Reaping the Reward


Part Thirteen

After Willow spoke to Wesley that evening, the ex-Watcher, nearly as excited as the redhead had been, but better able to contain it, called Xander and William to arrange a time to meet with them so he could gather more information about William which might help him in his research. Following a quick conference that consisted mainly of silent head and hand motions over the covered receiver, they agreed to meet him the next afternoon before they each had to report to work, as they were both anxious to see what the other man could turn up. Plus, Xander wanted to find out more about the prophecy Cordy had mentioned, and this shanshu business.

Xander slipped into the bedroom to set the alarm while he was still on the phone with Wesley so he wouldn’t forget. When he returned to the living room, twirling the phone in the hand that dangled by his leg, William was nowhere to be seen. Xander did a slow 360 degree turn. Not in the living room or kitchen, not on the balcony, not in the bedroom Xander had just vacated. That left only one place. Dropping the phone on the coffee table, Xander approached the bathroom.

He slowly pushed the door open, and then leaned against the doorframe watching his lover, who was reclining in bubbles that bobbed just below his nipples, the silver cross gleaming on his chest, his head resting against the tiled wall, eyes closed.

“You’re lettin’ all the warm air out,” William complained with a relaxed smile, his eyes still closed.

“What are you doing?” Xander asked, as he stepped into the room and pushed the door shut behind him, then leaned back against it.

William opened one eye. “What’s it look like?” he asked.

“Uh, bubble bath,” Xander said, smiling.

“Right the first time. Join me?” William asked. When Xander took a deep breath to answer, the other man hurried on. “Need to wash up anyway,” he cajoled.

“What made you decide on a bubble bath?” Xander asked, pulling his ripped shirt off over his head. He shook his head as he studied it, and tossed it towards the waste basket.

“Don’t know,” William shrugged. Xander could tell he wasn’t really paying attention to the conversation, since both eyes were now locked hungrily on Xander’s bare chest. Xander rubbed his hand over his chest, letting his fingers play with his nipples, watching William’s eyes darken. He slowly dragged his hand down his chest and stomach to his jeans, leisurely unbuttoning and unzipping them. William began to breathe faster. He hooked his thumbs in the waistband of his jeans and boxers, and began to push them down.

“Ow, ow, ow!” Xander’s seductive strip was interrupted by the slight pain of peeling his boxers away from the drying release that covered his stomach. William tried unsuccessfully to cover his snicker. “Not funny.” Xander pouted, toeing his shoes off, shoving his jeans and boxers down his legs, and kicking them with a little more force than necessary into a corner of the bathroom.

“Come here.” William held out a bubble-covered hand. Xander grasped his fingers and stepped gingerly into the tub. He grabbed the sides and carefully lowered himself into the warm water, settling between William’s legs. William used a washcloth that hung over the side of the tub to gently wipe Xander’s stomach and the soft flesh between his legs clean. When he was done, Xander leaned back against William’s chest, and the other man’s arms came around him. He let his head fall back on William’s shoulder and took a deep breath, trying to let the strain of the day slip away.

“This is nice,” he said after a few minutes.

“Mmm,” William agreed against his neck. Xander shivered as the other man’s breath tickled him. William seemed to like that response. He began to lick and suck on Xander’s neck as his fingers found his nipples, gently pinching, and pulling, and rolling until Xander was groaning and squirming beneath his attention. “Very nice,” he drawled huskily.

“William,” Xander groaned, his hands clutching at William’s thighs.

Without responding, William’s hand drifted lower, his fingers lightly teasing Xander’s abdomen, making his muscles jump. Xander let out a long moan when William’s fingers finally closed around his stiffening penis. Feet flat against the end of the tub, he pressed back against the hard column of flesh at his back, his head tossing on William’s shoulder.

“You feel so good, Xan,” William breathed in his ear as his fingers continued to play him like a finely tuned instrument; twisting his nipples and stroking his cock. He nipped at his earlobe, and then sucked on his shoulder.


“Please ‘what’, luv?” William’s voice was deep and low, and the sound of it alone almost made Xander come.

“More,” Xander managed to get out between harsh pants for air.

“More?” William teased. “You want harder? Faster?” he asked slowly, matching action to words as his fingers tightened around Xander’s cock and began to pump more quickly.

“Go-od, yes!” Xander cried, moving his hips, thrusting into William’s hand. “God, William!” he cried, coming, his back arching as he shot his release over William’s hand and into the water. “,” he groaned. Christ, his body felt like he’d had all his bones removed and was melting into a big puddle...and wasn’t that a disgusting thought, ‘cause hadn’t he once read about a demon that did just that? His mind started to wander, until brought back to the present by William’s voice, and the touch of his hand.

“Since you asked so nice,” the other man purred into his ear, tilting a compliant Xander and slipping his hand beneath him, running his fingers teasingly along the cleft and over the hole before sliding one slicked finger inside him.

“Will-lliam,” Xander moaned. He turned in William’s arms until he was lying on his stomach, his chest against William’s, his still-soft, but gamely recovering penis against William’s hard member, his arms around William’s shoulders, his face in William’s neck. He began to slowly shift his hips so their cocks, trapped between them, rubbed against each other. “When did you get the lube out?” he asked. “I didn’t see it.”

“Didn’t,” William admitted distractedly.

“Then what...ahhh...are you using?” Xander asked, as he continued to move against William. When William didn’t answer right away, Xander glanced at him. The other man was blushing. “What?” Xander asked.

“I improvised,” William said.

“Improvised?” Xander asked, barely remembering what they’d been talking about as William’s finger slid in all the way and began to twist.

“Used conditioner,” William told him, a wry grin curving his lips. Xander started to laugh, then screamed as William’s searching finger found his prostate, brushing it again, and again.

“Christ, William,” Xander groaned, moving faster and harder against the other man, then spreading his legs to straddle William’s lap and open himself further to his lover’s touch.

“That’s it, Xander,” William said, his voice husky with arousal. “Spread yourself for me.” Xander whimpered against William’s neck. “I love it when you take it,” he continued, gently removing his finger from Xander and replacing it with two. “Love it when you give yourself to me. Tell me you want it.”

“Oh, God, yes, William, I want it!” Xander cried, working himself against William’s stomach as William worked his fingers in Xander’s ass. “I want it, I want it...please, William.”

William cried out and stiffened beneath him. Xander felt the other man’s cock pulse against his stomach, and then the warm wash of come splattering them both. With one more thrust, Xander joined his lover.


After a quick shower to clean up, Xander called in a take-out order to a pizza place in their neighborhood that delivered. He and William curled up on the couch with a couple beers to watch a movie, a pile of napkins and the opened pizza box on the coffee table in front of them. Xander ate and drank, laughed in the appropriate places, and did his best to forget about their impending appointment with Wesley.

