“Stay the bleeding hell out of my duster, you wanker!” Spike’s voice was harsh, and angry, but Xander didn’t care. He knew that Spike had the pizza money, and he’d find it, one way or the other.
“I’m not the one who’s gonna be wanking, you jerk. ‘Cause you’re not getting any sex out of me until you admit you took the beer and pizza money!”
Spike laughed at that, “Well, if I’m wanking, that means you will be, too!”
Oh, right. He’d have to come up with something else, because Xander needed his sex, and he needed it regularly. He pulled his hand out of one pocket, and shoved it into another. That stupid coat had lots of pockets in it. There was something odd at the bottom of this one – sort of damp and sandy. When he pulled his hand out, he found it covered with something orange and sparkly.
“What the hell?”
Spike sighed heavily. “How many times have I told you not to mess in my pockets?” He pulled the coat out of Xander’s unresisting hand, and pushed him toward the bathroom. “Go wash that off in cold water before it starts to bubble! And use lots of soap, hear?”
Xander rushed off to the bathroom. He’d discovered the hard way that when Spike said to do something in a hurry, he usually had a good reason. He could hear Spike cursing over the sound of the running water. He’d obviously messed up something. Well, too bad. If Spike was determined to insist he hadn’t stolen the pizza money, then Xander was glad he’d messed up Spike’s … glittery something-or-other.
He was probably lying about the orange stuff bubbling on his skin, but just in case, Xander scrubbed his hands twice. He had to hunt for the soap, it wasn’t on the sink where it usually sat. Eventually he had to use the bar from the shower. He used large quantities of soap; it never hurt to be careful when magic was involved, and he got the idea the sparklies had something to do with magic. He had a feeling he didn’t want to know what.
When Xander came out of the bathroom, Spike was pulling the cushions off the couch, and unfolding the bed, mumbling under his breath.
“I just folded that up, Spike,” he said in exasperation. “The pizza money is not inside the bed!”
“No, but maybe my ciggies are. I had a half-pack sitting on the coffee table, earlier. I thought maybe they got thrown on the bed before you folded it up.”
“I doubt it,” Xander replied, on his way to the refrigerator. If they weren’t going to have beer and pizza, he’d have to settle for those weird ginger beers that Spike brought home yesterday. No alcohol in them, but they were better tasting than Xander had expected. He started to twist the top off one, but remembered at the last second that that was a good way to rip the skin off his palm, since the stupid things required a bottle opener.
“At least I found the TV remote,” Spike said as he walked into the kitchen area.
“Good!” Xander was happy to hear that. He’d spent a good ten or fifteen minutes looking for the remote before they’d headed out for patrol earlier. He opened the junk drawer, and started rooting through it.
“What are you looking for, now?”
“Bottle opener. It was here, earlier. Did you move it?”
Spike reached over and grabbed the bottle out of Xander’s hand. “Why would I do that?” He wrenched the top off the bottle, and flipped it into the trash. “Not like I need it for anything.” He took a sip before he handed it back to Xander.
Rolling his eyes, Xander took the bottle from him. “Thanks, SuperVamp.”
Spike snorted. He leaned up against the refrigerator, his brow creased in thought. “You think maybe your da came down for something, and found the pizza jar? Not like it would matter to him that we keep our Saturday Night Beer and Pizza money in it.”
“That’s why we keep it under the kitchen sink, remember?” Xander shook his head. “There’s no way he’d go anywhere near the cleaning supplies. It would never even occur to him. Besides, you said you can tell when he’s been down here, right?”
“Oh yeah, he makes the place smell like a bar, all stale liquor and body odor – disgusting. It doesn’t smell like him tonight, even though I have been smelling something funny around here lately.”
“Don’t remind me, we really need to clean this place up.” Xander frowned as he stared around him: dishes in the sink, toast crumbs and abandoned breakfast cereal pieces under the table, piles of laundry around the washer and dryer, and empty junk food bags littering the floor around the sofabed.
“But if it wasn’t you, me or your da, what the hell happened to the money?”
“I don’t know, Spike. I just don’t know.”
Xander knew he was going to regret this, but it wasn’t worth spoiling his night for. He set down his ginger beer, and pulled out his wallet. “I don’t have enough for that expensive beer you like, but if you want to run out and get some of the cheap stuff, I can order a pizza. I think we have a bag of Cheetos in the cabinet. That will have to do for junk food.”
Spike grabbed the money Xander handed him, and slung on his coat. “Well, we’ll see how attentive the clerk is. Maybe I can use my discount on something or other. I’ll be back before the show starts, mate.”
