"Mornin' love," Spike padded into the kitchen, went round a patch of late afternoon, summer sunshine and grazed his lips against Xander's once, twice. He pulled a face at the pizza congealing on the counter, snagged Xander's cup of coffee and went back the way he'd come.
"Hey," Xander smiled, already pulling a couple of mugs out of a cupboard. He poured coffee for himself, blood for Spike and set the timer. "Hard night?"
Xander set the steaming mugs on the coffee table in front of Spike's armchair and plonked onto Spike's lap.
"Lillith," Spike yawned against his nape, wrapping his arms around Xander's waist, "and her crew…"
"…of rowdy left wing hooligans," Xander finished.
He wondered about the mysterious Lillith. But hey, Spike was here. So they didn't talk about the house or where they were going with this; so they didn't make plans more than a week in advance. So what? Spike was here.
Xander folded his arms over Spike's and nestled back. Spike rested his brow on Xander's nape and dozed. Shadows in the room lengthened, Mr Data droned from the TV and another idyllic Sunday crept by, just like the many Sundays that had crept by since Spike and Xander come to their understanding.
Unexpectedly and unwelcome, efficient Michel Bernier bustled onto the stage, reminding Xander and Spike that Utopia only existed in story books. He was an interior designer BB often contracted and he excitedly told Xander that one of his deals had fallen through and that he would be able to start on the house right away.
They tried to adjust to this news in their own ways. Xander dropped by the house less and less. Spike reverted to diva-type behaviour. He didn't like anything Michel suggested and changed his mind on one thing or another every week.
"No problem," Michel forged ahead, undaunted. "We'll fix it."
Spike whined and nagged and was the same in bed. Changeable. One day touchy feely and the next grumpily turning his back, discouraging contact with arsenic-laced comments. But always, no matter his mood, sucking insistently at Xander, leaving vivid hickies on his neck, torso, arms. Xander had had quite enough of him.
“Damn it, Spike, what the hell's the matter with you!” He shouted one evening.
“Well fucking slay me for not wanting yellow trim in my bathroom,” Spike replied, slapping a photo onto the kitchen work unit.
“It’s not yellow, it’s sun-burst,” Xander corrected.
“Yellow!” Spike shot back.
“You’re as bad as Michel, saying that with a straight face. Sun-pissing-burst? Bollocks! Just another bloody name for yellow. Get rid, Harris. And tell that quack of a fucking decorator that I want blue. ”
"Fine, anything to shut you up," Xander hissed, two seconds from yanking at his hair.
Spike poured cooling blood down the plug-hole, grimacing. “I’m sick of bagged. Don’t see why I can’t prick a vein or two.” He pushed past Xander, snagged his duster and headed out.
Xander glared, that was something else they had not talked about; that and Spike's walking away when things got a little heated. Xander let him go, living with Spike could be a chore and Xander was in no mood to pacify.
By the time Spike skulked back, they were both pathetically eager to make up. Xander opened his arms and pacified. He knew how to pacify Spike. Xander knew that if he plunged and thrust into Spike while whispering syrupy commands telling Spike to come for him, Spike would hold back out of sheer stubbornness. Xander knew that if he crudely, graphically told Spike what he was going to do to his clenching pucker, his cock and his balls, he would only have to tweak Spike's nipple, bite on his earlobe, before Spike was coming with a loud string of expletives.
Xander worked Spike over, turned him upside-down, back to front and inside-out. So much so that Spike’s possessive demon in residence promised to destroy its host if Spike did not take this boy for keeps.
Spike didn't need threatening, he already doubted that he would find the strength to leave.
* * * *
"Spike?" Xander asked as he went round the living room clearing cans, glasses and ashtrays littering the room after the departure of his friends.
"Xander?" Spike looked up from loading the dishwasher.
"How come I never get to meet any of your friends?" It had been bugging Xander. Was Spike ashamed to be seen with him or something?
"Buddies, chums, mates…the ones you're always gassing on the phone with that aren't Willow, Dawn, or him of the fine, upstanding hair."
"I know what friends are, pillock!" Spike impatiently gestured for the tableware. "Why would you want to meet them?"
Xander flushed, "I just thought…forget it."
Spike wore a puzzled frown as he watched Xander's stilted movements, "yeah, if it's that important, you can meet the stuffed shirts this week and the week after…"
"Nah, forget it. It's not that important…" it got through to Xander that Spike was planning TWO whole weeks in advance. "And the week after?"
