Xander's Kitten Has Kittens
One block over from Main Street, dead at this time of the night, Xander and Spike found themselves sneaking stealthily past the window display of one of the town's two electronic stores. Peering around the dark corner, cartoon style, Xander saw their target.
RJ - walking arm in arm with not one, but two cheerleaders.
Xander sighed. Some guys had all the luck, magically enhanced or not. And, yes, right at this minute it wouldn't matter a damn if Xander had his very own magic lust jacket as he still seemed to be a wolf in lady-sheep's clothing. He sighed again. All this fuss over a guy. Magic was a slippery customer. True, RJ seemed like a nice guy. Popular, good-looking and mostly deserving of the attention he received from the fairer sex, but not God's gift. Not really. Not... really.
A third sigh lifted Xander's chest. He wondered what it was the girls had noticed first about RJ. Was it his hair? Or something a little more... je ne sais quoi. The curve of his cheek, perhaps. Girls liked that sort of thing, didn't they? Or was it the long, muscular length of his leg? The way the denim just clung in all the right places to--
Xander shook his head viciously and tore his gaze away to look at Spike. 'Houston, we have a problem.'
Spike glanced down. 'Yeah? What's that?'
'I just thought in French.'
Xander's expression had reached new unfathomable depths of misery. 'I think RJ's hot.'
Spike narrowed his eyes. 'You think he's... hot?'
Xander nodded guiltily. 'Like as hot as you hot. I don't know if I can go through with this.' He shuffled his feet. 'I... I don't want to piss him off.'
Spike scowled, wishing a thousand sanguinary deaths on RJ's head. He hadn't failed to notice the rush of pheromones coming from his -- his -- boy and the blush that had risen to those delicate, girlish cheeks. 'Oh no you don't! Don't you start faffing around like a silly lovesick schoolgirl over this berk, I won't have it!' He took hold of Xander's shoulders firmly and looked deeply into his eyes. 'Listen to me. We only have to do one thing. We carry out the plan. It'll take two minutes, tops, and then you'll have all the time in the world to make it up to him.' Spike swallowed his desire to growl. 'If you still feel the urge, that is.'
Xander swallowed audibly at the anger in Spike's eyes. 'Spike, I'm sorry. I don't know if I can--'
'You can. Giles is counting on you. So are Dawn and the witches and Buffy.' Spike rolled his eyes. 'Even if they don't know it yet.'
Xander raised his chin as he thought this over, then nodded decisively. 'Okay. Okay. I can do this. Then I could offer to make him dinner or something just to make it up to him. Do you think he'd like that?'
Spike shot looked RJ a black look. 'I'm sure he'd think it was just peachy. Now, you're sure you understand the plan?'
Xander nodded, with a longing glance in RJ's direction. 'You?'
'I think I got it, yeah,' Spike snapped. 'What with the countless hours of rehearsal, the intricately drawn blueprints...?'
Xander narrowed his eyes. He would put good money on RJ not being that petty or that sarcastic. Honestly, sometimes you just couldn't live with vampires. Couldn't live without them, either, said a tiny voice, but Xander chose to ignore it. If they could only get on with the plan then it would get him that much closer to RJ. Within touching distance, in fact. One little touch couldn't hurt, and maybe, just maybe, Xander thought, if he could pretend to trip on something, then he could fall into RJ's arms, and their eyes would meet for the first time, and then...
Xander shook his head again. This wasn't the time for lovelorn fantasies. Yes, he realised, he did love RJ, didn't know why he hadn't realised it before, but the fact remained that he'd made a commitment to Giles. Just grab the jacket and then he could spend a lifetime making it up to RJ, by whatever means necessary. Taking a deep breath, Xander steeled himself for the job ahead.
'Now!' Xander announced, and they both took off, running up the street until they caught up with RJ. Xander tackled him, with just a tad more groping than was entirely necessary, while Spike growled viciously and wrestled the jacket away, stopping only a hair's breadth away from hurting RJ in the process. Job done, they ran away with the jacket.
A very bewildered RJ stood in the middle of the street, scratching his head, wondering what had just happened. The two cheerleaders began to get over their sudden terror for RJ's wellbeing rather quickly, looking at one another suspiciously and wondering just exactly what it was they'd seen in him in the first place.
As they ran, Xander also wondered what had happened, a look of horror overtaking him as it all came back to him. 'Ohmygod! I thought I loved... Oh. My. God! Could this night get any worse?'
'What now?' asked a rankled Spike.
'Giles was right. I thought that I loved... Goddamn it, I hate magic!'
'I'm going to try it on.'
Halfway back to Giles' apartment, under the dusky shade of a lone oak tree, and Spike paused, holding the battered sports jacket in his hands.
'What?' Xander's head snapped up. 'What? No! Don't you do it!'
Spike grinned. Revenge was such a tasty dish. 'Oh, come on now. What could it hurt? It's not like you don't already find me irresistible.'
'I can resist you just fine, thank you very much. And I don't need the image of you in a letterman jacket following me around for the rest of my days.'
Spike cast him a sidelong glance. 'Methinks I hear a droplet of panic in your voice, luv.'
'Panic?' Xander shook his head vigorously. 'I'm not panicky. No, sir. It's just that I've had about as much magic as I can stand for one evening.' A faint rush of air was the only warning Xander received as he suddenly found himself with an armful of cool, black leather duster. He started towards Spike with the intention of taking RJ's jacket away from him, hoping that Spike wouldn't put his new height advantage to any significant use. 'Spike, don't!'
Xander slowed to a halt, seemingly mesmerised as Spike held out his arms and slowly turned through 360 degrees, the puffy red and white jacket a stark contrast to his usual dark ensemble.
Spike couldn't contain his curiosity any longer. 'Well? You feel any different? Like I'm completely irresistible?'
Xander examined the vampire closely, his heart thumping in his chest. There was that familiar spark of instant, impatient arousal when he looked at Spike for longer than, say, three nanoseconds, followed by that same old warm tug somewhere deep inside that made him want to just reach out and touch. The usual urge to curl up together, somewhere they could be completely alone for days, while simultaneously showing his gorgeous vampire off proudly to the entire world.
And now there was an all new, and not entirely objectionable, warmth spreading in previously unused places between his thighs, but apart from that...
'Well, you look kind of... odd in a sports jacket. But, ah, I don't feel any different to usual. Sorry.'
Spike sniffed like he didn't really care much one way or the other. 'Probably only works for humans, or for their family line or something equally tiresome. Not really my style anyway.'
