Most Beautiful Ugly Thing
Spike on his knees, fists pressing into his sockets so hard that for a moment everyone thinks heíll push his eyes right through the back of his head. And he isnít grieving quietly Ė his whole body shakes with the intensity.
Itís the most beautiful ugly thing Xander has ever seen.
He wants to make it better and he wants to make it worse. Thatís how it starts.
But today is going to be the day Xander walks away. He knows theyíve just been using each other. He knows thereís no future in this thing, knows theyíll only end up hurting more. Because itís not healthy, this redirection thing. This fucking each other so hard that Spikeís chip fires and fires but he presses harder because Xander wants the pain. If it hurts outside then it wonít hurt on the inside.
Only thing is, now it hurts outside and in. And ainít that conforming to a stereotype. Sometimes he wonders what it would be like if they made it to a bed. Because Spikeís fucked him against tombstones and graves, on a park bench and a childrenís swing set. But theyíve never been in a bed, and Xander finds himself wanting it.
So heís at Spikeís crypt to tell him. That itís over. Itís not the first time he tries, but he promises himself itís the last. Xander is ready to stop hurting, heís going to tell Spike that itís time he moved on too. Itís dangerous, this thing between them. Only Xanderís scared because he doesnít have the words Ė never has. For all the talking, he never really says much.
Xander looks at the crypt and gets hard. Feels like just thinking about Spike gets him ready for it, gets him hot. He bets Spike can smell it.
Itís no surprise when the door is flung open and Xander is pulled inside, pushed against the wall, pressed against stone and already naked skin. Xander means to tell him no, tell him stop. But then Spikeís pulling open his zipper and holding his cock so tight and it hurts hurt hurts hurts and he canít find the words, canít remember the speech he rehearsed.
The first time they had sex like this, Xander didnít show up to work. The scratches along his back went from below his knees and all the way up to the neckline of his shirt. Xander thinks that they could probably get Spikeís fingerprints off the bruises on his ass. Xander loved it then, wanted more. Wanted to know how long his teeth-marks marred the small of Spikeís back, wanted to know if Spikeís tongue would bleed again if he sucked it hard enough.
Only Xander isnít stupid, at least not as stupid as everyone gives him credit for. He knows this is wrong bad crazy, knows hurting each other isnít going to bring her back. Worst of all, knows she wouldnít approve, wouldnít understand. At least he thinks he knows Ė sometimes he gets the feeling they didnít know her as well as they thought.
Xander realises now he made a mistake Ė coming here, the first hand reminder of how close and how far apart they are. And heís almost coming and Spike is on his knees and yellow eyes never once look up, focus instead on sucking the life out of him, literally. Itís ironic that Spike is the one on his knees.
And Xander realises why he canít say no, why he promises and promises but can never follow through.
Hating Spike feels better than loving anyone ever has. Doesnít notice heís crying until he tastes the salt in his mouth. But he notices the moment Spike knows, feels the tension, feels the increase in suction, the teeth that scrape along his sensitive underside. Because this isnít about emotions, him and Spike, this is about hard and fast and right now and maybe never again.
Itís only when he realises that heíll take whatever Spike dishes out, take it all and beg for more, that he says no. Itís so quiet he thinks maybe Spike wonít hear, almost hopes for it.
The sound of his head smacking against the stone wall is loud only Xander doesnít hear it, doesnít notice because everything else is breaking too.
Before he knows it heís home. He sleeps on the floor because it reminds him of the one time they fell asleep at the crypt two feet shy of the bed.
He doesnít see Spike for months, though he knows Dawnie still does. He often wants to, but never asks.
Xander leaves his stake at home and walks home after dark. Puts a ďWelcomeĒ mat at the front door and keeps his windows open. Thatís when he smells the Marlboro smoke, and thinks that maybe itís no coincidence that heís still alive.
Smiles for the first time in three months, eight days and fifty-three minutes.
Spike knows this isnít about feeling, at least not that way. Heíd been sitting in the puddle of blood that formed after an hour of banging his head against the stone sarcophagus. Xanderíd walked in, sat him up, slapped his face. It felt good.
But now - itís a subtle change, a blink-and-youíll-miss it type of thing. At the beginning there was minimal contact. It was hands and cocks and mouths, never in between. Xander would come with his body concave - even at the height of passion he was trying to get away.
