Written for miriam_heddy for reremouse's Spander Valentine ficathon.
Title: The One in the Home Depot Up the Road from the Home Depot
Word count: 2800
Disclaimer: Not my creations; all gains are purely spiritual.
Summary: Post-NFA. Established relationship. Other than that, the title pretty much says it all.
Warnings: Bickering, wood, an unfortunate saleclerk.
The One in the Home Depot
Up the Road from the Home Depot
“Are you sure this is the right Home Depot?” Xander pulls into the far end of the parking lot, driving diagonally across the empty spaces. “I’m pretty sure there’s another one a few miles down on the right.”
“It’s every Home Depot.” Spike is already busy preparing the cigarette that he’ll light as soon as he can open the car door.
Xander sighs as he pulls into the open space closest to the entrance. “Would it kill you to just recheck the address?”
“What?” Spike is out the door and lighting up, speaking around the side of the cigarette. “They didn’t teach you the meaning of the word ‘every’ during your pathetic excuse for a public education?”
Xander gets out of the car and opens the back door, pulling a pair of stakes from a satchel. “You know what they did teach me in Sunnydale?” He slams the door and walks around the back of the car. “How to use one of these.” He tosses one of the stakes in Spike’s direction.
Spike catches it with the hand not slipping his Zippo back into its pocket. “It’s an adjective or determiner used to refer to all the individual members of a set without exception. Synonym: each.”
“Well, thank you, grammar vamp.” Xander rolls his eyes and he shoves his own stake into the back of his jeans. “You do know that memorizing the Oxford English Dictionary isn’t actually cool, right?”
“What do you know about cool?” Spike asks.
“About as much as I know about the Oxford English Dictionary,” Xander admits. “You win. Can we go inside now?”
As the automatic doors swish shut behind them, Xander spots a power drill he wouldn’t mind owning on an endcap display. He starts to drift toward it, but Spike’s hand on his arm draws him up short.
“Hey!” he says.
Spike just gives him a look.
Xander sighs. “Right, okay, I’m focused.”
“What?” Xander asks.
Spike raises a brow.
Xander waits him out.
When Spike finally deigns to speak, it’s to inform Xander that: “You have all the focus of a Chihuahua.”
“A Chihuahua?” Xander repeats. “Really?”
Xander’s eyes narrow. “We are not getting a Chihuahua.”
“What are you on about? I compared you to a Chihuahua. Didn’t say I wanted one.”
Xander ignores the subtle dig and the unconvincing denial to focus on the more crucial issue. “I mean it, Spike. No way. You’ve been dropping tiny dog names for weeks, but it’s not going to happen. We are not getting a purse dog. We—I am not that gay.”
“Hey,” Spike says, “good things come in small—”
Xander opens his mouth, about to deliver a counterargument, when the truth of the statement hits him. Good things do come in small and annoying packages.
Not that he’s going to admit that tonight.
He’ll make Spike work for his purse dog.
And it will so not be a Chihuahua.
“Speaking of focus, Mr. Pot,” Xander says, “let’s get going. We should probably split up.”
Spike nods and turns his back on Xander, walking away in that way that makes Xander want to bend him over the nearest counter display and fuck him until he can’t even stand straight and that smirk Xander knows he’s smirking melts off his face.
Walking away in that way that makes Xander want to mark his territory.
That way that makes Xander want that territory.
That makes Xander want.
Spike’s walk should be illegal in at least twelve states.
Xander actually tried to walk that way once.
He thought it might be going pretty well, what with the way people were staring, until an elderly passer-by asked him if he was feeling dizzy – and did he want to borrow her walker?
Xander sticks to his regular old gait these days. The simple stride of the everyman.
Though there may be just a bit of extra spring in Xander the Everyman’s simple stride as he heads off in the opposite direction, toward the lumber aisles. Mission aside, he’s looking forward to lingering among the lumber. A rare treat. Lumber lingering isn’t exactly licensed when one’s wood-loathing boyfriend is in tow.
Ten minutes later, Xander hasn’t even made it halfway down the first aisle. He’s stopped in his tracks and giving serious thought to committing a passionate infidelity with a gorgeous redwood.
He runs a light hand over one of the planks, imagining how it would be to take it home, lay it down, and nail it in place. To sand it smooth, shaping it into the deck of his dreams. He imagines how it would look in the moonlight on a summer night. How it would feel, cool and firm beneath his naked back while Spike did some nailing of his own.
Then he imagines building a nice sturdy railing along his dream deck, just the right height to bend Spike over.
He loves bending Spike over things.
Xander gives the plank another stroke. It’s not so much an infidelity, he concludes, as a plan for a really hot threesome.
Well, fantasy threesome, anyway. Sadly, wood like this is way out of his and Spike’s league.
Eventually, Xander notices the salesclerk standing a few feet away.
His name tag says Kevin.
Xander has no idea how long Kevin’s been standing there. Assuming Kevin can’t look into his brain – which, if not impossible, he figures is at least improbable – Xander only hopes he wasn’t making any embarrassing noises while he thought he was alone with the wood.
