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Getting Bent 1: Beer...Questionable

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For the second night in a row, Xander watched from behind the bar as Buffy drowned her sorrows with the frat-boy philosophy majors.

What does she see in those assholes, anyway? Just 'cause they're rich, smart, good looking, probably hung like baboons...right, what was I saying?

Not that she looked all that sorrowful at the moment. Giggling and snorting, she chugged another mug of Black Frost. Her third.

Forget coating your stomach with olive oil-- just become the Chosen One, and you, too, can drink any man under the table. And come to think of it, what does she see in that ? Something with chocolate in it, little rum, that I could see, but beer? That beer? Smells like lighter fluid. Maybe it tastes better than it smells? Kinda like the anti-coffee...

He glanced around. Jack was in the back, taking inventory. A few customers at tables, a few in the anteroom, Buffy's group in the back, loud and obnoxious. Nobody at the bar. He shrugged. Picked up a clean glass and drew himself a pint. What the hell are you doing, moron? Jack'll fire your ass in a second if he catches you. So? Like this job was gonna last anyway. Yeah, but beer? What the hell are you doing? Drowning his sorrows. His pathetic little non-Parker-Abrahms-related sorrows, like... well actually, general pathetic-ness would do nicely.

The great summer journey of the young hip guy had turned into a stint as a dishwasher in Oxnard, the first of a string of useless jobs that had followed him all the way back to Sunnydale. Monotony broken only by that one excruciatingly embarrassing evening of filling in for an absent male dancer... He would've preferred his memories of monotony to be smooth and uninterrupted, thanks. Yep. Townie in the parents' basement. Tres cool. Ex-demon wants to be my girlfriend... Which, okay, hot, and also the having of the sex is nice, but... There was something missing, there. Too much like they were both following a script-- what's the next appropriate gesture? Oh yeah. Move that there. I think you're supposed to call me tomorrow.

He ducked behind one of the wooden pillars and took a sip. Nope. Not the anti-coffee. Lighter fluid. Not that he'd ever tasted lighter fluid, but he had a reasonably good imagination. C'mon, wussy-boy. If Buffy can stand it... He took another gulp. Couldn't exactly say it went down smoother, but maybe he could get used to the taste of lighter fluid, given time. Wasn't like he was driving anywhere tonight, and it was just one mug. He stashed it under the counter, and began wiping down the top of the bar. Watching, from a distance, as a group of highly-evolved Neanderthals made time with the girl he'd spent most of his high school career pointlessly lusting after. When did I start being more concerned with whether she gets home safe than whether she asks me up to see her etchings? He wandered back for another sip every so often. Lighter fluid, yeah, but not bad lighter fluid. Sort of...gourmet lighter fluid.

*****

Spike cursed. Fluently. Proficiently. Loudly. Threw the DeSoto into reverse and tried again. No go. The "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign remained steadfastly upright. They must've filled in the supports with fucking concrete. Buzz-killin' bastards. All he was doing was denting his bumpers. With a "Grrr" of annoyance, he finally shifted forward again and roared back into town. Somewhere around here, there was a little blonde bitch of a Slayer who was gonna pay for making a fool out of William the Bloody. Or at least for making it necessary for William the Bloody to make a fool out of himself.

He'd had the Gem of Amara on his bloody hand. He was standing out in the sunlight, listening to the birds chirping, friggin' nutball squirrels chittering...and he could've gone anywhere. Killed anybody. Picked up a nice young housewife in the middle of the supermarket and dragged her screaming out into the sun, trailing banana pudding and Cheerios behind them. Done her right there on the asphalt, ripping into her throat in the broad daylight, and sucking down that hot, salty blood while the sun beat down on the back of his head. But no..... he had to go after the Slayer.

Why? Oh, knackers. Pretty much just knackers. She hadn't really done anything to him recently... let him scarper off out of town with Dru the year before last, didn't stake him when he'd come crawling back, totally paralytic, to bitch and moan about how she and his sire had made Dru leave him. Laughed at him a bit, yeah, from what he could remember, but there was definitely a moment when either of 'em could've dusted him without a second's worry, after he'd told 'em where he'd stashed the witch and the puppy-boy. Didn't...just let him gather up the shreds of his dignity and head-bang his way back out of town again, temporarily high on the adrenaline-rush and the thought of his ill-fated plan for getting Dru back. So... anyway...that lovely little all-powerful ring on his finger, he'd skulked round the UC Sunnydale campus, looking for the Slayer, pretty much just to prove he still had the stones to take her on. And as usual, he'd gotten his arse royally kicked. Within five minutes.

