Lessons Learned


So, here it was, midnight. His Birthday. Again. Another year older and what did he have to show for it? Sweet dick-all, that was what.

Well, actually, he didn’t even have that. Sweet dick that is, he thought to himself with a giggle. Nope. He was here, and he was queer, but he was still single.

Depressingly single.

And not just a little bit drunk.

He’d really meant it when he’d told them he was done with women. They were nothing but bad luck for the Xan-man. They all turned out to be demons, ex-demons, crazy slayers, bug-people, or Incan mummies.

Nope, women were definitely not the way to go. Not if he wanted any semblance of a normal life. And he did want a normal life. He’d earned it after all.

How many other people - average people that is, not slayers, witches, ensouled vampires etc. - can say that they have averted apocalypses?



But even normal life seemed to want to shit on one Alexander Lavelle Harris.

He had been on assignment from the new Watcher Counsel - namely Giles, Willow and Andrew of all people - to gather the masses of sheep, er, young slayers, he meant, and send them off to their early deaths, um, training, he meant send them off to training, and decided that he wasn’t going back.

He was through traveling the globe. He was weary of the never-ending quest to find and train the next slayer. He was sick of hotel beds and restaurant food. He was fed up with border crossings and airport security. He was tired. He’d paid his dues. Hell, he’d paid a lot of people’s dues. As far as he was concerned, the universe could just stick a fork in him; he was done.

But now he was all alone on his Birthday. No Willow waking him up with a cupcake and a peck on the nose. No Buffy to crack his ribs with an over enthusiastic Birthday hug. No Dawnie to scarf ice cream with. No Anya to … Well, no Anya period.

And no Shane either. Not that that was too much of a hardship. Shane had been a bad idea from the get-go. He was slim, blond, blue eyed, high maintenance with a nasty smoking habit, and only after a good fuck and a few bucks. Still, he’d been a fun distraction while he was around.

That is until Xander woke up one morning and realized he’d essentially been fucking a cross between a male Anya and Spike for the past four months.

And that had been the end of Shane.

There had been the occasional one-nighter since then, but no one that Xander wanted to get to know on a more personal level. There was Mick, a feisty red-haired young college student. He turned out to be a two-nighter, they had spent the entire weekend in Xander's house fucking like bunnies.

Bradley had black, shoulder-length hair, a nose ring, and a tongue that knew more tricks than a Vegas hooker. It was too bad he had absolutely no personality outside of the bedroom; Xander missed the things that boy's mouth could do.

Then, of course, there had been the obligatory brunette. David. With the big brown eyes, and the Armani suit. Sober, Xander would have run screaming from the obvious Angel look-a-like. Unfortunately he was rip roaring drunk when he met him, and it was only the next morning, while subconsciously looking for bite marks, that the resemblance clicked in.

So, yeah, his luck with one night stands wasn't working out well either. And it had nothing to do with the fact that he studiously avoided any and all blond men. Nope. Nothing at all. Blonds were trouble.

Take the one at the end of the bar for example. From the back, he was just Xander’s type. Slim, dressed in too-tight denims and a black silk shirt. He had Doc’s on his feet and a silver bracelet dangling from his slender wrist. His foot tapped to the heavy beat of the music and his head bobbed along as well between swallows of his beer. He had well muscled arms, broad shoulders and a narrow waist. Xander was willing to bet he could bounce a quarter of the man’s ass it was so tight.

Best to be avoiding that one. If he was going to date a bitchy, demanding, arrogant blond, well, he’d just go ring up Spike and… and…

Oh hell.

He wouldn’t have to ring up Spike. Why? Because the slim blond man with the tight ass had just turned around to order another beer and it was Spike.

"Well smack my ass and call me Rosy," Xander muttered as he continued to stare at this blast from the past. Five years seemed to evaporate and it was as if he was standing at the bar in The Bronze, watching the vampire who shared his basement as he spent his money, that he had either stolen or hustled from him.

Deciding to call it a night before he got spotted, Xander slapped a bill down on the bar-top to pay for his drink and grabbed his jacket off the stool. He'd had far too much to drink and if running into anyone from Sunnydale would be bad; running into Spike was like every Christmas with his family, and the Wedding-That-Wasn't all rolled into one.

His own personal hell. Like in that Bill and Ted movie with Keanu Reeves. And why was he thinking about Keanu Reeves when he needed to get away from the sexy vampire?

He was drunk. Right. Well now that he had his explanation, he really should be going. And he would be if Bradley hadn’t chosen that exact moment to walk over and kiss him within an inch of his life.

“Xander,” the long-haired boy practically purred. “Been a while since I’ve seen you here, dance with me.”

It was not a request, and Xander soon found himself jacketless once more and out on the dance floor; Bradley’s arms around his neck and his tongue in his mouth.

He forgot all about Spike.

Spike however did not forget about Xander. How could he, he was the reason he was here. Although, he hadn’t exactly expected to find him in this particular club.

It was a gay bar, this was the last place he expected to run into Xander I’m-the-poster-boy-for-heterosexual Harris.

