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Chapter Seventeen: Xanmart and Spikeway



"Ooh! Snacks! The secret to any successful migration."-Anya

"Buffy! Sheesh! Make with the knocking!" I yelped, certain that I was several different shades of red. She had her hands up to block us from her view.

"Ugh! So gross, Xander!" She seemed to remember why she was there after a few moments of gagging noises. "We're stopping for supplies, do you want to get some clothes and stuff while we're here? It's Wal-Mart-wannabe but what can you do? This place had all of two stores and Ewwwwww I can't believe you had sex with Spike! He's like the punkass big brother that your parents really should kick out but they can't cause they're dumb!" She reverted to her gagging while I pulled my jeans back on and pulled my shirt on.

"Yeah, I'll go with you, Buffs, I need a new bra too seeing as Spikey killed mine." I glowered at the vampire who was settled back on the bed, blanket going to his waist, smirking at me, still looking like an angel. An evil angel.

I couldn't resist. I crawled over him and gave him a quick, chaste kiss, while he settled his hands behind his head. "Be careful, love." He whispered. I nodded, blushing because this time he really meant 'love'. I then ushered Buffy out of the room.

As we headed for the door behind the driver's seat I leaned down to check Wills and Tara. They were still asleep, curled up so cutely together. I wished I had a camera. Across from them Riley was sleeping, looking flushed and not entirely healthy. I lost my happy mood. I had to resist the urge to crawl back into Spike's arms again and forget. I met up with Buffy and Jonathan outside in the empty parking lot instead.

"Xander, you and Jonathan take care of the food, I'll get the clothes." Buffy said as she easily pulled open the locked doors of the small market. She trotted off down the sidewalk to the pathetic attempt at a Wal/K-mart. Jonathan and I snagged two carts and went inside the dark grocery store.

"Um, I'm thinking canned stuff and those big things of water." I said, pushing my cart fast and jumping up on it to ride it down the aisle.

"I'll start at the other end!" Jonathan called after me and disappeared from sight. I started filling the cart with soups and other canned goods that we could eat. After about twenty minutes I met up with Jon in the middle of the store, both of our carts were full. We went to the checkout area and started bagging our loot so we could carry it easier. As we worked, I stopped periodically to snag some candy for myself and then a carton of Spike's brand of cigarettes.

Jonathan finished before me and started back to the RV, leaving me alone for a minute. I started loading the last bagfull into my cart when I heard a popping sound from behind me. I whirled and came face to face with my ex- girlfriend. I yelped, of course, manfully.

Anya stood, her face in its demonic state, her hands on her hips. She was wearing a long flowing blue gown and blue satin pumps that I would never wear even under penalty of death. On top of it she wore the necklace that was her reclaimed power center. "Hello, Xander." She said with a smile. I backed up against the cart behind me, giving her a nervous smile.

"Anya! Long time no see! Drop by to share fashion tips or to tell the aliens where I am?" I couldn't help the bitterness that forced its way through my nerves. She rested all her weight on one hip and crossed her arms. She looked like she was patiently waiting for something. I'd never really seen patience on Anya before. I shivered.

"I'm very disappointed in you Xander!" She said, a familiar whine in her tone. "These aliens have been here for almost a week, Xander! Why haven't you gotten rid of them yet?" I let out a relieved sigh, shoving my fingers through my dirty hair. <Oh good, she just came to be annoying, not to injure me.>

"We're working on it, An." I said, turning around and pushing the cart out of the store. She followed on my heels, going on about how the aliens were bringing people together which greatly reduced the amount of scorned women in the world. I was just trying to figure out why seeing her again didn't hurt nearly so bad as it should have. I'd loved her, but now I was just annoyed. I wanted to tell her to make me a man again or go the hell away, but I couldn't risk pissing her off again. So I let her follow me to the RV.

When I got there I saw Buffy passing things through the door to Jonathan to store in cabinets. When she saw Anya, her jaw dropped and she immediately fell into battle stance. "Anyanka, what're you doing here?" She demanded. Anya rounded on her, hands on hips.

