Pairing: S/X
Rating: NC-17
Summary: "There we go," Spike breathed, damp and really, really good against Xander's suddenly incredibly sensitive neck.
Words: 4349
Feedback: Always beloved
A/N: Written for [info]crazydiamondsue, who wanted biting fic, and [info]entrenous88 who not only prompted me to do this is s7 -- an under-appreciated season, but she beta'd it, too. Dear god the amount of typos I make! Title is from Shakespeare's first sonnet; it's a Sue fic. Of course I reference Shakespeare :)

By the Grave and Thee

Lady Cat

For all Xander bitched and grumbled, to be honest having Spike around ... didn't really bother him. It wasn't a thought he put a lot of effort into, because just knowing it was rattling around in his head was terrifying enough. But it was still the truth. Sure, the guy was literally crazy. And he and the towels had arranged some sort of truce with mold or something, because it was like he was allergic to picking them up. And he always hogged the tv, leaving circles of bloody condensation around the place whenever he decided to put down his mug of blood and forget it.

And, oh yes, couldn't forget that pesky idea that any day now, Spike was going to suddenly feel sort of bitey and have no more chip in his head to save Xander from being a midnight snack.

But. Other than that...

Maybe he was just lonely. It'd been months since Anya had moved out, and while he was still down with that swingin' bachelor lifestyle, having company was nice. Especially since crazy-Spike was a surprisingly good listener. With equally -- no, actually, with more surprisingly good advice. Xander knew his recent promotion was mostly due to Spike coaching him on how to sweet-talk his boss after Buffy's spectacular crash and burn about a month before. Well, it had a little to do with how hard he worked and the utterly mind-boggling fact that he was good at it, too. But Spike's advice had helped. A lot.

Whatever it was, Xander still made sure to raise havoc whenever Buffy gave him those wounded sparrow-eyes. Just because he was getting some unexpected benefits to his unwanted house-guest didn't mean she was off the hook. Okay, so the weird vibe she'd created during the summer, the one where he was older brother and weirdly domestic-without-sleeping-together-boyfriend was nice. Really nice, actually. Buffy without some kind of tether was scary, witness the past year of marathoning bad choices. Since Giles wasn't there to play father-figure, Xander found it oddly... easy to slip into his own version of it. Kind of like he'd been doing it before, but without the acknowledgment; like he was her Watcher for the real life stuff, instead of the demonic. It was cool.

But just 'cause he enjoyed playing this kind of support-role didn't mean he wanted to be treated like a doormat. He wasn't Old Yeller or Old Faithful or whatever it was he'd called Willow, three years and a lot of demons later. He was a friend. A separate entity. With his own needs and realities that Buffy had to learn how to acknowledge, or he was totally yanking her car privileges.

"Hey, Harris!"

Jerking, Xander narrowly managed to avoid cutting off his thumb as he glanced several times over his shoulder, attempting to match the voice with the face. Oh, he knew who it was -- Jeremy the Bossman was kind of unmistakable in voice and feature, not the least because he was the only black man on the crew, and sounded like he'd been trained for the opera. No, the problems was he couldn't find wherever Jeremy was, since behind him were only steel girders and the little bit of dry-walling they'd managed to put up so far.

Which turned out to be because Jeremy was about three stories down on the ground. "Harris!"
"Yeah!" he yelled, turning off his saw and watching it power down carefully. It'd been sparking and they weren't going to be able to get a new one for at least a week, if even that fast, so it had to be babied a little. Once it was quiet, he said, softer, "Yeah, man, what's up?"

Jeremy put his hands on his hips, the only man Xander had ever met who could do that without looking the least bit femme. "Harris, didn't I promote you? What the hell are you doing up there? And didn't you hear the whistle?"

Yes, they had a completely old-fashioned little metal whistle that Bill blew every day at five. It made Bill happy, and it hadn't stopped being funny after three months.

"I heard!" Of course he had, Bill always blew the damned thing twenty feet from where Xander was, without fail. "I wanted to catch up a little bit before I headed home, though." Spike wouldn't be up until at least six and that was absolutely not the reason he'd stuck around. It was completely because he was being diligent about his job. Really.

"Isn't that Carlos's job? And come on down here, already!"

Complying took a few moments and by then Jeremy had shucked off his own hard-hat, tucking it under his arm while he waited for Xander to reappear.

