Sequel to Reassembling
Summary: What happens when Principal Wood comes to town?
I am extremely grateful to [info]incandragonfor the wonderful, and quick, beta read.





Readjustment


by
Texanfan



Part One

“Demon eggs, Spike?” Xander was turning a strange shade of purple. Spike couldn’t figure out what had him so twisted up.

“Would have been a nice start on Niblet’s college fund if Captain Cardboard hadn’t stomped through,” Spike argued, striving for reasonable although he was seriously put out.

“Riley said those things were biological weapons!” Xander went suddenly pale as some new idea occurred to him. “My God, you’re a terrorist, Spike!”

Spike couldn’t stop the broad grin that spread across his face. “You think so? You think the chip would let me be one?”

Xander sank into a kitchen chair and buried his face in his hands. Spike put a consoling hand on his shoulder. He wasn’t sure what had Xander so upset. No one had died, except his bank account. He’d never get his money out of those lousy blighters now.

Xander raised his head, a resolved look on his face. “Spike.” Spike did not appreciate the talking-to-an-idiot tone of voice Xander was employing. “You remember 9/11, right?”

“Sure, best day of telly I’ve seen in years.” Spike had spent hours flipping through the channels following the lovely carnage. He’d been considerate. He made discreet inquiries and found that none of the Scoobies had ever been to New York or D.C. and that no one they knew was among the dead. After that, he felt free to gloat all he wanted. His humans walked around shell shocked for a week and he couldn’t understand why.

“Do the words Homeland Security have any meaning for you?”

“Yes.” Spike remembered the idiot reaction of people.

“If they get wind of you doing something vaguely terroristy they will investigate us, tap our phones, throw us in jail without trial. Just how much good do you think you’re going to do Dawn then?”

Spike hated it when Xander was logical.

“Fine, spoil all my fun.” Being a terrorist meant either blowing yourself up, which was bloody stupid, or sitting back and allowing other people to create carnage, which was boring. It had just been a fleeting thought anyway. “So, has Cornfed figured out that the bot isn’t the slayer?”

“No, and we’re keeping it that way if at all possible.” Xander was eying him like he was afraid Spike had given in too easily. Spike decided to let him sweat it for a bit. It would be good for him. Besides, there were benefits to letting Xander talk him into being good.

“Do my ears deceive me or are you saying you don’t trust him?” Spike couldn’t help but grin at the reversal.

“I don’t want Nick and Nora Fury reporting back that we’re vulnerable,” Xander explained with an eye to the kitchen door like he was afraid one of them might come bursting in with a full platoon at their back. Good to know he knew who the enemy was.

With this proof of Xander’s good sense, he decided to have mercy on him and change the subject. “The lovely Mrs. Kroeger called this morning.”

Xander leaped on this conversational gambit like a drowning man. “So, was she satisfied that we were in compliance now?”

“Ridiculously pleased to have Dawn’s guardian be the employee of the month at the Doublemeat Palace.” Spike shook his head in disbelief. “Nice enough bint, but a bit dotty.”

“In a town where I’m helping to rebuild Hellmouth High, I think she fits right in. So, we’re officially off the hook?”

“Free and clear as birds,” Spike assured. “And while we’re on the subject of your latest construction project, I’ve been looking into this whole home schooling idea and I think it’s just the ticket.”

Xander’s grin was completely infuriating, also damn sexy, but Spike wasn’t going to tell him that. “Dawn would never forgive us and you know it. Besides, she’ll be more prepared than any other student who’s ever attended school there.”

“I still don’t like it. How many times did all of you almost die there, hmm?”

“Well,” Xander said with an evil smirk. “It was really close this one time when this badass vampire and his gang crashed parent/teacher night.”

Spike couldn’t decide whether to glower or preen. It didn’t help that he knew that was precisely the effect Xander had intended to have on him.

He was saved from coming up with a worthy rejoinder by the invasion of the Iowa farmboy and his moll. Riley’s eyes swept the kitchen and into the next room before he resorted to actually talking to Xander. He was clearly trying to pretend Spike was a potted plant. Finding him and Xander having an afternoon quickie in the crypt had thrown him for a wobbly, which mortified Xander and made Spike’s decade.

“Is Buffy around?” Riley forced himself to ask.

“Sorry, Riley.” Spike marveled at how sincere Xander sounded, when mere moments ago he was admitting he didn’t trust the soldier. “She pulled extra time at work.”

“Oh.” If the missus would stop glowering at him, she might detect the note in Riley’s voice that would tell her where her real problem lay. Of course, it was none of Spike’s business. He just wanted to be ready with a bowl of popcorn to watch the fireworks. “We’re being shipped out. I left a secure email address with Willow for her to contact us.”

