Disclaimer: BtVS = not mine. No money is made from this work.
His mind felt clear, empty, washed clean of everything but the pounding of his feet on the dirt of the track, the sound of his heart beating in his ears. The simple monotony of exercise had become one of his life’s true, simple, pleasures, one of the only ways he could stop his mind.
The timer on his watch beeped signalling it was time to get back if he wanted to shower and change in time to get to school. He slowed to a stop and turned around, before picking up the pace, letting his body work its mindless way back along the dirt path that snaked through patches of dense weeds and overgrown roses that rambled their way through the long, narrow graveyard. It was one of Sunnydale’s older ones, poorer ones, the only actual graves centuries old and ramshackle, the names all worn away, the cemetery mainly made up of tall rows of columbaria housing the ashes of only a small portion of the town’s dead. Jesse was there, scraped off the floor of the Bronze, housed in an old cookie jar behind a cheap plaque. He probably wasn’t the only vampire either, sometimes when he came to see Jesse or to run at night he’d see vampires visiting other niches, an unspoken truce keeping them to themselves, never attacking. It was like the pain of loss had made the place sacred ground, not to be disturbed by violence.
Vampires grieved, he knew that now, they wept and laughed and drank to their dead, booze mainly, sometimes a pint or two lifted from the hospital or a cup of pig’s blood. Sometimes he’d wanted to drink with them, not the blood of course, but sometimes he’d just wanted someone to lift a cup to Jesse, someone to even pretend to care for a minute, so it wasn’t just him that remembered.
Soon enough his feet had carried him to the chain-link fence separating the graveyard from the street that ran into his own. It was almost too easy to fling himself up and over it, but he could still remember how hard it had been the first time, all those months ago, after... After he’d resolved that he was not going to be weak, that monsters like Angelus were never going to get the better of him again. Of course they had, and Angelus, or Angel as the case may be, was walking around again, free as a bird, but at least he was harder prey to catch.
At the end of his street he let his pace slow, dropping to a walk on the path up to his house. He let himself in quietly, moving quickly across the lounge to the stairs while barely acknowledging the sight of his father half slumped out of the threadbare la-z-boy in the corner, snoring loudly with a mostly empty bottle of Jack cradled in the crook of his arm. He took the stairs two at a time and headed straight for the bathroom, stripping off his sweat-soaked clothes the minute the door shut, dumping them in the hamper to deal with later. Turning on the faucet he bent down and drank a few deep swallows, catching his own reflection in the mirror as he straightened up. For a moment he almost didn’t recognise the dark-eyed stranger looking back at him. The months had stripped away any excess softness to his body, replacing it with heavy layers of muscle; he looked cruel, cold in that moment, and the light hearted smile he forced across his face seemed to contort it into some mocking parody of itself.
Shaking his head he turned away from his reflection and moved over to the dingy shower, he turned it on and stepped straight under the cold spray, washing quickly, efficiently, doing his best not to let his mind wander. There was mould growing in the corners, soap scum clouding the glass, he would have to clean it later, Tony certainly wasn’t going to, and his mother... well. He dried himself off just as efficiently as he’d bathed, slinging the towel around his waist as he left the bathroom and padded across grimy carpet to his bedroom.
His mother was standing in his room by his weights, an opened envelope in one hand, its contents scrunched up in the other. Her eyes were glassy, but clearer than they’d been in days, her expression confused, fixing on him as if she’d never seen him before in her life. A brief flash of panic, shame, made his eyes flick to his bed, sitting there bare, the sheets stripped off and stuffed in the wash before he’d left on his run. “Xander...?” she frowned at him, her eyes taking in the change he’d wrought on his body while she had whiled away the days in oblivion.
“Mom?” he waited for her to tell him why she was there, in his room.
“I...” she mumbled, before shaking her head, looking down, holding out the envelope and its contents “This came while you were out.” He took the paper from her, read it. “I am so, so proud of you Xander,” she said, her voice trembling as she rushed forward and pulled him into a hug. She smelled the same as she always had, Anaïs Anaïs, menthol cigarettes she liked to pretend she didn’t smoke, cheap bourbon, and that faint strange tang he liked to believe was the smell of Percocet leaking out of her pores.
His own hands clenched on the paper as he hugged her back. “Your father will be proud of you too,” she whispered against his shoulder as they pulled away from each other. He doubted it, but didn’t have the heart to tell her that. “We should have a celebratory dinner,” she said with a smile, before frowning “Not tonight, your father is working late, but maybe tomorrow.”
