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Genre: Slash
Warnings: D/s
Disclaimer: The BtVS characters all belong to Joss. No profit being made from this.
Pairing: S/X
Rating: Adult
Spoiler warnings: None
Summary: Spike and Xander go to a club and Xander... looks around.
AN: Now beta'ed by the wonderful Maggie, who improved the flow, saved us all from too-many-commas disease and did her best to educate me in the proper use of the semicolon. Thank you Maggie.
Feedback: Yes please!
Permission to archive: Yes, but please tell me where



Observations


by
Maz



1: Looking Around

Just walking into the room made him hard. It was not the clothes. Xander had worn these and similar clothes long enough not to be concerned by the exposure. He remembered the time Spike had sent him to the store for some smokes, dressed only in a pair of very cut-off jeans. He had been grateful for the late summer sun on his back as he padded down the pavement, the concrete warm under his bare feet, feeling like a child sent on an errand, clutching the money in his hand; not daring to put it in his pocket because the top button was missing. He had been afraid to put any extra pressure on the precarious hold of the zip and Spike had said he wasn't to touch it – not to open it and not to close it.

The woman behind the counter had laughed as he gave her the money. "Someone's desperate," she'd said. "Here honey, go, get back to her. If you both need a smoke that bad, you shouldn't leave her alone too long."

Xander had smiled politely, although he was puzzled why she thought there was a 'her' for him to get back to.

No, it wasn't the clothes. Although the black leather jeans were tight across his bound cock and the seam at the back pressed against the flange of the butt plug, although the sleeveless mesh shirt ended in a ragged 'hem' an inch or so above his belly button, and although the leather vest was so skimpy to be hardly there, it wasn't the clothes. It was the new addition to his wardrobe, to his neck, that did it.

Walking down the street with Spike, hands entwined and swinging loosely between them, he had been hidden somewhat by the dark. The room was not brightly-lit, or crowded, but suddenly he felt on display, vulnerable.

Then Spike was pulling him across the room, weaving between the small knots of people; the lover's swinging, care-free hand had suddenly become a leash to drag him, direct him. He kept his eyes down, careful of his bare feet in a strange room full of boots and high, spiked heels.

At the bar Spike drew him close clasping Xander's arms around his own waist and holding them there.

"A beer and a JD," he said. He glanced sideways at Xander, smirk firmly in place before turning back to the bartender. "And a pink lagoon, with an umbrella, and a large fresh orange juice."

Xander's scowl turned into a shiver and Spike smirked again.

When the drinks arrived Spike downed the JD in one before picking up the beer.

"Come on," he said. "Let's go find a corner."

Xander looked at the tall, pink drink with the umbrella, and sighed. "Yes, Spike."

And a corner was exactly what Spike found. But it was a comfortable corner, with a soft sofa and a low table for the drinks; dark and private, it gave Xander a feeling of intimacy and security. Nothing could approach them unexpectedly. From his position, Spike would be aware of any threat or interruption long before it came close enough to worry Xander.

"On the floor, Pet," he said, as Xander bent down to put his own drinks on the table.

Xander felt the leather of his jeans stretch as he sank to his knees by Spike's feet. The seam pressed against the plug and he was momentarily glad that it was neither the longest nor the thickest he had ever worn; although he had a feeling he would be wearing it for a while. Once down he was able to bracket the base of the plug between his insteps. His zip pressed against his cock and he groaned gently, with a mixture of pleasure and frustration, as he settled. The leather stretched across his knee caps and around his thighs and calves, tight and binding, but he knew from experience that wriggling would not relax the leather and would only torment his cock and prostate more. Spike was smiling.

Xander took a sip of his pink drink to distract himself and choked slightly on the unexpected alcohol content.

Spike reached out and rested his hand on Xander's head: slow caress, cupping his skull and stroking his hair down to the nape of his neck, repeating the gesture in long, soothing touches. Xander relaxed and Spike pulled his head down, petting gently. Xander rested his cheek on Spike's knee and blinked out towards the rest of the room.

"Tell me what you see, Pet."

Xander opened his eyes properly and for the first time took in more than the immediate space around his feet and knees.

"Tell me what you see."

Xander's attention was first caught by the spot-lit figure above the crowd. "Wow!" he said. "Look at that guy. He's cuffed to that pole. He hardly looks legal. D'you think that's why he's high up? Why they hung his pole from the ceiling? So people can look but not touch?"

