Rating: NC-17 for brief violence and sexual content
Pairing: BtVS Spike/Xander
Author’s Note: Yes, I am aware that the timeline is a little screwed up and that Giles didn’t own the Magic Box until after Adam and after Dawn arrived. But in my reality, who’s Dawn? Adam what? Also, a huge spanking thanks to kitty_poker1 for being my official L2BL beta.
Disclaimer: These character’s aren’t mine, never were; I don’t get any profit for this hobby, so don’t sue – Thanks.
Warning: Brief violence, nudity, and hetero and homo sexual content and situations. And some h0t man-luvin.
This can also be found in my LJ Memories, as well as on my website.
Okay, boys and girls. Sorry for such a long wait for this one, but anyone that doesn’t know me – RL kinda exploded a month ago, and I’ve been trying to pick up the pieces (ugh I hate that cliché). Anyway, here it is, the next installment of Learn to be Lonely, in which the boys finally get to play Pop Goes The Lolly.
Sometime after lunch, Xander had dozed off. He remembered lying on the couch, his head in Spike’s lap with Spike’s fingers tenderly raking through his too-long hair. Spike was watching a soccer - football - match on the television. The drapes were shut tight against the afternoon sun, and the tree reminded him of the strip in Vegas. He’d felt warm, safe; happy. And then he’d fallen asleep…
…They were walking down a cobblestone road with sand filling the cracks between the grey bricks. Dust hung in the air like great clouds, and it was sometimes hard to see where they were walking. Spike’s hand held his firmly, but even with that reinforcement, Xander felt the underlying pangs of fear. They were alone on this narrow street, with ancient buildings soaring on either side of them. Dark alleys branched away from this “main” road into nothingness, and he had the feeling that if they stepped into those shadows, they’d never find their way back.
“Where are we?” he asked, glancing awkwardly at Spike, who was wearing his game face. “What is this place?”
“Oh, Xander.” Spike’s laugh unsettled him. “You know where we are. We’ve been here a thousand times.”
They continued along the broken stone pathway, under arches and across bridges over dry riverbeds. Everywhere was the underlying smell of mildew and rot, though no water could be seen. The sky above them was a crystalline violet with tiny shimmering gems and no moon. The windows in all of the buildings they passed were as dark as the forbidding alleys.
When finally Xander could feel blisters forming on his tired feet, they came to a clearing in the deserted, empty city; a circle of nothing in this city of nothingness. Yet, before his very eyes, a great circular platform raised from the ground in the center of the clearing. It stood out against the building surrounding them because it was decorated with many jewels and gems that glistened in light which seemed to come from no specific source. Spike let go of his hand, and Xander made his way to the platform.
When he got closer, he could see that, no, this wasn’t just some supernatural soap-box. It was actually a very large pool or, more accurately, a very full well, as it looked very deep, but was filled to the brim with clear, cool water. Xander suddenly realized how thirsty he was, and he plunged his hands into the cold water and brought handfuls to his lips to drink. It tasted sweet, pure. Looking past his rippling reflection and down into the dark depths of the well, he shuddered, for some reason afraid of finding out just how deep it was.
But then he felt strong hands on his hips, lifting him effortlessly off the ground and tossing him into the well. As he fell into the water, he turned to see Spike grinning around his fangs, his golden eyes glimmering like the jewels decorating the well. Before he could think to climb back out, the water started to recede, and he could feel himself being pulled down, down into the darkness. As he looked up, the opening to the well grew farther and farther away, appearing smaller as he fell faster into the earth, until finally it was not even the size of a pin above him. There was only darkness, and cold, and the overpowering stench of rot...
Xander choked awake, still swallowing invisible water from a non-existent well, gasping for air and flailing his arms. Spike was trying to pin his arms down, repeating his name again and again, and looking paler than usual. His eyes were big enough to make Xander think of those anime characters – Vampireball-z? That shocked him back to consciousness, and with a little giggle, he started gulping in big draughts of fresh air and let Spike hold his arms down, locking hands with him. When finally he could breathe without feeling tiny daggers in his throat and lungs, he realized Spike was asking him a question.
“What?” he asked hoarsely.
“I asked what the bleeding hell that was,” Spike said through clenched fangs, though his tone was anything but angry.
“I…I don’t know,” Xander gasped. “Another nightmare.”
