Nomads

by
Randy Sex Kitten



Staring off into the distance, Xander could see the vague outline of an animal moving stealthily through the trees, a fox, or a wild dog. A soft rustle of leaves and the animal was gone. Quiet and calm, the night fairly radiated peace, and he couldn’t remember a time when darkness had felt so natural.

A snuffling at his side alerted him to another presence and he smiled down at the wolf. “Ready to hit the road again?”

A muffled chortle and the wolf led the way to the van parked on the side of the highway. Scrambling into the open rear doors, the wolf’s lean lines quickly transformed into the lanky form so familiar to Xander. Oz tugged on his sweatpants and a t-shirt, slid his feet into a pair of heavy sandals and moved to the driver’s seat, throwing the van into gear as Xander slammed the back doors shut.

Grabbing a bag of chips and a beer, Xander settled into the passenger seat, watching the lines of cotton sail past them, getting lost in the clean lines of the crops. Oz began to sing under his breath and Xander was once again struck by the peculiarity of it all.

A year ago, both he and Oz were in Sunnydale, hunting demons and the like, putting their lives on the line to try to save other people. He never thought that they would have lasted this long. They had escaped. Not without significant loss, but they were away from the taint of the hellmouth.

Sighing, Xander leaned to his left and began twisting the dial on the radio, a lost cause, he knew. There was no signal out here in the middle of nowhere. Irritated, he flipped it off and then gave it the finger. Oz laughed and Xander grinned. “We need to get some CDs or something, man. This sucks!”

Oz shrugged. “You’re the one that insisted on selling the music for food in Texas. I was fine.”

Xander looked at Oz with poorly veiled disgust. “Yeah, but you eat rabbits and moles and shit when you’re all wolfy. Us human types need food that’s not actively bleeding and struggling to get away.”

Oz licked his lips and grinned a feral grin. “They taste better when they struggle,” he observed matter-of-factly. “Adrenalin makes the meat sweet.”

Xander threw a handful of chips at Oz and groaned. “Don’t tell me that! That’s beyond disgusting!”

It was a conversation that they had had more than once since leaving Sunnydale behind them ten months before. Long nights spent driving the highway, days spent curled up in the back of the van, smoking pot and whispering stories to each other when daymares woke them.

Buffy had died the same night as Kendra. Drusilla had taken out Kendra in front of them while Angelus had bled Buffy dry not a block away. Apparently, the death of two slayers had made the demon news, because within a couple of days, Sunnydale had become demon central.

Giles, unable to deal with the death of his slayer, had fled the country almost immediately. Xander had been shocked when he told them that Willow was going with him. He wanted to sponsor her in the watcher-training program and her parents had readily agreed. Both Oz and Xander had stared at their plane as it sped away from them, standing in the window long after it had faded from view.

After that, there was nothing left.

Oz showed up at Xander’s house late one night, just to let the other boy know that he was leaving town and that Xander was welcome to come along. A quick look around his bedroom had convinced Xander that he had no reason to stay. His jeans, t-shirts, comic books and a photo of him, Jesse and Willow were thrown into a bag and, as they passed the city limit sign, he had felt the band around his heart loosen.

They had driven through California, Oregon and Washington before running out of money. It was quickly discovered that Xander had a knack for construction and there were always people who needed a little extra help. Paid under the table, of course, since he was underage.

Oz had taken to finding populated areas and sitting on whatever he could find, playing his guitar and singing slow tunes, making lyrics up to fit the people passing and collecting the cash and other odd things that were dropped into his case.

Time passed, states passed, and they were in the heart of America. Nights grew longer as fall faded to winter, and then grew shorter as spring blossomed into summer. Work was easy to find, and their nomadic life began to feel normal.

They bought food with what money they had, beer and pot when there was a little extra. They sang and danced under the stars and slept curled in each other’s arms.

“Where are we?” Xander asked after a long, comfortable silence.

Oz shrugged. “Not sure. Maybe Georgia.”

Xander nodded and stared out the window. A massive sign appeared in the distance, and as they got closer it became easier to read.

Experienced Carpenters Needed.
90-day Contract Required .
40-hour Work Week
Flat Rate Pay, $10,000.

Xander swallowed hard and nudged Oz. “Look,” he said, indicating the sign.

Oz coughed and pulled over to the side of the road. Xander studied the sign and did a little calculating in his head. “That’s almost twenty dollars an hour.”

Oz nodded, his posture tense. Xander had never earned more than eight dollars an hour, a wage justified by more than one employer because of his age and their liability at having him do the work.

“We could do a lot with that much money,” Xander stated softly.

Oz nodded again.

Several minutes were spent staring at the sign. “Want to get a hotel room?” Oz asked. “We’ve got about a hundred bucks.”

Xander considered it. “Nah, let’s find a campground. I’ll call that place in the morning.” He jotted down the number at the bottom of the sign.