“I’ll let her know,” Xander lied with a big smile. “You two be safe out there.”

The two of them nodded at him, gave Spike a final suspicious glare and were gone. For good, with any luck.

Spike didn’t think he was imagining the relieved look on Xander’s face or the release of tension in his shoulders. Looked like a situation in desperate need of exploiting. He was an evil fiend after all. “The witches and Niblet won’t be back for at least an hour,” he observed.

“You’re right,” Xander returned, obviously considering the same form of stress relief Spike was. Like the same brain was controlling both of them, they headed for the basement stairs.

Xander paused to set the lock despite Spike’s attempts to distract him by nibbling along his neck and divesting him of his shirt. Spike thought anyone who barged down without knocking deserved to get an eyeful. In his personal opinion, they ought to sell tickets.

Once the lock was set, Xander was satisfyingly engaged in the proceedings, slipping his hands under Spike’s t-shirt and pulling it over his head as they stumbled down the stairs.

They stopped short of the bed with their mouths fused together as they kicked off their boots. Then Xander got a wicked gleam in his eye and sank to his knees. Spike’s pants went down with him. Xander had an utterly irresistible ‘what have we here’ look on his face as he studied Spike’s bobbing cock just before he gave it an ice cream cone lick from base to crown.

Spike groaned and looked heavenward. If he locked eyes with Xander when he was in this mood he’d embarrass himself with how fast he came. He put his hands on Xander’s shoulders and distracted himself by concentrating on not squeezing. It was almost unbelievable that he was the first guy to ever receive a blowjob from that beautiful mouth, also a huge turn on.

Xander’s enthusiastic attention drew a near howl from him. Damn, but the boy had gotten good in a remarkably short period of time. Spike chanced a look down and could tell Xander was trying to smile with his mouth full of cock. He loved to make Spike lose control. Some other time he’d oblige him but Xander was still wearing his pants and that was a situation that simply couldn’t stand.

With no small reluctance, he pulled Xander off and shoved him toward the bed. “Want you naked, pet. No fair depriving me of access.”

“We playing that game tonight, are we?” Xander asked as he shimmied out of his pants.

Spike couldn’t deny that the thought made his cock twitch. “We could, wasn’t planning on it, but plans can change.”

“Nah.” Xander bounced on the bed before dropping into an enticing sprawl. “Don’t think I have the patience after dealing with Riley.”

Spike nodded in acknowledgement of the reasonableness of that then pounced, straddling Xander’s body and making the bed bounce again. “Good hard fuck it is then.”

Their hands collided as they reached for the bedside table and the lube therein, which made them both laugh. Spike spared a thought for how very good it was to hear Xander laugh as he commandeered the lube. A smile was definitely the best look for Xander’s face and Spike had no little pride that he’d been the one to put it there.

He nibbled along Xander’s jaw line while he plunged his fingers into Xander’s hot, tight arse. If he still wrote poetry he would write odes to that arse. The moans of appreciation were nothing to sneeze at either. He loved the feel of Xander under him. So much trust and love in one hot package. He couldn’t suppress a growl of possession as he positioned himself between Xander’s legs. The shudder of anticipation as Xander arched up to meet him was gratifying in the extreme. This glorious creature was all his, Spike thought as he thrust into the welcoming embrace of Xander’s body.

The chip had taught him to rein in his demon’s desire to thrust hard and fast. Nothing brought pleasant proceedings to a halt faster than a blazing migraine. So slow and gentle was the order of the day. Xander’s appreciative sounds helped soothe the beast within and Spike began to find a rhythm that was satisfying Xander grabbed Spike’s shoulders and drew him down into a kiss even though the move practically folded him in half. Xander seemed to continually come up with ways to make his demon happy. The kiss was enthusiastic surrender. Xander was a great kisser, opening under Spike with passion and abandon that made the necessarily slow, gentle thrusts no hardship at all.

When Spike pulled away to let Xander get enough air, Xander stared up at him with bright innocent eyes and said, “I want you to bite me.” As if he didn’t go out hunting vampires most nights. As if Spike didn’t have good reason to know being bitten by a vampire, possibly turned, was the greatest horror of his life.

“Right, what demon has possessed you this time?” It was the only explanation Spike could come up with for such a request. It threw him so completely off his game that he came to a complete stop poised over Xander.

“One hundred percent human Xander here!” The boy had the temerity to look offended that Spike would suggest such a thing. Either that or he was angry that Spike had stopped. “We know chipped vampires can bite people.” Suddenly Xander turned his face away, but not enough that Spike missed the furious blush that had risen to his cheeks. “I think the idea of feeding you is really sexy. It’s something I can do for you that no one else can, it just feels like something I want to do.”

