A World of Their Own


Part Six

"Hey, Spike. How long do you think we've been here?" Xander looked up from the bench he was carving. The cabin was finally finished, now he was working on furnishing it. Spike scratched his head and thought a moment.

"’Bout a year I'd reckon, why?" Xander frowned. It hadn't seemed like a year. Once he had starting work on the cabin, the time seemed to just fly by.

"No reason. I was just curious. What do you think of this so far?" Spike strode over and looked down at the intricate carving the boy was doing. He had a real talent for woodworking. "Looks good, pet. Where's it going?" Xander shrugged. "I don't know yet. Maybe by the fireplace, what do you think?"

Spike thought about it for a minute. "Nah, that one would be better on the porch. We'll need something bigger for the front room. Something I can stretch out on. Plus it would be a bonus if it was cushioned." Xander chuckled. They had finally found a use for Spike's fur collection. They had used them for bedding and to upholster a couple of chairs to sit on. Spike wasn't too comfortable having bare wood on his back.

Things had been pretty good since the kiss. Spike came back the next morning and started helping Xander with the cabin. They didn't talk for awhile but then they fell into the easy banter they had developed, and neither one had mentioned the kiss. Spike had finally put his lustful thoughts behind him and had moved forward. Sure he still thought Xander looked good, and he'd shag him in a heartbeat, but he could live with the fact that it was never going to happen.

Xander himself had entertained a thought or two concerning the blonde. He just wasn't ready to accept that he and Anya were through yet. He knew in his heart that after this long, she would have moved on with her life. She probably left Sunnydale all together. But Xander just wasn't ready to let go yet. He figured at some point it would become an issue and he and Spike would have to come to a decision. It was obvious that Spike had no gender hang ups, and forever was a long time to go without ever having sex.

Actually, Xander hadn't been all that surprised by the kiss. Yeah, it was a shock but Spike had always seemed to grab onto whatever was available and make the best of it. He stayed with Drusilla, took up with Harmony, of all vampires, and then he fell for his mortal enemy, the slayer. But seeing as how his only associates were humans, and Willow was very much gay, Dawn was very much a kid, he himself was involved with Anya and Giles was ... Giles, it left Buffy. Plus she was his equal in strength and ability. Neither had ever managed to defeat the other. So being here - stuck with only each other, it made sense that Spike would turn his affections toward him.

Xander missed physical contact. Not just in the sexual way either. He was an affectionate guy by nature and he showed it. He was always hugging one of the girls, or walking arm in arm with Willow and Tara. He missed being touched, feeling someone else’s skin next to his. Also, it had been a really good kiss, and even though Xander had never been with another man, he was open-minded enough to at least consider it.

The place they now lived had a similar climate to that of California, so they didn't get snow. There had been a hell of a lot of rain the one month and the river had overflowed its banks. Thankfully Xander had chosen a spot on higher ground for their home so the water didn’t damage it. And the garden was further away from the river than the house was so it had survived, as well.

"Hey, Xander? Would you teach me how to do that?" Xander looked up from the design he was carving into the back of the seat. "Do what? Carve or make furniture?" Spike rolled his eyes at him. "Both. I figure it'll give me something to do."

"Sure. Tomorrow we'll go out and pick a nice tree for you to start on. How about after I teach you this, you show me how to hunt. I can throw a mean spear but my stealth leaves much to be desired." Spike snorted in amusement. He already knew that. The boy always lost at hide-and-seek; he could hear him coming a mile away. "Sure pet, sounds like a plan."

Spike went inside the cabin and looked around. They hadn't officially started living here until two days ago. It was still pretty bare, other than the beds and the fireplace. Spike looked at his bed and smiled. That had been a surprise, Xander had built them each a platformed bed with split log sides. Inside the bedframe he had stuffed the two old canvas tarps with straw overlaid with reed mats. He'd used rawhide strips to sew them shut. They were surprisingly comfortable.

The cabin only had two rooms. A bedroom and a large common room. That was where the fireplace was, so it doubled as a kitchen. Xander had put their beds on opposite sides of the room and said that at some point when they had more skins, they could make a curtain to hang up to give each other some privacy. Spike wasn't sure how he felt about that. He would miss seeing the boy in his bed, but maybe it was better to take temptation out of the picture. "You know what we need Spike? A shed. Someplace to store all that crap that landed with us." At the present all that crap was still piled in the back of the cave they had been living in. "What the hell for? Leave it where it is."

"Some of it might come in useful. That big steel drum for example. I think if I could cut it in half, lengthways, I could make a bathtub out of it." Spike snorted. That was one thing the brunette had complained about several times in the past. A hot bath. "And just how do you plan on filling it?"

Xander shook his head. "I'll take it down to the river and set it up there. Think about it, I could build a fire around it to heat the water and then climb in and soak for an hour. It would be great!" Spike actually liked the sound of that.

"Sounds good. I'll help."

"You know, I've missed a birthday, Christmas, New Years, all those big holiday-type days and I never even realised it." Xander shook his head sadly. Being here with Spike, these things just didn't seem important. They had their own way of life here, a simpler way. They spent their days working, hunting, and playing cards or swimming. Xander had started building a dock for the pond last week; it would be finished soon as well. He found he really enjoyed making things with his hands, he just wished he had the proper tools - weapons really weren't meant for woodworking.

"Well, happy birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all that rot. There? Feel better now?" The words were sarcastic but the teasing look in the vampire’s eye made Xander smile. Spike really wasn't a bad guy once you got past all that 'Big Bad' bluster and bravado. He wondered what kind of man he had been before he was turned… Was William anything like Spike? Or was he the complete opposite? Xander had wanted to ask that more than once, but didn't want to alienate his only friend on this world. Maybe someday, a long time from now Spike would be comfortable enough to talk about it.

"Well, words are good and nice but I want presents, damn it!" Xander pouted at the vampire and Spike walked over and tapped his protruding lip. "You know, some bird is going to come along and poop on that lip if you keep pushing it out like that." Spike walked past Xander and picked up some of the discarded wood pieces and took them around to the woodpile beside the cottage. 'That or some big vampire just might decide to nibble on it.' He thought. The boy had no idea how sexy he looked when he pouted. Spike had always been a sucker for big brown eyes and pouty lips - reminded him of Dru in a way. She would pout and turn those big brown eyes of hers on him and he would give her anything.

