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Sunday Morning Coming Down


Spike rolled over in the bed, kicking at the sheets that were wrapped around his legs. He lay there for a moment, trying to use his internal chronometer to suss out what time it was, and then finally turned with a sigh to look at one of the many alarm clocks ringing the bed. 1:30 in the afternoon. Xander would be home around sundown. A lot of daylight to kill in the meantime.

Spike kicked at the sheets again, sliding from the warmth with regret. He stretched, rubbing his hand through his hair and trying to decide how he wanted to begin filling the hours until…God, when had his days started revolving around Xander Harris’ work schedule? He shrugged. Thinking about it wasn’t going to make the time pass any faster.

Shower? Blood? Maybe a quick wank with one of Xander’s t-shirts as inspiration? That thought was tempting…okay, shower it is.

He stood under the spray, the cold tap untouched, just pure hot water pouring down over him, drawing in the scents of Xander’s skin and hair. He turned off the water as it started to cool, reaching for a towel and noticing that the pink one with the ‘X’ was alone on its hook. He refused to feel smug about that, since the ‘A’ was probably carefully tucked away in a drawer somewhere.

He used Xander’s still slightly damp towel to dry off, smiling slightly as he remembered the awkward kiss Xander had dropped on his shoulder this morning before mumbling, “Going to work. More blood in the fridge,” and then left, making an already quiet flat seem eerily still. Spike had slept again, then, easing himself back with the memory of the sound of Xander’s breath beneath his cheek.

He threw his t-shirt on and kicked his jeans into the bathroom, digging out a pair of Xander’s sleep pants instead and slipping into them. He rolled his eyes when he realized he had to pull the strings to the limit to keep them from sliding down his hips.

He headed into the kitchen and grabbed a bag of blood out of the refrigerator, frowning when he realized there were only two left. He hadn’t really given a lot of thought to what would happen with his blood supply now that Giles had abandoned his post.

His lip curled. Old Rupert had always been a bit chintzy with the goods, anyway, and if it hadn’t been for the occasional bit of cash he’d cozened out of him or Buffy to spread around at Willy’s, he’d have been as frail as Dru at this point.

He frowned down at the packet of blood in his hands, his fingers squeezing the plastic until it bulged on either side of his fist. It had been one thing to take blood from the Watcher, or the Slayer; withholding information or vampire reflexes until they’d conceded his price.

But to take it like this, now, from Xander, somehow it felt…wrong. He flung the blood to the counter, digging through the cabinets until he found a mug and filled it, shoving it into the microwave and pressing the buttons angrily, as if begrudgingly drinking this blood would somehow made him feel less…kept. Beholden. Owned.

The microwave pinged and Spike carried the cup into the living room, dropping onto the couch and glancing over to appreciate the fact that Xander had nailed layers of blankets over the wall of windows.

He brought the mug to his lips and drained it, letting it thump back on to the coffee table in front of him. It wasn’t enough. It was never enough. Not that they could ever understand that. Artificially warm and long dead and so far from human. But having it here for him…it had been a gesture. It was trust. It was acceptance. It was your price, the darker part of his mind chided.

He dropped his head back against the couch, closing his eyes. What was he still doing here? How much of the limitations with the chip had been reality, and how much had been the excuse to get closer to her, become part of her world? He wasn’t helpless. He had contacts, places he could go where his name still meant something. Demon world was full of places for someone like him. Not to Angel. Never Angel – even before the gem that never was, he’d burned, fuck it all, he’d blown up those bridges long ago. And Dru… nothing left there but the look in her eyes when he’d ripped her away from Buffy, still remembering the cry of Angel’s name on those dark red lips. They’d danced their last dance.

So the question was? I'm counting on you ... to protect her. And the answer? Till the end of the world. Even if that happens to be tonight.

And then hearing Buffy as she had faced them all, for him: He’s here because we need him.

And when was the last time he had been needed? Darla was the clever one, the one with the plan, the destination. Angel was the one with the strength, bringing the careful death. Dru with the divination, the warning when the time to run was coming. And then Dru had needed him. For a while. But she was like a cat, always finding another alley, another way out.

