Beggars Can't Be Choosers
Wherein the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and Spike loves Xander
Xander woke up with a newfound feeling of contentment. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and Spike loved him. Spike was in no way about to dump him for a certain blond Slayer. Spike was his. His Spike. “My Spike,” he whispered grinning widely and snuggled closer to said Spike.
He turned to look at his lover, admiring the smooth lines of the body lying next to him. The beauty of Spike’s face was so oddly peaceful without the blue of his eyes sparkling at the world. Xander had done this many times, watching Spike while he was asleep; yearning for something more than the physical intimacy they shared. And now he had it. He had Spike’s love. Xander smiled at that thought.
Xander nudged his vampire and whispered his name. “Come on sweetie I wanna talk to you.”
Spike shifted and growled, eyes still closed. “Sod off Xan. All fucked out. Wanna sleep.”
The brunet giggled, eliciting a sleepy frown and another ‘sod off’ from the vampire. “I just wanted to tell you I’m going to Willow’s after work,” he whispered and smiled at the nearly inaudible murmur he got in reply.
As he headed out, he paused at the bedroom door. “Love you Spike.”
Eyes still closed, the vampire smiled. “Love you too Xan. Now piss off.”
All day at work Xander was cheerful, beaming at his co-workers and laughing at the slightest thing. Soon there was a lot of good-natured teasing about Harris being in love again.
“So, Xander, who’s the lucky lady?” Richardson asked.
Xander hesitated, not so much because the lucky lady was a man, the guys had already known he was bi; they’d even met Jeremy. No Xander hesitated because he wasn’t sure Spike wanted everyone to know yet. Sure the blonde had professed his love, but they hadn’t discussed telling anyone yet. But even that didn’t matter anymore because the most important thing was that Spike loved him. The rest would come soon enough.
Xander fairly bounced all the way to the Magic Shop, still lost in the wave of euphoria Spike’s words had brought about. He walked along singing inside his head ‘Spike loves me and I love Spike!’ He walked into the shop, goofy grin firmly in place and grabbed Willow leading her into a merry little waltz singing out loud now “And Spike loves me and I love Spike and Spike loves me”.
Willow laughed as she allowed herself to be swept around the room by the singing Xander. “What are you on about sweetie? Or should my question be what are you on?” she asked the minute Xander stopped dancing her around.
“Weren’t you listening?! Spike said he loves me.” The previous night’s delighted grin made a welcome return as Xander replayed the scene in his head. “He loves me Willow! Me, not Buffy! Me!”
“I’m so happy for you Xander,” Willow said and hugged her friend excitedly. “But why aren’t you with him now?” she asked. “Isn’t this supposed to be the honeymoon period or something?”
“I kinda need your help Wills.” Xander blushed and dove headfirst into a babble, “I wanna buy him an ‘I-love-you’ present and I dunno what to get him. I mean I want it to be something that’s with him all the time, like a ring, but I don’t think a ring would be right ‘cause, you know, rings mean stuff. Not that I don’t want stuff, but well, I don’t think either of us is ready for ring-stuff and I just want your help picking something out.”
Willow laughed at her friend’s happy, though discomfited, babble and immediately offered her gift-finding services. The two of them spent the afternoon at the mall going from one jewellery shop to the other until Xander finally found something he was satisfied with.
It was a thin gold chain, just long enough to fit around Spike’s neck. “It can’t be too long, what if he’s gonna be wearing it during patrols and stuff,,” Xander stated. “And also, it’s pretty!” He concluded with a smile.
They were just leaving the shop, Xander still smiling at the perfect gift he’d found, when they ran into Jeremy.
“Jeremy… hi,” Xander said, good mood dying a little.
“Hey Xan, Willow,” Jeremy replied calmly. “How’s it going?”
“Well enough. You?” Willow smiled awkwardly, still feeling a little guilty for setting him up with Xander.
“Can’t complain,” Jeremy said. He seemed about to say something further when he was interrupted by the arrival of a fair young man. “Hey sweetheart, ready to go?” the new arrival asked.
Jeremy smiled at his companion. “Sure Tom, I was just talking to some old friends.” He turned back to Xander and Willow and said goodbye. “It was nice to see you again Xander. I mean that.” He smiled and turned to go.
