Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Xander splits town. Written for Music of Pain - a Xander ficathon.
Xander-centric with a bit o’ Spander at the end.

Beta by Grayswandir and [info]crazydiamondsue

You’re Always Seventeen in Your Hometown


Sirens wail and a flashing light:
Nothin' better to do on a Tuesday night,
But give me hell.

Xander sang to himself as he ambled across the dark streets of SunnyD. His radio had woken him up with Cross Canadian Ragweed and that song had been stuck in his head all day. He’d never really paid attention to the lyrics, as many times as he’d watched the video - but he’d been rather distracted by the singer- and for some reason this morning they’d caught his attention.

The song reminded him of his life. Ironic, when you think about it. Xander had thought that things would be different when he returned from his failed road trip. A summer spent in Oxnard - most of that spent shimmying out of his clothes for tips - had changed him. He’d grown up.

He saw the gray beyond Buffy’s black and white world. He knew there were demons that were good, just as he knew first hand that a soul, a HUMAN, could be as cruel as Angelus ever dreamed of being. The first time Xander had refused to hunt a demon, just because Buffy got a bit slimed, sparked a fight that lasted weeks. Even now, they still couldn’t understand his reasoning; didn’t try.

No matter that his style of dress had changed, that he didn’t play the part of the fool, that he came back feeling more at home in his skin - to them, he was still the doughnut boy, awkward and needy.

He was so tired of not being seen, of being left out. His trip to Oxnard had taught him how easy it was to just pick up, and go. He could survive anywhere. And right then, anywhere else would be better.

So Xander packed the few things that he treasured; his two favorite books, that plush cat Jesse had given him, an old friendship bracelet from Willow, and a tiny photo album. He rolled his clothes into a duffle, tossed in his CD player and some music. With a last look around, he left the basement, not planning on coming back.

Runnin' from your folks, runnin' from the law.
Runnin' from love; runnin' from your fears; runnin' from it all.
You keep on runnin' boy, you'll run yourself in the ground.
You're always seventeen in your hometown.

Xander was close to the city limits when he spotted a familiar form, platinum hair shining in the moonlight. His feet walked him closer, stopping just out of reach. Spike leaned against the hood of his ‘classic’ Desoto, draining a bottle of Jack. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, eyes raking over the boy.

“Headin’ somewhere, whelp?” the vampire drawled, tossing aside the empty bottle. Xander shrugged.

“How about you, o’ bleached one - sticking around or just passing through?” Xander rocked back on his heels, hitching the strap of his pack higher.

“Maybe. You looking for a ride?” Spike asked, shoving off the hood of his car and hooking his thumbs in his front pockets.

“Sure, if you can stand the company.” Xander took another step forward, close enough to smell the tantalizing mix of leather and smoke.

Spike closed that last space between them. “Wouldn’t mind some company.” He caught Xander’s mouth with his own. He licked and bit at the human’s full lips. Pulling back, he jerked his head at the Desoto, “Come on, pet. Let’s blow this town.”

Xander’s face lit up and he loped around the car, tossing his duffle into the back seat and strapping himself in just as the vampire pealed out of the pull-off, gravel spraying, and on to the road out of town.

Well, nobody's gonna miss me.
No tears will fall; no-one's gonna weep,
When I hit that road.
My boots are broken, my brain is sore,
From keeping up with their little world:
I got a heavy load.
Gonna leave 'em all just like before,
I'm big city bound.
You're always seventeen in your hometown.

Spike fisted his hand in Xander’s hair and jerked the boy across the gear shaft, sealing his mouth with a brutal kiss, effectively stopping the singing. When Xander was totally breathless, Spike let him go with a last nip to his bottom lip and turned his attention back to the road.

“Flick the radio on, luv,” he demanded, busy weaving around an eighteen-wheeler and oncoming traffic.

Xander hit the radio and grinned at the song playing.

Hometown in my rearview
This truck ain’t got enough gas
It ain’t got enough gas to get me fast
Far away from you

Spike glanced at Xander, taking in his smile and relaxed sprawl. Listening to the lyrics, his eyebrow rose. Spike threw his head back and laughed deep and lighthearted. They roared down the highway, radio blaring and Spike’s hand sitting high on Xander’s thigh.

The End

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