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Xander stepped inside and approvingly glanced around at the absolute hole he’d stepped into. Dark, dank, and not a soul he recognized. It was perfect for a long night of Jack Daniels and sour reverie. He found himself a small booth in the back, ordered a shot and a beer chaser with a flick of his wrist and a grunt, and readied himself for a long night of glaring at the scratched table top and lamentations.

The red leather of the seat under him was torn and worn, yellow disintegrating foam sticking out through some of the larger tears, and he busied himself with picking at the foam, pinching chunks between his fingers and dropping it into a messy pile at his feet. He swallowed his shot and placed the glass on the table, gentler than previous patrons by the look of the small indented rings marring the cheap veneer finish. He fleetingly wondered why they hadn’t used polyurethane, then decided that obviously they didn’t know much about carpentry anyway, and he’d better drink a little faster if he was in a bar and wanting to give pointers concerning proper lumber maintenance. 

He took a long pull from the dark amber beer bottle, not bothering to look for the brand name on the label, and made the mistake of glancing around the questionable-at-best establishment. It was a small crowd of Sunnydale’s less providential population; nameless, faceless bodies slouching on bar stools, looking for a fight or a fuck or maybe the same reason Xander was there. To forget.

Of course, there was one person in the crowd that Xander recognized, and immediately chastised himself for doing so. At the end of the bar, sitting next to a bottle of liquid the same colour as Xander’s beer bottle and a glass Xander wasn’t sure was clean, slouched lower than the other patrons, bleached hair in slight disarray, black leather duster hanging from over the back of the stool almost to the floor, was Spike.

Coincidentally, the moment Xander recognized him, Spike glanced up at the mirror behind the bar. He wasn’t visible in it, of course, but apparently Xander was, because Spike spun around on his stool, staring directly at him. He contemplated bolting when Spike slid off the stool, bringing his bottle with him, and stalked across the room. HE slid into the booth across from Xander, and the younger man could already see the bleariness of a whiskey-filled head start as Spike wordlessly splashed Xander’s shot glass full from his bottle.

With a wave of his hand, he dismissed Xander's automatic protest. "Doubt you're here to be getting sober. Neither am I. So if I feel like being generous, just shut up and let me do it, will you?"

When he put it that way...

Xander subsided back into his seat and took a careful sip from the brimming glass. Oof - strong! Packed way more of a punch than the cheap stuff he'd bought for himself. Since when could Spike afford good liquor? 

Probably since he rolled a demon for it, the cynical side of his mind supplied. What do you care? He was right. You're not here for clear thinking and becoming one with light and truth. You're here to get totally shit-faced.

Spike was staring into his own glass. He picked it up but didn't drink, sloshing it about a bit. Xander watched the liquid spin around in the tumbler, wondering if he was actually supposed to have a conversation with the vampire. Spike solved his dilemma.

“Can’t say I ever expected to see you out of the Bronze. It get trashed by another troll?”

Xander’s only reply was a noncommittal shrug, and Spike sat back, looking at him contemplatively.

“Well, I didn’t come here for the company,” he finally answered. “But neither did you.”

“Can’t say as I did.”

“So why’d you come over here? You could have pretended you didn’t see me. I was going to.”

Spike tried to take that comment in a way that wasn’t blatantly saying “I was going to ignore you because I hate you,” but he knew he couldn’t. Because it was blatantly saying “I was going to ignore you because I hate you.” 

Since he didn’t want to make the effort to come up with a scathing retort, he said nothing. Johnny Cash crooned about a fiery ring from a tattered jukebox in the corner. 


Spike looked up at Xander, his bourbon-addled brain taking a few moments to catch up so that he could understand not only that Xander had asked him a question, but what that question was.

He glanced around and saw the unoccupied dartboard across the bar, waiting for players. He shrugged and stood, making sure to tighten his grip on the bottle of alcohol he had yet to let go of. Xander stood, too, sucking the last of the bitter drops of beer from his bottle before less-gently setting it on the table, then followed Spike toward the dartboard. Why had he suggested an activity? Why couldn’t he just sit in peace and drink his booze? He didn’t like Spike, why was he playing a game with him?

He couldn’t answer any of those questions, and so he accepted the three darts Spike handed to him. Spike didn’t offer to let him go first, and Xander couldn’t feign surprise as he waited for Spike to throw the darts.

By the second throw, Xander wondered what on earth had possessed him to think he could at least make a valiant effort against a vampire. Spike’s darts shoot effortlessly through the air, landing exactly where he wanted them to go. 

Xander was better with a broadsword than he was at throwing weapons. 

Halfway through the game, the depressing rock-country music on the jukebox was cut off, and a burly, overweight and obviously unshowered man climbed creakily up onto the foot-high stage in the corner of the bar. Spike poured Xander yet another drink, and Xander dizzily thought he’d already had plenty, hadn’t thought of Anya for at least half an hour, and hadn’t gotten this drunk in that short a time as far as he could remember. But he swallowed the potent stuff anyway, his face melting pleasantly into a dopey smile, his stomach tingling as it warmed. 

