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Rating: PG-13
Summary: While out for a little stroll, Spike encounters an old enemy who decides Spike needs to... Grow up.
Warning: contains bad language, gay crushes followed by gay love, and Human-Kid!Spike.
Setting: Takes place in Season 4, during the Basement of Doom.
Notes: For [info] fall_for_sx





Growing Pains


by
frk_werewolf





Part One

"If you're so bored, why don't you go for a walk?" Spike mocked under his breath. "Bloody whelp and his bloody basement with it's bloody chair of horror. I'll show him, I will... I'll... Go for a walk. Fucking chip."

Spike let out a long, dramatic sigh and sauntered into the nearest cemetery. He made his way between the tombstones, his feet kicking randomly at a few of the flowers planted for departed loved ones. The sound of a struggle slowly drifted through the air. Always in the mood for a fight, or at least a demon centered one as of late, Spike sped up.

The sight that greeted him was something that Spike often enjoyed watching: The Slayer getting her arse kicked. It was always refreshing to see that the Almighty Buffy wasn't the best. In this case, the best appeared to be a large demon with spikes protruding from it's spine. Spike frowned. That creature seemed vaguely familiar. Before Spike could think on it, Buffy was suddenly sailing through the air. Spike watched in amusement as she landed near his feet with a heavy thump. Letting out a groan, the Slayer struggled to her feet.

"Might as well give up, Slayer." Spike offered.

"You could help me, you know." Buffy panted as she stood. She wobbled on her feet a moment, before sliding back into a fighting stance.

"Please." Spike scoffed.

"William the Bloody." Spike turned toward the large demon that was watching them with five eyes. Spike's name had been spoken with a long, eastern accent.

"Do I know you?" Spike asked.

"You know him?" Buffy screeched.

"William the Bloody." The demon repeated. Spike narrowed his eyes. "Think South Korea."

"Oh, shit." Spike muttered, before plastering on a wide grin. "Mayingoui! How are you, mate?"

"You still owe me a clutch of children, William." Mayingoui replied, the words sounding angry. "It has been forty years since the beginning of your debt."

"Oh, I'll pay you. Don't worry, it's totally cool with me." Spike insisted. He ignored Buffy, who was giving him a disgusted look. "You'll get your children."

"Forty years is a long time." Mayingoui wheezed out. "I become bitter in my old age, William."

"Err, right." Spike tried not to panic. He could definitely get out of this situation. "Look, how about we go settle it with a game of kitten poker?"

"You dare play poker with a feline?" Mayingoui looked shocked and aghast, which really didn't fit his face as well as it should. "How sacrilegious of you, William!"

"Well, it's the Yanks, you see. They prefer kittens over children." Spike replied, desperately. Mayingoui growled in reply and Spike fought to keep control of the situation. As though he had it to begin with. "I really can get you your children, Mayingoui. I just need time."

"Time does not come easily." Mayingoui replied. Spike tried not to wince and looked away, only to find Buffy staring at them with a strange look on her face that clearly spoke of how much trouble he was in. Frowning, Spike decided he preferred to look at Mayingoui. "You do not understand time, do you, vampire? No... I do believe time has forgotten you."

"What is your point?" Spike asked, momentarily forgetting how dangerous the demon was.

"Perhaps now is the place, hmm?" Mayingoui smiled a smile that would send the devil himself running. "A place for time to remember you."

Spike didn't get a word in edgewise. Buffy, who had been unable to move since the conversation started, was suddenly blinded by a white light. When her vision finally cleared Mayingoui was gone. Spike, much to her surprise, had yet to start cursing like a sailor. Buffy turned to give the vampire a piece of her mind, only to find him gone. Frowning, she looked down at the ground. There, nestled in a red silk shirt and a pair of black jeans was a baby with pale blue eyes and blonde hair.

"Oh, dear." Buffy stated as the baby opened it's mouth wide and let out a howling cry.

===

Xander had prayed for a peaceful night. He had even managed to get Spike out of his basement. The evening was truly and wonderfully quiet and relaxing, the perfect foundation for a good brood. Why? Because Anya had dumped him. The fact that she had dumped him was not what bothered him, it was the way she did it.

She had showed up earlier that day, while Spike was in his coma-like sleep that he fell into around noon. That was the only time they would have sex, knowing it wouldn't wake the vampire up. Because, as Xander was quite aware, Spike would not leave the basement at night if he knew that was what Xander wanted. So, Anya came over and they had sex. Then, she got dressed and said, "Thanks for that last orgasm, Xander. Perhaps I'll see you again someday."

And that was it. She walked out, ignoring Xander's babbling quest for a reason. He even called her apartment to see if what had happened, really happened. Turns out, it really did. So, Xander decided to spend that evening in the dark, listening to Garth Brooks' The Dance, and eating chocolate.

It wasn't suppose to be interrupted by a phone call. Especially not a phone call by Buffy, demanding he get over to Giles' place. After hanging up with her, Xander fought for a few minutes to retrieve his sense of hearing. There had been a high pitched screaming sound coming in over the phone. Xander didn't know if it was from Giles' living room or some static over the phone lines, but it had nearly busted his eardrum.

When Xander arrived at Giles' he was greeted with a bizarre sight. Willow and Giles were sitting on the couch, books piled around them, while Buffy paced the living room floor. This wasn't a strange event, but what Buffy was carrying was. An infant, a little over one year old, was in her arms. It's mouth was opened and a screeching sound was emitting from it. For a moment, Xander thought it was a demon baby, but upon further observation it proved to be human. A very loud human.

"Okay, who gave birth while I was gone?" Xander asked, shutting the door behind him.

"Oh, God, Xander." Buffy looked extremely stressed. Xander hoped she didn't look into the mirror anytime soon, because her hair was practically standing on end. "You won't believe what happened."

"Umm... Okay." Xander said warily.

"I was fighting this demon named Mayingoui when Spike showed up." Buffy explained, her voice rising to be heard over the crying. "They talked about a clutch of children and Spike's debt, when there was a flash of light and where Spike stood... Well..."

"Wait, are you saying that's Spike?" Xander asked. Buffy nodded, then began bouncing the baby in an attempt to quiet it.

"It won't shut up, Xander! Spike won't shut up! What am I suppose to do?" Buffy said hysterically. Xander made a mental note on how Buffy probably wouldn't be a very good mother.

"Okay, calm down." Xander raised his hands in a calming manor. Buffy seemed to take this as an offer and quickly handed the baby to him. Xander shifted the baby around and looked down into it's face with a look of horror. Spike blinked his large, blue eyes at him and immediately stopped crying.

"Well, that's not fair." Buffy huffed, brushing her tangled hair out of her face.

"Maybe it was because you were stressed?" Xander said, cradling Spike close to him. He really was kind of cute. "I heard babies can tell when you're tense and it makes them cranky."

"Since when do you know so much about babies?" Willow asked.

"Remember the Halloween Trick-or-Treat adventures we had before people started turning into their costumes? Well, the parents liked me. Apparently there's good money in baby-sitting." Xander ignored the strange looks he was given and grinned down at Spike. Spike was staring up at him with eyes that spoke of awe, before giving a small yawn and resting his head against Xander's shoulder. "Hey, here's a question! Why is Spike suddenly human?"