Head bobbing in agreement, Oz smoothly re-entered traffic, hunting the local campground.






A week later, Xander was walking down the center of Main Street, his shirt tied around his waist and sweat dripping from his shoulders. The work was hard and good and honest. A millionaire and his wife had bought land just outside the little town and wanted a house up before summer was over. In addition to having a construction company on their payroll, they had hired carpenters, landscapers, ranch hands, and a domestic goddesses.

Xander grinned thinking about the last one. Maggie was a massive, elderly, dark-skinned beauty who had been hired to keep the staff well fed and healthy. She was a retired RN and treated each man as if he were her only grandchild. Every night, she sent leftovers home with Xander, having learned about Oz their first day at work.

Wiping his face with the tail of his shirt, Xander turned down the dirt path that led out to their campsite. Oz looked up and grinned when Xander stepped out from between the trees. He grabbed the carefully wrapped package that Xander was holding out to him, and dug into the food as Xander stripped off his shoes and jeans, tossing the latter over a limb before moving out into the river to rinse off.

Later, he would collect their supplies and walk up to the showers, but a dip in the cool waters of the river were exactly what he needed after a long day of physical labor. Floating in the shallow water, he stared up into the darkening sky, sighing happily.

Their lives fell into a slow pattern of work and play. Oz found a club in town that had open mike night and after a couple of weeks, he was asked to become a regular player. The pay wasn’t much, but it was enough that they didn’t have to touch Xander’s accumulating funds.

Their lives were good. And, as expected, that’s when everything changed.






Xander jerked awake, unsure as to why he had. Oz was struggling to sit up next to him, half changed to wolf, scenting the night air. Peering out the open doors of the van, they moved in tandem, each keeping an eye on the other.

An odd howl sounded just beyond the light of their banked fire, sending a shiver down Xander’s spine. Oz slipped off the sweat bottoms that he had fallen asleep in and faded into the form of the wolf. He glanced at Xander and loped off in the direction the howl had come from.

Xander stepped back into the van, closing and locking all of the doors, keeping an eye out for Oz. A scrabbling at the rear door had him racing to the back, waiting patiently for the signal that it was Oz. A tap, tap-tap that a normal wolf couldn’t mimic and he flung the door open, dragging Oz inside and slamming the door shut again.

He ran his hands over the wolf, checking for injuries, before backing off so that Oz could change. Habitually averting his eyes as Oz pulled on his sweats, he turned back. “What did you see?”

Oz was flushed, staring down at his bare toes. He seemed almost unwilling to say. Xander grabbed Oz’s arm, shaking it gently. “Oz?”

“Spike,” Oz breathed, and Xander jerked back with a hiss.

“What?”

“He’s… there’s something wrong with him, he’s thin, emaciated,” Oz reported quietly.

The last they’d seen Spike, he had been in a wheelchair, his face a mass of bruising. He had come to them after the slayers’ deaths, begging for help. Angelus had begun trying to find a way to destroy the world. Spike was willing to do anything to stop him, even coming to a slayer for help. He hadn’t heard about Buffy’s death and seemed shocked when they told him.

They had left shortly after that, neither wanting to know if Angelus had managed to do what he wanted to do. After several months, they had decided that he had failed, since they were still alive.

Remembering the absolute misery that had been Spike, Xander considered what Oz had said. “Do you think we should…”

Oz shrugged, looking out the window. “He looks like he’s hurting.”

Xander slipped his boots on over his bare feet and opened the door, slipping out of the van. Collecting a branch from their pile of tinder, he walked off, searching for Spike. Oz joined him, in shoes and a shirt now, and they approached the still figure curled in a ball not thirty feet from their campsite.

“Spike?” Xander said quietly. There was no movement. “Spike?” he pushed the vampire with his foot, receiving not even a grunt in reply.

Crouching down, Xander glanced up at Oz. Oz nodded, looking around; alert for anything that might approach. Xander shuffled forward, reaching out to touch the huddled form. He tugged at one tense shoulder and Spike rolled over.

Xander gasped. Spike was beyond thin. His bones were visible under a thin sheath of skin stretched taut. His eyes were open and aware, although he made no move. “Spike?” Xander prompted again. Spike blinked, rolling his head to the side, effectively dismissing him.

“Grab him,” Oz’s voice was loud in the quiet night and they reached down, each taking hold of a thin arm and pulling Spike up, carrying him to the fire. Oz moved to build up the fire while Xander sat next to Spike, watching him carefully.

“Spike?”

“Bloody hell, boy, I know my fucking name.” His voice was thin and weak, less substantial than he himself seemed to be. He turned his face away again, staring into the night.

“What? I mean, why… You’re so thin,” Xander said.

Spike snorted. “That’s what happens when you don’t eat.”

