Author: Kate of Kintail
Set: At the end of 'Pangs'
Disclaimer: Joss, ME, etc. Not my boys (sadly), just a fanfic.
Summary: Mental lists, mutual lusting, considerable denial, and turkey.
Notes: Written for spander132 (Challenge of writing Spander fics for each of the 132 LJ moods)
At the moment, food had to be right there on the top of the list of things Xander was thankful for. The great feast before him that Buffy had prepared left little to be desired. There were mouthwatering yams, mushy peas, sweet and tart cranberries ,fruit salad with little mini-marshmallows, mashed potatoes with just the right amount of fluff, hot rolls with pads of melty butter, and, of course, a perfectly cooked turkey with juicy dark meat and tender white.
White. White like… Xander repeated thoughtfully, his eyes moving like a magnet across the table to the dinner guest tied up in a chair. Before he knew it, he was starting another list. Bright red shirt, pale complexion, ropes tied super-tight around his middle and his ankles, tight black jeans, strong cheekbones, platinum blond hair that was nearly white in a mesmerizing sort of way.
Think about something else now, Xander instructed, looking back down at his food. There were plenty of things to be thankful for. The meal was perfect. They were safe and all together on Thanksgiving. All of them. And Spike, too. Not that he was thankful Spike was there. Of course he wasn't thankful for that.
"Not fair. You all eating in front of me while I sit here starving," grumbled Spike. "What's a guy got to do to get a little blood 'round here?"
"Stop complaining for one," Giles replied curtly, not looking in Spike's direction.
Xander caught himself before looking as well. Not thinking about him, Xander reminded himself. He returned to his mental list. He was thankful they'd survived another year in Sunnydale. Thankful they'd stopped the vengeful Indian spirit warrior guys. Extremely thankful for no longer having small pox and syphilis. He was even sort of thankful to have seen Angel today. It felt like old times again, without the jealousy and annoyance he usually felt when Angel was around. Maybe that was because this time he had someone as well.
As he reached in beneath the dishtowel-covered bowl to snag another roll, Spike came into his line of sight. The now supposedly harmless vampire was staring at the gravy boat longingly. Spike looked up at him, eyes wide in silent communication, trying to make Xander understand that he wanted a taste. Xander shivered slightly as he realized he understood. Anya. I understand Anya sometimes, too. I have Anya now. He forced himself to look over at her. Thinking about the way she had been so sweet and had taken good care of him, he smiled. She smiled back and continued eating. Anya. Not Spike. Though somehow Xander's eyes fell upon Spike again almost immediately.
Spike was staring unblinkingly at him now. Spike's head tilted ever so slightly and the look in his eyes was perfectly clear now: bloodlust. Not just 'I want to bite you and drink of you' but 'I want to have my way with you'.
Xander shifted in his chair. Thankful for his friends. Thankful for a steady job. Thankful for… for… Xander looked around. Not Spike. Not thankful for Spike. Thankful for… for sparkling apple cider. Apple cider was safe. Not like Spike.
Spike who was still staring at him. Xander felt compelled to stare back. The tip of Spike's tongue crept out and flicked over his lips. Spike cocked his head again at the expression on Xander's face. Xander quickly turned away and tried to look interested in his meal. Suddenly, however, he wasn't especially hungry for food any more.
"Okay," Spike said finally. "If I sit here like a good little boy, how long until I get what I need?"
Xander knew Spike hadn't really meant food, but stayed silent, letting Buffy give a good standard answer about how Spike had begged to be there in the first place and how he had to give up information before they'd even think about a proper feeding. Xander smiled to hear this, his old feelings rushing back. Spike was evil. Spike was here for a reason. Spike's presence was only temporary.
Xander watched as Spike strained against his bonds just enough to move an arm, a hand. He fiddled with his belt buckle as he stared at Xander, sending unmistakable signals that went unnoticed by the rest of the diners. Just as they were failing to notice his reactions to Spike. The clink of the metal buckle as it teasingly slid open and then buckled again drowned out the speech, and Xander fought to pay attention to it Buffy's words.
"So chances are, you'll be here for a long time," finished Buffy. Then she reached over to apply a dollop of cool whip to a piece of pie before she handed it past Spike to Willow.
Xander's stomach did a strange flip. Spike was going to be around longer. Xander stopped himself from admitting he was thankful for that as well. He wasn't supposed to be thankful for that. For Spike. He was with Anya now.
Anya. He was thankful for Anya. Xander knew he'd already added her to the list but it didn't hurt to add her again. He glanced around the table, thankful for Anya and Willow and Buffy and Giles and Spike. Xander winced and closed his eyes, shaking his head. No, not Spike! Quick, something else!
"Xander?" He looked up at Buffy. Thankful for cool whip on pumpkin pie. Xander reached forward and accepted his piece from Buffy with a forced smile. He picked up the perfect little pie fork and slid it through the soft pie filling to take a bite. It was a stretch but, sure, he was thankful for pie forks, too. And thankful for being able to avoid day-after-Thanksgiving Christmas shopping… and for Charlie Brown specials…