"I'm here because you aren't doing your job! You haven't gotten rid of the aliens yet!" Buffy glanced at me over her shoulder. I just rolled my eyes and mouthed 'Whine whine whine!'. I took Buff's place handing things up to Jon.

"Anya, if you aren't going to help us fight the bad guys, then go hide or something. We don't need your whining." Buffy said firmly. "Turn Xander back into a man and leave." Anya turned to look me over.

"No. I don't think he's suffered enough yet." I shoved a can of soup at Jon and turned back to her, pissed.

"What exactly am I suffering for?!" I demanded. She got right in my face and hissed at me.

"For what you did to me!" I growled in frustration and kept from hitting her by clenching my fists at my sides.

"What did I do, An?" I asked, my voice forcedly calm.

"You refused to give me orgasms when I was menstruating!" There was a collective 'ew' from those who were listening. "That's why I made you a woman! So you would understand!" I took a deep calming breath and pinched the bridge of my nose, trying to push back the headache I felt building there.

"Anya." I said, trying to calm her with my soothing tone. "I've had my period twice now. It was unpleasant and painful and not good in any way. I'm sorry that you had to deal with that. But I think I've learned my lesson." She studied me for a moment.

"Alright. I believe you. I'll come back to you and we can kill the aliens together and have many orgasms." I winced. <Why the hell does she think I'd want her back after she destroyed my entire life?!>

"Um. Anya?" She looked at me impatiently, her hand already raised to switch me back to my original form. "I don't think that you and me would be such a good idea." I said, ready to duck behind Buffy if I needed to. Slayers are supposed to protect you from demons, right?

"Why not?!" She asked petulantly stomping her foot.

"You screwed up his life, Anya! None of us want you around anymore!" Buffy raged. I cringed. <Wait to go, Miss Tactful!> Anya gaped at her for a moment then straightened up, her demonic face cold and hard to read. She turned to me.

"Is this true, Xander?" I fidgeted, trying not to meet her eyes.

"I would have taken you back a month ago, An, but I've had time to think about things and I'm happier without you screwing with my life." I suddenly got an idea. A convoluted, dangerous, stupid idea, but hey, who am I if not stupid? "I've gotten used to being a girl and I'm happy now. I've even got a boyfriend that loves me!" I watched the gears turn in her head as she went from hurt to pure rage.

"You like being a girl?! You have a BOYFRIEND?!" She roared. I was proud of myself for only cowering a little. Buffy was gaping at me, wondering at my stupidity, no doubt. "Fine, then, Xander." My ex-girlfriend hissed. "I hope you'll be very happy without me screwing with your life!" She gestured at me and vanished with an atmospheric pop.

I waited a few minutes to make sure she was gone and then burst into a triumphant holler. "WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!! She's a MAN, bayBEEEEE!!" I did the Snoopy dance as it was meant to be done. By a male Xander. I bounced over to Buffy and hugged her, lifting her off her feet in my enthusiasm. When I set her down again, she was sputtering at me.

"Y-you did that on purpose!" She accused. I bounced around her.

"Guilty as charged, Judge Buffy, lock me up and put away the key, I'll just be over in the MAN's prison for MEN!" I picked her up for another whirl in the air. When I set her down I turned and grabbed little Jon in a hug and then set him down. My only thought now, was to go share the fantastic news with my best friend. I bounded through the RV to the back compartment.

Whipping open the door, I barged in and found Spike sitting on the edge of the bed, fully clothed. I took half a second to be disappointed at that. He looked up at me, cigarette in his mouth, a half smile on his face that didn't quite reach his gorgeous eyes. "Congratulations, I heard it all." He said, before I could do any more ecstatic yelling. I really wanted to jump in his lap and kiss him silly, but something in his tense posture warned me not too. That's when it hit me. I was man again.



"It's devastating. He's turned into a sixteen-year-old boy. Of course, you'll have to kill him." -Giles

I saw the realization hit him. His whole body deflated like some kind of soddin' balloon. <That's it. He just realized that he doesn't want or need ol' Spikey anymore.> I told myself. I'd been waiting for the return of the original Harris since I heard his ex-bitch's voice. I knew what would happen. The whelp would return to his original shape and realize that he didn't need me to take care of him anymore. Then it'd be, 'Spike, buddy, it was fun, lets forget that we ever shagged or that you love me!' Well maybe not in those exact words, but I knew that's how he'd feel, if not completely disgusted.

