Notes: The Scoobies were approached by Joss to make a show out of their lives. A few minor adjustments, and thus Buffy: The Vampire Slayer was born.

Disclaimer: So I was talking to Joss the other day and I asked, "So you just rent those guys out to anybody?" And he nodded and said, "Yes. Just as long as they're returned in fairly good condition." So I asked, "Do you know what the people do with them?" And he closed his eyes real tight and shook his head hard. "No! It's strictly Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Feedback: Please, yes! Feed me!

'Candy Shop' lyrics are copyright of 50 Cent.
'My Way' lyrics are copyright of Sid Vicious.






Acting Out


by
Markedxup







Chapter One

Xander ducked behind the tombstone as a severed scaly arm flew in his direction. “Hey, Buff, maybe work on that aim a bit, yeah?”

He jumped to his feet and turned face to face with a vampire. “Whoa there buddy, that’s close enough.” He slammed the stake into the vampire’s –



“Cut!”

Xander looked over at the director. “Damnit, did I say that wrong again? I couldn’t remember if it was-”


“You were fine Xander, just needed Willow to step to the left a bit.”


“Oh! I’m sorry!” She scuttled several paces to the left.


“That’s perfect Willow. Take it from ‘Whoa,’ Xander. Action!”



“Whoa there buddy, that’s close enough.” Xander feigned slamming the stake into the actor’s chest. The ‘vampire’ would digitally be transformed to dust later after the filming. Xander turned to Buffy who was busy wiping green demon ‘slime’ off her pants. “Okay, I think that’s good for tonight, guys. Let’s go home.”


“Yeah, I could use a shower.”


Xander, Buffy, and Willow walked off the graveyard set.



“And, scene! That was great guys, and I think that’s enough for today. See you all back here tomorrow.”


Xander and Willow agreed to meet for dinner then Xander walked back to his dressing room. He walked past the giant Buffy: The Vampire Slayer promo poster and to his room labeled ‘Alexander Harris.’ He sighed and slumped down on the seat in front of the mirror, taking up his half stale Diet Coke and leaning back in the chair. Long days and unsatisfying nights had weakened his resolve and he noticed that the obnoxiously painful shirts they forced him to wear were hanging off his body, and the baggy khaki pants were starting to pool around his hips. They were nearing the end of the season, and Xander thought, as he always did when the end was almost but not quite in sight, that the long shoots would never stop.



A harsh knock at the door jolted him from his brooding. The door opened a second after and Pete poked his head in. “Xander, David wants to see you. Now.” Pete’s head disappeared and the door slammed shut.



Xander sighed. Everything was Now with Pete. ‘Get on set Now.’ ‘Stop goofing off Now.’ ‘Stop mocking me Now.’ Xander didn’t want to do anything but sleep Now, but he sat down his Diet Coke and trudged out the door and down the hall to David’s office.

He turned the knob and was greeted by David as always grinning and ushering him in. “Here, sit down, Xan.” Everyone liked David, ‘Greenie’, and he was easy to talk to. Which was why he was often the one to deliver bad news.


Xander fidgeted slightly in his seat when David’s smile faded for a nanosecond and he became still. They did the small talk dance for a few minutes, but since neither of them had much patience for that type of thing, David finally got to the point.

“Now, you know that not everything in the show can be as it was in real life.”

There had to be changes made, for example, Willow refused to have an actor play Tara, and since the real had died, there was no Tara in the show. Willow never was a lesbian and they managed to work around the character of her girlfriend. Other minor changes had been made that kept the show from falling too close to the reality.


“Well, we decided that we wanted the show to spread to a broader type of audience, and since Willow never came out...” David scratched his head and stared at his desk, tongue poking out of his mouth as he tried to figure out a way to deliver this.



“So...?” Xander prodded him, confusion and a bit of apprehension pooling in his stomach. David sighed and looked back up at him. “Xander, you’re gay.”








When Xander got home, he realized he had forgotten his dinner plans with Willow. Throwing his keys onto the counter, he made his way through kitchen to the phone and jabbed Speed Dial 1.

Willow wasn’t home.


Probably waiting for you at the restaurant


He cringed and dialed her cell number and after three rings she picked up. “So, is American Idol on or is blowing off your friends a new hobby?” Despite the teasing tone her words still hit a nerve and Xander’s shoulders sagged in guilt. He tried to push out the double digit number that appeared when he thought of the escalating times he had neglected to keep up dates with his friends.


“I’m sorry Wills, it’s just that...” He chewed the inside of his lip, not wanting to voice what he’d avoided thinking about since David had told him the news.

He sighed. “Well, David said the writers decided that...since you never...came out, in the show...” Xander waited for a comment, but none came. He was relieved, as her character not coming out had frustrated her to no end with the writers, who saw no point if there would be no Tara.

“Well, apparently there still has to be a...gay character. In order to ‘broaden our audience.’” Here Willow snorted. That phrase was well over-used on the set.


“So who’s being dragged out of their imaginary closet?” Xander didn’t respond hoping that would be enough of an answer. It was.

After a pause, “Ooh...”


“Yeah.”


“I’m sorry Xan, that’s gotta be kind of awkward.” But restrained laughter was audible in her words.


“Hey! It’s not funny!” Willow did burst out laughing then. “Well, you are the most obvious choice.”


“What! Is there something about me that screams ‘queen?” Xander asked indignantly.


“No, I mean...Well, you just rejected Anya and you don’t really know why...and well...you do seem a little...”


“Queer?”


She started laughing again and Xander sighed exasperatedly, smiling a bit himself now. “Well, geez, it’s not like I asked for this.” He said with an exaggerated lisp and effeminate voice. “Davey just hates me or something.”


That was too much for Willow and Xander could hear her laughter turn hysterical and imagined all the people around her in the restaurant staring at her, and giggled himself.

“Well, I better put my moisturizing gloves on and get to bed. See you tomorrow Wills.” She snorted a goodbye and Xander hung up the phone. He walked around the counter over to the fridge and pulled out a plastic container of leftover spaghetti. After heating it to a reasonable temperature and flipping on the TV, Xander settled down at the far too empty table. Stuffing a forkful into his mouth Xander ruminated over the change or his character. Everyone else would probably react just as Willow had. Especially Spike.

Xander shuddered. There was no way the bleached menace would ever

let him live this down. Although Spike had been considerably more civil towards Xander since a guy named Joss Whedon had found their little group and seen a hit TV series, they still engaged in verbal sparring and traded insults on a semi-regular basis.

Some things never change. Xander sighed and got up, dropping his plate into the sink as he moved out of the kitchen and up the stairs to his bedroom, mind still on his now gay persona.


Then again, some things are forced to change.


His alarm clock was set, Benji was fed, and Xander was wrapped in five layers of blankets. The ceiling proved a very interesting thing to watch while sleep took its time seducing Xander. Just before he slipped all away, the thought struck him and almost terrified him. Had they written him up a boyfriend?





Chapter Two



The alarm shouted it was time to get up. Xander stumbled out of bed and slapped the damn thing to shut it up. He scrubbed his face to wake himself up and walked into the bathroom to start the shower. He woke every morning at 5:45 so he could be on the set by 6:30. Never in his life had he had a job that forced him to be there by 6:30.

Xander looked around at his giant bathroom complete with Jacuzzi-size tub and marble countertops. Then again, he’d never had a job that gave him the luxury of a uselessly big bathroom.


Xander turned the water to boiling and shed his boxers and stepped in. The hot water ran down his body and relaxed his muscles to the consistency of soup. His arms hung limp at his sides and his hair ran in streams over his eyes. Hopefully Zach would let them take it easy this morning; Xander felt like crap. Even if- He suddenly remembered his personality addition.


Isn’t it a little too late to have an identity crisis?

Xander reached over for the shampoo and knocked it over with his wrist. It slid off the shelf and landed on his foot. He bent over and picked it up, knocking his knee on the faucet. Pain flared for a moment then subsided, leaving a small red mark. Straightening back up, he twisted off the cap and slathered a gob of greenish shampoo on his hair. It wasn’t so much the gay factor, it was just- The suds began to escape down his forehead and Xander leaned his head back to prevent the bubbles from spilling into his eyes. -it hit too close to home.


When his hair That’s getting pretty long. Should I get a haircut? was free of shampoo, Xander turned his head back forward...and his gaze inexorably traveled down.


Hello. I haven’t seen you up in a while.


Oh God I’m talking to my penis. Isn’t that some type of condition?


But it was true, Xander had been having a little trouble...getting it up, recently.


It’s just because of these long days. Tired and stressed and all that.


Right, and nothing to do with avoiding going out.


There’s no time. Besides, I don’t want to get mobbed or anything.


Of course, because being horded by beautiful girls wouldn’t help the libido at all.



Xander twisted the knob and the hot water slowed instantly to a trickle.


Maybe it’s because you’re afraid that the beautiful girls won’t help.


Xander furiously dabbed his head and chest with the towel and slung it back on the rack.


Maybe there’s a reason your gaze actually stays at eye level during a conversation with one.


He scrubbed his teeth while combing his hair, one of the many multitasking abilities he had acquired while running on this schedule. In his room he yanked on a pale blue shirt and dark jeans; it didn’t really matter what he wore in the morning. He’d be in costume for most of the day.

Breakfast was a Cheerios cereal bar snatched from the pantry. He grabbed the keys off the counter where he’d tossed them last night and walked backwards out the door, making sure to lock and double-lock it.

There was a beepbeep from the Jaguar and Xander opened its door and slid into the leather seat. He turned around to look at the driveway so he could back out and spotted Jake, his All-American Jock neighbor with his sleeveless sweat-soaked shirt and loose shorts out for his early-morning jog. Jake raised his gaze and their eyes met. Xander felt a flash of heat scorch his lower abdomen. Jake smiled and waved a hand, continuing past Xander’s driveway and down the street.


Or maybe there’s a little more of the character in you than you

thought.



Xander banged his head against the back of his seat, backed out of the driveway and drove to work.







He was wrong.

They didn’t laugh.

They cheered and laughed.

Xander had to fight his way past the thrilled crowd, receiving countless ‘congratulations’ and ‘finally!’s. They would have none of it when he tried to explain that he wasn’t really gay.


“Hey Xan, good for you,” Buffy sidled up to him holding her bottled water. “I was really wondering when you’d finally admit it.” Xander

stared at her. “Oh please, it was obvious. Besides, I’m a girl. We know these things.” He decided not to argue Resistance is futile and just

gave in. If they wanted him to be gay, who was he to tell them any different? It was only his reputation after all. So Xander accepted the congratulations and approvals of something he would never really have had the courage to do. He was starting to believe this might even be a good thing when Jaws theme in sauntered Captain Peroxide himself. He took one look around at the happy partying cast and crew and turned on his heel.


“Spike, wait!” Xander saw Willow rush out to him and grab his shoulder.


Oh Gods, please Will, no


“Guess what!”


Wills, NO!


“Xander finally came out!”


Spike looked up to see Xander frozen in place, one arm reaching out to grab Willow and his expression a mixture of panic and dread. A very uncomfortable very long moment passed before an evil smirk pressed his lips together.


“Well, good for you Pet.” Xander stared at him, blush burning his cheeks. “Always knew you had a little too much fun during those basement chair scenes. Glad you finally out ‘n said it.” He winked at Willow, who giggled.

Xander groaned and his face dropped to his hands. He didn’t even have a comeback.


Because you know it’s true


Xander raised his head slowly and turned to go pour himself a Diet Coke.

With some sort of alcoholic beverage.



Filming went smoothly and rather uneventfully for the next week. Xander still was on the receiving end of many small smiles and even a few come-ons Now, that was a surprise but overall nothing had changed.


Except.

Except now, every once in a while during the show Xander would pepper in a hinting line. Like stuttering and getting nervous when talking to guys at the ‘Bronze.’ Or some vague, eye-shifting answer when Willow or Buffy asked about new girls in his future.


But you can’t fool the fans. Willow called him over one day to her computer I still don’t get why she feels the need to surf the net in her dressing room and showed him a startling discovery.


“Look!” she squealed. There was a website with a picture of Xander in a white shirt and beside it a picture of a scowling big surprise there Spike. The site was titled ‘Dark Desires.’


“What is it?”


Willow laughed. “It’s a fan fiction site.” Xander had heard of that before, but he never really knew what it meant. She read the puzzled look on his face. “It’s where fans make up their own stories about the characters.”


“Ooh. What kind of stories?” She sent him a sideways glance, complete with raised eyebrow and teasing smirk. She’s really been spending way too much time with Spike


“Oh. Oh. Wait, they have stories like that about me?” Xander was immediately interested and pushed Willow out of the way so he could sit down. She laughed and shoved him right back. “Yes, they have tons. But you won’t believe who the majority are with.”


Xander scrolled down to where the pairings were listed.



Angel/Buffy [ 52 stories ]
Typical


Angel/Spike [ 77 stories ]

Xander’s eyes widened in surprise. Well now that I think of it, it does actually make sense


Spike/Buffy [83 stories ]

Whoa, there are some sick people out there


Buffy/Willow [ 22 stories ]

Xander grinned and leaned his head back, closing his eyes. Willow smacked him.


Buffy/Giles [ 18 stories ]

Ookay, there are some really sick people out there


Xander/Anya [ 5 stories ]

Xander blinked in surprise at the small number. “Keep going,” Willow
urged him.


Xander/Angel [ 26 stories ]

What?! Xander’s jaw dropped.


