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Written as per Estepehia’s Challenge:
Pairing: Spike/Xander (duh!)
Rating: up to you
Set: Season 7.
In order to make peace with Xander (or at least a kind of ceasefire) Spike offers Xander an opportunity to get even: One hour of payback for past insults and Spike's involvement with Anya.
“Sixty minutes. You say it – I do it. You dish it – I take it.”
What does Xander do with his one hour of power?
A/N: For Buddy - Kick-ass beta and soul-sister, and Elfie, Official Keeper of my Sanity

Never Say Never


It had seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time.

Of course, at the time he’d still been in the school basement, newly souled and blind-sided by horror and grief and remorse. Not to mention having a head full of vengeful spirits and being mad as a fucking hatter.

Things never happened to William the Bloody in half measures, oh no. And all his good ideas mostly turned out much like this one - a selfish beast which he nurtured, loved and honed to perfection, but which turned on him with big pointed teeth and a love for arse-flesh. His arse-flesh.

The confusion hadn’t helped. The whole multi-faced freak show that the present potentially world-ending Big Ugly was putting on most certainly wasn’t for the benefit of Spike’s mental health. The constant parade of familiar and mostly unloved faces which yammered on and on, gloating and leering and salivating in his pain was more than a bit trying on the nerves.

And oh fuck, that annoying bloody geek git whose only saving grace had been his exceptionally lifelike and erotically talented bots. Well, he just bloody talked and talked, never stopping, rantin’ and ravin’ until he made Spike wish that it had been he who’d skinned him alive - although he had a soul now and oh dear no, he wasn’t supposed to fantasize about bodies and blood and broken bones leaking marrow. He wasn’t supposed to get hard and horny over mayhem and horror and death, but it was his nature to do so and now he was in a worse prison than the chip had ever built around him, because now it hurt even when he fantasized. It hurt in his soul and somehow that pain was worse than the agony inflicted by the chip, ‘cause at least that pain went away. Eventually. The ache in his heart never did.

But oh, sweet Jesus...

What he wouldn’t do for just a taste, just one warm body that moaned and writhed beneath him as he plundered it’s throat and it’s life-blood and took pleasure in the warm, tight cocoon of cunt or arse (because hey, he was an equal-opportunity vampire). Just one long, exquisite ride, fucking a hot, pulsating purse of flesh that squeezed and sucked and kneaded his ravenous erection as he gulped down the sweet, scarlet nectar from the pulsing artery at it’s throat. Surely that wasn’t much for a vampire to ask? But of course, being souled now, it was.

No. It wouldn’t do to dwell on such things. It made him hard, and it wasn’t that the soul minded that so much, it was how he’d want to relieve that hardness that his newfound morality would be offended by. And no. He hadn’t forgotten about the limitations forced upon him by the chip either. Chip and soul, soul and chip working together in perfect har-mon-y (and hadn’t she just been the stupidest bint in the fucking universe). Working as a bloody team to keep him hungry and frustrated out of his fucking gourd with bloodlust. Bloodlust coupled with the biggest case of blue balls he’d had since Angelus had left him strung up for three days with the Empire State Building of erections and a tightly fastened cock-ring.

So he spent his time brooding, in between the frequent bouts of madness brought on by the spirits, the never-ending memories and flashbacks of every single innocent life he’d ever taken (courtesy of his newly-acquired and much underused soul) and...

(And wasn’t this just the putrid icing on the whole fucking festering cake)

...talking to whatever form the Big Ugly took in his presence, which was to his discomfort, increasingly his form. Himself. Spike. Me, myself, I.

He hated talking to himself. There was something fundamentally disconcerting about doing so and that pissed him off, because it made him feel as if he were insane. Well ok, he was insane, but not insane-in-the-fucking-membrane like Dru had been. This was a temporary setback, he very much hoped - a fly in the ointment, a glitch on the radar screen that would very soon bugger off into the sunset and bother him no more. He just needed to get out of this bloody basement and get these sodding vengeful spirits out of his head, then he’d be right as bloody rain. But he couldn’t stay sane long enough to actually do that for himself.

Eventually though, the Slayer had done what he could not. She’d rid the basement of the spirits and in turn, freed his mind... What was left of it.

It took him a few days to rearrange his thoughts, and to be able to find them in the rooms in his head that he’d actually left them in, but once done he was able to leave his hidey-hole, his refuge, and go out into the world again if he chose. He no longer needed a fuckin’ permission slip to do so.

However, there was to be no escape from the Big Ugly. It visited him with increasing frequency, filling in the void that the departing vengeful spirits had left, and it talked. Talked and talked and talked until Spike was on his knees, hands curled into fists in his unkempt hair, screaming for it to stop and give him some peace - allow him to have some rest. But it didn’t. Plans had been made; events set into motion and he, the former Big Bad, was of primary importance in those plans and would do what the fuck he was told to do, and soul be damned.

Spike had no idea what those plans were, only that he was to be a (very unwilling) part of them. He suspected that as he got weaker and less able to fight Big Ugly off, that he was being taken advantage of in some way. His mind had started to zone out and it seemed that he just ceased to be, which would account for the time he simply... lost. Lost time, perhaps, where Big Ugly took his place and used his body to work its will?

Fuck, he was so disorientated and his mind playing so many tricks that Big Ugly could have been cross-dressing and selling his arse on the Boulevard and he wouldn’t be any the wiser. He hadn’t a fucking clue as to what was going on and really he preferred to stay in this vacuum of ignorance. What he didn’t know, couldn’t hurt him and Christ knows he’d had all the hurtin’ he could take. So he made a decision not to let the not-knowing bother him. What really pissed him off though, was the talking.

Even so, it was fascinating to see himself as the world saw him. For his part, he could hardly fathom what a piece of work he actually was in the flesh, although he‘d always believed he had to be something pretty special if his past success in the art of seduction had been anything to go by. He hadn’t had the luxury of a mirror in a century and a bit, so as much as he hated the presence of the Big Ugly and the confusion and chaos it caused in his head, he couldn’t help but be enthralled by his own visage and bearing.

The rich, honey-coated voice that had never yet failed to dampen the panties of any woman or harden the cock of any man he chose - the sarcasm, the sneering self-satisfaction, the cock-of-the-walk swagger. He was indeed a vision, sharp features etched in alabaster with piercing blue eyes and a body that he’d fuck into the mattress of the nearest bed... if it hadn’t been his own.

The Others, they only appeared to tease and gloat and torment, but when there was important work to be done... and he wished he could remember what that important work was... Big Ugly came to him in Spike’s own image. He’d prowl around the basement, smirking, eyes sparkling with evil and malice, and Spike would watch him from his crouched vantage place on the floor.

Sometimes, Spike was frightened, ‘cause Big Ugly would shout at him, rant and rage until his head wanted to explode and he’d cuddle himself then, arms wrapped tightly around him and head jammed between tightly clenched elbows, rocking and rocking, cold tears wetting his face and salting his lips. He’d plead silently under his breath then, pleading for someone to help him, to make it all stop.




But no one ever did. And Big Ugly would laugh harshly and crouch down beside him and whisper into his ear, asking Spike who the fuck he had the audacity to imagine would give a shit about helping him, a broken-down, insane vampire who thinks he’s good enough to be something more than just the Slayer’s implement of masturbation.

And Spike would rock and weep as Big Ugly whispered on and on, each word another nail driven into the vampire’s flesh, a dash of vinegar on a sponge held to parched lips, a spear in his side. The profane religious inferences of his own imagery shocked Spike, but he had sacrificed himself, hadn’t he? For Her. He’d gone through the Trials, he’d taken back the Spark for Her. To be worthy of Her, to be the equal of Her. To enable Her to finally love him without pain and guilt. To make him the type of man who wouldn’t take by force that which wasn’t freely given.

Or was it for Him? Spike wasn’t quite sure; he was so easily confused these days.

Because there had always been Him, you see. Long before Spike had gotten into the Slayer’s silken knickers. Long before he’d taken his comfort the only way he could, in her bed, on her terms, and cold bloody comfort it was too. Oh, he knew that he was being used, but it didn’t matter really, because so was she. Being used because Spike couldn’t have Him, the Slayer’s dark-haired, doe-eyed boy.

But he had to laugh, and so he did, manically like some crazy who was round the bloody bend - laughed with the irony of it all, because along with the pain his soul brought, there was a kind of clarity that managed sometimes to break through the smog of confusion that hung in his brain. A clarity that as a soulless demon he’d never had. He supposed that clarity was in reality his conscience, and right now his conscience was reminding him what a bastard he‘d been, and most especially to the boy in question. To Him.

Big Ugly was right. No one would come. No one would help him. Because no one cared. After all, he’d never been their redeemer. He’d been their nemesis.

