Take Care: Get Out
By: Highlander II
Rating: R (leaning toward NC-17 for imagery); language, homoerotic sexual situations
Summary: Fic-let written as follow-up to a 'Secret Santa' gift for robintcj at the BtVS_Santa LJ. It follows canon through the end of season 5, keeps with canon, but with a little twist. This piece takes place just after the events of "Hell's Bells" and continues from events in "Done".
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Joss Whedon and are property of Kuzui/Kuzui Entertainment, Mutant Enemy Productions, WB, UPN, FOX etc. etc.
Feedback: Highlander II
"Xander, you ever gonna tell me what's going on with you?" Buffy asked as she peered around an overgrown bush.
"Huh? No. Nothing going on." He readied the stake he had been given, set to make an attempt to back-up the slayer if needed. "Why?"
She held up a hand that meant to stay still and stay quiet. He gripped the stake tighter and a flash of memory whipped across his brain. The stake fell to the ground and he froze. A moment later he felt his body shake and heard a sound directed toward his head. He blinked and shook his head. "Sorry. I'm okay," he stammered.
"That's why," Buffy said.
"Why I asked what's up. You've been acting weird a lot lately." She looked concerned, genuinely concerned that something was wrong.
He offered her a smile. "I'm okay. Just a little bit of 'leaving your fiancée at the altar' blues."
"Yeah. You take care of whatever you were stalking?"
She nodded. "Vampire. Dusted. All gone." She smacked her hands together like she was brushing off dust.
He smiled. "Oh, good. What's for dinner?" he asked and retrieved the fallen stake as they began to walk.
Walk... home... go. He had to force himself to walk past the cemetery and go straight to his apartment. Dinner at Buffy's had been good and he had only had to field a handful of questions from the gang. They were easy enough to answer with something related to Anya and the wedding-that-wasn't, even though the real answers had to do with Spike.
He wanted to talk to him... have sex with him. Feel him touching his body with lips and hands and tongue and... But then that one night would zip through his mind again and all the bright would turn to dark. He did damn near anything to avoid the vampire, but Buffy's patrols had required random meetings. Spike seemed to pretend nothing had happened - like he had when they were still acknowledging each other's presence - throwing barbs and insults. Only now they sort of hurt. Before they were just Spike, now they almost seemed vicious. Or maybe that was just him. He had hoped that 'back to normal' would have been comforting, but he found himself missing the conversations, the stories, the sex.
The building rose up in front of him as he turned the last corner. He said a passing 'hello' to the front desk receptionist, then got onto the elevator. He pulled his keys from his pocket as he stepped from the car. When he raised his head he stopped dead in his tracks. The leather coat, the black boots, the platinum hair - all were unmistakably Spike; all were leaning against the wall just outside his apartment. He took a deep breath and walked to the apartment door.
"Leave me alone, Spike," he snarled.
The vampire raised his head and plucked the unlit cigarette from his mouth. "Plan to. Just dropping off some of your stuff." Spike held up a plastic Wal-Mart bag holding several recognizable items.
Xander nodded once. "Uh. Thanks." He took the bag and slid the key into the lock. "Something else?" he asked, his words clipped.
"No." The vampire turned and stalked down the hall.
Xander growled as he unlocked and opened the door, then slammed it shut and gave it a swift kick. Dammit! He threw the bag to the floor and sank down on his haunches, his head in his hands as the keys clattered to the floor. How do I get myself into shit like this? With a grunt, he got to his feet and made his way to the refrigerator. "No beer. Just great." He pushed the refrigerator door shut. "Maybe I should have let Spike come over here. There'd be beer."
As he drew a glass of water from the tap, he took another deep breath. He drank down the water and drew another glass that he sipped on his way to the bedroom. The warmth of his cozy, if empty, bed was beckoning, drawing him in. He put the glass on the bedside table and toed off his shoes.
"My turn," Spike drawled, reclining lazily in the ugly armchair.
Xander blinked rapidly. "Your turn?" He tried to say more, his mouth even kept moving, but there was no sound.
"That's right. My turn." The vampire motioned toward the fly of his jeans. Subtle, but direct - not as odd as it sounds. He knew Spike meant for him to open his pants, but beyond that, he was a little lost.