"Lillith's throwing a party," Spike smiled, relieving Xander of the glasses and stepping closer.
Xander now sat at a huge rectangular table, bored to death and quietly groaning up at the twinkling chandelier as yet another course was brought in by uniformed staff. He caught Spike's eye and winked surreptitiously across the table. Xander sniggered into his wine glass when Spike responded by flicking his gaze to the door and sucking briefly on the tip of a finger.
Xander counted 14 'stuffed shirts' gathered around the table. They were a mixed bag, young and old, pale and tanned, suited gents and bejewelled ladies. He amused himself by trying to guess who was demony and who was human. But he couldn't tell for sure.
"Are you listening, young man?" A gruff voice boomed in his left ear, startling him.
"Jesus!" Xander clapped a hand to his ear, "ya, I'm listening."
"Well then, what's your
take on all this Euro nonsense?" The man munched on venison.
"Codswallop, I say! It will be a sad day when I'll need Euros in my wallet
for a spot of shopping on
"When's the last time you actually paid for anything, Alfred dear?" An immaculately groomed woman snorted.
"That is not the point at all, Esme. It's outrageous enough that we've lost imperial measures and have to learn these blasted kilos and grams!" Alfred sprayed minute pieces of chewed venison over the table.
Spike sat up straighter, flicking at his jacket sleeve with thumb and forefinger, "the world is changing, Freddy, in all ways...the slayer has become the slayers, or hadn't you heard? We're a dying breed, we keep doing things the olde way, we'll soon be extinct."
"You know your problem, William?" Alfred pointed an accusing fork, "no offence to the fine people at this table, but you're too partial to humans. Your soul doesn't make you one of them…they'll be the death of you, mark my words. Water and oil, my boy, water and oil, can't mix the two."
Don't listen to him, baby, Xander thought, clearing his throat loudly.
But Spike took no notice. He was tapping a knife on the snow white table cloth and hearing Alfred's comments reverberate in his ears.
* * * *
After that Declaration of Doom, Xander wasn't so sure about meeting anymore of Spike's 'friends'. But he had not yet discovered a way to resist Spike's artful persuasion, which was why Xander was staring at a grinning, metal skull nailed to a black front door.
"I guess I should be grateful it's not the real thing, huh?" He fretted, pointing at the hideous skull.
"Oh that," Spike banged a fist on the door, "it's to shoo cold callers away, talks, you know."
"What does it say - fuck off?"
Spike's lips curved into a tiny smile, "in many languages."
"You're kidding -"
The door swung open and a shrill bundle of auburn ringlets draped in green velvet flew into Spike's arms. He locked his wrists under her butt as she wrapped her legs around his hips.
"Happy…what are we celebrating this time?" Spike grinned.
"Life," Lillith shrugged.
He kissed her full on the mouth, "happy life it is."
Xander was not impressed. He was even less impressed when a young man peeled Lillith off of Spike and took her place.
"Pucker up, darling," he ordered Spike, presenting his red cupid's bow.
Spike shook his head, shrugged him off, "give it a bloody rest, Raven, don't you ever get tired of the painful rebuff?"
Raven slid off Spike, flicking jet-black hair over his shoulder, "no, not really." He sized Xander up from head to toe to head, "who's this? He's a bit of alright."
Lillith smacked him upside the head, "hey!" She smiled at Xander and lead the way into the cramped, busy hallway "I'm Lillith and this is my cousin, Raven. He's got no manners and he's frustrated because try as he may, he can't get laid," Lillith shouted over thumping rock music.
Xander offered Raven his brightest smile, "hi. I'm Xander and I'm way relaxed because I can get laid," he glanced at Spike over Raven's shoulder, "do, as a matter of fact."
Lillith and Spike chuckled.
"Oooh, saucy!" Raven acknowledged with twinkling grey eyes and down-turned mouth. "Come meet everyone else. I expect none of us will get a word in edgeways, now that she's got her claws into him," he jerked a thumb back at Lillith, who had silver bedecked fingers clutching Spike's. "Bitch."
Raven started to lead Xander away but, "Raven?" Spike asked tilting his head.
"I'll look after him," Raven smiled, draping his arm across Xander's shoulders.
"That's what I'm bothered about," Spike returned the smile with glacial eyes.
"My, we're becoming a tad selfish. Whatever happened to sharing?"
