Chapter Six: Sides

Chapter Six: Sides

Lowell house was a shambles, and Xander stood looking at the mess while Buffy and Riley dressed.  The whole ordeal - with the freaky ghosts of repressed children, marathon sexcapades and semi-sentient people-hating vines was just really more then he wanted to deal with right now.   Although seeing Giles doing an 'Unplugged' session at the Espresso Pump had been rather entertaining.   He kicked at a shattered railing and went downstairs.   Spike was in the lounge, surreptitiously going through various drawers and cabinets, pocketing a few things. 

"Feeling like a little petty larceny will round the evening out nicely?"  Xander whispered.

"Never let an opportunity to get something for free pass you by, mate.  Done well for myself with that kind of thinking over the years.  Look - want a...commando-thing?"  Spike held up a tazer and pressed the button and dropped it when it went off, snapping out bluish sparks.  Xander snorted, holding out his hands in a 'keep it away' gesture.    "Bloody hell - that's what done for me before.  And it hurt."  Spike grinned and picked the taser back up, shoving it into a pocket. 

Xander leaned on the back of the couch, arms crossed.  "You know, I just want to go home.  This place creeps me out.  And Buffy...after what happened - the professor dead and Riley being drugged - she's still with him.  Still running around with those damn soldiers.  I don't understand what she's thinking."

"She's not, pet."  Spike leaned next to him and lit a cigarette.  "She's using what's between her legs instead of between her ears.  Not much difference, I'll grant you, but..."

"Gah!"  Xander pushed Spike away a little, grimacing.  "Well, ok - point made.  Just a little

too..."

"Visceral?" Spike asked, eyebrow cocked, and Xander grinned.

"Way to impress with the two-dollar words, evil undead."   Xander laughed, and Spike looked pompous.

"Tell me the joke so I can laugh at Spike too," Buffy said, coming into the room.  Spike's pompous look reverted to snarl, and Xander straightened off the couch, stepping between them.

"No joke, Buffy.  So - everything back to Hellmouth normal?  Time for us workin' guys to turn in and get our beauty rest."

"No amount of beauty rest will do not-so-evil over there any good.  And speaking of, where are you resting lately, Spike?  I've looked for you at your crypt and hey, no smart-assed corpse."

"That's not your bloody business, Slayer," Spike snapped.  He glanced over at Xander and started to walk out, but Buffy moved lightning fast and grabbed him by the throat.

"It is my business, Spike.  Remember?  You tell me everything I want to know, and I don't dust you." 

"Buffy -"   Xander stepped up close to her and put a restraining hand on her arm.  Spike was tight as a bow-string, all vamped out and Xander just wanted everyone to calm down.  He could feel his own anger rising in him, but he really didn't want to have a showdown here and now.  *Get it off what's ours,* the hyena growled, and Xander couldn't help but agree.  "Let him be, Buffy.  He's staying with me." 

Buffy goggled at him in surprise and let go of the vampire.  Spike snarled at her, eyes glowing gold, and Xander pushed him back a step.  *Please don't lose it, Spike, please don't...let me get us out of here*   "Come on you guys - we just defeated the Ghost of Sexual Repression and I'm thinking I need a little down-time after that."

"Xander!  You've got to be kidding.  He's living with you?   He'll kill you in your sleep!  He'll - steal all your towels!" 

Xander sighed, rubbing his forehead.  He could feel a headache starting.  "Buffy.  Think.  Victim of mad Professor here - I'm not going to be killed in my sleep.  It wasn't safe at the crypt, and if you've been around there, you saw what the Initiative did.  They're not getting their hands on him again, so yeah, he's staying with me."

"Xander, you can't be serious."  Buffy crossed her arms, doing her best 'I am Slayer, I know best' look, and Xander almost snarled himself.

"Serious about what, Buffy?" Willow asked, walking into the room with Riley and Giles trailing behind.  Further back, in the foyer, he could see Tara and Anya looking like the last thing they wanted to do was get involved in any more fighting.  He could feel the tension rolling off Spike in waves and he sincerely hoped the vampire could keep it under control for just a few more minutes.

"He's letting Spike live with him!"

"He is?  You are?  But...why?"  Willow's eyes were huge, and Xander couldn't help but think she looked like a little red-haired rabbit. 

*Hop away and nibble somewhere else, little rabbit*   "Like I told Buffy - it's not safe.  The Initiative is going crazy - if Professor Walsh thought it would be okay to murder Buffy, who knows what's on their 'to do' list for vampires?   Spike can't fight the bastards off, so he's staying with me until this whole Initiative thing resolves itself."

"But - that could be weeks - months!  Xander, you can't have a vampire living at your house for months!"

"Relax, Will.  He's been at my house since the night they shot him with that tracer.   It's fine - I'm fine - let's not all have a cow, ok?"

