Rating: PG-13? Mabye a very soft R?
Summary: [info]entrenous88 gave me the prompt: Xander has to go to some company dinner, he's not with Anya, Spike shows up as his date/partner, to Xander's surprise. Which I then turned into CRACK :)
Disclaimer: Not mine
A/n: Not beta'd because I am omg so late so if you see things, tell me and I'll correct.


Lady Cat

The neck was too tight.

Sighing, Xander undid his tie, undid the top-button of his shirt, and then redid his tie in the hopes that the silver-blue fabric would hide the undone top button.

It didn’t. And it made the knot lumpy and lopsided, so the triangle points of his collar no longer lay flat like they were supposed to. Which rucked up the lapels of the jacket, and suddenly Xander went from straining for air but dapper, to, well: Xander. The normal version that was not supposed to wear a suit, ever. That was why he was in construction—the lack of dress code or even dress standards made life much easier.

Cursing pretty much everything, Xander stomped over to the phone and dialed without once looking at the keypad. “I’ll be right over,” he heard before he’d opened his mouth—which he hadn’t, since he’d totally expected that to happen. He hung up the phone and went back to staring moodily at the mirror, since she had a key and he wouldn’t be required to let her in, either.

Less than ten minutes later small, delicate fingers were tugging the fabric around his neck this way and that. “So, this probably isn’t a good time to remind you the of the last time you tried to straighten my tie. Of course, that was a bow-tie,” he said.

Willow’s smile was gentle and sad. “Nope, I remember.” She pinched his earlobe lightly—and it was all her fault that his ear was now a hot-spot—and gave his tie a final pat. “You looked better in a tux, I’ve got to say. And there you go. I don’t know why you didn’t just call me to come over in the first place.”

Glancing over her shoulder Xander saw that yes, everything was now laying correctly and he no longer felt like he was being pinched to suffocation, either. He’d say that she’d done something magic, but Anya had had this particular skill, too—only she’d been way less gentle about it. “It’s this whole new manly approach to life I’m trying: learning how to correctly tie a tie. The next step is figure out whether the sports-jacket and jeans look is cool enough or not.”

Willow giggled, leaning against him so she could grin at him through the mirror. “Xander, my mother ties my father’s ties to this day. And also? Really, really not. I will become very cranky if you try wearing that.”

She would, too. She’d schooled him on what to wear and what not to wear from the time they were little kids—which possibly explained why their wardrobes stagnated for so very long. When it came to formal wear, however, Xander knew Willow was the woman to talk to because she knew him and she knew Buffy who’d shop for anyone; so he posed for her and turned slowly. “Do I pass muster?”

She smoothed down his shoulders with that universally mothering gesture, then swiped a thumb over his cheek. “Aw, Xander, you even shaved,” she giggled. “Yes, you pass muster. You look devilishly handsome, as a matter of fact, and you will totally wow your bosses.”

Xander made a face. “I’d wow my bosses more if I had a date, preferably someone smart enough to handle most of the conversations I’m going to mess up. And I know, I know, stop making guilty-face at me—you’d come tonight if you could.”

“I really would,” she repeated for the four-hundredth and fifty-third time that day. “But Buffy and I had this thing planned for weeks and Tara’s doing that thing with Giles, and anyway all three of us have that test tomorrow and—”

“Willow! What’d I tell you the first time you said no?” Not the first time he’d asked, since he’d only done that the once.

“Um.” She bit her lip, tilting her head like she was five years old and not-begging really hard for candy. “You said ‘damn, oh well’ and stopped talking about it?”

“Exactly,” he said, ‘firing’ his pointers at her before fiddling with the tie again. She slapped his hands away and resettled everything, glaring at him until he meekly hid his hands in his pockets. “So, really, I look okay? Like, adult and mature, but not morsel-y enough that Mr. Anderson’s wife does that freaky thing where she tries to sit on my lap when she gets really drunk?”

Willow didn’t laugh, but her entire body started quivering with suppressed giggles—she swore it wasn’t because the thought of some lady trying to play Mrs. Robinson with Xander was so funny, and Xander really just didn’t want to press too hard, just in case. “Um,” she said. “I don’t know. You do look pretty morsel-y.”

