Half the Battle

Yin Again

"The fuck is this?"

Four words, and then mostly thoughts - especially since it's nearly impossible to speak with someone's tongue in your mouth. Doubly so when the tongue in question is hot and wet and dominant and way, way more skilled than any body part connected to Xander Harris should be.

The thoughts are fleeting, too - as quick as the single, sweeping glance he'd gotten at Xander as the flimsy motel-room door had swept open. One quick glance at mussed, damp hair and wild, angry eyes. A glance that took in a body considerably less bloated than it had seemed two weeks before; a body wearing nothing but a pair of black boxer briefs so tight that they hugged muscular thighs like cling film and outlined an obvious erection.

Spike's nose told him at least part of the story; more booze than food and the sour smell of a bender gone bad. He also smelled a recent shower and, even more recent, the beginnings of a wank. An interrupted one. OK, that explained the horniness, and also the anger, but a tiny part of Spike's brain still struggled to put the pieces together. The vast majority of his brain was occupied with kissing back and pressing himself against that cotton-covered cock hard enough to feel each individual tooth of his zipper biting into his own sudden erection.

Xander pulled back for air and showed more coordination in fifteen seconds than he had in five years of demon fighting by simultaneously jerking Spike into the room, kicking the door shut, and slamming Spike's body hard against the wall before diving back into the kiss with teeth and tongue. Spike's question hung unanswered, and he honestly didn't care. He was awash in heat and arousal and palpable anger - pretty much vampire Viagra.

Xander lifted his head again, sucking in air and spitting out words. "This?" he said venomously, dark eyes flashing. "This is grudge-fucking. Because I hate you and you hate me. Because you walk in a room and you make me invisible. The last time I saw you I would have cheerfully smashed an axe through your face, yet here you are." He sucked in another breath and gestured to the sparsely appointed room. "I've been in this fleabag for two weeks, doing my very best impression of my drunk-assed father, and I get the extra added bonus of not being able to get a fucking hard on. So today I finally crawl out of the bottle - I got up, I threw up, I cleaned up, and - holiest of holies - I actually got it up, and then you had to stick your stupid, oversized bleached head in here and ruin it. So, let's sum it up - you've tried to kill me several times, you fucked my dream girl, you fucked my fiancée, and you fucked up my God-given right to beat off. So, yeah - grudge-fucking: it's what's for dinner."

Spike opened his mouth to answer the tirade, but found, once again, that it was difficult to speak with that hot tongue in his mouth. He thought about defending himself, but everything Xander had said was true. So, he just kissed back instead. Seemed simpler.

He just kissed back, pouring all his own rage and frustration into Xander. He allowed the duster to be stripped off of his arms and dropped to the floor, allowed himself to be pressed into the wall by Xander's larger body. It felt good to be on the receiving end of something so honest and brutal. It was nice to know where he stood with somebody.

Spike brought his hands up to touch Xander's back and its acres of smooth skin. He kept his touches just gentle enough to not set off the damned chip, happy that it didn't keep him from scoring welts across Xander's shoulders with his nails.

Xander's head came up at that, and he gave Spike a dangerous smile before ripping his shirt off over his head and pressing his face hard into his throat. Tongue and teeth rasped over his adam's apple, and Spike couldn't hold back his moans. It felt so good to be mauled this way - carelessly, violently. He knew that Xander didn't give a fuck who he was or what he'd done at this point - it was all about getting off, about taking what he wanted. It was vampire sex.

Spike groaned again as fingers reached for his belt, swiftly unbuckling it and popping the buttons of his fly in a fast arpeggio. He felt his cock fall forward into Xander's hot, moist palm, where it was gripped hard and weighed for a long moment.

"Get your boots off," Xander growled, stepping back a single step, never letting go of Spike's prick. Spike toed off his boots and stripped his jeans down as best he could, managing to kick them off and away seconds before he was shoved onto the bed face down.