He awoke one morning? Night? Fuck, how the hell did he know, he was insane. He awoke with clarity screaming in the very marrow of his bones. The many faces of the Others had been with him for what seemed like days, taunting, confusing, screeching their rage and glorifying in his impotence and he’d been so tired, so very tired. He’d no idea how long he’d slept or even if was truly awake, but the Others had been gone and a great shuddering sigh exploded from his throat. Trembling, he scrambled to his haunches and contemplated rat’s blood and the roaring hunger that ate deep into his innards. But overriding all thought and sensation, had been visions of a face. The boy’s face. The face of Him.

Spike sat perfectly still, his face slack and his eyes dull and glazed as a myriad of images from the past assaulted him. Himself, salivating as Angel had offered him the boy’s throat, the smell of fear wafting from the boy, but somehow intermingled with an arousal that Spike was sure Xander had been totally unaware of.

Himself, standing in the shadows of the Bronze watching as Xander danced with Red and the Slayer, vampiric senses on overdrive as the boy’s scent filled his nostrils, creating a hunger in his belly and his cock that since Angelus he’d thought he’d never feel again.

Himself, fighting side by side with Xander on one of the good nights where the boy didn’t get himself nearly pulverized. When he’d held his own and fought bravely and hard. When he’d made the kill and Spike could nearly taste his hard-on. Oh god, how he’d wanted him then. Wanted to take him and fuck him right there on the ground amongst the blood and gore of the creatures they’d just slaughtered. Wanted to bite, to make the claim, to own him. (Fucking MINE!)

Him then, Xander, tying Spike to, oh god only knew how many chairs. But the memory most played-back, most treasured in every one of his wank-fantasies was of this one, the one in Xander’s lair, Xander’s basement, where Spike sat night after night in the dark, his erection straining against his tight jeans as he watched. Watched the boy (his boy), watched him sleep.

He prayed on those nights, not to God, not to any deity in particular, but just to whatever was listening, that Xander would sit up slowly in the bed, sheet sliding from his smooth body as he arose and walked calmly to where Spike sat, waiting. That he would bend over until their noses nearly touched. That Spike would feel his hot breath on his face, breath that was sharp and fast with arousal and anticipation. That Xander would smile, then reach over and run the tip of his (hot, oh so fucking hot) tongue over Spike’s trembling lips. This particular image never failed to coax a needy moan from the vampire.

Xander would pull back then; his teasing smile crinkling the corners of eyes that seemed black they were so dilated with lust. He would trail tanned, callused hands over his torso to his erection, which he stroked gently with one hand while the other cupped his full sac.

“You want this?” He would breath. “You want to touch me, Spike? You’d like to taste me, wouldn’t you? Suck me? Swallow me whole?”

The memory of this had him hard now and glazed eyes blinked just once, the tip of a tongue sneaked out to moisten lips that were dry as sandpaper. Spike’s hand moved of it’s own volition towards his erection and he slid his hand palm downwards along the length of his cock, squeezing now, kneading. In his head, in his memory, Xander nodded his approval.

“Oh yeah, you want me bad, don’t ’cha Spike? Want me to be your bitch?”

And... Oh god help him, he did. He wanted Xander on his knees before him, naked and submissive and slick with oil. He wanted Xander to beg him to hurt him just a little, to make him crave and plead for what only Spike could give him. He wanted to watch Xander’s muscles stretch and quiver as he pushed his knees to his chin and buried his cock inside him. He wanted to make him bleed.

Ahhhh fuck, he was so close now. Glazed eyes rolled back in his head and eyelids closed as his hand moved harder, faster, his balls tightening as orgasm rushed upwards from them to radiate outwards, excruciatingly sweet shocks of pleasure dancing on his skin like red-hot sparks, but then... then...



Xander confronting him outside the Magic Box, eyes wet with pain and rage and something else, a hunger that Spike recognized too late, too fucking late, because if he’d seen that hunger there before, seen it for real instead of inside his fantasies, then there would never have been Slayer, there would never have been Anya, there would never have been Xander (Him. His boy) standing before him with hatred eating up any fucking good thing that he’d ever felt for Spike. Xander, screaming inside and out, payback pretty much the only thing on his mind. Not loving Spike, not being Spike’s bitch, but being his judge, his jury and his executioner - being his end.

And oh, the pain of it...

The memory of it hammered home and Spike cried out, not in pleasure (because his orgasm had disappeared off into the wide, black, fucking yonder), but in an agony of treachery and betrayal and lost love and the knowing that he’d never, ever have Him. He’d fucked up. No more chances to be had. Game over.

Wailing, sobbing... no, howling in anguish, Spike sank down until his nose touched his cramped knees, his erection a distant memory although it did prevail and that was so fucking bitter-sweet he couldn’t find the words to describe it. (Useless fucking poet) Hell, he couldn’t find words. Period. Except please.



He rolled onto his side, body curling into the fetal position out of some primal impulse. One arm crept out and stretched in front of him, searching for the comfort that he knew would never be his. Fingers convulsing as he struggled to contain the misery and heartache that he thought would make his head and his heart implode with its banshee-screams and its ripping, tearing claws - merciless talons of sorrow and torment that were eviscerating him from the inside out.

Spike’s mouth yawned wide, but the silent screams stuck stubbornly in his throat and the pain just point-blank refused to leave. He couldn’t weep enough tears to cleanse it from his system, couldn’t scream it out, and couldn’t cut it out (Although god knows he’d tried hard enough to). But he knew that somehow he had to find release, he had to find an outlet for all this raw emotion, because if he didn’t, it would kill him.

And as tempting as that possibility seemed, he couldn’t allow it to happen, because what then of his soul? Oh no, his soul and his fucking, cock-sucking conscience would not allow death to be the easy option. He hadn’t come all this way, hadn’t suffered the Trials and the agony of the Spark returning to just lie down and fucking die. But he couldn’t stand this pain, either.

Exhausted, he lay on the floor of the basement and gradually the weeping stopped and the agony within subsided to a dull, steady throb. His eyelids fluttered and he sighed softly, welcoming the nothingness that slumber would bring. But a soft, malicious chuckle snatched him back from sleeps comforting embrace and he opened his eyes to stare into familiar brown eyes. Spike sobbed, a pitiful whimper full of longing, and need and ‘please let it really be you.’

Xander smiled. “You bet ’cha. It’s really me, fangless. Although why the fuck you‘d want it to be, is way beyond my comprehension.”

Spike blinked hard. Him. It was Him. But why? Xander had no idea; Xander hadn’t the first fucking clue how much Spike wanted (desired, coveted, obsessed over) Him. Had he?

“But how?”

“Buffy. She mentioned that she’d met your sorry-ass self scuttling around down here like a big old vampire roach. As a matter of fact” Xander tugged up the knees of his sweats and hunkered down. “As a matter of fact, you’ll be interested to know that she’s coming back for you.”

Spike’s eyes widened and he scrambled to his knees, hope flooding his body like the purest, most potent drug and making him eyes sting with tears.

“Coming back? She’s coming back for me. And she sent you? Sent you to...”

Xander laughed then, a brittle, hollow sound that had very little to do with pleasure or joy. “Sent me? Are you out of your fucking mind? She has no idea I’m here and that’s just the way I like it. But she is intending to drop by later, haul your putrid, stinking undead carcass back into the land of the living. In a matter of speaking. So we gotta make this fast.”

The young man checked his watch then, tapping it thoughtfully. “Ooooh, I’d say we got two, three hours. Tops.”

Spike’s eyes crinkled in confusion and he could hear the Others, faint-like, screeching like hyenas inside his head. Something was wrong here - something didn’t smell...

And then he did smell it. Fear. Fear coming from Xander or from him or maybe even from them both, but also something else. Something that made Spike think of panic and fury and desperation. Something that chilled his soul and terrified him.

“I’m not goin' to be 'ere when Buffy returns, am I?”

Xander stared at him intently, and Spike watched mesmerized as a small bead of sweat trickled slowly down the young man’s forehead and dripped unnoticed onto the knee of Xander’s sweatpants. That little droplet of saline gave Spike the tiniest glimmer of hope. He got it now - Xander hadn’t come to rescue him - he’d come to dust him. Or worse. But stone-cold killers don’t sweat or stink of fear when they’re certain and sure of their mission and perhaps there was a way in which a (terrified but wily) vamp could get himself out of this.

Xander shrugged. “What can I say? Payback’s a bitch and I’m its pimp, dead-boy.”

“You really don’t want to do this, Xander...”

“Don’t I? Why the hell not, after what you did to me? And anyway, you have no idea what I’m gonna do to you, so just shut the fuck up!”

Spike groaned and lay back on the floor with a thump and a weary sigh. He covered his eyes with his hands.