"Giles, you talk to him!  He won't listen to his friends so maybe he'll listen to you."  Buffy stomped over to Riley, leaning into him, and didn't notice the look of hurt that crossed Giles' face at her comment.  Xander noticed though, and felt a little sorry for the man.  He liked Giles well enough - when he wasn't acting the sainted Watcher.  He could see Giles' days as a sorcerer - as Ripper.  He knew that tweed and library books weren't all there was to Giles, and it made him angry when Giles preached duty and honor and white-hattedness.  He hadn't always been on that side, and Xander wished he would stop being so...pontifical, sometimes.  Xander also realized, though, that he was biased and resolved to try very hard not to snap at whatever the man was going to say.  Behind him, Spike was angrily lighting another cigarette - his safest outlet for frustration - and Xander just wanted to grab him and go - kiss him until he needed to breathe. 

"Buffy may have a point, Xander.  While Spike may not be able to - physically - hurt you, there are still things he could do to...make things difficult."

"Standin' right here people, for fuck's sake."

"Giles - I appreciate that you're concerned, but this is the Hellmouth - everything's difficult.  I've got vampires and demons on the one hand, and whacked-out wanna-be secret commandos on the other.  At this point, if Spike could come up with something that trumped all that, I'd be excited by the novelty.   It was your idea in the first place that he come stay with me, so I don't see what the big deal is.   I have a headache and a five-thirty wake-up call, so I'd like to get home and get to bed.  Okay?"

Giles seemed to want to say more, but he sighed and looked down for a moment instead, glasses off, thumb rubbing over his forehead as if he, too, was suffering a headache.    Then the glasses were pushed back on and he looked up at Xander, some expression Xander couldn't interpret flickering across his face and gone.

"All right.  I'll trust you to know what you're doing.  But rest assured that I will be keeping an eye out."  He looked over at Spike and his expression hardened.  "If anything untoward should happen to Xander, Spike, you won't live to regret it."

"Hey, Giles, that's my line!  But you said it real convincing -like."  Buffy came back over and leaned in close to Spike.  "That goes double for me, Spike."

Spike stared down at her with loathing and puffed a lung-full of smoke into her scowling, upturned face.  "Try to find another way to tell me the same old story, Slayer.   I'm gettin' tired of this edition."  He looked over at Giles and snorted softly.  "And you'd better leave the threats to the Slayer, mate - you've lost your edge." 

Buffy drew back her fist and Xander - just couldn't.  Instead of letting her hit Spike - letting her do her threat of the week - Xander stepped up and put up his arm.  He wasn't really strong enough to stop her, but he startled her enough that she failed to follow through and ended rather awkwardly, her fist somewhere near Xander's shoulder, her expression one of astonishment.   Xander kept his voice low and calm, knowing that if he didn't keep a lid on it he was going to explode.

"Enough Buffy.  Okay?  Just enough.  He helped us tonight.  He was part of the team, saved some lives.  You don't get to hit him just 'cause he pissed you off."  The silence was absolute in the room.  Riley shifted uncomfortably, glancing from Xander to Buffy.  Giles stared at Xander as well, and Willow looked to be near tears. 

"Are you under some sort of spell, Xander?"

"Spell?  You think I'm under a spell because I won't let you hit someone who can't hit back?  For god's sake, Buffy!  You're the Slayer, not the Torturer.  White hat, remember?  I'm so sick of...this.  I'm so sick of all of this."  Xander backed away from her, shaking his head, and started to walk out.  The gang simply stared at him.  As he walked past Riley, Xander stopped and glared at him.   "If the Initiative pays a visit to my house, I'm gonna know who to blame.  And you really don't want me to be pissed off at you right now, Riley.  I'm just not feelin' the love, you know?  Keep your damn jarheaded friends away from me and mine."  

He stalked out, fuming.  He could hear Spike behind him, could practically feel the laughter that he was sure the vampire was repressing furiously.  They went past Tara and Anya, who both looked as if they'd rather be anywhere else, and went out the door.  Once outside Xander took a hard, hard breath and tried to let the anger go.  He kicked viciously at a trashcan and was happy to see it bounce away across the street.

"Easy, mate.  Don't wanna break anythin'."  Spike fell into step beside him, matching Xander's angry stride.   Xander glanced over at him, wondering what would come next.  Far from amused, the vampire looked serious and thoughtful. 

"Bit of a cock up, in'nit?  You takin' on the Slayer for me.  Could get yourself hurt, you know.   She wouldn't have hurt me much."

"Don't care, Spike.  I really don't care.  It's enough that she wants to - that she doesn't see anything wrong with it, and that neither do the others.  They just don't..."

"They don't see, love.  I know.  Not like you do.  But you're gonna bring a whole world a' trouble down on your head.   Best to let it go."