Spike fell onto hands and knees and stayed there, head hanging down between his arms. He was going to get fucked. And roughly, if the foreplay was any indication. He could hear the soft sounds as Xander stripped off his boxers, and shuddered as Xander leaned over him, cock rubbing against the back of his balls, sweat-dampened chest pressing against his back. He watched as a tanned hand reached for a bottle on the nightstand. Cheap hotel freebie lotion - likely what he'd been wanking with earlier.

Fingers slick with cold lotion ran down the seam of his ass before shoving inside - two at the same time. Spike made a noise halfway between a sob and a bark and bowed his back, willing his muscles to relax. Xander was not careful. The two fingers stroked in and out quickly, making short work of opening Spike's body.

Behind him, Xander was muttering, his free hand clenched hard enough on Spike's hip to leave bruises. "Take it, you fucker," he said. "Let me in. Need it, need to fuck you."

Spike flinched as a third finger slipped in, but bit back a moan. Suddenly, the fingers were gone, replaced with something bigger. The blunt head was pressed against his ass, and then he did groan - almost howled - as Xander pushed inside him to the hilt with little care or caution. Xander stopped then, and rested his forehead on Spike's shoulder blade for a moment, panting. Too soon, he started moving, shoving himself brutally into Spike before pulling sharply out and repeating the motion again and again.

Spike heard himself making sounds - half-words and grunts and groans, and Xander was doing the same. Spike knew that if he could turn around and look at Xander, he'd see one of two things - tightly closed eyes or a thousand-yard stare. He knew the place - lost in the heat and motion and sensation of fucking, and he knew that he mattered so little in the act as to be invisible. He just didn't care. Xander was pounding away at him - splitting him open, hands marking his hips and body slamming forward hard enough to shake the cheap motel bed.

Spike got one hand braced on the headboard and brought the other to his neglected cock, stroking himself roughly as the world slid back and forth around and inside him. He could hear Xander's voice and breathing becoming ragged, and he sped up, almost stripping the skin from himself in an effort to just come now. The combination of the bright blossoms of pain on his hips, the grinding ache of the huge cock inside him and the pressure of his own hand sent him into orgasm, and he came hard, striping the bedspread seconds before Xander pushed him down flat and shot his heat deep into him with a low, broken moan.

A minute passed, and then another, and Spike waited. Xander's body covered his, and Xander's cock was still inside him, slowly softening. A trickle of sweat rolled down over his ribs. Spike waited. Waited for the recriminations, possibly tears, probably punches and curses. Finally, Xander's palms pressed into the bed, and his heat pulled away. Spike bit back a moan as he was emptied, but didn't move. He listened as Xander walked to the bathroom, listened as water ran in the sink. He stayed where he was, feeling the aches in his body, the lassitude of the well-fucked, and the fact that he was lying in a pretty nasty wet spot.

"Here," Xander said, just before Spike felt a damp cloth land on his lower back. A warm, damp cloth.

Spike reached back for it and cleaned himself up, then wiped the bed as best he could. He walked past Xander, who was standing in the center of the room, and tossed the cloth into the sink. When he returned to the room, the butt-ugly bedspread was crumpled on the floor and Xander was lying on one side of the bed, watching him. With a shrug, Spike retrieved his cigarettes and lighter from his duster and flopped down on the other side of the bed, careful not to touch Xander.

He tapped the pack, and on a whim, offered it to Xander. To his surprise, Xander took a cigarette. Spike lit his own and handed over the lighter, which was used and returned.

"Thanks," Xander said, exhaling. Spike grunted in return, figuring the thanks was for the cig, not the rutting. They smoked in silence, both ashing onto the multicolored, indoor-outdoor carpet without concern.

"Why are you here?" Xander finally asked.

"Birds sent me - they want you home."

"Huh. That's flattering," Xander said. He stubbed his cigarette butt out on the bedside table. From the looks of the furniture he wasn't the first, so Spike followed suit.

"What's in it for you?" Xander asked.

"Money, blood, fewer bruises - the usual."

"Huh," Xander said again.

Spike tucked his hands behind his head and crossed his legs at the ankle. "So, what was that all about," he said, keeping his voice even. "The fucking?"