“Oh fuck it, Special Ed. You know what? I’m way past carin' what it is that you do. So go ahead. Do whatever your little heart desires. I tell you what, donut boy - I’ll admit it, I owe you one. Maybe even two or three, and for what it’s worth, I’m sorry - I never meant to hurt you. You deserve some payback though, so go on then - take your best shot. You’ve got an hour or so to kill until the Slayer sashays around here to snatch me from your evil clutches, so do whatever.”

Spike sniffed then, hoping that Xander didn’t notice the slight tremor in his voice or the way his hands trembled.

“Anyhow. Can’t be worse than what Big Ugly’s got planned for us all.”

He couldn’t see, but he could almost hear Xander frown and his brain tick over with this little gem of information. The young man cleared his throat.

“Ummmm... Big Ugly. And that would be?”

“Your worst fuckin' nightmare, boy. Makes Glorificus look like a hyperactive six-year-old. Oh ask Slayer, I’ve told her all about it. Well, mostly.”

Spike dropped his hands his cards now played, and stared nonchalantly at Xander.

“That’s most probably why she’s comin' back 'ere, you know. Not for my fuckin' benefit, you can be sure. Oh, it’s just business as usual for ol' Spike - sellin' whatever info I’ve got that’ll help 'er save the world and give me a few quid for fags and blood. Dunno what I’d do without all these bloody apocalypse’s - starve, most like.”

He squinted up at Xander. “Don’t suppose you’ve any fags?”

The young man’s eyes flashed dangerously and his fists clenched and unclenched.

“The only fucking fag here is you, soon-to-be-dead undead guy.”

“I suppose I asked for that.”

“Yeah, and a whole lot more which I’d be taking great pleasure in beating out of your fucking corpse if you didn’t have information that Buffy might need. And hey...” He gestured around him. “I wouldn’t even have to sweep up your fucking dust afterwards. I’m guessing ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ gives this crib a miss.”

“Oh. So now I’m to be spared your great and mighty wrath, is that it? For the good of mankind and fluffy, cute animals and such. Well hoo-fucking-rah.”

Moving with a speed that not even he knew he could muster, Xander got to his feet and grabbed Spike by the back of his head, pulling him forward until their noses were nearly touching and...

Oh god...

This wasn’t the same scenario as Spike’s fantasy, but being this close to Him, so damn close that if he just reached forward he could...

(...Feel his hot breath on his face, breath that was sharp and fast with arousal and anticipation.)

So close that Xander could ...

(... Smile, then reach over and run the tip of his (hot, oh so fucking hot) tongue over Spike’s trembling lips. )

It was agonizing. And what Spike wouldn’t have given at that second to turn the clock back, to not have slept with Anya, to not have hurt Xander, to not have killed and tortured his away across a century of time, to not have met a dark-haired Irishman with a lilting voice and the face of an angel, who’d taken away everything he’d ever been and replaced it with death and night and blood.

But then again, he had given everything. He’d sacrificed himself and gotten back the Spark. But he supposed that all that wouldn’t matter a whole hell of a lot to God, because at the end of the day he hadn’t done it for God. He’d done it for Him. For Xander. And it had all been for nothing. And now Xander was growling into his face, his handsome features contorted with loathing and he was ready, willing and able to stake Spike - and the fresh wave of pain that swamped the vampire just about finished him.

“I could do it, you know. Stake your lily-white insane-in-the-basement butt right here, right now and she’d never know it was me. So carry on, Evil Dead. Gimme a reason. Make my fucking day.”

Without warning, Spike sobbed - a spluttering gasp of a sob that accompanied a steady trickle of tears that slid unhurriedly down his cheeks and plummeted off his chin.

Xander’s eyes widened in shock and his lip curled in disgust.

“What the fuck...?”

He pushed Spike away then and took a few uncertain steps backwards.

Spike sank slowly to his knees, his face wet and his sobs gradually turning to laughter, great braying whoops of laughter that wasn‘t really laughter at all but something more frantic, more frenzied. And still his bitter tears flowed.

Xander held up his hands in front of him.

“Woah... What the hell is your problem?”

Spike grimaced in a twisted parody of a smile.

“Hey, News Flash numb-nuts. I’M INSANE! Didn’t you get the fucking MEMO? William the fuckin' Bloody is a fuckin' FRUIT CAKE! He’s batty! He’s a bloody Looney-Tune! The lights are on, but everyone has fucked off! Insane-in-the-soddin' membrane! Spike and his all-singin', all-dancin' new soul is FUCKING CRAZY!”

Xander’s mouth hung open in surprise. Seconds later, he sank to his knees in shock as Spike’s words, as Spike’s revelation hit him. His brow crinkled in concentration and he peered into the vampire’s eyes, because the eyes were the windows to the soul and surely, just surely he would see something there, something that would show him that Spike really, truly had a soul. A soul. Spike had a...

“Soul? You?”

Tears continued to stream down the vampire’s face. He cocked his head to one side and stared intently at Xander.

“Yeah. Went and got myself the Spark back.”

“Oh god. Oh god. You... A soul? I... I mean, your soul? You got back your soul?”

Spike sniggered. “Who else’s would they give me, pet?”

Xander sat back on his heels. He could see it. Well, not the soul itself, but he could see it in Spike’s eyes, the change. He. Could. See. It.

His throat constricted and something that felt like tears pricked his eyes. Drawing a trembling hand across his face, he gulped hard, emotions running riot through his head and his heart. Yeah. Like it hadn’t been riotous enough in there already. He stared at Spike again, simply because he couldn’t not.

The vampire’s hands fiddled clumsily with the bottom of his shirt. He glanced up at Xander shyly from beneath heavy, black eyelashes and despite himself Xander felt his cock harden. There was something unholy about Spike’s beauty. Something ravenous and dark and bewitching. He’d always thought that men were supposed to be classed as handsome, not beautiful. But hey, Spike sure fucked up the rules on that one.

Xander’s eyes shut momentarily as he desperately tried to shove all those old feelings, all those unwanted, undeserved feelings for Spike right back where they belonged - in the darkest, most un-visited corners of his mind. Those shadowed corners where things were neither seen nor heard, and were deprived of all ability to hurt and betray and deceive.

“You wanna see?”

Eyes open. Spike was gripping the bottom of his shirt with both hands, one over the other, in readiness to pull it over his head. And that would make him bare-chested (naked underneath. Naked. Nearly naked Spike). Xander thought that if he saw that, any and all resolve to hurt/punish/stake (oh who the fuck are you fooling, like you’d really have dusted him?) would be gone. Kaput.

God, he was teetering here, right on the brink of not hating him and why oh fucking why could Spike always do that? He should hate him. Loath him, despise him, but he didn’t, not deep down inside. No, deep inside he craved him. And Xander hated himself because of it. Everything about Spike was pain - he was the King of fucking pain, because it hurt so bad to hate him. But it hurt even more not to.


“It’s right 'ere, only I can’t see it on account o' me bein' evil an' all. Can you see it, Xander?”

Spike pulled the shirt off then, and Xander whimpered at the sight of the vampire’s chest. It was crisscrossed with cuts and slashes where someone... no, not someone, Spike (Oh fuck, he did that to himself) had gouged and ripped and tore with fingernails and knives and god only knew what else, until his whole chest area was a bloody, directionless map of ruined skin. Skin that Xander had always yearned to...

“Can you see it? What does it look like, Xander. Does it shine? I’ve always thought it must, because it burns. Burns like the sun, only on the inside. Is it a pretty thing? An effulgent thing?”


“Shine! Does it gleam?”

Xander shook his head slowly, bile threatening to burn a trail from his gullet to his throat and just choke him.

“No. I... I mean, I don’t know. I can’t see anything except... “ Xander’s voice broke then, the last few words little more than hoarse little breaths. He closed his eyes again, not wanting to look at the ruined flesh any more.

“Oh. You can’t see it then? Maybe they think that you’ll tell me where to cut, you see. God Xander, it burns so much and in the beginning I couldn’t stand it, just wanted it to be gone. And I tried... I tried, but I couldn’t find it. Couldn’t find the right spot to tear open and...”

“STOP! Just. Stop. Don‘t.”

Because even the fact that Spike was calling him by his name which he never did was just killing him.

Xander felt a cool hand cover his and he couldn’t help but flinch. He opened his eyes again and looked down at his hand, half expecting it to be coated in either ice or flames, because his touch, Spike’s touch burned - and he wasn’t sure whether it burned hot or cold.

He glanced up and Spike gaze searched for his, trying to make contact.

“It’s ok, Xander. I won’t try to find it. I won’t try to cut it out any more. I know now. I know why it has to burn the way it does. It’s clarity, you see. It’s given me clarity. The burnin', that’s my sins. The clarity is burnin' me ‘cause of my sins, ‘cause of all the wicked, evil things I did, for all those people I... for all the souls I took. For the pain I caused the Slayer. The pain I caused you.”

Spike grimaced. “You know, don’t you? You know that I’m sorry?”