Spike gave a moment’s thought to his own physical state. He’d eaten fairly well today and wasn’t particularly hungry. It would be as safe as it ever would be. He allowed the intense arousal the suggestion sparked in him to show on his face as he resumed sliding deeply into Xander. He leaned forward to mouth along the base of Xander’s throat where he would place his mark.

Spike’s renewed efforts obviously met with Xander’s approval as he tipped his head to the side, baring his throat in invitation.

Spike slipped into game face without conscious decision. He retained just enough coherence to remember to be extra gentle as he pierced the skin at the base of Xander’s throat. Enough blood for two swallows seeped into his mouth from the small cuts, but the pheromone-rich blood placated his demon in a way nothing else could, and he came with a roar of satisfaction.
At the feel of Spike’s fangs in him, Xander jerked and arched tightly against Spike, coming a handful of breaths after Spike did.

All too aware that he needed to get off Xander to let him breathe, Spike rolled to the side but positioned himself so he could lick at the seeping wound contentedly.

“That was freaking amazing,” Xander panted out, running a hand around Spike’s neck while keeping access to his neck open.

The wound marked Xander as his and he couldn’t have been more pleased to have it there. It was just another sign of Xander’s love and acceptance of him that made Spike willing to put up with all the myriad frustrations of living life as virtually human. Xander kept overwhelming him with his giving nature. Still, he needed to introduce some caution, or he could lose much more than he was willing to give up. “That was the most incredible gift I’ve ever gotten, luv,” Spike tried to infuse his voice with the depth of appreciation he truly felt. “But we have to be careful. We only do this when I’m nice and well fed.”

Xander scrunched up his nose in confusion. Spike despaired of himself that he found it cute. “Wouldn’t the chip fire if you got out of hand?”

“If I’m hungry and have the taste of your blood in my mouth, might not matter. Instinct can be mighty strong. Besides, didn’t look like you were exactly suffering there,” he added smugly.

Xander blushed again. It was positively adorable that he was lying in bed with a vampire that had just fucked him through the mattress while feeding on him and he could still blush about it. “It kinda intensified everything.”

“Yeah, well, you dying with a smile on your face is still you dying, and I’d like to avoid that, if you don’t mind,” Spike cautioned.

Xander nodded solemnly. “Got it, make sure you’re well fed before we play with the pretty fangs.”

Spike lapped one last time at his mark and slipped to human face again. “You think my fangs are pretty, do you?”

“Let’s just say that now I know why Buffy always blushed whenever one of us asked about the time she fed Angel. And I get the fun without the seriously unfun trip to the hospital.”

“So, you already know all about the dangers of feeding a hungry vampire.” Spike nodded sagely.

“I do, and maybe I’m a bit crazy when you figure everything together,” Xander allowed while he ran a hand down Spike’s back. “But I feel really safe with you. We wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t.”

“Want you to feel safe, Xander.” Spike laid his head on Xander’s chest where he could listen to his nice, steady heartbeat while giving Xander free rein to keep running a hand over his back. “I wouldn’t hurt you for the world.”

“I know,” Xander acknowledged, and there didn’t seem to be anything else to say on the subject so they indulged in a bit of post coital napping as neither of them would cop to snuggling.<





Part Two

The girls clattering around in the kitchen woke Spike from his doze. Xander clearly hadn’t heard them yet and Spike debated waking him up. Catching a glimpse of his mark at the base of Xander’s throat, Spike decided he’d wake him for dinner. He hadn’t taken that much but he wanted Xander to get his strength back quickly.

He slipped on his pants and headed upstairs. No reason to hide what the two of them had been up to from the girls. Hell, he felt like preening after a session like that. He shut the door softly so as not to wake Xander up and turned to Willow and Tara unloading groceries.

“So, what’s for supper then?”

Tara didn’t miss a beat putting eggs and milk into the fridge. “Stir fry.”

“Not going to foist that tofu shite on us are you?” Spike demanded.

“Don’t worry, Spike,” Willow interjected. “We have red meat for the men of the house.”

Spike acknowledged that as his due and started nosing about in the bags to see if they contained any treats. Tara slapped his hand away. “You get dessert after dinner just like everyone else.”

Spike half growled at her presumption when Willow broke in. “Spike, can I talk to you about something?”

Spike lifted an eyebrow in invitation.

The minute Willow went into chatter mode he knew he wasn’t going to like what she had to say. “I think the bot really has the Doublemeat programming down pat now. And since we found out that even the fast food places aren’t demon free a few weeks ago-“

“Good thing paralyzing venom doesn’t work on robots, eh?” Spike interrupted before Willow could get up a good head of steam. “I take it you want to do the fighting upgrades then.”