“Pretty bad fucking nightmare, yeah?” Spike’s grip on his hands relaxed a little, and the vampire slumped onto his chest. “Jesus, Xan.”
“Hey, preaching to the choir, babe.”
“I thought they’d stopped?” Spike asked suspiciously.
“They did,” Xander insisted. “Or, well, I thought they did. The last one I had was the night that Willow…well, you know.”
“Hmm…” Spike thought it over. “Maybe it was just a coincidence.”
“Maybe,” though Xander doubted that.
“What was it about?” Spike asked.
“Eh, I don’t really remember,” he lied. “I just remember being really scared.”
Spike looked suspicious, but didn’t push it. “Well, it’s over and you’re here with me,” he leered with a grind of his hips against Xander’s.
“Mmm,” Xander grinned, “which is right where I should be.” He sighed contentedly, the nightmare slipping away from his memory as Spike lay his head on his chest, wrapping his arms around Xander’s neck. It wasn’t long before the vampire was snoring - hah! - softly against his neck, luring Xander back into sleep. As his eyes grew heavier, he finally noticed that the noise he was hearing in the background was the murmuring of an almost-muted TV. He caught a few words before he was finally pulled under, unaware and not conscious enough to understand the words, “…and the city is effectively shutting down. If you do not have to go out tonight, don’t, and if you do, please use extreme caution…”
“…an…Xander…” Xander blinked slowly, bobbing up from his dreamless sleep. “Wake up, Xan.” Spike was purring in his ear.
…find me here; speak to me. I want to feel you…I need to hear you…
“Mmm…” Xander purred back, stretching his body like a human accordion. “What time is it?” he asked, finally opening his eyes for good to find a completely dressed Spike kneeling on the floor next to the couch. “And why are you dressed?”
“It’s almost midnight, love. Almost Christmas Eve.” Spike grinned at him, pressed a cold kiss against his cheek and pulled him off the couch by the hand. “Come on, get dressed; we’re going out for a bit.”
…You are the light, that's leading me…to the place where I find peace again…
“Oh…kay.” Xander gave Spike his ‘vampire crack again, eh?’ look, but did as he was told. Once dressed, he made his way to the foyer and slipped into his new heavy wool pea coat and stepped into his new boots from some outrageously priced shoe store off Michigan Avenue. Raking his fingers through his hair and debating whether or not to get it cut, he turned to find Spike holding out a long, flat, white box with a silver ribbon tied around it.
“What are you doing?” Xander asked. “Christmas isn’t for, like, another twenty four hours.”
“I know,” Spike said sheepishly, looking down at his toes. “But I can’t wait, so here.”
“So it’s official, I am in love with a vampire who should be wearing a hug-me jacket. Good to know.” The look that Spike gave him then made him think that maybe he’d never see the outside of this hotel ever again, and the lust boiling under the slate blue eyes made him not want to.
“Open it,” Spike insisted.
Xander shrugged his shoulders and untied the bow, letting the ribbon drift to the floor. Inside, nestled between layers of silky white tissue paper, his fingers trailed along the softest – cashmere, Spike mumbled – most beautiful scarf he’d ever seen. Deep crimson, with golden stitching along the hem and fray, it seemed like a blood-stained snake glittering in the glow of the fireplace in the other room.
“God, Spike,” Xander finally found words with which to speak, “it’s so…beautiful.”
Xander’s gaze locked on Spike’s, unable to think or speak or move. That had been happening more and more lately, it seemed.
…you are the strength, that keeps me walking…you are the hope, that keeps me trusting…
“Here,” Spike offered, breaking the trance as he reached into the box and draped the garment around Xander’s neck carefully, like a ceremonial sash. Before he could pull away, Xander grabbed a fistful of Spike’s leather jacket and pulled him in for a hard kiss. “So you like it, then?” Spike asked when he finally pulled away, fishing his gloves out of a pocket.
“Yeah, I do,” Xander replied, slipping on his own gloves and wrapping the scarf around his neck, luxuriating in the softness pressing against his day-old stubble. “How do you do that, Spike?” he asked.
“Do what, love?” Spike puzzled, searching his pockets for the essentials – wallet, hotel key, cigarettes.
“Make me feel like the only person in the world. Make me feel so fucking lucky,” he admitted.