The man on the stage cleared his throat, waiting for the patrons’ attention. A few of them glanced in his direction, which was apparently enough for him, and he spoke. “Hey! We’ve got a contest tonight, folks. Starting in half an hour, we’re having the official Stagger Inn Bar & Grill Talent Show. Participants get free drinks for the rest of the night, and the winner also gets a couple of movie passes for the Sunnydale Sun, and coupons for dinner for two at the Doublemeat Palace. Any talent you’ve got, we want to see.” He clambered off the stage, and Xander snorted.

“God, it’s worse than a karaoke bar,” Xander muttered.

“I dunno. Free drinks just for doin’ it? Sounds good to me,” Spike told him with a smirk.

“You’re going to be in a talent show? You?”

“I’ve got talent.”

“I don’t think they’re going to let you rip the head off a demon for an act, Spike,” Xander speculated.

“I’ve got other talents.”

“Like what?”

“Wait and see, Harris. Wait and see.”

Xander rolled his eyes and turned back to the dartboard. “What about you?” Spike asked, throwing off Xander’s aim at just the right time.

The dart stuck itself deeply into the wall, at least four feet from the board, causing Spike to snicker. 

“What about me?” Xander asked him.

“You. Talent show. Free booze.”

“Funny, I’ve been getting free booze from you all night as it is.”

“Ah, but we’re running low, and I’m out of cash.”

“Well, you go in the talent show, and I’ll keep mooching off you.”

Spike snorted.

“You’re actually begging off the chance to make a fool of yourself?”

“Contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually go out of my way to humiliate myself on a daily basis.”

“You just get lucky, then?”

Xander glared. “Besides, the only talent I have is woodworking. I don’t think they’ll accept that.”

“Funny thing about that. Heard you had other talents.”

Xander raised an eyebrow. “Heh?”

“That Slayer’s got loose lips when you pour enough Wild Turkey down her little throat.” Xander continued to stare skeptically. “Oxnard, Harris.”

Spike grinned at the faint blush that made its way up Xander’s neck, through the tops of his ears and into his hairline. 

“I’m not stripping in here, Spike. Just no.”


“I’m not chicken. I just don’t want to.”

Spike’s teeth gleamed ferally. “I dare you.”

“What are we, nine? I’m not going to strip onstage just because you dared me.”

“I double-dog dare you.”

Xander sighed. "Fuck. Double-dog dare, Spike? You are nine. You're channeling your inner child. Problem is, mine doesn't want to play."

"Not your inner child I want to bring out for some fun." Spike ran a cataloguing eye over Xander from tip to toe. He tilted his head this way and that for a better angle. "From the class of floozies I notice they've got in here, you putting on a little show might just win us both free booze. Maybe from a few of the blokes, too."

"Stop it, Spike. Not gonna." Xander's cheeks flushed hot. "And what the hell are you talking about, guys buying us drinks?"

"Problem with that?" Spike stuck out the tip of his pink tongue and waggled it over his teeth.

"You're disgusting."

"Compliments'll get you everywhere, Harris."

"I can't even insult you any more, can I?"

"Have to do a whole lot better than that, anyway." Spike leaned forward on a table's edge, pushing his face far too close to Xander's. "Seriously, what's your problem if a lad happens to pick up the tab for a couple JD's? Not like we - you - or I - have to go home with them." He paused. "If we don't want to, that is."

"Spike!" Xander covered his ears. 

The vampire laughed mockingly. "Well, now. A new facet to droopy-britches. He's a bleedin' homophobe."

"I am not!"

"And we all know what that means, don't we?" Spike leered. He thrust himself forward, coming far closer to Xander than was really smart. 

Oh, this was good payback for the way he'd been treated earlier. He wasn't daft; he could smell the rush of pheromones (mixed with a healthy dose of fear and nerves) that had gone up when he'd started his little act. They wanted talent? This was talent. He could play Harris like this all night if he wanted. Play him like a bleedin' Stradivarius. Might even be... better fun than he'd originally thought.

Spike leaned in just close enough that his lips brushed the curve of Xander's ear. "Means you're, what do they call it? In denial?" He nuzzled a little, just to see if he could get away with it. Hmm. No response except a little jerk to the left. 

Ah, might as well. "Want to tell me something, Xan? Something personal?"

He stuck his tongue into Xander's ear.

The response was impressive, anyway, if hard on the ego. Xander yelped and jumped away, swatting at the side of his head. "The hell, Spike? Eww! God!"

Spike regarded him with twitching lips. "What?" Xander demanded wild-eyed. "What could you possibly find funny about that? Ugh!" He scraped at his ear. "I can still feel you in there."

"Can you now?" Spike said softly.

More than a few folks were looking their way now - some disgusted, some interested, and one or two frankly appraising. Xander, as usual, hadn't picked up on the spectacle he was making of himself. And those last words of his? Sounded just like a scornful lover, he did.

Xander sputtered, grabbing a napkin to wipe his face. "Sicko."

Spike lazed against the table, one hip thrust forward. "Problem, pet?"

He went on before Xander could open that mouth again. "So? You going to get up there and put on a show for us, or not? Another show, that is?"

"What? I haven't -" Ah, there the penny dropped. Xander glanced guiltily around at their impromptu audience and blushed deeper still. "You owe me for that, Spike," he hissed. "You get up there and perform if you want free drinks. I'm out of it."

"Since you ask so nicely." Spike hitched himself off the table and brushed down the length of his thighs, pretending to smooth out a wrinkle in the jeans. As if they could wrinkle. He felt the weight of Xander's eyes on him with every move and grinned while his face was hidden. Good boy, Xan. You're learning new tricks every second. Let's see how you deal with this, then.