Xander/Giles [ 20 stories ]

Can I just say, EW! He shuddered.


Xander/Spike [ 156 stories ]

The wireless mouse dropped from Xander’s hand and clattered to the floor.

The sound was smothered, however, by Willow’s furious laughter from behind him. Xander pushed himself away from the laptop and turned to run far away. Willow grabbed him and dragged him back, gasping for breath.


“Oh God, your face!”


Xander slapped her. That was a manly squeal, right?


“That’s not funny!” He told her, outraged and not a little freaked out.

He became quiet for a moment while she caught her breath. “Are...are there a lot of those?” Willow looked at him. Some of the normal color was returning to her face.

“I think the most are about you and- ” she nodded her head toward Spike who had his headphones glued to his ears and a cigarette stuck in his mouth while his head bobbed to the music.

Xander made a little whimpering sound and sputtered. “But- but, why?!”

Willow, shook her head, grinning again.


Xander got up and left, head spinning and heart stuttering almost as bad





Chapter Three



Xander went to bed early that night. He felt like he deserved it. They had spent the rest of the day shooting scene after scene of fighting with this huge costumed ‘monster’ that kept Spike on the floor in a fit of hysterical laughter.


It didn’t look that much like a penis


Spike always ridiculed the costumes and didn’t understand why they couldn’t have “the real buggers.” It was useless to try and explain that real demons weren’t exactly out for fame and fortune.

At least not the kind that Hollywood promised.

Spike was the only real demon on the cast. Aside from Clem, who had jumped at the idea of being on television.

Angel had, of course, refused to take time off from his saving the world to film a TV show. They had replaced him with a look-a-like actor named David Boreanaz. Xander thought the resemblance was amazing, but David couldn’t be more different from Broodboy.

David was always up for a drink or party but he played sad, dark, and handsome

Not that I think of Angel that way

The hell you don’t


well on the show.

The crew, though, had a surprising amount of demons in it, and Xander was amazed to find out that almost every show and movie had a large part of demon-assistance in either filming or acting.

Anyhow, it cut down on the number of special effects to be added. Why computerize it when you could use the real thing?



Anyways, aside from the complaints, Spike had taken to the lifestyle rather well. The only problem was the whole sunlight factor, so most of the photo shoots were taken at night and he rarely made public appearances Thank God. But the fans loved him and his character. Something about the whole bad-boy look seemed to draw them in.


They’re not the only ones


Xander tried in vain to squash that stupid voice and focused on Not Thinking about what Willow had showed him earlier. He had succeeded the whole day until now.


The thought nagged at him, like a mosquito that kept buzzing around his ear but every time he went to slap it, flew away. Only to return a short time later when he had finally relaxed.



It’s just stupid obsessive fans


But Xander couldn’t even understand why they were so compelled to put Spike and him together. They couldn’t be more opposite.


He's snarky, evil, has a dead cow skin fetish, and a tendency to wear the same shirt for days at a time.

I'm supposedly a white hat, wear shirts that look like rainbow vomit, and have the tendency to...okay maybe alike in that respect.


But he just couldn’t see the connection. Maybe you should try looking through a fan’s eyes


So that’s how he ended up sitting at the computer at 10 PM scrolling through lists of links with provocative and disturbing names. He couldn’t understand what the abbreviations meant PWP? AU? D/S? so finally just closed his eyes and pointed. He clicked on the story and began to read.


Twenty minutes later Xander felt like his eyes had been drilled through and sweat matted his hair to his head. But the worst part was the erection shoved against his thigh in the confines of his boxers.

Xander quickly shut down the computer and crawled into bed, deciding his legs weren’t stable enough for the shower. The words from the story were lodged in his brain and rattled up images he wished he could forget. And still his cock soaked a damp spot into the fabric.

He couldn’t believe how aroused the story had made him and stared down at himself in betrayal.


Now you decide to get up



He tried to sleep but his body would have none of it. So finally, shaking with denial, he reached down into his boxers.

Oh god I can’t believe I’m going to do this


Xander closed his eyes and pictured how the story had played out. It had taken place when Spike lived in the basement with Xander. Xander (the story was from his point of view) had started to realize he had feelings for Spike. There was some talking, some revelations, some innuendo. It had ended with Spike and him having vigorous sex in Xander’s bed.

Multiple times.

Xander swiped his thumb over the head of his cock, collecting the precum and using it to lubricate the shaft. His hand wandered to his balls and he rolled one in his palm. His breathing sped up as he remembered how the story had depicted Spike blowing Xander and gripping his thighs, head bobbing up on the head then swallowing him down.

Xander’s hand mimicked how Spike had acted. He soon began to pant and he cupped his hands and his hips pumped furiously, back and forth forcing his dick through it. A crystal clear image of the story’s climax, Spike roughly fucking Xander into the mattress, pounded into his mind and he came with a low groan, shooting onto his belly and sheets.

Xander’s head fell back and he continued panting, shock refusing to let him move. He had just whacked off thinking about Spike.


How fucked up am I?


He lay there until he realized that cum was slowly drying on himself and he just grabbed the clean sheets and wiped it off. He was too exhausted to shower.

Xander curled up in a ball and lay on his side, vision blurring as the alarm sirens in his head got dimmer and dimmer until he was left with a pleasant hum.








Xander couldn’t face Spike for three days. Every time he got near him some obscene image would pop into his head and confused stares would trail him as he ran away flushed and mortified.

On the fourth day, Xander realized he’d have to be facing Spike a lot.


The news came while the cast was lounging on a break, Buffy and Willow discussing the next talk show they were going to be on and raving about the other guest star, some hunky himbo athlete, and Spike and Giles were at the other end of the table chatting animatedly about football, Spike waving his cigarette for emphasis.

Emily, the actor who played Anya, was fervently soaking up the last few paragraphs of a dog-eared paperback.

Suddenly one of the directors was at their side, clapping his hands to get their attention.

Conversation ceased and all anxious eyes turned to the man.

“Okay, today we are making an adjustment.” They all groaned.


What am I now, a transvestite?

Xander suddenly hoped very much that he was not.


“Don’t worry, this one might make some of you...smile.” The director wasn’t smiling. He was smirking. “Also Spike, it was the writers’ ideas, so no attacking the directors.” Spike’s eyes narrowed.

Hey, maybe it won’t be so bad after all Everyone knew, however, that no matter how much he complained, Spike would never dream of leaving the show or even refusing to act whatever part he was given.

Now that he’d had a taste of this life Xander doubted Spike could ever go back to living in a crypt.


“So as we all know, Xander has recently come out.”

Xander on the show had come out a few episodes prior and was welcomed with open arms. And behind-hand giggles

“And our fan count has risen considerably.” Apparently most people ‘knew it all along.’

“So we’ve decided to play off of that.” Xander froze and slowly raised his eyes to the director’s. The man stared at him, not-quite-smile firmly in place. But then he turned his eyes to Spike and said, “Spike, you’re in love with Xander.”



No one said anything. Every mouth hung open and every brain blipped blank for a second. Then Buffy and Willow let out squeals so high-pitched that dogs all around the world threw back their heads and howled in agony.

Giles slumped back in his seat staring blankly ahead, face white and eyes wide as if he’d seen a ghost. When it seemed to finally sink in Spike jumped to his feet and roared, “WHAT?!”

Xander didn’t react and the words swirled around in his head and he suddenly wondered why he was looking at the ceiling.



Xander came to about a half hour later in his dressing room with Willow fawning over him and attempting to wake him up with some cold water.

He blinked, his head felt fuzzy and his mouth was dry and tasted like toilet scum. He reached out and grabbed the water on the table and held it to his lips.

The directors’ announcement came back to him like a punch to the face and he dropped the glass, water fanning out on the floor under the couch he was lying on. Glass tinkled after the initial shatter and created an eerie tune in the silent room.

Xander jerked up sitting. “Was he-”

“Yes, he was serious.” Willow grabbed a towel off the counter and dropped it onto the spilled water. Xander scrubbed his face and sat up with his forehead in his hands staring at his shoes soaking in liquid.

“Why-”


“Why not?”

Xander sighed.

He and Spike.

Spike and Xander.

Spike/Xander.

He looked up at Willow who was watching him with a cute concerned expression. “I really am a demon magnet.”


Spike had never really fallen in love with Buffy.

The writers had obviously had other plans for Spike so they wrote it off as a temporary obsession.

He was now ‘over it.’ And onto Xander. Xander shuddered.


Bad choice of words


They had started filming Spike’s new love affair in ernest, taping him going out of his way to be kind to Xander, staring just a little too long at him, and generally just dropping hints with his behavior.

Xander not unnaturally played at first to be taken aback by Spike’s actions and tried to avoid meeting with him. Which Xander was glad to oblige. But he finally breaks and agrees to go to the Bronze with Spike to play pool.

They end up talking and Xander learns a lot about ‘real Spike’ and ends up having a great time. Then the episode ends with the two of them barely an inch apart staring into each others’ eyes.

They had to redo that scene almost seven times because

Xander kept tripping over his words or got so red that even the makeup couldn’t contain the flush.

Spike was just lucky that vampire’s couldn’t blush or Xander’d bet that he’d be as flustered as himself.

When they finally got it right Spike had duly run off the set groaning about his terrible unlife and threatening to get a suntan.

Xander just slumped down in the seat and moaned.


How the hell am I going to kiss him?


Because he knew he knew they were going to make them kiss.


Later when he was getting ready to go home David approached him outside the building.

“Xander,” he called and Xander turned to see him in the doorway. David gestured for him to come here and Xander sighed.

“Wait,” he asked, leaning on the wall beside him, “don’t tell me. They made it a threesome with Giles, right?”

David cringed and his eyebrows drew together in sympathy.

“I know it’s got to be tough, Xander, but I think you’ll find it gets easier.”

Xander snorted.

“I’m serious. But you need to make an effort.”

Xander opened his mouth to protest but David cut him off. “Try spending some time with the guy. If you get to know him a little better it might not be so awkward.”


Xander didn’t bother reminding him that he had known the vampire for a large portion of his life and didn’t see this getting any better.


I’m seriously afraid of getting to know him any better


“Will you just try it?” David gave him the dreaded kicked-puppy eyes. “For me?” Oh Gods I can’t say no to the kicked puppy

Xander let out a sigh that Deadboy himself would have grunted in pride for.


“Oh alright.”


David’s face broke out in a smile and he drew Xander in for a quick hug. “Good. Thanks, Xan. See you tomorrow.” With that he disappeared through the doorway and left Xander behind a closed door and with a slight chill that seeped through his light jacket with ease.

Xander drove home, drank a Diet Coke, and brooded.





Chapter Four



They did kiss.

Xander read the script again. And again. He read it a third time but the words didn’t change.

Spike and he would kiss.

He wondered what Spike had done or was doing as he read the script.

Probably getting the mouthwash ready Xander felt a pang. He’s probably so disgusted


And are you? Xander thought for a moment. Panicked, yes. Dreading, yes. Terrified, definitely. Disgusted? No...I guess I’m not


Uh huh...



Xander sighed and dropped onto the couch. He reached over for the Diet Coke on the counter but discovered it was gone. I must’ve thrown it away and don't remember


He needed to restock his dressing room refrigerator.


So what should I do?


Kiss him, stupid


But he hates me! I mean, I hate him too


Oh, you do...?


Yes! Well, I mean...Kind of...


...

Okay, no. I don’t hate him. We’ve gotten to be almost friends. Bitter, reluctant, friends


See, that wasn’t so hard


Shutup


Xander began chewing on his thumbnail.


But do you like him?


Like him? What do you mean?


What do you mean, what do you mean, idiot! It’s not a difficult question!


Like, like him like him?


Ugh! What are you, a third grader?!


Well I guess as a friend. He hasn’t really been that mean to me lately. Besides this whole ordeal



Xander finally got up. He sat back down.



Wait, but what do you mean, like him?


Ah! You stupid little-


Xander stood back up. He pulled his thumb out of his mouth and stood in front of the door. With a burst of courage he opened it and stepped into the hallway.

That’s it, see you can be brave too

He reached the set where people were busy putting up all the necessary props for the Magick Box.

I know what I’ll do. I’ll ignore it. I’ll pretend that I don’t even care. I’ll just do it and get on with it. Let Spike sweat it out...Or whatever it is vampires do when they get nervous

Xander got ready for the first shooting.



When the time came for The Big Kiss everyone crowded around the Box set, grinning and waiting.

Xander waited in the hallway outside the set for a moment. He did this often, just stood still for a moment before acting. It calmed his nerves and relaxed him.

But when a figure suddenly drew beside him, Xander jumped.


“Nervous Pet?”


The baritone voice and accent wound their way up Xander’s spine and almost made him shiver but he suppressed it. He forced a grin and shook his head.


“No. Why would I be?”

That wiped the smirk off Spike’s face and he blinked.

“I mean, I kiss guys all the time. Why would this be any different?”


Nice touch


Spike obviously believed the lie and he blinked again. He didn’t even appear to have a comeback.

Now I believe we are even

But instead of even attempting, Spike’s head cocked and he appeared to be studying the wall lost in thought.

“Nervous Spike?”

Glittering blue eyes whipped up to his own with hallenge read clearly in them.

“Not a chance, Harris.” He growled and stomped past him onto the set.

He is such a drama queen

Xander giggled and followed Spike, feeling sure

of himself for the first time in days.





It was night. The rest of the Scoobies had retired to their homes and beds and couches and left the two of them for cleaning up.

Xander picked up three books and located their place on the shelves, sliding each carefully into place.

