Chocolatey Goodness

Mad Poetess

4 The Peanut Butter War

"And just where the hell've you been?" the vampire snarled directly into his face, and for the life of him, Xander Harris couldn't remember why he'd thought it would be safer to let this creature live with him than, say, oh, anywhere else. There was something in the stance, the energy barely restrained in the slim body that was only inches from his own... I thought I wasn't afraid of him, really I did. What the hell was I thinking, again? The ghost of his high-school self whispered into his paralyzed brain that it might be more a matter of what he'd been thinking with ...

And the power in this man... vampire, whatever. It was obvious enough in his own clothes--or out of them, like that time in February when they'd had to dig an Initiative tracer out of Spike's pale back. Even laid out on a chair, drunk off his ass and slurring his way through an impressive selection of dirty turn-of-the-century pub songs, a shirtless Spike had been an impressive sight. Not that Xander had been undue attention to the musculature of the temporarily helpless English vampire. Here, now, in Xander's old navy blue shirt, two years worth of outgrown for Xander himself and about half a size off even for the smaller man... every twitching muscle in Spike's chest and shoulders was outlined in rigid detail. And they were all twitching at him.

He wants to rip my head off! What the hell was I thinking? Okay, obviously the tender man-to-man about men-to-men stuff with Giles was completely unnecessary, and on reflection, a little embarrassing. In more than the obvious sense. Here I am getting all Dawson's Creek with my pseudo-father-figure, and what I've got waiting at home for me is a monster who wants to tear me a new trachea. Which, okay, not exactly an unfamiliar experience. But this one can't, right? Oh, but he sure as hell wants to. Unless he happened to spend the evening getting his chip removed. Then he could... Oh, there's a calming thought.

"I've been...uh...out? Is there something I can do for you, Spike?" Yes, that was sufficiently manly. Gruff. Didn't sound like a guy who'd just spent the evening confessing that he seemed to be having impure thoughts towards another guy, and worse, sticky emotional...feeling...thingies...




Something he can do for me? Yeah, first he can put down the grocery bags, and then he can come down the stairs, and then he can lie still while I shag him senseless... or I could just do that right here, if necessary. The lying still part is optional. Audience participation is always encouraged... Spike shook off the simplistic voice that rose from somewhere in his head... or maybe a little lower...but not without difficulty. The part of him that delighted in reminding himself of his pathetic, defanged status was a great help on that front, though.

This was Xander Harris, here, remember? Sucker for the girls, though not historically so much of a success with them. Recently been boinking himself silly with the ex-demon bird, so no indication he was looking for a stroll down the other side of the street. This was the kid who crawled into bed and hid his head under a pillow after a little kiss, not even much of one compared to what Spike could do when he really put his tongue into it...

And then there's the fact that he hates you, Spike. He may be putting you up in order to keep an eye on you-- or just to have somebody, even an undead somebody, around so he doesn't have to face his psycho family by himself-- but it comes down to you being the enemy, and a pretty damn pathetic one at that. He may feel sorry for you, but at the core, you disgust him. And you've got a case of the screaming fuck- me's for him. Brill.

Strangely, no matter how true that voice rang in his mind, it didn't seem to be having much effect on his body, which was determined to do its own thing. Standing there a human breath away from the dark-eyed boy, Spike could smell chocolate on him, the faint familiar odors of the Slayer and her friends, and something else, less than pleasant, in one of the rolled-up grocery bags he held. Stronger than that, though, there was the smell of Xander Harris, spice and salt and something clean, soap or shampoo, all mixed together in warm waves. The sight of him wasn't helping either, too-long dark hair hanging over his worried face, that oh-hurt-me-some-more look shining straight through his habitual clown-mask. And damn it, almost overpowering the intoxicating smell that was just Xander, there was fear. The air was thick with it.

Funny, how that last bit didn't make Spike at all happy; it should. It would've a year ago. A few months ago. Look-- I am remotely scary. Hoo-bleedin'-ray. Funny how his body seemed to be acting on that fear-smell anyway, or on something, reaching up suddenly to grasp the boy by his upper arms. Maybe to shake some sense into him. You actually walked from the car to the door without being attacked? Do you have any fucking idea how good you smell? How much any other vampire would want to rip your throat out and drink you down, and I, 'cause I'm a great soddin' ponce, just want to rip your clothes off and... Wasn't any good going there, was it. Except that seemed to be where his hands were going, whether the sensible bits of him objected or not.




Oh, brilliant, Harris. Piss him off. Silence, and then those twitching muscles moved like a striking rattlesnake, grabbing his arms, crushing the groceries between them. Shit. Shit! He has gotten the chip out, and he's gonna kill me. Or he hasn't gotten it out, and he's decided it's worth the headache anyway.

Panicked, hurt somehow, though he couldn't explain why, and feeling more than a little stupid about the "Poor Xander doesn't understand his less than manly feelings towards the boy next door" mindset he'd been in all day, he backed up against the doorframe. Okay, this is it. Um, last wishes...Wills, love ya best. Tara, take good care of her. Buff, love you too. Giles, you're the closest thing to a real dad I have, and I'll never get the chance to let you know. Anya... sorry we couldn't try out the friends thing. Anybody left? Cordy, sorry I was an asshole, and Angel...yeah, well there may have been the tiniest bit of assholier-than-thou-ness there, but I think you can take it, big guy. Ready for death now? No, not really. Oh yeah, Spike. Sorry you had to kill me before I found out how the hell I actually feel about you. Oh, that made sense.

In the middle of his internal babblefest, somehow his hand-to-hand reflexes kicked in. You go, Army Guy! Wondered where you'd gone off to. Conspicuously absent during my never-to-be-mentioned fight with Harmony, weren't you? His hands lashed out of their own accord and pushed Spike back. Touching Spike's chest with both hands... it was like sticking his finger in a light socket. Not that he'd ever done anything that which he was willing to admit. Xander snatched his hands back quickly, positive they were about to burst into flames, and one of the grocery bags slipped from his arms and fell over the side of the stairs. There goes the butter. Hey--my life is supposed to be passing before my eyes, and all I can think of is whether the dairy products are gonna survive?

A look of surprise crossed Spike's face. What-- he doesn't think I'll even try to fight back? I must be even more pathetic than I thought I was. Spike let go of Xander's arms, though, crumpling his hands into fists at his sides. Ooookay, what now? And why isn't he in vamp face? Didn't even think I was worth biting? He did say something like that not too long ago. Oh, wait, here we go again.

Spike unclenched his fists, and reached for him again. False start. Guess everybody's allowed one, even an expert killer like Spike. I mean, he hasn't had the chance to kick human ass in a while. Soldier-boy must have kicked in again, or maybe it was just mild-mannered Stockboy, supermarket superhero; anyway, somebody Xander-shaped shoved the remaining grocery bag in Spike's face. The blonde put his hands out to stop it, and then... brought them to his own head, clutching it in pain. Off-balance, Spike tumbled backwards down the stairs, to land in an inelegant sprawl in the little doorway at the bottom, still grasping his own skull, and not moving.

Okay, that worked better than I thought it would. Way to go unknown Xander-strength! Shit, hope he hasn't broken his neck. Xander stepped slowly down the stairs holding his remaining grocery bag. Hang on-- why do I hope he hasn't broken his neck? "Ahh... Spike? You still undead down there?"

Spike finally moved, pushing himself up into a sitting position against the doorframe and rubbing his head, which had probably taken a bit of a beating on the trip downstairs, in addition to whatever pain the chip had caused him. Hey, the chip still works! Yippee. Of course, that means he wanted to kill me enough to risk the mother of all migraines...

Finally, in a voice that sounded like it was half laughter, Spike answered clearly and succinctly: "Ow."




That didn't exactly go off as planned, now did it? Er...planned? Who the hell had a plan? Did you, smarmy little voices? Silence from the peanut gallery in Spike's head, which was unsurprising, since he knew damned well they were all really just him, and he couldn't think of a single thing to think. Or say. And his head hurt !

"Well, serves you right for trying to kill me. Hello, chip? " Xander said from the bottom step, sounding quite affronted, and a little.. what, worried? Spike looked up at him. For a fuzzy second he thought the human had overheard his thoughts about his aching head, but then as the pain began to recede a bit, he realized Xander had replied to his rueful "Ow." But... Kill him? What the hell? Oh well, something to say, at least.

"Kill you? What the hell are you talkin' about?" Christ, but his head hurt. And something was wedged under his right thigh... He shifted his leg to reveal the much-the-worse-for-wear Almond Joy that Xander had tossed down the stairs when he came in. Right, not as if I need any more chocolate... for the rest of my unlife.

