Spike is watching Xander watch a vampire, and he has to admire the slow and subtle hunt that's been going on for half an hour.† The vampire thinks he's hunting Xander - thinks he's going to take that lean and muscled, long-haired man outside and have him.† Thinks he's going to push him into a wall or over a car-hood and taste that succulent blood - have that perfect ass.† It makes Spike grin, and the vampire flicks a glance at him.

Aware of him, as Spike is aware of every vamp in the room.† But he's made himself aloof - apart - and the vampire in question thinks he's just watching the fun.† And he is, but this vamp's gonna get a surprise.

Xander pushes away from the bar, finishing the drink he let the vamp buy him.† He turns that open, wide-mouthed grin on the stalking vamp and pulls him close - whispers something in his ear.† The vamp laughs and they start to make their way out of the club, Xander's fingers curled in the waistband of the vamp's jeans, his body attuned to the body behind him - bumping a little into the vamp's groin, touching his cheek.† Seducing, because it's more fun this way, and because it gets them both so turned on.

They slide through a knot of dancers and are gone, and Spike stands up and follows.† A couple of younger vamps - obviously some sort of bodyguard, and Spike sneers at that - casually follow him.† When they're all in the long, dim hallway that leads to the back door Spike watches Xander and the other vamp go out and then turns to the two following him.

"Better wait a couple minutes," one says, a female trying to sound casually threatening, and Spike has to laugh.

"A couple minutes?† That's all?† That's bloody pathetic!† I think I'll go show him how it's done."† Spike turns and saunters on - hears the two bodyguards start to come after him and he spins and lashes out; easy movements, well practiced.† The vamps go down, clutching their throats, and Spike casually stakes them - tucks his razor away.† Then it's down the hall and out, into a back alley that's piled with empty liquor boxes and a few broken chairs - overloaded dumpsters.† There's movement and noise right over there, in a recessed doorway, and suddenly the other vamp reels out into the alley, his stomach spilling entrails over his clutching arms.† Xander follows, his own razor glinting in the sodium-glare of the street-light.† The vamp recovers - lunges for the human - and Spike is right there, yanking him back by his boy-band hair, twisting his neck around so that it's almost snapping.

"Not nice.† Got my boy out here on false pretenses.† He was expecting a good fuck and you tried to bite him!"† Spike grins down at the gaping vampire and shifts his grip - twists - and the vampire dissolves into a scattering of dust.† He brushes his hands off and looks over at his boy, who's lounging back against a loading dock, elbows propped on the stained concrete.† He's grinning too, and a sliver of pale-tan, densely muscled belly is showing from under the rucked hem of his wife-beater.† Tight, worn jeans, steel-toed boots, his hair brushed casually back and falling to his shoulder-blades.† He's fucking beautiful, and he reeks of the vamps who've touched him tonight.† That's going to change very soon.

"You get any?" Xander asks, and Spike moves closer, †the heavy, humid air of a New York summer pressing down onto his bare arms, making even his flesh warm.

"Got two.† Some kind of half-assed bodyguards."†† Spike gets up close - kicks Xander's feet apart and leans into him.† It's the fifth club - the eleventh vamp - and Spike's had enough.† He's done his own hunting in between-times and he's not hungry for blood anymore.

"You look fuckin' delicious, pet," Spike murmurs, dipping down to rub his cheek along Xander's, and Xander gasps softly - pushes his hips up into Spike's.† "Been watching you all night and I think I've been...very good."

"Have you?" Xander murmurs, and Spike grabs him - spins him and pushes him over the dock, bending him down.

"Yesss..." Spike hisses softly, his hands deft on the button and zip of Xander's jeans.† "The question is, have you," Spike says, and he grabs Xander by the hips and pulls him back, grinding his crotch into the bare, taut muscles of Xander's ass.

"Fuck no," Xander gasps, hands white on the concrete edge, legs as far apart as they'll go in the hobble of the jeans.† "I let that red-headed one feel me up...fuck!"† He jerks as Spike's hand closes down on his cock, tugging and stroking roughly - finding the leather and steel that's wrapped tightly around the root.† Another game they play, and sometimes it's Spike that's wearing it.