"I won't!"  Xander rounded fiercely on Spike, seizing his arms in a hard grip, getting in close.  "It's enough, Spike.  It's just...enough!  I've been trying to keep on their 'good side', I've been trying to shrug it all off, but I can't.  What she does to you - what they all do - is wrong.  And it's not just because..."  Xander faltered, and Spike took advantage of Xander's momentary confusion to slip his hands under Xander's shirt, sliding them up to his shoulder blades and back down.

"Because I can make you sigh my name like a prayer to heaven, love?"  Spike's voice was so low, so soft.  It made Xander shiver.   Spike rested his forehead lightly against Xander's, rumbling with pleasure deep in his chest.   Xander sighed and slid his own hands around Spike, pulling him closer until their groins brushed gently together. 

"Right.  It's not just because of that.  Every time they do something like that - every hypocritical, petty thing - puts its mark on them.  They're staining themselves - making themselves less.  And for what?  So they can lord it over one vampire who can't hurt them.  It's - degrading, to both of you.  And I won't put up with it any more."

"My knight in patchwork armor," Spike sighed, and they moved together, kissing slow and deep and gentle; oblivious, for the moment, to everything. 

Up the street, the gang was leaving Lowell House and going home and only Tara - habitually in the rear, habitually watching - saw the two figures in the chiaroscuro of streetlight and leaf-shadow.

 

 

 

They went home *It is, it is,* Spike thought, and smiled to himself.   His boy'd really showed them what for, tonight.  Told them how he felt.  Stood up for *Me!  For me!* the evil undead against his dearest friends.  Spike felt an unaccustomed surge of pride and...

*Could be love.  Might be...  Did it ever feel like this with Dru?   Dru was blood and lust - Absinthe and Lethe - obsession, benediction, Pandemonium.  She chose me... But she never...she took more then she ever gave.  She couldn't ever...care for me...*                

*Didn't need  cared for -  bloody soldiers!* 

*Yes...but...keeping me warm isn't because of the soldiers.  Buying me the beer I like, lettin' me get away with 'accidentally'  shreddin' the worst of his shirts, washin' my hair in the shower...none of that has anythin' to do with the soldiers.  He does it because he...loves.  Me.  I think.* 

*Hasn't said so*    The demon was smug, seeming to think it had won this particular round.  But Spike knew it hadn't, because he hadn't said that word, either.  At least not out loud. 

They walked inside, Spike immediately shedding duster and boots by the couch, Xander doing his usual routine of locking and chaining the door then checking to see that the kitchen door was chained.   Xander walked through to check the bathroom door, too.

*Three doors is bloody overkill, but it's handy for those exploding-demon nights...*   In the weeks since he'd burned Dru's things...they had established something of a routine.  Dim white light from the streetlights sheened everything in gossamer-grey.   Spike lit the candles on the kitchen table and Xander padded barefoot into the kitchen and got a big glass of milk.  Spike watched him drink it down and noticed that Xander's hands were shaking.  Spike sidled up behind him and slipped his arms around Xander's waist, his fingers burrowing up under sweater and t-shirt then down into jeans, feeling the flex and bunch of muscle as Xander rinsed out the glass.   Spike stroked the warm skin just under Xander's navel, pressing himself up tight to his back.  Xander shivered, hands braced on the counter, head bent.  Spike started kissing the exposed curve of his neck, going slowly from Xander's spine to the soft skin just behind his ear and then back and around to the other side.  Xander sighed and shifted, pushing back, and Spike ground his pelvis into him, letting him feel the hard length of his erection. 

"Sspike..." Xander whispered, and Spike bit lightly along the top of Xander's shoulder; two, three, four little bites, and Xander pushed back harder, gasping softly. 

"Come wash my hair," Spike murmured, and Xander twisted in Spike's grip, turning to face him.  His eyes were dark, the pupils dilated, and his face was flushed.  Xander tugged Spike's shirt up out of his jeans and pushed the material up, exposing Spike's chest and leaning in to run a flickering tongue over his nipples.  Spike pulled him closer, groin to groin, and Xander ran kisses up his throat and jaw to his mouth, making Spike shiver.  They kissed slowly, lingeringly; Spike's hands slipping down the back of Xander's jeans and Xander's hands caressing Spike's back, shoulders and ribs. 

"Come on," Spike said, and led Xander into the bathroom.  As Xander skimmed out of jeans, sweater and shirt, Spike lit the candles that had become a permanent fixture in every room of the house.  Xander seemed to prefer the softer, dancing light to the harsher electrics, and Spike had no objections to them.  Spike drew the line at vanilla scented, though.  Xander started the shower, turning the heat up. 

*For me, see, for me he does that, don't need to do that*   Spike stripped down quickly and they both crowded into the narrow, glassed stall.  The space was tight and they'd learned through trial and error - and dozens of showers - the best way to bathe without bruising each other or knocking the flimsy 'shampoo caddy' to bits.  (Spike had accidentally taken it out with an overenthusiastic elbow their second shower together.)    They'd also learned that shower gel was better than a bar of soap, since it was impossible for either one of them to bend over if bar soap got dropped.  Although the first time that had happened, it had taken a fun few minutes figuring out what, exactly, to do.

