The following morning was awkward and frustrating for Spike. Harris wouldn’t look at him or speak to him. If Spike called Xander’s name, he’d stop as if he was waiting for instructions or an order but he wouldn’t say a word. Even’s Spike best game face and snarl didn’t cause Xander to so much as blink.
The boy’s locked himself away deep, Spike silently growled, and I got no one else to blame but myself.
The only hint that the mouthy and expressive Xander Spike was fascinated by was in the boy was when Xander spotted his patch on the dresser. Xander raised a hand to his left eye and began to turn as if he was going to look at Spike, but then stopped. Xander just picked the patch up, put it on and continued getting ready to head down to the mess.
Xander even dressed in front of Spike without so much as an elevated heart rate or a slight pink to his skin. Spike couldn’t stop himself from looking at the fleshy sculpture that was Xander, but he didn’t feel that stir in his groin he had gotten used to when studying the boy. Not turned on by some bloody robot, Spike again silently growled as he lay in bed fuming.
Eventually Xander left, heading down to start work in the galley. Spike got up and headed to the bathroom to shower. While stepping into the small stall Spike began to think a shower wouldn’t be enough to get rid of the angry tension. I’ll just have a quick toss off, he thought and that’ll put me back to sorts.
Spike activated the shower cycle and let the tepid water wet him all over. Then he squirted a handful of the liquid soap into his palm and began to work it first though his drenched golden curls, down his neck, over and under his arms, and then smoothly over the rippled plane of stomach and abdomen. Before heading down to soap his heavy tackle, Spike headed back up his chest and spent some time soaping his little nubs. Spike tried to call up memories of Angel or a little tart he’d met on the Stevenson colony; but the memories wouldn’t come.
All Spike could recall was how nummy Xander had looked all bound and gagged on his bed. At the memory, Spike’s nips got harder and his willie started to rise to the occasion.
Once Spike hard little buds were thoroughly soaped, abused and stimulated he snaked his hands down and cupped his sac with one hand and began to pull and stroke his tadger with the other. He let the memories of the boy play out and the heat stir and rise within him.
“Yeah,” Spike groaned as he got harder. He remembered Xander all flushed, embarrassed and gloriously nude. His wick was hard and leaking now. Spike gently rolled his round fellas and continued to stroke and pull. He was so close! “He was my best friend…one time commanding officer, and he’s dead because I trusted…believed a fuckin’ Biogen! I’m so stupid. You’d think after having my eye gouged out and my friend torn apart I would learn not to talk to, let alone listen to any of you butchers!”
Xander’s angry and pain filled words slammed through Spike’s mind and he felt his need slip away and his lad wilt.
“Bloody Hell!” Spike shouted in frustration as he lost both his erection and the water.
Xander’s behavior wasn’t unnoticed by the rest of the crew either. Xander was just as silent and unresponsive to them as he had been to Spike. Even Gunn’s threats and complaints over his veggie snack didn’t prompt a response from the taciturn man.
Eventually a frustrated, and a still half soapy, Spike ended the crew’s discussion and attempts to engage Xander. “If the boy wants to be a prat and sulk, let him sulk,” Spike had said.
However, when Xander’s attitude hadn’t changed after the lunch chime, Spike decided it was time to do something drastic.
“Gotta moment, luv?” Spike asked as he poked his head into Faith’s cabin.
“Captain?” Faith smiled as she gestured Spike into her room. Though the first mate’s cabin was roomier than the standard cabins it wasn’t as big as the captain’s and was comprised of just the one room which was both a sleeping and sitting area. “What brings you slummin’?”
“Just been a while since we had a gab,” Spike said as he pulled out a flask and tossed it to his first mate and sat down next to her on her bed. “Thought with all the changes we might sit a spell.”
“Changes being a gob-stopped Xander?” Faith asked as she opened the flask and took a swig.
“See, that’s why you’re my first mate, luv,” Spike said as he took the flask back from Faith after she finished her swig. “You always know how to correctly read the sitch.”
“So what happened?” Faith asked as Spike took his own swig.
“Played a game of questions with him.”
“Were those, ‘what’s your favorite color’ type questions or more like ‘give me your Council access codes’ type questions?”
Spike took another swig. “’Who’s Jesse’ type a question.”
“Oh,” Faith said as she took the flask away from Spike and took a long swig.
“Boy got real upset. Said some harsh and uglies and has been clammed up ever since.”
“What’d he say?” Faith asked.
“Ya sure ya wanna hear? Sounded like this Jesse and you had had a run?” Spike asked and looked at Faith.
Faith looked down for a moment. She didn’t show her sadness and vulnerability to anyone; except maybe Wesley.
“We did,” she finally said. “Jes was a good guy. Fun. A real white knight, like Xander.”
“Council doesn’t have any of those,” snarled Spike.
“They did in Jes and Xan,” Faith quietly insisted but didn’t elaborate.
“So you and this Jes?” Spike prompted. Faith took another swig.
“We had a run. Short run. Very short and it ended when Wes and I bailed,” Faith answered.
“Xander said you betrayed Jesse.”
“I did,” Faith said and she flinched. “I used his access codes to clear the ship Wes and I used to run. Couldn’t use our own. An unscheduled flight of a Watcher and Regent; beta Regent would have caused too many questions. But Jesse? Jesse was always known for making unscheduled flights. Got away with it too.”
“And you got the codes…?”
“Sweet sweet pillow talk,” Faith said as she sinuously moved her body and then choked down another swig.
“Why didn’t we ask Jesse to come with?” Faith interrupted and then stared at Spike. “Cuz he wouldn’t have believed us. He would have thought it was just me being jealous of B again. Council likes to play up rivalries between the Regents. Keeps them on their toes and too busy thinking of enemies within and without to focus on the truth."
Faith paused and tried to remember what other lies she’d told herself but could only come up with a bit of hard truth that she couldn’t quite give voice to, “And…what if…what if…”
“What if he’d said ‘no’?”
“Yeah,” Faith took another swig. “Easier to have the fantasy he’d have said yes and came with then have the reality of …”
“Never knew you to be afraid of anything, Faith,” Spike said quietly.