With a swish of his coat, Spike was gone.
“Spike! Damn.” He was moving fast, probably because he didn’t want Xander to bug him about using his usual ‘five-finger discount’ to pick up anything Xander would feel bad about eating later in the night.
Xander dug through his pockets for change as he headed to the phone; if he could find enough quarters, he’d order some French fries to go along with the pizza. Too bad he didn’t have enough for chicken wings.
“Did I make it back in time for the movie?”
Xander glanced up at Spike from the floor in front of the sofa. “I thought you said you found the remote.”
“Oh, yeah!” Spike set down a case of beer on the table, and piled three or four grocery bags on top of it. He pulled the remote out of one pocket, and tossed it at Xander. “Found this in my pocket, halfway to the packie. No idea how it got in there. I could have sworn I left it on the sofa.”
Xander turned on the TV, just as the front doorbell rang upstairs. He dashed upstairs, stuffing the remote in his pocket, in a hurry to get to the door before his father managed to get out of his recliner. If he didn’t, Xander seldom got downstairs with his whole order. His dad was snoring softly in front of some old sixties sitcom when he got there, and Xander sighed with relief.
He didn’t recognize the pizza guy, but he apologized anyway when he handed over four and a half bucks worth of change for a tip. Then he totally freaked the guy out by handing him a wooden cross.
Xander gave him a friendly smile. “Hey, ya never know, it might come in handy.”
“Uh. Thanks, man.”
The guy stepped backwards, staring at Xander oddly the whole time, and almost fell off the porch. Then he scrambled to his car, and roared away. Xander closed the door and checked his supply. There were still three or four crosses behind the plastic flowers on the table by the door. He carved them when he got bored during research meetings, and he’d already made all the stakes he could bear. They had their uses.
“I thought you found the remote?” were the first words out of Spike’s mouth when Xander got back with the pizza.
Xander finished chewing his French fries, and set the pizza down on the coffee table, where a convenient hole in the mess of junk food littering the table was waiting for the box, one of Spike’s expensive beers on either side.
“Sorry, I had it in my hand when I ran after the pizza guy.” Xander turned the TV to the right channel for Saturday Night Horror Movie Madness, and reached for a slice of pizza as he scanned the bags of snack foods surrounding the table.
“So you found the pizza money?”
Spike snorted laughter. “Yeah, right. Like we save up this much dosh cleaning out our pockets at night. There’s a full case of beer in the fridge, and a box of Twinkies in that bag there.”
“Where’d you get all this, then?” he mumbled through his pizza. “Cause I know a case of bottled beer is not going to fit under your coat, no matter how big it is, let alone four bags of groceries.”
“Funny thing, that.” Spike got all excited, waving his pizza around while he talked. “I got to the packie, and went to the cheap beer door, and sitting right on top of the cans was a wallet! So I lightened it a fifty or two…”
Spike’s eyes got real wide at the look on Xander’s face, and he blurted: “What? He had plenty! Then I took it up to the front with our beer, and told the guy at the counter what I’d found.”
That surprised Xander, then he realized what Spike was up to…the next time they got into a fight, Spike would pull out the fact that he’d returned the wallet, only a hundred dollars light, as if he’d done some good deed, and he’d expect Xander to forgive him whatever he’d done that time. He was predictable, but it was sweet, anyway.
“He called someone up to the counter,” Spike continued, “and this guy came running up and grabbed the wallet, pulled out two more fifties, and handed ‘em over to me, like I was some big hero or something. So I went shopping with the money I liberated, and I thought I’d split the rest with you.”
He handed Xander a fifty dollar bill, and Xander hesitated, but in the end, he took it. If the guy was stupid enough to leave a wallet with over two hundred dollars in it in the cheap beer freezer at the local liquor store, he deserved to lose a couple of hundred dollars. Xander resolved to put most of it in the pizza jar, once they found a better place for it, then he reached for another slice of pizza, and forgot all about it. There were more important things to worry about, like Night of the Lepus on late night TV, a case of beer, and a full box of Twinkies bought by his psychotic, but loving, serial killer of a boyfriend.
Xander rolled over, taking Spike with him, and resumed what had become one massively erotic make-out session. They’d opened up the sofabed, so they had plenty of room to play. Spike ran his hands up under Xander’s shirt, and smoothed them over his shoulders, kneading the muscles, while the two kissed deeply. They’d been together for close to six months now, and it constantly surprised Xander how new and exciting it still felt to have Spike as a lover.