Now Spike pumped out a generous palm full of soap and began to rub it over Xander, a rusty grumbling sound of pleasure coming from deep in his chest.  Spike loved this - the smooth skin of Xander's body was like silk, the heat of him like a furnace - like the half-forgotten sun he sometimes dreamed of.  As he soaped, he let his forehead rest on Xander's, letting his lips brush Xander's, just lightly touching.  He let his tongue trace the full lower lip - slip inside the merest fraction to taste and then out again, back to feather touches of lips on lips.  Xander shivered under those touches, eyes closed, his arms loosely around Spike's waist, his hips moving in languid, gentle thrusts.  Spike ran soap-slippery hands down Xander's back and over his buttocks - slipped his fingers between muscled cheeks and caressed the sensitive flesh there.  Xander moaned a little and Spike kissed him again, deeper this time, loving the heat of Xander's tongue as it slipped into his mouth, caressing teeth and sliding over the roof of his mouth.   Spike shuffled them in a slow circle, getting Xander under the spray and sluicing soap off him.  Xander leaned his head back a little, getting his head wet, and then turned in Spike's arms so the vampire could rub shampoo into his hair.  Spike maneuvered himself so that his erection was between Xander's legs, sliding it back and forth along the underside of his balls and letting the tip just trace the perineum, then pushing forward again.  He slid his foam-covered hands down Xander's belly and fondled his balls, then slid his hands the length of Xander's cock.  Then, more briskly, he rubbed at the soap, getting it off, and nudged Xander around again, to rinse his hair.

"We're really just way too good at this," Xander said, getting a handful of soap in his turn.  "It's like we have some sort of obsessive bathing fetish."

"Hmmmmm."  Spike had his eyes closed, concentrating on the delicious slip and glide of Xander's hands on his body.  Xander slipped one hand down Spike's buttocks and between, probing gently, and the other slid across Spike's stomach to lazily pump once and then twice, squeezing his erection.  Another slow turn, and then Xander was washing Spike's hair and the rumbling started again as Xander's strong, callused fingers gently teased out the gel.  Scrubbing Spike's scalp with his fingertips, running his hands through the length of it over and over.  Spike braced his hands on the wall to either side of him and leaned back, getting every inch of contact that he could.  It felt... *Feels good, feels like love, feels like...*

 Xander laughed softly.  "You're like petting a big cat - a snow leopard or a...Siberian tiger.  They have blue eyes.  I wonder if I could make a tiger purr."

"Not purring," Spike mumbled.  "M'growling, real soft like." 

Xander kissed his neck.    "Right.  Growling real soft.  Silly me.  Come on, rinse time, or you won't have any hair left."  Spike turned again and opened his eyes to watch Xander as he reached around, rinsing the shampoo out.  His dark hair was plastered sleekly back, curling along his neck - getting long, something Spike was liking more and more.  Xander's eyelashes were beaded with water and a little shampoo clung to his cheek, sliding down.  His eyes were intent - serious - and he was holding his lower lip between his teeth as he concentrated.

"Let me do that," Spike said, and Xander looked at him              

"Do what?"

"This..."  Spike leaned in and took Xander's lip between his teeth, nibbling, sucking gently, and Xander's hands faltered in his hair, gripping instead of combing.

"Ohhh..." Xander sighed into his mouth, then tugged gently at Spike's hair, pulling him back.  "Come on, we're gonna be prunes.  Let's get this to the bedroom." 

Spike darted in for one more kiss.  "M'I all soap-free?"  Xander nodded.  Spike opened the door and stepped out.  "Got some foam on your face, pet."  Xander ducked his face under the spray and then turned the water off and they both dried quickly, neither bothering to comb their hair.  Xander grabbed his toothbrush and started a quick brushing and Spike dug his lighter out of his jeans and headed into the bedroom to light a candle and spread the bed up a little.  He'd dreamed, while Xander was at work, and had left the bed in a tangled mess.

*Nightmare.  Not a dream.  Soldiers and needles and...*   Spike shook his head hard, dismissing that.  Not what he wanted to think about, right now.  He heard Xander rinsing his brush, finishing up, and a thought came to him.  He remembered what Xander had said about novelty to the Watcher and decided they should have a little novelty tonight.  He got the lube from the nightstand drawer and tossed it onto the bed.

*Don't scare him.  Nothing too...novel.*   Spike saw Xander's robe draped over the footboard and snatched it up, pulling the belt free.  It was long enough.  He balled it up in his fist and dropped the robe as Xander came into the bedroom and walked over to him; full-body contact, hands everywhere, that hip-roll he'd learned in Oxnard, lips and teeth at Spike's throat.