Xander stacked his hands over his solar plexus and looked at the ceiling. "A lot of things. I was pissed, for one. You, for another."

"Yeah, and?" Spike said.

"What are you, the undead Sigmund Freud?" Xander said, but his words were mild.

"Just wanted to know," Spike said.

"Yeah, me, too."

This time it was Spike's turn to say "huh?"

"I guess I just wanted to know what the big deal is about you. What's so great about you that the women I care about can't wait to fuck you. I guess I just wanted to know what the deal was with you and Buffy and you and Anya."

"I thought you didn't want to know any of this," Spike said. "'Least, that's what you said, right after 'evil, soulless thing' and a couple of attempts to dust me." He couldn't keep all the venom out of his voice.

"I changed my mind," Xander said. "Being drunk for two weeks gives you lots of time to think, and I think I want to understand."

Spike sighed. He looked at the water-marked ceiling and thought for a moment. "Well," he said. "It's..."

"Complicated, I know," Xander said.

"Yeah, it is." Spike thought again, trying to find the words he needed. "OK, you already know part of it."

"At the risk of being repetitive - huh?"

"You wanted to know the deal with Buffy and me, right? Well, that what just happened? That pretty much sums up what Buffy felt for me - get on, get off, get out." He paused. "Though, I think you actually surpassed her in the areas of foreplay and afterglow, but only because you didn't break my nose." That wasn't entirely true. The truth was that Buffy almost never even noticed him after sex - Xander throwing a warm washcloth onto his back was nearly romantic in comparison.

"So, you're saying that what Buffy wanted from you and what you wanted from Buffy were totally different things - I can understand that. What about you and Anya?"

"No, she and I pretty much wanted the same thing," Spike said.

"Tell me," Xander said.

Spike didn't move. He kept looking at the ceiling, kept his body stock-still, and thought twice about what he was going to say. Both times he was pretty sure he was an idiot. "I could show you," he said.

Spike listened as Xander kept breathing evenly, not moving at all. When the answer came, he almost missed it.

"OK," Xander said quietly. "Show me."

Spike sat up then, and turned on the bedside lamp. He picked it up and placed it on the floor, so the room was softly illuminated, then he sat cross-legged on the bed facing Xander.

"I didn't go there for her. I wanted a spell - something to numb the pain. Buffy - well, she'd ripped my heart out again, and I just wanted to...stop it, get away from it." He sighed and looked down at Xander's face, surprised to find brown eyes watching him. Xander looked...interested, and not angry. "Anyway, we wound up drinking and talking. She was playing at being angry, but she was really just as hurt as I was, and we talked. I couldn't stand to see her so upset over a prat like you, so I...talked to her. Told her what I admired about her."

"I thought you were going to show me," Xander said.

Spike smiled. "You're thinking this is a trick question, aren't you? I bet you think there's nothing I admire about you, yeah?"

"Yeah," Xander admitted.

Well, Spike thought, in for a penny..."You'd be wrong then."

"Usually am," Xander replied, turning his eyes back to the shadowed ceiling.

"Maybe," Spike said. "But you never fucking quit, you know? You're either incredibly dumb or incredibly stubborn, and most times I don't know which. You're the most loyal sonofabitch I've ever seen, even when the ones you're loyal to don't deserve it. Sure, you're a close-minded tightass most of the time, but you don't give up on the people you care about."

Xander sat up and faced Spike. He looked down at his hands, twisting in his lap. "I guess we have that in common - you don't give up either."

Spike shrugged. He took in an unneeded breath and let it out, then reached out to cup Xander's cheek in his hand, the same way he'd touched Anya that night. He tilted Xander's head so that he could see his eyes - they were dark, but not angry - he saw much of the same hurt and confusion he'd seen in Anya's.

