Cat's Cradle

Lady Cat

Part One

Spike was prowling around the new apartment, subvocal near-words muttered under his breath as he explored the new surroundings.

“And again, the freakiness that is Spike, minus the talking.  But hey, fancy new digs. . . if you start scratching the furniture like a real cat I’m going to be upset.  Then I’m going to call Angel and make him buy me new stuff, but still.  You aren’t actually a cat. . . right?”  Nervous and awkwardly uncomfortable in his new home—Home! Financed by Angel!—Xander trailed after Spike, unable to do the sitting, being comfortable thing.  Plus, this Spike required watching.  Careful watching.  “So, you like?  It’s. . . Angel really shelled out, you know?  This is a nice place. . .”

Spike stopped. Stared. Inquisitive noise.

“Whatcha got there?”  He moved closer without thinking, checked himself, and then shook his head.  “Okay, this is very freaky,” he says to himself, for the millionth time.  “I’m treating you like you’re a. . . pet dog or cat or something.  Which you kinda are.”  This was weird.  Very weird.  “Spike?  Never thought I’d say this, but I miss you talking, ’cause I have no idea what you’re trying to tell me.”

Spike sidled away, and started to explore the two bedrooms.

Taking a deep breath, Xander let it out slowly.  “And why does Xander have to be the caretaker of the Initiative’s fuck-ups?” he asked, following Spike again because, really, that was almost his job now.  “Please ignore the digs Angel is helping to fund specifically so I can take care of you. . .”

In Xander's bedroom, Spike was prowling around and looking into things. He sidled out past Xander, and into his own room, looking at the mattress, pillows, blankets and assorted toys. Made the inquisitive sound again, and plopped onto the floor.

Xander followed yet again, watching with amusement as Spike simply stopped and dropped to the floor.  “So, you’re tired now?” he hazarded.  “Okay, I can deal with that.  Moving to a new place isn’t exactly a simple job, even if you’ve got friends with super powers.  Do you. . . want to sleep now?  Eat something?”  The prospect of having to make Spike’s meals by himself from now until whenever Spike stopped being a brain-damaged-thinks-he’s-a-cat-person wasn’t thrilling him.  Then again, he’d been doing it for the past few weeks—he just didn’t have anyone else to beg, now.

Looking up, Spike made the inquisitive noise. Rolled onto his back and grabbed his Nerf ball, throwing it at Xander.

Surprised, Xander still managed to catch it.  “Okay, playing catch.  I can do that.”  Lobbing it back gently, he moved until he was leaning against the wall.

Spike threw it back; did this several times before "killing" the ball, growling and rolling on the floor with it.

“And it’s a measure of my insanity that I’m finding this cute.  Okay, Spike.  You kill the ball, I’m going to find a beer to kill in the meantime.  It’s been a long day.”

Coming into the living room thirty minutes later, Spike went to see what Xander is drinking. He knelt on the couch, and pressed forward, sniffing.

Xander paused mid-swallow, body still half-turned towards the tv-dinner he'd finally decided on, since cooking required energy.  Also the knowledge of how to cook, which was limited to boxy things with instructions, for him.  “Yes?  Can we help you?”

Spike was looking at the beer can. Inquisitive noise, and sat back on his heels.

“Beer?  You want beer?  Oh, hell no.”

Another inquisitive noise, and a pleading look.

“Did you miss the ‘Oh, hell no?’  You may not be able to hurt me, but I am not letting an insane Spike get drunk.  No way.”

Spike moved back.  Whined.

“No.  No, and no way.  I’ll get you blood, if you want it.  No alcohol.”

Spike looked pitiful, a ‘don’t you love me anymore?’ sort of face.

“And that only works on the girls.”  The microwave beeped and he debated for a few seconds, glancing between Spike and the microwave.  “Aw, hell,” he muttered, placing the beer on the counter behind him, praying it stayed there while he grabbed his food and a fork.  He didn’t move to sit down, even though he kind of wanted to.  The last few weeks had taught him that though Spike’s mind didn’t really work, his speed and reflexes were just fine

Spike sneak, sneak, sneaked. . . .

Oh, like that was stealthy?  “No, Spike!  Mine!”  Glaring, shoveling food in his mouth, he managed to still put his body between the beer and the vampire.  “Bad Spike!”

Spike flinched back, making whining, grumbling noises and then crouched on the floor by the door.  Sulked.

He didn’t even think about the bizarreness of calling Spike ‘bad’ and then having Spike listen to him.  And usually sulk or pout.  Instead he just finished his food—knowing he was eating way too fast and he’d pay for it later—before grabbing his beer back up to safety.  “Now, do you want blood? ’Cause if not, there’s a TV with cable attached to it calling to me.”

Spike perked up at the word ‘blood’.  Got up to stand by the refrigerator.

“Figured you’d want that, eventually.”  Tossing back the dregs of his beer, Xander heated the blood and put it in the bottle for Spike.  The vampire might think he was a cat, but his tongue was still a human’s—lapping out of a bowl was neither easy nor clean, and using normal cups required more brain-power than Spike apparently had left in him.  Sucking, though, was something no vampire forgot.

Spike drank the blood, and then went to the front door.  Putting his hand on the knob, he made the inquisitive noise.

Xander tried not to get angry at Spike for wanting something that, really, was perfectly natural.  He hadn’t spent the day lugging and arranging furniture or unpacking the few measly boxes of his own things, and the bigger boxes full of things for Spike. He hadn’t worked the day before and wouldn’t be working the next day, either.  But since Xander had. . . “Sorry, Spike,” Xander said, feeling actual regret.  “Not tonight, okay?  Tomorrow.  I’ll get Buffy to take you out tomorrow.”

Spike made grumbling noises, obvious look on his face of ‘gonna go out anyway’.  He rattled the knob and flicked the lock.

“Ha, sorry, Spike, but Angel’s on to you.  The door’s witched.  You don’t get out unless I, or someone else I designate, let you out.”  Settling onto the sofa, Xander turned on the television and split his attention between flipping channels and keeping an eye on Spike.

Pace, prowl, growl, sulk, pace some more. Spike stood in front of the television.

Staring around Spike was better than Friends repeats, although Xander knew better than to say that.  He just kept flipping until—“Whoa.  Angel got me porn?”

Spike turned so he was looking at the television.  He was fascinated by the sounds and sights.  He mostly blocked Xander’s view.