Willow nodded, teeth embedded in her bottom lip. Spike thought he really ought to make the chit work harder for it, but Xander’s blood zinging through his system had him in a charitable frame of mind, good enough he could even stomach protracted time with the bot. Besides, it wasn’t as if the upgrades weren’t necessary.

“When do you want to start?” Out of the corner of his eye he saw Tara whip her head around so fast he wondered if she’d gotten whiplash. Startling her that much almost made the whole ordeal worthwhile.

Willow brightened like she’d just been handed a new bit of technology to play with. Course, that was pretty close to true. “I’m off for spring break in a couple weeks. Could we do it then?”

Spike was amused to realize that she’d given herself two weeks to soften him up. “Why not.”

Willow actually clapped her hands. “I promise to do the programming as fast as I can. You won’t regret this Spike.”

“I already regret it,” he told her. “Still gotta be done.”

“What’s gotta be done?” Spike wished he’d headed back downstairs for a bit of alone time until dinner. Still, the look of Xander all deliciously rumpled, rubbing the sleep out of one eye, Spike’s mark obvious to all on his neck, was a sight worth relishing.

“Will wants me to help her program the bot,” he said casually, trying not to show just how much Xander’s blatant display affected him.

“Bleh! That sounds like a week full of horrible,” Xander voiced his sentiments exactly. Then cringed as his words registered. “Sorry Wills.”

A casual glance at the two witches showed startlement and disapproving looks. They were going to have trouble over this. He suspected there might be a throwdown right then and there but the Bit made her appearance just then.

“Hey guys!” she called, banging her way in through the back door. “What’s for dinner?”

“Stir fry,” Tara tried to soften her expression for Dawn, but Spike could still see the tension around her eyes.

“Hi Dawnie,” Xander called back, oblivious to the frosty atmosphere in the kitchen.

“Dawn, put your things upstairs. Spike, Xander, go get dressed. Dinner is in twenty minutes.” It was strange to see Tara slip into drill sergeant mode while putting the rice on to boil.

“Too much manly skin for the dinner table, huh?” Xander laughed.

“Nice hickey,” Dawn commented with a devilish gleam as she walked by. That girl was too sassy for her own good. It was nice to know there was no censure from that corner at least. There would be plenty from every other.

Xander’s hand strayed up to the bite mark like he’d forgotten it was there. Spike considered making it hurt a bit next time if it was going to be forgettable. Then again, Xander was still half asleep and therefore forgivable. Xander blushed and headed back downstairs.

Spike decided to delay the confrontation he knew was coming and headed down himself.

“Fancy a quick shower before dinner, pet,” Spike suggested with as much temptation as he could throw into it.

“Showers with you are never quick.” Spike had to concede Xander was right. Once he had him all warm and slippery it was hard to let him go.

“True, but they’re fun,” he insisted, slipping his arms around a trim waist.

Xander grabbed his hands before they could go anywhere interesting. “Cold stir fry is disgusting, Spike.”

As he’d always suspected, Xander’s stomach ruled over his libido. Then again, wearing him out before a seriously confrontational evening probably wasn’t in his best interests anyway. “I’ll be the model of discretion,” Spike assured.

“I didn’t say I could keep my hands off you either,” Xander complained, but he followed him into the bathroom all the same.

Five minutes later Spike was having as chaste a mutual shower as he could manage. He looked Xander over while washing his back. “How are you feeling?”

“Great actually.” Xander pressed himself back into Spike’s hands. He was a sybaritic creature. “Got my nap, give me food, I’m good for most of the night.”

Spike was decidedly glad to hear it. They finished rinsing off and Spike resisted the urge to start something while Xander dried off. The confrontation was brewing upstairs and it was better to have it out and deal with it now than to let it steep. Witches could get up to nearly anything given a full head of steam.

He did notice Xander pull on a t-shirt that did nothing to hide his bite mark. Spike despaired of himself that he cared so much. Of course, it was abundantly clear that the cat was well and truly out of the bag so there was no point in hiding it, but it gave Spike a deep stab of joy that Xander wasn’t trying to do so.

They reemerged just in time to have serving dishes thrust into their hands on their way to the dining room.

“Anything blow up at school today, Bit?” Spike asked to break the silence.

“Nathan screwed up an experiment in chemistry but they got the fire out pretty quickly,” Dawn responded nonchalantly. She was coming along well in Spike’s estimation.

“Pity that,” he said in the same tone of voice.

“Yeah. He’s so going to have to take that class again.”

