This is for strchsr. Hope you like it luv! Many thanks to tabaqui and kitty_poker for helping me with the concept, and to my wonderful beta kyrieane for telling me the smut was okay. I really tried to be different with this so let me know what you think, okay?

Rating: NC17 for language, violence and smut
Pairings: Spike/Xander
Spoilers: Up to beginning of Season Five
Warnings: hurt/comfort, Bloodplay, minor Scooby-bashing of a sort.
Summary: Umm, really hard to say without giving plot away. Everyone remembers how Xander was invisible in ‘Fear, Itself’ right?
Email: amejisuto_kagetsu@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: I don’t own Spike and Xander, Joss and other people and corporations do.

Author’s Notes: This…is odd. I got this bunny and it wouldn’t let go so I decided to write it for the Xander Ficathon for strchsr on Live Journal. She wanted blood and comfort but no non-con or spuffy. I really hope she liked this, cause I like this. So much so that it went from a ficlet idea into this monster length of a story. Please…let me know what you think. This fic starts after ADAM has been defeated but before Glory comes to town.






Mr. Cellophane


by
Amejisuto



Part 2


Jump to

New Traditions
Jump to

First Christmas


Part One



Cellophane
Mister Cellophane
Should have been my name
Mister Cellophane
'cause you can look right through me
walk right by me
And never know I'm there . . .

From Chicago the musical.

****
"Well, yeah, I would give anything to be able to turn invisible.
Well, I wouldn't use my powers to beat people up, but I'd use my powers
to protect the girls' locker room." ~ Xander from Out of Mind, Out of Sight

****

"All right, which one of you lot are eating chocolate and not sharing with the vampire?"

"Shut up Spike, no one is eating chocolate! I think that chip has fried your brain worse than the peroxide."

"Oh like Miss Clairol does you any better Slayer! Come on I know one of you do-gooders is holding out, I can smell it, vamp senses remember? It isn’t nice not to share with the class and all that." Spike threw himself onto the Watcher’s couch and put his feet on the coffee table, much to the man’s displeasure. He loved getting the white hats riled up, they were too goody-goody to stake him, and it was something to do now that he had this fucking leash stuck in his head.

"Spike, I am quite sure we all care about sharing with you, and put your feet on the floor please before I decide a holy water foot bath is in order. And where did you put my glasses this time? I swear to god Spike you’re so childish, since you can’t kill us you’re going to annoy us to death by hiding our things."

Spike stood up and faced the Watcher, he was tired of being accused of things he didn’t do. Not that he wouldn’t do it, evil here, but he’d admit it damn it.

"How many times do I have to say it Tweed Man? I don’t bloody well know where your glasses are, or Red’s spell book or the Slayer’s Mr. Pointy. If I did it I would say so! I admit to mugging the kiddies of their lunch money when they’re out at that hideous place you lot call a hang out, I admitted to helping ADAM, fuck I admit that the second this chip quits working I’m going to paint the walls in you lot’s blood. So if I’m going to do something so trivial and steal your bloody glasses I’d fucking well admit it!" By the time he was finished he was snarling in game face.

The witches had come out from snogging in the kitchen looking alarmed and ready to cast a spell and he could see the Slayer ready to start another game of pound on the helpless. Even the Watcher looked surprised at his anger.

And it wasn’t like he wasn’t a victim of whatever it was that took stuff around the Watcher’s house. Lost his favorite lighter, and a good knife. He’s maintained there was some sort of spirit haunting the place, except instead of cold spot Spike ran into warm ones.

Problem was he was the only one who noticed. He was the only one that heard whatever the fuck it was snickering, or felt the heat it radiated like a sun, or caught it’s scent. Like tonight, it was chocolate and salt and earth.

But did anyone listen to him? Fuck no. Just because he was evil. Well he was, and yes he’d lie but you think they’d at least give some thought to it. Ever since he’d come to the good guys for protection he’d sensed something, but they either didn’t believe or didn’t give a shit.

He turned to the door. "Fuck this I’m leaving. Get some other vamp to be your attack dog for the night!"

"You can’t leave Spike! We need someone for bait!"

"Fuck you and your ideas of me being bait Slayer. Wait, fuck yourself, I wouldn’t go after you with a twenty-foot pecker. Better yet why don’t you use your soldier boy as bait? Just because your four give me the odd bit of blood every once in a while you think I’m your pet. I may have a chip but I’m not tame. So the lot of you can go to hell."

With that he left, making sure to slam the door on the way out. He might not be able to hurt the humans but he sure as hell piss them off by knocking pictures off the walls.

****

Later that night, while lounging in his crypt the scent is there again, more salt that chocolate this time. Whatever it is it wasn’t tied to the apartment the Watcher lived in because Spike had caught scent of it before.

"Who are you? Why are you hanging around that lot? Bloody well boring they are, if they aren’t killing something the bints are talking about school and boys. Can’t believe I hang around them. Maybe you’re like me, got nowhere else to go eh? Still wish you’d stop knicking things, I always get the blame."

He stopped and listened and he could faintly hear the sound of laughter, as if it was being filtered through cotton. He got up and wandered around the crypt. Sure enough there by the door there was a warmer spot, and the scent was stronger.

Suddenly he heard a noise behind him and he turned around. There on his recliner was his lighter.

"Well guess that’s a start at saying you’re sorry. Can’t just talk to air though, should give you a name. But you probably have one already don’t you? Gonna tell it to me?"

He waited, straining his ears to hear anything. But the faint sound of laughter had gone taking the scent with it. He guessed he was alone.

"Fuck. Guess you’ll have to do with what I name you then, gonna call you Harvey. If you don’t like it let me know and we’ll find something else. And why the hell am I standing here still talking when you’ve gone? Could have said good-bye at least Pet. Next time steal the Watcher’s wallet will you?" He had raised his voice, hoping that whatever it was heard him.

He picked up his lighter and sat down, flicking it on and off to see if it still had fluid. Whatever it was wasn’t evil, just bored he would guess, bored and lonely. He could understand that, some nights he was so lonely he could tear his hair out. Couldn’t go play with the humans that well, too tempting. Wasn’t welcome to play with demons because he helped the slayer and her motley band.

And it was a pain in his undead arse to go and visit with the Scoobies. Most night he’d have to watch the Slayer and her boy toy go at it, and the witches being all cute and cuddly. He didn’t know how Rupert could stand it; you’d think the man would be grateful for having another bloke around. But no, he was treated either like a fucking child not old enough to be in long pants or like a rabid dog, sometimes both.

Yeah he could see how easy it was to get lonely. He’d sure like it if someone still would at least act like he was a threat, or snarked back. Maybe if he could find out who Harvey was. Had to be a clue somewhere. Weird spirits that were warm rather than cold didn’t just pop up. Maybe some snooping around the slayer’s groupies would help.

Making up his mind he got up to put on his duster. Something was in the pocket. A Chocolate Hurricane bar, something that was only sold in specialty shops anymore. He smiled to himself. Whatever Harvey was, he had good taste.

****

He found himself sitting at the counter, a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows in front of him. He was lucky; Buffy was spending the night with her boyfriend. In fact the Slayer spent more time with her friends and her toy soldier than she did her mother, which was a bloody shame. Mrs. Summers was a lady to the tips of his fingers and was kind to anyone who needed to talk to her.

She reminded him of his own mother when she was healthy and able and was the one human he knew of that he’d would never hurt. In fact he came by the house a few nights a week to clear out the fledges that staked the house out hoping the Slayer’s Mother would be stupid enough to take out the trash at night. Wasn’t like Buffy did anything about it. And the woman was living alone.

"So what’s on your mind tonight Spike?"

They’d had their small talk; talk of the book she’s reading for her club or the latest gallery project. So now the only thing left was asking for information straight out.

"It’s like this Missus. There’s something hanging around the Scoobies. I can only sense it now and again but I know it’s real. I’ve tried to bring it up but they don’t listen to me. Do you know…know of anything like that?"

She sighed to herself and sat across from him, looking into her own cup of cocoa as if she was looking for an answer.

