Spike woke the next morning feeling more like himself than he had in a long time. He stretched, felt that familiar ache in his ass, smiled and wriggled as he felt the cum drooling out.
Xander’s cum. Next to him the musky boy snored loudly, and Spike lay back, smiling at the ceiling, reliving the feeling of Xander, suddenly dominant. Xander powerful and forcing himself inside of Spike. Spike felt…cleansed.
He rolled on his side and poked in a teasing manner at the meaty muscle of Xander’s shoulder. “Hey, sledgehammer boy,” he whispered with delight, “you awake?”
Of course he wasn’t.
Spike rose very carefully. Brought the blanket back over Xander’s shoulders as he got out of bed. He stood, enjoying the little stab of pain, and surveyed the tent with a sudden déjà vu, as if he had forgotten something. Next to the fireplace was the huge brass tub. Spike studied it, contemplatively.
Xander turned in his sleep and with that now familiar feeling of dread and depression, realized he was awake. ‘Oh frabjous day callooh callay…” mumbled Xander to himself. He kept his eyes closed and sought a cool spot on the pillow that might lull his mind back into sleep for a few more minutes.
“Harris?” An annoying, hard, vampire finger poked him. Oh, God, thought Xander, it’s already starting. Another Fun Day with Spike.
“You awake, Xan?” Spike crawled in under the blanket and wrapped his arm around Xander’s waist. Xander froze. He felt terribly vulnerable.
They lay like that for a minute, Spike spooning Xander. Xander attempting to control his deep breaths and rapidly thumping heart, trying to think what was going on.
“Spike?” asked Xander.
“Yeah,” said Spike. He chuckled. “In the undead flesh.” He leant into Xander and nuzzled him just below the ear. Xander shuddered all over.
Well, that wasn’t an encouraging reaction, thought Spike.
Nevertheless, he leaned in and nuzzled again. “How you feelin’ this mornin’, Xander?” he buzzed against the back of Xander’s ear.
He could feel the kid’s heart hammering against his hand where it clasped his chest. “Xander?” said Spike. He released him and sat up. “You okay?”
Xander wondered what new twist they were going to have today. Cheery Spike would turn to what? Vengeful Spike? “S…sure,” he said.
“Liar,” said Spike easily, and saw the place between Xander’s shoulderblades tense.
Oh, bugger all. He’d fucked up again.
“Hokay, well.” Spike swung up easily to his feet and quickly drew on some pants, then padded nonchalantly over to the stove. He could feel Xander watching him. Spike played for a few minutes with the stove. “We’re outta water again,” he announced.
Xander’s sigh was full of weariness. “Okay, I’ll go get it…”
“It’s okay, whelp, I can do it.” Spike headed towards the door.
Xander sat up quickly. “Spike? The water is in the…other tent?”
“Yeah?” said Spike, flipping open the door and walking out. He stood for what would have counted out as maybe fifty human heartbeats inside Angel’s tent, letting the waves of sorrow rise and crash over him, before finally leaning over, heaving the great jug to his shoulders and carrying it back into his and Xander’s tent.
Xander was on his feet, hurriedly dressing when he strode back in. “Spike?” Xander followed him across the room.
Spike set the water down. He waited until his eyes felt clear and dry again before he turned and gave Xander a little grin. “’S a man’s job, carryin’ that thing, Harris,” he said. “You should have me doin’ it.”
“What?” squeaked Xander with predictable outrage. He glared at Spike, then he really looked at him, reading his face. He stepped closer. “Spike?” Damnit if the kid didn’t look like he was about to cry, thought Spike, pulling Xander into a hug.
“I’ve been mad as Drusilla, haven’t I?” Spike growled against Xander’s shoulder.
Xander merely nodded and hugged Spike tighter.
“You took care of me, Xander,” said Spike. “Thanks.” He squeezed Xander then pushed him gently away, turning modestly back towards the stove.
“You…you remember?” Xander said, his joy turning quickly to a new anxiety.
“Yeah,” Spike smiled to himself.
“Spike, I’m….” Xander could think of no way to say it. ‘I’m sorry I raped you, took advantage of your diminished capacity, used your body?’ He managed to find a chair and sit.
Spike seemed awfully calm for a man who had been raped. He shuffled around, locked the stove door. “I’d like to go see his grave today, Xander,” he said softly. “Wasn’t up to it before, you know? Woulda been stuck there waitin’ for him to rise or something…” His voice went weak at the end. He stopped, frowning.
“Okay,” said Xander.
“Should visit with Dahla and the kid, too,” said Spike.
“Yeah,” said Xander. “That’s a good idea.”
Spike nodded to himself. “Been meanin’ ta ask her fer some stuff for a while now,” he said off handedly. “Lube and such.”