"Look," he said, rubbing his thumb lightly over Xander's cheekbone. "You're a git, Xander, but you did the right thing. Your timing could have been better, but I've no room to talk there. You're so worried about doing right by everybody else that you never do anything for yourself, and this time you did." Spike looked away, then back with a quiet laugh. "The two of you would have made each other miserable. No matter what, you aren't ever going to have a normal life - you can't. You know too much, and Anya would have wanted you to forget about good and evil and do the house and the picket fence and the 2.5 brats, and you would have felt like a fraud and like you'd let your friends down. You're a white-hat to the core."

Xander swallowed hard, but he held the eye contact. "I..." he said, licking dry lips. "What I just did to you - that wasn't a very white-hat thing to do. I'm..."

"Shhh," Spike said, pressing his thumb to Xander's lips. "I could have stopped you at any time. I didn't want to. I liked what you did to me, Xander. I'm not a human, I don't play by human rules, so don't you say you're sorry."

Xander nodded, and Spike gently stroked his thumb against that warm bottom lip.

"So, what happened then?" Xander asked, his lips moving against Spike's skin.

"Then I kissed her, and she said she was only doing it because she was drunk and I smelled really good," Spike said, smiling.

Xander leaned forward. "You do smell really good," he said, his voice low.

"I smell like you, Xander - you're all over me, inside me." Spike watched Xander's eyes go wide at that, and smelled arousal, so he took a chance - he leaned in and kissed Xander very softly on the mouth.

Xander's eyes closed automatically when Spike's lips touched his. This kiss was nothing like the brutal assault that he'd laid on Spike at the door. This was gentle, almost tentative - like Spike was asking. And, he did smell really good. He smelled like leather and cigarette smoke and cheap hotel lotion and sex and Xander's own sweat, and he kissed like a dream. Suddenly, Xander understood what Anya had felt, because he was feeling it, too. Spike's kiss was sweet and comforting, and...hot. Yeah, hot - especially the way he traced his tongue against the seam of Xander's mouth, drawing little lines and curves and waiting for Xander to catch up.

And, when Xander finally did catch up and parted his lips, Spike's tongue slipped inside and began a slow, thorough exploration, one that begged to be reciprocated. He brought his hands up and cupped Spike's face, finger cradling his jaw, thumbs gliding over cheekbones. Spike's other hand came up also, sliding through Xander's hair to rest lightly against the sweet spot at the nape of his neck.

They were still both sitting cross-legged on the bed, knees touching, upper bodies canted far forward to meet in the middle. Xander could hardly believe that this was kissing Spike - this, not the frantic, rough tongue-fucking of before. This was sweet - it was the only word for it, and Xander's brain clenched at the thought of calling Spike "sweet." He pulled back slightly, enough to catch a breath, and Spike's lips trailed lightly across his cheek.

"Taste good, too," he whispered, afraid to disturb the fragile peace.

Spike made a wordless sound, his lips buzzing against Xander's skin, and Xander interpreted that noise to mean many things: "yes" and "more" and then "yes" again, simply because that's what he wanted it to mean. He was so tired of being the one who watched, never the one who got, and he was determined to have this. Determined not to listen to the voices - to Buffy and Willow and Giles standing in his head, tapping toes and giving him shocked looks and reproachful glances and cleaning their glasses - OK, that was just Giles. Anyway, he wanted them to shut up for a second, because for once in his life he wanted to get what he wanted, and the lyric lord knows it would be the first time slid through his head and shattered the illusion of his disapproving friends, making his eyes snap open to see.

What he saw was Spike's eyes, their blue deeper in the gloom, the lids half-closed, dark sweep of lashes and, oddly, surprise there. And he realized that this wasn't what Spike had come there for, realized that for Spike, this had been a simple pick-up mission. What he also realized was that Spike was just about the most adaptable creature he'd ever seen. But, most of all, what he realized was that he wanted Spike - just pure want - no expectations, no remorse, just a cascading feeling that coalesced into the baser parts of his brain, woke them up and pointed them toward Spike and said "sic 'im!"