"One of the many things we must discover." Giles sighed. He pulled off his glasses in that age old way, cleaned them, and then gazed at Xander through squinted eyes. "I don't suppose... You could take care of Spike until we figure out what is going on?"

"What?" Xander's eyes went wide. "But... I mean, it's Spike! Giles, there is no way my parents would let me have a baby in the house."

"Well, then I'm at a loss." Giles replied. "He seems to prefer you over us. None of us could get him to be quiet. And, look, he's even falling asleep with you here."

"But... But..." Xander sighed and looked down at Spike. With one look at the baby's tiny fist gripping the front of his shirt, Xander knew he was stuck with him.

===

It had taken two hours to get Spike back to sleep once they returned to his Basement of Doom. Xander was thankful that the baby had at least fallen asleep, giving him the time to think about how he was suppose to feed Spike. Spike the vampire would want blood and something crunchy to add texture. Spike the baby was human, had a heartbeat and everything. Xander didn't think it was wise to feed him blood.

Upon inspection of his mini-fridge, Xander discovered his own food supply consisted mainly of green cheese and a slice of ham. He didn't want to know what was in that jar in the back, behind the packets of blood. So, Xander snuck up to his parents' kitchen and snagged some milk. He figured that would hold Spike, and himself, until he was able to beg ten dollars off Giles. For once, Xander was thankful that he had lost this last job, because from the looks of the other Scoobies, no one would be volunteering to baby-sit.

Spike was curled up in his bed when he returned with the milk, a couple of pillows surrounding him to keep him from falling off. For a moment, Xander contemplated sleeping on the Chair of Doom that Xander had once forced Spike to sleep in. But after a moment of watching the baby's slumber, Xander stripped down to his sweat pants and curled up next to him. One small hand seemed to stretched out toward Xander's warmth and Xander couldn't help but fall asleep with a smile.

Xander awoke early the next morning with the sense that someone was watching him. Blinking open his eyes, Xander took in the fact that Spike was no longer in the spot he once was. He immediately shot up, his eyes darting around the room. Finally, they landed on a small figure that was standing by the bed, staring at him.

The boy was small, around three or four years old. His blonde hair curled around on his head and a pair of big blue eyes watched him suspiciously. The boy, who Xander realized could only be Spike -- Spike, after all, was the only one who could manage that sort of look, had his hands on his hips and was butt naked.

"Oh my God." Xander said.

"Now see here." A demanding, British voice said back to him.

"Spike?" Xander squeaked.

"Spike? Where?" The boy looked around with interest, before frowning. "Who, me?"

"Umm, yeah. You're Spike." Xander said.

"Huh." Was Spike's reply, as the toddler developed a disturbingly thoughtful look. "Who're you?"

"Xander."

"Oh... Where's Mum and Da?" Spike asked, his lower lip wavering slightly. Xander fought a grimace and crawled out of bed, kneeling next to the small boy.

"They aren't here." Xander said softly. Spike crossed his arms and glared at Xander.

"What'd you do to 'em?" Spike demanded.

"Nothing." Xander said.

"Liar." Spike turned his head away and proceeded to sniff delicately.

"Okay, umm..." Xander finally looked away from Spike, confusion evident in his voice. "Why don't you stay here? I'm going to go over to that corner and call a friend, okay?"

"..." Spike didn't reply. Instead he gave Xander a look that clearly stated how insane the boy thought he was. Xander smiled and patted him on the head as he stood. Spike batted his hand away.

"Okay, G-Man. You better be home." Xander muttered to himself as he picked up the phone. He quickly dialed Giles' number and waited for the ringing to stop. The moment the phone was answered, Xander started talking. "Giles! Something freaky is going on! I woke up and Spike wasn't a baby anymore... I mean, he's still a kid, but he's like three or something... Spike! Don't touch that! ...Huh? No, I don't know what happened. ...Spike get out from under the bed! Giles, I need help here. Taking care of a baby is one thing, but this toddler stuff is a whole different ball game... Spike! Get back down here. You are not going outside, mister! ...Yeah, I'll bring him by later. But, uh, Giles? He's naked. He needs clothes. ...Spike, put down that crossbow! ...Maybe you can send Willow or Buffy shopping? They like that sort of thing. Yeah. Thanks. I got to go. Spike's trying to play with the crossbow."

As Xander hung up the phone a loud howl, followed by a crash, echoed down the basement stairs. Xander darted up the stairs to find Spike in all his naked glory, crossbow in hand and mouth hanging open. The basement door, leading to the backyard, was opened. Peeking through the door, Xander let out a small noise and slammed it shut.

"Okay, now do you know why I told you not to play with this?" Xander asked, yanking the crossbow out of Spike's hand and giving him a stern look. "You should be happy I'm not your father, mister, or I'd have to ground you!"

"It was just a cat." Spike protested, his 's' sliding with an adorable lisp. Xander fought to not reach out and just cuddle him. Curse Spike for being such a cute child!

"Spike, it wasn't just a cat." Xander said slowly. "It was my neighbors cat. Do you want to be here when an angry, gun wielding house-wife comes to enact revenge?"

"You're silly." Spike shook his little head, eyes wide like some strange creature from a Japanese anime. Xander forced himself to look away.

"And you are naked." Xander replied.

"So?" Spike crossed his little arms and glared.

"What, do you want to catch a cold?" Xander asked, ushering Spike down the steps and toward the television. He turned on the set, hitting it once to get rid of the static, and then found a station with cartoons on it. "There we go. Sit here and turn your brain into pudding."

===

Spike had fallen back to sleep by the time Buffy and Willow showed up. They took one look at Spike, who was curled up on the couch in a little ball and sucking on his thumb, and burst into girlish giggles. Xander was determined to not join in. But, really, it was rather difficult. Spike as a human child was simply sweet and huggable.

"Did you get the clothes?" Xander asked.

"Oh, yes!" Buffy pulled out a massive bag with some fashionable title on the front.

"Umm, Buffy... You could have just went to Goodwill or something." Xander pointed out as they began to pull out overalls, jeans, t-shirts with little dragons on them, and Batman underwear. "If things continue at this rate, he'll probably be seven tomorrow."

"Oh, don't worry." Willow grinned. "We bought some older boy's clothing as well."

"No!" Xander, Willow, and Buffy turned in shock to see Spike jerking in his sleep. His little face was scrunched up from his obvious nightmare. "Don't... Stop!"

"Spike!" Xander exclaimed, rushing over to his side. The small boy seemed to immediately know Xander was there, because Xander soon found himself holding a shaking, naked body. "Spike, wake up. It's just a dream." A pair of watery blue eyes opened to stare at him. "Hey, there you are. What happened?"

"I gotted bit." Spike mumbled.

"Bit?" Xander asked in confusion.

"Some lady with dark hair and big yellow eyes." Spike replied. Xander turned to share a look with Buffy and Willow. "Xander? What's eefull-ge-ent mean?"

"Effulgent? I'm not sure." Xander told him. "Hey, you want to get dressed now? Buffy and Willow are here and they brought you some clothes."

Spike stared at Buffy and Willow, in their frilly skirts and short sleeve tops, as though they were the strangest creatures he had ever seen. Slowly, he stood up and walked over to them, not at all ashamed by his nudity. Willow hid a giggle. After much debate with the little boy over what to wear, they finally put him in a pair of blue jeans and a black shirt with a large T-Rex on the front.