"Mmmm.  Taste good," Xander murmured, licking across Spike's collarbone.  Spike turned him and walked him backwards into the bed, easing him down and then using one arm to lift Xander and scoot him up higher, until they were both lying full-length, diagonal on the bed.  Spike knelt over Xander's hips, pressing their cocks together.  With one hand he held Xanders jaw and kissed him, sucking on his tongue, tasting every part of his mouth, trying to get the toothpaste taste out so he could just taste the boy.   Xander arched under him, hands hard on Spike's hips, and Spike pulled back a little.

"Trust me, love?" he whispered, and Xander opened his eyes, looking into Spike's, panting a little.

"I trust you, Spike," Xander whispered. 

*Bet he wouldn't if the soldiers hadn't - *

*Shut. Up.  He would.  He can see me, remember?  See you, too.  You wouldn't hurt him.*

* Wanna taste him*   The demon was almost petulant, but Spike knew what he wanted - the blood - Xander's blood.  Spike wanted it too, desperately.  But he wouldn't risk this, wouldn't risk...any of this.  Xander pinched him, both hands on his buttocks, and he blinked.

"What was that for?"

"You were off somewhere.  Want you here," Xander almost pouted, and Spike laughed. 

"Just thinking about what you said tonight, pet.  How you'd welcome some novelty."

"Oh.  What?"  Xander looked puzzled, obviously not remembering what he'd said, at least not while naked under a rampant vampire, and Spike took advantage of his momentary distraction to grasp Xander's wrists and bring his arms up, over his head.  Holding both easily in one hand, he quickly looped the robe belt around Xander's wrists and knotted it, then looped the other end around the corner post of the headboard, pulling the slack up until Xander's arms were stretched above his head, tight but not painful.  He knotted the other end and then leaned up, settling himself on Xander's thighs, their cocks brushing together.  Xander pulled instinctively against the restraint for a moment, then looked up at Spike, his eyes dark with the sudden intensification of arousal.  Spike could hear Xander's heart speeding up - his body sending out a wave of scent that was heady with pheromones and need.  Spike scented the air, running the tip of his tongue over his lips.  His boy was so delicious - so perfect. 

"I'm gonna taste every inch of you, Xanderrr," Spike purred, wriggling a little, making Xander gasp.  "Gonna taste you and touch you and put my tongue and my fingers and my cock in you but I'm not gonna fuck you until you beg for me to.   Ohhh...you'll have to beg so pretty - have to earn it..."  Spike leaned forward, grinding a little, and Xander writhed under him, his eyes wide and his hands already clawing uselessly at the air.  He was so very, very hot, so keyed up.  Spike was going to make this good.

He did exactly what he'd said - he began to lick and kiss Xander all over, starting with his mouth and moving down, across, around; tasting the salt and sweet and *my boy my own*   He bit lightly at Xander's nipples, then harder when he heard the need in Xander's voice, the trembling groan.  He used his nails and his fingers and touched every inch, everything but the hard length of Xander's cock.  He lapped, delicately as a cat, at the drops of pre-come that slid down onto Xander's stomach and he blew gently across the damp tip of his cock, watching with glittering eyes as Xander writhed and arched, throat working, moaning.  Xander's hands were knotted in the belt, his legs spread wide and wanton.  Spike moved to one side and turned Xander onto his belly, pushing his thighs so that Xander ended on his knees and elbows, legs spread wide, his cock and balls hanging heavy and exposed between his legs.  Spike started licking again, neck and shoulders, spine and ribs, and Xander was panting harshly now, whispering a soft litany of pleas and curses that Spike totally ignored.  As his tongue slipped down between Xander's buttocks, Spike felt him tense, and when he pushed the tip of his tongue inside Xander shuddered all over.

"Spike, please, please, oohhhh, I can't...want you, Spike, please...oh fuck..."  Xander thrust back, fighting for more contact, and Spike pushed his tongue in deep as he could, leisurely fucking, then pulling away to mouth and suck Xander's balls.  His fingers felt over the bed until they found the lube and he opened it and squeezed a dollop out onto the small of Xander's back.  Then he dipped back again with his tongue, his fingers trailing lube up Xander's cock.  Xander bucked, trembling, and his breathing was harsh in his throat.

"Like that, love?"  Spike murmured, gathering more lube onto his fingers. 

"Love that, love that, god... fuck...want you..."

"You're supposed to be begging, love," Spike whispered.  He slipped his finger in, long glide, and Xander threw his head back, a low, wavering groan escaping him, his hips thrusting helplessly back at Spike.  He was so ready, so close, and Spike forced himself to go slow, to make it even better.  He twisted his hand, his finger probing, finding the place, and Xander's knees spread a little further apart as he tried for more and deeper, almost sobbing, his ribs heaving as he panted for breath.  Another finger, gently stroking, turning, and Xander was begging, babbling, his voice breathy and cracked and beautiful.