“Um, hi.” Xander has no idea if Kevin has asked him if he was finding everything okay or if Kevin has wondered if there was anything he could help Xander with. “I was just…uh…looking.” He figures if there was a question, that might be something like the answer.
“Thinking about building something?” Kevin asks.
“A deck,” Xander says. “Well, a fantasy deck. I mean, not a deck for my fantasies, a deck of my fantasies. I mean, the fantasies are about the deck, not about the stuff I would do on the deck. Not that I’ve been thinking about what I would do on the deck. You know, if there was a deck.”
Xander decides it’s comforting that he hasn’t completely outgrown nervous babble. It keeps him feeling young.
Well, that and his hasn’t-aged-a-day-in-a-century, supernatural-stamina-having stud of a boyfriend.
Regular Fountain of Youth, his Spike.
Xander realizes he’s smiling about the time that he realizes Kevin the Salesclerk is smiling back at him. “I bet you’re good with your hands,” Kevin says.
Xander shrugs. “I muddle through the plumbing and electrical, but I do pretty well with wood.”
Kevin is still smiling. “Do you.”
It takes Xander a few more seconds of being smiled at before it occurs to him that he’s being cruised.
It takes another couple of seconds after that to replay his own wood comment in this new context and realize that Kevin probably thinks they’re about a head-nod and an eyebrow-lift away from a blowjob back by the loading dock.
Xander’s still trying to sort out a good backpedal, when Kevin’s eyes suddenly shift to something over Xander’s shoulder just before a familiar hand settles on it.
“Yes, he does,” Spike says.
“Oh, hey,” Xander turns toward Spike, “we – I mean, I was just…”
But Spike not really listening or caring. He’s head-nodding and eyebrow-lifting and before Xander quite realizes what’s happening they’re following Kevin back through a doorway labeled ‘Employees Only’ and headed for a poorly lit corner of the back warehouse.
Xander tries to catch Spike’s eye.
Occasional wood-related fantasy aside, they’re not actually threesome people.
Or at least they haven’t been so far.
And if they’re going to start being threesome people, Xander’s not sure he votes for starting with Kevin the Saleclerk.
But Spike’s eye refuses to be caught, so Xander keeps following, trying to reframe the situation in his mind.
Hot, he tells himself.
Weird, his self answers.
Adventurous, he insists.
Creepy, he counters.
When Kevin finally comes to a stop, Spike finally gives Xander some eye contact and Xander tries to telegraph weird and creepy as best he can with just the one eye, but maybe it only comes out wei and cree because Spike just leans in and kisses him while Kevin watches from way too close.
Spike’s a very persuasive kisser and the hands he’s sliding over Xander’s back don’t hurt either and Xander’s just rounding hot, headed for adventurous when he feels Spike’s knuckles at the small of his back.
He realizes Spike’s got a grip on the stake tucked into the back of his jeans about a second and a half before that stake is plunged into Kevin’s chest.
Xander can feel the dust settle on his eyelashes.
“Oh,” he says, more to himself than anyone. “Duh.”
His gaze returns to Spike’s face just in time to catch the eye roll.
Or maybe it’s just one eye roll of many.
“What? I was totally expecting a customer, not an employee.”
Spike doesn’t look impressed. “He told you you looked like you were good with your hands.”
“And,” Xander admits, “I may have been a bit distracted by all the pretty wood. It’s your fault, you know. You never let me look at the wood.”
Spike manages to look even less impressed.
“Oh, come on, they were two-by-fours. They’re not even sharp enough to shove through your chest.”
Spike ignores that, shaking his head. “You were trying to get cruised and you didn’t notice you were being cruised.”
“I told you, I wasn’t expecting an employee and I was distracted and, hey, isn’t an insusceptibility to being cruised a good thing in a boyfriend?”
“A bloke could hold a flashing neon sign in front of your face that read ‘Trying to get into Xander’s knickers’ and you’d just push him out of the way to get a better look at the electric sander.”
Xander holds up his hands. “Okay, okay, it took me a long time to realize you were interested. I was slow on the uptake and it made you insecure. I get that. Believe me. But we’re together now. And we have been for kinda a while. Someday you’re gonna have to get over it.”
He leans in and kisses Spike.
“Wasn’t insecure,” Spike mutters against his lips.
It’s Xander’s turn to roll his eye. “Oh, no, not you.” He kisses Spike again. “I was thinking about you, you know.”
“When I wasn’t noticing Kevin cruising me,” Xander clarifies as he begins to back Spike toward a pallet. “I was thinking about building a deck with all that pretty wood and taking you out there at night and fucking you over the railing. The very sturdy railing.”
Speaking of sturdy, Spike’s back hits the pallet and stops. Xander keeps going, pressing his body against Spike’s, lingering over another kiss.
“That so?” Spike asks.
“That is totally so,” Xander confirms, though he can barely remember what they were talking about. He’s pretty sure it has to do with fucking Spike, though, so he’s comfortable taking a pro stance.
He slides a hand up to wrap around the back of Spike’s neck and pushes impossibly closer. At times like this, Xander doesn’t miss his high school body at all. He likes being bigger than Spike, bulkier.
