Xander went over the scene frame by frame. What had he done wrong? He went over it all again and nope, he could see no badness on his part. He settled down to some mindless tv, steadily munching through a week’s supply of junk food. He wondered whether he should fulfil his social engagements, heard the Spike tramping about upstairs and squished the idea.
He put his feet on the coffee table and reached for his beer. The problem was Spike’s, not his. And Xander was not going to let whatever was bugging Spike bug him too. He, Xander would deal with the whole maybe gay, maybe bi issue. He would not go on a crusade to make Spike feel better about it and he was damned if he was going to change to please the vampire. Xander grunted, making note to self: ring Zach tomorrow, cause this personal guru shit really works.
“Posh flat,” Spike commented from behind Xander.
Shit Spike! Xander dabbed at a spreading pool of beer on his t-shirt, will you please not do the silent footed thing! “Uh huh, lot’s of space,” Xander replied, almost pulling off casual.
“Yeah, far cry from that mould encrusted cellar,” Spike lounged in an armchair.
“This from the crypt dwelling skulker of sewers?” Xander arched his eyebrows.
“Those sewers trained me up for your little dungeon, not a shade of a difference between it and the sewers…same aroma too. Eau de Ew!, I think it was called. ” Spike said, looking around the apartment. “So tell me about this place.”
Xander shrugged, “old warehouse converted into three residential units. Took some of the height off for ground floor garages. Left the rest open, liked the idea of floor to ceiling windows and went for the galleried effect,” Xander waved a hand behind him, “you know, glass enclosed hallway and upstairs rooms off the living area instead of over it.”
“You learnt all this where?” Spike smirked.
“I’m an architect too, Spike, it’s how come I can design stuff and re-design it…like your,” fucking, “dream house,” Xander pointed out.
“They hand them the brains out at drawing school too?” Spike was grinning.
“Didn’t say it was easy,” said defensively, “but, what can I say? I have some hidden talents.”
“And some not so hidden ones,” Spike said softly.
Xander’s breath caught, “You’re a kinda talented guy yourself.”
“Compliment?” Spike’s eyebrow shot up.
“Just an observe,” he observed Spike more closely, “those are my sweats.”
“And your T-shirt; glad to see you got shot of the foul clothing,” Spike rubbed his lower belly, stretched and rubbed again, stopping as the pheromones flew at him from the man on the couch. He deliberately avoided Xander’s gaze, turning his face away and staring out the darkening windows instead. “I’m gonna go,” Spike heaved to his feet.
Don’t say what you're thinking, just don’t…“You could use my spare room?” Nice going, Harris, just spook the vampire, why don’t you?
“Bloody leave it, Xander!” Spike glowered down at him.
Xander didn’t notice the frown. Not Harris, not Whelp, but Xander. Yeah, baby, that’s me, the talented man who’s gonna show you the extent of his abilities, if you let him. Please let me, please?
“Gods, Spike, don’t be so sensitive! For the Big Bad, you’re getting all worked up over nothing…not to imply that what happened was nothing, cause did I say wow? What I’m trying to say, if I can get to the point…and there is a point, is that I’ve got space, you like space right? I mean, I'd do the same for any of my…uh…friends, and you phone me up every minute, so you may as well tell me what you want from me…for the house, I mean…over breakfast or dinner. Whichever.”
“You breath through that?” Spike asked, amused.
“Oh I can babble…”
“…this I know,” Spike was even more amused.
“…can sometimes babble faster’n Will,” Xander looked up at him, “stay?”
* * * *
Spike said he would only stay a couple of weeks or so, till he found somewhere to rent. He said he got restless around people, so he would move on as soon as possible. He’d been around for a week now, not that you’d notice.
Spike was asleep when Xander left for work, out when he came in and when he wasn’t one of these two, he was talking on the phone or hooked onto the net. Xander spoke to him less than when he wasn’t staying with him and this, whether Xander admitted it or not, was the source of his brood.
Xander was surprised to find Spike home tonight. He ordered himself to stop wagging, got changed and flopped down on the couch next to Spike.
“It’s Friday night,” Xander said.
“Thought I’d watch the telly,” Spike replied, eyes glued to the tv, while he shifted almost imperceptibly from Xander’s hovering hand. Just when had the whelp become so liberal with his hands?
Xander had noticed the shifting and that was another cause for brood. Spike wouldn’t relax, it was like he was constantly on the look out for where Xander would put his hands. Fuck, anyone would think Xander was the vampire, and Spike the helpless human!
“What have you got against tactile?”
“Nothing,” Spike slid him a glance out of the corner of his eye, “I’m trying to watch something.”
“Right, so you didn’t twitch when I lifted my hand just then?”
“Don’t be so bloody daft!”
“Tactile is good,” Xander cooed.
“Remove the hand, Harris.”
“Tactile does not hurt,” Xander continued.
“I’m warning you, whelp.”
“Right, that’s it!”
Spike had shoved Xander away, pulled on his ankles so he lay flat on his back and heaped the couch cushions onto him. He sat down on the squirming bundle, pressing down with a fraction of his strength.