“And I’m stuck with the strange problem of wondering if you should be watching porn.”  It was an oddly paternal feeling—protect the children!—but the sound of a woman moaning was doing lovely things to his tired, fuzzy mind, and after a few seconds of watching Spike watch porn, Xander shrugged and squirmed further back into the sofa.  Spike was a grown, well, freaky cat-vampire-hybrid and the past few weeks of caring for Spike with Angel’s help had removed any vestige of shame.  “Hey, you want to sit down?  You can see the tv better from the sofa. . .”

Spike crouched down, nose pressed to the screen.  He seemed a little frustrated that he could hear and see, but not touch or smell.

Xander could see Spike getting more and more frustrated, enough that there could be potential tv-throwing, something Angel probably wouldn’t replace.  Asking Spike to move wasn’t working, and the only thing left. . . was something Xander hated to do.  “Spike.  Come here.”  It wasn’t just saying the words.  It was saying them, with a firmness and commanding authority that was a little scary, since it appeared so effortlessly.

Up off the floor in a flash, Spike stood in front of Xander, legs apart, shoulders back, hands clasped behind back.

The sick ball in his stomach was pretty much now a permanent fixture of Xander’s life, since there was always something that reminded Xander just why Spike was here, and like this.  He made certain his voice was soft and friendly.  “Sit down on the sofa, next to me.  Relax.  Please.”

Spike sat down, muttering noises under his breath.  He was soon distracted by the porn.

Xander didn’t relax until Spike did, trying hard not to think about what else ordering Spike around did to him.  He hoped like hell Spike didn’t pick up on it, either, since vamp-reflexes and Xander’s inability to be subtle were a bad combination.  But Spike did finally relax—without continuous orders, he reverted back to the animalistic state pretty quickly—and he started paying attention to the screen again: an Asian girl waxed smooth and boyish straddled a larger, Caucasian man.

Spike’s lips parted a little, very fascinated by what he was seeing.  He settled into the couch, rubbing over the crotch of his pajama pants.

Xander caught the movement and allowed himself to grin—definitely didn’t allow himself to moan the way he wanted to.  Since Angel left almost a week ago, Spike had been increasingly more sexual in his behavior, and Xander’s control was starting to wear thin.  He had no idea when or why, but with each provocative gesture, Xander wanted Spike just a little bit more.  Not that he would.  Not because Spike was a guy, either, since he’d long ago gotten over the ‘ew, guy’ problem.  He just wasn’t going to touch Spike that way.  Spreading his legs a little, Xander rubbed the heel of his hand over his own cock, eyes never leaving the screen.  As the camera angle changed, focusing on the baby-smooth skin of the girl’s pussy as it slid up and down, he may’ve gasped some.  Bit his lip and thought about changing the channel.

Spike made a rough noise, a rumble. Reached into his pajama pants, teasing at himself. Looked over at Xander, his spread legs. Inquisitive noise, sniffed. Shifted on the couch so he was kneeling, and pressed forward, rumbling.

Shit.  Frozen, Xander could feel his mind spinning and swirling, too many thoughts and possible responses leaving him unable to do anything but remember that Spike responds to orders.  And was very obviously turned on and. . . and he wasn’t going to do this.  His dreams were just that, dreams, and they were going to stay that way.  “Okay,” he managed with a wide, please-just-go-with-me grin.  “Time to change the channel.  How about some blood?  I think I saw that Texas Chainsaw Massacre is on.”

Spike balanced forward on his knuckles. Made the rumbling noise and pressed forward, sniffing just below Xander's neck. Moved lower.

Humans were stupid.  A speeding car coming down the highway, bright lights trained on your tiny, not-protected-by-a-thousand-pounds-of-metal-body and what did you do?  Froze.  Forget flight or fight.  There was just utter terror and the inability to do anything.  Xander couldn’t even breathe as Spike leaned close enough to touch and—suddenly on his feet, he danced away from the sofa with a laugh and cheery quip about boundaries and things Spike couldn’t understand anymore.  Probably didn’t care about them before, either.  “Right, definitely time to change the channel.”  He turned back in time to see a second, dark haired man move into the frame, easing into the Asian chick’s ass.  He moaned before he could catch himself.

Getting up off the couch, Spike moved in quietly behind Xander, arms circling waist, body pressing against Xander's back. Rumbling noise.

This was bad.  This was all kinds of bad.  “Let go of me.”  He kept his voice low and calm, trying not to let either utter terror or the extreme desire to order Spike to do something very different come through.  Anya was long gone, took off before Adam made his final move, proving that she’d survived for over a millennium by knowing when the getting was good, and. . . no.  No way.  It would be like. . . molesting a kid.  Jacking off with Spike was barely acceptable, but not anything more.

Spike ignored the order. Nuzzled the back of Xander's neck. Rumbled again, hands inching closer and rubbing over Xander's crotch.

The feel of Spike’s hand rubbing over the erection pressed hard against the zipper is the final straw.  “Stop.  Now.”

Spike froze, but didn’t move away. Rumbled.

“Go sit on the sofa.”  It’s still an order, but Xander has no idea where he’s going with this.  He can’t order Spike not to touch him—the commands don’t really extend to complex things, and they don’t last that long, hence why Angel had the doors magicked instead of just ordering Spike never to go near them or something.  The moaning on the tv and the flashes of white and pink and red from the screen are making his head spin.  And the rumbling sound Spike was making had lodged in his gut, vibrating in that really nice way.  “Oh, god.”

Spike slowly moved away to sit on the couch, staring at Xander

“I’m disgusting,” Xander said to the TV.  “You’re. . . you’re helpless and I’m. . .”  The Asian girl was crying out now, reacting to the louder grunts and growls of the men taking her.  It was hot.  So goddamned hot and Spike was there and so fucking willing. A week straight of dreaming things he shouldn’t dream, and he was going nuts.  “I’m disgusting and weak and Spike, you’re going to stay right where you are, you hear me?  Stay.  Right there.”  Xander remained standing while the scene faded out and a new one replaced it, watching Spike out of the corner of his eye and trying hard not to want anything.

Growling, frustrated noise.  Spike obeyed, watching between Xander and the television.  Rumbling softly to himself.