He straightened. "But let's make it a little more interesting." With a liquid move, he shimmied back into Xander's personal space. Face to face, bare inches separating their bodies from touching at nose, lips, and groin. 

Xander meeped quietly.

"Well?" Spike asked politely. Even pleasantly.


Spike swayed a fraction closer. A faint sheen of sweat popped out to glisten on the boy's face as he went glassy-eyed. "You want this more interesting?" Xander queried in disbelief. "Trust me, Spike, my evening could not get more out of the ordinary than it already has."

Oh, sweet fatal last words. Spike lowered his eyelids halfway. "You haven't seen the half of it, pet."

He lifted his hand and ran it down Xander's bared forearm in a slow, lazy sweep. "Interesting," he repeated. "If I win..."

"If you win..."

"Then you..."


"Do whatever I want you to." Spike reached Xander's forefingers and stroked them up, down, rolling and twisting - not hurting, but milking at them in a motion that left nothing up to guesswork. "Do we have a bet?"

Xander swallowed. Hard. "Bet?" he squeaked. 

"You're on, then, love." Before Xander could protest, Spike darted forward and pressed his lips to the boy's, a quick taste of sweat and beer and the tang of humanity. 

Then he laughed, darting back out of range - just in case, mind you, though Xander looked to be utterly gobsmacked. He shook his head like a dog, shaggy hair flying. 

"What the... where the... you're going?" 

"I'm off to the bright lights, love." Spike gestured at the stage, the ragged but quickly-forming line of talent contestants. "Keep my seat warm for me."


"And shut your mouth before you start catching flies, there's a good lad." I can think of better uses for it. Sweet-looking mouth, when there's no babble coming out. Spike walked backward for a few steps. "See you in a bit," he murmured. 

He turned and walked toward the stage, feeling the weight of several dozen eyes firmly glued to his arse. Nice, that. He threw a bit of extra strut and heard a muffled groan.

Now that was even better.

Because it was Xander that had been doing the groaning.

Spike moved to the stage, picking up the battered acoustic guitar that the overweight man had placed at the back of the little platform, and made his way to the microphone, grabbing a stool from the table in front of the stage to sit on. He cleared his throat, tapped the microphone, flinching at the tiny whine of feedback.

“This one’s for being in denial. And coming back out of it again,” he smirked, eyes boring into Xander’s across the room. He could almost hear the young man’s deep swallow.

A few strums on the guitar to evaluate the tuning, and Spike cleared his throat again, leaning closer to the mike.

“Stay away from my window,
Stay away from my back door too,
Disconnect the telephone line,
Relax baby and draw that blind.”

Xander blinked rapidly. Spike sang? Spike played guitar? Spike knew Rod Stewart?

“Kick off your shoes and sit right down.
Loosen off that pretty French gown.
Let me pour you a good long drink.
Ooh baby don't you hesitate cause

Tonight’s the night, 
It's gonna be alright,
Cause I love you girl,
Ain't nobody gonna stop us now.”

Xander continued to stare. He’d never been turned on by a Rod Stewart song before. And he knew that the sudden breathlessness and lack of room in his cargo pants had to be from the Rod Stewart song, because it certainly had nothing to do with Spike singing on the stage. Because that was just wrong. It had to be Rod.

“C'mon angel my hearts on fire,
Don't deny your man's desire,
You'd be a fool to stop this tide,
Spread your wings and let me come inside.

Tonight’s the night,
It's gonna be alright,
Cause I love you girl,
Ain't nobody gonna stop us now.”

Xander took a deep swallow of whatever Spike had been shoving down his throat for the last hour, his mind on a loop. It’s definitely the song, it’s not Spike, it’s the song, not Spike, the song, not Spike but God he sounds good.

“Don't say a word my virgin child,
Just let your inhibitions run wild,
The secret is about to unfold,
Upstairs before the night's too old.

Tonight’s the night,
It's gonna be alright,
Cause I love you woman,
Ain't nobody gonna stop us now.”

The seedy crowd applauded as he flashed a blindingly mischievous smile, placing the guitar back on its stand at the back of the stage, and moved down to the floor, going to sit a little too close to Xander. 

“Spike?” Xander croaked.

Spike waited for the declaration of lust and the offer to go into a back room and shag.

“Yes, pet?”

“Where’d you learn to play guitar?”

Spike snorted. “Walk the world for a hundred years or so, you pick up a few tricks along the way.”

“Oh,” Xander nodded sagely. He hadn’t looked at Spike once since the vampire sat beside him, choosing to stare unwaveringly at his own hands. “Think you could teach me?”

Spike grinned. He reached forward, and took hold of Xander’s left hand. He made a show of noting the length of Xander’s fingers by sliding his fingertips up and down them a few times, turning Xander’s palm over in his hands once or twice before pressing Xander’s had into a loose fist. “Could do, yeah.”

Xander took a ragged breath. He was not getting turned on by Spike touching his hand. He wasn’t. 

A few terribly drunken acts got up on the stage, and Spike’s grin grew and grew.

“Looks like I’m going to win, pet. Guess I ought to think of something…inventive for you to do.”

