Xander's mouth dropped open as he stared at his erstwhile lover, at the lithe, leather-clad body framed in the doorway and the alien features, further distorted by shadows from the room lights. He hadn't seen Spike's demon face for a very long time. Not since well before they'd started fucking. Not since ... not since Spike had started wooing him. His mind wandered off at a tangent, unwilling to face the reality of the scene unfolding before him.
Wooing him. Sounded kind of romantic when he put it that way. Who was he kidding? He hadn't been wooed. That'd suggest some kind of romantic intention on Spike's part. Romance hadn't exactly featured large in what they'd had. Only sex. It had all been about the sex.
Why hadn't Spike shown his true visage in their more ... intimate moments? The answer was obvious. Spike didn't trust him. He'd hidden this part of himself, tried to pretend they were a 'normal' couple so Xander wouldn't run screaming from the room at the reminder that he was sharing his bed with the evil undead.
He snickered to himself. Apparently the bitter sound wasn't quite as silent as he'd hoped. Everyone in the room, including the creature standing in the doorway, turned to stare at him.
Spike shook his head slightly, his face falling into its customary delicate, sharp planes. He strode across the room to stand in front of Xander and grabbed a handful of the young man's shirt. His other hand reached down to cup Xander's groin, the action concealed by his body.
"She can't have you," he almost spat in Xander's face. "You're mine. You've always been mine, always will be mine. Nothing can change that." His voice, already too quiet to be heard by the other inhabitants of the room, dropped further as he squeezed Xander's flaccid cock. "This belongs to me," he ground out. "She can't have it; can't have you."
Xander was bemused. "Who can't? What are you talking about?"
His eyes were dragged away from the sapphire gaze boring into him when he noticed a movement over Spike's shoulder. Buffy was bearing down on them, stake at the ready. Her intention was very clear.
For a moment it occurred to Xander that this would be the easiest way out. A quick thrust of a pointy stick and his problems would be over. No more wondering about whether breaking up with Spike had been a good idea, no more angsting about whether he'd ever be able to rest easy again at night without blond curls tickling his chin and a cool, muscular arm wrapped around his waist. The biggest question would be how hot a wash was needed to get rid of vamp dust from his t-shirt.
The moment stretched out endlessly. Buffy's arm was now raised, preparing to strike. She was only a pace away. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion.
Xander quickly spun around, taking Spike with him, his body shielding the vampire's. He felt a sharp pain in his back and fell to the floor in agony.
Xander slowly swam back to consciousness. A cacophony of voices assaulted his ears and he tried desperately to separate out the various strands. It seemed very important, somehow, to figure out what the hell everyone was saying.
"Really, Spike, how did you expect Buffy to react when you behaved in such an intemperate manner?"
"Stupid vampire guy. What was all that about, anyway?"
"You're just lucky I managed to pull back in time. Xander could be dead right now. I should have dusted you years ago."
"Yeah, yeah, Slayer. Find a new tune, why don't ya? Right now, we have to get Xan fixed up."
Xander was picked up and laid very gently on the couch then turned face down, his head resting on muscular thighs. He heard a rip as his shirt was pulled apart to bare the wound on his back then felt glorious coolness as it was bathed with clean water smelling faintly of disinfectant.
Buffy watched as Spike carefully cleaned the seeping gash. Now that the shock of almost killing one of her best friends had muted to a dull anxiety, the mental wheels had started turning again.
"Why did Xander do that?" she asked.
"Why did he do what?" replied Spike distractedly.
"Why did he protect you like that?"
Spike looked down at Xander's dark head wonderingly, finally taking in the fact that the boy had saved his life at the risk of his own. "I don't know. He doesn't even like me." He likes what I do to him but he hates all vampires, including me. Doesn't he?
Xander sighed almost happily, unaware of the conversation but enjoying the vampire's touch. This wasn't so bad. This he could learn to enjoy. He felt cared for and protected and ... loved? He shook his head minutely. No, not loved. No-one loved him. He'd long since established that to his unwilling satisfaction. He guessed he just wasn't the lovable type. Or ... maybe Willow? Nah. Not even Willow. His eyes teared up as self-pity overtook him. "Nobody loves me," he muttered, the words muffled by black denim.