“For what I did to you. The things I said - the things I did. None of it was ever meant to hurt. I... I just got it all muddled, see. I just wanted you to look at me, to notice me, to see me. You never could see me, could you Xander?”

“See you? I saw you practically every goddamn night whether I wanted to or not. And oh, not meant to hurt? So your idea of being nice is boning my fiancée, is that it? I suppose I should be grateful you didn’t want to be my best buddy, or you’d have boned my mom too. And oh god... Hating that image a lot.”

Spike shook his head. “No. No, no, no - you don’t understand, you don’t get it. See me. Me. In ‘ere” He slapped his chest and winced at the pain from the ruined flesh. “In my heart, what I felt, what I needed.”

“Oh I think I know what you needed. You hated me so goddamn much that you’d have done just about anything to hurt me. And hey, give the dead guy a round of applause, people - you did. Actually, no. You didn’t.”

“Well make up your mind, luv. I either did or I didn’t.”

Xander glared at him, unshed tears glinting in his eyes. His face contorted in pain and rage and he faced up to Spike, making him flinch and avoid his gaze.

“You didn’t hurt me. You damn near destroyed me. That give you a happy? That make your fucking day? I bet it was the ride of your life, wasn’t it bleachie? Boning Anya over that table, knowing how much I loved her, knowing how ...”

“You didn’t love her, Xander. You used her - much as I did, for my sins.”

“What the hell would you know about love? I. Loved. Her. You knew it. You knew it when you were on her, inside her, when you...” Xander’s eyes closed in pain momentarily. “You knew when you took her that it would...”

“YOU! Don’t you see? Don’t you bloody get it? It was YOU! When I was fucking her, when I was inside her it was you. You on my mind. In my heart. You behind my eyes. You I was inside. I WANTED IT TO BE YOU!”

Spike began to sob again, fresh tears wetting his cheeks.

“I wanted it to be you and when I was in her I closed my eyes and I could smell you off her and it WAS you. I was inside You. And you know what? It burned. It burned me alive inside, Xander because I wanted you so fuckin' badly. Badly enough to fuck the only woman you ever loved, so that I could touch some part of you. Fuck her because for a few brief seconds, she was you and you loved me back. You fucked me back.”

Xander couldn’t speak, couldn’t move as his tears finally broke free and blurred his vision. He blinked, and the tiny droplets flicked from his heavy lashes onto his cheeks where they meandered unhurriedly towards his chin. He licked trembling lips and tasted salt.

“No.” A hoarse whimper.

“Yes. Yes, Xander. Yes.”

“But Buffy. You love Buffy...”

“No. Not love. Something, but not love. Not like you. I don’t burn for her like I burn for you. I didn’t get the Spark for her. I got it for you. To be worthy. To be loved. So that I could be yours and you wouldn’t have to be ashamed.”

Ashamed? And Xander just couldn’t. He couldn’t deal. He’d wanted this so badly, secretly, never daring to believe it could actually happen. Night after night lying in the dark in that fucking basement he laughingly called home, ears straining for some sign that Spike was there. He knew he was there, of course - he’d tied him to the chair himself. But Xander couldn’t hear him because vampires don’t breath. Couldn’t see him, because humans don’t see so well in the dark.

But he’d lie in bed, the faint scent of Spike in his nostrils the only tangible thing to reassure him that the vampire was actually there. Not that it helped. It was worse, in a way. Worse because most nights he was so needy and frustrated that he’d cry silent tears, and he’d be so hard that it physically hurt. The object of his desire was right there in the room with him, but the distance between them so great that inches might as well have been miles.

When Anya became his steady thing, he’d thought it would be easier. He had loved her, in his way. But she hadn’t made him burn - and oh god, when Spike had said that, when Spike had talked about the burn, he’d nearly lost it - because there was something they finally shared - something and nothing - the secret burning that scorched them both.

But he knew inside that it could never happen - not just because Spike didn’t love him. But because he couldn’t and shouldn’t love Spike. He was a vampire, an evil, dead, used-to-be soulless thing. And Xander was human and oh by the way, not of the gay persuasion. Spike might have been, or possibly swung both ways, but he, Xander, wasn’t gay. Not much. Ok, just a little. Just enough to break his friend’s hearts if they found out he was boning Spike. How much of the disgust would be Xander’s nearly-gayness and how much would be Spike’s mostly-vampire-ness? Xander wasn’t sure, but was oh so not ready to find out.

He still remembered Buffy’s face when she’d found out about Willow and Tara. And he still remembered how she’d hated herself for fucking Spike. And now he hated himself too - hated himself for being so stupid and weak as to want a vampire, a demon - a dead guy for god’s sake. And not just ‘some’ dead guy, the dead guy who’d tried to kill himself and his best friends on more than one occasion. The dead guy who was his best friend’s ex-lover. The dead guy who had fucked his girlfriend.


What to do, what to do, oh GOD what to do? I want to kill him. No I don’t, I want to fuck him. But I can’t. And I won’t. I can’t be demon-magnet guy. I can’t be a vampire’s fucking consort. I can’t because it’s wrong. Because Buffy said so herself - it’s wrong. This has got to stop and if I can’t kill him or make him go away, then it won’t ever fucking stop and I can’t stand it. Can’t stand that this will go on and on and on.

“Ok then, Evil Dead. Prove it.”

“Beg pardon?”

“If you’re so fucking sorry, then prove it. Show me. Show me how fucking sorry you are.”

Spike looked puzzled. “What do you want me to do? Name it.”

Xander frowned. What did he want him to do? He wanted Spike to teach him how to forget, that’s what. He wanted Spike to teach him how to forget Spike. If he forgot Spike, the pain would go away, sanity and order would be restored to Xander’s life and maybe, just maybe he could find a nice girl, settle down and not think about that lean hard body and those piercing blue eyes. Maybe.

“Ok, I’ll tell you what Harris. To prove to you that I’m sincere, to prove that I really am sorry, I’ll give you an hour. Sixty minutes. You say it – I do it. You dish it – I take it. Can’t say fairer than that, now can I?”

“An hour?”

“One whole hour. Whatever you want to do to me, I’ll take it without playing the blame-game.”

Spike looked at his hands for a second, trying not to think about the offer he’d just made. Trying hard not to panic because Xander hated him so fucking much that Spike was sure whatever was coming was going to be hell on earth. But he deserved it, didn’t he? He’d been a bad boy. An evil boy. He deserved whatever Xander threw his way. The pain was prevalent - necessary - cleansing. And Spike wanted so much to be cleansed, almost as much as he wanted Xander to love him.

“I meant it when I said I was sorry. Christ, you’ll never know how much. The pain, it’s eatin' me alive Xander. And... And I know it’s no more than I deserve, but it’s chokin' me. It’s dissectin' and destroyin' me and I have no idea how to go about makin' amends - taking it for granted I ever can. So do it. Take your vengeance - you deserve it. And so do I.”

Xander looked strangely resolved and Spike automatically flinched when the young man moved, waiting on the inevitable stake in the chest. But instead, Xander looked at him sadly, thoughtfully and then nodded his head.

“Ok Spike. Much as I don’t want to help you out with the whole redemption thing, ‘cause frankly I think you should fry in hell forever, I am interested in your offer of some payback. So here’s what I want. I want you to make me forget you. However, by whatever means necessary other than death and extreme torture that I know you can‘t do anyway, I want you to make me forget about you - forget your bad-arsed, Billy Idol wannabe, Fangy-and-Grrrrr Incorporated, dead-as-a-doornail self ever existed. You’ve got...” He checked his watch. “Fifty-nine minutes.”

Spike blinked. Ok, obviously something was very wrong with his hearing, ‘cause he could’ve sworn that Xander has asked him (Spike) to make him (Xander) forget about him. While they were in the same room. Together. And without the aid of some pretty powerful mojo or a concussion-inducing sledgehammer, which Spike couldn’t hit him with anyway.

“Oh!” And now Xander jumped to his feet, pointing at the vampire. “And did I mention that if you don’t make me forget you, you have to go. Leave Sunnydale. For good. No? Well I have now, so we’re clear.”

“Ummmm... Xander? Aren’t I the one who supposed to be insane here?”

“Pretty much. It’s a matter of opinion really - the jury’s still out. Uh huh, fifty-eight minutes left, dead, dead and un-deader.”

Spike got to his feet and ran his hands through his hair. “Bloody hell Xan. The impossible I can do straight away, but miracles are gonna take a bit longer than an hour.”

“Not my problem, oh ever-present-pain-in-my-arse. One hour. Period. Clock is ticking, fangless one.”

Xander wandered over to the wall and propped himself against it. His mind was in a whirl and his stomach was clenched with nerve-cramps. He wouldn’t be able to do it. Spike. He couldn’t possibly do what Xander has asked him to do and half of him crowed in triumph at the thought of the vampire having to leave Sunnydale, whilst the other screamed in anguish at the thought of Spike disappearing and being somewhere other than close to him.