He glanced into the mirror: he looked tall and broad, but he was pretty sure that was mostly in comparison to Willow, who gave petite and dainty whole new meanings; his hair was curling around his neck, but he’d used the gel Anya had given him and it looked artfully styled as opposed to just messy; the suit wasn’t too tight around the middle, and the tie-color said ‘business’ not ‘getting down and funky’ so... yeah, okay, he looked like crap. But he looked like passable crap instead of t-shirt and jeans crap, so he’d take it.

“Liar. Okay, um, do I need to do anything else? I’ve got the tickets, both of them, even though I have no date. I’ve got directions, I know not to drink any alcohol because then I do that giggling thing which totally ruins any attempt at maturity—what else?”

Pushing him towards the door, Willow handed him the stack of paper on the front table—which were the tickets and directions—and then stood on tip-toe to kiss his cheek. “Have fun,” she told him, firm and sisterly and so Willow that he really wanted to stop for a hug. But she was pushing him again, waving cheerfully and saying she’d see herself out and lock up for him, so Xander really didn’t have time to stop for a hug.

Also, once he got into his car, he realized he was late. Of course.

Through carefully controlled bursts of speeding, Xander managed to evade the worst of the speed-traps and arrive at the country club un-ticketed and on time. There was a humiliating dance of uncertainty when the valet guy came up to park Xander’s car and Xander assumed that he was being told to leave the premises—but after some fast talking on both sides and a lot of blushing just on Xander’s, the car got taken away and Xander was left in the brightly lit, gold-accented front doors of the club, clutching two artfully embossed tickets and a little stub of paper with G-23 in bright red stamped on it.

He was so, so screwed. This wasn’t just the company dinner with his boss and a few of the big wigs. Xander had gone to that last year and it had made him long for an apocolypse with frightening fervor—and that was before Karen Anderson had tried to proposition him—but he’d survived. This? This was a company dinner with his boss, and all the big-wigs, including the head of the company fresh from his trip to Thailand to check on his construction-interests there, and what the hell was Xander going to talk about? He was one of only three people invited from the more grunt-level positions, and Xander knew for a fact that one of them—Jack—had begged off since his wife was due any day now, and the other was bringing his astrophysicist wife just so he wouldn’t have to say anything at all the entire meal.

Xander had met Lia before and that woman could talk her way through titanium, if she wanted.

If only Anya hadn’t dumped him a month ago. Well, actually, the being dumped had turned out to be a very good thing, since both of them were much happier apart and somehow managed to stay decent friends with only one quickie relapse to date, and that had been totally about the sex, no emotions at all. So, dumping good. But Anya was in Chicago at a conference for Giles and—if Xander was being honest—she probably would’ve been even if they’d still been together. So, no Anya and, he’d quickly discovered, no other female friend willing to help him out, since asking two weeks before hadn’t been enough time for their busy schedules.

For a moment, Xander wished he could hate them for abandoning him.

But it wasn’t abandonment and it wouldn’t be horrible to go stag. There’d be others who were alone, of course, and so long as Xander could hide from Karen, he’d manage. Somehow.

Whimpering was out of the question, right?

Taking a deep breath, Xander turned—and shrieked. “Spike! What the—what are you doing here? And—what are you wearing?”

Spike rolled his eyes, mouth somehow sullenly petulant and smirking at the same time. “S’called a suit, Harris. Like the one you’re wearing? Even managed to fill it out decently—must be cutting back on that donut-diet you were on.”

Okay, it sounded like Spike. The right baritone drawl, accent a mish-mash of British patois—Giles had ranted enough that Xander had to apply the qualifier just so his mental Giles wouldn’t splutter at him—while the words were the same sneering disdain mixed with insults that might, if it were from someone other than Spike, be backwards compliments. There was just one problem.

Spike. In a suit. One that fit, probably tailored so it’d fit that lean frame of his, with a bright red tie with little black dots that might’ve been diamonds on it that should’ve looked ludicrous but somehow didn’t. He was even wearing dress shoes, the surface polished so mirror-bright that it reflected light as he shifted his weight from side to side.

Xander gawked.

“Close your jaw, mouth-breather,” Spike snapped, straightening. “You’ve got the tickets, right?” Long fingers lifted Xander’s wrist, tugging the tickets free. “Well? You look like a clod, Harris, and I’m hungry. Let’s go.”

Xander was dragged two steps before the anger kicked in and his heels came down. “Let’s go?” he hissed. “Oh, no. I don’t know what the hell you’re doing, Fangless, but get. Out. Of. Here.” When Spike just stared at him, unimpressed, he added, “Now!