"Um, I'm confused."
Spike quirked an eyebrow and sighed. "What have I spent the last three weeks doing? See, the way this works is, I do something, you reciprocate. So, I've done. Reciprocate."
Oh. Uh. Um. Kissing was one thing, touching was another, but... I can do this. I can do this. He knelt on the floor, between Spike's feet, his hands on Spike's knees. He slid his hands up the strong thighs to the fly of Spike's jeans. "I'm going to need a road map here. Driving directions."
The vampire nodded. "First things first, mate." Spike shifted his hips - that subtlety thing again.
He kneaded the muscles of the vampire's legs for several minutes, just listening to the sounds from Spike's throat, feeling the twitches and tremors in his legs and hips. He felt the blue eyes on him before he looked up to meet them. "What?"
"You don't have to do anything you don't want to, Harris."
Xander thought about that for a moment. Spike was saying he could get up, right now, and go away, without having to do anything. Not do this. But he wanted to do this. He had since last week when Spike insisted they both be naked for the afternoon. The vampire's body was magnificent. He had spent time just touching it and looking at it. Examining every pale inch - or was it centimeter because Spike was British? Either way, he had taken it all in, from head, to shoulders, to chest, to sculpted abs, to hipbones, to where he gazed for much longer than he would ever admit to anyone. He had taken a glance down the toned legs, noting several scars along the way, to the slender feet, but his eyes had roved back to the juncture of the vampire's thighs. Spike had known he was staring and had just stood there, stark naked, unabashed, in the middle of the crypt floor as though he was a work of art on display in a museum.
He shook his head. "No, I'm okay." His hands followed the contours of Spike's legs to the waistband of the faded black jeans. The fly opened easily and he slid a hand into the garment, rubbing and feeling before drawing out Spike's penis. He gently stroked and lightly squeezed and heard a muffled moan from the vampire's chest. Xander looked up and waited, then gave a soft cough. "Um, Spike...."
"Uh huh?" the vampire panted, his eyes half-closed.
"Road map," Xander prompted.
"Take a left at Albuquerque."
What the fuck? Xander frowned. "Uh, yeah. So, guess I'll be going." He loosened his grip and made to stand.
A long-fingered hand snatched his wrist, held him in place. "Hold it." Spike was surprisingly lucid for someone so relaxed in the moment. His eyes were still half-closed and he had not moved except to grab Xander's wrist. "Teasing. Lean down, open your mouth. Use your tongue. Teeth are okay too. Be inventive. I'll let you know if it hurts too much."
Xander relaxed onto the floor and freed his arm from Spike's grasp. With a deep breath, he leaned forward and exhaled air, slowly, over the head of Spike's penis. He felt the vampire shudder beneath his hands and smiled. Reaching with his tongue, he licked, then swirled around the tip, tasting, testing his own limits. He closed his eyes and took another deep breath. The musk of the vampire filled his nostrils as he opened his mouth and took in more of Spike's length, holding it in his mouth, between his lips, just exploring, mapping the lines and contours with his tongue.
Slowly, he opened his eyes to get a glimpse of the vampire's face - eyes closed, lips parted in a silent moan of pleasure. He really wanted further verbal instructions, but the fact that he had not had his head ripped off, led him to believe he was doing fine. And, oddly, I'm enjoying this. And, apparently, so is Spike. I've never had another man's dick in my mouth and I'm not sure why I do now, except that I'm so horny and this is actually kinda hot.
"Harris? What are you doing, you nit?" the British brogue floated down to his ears. Unable to respond, he just blinked. "Not that I mind the sucking, but I might prune," Spike commented with a quirk of the corner of his mouth.
More blinking. The butterflies in his stomach were Flamenco dancing in double time. He felt a sweat break out over his face and down his body. He started to pull away, but a gentle hand cupped his cheek, a thumb stroked his cheekbone. Looking up again, he received a reassuring gaze from the vampire.
"Keep going, mate. You're doing fine."
Xander pulled back, letting Spike's penis drop from his mouth and endured the scowl. "Um, can..."
"You wanna stop?"
He shook his head. "No, but I'm getting a cramp in my neck."
Spike quirked his eyebrows. "Not a problem, mate." The vampire slid off the chair and stretched out, casually, on the floor, exposed, hard.
