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Rating: NC-17 by request

Warnings: Uh, it's slash. Need I say more? Oh yeah, also some light Angel and Anya bashing. (I don't dislike Anya, but it fit better for this story... Angel is to be mocked at all costs, any and every time I get the chance.) There's also a fair amount of schmaltzy mushy stuff along the way. For me, at least.

Pairings: Spander, of course.

Setting: Season 6ish, but twisted for my personal amusement. *cackle*

Summary: The rivalry between our boys has come to a head -- but their similar humor and needs (with a little help from a impish teenage) bring them together.

Disclaimer: The following characters and situations are original concepts of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and the WB. I can only wish I had the rights to Spike and Xander -- they would've been cuddled and hugged and loved, and so many of the nasty things Joss came up with would've happened to more deserving characters. Like Buffy and Angel, and even Willow (cus there's something shifty about that girl).

Author's Notes: For the last seven months or so, I've had the first fair-sized chunk of this story sitting on my computer, collecting dust. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that it found some direction -- thanks to Electrical Gwen. And since I promised the lady a story, the lady gets a story. Here's hoping that it meets her criteria. *snuggles Gwen*

Electrical Gwen's request: NC-17 preferably, and I like variations on the theme of "How Spike and Xander Get Together". I kinda like later season Spike, either chipped or souled, since I don't like Xander getting hurt/vamped. Happy ending please??

Two of a Kind


Part One

"I just don't understand what girls see in him. He's the evil undead, for pity's sake!" Tossing yet another pulverized pretzel on the floor of the Bronze, Xander reached for more ammunition to slake his frustration. Baleful brown eyes glared at the bits of baked treats, as if they could offer some form of excuse to 'his girls' and their unhealthy fascination with a certain chipped vampire.

His table companion managed to sniffle her snickers well enough, but the sparkle in her eyes belied her mirth. "Really Xan," Dawn tried in her best 'comfort voice', "it's not about his looks or anything like that. Spike has all this intensity, focus... Can you imagine being the center of his attention?"

Groaning loudly, he barely missed knocking over their glasses when his head hit the table. "Not you too, Dawnie! Jeez, what's with you all?!"

"Hmm, let me think... There's the whole 'bad boy' image, for starters. Followed by that voice, the accent. Mrow! And the way he struts around in those tight jeans? I'd happily forgo every after-Christmas sale at the mall to watch him stalk and pace."

"It's just..." He tried to regain some lost footing on the mature, higher moral ground. "I can understand the focus part. Who wouldn't want to have someone so thoroughly concentrated on their own wants and needs? But it's Spike we're talking about here! The very thing we're supposed to be against. To kill, not kiss."

The teen snorted in disgust. "Yeah right. He's so like all the vamps we see every night." She leant over, pushing Xander's hair away from his face to look him in the eyes. "Spike's never been like all the rest, Xan. He can love as well as hate, and it... it's incredible to know all that power and age and heat is directed at you." Another indelicate snort. "Even if he only treats me like a kid sister - same as you do, by the way - I've still gotten to see that side of him pretty often."

Sitting up again, he ran one hand through his hair and the other across his rumpled shirt. "I can get that, I guess. But there's plenty of guys who breathe and have a pulse that can do that too. Why him?"

"Don't know what else to tell you, Xan. Except..." Pausing to take a deep breath, Dawn looked out at the dancing crowd, knowing he wouldn't want to hear this next part. "You two are so different in so many ways, but you're alot alike too. When you love, you give everything. When you hate, it's with all your passion. I suspect you could be great friends - if you'd get over this 'who has the bigger pair' bickering."

Having said her piece - and not wanting to be the further recipient of Xander Harris' pity party - Dawn collected her purse and headed toward the door.

The following afternoon, Dawn was inundated with yet another round of testosterone tension. Under the mistaken impression that she might enjoy some easy-going company with her favorite vampire, the teen stopped by his crypt after school, only to find that she had once again let herself be caught in between her two male defenders.

A loud crash greeted her as she pushed open the crypt door, followed by an inventive string of cursing that would singe the ears off the hardiest sailors. Clearing her throat, she chose to announce her presence (instead of running for the hills, as was her first instinct).

"Hey Spikey, your favorite teen heartthrob is here to brighten your life."

Immediately, the profanity stopped... to be replaced with several smaller crashes and an intimidating growl.

"But if I'm interrupting anything important, I'll just be on my way."

A tuft of blond hair shot out of the trap door to Spike's bedroom. "Nah, ya know yer always welcome here, Bit. Just doin a bit o' redecorating, see?"

Wisely, she decided not to bear witness to his temper tantrum, opting to perch on the battered recliner. "Sure. So... er... I was going to ask if you could help me with my English homework, but maybe now's not the best time for that."

Exhaling a plume of smoke, the blond crushed his cigarette before pulling himself out into the upper level of his crypt. "Eh, my mind's probly not up for anything important today, Niblet. Sorta stuck in a-" his voice floundered off, trying to find a suitably tame euphemism for his underage charge.

"A snit?" Unlike the previous evening with Xander, she didn't even bother trying to mask the snicker and smirk.

"Uh yeh. Wait, NO! The Big Bad don't have 'snits' like you dozy schoolgirls." Making an attempt at recovering his image, Spike peered at his visitor out of the corner of his eye to see how well his save worked. "Oh fine, so maybe I am. It's that damned whelp's fault, it is."

Groaning internally, the teen flopped back in her seat in preparation for another round of bitch session.

"He's practically useless in a fight, draws all the biggest nasties to him like a magnet. Took ages for him to find something he was half-arsed good at. He's got rotten taste in clothes, almost as bad in fuck-buddies, an don't get me started on his geek DVD collection." Pacing through the room, he pulled out a cigarette before remembering who his company was, scowled at the cancer stick, and stuffed it back in the pack.

Dawn merely nodded, knowing it'll move along faster if she just lets him vent.

"All he's gotta do is flash that kicked puppy look at one of you birds an he gets whatever he wants. Scrape his knee? Aww, poor Xan! Let me kiss it better. Get tossed into a headstone? Every last one of ya runs to pet an pamper him. Don't matter that he usually gets hurt cus he's too daft to keep outa the way. Don't matter that some of us actually know whatinhell we're on about. Never hear a thanks for all the times I've saved his arse. Just hafta stand back an watch as he laps up the attention, 'fore I'm sent back to this dump to lick my wounds. Lucky if yer sis don't bang me 'round for stealin her spotlight."

With a deep sigh, the blond threw himself onto his ratty couch. Both hands came up to brush roughly through his hair, almost masking the expression of bitter hurt.

"Sorry bout this, Bit. Shouldn't be takin it out on you, yeh?" He offered the teen a weary smile. " 'M just tired, s'all. An... a bit peckish maybe. Don't mind if I nip a bag o' Porky, do ya?"

Dawn waved her hand toward the small, battered fridge. She knew that wasn't the answer, but it might improve her friend's disposition. Watching him shuffle over to fix his meal, she knew that there was little to say to help his frame of mind.

