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Because the Night

Take me now, baby, as I am
Hold me close and try and understand
Desire is fun and it’s the fire I need
Love is a banquet on which we feed

Come on now, try and understand
The way I feel under your command
Take my hand as the sun descends
They can’t hurt you now, can’t hurt you now
Can’t hurt you now

Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us

~ Lyrics by Bruce Springsteen

Xander sighed and rolled over again. He was ready to declare it impossible to find sleep. He had been tossing and turning for what seemed like forever, and he was tired of it. He sat up and ran a hand through his hair. Maybe Spike would still be awake, and they could hang out and talk for a while.

And if Spike was sleeping, well, he could just wake up. He was the one who was supposed to be up all night all the time, anyway.

Xander got out of bed and hitched up his loose sweat pants, then moved to the door that adjoined their bedrooms. It was open a bit, so that Xander could peak in and see Spike in bed. At first glance, Spike wasn’t moving. But Xander had a habit of staring at his lover, and noticed that Spike’s hand was moving under the sheet. Xander knew enough to know what that action meant. Spike was tending to himself again. Xander wasn’t surprised. He’d been pretty worked up after their kiss, too. Xander knocked on the door, and Spike’s eyes shot open, his hand jerking away from his groin.

“Xan. Uh, hey. Didn’t see you there.”

“No. Don’t stop,” Xander said, surprising himself. Spike’s rapid blinking mirrored his own.

“Uh…” Spike said intelligently.

“I mean it, Spike. I want to watch you.” They held a long stare before Spike finally nodded and moved his hand back to his groin. He touched himself gently, his fingertips simply caressing the length of his erection. He swallowed roughly, eyes ticking to Xander’s, watching for a reaction. Xander was mesmerized. The pleasure on Spike’s face, the intensity of his eyes, the rhythmic gyrating of his hips, the tiny gasps at each sensation, were all wreaking havoc on his senses, and his resolve.

“God. You look…”

“I’m thinking about you, Xan,” Spike whispered, and the spell was broken. Xander moved forward to Spike’s bed, swiftly darting down to capture Spike’s slightly open mouth with his own. Spike’s hands immediately went to Xander’s head, pulling him deeper, closer, so that their tongues could duel for dominance. Xander immediately broke away.

“Shit. Sorry, pet, I didn’t…”

“Not that, stupid. You stopped stroking. I wanna see you come,” Xander breathed, diving in for another kiss. Spike whimpered, his left hand traveling down again to wrap around his cock, stroking gently.

Suddenly, Spike felt a warm hand cover his, and his eyes popped open in shock.

“Xan, are you…”

“Shut up, Spike,” Xander said, moving to kiss his lover again. Their hands stroked Spike’s hard shaft in tandem, Spike whimpering and moaning into his lover’s mouth lustily.

Spike’s left hand moved from Xander’s neck, slowly moving south. His fingers trailed over pebbled nipples, causing Xander to gasp. When Xander neither tensed nor tried to move away, Spike’s hand moved lower, caressing abdominal muscles, lower, to brush across the soft skin just above Xander’s waistband.

“Ohhhh,” Xander moaned, pulling his mouth away to gasp for air. Spike’s mouth moved down to Xander’s soft, arched neck, as his hand finally breeched Xander’s clothing. Xander moaned again when Spike’s cool fingers found him, hard and ready.

“Love you,” Spike gasped as he encircled Xander’s cock, and began stroking it to the same rhythm that his and Xander’s hands were stroking his own cock.

Xander gasped and clutched Spike’s shoulder desperately as their hands all increased in speed, both men thrusting their hips helplessly. Xander’s eyes shot open to lock onto Spike’s as he uttered a soundless scream and came, his hot seed spilling over Spike’s swift knuckles. The heat sent Spike over the edge, and the vampire groaned low in his throat as his own cool semen shot up onto his pale, tight belly.

Xander collapsed onto the bed with Spike, dizzy and disoriented from the powerful orgasm that had ripped him apart. He was panting when Spike dropped a soft kiss on his lips, cuddling the human into his arms. Xander snuggled in tighter, sighing with pleasure and contentment.

Xander shot up in bed, panting. The front of his sweatpants was warm and sticky, and he blinked the sleep from his eyes, looking around wildly at his bedroom.

He was in his own bedroom. He felt a heavy drop in his stomach at the disappointing realization that he had just had a vivid, erotic dream about Spike. He ran a hand through his shaggy, mussed hair before rubbing at his face tensely. He wasn’t sure how to deal with this new development. The dream had been intense, and wonderful, and Xander wasn’t sure how to deal with it.

The most interesting part was that he hadn’t had a nightmare, and he wasn’t having a flashback now. The dream hadn’t triggered any kind of negative reaction, save the fact that he had to change his sheets, now.

Xander slept no more that night. When a decent hour of the morning finally rolled around, he immediately picked up the phone and dialed Julia’s office number.

“Dr. Chambers’ office, Marge speaking.”

“Marge?” Xander said. “It’s Xander Harris here.”

“Well, hello there, Xander! Is everything okay? You’re calling pretty early, and your next appointment with Julia isn’t until next week.”

“I know, I just…would it be possible for me to come see her today? Sometime during, you know, daylight hours?” Xander asked softly, listening carefully to make sure Spike didn’t hear him. He knew the vampire would be hurt that Xander wanted to go to Julia’s office without him, but Xander didn’t want to explain why he was in such a rush to see her.

“Is there something wrong?”

“I just…not really, but I need to see Julia right away; I don’t think I can wait.”

“Well, there’s an appointment open at eleven today, if you’d like. Should I tell Julia to expect you?” Marge asked, concern in her voice.

“Yes, please, Marge.”