The thighs against which his face was resting tensed but the hand stroking a damp cloth soothingly over his back never stopped moving.
"What did he say?" Buffy's voice seemed to come from very far away.
"Nothing," said Spike quickly. "Nothing important."
Yep, that was him. Nothing important.
"He'll be fine," continued the blond. "The wound isn't very deep. It's already stopped bleeding. He should be at home, in bed. Rupert, can you give us a lift to our ... to his place?"
Giles was confused. Spike was treating Xander as carefully as though he were made of the finest porcelain. And apparently intended to continue in that vein. No pun intended. To the best of the Watcher's knowledge, this was not typical vampire behaviour. Good Lord, Spike hadn't even attempted to sneak a taste of Xander's blood!
"Very well, Spike. But I sincerely hope we're not going to see a repeat of your earlier dramatics. And, incidentally, perhaps you'd like to share the reason for that little performance with the room?"
Spike chuckled, careful not to jar the body resting across his legs. "Don't think so, Watcher. Just take it from me, snit over. No action replay any time soon."
"Hmm. Very well. I see little choice but to trust you since we can't very well watch over Xander on a twenty four hour basis. But, believe me ---"
"I know. If Xander comes to any harm while he's with me you'll make sure the Slayer stakes me, yaddah, yaddah."
Giles glared sternly at the blond vampire. "Quite," he clipped out.
"It'd be my pleasure," said Buffy, her voice dripping with venom.
Giles and Buffy turned to look enquiringly at the redhead.
"Okay, so maybe I couldn't actually stake him. He moves pretty fast. But I could turn him into a toad or something." Willow eyed Spike speculatively. She wondered if he'd be a white toad or just the regular green variety.
Giles rolled his eyes then returned to the business at hand. "Spike, if you carry Xander to the car I'll drive you to his apartment and help put him to bed. I'm a little concerned about leaving him alone, though. There's small risk of infection and the injury isn't sufficiently severe to warrant hospital attention but he's clearly in shock ---"
"Don't worry, Rupert. I'll stay with him." Spike bridled at the suspicious glances directed his way. "What? I can sleep on the couch and check on him occasionally."
The older man mentally shrugged. He'd done all he could to safeguard Xander's well-being. And for some reason he found himself trusting Spike. Perhaps an apocalypse was pending, after all. When he saw the tenderness with which the vampire lifted Xander into his arms he felt further reassured. He headed out of the shop's entrance and to his car, unlocking it and holding open the back door so that Spike could lay his burden on the seat.
To Giles' surprise, Spike climbed into the back and carefully placed an arm around the brunet, obviously intending to protect Xander's wound during the short trip to his apartment.
Twenty minutes later, Xander was tucked comfortably into bed, face down, a clean cotton bandage secured loosely over his injury and the covers pulled up to his waist. He'd regained his senses sufficiently to insist on walking to the bedroom but had quickly drifted off to sleep once his head hit the pillow. A natural sleep, Giles was pleased to note.
After a brief argument, Giles and Spike had decided to remove all the younger man's clothes except his boxers. Spike could have told the Watcher that Xander preferred to sleep naked but decided on discretion. This wasn't the time for awkward questions, possibly leading to even more awkward answers.
After seeing Giles out, Spike returned to the bedroom. He had no intention of sleeping on the couch, despite his earlier protestation. He belonged with Xander and nothing was going to drag him away from the boy's side. And tomorrow they were going to have words. Oh yes, they were going to have a lot of words. He stripped and climbed into the bed. Turning onto his side to face Xander, he placed an arm carefully across the brunet's torso and settled down to watch and wait and worry.
Xander's eyes opened slowly, reluctantly. His mind was a blank but something was tickling at the edges. There was something he had to remember, something momentous and earth shattering ...
"Yipes!!" He tried to sit up but was frustrated by a heavy arm draped across his waist.
Spike had been watching him for hours, admiring the play of muscles as Xander shifted in his sleep, examining every inch of his face again and again for signs of pain or wakefulness.
