Happily Ever After

by
Whichclothes





Part Seven

“Bloody, buggering hell!” Spike squeaked. “It’s not bloody fair!” He stomped his tiny foot hard enough to wobble the apple that was next to him. But the apple didn’t even roll, and in a fit of pique he slammed his arms into it, pushing it off the table.

“Tsk,” said Joyce. She picked him up with two fingers and set him in her palm, then held him up at face height. “You’re making a mess. That’s enough with the tantrum, young man.”

“I’m neither young nor a man and you’re not my mum!”

“That’s enough! Early bedtime for you.” She carried him over to a chest of drawers and put him down on top of it. His matchbox bed was there, all made up neatly with a tuft of wool for a pillow and a folded handkerchief as bedding. It was quite comfortable really, cozy and snug. But of course it wasn’t where he wanted to be, and he didn’t much fancy being two inches tall either.

Joyce was waiting impatiently. “Come on, Spike. Time to get ready for bed.” When he looked at her quizzically, she huffed a sigh. “Clothes off. Now.”

He looked down at his ridiculous kit: red silk trousers and a yellow tunic. He wouldn’t mind being rid of it at all, except he had nothing to change into. And although his false memories included years of nudity in front of Joyce, he was suddenly embarrassed at the thought of it. “Don’t want to,” he protested.

“Right now. One … two …”

With a sigh of his own, Spike tugged the tunic over his head and let it fall near his feet. Joyce picked it up and folded it carefully while he slipped his trousers off. Then she folded those as well and tucked the kit into a drawer. Spike hurriedly got into bed and pulled the makeshift blanket over himself.

She looked at him sternly. “If you want me to treat you like a grownup you have to start acting like one.”

“But I’m a miniature vampire!”

“Who shouldn’t be having tantrums. Now, eat your dinner and go to sleep.” She pulled a pin from her shirtsleeve and pricked the pad of one of her thumbs, which she held in front of him. He slurped at the little wound until his belly felt round and tight, but he couldn’t have had more than a few drops.

“Good night,” she said. Then she turned and exited the room, switching the light off before she left.

Spike sulked for a time. Then he yanked off the blanket and took a good look at himself, which didn’t improve his mood any. Yeah, the tackle was still impressive enough in proportion to the rest of him, but that wasn’t saying much. And the average shrew could likely bite more impressively than he could with his tiny fangs. How was he meant to find Xander like this, and even if he did, would his boy take him seriously? Why would Xander want a lover who could easily fit in his pocket?

But grumbling wasn’t going to help, he admitted to himself. He listened closely for any sounds of movement in the house, but Joyce must have gone to sleep herself, because there was only silence. So he crept back out of bed and then cursed silently when he realized he had nothing to wear. He couldn’t possibly open the drawer by himself. Lovely—he was going to have to hunt for Xander while minuscule and naked.

Now he had to suss out how to get off the chest of drawers. He was perhaps four feet up, a drop that was likely to be harmful to his small body. But after a few moments of experimentation, he discovered that if he held on very tight, he could sort of shimmy down the decoratively carved corner piece of the furniture. He landed on the smooth wooden floor without making a sound, then crept across the room. Naturally, reaching the doorknob, let alone turning it, was out of the question. But he flattened himself to the ground and was just barely able to squeeze through the little gap beneath the door.

He padded down a short hallway hung with photos of him posed in various humiliating outfits: a miniature sailor suit, a tiny cowboy kit, a replica of a British schoolboy uniform, a glittery nappy with matching glittery wings. The worst part of it was that he remembered Joyce dressing him up like that, he remembered posing, and he even remembered not minding very much, because afterward Joyce would give him a thimble-sized cup full of hot chocolate with a bit of marshmallow added in, and she’d make a fuss over how handsome he was, and she’d let him watch hours of telly without her complaining that it was rotting his brain. She was never cruel to him; she’d simply viewed him as an acceptable midlife substitute for her daughters who’d left the nest. And he’d put up with the babying and indignities because he’d received plenty of fresh blood in return, not to mention safety and comfort.

Now though, he knew all that was false. What was real was Xander, and Spike needed to find him.