'No,' said Xander, tucking his fists into the pocket of his jeans and watching his flip-flopping sneakers as he walked, his steps leading him a little closer to Spike's side. 'You definitely look better in leather.'
Unseen by Xander, Spike's face lit up with a slow burning smile.
The radio, tuned to Sunnydale FM, played softly in the background as the jacket was thrown into the fireplace, its final resting place on top of the burning logs, making the already warm Californian night slightly uncomfortable to those in the room. The Scooby gang stood in a rough horseshoe formation around the open grate and watched it burn. Giles breathed a sigh of relief even as the girls hung their heads a little more in their chagrin.
Her eyes unfocused as she watched the flames, Buffy pressed her lips together. So the whole experience was humiliating. So she'd thrown herself at a guy she barely knew and made out with him in a big way in a very public elevator. So she'd almost killed one of her professors in the name of this "love". So she'd gone against Giles' wishes and would happily have gone directly through both Xander and Spike, not to mention her baby sister, to get to the guy she barely knew. At least she wasn't the only one suffering. That would have been really embarrassing. And the darn thing was, this still wasn't as embarrassing as the time Xander had cast his little love spell. Stiletto heels and satin robes with no underwear... in the school library? Ewww. She suppressed a small shudder at the memory.
It was all over now. She lived to fight and be humiliated another day. 'That, my friends,' she decided firmly, 'is the smell of sweet, sweet, victory.'
Tara managed a small smile. 'Also, b-burning cotton-poly blend.'
Deciding that she, too, could see the humour in the situation, Willow smiled, and clasped hands with her girlfriend. 'Xander, be honest,' she said. 'You didn't, you know, think about slipping that jacket on just a little bit?'
With a secret glare at Spike, Xander shook his head. 'I refuse to answer that on the grounds that... that I'm not a lesbian.'
Spike snorted. Willow ducked her head, a fresh burst of guilt sucking all the humour right back out of the situation for her.
Meanwhile, Dawn was lost in her own thoughts, and decided that now was the time to share them with the group. 'Man, this tool gets his jacket from his brother, who got it from their father, and we'll never know where he got it. That bites.'
Buffy gently slapped her on the arm. '"Tool"? Do I have to wash your mouth out with soap, young lady?'
Dawn rolled her eyes and made a show of rubbing at her arm, but smiled warmly up at her big sister.
'Yeah,' Xander sighed. 'Welcome to the hellmouth, where even outerwear isn't safe.'
Willow squeezed Tara's hand a little harder. 'I can't believe I almost...'
'I can't believe I almost...' echoed Buffy, as she followed Dawn away from the heat of the flames.
Tara shrugged, rubbing her thumb over the back of Willow's hand. 'It was a spell. You were helpless. We're n-not responsible for anything we did morally or, you know, l-legally, or lyrically even...' She trailed off as everyone's gaze fell on Xander.
Xander smiled weakly, trying not to buckle under their scrutiny. 'True, you fell for a mystical ancient curse. Who hasn't made that mistake seven... eight times?' He looked meaningfully at Spike. Spike met his eye, clicking shut the lighter he had been toying with. At the resounding metal clink-snap, he raised an eyebrow almost imperceptibly at Xander, nevertheless the unspoken message was clear to both of them -- ancient mystical curses generally sucked, but every once in a while one came along that turned out okay.
Giles went to the couch to sit by Buffy and Dawn. 'You hear that? You all acted terribly sillyly..ly--' He paused, resisting the urge to cluck his tongue and sigh, or to polish his glasses, as Buffy and Dawn glanced at each other and grinned. '-- but you mustn't blame yourselves. Any of you,' he added, for the benefit of the others in the room. 'This wasn't your fault.'
'No,' Xander muttered, finding it rather difficult to be magnanimous about his current situation. 'I'd say it was more Willow's fault that anything.'
Missing Xander's comment, Willow frowned as a thought struck her. 'Hey, Tara, you never told us what you can't believe you almost.'
Tara smiled sheepishly, playing dumb. 'Al-almost who, now?'
Willow smiled back, indulgently. 'No fair, sweetie. You can't be the only not embarrassed one. What did you do?
Tara swallowed heavily, looking around her nervously. 'I, uh, wrote a p-poem. In Mr Giles' car. Yes,' she nodded emphatically, 'it was an epic poem. Comparing him to a daisy and a t-tower and a lake.'
Behind them the music on the radio was stopped and the jingle signalling the hourly local new played. 'And now the latest on Sunnydale's late-night mystical happenings. For those of you not yet aware, it appears that tonight, on Main Street, approximately where the popular coffee shop, the Espresso Pump once stood, a temple has mysteriously materialised. The temple is solid granite and is estimated to be anywhere between one hundred and one thousand metres high, although reports coming in are widely varied. The only markings adorning the temple are the letters "R" and "J" carved several feet high on one side above what is considered to be a sealed entrance. Authorities are baffled, although several religious cults have claimed responsibility. A spokesman for local government is so far blaming a fraternity prank. More at our midnight bulletin.'
Everyone looked at Tara incredulously as she turned off the radio and smiled nervously. 'O-okay, great, ice cream.' She nodded warmly. 'My treat!'
Xander looked around in horrified amazement as Buffy, Dawn and Spike actually seemed to be considering the idea. 'Ice cream? Ice cream?' He chuckled humourlessly. 'Erm, guys? Willow? Haven't you all forgotten something?' They all turned to look at him. The hopeful smile on his face didn't last very long in the face of their blank stares. 'Hello? I'm still a girl? A little help here, please? Willow, we can get with the fixing of me now that you're back to being you, right?'
Willow's gaze flitted nervously around the room, coming to rest on her shoes. 'Uh, cnthlpuxndr,' she mumbled.
'What?' Xander asked.
'I, uh, can't help you, Xander,' she admitted, looking up at him from beneath her eyelashes. 'What I told you earlier was true. This spell is a once a month gig. I can, uh, try to appeal to Hecate again for you, but...'
'But what, Willow?'
'But... I wouldn't hold your breath,' she whispered.
'Great. That's just... great.' Xander looked incredibly pale, and actually swayed on his feet before managing to find a free spot in the armchair facing the sofa.
'I-I'll do everything I can in the meantime. I'll offer sacrifices -- little, non-bloody ones, of course,' she said, holding her thumb and forefinger an inch apart. 'I'll supplicate and-and I'll beseech, even.' She knelt down in front of Xander. 'I really am sorry, Xander. We'll put this right, I promise. And besides,' she touched his knee, tentatively, 'things could be worse.'
