Long Time Gone


by
Yin Again



Part Eleven

Packing the huge SUV had taken over an hour. Xander marveled at all of the stuff they were carrying. It looked like a baby superstore had been dropped into the truck’s cargo area. They’d had to rearrange it twice to fit in the long weapons bag, Xander and Spike’s two medium sized duffels and the cooler that held the vampire’s blood supply. Dawn had argued that Angel could furnish the blood, but Spike had refused on the basis that the last time he’d visited Angel’s hotel the house vintage had been “soddin’ crap in a plastic bag” and he wasn’t going to suffer with that for a week. Dawn had given in eventually.

They’d been underway for about thirty minutes when a whine split the air. “Can we listen to something else? I really hate this music.” Xander covered his smirk with his hand as he pushed Spike’s shoulder, reaching over the top of Sara’s car seat to do so. Spike kicked him in the ankle and whined, “Are we there yet, Mom?” He smothered a smirk of his own. Sara looked from one man to the other and then decided to get into the act, merrily flinging Goldfish crackers between the seats at her mother and father. Jase lightly banged his head on the steering wheel and Dawn tried to reprimand Spike, Xander and her daughter at the same time.

She turned to her husband and demanded, “See, Jase? And you want more kids? We’d go insane.” He grinned back at her. “I’m starting to see the merits of population control now. “ He raised his voice so the two hooligans in the backseat were sure to hear him. “If you boys can’t behave, we’re going to have to play Dawn’s Horrifying Music in the Car Game.” Spike’s eyes got huge and he shook his head at Xander emphatically. Xander raised an eyebrow and stuck his head between the front seats. “What on earth is Dawn’s Horrifying Music in the Car Game? Ow!” He jerked his head back as Spike thumped him smartly on the ear.

“What?” he asked the unapologetic vampire. Spike gave him an exasperated look. “What is with you people? You were born on the Hellmouth and you don’t know any better than to ask stupid questions about something already clearly labeled as horrifying? Git.” Xander asked quietly, “Why is it horrifying?” Spike whispered back, “She makes everybody sing, that’s why. Idiot.” Spike crossed his arms over his chest and sat back in his seat with a frown. “Oh,” Xander said in a small voice. “Who gets to pick the songs?” Spike scowled at him. “She does, mostly. And I am not singing ‘White Wedding’, Dawn.” This was directed at the front seat. Dawn looked over her seat with a gleam in her eye. “’Rebel Yell’ then?”

“No.”

“’Mony Mony’?”

“No way.”

“I got it. “ She held up a CD. “’Rock the Cradle of Love’. Come on, Spike – you know you want to. You’re a complete sucker for the Billy Idol oldies.”

Spike snorted, but didn’t deny her accusation. “Hmpf. Well, I’m not going first, Bit.” He tried to maintain his glare, but the corners of his mouth twitched slightly. “It’s your game; you should have to go first.”

“No,” she replied. “We have to do a group number first.”

Xander broke in. “Didn’t I already cause something like this with that singing, dancing, burning-up-from-the-inside demon?”

Spike gave him a direct look. “Oh, yes, you did, whelp. Did I ever thank you properly for that? I sang to Buffy, you know. Very heartfelt; very humiliating. Thanks tons, luv. It was great.”

Xander touched the top of his shoulder and said with a teasing tone, “Don’t be bitter, baby.” He noticed Spike’s eyebrows rise and his eyes widen. Hmmmm, he thought. The vampire likes to be called “baby”. File that away for future use.

Dawn squealed and opened a CD case. “OK, Xander – if you don’t know this one it’s a crime. It was old when you were in high school.” Xander smiled when the opening notes of Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right” thundered out of the stereo. He laughed out loud when everyone in the car launched into the song, with little Sara babbling along. Xander could hear Dawn’s high voice over everyone, and he remembered Spike’s surprisingly good, growly tenor. He leaned forward slightly and was floored to hear a deep, basso profundo voice rolling out of Jase. Dawn caught his expression and shrugged at him as if to say, “go figure”. Xander stopped caring what he or the others sounded like and applied his perfectly adequate singing voice to the chorus.

“You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
Turn out the light
Don’t try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right”

The song ended and they all laughed as Sara clapped her chubby little hands and cried out “Again, again!” Jase opted to go next and sang a slow country ballad that Xander had never heard before to his wife. Xander thought Jase’s voice was much better than the guy on the CD’s and told him so. Jase ducked his head shyly at the compliment. Dawn went next, and sang a Sara McLaughlin song that was suited to her high range. Once she finished she changed the CD and the driving beat of “Rock the Cradle of Love” started. Xander watched Spike in the darkness, wishing he had the vampire’s night vision.

Spike’s voice wrapped around the words of the song and he easily hit every note. The sensual growl in his tone was making Xander feel soft and squishy inside when the blue eyes turned to him and Spike sang the last part of the song directly to him. He smirked at Xander as he finished up and then immediately started badgering the other man to pick a song. Xander held up his hands in mock surrender. “I have one, hang on a sec.” He twisted around in his seat and reached for the CD case he had transferred from the Mercedes to the SUV on impulse. He passed a disc to Dawn and asked her to cue up track 7. As the simple guitar notes started he told the others, “You’ll have to chime in on the chorus.”

As soon as Xander started singing, the others started laughing. His chosen song was a slow, partially rapped version of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown”. Xander knew the rap by heart, and as soon as the chorus started the others chimed in.

“Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creeping round my back stair
Sometimes I think it’s a shame
When I get feeling better
When I’m feeling no pain”

When the song ended they all laughed themselves breathless, and Jase begged Dawn to play the song again, and Xander to sing it again. They both complied, and the whole group sang the song again. They took a break while Dawn searched for another group sing, and Xander turned to Spike.

“You have a nice singing voice,” he remarked. “I like it.” Spike smiled and ducked his head a little.

“Thanks, luv. Many decades of practice. Yours isn’t too bad, either – I really liked your song.” Xander returned the smile. “It just struck me the first time I heard it – made me laugh, so I kept it.” Spike’s smile turned wistful. “So, if I make you laugh, are you going to keep me?” he asked, too softly for the others to hear. Xander put his arm along the back of the seat and tugged lightly at the blond hair until blue eyes met brown ones in the gloom. He traced his fingers along the shell of Spike’s ear for a moment and replied, his voice husky. “I think that could be arranged.” He watched as Spike’s tongue darted out to moisten his lips and wished like hell that they were alone.

“Oh.” They both turned toward the soft sound to find Dawn looking at them from the front seat, her eyes huge. She quickly shut her mouth, which had been hanging open, and said, “Sara’s asleep, so no more singing for a while.” She tried to hide her brilliant smile as she turned back around to the front of the car. She rummaged in her CD case for a while and chose a CD that she knew contained moody, atmospheric, romantic songs. She slid it into the player, happy to be contributing a little to what she hoped she was seeing. Her hand stole out to clasp her husband’s where it rested on his thigh.