“Good, just stay there.  And I’ll stay here.  And there’ll be no touching.”  Well, no mutual touching, because the next scene involved the same Asian chick getting spanked and his erection was now painful.  He adjusted himself, surreptitiously giving it a rub, and mentally tried to convince his body not to take out his dick and jack off in front of Spike.  Even though he’d kind of wanted to do just that, not five minutes before.  “Sick, disgusting, and perverted,” he muttered to himself.

Spike made an inquisitive noise, slightly frustrated now. Wanting, but told to stay put. Growled.

He heard the frustrated anguish in Spike’s noises and for one second, one brief second, he let down his guard.  “O-open your pants.”

Spike slid his pajama bottoms down. Watched Xander, hand over his cock. Started to jerk himself off, looking at Xander the whole time.

He knew Spike was watching him.  He could tell from the rhythm of Spike’s hands, the sounds they made sliding up and down, totally out of sync with the slaps and cries coming from the screen he refused to look away from.  He was stroking himself through his pants now, and he decided that yeah, okay, he could do this.  This was why Spike was with him, wasn’t it?  Two guys together.  They’d have a little guy bonding—gyah!—and then they’d both come, and hey, Spike might even sleep the whole way through tonight.  Yes.  Okay.  Xander nodded to himself, plan forming in his head: mutual jerking-off to porn, and there would be sleep.  In separate rooms.  Without Spike’s usual early morning interruption.

Spike stroked himself, lying back on the couch. Soft little groans and whimpers, intent on Xander. Writhed a little on the couch, stroking himself.

Spike was making these noises and for the first time, Xander wasn’t frustrated with the animalistic behavior.  The need in those sounds was filling his head, mixing with the sight on the screen, and suddenly he was staring at Spike’s dick, eyes following the quickening strokes of Spike’s hand.  “Oh, god,” he whispered again.

Spike spread his legs out, watching Xander; moaned, rolling his hips. Wanted attention focused on him wanted Xander to come closer.

Xander’s hand fell away because watching Spike perform—and it was performing, there was enough brain power left in him to recognize that—made him so hard he didn’t need to touch himself.  “God,” he whispered.  He wanted to see Spike naked.  Not just without his shirt, but naked.  “Take off your clothes.”  And fuck, he’d said that out loud.

Spike removed the pants with a wiggle, and kicked them off onto the floor. Lying on his side, he looked at Xander, something like a smile on his face. Made the inquisitive noise.

Xander sat down on the floor, hard.  Spike was fucking beautiful, stretched out on the sofa like that, and what was he doing again?  Oh, yeah, he was going to let Spike get off so he’d sleep.  Right.  That didn’t explain why Xander’s pants were down around his knees.  “Lighter.  Touch. . . lighter.”

Spike rumbled, but didn't move. Hand around his cock, but he was't moving it. Gestured with his free hand; come closer.

“No.  Don’t stop.”  He wasn’t supposed to use that voice, now.  He wasn’t really supposed to unless Spike was in danger of hurting himself—or in danger of Xander losing his sanity.  Except how could he not when Spike was teasing him, trying to get things his way.  Something primal he didn’t really understand growled inside of him; Xander was the one in control, not. Spike.  “I said don’t stop, Spike!”

Spike rumbled, started to stroke himself.

“P-play with your. . .” he wasn’t, but he was, but he wasn’t, but, “balls.  Now.”

Spike was completely confused, because to him, a ‘ball' was his Nerf ball. Catlike ‘you're insane' look from Spike to Xander.

“These.”  He stroked a feather light finger over his own sac, biting back the gasp as the pressure shot up along his spine.  “Play with these.”

Spike slid down off the couch toward Xander, crawling closer, reached up, and touched the softness, cupping Xander's testicles in his hand. Rumbling noise.

Fuck!  He hadn’t—he’d wanted to watch—and he couldn’t make his voice work to say ‘stop’.  Not when he was being cupped with hands that were much softer than he’d ever imagined, slightly damp from Spike’s precome.  “Yeah,” he managed.  “J-just like. . . oh, fuck, yeah.  More.  P-play with them.”

Spike still didn't quite grasp the word ‘play' in this context, but knew what to do. Caressed, teased, sliding a finger back. Pressed his mouth low on Xander's belly, and moving upward, licked and nuzzled, rumbling softly.

“Oh, god, oh, god, yeah.”  Xander fell back, just barely catching his weight on his hands, panting as Spike started to stroke and tease him like a damned pro, the continuous rumbling driving Xander wild.  It was too good.  He wanted to come just so they could start all over and let him enjoy it, and what the hell was he thinking?  Spike was a harmless, innocent, totally defenseless creature that was—  “Suck my dick.”

Spike nuzzled his way back down, tasting Xander, bent down, mouth over the head of Xander's cock. Sucked, bobbing his head, and slowly working his way down, sucking and licking and rumbling softly.

He fell onto his elbows, their trembling telling him he was going to be on his back before long.  Spike was bobbing up and down, taking damn near all of him and fuck, it was so good. He was so good.  Didn’t remember how to talk or take care of himself properly, but god, did he know how to suck cock.  So fucking good, tight and wet in all the right ways and. . . “Yeah.  Good Spike.  Good.  Oh, yeah, wanna. . . fuck wanna fuck you till you scream and you sleep through the goodamned night without me checking on you ten times and fuck, harder, Spike. . . yeah, that—do that again, do—!”

Spike enjoyed the sound, the feel, the taste which was so much better than the sound/sight of the flickering box. Listened to the good sounds Xander was making, rumbled.

“Good, so good, Spike, you’re so good, you’re—wanna fuck you after this.  Gotta, Spike, wanted for so—let me fuck you.  Please, let me fuck you.”  He was thrusting up into Spike’s mouth to the rhythm of his chanting, ruthless in taking what Spike was so willing to give him, rubbing himself hard against the roof of Spike’s mouth and the back of his throat, dragging himself over teeth that weren’t always covered by wetsoft lips.  “Suck me in, Spike.  All the way, suck me in, deep-throat me, take it all, dammit, Spike, take it all.”

Spike hummed. Didn't understand most of what was being shouted, just the need, and took Xander in deep, swallowed him when he came.