"Hey Spike! I'm going to go down to the pond and swim for while, you wanna come?" Spike came back around the building and grinned. Xander was always taking off to swim; the boy must've been a fish in a previous life. "Sure pet. Sound fun. Let me grab my shorts and we'll go." Spike ducked inside the cabin and emerged with his boxers in hand. They were looking rather worn and he wasn't expecting them to hold up much longer. He had been surprised they had lasted this long. Xander's weren't in any better shape than his were.

"We seriously need to find a Wal-Mart on this world, or I'm gonna be wandering around naked in no time." Xander's eyes got really big at that statement and he blushed. Truth was he had been wondering what they were going to do when their clothes became unwearable. He just hadn't really thought it would come down to nudity. "You could always make yourself some fur underwear. Or leather shorts."

Spike snorted. An image of him and Xander running around dressed like the cavemen in those old 50's B-movies flashed into his mind. He snorted again and then began to chuckle as the image of cave-Xander chasing after him with a club came to mind. "What's so funny, Barney?" That only made Spike laugh harder.

Eventually, Spike stopped laughing and after explaining the source of his amusement to Xander, he too was laughing his ass off. They headed off toward the pond, still laughing.


"Hey Spike? Is this what I think it is?" Xander held up a green leafy plant that he had pulled out of the ground. They had gotten tired of swimming and decided to start Xander's stealth training in the woods near the pond. Spike came out of the trees and looked at what Xander was holding. He sniffed at it and then smiled. "If you think it's pot, then yeah."

Xander dropped the plant and stepped back from it. Spike chuckled at him. "What's a matter pet? Think you're gonna get busted for possession? Not likely." Xander smiled sheepishly and lowered his eyes. He had almost forgotten that he and Spike were the only people on this planet, or so it seemed. "Shut up Spike."

Spike picked up the plant and looked around, there were a few more scattered throughout the area. He hadn't gotten high in ages, especially since the implant. He needed to have his wits about him at all times. Now though, he had nothing to worry about, so why not? He was sure he could fashion a pipe of some sort out of all those bits of metal back in the cave.

"Spike, what are you doing?" Xander watched the vampire pick up the discarded pot plant. He saw him looking around, and he too spotted the other plants in the area. He groaned. "Spike, you are not smoking that."

Spike spun around and gaped at him. "Why the bloody hell not? It's not like I'm going to get in trouble for doing it. Who's going to catch me? You? So what?" Xander had no answer for that so he merely shrugged and shook his head. "Whatever, Spike. Let's head back, I'm hungry."

Part Seven

It was several days later while Xander was sitting by the fire that Spike came in with a metal pipe and a pouch full of dried pot. Xander looked up to see what he was doing and frowned at him. "If you're going to smoke that, do it outside." Spike looked at him sceptically. "You don't want any?" Xander sat up in shock. "No! I don't get high, Spike. It's illegal."

Spike actually laughed at him. "Says who? I don't see any cops here, Xander. It's a natural substance; the Indians got high all the time. It's not like some big bad demon is going to jump out and eat you all up while you’re under the influence." This was all true. Half the reason Xander had never tried it was he knew that he was likely to get eaten by some gross demon while he was too stoned to notice. That was why he never drank much either - drugs and alcohol on the hellmouth equalled easy pickings. But here, there was no one but himself and Spike, no reason not to try it at least.

"Fine. Why not." Xander watched as Spike stuffed the pipe and lit it from a stick in the fireplace. Spike inhaled deeply and passed it to Xander. Xander looked at it suspiciously and then shrugged his shoulders. He did what Spike had done and then coughed so hard he thought he'd puke. That was not fun! Why the hell did people do this?

Spike thumped Xander on the back and got him some water. He couldn't help but laugh at him, he should have warned him not to inhale so deeply. He wasn't used to it like Spike was. "Sorry bout that luv, should have warned you to go slow. Try again, just easy this time alright?" Xander scowled at the pipe that Spike held out to him but took it anyway. He'd be damned if he was going to look like an idiot in front of the vamp.

Once Xander got the hang of it, it wasn't so bad. They smoked for a bit until they were well and truly stoned. Then they lay side by side on the fur rug near the fireplace. "Hey Xan? If you could have anything you wanted right now, other than to get home of course, what would you wish for?"

Xander grinned and sat up on his elbow. He looked at Spike seriously before speaking. "Hmm, I don't know. There are a lot of things I could really use here, tools, clothes, a real bed. But I guess I'd have to say... Chocolate. Yeah, chocolate would be awesome. The pure kind, no nuts or caramel or anything. Just 100% pure milk chocolate." Spike rolled onto his side to face him. "Why?"

"I love the way it melts when you set it on your tongue, how it sticks to your fingers and you have to lick them clean. I used to hide Hershey bars in the freezer, then if I was having a really bad day, I'd thaw out a couple and take my time eating them. I'd slowly suck on each square until it dissolved in my mouth. By the time I was done, I always felt better. There's just something about the way it tastes, the way it feels in your mouth, it's almost as good as sex." Spike swallowed hard. He couldn't believe he was getting hard from listening to Xander describe the way he ate chocolate. "How about you, Spike? What would you wish for?" Spike knew what he wanted more than anything right now, but somehow he doubted that was what Xander wanted to hear. He wasn't that far gone. He was stoned enough, however, to let slip what he said next.

"Paper and pencils. I miss writing." Xander looked shocked. He had expected Spike to make some lewd comment, or say something about booze or smokes. Not paper and pencils. "You write?" Spike lay back and closed his eyes. "Used to, was a poet before I died. Still wrote afterwards, when the mood struck. There is just so much here I could write about, the sun, the sky, the river. It's beautiful here, nothing like the world I grew up in. In London, it was polluted, the air itself stunk, the streets were slimy and there was shit everywhere. If I could find something of beauty to write about there, imagine what I could do here."