"Spike..." He tossed a small smile over his shoulder, before turning back to his mug. "I don't think he does it on purpose. After all, who would want to get hurt so often, right? And maybe, just maybe, he's jealous of you too." At the glare her words bring, she quickly amended, "Ok, not jealous. Resentment? Fine. He gets cuddled and you don't. But maybe he doesn't want all the sisterly affection. And let's face it, you've got the phrase 'dead sexy' down to an art form."

By this time, the vampire turned half toward her. She could see the small smirk forming, and it gave her the courage to continue.

"You've gotten closer, physically, to Buffy than he'll ever get. And she was his first major crush. Then there's the thing with Anya - not going there, honestly, but it does play a big part. And even Willow and Tara show more attraction to you than him." The smirk turned up to full power. "Don't get all puffed up about it, blondie. He's... lonely. And you can't tell me you don't understand how that feels."

All at once, his anger was sucked out of him. Blue eyes closed in defeat, a tiny frown caught on his forehead. "Yeh, maybe I do. Don't make this any easier to take though."

Moving from her not-quite-comfy position on the chair, Dawn joined her friend and pulled him into a hug. "Didn't say it would. Don't think it ever does."

Sighing together, the comforting embrace calmed them both.

It had been a couple of peaceful days (for Sunnydale) since the youngest Summers had seen either of her male friends. She caught her thoughts drifting toward them often enough, although that was far from unusual. Surely there was a way she could help them both, ease the tension and unfriendly competition between her guys.

Inspiration struck during a cram-for-midterm night, throwing her completely out of the mood to study. And even knowing that she was likely to bomb her Algebra exam, she let free a squeal of delight at her idea. All she needed, really, was a co-conspirator... someone subtle and sneaky, who wouldn't try to talk her out of doing whatever had to be done.

The first and best prospect: Tara McClay.

Dawn's wicked grin would make even the most evil of demons break out into cold shivers. Her expression screaming 'manipulative teen with a plan', she picked up the phone, praying that she won't disturb the Wiccan duo doing anything... private.

A very satisfied smirk stuck on Dawn's face. She knew it wasn't very attractive, but adamantly insisted to herself that she deserved to feel a bit smug. After all, it didn't take more than a few sentences to convince the shy Ms McClay to help bring the quarreling pair together. Quite a fete for this lowly mortal. *snort*

Stage one was set. There was a meeting at the Magic Box that night, with a special guest - Angel - joining to impart information from his seer about yet another plot to open the Hellmouth. And since neither Xander nor Spike really enjoyed the prospect of research parties, and the older vamp was so terribly easy to manipulate, she allowed herself a moment to bask in wicked delight.

Perched midway up the staircase, Dawn watched each player make their appearance. Having come in with Buffy, she quickly did her homework to prevent any possible interruptions from that front. And really, how clueless could a bottled blond be?

Willow and Tara were already there, working their shift at the shop. The shy Wicca gave her a wink over the top of her girlfriend's head. Yeah, she'd have all the help she needed from Tara.

A genteel cough alerted her to the ex-watcher's presence. "Dawn, you know that I have no problem with you attending our meetings. However, I do hope you've brought study material with you this time. Tonight might prove to be somewhat... tedious."

She exchanged a rueful grin with her surrogate father figure. "No problem there, Giles. Got plenty to keep me occupied."

He saw something in her smile, or maybe the twinkling eyes, that made him pause. Open his mouth to question. Then think better about it. With a resigned sigh and shake of his head, Giles went back to his self-appointed task of collecting dusty volumes of demon lore for the evening's gathering.

Mere minutes after the former watcher's departure to his back storeroom, a bell rang announcing Xander and Anya's presence. And - surprise, surprise - they were arguing again.

"Come on, Ahn, it's not like I asked for this."

"Well, you can always tell them no! How are you supposed to offer the appropriate amount of grovelling if you're working overtime for the next two weeks?"

"And here I am wondering why I have to be the one grovelling, when you're the one who-"

"Finish that, and I swear I'll find Hallie or-"

"Yeah, yeah. Broken record, Ahn."

"Oooh! What I wouldn't give for my powers right now-"

"You'd shrivel my testicles and have rabid hamsters attack them?"

"Uh, actually, that doesn't work nearly as well as it sounds. Hamsters have such a short attention span."

"Sorta like you."


And at that, the bell chimed again. Covered in a moldy (and smoldering) blanket, Spike raced into the shop. "Bloody fecking hell! Can't you inconsiderate buggers pick sometime after sunset to drag me into whatever this latest bit of futile-"

"Oh just shut up, Spike. You're interrupting a very important discussion."

" 'Tween you an the whelp? 'S probly nothing out of the ordinary."

From her vantage point on the stairs, Dawn sighed dramatically. And yes, she knew that no one was watching her best eyeroll and hairflip, but a girl's gotta practice her moves. Wishing she'd thought to bring a camcorder, she took a deep breath and brought forth her famous bouncy-skip to drag attention away from the argument.

"Hi guys! I'm sooooo glad you showed up. Gawd, it's been bor-ring here!"

Catastrophe averted, she slipped into mindless babble mode, effectively keeping the trio from verbally ripping each other to shreds before the last participant joined the set.

An hour later, and she was ready to tear her hair out. Angel was practicing his seer's version of 'fashionably late', and her boys hadn't stopped sniping at each other. Add one very miffed ex-vengeance demon, shake briskly, and you had a recipe for disaster.

Dawn resorted to counting in Fyarl, Latin and French to keep from blowing up, but the trick was barely enough to subdue her temper. A gentle hand fell on her shoulder, urging her to look up at Tara's understanding smile. At least she wasn't alone in this.

Willow and Buffy were discussing classwork over pizza, Giles made himself scarce, and the trio from hell were sulking over their latest interrupted attempt at flaying each other with words. If she were watching this on TV, Dawn silently acknowledged, she might find the humor in it. Maybe. NOT!

Finally, Mr Forehead joined the party. In a swish of leather, Angel offered his broody salute to everyone present - frowning slightly at his grandchilde.

Very, very privately, Dawn admitted that she might be a tad bit petty when it came to the souled vampire. Although with all the hurt he had caused her sister and friends, she refused to feel more than a passing touch of empathy for him.

"Now that we're all here," Giles began the meeting with a swift swipe to his glasses. "Perhaps you can tell us what this is about, Angel?"

Tuning him out was easy (as any teen will learn to do to authority figures), and Dawn's gaze slipped over to her guys. Slouching in her former position on the stairs, Spike had an unlit cigarette trapped between clenched lips, and looked like he's ready to blow a gasket at either Angel, Xander, or Anya. Across the room, also sulking, Xander divided his petulant glare between the two offending blonds.

Spitefully, Dawn didn't bother checking on her friend's former fiance, concluding that she never really mattered and was little more than a fly in the ointment. And hey, when did she pick up such an old-fashioned phrase? Back on track, Dawnster! The play was about to begin...

With the Scoobies settled around the research table, passing various archaic mounds of smelly books to each other, it didn't take long for at least two of the party to become bored. Boredom leading (naturally) to childish pestering.

"Spike, stop kicking my chair."

"Not touchin you, whelp."

"No, you're touching my chair. Stop it!"

"Oi, leave off, will ya? Was just stretchin my legs."

"Well, stretch them away from me."

