There was a time when Xander hated the smell of acetone and nail enamel.
At that time, he also hated the lingering smell of cigarettes, the first waft of heated blood when the microwave opened, and tried to convince himself that the vague salt-warmth of leather was just as bad. He once associated these things with a dank basement, musty with damp concrete, fabric softener and a lifelong source of fear.
If he tries, he can still see himself there, before, alone, then not, and feel the lumpy mattress and the snakelike coils of rope that gave him a sense of safety and control.
“Damn it Spike, that reeks.”
“You have to do that here?”
“And where else would I? Staying here, aren’t I?”
“S’not that bad.”
“You don’t have to breathe, you bleached freak.”
“You couldn’t wait ‘til dark, so we could open a window?”
“Didn’t know it bothered you, did I? Now ask me if I care.”
“I’m going to be sick.”
“Why do you do that, anyway?”
“Have to get the old stuff off, otherwise the new looks like utter shit.”
“I know that. I meant the whole polish thing to begin with. Just punk chic for the not-so-Big Bad?”
“Like you would know style if it bit you on your pasty arse.”
“Hey, don’t knock my ass. And I have style.”
“I’d knock you on your ass, if I could.”
“Which you can’t.”
“Ah, my daily lamentation.”
“Bugger off. Look boy, if eyesores that are two sizes too big and hang off you were any sort of style, then grunge would have survived through the nineties.”
“And the punk look is so twenty-first century.”
“Some things sustain, trust me; you on the other hand would need a fucking miracle to get into any decent club.”
“And I suppose nail polish would come down from the heavens.”
“Would be a start.”
There was a time when Xander wouldn’t know a subtle seduction if it bit him on the ass.
At that time, he never noticed when the resident vampire was checking him out. He failed to realize that the exchange of taunts and insults had become remarkably blue, or that the rude appraisal in Spike’s eyes was fired by something other than disdain and annoyance.
If he tries, he can almost pinpoint when those things started working on him, though. Spike’s attention found a slithery way into his subconscious, sending his daydreams to weird places he hadn’t wanted to think about.
“Hold up, pet. Look at those… Now that’s style.”
“Do you have a fetish or something?”
“Leather is a classic. And black leather more so.”
“I get the duster, Spike, really I do. Buffy said it’s a trophy, right? But those are obscene.”
“They’re supposed to be, you git.”
“And that’s style? Sex, I should have known.”
“It’s a tease, better than sex outright, all that skin, but nothing really showing.”
“But you couldn’t even wear…”
“Pants, I know. They’re lined, I’m sure.”
“Uh… no under…”
“You could get the perfect fit with those. Look, the lacing’s not just for show.”
“Are you drooling?”
“And would still be able get out of them right quick.”
“Um, okay, we should get back to patrol.”
“Those, pet, would get you into any club.”
“Wha? Me? Huh, um, no. Absolutely not.”
“With the right accoutrements.”
“You scare me when you use big words.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”
“Thank you, much better now, can we go?”
“Don’t want to think about it, eh?”
“All that leather snug on your legs, dancing ‘til your blood is pounding and sweat covers you, the contrast, hot under the leather, cool at the lacing…”
“Okay, I take it back, it’s so much more scary when you’re panting over a shop display and talking like that.”
“With the right boots…”
“Come on, Spike.”
There was a time when Xander would take any dare.
At that time, youthful pride and a desire to be liked reigned supreme. He didn’t back down. Fighting the forces of evil was like a dare. It dared him to live another day. Some dares, like the latest evil, he took seriously. Others, Xander figured, were just for fun or to save face. What he didn’t know was that some of those dares take more daring than the serious ones.
If he tries, he can see how that his perspective led to an illustration of the saying, ‘Pride goeth before a fall’.
“Are you drunk?”
“Now Xander, why would you think that?”
“Because obviously you’re… what do you call it… pissed, that’s it. Either you’re pissed beyond all recognition or that chip has finally fried your brain.”
“Not pissed, not fried, just answer the bloody question.”
“Why would you want to do that?”
“Trying to illustrate a point.”
“What point would playing dress up and going to LA to see some weirdo band prove?”
“S’not a band, you idiot. It’s a club, with a great DJ, and it’s about style.”
“Are you on about that again?”
“Not something you get off of, if you’ve got it.”
