”
“Why? You’re just going to go and do it anyway.”
“Spike, it’s filthy.”
“It’s a soddin’ bathroom, love. It’s meant to be dirty. That’s why there’s no carpet.”
“You’re an asshole. You know I like it clean.”
“Off you go then, mop’s in the closet.”
“Yeah, blow it out your arse, prissy git.”
And that was the part where, usually, Xander flipped him off and cleaned the bathroom himself, while Spike had a beer and watched television. There were benefits though. Spike always complained that he smelled of cleaning products, so a thorough soaking and scrubbing in the shower was usually necessary afterwards. And of course Xander couldn’t be trusted to do all the bathing by himself now, could he?
Xander looked into every corner of the room. Clean. Polished. Neat. On the counter, a glass of water and a box of Tylenol had been laid out. Xander was not one for looking a gift horse in the mouth, so he popped a couple of tablets and drank down the water. One more look around told him that, yes, he was in the right bathroom and yes, it really was beautifully clean. A look in the mirror, and he was even more surprised. A shiner. Big black, and- Xander touched it with his finger tips- painful.
A flood of memories came back to him. At the moment, they were only snapshots, but still enough to make him cringe. There was dancing. On a coffee table. A now broken table. There were games of Twister, there was much merriment and some vomiting. There was a displeased vampire. A displeased vampire with human vomit on his favourite boots. Oh crap. This was not going to be pretty. Xander wondered how he’d gotten home.
A long hot shower and another few glasses of water later, Xander was drying off and walking back into the bedroom, finally free of the renovations that had been going on in his head. Again, he stopped dead and stared at the room. Now it was getting weird. The bedroom had had some kind of makeover. Nothing like what you’d see on TV, but it, too, was clean. The clothes had been hung, the shoes and boots packed away, surfaces dusted, and there, on the nightstand was a new, extra large pump bottle of lube, next to that, a few of the more popular items from their ‘toy box’ lay ready and waiting. On the opposite side of the bed was a large box of chocolates.
Okay, Xander was officially freaked. The clean bathroom, the clean bedroom, the ‘special occasion’ tables set up. Spike had been angry, now Spike was gone, and something was going on.
Xander pulled on some clothes, gave the room one more last uncertain glance, and headed out to the kitchen. This too, was an eye opener. The living room, the kitchen all gleaming. Xander was tempted to go check the number on the door, but he could see his favourite chair, so he knew he was in the right place.
On the microwave door was a note. Xander pulled it off.
Food inside, back soon with your Twinkies.
Love? That was something they hadn’t said yet. Well, not those three words anyway. Spike sometimes called him love, but that was as close as they’d come. Xander hoped it would come soon; he felt like they were just treading water at the moment. He was pretty sure Spike loved him, and he knew without a doubt that he loved Spike but neither of them could bring themselves to utter the actual words. Spike, for unknown reasons, and Xander, well, just because there was always that little voice that sounded remarkably like one or both of his parents, telling him it just couldn’t be, that Spike would shoot him down. So Xander played it safe and left things unsaid.
As if the written sentiment on the note wasn’t enough, opening the oven door, Xander suffered yet another shock. In the microwave was a plate stacked high with pancakes and waffles. Closer examination showed the pancakes were slightly overcooked and crispy black on the edges, and the waffles were a bit underdone. Spike had cooked. Okay, stop the presses. Spike cooked. Spike cleaned. But Spike was gone.
Xander began to wonder if this was it. Did Spike hate him now for vomiting on his boots? Had he maybe detailed the apartment as a last big f-you? A ‘look at what I can do when I want to, I just don’t want to do it for you’ message? Xander knew he’d drunk a lot. Really, a lot. But then there was the message on the microwave. Spike never wrote things like that. Never. Those things were for poofs, he said. Sometimes, Spike might leave a note to say where he was, something like ‘Gone out. Lube up, I’ll be back by midnight.’ Romantic? No. Normal? Yes.
Xander just shrugged, reminded himself about gift horses, and enjoyed some parts of the pancakes and the edges of the waffles. It turned his stomach, but the other choice was actually cooking or preparing something for himself and that was unthinkable. So best just put up and shut up.
He was halfway through the plate when the phone rang, eliciting a less than manly shriek of pain.
“Hello?” When had he swallowed a frog? Xander cleared his throat.
“Xan? Are you okay?” Willow asked.
“Hey Will. I feel like I licked a herd of cattle and repeatedly slammed my head into the back end of a Mack truck but otherwise, just peachy. You?”
“Well, I didn’t drink anywhere near as much as you, or anything at all, actually. So I’d say peachier than peachy.”
“Ah, Will? How did I get home?”
“You don’t remember?”
“Well, its not so much that I can’t remember, it’s that I’ve excelled at forgetting. Clue me up.”
“Oh. Okay, I drove and Spike held your head in a bucket while you threw up some more. It was one of the more gross things I’ve done for you.”
“Will, I have a black eye.”
“Oh, you noticed that?”