They were in bed by midnight, mindful that they needed to get up early the next day. Xander found it difficult to fall asleep, as all the things he’d forced out of his mind earlier seeped back in. He lay on his back, staring at the ceiling, his arms wrapped tightly around William as if his hold alone could protect the other man and keep him with him. He thought about the possibilities the meeting with Wesley held, Buffy’s response to finding out about William, and William’s reaction when he got his memory back, until sleep finally claimed him.

His sleep was restless and tormented. When Xander finally woke, the sun was shining through the window, high in the sky. The bed beside him was empty. He sat up slowly, running one hand through his hair and looking around the room. Pushing the covers back, he slid his legs out, then stood and reached for the robe lying across the bottom of the bed. He wandered into the living room, expecting to see William sitting on the couch, reading or watching television, but the living room was empty.

As were the kitchen, bathroom, and balcony. He must have gone out for milk, or something, Xander thought. Suddenly he heard a noise from the spare bedroom. Grabbing a stake, he moved silently down the hall to the guestroom. The noise came again. Someone was in there. Xander reached for the doorknob, slowly turning it and then pushing the door open. He stepped into the room and looked around.

The shades were pulled down and the curtains closed, so it took Xander’s eyes a moment to adjust enough for him to see that there was a lump in the bed. Xander stood transfixed as it moved, and moaned. A shock of blond appeared, followed by his lover’s face. “William?” Xander croaked. The blond turned to look at him, and smirked.

“Hey, lover,” he drawled with a sneer.

Xander’s gaze jumped from William when another head appeared.

“Hey, Xan,” Buffy greeted him with a triumphant smile.

“Wh-what are you doing?” Xander asked her.

“Taking back what’s mine,” Buffy said, running her hand possessively over William’s bare chest.

“William?” Xander turned back to his lover.

Another head appeared from under the covers, and Angel stared at him with amber eyes. “William isn’t here anymore,” he gloated, before throwing the covers back and lowering his face to William’s groin.

“William?” Xander tried again, looking at his lover. But William wasn’t paying any attention to him; his head thrown back in ecstacy as Angel sucked him off while Buffy licked and pinched his nipples.

“William!” Xander yelled, coming awake and sitting up in the bed. He was sweating and breathing heavily.

“Xander? What’s wrong?” William asked worriedly in a sleepy voice.

Xander heard him, but was too caught up in the dream to respond. He tried to get out of the bed, but the sheet was twisted around his legs, and he couldn’t free them. He started to panic, and then William was there, loosening the sheet so he could get up. Xander shot from the bed, pausing only to grab his eyepatch as he raced from the dark room.

He stopped in the bathroom to splash water on his face and try to control his breathing. He looked at his reflection in the mirror. His face was pale, his eye haunted. He pushed his hair back and slipped the patch on before leaving the room. He stepped out onto the balcony, ignoring the worried look on William’s face. He heard the other man follow him out, but didn’t turn or acknowledge his presence in any way.

“Xan?” he spoke softly, as if afraid he’d spook him. “Wanna talk about it?”

Xander just shook his head ‘no’. His worst fears...God!

“Bad dream?”

“It was nothing,” Xander lied, his grip on the railing tightening until his knuckles were white.

“Don’t lie to me, baby.” William’s voice was low and soothing as he stepped up behind Xander and wrapped his arms around him. Xander tried to shake him off, but William merely tightened his hold and kissed Xander’s neck before whispering in his ear, “Not gonna let you go, luv. Never.” He kissed him again, and Xander choked. “Tell me,” William said. “Love you, Xan. Tell me.”

Xander squeezed his eyelids tight against the tears, but couldn’t stop the drop that slipped out from under one eyelid and slid down his cheek.

“I’ve got you, sweetheart.” William’s low voice calmed him. He tilted Xander’s face towards him and wiped the tear away with the pad of his thumb. He placed a light kiss on his lips. “Tell me,” he urged. “You’ll feel better once you’ve talked about it.”

“Promise?” Xander asked.

“Promise,” William rashly agreed.

Xander turned in his arms, and buried his face in William’s neck. He wrapped his arms around the other man’s waist and held on. “Dream,” he whispered.

“Mmm,” William responded, running his hands soothingly over Xander’s back.

“ were having sex wi-with Buffy a-and Angel,” Xander said. “In our guestroom.”

“Ahhh,” William said. “You know it was just a dream, don’t you?” he asked.

Xander nodded. “But what if...”

“Never happen. Never leave you, Xan. Need you too much,” William assured him.

Xander didn’t respond. He couldn’t. He knew that it could happen. People hurt others, even the ones they loved, all the time. Plus, William didn’t really know who he was comparing Xander to. Well, he’d met Angel, and didn’t seem all that impressed, but, Buffy...

“You do realize we don’t have a guestroom,” William said, interrupting Xander’s thoughts.

“I know that!” Xander said impatiently. “It was a dream! Things happen in dreams that...”

William looked at him with raised eyebrows. “You were saying?” he asked.

“You’re a bastard,” Xander said softly, his eye narrowed, a slight smile on his lips. “And very smart,” he admitted.

“And yours,” William said, running his fingers through Xander’s hair.

“And mine,” Xander agreed.

“Love you, Xan. Never hurt you. Never leave you,” William said, nuzzling Xander’s neck. “Trust me,” he urged, taking a piece of flesh between his teeth and gently pulling.

“Shit...William,” Xander groaned as William’s teeth sent a jolt straight to his groin. “I trust you.” He ran his hands over William’s back as the other man sucked and nibbled on his neck. “Just don’t know how I measure up...,” he managed to ground out between clenched teeth as William began to knead his ass, pressing their hips together.

William brought one hand between them and closed it around Xander’s semi-erect cock, stroking it to hardness. “You measure up just fine, luv,” William drawled, as Xander bucked his hips.

“N-not what I m-meant,” Xander stammered between sucks and bites on William’s neck and shoulder, and mind-numbing pulls on his cock.

“You measure up in all the ways that matter, Xan,” William assured him, trailing kisses along his neck and jaw. “I love you.” He brushed his lips over Xander’s. “Love you.” He licked Xander’s lips, and darted his tongue between them. Then lips and tongue were taking Xander’s breath away as they invaded his mouth, exploring and claiming every surface.

Xander’s being was bombarded with sensation; William’s hands kneading his buttock and stroking his cock, his lips and tongue licking and sucking at his own. His knees nearly buckled. William pulled back to let him breathe, and Xander rested his forehead against William’s as he gasped for air. “William,” he breathed.

“Want you, Xan. Always want you. Need you,” William babbled as Xander’s hands moved down to cup his ass, gently kneading, then spreading his cheeks and teasing the cleft with his fingertips. He loved being able to make William babble. He ran his finger around the pucker. “Yes, yes, Xan...” He pressed his finger against it, and William pushed back. “Please, God, please, Xan!” he cried.

