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Spike was driving him crazy. Or maybe that was crazier. Everyone besides Spike already thought he was crazy, so he probably did have a head start in that direction. He knew he was right, though. He’d been cursed. If it wasn’t another Willow misfire – and Tara had assured him that it wasn’t Willow – then someone else had cursed him. He was certain of it.

Okay, so it was true, this wasn’t the first time he’d fallen into an open grave while on patrol. For that matter, it wasn’t the first time he’d tripped over a corpse and come close to staking himself. It wasn’t even the first time he’d been pushed back against a gravestone hard enough to turn a backwards summersault over it, landing on his face in the grass. It was, however, the first time he’d done all three in the same night – especially on the same day that he’d come so close to falling off a girder at work that he’d freaked himself out so badly that it had taken him good ten minutes to catch his breath.

It wasn’t just today, either. This kind of thing had been going on for two weeks now. He’d slipped in the bathtub and hit his head so hard he’d seen stars, then he’d tripped over the rug and bashed his elbow against the dresser. He’d fallen over a mat in the training room, crashed into a rack full of weapons, and almost taken his own head off with Buffy’s favorite sword. He would have, too, if it hadn’t been for Spike’s quick work.

Speaking of, that thought brought him back to the subject, again. Spike was following him everywhere he went, and it was driving Xander crazy. It was all Giles’ fault. Xander had been telling everyone about his theory that he’d been cursed, and Giles had not been impressed.

“A run of bad luck does not indicate a curse. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to curse you with bad luck, Xander.”

“That’s true,” Buffy joined in. “Anya said that you were the best boyfriend she’d ever had, and that even if she was still in the vengeance business, she wouldn’t curse you.”

“She’d better not. She’s the one that broke up with Xander, not the other way around!”

Xander smiled at Willow’s quick defense. “Thanks, Wills. But why else would all this stuff be happening to me, Giles? It’s more than bad luck. If it’s not a curse, what is it?”

“Maybe you’re possessed,” Spike suggested helpfully. “They see you working with the Slayer every night, and they know they can’t attack her without getting slaughtered, so they come at you, ‘cause they know you’re her friend.”

“Possessed?” He hadn’t intended that to come out as a squeak, but Xander’s voice obviously had a mind of its own. He cleared his throat, and tried that again, aiming for a lower register. “What do you mean, possessed? As in demon possession?”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, Spike, please do not feed into this mania. He is not possessed by anything but a vivid imagination, and he does not need your help in creating any sort of paranoid scenarios.”

Giles had hustled them all out on patrol after that, but Spike had been watching Xander ever since. He’d brought up the subject once, but Buffy had cut Spike off as soon as he’d tried to answer Xander’s question, so he’d moved away, and hadn’t spoken since. But the way he watched Xander, with his eyes narrowed, and his mouth pursed as in thought made Xander think that Spike had an idea about what was happening to him.

All that focused concentration was doing a number on Xander. Unfortunately, the number it was doing had nothing to do with demonic possession. Unless the demon was Spike, that is. Spike was an extremely intense person – being – whatever he was. When he put all his attention on Xander, it sent shivers up Xander’s spine.

It was hard to describe Spike – he was so many things that it was impossible to tie him down into one category. Intense. Powerful. Wicked. Graceful. Deadly. Sexy. Drop dead gorgeous. Perfect. Xander watched him as he fought with two vampires at once: smooth, fluid muscles combined with savage, ruthless moves. The two vamps were dust, one right after the other, and Spike swept away, his coat flaring dramatically as he jumped, kicking a vamp in the chest with both boots, and rolling skillfully to his feet in time to counter another vamp’s sneak attack.

Xander subtly adjusted himself through his jeans. Fortunately, Willow and Tara were focused on Buffy as she fought with the last of the vamps, so they didn’t notice his sudden hard-on. Dear god. He got a hard-on watching Spike fight. Something was wrong with him. He got hard-ons watching Buffy fight, not Spike! Something was definitely wrong with him. That much was clear.

Spike finished off his last vamp, and turned, walking in Xander’s direction. Crap. He was going to have to talk to Spike, and he still had a Spike-related erection. He had to do something. He turned and practically ran in the direction of Willow and Tara. At the last second, Xander noticed Buffy’s purse sitting on the grass, but it was too late to stop. He went tumbling, head over heels, to land heavily on the ground directly in front of a surprised Willow.


“Here you go, mate.” Spike helped Xander settle on his couch, slipping a pillow under his head. “You said you needed pain killers?”

Xander shook his head carefully as he reached over to grab the bottle sitting on the side table. “I’ve kept them handy, recently. I just need some water from the refrigerator.”