"Oh, right. You loom up in my face all 'I'm back and I'm a bloody animal,' grab me, shove me against a door, make all these growly noises, and then your chip does its thing, and you crash down the stairs holding your head like it exploded on you. And you're not trying to kill me?" The Slayerette had walked over and was shouting in his face now, and the damned grocery bag was an inch away from his nose. Spike grabbed his head again, and growled...

"Get that soddin' thing away from me!"

Xander looked down at his grocery bag. "Huh?" he responded, but dutifully backed off, stepping over Spike's outstretched legs, through the doorway and into his apartment proper.

Oh, come on, you're a bright kid, for all I might say otherwise when I want to wind you up. Hello, chip, my arse. Hello, vampire-repellent groceries!

"I wasn't... trying to kill great...gormless...git..." Spike ground out between gritted teeth.

"Then why did your little No-No-Bad-Spike device go off?" Xander countered hotly.

"It didn't. The lovely bag of garlic you brought me went off. Reasonably sure I didn't put that on the shopping list, mate."

Xander looked a bit nonplused as the concept seemed to work its way through his brain. "Oh. Vampires. Garlic. Righhht. But...garlic bread? I know I've seen Angel in the same room as takeout Italian, and he may not've joined in the feast, but a bag of garlic bread never made him fall down and break his crown."

Spike sniffed. Actually, less pathetic than it sounded, because the garlic fumes coming from the open bag were still doing a number on his sinuses. "Not my fault I happen to be more allergic than most, is it?" Oh, yeah, you're really hard core, Spike, complaining to the mortal kid about your post-nasal drip!

"Oh. Sorry. No, wait, I'm not. Garlic bread may explain why you went ass-over-skull down the stairs, but it doesn't explain why the hell you attacked me in the first place."

Spike shook his head. Way to seduce the boy. He honestly thinks I was trying to kill him. If I was trying to kill him, I would've got the job done by now. He's terrified of me! Wait, why isn't that a good thing, again?

The pissy little internal voice made its expected, unwelcome reappearance. Seduce? Was that what you were trying to do? 'Cos the way I heard it, it sounded a bit more like "shag the boy senseless." Which lacks that touch of classic elegance inherent in seduction, not to mention subtlety. No wonder he thought you wanted to kill him.

Spike grimaced. His less-than-subconscious had a point. He hadn't really done the seduction thing in a while. Every day with Dru was more or less turn-on-the-charm time, but since then... it wasn't as if Harmony had required a great deal of persuasion. A wink and a bit of the old accent, and the undead and brain-dead Cordette had been eating out of... and best not wander down that avenue if he wanted to keep his aching head about him. At any rate, when she got a bit too high-maintenance, he'd buggered off, as he'd been planning to do anyway, and she'd paid him back for that, in spades, once he was hungry and defenseless. Bitch.

His dark goddess was worth pandering to with the sweet talk; she'd brought it out of him in spite of himself most days. The blonde bimbette, however, had been after parties, Vogue, and somebody to tell her how good she'd look at a party in something out of Vogue--and screaming sex, of which he'd certainly given her plenty. She was trapped in some adolescent fantasy that said everybody who shared your bed had to be instantly enamoured of you, or pretend to be. Which had been more effing work than he'd been willing to put in on the only vampire in the world to hang fuzzy unicorn posters in her lair and listen to effin' Hanson on his CD player, which she'd kept, thank you very much...

There was always the practiced ease of charming random strangers, but real seduction, of the "face-to-face with somebody who knows and doesn't necessarily like you" variety, was something he hadn't had a lot of need for recently. Then there's the fact that you just spent the evening wolfing down chocolate and sugar and bouncing off the walls, and met him at the door with a hard-on the size of a boulder. You weren't exactly in a "subtle" place, were you now? Spike gave his head an experimental shake. Which hurt.

And speaking of boulders, why hasn't the prat noticed that less-than-subtle fact, not that I'm complaining now I feel such a right imbecile?

Because not everybody in the world spends their free time staring at your crotch, much as you might like to believe otherwise, you egocentric little prick.

Nothing like a mental tongue-lashing from your own personal ego-deflator. He glanced down, hopefully surreptitiously. Thank whoever for small favors, apparently: Xander's jeans, in addition to being too long, were about a size too large for Spike, luckily (on reflection) camouflaging his now somewhat less burdensome erection. Well, a tumble down the stairs and a snootful of garlic can do that to even the most virile vamp. He shrugged. Which hurt.

Okay, right, subtlety and charm...




"I wasn't attacking you. I was... oh, forget it. Believe what you want. What else did you buy besides Vamp- B-Gone?" Spike said, giving his skull one more rueful rub and then slowly getting up. "Box of frozen holy water on a stick? Economy pack of mint-flavored stakes?" He picked up the bag that had fallen from the stairs, and looked into it.

Xander backed a little further off, toward his sofa bed. The TV was still blaring the Powerpuff Girls, and Pokey Oaks Kindergarten was apparently under attack. Fend for yourselves, girls. Spike wasn't attacking me? Right, and I'm Faith the Horny Slayer. Wait, which bag did Spike have? Xander reached into his own bag and moved the garlic bread aside. Whew. The six boxes of Count Chocula were safe in his hands and out of Spike's oh, god, how humiliating would that be sight.

"Marshmallows, nice, I like those, Wonder bread, how surprising, butter, and ... Xander, is there something you haven't been telling me?" Spike slipped into a pseudo-maternal voice, and held up a plastic bubble container containing a Winnie-the-Pooh temporary tattoo.

You don't know the half of it, Dead-Boy Junior. "I was trying for Hello Kitty."

"Yes, that makes all the difference," Spike snickered.

"Willow likes her," Xander shrugged. "Pooh's all yours if you want him." He walked over to his little fridge and carefully pulled the garlic bread and the pint of milk out of the grocery bag, trying not to reveal the cereal boxes below them. Not that it mattered; when he glanced back, Spike was still cataloguing the contents of his own bag.

"Ooh, peanut butter. That's good, we're out. Wait-- chocolate peanut butter? They make that?" Blue eyes got very wide, and then narrowed. Probably thinking of all the diabolical ways to kill someone using just peanut butter and a bread knife.

Xander quickly rolled his bag closed again over the embarrassing abundance of cereal. His wonderful subconscious mind at work as he shopped, letting him know that some part of him had apparently enjoyed Spike's whacked-out chocolate-flavored kiss last night. He tossed the garlic bread on top of the microwave, the milk in the fridge door, and the rolled-up bag full of cereal boxes in the utility cupboard, behind the plunger, right next to his...

"Hey-- vampire guy. Where's my stash of Mounds?" Xander turned on Spike angrily, then thought twice. Where was the transition from "he's going to kill me, I must run" to "he stole my candy, I must yell at him" ? Did I miss it somewhere?

The vamp was right behind him, holding the second grocery bag in one hand, and the plastic bubble container in the other. They did the trading places dance, and Spike tossed the bubble over Xander's head towards the bed.

"I'm thinkin' the tat would look better on you, somehow. Er, Mounds, right. There was this gang of rogue humans, broke in and demanded chocolate, and me, what's a poor vamp to do, chip in 'is head an' all?" Spike smiled innocently.

God, he almost looks...friendly? Nah, it's the what-- nineteen?--bleurgh-- Almond Joys talking. When did I stop being terrified of him? Or at least, of him killing me, because I can't say he still doesn't scare the hell out of me on other levels.

"Sides, from the carnage in here..." Spike pulled a handful of empty Almond Joy wrappers from the bag he was holding..."you've 'ad enough Peter Paul goodness to last the night." He stacked the three plastic jars of peanut butter next to the microwave, wrinkling his nose as he neared the garlic bread, then moved on to the refrigerator.

"I didn't eat all of those," Just most... Xander defended himself as he watched Spike bend down and open the fridge. And we are not staring at the ass of the man who just (possibly) tried to kill us, are we, Xander? No, we're not, and we're certainly not thinking that it would look better in his jeans than mine, 'cause they're tighter, and we're definitely not thinking that it would look better out of them entirely... Meanwhile, Spike had apparently given up on finding a place for the Wonder bread, leaving it on top of the fridge, and had moved on to trying to fit the large tub of butter into the cramped interior.

"What happened to the great honking fridge you used to have in here? This thing barely has room for a few bags of blood and a pint of milk."

Well, that's Spike for you. Straight from trying to kill me to complaining about the living conditions. And that's me, Xander the slumlord. Xander shook his head and reached over the top of the small refrigerator. "Give it here, and move your dead ass out of the way."