Xander licked his lips and leaned over the slender hips to begin again.
Xander turned the bottle of shampoo over in his hand, pondering. Anya used to use this brand. He put it back on the shelf and chose something less fruity and more manly. He tossed it into his cart and rolled to the next aisle.
"Hey, Xander!" a chirpy voice greeted him.
"Hey, Will," he returned and pushed his cart toward her. "Vitamin shopping?" He pointed to the bottle in her hand.
She smiled at him. "Sort of. Little research project for class. How are you? You were really quiet at dinner the other night."
"I'm okay. Just got kinda spooked when I was on patrol with Buffy. But, I'm good now." He put on his most sincere 'I'm fine' face.
"You sure?" Willow asked, voice full of concern.
He nodded. "Yeah. Thanks."
"Spike asked about you." She twitched her mouth. "Okay, not so much 'about' as 'Where's the Scooby-nit? Haven't had my fill of barbs and insults.' Was more asking than... not."
Xander gulped, swallowed hard. Spike had asked about him? Yeah, he had done it in the typical 'I don't want anyone to know I really care' Spike kind of way, but he had asked. Shit. I don't care. "Yeah? Great. Anything else?"
She shook her head. "Just...."
"I will. I am. Really." He did not want her to say it - take care of yourself - Spike had told him that. He did not want his best friend saying it too. He glanced at his watch. "Damn. I have a meeting with the crew in an hour. Look, I gotta go. I'm fine, Will. Thanks."
She smiled at him and turned to go. He sighed and leaned his head against the cart's handle. This sucks and it's getting worse.
"Oh, Xander," the red-head called to him one last time. He raised his head and caught her peeking around the edge of the aisle at him. "Swing by tonight or something."
"I'll try." He gave her a wave and went about the rest of his shopping.
"You know, I shouldn't be seen in public with you unless one of us is at weapon-point?"
The vampire smirked and kept walking. He followed, not entirely sure of the purpose of this trip, but Spike was paying, so he was not arguing. He did not want to know where the bleached pain-in-the-ass had gotten any amount of cash, however.
"Spike, where are we going?" he asked, taking a couple extra strides to catch up.
"Surprise," the vampire responded and made a right turn.
That sounds ominous. He kept stride and looked around for signs of Scoobies or other acquaintances. He stopped, refusing to move another inch, outside the store Spike had entered. "You have got to be kidding me."
Spike frowned. "Are you always this big a sissy?"
Xander nodded. "No party stores. Can't take the chance I'll run into a clown."
Spike blinked. "You have clown fear?"
"Right then. Wait here. I'll be back." And the vampire disappeared into the store.
Excuse me? Spike being nice? Carrying concern for my fears and not exploiting them? Shit. That just means he'll come out of the store dressed like a clown just to hear me scream like a girl. Yeah, the exploitation comes later. I should go. Xander sighed and leaned against a wall support outside the store. Spike was gone for a long time. He rolled his eyes and pushed away from the wall. I'm out of here in five... four... three.... Oh my God, what the hell is that? Xander took several steps away from the bouquet of balloons floating around the vampire's head.
"Are you insane?"
"Yes, Spike, that explains everything. Including why you brought me along on this shopping trip."
Spike frowned. "I didn't bring you to help with the balloons. Have something planned for you, but I forgot Nibblet's birthday, so, gotta do something."
"Dawn's birthday was two months ago."
"Yeah. I'm really behind on my greeting cards. Harris, you nit, I know that. But I still forgot. Plus, she's right there." The vampire tried to point, but with his hands full of balloons, it looked more like an exaggerated twitch.
"Hey guys! Planning a trip via balloon?" Dawn asked.
"Nope." Spike shoved the bouquet at the girl. "They're for you."
She blinked, confused. "Okay. Why?"
"Because he's a big dork and forgot your birthday two months ago," Xander explained. He caught the smirky-scowl on Spike's face, but chose to ignore it. "So, Dawn-meister, what's going on?"
"Shopping!" she beamed.
She smirked at him, full-out, almost better than Spike - he was getting it from all angles today. "Please, I can take care of myself."