Took off to L.A. to threaten or torture the thing out of hair-gel-boy, as if the bint would send it anywhere else, and yet again, he'd made a soddin' laughingstock out of himself. Big Irish beats the crap out of him. Little Irish spouts off at him. Didn't smell right...Mum was havin' a bit on the side with your basic slime an' prickles type, I'd say The scrummy-nummy bitch of a May Queen even calls him a Cockney, and then the bloody werewolf shows up with a crossbow. With a few refreshing scenes of gratuitous torture interspersed. Oh, I had a plan, alright. Called 'Stalk in wavin' your cock about, and see who's impressed.' Gonna get it cut off, one of these days. A bust. A great flamin' bust, his little road trip, and he'd bet a year wearing his natural hair color that the ring was so much powder now that the Great Souled One had hold of it.

So...back in Sluttydale, and somewhere there was a Slayer who needed her juicy little arse kicked. Not that he'd be able to do it, but he could give it the old vampire try. Why the hell not? Originality? Right. Originality gets the world sucked into Hell. Predictability's at least...predictable...

*****

Okay, Buffy was definitely way over the line, into 'I'll regret this in the morning, after I locate my underwear' territory. As Xander sipped at his second mug of Black Frost And where the hell did the first one go? Gotta slow down on this stuff , his friend was well into her sixth, and making goo-goo eyes at whichever of the party-boys was trying to balance a peanut on the end of his nose. At least, it looked like a peanut, but Xander's vision was getting a little blurry. Also, to the Pathetic List, we can add 'Gets shitfaced on a pint and a half of beer...'

After he finished the second mug, he wandered over and started up the jukebox, stabbing a random song. Maybe some music would clear his thoughts. Maybe if he picked an obnoxious enough tune, the Thomas Aquinas gang would clear out and he could sweep up and go home. Buffy disentangled herself from the overeducated yard-ape and bounced up to the jukebox, studying it like it held the latest secret to making some big bad hairy slimy thing go bang-squish-splat.

"Hey!" she smacked at it, laughing. "Sings! Like it!"

Huh? Okay, well past 'Where'd I put my panties' and deeply into 'Wake up dead or wishing you were.' Time for Buffy-girl to go home. Go home, Buffy-girl. That was deep....The Neanderthals must have been rubbing off on him. Or the beer.

"Time to go home, Buffy. " There-- a coher... a comp... a thing with words. He said a thing with words.

"Want more singing. Want more beer."

"No more beer. Cut off." Thing-words...were supposed to have...more words in front of them, weren't they? 'The' words. Pro-somethings. Pronouns. That was it. There, still in control of his brain.

"Did it hurt?" she asked innocently.

"Out you go," he answered, guiding her to the door. Should follow her home. Too drunk to walk by herself. Needed protection. But...Slayer. Right. Built-in bodyguard. Besides, he had to get the boy-drunks out and clean up. If he could clear out the main areas, Jack would take care of the last few stray customers.

"Want beer. Like beer. Beer good. "

Articles, Buffy. They're called articles. The 'the' words. You're so gone...Talkin' to her, or me?

"Beer Bad. Bad, bad beer. Buffy, go home. Go sleep." Not doin' too well with the 'the' words himself.

"Say bye," she pouted.

"Bye, Buffy. Go sleep now." He pushed her firmly out the door, and looked at the guys. They were... what...having a belching contest? 'Kay.... Maybe half a mug, and then kick these fuckwits out...Xander slowly made his way back to the counter and poured another half-mug of lighter fluid...

*****

No Slayer. Not at home, just Joyce Summers sitting in the open window with a cup of herbal tea and a paperback romance. She'd actually looked glad to see Spike. Offered him some tea, or even hot chocolate with little marshmallows. He'd thought about taking her up on it, then going for the gusto, but no. In his own way, he had a grudging respect for the Slayer's mum -- putting up with that whiny little brat for eighteen years took real stones. Lookin' a bit lonely there, Joyce--little girl not coming home to visit Mum these days? Thought about taking her up on it and just drinking some tea. Nah. Not cricket to have tea with somebody and then go rip their kid's throat out. Best just get on with the rippin'.

Took off for UC Sunnydale. Wandered down the sidewalks, bold as you please in the late-night air. No Slayer out and about on campus. Wasn't exactly sure where she lived, but hanging about skulking in the shadows was always an option. He could do with a good skulk. He stepped off the well-lit pavement, and slunk into the deeper darkness around the back side of the engineering building.

*****

Xander walked over to the table at the back. Time for apes to go home. Get out. Time for Xander to clean. Go home. Sleep.

"Pay up, get out, go home." Hey, man of few words. Never tried that before. He could still sorta think in high-school level English, but it wasn't quite coming out of his mouth.