When he'd heard the name, he thought he had been mistaken, that the beer had gone off or something and was making him a bit barmy, but then he'd looked behind him just in time to see a very nice looking young man with black hair walk up to, and then embrace, his one-time roomie before dragging him off to dance.

Stunned, Spike could only watch as the lithe young man in Xander’s arms kissed him breathless. He gaped open-mouthed as they gyrated to the music, arms wound tightly around each other, hips meshed together.

“Bloody hell,” he whispered as he watched as Xander Harris - the straightest bloke he ever knew - slid his hands down the boys back and squeeze his arse.

Two songs later, Spike was watching as the young thing hustled Xander out the door. Tossing his beer back, Spike slapped some money down on the bar and made to follow them. He had thought that Angel was shitting him when he sent him on this assignment, but from the looks of things, he wasn't.

Xander Harris was in big trouble, and apparently, Spike was going to have to save him.

The irony was not lost on him.

Turning the corner after leaving the bar, Spike trained his preternatural senses on picking up Xander's scent. Surprisingly, he still remembered the unique, musky-sweet smell of the boy. It was sex, and innocence and Twinkies all rolled into one.

A demon aphrodisiac if he ever smelled one.

And... there, just down the alleyway, was the man in question. And not alone.

The boy from the bar was there, not a big surprise when one considered the type of activity that people got up to in the alleys behind the clubs. What was surprising was the other, hidden person. The one with the gun, and the grievance.

It was the blond man from the vision.

Christy - Angel's new seer - had described him quite well. The drawing Angel had done of him was flawless; right down to the freckles on his nose.

It was now or never, so Spike stealthily made his way down the alley, moving in the shadows until he reached the man with the gun. "You don't want to do that, mate," he said as he stepped in front of him.

The gunman had been so startled he'd pulled the trigger. Spike groaned in pain as the bullet tore through his abdomen and his game face appeared. "Bloody, soddin' hell," he groaned and he shoved the startled, and now quite pale, man against the wall.

"W-w-w-what are you?" the man asked shakily.

Spike grimaced and rolled his eyes. "Let's see, fangs, deathly pale skin, and oh yeah, a mortal wound that hasn't killed me. Gee, I don't know, a vampire perhaps?"

By this time, the other two occupants of the alley had scrambled to fasten their pants and were looking around in a panic. Well, one of them was. Xander was digging the heel of his hand into his eye and swearing under his breath.

He had heard, and more importantly, recognised, not one, but both voices of the two men further down the alley. "Better take off Brad, I'll catch you around some time."

Bradley did not have to be told twice. He was on probation for possession of crystal meth and the last thing he needed was to be questioned as a witness to a shooting; especially as he was still a bit high at the moment.

"Spike, why are you following me?" Xander asked, resigned.

"Oh, that's bloody rich, that is," Spike drawled. "Save a bloke from getting his head blown off, take a bullet for him, and he accuses you of stalking him! See, if I save your arse again, Harris."

Xander sighed and shook his head. He was still far too intoxicated for this. "Fuck. Fine, I'm sorry I accused you of following me. Now, why are you here?"

"Vision. Peaches' new seer-bint saw this bloke here trying to off you. Angel decided I was the best person for the job, so here I am. Course, had I known I'd get shot saving you, I'd have insisted on first-class accommodations and a bit more pocket money."

Xander couldn't help it, he snorted. "And you, Shane? Why the hell were you trying to shoot me?"

He'd had bad break ups before, and having an ex try to kill him was nothing new for Xander, but this was the first time it was by someone who wasn't a non-human, or at least female. He thought it would be different with guys.

"You broke up with me!" Shane shouted, seemingly forgetting that he was pinned to the wall by a pissed off vampire with a personal grudge against him. "I didn't do anything wrong and you just broke up with me! I love you!"

"Ah, yes and nothing says 'I love you' more than an attempt on my life," Xander muttered sarcastically. "Seriously, I'm not kidding."

This time Spike snorted. "You know Harris, I used to think you just had lousy taste in birds. What with all the demons you dated and what not, but now I see that that isn't the case. You have lousy tastes in blokes too."

"Don't remind me," Xander muttered. "Look, Shane, it was nothing personal. You're a great guy and all, but it just wasn't working out, you know? I mean, you reminded me too much of someone else and when I realised that, I had to break it off. It kind of freaked me out."

Even as muzzy as he still felt, Xander knew enough not to say who Shane had reminded him of. Certainly not when one of the people in question was standing right there. "If Spike lets you go, will you promise not to shoot me?"

Xander's question was met with two incredulous looks.

"Yes, I promise..." and "Harris, are you daft?" were spoken simultaneously.

"I'm not daft, Spike, and seriously, look at him, does he look like a killer to you?" Xander asked.

Begrudgingly, Spike released his grip on the man and looked him over. He had to admit that Xander was right. He knew killers, had been one himself for a century and then some, and this distraught young man was no killer. Just a love-sick fool who had the bad luck to fall for the most commitment-shy bloke in the world.