She couldn't ask for a better lead-in. Shifting her attention to the older vampire, she gave him her most stunning smile. "Aren't they so cute, Angel?"

Surprise, followed rapidly by consternation and suspicion, flowed across his handsome face before Angel forced himself to clarify, "Who's cute, Dawn?"

This was the moment she'd been practicing for, and Dawn slipped easily into character, bringing out a hint of awe, a healthy dose of teen shmoop, and more than a little hero-worship to her expression and voice. Leaning toward her sister's ex, she whispered conspiratorially, "Spike and Xander! They're just so perfect for each other, don't you think?"

A quick glance across the table showed that Tara had seen the exchange, giving her a grin before returning to her research. No one else appeared to have caught the quiet words, which was her intent so she was well pleased. Mentally, she started a countdown... Three, two, one...

"They WHAT?!"

... and blast-off.

Every head around the table shot up with varying degrees of alarm, but with the souled vampire stammering in disbelief there were no answers to be found. Dawn congratulated herself on having kept the short conversation as private as possible, as she sat back to enjoy the fireworks.

"Spike and Xander? Together? As in together? But he's... And he's... They never... What about... It's not possible!"

The two named suspects shared a look, raised eyebrows and bemused expressions conveying their lack of information as to what caused this little episode. With coordinated shrugs, they leant forward to watch their mutual annoyance make a spectacle of himself.

Buffy's face showed her concern over her former lover's state. She hadn't any idea what caused it, and couldn't decipher his random bits of questions. After several long minutes of gape-mouthed silence from Angel, she decided to offer quiet support until someone explained.

To her left, Willow whispered hurried questions to her lover, who - true to her promise - had only the most vague reassurances to offer. As the redhead saw that her best and oldest friend was more amused than concerned, she shrugged and went back to research.

From his end of the table, Giles targeted each of the supposed culprits with a piercing stare. He didn't 'feel' anything between them other than their usual friendly hostility, but he vowed to keep an eye on proceedings.

The only person to make the leap of assumption that Angel's stuttered words implied was Anya, whose face rather spectacularly changed several colors before tossing the contents of her coffee cup in her former fiance's lap, slapping him soundly, and running out of the shop.

"Well," Xander started, then broke down in laughter. The blond vampire tossed him some napkins, which he used to clean up the - thankfully lukewarm - coffee from his lap. "Alright, that was entertaining. Someone wanna tell me what she misunderstood from Deadboy's babbles?"

Contrary to popular belief, Spike was not an uneducated being. In mortal life, he had received highest honors at university, followed by more than a century of picking up random bits of trivia. Even so, it took some time for him to piece together the only plausible scenario that could fit...

"What the hell ya talkin bout, peaches? Not that we don't appreciate bein rid of the demon bint's poisonous barbs, but what makes you think Donut Boy an me are-" A swift smack to the shoulder stopped the blond from finishing his question. Looking to his neighbor, Spike met mischievous brown eyes. "Ah hell, s'not like we hafta keep it secret, eh Xanpet?"

Blushing lightly, Xander leant closer to the blond. "Nah, it had to come out eventually. Besides, we should have your grandpa's blessing while he's here. There's some sort of ritual orgy that goes along with this, right?"

Twinkling eyes watched from further down the table, meeting briefly with a second set. Dawn and Tara had discussed this possibility over their first conversation, but it almost seemed too much to expect. The teen breathed a slow sigh of achievement and settled in to watch the show.

It soon became apparent that the only part Buffy understood was 'ritual orgy', leading her to join the fracas with big sisterly outrage. How dare these... males! ... say such things around her baby sister! The girl in question simply sat back, smirking at the combined gathering.

From a long-term best friend point of view, Willow was nearly in tears, thinking her Xander-shaped friend hadn't trusted her enough to tell her he was gay. Shy Tara kept a comforting arm around her girlfriend, whispering soothing nonsense in her ear and trying to explain without breaking Dawn's confidences.

The former watcher... watched. Saw nothing to indicate that the drama was anything other than one more bizarre brand of the Spike and Xander show. Refilled his tea cup, polished his glasses, scanned the room for accomplices (tagging Dawn along the way), and returned to his moldy tomes.

In less than half an hour after the initial outburst, Angel's heavily gelled hair was a mess, thanks to meaty hands grabbing and pulling in frustration. His nerves shot to hell, the elder vamp couldn't make his senses target in on the telling pheromones that should be evident between a mated couple. This failure, combined with the kissy-face noises from the trouble twins, almost had him ready to spontaneously combust.

Adding to the general chaos, Spike had Xander dragged most of the way across his lap, petting his arm and whispering into his ear. Whatever sweet nothings passed between them had the young man blushing furiously, but failed to prevent his hands from roaming over the blond's shoulders.

Finally, Angel seemed to take a breather from his panic attack. He glanced around the room, noting who was paying attention to his breakdown and who was busy actually doing work. When his sight came back to his childe and the boy, the dark vampire's eyes rolled back in his head and he fainted in an ungraceful heap.

While the rest of the room jumped to attend their fallen acquaintance, Dawn watched in delight as Xander leaned toward the blond and their lips met in a soft, shy kiss. Followed, naturally, by the young man's eyes opening in shock, falling off his perch from the vampire's lap, and scrambling toward the nearest exit. Said vampire simply sighed, shook his head, and calmly waved goodnight before making his own departure.

Over the next few days, neither man made the effort to seek out the other.

Xander was quietly having an identity crisis, which he decided should be enjoyed in the privacy of his own apartment.

Since the wedding that wasn't, he no longer had Anya underfoot, making it infinitely easier to pace and babble and down as much chocolate as necessary to get him through trying times. He said a fervent prayer of thanks to whatever gods governed cocoa goodness for reminding him to buy in bulk, two months at a time. His mind in a puddle of confused goo, Xander flipflopped between denial and instant replay - it would take more than Sunnydale's entire supply of Hersheys to wipe the memory of The Kiss from his mind.

The often-thought-about-but-never-spoken-of trip to Oxnard had shaken the ground of his heterosexual convictions, but he'd not once been truly tempted (outside of the occasional damp dream) to explore the alternate side of his sexuality. Until The Kiss.

And what exactly was it that made The Kiss so spectacularly unforgettable? It wasn't just the blond menace, surely. Xander knew he'd been trained properly by the best in kissing techniques, and on a scale from one to ten, The Kiss rated somewhere in the hundreds. But what made it so special? Unless... unless it was the subject of his first foray into man-to-man sexuality.

He didn't really want to give full credit to Spike, but it seemed as if he had to, were he to be totally honest with himself. Denial might be a comfortable cushion - one he fell back on whenever necessary - but could he forget the intensity of feelings his favorite adversary evoked within him? Did he want to pass up the chance to explore, to...

Something Dawn had said to him over a week before came back: Can you imagine being the focus of all that intensity, the center of his full attention? His honest answer, within the safety of his own mind, was yes. He could easily imagine it. And... he wanted.

Across town, a similar scene was playing out.

A bleached tornado finished demolishing his crypt, scaring off even the sturdiest of souls (insert Dawn Summers here) and insuring himself all the solitude he could ask for in coming to terms with The Kiss. Up until that point, he and the boy had been thoroughly enjoying the angst they were providing for his grandsire.