“Wanna be inside you,” Xander hissed in William’s ear, then nibbled on his earlobe. “Wanna make you mine.”

“Oh, yes,” William moaned, backing away from the railing and pulling Xander with him. “Make me yours.” Instead of leading Xander inside, William let go of him and knelt on his hands and knees on the lounge chair. Xander froze.

“Out here?” he squeaked, his eye locked on William’s tempting ass. William, who could always read him like a book, wiggled his ass.

“Take me, Xan,” he coaxed. Xander swallowed hard.

“The neighbors...”

“They can’t have me,” William teased, waggling his eyebrows. “I’m already taken...or I will be if you get over here.” He pouted.

“We don’t have any lube,” Xander protested, even as his legs carried him to the chair. He straddled it, and ran his hands over William’s ass. “Your ass is perfect,” he groaned, falling to temptation.

“Here,” William said, slipping his hand beneath the cushion and pulling it out with a tube of lube held in his fingers.

“You...on the balcony?” Xander yelped.

“Pays to be prepared. Or it would if...”

“I got it, I got it,” Xander said, quirking his lips and slapping William’s ass. “One taking, coming right up... Uh, actually, no condoms,” he remembered suddenly, and paused.

William reached beneath the cushion again, and pulled out a packet of condoms. He opened his hand and let them unfold.

“Six?” Xander asked. “You must have been a Boy Scout in a prior life,” he muttered, as he took the tube and condoms out of William’s hand. He ripped one packet off and dropped the others on the floor, then flipped the top of the tube open. He squeezed a glob on William’s lower back, and the other man shuddered as the cool lube hit heated skin.

Setting the condom on William’s back, he reached beneath the other man and loosely fisted his erection, swiping the fingers of his other hand through the lube and massaging it into his lover’s hole.

“Oh, fuck, yes!” William groaned as Xander teased him. Xander knew he wasn’t going to be able to wait much longer, so began to prepare William in earnest. He slid one finger in slowly, allowing William to adjust to him. When it was all the way in, he twisted it, coating the passage with lube, and then reached for William’s prostate.

William bucked as Xander brushed his prostate again, and again. “Oh, yes, Xan!”

“You feel so good, Will,” Xander said. “You’re so fucking sexy.” There was nothing he liked more than seeing his lover writhing on his finger. Except maybe, seeing him writhe on his cock. The thought made his cock surge and bob against his stomach. He wanted to bury himself inside William’s ass. He carefully pulled his finger out and replaced it with two, stretching the other man’s hole and stimulating his prostate in turn.

Xander let go of William’s cock and gently pulled on his balls as he ripped the packet open with his teeth and removed the condom. William moaned his approval. He rolled it on, then wiped the rest of the lube off William’s back and spread it over his cock. He bent his legs and positioned his head at William’s hole, gripped his hips, and then slowly pushed inside. He cried out as his head breached the tight ring. “Will, William, so good.”

“Yes, Xander, more,” William begged.

In one motion, slow and steady, Xander slid all the way inside until his balls were nestled up against the back of William’s thighs. He pulled out, then pushed back in just as slowly. And once more.

“Xander!” William cried. “Please!”

“Mine,” Xander said, slowly pulling out and pushing back in.

“Yes, yours! Yours, yours!” William agreed.

Xander pulled out and plunged back in, then again, and again, changing his angle until he was hitting William’s prostate with every thrust. “Mine, mine, mine,” he chanted as he drove into his lover. The muscles in his thighs and ass were burning, but he barely felt it, his entire being centered on his cock, and the tight sheathe of William’s ass.

“Yours, yours, always yours,” William was chanting in response as he rocked back in Xander’s hands, meeting each thrust and taking him deep, deeper. The other man tensed beneath his hands, his head thrown back, the chords in his neck standing out in sharp relief. He mewled as he erupted, his internal muscles closing around Xander.

“Fuck, William!” Xander groaned as William’s explosion set off his own, and he shot his release into William. His body shuddering, Xander’s legs finally gave out. He dropped, landing uncomfortably on William’s feet. Falling forward, he rested his face on William’s raised ass, feeling the tremors that still wracked the other man’s body as they both recovered from their orgasms.

“Ugh,” Xander muttered.

“What?” William asked, his voice muffled by the cushion he’d buried his face in.

“I think I’m laying in lube,” Xander said.

“Better’n laying in come,” William replied.

Xander jerked his head up guiltily. “Are you laying in come?”

“Nah,” William said. “Just saying, is all.”

Xander dropped his head back down on William’s ass, and considered whether he had enough energy to swat the other man, deciding that he didn’t.

“Love you,” William’s muffled voice came again.

Xander grinned. “Love you, too.”


Once again cleaned up and under the covers, Xander and William lay tangled together. Replete, they drifted toward slumber.

“In my dream,” Xander said sleepily, “I had both my eyes, but I lost you. I’d rather have you,” he said, tightening his grip on William. “Love you so much.”

“You have me,” William soothed. “You’ll always have me; as long as you want me.”

“I’ll always want you,” Xander slurred.

“That’s good then,” William said, and both men allowed sleep to claim them.

Part Fourteen

After being up in the early morning hours due to Xander’s dream, and not being used to getting up at this time despite having gotten to bed earlier than usual, both men groaned when the alarm went off the next morning. Xander groaned even louder when he realized that the scent of fresh brewed coffee wasn’t permeating the apartment, waking up his tired brain cells. He’d forgotten to change the setting on the coffee pot, which wasn’t set to start brewing for another couple hours. He dragged himself to the kitchen and manually turned the pot on, then stumbled blindly to the bathroom.

When he was done showering, he didn’t even turn the water off, just stepped out and let William, eyes still nearly closed, take his place under the warm spray. He toweled off to the low sounds of William singing to himself as the other man washed his hair and body, then wrapped the towel around his waist and studied his reflection in the mirror. He combed his hair and pulled it back in an elastic band, then shaved. When he was done, he poured himself a cup of the nectar of the gods and took a fortifying sip before retreating to the bedroom to dress for work.

When William appeared in the doorway, a bit more awake than when Xander last saw him, he passed him the cup of coffee, which the other man took with a grateful sigh. He smiled at the look of ecstacy on William’s face as he sipped the coffee, and then made the bed while his lover dressed. After drinking most of the pot of coffee and reading the paper that they now had delivered every morning, both men grabbed their jackets and headed out for an early lunch before their appointment with Wesley.

Lunch was a subdued affair, as both men were distracted with thoughts of what might transpire during their meeting. Xander ate a bit, and then pushed the rest of his food around on the plate. He glanced over at his lover and watched William draw figures in the condensation left on the table from his drink.

“You all right?” Xander asked, placing his hand over William’s.