Spike headed for the kitchen, and Xander cursed Buffy once again for suggesting that Spike help Xander get home. Spike had cursed and made a fuss, but not nearly as much fuss as Xander had expected. Something had to be going on. Maybe Spike lost the chip, and was going to take this opportunity to take out one of the Scoobies. But why he would want to take out the weakest and most ineffectual of the Scoobies was beyond him.

Still, something had to be going on. Spike was being nice to him! Or as nice as Spike got, anyway. To prove his point, Spike thrust a bottle of cold water at Xander, sat down on the couch next to him, and took a big drink out of a beer he’d obviously pilfered out of Xander’s refrigerator.

“Help yourself, fangless.”

Spike shot him two fingers. “Ta, mate. Don’t mind if I do.”

Xander shook out his pills, and set the bottle down on the table. He probably shouldn’t complain. Spike had practically had to carry Xander half the way home. He could afford to offer him a beer or two for his efforts. He popped the pills into his mouth, and took a big gulp of water.

Xander’s back was bruised, but he knew it would be fine by Monday; that wasn’t what was bothering him. Not the only thing, anyway. He’d never really thought of Spike as a sexual creature. Well, he had, but it had been more about appreciating his muscles, and wishing that he could be even a tiny bit as… as lithe, and graceful, and as deadly as Spike. Yeah, even so, he could admit he’d been as much admiring as he had been envious, but now there was a lot more than a bit of admiration going on.

This was a case of full-on lust. Xander had the hots for the blond menace, and he didn’t know what to do about it. And this new, friendlier, helpful Spike was confusing him. Was it real? Was it some plot to get to Buffy somehow? He hoped Spike was wrong about this demon possession deal. He didn’t need a demon possession, he had Spike to worry about. That was plenty.

He watched Spike chug his beer, his head tilted back, and his slender, white throat moving as he swallowed the gulps of his beer. He couldn’t stop staring. It was one of the most… erotic things he’d ever seen in his life. Spike set his beer down on the table with a sigh.

“Thanks, mate. I needed that.” He got up, and headed for the door.

Xander suddenly didn’t want him to leave, but at the same time he needed Spike to go before his cock burst its way out of his jeans. “Why don’t you take a couple of those beers with you, Spike.”

Spike looked at him with surprise, and he fumbled over his words. “I mean… after all, you helped get me here without any more accidents.” He cleared his throat, trying to think of something to say. “You made short work of those two vamps on the way home. They’d have made mincemeat out of me if you hadn’t been there.”

Spike shrugged. “Yeah, all right. I could do with a beer or two.”

He headed back into the kitchen, and Xander rolled his eyes. What the hell had he been thinking? ‘Here, Spike, have a beer as I toss you out the door.’ Of course, Spike had been headed that way on his own, but what was Xander trying to do? Was he trying to get on Spike’s good side? Did Spike even have a good side? He had a feeling that what he was doing had nothing to do with Spike being good.

Oh, holy crap, he was trying to get into Spike’s pants!

“Ta, mate.” Spike was at the door, and Xander hadn’t even noticed him walking across the room.

“Oh – um…” He cleared his throat. “No problem. Thanks for helping me get home.”

Then Spike was gone, and Xander collapsed back onto the couch with a whoosh of released air. He had the hots for Spike. What the hell was wrong with him?

There was no doubt, though. His hand slid over his thigh to caress his stiff cock. His hips bucked, pushing his cock into his hand. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this turned on. Xander closed his eyes, concentrating on the way Spike had moved as he’d fought, his body twisting and leaping, muscles bunching, then stretching as he moved, solid and forceful, yet effortless as he sailed across the graveyard in search of his foes.

Xander’s eyes flew open as he recognized his body’s signals, his hands flying to his zipper to get his pants open before it was too late. He’d barely got his hands on his cock, and stroked it two or three times before he came, his back arching as he cried out in pleasure.


He collapsed back to the couch, gasping for air, his heart pounding. He couldn’t believe he’d shouted Spike’s name like that. Fortunately, he was sure the vamp was long gone. He fumbled with the Kleenex box next to his water bottle, and cleaned up his mess. Well, it was time to wash those jeans, anyway.

Finally, he stumbled to his feet, headed for bed. He stopped in the kitchen for another bottle of water, only to discover that Spike had emptied out the new six pack of beer he’d had stashed in the fridge. Xander got a good laugh at that. He’d end up spending a lot more than that on beer if he was going to get into Spike’s pants. The next time he was out he’d have to get some of that expensive, imported ale that Spike liked.

Turning out the lights, Xander grinned as he limped down the hall. He had absolutely no idea what he was doing, but he wasn’t about to stop now. Xander was pretty determined when he put his mind to something. Spike had no idea what was about to hit him.