Fine Tuned

by
Randy Sex Kitten



Part 7
Here There Be Dragons

Xander wondered if he quit moving for just a moment, she would quit growing. It seemed like he’d just stopped carrying that damn diaper bag when the announcement for kindergarten registration came. So now it was a flurry of immunizations and dentists and eye doctors, Quinn had perfect teeth but needed glasses and Xander was worried about the kind of teasing she would get. He could almost wish Spike hadn’t taught her how to double up her fist and swing, almost.

But here it was, first day of school and Quinn was clutching his hand tight enough to make his fingertips tingle and she understood why Baba couldn’t be here in her class but Xander didn’t like it one bit. There was just something not fair about standing in the middle of two dozen chattering women all dressed up in their Sunday best. But Quinn was smiling and making tentative friends with another little girl, Mrs. Hanscomb was just as uncomfortable with him in the midst of all that estrogen and ushering Xander out the door with promises of safety and fun and that his daughter would be in one piece when he came back to get her.

Quinn waved good-bye, vaguely in his direction, chattering and giggling in the middle of a pack of little girls with their hair all done up pigtails and skirts with cartoon characters. Just like Quinn. She wasn’t scared, she fit right in and made friends and she was going to be just fine.

Xander hoped he would be too.







Xander only called Spike ten times during the day; Spike complained about the loss of beauty sleep on the fourth call and decided to give up the thought of sleep by the sixth. He called Tara, chatting for an hour about how she and Willow planned on surviving Ben's first day of school.

The things he did for love.

When Xander and Quinn came through the front door, Spike was ready. Coffee with a shot of Irish whisky for daddy, chocolate chip cookies with a side of milk for Quinnie, and a kiss for them both. Xander looked like he’d run a 10k marathon while their daughter looked bright and shiny if just a touch disheveled.

They’d survived their first day.






“Baba, what’s a queer?” Spike dropped the gallon of milk on the floor, whirling around to face Quinn.

“Where the hell did you hear that?” Quinn wondered if that was one of the words that was going to get her mouth washed out with soap, but Daddy always told her she could ask anything.

“Eric said that you and Daddy were queers when we talked about what our mommy and daddy’s did at work all day and I said that I didn’t have a mommy I had two Daddies well I have a Daddy and a Baba and I call you Baba cuz I have a Daddy and Daddy is a builder and Baba washes my clothes.” Spike blinked a couple of times, wondering if all the Harris’ were born with the ability to never breathe while talking, then sat next to Quinn and took her hand.

“First, calling a person queer like that is not nice. It’s what stupid people say to make themselves sound important. Queer means odd or different, and yes your Daddy and I are different, but we’re not bad.” Spike wasn’t ready for talks like this, nobody had really questioned when he and Xander had gotten together, and they’d just accepted it as a natural progression of events. He wasn’t ready to defend this part of their life to their daughter.

Quinn just blinked back, cocking her head then nodding once. “I told Eric that I had a dragon at home and if he couldn’t be nice that I would make it come over and eat him when he was in bed sleeping.”

“Quinnie! Puck is not a dragon, he’s an Iguana, and I think he has better taste than that.” Spike slumped against the counter, breathing out a sigh of relief when Xander came into the kitchen.






“I’m a housewife Xander.”

Xander felt his heart stop and clutch and break. He’d had this conversation before. He sat on the bed behind Spike, wondering if this was the last time they would be here together as lovers.

“I cook, I clean, I go to the grocery store every Thursday night with a wallet full of coupons. I have pin money, Xan. Pin money for fuck’s sake.”

“I understand.” The words almost strangled him, but he really did. Spike wasn’t cut out for this kind of life, wasn’t meant to do laundry and bake cookies and sort Tupperware. “I love you.” And that was all he had to offer.

Spike turned and glared at him. “I never said you didn’t, Xander!”

