“Locust Hill Cemetery. What is up with that? Are there really locusts out here? How would we know? What does a locust look like anyway? It’s just a grasshopper, right? A grasshopper on steroids, maybe. ‘Cause they swarm. Locusts swarm. I remember reading about that in high school.” Xander shuddered, and Spike rolled his eyes. “Oh, yeah. The big bad vampire isn’t afraid of a swarm of thousands and thousands of locusts.”
“Why should I be?” Spike shrugged, blowing smoke out over Xander’s head as they walked along the path. “They’re just a bunch of bugs. I’ve got my shit kickers on; they’re more than a match for any insect, individually or in a swarm.”
“Yeah, right. Tell me all about it when they swarm into your mouth and you have to swallow them before you can talk.” He shuddered again, his face drawn up into an exaggerated cringe.
“Berk. You know, fried locusts are a delicacy in some parts of the world.”
“That’s disgusting.” Xander swallowed heavily, looking as if he was fighting another shudder. “If you want me to ever spring for another blooming onion, you will never mention that to me again.”
Spike sighed heavily and stomped away shaking his head as if merely being found walking beside the dolt would be an embarrassment. It was just a sham, though, and he was fairly certain that the boy knew it. If he had to be stuck out on the edge of town searching an ancient graveyard that even the majority of demons had abandoned years ago, at least he’d lucked out and drawn Xander as his partner for the evening. He much preferred the boy’s company to that of the slayer, or even the two witches.
For a good three or four months Spike had gotten stuck on patrol with the whelp and his demon bint, watching as their relationship slowly ground to a painful halt. She’d demanded so much from Xander, but hadn’t been willing to offer the same to him, and it had been exhausting just watching it from the sidelines. Once the two broke up, she’d stopped patrolling, which was a great relief for everyone involved. Xander’s angry tirades had completely disappeared and patrols had become much easier to deal with. Of course, the rest of the group had all played sympathetic for a week or two, switching up the patrol schedule so they could each spend time with Xander. Spike had dreaded it for a while, never knowing who he’d get saddled with. But obviously, they’d thought two weeks was a sufficient mourning period for a relationship of over a year. Now that Adam was defeated and summer was upon them it was back to just the two of them, and that suited Spike just fine.
He did his best to maintain his big bad attitude, but these days, the acid-sharp bitterness of his and Xander’s arguments was fading to companionable jostling and the one-upmanship of friendly bickering. It was easy, and while Spike wasn’t really sure if he was truly pleased with being comfortable around a walking happy meal, he’d decided to let himself enjoy it while it lasted. He’d gotten enough of the slayer’s caustic disposition and the watcher’s snide comments to last him the rest of his hopefully lengthy existence. Between the bloody soldier boys and those two, he felt he’d earned himself a little comfort. The way his luck was running these days, it wouldn’t last long, anyway; something would come along soon to blow it all to hell.
Spike frowned as they closed in on their next target, his senses suddenly on alert. Something unusual was happening close by, he could feel it skittering across his skin like spiders across a web. The closer they got to the crypt, the worse the feeling got. Bugger. It looked like they’d found something; possibly the demons they were after, or it could be something else. Xander had caught up to him by then, still going on about swarms and such rot, but Spike silenced him with a hand over his mouth as he pulled the blighter off to the side, near a bench memorializing someone’s dearly beloved mother.
Spike got up close, whispering in Xander’s ear. “Shut the hell up, you nob. I’m not sure what it is, but something’s not right, and it’s coming from the crypt we’re supposed to be searching. You stay out here, and I’ll go inside and see if I can sort this out.”
Xander grabbed his arm, pulling Spike’s hand far enough away from his mouth to whisper in reply. “The hell you will! If your spidey senses are going off, I’m going with you so you have some back up. Why are you teaching me to fight in the first place if you plan on sidelining me every time there’s any danger? Besides, I don’t want to get stuck out here if you’re going to be in there. What if some oogedy-boogedy attacks me while you’re gone? Not that I would need your help or anything, I can take care of myself. I’m a man, with the manly fighting and protecting myself from oogedy…”
Spike rolled his eyes. It was almost impossible to get a word in edgewise with this crew. “I’m not sidelining you, you berk. I need you to keep watch so you can warn me if anything approaches while I’m inside. As soon as I know what’s going on, I’ll come get you so we can make a plan of action, right?”
