Happy Birthday Nash!
It's [info]nashmaveric's birthday!!

She may not know it, but she's one of the first authors I read, along with [info]spikedluv, over at UCSL, and I blame love and thank the both of them for introducing me to Spander. Here's a little ficlet in token of my appreciation. Rated PG-13. Thanks to [info]cordelianne for a super-fast (and super-good) beta job.

Happy birthday, Nash! Hope it's a good one.

Living With


“Spike, tell me you’re not really reading that.”

“I’m not really reading this.”

“Tell me the truth.”

“You’re very inconsistent, you know that?”

“How can you be reading that? How can I be living with someone who’s reading that?”

“Well, I’m not exactly living with you.”

Xander froze, panic and icy disappointment trickling through him. “You’re not. We’re not. Of course we’re not. I just meant, we share the place. And…other things. Sometimes. And it’s great and all. Really, um. Great. But I don’t want you to think I meant I think we have a relationship. Or anything. Because I don’t. Because we don’t. Of course.”

Spike looked incredulously up from his book.

“Xander. Stop babbling.”

“Right. Stopping now. You know, I should go run some errands I forgot. For Willow. Who doesn’t like me forgetting things, so I should go right now. I’ll just, uh – see you later. Maybe.”

“Xander. Will you stop? It was a joke.”

“A joke.”

“Yeah, a joke. As in, I’m dead? Not actually living? You used to taunt me about that all the time, as I recall. I wasn’t being –“ Spike broke off. “Hell, Xander, you look like death. Sit down before you pass out or something.”

“I’m fine right over here.”

“Come sit down right now, you git.”

Xander reluctantly sat. Spike dropped the book and slid along the couch, crowding Xander into the corner.

“So this isn’t a relationship, huh?”


“So when I do this,” Spike began thumbing the knots out of Xander’s neck, “it doesn’t mean anything.”

Xander leaned into the touch despite himself. “We never, um, talk. About it. About things.”

Spike worked his fingers up, combing through Xander’s hair and massaging his scalp. “Didn’t think we had to.”

“I just…I don’t know. Why you’re here. With me.”

Spike sighed, turned Xander by the shoulders and pulled him back against his chest. Cool hands began rubbing Xander’s shoulders and arms.

“Got no place better to be, do I?”

Xander tensed and tried to sit up. Spike held him down. “That was another joke, Xander. You used to recognize them.” He started petting Xander’s stomach gently. “You never used to take me seriously, why start now?”

Xander gazed at the ceiling. “That was when…I didn’t care.”

Spike kissed the back of his neck.

“I live here, Xander. With you. I like it here and I’m not going anywhere. Is that enough talking?”

Xander twisted around, hopeful grin. “You live with me, as in living with me?”

Spike shook his head in despair. “Fine, I live with you. Why are we still talking about this? I was reading before you started going crazy on me.”

“How can I be living with someone who’s reading that?”

Spike frowned. “Are you still on about that? What’s wrong with Camus?”

Xander shook his head, still grinning. “I can stand telling my friends and coworkers that I’m living with a man. I will even survive admitting to Buffy that I am sleeping with the undead. But if word gets out I’m in a relationship with an intellectual…I will never live this down.”

Spike shoved him. “You’ll never live it down? Think of my reputation! You’d better not let this get out.”

“So…no telling.”

Spike watched Xander’s face close off again and poked him in the ribs. “Git. I meant no talking about my choice of reading materials.”

“But…relationship okay?”

“Relationship fine. Can I read now?”

Xander lay back down on Spike and smiled. “Read away.”

Thank fuck. Finally.”

“You know, I’m going to build you a bookshelf. I think a nice maple one would go well in that corner. Then you could keep your books within easy reach instead of hiding them under the bed.”

“Shut it.”

“Giles would love to come over and browse.”

“Shut. It.”

“And I bet Willow would be impressed by your collection.”

“I think my evil’s rubbing off on you.”

Xander wriggled. “I don’t think you’re rubbing off on me nearly enough.”

Spike growled, and gave up. The book fell to the floor, as he flipped them over and ground Xander’s body into the sofa cushions. He had eternity to read.

The End

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