Breaking Free


Part Thirty-One

Xander was in a bit of a daze as he rode the elevator with Spike.  There were just too many emotions, too much uncertainty, and most of all there was too much need.

“Pet,” Spike spoke softly, “the lift's stopped.”

Xander found some focus and smiled sheepishly as Spike kept the doors of the elevator from closing.

“Right,” Xander said and exited from the elevator. He headed toward Spike’s suite.

The walk was short but Xander mentally measured each step. He had to focus on something and if he focused on Spike they might not ever reach the suite; for many reasons.

“Xander?” Spike once again spoke softly, almost as if he were afraid of scaring Xander. “Are you all right?”

Xander looked at Spike before answering. Spike was in his human face once again. His brilliant blue eyes were hungrily studying Xander.

“Yes…No…,” Xander stammered. The harrowing images and sounds from the vid of his torture were still just on the edge of his consciousness. Xander pushed them back. There was a time for that but right now he wanted to just concentrate on Spike. “Can this wait until we get inside?”

Spike waved his hand over the bioscan lock. The locked clicked and Spike opened the door.

“After you, pet,” Spike said as he swept his arm forward.

“Beauty before age,” Xander replied as he stepped inside. We’re going to clear the air, Xander vowed.

“Cheeky git,” Spike laughed as he followed Xander. Spike shut the door after him.

“Security lock alpha.” Spike ordered. Xander turned at the audible click of the door locks engaging. He cocked an eyebrow.

“No one gets in without my express verbal consent,” Spike said.

“How about out?” Xander asked automatically.

Spike couldn’t hide the pang of hurt at Xander’s question.

“Yer not my prisoner,” Spike said.

“Sorry,” Xander said. “I didn’t mean…I just…Xan-man’s mouth engaged before brain.”

Spike nodded at Xander’s fumbled explanation.

The two men stared at each other. The chasm of unsaid things was so big between them and there didn’t seem to be any starting point.

“Drink?” Spike finally went with the familiar.

Xander shook his head.

“Pet,” Spike sighed and took a step toward Xander.

“Why did you leave?” Xander abruptly fired the question as he stepped back away from Spike.

Spike halted and looked at his aching boy. Spike sighed again before turning to head for his bar.

“You were there, pet,” Spike answered as he poured himself a drink.

“I was there when I figured out what you did to me and the beginning of the explanation,” Xander said.

Spike swirled amber liquid in his glass and looked up at Xander.  “Don’t forget the part about you beginning to berserk.”

“Is that why you left?”


“Fuck Angel!” Xander yelled.

“Would rather fuck you,” Spike replied.

Xander couldn’t stop the blush and the surge of need that raced through him at Spike’s words. Nor did Xander miss the slight tilt of Spike’s head as he sniffed the air for more then just the strong smell of his drink. Spike smiled.

“Quit trying to change the subject,” Xander managed to say as he unconsciously sniffed the air in return and smelt the smoked-musky smell of Spike. Xander blushed again.

“I left because Angel was right,” Spike said before downing his drink.


“I could have lived with it if you had beaten seven kinds of shit out of me, Xan, while you were ‘serking and such. Wouldn’t be the first lover to do so,” Spike said. “But could you have lived with it? Would you have forgiven yerself?”

“I wouldn’t…,” Xander started to say even as he rushed forward a few steps towards Spike.

“You woulda mate,” Spike said piercing a fierce gaze at Xander. “You were ragin’ and…”

“I’m not your other lovers, Spike,” Xander said. “I’m not Angel!”

“But you were a new Biogen reactin’ ta emotions with a new body…”

“That doesn’t mean you had to leave for days! Maybe a few hours! I could understand that, then we could have tried to talk again. You could have been the one to help me with my control!”

Spike stared down at his empty glass. He mentally debated the merits of another drink before deciding to put the glass back on the bar.

“Angel didn’t send me on a mission that lasted only hours,” Spike finally said and looked at Xander.

“A mission…,” Xander began to yell again.

“There’s still a war on,” Spike replied softly remembering the horrors he had yet to report to Angel.

Xander’s mouth snapped shut at Spike’s words and his tone. Xander stared at Spike. Spike looked tired, spent and seemed to be missing some of the brash fire Xander was used to being exquisitely burned by.

“What happened?” Xander asked softly as he stepped towards Spike.

Spike managed a small smile and stepped away from the bar to meet Xander half way. “Nuthin’ I want to talk about right now.”

“Spike,” Xander began to argue.

“I’ll tell you,” Spike promised as he reached out and gently ran a finger down the side of Xander’s left cheek. “Right now I just want to talk about us. I did my mission for ‘kith and kin’, now I want to make us right.”

“Biogen and Council?” Xander retorted with a slight chuckle. “How’s that ever going to be right?”

“Like this,” Spike said as he leaned forward and brushed his lips across Xander’s. Xander gasped and instinctively grabbed Spike’s shoulders.

Spike took advantage of Xander’s gasp to slip his tongue inside Xander’s parted lips. Spike wrapped his arms around Xander and pulled him close as he deepened the kiss.

Xander groaned and opened his mouth wider letting Spike explore, taste and devour. Xander tightened his grip on Spike even as his senses whirled with the taste of whiskey and Spike. The smoky musky scent of Spike enveloped him and Xander groaned again.

Spike swallowed Xander’s groan and pulled his pet’s hips close until Spike could brush and grind his need against Xander’s answering bulge.

Xander leaned his head back in reaction to the intense contact.

“Spike!” Xander panted.

Spike answered by kissing and laving Xander’s throat. Xander thrust against Spike unconsciously.

“I missed you, pet,” Spike murmured at the hollow base of Xander’s throat.

Xander wanted to melt. He wanted to fall to the floor, spread his legs and let Spike consume him. Yet, there was still too much unsaid left between them.

“Spike,” Xander said more forcefully then he felt. “We need….”

Spike broke away from nibbling Xander’s neck. He met Xander’s heated gaze.

“I couldn’t let you die, pet,” Spike said simply. “Hate me for it if you have to but I couldn’t let you die.”

Hate? Xander thought as Spike’s words registered. I don’t hate him! I couldn’t! I just…is that what he thought?

“I can’t hate you, Spike,” Xander said.

Spike smiled, “Then forgive me, pet.”

“Spike,” Xander said frantic to get Spike to understand. “But don’t you see what you’ve done?”

“No! I feel what I’ve done,” Spike answered. “I feel a warm, willing and very much alive you in my arms and that’s all I need.”

“What about what I need?” Xander asked.

“What is that, Xander?”