William looked at him with big blue eyes. “Did this Wesley know Spike?” he asked.

“I’m sure he knows of Spike, but I don’t think they ever met,” Xander replied. “Why?”

William shook his head, then looked back at Xander. “‘S just weird, is all. Meeting all these people who knew Spike, and not knowing who they are.”

“I’m sorry,” Xander said, squeezing his hand.

“For what?” William asked with a slight frown.

Xander laughed with a touch of embarrassment. “I don’t know. For not being more help. For starting this whole thing in the first place. Maybe I should never have mentioned it. I mean, it’s not like we know...” He broke off at William’s amused look. “I’m babbling,” he said sheepishly.

“Didn’t notice, luv,” William said with a smile, turning his hand over in Xander’s and entwining their fingers. “Besides, not your fault. If I am...Spike,” he said, “I want to know. I want to know what happened to me...him. Why I can’t remember. I know you’re afraid of me remembering, but I wish...I wish I knew you....before. Wish I could remember you.”

William turned his face away, but not before Xander saw the tears gathering in his eyes. “Let’s get out of here,” he said. He let go of William’s hand only long enough to get his wallet out and throw a sufficient number of bills on the table to cover the tab and a sizeable tip. He took William’s hand back in his as he stood, and led the unresisting man out of the restaurant.

“You know things about me,” William said softly as they walked down the sidewalk, skirting a mother pushing a stroller and two teenagers on roller blades. “Things that I don’t remember. And if I let myself think about it, it’s kinda creepy. And...and I want to know things about you, not because you tell me, but because I remember them. I mean, you hated Spike, you said, but you still love me, so why wouldn’t I still love you?” William asked, finishing his babble with a flourish of his free hand. He turned to look at Xander’s wide brown eye. “What?” he asked.

“You babbled,” Xander said. “Do you think it’s contagious?”

“I bloody well hope not!” William frowned. Xander laughed.

“Come on,” he said, steering William into an arcade.

“What’re we doing here?” the other man asked.

“Pictures for Willow,” Xander said, stopping outside a photo booth. Xander let go of William’s hand to retrieve his wallet. He took out enough money for two sets of photos, one to send to Willow, and one for them to keep. He put money in the slot, then pushed the curtain back and stepped into the booth. He sat as far back on the small stool as he could, and peeked out at William. “Get in here and close the curtain,” he said.

William had an uncertain look on his face as he stepped into the tiny booth. He pulled the curtain shut and gingerly sat between Xander’s spread legs, balancing himself so he didn’t slide off the stool. Xander wrapped his arms around William and nuzzled his neck. “Relax,” he breathed. William shivered, and Xander stifled a moan.

He leaned forward to press the button. “Okay, now these are for Willow, so we have to be good. It’ll take four. Don’t forget to show her your pretty smile!”

“I’m not pretty!” William protested, tilting his head back to look at Xander’s face with a disgruntled look. The camera flashed.

“You’re absolutely right. Not pretty. You’re beautiful,” Xander replied, placing a chaste kiss at the corner of his lips. The camera flashed.

William blushed when he realized the camera caught the kiss and Willow was going to see it. “Look at the camera so she can see your pretty eyes,” Xander said with an evil grin.

“Hey!” William complained, looking at the camera just as it flashed. “Not pretty!”

“Remember to smile,” Xander teasingly reminded him. They both looked into the camera and smiled as it flashed. Xander couldn’t resist nuzzling his face into William’s neck. He kissed him, and then blew a raspberry that had William giggling and trying to get away from the tight grip Xander had around his chest and stomach.

“Xander!” he giggled breathlessly.

“Hmmm?” Xander asked, just before he sucked on William’s neck.

“Oh, God,” William groaned. “Xander. Love you.”

“Love you, too, baby,” Xander whispered. “Let’s see if the pictures have come out yet,” he suggested.

They both managed to extricate themselves from each other and the booth, and had to wait another minute for the pictures to develop. When they popped out, William slowly reached out to pick them up. Xander looked over his shoulder. The top picture showed William frowning at him over his shoulder, the second, Xander kissing him, the third, William frowning at the camera as Xander laughed behind him, and the fourth, made Xander catch his breath. William was smiling at the camera, his beautiful blue eyes shining.

“You are beautiful,” he whispered. “Okay.” He shook himself, pulled the rest of the money out of his pocket, and inserted it.

“What are you doing?” William asked in confusion.

“Those are for Willow,” Xander said, pointing at the pictures in William’s hand. “These are for us. Come on.” He climbed back in the booth and waited for William to join him. William, blushing self-consciously, stepped into the booth and pulled the curtain shut once again. He set the pictures on the small shelf in front of them, then sat down and leaned back against Xander.

“Love you,” Xander said, wrapping his arms around his lover once more, and leaning forward to push the button.

“Love you, too,” William said, smiling over his shoulder at Xander. The camera flashed.

Xander placed his fingertips on William’s cheek and lowered his lips, placing them gently against William’s and kissing him lovingly. Flash. He pulled back, placed his hand in William’s hair and turned his face towards the camera before nuzzling into his neck again as his other hand caressed William’s abdomen, his fingers inching toward the waistband of his jeans. Flash. Xander licked and sucked hard on the sensitive flesh, his fingers dipping beneath William’s pants. William tilted his head back to give Xander better access and moaned. Flash.

Xander could have stopped, he supposed, but he didn’t want to, and the voices outside the booth were not enough of a deterrent. He roughly unbuttoned and unzipped William’s pants, reveling in his lover’s groan, then slid his hand inside the other man’s boxers to cup his growing erection.

“Xander,” William gasped.

“What?” Xander asked, before biting William’s neck and wrapping his fingers around his shaft and pulling.

“Xander!” William cried softly, and Xander could tell he was trying to keep his voice down. “Can’t...meeting,” he rasped.

“We’ve got time,” Xander insisted. “Wish we were home.” He sucked on William’s earlobe. “Wanna hear you scream for me.”

“Jesus, Xander! Gonna hafta...change clothes,” William said, trying once more to dissuade Xander, but his ass pressing back against Xander’s own hardness urged a different course of action.

“Don’t worry, lover,” Xander said, his voice husky from desire and the thrill of possible discovery. “I won’t let any spill. Kiss me?”

With a wordless moan, William turned in his arms as much as the small space allowed, and claimed his lips. They kissed, and petted, until Xander thought he might explode just from the feel of William in his arms, the taste of him on his tongue.

“Stand up,” Xander urged.

“What?” William asked, his voice confused, blue eyes clouded with arousal.

“Stand up,” Xander repeated, giving him a light poke. William stood and Xander gently pushed him back against the front of the booth. He glanced around them to make sure the curtains on both sides of the booth were shut, then placed his hands on William’s thighs and leaned forward to take his erection into his mouth. William moaned and bucked his hips. Xander glanced up to see one hand pressed into his mouth to keep himself from crying out.