"Sometimes I hear things…footsteps or like the sound of someone singing to themselves but it’s so faded I can’t tell what. I think… I think its Xander. He used to be friends with Buffy and Willow but since last Halloween he hasn’t been around. Don’t tell Buffy but I’ve even gone to the graveyard looking for his headstone but I can’t find anything. It was like he was here one day and gone the next. I’ve asked but the girls and Mr. Giles just avoid saying anything really."

Spike thinks back, remembers seeing brown hair and brown eyes staring hatefully at both him and the ponced-up version of his Grandsire when he first came to Sunnydale. They boy had smelled of fear but then again who wouldn’t be when in the grip of a master vampire and about to be handed to another.

But overwhelming that scent was the scent of anger, musky and sharp and he could almost hear the boy calling the older vampire an "undead liar guy."

"Dark boy? More mouth and courage than sense?"

"Spike!" The woman reprimanded him and he found himself ducking his head in apology. "Xander was extremely brave and loyal to his friends. He used to do all of our yard work for me and wouldn’t take a dime, said he knew it must have been expensive for me to keep Buffy in clothes and to fix everything broken in the line of slaying. The boy needed money too, poor thing ate supper over here every once in a while and I swear I think he’d never seen a salad. From what little I could gather from him his parents were not the type to make sure he even ate, much less had a balanced meal."

"So the boy was quiet then?"

"Xander, and no he could talk like you can fight. And yes I saw you out my window one night taking care of some of my…admirers, thank you for that. Xander could talk about anything and nothing just about, but he never talked about his home unless it was to make a quick joke about it. I met his Mother once in the supermarket. It was not the most pleasant experience I’ve had."

Spike sighed and sipped at his cooling cocoa. The more he thought about his time before he was chipped the more he remembered about this boy, but he’d save that for later when he didn’t have anyone to talk to.

"Well I can’t help but wonder if it’s him."

"I hope it’s not."

He looked at the woman and saw she was serious. "Why not?"

"If he’d died and he’d just hanging around here, that would be sad wouldn’t it? If anyone deserved a reward it was Xander, he did more for me that he realized sometimes, especially when Buffy disappeared. Giles may have looked for Buffy, and Willow may have tried to reassure me she’d come back but it was Xander who told me the truth. Said he didn’t know if Buffy would come back or not but either way he’d be there for me. Sometimes…sometimes when I get that feeling when he’s here, you know like you know you’re being watched? Well I talk to him, tell him what’s going on with the girls or with my life. You don’t think that’s silly do you?"

"No Missus, I don’t. Was talking to the air earlier tonight. And your right if he was a white hat he should have moved on."

"Will you…can you help him Spike? I’ve tried talking to Buffy but she gets so angry about it. I don’t even know how he died."

Why should he try to help the spirit of some dead boy? Was just something to do? Maybe because they had something in common?

Or maybe because the one person, both living and undead that didn’t treat him like an idiot or mad dog had asked?

"I’ll figure something out luv, just you wait and see."

****

A week later and Spike still hasn’t figured it out yet. As Joyce had said there were no stones in any of the graveyards with Alexander Harris listed. He’d tried to ask the white hats but they shoot him down every time. What’s odd is the scent he gets is anger and not sadness and if he died with his boots on why would they be pissy with the boy?

So he’d been trying to get information other ways, asking some of the fledges that were the right age to have known the boy. Not one of them knew what happened to him and what few memories they have were filtered through a demon’s point of view.

He’d been told the boy was a geek, a loser, a hanger-on, a leader, and a brave man for a human. One fledges even told of how the boy had tried to save her before she died, all on his own against four vampires. Not that she cared now, but what human memories she had were thankful to the boy.

He’d searched his own memories for Xander. Remembering the human when Peaches tried to fool him and use the boy as a decoy. How the boy fought by his Grandsire’s side even though he was pissed as hell. Course that was before he met up with the Slayer and got an ax upside his head courtesy of her Mum.

He remembered Halloween and watching the boy fight, arms bared and muscles flexing. Was a nice sight, too bad he wasted the night playing with the Slayer. Other memories, most of them while there was fighting going on and he had to admit the boy had balls. He’d called Angelus’s bluff at the hospital one night, while Spike was still trapped in that damned chair. It had been the first real laugh he had in weeks, the thought of a human boy making the great Angelus back down.

Tonight he was going to ask for him at home and see what kind of answers he got. He’d been watching the house he’d grown up in and can’t imagine anyone good coming out of that hellhole. Sure compared to Angelus and Darla the elder Harris’s were relaxed but for humans they were downright nasty.

He walked up to the front of the house. It looked normal from the outside, needed painting somewhat but not bad. Average house in an average neighborhood; but the sounds he’d heard while watching the place told a different story, one of alcohol and abuse and violence.

He knocked and listed to the sounds of a man dragging himself out of the chair he had collapsed in, heard the unsteady steps as he tried to make it to the door without falling. Even before the door opened Spike could smell cheap whiskey and beer and it was obvious the man was well and truly drunk off his ass.

"What the fuck do you want?"

Spike bit back a growl and tried to ask nicely. "Looking for Xander, met up with him when I was in the States last year and thought I’d look him up."

"The little asswipe doesn’t live here anymore so fuck off."

Charming human, nice how he cared about the fruit of his loins. "Where can I get in touch with him then?" Spike let the growl he was feeling out and the man flinched for just a second.

"Don’t know, don’t care. I don’t have to put up with the little shit anymore that’s all I care about, so buzz off faggot."

A few minutes of discussion later and Spike was storming away from the house, lighting a cigarette and considering trying to use what little alcohol was in his flask to burn the place down with the Harris’s in it. Angelus might have beaten him six ways from Sunday but at least the elder vampire had cared in his own way. The human he’d just threatened with disembowelment really didn’t care about his son at all.

****

He felt like a complete and utter idiot but he was going to attempt to contact the spirit of the boy. Two weeks now since he’d set out to figure what had happened and all he knew was snippets of Xander’s life. Now he found himself sitting on the bed in his crypt with a fucking oujia board and a candle trying to talk to the little bugger.

Problem was he couldn’t let it go. He now remembered quite clearly the boy with brown eyes that sparkled and smelled of chocolate and sunlight and life. The boy was strong, had to be to grow up in that home, and brave and loyal and Spike thought he would have made a wonderful childe. He probably had a wonderful darkness under that white knight mentality.

It was sad, thinking that the boy couldn’t go on or even enjoy his unlife, or whatever it was he had.

He had run into the warm spot last night at the Slayer’s house, watched as one of the vampires attacking him tripped over nothing. After the fight he had made quite the arse out of himself talking to air and inviting the spirit over to chat, but it was the only thing he knew to do.

The scent of chocolate came to him once again and Spike heard faintly the sounds of someone climbing down the ladder in his crypt.

A few moments later and Spike found a warm spot that moved closer to him, not quite touching. Not that he was eager to touch, wasn’t polite to put one’s hand through someone after all.

"You’re Xander right mate?"

The pointer moved across the board and pointed to yes.

"Well I guess you know who I am, and why I’m trying to talk to you I don’t really know." That wasn’t really true but it wasn’t like he was gonna declare his admiration to a dead boy now was he?

The pointer moved on it’s own, spelling out a word, J-O-Y-C-E.

"Well yeah, but it’s not like I’d do it just for her, not a nice vamp am I?"

He could have sworn he heard snickering. "Ha ha, very funny mate. Glad I can provide you with entertainment. You know those friends of yours keep blaming me for the crap you pull right?" No movement of the board but more laughter. It had a slightly insane sound to it, not much but like the boy was starting to go crazy from the lack of having a body to talk to.

He remembered the small amount of time he spent in the Initiative’s hands, alone and in the cell with no one to comfort or talk and he could understand somewhat. No wonder the boy went around stealing things from his friends, it was the only attention he got.

"Okay now, truth time mate. I want to know what happened? How did you die?"

The pointer moved around the board at a furious speed and suddenly Spike could scent the boy better than ever. Chocolate and salt and frustration and anger. He watched the pointer spelling words out.

"Not dead bleach job just not here"

Spike was confused, either the boy didn’t know he was dead or he was something else. "If you’re not dead then what are you?"

"Nothing"

****

After of what seemed like hours of trying to tell him what happened the boy had given up, grew frustrated and Spike could smell more and more the acidity of salt and tears. Finally the boy had given the last message of the night, "Giles diaries" and had left.