“I’m the one who’s lucky because, to me, you are the only one in the world,” Spike said, choking on the last few words.
“Oh god, that’s awful!” Xander cried, laughing as tears stung his eyes. “I think you’ve been watching too much Lifetime – Television for Women while I’m asleep.”
“Whatever, whelp, just put on your hat and let’s go, yeah?” Spike snorted, rolling his eyes.
…you are the light to my soul…you are my purpose...you're everything…
White. The world was covered with white. For almost a full minute, Xander was sure he had fallen asleep and was walking in another dream. But then a cold wet kiss graced his cheek, forehead, chin. Flakes were falling from the sky and draping the earth in a blanket of white and silver and blue and green crystals. There was no sound, no traffic in the streets or shoppers on the sidewalks. There was only the sound of his hot breath steaming into the blue night. For the moment, this was his; the whole world was his, and he was sharing it with the one person that seemed to matter. Strong arms wrapped around him from the back, and he felt the familiar anchor of Spike’s chin nestling between his neck and shoulder.
… how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you? would you tell me how could it be any better than this?...
Without saying anything, Spike took him by the hand and led him out from under the hotel awning, into the street, where the snow rose nearly to the top of his boots. There weren’t any other tracks in the snow, no footprints or tire tracks. Only a field of white as far as he could see down the block. He almost hated the thought of being the first to disturb it, but then, somehow, it suddenly seemed right that his should be the first prints in the first snow of the season. He’d been waiting his whole life for this, and now here was his chance.
Xander glanced up to find Spike watching him with obvious glee, something like a parent watching their child take its first steps, or a master watching his childe take its first victim. And even that idea doesn’t make me feel anything bad…man, I’ve come a long way, he thought to himself. He just smiled wide and allowed Spike to lead him by the hand, watching the snow fall quietly over the city, casting reflections on the buildings as it passed through the glow of the streetlamps.
They didn’t encounter anyone, on foot or by car, as they walked hand-in-hand all over downtown, Xander stretching his neck to peer at the skyscrapers lit up and towering above them into the dark clouds. The city seemed deserted, as if they were the only ones left in the world, like those survivors in the nuclear holocaust movies he’d watched as a kid. No traffic hummed on the Lake Shore Drive bridge as they passed under it, sauntering down and around Navy Pier, its lights doused for the evening. But in the soft glow from downtown, Xander could see the snowcapped waves bob on the black lake, normally such a vibrant turquoise. The slapping of the frozen water against the pier pilings added further to the dreaminess of the night, sounding like a far-away drum from the Dreamtime.
… you calm the storms, and you give me rest…you hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall…
Xander’s teeth were chattering and his feet were nearing numbness, either from the cold or from the walking, as they rounded the corner by the hotel, his arm linked through Spike’s. It was, altogether, not a bad feeling. The snow, which at first had been large and fluffy like cotton candy, had dwindled to a few random beads of ice crystals floating from the sky, and in the distance he could hear the scraping, rasping sounds of snow plows pushing through the snow, trailing melting mounds of salt in their wake. It wouldn’t be long before the city came alive again, plunging headfirst into Christmas and winter mode.
“That’s right, I almost forgot!” Xander half-cried as they stepped into the decorated lobby of the hotel, the first words either of them had spoken since they’d left the room. “Today’s Christmas Eve!”
“So it is,” Spike confirmed, pulling off his gloves and stuffing them in a pocket. “Merry Christmas, Xander.”
“Merry Christmas, Spike,” Xander laughed, shaking the snow off his jacket and hat, taking his gloves off. “How’s about we go find out who’s naughty or nice?” He leered, trying to wriggle his eyebrows like Spike.
“Is that a promise or a dare?” Spike asked, pressing the button for the elevator and turning gold-tinged eyes on Xander.
“It is what it is,” Xander riddled, yelping as Spike pulled him into another deep kiss.
The ride up in the elevator was silent, save for the sounds of two men sighing into each other’s mouths.
…you steal my heart, and you take my breath away…would you take me in?...take me deeper now?... how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?...would you tell me how could it be any better than this?...
Xander took his coat off while Spike locked the door, laying the scarf on the table in the foyer. Spike’s coat landed gracelessly on one of the chairs, and Xander turned to look at him, his blood boiling and a flush rising into his cheeks.