Without dislodging the pale arm, Xander turned onto his side and stared into its owner's eyes. He was startled by the concern he could read in the blue irises gazing back at him. His mouth tightened. Spike should be concerned, dammit. He was the one responsible for the dull throbbing in his back and the pounding in his skull and the ache in his heart. "Let me up," he demanded curtly.
Spike quickly removed his arm. "Okay, pet. If that's what you want. But maybe you should stay in bed a bit longer. I could get you something to eat," he cajoled. "A nice bowl of cereal. Or bacon and eggs. I know ... how 'bout an omelet?"
Xander raised himself to a sitting position and leaned back against the headboard, careful to avoid putting any pressure on his injury. He cocked his head enquiringly. "Who are you and what have you done with Spike? He doesn't cook."
Spike's smile was sheepish. "Fact is, I do. It was just ..."
"Easier to let me do it?" Xander's laugh held no mirth and too much self-mockery for Spike's liking. "Easier to let me do everything, I guess. Cook, clean, support us both, provide sex whenever, wherever and however you wanted it. Yeah, you had a pretty sweet deal. Stupid of you to screw it up."
"Me? What'd I do? You're the one who broke up with me. You kicked me out of here for no good reason." His voice rose. "I was right, wasn't I? You've decided to go back to being some All-American jock and forget all about your little journey to Poofland. It's that redheaded witch who's got your knickers in a twist, isn't it? Isn't it?"
Xander gaped. His mouth moved but no sound emerged. Finally deciding a dying fish impersonation couldn't possibly be a good look on him, he damped down his conflicting emotions and carefully chose some sensible words. "Huh? What?!"
Spike leapt out of bed and began pacing back and forth across the room, hands clasped behind his back. He'd become very good at pacing over the past couple of days. Practice makes perfect. "Don't bother lying. I've thought about this a lot. Why else would you dump me? Didn't take me long to figure out there must be someone else. The ginger bint is the most likely candidate, I figure. Unless you've got a crush on Rupert."
"You moron. If you had half a brain you'd be dangerous," fumed Xander.
"Oi!" said Spike, affronted. "I am bloody dangerous."
Xander quirked an eyebrow and Spike subsided.
"You've got this so wrong I'm not sure we're even on the same planet. First, I've never been a jock in my whole life. A week on the high school swim team does not an athlete make. Though I looked damn good in those Speedo's."
Spike's mind drifted for a moment at the mental image those words conjured up. He was tugged back into the moment when Xander spoke again.
"Second, I have no idea if I'm gay or not and I don't care. I do know you're the only guy - male - I've ever been attracted to. At least," he added conscientiously, "I've never met another guy I could be interested in. Maybe I should start looking."
Spike took a step towards the bed and opened his mouth to protest but the words died unspoken as Xander raised his hand in an unmistakeable 'stop now before you make an even bigger idiot of yourself' gesture.
"I'm not finished. Third, Willow is my friend. We kissed like we meant it exactly once, which was your fault anyway, and decided once was enough. There's nothing between us. Never has been really, never could be."
"Fourth, Giles is about as close to a father as I'll ever have. He's not crush material because that'd be ... ick. Like, incest or something."
"Fifth -- I'm up to fifth, right?"
"Fifth, and listen carefully because this is important, I told you why I was breaking up with you. It's not my fault if you didn't listen."
Spike cocked his head in thought for a minute then walked over to the bed, sitting down on the edge of the mattress. "I listened, Xan. I just didn't want to believe it." His voice became very quiet. "I wasn't giving you what you wanted, what you needed. That right?"
Xander nodded his agreement, surprised that his break-up rant had filtered through into the blond's wayward mind. "Yep, got it in one." He sighed. "It's not your fault, I guess. You could only give what you could give. That just wasn't enough for me. I wanted ... I wanted ..."
"You wanted to be loved."
Hanging his head in shame and embarrassment, Xander nodded again. "I would have done anything, put up with all of your shit forever, if I'd just thought, even for a moment, that there was a chance you might l-l-love me one day. Pretty dumb, huh? You're a vampire. You can't love."
A slightly hysterical laugh rent the air. "That's right, pet. Demons can't love. Everybody knows that. Though what the fuck everybody thinks I was doing with Drusilla for over a hundred years, I really couldn't tell you. I protected her, made sure she ate; I was willing to let Angelus die to get her back to full strength. Hell, I never even cheated on her."