“Well, that was in no way awkward,” Xander said when Jeremy was out of hearing range.
“Nope, not awkward at all,” Willow replied, still looking at the direction the two men had gone. “Still, it’s nice to know he got over you,” she went on thoughtfully.
“Oh, come on Willow, it’s not like I’m that hard to get over,” Xander said, already walking towards his car.
“You’re talking to the person who had a crush on you for how many years? Trust me Xan, you’re kinda hard to forget.” Willow smiled. “Betcha Spike thinks that too!”
“Yeah?” He laughed and put an arm around her shoulder.
“Yeah,” she agreed, giggling with him.
By the time they made their way back to the Magic Shop it was after dark. As they entered the shop still laughing at some private joke, Xander saw Spike talking to Buffy. He waited for the usual feelings of inadequacy and insecurity to wash over him but nothing happened. He smiled his delighted smile, said a cheerful hello to the both of them and followed Willow to the back room to deposit their purchases.
“Wills can you do me a favour?” he asked as soon as they’d gone in.
“Can you find an excuse to send Spike home early or something? I wanna give him his present!” Xander bounced a little at the thought.
“I’ve been wanting some time off too. Tell you what, I’ll just close shop early and talk Buffy into a girly night in. That should leave you boys free for the gift giving.” Willow smiled at the brilliance of her plan.
A couple of hours later the Magic Shop was closed and Spike and Xander were walking through their front door. The minute they were in the apartment Xander grabbed Spike and kissed him to within an inch of his unlife.
He pulled back and smiled when Spike immediately chased his lips. Xander felt a little nervous now that the time had come to actually give the chain to Spike. It may not be a ring, but it still meant something, or it did to Xander anyway.
Spike leaned in to kiss his boy again only to growl when Xander moved away; he couldn’t kiss a vampire like that and then just stop!
“Spike? Sweetheart, I got you something,” Xander said nervously.
The blonde opened his eyes and glared at Xander for a moment before the boy’s words penetrated his brain. His frown turned into puzzlement. “What’s the occasion, pet?” he asked.
“No occasion, I just felt like it,” the brunet replied. He fished the package from his pocket and tentatively gave it to Spike.
The minute the blonde took the package Xander started babbling a mile a minute. “You don’t really have to wear it. I mean it’s not like it’s compulsory, you know? I hope you like it. And if you don’t like it you have to tell me so we can go pick a different one. Or even just take it back; you don’t really have to get one of these. I picked it out myself and I-”
He was interrupted by Spike kissing him hard on the lips. “Don’t worry about it Xander, I’m sure I’ll love it. Now relax and shut up so I can open my prezzie.” He said and ripped open the wrapping to reveal the jeweller’s box. Looking at the name on the box, he glanced speculatively at Xander before opening it.
The minute the box was opened Xander was asking whether Spike liked it. The blonde smiled at him. “It’s beautiful, Xan. And even if it wasn’t I’d still treasure it ‘cause it’s from you.”
“Really?” Xander asked in a voice full of hope.
“Of course, luv. I think you underestimate the sentimental idiot that I am,” Spike said, smiling softly at him. “Now help me put it on.”
Xander grinned and hastened to put the chain on Spike’s neck. Just as he’d imagined, it hung snugly on the blonde’s neck, resting on the hollow between his collarbones.
“I’ll never take it off Xan, I promise,” Spike said solemnly and kissed him. “Now let me say thank you for the nice present,” he said with a smirk.
Spike gradually backed Xander to the bedroom, kissing him all the time and slowly taking his clothes off him. He led the boy to the bed, pushing him so he fell backwards on the bed and then falling to his knees before his lover.
Xander yelped as Spike pushed his legs apart. He had little time to react before Spike took firm hold of his erection and began to massage the hard flesh, mouth firmly attached and sucking on the head of his cock. All the boy could do was arch his back and plead with Spike not to stop, hands threading through Spike’s hair in an illusive show of control.
Spike moved down, taking all of Xander’s cock into his mouth, hand moving down to cup and stroke the boy’s balls. More broken begging followed this action only to stop with a moan when the blonde pushed a finger in Xander’s hole, expertly rubbing against his prostate.