"Harris, as grateful as I am that you aren't gonna be one of those managers that never gets his hands dirty, an assistant foreman's job is not to let another guy slack off and just do extra work."

Is that what he thought it was? Laughing, Xander shook his head. "Carlos isn't slacking; don't you check your messages? His kid got sick, had to take him to the hospital. And he's not behind, anyway. I just... I dunno. I think I miss power-tools."

Jeremy laughed back, a deep, ocean sound that crashed over everyone in hearing distance. No matter how many times Xander heard it, it still left him with the need to blink water out of his eyes and shake his head to clear his ears. It was a damned nice feeling, actually. "Now that I understand. Go home, man. If you feel like working over the weekend, I can probably swing you some overtime. Come talk to me Monday about it."

Overtime? Overtime was excellent, because Dawnie had to buy new clothes for school and no way was Buffy going to be able to afford it, not to mention Xander himself wanted that brand new flat screen tv that Spike had been bitching about a few nights ago. A thousand was do-able, given his current salary and a payment plan, and overtime would allow him to buy it a lot sooner than later. Niiiice.

Still thinking about his potential new tv, Xander headed home. Their current site was only about ten minutes from his apartment, which was really nice when he was this distracted -- much less chance of a car accident.

"Hey, honey," he called as he unlocked his door, "I'm home." He wasn't sure when that particular greeting got started, or why it stuck, but it had and he used it religiously. Unless one of the girls were around, and then it was 'Fangless you better be leashed somewhere!'.

Spike knew not to take him seriously.

Spike, of course, was tucked into the massive taupe sofa Anya had picked out, a leather monstrosity that was soft enough that getting out of it became tricky more often than not. Spike looked small and pale, sharp against the neutral color behind him, when he was curled up in the corner like that. It was a familiar sight.

"So, what are we watching?" He desperately needed to shower, sawdust gritty and uncomfortable where it'd slipped past hems and collars, but it was habit to grab a beer and collapse on the sofa next to Spike, and Xander knew he was a creature of habit. "Ah, sports. I'm so surprised."

"I can turn on Passions, if you like," Spike said without looking away from the... rugby? game he was watching. "Taped it."

"And will no doubt be making me watch it later." If Spike didn't go out, that was. Xander was still a little ambivalent about Spike going out. He always came back crazier than when he left, wild about the eyes like he'd seen ghosts he thought long laid to rest. Xander really didn't like that.

Besides, when Spike stayed home, they watched random tv and mocked it mercilessly, drank beer, and ate pizza -- blood-topped in Spike's case, easily ignorable with all that pizza sauce. It was nice. Homey, really, and after those nights Xander always woke up refreshed and ready to go, free of the odd heaviness that had started plaguing him other mornings.

"Gimme some of that."

"What? No, get your own!" Xander held his beer away from Spike's lazily proffered hand. "I'm already buying the expensive kind because you whined about that, and I'm keeping it warm. Warm, Spike. You can get off your ass and get it if you want it."

"Yeah, but yours is better." Spike kicked at him, then reached, tumbling himself half into Xander's lap in order to snag his beer -- which he did. Taking a sip, Spike twisted until he was more comfortable but stayed cuddled against Xander's side, the beer resting loosely on Xander's thigh where they could both grab it.

This was... something that had happened before. Several befores that Xander was positive of and a couple he thought might be dreams, but couldn't verify one way or the other. The first time he remembered shrieking like Dawn on a hysterical day.

Now he just kind of relaxed into it, mind still too busy trying to remember the rules Spike had taught him and how that correlated to the fast-moving bodies on the screen. It felt... nice, the cuddling. And it was so cuddling, even if Spike always had some kind of excuse.

"Mm," Spike said when somebody did something that prompted a lot of cheering from the speakers. "Good play, that."

Then he turned, burying his nose hard against Xander's neck, and sniffed.

"Uh," Xander said.

"Smell nice." Spike sounded drowsy, lazy with contentment like a lion drunk on the mid-day sun, body languid and a little slow as he soaked in Xander's heat, violence repressed for more kittenish behavior.

Okay. Okay, this was... not bad, maybe, but weird. Definitely weird. Xander was starting to be okay with the cuddling -- maybe even more than okay with, but that thought was for a time when Spike wasn't within a hundred feet of him -- and the way Spike was starting to touch him a lot, hands and bodies brushing as they went about their days, but... nose. On his neck. Spike's lips soft and just a little cool and damp from the beer, brushing trails whenever he moved.