Chuckling, Spike handed over the butter, stood up and crossed his arms over his chest. Yes, watch the master at work. Up to the challenge of cramming food into any space imaginable. Ack. That didn't sound quite right, somehow. Xander shoved the milk over, turned the butter tub on its side, and deftly slid it into the shelf inside the door. The metal restraining bar bulged a bit, but his mission was accomplished, and he slammed the door. You had to, in order to get it to stay shut.

Leaning against the closed fridge, Xander tried to shoot down thoughts of the last time he'd had his back up against the appliance, and decided to regale Spike with the refrigeration saga. Since he seemed so concerned, and all.

"The old fridge broke down and flooded the basement with strawberry ice cream and defrosted chicken parts. Father-knows-best decided that since it was quote my damn mess unquote, I was responsible for replacing it, even though it was older than I am. Possibly older than you are. I'll be damned if I'm gonna buy him a new fridge, hence the Goodwill reject you see before you. Thusly, and so on. You missed that whole thrilling adventure, because you were busy elsewhere at the time. Let me think....oh yeah, just generally being an evil bastard and hangin' out with Adam."

"And aren't you glad to have your very own evil bastard back? No dank, depressing basement is complete without one." Spike shot back, deadpan.

Xander shrugged. "Haven't we had this conversation before? If you don't like it, you have your choice of doors. If you leave by the front one, you'll probably trip over my mother, but this late on a Saturday night, she's usually a bit too drunk to notice. Why are you still here, anyway?"




I know we've had this conversation before. Yeah, but you didn't actually tell him the truth. Gonna try a different tactic this time?

"Crypt smashed? Army gits? Working fridge? And microwave?" No, apparently not. Good on you, Spike. Why start a new trend. You're evil, remember? Speaking of the microwave... he glanced over at the stack of three peanut butter jars he'd placed next to it. Chocolate peanut butter? Now how might that stuff taste...say...melted and drizzled...

Xander, meanwhile, was busy coming up with uncomfortable reminders. "You've smelled fresher looking corpses, remember? Stuck here washing skivvies for a blighter you wouldn't even have bothered to bite a few months ago. Remember?" The kid was getting snarky right back at him. Yes, the whole seduction thing was working out beautifully.

And of course, the dryer chose that moment to announce to the world in three dulcet beeps that those skivvies had not only been washed, but were now tumbled dry and April fresh. Spike, the domesticated vampire, now available in three colors: pale, paler, and eggshell white, to coordinate with all your decorating needs.

"And that was?" Xander said, once again wearing what had established itself in Spike's mental catalogue as "Duh-face." Even Duh-face was starting to look good, and Spike realized the effects of his tumble down the stairs were wearing off, but the effects of his chocolate high, or his apparently lost mind, weren't. Xander's too-big jeans weren't feeling all that big any longer.

Spike turned quickly, and stalked over to the dryer, crouching down and opening the door. What the hell? You're Spike! The only person in the world less shy about their sexuality than you is... he pondered for a second, momentarily distracted... Well, Madonna, but she's such a poseur. So you've got a raging hard- on. You're usually overjoyed to advertise your lack of a height-related inferiority complex to the world. What's different now?

With a face full of warm, April fresh laundry, he frowned. What's different is...I want him, and I'm going to scare him off if I'm not subtle. Or maybe even if I am. I can do subtle, if I'm being Sneaky Evil Bastard, but I haven't done it for sex in a great long while. Which means...I want him that much. Crap. Hell. The last time I wanted somebody that much... The last time he'd wanted somebody that much, he'd been sitting in a wheelchair trying to decide if he was more jealous of Angelus for screwing his Dru, or of Drusilla for screwing what used to be his Angelus. Oh, fuck.

"That was your skivvies, Master Harris. And mine, as a matter o' fact. Duds, anyway. Don't actually wear much in the way of your literal skivvies." And yes, Spike, he wanted to know that, considering you're wearing his jeans at the moment. That was both subtle and seductive. What was that useful phrase again? Oh yeah--Crap.

"And once again, with the Too Much Information, Spike." Xander drawled. "Well, I wondered why you were wearing my clothes, considering you said you'd rather die than do that again."

"Actually, I said I'd rather shag Giles in the High Street. Selective memory, the gift that keeps on giving," Spike responded. He reached into his back pocket, then pulled his hand out again, empty. Patted the arm of his t-shirt. Nope. Eh? Oh yeah. Wearing Harris' clothes. No smokes. Ventured into the dryer and fumbled around for his own black jeans. What, 'cos there'd be smokes in there? God, he hoped not. April Fresh menthol. Gak. He yanked out his jeans and red shirt. The t-shirt was still somewhere tangled among Xander's clothes, but the other two pieces of his ensemble looked none the worse for wear. Still crouched down in front of the dryer, he held them up proudly.

"Look, mum, I did it all by myself. No shrinkage, or anything."

"I'm impressed. You can go get a job at the Fluff N' Fold, and start paying rent. I actually meant, by the way, what are you still doing here, it's nine o'clock on a Saturday night and shouldn't you be out kickin' ass and not stopping to take names? Or trolling for some other vamp's leftovers, at least."




Come to think of it, what was he doing home at eleven o'clock last night? Just stayed in to torment me before he took off for the wild black yonder? And he's not wearing underwear.

This fact was important, for some reason, because Xander's brain kept coming back to it. Why is he getting so chummy, he's not wearing underwear, if he didn't want to kill me then what was that on the stairs, he's not wearing underwear, why is he still here, really, when he's told us more than once that he hates all of us, and besides, he's not wearing underwear. Arms crossed, still leaning against the fridge, Xander shook his head, trying to clear it. Nope, not a lot of success there.

"Funny, that. Just didn't seem to be in the mood," Spike said thoughtfully. He stood up, holding his clean clothes over his arm.

He's not going to change back into them now, is he? I'm pretty sure my skull would explode. Because... he's not wearing underwear. Right, brain, got that the first seventy-two times.

"Maybe it's 'cos the demon population of Sunnyhell thinks I'm a complete tosser for 'aving done business with Slutty the Vampire Slayer and her pathetic band of cartoon crimesolvers."

"Why do you do that?" popped out of Xander's mouth before he knew what he was saying. Suddenly he had to know. For once, he wasn't hurt or even really annoyed by the insults that came as naturally to Spike as breathing did to Xander. Correction: as breathing usually did to Xander, today apparently being an exception. He just wanted to know... why?

"Do what, Twinkles?" Spike asked, tossing his clean clothes on top of the dryer and puttering around on the shelf next to it, looking for something.

"Flash the big 'Hi, I'm an asshole' sign every time somebody starts to have a reasonably civil conversation with you. I mean, is it all part of the whole Spike charm thing, or can't you stand anybody thinking you might be..."

"What?" Spike interrupted, whirling around on him. "A nice guy? A prince among men? A bleedin' vampire with a soul? 'Cos there's only one of those that I know of, and that's my fairy-cake of a sire. I'm a demon, remember? It's what I do. You serve pizza to six-year-olds and stock groceries, I'm an evil bastard."

Ahh, the return of Growly Guy. So, let's push it, because we're feeling suicidal anyway. "And you have to try so hard to convince us of it, Oh Big Bad Whatever. Adam was a really good attempt; I was impressed. I just wondered if it's getting to be a bit more trouble than it's worth."




Get the hell out of my head, Alexander Harris. I am an evil, soulless, bloodsucking demon. Just because I'm friggin' fixed don't mean I don't want to rip out throats and pound things into the pavement...and pound you into that soddin' broken-down mattress... I am not having to try to be evil. I do it by nature.

Oh, nice. Spike could practically smell the testosterone. Which was fine by him, a good bit of pawing the ground put him in the mood like nothing else. Except maybe two bags of chocolate and a night spent climbing the walls, or... any number of other pleasant triggers flitted through his mind, until he derailed that particular train of thought. I am not a nice guy. I'm not ! I'd rip his heart out in a minute if this chip was...

Half the borrowed blood in his body seemed to be suffusing his face, or something, because there was a rush of heat to his head. (The one at the top of his neck. The other half of that blood had long ago traveled south.)

Oh, buggerfuck. I wouldn't. Xander's mates might be meat and blood if they got in Spike's way, and the Slayer and him... they had issues. He'd a sneaking suspicion it was more fun yanking Rupert's chain than it would be yanking his head off, but he wouldn't rule it out. The little witches? Major entertainment opportunities in keeping them alive, but they were awfully tasty.

This one, though-- I don't want to kill this idiot child, I want to... well, fuck him, but then what? This... sucks. God, that's it. I actually thought the word 'sucks' without it being involved in a pun. I've gone completely Sunnydale. And I'm out of smokes.