Xander’s eyes widened. Spike had been acting strangely all night. Xander was afraid what he would come up with when he won the bet. And Xander was sure he’d win the bet, based on the craptacular “talents” coming on and off the stage.

He couldn’t let Spike win. Not just because of what Spike might make him do afterward, but just because he couldn’t let Spike win. Xander’s oh-so-manly pride blanched at the mere thought.

He glanced at the tarnished pole on the right side of the stage, then at the bartender serving drinks. He stood suddenly, heading purposely to the bar.

“Hey…you guys have strippers here sometimes?” Xander gave the smackdown to the voice in his head shouting at him to go back and sit down and take his punishment like a man.

“Every Wednesday,” the bartender drawled.

“They leave their costumes here?”

“Some do. Why?”

“Can I borrow one?”

The bartender gave him the once-over, rolled his eyes and motioned for Xander to go into the swinging door behind the bar.

There was a short clothesline with wire hangers on it, and on each hanger was an outfit. Some were male, some were female, and all were tacky. Xander leafed through them. Finally he found one he liked.

He turned back to the bartender.

“Wanna do me a favor?” he asked, pulling a quarter from his pocket. “Go to the jukebox when it’s my turn to go on, hit F12?”

The bartender went out to the jukebox and got it ready. Xander changed clothes and peeked out the door. The houselights were down, leaving only the stage lit, and Xander waited. Suddenly the bar was filled with the sound of the jukebox playing a techno remix of the Scottish anthem by the Celtic Bagpipes, and Xander stepped out of the room into the bar. 

He stalked to the stage in time with the music, hair bouncing slightly as the patrons of the bar began to clap rhythmically with the bass pounding from the jukebox.

There was a moment of panic - did he remember how do this, really? It wasn't like he'd had that much experience in Oxnard. He could back down. Admit defeat, or better yet, make out that it was all a joke. Flip his kilt up and down for a view of the full moon and head back to his seat. The good ol' boys in the audience would probably slap his back and pound his shoulders. They'd appreciate it.

Trouble was, he didn't see too many good ol' boys out there. This was a coastal California crowd. Who looked awfully interested in a man wearing a kilt. All of the women did. And some of the men.

One of the men in particular was staring holes through him. Blue eyes alight with wicked appreciation. Egging him on, daring him.

Like hell he'd back down.

Xander stopped in the middle of the stage and executed a slow shimmy. As one, the crowd realized what was going on, and went absolutely wild. Xander went hot with pleasure. He'd forgotten how good it felt, all that appreciation. His body was bringing back the moves he'd forgotten, and oh, yeah, he was gonna dance.

He shimmied again, letting the beat fill his veins, thrum through his heart, and flow out to his hips with a wicked little twist. Work that crowd, baby. He'd done that much all his life. It was easy when you knew a few things.

Rule One: Know what they really want. 

Grinning wickedly, Xander looked down at his groin, then looked back up at the crowd through fringes of hair. He knew that look always worked on the ladies. Puppy eyes from a dirty dog. He rocked forward a little and let his fingers brush the waist of his kilt.

Rule Two: Don't give it to them right away. 

Xander shook his head, keeping the Naughty Eyes trained on a spot two inches above an empty bar stool. He tugged at the waistband, let his head fall back and his hips thrust forward. Wolf-whistles, whoops, and pounding of tables and clapping of hands banged through the club, almost drowning out the techno.

Rule Three: Always, and that means always, *tease*.

He ran his hands up the center of his chest, pausing to tap the center of his collarbone. His hips rocked to the beat, pumping steady and fast. He lifted the collar of his shirt, and looked at the audience, questioning. 

Come on ladies, let me hear it.

With a little twist and a shake that he was really glad he hadn't forgotten, Xander corkscrewed around, the shirt coming over his head and free of his arms. 

And they let him hear it, all right.

Rule Four: If the audience deafens you, don't let on.

No, not really.

He swung his arm above his head once, twice, three times, and let the shirt fly into the crowd.

The real Rule Four: Costumes are only there so you can make them disappear.

And now for Rule Five: Shake that sweet ass like there ain't no tomorrow.

The song kicked it up just at the right moment. Xander thrust his way forward, furiously grinding his hips, pushing forward and out. His hands wandered wildly over his bare chest - teasing here, toying there, always at the same frenetic pace. His hair swung into his eyes and he tossed it back out. He cupped his own ass and corkscrewed for the crowd to get a good look at him inching the kilt up - then dropping it.

For the hell of it he threw in a couple good impressions of Buffy's roundhouse kick, always angled away so no one got a look at the goods.

The crowd was getting desperate, now. Shouts of "take it off! Take it off!" rattled the rickety tables and stools.

The song paused for breath. Xander pulled up short and shook a finger at them.

Rule Six: See rule Three.

Groans of frustration mingled with the howling, but they were in this for the ride as well. The beat rushed back in and he was back on the move. Prowling, pouncing, riding the music. 

Rule Seven: The pole is your friend. 

Time to see if it was sturdy enough. Xander grabbed the cheap bronze and spun, twining his legs around the base. It creaked a little, but he didn't care; it held him and let him get all kinds of acrobatic. Dips, writhes, thrusts; curling his arms around it and pumping. He just about fucked the pole and the crowd. Loved. It.

Rule Eight: Concentrate on your performance. Don't look directly at the audience.