Ape-boy Number One scratched his head. "Where girl?"

"Gone home. You too. Money. Now."

Ape-boy Number Two pulled out a handful of money, tossed it on the table. Right. Change. He was supposed to make change. Beer cost money. How much beer? How much money? Didn't matter. He scooped up the bills and coins and crumpled them into his pocket.

"Nice tip. Thanks."

No argument. Ape-boys just sorta stood up, swaying. "Go home? Girl gone home. Find girl?"

God, better hope not. Girl kicks Ape-ass easy.

Thud-clunk. Big noise from the bathroom. "Hey, you okay?"

Ape-boy Number Three came charging out of the bathroom...only now he really was Ape-boy. Hairy, toothy, Angel-browed...big scary thing that was knocking Xander down to the floor and making everything dark.

*****

Skulking sucked when there was nothing to skulk at. Oh, a few wasted co-eds, giggling their way home to sleep it off. Nice snack potential, but that would blow Spike's blend-in-with-the-shadows waiting game, so he kept his fangs in, and gritted his flat human teeth. Heeeere little Slayer....the Big Bad's got a treat for you....

It occurred to him that he'd be really pissed off if he was skulking around on the wrong side of campus, and little Slayer girl had already made it back to her dorm room, tucked up nice and comfy...

*****

Xander blinked. Smelly thing on him, smelling him. "Get off!" Big scary thing. Used to be a frat-boy. The rest of them were stretching and morphing and looking like a crappy 'Manimal' re-run, and this was bad. Not good. What don't bad things like?

Fire! Bad things don't like fire. Vampires don't like fire, bad things don't like fire. He reached in his pocket and pulled out his metal fire-thingy. For lighting smelly stick thingies. Made it spin. Ooh-- fire!

"Fire bad!" The bad things backed off... then one came closer. "Fire...pretty...."

"Fire angry!" Xander shouted, thrusting it at the bad ape thing. All of the bad things made scared noises, and shuffled out the door, snorting and growling.

Well. Mess. Wait, bad things. Xander didn't have to clean up messes if there were bad things. There was a rule somewhere.

"Jack! Hey Jack! Frat-boys! Cavemen! Bad things!" he shouted into the back storage room.

His boss slowly walked out and set a keg of beer on the counter. "Yeah, well... they had it comin'. Snot-nosed little brats... thinkin' they're better than us, different..."

"Different now," Xander pointed out, semi-rationally.

"Oh, it won't last. Just a neat little gag. My brother-in-law's a warlock, and he showed me how to set it up... wanna see?"

"No! Buffy drank that beer! I..." I drank that beer. Bad, bad beer,

"You what?"

"I...gotta find Buffy."

*****

Spike was disgusted. This was positively it. Next time, he'd look her up in the campus directory like any normal guy who wanted to tear out her liver and eat it raw. He lit up a fag, and leaned against a tree. People-watched. A bit like window-shopping at an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Had its own kind of kinky self-deprivation thing going, there.

Little girl with a rollickin' walk at three o'clock...

Squeeeal! Crash! What the hell? Car accident on the edge of campus? Who's stupid enough to be walking into the road at this time of night? He perked up. Carnage. Carnage was always a good. Slipped though the darkness to see...

Three ape-creatures standing in the road grunting at another one, rolling in pain, and the driver getting out to check on what he'd hit... Oh, fun on the Hellmouth! What the hell were those things? Didn't smell like demons. Just rather...smelly...humans. Heavy on the testosterone.

Oh, Keystone Cops time, as the ape-things began chasing the driver, then grabbed up the little girl with the bouncy walk and a few of her friends, and started dragging them off, leaving their mate in the road. Spike chuckled...giggled, even. This was loads better than hanging about in the shadows. A free live comedy show, granted a bit too Benny Hill and not enough Monty Python for his usual tastes, but still...

*****

"Buffy want beer!"

"Xander, how could you let her drink that stuff?" Giles shouted at him, exasperated.

"Didn't know ... bad beer," he shrugged, looking at Cave-Slayer drawing on the walls of her dorm room.

"You knew it was beer! She's underage! You're underage!"

"Sorry, Watcher-guy. Bad Xander."

Funny-face Giles. "Xander, you didn't..."

Buffy left her artwork and sidled up to Xander. "Beer? No. No beer. Mmmm... boy smells nice..." She rubbed against him, sniffing his neck. So he sniffed her back. Nothing. Girl smelled...drunk. Blonde girl. Nice girl. Friend. Take care of girl. But...girl kept putting her hands in bad places...

"Back off. Don't want you." He pushed her away. She pouted. Big pout. "Boy doesn't want Buffy. Why not? Fine. Buffy want beer!"