He loved the way William responded to him, and the muffled grunts and growls he was emitting now shot straight to his groin. He sucked on the head of William’s penis, and twirled his tongue about it, then lowered his mouth over him until his nose brushed the other man’s curls, his face pressed against the rough cotton of his pants. He raised his lips, moaning as William’s free hand fell to his head.

“Xander!” William panted as Xander moaned around him, and so Xander moaned again. William’s fingers tightened on his head as he let out a long, low growl he couldn’t suppress. His cock swelled in Xander’s mouth, and then pulsed before exploding, filling his mouth with thick, warm fluid. Xander swallowed, and then sucked gently to milk him empty. He licked him clean, tightening his grip on the other man’s thighs to keep him from slipping to the floor.

Xander pulled back, and tugged the other man onto his lap. “Love you,” he whispered, as William snuggled into him.

“Mmmm,” William replied. Xander grinned at his non-response, and ran his hands over his lover’s back. He placed a kiss on William’s head, sniffed his hair and rubbed his cheek against the silky strands, and then kissed him once again. William finally roused himself enough to tuck his shirt back in and re-fasten his slacks. He slid off Xander’s lap and squatted before him, then reached out to undo his pants.

“Will!” Xander grabbed his wrists. “What are you doing?”

Heated eyes looked up at him. “You,” he hissed.

“We don’t...”

“Sure we do,” William said, giving him a sultry look. Xander’s mouth went dry and he allowed William to pull free of his grasp and unbuckle his belt, pushing it aside to unbutton and unzip his pants. William tugged, and Xander raised his hips to allow him to pull his pants and boxers down far enough to free his erection. William winked at him before lowering his head and licking the precome off the tip of Xander’s penis.

Xander nearly bucked up off the stool at the touch of William’s tongue on him, the sight of the bowed head before him. Xander placed both hands on William’s head, combed his fingers through the soft curls, and dug into William’s scalp as the other man covered his head and sucked. One hand slipped between his legs, rubbing and kneading his balls through his pants. Xander threw his head back against the wall of the booth with a soft ‘Thud!’ and hoped no one would come to investigate.

The thought of someone catching them in the booth, his pants down, William between his legs, his cock in the other man’s mouth as he sucked him off, caused a groan of desire, and Xander bit his lip to keep from crying out with the aching need suddenly filling him. William’s head was bobbing as his lips moved up and down his shaft, his tongue swirling over it as he sucked. Xander wanted to roar his name, but contented himself with a hushed growl as he jerked his hips, his cock filling and erupting.


When they finally made it out of the booth, grinning, sated, a bit rumpled, and weak-kneed, Xander grabbed the now-dry photos and they wove their way out of the arcade. Once outside, Xander stopped walking and examined the pictures. William smiling at him over his shoulder, the kiss, the look on William’s face as he nuzzled his neck while his hand moved over his body below the eye of the camera, William with his head thrown back as Xander sucked on his neck. He remembered William’s breathy moan when his fingers slipped beneath his waistband, and had to adjust his pants as he started to get hard again.

“I want ‘em all,” he rasped.

“But I don’t have any pictures of you,” William said softly.

Xander glanced over at him with an evil grin. “We’ll just have to come back, then, won’t we?” he asked. William blushed, then grinned back.

“Oh, yeah,” he said huskily, dropping his eyes to the erection in Xander’s pants. “Too bad we don’t have time now.” He pouted.

“Cock tease,” Xander whispered, then darted a glance back at the arcade.

William laughed, and grabbed his hand. “Come on. We’ve got an appointment to keep.”

“Do we have to?” Xander whined, gazing longingly in the direction of the photo booth.

William waved down a cab, and too soon they were at the new offices of the AI crew. Xander paid the driver, and the two men stood on the sidewalk, looking at the large brick building that housed the LA branch of Wolfram & Hart, now run by Angel Investigations. With a deep sigh, Xander led the way through the automatic glass doors. They stopped at the front desk and told the receptionist that they were there to see Wesley.

The receptionist punched some numbers into the phone and spoke into the receiver, then asked them to take a seat in the waiting area. Moments later, Wesley came bounding out of the elevator to greet them. He hadn’t shaved this morning, and was wearing a pair of faded jeans with a pullover top and a pair of boots.

“Xander!” he said, taking Xander’s hand and shaking it. “Lovely to see you, again.”

“Wes,” Xander responded.

He turned to William. “And you must be Spike...”

“William,” Xander interrupted the ex-Watcher who was nearly vibrating out of his skin with excitement.

“William, of course. Sorry.” Wesley held out his hand and William shook it. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, William.”

“Uh, you, too,” William said nervously.

“Follow me, won’t you?” Wesley instructed, and then headed back to the employee elevator that still stood open. Xander took William’s hand in his to reassure the other man, and for some much needed comfort of his own, and they followed Wesley across the lobby.

The office Wesley led them to was plush and well-appointed, but Xander paid it little mind. Wesley ushered them to a corner of the office where an over-stuffed couch was surrounded by end tables, a coffee table, and two over-stuffed chairs. Xander sank down on the couch and pulled William down so close beside him that he was practically on his lap.

Wesley fluttered about over by the large mahogany desk, and then strode purposefully over to them and sat down in one of the chairs. He held a pen and pad of paper in one hand, and a small tape recorder in the other. “You don’t mind if I tape this, do you?” he asked, not even blinking at their joined hands and proximity to one another. Angel must have warned him that they were a couple. Or maybe Willow had. Or maybe he was just too caught up in the excitement of the puzzle William presented to care one way or the other.

Xander glanced at William, who shrugged and shook his head ‘no’. He looked back at Wesley. “No.”

Wesley leaned forward to set the pad, pen, and mini-recorder on the coffee table. He pushed the record button and then recorded the date, time, and persons present. He leaned back in the chair, sweeping the pad and pen into his hands, and began to ask questions. Despite hearing from Buffy and the others what had happened in Sunnydale, he made Xander go over what he knew again, and then grilled William on what had happened immediately after he woke up and during his trip to LA, paying special attention to their story about William killing the vampire with his bare hands.

When Wesley was done asking questions, Xander asked him about the scroll and the shanshu prophecy. Wesley told him what he knew, which turned out to be very little, and then looked at William a little nervously. “There is one more thing,” he said.

“What?” Xander asked, eye narrowed dangerously. He didn’t like the way that sounded.

“I’ve arranged for a blood and tissue sample, if, uh, if that’s all right with you,” he said, looking at both William and Xander.

“Why?” Xander asked.

“I’d like to run some tests...”

“Surely the hospital would have noticed if there was something wrong with his blood,” Xander said.

“Our tests will look for...factors...that the hospital would have no idea to look for. And I’d like to run a DNA test, among other things,” Wesley explained. “It would be helpful to know if Spike, er, uh, William, is fully human.”