And oh, by the way - just how the fuck had he gotten himself into this? He’d come here, a man with a mission. Well, a kind of a mission. An arse-kicking mission. And now here he was, issuing an impossible ultimatum to a man that he should be tearing a new asshole for, rather than one that he could barely keep his hands off. An ultimatum that would leave Xander with a gut full of misery and a never-ending case of blue balls. God, it was true - he really was his own worst enemy.

Spike had his own problems. Ok, so Harris wanted him to make him forget Spike. How did you forget someone, especially when they‘re in the same bloody room as you?

And why was Harris so desperate to forget him. All right, the Anya-shaggin’ incident, granted. Mind you, he’d have thought a swift kick to his balls would have given the boy more satisfaction, but forgetting he even existed? How the fuck was that going to work, because Anya sure as hell wouldn’t forget and Spike knew the ex-vengeance demon well enough to know that she’d throw it in Xander’s face every opportunity she could if he pissed her off enough.

He knew Xander was aroused, hell he couldn’t help but notice the bulge in front of his pants. And why had he cried when Spike had told him he’d wanted him. Spike studied Xander closely, and surreptitiously scented the air, drawing it deep into his nostrils. Pain - bitter like burnt almonds. Anger - sharp and bittersweet like a sour lemon. Xander-smell, earthy, clean and pure. (Fuck, was it any wonder the boy was a demon magnet smelling like that.) Desire - rich, musky, so overpowering it coated his tongue and he could taste it.


The vampire’s eyes met Xander’s and something clicked - something wordless, primal and wholly understood.

Xander wanted him. Oh fuck, Xander wanted him. And Spike remembered only too clearly the raw hunger he’d seen in the boy’s face that night at the Magic Box, that night when he’d caught Spike and Anya in the act. Mixed in with the rage and pain and the betrayal had been the hunger. Hunger that Spike had believed was annihilated by Xander’s rage. Obviously not.

His mind raced. He’d no intention of leaving Sunnydale, not until he wanted to at any rate. But he wanted Xander to believe that he would, if that was what would appease the boy. Jesus wept, how the bloody hell could he make Xander forget him? The only thing that would make Xander come close to forgetting would be a new lover. Not himself, not Anya, not anyone who he’d ever known. A new lover, who would understand Xander’s need to retain control of his own destiny, of his own heart, desire and needs. Definitely not Spike then, ‘cause Master vampires aren’t submissive - it’s against their very nature.

Spike could understand Xander’s need to be ‘daddy’, though. To get back the control he’d lost. Anya had been the one in control of their relationship all along - asserting her will on Xander, forcing him to be beneath her - girl was a demon, so par for the course. Hell, he’d felt like that through so many decades of being with Angelus, suppressing his own dominant nature in deference to his Sire.

He also realized that Xander had never completely lost all trace of the hyena essence that had once inhabited him. The pack mentality was strong within him, the need for the comfort of his pack, the need for a mate, the need to be Alpha male.

Spike recalled only too well how he’d felt as a human - overwhelmed by his more dominant male friends, struggling for the attention that Cecily, the object of his desires, was only willing to lavish on the Alpha males. He could still feel the impotent rage in his chest when she’d spurned him, emasculating him, telling him he was beneath her. She may as well have just cut off his bollocks and worn them as a necklace, because if he‘d lived after that, if he hadn’t been Turned, he‘d have been useless - a weak, hen-pecked fop of a man who would never feel that he was worth anything. Poor old William, who only wanted to be loved.

Spike blinked.

William. Dear, sweet William.

He thought for a moment, and then walked forward to face Xander.

“All right, Xander. You win. I’ll go. It’s the only way that I can give you what you wanted - you won’t forget about me when I’m right here, now will you?”

He was gratified by the shock on Xander’s face.

“Go? Hey, no fair! Now that’s just cheating! So what, you’re a damn welsher on top of everything else, is that it?”

The vampire smiled wearily. “Xander, I’m not welshing and I’m not cheating. I’m not going as in ‘leaving’. Not exactly, anyway. Listen, you know that I have my soul back, right?”

Xander nodded wordlessly.

“Ok, so I have my soul back. Which means that there are two of us in ‘ere. Two of us inside, sharing the one body. The demon, and William. In order to appease you, I have to go - so William will take my place.”

The young man’s eyebrows nearly hit the ceiling. “What? What do you mean two of us? What does that mean? And William? Who the fuck is William?”

Spike moved until he and Xander were face to face. Then he leaned over and kissed the astonished man on the lips.

“Goodbye, Xander Harris. I never meant to hurt you, I just... I just wanted more than you can give and ... well, you know... love‘s a funny old thing. Makes you do the wacky.”

He winked at Xander and flashed him a last cheeky grin, then dropped his head and sank to his knees.



“SPIKE? Ok, this SO isn’t funny. Not laughing here, soul-boy!”

The figure on the floor in front of him suddenly flinched and grabbed his head, whimpering pitifully.

“Spike? Please, don’t do this. Spike!”

“Isn’t here.”

Spike dropped his hands and looked up at Xander fearfully. He was trembling and there was a weakness around his lips that Xander couldn’t ever recall seeing before.

“Ok, enough of this shit. Get up, dead boy.”

“Dead?” Spike looked puzzled. He placed a hand on chest right above where his heart was. “You’re right, young master. Dead. I am indeed, still a corpse.”

He got to his feet then, brushing dust from his clothing and trying desperately to straighten them into some semblance of order.

“I had hoped that perhaps some spell was in order - something that would restore me to my former state. I rather enjoyed living, you know. Breathing. Eating. Walking in the sunshine with Mama on a warm Spring’s eve. “

Spike leaned over then, whispering guardedly. “I don’t hold with all that killing, you know. Dreadful business, I could never bring myself to do such bestial, ungentlemanly acts of barbarity. But what can I do? I am but an unfettered soul. Although now not so unfettered. It’s all rather peculiar really, I feel quite unhinged.”

Xander made a noise that sounded midway between a squawk and a yelp. Ok, officially wigged now - he hadn’t the faintest clue what the fuck was going on or what Spike was playing at. Whatever it was, he didn’t much like it.

“Look... Spike, I don’t know what you think you’re ...”

The blonde before him looked surprised. “Oh, good Lord no! I’m not HIM. I’m...” He tutted. “Oh dear, it’s my own fault, I’ve been unforgivably remiss in my manners. My name is William, and you are Alexander, yes?”

“William. Not... Spike.”

William smiled. “No, not him. Most definitely not him, he is demon-spawn. I, on the other hand, am a gentleman. And a poet. At least, I was before his brute of a Sire violated me. We inhabit this... this body between us now. I mean, why in the name of all that’s good and holy they brought me back, I have no idea. I was perfectly happy in the Netherworld - it was quiet. Peaceful. Ample time to ponder, to reflect and perfect my craft. Have I mentioned Alexander, that I’m a poet?”

“Ummmm.... Yeah. You pretty much covered that. SO! William. What’s next, huh? I mean... How long are you gonna be around. When’s the bleached menace coming back?”

“Bleached? I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”

“S’ok, you’re better not knowing, believe me. You’re not here to stay though, right? I mean, fangless is gonna be coming back? And hey, where did he go? Is he still in there?” He prodded William gently on the chest.

“OUCH! I’m wounded! Please Alexander, refrain from prodding me if you will. The demon thought he could cut it out, stupid beast. I mean, cutting out your soul, whoever heard of such a thing?”

“Hah. And there was me thinking I’d seen it all. Man, the fun just never stops here on the Hellmouth - the hits just keep on comin’.”

“Hits? Oh dear, I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with a lot of your words. It’s so difficult you see - after all, I have over one hundred years to try and catch up on. It’s easier for Angelus, you know. He’s had his soul a lot longer and it hasn’t been so difficult to adjust. I suspect it will be some time before I’ve fully grasped the wonders and nuances of this brave new world in which I find myself. That’s if I can ever steal myself enough to rifle through his more... lurid memories. I can’t believe what that devil has been doing with my body, it defies belief! And some of the things that he’s had in my mouth...”

“OK! Not wanting to rain on your parade, but what now?”

“Now, Alexander?”

“Yeah. I mean... you can’t stay here.”

“And why not? It’s my... it’s our home, quite obviously. And again the beast shows his total lack of breeding. I mean, it’s like a cattle stall in here. The smells, the dust...”

William sighed theatrically. “ My dear Mama would roll in her grave if she could see me living in such squalor. ‘A little soap and water goes a long way, William’, she’d used to tell me. Such a stickler for cleanliness, my dear mother.”

Xander closed his eyes and leaned heavily against the wall. “Oh my god. I’m in the fucking Twilight Zone.”