So, now for a witty rejoinder that would cut Harris down to size and let him know that Spike was still the biggest, baddest vampire this side of the Hellmouth.

"Get bent." Yeah, brilliant and incisive, that was.

Xander scowled. "So's your momma. Wait, what?"

Oh, look, Duh-face again. Only it wasn't a Harmony sort of "If you blew in my ear you'd hear a whistling noise" Duh-face. More a matter of the mouth being quicker than the brain, which was still in there chugging away, trying to catch up. Spike's lips twitched. No, I will not laugh. I'm a badass, I'm a demon, I'm... oh, sod this for a game of soldiers.

He smiled. Then he laughed. Then he laughed some more. Not "I'm an evil bastard, you're a tenth-grade loser" laughter. Just... what the hell could be funnier than this? Arse-kicking motherfucking hundred-and-a- few-odd year old demon tries to get laid by seriously pissing off the puppy-faced, purehearted, nineteen year old object of his psychotic affections?

Hang about... affections? Could I be any more hopeless?




"Look, you underdone English toffee! Quit laughing at me! At least until I can figure out what the hell you're laughing at." Xander snapped petulantly. See, look, he's laughing at me, which was what I figured this was all about, but he took long enough to get around to it. There's always a set-up, before they knock you down and kick you.

Spike ran pale fingers through his paler hair, crossed his eyes Okay, that was disturbing , pulled on the end of his nose, and finally stopped laughing.

"Not laughing at you, mate. Laughing at me. And 'get bent' means... er... basically, go get fucked, but taken literally, go get fucked by a man." Spike shut up, but that damned grin was still on his face.

Oh. That. To which 'So's your momma' is an oh-so-appropriate rejoinder. Okay, maybe a little tiny bit funny. If I weren't fucking blushing, which I know I am, dammit.

Xander snorted to cover his embarrassment, and retreated to the "kitchen," where he picked up the topmost jar of peanut butter from Spike's precarious stack. Chocolate. That would do the trick. That would tell him what was going on. Chocolate would make everything make sense. True, nineteen candy bars in eight hours hadn't helped much, but surely some peanut butter would be the magical solution? He opened the jar and ripped back the foil freshness seal.

Dark, chocolatey peanut butter stared up at him, smelling like a thousand safe sunny afternoons of splitting Reese's Peanut Butter cups with Willow in the park, seeing who could swing higher and jump farther. Oh, so much less confusing than trying to psychoanalyze the smirking vampire standing a few.. feet.. away... wearing no underwear...

Then again, swinging wasn't all that safe either. An image from his dream the night after they'd beaten Adam: a tweed-clad Spike and Giles on the playground swings, seeing who could swing higher. A Watcher scoffs at gravity... Spike in tweed. Disturbingly hot, and it made no freaking sense whatsoever, and the heat he was sure he felt in his cheeks had decided to spread all over his body. Desperately, Xander dipped a finger into the smooth, creamy peanut butter, pulled it out, and put it in his mouth.

Oh, yesss...that was the stuff.




The smirk slowly faded from Spike's face as he watched Xander lick the chocolate peanut butter from his own finger. The sight was inexplicably erotic: the full lips closing around the peanut-butter coated finger, the dark lashes on the closed eyes, the look of sheer single-minded bliss. A shot of pure lust ran like a lightning bolt down the length of Spike's body, straight to his groin.

Oi, enough of this! No more bleedin' conversation. Shag now! Er, no, subtlety, remember? Shag! Subtlety! Shag! Spike growled. No smokes. Too much chocolate. No bloodsucking, and here was this perfectly edible living body in front of him, and all he wanted to do with it was...explore its warmth and shadows, and touch it until he either expired from the effort, or regained what little sense he'd ever possessed. Granted, an oddly acceptable alternative, but the point was, he kept getting entangled in meaningless conversation, when, subtlety or no subtlety, that wasn't what he was after at all.

He sniffed the air. No scent of fear now. Well, that was...disturbingly comforting. Very little garlic, also helpful. Lots of spicy clean Xander smell floating around the room, and then there was the chocolate. Peanut butter. Together. Which smelled verrrry good.

Brilliant idea springing forth from nowhere, energy less in check than ever, Spike literally bounced over to where Xander stood, and tried to grab the jar from his hand. The boy's eyes snapped open.

"Uh-uh, Mister Get Bent. Get your own." Xander pulled the jar back, but Spike didn't let go. No way on earth. This was going somewhere, or he was going to by-God levitate up the stairs through the power of sheer horniness, smash his way out the door, and go beat the unliving shit out of every demonic resident of the Hellmouth that he could get his hands on.

"But I want yours, Xander!" he whined in his best five-year-old voice, smirk back in place. He pulled the jar back, harder. Not as hard as he could have, mind you. He wasn't using full vampiric strength here. Aside from not wanting to set the seven-times-damned chip off, he was going for subtlety. A certain specific kind of subtlety. Give and take. Test and measure. If he doesn't want this, maybe I won't come off looking like a complete moron. If he does, ahh, then...




Spike pulled on the jar of peanut butter again, and Xander replied in kind. Mine. My peanut butter. My basement, my brain, my...what...heart? Not going there. My jeans, dammit. Get the hell out, you demonic, smartassed, undead, underwearless...drop-dead gorgeous guy who has me questioning my sanity and my masculinity and...




Spike hauled back on the jar, just a little harder. Watched Xander's countenance run the gamut from pissed-off to Duh-face to really pissed-off.

The human yanked the jar to his chest with both hands. Fine. Spike wasn't going to let go, and he wasn't going to be outdone by Mr. I'm Bloody Taller Than You So I Get To Keep The Nummy Stuff All To Myself... so right hand joined left on the plastic jar, and he braced his foot in front of Xander's, pulling back with juuuust enough strength to get the young man tugging harder in the opposite direction, then letting up, just a little... now this was the tricky bit. Would it work?




Feeling Spike's hold weaken unexpectedly, Xander stumbled back a bit, off balance. He wasn't sure whether to snatch the jar away victoriously, or just pull it calmly from the vampire's literally cold, dead hands-- or whether he was about to fall on his ass and make it a moot point. He'd just decided on the first choice Mine! My chocolate! when Spike pulled again, hard, and the unbalanced definitely unbalanced Xander fell forward, knocking the shorter man to the floor and landing on top of him.




Yes! Schoolyard fight! It worked! And no blinding headache from the chip, although bouncing my skull off the basement floor again probably isn't doing it any good.

The two rolled across the small clear space on the floor, tussling all the while. Spike made damn sure not to do anything that would actively hurt the boy, and kept sending calming thoughts to his blasted computer chip, just in case. Not trying to hurt him. Just playing, see? Good vampire. Nice (eccchh) vampire.




Roll, push, pull...Xander on top, and eye to eye with the remnants of his shattered remote control:

"You broke the remote?" Pant. Gasp. Inhale. White hand snaking up, and peanut butter suddenly smeared in Xander's hair.

"I was frustrated."

"Hey, everybody hates the re-run season, but that's no reason to take it out on innocent equip..."




A little burst of vampiric sugar-high, and they were rolling the other way. They banged up against the edge of the bed, Spike on top and grinning inanely. Oh, this was fun! Right next to the empty cider bottle and Mounds bags that had begun his descent into this night of madness.

"You drank my Woodpecker? Bastard," Xander hissed, giving as good as he'd gotten with a swipe of peanut butter across Spike's forehead.

"Somebody has to protect you innocent underage kids from the evils of alcohol," Spike answered. "Might as well be me..."

No answer, but the body underneath him tensed and bucked, and they were rolling again.




Xander on top, and Spike staring up at him, still smirking. I'll wipe that grin off his smarmy face...Big Bad my ass...maybe Slightly Naughty... What the hell is he doing to me?

A "grrrr" of anger and frustration, and Xander was pinning the vampire's arms to the floor, straddling Spike's torso with his knees, and glaring back down at him, breathing hard.

"Why..." huff... "the hell..." puff... "did you..." huff... "come...back here, dammit?"

"Missed you, ducks. Not to mention the scintillating conversation. And the mildew, can't forget the mildew. Why haven't you chucked me out?"

Xander stared into the misleadingly innocent blue eyes beneath him. If he fucking knew that, wouldn't everything be just peachy. And wasn't it wonderful that Spike, too, had noticed his blatant illogic on the subject of giving shelter to evil bloodsucking demons who gobble your private stash of chocolate and insult you continuously when they're not trying to kill you or your closest friends.