“Sure mom,” he replied, knowing how unlikely it was to ever happen.
She smiled at him as she walked towards the door “Okay, I’d better let you get ready for school. Don’t want you to be late.” She paused in the doorway, looking back at him “I really am proud of you Xander” she said before leaving his room.
He stared after her for a moment before walking over and shutting the door, he took a deep breath before walking over to his desk, placing the paper down next to the tall pile of schoolbooks and smoothing it out carefully. His mother was right; he needed to get ready for school.
“I’m sure it’s fine,” he tried to ignore the hint of guilt, the image of the paper still on his desk, the cowardly fear of questions he’d have to answer “they’ll arrive tomorrow and if they don’t I’ll find out who I have to ring and then get to the ringing. Anyway. Bowling.”
“We are so going to win,” she crowed, swinging their joined hands between them, “Willow and Oz won’t know what hit them.”
“Are you sure about that?” he arched his brow “Because I really think we should get with the practicing.”
“Okay, yeah, maybe,” she conceded “But like they’re going to be any better.”
“True,” he replied with a smile “so at least fifty-fifty chance we’ll be victorious.”
She slowed down and tugged him towards one of their favourite utility closets, giving him a wicked smirk “come on, there’s still fifteen minutes before our next class.”
He pretended to hesitate for a moment, looking at his watch with an exaggerated frown “I dunno Cordy, by my watch it’s more like twenty.” She slapped him lightly, playfully on the shoulder and gave him another tug towards the closet, he followed after, letting her drag him into the small, dark space.
They came together with the sort of ease that long practice gave, holding each other as they kissed in the shadows; he could feel her hand slip down to his waist, scrabbling lightly with the bottom of his shirt as she fumbled her way to the zip of his pants. His own hand flew down and caught hers, pulling it away from his waist and positioning it back on his shoulder. She made a soft sound of protest deep in her throat, but didn’t try it again. He knew she was getting sick of the way he was doing his best to prevent their relationship progressing any further, that one day soon she’d lose her temper and then he’d have all sorts of questions to answer that he really, really didn’t want to.
She felt nice in his arms, he liked her heat, the expensive smell of her perfume, but at the same time he felt nothing he should feel for his girlfriend. His body felt cold, frozen, uninterested in the proceedings, and part of him, most of him really, never stopped missing the uncomplicated days before when the thought of a pretty girl in his arms was enough to make him walk funny and be glad of baggy pants.
Angelus had cored out a part of him, or maybe Spike, maybe himself. His own actions. Whatever it was about that night it had destroyed part of him, the only time he’d gotten off since it had happened was when he was asleep, and the only thing that ever got him off then was the memory of the mess he’d made of Spike. It was like his sexuality had been rewritten instantly.
Still, holding her made him feel more human. Even if only for a while.
“So why did you want to see me Willow?” he called out as he entered the darkened room. Things hadn’t been good between them recently, his fault more than hers. They had kissed, just the once, when trying on their Homecoming outfits; for a moment he had flung himself into it, the thought that maybe if it was someone else, someone new yet at the same time so, so familiar, someone he felt safe with, maybe some of the ice in his veins would melt. He’d had his eyes shut, at least until the image of Spike arching up beneath him had flashed across their lids, then he’d flung himself away from her. She hadn’t forgiven him yet.
The room smelled strange, like incense and bitter burning herbs, and the things she had gathered about her on the bench weren’t entirely the sort of things that belonged in that room. There was also something terribly familiar about them. “I need you to help me with something,” she said, and then a little too quickly “A chemistry experiment!”
“Why do you need me? You’re the chemistry whiz,” he replied, a bitter edge he hoped she couldn’t hear creeping into his voice.
“It’ll help you with the exam. You’re way behind.” She declared, though he wasn’t and how would she know anyway. “Here, hold this,” she said suddenly, handing him a black feather. He frowned down at it, before looking over at the collection of things on the bench and the book she was trying to hide from him.
“This is magic stuff, love spell stuff,” he squawked, staring at her “Are you doing a love spell?”
“No! Of course not! This is a purely scientific...” she trailed off at his look “anti-love spell. For me. Things with Oz have been going so good recently, and I’m really starting to think he may be, you know, the one, except even when I’m with him there’s still part of me that wants to be with you.” By the time she had finished talking she looked like she was going to cry, part of him wanted to comfort her, but most of him was too busy being pissed.
“Are you nuts? In case you've forgotten, I tend to have bad luck with these sorts of spells!” he shouted, making her flinch away from him.