Spike climbed out of bed and began to pace. He dove for the closet, grabbing a locked box from underneath a pile of jeans on the top shelf and, prying it open, grabbed a cigarette from inside and lit it with a flourish. “Just because I’m a bloody housewife doesn’t mean I’m not a demon.”

“I know,” Xander intoned, his eyes following Spike as he paced angrily around the room.

“I want to kill, Xander. I want to tear and bite and rend flesh from broken, bloody bones!” Spike’s demon roared to the forefront and Xander flinched back.

“Why?” Xander whispered.

Spikes eyes flared along with the tip of his cigarette and Xander watched, entranced, as the cherry raced down the length of the white sheath. Spike crushed out the butt and tossed it into the box, replacing it back on the shelf. Sighing, he turned to Xander.

“Someone hurt Quinn.”

“What?” Xander roared, leaping to his feet.

“Someone told Quinnie that we were queers, that there’s something wrong with us being…” Spike waved a hand back and forth between them, brushing lightly against Xander’s chest as he did.

Xander glared at Spike before reaching out and crushing him to his chest. “You can kill him, Spike, I’ll understand.”

“No!” Spike shoved Xander back, where he stumbled and fell onto the bed. “I can’t. Because it was a fucking baby who did it. Another five-year-old with big eyes and rosy cheeks and…” Spike sank to the floor. “I’m a demon, I’m a demon!”

Xander crawled off the floor and settled a Spike’s side, pulling off his shirt and offering his neck to his lover. “I know. And I can’t think of anyone else that I would have raise our beautiful girl.”

Spike took the proffered throat in his hands, his head cocked to the side as he examined the smooth flesh. “I have to find something to do, Xan. I have to have something…”

Xander tilted his head a bit more, pressing closer against Spike. “I know. Whatever you want.”

“I love you Alexander.”

“I know,” Xander said, as Spike’s fangs slid home.






Spike walked into the house, grinning widely. Xander stood up from where he and Quinn were playing house with a Barbie, a Dracula doll and a Ken doll. “Well?” he prompted.

“I got it.” Spike reached down and threw Quinn over his shoulder grabbing Xander’s hand and dragging them outside. He dropped Quinn into Xander’s arms and dramatically yanked a sheet off a large sign. Here There Be Dragons: Custom Choppers shone in gold, green and red.

“You got it!” Xander wrapped his arms around Spike’s neck and drew him in for a kiss. When he pulled away he grinned. “Now that you’re a respected businessman, don’t you think you have the responsibility of making an honest man out of me?”

Spike laughed as Quinn danced under the stars.






Quinn spun around the living room, making her dress fly out and then stopped suddenly, letting the fine lace twist around her ankles. “Daddy and Baba sitting in a tree…”

The doorbell rang and she ran for it, yelling, “It’s time! Hurry!”

“Coming Quinn! Do not open that door!” Xander yelled down the stairs.

Flinging the door wide, Quinn began shouting instructions. “All the presents go on the table and the food needs to go outside on the table and don’t forget…” She stopped when she saw the unfamiliar woman standing on the porch.

She was thin with red hair cut short and a wide smile that looked too large as she aimed it at Quinn. “Hello! Oh! You look just like Xander!”

Quinn moved to shut the door. “I’m sorry; I’m not allowed to talk to strangers.” The woman looked shocked as the door shut in her face.

Spike thundered down the stairs, heading for the door. “Leah Quinn Harris, what have I told you about opening that door?” He stopped in front of his daughter and dropped down to his knees. “I know that you’re excited, but that doesn’t change the rules. Now off with you, to the corner.”

Quinn’s head dropped. “Yea, Baba. I just…”

Spike gave her a quick hug and swatted her on the butt. “Off you go. Break the rules…”

“… suffer the consequences,” she finished. “Yes, Baba.”

Spike was moving toward the stairs when he heard the doorbell a second time. Ducking his chin to focus on the layered satin wrapped around his waist, he yelled at the door. “Get in here, Glinda! I can’t get this bloody thing to tighten…” he trailed off when he saw the woman standing in the open doorway.