Xander made an involuntary noise through his nose. Spike heard his heart begin hammering again. He let his eyes slide barely sideways, glinting. “You gonna pound me like you did last night, I’ll be needin’ it if I wanna be able ta walk much.”
Xander made a weird little glottal sound. That lovely blood rose and suffused his face. He seemed to cough. “Oh.” He swallowed. “Sorry.”
James thought how much his father would have enjoyed the fact that his internment happened on a dark rainy day. The mourners stood around the rectangular hole in the earth, in their London Fog raincoats. Black umbrellas, like stiff flowers, grouped over their heads. It was very movie-of-the week, and his dad would have laughed and enjoyed the cliché of it.
James worried about the mud, though. It seemed so heavy and thick. “How long do you think it takes to dry out?” he whispered worriedly to his wife. Jennifer hugged his arm harder, her brow creased with emotion. “Jen?” He tugged at her arm like their son might when he wanted her full attention.
“What needs to dry out, honey?” asked Jennifer, looking at him with an odd expression.
“The mud,” said James, as if to a slow person.
Jennifer studied him for a while before answering. “I don’t know, James,” she finally said. “ Maybe when we get home we can look it up?”
He nodded. Though he doubted the answers to his questions could be found via an internet Google Search. “He never mentioned it,” he said. “So I guess it isn’t important.”
Jennifer’s face was very pale. She had begun chewing the lower corner of her lip. A bad habit of her’s when stressed. James gently reached up and touched her lip, reminding her.
The priest’s words were oddly monotonous. Like a chant meant to hypnotize them, so that when the thud of earth on hollow coffin came the shock was dulled somewhat. When the heavy coffin hit the bottom of the grave, though, the sound went right through James' bones. He felt his knees giving, and sat on one of the aluminum chairs provided. Jennifer sank down beside him.
“Sweetheart?” She patted his arm.
They would wait until the mourners had left before they covered his father with earth, James knew. But he had to stay and make sure it was done correctly.
It was dark and wet and cold. Jennifer was urging him to leave, but all he could think of was lying alone at night in a cold, wet, field. “I can’t leave him here,” he said.
Beside him, Jennifer began to weep.
Xander couldn’t believe the difference between his feelings during this journey and the one he had made such a short time ago down the very same hill.
After an ecstatic moment of reunion, that had involved a lot of hugging, Xander and Spike had become suddenly shy of each other. Like a couple seeing each other again after a long separation, the reality of the other person seemed so intimate, it was almost embarrassing.
Their energy channeled instead into a sudden desire to visit their friends, so they were halfway to the village, to visit Giles and Dahla and Hope, before their daily patrol. Their hands clasped loosely between them, bodies casually bumping as they walked.
Xander looked around him, viewing the world through his new well-being. The solar lights still strung across the entrance to the village danced in the breeze below him, like fireflies or faerie boats. The scent of the flowers and offerings on the altars floating around them. He purposely bumped Spike and squeezed his hand happily.
“It’s pretty here,” he said, spontaneously.
Spike snorted. “Dark and wet,” he agreed. “Perfect.”
He saw Xander’s self-deprecating grin flash in the dark. “Yeah, well, it doesn’t really bother me as much as it did.”
“Cuz yer acceptin’ it,” said Spike, his gaze sliding slightly to the dark rim of the woods, as he felt his own acceptance.
Xander rolled his eyes, squeezed Spike’s hand. “Old wise one.”
“I am, whelp,” said Spike playfully. “I am old and I am wise.”
“You gonna teach me, Master Spike?” teased Xander softly.
Spike was careful to cushion Xander’s head with the palm of his hand when he slammed him against the tree. He pressed his torso into Xander, looking down at the half-inch of air between their lips. “Say that again,” he breathed.
“Master Sp…” said Xander, his mouth smothered by Spike’s.
When they drew back from each other, Xander was gasping and Spike looked stunned. “Bloody Hell?” he whispered, resting his brow against Xander’s.
“Think we found a kink,” said Xander. His tongue came out, slowly drew across his lip. Spike watched it, hypnotized, as a cobra by the snake charmer’s hand. “Master…” Xander whispered again, and Spike struck. He sucked that teasing tongue into his mouth, his hands wrapping around Xander’s waist and lifting him against the tree, grinding against him, growling into his mouth, a long, hungry sound.
He felt Xander’s breath puffing frantically from his nostrils and pulled back again.
Xander took in air desperately. “Man,” he gasped. He arched his head as Spike bit across his chin and hungrily patterned his skin with little nips, chewing down his neck, his tongue rasping across the stubble, digging into that soft, sweet flesh below his jaw, across the taut muscle, down over the bite.
Xander made a noise that did not sound entirely human.