“Why aren’t you eating? Do you need…” Xander glanced over at Oz, who had settled on the other side of the fire, his eyes warily focused on Spike.

“You offering?” Spike growled, an effect that was ruined by the shudders that were causing his body to twitch and jerk.

“No,” Xander replied. “But I could find you something, I mean Oz hunts all the time and there are lots of…”

“Bloody hell.” Spike fell forward and began to crawl away from the fire, back off into the trees.

“Spike!” Xander cried, going after him and dragging him back to the fire. Spike morphed, his demon growling and snapping. Xander dropped him and backed away, his hands held up in a placating gesture.

“Leave me alone,” Spike wheezed.

“Not until you tell us why you look so bad,” Xander answered, looking at Oz for support.

“Yeah, man,” Oz offered.

A bird began to warble and both Xander and Oz jerked their heads up, looking at the lightening sky. They reached for Spike without speaking, picking him up and placing him in the back of the van. Climbing in after him, Xander watched as he collapsed onto Xander’s bed, his face buried in the pillow.

Xander pulled curtain between the front seat and the back, blocking any light that might try to get in. He sat next to Spike for a long time before the door cracked open and Oz’s slight form slid in.

Spike seemed to be asleep, or pretending at any rate, and Oz and Xander spoke quietly. “What are we going to do?”

Oz looked at Spike, shaking his head. “I don’t know. He’s not even tried to bite, have you noticed? Even when he was trying to get away from you.”

Xander nodded. “I know.”

They both glanced at Spike. Oz shifted, pulling off his shirt as he toed off his shoes. “I’m gonna go get him something to eat.” The pants were next and then the wolf scratched at the door, looking at Xander.

Xander let him out, leaving the door partially open as he leaned against the wall of the van, watching Spike.

Another few weeks and they were still force-feeding Spike. Oz would bring home several animals a night, stunning them and tearing at their throats a little to make them bleed before turning them over to Xander who would then press the open wound to Spike’s mouth and wait.

Spike didn’t want to be alive, that much was obvious, but the demon refused to starve when there was blood available. He refused to bite, refused to hunt, but when fresh blood was pressed against his mouth, the demon would take over.

Spike wasn’t speaking to them; he excelled at not even acknowledging their presence and he continued to grow thinner. Xander would drag him out of the van each night, carrying him to the fire and talking to him, telling him their adventures, as Oz added his own comments. When he was ready to go to bed, Xander would carry Spike back inside, wrapping himself around Spike, holding him close, keeping him warm throughout the night.

Spike didn’t speak. They hadn’t heard his voice since the night they had found him. Xander felt strangely tied to the vampire and when Oz asked why they shouldn’t just let Spike die, he yelled at his friend. Their first fight in almost a year.

This night, Oz was working late and had planned on staying in town with one of the other regulars at the club. Xander went through his nightly routine, floating in the river until his skin was pruning before getting out and drying off, heading toward the van as the first of the cicadas began to sing.

Digging for a clean pair of pants, Xander dressed quickly. He lifted Spike and carried him out to the fire, settling him on the pallet that was set up there. Xander settled next to Spike and stroked his hair, his fingers catching in the loose mass of white-tipped curls.

“I should take you up for another shower, I think,” he commented softly, continuing to pet the vampire. “Tonight would be a good night, there aren’t many campers here this week.”

There was no response from Spike, but Xander decided that a hot shower would feel good and went to the van to collect what they needed. He piled clean clothes, soap, shampoo and towels on Spike’s stomach before lifting him carefully and heading for the showers.

Xander was right, there were no other campers there, and he set Spike down on the floor, propping him in a seated position. Xander took off his clothes and turned on the water, knowing from experience that it would take several minutes before the water was even remotely warm. He took the piles of toiletries and clothes and set them on the bench, and then knelt in front of Spike, carefully removing his clothes.

Spike turned his head away, not looking at Xander as his clothes were folded and stacked on top of Xander’s. Xander sighed and stood, bringing Spike with him under the spray of hot water.

Xander grinned when Spike wriggled away from the pelting stream, sounds of displeasure coming from him. “Too hot?” Xander asked, and Spike glared at him. Laughing, Xander pulled Spike back under the spray, ignoring the vampire’s struggles. “If you want something different, you’ll have to ask,” he told him, reaching for the soap, never letting go of Spike’s gaunt waist.

“Leggo,” Spike rasped, pushing ineffectively against Xander. Stunned, Xander did as he was asked and Spike stumbled backward, falling and landing heavily on the tiled floor.

“Oh! I’m sorry!” Xander reached for Spike, grinning as his hands were batted away.

“What are you smiling at, you fuck? Nearly peeled the flesh off my bones, little git.” Spike glared at Xander, the glare deepening as Xander’s smile grew. “What the hell are you bloody grinning at?”