The fingers that had been tracing against the inside of Xander’s elbow moved up to encircle his bicep and squeeze. “We’re here, pet,” Spike whispered. Xander had fallen asleep shortly after Sara. He had started to struggle a bit in his sleep, so Spike had started rubbing soothing circles on his arm, which had remained draped over the seat back. He’d calmed, and Spike had kept up the contact for the rest of the trip.

The car was sitting in a front space in an underground parking garage. Xander assumed it was attached to Angel’s hotel, the Chanticleer. Angel had moved his business several times after the destruction of the Hyperion, but had eventually realized he liked the hotel setup. The Chanticleer was a restored Art Deco hotel in an old section of L.A. Xander stepped out of the SUV and stretched, then smiled while he watched Spike deftly wrestle Sara out of her car seat without waking her. He settled her against his shoulder and shut the car door softly. Dawn opened the cargo area and they grabbed as much of the luggage as they could carry. They walked to a set of glass doors and Dawn punched a code into a security keypad. The doors slid back and a computerized voice said, “Welcome to the Chanticleer.” They stepped in and proceeded to an elevator located directly in front of them. A bell chimed as the car arrived, and Sara stirred. Spike traded the waking girl to Dawn for the duffel and diaper bag she carried as they boarded the elevator.

Xander took in a large breath and let it out slowly. Spike leaned against him and whispered in his ear. “No big deal, luv – it’s just the same old gang.” Xander bent slightly to rest his head against the blond waves. The elevator doors opened and they were attacked.





Part Twelve

Buffy jumped at Xander and he dropped his bags to catch her. Over her shoulder he saw Angel greeting Spike with a big smile and a handshake. As he placed Buffy back on her feet he was blindsided by a petite brunette. “Cordelia?” He hugged her tightly as Buffy intercepted her sister and brother-in-law for more hugs. Two small dark-haired children were peeking out from behind a sofa in the ornate lobby. As soon as Sara had been set on her feet they ran out to greet her. They looked very much alike and Xander guessed that they were four years old or so. Cordelia gestured toward them with a laugh. “Those little hellions are Jack and Lily. They’re mine.“ Her eyes glowed with pride. Xander grabbed her hands and held them wide, as he ran a suggestive glance up and down her body. “I never would have guessed it, Cordy. You look great.” She blushed happily, and then pulled her hand free to shake a teasing finger at him. “This figure took a ton of work, Xander Harris, and don’t you forget it. Twins are hell on your waistline.” She spun away to greet the others and Xander found himself face to face with Angel.

Angel, of course, looked exactly the same. A small smile played at the corners of his mouth as he held a hand out to Xander. Xander took it and they smiled at one another. “Hey, man,” Xander said. “Hey,” Angel repeated. Distracted, the large vampire looked down. Sara was tugging at his dark pants. “Up, Angel,” she said. He lifted her and buried his face in her hair to kiss her neck. She squealed and pulled back, and Xander saw the huge smile lighting Angel’s face, reaching all the way to his eyes. So that’s what Buffy sees in him, he thought. Sara turned away from her uncle and held out her small hand. Xander placed his finger in it and was enchanted when she said “Bander” and then kissed his finger. His eyes met Angel’s and his old nemesis shrugged. “Well, if Sara approves of you …” his voice trailed off and the two men laughed together easily.

The rest of the gear was retrieved from the car and carried to another set of elevators. Dawn danced up and distributed room keys, smiling to herself as she gave Spike and Xander theirs. Cordelia corralled the children as the others boarded the elevator to go to their rooms, with Buffy and Angel providing extra muscle for Dawn and Jase’s luggage.

The elevator opened on the fourth floor and Jase, Dawn, Buffy and Angel exited. Over her shoulder Buffy said, “Go settle in. We’ll meet in the lobby in an hour to leave for the airport, OK?” Spike and Xander nodded as the elevator doors slipped closed. As the car climbed to the fifth floor, Xander looked down at the tag attached to his key. It was a metal oval with a raised carving of a rooster on it. Beneath the rooster was the number 501. He glanced at Spike’s tag and laughed. “What’s so funny, mate?” the vampire asked with a raised eyebrow. Xander held out his key. “I think Dawnie’s doing a little matchmaking.” Spike held out his key. They were both to room 501. Spike merely raised his eyebrow a little higher. “You OK with that?” he asked. In answer, Xander leaned over and kissed him. It was an affectionate brush of lips with a promise of things to come. The doors slid open at the fifth floor.

Room 501 turned out to be a large two-bedroom suite. It had a sweeping view of downtown L.A. and very heavy drapes. The suite was set up with a central parlor which included seating, a wet bar and a large entertainment center. The two bedrooms were identical. Each had a king-sized bed, a large armoire with a television, a complete sound system and a small sitting area. Each also had a palatial bathroom with claw-footed tubs and walk-in showers. All of the rooms were richly decorated and appointed. Xander placed his duffel on the bed in one of the rooms and unpacked his belongings. Spike knocked on the door as he was finishing up. Xander invited him in. Spike prowled around, checking out the bathroom, and then came to stand at his friend’s side at the open closet. He ran a finger down the row of Xander’s neatly hung clothes, all black.

Xander flushed a little at the scrutiny and started to stammer. “It’s, well … I just …” His voice trailed off when Spike met his eyes with an understanding look and laid a hand on his shoulder. “Xan, I’m an actual Victorian, remember. We invented the concept of wearing mourning. It’s OK. It’s ... good – that you choose to remember her that way.” Xander dipped his head in the gesture that was becoming second nature to him and pressed his forehead against Spike’s. After a moment they broke the pose, and Xander closed the closet door.

“Well, we’ve got the better part of an hour. What do you want to do?” Xander asked, and immediately laughed when Spike gave him an exaggerated leer. “Besides that,” he added. He rubbed his hands over his face and grimaced. “I better shave, so I don’t rub a hole in Willow when I hug her.” He saw Spike’s expression brighten and asked, “You wanna watch, baby?” in a light, teasing tone. He was rewarded with that same flash of heat he’d seen when he had called Spike “baby” in the car. He pulled his shaving kit out of his bag and walked to the bathroom, Spike following close behind.

Spike sat perched on the edge of the claw-footed bathtub and watched as Xander stripped off his black tee shirt and turned the water on in the sink. While the other man unpacked shaving supplies and tested the water’s heat, the vampire took the opportunity to ogle his body in peace.  Xander was barefoot, which Spike had noticed seemed to be his natural state. As soon as they’d come upstairs Xander’s shoes and socks had been history. Moving his eyes up the tall body, Spike admired the tight black jeans, and especially admired the form beneath them. Xander has strong calves and thighs that filled the jeans well, but the good stuff was just above; the boy had a fantastic ass. Having seen it in just boxer briefs, Spike had been impressed. The low waist of the jeans hugged Xander’s hips, and as he turned slightly, Spike could see where the dark arrow of hair on Xander’s chest slipped below the button fly. Xander’s waist was narrow, which only emphasized the breadth of his back and shoulders. His back and shoulders flexed as he started spreading shaving cream carefully over his face and neck. The muscles in his shoulders bunched as he smoothed his shaggy hair away from the white foam. The back of his neck was hidden by the sable waves. Spike loved his hair this long; it looked wild and made the boy look like some sort of debauched cherub.