"Spike, Spike, please, need you...anything...do anything...please...make me... in me, Spike please, please, please..."   He rocked back with each gasping word, and Spike kneeled up, slicking himself, and pressed his cock against Xander, just breaching the muscle.  Xander arched hard against him, his fingers digging into the mattress, his whole body shuddering.  Spike didn't think Xander could last any longer.  He pushed harder and was in, driving down into the luscious, clinging heat, full length in one long glide.  He reached up and yanked on the belt, pulling out the simple knot and freeing it from the bedpost.  He grabbed Xander's shoulders and pulled him upright, then used his strength to simply lift him, arms around his chest and waist, moving them both close enough to the headboard so that Xander could touch it.  Xander gripped the headboard with white-knuckled hands, legs wide, thrusting frantically back into Spike as the vampire started to fuck in earnest, driving in hard and deep, angling his hips so that Xander actually yelled, a wordless exclamation  of pure pleasure.

"You are so fucking sexy, so hot around me, so tight, Xanderrrr, love, so perfect..."  Spike felt the demon emerge and he couldn't help raking his fangs over Xander's throat and shoulders, his hips moving on pure instinct now as the demon drove him - drove them both.  Xander pushed into the prickle of razor-sharp fangs, gasping, crying out brokenly.

"T-touch me, Spike, touch me...need...you...pl - please..."  Spike reached down and grasped Xander's cock, a solid bar of heat, slick with strands of pre-come, pumping in rhythm with his own hips.  It took only moments and Xander was arching back as wave after wave of pleasure crashed through him. He cried out, wordless and hoarse.  Spike could only follow him, his orgasm like ice and fire, the clenching muscles of Xander's body pulling him deeper.  The demon roared its delight, and after long minutes they finally began to come down; bodies slumping forward, Xander against the headboard, Spike draped over him, bellies heaving.   Xander let his head rest on Spike's shoulder and the demon's visage shifted away, Spike coming back to himself.  After a few minutes Spike felt the tremble in Xander's legs and started to move away.

"No, don't.  Stay in me, Spike, stay here.  I want you close to me."

"Anything, love," Spike whispered, his arms curling around the mortal, licking at the sweat on Xander's shoulder. 

*Fuck he tastes good.  Like everything good to eat, like blood and sweet and life ...*

"Closer, Spike, get closer," Xander murmured, and Spike hugged him tighter. 

"Close as I can get, pet."

"Untie me, I want to touch you, Spike..."  Spike quickly loosened the knot and let the belt fall away.   Xander slid his hands around behind them, holding Spike's hips, pulling him closer, rubbing his hands up and down Spike's thighs, over his buttocks.

"That was...mmmm...you are so good at this...make me want you so much..."

"S'easy, pet...you're so delicious..."  Spike continued to nibble and lick, reveling in the taste, in Xander's hands gliding lazily over his flesh.  He reached down and picked up the robe belt and draped it over the headboard.

"Was it alright, this?  Didn't hurt you?"

"No - didn't hurt.  It was - it was fucking amazing.  I've never..."  Xander laughed suddenly, and Spike felt it in his cock, a pleasurable ripple through Xander's body that began to rouse him again.

"I'm so clueless when it comes to this stuff," Xander turned his head a little, catching Spike's mouth, kissing him greedily, deeply.

"You're doin' fine, pet.  No complaints."  Spike slid his hand over Xander's cock, to his balls.  He weighed them in his hand, caressed them, squeezing gently.  Xander gasped a little, and clenched around Spike, his cock twitching a little against Spike's wrist.

"Ohhh.  I mean...  I had only - a couple of times - before Oxnard, and that was with girls..."

"But you had ... him...for a full summer."  Spike moved just a little, back and in, and felt Xander begin to harden again in earnest. 

"I was...totally inexperienced and pretty freaked out.  Thomas is lucky he actually got to...uh ... fuck at all.  And then...all that other stuff happened, so the last week we weren't actually doing anything, anyway.  Practically a virgin."  Xander was smiling and Spike kissed him. 

"Ooh, that means I get to teach you -" Spike empathized his words with movement, thrusting a little harder now,  "all kinds of fun things."

"Aaah...Spike, god...."  Xander bowed his head, pushing back, his fingernails digging into the tight muscles of Spike's buttocks.  Spike went faster, rolling his hips, knowing he was rubbing and rubbing just the right place in Xander, keeping his hand moving slow and loose, knowing the two different rhythms would drive Xander crazy.  Xander thrust back and forth between the two sensations, panting again, and shivered when he felt the fangs - shivered and clenched tight around Spike.

"Spike, do you...do you want to bite me?" he whispered, and Spike froze, lips pressed to Xander's throat, just at the juncture of neck and shoulder.   Xander felt the demon withdraw and moaned.