Xander jerked his knee away from her. 'Why does everyone keep telling me that? I know things could be worse. I'm the King of Things Could Be Worse, but I don't think I'd see any of you jumping for joy if you suddenly found yourself batting for the other team. ... Figuratively speaking,' he added, with a dark glare for Willow's benefit. Seeing the true regret in her eyes, Xander couldn't quite hold on to his bad temper. 'Look, I know it doesn't make sense to you, but...'
'Hell, if the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle.'
Everyone looked at Spike.
'What? That makes sense if you've ever ridden a horse.' Everyone continued looking at Spike, completely missing the astute nod of agreement from Giles. 'Bloody hell. Kids today. No sense of history,' the vampire grumbled, going back to lurking silently in the corner of the room.
'I'm sorry, Xander, really I am,' Willow continued as though Spike hadn't spoken.
'No, you're not. You don't care at all. You-you did this on purpose!'
Xander burst out of his chair, putting as much space between himself and Willow as he could. This, coincidentally, meant that he was standing at Spike's side. A hint of a smile graced Spike's face as he felt a tiny hand grabbing onto the back of his duster, out of sight of all the girls in the room, but visible to Giles, and earning them a concerned raise of an eyebrow.
'I did not!' Willow's eyes were turning into damp ponds, as Xander's helpless girlish misery quickly became contagious.
With a lightning speed -- born of watching his Slayer look back and forth between her two friends with similar tears threatening to fall -- Giles leapt forward to intercept the deteriorating situation by laying an awkward paternal hand of support on Xander's shoulder.
'There, there,' he petted. 'Willow didn't mean it. She was under a spell at the time, and then there were more, ah, spells.' Pat, pat. 'And I do think that we've established by now that one should never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained away by stupidity.'
Willow nodded gratefully. 'Yeah, he's absolutely-- hey!'
'I'll help with the research on your behalf,' Giles continued, 'and I'm sure Tara wouldn't mind lending a hand.' Tara nodded obligingly. 'You might even grow to... benefit from your time spent in the female form.'
'Benefit!' Xander spluttered. 'How exactly is this beneficial to me?'
'Well, it's a unique opportunity. This isn't a common spell. Quite frankly, I'm amazed Willow pulled it off with such ease. You could use this time to... reflect on the female perspective. Learn more about...' His expression morphed into a distracted frown as he realised exactly what he was saying, '... what makes women tick.'
Xander hid his face in his hands.
'Well,' said Buffy, effectively breaking the silence in the room. 'Another mildly successful evening for the Scooby Gang, wouldn't you say?'
She was met with a rousing chorus of half-formed grunts and unenthusiastic nods.
'Right. Great.' Buffy surreptitiously slipped on her jacket and lifted her chin at her sister. 'Dawnie. Time to hit the road. Mom will be starting to worry. And you know how she hates to be left babysitting Smudge.'
'Smudge is a clever cat,' argued Dawn. 'Practically no upkeep required.'
Buffy quirked the corner of her lips. 'Tell that to her litter tray. Which, by the way, it's your turn to clean.'
'It so is not!' Dawn said, forgetting to wave goodbye to her friends, busy with her righteous indignation, as she followed Buffy out the front door. 'I did it last week!'
'Yes, and I've done it twice since then.'
Dawn put her hands on her hips. 'I'm gonna tell Mom you slayed in front of me.'
'Dawn, that threat is getting so old.'
The door closed behind them, effectively cutting off their bickering.
Xander's head was still in his hands.
Xander's head remained in his hands until long after Spike had grunted his indifference at Giles and ushered Xander through the front door. As they exited, the sound of Giles saying, 'Now, Tara, about this temple...' could just be heard behind them.
They walked in silence for a while, Spike wordlessly steering Xander along the path leading from Giles' door, and onto the street. When Xander finally looked up, Spike let go of his shoulders and lit a cigarette.
'Are... are you coming back with me tonight?' Xander clenched his teeth at the sound of his own voice.
'Yeah. All right. You got any blood at the flat?'
Xander nodded. It's always "the" flat. Your flat. Your place. Never "our" apartment. Never "home". 'Don't I always? All stocked up in case of an emergency.'
Spike looked Xander's hunched form slowly up and down. 'Guess this constitutes an emergency.'
'Guess so,' said Xander, and started walking.
Spike followed along behind, testing out several opening lines of conversation in his head and discarding them all. Finally he decided on: 'Hey, Xander. Listen, just tell me what you need, and I'll tell you how to get along without it.'
Xander folded his arms around his new squishy chest a little tighter. 'I need you to stop offering me crappy advice about how to deal with this.'
Spike thought this over, his head tilted slightly to one side as he watched Xander walk away. Accidentally-on-purpose watching the intoxicating way that Xander's new hips were swaying from side to side as he walked, and wondering what exactly they looked like under all those baggy clothes. Wondering if they were quite as smooth and succulent as the images that his nasty little vampire imagination was currently supplying him with.
'You wanna hold hands?'
With an indecent grin, Spike started walking after him.
There followed a long silence that lasted right up until they walked through the door of Xander's apartment, whereupon they were instantly set upon by two supercilious cats demanding immediate attention. The two cats froze as they realised at the same moment that something was not quite right with their dark-haired master. The one who always smelt like cookies and milk. Yes, there was definitely something off about him.
Spike took a step back to enjoy the sight of the two felines watching Xander warily, tails flicking back and forth restlessly as they walked haughtily around his feet. They were unsure of this new version, that much was obvious. Much sniffing and careful examining took place, with the occasional pointed glare in Spike's direction as though they blamed him wholeheartedly for whatever it was had happened to their Xander.
Xander was quiet throughout the proceedings, offering both his hand to sniff and frequent ear scratches, until the cats were eventually satisfied. Flick-knife scampered off, chasing some innocent dust bunny under the couch, while Angel began an immediate pitiful mewl requesting food. What Angel wanted, Angel got. Xander hopped to it, dishing out food into a bowl for his poor, neglected moggy. The back of his neck prickled as he felt Spike watching him move around the small kitchen.
'You'll, uh, stay tonight, right?' Xander grimaced at the need in his voice.
'Yeah. If you want me to, 'course.'