Spike shifted position so he could see Xander’s face in the mirror. He began to draw the razor down his cheeks, making funny faces to smooth the skin for optimal closeness, rinsing the razor periodically in the sink. He worked his way down, shaving his upper lip, then his chin. He carefully evened off the bottoms of his short sideburns and then tilted his head back to work on the strong column of his throat. He shaved the tanned skin in long strokes, and then returned to the area under his jaw to clean up any stray whiskers. Once finished, he rinsed the razor a final time, and then bent to rinse his face. He pulled his head out of the sink and dried his face and neck with the hand towel.

Xander turned and smiled at the vampire who’d been watching him so intently. He gestured to his face. “You want to come check my work?” he asked. Spike was instantly at his side, running his fingertips over the sleek planes of freshly shorn flesh. As he circled under Xander’s jaw, he hit a rough patch. “You missed a spot, pet,” his voice was husky, as he was almost painfully aroused from watching Xander do this mundane task. The dark man picked up the razor and ran it over the spot, wincing as he nicked himself. “Ouch!” he hissed, rubbing the small spot of blood with the towel.

The smell of Xander’s blood hit Spike like a freight train. His eyes widened, and he couldn’t stop himself from scenting the air lightly to capture just a little more of that intoxicating aroma. He licked his finger and held it out to Xander. “Here, vampire spit’ll close the cut – semi-gross, but true.” Xander looked at him for a moment, and then kissed the tip of the proffered finger. He placed his hand on Spike’s shoulder. ”How about you give me a little of that right from the tap?” It took Spike a moment to understand that Xander was offering to let him lick the tiny wound. His mouth dropped open and he shut it with a snap. He stepped forward and placed his lips against the warm flesh of the boy’s neck. He ran his tongue lightly over the cut and both men moaned. Spike fought the urge to draw on the nick and simply ran his tongue over it one more time. Gripping Xander’s arm, he pushed himself back a step.

Xander looked at him quizzically. “What does it taste like?” he asked softly. Spike unconsciously ran his tongue over his lips and considered the question, still savoring the small taste. “Tastes like you, luv. Just like you smell and your skin tastes, like the inside of your mouth tastes, just more intense, hotter, wilder … more,” he hesitated. “Just – more,” he finished.  His blue eyes glittered into Xander’s dark ones. “I’m glad you like the way I taste.” Xander said, with a small smile. “Is it different from the bagged stuff?” Spike didn’t drop the eye contact, but his eyes glittered even more. “It’s a world away. Your blood is alive. It’s you.” As he spoke, he closed the distance between them. “I think we’re done with questions,” he growled as he pushed Xander back against the sink and brought their lower bodies into contact. Xander gasped as Spike’s erection pressed against him. In their previous encounters he had marveled at the tensile strength of the vampire’s body, but this was different. Spike was beyond hard, his flesh crushed against Xander’s with bruising pressure.

Spike moved his hips enough to slide against the human’s hardening length and leaned his head forward to lick the healed spot on Xander’s neck with one long, wet stroke that ended just below a flushed ear.  Tanned hands came up and tangled into blond waves, gently at first, then with urgency and their lips met in a rough, hard kiss. Mouths opened, tongues fought and teeth clashed as they tried to devour each other. Spike’s hands closed on the hips before him and he started pressing their groins together in a rhythm he echoed with the thrusts of his tongue. The bathroom was filled with groans and growls. Xander freed one hand to curl over the vampire’s hip and grip his hard backside. Spike could tell that the human needed air, but was reluctant to break the passionate embrace. He finally gathered what was left of his wits and wrenched their mouths apart. Xander panted breathlessly against him.

Taking a deep breath of his own, Spike stepped back. The hand on his ass tightened to keep him in place, and wide brown eyes met his. “Not trying to be a tease, pet, but we have to go to the airport and get Willow, and you haven’t told your story, and I’m not wasting our first time against the bathroom sink. OK?” Xander replied “yes” but shook his head “no” at the same time. They shared a laugh and put a little bit of space between them. Spike took another step back and said, “We’d better get showers. Angel will smell us all over each other, and I don’t really feel like answering the questions just yet.” He took one more step back, fighting the urge to grab the boy again and ravish his kiss-swollen lips.

Xander glanced down at the bulge straining the front of his own jeans. “I guess I do have something I need to take care of in the shower.” He smiled ruefully, and then laughed as Spike gave him a dirty look. “What?” he asked. “You’re evil, mate. You didn’t have to tell me that.” Xander looked down pointedly, “I don’t think it’s a secret,” he groused. “Now get out of here, since I can’t have you yet.” Spike turned with a smile and left the room.

Both men took longer in the shower than usual.





Part Thirteen

Everyone met in the lobby, and it was decided that Buffy, Angel, Spike and Xander would take the SUV to the airport to pick up Willow. Dawn carefully handed the keys to her sister, even though Spike made a grab for them. She laughed at his scowl. Knowing that Xander would be wearing black, and wanting to save the human from any smart remarks from Buffy about matching clothes, Spike had pulled on a pair of faded jeans and a thin gray sweater that clung to his sculpted chest. He’d even forgone the gel in his hair; soft waves fell over his forehead. Xander was indeed in his usual black jeans, but he’d dressed them up with a black silk long sleeved pullover. He’d pushed the sleeves to his elbows and his hair was still damp. Spike wanted to throw him on one of the sofas in the lobby and make him scream.

Buffy was wearing jeans and a simple white top. Xander stood back and looked at his old friend. She’d changed so much since the last time he’d seen her. She was softer, less angular. She’d put on some much-needed weight, and Xander thought she looked healthy and happy. Angel was wearing his usual deep colors, and he looked happy, too. They both looked trim and athletic and ready to kick some ass. Cordelia, Dawn and Jase promised to get the kids to bed and ready a room for Willow while they were gone. The children had all fallen asleep on the lobby sofas, and only needed to be moved upstairs.

They said their goodbyes and trooped out to the parking deck. Buffy and Angel settled in the front while Spike disconnected Sara’s car seat and placed it in the cargo area to make more room in the back seat. He slammed the tailgate and slid into the backseat next to Xander, making sure that their thighs were pressed together from knee to hip. A smile twisted his lips as the other man automatically curled his fingers around the blue denim-clad leg next to his own.

The trip to the airport was fairly quick, and soon they were parking at the terminal. Buffy led the three men through the concourse expertly, and they followed along, Xander bracketed between the two vampires. The three of them talked and joked easily and they stepped quickly to keep up with Buffy’s pace. She still reached the gate several minutes before them and stood, tapping her toe impatiently. When they reached her, Xander put his arm around her shoulder and rubbed his hand up and down her arm. “Antsy much? He asked her. She leaned her head against his arm. “I’m just excited. I haven’t seen Willow in way too long.” They shared a smile as they waited for their friend.

Within a couple of minutes, passengers started pouring through the gate’s doorway. Buffy bounced up and down, trying to see her friend. Xander craned his neck and finally spotted her titian hair. ”Willow!” he called, “over here!” She turned toward them, and Xander and Buffy rushed forward to enfold the petite witch in a smothering embrace. Both girls squealed, and Xander laughed out loud. The two vampires stood back and shared a smile at the friends’ antics. They both snorted, “Humans.” The trio finally broke their embrace and all started talking at once.