He growled, letting go of one of Spike's arms to dip a hand into the half-empty peanut butter jar. He was just grasping a handful of the vampire's white-blond hair with peanut-buttery fingers and trying to decide what new style to give him with the makeshift hair gel, when Spike gave a polite 'ahem...'

"No answer, then?" asked the obnoxious grinning face that definitely didn't have enough peanut butter on it.

"Get bent," Xander snapped.

"Trying to, pet, but you're not exactly making an easy job of it," While young Mr. Harris' much-abused brain tried to make sense of what he'd just heard, Spike used his oops free hand, and a little unfair vampire advantage, to push Xander over.




Spike on top, and Xander on his back, blinking at the triumphant vampire. It was all Spike could do not to crow out loud. Somewhere between subtle and senseless, but at least now he knows what the game is. Now the only question is... is he playing?

The boy had one knee up, already preparing to shove Spike off him, and dark eyes widened as that knee made contact with Spike's swollen crotch. Well, if he hadn't figured it out yet, he'd have to be unbelievably daft not to twig to it now... The knee shot down again, as if burned. That wasn't so far from the truth, at this point, Spike reflected. He leaned in close to Xander's face.

"What, nothin' to say? I seem to recall something about us "needing to talk" before I took my little garlic- induced fall from grace. Something you wanted to say, grocery boy? Something you wanted to know?" Spike gave his best patented evil-vampire raised-eyebrow leer.

At which point the object of the game burst into hysterical laughter.




Why does he remember every freakin' thing I say? Couldn't he just ignore me like everybody else usually does? Oh, God, touchy-feely 'we need to talk' Xander, pinned to the floor by the vampire of his nightmares, who's not wearing underwear and is apparently storing a cannonball in jeans, and he's doing that damned eyebrow thing and he doesn't know he's got a big dollop of peanut butter about to fall off said eyebrow and onto my nose...

"What?" demanded Spike, affronted. Xander shook his head, and continued laughing, totally out of control. He reached up and, gasping for breath, wiped the peanut butter from Spike's eyebrow, revealing the scar beneath it. There. Now at least he could look at the vamp. Definite improvement. He'd transformed Spike from hysterically funny creature of the night to delicious-looking, highly annoyed creature of the night.

"'ll laugh, too, really. I was gonna ask..." gasp... "whether you were playing with my head, last night." Wow. It was out. He'd actually asked. Which implied somehow that he cared about what the answer was. That was enough to cut the laughing jag off.

Spike made a strange snarfing noise, somewhere between a snort and a guffaw, and Xander could smell the chocolate, sweet on his breath. What passed for breath, anyway. "Well, yeah. 'Course. Worked, didn't it?"

"Yeah, it worked," Xander replied slowly, trying not to sound disappointed. Trying not to be disappointed. What the hell was I thinking ? Lather, rinse, repeat. What the hell was I thinking ?

A put-upon sigh from above, and then Spike's lips were on his. No blood this time, just cool, sweet Spike flavor, and the same warm coconut and chocolate that Xander himself had been scarfing all day. The vampire's tongue slid into his mouth, wrestling with his own as their bodies had wrestled moments ago. Even without the warm blood that had accompanied last night's experience, Spike's lips weren't really cold. Room temperature, maybe, but not with the friction against Xander's own, not for long.




He wasn't sure if the wide-open eyes and frantically scrabbling hands signaled complete mental breakdown or just lack of air, but Spike figured it was about time to let the boy breathe. He pulled back, just a bit. Still right in his face. Let the fun begin-- which way does he go, lads?

"Sp..Spike, what the hell are you doing?" The hurt-puppy look from a few seconds ago had been replaced with utter confusion. Oh, yeah, I've still got it. Well, either I've still got it, or I've just kissed the most crack-brained feckless git on the face of the planet. Or both.

"Should think it would be crystal bloody clear by now. What I've been tryin' to do since you walked in the door, you little twit. Kill you. Obviously. Grrr," he finished off exaggeratedly, and sealed it with another hard kiss.

Wasn't pushing him off, that was a good sign, and unless Spike's tongue had completely lost its sense of direction, there was some seriously enjoyable reciprocity going on. The Scooby-boy tasted like chocolate and rain, and he gave as good as he was getting. When Spike reluctantly pulled back, however, the confused look was still in place.

"I thought you were just...playing with me..."

Oh, the earnestness. The humanity of it all. Spike sighed, and explained as if to a very small, easily frightened child. "Why'd you want to go believing anything I say? I'm evil, remember?" Soft kiss on the tip of Xander's nose, just a moment's touch. "Thought I was. At the time. Playing. That's then, been a long day, this is now, any more bloody questions?"

"Mmmph. Mmmph-mph," Xander replied into his mouth.




Xander had stumbled completely over the edge. There didn't seem to be any rope back up, and it was a hell of a long way down. Might as well enjoy the fall. The view wasn't bad from here, either. Lost, that was it. He was lost.

"What was that, pet?" Spike asked amusedly when he pulled off to let Xander breathe again. Spike had been right about the breathing thing. Inconvenient.

"I said, you have peanut butter on your nose."

Spike wrinkled said nose. "Do not."

"Do too," Xander sing-songed, and smeared a line of chocolatey peanut butter down the length of Spike's nose, from bridge to tip. He knew that fingerful he'd stolen from the vampire's face would come in handy. Unsure of exactly what the hell he was doing, he smiled a little shyly, and stretched his head up, sticking out his tongue. Slowly, with little short sweeps, he began to lick the peanut butter from Spike's nose. The vampire made little cat noises, narrowed his eyes, and grinned even wider.




And it's another goal for Manchester United! Take that, Liverpool supporters and snarky brain voices. There was blissful silence in his head. All of Spike in perfect unity. Then the licking stopped. This was a bad thing, yes?

"Did you just call" A disbelieving croak.

"Twice. What, you missed the first one 'cos it was so close to that bit about wanting to get bent?"

Silence. "Um, yes, very possibly. What was the question? " More silence. "Oh, yeah--isn't that something you do with girls?"

Spike looked down at him incredulously. "Get bent? No, luv, I thought we'd covered that." Oh, I get it-- the 'pet' thing. Still, let's us watch him fumble through that one. Spike's wickedest grin was hiding just under the surface, but he fought it down.

Chocolate eyes unfocused, and a flush rose in the boy's cheeks. He's blushing! Not feckless-- innocent. Un-bloody-believeable...and absolutely delectable. Spike really couldn't resist it any longer. He could almost feel the blood thumping through the jugular vein a few inches from his lips, and he darted down to Xander's neck, grabbing the stubborn chin and firmly turning the beautiful head.

Lips against the warm, so-thin skin covering the rushing blood, Spike could feel it begin to pump faster, almost fluttering. The mind might know Spike couldn't hurt him, but the body was another story, and it was in full panic mode. Making little shushing noises, Spike kissed down the length of the vein, then drew a line back up, with the tip of his tongue. A final teasing, delicate nip with his flat, oh-so-human teeth, and there was a half-choked gasp from Xander. Think I made my point. Whatever the hell it was.

Spike withdrew again, sat back on his heels, and waited. Watched. Had a hell of a lot of fun.




Point. Point. Here, point. Xander was sure he'd had one. Something about girls. Getting bent. No. Spike's hand was on his face. Spike's mouth was on his throat. Spike wasn't going to hurt him; Spike couldn't hurt him... but his heart beat like it was trying to jump out of his body, which was busy feeling like somebody had zapped him with an Initiative blaster. Tingles of electricity jagged their way up and down his spine, across his chest, melted down to pool like liquid fire in his penis and then skittered back up to start the whole thing over again. When the tiny sharpness of Spike's human teeth pricked his skin, he could see stars. Then suddenly Spike's cool hand, Spike's warm lips, withdrew, leaving Xander gasping for breath. From somewhere in his throat came a little sound that was absolutely positively not a girlie squeak.

"You had something to ask, was it?" Spike purred.

Damn him! It wasn't that important. Definitely could've waited...

Point. Point. Oh... "uhm...Girls. That 'pet' thing-- I've only ever heard you use it with girls." Just trying to get it straight. As straight as possible under the circumstances, anyway.

"You a girl? 'Cos I'm thinking...I would've noticed." Spike put a hand on Xander's chest, fingers splayed out. "Nah, don't think so." Trailed that hand a little further down, across Xander's stomach, which was doing little happy/sick flip-flops, to the waistband of his jeans. Whisked those fingers very lightly over the denim that covered Xander's rapidly swelling cock. "Hmmm... definitely not, I'd say. ..Pet."

