The twangy strains of Gloom Despair And Agony On Me, Deep Dark Depression Excessive Misery, If It Weren’t For Bad Luck I’d Have No Luck At All, ran through Spike’s head. He hated to admit that his unlife bore a strong resemblance to the hick song. Not that he really ever watched Hee Haw, except maybe that once when channel four was the only thing that came in on his dump salvaged set and they were running a marathon of the hay-seed series.
He tried again to break free, but he was well and truly stuck; imagine, him, William the Bloody ending his illustrious unlife confined by the iron-like bark of a hollow tree that at the time seemed like salvation. Well, he wasn’t a whiner (except when it suited his purposes, like driving his now soulish sire ‘round the bleedin’ bend) and would accept his final death with dignity.
“Fuck that for a game of soldiers,” he muttered as he tried again to wrench himself out of the hollow tree. It was so tight around him that he could feel the harsh wood abrading his skin and clothing. Fearing a splinter, he stopped and howled with frustration.
Regretting the sound when he knew the woods had been crawling with Initiative arse wipes all night, it wasn’t long before his vampiric hearing registered the sound of breaking twigs and swishing shrubbery. Unable to turn his head around to see behind him, he heard harsh human breathing and a deep voice rumbling, “Hostile Seventeen, look at you all nice and gift wrapped; just waiting for us to swoop in and . . .”
In a burst of frenzied movement, Spike tried to twist and turn himself around. If he couldn’t get out of the tree, maybe he could go back the way he’d come. He’d do anything; even impale himself on a shard of wood if it would keep him free from the tender mercies of the quasi military group. It couldn’t have been more than a chaotic few minutes; his skin was torn and he could feel his blood dripping down his body when his panicked mind registered a familiar voice. “Oh, shit Spike, it was just a joke! It’s me, Xander, stop jerking around like that! Spike, stop!”
Turning his head as far as the unforgiving wood would allow him, Spike was just able to see his annoying nemesis, Xander Harris, Scooby errand boy in the flesh. Spike was in agony at being seen like this by the one human who made it his life’s work to inflict as much pain with his sharp tongue as Darla ever had on her worst day. Protecting himself with bravado, Spike taunted, “Well looky, looky if it ain’t Xander Harris! That outfit come with a dimmer switch or was neon Hawaiian kitsch the look you was aimin’ at? And why’re you out here, did the heavy meeting at Giles’ run out of Scooby snacks and the slayer send you out for doughnuts?” Shaking off his true face, Spike’s tongue made its way between his teeth and lips waiting for the whelp’s response.
The human noticed the vampire’s limited range of motion and walked closer into that baleful amber gaze. Resisting the urge to reach out and pet the ridged forehead, Xander swallowed hard as he watched the beautiful human face emerge and as usual, hid his attraction for the blond behind a load of snark and antagonism. “Look, Fangless, I don’t think I’d be all with the scornful attitude about my clothing choices when it looks like you’re sporting an oak overcoat. What happened, you get bored with the swaggering leather look?” Knowing that vampires could smell sexual arousal, Xander quickly clamped down on the scene of a swaggering Spike as it was beginning to run through his head and swiftly replaced the sexy vampire with his grandmother dressed in black leather; that speedily took the gleam right out of little Xander’s one eye.
“Look, you bleedin’ ponce, I was on my way back to my crypt when I was chased by them soldier boys. I ducked into a hole in the ground to hide when I noticed it led to a narrow tunnel. I heard a noise behind me and I didn’t stop to ask the time of day . . . I just ran! I saw a light up ahead and squidged myself in through this hole and before I knew it, me and my bollocks were locked in tight. Now quit bein’ the horse’s arse that you normally are and get me the hell outta here!” Spike said angrily as he tried again to wrench himself from the tree, causing his wounds to re-open and sluggishly ooze blood.
Ready to let loose with a zinger, Xander noticed the blond’s condition. “Hey, you’re bleeding, stop moving around Spike. I gotta go and get something to get you loose.” Xander had always tried to make himself believe it was ok to antagonize the vampire, thinking, ‘after all he’s only a dead thing and doesn’t really have human feelings.’ But his heart scolded him for the lie and now was making him feel like even more of a shit when he saw the torn skin and all of the blood. “Be still and don’t make any noise, I’ll be right back!” The boy assured as he turned around and ran back the way he’d come.
Xander had been gone only a few moments when Spike’s thoughts turned ominously to all of the ribbing that was in store for him when the boy let his chums in on the embarrassing position he’d found him in. All of a sudden Spike again heard the snapping of heavy feet over dry branches and the swishing of a large body forcing its way through the bushes. “What took you so long, Whelp?”
“Hostile Seventeen, we’ve missed you and it will be good to have you back under our control again!”
“You ain’t tryin’ to beat that dead horse again, are you doughnut boy?” Spike chuckled, turning his head as far as his confinement would allow him. His blood congealed in his guts when he could see from the corner of his eye a tall human dressed in an all black army type uniform wearing night vision goggles and carrying a stun rifle.
Panic coursed through his brain as Spike used all of his undead strength to try and get free. Heartened by the sound of cracking wood, he failed to notice a figure dressed in jeans and a bright yellow Hawaiian shirt covered in pineapples, steal silently behind the Initiative goon. Xander lifted the hammer and bashed the unsuspecting soldier in the back of the head, felling him like a pole axed giant. ‘Take that, you great big hairy ape! I’ll teach you to hurt my deliciously sexy vampire!’ Not even questioning his proprietary thought, Xander grabbed his saw from where he’d dropped it on the ground and glanced back at the limp body behind him. “Oh God, I think I killed him . . . a body that used to be human and I hit him in the back of the head and now he’s dead. A rhyming murderer, that’s me, but I couldn’t let him take you back to that place, I just couldn’t, Spike.” Xander rambled desperately.