Xander was stunned. He had many assumptions about the man William had been but this, this soft-spoken poet lying beside him was not one of them. He liked the idea of Spike as a poet; it was better than anything he had come up with. He wanted to ask more, but Spike looked like he had fallen asleep. Xander closed his eyes and joined him. The first thing Xander noticed when he woke up was that a small rodent had climbed into his mouth and died there. After repeatedly trying to push it out with his tongue he realised it was his tongue that was fuzzy and tasted like roadkill. The second thing he noticed was that Spike was sleeping curled up around him, and that he was holding the vampire in his arms. It actually felt kind of nice, and despite the foul taste in his mouth he fell back asleep.

When Spike woke, he heard the steady thump of Xander’s heart in his ear, which made sense since he was curled around the young man with his head on his chest. He snuggled deeper into the boy’s body and just lay there enjoying the smell of his skin, the warmth of his arms around him. It was the nicest morning he could remember in a very long time.

"Hey, sleepyhead. I know you're awake." Xander’s voice startled him and he sat up abruptly. He hadn't known the human was awake. "I didn't know you were awake. How long have you been up?" Xander chuckled and stretched before answering. "Dunno, ten minutes maybe. You looked so comfortable I didn't want to wake you."

The truth was, Xander was enjoying the contact too much to wake him; he knew as soon as Spike woke up he would pull away and most likely make some excuse to leave. "Oh, well I'm going to... find something to eat." And that was that, Spike was up, in his jeans and boots and out the door in no time.

Xander got up and headed down to the river. His mouth still tasted nasty and he felt sweaty and gross. He stripped off his boxers and sank into the water. He rinsed his mouth repeatedly thinking that if he really could have anything he wanted - a toothbrush would be at the top of his list. Last night had been fun, but this morning he felt awful. It was like a hangover - sort of.

Once Xander was done washing, he rinsed out his boxers and climbed out of the water. He shook himself off a bit and reached for his pants. Which of course he had forgotten to bring with him. He had two choices, put on the wet boxers or run back starkers and hope Spike was still hunting. He looked at the wet cloth in his hands and then looked up toward the house. He decided to run for it.

Spike was just coming back toward the house with a rabbit when he saw Xander run into the house - naked. He shook his head and replayed the image. Yep, he had been naked. He wondered why the hell the boy was running around in the altogether. He shrugged his shoulders and went inside.

"Xander? What the hell are you doing running around starkers?" Xander came out of the bedroom buttoning his pants. He blushed and then admitted that he'd forgotten to take his pants down to the river with him and didn't want to put on his wet shorts. Spike chuckled at him and handed him the rabbit. "Well, here's brekkies. I'm going down to have a wash my self."

Spike left Xander to clean the rabbit while he washed up. He couldn't remember a lot of what they had talked about last night, but he did remember admitting to the boy that he had been a poet. So much for his image. He needed some time to come to terms with the fact that Xander knew the truth about him, that he had been a foppish, bookish poet, and still was deep down. In the long run, it would probably be for the best; he could be more himself now, and less the Big Bad.


The following day, Spike decided to go out on his own for awhile. He wanted some time to think without interruptions, he had a lot on his mind the past couple days. Xander understood the need for alone time; he himself had planned on spending most of the day out scavenging for new plants for his garden. He was still hoping to find some corn and peppers.

By the time Spike made it home that evening, he had come to the decision that he would let Xander get to know the real him. He had no need to keep up the image he had so carefully crafted to hide his true self from Angelus and Darla. Only Dru had known the man he really was, and it was that part of him that had drawn her to him in the first place. Perhaps Xander would accept who he really was, maybe even like him better for it.

Spike looked around and didn't see the boy anywhere. He listened for his heartbeat - nothing. He went back outside and walked to the river, Xander wasn't there either, but his shorts were still sitting out on a rock to dry which meant that Xander hadn't been back since he'd left that morning. Spike started to worry. Xander was never away from the house this long.

Spike shifted to his vamp face, and scented the air. He caught a faint trace of Xander’s scent and started tracking him. His appearance may have been altered but at least his senses were still in working order. The trail led him into the trees and he scanned the surrounding area for a heartbeat. He found it and dashed off in that direction.

Spike smelled blood and ran faster. When he found Xander, he was lying at the base of a tree - out cold. His arm was hanging limply and he had a few cuts and scrapes. His shirt was torn and he had a pretty big cut on his abdomen. Spike was certain that his shoulder was dislocated. "Damn." Spike crouched down and tried to wake the boy. He was unresponsive.

After cursing for several minutes, Spike scooped Xander into his arms and carried him home. It was probably a good thing he was out cold, otherwise all the moving around would hurt his arm and cause Spike's chip to go off. He put Xander in the bedroom and carefully stripped off the boy’s shirt; he would have just cut it away, but seeing as it was the only shirt the boy owned, he didn't.

"Alright Xan, I'm going to set your arm now. It's going to hurt like hell and if you wake up screaming and see me on the floor, well you'll know why." Spike really hoped that Xander stayed out for this; he had only set his chip off the one time since they had been here and that had been an accident. He really didn't want to do it again. That was just one more reason he liked it here, he didn't have any reason to try and hurt anyone. Xander had been surprisingly decent to him, and as the time had passed, they had become friends. Good friends.

Spike set Xander’s shoulder without a twinge from the chip. He was grateful in a way, but it made him more concerned for Xander. He took the boy’s shirt down to the river and wet it. He picked up Xander’s shorts as well before heading back to the house. He needed to clean out the cuts before they got infected.

Xander didn't stir at all while Spike washed his cuts and changed him into his shorts. He tucked him into bed and then dragged a chair over beside the bed to watch him.

A few hours later, Xander began to moan in his sleep, his brow was sweaty and he smelled of sickness. Spike pulled back the makeshift blanket and looked at the large cut on the boy’s stomach. It was likely infected. He placed a hand on Xander’s forehead and whistled softly; the young man was burning up.

With no medicines available, Spike did the only thing he could think of, he leaned over Xander and began to lick at his wound. Vampire saliva carried certain antibodies or something like that. Angelus had explained it to him a long time ago, how it was possible to keep several humans alive and feed from them exclusively without them getting sick from it. Right now, Spike just hoped it would be enough.