The front door was closed and locked and there was no gap underneath it. For a moment, Spike despaired. But then he caught sight of the mail slot. If he could only reach that, he might be able to clamber out.

He had to use all his vampiric strength to quietly slide a metal footstool from the kitchen through the dining room and to the front door. The slippery metal made it difficult to climb the stool but Spike was able to leap onto the first step, and from there onto the second, and that put the mail slot just within reach. He pulled himself up with his hands, exhaled all his breath to make himself as skinny as possible, and just barely managed to squeeze through. He landed on the pavement below with a bone-jarring thud, and then he began to walk.

It was ridiculous—a vampire shouldn’t be afraid of a little nighttime stroll. But he was so very small and vulnerable, and Joyce had only rarely permitted him outside, and even that with him safely in her hands. So he didn’t so much walk as scuttle, hurrying from clump of weeds to clump of weeds, until he was several blocks away.

He hadn’t really thought this bit through—naked and tiny, how was he going to find Xander, who could be anywhere? He hid underneath a dustbin and considered his predicament. In the previous tales, Xander had tended to keep a pretty high profile and to hang about with Buffy and the others. Perhaps that meant that the local demons would have some idea where he was. But Spike couldn’t just march up and ask the demons, not like this. Most of them could have him as a nosh without even needing to chew.

He dimly remembered that there was a demon bar in town. He’d visited there before he’d been made small. He sighed. How was he to know that Harmony, the sodding spiteful cow, had confided in her vengeance demon pal that she wished her ex was Tom Thumb? Right then. At least the bar was a place to begin.

Had he been normal-sized, he could have covered the two miles in a quarter hour or less. Or just nicked a car, if he was feeling lazy. But he certainly couldn’t drive, and his short legs took him the better part of the night to get there. Perhaps that was just as well because by the time he arrived, the bar was closed and empty. Spike was able to easily slip inside through a broken cellar window. At which point he laboriously climbed the stairs to the ground floor and looked for a place to hide.

The bar wasn’t especially big, and it reeked of stale beer and spilled whiskey and the scents of several dozen species, some of whom weren’t especially keen on personal hygiene. The furniture was worn and mismatched, much of it badly patched after having been damaged in bar fights, and the floor was sticky with fluids that made even a vampire slightly nauseous. Spike went behind the long wooden bar and found a hollow space between the front face panel and the barkeep's shelving. The space smelled of mice and cockroaches, but he crawled in and discovered that he fit quite comfortably; thin gaps between the planks of wood would allow him to see and hear what was going on when the room was occupied. Perfect.

Now he needed to see to his personal comfort. He dragged a thick stack of paper napkins into his hiding spot; they would make a serviceable bed. But he didn’t much fancy remaining naked. He found some relatively clean towels, but they were too big for him to wear and he had no way to cut them to manageable size. He tried fashioning something from another paper napkin, but that was scratchy and tore too easily. He rummaged in some cardboard boxes and discovered a length of wide blue ribbon. He didn’t know where it came from—a long-past celebration of some kind, a wrapping on a bottle of liquor, some bint’s hair. Didn’t matter now. With some effort he was able wrap it about himself, forming a sort of nappy. He knew it was ludicrous, but it was still better than nothing.

His basic needs met, Spike poked around some more and discovered a glass still half full of decent Scotch. Joyce hadn’t allowed him any alcohol; Spike found a cocktail straw and used it to slurp the glass dry. That was more than enough to get him dizzyingly pissed, so he crawled back to his little nest and happily passed out.

He woke up many hours later with a sore head and a terrible taste in his mouth. A tall, broad man with a gray face had entered the bar and was slowly tidying up. He’d turned on the radio as well, one of those horrible talk shows where the announcer spouted hateful nonsense about liberals. Spike had always been fairly certain that most of those radio announcers were demons. Now he realized he was in for hours of confinement, and without a telly or Joyce’s friendly nattering.

Without even consciously deciding to, Spike slipped his left hand underneath the silky ribbon and to his crotch. He hadn’t shagged anyone since Harmony cursed him—it was pretty difficult to get your end away when your todger wasn’t much bigger than a grain of rice. He hadn’t even wanked very often because Joyce always seemed to find out and she’d scold him as if he were a naughty schoolboy. Once she’d even spanked him, tapping her fingertip firmly against his bare bottom, but that had only rejuvenated his hard-on and she hadn’t tried that again.

