Ignorance is Bliss


Part Five

Xander was woken by the aroma of coffee and eggs. He opened his eyes, smiling when he saw Willow standing next to the bed frowning down at them.

“Morning Wills, what’s up?” he asked, rubbing his eyes.

The frown immediately turned into a smile.

“I thought you’d appreciate some breakfast.”

“Sure. Gimme five minutes and I’ll join you,” Xander mumbled snuggling closer to Spike.

Willow went back to the kitchen, trying hard not to worry about what she had seen. Xander had seemed so happy, sleeping wrapped around Spike. What if this deception caused more harm than they’d thought? Xander had been a wreck after Spike had left. He’d taken the better part of a year to get back to something resembling normal. What if he couldn’t deal with this a second time?

“Don’t look so glum Wills, it might never happen,” Xander said cheerfully as he came into the kitchen and Willow couldn’t help but smile. He looked so happy.

“How are you doing sweetie?” she asked, as she placed a plate full of bacon and eggs in front of him.

“Okay I guess. Had the weirdest dream last night but Spike shook me out of it,” Xander replied between mouthfuls. “Better for you being here,” he smiled. “Makes reality a little bit more real. Now sit down and tell me what I missed. Did I watch the second Star Wars prequel? Please tell me Jar Jar died a horrible and gruesome death!”

Willow laughed and chatted about inconsequential things, he and Buffy’s jobs, Dawn’s relationship with her father, carefully avoiding anything about Xander’s personal life under the pretext that the doctor wouldn’t approve.

Half way through the conversation Spike wandered in, grabbed some coffee and wandered out again.

Xander rolled his eyes at the glare Spike sent his way, commenting that at least some things didn’t change. They kept on chatting until the doorbell rang.

“Must be Buffy,” Willow said, “She was going to try and get the day off work to come visit.”

Xander walked out of the kitchen expecting to see Buffy talking to Spike and was faced with his worst nightmare come to life. Spike was being held in Angel’s arms, fangs buried in his sire’s neck.

He lifted his hand to touch the place where his consort’s scar was conspicuous in its absence, eyes slamming closed, trying to keep that image away from him, barely aware of the floor coming up to meet him. All he could see was Spike, embracing Angel, just like in his dream.

“You bastard, what the hell did you think you were doing?” Someone…Willow?...screamed over his head.

“I thought he was in the kitchen, I didn’t know-”

A small part of Xander noted that Spike sounded upset. Why would he sound upset?

“You didn’t know? You think that’s an excuse? And you! What are you even doing here?”

“Spike is my childe and he needs me.”

“Xander’s the one who’s hurt Angel and the last thing he needs is to see you.”

Xander swam back to awareness, shocked by the hatred in Willow’s voice. Why would Willow hate Angel? She liked the souled idiot.

Xander” Angel said and the loathing in his voice shocked Xander back to himself, “is the one who…”

“Is awake,” Spike interrupted before Angel could finish his sentence.

Xander opened his eyes, focusing on Angel who was glaring at Willow. Spike knelt next to Xander, Angel standing protectively next to him. Willow was on Xander’s other side, glaring right back at Angel.

“What the hell happened?” Xander asked, rubbing his head wearily.

“You walked into the living room and just dropped, luv.”

Xander looked at Willow and Angel, still locked in a glaring war and smiled. Two of the most stubborn people in the world, the war will never end, he thought and started to say something, hopefully funny enough to break the tension. Before he could draw breath to speak he spotted a trickle of blood on Angel’s neck. His hand immediately pressed against the corresponding place on his own neck.


The worry in Spike’s voice finally shook the other two out of their anger and they turned to look at them just in time to see Xander scrabbling back and away from them all.

“Xander, sweetie, what’s wrong?”

Xander ignored Willow’s question, never taking his eyes off Spike. He pressed his nails harder against his neck, frantically trying to find his scar. It was supposed to be there, Spike was supposed to have claimed him.