William made a little noise, and Xander looked over at him. “Will? Can we have a minute?” he asked Wesley.

“Oh, of course!” Wesley agreed, gathering his pad and recorder and setting them on the desk before leaving them alone.

“Will?” Xander softly called his name, squeezing the hand he still held.

“I never really thought about the fact that I could be...not fully human,” he said, a faraway look in his eyes.

“No reason you should have,” Xander said. “And no reason you should worry about it now. You’re human,” he reassured the other man.

“What if I’m not?” he asked, worried blue eyes boring into Xander’s brown one.

“Then we’ll find out what you are, and what it means, but I know one thing. I will love you no matter what Wesley finds, or doesn’t find,” Xander assured him, reaching out to stroke his face. “Love you, beautiful,” he whispered.

William gave him a shaky smile. “Love you, too.” He leaned against him and rested his head on Xander’s shoulder. “Love you.”

Xander reached across him to squeeze his arm, giving him a partial hug, his other hand still held tightly in William’s. “Shall I get Wes?” he asked. William nodded, but didn’t move. Xander didn’t rush him. Finally William sat up.

“All right,” he said. “Get him.”

Xander gave William’s hand one last squeeze before standing and striding over to the door. He pulled it open, and Wesley, who had been sitting on his secretary’s desk, quickly stood and turned to look at him. “All right,” Xander said.

Wesley motioned to a woman in a lab coat who sat in one of the chairs, and she followed him into the office. With a kindly, but completely professional demeanor, she took several blood and tissue samples from William. The other man squeezed Xander’s hand, his eyes glued on Xander’s while she inserted the needle in his arm and scraped his finger. When she was done, she nodded at Wesley and left.

“Well,” Wesley said. “That’s all I have for now. Do either of you have any other questions?” he asked.

“No,” Xander said. “Will?”

“No.” William shook his head ‘no’.

“You’ll contact us with the test results? And if you find anything in your research? Or if you have any other questions?” Xander babbled.

“Yes, of course,” Wesley said. “And you. If you remember anything else.”

“Right,” Xander agreed.


The two men caught a taxi outside W&H that dropped them at Prologue. Xander walked inside with William to greet his boss in what had become a familiar practice, then kissed him goodbye and walked to work, a worried frown creasing his brow for William’s sake. He pulled the two sets of pictures out of his shirt pocket and looked at them again. His breath caught as a surge of love constricted his chest.

Work was slow until the Monday Night Football crowd started arriving, and then Xander had little time to brood, er, worry about William, until the other man showed up. Xander saw him as soon as he pushed through the door and watched him make his way across the crowded bar, waving and smiling as patrons and waitresses called greetings to him. He looked up and caught Xander watching him, and Xander waved him over to the end of the bar.

“Hi,” William said, smiling as he leaned against the smooth wood.

“Hi, yourself,” Xander said, grabbing William’s shirt and leaning in for a quick, hungry kiss that promised more. Catcalls and good-hearted laughter from the regular crowd teased them.

“Miss me?” William asked with a shy grin.

“Always,” Xander replied, handing him the cold beer he’d already pulled.

Part Fifteen

At the diner, Xander couldn’t resist the urge to look at the pictures again. He looked at the strip they were going to send to Willow, and then the strip he was keeping for himself. “Willow’s really gonna love these,” he said.

William glanced over. “You’re not sending her those!” He paled.

Xander grinned. “Gotcha.”

“Pillock,” William muttered. He glanced around the nearly empty diner, and then slid out of his seat. Xander wondered where he was going, until he slipped into the seat beside him, bumping him with his hip to get him to move over.

“William,” Xander hissed, as he slid over to make room.

“What?” William asked innocently, a little pout on his lips.

“I was just teasing,” Xander said, folding the strips and slipping them back into his shirt pocket.

“Me, too,” William said, twisting slightly and placing one arm along the back of the booth as he dropped his other hand onto Xander’s thigh beneath the table. He slowly inched his way towards his suddenly very interested member. Xander reached down to stop him, and instead covered the hand that was gently squeezing his penis.

“Will,” he moaned, and William leaned in and kissed him. “Mmm,” Xander moaned, turning a little in the seat and placing his palm on William’s face. He tilted his head and deepened the kiss.

The clatter of a plate hitting the table made him jump away from William. “Want these to go?” Sally asked dryly.

“Uh, no,” Xander said. “No, no, we, uh, don’t.” He glanced at William whose eyes were glazed over. “Er, thanks.” He tried to smile at Sally.

“Welcome,” she said. “Better hurry and eat. Won’t stay hot forever,” she added with a grin, and Xander wasn’t sure if she meant the food or William.

“Right,” he mumbled. “Eat.” He elbowed William in the side.


When they got back to the apartment Xander got out his address book and addressed an envelope to Willow. He thought for a minute, and then wrote a short note to her. ‘Dear Will,’ he wrote. ‘Here are the pictures I promised you. Isn’t he gorgeous? And he loves me! Saw Wesley today; he asked a million questions, and then took blood and tissue samples. He worried William by suggesting he might not be human. I told him not to worry about it. He’s perfect, no matter what he is. Perfect for me, anyway. And I love him. Really love him.’

He looked up as William set a glass of water on the coffee table. “I’m writing a note to Willow to go with the pictures,” he said. “Wanna say anything?”

“Just tell her, uh, ‘hi’,” William said. “I’ll wait for you on the balcony?”

“Sure,” Xander said. He reread the letter. ‘William says hi’, he added. ‘I miss you. Anyway, Wesley said he’ll let us know if - no, when - when he finds anything. Before the appointment, William was upset because he can’t remember me. That’s my fault, I think. I shouldn’t have pushed this. I pray that what Wesley finds out is good. William could use something of the positive. I’ll mail this in the morning. Hope everything is good with you. Tell Kennedy and Giles I - we - said hi. (I presume you’ve told them about William?) Are you guys coming back soon? Miss you - again! Love, Xander.’

He folded the sheet of paper, slipped the pictures between its folds, then slid the paper into the envelope. He sealed the envelope and set it on the coffee table with his cell phone, so he’d be sure to remember to take it with him the next day for mailing. He picked the glass up and took a drink of water, then stood and joined William on the balcony. His lover was leaning against the railing, watching the street below.

“Hey,” Xander said, nudging William with his elbow as he stood beside him.

“Hey, yourself,” William said with a sultry smile, turning to lean a hip against the rail. Xander couldn’t resist a kiss. William reached around him and cupped his ass, squeezing as he deepened the kiss. Xander pulled away, breathless.

“We’re not doing this out here,” he hissed.

“Didn’t you enjoy it?” William pouted.

