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It's not like Spike hasn't thought about it before. Sex is just another weapon in his arsenal, after all, and if there was ever anyone who needed ridden hard and put away wet, it's Riley Finn. Maybe it's because Riley reminds him of Angel, in a bizarre and best not examined too closely kind of a way. The height, the bloody great big shoulders, the stupid hair, the brooding, the bland smugness, the killer right cross. The holier than thou, so earnest you could just puke boy scout with the mile wide dark streak hidden just below the surface.

Yeah, so maybe Spike has a type. He can deal with it.

He's been passed from pillar to post, not trusted to be out in the world by himself with or without a chip, with or without a soul, and now that Xander has categorically put his foot down about Spike sleeping in his closet, on his crappy futon, or anywhere within a three mile radius, Spike gets shunted off to the nearest unwilling bystander. Spike wouldn't complain, after all, free blood and cable TV are hard commodities to come by when you haven't a bean to your name, but while Xander often came home black and blue after a night out with the Slayer and her little gang of helpers, he rarely ended up shirtless in his kitchen, his knuckles swollen and bloody, a beautiful bruise blossoming on his cheekbone, a glass of whiskey on the counter within easy reach, stitching up a nasty gash on his upper arm without making so much as a peep.

It's distracting, to say the least.

Riley ties off the thread and glances up, catching Spike watching. Spike's nostrils flare and his mouth floods with saliva when Riley turns a fraction and he sees the blood coating his arm.

There's a long moment, devoid of sound as they stare at one another.

Riley's throat moves as he swallows. "Been a while?"

Spike nods, licking his lips. "Desert dry," he says, his voice huskier than he wants it to be.

He can see it, the flicker of hesitation in Riley's eyes, the desire to offer himself up that's unmistakable to any vampire. He can see it just as clearly when Riley clamps down on it, hard, and turns his back. He goes to the sink, turning on the faucet and cupping handfuls of water to rinse away the blood. Spike grits his teeth at the sheer bloody waste of it. Least the bugger could have done was offer him a lick. He stands there with his fists clenched by his sides, fighting the urge to start breathing, and watches the tension in the set of Riley's shoulders. Riley grabs a clean dish towel from a drawer and turns around, drying off his arm.

The bleeding has stopped but the scent of it still permeates the air.

Riley clears his throat and shifts his weight, his eyes darting just once to the open doorway when Spike starts to walk slowly across the room, not stopping until he has Riley backed up against the wall, only inches separating them. Spike takes loose hold of Riley's wrists, running his hands up over soft skin, his thumb sliding over the sensitive inner elbow, over old scar tissue of bite-marks, all of them a couple of years old at least, faded and indistinct. But Spike is a vampire; there's no mistaking them for what they are. Riley will wear these telltale signs until the day he dies, marking him, exposing as a man with a jaded survival instinct looking for answers in all the wrong places.

Spike wonders if he's about to do something stupid. Something there's no coming back from. He wonders if it's a colossally bad idea to make a move on the Slayer's ex, on a man whom Spike would once have cheerfully strung up and spent a lot of time doing very inventively painful things to.

Riley doesn't push him away. He just stands there, his eyes dark, his chest moving with deep, measured breaths.

"If you're going to stop me," Spike says, "now's the time. I'm not so much in the mood to get beaten into a paste this evening."

Riley smirks and takes hold of Spike's hips, tugging him in so they're flush against one another. "I'm not going to stop you."

"Good to know," Spike says. Riley's mouth is wet and warm with the faint burn of whiskey. His hands end up on Spike's face, moving Spike where he wants him, kissing like he means it.

Spike decides that he's never been put off by colossally bad ideas in the past. He can't think of a good reason why he should start now.