Now all he had to do was think of Xander and his cock began to fill. He recalled the way it felt when it was Xander stroking him, the hand broader and rougher and hotter than his own. He remembered Xander’s soft hair brushing against Spike’s shoulders, a sweet mouth pressed against his own, a muscular arse flexing under his palms. He liked the sounds Xander made when they shagged—little breathless moans, throaty gasps, grunts of effort, and then a funny little half-voiced sigh, as if he were perpetually surprised at how good it felt. Each of the undreams had ended shortly after the sex, but Spike was certain that in reality—in the world they were meant to be in—they held each other afterward. He was suddenly struck with an unbearable craving to suck on Xander’s neck and have Xander stroke his back and tell him he was loved and cherished. Had they done that as well?

Spike’s hand sped its movements as he imagined sinking his fangs into his boy, just for a little taste, or perhaps his boy nibbling on him. But then a very different picture popped into Spike’s head: him at his current size, literally riding Xander’s cock as if it were a horse, then sliding to the tip of it and bathing himself in Xander’s precome before wiggling just right, like a sentient vibrator, and making his boy come. That was enough to make Spike climax, staining his blue ribbon with his own sticky spend. He cleaned himself with a torn piece of paper napkin.

Customers began to trickle in soon after that, demons of various shapes and sizes, most of whom sat quietly and stared into their drinks of choice. Spike watched them. As the afternoon dragged into evening, the place grew more crowded and Spike eavesdropped on conversations. Some of the chatter was mildly interesting but none of it had anything to do with his boy.

And then the room grew quiet as a large group of people entered. Spike recognized several of them but only had eyes for one. Xander was ignoring his mates, frowning instead and searching the room with his one eye, looking for someone. Looking for Spike most likely, and Spike nearly darted out from his spot behind the bar; but then he stopped. How would Xander react to him as he was now? Perhaps it would be better to follow him when he left, see if he could catch the boy alone.

Xander searched for a few moments more, then his shoulders slumped in defeat. Meanwhile the brunette Slayer from Spike's last not-dream had been talking with a group of green-scaled demons. Spike hadn’t been following their conversation and didn’t know what was going on, but it was clear that neither the demons nor Xander’s lot were happy.

“Look, Prince Charming,” the Slayer said, standing directly in front of the biggest of the demons, “I don’t give a crap about your excuses. You wanna dance? I’m up for it.”

That was a mistake, Spike thought. Now the demon had no choice but to fight, unless it wanted to look weak in front of its comrades. But maybe that had been the Slayer’s desire all along—she certainly looked ready to brawl.

The demon looked at its companions and then back at her. And it growled and leaped, which would have knocked an ordinary human to the ground, but the Slayer was ready. She held her ground and delivered a solid kick that made the demon grunt and fall back a few inches. At that point the others jumped from their seats and the melee was on. Most of the bar patrons left in a hurry and the barkeep stood with an axe in his hands. Not joining in the fight, just protecting his bottles.

Feeling equally protective, Spike winced and stifled a shout as one of the demons attacked Xander. His boy was ready for it, though—with a knife in one hand he slashed at his foe, cutting a gash in its belly. The demon yelled. But it wasn’t a deep wound and it only served to make the creature angrier. It came at Xander again, this time with sharp talons at the ready.

“Xander!” Spike screamed, more a squeak than anything and nobody heard him over the din of fighting. He realized belatedly that he’d crept out of his hiding place and was now in full view of anyone who happened to glance at the bottom corner of the bar. Which was no one at this point, since everyone was either in the fight or watching it.

Spike bounced on his feet helplessly as the demon pummeled and scraped at Xander, who was bleeding from several wounds. Xander had a real disadvantage with the missing eye, Spike could tell; the boy had a blind spot to his left, and his flawed depth perception made him a bit uncertain about the precise locations of things. It was bloody foolish of him to be trying to fight at all, and Spike wanted to go shake some sense into him. But it became clear that soon there would be nothing left to shake as the demon struck again, ripping furrows into Xander’s shoulder while all of Xander’s mates grappled with their own opponents.