“Anya?”





Part 8
Something Old

Spike’s demon had no doubts and no confusion.

preybitchabandonedthemhurtkill

He reined it back so hard that his gums burned from his fangs dropping and being yanked back over and over. Anya watched him with fear evident in her eyes, her hands clutching her purse and a crinkle between her eyebrows.

“Get out of my house.” The voice was clear and determined. Spike turned and watched as Xander walked down the stairs, Quinn attached to his thigh.

“What?” Anya asked tremulously.

“Get out of my house. We have plans this evening and attendance is by invitation only.” Xander reached down to pull Spike up, running his fingers across Spike’s brow in a long familiar touch that calmed the demon instantly.

“But Xander! I drove for several days and I am tired…”

“And there are at least seven hotels in town that I can think of off the top of my head.” Xander transferred Quinn’s embrace to Spike’s leg and moved to open the door. “Goodbye Anya.”

Anya looked dumbfounded as she walked out the door. Xander immediately turned, returning to his family.

“Daddy? Who was that?”






When Tara and Willow arrived, with Ben stumbling along between them, they found the atmosphere of the Harris house unusually somber.

“Spike? Xander!” Tara released Ben’s hand and ran through the house, searching for the family’s hiding place. She found the three wrapped around each other, all in the chair and a half that usually housed story time. Running her hands over all three of them, she tried to smile, to encourage, but three sets of eyes looked at her with such sorrow that it faltered.

“What’s happened?” she asked, settling on the floor next to the chair, one hand wrapped around Spike’s ankle, the other running over Xander’s thigh.

“Anya,” Xander answered.

“Oh.” Tara jerked her hands back and looked down, tugging at a non-existent thread on her skirt. “W..” She shook her head. “What did she…”

“She came into the house. She looked at Quinn,” Spike’s growl distorted his speech and he couldn’t seem to finish the rest of the sentence. Quinn wriggled closer to Spike, sliding her hands around his waist and resting her head on his chest.

“Why is she here?” Tara asked.

“I don’t know.”






‘Who that, Baba?’

‘Where’d you find that picture, bit?’

‘In the nono drawer. Who that?’

‘That’s Anya. She’s the woman who carried you, who brought you to Daddy and me, and you know better than to get in Baba’s drawer.’

‘I was in her tummy?’

‘Yep. Made her swell up like a tick, you did. Your Daddy spent hours rubbing her legs and feet, trying to get them to look like normal human feet and not ogre paws.’

‘Ogre paws!’

‘Big ogre paws that she would use to pick up the tiniest bits with her opposable big toes.’

‘You’re so silly, Baba!’

‘Put up the piccie, love. Time for lunch.’







Willow had Quinn and Ben in the yard, making sure that everything was in place for the guests. Spike had shifted into Xander’s lap so that Tara could squeeze into the chair with them.

“So what are we going to do?” she asked quietly, her head resting on Xander’s shoulder.

Xander’s fingers shifted, scratching lightly at Spike’s scalp. “We’re going to finish getting dressed and we’re going to get married. She’s not going to ruin this day for us; we’ve been planning it for too long.”

Spike turned and smiled at Xander, leaning forward and offering his lips for a kiss.

Tara grinned crookedly and leaned in to kiss Xander’s cheek. “Less than an hour before the guests get here!” She bounded out of the chair, leaving the couple twined together in silence.






Soft music swelled, drawing the guests’ attention to the door of the house. They turned to watch Quinn, decked in even more lace now that she had her hat on, and Ben walk up the aisle, carefully dropping orange petals and lavender on the ground.

Spike and Xander walked out together, following the children. They were dressed in identical tuxedos, black shoes, trousers and vests, white shirts, gray ties and full length black jackets. Several orange blossoms were arranged and slipped into their jacket pockets, peeking out from underneath the gray handkerchiefs.

They smiled and spoke with their guests as they moved to the ivy-covered arch at the back of the garden. Giles stood serenely, waiting for the pair to finish greeting their friends and stand before him.