"I suppose we should head over to Giles'." Buffy pointed out, watching Spike as he tapped his foot against the ground to get the new shoes to light up.

"Who's Giles?" Spike asked, his lisp making the phrase sound like 'hoosh gilsh'. Willow giggled again.

"Come on, little guy." Xander said, grabbing Spike's hand. "Lets get over to Giles' so we can raid the fridge for food, eh?"

"I'm not little!" Spike insisted as he followed the three adults out of the basement. "I'm the Big Bad!" He didn't seem to notice when Xander tripped over his own shoe at that statement. They walked around the house to a small, horrid looking car parked on the street. "What's that?"

"That would be Giles' car." Xander replied. Spike stared at it, a frown etched on his little face. As they drew near, he poked at one of the tires, before peeking into the car window. "Want to get inside?"

"No." Spike said.

"Why not?" Xander asked.

"It's a monster." Spike calmly informed him.

"Oh, Hun, it's not a monster." Willow told him.

"Is too!" Spike insisted.

"Would it make you feel better if Willow and Buffy get inside first?" Xander asked. Spike just stared at them, as though waiting. With a sigh, the two girls climbed inside, Willow making sure she was in the driver's seat so they wouldn't be forced to deal with Buffy's driving. "There, see! They're fine."

"But they're girls!" Spike said. "It only eatted boys."

"Well, I'll protect you." Xander said. "I promise."

"Promise?" Spike whispered.

"Promise, promise." Xander replied.

===

"Giles, it was so adorable!" Buffy squealed. Xander tried to ignore the two giggling girls in the living room as he set about making Spike something to eat. Spike stood in the middle of the kitchen, watching him with big blue eyes.

"He sucks his thumb!" Willow exclaimed.

"And when Xander promised to protect him from your monster of a car? Oh, it was too cute for words!" Buffy added.

"As fascinated as-" Giles started.

"You should have seen him when he got on his shoes! He kept tapping his little foot to make them light up." Willow interrupted.

"They're talking 'bout me." Spike said softly to Xander as they sat at the table to eat.

"They think you're cute." Xander explained. Spike sent him a glare worthy of any mini-vampire. "Well, I don't think you're cute, if that makes you feel any better."

"You don't?" Spike asked, perking up.

"Nope, not at all."

"Good. Cause I'm a boy." Spike said. "'M not cute."

"Exactly." Xander agreed. Spike peered up at him, his blue eyes looking a little wobbly. "What?"

"You don't like me, do you?" Spike whimpered.

"Xander!" Willow exclaimed, entering the kitchen. "Don't tell him things like that!"

"But-! I-!" Xander snapped his mouth shut and sent Spike a minor glare. Spike smirked as Willow immediately started fawning all over him. "Ohhh, you're evil."

"Xander!" Willow admonished again. "You need to be positive around him. You wouldn't want him to grow up feeling as though he's a bad person."

"Willow, I hate to inform you of this, but you sounded just like your mom right then." Xander stated. Willow looked like that was the worst thing he could have ever said in her presence. Cringing, Xander turned back to Spike. "Finish your sandwich and then we can go into the living room and annoy Giles."

"Okay!" Spike grinned, quickly eating his sandwich and ignoring Willow's orders to not eat so fast. Finally finished, he hoped out of his chair and carried his plate to the sink. Using the tips of his fingers, he pushed the plate into the sink, hardly flinching as a crash resonated from it. With a perky smile, he bounced over to Xander and looked at him expectantly. "I'm ready."

"Right, right. Hold your horses." Xander said, allowing Spike to grab his hand and drag him into the living room.

"Ah, excellent, Xander." Giles greeted, looking up from his large book. "I have some information about the spell used on Spike." Giles paused, watching with wide eyes as Xander sat down on the sofa and pulled Spike into his lap. Buffy and Willow made cooing noises, which only grew in intensity when Spike stuck out his tongue. "Yes, well, it appears that the spell has wiped Spike's mind clean of all his memories. However, given his nightmare from earlier, he is slowly regaining these memories while asleep. No doubt, as he ages, the dreams will continue."

"What about how fast he's growing?" Xander asked, wrapping his arms around Spike's body. The former vampire cuddled up against him and Xander couldn't help but smile. He was just so cute!

"It is my belief that Mayingoui-" Giles stopped briefly as Spike giggled at the sound of the name. "-Is merely trying to teach him a lessen. To make him realize the meaning of time, in a sense. I'm suspecting he will be back to his normal self in a week or so."

"You mean we can't keep him like this?" Buffy asked. "He's so cute, and I no longer have the desire to stake him!"

"Yes, well, I'm afraid not." Giles said, looking rather upset at the idea of Spike being normal again as well.

"Xander?" Spike suddenly whispered in Xander's ears. "Why's that skinny girl wanting to staked me?"

"I wouldn't worry about it, Spike." Xander told him.

"I don't think I like her." Spike announced. Buffy looked scandalized.

"It's nice to know he hasn't changed that much." Giles commented.

===

After deciding that Spike was just going to have to go through the growing pains without magical intervention, Xander was forced to take him home again. He tried to get Giles to keep him, pointing out that Spike was no longer a baby. Spike made a point to stick next to Xander after everyone else claimed that they couldn't have, and inevitably didn't want, Spike with them.

Xander managed to find the four year old something on the television to entertain him for most of the afternoon. Spike finally got bored with it, however, and spent two hours following Xander around while he attempted to clean the basement. They ate a quick meal, before Xander collapsed onto the sofa, letting out a loud sigh. Spike fell down next to him, mimicking the sigh.

"Rough day?" Xander asked him.

"Yes." Spike replied, with a serious look. There was a pause, before Spike heaved a huge yawn.

"Sleepy?"

"No." Spike protested, curling up against Xander's side. "Don't want to go to sleep."

"Why not? It's nearly eight, after all." Xander said, wrapping an arm around Spike. Xander wasn't even aware that he did it and he took a second to give the arm a dirty look for acting out it's own will.

"Don't want the bad lady to come back." Spike said softly, picking at Xander's pant leg as though to distract himself.

"The one that bit you?" Xander asked. "But it was just a dream."

"It hurt." Spike insisted.

"Well, tell you what, I'll sleep with you." Xander told him. "I'll keep the bad lady away."

"Really?" Spike asked, peering up at him. Xander grinned, before standing and scooping Spike up into his arms. He quickly got them ready for bed, before tossing Spike onto it like a rag doll. Spike giggled, before squirming around until he was under the covers. He stared up at Xander, his wide eyes making Xander want to cuddle him.

Xander climbed in after him and soon they were both fast asleep. Xander awoke early the next morning and found himself oddly happy. Some time during the night, Spike ended up on top of him, his head resting against his chest. As Xander had suspected, Spike was a little bigger, but didn't appear much older than five. Hopefully, he would still fit into his new clothes.

"No bad dreams, then?" Xander asked when Spike finally opened his eyes.

"I don't know." Spike frowned. "I don't like Angelus."

"Well, no one really does."

"Dru likes him." Spike said softly, confusion flitting across his face.

"Don't worry about it, okay?" Xander suggested. "It was just a dream, anyway." And like most children, Spike seemed to forget about the dream the moment he climbed out of bed. Xander quickly got him dressed in new clothing that were a little too tight, but Spike didn't seem to complain. "Hey, how about we stop at some greasy burger joint for breakfast, then spend the day at the park?"