One Sunday Spike realises that Xanderís leg is wrapped around his waist. Two days later, his arms are clutching at Spikeís neck. The day after that, his hand - always held flat against Spikeís chest as if ready to push him away Ė fists Spikeís shirt so hard and suddenly that his nails break through and draw blood. Spike thinks he shouldíve stopped it all then, but he has always been weak. Because sometimes with Xander he forgets. Forgets her, forgets about the world pressing down and squeezing until he has nothing left. Sometimes with Xander he feels like maybe one day he might be whole again.
This is about pain and hurt and not being able to leave but not knowing how to stay.
Spike knows why Xander keeps coming back, why the bruises and the scratches and the pain donít drive him away, but make him come harder and faster and louder every time.
Heís so sure until he isnít anymore.
He doesnít know exactly when, but knows something went very wrong. Itís never been Xander but his mind fills the gaps and it suddenly is - face and eyes and hands and toes for fuckís sake everywhere, touching nothing but feeling everything.
Heís finally afraid. Afraid of what might happen if he isnít wanted again.
It takes him three months to realise heís more afraid of never knowing.
For weeks he stands in the rain and smokes his cigarette and promises that tonight will be the night he finally does it, finally goes in and says something, anything. Thinks it will be worth it just to hear Xanderís voice, even in outrage.
The rain stops and Spike thinks itís a sign. So he walks all the way to the door, scrubs the dirt off his shoes. Runs back to the crypt and gets so drunk he doesnít remember again.
Doesnít remember picking up the frail looking teenager thatís now naked and shivering next to him. Doesnít remember why she smells like Marlboros. Watches her heart beat through her chest. Looks up and straight into Xanderís eyes. Heís never seen anyone look so disappointed, and heís never heard Xander laugh that way. Then Xanderís gone. Probably forever.
Doesnít remember getting drunk the next night either, or the one after that. Doesnít remember wanting to see the sunrise, but does remember Dawnie coming in just in time. Or too early. Maybe too late. She looks at him with half pity and half disgust.
Spike has never felt lower before.
He knows why. Suddenly he realises that perhaps heís known all along. A coward Ė he never thought heíd see that day. But he is a coward, he is and he can admit it now.
Only itís too late.
Everything is ruined, but he still stands outside Xanderís house and smokes his cigarette and sniffs the air hoping that the open window will let through the smell that is so Xander, hoping it will remind him and hoping it wonít.
He misses the boy. God, heís so fucked and he doesnít know what to do, doesnít know what to say because as always, itís all gone just when heís found it.
When Xander marches down the stairs and grabs him around the shirt collar, heís surprised. Surprised, but instantly harder than the wood Xander presses against and into his chest.
ďWhy?Ē asks Xander, voice strong but wavering.
Spike shrugs, smiles wryly. He watches in mild fascination as his hand, clearly not following the orders his brain is giving it no stop donít touch donít touch reaches out. And suddenly his thumb is just barely touching the cleft in Xanderís chin. Heaven feels like Xander not pushing him away.
Itís a slow journey along the unshaven skin to Xanderís cheekbone, but Spike thinks heís never felt skin so soft. He swipes gently along the deep blue circles that suddenly stand out so brightly against the unusual paleness. And before he knows it, his thumb is gently swiping against Xanderís lips.
Spike catches Xanderís sigh on his fingers. The boy deflates Ė air rushing out, a relaxing of his stance. He lets go of the shirt and brings his hands up to cup Spikeís face instead.
Then theyíre spinning around, Xander pressing Spike against his door and pressing mouth to mouth. This kiss is different to any theyíve shared Ė thereís still that passion, that ripping, burning, flaming, tearing passion that settles in Spikeís stomach before tearing up and down his veins. But thereís something else. Itís more tender than harsh. Their teeth donít clash. Their lips donít bleed. Itís soft and slow, with an underlying thrum of need.
It isnít ugly, the way their encounters always seem to be. But Spike doesnít allow himself to think itís beautiful.
When Xander withdraws, Spike doesnít have time to stop a groan of disappointment. But Xander stops only a breath away.
ďSo,Ē Xander says, ďWe should have that talk.Ē
Spike looks at him, blinking, shocked.
ďOk. Later,Ē Xander adds. ďBed first?Ē
Spike is worried Ė theyíve never made it to a bed before. But the pleading look Xander gives him is enough.
The next morning, warm and snug between the covers, back pressed to Xanderís front, Spike thinks about pulling away, leaving. Thinks about being frightened of what could happen, now that theyíre in the bed. Tenses.
But then Xander sighs in his sleep and throws an arm over Spikeís body. Spike decides to stay.
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