Angel stepped up to them and placed one huge hand on Willow’s shoulder. She turned, and her face lit up. She jumped up, and Angel lifted her off the ground in a hug as she kissed him soundly on the cheek. He placed her back on her feet in front of Spike. She gave him a sweet smile, as well as a hug and a kiss. They exchanged quiet hellos, and another hug. Willow had been instrumental in helping Spike after the return of his soul, and they had a special friendship. She raised her hand to his hair and said, “I like you with the natural look.” He smiled and tugged on a lock of her hair, which was trimmed into a choppy, face-framing style that made her look like a pixie. “You look good, too, Red.”

“Well, we better go get the luggage,” Angel suggested. “I’ll carry this one,“ Xander said, and scooped Willow up in a fireman’s carry with her head hanging down his back. She squealed and struggled as he walked down the concourse. The other three laughed and followed.

Buffy, Xander and Willow talked the entire way home, with Angel and Spike interjecting an occasional word into the verbal fray, but mostly just enjoying the show. The drive passed quickly, and soon they arrived back at the Chanticleer. Willow marveled at the architecture, earning a smile from Angel. Spike and Angel argued good-naturedly about which of them got to carry Willow’s luggage as they all swept in through the glass doors and up to the main lobby. There was another flurry of greetings as Cordelia and Dawn hugged Willow. Dawn explained that Jase had volunteered to keep an ear on the kids while Xander finished his story for the others. Dawn and Buffy swept Willow away to find her room, and Angel and Cordelia went to the kitchen to get drinks for everyone.

Xander walked to a corner of the lobby and pulled a heavy drape aside to stare out into the street. After watching silently for a moment, Spike joined him. He stopped a few feet behind Xander and waited. Xander turned and held out his arm. The vampire moved to his side and threaded his hand around the taller man’s waist to rest on his hip, and nestled his head into the broad shoulder. Xander concentrated on keeping his breaths steady as his panic rose. He whispered against the top of Spike’s head, “I don’t want to do this.” “I know, luv,” Spike crooned. “It’s not gonna be easy, but you’ve got to get it off your chest. I promise everything is gonna be all right.” Xander’s only answer was another wavering breath, and Spike could tell that his control was slipping.  He stepped in front of his friend and placed both hands on his shoulders, looking directly into his shadowed dark eyes. Xander lost himself for a moment in the crystal blue depths, and then shook himself slightly.

“I can do this. I can do this,” he repeated, almost to himself. To Spike he said, “I need to go upstairs. I need the photo album. Will you go with me?” Spike nodded and they walked slowly to the elevator. The car arrived, and the three girls spilled out. Xander smiled at them and said, “I need something from the room – we’ll be right back.” They traded places and the girls moved into the lobby. As soon as the elevator doors closed, Xander found Spike’s lips on his in the gentlest kiss he’d ever been given. In that soft, sweet touch the vampire poured out the affection he felt for the boy, the sorrow of time lost, the pain of years and the comfort he offered. Xander felt tears well up in his eyes, as he understood everything his friend was trying to say without words, and he couldn’t help but to hope that those feelings would survive the terrible truth he was about to tell. He returned the kiss and let the tears fall.

Spike tasted salt, and knew that it was Xander’s tears. Lifting his lips from the full, warm ones of the human; he used his thumbs to wipe away the moisture. He then pressed light kisses all over Xander’s face. When the elevator stopped, Spike took Xander’s hand and led him to their door, waiting outside as Xander gathered his book and took a moment to regain his composure. They rode back down the elevator in silence, and their hands were clasped again as they exited into the lobby. Their friends were all arrayed around a low table situated in front of the hotel’s massive fireplace, sipping drinks and waiting quietly.

As they joined the group, Spike took the black book out of Xander’s hand and gave it to Dawn. He had to clear his throat to speak. “Little Bit? Why don’t you tell as much of the story as Xan’s already told us? We’re going to go over there and ….” His voice trailed off and he made a vague hand gesture. Dawn nodded, and Spike led an unresisting Xander back to the window. Once there, he moved to face the taller man and pulled him into an embrace, resting their brows together and putting his hand on the back of Xander’s neck. He knew that Xander was barely hanging on; he could feel fear and anger and dread and terrible sadness coming off of the man in waves. After a moment, a strong hand gripped his neck below the platinum waves.

Spike and Xander could easily hear Dawn’s voice as she relayed the stories she’d heard from Xander. Everyone laughed appreciatively at Xander’s mug shot and the photo of him getting his ass kicked by tiny Shari. Xander knew when they had reached the black and white portraits when he heard Willow make a tiny sound and say in a cracking voice, “They’re so beautiful – both of them.” He knew instinctively when they had turned the last page, and shut his eyes against the pain. Spike’s hand tightened on his neck and the pressure of the forehead against his increased. Xander finally turned back to the group when he heard the completely unexpected sound of Cordelia bursting into tears.

Xander broke from Spike and moved to her side. She had her hands over her face, and he could hear her gasping sobs. Xander sat next to her and pulled her into his lap. He easily enfolded her small body in his arms, and rubbed soothing circles on her back. She buried her head in his shoulder and cried for a few moments. Eventually her sobs eased, and she gratefully took the handkerchief that Angel passed to her. Once she had wiped her face, she gave Xander a tiny, watery smile. “I’m sorry, you guys – I guess it’s just a Mommy thing.” She and Dawn exchanged a knowing look; Dawn also had tears in her eyes and both of her hands were clutching one of Spike’s in a crushing grip. Cordelia met Xander’s eyes fully. “I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am, Xander. You don’t deserve this kind of pain. If I could make it go away, I would.” The others echoed her sentiments, and Xander felt several hands reach out to pat him or clasp his hand or knee.

Xander settled Cordelia next to him on the sofa, and looked around the group, meeting each set of eyes but lingering on Spike’s beautiful blue ones the longest. He took a deep breath and then let it out slowly. “It -  Oh, God, it gets worse, guys. I know who murdered my wife and child. I came here because I need you to help me kill that person.” He looked directly at Spike and braced himself. “It was Drusilla.”





Part Fourteen

The girls all exploded into speech, asking questions and exclaiming in disbelief. Xander ignored them; all he could see was the stricken look in Spike’s eyes, which slowly slipped away from his to focus on the inlaid marble floor. Xander saw Angel lay his hand on Spike’s slumped shoulder, and saw Spike turn to the larger vampire, still not looking up. Buffy moved to stand before Xander, interrupting his line of sight to Spike. She placed her small, soft hands on his arm. “I’ll kill her for you, Xander, any day, any time.” Her voice was full of suppressed fury. Xander met her glittering green eyes and opened his mouth to reply. Before the words could pass his lips, a hard voice came from behind her. “No, you won’t, Slayer,” Spike said. “Her death belongs to Xander. It’s his right.”