"That's why you're all tied up, pet - can't trust you," Spike whispers.†† He pushes his hands up under the shirt, bunching it under Xander's arms, scratching his nails down the arching back and twisting nipples that have gotten sensitive from repeated caresses.

"You gonna make me sorry?" Xander asks, looking at Spike over his shoulder, his eyes wide and his lip caught between his teeth.† He's humping back against Spike and fuck that's hot, and Spike brings his hand down sharp and hard on Xander's ass, watching his boy's eyes darken and go half-lidded - watching his mouth come open in a silent gasp.

"Course I am, pet.† Gonna make you so sorry."† Spike undoes his own jeans, pushing them down just far enough, and leans into Xander, pushing his cock into the tight, slick heat that's been waiting for him all night.† "Fuck, Xan, that feels so fuckin' sweet."

"Just for you," Xander says, pushing back, his arms rigid on the lip of the dock.† Spike slides in until he's as far as he can go and just waits there a moment, feeling the tremors in the muscles around his cock as Xander's body fights him and then accepts him.

"Always for me," he says, nipping Xander's earlobe, and then he pulls back and starts to fuck as hard as Xander can take, his fingers sinking into Xander's hips, bruises blossoming under his grip.† Xander's head is down between his shoulders and he's gasping and groaning† - making that soft mewl of intense pleasure and Spike shifts and pushes a little harder† - a little faster.† Lets one hand claw and rub over Xander's chest and belly - snakes it up into the mink-brown hair and winds his fist tight in the long strands.† He yanks Xander up and back, arching him impossibly hard, fucking him impossibly hard and Xander's babbling his name, babbling obscenities and endearments and begging.† Spike lets his hand slide around from Xander's hip to his cock and pulls roughly, slicking the pre-come that's there over the head - scratching a little with his nails, enough to make Xander hiss and buck.

"Fuck you feel good.† Wanna come, pet?† Wanna feel it?† Wanna come with me?"† He pushes slippery fingers into Xander's mouth, feeling the contraction of muscles around his cock as Xander gets closer and closer.

"Yeah, fuck - please - want to, Spike - fuck me, make me come -"† Xander's voice has gone hoarse and Spike twists his head over by the hair - gets the swollen, hot flesh of Xander's balls in his hand and pulls the tiniest bit.

"No, pet," he whispers, and bites, and pulls down sharply at the same moment, riding the desperate convulsion that runs through Xander's body, his thrusts going erratic and even harder as his own orgasm swamps him; sweat and blood and musk and want heavy in the air and Xander's hoarse scream of frustration is like music.† He pumps his hips once and twice more - slides out and turns his boy around, watching with an appreciative eye the heaving belly and the quivering muscles of his thighs and chest and arms.† He bends down and takes Xander in, tip to root in one long glide and sucks, and then he's standing and yanking his pants back up - doing the same for Xander and pushing him back with a thump into the dock, kissing him hard enough to bruise.

"Spike, fuck -" Xander whimpers, dazed, and Spike laughs - leans close so he's whispering right in Xander's ear.

"Told you you'd be sorry, pet.†† We're gonna go home and I'm gonna fuck you until the sun comes up and if you make it real pretty I'll let you come."† Xander's heart is pounding hard and fast - he smells sweet and needy and good enough to eat and Spike grabs his hand and they go home.† And fuck, but Spike loves his life.


It's their third summer in New York - the tenth since that trip to Brazil and Dru, and Xander is lying on his back in their bed, in their flat.† Listening to Johnny Cash and Spike still can't believe he likes that over the Velvet Underground or - hell - anything else.† But the Man is Black is still a favorite, and Spike only teases him about it sometimes.† Spike watches him, like he's been doing all summer.† Because this is the summer - the last.† This September is ten years and Xander has made it clear, time and again - he expects Spike to keep his promise.† Turn him.