At Mc Donaldís, the one "restaurant" that every little child should get to go to, Xander learned two things. First, little old ladies thought it was adorable to see a young man spending time with their child. And two, little old ladies liked to give said young man a lot of advice concerning what the child should eat and how to tell them about the Birds and the Bees. Xander didn't really want to know if he was going to have to do that, because the idea was frankly terrifying.

At the park, Spike proved how much energy one little boy could received from a single cup of coke by darting from the swings, to the slide, back to the swings, to the monkey bars, and then once again to the swings. Xander was tired just from watching him. Finally, Spike seemed to settle down and he remained draped across the swing on his stomach, one hand trailing across the ground as his feet pushed him back and forth. Xander calmly lifted him up and righted him on the swing, before pushing the swing for him.

===

"Where have you two been all day?" Buffy asked as Spike and Xander entered Giles' house that evening.

"Xander took me to the park." Spike said, snidely. He followed Xander to the chair, then sat down cross legged at his feet, before turning a horrid glare at Buffy. Buffy's jaw dropped.

"You spent all day at the park? Are you sure that was wise?" Giles asked Xander.

"He needed time to play." Xander replied, shrugging. "He's a kid, Giles. Kids are meant to play."

"M'not a kid." Spike mumbled.

"No, you're a big boy." Xander grinned. "You had impeccable behavior today, even when that little old lady was squeezing your cheeks."

"I liked her." Spike informed him. "She made you blush."

"Well, gee, it's nice to know after all this time you still enjoy my own embarrassment." Xander commented. Spike smirked. For such a little fellow, it looked disturbingly like his vampire personae. Xander ignored Spike in favor of turning toward Giles. "So, how long do you think it will take for Spike to get all his memories back? Or better yet, turn into a vampire?"

"Well, I don't rightly know." Giles replied, looking frustrated. Xander could sympathize with the former librarian. It must be tough when your beloved books were no help at all. "I'm certain it will take time, but how it will all happen is as much a mystery to me as it is to you."

"I'm hungry!" Spike interrupted, from where he had been ignoring them and picking at his shoe lace.

"He eats more than a baby elephant." Xander commented, watching as Spike disappeared into the kitchen. "You should have seen him at McDonald's."

"Are you sure he should be in the kitchen alone?" Giles asked nervously.

"Giles, he's like five." Xander replied. "He can take care of himself. Five year olds are capable of more than you'd think." He was proven correct when Spike returned a short time later with a slice of bread, two slices of ham, and a slice of cheese placed on a saucer. "Hey, you want to make that into a sandwich, buddy?"

"No." Spike replied, giving him an odd look.

"Sandwiches weren't very common in upper-class Victorian England, Xander." Willow informed him softly. Xander rolled his eyes as Buffy and Willow watched Spike with motherly-glazed over eyes. Spike set about carefully eating his cheese and ham, finishing off with his bread. He glanced around the room, body stilling as he searched for something to clean his hands on. A slow smirk developed on his face and he calmly reached over and wiped his hands on Buffy's skirt.

"Right, I think it's time to go." Xander jumped up and grabbed Spike before Buffy had time to react. He could hear her yelling and protests on the way out the door. Spike giggled all the way to the car. "You are a mean little kid."

===

Spike was nine years old the next morning. Thankfully, Buffy and Willow had far too much fun shopping, and therefore had bought clothes to last Spike until he was in his teens. It was at this age that Xander started seeing signs of what Spike must have been like before he was vamped. That morning, Spike sat on the sofa, glancing over at Xander periodically. The television had been turned to some education show about the history of the telephone, that Spike seemed to generally be interested in.

When he wasn't busy blushing at the sight of Xander, that is.

Xander really couldn't remember being nine. He remembered having a crush on Teresa White, before she beat him at soccer. She then became his enemy, second only to Cordelia. He also remembered realizing that, no, his father didn't hate every little kid. He just hated Xander. So, Xander figured that Spike was at the age where things were kind of coming into focus. He could tell that Spike was plagued by something, but he knew that boys, especially nine year old boys, weren't the types to share their feelings.

It wasn't until later, after watching Spike watch education program after education program, that Xander himself got bored. He immediately grabbed the want ads and began searching for a job. It didn't take him very long to notice that Spike was now staring at him, television forgotten. "Yes?"

"Umm... I... That is." Spike stammered, before taking a deep breath. "I was wondering if I may have some paper and a pencil?"

"Oh, sure." Xander replied, rolling over to dig underneath his bed. He pulled out a blank notebook, that was a little bent at the edges, and a couple of pencils. Spike took them with a shy smile, before sitting back down on the sofa. Xander watched, shocked, as Spike began to write.

About two hours later, his search through the want ads coming up unsuccessful, Xander turned to Spike. "Would you like to head over to Giles' now?"

"Oh, yes, thank you." Spike replied, smiling. He stood up, notebook now held tightly in one hand. "He does have quite a few books, doesn't he?"

"Uh, yeah, he does." Xander replied as they left.

"Do you think he would allow me to read a few?" Spike inquired.

"Well, I guess you'll have to ask." Xander said. Spike blushed heavily at the prospect of asking permission to read a book. "He'll probably say yes, though."

"Yes, yes. Of course." Spike nodded.

"In fact, he'll probably have a heart attack in the process." Xander added. "Someone actually asking to read voluntarily? It's such an odd occurrence."

"You're very strange." Spike chuckled.

"Yeah, but you like me like that." Xander teased. Spike blushed heavily, his fingers tightening around his notebook. "Hey, I didn't mean to embarrass you. I was just teasing."

"Oh, yes." Spike smiled shyly. "I knew that."

The trip over to Giles' was relatively uneventful, excluding the small glances Spike kept sending Xander's way. Xander wasn't entirely sure how to react toward this new development and therefore decided to simply ignore it. When they arrived at Giles', Buffy and Willow were already there. Giles was in the living room, nose buried in some arcane book, while the two girls chatted. Xander briefly wondered if there was a particular reason they were there, or if it was just to annoy Giles.

"No one fear, Xan-Man is here!" Xander greeted, sitting down next to Giles. Spike shuffled over, looking nervous, and slowly sat down next to him.

"I see someone's grown." Buffy commented, raising an eyebrow at Spike. Spike blushed heavily, his eyes darting to Xander.

"Yeah, I know. One moment they're shooting the neighbor's cat with a crossbow and the next they're asking for books." Xander shook his head sadly. "Speaking of books, hey G-Man?"

"I've repeatedly asked you not to call me that." Giles sighed, closing his book.

"Do you have any books for Spike to read?" Xander asked, ignoring Giles' comment. Spike glanced past Xander and at Giles, sending the man a shy smile.

"Well, I suppose." Giles replied.

An hour passed, as Spike read through two large books at an alarming speed. He even had time to pause every once in a while and stare at Xander with a strange look on his face. After the third time of asking Spike is he was alright, Xander chose to ignore these glances. Finally, Buffy cleared her throat and Willow and her stood.

"Umm, Xander? Can we talk with you a moment?" Willow asked.

"Sure." Xander followed the girls into Giles' kitchen, leaving Spike to stare after him.

"Xander, I know this might sound weird..." Willow started once they were alone. "But hear us out."