“Hey, Xan,” Spike’s voice carried over the otherwise silent shop. Xander dropped the last book onto the table and walked to where Spike sat at a desk, book open in front of him.

“I think we found our nasty.”

Xander leaned over his shoulder to look at the picture. Yes, that was definitely the demon they had seen.

“Good job Spike, I’ll tell Giles we found it in the-” Xander suddenly noticed that Spike had frozen in place.

The spot where Xander’s chest touched Spike’s shoulder where he leaned over was an electrical outlet shooting sparks up and down his abdomen.

Spike turned his head toward Xander’s, which was very close to his own.


“Xan,” he whispered in his ear. Xander felt his heart speed up and his breath catch.

Spike put one cool hand on the side of Xander’s face and pressed him forward. Their lips met softly.

Xander slowly leaned closer to Spike and pressed on him more. Their lips opened and Spike’s cool tongue slid into his mouth.

Xander reciprocated and felt Spike pull him almost onto his lap.

Xander let out a breathy moan, feeling more than hearing Spike do the same. Spike’s tongue slid in and out, fucking his mouth and Xander felt himself harden in earnest.

He placed his hand on the side of Spike’s face and felt the vampire groan as he sucked his bottom lip between his own. Spike pulled Xander closer and placed one arm behind his neck and Xander could feel with his knee that Spike was enjoying this as much as-


“Cut!”

Spike and Xander jumped apart like they’d been electrocuted.

“That was perfect boys! I might try another take but I’m afraid one of you might enjoy it too much and we’d have to get you some new clothes on.”

Everyone cheered and laughed and made wolf whistles.

“Whew, Xander!”

“Way to go Spike!”


Xander’s face lit up like a Christmas tree and he covered it with his arm, shaking his head. After a moment he risked a glance at Spike, but he was gone.

Willow ran up and grabbed Xander by the elbow.

“Oh my God! That was so hot! It didn’t even seem like you were-”

Xander pulled out of her grasp and fairly ran off the set. He looked down and was glad he had worn tighter more secure underwear for this shoot, but the bulge was still painfully evident. He groaned and slammed the door to his dressing room which was thankfully at the opposite side of the building as Spike’s.

Xander crumpled onto the couch. The actors in interviews always said how professional the kisses were, but that had felt anything but professional.


Six words reverberated around Xander’s head as he jerked himself off for the second time that night.



What the fuck am I doing?









Xander had Saturday and Sunday off. He was ridiculously happy for the break and slept in until 11:00. When he finally found himself dressed and downstairs it was 11:45.

Xander’s stomach grumbled Snarled he decided to go out for lunch.

Mostly because there is nothing fit for consumption in the fridge

So he threw on his lightweight black jacket and drove downtown.


He used to be overwhelmed by the number of people, but now he takes the crowds as a welcome cover.

He was actually recognized on the street

Who would’ve thought

and realized he always took his anonymity for granted.

Well I didn’t want it then



He walked into a small restaurant that he’d been to before and liked. He sat at a booth near the window and ordered a burger, sat and ate and watched the people bustle by. There were so many, and so many different kinds. When he finished his lunch and his stomach was happily sated and quiet, he paid and wandered around the shops just doing nothing and watching everything.

He could buy just about anything he wanted but didn’t feel compelled to. Money was not an issue anymore.

Yes, I’ve come a long way from scraping together the rent for my parents’ basement

But his house seemed too big and too empty. He was alone in it except for Benji, his beloved calico cat. He often thought of moving back into an apartment, or at least a smaller house, but the remembered torment of suffering through another move chased that notion away.



Xander walked past the movie theater at quarter ‘til 4. The title of a movie he’d been meaning to see snagged his eye and he stopped to check out the showtimes. He decided to catch the 7:00 showing which gave him time to stock up on more food and catfood and toilet paper.

Xander searched for his car beepbeep, found it and drove to the grocery store.



At 6:15 Xander set Benji’s food bowl down on the floor and watched him scramble off the couch to it. “You wound me. You act like I never feed you.” Xander received a reproachful ‘Mweow’ as a response and held up a hand in defense. “Hey I was just saying.” Three quick raps in succession turned him toward the door. He strode over and opened, expecting Buffy or Willow and said-


“Spike.”

Xander stared at him. His first thought wasn’t Why is he here? it was How did he get here?

Xander looked up and saw that clouds patchworked heavily across the sky and the air already darkening.

“Gets dark earlier.” Spike saw his surprise.

“Spike,” Xander’s mouth stopped there.

“Yes Xander, now that you’ve recognized your friends let’s move on to colors.” Spike sneered.

Did he say-

“Friends?”

Spike blinked as if taken aback. Or offended

“Well, I sort of assumed us to be, seeing as we’re forced into contact.” Spike heard his words and cringed slightly, eyes dropping to his scuffed DM’s. Gone was the duster but never the boots.

A smile tugged at one side of Xander’s mouth and he nodded. “Yeah I guess, I just didn’t know you had that word in your vocabulary.” Spike rolled his eyes. Xander leaned against the doorway.

“So what do you want?”

“Not even gonna invite me in, Harris?”

“So what, you can track dirt and God knows what else in my beautiful home?”

“Hey! M’boots are very clean, lemme tell you!”

“Sure. Come on in Spike.” Xander stepped aside and the vampire sauntered through the door. He glanced around the room, eyes falling on the cat still eating from his bowl in the kitchen. “Yeah, you lot like cats don’t you.”

Xander raised a brow in suspicion. “‘You lot’ meaning...?”

Spike grinned. “Fancy actors of course.”

“Ah.”

Spike looked from Benji to Xander and back to the cat furiously chowing down his dinner. “You know, I can see the resemblance.” Xander hit him over his bleached head.

“So what are you doing here anyways?”


Spike’s eyes dropped. Xander felt some of the tension of the previous night return and shifted on his feet, face turning to hide the flush suddenly staining his cheeks. Spike cleared his throat.

“Well, Brownie suggested—”

Xander looked up. “He told you that too?”

Spike looked startled for a moment but then barked a laugh. “That bastard!”


Xander shook his head. Damn you David! “Did he give you the puppy eyes too?”


“Oh, he gave me the whole bit, little pouty lip ‘n all.”


Xander chuckled. Okay. So he and Spike would have to ‘spend some time together.’

It’s sounds so naughty when you say it like that

Quotes make everything sound naughty

Xander glanced back at Benji who had taken back residence on the top of the couch cushions and his eyes fell on the clock. Oh damn the movie

“Oh, well I was going to see a movie...”

“Oh. Well. Then I guess I’ll just have to tell ol’ Davey to stuff it.” Spike wavered and started toward the door.

Xander suddenly remembered this was Spike and an effort of getting to know someone by actually going to their house was a pretty big thing for him. He reached out to grab Spike’s shoulder.

“Wait. Why don’t you cometoo?” Spike looked up at him, eyebrows creeping toward his hairline.

“To the movie?”

“No, stupid to the carwash. Come on, you might even like it." Xander watched Spike contemplate it For like two seconds and nod his agreement.

“Just as long as it’s not one of your chick flicks.”

Xander rolled his eyes and pulled Spike out the door.

They ordered a large popcorn, a bag of Skittles, a cherry Icee, and a Diet Coke.

After Xander had drenched the popcorn in butter and salt and they had settled into their seats near the middle of the theater, Spike set his Icee in the right cup holder and promptly picked all the red Skittles out of the bag.

Xander stared at his mouth stained a vivid red.

“Have a red fetish Spike?”

Spike stuck his bright red tongue out at him.

The previews started and Xander began munching on the popcorn. Within a half hour of the movie Xander was hooked in the action story and Spike apparently was too. He cheered or laughed loudly whenever someone got shot or stabbed, and ignored Xander’s urgent elbow jabs and glares. By the end of the movie, though, Xander had given up and just laughed along with Spike.

When the lights came back on, Xander stood and crumpled his empty popcorn bag. He had thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Spike and he threw their trash away outside the theater and walked through the lobby out to Xander’s car, talking animatedly about the movie the whole time.

In the car Xander turned on a punk rock station for Spike’s sake. As anticipated, a bleached blonde head soon bobbed in time to the guitar wails and a chipped black painted nail tapped on the dashboard.

The light flashed red and Xander looked back down at the musical finger. The nail had strips of pale pink though it and along the bottom the nail was all but gnawed off.

He only does that when he’s nervous

Xander recalled seeing Spike often bite or pick at his nails before a tough scene or when Dawn talked about Buffy going through a hard time.

Was Spike nervous about tonight?

The light flashed green and he snapped his eyes back onto the road. He mentally chided himself for overanalyzing this.

He wouldn’t even be here if not for David

A short time later Xander pulled into his driveway

and realized Spike hadn’t driven to his house.

“Do you want me to drive you home?”

Where does he live??

“Nah, I’ll walk.”

Spike clearly read Xander’s expression of doubt.

“Walked here earlier, didn’t I? I’m a big boy, Xan. I can take care of me’self.”

Xander rolled his eyes at the smirk. “Whatever. I still haven’t gotten over the well in-bred commandment; Thy Shalt Not Roam at Night Without Backup.”

Spike shook his head and opened his door. “Well, you know me. Never one to follow the rules.”


Xander watched him slide out. Sudden impulse hit him Having a lot of those lately and he reached out to grab Spike’s arm. Spike looked up at him, slight confusion tugging at his eyebrows and a strand of white-blonde hair strayed to his forehead. He didn’t gel it nearly as much anymore except for the show.

Oh shit, why’d I do that?

“Spike, um...” I think you sexy as hell

“I-” Want to do things to you I don’t think there’s even a name for

“-had a really good time.”

Hard blue eyes dug hard into his own. Xander didn’t let go of Spike’s arm and Spike as of yet hadn’t wrenched it free.

“I did too.”

The vampire broke contact with a sharp nod and Xander released his grip.

The look on Spike’s face before he shut the door was an odd mix of confusion and slight disturbance, almost as if he were surprised that he’d enjoyed himself.

As soon as the fading figure was out of sight Xander slumped forward and his head rested on the steering wheel. The refrain from the other night made another circuit through his mind and he didn’t even try to answer it this time. He went inside, collected Benji, and went to bed.





Chapter Five



The thing about bad news, as Xander had long since realized, is that it never comes in the form of conventional news.


Good news, for example, is excitedly explained and spreads through crowds like a breeze through a field.


Gossip travels even faster than good news, creeping its way through a building behind cupped hands and under ducked heads.


But bad news can come in the form of a ringing phone in the night, the 'shush' of a report card sliding out of its envelope, or dreading and apologetic eyes communicate more than words can.

Or it can come in the form of 15 crisp white pieces of paper stapled together and left on his dressing room table.

They looked so innocent, perfectly arranged with tidy lines of small black print marching rigidly across the page. But like chihuahuas, shallow pools, and small children, what looks innocent on the surface is rarely so on the inside.

As was the case with the new script. Nestled between scenes and hidden behind the uniform paragraphs, Xander discovered a new horror.

Sex.

He felt the insane urge to giggle. He loved sex.

He’d always loved sex. Xander + Sex = Happy Xander. But this...

He was seriously considering telling the writers that he was planning on becoming celibate. Forever.

Because this scene racked up memories of That Night after the Computer Incident that left him Scared Shitless for days. Not to mention the few times his mind had drifted back to that scene-

He doubted he would ever sleep soundly again.

It’s not like I’m really going to do it with him

‘Do it’? Oh god, I’m reverting back to 12-year-old expressions. I swear I’ll shoot myself if I start picking my nose...not that I did that when I was 12


He mentally calculated how long it would take the producers to realize he’d skipped town.

Just calm down

Xander fell onto his butt on the couch. He tried to pick up his Diet Coke but his hand was shaking too hard. He found that sweat slicked his forehead and wiped if off with a sleeve.

Now, it’s just one scene. Just one naked, sweaty, moany, Spikey scene. I’m a professional. I can do this

He made it halfway down the hall towards the exit before David grabbed his shirt and yanked him back.

“I knew you’d freak. I’ve been waiting out here for ten minutes.”

Xander let out a sound vaguely resembling that of a hippopotamus in heat.

“Oh, come on. It could have been worse.”

Xander glared at him, demanding an example of that preposterous idea.

“Well, as we’ve said, it could have been Giles.”

Xander groaned and sunk to his knees.

“I can’t do this!”

“Why not? You’re gay, Spike’s good looking, and it’s just one scene. You can’t even pretend to have—”

“Don’t say it!” Xander began shaking again and David rubbed a soothing hand over his back.

“Please? For—” Xander bit his hand.

“Ow!”

“If you say ‘For me’ one more time I’ll bite off something far more valuable.”

David took a step back.

“But really, what’s so bad bout it?” Xander looked up at him in disbelief.

“It’s Spike!”

Which is explanation enough

“So?”

“What do you mean ‘so?!’ It’s SPIKE. Evil, chain- smoking, I-Wish-A-Was-Sid-Vicious’s-Wife Spike. Who, on numerous occasions, has attempted my murder and, oh yeah, HATES me!” Xander shook his head continually like a nervous tic. There had to be some way around this.


“Oh he hates you does he?”

“Yes!”

“Then why did you two go to a movie together and have a ‘great time’?”

Xander looked up in shock.

What the—

“How the hell did you know about that?”

“Spike told me.”

What?!

“He-”

“Yes, I asked him if you and he had taken my

advice and he, quite happily, informed me that you had gone to a movie and had a great time.”