“Very much,” Xander said, “but we are still not doing this out here...oh, God...” Xander let his head fall back as William sucked on his neck and moved his hips against him. Okay, self-control was an issue. Then William stepped away from him. “Ahh uh,” Xander protested nonsensically. William just grinned and started unbuttoning his shirt as he backed into the living room.

Xander followed him, his body humming at William’s seduction. He remembered to shut and lock the door, and then turned to follow his lover into the bedroom, past the shirt lying in an inviting heap on the floor. The room was lit with candles, and William was standing beside the bed, slowly unzipping his pants.

“When did you do all this?” Xander asked, as he moved towards his lover.

“While you were writin’ your letter,” William replied, wiggling his hips as he shoved his jeans and boxers down.

Xander stopped in front of William, and reached out to trace his fingers over the other man’s chest. “You are beautiful,” he said, laying his hands palm-flat over William’s nipples and running them up his chest to his shoulders, then up his neck and into his hair. He tilted the other man’s head back and licked a path up his neck.

“Xander,” William moaned. He grabbed hold of Xander’s hips and pulled him close. “Christ, I want you. I might’ve done you right there in the diner if Sally hadn’t interrupted us,” he groaned, his fingers fumbling with Xander’s belt.

As soon as the belt was unbuckled, he whipped it out of the belt loops and tossed it away. He tore the button open, and then the zip, shoving his shirt up, and his pants down far enough to bring their hot, hard flesh together. He cupped Xander’s ass and pulled him in close as he moved his hips. Xander moaned against the soft, fragrant skin of his neck while William’s hands roamed over him, his hard shaft rubbing against his stomach.

“Wanna be inside you.” William sounded frantic. He placed Xander on the bed and removed his shoes, socks, pants, and boxers, then toed his own shoes off and kicked his pants and boxers aside. He hopped on one foot and then the other as he pulled his socks off.

Xander watched his lover disrobe, sitting up to pull his own shirt off, and then lying back down. William really was beautiful, and never more so than when he was hot and hard for him. Xander groaned as his cock jerked in response to the sight of William, naked except for the sivler cross, and his own thoughts. William crawled onto the bed with a tube of lube in his hands, and Xander reached for him. He pulled William down for a kiss.

William nudged his legs apart, and Xander eagerly spread them so his lover could kneel between them. Xander hissed when he squeezed a large dollop of lube onto his stomach. With a knowing grin, William coated his fingers and placed them at Xander’s entrance. Resting his weight on one hand, he leaned down and kissed him as his finger breached the hole. Xander moaned into his mouth, pulling his knees up so that his feet were flat on the bed, and pressing down on the finger.

William placed his lips beside Xander’s ear. “Scream for me, Xander,” he commanded huskily, and reached for his nub.

“William!” Xander screamed as the other man stroked his prostate once, then again. He grasped William’s head and shoulder, panting as William gently pulled his finger out and replaced it with two.

“You feel so good, Xan.” He carefully slid them in and twisted them, stretching and coating him, then reaching once more for the swollen gland. “Do you want this? Do you want me?”

“Yes, God, William, please, yes,” Xander babbled. “Want you. Please, please, please.”

“Jesus, Xander, I don’t know if I can...”

“Now, please, Will,” Xander begged.

William carefully removed his fingers and reached for the foil packet lying on the bedside table. He ripped it open with his teeth, covered himself, and coated his cock with the remaining lube. He was gasping for air as he placed the head of his cock at Xander’s entrance.

“Ready?” he asked breathlessly, eyes wide and glassy with lust.

“Past ready. me. Please,” Xander stammered. William grabbed his hips and pushed until his head slipped past the tight ring. “More,” Xander pleaded breathlessly, and William continued to push until he filled him. “Yes, just like...that. So good. Will.” Xander reached for William, wanting to feel him against his chest.

“You feel fucking amazing,” William groaned, eluding his fingers. He placed his hands behind Xander’s thighs, and pushed them back. Xander’s body opened up and William slid in further.

“!” Xander cried.

“Okay,” William agreed hoarsely, his grip on Xander’s thighs tightening as he began to slowly move his hips, tilting them to change the angle of penetration until he hit Xander’s prostate.

Xander reached up and roughly pulled William down to him so he could kiss him; the dangling cross cool against his heated skin. William’s hands slid down Xander’s legs until he’d taken his weight on his hands and was holding Xander’s legs up with his forearms. Xander moaned as his cock was trapped between their stomachs, stimulated each time William drove into him.

“William, fuck, Will...,” Xander groaned against his lips.

“Touch yourself,” William hissed.

Xander reached between them and wrapped his fingers around his hard, aching cock. He squeezed and pulled as William pumped into his ass, hitting his prostate with each thrust. “Don’t stop, don’t...”

“Not...stopping,” William ground out. “Shit, Xander! So bloody good. Gonna come. Need you to...”

“Wi-ill-iam!” Xander roared as his cock filled and pulsed in his fingers, shooting hot, thick fluid over his hand and stomach. Xander’s internal muscles tightened, and William’s cock swelled inside him.

“Xannnder!” William growled, his body stiffening and stilling above him. He dropped his forehead down onto Xander’s shoulder as he came. He shuddered once, and then slumped bonelessly onto Xander.

Xander ran one hand over William’s sweat-slicked back, combing the fingers of the other through his silky hair as the sounds of their harsh breathing filled the room. He didn’t want to move, but he was starting to get a cramp. “Will,” he whispered.

“Mmm,” William replied.

“Legs. Cramp,” he said. William pulled one arm out at a time without moving off him, and Xander groaned as he slowly straightened his legs out. “Ahhhh.”

“So much for romance,” William mumbled against Xander’s chest.

“What do you mean?” Xander asked, his hands still moving over his lover.

“Wanted it to be slow and romantic-like,” William said.

“There were candles,” Xander said. “That’s romantic.”

“Can’t do slow with you,” William pouted. “I try,” he whined, “but you’re so fucking hot.”

Xander snorted.

“What?” William asked, lifting his head to look into Xander’s eye.

“Just...I mean, you’re hot, so fucking gorgeous, but I find it hard to see myself the way you see me. I’m...I’m not ugly...,” his voice drifted off as William raised an eyebrow in disbelief. “What?” Xander asked.

“Not ugly?” William repeated. Xander shrugged. “Xander.” He shook his head. “I can’t believe you don’t know how beautiful you are, but sometimes I’m glad, because you’re all mine, and I don’t wanna share.”

“Not sharing is good,” Xander agreed, raising his shoulders so he could press his lips against William’s. “Not sharing is definitely of the good.”

William growled playfully and pressed a hard kiss against Xander’s lips, then carefully pulled out of him. “Stay,” he commanded.

