Stray Cat Strut

Dancing at the Bronze. One of Xander's favorite things, even though he doesn’t dance all that well. It's still a release, something physical to do when pounding something is out of the question and sex is…well, when sex feels like it's never gonna happen. But sometimes you just have to move, and then dancing is a good thing, even if you feel a bit lumpish and awkward.

Of course, when you're dancing with Buffy and Willow, it's all good, because Buffy is so pretty and so coordinated that mostly people watch her. And Willow is so shy that her moves are worse than Xander's. And that brings a little flush of shame to Xander's face, for being happy that Willow is doing something badly, but she does everything else so well, and always has. So he keeps that little bit of petty triumph to himself and wishes, not for the first time, that he had Slayer-grace and Slayer-balance so he could do…that.

"Where's the phone, I gotta call the police, there's some guy tryin' to bite somebody…" A voice in the crowd, some sort of accent, and the Scoobies are on the move, off the dance floor and out the door. And Slayer-body specialness kicks into overdrive and in a minute he and Willow are dragging the dazed girl inside, and Xander is scrabbling through Buffy's purse for a stake. Not a stake. Oh, yo-yo… Also not a - ah! Not a stake! Xander fumbled the uber-girly item back into the purse and finally, a stake. He darted back outside.

In minutes the vamp is dust and then there's the clapping. Wait. Clapping? Is there a fan-club now? But no, no fan club. Just a guy - very blond, very pale, stepping out of the shadows and calmly announcing, in that same accent, that he's gonna kill Buffy. Xander just stares at him, 'cause this guy - this vamp - is… different. Most vamps snarl and spit and glare out at you with the demon, all strange ridges and yellow-glaring eyes. This vamp is in his human face - a sharply angled face with platinum hair combed back and gelled down, with a sardonic twist to red lips and a black leather duster that flares out and snaps as the vamp vanishes into the shadows. Xander is wigged. Buffy is wigged, and then so is Willow when they tell her what happened. All three just want to get home, after that, and the French lesson and the dancing are over. That finely-boned face intrudes into Xander's thought process for the rest of the night.

I'm being dragged through the halls of my school by a vampire. In a headlock. Sooo embarrassing. Does this position make my ass look fat? Xander rolled mental eyes. Spending way too much time with Cordelia, that much was obvious. And then what? I'll get handed off to the psycho-vamp who's currently ruining - well, ok, thankfully ending - a perfectly respectable Parent/Teacher thing? With Slayer-made lemonade. What the hell?! Angel is supposed to be a GOOD guy! Is he just gonna use me to batter the doors open? Or…am I gonna be a 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' snack? Or… Xander's brain was currently working at about twice normal speed, and it wasn't helping at all. It was hard enough to breath while being yanked along by a preternaturally strong arm around your throat, but toss in bent over at a funny angle and having to practically run, it all added up to breathless and giddy. And not good-giddy, but the bad, bad giddy that comes in the aftermath of car crashes, parental smack-downs, or fear-for-your-life Hellmouth moments. Only this wasn't the aftermath, it was just the beginning, so Xander was blaming his current mental gibbering on lack of oxygen and betrayal.

Not that he hadn't expected betrayal out of Angel, at some point. After all, Vampire! But he hadn't really expected it would be so blatant. And so…hurtful. Evil undead guy. Evil undead LIAR guy. Knew it.

Xander stumbled a little over the threshold and then they were in the halls, and he could see two vampires with long poles, poking them up into the ceiling. What the…? Angel tensed all over, and Xander clawed at his leather-clad arm, trying to get more air. He stared at the vampires - watched as one of them stiffened, turned, and then came forward.

"Angelus!" the vampire was saying - and Xander realized it was that vampire - the one from behind the Bronze the night before. The one that had said he was going to kill Buffy. Spike. Smaller then Angel, but walking as if he owned the hallway - the school. Walking in a calculated, calculating strut that made you forget he was short, and a little thin. The vaguely feline cast of the demon's features were twisted in a wide, mocking grin - the yellow eyes sparked malice and amusement. Xander shivered in Angel's strangle-hold - caught a look from Spike that made him still instantly. Like a mouse under the eye of a hawk. Spike hugged Angel and Xander was momentarily enveloped in leather and silk, pressed hard enough into his face to make him gasp a little. Washboard abdomen against his cheek and then the vampire pulled away. Spike was saying something to Angel about the Slayer, and Xander jerked as he felt a cold finger tracing over his shoulder.