Xander moaned and brought his hands down to Spike's head. He tangled his fingers in his hair and Spike chuckled. He could feel the boy growing hard and wondered who he was dreaming about in his delirium. Probably his girl, he thought. He ignored the weak pushing on his head and the gentle thrusting Xander was doing and continued to clean the boy’s wound.

Once he was sure it was clean, he disentangled Xander’s hands from his hair and sat up. Xander protested the loss of his mouth on his skin weakly. "No, come back." Spike smiled at him softly. He was hard as a rock himself, and felt for the boy. It wasn't nice to be teased after all. But he wasn't about to take advantage of the boy while he was delirious. He was about to go outside and have a quick wank when he heard Xander moan his name. He spun around to see that the boy had climaxed in his sleep. And said his name while he'd done it.

Part Eight

Spike was confused. He had never even suspected that Xander thought about him in that way. He had spent most of the night and the following morning sitting in the chair beside the boy's bed, thinking. The only time he left was to take the boy’s ruined shorts down to the river to wash them.

Xander's fever had come down slightly and Spike had managed to get a few sips of water into him at one point before the boy passed out again. Spike had briefly considered climbing into bed with him and using his own cold body to cool the boy down. He didn't, however, for several reasons.

The first being that he didn't want to take a chance of falling asleep in case Xander took a turn for the worse. The second was that he no longer trusted himself to not take advantage of the situation. He had clearly heard Xander say his name as he'd climaxed. Of course, that brought up another reason not to do it. What if Xander didn't really want him? Spike wasn't sure he could go through that kind of rejection again; it was the main reason he had been able to put his attraction for Xander behind him - well, mostly behind him. He refused to allow himself to be hurt again.

He knew he would have to wait and see what Xander remembered - if anything - when he got better. Spike was sure he would get better. His arm was going to be sore for awhile; his shoulder was almost black from the bruising, and the cut on his stomach would take some time to heal up but otherwise he'd be fine. And once he was, Spike was going to hurt him for getting himself into this mess in the first place. He'd figured out that Xander had fallen out of a tree. What he wanted to know was what Xander was doing in the tree to begin with.

Spike pulled back the blanket and looked at the wound again. It looked better, but he could still smell a bit of infection in it. He made sure Xander’s bits were covered before leaning down to clean the wound again. He tried to ignore the painful swelling in his pants as he remembered the way Xander had held his head last night, the way he had moaned his name.

He almost bit through his tongue when Xander’s fingers threaded through his hair again. He ignored the fur blanket-covered erection that was poking his cheek and concentrated on cleaning the wound. Once he was satisfied that it was clean, he pulled away from Xander gently so as not to wake him, and left the room.

Spike paced back and forth in the next room. He was going insane. He had accepted the fact that Xander was not interested in him, that they would never be more than friends, and now he wasn't sure what was going on. He really wished he had a cigarette. A cigarette and a good stiff drink. Everything would make sense if he only had a cigarette and some whiskey.


In the next couple of days, Xander started to get better and Spike took care of him. Since the second application of Spike's spit seemed to take care of the infection, he hadn't had to put himself in any more intense situations. Xander did wonder about his nakedness though. Spike had simply replied that he had had a fever so he had undressed him. He ignored the blush that had crept up Xander’s face and helped him to sit up in the bed.

Spike brought Xander food and water and kept him company. They played poker - Xander now owed the vampire $2,458.00 - and talked a little. Xander told Spike about his grandfather on his mother's side of the family. He had died when Xander was 11, but Xander still remembered spending summers at the old man's house. How he had an old barn in his backyard full of woodworking tools and that they had spent hours in there making things. He also told Spike how after the first summer, he had never brought any of his projects home with him again.

Spike grit his teeth and listened to the sadness in the young man’s voice as he spoke of his father's drunken rage that had broken the bookstand he had made, how Xander had cried when he had found out it was unfixable. That Xander had sworn he would never bring another thing that he and his grandfather had made home again.

Spike told Xander about growing up in London as a boy. How his father had been killed in a carriage accident and how he and his mum had moved in with her sister and her husband. That the couple had been childless and his uncle had taken a shine to him, sending him to private school and making sure he had a good education. He could have done anything, but all he wanted to do was write poetry.

He had told Xander about his love for Cecily, and how she had spurned him. That had it not been for his utter humiliation, he never would have been out the night Dru had found him.

Xander told him about Cordelia and their in-the-closet relationship. How she was embarrassed to be seen with him and would belittle him publicly, while groping and molesting him privately. He told Spike about the love spell he had Amy put on Cordy that backfired. Spike laughed his ass off when he got to the part where Dru had saved him from Angelus and then offered him immortality.

"Oh, pet. You're bloody lucky she didn't turn you. If I hadn't staked you out of jealousy, your mates would have souled you when they re-souled Angelus and you'd never have gotten laid again." Spike started to laugh again and Xander had a sudden flash of his hands in Spike's hair, pushing him towards his crotch. He shook his head and cleared the image away.

"I think I might take a nap, I'm feeling kinda tired all of a sudden." Xander scooted back down in the bed and closed his eyes. He turned on his side with his back to Spike. He couldn't look at the vampire right now, not after thinking about him like that.

Spike left Xander alone to get some sleep and went outside. He had gotten the drum from the cave last night and was working on turning it into a bathtub for Xander. He just need to fold over the edges so the boy wouldn't cut himself getting in and out of it. He thought Xander might appreciate a nice hot soak after being stuck in bed for a few days.


Xander relaxed back in the hot water and sighed. Spike had done a great job on the tub. It was so nice to feel hot water again. He had been slightly embarrassed when Spike had scooped him - naked - out of bed and brought him out here, but this more than made up for it.