Spike’s demon roused to that wakening call and he shifted, fangs sliding delicately over the sugary skin. He growled into Xander’s neck, his body shuddering with power and desire as he writhed against the boy, humping him through their pants against the tree.
His claws came down, and he pulled at the ties of Xander’s pants.
“No,” gasped Xander suddenly, struggling. “No, Spike, stop.”
Spike had acquired quite a bit of self-control over the years. He asserted mastership of his demon. The mystical one and the sexual one. He controlled himself one limb at a time and finally shook out of game face. Still leaning against Xander, trembling all over.
“Sorry,” he said, his voice hoarse.
He let Xander slide down and regain his feet.
“It’s okay, Spike,” said Xander. He still leant against the tree, as if for support. “It’s…it’s just we’re on the road.” He gestured with his fingers. “People might be walking,” he walked his fingers in the air a little. Took a deep shaky breath, dropped his hand. “You know?”
Spike nodded. “Sure.” He saw Xander’s hand reach towards the bite. Stop and drop to his side. Guilt, remorse, shame slammed through Spike’s body harder than any pheromone. He swung around and down the path with powerful strides, leaving Xander to come running after him.
So they were back to that, thought Spike, angry and confused. After last night, the sheer need and passion Xander had displayed last night, Spike thought they had worked their way past the bite incident.
So much had intervened. So much loss. Spike still felt hollowed out and shaking in the wind of that loss. And Xander was … still Xander.
“Hey,” Xander puffed as he caught up to Spike, “what’s with you?”
“What’s with me?” Spike snapped back. He thoughtlessly punched his fist into a pillar as they walked through the village gate.
“Uh, Neanderthal much, Spike?”
Spike slammed to a stop. “No, Harris.” he snarled. “Vampire.” He stomped off again.
Xander watched him go. Then rolled his eyes. “Right. You’re the Big Bad,” he called after him. “You’re the Scary Monster.”
“That’s right,” Spike shot back, still marching down the road.
Xander jogged to catch up again. “Sounds like just a bunch of excuses to act like a jerk,” he said, puffing.
“Fuck off, Harris.”
“See, that’s the problem,” said Xander, pointing in annoyance. “You’re just mad because I didn’t want to do it in the middle of the road.”
Spike ground his teeth.
“That’s it, isn’t it, Spike?”
“No.” said Spike. “Of course not.”
“Then what’s wrong with you?”
Spike stopped and stared back at him in amazed outrage. “What’s wrong? I…I just lost the most important person in my existence, the only one who could ever understand….”
The whole last week came back to Xander in a flash of exhaustion and sorrow. “Hey!” he said, outraged, “I understand…”
Spike shook his head hard, shifted and leapt at Xander so suddenly he instinctively flinched back from the demonic visage. “That’s what’s wrong,” roared Spike. “You can’t understand …how it feels. Only…”
He stopped. The wind went out of him and he resumed walking, subdued. “At least Angel and me were the same. We ….” The tears seemed once more imminent.
“Right,” said Xander. His head went down and he buried his hands in his vest pockets. “You and Angel were all set.”
“Not like that,” Spike caught the pommel of the short sword that Xander held and roughly jerked it to the right so that Xander was holding it at more of an angle. He tisked. “Told you Harris, it’s a bloody weapon, not silverware.”
Xander’s wrist hurt where it had been jerked. “You said a stabbing motion…”
“Oh, fer bloody…” Spike turned away in exasperation, spoke to another patroller. “That’s gorgeous Timone. Exactly,” he shot a look at Xander, “like I said.”
Xander caught Berynn’s eye and imagined the young man was looking at him with an expression of pity. He felt, then, that all the patrolmen were giving him the same looks.
Spike was so obviously unhappy with him. It was like a couple coming to a party while in the middle of a spat. Xander had always been uncomfortable with his private issues being made public. He was becoming increasingly nervous.
The mark on his neck seemed to throb and he imagined it standing out more than it did. His clumsiness, really only a boyhood phenomena, seemed to suddenly return and he couldn’t handle the equipment correctly, finally fumbling so unsuccessfully with a cross-bow that Spike came and snatched it from his hands.
“Christ, Harris,” he said. “All those years as a Scooby, did you learn nothing?”
“Spike,” hissed Xander in a low voice. “I’m doing my best.”
“Angel said this was hopeless,” said Spike, worry masked as annoyance. “He said we shouldn’t a brought you here…”
Xander felt that comment like a riding crop across his face. He spun around and stomped off, eyes stinging, face hot, so that he wouldn’t have to hear anymore of what Angel had said. He had had his full quota of Angel quotes for the week, thank you. He stopped when he had reached the edge of the clearing and turned to see Berynn close behind him.
