Xander woke with a start, his head tipping sideways on the back of the couch.  He stared blankly for a moment at the TV, confused.  Men and women in black and white formal clothes were doing a slow, measured dance, singing something.  He blinked and wiped his eye - yawned and stretched hard.

*Fell asleep in front of the TV...okay...oh!  I was waiting for Spike!  Where's Spike?*   He felt a moment of panic.  He and Spike - that was a new thing, a very new thing.  So new that from day to day he wondered when the other shoe was going to drop and Spike was going to give him that cool, sardonic, raised-eyebrow look and tell him...

*Tell me 'thanks, but no thanks.  It's been fun but I need somebody better'...*   Xander felt a moment's guilt, thinking that.  Spike certainly hadn't done that yet<?i>, and he showed no signs of doing that.  But...

*But history repeats itself.  And I'm not...*   Xander sighed, then started as one woman on the TV - she looked familiar - suddenly yelled - "Come on, Dover!  Move your bloomin' arse!"  Xander blinked at the TV as everyone around the woman stared, then moved on.  She'd sounded shockingly like Spike for a moment and he giggled.  Then he stretched again and got up - slowly found the remote and clicked the TV off.  He went down the hall, the silence of the apartment oppressive.  There was light coming in from the loft upstairs and by its color he figured the sun was just above the horizon. 

*Spike isn't coming, then.  Said he had some things to do - had some demons to see.  Hope he's not hurt.  Hope he's not...*   Sometimes Spike crashed at a hotel, if he stayed out too late.   Which lately was making Xander...irritated.  He wanted Spike there.  He wanted him home, as much as the apartment and the city could ever be home.

Xander brushed his teeth, staring at himself in the mirror.  At a face as thin as it had been in high-school.  At hair that his father would have scowled at, and yanked, and told him 'you look like a damn hippie - get a haircut!'  At the eye-patch, which he slipped off and hung over the edge of the mirror.  The empty socket - the crumpled but intact eyelid - didn't shock him anymore.  He spat and rinsed and drank a little - washed his face, used the toilet. 

*Guess I'll go up to bed, then...*   He stopped in the living room for a moment, looking forlornly at the door.  Six months since Sunnydale had become a pit worthy of being called the Hellmouth.  Four months since Spike had reappeared, screaming, while they'd all looked on in shock.  Then two months of Spike and Xander, wandering the halls of Wolfram and Hart, both feeling utterly useless, both unable to just leave.  The day Spike had gotten his body back was the day he'd grabbed Xander and hauled him into an empty office - slammed him up against a wall.

"Am I real?  Can you feel this?  Xander - fuck - touch me, please touch me -"    Xander had been happy to oblige.  Just as needy - just as lonely.  Two days later they were sharing the apartment.  Two months of sex and talk and silence and fights and more sex and Xander still wasn't sure exactly what Spike thought of him - wanted from him.   He thought he did, sometimes...but it was hard.  Spike was still so - guarded.  About some things.

*But I know what I want from HIM.  At least, I think I do...most of the time...*   Xander went slowly up the stairs, fingers toying with the draw-string of the loose cotton pajama pants he had on.  The light grew as he went up; red-gold and hazy, filtered through the curtains the woman at the store had called 'sheers'.  All they needed since Xander had bullied Angel into telling them where to get that fancy, vampire-safe glass he had in his office.

Xander climbed up the last step, fingers in the waist of his pajamas, squinting a little at the brightness of the light.   And froze, staring.  Because Spike was there, standing against the sheers, black silhouette against the thick morning light.   Naked, half hard, and...

*What the FUCK...*   "Spike?  I didn't - how long have you been here?"  Xander walked slowly forward, taking in the long, sleek lines of Spike's legs - the slight curve of his back and arm - the thick, silver ring that had, somehow, appeared in the head of his cock.