It was a mistake, honest. He didn't mean to look at Spike.

Really, he didn't.

But he did.

And Spike... he'd never seen that look on the vampire's face before. Mouth slightly open, eyes wide - not in shock, but in sheer hedonistic pleasure. His hands had curled into fists, lying atop his thighs.

Eye contact was purely accidental, but it happened. The sudden burst and flare of heat in Spike's face made Xander's groin tighten almost painfully.

He stumbled a little, but managed to cover with an extra shimmy. Holy hells, he had a hard-on. Shit! He couldn't drop the kilt now. This was stripping, not porno. And yes, there was a line between the two. There was.

Couldn't keep dancing either, not with a stiffy like that. But he couldn't just stop cold - from the sounds of things, they'd tear him apart. And near Sunnydale, that might not just be fancy talk.

Decisions. Decisions. He turned from the audience, adjusting himself deliberately and listening to the howl.


Keeping his back turned, he writhed his way back to the stage door entrance. Turned, and stroked himself boldly through the thin kilt material.

Then, fast as if he'd been pulled, jerked back into the dark recesses offstage. Unseen, he twitched the kilt off his hips, and flung it back out to the crowd.

Rule Nine, purely his own: Know that you are the victor in this match.

Suck it, vamp-boy!

Spike was rooted to the spot. For about a tenth of a second before he realized someone else was going to claim the discarded kilt, and then he bolted. Straight for where it was going to land as it flew through mid-air, Spike was there to reach up and snatch it from its flight. The crowd was still cheering, though a few curses from a few blonde bimbos were audible through the clatter of applause as Spike held up his trophy. 

He moved back to his stool, waiting for Xander to come out. Nobody wanted to go up on stage and follow the previous act, and the fat man with the hygiene issue stepped up onto the stage just as Xander came around from the bar, straightening his own shirt.

“Everyone who performed has an open bar for the rest of the night!” he announced, and was cheered for it. “Now we have to announce the winner. It was close, but based on the reaction from all of you, I’m pleased to announce the winner of the Talent Show. The recipient of two movie passes at the Sunnydale Sun, and meal coupons at the Doublemeat Palace is…the Scottish Stripper!”

The crowd cheered, Spike’s jaw dropped, and Xander grinned. The bartender handed him the coupons, and he turned smugly to Spike.

“Well, well. Impressive, Harris,” Spike said, finally able to manipulate his tongue enough to form coherent words.

“Thank you. Now, I believe we had a bet?”

“But I didn’t win,” Spike pointed out.

“No. I did.”

And Spike was proud, because the grin Xander sported was as evil as any he himself could have worn.

“Fair’s fair, isn’t it? I won, and now you have to do whatever I want you to,” Xander informed him.

Spike considered denying it. After all, those stakes hadn’t been a part of the original bet. But Spike had felt the sparks when their eyes had met during the performance, and it had generated some interest. Spike wanted to see where this went.

“What’d you have in mind?”

Xander smirked. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Our free drinks?” Spike reminded him.

“Frankly, my vamp, I don’t give a damn,” Xander grinned, heading for the door. Helpless in his curiosity, Spike followed. He kept his eyes glued to Xander’s ass, wishing he was still wearing the kilt. He kept a firm grip on the plaid material in his hand, hoping it would be of some use later.

They wordlessly agreed that they didn’t want to go to Xander’s apartment, or to Spike’s crypt, if only to avoid memories of lost women. Xander headed toward Crawford Street, and Spike realized he was going to the mansion. They walked in silence, though both were sneaking glances at one another. Each could feel the heat between them, still burning from that moment of eye contact during Xander’s dance. It seemed that heat would never cool.

When they reached the mansion, they wound their way through the jasmine-laden garden, then into one of the many bedrooms. Xander chose the one with the least amount of dust, and turned to Spike.

“Guess I was right about that denial thing, after all,” Spike smirked. His eyes held a challenge.

“Shut up,” Xander said without heat, leaning forward and capturing Spike’s lips with his own.

He was nervous. Really, really nervous. Sure, Spike had almost-kissed him earlier, had touched him, rubbed his skin, and the heat between them was nigh unbearable, but maybe Spike had spent the entire night putting him on, messing with his head for the sole purpose of humiliating him now. But the feel of Spike’s lips moving under his own was enough to ignore those worries, and when Spike stepped closer and pressed his body along Xander’s taller frame, hands wrapping around his hips urgently, the fears were pushed completely away.

Xander trailed his mouth along Spike’s jaw, intrigued and excited by the feel and taste of the cool flesh under his lips. Spike’s hands traveled up, brushing against pert nipples and digging into Xander’s hair, still slightly damn with sweat from his dance.

“Xan…what are we doing?” he finally asked, despite knowing the answer. He wanted to hear it.

“Well, I don’t know what you’re doing, but I’m collecting on our bet,” Xander grinned against his throat, and Spike’s chuckle reverberated against his lips. 

“Why this?”

Xander stopped and looked deep into Spike’s eyes. He didn’t really have an answer. Because you’re hot? Sounded too lame. Because I can? Also lame. He couldn’t think of an answer that was worth speaking, so he kissed Spike gently on the lips again. It seemed to be enough, and Spike stepped closer, so they were pressed together from lips to thighs, hard bulges gliding together. Spike’s foot brushed against the dropped kilt as he pressed Xander backward, on course for the bed against the wall of the room.