“Which you keep telling me I don’t, so just drop it.”
“But you could.”
“If it involves nail polish and leather, I’d rather not.”
“It doesn’t have to, but in this case it does, and that’s not the point.”
“So get to it already.”
“It’s not something I can explain to you. You just have experience it.”
“And going to Lala-land will be my style-enlightenment?”
“Have to set the stage.”
“You’ll find out.”
“Oh god, please kill me.”
“Never mind that. Are you afraid? It’s just a night in the big city. You’ll be fine. Slayer’d stake me if I let anything happen to you, anyway.”
“I’m not afraid. It’s just stupid.”
“Well then, do something stupid. Wouldn’t be the first time.”
“If I do this, will you drop it?”
“If you want me to.”
There was a time when Xander was never speechless.
At that time, babble and comic relief saved him from what he figured would have been more embarrassing, more complicated or more tense situations. If his mouth was moving he didn’t have to think too much, or be seen too much. It was automatic, it was background noise, it was what he did, and it was cover. Sarcasm and jokes made good cover for confusion and self-doubt.
If he tries, he can see that the cover was transparent to anyone who took the time to look, and maybe he should have just shut up.
“You agreed to this.”
“Not to this, I didn’t.”
“Look, pet, you’ll understand soon enough.”
“I understand plenty. You want me to pretend I’m your pet. Oh man, you just called me that. Why do you call me that? As if this whole idea weren’t bad enough, you want me to act like your… no. Just no. What is wrong with you? Why am I even here? Stop waving that damn polish at me.”
“I’m shaking it up. Have to do that, you know.”
“I’ll just take a bus home or something. You can stay and go to the club, I’ll just get out of your hair.”
“Bollocks. You’re the whole reason we’re here, remember?”
“Oh yes, me and my style-less… style-lacking… unstylish ass.”
“Which is going to be in style tonight. Settle down.”
“Why couldn’t you have picked a different club?”
“Because it’s part of the point.”
“Which I’m still not clear on.”
“Okay, here’s the deal. I’m trying to show you something. Taking you to a demon club has to do with that. You’re not going to get hurt. I’m not going to humiliate you. If you want to do this right, which IS what you agreed to, you’ll do what I tell you and keep your gob shut.”
“You. Silent. Now. Don’t talk unless I ask you a direct question.” Spike grabbed Xander by the shoulders, steered him into a chair facing the foot of one of the hotel beds, and sat down in front of him. With efficient ease he planted one bare foot between Xander’s thighs on the seat and plucked a hand off the armrest to rest on his knee. Xander winced as the bottle was opened and Spike began applying black enamel to his fingernails. Spike was intent on his task and soon had the left hand finished and was trading it for the right. The requested (who was he kidding, the commanded) silence started to get to Xander. He desperately wanted to know what was going on, but was held by confusion and pride to see this through. He watched as Spike stroked the color onto his nails, his face concentrated, but open in a way that Xander didn’t recognize. The right hand was finally finished and Spike arranged him symmetrically, palms on his own knees.
“Don’t move; those need to dry a bit and then we’ll do a second coat.” Xander did his best to relax into the position and not fidget, so he watched as Spike unpacked their gear for the evening. When he saw, tossed out onto the other bed, the laced leather pants that had set Spike to salivating on patrol the other night, he started hyperventilating. He was not going to wear those, no way, no how. At the sound of his accelerated breathing, Spike looked at him. A strange little smile came over the vampire’s face.
“Calm down.” And he was back on the bed, all business-like and checking Xander’s nails. Xander witnessed the second coat going on almost peripherally. Spike had all of his attention. There was something happening here that was just out of his reach. A million questions, and he’d committed himself to silence. Sure, he could just start talking, asking, ranting, leaving, but he was pretty sure that wouldn’t get him what he wanted, which was just to understand what was happening. Apparently his frustration showed, because after the last nail was done and he was resituated to dry, Spike looked at him again and sighed.
“Look, pet… fine, Xander. You’re… you’ve got some good raw material to work with. I have a pretty decent hunch why you don’t see it, and tackling that won’t… wouldn’t be fun for either of us, so I’m gonna try to just show it to you. If you want to think of it as playing along, fine, but you’re still gonna learn loads before the night is through.” Spike rose and swiped the leather pants off the bed. “You will be wearing these. I will be the one putting you in them and that’s not all, so the sooner you just accept it, the better it’ll be.”
