Rating: PG overall
Genre: Slash relationship
Warnings: Some boy/boy kissing
Word count: 1,400
Disclaimer: Joss and Mutant Enemy et al own everything. I own nothing
Summary: Xander’s grown up a lot since his days in the basement. Spike’s okay with that
Beta extraordinaire as always: thismaz
Comments are cuddled and called George

This is a one-shot to support lusciousxander’s Reviving Spander Ficathon. This fic is a complete piece of fluff, but it was lovely to revisit these two. It’s been a while :)



It wasn’t a bad flat. It wasn’t great, but it was a big step up from the basement back in the day. It didn’t smell of three day old washing that hadn’t dried properly, so that was a bonus. On the down side, there was still the faint aroma of lingering sweat and sex, and old pizza that had been swallowed by the back of the sofa. But then Harris was a bloke, and there were some things that didn’t change, whatever the venue.

Sure, Harris was older now. He had a pile of framed photos of African landscapes on the wall instead of the dodgy sci-fi posters of years gone by. A large potted plant sat in an oversized goldfish bowl that was balanced precariously on a narrow book shelf, keeping a bunch of well thumbed paperbacks from tumbling onto the floor. Spike kept meaning to ask what had happened to the goldfish, but somehow, before he got around to it, he always got distracted.

Which brought him back to the owner of the flat, the plant, the goldfish bowl and the paperbacks - Harris.

The gangly boy with the lousy taste in shirts and the ten-a-penny shit jobs had grown up since his days in the basement. At least a little bit. His hair was almost buzz cut these days, making the eyepatch stand out like he couldn’t be bothered to hide it anymore. The clothing was still questionable, but that was more about a bloke who didn’t give a damn, rather than a boy using clashing colours as camouflage.

Spike leaned against the door jamb, six pack of beer dangling from one hand and watched. Harris was stretched out on the sofa; flip flopped feet resting on the ancient velvet ottoman, bowl of popcorn balanced on his stomach and his eyes glued to the TV screen. Spike wasn’t sure whether to be pleased or outraged that Harris hadn’t even looked away from the TV when he’d opened the door.

“You started without me,” he said. “Maybe I’ll keep the beer to myself.”

That makes Harris look up. “Keep the beer to yourself and I’ll tell Andrew you want him to patrol with you for the whole of next month.”

“Now that’s just nasty.”

“That’s me, always going for the jugular. It’s probably why you like me.”

Spike licked his lips. “Keep telling yourself that.”

Harris grinned. “I thought you weren’t coming, so figured I’d start the movie anyway. Kind of rude to keep a dead, psychotic serial killer waiting.” He nodded to the old TV in the corner where Freddie was menacing some generic teenage actor in his sleep.

“That’s not what you said last night,” Spike replied. “And Freddie’s a right wanker. I’ve seen better moves from a baby Kerspin that’s only three days out the nest.”

“Do I really want to know?”

“Probably not, but they do this really neat manoeuvre with their claws. They slide them right under their victim’s stomach and make steak tartare from the inside. It’d make a great show on the food network.”

Harris paused, a handful of popcorn half way between the bowl and his mouth. “Disturbing,” he said finally. “But no more so than Bobby Flay cooking barbeque.”

“Yeah,” Spike replied. “I watched one of his programmes once. Talk about false advertising. I hadn’t seen a good flaying in ages, and he was just doing poncy things with an avocado. I had a good mind to write in and complain.” He back heeled the door shut and ambled across the room to the sofa. Flipping the lid off one of the beers, he passed it to Harris, then popped another one for himself and took a long pull. “What made you think I wasn’t coming?”

“Because you’re late.” Harris waved the beer bottle in Spike’s direction. “I mean, you’re always late, so I figure that you being late, is you being on time, so I never think about you as being late. But there’s on-time late, and there’s way past throwing out time at The Ram Inn. And can I just say that there’s a really tacky joke just waiting to be told about that, but I won’t, because it will make my head hurt. Anyway, I figured you’d probably found something more entertaining to do, because if you’d been going to be on-time late, you’d have been here half an hour ago. Which makes you late.”

Spike took another long swallow, then slouched down onto the sofa, shoving Harris over with his hip. “The scary thing is, I actually understood that.” He plonked his feet on the ottoman, his docs looking incongruous next to Harris’ flip flops. He noticed Harris’ toenails were painted a colour that hovered indecisively between blue and purple. Grabbing a handful of popcorn, he munched it thoughtfully. “Got caught up with a fight with a couple of Fyarls. They were out in the back alley, and seemed to think the pub name was more of an instruction manual for anything that was walking past. Stupid buggers, but they’ve got some muscle on them, and the snot thing is just nasty. Took the first one out PDQ but the other one took exception to me killing its mate and got a bit of attitude. Finally got one of his horns off and shoved it up his arse. Or maybe I should say ‘rammed it up’.” Spike chuckled. “Moron screeched like a couple of cats fighting their way out a sack.”

Harris curled his toes. The new angle made the light hit them differently and they definitely looked purple now. “And the fact that that’s probably a real life reference rather than a colourful metaphor, somehow makes it all the more disturbing.”

“Nah, never put cats in a sack. Ferrets on the other hand...” Spike stopped short when Harris plonked his beer on the end table, shoved the popcorn to the side where it spilled half onto the floor and rolled over and up onto his knees to straddle Spike. Then Harris kissed him and thoughts of cats and ferrets and Fyarls disappeared like the popcorn rolling under the sofa.

One thing Spike liked about Harris is the way he gave his full attention when he kissed. It’s not just a peck on the cheek and a ‘how was your day, dear’. Not that they’re living in some alternate Brady Bunch dimension where that would even happen. And it’s not a going through the motions thing, with lips and tongue going at it, while his head is thinking about any of the other things he might be thinking about when he’s not kissing Spike.

Harris kissed like he wanted to crawl inside your mouth and find undiscovered countries. Like he was a missionary bringing the good word to some lost tribe, or a map maker charting territory so he’d know all the main drags and the back alleys for the next time and the time after that. He kissed like he was an explorer who knew here be dragons and was too in love with adventure to care. When it came down to it, when he kissed, that’s all he was doing and after a death-time of fighting for attention, Harris kissing was just fine by him.

Every time Spike wondered why he kept coming back, or why he kept forgetting to ask about the fate of the goldfish, Harris would kiss him and that would be that. Then the kissing would lead to touching, and the touching would lead to other good stuff that made Spike cross his eyes and feel relieved that his soul didn’t come with any nasty happiness clause attached.

Finally, Harris stopped kissing and rested his forehead against Spike’s. “Sometimes I forget I need to breathe,” he muttered.

“Could do something about that,” Spike said.

He felt Harris’ smile against his cheek. “Nah, I’m good. I just like testing how long I can hold my breath.”

Spike pulled back, his body moulded to the shape of the sofa. “Fair enough. Just thought I’d offer.”

Harris grinned. “Appreciated.”

“Harris,” Spike said.

“Yes, Spike.”

“Kiss me again.”

So Harris did.

And the kissing led to touching. And the touching led to other good stuff. And Spike never did find out what had happened to the goldfish. If he remembered, he’d ask tomorrow night, or possibly the night after that.

If he didn’t get distracted again.

For anyone that's interested, The Ram Inn is a real pub. *g* It's in Lewes, in Sussex.

The End

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