“Fuck!”  Xander arched up, shoving himself into Spike’s opening throat and coming in four pulses that left him limp as freshly boiled noodles.  Panting, he fell completely onto the floor and just stared at the ceiling.  There was still porn playing in the background, and he’d just had Spike suck him off.  And repeatedly told Spike that he wanted to fuck him.  Which he did but—“I am a disgusting pervert and if Angel finds out about this, he’s going to kill me.”  Twisting slightly, he looked at Spike.  “Do you want me to fuck you?  Do you even understand what that means?  Do you hate me?  Can we do that again?”

Spike moved up, and covered Xander. More mouth noises that weren't direct commands. Spike ignored them, rubbing and nuzzling at Xander.

Xander had to laugh, listening to the noises Spike made now—they sounded pretty anxious to him, which meant Spike probably didn’t give a damn about anything so long as he got off.  Xander spread himself out a little, morbidly interested in seeing what Spike would do if he didn’t resist.

Spike growled, rumbled to himself, and started to rub himself off against the warm skin. Moaned and whimpered against Xander's neck. Rubbed faster until he came with a growling cry.

Unbelievable.  Just unbelievable.  “So, let’s talk about my day.  I get up, I move into my new apartment.  Move you into it.  Watch porn.  Get blown by you, and then let you use my body to rub yourself off.”  And he was getting hard again.  Because watching and feeling Spike rub and thrust and grind like that was erotic as hell.

Mouth noises again, mouth noises and arousal. Spike nuzzled, rumbling softly, and licked over the pulse in Xander's throat.

“Oh, yeah.  You have no idea what I’m saying.  But that feels really good.”  There was a shiver of ‘vampire-throat-bite’ fear that made it that much sweeter when he thrust his own hips up, rubbing against Spike’s abdomen.  Mm, nice muscles.  Ridged.  He felt high, focused only on what he wanted and not caring that this was wrong on the order of major.  “Wanna fuck you,” he whispered, not knowing any way to do this without ordering it.  “Let me.”

Spike licked and nibbled a little, kissing and rubbing.

Xander slid his hand down Spike’s back, feeling the muscles bunch and move under his touch.  Let his fingers drag over ass-muscles that clenched in time with Spike’s rubbing, and pressed a finger over the place his cock really wanted to be.  Rubbed hard enough that he had to be getting Spike’s attention.  “Please tell me you understand this because I’m running out of ways to—oh, yeah, suck there, Spike, suck there!”

Spike moaned, jerking back against the finger and sucked at Xander’s throat.  Then he rolled onto his back.

He did moan when Spike let go of him, but then Xander saw what position the vampire had chosen.  “I’ll take that as an enthusiastic yes.”  Xander got up onto his knees and made a very conscious decision.  And a nasty one.  He tugged Spike’s knees up, placing Spike’s hands behind them, so they were lifted up to expose Spike’s hard cock.  “Hold,” he ordered, meeting Spike’s eyes.  Then he slid two fingers into Spike’s mouth and ordered, “Suck.”  Then he waited.

Confused for a moment, Spike tentatively sucked and licked at the fingers in his mouth.

Holding Spike’s eyes, Xander worked his fingers back and forth a little, stroking the inside of Spike’s cheek and his tongue.  “Suck,” he repeated.  When Spike did just that—on autopilot, since he was sure Spike had no idea what he was saying—Xander said, “Good Spike, good.”

Spike moaned; soft, urgent noises.

Spike was still holding himself open, so he didn’t have to—urg—teach Spike that command.  He was so fucking disgusting, but he couldn’t stop.  He didn’t really want to stop.  Moving in between Spike’s legs, Xander withdrew his fingers from Spike’s mouth and pressed them against Spike’s opening.  Slowly and gradually—spit wasn’t a lot of lube—he worked them inside Spike’s body.

Spike moaned, and moved down on the fingers, wanting, needing.

Spike opened so easily that Xander started thinking things he really didn’t want to think about.  Particularly given what he was doing.  Instead he waited until three, then four fingers were moving in and out of Spike easily, and took a deep breath.  Removed them, and placed the head of his cock at the entrance.  Pushed.

Spike thrust back. Inarticulate noises mixed with the rumbling.

“Fuck.”  Spike may’ve moved easily but he was tight, so fucking tight, cool silk wrapped in a vise-grip around his cock, rippling in pulses that matched the beat of Xander’s heart.  Sweat was dripping from his body to Spike’s, but he couldn’t care.  Just pushed until he was all the way in, and started pulling out.  Repeated.  “Fuck.  Fuck.  Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. . .”

Every thrust brought Spike closer to the edge, his body moving with Xander's while he whimpered and gasped and growled.

He kept chanting ‘fuck’, couldn’t stop as he worked Spike’s body harder and harder, Spike moving with him every goddamned time, cock hard and tight and slapping against his belly with each buck.  Sounded so good.

Eyes screwed shut, Spike’s head tilted back as he thrust back against what was pounding into him.

Seconds before the fire at the base of his spine flared out of control, Xander grabbed onto Spike’s cock, fisting it roughly while he shouted and came, entire body pouring out through his cock to fill up Spike’s.

Spike came with a sound no human throat could make. Lay lax and relaxed, blinking up at Xander.  Sleepy and sated.

Pulling out slowly, Xander paused for a moment.  “In for a penny,” he muttered and knee-walked until his cock was near Spike’s mouth.  “Clean,” he ordered, using the command voice, even if the word is unknown.  Presses the head against Spike’s lips, ignoring the skitters of sensation.

Spike licked and swallowed, humming softly.

“Oh, god.”  Anya had hated this, but Xander loved it, the roughness lashing against skin overly sensitized.  Once he was clean, he pulled away from Spike to get him to stop.  “Good Spike,” he whispered, petting the blonde head while wide, vacant eyes watched him.  “Good boy.”

Muttering wordlessly, Spike pushed up into the hand, and muttered some more.

“Good Spike.  Good boy.  You were so good.”  The TV was still on, although the porn had changed to something he didn’t have the brain power to recognize.  He felt sick to his stomach.  Not a lot, though, and that made him feel sicker—because mostly?  He felt good.  Sated and relaxed for the first time in days, and he knew Spike enjoyed it, he’d gotten off on it. . .  Shaking his head, Xander pushed onto his feet and said, “Stand, Spike.  Follow me.”

Spike got up and followed Xander.  Sleepy and sated and happy.