“What about my friends? What about Buffy? What about Willow? What about my rank…”

“Were ya goin’ ta leave me then, pet?” Spike asked interrupting Xander.

“What?” Xander asked startled by the question. “NO!”


“Spike, I’m a Biogen now! I’m the enemy.”

Spike raised his hands and cupped Xander’s face. He stared at Xander.

“Would they accept you for lovin’ me?” Spike asked.

Xander stared back. Would they? Xander had never really stopped to think about it. There never really had been the time. Willow would have been happy if I really convinced her it was real, Xander thought. Buffy would have thought I’d been compromised but she would still love me.

“I don’t know. Maybe..probably…after I explained,” Xander stammered.

“And would you have gone back to them?” Spike asked.

“To stop the war,” Xander answered.

Spike smiled and stole a brief kiss. “Yer a white knight aren’t ya, pet? Ya believe in happy endings, the good will prevail and clear sailin’?”

“Spike,” Xander began and was silenced by Spike’s gentle finger pressing against his lips.

“This war won’t be won by the faith of one man,” Spike said simply.

“One man can change the world,” Xander insisted against Spike’s finger.

“Not a galaxy,” Spike argued.

“I have to try.”

“Xander, do you really think you could have achieved a peace agreement or even a cease fire?”

“I could have tried.”

“And would they have let you come back to me?” Spike asked.

“Maybe,” Xander conceded not really knowing the answer. “I like to think that yes my friends would have let me.”

“And if they didn’t?”

Xander shuddered. The sudden thought of not being able to see Spike panicked him. He’d had a taste of that reality these past few days and he’d hadn’t liked it.

“I’d have found a way back to you,” Xander finally answered.

“At the cost of yer friends?” Spike asked.

Xander froze. Could I choose Spike over Buffy and Willow? Something inside of Xander screamed loudly. It was painful and aching but it was certain. I’d never stop loving them but I would leave them for Spike if I had to.

“They’re either goin’ ta accept ya as ya are, pet,” Spike said as he brushed soothing fingers through Xander’s thick hair, “or they’re not. That would be true whether ya had my nanites in ya or not.”

“Your…,” Xander started and locked gazes with Spike.

“Wasn’t goin’ ta bleedin’ let anyone else’s inside of ya!” Spike said fiercely before gentling, “Unless mine didn’t take.”

Xander smiled and turned his head to nuzzle Spike’s hand.

“Should have known,” Xander whispered.

Spike smiled and turned Xander’s head to gently face him.

“Whether or not yer were a Biogen, Xander,” Spike said cautiously, “yer being with me…LOVING…me would have made you an enemy ta the Council and to all those but yer truest friends.”

Xander once again froze at Spike’s words. Loving the enemy would have and did make him an enemy. Buffy? Willow? Xander thought. Are you still my friends?

“Yer a Biogen, Xander, but yer alive ta still plead yer case with yer friends. Yer alive ta still find a way to make a happy ending.”

Xander once again fixed his gaze to Spike’s.

“I’ve never said the words to you,” Xander said.

Spike frowned. Wot was the git talking about now?


“I never said, ‘I love you,’ to you, Spike.”

Spike smiled. “No time like the present.”

Xander leaned forward and kissed Spike. Spike relaxed against Xander and let him take the lead. Xander took his time feasting on Spike’s mouth; chasing the still faint traces of whiskey. Xander nipped, nibbled and teased his way around Spike’s lips until they were swollen and heavy from the tender abuse. Only then did Xander lean back away from Spike and look him in the eye.

“You’re arrogant, bossy, a pain in the ass and you’ve been the enemy for longer than I’ve been alive,” Xander whispered, “but I love you Spike. I, Lieutenant Alexander LaVelle Harris love William the Bloody.”

“That’s Captain William the Bloody,” Spike softly corrected with shimmering eyes. Xander pinched Spike’s arm.

“Oi!” Spike yelled and pouted. Xander laughed.

“Yer a right pain in the arse yerself!” Spike groused before suddenly swinging Xander up in his arms.

“SPIIIKKE!” Xander screeched as his feet left the floor and he felt himself being carried by Spike toward’s the bedroom. “What the hell are you doing?!”

“Taking ya ta bed,” Spike answered.

“I’M NOT A GIRL!” Xander yelled and squirmed.

Spike laughed and held tight. “Oi! Trust me. I know that. Ya got a nice bit of meat and veggies I can’t wait ta sup on, pet.”

“Then cut with the cheap vid romantics,” Xander yelled as he kicked and wiggled, “and put me down!”

“Happy to,” Spike said cheerily as he dropped Xander on the bed before quickly pouncing on him.

Xander squirmed but soon found himself spreadeagled under Spike. With his new Biogen strength, Xander knew he could probably dislodge the other man but Xander also knew that’s not what he really wanted.

“Spike,” Xander sputtered before being cut short by an intense and hungry kiss from Spike. Spike kissed Xander like it was the first and last time they’d ever kiss. It was more than hungry; it was searing and breathtaking. Xander felt possessed and treasured. Yet oddly, Xander also felt freer then he’d ever felt.

“Listen to me, pet,” Spike said when he finally broke the kiss. He held Xander firmly but gently under him. Xander looked at Spike.

“I may not say this often,” Spike began. “There might be times you’d swear I’d never said it at all. There will probably be many times ya have no cause to believe me, but know this; I love you. I love you Xander Harris. Yer a cheeky git who believes all ends well. Most times I don’t know whether to throttle ya or shag ya ‘til ya can’t walk straight….”

Little Xander pulsed, hardened and voted for the last option. Xander blushed knowing in the position they were in Spike had to feel his reaction to his words.

Spike smiled and continued, “…and I don’t care wither yer a bloomin’ lieutenant with the Council, my prisoner, or a colonist. I don’t care whether yer human or Biogen. I love ya and I’m never letting ya go.”

Xander’s own vision began to shimmer.

“Now,” Spike growled, “when I sit up you’ve got to the count of ten ta get yer kit off and stretch out on the bed. Angel might have taught ya control, but I’m going ta teach ya a whole new way ta lose it!”


With Xander’s enhanced strength and speed it took him to the count of six to get undressed. It didn’t hurt that Xander didn’t take the time to really undo any of his clothes; he just tore them off. Spike growled hungrily at Xander and followed suit.

Before the count of eight, and Xander wasn’t really sure who exactly was counting by that time, they were a tangle of hard limbs, smooth skin and greedy kisses on the bed. Xander was overwhelmed with a need and an arousal he never knew before and he ached for Spike. Xander licked, nibbled and tasted whatever fleshy bits of Spike came in contact with Xander’s mouth.