For some strange reason Spike found himself even more lonely than before and feeling oddly bad for upsetting the boy that much. It was true he felt he had a lot in common with Xander from what little he knew of the boy. Maybe it was because he remembered so well what it was like to be ignored, at least Angelus had come by and taunted him while he was in that fucking chair.

After a few minutes of pacing and smoking like a freight train he put on his duster, gathered up the board and pointer and left. A few minutes later he was outside of the watcher’s house and was looking through the windows. Everyone was in but it looked like they were getting ready to go into battle. Good, that meant Rupert would be out as well and he’d be able to sneak in.

He waited till they had all gone and the street was quiet. He’d half expected the door to swing open all on it’s own but that he’d had to pick the locks. He made his way to the back of the living room where the Watcher kept his diaries locked up and picked the lock in the trunk as well.

All of the Watcher’s diaries were in there but he didn’t know where to start. He didn’t have time to sit and read all of them so he grabbed up the first one and set the board up so Xander could use it to talk.

"Xander? Mate you there?"

Nothing, no scent, no warmth, nothing. In fact the Watcher’s apartment felt as cold as his crypt and Spike realized how often he’d felt the boy’s presence there. Sighing he gathered up his things, grabbed the second diary and moved the others to cover the petty theft. He’d return them later and grab up the third.

He only hoped he’d learn something of use.

****

It takes him two days before he finds anything. Two days of reading script that’s too small in the dim light of his crypt. Of course the fact that Buffy burst in on him during the first day to beat him up for not helping enough set him back a bit, till the swelling in his eye went down.

The Watcher was precise, but unemotional in his recording. He noted the fact that Xander had to stake his best friend but not the probably mourning that followed. These are official Watcher Diaries after all, wouldn’t want their bloody council to known their people had feelings.

Spike had read how the boy had hated his poof of a Grandsire from the beginning and had laughed. He’d read how the boy had been almost eaten by first a giant mantis and then a mummy and how the boy had been possessed and almost taken the Slayer out and wished he could have seen that.

He would have loved to see the boy hunt; it had to have been a beautiful sight.

He’d read to the end of the two diaries, ending up where the boy, barely sixteen, had faced down Angel armed with nothing but a cross and forced the brooding vampire to help his own girl. Freaking coward. It was a sad day when a human boy had more balls than a Master Vampire, soul or no.

Still there’s no clue that he can see, but when he goes to leave to take them back suddenly Xander is there, tripping him.

"Damn it whelp! A little more warning eh? Whistle or something since I can’t bloody well see you!"

Again he goes to leave but there’s a tug at his duster. "What? There’s nothing in here about your…being gone! Damn it I looked!"

Before he can move again the books are knocked from his hands, spilling to the floor and he could hear the Watcher’s groan about mishandling books ion the back of his head. He watched, as the pages seem to flip by themselves before coming to a stop. He picks up the book, reading the entry.

"Whelp t his isn’t about you, this is about that…" Spike realizes then what has happened. "Invisible girl. You’re invisible aren’t you?"

He heard nothing but can almost taste the sadness radiating off the boy.

Spike dug out the last bottle of Jack he had and wasn’t it odd to see the bottle float all by itself as the boy had his share. But if anyone deserved to get roaring drunk it was Xander. As far as he could figure out for some strange reason the Hellmouth had fucked him over eve worse than that Marcie bint, his friends couldn’t even hear him. And it seemed they didn’t even notice when he moved their stuff.

Add to that he didn’t even get to go to his own funeral, no one had cared he was missing. Not his parents, not his so called friends, and the girl he had hooked up with left town right before he faded out so even she wasn’t around to miss him.

And Spike couldn’t help but wonder if anyone would notice he was missing if it happened to him. Probably not.

They don’t talk much, mostly because after a few drinks Xander is too drunk to spell. Still Spike finds himself in the odd position of wanting to comfort the boy but not knowing what to say.

So Spike offers the only thing he can. He finds the boy in the dark and can now feel the warm body and smooth skin. Drags him into his lap and rocks him like he used to Dru when she was upset and pretends he doesn’t feel the shudders racking the too-thin frame.

****

Spike growled as he was thrown against a headstone, the demon he was fighting hadn’t even been phased by his best kick.


It had been a month since he’d figured out what had happened to Xander. While the boy hadn’t gone totally round the bend like that Marcie girl, he wasn’t right either. There are times when Spike can hear him and even then he didn’t talk much, as if he’d forgotten how because he had no one to talk to.

The first thing that Spike had done was moved the boy into his crypt, for safety reasons of course. He’d been living in the ruins of the old school, and that proved he wasn’t all right in the head. Only someone who was touched would live directly over the Hellmouth.

The biggest problem with the boy had led him back to the Scoobies, hat in hand once again. Despite being invisible the boy was too much of a good guy to steal unless he had to. That meant for months the boy had been living off of what he could scrounge from dumpsters and bins and by the time he came to live with Spike he’d been rail thin.

He wouldn’t even eat food if Spike stole it, which was damned inconvenient. In the end Spike had swallowed his pride and called his Grandsire to release his family funds that had been put aside when Angelus actually gave a damn about him. Which led to helping out the sodding Scoobies once again. But it had been worth it listen to the scrawny boy eat damn near two pizzas before falling into a deep sleep now that Spike could hear him half the time.

Spike picked himself off the ground and charged the demon just as Buffy finally came out of her hiding place to get in the fight. Once again he was thrown like a rag doll and Buffy wasn’t doing much better. The two witches were doing their best but whatever it was they were fighting was armor plated and magick seemed to bounce right off. The Watcher had gone down with another head wound and it looked like the slayer’s toy couldn’t even keep up.

In short they were getting their arses kicked royally.

The first time Spike realizes that Xander is there is when invisible hands help him up and for a moment Spike faces a blinding fear for the boy. He couldn’t see the whelp, which meant he couldn’t protect him.

"Xan?"

"Fire Spike, use fire!" The boy is shouting to be heard, usually he fades out worse around the white hats and Spike knows this invisibility has more to do with the boy’s head and self-esteem than just physics.

Still Spike doesn’t hesitate when the boy shoves a dried branch at him; in fact he goes directly for his lighter and sets it to flame before approaching the demon again. He waits till the Slayer has been thrown to the ground, partially so he doesn’t burn her but he can’t help the surge of absolute glee that fills him seeing her nearly unconscious. As soon as he has a clear shot though he shoves the branch at the demon’s face.

The demon roared and reared back. Spike used his speed to keep the fire in it’s face, and the suddenly the demon was collapsing, the armor around his head had softened from the heat. Finally the Slayer woke up enough to be of use and came over, using her stake to kill the thing but not before getting burned.

"Ouch Spike that hurts! Enough of the pyromaniac impression, it’s dead now. Fire bad, remember?"

Spike rolled his eyes; the girl could be so dense sometimes. "Yeah, yeah fire bad, especially for vampires. But fire is a good thing when it kills the sodding demon that’s waltzing all over us!"

"Buffy? Are…are you okay?" Red comes over to check on the Slayer’s bruises and Spike fades to the edge of the cemetery.

Now that the fight was over the bloody white hats would check everyone but him for wounds and comfort and congratulate each other without even looking at him. It’s times like these when he knows exactly what made Xander invisible; it’s hard to be seen in this lot when everyone is looking to her Blondeness.

He wants to light a cigarette but he can’t because the boy coughs from them, too much time sleeping where he can outside, and he can feel Xander behind him. He’d roll his eyes if it wouldn’t draw attention. An invisible boy hiding behind a vampire just because he was afraid of his old friends. Still it was nice to feel invisible fingers clutch at his duster, using it as a lifeline.

He watched as the witches bind the Slayer’s arm, a sprain only, and help the Watcher sit up. The former soldier boy had a limp, and Spike chuckled to himself. The man hadn’t even gotten the injury from fighting he’d tripped in an empty grave. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer Nazi.

"Giles, are you going to be okay? Do…do you need a hospital or something? Riley?"

Suddenly Spike couldn’t take it anymore, their convenient memory that let them forget he’d helped making him bitter and angry.