Then Buffy was gone, leaving him with the rest she had left behind. They’d eyed him doubtfully, trusting him with Dawn and then granting him leave to patrol, as if they alone controlled his access to the darkness of the Hellmouth. Willow had caved first, turning to him for approval of the plan of action. Giles’ agreement to that had been obligatory, but it had been some form of acceptance, nonetheless. Willow’s girl, Tara, was a bit of all right, or at least she’d never opened her mouth enough to prove otherwise. Xander and Anyanka, well, they’d just gone along with the rest, shrugging and nodding as if his inclusion didn’t matter one way or another, so long as it keep them human and whole at the end of the night.

So now here he sat with his borrowed cup of blood, eager again, waiting for night. Watching for eyes full of darkness that had nothing to do with color, for hands that trembled with want, not fear. Wanting for skin that burned with heat that was more than desire and for words that would welcome or cast out.

He shrugged. He was here, either way.

Xander walked in just at sundown, his hair sweaty and windblown, a yellow hardhat tucked under his arm. He looked over and found Spike sitting on the couch, his feet propped up on the coffee table, a notepad and pen in his hand.

“’Sup?” Xander asked, walking over to drop his hat, tool belt and lunchbox on the table.

’Sup?” Spike repeated, looking up and almost hitting the California accent, but deepening his voice too much and just missing it.

Xander shrugged. “I was heading for casual, but ended up getting off at lame.” He nodded to the notebook. “Whatcha doin’?”

Spike ripped out a sheet of paper and handed it to him, his eyes not quite meeting Xander’s.

Xander accepted it gingerly, seeing the opening lines and raising his brows as he began to read aloud:

“I, Spike, also called William the Bloody, do promise to keep the self-named Scoobies from risking their bloody necks trying to patrol in lieu of a Slayer. This includes clean up after wonky works of magic, ill conceived and poorly executed demon reconnaissance and any time Dawn should venture out alone. I do this in exchange for blood, smokes and monetary compensation and not for any altruistic intent that might occur to some. I expect to be paid.

Signed this day,

Xander glanced up from script that reminded him of the Declaration of Independence and frowned. “What’s this red blob?”

“My blood oath,” Spike said, his fingers gripping tightly together. “To seal the bargain and verify it was made by me.”

Xander chuckled, dropping the paper on to the table and turning back to the kitchen, “A notary would have been less gross.”

“Sign it,” Spike said, his voice soft, but something in the tone made Xander turn around.

He opened his mouth, about to tell Spike what he could do with his blood oath, when he saw the look in Spike’s eyes.

“Fine,” he sighed, walking back over and taking the pen from Spike’s hand. He scrawled Alexander L. Harris across the bottom of the page, well away from the blood mark, and tossed the pen atop the paper. “There. Happy?”

Spike said nothing, and Xander looked back up at him. “I would have gotten you blood,” he said quietly.

Spike looked back at him, and then nodded briefly. “But now we both know the reason.”

Xander frowned and Spike sat up, reaching for the paper and moving to tuck it into his pocket and then grimacing when he realized he didn’t have any.

“Need to go back to my crypt,” he said. He smiled slightly as he caught Xander’s quickly hidden look of concern. “Need clothes. Smokes. More blood,” he said, watching Xander’s shoulders relax as he nodded.

Xander went back to kitchen to start opening cabinets, searching for his after work, pre-dinner snack, and Spike glanced back down at the paper in his hands. “What’s the ‘L’ stand for?” he asked.

Xander looked back over his shoulder with a grin. “Lov-ah,” he drawled.

Spike rolled his eyes. “I think the word you’re looking for is Lo-ser,” he called back.

Xander grinned, shrugging as he started making a sandwich.

“No, really,” Spike said, standing and dropping the paper on the table to join Xander in the kitchen.

Xander shook his head. “Not telling.”

Spike quirked a brow. “I’ll just ask Willow, you know.”

Xander licked a glob of mustard from the corner of his lips. “She won’t tell you.”

Spike leaned against the counter, looking down at his nails, wondering briefly when he’d stopped painting them. “Ask Dawn, then.”

Xander swallowed. “She won’t tell you either,” he said, his voice less firm.