“Are you leaving me?” he blurted out, waiting for less than a second before babbling on. “For Angel? Cause he’s family right? And family’s more important than random humans and I don’t have a claim mark, so I’m just a random human aren’t I?” His hand pressed harder down on his scar and Xander went on, unmindful of Willow’s shocked face and Angel’s stony one. “You bit him. Because he’s family and you’re leaving me for him aren’t you?”

“Xander, no,” Spike jumped in, reaching forward to touch him but Xander was rapidly growing hysterical and he scrabbled back quickly.

“But you said! You said you’d have me whether Angel said yes or no and you didn’t. So Angel said no and you went with that and now he has it and I don’t and you wouldn’t even touch me last night.” Tears ran down Xander’s face and he dug his nails harder into his neck. “Please don’t leave me, Spike. Please don’t leave.”

Spike watched as Xander disintegrated before him, nails frantically digging into his neck, eyes wet and hopeless.

Spike approached slowly, relieved as Xander allowed him to gently move Xander’s hand from his neck. He licked the area clean of the blood that had welled up under Xander’s hand.

“I will never leave you Xan, not for Angel, not for anybody,” he said firmly.

Xander nodded hesitantly but despite the assent Spike could see that he didn’t really believe him, caught the hand twitching back towards his neck.

Leaning forward, Spike morphed into game face and looked straight into Xander’s eyes before he lowered his head. Ignoring Willow’s horrified ‘no’ and Angel’s command to stop, he sank his fangs into Xander’s neck and drank deeply. He heard Xander’s startled gasp, felt his heartbeat speed up. Xander had told him often enough how good it felt, how easily the initial pain was ignored when he knew that Spike loved him enough to do this. Not a claiming bite by any stretch of the imagination but maybe it would be enough for now, he thought as he lifted his head.

“You’re not leaving me?” Xander asked, the hope lighting up his face breaking Spike’s heart.

“No,” he replied. Not unless you kick me out first, he added to himself.

“I think we had enough drama for the day,” Spike said, helping Xander up and turning him towards the bedroom, “You two piss off. Come back after sunset and we’ll talk.”

“It’s daylight. How am I supposed to leave?”

“The same way you came,” Spike replied, mimicking Angel’s even tone.

“Spike, can I talk to you a minute?”

“You can talk to me tonight,” Spike said, not looking at Willow as he steered Xander through the bedroom door, pushing it closed behind them.

“Back to bed with you then,” he said the moment the door closed.

“I’m not tired,” Xander complained softly, still looking a little shocked.

“I’ll bring the telly in and you can watch a show but you’re getting in that bed Xander,” Spike commanded. “Alone. To rest,” he added, seeing the glint in Xander’s eyes. Ignoring Xander’s disappointed look, Spike settled him in the bed and went to get the television, relieved to find Angel and Willow gone.

The moment Spike left the room, Xander’s brain went into overdrive. Breaking down like that was not something he did. Ever. Okay, the dream had been unsettling but it was just a dream!

“Feeling okay, Xan?”

“Yeah,” he replied, watching Spike set the television up on the dresser, “freaking out a bit about freaking out a lot though.”

Spike stopped what he was doing to look at him.

“It was probably from the accident, luv. You’re overwrought and you’re not giving yourself time to calm down. The doc said you should rest, didn’t he? So rest then. Give your body a chance to get back to normal.”

Xander nodded, smiling at Spike in an attempt to chase the worry out of his eyes. He hated making others worry and now he had Spike and Willow all shook up. “Put something on, I promise to sit here like a good little invalid and relax.” He absently rubbed the wound on his neck as he talked. At least this felt right. Whatever it was he had forgotten, this he could count on.

Part Six

Spike glared at Willow and Angel, acutely aware of Xander sleeping in the next room. The two of them had shown up the moment the sun had set and proceeded to glare and snipe at each other until Spike told them to shut up. Now he didn’t know what to do. He’d expected such behaviour from Angel but not from Willow.

“I don’t know what the fuck your problem is, either of you, but if you wake up Xander it will be the least of your concerns. Now you may speak, one at a sodding time and without raising your voices. Is that clear?”