"Spike?"  Xander stopped at the foot of the bed, and Spike turned towards him - took one step and then another, fading slowly from black outline to sleek, pale-gold perfection.  And more metal, glinting at his chest.  *Nipples.  They're pierced.  Jesus....Christ...*

"Haven't been here too long, pet," Spike murmured, and he stopped about a yard from Xander, head to one side.  Watching him, smiling just a little.   His left hand lifted - touched his sternum - stroked casually down and then up and then...around...  Tugging lightly on one small, thick ring, and then the other.  Xander licked dry lips, staring.

"Spike, what - what did you -?"   Spike's fingers drifted lower, brushing over his belly, pausing to dip into his navel, then ruffling through the thin trail of blond-brown hair that thickened into dense, brown curls.

"Just - remembered somethin' you said, couple weeks ago," Spike answered, and his fingers curled loosely around his cock - stroked up and back and up again, and one finger slipped through the ring at the head of his cock - tugged, pulling the skin out a little, lifting his cock up.  Xander breathed in sharply.   He remembered that night - what he'd said.  Remembered, but hadn't thought Spike had noticed much.  Or thought about it again.  Lying on the couch, watching some kind of porn.  Talking about the actors and what they were doing - Spike spooned up tight behind Xander, his cock deep inside, long slow fuck that'd been going on for almost half an hour and Xander was in some sort of strange, trance-like place.


"You like that dark-haired bloke, then?"

"Mmmm...not half as much as you but..."


"I like that - piercing.  Like to...feel that, in me.  Take it in my mouth...oh....god, Spike..."

"Shhh...little longer, pet, you'll like it...  What about him, then?"

And Spike bringing him, ten minutes later, to an orgasm that just went on and on, waves of hot, prickling, shuddering sensation that left him nearly unconscious.  And that was that, until...


"God, Spike, I thought - you forgot -"   Xander was hard, now.  So hard, watching Spike tug and pull and caress that ring.  Watching Spike watch him, and he pulled the drawstring on the pajama pants and let them fall.

"Spike - wanna...  Let me, okay?  God, let me -"   Spike's smile was sharp-edged, a little nasty and a little too self-satisfied, but Xander really didn't give a fuck.  He'd willingly spilled every secret he'd had - every fantasy and every fear, and Spike had done the same and they've been each other's sin-eaters for two months, and they've been each other's last saving grace and the only sane thing in a place so fucked up and wrong it was called La La Land.  So it didn't matter if Xander was begging, and it didn't matter if Spike gloated a little.  Xander's turn, next time.

Xander always felt a little like a fool, on his knees - awkward and small, his bad knee clicking when he moved.  But it never mattered, after a minute or two.  Not when his hands were sweeping up and down the smooth, dense muscles of Spike's flanks - not when the smoky-sweet musk of Spike's sex was in his nose and on his tongue.  This time, when he slowly took the head of Spike's cock into his mouth the metal lent a slight tang to the taste, so that it was like blood.  Like kissing Spike right after he'd fed and that had happened more than once in the past two months and it had never failed to make Xander hard as a rock.  Death, kissing him back to life in an office at Wolfram and Hart - death sinking long fingers into his hair and tugging just so.  Xander slowly moved his mouth, further and further down the hard length until he could feel chilled steel pressing at the back of his throat.  Strange sensation - good one and he hmmm'd in satisfaction and want and tightened his fingers on Spike's hips. 

He tipped his head back enough to see, and Spike was a pale and creamy gold, flawless and more than human in the strengthening light.  His head tipped back and his throat working, his ribs rising and falling with breaths that Xander's tongue and teeth and throat were making him strain for.  That was when the position changed from one of clumsy subservience to one of power.  When every flex and suck and flutter of Xander's mouth made Spike his willing slave.   He backed off equally slowly and threaded his tongue through the ring - tugged it and mouthed it - shook his head like a dog with a bloody bone and Spike trembled and bucked and writhed against him - pulled his hair harder and pushed at his jaw with his thumbs, wanting back inside.  

"Why'd you do it, Spike?" Xander asked, his voice thick with desire and Spike looked down at him, his mouth a little open and his eyes very wide.  His hands gentled suddenly, caressing Xander's face.

"You said.  Wanted it.  You said...Xan, please -"   Head tipping back again, back arching, hips moving in eager little jumps.