Between Spike’s mouth and hands, Xander was a writhing, moaning mess. Feeling the boy come close to orgasm, Spike abandoned his cock and turned his attention to the splayed thighs before him, sucking and biting gently.
“Fuck Spike, don’t stop, why did you stop, so close, please Spike, sweetheart, please go back,” Xander babbled desperately seeking any kind of feeling, anything to make him come.
Spike laughed softly and run his tongue over his lover’s balls, down to his perineum, moving swiftly to his puckered hole and running his tongue across it over and over again. He ignored Xander’s entreaties to fuckmesuckmedamnitSpikedosomethingnow.
When he was satisfied with his lover’s level of frustration Spike went back to massaging his cock, sucking on the crown, one hand rolling and squeezing his balls. It didn’t take long for Xander to arch off the bed and explode in Spike’s mouth. The second he came down from the high, Xander fell back on the bed and completely lost consciousness.
“Guess I’ll take that as a compliment and take care of this myself,” Spike grumbled good-naturedly, looking down at his own engorged member.
When Xander swam back into consciousness some time later, he was lying under the covers, Spike’s head resting on his chest. He looked down to find blue eyes watching him thoughtfully.
“You know, I as thinking -” Spike started to say only to be interrupted by Xander chuckling.
“You really shouldn’t do that Bleach, it doesn’t really work for you,” the boy teased.
“Ha bloody ha, pet,” Spike grumbled, “see if I ever tell you anything again.” The blonde ended the sentence with a pout, looking at Xander from under his eyelashes.
“God, not the pout!” Xander exclaimed, “I’m sorry I ever doubted your intelligence oh mighty one, I bow before your genius!” he went on, earning himself a smack on the thigh.
“As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted,” Spike started again, glaring at the brunet, “You walk around with those big lovey-dovey eyes and soulful looks in my direction for much longer and the girls are going to figure it all out. So I was thinking…maybe we should just tell them now.”
“You mean it? Really? We can tell them?” Xander asked eyes wide with amazement.
Xander’s mind was racing with possibilities, he’d finally be able to hold Spike’s hand when they were patrolling! He could tell the guys at work about the ‘mystery lady’, he could steal kisses in the Magic Shop without Spike looking around nervously, afraid of being caught…he looked at the vampire again, waiting for the confirmation that would allow his dreams to come true.
“I mean it, really, we can tell them,” Spike smiled, happy to finally put all his doubts to rest and allow himself to enjoy his love for Xander. He was happier still to have put that look of utter joy and wonderment in his lover’s face. “Tell you what,” he continued, “we can get everyone together tomorrow after patrol and tell them all at once, yeah? It’s the school holidays so Buffy won’t have a problem with Dawn waiting up for us.”
If anything, Xander’s smile became even wider and he hugged Spike closer to him, kissing him deeply and whispering words of love and appreciation. He finally drifted to sleep, smile still fixed firmly on his face.
Wherein it all goes to hell in a handbasket
Spike woke up to the feeling of a warm, wet mouth surrounding his cock. He looked down just in time to see Xander lift his mouth and groaned out in frustration at the action.
“Morning, sweetheart,” Xander said. He smiled up at him and then went right back to sucking and licking every centimetre of Spike’s dick.
Spike tried to say good morning but Xander’s mouth latching onto the crown of his cock and sucking harder caused any words that escaped him to come out in a moan. The blond’s back arched and his hand moved to tangle in Xander’s hair. “Fuck, yeah, pet, just like that,” he whimpered, spreading his legs to give Xander more room.
Xander took full advantage of Spike’s new position and started massaging the blond’s balls. He bobbed his head up and down Spike’s shaft; taking as much as he could into his mouth before sucking his way back up then down again, pressing his tongue against the underside of the cock.
Spike couldn’t pull enough air past his vocal cords to make any sort of sound that could be considered intelligent. His jagged panting and occasional moans and the little wet noises made by Xander’s mouth moving over his cock were the only sounds in the room. He felt Xander’s pull him deeper into that hot, wet mouth surrounding him and the fingers on his ass begin massaging his ass cheeks. Two powerful thrusts later and he was cumming with his head thrown back and eyes screwed shut.>
Xander hopped out of bed, full of energy and laughter, already dressed for work. He looked down at the bemused and sated vampire on his bed and smiled widely. “That,” he stated, “was a ‘thank you’. You get more after we tell them.”