It seemed easier to let his hands move, to pull Spike closer again, to go along when Spike tipped them over to lie facing one another on the scratchy sheets. Xander felt like time had slowed to a crawl, and lost himself in the feel of Spike's mouth, Spike's hands, Spike's presence. Finally, he felt the want rising up within him, and couldn't fight the urge for more. More passion, more contact, just more. And, like a spark to paper, his urgency transferred to Spike, and they both moved forward to press their bodies together, Xander easing his leg over Spike's hip and twining them together without a molecule's space between their skins.

Spike groaned when their cocks bumped, and he rearranged his hips to make them slide together, showing Xander the way with gentle nudges and laughing softly at muffled curses.

"It's good, yeah?" Spike's voice was husky, distorted by the fact that his lips were pressed tightly to the side of Xander's neck.

"Yeah...god...please," Xander's voice trailed off, unable to ask, not knowing the words for what he wanted.

Luckily, Spike seemed to know, and he moved them again, getting cocks against bellies, sliding in Xander's sweat at the fluids that leaked from them both with glorious friction. Tightening his heel against the small of Spike's back, Xander pressed and yielded in turn, finding a rhythm that stole his breath and his words and every thought in his head except for moremoremore.

They came like that, one right after the other, and Xander had a moment of deep clarity, where he felt Spike's cock throb against his, felt Spike's gasp against the skin of his throat, felt Spike's fingers tighten on his back and felt Spike shudder uncontrollably while Xander whispered his name. Xander knew this feeling, and at the same time, he didn't: satisfaction and solace. He stroked the skin of Spike's back and listened to the pounding of his own heart and hoped that Spike wouldn't say something awful.

But Spike didn't. He just stayed there, as if he'd be content to be held trapped by Xander's limbs for as long as it lasted. When Xander unhooked the leg still thrown over him, Spike rolled them effortlessly and climbed over Xander, headed for the bathroom. He paused halfway to the door and looked back, and Xander searched his eyes for a clue. Finally, Spike nodded at him - an oddly courtly gesture that Xander returned with a small, shy smile.

Spike came back, and shocked Xander speechless by gently cleaning him up with a warm cloth, so Xander returned the favor, climbing under the covers and holding up a corner to welcome Spike when he returned. They settled, side by side, barely touching, and slept.

Spike woke up, warm and comfortable. He had solid heat at his back, and he moved toward it, feeling the length of Xander's back against his own. The clock on the night table showed just past two in the morning, and he could hear the subtle sounds of Xander waking up beside him, disturbed by his small movements.

Spike didn't know what to say, but that never usually stopped him. He knew he could crack a joke or sling a casual barb and return things between them to their usual prickly footing, but he found himself reluctant to do so. After the repeated beatings his heart and body had taken from Buffy, and his knowledge that he and Anya had used each other, the lure of the weird intimacy he'd forged with Xander over the past few hours was strong. If he could just keep Xander calm and keep his own mouth shut, he might be able to spend a few more hours in the uncertain shelter he'd found.

Xander woke slowly and pulled away to roll onto his back. Spike didn't give an inch, managing to keep himself close enough to Xander's side to soak up the heat.

"There's still something I don't know," Xander said quietly.

"Yeah? What's that?" Spike said, turning himself over so that he was lying on his other side, head propped casually on his palm.

Xander kept his eyes on the ceiling. "You and Buffy; what you were getting out of it. You said it was different...different from what I...what we did earlier."

Spike raked his hand through his hair. Damn Xander for listening for once. He wasn't sure if he wanted to bare his non-existent soul to the man-child who had always gloried in ridiculing him. He didn't know if he could stand it if this, his biggest failure, was thrown back in his face.

"Look," he said, glancing away. "This, here...this...whatever this is; it stays between us, yeah?"

Xander turned to look at him then, and Spike met his eyes. Xander seemed to find what he needed, and he nodded at Spike before turning his gaze back to the ceiling.

"It's insane, but I love her," Spike admitted, hating himself for saying it, hating himself for feeling it. "All I want to do is make her see it." He slumped back down to the bed on his back and joined Xander at staring at the dim ceiling. The motel was quiet at this hour, and Spike could hear the droning of the soda machine in the hall, and the drip-drip-drip counterpoint of the ice machine. He could hear cars going by on the highway, and he could hear Xander's slow even breaths. And he heard the hitch in that breath when he spoke.