And here was the other thing. He had become so dependant on Berynn. The young empath’s abilities making the translation and communications between himself and the other villagers so much easier. And the sympathy the young man expressed had been a comfort. But now Xander felt that he was wrong to presume on that affection. That any use of it would be to encourage something he did not want. So when Berynn came up and threw an arm around him, Xander shrugged it off.
Berynn stepped away, looking more worried than hurt, but it upset Xander to see the expression on his face. So he wrapped his arm around Berynn’s shoulders again. Gave him an extra little squeeze. “Sorry, I’m cranky today,” he said a bit loudly, glaring in Spike’s direction, meaningfully. “It’s not your fault,” he told him.
“Don’t bother with him,” Spike said, just as loudly, apparently very aware of their activities at the edge of the field. He stopped what he was doing long enough to nod at Berynn and shrug dismissively towards Xander. “He’s on the rag today or summat. Thinks everyone is dirty or …” He turned away to fuss over a young man’s technique with a short blade.
“Not everyone rolls over for anyone who pets him, Spike,” Xander called back, angrily.
There was a definite lull in all surrounding conversations.
Spike’s back stiffened as he straightened from his lesson. He turned his shoulders and head half around to give Xander a long look. And for one electrically charged second, Xander thought Spike was going to attack him. But Spike ignored the comment instead, turning back to continue his lesson. Xander watched him sullenly for a moment. He glanced at Berynn who, ever loyal, stood there looking like he wished he could help.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son,” Xander said low, to himself.
Berynn studied him, trying to remember any of those words from the English Xander had taught him. “Spike is…” he shrugged, “…still?”
Xander shook his head. “Yeah. I thought it was better, but, yeah. Spike is still...” he shrugged. “Spike,” he said, because that really said it all.
Xander was still stewing in the juice of irritation later on patrol. Spike and he, with Berynn and one of the twins, were continuing the interrupted examination of the woods above the West cliff, when Xander came across one of those things you just don’t wanna find.
“Spike,” he called, standing back and staring at the thing on the ground. The air shifted and its smell flew up his nostrils. He gagged and covered his mouth. The smell immediately brought tears to his eyes, he blinked at them blindly.
Spike came running up, looked where Xander pointed. Grimaced with distaste. “Bloody Hell,” he said. He looked away.
Berynn appeared curiously. He glanced, blanched. His mouth turned down in disgust. “Greimlich,” he said, disgust thick in his voice.
“Magic?” gasped Xander, staggering over to a tree where he could lean and not look in the direction of the thing. Berynn joined him. Xander noted the young man looking particularly green and scooped him closer with his arm.
Spike’s eyes took in the two, but came back to the problem at hand. He squatted down in front of the disgusting mess. A huge demon’s head. Perhaps the skin had been that dark maroon color originally, or perhaps it had turned after being severed. Spike took a cautious whiff of the air. Pretty damn sickening. He glanced at the humans who had to inhale at all times. “Better get back,” he called to Xander. “Gather up t’other one and get back down another fifty feet.”
“What are you going to do?” Xander gasped, trying not to inhale.
“Just get yerself back,” said Spike with an air of weariness. “Gonna have to figure this one out myself.” He didn’t see the look Xander shot him.
“Tyren,” called Xander obediently, stopping the younger man from his jog up the path and turning him back.
Spike studied the mess before him. The head’s mouth had been levered open, so crawling with maggots and worms, its severed sexual organ could still be seen. It was the end of a ceremony of sacrifice that Spike had witnessed before. A particularly black type of magic. All around the head, in leaves and carefully tied twigs, were symbols. They were oddly very familiar to Spike. He almost felt like he knew them. There was a heavy buzz of magic and something that tasted deliciously and dangerously of Big Evil.
Spike stood up. This was going to be bad.
“She’s still in mourning, Spike. We can’t take her up there,” argued Xander unhappily.
“We’re all in mournin’, whelp,” said Spike. He tossed the stick he had been twisting into one of those peculiar shapes to the ground. “There’s nobody here that hasn’t been touched by death. But Dahla’s the only one knows anythin’ about these magics.”
“We could describe it to her.”
“Might leave out somethin’ important.”
Xander sighed unhappily again and sat down hard on the rock that jutted from the ground near Angel’s grave. He watched as Spike ran his hand for the thousandth time over the little plastic dome that marked the spot where the ashes had been lowered into the ground.
“They’ve got the bloomin’ dates right at least,” growled Spike fondly.
Xander looked around the woods, feeling guilty for his impatience and irritation.
“But, ya know, that ‘Liam’ there? Angel feckin’ hated that name,” Spike said for what seemed to Xander to be about the thousandth time. And Spike chuckled nevertheless.
“Spike,” said Xander. He sighed when he was ignored. He looked at the ground and saw the little stick Spike had been twisting, lying there. Then his brow furrowed and he looked at it more closely. Leaned over and picked it up.