He makes it sound like Spike was almost proud of it

“Well what makes you think that I had a good time too?"

“He said you told him you did.”

Xander remembered grabbing Spike’s arm before
he got out of the car. ‘I did too.’ He had been serious.

“Oh.”

“Yeah. So, tell me again why this one little scene is such a terrible and horrific idea? And don’t bother telling me you’re planning on becoming celibate.”

Damnit


“It...” And Xander drew one of his very few blanks. ‘Evil!’ screamed his mind, but he knew that wasn’t really true. Despite his many attempts, Spike had failed to extract the chip, and was actually beginning to accept the situation. He had even stopped the constant death threats. Soulless, yes. But evil?

Xander shook his head. “I guess there aren’t any reasons..." he said slowly, regret and dread plainly coursing his words. David nodded as if thinking this over.

“So, what you’re saying is, this one scene between you and Spike having-” He stopped when Xander bared his teeth and took another step back for good measure. “Becoming intimate is not the end of the world?”

Only the sane world

“I guess not.” Xander then drew up a suspicious eye at David.

"Why are you hell-bent on getting us to cooperate, anyways?" Xander knew that David was an assistant director, but he'd never gone this far to make sure Xander got through a scene.

"Joss just told me to help you guys out," he waved it off with a shrug.


"Oh," said Xander, but he only half-believed him.

“Well, if there are no more issues to discuss, I’ll see you at shooting tomorrow.”

David walked to his office, shoes clicking on the hard floor. Xander remained on the floor for a while after he left. He wasn’t sure if he could make it back home without passing out.







He did. Without passing out. But not without a dangerously large amount of alcohol. At least I won’t have to fake the groans tommorow. Hangover and arousal sound about the same right?

Benji was lounging in his lap, content and purring while he stared blankly at American Idol. “Absolutely dreadful.” For once, Xander agreed with Simon. He had tried to bring himself to read the whole script, but the squirming had gotten too bad and Benji had hissed at him.

What the hell am I going to say to him

tomorrow?
‘Hey Spike, looking forward to having you all naked on top of me!’ just didn’t seem right.

The phone rang and interrupted his mental whining. He stood and Benji jumped off his lap and settled into Xander’s warm spot without shame.

“Hello?”

“...Hey, Xander...” Willow’s hesitance told him all he needed to know.

“I can’t fucking believe-” –And so began Xander’s rant. I can’t do this, blah, Won’t be able to ever face him again, blah, and blah and blah and whimper.

Willow soothed him and agreed in places, peppering in her sympathy and when he had finally calmed down, asked him to come to her place.

“We haven’t hung out in a while and I think we should talk.”

Xander pulled into Willow’s driveway and almost hit her mailbox. She really needs to get a better driveway

It was curved and rocked upwards to meet the garage. And it was an ugly mailbox anyways. Willow was at the door before Xander was and pulled him into a tight embrace. “Hey, Wills, thanks for inviting me over.”

She waved him off and ushered him in, telling him to find a place to sit. He was just settling on the couch when she plopped down next to him and stared him in the face. It unnerved him how serious she looked.

“Is something wrong, Will?”

She looked ready to answer but stopped herself.

She closed her eyes a moment and turned away

from him. Now he was worried.

“Willow? What’s wrong? Did I say something wrong? ‘Cuz I—”

“No, Xander, you didn’t say anything wrong. In fact, you didn’t say anything at all.”

The accusation rang true despite her gentle words and Xander suddenly realized what she meant.

“Oh. Willow...” He didn’t know how to explain this. He had never even meant to come out. As of a few weeks ago, he hadn’t even known he had anything to come out of!

That’s not true

Xander ignored it.

“Willow, I didn’t even really know myself that well. I understand you’ve got to feel...betrayed, or something, because I didn’t tell you...But I wasn’t even sure there was anything to tell.”

Think you could vague that up a little more, I don’t think she’s confused enough

“It’s just...” She sighed. “I would’ve understood. Hey, poster child for unresolved sexual issues!”

Xander smiled. Of course Willow would understand.

“Thanks Willow. I knew you’d understand.” They shared a warm moment. Then Xander remembered why he had come here in the first place.

“So...about that scene...”

Willow’s eyes widened and a blush stained her cheeks.

“Yeah, about that scene...”

Xander waited.

“Well, I’m sort of looking forward to it...”

“WILLOW!”

She laughed. Xander fumed. “Well, what am I supposed to say?”

“That Spike is a stupid evil vampire and we need to assassinate the writers.” He hugged his knees to his chest.

She laughed again.

Damnit, when did my pain become so funny?

It always has been

Shutup, you don’t count


“What should I do?”

“Just go along with it.”

Easy for you to say

“It can’t be that terrible. Buffy suffered through a few scenes like that.”

Xander considered this.

“Besides, it’s not like Spike is bad looking or anything.”

“I never said that.”

“So you think he’s good looking?”

“What?! I never said that either!” Xander watched

Willow laugh and realized she was screwing with him. “Fine! If you won’t take this seriously than I’ll go talk to...my cat!”

Wow. I bet she’s jealous now

Willow stopped him as he started to the door. “Xander, I’m sorry, but I refuse to take this seriously.” She shook her head. “It’s really not a big deal. It’s just Spike. We’ve known him for years, and yes, he can be an ass, but that’s not the point.

I think he’s really tring to change. At least a little. Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed.”

“I know...Of course I have. And... I guess you’re right.” Willow gave him a ‘duh’ look. “But that still doesn’t change the fact that I’m totally going to wig about this until it’s done.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Xander thanked her again for inviting him. But as she was closing the door behind him he heard her say, “God, if he’s this bad the first time I can’t imagine what he’ll do all the others.”

Xander remained frozen on her doorstep for an immeasurable amount of time afterwards before getting in his car, backing down her driveway, and running over her mailbox three times.





Chapter Six



Xander woke the next morning to Benji licking his nose. He had gotten absolutely no sleep; dreaming all night about naked vampires and mailboxes, and now he had cat spit on his face.

“Preparing me for my sexy scene today my beloved?”

“Mweow.”

“Oh, you just think I’m attractive?”

“Mweow.”

“Why thank you, I’ve always thought my eyes were my strong point too.”

Xander lifted Benji off his face and set him down beside him. The cat instantly snuggled up to his side. “If only all my lovers could have been like you. Minus the hair, you know.”

Xander threw the covers off of him. His pillow was soaked through with cold sweat and the cool air came as a relief to his boxer-clad body. “I will return showered and bearing food.” Benji purred his consent.

After the water was turned to boiling, and Xander had stripped off his boxers, he wondered if he should...take off the edge so he wouldn’t embarrass himself as much during The Scene. He decided that would be the best course of action.

No use making this any worse than it has to be

Xander collected some of the bubbles after washing his hair and reached down to his uninterested member.

Oh come one!

But every time he’d work up a good naked girly image in his mind, the terrifying anticipation would hit him square in the stomach and leave him breathing hard. But not in the good way. He finally gave up. But you better stay this indifferent Xander hoped for once in his life he
would not get a hard on.

The drive to work wasn’t any better. It seemed like he hit all the red lights, adding to his already taut as a bow apprehension. The music wasn’t helping either. Xander suddenly wished he hadn’t gotten satellite radio.

“I’ll take you to the candy shop

I'll let you lick the lollypop

Go 'head girl, don't you stop

Keep goin 'til you hit the spot (whoa)”


Click!

“And now, the end is near

And so I face the final curtain

You cunt, I'm not a queer

I'll state my case, of which I'm certain

I've lived a life that's full

And each and every highway

And yet, much more than this

I did it my way”


Click!

“You know I think I’ll stick to AM.”

And so Xander rode out the dreading, the teasing, the very much avoiding any vampires, and the cowering in his dressing room after every shoot. By lunchtime he was so wound up he couldn’t even sit.

“Oh god, Wills I don’t know what to do!”

Willow sat on the couch in her dressing room eating her lunch.

“I thought we already went over this.”

“I know but what if I mess up! What if he laughs at me the whole time!

What if I-” He stopped himself there, turning away from her as his face lit up and began gnawing a fingernail. Xander could practically hear her grin.

“What if you...get a little excited?”

Xander stomped his foot and threw his empty Diet Coke can at her.

“Stop making fun of me!” He screeched. She giggled uncontrollably and Xander waited angrily for her to stop.

“I didn’t laugh at you when you did those sex scenes with Seth!”

Willow nodded. “I know. It’s because I wasn’t freaked out and screaming like a girl.

“I’m not-!” Xander lowered his voice to a much more manly level. “I’m not fucking screaming like a girl.”

“You’re right.”

Xander nodded. Of course I am

“You’re screaming like a girly man.”

Xander stomped out of her dressing room. She’s obviously out of her mind

I can’t do this

Why not? It’s just one hot sexy scene with a hot sexy blonde. Just close your eyes or whatever and get done with it

But I-

Just
do it

Xander gathered the frayed remains of his courage and stepped out of his dressing room. The hall was unnaturally cool in only a robe and boxers. Oh god. Here we go







While Buffy and Willow had gone away to college Xander had done some thinking. Pretty serious thinking, considering how he usually thought.

But the plain fact was, when he had been younger he had seen everything in black and white. Good and Bad. Demon and Human. Straight and Gay.

But as he got older and had more time to think, he decided that some gray area was good. Now, Xander saw things only in shades of gray. The black had long since faded and, well, nothing stays white forever.

And this—this acting thing. He’d not taken to it at first. In fact he’d hated it at first. It was like reliving the most painful moments of your life again and again until the director decided it was enough and displayed it for the entire world.

But he’d soon realized that he got to play the best times over again too. He’d played meeting Anya (even if it was just an actor) again, helping out his friends, and he got to feel the triumph of Good over Evil again. It may be simulated, but it was enough to let him sleep at night. It was a second time around.

Xander stood outside the set. The fear he’d fought down all day finally faded for a moment as he realized what this really could be.


A second chance.







He’d never seen Spike in anything less than a pair of jeans and his Docs and now almost understood why Buffy had added him to her list of experiences.

Guh

The harsh lighting around his bedroom apartment set accentuated his platinum hair and shadows gathered in the hollows of his cheekbones.

His collarbone looks sharp enough to slice bread with. In nothing but black boxers he lounged against a ladder trying to look aloof but the occasional gnaw on his chipped nails betrayed that.

Xander turned to flee.

And was, of course, stopped by David.

He’s really gotten too good at that lurking thing. Do they give lessons for that?

“I was just getting a-”

“Well now you’re getting onto the set.” And he pushed Xander onto it.

Spike whipped his eyes up when he heard Xander’s stumble. His eyes blazed for a second but cooled instantly.

“A little eager, now are we?”

Xander tried in vain to fight another wave of the flush that refused to leave his cheeks.

I’m going to be burnt to a crisp by the end of this

Xander faced the most opposite direction of Spike he could find. As he forced deep breaths into his lungs, he saw someone waiting beside the cameras that he usually never saw before shoots.

“Hey Xander,” Joss walked up to him smiling.

“Hey Joss!” Xander attempted to return the gesture but probably ended up scaring the man with the unnatural shape his mouth twisted itself into.

“What are you doing here?”

Joss shrugged. “Just came to watch the filming.” The faint reminisce of a grin graced his lips.

“Uh huh...” It came out just below a squeak.

“Well, I’ve got to go. But let me tell you, I think this scene will be one of my favorites.”

Xander watched slack-jawed while Joss turned on his heel and walked away.

Wha...Wait. Could he be-

Xander shook his head.

Of course not

He turned back to the set and revisited the problem at hand.

The preparations, the positioning, and with ‘Action!’ fading from the room, Xander grabbed Spike and slammed their lips together.

Yeah, let’s try to hurt him as much as possible through this Or at least that what he would have thought if //!!!// had stopped circling though his mind.

Spike and he had kissed before a few times, but nothing like this.

Muscled arms came up to cross around his head and pull him forward. He couldn’t help the moan that escaped when Spike quickly turned him around and pinned him to the bed. Xander’s breath made shallow trips in and out the few times Spike let him up for air. Spike was really into it, one leg swung around to lock against Xander’s. His cool wet tongue slid in and out of Xander’s mouth, circling his lips then delving back in with force. Xander felt himself harden instantly and suddenly had mixed feelings about the thin boxers containing him.

Everyone’s watching

Xander’s eyes flew open and he saw the girls offset gasping and covering their mouths with their hands, presumably to stop the squealing that would ensue without the cover.

Xander froze up instantly. Spike seemed to sense this and turned his head to bite Xander’s ear, making him gasp.

“C’mon Pet, can’t do this by me’self.”

Xander bit back his worries and drew his hands up where they grabbed Spike’s mussed hair and smashed him back to his own mouth.

God I hope we only need one take. I’m not going to last for a second


“Cut!”

The yell both relieved and infuriated Xander who sat back panting while sweat streamed into his eyes.

“Okay, take ‘em off, boys!” Now for the naked scene. Xander quickly slid under the covers. Spike, not one for modesty, just stripped off his own and threw them to the crowd.

Willow caught them with a squeal. Xander pulled off his own, panic rising as he realized Spike would be able to see his excitement.

Oh well Xander finally agreed with that nagging voice.

But when Spike turned back to the covered Xander, he saw with some more relief and a nice dose of shock that Spike was just as hard as himself.

Oh, well that will make things much less awkward

But in a way it did. He wasn’t the only one.