Another eyeroll, and Spike dragged him inside the building and into a side closet just as a horde of brightly dressed women came tittering past. Xander recognized two of them as wives of the upper echelon of his company and winced—then again when Spike’s fingers bit into his arm. “Don’t make a bloody scene, will you? Don’t want to have your reputation shot before you even make your entrance.”

“Make my—Spike! The hell! What?!”

The eyeroll vanished, leaving behind an amused smirk that probably shouldn’t have looked as comfortable as Xander thought it did. The fingers in Xander’s bicep loosened and even rubbed a little. “Look, pet. Heard about your little ordeal and I thought, well, you’ve already got a ticket and the food at this place aint’ bad. Besides, nothing more fun then terrorizing little old ladies right out of their blue-haired wigs.”

It was the kind of explanation that made no kind of sense what so ever, but Xander was too agitated to think clearly, anyway. “No! There will be no mooching of my extra ticket, and there will definitely, definitely be no scaring of blue-haired wigs! I mean ladies! I mean—just no! Go home, Spike. Go away, crawl underneath your rock and leave me alone, okay?”

“What, and let you face the firing squad alone? I was listening to a bunch of the gents talk before you arrived—this is one of those dinners that’s all about snagging promotions and I know you’re up for one.”

He was? He’d thought he was, after his last talk with Frank—that’d be Mr. Anderson—and Anya had thought so too, when he’d told her about the company dinner he’d been invited to, and dammit, Spike was distracting him! “And you care about my professional endeavors?” Xander snapped. “Please. Look, Spike, I don’t know what the scam is, but—”

“No scam.” Spike’s eyes were eerily direct as they bored into Xander’s, his hand again a vise on Xander’s arm. “Bit of free food and tormenting rich old biddies who need some young blood—”

“You’re old enough to be their grandfather! Probably their great-grandfather!”

“—young blood to spice things up. Don’t make this a big deal, Harris, and no, you aren’t getting rid of me so you might as well just deal with it.”

Xander knew that tone of Spike’s voice. That tone said that if he wanted to make a scene—or if he were Buffy who could just smack Spike around, which would also be a scene—then he could, in fact, get rid of Spike. But if he wanted to get to the dinner part of the dinner party scene-less—and his version of smacking Spike around really meant smacking him, and Spike would just laugh and laugh at that—then Xander had no real choice but to play along.

“I hate you,” he seethed.

“Love you too, sweetums,” was Spike’s saccharine response. “Now, c’mon. First bit’s always an open bar and you need a drink in you.”

“Whoa, whoa, I am not drinking tonight!” Xander said, trying to keep most of it under his breath as Spike curled his hand around Xander’s elbow and pulled him towards the correct room, the one where all the people were already heading for. “The last thing I need is for my boss to see me drunk and, might I add, giggling and—”

“Shut!” Spike hissed, then turned a smiling face on the attendee. “Xander Harris and guest. Xand, love, give him the tickets.”

Numbly, Xander found his right arm extending, handing over the tickets which were examined briefly. The rest of his brain was busy thinking: Alternate dimension. Hell dimension. Some kind of alternate reality where Spike smiles nicely at people and calls me love. Also ‘Xand’ because only Willow gets to call me that!

The attendee handed the tickets back, eyes flitting between Xander and Spike. “Right through here, sir,” he said, eyes firmly fastened on Spike and smirking a little.

Xander really wasn’t sure when his arm went around Spike’s waist—or why, god, he’d have to scrub it later—but that little smirk on the attendee’s face was driving him crazy. Spike didn’t seem to mind, either, moving in a way that made it look like Xander was somehow leading and not being dragged along with him towards the open bar. “Scotch, neat, for myself and a Manhattan for him,” Spike ordered.

Xander loved Manhattans. He wasn’t entirely certain how Spike knew that, though. Clutching the glass he’d been handed, Xander didn’t object as Spike moved them around to the appetizer table where Spike immediately began to graze like he actually needed the food. Xander stared at his drink and thought about how much he really, really hated his life.

“You toss that back in one go and I’m gonna get very cranky with you,” Spike murmured, soft enough that the chattering couple three feet to their right probably didn’t hear any specific words. “You haven’t eaten all day, worrying yourself about this, and if you don’t get giggly you do get morose when you’re drunk. Neither’s a good look when trying to snag a promotion. Sip it. An’ have some of this pate stuff, it’s good.”