"In case anyone gives a damn I’m fine thanks for asking. Despite the fact that I met a headstone or two intimately. Is that is for tonight? Cause I’ve got places to be that isn’t with you lot."

"Aww, does Spikey have a date? With someone that isn’t brain dead like Harmony? Right, like I’d believe that. You don’t have any friends even." The Slayer’s voice is sarcastic and skitters down his backbone like nails on a chalkboard.

"Buffy let’s not fight…Spike did help." Red, always the peacemaker, except this time he’s not feeling like being condescended to.

"Fuck ‘help’ Red! If it wasn’t for me finding out about the fire thing we’d be pieces in this bloke’s digestive tract right now!" He snarled at the shy girl and enjoyed the flinch before he turned his gameface towards the Slayer. "And for your information girlie I have a friend who is a fucking lot better than you people are! He actually gives a rat’s ass about me and I care about him. Unlike you ungrateful lot!"

"What? What’s that supposed to mean Spike?"

"What I just said Watcher! You lot don’t even care that one of your own has been missing for months! You know Slayer your Mum, she worries about Xander, and she’s the one who started me looking for him. Has even combed the graves looking for his resting place."

He realized then he’d gone too far; the Slayer had that hard look around her eyes like she was about to try and stake him again. But he still doesn’t regret it because it’s the fucking truth and she didn’t even know it, didn’t care! He dismissed Riley and Tara with a glance, they never knew Xander before. It’s Willow, Buffy and Giles that he looks at in distaste.

What made it worse is that he could feel his boy behind him, shaking. He’d promised not to tell them, Xander didn’t want their pity and he didn’t want their friendship if it wasn’t real. Which made Spike even angrier, to know that his boy had been following this lot out of misplaced loyalty all this time.

"What the hell do you know about my Mother Spike? Have you been pestering her, cause if so I swear to god I’ll stake you chip or no chip!"

"Not bothering Slayer, I visit. Have cocoa in your kitchen, keep the fledges from having the Missus for a snack if she has to go out nights. Not like you care, you’re never even there. I thought after psycho-slayer came to visit you’d spend more time with her but you haven’t. Still haven’t answered our question though, what happened to Xander?"

Three voices arguing fill the graveyard but it’s the Slayer’s that has Spike snarling, ready to kill. Pain flashed through his skull just thinking of what he’d like to do to the stupid bint. He fell to his knees and could feel Xander rubbing his back, trying to soothe him.

But it was the feeling of hot tears on his neck that made him get himself together.

He stood up and looked at everyone. They had all fallen silent at the sight of him roaring at Buffy’s statement.

"You know Slayer, from what I know of the boy, and I’ve found out a lot looking for him on behalf of your Mum, is that Xander Harris has never been a coward. I remember the great Angelus coming back from a hospital roaring mad because a human child had bigger stones than he did, so I know what I’m talking about."

"Then why did he run out on us last Halloween? One minute he was there the next he was gone, we looked around after we killed the fear demon and he wasn’t there."

Spike felt a jolt of pity for these ignorant people, they’d missed out on a lot by not thinking better of Xander. He turned to leave, his boy a constant heat source at his back and Spike had to fix him, keep him from crying over these idiots any more. He started walking back to his, their, crypt, throwing a last comment over his shoulder.

"I don’t know Slayer, it is the Hellmouth after all. Perhaps something happened to him eh?"

****

"Shit Spike! Why did you do that! I didn’t need to hear again that they think I’m a chicken; I’ve heard it all before! And Buffy was about to kill you for talking about her Mom! You should just leave it alone it’s not important, I’m not important."

They had walked back to the crypt in silence and Spike was glad to hear the tirade because that meant Xander was still with him mostly. He hadn’t been shocked further into himself till Spike couldn’t hear or scent him like the boy had been at first.

But that didn’t mean Spike had to like what the boy said. He walked around the sleeping area of his crypt till he found the corner the boy had retreated to, found his arms and shook him lightly.

"Don’t you ever fucking say that! It’s important to me because it is hurting you! And you are important to me! Fuck it all Xander you are one of the most brave, loyal, kind, smart people I know of! A lesser person would have gone insane with what you have to deal with! You’ve got me, Master Vampire paying for his cigarettes and smoking them outside out of kindness to you so that says a hell of a lot about how good you are! Those tossers aren’t worth the spit it would take to shine your shoes! If they could see your shoes. Don’t know why you haven’t just up and left the Hellmouth and left them to their fate and I don’t know why you followed them around like a little puppy, but you are better than they are! Don’t ever think you’re not!"

He could feel the boys heat and hear his heartbeat speed up. Feel the breath ghosting over his shoulder from where the boy was standing looking over it.

"Wasn’t following them."

"No Pet? Then why were you at the Watcher’s all the time? I could feel you there."

A small voice, so faint that for a moment Spike was worried the boy was fading out again.

"What was that whelp?"

"I said…I was following you."

"Me?" Spike finds himself mostly speechless. That has happened more and more this past month, this human boy he can’t even see has made some observation that has stunned him with it’s clarity. Seems being invisible gave one a lot of time to think about life and how it worked.

"Yeah, I was…I kinda felt sorry for you at first, when the gang took you in with the chip and all. Then I realized you probably wanted pity even less than I did. And they just…treated you like an animal, it wasn’t right."

The boy’s soft voice made him remember made him think back to when he was chained in the bloody bathtub and still had nightmares of white coats drilling into his skull. He would wake up smelling his own blood sometimes, even though he wasn’t in there anymore, wasn’t bleeding.

He remembered times when it seemed there was a soft voice, telling him he was safe, and warm hands rubbing his back.

"It was you, you’re the one who helped me after they…you’re the one who left the key where I could find it that night I was so bloody hungry I was biting myself in desperation. It was you…"

Spike couldn’t talk, and couldn’t see this lovely boy who’d cared about a soulless monster enough to try and comfort him. He reached out, found his shoulders and used his fingers, followed the line of them up Xander’s neck, stopping to feel the boy’s pulse racing. Moving up to feel the heat of the blush, using his fingertips like a blind person was to see Xander’s face. Feel the eyelashes flutter.

He cupped the side of the boy’s face and Xander leaned into it, nuzzling like a cat and Spike could hear the sigh, smell the pheromones beginning to fill the room from the simple touches. He used his thumb to trace lips that parted just slightly before leaning in, meeting those lips with his own and kissing them gently at first only to be met with a passionate heat from his boy as he opened his mouth and groaned.

Invisible hips thrust forward and Spike thrust back, thrilling in the feel of the hard cock covered in denim. Their tongues met and Spike closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of the two muscles slipping and sliding off of each other, their teeth grazing every once in a while.

Finally they had to stop, Spike could hear his boy’s lungs laboring for air. He walked backwards, bringing them to the bed and sitting down, dragging Xander so the boy was sitting in his lap.

"Xan…Xander, I can’t tell you how bloody important you are to me."

"Why? You can’t even see me."

"I can see you Love. I can see your soul and it’s beautiful. Coming from a vampire that’s saying a fucking hell of a lot. I can see you and you’re mine. And one day, one day I’ll fix it so everyone else can see you too."

****

Three months with Xander, two of them as lovers and it was the most wonderful thing Spike could imagine. Sometimes, when they’re making love it’s almost as if he can see Xander’s outline. It’s as if Spike is filling the boy with love, making him whole, making him real.

And Spike does love him, as much as any demon can love a human if not more. He’d kill for his boy, in fact has plans to visit his parents first thing when the chip stops working. He’d die for his boy. Which makes what’s happening right now all the worse.

He’d gone out, gone to buy food, and chocolate for his boy, and ran into some of the leftovers from the Initiative. Boys playing soldier still that remembered that he was Hostile 17. He’d been beaten till even his strong constitution couldn’t take anymore and he was on the ground in the alley, trying to roll away from the worst of the kicks.

What makes it worse is the fucking chip firing, even when it’s the humans that are hitting because one broke his knuckles and another hurt his knee while kicking his stomach. Add to that the fact that at first he’d tried to defend himself Spike felt like someone had set fireworks off in his head and the pain is incredible.

As the darkness fell across his vision he hoped with his last thought that his Xander didn’t think he gave up on the boy too.



