April 12th, 2003


I while away the late hour.

When Xander gets Spike home, there's that whole suspicious-cat vibe going on. Spike picking his way around Xander's house, expression wary, ears pricked, eyes busy, all the while sniffing things out Xander's not sure he wants sniffed out. Dustiness of his house. Total absence of lover spoor. Xander's had several lovers--boyfriends? whatevers--since coming out of the closet, but he's been in a dry stretch for a while. He's got an expensive house. Beachfront property, with his own renovations, totally unlike the house of his parents or any of his relatives, who are never invited to stay. He has lots of excuses, always ready.

It's not a tidy house except right after his weekly housecleaning service comes in. He likes to give them something to do, and he's a guy, after all. He tracks in sand from the beach on his wet feet--from beach to deck, from deck to tiles, the ceramic tiles of his kitchen. Up the beach, up the zig-zagging, boarded steps, through the tall dune grasses and sagebrush and verbena, and all sorts of other things Willow knows the names of and sometimes comes to pick, across his weathered deck, through the sliding door. It's messy mother nature and it seems right to let the outside drift in. It laps at his threshold, some of it getting inside, some of it staying out on the deck. Wood and seashells. Salty sneakers with knotted laces. A kayak paddle he found floating in the waves one morning, propped in the deck corner.

It's how they enter the house.

Spike inspects this without much apparent interest, gaze skating over the debris of the world and the accumulated junk of Xander's life. Stereo system, boat-sized leather couch, and all his other toys--the pinball machine, the pool table, and the work-out machine he bought off the TV one night, which looks like some kind of bizarre sexual fetish equipment, and kind of is.

Xander starts to remark about the house, "It's kind of..." And Spike is looking at him, waiting, and he just finishes, "...home." Not sure what he meant to say. Just fill-in-the-small-blank talk, for those empty moments while Spike prowls around and Xander wonders how dumb it was bringing him back here. Pretty stray cat in his living room, hands in his trouser pockets, and it's very unSpikelike of him to come to a halt and stand there like a motionless male model, bland, no snark. The duffel slung at his feet is ratty and the expensive clothes he brought are probably wrinkling at this very moment. Xander can't bring himself to care.

Xander: "You want a drink?"

Spike: "Nah." Then, changing his mind within seconds: "Yeah."

They're a pair of drinkers, no doubt about it, and it gives their hands something to do.

That's the first night, and the next day Xander goes to work early and leaves his house to the vampire. To *his* vampire. His pet vampire? His whatever. Later, he'll call Willow and let her know they were back, mission successful.

When he gets home, Spike is on the couch watching TV as promised, as predicted, but he's not sprawled out like Xander would expect. He's got one arm up along the couch back and his legs are spread a bit--he's a guy, he takes up space--but he's also got both feet on the floor and an intent frown, eyes fixed absently on whatever show he's watching, and he looks somehow like a guest. Beer in one hand, propped on his thigh. The black trousers again. The white shirt.

Their eyes meet above the TV and Xander is tired and weather was hot and he was outside on the site all day, so he's got a salty, sweaty, sun-heated human thing going on that vamps seem to die out of, and he just wants a shower and a beer, and a blow-job, Jesus, he really badly wants a blow-job, and Spike seems to read his mind, because when Xander goes to the kitchen, he gets up and wanders in after him, empty beer bottle discarded somewhere, says--when Xander turns from the fridge with his own beer--"Guess I'd better start earnin' my keep then," and folds to his knees, cocks his head, looks up at Xander in a way that is hard to describe. Sort of calm and studious and challenging and sultry and ambiguous and many other adjectives, all captured in the planes of his face, and Xander lets the bottle drop from his hand and roll, drop and roll, and he grabs Spike's head and pulls him close as Spike's hands rise to cup his ass, and he's so sexy and always so fucking ready to fuck--at least, Xander hopes this is proof and precedent--and he's mouthing Xander's cock through the material and he seems darkly radioactive, glowing with amusement and satisfaction and other things opaque to Xander's comprehension. Vampire on the kitchen floor.

He really does suck Xander off. It's kind of a surprise. Here's his--what? houseboy? rentboy? sex tool? whatever, actually doing the job he's paid for, and Xander should really hate himself and oh god, Willow's going to kill him when she finds out, but at least he can say he got Spike back here to Sunnydale. Mission accomplished.

He's a man. Blow-jobs top his list of fun. He rides into it harder than he should, completely selfish, too hard to be nice, but Spike doesn't seem to mind, just plays tricks on Xander with his amazing mouth, busy and serious and slutty-eyed, eyes half-shut, lowered, servile almost, though Xander finds it hard to think of Spike like that, except in a good, willing sort of way. The way of sex. Busy tongue, down there. Hollowed, flexing cheeks. The way his head moves under Xander's hands.

Xander comes harder than he's come in a while, even with New York fresh behind them. A plane ride, a night's sleep, a day's work and some distance--thinking about things, not thinking--have honed him to a horny, nasty edge, made him willing to take advantage of Spike's professional services. He is a grown up now, and rich, the kind of rich bastard who pays for this sort of thing.

It's not bad. Sleazy, but...not bad.

After that, they shower. More sex. And then the cessation of sex, running out of sex like running out of conversation, so that they have to turn to conversation instead. Except they don't seem to have any. That's worrisome to Xander, as they lie in his bed.

They have small talk and big talk but no in-between talk. But maybe that's the kind of thing you grow into, Xander thinks.

It's night, and later they sit at his dining room table and Xander eats, and they discuss practicalities, blood and cars and credit cards. It's kind of a turn on, and Spike seems half-smiling all the time, and very watchful, eyes pinned on Xander, tracking him, making him heat from the balls up.

After dinner, after some TV, Spike strolls to Xander's room and is there waiting for him in bed, everything stripped off, though they haven't talked about this, though Xander has given him the guest room and his own dresser. And for a moment, Xander can picture him there in the future, propped up against the headboard and pillows, reading a book in his intense way--everything he does performed at an extreme of boredom or intensity--and like everything else about this day, it's strange and disturbing and sort of comforting.