“SPIKE! Ghods! Please!” Xander begged not really sure what he was begging for only knowing he needed Spike’s touch everywhere.

Spike chuckled around Xander’s pert nipple caught between Spike’s perfect teeth. “Nanites, pet. Not just yer strength and reflexes are enhanced.”

“Guuuhhh!” Xander panted and then screamed when Spike bit on the captured nipple. Xander reached for Spike’s hard length that was pressing into Xander’s hip. Spike batted his hands away, released his fleshy treasure and then sat back on his haunches. Xander tried to follow.

“Lie back, pet,” Spike ordered.

“Fuck! You arrogant…bossy…Spike!” Xander yelled even as he followed orders.

Spike smiled. “Feet flat, legs wide and knees bent.”

“You really are quite bent,” Xander panted as he got into position, “you do know that, right?”

Spike crawled across the bed and opened the drawer of the night stand.

“Don’t touch!” Spike ordered as he searched through the drawer’s contents.

“FUUUCK! Do Biogens have eyes in the back of their heads?” Xander yelled as he snaked his hand back away from his aching and leaking cock.

Spike chuckled in answer as he latched hold of the tube of slick for which he’d been searching.

“Poor baby,” Spike said as he crawled back between Xander’s legs. “Spike kiss and make it better?”

Before Xander could answer Spike leaned down and engulfed Xander’s purple and swollen head with his mouth.

“SPPPPIIIIIKKKEE!” Xander screeched and arched off the bed. Spike grabbed and firmly squeezed Xander’s balls.

Xander slammed his fists into the bed.

“Oh you bastard!” Xander yelled. Spike winked at him and then slicked up his fingers. Then with a final lick and a nibble Spike released Xander’s cock and sat back up.

“Hands and knees,” Spike ordered.

“Make up yer mind,” Xander grumbled as once again he did as ordered.

“It’s a wonder ya ever made lieutenant,” Spike said as he slapped Xander on the butt, “with yer constant commentin’ on orders.”

“Spike,” Xander whined and rocked his butt back towards Spike. Spike leaned down and bit the offered globe. Xander groaned and panted.

“Now use some of that hard earned control and no cummin’ ‘til I say,” Spike said as he circled Xander’s anus with one slicked finger.

“Thought you wanted me to lose control?” Xander hissed in need as Spike began to slowly ease the slick finger inside Xander’s tight ring.

“When I say so,” Spike answered. He pushed his finger in farther and gently caressed Xander’s hidden nub.

“Oh fuck!” Xander yelled and rocked back against Spike’s finger.

“As yummy as that is, pet,” Spike said before slapping Xander’s butt hard with his free hand. “Stay still ‘till I tell ya otherwise.”

“Spike!” Xander whined but held still.

Spike smiled and then slipped another finger inside Xander. Xander groaned and clenched around Spike but otherwise held still. Spike scissored his fingers inside Xander gently stretching and opening him up.

Xander moaned. Spike continued to finger fuck Xander making sure to pay attention to Xander’s little nub.

“Spike, please!” Xander groaned.

“Think of Angel if it helps,” Spike replied.

“Way to kill the mood!” Xander said even as he once again clenched around Spike’s fingers.

Spike laughed and then slid a third finger into Xander.

“Ya feel so good, pet,” Spike said. “Yer all hot and tight and I can’t wait ta get inside of ya.”

“Neither can I!” Xander groaned. “Spike, please, I need you. I need you inside of me. I need….”

Before Xander could finish his statement, Spike quickly withdrew his fingers and then thrust his weeping cock inside of Xander with one smooth motion.

“PET!” Spike yelled as Xander heat closed around him.

Xander groaned and fought to keep from coming. Spike held still giving both Xander and himself time to calm. When Xander’s breathing was a little calmer Spike began a gentle rocking motion that teased Xander’s prostate.

“I missed you,” Xander whispered.

“I love you,” Spike replied as he pulled Xander close. “Follow my lead, pet.”

“Always,” Xander promised.

Spike smiled and began to sit back on his knees even as he pulled Xander with him. Xander followed Spike’s lead and before he realized what was happening he found himself in Spike’s lap with Spike fully impaled inside of him.

“Spike,” Xander whispered in need and awe.

“Sit up, pet,” Spike gently ordered.

Xander did and gasped as he felt Spike’s cock push deeper into Xander.

“Gonna give ya a ridin lesson,” Spike whispered against Xander’s shoulder before thrusting up into Xander’s tight heat.

“Spike!” Xander shouted as he was lifted and impaled deeper. Xander gasped.

“Move with me, pet” Spike ordered. Xander tried to focus and to adapt to this new position and rhythm. Spike was patient and Xander was quick to learn. Several moans and hoarse shouts later Xander found himself meeting Spike’s thrusts and settling into the “riding” motion.

“Fuck! Oh fuck! Spike!” Xander shouted.

“That’s right,” Spike panted as he nibbled Xander’s earlobe. “Fuck Spike!”

Xander clenched and then reached his hands to grasp his aching and abandoned cock. He ached so badly. Spike swiftly batted Xander’s hands away.

“Mine!” Spike hissed. Xander groaned and twined his hands up and back to hold on to the back of Spike’s neck. Spike leaned forward and bit gently at Xander’s neck. Xander tilted his head to the side and offered Spike more access.

“My good sweet, Xander” Spike purred and then snaked his still slicked hand down across Xander’s belly to wrap around Xander’s hard cock.

“Spike,” Xander practically wept.

“Wot, luv?” Spike asked as he stroked Xander’s cock in time to his thrusting up into Xander.

“Spike!” Xander cried again.

“Tell me, Xander,” Spike said as he thrust, stroked and kissed. “Tell me what I need to hear. Tell me what…”

“I LOVE YOU, SPIKE!” Xander cried desperately trying to hold on against his impending orgasm and just as desperately needing to tell Spike what he felt.

“I love you too, Xander,” Spike groaned as he gave into his Biogen nature and bit hard on Xander’s neck.

Xander screamed and teetered on the edge.

“Let’s cum together!” Spike growled against Xander’s broken skin and began to thrust as hard and as deeply as he could into Xander’s welcoming heat. Xander felt his own hold on his human side release and found himself wildly bucking and thrusting back against Spike.

Spike pumped Xander’s cock in time to their wild mating and with a unified scream of passion both men came. Spike fountained deep inside Xander even as Xander’s ardor streamed up and over Spike’s hand.