Spike pulled his mouth away and laved gentle kisses against Xander’s pulse point. “That was some fancy pole-polishing you did up there tonight,” he chuckled between kisses.

“I’ll polish your pole in a minute,” Xander retorted, stopping short as he realized what he’d said.

Spike pulled back and leered at him. “Promise?”

He cut off any reply with another heated kiss, fingers clenching into Xander’s shirt triumphantly as they tumbled onto the bed. Spike lay atop his prize, fingers attacking loose clothing, frantically trying to get to that smooth, heated skin he’d been privy to view earlier in the night.

As Spike’s cool fingers brushed across his heated skin, Xander didn’t try to hold back his moan. He never would have expected Spike’s touch on his skin to feel so hot. Spike’s tongue slipped into his mouth without preamble, and Xander sucked at it immediately. He pushed desperately at Spike’s duster, forcing it off his shoulders and onto the floor beside the bed, pulling the black T-shirt up out of Spike’s jeans, fingers gliding on the cool, silken skin he exposed. Spike ground his hips down and lifted one knee to straddle one of Xander’s thighs, yanking more forcefully on Xander’s shirt, breaking the kiss as Xander lifted his arms to allow its removal.

When his own shirt was off, Xander pulled Spike’s up and over his head, grunting and letting his head fall back onto the mattress as Spike’s mouth dipped to take hold of one nipple, suckling gently and rolling his tongue over the tiny bud. A gentle nip caused Xander’s hips to thrust up of their own accord, and Xander was tired of waiting. He reached down and began fumbling with the buttons of Spike’s jeans, rolling them onto their sides as Spike pushed one boot off with the other foot, then removed the other boot the same way. Xander pushed at the jeans, groaning when Spike’s erection popped out from the rough fabric, rolling them further so that he was on top, and moving down with Spike’s jeans until the offending article was wrapped around Spike’s ankles, and he was face-to-face with Spike’s cock.

His hands caressed up Spike’s thighs, and Xander kissed the skin of Spike’s trembling abdomen gently as his hand wrapped around the other man’s length, gripping the velvety skin and exploring with his fingers. Spike moaned, pressing his hips up and trying to get more of the wonderful contact.

Xander took a deep breath and lowered his head again, desirously dark eyes defiantly drifting up to look into Spike’s as his tongue snaked out to lick at the shiny bead that had formed at the tip of Spike’s cock. Spike’s mouth dropped open, but he didn’t break the volatile eye contact as Xander took the head of his stiff erection into his hot, wet mouth, sucking with a moan as the taste hit his tongue. 

Spike’s hands scrabbled at his shoulders, pulling Xander up to his mouth and fervently kissing him, tongue delving deeply as though to imprint his taste on every inch of the young man’s mouth.

His fingers carded through Xander’s hair, pulling at it gently as he kissed him, then ran down his strong back, pushing at his pants. He hadn’t gotten to see the kilt removed before, hadn’t gotten to see what was under those pants and was desperate to do so. He pushed, frenetically attacking the zipper in the front, pushing and pulling until Xander’s cargos and boxers were around his knees and his cock was out, standing proudly. Spike moaned, rolled them over and dove for Xander’s erection, engulfing the entire length in his mouth in one fell swoop, suckling and moaning around it. 

Xander jerked his hips up, a hoarse shout erupting from his throat as his fingers dug into the bedspread.

Spike sucked roughly, his head bobbing up and down Xander’s shaft, fingers clenching against Xander’s straining thighs as he moved.

“Fuck, Spike, please…” Xander moaned. One hand moved from the bedspread to dig into the hair on the back of Spike’s head, the action causing a moan deep in Spike’s throat. The vampire moved faster, sucked harder, and Xander grunted.

“Jesus, Spike, Jesus,” he cried out, hips thrusting up into his lover’s mouth more frantically.

His agile tongue knew exactly what it was doing, and he worked it with all his might. Sweet torture had its place and time, and that wasn't here. All he wanted was more of that delicious taste, all salt and life. He coaxed one heavy drop after another from the tip of the swollen cock, swallowing it down greedily. The sound of desperate blood rushing through Xander's veins dragged him deeper in to the wild ride they were both on, and he found himself drawing in more, harder, until his nose nuzzled through thick, wiry curls. 

He felt Xander pushing ineffectually at his shoulder. "Spike - Spike - stop - can't wait, gonna -" the boy gasped.

Spike grinned around his mouthful. Was he gonna, then? Good. He wanted still more, he wanted it all, and he was going to have it. One nimble hand came up and caressed Xander's drawn-up sac, then pinched it - and swallowed.

Xander howled loudly enough to rattle the windows. He convulsed and arched, drumming one heel so hard that the shock waves shook dust from the rafters that rained down on them. Gouts of hot saltiness flooded Spike's mouth, dribbling from his lips even as he attempted to take in every drop, savor it on his tongue, devour it. 

Good... oh, so good. So long since he'd taken anything like this from a mortal, warm and freely given. 

Still milking Xander's cock with his mouth, he pressed down on the twitching thigh until he stilled. He cleaned him from root to spongy tip, lavishing long licks over every inch of surface, before regretfully letting him go. Only then did he glance up beneath his eyelashes to see the look on his boy's face.

