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A Little B&E

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Xander’s muscles complained, his bones creaking as he stretched. With his arms extended over his head, his feet hung off the end of the mattress, and he rolled his eyes sarcastically. Okay, so the bed wasn’t as large as the one he had at home, and the motel they were staying in was certainly not the best they could have chosen. But they’d been more interested in keeping a low profile than they were comfort. Whatever. It didn’t matter. He didn’t think anything could spoil his good mood today, not even the shitty motel room. He’d had a wonderful night.

Spike had wanted to take Xander to the best restaurant in town, but using someone else’s credit card in an upscale restaurant was not what either of them considered keeping a low profile, so they’d ended up in a small stake house with a line out the door. True, they’d had to wait for a table, but Spike had been right: the longer the line, the better the food. Besides, the wait had given them more time to flirt – and boy howdy, had they ever flirted.

They sat at the bar, waiting for their number to be called, sipping their beer. “So,” Spike said, casually, “I seem to remember we were discussing something important when I had to leave in such a rush.” He tilted his head to the side, and asked, “Exactly where were we when I so rudely interrupted us?”

Xander grinned slyly, and leaned in close. “If my memory serves me right,” he murmured, his lips grazing Spike’s ear, “we were right about here.”

Spike shuddered, and Xander hid his triumphant grin. He’d made Spike shudder!

“Oh, you’re wicked, aren’t you?”

Spike’s breath fluttered across Xander’s cheek, and he fought his own shudder as the air blew his hair, tickling his neck. Xander had those butterflies in his stomach again, and Spike’s lips slid across his cheek as he pulled back enough to stare into Xander’s eyes.

Xander was transfixed, frozen by Spike’s startlingly blue eyes. He struggled with his mind, trying to come up with something intelligent to say, but his brain had gone on strike, and he was left with nothing in his head at all. It was Spike’s eyes. Those blue, blue eyes had stolen his words from him, and he was totally brainless. But what else was new?

“You have the most amazing eyes.”

Xander cringed, shaking his head. “Sorry. Sorry. Was that the most horribly clichéd thing I could possibly have said, or what? It’s true though. They’re so blue.”

He couldn’t imagine why Spike hadn’t laughed in his face, yet. He must be stunned by Xander’s absolute lack of suavity. Spike’s eyes were locked on his lap, and Xander sighed. He’d totally blown his chance to impress Spike. He’d blurted out the most corny, old line he could ever have thought of, and now Spike was trying hard to not laugh at him. Dear god, but he sucked at this.

“The problem is I was never good in English, so I can’t just come up with something sophisticated and smooth, like Simon Templar would do. That’s why I’m not fighting off the women - or men, for that matter - ‘cause I can’t do all refined and polished and James Bond. I mean, I know you know how blue your eyes are – like the ice shards you see on glaciers on the Discovery Channel. So perfectly blue.”

Now he was babbling, and he really just needed to shut the hell up and take his lumps like a big boy, ‘cause any second now Spike was going to start laughing at him and Xander was going to disintegrate, drifting to the floor in tiny little pieces of shame.

“Yeah?” For a second, Spike’s smile was soft, and maybe even a little shy, but with a snap, his expression turned to blasé. “I mean, yeah. Of course I know, right?”

Then Spike grinned at him – a real grin. He wasn’t smirking, and he didn’t look like he was ready to laugh in Xander’s face, either. “But there’s nothing wrong with saying it, Xander. When you’ve got no reflection, sometimes you forget about shite like that. Besides, even if you are the best looking vamp in three states, everyone likes a compliment now and then.”

Xander knew his eyes were about as wide as they could get, but if he hadn’t known better, he’d say that Spike was blushing. And babbling. Spike was babbling. He hadn’t thought Spike had it in him.

He started to tease Spike about his babbling, and he opened his mouth to say so, but just as he started to speak, he saw the hesitant look in Spike’s eyes, and realized that if he made fun of Spike right now, it might make Spike pull back, and hide his feelings in the future, and he liked it when Spike let Xander in like that. It didn’t happen that often and there was no way he wanted to damage that part of their growing relationship.

But Spike had noticed that he was about to say something, and if he didn’t say something, he was going to make Spike suspicious. Damn. Now he had to come up with something to say, and his mind was a total blank! He felt like a ship capsizing, tilting slowly, and there was nothing he could do to stop it…

“Harris, party of two!” the restaurant’s hostess called.

Spike looked away, motioning to the hostess, to let her know they’d heard her call, and Xander sighed heavily. Saved by the bell. For once, he’d been cut off, and hadn’t managed to spoil the mood. Spike grabbed their beers, and the two of them headed for their table. Xander wondered if he could hire that hostess to stand by while they ate, and keep track of his idiocy. He had a feeling it was the only way he’d make it through the night. Fortunately, by the time they were seated, and talked over the menu, and sorted out what they wanted, Xander was feeling back on an even keel again.

He’d never had a porterhouse steak before. It was definitely the best steak he’d ever eaten in his life. They toasted Charles Rangle and his VISA Platinum card more than once over the course of the evening. Xander felt the guilt creeping up on him a few times, but he’d comforted himself by thinking of the way Rangle had cursed his ten year old son, jerking him around, and calling him a crybaby just because the dinosaur skeletons had frightened him. What a jerk. If someone had to pay for their dinner, there was no one who deserved it more.

After all, they were saving the whole world from the Souvenir demons, right? If he was going to play Little John to Spike’s Robin Hood, he was going to have to get used to this ‘rob from the rich to buy dinner for the poor heroes’ mentality.

“Soovaneeth demons,” Spike reminded him.

Oops. “Did I say that out loud?”

Spike’s slow smile was contagious. “You might have.”

“Damn. I need to watch that.”

Spike shrugged one shoulder, his eyes sparkling. “I don’t mind. You make me laugh. It’s not that often I feel like laughing these days, so I take advantage of it every chance I get.”

“Yeah, but I can’t be the suave hero if I’m making people laugh all the time,” Xander complained.

Spike pointed his steak knife at Xander. “The only person you need to make laugh is me,” he said solemnly. “Besides, I’m supposed to be the suave antihero. You’re the sidekick, remember?”

“Some sidekick,” Xander grumbled. “I don’t get to do anything but sit in the getaway car.”

Spike grabbed his hand, holding on tight when Xander tried to pull it back. “It’s important that I know you’re safe, Xander.”

Xander looked up startled – he liked it when Spike called him Xander - he didn't do it that often. It made him suspect that Spike meant what he was saying, and that was a surprise.

Wait a minute. Xander was supposed to be seducing Spike, not the other way around! What was going on here?