And with that he sauntered out of the bedroom.
That day, Xander told everyone who would listen, and even a few who’d rather not, about his boyfriend, the hot, gorgeous blond. His co-workers went from knowing nothing about the person putting the smile on Xander’s face to knowing every little detail of the couple’s life together that could be shared in public.
On his first break, he called Willow to tell her the good news, reminding her that Spike didn’t know she knew. “Please Wills, do the surprised but supportive act. I’m not sure how Buffy will take the news and I want Spike to know that at least one of you supports us, ‘kay?” he pleaded until Willow told him she’d take care of it and could he hang up the phone and go back to work now?
During the walk to the Magic Shop, Xander held Spike’s hand. He threaded his fingers through Spike’s and every few minutes he would move his arm a little to tug at the hand he was holding and prove to himself the reality of it. After every little tug, he smiled and glanced at his boyfriend’s face.
Spike, bless his unbeating heart, wasn’t annoyed at the constant tugging at all. He thought it was cute that Xander got so much enjoyment just by holding his hand. Every time he saw Xander smile and look at him, he smiled a little himself. When he saw the shop coming up, he disentangled his hand gently and turned to look at Xander. “Best tell them first, pet. We can do this as much as you want after tonight, yeah?” he said and ghosted a hand along Xander’s face.
“Yeah.” Xander grinned at him and turned to walk the last few yards and into the shop.
They found the others waiting for them a little impatiently.
“Come on guys, I have to take Dawn home on the way to the cemetery and I don’t want to leave it too late,” Buffy said, already starting for the door.
“Hey Buffy, could you wait a minute?” Xander asked, a little nervous now that it came down to it. What if Spike backed out again? He risked a glance at his boyfriend only to find him looking amused at something Dawn had whispered. “Spike?” he said, a little question at the end of the name betraying his nervousness.
“Yeah Xan?” laughing blue eyes met his, no intention evident in their depths.
“Didn’t you… I mean weren’t you…nothing.” Disappointment clouded the boy’s face before being swiftly hidden.
“What did you want, Xander?” Buffy sounded impatient now, waiting for him to tell her why he stopped her.
“Nothing, Buff, just wanted to ask where the double headed axe was.” He grabbed said axe from the counter and started for the door.
He walked in front of the others, ignoring Willow’s attempts to make him feel better and glaring at the pavement. Spike wasn’t going to say anything. They were so going to have a big ‘fuck off’ argument when they got back to the apartment. He loved Spike with all his heart, but if the bleached menace thought he could get away with promising to tell everyone and then backing out, he had another thing coming.
Xander was so focused in his internal ranting that he nearly didn’t hear Spike casually ask if the Bit could wait up for them, cause there was something he had to tell everyone after the patrol was over. He looked at Willow who was still walking behind him and grinned. “I’m an idiot,” he stated.
Willow cheerfully agreed and they walked the rest of the way chatting and making each other laugh.
When they reached the cemetery they split in two teams, Xander going with Buffy and Spike with Willow.
It was a fairly routine patrol. The few fledges that were careless enough to be spotted by the Slayer were swiftly dispatched. Buffy and Xander talked easily about anything and everything as they walked around the cemetery. When his friend tried to find out what Spike wanted to tell them, Xander stammered and faked ignorance, swiftly changing the subject to Buffy’s love life or lack thereof. He sighed in relief when Buffy allowed herself to be distracted and chatted about the lack of good-looking men in Sunnydale, empathizing with his friend’s unsuccessful attempt at a blind date the night before.
They were on their way back to the entrance of the cemetery to meet with the others, when eight rather large demons stepped in front of them. They were around six foot tall, with overgrown muscles and squishy faces. A bit like monster-ized humans but gray in color and decked out in elegant suits and robes, right out of a Persian fairy-tale.
“Look-ee here boys, it’s the Slayer,” one of them said, laughing mockingly, “You’re rather small and skinny for a demon hunter, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, well good things come in little packages and all that.” Buffy said, sarcasm dripping from every word. “Can we do the fighting bit now? My sister’s waiting for me to go home and I don’t want to keep her up past her bedtime.”