Time was suspended and each man was caught in the throes of an orgasm so intense the line between pain and pleasure disappeared leaving only raw sensation. Flesh moved and snaked through sweat and semen until both men collapsed on the bed.

Xander and Spike lay entangled together dazed and panting. Their Biogen features slowly receded as their pulse rate slowed. Instinctively Spike began pressing little kisses down Xander’s neck and across his shoulders while he petted and stroked Xander’s chest.

Slowly Xander felt himself reconnecting to his body as he focused on Spike’s gentle touches and kisses. Xander moved his hand up to cover the one petting his chest.

“Spike,” Xander whispered almost as if praying.

“Yes, luv,” Spike answered just as reverently.

“Thank you.”

Spike smiled. “Yer welcome, pet.”

“No,” Xander said afraid Spike misunderstood.

“I’m mean thank you.”

“Pet?” Spike asked in confusion.

Xander turned slowly in Spike’s arms until he lay cradled in them staring up at his lover.

“I’m happy to be alive, Spike,” Xander said. “Thank you for keeping me that way.”

Once again Spike’s vision shimmered with unshed tears. He choked back a sob and gently kissed Xander on his sweaty brow before once again whispering, “Yer welcome, pet. Yer so very very welcome.”

Part Thirty-Two

Angel got to his feet and took a moment to access the damage to his office. The vid player was ruined. No doubt so is the vid, Angel thought, and with it any chance to figure out who the mysterious witness was.

“Fred,” Angel barked into his communicator.

“Angel,” Fred answered.

“Are you in your lab?” Angel asked.

“On my way.”

“Good. When you get there I want everything involved with Xander’s conversion gathered up and brought to my office.”

“Angel?” Fred asked.

“Everything, Fred,” Angel repeated. “I want every document, every vid disc, and even every scrap of paper you doodled on about this process brought to me ASAP.”

“But Angel,” Fred began.

“I want Knox’s info too,” Angel continued. “I mean it Fred. I want everything.”

“Trouble?” Wes asked as he stepped into the doorway of Angel’s office

“Wes!” Angel said looking away from the shattered vid viewer. “Don’t you knock?”

“Right,” Wes said before knocking on the open door. “Trouble?”

“I should have what you want in a couple of rotations,” Fred’s voice interrupted before Angel could growl at Wes.

“Good,” answered Angel, “and Fred. Not a word about this.”

“But Angel,” Fred replied, “What am I supposed to say to Knox?”

“What ever you need to get the info, but just don’t tell him I’m putting the lock down on it.”

“You don’t think…,”

“I don’t know what to think, Fred. I just have a real bad feeling.”

“Right. I’ll see you in a couple of hours. Fred out.”

“Must be a pretty bad feeling,” Wes said. “Is that what took out the viewer?”

“No, that was Spike,” Angel answered focusing his attention back to Wesley.


“Walked in on Xander and me watching the vid from ‘The Thorn.”

“I see,” said Wes as he entered the office and then closed the door behind him.

“Was a final test of Xander’s control,” Angel tried to explain.

“And instead you found out once again how limited Spike’s is,” Wes replied as he took a seat, “Especially where Mr. Harris is concerned.”

Angel sighed and then nodded as he sat back down behind his desk.

“So why the ship’s alarm on Fred and Knox’s research?”

“There was someone else there when Xander was tortured,” Angel answered. “Someone unaccounted for.”


Angel shook his head. “Don’t know. Was just a silhouette in the shadows.”

“Can you enhance the image?” Wes said leaning forward.

“I’m guessing the vid is in worse condition then the viewer,” Angel said. “When Fred get’s up here I’ll see if she can recover the vid.”

“Will you tell her…?”

“Not unless there’s a chance she can recover it.”

Wes nodded and then asked. “So the lock down on the Xander info…?”

“Someone besides us knows how bad Xander was hurt. That same someone is going to appreciate what a miraculous recovery he’s had.”

“And it will not take them long to suspect why?” Wes concluded as he once again sat back.

Angel nodded.

“Any suspicions as to whom?” Wes asked.

“An associate of Caleb’s? A Council agent?” Angel shrugged. “Your guess is as good as mine.”

“If it was a Council agent…,” Wes let the possibility hang dreading the idea while at the same time realizing there was little they could do at the moment besides changing topics. “How is Xander?”

Angel sighed again and met Wesley’s gaze. “Hanging by a thread while watching the vid but seemed on the way to recovery when Spike busted in and busted me.”

“If I had known what you were up to I would have given you some war….”

Angel waved away Wes’s response. “It probably wouldn’t have stopped me.”


“I had to know Wes. I not only had to know if Xander could handle it but I had to know what was on that vid. I’m not sure I could have followed through with watching it if I put it off any longer.”

Wes nodded. “I underst….”

“No!” Angel growled and slammed his fists down on his desk. “No you don’t! You don’t understand how it twists me inside. You don’t know what’s it’s like to hate watching Xander getting brutalized while at the same time part of you is enjoying it! You don’t know what it’s like to justify satisfying your prurient curiosity and try to maintain the illusion that you are just doing it for intel reasons. You don’t know what it’s like to watch Harris bleed and scream nothing and holding it together when you are hoping and anticipating him breaking and not just because you want to see what Council information he might give away! You don’t know wha…!”

“You’re right,” Wes said softly. “I don’t know.”

Angel closed his eyes and took a deep breath. It was sweet wasn’t it? Angelus whispered in the back of Angel’s consciousness.

“Angel?” Wes asked again.

“I’m ok, Wes,” Angel answered and then opened his eyes. “How’d the mission go?”

It was Wes’s turn to sigh.

“That bad?” Angel asked.

“There is a reason Spike did not risk radioing in a report,” Wesley said.

“And?” Angel prompted.

“The colony is gone, Angel.”


“They are all dead.”


“Your guess is as good as mine,” Wes said pointedly using Angel’s own words.

“That doesn’t make any sense!” Angel barked.

“It looked to Faith and I like a rogue Biogen attack…,”

“What?” Angel interrupted.

Wes held his hand up and continued,”…but Spike disagreed. Said it was ‘too clean.’”

Angel wiped his hand over his mouth. Spike would know, both sides of Angel thought. “Were there any survivors?”

Wes shook his head. “None that we could find.”

“How long did you search?”

“Spike gave us ten clicks.”

“Ten? Why just a few min…?”

“Spike had a ‘bad feeling,’” Wes explained. “Spike ordered us to vid record our search.”

“Where are the recordings?”

“Faith is bringing them. Spike wanted both of us to give a report. I decided to drop by early….”