“Please Xander...” she whispered, her hand reaching out to him “You don’t know how bad you make me feel.”
“How you feel?” he snapped, months of stress, shame and resentment colouring his words “I never asked you to fall in love with me!”
Maybe it was the tone he’d used, maybe it was just Willow’s own years of resentment pouring out, but she no longer looked like she was going to cry, instead she looked like she was about to hit him “Don’t pretend you haven’t enjoyed it, watching me pine away like an idiot, knowing that no matter what happens you’ll always have me to fall back on.”
“You really think that, don’t you?” he laughed, humourless, wincing somewhere inside at the tinge of hysteria tainting it “Well you’re wrong. I’ve hated every single second you’ve spent making eyes at me, wanting me. Do you know what it’s like? The sense of obligation, like I have to be ashamed every time I’m interested in someone else, like I always have to put your feelings first, like I always have to apologise for being myself. Don’t kid yourself Willow, you’re not the victim here, and you and I both know you’ll never forgive me for not being attracted to you.” She flinched away from him like she’d been struck, and though part of him was sorry, so very sorry, for hurting her, most of him was still sunk into white-hot rage. He’d been doing his best, his very best to be okay, to be normal, and not only did she not notice anything was wrong she had the nerve to pull this crap with him. “Do you really need a spell just so you can contain yourself?” he hissed, going in for the kill.
She glared at him, all righteous indignation, as if he couldn’t see the tears welling in her eyes “At this moment? I'm thinking no.”
“I’ll get the lights,” he muttered, making his way over to the switch and turning them on, before turning back to her and saying “I’d better call Cordy, tell her the date’s off.”
“Oh, you’re here too,” a voice with an oh-so familiar accent called out from behind him.
He whirled around as he heard Willow call out “Xander!” to find Spike standing behind him, frowning at him blearily. He stared at the vampire, who stared back for a moment before shaking himself out of his distraction.
“I need to borrow the little girl,” Spike declared, swaying slightly where he stood “You don’t mind, do you?”
“Willow, if you get the chance I want you to run,” he said, a strange, unnatural calm sweeping through him “forget about me, just go.”
“No, no!” Spike snarled “you don’t get to say that. Come here girl!” with that the vampire swayed forward, reaching for Willow. The smell of liquor was almost overwhelming as Spike got closer, God the vampire looked wrecked, it seemed like Spike wasn’t sure what to do about him, because he was sure the blond hesitated for a moment before attempting to swat him out of the way. He ducked the blow, good luck more than skill, and rushed the vampire, catching him around the middle and bringing them both down.
“Go Willow!” he shouted as he struggled with the vampire “Now!”
He heard more than saw her rush past, too busy preventing Spike from reaching out and catching her ankle. They tussled on the floor for a while longer before the vampire managed to get the upper hand, rolling them over and staggering to his feet, one of those big, black boots smashing painfully into his thigh as the blond stood. He lashed out, trying to trip the vampire, but Spike was too fast and already out of reach. He forced himself to his own feet and lurched after the vampire, his heart pounding in his chest, hoping against hope that Willow would escape.
Spike was standing in the hall, looking around wildly when he made his way out of the classroom. He couldn’t see Willow, which was good, but that didn’t change the fact that he was standing there next to Spike, who was looking very, very frustrated. “This isn’t turning out like I expected” the vampire declared, grabbing him by the shoulder and dragging him down the hall, the blond on the lookout for Willow.
He knew he was probably going to die before the night was out, but a great big part of him didn’t care. It felt almost like he’d been waiting for it to happen, like everything had stopped on that night, and his life was finally going to catch up with him.
“Oh bugger this!” Spike hissed, dragging him towards the front door of the school. Once outside the vampire looked around for a minute, before dragging him towards a very badly parked old, black DeSoto, halfway on the sidewalk.
Spike flopped down on the bed next to him, taking a deep swig of the bottle in his hand before dropping it on the floor “I don’t know if it was that truce with Buffy that did it, or if she looked inside my head and all she saw was me under you. Do you think if I kill you it’ll make it better? Make it like it never happened?” Spike didn’t bother waiting for an answer “Doesn’t matter really, whatever caused it, she said I’d gone soft. Wasn’t demon enough for the likes of her, wasn’t man enough either.” The vampire gave a bitter little laugh, “We got to Brazil and she was just different. I gave her everything... jewels, beautiful dresses, with beautiful girls in them. Nothing made her happy. And she would flirt... I caught her on a park bench making out with a Chaos Demon” Spike fixed him with a flat look “have you ever seen a Chaos Demon? They're all slime and antlers, they're disgusting.” Spike slumped closer to him, almost resting against his shoulder “I said I wasn't putting up with it anymore, she said fine, I said, yeah, I've got an unlife, you know... and she said... she said we could still be friends. Oh God, I’m so unhappy.”