Spike’s eyes met his, and then a bologna sandwich was on the floor, bare feet were being stomped by heavy work boots and a cool black t-shirt was pressed against a sun warmed Superman one as they both wrestled for the phone on the table.

“Give it,” Xander gritted out, his fingers sweaty and Spike chuckled, his fingers dry and using it to his advantage.

The phone squirted away from them, falling to the floor. They looked at each other again and then they both dove for it. Spike landed on it first with a grunt as the short antennae jabbed him in the ribs and then let out a larger grunt as Xander fell on top of him, his hands shoving beneath Spike to poke uselessly at the sides of the phone that was pressed between the vampire’s body and the floor.

“I said give it, you…undead asshole,” Xander giggled.

“Take it from me, you overfed bit of demon bait,” Spike said, trying to wiggle his way out from beneath Xander, and just succeeding in rubbing against the warm body atop him.

“Spike,” Xander breathed hotly in his ear, “give me the phone, or I’ll…” his dropped his full weight on Spike, grinding against the soft flannel sleep pants that covered the muscled curve of ass that was thrusting back up at him.

“Or you’ll what, Xander?” Spike purred back, snickering again as he was pressed harder on the phone, causing it to beep loudly.

“Or I’ll yank those pants, which by the way are mine, off those skinny hips and…”

Xander was cut off by a knock at the door. Before he could do more than rise up on his arms, still straddling Spike, the door opened and Willow was gaping down at them.

She shook her head harshly and then came at them. “Oh, my God, Xander, stop it! Get off of him,” she said, grabbing Xander by the arm and tugging hard.

“What?” Xander yelped, letting Willow pull him up and then stumbling away from Spike.

Spike sighed, grabbing the phone from beneath him and bouncing to his feet.

“She thinks you’re trying stake me,” Spike said, watching as a slow blush rose in Xander’s cheeks. He leaned closer, lowering his voice and breathing in Xander’s ear, “Yeah, that one will never stop being funny, will it?” his lips twitched as he watched Xander’s blush deepen.

Spike cleared his throat, turning toward Willow. “It was nothing, Red. I just told Harris here that he was spelling his middle name wrong, and he didn’t believe me, so we were fighting over who was going to call you to find out.”

Willow frowned at him. “L-A-capital V-E-L-L-E. How else would you spell it?”

Spike’s grin widened as he tossed the phone to Xander. “How else, indeed? My mistake, then.”

Xander glared at him and then turned back to Willow. “What’s up?”

“Yeah, Will,” Spike snickered. “’Sup?”

Willow looked slowly between the two of them, raising her brows. “Er...nothing as interesting as this,” she said.

Xander glared harder at Spike, which just caused to chuckle harder. Xander rolled his eyes and said, “This isn’t interesting, Will. It’s beyond boring. I’d go so far as irritating, maybe, but interesting? No. So, what’s, um…what’s going on?”

Willow’s gaze flitted over Spike, who straightened, his grin fading as he nodded. “Right then. I’ll just let you two…” he turned and walked toward the bathroom, slamming the door hard behind him.

Xander winced and looked back at Willow, crossing his arms. “Subtle, Will. Thanks.”

She stepped closer to him, mimicking his pose. “What’s he doing here?” she whispered. “And why is he talking like you and wearing your clothes?” Her eyes widened. “You’re being Single White Xandered!”

“No, I’m not,” he hissed, leaning closer to her. “It’s Spike, remember? He showed up here last night, wanting to know what kind of big pow-wow we would be having that left both him and the ‘Bot out of the loop, okay?”

Willow’s look of concern increased. “You didn’t tell him, did you?” she asked.

Xander dropped his eyes from hers. “No, I didn’t tell him,” he muttered.

She relaxed a bit, easing back. “Good. Because I really don’t need Spike…” she trailed off.

Xander looked up. “Don’t need Spike, what?”

Willow shook her head. “Nothing. It’s just that…he might not understand and we can’t have anything go wrong. I’m too close. We’re too close to doing what has to be done.”

