Disclaimer:I own nothing. Joss owns all. You know the drill. All characters from the Buffy and Angel television shows are the sole property of Joss Whedon, UPN, WB, Mutant Enemy, and all other affiliates.
He stood there, the flogger in his hand, looking at his lover trembling on the bed. It wasn’t bad trembling; Xander knew that. Spike was shivering in anticipation, not fear. Spike was looking forward to this.
Suddenly it was all too much to take. He dropped the flogger to the floor and ran out of the apartment as fast as he could, barely seeing Spike’s shocked face before he slammed the door closed and kept running, just kept going until he was too tired to run anymore. The sun was still shining so Xander was sure that Spike would not be after him for a while yet. He gave himself a few moments to catch his breath before he started walking aimlessly through empty streets. It was Sunday afternoon and everyone was still in bed or church or some demon temple.
He was surprised to hear his cell phone ring. He’d forgotten he’d left it in his pocket. Spike had been so insistent today that he’d barely had time to walk in the apartment before he was pushed and pulled into the bedroom. He glanced at the screen, where “home” was flashing. He could just imagine Spike, pacing the living room, phone in one hand, cigarette in the other.
Can’t deal with this, he thought and turned it off. Can’t deal with the questions and the worrying, and I definitely can’t deal with the explaining.
Spike was a vampire. Sometimes Xander forgot that. Remembering that your boyfriend is a vampire was not very easy when said boyfriend wandered around being more human than your own family.
He wondered if maybe Spike sometimes forgot Xander was human. It would explain certain things.
Maybe he should just suck it up and go back. Finish what he’d started. He always finished what he started. Spike would scream and beg all night, and in the end he’d come so hard he’d be unconscious. Xander loved watching him sleep after that. So calm and serene. Bloody beautiful, even though he’d deny it with all his strength. ‘I’m sexy, pet. Beautiful is for poofters like the sire.’ Xander smiled at imaginary Spike, enjoying the snarkiness.
He walked past the Magic Shop. Closed today; guess Giles finally decided not to open on Sundays. He wondered if maybe Giles would help. Given his past, Giles was sure to know how to deal with this. How to help Xander deal with this. Too hard to ask, when he knew what the answer was going to be.
‘Xander, he can’t very well force you to do something you don’t want to do. Talk to him; I’m sure you can work things out.’
Imaginary Giles wasn’t nearly as sexy as imaginary Spike. He did make good sense however. He’d have to go back and talk to Spike. Explain how he couldn’t keep hurting him like that.
Not all the time.
The last time they‘d had sex without pain was over a month ago. And Xander was always the one dishing it out. Not that he wanted to feel pain, just…it’d be nice to spend an evening being together. Just them. No pain. Even if it did make Spike feel good. Even if Spike needed it.
He was going to go home and tell Spike that he couldn’t give him what he needed.
He was going to lose him.
He got home just before the sun set and opened the door to find Spike dressed, staring out the window.
“Feel like telling me what that was all about, pet?”
Despite the evenness of the tone, Spike looked scared. For the first time since Xander had met him, Spike looked old and tired and scared.
“I can’t…I…” Xander tried to explain but the words wouldn’t come.
“You can’t what? Be with me?” Spike asked, still staring out the window and the pain belying those words finally gave Xander the courage to speak. He could never stand to see Spike in pain.
“I can’t do this anymore. I love you so much, and you need to be…you need it, and it’s all we do anymore. I barely walked in the door today, and you didn’t even ask me how I was, didn’t care because you needed it so bad.” Xander took a shuddering breath to calm himself, aware of the tears running down his cheeks, of the horrified look on Spike’s face. “It’s all we do now. You haven’t touched me in weeks, and I’m sorry Spike, you need…and I can’t give that to you. I can’t. Not anymore, not when it’s all we have. I…I’ll understand if you want to leave.”
But Spike didn’t leave, and Xander was enfolded in his lover’s arms, words of apology and soothing reaching his ears.
“Don’t cry, Xan. Please don’t. I swear I’ll stop, I don’t need it, not like I need you. Never leaving you, pet…never.”
Xander finally settled down, shivering in Spike’s arms, the occasional hiccup escaping him.
“There, pet. We need to get some things straight okay?”
Spike’s tone was soft, soothing, and Xander nodded numbly before allowing Spike to lead him to the couch and sit him down. Spike kneeled in front of him, looking into his eyes.
“First of all, I’m never leaving you Xander. Ever. Do you understand that?”
Spike stayed quiet, looking into Xander’s eyes until he nodded.
“Good. Second, I don’t need you to hit me or dominate me. I…I may have overindulged. It was just an obsession for a while there. First time I ever felt pleasurable pain was with you, Xander, and I grew obsessed with it, but I don’t need it. I need you.”
Xander held his breath, afraid to so much as breathe just in case this was false. Maybe he’d fallen asleep on the park bench.
“Xander? Snap out of it, pet.”
“You need me,” Xander breathed, smiling a little.
“You’re not leaving?”
Spike smiled at him, leaning close to drop a kiss on his lips.
“We’ll talk about this in the morning. You look tired, and you need to sleep. Come on, pet, let’s get you to bed.”
Xander followed Spike in a daze, changing into his pyjamas and lying on the bed. He closed his eyes, feeling Spike climb in and snuggle against him.
Yeah…sleep sounded good and Spike was holding him close, like Xander’d hoped he would for a month now.
He hadn’t lost him.
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