“Where is she?” Angel asked cutting off Wes’s explanation.

“Finishing up securing the DeSoto,” Wes answered. “Spike left rather hurriedly.”

“Faith,” Angel said into his communicator.

“Be there in a rotation,” Faith replied.

“Make it less,” Angel ordered.

“Were ‘bossy’ and ‘impatient’ part of the nanite programming or the genetic doctoring?”

Wes suppressed a smile while Angel frowned.

“Were Regents bred to be smart mouths or is that just unique to you?”

“It’s all me baby. All me,” Faith’s grin could almost be heard. “Faith out.”

Angel focused his frown on Wes.

“Technically I ceased to be her Watcher the moment we deserted the Council,” Wes defended himself before Angel could say a word.

“So,” Angel said trying to regain a sense of command, which always seemed to be elusive when any of the crew of The DeSoto was around. “Did Spike have any guesses about who attacked Wash?”

All traces of mirth left Wes’s face and he fixed a piercing gaze at Angel before answering, “The Council.”


“NO!” Xander’s shout echoed around Angel’s office four rotations later. “There’s no way the Council did this! No way Buffy would have allowed it!”

Xander flipped his gaze back and forth between the frozen images on the new vid screen propped up in the corner of Angel’s office and Spike. The crew of The DeSoto had gathered in Angel’s office a rotation ago to give their report to Angel about the Wash colony. Spike had wanted to leave Xander out of it but Xander had been determined not to be left behind by Spike again for any reason. He’d finally argued as The DeSoto’s CM and a Biogen he had a right to be there. Spike had relented and now he wished he’d held firm.


“Don’t ‘Pet’ me!” Xander shouted again. “You’re trying to tell me Council forces slaughtered an entire colony and what? Tried to make it look like Biogens did it?”

“Xander…,” Wes tried.

“You know better, Wes,” Xander focused his angry gaze on Wes.

“Xander,” Wes tried again, “The Council is capable of….”

“Yes,” Xander snapped. “I’ve heard the stories from Angel, from you and from Spike. I can believe the Council has done some really not-of-the-good to the down right wrong-and-so-deserve-to-be-caught-in-a-thruster-burn …but this?”

“I wouldn’t put it past them,” Gunn grunted.

“Yeah and if you got a hangnail you’d say it was a Council conspiracy too, baldy.”

“Xander,” growled Angel.

“What?” Xander spun his gaze back to the leader of the Biogens. “C’mon Angel, despite the protruding forehead, I think you are a little smarter than early man. What reason would the Council have for doing this?”

“To keep the war going,” Angel replied.

“Oh cuz it really looked like peace was about to drop by for tea and cookies!”

“Revenge?” Faith asked.

“For what?” Xander replied.

“For taking you?”

“You think Buffy would really do something like this?”

“I don’t know what B could do if sufficiently pissed off. And Red? Well you always have to watch for the quiet ones,” Faith said.

“You don’t know Buffy,” Xander said coldly. “And you sure as hell don’t know Willow!”

“I know, B, better then you think,” Faith replied. “Regents are more alike then you think.”

“So what, Faith,” Xander asked. “You saying you’re capable of mass murder? You up for a little baby killing?”

Faith jumped to her feet and clenched her fist then hissed, “I am what the Council made me, Xander.”

“Well so am I!” retorted Xander.

“Not the same thing. Not the same thing by far,” answered Faith.

“Xan,” Spike tried again to calm Xander. This time he stood up and moved close to the angry man. “We’re just tossing out ideas here…”

“Well you can toss this one right out the air lock,” Xander yelled as he faced his love and lover. “There’s no way Buffy or Willow would have been any part of this and there’s no way the Council could have pulled this off without them knowing about it.”

Spike inched closer and then laid a warm hand on Xander’s shoulder. “Then who did, luv?”

“I don’t know, Spike,” Xander answered more softly, “but if you ask me to believe that it wasn’t rogue Biogens then you have to be willing to believe me when I say it wasn’t the Council.”

Spike held Xander’s gaze. It was odd to him that even in the midst of a yelling match discussing the next move in an ugly war he could still marvel at the rich chocolate color of his Pet’s eyes and how much he bloody loved to look into both of them.

“Fair ‘nough,” Spike finally said. Xander held his breath for a moment searching Spike’s blue eyes to make sure his words matched his thoughts. When Xander was satisfied Spike meant what he said, he exhaled and smiled.

“That’s still leaves us with a dead colony and no answers,” Angel said interrupting the moment between Spike and Xander. Ooo jealous? Angelus whispered.

Xander and Spike turned as one to look at Angel.

“Why’d you send Spike to Wash?” Xander asked.

“What?” Angel replied.

“Well what made you think Wash needed a fly by?”

“I had some intel the Council was interested in Wash.”

What intel? From whom?”

“Xander,” Angel replied as he shifted in his seat, “I have my sources…”

“What sources?” Xander asked while Spike frowned.

“Confidential,” Angel replied coolly.

Why’s Peaches being so dodgy? Spike thought. What am I missing?

“And what did they say?”

“They gave me reason to believe that the Council was interested in Wash.”

“And could it have been a setup?” Faith asked.


“A setup?” Faith asked again. “Could they have been trying to get you to go to Wash just to…”

“The Council didn’t do this,” Xander interrupted Faith.

“Well then why did your source think they needed to go to…”

“Shipping licenses,” Spike blurted out as the connection dawned on him.

“Shipping licenses?” Xander asked now suddenly feeling like he was missing something right in front of him.

“Yeah, the bird said the Council…,” Spike began to explain.

“CORDELIA!” Xander suddenly shouted as he caught up with Spike and then once again looked at Angel. “CORDELIA CHASE IS YOUR SOURCE?”

“You mean the talking head?” Gunn piped in. “The one with the really nice ti…talking points?”

“Talking points, Charles?” Fred spoke for the first time.

“They're very…nice,” Gunn cleared his throat.

“Right,” Fred said.

“Can we get back to how Cordelia Chase is Angel’s source?” Wes asked.

“Oh please, let’s just repeat it a few more times,” Angel growled. “I’m sure everybody out on the street hasn’t heard the word.”

“At least give the skinny on what you are talking about,” Faith said.

“When Spike and I first arrived in Angel’s office he was listening to ‘The Chase with Cordelia Chase,’” Xander explained “and she was reporting that the Council might restrict Wash’s shipping licenses.”