Angel’s face tightened, eyes narrowing in a familiar gesture of frustration and Willow pouted, actually pouted at him but Spike stood firm.

“I will not have my Xan upset.”

“But he’s not yours anymore, is he Spike?” Angel pointed out.

Spike felt the words slam into him like a punch to the gut, even taking a step back as if to avoid the pain. Angel’s eyes immediately filled with guilt and he stood up, stepping close enough to Spike to reach out and touch his shoulder.

“I’m sorry Spike but it had to be said. It’s only been two days and you’ve already forgotten.”

“No, you’re right. Of course…you’re right.”

Xander would remember and then this would all be over, Spike had nearly forgotten that.

“Well, I think he’s wrong. Xander has never stopped being yours.”

Willow had spoken quietly but her voice sounded loud as a gunshot.


Spike turned to look at her, shocked by the certainty behind her words as much as the words themselves.

“What are you talking about, Xander kicked him out! He told him never to come back again!” Angel protested, going to stand next to Spike.

“Look, I don’t know what happened that day. Xander never talked about it no matter how much Buffy and I tried to get him to. I do know that it’s been a year since you left and he still couldn’t deal with it. Why do you think he drank so much he smashed his car? Why do you think Buffy’s so angry with you? You left and he fell apart.”


Xander was having the most wonderful dream. He was wrapped around Spike, kissing him softly at first, then more and more passionately, alternating between exploring Spike’s mouth with his tongue and retreating so that Spike would reach out and taste him. Their clothes magically disappeared and then there was all that skin to play with, to taste. Xander shifted a little in his sleep, smiling and tilting his neck as dream Spike bit down on his neck once more. He felt Spike push inside him just as his teeth sank into his skin and shuddered in pleasure, pushing up towards his lover. He was this close to coming when Spike was suddenly gone, appearing on the doorway, holding a suitcase.

“Sorry, Xan. My sire needs me,” he said simply. Xander begged him to stay but Spike shook his head and disappeared, leaving Xander lying on the bed, blood pouring down his neck, feeling like his heart was breaking.

Xander woke up, heart beating a mile a minute. He had to find Spike. He got off the bed, waited a moment for his head to stop swimming and made his way to the door.


“She doesn’t know what she’s talking about, Spike.”

Angel. Xander slammed open the door and marched out, coming to stand between Spike and Angel.

“Fuck off. He’s mine.”

“Xander…” Spike started to speak, but Xander would have none of it.

“No. He can’t have you.”

Willow reached out to touch him and Xander let her but he never took his eyes off Angel. “Xander, honey, Spike isn’t going anywhere.”

“She’s right, luv. I’m staying right here.”

Xander kept glaring at Angel, willing him to try and dispute the other two.

“This is ridiculous,” Angel said, “I’m leaving. You know where to find me, Spike.”

Xander didn’t relax until Angel was out of the room. Only then did he allow himself to slump against Spike.

“I hate that guy.”

Spike’s arms were holding him up and Willow was hugging him and this was reality. Maybe the dreams were just that…dreams. Spike wouldn’t leave him. He allowed Spike and Willow to lead him back to bed, sinking into a blessedly dreamless sleep.


Buffy just about bounced home, bopping to the rhythm of the song she was humming beneath her breath. The day had gone exceedingly well, as Giles would say. The new physics teacher was nothing short of hunky and he'd been flirting with her all day; the kids they'd sent her to counsel were successfully dealt with and the principal had assured her he would give her time off to study for her exams. Having a boss who knew all about the super side of the natural sure helped her career.

She stepped into the kitchen, doing a little twirl at the end of the song and coming to stand in front of the fridge. Grinning at her silliness, she went about preparing a nourishing, yet tasty bowl of coco pops.

"Hi Wills, I got another witch for you to mentor," she said as Willow walked in and sat down at the table. "I caught her trying to hand in a blank paper as her assignment."

She plopped down on her seat, smiling at a dejected-looking Willow.