“A drowned rat,” Xander answered, reaching back out and tugging Spike to his feet, shielding his thin figure from the water as he turned and lowered both the pressure and the temperature. Stepping back, he pulled at Spike’s hands and Spike shuffled forward, letting the water roll over him.

“Ha bloody ha.”

Xander continued to grin as he ran soapy hands over Spike’s torso, turning him gently to get to his back. He dropped to the floor and grabbed the soap once more, dropping it to wash Spike’s legs.

Spike leaned heavily on the wall as Xander quickly cleaned himself, rising and offering Spike the soap. “Do you want to…” he looked down at Spike’s flaccid organ. Spike nodded and reached for the soap, rubbing it over his cock and under his balls, nearly falling as he did so.

Xander held him steady, taking the soap from him. “And the back?” Spike shook his head and Xander understood that it just wasn’t possible. He soaped his hands and ran them dispassionately over round buttocks and down the cleft, helping Spike turn to rinse away the soap.

Pressing a hip into Spike’s, he leaned down to grab the shampoo. Pouring a large dollop into his hands he ran his fingers through his dark locks. Hands still covered in white foam, he refilled his palm with gel, now scrubbing Spike’s scalp, scratching lightly with his fingernails when Spike began to hum contentedly.

Once they were both rinsed off, Xander turned off the water and lowered Spike to the floor, going to retrieve their towels. He dried Spike and helped him into one of his shirts and Oz’s sweatpants.

Smiling down at him, Xander asked, “So, did you want to get something to eat?”

Spike snarled and turned his face away, his mask of disinterest falling swiftly over his features.

“No!” Xander shouted, alarming Spike and causing him to jump. “You are not going back in there. What is going on with you, Spike?” Xander knelt down in front of him. “You’re so thin, and you won’t eat, you haven’t even tried to bite me…”

Xander gasped when his wrist was grabbed and brought to Spike’s mouth. He cried out, trying to pull away as sharp fangs split the skin covering his palm. Spike held him still, golden eyes boring into his as he slowly began to swallow. Spike pulled away, lapping lightly at the small wounds.

Xander panted, his body confused. The bite had hurt like hell, no doubt about that, but the feeling of Spike’s tongue pressing against his skin as he swallowed mouthfuls of Xander’s blood made him tremble with want. When Spike released his wrist, Xander scooted across the floor, putting distance between himself and the vampire.

Spike calmly licked his lips, his eyes never leaving Xander’s as his features softened into human planes. “You were saying?”

Shaking his head, Xander rose to his feet, clutching his hand close to his chest. “No. I’ve been taking care of you for weeks, why would you do that? We’ve been feeding you, keeping you out of the sun, letting you sleep in my fucking bed!”

His eyes darted around the room, searching for something. Spike dragged himself to his feet, using the wall to hold himself erect. “Xander.” Xander trembled at the tone of the low purr. “Won’t hurt you, I promise. Please?” Spike reached for Xander, losing his grip on the wall and falling to the ground. “Please,” he whimpered.

Xander cautiously moved closer to Spike, barely brushing his arm with his hand. “Spike?”

Spike turned his head to look at him. “You and the wolf are safe, I swear. I’ll tell you what happened, just… please.” Spike’s hands were trapped underneath him and Xander shifted him gently to free them before helping Spike sit down against the wall. He retrieved their things, piled them on Spike’s lap, picked him up and headed back to their campsite.

Settling Spike next to the fire, Xander spend several minutes putting their things away and straightening up the van. With nothing left to do, he sat across from Spike, staring into the dancing flames. “So talk,” he said, his fingers moving across the puncture wounds that decorated his palm.

Spike sighed and closed his eyes. “Angelus,” he hissed. “He found a great bloody stone called Acathla and was going to destroy the world.” He snarled and tried to sit up. Xander stood, helped him into position and sat down next to him, their thighs touching.

“Thanks,” Spike muttered. “Anyway, he couldn’t figure out how to open the damn thing and spent several weeks tearing the town apart until he found something that said it required blood to open and to close.” Spike glanced at Xander, who was listening silently. “So, he tried using human blood, using demon blood, using my blood, but nothing worked. My Dru,” he paused, “She even brought him a virgin experiencing her first menses, thinking the purity of the blood might help.”

Xander shrank back, staring at Spike in horror. Spike shook his head, lost in the past. “Nothing worked. I thought we’d be ok when he got bored and forgot about it. I was getting my strength back, was able to walk a bit and hoped that he’d throw me and Dru out, or leave us like he always did.” Xander reached out and rested his hand on Spike’s thigh, offering silent support.

“So, one night the entire thing went all to hell. Angelus managed to get a hold of some book-type guy and found out that it had to be his own blood. He immediately began planning a huge ceremony, my Dru dancing all around him, talking about angels with broken wings and some such.” Spike sighed again. “The next night, they did it.”