“Oh that stuff will rot your brain,” Faith said. “I mean the whole ‘Straight Truth: No Chaser’ slogan when she does nothing but spout Council propaganda…”

“And that’s wot makes her such a great undercover source right out in the bleedin’ open,” Spike said with sly look to Angel. “I mean ya said it yerself Angel ‘Cordelia’s very informative, if you know what to listen for.’”

“And she’s usually right,” Angel said. “And this information doesn’t go anywhere? Cordelia’s a valuable resource…,”

“And very brave,” Xander interrupted. “If the Council found out what she was doing….”

“Treason carries the death penalty,” Angel finished.

“Then the Council was behind this,” Wes said.

“No!” Xander yelled again. “Cordelia only said the Council was interested in restricting shipping licenses because the Wash colony was being slow in signing the new Council articles.”

“Wipin’ ‘em out sends a pretty clear message,” Gunn said.

“And that’s why they tried to make it look like Biogens did it?” Xander asked. “Great reasoning there from the folliclely challenged crowd!”

“You know, Council boy,” Gunn growled. “Nanites or not I can still school you on a world of pain.”

“Think so, teach?” Xander said letting his eyes shift gold.

“Just r…,”

“Stand down!”  Angel ordered.

“Well it seems clear to me what we need to do next,” Fred said.

Angel and the rest of the DeSoto’s crew turned their attention to the soft spoken scientist.

“Well,” Fred began, “whenever I’m stuck on a problem in the lab, or on the ship, and I’ve reviewed all the information…double checking of course to make sure I haven’t missed anything or made an error in my calculations, which can happen because sometimes I switch my numbers around using seventy-one when I meant seventeen…”

“Fred,” Angel said impatiently.

“Oh. Well what I mean is I have to go back to the beginning. Look at the problem fresh again.”

“And that means what? Watch the vids again?” Angel asked with a sinking horror. His Angelus nature had found a ghoulish glee in watching the horrifying images the first time.

“No,” Fred said. “We need to go back to Wash.”

“Fred?’ Spike said.

“We only spent ten clicks there and did only a basic search. We were focused on finding survivors. We might have missed something.”

“She’s right,” Wes said.

Angel looked at Wes. Wes returned the gaze. Angel sighed. He looked back at Fred.

Angel then looked to Spike and said. “How soon can you be ready to head out?”

“Give or take a couple of rotations,” Spike replied.

“You’ve got one,” Angel said. “I want you to go back out there. See what you can find, but don’t take any chances. It’ll be only a matter of time before the Council finds out about this.”

“Going back is a chance,” Spike said.

“I know, but Fred’s right. We need more information.”

“Good,” Xander said. “We’ll find it.”

“We, Pet?” Spike asked as he focused again on Xander.

“You’re not leaving without me.”


“I’m the DeSoto’s CM,” Xander said tilting his chin and sending a clear challenge to Spike.

“I can relieve you of your duty,” Spike answered.

“You won’t,” Xander smiled, “and besides. I know Council military tactics. My insights could be quite useful.”

“He’s right,” Wes said.

“It’ll be dangerous,” Spike feebly argued torn by his need to protect Xander and his need to keep him close.

“Trust me,” Xander said as he stepped deep into Spike’s personal space and placed his hands on Spike’s shoulders, “leaving me behind would be more dangerous.”

Part Thirty-Three

It had been two days since The DeSoto had left Hyperion for its second reconnaissance mission to the Wash colony. Mostly, it had been a good two days despite the tension surrounding the mission. Spike had his pet, Xander, back with him. By day, Xander was once again running the ship’s galley and taking care of his captain. By night, Xander was taking care of his captain by being just where Spike needed him; in Spike’s bed warm and alive.

The crew functioned as if they’d always been together. Spike sighed and ran his hands through Xander’s hair. Xander sighed in response and settled deeper on the couch where he lay with his head in Spike’s lap. It’s as if we were waitin’ for the git all along, Spike thought as mused about how much Xander fit aboard the DeSoto.

Even the constant snipin’ between Xan and Charlie Boy is as familiar as the odd hum of the cargo bay lights, Spike thought. Still, there were times Xander wasn’t the mouthy git Spike had come to love and adore. A quiet Xander, Spike had learned, was a troubled Xander.

 Spike looked down at his pet. Even as Spike basked in the glow of contentment he felt just sitting there with Xander’s head in his lap, he worried. The peace was nice, but it was too quiet. Spike reached for the drink Xander balanced on his stomach between his two hands.

“You make a sexy coaster, pet,” Spike murmured as he took the glass from Xander’s hands and took a long drink from the glass.

“And you’re a thief,” Xander said.

“Unrepentant,” Spike smiled as he answered.

“Well if you think I’m going to get up and get you a refill…” Xander started.

“Oi! It’s your job!” Spike interrupted. “You’re the Captain’s Mate.”

“I’m on break.”

Spike laughed. “And where’s it say ya get a break, ya lazy git?”

“Right above the spot where you can kiss my ‘arse’ if you don’t believe me,” Xander replied while suppressing a smile.

“Oh pet, I’ve kissed that pretty arse plenty of times and plenty of places and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything written there,” Spike said and paused before continuing, “though I could change that.”

It was Xander’s turned to laugh. “Yeah? And what would you put there?”

“Property of Captain William the Bloody.”

“That’s a lot of words.”

“It’ll fit.”

“So what?” Xander laughed again. “Are you telling me my ass is big?”

“Well I wasn’t gonna say…”

Before Spike could finish he suddenly found himself with a lap full of a squirming Xander trying to exploit Spike’s most secret and vulnerable weakness.

“XANDER!” Spike squeaked as Xander’s talented fingers danced on the spots right above each of Spike’s hips which Xander had only recently discovered were ticklish.

“What?” Xander asked sweetly while trying to stay perched in Spike’s thrashing lap while still keeping his fingers dancing.

“XANDER YOU STOP THIS…” Spike roared and laughed at the same time.

“Oooo, I’m sooooo scared now.”

“PET!” Spike made another attempt to intimidate Xander only to once again fall prey to his pet’s devilish fingers.

“You say something, Spike, sweetie?”

“Sweetie!” Spike bellowed and then dropped the glass before trying to grab hold of his boy’s wrists.

“Butthercup?” Xander offered a different endearment while trying to dodge Spike’s hands and still keep up the tickle assault.

“I’m warnin’ ya, whelp!”

“That’d be much more convincing if you weren’t laughing.”

“I’ll be convincin’ enough when I warm that backside of yours!”

“Mmm,” Xander purred, “that’s my shapely and small backside.”

“Oi!” Spike growled as he finally got a hold on Xander’s wrists and then with a practiced move flipped him and his boy until Xander was pinned and squirming underneath him on the couch.