Xander groaned. Spike apparently chose to take that as a complaint, because he removed his hand. Which wasn't Xander's intent at all, insofar as he was still capable of anything so intelligent as intent.

"Well, you called me an underdone English toffee, and I didn't take offense. Wasn't bad, for a first try. More suited to your upper class types, like our Rupert, though. For me, you want...oh, 'knock-kneed Limey guttersnipe,' maybe, or you could always try 'jammy little oik.' You'll learn. We'll have you hoistin' Real Ale with the lads down the pub in no time." He sounded as if he could go on at length, which was the last thing in the world Xander wanted him doing with his mouth at the moment, sexy as that voice might be.

"Shut up..." Xander commanded, and Spike cocked his head.

"Well, if you don't want me to call you 'pet,' I s'pose I won't then..."

Xander hissed in frustration, and reached up to grab a handful of Spike's t-shirt collar, pulling him down to face-level. "Didn't say that," he muttered. "Now. Shut. Up." He reached a hand round the back of the bleach-blonde, peanut butter spattered head, and pulled Spike's face to his own, plunging his tongue into that moist, vaguely chocolate-flavored cavern again, sucking on the soft pink bottom lip.

I'm sucking face with a vampire. Me, Xander "How could you do it, Buffy" Harris. And mine doesn't even have a soul. Somewhere in his head, the guy who wanted to keep sucking face hit the babbling intellectual with a very large, determined fist, knocking him out of the driver's seat. Shoving the mental cruise control lever into place, he went back to what he was doing. Fuck off, higher brain functions.




Spike almost chortled in glee when Xander pulled him down. Alright, audience participation! Perfectly happy to shut up, since he'd just been testing how long he could tease before the lad either came to his senses or did what he

Hot mouth, cool tongue, slashing circles round his own. Pulling out, to nibble his lips, to brand little fiery kisses onto his chin, his cheeks, the scar on his eyebrow. It was driving him out of control. Every bit of pent-up energy that had built up over the long night, over the long months since he'd first started noticing that this man-child was more than the Slayer's personal comic relief, since he'd first started denying it to himself... It was all about to come to a boil. Which was why, unbearable as it was, he pushed himself back from the body beneath him. Spike thumped backwards to sit on Xander's trapped thighs, hands resolutely fastened to his own kneecaps, and looked at the face in front of him.

Confusion, need, more oh-hurt-me looks, and wanting him. Spike couldn't fathom why the fact that Xander wanted him was filling him with such inexplicable joy, but there it was. He resisted the urge to smooth the concern from the furrowed brow before him.

"Did I... do something wrong?" Xander asked hesitantly. Spike shook his head. No, definitely right. Very, very right.

"No. No, but here's this: I've got to know that you're not gonna get up bright and early tomorrow and run off to the Slayer tellin' her I had my wicked demonic way with you against your will. I don't fancy wakin' up to find I've turned into a Kansas song. Need to know that you know I can't do a damn thing to you... that you don't want me to. Didn't force you, didn't hypnotize you into doin' my evil bidding..."

Sudden perk of interest. So easily distracted, this one. Could be useful, or at least fun. But not now, dammit. He sighed. "What?"

"Can you do that?"

"Hypnotize you? No. I'm not flamin' Dracula, Xander." He so seldom said Xander's name aloud unless baiting him, usually replacing it with his newest insult-of-the-day. The sound in his mouth now was something strange, too personal, too real.

"I just...because Dru..." Xander was suddenly quiet, and his quicksilver expression shifted into the familiar "Oh, Shit" face that Spike had come to know so well.

"You can say her name. I won't bite-- can't-- and I won't stake m'self. Promise." He waited.

"Dru could hypnotize people." Xander finished uncertainly.

"Yeah. And other two-legged animals. That's Dru. She has visions, too. It doesn't come with the vampire holiday package; it's just what she is. Do you always talk this much?"

"Me???" Xander protested. "The man who decided to give me impromptu lessons in British slang asks this?" He may have sounded peeved, but his hands were doing distracting things to Spike's bare ankles, and moving their way up the vampire's ticklish shins... Focus, Spike. Focus.

"I was winding you up. Doesn't count. Topic at hand-- you want this, or don't you? You get it? I'm helpless. The Slayer comes after me for molesting her best friend, I'm pretty much road grit." It was ludicrous, really. He was trusting the word of the forces of good here, because he was for some reason absolutely sure that whatever Xander said, he'd stick by it.

" 'Cause I'm definitely gonna be dishing with her over bagels and latte tomorrow morning concerning the interesting new directions my sex life has taken. Hello? Repressed adolescent male here? Anyway, you're right, she'd stake you on sight, but she might stake me, too, just in case you'd...used your wicked demonic ways on me." The boy's hands, meanwhile, had found their way to the sensitive spots behind Spike's half-bent knees, and were doing unspeakable things.

"Xander..." Spike groaned, only half in frustration. "Tell me. Bloody well just...tell me..."

"I...want this."

The words were barely out of the boy-child's mouth when Spike grabbed the torturing fingers and pushed Xander's hands away from him. He fell forward again onto the surprisingly broad chest beneath him. After using one hand to pin those dangerous fingers above Xander's head, it was Spike's turn to explore every inch of the other's face with his mouth, with his tongue. He licked remnants of peanut butter smears happily from the warm skin.




And all it had taken was his soul. Everything in him. Every ounce of sense and responsibility was screaming at him to shut up, to push the vampire off, to do something, even run to Buffy as Spike had implied. And he'd opened his big mouth and said, "I want this." He'd told the truth, like a good little soldier for the light, and all it had taken was everything he had.

Want this. Want this. Want Spike. Want to fuck Spike. Yeah, vampire. Yeah, evil, whatever, maybe. Don't care. Don't fucking even care. Want him here with me. Touching me. Want to touch him.

His hands trapped above his head, he couldn't. Couldn't do anything but lie there and feel every cool/hot contact of Spike's lips, Spike's tongue on his face, his neck, Spike's free hand in his hair. Good, so good, but he wanted to touch, too. He struggled. He wasn't exactly stronger than the vampire, but he did have one unfair advantage. Spike not only couldn't hurt him, he'd be actively trying not to, unless he wanted the mood broken by massive head trauma courtesy of Ye Olde Behavioral Modification Chip. So...

He wiggled beneath Spike's body. Which felt unbelievable, and elicited little growly noises, but didn't get his hands free. The hell with this!

Recalling the stylin' hand-to-hand moves he'd used in their tussle for control of the peanut butter, he rocked sideways suddenly, using his own weight to roll over on top of the other man. Yeah, who's got control now, Mr. Grabby Hands? Spike had let go of Xander's hands as the vamp instinctively flung his arms out for balance, so Xander was free to put those hands wherever he wanted. Where he wanted happened to be the fabric of Spike's borrowed t-shirt. Xander tugged it up, and after a struggle, off, Spike deciding to play nice by raising his arms over his head. Delighted with the expanse of pale-pink, almost white chest beneath him, the brunette put his fingers everywhere he could think of, and then some. Cool, so smooth and cool. Lowering his face to Spike's chest, he snaked his tongue out to gently lick one pale nipple, and Spike hissed, grabbing his head and pulling it closer. He licked his way across to the other nipple, but didn't touch it, instead drawing concentric circles around it until a pained groan from his -- What? Lover? -- finally melted his evil human heart, and he lowered his entire mouth to it, sucking hungrily.




Everything was just right. Peachy. Better than perfect. Here he was ravishing and being ravished by one of the Slayer's best friends, and loving every minute of it. Except the hard concrete floor below him, which he could deal with. He'd done it in much less pleasant surroundings. But why, when there was a better option? He pushed Xander back gently, against his body's better judgement.

"Huh? What, again with the 'do you really want this?' " came the grumpy voice. "Do. Now, please."

Spike chuckled. "No, not again. I just don't fancy doing this on the floor when there's a perfectly decent bed three feet away. "

His -- What? Lover? -- cocked his head, as if considering, then jumped up, suddenly. Gonna run now? Bit late for that. No, apparently not, because Xander leaned down to help him up, and they stumbled those three feet to the bed in a tangle of arms and legs and moving fingers. Xander hit out at the TV in passing, thankfully ridding the room of the sounds of superpowered five-year-olds kicking evil tail. Spike was busy trying to rip that ridiculous Sunnydale High t-shirt off Xander's body, and they landed on the folded-out sofa bed with a loud creak. The vampire winced as his knee hit the metal bar in the middle, beneath the mattress.