They all settled back into their seats, and Angel came to sit on the low table directly in front of Xander. With a delicacy that Xander could hardly believe, the vampire took one of Xander’s hands into his huge one and questioned him gently and thoroughly about the murder and his suspicions of Dru’s involvement. Buffy sat on one side of Xander, Dawn on the other, each with their arm looped through his. Cordelia and Willow sat on the floor on either side of his legs, and Spike came to stand behind the sofa, hovering but not touching. Xander had never felt as safe and loved as he did at that moment. He reveled in those warm, supportive touches as he answered Angel’s careful questions and relived the worst night of his life.

<FLASHBACK>

Class had run a little long, because they’d been having so much fun sparring. Everyone was drenched in sweat and laughing and joking as they walked out to their cars in the sultry southern night. Xander stopped by his car and stripped off his belt and uniform top, enjoying the relative coolness of just his uniform pants and black tank top. He threw the sweaty garments into the back seat, making a mental note to be sure to carry them into the house before the Mercedes started smelling like a locker room again; Shari hated that. Xander stretched and rolled his shoulders for a few minutes before getting into his car. He waved to his friends and students as their cars pulled out of the parking lot. He propped one foot on the car’s bumper and leaned down to stretch the hamstring that had been giving him a little trouble.

As he straightened, a chill ran up his back, making the hair on his neck stand up. For an instant he was back on the Hellmouth, fifteen years old and facing some immortal evil with a sharp stick and false bravado. He even reached back, for a pocket that neither existed nor held a stake. He raised his head and looked around carefully. The parking lot was mostly empty of cars; all of the storefronts were closed for the night. Xander shook off the feeling and slid behind the wheel. Just before he shut the door, he thought he heard a tinkling laugh drift over the roofs of the buildings.

He drove home, singing along with the radio. On a weeknight, this late, the suburban area he called home was tranquil. The neighborhood had streetlights and sidewalks, and the houses were nicely kept, sitting back on manicured lawns. Welcoming yellow light shone out at him from his porch. He hit the remote to open the garage door, and slid the Mercedes into the garage alongside Shari’s sporty little Mazda. He entered the house quietly. Since she was so late in her pregnancy, Shari had started going to bed earlier and earlier; she said she was getting her last sleep for a while.

Xander walked into the laundry room and stripped off the remainder of his uniform, berating himself for having left the top in the car. Deciding not to go back for it, he padded upstairs naked, rubbing his hand through his hair, where the sweat was beginning to dry. He stopped in the guest bathroom to shower so he wouldn’t wake his sleeping wife. Once finished, he rubbed his hair with a towel and stepped across the hall to the room that had been decorated as baby Lex’s nursery.

They had argued about the name, but Shari was adamant that their son would be named for his father. Xander had objected to the baby being also called Xander, and Shari had vetoed Alex. They had finally decided on Lex. Standing by the crib, Xander ran his fingers over the soft sheet and tiny blanket. The crib was full of stuffed toys, and Xander picked up several of them; a giraffe, a dog, a duck and what he swore was a platypus, but Shari said was a beaver. He placed the toys back on the covers and turned to enter the master bedroom, turning off the hall light. He felt his way to the bed and lifted the covers. He slid into the bed and inched toward his wife, hoping to snuggle into her warmth. She was cold. It took his mind a long, horrible second to realize what that meant. She was cold.

Xander leapt from the bed and tried to turn on the lamp. It was gone. He found it with his foot a second later, not even registering the pain as the smashed ceramic shards cut deep into his foot. He stumbled to the window and pulled up the blinds to let the glow from the streetlight in. He realized that the window was open. He turned back to the bed and pulled Shari to him. As he dragged her into his arms, her head fell back. It fell back too far, and he saw the long slash on her throat from ear to ear. He put his hand over it to try and close the horrible wound. It gaped at him like an obscene smile. He ran his hands over her still face, trying to find any little bit of warmth or life. There was none. There was also no blood.

Fear washed over Xander like an icy rain as he held his wife’s lifeless, bloodless body against him for a long minute, sweeping his hand over her face and down to cup her distended abdomen, where he knew Lex was still. Then he placed her reverently on the bed and covered her with the blanket. He stepped to the window and looked down. From under the streetlight a pale face looked up at his. Her eyes were huge and dark and a small smile played about her lips. Her hair curled down from her widow’s peak to the shoulders of her velvet dress. As she looked at him she raised a blood-streaked hand to her mouth and licked it. By the time he reached the street, she was gone.

He’d gone in and put on some sweat pants and called 911. He sat on the porch steps until the police and ambulance arrived. The paramedics had rushed up to the bedroom, only to come back down much more slowly, carrying her plastic-draped body gently on a stretcher. One of them had noticed the blood and had removed the pieces of ceramic imbedded in his foot and bandaged the cut, telling him he would need stitches. Without a word Xander had shrugged on a sweatshirt and hobbled to the back door of the ambulance. He had climbed in and sat next to Shari’s stretcher silently, his hand tucked under her, between the body bag and the stretcher.

There were questions and stitches and phone calls, then hands touching him and trying to comfort him. Family and friends had surrounded him, sharing hugs and tears and shocked exclamations. He had gone home with Shari’s parents and taken whatever pills the doctor had prescribed. Within three days, he had laid his wife and child to rest. Within three weeks, the police had told him they were baffled; they had no leads and no ideas. He returned home for one night, but was unable to sleep and spent the entire night sitting on the porch steps, hoping that the dark demon that had killed Shari and Lex would come and take him too.

The next day, Xander put the house on the market. It sold within a few weeks. He stayed with various friends, and sometimes in hotels. He went to work and to the dojo, where he worked out and taught his classes. The entire school mourned Shari as one of their own, so everyone pretended not to notice if he was fighting too hard in sparring matches; in fact, some of the larger men purposely partnered up with him to provide him something solid to pound out his grief and rage and pain on. He sometimes had to leave class quickly, when the tears threatened to overwhelm him, and no one commented other than to offer sad smiles.

At night, he hunted. He started carrying a stake and a cross with him everywhere. His Sunnydale wariness returned, and he used it to his advantage, stalking his prey on the streets near his house, and further afield – anywhere he could dig up a whisper of innuendo even containing the word vampire. He stalked and killed eleven vampires, none of them the one he wanted. By the time Shari had been gone six months he knew what he had to do. If there was anyone in the world who could find Dru, it was Spike. Despite the estrangement between the former lovers, Xander believed that Spike could find her. But, would Spike help him? He knew he’d been awful to the vampire in the past. They’d had their moments of camaraderie, but Xander knew he could not expect Spike to receive him as a friend.

In desperation, he’d broken his silence of eight years and tracked Willow down at her teaching job in Canada. He’d asked her point blank to tell him where Spike was. She’s acquiesced, and he had gotten into his car that afternoon and begun the drive across the country that would place him on Spike’s doorstep.

<END FLASHBACK>

Xander finished his story and released Angel’s hand. He slumped back against the sofa, and felt Spike’s hands close on his shoulders. He tilted his head back to look at the vampire, and was stunned by the look in the blue eyes. There was pain and anger and sadness and something softer – compassion? Affection? Spike leaned down and brushed his lips across the man’s forehead. He clasped the shoulders under his hands hard, and then let go.  Dawn handed Xander a glass of water and a handkerchief. Once he’d wiped his eyes and drunk his water, Xander saw that the two vampires had moved away from the group to talk quietly.