"Hey, what's wrong?"

Willow shrugged but Buffy knew her well enough by now to know when she was being sulky and when it was important. Xander may know her the best but Buffy was pretty good at the Willow-knowadge herself.

"Spill Will, you know I won't stop til I get what I want." As she spoke, Buffy viciously attacked her cereal, crushing half of it into the milk. Once she was satisfied with the general appearance and texture she looked up, towards Willow. "Well?"

"It's Xander and Spike," Willow started but was swiftly interrupted as Buffy tensed in anger, fingers tightening around the spoon until it was bent in half.

"What did he do to Xander?" she snarled, eyes spitting fire at the mere thought that Spike could hurt Xander, hurt them again.

"Nothing! That's just it! Angel showed up and Xander freaked. Buffy I've never seen him like this before, he totally freaked, crying and begging Spike not to leave," Buffy started to get up, intent on kicking the shit out of Spike, "No, sit down."

It wasn't so much the words that stopped her as Willow's hand, tight around her wrist and pulling her back down.

"Okay, okay I promise to chill," she said when Willow simply stared at her silently. "Go on."

"Spike made it better. He calmed Xander down and kicked Angel and me out of the apartment. Then when we went back…Buffy you should have seen him, Angel said Xander wasn't his anymore and Spike looked like he was ready to walk out into the sun. Well, the sun had set by then but you know what I mean, Buff he was devastated."

"If he was so devastated why did he leave?"

"I don't know." Willow shrugged, a gesture as full of helplessness as any Buffy had seen her perform. "But it's Xander, and freak out aside, he hasn't smiled like that in a year. Spike loves him, I know he does."

"Then why did he leave?" Buffy repeated but all Willow did was shrug again.

"I'm going out to patrol," Buffy declared and stalked out of the house, good mood evaporating.

She only went two blocks in the direction of the cemetery before she took a left and moved towards Xander’s apartment.


“Spike, for the last time I don’t need anything, just come here and sit down next to me!” Xander was clearly frustrated. Spike had not come anywhere near him since Willow had left. He’d woken up to find the blond hovering around though, and asking if Xander needed anything, fluffing his pillows, getting him magazines and books and anything he could think of. Xander just wanted Spike to touch him and he couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t just sit next to him.

He watched Spike hesitate before moving towards the couch and bit back the words wanting to spill out. He was not about to ask Spike if he’d left him. That was stupid and would only upset his boyfriend. The look of relief on Spike’s face when the doorbell rang was unmistakable and Xander couldn’t help but narrow his eyes in response, despite Spike’s apologetic smile as he went to open the door.

“Spike. Want to patrol?”

Part Seven

Xander sat up and looked over the back of the couch at the door.

“Hey Buff, no kind words for the invalid? Just business? You wound me,” he joked, smiling at his friend.

“Xander, you’re out in the living room,” Buffy’s scowl turned into a grin and she immediately bounced over to hug him. See? It wasn’t so hard to touch him, Buffy did it, why couldn’t Spike?

“The way Willow was talking I thought you’d be collapsed in your bed. You kinda scared her.”

Xander blushed and bent to touch his forehead on Buffy’s shoulder. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” he mumbled, “I’m sorry.”

“Hey, sweetie, it’s okay, don’t worry about it. You were in a big accident, your nerves are kinda shot,” she said softly, petting his hair. “You should rest; give yourself some time to heal.”

“Yes mom.”

Buffy laughed and mock punched his arm. The smile faded when she caught sight of Spike and Xander saw the effort it took to build it back up. Something was obviously wrong between his friend and his boyfriend.

“You two should go.”

“Xander, you’re hurt, I can’t leave you alone,” Spike protested.

“Yeah, you can. I promise not to do anything stupid like repaint the apartment,” Xander joked. “Seriously, I’ll just be a couch potato and watch Charmed reruns. I can’t remember them so it’ll be like I never watched them before.”

Both blonds looked at him doubtfully.