William continued, unabated. “And as for that... that evil apparition that keeps insisting on calling, and without prior appointment. It’s quite shocking. It wears different faces, talks all sorts of nonsensical whimsy. And do you know, sometimes, and I realize that this will sound quite absurd, but sometimes it even looks quite like myself in some measure, although the hair is... how can I put this...”


“Good lord, not at all, my dear Alexander. Not at all. More... blanched, I’d say. Like a whore’s hair. You know how they like to color their tresses, the shameless hussies. “

Xander grimaced. “Oh yeah... I know all about whores, William. Especially those of the blanched tresses.”

“We’re of an understanding then! Splendid. But in answer to your question, my dear boy - the demon has subsided. And by that I mean that he‘s in repose.”


“Yes. I suppose you could call it a slumber, of sorts. In any case, he won’t bother you again. I’m in control now - the beast has relinquished his hold on this form and has given me free rein. He is, in effect, no more. And now, dear Alexander, do you think that perhaps I could bathe? The beast has neglected our ablutions for much too long and I am in a frenzy of embarrassment over what is certain to be my less than fragrant aroma.”

Xander frowned. Ok, it was Saturday, so no school. The shower rooms weren’t far from the basement, and so he gently lead William there, rummaging through the Sports Equipment locker for some towels he knew were kept there for ‘emergencies’ - whatever the hell kind of emergency required a towel. He also grabbed some soap from the men’s room and a half-empty bottle of shampoo that had been left behind in the communal shower.

William wasn’t the slightest balked at the sight of the huge shower room.

“I do know what a shower room is, Alexander. I know, in effect, what he knows. His memories are also mine, unfortunately - but it will take me some time to acquaint myself with all of them. Believe me, there are many that I’d rather leave buried - horrors beyond your wildest dreams, debauchery that would shame even the most corrupt and debase of men. Bloodshed the like of which many a living soul has never witnessed. And the debauchery, the whore-ish behavior, the licentiousness...”

“Yeah, the debauchery you mentioned, already. Ok, here’s the soap - there’s your towel right over there. Just... call me when you’re done, ok?”


Xander turned, trying to avoid looking directly at William, because he was naked now. Naked. Neekid. Nude. Acres of taut, white skin on display - skin that Xander had longed to caress, to lick, and to bite when it had belonged to Spike. But it was William‘s now. That fact didn‘t make it any the less appetizing to him, he was shocked to discover.

He liked William. He was gentle, thoughtful, and courteous. He was also hot. (Bad Xander, don’t ogle.)

“Uhhhh... yeah?”

“Could you ...would it be too much of an imposition to ask you to stay? I confess, I’m not quite as... as brave as the demon. And it’s been so long since I’ve had the opportunity to talk to an equal. Of course, I quite understand if you would rather not. I realize it’s most uncouth of me to take such liberties, but I’d feel so much more secure if you were to remain.”

Xander smiled. “An equal? You think I’m your equal?”

“But of course! More so, in fact. I’m well acquainted with your wit, your steadfastness and your prowess as a warrior for Good.”

“You are?”

“Yes. As I explained, I’m privy to all of the demon’s thoughts and memories - even those of which I have no wish to be privy to. I’m thoroughly delighted to finally make your acquaintance, master Alexander. I confess I’ve been an ardent admirer since my return. Oh gracious, I’ve ...I’ve said too much, I do apologize for my forthrightness. I must portray myself a brazen sort of fellow, I’m quite sure.”

“Hey, no problemo! Wit and steadfastness are not words that are usually associated with the Xan-man, but I like. And it’s ok. I know what lurks around here and it isn’t usually on a par with Angelina Jolie, so it’s really not a problem, I’d be happy to stay.”

William smiled and Xander’s insides did a funky little leap.

“Thank you. I’m in your debt.”

Xander’s eyes locked with William’s. “I’ll be happy to hold you to that.”

The vampire licked his lips. “And I shall be happy to honor it, Alexander.”

And... yeah. Stiffage in the general area of Xander’s groin. And not just a little. A lot. Unable to help himself, Xander’s eyes swept over the hard, well-defined body before him, his mind leeching every single detail so that he could file it away in a folder in his mind labeled ‘William‘s Hot Body‘. And later, in the privacy of his bedroom, he fully intended to take that file out again and enjoy it anew.

William stepped under the torrent of hot water jetting from the showerhead and winced.

“Damn it all to hell!”

Xander took a step towards him, stopping as the splash back from the shower soaked his shoes.

“William, are you ok?”

Blue eyes met his.

“Quite, Alexander. I do apologize; I hadn’t anticipated the sting from ...from this ruination of flesh. I didn’t mean to call out or indeed use such language in your presence. I hope that you can forgive me?”

“Forgive you? For what? God, that must really hurt like a bi... like hell. It must hurt like hell. I’ll try to pick up something for you, some antiseptic cream or a bandage maybe. You don’t want that getting infected. I’ll get right to it when I leave, ok?”

“Thank you, you are most kind. If its not too much trouble, I would really appreciate some clean garments. Those are....” William pointed to the pile of clothes that he recently removed. “Foul, is the only word for them.”

He glanced at Xander and smiled coyly. “Not at all... effulgent. Nor indeed aromatic. Well, not in the truest sense of the word. ”

Xander chuckled. “Effulgent, that’s quite a word, William. Not one I can honestly say that I’ve heard very often. But it’s pretty. It’s a pretty word.”

“I had the feeling that you would appreciate the beauty of words, Alexander. I’m gratified that I wasn’t mistaken.”

“Oh god no! I’m not educated. I’m not smart, I don’t know poems or plays or stuff. I just....”

“You just know a pretty word when you hear it?”

“Pretty much. We don’t get much prettiness on the Hellmouth. It’s kind of a surprise when we do.”

“I can understand that. There’s been a distinct lack of prettiness in my world since we.... since the beast and I were united.”

Xander snorted. “I can well believe that.”

William stared at him long and hard. “You do yourself a great injustice, Alexander Harris. You have such greatness within you - don’t you recognize it? You’ve seen things that no other mortal man has seen. You’ve experienced more in your brief time than many do in a lifetime and yet you prevail. You hold your humanity like a shield before you and you are not ashamed to be called a man in a world where men are reviled and humankind are perceived as the enemy. You are the last of a dying breed, Alexander. You are a hero.”

The vampire looked away then, and Xander was certain that he blushed. As well as an undead guy could blush. Truth be told, he blushed himself. No one had ever said the things to him that William had said. Certainly no one as hot. Xander gulped hard.

“Thank you. Thank you, William. No one’s ever...”



“Please, call me Will - it’s much less formal and I don’t believe that you and I need stand on formality.”

“And again, thank you. You don’t have to call me Alexander if you don’t want to. My friends call me Xander.”

“Xander...” The name rolled off Will’s tongue smoothly and the way that he drew out the ‘er’ at the end made Xander’s erection stiffen anew.

“I must confess Xander leaves the tongue so much easier, although Alexander is a very good name. It’s a name oft used by heroes, you know.”

“I‘m no hero, but thanks.”

“Oh indeed you are - your friends have no inkling of how fortunate they are to have your acquaintance. And am I to be, Xander?”

“To be?”

“Your friend. You mentioned that your friends call you by that name.” Will cocked his head to one side and stared intently into Xander’s eyes. “Am I to be your friend?”

“Would you like to be?” Words breathed out in a hoarse squeak that Xander hoped didn’t betray that no - he didn’t want Will to be just his friend. He had something much more intimate in mind.

“Would that I was more.”

Xander was sure he wasn’t mistaken when he saw a brief flash of gold in Will’s blue eyes. And he sure as hell wasn’t mistaken as to what was going on below Will’s waist - the vampire was now sporting an impressive erection of his own. The young man gulped, lips trembling of their own volition.

“How... how much more?”

“I hardly dare speak it for fear of... for fear of offending you. But suffice to say that my yearning is for more than just casual conversation and witty repartee.

Xander, I must speak frankly. I know all that there is to know about you. Even though we’ve just met, it’s as if we’ve spent a lifetime together. I look at your face and I know every crinkle, every dimple, and every nuance of your features. I look at your body and I’m familiar with every swell of muscle, every curve.

I have seen you oft through these eyes, and although the memories are not mine I share them now. I share the hunger with which these eyes devoured you on every occasion you were in their presence. I share the yearning of this heart for your touch. I share the fiery furnace, which burns beneath this skin and which only you can quench. In short, I would that I were yours, and you mine. Does that shock you? That another man should burn for you so?”

Xander stammered. “Burning? Oh I know all about burning, believe me. I’ve burned a bit in my time. And... and no. It doesn’t shock me.”

Will took a tentative step towards him.

“Mmmmmmm...” he growled. “Does it please you then?”

And another step.

“Because I would very much like to please you, master Xander.”

And another step.

“I would very much like to...”

Will stood directly facing Xander now, and slowly he reached out with one warm, wet, dripping finger and drew it softly along the young man’s bottom lip.