“Spike,” he said, more sharply. He stood, held out the stick. “What is this?”
Spike, his hand still on the stone, looked up, bemused. “What are you ramblin’ about, Harris?”
Xander held out the stick.
“Oh,” said Spike. “The magic symbols round the thing up there. One of ‘em looked kinda like that.”
Xander wasn’t precognitive. He was sure of it. Not even a smidgeon. But goose bumps and willies and every other kind of creepy precognitive feeling were crawling up his spine and all over the back of his neck. “Spike,” he said. “This is one of the symbols from Giles’ book.”
They had a meeting in the Town Hall. The patrolmen, Xander, Spike and Dahla. Really, the first such event of its kind, Berynn had reported to Xander excitedly. The first time the villagers had planned with the vampires. Taken a part in the battle to save themselves in this fashion.
He seemed very proud. As did the other patrolmen. Tyren and his twin, with that bright curling red hair that shone like twin flames even from a great distance in this dark headed place, seemed his permanent right and left hands now. They excitedly discussed the symbols on Xander’s drawing boards.
Dahla was withdrawn, but thoughtful. The involvement seemed good for her. Her cheeks had color and she seemed to become animated occasionally by the arguments. Hope stood near her, watching Spike. Dahla’s hand would occasionally come over and absently stroke the small white head.
Xander had stopped by the hospital and brought along his sketchbook of symbols. Dahla went over them for some time. She had wanted to visit Giles herself and attempt to communicate with him, but Xander had vehemently vetoed this. So Dahla asked Xander a lot of seemingly unrelated questions about Giles. She asked him what he could remember of the Watcher’s training and background. She asked questions about Giles’ personal life. What were his beliefs?
She also asked him what he could remember of the conversation he had had with Giles, that Giles kept reliving. What had been his, Xander’s, responses? Xander remembered being high on sugar and daydreaming about Cordelia, but some he was able to recall most of his side of the conversation, and Giles’ was on tape at the hospital. Dahla told Spike that she thought the symbols were partially ritualistic, but that she recognized other elements as a kind of magic cloaking device.
The demons were trying to hide themselves from the villagers, then. So, one would assume, they were not yet invulnerable enough to let themselves be seen. It seemed the perfect time to attack.
They talked for a couple of hours. Came up with a plan. Or rather, Spike explained the idiocy of the plan, told them he would handle this himself and didn’t want to be “traipsing around baby-sittin’ a troop of feckin’ faeries,” as he explained quite loudly to Xander.
Xander hoped that when Spike repeated this to the patrolmen and Dahla in their own language, he was a tad more polite. Though judging by Berynn’s amused looks and the open mouthed shock of the redheaded boys standing by him, Spike was Spike in all languages.
They would be proactive and attack tomorrow, they all decided. Xander, watching Spike’s face, suddenly non-combative and agreeable, imagined that Spike planned something sneaky before the appointed time. He would have to watch him.
“Whole bloody world’s gone mad,” said Spike, throwing his vest down and jerking off his boots without sitting. He hurled them into separate corners.
Xander followed him into the tent. He walked over, started up the fire. Sat and carefully began to untie his shoes.
“Children don’t understand what they’re up against. Think it’s a bloody game…” Spike paced. Xander shed his vest, began untying the sleeves to his shirt.
“Angel wouldn’t have put up with this,” said Spike, his voice pitching into a whine. “It’s cause he ain’t here. He’d have said…”
Xander grit his teeth and stopped undressing. “Angel’s not here,” he said.
“That’s the point, innit,” snapped Spike. “Nobody thinks I can handle it.”
God save us from demons and their low self-esteem, thought Xander wearily, irritation growing within him. “I know you can handle it, Spike,” he said.
“You don’t know anything, Harris,” said Spike.
“Fuck you, Spike,” said Xander suddenly, harshly. He jumped to his feet and jabbed a finger at Spike. “Fuck. You.”
Spike stared at him.
“I am so sick and tired of… of…” Xander turned and sat down on the bed. “Just fuck off,” he said.
Xander determinedly ignored him, went back to unlacing his shirt.
Seconds ticked by, marked by the suddenly loud sounds of an angry mortal’s breathing and ties being slipped through grommets.
Finally, Spike came and sat down next to him. Xander purposely scooted further away.
Spike studied him. “I’ve been a bleedin’ asshole, haven’t I?” he said finally.
“No,” lied Xander. “You’ve been upset. I understood.”
“Right,” said Spike. “I was here, Harris.”
“I understood, Spike,” said Xander again, firmly.
They sat there in silence for a few more loudly silent minutes. Xander worked the ties on his shirt and fumed.