He kept thinking about Spike for some reason, the way he had been the last few days, he seemed different, less Spike-ish. Not that Xander was complaining - it was nice to have a real conversation with him, to learn a bit about what his life had been like. He liked being able to actually tell Spike stuff. Of course it probably helped that Spike didn't look like the big bad master vampire he had known back in Sunnydale. His hair had grown out, and only the tips were white-blonde now. The rest was a golden-blonde colour with streaks of sun-bleached blonde throughout. He was tanned, and he smiled a lot more. Overall it was a striking effect. Spike looked beautiful.

And that was the bane of Xander’s existence. He was becoming more and more attracted to the blonde. Not just physically. The more Spike opened up about himself, showed Xander who he really was, the more Xander liked him. Xander lightly probed at the gash on his stomach. He was grateful that it hadn't been infected. He felt stupid for having fallen out of that tree; he still wasn't sure how it happened. One minute he was up in the tree enjoying the view, the next he was falling - hitting a lot of branches on the way down. The last thing he remembered was a sharp pain in his shoulder as he hit. He'd woken up sometime later in his bed with Spike sitting in a chair beside him.

Spike had told him how he had found him and brought him home. That he'd had to set his shoulder and had cleaned him up. When Xander discovered he was naked, Spike had just shrugged his shoulders and told him he had had a fever so he undressed him. Xander wasn't sure, but he thought there might be more to the story than that. Not that he thought Spike had molested him while he was out cold or anything, it was just the way Spike dismissed the question. And then there were the dreams. Xander remembered having erotic dreams about Spike licking him. He could feel Spike’s cold mouth on the skin of his belly, his silky hair tangled around his fingers. He was getting hard just thinking about it. Which was not a good idea as Spike had said he'd be back to get him out of the tub shortly. "I'm falling for Spike, what the hell am I going to do?"

Spike was just coming down the hill to get Xander out of the tub when he heard the man's softly spoken confession. He stopped dead in his tracks. He wanted to throw himself at the boy and tell him he felt the same way, but he was also wary of getting hurt again. He decided it was time for them to talk. But first he needed to get Xander out of the tub.

"’Ello, luv. Enjoying your bath?" Xander jumped and turned around to look at the smirking vampire. "Yes, actually I am. Thanks Spike, this is great!" Spike bowed dramatically. "Your wish is my command. Now, is sir ready to get out of the tub?" Xander blushed, but nodded. This was no easier now that he realised he was falling for Spike. If anything, it was harder. Xander groaned at his choice of phrases.

Spike helped him out of the tub and scooped him up into his arms. Xander covered his parts with his hands and closed his eyes. He had tried to tell Spike he could walk, but the vamp refused, stating that he was still too weak to walk that far, especially uphill. Xander knew it was pointless to argue so he gave up.

Once he was back in bed - boxers on, Spike brought him some water and fruit. He pulled his chair up beside the bed and sat down. Xander sipped at his water and looked at Spike. It was obvious the blonde wanted to talk, and it was serious by the look of things. "What's up Spike?"

"Xander, we need to talk." Xander swallowed and nodded his head. Those words had never led to good things. No one ever said 'we need to talk' followed by an offer of cash and prizes. "Okay, about what?"

Spike leaned forward and looked in Xander's eyes. "What do you remember about the last few days?" Okay, this wasn't what he expected. What did he remember? Not much. "Not a whole lot. I remember falling out of the tree and then waking up in bed in a lot of pain. I remember you taking care of me. I remember..." Xander blushed but continued. "I remember having these... dreams."

Spike looked at him curiously. "Dreams, pet?" Xander blushed and nodded. "What kind of dreams?" Xander lowered his head and spoke so softly Spike almost didn't hear him when he spoke. "I dreamt that you were... licking me." Spike chuckled and brought Xander’s face up to look him in the eye. "Not dreams, luv. I was licking you." At Xander's startled expression, Spike continued. "Your wound was infected, vampire spit's good for that sort of thing." Xander scrunched up his nose and then his eyes grew very large. He remembered grabbing Spike's head, pushing it lower. Was that part of a dream, what happened afterward?

"Relax, luv. Nothing else happened. I cleaned your wound and then I covered you up. That's it." Xander believed him, but he also knew that Spike was aware of what he had thought happened, which meant that he knew what Xander had dreamt. He was going to die of embarrassment, that was it. And, oh God. He had been naked! That meant... Xander covered his face and groaned.

"Hey, I'm not telling you this to embarrass you. I like you Xander, have for a while now in case that kiss way back when didn't tip you off. I just thought that, since it's obvious you kinda like me too, we should talk about it before it gets too awkward." Spike looked over at the miserable young man and frowned. It was obvious the boy was having a hard time with this.

"I'm not gonna push you, luv. I just wanted you to know that whatever it is you feel for me, I care about you and I won't push you to do anything; it's your choice." Xander looked up at Spike and gave him a shaky smile. "Thanks Spike. I'm going to need some time to think about all of this though. Is that okay?" Spike chuckled, and then pecked him on the mouth. "Take as long as you need, pet. I'm not going anywhere."

Part Nine

It had been a very hectic month for Willow and Tara. After Anya showed up that day and handed Tara the papers for the store, they had agreed to keep it open, so they were both working there. Willow had spoken to Giles and he said that he wasn't planning on coming back to California but that he would remain part owner of the store if they wished to keep it open.

Between work, packing up the house, and trying to find a spell to locate Xander and Spike, the two girls had very little time for anything else. They didn't know how they were going to manage classes in the fall.

It was after sundown and Willow was just coming home from the Magic Box. Tara was in the kitchen washing the dishes. "Tara? Sweetie, are you home?" Willow was sorting the day's mail as she wandered toward the kitchen. "I'm in the kitchen." Tara called back to her. "How was work?"

Willow sat down at the counter and picked up a banana to snack on. "Horrible. I never knew suppliers could be so bitchy. I don't think we should deal with that occult bookstore in Santa Monica anymore. The woman yelled at me for ten minutes straight about some Tabitha Chronicle or something that she says we ordered and never paid for. I know I never ordered anything called a Tabitha Chronicle. It sounds so... Bewitched.

Tara chuckled and put a plate in the dish drainer. "I think she was talking about the Tarmithia Chronicle, and we did order it; the slip got lost under the register. I found it yesterday while I was cleaning and sent a check off."