The boy was standing on a disc of metal, moving against the pole to which it was attached, his bound cock pressed up to the smooth surface as if to a lover. His wrists were attached by a length of chain to an eye at the top of the pole and his bare feet were connected by another length of chain, long enough to allow him to lift his leg up almost to hip level, but too short to slip around the base and free him.

"Me'be. Or maybe he's private property," Spike replied. " Maybe his Master's lent him to the club, as a favour. Or to pay off a debt."

"To pay off a debt?" Xander had a sudden image of himself up there, if any of Spike's multitude of schemes ever went awry.

"Tell me what you see, Pet. I wanna to see it through your eyes."

Xander looked around at the other dancers on the scattered stages, with their poles or in their cages. These guys were not out of reach of the hands of the people sitting around them.

"Tell me how it makes you feel, t'watch 'em."

This was a favourite game of Spike's - to make Xander tell what he felt. It left him open; his very soul exposed to Spike's eyes. It was part of the deal, he had no secrets any more. Everything belonged to Spike.

"They're so exposed," he said. "They can't hide. They're just there to be looked at."

"And touched." Spike's hand came up to rest on the new collar. His finger gently traced its edge, pausing a moment at the D ring set into the plaited brown leather, then on to the clasp with its decorative padlock, which actually locked nothing, since who would take the collar off but Spike?

"It makes me feel... a little bit scared. A little bit turned on," Xander continued his description.

"Why scared, Pet?"

"In case you ever put me up there."

"Would you like that?"

"I don't think so. I wouldn't want anybody else's hands near me. I don't think I would even want them looking. Especially if you weren't there."

"Come 'ere, Pet." Spike threw a cushion between his feet. "Come sit with me."

Xander paused as he considered the implications of sitting on his butt. But he shuffled around Spike's foot and gently sat back, resting his weight on his elbows and forearms braced on Spike's thighs. Then he was down and, although the plug pushed in deeper, the release of the tension around his thighs and across his knees as he stretched his legs slightly was a relief. He leaned back and rested his head in Spike's lap, gazing up at him.

"Tell me what you see, Pet."

Xander grinned. "You. My beautiful Spike. Only you." He rubbed his head back and forth across Spike's lap.

A snort from above and a hand pushed his head up, straightening him so he was again facing forward, head still resting on Spike's crotch. He looked across the room and gazed at the other patrons. Sitting in their dark corner, Xander had a clear view of the club. On the far right was the dance floor where men and women, in every combination, moved in a mass of black and red and flesh.

But Xander's eyes were drawn to the left and more soft seating. A woman dressed in black leather, with high, spiked heels on her thigh-length boots, casually swung a chain attached to the collar around the neck of the man kneeling at her feet. He was clean cut and virtually naked, with the beginnings of a mid-thirties spread at his waist.

Spike's voice came from above him. "Tell me what you see, Pet."

"That guy," said Xander. "If you only look at his face, he could be an accountant, or a banker."

"Or a building site supervisor?"

Xander turned his head in Spike's lap, laughing up at him. "Okay. But no! We go for a more rugged look. Need to keep a balance between being one of the boys, and getting their respect, so they do as they're told. Its just a matter of..."

"Hush, Pet," said Spike, before Xander could get distracted further. He didn't want Xander getting caught up in Work Thoughts. He had been too stressed lately. Getting away from that was what this was all about. Spike leant forward, running his hands over Xander's neck, over the collar and down his chest. Well, partly what this was all about. Mouth close to Xander's ear he murmured again, "Tell me what you see, Pet."

"Is that a whip hanging at her waist?"

"Yes, it is. An' that's a crop in her boot." He smiled as Xander did a whole body shiver, which then caused him to groan as the plug moved again. His head fell back harder into Spike's crotch and he rolled it from side to side, caressing Spike's cock.

"Why does he do it?" Xander asked. "I mean. They look like a couple out of a cheap porn movie, or those magazines which I deny I've ever seen. It doesn't look real."

"'S a human thing," Spike said. "They like to put on the uniform. Means they know the part they're playing. Makes 'em feel secure. They don't have to do anything outside the role, an' the role's already made, complete with script. So, they don't 'ave to work it out fer themselves."