Xander felt like Spike was talking to him in code. Did Spike just compliment him? And that’s not all? What the hell did that mean?
“Taking a shower, you need in there first?” Xander shook his head. “Why don’t you lay down for a bit. Just mind the nails, right?” Brow furrowing with confusion, he just nodded. Then Spike was at his side and he had to look up to maintain eye contact. Cool hand on his jaw, thumb stroking his bottom lip. “Such potential. Let me show you, Xan. It’ll be good.” When Xander blinked Spike was gone, door to the bathroom closing with a loud click and he was left to ponder.
Something in his back, maybe his spine, had sort of dissolved when Spike touched him, made him think lying down was a good idea. He collapsed onto the bed, when he realized that something in his knees had dissolved as well. Scrambling, awkwardly without the use of his hands, to the head of the bed, he finally lay on his back, palms carefully set on his stomach.
Spike had touched him. No, caressed him, his mouth, and said something. Had he ever heard Spike sound sincere? Maybe not until just then. It was unfamiliar; a low tone, serious, with lots of things rumbling around in it. And the words. Potential? Potential for what? Wasn’t this whole thing about ego and style? Xander had thought… well he had thought that it was pretty weird and stupid and the idea of going off for a weekend with Spike had given him the most vivid daydreams yet. Dancing, dancing with Spike. Hands on his hips, dark chuckle in his ear, being hard from it. He had just passed it off as the usual: wanting what he couldn’t have, not sure he should want what he wanted anyway, not really able to stop it. And now Spike was touching him? Maybe… no. It was just some game, right? Trying to prove a point, he’d said. And the point was that Xander had potential? For what?
The sound of a door opening halted Xander’s thoughts. He glanced over to see Spike damp and in a towel. Just a towel. He turned back to the ceiling and shut his eyes. Too good, too much, too confused. What was he supposed to do? He wanted to be here, had pretty much realized he’d want to be anywhere with Spike. But this was too weird, too much like a daydream. He’d accepted what Spike was, and what he was to Spike. That had been easy. Everything and nothing, respectively. The rest was just fantasy fodder and eye candy. So what was this? Xander felt warm fingers on his wrist and it being lifted, fingertips prodded at gently, and his hand returned to him. He kept his eyes closed.
“All dry. Your turn in the shower. Don’t take long; it’s getting on.” Xander sat up slowly, still cautious about his nails, and set his feet on the floor. When he looked up, half-naked Spike was still near, holding what appeared to be a robe out to him. “Put that on when you’re done. Then we’ll get you ready.” Xander just nodded, took the soft material into his hands and headed for the shower.
“Xander.” He turned back and got a full-length view of Spike, towel low on his hips, skin still slightly pink from the shower, hair a damp, alluring mess of gold waves. He had to fight back a groan at the sight. “Don’t toss off in the shower. I’ll need you in good form later.” Xander swallowed hard, felt all the muscles in his body go rigid and then collapse. He looked Spike in the face, expected some taunting smirk or evil grin, but got a solemn look and chin jerking, pointing to the bath. “Go on.”
Xander had the ridiculous urge to answer him, ‘Yes, Spike.’ But thankfully kept his mouth shut and made it into the shower and was cleaning himself on autopilot before he knew it. No jerking off. Okay. He hadn’t really thought about it before, but he sure as hell was now. Good form? For what? Xander adjusted the shower’s spray and leaned against the wall, curled slightly in on himself, feeling the heat, trying to let it soothe.
How long had he been hard? Felt like a while. Was it when Spike had touched him? Or when he’d said, ‘We’re going to a demon club. You’ll be my pet… for tonight’? That was when the confusion had set in. That feeling of being totally lost, untethered. His mouth had kicked in, trying to save him, from what he still didn’t know, but trying nonetheless. Is that why Spike had demanded his silence? Had his mouth been getting in the way, all along? A sinking sense of realization hit his stomach, a bloom of sickly heat, which felt like truth. He should have just shut up.
Quickly finishing with soap and shampoo, fighting the urge to just disappear down the drain, if he could, Xander rinsed, dried, shrugged into the robe and with a deep breath left the quiet haven of the bathroom.