“No, that would be the cheeky backside that’s got ya into a world of trouble!” Spike growled before he swooped down and claimed Xander’s mouth.

Xander immediately stopped squirming and let Spike seek his sweet revenge by plundering Xander’s hot mouth. While Spike re-mapped the familiar territory and taste of Xander’s lips, Xander wrapped his legs around Spike’s hips and urged him closer to the source of Xander’s heat. Xander groaned and rocked his hips up into Spike. Spike groaned and pressed his hips down in response.

“Cor, pet!” Spike uttered when he finally broke the devouring kiss for much needed air.

“Spike!” Xander moaned. Spike chuckled at the sound of his pet’s need.

“And here I thought ya were being too broody ‘bout this mission to wanna play,” Spike said as began to pebble little kisses down Xander’s neck. Suddenly all the delicious tension went out of Xander and a new tension crept in to take its place.

“Pet?” Spike asked as he lifted his head to look at Xander’s face.

“Sorry, Spike,” Xander said as he met Spike’s gaze and then turned away.

“Xander?” Spike called softly as he sat back up. “What’s wrong?”

Xander shook his head and pulled himself back into a seated position on the couch. He looked back at Spike and sighed.

“It just all kinda came back…,” Xander sighed.

“Me and my bloody mouth,” Spike muttered.

Xander gave the older Biogen a small smile. “You should be used to it getting you in trouble by now.”

“Pet,” Spike affectionately warned Xander.

Xander smiled wide and then ran his hand through his hair.

“Ok, spill. What’s got the gerbils wearin’ out the wheel in yer head?” Spike prompted.

“What if I’m wrong?” Xander asked.


“What if I’m wrong, Spike?” Xander asked as he stood up and began pacing around the cabin. “It’s not like I haven’t been wrong before! What if…what if we get to Wash and we find the Council is behind this?”

Oh, pet, Spike thought.

“I mean I can’t believe Buffy or Willow would be a part of this. I can’t believe Giles would be a part of this but then I can’t believe the G-man has known the truth about the Council and the Biogens and never came clean before! What if I’m wrong? What if we get there and something happens or what if…”

“Xander,” Spike said softly interrupting his CM’s rant. “We’ll deal with it.”

“Will we? Spike we’re out here because I asked you to believe in me. Believe that what I believe is true and we all know how good my judgment has been lately. I mean just ask Jesse…,”

“Pet! That’s enough,” Spike growled and stood up. “You are not ta blame for Jesse’s death nor for whatever we find at Wash.”

Xander paused his pacing and looked at Spike. “What if I’m wrong and…how would you trust me again?”

“Oh fer…!” Spike started to say and then stopped. Boy’s too hurt and scarred to understand, Spike thought.

“Xander,” Spike tried again. “You think if ya made a mistake I’d just wot, call it quits?”

“No,” Xander said. “I just…”

“Is that wot you would do? I mean seems ta me I made a big mistake about not bein’ honest with you about wot happened after Caleb and yer still here.”

“I know. But it’s different…”

“How? You so much better’n me then?”

“No!” Xander cried emphatically and rushed to Spike. “It’s not that at all!”

“Then what?”

“People get hurt when I make mistakes!”

“Pet, people usually always get hurt when anyone makes a mistake.”

“People don’t make Xan-man mistakes! You know, like swallowing hook, line and sinker a bunch of lies and never once think to question them or lettin’ a psycho sweet talk him into his best friend’s death. Or I don’t know, following a complete stranger to end up in said psycho’s lair.”

Spike sighed and reached out a hand to brush Xander’s cheek.

“So, yer mistakes are so much worse then everybody else’s?”

“Yes,” Xander whispered.

“Why? Because yer better’n others?”


“Because yer less than others?”

Xander jerked back from Spike but didn’t say anything.

Pet, what did them Council prats do to you? How could yer friends let ya get feelin’ this low about yerself? Spike wondered.

“Xander, I trust you. I trust you now and I’ll trust you even if yer wrong about yer friends.”

“Why?” Xander asked and met Spike’s blue eyes.

“Cuz yer you, pet.”

“And that means what, Spike?”

Spike sighed again. “Ya like tellin’ me how ‘slow’ ya are so I’m gonna put this in simple terms, Xander.”

Spike took a step back from Xander putting a little more distance between them. “Now, strip.”

“What!?” Xander yelled. “Spike this isn’t…”

“I said strip, pet!”

Xander narrowed his eyes and stared at Spike. What game is this? Xander thought.

“I’m not really in the mood, Spike.”

“Did I ask ya if yer were?”

“No, but…”

“If ya really want to know why I trust ya, Xan, then strip.” Spike said.

What are you up to? Xander thought; still not moving.

“I’ll count to three, pet. If by two you aren’t moving I’ll take that as ta mean we’re done talkin’ about this.”


“One!” Spike counted.

Oh for…Xander didn’t finish his thought he just began to undress. Spike stood impassively and watched. Xander couldn’t help but flush. He hadn’t felt this exposed since that first time Spike had made him strip when he’d first been brought aboard the DeSoto as a prisoner.

Full circle, Xander thought as he found himself cupping his hands in front of his groin. As before, Xander stared defiantly back at Spike.

He just keeps getting’ nummier, Spike let himself think before pressing on with his plan. Though I best do a bit to ease him up a little, Spike thought as he observed Xander’s shy behavior.

Spike quickly shed his own clothes. That puts a us a bit more on an even keel, Spike thought and then began to move toward Xander.

“You wanna know what I meant, eh, Xander?” Spike whispered as he moved seductively towards his lover.

“Spike…,” Xander began to answer.

“Yes? Or no, pet?” Spike asked interrupting his boy.


“Then listen, pet,” Spike whispered in Xander’s ear as he slid in behind him. “Just listen to me.”

Xander gave an exaggerated sigh but didn’t say anything. Spike smiled.

“I’ll trust you, pet, no matter what,” Spike continued to whisper close to Xander’s ear, “because yer you. You’re Xander. You’re a cheeky do-gooder wot hasn’t got the sense to get out of the way of a bad situation.”

“Spi…,” Xander began again.

“Ah! Listen!” Spike hissed softly.

Xander closed his mouth with a frustrated and audible “snap.”

“You’re the bloody white knight who risked his life to save a ship full of ungrateful Council prats who don’t have two brain cells between the lot of ‘em to recognize how valuable you are.”

Xander shifted his weight uncomfortably.

