Author: Bear (aka mirasol)
Disclaimer: Not mine - Still not making any money from this.
Notes: Set post-N.F.A.
Spike can almost hear the ticking of the Xander-bomb next to him, and he’s ready for the explosion, sure in the knowledge that he’s going to get the worst of it. Xander’s face is as sour as if he’s chewing a lemon, but he still manages to look straight at Spike.
“You don’t want to know, believe me. And leave my ass out of this; I can look after it myself pretty damn fine, okay?” He rolls his eyes as he turns his head away, his voice dropping to a mumble. “Not that you’d care about my ass anyway”
Xander pushes himself out of the chair and he’s halfway across the room before there’s an immovable vampire in his way. He tries to sidestep, but Spike counters his dodges too quickly and puts an arm out to stop Xander running out on him. There’s fire and fury in the look thrown at Spike that is quickly followed by a closed-fisted punch to the gut.
Spike doesn’t even realize what he’s done until the red mist clears from his eyes and he’s looking at a face turning purple above the stranglehold round Xander’s throat. They’re on the floor with Xander desperately trying to buck Spike off, his fingers scratching and scrabbling at the iron grip that’s cutting off his air supply.
Spike relaxes his hold and Xander gasps like a landed fish, drawing in short faltering breaths. His voice cracks, and whether it’s with anger or pain Spike can’t tell.
Though he can easily tell that Xander is understandably pissed at the reappearance of psycho-vamp. “You’re insane!”
“Me? Doolally? Yeah, might have a rip in me marbles bag…” Spike shrugs and captures Xander’s flailing wrists, pressing them tight against the floor and bends down until his face is hovering just above Xander’s. “But you made two mistakes – you shouldn’t have hit me, friend…”
Xander snorts at that word, and Spike can't avoid smelling the alcohol as Xander spits back his reply. “Only ever made one mistake, and that was letting you in here. You can consider yourself uninvited, effective immediately. Don’t know why I even bothered – can’t ever trust a vamp.”
Spike growls, and feels his control slipping away from him. He might have lost the plot over the guy wriggling away beneath him, but he’s no girl to sit and take it quietly. “Why not? I’m just the same as you, shiny soul complete with the trimmings, not quite gratis. Yeah, I actually fought for my soul – you just got yours all wet arse and no fish.”
“I don’t have a clue what you just said, and what do souls matter? You got no heart, nothing to pump that stolen blood around, nothing to make you feel. Like humans do.”
The face just below Spike is impassive, as granite-featured as Angel with a Royal Flush, and the one eye is as hard and dark as jet. Spike lowers his head until their noses are practically brushing up against each other, figuring that as he’s in for the rope anyhow, he’s got to go for it.
His lips are clenched tight, and he can hear the anger hissing through his teeth. “Sodding hypocrite – tar all demons with that brush, do you? That why you dumped her at the altar. Yeah, sure I’m lacking in the cardiac department, and that means I don’t have any emotions, don’t it. Just a walking, talking corpse. Oughta be in the ground for all the good I do, right?
“And that’s your second mistake, sweetheart. You thinking that I don’t – that I can’t - care. Coz I do care. More than you’d ever know.”
Spike’s senses are full of Xander, and he hasn’t been this close to him in… well, ever. He can feel warm, damp puffs of air steadily blowing against his mouth, and it’s almost beyond him not to give in and show Xander how wrong he’s been, how much Spike does care about him.
But Spike knows that he cares too much to let his face move slightly, to let his lips try to take away the hurt and the anger. He’s done too much, and yet not hardly enough, to think that Xander could welcome that.
So he reaches up and plants his lips softly on Xander’s forehead, just like a blessing, almost as if he’s asking for forgiveness. And as he rolls off, Spike hopes that Xander didn’t notice the half-second when his nose was buried in Xander’s hair, drinking in the male smell of him.
Xander sits up and arches his back, stretching his arms high above his head, shaking his wrists and rubbing them as he brings his arms back down. He sighs and shakes his head. “You’re not gonna drop this, are you? You really want to know what’s eating me? It’s an old, old story.”
“Them’s the ones I like the best. Especially if they’ve got bloody entrails and decapitations in them. And gratuitous amounts of sex. Ever heard the original version of Snow White? Right little goer she was.”
And just like that, the tension between them dissipates as Xander manages a weak grin.
“Old story, brand new problem. And I suppose you’re gonna find out soon enough, anyway.” Xander buries his head in his hands for a while, then draws his knees up right under his chin and wraps his arms around his legs as he begins to hum.
“What’s with the musical accompaniment? Been flirting with prancy-toed poofy demons again? I tell you straight, we start singing happy clappys I’m outta here and keeping on going, sun or no sun.”
Xander glances quickly at Spike, then away again. He licks his lips, draws a breath sharply in and begins to sing, head now looking at nothing at all on the ceiling. “He's been gone such a long long time, hey-la, hey-la,…”
Spike’s throat is suddenly as dry as a desert and the words almost fail him as he takes up when Xander falls silent. “Your boyfriend's back?”