Reentering the main part of the hotel room was getting transported to a different world, or maybe just an alternate dimension. Nothing stationary had changed, except those things obviously moved by Spike. Spike though… Spike stood looking out the window in a sort of half-silhouette. His hair was loose curls and sharp spikes somehow less controlled and more… deliberately sensual than Xander have ever seen it. Bare torso still, though dry now, and his own pair of leather pants. Not as obscene as the ones intended for Xander, just simple, well-cut leather jeans, draping just right to emphasize the musculature without giving anything away. Xander recalled something Spike had said about the teasing quality of the other pair. If those were a tease, these were a mere suggestion, but a provocative one.
“Sit on the bed. Where I was before.” Quiet tone. And that sense of reality having shifted heightened, as he moved to follow the… directive. It wasn’t just Spike that had changed. It was him, too. Whatever fanciful hopes he had buried (deeply) about him and Spike was running the show now. He questioned it, his own actions, his submission, for about a minute. If this was another dimension, he didn’t want to get yanked back from it through some Willow-powered portal. I’ll just stay here, thanks. This is more interesting, personally, then anything that’s happened in recent history, maybe ever, or at least since Spike had shown up on the scene.
“Close your eyes.” He did and heard Spike moving in front of him. A fingertip under his chin, lifting. “Hold still.” He felt a firm pressure on one eyelid, something moving across the skin just above the lashes. Eyeliner? The same firm swift touch on the other and then the heel of Spike’s hand on his jaw as the marks were obviously smudged by a single finger. The touch was soothing and disconcerting at the same time. Xander felt grounded but unsure about what the result would be. He couldn’t picture himself with eyeliner. It wasn’t up to him anymore, though, was it? He’d given that to Spike. He wondered fleetingly, dizzily, what else he’d be giving Spike by the end of the night. The next thing he noticed was the smell of tea (green and mint) and Spike’s hands in his hair, firm pads working his scalp, slow tugs and sweeps, taking more time than he ever did to form shagginess into… something else. The sensations made him sigh, despite the growing urgency of curiosity. And the then hands were gone and Spike away, washing, it sounded like, and back.
“Right. Before we get on with the rest, I need you to listen to me for a bit.” Xander tilted his head toward Spike’s voice and waited. “Damn, you’re good.” What? He felt confusion contort his face. “A fucking natural.” And there was that hand-jaw-thumb-lip thing again. Could get used to that, and to the praise he’d heard in the voice, too. He tentatively moved into the touch, which caused some breathy noise to come from Spike, and the touch was slowly drawn away.
“Right.” Spike cleared his throat. “Style,” he began, “Style is about pride. It’s not overblown ego, though I have that too.” Spike’s voice started moving, and Xander heard the soft creak of leather and whoosh of movement on the thick carpet. Spike was pacing. “Pride, in one’s self, and comfort in one’s own skin.” He thought he heard a little bit of Giles on a lecture, some lapse in Spike’s badass, contrived accent and had to fight the smile he felt pulling at his lips.
“Pride, pet. Sorry… Xander, which you don’t have.” He knew that much already, though hearing it didn’t really make him feel good that someone, that Spike had noticed. But that had gotten them here, hadn’t it? “We’re going to manufacture it, for the night, for the time being. Because I want you to have a taste of it. It’s not about the clothes, or nail polish, any of that. It’s about confidence and how that alters your attitude. I’ve seen enough to know that you don’t recognize it. Your own potential. I told you that already. So I’m giving you some of mine. This stuff, the club, the pants, all of it are my things, me things, and it doesn’t really do you justice, but it’s all I’ve got.” It’s great, it’s fine, whatever… you… want. Oh god. “And I don’t even know if this will do any good, it might even make things worse, but it will, at the very least, accomplish one thing I’ve been meaning to do for awhile.”
What? The pacing had stopped. Xander wasn’t sure where Spike was and became disoriented in the waiting silence. “It’ll show you that I… that you’re desirable. Because you are and you have no idea, and I can’t imagine that I’m the only one that’s noticed, but apparently I’m the only one close enough to do anything about it, so I am.” Spike was babbling. Why would Spike babble? And sighing? Oh, man. And sitting down. Next to him. On the bed. Oh fuck.