“... taste you.”

Xander moaned softly and captured Will’s hand in his own, placing the wet finger back on his lips.

Will smiled wolfishly.

“Would you like that, master Xander? Would you perhaps enjoy tasting me?”

And he slid his finger between Xander’s lips, where it was captured and sucked eagerly.

Will hissed in appreciation, working his finger gently between Xander’s lips, thrusting slowly, deeply. The young man moaned louder and his free hand reached for Will, pulling him closer, before gently sliding the teasing digit from his mouth and instead capturing Will’s lips in a searing kiss.

Xander felt the moisture from the vampire’s body seep into his clothes, making them stick to his skin. The friction was maddening, and he had this urge to rip the clothes from his body and join Will beneath the torrent of hot water that flowed just behind him. But he couldn’t take his lips from Will’s long enough to put his desire into words.

Will’s tongue slid into his mouth, snaking and thrusting and then he captured Xander’s tongue and sucked on it gently. Xander whimpered and buried his hands in the vampire’s wet hair pulling him closer, their kisses becoming increasingly more frantic. Finally he had to break away to draw breath, and he clung to Will, gasping, nearly out of his mind with longing.

“Oh god. Oh god, Will.”

Will covered his face in soft, butterfly kisses, murmuring softly. “So sweet. Dear god, so sweet. By all that’s holy Xander, I never dared hope, never dared dream for so much. Never thought such bliss as your lips would ever be mine to partake of. Please... I need... Tell me now, sweet Xander - do you want me?”

Xander clung to him like a drowning man. “Jesus Will, I want you so much it’s killing me here.”

Will’s lips moved to his throat where they sucked gently then nipped and kissed and teased. “Tell me, young master. Tell me what your desire is.”

Xander groaned, grinding his hips against Will, his hands sliding over wet skin to cup firm buttocks which he kneaded, wanting to be get closer, to melt into Will.

“Say it again. What you called me. Say it again.”

Will smiled against his neck. “Master. Sweet master. Tell me what you wish me to do to you, Master. Tell me what you need.”

Xander thought that he might swallow his tongue then as desire blind-sided him completely. He was now incapable of speech, his only means of communicating what he needed was small growls and deep-throated moans.

“I think, sweetness, that now might be an appropriate time for you to disrobe?”

Xander stared at him through a haze of lust. “Huh?“

“Disrobe? We don’t want to ruin your garments and I confess I’ve waited so long to have the taste of your skin on my tongue that I can barely refrain from ripping them from you.“

He began to undress Xander then, slowly, reverently as if the young man were the most precious gift that he’d ever received. One to be unearthed from it’s packaging with infinite care. Quickly, he pushed the pile of clothes out of the way of the water, and turned to peruse his naked lover at his leisure. The tip of his tongue snaked out to moisten his lips as he drank in the sight before him.

“Sweet mother of mercy, Xander. Had Michelangelo ever rested his eyes upon you, I have no doubt that he would have been compelled to paint his ‘David’ anew, and make it all the more enthralling to look upon - with the experience of partaking of your beauty to thank for it.”

Will captured Xander’s lips again kissing him deeply. He pulled Xander gently forward, leading them both under the strong spray of hot water coming from the shower. He pulled back then; his eyes were heavy with lust and he gazed into Xander’s eyes. Droplets of water clung to his heavy lashes and his smooth skin and Xander felt as if the bottom had just fallen out of his world and he was plummeting. Plummeting into the stormy-blue depths of Will’s eyes. Losing himself in the beauty and grace of this sensuous creature before him.

He felt tears fill his eyes again as emotion choked him and he knew that in that instant, he’d fallen hard and headfirst for Will. He could see the need the vampire felt for him reflected in Will’s eyes and it was so raw, so ravenous that he could hardly breath. How many of the droplets which cascaded lazily over his face were his own tears, he couldn’t tell.

“Will... Will, I...”

“Ssshhhh... Hush now, sweetness. Don‘t grieve Xander. For we have found each other at last.”

He kissed Xander gently on the lips, then growled softly.

“Use me, for I am yours now. Use me. Fuck my mouth, Master. Fill my throat with your desire.”

He sank slowly to his knees, hands trailing lazily over Xander’s body as he descended before reaching around to cup the young man’s strong buttocks. He buried his face in the nest of coarse hair at Xander’s groin and nuzzled him, growling softly.

“Your scent...” he moaned “your scent makes my blood scream.”

And then his mouth engulfed Xander, taking him so deeply that his nose tickled the sensitive flesh of his groin. Xander’s head fell back and he tried to focus on the water drumming on his face because the pleasure that Will was giving him was so intense that he thought he might pass out.

But the urge to see Will kneeling before him and taking him in his mouth was too great to ignore. He lowered his head and watched the familiar blond head rise and fall in an irresistible rhythm on his cock - caught tantalizing glimpses of smooth, pink flesh, his flesh, as it slid in and out of Will’s voracious mouth.

When Will’s face turned upwards to look at him, blue eyes sparkling mischievously and his cheekbones sharpened to perfection as he sucked, Xander cried out and gripped Will’s hair so convulsively that he thought he’d rip it from the vampire’s scalp.

Will’s cool hand gripped the base of his shaft tightly not allowing the orgasm to proceed further, and Xander stood trembling, gasping for breath and on the verge of sinking to knees that felt about as strong as marshmallow.

“Dear god, what you do to me Xander. I swear I could eat you alive - swallow you whole. Take you so deep inside of myself that we’d be one forever.”

When Xander had regained a little control, Will pulled him down to lie on the floor, then he crawled the length of Xander’s body and draped himself over him, murmuring appreciatively when Xander took him in his arms. The water from the shower beat down upon his back and he chuckled.

“I must ensure not to drown you, sweet master. But I confess that the sight of you hard and glistening wet is agonizingly erotic to me and has featured in many fantasies that I‘ve partaken of.”

Xander wriggled beneath him.

“Will... Please...”

“Tell me Master. Tell me what you need.”

With one swift movement Xander flipped the wet and slippery vampire onto his back and straddled him. Will lay beneath him, mouth slightly open and a small smile playing on his lips. He stretched his arms above his head, crossing his wrists.

“Is this how you would like me? Fettered and helpless beneath you?”

With moan of agreement, Xander reached down and kissed him, their tongues weaving sensuous paths of delight in the others mouth. Xander gripped Will’s wrists and held them down whilst his free hand trailed lazily over the vampire’s erect nipples, tweaking them firmly, then circling and teasing them with the pad of his thumb. Will moved beneath him, sliding his legs from under Xander, opening his thighs to allow the young man’s body to slide between them. Xander broke the kiss and gazed down at the pale, hard body on show - muscled legs spread wantonly, thigh muscles flexing as Will arched into his touch.

Xander’s hand wandered across Will’s body and he shifted slightly onto his side, watching intently as his hand played lightly over his lover’s well-defined torso and down towards the proud, jutting erection that begged for his attentions. His finger traced the sharp contours of Will’s hipbone and trailed through the dusting of sable-colored hair that adorned his groin, before ascending along the thick shaft of his cock.

He smiled inwardly as his finger brushed along the unfamiliar territory that was the foreskin - it hadn’t occurred to him that Will would not have been circumcised. His gaze widened to include his own erection in his field of vision and he stared transfixed for a moment at the sight of it nestling close to Will’s. He arched his back a little and rubbed his cock over Will’s belly, stroking it along Will’s erection, reveling in the feel of it and the drawn-out moans of his lover as he pushed his hips forward in search of more friction.

“Jesus...” Xander hissed, panting so hard that he could hardly speak. “You’re so fucking hot.”

He bent over and captured an eager nipple between his lips, suckling it, teasing it with his tongue and teeth. His hand circled Will’s erection and he began to pump it slowly and firmly. He broke the kiss then, mesmerized by the sight of his own hand stroking someone else, his cock twitching with barely suppressed desire.

And he knew then. Knew that he had to, that he must taste his lover - other previous fantasies of his own jostling for position in his head. And so he let go of Will’s wrists and scooted down until his face was in line with a dimpled belly button that seemed to beg for his tongue. His hand caressed Will’s cock and then moved down to cup the heavy sac beneath, kneading gently, rolling the testicles in the palm of his hand.

And much as his tongue enjoyed it’s brief outing in his lovers navel, it had much more pressing work to do. It slithered its way towards Will’s cock, licking it’s way from root to tip. His hand came to the rescue, sliding back the foreskin and revealing the smooth, pink tip beneath, which Xander eagerly licked and teased with his lips, then took in his mouth and sucked gently.

Will cried out beneath him, his hand suddenly gripping Xander’s hair tightly in his passion.

“Xander... Oh sweet Jesus... Xander...”