"And Buffy's back at Victoria's Secret, picking out rufflies," Spike stated, his head tilted to one side, a sly grin on his face.
Dawn blushed and almost lost her grip on the balloons. "Uh, yeah. So, why are you two here? Aside from buying me really late birthday presents?"
Shit. How do we get out of this? If I start talking, I'll become stammer-man, which never goes well.
"Dare," Spike jumped in. Not saving the day, dumbass. Is that the best you got?
"Out on a dare. One of Harris' co-worker mates bet him to hit the mall and come back with a specific item."
He said all that without a stutter? Damn.
My turn "Can't say. That's part of the dare. I can only tell one person, then I have to drag him or her along with me."
Dawn looked very skeptical and asked with a sneer, "And you happened to choose Spike?"
"No. Bastard tricked me into spilling. Now I'm stuck with him for the day."
The younger Summers giggled. She bought it. "Well, suppose I should let you get back to your dare." She gave him a hug, Spike a slap on the shoulder and a quick peck on the cheek with a 'thanks,' then disappeared with her balloons into the Starbucks.
Spike glared at him as they headed off in the opposite direction. "How did you come up with that?"
"Actually, the appropriate questions is, how did we get her to buy it?"
"Yeah." The vampire slid his hands into the pockets of his duster.
They walked past Radio Shack, Bloomingdale's, several trendy clothing stores, a candle shop and one of the four music retailers. "Spike, where the hell are we going? The only store we haven't passed that might be remotely interesting is Victoria's Secret."
Spike gave him a confused look and shrugged. "Got something to show you." Spike grabbed his sleeve and pulled him into an employee access hallway.
"Uh, Spike..." Xander said, apprehensive, but following. He was told to be quiet and, pulled around a corner, then pushed into a niche beside a water fountain and kissed and groped by the bleached vampire. "Spike," he mumbled around one of the kisses.
"Shut up," the vampire snarled back and kissed him again.
Spike became very interested in his neck, which afforded him the opportunity to ask, "Is this what you wanted to show me?" Which was capped with a moan as talented hands touched him in the right places.
"No. Just wanted to have a little fun," the vampire mumbled into his neck.
"Yeah. A little fun that'll get us banned from the mall," he said with a sigh.
Spike stood back and snarled a little. "Kissing will not get us banned from the mall."
Oh. Oops. Thought we were going somewhere else with that. He blushed a little at the thoughts roaming through his brain.
The vampire's lips quirked up in a wicked smile. "I know what you were thinking, but not in the mall. Maybe Wal-Mart. But not here. Nice though. Least now I know what to try."
He watched the leather-clad vampire sway down the hall, back to the mall-proper. He took a moment to readjust his brain, and his pants, then followed, still with no idea of where they were going.
The last few months had been anything but normal. The gang was focusing on trying to get back to research and demon fighting - that whole 'getting on with real life' stuff they all tried to do, Hellmouth or no. He had been spending one night a week with Spike - that was as much planning as ever went into his visits - but had started trying to find ways to swing by during the day without letting anyone find out about it. He had been doing well too - except that one time... Best not think on that now.
"Harris, you with me?" he heard the familiar British snarl.
"Yeah. We there yet?"
"No. Come on." Spike led him through a maze of shoppers to a corner of the mall he did not remember ever visiting. Not even with Anya.
"I promise, no clowns. But plenty of fun." Spike started for the store - the dark store with no display windows.
He stood still. Nervous. Apprehensive. Scared even. The place did not look inviting.
The vampire turned on his heel and blinked at him. "Do I have to carry you in there?"
He shook his head and started forward, more afraid people were gawking at him, than that Spike would follow through on his threat. The shop was not nearly as bad as he had expected, and he began to understand why there were no display windows. He turned around and jumped - having found himself face-to-face with a mannequin decked out in leather lingerie.
"Spike..." he reached out a hand to grab hold of the vampire's duster. "Where are we?"
"Fun little place at the back of the mall. No one much comes here. 'Fraid of what they'll find, I guess."
"Are we planning to buy something?" he asked nervously.
Spike shrugged. "Don't have to. Can just look if you want."