"It's Spike." Buffy continued. "I know he's only nine or so at the moment, but we've been watching for the past hour and... Well, we think he likes you."

"Of course he likes me." Xander said, smiling.

"No, we don't mean that kind of like." Willow said, softly.

"You... Huh?"

"He's kind of infatuated with you." Buffy finally stated.

"Oh, please." Xander scoffed.

"Xander, can't you see the way he looks at you?" Willow asked. "Remember when we were ten and Jesse used to follow Cordelia around, staring. I mean, he'd torment her, yeah, but he also tried to be near her all the time."

"I remember." Xander said, looking away. "But what am I suppose to do about it?"

"The only reason I'm telling you is because at the rate he's growing? He's going to be an actual teenager by tomorrow morning." Willow stated. "We have no idea when he will revert to his vampire status or how long this crush is going to last. I don't want you to be shocked if tomorrow Spike is more like his vampire self, just with hormones."

"That's a scary thought." Buffy commented.

Xander said nothing and moved back to the living room. Spike smiled up at him as he entered.





Part Two



The problem with Willow telling him about Spike's crush was that he now noticed it. Every little glance, every little happy sigh, and every brush of Spike's small hand. It was unnerving, because the result was in Xander thinking about his feelings for Spike.

It was all automatic, really. You find out someone likes you, therefore you think about how deep your own feelings go. Xander tried not to think about how this just might be human-growing-up!Spike, and not the Spike that Xander knew. If he thought about that, then he would just get depressed.

Because, and god how he hated to admit it, a part of him really liked Spike. Spike was the only person that understood Xander's sense of humor and sarcasm. Spike was the only person Xander knew that would sit through all of the Godzilla movies and make fun of the terrible voice acting with him. Xander was the only one that knew about the nightmares Spike still had about the Initiative. They had so much between them that Xander had never actually noticed before.

This of course made him nervous around this Spike. The boy really was infatuated with him and Xander didn't know how to react. Perhaps, and he despised the idea, it would be best for him to stay with Giles. Yet, when he made the proposal, Spike had stared up at him with the most heart wrenching look on his face. There was no way Xander couldn't take him home.

That night, Xander gave Spike the bed and opted to sleep on the Chair of Doom. Spike had protested, but in the end went along with it.

Midnight came and went as Xander tossed and turned. At one, he awoke from an interesting dream about cream pops and Spike's butt. Shaking his head, he fought to push the memory out of his head. He was just about to fall asleep when Spike let out a soft moan of pain in his sleep.

Frowning, Xander stood up and walked over to the bed. He blinked in shock at the boy. He was no longer nine years old, which led Xander to believe the age change was some sort of freaky at the stroke of midnight thing. Spike looked about fourteen or so. His blonde hair had a honey tint and curled at the ends. He looked about the same height as Spike now, which indicated Spike had received his only growth spurt early in life.

"No." Spike gasped in his sleep, thrashing.

"Spike?" Xander asked softly, sitting down on the bed. After a moment of hesitation, he reached out and lightly touched Spike on the shoulder.

Suddenly, he found himself being shoved onto his back, with Spike propped up above him. A low growl emitted from Spike's throat, but Xander was thankful to see that the hands pinning him down were warm, a sign that Spike had yet to turn into a vampire.

"Spike!" Xander exclaimed. Spike blinked above him, frowning slightly. A heavy blush appeared at Spike's neck, spreading up to his face.

"I'm terribly sorry." Spike muttered, scooting away. He pressed himself against the wall and wrapped his arms around his knees. He eyed Xander nervously.

"Are you okay?" Xander asked. Spike shook his head and pressed his forehead against one knee. "Spike...?"

"My name's William." Spike replied, softly. "But... You can call me Spike. You don't say it like they do."

"They?" Xander repeated, sitting up. He scooted over until he was sitting directly across from Spike.

"Angelus." Spike whispered.

"Was he who you were dreaming about?" Xander asked, reaching out to slip his hand into Spike's. Spike looked up, his blue eyes wide and filled with tears. Slowly, Spike nodded. Xander sent him a supportive smile.

Spike stared at him a moment, before smiling back and taking hold of Xander's hand with both of his. Xander watched, his breath catching in his throat, as Spike pressed his forehead against Xander's palm.

"Spike?" Xander ignored the squeak in his voice.

"I beg your pardon." Spike said quickly, shoving Xander's hand away. Spike turned his head, burying it in the crook of his arm.

"You should get some sleep." Xander told him, standing up.

===

"He makes me nervous." Xander said, his voice low. Willow gave him a sympatric look. She glanced at Spike, who was currently surrounded by Giles' books. He was dressed in his old clothes, though the black jeans and shirt looked strange on the teen as he moved from one book to another. Buffy had shown up early in the evening, informing them that some nasty demon had followed her during her patrol. Xander sighed. "I can't get comfortable around him. It's been happening all day."

"He's, well, he's older." William commented. "He's suddenly aware of everything going on around him, I suppose. Including, how you feel about him."

"I wish he was still five years old. He was so much easier to be around. Hell, as Spike the Vampire he's easier to be around!" Xander exclaimed. Spike glanced over. Blushing slightly, Xander ushered Willow into the kitchen.

"Is he really so different?" Willow asked.

"Yes!" Xander insisted. "Spike was annoying! Spike made you want to tackle him down and gag him -- Oh, stop smirking like that, Willow."

"I'm sorry." Willow said without a bit of sincerity. "But, come on, Xander! Can you honestly say that you didn't like Spike before all of this?"

"Yes, I can." Xander snapped. There was a pause. "No. No, I can't. Dammit, Wills!"

"Sorry, honey." Willow patted his shoulder. "Since you've come upon this revelation, I'll let you in on my own secret."

"Ooohh, really?" Xander bounced.

"Yeah. Remember that girl, Tara, that I told you about?" Willow gave a dreamy smile. "Well, we're kind of... You know."

"Man, that's hot." Xander said in awe, before grinning. "Wow, we can create our own club! The Gay Scoobies Club! Not that I'm, you know, gay... Maybe... I just want Spike. The older Spike! Not the fourteen year old Spike that wrote poetry on my toilet paper this morning, which really isn't any different from the time I caught adult Spike writing poetry on my toilet paper... Huh."

Willow grinned at her friend's babble. "A Gay Scoobies Club is perfect, though I have a feeling all the Scoobies are a little bent, anyway."

"Really?" Xander asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Remember Ethan?" Willow asked in a sly voice. "I once caught him and Giles kissing, right after the band candy incident. Of course, Giles did punch him afterwards... Hmm... Anyway, Buffy's not perfectly straight as a needle, either."

"You're kidding!" Xander gasped.

"Faith." Was all Willow said.

"God, did she get to everyone?" Xander muttered, before shrugging. "Oh, well. That still doesn't explain what I'm suppose to do about Spike."

"Just let it develop on it's own." Willow replied. "Simply make a point to except whatever comes along."

"Accept it. Right. I can do that." Xander nodded. Xander reentered the living room and walked over to sit down on the sofa next to Spike. The books were now gone, along with Buffy. "I assume you found the bad guy?"

"Spike did." Giles replied, smiling faintly. "Buffy went to take care of it. Apparently, it was following her around as the first stage of courtship."

