Beauty Effulgent

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Night After Night

Night After Night
written for Yindagger

Xander walked into the living room, surprised to find it empty. He set the beer and mug of blood he had brought from the kitchen down on coffee table and looked around. He noticed that the patio door was open, the blinds fluttering slightly in the fall air.


He stepped outside, finding Spike standing against the balcony railing, his hands gripping the metal rail tightly, his gaze fixed on the darkness below them. Xander walked soundlessly behind him, his hands going to Spike’s shoulders and finding a tautness, an expectation, beyond the usual tensile strength.


“Spike?” he asked quietly.


“One hundred and twenty,” Spike said, and then dropped his head, frowning. “Or more. Century gone and another one coming and yet more nights, just as this. Same but different.” His hands gripped the railing harder. “No, more than different, now. Caged. Restrained. Forced to fight against my own nature, my own making.”


“Spike?” Xander’s voice lowered in concern, his hands tightening around Spike’s shoulders, then moving soothingly down the leather clad arms.


“Always night, you know?” Spike’s voice was low and even and seemed directed at something, somewhere, other than at the strong form that moved closer behind him, blood-warm arms wrapping around him. “It was night then, ‘course it was. Had to be. Evening hour – darkness giving over to darkness. Darkness and I was searching for light. Effulgence,” he said, drawing out the word, and then chuckled darkly. “Enchantment.”


Xander’s grip grew tighter as understanding came. “One hundred and twenty years or more…tonight?”


Spike nodded slightly and Xander drew a deep breath. “Tell me,” he said, drawing Spike closer back against him.


Spike tilted his head, resting it on Xander’s shoulder. “She said I walked in worlds others couldn’t begin to imagine,” his voice deepening, becoming hypnotic, pulling Xander in until he could almost picture that evening. “Funny thing, though, had I lived, my life would have been singularly without imagination. Instead, I’ve un-lived too long, seen too much, to even believe in imagination, anymore.”


Xander brushed his lips against Spike’s forehead, his hands moving in soothing circles across tight muscles. “You know,” he said, raising his lips from Spike’s skin, “all this reminiscing is starting to look suspiciously like brooding…”


“Bite your tongue,” Spike growled softly, a small smile starting. “Not brooding. ‘S just that evening, when I look back at it – if I do – it’s just to appreciate what it gave me…where it took me….”


“It gave me to you,” Xander reminded him, planting a loud kiss against the side of Spike’s neck, hoping his extra helping of schmoop would pull Spike out of this, away from the darkness, back to him.


Spike laughed again. “Yeah, you’d see it that way, mate. Pointless, innit? One hundred and twenty or more, night after night, and still searching for a reason…”


Fools give you reasons, wise men never try,” Xander sang softly, turning Spike in his arms.


“Well, I handed you that one, didn’t I?” Spike sighed, trying to pull away as Xander reached down and took him by the hands.


Some enchanted evening,” Xander continued, laughing as his fingers tightened on Spike’s, keeping the vampire pressed against him, leather brushing a bare chest and silky pajama bottoms.


Spike rolled his eyes, allowing Xander to tug them against each other, but refusing to sway as Xander tried to move them in a slow circle. “South Pacific? Your mum had bleedin’ awful taste in music, alright. Only you Yanks could take something as bloody brilliant as war – and a world war, at that – and nancy it up with singing sailors an’ limp-wristed love songs.”


When you find your true love,” Xander went on, unconcerned, his hand dropping one of Spike’s to wrap tightly around a narrow waist, extending the hand that held Spike’s until they approximated Xander’s idea of a waltz.


“’M not dancing on a bleedin’ balcony like some ponce,” Spike said, looking around at the darkness behind them, sure that a pack of marauding demons, on their way to ravage and pillage, had paused to guffaw at the sight of William the Bloody, prancing in the dark with some human in shiny red sleep pants. “And you can’t sing, love,” added, not unkindly.


“Shh,” Xander said, pulling him closer and moving them in an easy rhythm, despite Spike’s efforts to the contrary. “Don’t listen to the voice, just hear the words. When you feel him call you, across a crowded room. Then fly to his side, and make him your own…”


Xander tried to twirl him then, but Spike stood his ground, attempting a glare until it quivered into a snicker, so Xander just yanked him back against him, bending Spike into a fairly suave dip as he sang, “For all through your life you may dream…all alone,” he finished with a grand flourish, Spike’s duster billowing around them as Xander pressed his lips against the skin of a smooth white throat.


“Xander,” Spike said, closing his eyes and allowing his lover to pull them upright, pressing them together tightly, “you are, and I say this as someone once the ponciest poet in all of London, gayer than I ever knew.”


Xander grinned, his hands running down Spike’s back to cup his hips and grind them together hotly. “Lucky you,” he laughed, covering Spike’s mouth with his, and eased them back into the apartment, shutting out the evening behind them.




Lyrics from "Some Enchanted Evening" by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein from the musical "South Pacific." Some dialogue from BtVS:5 "Fool for Love."

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