"A human thing? Very much still a human here, Spike." And Spike suppressed a surge of glee at Xander's unconscious use of the word 'still'. "But you're saying it's different for demons?"

"Different. More natural. Part of what we are. Not an act we play at." He sneered. "Some sort of 'time-out' from so called 'normal' life."

Once again Xander rubbed his head against Spike's cock. He ran his hands up and down Spike's calves and over his knees from below, gripping his thighs in the crook of his arms, hugging Spike's legs in towards his neck for a moment, as if seeking comfort, or a place to hide. His voice was small as he asked, "But what about me Spike? I go to work. I do a 'normal' job…" he trailed off, uncertain.

Spike spared a second to kick himself, before hurrying to reassure his human. Leaning forward he put both arms around Xander's neck, pulling him up, and in, towards him. "No, Pet!" he whispered into Xander's ear, as his tongue traced the skin just behind it. "You are nothin' like him! Because, I am nothin' like her!" He nuzzled into Xander's neck and Xander tilted his head to the side in automatic invitation. He hadn't bitten Xander in all their games, but it looked like the boy was nearly there. For now he contented himself with a soft kiss and a light lick. "Look at her, Luv. Tell me what you see."

Xander took a deep breath, calming himself from both the attack of insecurity, and the burst of arousal that had accompanied Spike's reassurance. "Er. Lots of leather. High-heeled, thigh-high, shiny boots." He grinned. "She probably makes him lick them clean."

Spike's chuckle tickled his ear "She probably does, Luv. Go on."

"Um. Hey! She's not that young, is she? She's slim, and built, so I thought she was younger than him. But she's not."

"That's the corset, Pet. See the laces at the front, pushing up her breasts? Makes 'em look bigger."

"Yeah... D'you think it's uncomfortable?"

"I imagine it is, Pet. But she's playin' a part and that's the price."

"Hmm. You don't though. You're just you. Can't imagine you are getting all dressed up in Dom gear, unless it was to go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show." He grinned, feeling slightly reassured.

Spike laughed. "Keep lookin', Pet," a trace of command in the soft, warm voice.

"Okay. I think her hair's dyed. I think she's about... 55?" His voice rose on the question.

"More like 45. But worn 'round the edges. Well-worn. An' still ten years older than him."

"Well you're a hundred years older than me, so I don't think that counts for much."

"Humans, Pet! 'Course it counts, for them. Humans! You put so much importance on age 'cause you have so little of it! Ten years gives her authority. Allows him t'be a little boy, with her as his strict Nanny, who punishes him when he's bad, makes him do as he's told, but keeps him safe, and always knows what's best for him. I bet she's got 'nother dress-up: all grey skirts, sensible shoes an' starched white collars.

"It's a game, Pet. T'them, it's a game they play sometimes, to make 'em both feel naughty. T'let their twisted guilty secrets out for a few hours." He reached forward and took a sip of his beer. Glancing down he briefly kissed Xander on the lips and smiled into his open face.

Xander smiled back. Then, very deliberately, holding Spike's gaze, he rolled his head from side to side again. Spike took an un-needed breath and Xander's smile became a smirk. Spike kissed him again, more deeply this time and ran one hand down between Xander's legs, cupping his swollen cock and balls. Breaking it off he sat back, ignoring Xander's groan of disappointment.

"'Nough of them! " said Spike, taking Xander's head in his hands and redirecting his gaze across the room to another couch, set back against the left wall. "Tell me about those two," he instructed.

"Two old guys," Xander stated, flatly.

Spike snorted. "O-kay, they're both over 70," he agreed.

"Two old guys!" Then Xander looked. "They look relaxed." He paused again, taking in the view.

The man sitting in the leather couch was dignified. That was the only word Xander could come up with to describe his air of calm authority. He wore a cream-coloured linen suit, complete with buttoned-up vest and a watch chain strung across his middle. His almost white hair was tidy and he sat back, relaxed, with a tumbler of pale golden liquor in the hand resting on the arm of the couch. His other hand was idly stroking up and down his companion's arm. He lay on his side with his head in the seated man’s lap, knees curled up and sock-clad feet against the back of the couch. He was dressed simply, in jeans and a white T-shirt. His arms, below the short sleeves, were thin and the skin was loose, as if they had lost a once muscular build; lost it through age, not illness. His head was shaved and he had a gold ring in the ear they could see. His hands lay lax on the seat in front of him and they could see his lips move as the two conducted their quiet, private conversation.