"Oh, God, why do I do this to myself?" Giles moaned. "I couldn't settle down, open a bookstore, get married, spawn some little Watchers. No, I had to adopt three fully grown children, and God only knows where Willow is. Xander, sit. Buffy, sit. No beer."

Buffy turned on him. "Buffy want beer. Buffy strong. Buffy get beer." She pushed Giles across the room, knocking him to the floor, and was out the door.

"Buffy strong," Xander commented helpfully from the bed.

"Yes, I'd noticed. Well, at least the two of you aren't completely devolved," Giles said, getting up and rubbing his head. Poor Giles. Buffy strong.

"Xander, are you together enough to go look for Buffy? She could hurt herself or someone else in this state. Please answer in words of more than one syllable, or you're not leaving this room."

Xander tried to concentrate. Giles...wants...help Buffy. Buffy strong. Buffy girl. Needs help? Giles...wants talk words.

"Find Buffy...help find Buffy. Xander can help find Buffy."

Giles stared at him. Shook his head. "That'll have to do, I think. Against my better judgement. Go check the campus, while I canvass the dormitories. Be careful. Don't eat any pigs."

Pigs? Eat pigs? Ate pig once...

"Xander--go. Find Buffy." Giles grabbed him by the shoulders.

"Buffy..."

"Yellow hair. Short. Smells good. Got it?" Giles pulled at his hair. Funny Giles.

"Smells good. Got it."

*****

The cave-blokes had disappeared into the night, leaving only their fallen comrade and the usual boring Sunnydale write-off of the truth. An ambulance, lights and sirens off, had quietly carried him away, and the street was clearing up again. Good fun never lasted long. Spike was ambling off towards the better-shaded part of campus, behind the decorative stand of trees, having given up on finding the Slayer tonight. Maybe he could snag something tasty and drag it off himself, though the night seemed mostly empty by now.

Sounds of a fight, from the other side of the trees. Hey, more entertainment! Maybe audience-participation, even! He loped over to the mini-woodland, slid between two half-grown willow trees, and checked out the spectacle from a safe distance.

Four vamps, three males and a nice-looking brunette bird with really sweet facial ridges, were circling a lone human male, who was holding them off with a large tree branch. Crouching and moving in a tight circle himself, so that he never had his back to them. Which meant that he did have his back to Spike. Dark-haired, anyway. Spike considered joining the fun, and decided against it. Five vamps trying to snack off one human made for a pretty pitiful meal. Besides, voyeurism had its exciting side as well.

The female vamp darted in, and the human hit out at her with the branch. Hey, some natural fighting instinct there. Good moves. He watched the life-and-death ballet with increasing interest. Then the males decided to stop playing. Like that. Click. He could see it, had done it himself. Game over. Human-boy was pretty much done for. They closed in with supernatural speed, and... the human turned into a wild thing. Kicking, punching, spinning, using that branch like a mad Robin Hood with a quarterstaff... except Robin Hood never moved like an animal, like a human vampire, and he never put his quarterstaff through his opponents' hearts. Repeatedly. Puff. Puff. Dust. Dust. Stab, parry, dust.

Down to one vamp, the girl, and the human male rolled to the ground as she dived on top of him, covering his body...and he came up covered with dust, as the branch in his hand pierced the vampire's heart dead center, driven upward with a furious thrust. Spike...was panting, actually, just a bit...overworked, from watching it. Just a bit...hard, he realized. Well, yeah, violence could do that to him, especially the good stuff. In full game face, staring at the figure slowly rising alone in the middle of the clearing. Like the Slayer, the boy'd looked, but there was nothing supernatural about it, just instinct and a sort of inborn raw power...

The male finally turned to where Spike could see his face, and there was the shock of an unlifetime: it was the Slayer's little puppy-boy! Dark eyes, usually full of some sort of Angel-esque angst, now just...hungry. Dark hair sticking out every which way, including tangled over his forehead. Now that... that was positively edible, and there was no one around that he'd have to share it with, now. He slipped back into human face, the better to tease the boy with...

*****

Xander was breathing hard. That had been...good. Right, somehow. Vampires bad. Kill vampires. Now he wanted...wanted...something. Someone was in the shadows, looking at him. He could see bright eyes gleaming. A man walked out from underneath the trees. Dark coat. Short yellow hair. Sharp eyes...blue. But the eyes under the trees had been yellow.

Man was smiling. Bad smile, but nice, too.

"Know you..." Xander said as the man came close to him.

"Yeah, know you too. Alexander, innit? Fancy meeting you 'ere, an' all."

