Pure schmoop. Brush your teeth after.
Written for [info]saifai.
Love you sweetie, thank you!



Drifting Closer


by
Kyrieane


Xander wasn’t sure exactly how it happened. Oh, he could trace the physical steps, sure, but somehow the logic of it all eluded him.

It started with a patrol, and one too many beers. Xander offered Spike a spot on the couch and a mug of super secret stashed o pos in the morning. Patrol and a beer soon became patrol, a game of pool and or the latest movie showing at the theatre, late night demon fighting stories, embarrassing stories to humiliate Angel with, and more beer. Spike brought a couple of things from the crypt, then a few more. Xander dug out his spare set of bedding and fixed up the guestroom. And Spike stayed more.

Then Xander got hurt, bad enough that when the hospital discharged him, Spike spent the rest of the night sitting at the foot of his bed, just making sure Xander kept breathing. For six nights. And Xander slept fine as long as the painkillers held out, his nightly cocktail swallowed down with lukewarm cocoa. After Spike snagged all the mini marshmallows of course, but his first night of un-medicated sleep was interrupted by violent nightmares.

Spike was in the bedroom, kneeling on the side of Xander’s bed before the first echoed screams faded. He let Xander curl around him and clutch tight. Let Xander whimper and cry and finally drop into an exhausted sleep, safe in his arms. And kept the nightmares away.

When the alarm went off, Xander climbed out of bed with a whispered ‘Thank you’ and tucked the blankets around Spike’s shoulders. He left a bag of blood on the fridge shelf, and a note on the freezer door.

Last of the O pos, don’t drink it all in one sitting

Xander


Spike made a phone call, collected on a favor owed, and had Xander enrolled in special self defense classes before his first mug cooled.

Xander called on his lunch break, “Just callin’ to see if you’re still there, or if I sacrificed another blanket to your unhealthy addiction to the sun.”

Spike poured another mug of blood, wiped the spill off the counter while the microwave hummed. Loading the dishwasher just seemed like the next logical step.

The doorbell rang while he was drying his hands, “Special delivery for Mr. Spike T. Bloody” and the dishtowel was replaced with a white Styrofoam cooler filled to the brim with snack packs.

Spike ordered pizza that arrived just as Xander was stepping out of the shower. One slice was wolfed down before the water droplets dried on his shoulders, the last piece swallowed as they were running out the door, late for patrol.

Buffy almost staked Spike twice, convinced that he had reverted to his ‘evil ways’ and wanted Xander for a pre-massacre appetizer. Xander glared at Buffy, and stayed as glued to Spike’s side, as Spike was to his.

One game of pool, one beer shared, and Spike made Xander walk under all the street lamps on the way home. He waited until Xander closed and locked the door, then pressed him against the wall, standing nose to nose.

“Just...just stay here for a minute, yeah?” And Spike bristled and puffed and stuck his nose in every corner and under the bed before he would let Xander so much as kick off his shoes.

“Goin’ to bed. I’ve got to be on the site early tomorrow.” There was a moment where their eyes locked, then Spike nodded. He waited for Xander to make his pass through the bathroom and slip into bed, then stood in the doorway until Xander flipped back the covers. Spike smiled, and nodded again.

“Be right back, Xan. Don’t fancy sleeping in my jeans.” Xander was still blushing when Spike returned in an old pair of black sweat pants. That didn’t stop him from instantly curling around Spike and burying his nose deep in the crook of his neck. Nor did it stop him from throwing a leg over top of Spike, pinning him to the bed for the duration of the night. Xander didn’t move until the alarm went off.

They fell into an easy routine after that, sharing household chores and casual touches. Taking turns at being nice to each other and their normal snarkfests became concerted attacks against whatever hapless victim crossed their paths.

Then one Saturday, Buffy blew up.

“I’m telling you Giles, that last concussion really damaged something!”

Xander stood just outside the Magic Box, stunned, until a steaming blanket-draped Spike barreled into his back, forcing him through the door.

“Now Buffy, we don’t know what is going on, but I’m sure if you just ask...oh, hello Xander.” Giles turned and stepped in front of Buffy before she could launch herself at Spike. Xander stepped in front of Spike before he could do the same.