“Hey Spike, I’m all kinds of afraid, just not of anything that will leave scars where it shows,” Faith replied. “So, tell me what Xander said.”
Spike took back the flask and found only one swallow left. He took it.
“Basically boy said it was his fault Jesse died. Said he’d listened to…believed…trusted a Biogen and for that he got his eye ‘gouged out’ and Jesse was ‘torn apart.’”
Faith gasped and bit her lip. Jesse! Xander! she thought.
“Did he say when, where…who this bastard was?” Faith finally said when she could make her voice as stone cold as her anger.
‘Nope. Just spouted off that he knew better than to listen to Biogens, any Biogens and has been a noisy crypt ever since.”
Faith nodded. “And now you want to know more about Jesse?”
It was Faith’s turned to study Spike.
“Why wot, luv?”
“Why do you need to know about Jesse? Why are you playin’ Xander?”
“I’m not,” Spike said trying to back pedal. When had this turned from me pumping her to her pumping me?
“Don’t Spike. I know you. I’ve watched you watch Xan. I’ve seen the way you study him and I also know in the three years since I’ve been on the DeSoto he’s the first prisoner you’ve ever taken. Angel may take prisoners and do the whole ‘bring ‘em to the light’ routine; not you. You play by Angel’s rules but you don’t go out of your way to make converts.”
“He’s a valuable hostage,” Spike attempted to argue.
“Bull! You don’t call hostages pet and you certainly don’t make them your CM.”
“Bollocks, Faith! Will you just answer the question?” Spike growled.
Faith studied Spike. What would be better for Xander, she mused. Give more information to Spike or let him stumble around in the dark tripping over whatever other emotional land mines the kid had.
“Fine,” Faith said. “Jess, Willow and Xander all grew up together in the ‘Dale on Council Central. They were an original trio. The Council saw aptitude in Jess and Willow right away, but Xander, in their eyes was less than desired. They wanted to match Jess and Willow with a Regent ASAP. Get them working as a unit; but the bond between the three was tight and they knew there’d be performance issues if Xander wasn’t in the mix. The kids weren’t fools either. Jess and Willow did their best to keep Xander’s grades and marks passable and in the green. He just wasn’t ‘Council’ material.”
Faith stood up and moved about.
“Council material,” Faith sneered, “Thank God Xander’s not Council material. Oh, he believes the party line and he’ll be the good Council boy, but like Jess, he’s got something more precious and dangerous than the Council will ever understand; Xander’s got heart and he’s loyal to a fault.”
Spike watched his impassioned first mate storm around the room. He couldn’t remember a time when she’d said this much or shown this much emotion about anyone or anything.
“So they were close?” Spike prompted.
“Yeah,” Faith said.
“Huh?” Faith asked.
“Well seems Xander was pretty attached to Je…”
Faith rolled her eyes and interrupted, “And you want to know if Xander and Jess ever went mattress dancing?”
Spike felt the unfamiliar heat of blush creep up his neck.
“Jess was a real horn dog, but he didn’t swing that way. Willow had a big crush on Xan until she realized she didn’t like bananas as much as she liked peaches. As far as I know the only one Xander ever did the tango with was a chick named Anya who only lasted as long as her special assignment.”
Faith stopped and then looked at Spike. What was this abo…Faith thought before she suddenly knew. Before Spike had a chance to react Faith had him thrown up against a bulk head with her forearm pressed to his throat.
“Don’t. Hurt. Him,” she growled.
Spike slipped into game face and did a counter maneuver which reversed their positions. She bleedin’ attacked me!
“Says the woman who wanted to sell him to Raiders.”
Faith rammed a knee into Spike’s stomach and twisted away before striking a blow along his back.
“Some hurts,” she puffed, “you can get over with in time and the company of friends….”
Spike rounded on his first mate and threw a kick which slammed her back into the far bulkhead.
“…others” Faith continued as she flipped forward and then delivered a serious of round house punches to Spike’s face, “leave you the walking dead.”
There’s was a commotion at the hatchway to Faith’s room and the sound of a blaster rifle being charged.
“What is going on here?” Wes’s voice bellowed.
Both Faith and Spike stopped their attacks and stared at each other. They were out of breath, bleeding and disheveled.
“Bit o’sparring,” answered Spike.
“Yeah, wouldn’t want to get out of shape,” Faith panted.
“Right,” Gunn said as he eased off on the rifle.
“Spike? Faith?” Wesley said.
“Sparring, Wes. Faith and I, we’re good, yeah?”
Faith stared at her Captain. Don’t hurt him, she silently pleaded then nodded.
“Yeah, we’re good.”
“Well then, shows over,” Spike said as he looked for the forgotten flask and slipped back into his human face. “Let’s get back to work. Gunn, need a word with you and Fred.”
Xander hadn’t thought it possible, but he ended up more exhausted his second day of taking care of the galley then the first. This time he’d put in a full day running the galley as well as tidying Spike’s cabin. At least I found where Captain Peroxide keeps his brush, Xander silently mused.
What really wore Xander out, though, was the mask he’d worn all day. It wasn’t in Xander’s nature to be still and quiet. Oh if my counselors and instructors could have seen me today, Xander pined, might of improved a few of my aptitude scores.
Still, Xander had managed to be unresponsive to everyone; even Gunn. Faith had seemed to try and be extra engaging at dinner, but it had been easy to ignore her. All Xander had to do was think about the only night he’d ever heard Jess cry and the disciplinary mark that permanently scarred Jesse’s record. If it had been anybody else, Xander thought, they would have at least demoted them. Jesse had just received a discipline session with the Council itself; something he’d refused to talk about to Xander and a mark on his record.
It had been hard to ignore Fred. She looked genuinely hurt and confused by Xander’s behavior. She’d even spent some of the afternoon tinkering with various machine parts on the mess table while keeping up a constant cheery stream hoping to draw him out. Xander focused on not laughing at any of her tales or responding. He focused instead on studying the tools she was using and trying to figure out if any of them could be used to remove the collar. He thought the field diffuser had potential.