…cause you're all I want, you're all I need…you're everything…everything …
Unable to stand it anymore – all the talking and laughing, at and for each other, tacitly ignoring how much they both wanted each other and unable to stand how fucking hard his cock was, pressing against the seam of his jeans - Xander grabbed Spike by the shoulders and cracked him flat against the wall. Slamming his body against Spike’s, he pried open his mouth with his tongue. Spike, caught off guard and surprised, responded quickly by turning them suddenly and harshly, Xander’s back meeting the plaster wall with a thick “thud.” He gasped in pleasure as every nerve in his body awoke.
His hot breath escaping into Spike’s open mouth seemed to set the vampire off even more; without parting their mouths, he lifted Xander by his waist, forcing him to straddle his hips. With long, brisk strides, Spike carried him through the living room and into the bedroom, their straining erections rubbing and burning against the other’s. He could feel the crotch of his jeans dampening from the precum flowing freely from his swollen cock.
They broke the kiss only long enough for Spike to pry Xander’s legs from around his waist and fling him haphazardly onto the bed. For just a moment, they locked eyes. Gold burned in cobalt; coal scorched mocha. There was a firestorm raging through each of them, between them.
On the bed, with his hair tangled and his shirt half off, Xander was panting heavily, from desire and for breath. He was looking up at Spike with eyes and ears and senses hungry for touch, craving the feeling of those cold hands on his melting skin, that cool mouth pressed against his.
Spike dropped to his knees, arms splayed across the foot of the bed. Grabbing Xander’s ankles, he slowly pulled himself up, running his smooth fingers up Xander’s jean-clad calves, knees, thighs, hips. He slowed his climb, pausing to reach around and squeeze the tender tightness of Xander’s ass. Their eyes never wavered from the other’s as Xander grinned down at Spike sheepishly from under peaked brows.
Spike continued to slide his hands up Xander’s body, slipping them under his too-tight t-shirt and peeling it off as he went along the stone solid torso, gliding over the soft, moist hair on his stomach and chest. As he trailed chaste kisses over the bare flesh, Xander skinned out of his shirt. Spike continued his assault, kissing his way to the exposed collar bone, then the supple skin of Xander’s neck. He kissed, licked, sucked softly on the hot, thudding, salty flesh as Xander whimpered beneath him, squirming and squiggling his legs, even while clenching down on Spike’s back with strong hands.
When finally Spike reached Xander’s lips, they were quivering and panting, wanting and needing. Xander grabbed the back of Spike’s head and slammed their lips together, forcing his tongue through and searching hungrily, testing the sweet, ashy taste of Spike’s mouth. Prying, scratching frantically, he clawed Spike’s shirt off, gasping as their bare chests thudded against each other. Spike moaned loudly into Xander’s mouth, feeling so-hot hands skim over his shoulders, back, sliding under the waist of his jeans. He was hard, and he could feel Xander’s erection pressing against his own as they writhed against each other.
Using his legs as leverage, Xander flipped them over so that he was on top of Spike, straddling his hips. As Spike’s searching hands again plunged beneath the waistline of Xander’s jeans to caress the soft, firm flesh, Xander’s hands began to wander across Spike’s pale, taut chest. Nimble fingers began plucking at the button fly on Xander’s jeans, and he arched into the touch, shuddering at the sudden friction. Ducking his head, he trailed warm kisses along Spike’s jaw and neck, his hips sinking away from the wanting hands that had begun to lower his pants. Using his hands as leverage, he began to slink down Spike’s chest and torso, suckling gently on the pale skin where he chose to, grinning devilishly when he felt Spike’s body jolt beneath him.
He paused for a moment, his fingers clasped over the fly of Spike’s pants, and glanced up at Spike, whose eyes were dark and heavy-lidded. Without giving him time to react or speak, Xander ripped the fly of the jeans apart, sending the metal button ricocheting around the floor somewhere, and freed Spike’s member, grasping it firmly in his hand. Spike groaned and threw his head back. One, two, three tight strokes, and Xander lowered his mouth over the head, pulling back on the foreskin with perfectly timed hand motions. Losing control, Spike bucked his hips forward, plunging his cock into Xander’s mouth. Xander was ready for him, and opened his throat, gracefully settling his lips around the base of Spike’s dick, his nose tickled by the wiry hair there that smelled faintly of eucalyptus. He slowly raised himself up until only the head again remained in his mouth, and again dropped his mouth, establishing a rhythm matched by one hand rolling Spike’s heavy balls gently, and the other roaming over Spike’s chest, pinching softly and then hard at his pink nipples.