Talked funny, like Giles. Smelled...good. Xander sniffed. Coat smell, like dead cow, and bad smoke stick, but good smell too. Strong. Good. Man had a name...

"Spike."

"That's me. The Big Bad, back in town and all...big an' bad. What're you doin' out in the dark, little boy? Need an escort home?" Spike made a growly noise. Xander...liked the growly noise.

"Smell good," he said, moving very close and sniffing the man again.

" 'Scuse me? I what?" The man backed off. "What the hell?"

"Yellow hair. Short. Smell good. But not Buffy." Xander came close again. "But smell...good."

*****

"Am I on bleedin' Candid Camera here?" Spike asked, bewildered. "What're you on about? You're supposed to be runnin' for your life, or at least tryin' to poke me with your great bloody stick. I'm a vampire, you daft twit! Instead, you're playin' Rainman on me?"

"Vampires...bad," the boy said, slowly. "Smell bad." Sniffed again.

Spike got it, then. The moves, not supernatural, but preternatural. Ancient. Whatever the cavelads had been on, little Xander here'd been into it as well, though apparently at a much lower dosage. Spell? Drugs? Sunnyhell, so he'd be betting on the former. Good little boy, so the latter was unlikely.

"Yeah, vampires bad. Spike bad. You wanna fight, or what?" God, but he'd love to take that on. The body he'd seen going at the four vamps had moved like a whirlwind of muscle and steel. It'd be like fighting the Slayer, but no snotty little comments to go along with the rush. Granted, no exceedingly clever little comments from his side, either, since they'd be wasted on prehistoric boy, but he could do with a real no-holds-barred. Maybe work the edge off the decidedly non-hungry heat that had been growing in him since he started watching that fight.

"No. No fight. Want..." the boy was frowning.

Spike cocked his head. No fight? He could just drain the lad here and now, but he'd rather see that body in action again. Had he ever looked like this when Spike had seen him before? Full of energy. Ready to take on anything�

"What do you want, Xander ?" he drawled.

"Spike," the strange creature in front of him replied, and it took the vampire a second or two to realize that Xander hadn't been prefacing anything. He didn't have the forebrain functions to do something as complex as prefacing. He'd been answering the question. Me? He wants...me?

"Want�Spike."

The well-muscled arms suddenly dropped the branch and reached for him, grabbing Spike by his biceps. Strength there. Just plain human strength, but the boy's access to it was complete. Taking exactly what he wanted. Spike grinned. Okay, not exactly the evening he'd had planned, but a shag in the bush was worth a bird in the hand, or some such crap. He wasn't all that hungry anyway, and it wouldn't do any harm to let Homo-erectus here take care of his little� Well, no, not little, exactly problem�

Xander pushed him back, under the shade of the trees. In complete control. Spike could've broken away any time, of course; this kid was no vampire, and no match for Spike's strength. But he liked the power inherent in the hands that firmly pushed him back against a tree trunk. He knew exactly which way this was going, and had no problem with it whatsoever. Lips pursed, which made them look fuller than they really were, the boy was studying him now. As if trying to decide where to start.

Well�guess he's made that decision Spike laughed in his head, as Xander snaked in and covered his lips in a painful kiss. Tongue darting in, exploring the vampire's mouth as if it belonged completely to the human, as if Spike were owned. Fighting with what he found waiting within, like Xander's tongue was that quarterstaff, lunging and parrying again. Ripping away, leaving Spike unfulfilled.

"Dead cow off." Xander ordered, and Spike realized after a minute that the primeval mind hadn't gone completely round the bend. Made sense, by the strange rules of this encounter: he just meant the duster.

Right, dead cow off. We can do that. He yanked his coat off and flung it to the ground. The teen reached for the button-fly on Spike's jeans. Okay, the fast-movin' type. We can do that, too. Seemed to be having a little problem with the brass buttons, and since Spike wanted to be able to wear these jeans back to his car, he decided to help out.

*****

Spike was pushing his hands away. Bad Spike.

"Want!" Xander growled, slapping at Spike's hands. Bad metal things wouldn't work right. Xander wanted what was inside.

"Yeah, I got that impression, mate. I'm just helpin', here," Spike said.

Xander blinked. Growled again, but softer. "Want." He let Spike know what was what. Spike shook his head up and down. That was�good. Up and down meant good. Spike was pulling apart the bad metal things. Oh, help. Spike help. Good.

Bad metal things were out of the way. Xander slapped Spike's hands away again, and yanked on the rough blue jeans. Down. Off. Want what's inside. There. Smells good. Like Spike good.