Despite Faith’s attempts, dinner had gone relatively smoothly. Spike hadn’t shown up. Instead he’d sent word he was going to have dinner on the bridge. Xander didn’t even have to take it to him, CM or not, because he didn’t have authorization to go to the bridge. Apparently taking dinner to Spike wasn’t important enough to give Xander that authorization either; so Wes took the dinner up to Spike. Xander was almost a little sorry about that; access to the bridge would put him that much closer to Hyperion coordinates or at least a way to signal the Council.
Xander lingered over his evening duties in the galley as long as he could; but in the end boredom and exhaustion had him begin the trek back to the cabin. Perhaps Captain Numbnuts is still on the bridge, Xander thought.
Opening the hatch door to the cabin dispelled that notion. Once again Spike was sitting on the couch studying his display unit. Xander stilled his face into the now aching mask of indifference and marched into the bedroom.
Xander was a little stunned. At the foot of the bed on top of the blanket he’d been using was now a small pillow, an extra set of clothes and a familiar pair of shoes.
“The kit won’t be a good fit either. Had to get them off of Gunn,” Spike said quietly from behind Xander, “but should do for a second set until we can get you some proper fitting stuff on Oxnard.”
Xander didn’t turn or acknowledge Spike, but he couldn’t help but feel his mask slip a little. My shoes, those are my shoes, Xander silently chanted. He never thought he’d be happy to see something as simple as a pair of shoes but suddenly they were a bit of something of home and Xander just wanted to cradle them to him.
As if they had a will of their own, Xander’s hand did reach and touch the shoes like they were something precious.
“Fred checked them for any and all kinds of tracers. They’re clean,” Spike said as if Xander were the one leery of tracers, “she hadn’t had a chance to put them through reclamation yet so I thought ya could use them. Ya know waste not, want not.”
Xander looked over at the pillow.
“Fred said she also thought she could come up with a spare of those. Probably sweet talked Wes out of it. Bit of nancy boy, really, when it comes to his bedding.”
Xander finally turned and looked at Spike who was leaning on one shoulder in the hatchway arch between the sitting room and the bedroom. Spike was dressed casually in black pants and tight black shirt. He seemed to have that disturbing mix of presence that seemed to be both gentle and inviting while imposing and lethal.
“This changes nothing,” Xander said quietly.
“Pet,” Spike began. Xander flinched. “Xan, I didn’t mean to hit a sore spot last night.”
Xander arched an eyebrow.
“I just wanted to know about this Jesse chap,” Spike answered.
“Faith knew him. Seemed important to ya. You called for him…” Spike began his smooth litany of lies.
“Why?” Xander said again through gritted teeth ignoring Spike’s answers.
Spike’s eyes narrowed. Git’s not falling for it tonight, he observed.
“Wanted to know if you and he were lovers,” Spike finally said.
Xander hissed. Not because I didn’t want us to be, Xander reflexively thought.
“And what possible business of yours could that be?” Xander asked.
Let’s go all out, Spike thought.
“Well, it’d tell me if you were into blokes,” Spike answered.
Xander laughed bitterly and pointed to the items at the end of the bed. “And those? What are those?” he asked. “Candy and flowers?”
“No, those would be things ya need or could use,” Spike said stepping into the bedroom. “Believe me whelp, I don’t need ta bring things ta seduce ya.”
“Oh yes you would, Spike,” Xander said. “You’d need lots of guns and lots of drugs cuz that’s the only way I’d let a THING like you get near me.”
Suddenly all the gentle and invite left Spike and he was just lethal and imposing. Spike stepped into Xander’s personal space, gripped and tilted his chin down so Spike could better gaze into Xander’s blazing brown eye.
Spike ignored the boy’s racing heart rate.
“I’m sorry about your chap Jess and I’m sorry about your eye,” Spike said. “But I’m not the one who ripped your world apart.”
Xander stepped back jerking his chin from Spike’s grasp and bumping the back of his knees against the bed.
“Maybe you didn’t rip my world apart but how many others did you rip apart?”
“There’s a war going on, pet,” Spike said as closed the distance between him and Xander. “Bad things happen.”
“Yes, bad things happen and they are called Biogens,” Xander spat.
Spike hissed, grabbed Xander by the arms and hauled him close until they were chest to chest.
“And tell me, Xander” Spike snarled up into the boy’s face, “Just what terrible hurt have you suffered on my ship, huh? What part of you have I ripped out? What torture have I used to interrogate you? What Council secrets have I pried out of your bleeding and maimed body?”
“Let me go!” Xander struggled against Spike’s hold.
“C’mon Xan! You owe me at least one answer from last night. Just answer any one of the above questions!” Spike said as he continued to hold the struggling young man.
Xander didn’t answer. He increased his struggles, thankful they hadn’t triggered the collar. Spike laughed and swept Xander’s feet out from under him which sent him sprawling backwards on to the bed. Spike kept his hold and landed on top, straddling Xander.
Xander bucked, yelled and once again tried to get away from Spike without doing anything that might trigger the collar. Xander only succeeded in clearing the bed of the clothes and shoes.
“Let’s hear it, Harris,” Spike snarled into Xander’s face, “you’re the expert on Biogens. At least tell this THING what IT'S doing wrong!”
“Spike!” Xander finally cried as he lay subdued and helpless under the smaller but much stronger man.
“Wot?” Spike said angrily as he stared down into the flushed and frightened face below him.
“Please,” Xander said softly feeling on the precipice of something that he didn’t understand, feared, but to what some part of him was already beginning to respond.
“You’re pleading with a thing, Harris,” Spike sneered and then swooped down and took possession of Xander’s mouth.
The kiss started out as a brutal assault and Xander lay rigid underneath it. Some odd part of Xander that seemed detached from what was happening noted that it was his mouth that had goaded Spike into this fit so it seemed only fair his mouth pay for it. Willow wouldn’t have agreed with that part, Xander was sure, but she wasn’t here and he couldn’t do anything to stop Spike’s lips and teeth from pressing and possessing Xander’s lips.