His moans made Xander’s blood boil in his veins and he groaned around Will’s cock, taking it as deep into his mouth as he could, cheek muscles aching as he sucked hard, tongue dancing along the shaft to be complimented by the slight rasp of blunt teeth against the hard flesh. Will writhed beneath him, chanting expletives in a litany of lust.

“Fuck... Oh yes... Xander... Fuck... Swallow my rod, Master. Engulf me. Devour me.”

Xander smiled and raised his head. “Rod, Will?”

Will grimaced in frustration at the loss of contact.

Xander smirked wickedly and began a slow crawl over his lover’s body.

“Rod, huh? You mean cock, don’t you? Your delicious, hard cock.”

Will reached for him. “Xander...”

“Or how about prick? You like me sucking your prick?”

“Holy god, Xander... Please, make haste.”

“Like me talking dirty to you? Want me to tell you how I’m gonna fuck you now? How I’m gonna slip my fingers inside you and open you up, make you see sparks? How I’m gonna slide my cock so far inside you, that you’ll taste me when I come?“

“PLEASE... Now.”

“Want me to fuck you, Will? Slow and deep, making you moan and beg for more. Want me to make you come?”

“For the love of god, Xander. Desist, else I’ll spend myself over you now.”

Xander kissed him deeply. “I couldn’t wait another second, even if I wanted to.”

He glanced around and spied the half-empty bottle of shampoo on the floor. Quickly he scooped it up and settled himself between Will’s legs, pouring some of the viscous liquid into the palm of his hand.

Will rose to his haunches. “Let me, sweetness. Otherwise we shall skate over this wet floor like penguins on ice.”

They laughed together at that, and Xander’s heart warmed at how easily they had gelled, how the intimacy between them had erupted into something that brought him closer to Will than he felt he’d ever been with another person. Will pushed him gently onto his back and took the shampoo from him, pouring a generous amount in his own palm. Then he dribbled it onto Xander‘s erection, coating it liberally.

“Worry not. I am the smaller, and so I shall sit atop. But you shall drive, Xander. Do you understand my meaning?”

Xander could only squeak in embarrassment at his own ignorance of such things.

Will smiled and gave him back the shampoo. “Put this on your hands, sweetness. I shall show you what to do with those nimble fingers.”

He straddled Xander, then took the young man’s hand and placed it where he wanted it.

“You must breach me, Xander. With your fingers. My entrance must be prepared for you - it must be wet and eager for you.”

Tentatively Xander placed a trembling finger on Will’s anus and pushed, although somewhat half-heartedly. He was afraid that he’d hurt the vampire - he was afraid of the unknown.

Will’s thighs tensed and then he lifted himself a little and sank down onto Xander’s finger and it was so tight, so unbelievably tight that Xander gasped. He wondered how the hell he was ever going to fit himself into that small space.

“Xander... Please... Move it. Your finger.”

Xander wiggled his finger against the tightness and the pressure let up just a little. Bolder now, he began to thrust slowly and carefully, amazed at the effect that it had on Will.

“God, yes! More. Please, another finger. Open me up, Xander.”

By the time Xander had worked three fingers inside him, Will was frantic with need. He lifted himself a little and directed Xander to remove his hand. Then, gripping Xander’s cock tightly, he slowly impaled himself upon it, rocking gently until he was in Xander’s lap and full of him.

“Yesssss... Dear god, yes! Fuck me, Xander. Fuck me, complete me.”

They began to move, Xander gripping him tightly at the hips and Will rocking, raising and lowering himself on Xander’s cock. Xander bent his legs in an attempt to find a little more grip on the floor, and when he canted his hips Will cried out and bore down on him, making sparks of pleasure rocket through his body and his head spin with sensation.

Nothing had ever been like this before. The tightness around his cock, the throaty moans that Will was making as he fucked himself on Xander, it was all excruciatingly erotic. He began to thrust upwards with more confidence, his heart singing with every moan, every needy cry that Will made. The blood thundered in his ears and his whole body felt suffused in sensation - the heat of the water, the coolness of Will’s skin, the tight, delicious friction coaxing his orgasm from him.

Will grabbed his hands then, and they held onto each other, palm to palm, fingers knotted as they rode out their pleasure. Will’s head was thrown back and he looked so wanton, so damned hot and fuckable and oh dear god, he knew that he would never be able to even look at him again without getting hard.

Xander released one of Will’s hands and reached forward to grip his lover’s cock tightly, bringing him off as he thrust wildly into Will’s tight ass.

Will was crying out his name, over and over. Calling for him, sobbing as the pleasure reached heights that were nearly painful in their intensity and Xander was swept away. Swept away in a tide of moans and friction and sex-smells and Will riding him, Will taking him to places he’d never been to before. It was heaven and hell, pain and pleasure, and Xander called out Will’s name as the tornado finally hit and demolished his senses, and...

“Hot DAMN - just kill me now“ he thought. Because it was all so... fucking... good....


When he’d finally regained his senses, Will was lying on top of him, spent. At first, he’d thought that the vampire was breathing, as his chest hitched, rose and fell. Then the soft sound of Will’s sobs reached his ears, making his stomach clench with dread.

Xander embraced the vampire tightly, holding on so tightly he’d have busted the ribs of a human man.


Will buried his head in Xander’s neck and sobbed.

Xander swallowed hard. “God Will, was I that bad?”

Swiftly, Will lifted his head. “No! No, you must never think that!”

He propped himself up on his elbows and gazed at Xander sadly, his face stained with tears. He reached out and gently cupped Xander’s face, then stroked his lover’s chin with his thumb.

“You must never think that, sweetness. This time with you. This incredible moment that we’ve shared - I cannot find the words to express how much it has meant to me.”

Xander smiled shyly. “You’re not alone. I mean... God, Will... I’ve never felt anything like that - ever. I never thought it could be like that with anyone.”

“And it is that memory that you must hold on to, Xander. That second when we merged, when we completed together, it was special.” He smiled coyly. “Effulgent, even.”

“Hey, you sound as if you’re going somewhere. You’re not. But you can’t stay here, Will. You’re coming home. With me. I don‘t give a damn what Buffy thinks, you‘re coming home with me.”

Will shook his head sadly. “No Xander. I can’t.”

Xander frowned. “And that would be why? Oh... god, I’m sorry. There I go, presuming that you’d actually want to stay with me and...”

“No! Don’t you see? Oh lord, this only reinforces the whole damn nonsense, makes it harder.”


“You really have forgotten, haven’t you?”


“Do you recall who’s name you cried out at the height of our pleasure?” he asked sadly.

“Of course - yours! How the hell could I forget? We just shared something here that...”

Will’s voice was flat. “Unless I’m very much mistaken, there’s still a few moments remaining.”

Realization hit Xander like a freight train.

“NO! No....”

He raised his wrist and checked his watch.


“Five minutes.”

He looked at Will, aghast.

“Ok, five minutes. It doesn’t matter - you’re here now. You said yourself he was in re... re... he was sleeping, dammit! You said he wasn’t coming back!”

“He won, Xander. You made an agreement, a bargain. He won. And now you and I, we must honor it. I have to go back Xander. It’s his time - I must go back within.”

“NO! Please... There has to be another way.”

Will’s blue eyes were filled with tears - tears of longing and grief.

“I’ll still be here, Xander. Only inside, where I belong. The beast went through much to regain his soul and he sorely wishes to redeem himself. It is his time to do so - or at least to try. I must subside. But I’m still here, Xander. Do you understand? We are one, he and I. Truly there are not two elements, but one. And we must work as one if Spike is ever truly to achieve his redemption.”

Xander wept unashamedly, filled with a pain that he felt would tear him apart. To find Will and to lose him so quickly - to have to contemplate long, lonely days and nights without his touch...

“But I need you, Will. I... I think I love you.”

“And I love you, sweet Xander. As does he. He has always loved you, in his own way. He continues to love you. I truly believe that you love him also, if you would allow yourself.”

“No, I don’t want him, I want YOU! I love YOU! I could never love him.”

“Sssssshhhh... Don’t say that. Never say never, Xander. He is I, and I he. We are... One. And we love you. Never forget that.”

They embraced one another tightly.

“Will. Please - don’t go.”

“I love you, sweet master.”

Xander felt Will slump in his arms. Weeping, he let Will fall to the floor and scrambled to his knees. He hugged himself, watching as the vampire whimpered and clutched his head. Then he quickly got to his feet, lifted his clothes and slowly walked away.


Xander turned and gazed coldly down at the vampire on the floor.

“Are you him? Is Will...”

“Gone. And yeah, I’m ‘him’.”

Xander nodded slowly, fresh tears drenching his cheeks.

“Just... Just stay the hell away from me Spike, ok? Just stay away.”

A lone tear trickled down Spike’s cheek.

Xander turned his back on him, shoulders slumped in defeat.



The young man couldn’t, wouldn’t turn around.

“Please... Never say never.”

Xander left without a word.

The End

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