He remembered to turn off the tv before he headed over to his bedroom.  Paused when he was in front of both doors, considering.  “Kinda cruel to make you go sleep by yourself.”  But maybe he could let Spike choose?  Spike had been told which room was his, and seemed to have recognized it as such before. . .  “Time for bed, Spike,” he ordered.  “Go to bed.”  Then he waited to see which bed.

Spike went to his room and curled up on his mattress.

“Well, then.  That answers that.”  Except Spike looked really pathetic, naked and curled up into a ball on a mattress covered only with a single sheet.  There were blankets in—the hall closet, Xander found, and carefully, he covered Spike with one.  Then went to his own room, leaving the door open.  Just in case.

Some time during the night, Spike wandered into Xander’s room, and curled up on his bed. Then stole all the blankets.

Xander woke up cold, the edge of something soft tickling the inside of his thigh.  Snorting a little as he yawned, Xander blearily opened his eyes.  Saw Spike curled up next to him.  And remembered everything about the night before.  “Oh, god.”

Part Two


“Oh, my god.  I should be shot.  Or sent to prison or. . .  Angel’s going to kill me.  Oh, god.”

The cocoon around Spike shifted, and he made a ‘Mrrrrrrrrr’ sound.  Which loosely translated to 'I’m fucking asleep.  Go away.'

“Oh, fuck.”  Spike looked utterly adorable asleep and, oh, right, what the hell had he done last night!  He’d had sex!  With Spike!  He’d ordered sex to have Spike with him!  Spike to have sex with him!  Spike was a guy!  And—and—“Fuck.”

Spike remembered the mouth noise from the night before. He unwound himself from the blankets and rumbled, sliding into Xander’s arms and nuzzled him.

“Oh, f—” He just barely remembered in time to stop, but it was so damned hard to think when Spike’s pliant and friendly body was against him.  He let Spike nuzzle him, and wondered how to tell everyone that Spike can learn new commands.  You know, if there was mind-numbing pleasure involved.

Still rumbling, Spike pushed Xander down, licking and sucking at warm skin.

Oh, god.  ‘Fuck’, even.  He had work, which meant he needed to get up.  Which meant he needed to stop Spike.  But—he glanced at the clock—he didn’t need to be at work for an hour.  He could be late. . .  Spike moved over him like the predator he always was and it was such a fucking turn on.  Xander waited until Spike’s mouth was level with his cock, closed his eyes and ordered, “Suck.”

Spike hummed softly, took Xander’s cock into his mouth, sucked gently, bobbing his head up and down, making soft sounds of pleasure.

Xander couldn’t think when Spike did that, and didn’t even try.  Just lay there while Spike expertly sucked him. . .  except, that wasn’t a good thing, was it?  Not only because a vampire with severed vocal cords and a tongue nearly cut off shouldn’t have things in his mouth—he’d definitely healed up enough for this kind thing.  But to let Spike, who they were pretty sure had been abused sexually as well as everything else, do this by himself?  Uh uh.  Sitting up, Xander ran his hands down Spike’s body, as far as he could go, tugging and pulling to get Spike’s lower body close enough that he could reach Spike’s hard cock.

Moaning, Spike sucked harder making soft sounds of pleasure and need.

This was wrong, this was so wrong. . .  Xander timed his strokes with each bob of Spike’s head, working to keep them as even as he could possibly make them.  Groaned at the sounds Spike was making around his cock.

Spike enjoyed the feeling, and the anticipated release, something he’d needed and had been prevented from taking until now.

There was a way to rationalize this, Xander was sure.  Spike was a hunter, and had been reduced by the chip into a creature of fairly basic needs.  Food.  Fighting.  Fucking.  Food was covered, and fighting he got from Buffy.  But fucking?  For the last week or so, Spike had managed to get everyone into a position where he could hump them, like a horny puppy, and usually with the same result—ews and being pushed away.  So he was pretty sure that this was the first time Spike’d gotten off since he’d crawled on to their doorstep, the literal cat who always came back.  And that was a good thing, right?  Spike finding something he needed?  Because Xander sure was, his orgasm building inside him like raven wings, fluttery and dark and sharp.  He stroked harder, wanting Spike to come with him.

Moaning, hips jerking a little bit, Spike sucked hard in pace with what Xander was doing.

He babbled out something as he came, stripping Spike’s cock ferociously to force Spike’s orgasm.  And god, Spike was swallowing him.  Anya never did that, just held it until she could spit it out. . .

Spike came, licking Xander clean and humming to himself.

“Got that one down,” Xander whispered, staring at the sheets he was now going to have to wash.  Climbing to his feet, he told Spike, “Stay.  Sleep.”  Then he went and showered, getting ready for work.

Spike muttered a little, but curled up in the blankets, and slept.

Xander checked on Spike again before he left, knowing the vampire was going to wake up in a few hours and no way to explain the whole ‘Xander would be back at sundown’ concept.  Although, actually, sundown was when Buffy was arriving to take Spike out for some exercise.  He probably wouldn’t see Spike until closer to ten that night, when Buffy let him off the hook.  Which didn’t at all explain why Xander leaned down and kissed Spike’s cheek before heading off to work.

Spike arrived that evening, Buffy in tow, and nearly bouncing off walls.  He “greeted” Xander by nuzzling him, then bounced around some more. His clothes were muddy and bloody, and he stank.

Buffy smiled a hello.  “Um.  Why do I feel like the aunt that gets her nephew hopped up on sugar?”

Xander’s day had been long, and the good vs evil morality play in the back of his head hadn’t done much for his concentration.  Which explained why his day had been so damned long and frustrating.  “Because you’re evil and you hate me,” he deadpanned, waving her inside.  “You want munchies, or are you homeward bound?”  He could hear Spike in the kitchen.

“Munchies are good,” Buffy said, “and I might as well help you with Spike wrangling.”  Peering into the kitchen, she added, “Especially since he’s gotten into the peanut butter.”

Xander went to remove the jar from Spike, trying to offer a mug of blood instead.  He did need to eat and. . . and it was really easier to let Buffy just do most of it.

Buffy controlled Spike with hard taps on his head to get his attention, and pointing where she wanted him to go.  She only occasionally used command words.  “I really feel guilty for sticking you with Spike, Xander.  Spike, shower, now!  He’s really a handful.”

Spike hissed at her, but went into the bathroom. The shower ran.