Willow took a bite of her banana and chewed it slowly. "Oh, then maybe you should call her tomorrow and let her know that. If it helps, you can tell her that your business partner is certifiably insane. I think she'd believe you."

"That's okay. I'll still love you when you lose your mind." Willow smiled sadly in remembrance of those hectic weeks after Glory had taken Tara's sanity. She was glad she was able to get Tara back. If she had to deal with that on top of losing both Buffy and Xander, she didn't think she'd be sane anymore either. "Oh hey! We got a letter from Dawn."

"Why don't you read it to me while I dry these?" Tara picked up a dishtowel as Willow opened the envelope. She unfolded the paper, cleared her throat and began.

"Dear Willow and Tara. I'm writing you because Dad says I spend way too much time on the phone and that the art of written correspondence is lost on me. He can be so lame sometimes. I miss you guys a lot but I like it here in L.A. Dad's apartment is like on the thirtieth floor of this really swanky building. We have a doorman and everything. He calls me Miss Summers. Isn't that way cool?

I was going to look up Angel and Cordelia but then I thought maybe it was better if I didn't. I don't want to do anything to remind him of Buffy; he's already been hurt so much, you know? Besides, I remember Cordelia from when she dated Xander and she was kind of a bitch. Hey, I can swear on paper, it's not the same as saying it you know."

Tara smiled and winked at her girlfriend. It was an ongoing joke between them. Tara had told Dawn that a lady never curses. And then she told her if she was really angry that she should just write down every bad word she knew. By the time she was finished she would have forgotten what she was so mad about. After the first time she did it, she presented her list to the two witches who wrote down the ones she had forgotten. They'd all laughed about it afterwards and Dawn wasn't angry anymore.

"The malls in L.A. are so cool, but Dad insists on going shopping with me. He says he wants to know where his hard-earned money is going, I think he just wants to make sure I buy things that don't show any skin. There are a lot of trampy girls in L.A., and he doesn't want me to be one of them.

I hate to ask this, 'cause I know you would call me if you did, but have you guys found anything to help get Xander and Spike back yet? I mean, I was thinking, since it was my blood and all that opened the portal in the first place it might help to find them. If you think it'll help I'll be happy to give you some. I miss them.

How is Anya? Has she come out of the apartment yet? Tell her not to give up, I know that you guys will find a way to bring them back, you're the best witches in the world.

I went to see Faith at the prison. I know you don't think I should talk to her after everything Buffy went through with her, but I wanted to. She's changed. She really is trying to be a better person. We talked for a long time while I was there. She wants to know if you'll come see her, Willow. She said she needs to apologise to you, and that she wants to do it in person.

I'd better go now. Dad wants us to do happy Daughter/Daddy things today. Like I said before, he can be so lame.

Love Dawn."

Tara put down the dishtowel and pulled Willow into her arms. She petted her hair and cooed to her while the other woman cried. She didn't know how much longer Willow could take the pressure of constantly looking for Xander. She knew that her lover felt guilty, that because she had ordered Xander to fetch Spike, he had been sucked into the portal. It wasn't her fault, but nothing Tara said would convince her.

Willow didn't know how she was going to tell Dawn that Anya was gone now as well. Not dead like Buffy, in another country like Giles, or even sucked into another dimension like Spike and Xander, but gone back to being a demon, wreaking vengeance of the male population once more. She chose to abandon them, to give up on Xander and go back to what she had been before. It wasn't going to be easy.

"Come on, why don't we go out tonight. See a movie or something, maybe it'll help you relax." Willow shook her head at her lover's suggestion. "I can't. I'm sorry Tara, but I just can't, not while Xander is lost out God knows where with no idea that any of us even survived. I have to find him." Tara wiped Willow's tears away and kissed her. "It's okay, I know. Let me help, we'll look together."


Rupert Giles sat in the living room of his one bedroom flat with a bottle of scotch in his hand and open books all around him. They were his watcher diaries, and Buffy's patrol journals. He had been reading and rereading them everyday for the past month. Somewhere in here he would find the thing he had overlooked, the thing he should have taught her that would have saved her life. It had to be here, everything they ever did was in these books and until he found his mistake he refused to train another slayer, or to mentor a young watcher-in-training. He would only get them killed, or worse.

The council had tried to persuade him to take a research position at their headquarters, to get back on the horse, so to speak. He had refused. He told them his judgement was not to be trusted, that he was fallible. He had failed his slayer and the world. The council said they understood his position and would contact him in six months; perhaps by then he would have regained his sense of duty. In polite terms they told him that they believed he was a fool and was ignoring his duty. In a way they were right.

Trisha, the new slayer, was 'sweet sixteen' but there was nothing sweet about her. She was - for lack of a better word - a bitch. She and her watcher, a younger version of Travers himself, had stopped by one day to chat. They were going to be heading for Sunnydale once her training was complete and they wanted to get all the information they could on the hellmouth. Giles had answered their questions, but he could tell they wouldn't heed any of his advice.

Not that he cared anymore. He was done with destiny and world-saving. He was old and tired. At least he felt that way. All he wanted out of life now was the answer to the question that was plaguing him - how had he failed his slayer? After he knew that, he would cheerfully curl up and die.


Trisha O'Leary was a pretty young girl with strawberry blonde hair and hazel eyes. She wasn't tall but she wasn't exactly short either. She was well built and very muscular for a girl her age. She was training to be an Olympic runner before she was called to active duty. As far as she was concerned, Buffy Summers had ruined her life.

She had heard the story from her watcher, how the slayer had taken her own life to save a girl that wasn't even real. How even now, that girl was living a normal sixteen-year-old's life in Los Angeles with her 'not really hers' father. Something that Trisha should have been doing. But instead she was forced to leave her home, her family, her friends and her boyfriend Tommy. All because Buffy decided a fake girl deserved a life more than she did.

She couldn't believe the things she had heard about this slayer either - sleeping with a vampire, working with another one, keeping witches on her team and an eleven-hundred-year-old ex-demon. Who had ever heard of a slayer having a team, and to align herself with the very things she was sworn to destroy? It was appalling. No wonder she had been the longest-living slayer - she had others do her job while she cavorted with vampires! Trisha was disgusted by her.