If you want me to. I knew it. He doesn't want me like this. Or maybe he likes me more. Would that make me feel better or worse? 'I think I should tell them.' Xander blinked in shock. Where on earth had that come from? He hadn't even been thinking about telling his friends. He wasn't even ready to admit certain facets of his relationship with the chipped vampire to himself, let alone his nearest and dearest. Sometimes the fact that Giles had any inkling at all about his current relationship was enough to send him screaming for the hills.
Spike appeared nonplussed. 'Tell them what?'
Xander set the dish of food on the floor, where it was immediately pounced upon, and stood up without looking in Spike's direction. He gripped the kitchen counter top, lowered his head and stared unseeingly at the bland formica. 'About you and me. Just lay it all out there.'
'You sure about that, luv?' Spike asked, moving further into the room.
'No.' Xander cursed his high pitched wavering voice and clenched his fists, willing himself not to cry again. 'An-and don't call me love.'
Watching the back of Xander's head intently, Spike rolled his jaw in thought. This had the potential of becoming a very interesting conversation. 'I'm surprised they haven't figured it out already. We haven't exactly been Mr and Mrs Discreet around them.'
'We have too.'
'We have not,' Spike scoffed. 'We're always ducking out of patrol early, hiding behind trees and such for a snog, or just going home so that I can have my wicked way with you. Or what about earlier? You know, before Willow's little spell.'
'Well, yeah,' Xander considered, 'but it's not like I can concentrate on the slaying or the researching or the anything when you're making with the octopus hands.' He frowned as something occurred to him. 'Wait... I'm Mr Discreet in this relationship, right?'
Spike tried his damnedest not to let Xander hear that he was smiling. 'Right now? With the boobs and the distinct lack of penis?'
Xander bit back a growl. 'All right, very funny. But usually...?'
'Usually?' Spike stuck out his bottom lip as he considered what he believed to be the truthful answer to the question, which would probably earn him a swift kick to the family jewels, or the answer that Xander would want to hear, which would probably earn him more naked time. 'Absolutely. You're the Mister.'
'Great!' Xander finally turned around, and his timid grin made something soft and warm unfurl inside Spike's chest. Reaching out slowly, Spike brushed his fingertips along the smooth curve of Xander's jaw, marvelling at how the lines and arches of his face were so similar, so familiar, and yet now so drastically different. He drew his fingertips, feather light, down Xander's throat and slipped them inside the collar of the oversize shirt.
Xander drew in a halting breath at the touch. 'Don't,' he pleaded. 'Spike, don't want me like this.'
'Can't help it,' was Spike's reply, his voice lower, more intimate. 'Always want you. Doesn't matter about the window dressing. It just makes things...' he ducked his head, looking up at Xander coquettishly from beneath his lashes, '... more interesting.'
'You saying I'm usually dull?'
'Oh, no,' Spike replied, seemingly fascinated with the journey his fingers were making over Xander's skin, slowly but surely teasing the shirt down so that a slender collar bone was exposed to his hungry gaze. 'Not dull at all. Far from it. But you have to admit this puts a unique spin on things.'
'You... you still want me like this?'
Spike frowned at the surprise in his boy... girl... boyfriend's voice. 'Yeah, 'course I do. What's wrong with you? Did that spell mess with your head, too?'
'No, I just... I mean, it's still me in here.'
'Well, yeah,' Spike said softly, brushing a lock of dark hair out of Xander's face. 'Where else would you be?'
Xander managed a shaky, brave-little-toaster smile. 'I don't know if I can cope with this, Spike. Not for a whole month. It's just not fair. How come I always get the stupid spells cast on me?'
'Count yourself lucky. You could have got stuck with the "boils and blinding torment" spells. Wouldn't that have been worse?'
'I suppose.' Xander didn't sound convinced. 'But at least that would be... manly. At least then people would look at me and say, "wow, that Xander Harris. What a guy." I wouldn't have to admit that I've been magicked to school in my underwear, or seduced by a giant preying mantis lady who only wanted to eat me, or an ancient Egyptian mummy lady who... only wanted to eat me, or... God. Or that I got turned into a girl.'
'I know. I know, pet,' Spike condoled. 'We'll get through.'
'Will we? I don't know how I'm going to cope with this. I feel awful. Terrible. Miserable to the nth degree. If this is how it feels being female then no wonder the Slayer's a girl.' He nodded solemnly. 'I feel their pain.'
Spike ran his fingers over the back of Xander's hand. 'Just wait 'til the monthlies kick in. Then you'll definitely be feelin' their pain.'
Xander snatched his hand away. 'See? That's exactly what I'm talking about. Poor Xander, turned into a girl by his so-called best friend. Poor Xander, has to deal with getting his period. Poor Xander, his vampire boyfriend thinks this is all one big joke.'
Spike smiled. 'I don't think it's a joke, luv. But just imagine if the tables were turned. You really think if it was me that got turned into a girl you'd be able to resist taking the mickey a little?'
'That's what I thought,' Spike continued. 'Now look at it this way. You're not in pain or in danger. We know for a fact that the spell is reversible, and we'll have Willow and Giles on the case looking for any shortcuts. In the meantime you're just going to have to... deal with it.'
Xander's scowl deepened. 'You know you're in for a bumpy ride, right?'
Spike's smile became sentimental. 'I'd be disappointed with anything less.'
The scowl slipped a notch or two. 'You're really weird sometimes, you know that?'
'We are a product of the world we live in.'
'I thought we are what we eat,' Xander said glumly.
'In that case you should be fattening me up to sell at market. Oink, oink.'
Xander shot him a sad smile. 'Thanks for putting up with me, but I still feel terrible.'
Spike reached out and gently took Xander's hand again. 'You won't feel like this forever, cutie, and when it gets too much, I'll be here for you. To bump heads with.'
Xander toyed with Spike's fingers. 'I'm going to feel this way for ages.'
He nodded. 'I'm going to feel this way until... until I don't feel this way anymore.'
'That's nice and specific. Just like a woman. Can't pick a time to save her life.'
Xander snatched his hand away for the second time. 'Don't make fun of me, or I'll-I'll do something really evil.'
Spike raised an interested eyebrow. 'Yeah? Like what?'
'I'll-I'll leave splintery toothpicks all over the floor so you-you stake your feet. Or I'll make the coffee with holy water.'
'Yeah!' Xander puffed out his chest in a show of manly bravado, but quickly deflated it again at the sight of the two pert breasts that rose into view. 'Or-or, I'll leave the curtains open when you're asleep so the sun can get in.'