And unless that’s another stake in Spike’s pocket, Xander’s thinking Spike likes it, too.
Xander slides a hand between their bodies, pressing the heel of his hand over the front of Spike’s jeans for a moment, swallowing Spike’s groan.
Finally breaking away from the kiss, Xander steps back an inch or two and makes quick work of Spike’s button fly before dropping to his knees. With his hands resting against the pallet on either side of Spike’s hips, it occurs to Xander that they’re not exactly in the privacy of their own home here, which, while somewhat exciting, also presents a case for relative speed.
He swallows Spike whole.
The noises Spike makes in response further the argument for hurrying the hell up.
Hurrying the hell up makes for further noises.
It’s a vicious cycle.
But a short one.
Xander sits back on his heels. “Why are you never quiet and stealthy when it will actually help me avoid embarrassment?” he asks.
Spike takes it as the rhetorical question it is and lights up a cigarette.
“Yeah, great,” Xander says, “let’s set off a smoke detector.”
As he goes to push himself up off the concrete floor, it occurs to Xander that there is one part of his high school body he really does miss: his knees.
“Ow, fuck,” he mutters. He glares up at the smoking Spike. “Not to interrupt your afterglow, here, but could I maybe get a hand up?”
Spike reaches down and pulls Xander to his feet.
Xander continues his glare until Spike pulls him in for a kiss.
“You taste like an ashtray,” Xander grumbles afterwards, but he’s smiling. He dusts off the knees of his jeans. “So, the night is still young – where’s next on our list?”
“Home Depot down the road,” Spike says.
“Seriously? I thought you were kidding about that.”
Spike takes another drag on his cigarette. “Mass production,” he says, like it’s the answer to everything.
Xander frowns. “But, I mean, I go to Home Depot all the time. How did I not know about this?”
“Gee,” Spike says, a soft snort sending smoke out through his nostrils, “can’t imagine how you’d miss it.”
Xander has to admit Spike has a point, but he doesn’t have to admit it out loud. “Come on. If you’re gonna keep smoking that,” Xander gestures towards the cigarette, then towards the warehouse door, “we’d better get out of here.”
Spike lets the cigarette hang between his lips for a moment as he does up his fly, then starts for the door.
Xander holds it open for him. “Do you think these are hate crimes?”
Spike shakes his head. “Nah, just crimes of opportunity. All you really want is a stranger who’ll go somewhere private with you after dark and let you near their neck. This’s one way.”
They start around the building back toward the parking lot.
For a long minute, Xander doesn’t say anything. Then: “So, you kill a lot of gay people back when you were a vampire?”
“Still a vampire,” Spike says softly. “You know that.”
“Yeah, I just meant, you know, back in your chipless, soulless days.”
Spike takes another couple of drags, letting each one out slowly, then flicks the cigarette away. The red tip breaks from the filter and scatters across the asphalt.
“Wasn’t like I sought ’em out or anything. Couldn’t just get a list and print it out back then.” They reach the car and separate, Xander to the driver’s side, Spike to the passenger’s. Spike pauses with his fingers on the door handle, meeting Xander’s gaze across the roof. “Sometimes I’d hear about a place, though. And I’d usually go.”
Xander nods and watches Spike get in the car.
He gives himself a few seconds and then opens his own door, sliding in behind the wheel with a snort. “Yeah, see, having a website that lists all the cruising spots seems like a good idea…until the police start reading it…or, you know, evil, bloodsucking fiends.” He snaps his seatbelt into place. “And since when did vampires get internet savvy, anyway?”
He watches the tension drain from Spike’s body. “I’m internet savvy,” Spike says.
“Okay, since when did vampires who don’t live in their boyfriend’s house and make him pay for the fastest highspeed connection and then hog his computer all the time get internet savvy?”
Spike shrugs. “It’s a digital age.”
“Thanks for the update.” Xander rolls his eyes and starts the car, makes his way back onto the main road. “It just seems weird is all.”
“There’s wifi everywhere.”
“So what? Vampires are taking their laptops into coffee shops and getting online? Are they checking their MySpace, too? Updating their Facebook status before choosing their next victims?”
“Hey, just because you don’t even know how to use Google…”
“Everyone knows how to use Google.”
“Maybe later,” Spike says. “Got a mission, remember?”
Xander grins as he spots a flash of orange up ahead and puts on his blinker. “That’s us. Making the world safe for seekers of anonymous gay sex everywhere.”
Spike grins back, already sliding another cigarette out of his pack. “Somebody’s got to do it.”
Xander pulls into the far end the Home Depot parking lot and drives diagonally across the empty spaces toward the entrance. “Damn right,” he says.
How Spike and Xander express their love: bickering/arguing, with kissing, with sex
When Spike and Xander express their love (what era Spander you want): Post "Not Fade Away"
Where Spike and Xander express their love (optional): in the Lowes/Home Depot
Who else (if anyone) is involved: an unfortunate salesclerk
What else (if anything) is involved: wood
Up to three things you don't want: daddy!kink, final death, Buffy-bashing
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