Worth every bit of frustration, waiting, second-guessing and all, that was. He looked dazed and rumpled, with eyes of glass and lips parted. Good enough to take his breath away? From the way he struggled for air, and words to speak with it, Spike guessed so. Bloody brilliant.

Then again, Spike wasn't so interested in talking, and it looked as if Harris was working up to a speech of some kind. That wouldn't do. Words were what women liked at a time like this. He'd listened to Dru prattling on for years, taken to special heights of insanity by orgasms. No more post-coital slack-jawed yapping for him, thank you.

He didn't allow himself to consider the fear, at the back of his mind, that the look in Xander's eyes would change to horror. That the words would be harsh and hot in bitter regret of his temporary madness.

So he stopped them before they could start. Slithered up Xander, one kiss at a time peppered over groin, thigh, stomach, nipples, neck, and finally lips, sealing them closed with his own. Anything that might have been spoken transmuted into a heavy moan as a fellow tongue tangled with his. 

He rubbed his chest against Xander's. Ever so slightly slick from the bits of come that had escaped his mouth, they glided together. His own erection, awash in throbbing pleasure-pain from delayed gratification, slipped into the juncture of groin and thighs, and that was as close to heaven as makes no difference. The friction at once maddened and delighted him - not enough, not nearly enough. He shifted his hips just a bit and thrust, bumping Xander's own over-sensitive organ and skidding across his stomach. 

The gasp the boy made, sucking dead air from his own mouth, filled him with a fierce glee. "See?" he rumbled against Xander's lips. "Do you see how good Spike can make it? You'll have no regrets when I'm done with you, luv."

Xander made a soft sound somewhere between a murmur and a whine and dove up after the treat denied to him. His tongue lapped and his teeth nibbled at Spike's lower lip and chin. Spike thrust again, hard. "Oh, you like this, do you?" he taunted, denying the kiss so urgently sought. "You might like it even more if I do this..."

Sneaking a hand between them, he angled his cock down instead of up. The way smoothed by the loops of pre-come he dribbled, when he moved it stabbed downward, bumping over heavy balls and into the cleft of Xander's arse.

Xander bucked and jumped. It shouldn’t have felt so good, but it was like the lust started all over again. Like he couldn’t breathe again, without the taste of Spike’s mouth to guide him, and so he pulled Spike’s head down to him with all his might, latching lip to lip, devouring kisses with fervor.

Xander’s hands roamed Spike’s skin feverishly, moaning as Spike’s hips continued to move, sliding his cock up and down the cleft of his ass as Xander involuntarily raised his knees to hold him closer, open himself up. He knew it was too much, too fast, too everything, but it was too wonderful to deny. He felt his cock trying to twitch back to life, fingers kneading Spike’s muscles as they lurched on the bed, trying to crawl into one another’s skin.

Spike grunted, then pushed himself up, panting. Xander cast desire-laden eyes up, sparks shooting as they met Spike’s own. “Why are you stopping?” he finally croaked out, sitting up.


“I didn’t want you to stop.”

Beat. Xander stood. “I don’t want you to stop.”

Spike wanted to ask if he was sure. Couldn’t form the words.

“Do you have anything?”

It took Spike a moment to wrap his brain around the question, break it apart and understand it, and he nodded wordlessly, fingers twitching toward his duster on the floor. Xander tried not to think about the convenience of it being there, and bent to pick it up. He started searching through the pockets, dropping Spike’s cigarettes and lighter to the floor, countless useless things, until he finally came upon a small green tube. He flipped open the cap himself, the scent of blackberries invading his nostrils. He sat down on the bed again, and looked up from under his eyelashes, grinning around his blush as he saw the look of sheer disbelief and anticipation on the vampire’s face.

A shy glance, and Xander tipped the tube over, squeezing some of the gel onto his fingers.

“More,” Spike said breathlessly.

Xander complied, drenching his fingers with the stuff, then lay back on the bed, raising his knees again.

When he touched himself, Spike bolted the few steps forward and placed his hands on Xander’s knees, pushing them further up and apart, watching intently as Xander rubbed the slick compound across his entrance, sharp inhalation at every pass. Finally he let one finger slip in, a quiet moan as he watched Spike lick his lips, unblinking. His finger slipped in again, a little deeper, and this time Spike was the one who moaned.

A quick glance up at Xander’s face, drinking in the pleasure there before that intense stare moved back to Xander’s hands, holding himself open, pushing in a little further, stretching himself out, opening his body and making it wet for Spike.

For Spike. The vampire swallowed roughly, watched more intently, waited as Xander was able to enter himself with two fingers, pushing. Deep, fingers all the way in, and Xander’s eyes fell shut because he couldn’t believe that it felt as good as it did, to touch himself in this way and to know that Spike couldn’t tear his eyes away.

A third finger made its presence known, and Xander looked up in shock because it wasn’t his. Spike was touching him, in his most intimate of places, and his cock was drooling now, his hips pushing back against Spike’s hand until that lone finger slipped in.

Spike struggled to get a breath in, didn’t need it but felt like he did, as his finger was welcomed into that slick heat, cradled in that hot vise-grip, feeling Xander’s walls flutter around him, hot pulse rushing through his veins as his skin flushed.