Her watcher, John Leeds, was a stuffy, uptight British man, but he had the same feelings toward the previous slayer as she had, so they would get along just fine. Besides, he might be stuffy and uptight but he was only twenty-four and he was cute. If she had to leave Tommy back in Ireland, at least she had found a cute replacement. It would only be a matter of time before she had John right where she wanted him - between her thighs.

Part Ten

It had been three weeks since Spike and Xander had their little talk. Spike was true to his word and never pushed Xander about it, in fact he didn't even mention it. Not once.

Xander had spent the time coming to terms with the fact that if he did this - got into a relationship with Spike - he was admitting to himself that he and Anya were truly over, no matter what the outcome. If they got rescued, if they were stranded there for the rest of their lives, what he and Anya had together was over.

Surprisingly, the fact that Spike was both male and a vampire wasn't even bothering him. Okay, the thought of being penetrated was wigging him out somewhat, but he was open-minded enough to try it at least once before passing judgement. It had to feel okay, otherwise people wouldn't do it, would they?

Xander finally decided that he was ready to let go of the past and make a new life for himself here, a life that included having a relationship with Spike. Now he just had to find a way to broach the subject with the vampire.

They were lying outside by a fire smoking the last of the pot when Xander decided to bring up the subject. He rolled onto his side and looked at the relaxed stature of the blonde vampire. He hardly resembled the Spike from Sunnydale anymore; Xander realised that he was a bit disappointed by that.

Snarky Spike had been a part of his life almost as long as Buffy had been, even though for the most part he had been trying to kill them all. It wasn't that he missed the homicidal killer part of the vampire, he just sorta missed the Spike that always had a good comeback for any insult Xander could think up for him. It was sort of a challenge, to see if he could ever stump the blonde menace.

"Hey, Spike? You still awake, man?" Spike rolled over so that he was facing Xander, mere inches separated them now. "Yeah luv, I'm awake. Why, you want something?" Spike had pretty much given up on Xander coming to a decision anytime soon so, when Xander leaned forward those few inches and kissed him, he was shocked.

Shock soon turned to disappointment as the kiss ended all too soon for his liking. Xander bit his bottom lip as he looked at Spike. He waited to see what the vampire's reaction would be. When Spike smiled at him, he relaxed and smiled back.

"So, came to a decision, did ya?" Xander laughed weakly and then looked at Spike seriously. He wasn't sure how to say this part so he figured he'd just blurt it out and let what was going to happen, happen. "I'm not ready to sleep with you, Spike. I don't know when I will be either. I was hoping we could just take things one day at a time and see where it goes. Is… is that okay with you?"

Spike nodded and smiled; it had taken guts for Xander to admit that he wanted to try at all, so Spike was okay with whatever pace Xander set. "I told you before Xan, I'm not gonna push you. Whatever you're ready for." Xander smiled and lay back on the soft grass. "Do you think you could kiss me?" Spike leaned over him and whispered in his ear, "That, I think I can manage." And then he did.


Things had been going well for the new couple. They were still taking things slow, they hadn't made love yet but they were enjoying the anticipation. Xander was getting used to the feel of a man's body in his arms, to the feel of hard, defined muscles under his hands as they touched. It was a different experience but one he was enjoying nonetheless. Plus he found that touching a man took a lot of the guesswork out of the equation. He already knew what not to do.

Spike's lessons were coming along well, despite his inherent fear of wooden objects and the lack of proper tools. He was more interested in the decorative aspect of wood carving than the practical, and Xander found he had a real flare for design. He figured within a month or two, Spike would be able to add all of the decorative touches to any furnishings Xander built.

Xander's training was not coming along as well as he'd hoped. He was still making too much noise when moving through the trees. He had tried several times to sneak up on an animal, the way Spike would show him, but he always made noise and alerted the animal to his presence. It was irritating him to no end. He was beginning to think he should just leave the hunting to Spike and stick to fishing and gardening. He was much better at those things anyway.

His garden was finally complete. Spike had come back from hunting one day without any meat, but he had half a dozen pepper plants, and ten stalks of corn. The only thing he wished for now was some butter and salt to put on the corn. But he would have to do without.

Xander was just heading to the river to clean up from weeding the garden, when Spike came back from taking a walk. "Hey Spike, I'm just heading to wash up, wanna do some more stealth training when I'm done?"

The vampire wasn't sure that Xander would ever get the hang of it, but he enjoyed the time they spent hunting together so he was fine with it. "Sure luv, give me a holler when you're ready." Spike headed inside the cabin and flopped down on his bed. He was enjoying the kissing and touching they were doing but he was beginning to think it would never progress to the next level. They hadn't even brought each other off yet. Spike was spending a lot more time with his hand then he would have liked, but he wasn't going to screw things up by pushing Xander.

Xander stripped off and stepped under the waterfall. The water was cool today, bordering on cold. It felt good on his hot skin, after spending hours in the sun working on his garden. He scrubbed the dirt from his body while his mind drifted to the night before.

He had been lying by the fireplace with Spike beside him. They were talking about the things they missed about home - both of them leaving out the women they had left behind; just things like hot water, cable TV, beer and chocolate. That sort of thing. Spike rolled over and kissed him. It was nice, beyond nice, actually.

Xander had lost himself in the feel of those smooth, silky lips, the gentle probing tongue that sought out his own. He tangled one hand through Spike's hair and rubbed the other one down the vampire's back. He cupped his ass and Spike moaned into the kiss. Xander pulled Spike on top of him; he could feel the other man's erection pressing into his own and he bucked up helplessly. Spike growled, vamped out and moved away.

Xander had gotten somewhat frustrated. He had thought Spike would be happy that he wanted to go a little farther. He knew that his reluctance had to be stressing him. It was stressing Xander, for God's sake. He was a walking erection anytime they touched. He just wasn't ready to go all the way yet. But surely there were other things, fun things they could do?

By the time Xander finished washing, he decided that he really wasn't in the mood to track Spike through the trees today. What he really wanted to do was pin the vampire down and kiss him senseless, touch every inch of him, see the look on his face when he came. Xander smiled and headed home, he had a vampire to ravish.