Willow and Tara stepped up to stand at either side, Willow to Xander’s left, Tara to Spike’s right, and they all turned their attention to Giles, waiting for the rest of the company to gather around them.

“Friends and family, we have come together today to join these two men. I have known this pair for longer than I would like to admit, and I am without a doubt the last person who would ever think that I would someday stand before Spike and Xander and not only consent to their partnership, but perform the ceremony myself.” Giles smiled at the gathered crowd before turning to look at Xander.

“Alexander LaVelle Harris, do you promise to bind yourself to this man, promise to provide for and protect him and receive the same in return? Do you promise to treat him with the respect due your husband, and honor him above all others?”

Xander turned to smile at Spike, squeezing his hand. “I do.”

Giles nodded and turned to Spike. “Do you, William Victor Pratt, promise to bind yourself to this man, promise to provide for and protect him and receive the same in return? Do you promise to treat him with the respect due your husband, and honor him above all others?”

Spike’s eyes found Xander’s, both sets suspiciously damp as he whispered, “I do.”

“You may exchange rings.”

Spike turned to Tara while Xander accepted the heavy platinum band from Willow. They slid the rings onto each other’s fingers, grinning when Quinn squealed in delight.

Giles smiled and lifted his head to glance at the crowd surrounding them. “As these two have professed their love and intentions before this group of friends and family, I declare them married. As we bind, so may we find. You may…”

Giles trailed off as the newlyweds kissed.






“I’m sorry, Anya, Xander isn’t here. No, he’s not at his house either. He won’t be back until next Saturday. I’m sorry that you drove all this way. Of course Leah is with him, he’s her father. No, I am not going to tell you where he is. Please don’t call again.”

Tara hung up the phone with a sigh, turning her eyes on her son and biting his left big toe.





Part 9
Honeymooners

Xander sat on the soft white sand, his bare back against the rough bark of a tree, his knees bent and his feet buried deep. The residual heat warmed him up to his ankles and he wiggled his toes, strumming lightly at the guitar cradled in his lap.

A noise behind him made him look up and back, squinting at the cabin and the figure emerging from it. “She asleep?”

“Yup.” Spike sprawled out across the warm expanse, far enough away so that he could see Xander’s face while he played, but close enough to touch him. Xander smiled down at his husband and let his fingers move, first humming and then singing the words that were so close to his heart.

The words faded, but the soft notes continued. “I remember finding you the first time in that disgusting basement, wondering what in the hell you were doing. But then, I realized the beauty, the pure joy that you received from playing and I lost myself in it. I fell in love with you then, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.”

These oft repeated words made Xander grin and carefully place the Washburn on the towel beside him. He moved, covering Spike’s body with his own and stealing a kiss. “And I fell in love with you when you singed your fingers on Quinnie’s forehead while begging to be forgiven for not being at her baptism.”

“Gits we are. We coulda been shagging for years before we were!”

They rolled over and around, kissing and teasing. Stripping out of their shorts they headed for the water, laughing and howling over the sound of the crashing waves.






Spike shifted just a little, pulling Quinn even farther over his chest. Xander had put the hammock up earlier that day, then laughed himself hoarse watching Quinn struggle to climb up into it without flipping out the other side. Spike had watched the pair from the doorway, basking in the sense of family.

Quinn’s fingers gently plucking at his shirt brought Spike out of the memory.

“She’s not coming back, is she Baba?” Spike instinctively reached down and smoothed out the furrows he knew were forming between Quinn’s eyes.

“Well pet, it’s like this. Daddy and I have some unfinished business with Anya, and once that’s all over, she’ll be gone for good. All right?” He swung his foot over the edge of the hammock, kicking a couple of times and making their nest sway.

“She’s not a person, but she’s not like you either. And she smelled bad. And I think she would have been scary if you and daddy hadn’t been there. And I love you Baba and I’m glad we're all married now.”






“Do you have everything?” Tara asked.