"Xander, won't hurt you, pet, promise..."

"No, Spike - I know you won't.  I - if you - it'll be good, won't it?  If you do that?  Like the other night...  Can you do it?  If I...   Spike, if I want you to, can you?"  Xander's voice was trembling, and Spike scented him, finding only lust and need, anticipation and...

*Love, call it love, want him, so much...he can't really...*   "Xander, why do you - why would you...offer me..."

"I trust you.  I told you.  Like before.  I can see you, Spike - I know... please move, please..."

Spike thrust slowly, pushing deep, stroking Xander harder now, the mortal fully aroused.  He could bite - easily.  But would the pain end this?  He could probably ride it out...   Would Xander wanting it make the difference?  Was he willing to even try? 

*Do anything, anything for him.  What if I can't...*

*WANT it, want him*   The demon was whining for it, deep in Spike's chest, and Spike himself was willing to try, wanting to try...  He remembered how it had been, before - that brief taste of blood when Xander had cut his finger.  It had been... *Sweet...hot...sunlight and cool water...want it...*

"I don't want you to be hurt, Spike, I don't.  But if you can...I want you to."   Xander turned his head again, kissing him, and then Spike was moving fast, fucking hard and stroking Xander as fast; bringing them to the edge, nerving himself.  As he felt Xander stiffen under him, arching into the pleasure, he let the demon out, and put his mouth on Xander's body and bit.  The fangs slid in easily, gently, and the sudden fiery rush of blood shocked Spike, so unaccustomed had it become.

*Ohhh...gods...fuck...so good, so perfect...mine, mine...*   He groaned in ecstasy, sucking hard, and felt Xander shuddering under him, rigid in his grasp, coming so hard he seemed to not breathe at all.  Spike swallowed and swallowed, the blood like sparks and ice and *life, his life, sunlight and...*   With a wrench he tore his mouth away.  He slammed a last time into Xander's body and came also, trembling, crushing Xander to him.  This time they collapsed, Spike controlling the fall so they landed on their sides, heads towards the foot of the bed, knees bent up against the pillows.  Xander was gasping, his eyes closed, and Spike licked the wound on his throat - licked the last traces of blood away and watched as it stopped flowing.  He tasted...something else there, too. 

*Oh gods. I feel...*   He buried his face in Xander's sweat-soaked hair, breathing him in.  "Smell so good, Xander, taste so good..."

"Spike."  Xander moved a little, weakly, as if he wanted to turn over, and Spike hugged him closer.

"Lie still, pet, get your breath."

"Spike - you hurt?  Did it hurt?"  Xander was trying to see him, and Spike lifted his head, letting Xander turn a little.  He grinned down at the boy, into eyes wide and anxious and so dark, so full of emotion - emotion he'd tasted, like sparks of fire.  Emotion he could hardly believe was for - because - of him.

 "Not hurt a bit, pet.  Not a bit.  It was... "

"Fucking incredible.  Felt like - like I was on fire, like every nerve in my body was being touched, like...fuck, I can't describe it..."  Xander waved a limp hand and Spike laughed.

"Yeah, pet, fucking brilliant for me, too.  You taste...so good.   Better than anything I've ever tasted... like sunlight, like..."   Spike kissed him, making a 'yum' sound, and Xander laughed.

"Score one for the junk-food diet."  Xander snuggled back into Spike, getting comfortable, and they both sighed a little as Spike slipped free of his body.  Spike kissed the bite again, delighting in the shiver it produced in Xander.   They lay there for a moment, just resting, Spike kissing his way across Xander's shoulder and back, Xander holding Spike's hand in both of his, playing with the long fingers, picking at the nail polish a little.

"Xander.  I wanted..."  Spike stopped, not sure if he wanted to say what he was thinking aloud. 

Xander turned a little, lying on his back more so he could see Spike's face.  "What, Spike?  What did you want?  I think, at this point, I'd give you anything at all." 

Spike grinned at him, leaned in for a quick kiss.  "No, I wanted to say... for what you did...with the Slayer an' all, standin' up for me..."

"Spike - no.  I did...the only thing I could do.  I won't let them hurt you, I won't let them belittle you just because they're afraid and you're a convenient target.  You - you deserve better then that."  Spike looked into the dark, serious eyes of the boy next to him with longing, wishing he could say - what his heart said - what he finally, irrevocably,  had admitted to himself.  The demon scoffed, and he himself even tried to bury it, but he couldn't.  The longing and fear must have shown, somehow - something was making Xander look scared - almost tearful.  Spike buried his face in Xander's neck, hugging him. 

*I won't say that - won't do that to him.  He doesn't...I'm wrong.  It would only ruin everything.  He'd never... *

 "Spike...  I'm scared.  Listen.  Don't say anything, listen...oh fuck..."  Xander took a hard breath, crushing Spike to him, trembling.