'You'll try to kill me in my sleep?'
Xander nodded fiercely.
Spike's expression softened even further. 'Xander, baby, I'm so proud of you.'
Xander tried to find a reply that would bypass this comment and lead them directly back into the middle of their argument where he was more than happy to stay, but floundered and found his anger melting away when Spike grinned at him and held out his arms.
'C'mere, baby, come give Spike some sugar.'
Xander burst out laughing in spite of himself, but went willingly into Spike's outstretched arms. After a moment's cuddling in the kitchen, he let himself be led along to the living room where Spike pulled them both down onto the couch. Neither of them paused to turn on any lights, so the only light was that coming through the archway that joined the room to the kitchen. The result was a dim, half-light that suggested they should speak in whispers. They relaxed against the cushions, Spike with Xander in his lap. It felt so very good to be held like this, curled up in strong arms, that Xander was glad to let the argument go. This was better. This was so much better. For the first time since Willow's spell, being so tiny felt wonderful, so long as he could be wrapped up in Spike's arms like this as they sat in quietness on the couch.
'You sure?' Xander couldn't help but ask, hating the fact that he needed more reassurances. Even though he knew he was overreacting, and that this really wasn't the end of the world, he was still teetering on the brink of bursting into fresh floods of tears.
'Yeah, more than sure.'
His eyes glittering in the semi-darkness, Spike gently manhandled Xander so that he was sitting astride Spike's thighs. Xander tried to relax and let himself be moved, but he could feel the muscles in this new body clenching tighter and tighter.
'Spike, don't. I can't...' He ducked his head. 'I mean... I feel stupid like this.'
'You've sat on my knee before, luv.'
'Don't call me love. And that was different.' He blushed at the memory and just how different it had been to this. 'This is different.' He gestured to his body. 'I can't be all pliable for you.' Xander took a few quick breaths. 'I feel too... open like this,' he admitted in a whisper, long eyelashes dusting against his cheeks. 'All exposed.'
Tenderly, Spike hooked a finger under Xander's chin and slowly drew his head up until their eyes met. 'You don't have to feel exposed with me. Don't hide away, Xander. I know every inch of you.' Spike smiled as wicked thoughts floated around in his head. 'Every inch - intimately. Just now there's all these new parts to explore.' He dropped a soft chaste kiss on parted, unsure lips, relishing the tiny feminine sound it evoked from Xander. 'You have any idea how much fun we can have while you're like this?' he asked, his voice low and full of meaning.
Suddenly Xander's mouth felt too dry and forming coherent words became a problem. 'You... um, you mean...'
'Oh, yeah. I mean.'
Spike's words sent a shiver of anticipation racing over Xander's skin. When Spike kissed him, it was like they were kissing for the first time. Their actual first kiss had been a very unexpected seduction, followed by several extremely enjoyable months of mutual warring for dominance. This time, Xander let Spike lead. Cool hands started out on his hips, holding him just as surely as always, but more gently, directing his movements, unmistakably urging him closer. They travelled up his sides, ending up tangled in his hair. Xander's hands had splayed themselves out over Spike's chest, and there they stayed. Xander was far too preoccupied with losing himself in this body's reactions to Spike's administrations to attempt anything else.
This was new, this sweet ache. It spread throughout his body, instead of concentrating in a relatively small, but intense circle around the area where his beloved penis had once lived. He felt dizzy. His breasts ached; felt heavier. He was aware of Spike pressing up against him. Once this had been a wonderful thing, usually resulting in much writhing and rubbing against one another. Now... now it still felt wonderful, but it somehow wasn't enough. Xander squirmed, trapped in a new terrible, wonderful discomfort that spread from between his trembling legs to new places inside him. Needing more pressure, he lowered his body to rub his hips against Spike's, got the angle wrong, repositioned himself until... there. And, oh god, that felt good. Really good, and Xander finally realised what the big fuss about having a clitoris was all about. But it wasn't enough. Couldn't be enough like this, because now the want, the fluttering ache, was actually inside him, waiting, begging to be touched.
When Xander moaned into their kiss and settled into his lap, Spike drew in a deep breath, his eyes snapping open. He grabbed reflexively at Xander's hips as the wriggling around on his lap was almost his undoing. Shocked out of their kiss by the inhumanly strong grip on his hips, Xander drew back, realised what he had been doing, and tried to bolt like a spooked horse. Faster then Xander could see, Spike grabbed his hands and anchored them back on his chest.
'S'okay, pet. Shh. I don't want to scare you.' Spike took a deep breath, trying to calm his own body. 'Listen, wait, would you rather we just went to bed?'
'I don't... I mean, I'm not sure...'
'To sleep, you prat.' Spike smiled at Xander's confusion. 'I meant to sleep. My mission in life is not to terrify you.' Xander raised an eyebrow. 'Uh, tonight at any rate,' Spike clarified, pushing back his shoulders.
'What happened to "all night and most of the morning, too?"'
Spike shrugged as though he wasn't all that bothered, but the result was shaky at best. 'Not going to force my attentions. Not really my style. I'm more up for audience participation.'
Xander couldn't help but be touched by the brusque words, lit by the tenderness he could see in Spike's eyes. 'What's the deal here?' he asked softly, unable to prevent the quietly adoring expression on his face.
'What?' asked Spike.
'It's just... you're being nice. Thoughtful. You keep calling me "pet" and "love" - even more than usual. You'll have to stop it, it keeps making me want to cry.'
Spike cocked his head to one side, slipping his hands under Xander's shirt to tease small, calming circles on the small of his back. 'I'm surprised you have any tears left to cry after the floods we had earlier.'
'I'm just a big blubbering mess of hormones. I don't know whether I'm coming or going.' Quickly, Xander held up his hand. 'Please spare me the obvious puns.'
Spike closed his mouth, looking irritatingly superior, but let it pass without comment. Instead, he dropped a kiss on Xander's jaw. 'You're going to be fine. You know it and I know it. It just hasn't sunk in to that delicate little body of yours yet. Hence the hormonal wobblies. It takes longer than a few hours to deal with a change like this. Took me months to get used to being a vampire.' He rolled his jaw uncomfortably. 'Sometimes I think I still haven't a bloody clue what's going on.'
Xander didn't answer, biting his lip in confusion. 'Why are you cuddling me?'
'What? I'm not cuddling.'
Xander rolled his eyes. 'Spike, I'm sitting on your knee and you're soothing me. There's back rubs and definitely nuzzling.'