Hard muscles under smooth as satin skin just begged for Xander’s tongue, especially after he’d nipped and sucked red lovebites all over Spike’s chest. His skin might not keep those marks for long, but while they were there, Xander needed to give them his attention, and soothe away the irritation. Yeah, he liked that, and Spike did too.
Unsurprisingly, Spike was a neck man. He loved to suck and lick at Xander’s neck, and Xander still found himself blushing when the guys at the site found a new set of hickeys to tease him about. But it worked both ways – the best way to render Spike incoherent was to spend time sucking, gnawing, and nipping at Spike’s long, smooth neck.
Too bad Xander didn’t recover from his hickeys as fast as Spike did. It would save him abuse from his girls, and Giles on research and patrol nights. They seem to have decided Spike wasn’t trying to do Xander any harm, but that didn’t mean they didn’t give him grief when they found his neck covered with red blotches – which only spurred Spike on, of course. If he couldn’t be evil, the least he could do was be wicked.
Spike had solemnly declared that since he’d handed in that guy’s wallet with only a hundred missing out of it, that Xander should reward his good deed with a blowjob. Xander would have gladly given him one for no particular reason at all, but in the spirit of the moment, he announced that he was certain he could find it in his heart to bestow a bj on such a valiant citizen. The problem was that every time he started slinking down Spike’s torso to deliver said blowjob, Spike pulled him back up again into another kiss.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with the kisses, not at all, but if he wanted to ‘get his end away’, as Spike would put it, he really needed to get his mouth closer to Spike’s cock, so he could get that half of the equation satisfied. They’d been playing with a bit of frottage all along, and Xander could tell that Spike was as hard as he was, so finally, he started grinding his hips down into Spike’s, pulling a loud groan from the vamp.
Now that he was getting some real reaction, he decided to up the stakes. He pushed the thigh that was already between Spike’s legs higher up, so it was pressing against Spike’s balls, then forced his other leg between Spike’s as well. Spreading his legs, he forced Spike’s wide open, well, as wide as those skin-tight jeans would allow, giving Xander more traction on the sheets under him.
Then he started to thrust. He used all his weight, knowing that despite the fact that Spike was smaller than he was, he’d have no trouble handling Xander’s heavier body. Spike wrapped his legs around Xander’s thighs, and started doing some thrusting of his own, and Xander’s vision started to fade from the pressure and friction they were building between them.
Xander looked down at Spike in surprise. “Huh?” Not his wisest comment ever, but it was all he could come up with when his blood was all in his little head.
Spike flung his arm out, and started patting the bed until he found the pillow on the other side. That’s when Xander remembered that when they’d first opened up the sofa Spike had put the lube there.
“I wanna fuck you, Xander,” Spike gasped. “Can I fuck you, now?”
To hell with a blowjob. “Hell yes!”
Spike wasn’t having any luck finding the lube, so Xander forced himself to focus on the other side of the bed, and flopped his hand around in a very uncoordinated effort to help. But the lube wasn’t there.
Suddenly, Spike flipped them, taking Xander completely by surprise, but he didn’t stop when he had Xander on bottom. Spike kept rolling, leaving Xander on his back. He rolled until his back was to Xander, where he stopped, on the very edge of the mattress. He squirmed around a bit, and Xander was about to roll over and see what the hell was going on when Spike shouted.
Spike turned onto his back. In one hand was the leg of a tiny little man-like creature – demon? Spike was holding it upside down, and it struggled in his grip. It was no more than a foot and a half high, with a big paunch, and a long nose. Its hair was wild, and knotted, and of a reddish-brown color, and it had long, skinny fingers on its hands, almost as long as a human’s fingers, which looked odd on a creature that small. In one hand it was holding the tube of lube.
“Let me go, you big oaf!” The thing’s voice was higher than an adult man’s but was a lot more full-toned, with more volume than Xander had expected out of something that size.
Spike laughed, shaking his head. “Not bloody likely, you thief!” He scooted back on the bed until he was sitting against the back, holding the thing in the air the whole time. “You took the pizza money, didn’t you?”
“Who me? I don’t know what you’re talking about! I never did it. You can’t prove a thing!”
“Not a very good liar, are you?” Spike asked, sneering.
Sighing heavily, Xander sat up next to Spike. It looked like there would be no fucking happening anytime soon. Fortunately, he’d lost his hard-on as soon as Spike caught the little demon, so at least he didn’t have to deal with this thing and a boner.
“Gimme the tie out of your sweats there, mate.”