He's touching me! There's not supposed to be touching! Angel, damnit, hit him! Why is he touching me? Ahhh… The cold fingers had slipped in under his collar - were pressing just a little at the nape of his neck. Xander twisted his head, trying to see what the hell was going on and caught Spike staring straight at him. It was not…nice. Suddenly Angel grabbed Xander's head and pushed it down, yanking his collar back and exposing his neck to Spike's fangs - inviting Spike to bite him.

If I live through this I'm gonna kick Angel's butt. FUCK! What the hell is he DOING! The cold fingers were back, stroking gently along his hairline, then sliding down and down until a hand gripped his bicep like a steel vice. Xander felt Angel bending - sensed Spike getting closer. The hairs on the back of his neck were prickling, prickling, and if he hadn't been half-strangled and totally wigged out he would have screamed. As it was he was wholly unprepared for the sudden, ferocious punch that Spike sent straight into Angel's jaw. Angel flew backwards, losing his hold on Xander's neck, oh thank god and Xander felt himself being jerked forward - around - the hand on his arm biting deep.

Frying pan and fire thing! Spike! Has my arm! Xander struggled, yanking desperately, but he may as well have been trying to pull away from a statue. There was no give whatsoever. Angel was against the wall, Spike was ranting something about - Yoda? What the hell? And then suddenly all the vamps were running up the hall, pelting after Angel and Xander felt as if the blood in his veins had suddenly turned to ice. He left me! Fucker! I can't believe -

"You're that boy - friend of the Slayer's" Spike, way too close, still holding his bicep in a crushing grip, head cocked a little to one side.

"Yeah - and she's gonna kick your undead ass." Spike laughed.

"You think? You think she'll get here in time to save you? I mean - Angelus left you, didn't he - that wanker." Spike looked at him - looked him up and down and suddenly the vamp-face was gone, shifting away and leaving only the human face from the alley. Cheekbones and black eyebrows and eyes bluer then any he's ever seen. Lip twisted up in an amused smirk.

"Tell me. Just what were you doing here with the Great Pouf? You two…mates?"

"What? No! I mean - yeah, we're great friends, we're…w-we hang out all the time and he's gonna kick your ass, too, unless you let me go!" Xander wondered if that sounded as pathetic to Spike as it had to him. Damnit Angel, how could you just run out!

"Oh, yeah - I can see that." Spike looked him up and down again - leaned in and - Sniffing? Is he SNIFFING me? What the -!

"Hey! Hey! No sniffing ! Back off!"

"You don’t smell like him one bit. You smell like…" The vampire leaned in closer, his other hand suddenly gripping the back of Xander's neck, and Xander froze. Spike's face was inches from his - then actually touching him as the vampire very gently pressed his lips to Xander's throat - the place, Xander assumed, where a vampire bit you. The lips were cold - very soft - and they didn't move at all, just pressed there, and Xander had the time to notice the rich leather smell of the duster, the barber-shop smell of whatever stuff Spike used to slick back his hair. Cigarette smoke and some kind of perfume maybe, very faint. And…something. Lemon and musk and a copper-metal smell that must be blood. Something smoky-sweet, like the hash that Jesse got last year from an older cousin. Thick burnt-sugar smell, that caught in the back of Xander's throat. Spike pulled back suddenly, and his eyes were half closed, dark.

"You smell like…chocolate. And…" Spike stopped talking, head to one side, listening, and Xander could see Buffy behind him, coming up the hallway. Suddenly Spike grinned and turned around, dragging Xander with him, leather-clad arm choking him just like Angel and Xander can't believe this is happening to him again. Buffy is saying something, and Spike is saying something, but Xander can't really concentrate on what they're saying, because he can feel the cool, hard body of the vampire pressed all along his back. Can feel - something - pressed tight into his ass.