Yet, when the kiss suddenly started to turn gentle Xander’s detached parts stopped arguing and observed. Spike’s hands which had viciously held on to his arms were now softly stroking his arms and mapping their way up towards his neck. Xander didn’t move; he just let himself fall over the edge of that precipice.
Lips which had been bruising, harsh and possessive were now gentle and supplicating. Spike’s tongue began to lick and caress Xander’s lips; begging forgiveness on behalf of Spike’s entire mouth for the rude behavior before and asking for entrance.
Xander found himself opening his mouth just a little and Spike’s tongue wasn’t aggressive. Tentatively it slipped its way inside and stroked more of Xander’s lips. Spike hands began to caress and massage Xander’s neck.
Xander’s mouth opened a little wider and Spike’s tongue began a curious tour; familiarizing itself with all the contours and softness found in the hot cavern. Xander’s rapid breathing changed from fear to something else and he found his arms moving so his hands could wrap around Spike’s shoulder.
Spike groaned into Xander’s mouth when Xander’s hands made contact with Spike’s shoulder. The groan sent a hum which seemed to travel down Xander’s spine and to his groin.
Oh God, a part of Xander that just came back online thought, this can’t be happening.
Yet it was. It so was and when Spike sucked Xander’s bottom lip into Spike’s mouth and nursed it Xander felt fire travel down his spine and he arched up into Spike. Spike chuckled softly and released Xander’s lower lip and started trailing kisses down Xander’s neck.
This is wrong. This is galaxies of wrong, Xander thought as he arched his neck giving Spike more access. Spike feasted with little nibbles on Xander’s Adam’s apple.
The feel of Spike hard lithe body pressing down on Xander while he sucked and bit Xander’s throat once again had him arching up and a little groan of desire slipped past his open mouth. Spike tongue laved the throat that had made such a delicious noise from hollow to chin.
I can’t, Xander thought. I can’t do this…why am I doing this?
Spike’s hands once again made their way down Xander’s arms and mapped their way to the hem of his shirt while his lips explored the new territory of the wicked spot where Xander’s neck met his collar bone. Once again Xander groaned as Spike’s hands slipped under Xander’s shirt and began to dance along Xander’s too hot and wonderfully smooth stomach.
This is a Biogen! Xander reminded himself as he felt those sinful hands move up and began to dance and circle Xander’s hard little nipples. This is Spike!
“Spike!” gasped Xander.
Spike nibbled and sucked on that juncture of Xander’s neck until Xander knew there’d be a mark in the morning. He’s marking me, Xander thought. He’s claiming me.
Xander knew that thought should frighten him; it should disgust him. Yet Xander only gripped Spike’s shoulders harder. The fire was growing in Xander and he’d never wanted to get burnt so bad in his life.
Spike’s hands abandoned Xander’s needy little nubs. Spike lifted himself up slightly and bunched Xander's shirt up underneath Xander’s arms. The wonderfully wrong hands returned to tease and taunt Xander’s nipples some more while Spike’s mouth abandoned Xander’s neck. Spike slid down Xander’s body just enough for Spike’s tongue to find new virgin territory to debauch.
Xander sparked and ignited all over the instant Spike’s tongue delved into Xander’s fleshy little belly button.
Xander arched again and cried,” SPIKE!”
Spike laughed and began to tongue fuck the sensitive little hole while Xander grew hard and weeping. Xander tossed his head back and forth fighting for air and any bit of sanity he had left.
This is so wrong..this is…Xander struggled to fight his own blazing senses…what had Spike said? He could seduce…wouldn’t need things?
Xander panted and writhed under Spike’s continued onslaught.
This is a seduction…he’s the enemy…OH GOD!... Spike pinched Xanders nipples and bit at the tender flesh around Xander’s thoroughly tongue-fucked belly button. Spike was doing things to Xander and making Xander feel things he’d only ever dreamt about when he dreamed of Jesse.
Jesse! OMIGOD! Jesse!
“Spike,” Xander cried much saner as the cold-water-thought of Jesse drenched and cooled his senses enough to want to call a halt.
Spike’s sensual assault continued and he licked and tasted Xander’s exposed flesh.
Xander painfully gripped Spike’s shoulders. “Spike, please!”
Spike’s fingers slid down Xander’s stomach and began to snake their way to the hard and yearning flesh between Xander’s legs.
“Spike! Please!” Xander cried again. “Don’t make me do this!”
Spike froze. Xander felt a new tension radiate from Spike’s shoulders from where Xander had his grip. Xander released his hold on Spike and then sat up bracing himself on his elbows.
Spike’s hands moved away from Xander’s sensitive flesh and planted themselves on either side of Xander on the bed. Slowly Spike looked up and met Xander’s gaze.
Xander noticed two things. One, Spike had the most stunning blue eyes he’d ever seen. Two, there was an odd mix of fear and tears shimmering in those eyes.
“I’m so unimaginably sorry, Xander,” Spike croaked before he stumbled off the bed. Then Spike was gone; not just from the bedroom but the cabin. The loud bang of the hatch slamming shut behind a fleeing Spike let Xander know he was unquestionably alone.
Spike stumbled down the corridors with Xander’s words ringing in his ears. Spike remembered other brown eyes and another voice pleading those words over and over. Tears were flowing down Spike’s face.
What have I done? Spike wept and stumbled into the mess. Please! Don’t make me do this! The words were a chorus in Spike’s head now. It wasn’t just Xander’s voice; it wasn’t just Xander’s brown eye.
How many times had I heard that plea? How many different ways? Spike growled. He looked around the mess. This is all just shite! This is just pretty wrappings on shite!
Spike morphed into his enhanced face and let the rage and fear in him go. He tore into the mess tearing it apart; making it the mess he was inside. Spike flipped over the table and threw the chairs into the bulkhead. He ripped cabinet doors off hinges and all the while he heard the cries in his head; Please! Don’t make me do this!
“What the fuck?” exclaimed Gunn as he rushed into the mess with rifle ready.
“Spike?” asked a frightened Fred from behind Gunn. Faith and Wes stood silent and watched the disaster unfold.
“Get OUT!” Spike snarled as he whirled around to see his startled crew watching him. “GET OUT NOW!”