"Show me," Xander whispered.

Spike rolled up onto his side and pressed his forehead into the warm skin of Xander's shoulder. "Are you sure?" he asked, and he couldn't keep the quaver out of his voice.

"Show me," Xander repeated.

Spike slowly, carefully moved so that his body was over Xander's holding most of his weight on his hands. He bent his elbows and leaned down just enough to brush his lips over Xander's. He watched as Xander's eyes closed slowly, and he moved up to kiss his eyelids. He drew in a deep breath, pulling in Xander's warm musk scent, then moved up to trace strong, dark eyebrows, first with his lips and then with the tip of his tongue. He shifted his attention to Xander's forehead, following his hairline down to one ear, tracing the edge, and then back up and across to the other.

Xander's hands came up to rest on his shoulders, and his legs moved apart to allow Spike to settle more firmly into the cradle of his hips. Xander bit his lip, his strong, white teeth digging into the tender flesh as Spike kissed his way down, following the line of his jawbone, lips rasping against the five o'clock shadow just showing there.

Show me, Xander had said, and Spike just...did. He let it all go, forgot the animosity between them and gave himself over to the sensations, to the moment. He didn't pretend that Xander was Buffy. He couldn't. Not only were they so very different, but he knew that Buffy would never have allowed him such tenderness, would never have allowed him to simply worship her.

"So lovely," he whispered. "Warm skin - you feel so good."

Xander's hands came up to tangle in his hair, pulling slightly to bring Spike's mouth up, and he arched into the sensation.

"Open your eyes," Xander whispered, and Spike did, to find eyes dark with arousal locked on his. Xander had said for him to open his eyes, but see me was left unspoken. So Spike looked. He looked, and he saw wanting and determination and yes, a little fear there, and he was surprised to find that he wanted to soothe it.

"Xander," Spike breathed, and when Xander smiled and said "yeah" quietly, the only thing he could do was lean in and capture those tempting lips with his own. He kissed Xander the way he'd kissed Drusilla on days when she'd been lucid and happy and able to understand the depths of his emotions; he kissed Xander the way he'd tried to kiss Buffy, only to be overpowered by her and pushed into animal realms. And Xander...let him, answered him in kind. Took the softness, the gentleness, the sweet ardor and gave it back just the same, just as sweetly.

The only sounds Spike heard then were the sounds of kissing, the small moans and wet noises and sighs. He heard the slide of Xander's hands through his hair, and panting breaths, and the rasping of his own fingers in the dark curls at the center of Xander's chest. And he heard the steady, quick beat of an excited human heart. And he heard...his name, moaned gently into his own mouth.

Spike gathered his weight and pressed their lower bodies together, felt the hitching glide of Xander's erection against his own, then slid down, trailing kisses over stubbled chin to hot throat to Xander's chest, kissing and licking his nipples into tight peaks, feeling the body under him arch and hearing a wordless cry of pleasure.

"Want you. Xander," Spike said, lips moving on skin. "Want you."


"Want me?" Spike asked, lifting his head, searching.

"Yes, Spike, yes," Xander said, reaching down to cup his jaw with one hot hand and pull him up for a kiss.

Spike kissed and grinned and groaned and pulled away, reaching onto the bedside table for the bottle of lotion.

"Let me?" he said, moving back between Xander's legs. "Let me touch you, Xan? Have you?"

"Oh, God, yes," Xander panted, twisting against the sheets, unconsciously pressing his hips upward.

"Thank you," Spike breathed the words like a prayer. "Thank you." He kissed Xander again, and at the same time moved his slicked hand down, stroking and gentling, until he was able to slide a finger inside, into the raging inferno of Xander's heat, drawing moans from them both.