“While the terror twins try to out blasé each other, Riley and his wife stopped by,” Xander informed the witches. Talking about Captain Cardboard was liable to ruin Spike’s appetite.

“Do you think he suspected about the bot?” Willow fretted.

“He was so big with the awkward I don’t think there’s much chance he noticed,” Xander said.

“Are you sure we shouldn’t have told him the truth?” Tara raised what Spike considered a dead issue.

“Nick and Nora Fury have their own agenda and I don’t think it has our best interests as a high priority. I’m much more comfortable with the military keeping its hands off the Hellmouth.” Spike found himself appreciating Xander in command mode. It gave him a sexy edge that was truly appealing.

But it wouldn’t do to let him get too far ahead of himself. “Don’t pick around your spinach, pet,” he chided. “You need the iron.”

Tara chimed in again to shoot him down. “Actually, Xander, you should have some more of the beef. It’s very lean.”

“Never let it be said the Xan man turned down more beef,” Xander said, blushing furiously. Tara sent a glare Spike’s way, Willow bit her lip in consternation and Dawn giggled. Spike couldn’t wait to see the watcher’s explosive reaction, but one disaster at a time.

They got through the meal with no one turned into a toad and Spike was just getting ready to enjoy one of their quiet evenings in the living room. All of them watching a bit of telly, before Spike dragged Xander off to ravish him sounded like a fine end to the evening to him, but Willow nixed that.

“Xander, could I talk to you, just for a minute?” She gave Xander the big eyes routine and Spike knew his evening was sunk.

“Sure, Wills,” Xander caved immediately.

The two of them headed up to the witches’ room. Spike didn’t like that at all. Took the battle to her stronghold rather than his. He followed at a discreet distance.

“They’re going to have a private conversation, Spike,” Tara snapped. Dawn rolled her eyes.

Spike liked Tara, he really did, but she was getting in his way tonight. Even so, it was best not to have her thinking he was exercising undue influence or he’d never hear the end of it. “Fine. Bit, when Xander comes back down could you tell him I’ve gone downstairs?”

“Sure, Spike.” Spike only had a slim chance of having his message passed along. Dawn was already transfixed by some show with earnest young men and plucky girls. That was fine, he’d know when Xander was finished with his interrogation. There was a spot in the basement where he could hear the goings on in the master bedroom very clearly. It wasn’t a fact he’d advertised.

He reached the spot long before the conversation had gotten anywhere interesting. “—spit it out, Wills. It’s not like I don’t know what you and Tara are upset about.” Sounded like Willow had spent the first few minutes beating around the bush. No surprise there.

“That’s just it, Xander, it’s not just that.” Spike could imagine her jabbing an accusing finger at the bite mark. “That’s just a symptom. It’s the way you are with Spike, you seem, well, submissive. And it worries me.”

That statement took Spike by surprise. Suddenly, he was extremely interested in Xander’s answer.

“Subm-, Wills, have you met me? You know, he who mouths off at big nasties?” Spike found the indignation in Xander’s voice amusing.

“Xander, you sit at his feet in the living room,” Willow was unmoved by Xander’s outrage.

Xander’s sigh came through loud and clear. “Have you noticed what happens when I sit at his feet? I get my shoulders rubbed or my scalp massaged.” Xander’s voice took on a slightly dreamy quality. “I love getting my scalp massaged.”

Spike made a mental note to pay more attention to Xander’s scalp.

“That’s not all, there’s the way he talks to you, telling you what to do, like at dinner tonight,” Willow insisted, clearly unwilling to give ground. Sounded like she’d been thinking about this for some time.

Xander’s incredulity came through loud and clear. “You’re upset that Spike insisted I eat my vegetables?”

“Don’t you make a joke out of this, mister. You let him feed on you.” Spike could practically see the idea occur to her. “You did let him right? His chip is still working, right?”

Xander chuckled at her. “Yes, Willow, I let him. Had to talk him into it actually. Don’t tell him I said this, but he can be a big old mother hen when he gets going.”

Spike started plotting his revenge for that remark, such insolence couldn’t be allowed to pass unpunished.

“It was your idea?” Spike wasn’t sure why she found that so surprising. She already knew what a generous heart Xander had. She’d been the beneficiary often enough. “But, Xander, why?”

“Because it’s something I can give him that no one else can. Look, I know this freaks you out but I don’t want a big deal made out of it. That’s kind of why I waited until after Riley cleared out to do it. I don’t want Riley thinking I’m doing what he was.”

“Then maybe you better explain to me how it’s different.” Spike could envision the crossed arms and hard stare.

“It’s about the same difference as Anya and me playing a few kinky games, and one of us going to a whore house.” Spike was a bit taken aback that Xander would put it quite that crudely. It was a sign of just how upset the suggestion had made him.