“But of course. I never keep a lady waiting.” The demon did a funny little bow and launched his attack.
Xander quickly found himself surrounded by three of the demons, the other five circling Buffy. He did his best to fight them and he managed to kill one and seriously injure another before someone grabbed his axe from behind and threw it away. He turned around and come face to face with their leader. Why was he here? Wasn’t the leader always supposed to go for the slayer? He warily walked backwards glancing around for possible avenues of escape or help. Buffy was too busy dealing with the three remaining demons and before he realized what was happening he was backed against a tree. Seeing the knife at the demon’s hands, he started praying for divine interference when he saw Spike running towards them. His boyfriend was anything but divine, but he was good enough for Xander!
He looked at the demon that was looking at him with mocking amusement and yelled at the top of his lungs “Spike! A little help here!”
Spike looked at his direction and then turned towards Buffy.
Xander watched him turn away and shouted again, voice tinged with desperation, “Spike, please. Spike!”
The last thing he saw before the knife plunged into him was Spike looking towards him again and running to help the Slayer. His last thought before he lost consciousness was ‘He left me here. For her.’ And that hurt more that the knife.
Xander woke up in the hospital, disoriented and confused. He looked down and noticed a mop of blond hair resting on the bed near his knees. He smiled at the thought of Spike refusing to go anywhere while Xander was in here. Such a possessive, overprotective demon was his vampire; he couldn’t stand the thought of anyone coming near a loved one without him being present to make sure everything was okay. He’d been that way when Xander sprained his ankle a few months back and they hadn’t even been together then.
Reaching down he petted Spike’s hair, and tried to remember what he was doing in the hospital. It must have been those funny gray demons, he concluded, they’d really packed a punch. As Spike’s eyes slowly opened, he looked in them and smiled a good morning.
His vampire smiled back at him. “You’re awake,” he said, relief and joy stamping every word. Spike turned his face to call for a nurse and something stirred at the back of Xander’s mind. He snatched his hand back and stared at Spike in shock and confusion. He saw himself screaming for help, and he saw Spike turn away. Then it all came back to him. Spike had left him, he’d had a choice and he’d chosen Buffy. Not him. Buffy. Suddenly it was all too much to bear.
“Get out,” he whispered harshly.
“What?” It was Spike’s turn to be shocked and confused.
“I said, get out.” Xander repeated, an edge of hysteria creeping into his voice.
“Xander, sweetheart, what’s wrong?” his vampire asked, worried blue eyes trying to figure out how to help him. No wait, not his vampire, Buffy’s vampire, acting like he cared.
“Get out damn you!” screaming now, getting more hysterical with every word “You lied to me you bastard, get the fuck out, you don’t love me, you love her, you lied to me and you left me there to die, you left me there! To help her! Get out, just fuck off, and get the fuck out”
Alarms started blaring at the monitors hooked up to Xander’s body and a nurse ran in, efficiently inserting a needle in his arm and sternly telling Spike to leave, he was upsetting her patient and the boy didn’t need that right now.
The combination of the drugs and the outburst suddenly crashed into Xander, leaving him drained and shattered. He turned his head away from Spike and closed his eyes, blocking out everything, including Spike’s stricken and fearful face. What right did he have to be upset; he’s the one that had left Xander there with a knife coming at him.
Spike wandered out of the room shocked and upset. He couldn’t understand why Xander was acting that way, why he renounced Spike. Where did all that animosity come from? He found Willow in the waiting area. Buffy and Dawn had gone home a little while ago, the Slayer needing to recuperate a little herself. The redhead took one look at him and realized something was wrong.
“Spike? Is Xander… is he okay?” she asked anxiously.
“He’s f…” Spike took a deep breath. Xander wasn’t fine. “He woke up,” he amended.
“That’s good news right? Spike, if he’s awake why are you like this?” Willow questioned.
“He hates me,” Spike said disbelievingly. “He hates me and he got hysterical and he wanted me to go.”
“Spike what are you on about, Xander doesn’t hate you, he’s in love with you,” Willow burst out, trying to get to the bottom of this.