Raising his head quickly, Xander stared at Spike in awe. "Never?"
"But, Angelus ... I thought ... I guess we all thought ..."
Spike's eyes widened in shock and his lips curled in an expression of distaste. "Do me a favour. You all thought wrong. You're the only male I've ever been with."
"I am?" Xander squeaked. "But you're so damn good at it. The guy-on-guy action, I mean. I thought you must have had, you know, a lot of practice."
"Didn't say I've never watched, love, and I'm a fast learner. Angelus had catholic tastes and a tendency to turn every pretty boy who came his way into a minion. He had a lot of fun and games with those minions before he got bored and staked 'em. Darla didn't complain. Bloody hell, she joined in, more often than not. Just was never my cup of tea."
Xander suddenly became very aware that Spike was naked. "You're not wearing anything," he blurted out, then immediately wished his brain and mouth were better acquainted.
Spike lifted an eyebrow and smiled gently at the furiously blushing boy. "I think they call that a non sequitur, pet." He reached out a hand and gently cupped Xander's chin. "I'm naked, you're not far off it, and we've got this nice big bed. It'd be a pity to waste a set-up like that." He leaned forward and placed his lips against Xander's -- not pressing, not pushing, simply asking.
Xander was so tempted to give in that he stopped breathing for a full minute, revelling in the taste and smell of the beautiful vampire. But if he did cave, wouldn't that just put them back on the same old unsatisfactory footing? He placed his hands on Spike's shoulders and gently pushed him away. "No," he said firmly.
The hurt in Spike's eyes nearly undid him, but he knew he had to be strong. This was about much more than sex. It was about their future, together or apart.
"You don't want me, pet?"
"Of course I do, Spike. But I want all of you, not just the bits around the edges." He took a deep breath. Right. Now for the hard stuff. It was time -- past time -- to be honest.
"Okay. Girly, soul-baring incident warning." He paused as Spike opened his mouth to speak then shut it just as fast. Satisfied he had the blond's full attention, he continued. "My soul. You're limited in that department. I know that and I don't give a shit. But you're going to listen. 'Kay?"
"I'm listening. Fire away."
Xander stopped to organise his thoughts. "We've been ... we were together for a month. At first I thought you cared about me. By the time I caught on that you were only using me it was too late. I was addicted. So what if you only hung around for the easy sex and free cable? So what if it was just ... easier for you to let me buy you blood than to mug the natives of dear ol' Sunny-D? I had you in my bed every night. I had someone to cuddle up to and take care of." His eyes dropped. "I've never had that before," he said, painfully.
Spike waited for a moment, until he was sure that Xander had finished. "So, why did you break up with me?"
Xander's eyes snapped up again and Spike was taken aback by the fire in them. "Because even an idiot like me reaches a limit. You hardly ever kissed me, never let me fuck you. You were too ashamed to let the rest of the gang know there was something more than blind hatred going on between us. Damn, Spike. You made me feel like a fool. I couldn't take it any more."
"I could kiss you now, Xan. I want to kiss you so much. You're wrong, you know. You meant ... you mean much more to me than you realise. Let me show you. Please?" Spike leaned forward again and lapped gently at Xander's lips, willing the boy to respond.
With a small moan, Xander finally submitted. He was tired of struggling against his desire for this creature he loved. Pride be damned. He parted his lips and raised his hand to the back of the blond's head, pulling Spike closer. They kissed gently at first, tongues sliding lazily against one another, fingers playing with locks of silky hair. Gradually the kiss deepened, each mapping out the other's mouth with greedy, wet thrusts of agile tongues.
Spike was the first to pull away. He rested his cool forehead against Xander's heated one. "Okay, love? You've had a pretty rough time of it. Do you want to stop there? Maybe get some more shut-eye?"
With a look of horror, Xander shook his head wildly. He'd made up his mind and nothing was going to change it. "Are you nuts? No, dammit, I do not want to stop there. I appreciate the thought and all but ... are you nuts?"