He put his hands there. The bad places that girl had been putting her hands. Weren't bad, now. Good places. Put his hands everywhere. Behind Spike. Squeezed. Nice, felt nice. Good Spike. Smelled so good. Wanted to taste. Hungry. Put his mouth there, salty, like�crunchy things. What� pretzels. Not crunchy, though. Hard. Soft. Wanted to take some home with him and keep it. Mine!

Xander pulled away. Hungry. Not mouth hungry. Grabbed Spike. Flipped him around, pushed his face against the tree. Reached down. Touched. Squeezed. Mine. Pulled legs apart. Mine!

*****

Well, Spike had known where this was going, after all. Might be a bit of a bumpy ride� but damn, the want, the heat, the sheer ownership of everything the boy was touching�it was driving him mad. He could feel it in that body, the need for him. Not just any old body that happened to have walked past, but Spike. Whatever was coming out now was there before, buried deep in that dopey little human� Whatcha know�little boy had the hots for me all along? Was this...power...here all along too? Xander had tried his suburban best to fight Spike for the little witch last year, come to think of it. There was a touch of the strength he was feeling now, even back then. Just a touch.

Shoved against a tree, hands pulling his back cheeks apart, and he knew what was coming next. Been a while. A while longer since he'd had it this rough. Not a bad thing, not bad at all. But Xander stopped. Aww, what? C'mon, I'm playing nice, you play nice too, cave-boy! Don't go soft on me now. Don't--don't bloody stop!

"Spike want?" A simple, straightforward question, that speared Spike to the tree, and to the ground, and to the marrow. The boy owned him, body and demon, at the moment, and could've had anything he wanted. Moreover, the hands on his arse gripped it with a possessiveness that implied that whatever part of Xander's brain was still functioning, it knew that. Knew he could take. But he was still asking. Asking.

"Bloody hell, yes, Spike want! Do it already!" he growled, fighting an over-the-edge desire to just fucking-well-be-taken, and a confusion that he didn't want to think about. Do it. Just do it.

Fingers. Spitting on fingers. Touching, slowly. Oh, hell and brimstone, he thinks he has to prepare me! How does this little cowboy even know what it is he's supposed to do? Instinct, of course. Spike would bet more than his natural haircolor that Xander�what was his name? Harris. Xander Harris had never played these sorts of games before.

If he'd never done it before, he had bloody good instincts. Finger and a half, two? No. Three. At once. Well, at least he's not gonna be boring about it. Bit of pain, which was�nice. Been too long. Mostly, just amazement. Being stretched. Manipulated. Full, almost. Fingers reaching for that little spot, and finding it. Oh, finding it and then some. Spike's fingers scratched white paths in the bark of the tree. Oh, stay there. Just�stay there, will ya? But no. Pulling out, leaving him empty.

Silence. Spitting sounds again. The waiting was driving him out of his mind. Just when he was about ready to get really desperate, start saying unvamply things like 'please' and 'now' and 'I want you in me,' there was Xander. Pressing up against him. Got his jeans off with no problem, apparently. Pulling him out, away from the rough tree trunk, bending him towards it...

Finally, finally, entering him strongly, smoothly. Not too slow, not making him wait, not denying him the pain he frankly craved. Not too fast, not sending him over the edge into some vampire endorphin-zone where he didn't feel anything. Hands, strong, holding him there, owning him, around his waist, as the human pulled back, then drove into him suddenly, hitting his best-of-all-things spot with a wrenching shudder. Then it was movement and little red spots in front of his scrunched-shut eyes, and one hand letting go of him, which was the last thing he wanted. But it reached around to grasp his cock, in just as possessive a hold, and began jerking it in time with the pounding that sent his hands scrabbling for purchase on the tree bark. Instinct? Yeah. If that was instinct, though, God help the homophobic wankers who said this stuff was unnatural.

*****

Xander felt right. Good. Found the right place. Spike made happy sounds. Yellow hair. Short. Smelled good. Found the right place.

He drove his body deep into Spike's, knowing that it was the right thing to do. Xander want. Spike want. Cool inside Spike, but getting warm. Rocking. Moving. Back and forth with the rhythm that was driving him, pounding in his blood. Found the right place. Moving faster, faster...rushing...like running, but locked in place...

With a wild howl, he felt himself let go. Mine! In mine, mine in me, in mine, mine! Spike growled. Snarled. Threw his head back and let out one pure note of rage and happiness and disbelief. In Xander's arms, what was his...and Xander...was waking up.

Words...worked. Together. Thoughts...came in words, not just pictures. Spike...still smelled good.

He still...wanted Spike. Pictures of what Spike was came flooding in. Vampire. Bad vampire. Angel, holding Xander's neck out to this vampire. Afraid. But...even then, he smelled good. Xander should feel bad. Scared. Scary vampire. Bad thing. But Spike...was his. Xander wanted. Even as he started to be able to wonder what that would mean, Xander still wanted.