“Faith…” Wes said as he turned to the former Regent.
“I’m gone,” she said; and she was.
“Fred,” Wes ordered the frightened girl. “Go with Faith.”
“Huh?” Fred said she continued to watch Spike in full-face rage and break a chair into so much kindling.
“Fred,” Wes said sharply finally getting Fred’s attention. “Go with Faith.”
“Where?” Fred whispered.
Fred nodded and with a final glance at Spike turned and rushed after Faith. Meanwhile, Gunn and his rifle very nearly crackled with the tension on whether to fire or not fire.
“Gunn,” Wesley ordered sharply, “stand down!”
“Wes,” Gunn growled being very uneasy at the turn of events.
“Stand down, Charles,” Wesley ordered again.
“I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO GET THE BLEEDIN HELL OUT OF HERE!” Spike roared at the two men still standing in the hatchway to the mess.
Gunn’s trigger finger twitched, but he didn’t fire.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Gunn asked Wes as he backed away from the hatch but didn’t lower his weapon.
“This is Spike,” Wesley said.
“Yeah, this is Spike,” Gunn repeated.
Wesley turned his gaze from Spike to look at Gunn, “He’s our captain, Charles.”
Gunn finally nodded. “I won’t be far,” he said as he backed away from the hatch and moved a few steps down the corridor.
Wes turned his attention back to the raging Biogen. Wesley stepped fully into the mess and shut the hatch door.
“You’re disobeying a direct order,” snapped Spike.
“Yes, well,” Wesley began. “I didn’t think that order was in the ship’s best interest.”
Without warning Welsey found himself pressed against a bulkhead with a fully enraged Spike snarling in his face.
“You’re a fool, Wesley,” Spike said as he painfully pushed his hands into Wes’s chest making it difficult for the pinned man to breathe. “And maybe you’re wrong too, eh? What if the great and wise Wesley is wrong and the Council is right? What if Biogens are just so much organic machines incapable of feeling any other emotions then what the Council had originally designed in the nanonites? Huh?”
“Then,” Wesley gasped as he met Spike’s gaze, “I would have already been dead a long time ago.”
Something in Wes’s words seemed to reach Spike because just as suddenly as Wes had found himself pinned to the bulkhead; he was released. A fire went out of Spike and he slid to the floor and puddled at Wesley’s feet.
“I’m so sorry, Wes,” Spike sobbed quietly.
Wesley slid down and joined Spike on the floor. Tentatively Wesley reached out a hand and gently touched Spike’s shoulder.
“Spike, what’s wrong? Tell me what happened.” Wesley quietly asked.
Spike looked up to meet Wes’s inquiring gaze. Spike’s face was simply human now and tears were openly falling from his pain filled blue eyes.
“I…” Spike began and paused hearing the chorus in his head again. “Wes…how many different ways do you think it’s possible to say the same phrase?”
Wes shook his head, “I don’t understand, Spike.”
“You know Dru,” Spike began. “You know what she was originally designed for? What her first placement was?”
Wes struggled to recall what he’d read about William the Bloody and Drusilla from his father’s hidden journals. “A nanny wasn’t she?”
Spike laughed bitterly. “Yeah, a nanny. Was all she was for many years. Just a nanny. A good one too. Raisin’ all them proper Council children right as rain. Sweet she was and docile.”
“I still don’t….” Wes began.
“And that’s what Travers needed…wanted,” Spike continued not hearing Wesley. “He had me. Was trained good as gold. Ruthless and efficient. Knew all the proper manners. Could go in dark or be a bleedin mister fop and charm the folks until it was too late…until it was time to follow orders and kill ‘em.”
“You were an assassin for Councilman Quentin Travers,” Wes nodded. Some of Spike’s record was pretty detailed in the elder Pryce’s journals.
“Yeah,” Spike sniffed. “But I couldn’t get real close all the time. Not for the real dirty bird work. Not for family jobs.”
Wes chilled as he began to understand where Spike’s rambling was heading.
“But Dru,” Spike said. “Dru see? She had a reputation and it was good, yeah? Travers had a job he wanted…needed to bring a rival Councilman in line. Hatched this plan, see?”
“Dru,” Wes said simply.
Spike nodded. “He bought her from the family she was serving. Said he was going ta gift her out as a reward. So he buys her and brings her in and…”
Spike’s memories overwhelmed him and his words were lost for a moment.
“Angelus was his enforcer…his muscle…head of his Biogens,” Spike began again. “Quentin told Angel…Angelus ta make sure she was ready.”
Spike looked up at Wesley. “You know I loved her the moment I saw her? I didn’t want to. I knew Biogens weren’t supposed to feel love; but I did. She was this…dark princess and she was my world!”
Spike wiped at some of the free flowing tears down his face. “I told Angelus..it wouldn’t work. She wasn’t a killer. She didn’t have the programming.”
“Angelus…he just smiled that cold beautiful smile of his…said, ‘She’ll change. Haven’t you figured it out, Spike? With the chip, they can get us to do anything?’”
Spike began to rock.
“And Oh God Wes! He was right…he was so right! Quentin would have Angelus run her through these little scenarios all involve hurting children…and she’d fight ya know? And every time she did that chip of hers would fire and she’d fry! She’d scream and beg and then they’d run another scenario…and…”
Spike suddenly stood and paced.
“’Please!’ she’d say…’Please! Don’t make me do this!’” Spike continued his story as Wesley slowly got to his feet and watched his so very wounded Captain. “Sometimes she’d say it as a whimper…some times a terrible painful scream…sometimes a snarl in full game face…but the worst? The worst Wes? The worst was when she said it while laughing! That’s when I knew…knew she was breaking…breaking so bad she’d never be fixed.”
Spike stopped pacing and then looked straight at Wes.
“They did it though. She did her job and years later when Angelus…Angel freed us. Got the chips out of our head. Dru, she uh…well she still liked to go after the children. Said ‘Have to spare ‘em Spikey. Can’t have ‘em growin up bad and wrong.’ And when I’d try and stop her? She’d just look at me and say, ‘Please. Don’t make me do this.’”