“No, stay still and listen. I know you don’t want ta hear these things,” Spike whispered his way around Xander’s neck to his other ear. “Cuz then ya just might have to believe them. Ya might even think they aren’t true, but they are.”

Spike began to ghost his hands over Xander’s shoulder bringing them close enough so that Xander could feel the heat; but never touching.

“Yer the mouthy git who went toe to toe with William the Bloody and didn’t flinch even when he found his self chained to the end of Bloody’s bed.”

A flush raced across Xander’s skin as Spike began to ghost his hands down over Xander’s arms.

“Yer the meddlesome twat who used Bloody’s own dosh to try and fund his escape!”

Spike could start to feel an answering heat radiating at from Xander’s skin. It rose up to meet the heat of Spike’s palms now ghosting over Xander’s back.

Xander’s breath began to race along with his pulse. He focused on Spike’s sweet, seductive voice rather then the voices of doubt that tried to refute Spike’s words.

“Yer the bloody stubborn pillock who was so obstinate he’d rather be maimed and suffer a slow death than betray his friends or enemies.”

Xander gasped but didn’t say anything. Spike ghosted his hands back over Xander’s shoulder and touched his forehead to the back of Xander’s head in a soothing gesture.

“But those aren’t the reasons why I’d trust ya, pet,” Spike breathed. Spike lifted his forehead away from Xander and then pressed his body close to Xander; finally making blessed contact. Xander leaned back.

“You don’t think I know, Xan,” Spike whispered down Xander’s neck. “You don’t think I know how you choose to play the pet for me, but I do.”


“Shhhh,” Spike said softly. “Listen.”

Xander nodded and pressed closer to Spike.

“I know. I know you’ll always lay down and spread prettily for me. You’ll always let me take the lead. I know ya saw the demons in me. I know ya saw those fears,” Spike whispered in the softest of voices. Spike’s voice was so soft Xander wondered if he’d even be able to hear Spike if he wasn’t now a Biogen.

“Ya did, pet,” Spike continued. “Ya did see those fears and ya decided they had no place between us, so you decided to play the pet. I know. I also know if I ever crossed a line; you’d show me you still are that bloody…stubborn…cheeky…mouthy…do-gooder of a white knight.”

Spike punctuated each adjective with a soft kiss down the back of Xander’s neck. Xander bit his bottom lip to keep from moaning.

“I know, pet and so I know ta never cross that line. I won’t not because of Angel and his daft rules, or even a sense of bloody morality. I won’t cross that line because I’ll always want ya to be my sweet pet. I need ya, Xander.”

Spike wrapped his arms around Xander and ran his hands down Xander’s chest. Xander’s breath hitched and his body hardened in all the right places.

“But even that’s not why I trust, ya,” Spike said and then gently turned Xander around to face him. Blue eyes met brown eyes and warm breath mingled as the two men faced each other.

“I love ya, pet and love is give and take. Sometimes that means mistakes happen and wounds are taken from it; but that also means healing happens and forgiveness is given.”

“Spike,” Xander quietly mouthed.

Spike softly kissed the lips that mouthed his name and then looked back at Xander.

“I trust ya because yer you, Xander and yer more than even wot I described.”

“What, Spike?” Xander asked softly. “What else am I?”

Spike smiled and pointed toward the floor, “Lie down for me, pet. Lie down on yer back just like I like.”

Xander quickly lay down with his feet flat and knees bent. He watched Spike as he knelt down on the floor. Spike knelt by Xander’s head with his knees on either side of Xander. Xander’s head was once again almost in Spike’s lap.

“I’m gonna show ya, pet,” Spike said as he stared down at Xander. “I’m gonna show ya what ya are and all you gotta do is wot I do.”

Then Spike leaned down and gave Xander a short but searing kiss before stretching out above Xander and with his mouth hovering over Xander’s hard cock.

“Do wot I do,” Spike whispered before he dove down and engulfed Xander. Xander arched up into the warm heat and gasped. He lay there for a moment while heat and passion swept through him even as Spike’s tongue swept around his hard member.

Xander almost lost himself in the sensation before he remembered what Spike had said. Xander quickly grabbed hold of Spike’s hips and pulled him down a bit even as Xander lifted his head to begin sucking on Spike’s own hard and leaking cock.

Spike moaned around Xander and a surge of desire and sensation rushed through Xander. He was caught up in the dual wonder of teasing and devouring Spike even as Spike was teasing and devouring Xander. Xander moaned his own need around Spike and a circuit was complete.

Both men were locked in a frenzy of mirroring each others need and satisfaction. Spike nibbled and teased. Xander thrust up for more even as he nibbled and teased Spike who answered with a down thrust. Xander licked and swallowed Spike as Spike swallowed and swirled his tongue.

Xander no longer knew if he was chasing Spike to Spike’s orgasm or racing towards his own. All he knew was locked in a rhythm with Spike. Pleasure was simultaneously given and pleasure was simultaneously taken. It was heady, raw and powerful. It was taste, touch, smell, and sound. Sight was the blinded light of passion peaking behind eyelids.

Spike moaned again around Xander and fire raced up from Xander’s groin and he found himself falling up completely into Spike as he his seed spurted down Spike’s throat. Xander gasped and then sucked hard on Spike wanting his completion; needing it. Spike thrust and gasped. Xander registered the musky taste of his lover and the circle was complete.

Moments or minutes passed as aftershocks of desire raced through the men. Cocks softened and were given sweet little kisses as the men struggled to find their breath. Slowly Spike eased himself to Xander’s side. Slowly Xander turned himself around so he could drape himself over his lover.

Spike smiled and ran his fingers gently through Xander’s sweat soaked hair. Xander smiled and kissed Spike’s chest.

“Do ya understand now, pet?” Spike whispered. “I trust ya because yer you. Yer more than all the things I love about ya Xander. Yer my lover. Yer part of me and not just because of the nanites. Yer part of me because yer…”

“I get it, Spike” Xander whispered and as he leaned up to look at his lover. “I get it.”

Once again blue eyes met the gaze of brown. Spike could see there was no doubt swimming in the dark depths of his love’s eyes. He does get it, Spike realized.

“I could say it…”

“As much as I’m beginning to suspect you’re really a poet at heart,” Xander said and for once caused Spike to blush, “I don’t think even you have the words to do it justice.”

Xander then swooped in for a kiss of his own. Spike opened his mouth and submitted to Xander’s hungry claim. Tongues danced and the shared taste of Spike and Xander swirled in each other’s mouth. When both men were out of breath, Xander broke the kiss.

“You don’t need to say it, Spike,” Xander said huskily, “because I felt it…I feel it.”

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