'No there isn't. I'm not nuzzling.'
'You're nuzzling my neck right now.'
''Mnot,' Spike said, nuzzling his face a little closer, darting his tongue out to taste Xander's skin. ''Mthinking 'bout biting you.'
'You wanna bite me?' Xander asked breathlessly.
'Yeah, 'course. Always. Wanna see if you still taste the same. Bet it'll be different now. Still be you, but with a hint of a little something extra.'
Xander closed his eyes, letting Spike kiss his way along the column of his now-slender throat, instinctively arching his body against the vampire. 'Different how?'
'Be a little sweeter now, I'd wager. Like a peach maybe.'
'Did you just compare me to a peach?' Xander asked, thinking how this should really not be a good thing, but wiggling his body just a little closer as he thought it over.
'Might've.' Spike ran his tongue lightly along the line of Xander's jaw, nipping lightly, and kissed him again.
Shifting his hands, he took hold of Xander's hips once again, rubbing the skin lightly with his thumbs, slowly initiating the movement of Xander's hips back and forth, until Xander's body picked up on the rhythm.
'Now we have all night together, and all day tomorrow too, not just the morning,' Spike murmured after a long moment filled with lots and lots of kissing.
'Tomorrow? I have work tomorr-- Oh, yeah. I see your point.'
'Right. Can't exactly go to work in your present delectable womanly condition, so looks like you're stuck with me.'
'Mmm. Or would you prefer delicious? I think I like having you like this.' At Xander's frown and the wavering bottom lip, Spike quickly added, 'Temporarily.' A soft kiss to the aforementioned bottom lip, sucking on it and pulling gently on it with his teeth. 'I like having you like this temporarily.'
The baggy shirt was pushed up and suddenly gone. Xander's new body laid bare to him, and Spike wouldn't tolerate any attempts at protecting his battered modesty. The strong muscle still evident, only now padded out with soft dips and curves. Usual dark hair under his arms now faded to a faint wisp of light brown. Faint white line of a scar adorning his, now admittedly daintier, left shoulder.
Spike cupped his hand around Xander's throat and ran his palm slowly down the length of his body, pausing to touch small, warm breasts for the first time, flicking at dark nipples with his fingertips, circling and pinching gently until Xander gasped. Spike undid the buttons of Xander's jeans one by one, so carefully that Xander barely noticed him doing it. The jeans were so loose that there was no need for any further undressing. There was plenty of room for Spike's confident hands, trailing over hips, teasing at soft skin until...
'Spike! Oh, Jesus Christ! Oh-ohh!'
Sharp little fingernails digging into Spike's shoulders. Xander's head thrown back, dark hair tickling the small of his back, all thoughts of nakedness, inappropriateness, and how wrong this all should have been, forgotten as his thighs trembled, his whole body clenched tight as he struggled to keep up with Spike's intimate caress. Spike's caress that went on and on, not stopping no matter how much he begged him to, no matter how much he begged him to go on. Moving faster and faster, creating arching domes of light and fire inside Xander.
On and on, until... he collapsed onto Spike, who held him tightly until he got his breath back.
'Mmm,' Spike agreed, running fingertips lightly down the bumps of Xander's spine, relishing the shiver his touch evoked. 'Was a bit, wasn't it? Glad to see I haven't lost my touch with the ladies.'
'No, I don't think there's any danger of that happening. If you ever find yourself short of cash, I recommend going into the escort business. You'd make a killing - figuratively speaking.'
'Nah.' Spike shook his head. 'I'm not really in it for the money.'
Xander drew back to look at him. 'What are you in it for?' he asked, his voice an unintentional whisper.
Spike stared at him for a long, intimate moment, wondering how to answer. He opened his mouth, deciding for once to tell the truth and damn the consequences, when they were suddenly interrupted by a large, white ball of fluff that dropped from seemingly out of mid air to land, claws first, on top of Spike's head.
Suddenly thrown from his quiet haven on Spike's lap, Xander found himself sprawled on the carpet, struggling to fasten his jeans, pull on his shirt, while simultaneously trying to coax a now hysterical cat from an equally hysterical vampire's head. This was made even more difficult by the way Spike was leaping around the room, trying to bat Flick-knife from his head without hitting the cat too hard, lest the chip would be set off.
Xander quickly learnt a few very interesting new swearwords to add to the ever-expanding list, including a few in different languages that he couldn't really follow, as he danced around the room after Spike, who was hissing and spitting just as much as Flick-knife. All of Xander's attempts at persuading the cat to let go went unheeded. As did his attempts at commanding, cajoling, compelling or charming. As he worked his way through his alliteratory guide to cat control, he wondered if Spike was likely to see the funny side of this at any point in the near future.
However, it was only when Angel appeared in the doorway and mewed loudly that Flick-knife gave up his hold on the whirling dervish that was his vampire master, leapt down and disappeared after Angel into the next room.
'Stupid fucking cat! I'm gonna... gonna make a rug outta you!' Spike yelled, shaking his fist after the vanishing cat.
'Spike?' Tentatively, Xander held out his hand. 'Wanna go to bed?'
Spike glared at him furiously, then, sucking up a huge breath, he slicked back his mussed hair as best he could with his palms, and nodded. 'Fucking cats. They'll be the death of us, you know.'
Xander nodded sagely. 'Very likely.'
Once in bed, Xander curled up along Spike's side, waiting until he felt the tension slowly thaw out of Spike's body before speaking. The closeness was good. It was even better when Spike wrapped his arms around Xander and let him snuggle in even closer until they formed two halves of a Spike and Xander jigsaw. 'You do know you'll have to call in sick for me in the morning, right?' Xander yawned, tucking his head under Spike's chin. 'It's not like I can do it.'
'No problem, luv. I'm a vampire. Lying's a piece of piss.'
'Uh, hullo. I'm looking for Bradley Semple.'
'This is Bradley Semple.'
'Oh, uh, right. Em, my name's Sp-- William. I'm a friend of Xander Harris'. He, uh, he won't be available to come to work today.'
'Oh, really. Harris calling out sick again, is he? Uh huh. What's the reason this time?'
'Grandmother. Sick grandmother. Upstate. Very sick. All alone in the world, nobody but Xander to love and take care of her. So he has to go. Upstate. Shouldn't take more than a month. Uh, that's all the time the doctors have given her. So he should be back to work this time, y'know, next month.'
'He's going to be off work for a whole month?'
'Yeah. Sick grandmother and whatnot.'