Slipping out, pulling the vampire around to face him. Seeing demon face, yellow eyes that had been glinting under the trees. Scary bad things. But nice. Kissing again. That face. Tongue sliding over sharp teeth. Big bad scary things. Mine. He's...mine. Pronoun. Article. Pretzels. Afraid. Not afraid of Spike. Afraid of why. Why him? Why let Xander take him? Big bad scary vampire? Spike want... Spike wanted the animal. The want, mine, take. Not the Xander who was waking up. But he still wanted Spike, and Spike still smelled good.

*****

Primeval-boy was kissing his game face. Touching that tongue to his sensitive extended fangs. Still sniffing him. Spike...was drained and tired and bloody well confused, and getting hard again. Oh, come on...vamps are virile, but in a minute? Do me a friggin' favor!

Xander was looking at him. Still hungry. What the hell did he have left to want with? He couldn't be...surely not the human, too? Nobody gets it back up that fast. Not even Big Irish. Not even the Big Bad.

"More..." Xander said, and for the first time, it was a question. Not completely confident of the answer, not telling Spike who was boss. 'Xander want' though, that was still there.

More? What more was there? Unless...

"What, again?" Spike grinned. "You up for that? For real, cave-boy?"

Xander frowned. Growled a little. "No. Want more. No again. More." With a child's changeable face, he suddenly smiled, then threw himself backwards to the ground, landing atop Spike's discarded duster, and rolling over. Just waiting. When Spike didn't move, he looked up. A question. The question.

"Spike want?"

And it wasn't permission. It was a question. A legitimate question. The boy on the ground cared about the answer .And Spike knew. In that voice. In that...question. The animal was fading, the preternatural creature who had taken possession of him, of Spike, being replaced by the puppy-boy. Who still wanted Spike. Enough to pretend to be something he wasn't.

Did he? Did Spike want? This should have been dinner lying before him on a well-worn pile of dead cow skin. But... yeah, Spike wanted. Because the fighter lived inside the puppy-boy. Because the puppy-boy had been the one who, for some reason, had wanted Spike. Because... he didn't have a fuckin' clue why, actually. Just that he did.

Sinking to his knees, he touched the suntanned back revealed by the rucked-up shirt. Felt the boy stiffen under his hand. As if I wouldn't have known the difference! Trailed his hand over the rounded bum. Twitch... Oh, this had its own sort of built-in fun. Spike could play and play... but he didn't. Something of the animal still howled inside of Spike, and he wanted. Spike want. And he was unbelievably ready for wanting, too. Bloody amazing, that. All I have to do is be taken roughly by a spellbound version of the Slayer's most mundane groupie, and I'm suddenly Spike, the wonder-willie. Crank it up, and away it goes.

He touched the puppy-boy again. Not too gently, or he'd know Spike knew. And that was important, for some reason, him not knowing. Because...then he might stop this. And Spike...wanted. Parted the smooth cheeks to reveal the tight brown pucker. What, spit? Not for this. For Spike, yeah, fine, but this one would run screaming. He did have his own portable lube on-hand, though. So to speak. Well, on the puppy-boy's hand, actually, and on the tree...and a bit closer to hand. Spike coated his finger with his own semen, and firmly pressed against the sweet little wrinkled hole. Oh yeah, definitely going on instinct, the boy was. Nobody's ever been here. Heard the boy gasp as his finger slid slowly in. Felt the body beneath him tense, and then relax.

Oh, what the hell. I'll be boring and predictable. It's not as if he knows what's gotten cliched over the years One...moving and touching, reaching for the prostate, and recognizing it from experience, and from the sudden bucking upwards against his hand. Two, stretching the entrance wider, carefully. Not meant to seem too gentle, too accommodating, lest he freeze the boy up with the knowledge that he knew who he was fucking. Three... and now, if Xander had any memory of the cave-boy's experiences, he was getting a taste of exactly what he'd given Spike. Torturous and slow, and filling, and smooth and rough...

*****

And Xander, on the ground, lying on top of Spike's leather coat, was there. All there. Not entirely sober, for sure, but entirely Xander. I'm lying on the ground in the middle of a really small clump of trees, being finger-fucked by Spike. At least I assume that's what this is. Well, can't say I don't meet new and interesting people because of my job. Or, in this case, old and interesting people. Can't say... Couldn't say a hell of a lot, because the sensations that Spike was producing in his body pretty much blew your basic witty bartender banter completely out of his skull.