Xander shook his head and focused his eyes on the road. That had been the first and only time he had agreed to take Spike to the mall. That store had wigged him a bit, but after a seemingly innocent trip to the grocery store turned into 'let's see how many ways I can make Xander blush,' he had decided shopping with Spike would need a carefully thought-out plan. Of course, shopping with Spike now was completely out of the question. He did not want to shop with Spike or talk to Spike or anything else that would involve the vampire being closer than a mile away.
The meeting with the crew that morning had gone well and everyone was ready to start on the next phase of the job. He had even made it through most of the day without thinking of Spike, except that bit about the shopping trip.
No. Anyway, today was more about Anya. And why is she talking to Buffy? She trying to steal all my friends? He approached the porch, talked to Buffy, tried to follow Anya.... "Buffy..."
She told him to calm down, not run after Anya. He did not even realize he had smashed the ugly garden troll until Buffy pointed and said, "Did Willow put that there when I was dead...?"
"Buffy." He knelt by the broken yard ornament, lifted a plastic and metal box with a wire on one end. A camera.
"Who's in love with you and not getting any?" he asked. He did not want to believe Spike had planted the camera, but he could think of no one else who might have had an interest in watching Buffy's every move. "Wha... wait. Where are you going?" He caught her arm as she started across the yard.
She huffed and sighed. "I have to talk to him."
"And how is that a better idea than not talking to him?"
"He won't hurt me." A set of blinks, a reassuring hand on his arm. "Promise me you'll go home and not try to talk to Anya? Not yet."
He nodded and let her go. Spike can't be doing this... Oh, who am I kidding. He got back into his car and drove and drove and drove.
Buffy's house was quiet. Dawn was at a friend's house; Willow, at the laptop tapping into the camera network; and Buffy, waiting. Him? He was trying not to think about his conversation with Spike...
"Now it's your turn, eh mate?" the vampire snapped and slapped one of the support pillars. "Already had Slayer 'round yappin' at me. What's your problem?"
He swallowed hard. "Well, um..."
"You thought I put that camera in the yard."
"Well, I mean... you like her; claim to love her. What was I supposed to think?"
Spike waved a hand. "Get out!"
He nodded once and left. The conversation having not gone as he had expected. What he had actually expected, he was not sure, but he had been grateful for the excuse to, at least, talk to Spike. See those deep blue eyes again. Hear that strong, rich, commanding voice. Just a glimpse of bare chest beneath the partially unbuttoned shirt that gaped a bit when the irritated vampire marched around the crypt.
"Oh, what's this?" Willow gasped, drawing him out of his reflection.
He and Buffy were up and by the witch's side and gazing at... "Oh God." Then his brain shut-down. He began to function on auto-pilot, grabbed a weapon and stalked all the way to the Magic Box, his internal monologue firing off statements and questions with every step:
Why is he doing this?
What was he thinking?
What was I thinking?
I'm going to kill him!
Because he slept with Anya?
Or because he let me in?
I didn't do anything. This is all him.
He slept with Anya. Right there. For all to see.
Swing. Smack! The axe lodged in the thick doorframe of the Magic Box and not Spike's head, where he had been aiming.
The axe was stuck, so he pummeled the vampire with his bare hands. Pushing, shoving, yelling at the bleached son-of-a-bitch to fight back, ignoring the 'chip' argument. More hitting. More shoving. Until Anya screeched at him to stop and pulled him off the undead guy.
He heard words coming out of his own mouth, arguments, reasons why what Anya did was wrong, only half-believing and half-hearing anything. Then Spike said, "It was good enough for Buffy." That caught him and he snapped something about leaving her out of this, then the statement clobbered him. Holy shit! Buffy had been sleeping with Spike? No. No. No way! She would never....
The horrified look on her face told him otherwise. Shocked into silence and stillness, he barely felt his fingers release the stake in his hand or heard it hit the sidewalk. He blinked and turned and walked away, then heard another set of feet hit the pavement at a run - Buffy - leaving Anya and Spike alone on the corner.
"What the hell just happened back there?" he asked aloud, wandering the Sunnydale streets, unconcerned for his own welfare. "What has been going on with my friends that they can't talk to me anymore? Or me to them? Have we all fallen that far apart? That we have to, instead, resort to dark magic and vampire sex to fix our problems? Or ignore them? My life is so fucked up." He stuffed his hands in his pockets, kept his head down and walked.