Xander glanced at the thing quickly to make sure who Spike was actually talking to, but it was wearing tiny little pants, that would fit on a doll, so Spike must have been asking Xander to give up the only thing that held his baggy sweatpants up.
“What?” He seemed to be stuck on one and two word sentences today.
“If we don’t tie the bastard up, he’ll rob us blind, and hide every shiny thing in the basement.”
He shook the thing by its leg, and Xander would have laughed at the way it squealed as it flopped all over the place, if it weren’t for the fact that obviously, it had been stealing all their stuff.
“The remote’s not shiny.”
“Imps don’t just steal shiny stuff; they can’t resist a fun toy when they find one,” Spike told him.
“Hey, I’m right here,” the imp complained. “Don’t you know how rude it is to talk about someone when they’re standing right in front of you?”
“You’re not standing, and I could give a damn about rude,” Spike said. “Whip out that tie, love. We’ll use it to hold onto this one until we find out what he did with everything we’ve been missing lately.”
Reluctantly, Xander gave up his sweatpants tie, and Spike had it hogtied in no time. Xander noticed how good he was at that, and wondered how much experience he had at tying people up. He decided he’d keep that thought for another day.
“So what does an imp do, anyway?” Xander had to admit, he was at a loss as to how to deal with an imp.
“Mostly, they just play tricks on people, like hiding the remote, the bottle opener, my cigarettes, my lighter –” he turned to the imp which was lying forlornly on its side, “and I warn you, wanker, you better cough that one up. I’ve had that lighter since the 70’s, and I’m not giving it up to the likes of you.”
Spike cut it off mid sentence. “Yeah, right. Like I believe your bullshite.” He turned back to Xander. “Back when people lit their homes with fire, imps would often steal a brand out of the fireplace, and you had to be careful with your hearths, or they’d burn the whole place to the ground, with you inside.”
“Oh, now that’s not true! Not true at all! Lies and rumors!” The imp seemed truly upset at that one. “We only play harmless pranks. We don’t burn people’s houses down. Never would, never would!”
“Ain’t what I heard,” Spike told it.
“Well, it’s just not true!” It squirmed uncomfortably in its bonds. “I never killed a soul in sixty years! Never did. And neither did anyone else in my family. We just like to have a little fun, just like everybody else. That’s all.”
“Well, what do you want with us?” Xander wasn’t sure what an imp would want with a couple of demon hunters, even if Spike was a reluctant one. It would seem Xander’s basement would be a bad place for an imp to take up residence.
Besides, they’d be moving out in a couple of months, as soon as Xander had saved up enough money for an apartment. It wouldn’t be long, now, since Xander had gotten that construction job. He made a solemn vow to not mention his job in front of this imp. The last place that needed a creature that loved tricks and pranks was a construction site.
“Well, it would be nice if you’d invite me to Saturday Night Horror Movie Madness, but you never even leave me one slice of pizza! What would it hurt you to leave a beer or a buffalo wing or something? Imps aren’t allowed to play a game of poker with a friend? Huh?”
It had a good rant going at this point, and Xander stared as it trembled with emotion.
“No ‘I Spy with my little eye’ for the little folk! Not good enough to play ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ with you, is that it? What did I ever do to you?” he cried, sobbing his little heart out.
The imp had worked itself up into quite a frenzy, but Xander wasn’t about to try and calm it down. Those looked like regular old flat, human-type teeth, but he’d been wrong before, and he wasn’t taking any chances.
“You stole our bloody beer and pizza money, you moronic little twerp! That’s what you did!”
Spike wasn’t all that relaxed himself, but at least Xander knew it was okay to calm him down. He rubbed his hand along Spike’s thigh, an idea building in his mind.
“So what would it take to get our pizza money back?” Xander asked. “We have pizza, Cheetos, Doritos, Snickers bars, Double Stuff Oreos, malted milk balls, lemon drops, Chips Ahoy cookies, Cheez-Its, Reese’s Pieces, Little Debbie Nutty Bars, French fries…”
“Nah, we ate all the French fries, love.”
“Oh, sorry, no fries.” He wasn’t going to mention the Twinkies, or the Jaffa Cakes, either, because an imp who stole their pizza money didn’t deserve the good stuff.
Going back through the list of junk food he’d eaten in the last six or so hours made him wonder why the hell he wasn’t sick as a dog. The imp was looking totally overwhelmed, so Xander decided to make it easy on him.
“Tell you what, we’ll start with what’s left of the pizza.”