“I solemnly swear I’ll be good. Please, Spike, you need to get out.”

Xander shooed and assured until they were both out of the apartment, on their way to kick some demon ass. Hopefully by the time he came back Spike would be relaxed enough to touch him.


Spike stayed silent, wary of Buffy’s strange mood. When he’d first opened the door she looked ready to stake him, now she was quiet, patrolling the cemetery with him as if they’d last done it yesterday.

“You have to tell him,” Buffy suddenly burst out. Spike sighed and shook his head. He’d been expecting this since the moment the doc had said not to tell Xander of his past.

“The doc said not to, Slayer. You’ll just have to put up with me a while longer.”

Buffy rounded on him, hands on her waist as she glared.

“Slayer? We’re back to Slayer now? Nice to know where you stand, vampire.”

Spike was getting angry himself now. How dare she treat him like that when she was the one who’d been hostile.

“What do you expect, you made your feelings clear when you saw me back here,” he snapped, returning her glare.

“Spike, you left him. For whatever reason, you were the one who left and we had to build him all back up again. So, yeah, I’m trying to protect my friend from getting broken again.”


“I’m not done yet,” she interrupted. Spike took an involuntary step back, away from the sheer intensity of her gaze. “You left him and you left us too. So I’m angry with you for so many reasons. You can’t just,” she gestured with her left hand, “waltz back to Sunnydale and expect me to just accept that you won’t hurt him or us.”

She looked at him and Spike felt as if she was trying to read his soul. He caught a movement behind her, just off to the right. “I’m willing to give you a break,” she said and Spike lashed out, fist whizzing past Buffy’s head, into the fledge’s face. “but you’re going to have to…hang on,” Buffy slammed her hand up, her knuckles making contact with the second fledge, slamming it back.

“We’re trying to have a conversation here!” she yelled, glaring at the vampire before slamming a stake through his heart.

“Where was I? Oh yeah, you’re going to have to deal with me being all protecto-girl on Xander,” she finished. “Sorry, but there it is.”


Xander was happily ensconced in the couch, watching sexily clad women fight the powers of darkness. The outfits were ever changing, not least because Xander kept drifting in and out of sleep and waking up to different episodes. Maybe Spike and the girls were right and he needed all the rest he could get.

At some point he was awakened by a chirping sound and his hand automatically reached for the phone, pressing the ‘call’ button.


“Spike! Thank God you’re okay. Did the little bastard do anything to you?”

Xander’s fuzzy mind valiantly tried to wake up enough to understand what was going on.


“Xander? Where’s Spike? Why are you answering his phone?” Cordelia’s voice was rising steadily, coming close to Dawn-level screeching. “What have you done to him you…”

“Mr Harris, it’s Wesley Wyndham-Pryce.”

“Wesley?” Xander’s brain tried to comprehend the sudden change. “Wha’s goin’ on?”

“We were trying to contact Spike. In fact this is his mobile phone that you’re holding, if I’m correct.”

“Oh…okay…he left it at home. He’s on patrol with Buffy.” Xander sat up a bit, one hand rubbing at his face. “Is something wrong?”

He could hear Cordy yelling in the background, something about Spike and hurting him and killing Xander dead.

“No, no. We just haven’t heard from him as we’ve expected and Cordelia is concerned.”

“He’s okay,” Xander hesitated a moment before continuing, “Are you friends? With Spike I mean.”

There was a brief moment of quiet.

“Y-yes, you could say that Spike is our friend. We care for him deeply.”

“I guess that’s in the year I can’t remember, right?” Xander joked, sounding feeble even to himself. “I’ll tell him you called.”

“Mr Harris, I wish to convey my sincerest sympathy for your plight.”

“Thanks…I think.”

Tell him if he so much as looks at Spike…

“Is that Cordelia? Is she mad at me?”

Yet another moment of silence.

“I would tell you if I could but…”

“I know, I know, the doc said to let me remember by myself.” Xander let his head flop back on the couch. “Look, tell her, whatever it was I did? I’m sorry, okay? I don’t remember but I’m sure I would never want to make her mad at me.”