"What - ?"

"No, don't, just listen... Spike, let me... I want to...   I -love you.  I love you..."  The choked voice whispered away to silence and Xander kissed the side of Spike's neck, his cheek.  Then he spoke again; whispering, urgent, the almost painful grip of his fingers in Spike's back warning the vampire not to interrupt.

"You don't have to - say anything.  Don't worry about it.  I just - I can't not, I have for...so long.   I tried not to; I know you and D-drusilla...   I can't compare...hundred years...   But I had to, had to tell you.  I don't - don't expect anything...  I'm just here, just here, whatever you want..."  This time he pushed at Spike, making the vampire meet his gaze.  Spike stared down at him, too stunned to think, to speak.  Xander's eyes were glistening bright with unshed tears that he blinked away, rubbing a quick hand over his eyes, laughing shakily at his body's betrayal.  Spike leaned in close and kissed him gently, gently, so slowly.  As he pulled away, Xander whispered, "Do you believe me?"

Spike hugged him hard.  "I believe you, pet, I do.  But...how can you?"  Spike's voice was so low he was surprised Xander could hear him.

"I...dunno."  Xander laughed softly.  "I just - I have for a long time.  I didn't even know it, at first.  I thought about you, all the time.  About the time you made that deal with Buffy - I saw you that day, putting Drusilla in your car...you loved her so much, it was so...obvious.  It was confusing - Giles always said vampires couldn't love - didn't love.  But it was so clear that you did, and I couldn't stop thinking about that.  And then when you came back...that love spell..."   Xander kissed him softly.  "Is it - alright to talk about this?"  Spike could only nod, and Xander kissed him again.  "You came back to get that spell and you were...devastated.   I could see the hurt in your eyes...and I thought - Giles is wrong.  And then so much happened, that last year in school - so much crap.  I was hating everything and everyone here when I left for my big trip.   Then Oxnard, and I...found myself...but I still only thought about you.  Dreamed about you...love you..." 

Spike shivered all over, and the demon hissed in feline satisfaction, inappropriately smug. 

*Knew he loved us*   

*Did not!  He...loves  us...oh fuck...want to.  I will*   Spike took a deep, unnecessary breath, and tightened his grip on Xander, blue eyes locking onto brown, fearful but determined.  *Please don't let this be wrong*

"Love you," he whispered, and Xander went utterly still, eyes widening impossibly.  And then he was kissing Spike fiercely, rolling him until he was underneath, kissing and kissing until the human was gasping for breath, shaking, smiling so hard his face might crack.  "Never let you go.  Never."   Spike gasped, and Xander laughed aloud, pure joy.

"Loveyouloveyouloveyou...   Fuck.  I've wanted to say that to you - tell you that..."

"Yeah?  How long - tell me again."

"Weeks.  For weeks - for years.  For forever."

"Don't believe that, pet."

"It's true!"  Xander smacked Spike lightly on the chest, grinning at him.  "Dreamed about you... wished it was you in Oxnard..."  Xander ducked his head, then looked back up at Spike.  "And don't think that didn't really fuck with my head, either, when I woke up next to my boyfriend with a raging hard-on because I'd had this sexy dream starring this sexy blonde vampire..."

"You're windin' me up, mate.  You never."

"I did.  It made things...very surreal.  But don't worry.  I was in really deep denial."  Xander laughed again, and kissed him, then began to lever himself up, groaning.  "Fuck, I'm sore, I'm totally wiped out, I need another shower...and all I want to do is lie here and kiss you..."  He paused in the act of moving away from Spike to kiss him; lips, collarbone, chest.

"Come back then, love..."

"No, no, got to be Responsible Guy.  Got to earn the big bucks so I can...keep my vampire."   Xander grinned down at him.

"I've got money, Xander - you know you can have it."

"I know - I mean, I saw, and don't think I'm not going to hit you up from time to time, but...   I have people counting on me.  And it's - a good thing.  You know?  I can't let Manny down."  

Spike saw the happiness in Xander's face, the pride.   Saw, too that Xander wanted him badly to understand - to accept.

 *Probably never had anybody give a fuck about him before - never had a job worth a toss or anybody who noticed if he was there or not.  And now, he's so unhappy with his mates ...means everythin' to him ...*

"I'm a selfish bastard, pet, and I'd tie you to the bed if I thought I could and keep you happy.  It's alright."  Xander stroked Spike's hand where it lay on his thigh, and stood up, shaky.

"Damn, gotta start takin' vitamins.  Come on, I'll wash your hair again."   He made his way into the bathroom and Spike lay on the bed for another moment, grinning madly to himself in the low, glowing light of the candle. 

*Gotta tell him it's over with Dru.  Gotta tell him...gotta explain.  But later.  Tomorrow.  He loves me.*   Spike bounced up off the bed and into the bathroom.   Xander opened the shower door and gathered him in.