“Pate? Isn’t that like, goose liver or something equally disgusting?” Xander asked, fantasizing about smashing his glass over Spike’s head.

“Yes, and it’s good. Try it. You need something protein-y before you get to the starch.”

Spike detached himself from Xander’s hold long enough to assemble a plate of various things and handing it over to Xander. “Eat these, they’re all good. Trust me, I know banquet food.” While Xander was goggling about that, Spike turned to survey the milling crowds of humanity. “So, point me out the people we’ve got to impress.”

Xander almost dropped the plate. Spike was serious. Oh, there was a trace of wicked fun about him, but he was Spike and he always looked like he was seconds away from doing something dangerously sexy—the rest of him, though, was serious: blue eyes moving over the crowd professionally as he sought out each of Xander’s most important bosses and co-workers, requesting their names and positions and a few pertinent facts about each. Xander answered as best he could, quickly shoveling the food into his mouth because—food. Good food, like Spike had said—and oh, god so many things wrong with that—and curiously filling enough that when Xander started sipping he didn’t get that rush of weakness that meant he was going to get drunk way too soon.

They managed to spend almost twenty minutes doing that, Spike moving them around with a hand on Xander’s arm, deftly getting away from anyone who wanted to say more than an impersonal hello while Xander talked and ate and drank. Spike handed over his scotch at one point, scrutinizing Mr. and Mrs. Anderson carefully—they were on their way over and Xander was trying hard not to hyperventilate because it’d just occurred to him that everyone thought Spike was his date.

Which meant they all thought he was gay, now, and while Xander didn’t have any problems with owning his bi-ness, declaring himself publicly gay was not going to win friends and influence the people who controlled his paycheck and oh, god, he was going to get the crap beaten out of him right after he beat the crap out of Spike for doing this to him!

“Frank, Karen,” Spike said while Xander quietly panicked beside him—his hand was tight on Xander’s arm, again, fingers causing just a hint of pain. “Xander’s told me so much about you. I’m Spike.”

Xander watched, terror draining into numbness, as Spike extended a hand to shake Frank’s, and draw Karen’s up to his mouth for a kiss, all the while keeping a tight hold on Xander. “Uh,” he said, intelligently.

Karen was giving Xander a bland look that he didn’t believe for a second. “Xander,” she said, east coast accent always nasal and startling, “you never told us you were seeing someone.”

Xander was too hyper focused on the gender of this person he was supposedly seeing to answer, but Spike didn’t seem to mind. “We’ve been keeping it quiet. Wanted to be sure we had something serious before declaring it willy-nilly.”

Okay. The apocalypse could happen right now because he’d just heard Spike use the phrase ‘willy-nilly’.

Spike answered with something equally inane and supportive and Xander slowly calmed down enough to realize that it was okay. Frank wasn’t giving him disgusted, poisonous homophobic glances—if anything he seemed to be fascinated by Spike’s accent and hair, the explanation of which Xander really wished he could remember because it had Frank, Karen, and several others who’d gathered around convulsing with laughter. Even those people—one of whom was, gulp, the vice president, a stern looking woman who told Xander to call her Amanda when he stammered over her last name—didn’t seem to care that Spike was male. Or that Xander was male. Or that Xander had a hand on the small of Spike’s back, and Spike was pretty much tucked up under his arm, leaving no doubt that they weren’t ‘just good friends’.

Which, yay, because Xander was bi and the assurance that he could maybe eventually have a boyfriend without being bashed or fired was nice. But a large problem remained: this was Spike and they weren’t even friends, let alone boyfriends.

He never got a chance to voice those problems, though, because before Xander knew it they were sitting down to eat. “Did pretty good,” Spike murmured as they made their way through the crowd, searching for table number fourteen. “Once you stopped babbling and just following along, anyway.”

“I hate you. I don’t know why you’re doing this but I hate you and you’re going to ruin my life!”

The words were vehemently hissed, so full of ire that several people blindly turned their way in surprise, but Spike just laughed and leaned up to give Xander a peck on the cheek. “Cheeky,” he said, loudly enough to be overheard. That made the concerned faces melt into amused smiles.

Xander fel t like he was floundering with no idea what the hell was going on—a situation that got worse when he found himself sitting next to Karen, right across from vice president Amanda.

Oh, god.