Whatever had possessed the whelp? And where did he learn to kiss like that? Did he even realize... he was the one to initiate the kiss?

Not that he had minded too terribly much. Spike wasn't fool enough to turn down just a fine meeting of lips. But caging a quick snog with some midnight snack out back of a club was one thing -- he could easily dispose of the body before any messy entanglements began. Smooching with the Slayer's token normal was another thing entirely. Someone was bound to get their knickers in a twist over that.

Dawn preened the first night, smirked the second, wondered the third, and on the fourth day worried. Her plan hadn't, well, planned for this turn of events. Granted, she would've paid good money to see a double-take of that kiss. Before things went belly-up. Now neither of her guys were answering their door, and Xander couldn't even be contacted by phone or at work. She wanted nothing more than to break down and cry, and Tara's quiet words of comfort only encouraged that desire.

She finally gave the shy witch her approval to bring Willow into the plot. After all, she reasoned, who would know better which of Xander's buttons to push than his oldest friend? That the redhead's fainting spells were a large part of her current worries was inconsequential -- Tara could handle calming her girlfriend down and convincing her of the benefits of the plan.

But then there was Buffy. Who still hadn't forgiven anyone for the "age inappropriate display" at the Magic Box. Who was convinced that someone had cast some nasty, mind-altering spell to cause Xander and Spike to act like they had. Who was now talking way too much with the Fanged Avenger about taking Spike off to L.A. (out of sight, out of mind... like that would work!)

The only possible way she could think of to get her boys back together was... chance-y at best. And she'd have to make sure they were both on patrol at the same time. Which was more difficult than it should've been, since neither thick-skulled male would come out of their caves.

On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, that too could work to her advantage.

A wicked little smirk in place, Dawn sat down to outline Plan B.

Willow took a deep breath. She wasn't sure this was the best thing to do, was so very worried that it could blow up in poor Xander's face. He'd had such a hard time after breaking up with Anya, and a really difficult life before moving out of his parents' house. But he was so lonely, and from what Tara had told her, his aura blended in with Spike's almost like hers did with her beloved girlfriend's. No matter what reservations she had, Willow refused to stand between her dearest friend and his chance at The One.

No more time to waste on arguing with myself.

She raised her fists and pounded on his apartment door, thankful that she'd cast a local silencing spell so that Xander's neighbors didn't interfere. As expected, he didn't answer at first. Desperate times, desperate measures...

"Xander! Please be in there! Dawnie's been kidnapped; we need your help now!" That got his attention, if the fumbling crashes from inside were any clue. She knocked again on his door as if she hadn't heard a thing.

One obviously tired, unshowered, and bleary-eyed Xander Harris cracked open the door just enough to let Willow see how trashed his apartment was. Her nose wrinkled against the odor of unwashed male, but that didn't stop her from pushing him aside and closing the door behind her.

His voice crackling as if he hadn't used it for days -- or had used it way too much, yelling and screaming -- his eyes wouldn't meet hers as he said, "Listen Wills, if this is some sort of trick just to get me to talk, you're fighting a losing battle. I'm in no mood to talk to anyone, even you, so just-"

"Can it, mister. We've got a serious problem on our hands here. Dawn never came home from school, never called to say she was going to Janis' house, and never showed up at the shop. About half an hour ago, we received a note saying that she was being held hostage by someone with a grudge against the Slayer." And here was where the Plan got a little tricky. Willow prayed to every goddess she'd ever heard of to get it right. "Everyone's moving out right now to search for her, while Giles does research and tries to identify who wrote the note. And I don't much care who you're trying to avoid, Xander Harris, cus we've got a scared little girl to find and rescue. So get showered, get dressed, and get moving!"

Slackjawed, he did just as ordered.

While Xander took a quick shower, Willow scoured his kitchen for something resembling real food. The best she could manage was a stacked sandwich layered with dubious lunchmeats, but it would at least give him a boost for the upcoming "search party". He had plenty of clean clothes (since he hadn't bothered changing in several days, by the smell of things), and she grabbed a set of dark jeans, a dark shirt, and his more comfortable workboots. Why take chances when a woman was on hand to insure color coordination?

He stepped out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, and even a newly confirmed lesbian could admire the striking figure he made. Willow forced herself not to acknowledge the tiny torch she had once carried for him, still ready to flicker into life. "There's clothes laid out on your bed, and a sandwich on the table. Get dressed and let's go! You'll have to drive us to our starting point."

Now why doesn't he normally obey this fast?

Tara had more luck than her lover. Her target didn't stink like week-old refuse, was alert and fed, and looked to be getting ready to leave as she got there.

"Oh good, you're here! S-s-spike, we have a problem, Dawn's missing-"

"What! When's the last time anyone saw her? Where was she? What's everyone doin to find her?"

She stared into the partially vamped face, so clearly riddled with worry, and felt a wave of guilt. Were they right to play on the men's sympathies like this? But both were being so stubborn... She just had to pray that Dawn's plan wouldn't backfire on them.

"She d-didn't come home from scho-ool, b-but we got a note. W-willow says it l-looks like a ran-some note."

"Oh feckin hell. Well then, don't just stand there, let's get movin."

Willow gave directions that Xander barely heard, so worried was he for the young girl who was as much his little sister as that of the Slayer. When she finally told him to stop the car, he did automatically, throwing it into park and hastily grabbing the keys while he jumped out of the seat.

This was it. Dawn had chosen a desolate, mostly abandoned business district, all warehouses and lean-to's of homeless people (that never lived long). "Xan, you take the left alley there. I'll go around to the right and meet you at the end of the block." He nodded absently, already a dozen feet from his car.

When his frantic pace reached beyond her vision, Willow turned toward her own destination. Just inside the doorway of the nearest building, Tara waited for her. "Spike's at the other end, doing a cross-sweep."

"Then all we can do is... hold our breath."

Vampire senses kept him on track through the myriad smells and flickers of movement that threatened to distract his pursuit. Someone had done a bloody fine job at masking Dawn's scent -- it was barely there at all, as if only a single article of clothing was left behind. That thought worried him more than he cared to admit. What if this was all some diversion, the real threat on the other side of town? Still, he didn't have much of a choice.

Spike hadn't paid much attention to the witch when she told him where to meet her. A name and address, one he didn't recognize but was undoubtedly real -- she couldn't lie worth shite. He moved without his customary stealth down the last alley, nearly frantic that he still hadn't found...

There it was again! Feral demon eyes blazed as he followed the scent trail to a narrow hole torn out of the side of a building. He thought he heard her heartbeat too, and a soft moan that couldn't be anyone else. Caution was thrown to the wind as he plowed inside.

Shoulda thought twice about this, 's only her shirt. Soddin hell! He picked up the offending garment and turned to investigate the rest of the area. One step, two steps, then he was frozen in place by a blinding flash of golden light.

Xander was used to relying on his merely human abilities. Of course, after so many years working with Buffy, he was more observant than most mortals, but that didn't help him see in the dark or hear farther. The pale light of the half moon wasn't much use either... until it caught movement about halfway up the alley from him. He slowed to mask his footsteps, then followed as carefully as possible. There were no guarantees that this was the right route, but what other options did he have?