Looking around desperately, Spike caught sight of a small container of toothpicks that had been knocked off a table. Some of the little bits of wood had rolled almost to Spike’s feet. He grabbed a handful, trying not to think how neatly any one of the toothpicks could dust him. Then he ran into the middle of the room, dodging feet as he went but nearly flattened by a demon’s enormous boot.

He made it near Xander without major mishap. Sticking the toothpicks through his makeshift loincloth and hoping they'd stay in place, he grabbed hold of Xander’s demon’s trouser leg. Neither the demon nor Xander noticed as Spike scrambled up the thick leg and then up the wide back. The demon didn’t have hair, but it did have tendrils hanging from its head; they reminded Spike of strands of dried seaweed. He hoped they were a bit stronger than that. He used one of them to haul himself up—not easy, considering the way the demon was moving. Spike grasped a toothpick and used the tendril to swing into the demon’s face. The demon finally saw him then, but too late—Spike thrust his weapon directly into the creature’s eye.

Several things happened all at once. The demon screamed and grabbed at its face. Xander yelled as well: “Spike!” And before Spike could let go of the tendril and scurry to safety, the monster wrapped its hand around him, yanked him free, and threw him with all its might across the room. Spike bounced against the far wall and fell to the floor, and then everything went black.

***

“Hey! Stay still! This is hard enough as it is and I don’t wanna hurt you any worse.”

Spike stopped his panicked flailing and carefully opened his eyes. “Oh,” he croaked as relief washed through him.

A fingertip gingerly moved the hair from Spike’s face. “You’re really banged up. Lots of broken bones. Doesn’t it hurt?”

“Not as much as being apart from you.”

Xander smiled. “Now you’re gonna make me think we’re in a romance novel instead of a fairy tale.”

Spike moved his head, which was a mistake, but he wanted to see where he was. All he could make out was a white ceiling above him. Then Xander was lifting Spike’s leg, very carefully straightening it and splinting it with two lengths of plastic and some yarn. The jostling was painful, but it was so lovely to be touched by Xander that Spike didn’t mind.

“Have you always been this, um, vertically challenged?” asked Xander.

“No. There was a curse.”

“Fuck. Curses, enchantments … we really seem to step in it every time, don’t we? And what the hell were you thinking, tackling a monster so much bigger than you?”

“He was hurting you.”

Xander sighed. “They always do. Anyway, you did manage to distract him pretty successfully, and that was of the good. But Christ, when I saw you hit that wall …” His voice broke a bit and he made a visible effort to get himself under control. “I’ve been looking for you, you know.”

They were both silent as Xander splinted the other leg as well. “What’s the plastic?” Spike asked when Xander was done.

“Spork handles. Will you heal vamp-quick?”

“Yeah. Just need some blood.”

“And I just happen to have a supply.” Xander held his wrist over Spike’s face.

“Veins there are too big. I’ll make a mess.”

“How about this then?” Xander moved his hand down a bit. Spike nodded, vamped out, and bit at the delicate web between Xander’s thumb and finger. Oh, his boy tasted lovely, and Spike knew he’d had this blood many times before.

When Xander moved his hand away, Spike saw that he was grinning.

“What?” Spike demanded.

“You’re kind of … adorable. With the teeny-tiny fangs and the—”

“Oi!”

Xander seemed to be trying to look serious, but he wasn’t succeeding very well. He walked away, and this time Spike turned his head enough to see that they were in a bedroom, and that he was perched atop a bed pillow. And Xander was limping badly.

“You’re hurt!” Spike said accusingly.

Xander was opening a drawer. “I’ll heal. Not as fast as you, but with more of the attractive scarring. Anyway, look what I have.” He turned around and held up the object in his hand: a book.

Spike’s breath caught. “Is that—”

“Yes indeedy. Or at least, so say my sources.” Xander walked back to the bed and sat down, careful not to joggle Spike. “I’m thinking maybe we give this a whirl before we get zapped into another story. I am never watching a Disney cartoon again.”