“You ain’t gonna calm down till you get it off yer chest, brat,” said Spike. “May as well.”
“Get what off my chest, Spike?” said Xander a tad testily.
“I’ve been a pain in the arse for days,” said Spike cheerily. “I know it. Go ahead.” He held his arms wide, as if inviting a free punch. “Tell me off.”
“You know, you take all the nobility out of being noble, Spike,” said Xander.
Spike studied him, thinking. “I guess you thought I was totally batty,” he said wisely. “But, I knew,” said Spike. “I knew what I was doin’ to you.”
Xander’s hands stilled. He studied his shirtsleeve for a minute. Then he raised his eyes, watching Spike warily.
“I ain’t sayin’ I’ve been right in the head,” said Spike. But sometimes, some of the stuff I said… I guess I was tryin’ to hurt you as much as I was hurting.”
Xander was silent.
Spike shrugged. “I can’t just ferget him, Harris. He was my Sire. And I know it wasn’t yer fault, but I blamed you, sorta. I don’t know why…”
“Because I hated him,” said Xander. “I hated Angel, Spike. And I’m glad he’s dead.”
The stunned white silence held them both. Spike blinked. “He was… he…”
“He was your Sire, your friend, your lover. He was the reason you existed. He was the big hero. He did everything perfectly. He knew everything. He. Was. Everything.” Xander’s voice was rising. He gestured angrily. “He touched you whenever he wanted. He called you and you went running like his fucking LAPDOG!” he yelled. “And now that he’s finally gone, its like he’s here more than ever! His tent is a fucking shrine. You …you couldn’t stand the smell of me. You couldn’t…I had to beg…” Xander felt the hysterical tears rising to his eyes and couldn’t stop them. “And when I…” his voice squeaked with misery. He slammed his fist into the mattress, furious. “I wanted to but it was Angel! It’s always Angel. It’s always. and I…I… Love. You.”
They stared at each other.
“Xander,” whispered Spike, shocked.
Xander felt the tears, humiliating, hot, thick, girly tears, spilling from his eyes. He rubbed his arm angrily across his face and turned away. Flopped belly down, face in the pillow. “Fuck off, Spike,” his muffled voice said into the pillow.
“I’m sorry, Xander.”
Xander couldn’t stand this. He couldn’t stand the humiliation of Spike. Spike. Apologizing to him for not returning his pathetic, obviously warped and delusional affections. He banged one furious fist into the mattress and made an angry noise into the pillow.
A cool hand grasped his shoulder and he shook it off. Pity would be the last straw. If Spike dared to pity him…
Spike stared down at the sobbing child who had just declared something to Spike that no human being had ever declared to him. Not unless it was too late. Because it wasn’t possible. There are some creatures, Spike knew, who cannot be loved. Like poor things born without eyelids, or stomachs. Some essential part is lacking. And Spike knew he was one of them.
“Xander,” said Spike, in a grim commanding voice. “Look at me.”
It is impossible, no matter how badly your ego wants it, when your id is out of control with pain and hurt and rage and envy, and a huge shot of testosterone and horniness is mixed in. It’s impossible to appear cool and haughty when raising a tear-swollen face from a snotty pillow and trying to look the source of your rejection and humiliation in the eye. It’s impossible to look unaffected.
“Yer shakin’, Xan,” observed Spike. His eyes were hard. “Yer all strung out,” said Spike. He raised his hand. Purposely, looking Xander in the eye, he ran his fingers over the bite on Xander’s neck. Xander shivered all over.
“Don’t,” he said, that horrible girly voice coming out of him again.
Spike came closer. His hand slid around Xander’s waist. He turned on the mattress. Quickly dipped his head and licked the bite, hard. Xander moaned, involuntarily. He told his hands to push Spike away, but they didn’t.
Spike licked him again. Then he pushed Xander flat on the mattress. Xander resisted. Or he felt the intention to resist rise in his chest and recede. Spike kept looking at him with those marble eyes. His jaw was clenched so hard; Xander saw the muscle jump there. “You don’t love me, whelp,” said Spike.
Then Spike’s hand ran over his stomach, slid down, cupped his cock, worked loose his pants, and slipped inside.
Xander lay panting and watching him, dark eyed, in shock. Spike leaned in and licked the bite again, squeezed Xander’s cock.
Xander twisted and groaned.
“Yeah, you want me, don’t you, Harris,” said Spike. “All this time I thought you were mad about it, you really liked it, didn’t you?”
Xander managed to get his lips to form words. “Fuck off, Spike. I told you to…” he groaned when Spike slipped up against his neck and began sucking steadily on Xander’s bite. He pulled back a fraction when Xander’s whole body shuddered.
“That what you want, Harris? Cuz that ain’t love. That’s easy. I can give you that.” He dug his blunt teeth into the sweet supple skin; let the tip of his tongue work against it.