Looking at him sagging in the doorway, I felt like I'd been doused in holy water. He was still beautiful, with the same dark eyes and sweet lips. It didn't help that his shirt and jeans were shredded from his change in size. I took a deep drag at my cigarette, trying to figure out how to get him out of my doorway before I started weeping like the ponce he'd turned me into. After a minute of avoiding those dangerous eyes, I heard the Slayer calling for him. "Xander! Come change your clothes! You look like a less green Incredible Hulk!" She ordered him. He straightened up and turned and left without a word.

I went to lie back to try and sleep, but the bed still smelled of what we'd done there. I jumped to my feet and tried to pace in the limited space. I knew I'd be batty as Dru by the time the sun went down.


"No one is judging you. It's understandable. Spike is strong and mysterious and sort of compact but well-muscled."-Xander

I was seriously going to go batty soon if something didn't distract me. I fidgeted with the radio, trying to find a radio station, but only static filled airwaves. I tried humming depressing country music while I drove, but that wasn't helping either. I wished Buffy would finish feeding the witches and Riley soon. I needed to talk to her badly.

I sped up, heading for the mountains. Some instinct in me screamed for us to get into the hills and out of the open valley. I knew it was a stupid instinct, seeing as the aliens could make smores out of us no matter where we were, but I still needed rock walls and trees around us. I considered cheering when we made it into the foothills, but restrained myself. Then I wanted to cheer because I'd distracted myself from thinking about Spike. Then I wanted to slap myself for ruining a perfectly good distraction by thinking about not thinking about Spike. Sigh.

Buffy finally came forward and settled in beside me. I gave another nice long tortured sigh to make sure she knew I was in turmoil that required her assistance. "The big manly-man is sad. Why for?" She asked, turning to sit sideways in the passenger's seat.

"Before you came into the back room without knocking-" Glare. "-Spike told me that he loved me." I began. I could see her eyebrows shoot sky-high out of the corner of my eye. "But now I'm a guy again and he had the kicked puppy face-well he was trying not to have it, but it was there-and I just wanted to kiss it better but he probably doesn't want me any more and I don't know if I'm still gay, or man-liking, or whatever and I'm scared 'cause I think I love him back!" I panted for breath while she processed my freaked out babbling.

"Wow. So, yeah, lets see if I've caught the gist." She said after a moment. "You love Spike and he loves you, but you don't know if you can be together anymore? Right?" I nodded, wondering at her freakish ability to summarize my pain. "Alright, first thing's first. Do you think I'm sexy?" I blinked. <Wha-?> She explained. "I'm just checking to see where your lustiness lies." <Oooohhhhhh. Duh.> I made sure I wouldn't crash the RV, then looked her up and down. She was beautiful, as always. She even leaned over so I could see some cleavage. I felt the familiar lightning bolt to my dick.

"Yeah, straight Xander is back in order." I told her, staring at the road, trying to calm and control the body that I hadn't had to command in so long. I grinned happily for a moment just because I had my proper equipment again.

"Okay, now think about Spike," She ordered me. I brought a picture of him up in my mind. "Remember what he looked like when you really wanted to jump him." I blushed and glowered at her, but envisioned how he'd sat on the bed, shirtless, his blue eyes looking at me in concern. Okay, big reaction! I shifted uncomfortably when I noticed Buffy eyeing the obvious bulge in my sweatpants. "Okay, so you still want his sexy bod!" She announced triumphantly. "Now you just have to go back there and tell him that you love him and you want to have lotsa gay sex!" I shot her a shocked look. "What?"

"Buffy, you are seriously perverted." I informed her. She grinned proudly. I changed tracts. "Okay, so I still want him. What makes you think he wants me?" I asked her.

"Duh, Xander, vampires'll have sex with anything. Just don't forget that he's a demon, Xan. I know from experience that such things'll bite you in the ass right when you need your ass bitten the least." She patted my arm. "I won't tell you I approve of your choice in man-flesh, but I'm trusting you to remember to ask for help if you ever need it." She stared out the windshield for a second, a distant look in her eyes. "Thats where I always trip up.