"Thank you?" he said after a few panicked moments. "I should shower."

Spike made a negative noise, the hand holding the beer sliding it to his other thigh, which basically meant Spike's arm went around his waist, holding him. "Nah. Like you sweaty an' manly. S'good."

"Are you drunk?" There had been two beers missing from the current six-pack, but that didn't mean anything. Xander didn't count his beers, not once Spike started doing the dishes, but he was pretty sure there'd been two missing when he left that morning, too. "High? I'd be okay with high. So long as you don't get violent or manic or -- "

Spike's chuckle was low and almost warm, buzzing through Xander's body like a shot of hot chocolate, dark and creamy and almost sinfully good.

Sinfully. Sinfully? Where had that come from?

"M'not high, you prat," Spike said, somehow curling even tighter against him, inhaling at a steady pace. "You just smell good. Sun-warmed and burnt, like toast. Even like the wood smell on you, very homey."

The conversation had officially reached Bizarre levels and Xander was disengaging. Now.

At least, that was the plan. The actual chain of events happened more like this:

Xander made a soothing, placating noise he hoped wasn't as high pitched and nervous as it sounded to his own ears, trying to inch away from Spike without acting like he was inching. He patted Spike's shoulder, hoping to use the movement as a means of pushing Spike away from him, allowing him to escape, while babblings about showers and sawdust and changing rose to his lips.

Were never spoken.

Because Xander got maybe a millimeter from the position he'd been in, and then Spike tilted the beer towards Xander, knowing he'd automatically grab it -- which he did -- leaving Spike's hand free to smooth over the seam of Xander's jeans, rubbing firmly against Xander's dick.

"There we go," Spike breathed, damp and really, really good against Xander's suddenly incredibly sensitive neck. He made a return pass over Xander's dick, thumb rubbing solid patterns in counterpoint. "That's what you've been wanting, isn't it?"

"What? That is not -- I have not been -- Spike!" The last part came out disturbingly high-pitched, shrill and painful against his teeth, but Spike was still touching him, his hand heavy and comfortable as it cupped over Xander's crotch.

"Sure it is. Vampire, pet." A solid, cool nub of nose dug into Xander's neck as Spike rubbed his face in deeper, making his point. "I've been smelling it for weeks, now; know exactly what it is you dream about."

"Anya!" he yelped. "I dream about Anya. A-and Angelina Jolie. And Madonna, because I never really got over the Sex book, and -- and why am I telling you this, get off me!"

Spike just chuckled again, fingers taking up a pattern that Xander could feel even with the thick denim acting as protection, lacy and light over the growing shape of his cock. "You don't really want me to, do you? No. You want to be properly appreciated for what you are, a man grown with dosh in the bank, a car to give lifts for his friends, and a pretty bit of fluff waiting for you at home, ready and willing to ease the burden of your days."

Along with sounding disgustingly fifties in mentality, it also sounded.... really good. It felt really good, because Xander wasn't getting up, wasn't shoving Spike away, was actually widening his thighs a little, allowing Spike to curve his hand down and press firmly against Xander's balls before going back to the steady, slow pressure against his cock. It wasn't like Xander didn't know this about himself. He was male. He wanted that fifties mentality, created by men and for men and unrealistic as the housewives who had dosed themselves into oblivion with Valium to maintain it, but oh, god, it sounded so good. Xander worked damned hard at what he did, very much the man during the day and only turning into the bumbling teenager when he was faced with Buffy and the demons she was confident against.

He didn't like it.

It'd also been almost five months since he'd been laid and his right hand was starting to give out from the strain.

"Spike," he tried again, "look, if you want a quick fuck, that's what the bar scene you've been working for the past week is for. Plenty of ladies who'll say yes." Something Xander knew with absolutely certainty after the one and only time they'd gone to a bar together, post-crazy soul inclusion. He'd practically had to rescue Spike, surrounded by women he no longer had any idea what to do with, the soul wiping out the smarmy looks, guilt leadening those normally suave words, until he'd seemed like a tiny, starveling puppy bleeding to attract the sharks. "You don't want to do this. You don't want me to do this."