“Yeah, yeah he is but—I am the most logical one to do it.  And with Angel helping to kick in the rent, I can afford to do it so. . .”  He gave her a wan smile.  “No big.  Thanks for letting him run around.  He gets ancy, cooped up all the time.”

“I still feel guilty.”  Buffy nosed around in the kitchen, grabbing herself a soda.  “Patrol was really tough, a lot of the time he’d go off, and I’d have to rescue someone’s poodle.”

Something crashed in the bathroom and they both started.  Xander rubbed his eyes and gave Buffy a smile.  “Then you did your good deed for the next few weeks, and now it’s my turn.  I’m getting Karma for years out of this.”  He gave her a smile, hoping he wasn’t sounding as abrupt as he thought he did.  “I’ll go check on him.  You can stick around if you want, but if you leave, just make sure you lock the door before you go, okay?”

“Sure, no problem,” Buffy said, smiling cheerfully.  “And, Angel says that if you need to talk to him, just call, or send him an e-mail.”

“Great, thanks.”  Xander gave her a quick hug and then went into the bathroom.  “Spike?  Hey, Spike, you okay?”  It was so steamy he could hardly see, condensation rain-forest thick and heavy in his lungs.

The shampoo bottle was on the floor, towels everywhere, Spike having fallen on his ass getting out of the tub.

He damned near tripped on Spike before he saw him, then grinned at the forlorn tangle in front of him.  “Hey.  You okay?”  Xander offered both hands.

Looking mortally offended, Spike scrambled to his feet, hissing at the shampoo bottle as if it were at fault.

“Yeah, okay, we’re back to hating Xander.  I get it.”  He helped Spike dry off, deciding that soaked counted as clean and tugged on the pyjama bottoms, just in case Buffy stuck around.  Although it took nearly ten minutes to get those simple things accomplished, so maybe not.  “Blood?” Xander queried, heading back towards the kitchen—he’d clean up later.  “Hungry?” he asked, noting with relief he didn’t like acknowledging that Buffy had gone home.

Spike headed into kitchen, standing by refrigerator and glancing at the cabinet where the peanut butter was.

“Gross,” Xander told him, heating the blood and deciding to humor Spike by mixing in the peanut butter.  The blood was mostly paid for by Angel, so he could waste it this one time.  Handing over the mug, he hoped like hell it wasn’t going to get thrown at his head in disgust.

Spike drank the concoction, made a face, then finished it anyway.  Grumbling noises.

“Hey, you wanted the peanut butter.  I’m not letting you play with the jar and make a mess again.”  Feeling guilty, he prepared a half-cup of blood sans peanut butter.

Spike made a whining noise, and drank the half-cup of blood.

Great, he’d really annoyed Spike.  Tired and feeling dejected because of it, Xander cleaned up the kitchen and made a cursory attempt at the bathroom before turning to Spike.  “Okay, Spike.  I’ve got a couple hours—what do you want to do tonight?”  And please, could it be simply tossing a ball around?

Spike wandered into the living room, sat down on the couch. Something like a smile on his face.

“Oh, god.”  He’d conditioned Spike.  He hadn’t meant to, but. . . he’d conditioned Spike.  Numb, he went into the living room and sat down next to Spike.  Turned on the tv automatically, but made sure he avoided the porn channels.  He remained tense the entire time, flipping when things got too boring, sitting in the very corner of the couch.  Because it was safest there.  They watched until close to midnight, when Xander was yawning and barely conscious before he finally turned it off.  “Bed, Spike.”

Spike headed into Xander’s room.

Uh.  Weird.  “Right, okay, I can deal with this.”  Changing into his own sleep clothes, Xander slid into bed next to Spike, careful to make sure they weren’t touching.  “Good night, Spike,” he said, and turned off the light.

Spike stole the blankets. Again.

“Good thing Sunnydale is warm,” Xander muttered, feeling bereft and a touch lonely without the blankets covering him.  But Spike wasn’t his new sex slave, so with a much lighter heart, Xander closed his eyes and tried to go to sleep.

Through the night, Spike gradually migrated so that he was curled up against Xander, humming and mumbling under his breath.

Thank god tomorrow’s Saturday.  It was a litany through his half-awake mind, twisting and turning and it was supposed to be a comforting though, but it really wasn’t.  Not when Spike was curled up against him, making cat-noises and sounding comfortable and happy.  And warm, since he brought the blankets back with him.  It wasn’t supposed to happen like this, and Xander knew that at some point Spike would go back to normal.  Angel said he would.  And when he did, he’d accuse Xander of all kinds of things, and he really, really needed to sleep now.  Really.

Humming, Spike nuzzled against Xander’s neck. Slept.

Spike’s nose was in his neck, but there was no fear of sharp teeth.  Maybe there should have been.  Xander’s eyes eventually closed and he slept, those two thoughts giving him dark, edgy dreams.

Spike snuggled closer in his sleep, almost wrapping around Xander.

The dreams made Xander toss and turn, or try to, noises of distress coming from him, as he burrowed into Spike’s body.

Spike heard Xander’s distress and awakened, alert for any sound of danger. Confused now, because there was nothing there. Just Xander, whimpering in his sleep. He nuzzled and licked, trying to comfort him.

The dreams grew worse—nothing definable, just angry and hurting, and frightening.  His body wanted to curl into a ball, the presence of Spike preventing it, and that almost made it grow worse.

Unable to find the problem, Spike screeched in Xander’s ear, then jumped out of the bed.

Xander popped awake, rubbing his ear and frantically searching for Spike.  “What!  What’s wrong!”

Spike was looking for whatever it was that had been disturbing Xander. Apparently his screech had scared it off.

“Spike, what’s wrong?”  He was muzzy from the dream he couldn’t remember and lack of real sleep.  “Come back to bed, Spike.”

Muttering a noise under his breath, Spike went on a tour of the apartment, looking for the Thing.

Bleary-eyed, Xander trailed after Spike, waiting for the vampire to assure himself that there was nothing in the apartment but them.  “Safe, Spike,” he said.  “Tired.  Come back to bed.  Sleep.  Mm, sleep.”

Spike followed Xander back to bed, tucking himself around Xander, and went back to sleep.

Xander fell asleep before he could comment on the extreme oddness that was Spike.

A few hours later, Spike wiggled free, and occupied himself by playing with his Nerfball in the livingroom.  Bop bop bop.