The shadowy figure had disappeared by the time he got there. Like that's a surprise, always too late. It had probably entered a small fissure in the crumbling concrete of the wall, and by the sounds from inside, whatever it was he'd followed... wasn't alone.

The Scoobies had learned early on that using a flashlight, while it might make things easier for them to find, also made it much easier for things to find them. So Xander never bothered carrying one anymore. He gave himself a mental sigh over the lack, then squeezed through the hole.

Softly, so softly that human ears would barely hear, he called out, "Dawn, are you in here?"

Golden light blinded him, the last Xander saw before darkness took over.

"The rabbits are in the hutch. I repeat, the rabbits are in the hutch."

"Dawnie, you know we love you, but as a friend I should tell you something. Your plans are sloppy, even if they do work. And you really need to not pick codenames for any person or operation."

Part Two

A mild headache throbbed at his temples. Nothing new there, Xanman. Standard operating procedure really. Consciousness came back more quickly than would be expected after an injury -- something he had more experience with than most veteran medics. Wherever I am, it's soft and warm and doesn't smell like a dungeon or crypt. Looks like whoever caught Dawn isn't much for roughing it.

His eyes opened slowly to take in the room. A ground floor warehouse, made into a... pretty nice little apartment. Hey! This place looks better than mine! That is so not fair. Work an honest job and the pay is just barely enough to make ends meet. Loot and pillage and scare little kiddies, and see how well off you are. It's enough to make a man hang up his White Hat card.

The single room dwelling was open but dimly lit. One corner held a kitchen workspace and dining area, with a TV and sofa on the opposite wall. The only interior space closed off from the rest was probably a bathroom. His present position was obviously the only bed available, and he made a mental note to ask where this mattress was bought.

Wait a minute...

"Dawn!" he cried, sitting up so fast that spots blurred his vision. "Oh shit, gotta get outa here. Find Willow, find Dawnie. Where's Buffy and Tara? And Spike! God, he's probably going crazy with worry. If someone bothered to tell him..."

"Pipe down there, Harris," came a gravelly voice from nearby. Too near. "Bit's not here. We were set up."

With supernatural speed he didn't normally possess, Xander flew off the bed and halfway across the apartment before he turned to glare daggers at the vampire. He pointed a trembling finger (trembling with rage, not nerves -- or so he told himself) at Spike and opened his mouth.

"You! This is all your fault, it has to be. You! You undead molester of innocents! All this time we thought you were perving on Buffy, but that's not your evil plan, is it. No, you're going through every last one of us! The only reason you haven't tried it on Willow is cus of her and Tara's killer spells. Oh god, what've you done to Giles?! I knew he was acting all funny around you lately, but eww? That is just so very wrong."

Spike knew he'd been around this bunch for entirely too long when his first reaction to the boy's accusations was to roll his eyes.

"How long are we leaving them in there?"

"Until they talk to each other." Pause. "In other words, the next three or four days would probably be enough."

"Do they have food and, uh, blood for that long?"

"Oh yeah, we made sure of that. Even got Spike some of the good stuff. And Xander has plenty of his favorites too."

"Alrighty then, time for us to pack it up, ladies."

Willow and Tara followed the teen back toward the residential part of Sunnydale, both worried about their friends but unable to find a good enough excuse to call the Plan off. Xander and Spike were lonely people, and of such giving natures that they just weren't complete without someone to love and take care of. If they could find it with each other, all the better.

But Willow made a mental note to remind the boys that this was Dawn's idea -- she and Tara were just here to make sure no one got hurt.

An hour later and they had to admit defeat. There was no way out until whomever had locked them in came to release whatever spells held them hostage. A seasoned soldier, Xander accepted that which he could not change, and went to prepare a meal and try out the entertainment center.

Out of long-trained courtesy, he called out from the kitchen, "Hey Spike, want me to heat you up a mug?"

"Uh yeah, sure Harris." His tone expressed the concern that was blocked from his face. "Since when are you nice and all to me?"

Xander shrugged before bending down to check out the crisper laden with bags of Red Cross rejects. "We won't get out of here alive if we decide to kill each other first, right? But hey, whoever got us made sure to stock something better than Porky du jour! Which blood type do you prefer? There's a half dozen of each type here."

"Feckin hell, there's two dozen pints of human?"

Snickering as he held up two bags of dark liquid. "Nah, try four dozen. Positive and negative, all present and accounted for."

Spike's jaw went halfway to the floor before he caught himself, casually leaning against the kitchen cabinet while the human juggled ingredients for a plate of sandwiches. If Harris can be nice to me, guess I can return the favor. He took one step to intercept the leaning tower of lunchmeat and said, "How 'bout you pop in a couple packets of AB positive for me, and I'll make ya some french toast. Seem to remember ya liking that, back in the basement."

The expression of stunned delight on Xander's face made Spike feel sort of... warm and gooey inside. His demon's ego clamored at spending too much time with weak females and adolescents, but Spike was more than the sum of his parts. He firmly told it to shut the hell up, cracked a half dozen eggs into a bowl, and got down to business.

His rapt audience of one stood silently to one side, handy for locating the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and assorted utensils. As the first batch of light golden slices were placed on a plate, Xander handed him an extra large mug of human human! blood, heated to the perfect temperature. Man and vampire moaned together over their favored meals -- sharing a "moment" that neither would admit to craving.

Spike brought the enormous thermos mug must hold at least four pints, that over to the leather couch and carefully flopped into one corner. He hummed approval at the first title suggested as he gulped the first third of his meal. By the time Xander joined him, he was down to the halfway mark and ready to dunk a few slices of toast for desert. The human didn't even bat an eyelash.

They sat together in the dim light of the television for several hours, offering commentary (aka biting snark) and colorful anecdotes to one-up the storyline of each movie. Who needed an Exorcist when beheading worked as well, with less property damage? And From Dusk Til Dawn held enough mock-worthy moments to keep them entertained all night.

Before they knew it, Spike and Xander were holding their sides to keep from hurling in laughter. That they had not once fought or belittled the other was silently noted by both parties, but otherwise ignored. When on the hellmouth, it was better not to tempt fate (or jinx themselves) by questioning a surprisingly pleasant turn of events.

The only difficulty they faced was in sleeping arrangements. While vampires were nocturnal as a rule, Spike's internal clock had quirky batteries from working alongside the Slayer's group. Xander's construction job had him holding set hours of sleep these days, and he'd finally learned to sleep when he got tired. Unfortunately, there was only one bed in the apartment, and the couch wasn't long enough for either man's frame to comfortably fit. The bed, however, was a king-sized haven of fluffy delights, definitely worth a custody battle. And there would've been a fight, if only they weren't so damned tired...

Spike quickly claimed the left side of the bed, four enormous pillows, and the thick comforter. At that, Xander couldn't complain at all -- he preferred the right side, one firm pillow and a sheet. Each stunned at the easy capitulation of the other, they settled in to sleep.