"Take a bleeding hint, love," Spike squared his shoulders, "Not with him."
Xander looked from one to the other, wanting to point out that 'him' had a name, thank you.
"D'you mind you two?" Lillith intervened, "this is supposed to be a party. Raven, behave. Spike, relax. Xander, can you fox-trot?"
Xander shook his head, "but I wanna see how that's possible with rock music."
Lillith, Spike and Raven took up the challenge, fox-trotting, waltzing, bumping and grinding and getting down to salsa all to the beat of rock. Xander watched their cavorting, smiling at the vampire infected with life fever. He wandered around the room, taking in the gauzy, colourful shawls spread over lamps, the murals painted on the walls and Lillith's guests. Most of the latter, like Lillith and Raven, were swathed in crushed velvet and ankle-length coats.
Feeling neglected, Xander headed for a table pushed into one corner of the room. He filled a plastic cup with suspect-looking punch and was raising it to his lips when he heard a groan he would recognise from the deepest of sleeps. Xander whirled round, scanned the couples smooching and gyrating to slow music and blanched.
Spike, HIS Spike, was sandwiched between Lillith and Raven. Lillith moved sinuously against his front and Raven against his back. Spike looked like he was loving it. He had one hand groping behind him for Raven's coat, the other tangled in Lillith's ringlets and his head thrown back against Raven's shoulder.
"Raven," Spike lisped through canines, tugging on a fist full leather.
Raven grasped Spike's in thumb and forefinger and tilted his mouth to the junction of his neck and shoulder. Spike's body was a collection of pulsating nerve ends. A red mist of longing descended over him and in that moment, Spike could hear only blood howling for blood.
He nuzzled, bit and sucked. It was like it always was with Raven; white fire blazing through his veins, filling his cock, calming the itching of his fangs and lifting him off into the ether. Lillith's fangs penetrated him with a cold sharpness, her mouth dragged, pulled, demanded and Spike was teetering between wicked pleasure and exquisite pain. The liquid rush, the crazy hurtling of his blood as it raced to answer Lillith's demand, left Spike in a state of light-headed euphoria. He laughed, deep, slow and dirty.
Raven rumbled and dragged his nails along Spike's jaw. He raised red-tipped fingers to his mouth, lazily licking at them, while looking straight at Xander.
Icy fingers tip-toed up and down Xander's spine at the unearthly glare in those silver-grey eyes. They slithered down Xander's body, lingered on his bulging crotch and brimmed with amusement. Lillith's arm drifted in front of his face and Raven dismissed Xander. He captured the arm and latched his lips to the inside of her wrist.
The three of them writhed, and rumbled; pale throats emitted sounds of dark satisfaction, while supple limbs coiled together and sensuous hips languidly rotated. Xander watched with hitching breath and ashen face. It hurt. His fist clenched and unclenched, missing the squishy stress ball.
"Enough," Raven released Lillith, dislodged her from Spike and Spike from himself.
Spike shook his head clear of red mist, whispered to Raven and Lillith and slid from between them. His step was bouncy and his smile wide-eyed and innocent as he came towards Xander. The lack of remorse in Spike's smile refined Xander's hurt. He dove for the nearest exit and found himself in a brightly lit kitchen crowded with plants.
"Xander?" Spike had dove after him. He was still grinning, albeit a little less confidently.
Xander's stomach rolled at the sight of red stains on Spike's lips, "is this where you run to every excuse you can get?"
Spike's steps were wary because Xander's face was beet red and getting redder, "I-"
"You couldn't get a room? You had to flaunt that…that - what the fuck was that? What else do you get up to with Bastard and Bitch?" Jealous fury turned chocolate eyes to near-black, keeping Spike's approach cautious.
Xander backed away, holding a palm up. "Don't Spike. Save it; I'm not listening to your bull."
Spike stopped, frowned, "save it?" His frown encompassed the few spectators in the kitchen. They dithered and muttered as they left.
"Your apology, whatever you're about to say, save it!" Xander replied harshly.
Spike lounged against the door, "what am I apologising for?"
Xander's eyes and mouth were unbelieving Os. "Is that supposed to be funny? I saw it all!" He paced.
"You saw all what?" Spike asked quietly, only succeeding in fuelling Xander's anger.
"Get out, Spike, go on, fuck off. Or better still, I'll leave," Xander heaved on the door leading to the outside, it didn't budge. "Move," he loomed in front of Spike.