He understood Xander’s frustration; the boy’d been dismissed as inept by the slayer and her watcher for too many years. He’d been so excited when Spike had started teaching him a few basic self-defense techniques to keep him out of trouble while Spike killed the more dangerous demons. But he needed to remember that he was still backup; it was Spike’s job to take the risks.
Frowning, Xander nodded reluctantly. “Right. I can do that. Watching your back. That’s a big responsibility, a manly man’s job, with the watching and the…warning.”
“Yeah, that’s you, Butch. C’mon, let’s get up closer to the door. Move quietly now – no noise.”
Spike took the lead, casting his senses out in all directions. Something was definitely not right, and it had the stink of magic to it. He sighed heavily. He hated magic, it never caused anything but trouble.
By the time they reached the final resting place of Leonard Chapman, Spike was fairly certain there was nothing but the wind moving the trees in the surrounding area. He could hear nothing but silence from the crypt. That didn’t stop him from being careful, though. Something was setting his nerves jangling, and the fact that he couldn’t find it just made matters worse. He set Xander up a few steps to the side of the entrance, and after another careful listen, he opened the crypt door and slipped inside.
It didn’t take Spike long to realize he was alone in the small chamber; there were no entrances in the rock walls besides the door he’d just used, merely a few small slits near the ceiling to circulate air, and some cubbyholes for candles. The rock floor was solid, and the only other feature of the room was a waist-high, ornate marble sarcophagus. There was litter in the corners, sticks and leaves, an old candy bar wrapper, a moldy blanket, the old bones of what looked like a few household pets – he saw a broken collar with a bell on the tag. Something had used this tomb in the past, but whatever had eaten the family dog was long gone.
There was a splintery wooden board leaning up against the sarcophagus, probably two feet square. Spike couldn’t read the writing on it from that awkward angle, so he picked it up, just as the door opened behind him. The board clattered loudly against the marble as he dropped it, turning swiftly to see Xander peeking hesitantly into the chamber.
Frowning, Spike stalked over to him. “Didn’t I tell you to stay outside?”
“Spike, this place is so old that even the dead don’t visit anymore. If there’s trouble stirring, it’s bound to be in here and not out there.” He stopped, obviously waiting for something, then, when Spike just stared at him, he sighed. “So? Is there?”
Spike shook his head, “Nothing.” He stepped back. “Well, come on in, then. Let me have that torch, I’m trying to see if I can recognize this language.” He went back to the board, shining the light on it, trying to suss out the words and strange figures that took up a large percentage of the surface. It looked demonic in nature, but despite the extra illumination, he still couldn’t read the faded words. The scent of old blood was strongest here. He thought that the dark words were written in blood, and it didn’t smell human.
Xander struck a match against the stone wall, the scent of sulfur overpowering the other smells in the room for a moment. He lit the candle in one cubbyhole, then used it to light the others, until the room glowed with the flickering light.
He glanced over at Spike, who stared at him, one eyebrow raised. What the hell did he think this was, a tea social?
“Hey, you took my flashlight. Some of us don’t come equipped with night vision, you know.” Xander defended himself. “We need assistance to see things like…” he glanced down at the bones at his feet, nudging them with the toe of his sneaker, revealing a tuft or two of once-white fur, “Fluffy? Does that tag say Fluffy?” He cringed. “Okay, so maybe we don’t need to see everything.”
Spike smirked at him. “Something wrong, Butch?”
Xander glared at him, pointing his finger. “Hey! Even macho men are allowed to feel a moment of sympathy for the loss of some old lady’s pet poodle.”
Spike snorted. “Anything you say, Butch.”
Xander abandoned the site of Fluffy’s untimely demise and peeked over Spike’s shoulder. “What the hell is that?”
Spike dropped the board back onto the sarcophagus in disgust. “I dunno. I can’t figure it out. It looks familiar, as if I should be able to translate it, but the words don’t make any sense at all.” He shone the torch into the corner with Fluffy’s remains in them, examining them closer.
“You think those bones are related to this?” Xander was bent over, staring at the board and its strange symbols and odd words, his candle dropping dollops of wax on the surface.
Spike used his boot to dig beneath the bones, checking to see if there was anything else there that might be causing this unease he couldn’t seem to get rid of. “Something strange is going on here. I smell old blood and incense, and the scent of magic makes me want to sneeze.”