Xander woke up slowly, head overstuffed and muzzy from a night spent in restless dreams—a feeling he recognized from too many nights spent exactly like this, when he only really slept for the last hour so, and was still exhausted.  Freeing his face from the mashed up pillow case, Xander followed the sound of something soft and squishy hitting the wall.  “Morning, Spike,” he said, yawning.

Spike bounced the ball off of Xander’s head, went to stand by refrigerator. Tapped it, and gave Xander a look.  “Mrrraaarrrrrraow.”

“Ow.  Okay, you want breakfast.”  Opening the door, Xander hip-butted Spike playfully out of the way.

Spike wrapped his arms around Xander’s waist, and tucked his face into the crook of Xander’s shoulder and neck. Hung off of Xander a little bit. “Mrrrrraaaa.”

It was complicated, warming the blood while Spike hung off of him, but it was kinda nice, too, so Xander didn’t fight it.  “You’re in a good mood,” he said, juggling Spike and mug carefully.  “Must not have woken you up too bad, then.”  Echos of conversations with Anya, although she never hung off of him after a bad nightmare.  Usually she was too busy scolding him for keeping her up.

“Mrrra’aa aaaa aaaa mmmm” Spike said, sniffing, and made a reach for the blood. “Mmmmaaarrr.”

“Hey, lemme out first,” Xander cautioned, ducking out from under Spike’s arm and twisting, so that he was facing Spike when he handed over the bottle.

Spike drank the blood, chewing on the bottle nipple.

“Hey, Angel said the bottle only until I was sure you wouldn’t spill, so, prove to me you won’t spill anything.”  His head still weighed an extra three tons and he rubbed absently at his neck while he watched Spike eat his breakfast.  Only Angel could suggest a bottle—and then a way to make it feasible for a vampire.  “So what do I want?” he asked.  “Eggs?  Cereal?  A shot of whiskey in my coffee?”


“Yeah, that sounds good.  Whiskey-less cereal it is.”  Cereal was easy, anyway—bowl, milk, pour, eat.  He got maybe three or four bites down before the tension in his neck reminded him that food wasn’t a really wise thing right then.  Because it could be tension in his belly very quickly.  Sighing, he placed the bowl in the sink—then rinsed it out and washed it.  Might as well get into good habits, in his new place.  “Speaking of, I believe it’s time to do cleaning.  Or laundry.  Something domestic.”

Wandering around the apartment now, Spike disappeared for a moment into his bedroom and came back with Xander’s old legos, which were now his legos.  Dumping the little blocks on the floor, he started sorting them by some alien, uniquely Spikely pattern.

With Spike mostly content in the living room, Xander cleaned the apartment. There had been some vague threats of Angel doing spot checks. (A bluff if he’d ever heard one.) Still, he should be neat. Spike did a good job of creating a mess, so no reason to contribute to it if he didn’t have to.

Spike meanwhile, built towers and buildings, accompanied by vague, tuneless humming. Watched Xander. “Hhhhmmaaa?”

“You can stay here and behave while I go downstairs, right?” Xander asked, hating how damned rhetorical it was.  “I just need a few minutes. . . damn.  Can’t risk it.  Spike?  Sit.  Stay.”

Spike continued playing with blocks.

“Close enough.”  Xander hurried downstairs, cringing when he saw the stained bedsheets, and set the washer.  Ran back upstairs, praying that the five whole minutes he was gone wasn’t going to cost him too much.  His energy completely disappeared when he saw Spike still happily playing with blocks, and he sank onto the couch and just watched.  Spike was so. . . innocent, sometimes.  All the time, really, but it was hard to picture the Spike Xander knew and still feared, a little, with this childlike creature.

After a while, Spike crawled over to the couch, grabbing the remote and pushing it toward Xander. Sat on the floor by Xander’s feet. “Ner.”

TV.  Ever faithful companion to keep away boredom and drudgery.  Xander flicked it on and wished he could show Spike how to flip channels himself.  But Spike would probably break the remote and this was a snazzy one, with sliver coloring and pretty red buttons.

Spike leaned his head against Xander’s leg and watched the images flash by. Cartoons caught his attention, but then so did an animal program involving a pride of lions stalking a zebra.

Saturday cartoons had lost the charm of Transformers and Bugs Bunny, so when Spike started making appreciative noises at the Animal Planet show, Xander put the remote down.  Let his head fall back against the plush support of the sofa and didn’t even try to stop his hand from wandering into Spike’s hair.  The stroking was more for him than Spike, anyway.

Spike sat like that, enjoying the hand stroking him while he watched. Became involved in the program, and began to stalk around the room, mimicking the actions of the animals on the screen. 

He was kind of like his very own tv show, like this, and Xander purposefully found other shows on the discovery channel, just to keep the stalking, predatory movements going.  Spike stopped looking like a brain-damaged half-child while he was acting like that, body silk and washed steel, powerful and completely in control, and Xander could admit that it was hot as fucking hell.

Sniffing, Spike turned. Almost smiled, then stalked toward Xander. He pounced. Nuzzled into Xander’s neck, and made soft, pleased sounds.

“Hey, whoa!”  Xander put his hands on Spike’s shoulders, exerting enough pressure that he should get through to Spike.  He wanted this, god did he, with his body telling him just how happy it was to have Spike close again—but he wasn’t going to do this, this taking advantage of Spike.  “No, Spike, don’t.  Watch tv.”

Spike growled, whined, pulled a sulking face, but sat back down at Xander’s feet.

“Good, Spike,” Xander whispered, playing with Spike’s hair again.  He didn’t know how to gel it, so it lay in soft, wavy curls that slid through his fingers easily.  “Good.”

Still sulking. After a while, Spike started petting Xander’s leg, reaching under the pants to stroke the sparse hair and skin.

He should tell Spike to stop, of course.  This was just a sneakier way to do what Spike clearly still wanted to do, even if the edge of heat in Xander groin had long since faded.  But it felt good, what Spike was doing, even with no body-heat to smooth down his own skin.  So he watched tv and tried hard to pretend that this was fueled by an innocent desire to return the simple caress.

Spike crawled up onto the couch, tried to lay his head in Xander’s lap, making a soft rumbling sound.

