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Still


by
Nasty Shrew





“It’s all your doing, Xander. It’s what you want.” Willow tells him, only it’s not Willow at all because she has no skin.

“No! This isn’t my fault! This isn’t what I ...”

“Course it is, love,” Spike says around his cock, and when Xander looks around he sees chickens blood and bones littered about his feet, a crude circle outlined in candlewax protecting them.

He pulls Spike’s hair as the world skids to a screaming halt.



“Skinless Willow and giant frog monsters,” Xander said, kicking off the covers as a fine tremor ran through his fingers. “Man, my sex dreams suck.”

“Sucking tends to be the desired facet of a sex dream last I checked,” Spike muttered from behind the newspaper. He glanced up, saw Xander struggling to stand without pulling open his wound, a squiggle of a vein raising on his forehead as he clenched his jaw. “But skinless, eh?”

“She was talking to me while you sucked me off. It was all kind of ... traumatising,” Xander mumbled when he stood, gingerly pulling on a shirt and trying not to let the material catch the stitches across his belly (standard demon, claws were a bitch and you’d think that after all these years Xander would have learned to dodge them).

“Kinky bugger,” Spike said fondly, like it was a cool thing. Xander said nothing because he still kind of liked the fact that Spike thought he was the cool thing. Christ. Fast approaching his thirty third birthday and still revelling in gaining cool points from the resident badass. ‘Pathetic’ didn’t even cover it.

“Where’s the coffee?” he asked as he padded to the kitchen.

“I drank it all,” came the reply, totally unapologetic. Bastard ... bastardface.

“Too early for insults, remind me to say something scathing later,” he said, groping for the bottle of JD under the sink.

“Will do,” Spike assured him as he shuffled back into the living room. “Though apparently, 5am isn’t too early for a drink.” And he’s not disapproving, because Spike was never disapproving of boozing, but he was just ... concerned. In a way. In a ‘if he dies we won’t shag anymore’ way, which was less tender than Xander once would have liked but more than he’d expected.

“What are you reading?” he asked, ignoring the question.

“Obituaries.”

“Of course,” he said with a snort, shaking his head as he took lifted the bottle to his lips. “Anyone interesting?” he rasped. Spike tilted his head and made a big show of chewing his lip in consideration.

“Nobody we know, but there’s this old bird who kicked the bucket on her 87th birthday called Mildred Augusta Grubbyblubber. Honestly, I would have offed myself a long time ago if I was burdened with her name. Or her face, for that matter,” he said, grimacing.

“Shouldn’t speak ill of the dead,” Xander said, wagging a finger. Spike shot him an incredulous look and Xander shrugged. “Doesn’t count when the dead can answer back. Or finish the coffee.”

“Sod off. You finish the food all the time but you don’t hear me whining like a ruddy woman,” and there, right there, was one of those moments Xander tried to tell Willow (don’t think about the exposed mass of flesh and veins, it was only a dream) about with zero success. One of those rare moments where Spike sounded like a very old, grumpy man.

“Jack?” Xander offered, holding out the bottle. Spike considered for a moment, but only a moment, before stalking over and collapsing onto the couch, unrepentant when Xander winced at the jolt to his bones. He snatched the bottle and grimaced when he lifted the bottle to his nose.

“You left this under the sink again. Smells like mould.”

“And morning breath. Give it back if you’re going to whine,” Xander deadpanned. Spike glared but knocked it back, regardless. They stayed in the quiet for a while, passing the bottle back and forth until it was almost empty. Xander’s shuddering had got to a point where Spike couldn’t ignore it anymore so with a huffed “for fuck’s sake”, he tugged at Xander until his head was on Spike’s lap, staring his reflection in the television and it looks as though his head is floating because there's an empty space where Spike's legs should have been.

"Say something scathing," Spike muttered, his fingers inexplicably tangled in Xander's hair.

"Maybe later," Xander yawned.







The End










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