And Spike has never gone back on a promise, and certainly never one to his boy, but it still troubles him.† They've spent ten years fighting and fucking and seeing the world - spent ten years learning everything there is to learn about each other and Spike loves him - loves his boy who isnít a boy, anymore.† Loves this almost-thirty-year-old man who can hold his own in a brawl, who can take out a vamp or a demon without getting a scratch.† Who loves him - who is loyal to him and who pisses him off and makes him laugh - makes him cry, sometimes, with his sweetness and his wonder at being the one Spike wanted - being the one wanted by anyone.†

But Spike keeps his promises, and in a week when Xander turns thirty he'll do the deed and make the first vampire he's ever made that wasn't cannon-fodder or dust in a fortnight.† He's not sure how that will be - living with Dru for a hundred years was an experience, but it's not likely to help with Xander in any way, and he really hopes Xander is nothing like Dru.† But the demon takes everyone differently, and even though Xander is still sure - still confident he can be himself - Spike is a little afraid.† But he won't say that, not to Xander, and not even to himself if he can help it.

*Gonna be all right,* †he thinks, reassuring himself, and that's all he can do.

"I want it," Xander whispers, last thing he says, and Spike gluts himself on the blood and then he can only wait, and wonder.


Xander is watching him, and his eyes are sparkling bright in the dimness of their flat - in the last, bloody light of the setting sun.† Spike can see the glamour - can see it almost at will, now, after so many years, and it looks...nearly the same.† The pulsing ruby of flame that was Xander's living heart has stilled to a knot of calcined blood; needles of scarlet and black.† The jackal-god's teeth are longer - are sharper - and the body of stars and silver glass is threaded through and through with gold and scarlet - cracks in the carapace.† And wings of shadow and bone, insubstantial - enormous.

"You look - you glow, you -"†† Xander sits up slowly - looks around himself and Spike catches him as he overbalances.† "Everything glows," he whispers, and his eyes are wide and amazed, flicking over the room.

"Goes away in a few days, when you get used to it.† Mostly," Spike says, and it's true.† Something they never told the Slayer - something no one knows.† The world is beautiful through the demons' eyes, and Spike is glad his boy can see it.† Wants to show him the night - wants to show him everything, and Xander leans against him and just holds him, staring around and around.

"You're so beautiful," he says, touching Spike's hand - his cheek.† Leaning up to kiss him and he makes a small squeak of surprise.

"What is that?† What do you - why does your mouth -"

"It's blood, pet.† That's what blood tastes like."† Xander just stares at him, open-mouthed, and then he's kissing Spike again and again, pushing in with his tongue as deep as he can, gathering every trace of blood.† Spike had hunted - drunk his fill and then some in the hours before Xander came back, and now he falls back on the bed, cradling Xander close, letting his head tip aside so that Xander can reach his neck and he sighs in bliss as Xander sinks his fangs in and drinks.† His first blood and it's Spike's blood, swirled like marble with the bitter-sweet tang that is Dru and the lemon-bite of Darla - the richness of Angelus' more earthy taint.† All that he is, informing and encoding into Xander.† Telling him 'this and no other', and Xander is shaking in his arms - is crying, and his body is doing a slow, twisting dance down on Spike's, wanting more, wanting him - wanting that which made him to undo him and make him again.†† And Spike does, as slow and as sweet as he can, making this other first something to always remember.

"Why am I here?" Xander whispers, shuddering above him, and Spike pulls him down, to whisper the words into his mouth between kisses cool and salt-sweet as the sea.

"Because you're a White Knight and you needed to find the Grail.† Because you are so beautiful that I couldn't leave you behind.† Because I need you, need you forever."† Xander holds Spike's face in his hands, his fingers cupping the curve of his skull, his thumbs gentle and caressing over his cheekbones.

"Because you were bored," Xander says, and there's laughter in his voice and Spike hugs him tight.

"Because I was bored."

"Love you.† Oh, still love you," Xander sighs, and Spike kisses him fiercely, never wanting to let him go.

"What was that for, then?"

"Because you're pretty.† Because you want me...want me...† Want me, Spike - want me more than anything else.† Want me forever."

"Already do," Spike tells him, and the salt on his tongue is tears, not blood.


They're standing outside of some building in Cleveland - some modern office building, and it's ugly.† But it's made of glass and Spike can see himself reflected in it - can see the blue fire of his bones and the quartz and smoke of his skin.† Can see the wings, stretching up and back and out; ragged as a crow's, wide as the sky.† His vampire body - his tangible body - is bloody and battered and bruised, but it doesn't matter.† They won.† Xander comes up behind him, and stares, and for the first time he can see what Spike sees.† Magic in the blood, and Dru's glamour holding true, is all Spike can think.