“Yeah, I kinda did. It’s big, it’s black, its all over my eye. What happened?”
“You were dancing, there were multiple injuries. Mainly Clem’s coffee table, a chair, the radio.”
“I remember the coffee table looking very tempting.”
“I guess it did, right up until you killed it.”
“That’s how I hurt my eye?”
“Oh no. You got that when you were picking up the pieces of the coffee table and you tripped over this one demon’s tail. He was playing Twister, not the naked kind though, cause Clem made them stop that.”
“That’s it? I tripped?”
“Well, you tripped but then you sort of did that windmilling arms, comically surprised face thing across the room and sorta fell into the door.”
“Oh geez. Spike hates when I drink and do stupid things. No wonder he was pissed.”
“I think that was more when you decorated his boots with a quart of pre-loved cocktails. Oh, then there was his coat,” she added cheerfully.
Xander groaned. “Please Will. Please don’t tell me I did something to his duster.”
“You put it on and did a Spike impersonation, which was funny, really, but when you tried to do a fancy kick thingy, you, um, well there was rippage.”
Adding to his existing pain, Xander dropped his head to the table with a loud thump. Then again for good measure. No good. He was still alive. And no matter what the apartment looked like, and what Spike had cooked, and what the note said, Xander knew he would be lucky to get out of this one. Nobody touched Spike’s coat. Not even Xander. Unless Spike was in it, of course. But any other time, the duster was hands off.
“Yellow please, Will.” Xander's voice was muffled by the table.
“Um, yellow what?”
“Weren’t you about to ask what colour flowers I’d like on my casket?”
“It wasn’t high on my list of conversation points, no.”
“He's going to kill me.”
“Xander, is Spike there?”
“No, he’s gone to buy Twinkies.”
“Spike’s buying Twinkies?”
“Xan, Spike isn’t going to kill you.”
“I ruined his boots and his coat. Now it’s just a matter of how many times he can kill me in one night. How many do you think?”
“Xan, I brought you home, I helped get you inside. I heard what happened next, even though I since have tried many spells to help me unhear what I heard. He is not going to kill you. Well, not through violence anyway.” Xander could almost hear her blushing.
“Will, what are you talking about? Don’t mess with me now, I’m a man on the brink. There are things happening here, strange things. If I did all those things to Spike, why does it look like a home decorator’s journal in my apartment?”
“Xan you can’t remember anything about getting home?”
“That would be a big nada.”
“Okay. Spike was carrying you inside-.”
“Carrying me? Like a girl?” Xander could not keep the horror from his voice.
Willow gave an impatient sigh. “No, carrying you like a fireman, over his shoulder. He said, if you were going to vomit again at least he wouldn’t see it happen this time. So anyway, he carried you inside and I was just, you know, waiting to make sure everything was okay.”
“So you didn’t put me to bed? I had all my clothes on; I thought maybe you had-.”
Xander was interrupted by a fit of giggles from Willow.
“I don’t know exactly what was going on, but Spike was yelling at you to lie down so he could get your shoes and jeans off. It sounded like a bit of a struggle.”
“Isn’t usually,” Xander mumbled under his breath, wondering what had happened.
“So Spike is yelling and there’s banging and you’re yelling too, saying ‘no no no’ and Spike was saying ‘bloody hell this’ and ‘soddin git’ that.” Willow stopped again as another attack of giggles hit.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s all fun and games, till someone loses a memory and a sizeable amount of dignity. Speak woman.”
Xander heard Willow taking deep breaths to calm herself before she continued. “Okay, so then there was this huge crash and you yelled out, “Hey, buddy, get your hands off me, I’m in love with a badass vampire”.
“I said that?”
“Among other less repeatable things. There may have also been something about how Spike is the only one who is allowed to touch you there and, um, do things to you- some very specific things, I might add.”
Xander just had to double check. “I said I’m in love with him?”
“Yep, you did. So then it all went quiet for a minute, well it did, until I could hear you snoring, that wasn’t quiet at all. Then Spike comes out with this big smile on his face and said it was okay for me to go. It was kinda strange. Spike doesn’t smile like that much, or at all.”
Pieces suddenly fell into place for Xander and a weight he hadn’t even noticed building up, was lifted from his shoulders. “Um, Will, Spike’s coming back soon, I gotta go. Thankyou for-, well just thanks, okay?”
“Oh, sure Xan. Is everything okay?”
“Oh yeah. More than.”
Images of the set-up on the nightstands in the bedroom flitted through Xander’s mind. He may have been drunk, he may have desecrated two of the things Spike loved most, he may well have embarrassed his vampire in front of a room full of demons, but in his utterly inebriated state, he’d managed to say the one thing that would move them along. The one thing that neither of them had been able to say before. The one thing that would get him out of trouble and into bed for the rest of the weekend.
Xander smiled to himself as he dumped his dishes in the sink and headed into the bedroom to wait for Spike. The boots, the duster, the social faux pas may well cost him dearly, but saying the right thing at the right time? Priceless.
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