As if by silent agreement, the girls gathered around Xander on the sofa and talked to him about inconsequential things – they shared old stories and talked about their lives and didn’t care that Xander was only half-listening. He was grateful that there always seemed to be a soft hand in his, and that Buffy and Willow were taking turns rubbing his shoulders or stroking his cheek. At one point or another in the conversation, each girl said, “I love you” to Xander, and returned his small, sad smile. Eventually, they stopped talking and simply sat, huddled together, giving and receiving comfort.

Spike looked over to the sofa and caught Xander’s eye. He gestured with his head for Xander to join him and Angel. Xander extricated himself from the pile of girls, who merely rearranged themselves, slipping into the warm void his large body left. He joined the two serious-looking vampires. Spike slid an arm around his waist, and Angel wrapped one of his huge hands around his shoulder. Xander leaned into Spike. Angel cleared his throat and spoke softly. “Spike and I were over here debating which one of us is the bigger asshole.” Xander gave him a half-grin and quipped, “That’s easy – it’s you.” They all shared a small smile at the very small joke.

“So, why are you guys assholes this time?” Xander asked. Angel looked directly into Xander’s eyes. “I made her. And I made her insane. I don’t know why she wanted to do this to you, Xander, but it’s my fault – I made her.” Angel’s voice was anguished, and Xander could tell that he was forcing himself not to drop his gaze from the human’s eyes. Xander was distracted by a harsh laugh from Spike. “I could have killed her. I had her right there, I had the stake, and I was ready. But I let her go. I let her go and she hurt you, Xan. I don’t think there are words enough to say how much I regret that right now.” The distress in his friend’s voice sent a bolt of pain through Xander. He looked from one to the other, from blue eyes to brown and back. He took a deep breath and spoke.

“Now, you two listen to me. I did this exact same thing. I thought if only I hadn’t lingered at class, if only I hadn’t stopped to take a shower or stand in Lex’s room, maybe she could have been saved, and maybe Lex could have been saved. If I had stayed home from class, or if I hadn’t been born on the Hellmouth, or if I hadn’t made Amy cast that love spell back in high school that made Dru notice me, or if I’d never been born, then maybe Shari could have lived. But I found out that that’s not the way it works.” He laughed a bitter laugh. “God, I’m from Sunnydale – I should know this stuff by heart. You can’t go back and change things – the world doesn’t work that way. Angel, it’s not your fault for making her or making her crazy, and Spike – Will, it’s not your fault for not killing her.” He ran a hand through his hair and looked at the vampires grimly. His voice hardened to steel. “This is her fault. She took their lives. I don’t know why, and I don’t really fucking care. I came back here for a reason. I need your help. And she dies.”

Spike and Angel exchanged a look, and then both looked at Xander. They nodded and spoke as one. “She dies.” “By your hand” Spike added in a whisper, and Xander nodded back.





Part Fifteen

The three men turned to the sofa and started sorting out the girls, waking them only enough to get them on their feet. Angel herded Buffy, Dawn and Cordelia onto the elevator, to take them to their respective rooms. Xander swept a drowsy Willow up into his arms and followed, waiting for the car to come back down. He didn’t see Spike anywhere, but surmised that the blond vampire had probably gone out for a cigarette. Xander hadn’t seen him smoke for the duration of his stay, but figured that the night’s events probably warranted a cigarette or thirty. The elevator arrived and Xander stepped in. Willow snuggled her face into his chest and sighed. They reached the fourth floor, and he set her on her feet at her door, supporting her as she dug in her pocket for her room key. She unlocked the door, and he led her into the small suite and sat her on the bed. He knelt to remove her tennis shoes. He saw her suitcase on the floor and left her for a second to pull an oversized sleep shirt out of it.

She had fallen over on her back on the bed. He righted her and pulled the neck of the shirt over her head so she was covered. He unbuttoned her blouse and removed it, then deftly removed her bra, admiring the purple lace garment. He threaded her arms through the sleeves and pulled the long shirt down around her hips. He stood her up and braced her with one hand as he unbuttoned and unzipped her jeans. He sat her back down and stripped them off of her, leaving her socks on. He couldn’t help himself and peeked to see if her panties were purple lace, too. He flushed when he realized that they were; they were also thongs. He bundled her under the covers and pressed a kiss to her forehead. He whispered, “I love you, Willow,” and went to the door. As he turned off the light, he whispered, “Nice underwear.” She whispered back, “Thanks.” Smiling, he shut the door and headed back to the elevator, wondering what was going to happen when he reached 501.

In room 501, Spike was pacing like a caged tiger. While Angel and Xander had been dealing with the women, Spike had returned to their suite. When Xander had finally spoken Drusilla’s name, several things had become crystal clear to the vampire. He instantly understood Xander’s hesitation to get even more intimate with him. The idiot thought that he still loved Dru – that he would reject Xander because of some misplaced loyalty to his insane sire. When her name had been spoken, all Spike had felt was pain and regret and anger – no love, no longing. He owed Dru his unlife, but that debt had been settled by over a hundred years of loving care. Her existence was forfeit: payment for the lives of Shari and Lex.

Spike was still unsure of what was going to happen when Xander returned. He wanted more than anything to take the mortal in his arms and make him forget everything for a while. He didn’t know if Xander would be receptive. He wasn’t totally positive that Xander really wanted to be.

On his way back to the suite, Spike had quickly gone up to the penthouse, to Angel and Buffy’s huge suite on the top floor. He let himself in, using the copy of their key that he’d had made for his own use years ago. He walked into their enormous bathroom, and into Buffy’s massive walk-in closet. He found a pile of shopping bags in a corner and chose one. Back in the bathroom, he skirted the Jacuzzi tub and selected several candles from a towering display of them on the tub surround. He flipped several over to find the cinnamon scent he was looking for and placed those into his bag. Passing through the bedroom, he opened the drawer of Angel’s bedside table and sifted through the contents. Smiling, his fingers closed on what he needed, and the item was placed in the bag, also.

From their refrigerator, he liberated a decent bottle of wine, and from their cabinet a pair of glasses. He wrapped these in a dishtowel and placed them in his rapidly filling bag. Their fridge also yielded some fine chocolates and a package of strawberries. Whistling, Spike retreated with his selections.

Back in 501, he had fooled with the lights to find the best combination of the indirect lights and small lamps. He had placed the chocolates and strawberries on a plate on the bar and the wine in a bucket of ice. He’d entered his bedroom and turned down the bedding, throwing about ten hard little designer throw pillows to the floor. He retrieved a fluffy towel from the bathroom, and folded it on the bedside table. He placed the purloined, and thankfully unopened, tube of lubricant under his pillow so it would be warm. He turned the stereo to a station that played melodic instrumental music, turning it down low. He left the room lit only with the light spilling out of the bathroom from the partially closed door and two of the cinnamon scented candles, burning on the dresser, their flames reflected in the mirror.