Xander relaxed on the bed with a smile as he listened to his lover move around in the bathroom, discarding the condom and cleaning himself. Moments later, William returned to the bedroom with a warm, wet cloth and wiped Xander’s hand and stomach off. “Love you,” Xander whispered, placing the palm of one hand against William’s and knitting their fingers.

“Love you, too, beautiful.” William smiled down at him, and Xander blushed. Pulling away, William carried the dirty cloth to the bathroom and rinsed it out. Xander pulled his eyepatch off and laid it on the bedside table, then pushed the sheets down. He enjoyed the view of William’s naked body bathed in candlelight, the cross reflecting the light as the other man blew out the candles before coming to the bed. William slipped between the sheets, and they moved together, arms wrapping around each other, legs tangling.


The next day, Xander posted the letter to Willow and ate a light lunch with William before dropping him at Prologue and walking to the hotel for his training session with Gunn. Xander felt a little self-conscious, wondering if he should apologize to Gunn again for not telling him about William. He argued with himself as he walked; on the one hand, they hadn’t been sure about William being Spike, and telling Gunn might have unnecessarily opened a can of worms. On the other hand, he didn’t want Gunn feeling like they’d lied to him and Fred.

Xander reached the Hyperion with the issue still unresolved. He pushed the door open and stepped into an empty lobby. He knew Gunn had to be there, though, since the front door had been left unlocked for him. He pulled it shut and twisted the locks, then headed for the basement where he found Gunn warming up.

“Hey,” he greeted the other man nervously.

“Hey, Xan!” Gunn looked up from his spot on the mat. “Why don’t you get some stretching in,” he suggested. Xander hung his jacket up, and then removed his sneakers and socks. He dropped beside Gunn and began the warm-up stretches Gunn had taught him. When he was ready, they did some light work on the punching bag to continue their warm-up and help with Xander’s depth-perception, and then began with the weapons. Since they hadn’t used swords in a while, Xander chose those.

He was sweating and breathing hard by the time Gunn called a break. They wiped the sweat off their faces, necks, and arms, and then got some water before cleaning the swords up, and replacing them on the wall. Next Xander practiced throwing knives into a target hanging on the wall, and then he and Gunn did some light hand-to-hand since Xander was starting to tire. The two men did some cool-down stretches, then grabbed their towels and water bottles and dropped onto the bench.

Xander leaned back against the wall with a groan. Something made him look up, and he started when he saw Angel standing in the doorway. “Angel!”

“Hey, man,” Gunn greeted the vampire with a raised water bottle.

“Xander, Gunn,” Angel said, stepping into the room. He looked around nervously while Xander studied him. “How’d your meeting with Wesley go?” he finally asked.

“Didn’t Wes tell you?” Xander asked.

Angel looked up sharply, as if he’d been caught in a lie. “Yes,” he said. “Wesley said it went fine. I wondered how it went for you. And William,” he added softly.

Xander tensed up. “It went fine,” he growled. He didn’t like Angel thinking about William, despite the fact that they needed, had actually asked for, his help. Not logical, but emotions usually weren’t. “He took blood samples,” he said bitterly.

“Yeah, he mentioned that,” Angel replied. “So.” He looked around uneasily. “You’re still tending bar at O’Roark’s?”

“O’Reilly’s, yeah,” Xander responded warily.

“Good. Good. That’s good,” Angel said. He stood so stiffly, he reminded Xander of a store mannequin. His hands were stuffed in the front pockets of his slacks, his head bowed. Xander wondered if he’d start scuffing his toes any time soon.

“Yeah, good,” Xander said, glancing at Gunn who was sitting wide-eyed as he watched Angel dig a hole.

“Well, good.” Angel nodded.

“Hey, Xander, you’re still here!” Cordy cried, as she skipped into the training room.

“Thank God,” Angel muttered, as Cordy paused to give him a kiss.

“Yeah, Cord, just finishing up,” Xander said, taking the opportunity to wipe his face off and sip from the water bottle.

“Listen, I was thinking,” Cordy said, as she sat beside Xander on the bench.

“That’s scary,” Xander dead-panned. Cordy playfully slapped his arm.

“Not funny, buster!”

Xander laughed as he pretended to cower. “What were you thinking about?” he asked.

“Thanksgiving,” Cordy told him.

“Thanksgiving?” Xander asked.

“Yeah. It’s in a couple weeks. You got any plans yet?” she asked.

“I, uh, gee, no, I don’t think so,” Xander stammered. He had a very, very bad feeling about this.

“Great! Then you can both come here and spend the day with us!” Cordy squealed happily.

“Oh, ah, well, you know, I, um, I’d have to ask William...”

“Xander,” Cordy said, placing her finger against his lips to quiet him. “You sound like Willow. Ask William. But you’d better have a darn good excuse if you turn down our invitation. Gunn, Fred, Wesley, and Lorne’ll all be here. It’ll be fun!”

“Yeah, fun.”


“What’s wrong?” William asked, as he slipped onto the barstool.

“What makes you think anything’s wrong?” Xander asked, setting a coaster and glass of beer in front of his lover. William just tilted his head and raised his eyebrows. “All right,” Xander sighed. “I saw Cordy today when I was at the hotel training with Gunn.”

“And that’s bad?” William asked, taking a sip of beer, and licking the foam off his upper lip. Xander got sidetracked. “Uh, Xan?”

“Huh? What?” Xander jolted out of his lust-filled thoughts.

“Cordy?” William reminded him.

“Cordy? Oh! Cordy. Yeah,” he sighed deeply once more. “She wants us to join them for Thanksgiving Day. You, uh, do remember what Thanksgiving is, don’t you?” he asked suddenly.

William lowered the glass he was just raising to his lips and gave Xander another look. “Yes, luv. I remember what Thanksgiving Day is. Celebration of this great country’s extermination of the indigenous people who... What?” he asked at Xander’s look.

“Nothing,” Xander said, remembering Spike’s comments one Thanksgiving about the extermination of the local Chumash tribe. “It’s just that...nothing. I love you.”

“Love you, too,” William replied warily. “So, what, you don’t want to go? We don’t have to.”

“Yeah.” Xander bit his lip. “But then I’d need a very good excuse or she’ll kill me.”

Xander left William alone and got back to work. While he poured and mixed drinks, he kept an eye on William as he chatted with the customers sitting on either side of him. When Molly stopped to talk with him, Xander’s chest tightened, and he realized he was proud of his lover. People liked him, because he was a nice guy, and smart, and handsome. When he had a minute, he pulled another beer for William. As he set it before him, William touched his wrist.

“What?” Xander smiled at him.

“I don’t mind going. And I don’t mind not going,” he said. “Whatever you want is good with me.”

“Gunn and Fred’ll be there. And Wesley. And Lorne, though you haven’t met him yet,” Xander said.

“Doesn’t matter, luv. Just wanna be with you,” William assured him.

Xander grinned happily at him, and then left him to tend to his customers.

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