“Yeah. Thanks for going to the bank and getting them,” Xander answered, flipping trough the thick files.

“I can’t believe we really need them.”

“I know.” A shriek and a howl made Xander look up and grin as he watched Quinn and Spike race into the living room. Quinn clambered over and behind the couch, Spike flying after her.

“We’re gonna get you!” Two faces appeared around the corner, one pale, one dark, as Willow and Ben stepped quietly in the room, Willow listening for sounds and Ben looking to Tara for a clue.

“They went that way,” she said, pointing toward the dining room. Willow and Ben sprinted away while muffled giggles came from behind the couch.






“Have a seat.”

Anya perched nervously on the edge of the sofa, her eyes bouncing from Spike to Xander to the room at large.

Xander glanced around, wondering what it looked like to her. When she left, he and Quinn lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment that he could barely cover the rent on. Over the years, he had become more financially secure, and once Spike convinced him to allow him to contribute to their home as well, they were able to purchase a comfortable house.

Now their home was a reflection of the three of them. A small table in the corner held Quinn’s puzzles, one half-finished and waiting for her to return. A pile of ragged stuffed animals were arranged carefully underneath it, each positioned to look out into the room. His Washburn sat on a stand next to his end of the couch, his notebook and pencils in the drawer there as well. Spike’s chair and a half was well broken in because of all the time that the three spent in it, reading and laughing as a family, and when Quinn slept, sweating and grunting as they came together as one.

Spike sat in the chair now, his arms braced on his thighs and a murderous look in his eyes. Xander sat on the ottoman in front of the chair, close enough to help calm the demon, facing Anya on the couch.

“Xander,” Anya started. “Why is Spike here? Where is Leah?”

Spike growled and leaned forward, his mouth opening as if to speak.

“Spike is here because this concerns him as well. We sent Quinn with Tara; they’ll be back in a little while. We need to talk, Anya.”

He pulled out the folder, spreading the contents over the table. Her eyes betrayed her confusion and her mouth opened and shut as she tried to ingest all the information laid out before her.

“You left, Anya. You left me with a baby that was barely a month old.” Xander paused, looking at her. “Do you know how old she is now?” He tilted his head as he watched her think.

Anya shook her head, her brow furrowing. “She’s… she’s four,” she said decisively.

Spike growled again and Xander reached out to run his hand down one quivering thigh.

“Her birthday is in less than a month,” Spike said quietly. “She’ll be six.”

Anya looked back at Xander, catching her lip between her teeth. “What is all of this?”

“You left. When Quinn was two, Spike and I decided that she needed a legal guardian in case something ever happened to me. We posted these in all the major newspapers across the country, Anya. We even posted them in some international papers.” He held up the sheath of newspaper clippings, the weight of the paper making the folder sag. “We ran these ads for almost two years before the judge determined that it was long enough. Once he stripped you of your parental rights, we had Tara assigned as her guardian.” He pulled out two additional folders, opening them so that the legal documents inside could be seen.

“What?” Anya asked. “What does that mean, stripped of my parental rights?” Her eyes darted to the growling demon in the chair before focusing on Xander again.

“As far as the United States of America is concerned, you abandoned your daughter and have no rights where she is concerned. She is no longer yours.” Xander watched as the awareness spread across her face.

“You can’t do that!” She yelled. “You can’t just take my child!”

“She’s not yours!” Spike roared, leaping to his feet. “You abandoned her, and didn’t bother to call, write or come back for six bloody years! You don’t have a clue who she is. We’re her family; you’re just the body that carried her for us.”

Xander stood and wrapped his arms around his husband, pulling Spike’s head down to bury his nose in Xander’s neck. Xander looked at her over Spike’s trembling form. “We never told her that you didn’t want her. All she knows is that she has two Daddies and no Mommy and she’s more than ok with that.”






Xander dug his fingers into the soft flesh below Spike’s hips, knowing that the bruises would only last a few hours but making them anyway. Spike twisted on the bed, fingers scrabbling at Xander’s shoulders, impatient whines happening deep in his throat.