“Spike! Spike!” Xander’s muffled voice was filled with laughter.
“What don’t you do, pet?” Spike asked.
“What, don’t think I heard that?” Spike bounced on the cushions.
“I don’t touch Spike!” Xander laughed.
“Unless?” Spike rocked from side to side, grinning.
“Unless we’re shagging, in which case please touch Spike,” bounce.
“Good, pet. And why don’t you touch Spike?”
“Dunno,” squirm, wriggle.
Spike rocked vigorously, “because he’s not an animal to be petted…”
“…and because he’s not a girl or a soft git or gay...”
“But I came in your mouth!” Tiny groan.
“That would make me a cocksucker love, not gay,” rock.
“Okaaay, well I don't know a whole lot 'bout that, coz…” pant, moan, "never been gay before. But I know what feels good and you definitely do."
“Yeah, so people keep telling me,” bounce, rock. “Now then, pet, are we clear, agreed on the no touching of Spike, except just before or during a shag – not after, mind.”
“Yes, Spike, yes!” Xander panted, arching his back.
Spike suspiciously threw the cushions off. The red face, heaving chest, passion glazed eyes and the wet patch on Xander’s sweats confirmed his suspicions.
“You’re a very sick boy,” he gravely pronounced.
“Yeah, I know…I blame it on the present company.”
“Is that right?” Spike raised his scarred eyebrow.
“Uh huh,” Xander nodded, becoming serious. “I like what your hands do to me…like what my hands to you. Like touching you,” he slid a hand up Spike’s thigh. “I’m gonna touch and the only way you can stop me, is by not being alone with me.”
Spike leaned into the heat on his thigh, then stepped back, “fine, if that’s what you want.” He strode to the closet, shrugged into one of his many coats.
“Where are you going?” Xander sat up.
“Where I’m not alone with you,” slam.
Xander sighed back onto the couch. Spike would be back, all his stuff was here. The lap top was here. He got to his feet and was half-way to the bathroom, before snapping round to frown at the door.
"Hey! What people keep saying those things to you, that you feel good?"
* * * *
The landscape gardener had re-designed his plans, obtained Spike’s approval and had began sowing seeds and transplanting on the three acre site. The house had reached window level and a wall had been built around the property.
Xander touched, Spike growled, Xander touched. Carefully. But tonight, Xander did not touch. He didn’t go close enough to Spike to touch. Xander was too discouraged to do anything more than grunt at Spike, shower, gulp down his dinner, crawl back upstairs and sprawl on his bed, listening to soulful music.
The house was a nightmare; Xander had found the finished gazebo tilting off centre. The surveyor had said something about tree roots, too much rain and shifting limestone. As if Xander believed that – it was the hell mouth come to New York! Summoned by the hyperactive vampire downstairs!
And who was he kidding – making like he and Spike could even be friends?
Be honest Harris, The Voice said.
Very friendly, then.
Harris? The Voice sniggered.
Alright, lovers - and that's all you're gonna get!
Lovers were loving. How it worked between him and Spike was Xander got blown, and if Xander showed any interest in returning the favour, Spike jumped out of the bed like he suddenly remembered there was a world waiting to be saved…in a galaxy far, far from Xander.
Spike didn’t want Xander’s hands, or mouth or anything on him. Yeah, Xander did all the running…no wait, an amend. Xander run towards Spike and Spike run the opposite direction – growling. And tonight, Xander just could not deal with Spike tolerating his touches, SUFFERING them.
Spike didn’t need to be a bleeding genius to figure out something was wrong with Harris. He cocked his head, filtering the music out and heard…absolutely nothing, no creaking bed springs or shuffling feet. The whelp hadn’t even glanced at the box of Belgium chocolates Spike had left in full view and that was scary.
Furthermore, where were the touches Spike had come to expect and secretly look forward to – there, he’d admitted it – he liked. Spike liked the whisper of fingers on his nape. He liked the warm palm pressing into the small of his back, or trailing down his chest. And yeah, he liked the strong finger trailing down his nose to briefly caress his lower lip. Spike liked and the whelp had no business making him like and then denying him.
Spike glided up the stairs, tapped on Xander’s door and pushed it open. This was bad; the boy was staring at the blank ceiling with blank eyes. Spike grimaced, turned the music down and gingerly lay down next to Xander. He turned on his side, propped his head against a shoulder and stared down at him.
“I’m off duty tonight, but there’s a punch-bag in the room at the end,” Xander muttered, not looking at Spike.
Spike smiled, “what’s so bad that you would wallow in this bloody awful din?”
“I know a neat trick, Spike. See, if you go away, you won’t have to listen to my bloody awful din.”
“Can hear it from downstairs,” Spike said.
“Go out, then, go get your teeth knocked out…the streets of New York would be a safer place,” Xander said, closing his eyes; closing Spike out.
“Alright, enough of the brooding, what’s got your knickers in a bloody twist?” Spike sighed, surprised that he had so much patience.
“Oh no big, just your fucking gazebo falling over.”
“You get the ground man out?”
“You think I’m some kind of amateur?” Xander growled.
“What he say?”