"He looks like he used to be tough," said Xander. "Or, like he worked at something physical. The other..." Xander paused.

"Yes, Pet? His Master."

Xander glanced up in surprise. "His Master?" he asked, feeling how the word tasted as he said it. "Yes. You're right! His Master! He looks like he never really had to work. Like old money maybe? He looks a bit like a Watcher."

"Gentleman, y'mean. Not a Watcher! Those pricks were never gentlemen!"

Xander smiled up at Spike. "Okay. Not a Watcher." He paused again, studying the couple. "They look comfortable. Like they've been together a long time."

The reclining figure shifted onto his back so he could look up at his Master and said something. His Master's face broke into an open smile and the illusion of cold dignity was shattered as he gazed down and answered, his hand now running over his companion‘s stomach and chest.

"He loves him," Xander said, his voice full of wonder. "He really loves him."

"And 'is Pet loves him back," added Spike.

"Yes! They really do look relaxed together, are you sure they're Master and Pet? They look like equals, somehow."

Spike paused, thinking through his next words. This was the moment; Xander would 'get it', or not. If he didn't, they would go home and Spike would find another way to teach Xander this particular lesson. But he really hoped he would, because once he did they could move on to the next stage of their relationship. They had been trapped on this particular threshold too long already.

"'Course they're equal, Pet," he said. "Jus' not the way you mean. See the collar?"

Xander looked at the Pet's neck and saw the thick silver choker which he had not consciously noticed before. More importantly, he saw the gold padlock that kept it closed. "Oh!" he gasped, his hand reaching automatically to his own throat. "I like the silver," he said. "But the padlock, being gold, is kind of obvious."

"Sort of the point, I would think," Spike smirked.

Just then the Master leant forward. His Pet lifted his arm up around his master's neck, to help pull him down, while lifting his own head to meet his master halfway. It was a deep, possessive kiss and the Pet's body somehow relaxed into it, while he still held himself off his Master's lap, braced on his other arm. When the kiss broke he lowered himself again, stretching his entire body in a luxurious and surprisingly supple arch, while his Master sat back, running one hand over his Pet's face and head and the other down his body, to cup his crotch and squeeze.

The Pet laughed and said something, to which his Master nodded, smiling. Still grinning, the Pet rolled himself off the couch and onto the floor, kneeling at his Master's feet. He laid his head briefly on his Master's knee, before getting up and helping him to rise. Shoving his feet into his shoes he took his Master's arm and they walked slowly towards the door.

"They're happy," said Xander, watching the retreating backs. He looked back at the woman and her slave, noticing the self-conscious stiffness of both bodies. "Were they human?" he asked.

Spike cocked an eyebrow. "You ever see a vampire who got turned in 'is 70s?" he asked. "Vampires go for the young and pretty. Y'know that."

Xander looked at him quizzically. "Most vampires, yes," he said.

Spike shook his head, smiling indulgently. "What if I said 'they were definitely human'?" he asked.

"It would kind of undermine your earlier lecture on human game-playing," Xander replied.

"Would it?"

"Well, yes! Those two weren't playing. They were living. Those weren't roles, put on and taken off again. That was permanent, and always, and all the time. And that's the point isn't it? That's what you brought me here to see? It's not a game. It's real. And because it's real..." he petered off, thinking hard.

Spike waited, stroking Xander's hair gently so as not to distract him from his thoughts; just offering comfort as his Pet thought it all through.

"And that's what I saw. I said 'equality'. But it wasn't. But it was, at the same time. He's a Pet, because it's what they both want. He knelt at his Master's feet and gave his Master full access. It was a gift." His voice had taken on that wondering tone again. "A Gift," he repeated. "And his Master..."

"Received the gift, and gave a gift in return." Spike finished his thought for him.

Xander turned onto his knees and leant forward, slipping his arms around Spike's waist, his face buried in Spike's stomach. He held him fiercely, squeezing his arms tight around that slim body and nuzzled his face in Spike's shirt. Then he sat back on his heels looking up into Spike's face, grinning widely, his body and mind totally at ease. "I love you, my Master, my Spike."

"Yes, Pet. I know. An' I love you too. C'mon, drink up. Let's go home."





Part 2



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