“Of course, I’ll make sure to tell her.”

Xander nodded. “Thanks Wes. I’ll tell Spike to call you back,” he replied, then with a goodbye he hung up the phone. He stared thoughtfully at the television, trying to figure out what he’d done to make Cordelia so angry.


Spike hovered outside the apartment door, trying to work up the energy to walk in. After her little speech Buffy had finally been able to relax around him. They had slowly recovered some of their old camaraderie, talking and teasing each other like they had before he’d left. They’d finally said goodbye at the cemetery gate, she with a joke about his fighting style, he grumbling about the state of a world that had William the Bloody helping a bleedin’ Slayer.

If this had been the old days, he’d be walking in the flat and Xander would immediately ask him how the slaying had gone, if he wanted pizza or burgers for dinner and was he going to kiss him or what? In fact, with Xander as he now was, the scene would probably play out just like that.

But of course this wasn’t how it was supposed to go now. Spike was supposed to be back in L.A., popping open a couple of beers and waiting for Angel to drop in. He always did on Monday nights.

When he did open the door, he found Xander laying on the couch He was sitting sideways, his profile the only thing visible from Spike’s position. Said profile turned to face Spike with a thoughtful frown. Xander tilted his head, the stance he always took when he was trying to figure out something and Spike stood perfectly still, waiting for all hell to break loose as Xander suddenly remembered everything.

The question, when it came, was wholly unexpected.

“Did I set fire to Cordelia’s shoes?”

“Excuse me?” Spike asked, shocked into incomprehension.

“I must have done something bad because she’s mad at me,” Xander continued, seemingly unfazed by the sheer confusion Spike felt, “I think it must be something really huge.” The frown deepened. “She was really pissed.”

The more Xander talked, the more confused Spike became, a fact which Xander finally seemed to understand.

“Oh, I mean American pissed not English pissed,” he explained earnestly. “She was angry, not drunk.”

Or perhaps not.

Part Eight

Xander waited for Spike to react, maybe even explain why Cordelia was mad at him. Instead, Spike just stood there, looking totally confused.

"Right. You're upset because Cordelia is mad at you."

The words were slow and measured, as if Spike was actively trying to remain calm.

"Yes," Xander replied, similarly slowly. "She called you but you'd left your cellphone at home," he continued more normally. Spike unfroze and Xander shifted so that the blond could sit next to him on the couch.

"Wesley wants you to call him. Said it was violent."

Xander couldn't place exactly what bothered him in saying those words, but he couldn't deny that something did.

"So…how was patrol?" he asked, nearly stumbling over the words in his haste to get them out, to step away from the discontent suddenly flooding through him.

Spike immediately launched into a lively description of a fight with a Ha'q'shac demon that had left Buffy drenched in yellow-green goo, while he had walked away, triumphant and spotless.

As he talked Spike became more and more animated. He moved his arms around, showing the moves he'd made to bring the demon down, laughing out loud as he described Buffy's reaction.

It made Xander want to kiss him.

He hesitated, not sure of his reception. Spike seemed unwilling to resume their physical relationship, citing reason after reason. Xander could understand the hesitation. After all, Spike had almost lost him - it made sense for the vampire to be skittish. But still…shouldn't he have been over it by now? Xander was obviously alive and well and ready to go!

Then Spike turned that blinding smile his way and Xander could no more resist than stop breathing. He twisted around and with a smooth move straddled Spike's lap. He took a moment to grin, proud of his perfect execution of the manoeuvre. Then he kissed his boyfriend.

At first Xander simply closed his eyes and savoured the feel of Spike's lips under his, dry and slightly chapped from the night air. He licked along the seam, found a spot where the skin was broken and paid special attention there, feeling Spike's body tremble a little. He broke contact enough to smile and hum in contentment before he went back, a little bit more forceful now. He ignored the stiffness of Spike's body, determined to overcome his lover's strange reluctance to touch him like that.