"Wait!" Xander fought down a sudden burst of laughter. "A demon was trying to court Buffy, as in the Slayer?"

"They prefer strength and petite bodies above all else." Spike informed him shyly.

"There is something seriously wrong with that picture." Xander finally said after a pause.

A comfortable silence descended the group. It was in this silence that Xander felt something brush against his hand. He glanced down, then up at Spike, who was three shades of red. Xander leaned back in the sofa, trying to control his breathing. Okay. A fourteen year old Spike was holding his hand. Xander gulped and sent a quick look to Willow. Willow smiled.

"So." Xander squeaked. "You know, it's getting kind of late. I should get going."

"It's only ten o'clock." Giles commented as Xander moved to sit up. Xander sighed and sat back down. Gently, he removed his hand from Spike's hold. "Perhaps we should do some research?"

"Ugh." Was Xander's reply, wincing as a heavy book was dropped into his lap.

===

"Spike, we need to talk." Xander said slowly, nodding. He frowned, before repeating himself. "Spike, I really think we need to talk." Another pause. "Spike, are you listening to me?" A long paused, filled with the sound of something struggling with something. Xander frowned again, leaning toward the closet door. "Spike, what are you doing in there?"

"Nothing." A strangled voice called out. Xander raised an eyebrow and sat down on his bed, waiting Spike out. When Spike emerged, he was bright red. Xander looked him up and down, taking in the ruffled clothes and nervous look.

"Oh my God." Xander suddenly said, burying his face into his hands. He refused to think about what Spike was doing in his closet. He refused! No one would make him think about it!

"What?" Spike asked, turning redder.

"Nothing." Xander replied. Spike narrowed his blue eyes.

"I was having trouble with my boot." Spike told him, wiggling the foot.

"...Huh?" Xander blinked down at the foot and then glanced up at the boot dangling from Spike's hand. "What do you mean?"

"I was trying to take it off, when I fell into the closet." Spike replied, blushing even more. "Then I got tangled in your coat." Spike's voice dropped slightly. "And then a spider attacked me."

Xander had to hold back the urge to simply hug Spike. He was just so damn cute! It wasn't natural, and Xander was fully aware that it wasn't natural. Nonetheless, he still wanted to pinch Spike's cheek and cuddle with him. Because even for a fourteen year old, he was just cute.

"Right." Xander cleared his throat. "We need to talk."

"Is something the matter?" Spike asked, sitting down next to Xander on the bed.

"Spike... William... Err, Spike." Xander stammered. Spike's eyes narrowed in confusion. "Okay. I can do this. I... Spike, I know that you're developing some sort of crush on me." Spike's face started to turn bright red once more and the teenager dropped his head. "But, well, you can't. Because when you get older? You don't like me. In fact, we argue all of the time!"

"What makes you think us arguing means we hate one another?" Spike asked, his voice soft.

"Well, I don't." Xander admitted. "I mean, you're a friend. You're an annoying friend that I argue and banter with. There, I've admitted it."

"I see." Spike nodded. He looked away and toward the alarm clock on Xander's dresser. "If you don't mind, it's getting kind of late. I think it's best for me to go to sleep. I'll... I'll take the sofa."

Xander argued with Spike, who finally relented and took the bed. As Spike finally fell asleep, as the clock neared midnight, Xander remained awake and watching. At eleven-fifty, Spike began to whimper in his sleep. He tossed and turned, as though trying to get away from something. Then, as midnight struck, his body stilled.

Xander watched with a mix of horror and awe as Spike's body grew one last inch and a stronger build. He looked about eighteen, nearly the age that he was when he was turned. Xander leaned back on the sofa, taking a deep breath. One more day. They had about one more day before Spike returned to normal. Xander tried to fight the sadness this fact evoked. He had to admit, he'd miss the boy.

With a sigh, Xander sat down on the Chair of Doom and attempted to get some sleep. That night he dreamt about Spike's leather duster. It was a bizarre dream in which all he had was a view of the duster, flapping in the wind. Xander, thankfully, was awoken around nine in the morning from the dream.

"Hello, pet." A soft voice said in his ear. Xander's eyes snapped open, only to land on Spike. Spike's eyebrow quirked up and Xander could only stare at the spot that the scar should be in.

"Spike?" Xander asked, sitting up.

"I suppose that would be me." Spike stated, his Cockney accent thriving once more. He still looked about eighteen and, due to the flush that was fighting at Spike's fair skin, Xander knew he had yet to turn into a vampire.

"Well, if you want it to be." Xander said, honestly. He was suddenly struck by a longing for the little kid that Spike had been. He missed that little brat trying to play with his crossbow.

"Things are..." Spike trailed off, frowning. "Mixed up. I can remember you and... Other people, but they don't fit any of my memories."

"Oh, well, that should resolve itself. At least, Giles thinks so." Xander admitted. Spike looked speculative, before shrugging.

"Whatever." Spike muttered.

"Umm... I see you found clothes." Xander said, for lack of anything else to say. Spike tugged at his black t-shirt.

"Yeah, well, they didn't look like something you'd wear." Spike replied, causing Xander to scowl slightly. Spike smirked. "Do I live here?"

"Uhh..." Xander trailed off, flushing at the idea of Spike living with him permanently. When he looked up, he caught Spike leering at him. Xander gulped. "You used to."

"Did I now?" Spike raised his eyebrow once more and watched as Xander stood. The moment he had a chance he backed Xander into the wall, towering over him despite being shorter. "Isn't that interesting."

"Uh, Spike, I think that you-" Xander started.

"Don't know what's going on?" Spike asked, tilting his head. "Things are rather fuzzy, I'll admit. I remember being a child, with you there... And I remember Angelus and Drusilla and chaos and pain."

"Well... There you go." Xander said. Spike leaned closer to him and Xander gulped.

"I like you." Spike whispered, his voice suddenly sounding cultured once again, instead of heavy with a cockney accent. "You're adorably entertaining."

"I suppose I'll take that as a compliment." Xander replied.

"As it should be taken." Spike murmured, his eyes drifting down to stare at Xander's lips. He began to lean closer, but Xander jerked away, his head hitting the wall with a painful thump.

"I wouldn't do that, if I were you." Xander informed him, his voice oddly soft. "This time tomorrow you'll be back to your old self, full memories restored... I don't want you to be pissed at me."

"Well, I don't bloody well care." Spike replied, the accent once again shifting.

"Uh, I... Uh..." Xander gulped, glancing wildly around the room. "Oh my gosh! The time! We should get going."

"Wha-" Spike started, before letting out an annoyed sound as Xander dragged him toward the doorway.

===

"All right, mister." Willow said, sternly, as she watched Xander pace the extent of Giles' kitchen. They could hear the sounds of Spike and Buffy snapping at one another in the living room. Amazingly, despite Spike not being entirely himself, the two managed to act the same way as they did when Spike was normal. "What's going on?"

"Huh? Nothing." Xander replied, trying to look nonchalant. Willow gave him a look that stated she didn't believe him at all. "It's... It's Spike."

"Ah." Willow nodded. "What happened?"

"It's just... He's Spike and all, but... At the same time he's not." Xander replied. Willow eyed him a moment, before nodding decisively.