“No,” Xander choked, willing himself to arch his head away. He managed to gain control of his hands, pushed Spike back. “No, I want. I don’t want you like that, Spike,” he finally managed to get out.
Spike looked shaken for a second. His face went blank. Then that predatory look was back. “Right, Xander Harris doesn’t want that.” He wriggled onto Xander’s body, Xander’s freed cock tightly gripped in one hand, and started stroking. “Xander Harris, the noble White Knight, doesn’t want a dirty old vampire.”
“No, I …” Xander whimpered and struggled and tried to get Spike’s hand to stop. “I love you, Spike. I want you…” the damn tears were starting again and Xander was just sick to hell of crying like a girl.
But Spike had stopped. He blinked at Xander.
And Xander grasped his face gently in both hands. Yeah, he was shaking, he could see it now. And, sure, if Spike licked that bite one more time he was going to cum all over them both. But… he searched the stunned blue eyes.
“I love you, Spike,” he said. “If I have to say it too many times, well, I think some manly part of me will be permanently damaged, but I love you, Spike.”
Spike’s mouth was cool and strong and very self-assured. There was no give and take here, no equality. His lips controlled the kiss, setting a pace of movement and pressure, as if he knew the mouth he kissed better than it owner. And he did. Spike’s mouth was touching off sensations Xander hadn’t known he could have, dragging sounds from deep in his chest.
Spike’s hands moved over Xander’s body, neither needing nor asking permission. Xander felt his pants disappear from his thighs, then the hands again. He knew his own body reacted but only registered his pliancy, as if he were dough rolling in the hands of an expert. Being made love to by a man.
Or rather, a male demon that had lived for centuries.
The assault ceased for a moment. Spike stilled, looking into Xander’s eyes. The intensity of the dark blue gaze seemed to Xander to have a feeling of infinity, like looking into a mirror that looked into a mirror that looked into a …
“You in there, whelp?”
Xander’s lips were no longer wholly his own, but he attempted a grin. “Yeah,” he rasped. “Yeah, and can I say, wow?”
Spike smiled and lowered his gaze. When he looked up again, his eyes were shy. And Xander imagined a heavy, rusty hinged door slowly creaking open, revealing a frail, hesitant, tow headed boy. Spike was in there somewhere. The real Spike. His hands rose to touch the pale face.
So beautiful, he thought, the pad of his thumb softly caressing a cheekbone.
“What, Xan?” Spike was so close that when he spoke he puffed air against Xander’s face.
Had he said that out loud?
“You’re a hell of a kisser,” said Xander, trying to lighten the mood. “Guess it’s that whole oral fixation thing, huh?”
Spike dipped his head, feeling ridiculously pleased at the compliment. He rose to his knees and just knelt there, looking down at Xander.
The boy that lay beneath him was all liquid. Like a deep black lake. Spike knew he could drown there. Clear legible emotions rose and fell in those eyes, like white fish from the depths. And Spike felt himself responding to the questions there. Some slumbering serpent uncoiling from his own deep place, as if Xander were summoning it. Compelling him to answer those questions, that need…
“What do you want, Xander?” asked Spike, almost fearfully.
In the dim firelight, Spike’s torso was so still and pale, he looked like that statue of David that Xander had seen in Art books. His eyes were dark shadows, his mouth open, light shone on the lower lip. Warming the color of it. Spike took a breath, for some inexplicable reason, and the light shifted over his chest.
It was like they hung at some fulcrum in time. They had been carried at a wild pace to this crest and now were waiting for something to tip the car over the lip of the hill. Xander reached for Spike, and Spike’s hand rose. He slowly intertwined his fingers with Xander’s. A studied, careful action. His thumb resting against Xander’s wrist and Xander suddenly knew that Spike was feeling for the pulse there, feeling his life.
“You,” whispered Xander. He felt like he should say something more. Something poetic. But there were no words that he knew for it. This thing he felt.
Spike leant down and just waited there, those deep eyes reading him, until Xander made the decision for them both, reared up and kissed him, sliding his hand around Spike’s neck, his fingers pulling the smooth cool cylinder, with the silky curling hairs, down towards him as he lay back on the pillow pulling Spike into his mouth. Willing Spike inside of him.
Once again, the kiss took possession of them both. Dark cool waters of a kiss. Xander entered into it like it was the reality from which his doppelganger life had sprung. Spike’s hands traveled across his skin, lighting little sparks as they ran over his nipples, trickled down his belly, burrowed into the curling hairs. Xander moaned and felt some enormous sadness, from the past week, or maybe from the beginnings of his existence, rising up from his own private well. He sobbed into Spike’s mouth with need and Spike drew back infinitesimally, caught both Xander’s thighs by the back, lifting them. And now his eyes were in the light, watching Xander. “Open up for me,” commanded Spike, pushing his cock against Xander’s hole.