"Kiss me back," he whispered against Spike's mouth. He could feel the blond tense even more under him, then suddenly relax and start kissing back. Xander moaned his pleasure as Spike finally allowed him entrance and he tasted his lover again. He pressed his hips down, delighted at the groan that escaped Spike's lips when their erections rubbed together.

Spike's hands remained at his sides, frustrating Xander to no end. Their kisses upped in intensity, getting more and more passionate but Spike still held back from touching him. Xander finally had enough and grabbed the blond's arms, pushing them behind his own body until they were cupping his ass. That seemed to snap Spike out of whatever funk he was in. Hands wandered down inside Xander's boxer shorts to cup and massage his ass, and Spike thrust up to meet him until they were both grinding slowly against each other.

His lover was back to his old self, finally treating him like he was supposed to. Xander moaned as he felt a finger between his cheeks, nearly came apart as he felt it rub against his pucker. He pushed back into it, trying to get what he wanted. Instead of giving more, Spike stopped completely.

Xander leaned back enough to glare down at Spike.

"Don't even think about stopping," he growled, making Spike smile. The smile looked more sad than happy to Xander but before he could pursue that train of thought Spike was kissing him again and he was too caught up in it to think at all.

"Missed you so much, Xan," Spike whispered huskily.

"I've been right here," Xander smiled, leaning down for another kiss.

This time Spike took complete control, his hands cupping Xander's face and keeping him still as the blond ravished his mouth. Xander was helpless to do anything but relax and enjoy being the focus of Spike's attention.

"God, Spike! Want..." he moaned as the blond licked a path down his neck, stopping here and there to nibble a little. "Need you so much, wanna fuck you Spike, wanna come inside you...please, please let me."

Spike pulled off Xander. "Ins…"

Looking back Spike would realise that this was the exact moment when he lost all control. He'd meant to let Xander down easily, determined not to take advantage of the situation, but the images those words brought up and the feelings they evoked stripped him of all resistance.

"Bed. Now."

The words came out at near-growl levels and he stood up, taking Xander with him. The brunet let out a surprised squeal and immediately wrapped his legs around Spike's waist and held on for dear life. Soon he was dumped on his back on the bed, Spike attacking his jeans and dragging them down as fast as possible.

Xander laughed and reached for Spike's own jeans, exuberant at the proof of his lover's desire. He'd been getting worried that Spike was being held back by more than mere fear for Xander's physical condition. His fears were quickly laid to rest as Spike moaned at the first touch to his skin.

Their positions were quickly reversed as Xander took control once more. Pushing Spike back until he was resting against the head of the bed, Xander knelt between Spike's legs and trailed his mouth down the cock before him, pausing to suck and lick his balls. He pushed his legs further apart and upwards, with a light instruction to `hold them up', before continuing his exploration of the vampire's body.

Spike held his legs up, knees touching his shoulders, and groaned harshly as Xander finally tongued his hole. Hearing that, Xander stopped and smiled up at him.

"Like that, do you?" he asked, wriggling his eyebrows.

Spike blinked down at Xander, confused. He'd needed this, wanted this for so long that all he could focus on were the physical sensations of having Xander touch him again. It took him a moment to understand what he was being asked.

"Fuck, yes!"

Xander smiled and returned to his task. Spike could feel a hot wet tongue licking and probing, and then stabbing inside him. When he could no longer think straight, the tongue retreated.

"NO! Don't stop," he demanded, reaching out to bring Xander close to his body again. He arched his hips up trying to show his desire and need. Still, Xander firmly disentangled himself and stepped off the bed.

"Where are you going?" Spike asked, panicked that Xander had suddenly remembered enough to leave him again. But no, the expression in the brunet's face was pure lust.

"Need lube," he explained, "I want to come inside you."

A few seconds later he heard a breath catch and opened his eyes to find Xander standing over him, just looking at him with a part-hungry, part-awed expression in his eyes.

"God, Spike, do you know how hot you look? Spread out for me…just for me," Xander said, the tension in his voice lending credence to the naked longing in his eyes.