Spike stopped speaking. The night had darkened to pitch, the stars in hiding. The fire created a soft circle of light, banishing the darkness. Spike shuffled closer to Xander, and Xander opened his arm, allowing Spike to rest underneath it, up against his chest. It was a familiar position; one that had become the norm after the night when Spike, shivering with cold, had weakly forced his way into Xander’s embrace.

“What happened, Spike? I mean, we’re still here, so it didn’t work…” Xander looked down to see Spike staring into the fire.

“It did work,” he stated bluntly, coldly. “Bastard opened Acathla. There was a vortex and I could hear all the creatures of hell surrounding it, desperate to come through and I just couldn’t do it. I’m a vampire!” He looked up at Xander. “I may be evil, but I know what I need to survive and there is no way that I could keep Dru safe and fed if the world…” He choked on his words, sobbing silently for a moment.

When he began to speak again, his voice sounded detached. “I had to stop him. He said that blood would open and close it, so I grabbed a sword that he had had me cleaning and ran him through. He hadn’t expected that, I surprised him. The blade got stuck in the stone and when the vortex closed, Angelus was gone.”

Xander didn’t move, couldn’t, even though Spike’s fingers, gone to claws, were digging into his thighs, betraying the calmness of his voice. “Dru went mad. She attacked me, sank her perfect fangs into my throat and began to tear off my flesh. I tried to stop her, but I was already weak. She finally quit shredding my skin and began to feed, and I knew. I knew then that she was never mine, and she kept drinking, growling at me and I could feel her anger in the way she held me and I knew that this was it. She was going to kill me. Me. She made me, and she was going to kill me because I stopped Angelus from destroying everything! My dark princess.” Spike’s words became erratic, but he didn’t stop speaking. “She bled me and I couldn’t see, couldn’t think beyond getting away. She… she had had me do her hair up in sticks, you know?” Spike waved his hands around his head. “Loose curls all around her face. She wanted to look pretty for Daddy’s party. I…” Spike howled.

Xander tightened his arms around Spike, holding him close against his chest. “Let it out, Spike. It’s ok, just let it out.”

Softly, so softly that it was almost incomprehensible, Spike spoke. “I couldn’t stop myself, I couldn’t let myself die. I grabbed one of the sticks from her hair and I… I…” He took a shaking breath. “I destroyed my Drusilla, my beautiful girl, I staked her, killed her. Dru!” The last was a shout into the night.

Xander felt dampness on his face and realized that he was crying. They sat until dawn, each lost in their own remembrances. Xander noticed the smell of overcooked meat before he realized that it was Spike’s flesh that was burning. “Shit!” He leapt to his feet and quickly dragged Spike to the van, slamming the door shut behind them. He patted out the flames and looked down into the eyes of a man that had given up.

“Not gonna let you kill yourself, Spike,” he said quietly.

“Why not?” Was the tired reply. Xander didn’t answer and they both drifted to sleep.






The sound of Oz’s singing threaded through Xander’s dreams and brought him to full wakefulness. He squinted through the open doors of the van, involuntarily tightening his hold on the man in his arms.

“Oz,” he croaked, coughing to clear his throat.

“Hey man.” Oz smiled around the corner of the van, peeking into the darkness that was holding Xander and Spike. “You guys ok?” he asked.

“Yeah. Lemme…” Xander struggled to sit up, moving Spike to the pillow from his shoulder. He crawled out of the van and stretched; staring up into the clear, blue sky. Rubbing his eyes, he groaned, “What time is it?”

“Almost four,” Oz said quietly, moving over to the fire and picking up a plate there.

Xander groaned. “No wonder I feel dead. I’ve been asleep for way too long.”

Laughing, Oz stood. “Want some?” He held the plate out to Xander, who nodded and took the proffered food.

Tortillas wrapped around eggs, chorizo, beans, potatoes and hot sauce; Oz’s favorite meal to cook and Xander dug in eagerly. Lapping at the oil dripping from the bottom of the burrito, Xander glanced up at Oz who was staring into the van, knowing eyes lingering on the still form within.

Oz turned and smiled at Xander. “He looks better,” he observed, settling down on the ground next to Xander.

“Yeah,” Xander said, swallowing a large bite before continuing. “He came out of it last night and told me what happened, why he’s… like that.” He finished off the rest of the food and stood, walking to the far edge of their campsite and lowering his pants, relieving himself in the surrounding brush.

“He did?” Oz asked, his voice surprised.

“Yeah.” Finishing, Xander stepped back and dropped his pants next to the fire, crossing over to the pebble-strewn beach at the other edge of the site. He stepped into the cool water, letting it race around his ankles before falling face forward into the river.

A splash to his right alerted him to an attack and he lunged to the side, grabbing Oz and flipping him over his shoulder.

“Hey!”