Xander gasped as he felt his hole spasm, open, and grasp the cool, hard cock. He shuddered and felt Spike just slide in, as if he were stretched and lubricated already, as if his body had no will but to obey Spike. Spike seated himself firmly against his ass and then leaned down, his mouth touched Xander’s lips and tasted. His cheeks. His chin. He lay his forehead against Xander’s and didn’t move, although Xander was panting with the effort to be still, fighting the urge for that heavy thickness to rub up inside him.
“Xander,” said Spike, in a deep, cultured voice as pure and clean as any Xander had ever heard from Giles or his Watcher friends. “Do you know what I am?”
Xander nodded, not trusting his babbling, nonsensical Americanisms in what he felt had suddenly become an almost ritualistic situation.
“I am a monster from Hell, Xander,” said Spike. “Thousands of years old, I am a parasite that lives in the corpse of a man I killed. I feed on human blood,” said Spike. He arched his head, and Xander could see, in the movement of Spike’s throat, the dark shadow jumping at the base of his neck, what an effort it was taking for Spike, as well, to be still.
“Do you understand?” asked Spike, head arched back.
“Yes,” answered Xander hoarsely. “I know what you are, Spike. I want you.”
Spike groaned. He pulled back his hips fractionally and shoved forward, making a sound deep in his throat. He repeated the movement. Again. And faster. Little, short, jabbing movements, right up inside the depths of Xander’s rectum, rubbing his prostate and pressing him full. Spike’s movements sped up, gaining speed, gaining force.
Xander found himself gasping for breath.
Spike growled, shook all over and his skin seemed to ripple like a slow motion effect, as the demon emerged all over his skin, his entire body foreign and hard and cold and pistoning hard into Xander’s ass. He drew back farther now on each thrust. Until he was reared up against Xander, his clawed hands wrapped around Xander’s thighs, pressing them down to Xander’s shoulders, Xander was pinned there by a demon who fucked him harder and faster than seemed possible. A machine of slamming strength in his ass.
Then Spike began to cry out. Like an animal, he howled and growled and cried. Xander heard his own voice echoing the sounds that issued from Spike.
Fangs like glistening crystal caught the light. The yellow eyes seemed almost red. A hard tongue licked the upper lip and Spike lunged forward and covered Xander’s mouth. Xander felt a pinprick that stung like a bee on his lower lip, then as if released from a too tight container, the little release of blood spilling down his chin. He felt its chill pooling at his throat.
Spike said a word in another language.
He lunged again, like a snake striking and Xander felt a stab of pain in his ear, then the cold trickle again as more blood was released down his neck. The tiny little stabs were like lights being turned on in his body.
Spike spoke the word again, and this time when he struck Xander’s other ear, Xander cried out and felt cum swelling in his balls, the first hot surge pulsing up his cock.
Spike said something and the words tickled over Xander’s skin, surged with power through his balls. Spike was pumping hard against him, bent impossibly over him, licking at the wounds. “Xander,” said Spike, his voice humming over the syllables of his name. His hips were slamming so hard and so fast, his dick a presence of force and swelling energy inside Xander, Xander could feel himself coming as in a dream, it kept going on and on.
Distantly he heard himself screaming. Begging, jerking impossibly under that endless fucking. Begging for more, screaming the words back at Spike. Screaming ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ and now, please Spike now, and this time when Spike slid his fangs into his throat, Xander jerked his chin back and arched to meet him.
‘You okay, Xan?” Spike kissed an earlobe softly.
Xander mumbled unintelligibly and found his mind to be floating somewhere above the world of words.
“You’re an amazin’ human, you know,” said Spike adoringly. He wriggled the cold tip of his nose under Xander’s jawbone.
Xander sighed and hissed and felt something ripple and release from him. Like bubbles rising that had been trapped under water. He just let it go.
“I won’t let anything happen to you,” said Spike. His eyes looking into Xander’s half-lidded ones now. Dark and serious as a vow. “Nothing will hurt you. I promise, you know, Xander?”
Xander knew. He looked at Spike and saw that they both knew. He belonged to Spike now. He was safe. Xander closed his eyes and the last bubble lifted towards the smooth infinite surface and disappeared.
Spike kissed the sleeping man lying next to him with a tenderness he hadn’t even known he had. He watched over him for a very long time. Then he rose carefully, gathering his clothes and silently slipped from the tent.
He didn’t put on his shoes until he was outside. He gathered the weapons silently as well, then padded down the hill with his packed arsenal on his back. He stopped before the bend and looked back at the glowing tent.
“Nothing will hurt you, Xander,” said Spike.
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