"Fine," Spike snarled as he backed up a step and stuck out his hand. "He gives over the piece and I'll let him go."

Shane handed over the gun, and took a shaky breath before speaking. "Are you really a vampire?"

"Fuck," Xander muttered.

"I am," Spike answered, "and if you know what's good for you, you'll pretend you never met me. Leave Harris here alone, find yourself some other bloke to shag, and go on about your life. If I have to come back for you, I promise I won't be too happy about it."

Shane nodded his head, rather vigorously, in agreement and then fled the alley like the hounds of hell were on his heels. Xander leaned against the wall and sighed. "Happy Birthday to me," he muttered under his breath. "This? This is why I don't celebrate it anymore."

Spike looked at Xander in curiosity. "Is it really yer Birthday?"

"Yes. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I still have a bottle of Jim Beam back at the house with my name on it. Thanks for the save, Spike, we should do this again sometime. Not," Xander added as he walked away.

Spike watched as Xander headed back out toward the street. His 'mission' now accomplished, he was free and clear to spend the next couple of days doing whatever he pleased. He considered going back into the club and finding himself a bit of company for the night, but the nagging, unanswered questions he had about Xander had him following the former Scooby and jogging to catch up.

"Xander, wait up," he called. "You got enough of that bottle to share with an old mate?"

Xander stopped and turned to Spike with an odd expression on his face before shrugging his shoulders and turning back once again. "Why the hell not," he threw back over his shoulder, “it’s not like this night could get any worse."

He might not be in Sunnydale anymore but he still should have known better than to tempt fate.

One bottle of JB turned into two, and before Xander realized what was happening, he had a lap full of vampire and considerably less clothing on than he had started with.

"God, Spike. You're so fucking hot, always thought so," Xander murmured between kisses as the blond wriggled pleasantly on his lap; his naked cock pressed tightly against his own.

"Want you, Xander," Spike purred in the other man's ear. "Wanna shag you so hard so won't walk for a week."

Xander groaned as the images that statement induced flooded his rather whiskey-sloshed brain. He managed to get to his feet, and with Spike still wrapped around him like a second skin, stumbled into the bedroom.

It would be weeks before he recalled everything they did that night.

Morning came, and with it, the dulcet tones of whinging vampire. "Bloody... Why are the soddin’ curtains open? Where the fuck am I, and who the bloody hell are you?"

"Shut up!" Xander groaned and flung a pillow in the general direction of the irritating noise. "Shut up or I swear to god I will have Buffy stake you!"

No sooner did the words leave his mouth then Xander sat up with a shriek. It was answered by a similar sounding noise from the other side of the room, where a naked, shocked, and trapped-by-the-sunlight vampire now stood; eyes wide open in shock.

"Well, bugger," Spike muttered succinctly.

Xander snorted. "Nice word choice, fang-boy. You come up with that one all on your own or did you have help?"

"Sod. Off," was the terse reply. "And toss me my kit, would ya? I don't fancy standing around your bedroom starkers all day."

"Oh, eew," Xander muttered. "I had sex with a walking corpse. Gross!"

"Oh that's bloody rich coming from you! You've probably had more demon arse than I have, and I've been around for some hundred odd years!"

"You know what, pal? We are not in Sunnydale anymore, this is not my parents’ basement, and I don't need to justify my actions to Buffy or Giles or anyone else for that matter. Keep it up and I'll toss your naked vampire ass out the fucking window!" Xander all but roared. "I have a hangover, I was almost shot by my crazy ex-boyfriend, Bradley will probably never come near me again - and that is a huge shame because he could do things with his tongue that are illegal in most States - I spent the night having sex with the second most hated vampire I know, and to top it all off it's my god damn Birthday!"

Spike blinked in shock. "Er, Happy Birthday?"

Xander snarled, flung the covers off his naked body and stalked toward the bathroom. "I'm showering, then I am leaving. I'll be back here after sunset, I don't want to find you here."

"And my clothes?" Spike asked as he was still very naked and there was a large amount of sunlight between him and the wanted items.

"Not my problem," Xander answered as he left the room with, Spike was pleased to note, a slight limp.

"I'm bettin' Angel's Seer-bint didn't see this," Spike said as he rolled his eyes. Then he remembered the look in Angel's eye as he sent him off to do this. It was one of suppressed mirth.

"Bloody, sodding, bollocksing, arse-licking, fuckwad, bastard of a Sire!" Spike yelled as he turned and kicked the wall.

Xander finished his shower, ignored the impulse to find out what Spike had been cursing up a storm about and left his house. He went to the local diner, had a nice breakfast and tried to forget that last night had ever happened.

But, at the very least, he had learned one valuable lesson from it.

He was right; blonds were nothing but trouble.

Okay, maybe two lessons. Blonds were trouble and his Birthday was cursed.

Oh, and Spike was extremely flexible. So that made three things he had learned.

Thumping his head on the table, Xander decided that if he couldn't make the knowledge of last night's activities go away, then he would settle for unconsciousness.

And next year, he was staying home, in the dark, with the door locked.

The End