Once again it seemed as if all the fire went out of Spike and he just collapsed to the floor in a seated heap. Wesley slowly walked towards Spike as he if he were afraid he’d spook him. Then very slowly Wesley once again settled on the floor across from Spike.
“So what happened tonight, Spike?” Wesley asked.
“He called me a thing,” Spike said.
“Xander?” Wesley asked.
Spike nodded. “Called me a thing and said a thing could never touch him. I got mad and proved him wrong.”
“Spike…” Wesley began to ask almost afraid to know.
“I didn’t mean for it to get out of hand. He was just so…so….well Xander,” Spike gave a little laugh. “He just…he tastes like planet side…all pure and warm and real. There’s nothing recycled or processed about him. He’s just Xander and I got lost a bit.”
“What happened?” Wesley pressed.
Spike looked up and met Wesley’s earnest gaze. “He said, ‘Spike! Please! Don’t make me do this!’”
“And did you?” Wes asked needing to know now more than ever. How big of a mess do we have? He wondered.
“NO!” Spike said vehemently. “I stopped…I left.”
The relief Wes felt must have shown on his face.
“Still doesn’t make me any better than them,” Spike said. “Still just like Travers…like Angelus..a bloody machine that’ll do wot its…”
“NO!” Wes snapped his turned to be vehement. “You are not like that. You stopped, Spike. You left Xander alone. The Council wouldn’t have. A heartless machine wouldn’t have stopped either.”
Wes reached out and gently grabbed Spike’s arms.
“I will not pretend that this isn’t a bloody awful mess,” Wes said as he commanded Spike’s attention. “If we could, I’d say leave Xander at Oxnard when we get there tomorrow but we can’t. Among other reasons he has seen the make-up of the crew, he could tell the Council about Fred’s collar and not to mention it just would not be safe for him. The Council would see him as compromised.”
“Our best course of action is to continue on to Hyperion with him.”
“Let Angel clean up my mess...,” Spike said.
Wes smiled as he looked around the room, “Well the one aboard the DeSoto or the one with Xander?”
Spike laughed at the pun, “How about both?”
“I don’t think Gunn will wait that long for his next meal,” Wes dryly replied.
“Right,” Spike said as he withdrew from Wes and stood up. He needed some distance while his composure rebuilt itself. Spike righted the table and began to pick up the debris.
“Spike,” Wes said quietly. Spike paused and looked at Wes. “You are Biogen. Biogens are really nothing more than enhanced humans. As humans, we all make mistakes; however a measure of our humanity is how we deal with those mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself.”
Spike stood still staring at Wes and processing the words. In his heart he felt like he had made more than just “a mistake.” Yet, something about Wes’s earnestness reached him and a knot inside of Spike uncoiled.
Wes stepped close and said, “Why don’t we leave clean-up until the morning. You can stay with me in my cabin tonight.”
Spike smiled his familiar grin, “Always knew you wanted in my knickers, Wes.”
“Of course, Spike,” Wes replied as the two men headed for the mess hatchway. “My deep unrequited love for Fred was always just a massive cover from my unquenchable lust for you.”
Xander sat in the same position as he had been when Spike left. I..., Xander tried to think; to process all that just had happened. It was beyond him at the moment.
Awareness of cool air on his skin brought him back to himself enough to move and pull down his shirt. Moving was a mistake. Once Xander had shifted and reconnected with his body he began to shake.
Xander was caught in a blender of mixed emotions and he was being puréed from the inside out. Desire, shock, sorrow, surprise, humiliation, a dash of outrage, and a healthy dose of a secret ingredient Xander couldn’t quite identify (and he wasn’t sure he wanted to) all combined to make the Xander-shake he was on top of Spike’s bed.
He wasn’t sure how long he sat on the bed, but eventually Xander became aware of a loud banging on the cabin door. Spike doesn’t knock, was all Xander could think.
“Xander!” he heard Faith cry. “Open this door or I’m coming in!”
Can’t let her see me on his bed! Xander freaked and found himself moving off the bed and towards the sitting area.
“Don’t get your pa…,” Xander started to say on instinct and stopped. “I’m coming, Faith.”
Xander reached the door and opened it to find a stressed Faith and an anxious Fred arriving out of breath.
“Are you all right?” Faith barked.
“Yeah,” Xander nodded and a little more than confused. What was going on? he wondered. “I’m fine. What’s with the rescue routine?”
“Spike…,” panted Fred.
Xander blanched. Omigod they know! he panicked.
“Spike what?” snapped Xander.
Faith narrowed her eyes and examined Xander. He had a hell of a love mark peeping out underneath the v-line of his shirt but other than that he didn’t seemed to be hurt.
“He’s doing a massive redecoratin’ scene down in the mess,” Faith said simply.
“Oh,” Xander replied unsure of what to say or why Spike would be tearing apart the galley. Can’t tear me apart so trash where they got me working? he wondered. And why couldn’t he tear me apart he’s a Biogen..a killer..and why did he stop when I asked..that was almost…human…and why had he been afraid and why had I….
“Do you know what’s goin’ on?” Fred asked interrupting Xander’s babbling thoughts.
Once again Xander felt panicky. No way am I going to tell them about macking the mutant!
“We had a fight,” Xander explained. “I called him a thing. He didn’t like it.”
Faith knew something more was going here. The half ripe banana Xander was sporting in his pants and the love bite were enough to tell her that; but she knew pressing wouldn’t get her anywhere.
“Oh Xander,” Fred said. “Why would you do that?”
“Because…” Xander started to explain in all fiery righteousness but then realized he just didn’t have the fuel to burn, “look I’m not sure why Spike is goin’ all trash man on you. Maybe he’s got some circuits loose. I’d lay even money on that but if you’ve come to see how the Xan-man is then I’m fine.”
“Do you want to stay here tonight,” Faith asked bluntly.
“What?” Xander replied not expecting the question.
“Do you want to sleep somewhere else?”
“Like somewhere that’ll get my brain fried for being in an unauthorized area?” Xander sneered.
“Oh I can program the collar,” Fred said. “Just take a moment. Just tell me who you want to sleep with.”
Then Fred blushed when she realized what she said.