"Well, I did use 'decent' in the sense of 'not made out of concrete,' " he muttered, then proceeded to finish the job on Xander's shirt, which would definitely be unwearable now. The younger man's mouth was a bit too busy on his chest again to reply, and Spike wasn't about to interrupt the lad's obviously heartfelt efforts. Instead, he concentrated on fiddling with the brass button at the waistband of Xander's faded jeans. Success. Next, please? Xander stiffened as Spike began to slowly pull the zipper down.

Fun. Torture's always fun, but taking too friggin' long. Spike tugged on the trouser legs, and Xander finally broke away from Spike's chest to lift his hips. Then an obstacle. Hell, shoes. Beat-up tennis shoes with laces that Spike only succeeded in tying up in witch-knots, until Xander figured out what he was doing and pried each one off with the opposite foot. Good, because otherwise Spike would have yanked them off, and he'd end up having to buy the kid new shoes as well. Mission accomplished. Jeans tossed on the floor. Of course, human-boy had to be wearing underwear, and the boxer shorts of the day were? Hello Kitty.

Spike had to stop himself from bursting into laughter. Couldn't have ruined the mood at this point...nothing short of the Hellmouth opening could do that, and even then he was pretty sure he'd be trying to fuck Xander and wield an axe at the same time. Some torments, however, should be savored, and he wasn't in the mood to savor anything but the body before him. Tomorrow morning was soon enough to tease the boy wickedly about his choice in underthings.




Xander blinked dazedly up at Spike. Not that the man who had just tugged his jeans off was difficult to look at, but something was terribly wrong. Not fair. He's got more clothes on than me.

He reached up to do something about that, and had the zipper on Spike's jeans three clicks towards goodbye when he remembered that actually, they were about even in the clothing department. One piece each, and he was about to do away with Spike's. Ulp. Oh well, in for a penny...

He hadn't really been planning ahead, had he? His little deny-them-two-minutes-later fantasies hadn't got quite as far as staring at Spike's dick in all its uncut glory and wondering if putting his fingers on it would put him full-on over the edge into the land of never-to-return, personal ad in the school newspaper gayness. Not that he didn't want to...he was just momentarily stuck still while the room spun around him.

As if reading his thoughts, Spike's sardonic, slightly exasperated voice cut through the haze. "You can actually touch it, you know. Much like me, it doesn't bite."

"That's debatable," Xander retorted softly, but he slowly put out a finger to run the length backwards, from bobbing tip to base nestled in curls as dark as his own. While Spike inhaled unneeded air sharply and helped Xander out in evening up the clothing score by pushing the unzipped jeans to his knees, Xander grinned his first real evil Spike grin. "Somebody's not a natural blonde..." he mock-sang in a reasonably good imitation of Spike's London accent.

"Try to get over the shock," the real accent muttered through clenched teeth as Xander's fingers tiptoed their way around, pausing here and there to catalog the differences between his own circumcised member and Spike's nineteenth century anachronism. Vampire in your bed, you know... plus, more than a hundred years older than you.... a niggling little voice whispered. Think I told you to fuck off a while ago, didn't I?




Spike wasn't exactly doing very well. Over a century old, shagged and been shagged every which way from Sunday, and here he was being tentatively felt up by this innocent puppy-child, and teetering on the edge. Any more of this and his undead brain would turn to mush. Not that it wasn't good, mind you, but there's only so much foreplay a guy can take when he's been waiting about all night, living on sexual tension and outdated Halloween chocolate. When Xander's exploring fingers finally made their way down to his balls, stroking them with the tiniest feather-touch, he just about snapped.

Grabbing the unwittingly evil hand tightly by the wrist, he glared down into surprised, disingenuous brown eyes. So bloody sure he's done something wrong again. What the hell did Demon-Girl do to him? Or is this older than that?

That rueful little smile he gave when he was about to put himself down before somebody did it for him. "Y'know, Spike, I... really don't know how to do this."

Can't believe I'm going to say this twice in the same century. And it is the same century; bugger the idiots who forget there wasn't a Year Zero. "Yeah, luv, as you'd put it, duh." He held onto Xander's wrist. "You'd think you'd never done this before or somethin'. C'mere."

As Spike pulled the infuriating child to him, Xander said quietly, with a jagged laugh, "Just don't say anything about steering me round the curves. I've heard enough car-inspired Faithisms to last the rest of my life."

Ooh, darkness. Bet there's half a story there. "You really do talk this much all the time, don't you?" He rested his chin on top of that dark head. Smelled peanut butter and chocolate, and almost laughed. We are a right mess, aren't we.

Xander murmured into his chest, "Just call me Alexander Rosenberg."

Spike smiled. Babble-boy and girl, the Bobbsey-twins of Sunnydale. "Wanna try this again? My way? No steering, and very few curves. Promise."

He was about to take silence for a negative when he felt Xander's head nod once beneath his chin. He tilted that head up, and kissed him again, perhaps a little harder than he intended, but it had been a very long day. Pushing Xander back against the mattress, he kicked off his jeans, allowing them to join Xander's on the floor, and concentrated on tugging those ridiculous boxers out of his way for good. Oh yes, very nice. Quite.

Tempted as he was to give the little sod a taste of his own medicine, Spike refrained from teasing Xander with his fingers, instead putting a knee on the mattress between the boy's legs and lowering himself down to lie atop his...what, pupil? Ha. The same position they'd been in on the floor, with a lot less clothes. Which was the point, of course. Spike's lips on Xander's chest. Erections pressed against each other. See, nice. Now we blinkin' move on...Xander wiggled beneath him, and the connection sent almost-there, just a little more, messages to every part of his body. Delicious, but you'd almost think he was trying to sit up... Oh, hell, now what?

"Drawer, under the TV," Xander panted. Spike rolled his eyes.

"If you're about to tell me there's condoms in that drawer, I'll be severely disappointed in you. I'm dead. There's nothing I can give you, nothing you can give me." He went back to licking, something he was very good at. Thought twice. "Well, nothing bad, any road. On the other hand, if you're telling me there's lube in there, I'll be... pleasantly surprised. Er... very surprised. Beginning to think I'll have to figure out where the damn peanut butter went, and crunch up some more of your childhood with m'big vampire teeth."

Since Xander wriggled again, he took it for a signal that he really should take a moment to back off and check out the drawer. Separating himself agonizingly from the warm body under him, he stood quickly and pulled the little drawer out. Right. Pleasantly surprised. There were condoms in the drawer-- of multiple colors and brands-- but there was also a little white tube. He returned to the bed, holding it up, unable to keep the "Huh?" look from his own face. I've been corrupted, I have.




Xander shrugged, embarrassed as usual. "Anya. A word that explains all mysteries, answers all questions, fits most crossword puzzle clues." When Spike began to grin rottenly at him with that 'oh, reeeeeeally, now' look, he hurriedly added, "You'll note its unopened condition...."

Naked Spike in my room, holding a tube of lubricant. I don't know if that's a fantasy or a nightmare. I mean, naked Spike is good. Or Evil... but...

"Remedy that, shall I?" Spike asked, studying the twist-off, poke-through-the-seal cap. Xander blinked.

"Why am I suddenly hearing 'Dueling Banjos' in the back of my head?" he gulped out.

Spike laughed, a short bark that sounded almost genuinely amused. "Because you're a disturbed product of twentieth century American culture with no appreciation for the finer things in life, and somebody really ought to have shot James Dickey before he made it a sin to tell a boy he had a pretty mouth. This isn't for me, gobshite. It's for you." Spike flung himself down on the bed next to Xander, and ran his free hand in tantalizing ziz-zags across the younger man's still flippy-floppy stomach.

For me? Spike, you shouldn't have. Okay, hysterical now. "Again, please, in words of one syllable or less?"

Sharp little pains in his shoulder as Spike dug his fingernails in. In a tightly controlled voice: "You. Me. Much as I'd like to be nailing you into the mattress, I don't fancy the headache I'm sure would come with it. Don't think I could manage it at this point without hurting you, at least a little bit. Might try it next time, real slow, but now, chip, ow, ergo you, me. Monosyllabic enough for ya?" Spike ripped the cap off with his teeth, spat it across the room, and used the little fingernail on his free hand to puncture the foil seal.

And I think he's reached the limit of vampire patience, somehow...

"Yeah. No fair throwing in the Latin, though," Xander replied as he felt Spike's hands making their way downward, and the shock of the liquidy gel being expertly (he supposed-- he should know from expert?) applied to his warm, not to say practically roasting, cock, by those smooth cool fingers. Next time? Did he say next time? Lost. He was absolutely lost. He groaned softly, and Spike gave another of those guttural laughs, thankfully took his fingernails out of Xander's shoulder, and rolled over onto his stomach.