And the fight started. Each breath was filled with droplets of water as they splashed each other, laughing and yelling as they began to wrestle. Legs and arms tangled, bellies and chests rubbing lightly as they grappled. A long while later, exhausted, waterlogged, with pruned fingers and toes, they clambered out of the river, each diving for the cooler and drinking deeply of whatever they could find.

They collapsed on the blanket laid out before the fire, Xander expressing sarcastic regret over the bruises that Oz pouted over. Comfortable in both their nudity and their closeness. They picked at the food left in the skillet, talking lightly as the day gave way to night.

Spike’s story led to remembrances of Sunnydale and they were quiet for a long time before picking up the conversation once again. Oz related his experiences the night before, of the different offers he’d had. Xander snorted, earning a poke in the ribs from Oz, and soon four hands were tickling, shrieks of laughter, choked words of defense drowning out the noises of the night.

Their laughter stopped suddenly at the loud growl that permeated the fading evening light. Xander jumped up and moved toward the van, his hands moving out automatically to touch the figure within.

“What are you doing with him?” Spike growled.

Xander pulled back from Spike’s gruff tone. “What? Who?”

“You and the wolf, naked.” A clawed hand reached out and dragged down Xander’s chest, scoring his chest with fine red lines.

Xander flinched, slapping Spike’s hand away. “What? And, Ow! Stop that!”

Oz stepped up behind Xander and Spike began to growl once more. Oz growled in response, and Xander glanced back at him, wonderingly. Shaking his head, Oz walked back to the fire, settling down on the blanket, and picking up his guitar, a soft song filling the night.

Xander felt a tug on his arm and moved closer to the van, looking at Spike. “What was that Spike? Why are you growling? What’s the deal?”

Spike shook his head and pulled Xander closer, forcing him to stumble his way into the van as Spike dragged him forward, settling him on his chest as he lay back on Xander’s bed.

Silent, Spike held Xander tightly, arms and legs wrapped around Xander’s warm flesh, restricting his movement. Xander struggled momentarily, then relaxed, tucking his hands under the pillow Spike was laying on.

He gasped as a soft mouth pressed against his. Cool lips barely brushed his before moving away, nuzzling at his neck. He shifted, his cock filling slightly as Spike pressed kisses to his throat, murmuring nonsense words, cooing quietly. Unsure, Xander stayed still as the man beneath him drifted back to sleep.






A cold, wet nose to the ear woke him. “Go away, Oz,” he grumbled, rubbing his face against Spike’s shoulder, scratching his nose against his shirt. Another nudge and Xander lifted his head to glare at the wolf.

Oz morphed back to mostly human and pushed Xander off of Spike before shaking the vampire roughly. “Spike,” he growled. “Hunt.”

Spike snarled and reached for Xander, the snarl turning to a growl as Oz blocked him. “Get up, vampire. Hunt!” Oz jerked him up and tossed his boots to Xander, who looked at Oz askance before quickly trying to force them onto Spike’s feet.

Spike kicked ineffectually at Xander as his boots were laced tightly around his ankles, and roared out his anger as he was bodily lifted from the van. Xander smirked and grabbed the door, preparing to slam it shut. “Just think,” he said. “If you had been eating, there would be no way that a human and a werewolf could have forced you out of this van. Go. Feed!”

The door slammed shut on Spike’s colorful response.






Xander jumped as cold arms threaded their way around his torso. “Spike,” he murmured, hearing Oz settling into his own bed.

Soft kisses were pressed against the back of his neck and a rumbling filled his senses. He rolled, looking at Spike in the scant light. “Did you eat?” he whispered.

“Yeah,” Spike answered, curling in closer to Xander’s heat. “Was good. Hunting again.”

Xander smiled, wrapping his arms around Spike and holding him close. “You feel a little… more,” he ended weakly.

Spike chuckled, pressing his face into Xander’s neck. “Yeah.”






Xander began bringing home extra food, Maggie having caught wind of the blond that was staying with Xander and Oz. Xander wasn’t sure how she knew that, since he never told anyone where he and Oz were staying, but he shrugged and accepted the extra packages each day.

A quick peek into the van to check on a sleeping Spike, food dropped near the fire to stay warm, and Xander was in the river, nude and smiling, his legs spread wide in the cold water, the heat of the day rushing away.

Thoughts of Spike filled his mind, just as they had been for the last month and a half. Floating on his back, cold water surrounding him, the evening sky turning dark above him, he let himself drift.

Too-warm hands stroked over his exposed skin and he trembled as he dragged his fingers down to cup and stroke burgeoning flesh, wishing that the fingers touching him were cooler.

Long, cool fingers attached to a gentleman’s hands. Sleek skin, covered in fine blond hair, chest and belly almost hairless with a line of darker hair trailing down to golden-brown curls surrounding paler than pale flesh, pale blue lines crisscrossing gently… Touching, kissing, having Spike against him every night, feeling his body react to each light caress…

Xander choked down his cry as he spilled over his hand, rolling in the water and rinsing the evidence from his body. A voice called, “Xan?” And he quickly clambered up to shore, pushing the water off his body as he stumbled back to the campsite.