Spike chuckled, as much from relief as amusement, and returned to Xander's pouting mouth. If the boy wanted to be kissed, he was happy to oblige. After thoroughly ravishing every tooth, every ridge of his palate, every inch of his gums and inner cheeks, he turned his attention to Xander's neck. He kissed and licked and nipped with blunt teeth until the boy was a quivering mass of nerve endings. He licked a slow, wet trail down Xander's upper chest until he reached a brown nipple. Drawing it into his mouth, he suckled gently until it hardened beneath his tongue, rolling its twin between thumb and forefinger until it pebbled.
Xander reached for Spike's cock, only to have his hand gently pushed away.
"Nuh-uh, pet. This is all about you. I made you unhappy, now I'm gonna make it up to you."
Xander tried to protest that he'd be more than happy to participate but his mouth didn't seem to be working. "Guh! Bibble!"
"Glad you agree, Xan. Now, let's get rid of these pesky shorts and I'll try to figure out what to do next," said Spike, a wicked grin lighting up his features.
Xander quickly raised his backside from the mattress, ignoring a sharp twinge as his back pressed against the headboard, and Spike slipped his hands inside the elastic waist of his boxers and pulled them down and then off.
Spike moved down the bed and made himself comfortable, lying on his front between Xander's legs, his face at the brunet's groin level. His swollen shaft was jammed between the mattress and his belly but he ignored the discomfort. He'd been a selfish bastard for too long. It was time to show Xander that he was cherished and ... loved? He shook his head slightly. Time to think about that later. He just knew that the young man was the most important person in the world to him and he was going to prove it to him.
Spike spent a few moments simply looking at the engorged cock resting against Xander's stomach. It was beautiful. The head was purple and needy, a drop of pre-ejaculate glistening at the tip. He bent to lick it off and was rewarded by a deep groan from the top of the bed. A pang of regret shot through him as he realised how rarely he'd done this for Xander. He'd taken everything he wanted without giving anything much in return. He bent again and tongued the slit, seeking more of the sweet-salty fluid. It tasted so good, so ... Xandery.
Xander's hands came up and he entwined his fingers in Spike's hair. His touch was loving, undemanding. He was desperate for more but he wasn't going to beg. He'd done too much of that.
Spike leaned up to kiss his boy again. He wasn't going to hurry this. It was too important. Opening his mouth, he shared the delicious taste on his tongue with Xander. Whoa. Was that a growl he heard? He grinned and dropped back to his place between Xander's thighs. His fingers rose to play with Xander's nipples again as he gently mouthed the rigid shaft, which was twitching in its search for attention. He took the swollen mushroom head in his mouth and sucked. Softly at first, then more firmly.
Xander squirmed, the triple pinpricks of sensation driving him wild. Those clever fingers; that talented mouth. Maybe he'd died and gone to heaven. Except that heaven would never accept Spike's demon and the vampire was so clearly here. In his bed, sucking him, manipulating his sensitive nubs. Making him feel, once again, desirable and wanted.
Suddenly, it all came back to him. All the doubts, all the insecurities. "Spike," he gasped. "What are you doing? Why ...?"
"Shh, pet," soothed the vampire. "It's okay. It's fine. I want you. I might be an evil bastard but I'm your evil bastard and I want to make you feel good. Okay?"
"'Kay." Xander gave up. Thinking bad, feeling good. That was his mantra. At least for tonight. He had a feeling there was something important missing in Spike's words that he should question but damned if he could figure out what it was.
Spike traced the thick blue vein running up the underside of Xander's cock with the tip of his tongue then took the hard shaft into his mouth again, as deeply as he could. His lack of a gag reflex or need to breathe was a big advantage, he decided, when Xander thrust up mindlessly. Compensated very nicely for his lack of hands-on -- mouth-on -- experience in this area.
Placing his hands on Xander's hips to keep him still, Spike increased the pressure until his cheeks were hollowed. Those questing hands were on his head again and Spike obeyed the wordless plea by sucking deeper and harder, swallowing around the prick deep in his throat. Xander arched, ready to come, longing to see Spike swallow his semen.
Spike abruptly released him and squeezed the base of his cock.