"Easy way. Novice-level. No gymnastics, no steering, no curves. Think you can keep up?" Xander stared. Not exactly no curves. There were the curves of Spike's ass, as translucent an ivory as the rest of the vamp's body, being thrust invitingly up at him. He honestly wasn't sure when he'd ever seen a more beautiful body, male or female, and here it was being offered to him, Xander Harris. Boy Doofus. Victim of the twenty-seventh nervous breakdown of the evening. He just looked for a second. Then he couldn't resist. He put his hands on each of those white cheeks and squeezed. Spike moaned, and muttered, "That stuff does evaporate if you don't use it, you know."

What, in a few seconds? Pushy, pushy. Xander leaned down and planted a loud kiss on the left half-globe. "Wanker!" Spike growled, but he really didn't sound too unhappy about it. Hoping enthusiasm would make up for having no fucking idea what he was doing, Xander fiddled around in the sheets until he found the lube, and squeezed some onto his finger. Parting the twin mounds carefully, he slowly drew his finger down the hidden crease of Spike's behind, ending at the puckered opening. Right, then, got the concept down...




Spike was about to fall off the cliff. Want him. Want him in me. Close as you can get. Closer. God, I know he means well, and I can't say it doesn't all feel good, but if you have any love at all for the poor fucked-up demonic creatures roaming your Earth, will you tell him to Get A Bloody Move On!!!! He sighed with relief as Xander's finger finally slid slowly past the outer ring of sphincter muscle and entered him completely. About damn time. He pushed up against the finger, willing his... better be 'lover,' by now, eh? -- lover to find the right spot...and there it was, as a gentle probing hit the edge of his prostate and sent long-anticipated Dear God or reasonable facsimile, how long has it been? quivers of pleasure through him. Movement, slow, in and out, quirking sideways...and it was driving him absolutely bonkers...and time fucking slowly...

"Good...wonderful...oh, dear God, get on with it..." he whispered. It was apparently Xander's turn to laugh at him, now, as he slowly slid the finger back out. "Yeah, that was it, ten out of ten. Don't go for the whole floor show, just for the sake of all that's unholy, do it already."

"You're sure... I won't..."

Hell spare me from beautiful brown-eyed boys who're concerned for my welfare! "You won't hurt me, Xander. Just do it."

The warm body bent close to him, and the half-cruel, half-loving tenor voice whispered in his ear: "Do what, Spike?"

Grrrr...thankful his face was pressed into the pillow where the human couldn't see his brow reshape itself, eyes turn bright gold, sharp teeth extend, he fought his game face down. Not going to scare the boy not going to scare the boy not going to scare the boy.... With great sincerity, but less than infinite patience... one might even say desperation And he thinks I'm impossible? he answered: "Oh, little bastard. Fuck me, Xander."

"Oh, that." And oh, too unbelievably slowly, the warm, hard presence made its way past his now slippery opening and slid deeper, until at last it struck home. Then slow again, pulling back.... He growled again, this one more vampire than human, and apparently the message got through.




There wasn't anything to prepare him for this in his frenzied falterings with Faith, Miss Steer-You-Round-The-Curves-1999, or even in Anya's endless invention in search of some physical way to make him fall in love with her. Spike beneath him was like an extension of his own existence, pushing back against him. Spike around him was the closest touch he had ever experienced, and Spike murmuring his name in low, rough gasps was suddenly the only way he ever wanted to hear it again. The last of his strange fears, that he would somehow hurt the man he was touching, holding, dissolved. When the growl that was more supernatural than human escaped from Spike, Xander began to move in him. Move with him.

Forward towards the center of all things, back towards the past that was still there, waiting, through the present that would somehow be different, now. And the heat built up in him, and the sound and the movement and the thought that it was Spike and this was okay, better than okay, more right than anything, ever, ever, the skin beneath his own, the skin that contained him, they were all the same thing, and it was going to break, because nothing, nothing could be this good and last. Funny, strange like all his days were strange, and...when it did break...there was cold and roaring in his head, and he was pretty sure he was dead, except that then he wouldn't be able to feel Spike under him, grabbing the mattress and freezing in a sudden silent arch of his back that seemed to last longer than this entire crazy long two days had lasted.

And then he fell, back from wherever he was, into this creaky sofa bed with a smartass undead guy making very satisfied little stretchy yawny, catlike sounds that echoed through the connection of their skin, right into his pretty much empty skull. And it was a good place to be. Which was the first time he'd ever thought that about this basement, so, major plus there, and he thought maybe he should roll off and let the undead guy breathe, but then, he didn't need to, did he. Still, Spike's face was probably nicer scenery than the grey basement wall he was staring at right now.




Even as Xander's weight rolled off him, Spike's body protested the separation of their skins, as if some part of his own had been shorn from him. And what in the name of all that crawls the Earth in search of a pint of blood and a pack of cigs was that?!!! his returning mind screamed.

Oh, hell, I know what that was. You know what that was, and we all live in the yellow submarine that is Spike's head, so don't pretend you don't he answered himself. Xander lay next to him, breathing in shallow gasps. Well, at least that was one thing he had over the rotten, horrible, unbelievably exasperating young man who had just fucked the unliving daylights out of William the Bloody and lived to tell about it.

"Always like that?" Xander asked diffidently.

Spike convulsed with laughter. Honestly! Honestly! "Had worse..." he finally managed to choke out.

Xander turned and glared at him, then the glare was replaced by the most terrible look... this cat-that-ate-the-whole-bloody canary and got away with it look, that said in one upward quirk of that wide smile, one lift of a black eyebrow, the crinkling around those damn human eyes that, yes, were reading him, him, Spike... honestly! Nobody was ever allowed to wear that look but him! It was patented!




Hey, whaddya know-- I can do the eyebrow thing!




Later, and Spike could honestly have given a shit about sleeping in the wet spot, but no, human-boy had to put the ruddy April fresh sheets on. And now he was watching Xander sleep, head buried in the pillow, bum in the air like any two-year-old in a cot, and Spike of course wasn't the least bit sleepy. This was his time to be out kicking arse and not bothering to take names. So where was he? Sitting up against the threadbare sofa-back, bare feet playing idly with the April fresh sheets that Xander had almost immediately kicked to the side of the bed. Sitting in the dark watching Xander Harris sleep.

Something was poking him in the back, and since he was watching Xander Harris sleep, it couldn't possibly be anything good. Spike reached behind him and dug into the darkness between the mattress and the upholstery, finally coming up with a clear plastic bubble. Oh, yeah. That.

I am indeed still evil. I am the evilest of them all. The Biggest Bad there ever was, if ever a Bad there was.

Spike popped it open, pulled out the bent cardboard, smoothed the picture out, pulled the plastic cover off, and plopped the temporary tattoo face down on Xander's backside. He squinted in the almost pitch darkness, shifted to demon face so that his already keen vampiric sight became pure night vision, and read the tiny fine print--"Moisten with water and hold for thirty seconds, then remove paper backing."

Well, I'm not getting up for water. He slithered over to Xander's side of the bed, and, lowering his ridged, fanged face, began to lick the paper...and a good bit of surrounding Xander-arse, tasting clean spice and salt, even stronger than before with his vampiric senses fully in gear.

"Hmmm? Wha... Spike? Whacha doin'..." Xander muttered, not really awake.

"Just returning a favor, pet," Spike whispered throatily, grinning from ear to ear, which would have been a truly frightening picture if anyone could see him.

"Mmm, okay....s'nice..." his Scooby-boy answered, drifting off again.

Softly, Spike peeled the paper back and admired his handiwork. A red-shirted Disney-version Winnie-the-Pooh cavorted with a honey-pot on Xander's left arse-cheek. Yup. I'm definitely still evil. And I'm not Yawn.




Somewhen in the wee hours of the morning, Xander drifted up from fuzzy dreams of racing Willow to the top of the big dune at Cooper's beach, to find himself pressed up against someone's back, arm thrown possessively across a flat, bare chest, head resting against cool shoulders. Oh...oh-- Spike. Spike in my bed. And...oh, yeah. That. And that. And now I'm snuggling with a vampire. I should let go. Really.

But he didn't want to, not at all. Possibly not ever, but he supposed he'd have to get up sometime, if only to pee. He'd burn that bridge when he got to it.

What have I done? Huh? What have I done?




Spike felt Xander shift against his back, curling up even tighter to him, if that was possible, and he silently put a hand on top of the fingers that had sneaked their way under his arm and across his chest, trapping them there. As he felt the human boy tumble back into sleep, he settled back himself, against the body that seemed to be wrapped around and through his own.

What have you done, Xander Harris?

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