Spike was awakened by the feel of warm, moist lips on his neck. He hadn't realised he'd drifted off while Xander was gone. Still, it was a nice way to wake up. "Mmm, that's nice, luv." He stretched slightly and then felt a warm, heavy body blanket his own. He groaned and tried to keep himself under control. It wasn't easy seeing as the only thing either of them was wearing was a thin layer of cotton boxer shorts.

"Xan, nice as this is, I think we better stop before things get out of hand." Xander lifted his mouth from Spike's neck and looked at the golden eyes of his soon-to-be lover. "Don't wanna stop, Spike. Wanna touch you."

Xander kissed the shocked male beneath him and felt him slowly respond to the kiss. When oxygen became an issue, he pulled back and looked at Spike seriously. "I'm still not ready to have the actual sex yet, but can I touch you?"

Spike smiled softly and nodded. "You can do anything you like to me, luv." Xander smiled back and then kissed him again. Spike was torn between ecstasy and agony. He was enjoying the curious exploratory touches, but he was so hard it hurt. When Xander lightly bit Spike's nipple, it was all he could do not to reverse their positions and ravage the young man. He held on by a bare thread of sanity, knowing that that would only serve to scare the boy off, and Spike really wanted him to keep up the touching.

Xander was surprised at Spike's seeming submission to him. He had half-expected Spike to take control by now. He was grateful to him for allowing him to do this at his own pace and knew it must be almost killing him to give up control. It was nice, for once, to just be able to explore without being told where and how to touch. Anya had always been very direct about how she wanted to be pleasured. Spike was just lying back and letting Xander do what he pleased. It was very erotic, to have this much control over someone.

"Gods, Xander. That feels bloody wonderful, pet." Xander had worked one of his thighs between Spike's legs and was grinding it into him lightly while he continued to torment his nipples. Spike couldn't remember the last time someone had taken such care to drive him insane with pleasure. Dru had always been more into pain than pleasure, so was Angelus - at least causing the pain, anyway. Harm, well Harm was selfish. It was always Spike who had to take the lead, be the one in control. This was... very nice.

Xander knew what he wanted to do, he just wasn't sure he could. It would be the first time he'd ever have another man's penis in his mouth and he wasn't sure what to do once it was there. He supposed he could just do the things that he enjoyed and see how it went. After all, Spike knew that Xander had never been with a man before, so he probably wouldn't even expect him to go this far.

Xander moved slowly down Spike's chest. He paused to lick and suck at his bellybutton until the blonde was writhing beneath him. He gently grabbed the waistband of Spike's boxers and gave them a tug. Spike looked down at him and raised an eyebrow in question. "I want to see you, can I take these off?"

Spike was beyond words; he merely nodded and lifted his hips. Xander slid the shorts down his legs and then dropped them to the floor. He sat back on his heels and really looked at the vampire. "God, Spike. You're beautiful like this." Xander lowered his eyes and blushed. He couldn't believe he'd just told Spike, Big Bad vampire Spike, that he was beautiful.

Spike sucked in an un-needed breath and felt his chest tighten. No one, aside from Dru in a rare moment of sanity, had ever told him he was beautiful. What's more was that Xander actually meant it. He knew the boy meant it by how embarrassed he was acting now. "Come 'ere, luv." Spike held out his hand and Xander took it, allowing himself to be pulled onto Spike's chest.

"No one has ever taken the time to tell me they thought I was beautiful. Thank you." Spike kissed Xander and the mortal forgot his earlier embarrassment and fell into the feel of Spike underneath him. He picked up on his earlier plans and once again set out to drive Spike over the edge. He nipped and kissed his way down Spike's chest; he rolled his tight little nipples between his fingers, probed his navel with his tongue. All the while, Spike panted and moaned in desire.

By the time Xander was face to... well by the time he was directly over Spike's cock, he was ready to cum in his shorts just from the reactions he was getting from Spike. He hadn't expected the vampire to be so responsive, so out of control. He leaned in and tentatively licked across the swollen head of the vampire's erection.

Spike's eyes rolled back in his head and he swore softly as Xander's tongue touched his cock. The heat was incredible, he thought he might just lose it right there and then. "Bloody hell, Xan. Do that again?" Xander chuckled and took the tip of Spike's cock into his mouth and sucked gently. Spike groaned and tightened his hands on the makeshift mattress beneath him.

Xander let the tip slide out of his mouth and smiled up at the panting vampire. "Like that?" Spike lifted his head and opened golden eyes. "What do you think? I bloody well loved that." Xander smirked and bent back down to his task. He pulled Spike's foreskin back and took him into his mouth again.

Xander found that he was actually enjoying giving Spike head. The vampire's moans and growls of encouragement were really turning him on, as well. Spike had tangled one hand into Xander's hair and was gently thrusting up into his mouth. "Xan, luv, I'm gonna cum!"

Xander hadn't decided whether or not he was gonna let Spike cum in his mouth, but knowing how frustrating it was to have your lover pull away from you at that moment, he decided he could always spit it out if it tasted nasty. He sucked harder and almost gagged when the salty fluid hit the back of his throat. He swallowed instinctively and was surprised that it hadn't been that bad at all. Spike slumped bonelessly into the mattress and sighed. He felt more relaxed than he had been in years.

Xander crawled up Spike's body and laid his head on his chest. He was still rock-hard and desperate for release but he knew from experience that Spike would need a few minutes to get his bearings. He felt cool arms wrap around him in a strong grip and he was crushed into the vampire's embrace.

Spike was determined that as soon as his body recovered from its current liquid state, he was going to repay Xander for the amazing blowjob he had just received. The young man might not have had any experience, but he certainly made up for it with enthusiasm. He pulled Xander to him tightly and kissed the top of his head. "That was bloody amazing, luv."

Xander smiled and leaned up to kiss the vamp. He squealed when Spike flipped them so that he was now the one on the bottom. "Turn about's fair play innit? My turn to make you feel good." And with over a century's experience under his belt, Spike made Xander feel really good.

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