“I know what you mean, Fred,” Xander said softly, “and thanks but I can’t see me bunking with you, Wesley or Gunn and I don’t do sloppy seconds.”
Xander said the last when looking at Faith.
Faith flinched, “I’m more of a friend than you realize Xander.”
“Oh yeah, Faith?” Xander said. “Then get me out of this freak club.”
Faith shook her head. “Can’t do it. Even if you were Jesse.”
It was Xander’s turn to flinch.
“Yeah, well once again, thanks for nothing Faith,” Xander said and then sighed when he saw both the girls flinch. He really just needed some time alone and to get his thoughts together. “Look, I’m sorry. You guys obviously came here to help and I’m being a jerk. I’m fine. I’ll crash on Captain Peroxide’s couch and hopefully he’ll leave off with the mass mess mess before there isn’t a mess left for breakfast.”
Fred smiled a little.
“Go take care of your Captain. I’m fine,” Xander said.
“All right,” Faith said. “However, you need anything, use your communicator.”
“Will it signal the Council?”
“Oh not really,” Fred answered. “Signal’s not strong enough. It’s pretty much only able to carry through the ship and in a small ar…oh that was a rhetorical question wasn’t it?”
Xander laughed and leaned over to kiss the thin woman on the forehead, “’Night Fred,” he said and then shut the cabin door.
Xander leaned against the back of the door and sighed. He rubbed his hand over his face and thought. What had happened to me tonight? And why had Spike freaked? And why am I still half hard?
Xander moved a way from the door and headed back for the small bedroom. It looked like it should smell of sex and spent passion. Xander’s newly borrowed clothes and his shoes were scattered. His blanket and pillow were on the floor and the bed was mussed.
In his mind’s eye, Xander could see himself stretched out underneath Spike on that bed. He could see him arching up into the blonde man begging with his body for more of what only Spike could give. Little Xander was getting happy again.
“Damn,” Xander muttered as he picked up his clothes and shoes and tried to ignore the hard length in his pants.
Until Spike, Jesse had been the only man Xander had ever wanted. Jesse had never shown or expressed any interest in that kind of relationship and so Xander had only experienced the touch of a manly hug or a slap on the back.
Xander picked up his blanket and pillow and carried them into the sitting area and thought how he’d survived on those innocent touches. Oh yeah, he’d had a fling with Anya and it had been good. In her he could bury his desire for Jesse over and over again until she was insensate; but it was never enough for Xander. In the end they both knew it wouldn’t work and it was almost a relief when her special assignment was over and she went back to D’Hoffryn to work Black Ops.
When Jesse had died…was ripped apart, Xander’s memories corrected. Xander’s desire had as well. He’d felt nothing for no one; not even his own hand. Xander had been oddly ok with that anyway. He couldn’t see a lot of men or women beating down the door for a one-eye freak of a failure that couldn’t follow protocol and got their best friend and commanding officer killed.
Xander’s litany of self abuse was well memorized. Yet, with one kiss; one searing, unexpected and unasked for kiss from Spike, a Biogen, something had ignited in Xander long cold.
“I need a shower,” Xander growled in frustration and marched back toward the bathroom. He didn’t glance toward the bed. He just threw his patch on the dresser, stripped and threw his clothes in the cleaner. Xander stepped into the shower and flipped on the cycle.
Xander had hoped the tepid water would shrink his still interested erection but once again Xander was disappointed. Xander grabbed the soap and began to briskly scrub himself down. He scrubbed extra hard anywhere and every where Spike had touched him.
Doing so only seemed to reignite fresh memories and Xander relived the touches. Spike hands were surprisingly soft and his lips were supple. Xander had felt like a meal spread out before a starving man who was going to enjoy him bite by bite.
Spike seemed to want to taste and savor Xander and yet at the same time bring him to a fevered pitch where all Xander knew was the touch of Spike. Xander groaned. He was fully hard again.
He turned and leaned his head against the wall of the shower stall. Xander tried to think of Jesse. Xander tried to remember his smile; his eyes and his hair. All Xander could recall were perfect sharp white teeth, soft golden locks pressed close to a hard chiseled scalp and the most intense blue eyes ever developed.
“Oh God,” Xander moaned and found his hands beginning to dance over and stroke his weeping hard-on almost of their own volition.
“Oh please,” he gasped as he remembered the taste of Spike. Spike’s mouth pressed into Xander’s. Spike’s tongue danced inside Xander’s mouth. Spike tasted of whiskey, gaspers and something raw and powerful like desire itself.
“Fuck..fuck..fuck,” Xander began to chant as he closed one hand over his balls and sped up the strokes on his shaft with the other. He was so close.
Spike had marked him. Spike had bit and sucked until there was a mark on Xander’s neck. No one had ever claimed Xander before. Xander tried not to think of the tiny thrill that ran through him at knowing he was marked. He was claimed. He was wanted.
“SPIKE!” Xander shouted as he thrust and jerked forward into his hand. Long streams of a year’s worth of cold desire, sorrow and a lifetime of frustration shot from Xander. Hot thick spurts of living seed hit the shower stall wall and Xander felt himself lost in the pure oblivion that was a powerful orgasm.
Over and over Xander cried Spike’s name until his desire was spent, the water was gone and Xander was a shaking heap on the floor of the shower stall.
Oh..this is for shakatany for the post-post betaing and for amaterashu because I made Spike cry.
Xander woke early the next morning; way early. He’d fallen asleep easily enough. The night’s emotional maelstrom and orgasm had seen to an exhausted Xander stumbling from the shower and tumbling on to the couch into a deep sleep. Only the sleep hadn’t lasted long enough.
The breakfast chime was still a few hours away and Xander was wide awake. He lay on the couch thinking of the previous night’s events.
What had happened? Xander thought. Where did I go wrong? One minute I’m Mr. Stoney-face guy and the next I’m ‘hey lets get jiggy with it’ schmo!
Xander groaned and rolled over on to his stomach. He let an arm drop off the front of the couch. And why Spike? Why after all these months did suddenly Little Xander remember he could do more than pee?