Part Two



Xander found himself pacing in the crypt, back and forth as he worriedly chewed on his fingernails. Spike was late, should have been back hours ago and he knew, knew the vampire wouldn’t leave him. He’d promised.

In the past three months Xander had finally started feeling like a person again; Spike had remade him. Before he just drifted, never there, never apart of anything and always alone. There had been days when he’d wished he wasn’t such a coward like Buffy said he was.

If he would have been braver he would have put an end to his misery the easy way.

But now he had Spike and Spike was all that had mattered. Spike who fed him and kept him clothed and Spike who helped the Scoobies to do that, even though he hated them. Spike made him feel loved like he’d never been in his life, not even Willow or Jesse filled the hole in his heart quite so well.

So he knew, he knew Spike wouldn’t abandon him. The vampire knew what that would do to his fragile heart. Spike loved him he wouldn’t do that. Xander looked at the clock and it was only an hour and a half till sunrise.

Something had happened. Hopefully Spike wasn’t dust, then he’d never know for sure what had happened. The best he could do, Xander decided, was to go out and look for him. Despite the fact the vampire had made him promise not to go outside at night without him. The only reason he hadn’t gone with his lover earlier was the fact that it was beginning to be fall and he’d caught a cold living in the damp crypt. Spike had gone out for juice and stuff for him. And now he was gone.

Xander grabbed up the coat Spike had bought for him and some weapons and headed out the door. It always amazed him how after just a few hours of him wearing a shirt of something that it would go invisible too, like he gave off invisibility vibes that infected his possessions. He was just glad they hadn’t affected Spike, which was odd considering how much time he spent being on, in or around the vampire.

An hour later and he was really panicking. He’d retraced Spike’s usual path from the store to the crypt, checked the graveyard and the next one over, even snuck in to Buffy’s house thanks to the loose window in the attic to see if the Slayer was celebrating the downfall of his lover. He knew those two hated each other with a passion. Still he had found nothing and was back at the store.

What really sucked is that he couldn’t go in and ask if anyone had seen Spike, because nobody fucking well heard him even! No one but Spike. Finally he just decided to check all the alleys between here and home. Hopefully he’d find something.

Find something he did. A bloody pile of leather and bones sticking out at odd angles.

"Oh god! Spike!" He was alive. Well as alive as he ever got, but in very bad shape. Unconscious and it was almost dawn. There wasn’t enough time for Xander to carry him all the way home.

Shit. He’d have to think of something else. He ran back to the parking lot of the supermarket and thanked whatever god looked after invisible men and their vampire lovers when the third car he tried not only opened but also had keys.

False dawn was turning the sky pink by them time he picked Spike up and laid him carefully in the back of the car, covering the vampire with his coat and a blanket he found in the trunk. He just wished the trunk had been bigger so he could have put Spike in the safety of the darkness but the back seat would have to do.

He got Spike home as quickly as possible, trying not to jostle broken bones or hurt him any worse than he already was. He laid him on the bed, working quickly with strip his lover and straighten the bones in his arms and legs. He only hoped the ribs would fall back in place he didn’t know how to fix that.

Once he had done all he could Spike did look a bit better. He’d cleaned all the blood off and he looked more or less like his arms only bent one way now. The only thing left for Xander to do was get blood. He ran back out to where he had stashed the car he had stolen and hoped he had enough time.

****

Two days of feeding Spike by hand, using his own mouth to transfer blood while he massaged his neck to force him to swallow at first, till finally the vampire would suck through a straw even though he wasn’t really awake.

Buffy had come by and threatened to beat the already unconscious vampire up for not helping like he promised Angel, until she had climbed down the ladder to look for him. She had seen how pale he was, how unresponsive and didn’t even try to help. Xander had the illogical urge to trip her as she was going out.

Finally his vampire showed signs of being better. He was less pale as if the blood did more than just work on healing him for once.

"Spike? Spike please wake up. I need you; I can’t do this without you. Spike?"

The vampire moaned but didn’t wake up. Still he didn’t look quite as…well quite as dead. And that was an improvement at least.

****

Spike opened his eyes; somewhat surprised he had eyes to open. He remembered the alley very well. Well enough to worry that he was going to wake up in yet another cage courtesy of the U. S. Government.


So he was very surprised to see the inside of his crypt, and hear a familiar heartbeat nearby.

"Xan?"

"Spike! You’re awake! Here let me help you sit up."

He found himself lifted and propped up against the pillows on the bed. A cup of warm blood made its way over and he sipped it gratefully.

"Xander? This…this is human."

"Well duh. You were pretty bad off Spike, you’ve been out for four days now and I know pigs blood not only tastes like crap but doesn’t help with the healing too much. I kinda…stole a blood drive truck. It’s okay, I got rid of the truck but it had like 100 pints from getting blood from the bums on the other end of town. Guess they sold it to get Krispy Kremes or something. I know that it’s not all clean probably but hey lets just consider the heroin and other stuff to be flavor enhancers and I’m babbling so I’ll shut up now."

Spike laughed and put an arm out till he found his boy’s face, running his finger over his lips before pulling his hand back. "Never stop babbling on my account Pet, I think it’s cute."

He heard Xander snort and felt the bed dip as he sat down on the edge. Invisible fingers found themselves on his knee and he could feel the heat of his boy, could smell the worry and the love. "Glad you came looking for me Love, I was afraid you’d thought I’d left you."

"No. I knew you wouldn’t." Xander’s voice is quiet though, which meant he at least thought about it.

"I’ll never leave you Xander, if something would have happened my dust would follow you around. Love you Pet."

He felt Xander’s heat before he felt his wonderful mouth. Lips opening and tongue coming out to meet his own. They kissed for a while, and Spike thought it was a damn fucking shame he was too injured to do more.

In the end he laid back down, pulling Xander with him and encircling him in his arms, holding him close and delighting in his scent. It had changed, less salt and more like Spike’s own scent of leather and musk. Combined with the boy’s natural scent of chocolate and happiness it was a heady mixture that never failed to warm his dead heart.

"Spike?"

"Yeah Pet?"

"I kinda…sorta stole something else."

Spike laughed. Only Xander would worry that Spike would be disappointed in him for stealing. "What did you nip off with this time? Get the Watcher’s wallet finally? We could order you pizza for dinner."

"No I stole a spell and all the ingredients to do it from Willow and Tara. It’s a spell to deactivate your chip."

"Bloody fucking hell Xander! Are you sure?"

"Yeah. After day three of you laying here like an anatomically correct Ken doll I got to thinking and I know a demon couldn’t have hurt you that bad, that it had to be humans and I got scared. I can’t survive like this without you, can’t go back to being alone. I eavesdropped and heard about it, Willow has had it for a while but was afraid you’d kill them all so she didn’t use it. I’ve been looking at it and I think if you help me learn how to say the words right I could…do it. Turn it off and make you safe."

"You sure you wanna do it? You know more than anyone what I am Xander."

"Yeah I wanna do it, it’s not right. Just… I know you’ve promised you would but please don’t kill them. I know they’ve hurt you and me but…I would feel guilty if you did. I know you’re going to kill and I’ll try to deal with it, maybe help you find wife beaters or child molesters in the paper and you could eat them. But if you hurt the gang I’ll feel like it was my fault, you know?"

God. It was times like these when Spike wished more than anything to be able to look in Xander’s eyes and see what he was feeling. Instead he took a deep breath, scenting the boy as well as he could.

He sensed nervousness, but not fright. Worry and love. Spike could feel the heartbeat pounding in the boy’s chest waiting for his answer. But could he do it, walk away from hurting the slayer just because his boy asked?

"You mind leaving Sunnyhell after it’s done?"

"Gods no! I really don’t want to be here for another Halloween, knowing my luck I’d get my dick shrunk off or something, and it’s not been exactly a lucky time for you either. So you’ll…kinda not paint Giles’s house in their blood?"

"No Xan, I won’t. For you. But I do want to let them know I’ll be leaving, that way Peaches won’t spend time tracking me down. We’ll figure it out Xander. Maybe we’ll go to Chicago, all that good food to get you a bit fatter and plenty of bad guys for me. What do you think?"

"You’d do that for me?"