“Could be worse. This hasn’t been much fun but some of Grimms' tales are rather … well, grim.”

“Great. Look, if we send ourselves back home right now, are you gonna stay like this?”

“Dunno.” Spike looked away. “If I do, you can dust me.”

“Hey.” Xander’s hand hovered over Spike before dropping at his side. “There will be no dusting.”

“But ’m useless to you like this, pet.”

“You are not! You probably saved my life tonight. That’s pretty damn useful, at least by my reckoning. And even if you never lifted a finger to help me again, I’d still need you.”

Spike shook his head. “Can’t shag like this. Can’t snog, can’t hold you.”

“Look, Spike. I don’t know exactly what our real history is and where we belong. But I’m positive there’s a hell of a lot more to us than sex. Not that the sex isn’t nice, ’cause wow. But we’re more than that. I’d go celibate forever if it meant keeping you.”

Spike considered this for a moment and then nodded slightly. “Yeah. I reckon we could still watch one another wank.”

“And we could still talk dirty,” Xander agreed. “It’ll work out somehow. I know it will.”

“Right then. Let’s read a story.”

***

Spike and Xander blinked at one another in silence.

“Uh … that wasn’t just a really freaky dream, was it?” Xander finally said. Spike shook his head. “But … I think we’re home.”

It certainly seemed so—by all appearances they were in their own bed, in the suite Xander had made for them in the Hyperion. The half-finished drawing Xander had brought back from Praesidium was still hanging on the wall opposite them. Spike’s duster was folded neatly on a chair, and Xander’s collar and leash were on their usual hook.

“Home,” Spike confirmed.

Xander exhaled loudly and drew Spike into his arms. “And you’re big again. God, this feels so good.”

Spike had to agree. There was no place in this universe or any other that he’d rather be.

After a brief pause, Xander said, “You think we should see how long we’ve been gone? I gotta finish the infirmary and we should see what’s up with Wes and Maffeo and—”

“Later. Let’s … let’s just be us for now, yeah?”

“Okay. Good plan.”

“I’m sorry I got us into that mess, love.”

“It’s not like you did it on purpose.”

“So you forgive me?”

Xander drew away slightly so he could look into Spike’s eyes. “Forgive you? Jesus, Spike. I ought to be thanking you. Look what we learned—even when we’re Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, even when we’re characters in a story and don’t know who we really are, we still love each other. We still do everything we can to save each other. That’s a pretty good thing to know.” His eye was shining with his earnestness.

“It is good. And we also learned that you make a brilliant prince.”

“And you— I gotta admit, the one with William?”

Spike winced. “Yeah. Bloody ponce.”

“Nuh-uh. I liked William a lot, actually.”

After thinking about this for a moment, Spike said, “I wasn’t really like that, you know. He’d have never permitted himself to be seduced like that.”

“So I guess it’s the Spikish version of William that I like. Do you, um, think maybe he might make another appearance sometime?” Xander smiled wolfishly.

Spike smiled back. “Might do.”

“Good. Not now though. Right now I’m plenty satisfied to have my good old Fangface back in good shape. But what about next time?”

“No worries. I won’t be doing any more bedtime reading. Least not until we’re sure the bleeding magic mushroom has worn off.”

“And I suggest you stay far away from my power tools, too. I think maybe my drill is possessed.” Xander closed his eye and leaned his forehead against Spike’s. “But there will be something else, won’t there? A curse, weird alternate dimension dreams … something. And what if that something is … the last thing? The thing that ends us.”

Spike kissed Xander’s cheek. “You’re right, love. Always something. But I can’t picture us as a pair of pensioners, sitting in rocking chairs and … I dunno. Collecting stamps. But you know what?”

“What?” Xander whispered.

Spike kissed him again. “One thing I’m certain of. However grim the things that happen to us, we’ll always have a happy ending.”

Their faces were so close together that Spike could feel it when Xander smiled. He could feel it even better when Xander snaked a hand down Spike’s belly to fondle his awakening cock. “Yeah?” said Xander. “Maybe we’re due right now for one of those happy endings.”

Spike grabbed his lover’s arse. “I expect we are, Xan. Now, give us a kiss and let’s live happily ever after.”

The End