“Of course there’s blood, doofus, we’re in a crypt.”
When Spike turned his head, a comeback on his lips, he realized Xander was tracing one of the complicated patterns on the board with his fingertip. Before he could warn Xander off, Spike’s senses were overwhelmed by the scent of fresh blood. He didn’t remember moving, but there he was - so close to Xander that there was hardly a breath between them. Xander startled, pulling his wounded finger back from the splinter that had torn it open, shaking drops of blood onto the board before sticking the wounded finger into his mouth.
Gasping at the eroticism of the sight, Spike pulled Xander’s finger out, watching hypnotically as a drop of blood welled on the tip, licking his dry lips hungrily. Xander’s smug chuckle distracted him, and Spike glanced at him as he turned up one side of his mouth in a sexy sneer that, surprisingly, looked quite at home there. His face was flushed, his pupils so dilated that his already dark eyes looked black in the flickering candlelight.
Xander ran his bloody finger across Spike’s bottom lip, and Spike licked it off, gasping at the flavor – heady stuff, that – old blood and fresh, sparking with magic and heavy with lust. Spike moaned in sensual bliss and Xander smiled that crooked grin once again right before he pushed his finger into Spike’s mouth. Spike sucked avidly, seduced by the taste but trying desperately to stay out of his true face, hoping that Xander wouldn’t come to his senses and end this moment.
Spike’s cock hardened, his senses sharpening as he focused on Xander, whose heartbeat seemed to echo loudly in the chamber. His skin felt so sensitive that he could almost sense the change in the air pressure that signaled the moment Xander’s breathing changed from inhale to exhale. The taste of blood, combined with the strong, inebriating scent of arousal almost overwhelmed the tingle of magic that crackled on his skin, but Spike knew that something important was happening – the very air was sparking like a live wire and he shivered with anticipation.
Xander laughed, a deep, chilling sound and Spike opened eyes he hadn’t been aware of closing, losing himself in the dark, hypnotic gaze. Pumping his finger in and out of Spike’s mouth, Xander stepped closer, wrapping his other hand around the back of Spike’s neck, running his fingers through the fine hair on his nape. The taste of warm, salty skin made Spike’s mouth water, and he sucked harder, bringing his tongue into play, rasping against the pad, hoping to tease another drop out of the jagged tear. It had been too long since he’d tasted human blood.
Xander pulled his finger free with a soft pop, and Spike opened his mouth to try and steal it back, but then Xander’s mouth was there, and he opened wide as Xander attacked him with lips and tongue and teeth, as ferocious an assault as any he’d felt in ages. Fierce and aggressive and totally in control. Eagerly, Spike surrendered to the powerful onslaught, pulling Xander closer, pressing tightly against him, hips pumping forward to find friction, something to ease his growing hunger, or maybe to incite more.
Spinning Spike around, Xander drove him backwards aggressively, his heavier build pressing Spike against the door. Spike could have fought him to a standstill, being a vampire had its advantages, but he had no interest in doing so. There was nothing he liked better than a pushy, dominating lover. He’d had to play the aggressor with Drusilla for far too long, he was overdue for some time to enjoy the pleasures of surrender, and Xander was certainly proving himself equal to the task.
He trapped Spike’s arms over his head, in a grip that was tighter and more secure than he would have expected out of Xander, despite the time spent on a construction crew. Xander’s knee between his legs gave Spike the perfect angle to rub against his hip bone, creating the most amazing sensations; friction and pressure sending him soaring with pleasure. Xander bit down Spike’s jaw, sharp, sucking bites leaving his skin tingling and burning. Spike tilted his head to the side, giving Xander as much room to play as possible.
The candlelight seemed to flare and blaze, sending out shimmering sparks that felt like static on his over-sensitive skin. He gasped, his head swimming in the sensory overload. Xander’s dark, low voice seemed to echo in the chamber, despite how quietly he spoke, his mouth pressed against Spike’s throat. The words seemed familiar, but for some reason he couldn’t understand them, their meaning slipping away from his consciousness even as he tried to hold on to the sounds.