Oh my god, oh my GOD, he's…this is turning him ON, oh FUCK, why do I have to be squashed up against a horny MALE vampire! Xander tried to wiggle away - realized belatedly that that might actually be mistaken as encouraging and froze again. One of Spike's hands went from Xander's shoulder to his ribs to his waist and ended up on his hip, a caressing, possessive move that made Xander shiver all over. Then he's being pushed away, hard, into a bank of lockers and his head raps rather sharply into metal and he slides down the locker, looking fuzzily at Buffy and Spike as they fight. Kick and punch, whirl and duck, and suddenly Spike has a piece of board in his hand, wrenched out of the wall and he's this close, this close to bringing it down on Buffy's head when Joyce - go Buffy's mom! - pops up from out of nowhere and clocks the vampire in the head with an axe. Spike goes down and Joyce gives him a great kind of 'Dirty Harry' line. Or something; Xander's head is still spinning a bit - and then the vampire is up and moving, heading out. As he darts past Xander his head turns, catching Xander's gaze squarely and he winks! Winks at Xander and is gone, out of the school. Xander just sprawls there, staring after him, peripherally aware of Buffy and her mom having a nice sort of Hellmouth Hallmark moment, and then Buffy is pulling him up from the floor, giving him a funny look and asking if he's ok, and Xander is nodding and rubbing his sore head and wondering where Willow is, and it's all over. When Xander finds Willow and Cordelia in the utility closet Willow grabs him and hugs him, and when they check up on Giles and Ms. Calendar in the library Angel is there, looking a bit hang-dog and muttering what might pass for an apology if you were three. But Xander is still feeling fuzzy, and all he can think about is Spike, and what he said, and what he did, and how he didn't trust Angel, either, and how pissed he'd been that Angel had tried to trick him and how soft his lips had been, just touching Xander's throat, almost like a kiss.

"Xander!" Xander jerks - blinks - and Cordelia is standing there, hand on hip, looking annoyed. "I said, did you need a ride home? Mr. Giles said there might be more vampires roaming around." Xander pushes his hand back through his hair and grins at Cordelia.

"Yeah, a ride would be great. Thanks." Cordelia scowls at him and stomps off, and Xander follows her. Buffy and her mom are already gone - Giles is apparently taking Willow home. Xander rides in silence with Cordelia, letting her talk wash over and through him, nodding and making small sounds but not really hearing anything she's saying. Just seeing that loose-hipped walk, as Spike had come up the hallway towards Angel. Seeing those eyes, too blue to be real, staring at him. Unconsciously, his hand goes up to his neck and touches the spot where Spike put his mouth, and he feels a tingle like pins and needles all through his body. The car goes over a bump and Xander blinks - looks around. He's a half-block from his house, and he suddenly doesn't want Cordelia to see the peeling paint and the unkempt yard.

"Hey, here's good, just drop me here." Cordelia looks at him, her dark eyes narrowed in suspicion. "My dad gets up early, don't want to disturb him with car noises, you know?"

"Oh. Sure." Cordelia hits the brakes and they glide to a stop. Xander untangles himself from the seatbelt and slides out, and before he can say another word Cordelia is gone, breaking the speed-limit out of his neighborhood, as if she could get white-trash cooties or something. Nice to know I've got something you don't, Cordy! Xander thinks, and then begins to walk up the sidewalk, hands in pockets and head down. He can't seem to get the vampire out of his mind - can't seem to shake the night off. He feels - restless - and doesn’t know why. Evil soulless undead monster. Can't believe he was SNIFFING me! I smell like chocolate? Haven't even had any today. Oh, no, wait, had some at lunch...but I've brushed my teeth since then! Weird. Maybe I've got chocolate in my blood. Maybe I'd TASTE like…No, not going there. Xander kicked at some weeds sprouting up through the sidewalk - flinched at a noise off to his left, something in the wilderness of flowers and shrubs that is Mrs. Montoya's yard. Something moving there - pale blur - and Xander squints, heart pounding a little faster. Then he relaxes, as a big yellow cat slides between the pickets and onto the sidewalk. He's a big tom, mostly marmalade with white underneath and a white patch on his forehead and nose. He's got half an ear missing and he won't let you touch him - king of the strays, in this neighborhood. Xander watches him as he pauses for a moment to stare at the human blocking his path. And then the tom - everybody calls him Old Yeller - flicks his tail and sashays up the sidewalk. No, that's a STRUT. Stray-cat strut, and that's exactly what Spike did tonight. Just like Old Yeller. Doesn't give a fuck, owns the world - king of all he surveys. Heh. Wonder if his hair is as soft as cat-fur… And why would I care if it is? Not gonna touch vampire-hair!