Spike closed his eyes against the intensity of that gaze, guilt returning with a vengeance. Xander didn't really want this. He should put a stop to it, find some way to keep either of them from getting hurt. He breathed in, getting ready to say something, anything that would put an end to this charade, and then felt a finger exploring his groin, stealing the breath away. Much like the mouth before, the finger started at the crown of his cock and moved down slowly towards his balls, pausing a little to trace and circle before moving on.

The urge to have this, even if it was a lie, peaked as Xander kissed him, pressing his whole body against Spike's. Just for tonight, he thought, I'll have tonight and tomorrow I'll figure something out,. Xander smiled down at him just as he pushed that teasing finger inside him. Just for tonight.

By the time Xander was done preparing him, Spike was twitching impatiently, pleading, begging him to fuck him, please now. And then he was there, pushing inside him, so hot he thought he might spontaneously combust.

"Missed you," Spike gasped as Xander moved slightly, "missed this." He wrapped his legs around Xander's waist and pulled him down for another kiss, eager to feel this connection to the fullest. Unable to stay still, Spike pushed down, using his legs to pull Xander in deeper.

"Spike...so tight...can't hold out..."

The words were practically moaned against Spike's lips as he refused to let Xander move away.

"'S okay, sweet, just fuck me," he said, groaning as Xander put his words into action and began to move in earnest, cock sliding in and out as hard and fast and deep as he could go. The only sound in the room was the ragged breathing and grunts of the lovers, and the slap of flesh against flesh. Until Spike clenched his muscles around the hard cock inside him and Xander buried his face in the blond's neck, screaming his release. The sound of his lover coming was the catalyst that pushed Spike over the edge a split second before Xander collapsed against him.

A few moments later, Spike shifted them both so that they were more comfortable, curling his arm around Xander's waist to pull him close.

"Love you, Spike," he heard Xander whisper, already drifting off to sleep.

"No...no, you don't," he said once Xander's breath had evened out, petting the brunet's hair in a way that had been nearly second nature before he'd been sent away.


They were dancing. Some slow-tempo number, which let them have their arms around each other, press their bodies together. Xander could hear Buffy and Dawn laughing somewhere nearby as Cordelia and Wesley bickered over something. Willow was dancing a few feet away from him, holding Gunn loosely as non-couples did. He looked into Spike's eyes and smiled, feeling happy and content.

He felt Spike move against him and shivered, his body reacting to the proximity.

"Want to go home?" he whispered, his lips right next to Spike's ear.

Spike hesitated a moment, and before he could answer someone tapped on Xander's shoulder.

"Mind if I cut in?" Cordelia asked him cheerfully.

Xander sighed but stepped back. It would be churlish to refuse and besides, Cordelia had only just accepted Spike and he wanted them to get along. He watched from the sidelines as Spike danced with Cordy, smiling at the happiness in his friend's and his boyfriend's faces.

"He looks much happier than when he was dancing with you," Wesley said.

"Excuse me?"

"It's patently clear, Mr Harris. Spike is much happier with us than he ever has been with you," Wesley pointed out, sounding very reasonable.

"You're wrong," Xander denied. He had the feeling he sounded more like a petulant child than a man confident of his lover's happiness.

"Am I? Look at him, tell me he's not happy."

Xander looked then. He saw the way Spike grinned, a wide happy grin that screamed happiness. Saw the way he twirled Cordelia around, laughingly ignoring her protests at such treatment. Then Wesley wasn't next to him anymore, he was with them, saying something that made Spike tilt his head back and laugh loud and long.

Wesley said something, pointing at Xander and Spike turned to look at him. The smile remained but visibly dimmed as Spike made his way to Xander's side.

"Percy said you wanted us to go home, Xan," he said, glancing back at Cordelia and Wesley.

"No, no it's okay. Go...have fun," Xander managed to say and before he even finished his sentence Spike was gone, back to his friends. He left Xander to stand there and stare after him, arms wrapped around himself.

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