"Of course Xan. Told you git I love you. I know you’re a good guy, which means I’m off my fucking rocker for taking up with you evil vampire that I am, but I don’t want you feeling guilty that you helped me Pet. We’ll work it out you’ll see."

Spike could feel the boy lean curl even further into his embrace as they lay together talking the rest of the night. Planning a future with no chip and away from the Hellmouth. Spike wasn’t even going to chance staying on the West Coast, he’d take his boy far away from Sunnydale and the Slayer and they’d have a life together. Might not be a normal life, but it would be theirs.

****

It took three weeks. Three weeks for Spike to recover and teach Xander the Latin he’d need to know. To wait for the dark of the moon and for Xander to use his energy to charge the loadstone that was the key component to the spell. Every time he did it he put every bit of his energy into the small stone, till he was weak and Spike would hear his breathing even out in sleep and pick him up where he’d been meditating and carry him to bed.

Finally it was time. Xander had cast the circle with hands that shook ever so slightly, not enough to disturb the herbs he was using but enough that he worried. Then again he worried as he called the four quarters, and he worried as he invoked Athena and Mercury, the closest gods they could find with dominion over computers and technology.

And if his voice shook as he spoke words in the ancient language, asking for the gods help to disable the chip there was no one to tell. Because all the energy he’d put into the loadstone discharged at once during the spell and Spike arched, screaming from the pain before falling unconscious.

****

This time it only took a day for Spike to heal. It was as if the magick that deactivated Spike’s chip helped him to heal as well. And while Spike was hunting for his own meal for the first time in almost a year Xander was packing the last of the stuff they wanted to keep and shoving it into the DeSoto.

And if Spike looked healthier than Xander could remember and was a bit warmer to the touch when he kissed him when returning home he wasn’t going to ask. He trusted Spike to keep his word.

They made only one stop on the way out of Sunnydale and Xander knew Spike had planned it without telling him. In the end though he gave in and told Joyce and Dawn what had happened. Little Dawnie had cried into her cocoa while Xander tried to sooth his surrogate little sister about his invisibility and his leaving while Joyce promised Spike to not say anything to Buffy in return for his promise to keep in touch through letters and phone calls. Before they left both men helped tuck the little girl about to turn into a woman into bed and Xander found his only regret about leaving Sunnydale would be never seeing her grow up.


Finally they were leaving, and Spike goes out the same way he came into Sunnydale, running over the sign with his punk rock blaring in the speakers and Xander finds himself laughing hard enough Spike could hear him over the Sex Pistols and the vampire was grinning back at him.

For the first time Xander felt the weight of the Hellmouth lifting off of his shoulders. He’d tried to escape once before, but had ended up down the road; in Oxnard doing work with was demeaning and embarrassing. He’d ended up coming back home, back to Sunnydale hoping to lick his wounds but that wasn’t how it worked out.

This time he was leaving in style. Okay maybe not high style, but living with Spike was certainly a statement. The vampire drove like he did everything else, speeding, nearly running other cars off the road, singing along with the music and obviously having the time of his unlife. Just being with him made Xander grin and gave him a warm feeling in his heart.

With Spike driving, the four to five hour trip from Sunnydale to San Francisco is mostly over in three and it was starting to get light. They stop in San Jose for the day, Spike filling out the papers with false names while Xander moved around the lobby of the cheap, trashy motel making the night clerk jump. Xander may have hated being invisible but sometimes it sure was fun.

He waits till they reach their room before bursting out in laughter and Spike picked him up and threw him on the bed. It always amazed Xander how Spike could almost always find him; it was as if the vampire had a sixth sense for where he was at all times. Despite not being able to see him Spike always read him right, and could even find the hidden tickle spot on his side that even Willow had never found.

"God I love you Spike, so very much."

He is rewarded with one of Spike’s smiles, not a smirk or anything like that but a rare and precious smile that lights up the vampire’s face as if he were in sunlight and it makes Xander’s heart melt even further. He can’t remember being this happy or content in his life, ever.

Spike’s fingers find his face and Xander knows Spike sees him. Cool fingertips trace the lines of his face and when a thumb runs over his lips in a now familiar gesture Xander opens his mouth, pulling the thumb into his mouth and sucking on it.

"God Xander…" He smiled around the thumb in his mouth and ran the tip of his tongue over the tip, nipping at the digit till he sees the gold enter his lover’s eyes. He loved getting Spike out of control, teasing the vampire. It made him feel so special, that he had such a fierce creature to love him both in and out of the bed.

Spike pulls the thumb out of his mouth and Xander made a pouting noise and watched as Spike’s eyes dilated even further in desire. Fingers made their way down his jaw line to his neck and he knows that the vampire above him is feeling the blood running through his veins, pulsing. Instead of making him afraid it made him feel wanted, hardening his cock even further till it was pressing against the zipper of the pants he was wearing painfully.

Spike straddled him, moving down so that his legs were pinned and he couldn’t even move his hips to gain relief. He leaned forward, putting his face in the crook of his neck and took a deep breath before flickering out a tongue to lick at the base of his throat.

Xander felt himself get even more excited, he felt like his body was on fire and he groaned, tried to wiggle to touch Spike more than he was already. "God Spike, want you. Naked now please?"

Spike laughed and they started to strip, taking time to tease each other with brief touches and caresses. Finally they are naked and Xander opens his legs wide so Spike can lay in between them, gasping as their cocks rub against each other. Xander spared a thought for the poor mirror above the bed, reflecting nothing but the movements of the covers before his breath is taken away as Spike pinches a nipple, bringing his attention back to the vampire.

"God Pet, love you so much it’s not even funny."

"Tell me, please?"

Once again his neck is the center of the vampires attention and he bared his throat even more, arching into the touch of a cool tongue that was making little cat-like licks.

"Wanna mark you as mine Xander, mark you as Consort. Make you mine forever, make it so everyone knows your mine even if they can’t see you. Keep you with me always. Love you always. Xander you have no idea…"

"Really? You can do that? Spike you’re not joking are you? It would make me live as long as you?" Xander feels the breath catch in his throat the question. The thought that anyone, that Spike wanted him that much was…amazing to him. For once he had no words.

"God Xander I’d do it in one of your heartbeats if I though you’d let me."

"Do it Spike. Do it, now do it."

This time it’s Spike that looses his breath. "Xan love, you don’t know what you’re saying yes to."

"Don’t know anything but I want to be yours, belong to you. It feels right Spike, do it."

Spike moves faster than he can comprehend while having a boner the size of Texas and Xander found himself with his legs over Spike’s shoulder and a slicked finger in his ass before he can even think. He thrust back on the finger, enjoying the feeling of being stroked from the inside and knowing that it would be replaced with something bigger and thicker that would make him feel so very good.

Two fingers now, and he was begging for Spike to just fuck him. Without the chip the vampire didn’t have to worry so much and Xander wanted to feel this for days, wanted to be sitting in the car leaving the state and wriggling because he was sore in such a very good way.

Suddenly he felt a sting and looked down. Spike was in gameface and had bit at the inside of his leg. The demon between his legs lapped up the blood flowing from the puncture marks with his eyes closed and added another finger to the two already stretching him and Xander had to grab for his cock to keep from coming too soon.

"Let go Pet. We both know you’ll be up to it again in no time."

"No. Wanna…wanna come with you; wanna come with your fangs in my neck and your cock buried deep in my ass."

Xander gasped as evidently that was the magic words and spike pulled his fingers out and pushed his thickness deep inside in one thrust.

"God you’re so fucking tight Xander. I could live in your ass and you’d still be tight."

Xander gave a gasping little laugh. "Hey you think we could try it?"

"Hmm, we get to Chicago and get set up, get some food in wherever we end up and I’m not letting you out of bed for a week. Gonna fuck you so many ways you’ll forget your name."

"I’ll answer to Mine then I guess. That’s what I want to be…yours."

Spike pushed in even harder at that and Xander can’t talk anymore, can hardly breath. All that he is, is centered on the hard cock taking him, marking him as Spike’s over and over.

"You’re right Pet, you’re Mine. Mine."

The last is said with a growl as Spike speeds up even more. The cheap bed is hitting the wall over and over with a rhythmic thump and Xander is thankful that these are the kinds of noises people expect in this type of a place; otherwise he’d be embarrassed.