Xander drifted up from the first full night of restful sleep he'd had in... forever. He was warm without being overheated, boneless from his heavy slumber, and way too lethargic to attempt getting out of bed for anything other than an apocalypse. Normally he would wake drenched in his own night sweat, since his body produced an excess of heat while he slept. But not this morning. Afternoon? Whatever. Since it was Saturday, he didn't much care what time it was, and even considered dozing back off. Then one more brain cell came online, and he put together the pieces to explain why he wasn't all hot and sweaty.

His first impulse was to scream and dive for a handy stake. Spike, pasted flat against my back from ankle to neck! Soaking up heat like a cat in a sunny windowsill... How could he be upset by such a natural progression? Vampire = no body heat of his own. Xander = living hot water bottle / electric blanket without the need for electricity. It made perfect sense, in a not so sense-y sorta way. And if he was completely, totally honest with himself (a little trick he would never admit to knowing), it felt... good. Safe. Being held like he was the most precious being in the world.

Dawn's words from a few weeks back echoed through his mind: Can you imagine being the center of his attention? He can love as well as hate, and it... it's incredible to know all that power and age and heat is directed at you. Followed swiftly by: You two are so different in so many ways, but you're alot alike too. When you love, you give everything. When you hate, it's with all your passion.

He was not the bumbling idiot that most of the world saw him as. Xander knew that he was the one to initiate The Kiss, knew the blond had enjoyed it. Hell, he had enjoyed it too, almost enough to pop in his jeans like he hadn't done since he was fifteen. What if all the animosity and tension between him and Spike was masking something deeper? Was he brave enough to find out?

The vampire in question knew exactly when his deliciously warm pillow woke up. He kept waiting for the explosion, the threats of grievous body damage and staking, but they never came. No more than ten seconds of stiff limbs, then the boy had relaxed with a tiny full-body shudder. So maybe Harris isn't as far into denial as I thought. Interesting, that.

Spike considered testing the boundaries with a little judicious wiggle or two, then thought better about it. Unless he was prepared for the probable war that would undoubtedly ensue if Harris felt his carefully groomed heterosexuality was being threatened. In the end, he decided that it just wasn't worth losing all that lovely warmth.

He was moments away from falling back asleep when his pillow gave another shiver.

"Hey Spike, sorry to wake you, but mortal here -- gotta make a trip to the bathroom." Xander's voice was kept low and calm, as if worried that he might break the spell of peace that kept them from chewing each other's heads off.

"Mmk, hurry back, luv." And the picture froze.

Xander couldn't get his body to move. Hadn't he just asked himself about this? The actual caring and kindness directed solely at him... However much he needed to relieve the pressure in his bladder, it wasn't enough to kickstart him into action, if that action moved him away from Spike. Shit, did he just call me 'luv'? All the wondering in the world wouldn't make a dent in how that one, simple word from his lips made my heart leap. Hope his super vampy senses interpret it as panic, or the need to race to the toilet. Fuck, Spike, why'd you have to pick now to make my knees go weak?

The bed's other occupant was faring no better; his internal monologue was much more hostile, but self-directed. Boy's gonna take a piss, then take the piss, then stake the idiot undead who can't watch his bloody tongue. Whatinhell were ya thinking, Spike ol' boy? Don't matter what ya smell coming offa him, just what he's willing to admit. And we were getting along so well...

Shoving lightly with one hand, Xander pushed off the sheet that had tangled with his legs and twisted to sit on the side of the bed. He didn't look back, didn't dare meet Spike's eyes just yet... but as he stood to carry out his wake up call, he threw over one shoulder, "Don't move, ok? Be back in a minute."

What am I doing? Oh fuck, what am I doing? Even without fully functional fangs, he can eat me alive. That phrase caused a torrent of conflicting images fly through his mind -- gore versus blowjob, a bloody neck ripped open versus pre-come damp pants ripped off. His poor dick didn't know whether to get hard or try to crawl up inside his body. Wonder if it can do both... what that would feel like... having a hardon inside me.

A deep twitch of his libido caused him to miss the porcelain, which in turn dragged a stream of muttered curses (as well as the more obvious "stream"). Spike, inside. Guh! And yeah, so the manly bits are working just fine, thank you very much. Manly bits working at the thought of other manly bits. Wow, talk about a trip to the Twilight Zone. And after growing up on the hellmouth, that's saying something.

Hands washed, spill cleaned up, hands washed again, teeth brushed, hair brushed... and Xander ran out of ways to stall for time. Nothing to it, time to face your demons. He had to snicker at the unintentional slip. So if all goes well, he might actually be my demon. Huh, no wiggins over that, just a sorta... satisfaction. Alrighty then, let's listen to the silent acceptance of my subconscious, which obviously doesn't object very much to naughty touching with Spike the Wonder Vamp. Who is male. And a vampire. And did I mention male?

His image in the mirror looked every bit as confused and panicky as Xander felt, but it too had no answers. The only person who might was twenty feet away, still snug in their comfy bed and waiting for him to come back. Another mental image that Xander didn't know how to cope with flashed through his head. Spike, all floppy and relaxed and bedhead-without-the-gelhelmet, waiting on me to join him in bed. Why does that appeal more than a million dirty pictures in dad's skin mags? And since it was so eloquent before, I'll say it again. GUH!

Spike's body stayed exactly where it'd been told, although his brain was racing through all the possibilities of how this could go arse over teakettle. Not like this is our One Big Romance, yeah? No riding off into the sunset or happily ever after. Demons don't get that sort of thing. Harris deserves it maybe, if any human does. He's a good man -- albeit a tad bit prejudiced about non-humans, but ya can't blame him for that one.

The passage of time went largely unnoticed as he focused on not moving the tiniest bit.

S'not like this'd be more'n fun and games for either of us, right? His curiosity, both a bit lonely. With his girls off ta college, s'only me and the watcher around alla time, and ol' Rupes is more a father to him than the waste of space that sired him. Almost like... no, not goin there, don't need those memories right now.

Circular thinking kept him occupied until the pounding heartbeat started coming closer again. He wanted to whip his head around and watch Xander's body language, see how this was going to play out. But the boy had asked him to stay right here, and somehow it seemed important to give that little bit.

"Hey, I'm back. Obviously," Harris laughed at himself. "Are you hungry yet, cus I can throw something together..."

If Spike were a man to admit to being nervous, he would have thanked the Powers That Be for Xander's evident jittery behavior. But he was still the Big Bad, yeah? "Nah, not yet. Why doncha get back here. S'where ya told me to be, but all the heat's gone now."

Hearing the none-too-subtle pout in the blond's tone brought a nebulous feeling of normality to their situation. "Yeah, I can do that."

Xander crawled back into bed, getting as close to his former position as possible. Almost at once, an undead limpet attached itself to his spine, soaking up the excess body heat that had returned in his embarrassment. He wiggled back against the heat sink, marveling at the firm planes of a non-female cuddler. "Mmm, this is... new and different."

"Not all bad though, is it?" The uncertainty in Spike's voice threw him for a loop. Since when was the cocky Master vampire unsure about his place in life, the universe and everything?

"Nope, not bad at all." He squirmed again, half in hope and half in fear of a fully functional male's automatic response to the friction he was creating. Was it intentional? Damn his subconscious for wanting this type of reassurance. He knew he shouldn't equate sex with affection, but he'd been well trained in that area. A strangled sound traveled through his throat when he found the suspected body part. Spike's dick. I made him hard. Me! Gah... Spike has a hardon pressed between my butt cheeks.