Still, Xander’s face burned crimson and he tried in vain to avoid staring. He’d fooled around with guys only twice before, and never even gotten as far as he and Spike were about to pretend. But he wasn’t left with any time to panic as the director shouted the go-ahead again and suddenly Spike was on top of him. Under the covers with him. And they were kissing again.

Spike was closer now, pressing into him and Xander found himself lost in the smooth cool skin. His hand ran up and down Spike’s back and along his sides, coming up and stopping to grip his shoulders.

Spike pulled his mouth away from Xander’s and licked a long trail down his neck, beginning at his ear and stopping just below the collarbone.

Xander groaned and bucked up into him. He wound his legs around Spike’s back and pulled him forward. Spike pushed into his thigh and then Xander remembered that this wasn’t real. He groaned loudly, faking the feeling of Spike entering him, and why did he suddenly wish he wasn’t faking?

Spike thrust against him and Xander couldn’t help but push back. Then Spike bit down on his lip with blunt teeth and Xander forgot they were acting.







The bar was all but empty, which was exactly the reason Xander had chosen it. A few late-nighters lingered at the counter, sipping their drinks and staring at the TV, or just staring into space as Xander did.

He had forgotten what number he was on, but the next kept tasting better than the last and he was determined to find out if this continued to be true.

The seconds or minutes, maybe hours, slid by with ease and without thought until a hand landed on his shoulder. He looked up into bright green eyes.

“Hey, um, sorry to bother you, but...Are you Xander Harris?”

Hey, that’s my name!

He nodded and grinned. “Yeah, that’s me.”

The dark-haired young man smiled back.

“Wow, that’s really cool.” And although Xander wasn’t feeling very cool, he was feeling very drunk. And very careless.

“Hey,” He called to the slowly retreating man. Eager eyes turned back to his blurred ones.

“Would you help me home?”

The returned smile was laced with intent. “I’d love to.”





Chapter Seven



Xander woke to the novel feeling of someone beside him. And to the still-sort-of-novel-but-not-nearly- as-much-fun feeling that someone was hacking his head apart from the inside and playing heavy metal music while they did it. He tried to recall the events of- yesterday? A week ago? He must have been lying there for a considerable amount of time for him to have stuck to the sheets so soundly.

Wait- stuck to the sheets?

A snatch of pale skin and shock white hair assailed his memory. Spike. His heart slammed into his throat and his eyes flew open, quickly taking in the body next to him. A mass of wild black hair rested on his pillow.

Okay, either that’s not him or Spike really looks different in the morning

The hair murmured and turned around. Xander watched as blindingly green eyes flickered open and brightened when they saw him. A lazy grin stretched the young man’s mouth. “Hey.”

Now, despite what a few teachers and a certain blonde vampire would say, Xander is not dense. Sticky sheets + Major hangover + Naked guy in his bed = No way I’m going to work today.

The guy drew his arms out from under the stained Guh sheets and stretched. He can’t be any more than nineteen

A sudden weight ploughed into Xander’s stomach and he wondered how the guy had even gotten into the bar. His memory was slowly restocking, but the holes gaped at him and begged for explanation.

“Uh...” Xander’s voice was rough and slightly hoarse. He cleared his throat. The green eyed guy cocked his head to the side, a slightly knowing smile on his lips. “Let me guess, what the fuck happened?”

“Yeah, something along those lines, although emphasis on the fuck.”

He nodded. “Well, I just ran into you at a bar last night and you needed some help getting home. Needless to say, I ended up staying and we-”

Xander held up a hand. “Okay, I think I’ve got it.”

The guy obviously saw how flustered he was and the cockiness disappeared. “Well, I guess I’ll go...Um...Thanks, I guess.”

He awkwardly threw his legs over the side of the bed.

Xander saw the embarrassment and knew exactly how that felt.

A snatch of wolf whistles and laughter.

He grabbed the guy’s arm. “Hey, Harry Potter, how about a shower first? I think you could use it.” A blush on both sides as Xander deliberately Didn’t Look at the nakedness.

The guy nodded quickly and stood, disappearing behind the bathroom door. Xander heard the shower start after a moment. He dropped his head into his hand.


After he had dressed and the guy I don’t even know his name had redressed in his clothes from the night before, he attempted another hasty leave.

Xander stopped him with “What’s you name?”

The question caught him off guard and for a moment he didn’t seem to have an answer. “R-Randall,” he stammered.

Xander smiled and a decision formed in his lonely mind.

“Well...how about you leave your number.”

Another flush and Randall nodded, searching and finding a pen on the bedside table and scribbling on a sticky note. He then mumbled about really needing to go and let himself out the door.

Xander spent the rest of the day in a daze and on the couch, nursing his head and trying to block out the alarms that sounded way too loud in it. Every so often a memory would hit him hard and he would be reeling from shame and nausea, flushed and sprawled out on the couch.

I’ll never be able to face him again. Any of them.

For once there was no voice to contradict, and Xander found that even more depressing than if there had been. He rolled over and went to sleep.








'Scratch'


...


'Scratch scratch'


...


'HISS'


Xander’s head popped up Ow and he stared at Benji staring reproachfully at him from his perch on Xander’s belly.

He groaned. “Oh damnit, I’m sorry Benj.” He got up slowly and only a few silvery stars flickered at the outskirts of his vision. He walked to the kitchen and opened a can of cat food, Benji still watching with an accusing eye. “I haven’t exactly been at my best these few days.”

“Mweow.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Mweow.”

“What?! No! It has nothing to do with him. He’s just a stupid vampire that I’m forced to...act with.” Xander shook his head. “I don’t even really like him.” He set down the bowl of cat food.

Benji walked stiffly over, inspected it, sniffed it, decided it would do, and inhaled it.

Xander dropped into a kitchen chair and watched him.

“I mean, I do like him. We’re...friends, you know? It’s been a while since I’ve had a good male friend. One that isn’t a physical clone of Deadboy or has his nose in a book all freakin’ day.” Xander sighed.

Benji glanced up at him then continued munching.

“Yeah, so it’s kind of sad. But under it all...deep, deep under it all, I think Spike isn’t really that bad. I mean he’s evil but he’s not Evil, you know?” 'Crunch crunch'

Xander napped for the rest of the day.








The day he had woken to find Randall in bed with him was Friday, so Xander had Saturday and Sunday to himself without HangoverZilla. He’d ignored the calls when Caller ID announced W. Rosenburg or D. Boreanaz.

On Sunday Xander felt restless and he yearned for something to occupy his mind with. He was considering another movie when he saw Randall’s number on the nightstand.

He picked it up and read the seven numbers. And then there was one of those ‘Well, it can’t get any worse’ feelings, like after you’ve been on almost all the roller coasters and gorged on hot dogs to the point of irreversible sickness. And ‘Well, it can’t get any worse’ so I might as well ride the last one.

Xander picked up the phone and dialed the number. He’d conveniently forgotten the hours of vomiting that always follows the ride after returning home.







Xander saw Randall standing nervously outside the diner, fidgeting with the zipper on his jacket while trying to look casual.

“Hey.” Xander started.

Whoa, can nineteen-year-olds get heart attacks?

“Hey,” it was half an embarrassed laugh and half a terrified one.

“How about we go inside,” Xander suggested and they did.

“So. Randall,” he began once they were seated at a window booth in the almost-busy diner. “Do you...go to college here?”

Randall glanced down at the table, obviously dampened by the question. “No...Most of my friends do, but...” He shrugged, growing even more uncomfortable.

Well, looks like we have another Zeppo here, folks

Xander regarded him with almost a familiar affection. Randall looked like he felt out of place, awkward, and not a little confused as to why a TV actor had called him up for lunch. Oh yeah, I know this guy

Xander smiled. “So, have you ever seen Star Wars?”


A lunch, a few drinks, a lot of laughter, and three blocks later, Randall finally said he had to get home. “Hey, I had a great time.” He smiled, all traces of awkwardness long since vanished from his face and posture.


“Me too. So, Wednesday at 7?” Randall nodded, his frivolous black hair bouncing strands into his eyes. “See you Xander!”

Xander watched him until he was out of sight and slowly made his way back to the car. He’d probably learned more about himself at nineteen right now than he had when he’d actually experienced it. Every eye roll and tentative smile reminded him of some point when he’d done the same. Being with Randall had made Xander feel more comfortable and amiable than he’d felt for months.

Xander started the car and backed out of the parking space.

We even have the same taste in comics

Xander told Benji all about Randall when he got home and was nestled between cat and couch.

“It doesn’t hurt that he’s cute, either.”

“Mweow.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Mweow.”

“Him?! Why do you always have to bring up him?! He’s not cute! Okay, well he does have the whole bad-boy thing down and those cheekbones...but he’s definitely not cute! Besides, why does it even matter what I think about Spike? It’s not like I would date him,” Xander barked a laugh. “Yeah, I can see that, ‘Hey, Spike Sweetie, do you think this shirt makes me looks fat?’ ‘Of course not, Xan Honey, but I think you look great any way.’”

Xander snorted. “We’re just friends,” he concluded to Benji’s ridiculous notion.

“Mw-”

“And don’t even MENTION that because that was just ACTING and I swear I’ll take your squeaky mouse away for a WEEK if I hear another word about that damn vampire!”

Xander stomped upstairs to bed.

Benji waited for a good two minutes then hid his squeaky mouse under the bookcase.





Chapter Eight



Xander waited outside the back door for seven minutes before he walked inside. Despite his mental shouting match, he knew that this would be the best thing.

I’ll have to face them eventually

Checking both directions and ducking low, he slinked down the hall and turned a corner and went a little further...'BAM' He slammed his dressing room door. He sighed in relief. Okay, that went well

“So, what’s your excuse?”

AHHHH!

“AHHHH!”

Xander whipped around to see David lounging on his couch with his shoes (and feet inside them) on his table. “What the fuck are you doing here?!”

“Waiting for you.”

He seems to be doing a lot of that

“Why?” Xander glowered at him and cursed his failure to inspect the room before locking the door.

“I haven’t seen or talked to you for four days.” David lowered his shoes (and feet) from the table. “I called you twenty times.” Thirteen “We were worried about you.”

“‘We’?”

“Willow, Buffy, Giles, Dawn, me...and Spike.”

Xander was sure his eyes glowed red that time. “Yeah! I’m sure they were desperately worrying where they’d get their next harrassment fix from!” he scoffed. Xander unlocked the door and swung it open. “Get out David.”

“Xander-”

“No, don’t ‘Xander’ me. I’m sick of your ‘Please’s’ and your Puppy Dog Eyes and your stupid scenes! Now get out of my room or I’ll clean it out and leave and won’t come back!”

David stared at him for a moment more, masked surprise and sadness failing to hide his disappointment. He left without a word. Xander closed the door behind him without slamming it.

Barely.

It can’t be that bad

Oh, look who’s Mr. Positive all of a sudden

No I mean, they really were probably worried

Yeah, I’m sure

C’mon, this is Willow! She will be sorry. Even Buffy might

Yeah, well what about
him

He wasn’t laughing

Not while I was there! He’s was probably too surprised with-

...God why do I even care what
he thinks?

Well, maybe Benji was right


Xander took a moment to reflect upon the absurdity of what he had just thought and the insanity his life had become. He was now considering taking advice from his cat. That’s got to be up there with talking to your penis.

What is that supposed to mean, exactly?

Maybe you do...feel something for Spike

Wh-!

Oh come on, I’m
you. I know what you feel and there’s no denying it

Well then...What am I supposed to do? Not that I’m saying I like him...that way, but it’s not like it would ever work

Why not?

Let’s start with the obvious. He’s a vampire. Evil, bloodsucking, and although he may not be your typical vamp, if he ever got the chip out we wouldn’t know what he’d do. Also, vampire means no happy family to come home to. It seems like a very lonely life in my perspective


A soft knock on the door interrupted his reasoning. Xander wasn’t sure if he should open it or not.

“Who is it?” He finally called.

“Your favorite witch in the whole wide world?”

Xander couldn’t help but smile at the timid voice.

“Oh, Sabrina. Come on in.” The door opened and a pouting red head stepped in.

“Sabrina?” She scoffed.

“Oh, you’re up there somewhere.” Willow sat lightly and slowly on the edge of a chair as if she were afraid it would break under her or Xander would break it from under her.

“So...” She said after a moment. “How’ve you been?”

“Besides the hangovers, the complete and total humiliation, and the taking advice from my cat? Fine, thanks. How ‘bout you?”

She grimaced and Xander felt a sick twinge of pride and a much larger twinge of regret. He didn’t say anything more though.

“Xander, I’m so sorry. Not just because of yesterday but for being so unsupportive through...this whole thing. I know this has got to have been really hard, what with just coming out and all, and suddenly you have to act like you’re in love with someone you’ve known forever! I really haven’t been taking this seriously enough, and I’m sorry.”

The anger dissipated as soon as she had started talking, and by the end he was back to loving her. Good old Willow He got up and hugged her. Her shoulders slumped with relief and she smiled.

“It’s okay.” He said softly, and for the moment it was.

“But...I am never coming out of this room again.”

She laughed a little and shook her head. “They weren’t really laughing at you, Xander. They were just...surprised. I mean, that was pretty hot.” She blushed still with a small smile.

“Well- but...what about Spike? He laughed at me, I’m sure of it.” Xander scowled, just picturing Spike smirking and laughing at him made a fresh wave of shame topple over.

But to his surprise, Willow snorted. “Spike? What would he have to laugh about? He did the same thing as you after all.”

That information took a few seconds longer than usual to process and left Xander gaping.