'*Longsuffering sigh* Do you really expect me to believe this?'
''Course. It's the absolute sterling truth.'
'Riiight, of course it is. Look, just level with me, will ya?'
'... 'bout what exactly?'
'Does this have anything to do with Harris helping the Slayer with another demon problem?'
'Hello? You still there?'
'Yeah. Still here.'
'Does it have anything to do with Harris helping the Slayer?'
'... Uhh... yes?'
'Okay then. So long as it's no more than a month. And I mean no more than a month. That's thirty days. Thirty-one max. Contrary to whatever the demon populace of this little 'burb seems to think, we do have a business to run here. Tell Xander to be careful. And try and give me a little more warning next time, huh?'
Dumbfounded, Spike stared at the silent receiver in his hand for a long moment before hanging it up, with a slight shake of his head and a crooked grin. Sometimes, he thought, just sometimes, living on the hellmouth could be handier than a small pot.
It wasn't until just after eleven that Xander finally roused from his deep sleep. It had been a hell of a night and his body was, perhaps not unsurprisingly, feeling the effects of being altered on a cellular level. He sat up in bed and scrubbed his hands over his face. Somehow it just wasn't as satisfying as usual. There was no rasp of early morning stubble and it felt as though he couldn't quite lose himself in these new, tiny hands. With a soul-stretching sigh, he peeled back the covers and swung his shapely legs out of bed. He was still dressed in the baggy jeans from the evening before and the oversize shirt that he had worn to bed as he found it mildly disturbing, to say the least, the way Spike had taken to directing conversation to his chest rather than his face.
Man, girls had it rough.
Feeling swamped in the shirt and jeans, Xander shucked out of them, kicking them into the pile of clothes in the dirty laundry corner, and plucked one of Spike's tighter t-shirts -- a dark aqua blue -- and a pair of vampire-sized black jeans from the pile. Pulling them on, he padded barefoot from the room, fastening the button fly as he went. Fastening the last two buttons as he entered the living room, he looked up in time to catch an open-mouthed Spike watching him with intent fascination.
Seconds ticked by.
'What?' Xander eventually asked, working his lips foolishly.
Spike cleared his throat. 'You look good. Different,' he said in a changed voice.
'What?' Xander asked, his eyes sharp and curious. 'I just wanted clothes that fit better.'
'They fit better,' Spike answered promptly. He shifted in his seat. 'You know, we should get you some new clothes. I'm thinking a little something in red leather and glitter.'
'We will not!'
Spike smirked. 'Just a suggestion.'
'Well you know what you can do with your suggestions, don't you?'
Spike was the picture of innocence. 'I dunno, luv. Maybe you'd best draw me a diagram.'
With a wicked grin, Xander had already taken a predatory step towards him when the doorbell rang. He frowned, wondering who could be calling by at that time on a Tuesday morning.
'It's Willow,' Spike said dully.
'Willow? How can you be sure?'
Spike sighed. 'She'll have been pacing all night, generally fretting and sighing and feeling all guilty about what she did to you, with the added bonus of her and Tara feeling terrible about having betrayed one another, or some other bollocks. So now she's here to try and make amends.' He rolled his eyes. 'Anyone with an IQ higher than my body temperature could work that one out.'
'Yeah, plus I can hear her, and I can smell the please-forgive-me cookies she made you. Be a pet and bring me one when you're done making nice, yeah?'
The doorbell rang again. Xander went to answer it. Willow stood in the hallway, a bag in either hand, an overly bright smile on her face. 'Hi, Xander! Thought I'd just drop by and, uh, see how things are...' She shifted her weight, her eyes silently pleading with him for forgiveness. 'How things are.'
'Hey, Wills.' He dutifully ushered her inside, leading the way into the kitchen.
'So, I, uh, thought I'd just come by and bring you a few things. You know, as a peace offering.' She thrust the first bag into his hands. 'I baked you cookies.'
'Thanks,' he said, and placed the unopened bag on the kitchen table.
'Tara wanted to come, too, but we have classes all morning, so I told her to go on without me. I sort of wanted to see you by myself. It didn't seem fair for me to bring moral support along.'
A part of him was astonished that Willow had blown off actual classes for him. After all this was Willow. And classes. Willow and classes. However, he quickly clamped down on any softening of his bad mood, and deepened his frown.
'Listen, Willow...' he began, but was interrupted by the incongruous sight of Spike wandering into the room and making a beeline for the bag of cookies. He took out three, stuck one in his mouth, turned around without acknowledging either of them and went to leave the room.
'Spike!' Willow exclaimed. Spike paused and turned around, biting a large chunk from his cookie. 'Spike is here.' She looked to Xander for explanation and back again. 'Why is Spike here?'
Spike frowned at her like she was crazy and waved the half-eaten cookie in the air. 'Cookies,' he said, as though this explained everything, and turned again to leave.
'Spike!' she squeaked, albeit a squeak that demanded explanation.
Spike merely stood, sardonic smirk in place as he slowly chewed his cookie, but remained oddly silent, waiting to take his cue from Xander. Xander, however, was too tired and worried to care about what Willow thought about Spike being there at this time of the morning. 'Willow,' he began, then stopped again and sighed. 'Willow. The spell?'
Willow blushed deep crimson, dropping her gaze to the floor. 'Well, uh, like I told you yesterday. The spell lasts a month.'
'I got that part already. Don't you have any better news?'
She swallowed. 'Last night, after we went home? I tried, I really did. I tried everything I could think of to reverse the spell, but it used the power and grace of Hecate, and when I contacted her to plead your case she was...'
'What?' Xander asked, wishing very much that she would get to her point. 'Hecate was what?'
Willow looked up nervously. 'Sulking.'
'Your goddess was... sulking.'
'Well, yeah,' said Willow defensively. 'You sort of got in the way of the spell I was casting last night. She's not really pissed, she's just...'
'Being a huffy cow?' offered Spike as he blatantly stole his fourth cookie.
'Yeah,' said Willow dejectedly, only able to glance up occasionally at Xander from her detailed inspection of the floor.
'Ha. Women,' said Spike, spraying crumbs. This only earned him a glare from both of the humans in the room. Having the good sense to quit while he was behind, Spike retreated back to the living room and away from ground zero. The bag of cookies mysteriously disappeared with him.
'Xander, I'm so sorry. What else do you want me to say? I can't reverse the spell without Hecate's blessing. It's not like I did this maliciously and-and I'll do whatever I can to make this easier for you. You can call on me, day or night, if you're having girl issues and I'll be here in a heartbeat to help you. You're still my best friend.'