“Limestone, won’t happen again.”
Spike shrugged, “move the pergola. Problem solved.”
“Proble…” Xander gaped at him, “Spike, it’s not that simple!”
“I trust you, Xander,” Spike smiled into his eyes. “Can we play now?”
“No. This puppy doesn’t feel like panting at the master’s feet,” Xander slid his eyes away.
The visuals were killing Spike. “Tell me what’s wrong?” He asked softly.
Xander shored up his courage. He turned to face Spike, delving into the bright blue eyes. “Why are you staying here?”
Spike looked confused, “you don’t want me here?” His once alive heart believed itself resurrected, it was banging so loudly.
“I asked you to stay, didn't I? I want you here, but why did you stay?” Xander asked.
Spike hadn't expected direct and candid. He blinked twice, blinded by the glare in Xander’s eyes. “I like it here, what with the space an’ all,” he said lamely.
“Plus there’s the extra attraction of whore on demand,” Xander added bitterly.
Spike’s eyes widened, “no, no, pet. Not a whore, never a whore!” He was desperate and horrified at the look of dejection in Xander’s eyes.
“Then what Spike? You won’t let me touch you, even after, even after…” Xander’s courage deserted him. “And you don’t ever touch me,” he almost whispered, slumping back to stare at the ceiling again.
“Do touch you,” Spike had the good grace to sound shamed and he thoroughly cursed his soul for this.
“You blow me Spike!” And blow me down for complaining about that! “You…you handle me like some…some, I dunno, jaw strengthening piece of equipment that makes jaws strong.”
"Xander, I-" Spike didn’t think he could feel more inconsiderate.
Spike reached for the clenched fist nearest him and raised it to his lips, lightly kissing each taut knuckle. He kneaded and stroked the fist until Xander unfurled it. Spike passed the tip of his tongue from wrist to the tip of Xander’s thumb, from middle of the palm to the end of Xander’s index finger, drawing in the scent of tangy shower gel and spicy pheromones.
Groaning softly, Spike passed Xander’s arm around his waist, holding the palm against his ass and pressing close to Xander. Their lips were inches apart and Spike’s lips brushed against Xander’s as he spoke.
“Touch me, Xander, where you want, how you want, just…” Spike glided a leg up Xander’s thigh and rested it on his hip, opening himself up. But Xander wasn’t so drunk on Spike that he would discount the whole point of this conversation. Keeping still, he asked,
“Where do YOU want, Spike, how?”
Oh pet, Spike's nostrils flared as he regarded Xander through smouldering, gold-on-blue eyes, let me show you the ways. I can not begin to tell you what that invitation does to me. I want you open, on your back, looking at me. On all fours, sobbing into the pillow. On your side, grasping at thin air. I want you now, a little later after now and possibly for many more nows. I want to fuck you slow and easy, love, hard and fast. And when you’re all slick with cum and sweat and tears, I want to take you all over again. Yeah, pet, I want my cock in you, my fangs in you, my hand prints marking you…so give a demon a break and don’t ask again.
“Spike?” Xander asked, breathlessly staring at him.
Spike slowly unbuttoned Xander’s shirt, “it’s gonna burn a little, first times always do…might hurt some,” He ghosted his lips over Xander’s.
Eep! He stared at Spike owlishly. When had the leap been made, huh? When had this changed from being a debate about the merits of a little tactile exchange, to the merits of the fucking of Xander’s ass?
“Lube?” Spike asked matter-of-factly.
Fresh out, too bad, better luck next time, “in the drawer…Spike?” Xander squeaked.
“Planning an orgy?” Spike tossed the large tube on the bed and grasped the bands of Xander’s sweats and boxers, tugging them off.
He slapped Spike's hands away; whoa, down boy! Boy? Xander glanced down at his absence of erection – no, up boy! “Spike…?” His voice quivered.
“With you in a minute, pet,” Spike panted, shimmying out of his clothes.
Oh, take your time, pal, no rush. Take all night…hell, take all year! Xander’s hands fumbled as he shed his shirt, “Spike?” He tried again.
“Yeah love, I know, a man needs lube, and the tube develops scruples,” Spike tore at the cap with fevered hands. Aim achieved, he patted Xander’s thigh, “turn over, there's a love.”
“Spike!” Xander yelped. Maybe gay, possibly bi? What had he been thinking? This was just the dose of reality he had needed to rectify that impression.
“Going as fast as I can, pet,” Spike flipped him over and run his hands down Xander’s rigid back. But not before Xander had glimpsed the heavy scrotum and the rearing erection anchored in crisp golden curls and dribbling fluid from it's angry - to Xander's way of thinking - eye.
You're going too fast, too fast, “Wait…wait!” Xander pulled away from the fingers kneading his butt.
This was awful. This was a thousand times worse than the frantic Faith. Where was a dead faint when you needed one? Ten minutes later, and Spike had soothed, shushed, rubbed and reassured Xander to no avail. Harris was slick with sweat, but there was no sign of cum. Fear rose from Xander’s straining back in clouds, and Spike admitting defeat, wistfully re-capped the tube.