“Hey Oz,” he said, leaning into the van to grab his sweats.

Oz climbed into the van, digging through the pile of not-quite-dirty laundry. “We got a gig two towns over. Rehearsal early tomorrow, then playing Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. I’ll be back sometime on Sunday.”

Xander grinned. “That’s awesome, man! Congratulations!”

“Yeah, Wolf, congratulations.” Spike struggled up, his blanket falling to expose his chest, thicker than even a week ago, and an almost healthy pallor. Xander felt his mouth go dry as Spike stretched out, reaching for the bottle of Jack that Oz had brought home.

Spike and Oz had an understanding; one that came into fruition during one of their nightly hunts. Xander didn’t know what it was, but it kept the two of them from tearing each other to pieces. The hunting was doing a lot for Spike; he was starting to look like he had before. He was still tired all the time and slept most of the day and night away, getting up only for the hunt and to sit with Xander by the fire. Xander didn’t want to think about why the vampire wasn’t healing faster on all the animal blood he was consuming; because that lead to thoughts of a vampire’s natural prey and he didn’t want to go there.

“Here,” Oz said, tossing a t-shirt at Xander. Xander slipped it on and watched as Oz kept digging.

“What are you looking for?’ he asked, scooting over and letting Spike wrap himself around his body.

“That pink shirt. The one with the pagoda on the front.” A shirt flew through the air and landed on Spike’s head. He growled and flung it back at Oz, wrapping himself more tightly around Xander’s warm body.

Xander slung an arm around Spike and pointed toward the front seat. “You put it in the front after Spike threatened to dismember you if you ever wore it out with him again.”

Spike’s laughter ended with a grunt as Oz stepped firmly on Spike’s waist to clamber into the front of the van. “Wolf!”

“Hush, Spike,” Xander prompted, pressing a kiss to his head, watching as Oz finished his packing.

“See you guys later. Gonna play at that hotel. The Banda, I think?”

Xander nodded, sliding down to lie on his back next to Spike. The door slammed shut and suddenly, he was alone with Spike. Alone with a vampire.

He could feel Spike’s smile against his chest. Slowly, Spike’s hand drew down his arm, pale fingers tightening around his right wrist. Spike brought his hand up, pressing his nose into Xander’s palm and inhaling deeply.

Xander flushed as Spike began to purr, releasing his hand and moving further down, tugging up the t-shirt he had just pulled on to nuzzle his face against Xander’s bare belly. “Xander,” he purred, dragging his tongue down the strong lines of Xander’s abdomen. “Somebody’s been bad…”

Xander’s blush deepened. Spike’s tongue began drawing intricate designs over trembling flesh, dipping into his navel, drawing out a gasp. “I can taste it on you, Xander. Can taste your release. Were you thinking about me when you came?” Spike lifted himself on his elbows, his eyes meeting Xander’s.

Xander nodded silently, his eyes never leaving Spike’s. “Always.”

“Always?” Spike teased, slowly moving up Xander’s body.

“Yes,” Xander breathed, tangling his hands in Spike’s hair and tugging, drawing him down for a kiss. He smiled as Spike pulled his tongue into his mouth, tasting the light tang of blood that had become so familiar.

Spike’s hands began to roam Xander’s body, brushing against nipples, throat, thigh and cock; never lingering for more than a moment. Xander arched beneath him, crying out as Spike’s hands located and abandoned seemingly every sensitive place on his body.

“Spike,” he gasped. “Please!”

“Please what, Xan? Want me to touch you? Want me to take you?” Spike pushed Xander shirt higher and bit lightly at pale nipples.

“Yes,” Xander hissed. “Want that, want you.”

Spike smiled and kissed Xander’s chest lightly before moving to straddle his hips, running his hands up and down Xander’s chest, watching the expressions on his face. “Why, Xander?”

The question caught Xander by surprise. “Um. Huh?”

“Why do you want me, Xander?” Spike’s hands never quit moving, the slow strokes maddeningly arousing.

“You’re… Um, You’re…”

Spike laughed. “You said that, pet.”

Xander lifted his arms and pushed at Spike’s chest. Not dislodging, simply making contact. His hands drifted until they rested on Spike’s bare thighs. “You’re beautiful, Spike. Not just the outside, although that’s not bad to look at.” He paused. “You need to do your roots, though.”

Spike’s hands immediately moved to his too-long hair and he growled lightly.

Xander laughed. “I like spending time with you. The stories that you’ve told me about your past, all the years spent with Drusilla and Angelus, hunting with Oz, getting up to sit with me next to the fire at night… I love the way you hold me when you’re sleeping. It makes me feel like I can do anything. You’re… You’re beautiful.”

