by Maz


Spike waited impatiently for the boy to arrive, but he counted to five before climbing off the bed and going to answer the knock on the door. Didn't want to appear too eager, that was the kid's role. And he didn't disappoint - the tentative smile he was sporting as the door opened, transformed into a huge grin of relief at Spike's warm welcome.

"Xander! Glad you could make it. Come in, mate. What you got there?" he asked, standing back from the reflected light of the summer's afternoon and pulling the door wide for his visitor to enter.

Xander held out the bag he carried. "Just some snacks. I figured if we're going to watch a movie, we have to have snacks, so... well..." He looked a little shamefaced. "I got more, but I ate some of them," he added as he walked over to the foot of the bed and put the bag down. "But there's still enough for both of us." Pausing, he looked around, taking in the room , the bed, the chest of drawers with the TV on top and the door into the bathroom. There was very little space for anything else. He turned to face Spike and glanced down, noticing his bare feet.

"That's great!" Spike said. "Thanks mate. I should've thought of that." He gestured at the bed. "Grab a seat. Sorry about the accommodation. It's a bit cramped, but I've got a lead on a flat, so it's only temporary."

Xander shook his head. "No, it's fine. It's great, even. You still want to watch a movie?"

"Sure. Got it right here," Spike said, picking up the video cassette and brandishing it. "Trainspotting." Turning to the video player, he laughed. "Let's see how good you are at foreign languages. I bet you a dollar, you need a translator."

Xander toed off his sneakers and sat down on the bed, leaning against the headboard, while Spike pushed the cassette into the VCR, before walking back to the other side of the bed and settling next to Xander. Leaning forwards, he grabbed the bag and dragged it over. "What you brought, eh?"

As the tape started and the inevitable ads for future releases began to play, Xander proudly emptied the bag onto the bedspread, between them. Yeah, thought Spike. You're as ripe for the plucking as the child you resemble. Just a little more encouragement, a bit of a sympathetic ear and you'll sit there nice and quiet, while I work out what to do with you. He smiled at Xander and grabbed a bag of hot and spicy corn chips, watching Xander's face light up again at his apparent success in choosing the right snacks. Oh yeah, he thought. You're desperate for something and I'm the man to nurture that need and fulfil it. You're mine, boy, and with you, somehow, I'll get Angelus. The only question is, do I need you alive to do it?

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