Spike wanted to protest, to stop the soddin fool's teasing movements, before he lost what little control he had left over his wayward libido. Almost seems like he wants it, wants to feel me against him like this. One last wiggle and he let go. The surge of blood to his cock made him light-headed enough that he couldn't tell which of them moaned louder. That they both moaned was worthy of note.

"Pet," he panted out past clenched teeth, "unless you want more than you're ready to handle, might wanna be still for a bit."

Xander didn't pretend to misunderstand the warning -- he simply ignored it as the last 'shot across the bow', and undulated just like Bubbles had taught him to do back in Oxnard. It started at both his head and toes, both ends of his body twisting in counterpart until the final corkscrew of his hips snapped into place. The predicted effect was definitely an ego stroker, even if it did scare him the tiniest bit.

"Warned ya, can't say I didn't," Spike growled against his neck shivers from the breath over such a sensitive spot, but more from the supernatural sound of a predator having caught its prey. He flipped the boy onto his back and slithered up his length, pressing every inch of their bodies against each other. "Ya wanna tell me no, this is your last chance. Never did abide rape, not like Angelus, not gonna start now. But I'm 'bout outa patience, luv."

Opening his eyes to watch the gold-flecked blue that stared into him, Xander swallowed hard against the fear that wanted to bubble up out of his stomach (by way of his toenails). His right leg slipped over Spike's left, his arms went around the blond's waist, and his chin raised and tilted. The unspoken invitation was ignored, but he got that -- Spike needed to hear it. "I won't tell you no, Spike. Want this, want you. Now, k?"

The thinly masked concern bled from his face, overcome by an expression of cocksure sensuality that was much more natural for a Master vampire. Taking his time, Spike leaned down to press his lips against the lovely red cupid's bow, a simple slide of flesh that made him want to lay claim to his territory. Won't do that, don't wanna hurt the boy. Humans are so fragile, might break him if I'm not careful.

"Dammit bleachboy, I'm not gonna break," came out muffled between their mouths. Had he said that outloud? "Yeah, you did, and will you kindly shut up and make with the macking already?"

"Impatient brat, outa teach ya some manners." A lovely image of Xander on his knees, begging so prettily, derailed his thoughts for a moment. At least until his head was yanked back into place.

Their mouths met in slow motion, giving each time to memorize the wonderful novelty of their first conscious kiss. Xander's tongue ventured out to lick along the seam of pale pink lips, was encouraged to explore further, and dived in to taste. Being actively wanted was new for Spike, and he reveled in it. Letting the boy have his way cost him nothing, and stroked his bruised ego.

Minutes passed before their innocent touches grew bold. Warm hands swept up the expanse of Spike's lean back. Cool fingers brushed along Xander's arms, crossing the firm pectorals to find hard twin buds. With the first pinch to his nipple, Xander cried out against his... lover? was Spike his lover now? Mouths separated, then found new purchase. He shivered at having his earlobe nibbled, moaned at the languid sucking on his neck. The fact that he had a vampire latched onto his jugular didn't seem to matter that much. Spike didn't want to kill him. A simple revelation, but one that gave him a boost of courage.

"Want it all, Spike. Show me?"

The breathless request felt like a punch in his gut. Spike had prepared himself for being left to deal with the inevitable erection, figuring the boy wouldn't dare go very far in this first round. Of course, shock quickly gave way to possessive arousal -- he was nothing, if not an opportunist -- and clothes were soon a thing of the past.

"Can do that, luv, do anything ya want," whispered while shirts were removed. "So many things we can do, Xander... what's it to be? Show ya how to give the best head. Or maybe how it feels to slip two cocks alongside each other til we spill." He had to see his boy's face for the next suggestion, had to gage his chances. "Or do ya want to feel what it's like to be taken, filled ta bursting, leaving it all up ta me to getcha off?"

Xander's heart felt like it was about to pound out of his chest. He knew what he was asking for, had known since he'd said it. But hearing it outloud in that sinful (fake!) cockney accent made everything so real! And yeah, maybe he had a kink about dirty talk too.

"I'll take what's behind Door #3," he tried to make it sound like his normal cheerful banter, but his breath was too heavy. God, he sounded like a girl sometimes. "Gonna fuck me, Spike?" But at least he wasn't alone. The reactions from his lover getting easier to think that way made his nervous tension relax a little.

Spike stopped, frozen in spot. His eyes moved over the boy's face, seeing only honest desire and some small amount of justifiable jitters. There was one thing he had to correct, before this could begin. "Nah, sounds like something you'd get in a dirty alley, don't it? Shag's better, more friendly. Dunno if we're up ta making love yet... might be intr'sting ta try though."

"Yeah, try."

Xander's hands reached for zipper and buttons, proving that he had at least a little practice at undressing two people at a time. He soon learned (to a mixture of mild fear and giddy pleasure) that the blond went commando. Easier to get to the finish line, right? A flurry of fabric was thrown off the bed, eventually leaving two seriously aroused men in a twisted heap on the bed.

Should I check him out? Girls do it, like Anya and Faith did just before they jumped on board. But what's the protocol with guys? His eyes flickered up to see Spike's devouring documentation of his goods. Alrighty then, let's see what he's got. Brown eyes widened, his heartbeat tripped before leveling out. "Oh. My. God. Is that gonna fit?"

Spike was not a large man, never had been even back in the day before healthy diets and longer lifespans encouraged full growth potential. But some parts of him were above average, as Xander found out. "No worries, luv. Won't hurt ya... can't, remember?" He tapped the back of his head. " 'Sides, we're pretty even. Gonna feel so good when ya slide inside me, tight as a virgin every time." Then his teasing stopped, his tone sobered up. "Xander, even if this bloody chip was gone, I wouldn't hurt ya. We'll take as long as ya need to get ya stretched and comfortable."

Xander's head nodded jerkily, his wonder at the thick length still apparent. "Yeah, so let's get to the stretching, blondie." He wanted this so badly, no matter how much it sent uneasy shudders through his brain, his other brain was reminding him that it did not like to be ignored, thank you very much.

Leaning down to begin another series of intoxicating kisses, Spike fumbled the bedside table drawer open. He didn't bother closing it after he found the prized tube. And thank all that's unholy, whoever set us up remembered the little details He unscrewed the cap with one hand, using the other to softly pet his lovely's chest and cheeks. With a little swivel, Xander's legs fell open, putting Spike in a much better position from which to work.

Here it is. Oh fuck, can I do this? Want to do this, with Spike. He replayed that line, opting not to think about what those cool fingers were actually doing. I want to do this... to have sex, there, I said it. To have sex with Spike. To take another man's dick into my body, up my butt. Everything he'd been taught about how weak and perverse the act was, just flew out the window. Because yes, he did. I do. I want Spike's prick inside me. And oh good gods above, if that sounds as sexy outloud as it does in my mind, maybe I should repeat it. Just to see his reaction.

Warm, lightly furred legs spread just so, Spike licked and nibbled a twisted path down his boy's torso. He squeezed a generous dollop of slick onto his fingers and blew across the leaking head of that lovely cock. The expected tremor nearly shook him out of place, forcing him to look up to find Xander's face. An expression of calm revelation. Huh.