The bedroom set up to his liking, Spike had moved back to the parlor. He set two more of the candles on the bar and lit them. He removed his boots and socks, stashing them in the hall closet. He also pulled his sweater off and mussed his hair up a little more. As a final bit of stage dressing, he unbuttoned the top button of his jeans, allowing the faded garment’s low waist to settle further down on his hips. Then he waited, and paced.

Spike’s pacing had led him to the far side of the room when the door opened. Xander stood in the open door and looked at the vampire. His eyes swept from the pale, bare feet up the jean clad legs, lingering on the triangle of flesh exposed by the open button. Xander’s gaze crawled appreciatively up the lean, muscled torso and arms. He moved his eyes up the other man’s face inch by slow inch, taking in the pointed chin, the moist pink lips and the occasional flash of Spike’s tongue flitting out to moisten them. Xander raised his eyes to admire the sculpted cheekbones, thrown into sharp relief by the muted lighting, before meeting Spike’s penetrating blue eyes. Xander tore his gaze from the vampire’s face to take in the whole picture - from the tousled blond waves to the thhumbs hooked casually in the belt loops of the tight jeans, to the way he shifted his weight almost imperceptibly from one bare foot to the other.

Xander shut the door behind him and stepped into the room. When Spike made a move to walk forward, he held up a hand. In a surprisingly steady voice he said, “No, Will – stay there.” Giving the vampire a smile, he sat on the couch and unlaced his tennis shoes, slowly removing them and his socks, and then flexing his toes in the deep carpet. Standing up, he pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it on the sofa. He walked very slowly toward his vampire, and Spike could think of nothing but a dark panther, stalking its prey. The smile was gone, and in its place was a look of lust, wonder, trust and anticipation that made Spike’s knees weak. Xander came to stand in front of him and raised a hand, laying it flat on Spike’s cheek. He pressed their foreheads together for a moment, and then increased the distance between them so he could look into beautiful, shining blue eyes. “I want you, Will. Just you. Can I have you?” he asked earnestly. Spike placed his hand on Xander’s chest and simply breathed the one word, “yesssss” on a hiss of air. Xander replied, “Good,” and kissed him.

The kiss was hot and thorough. Both men knew that they had all the time in the world. They exchanged languid kisses and small touches, standing inches apart. Spike ran both hands into Xander’s hair, digging his fingers into the scalp and dragging them back. He scratched lightly at the back of the neck under those dark waves, and drew his finger forward to trace the contours of an ear. His mouth slid against Xander’s, and when the other man groaned, he slipped his tongue inside to start a slow exploration. Xander’s hands moved on Spike’s face, tracing the hollow below his cheekbone, made more prominent by the action of his mouth. One hand tangled into blond waves and pulled slightly.

They broke the kiss, and Xander caught his breath. “Your place or mine?” he asked. Spike replied “Mine,” and took Xander’s hot hand in his to tug him toward the prepared room. Once inside the door, Xander looked around at the candles and the turned-down covers, and then walked to the side of the bed, gesturing for Spike to join him. The vampire was at his side in an instant, kissing him and tumbling him onto the large, soft mattress. They rolled, coming to rest with Spike on top of Xander. He looked down into the face below him. “God, Xan, you’re so gorgeous. I can’t believe you want me. Tell me.”

Xander spoke between kisses. “I want you.” Kiss. “I want you so much.” Kiss. “When I looked at you downstairs,” Kiss. “And I saw that you understood,” Kiss. “I though I was going to die with happiness.” Kiss. Longer kiss. “Just then, “ Kiss. “When I thought that I was going to lose you, too,” Kiss. “I realized how much I want you, how much I need you.” Kiss. “I know this is weird, but I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be.” Kiss. “And I’m supposed to be here with you, like this.” Spike dipped his head and gave Xander a searing kiss, leaving him totally breathless. While the human sucked in oxygen, Spike spoke.

“Yes, you are. Here. With me,” Spike growled, and coherent speech was quickly over. Mouths came together, lips and tongues clashing, and two sets of hands began to explore two hard chests. Xander rolled them over, taking the top position and exploiting his weight to pin the vampire down. He broke their kiss and moved down to lick and suck at Spike’s neck. He kissed the spot over Spike’s jugular vein, marveling at the lack of a pulse there. He opened his mouth wide and bit down gently on that sensitive skin. Spike threw his head back and keened “Xanderrrrrrr,” while thrusting his hips to meet the ones above them. Xander bit harder, and swept one hand up to find Spike’s sensitive nipple with his fingers. He rolled and pinched the peaked flesh, loving the unnecessary pants and growls and half-words coming from the mouth under him. Replacing his fingers with his mouth, he sucked Spike’s pebbled flesh and slipped two fingers into the waistband of the faded blue jeans. His fingers encountered the slick head of Spike’s cock, and Xander gasped at the contact. Spike’s gasp answered him when he swirled his fingers around the crown and squeezed slightly, feeling the flesh surge and twitch against him.

He moved his hand to the tab of the jeans’ zipper, and pulled it down slowly, one tooth at a time.  He slid his mouth down the center of the vampire’s abdomen, tracing the beautifully defined muscles with his tongue, smiling as they jumped under the hot assault. With both hands, he spread the front of Spike’s jeans and smiled because Spike wasn’t wearing underwear. Xander pushed his hands under the material to slide it from the narrow hips, and Spike raised his body enough to allow the jeans to be stripped from him. Moving back up the bed, Xander purposely ground his denim-covered erection against Spike’s bare one, eliciting a shout that he caught in his open mouth.

Spike could take no more, and he easily reversed their positions, his naked body draped over the larger one below him. He repeated Xander’s actions, working his way down the other man’s neck and chest, then stripping off his black jeans and sitting back on his heels to toss them on the floor. Xander was spread out before him. His arms were up, both hands rested on the pillow behind his head as he watched the vampire through eyes gone dark with desire. Xander’s face was flushed, his lips swollen from their passionate kisses. His small, dark nipples were drawn to tiny points. He was turned slightly to rest on one hip, his legs sprawled open in a wanton pose. The fine line of hair that arrowed down his abdomen ended in a dark swirl that framed his jutting cock. Spike noted the size of what was before him and smiled. Who knew the whelp had such lovely hidden assets? Xander was almost painfully erect, and a steady stream of moisture dripped onto his belly.

Xander’s eyes were locked on the body before him. Spike was magnificent. His body was compact and muscular, every sinew tensed as he balanced on his knees. His hair was hanging in his face, framing his beautiful, glittering blue eyes. He dropped his hands onto the bed and stalked up the sheets to where Xander lay. He looked like a tiger as he crawled toward the body of his lover, the sinuous, feline shape of his body made Xander twitch in anticipation. Finally, he reached his destination, and the two were finally flesh to flesh, their bodies sealed against one another. They simply held each other for a moment, and then Xander started kissing Spike again.

They kissed and touched as the passion flamed in them again. Xander moaned when Spike licked his way down his body and enclosed his hardness in that cool mouth. Spike worked his way around Xander’s cock, tasting the man’s essence and sucking at that jutting column of arousal. Xander shouted again when Spike drew back and then took all of Xander into his mouth, burying his nose in the nest of curls at the base of Xander’s cock and sucking and swallowing against the head. Xander pulled at the blond curls, knowing that he would not be able to take the intense suction for long. Spike relented and released Xander’s flesh with an audible pop. He moved back up and kissed Xander, letting the boy taste himself inside the cool cavern of the vampire’s mouth.