“I didn’t mean,” he could hear the witch backing down, imagined her taking several steps back. “I just don’t understand, Xander.”

Spike was a bit sorry Xander had obviously gotten his temper in check with his next words. “I’m not going out to get some random vampire to bite me for kicks, Willow. I’m giving someone I love and trust a piece of myself. Look, Spike’s been through the wringer. That chip, which believe me I’m pretty grateful for since I’m not sure we all would still be here without it, takes away so much of his power. People can attack him and he can’t fight back, he had to come to his enemies for food. If playing bottom boy gives him some of his mojo back, I’m happy to oblige.”

“TMI!” Willow squealed. Spike didn’t like the idea of being coddled, considered a charity case.

“Hey, you asked,” Xander continued ruthlessly. “It’s not exactly a hardship you know, Spike’s really talented in the batting cage. And as far as the biting goes, gives double penetration a whole new meaning.”

“Xander!” Spike could picture Willow covering her ears and he could hear her fleeing Xander’s lurid descriptions. She’d asked and she was getting an earful. Xander’s evil laughter was music to Spike’s ears.

Their voices trailed off as they left the bedroom and Spike dropped on the bed for a think. His demon had loved playing master to Xander, so much so that he hadn’t really thought of switching positions. From the sounds of it, Xander didn’t particularly mind, but it bore thinking about.

Xander had handled Willow brilliantly. Willow would tell her girl the results of the conversation and neither of them would be able to look at either of them without blushing for a week. Seemed only fair that he take on telling the Watcher. Xander would protest, afraid Spike would get up the old boy’s nose about it, so he just wouldn’t tell Xander. Not like Xander was going to be racing to beat him to it. Besides, he usually swung by Rupert’s for a bit after patrol just to let him know if something strange had come up while he was out and about, and to help himself to some of Rupert’s good whiskey. Sounded like a perfect time to hit him with the news.


~*~*~*~*~


Patrol was deadly dull. After staking a couple of fledges early in the evening the whole town was dead.

Deciding it wouldn’t hurt Rupert’s mood to check in on the early side, Spike wound up barging into his flat at the ridiculously civilized hour of 1am.

“Do come in, Spike,” Rupert said from his armchair where he was strumming on his guitar. Spike ignored the sarcasm as irrelevant and headed straight for the liquor cabinet. He was going to need fortification for this conversation.

Stalling for time, he got the report out of the way. “Couldn’t find a decent scrap all night. Right boring out there.”

“Would it do any good to ask you to keep out of the scotch?” Rupert asked with some despair. Spike merely lifted an eyebrow his directions as he poured himself a healthy three fingers.

Considering the situation for a second he poured two more fingers in another glass and handed it over.

The game they tended to play with each other shifted suddenly. “Just what Earth-shattering news do you have to impart?” Rupert set the glass down untouched.

“Bit Xander tonight.” Spike saw no point in beating around the bush. Nothing but a waste of time if you asked him.

“I see.” Rupert downed a swallow of his drink and cast an appraising eye at Spike leaning next to the liquor cabinet. Spike thought it wise to give himself room to maneuver. “Frankly, I’m amazed it took this long.”

That was not the response Spike had been braced for but he could roll with it. He shrugged. “Xander asked me to.”

Rupert rolled his eyes, dangling his drink from his fingertips. “Of course he did. He’s known vampire bites can be pleasurable for some time now, he has a vampire for a boyfriend. I was hardly going to suggest it, but I had thought he was indulging and hiding the marks.”

Spike decided to venture out into the murky waters. “So, this mean you’re not angry, then?”

“On the contrary, I’m furious. However, it has been pointed out to me that Xander is a grown man, capable of making his own decisions, however ill advised they may be.” He sipped a bit more scotch, clearly savouring the flavor. “There are some things that need to be explained to him.”

“Already gave him the safety lecture. Mouthy git called me a mother hen.” Spike threw back the rest of his scotch.

“Impertinent pup.” Spike narrowed his eyes at Rupert’s thin smile. He didn’t appreciate being mocked.

“Nevertheless,” Rupert continued. “I believe I’ll have a word with him.”

Spike set his glass down and moved to the door. “Be my guest. Love to hear what he calls you.”

“One shudders to think,” he said to Spike’s retreating back.


~*~*~*~*~


Giles had his conversation with Xander. It got about the reaction they both expected. Willow and Tara avoided looking at either of them for a solid week. Whenever one of them accidentally looked their way they blushed furiously. Spike made a game out of trying to catch their eyes just to watch the show.