The vampire burst into tears, his head coming down to rest against his shoulder “Friends! How could she be so cruel?!” he could feel the vampire’s mouth moving against his neck, and, okay, sudden inappropriate boner.
The tears trailed off after a while, but Spike didn’t move away, if anything he seemed to be getting closer “Mm, that smell. Your neck...” the blond moved away enough to look up at his face, revealing Spike’s gameface to his gaze “It’s been so long. I want...” suddenly he was on his back on the charred mess of a bed, with Spike leaning over him “It was good wasn’t it?” Spike asked, desperation in his voice “You were good. You got me off.” the vampire trailed off, before leaning in close, those gold eyes seeming to focus on his lips “I want to know... I want to know if it was worth it.”
Apparently what was left of his survival instinct had gone on holiday at the same time as his pants had become too tight, because he reached up and dragged the vampire’s head down, pulling him into a kiss that left his lips bruised and cut open on the blond’s fangs. Spike made a little whimper in the back of his throat, before pulling away sharply; he was about to protest but all the vampire did was shuck off his coat and begin toeing off his boots. “Come on,” the blond urged “get your trousers off.”
“This is a really bad idea,” he said, speaking for the first time since he’d asked the vampire why he’d wanted Willow. Spike glared at him, but before the blond could say anything he was already undoing his pants, “That doesn’t mean I don’t want to.”
Without getting off the bed he managed to push his pants down to his mid thigh in the time it took for Spike to get his jeans off, the vampire didn’t bother removing his shirt or t-shirt, instead just climbing on the bed and straddling him. He became lost in the sensation of Spike -the cool weight of the blond pushing him down, the sight of those milk-pale thighs encasing his own, that calloused hand, smaller than his own, that reached out and grabbed his cock, jacking it roughly. The blond lifted his other hand to his lips and spat roughly into his palm, reaching down and switching hands to slick the spit down his cock.
Leaning forward the vampire held his cock steady and sank down onto it, muscles tight and unused flexing rhythmically in an attempt to force him back out. Spike was emitting a quiet, high-pitched whine, hunching down on himself, obviously in pain. “Um...” he mumbled, guilt warring with pleasure “wouldn’t lube be a better idea?”
“Don’t have any,” Spike hissed.
“Then maybe we...” he began, but Spike interrupted before he could finish.
“Just shut up, I need this.” He fell quiet and let Spike do as he pleased, watching as the blond rocked back and forth in his lap slowly, hesitantly, tantalising him with the pull of flesh up and down his cock. “This isn’t a one man show, mate,” the blond said, giving a little shimmy of his hips “get with the program.” Getting Spike’s meaning, but afraid he’d hurt the man he began slowly, carefully thrusting up to meet Spike. When all it did was make the vampire mewl, throw back his head, he began to speed up, his hands going to clench at the blond’s cloth covered hips. As they rocked together his thrusts got easier, smoother, and obviously better aimed because after a while Spike seemed to get lost in sensation, hunched down on top of him, giving breathy, punched out little moans with every thrust of his hips.
The fact that he couldn’t see Spike’s nipples was strangely irritating, so was the fact that the vampire’s cock was hidden from his gaze. Somehow he gathered the strength, and possibly with surprise on his side, managed to flip Spike on his back, pulling out before the vampire could stop him, moving down the vampire’s body at the same as he pushed the blond’s shirts up. His mouth flew down to the little pale-pink nubs on the vampire’s chest. Kissing. Biting. Sucking them into tiny little rock-hard points. He felt hungry and overwhelmed and as far as he could tell there wasn’t an inch of the vampire’s body he didn’t want to put his mouth on.
His hands grabbed roughly at the vampire’s flesh, touching him wherever he could, feeling so, so greedy. His mouth landed on Spike’s abs, kissing, biting, trying to consume the vampire. He felt alive, truly alive. It was intoxicating. He continued down the vampire’s body, kissing, biting, groping, until he reached the blond’s cock; one thing that had bothered him after the first time, not then but later, was that he’d never had a chance to touch it. Spike arched up underneath him as he first stroked it, running his hand up the pale length luxuriously, before bending down to use his mouth. He didn’t suck it in, instead licking sloppily up the length to tongue at the slit, lapping up the clear liquid that was dribbling down to splatter against the vampire’s abdomen. It was sweeter than his own, the taste making his mouth water, making him want more.