“He…” the blond frowned and looked at Willow. “You know,” he stated.
The redhead sighed. “I’m his best friend Spike. I’ve known him since we were babies. Of course I know,” she said quietly, “Now tell me what happened.”
“I don’t know. He woke up, smiled at me, and then suddenly he froze for a minute. He asked me to get out and I didn’t and then he got hysterical and started going on about how I left him to die, to help her. What her? I never left him anywhere! He said I lied and I didn’t love him. Why would he say that?” he appealed to Willow, looking lost and bewildered.
“I don’t know Spike. He seemed fine on the way to the cemetery. Buffy didn’t mention anything happening other than those demons.” Willow looked as confused as he felt.
At that moment, the nurse that had responded to Xander’s alarms going off approached them. “He’s calmed down now,” she said. “I would prefer it if you didn’t go to see him sir. Your presence upsets him and we need him to be as calm as possible right now. He asked for a Willow?”
“That’s me. Can I go see him?”
“Of course. Please try not to upset him.” The nurse nodded and left.
Willow turned to Spike and touched him softly on the shoulder. “I’ll see if I can find out okay?” she said and walked away.
The minute his friend walked in the room Xander finally let the tears fall. Willow rushed to his side and sat next to him on the bed, wrapping her arms around him. She waited quietly for his tears to stop, comforting him best she could with her arms.
“He doesn’t love me,” he finally said, voice muffled by her sweater.
“Xander, of course he does. You were out of it for over a day and he was frantic with worry. He wouldn’t leave your room for any reason. He even refused to get himself blood to feed,” Willow said, stroking his hair.
Xander lifted his head from her shoulder, eyes red from crying, skin pale from the injury.
“He’d do that for anyone he cares for. He’s not in love with me Willow. He’s in love with Buffy. He left me there with a demon holding me at knifepoint and he ran to help the Slayer. I begged him and he left me there, for her. He may care for me but he loves her. More than life.” He laughed bitterly. “More than my life anyway.”
The two people on the bed turned to look at the distraught vampire standing on the doorway.
“Spike maybe you should -” Willow started to say only to be interrupted by a desperately babbling Spike.
“I didn’t see you! We did research after, those were Aora demons, they…they can make it so their victims so they can’t be seen. He covered you Xander, I couldn’t see you until after…I- I found you under the tree and you were bleeding and there was so much blood and you were so pale. I thought you’d died.” Spike shuddered at the memory.
Xander just stared at him, an inscrutable look on his face.
“I love you Xan. Please, believe me, I love you,” Spike pleaded.
Xander looked down on his lap for a few moments. When he spoke again he did so quietly, flatly, no inflexion of any kind in his voice. “So these demons can make themselves and their victims invisible. Do they mask sound and smell as well?”
Willow frowned in thought. “No, no they don’t. That’s how Spike was able to get the one that stabbed you. He was walking towards the tree we found you under and he heard the demon move.”
Xander nodded as if that made perfect sense. “Spike, remember when I asked you how you knew to pounce on me when I was coming down the stairs to the basement of the Magic Shop?” he asked.
Spike stared at Xander disbelievingly, not knowing what to make of this apparent change of subject. “Yeah, love.”
“Don’t call me that,” Xander said and, not giving Spike a chance to reply, he continued, “Tell me what you said Spike. Tell me how you knew it was me.”
“Your heartbeat is different, I could hear it and your scent is fairly distinctive Xan. What’s all this about?” Spike replied frustrated and not understanding what Xander was driving at.
“I yelled for you Spike. The demon didn’t cloak my voice did he? Or my heartbeat. Or my scent. I begged you to help me and you looked my way for a second before you run to Buffy,” the boy explained in that same flat, emotionless voice.
“No Xander, I love you, I wouldn’t - “
“You did though, didn’t you?” Xander interrupted, “You love me, but you’ll always love Buffy more. And I need time to think on that.”
Spike looked at him in shock, trying to find the words to explain that it wasn’t true. It wasn’t. He loved Xander. He started to say something, anything to fix this but he before he could even utter a word he was interrupted by a gentle voice. “I think you should leave him alone for a while,” Willow said, not unkindly, “I want to speak to you anyway.”<
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