"You seem to be forgetting something, Xander." Willow told him. "That is Spike, but that's not Spike with the same memories as the one you're used to. This Spike does not have a demon. This Spike has memories of you taking care of him as a child, as well as memories of Angelus and Drusilla, up until the point where Drusilla and him go to Prague. He doesn't remember all of those times in which you hated each other. In fact, he's under the impression that you both like one another."

"...You really think so?" Xander asked, glancing up at her with a hopeful expression.

"Yes." Willow smiled. "I'm certain the moment he gets all his memories, as well as his vampirism, back he'll be snarky with you once more."

"God, that's a relief." Xander beamed.

"Only you would want a lover that insults you." Willow rolled her eyes.

"Well, I am the former slave of Cordelia Chase, remember?" Xander pointed out in a light tone. Willow gave him a slight smile. "So? Shall we join them?"

"Sure." Willow replied, following Xander into the living room.

"Oh, please!" Buffy was saying, with a smug look on her face. "Xander does not like you. He does not have the hots for you. He's just stuck with you, Fang boy."

"You bloody bitch." Spike snapped, standing. "You think you know everything, eh? Just because you're the ditzy Slayer?"

"I certainly know more than you do, Spike." Buffy informed him, leaning back in her seat and sending Xander a quick look. Spike narrowed his eyes at her, before grabbing Xander by his elbow.

"Uh, hi." Xander said nervously.

"Pet, this bint is saying you don't like me." Spike told him with a look of complete calm. Xander stared at him, before sending Buffy a frantic look. "Let's show her differently, yeah?"

"No, Spi-" Xander started. He was swiftly cut off by Spike's lips being pressed against his own. His body was jerked forward, pressing his chest against Spike's. A soft sound escaped his throat and Xander was mortified to know it was a moan.

When Spike finally released him, he immediately sat down on the sofa with a look of shock. Buffy gave him a smug look that clearly stated she had planned the whole scene. Xander tried to muster up some form of agitation toward her, but was too busy trying to ignore Spike, who had just sat down next to him.

"Err, now that, ah, that's done." Giles cleared his throat and gave Spike a strange look. "There appears to be a new development with the demon courting Buffy."

"Moved on to flowers, huh?" Xander asked, ignoring Spike's arm, which had suddenly wrapped around his shoulders.

"No. Corpses." Buffy replied, bitterly. "Demon corpses."

"Well, you are the Slayer, aren't you?" Spike asked, with an eye roll. "Poor bastard probably thinks that's the best way to win you over."

"Ugh! Shut up Spike!" Buffy insisted, grimacing visibly.

"We should look further into this particular breed's courting rituals." Giles informed them, passing out books. Spike received his three, looking at them with an expression of pure disdain. "Also look for anything that involves demon-Slayer mating."

"Oh, ewe!" Buffy exclaimed. "Mating? You mean to tell me this has happened before?"

"The world is quite old, with a Slayer's fighting span lasting three or so years at a time." Giles said, honestly. "There have been quite a few Slayers, Buffy. Even more than the Watcher's Journals describe."

"But, still..." Buffy shivered dramatically, before propping a large book on her knees.

A silence filled the room, broken only by the gentle turn of pages. It was in this silence that Xander became aware of Spike shifting around in his seat. He nervously glanced over, noting the cringe that flashed across Spike's face. Frowning, Xander leaned over toward him. "Are you okay?"

"Fine." Spike snapped, before taking in a sharp breath. "Just..."

"What?" Xander asked.

"There's this sharp pain in my chest." Spike admitted, scowling.

"What do you mean?" Xander asked, eyes suddenly wide with worry.

"It's nothing." Spike said, shaking his head with a slight frown. He thumbed through the book in his lap, before noticing that Xander was still staring at him. "I told you, pet, it's nothing. I'm fine."

"Are you sure?" Xander scooted closer. "I mean, this could be a side effect of that spell or something! What if... Oh God, what if your heart stops before you're turned back into a vampire?"

"You're overreacting." Spike informed him, hiding a slight wince.

"I am not!" Xander snapped, causing Giles to look over. "What if you're having a heart attack?"

"Bloody hell, will you let it drop!" Spike hissed. "I'm alright. I'm not having a sodding heart attack."

"Well, how do you know?" Xander demanded. "You've never had one before!"

"I just know." Spike growled.

"I don't think-" Xander started.

"You know, I think we've done enough for tonight." Willow suddenly announced. "It's after eleven, after all. Don't you think, Giles?"

"Hmm? Oh! Oh, yes, of course." Giles nodded. Willow gave him a smile, before turning toward Xander and Spike. Giles ignored them and looked over at Buffy. "Perhaps we should continue this tomorrow night? I'm sure this demon won't bother you tonight."

"He better not." Buffy grumbled to herself.

"Come on, Fangless." Xander ordered, standing. Spike scowled at him, but followed him out of the Ex-Watcher's apartment nonetheless.







They made it back to Xander's basement home right before midnight. They managed to start getting ready for bed, before Spike suddenly collapsed onto the ground. His body jerked violently as his skin took on a slightly paler tone. His muscle mass increased and, as 12:01 appeared on the glowing clock sitting on Xander's nightstand, he stopped breathing.

"Spike?" Xander asked, softly.

When Spike didn't respond, he took a couple of steps toward him. Just as he reached Spike's unmoving body, a strong hand darted out and wrapped around his ankle. Xander let out a yelp as Spike tugged, causing Xander to fall onto the floor and nearly crack his head on the cold cement. Xander kicked his foot, trying to get Spike to let go. Spike's grip tightened as he rolled onto his knees and peered down at Xander. Xander's breathing grew into a pant as Spike's face shifted into that of a vampire.

Xander let out a soft curse, before fighting to get free from Spike's grip one more time. This time Spike released him and simply watched as Xander crawled backwards along the floor until the back of his shoulders hit the Chair of Doom. Then, smirking, Spike lowered himself to his hands and knees and started to literally slink toward Xander.

"Spike? Oh, man, are you even in there?" Xander asked, nervously.

Again, Spike didn't reply. He continued to crawl until his hands were placed on either side of Xander's torso, with his legs positioned between Xander's. Spike tilted his head, taking in a deep breath. Spike's head lowered slightly until his cheek brushed against Xander's, causing Xander to shiver.

"You're going to kill me, aren't you?" Xander asked, his voice cracking. "I'm going to die in my parent's basement. What in the hell is wrong with this picture?"

"Shut up, Harris." Spike ordered, pulling back to stare down at him. "I'm not going to kill you."

"Oh, so I'm to be one of those human slaves, then?" Xander demanded, glaring. "I am no one's butt-monkey!"

"While I enjoy you turning this conversation toward the status of your arse, shut up." Spike stated, far too calm for Xander's taste. "I just want to test something, yeah?"

"T-test?" Xander squeaked as Spike lifted one hand. Xander gulped as Spike trailed the hand down his cheek and neck, then resting it on his shoulder. Xander stared up at Spike with wide brown eyes, before yelping as Spike suddenly pinched him hard. "What was that for? You jerk off!"

"Like I said, pet. Test." Spike replied, suddenly grinning. "I'm going to have to send Mayingoui a thank you card."

"What? Why-?" Xander paused, his mind processing what had just happened. "The chip. The chip is gone."

"Sure is, love." Spike said, in a perky voice that caused Xander to nearly panic. Spike being perky wasn't a good thing.