Oddly, though, once dinner was served things got easier. Amanda was really easy to talk to and she wanted to talk mostly about work—supplies-lines, in particular, and since that was Xander’s pet annoyance about work and the reasons for slow-downs he didn’t need any real assistance to continue. Spike put in an occasional word if Xander suddenly started remembering where he was and who he was talking to—and therefore started stammering—but for the most part Frank, Amanda, and Xander discussed work-related things with a great deal of enthusiasm, leaving the ‘spouses’ to grumble and complain good naturedly when the three of them stopped for breath.

Eventually, though, Karen and Amanda’s husband staged a coup and turned the conversation to something a little broader in appeal and Spike got up to go refresh his and Xander’s drinks.

Two things immediately happened.

The first was that Xander finally realized that he was cold because Spike wasn’t pressing his thigh against Xander’s any more, or turning his wrist up so that Xander could trace absent patterns on it. That was extremely worrisome.

The second, and even more worrisome realization, though, was that Karen’s hand was on his knee. And sliding upward. No. Inward.

Xander made a squeaking noise and pulled his legs to the right. Unfortuately, that only trapped Karen’s hand, which wiggled. Xander squeaked again. “Um!” he said, standing up. “I, um. Sorry. A little too much to drink,” he said, hoping his grin was charming and not flustered and goofy. “If you’ll excuse me?”

He was extremely proud that he didn’t just blurt ‘I have to go pee’, Willow’s deportment lectures finally sinking in, and that calmed him enough that he stopped blushing on his way over to the bathroom. He did his business—he had had a lot to drink, although Spike carefully swapped each glass of alcohol with one of water—and was washing up when he heard the door to the bathroom thump closed. He didn’t think anything of it: public bathroom, a big party, there had to be other guys who needed to go.

He didn’t think anything of it right up until the point he smelled perfume and a hand went down the back of his pants.

Yeah, okay, he screamed.

Whirling around and away in a move that Buffy probably would’ve approved of when dealing with vampires—although the arm flailing wasn’t pretty—Xander plastered himself against the wall. “Mrs. Rob—Anderson! I mean, Karen! Um. This is the men’s room?”

“I know.” She was pretty when she was drunk, flushed cheeks highlighting her pale blonde hair and blue eyes, but the blatantly predatory look in her eyes made Xander think of fiends from hell instead of how attractive she was. “Don’t worry, sweetie. I locked the door.”

Crap. Crap crap crap. She probably was a demon, given Xander’s luck, which meant he was trapped in a men’s room that didn’t actually smell bad but was still a men’s room, about to be molested by his boss’s demonic wife. He liked Frank, dammit, and he really didn’t want to cuckhold the man. Also? He had no, repeat, no interest in Karen, even if she was human. Whereas his freaky dreams about Joyce had been twisted and hot and wrong but hot, this was just plain wrong and he really really wanted to wake up soon.

“Mrs. Anderson,” he tried. “I—I’m flattered. Really. But I’m really just, ah, not interested.”

“Call me Karen. And don’t worry.” Her hand darted forward and Xander let loose another horribly unmanly shriek as he doubled over himself protectively. “I can take care of that. I’m very good at that.”

That was so much more than he wanted to know about his boss’s sex life.

“Karen, please. I’m really just, um.” He was sliding along the back wall, probably ruining his pristine new suit jacket as he danced away. There wasn’t a lot of space before he reached the stalls, and Xander had seen enough really bad pronos to know exactly what was going to happen as soon as his back was to a door that swung inward. He needed a plan, something to distract her, something—“Gay! I’m gay, Karen. Remember Spike? My boyfriend?”

Being struck down by lightning right then would so not be a problem.

“Oh, please, honey. You’re not gay. You’re just lonely , and I can take care of that.” She edged closer, the warmth of her body prickling against his skin. “I’d like to, Alexander.”

“Okay, really, I’m very, very flattered. Honest. If you’d come to me, oh, a few years ago and you weren’t married to my boss, I’d be all over—er. Right. But you are married and I am gay now. I am a flaming homo, queer as a baseball bat, or however that phrase goes and I have a very, very possessive boyfriend.”

“Yes,” a dark voice hissed. “He does.”

They both froze.

Spike detached himself from a shadow Xander hadn’t even noticed— and how the hell had he hidden anywhere with that hair?—gliding up to tuck himself against Xander. Energy was thrumming through his body, vibrating both of them, as Spike turned a thoroughly malevolent look on a stunned Karen Anderson. “Listen up,” he said, his voice velvet over a garrote, “I’ve tolerated your antics all night because Xand likes your husband. I like Frank too, so I’m only going to say this once. Stay away from Xander. You wanna play the trollop, you do it with someone else.”