Spike didn't budge. "Thought you wanted to meet my friends?" He blinked rapidly, wishing he didn't have this need for Xander to understand.
"Yeah and can I say fucking freaks? Thanks a bunch, but I've met all I'd like to of Diablo and Cousin out there," Xander raged. "Don't you have any normal friends?"
Spike flinched, "oh, you mean normal like me?" He stepped sideways away from the door and Xander.
Shit! No, no, I didn't mean…no, don't look at me like that, Spike. Xander made an effort to tame his ragged breathing. "I didn't mean it like that," he sounded deflated.
"It's what you bloody think, Xander and that's fine coz you're right; I'm not the boy from next door and maybe we both forgot that."
Spike strode over to a cupboard, got a glass, rummaged under the sink and straightened up holding a bottle of whiskey. The bottle's lip clinked unsteadily against the glass as a wavering stream of amber liquid tumbled into the glass. Spike set the bottle aside carefully.
It wasn't just what Xander had said. It was the fucking house, that wanker Alfred, memories of how well his last dalliance with a human had gone and this pretence. Spike knocked his drink back. He could pretend many things, but he couldn't pretend that he wasn't a vampire. Spike perched on the edge of the table with feet planted apart and met Xander's gaze.
"I won't apologise for who I am pet, for WHAT I am," he poured another drink.
Xander felt small and mean, like a vengeful mosquito that won't quit. "I…don't want the boy next door. Spike? I'm sorry." He went to stand between Spike's thighs. "I'm sorry. I had no right. It's just Raven and Lillith were…they were kinda possessive." And you were soaking it up, you slut.
A smile scurried across Spike's lips and disappeared into troubled blue eyes, "it wasn't that sort of bite, Xan."
Xander looked blank, "no?" He dipped two fingers into the whiskey and passed them across Spike's lips, wiping away stains of Raven.
"No. Claiming's only for someone a vampire really, really likes…it's, it's serious stuff. You're his, he's yours…for life; can't go running to the magistrate quoting irreconcilable differences."
Xander wet his fingers and scrubbed again at traces of that ass-hole Raven, "you gonna tell me what just happened in there, or do I have to beg?" He took a mouthful from Spike's glass.
"A vampire might like you, Xander, but not be sure if it's with one 'really' or two," the air, like Spike's voice, became hot and heavy. He lapped whiskey off dripping fingers, accepted it from Xander's fierce, branding lips. "He might want to take something of you and give something of himself," Spike squeezed Xander's legs with his thighs, "sharing - a fangy sort of tactile."
A light pinged on in Xander's mind: the dissatisfaction, the hickies…"you wanna share?" He whispered.
Spike kissed Xander's neck "So badly," he rasped. He slid his hands into Xander's back pockets, kneaded his butt, pulled him close. "Want you so badly."
Xander shivered, "yes. Now."
Spike laughed, deep, slow and dirty. "No, now we boogie and proceed to get shit-faced."
* * * *
Hangover. The cost of getting fantastically shit-faced. It was late afternoon before Xander and Spike crawled out of bed, and even then, only to grab something quick to eat and flop onto the couch. They lay with their heads side by side and legs hanging over opposite ends of the couch.
"How long have you known those guys?" Xander asked, turning his head and lazily gnawing on Spike's chin.
"Too long," Spike took a handful of Xander's hair, repositioned his mouth and drew his lower lip into his mouth.
Xander wasn't all that interested in Raven and Lillith. He settled down for some slow, upside-down kissing, swearing when the phone rang shrilly.
"Get that, sweetie?" He asked, before twining his tongue with Spike's.
"No, you bloody get it," Spike groaned when he could.
"…no baby, you…"
The machine got it.
"Alex. Michel here. Can't get hold of Lawson-Smith on his cell. Man's never at his hotel. We're done. Cleaning crew's just leaving. Tell Lawson-Smith, willya?"
Xander and Spike's lips held still in mid-kiss.
"God, God," Xander whispered, paused, breathed. "God, what happens now, Spike?"
"What do you want to happen, Xander? I'll give whatever," Spike returned in quivering baritone.
Considering his heightened sense of anxiety, Xander couldn't really be blamed for putting more speed than thought into his reply. "I want it all, everything, for now, for tonight; I want all of you," he gulped back the 'please'; begging would only oil Spike's wheels.
Spike inhaled sharply; he'd heard, but most loudly, he'd heard 'for now, for tonight.'