What?!

“What?! You mean...” His eyes widened. “He...finished, too??”

Willow’s surprise was evident. “What do you mean? You didn’t notice?”

Xander rapidly thought back to that moment he before had refused to revisit but couldn’t remember anything about Spike...finishing.

I know I would have remembered that

Xander shook his head. “Wait, but seriously?”

Willow nodded. “And god was he mortified. Mr. No-Modesty sure can run to his dressing room fast.” She grinned.

Whoa

After a moment of contemplation, Xander turned back to Willow. He smiled. “Thanks, Wills. Love you, you know.” She flushed happily. “Now get out. I need to be beautified before my next scene.”








It wasn’t so bad. If Xander had thought people would be coming up and laughing in his face, he got very much the opposite. In fact, people seemed to avoid him in order not to upset him. It was nice, though. It showed they really didn’t want to tease him.

Xander only saw Spike twice; he was never in the same scene as him, thanks to the writers who had probably taken pity on him. Yes, pity me!

At the end of the day, however, Xander opened his door to a very tentative, very doubtful Spike. He almost closed the door in his face out of panic.

“Er...” Spike didn’t seem very sure of himself. “I was wondr’in if, ah...” He cleared his throat. “Let’s grab a beer, mate.”

Xander blinked.

’Grab a beer, mate’? What’s that supposed to mean?

“A...”

“Beer.”

“A beer.”

“Yes.”

“Like...”

“Right now?”

“Right now.”

“Yes.”

Xander blinked.









Xander fiddled with the label on his beer. Spike fiddled with his cigarette lighter. They both fiddled with what to say.

“So...” Xander looked up at him.

“Good game.” Spike nodded towards the TV in the corner.

“Yeah. Ball game. They’re good. I like balls.”

...

“Of the foot and basket-type variety.”

“Yeah.”

Xander took another long swig. Spike took another long drag.

“So, how’ve you been?”

“Oh, good. You know. Went out with a friend yesterday.”

Why did I say that?

But it earned a strange glance from Spike.

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, we met...a little while ago. He’s cool.”

“Tha’s good.”

“Yeah...what about you?”

“Oh, y’know, mass murder, hysteria, pick pocketing. The usual.”

“That’s good.”

Wow, everything’s so good

“Heard from the Pouf the other day.”

Hm?

“Really? What’d old Deadboy have to say?”

Spike cleared his throat and mumbled something.

“What was that?”

“He said he’s really enjoyin’ the show.”

Xander gulped and stared at the TV. Even from LA Angel could still jab him in the ribs. “Well, he is a pouf.” he offered.

Spike snorted. Xander grinned. Angel-Bashing. The best form of male bonding available.

“I bet he got ‘is hair all in a twist.”

“Even worse than his panties.”

“Bet ‘e couldn’t relax enough for his manicure the ‘ole day.”

“Probably couldn’t even drink his low-fat blood.”

“Maybe even too flustered to stare at Wesley’s arse.”

They both laughed. Yes, nothing like making fun of Angel’s feminine attributes with your pretend male lover who wears eyeliner and nail polish

The tension was gone, however, and conversation flowed like it used to.








By the time Wednesday rolled Zoomed around Xander was in higher spirits and even higher anticipation. He couldn’t believe how much he was looking forward to seeing Randall again. Promptly at seven, he spotted the dark-haired bright-eyed young man standing at the theater door chatting on his cell phone.

Xander announced his presence with a tap on the shoulder and Randall turned around with an instant smile and a “Call you back later.”

“I already got our tickets,” he said, snapping the cell phone shut and tucking it into his pocket.

“Great.”

They entered the theater and gave their tickets to the collector person. They agreed to get popcorn (and three bags of candy) and got in line. “Who was on the phone?”

Randall shrugged. “My friend, Michael. He’s convinced he’s found the perfect singer for our band. That last ‘perfect singer’ he found turned out to be a 30 year old guy with a very disturbing criminal record.” He shook his head. “He can be very frustrating.”

“You have a band?” Xander asked appraisingly. Damn, I wish I had a band. They get to say cool things like ‘gig’

Randall nodded. “Yeah, we play some pop-rock stuff; alternative. ‘Lotta emo.”

...

“Oh...cool.”

Wow, I feel old.

They ordered the snacks and found the correct theater after a few tries. Randall wanted a place near the middle and Xander agreed.

The movie was a comedy with some actors with some problems or something. When it was over he smiled and said he liked it, and followed Randall out of the theater. But the nagging voice in his head he wished he could ignore kept pointing out he’d had more fun with Spike.

But Spike’s not here.

So before he drove Randall home he paused in the theater parking lot. Randall looked at him almost cautiously and maybe waiting.


“...Hey, I-” But Randall leaned over and cut off all speech. The kiss was hesitant and slow without being awkward. The five-year age gap was overruled by the familiarity in each other and the result was bittersweet. Xander drove them both back to his place.

These encounters gave Xander a sense of exhilaration, an unnatural high that he had so rarely felt. It was like going 70 when the speed limit is 40. He could only hope he would get caught before he crashed.





Chapter Nine



Xander was beginning to get used to, and like very much, the feeling of someone in your arms. Whether it be waking up (or falling asleep) with Randall or Willow determined to stay close with him, he discovered he really liked the contact. On the nights that Randall was absent (becoming fewer and fewer) he just lugged Benji upstairs and held him down until he finally fell asleep.

Sure, he scampered away during the middle of the night, but the initial contact was nice.

And physical contact wasn’t the only thing he’d acquired a desire for.

Xander found himself staying after filming and talking with David or other crew members. Even with Buffy whom he had grown more and more distant from as she reveled in the spotlight and he reluctantly hovered around the edges. He actually went to one of Dawn’s clubs

It’s hard not to think of her as a fourteen-year-old still

and quickly decided he would live a long happy life if he NEVER had to see her dance that close to a boy again.

And then there was Spike. He confused Xander more these days than he ever had; popping up randomly requesting a beer or other causal meeting.

It was nice, though, and the tension had diminished considerably. But Xander couldn’t help but feel like Spike was...sad somehow.

Well, maybe not sad...More like scared out of his frickin’ mind. Underneath the friendliness and ‘Hey, mate’s there seemed to be this raw-edged panic, like he was hiding something. Xander chose to ignore it and relish the time they did spend together, because Spike made him happy in a way he refused to analyze.

And Randall. Happy shiver He loved spending time with Randall, be it in or outside the bedroom. He made him laugh, made him think, made him smile.

Randall not only was a lover but a companion he now couldn’t (and refused) to picture himself without. And he helped distract him from the dreams of white hair and blue, blue eyes.









Xander (on the show) was going through a rough patch, however.

Damnit, I can never be fully happy can I? Curse you, writers!

Spike and he had a fight and were not on the best of terms. Must everything on the show be completely opposite?

They had just finished shooting a piece where Xander was talking to Willow about his problem with Spike. After that they filmed a scene where Spike and he were happy and reunited.

Damn out-of-text filming! I can never understand anything!

“So...how exactly is that transition taking place?” He asked Zach curiously. The director suddenly became very uncomfortable.

“You know, um, how about you ask David.” He mumbled and scuttled away.

Dum dum dum

Xander suspiciously regarded this turn of events and formulated an equation to help him figure it out

Because everyone does that when they’re confused, right?

Hm...Angry Xander + Angry Spike + ? = Happy couple

...

!!!

!!!


WHOA!

BACK UP!


Xander’s eyes grew as wide as saucers. The thing that brings angry partners back together? Only one possibility.

Make-up sex.








Xander fought not to break out in a fit of shivering. He had a cold beer in one hand and a phone in the other. He took a sip of the phone and dialed the beer. Backed up, switched them, and Willow soon picked up on the other end.

“Hello, Willow Rosen-”

“We’re doing it again.”

Ten minutes later he was wrapped in blankets on her couch.

“You know it won’t be as bad this time.”

“I know.”

She frowned. “Then why are you so freaked out?”

He looked up at her with fear and confusion in his big brown eyes.

“Because I’m looking forward to it.”







Rehearsed, made-up, and stripped, Xander waited outside the set. He spotted Spike at the other end and his stomach erupted into tiny little butterflies. David sidled up beside him.

“You okay? You look kind of...Well, I’d say dead, but we’ve been doing so well and I don’t want to jinx it.”

Xander just smiled a little shakily.

“Actually...I’m good.” David’s eyebrow’s rose but he didn’t comment. They just both continued watching Spike smoke, the ash fall onto his unprotected belly, and curse.

“Well, good luck. I mean, break a leg.” David disappeared from his side and Xander hesitantly walked over to Spike.

“So...we’re doing this again.”

Ahem “Yeah. Well, gotta keep viewers like Angel on their toes, you know.”

“Heh, yeah. ‘Cause we all know how flustered he gets when his shows aren’t dramatic enough.”

They shared a nervous chuckle. Then it was time to film and they began...acting.








This time Xander took the initiative. He pinned Spike against the wall and stared hard at him. “Spike, I’m sorry. I love you and nothing can change that.”

The vampire nodded, breathless and not a little surprised. His mussed hair stuck up oddly and his blue eyes seemed far too innocent.

“I love you too, Xan.” It came out a whisper.

Xander then ravaged his mouth and Spike groaned and kissed back as harshly. Xander pressed up against Spike and curled an arm around his neck, pulling away for a second for air as his breathing became coarser and a heat built in his groin. They were already naked

No time to worry about that and Spike turned them and staggered backwards until he hit the bed, pulling Xander on top of him

Out of the corner of his eye, Xander could see the cameramen changing angles so they wouldn't get any dangly bits in the shot.

Well, not so much dangly anymore as... well, let’s just say they had perked up.

Xander knew that most people had avoided watching, (at least where they could be seen) and he appreciated that. But, he realized as he looked down at Spike and smiled, he didn’t really care that much anymore.

Xander pulled his knees up to Spike’s sides, still smiling No, smirking and leaned down to whisper hoarsely in Spike’s ear.

“Hey, I can’t do this by myself.”

Xander attacked Spike’s neck with little nips and licks and if Spike had planned to answer it was lost in the groans and useless breaths becoming erratic as Xander moved down. He sucked on that sharp, sharp collarbone, bringing borrowed blood to the surface, then quickly switched to a nipple biting lightly and licking a circle around it.

Spike yelped. Which, of course, made Xander giggle A manly giggle at the very unvampirish sound.

Spike’s strong arms came up to grip Xander’s shoulders just a bit too tightly; not enough to set off the chip but enough to leave a bruise.

Xander hoped it would. He leaned forward and thrust his cock against Spike’s thigh, eliciting a gasp from the blonde and a shudder from himself. But he had promised himself he wouldn’t get out of control, he refused to go through that humiliation again.

Spike, however, seemed to have made no such promise. His back arched and he pulled Xander closer to him, either acting very well or trying to get more friction.

Xander tightened his grip on control and on Spike’s shoulders, screwing his eyes shut and restraining his thrusts.

Spike groaned loudly beneath him and Xander’s hands slid slightly in the sweat-slick hold they had on him. Xander decided enough was enough and if he didn’t stop humping Spike’s leg he’d come all over it. He pulled away panting.

“Cut, and scene!”

Xander slowly slipped his boxers back on, drenched his face in cold water, drove to Randall’s house and fucked him up against the wall.









They eventually went back to Xander’s for a quieter, more private time. Randall had been taken aback at the bruises Naughty shiver on his arms and shoulders but Xander assured him that the acting had just gotten a little rough, which was true after all.

He didn’t question why Xander was on top of or touching him at all times, though he didn’t seem to mind much either. He was surprised, however, when the doorbell rang at 10:57 while they were snuggled in blankets on the couch; less surprised by the time than by the fact that Xander had a visitor at all. He hadn’t even realized he had a doorbell.

Xander told him to wait and got up, wearing only his silky black pajama bottoms, and walked to the door. He couldn’t see through the window; too dark. So he trusted that no one with a gun or baseball bat would be on the other end and opened it.

Spike opened his mouth as if to say something quickly but then it just hung there as he saw Xander.

“Guh...er, I mean.” Gulp “Sorry if I upset your chest- er rest, just uh...”

He had that same panicked look Xander had spotted in brief flashes throughout the week. “Can I come in?” He finally asked, almost timidly.

Xander stared at him, dumbstruck. “Sure,” he finally replied instead of the millions of questions and exclamation points that swirled through his head. He stepped aside and Spike entered, looking even more Beautiful eerily pale in the lack of light.


Spike sighed and matched Xander’s eyes with an expression Xander had never seen on him before but recognized from his own use of it. “Xander, I-”

“Xan, who was it?”

Both heads turned to see Randall standing concerned in the hallway.

Also in only pajama bottoms. Spike’s eyes seem to bug out for a moment and his jaw dropped open again. He had the look of someone that had just realized they didn’t have enough money for the bus.

Then his head ducked and Xander could see the absolute sadness reflected in the impossibly blue eyes.

“You know, I think I’ll just-” And turned on his heel and stumbled out the door before Xander could grab him.

And that was where his duster would have swirled dramatically around his legs, but Xander knew he didn’t wear the duster any more; only to pretend.





Chapter Ten



For a spit second Xander almost stepped out the door after Spike. That impulsive didn’t-even-know-I-was-going-to-do-it-before-I-did-it part of him that seemed to show itself whenever he was around Spike told him to RUN out the door.

But Randall put a hand on his arm and Xander couldn’t move an inch.

“Is everything...okay?”