“Alrighty then, guess we came in at a bad time.” Xander looked from Giles to Buffy then back to Giles. “What’s on the agenda for today?” he knew it wouldn’t work, but it had to be worth the effort.

“Why is Spike living with you? He has a perfectly nice crypt in the most exclusive cemetery in town!”

“Um...” Xander was at a loss, Spike didn’t exactly live with him, just... kinda lived with him.

“I don’t live with him, just stay over when it’s too close to dawn to get home.” Spike didn’t even sound bothered, but the soft brushing of singed blanket fibers became a vigorous rubbing.

“Then explain the family of raccoons that have taken up housekeeping in your ‘living room’!”

Xander knew at this point that nothing he could say would salvage this, and the only sensible thing to do was retreat. Nobody had ever accused Xander L Harris of being sensible though.

“Ya know Buff, last time I checked, I was old enough to actually make my own decisions. Who I have in MY apartment really isn’t any of your business. And I’m pretty sure you aren’t willing to fill any of the requirements listed to make it your business.” Xander spun to face Spike, pulling the blanket back over his head. “And to think, I sacrificed a perfectly good blanket for this.” And pulled Spike out of the Magic Box without a backwards glance.

They spent the rest of the afternoon lounging on Xander’s couch. Legs tangled together, classic horror films in the VCR, fingers fighting over the last piece of extra butter popcorn. Patrol was skipped, and as soon as the sun set, Spike ran down to the Mini-Mart on the corner for beer and chocolate while Xander picked out a new stack of movies.

Spike said ‘goodnight’ first for a change, Xander blushed but didn’t say anything when he slid into bed and Spike was naked, just shimmied out of his boxers. Spike wrapped himself around Xander this time, tucking his nose into the crook of Xander’s neck, throwing his leg over Xander and pinning him to the bed.

When the alarm went off, Xander smiled at the muffled growls and curses Spike uttered while being pried off his warm Xander-shaped body pillow. He followed Xander out of the bedroom though, curling up next to the bathtub while Xander took his shower. Trailed after him to share an early morning cup of coffee before Xander headed out to the site, then curling back up on the wrinkled sheets and going back to sleep.

He was gone by the time Xander came home from work.

The nightmares came back the first night, and Xander called in to work in the morning. He drifted around his apartment, noticing for the first time all the empty spaces that Spike’s stuff had filled.

He didn’t sleep that night, just lay wrapped around Spike’s pillow, and stared at the clock. He called in to work again.

Time blurred and sped past and drug, minutes ticking away and hours passing before he could blink. Xander watched the sun go down, and the moon rise up and turn everything shadowed and veiled. He stood in the middle of his bedroom, staring at his empty bed.

“Goodnight.”

Xander found Spike already in his crypt, sitting fully dressed in the middle of his bed.

“You left.” Xander meant to sound angry, meant to sound furious in fact. Instead he sounded small and lost and wounded.

“Didn’t mean to cause trouble between you and Buffy.” Spike sounded distant, the words quiet.

“you caused more trouble by leaving.”

Spike looked at Xander then, saw the dark smudges under his eyes, and the ash color of his face. He stretched out his legs and kicked off his boots, then pulled the black tee over his head and dropped it on the floor. Xander watched breathless, until Spike held his arms out, open and inviting.

Lon moments were spent just holding, just knowing that each other was right where they were supposed to be, then Xander broke the silence.

“Spike?” Xander deliberately blew warm air across Spike’s chest.

“Mmmm?” Spike repressed a shiver

“If I asked you to kiss me...” Xander held his breath.

“I’d probably have a heart attack.” Spike spoke without thinking. Xander tried to pull out of Spike’s arms.

“How can you have a heart attack? I mean, you’re heart doesn’t work so it doesn’t beat so it couldn’t stop and if it doesn’t beat... but you loved Dru for all those years so why couldn’t you love me too?”

“Xander? Look at me.” Spike kept his arms tight.

“Sorry Spike.” Xander couldn’t.

“Ask me again.”

And then Xander could.

“I...Spike, would you kiss me? Please?”

There was nose bumping and hands not knowing where to hold on, elbows digging into thigh muscles and Xander was pretty sure the odd popping noise was his hip dislocating, then Spike shifted and Xander sprawled and everything went right where it was supposed to go.




The End





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