'I mean, I love you. And I'm sorry. Truly.'
There followed a long and uncomfortable period of time filled only with hushed, miserable squirming from Willow.
'Willow,' he finally said. 'I love you too, but please get out now. I'll call you later.'
'I... okay, Xander. I'm so sorry about this. I... Here.' She held out the second, larger bag, which Xander accepted. 'I brought you girl clothes. We can go shopping later if you... Right. I'm gone. All the way gone. I'll... I'll see you later.'
Waiting until he heard the front door close behind her, Xander trudged back to his room, bag of girl clothes still dangling from his hand, and slammed the door. Wondering if this was what was to become of his quality Xander-time for the next month, Spike resignedly followed the sound of the muttered grumbling and knocked on the bedroom door.
'Piss off!' Xander yelled through the door. 'I don't want to argue with you and I don't want to have make-up sex. So leave me alone!'
'Y'know I might just want to talk to you,' Spike said to the door, adding under his breath, 'you stupid git.'
'Well, I don't want to talk to you. You'll only make it worse. Or you'll make it better and I don't want to feel better. I like being miserable. In fact, I actively seek out misery! I want to sulk all by myself.'
'You're acting like a gi-rl,' Spike sing-songed.
'No, I am not!' Xander snapped. Spike smirked. He could practically see the hair-flipping, arm-folding, foot-stamping manoeuvre that Xander was undoubtedly executing at that precise moment. 'I am not a freaking girl!' Xander yelled, his voice a high pitched screech. He could feel uncontrollable tears burning in his eyes yet again and hated that he couldn't even manage to carry out the relatively simple task of yelling at his pet vampire without bursting into floods of girly tears. 'Why can't you all remember that? I'm Xander. Xander who gets the funny wacky miscast spell of the week award yet again. I'm sorry I can't be more manly for you and take this all on the chin, but it's kind of hard because I suddenly don't have a PENIS any more!'
He started to pace up and down, studiously not looking up to see his reflection in the mirror hung over his dresser. 'I'm sorry I can't be your boyfriend like this. I'm sorry it happened. It's obviously all my fault for being such a great big bad luck magnet! Hey, here's a thought: why don't you go see if you can find that guy who split me in half that time. See if maybe we can't get you a girl Xander and a boy Xander to play with. Would you like that? Huh? More big yuks at my expense?'
Spike listened carefully to this, gently pressing his hand to the wood of the door.
'Spike! Fuck off. I mean it.'
'Fine!' Angrily turning on his heel, Spike stalked back through the apartment, muttering under his breath about stroppy madams and how easily Xander seemed to be getting into his new role. He threw himself onto the couch with the intention of getting his vampire beauty sleep.
Several minutes of tossing and turning later, and Spike came to the conclusion that sleep was being an illusive bugger. How could he be expected to sleep when Xander had just royally fucked with the first rule of arguments?
Rule One: "Never go to bed angry. Stay up and fight."
Always to be followed swiftly by Rule Two: "If the person you are arguing with is still alive, shag soundly and repeat until unconscious."
But no. No fighting or shagging for Spike. Only a sulky, spoilt bitch of a boyfriend who preferred throwing tantrums to trying to make the best of their situation, which, quite frankly, wasn't the sort of relationship Spike had thought he was getting himself into.
Now Spike was reduced to muttering into a cushion that smelt vaguely like cats and trying to ignore a hard-on the size of Texas. He couldn't help it. He was a vampire. Lots of things made him horny. Blood. Leather. Warm skin. White teeth. Certain smells. The way the muscles in Xander's forearms moved when he was doing something carpentery. Fighting made Spike really horny - Slayers didn't have the monopoly on that one, not by a long shot. Kink. That made him especially horny. So right now he was valiantly attempting to expel from his mind the lurid images of the new feminine version 2.0 of Xander and the original prototype in bed together with Spike as the filling, and failing miserably.
Damn it, he thought. Damn it all to hell.
It was several hours later when Xander re-emerged. In fact, it had taken him so long to leave the room that the sun had set. Whether this was by accident or design is just one of those things that no one will ever know for certain. As he set about gathering a few of his belongings and steadfastly ignoring Spike, Spike had the time to check out Xander's appearance. He was wearing some of the clothes that Willow had brought. Girls' clothes. Plain, ordinary clothes, yet the simple fact that they were feminine was not lost on Spike. Willow had apparently had the good sense to not give him her multi-coloured cast offs, instead bestowing simple, neutral coloured tops and pants upon him. He wore a pair of blue jeans and a dark green shirt, with three-quarter length sleeves that Xander had bunched just below his elbows. The shirt was so dark that it was almost black. Fitted; not too tight to be uncomfortable, yet not too loose that Spike couldn't make out the occasional raise under the material that showed Xander had braved the unknown and put on a bra rather than the more common guy-practice of trying to take them off.
Spike's gaze flickered over him in a disinterested manner. 'What's this now? You decided to embrace your new-found womanhood?'
'Nope. I'm going to the bar,' Xander announced.
Worried at the change of tune, Spike went to him and laid a hand on his arm. 'Xander. Pet. Do you really think that's wise?'
Xander threw off the hand. 'Well, lemme see.' He counted off on his fingers. 'My best friend turned me into a woman and my cat has an eating disorder. Because I'm female, I'm now straight again before I'd even had a chance to come out to my friends. I'm probably going to experience the wonders of getting my period at some point during this month. I've just lost my job... and-and-and my boobs are sore!' Xander stuck out his chin, hating that his voice was wavering and silently dared Spike to call him on it. Spike, wisely, kept his mouth firmly shut. 'Right.' Xander nodded forcefully, just once. 'Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get drunk!'
Xander held up one finger. 'Today I'm pleasing myself,' he said firmly. 'I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day.' He paused and narrowed his eyes at the vampire. 'Tomorrow isn't looking good either.'
Xander flounced out of the apartment. It would have been obvious to even the most casual of observers that he was trying his damnedest to storm out of the apartment, but the end result was most definitely a flounce.
Spike folded his arms and bent his leg to place a foot on the wall behind him. Slowly and serenely he counted to ten. Then he counted back down to zero. Calmly, sedately, he lifted his duster from the chair he'd casually tossed it over, and put it on.
'I really am love's bitch,' he muttered, following Xander out into the balmy Sunnydale evening.
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