Lying on their sides, they explored each other’s bodies, kissing, touching, licking, sucking and nibbling. Xander’s hand closed over Spike’s erection, and the vampire thrust into his hand. He then moved to press their cocks together, and placed his hand over Xander’s to move in tandem over both of them. When Xander intensified the pace and threw his leg over Spike’s hip, the vampire reached under the pillow, retrieving the lubricant. Xander raised an eyebrow at him, but made no comment. Spike kissed him, so the human would not see how much his hands were shaking as he lubricated his fingers, and slipped his hand under the cocked leg. His slick fingers danced over Xander’s sac, feeling the heavy orbs pulled up against the human’s body. He slid one digit over the smooth, taut perineal skin and brushed lightly against the puckered opening.

Xander shifted back into the touch, and Spike’s finger rubbed against him, not yet seeking entry. Xander took up a rhythm, thrusting forward into their hands and back against Spike’s finger. Finally, gently, the vampire pushed the tip of his finger inside. He hissed at the tightness of the hot, silken flesh around him and waited. Xander didn’t alter his thrusts, and the tight ring of muscle eased as he worked himself back onto the finger. Spike held his hand still to allow Xander to adjust to the contact, and then started moving the finger in and out when Xander demanded “More.” Spike worked another slick finger into the body of his lover, going slowly to allow his muscles to adjust. Once the two fingers moved easily, Spike scissored them to stretch Xander further. Thrusting them in deeply, he twisted his hand and crooked his fingers to brush against Xander’s prostate, earning him a shout and the clench of convulsing muscles on his fingers. He repeated the motion until Xander was almost sobbing against him. The hand on their cocks had stopped moving, as Xander lay paralyzed by the intensity of his pleasure. Every bit of his awareness was centered on the fingers inside him and the feelings they were invoking. Xander gasped as Spike pulled his fingers out, then groaned deeply as they returned, joined by a third.

This time, Spike avoided the human’s sensitive gland, not wanting him to come too soon. He worked the fingers in and out, loving the expression of pleasure and pain and longing on Xander’s face as the man thrashed beside him.  He took an unneeded breath and stopped moving his fingers, laughing gently when Xander bucked back against his hand. Spike waited for the brown eyes to open, and then waited again while they focused on his. “Xan, luv, I need to know what you want.” Xander’s voice was low and strained, hoarse with passion. “Will, baby – I want you, just you.” Spike shuddered from head to toe at the sound. He kissed the human lightly on the mouth. “Pet, I need to know what we’re doing here – um, you know, who’s on top, who’s on bottom, that sort of thing.” Xander met the blue eyes and said, “I think we’re doing great the way we are.” He hesitated. Spike spoke again. “Xan, with that guy in Phoenix ….” His voice trailed off. Xander’s eyes widened. “Will, Spike, honey, baby, lover – can we not have this conversation right now?” he laughed. Spike growled in frustration. “I’m just askin’ if you’ve ever bottomed before, luv. I don’t want to hurt you.” Xander laughed again. “Oh! I get it. No, Will, I never did before – you’re my first.”

Blue eyes lit up and then darkened with lust. Xander’s body was so tight that Spike had suspected his experience was limited, but he’d never imagined that the boy was a virgin. The thought that he would receive such a gift was overwhelming. Coming to a decision, Spike pulled his fingers from Xander’s body, eliciting a frustrated whine. Spike laughed and lightly slapped Xander’s hip. “I’m not stopping, you git. Roll over – it’ll be easier on you. We can save the complicated stuff for later.” Xander grinned and leaned up to give Spike a long, hot kiss before rolling onto his stomach and rising to his knees. Spike gathered two of the pillows and pushed them under the human’s chest, watching the play of muscles as Xander wrapped his arms around them.

Putting more lubricant on his shaking fingers, Spike returned to gently preparing his lover. He truly didn’t want to cause any pain. He desperately wanted to get this right and make this experience good for Xander. By the time Spike had worked his fingers against the boy to his satisfaction, Xander was in an incredible state of arousal, pressing back against the fingers inside him while rubbing his dripping cock against the bed sheets, burying his moans and pleas in the pillows. Finally, he lifted his head from the pillow and arched his back. When Spike leaned forward to kiss the back of his neck, Xander captured the blond head with one hard hand and growled, “Will, if you aren’t inside me like now, I’m going to have to kill you.” Spike simply whispered against his ear, “OK, baby,” and smiled when Xander’s entire body arched even further back against him.

The lips left Xander’s ear, and the fingers left his body. For a moment he felt bereft, but after that he couldn’t think about anything but the cool, slick head of Spike’s cock, pressing against the entrance to his body. Spike thrust lightly against him, shaking with the effort of controlling his motion, and the head breached Xander’s body. Xander hissed as his lover slipped past the tight ring of muscle. Spike stopped to allow Xander to adjust to the intrusion, and didn’t move until he felt the boy pressing back against him. Inch by inch, Spike pushed himself into the hot, tight channel before him. His iron control was stretched to breaking point. All he wanted to do was slam his cock deep into this body again and again, but his desire to pleasure Xander won out.

Xander couldn’t believe the sensations he was feeling. His lover in Phoenix, Danny, had been very submissive – not at all interested in topping, and Xander had been fine with that. Now, he saw what he’d been missing. With Spike fully inside him Xander felt stretched, full and complete. The feeling of holding part of his lover inside his body was incredibly intimate. There was some pain; Spike was big. Xander panted as they lay locked together, and as soon as he was ready, he pressed back against Spike and whispered, “Now, Will. Love me ….”

As soon as he heard those quiet words, Spike was lost. He curled his fingers around Xander’s hips and started to move within him. He slid his cock almost completely out, then pressed it back home with one long stroke, and then repeated the action. After several strokes, he altered his angle so he could be sure to hit the human’s prostate on most of his strokes. Xander began to wail and thrash beneath him, his hips pushing back to meet each thrust. Spike lost himself in the incredible heat and tightness of their coupling. He knew that he could not last, and that Xander was also very close to his own release. Spike worked one hand around Xander’s hip and surrounded his hard shaft, stroking in time to his thrusts. Within just a few strokes, he heard Xander groan deeply, and the boy’s hot fluid spilled over his hand. The resulting shuddering and clenching of muscle drove Spike over the edge, and he came, shooting his cool seed deep into Xander’s body.

Xander pushed the pillows out from under his chest and collapsed facedown on the sheets, carrying Spike with him and not caring that he was lying in quite a mess. Spike remained draped over his lover’s back, his cock still inside, as they both panted. Eventually, Xander’s breathing returned to normal, and Spike’s stopped altogether. Spike’s softening cock slipped out of Xander’s body. A cool tongue invaded Xander’s ear, and a kiss was pressed to his temple. “Come on, luv – let’s go see if those fancy bathtubs are really big enough for two, eh?”




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