He did have access to certain higher-brain phrases, which he made use of gratefully, like "Mmmmm," "Yesssssss," and "More....". All thankfully monosyllabic and Cro-Magnon-ish, so he wouldn't blow his cover. Then Spike withdrew those fingers, and he added a pained "Noooo," to his repertoire.

"Shhh. Spike's not gonna leave you hangin'. Just wait." The words were whispered, a warm, mocking sound that made his blood freeze and then melt. Spike knew. Spike knew he was back. Spike knew, and he was still...slowly entering Xander, filling him with cool flesh, stretching and pulling. Pain, but a good kind of pain, a freeing kind of pain, something sweet and achy and unbelievably complete, to take his mind off the fact that Spike knew.

And they moved in unison. There on the ground, as Xander smelled old leather and crushed grass, and Spike, who still just smelled good. Spike thrust, and Xander flattened. Spike pulled up, and Xander ground his hips upward into the vampire above him. They moved like one, though they were two: big scary bad vampire and soon-to-be-unemployed underaged bartender. Who was learning a very different interpretation of the 'hippie hippie shake.' Tom Cruise, you honestly have nothing on Spike. Sorry, bud. That was about the last semi-coherent thought that flashed though Xander's mind, as they began to move more quickly, as Spike began to claim him, as he had claimed Spike.

Still, as the yellow-haired, good-smelling vampire thrust into him, there on the ground, Xander smiled goofily. Still mine. Mine for me for mine. As Spike hissed in his ear that he belonged to Spike, he readily agreed. Sure. Fine. Whatever. Mine. In a breath, he climaxed, shaking and shuddering and pressing his face into Spike's leather coat. Spike, an endless moment later, shot cool liquid into him, gripping Xander's shoulders as if he wasn't ever going to let go, then collapsing onto him with a heavy thump, for such a slim body.

He didn't know how long they lay there. Spike tracing patterns in his hair, Xander just breathing, face buried in the smell of old leather. However long, it wasn't long enough. Spike rolled off. Stood up. Buttoned up his jeans as Xander rolled over to watch him. They really were indecently tight. I need to get me some jeans like that. Really. Jeans and a leather coat. Xander Harris, vamp-boy. Kiss the girls and make 'em cry. Kiss the boys... He was a little hysterical, but he decided to write it off as the beer babbling.

Spike looked down at him. Smirked. "Enough for tonight? Or does Xander still want ?"

Xander, in spite of his complete befuddlement, couldn't help but grin. "I think that'll do me for the moment. Thanks." A few seconds later: "When did you know? Just out of curiosity."

Spike smiled back. Strangely unmocking. "When you asked me if I wanted--and you didn't know the answer. Look, I've got places to be. People to drain. Do me a favor? Get the coat drycleaned."

*****

Spike stalked off, wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and a red silk shirt. Feeling oddly naked without his duster. He'd have to hang around Sunnyhell for a while, anyway. Had to get his coat back, didn't he? And then there was the matter of the Slayer... And he wouldn't necessarily say no to a little 'Xander want' in the future. Maybe. Kid smelled good, after all.

*****

Xander dressed himself and cleaned the coat off as best he could on the grass. Wouldn't be too obvious, anyway, but he would indeed have to get it drycleaned. 'Cause of all the things Spike could kill me for, somehow 'cum-stains on my favorite leather jacket' seems a bit petty...besides, it gives him an excuse to come back...

He put it on. Fit just fine, though he was a few inches taller than the vampire, and his shoulders were wider. Spike always did seem to swim in it. Felt good. Smelled like Spike.

He made his way across campus, back to the pub, where he found Giles trying to get some sense out of an ash-bedecked Willow and a still-stone-age Buffy. On seeing him, Giles let out a sigh of relief.

"Xander. I don't know where you managed to get to, but...I'm glad you're safe."

Buffy scowled at him. "Parker bad. Beer...foamy. Boy smells nice."

Giles sighed. "Yes, Buffy, I believe we've established those principles tonight, if nothing else. Xander, you are alright, yes?"

Xander nodded. "I'm good. Didn't eat any pigs." Willow gave him a bit of an oogly look at that statement, and promptly yakked into the gutter. Smoke inhalation. Gets 'em every time.

Giles gave him the fisheye, after pulling Willow to her feet and gently wiping her face with his handkerchief. "I take it you're back to what passes for normal around here. What did you get up to while you were looking for Buffy?"

Xander grinned. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Which I'm not gonna."

Giles looked like he wanted to press it, but Buffy thankfully saved the day, in true Cro-Magnon-Slayer fashion, by pressing herself up against Xander and sniffing Spike's duster.

"Boy smell like dead cow."

"Yeah. Back off, Buffy. My dead cow. Mine."