“Xander. Look at me.” Fuck, oh fuck. But he couldn’t ignore the need in Spike’s voice. Slowly, he opened his eyes and turned to face Spike. He couldn’t name everything he saw in the face before him, but want was the foremost and Xander had the strongest urge to appease it, however he could.
“You’re beautiful. Amazing, in fact, but you don’t want me. So far tonight, though, with this… you’ve been bloody perfect… and you have to know, I have to tell you, because it would be the worst sort of lie not to… that… I want you.” Xander felt his jaw unhinge and the last hour, or however long it’d been, caught up with him. He thought he was going to pass out. Too good. Not real. Pinch me.
“Xander, you can talk now. Actually I’d like you to, might take it back later, but say something.” Xander looked down at the space between them and the faint pattern in the fabric of the duvet. He saw Spike gripping his raised knee so hard it had to hurt, even for a vampire. Say something? What did he, what could he say in response to all that? Thanks, Spike, for handing my fantasy to me on a silver platter? He appreciated the imposed silence for making his mouth move slightly slower than his brain for once, when he finally found what might be good enough words. He looked back up, to Spike’s anxious scowl, with a tentative smile.
“You can call me ‘pet,’ if you want. I don’t mind so much.” Apparently that was better than good enough, because his head was in Spike’s hands and firm lips were brushing his own. Xander was caught for a moment, paralyzed by the need to just feel this. Then he opened, mouth, senses, mind to the possibility, and was falling, with a fleeting thought of ‘Oh, so this is why they say that.’ He moaned as Spike invaded his mouth, gripping his head and jaw a little harder, and searching with tongue over lips and teeth, odd little swipes to the insides of his cheeks that made him feel vulnerable and shaky. Though that could have been due to lack of oxygen. He realized he hadn’t been breathing and took short, shuddery breaths in through his nose, whimpering on the exhale as Spike captured and suckled on his tongue.
And then he was being released. Spike slowly extracted himself, softening the hold, and pulling back after a few little nips and licks at his lips. When he was gone, Xander couldn’t help but lick his lips, and gnaw on the lower one before looking at Spike. What he saw made that lip fall out of his nervous chewing as his jaw dropped again. Burning blue. Scalding want. For him. Spike’s face open, intent and concerned. And happy, he thought. Maybe. It was too much. Again.
“Spike…” He could hear the awe in his own voice. Didn’t know what to say, hoped it was as clearly written on his features as what he thought he saw in Spike’s. Xander brought his hand up, tracing fingertips along a cheekbone and mouth. Odd to see his own hand look alien, with the polish, but the feel was what mattered, and he could. Feel. Spike.
“Oh pet.” Lips moving under the pads of his fingers, breath brushing, made him shudder. Spike’s fingers curled around his wrist, holding his hand, fingertips got kissed and nibbled, and his hand was brought to Spike’s chest, flattened over his sternum, held there. “You still want this? Tonight? We don’t have to…”
“Yes.” Xander imagined it, clearly now, being claimed publicly, if anonymously, by Spike in some dark smoky club. Being a pet. Being Spike’s pet. Being Spike’s. Period. “Yes… I want you to show me.” Whatever you want. Everything. Show me. Xander flexed his fingers against Spike’s skin. Smooth. He knew that staying in could be good. Better than good. But Spike had planned this. Wanted something, and Xander wanted to give it to him.
“Right.” Soft smile from Spike, before the cursed (beloved) smirk settled back into place. “Get you dressed. The sooner we go…” The sooner we can come back and… A rush of images, long denied, reeled through Xander’s mind and he was nodding vigorously. Spike chuckled. Not the mean, taunting chuckle Xander realized he hadn’t heard in a while, but a warm one, a daring one, with actual joy in it. He couldn’t help but smile shyly, which earned him another kiss. Brief this time, harder in its swiftness, but no less arousing than the one before.
There was a purpose to Spike’s movements as he dressed Xander. The robe came off, and though a pause was made for sweep of eyes, fingers and brush of lips to the small of Xander’s back as Spike wrangled him into the jeans, the work was done efficiently. Spike had been right, the lacings were for more than just show, though the closure was the traditional zipper. It wasn’t quick work. Six columns of lacing. Perfect thirds, at the outer thigh, just to the insides of his knees, off center of the midline, both front and back. Each line and gap had to be adjusted to Spike’s (apparently) very specific tastes. The waist rode low, lower than he’d expected, making him feel naked for the unfamiliar exposure of his hipbones. The firm tugging of each bit of lacing, binding him up snugly from hip to ankle, made his cock throb. Though it hadn’t been still since before the shower, this was different. Spike’s attention was absolute and addictive. Xander was beginning to get light-headed from it just as Spike proclaimed the jeans done and told him to sit.