Slippery fingers tested the tension in his buttocks, and Xander had to breathe deep to keep from bolting. Now's a great time for distraction, Xanman. When Spike's face lifted up to find his, he said aloud what he'd only ever thought before, "Want you inside me, Spike. Want to feel you, every inch, every vein and bump and wrinkle on your dick." The fingers slid past his untried muscle ring, and Xander had to bite his lip to keep from laughing at the gobsmacked expression on his vampire's face. So he likes a little dirty talk too, huh? I can do that.

"I've heard it's supposed to burn the first few times. Good thing your body's nice and cool, gonna feel so good, soothing that fiery ache. Might feel so good that we go without the stretching one day, when I want to be reminded of our first time." And there went a third finger. Xander got his wish -- he felt bony knuckles, slightly ragged fingernails... thought he might even feel fingerprints. Sensory overload approaching, gah!

Oh luv, gonna keep you, I am. Spike's control was slipping fast, and he knew it. From the sounds of things, Xander was twisting the dial on his own arousal by saying all those lovely things. Works for me, sweet boy. But then his fourth finger went inside, with not a single twinge of the chip, and it was time to dispense with the formalities.

With a flick across his boy's prostate, Spike crawled back up his body. "Ya ready for me, luv?" A sweet, simple kiss. "Ready to have me buried bollocks-deep inside your tight arse?"

"Oooh yes," the words hissed out. Xander's hips moved without permission, arching down onto the delicious torment of those educated fingers. "Any time you're ready, Spike."

In one smooth series of motions, Spike's fingers retracted, lube was spread, legs were pushed over shoulders, and Spike had to suck in a deep breath to keep from embarrassing himself. Boy's hotter'n hell! That's one fire I wouldn't mind burning in forever.

Xander forced his eyes to stay open through the new chaos of feelings -- he didn't want to miss any part of this. The thick, bulbous head barely managed to squeeze through his asshole, but when he sucked in a surprised gasp and slowly exhaled, it slid in more easily. Oh yeah, burn baby burn, his inner geek supplied. A random fact he'd once overheard, then, "Face to face isn't the usual way..."

"Nah, s'not for everyone. Takes more flexibility and control to make it feel good for both blokes this way." For a vampire, he sure had to breathe alot. "Wanted to see your face, luv. See whatcha look like as my cock slowly invades all that wonderful heat. S'perfect, Xander, never felt anything like this."

William the Bloody, closet romantic. Who knew? Not that I blame him, or can argue about it. Cus... damn. Xander's head bobbed erratically in agreement. He didn't trust himself to speak without vomiting out all sorts of girly crap about how beautiful were Spike's blue eyes, how strong he was. Although if there's one man alive today -- in the loosest sense -- that could appreciate it, I bet it's Spike.

He felt a pair of round, heavy balls bounce against his butt, indicating that he was completely filled. Giving a nice squeeze, he moaned over the scalding stretch, barely hearing the correspondent groan from above. "Almost want a picture of this, save it for a rainy day, y'know? But it wouldn't be the same without feeling it too."

"Xan," Spike choked out, "don't do that unless ya wanna be ridden hard and put away wet." His prick wanted immediate gratification. But then the brat did it again. "Don't say I didn't warn ya." With disclaimers out of the way, he let his hips set a rhythm. Long, slow strokes angled a hair off each time, looking for-

"Oh fuck! Do that again!"

"With pleasure, luv."

Xander's eyes went glassy from the ecstasy of prostate stimulation, but he never once took them off of Spike's face. His hands moved up to join the vampire's, just to hold on, but found that he quite enjoyed the feeling of being restrained. He couldn't move more than a few inches by bouncing his butt against Spike's thrusts... every other part of his body was pretty much glued in place. And it felt good, shamefully so. Bet he'd like this too. Note to self: make sure to change places sometime soon.

Murmuring against brown hair, Spike couldn't say which words escaped his lips. All he knew for certain was that he never wanted to be anywhere else. Deep inside his boy, his Xander. Or maybe, for novelty of course, with Xander deep inside him. Been too long since anyone topped me, should give it a try. Fuckin hell, he'll burn me from the inside out! Bet it'll feel like being impaled with a branding iron.

Like far off thunder announcing the coming storm, Xander felt his orgasm building. The sensations came from a place he'd never known was there, never thought to look for even. He caught Spike's intense stare and held on, angling his face up for a kiss. His tongue thrust in counterpart with the wonderful, amazing, perfect dick that was so brilliantly intelligent it hadn't missed a single stroke against his prostate. It would be so embarrassing to come just like this, without any other stimulation... but he really didn't care.

Breaking from the kiss, Xander's breath came in harsh gasps against his lover's ear. "Gonna come soon, Spike. Wanna feel you first. Feel you twitch and spasm in my ass, splash cool come up inside me. God! Please Spike, please, don't wanna wait. Faster?"

Spike's brain wanted nothing more than to shut down and enjoy, but his boy's words triggered something, a memory, a ghost of shags past. "Not gonna leave ya hangin, luv. Whatever ya want, anything I can give ya." He sped up and pushed the tiniest bit harder, balancing on one hand to fondle Xander's tight bollocks. "How bout I help ya out here, hmm?"

"Fuck yes! So close, Spike... gaaaaah!" A geyser of hot semen shot between their heaving bodies. The clenching spasms of his hole sucked Spike into his own climax, and several waves of cool liquid drew another, smaller spasm from Xander. Both unwilling to separate, their lips met in soothing contact, hands roamed over sweat-slicked flesh. Before long, they dozed off, still attached.

"Shit. Wake up, you undead menace."

"Wonderful. Figures, don't it? Get your pleasure and toss ol' Spike aside."

"Shut it, you. This is all your fault anyways."

"Huh, now what'd I do?"

"Well, since it was my first time with the man-sex, you should have remembered the need to clean up before we got glued together!"

"Oh. That."

Several weeks later, at the Magic Box:

Xander relaxed back in his chair, a dusty old book in front of him, a frisky old vampire at his side. He and Spike were still enjoying the abundant apologies (read: baked chocolate-y goodness) of both witches and Dawn, and you know what they say about cocoa being an aphrodisiac. Not that they needed the encouragement, but still.

The front door jingled as someone walked in, and the Scoobies stifled groans when Anya's voice rang out. "Xander Harris, you have ignored me for the past three months. I have been patient. I have been tolerant. I have been willing to accept the groveling that is my due. I have..." Finally stepping around the bookcases, the former demoness got her first look at the comfortably cuddling pair of men. "... That is... disturbing, but sexy as well. Is this the reason you no longer wish to give me orgasms?"

"Uh, yeah. Something like that." Xander glanced worriedly at his lover. Vampires were so flammable, after all.

"Oh, well that explains everything. Why didn't you just tell me you preferred men? We could have saved enough by not having the wedding that I could sign up for that surgery. I've heard the prostate is a wonderful sexual aid..."

Spike laughed outright. Xander groaned, then bit his lover's shoulder as he joined the chuckles.

And from the sidelines, Dawn simply smirked her satisfaction at a job well done.

The End

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