Xander blinked and looked at Randall. His hair was wild(er than usual) and his eyes looked huge in the moonlight. Xander wished they were blue so he could see if they looked like the ocean at night.

His thoughts were strangely scarce and the few that managed to leak through were ones he shouldn’t be thinking about and things he shouldn’t know.

Like how the hairs at the base of Spike’s neck that had escaped the years of harsh gelling were as soft as silk, and how he used mint toothpaste to cover up the cigarette smell, but the taste was even more intoxicating than the cigarettes themselves.

Xander shouldn’t know that Spike smelled like vanilla and he was ticklish where his jawline met his ears, and he shouldn’t know that just by placing a hand at the small of his back he would get hard. He shouldn’t know. But he did.

Xander went back to bed without answering Randall.







You can’t keep doing this

Why not?

It’s not fair. To you or him

I’m not avoiding him-

Just not answering his calls


Xander pointedly looked away as the phone rang again.

Benji glared up at him.

“Well I can’t unplug it; that’d be just rude.”

Benji put his head back on his paws.

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me!”

'Ring'

Xander sighed.

Well what should I do?

What do you want to do?

Stupid shrink talk. And god, what don’t I want?

To be happy again with Randall, not to be thinking about pale skin and taut muscles every ten
Five seconds.

Maybe a regular 9-5 job where he didn’t have to worry about lurking directors and sex scenes with vampires. Some cat hair-resistant clothes.

A sexy blonde vampire chained up in your bed for your pleasure

Well, I wouldn’t mind a- HEY!


snerk


Xander groaned and snatched up the phone. “Hello?”

“...Xander?” He obviously was thrown off by the gruff voice.

“Randall,” Xander feigned relief. “Sorry, I thought it was someone else,” he lied.


“Okay.” Randall still didn’t seem very certain.

Xander sighed. “Listen, I’m sorry Randall. For being so...stupid last night. I was just a little...startled from Sp-...the visitor.” Yeah, that’s not helping the suspicion.

Xander waited a moment then tried again. “Can you come over?”


“When?”

“Right now?”

A pause. “Right now? Well, my band has a gig Heh, 'gig'.

That’s so cool
in a few hours but I might be able to call

if off-”

“No, no, I’ll just talk to you tommorow.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. Bye, Randall”

“Okay. Bye, Xan.”

Xander hung up and puttered around the house in half confusion and half panic.










At the studio the next day, Xander subconsciously sought out Spike but didn’t see him. He casually asked Willow about it later and she replied, “Actually he came in early.

I know. Something must be wrong. He’s been in his dressing room most of the day.”

Xander felt a confusing stab of guilt and a less confusing stab of curiosity.

What was he going to say last night?

I don’t know!

Well, he seemed pretty upset to see Randall

So? That doesn’t mean anything

God, you’re so dense. He 'likes' you, Xander!

...Wait-

YES, he 'likes' you likes you. Don’t you dare start up that again


Xander’s heart did a convincing impression of a rabbit’s. His palms started to sweat and he vigorously wiped them on his jeans.

Well so what if he does? I don’t

What?

I like Randall

Do you?

Stop with the fucking shrink talk already!

Well then stop being in such fucking denial! You think about him constantly, you love spending time with him, you
dream about him for god’s sake!

Xander felt the truth hit him hard in the chest. He did. He liked Spike. A lot. He loved spending time with him, talking to him, going to that movie with him. He loved pretending to have sex with him.

What if it didn’t have to be pretend?

Xander felt an involuntary shiver wrack his body. He pictured the long lean body on his own bed with no cameras around and his body reacted instantly.

Oh god.

Xander swallowed hard.

But what about Randall?

Xander felt a pang of guilt; he almost felt as if he had cheated on Randall.

Are you even really “going out” with him? You’ve been to a movie and lunch.

And had a lot of sex

Yeah, a lot of sex-


Really good sex

Yes, yes, really good sex-

And-

Shutup!


Sorry. Please continue.

'Anyways,' good sex aside, you have barely gone on what can be called a “date.” You don’t love each other, and he’s 'nineteen'

So? Spike is one hundred twenty...something. Age isn’t exactly a deciding factor here.

But you don’t love Randall.

Well I don’t love Spike either.

What if he loves you
?

No. Spike didn’t love him. Liked, he could accept. Even believe. But love- he just couldn’t fathom. Not that he didn’t believe Spike could love; he’d tossed that notion years ago when Xander could finally see the definite line between love from obsession.

But Spike, Evil Vampire who roamed with Angelus, killed and tortured thousands, had a thing with Buffy, and can pull off the eyeliner look? No.

He didn’t— couldn’t love Xander.

But that didn’t mean he didn’t like him. A lot, possibly.

Xander’s head spun with possibilities and he tried to shoot them down but they kept getting too damn high.


“Xander.” He jumped about a foot into the air.

“Holy fuck, don’t-”

He turned to see Spike, mocking that pose from the first time he had appeared before his dressing room door and every time after.

That almost shy posture with an expression a puppy who was afraid of getting kicked might adopt.

It completely disarmed Xander and he couldn’t help but smile supportively. Then, of course, he remembered the circumstances of their relationship and his head ducked too.

“Can I, um,” Spike shifted on his feet and blinked a few times.

“Can we maybe...talk, a bit?”

Xander was surprised at Spike’s persistence to...talk. He’d thought that after last night he wouldn’t see the vampire face to face for at least a week. And actually, he’d like to talk. He nearly answered but then remembered his previous engagement with Randall for that day.

And the call for decision. Stay with Randall or follow Spike. Either way he had no idea what would happen, but he’d already tried the first one and it had earned him an endlessly ringing phone and a pissed off cat.

Spike was another matter entirely. He just wasn’t sure that if he went with him, he could ever go back. The chance was that tempting, and Xander had already been teased with a sample by those few scenes. He wasn’t sure if Randall would

ever do it for again if the possibility of Spike dangled on the other end.

Randall or Spike?

Xander looked at Spike with his plain white T-shirt and well-worn jeans that pooled slightly above his Docs. His eyes were on something far to the left and his mouth was drawn in a half-dreading but hopeful line.

Xander made his choice.

“I’ll get my coat.”









Randall stared at him over the table. “You’re late.”

Xander nodded, “I know-”

“Three hours late.”

Xander sighed. He gave up defending and settled for I’m Sorry Eyes. Which tended to tire the ol’ eyeballs out but it was worth a try.

“Don’t even try.”

Damnit

“I mean, you said you wanted to talk. I assumed you would maybe apologize for going robot on me last night or for ignoring my calls all day, and when I come here to talk or help with whatever made you go Antarctic, I find an empty house and a very hungry cat.”

Benji poked his head from under the table, playing the Poor Forgotten Cat. Hungry cat, my ass. I left out a whole bowl of food and you know it. The damn cat mocked him with innocent stares from the leg of the table.

“Randall, first of all, I’m so, so sorry.” He attempted a comment but Xander blocked it with a raised hand.

“I’m sorry for freaking you out last night and not answering your calls. And today I should have told you I wasn’t going to make it. I’m a really, really stupid screwup. Which you, no doubt, have figured out by now, but it still deserves a recount. Randall, I’m really sorry.”

Randall sighed. “Xander, you’re not a screwup. True, you are really an idiot sometimes, but you’re not a screwup.”

Xander smiled. “Why thanks Randall, I think that’s the nicest think y’all ever said ‘bout me.”

Randall shook his head, smiling softly. “Why don’t you tell me what happened. Start with last night.”

Xander sighed and leaned back. He wasn’t sure what to say.

“Well...It’s confusing.”

Randall cocked his head, insisting emphasis. “I’m really not sure how to tell you this.”

Xander rubbed his forehead with the heel of his palm. “First of all, what are we doing?”

“I believe it’s called sitting.”

“Come on, you know what I mean.”

“I do, but I have no idea how to answer. I mean, we aren’t exactly dating, but we have been...” He didn’t need to continue for either of them. “But I wouldn’t call us...a couple.”

Xander nodded, relieved and refusing to show it.

“Well, I-”

“Have you been fucking someone else?”

Xander blinked, taken aback. “What? No!”

“Then what are you so worked up about?”

“I...like someone else. A lot.”

Randall stared at him. Then he did something Xander had not even considered. He laughed.

“That’s it? You 'like' someone?”

Xander frowned, “You’re not upset?”

Randall barked a laugh. “Upset! I’m fucking relieved! I thought something was wrong!

Xander’s head reeled. “But I thought we...had a thing.”

“Oh we do.” Randall smiled. “We’re really good friends. I never expected anything more than that. You are Xander Harris after all.” He smiled when Xander tried to argue but stopped him.

“No matter what you say, it’s still true. People like me don’t even get to know people like you.”

Xander didn’t comment that he had been ‘people like me’ for most of his life. “I’m shocked you’re still interested in me. I really didn’t expect to see you after that first night. Really gave me a better perspective of supposed ‘stars.’

“Anyways, I think it’s great that you found someone you like. But I’d really like it if we could...stay friends, you know?” Randall smiled hopefully. Xander leaned over and took him in his arms, hugging him and almost sobbing out of relief and happiness. He’d been so worried that Randall would hate him and never want to see to him again. He now knew he’d always have Randall as a friend, and that was more important than any perfect episode.

“So, who it it?” Randall asked eagerly after the long embrace.

Xander smiled sheepishly.





Chapter Eleven



Xander felt like he was high on something; his mind seemed to buzz and the sound even reached his ears. He was bouncing off the walls, talking to Benji in brief snatches as he explained the Wonderful News to him.

(Benji pretending to be interested but really trying to watch The Bachelor finale without being disturbed by his crazed human)

The natural high finally ran itself into the ground and Xander landed on the couch, wishing it was tomorrow so he could share his Wonderful News with the person it really mattered to.

Earlier that evening:


They had fidgeted over the suggestions of numerous bars they had visited over the weeks, but Spike seemed to feel uncomfortable about going to any. Xander finally hesitantly suggested that they go to his (Spike’s) place. Then threw out a comment about not really knowing where he lived and wanting to know if cobwebs were still in season for vampires.

They arrived ten minutes later at a partially secluded apartment building. Xander was surprised; he thought Spike would be sick of apartments.

Spike’s room was on the bottom floor and he rummaged through his pockets for the key. Once out, he fumbled with it and Xander noticed his hands were shaking. His stomach tightened and

he waited anxiously while Spike unlocked the door and swung it open.

Xander was amazed at how nice the place was. It was huge, at least twice the size of his old apartment and nicely furnished with two leather couches in front of a big-screen Plasma TV. The kitchen was tucked away off to the side (fully furnished, Xander noted with amazement). All the necessities.

“Wow, this is...nice.”

Spike snorted. “Well I wasn’t very well going to live in another crypt.”

He walked to the kitchen and pulled two beers out of the refrigerator.

When in doubt, drink

Four beers and some uncomfortable positioning on the couch later, Xander finally asked what had harassed his mind all day.

“So. Last night.” Spike’s head shot up.

“You came to my house...”

He left it for Spike to finish.

Instead of finishing, he opened another beer. Uh oh

“Yeah.” He cleared his throat. Xander waited. And waited.

“So...did you have something to say?” He felt like he was on the edge of a cliff and it would only take one more tiny jab from Spike to send him plummeting down into nowhere.

“So, your boy.” Xander stumbled over the question at the change of subject and at the partially accusing tone of his voice. ‘His boy?’

Since when was Randall ‘his boy?’

“Not really ‘my boy.’” He mumbled. “Just a guy.”

He mentally kicked himself for that understatement, but this wasn’t about Randall. It was about Spike.

The vampire in question blinked. “You mean you’re not...’Cuz I swear I could smell-”

“No, we are.” SMELL?! “But it’s not like we’re...a couple or anything.” Oh I hope not, or I am getting a thrashing when I get home

“Oh.”

...‘Oh?’ That’s all I get? An ‘Oh?’ Will he look back years from now on a picture of me and say “Yeah, that’s Oh”? 'Say something'!

“And last night you came to my house to...?” Xander trailed off this time with more force and he could see Spike’s eyes retain a fraction of that panicked look and start to breathe Unnecessarily harder.


“Well,” His voice cracked a bit and he cleared his throat. “I was just, um, coming to say that I, uh...” Panicpanic “Needed some eggs.”


...

Xander saw Spike visibly flinch. Oh. My. God. I’ve actually found someone who lies worse than Anya.


“Eggs.” Spike flinched again.

“Eggs.” Flinch

“You didn’t come over for fucking eggs!” Xander yelled and Spike drew back in surprise.

“Now, you came over to my house at eleven o’clock for a fucking reason and I’m tired of fucking thinking about you all fucking day and I am really tired of worrying about what you’ll think so how about you stop fucking lying and just tell me what you fucking want!”

By the time Xander was done he was nose to nose with a slack-jawed Spike and eye to eye with a color no crayon could capture.

After a hesitantly tense moment, Spike answered his question by leaning forward the two inches and capturing Xander’s mouth in a hard kiss fueled by lust, dread, and a tiny bit of fear.

Xander grabbed Spike’s head and shoved him so his back was pressed against the couch and slid into his lap, tongue driving into Spike’s mouth before he could say “eggs.”

Spike moaned a little breathily and tried to pull Xander closer; a wasted deed as Xander was already on top of and in him.

Xander bit Spike’s swollen lower lip and Spike bucked up. Xander was now sitting on a very hard lap. Spike tasted like he remembered from the show, but he hadn’t had time to prepare by drowning the smoke smell in toothpaste and he tasted wonderfully smoky with a sweet twist of alcohol.