Xander let go of his wrists, hands moving to Spike’s waistband, fingers strong and sure as they released the buttons of his jeans, jerking the fabric apart to reveal Spike’s aching hard-on. His eyes closed in bliss as Xander’s hot fingers closed around him tightly as he gasped in relief. He hadn’t noticed Xander freeing his own cock, but suddenly, he was pressing them together, the heat of Xander’s flesh searing Spike’s as he jerked them both with a tight, rough-edged grip.
He held onto Xander’s broad shoulders, feeling the muscles bunch and flex as his rough, calloused hands pulled the two of them closer to orgasm. Xander bit him again and again, Spike’s neck burning from the stinging nips. He panted, gasping for air that seemed too heavy to breathe, thick with magic and the almost tangible flavors of lust and hunger. He tried to stop breathing, aware that the panting was doing nothing but making him light-headed, but it was too difficult to concentrate and he gave up, letting his body react however it would to the heady stimuli surrounding him.
When it came, the sharp, harsh bite pulled a loud shout from Spike, his eyes opening in shock as Xander threw his head back. More of those strange words emerged from his bloody lips, his eyes glittering as the candles flared. They came simultaneously, backs arching as they both cried out, Spike’s orgasm almost as much pain as pleasure. The moment stretched out, seeming to last forever, then Xander collapsed, his body crumpling as if he was a puppet whose strings had been cut. Spike followed him down, his back braced against the door, still gasping, sucking in air that was suddenly cool again, the heavy, oppressing scents gone in an instant.
He explored the ragged bite on his neck, fingers coming away bloody. Grinning, he hunted in his coat for a semi-clean handkerchief, wiping up blood and come off them both, his smirk growing as he took the opportunity to examine the whelp’s equipment. Not that he hadn’t seen Xander’s todger a few times when they’d lived together in his parent’s basement, but with Xander still out for the count, it was easy to get a better view. He was nicely built, and Spike wondered if he’d get another chance to get up close and personal with it, or if this had been a onetime event.
As he finished wiping off Xander’s fat cock, the boy finally stirred sleepily, stretching luxuriously before stiffening, his eyes popping open in shock as the recent past obviously came back to him in a rush. He let out an undignified yelp as he realized who was wiping his cock clean and scrambled away, cursing and batting at Spike’s hands.
“Hands! Inappropriate touching with the hands and the…” He came to a stop against the sarcophagus, blushing bright red. “Okay, if my recent memories are anywhere near the vicinity of correct, there was so much more touching than just the hands.” Xander flinched away from the sight of the various substances coating the rag Spike held out to him, choosing instead to wipe his sticky fingers on the dusty floor of the crypt.
Spike smirked at him and stood, tossing the rag in the direction of the sarcophagus, chuckling when it landed on the board that had started all this. It seemed an appropriate place for it. He stretched his neck in both directions, shrugging his shoulders to settle his duster before smoothing down his shirt and tucking his cock back into his jeans. Xander watched all this, looking slightly dazed, before finally snapping out of it and shaking his head vigorously, as if to clear it.
“Okay. I’d really like to be able to say all this never happened, but even I’m not quite that much of an idiot.” He scrambled to his feet, rushing to hide his cock from view. “Even so, I’d like to suggest that we keep this to ourselves.” He wiped his semi-clean hand against the leg of his pants, grimacing at the smear it left across the cloth. “What do you say? Complete silence on the strange and unusual events that happened in the creepy crypt? Sound okay to you?”
Spike sighed. Looked like the excitement was over. Well, at least for now. He was sure he’d get a lot of mileage out of this once the berk had stopped panicking. “Sure, Butch. We’ll keep it just between the two of us.” He looked critically at Xander: the sticky mess of bodily fluids staining his pants, his shaggy hair in disarray, a smear of Spike’s blood on the corner of his mouth. “I think we should pay a quick visit to your basement on the way back to the Watcher’s flat. A change of clothes might be appropriate, don’t you think?”
Xander nodded rapidly. “Good idea, fangless. Let’s go.”
Xander rushed out of the crypt as if on fire, obviously in a hurry to put as much distance between himself and the scene of the crime as possible, rattling on about vampire mooches who really just wanted to snag a beer or two while he changed clothes. Spike, on the other hand, glanced back into the chamber regretfully, his eyes drawn to the sarcophagus, attracted by the wisp of smoke rising from the dirty rag sitting on the board. He caught the faint scent of incense and smiled wickedly. If he was lucky, this might not be over, yet.