Rupert didn’t provide nearly as much entertainment. Having dutifully imparted his wisdom, he seemed to consider the matter closed and merely rolled his eyes at Spike’s attempts to get a rise out of the girls. The game lost its shine when Dawn started asking for embarrassing details of Spike and Xander’s sex life. It was a little difficult to tell Dawn to mind her own business while leering at the witches.

Within a couple weeks everything had returned to normal with the exception of a luscious addition to Spike and Xander’s already extremely good sex life. Even helping Willow work on the bot wasn’t as hard as Spike had thought it would be. Seeing the bot was still not something he liked and he still cringed when a bit of its original sexbot programming surfaced, but the bright, sharp pain had subsided. Spike was the happiest he’d been since he woke up in that stupid white room at the Intiative. If he really thought about it, he was the happiest he’d been since before Dru left him.

So naturally, that’s when the new principal made his appearance.





Part Three

“I didn’t realize principals could be hot!” Dawn exclaimed for something like the fourth time that evening. Spike found himself strangely nostalgic for the days when her teenaged lust was directed his way.

“I don’t like it,” Spike voiced his frustration, not bothering to differentiate the various levels the statement encompassed.

“Nor do I,” Rupert echoed. “Our little charade will not withstand close scrutiny from a public official.”

“We’ll have to come up with something that will satisfy him,” Willow chimed in. “Unless we pull Dawn out of school, he has complete access to her.”

Dawn looked horrorstruck. “You’re not going to pull me out of school are you?”

Before Spike could say that he was seriously considering it, Tara piped up, “Of course we won’t.”

Spike still thought it was just one more reason to look into the concept of home schooling. Not only could they avoid nasty problems like the new, overly inquisitive principal but Spike wouldn’t have to curse the chip for preventing him from ripping apart the first boy that broke Niblet’s heart.

Spike realized he’d gotten so distracted that he’d missed part of the conversation. Xander talking caused him to tune back in. “I only saw him for the groundbreaking ceremony.”

“Groundbreaking ceremony?” Spike quizzed. “You’ve been working on that site for six months.”

“It was for the new freshman building. They’re in temporary buildings at the moment. We only get to build these things a piece at a time, Spike.” Xander looked up at him with such an endearing expression he took all the bite out of his words.

Spike waved away the explanation, indicating Xander should continue, which he promptly did. “Anyway, he seems like a pretty straight up kind of guy. He may just consider Dawn some kind of at-risk case. If we can put his mind at ease on that front we may be in the clear.”

“Well, a parent-teacher conference is out.” Spike was surprised to hear Willow make this pronouncement. Normally she was far more confident about her work. “The bot won’t stand up to questioning from someone as sharp as you say he is.”

“Would he settle for one of us?” Tara asked.

“I can ask,” Dawn offered. “But can we wait and see if he even asks to meet with anyone? I’m kind of enjoying the eye candy without the angst.”

Despite adult grumbling, no one argued with her.

#########

Life went along well for a few more weeks. The new principal failed to go stalkerish and they all started to relax. Spike considered himself a fool for not realizing that’s just when life bites you in the arse.

He and Xander had taken to patrolling together. Xander said he liked the chance to stretch his legs. Spike suspected he was just trying to give him a break from the bot. They had dusted a few fledges, and beaten back a minor incursion, more than likely all the action they would see, so they sent the bot on to scout ahead. It was handy in a fight, as a distraction if nothing else, but still felt off and wrong to both of them.

With no bad guys in sight and the bot out of earshot, the side of the nearest tomb looked very inviting for a little after fight action.

Spike pinned Xander up against the cement wall just to hear him gasp, as their denim-covered cocks crushed together. He imprisoned Xander’s hands lest they roam and distract him as he began nibbling along his neck. Xander moaned and let his head fall back. Spike was very evilly considered making him come in his pants when Xander’s eyes suddenly went from passion-filled slits to wide eyed fear and he threw Spike to the side.

Spike hit the ground and rolled to a crouch ready to have words with Xander about his methods. Xander was standing between him and a tall, good-looking man wielding a stake. All of Spike’s ire came home to roost. He’d let himself be so distracted by ravishing Xander that he’d allowed a human to sneak up on him. If Xander hadn’t spotted him, Spike might very well be dust at this moment.

“Stand aside, you don’t know what he is,” came the man’s smooth, entirely reasonable voice. There was a note of authority to it that might have even swayed some punk kid.

Xander eyed the stake in the man’s hand and replied, “If you mean the fact that he’s a vampire, yeah I know.” Xander raised his hands in a placating gesture. “It’s all right, nothing bad was going to happen.”

Spike put a hand on Xander’s shoulder. He didn’t trust this would be do gooder to recognize Xander as a white hat. He could just as easily decide he was a threat that needed to be eliminated. Xander was far too willing to give the benefit of the doubt to someone on no better basis than they were human.