He discovered that the lacings had some sort of give, allowing him to stretch and move easily, without feeling the confining feeling of too-tight denim. Boots came on and then a grey mesh sleeveless shirt that had a clingy drape and whispered over his skin. He watched Spike don his own shirt. Loose, light material, Indian cotton maybe, dyed so dark a red it was nearly black, buttoned incompletely and sleeves rolled up to expose forearms that Xander had the sudden urge to lick. Rings then, and leather cuffs, simple, unrelieved leather buckled onto wrists. When Spike finished dressing he stood at the window again, fingering another length of leather in his hands. Xander watched and wondered at the sudden stillness.
The moment drew out, until Xander began to get nervous, squirming a bit, until Spike turned and looked at him. Apprehensive sort of look there. Spike shouldn’t look unsure. Xander worried that his mind was changing, that Spike didn’t want this anymore, that he’d done something wrong. But Spike was touching him again, so it couldn’t be too bad. Hand on his chin again, lifting. Grim smile and a deliberate swallow. What is it?
“All right, for this to work, you have to bear some sign of belonging to me, but I don’t… won’t… hurt you. I know you don’t want to get bit, so this will have to do.” He thought for the first time that Spike really didn’t have a clear picture of what Xander wanted. Bit. Bitten by Spike. His eyes rolled slightly at that thought. To be wanted that much? How could he not want it? But there was still a dynamic at work, and it was early, yet, wasn’t it? He kept his thoughts to himself and looked at the object in Spike’s hand. “I had it mojo’d, as long as you’re wearing it demons will think, sense, that I’ve claimed you.” A collar. And as close to a real claiming he’d get at the moment, he knew. He wanted it. Rather desperately, when the implication hit him. Spike’s. He could be Spike’s. Even if just for the night. He really hoped it wasn’t just for the night. He swallowed his need back, glanced from the collar twined in Spike’s fingers, up to his face, nodded firmly.
Relief spread over Spike’s face, and little tension went out of his shoulders. Xander was amazed that he seemed to care that much and blinked slowly a couple times. Then he stretched, straightening his spine, arching his neck, and lifting his chin up just a bit more. He heard Spike groan softly, before fingers were brushing his neck and the leather was being fastened together. The collar was odd, like the jeans, a constant and unfamiliar sensation, something he’d be aware of with every movement, and he stretched again, testing the fit, feeling how tight (not too) it was, didn’t hinder movement, or really hurt at all, but bit a little when he moved just right and felt tighter when he swallowed.
Spike was watching him and suddenly he felt lost without some touch and slowly bent forward to nudge Spike’s hand with his head. Spike hissed in reaction, but before Xander could pull away, laid his hand firmly on the back of Xander’s neck, stepping forward to press Xander’s face into his hip. Xander turned his head and rubbed his cheek along the leather, getting a close view of obviously hardness inches away, trapped under the same leather. His breath caught, comforted and very suddenly urgently wanting to taste. He tried to nudge closer, wanting to feel it, even through the jeans, but Spike held him in place.
“Later, pet.” His voice sounded tense. “We need to go.” Xander sighed, but nodded and followed as Spike tugged him up by a finger hooked in the collar, and stood to wait while Spike got into his duster and patted himself down, checking for keys.
Xander began to get nervous about going out, in the new gear, in public, even through the lobby of the hotel, where people were. He didn’t want to care, just wanted to stay focused on Spike and thoughts of the club, and maybe what might come after. But he couldn’t help it. People were going to see him. Done up like a rent boy. Even if it was hot, it still wasn’t meant for general consumption. The fidgeting and sweating started before Spike had even started for the door. It was apparently audible, or detectable by some vamp sense, because just as the shaking of true fear set in Spike was right in front of him, head cocked to the side, tracking whatever it was with a long sniff and furrowed brow.