Images of Spike flashed through Xander’s head. There was Spike as he leaned against a hatchway; his shirt taunt across his well muscled shoulders. There was Spike when he was teasing with his supple lips pulled back into a heart-stopping grin.
Whoa! No heart stopping here, Xander corrected himself as he found his heart rate increase.
There was the memory of Spike purring words into Xander’s ear as he held Xander’s penis while Xander relieved himself.
Ok! That was not sexy!! That was humiliating! Xander thought and while ninety-nine percent of Xander was in complete agreement with the point, Little Xander was holding out. Boy was little Xander holding out! Little Xander argued it didn’t care why Spike had been holding him; he just wanted those hands back on him again.
Xander flipped around until he was on his back. Oh God, Xander thought. This is some sort of thing that happens to prisoners isn’t? Or maybe its some sorta super secret seductive powers Biogens have!
Little Xander didn’t care what it was. Little Xander was twitching and pressing happily against Xander’s stomach; begging for some morning attention.
“Ok,” Xander finally told his irritating penis, “but not on the couch.”
Xander stood up and wrapped the blanket around him; he hadn’t bothered to dress before crashing. Quietly, Xander snuck his way to the bedroom hoping to slip past Spike and into the shower for a yet another dishonorable discharge.
However, Xander’s plans were slightly derailed when he realized a) Spike wasn’t in the room and b) it looked like Spike had not been in the room all night.
What? Why didn’t he come ho…back to the cabin? Xander wondered. Where was he?
Faith and Fred had said Spike had lost it in the mess. Had he hurt himself? Xander snorted at the thought. It would take more than a temper tantrum to hurt a Biogen and why is it I care again?
Xander dropped his blanket and made his way back to the shower. He stepped in and flipped the cycle on letting the water cascade over him. Xander snaked his hands down to start the “staff meeting” only to discover the staff was no longer interested.
“Ah for…,” Xander growled, “make up your mind!”
After Xander’s shower and aborted hands on time, Xander dressed, tidied the cabin and decided he’d better check out the mess.
“What a mess,” Xander mumbled and paled as he stood in the center of the room and saw the damage. The table was still standing but at least three chairs were nothing more than junk. Cabinet doors had been ripped from their hinges and looked like they’d gouged the metal of the bulkhead where they had been violently thrown.
Spike had done this! Xander fought the little tremors of memories that threatened to overwhelm him; memories of another Biogen who’d ripped things apart.
“Xander,” Spike’s voice came quietly from behind him.
Xander turned around. A complex rush of emotions washed through him when he saw Spike unharmed and leaning against the hatchway arch; fear, relief, embarrassment and a spike of desire.
“It’s my mess,” Spike said softly. “I’ll clean it up. You can go back to the cabin if you want.”
“What about the morning meal?” Xander asked not really knowing what to say at the moment while his emotions and unwanted desire were still playing havoc.
Spike smiled. “Wot, you don’t think we survived without you?”
“Who’s going to cook it?” Xander persisted for some reason, “I mean I might want to know who’s going to try and poison me.”
Spike smiled again at Xander’s attempt at humor and took a small step into the mess. “No ones going to poison you, pet.”
“Right,” Xander said. “Gunn’s lookin’ like a likely suspect.”
“Oi!,” Spike laughed. “You don’t think we’d let Charley boy cook do ya? We’re lawless scum and criminals, but we aren’t daft.”
Spike stepped farther into the room. He knew it was madness but he had to check out his boy. Spike froze. When had Xander become his boy?
Spike’s gaze wandered over Xander. He spotted the edge of the love mark peeking out from Xander’s collar. That’s when, Spike thought. That’s when he became MY boy.
Xander swallowed as he watched Spike look him over. Xander should be outraged. He should be frightened. Xander was busy trying to distract Little Xander from waving “hi” at the big bad Biogen.
“Uhm, well,” Xander struggled for a reply. “Biogens are known for their brutality; not their smarts.”
For some reason Xander regretted his words instantly when he saw Spike flinch. Ok, what is wrong with me?
“Yeah,” Spike said once again moving toward Xander. “I’m sorry about that…sorry for ….”
Xander flushed. Little Xander twitched.
“Look,” Xander said, “you’re right. As things go during war you and the crew haven’t quite lived up to Council reputation but that doesn’t mean we’re not enemies and that I’m not going to fight you or that I want any of the crap you're trying to shovel my way. For all I know, this whole human decency thing you’ve got going is just a ruse to set me up and keep me off guard until you can get close enough…”
Xander stopped. He wasn’t going there!
“That wot happened before?” Spike asked gently as he edged closer to Xander. His boy’s pain was drawing him close.
“I’m not talking about it,” Xander clipped.
Spike was in front of Xander now. There was a new scent in the air; something musky and vibrant. Spike looked over his boy again.
“I’m sorry about thi…” Spike began as he reached out to gently touch the mark he’d left on his boy.
“Don’t,” Xander whispered but not in time to stop that gentle finger.
The tip of Spike’s finger touched Xander’s bruised and colored flesh. Desire rippled through Xander and once again he found himself ripening for Spike.
Spike’s eyes grew wide as the room was filled with more of the wonderful musky scent. Spike noted the flush that swept over Xander. Spike could feel the heat coming off his boy. He didn’t need to look down to know the source of that wonderful scent; his boy’s pheromones were swirling about.
Xander wanted him! Even after what had happened last night, his boy wanted him.
Spike withdrew his finger and held still. Whatever happened next, he knew he couldn’t afford to spook Xander.
Xander stared at Spike. There was no way he couldn’t notice what was happening to Xander.
“Guess I was wrong. Didn’t take guns or drugs…,” Xander finally whispered. “…please tell me this is some sort of Biogen thing?”
Spike shook his head.
“Fuck!” Xander said as angry tears formed in his eye. “I really hate you, you know that?”
Then Xander fled leaving Spike alone in the mess and Xander’s lingering scent. Spike knew he should have felt hurt or angry but as he brought the tip of the finger that had touched Xander to his lips Spike felt something different. Spike felt something that had been dead in him a long time come back to life. Xander wanted him and Spike felt hope.