It was... very strange, being on the opposite side of Spike’s ire. Kind of... nice, even.

Karen, meanwhile, had stopped looking panicked and started looking insulted. “Oh, please. A strange man Frank’s never heard of? Besides.” Her expression turned sultry and she took a step forward. “A strong, virile man like him? He’s not a fag.”

In retrospect, he wasn’t sure what made him do it. It could have been the way Karen wasn’t so much complimenting him as insulting an entire group of people, one Xander knew himself to be at least nominally a part of. It could have been the way Spike was almost hissing with rage, his touch on Xander possessive without pain. Or it could’ve been because Xander had been wanting to do this all night—and probably a lot longer—and only realizing it then.

“Oh yeah?” he snapped. “Fag this, you homophobic bitch.” Turning, he gripped Spike’s head in both hands and kissed him.

The kiss started out hard, too hard, with lips and teeth rubbing together, anger humming through both of them. But that lasted for only a second before their heads were tilting, pulling back long enough just so they could reconnect, mouths gentle as they explored each other. Spike tasted like mint jelly and bourbon, mouth opening easily when Xander nibbled a request, and when Xander’s teeth caught his lower lip just a little too hard, he moaned.

Both of them were panting when they pulled apart—actually, all three of them, Xander noticed with dawning horror.

“Wow,” Karen said. “That was—I don’t suppose maybe you could do that again, only without your shirts this time?”

Xander and Spike exchanged horrified looks. “Doors open, I picked the lock when you didn’t come right back,” Spike said quickly. “The party’s winding down, why don’t we go say goodbye to Amanda and high tail it, yeah?”

“Yes, yes, sounds good,” Xander said, already moving. Karen said something plaintive behind him but he was not listening, not listening, not listening. “Really good. Running would ensure I don’t get promoted, though, right? Damn.”

“Can’t run.” Spike’s words were clipped with his own desire to be away from there, although there was a richness to it that Xander didn’t understand. “And what do you mean, you’ve got the promotion. Why’d you think Amanda brought over the big boss halfway through dinner? S’yours, love.”

Xander wasn’t allowed to freeze and gape like a yokel because they were back in the main hall, and Spike was making graceful goodbyes. Xander was pretty sure that it was something about him not feeling well, and the speculative look Frank gave him after hearing that made Xander flush bright red. “I,” he stammered. “It’s—”

Frank just sighed. “Go, kids. You’re too young for this kind of thing anyway. It was nice to meet you, Spike.”

“And you.” They traded very firm handshakes that Xander was pretty sure encompassed entire conversations, but then they were leaving, giving the valet kid Xander’s ticket and jiggling on the driveway with anxiousness for their car to arrive. Xander was too Hellmouth-trained to actually look over his shoulder, but oh, did he want to.

“So,” he said, mostly to distract himself, “don’t take this the wrong way because I’m totally with the plan to go home and ravish each other, which is what I assume the plan is because in case you aren’t sure, I’m very much onboard.” The valet waiting behind a podium blanched, but Xander rolled on. “But—why? Because—no, just, why?”

Spike heaved a sigh that was so uncharacteristic for him that Xander had to stop bouncing long enough to stare at him. “You,” Spike pronounced slowly, “are a right utter moron. I’ve been chasing you for weeks, dunderhead. I’ve even got your little girlfriends helping me, which you should take as a sign of their blessing.”

Xander was aware of the valet mouthing ‘girlfriends’. “Um?” he said. “I—they what?”

As the car came around the bend, Spike moved up right into Xander’s personal space. “They set this up. They made certain they were busy, made my buy this damned monkey suit, and spent the last week giggling and being horribly annoying to me. So you better be a good shag, you tosser, because I’ve put up with a lot of crap just to get you to open your bloody eyes.”

Spike’s words were mulish, but his eyes were very blue and full of that odd vulnerability that no eternal creature of the night should have, pleading with Xander to not freak out and to just go with it.

Xander hesitated right up until the moment Spike reached up and started fussing with his tie and collar, muttering about how Xander had somehow mucked up a perfectly simple tie.

Oh, he was going to kill Willow. Right after he gave her a kiss of thanks. But later. Much much much later, because right then, Xander had a boyfriend to take home.

“I,” Xander said pronounced, “am a great shag. Now get in the damned car.”

The End

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