His own panic at an end now that the threat had been miraculously handled by the boy - no, by Xander, anyone that would save him from going back to that hell-on-Earth, he would consider a friend and friends didn’t deserve to be ridiculed. “Still got a heartbeat, Pet, so he ain’t dead, you just knocked in his brains a little . . . probably improved ‘em some, if you want my opinion, but he might have some friends wanderin’ about, so maybe you should hurry and use your tool to get me outta here.” Spike said soothingly and then felt his borrowed blood seep to the surface of his face, tinting his undead flesh in a very faint blush at the unplanned innuendo.
“Right!” Xander jumped forward brandishing his saw and then realizing what Spike had said, his own face began to pink up with warmth. “Umm, yeah, I’ll have you outta there in just a minute, Spike.” His naughty brain took the off-the-cuff remark and ran with it, imagining him and the blond one both naked and Xander’s ‘tool’ standing tall and proud as it nudged at the perfectly rounded cheeks before him. Xander sawed at the branch in a back and forth motion, his body joining his brain in enjoying the sexual like movements.
Spike sniffed and couldn’t believe that he was smelling human arousal in the air. Glancing down, he noticed the nicely bulging package in Xander’s pants whenever his forward motion caused his shirt to flutter up. His mouth began to water and he could feel his blood heading south to fill his own eager cock. It’d been a while since he’d gotten his end away with Harmony, and it had been ages since Drusilla; he’d never had such a long dry spell before. ‘Maybe me and Xand . . .’ what was he thinking, the boy was totally heterosexual and even if he wasn’t and he tried to put the moves on him, that friggin’ piece of silicon implanted in his noggin’ would fry him like an egg. But still, there was that pungently, sweet odor wafting on the breeze . . .
“Spike!” Xander shouted right in his ear.
“What!” Spike yelled back, angry that his wool gathering, as his mother used to call it, was interrupted.
“I said, your free so try and step out of the tree now. Oh God, I’m rhyming again.” Xander wiped his sawdust covered hand over his shirt to get rid of the debris before extending it to Spike.
“Huh, oh thanks!” Preoccupied, Spike took the hand that Xander held out to steady him. Stepping out of the trunk, Spike was liberated from his wooden prison, but his torso was still trapped inside the now decapitated branch.
Xander lifted the severed bough gently up and over the blond hair that dazzled his eyes like moonlight. “There you go . . . umm, Spike, I think you’re losing something there.”
Looking down, Spike found that his shirt, where it wasn’t protected by his coat, was shredded and the button and zipper on his jeans had broken from his frantic attempts to free himself from the tree. Luckily his coat had escaped without too much damage; the leather only mildly abraded in a few spots. Spike pulled his pants back up from around his hips where the busted fasteners had allowed them to droop.
Xander’s eye was attracted by the abrupt movement and was amazed to see a burgeoning hard on nestling in blond curls before it was covered up hastily. Blushing again, he thought his best option was to ignore it. Spike hated him and chip or no chip; he’d find a way to make him pay if Xander made a move on the smaller man. Leading the way, Xander said, “My car’s back this way.” When he noticed Spike limping.
“Thanks for the assist, Xander, but I think I’ll just head on back to my crypt.” Spike said as he turned and began to limp away. He’d tried to batter himself out of that tree for what seemed like hours and now every inch of him felt bruised; to top it off, he thought he might even have sprained an ankle.
“Oh no you don’t; I didn’t save your ass from The Initiative for you to just go and hand it right back to them by going back to that crypt of yours. You’re coming home with me!” Xander marched over to Spike and curled his arm around the slim waist while wrapping the vampires leather clad arm around his shoulder. They stepped over the body still lying on the ground and headed back to Xander’s car.
Resigned to accepting help from the mortal and trying not to luxuriate in the warm body next to him, Spike asked, “Where’s the demon bint? I don’t fancy being the third wheel cramping her style. She made it abundantly clear the last time I stayed at your place that I was in the way.”
“Don’t worry about Anya; we broke up tonight. She wanted to play Trick-or-Treat by putting candy in a place that I didn’t want any candy put. Besides it would have been a waste of perfectly good M&M’s. We got into a fight about it and she moved out.” Xander explained and then reassured, “You won’t be in the way, and I want you there. In fact, that was why I came here tonight. Channel four is having a monster marathon for Halloween and I’ve got beer, popcorn and even blood for you to sprinkle on it and everything.”
Still insecure, Spike asked, “Why would you want me there instead of the witch and the slayer?” Spike lost the grip that was holding up his pants as they dipped down enough to make him stumble. He felt a strong arm tighten around him, keeping him from falling, as he sighed, burrowing himself closer to the warmth that was Xander.
“Aww, they’re ok, but for really gory stuff, you’re more fun; you don’t get all squicked out and girly over blood and guts and I’ve gotta admit that you’re repartee is snappier than Buffy’s and if you ever tell her I said that, I’ll have to stake you!” Xander smiled and felt brave enough to give the body snuggling into him a little squeeze. He’d never been adverse to talking to his own body parts so he thought, ‘Little Xan, tonight just might be your lucky night!’
Spike wasn’t sure what to make of this playful Xander, but was determined that he was going to enjoy it for as long as it lasted. Deciding not to worry about the chip and thinking to himself that his luck just might have changed, he wasn’t surprised to feel a happy twitch from his ruined jeans. Giving Xander’s shoulders a squeeze of his own, Spike said in a perfect imitation of Humphrey Bogart as they both walked through the fog bound cemetery, *“Xander, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!”
* From the illustrious movie, Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains. The correct quote is, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!”