Spike was more careful than he'd ever been with anyone, taken completely out of the game - no longer showing what he'd wanted to show Buffy, but simply wanting to show Xander...how he felt, that he could love, that he had gentleness and caring inside him, showing his all-too-human heart. When Xander was ready - more than ready - begging with breathy gasps and writing on the bed, Spike slicked himself and eased slowly into his body. He listened, watched, felt for every nuance, making sure not to cause the slightest bit of pain along with the maximum amount of pleasure.

Spike forgot about himself and became caught up in the subtle play of emotions on Xander's face - want and need and so much pleasure. He's known that Xander was deeply emotional, but his utter wantonness called to the possessive lover in Spike. How could he have not realized what was hidden right under his nose? The exact opposite of Buffy's coldness and aloofness were here, in front of him, under him. Finally, secure in the knowledge that Xander was ready, he began to move.

Xander gasped, and Spike groaned and buried his face in his shoulder, mouthing against the warm skin there as he thought he was on fire, inside and out. Xander was hot and tight and moving under him like he couldn't get enough, trying to get closer to Spike, cleaving them together. Xander's legs were wrapped high around Spike's ribs, and one hand clutched the hair at the back of his neck, the other pressed tightly to the small of his back. Spike's hands were braced on the mattress, his hips churning as he drove himself further inside. He dropped to one elbow, and got a hand wedged between them to touch Xander's cock - it was heavy and wet in his hand, and Xander cried out.

They moved together, finding a fast rhythm that had them both trembling, had Xander's head thrashing on the pillow, had Spike silently repeating poetry, trying to retain some semblance of control. He lifted his head as he pressed his hips down, twisting, finding Xander's sweet spot and sliding back and forth over it, watching the desperation on Xander's face.

"Oh, God, Spike." Xander threw his head back and opened his eyes with great effort. "I'm gonna come...you're gonna make me..." And then he did, jerking up hard into Spike's hand, fingers digging into Spike's flesh, eyes open and sparkling and wet and shocked. And Spike was lost. Heat and heartbeat, pull and throb and Spike was coming, too, looking straight into Xander's eyes, his body pulled into a tight arch, his mind completely blown by the mortal boy beneath him.

Spike was surprised when Xander pushed up against him and rolled them over, and he made a small sound as their bodies parted. Xander loomed over him, grinning tiredly - utterly and completely shagged out - and gave Spike a long, slow kiss before dropping his head down to roll back and forth across Spike's chest. They laid there for a while, and Spike eventually slipped away to go back to the bathroom, returning to clean them both up and then be welcomed back into the bed, this time into the shelter of Xander's arms. Dawn was breaking as they fell asleep.

Xander sat in the uncomfortable chair and waited for Spike to wake. He'd been up for about an hour and had showered quietly, then packed his meager belongings into his worn duffle bag, then dressed and taken his perch on the lumpy chair, watching Spike sleep. Spike looked younger at rest - smoother, softer. The curling hair didn't help. As Xander watched, Spike's eyes opened, like blinds being drawn up over a window.

"Hey," Xander said.

"Hey," Spike replied, his voice gravely as he reached up with one hand to smooth his hair.

"Almost full dark," Xander said. "I guess we should get ready to go."

Spike stood up from the bed and stretched, and Xander couldn't help but look at the long lines of his back and notice the marks he'd put there with his nails the night before. He was sorry that they would fade as soon as Spike fed. Spike wandered toward the bathroom, but stopped in the doorway and turned, his eyes roving over Xander's face. Xander smiled - he couldn't help it. Spike smiled back and went on to the shower.

Ten minutes later, they stood in the parking lot. Spike's motorcycle was in the space next to Xander's car. Xander hefted his bag into the back seat and watched Spike light a cigarette before tucking the pack and Zippo into his pocket. Xander rocked back onto his heels and then up onto his toes before gathering his courage and stepping closer. He reached up and put his hand at the back of Spike's neck and kissed him. Spike kissed back, his hand reaching around to press against Xander's shoulder. They parted, but Xander didn't let go.

"So, now I know," he said quietly.

Spike smiled and tilted his head. "So now you know." He stepped back then, and moved over to the bike. Xander sat in his car and watched him speed away, and then he followed.

The End

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