An amused smile and shake of his head, and Spike slid back out of the duster and put Xander into it. Buttoned up, adjusted the shoulders, kissed Xander on the nose and took his hand, pulling him toward the door. “We’ll forgo the leash for tonight, eh pet?” Xander twitched as his hand went from nerveless to hypersensitive in no time flat. Leash? Spike’s holding my hand. Meltdown imminent.
Somehow he made it out of the hotel before the leash-hand-Spike-club-hard loop going in his brain let up and he had to get in the car. Xander was pretty sure the slightly complex movements were only possible because Spike had let go of his hand. The drive was quick, parking parallel and frightening in its speed and accuracy. Xander barely had time to process, much less get worked up about the club, his outfit, what was to come, before he was following Spike through a darkly painted but plain door and facing a very green but oddly friendly looking demon. They were looked over scrupulously and at an odd gesture Spike let loose with a riff of something Xander identified as punk. A startled look crossed the door-demon’s face, but he smiled and waved them on.
Past the foyer, the club sprawled epically. Xander became immediately overwhelmed by flashes of light, thumping music, movement, and chatter. The mix of creatures, spread over multiple levels, was bogglingly eye-catching and he became disoriented and vaguely dizzy from his own inability to keep his attention on any one thing. Spike’s hand on his wrist though, firm and cool, brought him back. He was tugged across the space, to stand near a bar just off the dance floor. Quick fingers stole the comforting coat away and handed it off to some underling accompanied by a glare and a growl. They had arrived.
Drinks were ordered and Spike found a perch on a tall stool, swung around to face the dance floor and handled Xander to stand in between his spread legs. One hand slid around his side, flattened over his stomach and eased him back until Spike could hook his chin over Xander’s shoulder.
“Seems like a good night ‘ere, pet.” Xander couldn’t agree more, but didn’t think they could be thinking about the same thing. For him it was the hand on him, the voice in his ear, the constant awareness of leather on his neck. The scene was busy and intense, but after that first wave of chaos it just all came back to Spike. Spike and him. Here. Wherever. Together. It startled him to realize that they were. It wasn’t just some odd fantasy or dream. He couldn’t come up with this, he knew. This was real. And that was bizarre in a way his life had never quite been before. He tentatively brought his hands to the knees bracketing his hips, a light touch, to see if it was okay, needing more contact, but not very sure what was allowed.
“S’fine.” Rumble in his ear and he let his hands settle. “You can touch me, Xander. I expect you to. Especially out there.” He felt Spike gesture, with a nod, to the crowded, moving space in front of them. He was already shaking, throbbing, at the words. “However you want. Because only you have that right, tonight. Only you, of all these, gets to feel how hard I am. Because only you are the cause of it. Only you, will have my hands on you. Because you’re all I want to feel.” And that thing? In his back, and knees that help him stay upright? Gone again. Melting into Spike, head tilted back onto a shoulder, a long continuous whimper as hands skimmed, fingers curved around his hipbones, keeping him vertical.
“And I’m going to be the only one touching you. Because even if they want to, and they do, pet, they do, they wouldn’t dare. Because they all can tell you’re mine.” There was something wistful, and fleeting to that. Something that made Xander want to reassure Spike. His. Yes. Absolutely. And not just by the virtue of some magicked collar. Given his state of arousal (great) and the constraints he’d agreed to, the best he could do was grip a little higher, a little tighter, and bare his neck a little bit more.
That seemed to be enough for the moment, if Spike’s groan was anything to go by. That and the skilled mouth latching onto the bit of flesh exposed between leather and mesh. Barest hint of teeth, less than Xander wanted, just lips and tongue and that was good too. Good enough to make his hips shift back into Spike and the stool, and fingers go slack.
“’M beginning to regret bringing you ‘ere, pet. I’m gonna pop, if you get any better than you are right now.” A tiny thread of pride spooled through Xander, made him smile, and wiggle his ass against Spike’s crotch. “Dancing. We should be dancing. The sooner…” The better. Spike handed him a shot glass, clinked his own against it and tossed it back. Xander smiled and followed suit, before being yanked into the mass of rhythmic bodies. This he’d imagined, but not nearly well enough to prepare him.