"Sure I do, Harris," and Spike's hand was moving faster now, rubbing harder as Xander's cock lengthened inside his jeans, proving to any available audience that he dressed left. "Three weeks I've been living here, two and a half of listening to you jerk off in the shower, or rub yourself off at night, always moaning my name." Abruptly, Spike backed up enough that they could see each other's eyes, Spike's brighter than the bright blue sky, almost neon in their intensity and terrifyingly arousing. "Can't hurt you, remember? Chip in my head means I've got to play nice. Soul makes me want to, want to help. Let me help, yeah?

"This is not helping!"

"Sure it is. Help you..." The zipper was suddenly down, Spike's hand moving obscenely under striated blue to repeat his motions directly on Xander's cock, "... help me... "

Oh, god, it felt good. Really good, because it had been a while, and okay, yes, so maybe the reason it'd been so easy with Spike wasn't just emotional loneliness but physical loneliness and maybe he had dreamed about Spike, humping himself red and sticky into the sheets during the night, jerking off in the shower to the fantasy that Spike would join him, would offer to pay rent this way, or maybe just be desperately greedy for it, gagging to feel Xander's cock in his mouth, his come the closest to real human blood Spike knew he'd ever get.

Xander shoved his head back, digging his skull into the plush fabric of the sofa. "How does this help you?" he gasped. His hips jerked up, firm despite the confusion in his mind, forcing Spike to free him from his underwear, cold air like a slap against this most sensitive, sensitized skin.

"Shhh, you leave that to ole Spike," Spike crooned. He was rocking against Xander as he worked, writhing like it was his cock that was standing hard and proud from between his thighs, his cock that looked so damned red against a white hand, black nails almost glowing in counterpoint, the rasp of the thick ring on his thumb bitterly cold and so fucking good it almost hurt. Spike was panting too, harsh and bitter, desert dry, undulating rhythmically while he pulled and stroked, thumb swiping over the head before finding the bundle of nerves right below and digging a nail in.

Xander yelled, whole body arching as his mind whited out in pleasure, completely destroying the thought that that had hurt. Not a lot, just in the right ways, but it'd been genuine pain and Spike was still going, still jerking him off like he'd done this a hundred, a thousand times before, finding all the right twists, the right speeds, until Xander felt like he was stuck inside a live-wire, burning hot and tense enough to scream from how good it felt.

"No, really," he gasped, fucking into Spike's fist until the weight of Spike's thigh, thrown over Xander's legs, forced him still. "How does this help you?"

The smell of his own sweat and sex made him want to gag, the motion captured and twisted by Spike, whose mouth was there, luke-warm and sweet with beer, gentling him back into something easier to handle. "Figured it out, whatever tricks she's doing. Don't remember most of it, yet, but the results... that I get. Think I know how to beat her."

What? Xander opened his mouth, ready to ask just what the hell that meant, when Spike abruptly tugged on his balls, other hand curling around them almost possessively to cradle him through the after-shocks of almost dizzying pain.

"Yeah, just like that," Spike breathed, working him blind and deaf with pleasure. "That'll let me do it, won't it? Let you want it. An' you want it, don't you, Xander? You want it just like she makes them want it, but different cause this is yours. Not some mojo she works to make them come when they die, no. This is different. Cleaner, isn't it? No more chalk cloudy and grey, this is ours. Hot, so damned hot, you are, always have been, d'you know that? Want it, Xander, Christ, you need to want it."

It should have just been babbling, the crazed ramblings of a creature Xander knew only feigned sanity for his own comfort, a shadow he clung to, sewn to his feet with a bloody, rusted needle. But Xander did know, a painful starburst behind his eyes, because there wasn't anything else it could mean, and...

"Yeah," he panted, fucking himself into Spike's hand, knowing each twist of his hips rubbed hard and right between Spike's legs. "Yeah, yeah, Spike, try it," because if there was one constant in life it was that a man would agree to anything so long as his dick was tended to, and Xander was all about the constants in life.

Spike growled, alien and ethereal, sending every short hair Xander had straight up in shivery fear. It was a bad sound, but it felt good and he moaned, pressing himself against the noise, head back and tilted because yes. He did want this, had wanted it for years, really, and he was old enough now, wasn't he? Grown up enough to make the good decisions and the bad, to be able to handle the consequences of his own fuck ups. He was, he knew he was, and he wanted this so fucking much it felt like it was that want that burned inside his stomach, that need that made his dick strain in Spike's slick-moving grip.