“Xan, love, can’t wait,” Spike moaned, too close to coming too soon to know what he was saying, only knowing he had to be in that heat, have it surround him, squeeze him.

“Yes, Spike, please,” Xander whispered, pulling his fingers out and trying to pull Spike closer to him. Spike stepped all the way to the edge of the bed, pushed Xander’s knees up and pulled them over his shoulders before leaning forward and positioning himself. He trembled as the head of his cock came into contact with Xander’s body, felt the entrance grasp at him, and pushed forward, gently but quick, deeply seated to the root and Xander cried out, fingers spasmodically clenching the bedspread over his head, thrusting his hips back to get more.

“Fuck, Xan,” Spike moaned, pulling completely out before entering again, and Xander’s head shook from side to side as he tried to catch his breath. He couldn’t get over the pleasure, that intense need that was filling him every time Spike was filling him, then pulling out. Entering him again and again and suddenly everything stopped as Spike’s cock pushed at a different angle. There was no darkness in the room. Everything seemed to be illuminated with a blue flash as Spike ground over that spot again and again. It was like a slow strobe light, making Xander blind and able to see everything in intense detail at the same time.

He moaned and clenched down, wordlessly begging for more and faster and now. Spike leaned, bent over and fucked harder, thrusting and pushing as he dropped his mouth to Xander’s, tongue fucking that mouth as his cock fucked Xander’s body, his fingers running up Xander’s tense arms and in between Xander’s own fingers, clenching and clasping at hands as his body moved. 

Finally, Xander couldn’t take it anymore, and he let go, his neck arching back as his hips pushed up, a strangled cry clawing its way from his chest, hot spurts of come jetting out across his belly, some of it hitting his throat as his whole body jerked underneath Spike, and with a roar, Spike stood back up and really fucked, really thrust, really ground his hips until he, too, was spasming, filling Xander with his climax as he roared at the ceiling, muscles cording and straining as he emptied himself.

With a muffled grunt, he fell forward, Xander’s legs falling to the sides as Spike landed atop him, both of them struggling for breath, for sanity, for calm, waiting for the intense exhaustion to roll into afterglow.

Xander moaned as Spike pulled his cock out, wanting more than anything for it to be back inside, but not saying so as Spike rolled them up and to the side so they were actually laying on the bed the right way, for the first time that night.

Xander sighed. What was the right thing to say now? Thanks? Let’s do it again? Holy Jesus Fucking Christ? He didn’t know, so he said the first thing that came to mind.

“Think the water runs hot in here?”

Spike raised his head and looked at him questioningly. Xander snuggled his face into Spike’s neck, twisting his body a little so he was laying on his stomach. “There was a tub in one of the rooms. Big, claw-footed thing. Kinda want a nice hot soak,” he said.

Spike chuckled weakly. “Think you can move enough to find out?”

“There’s moving involved?”

“Risk of the trade, luv,” Spike replied, leaning his head down to kiss the top of Xander’s hair.

“Fine, fine.” Xander weakly pushed himself up, looking down at Spike happily as he pushed off the bed, offering a hand down to help Spike do the same. Spike kept his hands on Xander’s hips as he followed him to the room with the tub, and watched lecherously as the human bent over to turn the tap on.

He turned and grinned as he put his hand under the flowing water, pleased to find it did indeed run hot. He left the tap running and stood to kiss his vampire, softly, until the tub was full. He climbed in and waited for Spike.

Spike climbed in, and leaned his back against Xander’s chest, sighing happily as Xander wrapped strong arms around his torso.

They lay in the tub for nearly an hour, not talking. It wasn’t as heated as they’d been in the bedroom, but nor did they stop touching one another. Gentle caresses and soft kisses never stopped as they lay, soaking in the steaming water. Eventually, gentle caresses changed to needy grasps, soft kisses changed to desperate kisses, and sated murmurs turned to frantic moans. Spike rolled, pulled Xander down slightly and straddled his hips, now in a better position to fully claim the younger man’s mouth, fingers finding their way and becoming entangled in sable hair.

Xander let his own hands wander from tiny pink nipples to bony hips, thumbs running across a washboard stomach as he tried to get closer.

Suddenly Spike’s hands disappeared from his hair, and Xander didn’t have time to realize it as they moved behind him, pulled apart ivory globes and pushed down. Xander was shocked at how easily he slid in, his entrance made easier with water and Spike’s sheer will. He was suddenly balls-deep in Spike, and he accidentally bit into Spike’s bottom lip at the sudden overwhelming pleasure.

The action only seemed to make Spike hotter, needier, and his hands tangled in Xander’s hair once more as he began to ride, fast and hard, his mouth never losing hold of the younger man’s as he frantically bounced, up and down, on Xander’s cock. He let out a strangled sound and ground down, his cock jerking against his belly, covering them both with yet another load of come.

Xander gasped and came as soon as Spike’s body clenched around him, tight and fitting perfectly around his length, and Spike moaned again as he felt Xander pulsing inside him, finishing it. Spike’s head jerked up and he stared wordlessly into Xander’s eyes, and neither of them had words.

They couldn’t speak, because it was too plain to be soiled with words. They’d fucked, they’d fooled around, they’d flirted, but this…there was no other term for what had just happened other than making love.

Xander pushed himself up and caught Spike’s lips in another kiss.


Cowritten with Wllshenillshe.