He lifted his eyes to look at Spike’s, taking in a deep breath at what he found there. Passion, trust, and something more…

“Xander…” Spike’s next words were spoken deep into Xander’s mouth as he kissed him.

This kiss was nothing like the simple ones that have been shared before. This was not a brushing of lips. It was hard and demanding and hungry and Xander found himself clutching Spike to him, opening his mouth to let him explore.

Spike settled on Xander’s chest, letting his weight press Xander down into the nest of blankets that they shared. “Gonna take you, love, make you all mine.”

“Yes,” Xander moaned, arching his neck to allow Spike complete access. Spike’s lips left slick trails as he moved slowly down Xander’s body, removing clothing as needed, until he was sitting between Xander’s feet, just looking at him.

“So beautiful, pet,” he intoned, his hands moving up and down Xander’s shins as he watched his chest move up and down with each breath. His hands began sliding up, up, up to meet over Xander’s belly.

Xander’s abdomen quivered and jerked under the light touches and a laughing kiss was laid, just there next to his navel.

Spike’s purrs grew as Xander’s hands began to move as well. He let them glide over snow-white skin that was finally beginning to look like it fit, and then Spike’s mouth was on his.

Long tongue curling deep inside and Xander could imagine that strong muscle pressing into him and he cried out. Smiling, Spike moved away, flipping Xander over onto his stomach. “Wha?” Xander gasped, his entire body flinching as Spike’s tongue began to trace sweeping trails over his back.

“Beautiful boy, you’ve no idea your worth. Laid bare before the thrones of the deities, they would wail and knash their teeth in want for such perfection. None shall have, none shall taste until I am gone…”

Spike’s words intermingled with his touches, and Xander felt as though his bones were melting. Devotion in tone and action from such a dangerous, such an attractive creature… Everything he wanted lay at his feet.

“Spike, want you.”

“And you have me,” Spike assured him. Cool wetness on his back, sliding between clenched cheeks, and Spike was laughing softly as he pried tense muscles apart to kiss the sweet opening that lay hidden from him.

At this touch, Xander relaxed, his legs spread, his back arching. “Oh, please,” he whispered. “Please.”

“Yes, my boy.” And Spike was licking him. Tiny licks that made him smile and then giggle until a forceful push found him gasping, his ass in the air, pushing back against the smooth muscle that was breaching him.

Slick, slippery, slide… Feeling the pressure from just inside his opening, that soft touch of being tasted so deeply; Xander shuddered and pushed back, opening himself further to Spike and letting his muscles relax. “Please,” he groaned.

Spike’s tongue moved away, but Xander could feel his panting breaths against his cheeks. A finger breached him, pointed and firm, but slick with something that made it glide right into him, touching him in ways he had never imagined.

“My boy, sweet and untried, so tight… Makes me hard, makes me want to tear and bite and lick…” Spike’s words brushed against his bare hip and he cried out when a second finger joined the first and began to stretch him.

“Oh God, Spike! Yes, please, I want to feel, you feel so… Hard!” His babbling words were cut off suddenly when Spike knocked him roughly to one side, spooning up behind him in a habitual position. “Spike?”

“Shh,” Spike offered, his tongue tracing designs along Xander’s shoulder and neck, his fingers plunging in and out. Xander trembled when the fingers were removed, and he heard the snick of something opening.

The fingers returned, slicker than before, but they only danced around him, barely brushing him with their slick wetness and he cried out in loss when they disappeared.

“Shh,” from Spike once more.

Pressure. Blunt and cold and wet and pressing against him, into him and Xander cried out when he felt himself open with a pop. “Spike!”

“Yes, love.” Spike slid deep inside Xander, his fingers tight on Xander’s hips, tugging and pulling, wiggling his hips to get just that much deeper. They both sighed, muscles clenching and reshaping, trying to control the burning fire that raged through each of them.

Xander could feel his body shaking uncontrollably, could feel Spike’s words more than hear them as they were panted into his ear. Wet kisses trailed over his neck and face and cool fingers were there, twisting his neck as Spike’s hips began to rock slowly. Spike took his mouth slowly, lovingly and Xander felt his heart began to thump.

One hand soft on his face, the other sliding across his hips to grasp his cock in a grip that demanded acquiescence and Xander willingly gave up everything he had to the man who slid slowly in and out of him, who was claiming his mind, body and soul.

His trembling worsened and he quaked under Spike’s ministrations. He shouted something as he came, covering Spike's hand and his own belly with his come. Spike began to purr, the sensation translating into a vibration that shook him from within. Spikes cry was muted as he bit into Xander’s shoulder, dull teeth dragging and catching on slick skin.

They lay there for an indeterminate time, each breath slowing, their bodies calming. “Spike,” Xander whispered.



Unfinished