"Do it," he panted, throat tight as he swallowed, and then tighter still because there was something cold and wet sucking sparks into his skin, not his neck like he'd been planning but beneath his collar bone, his shirt stretching to allow lips and tongue to wet him clean, to taste his day-job, his day-life, all the things Spike couldn't have, and all the things Xander had always wanted to give to somebody. Who, at this point, was almost irrelevant so long as it was someone who knew its value, knew his worth, and oh.


Teeth like ice, digging into skin with a surgeon's precision, slipping between the grains of his skin to pierce into his flesh, blood fountaining warm and scary over his chest as it slid past Spike's lips, scalding reddened trails until it stained the rucked up material of his jeans. Spike's hand was vise-tight around his cock, moving fast enough to blur. His body was contorted around Xander's, awkward and uncomfortable and completely blissful as he bit drinking in tiny, whimpering sips that went right to Xander's dick, stoking the fire that already raged at inferno levels, magma bubbling inside his veins.

"Yeah," Xander breathed. Spike wasn't hurting him, wasn't draining him, taking precision amounts that only a kid who frequently gave blood could pinpoint so exactly. But Xander was that kid, that man who knew his duty better than any, and every six weeks presented his arm for what a creature like this would love to have instead. So he could feel the moment when any more would be too much, that trembling edge of liquid before the tension was shattered, and Spike pulled back with a cry, face bloody and contorted, eyes wild with pleasure as he dove down to Xander's dick, swallowing it until the head banged into his throat, forcing it open, forcing it in deep, taking in this new way.

And Xander gave as willingly, blood-spots negative images behind tightly closed eyes.

When his vision finally cleared and his lungs no longer had that chug-a-lug wheeze of a man who wasn't as young as he used to be, Xander stared stupidly into his lap. Spike was still there, clearly waiting until that painful sensitivity had faded before he could find every last trace of what he might've missed. Xander would know that greedy expression anywhere.

"So," he said. His deflating cock glistened still. "You, uh. You kinda bit me."

Every time he inhaled he could feel it, a dull, throbbing burn that tightened as his skin did. It wasn't a bad feeling, really. Although band-aids could be a thing that happened in his near future.

Spike twisted enough so that a fringe of curtaining eyelash allowed the barest hint of blue to be seen. "Bad?"

Xander let his chest expand with air, lungs stretched as far as they could go, until his stomach felt queasy. Then he exhaled. "No. You're... marginally less crazy."

"I think the starvation has something to do with the crazy-bits, actually. Human blood's like feeding me a steak."

A random thought, born of far too many foreign films with Willow, made its appearance; Xander winced. "Uh. Would that imply that you get the spectacularly unstable stomach part of the human starvation deal? Because if you did force a steak on a starving person -- you'd see it about twenty minutes later."

Chuckling, Spike leaned forward so he could nuzzle Xander's severely-deflated cock, lipping over the head gently as he searched for traces. "You really all right?" he asked, tongue curling down the edge of Xander's sac. The movements were definitely designed to allow to him to hide in the open, the pleasure of being carefully, almost caressingly cleaned up as masking as the parts of Xander's body that got pushed in the way.

"Yeah," he said, one hand curving over the sharp edge of Spike's chin, thumbing over lips he already knew were incredibly soft. "Yeah, I am."

One eyebrow slowly went back. "That mean you aren't gonna stake me?"

The laughter was there, burbling and bright like a river turned liquid glass in the sunlight, but Xander held it down. It wasn't appropriate, not yet. There were too many uncertainties, not the least of which Buffy, herself, who could call one or both of them up with the slightest of whistles. But for now, for tonight, he could let himself do this. "You need to bandage me up," he ordered, "and you aren't biting me for at least two weeks. Maybe more."

A slow, careful nod, and Spike's eyes locked on his. "I know the drill." A simple sentence, with painfully complicated meanings surrounding it. Because there was little chance that Spike's 'drill' was the one the Red Cross pushed into his hand every time he walked in their door, and thinking about that meant thinking about how many times Spike had had to practice to get it right and --

And that was for tomorrow.

"Now, about that staking -- "

"Knew I shouldn't have given you that bloody pun -- "

"Is something not made of wood okay?"

The End

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