“Okay, then, Xander, we’ll see you at eleven.” Xander disconnected the line and went upstairs to the bathroom to shower.

When he came back downstairs, he moved to the kitchen and put a couple of Pop-Tarts in the toaster while he started the coffeemaker.

“Everything okay?” Angel asked from the doorway.

Xander jumped, surprised. “Little collar with a bell. That’s what you’re getting for Christmas,” he said with a mock glare. Angel cracked a half-smile. Xander sighed. “I’m fine.”

“Then why are you going to see Julia in…” Angel checked the clock on the microwave, “two hours?”

Xander sighed again. “I just… I had a dream, and I need to talk to her about it,” Xander replied.

“Without Spike?” Xander gave him a dubious look, and Angel nodded. “Because it was about him. Right.”

“You won’t tell him?” Xander asked gently, pulling his Pop-Tarts out and taking a bite from one.

“No. But I think you should.”

“I’m going to talk to Julia first. If he asks where I went, tell him I…took a walk, maybe?”

“I don’t know if I feel comfortable lying to him, Xander.”

“I know, and you know I wouldn’t ask you to do this, unless there was a really good reason, and believe me, there is, and when I come back I’ll tell him the truth, but if you tell him before I come back then he’s going to have all that time to stew about it and get even more angry than if I drop it on him at once, and yeah, he’ll be a little annoyed that I made you lie for me, but for the most part I think he’ll get over it when I tell him whatever Julia tells me is the deal with the dream and…”

“Okay. Okay, Xander, breathe!” Angel sighed. “I’ll do it.”

“Thanks, Angel,” Xander replied with a smile. He moved into the den to flip on the television until he had to leave for Julia’s office.

When Xander arrived at Julia’s office, he was more nervous than upset. He wasn’t sure why he would have had such a dream, or why he wouldn’t have had a more negative response to it. In the past few weeks he hadn’t even thought, seriously, about sex with Spike, and he had just assumed it was his brain’s automatic defense from having a flashback. He had expected any serious sex thoughts to lead to badness and terror, and in reality it had been a wet dream that had made him long for his lover’s cool body.

Marge smiled brightly at him, and asked after Spike. Xander explained that Spike had still been asleep when he’d left, and that he would be surprised if the vampire was even awake when he returned. Marge clucked her tongue in affectionate disapproval, and knocked on Julia’s door.

“Xander’s here,” Marge called through the door.

“Come on in, Xander,” Julia called from her office. Xander stepped in and bobbed his head in response to Julia’s warm smile.

“Hey, Julia.”

“So, tell me, Xander, is everything okay? Marge said you made it seem pretty urgent that you see me as soon as possible.”

“Yeah, I…maybe I’m overreacting, but I need to talk to you.”

“Tell me what’s on your mind,” she prompted gently. Xander sighed and sat down.

“Okay, well, I talked to everyone like you said I should, and it worked out really well. Spike was just, like you said, uncomfortable about having, you know, jerked off, and he was nervous about touching me because he was afraid I was going to have a flashback and that it was going to be his fault, even though it wouldn’t have been, but anyway, he’s not leaving me, and we talked last night and we kissed again, and it was really good, and then he went to his room and I went to bed and I had this dream and it was really realistic, like Technicolor surround sound smell-o-vision realistic, and in it I went to his room and we jerked each other off and it was really hot and when I woke up I’d come in my pants and I haven’t had a wet dream since I was little, and even then they were few and far between and the weirdest part is that I didn’t have a nightmare about my dad at all, and I didn’t even have any flashbacks about him at all, even in the dream, and I’m really confused because I don’t know what it means, I mean, I know sex dreams are normal and everything, especially when you’re dating someone and in love with them and you haven’t had sex yet, but I thought I’d have some kind of negative reaction like normal, but I didn’t, and I don’t understand why.” Xander finally paused for breath, and noticed the look of disbelief on Julia’s face. He chuckled nervously. “You’ve just witnessed your first full-on Xander-babble,” he explained. “I’m actually pretty well-known for them. Usually when I’m nervous, you know?” Julia smiled and shook her head slightly, clearing it.

“So, this important thing that you had to have addressed immediately was a sex dream about your boyfriend?” She asked with a small smile.

“No…it’s my reaction to the dream. I can’t figure out why I didn’t at least have a panic attack, you know?”

“I understand, Xander. What you need to realize is that it’s perfectly normal to not have that type of reaction where Spike’s confused. I mean, he’s always been gentle with you. He’s never hurt you. Now that you’re getting used to the idea of your past abuse history, you’re not associating all touch with it. The dream wasn’t associated with the abuse because it wasn’t a bad dream.”

“So…if Spike touches me, I might not have a flashback?” Xander asked carefully.

“That’s what I’m thinking. I’d like you to try something when you go home, okay, Xander?”

“Sure…what is it?”

“You need to learn to disassociate your reaction to your father’s abuse from Spike, completely. I’d like you to go home and attempt some small measure of intimacy. I’d like to do this in small steps, of course. You’ve already kissed him a few times without exhibiting a negative reaction, and that’s good. Perhaps you should allow skin-to-skin contact.”

Xander’s eyes widened. Julia smiled comfortingly. “I’m not asking you to go home and have sex with him, Xander. I would suggest very small steps. For now, both of you leave your pants on. Contact from the waist up, while kissing. If you begin to feel even the slightest discomfort, stop the exercise. I really think this is what you need to do. You need to do it slowly, though, because if you do have a flashback or panic attack during the exercise, by trying to move too fast, then you may begin to associate Spike with the abuse as well. For now, you just need to grow a little more comfortable with him again. Eventually, if this is done properly, you may be able to engage in full intimacy with him. That’s a long way off, though, so don’t panic.” She smiled again.

Xander smiled back weakly.

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