Finally, when Xander thinks he had to either come or die, Spike pulls his hand away from where he was clutching his dick, entwining their fingers together and Xander knows it’s time.

He turned his head and felt one more lick before fangs pierced his skin. The pain fading quickly in the face of the heat and desire he felt at this most intimate act. Spike had never tasted his blood before tonight even though Xander had offered. Said it wasn’t right to take with a knife when it could be with teeth and tongue and now, now Xander knows why. A knife would never feel the same and Xander screamed in ecstasy, arching his back and his hard cock spurting its fluids in between them as he came.

Spike was still thrusting but he pulled his fangs out, licking his lips of blood before leaning in to kiss Xander. He could taste his own blood in his lover’s mouth, could feel the fangs nipping his tongue and lips causing small cuts that were licked closed just as fast as they opened.

He found himself getting hard again at the taste, at the evidence that this was a vampire in his bed, owning his body and soul.

Finally Spike pulled back from the kissing and strong fingers pressed deep into his hips, marking him even more as Spike came, his bowls filled with Spike’s semen till he is overflowing and Xander came again at the feel of it dripping down his thighs.

His eyes close in sleep and the last thing he heard was Spike purring and saying his name in wonder, calling him Mine.

*****
Xander felt himself waking up and burrowed deeper under the thin spread. He could feel Spike lying next to him and wondered if the vampire had even slept or if he’d just stared at the place on the pillow that was indented where his head lay.

He couldn’t remember being this sore, not even when he’d worked out to join the swim team. Everything ached, but in a good way and he could feel his mark on his neck like a brand. He searched his mind to see if he felt any different either and there is was, a sense of Spike and of wonder and absolute happiness that made him smile.

"Xander…wake up. Know you’re awake Mine, quit faking."

"Nope, not awake. Someone fucked me through the bed and I’m still sleeping." He kept his eyes closed but couldn’t help the smile that seemed to have become a permanent part of his face. Lips pressed to his forehead in a kiss and he snuggled to the cool body behind him even closer.

"You are so fucking cute when you’re all well-fucked and cuddly. Think I like that smile on your face, telling everyone what you’ve been up to. Gonna have to fuck you every day till you look like this all the time."

Xander smiled and shook his head. "For all you know Spike I’ve got my eyes crossed and I’ve got drool on my chin. I probably have bed head too."

"Nope. You look beautiful Pet. Really, really beautiful. The most gorgeous thing I’ve seen in over a hundred years."

Spike words find their way through a sex and sleep induced fog in Xander’s brain and he almost stopped breathing. Didn’t open his eyes to see the cheesy mirror above the bed.

"Spike?"

Two kissed, pressed against each of his eyelids.

"Open those pretty eyes of yours Pet. See what you look like with my mark on you." The sheet and covers are thrown off of him and he was manhandled till Spike had him flat on his back in the center of the bed.

He opened his eyes and saw the cheap purple carpet, covering the floor. The nightstand with the itty-bitty lamp and the remote to the television stuck onto it. Saw the covers at the foot of the bed I the pile. Saw the place in the bed that was Spike, lying there beside him.

Saw himself, for the first time in almost a year. The love bite where Spike first nipped him on his inner thigh, the finger shaped bruises, the mark that had already scared on his neck. The look of wonder in his own eyes that he’d almost forgotten what color they were.

"Oh god Spike! That’s…that’s me! In the mirror. I’m there!"

Strong arms gather him up as he starts to cry; this time in happiness and he felt like he could fly he was so overjoyed. And over and over an accented voice is saying, "I see you Xander. I see you." And he knows Spike is as emotional as he is.

Finally Xander pulls away and peppers Spike’s face with kisses all over. "It’s you Spike, it’s all you. You made me real. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

"Gonna take you out tonight Pet, let everyone see you. We’ll stop in San Francisco and I’m gonna buy silk and leather and dress you up like you deserve. We’ll take a picture and send it to the Niblet and her Mum. Then I’m gonna take pictures for myself, sexy pictures. And everyone, everyone who sees us together will be jealous because I have you and you’re handsome, and gorgeous and beautiful and sexy."

Xander laughed because it’s Spike who babbling this time, and because he knows that the vampire is going to do what everything he says and Xander knows he is going to be dragged through half the leather shops in the city in the next week. Laughed because he was in love and happy, and the person he loves, loves him back and it’s wonderful and amazing.

And he knows it’s because of Spike that he can be seen now, that it’s Spike’s love and caring that has made him real and that there is nothing he can do to pay his lover back for this gift.

But they will have forever for Xander to try.



The End







Happy Halloween everyone! This is something for [info]bloodclaim's anniversary challenge. Hope ya'll like, it takes place after the events in Mister Cellophane There is even a treat at the end!





New Traditions


by
Amejisuto





Xander looked around their apartment in Oak Park, one of the suburbs of Chicago, and decided everything was ready. They had gone out the day before and bought everything they’d need: food, Guinness, chili fixings for dinner and about thirty bags of chocolaty goodness. Their building had a lot of kids and more might come by so they had stocked up.

They hadn’t left the Hellmouth that long ago, but already the little apartment felt like a home. Since neither he or Spike had much in the way of belongings they spent two days shopping for the apartment, things like electric blankets for the coming winter and warmer clothes for Xander and other necessities. Xander had never felt so happy in years.

He walked over to the oven and pulled the cookie sheet out. They had bought a pumpkin and he’d had the immense joy of watching Spike carve it, his mate making crude comments about past killings and disembowelments but instead of finding it terrible he thought it was hilarious, especially since Spike had pumpkin slime on his face.

Then Xander had gotten nostalgic, remembering Halloween at Jessie’s house and his Mom toasting the pumpkin seeds and he’d gone down the hall to old Mrs. Rhoades place and asked her how to do it. She was the apartment building busybody and they’d taken great care to make sure she thought well of the both of them, especially since they both “worked” nights and only Xander was available for errands during the day.

So he had toasted pumpkin seeds, and Mrs. Rhoades had given him a homemade pumpkin roll and the apartment smelled nicer than he had ever remembered a holiday smelling with all the spices from the roll and the chili. He set the tray on a rack to cool and sighed in contentment.

Arms wrapped around his waist and he leaned back into his lover. “You okay, Xander?”

“Better than okay, I do believe I’m great.” Xander smiled. Vampires weren’t big on Halloween but Spike had indulged him. Truth be told, this was the best one he’d had in years. He wasn’t being possessed by anything except Spike, he wasn’t getting beat up for his choice of costume and he wasn’t tagging along to a frat party and going invisible.

They were staying at home, eating dinner and watching bad movies while answering the door and giving out candy. Just like millions of other couples. It was so nice to do something normal. That was the best part about living in Oak Park, they did normal things. Oh, they still patrolled, Spike liked to kill things. But they went on dates and walked down the street hand in hand, looking at the falling leaves and went grocery shopping.

They had a life together.

Later, after Xander had laughed himself silly over Spike giving out candy in gameface and the kids not even screaming, Xander cuddled into Spike’s arms and watched as Jamie Lee Curtis tried to escape Michael Meyers. They’d been eating some of the candy and the wrappers littered the coffee table in front of them.

“Spike, I’m glad I went invisible last year. Well, I hated it but I’m glad because without that I might not have you. Love you.”

Spike pressed a kiss to his temple. “Yeah, I know what you mean. It was about a year ago I got that freaking chip. Hated it, but then I wouldn’t have you. Love you, Xander.”

“I guess good things do come out of bad. You just have to look for it. Spike? Can we do this every year? You carving the pumpkin while telling awful stories and I’ll make the seeds and we’ll eat chili that’s too hot and watch bad movies and it just be us? I like this.”

“I like this too. Don’t see why not, every family has traditions, right? This’ll be ours. Better than getting my ass kicked or getting possessed or what have you.”

Xander turned and pounced on Spike, kissing him with all his might. Tongues and teeth and licking and finally Xander had to pull back to breathe.

“Gods, Xander, glad you like the new traditions! We’ll have to make more so you’ll do that to me again. Come here, pet.”