Pulling back he looked up at Spike -the vampire was still in gameface, his head thrown back, staring at the ceiling with a glazed, pleasure-drugged expression on his face; those eyes that should have been a cold gold, were almost entirely black, the pupils blown out and huge. He had obviously been biting his lips, as his fangs had shredded the soft flesh, leaving a spreading red stain around his mouth. Spike’s hands were up by his head, one of its fingers woven through the bleached blond strands of his hair, the other flexing rhythmically by the vampire’s ear. Spike blinked blearily at him when the fact that he’d stopped finally registered with the vampire, he gave the blond a wicked smirk and bent his head back down, laying deep biting kisses on both of the vampire’s thighs before hoisting them up and apart, leaning down to apply his tongue to the fucked-out pink-red of the other male’s asshole.
Spike jacknifed underneath him, the vampire’s legs curling around his shoulders, holding his head in place. He tonguefucked the blond’s hole, his tongue slipping easily in and out of the loosened ring of muscle, the “Fuck, fuck, fuck, oh God fuck me” that Spike was whining out sounding stifled and surreal muffled as it was by the blonds thighs against his ears. The ache in his cock was getting too hard to ignore, so he pulled back, the vampire resisting momentarily before letting him up. He lay back down over Spike, his hand going down to help guide his cock back inside. He grunted at the overwhelming feeling of the other male’s soft, swollen flesh gripping at him, milking his cock. He pulled out slowly so he could feel every twitch and shiver of the blond’s internal muscles, before pushing back in just as slow, savouring the moment.
They fell back into a smooth rhythm, one of his hands working away between the blond’s thighs, the other taking some of his weight as he pistoned away. He was getting closer, his thrusts becoming rougher, suddenly Spike surged up underneath him, the blond’s hands flying to his shoulders, digging in, as the vampire came with a series of soft grunts. The sight of Spike, his smell, the sounds he was making, the rippling spasms of his internal muscles all proved to be too much. His hips jerked roughly as he spilled, an ugly grunt making its way out of his throat to be muffled by the vampire’s neck.
It was instinct more than anything that made him do it, made him lay a soft kiss against the vampire’s throat as they lay together. Obviously it was the wrong thing to do as the blond flinched, let out what sounded suspiciously like a sob, before shoving him roughly away; he landed in a heap on the floor, his pants tangled around his legs. “What the hell?” he asked, staring up at the blond on the bed.
Spike looked wrecked, absolutely devastated, though he didn’t understand why, and he was sure those were a fresh set of tears leaking down the vampire’s blood-stained face. “Get out of here!” Spike shouted, his voice hoarse, his accent sounding strange “Piss off! Before I kill you!”
He didn’t need to be told twice, especially when the vampire grabbed one of those charred, creepy dolls and lobbed it at him. He scrambled to his feet, yanking up his pants and running from the room just fast enough to avoid the half-full bottle that Spike grabbed from the floor and flung after him to shatter against the edge of the doorway.
For the second time in his life he found himself doing the walk of shame away from the factory, the smell of Spike clinging to his skin, the inside of his nose; and just like that other time he felt guilty, though his reasons were a little less clear. He knew he’d hurt Spike again, though he didn’t quite understand how.
The sound of a vehicle approaching made him look up to see Oz’s van pull up sharply, the doors opening so that Willow and Cordelia could spill out and run up to him, followed a little slower by Oz himself. He found himself pulled into the girls’ arms as they fired questions at him, almost too quick for him to understand let alone answer. Another kind of guilt began to sink in at the feel of Cordelia against him; he’d cheated on her, he knew that if they knew the others would tell him that that wasn’t what had happened, that he hadn’t had a choice, but they would never understand that he had. He had wanted it, pursued it. Part of him wanted it again, and as many times as he could get it.
He knew he’d never tell them what happened, he couldn’t anymore than the first time, though the responsibility was his in a way it hadn’t been the first time, but that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be consequences, there had to be consequences.
His eyes kept flicking over to his SAT scores still lying on his desk, a future he couldn’t afford and would never be able to have, as he tried to think of what to say to Cordelia the next day at school. All his mind kept coming up with was ‘I’m sorry, I cheated on you, I think we should break up.’ It was for the best.