Xander nodded slowly and Willow reached out for his hand. “Hey. I’m sorry. I know you wouldn’t break a promise to me. You said you wouldn’t tell, and I know you won’t. I didn’t mean to sound like I didn’t trust you. I do, Xander,” she said, keeping his gaze with hers, “We have to trust each other now, right? Like before.”

Xander squeezed her hand, turning away, “Yeah.”

Willow looked at the tense line of his back. “Anyway, I came over to see if you could come by tonight. I didn’t want to just call, cause you know, Dawn and everything. But we really need to work out a new patrol schedule and I want to go over the plan with you and Tara. You left so quickly last night…”

“It was just too much, Willow, okay?” he said, turning back and giving her a sad smile, “I’m still trying to take it in.”

Willow grinned broadly, “I know. I mean, it’s bigger than anything I’ve ever done, but I know I can do this, Xander. I know I can. Trust me.”

Xander nodded again, looking away from here. “Yeah. I’ll come over,” he cleared his throat, “Listen, Will, about Spike and me, when you got here…”

She rolled her eyes. “I really thought you’d finally had it. I know how he is with you; you two can barely be in the same room without getting in each other’s faces.” She frowned, tilting her head slightly. “Why’d he want to know your middle name, anyway?”

Xander sighed. “It’s this blood oath thing…oh, never mind, I’ll tell you about it later. You know,” he said, shrugging. “Spike.”

She grinned, turning to open the door. “Yeah, anything to get a rise out of you.”

Xander groaned behind a smile. Willow really needed to stop with the unfortunate turn of phrase. “So, I’ll see you later tonight.”

She nodded, pulling the door open. “We’ll order pizza,” she agreed as she left.

The bathroom door was flung open just as the front door closed. Spike walked out, buttoning his jeans. “She gone?” he asked, looking around.

Xander nodded. “Yeah. She just left.”

Spike leaned against the wall, staring at Xander. “Let me guess. Big meeting of the House of Scooby and I get to watch the ‘Bit.”

Xander started to answer and then had a thought, grinning slowly. “Well, you’ll both be there, anyway. You two can gross the rest of us out, putting blood and mustard on your pizza. Blood and mustard respectively, that is. We’re both going.”

Spike straightened, walking toward Xander. “That right?” he asked. “When?”

Xander shrugged. “Around eight, I guess? Why?”

Spike moved against him, his lips brushing Xander’s neck as he pressed him back against the door. “Just wondering how much time we had,” he said, as his lips trailed a path from Xander’s neck to his shoulder.

“Time,” Xander gasped, nodding. “Lots of time.”

Spike’s lips left the arch of Xander’s neck and found his mouth, brushing and biting teasingly before pressing deeply, drawing Xander’s lips into his and sucking them, flicking his tongue and demanding entrance. Xander’s mouth opened hotly beneath his, and Spike delved inside, tasting mustard and cola, sweet and tangy.

Xander’s hands suddenly tightened around Spike’s shoulders and he spun them both around, shoving Spike against the door, hard enough to make it rattle. His mouth left Spike’s and began a slow journey down the center of the vampire’s chest, his hands sliding down Spike’s arms as he went.

Spike leaned his head back against the door, groaning. “That’s it,” he sighed as Xander’s mouth opened around his nipple through the t-shirt. “LaVelle…”

Xander bit down sharply, grinning at Spike’s answering yip and then slid lower, pushing the black t-shirt up and tearing at the half-buttoned fly of Spike’s jeans.

“When do I get to learn your secret identity?” he asked, the words muffled against the skin below Spike’s navel.

“What’s that?” Spike asked, reaching down and wrapping a hand in Xander’s hair.

“Well,” Xander said between mouthing Spike’s hipbone and shoving his jeans aside, “you weren’t born William T. Bloody. You know my secret name…when do I get to learn yours?”

Spike closed his eyes with a hiss as Xander’s lips trailed down his cock. “You’re ah, you’re gonna have to spin a lot of bloody straw to learn that, pet.”

“Oh, is that what they’re calling it these days?” Xander asked, as his mouth opened around Spike.


They were really late getting to Dawn’s.


Part Twelve


Some dialogue from BtVS "Spiral" and "The Gift"

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