Xander fell into Spike’s arms and cuddled even closer, copping a feel of his mate’s bulge as he did. “Wasn’t that, Spike, you called us a family. I just…I like that. I’ve never liked my family before.”

“Met your parents pet, so I can see why.”

“Can we do it Spike?”

“You lost me Xander, do what?”

“Make other new traditions, like for Thanksgiving and Christmas and all year round. Just for us?”

“Don’t see why not. You do remember I’m English, right? We don’t do Thanksgiving.”

Xander actually giggled at that. “So if I learn how to roast an actual turkey and cook dressing, that means you won’t eat it? And you won’t sit here and call the Bears pansies for playing with padding unlike the really tough rugby players? Or say that’s not really football?”

Spike squeezed him even tighter. “Well…I might.”

“Then that will be our tradition.”

As Xander got up to answer the door again he thought there was always the sex-after-too-much-chocolate tradition to start tonight as well. He was looking forward to finding all sorts of new things for them to do with the licorice laces he’d hidden.






Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds
2 quarts water
½ cup salt or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of dried rosemary



Rinse pumpkin seeds. Boil water. Pour seeds into boiling water. Boil until seeds are soft. They should turn brownish-gray and many will slip to the bottom of the pot. Drain the boiled seeds and pat them dry. Put in a bowl with olive oil, salt and the rosemary. Mix lightly. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread the seeds out in a single layer on a large cookie sheet covered with foil. Put seeds in oven for 20 to 30 minutes. They should look dry and white. You don’t need to turn or stir them. When finished take them out and let them cool off a bit before sliding them off the foil into a bowl. Enjoy!





The End







Whee!! My contribution to the Christmas Schmoopfest! It goes after Mister Cellophane and New Traditions, which can be found here. I blame this on watching Chicago twice and two different holiday movie’s in-between on Sunday. Thanks to kyrieane for the beta and sukibluefiction for the help with the title!



First Christmas



Xander walked hand in hand with his lover, happier than he had ever been in the month of December. Chicago and the surrounding areas had become their home, and they were going shopping for decorations and a tree to fit in their apartment.

While they would probably end up buying everything somewhere else Xander had shamelessly batted his eyes at Spike and asked if they could walk down Michigan Ave. before going anywhere else. Being new to Chicago they had missed out on the lighting of the Magnificent Mile, but that mostly meant they had missed seeing Disney characters and way too many people.

Still this was great. Walking along, looking at all the brightly decorated shop windows, his breath hanging visibly in the air in little white clouds. In Sunnydale it never got cold enough to snow naturally, there had been just that one time when the Powers or whatever had stepped in to save Angel’s ass. Didn’t matter to them about some kid sleeping in the backyard.

But this year there had been real snow, and rain, and ice and sleet and all the joys of a midwestern winter. And they had enjoyed it, going out hunting with Spike in the snow and coming back into the apartment to snuggle together under a heating blanket in their bedroom.

The only problem had been when Xander got sick right before Thanksgiving. It was a virus and he’d had a deep cough and a high fever. Mrs. Rhoades had even come over to check on him and brought homemade soup.

Spike had been in a tizzy, if Master Vampires would admit to having a tizzy. Xander’s loss of usual health was nothing like anything his lover had to deal with before. Xander was too sick to laugh then, and afterwards while it was slightly funny it made him realize how scared Spike was of loosing him to death.

Ever since then Xander had made sure to watch the sunrise and set as much as possible, because one day Spike would ask and Xander would say yes and after that, well Xander would join Spike on his hunts as a partner instead of a watcher.

As it was to go out at on cold nights anymore Spike insisted he bundled up, almost to the point where Xander felt like that little kid in The Christmas Story. He’d almost welcome being turned if that meant he didn’t have to wear three shirts and a scarf to go out.

"Here Spike, we need to go in here!" Xander pulled his lover to a stop in front of Westfield Shoppingtown, making people bump into them or go around since there was quite a crowd.

"Bloody hell pet, you’re wanting to torture me aren’t you?"

"It’s just a mall Spike, not a Slayer convention or something. Not that there could be a Slayer convention. Besides they have a Harley Davidson shop. I want to look and see if they have any little motorcycle ornaments for our tree."

Spike snorted at that and allowed himself to be dragged into the crowded building. "Only you Xan, would think of that. I don’t know if I even want to know what your decorating plans are."

"Don’t worry Spike, you’ll like it. And just think how jealous Buffy will be of Dawn if we send her something from the Armani Exchange." He knew that would get Spike’s full co-operation. Even though they had moved to Chicago not a week went by where they didn’t phone Joyce and Dawn, and they had even gotten a computer so they could take turns talking to the girl they both considered family for hours at a time.

When Joyce had fallen sick and everyone was worried about patrol and keeping Buffy sane they had spent hours on the phone with Dawn and had been ready to go back to Sunnydale. The surgery had helped Joyce though and she was getting better. The only problem had been she had lost money due to her gallery being closed.

The week after hearing Dawn talking about her Mom’s bills they had visited Detroit and Spike had all but started a gang war by killing key drug dealers and gang leaders. The money went to purchasing a rare Monet and donating it to The Summers Gallery to be auctioned.

If Joyce realized where the money came from she never said; but ever since both men had started to spoil Dawn as if she were their little sister or child.

"Maybe we can find something in a leather coat for her Xan, what do you think."

"I think only vampires and anemic people wear coats in Southern California Spike. It’s not that cold."

"It’s about style luv, not about function."

Xander just shrugged as they moved through the crowds. "Sounds good to me." After all, Dawn had hinted at how much she loved Spike’s duster.

*****

The next night found them decorating the tree. Xander had been too excited to sleep and had stayed up half of the day working on some plain glass balls that you poured paint into to make your own designs. He’d wanted a tree of their own that would make a Master Vampire proud and they just didn’t sell red and black ornaments.

Spike had been worried about his plans for decorating but once Xander got on a roll his lover had followed along, rolling his eyes at Xander’s antics. The garland was a silver and red, and the lights were a solid red as well. The ornaments Xander had made were interspersed by silly ones they had found in their many hours of shopping the night before. Figures of comic book characters in Santa hats were interspersed with penguins and reindeer and other Christmas figures giving the tree a cheerful look.

Best of all though was the ornament Spike had bought while Xander was in line at the California Pizza Kitchen. A silver star engraved with their names, the year and the words "First Christmas Together." Xander’s breath had caught when Spike had unwrapped it and hung it on the front of the tree.

Later, when all the trash was picked up and the apartment was lit with only the glow of fairy lights, they made love under the tree. A long, slow, fucking with Spike nipping here and there, drawing blood from different places to taste Xander till all he could do was go with the flow and beg for more.

Spike pulled Xander into his lap, making Xander groan as his lover’s cock was buried even deeper than before. He could do nothing but hold on, his hands clutching and Spike’s back as he was pounded into. Xander howled as he came when Spike finally sunk his fangs deep into his claim mark. Through the haze of his orgasm he could feel Spike follow, his come filling Xander’s insides and making him groan.

After coming back down to earth, Xander laid down with his head on Spike’s chest as cool fingers played with his hair.

"Mmmm, if this is the kind of thing we do after shopping all night I might let you drag me out more often."

Xander smiled and pressed a kiss to Spike’s chest. "Yeah, well it’s kind of special, our first Christmas. Got to make plenty of good memories."

"So it was a one time thing then pet?"

"That would be a big NO lover, although I’m sure shagging under the tree gets you straight to the top of Santa’s naughty list."

"Guess we’re getting coal then?"

Xander laughed at the fake pout Spike was putting on and crawled on top of his lover’s body and leaned forward and kissed him. "Cheer up Spike, if we’re really naughty we’ll get switches and paddles too."

Spike took hold of his arms and rolled them away from the tree until their positions were reversed and Spike was straddling his hip, his renewed erection rubbing against Xander’s groin. "Guess we’ll have to do it a few more times just to make sure, eh Xan? You’d look lovely with your bum all rosy and squirming underneath me. You’d like that, wouldn’t you Xander?"

Spike’s voice purred in his ear as he ground against Xander, and the image that flit through the human’s mind had him almost loosing control.

"God, Spike, I’m so glad I have you for Christmas this year!"

"This year and every year Xander. Forever."



The End











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