She shook herself out of it and got up. "I'm going to go sit with Riley for a while." Her face became a study of worried misery. "Tell me when we get to that Glacier Lodge thing that was on the sign." I nodded, already consumed with Spike related doubts. Hopefully my Vamp-thing would go better than Buff's. I didn't think I could take him out if I ever had to...emotionally...god knows he'd kick my ass if I ever tried.

It was about forty-five minutes later that we reached the Glacier Lodge's main building. As were most cities that were known to be in the path of the now decimated alien army, this small village was completely deserted, its inhabitants evacuated to 'safer' locations. I pulled in to park in the Ski lodge's parking lot and turned off the engine. Buffy and I left Jonathan to watch Riley and the girls while we scouted the lodge itself.

Finding a group of nice cozy rooms all close in to each other, we chose them to house us. The hard part came next. Buffy broke open all the electronically locked doors with a little useful Slayeryness and then we began shifting the contents of our RV to their new resting places.

Buffy was able to handle Riley, who was sleeping, by slinging him over her shoulder, looking so much like an ant carrying a big piece of food that I had to stifle my laugh. Now was not the time. Riley was in pretty bad shape.

I ended up carrying my little Willow inside, cradling her against my larger, manly chest. (Yay!). I settled her in a double suite on one bed and Buffy brought in Tara and put her on the other bed. Reassured that they were still quite unconscious, we went out again and started carrying all the food inside, Jonathan organizing it in the industrial sized kitchen. We needn't have gotten so much food, we realized, the lodge's inhabitants had left a fully stocked supply. We shrugged it off though. Better safe than really hungry.

When I finally went back to fetch my vampire, it hit me that we had no blood for him. Worried, I went to the back of the RV and opened the door. Spike looked up from where he was shredding the pillow into teeny-tiny bits and blinked at me, game-faced and a little glossy-eyed. I gulped. Confinement and Spike are not a combinable thing. Suddenly he was on his feet and in my face, and for once I didn't have to look up at him. He was at a nice eye level, if not a little shorter.

"Come to tell me to sod off, then?" He growled. I had hoped that our little conversation could wait until we were settled in the nice lodge with a vampire slayer next door just in case. Oh well. I pushed back the automatic fear I felt from having a vamp suddenly in my personal space and wrapped my hands around his biceps, pushing him back just a little so I could make eye contact without going cross-eyed.

"I don't want to." I told him softly, looking into disorienting yellow eyes. I tried to make it light, as was my custom. "I hear that vampires'll shag anything." I commented, giving him a teasing grin to hide the way my heart was setting up shop my mouth. He stared at me, calculating, judging with his eerie yellow eyes. I knew he could hear my heart going a zillion beats per second. After an eternity his face melted into his human mask and blue eyes replaced yellow. The look in those blue eyes was far too intense for me too handle so I looked down and tried to think of something to say. "Would you shag a poodle? I don't think you would cause that'd just be ew and the poor poodle would be so traumatized. If you did molest a poodle I think I'd have to have Buffy stake you for the good of poodles every-"

I did the mental snoopy dance as he cut me off with a hard kiss. <Score two for Xander the master of manipulation! Xan-Man the Puppet Master!> He pulled back after a second and rested his forehead against mine. "Now why would I shag a poodle when I've got a git like you following me around like a lovesick pup all the bloody time?" I scowls and poked his firm stomach.

"I am not a pup! I'm a full-grown hot piece of manflesh and I believe YOU are the one that follows ME around." He smirked his wonderful 'not mad at Xander' smirk and I grinned like the goofy idiot I am for a second before going serious. "Just lets not rush anything? I'm sure you've been shagging the menfolk for ages. I'm still a little wiggy on the man on man thing. Rushing would be bad which is opposite of good." He let me babble that time, just watching me with an amused expression that made me want to jump up and down and squeal like a girl. <God, I'm gonna miss girly giggling.> I thought and settled for flinging the blanket over his head. "Time to go see our new headquarters!"


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