“I’d heard better things about you than this, Mr. Harris.” The man’s dark clothing masked his movements, which was doubtless the intent. Even Spike was having a bit of difficulty keeping a bead on him. The fact that he knew who Xander was didn’t make Spike any happier.

“And I had taken you for a man who wouldn’t leap to conclusions without knowing all the facts, Principal Wood,” Xander countered.

That brought Spike up short. “This is Principal Hottie?”

“Spike, you’re not helping,” Xander groaned.

Spike surveyed the principal with a new eye. He had a proper fighter’s stance, even while his face twisted in confusion at Spike’s remark. He wouldn’t be an easy person to take by surprise. “By the looks of you, you just might survive being principal,” he allowed.

“Oh really,” Wood shot back, clearly eager for an opening.

“Our last two principals were eaten,” Xander supplied offhandedly.

There was the half-disbelieving look screwing up his face again, but he never took his eyes off Spike. There was a speculative look in the principal’s eye, as if he was trying to place where he’d seen Spike before. He could almost feel Wood’s eyes raking down his body and he didn’t like it at all. A sneer formed on Wood’s face as he seemed to come to a conclusion. “Nice coat,” he said in a neutral voice. “Where’d you get it?”

Spike didn’t think he’d ever laid eyes on Wood before, but the man was making his skin crawl. “Picked it up in New York,” he answered simply, not wanting to be drawn in to anything with this man. “Mind putting the stake away, mate? Not exactly proper for a friendly conversation.”

“I don’t have friendly conversations with vampires,” he bit out. Then, with a dismissive tilt of his head, he added, “or their pets.”

“Hey, I’m not a pet!” Xander protested.

“That bite on your neck says differently,” he insisted, which let Spike know he was doing his best to keep both of them in view.

Xander’s hand went to the collar of his shirt where it had fallen open during their earlier play. Instead of covering the mark, Xander pulled it farther back. “Do I look like some kind of junkie to you?” Xander demanded. “He won’t even bite me again until I eat a plate of liver.” Xander cast a murderous glare Spike’s direction. “I’m still trying to decide if it’s worth it.”

“You need the iron,” Spike told him with a smile. He noticed Xander had taken a step toward Wood with his little display of pique and Spike took a corresponding step to the side. If he could get Wood fixed a bit more on him, and Xander not quite in his line of sight, they could get this situation under control.

Wood seemed to tumble to the fact that he was being maneuvered and took a swing at Spike. He came a bit close for comfort to connecting, but Xander hit him from the side and Spike was able to kick the stake out of his hand with a minimum of effort. Didn’t even get a twinge from the chip over it.

Spike crouched down to speak directly to where Xander had Wood pinned to the grass. “As you can tell by the fact you’re still alive,” he began, conversationally. “We’re the good guys. We’re out here keeping the world safe for puppies and Christmas, and you interrupted our well-deserved break.”

Wood looked very much like he wanted to spit in his face but held his tongue. Looked like the name, rank and serial number routine, so he decided to forego questions.

“Now, there are a number of ways this can go. Xander here can let you go, we all shake hands and head our separate ways, no harm done. You can be a stupid hardass and we’ll have to do something nasty to you.” Wood looked like he could spit nails at that taunt. “Or, you can realize we’re all on the same side here and we can work together. You obviously know about vampires, you know about the slayer?”

That loosened his tongue a hair. “I was raised by a watcher.”

Spike nodded his head sagely as if he’d been expecting exactly that response. Xander was focusing all his concentration on maintaining the pin. Spike was proud of his ability to resist the temptation to engage in his usual witty banter. But Xander couldn’t hold the git all night and it was time to wrap this up. “Then you know all about slayers. That’s good. We work with the Slayer. Buffy Summers. Maybe you’ve heard of her?” Spike took the narrow eyed glare as confirmation. “Check with your watcher contacts, I’m sure they can verify everything for you.”

“We’re going to let you up now,” Xander said in a voice that hid the strain it was taking to hold the powerful fighter down. “Come talk to us after you’ve checked everything out.”

Xander and Spike backed away from Wood slowly. He scrambled to his feet with less grace than he would have liked, Spike was sure. Xander had pocketed the stake Spike had kicked away but Spike doubted that was his only weapon. They kept a goodly distance between them, backing off away from each other. Spike certainly had no intention of turning his back on the bloke.

“Let’s pick up the slayer and call it a night, pet,” Spike said as much for Wood’s benefit as Xander’s.

“Sounds good,” Xander agreed, then added almost on reflex, “and I’m not a pet.”




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