Heat and scents moving around him, as hypnotic as the exotic skins and limbs. And Spike. Head tilted back and to the side, controlled convulsions that were amazing to watch, but better to feel when he was pulled close and held against undulating hips and weaving chest. As the song changed, being seamlessly mixed from old to new, house to a simple, undeniable beat, ambient to nearly acoustic, Spike caught his eye and smiled. Odd softness to his mouth, but a hungry gleam in his eye. Disconcerting. Hands on his elbows, sliding down to guide wrists to the small of his back, held there, not roughly, but firmly. A thigh between his and hardness meeting hip, from both sides. Spike’s mouth on the curve of his jaw, near his ear. Rocking, swaying, voices in tandem, from above and around to close-in, breathed into him.
//If you were in my heart, I’d surely not break you.
If you were beside me, then my love would take you.
I’ll keep you in safety, forever, protect you.
I’ll hide you, away from, the world you rejected.
I’ll hide you.//
Meltdown beyond imminent. Meltdown here. Fingers releasing his wrists, but sliding to entangle with Xander’s own. Brought in closer, no space between, being kept upright by the sheer force of arousal and mental overload, because he didn’t have a body anymore, not beyond his cock and the few inches skin that Spike was touching. Hands, forearms twined together, neck, jaw, ear lobe. He had those parts. And an inner ear, because he was hearing the impossible… inner ear and a few synapses, he was pretty sure. Unbidden thought of needing a Babel fish, because this was not possible. Should be a foreign language for all the sense it made to him. But it didn’t stop. And he couldn’t, wouldn’t want to ever, block out the words.
//Take my hand. Show no fear. Look in my eyes. It’s perfectly clear. I’ll love you. And cover you. Ask me to tell you what I wanna do. Hide you, away from danger.//
“I’ll hide you, Xander, if you let me.” Xander wondered if Spike would be upset if he begged to be taken home now. Fuck style. He wasn’t going to learn anything, if Spike kept looking at him and touching him and saying impossible things. He couldn’t think past Spike and want. Now please. Want now, please. He doubted he’d ever have style, not like Spike’s, not without Spike’s, but he would be willing to try. Just not now.
Xander dropped his head to Spike’s shoulder and whimpered. It was really too much. All the effort Spike had put forth, and Xander wanted to give him whatever he was after, but more than that, he just wanted to be somewhere quiet and dark and alone, with Spike.
The club was loud and enticing, but Xander was going into sensory overload and didn’t know how to express it. He turned his face into Spike’s neck and tasted. Tongue lingering over the plane between sharp tendon and rounded muscle. Slow licks, completely dissonant to any beat that surrounded them. Making the pace he wanted. Spike’s hands untangled from his, to hold him at his hip and the small of his back. Xander’s let his hands come up to rest on Spike’s elbow and shoulder and his tentative licking stopped in favor of simply burrowing.
“What is it?”
He could only whimper and try to find some haven in Spike’s skin, away from chaotic sound and scent. But Spike drew back and gripped his chin, looking him over.
Searchlight blue and Xander’s knees were gone (again). “Spike…” He felt faint, and the pulsing lights weren’t helping. He closed his eyes against them, whispering, “Hide me.”
Spike gripped tighter, almost painfully, for a moment, then released. He caught Xander’s fingers again, and led him shivering, off the dance floor. Spike growled orders, was instantly obeyed, bundled Xander back up into the duster and led him out.
At the car, Spike stopped, wrapped his arms around Xander, pressed him back into the cool metal and settled against his front. Xander shuddered and locked his knees, waiting for the relative calm of the city to override the noise in his head. Beyond the music and other sensory input, there had been a chant of disbelief turning circles in his thoughts. There was no way this was happening. It couldn’t be. Surreal. Not real. Anything but real. He wanted it too much for it to actually be. He’d only gotten one wish in his life and look how that had turned out. At any moment, real Spike would return and he’d be alone again.
“Too much for you, pet?”
He could only nod against Spike’s cheek.
“You need to tell me what’s wrong.”
“I won’t be mad, Xander, I couldn’t. I said we didn’t have to do this tonight, and I meant it. But you have to tell me want you want.”
“You. Not real. Too much.” Great, not only could he not handle whatever this was, he couldn’t speak either. Where was his usual banter? Even the babble would be preferable, but it was incidental. He just shrugged in Spike’s embrace and heard an answering sigh. A hand on the back of his head brought his brow down to Spike’s upturned lips. A gentle brush, barely a kiss, and Spike was guiding him into the car.