Xander slid his hands up Spike's body until he could touch his nipples and he moved the rings there - lifted and pulled, stroked and pushed and twisted.  Out of Spike's open mouth came strangely soft groans and murmurs of pleasure.   Drops of sweet-salty arousal on Xander's tongue and he took Spike in again - deep and hard and fast and Spike's head dropped forward and his eyes locked on Xander - burning gaze, blue shifting to gold, and Xander pushed forward and swallowed around him.

"Wanted to do - something.  Wanted - show you...  Listen to you, hear you, love, I - god -"   Spike lost his voice and his control - bucked violently forward once and then twice and Xander's fingers, curving around his hips - sank in hard enough to bruise.  Spike tensed, shuddering, and then he pulled Xander off - tugged him up, hands still in his hair, and kissed him.  Tongue probing deep, teeth hard against his lips and more, fuck, more metal there, cold and blood-taste and hard and Xander gasped in Spike's mouth and ground against him.   Xander was turned and pushed gently down, onto the bed, and Spike crawled over him - slithered down his body to lap at the strands of fluid that clung to Xander's stomach, bridging cock-head and belly.  Xander saw the glint of steel appear and disappear and he arched up, begging silently.  Spike's tongue lapped at him, the metal sliding over him and then the bead pushing at the opening at the tip of Xander's cock - pushing in, rapidly, one two three, a strange shallow fuck that made Xander cry out softly. 

After a moment Spike dipped lower, his tongue gliding silkily over Xander's balls - mouthing them and fluttering the bar of steel over them.  Lower again, until tongue-tip and metal were pushing and licking and delving in - opening Xander little by little.  Spike's hands were on the backs of his thighs, pushing his legs wide, pushing them back and Xander did his best to push and twist and fuck himself on Spike's mouth; fists in the sheets and his lungs heaving for air.  Spike abruptly left him - mouthed and sucked and nipped his way up Xander's body and hovered over him, hands behind Xander's knees, holding him there.

"Ready for me?" he breathed, and Xander gasped out something - some noise, some curse, some endearment and Spike smiled.  One hand dropped between them and the metal stroked up and down over Xander's opening - over his balls - and then it was pushing into him; chill and strange and good, and as it sank past the ring of grasping muscle Xander shuddered all over.

Then it was in - Spike was in - and Xander could feel the hardness and the chill that rapidly warmed.  Could feel the ridge of it riding over and over that spot inside, and he hooked his legs around Spike's shoulders and drew him down - drew him deeper.    Feeling his heart pounding too fast, and Spike matching that rhythm; hand on his chest, hand on the bed, demon's gaze never leaving Xander's, his body a perfect arch of ivory flesh above him.  Xander reached for Spike's chest again, ghosting over the rings there and then he linked his hands at the back of Spike's neck and pulled him down.

"Want that taste.  Tastes like blood, like you -" Xander murmured, and Spike's tongue silenced him and then only the sound of flesh on flesh, and the harsh snorts of breath from Xander.  Spike's hand moved from chest to cock and stroked - pulled - twisted and squeezed, thumb rubbing hard over the head, fingers tight along the shaft.  Xander was lifting his hips bare inches, wanting more and harder and deeper; the words mumbled out and straight into Spike's mouth and Spike moved like an oiled and graceful golem, doing what it was told.

Xander's orgasm was almost painful in it's intensity - almost too much and Spike's hand pushed at his mouth, pushing two sticky-hot fingers inside and Xander sucked hard, teeth and tongue, and Spike's rhythm dissolved to staccato frenzy.  When he finally slowed and stopped Xander wrapped legs and arms around Spike and pulled him close - buried his face in the fragrant skin of Spike's neck and tasted smoke and salt and cider-spice.

"You stay.  You're staying.  Damnit, Spike, don't -" he gasped out, and Spike wormed his arms under Xander's back and crushed him close and kissed him, blood taste and whiskey taste and lingering tang of citrus.

"Yeah," he said, rough and panting and serious, and Xander knew he meant it.