“Please Xan, no more, fuck me.” But Xander couldn’t, not yet. He pulled out slowly, shifting so the head of his cock hit just right, turning the whines into desperate growls.

He’d promised to make his husband forget both of their names before he was done, and obviously that hadn’t happened yet. So he fucked Spike until his eyes glazed and his mouth went slack and he was so far gone he couldn’t form any words, much less names.

And then fucked him hard.






“It’s almost time to go shopping for school clothes again,” Xander said thoughtfully. “Although, if certain people here would quit growing, we wouldn’t have this problem.” He looked speculatively at Quinn.

“Daddy! That’s what kids do!” Abandoning her puzzle, she flung herself at his chest, knocking him back in the chair. He grabbed her with his free arm and held out his guitar for Spike to take. Spike settled it on its stand and moved to the window, looking out into the night.

“Look at you! You just keep growing, and growing!” Xander poked Quinn in her rounded stomach. “I’m gonna quit feeding you.”

“No you’re not! All kids grow. That’s how we’re made,” she said matter-of-factly.

Xander tugged at Quinn’s legs to position her and then bent her back, tickling her thighs and belly while he teased her. “Nope, gonna quit feeding you and you’ll stop growing.”

“No! Baba! Tell him he has to feed me!”

Spike grinned over his shoulder at her upside down face and pointed to Xander. “Take it up with your Daddy.”

“Daddy! You have to feed me, it’s the law.” She struggled to sit back up, her face red and her eyes bright.

“Really? I don’t think I ever heard of that law. Spike?”

Spike turned from the window and moved toward them. “Nope, never heard that one. You sure that’s a law, Quinn?”

“Yes!” She squealed as Xander flipped her back over and Spike slid in and out of game face, nipping at her exposed belly. She shrieked and covered her stomach with her hands, reaching to tug her shirt back up and gasping out her argument. “Daddies have to feed their children!”

Spike pushed her back up, tugging down her shirt and kissing her on her forehead. “Don’t worry, Quinnie, I’ll sneak you food.”

Xander growled and yanked Spike into his lap as well and they wriggled around, each attempting to find a comfortable spot, delayed slightly by Xander stealing kisses from Spike and tickling Quinn. Finally they settled and Spike reached over the arm of the chair for their book of the week, The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

They quieted, losing themselves in the fairytale world of tiny bikes being run by mousy little 'ptbbbbb' noises.






She stood in the flowerbed, arms curled tight around her chest, pressing the horrible ache deeper and deeper until it seemed to wrap around her spine. It should have been her in there, snuggled down next to Xander with their daughter cradled on their laps, it should have been... but it wasn’t and never would be.

It never occurred to her, all those years ago, that her daughter would grow up or that Xander would move on. She'd thought she could just go, get rid of the fear and the tiredness and the frustration, and come back to find everything perfect. Finally perfect.

And it was, just not for her.





Christmas Interlude ~ Tree Top



A Christmas Fic Card for [info] auntyk

“Baba, up!” Spike swooped in and lifted Quinn high in the air.

“That good?” he teased.

“Stop, Baba!” Her laughter tinkled through the house like the glass bells that Tara had hung from their front doorstep.

Xander laughed, infusing the warm picture with his own distinct voice. “Spike, quit teasing. If she doesn’t get to bed soon, Santa will pass us by.”

Quinn turned an unhappy, scowling face to her Daddy before looking down at Spike. “No! No! No!”

Spike laughed and brought her down to his body, kissing the soft curls on her head. “It’s alright, love. Here.”

He lifted her slowly to the top of the tree and she carefully balanced the star atop the tree. Spike brought her back down and they walked over to turn off the lights in the room. Spike and Quinn settled on the couch next to Xander, all three staring at the beauty of their tree. The warm fire crackled in the fireplace as the soft sounds of a crooning Bing Crosby filled the room.



The End