Xander wanted to see if the rest of him tasted as good but some small, remote, very hated brain cell suddenly barked “Randall!” and Xander stumbled off Spike, panting raggedly and reeling from the Amazing kiss.

Spike was in no better condition, lips a cherry red and eyes hooded. A pink tongue came out to taste the rest of Xander on his lips and Xander knew he had to get out of there before he really betrayed whatever he and Randall had.

“Spike I, ah-” He stumbled toward the door.

“I need to-”

“Xander wait,” Spike stood. “I didn’t mean to-”

“You didn’t,” Xander assured him. “And I’d really like to finish this...conversation, but I promised someone I’d meet them.”


“Randall.” The voice was plainly an accusation and Spike’s eyes looked pained. Or jealous

“Yeah.” Xander admitted. “But I-”

“Oh, save it for your boy.” Spike stormed out of the room.

“Wait!” He didn’t. “I’ll talk to you later!” Xander promised to the empty room and closed the door softly.









So, no, not the best parting, but I hope he will understand.

Xander waited impatiently for Tomorrow.


'Rin-' Xander slammed down the alarm, tore off his boxers and jumped into the shower Ow ow surely burning away years of his life before he got adjusted, quickly soaped up, rinsed out, and toweled off. Benji watched from the doorway with eyes as big as his water dish.

“Big day, big day,” Xander mumbled excitedly and ran out the door with his clothes half on.

He almost got pulled over for a ticket twice, but managed to get to the studio in record time despite.

Amused, confused, and shocked faces greeted him Yes, I’m early, get over it and he flew through the door.

And if his Low-Blow Meter proved correct, Spike would be—

Sitting on the bench with a cigarette twirling from one hand and a dissatisfied frown on his lips. Xander twisted on the spot, eyes glued to the vampire. Pleasedon’thateme pleasedon’thateme


“Spike!”

His eyes swiveled up— and back down. He made to get up and leave.

“Wait!”

Xander stopped himself right in front of the blonde.

“Please don’t go.” Spike’s eyebrows drew together in suspicion.

“Why? One boy toy ain’t enough for you?”

Xander shook his head, dismissing the insult. “No. And Randall isn’t my boy toy...anymore. He’s my friend, and just that.”

“Well, good for you.” He attempted another quick departure.

“But I was hoping you would be a little more than that.”

Bright eyes, still busy with distrust fixed on his own and the vampire froze. “What...exactly do you mean by that?”

And Xander answered in the only way they knew how.










“OHMYGAWD!”

They jerked apart but still clung to each other’s jackets.

“OHMYGA-”

“Shutup! Ain’t you ever seen two blokes snoggin’ b’fore?”

“OH-”

“Now how ‘bout you go squeal to your little friends like you do, Goldilocks, instead of interrupting a very important- scene!”

Buffy scampered off, glancing back behind her every few steps as if to reassure herself that Xander and Spike were, in fact, making out behind the alley set, and Spike’s hands were, in fact, not visible above the waist.

By noon, everybody knew.












Two days after Spike and Xander had been exposed as a couple to the entire cast and crew, Xander received his second ‘Finally’ party of the year.

“God, the sexual tension between you two was like-”

“You really don’t need to finish that analogy,” Xander assured Joss and slowly backed away. Half the people, he had soon found out, were rooting for them all along. The other half stated it had only been a matter of time.


“I guess we’re just perfect together, luv.” Spike wrapped his arms

around him from behind and he smiled. “Apparently so.”

“So, boys, tell us what those sex scenes were like?”

They glanced at each other and back at Willow.

“Completely professional,” In unison.

And, Xander decided, if everyone else was going to laugh it wouldn’t hurt if he smiled a little too.





Chapter Twelve



Xander expertly dodged the dancing people, the drinking people, and the downright wasted people. With his arms full of drinks and a mouth full of insults, he pointedly ignored the few people who jostled him and caused him to spill a little. Finally, he reached the table and dropped the drinks with a clatter. Willow, Buffy, and Dawn grabbed them with a few ‘Hey!’s and some ‘Watch it!’s.

He plopped into the seat beside Willow and checked to see if they were on yet; they weren’t, and turned back to Willow.

“Can you believe it’s finally over?”

He considered. “Yes.”

“Huh. Well I think it’s amazing. That went by so quick.”

“Maybe in WillowLand. For the rest of the world, namely me, it dragged on for. ev. er.”

“Sure.”

He rolled his eyes and turned back to the stage. What’s taking them so long?

He’d been ecstatic after they had FINALLY filmed the finale of the show, but now he kind of missed the everyday time he had spent with his friends. Then again, he had gotten even more time to spend with Spike, thinking of which, where the hell-

“’Ello, people. Sorry for the wait.”

Xander cheered with the rest of the crowd.

“Guess you don’t mind much, then. Anyways, let’s get right to the music. Get it up, people!” Spike addressed the rest of the band with the last sentence. They exploded into one of their most popular songs, rocking the walls and in response the people.

Xander smiled and mouthed the words along with Spike’s gritty baritone voice, and was caught sporadically by Spike glancing at him and his face would light up. Xander watched Spike, Randall, Michael, and Toby rock out and sipped his drink. He was very glad he didn’t have to worry about waking up early tomorrow.

Xander had invited Randall to watch the shooting of the season finale and had eagerly introduced him to the cast and crew. People had instantly taken to his bright personality and wide, wide eyes trying to soak in every detail of the behind-the-scenes setting. Buffy and Willow had liked him from the first look, but Giles, always the Watcher, was the only one to notice how alike he and Xander were.

Spike was a different story, ignoring Randall and latching onto Xander whenever he was around. Xander had tried in vain to spark some sort of conversation between them, but neither really seemed to appreciate the attempt.

Xander had tried one last feeble remark about Randall and his band, and that had proved a very interesting result.

Spike had asked ‘What kind of music?’ and Randall had answered ‘Rock’ and from then on they got along famously.


They finished their song and a number of others, how many Xander could only guess because for each song he ordered another beer, and the band tended to play for quite a while.

Needless to say, by the end of the performance his thought capacity was limited to the bare essentials:

Want, Spike, and Naked. The vampire disappeared behind the stage after a ‘G’night!’ and reappeared in different less sweaty clothes after a moment.

“Hey Xan,” Spike greeted him, and seeing the state he was in, said, “Bye folks,” and hurried them both out the door. It was a difficult journey home with Xander groping him all the way, but Spike finally shoved them both into the bedroom (mostly clothed) with a concentrated effort.

Once inside all bets were off, however, and clothes soon followed.

Spike attacked Xander’s pants, unzipping them and tossing them in the corner. His shirt was already off and he bit a nipple while prying his own pants off.

Xander’s mind was not as muddled as to forget to lock the door I am not having Dawn walk in again and he fumbled with the knob. He giggled when Spike wrapped his arms around his waist from behind and lifted him up...and down, onto the bed.

“You kept watching me,” he murmured happily into Xander’s hair.

“You’re so damn hot when you sing.” Xander grinned, sliding a hand up Spike’s leg.

“All the time, actually.” Spike chuckled low in his throat and Xander could feel the vibration within his own chest. Spike moved downward, dropped a chaste kiss on Xander’s lips, and nipped a collarbone. Xander moaned as he circled a nipple with his tongue and it hardened to a peak, then moved on to the other one.

Pushing his face against Xander’s defined stomach Thank you David for those workout tips and dipped into his navel. Xander tried to grab Spike’s head but strong arms came up and pinned his own to his sides.

“Stop teasing,” he mumbled, eliciting another chuckle, this time the vibrations tickling his thigh. Spike’s cool tongue traced the crease in his thigh and his nose brushed the dark trail of hair leading down.

Xander’s breathing sped up as Spike neared his dripping cock, then stopped completely when he bypassed it. His head rose and he glared angrily at the damn vampire, but the anger quickly turned to heat as Spike moved even lower and spread his legs.

Just cool breath at first, then a single lick, and Xander moaned and pushed back.

He could actually feel Spike grin against the back of his thigh, then more than feel as his tongue made another circular route, swirling around his entrance and occasionally flicking over it.

“Fuck!” Xander gasped and his biceps bulged with the effort of keeping his arms still. Spike suddenly delved inside, pushing his tongue in a little then pulling out, mimicking (hopefully) what his cock would soon be doing.

“Ah, Spike,” Xander writhed and his back arched hard, pushing back again and trying to make Spike go deeper. He seemed to take pity on Xander and gripped his legs and shoved his tongue all the way in, hitting his prostate, and twisted it.

Xander screamed at the sensation and would have come if Spike hadn’t pulled out.

The vampire sat up and lined his cock up to Xander’s slick entrance with slightly shaking hands and pushed all the way in. Xander groaned low at being penetrated again, this time much more satisfyingly, and pulled Spike’s face close and wrapped his legs around his waist.

He kissed him drunkenly (on lust more than alcohol) and his breath harshly laved Spike’s lips as he pulled out and back in, thrusting deep and even.

Spike set the rhythm and Xander pushed up to meet each thrust, whimpering when Spike hit his prostate repeatedly. Spike suddenly gripped Xander’s shoulders tightly and began to pound harder, his own breath uselessly roughened and shallow.

Through the haze of drink and fear and doubt, a ray of sincerity gleamed through Xander’s eyes and he grabbed the side of Spike’s jaw when he felt the electricity building in the small of his back.

Slightly desperate crystal blue met his own and white hair clung to his head in Xander’s sweat.

“I love you,” Xander whispered like a child confessing a crime.

Spike halted instantly and Xander felt that pang of fear douse his stomach with ice water. Then Spike smiled with teeth just a bit too sharp in places and his eyes filled with wonder and a bit of yellow haze.

“I love you too,” he said and pounded forward fiercely one more time and Xander felt the electricity shoot through both of them and screamed.










It wasn’t perfect or breathlessly romantic like the movies, and it wasn’t followed by some big wedding or anything. It was hot and dirty and sweaty, and difficult in places, and nice in others. It could be dramatic or funny, friendly or downright sexy.

It was perfect in places, and not so perfect in others. And it shouldn’t be all the time. Perfect, I mean. It’s not the movies or the show, and even though it is a show, it’s also our lives. And besides, the season is done for the summer. We’re allowed to be a little crazy.










Xander still talked to Randall daily, and saw him at least twice a week when the band played at Club Sparx. He was still grateful for meeting the young man and still couldn’t get enough of him. He understood now that they were better as friends because they didn’t need to worry as much about keeping each other happy. They could just be themselves and if they got pissed off at each other, they’d reconcile over a beer and laugh it off.

“So, have you gone out with anyone lately?” Xander asked curiously while they half-watched the band that followed Randall’s. Randall glanced up at him with a hesitant expression.

“Ooh, I’m taking that as a yes.” He turned fully toward the dark haired man. “Tell.”

“Uh...” Randall shifted in his seat.

“Oh, come one,” Xander prompted. “Do I know him?” he asked sarcastically, mimicking Willow the best he could.

“Maybe,” Randall mumbled to his drink.

Xander’s jaw dropped. “What!? Oh god. Oh god, please don’t say Giles. I swear I will shove this bottle down my own throat if you say Giles-”

“It’s not Giles!” Randall laughed. “I’m not really into dusty English.”

“Yeah, neither am- Wait.”

Randall grinned at Xander’s deathly glare.

“But seriously, who is it?”

Randall shrugged. “Well, uh-”

“Hey, Randall.” An arm slid around his shoulder. “Oh, hey Xander.”

“David? What are you- OH!” His jaw dropped again.

“You-you, and,” he sputtered, “and David?!”

They just smiled at him, one sheepishly and the other mischievously.

Sheepish, surprisingly, belonging to Randall.

“Well, we’ve got to go. Saturday night and all, got stuff to do.” He pecked the younger man on the cheek and they were gone in a swirl of hormones.

Xander sipped his drink and stared contemplatively past the band.

Is everyone gay?










Sandwiched between a snuggly vampire and a snuggly cat, Xander decided he was lucky he wasn’t claustrophobic. It was like he had a giant vibrating blanket, and he wasn’t sure which side was purring more but if they kept it up it was going to sound like a tractor in here.

Spike’s head rested on his shoulder and Benji’s on his thigh. He petted one and leaned into the other, and neither cared if he got mixed up and did the opposite sometimes.

Benji had taken to Spike like Xander had to Randall, and Xander got hit over the head very often for casually stating the similarity between the vampire and calico.

He had to sleep on the couch once for pondering out loud which fussed more about their hair.

Benji hadn’t mweowed at him for days after that.

Spike had moved out of his apartment and into Xander’s house easier than he ever thought would happen. It was comfortable waking up next to a cool body draped over your own and the assurance that it wouldn’t need to leave. He was getting used to seeing CDs strewn around the house and picking up the towels from the bathroom floor.

He was already used to the separate section of the refrigerator that was lined with blood bags and at yelling at Spike for letting the blood dry at the bottom of his mugs.

It was almost scary how familiar this new life was becoming, and even scarier how fast it had all come to be. Willow told him that it was just right, and he didn’t need to be so worried because everything worked out and everything will be fine.

Heart-to-hearts with Willow still came regularly, and even some extremely awkward double dates with David and Randall.

It wasn’t always perfect, and it shouldn’t be. But goddamn it didn’t get much better than this and he almost found himself looking forward to seeing everyone next season and sparking up the fantasy with a touch of reality.

He leaned into Spike and fell asleep.



The End








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