"Does this mean you're about to kill me?" Xander asked. "Now that you're back to normal and are hating me again, that is?"

"Don't hate you." Spike mumbled, lowering his head once more. Xander could almost feel Spike sniffing at his neck.

"What was that?" Xander asked.

"I don't hate you, you git." Spike snapped.

"So... No killing?" Xander's voice was hopeful.

"I suppose." Spike sighed dramatically. "Wouldn't want to piss off your girlie friends, after all."

"Yeah, they're pretty strong. The monster car won't even eat them." Xander teased. Spike glared. "Oh, come on. I have it on good authority you were cute as a kid, Spike. What with your little book worminess and tormenting Buffy? Very cute."

"That damn car is a monster." Spike suddenly insisted. "I don't know how Rupes drives it, to be honest."

"Well, that's G-Man for you." Xander said, lightly. There was a pause, in which Xander realized Spike was still hovering over him. Spike was looking at him with a strange glint in his eyes, almost speculative. Xander smiled nervously.

"I was right." Spike suddenly commented. "You are adorably entertaining."

"Umm, thanks." Xander said, blushing slightly.

"Whelp?"

"It's sad that I actually respond to that name. What is it?" Xander asked, with a sigh.

"I'm going to kiss you. I just thought I'd give you a fair warning this time." Spike informed him, before swooping down and meeting Xander's lips with his own.

Despite the warning, Xander was still caught off guard by the feel of Spike's mouth. A part of him yelled that he stop this, before it went too far. After all, Spike had just returned to normal, or so Xander assumed. It was probably a better idea to stop and assess what Spike knew before jumping into a make out session.

But the larger part of Xander, mostly controlled by hormones, beat the smaller part into a bunch of tiny pieces.

Xander opened his mouth to Spike, allowing the once again vampire to slip his tongue inside. Xander let out a soft moan, raising his arms and wrapping them around Spike's neck. Their tongues began to move along one another, pausing as Spike sucked on his tongue, before beginning the so called dance once more.

"This is stupid." Spike said, between two small kisses.

"You're right." Xander agreed, before shoving his tongue deep into Spike's mouth. Spike groaned low in his throat, his body lowering to meet Xander's. Xander pulled back from the kiss in order to breathe. "We're probably moving too fast."

"Much too fast." Spike stated, sucking lightly at Xander's neck. Xander's hips jerked upward to meet Spike's. "But -- bloody hell -- Don't care."

Xander whimpered a small reply as Spike's hips rolled downward to meet Xander's jerk upward. Xander's arms slipped down Spike's back, scraping dull nails over his clothed back. Spike nipped at his neck, before moving back to his lips. Cool hands slid down Xander's sides and then tugged slightly at his shirt. Just as Xander was lifting up to allow Spike to pull his shirt off, the phone rang.

"Shit!" Xander hissed.

"Leave it be." Spike ordered.

"Can't. It could be trouble." Xander replied, crawling out from underneath Spike and rushing to dig the phone out from underneath a pile of clothes. Spike fell back onto the floor, letting out a huff of annoyance as he listened to Xander's side of the conversation.

"Hello? Oh, hey Willow." A pause. "Whoa, calm down! Speak in normal babble, please." Another pause. "Uh-huh. Yeah... What do you mean it kidnapped Buffy? How did it manage that?" A moment of silence, followed by Xander letting out a groan. "You have got to be kidding me. Okay, we'll be there in a moment... Huh? Oh, yeah, Spike is here. He's, err, normal." A chuckle. "Well, as normal as he gets, anyway. Sure, he'll help. He's up for a little, ahh, activity." A pause. "No, that wasn't a sexual innuendo! Goodbye, Willow."

Xander placed the phone back on it's hook before turning to Spike with a sigh. "Well, Buffy has been Slayer-napped by her stalker. We've got to go save the day."

"Bloody hell." Spike grumbled, standing up and grabbing his duster and slipping on his Doc Martins. "That bint picks the most horrid times to need help."

"Yeah, well, welcome to my life." Xander replied, pulling on his coat and following Spike out the door. "If you plan on being in it, you should get used to it early."

"I've got to be insane." Spike stated. "Wanting to get into a relationship with the White Knight of the Slayer. Somewhere, Peaches is laughing his arse off at me."

"I'm sure he is, Spike." Xander grinned, patting him on the shoulder. "I'm sure he is."







Xander glanced over his shoulder to see Willow untying Buffy from the chair. Before them sat a large table with the most tantalizing food Xander had ever seen, along with candles and a stained jukebox playing sappy music. Xander turned back to the demon before him. The demon that Spike and himself were suppose to be beating up. Yet, Xander couldn't bring himself to do it.

"Look, I'm sure you could find someone else that is suited better." Spike was telling the blubbering and wailing demon. With a sigh, Spike pulled a small packet of tissue from somewhere in his duster. Xander didn't really want to know why he had tissues. The vampire handed them to the demon, who swiftly blew his bright orange nose. "You wouldn't want the Slayer anyway. She's unnatural in every bloody sense of the word."

"Hey!" Buffy exclaimed from behind them

"I'm serious." Spike continued, ignoring Buffy. "She has a shoe fetish that would make a Hocklurth demon run away screaming! And the whining! She won't shut up for nothing."

"Oh! And her bad testing habits!" Willow piped up, earning a glare from Buffy.

"Not to mention her terrible research etiquette." Giles added.

"And she's a little conceited." Xander admitted.

"See? Who would want a bitch like that?" Spike asked the demon, who had quieted down long enough to hear them bad mouth Buffy. The demon sniffed slightly, before saying something in a garbled language that sounded like a garbage machine. Spike nodded. "I'm sure that's wise."

"What did he say?" Buffy demanded as the demon sent her a kiss before walking away.

"Eh, just that he hadn't realized you were so high maintenance and thought it best to go back to his other three wives." Spike replied, turning around to face everyone.

"Three?" Buffy screeched. "Three! You mean I wasn't even his first choice in a mate?"

"Donít tell me you're offended." Willow said, looking confused.

"Well, yeah!" Buffy replied, crossing her arms and looking put out. Willow rolled her eyes and shared a disbelieving look with Xander.

"Right, well, we should head home, yeah?" Spike suddenly said, giving Xander a pointed look. Xander's face flushed red as Spike stepped closer to him and placed his hand on the middle of his back.

"See?" Buffy said to Willow, smirking at the couple. "I told you Xander wouldn't be able to resist dating someone nonhuman, male or female."

"Add in the fact that Spike is cute, and you have a point." Willow replied, grinning at Xander. "Poor Xander, he has no choice but to become Spike's love slave."

"Ha. Ha." Xander glared.

"Yes, well, as long as Spike doesn't hurt Xander I don't really care." Giles stated. "Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to get some sleep."

"Hmm, good idea. I've had enough excitement for one night." Buffy nodded, before sending Xander and Spike a wicked grin. "Don't wear yourselves out tonight, boys."

"I think it's safe to say that Deadboy is now truly laughing at you." Xander commented as they followed the other Scoobies out of the demon's temporary hideout.

"Probably is, the bastard." Spike grumbled. "It's all his fault, you know."

"Angel's?" Xander asked, raising an eyebrow. "How is that?"

"Well, I don't rightly know, but it usually is his fault!" Spike snapped, ignoring Xander's laughter as they continued home.





The End






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