He grabbed the pizza out of the fridge, and set it on the coffee table, holding onto his sweats the whole time, then hesitated, unsure of what to do next. Surely they wouldn’t have to feed it by hand. Maybe Spike could untie its creepy, long-fingered hands, and leave its feet tied? He had to admit, he’d like his sweatpant’s tie back.
A questioning look at Spike had him rolling his eyes, but he picked up the imp and held it up facing him. His eyes bled from human to vampire, the golden baleful fire as intimidating as hell.
“I know you lot aren’t much for telling the truth, but if I find out you lied to us about anything, I’ll cut you to pieces, and feed you to the vultures, got it?”
The imp’s eyes were wide, and it nodded frantically, so Xander wasn’t about to mention that they didn’t actually have many vultures in Sunnydale. A lie by omission didn’t seem that big a deal when it meant getting their beer and pizza money back.
“So?” The imp looked at Spike in puzzlement. “The money, dimwit.”
“Oh!” The imp looked happy that it actually could answer Spike’s question. “It’s under the sink in the bathroom.”
Xander ran off to the bathroom, hitching up the waist of his sweatpants as he went, and opened the cabinet. He didn’t see it immediately, it was buried behind a dozen half-filled bottles of conditioner and tub cleaner that they sure as hell didn’t use often enough. But in a back corner, under a ratty washrag, was the jar with their money in it.
Xander cringed at the irony of the imp hiding the jar in almost exactly the same spot that he and Spike had found so humorous when it was Xander’s dad they were hiding it from. From the look on Spike’s face when Xander walked back in with it, Spike caught the irony, as well.
“Right. Anything else we’re missing? Other than my cigs and lighter, that is.”
The imp quickly pointed out that the cigarettes were back in Spike’s pocket, only it had put them in the breast pocket, where Spike never put his cigarettes. The lighter was in the freezer. Xander was curious about how someone so small could climb the fridge to get to the freezer, but he wasn’t about to ask.
After that, the imp started spilling the goods almost faster than they could find the stuff, but when they got to the things it had hidden from Xander’s parents, he called a halt to the confession. He kinda liked the idea of his parents hunting for stuff all day, and never finding it because the imp had put it in the utility room, which they only went in to find more paper towels to clean up their spilled liquor.
Half-listening to the imp as it talked a mile a minute about all the pranks it’d played on their neighbors in the last several months, Xander wondered idly if he could talk the imp into staying in the house when they moved out. He thought that was a fitting farewell to his parents, but from the way the imp talked, it would be bored of them in no time, and move on to more interesting marks, like Xander and Spike.
It was obvious that it was lonely. It seemed that imps spend most of their lives alone, but not all of them were suited to the life. This one in particular was not happy living alone. Poor guy.
“Do you have a name?” Xander asked suddenly. He’d been thinking of the creature as an it, although it was definitely a male, or it looked like a human male, although the clothing made it difficult to be certain.
“Oh, sure! I’m Glitch. Nice ta meet ‘cha, Xander.” He waved at Spike. “Spike.” Spike sneered at him, but Glitch didn’t take it personally. “You know, my second-cousin is named Spike.”
“Oh yeah? It’s a good name.” Spike preened. “They name him after me, did they?”
“Nah.” Glitch took another sip of his beer, holding it with those huge fingers of his, which still gave Xander the creeps. “Named him after the one in the movies. You know…that little furry guy that ended up eating after midnight and becoming a holy terror? That’s the one.”
Spike was not amused. But later that morning, Xander found Glitch and Spike trading card tricks, and laughing at all the pranks Glitch’s great-uncle Blunder had played on the Queen Mother during Blunder’s stay at Buckingham Palace. Xander figured they’d made a friend. He had no doubt that sooner or later, Glitch would break his word and start pranking them again, but with Spike on Xander’s side, he bet they could pull the wool over Glitch’s eyes a time or two.
“Say, didn’t I see a box of Twinkies, earlier?” Glitch asked.
Xander held his breath, and mentally threatened Spike with all sorts of nasty practical jokes, but to no avail.
“Yeah, sure. They’re around here somewhere…” Spike got up and started rummaging through the cabinets.
Xander had a spark of genius run right though him. “While you’re up, Spike, why don’t you grab the Jaffa Cakes, too.”
Glitch’s eyes lit up at that. “Did you say Jaffa Cakes? Oh, I love those! Forget the Twinkies, I’ll just have the Jaffa Cakes!”
Behind Glitch’s back, Spike gave Xander an evil glare. Xander blew him a kiss, mentally running through all the pranks he could remember from his junior high days. There was no way Spike would let that lie. He had a feeling that it was going to be a long time before the practical jokes finally came to an end.