"Don't worry, Xan. I just want to try something different, is all. I think you'll like it." The wicked grin was back. Spike lifted Xander's legs over his shoulders, revealing the puckered entrance to the younger man's body.
Xander gasped, unsure of the vampire's next move.
"Xaaaan," moaned Spike, grin disappearing to be replaced by a look of pure lust. "You're so beautiful like this. Spread out for me, wanting, needing ..."
Xander reached up to stroke a finger across Spike's cheek. "Loving ..."
Spike gazed into the whiskey-coloured eyes of his partner. Not any old whiskey; the finest single malt.
"Yeah, pet. Loving." Spike lowered his head and took Xander's balls into his mouth, one at a time at first, then both, sucking and tonguing them until Xander's shallow pants filled the room. He began to lap at Xander's perineum then moved to his entrance, tongue never still. He licked at the twitching pucker then thrust the tip of his tongue inside, confident of its welcome. His confidence wasn't misplaced. Xander's muscles relaxed, unconcerned by the intrusion, wanting more.
Spike's cock was throbbing, begging for release. It would be so easy to push into Xander's body and find it. But there was more at stake here than a quick orgasm. Much more. He continued to tongue Xander's hole for a few minutes, fingers ceaselessly caressing the brunet's swollen prick, then moved up and resumed sucking it, tongue now devoted to swirling over the boy's cockhead and creating ever more intricate patterns up and down his shaft.
Xander was momentarily surprised by the change of pace but he wasn't about to complain when those cool lips and mobile tongue began to play with his hard cock again. He threw his head back and moaned, hands spasming in the blond's soft curls. This time, there was no interruption when his balls drew up and his semen spurted into Spike's mouth, every drop swallowed by the vampire, whose eyes closed in ecstasy as his throat moved to take down his lover's essence.
Xander woke up with a vampire wrapped around him. A not unfamiliar sensation but one he'd been unwillingly resigned to never feeling again. He blinked. Damn, but he needed to use the john. A shower would be good, too. He smiled. Maybe Spike would like to join him. He zoned out for a moment. Spike ... hot running water ... soap ... soapy Spike under hot running water. His smile widened. Everything would be different now. Spike loved him. He'd said so.
Hadn't he? Okay, so his memory was a bit fuzzy on that score but surely ... His brow furrowed. Spike had definitely said he wanted him. He'd definitely said he was his. He hadn't fucked him when he'd had the chance. He'd concentrated solely on his pleasure. But there was a big, gaping hole where unalloyed happiness should be living.
"Spike! Wake up."
"'M awake. Snuggle now."
"Damnit, Spike. Wake up. I need to talk to you."
Spike's eyes opened slowly. "Whasmatta, pet?
"First, get off my bladder. I need to take a piss."
Spike sighed. "We're doing the numbers game again? Please, love, I got it the first time around."
Xander suddenly felt cold. "You think it was a game?" he asked shakily.
Spike had never been particularly quick on the uptake but he recognised a mistake when he made it. Eventually.
"'Course not, Xan. I listened to every word."
Xander wasn't convinced. "What did I say?"
"Um, that you wanted a more equivalent ..."
"... equal ..."
"... relationship. That you don't fancy what's'ername ..."
" ... Willow ..."
"Yeah, her. Or the Watcher, 'cos he's your friend ..."
"... father figure ..."
"See, I got it," said Spike triumphantly.
Xander stared at him in fascination. "Nothing's changed at all, has it? Not really. You acted differently for one night. Now you expect everything to go back to the way it was." Xander's despair had hit the depths. He'd bared his soul, told Spike exactly how he felt ... for nothing.
"Get your clothes and get out. This time, don't come back."
For the second time in two days Spike found himself on the wrong side of the door. For the second time in two days, he didn't really know why.
But this time he was going to find out. He was well aware he was missing something major and the thought of losing Xander forever made his dead heart ache in a way he'd never experienced before. Not even Dru had the capacity to hurt him as Xander could. He was prepared to sacrifice his pride, his Big Badness, anything, to make things right. He loved Xander. He had to find a way to tell him so. He had a strong feeling that breaking down the door and bellowing it across the room wouldn't do the job. There was only one thing for it: He had to talk to Rupert Giles.
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