"Look," Xander says, staring at himself in the darkened glass - staring and smiling and Spike looks at him.

"What, pet?†† What is it?"

"You're not a demon, Spike.† I'm not.† Look at us.† Angels."

†Spike has to laugh.† "If we're angels, pet, we're Lucifer's crew, not Michael's."

"You're nobody's 'crew'.† You're the Devil himself," Xander whispers, and his hands slide around Spike's waist, stroking up under the tattered remains of his shirt.

"Lucifer, the Dragon of Dawn," Spike murmurs, and Xander slowly kisses his jaw and throat - turns his head so he can kiss his lips.

"Who are you then, pet?" Spike asks, long moments later when Xander lets him go, and Xander shrugs a little and tugs at his hand, drawing him away down the sidewalk, back towards the DeSoto.

"Yours, Spike.† That's all."† Spike pulls him close, breathing his scent of apple and salt and blood and musk.

"Anubis.† He who guides the dead," Spike says, and Xander just laughs.† His Gryffindor scarf is tattered now, but he still wears it - still rescues the humans and he's right; now that he's let the beast back in, they haven't lost a single one.


Sunnydale is the same as it ever was, and they spend a night prowling its streets - seeing what there is to see.† The second night they get into a brawl at Willy's and the third night they come face to face with the Slayer.† Only it's the dark one, not the blonde, and they stand there and stare at each other for long moments before any of them speak.

"So, Xander.† Guess you got caught," Faith says, and she's looking at him with a cold and calculating eye.

"Something like that," Xander says, and Spike grins at her.† He remembers her, and he likes her, but he won't let her touch his boy.

"Where's Buffy?" Xander says, and Faith tilts her head a little, thinking.†

"We switch off.† Sometimes she's here, sometimes she goes walkabout.† When she gets tired of it, she comes home, and then it's my turn to take this show on the road.† You looking for her?"†

"Not especially," Xander says.††† "I just wanted to see - what it was like, still.† After all this time."

"Hellmouth," Faith says, easy on the balls of her feet, and Xander grins.

"Yeah - we were just at the one in Cleveland.† Took out these guys - all big heads and tentacles?† It was wild."

"That was you?" Faith says, and there's an edge of disbelief in her voice that make's Spike growl a little.

"That was us.† Xander's still a white knight - always has been.† You think him being turned means he's on the other side now?"

"That's usually exactly what it means, unless you got somebody to stick his soul back in him."† Spike just snorts, lighting a cigarette and smoking, watching.† Gauging the distance and the way he'll move, because he doesn't think this Slayer's gonna let them go without a fight.

"I dunno about souls," Xander says, shrugging a little.† "I don't know if mine even left.† But I'm still fighting.† You can tell them, if you want.† Tell Buffy.† We might come back sometime."† Faith just watches, and then her carmined lips turn up in the sly and sexy smile, and she rests easy on her heels, one hip cocked.

"Willow said - you'd never turn evil.† Guess she was right.† I'll tell her.† Where are you going next?"† Spike pulls Xander over close to him, arm around his waist, and there's a flicker in Faith's eyes.

"Heard there were these lawyers down in L.A., givin' Angel a hard time.† Though we'd stop in, see if there was any fun to be had."† Xander leans into him and presses a casual kiss to his jaw and Faith's eyebrows arch over her eyes, dark and elegant and narrow, just as she is - sardonic, just as she is.

"So that's how it is," Faith says, and she nods - looks over her shoulder at a soft noise and grins, feral and gleeful as any cat.† "I've got work to do, boys," she says, turning and walking briskly away.†† "I'll see you around...† Hey!"†

"Yeah?" Xander says, turning back, and Spike turns too, tense.

"Why are you - helping?† Why - any of this?"† Xander looks at her - then at Spike - and he laughs.

"'Cause Spike was bored," Xander says, "and I think he's pretty."† Faith just watches them as they turn and walk away, and the Hellmouth's sour buzz is nothing to the feeling of Xander's hand in his, for all the nights to come.