Thinking and walking, he found himself at Spike's crypt. He frowned at the door, not wanting to be there, not wanting to be anywhere else. There had to have been a reason to come here. Why he had made a sub-conscious decision to walk around town long enough for Spike to, maybe, get back to his crypt, then walk here himself. He sighed and knocked on the door.
The door opened and there he was, the tall, lean, bleached vampire in black jeans, black boots and black T-shirt, cigarette dangling from his lips. "What the fuck do you want? Here to try hackin' off m'head again?" Spike asked around the cigarette, a heavy snarl in his tone.
Xander shook his head. "No. I wanted to talk to you."
"Yeah? Too bad. Sod off." The vampire made to slam the door, but stopped when Xander reached a hand out to it. "Look, mate, I'm not in the mood for company, so go hang out with your girlie mates.""You stupid son-of-a-bitch! I've had about enough of your shit for one lifetime. You lying asshole! You told me you weren't sleeping with Buffy, but you were. And now you make it with my ex- on a table?"
Spike frowned deep. "Since when is it any of your business who I'm doing and why? Thought you couldn't do this anymore."
"You and I... and all year... but you told me there was nothing... and now with Anya...."
"Go home, Harris. I don't need the lot of you."
Xander took a deep breath. "Look, I have some things I need to say to you and I'm not leaving until I've said them."
The vampire quirked an eyebrow and stepped backwards down the stairs, inviting him inside with a slight wave of a hand. Xander entered and waited at the base of the steps. Spike leaned against a support column, smoking his cigarette.
Another deep breath and he was as ready as he was going to be. "Spike, I don't hate you, but after what just happened, there is no way we can go back to what we had. Whatever you feel for Buffy, you can't get past enough to be with me. I don't love you, I'm not in love with you, but the way we were doing this thing was wrong." He stopped to breathe and let Spike speak if he wanted.
He apparently wanted: "Thought we were having fun?"
"Yeah, but at the expense of betraying and losing my friends? No. I don't want that."
The vampire's face remained stoic. "You." Spike removed the cigarette from his lips. "You could have told your friends at any time, Harris."
"And you could have told me you were sleeping with Buffy," he snapped.
"Would it have bothered you?"
"Probably. But we could have talked about it!" He was yelling; he was angry.
"Like we are now? Like, obviously, you and Buffy did prior to tonight?" the vampire snarked.
"That's not the point! I can't make Buffy talk to me if she doesn't want to."
"No, but why didn't she want to talk to you?"
His mouth dropped open, then snapped shut again.
Spike smirked. "That's what I thought." The vampire shook his head. "Get out."
He blinked, turned and left the crypt. That went well. He made his way home, alone, in the dark, same as usual. This time, however, he had the 'I'm a bad friend' vibe hanging over his head. Buffy had not wanted to talk to him, or Willow, even, about sleeping with Spike because she knew the reaction she would have gotten. One very similar to his from tonight - shock and disappointment. Shit.
His bed was cold and empty; the apartment dark and silent. He tugged the covers over his head and tried to sleep. Tried. Hard. Eyes wide open, he folded the covers down and stared at the ceiling.
His stupid subconscious started beating him up again:
What's really got you pissed? That Spike slept with Anya or that he had been sleeping with Buffy and right about your reaction to it?
Or is it something else? Something to do with him?
You want him and can't have him or is it that you want him and don't want to?
"Fuck it," he snarled and rolled out of bed, padded to the window and peeked through the curtains. A lone figure wearing a black duster. "Shit. What's he doing here?" The shock of white-blond hair confirmed it, if the duster had not been enough. Xander stood back from the window, mostly hidden by the mostly drawn curtains, but able to see the figure on the lawn.
The figure who still made his body tingle at the thought of those strong hands touching him. Still set the butterflies to dancing in his stomach at the memory of each time they share quiet - and not-so-quiet - intimate moments together. He did not wish the bleached ass any ill will, he just could not justify being with him only for sex.
Maybe if they were friends. But he could not even find a basis for that. I don't hate you, Spike, but it was a bad idea.
"Take care of yourself, Spike," he said to the window, toward the man by the tree and he thought he saw the blond vampire nod before he turned and walked away.
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