Old Yeller glares as he saunters by, and Xander grins at him and continues down the sidewalk, mind already wandering back to -

"D'you think maybe you taste like chocolate?" Voice purring out of the shadows and Xander's heart does a thump-stop-thumpthumpthump, and he barely keeps himself from screaming. Can vampires read your mind? Damnit! Why do the evil undead get all the sneakiness? Why can't they be clumsy and knocking over trashcans or something! And how the hell did he find me? Is he…FOLLOWING me?

Xander glances frantically around, hoping for a police car - in your dreams! - or something he can use as a weapon. Anything. But there's nothing and Spike is doing that walk, that strut, out of the dense shadow of a magnolia tree, up the sidewalk and straight at him. Sudden snick and flare of light, and he's lighting a cigarette - holding it in his left hand and blowing smoke up into the air.

"Think you wanna give me a taste, Slayer's boy?" Spike purrs, and Xander feels a suicidal rush of resentment at that.

"I'm not her boy, I'm nobodies' - boy." That didn't come out quite like he thought it would, and Spike is looking at him, head to one side, eyebrow up like Spock, and Xander notices that there's a scar there, white against the black hairs.

"You could be my boy - would you like that, pretty?"

"Whaaat?" Xander gasps, the full impact of that sentence hitting him. Be HIS boy - what, be a vamp? Or does he mean - something else? He was all…turned on at the school - is THAT what he means? GAY vampire? Oh my god, I'm being stalked by a GAY vampire! Only me. Another voice, so quite that Xander barely notices it, says he thinks I'm PRETTY, but that voice is trampled under in moments.

"No, I don't wanna be your - boy - and what the hell does that mean, anyway? If you're gonna kill me just do it, already!" It's been a long and - different- kind of night, difficult night, and Xander is tired of games, now. Tired of being scared out of his wits every ten minutes and turned on! in between the terror. It's exhausting and way, way too confusing and he just wants it to be over, now. Either he gets away, or he gets killed - something - but he won't have to put up with this…confusion…any more.

"Oh, I'm not gonna kill you. Why spoil my fun? You're so…" How the hell did he get so close so fast? Oh FUCK I am so dead. I hope Buffy can stake his ass for me… And with the sniffing again! Xander jerked back from the vampire, his hands going up reflexively.

"What the hell is it with you and the sniffing thing, man! Cut it out!"

"But you smell delicious, pet," Spike murmurs, and his hands are on Xander's arms, pressing into the bruises there that Xander got earlier, pulling him close. "You smell like chocolate and like…apples and…" Spike's eyes dart up to his, amused and sly. "And like sex. You like me, pet?"

"I - No! And I'm not a pet, and I'm not - not your boy! Just leave me alone or- or kill me!" The vampire chuckles, down low in his chest. Then his lips are on Xander's throat again - but this time they are kissing, and there's the tip of a cool, wet tongue, and one hand is sliding up into Xander's hair and one is curling into the small of his back, pulling him close, pressing him against silk and denim and lean, hard muscles and…

And he's hard again! Or, still hard. Oh man, what does he - And then Xander stops thinking about anything at all as the soft lips and cool tongue find his and he's being kissed, kissed like he's never been before; rough and deep and demanding and sweet, somehow, and Xander's hands clutch frantically at slick leather and silk, trying to get closer and trying to get away at the same time. Is that even possible? Oh god, oh good, that's…good…that's… vampire kisses, oh FUCK, wonder if Angel kisses like this, no wonder Buffy -

Spike was pulling away, his eyes dark and wide and his lips gleaming wetly. He ran one hand up the side of Xander's face and back through his hair, pushing it back and tugging ever so gently on it.

"Taste like chocolate, too," he murmured, and then he bent and picked up the cigarette he'd dropped, and was walking away - strutting away, duster snapping around his ankles and Xander just stood there, imprint of Spike's body all down his, lips tingling and head whirling and his hands going out in a useless attempt to keep the vampire there. After a long moment, Xander hears a car engine rev somewhere down the street. It's rough and loud and there's music blasting over it. A dark shape hurtles up the street - black bulk of a car, no lights, window down and pale figure at the wheel - momentary gleam of red as the cherry of a cigarette flares. Then the car is gone, music and engine-growl fading, and Xander stumbles home, easing in through the front door and slipping up to his room. Spike - had tasted like smoke and blood and - could that have been lemonade? and Xander goes to bed without brushing his teeth.