Spike was damned near purring and, well, his pants were still on and zipped, so maybe he just wanted to curl up the way a real cat did?  Regardless, Xander was already lifting his arm so Spike could settle down, resting his elbow on Spike’s shoulder so he had the perfect angle to pet Spike’s hair some more.  His head was getting heavier, but this was softer than before—warm like sleepy down covers.

Spike lay there, half dozing for a while, watching the tv, and making sleepy, wordless comments.

Xander almost fell back to sleep like that, Spike a solid, comforting weight on him, remembering at the last second the laundry in the basement.  “Damn,” he muttered, looking at the curve of skull and delicate shell of ear in his lap.  “I gotta get up, Spike.  Stay here and be good while I’m gone, okay?”  It was damned hard to extract himself—and not because of Spike’s weight.

Spike whined, but remained on the couch, muttering sleepily to himself as Xander stood. Curled back up as Xander left.

Xander remained in the basement after transferring the laundry, dreading making it back upstairs and falling back into that comfortable daze and having to come back down, so. . . he could leave Spike alone, right?  He’d been good all morning. . .  The dryer took thirty minutes before the clothes were dry enough, and by then, Xander couldn’t decide between being worried or being too tired to expend energy worrying.

Spike woke up, and noticed a lack of Xander. He grumbled to himself, and yanked the couch cushions onto the floor, and dragged them into his room. Hid under them, with a rude sound. If Xander wasn’t here, he’d just hide from him.

There was no Spike in the living room, which gave Xander a moment of fright when he returned from the laundry room. The couch cushions were missing, which calmed Xander. Spike had played this game before, sulking and hiding in his “cave,” which meant Xander had to “find” him. Not that that was actually hard to do.  He folded and put away his laundry before heading into Spike’s room. “Hey, you okay in there?”

Spike burst out of the cushions. “Grrrrrraaaaaah!” he cried, jumping out at Xander, but didn’t actually connect with him. Stopped short, and there was that almost-smile again, before he was wrapping his arms around Xander for a hug, nuzzling him.

His arms were closing around Spike before he could tell them to do so—not that he minded, since, well, Spike was hugging him.  Being playful and affectionate, and who could resist that?  Grinning, Xander nuzzled into Spike’s hair a little.  “Missed you, too, I guess.”

Spike pulled Xander toward the cushions, and attempted to bury him under the pile, making a sound deep in his chest that vaguely sounded like laughter. He wiggled and squirmed, wrestling.

Xander laughed, gasping as a shoulder collided with his mid-section, just barely finding a place to dig his weight in before he grappled with Spike.  It was like practicing for patrols only way more fun.  And, more, he was positive that the weird, breathy noise Spike occasionally made was laughter.  It was too happy for it to be anything else

Spike pinned Xander, straddled him, arms held about Xander’s head. Sniffed along Xander’s neck,  just under the ear. Rumbled softly to himself. He wanted and didn’t want to be put off again.

Xander cursed when he realized that Spike wasn’t playing so much as setting him up, of course.  Because Spike always got what Spike wanted, he remembered that clearly from high school.  “Spike, let me go.”  In a second or two, he’ll be firmer about it.  Really.

Spike, rubbing against Xander, didn’t pay any attention to the noises he was making, because they weren’t the right noises.

“Dammit, Spike, I don’t—”  Not that Spike was listening, now that he’d got Xander where he obviously wanted him.  No.  This wasn’t going to happen, dammit.  “Spike, stop.” he ordered, voice commanding and angry. “Stand up.  Now!”

This time Spike made a real, angry growl, and snapped up onto his feet, and into the ‘ready’ position, feet apart, shoulders back, hands clasped behind back. Looked furious, not the usual blank expression.

There was a way to fix this.  There had to be, because Spike was pissed at him—and had every right to be, in a way.  Xander had given in, that first night, and it was cruel of him to take it away now.  So he ordered Spike to follow, picking up the cushions and setting up the couch before collapsing onto it.  Ordered Spike to sit in his lap.

Sulking, Spike obeyed.

“Good,” Xander praised him, deftly undoing Spike’s pants and shoving them down enough to free the vampire’s cock.  Turning on something random, Xander settled back onto the sofa and started to, well, play.  Touching Spike, stroking along his belly, a single finger painting patterns on his sac, occasionally actually touching Spike’s cock.  He kept it random and gentle, but not purposeless.  He wanted Spike to get hard.

Spike whimpered, squirmed with his head thrown back on Xander’s shoulder, hips moving. Wordless noises of pleasure.

When Spike was hard, Xander stroked him, the rhythm slow and steady and relentless.  He continued teasing Spike’s sac, reaching back to tickle the bit of skin right behind it, closing his arms tightly to keep Spike wrapped up and feeling warm and safe.  He hummed tunelessly as he worked, his eyes fixed on the tv screen.

Moaning, wordless babble spouted as Spike writhed and moaned, soft, pleading sounds.

“Sh,” Xander soothed.  “Good boy, you’re a good boy.”  He tightened his grip, hoping the increased pressure and pain would finally do what it did—get Spike off.

Spike came in spurts, wailing, straining upward, before falling back against Xander’s chest.

“See?” he told Spike, reaching for the tissues to clean him up.  “I’ll take care of you, Spike.  Just be a good boy and I’ll take care of you.”

Spike squirmed, rumbled, tried to twist around to get to Xander, wanting to nuzzle against him.  “Mrrrr.”

“No, Spike.  Stay.”  He didn’t add the ‘command’ voice, hoping the words alone would be enough.  He locked his arms around Spike’s waist, just in case, petting whatever his hands could touch in a vain effort to keep Spike calm.

Whining, Spike sulked. Lay stiff and still unhappy in Xander’s arms. Refusing to be consoled, he slipped free at the first opportunity, and stalked off for the bedroom.

Xander stared at his hand, still damp with Spike’s release and laid it back in his lap, loosely curled into a fist.  “Yeah.  That worked.”  Listening to Spike mutter in his bedroom, Xander closed his eyes and, well, sulked.  Somehow sulking turned into sleeping, and it was almost three when Xander opened his eyes again.  At least, so said the digital clock on the wall, since his time sense was totally screwed up, at this point.  Stumbling to his feet, Xander paused by the kitchen, deciding against food.  He still wasn’t hungry, just tired and out of sorts, so he went into his own room and crawled under the blankets.  He wasn’t going to worry about Spike being unusually quiet.  He was just going to take advantage of it and sleep.  Really.

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