Meanwhile, Spike was going crazy, panting and growling, trying to hold back the inevitable. But Xander was driving him crazy! Unclenching one of his hands, it found Xander’s and squeezed tight, careful not to press too hard.
“Um…Xan…” Spike was able to form words around clenched teeth, his eyes shut tight against the sensation rolling through his body like a wave of molten lava.
Xander could feel the pressure building beneath his grip and sped up his movements, increasing the pressure on Spike’s balls, gratified by the evident tensing/pulsing in his hand, and Spike’s hand trembling against his. He had just enough time to draw back enough to close his lips around the head of Spike’s cock before he was rewarded with a tide of cool sweetness flowing out of Spike’s dick. He swallowed several times, each time his mouth filling up with the sticky liquid, until finally Spike slumped on the bed, still as a corpse, and Xander let the deflating member slip from his lips and rested his forehead against Spike’s moist thigh.
“…Fuck, Xander…” Spike huffed, unmoving. “Where did you learn to do that?”
Xander mumbled something unintelligible against Spike’s thigh.
“Wha?” Spike sighed.
“I said,” Xander growled, grabbing Spikes ankles and thrusting his legs up while bending his head down, “it’s not over, yet.”
Spike let out a loud cry as Xander found what he was looking for, his tongue dashing across Spike’s pink bud, swirling around the soft hair it was nestled in. Shifting his weight softly, he brought his hands down and pried Spike’s muscular cheeks apart, allowing him better access, and began darting his tongue in and out of Spike’s eager hole, loosening and softening it with his saliva. Above him, Spike was moaning louder and, for only a second, Xander was worried the neighboring rooms might hear. The thought passed, as his cock was screaming for attention, straining against his own denim jeans.
Not wanting to let up on Spike with his tongue, he unbuttoned his fly with one hand and kicked and shimmied until he heard the satisfying clink-clunk of the pants hitting the floor. He nearly came just from the cool air of the room rushing around his free cock, which was seeping precum. He stroked himself gently, gathering some of the syrup and bringing it to Spike’s puckered hole. As he tenderly pressed one finger into Spike, he maneuvered himself over him, leaning down to kiss Spike’s open mouth. Spike instantly responded, his entire body craving the warmth and strength of Xander’s tongue sliding against his own, even as he tensed slightly against the so-hot finger pressing into him.
Xander retracted his finger and gathered more precum, returning with two fingers. In only seconds, there were three burning in and out of Spike, making him yelp and bounce against Xander’s lips.
After what felt like an eternity in seconds ticking by, Xander slowly replaced his fingers with his cock, gently but diligently sliding it in.
“Jesus, Spike…” Xander grunted, rubbing his forehead against Spike’s. “You’re like a god damned vice.”
Spike would have responded, but he was busy rolling his eyes into the back of his head and losing any vocabulary he had left. With each centimeter that sank into him, he felt himself sinking even more in love with Xander. He twitched when he felt Xander’s soft nest of dark hair tickle against his balls.
Xander pulled out as steadily as he had entered him, and pushed back again with more force. He repeated this move, and Spike felt himself pushing up against Xander and meeting his thrusts. It wasn’t long before they had established a rhythm of connecting force and the two were grinding against each other, making sounds they had never heard before. Sweat glistened on Xander’s brow, hot and sticky as it dripped from his nose and chin onto Spike’s cheeks and lips.
Eventually it was too much for Xander. The cool air sweeping across his steaming back while Spike’s cold body writhed beneath him and around him, Spike panting and growling, gasping for unnecessary air. His own body pulsing and every cell breathing and getting drunk on the taste and smell and feel of Spike needing him, wanting him so badly.
“Fuck, Spike,” Xander cried, “I’m cumming!” With a growl that seemed to shake the entire room, his body shuddered as his cock exploded, drowning Spike in the scorching lava that felt like it was going to burn right through him. His own member, far from limp since Xander had entered him, of its own accord shot like a fountain into the air, coating their chests with the sticky syrup again.
Xander collapsed breathlessly and bonelessly on Spike’s chest, the two of them shivering against each other, basking in the exhausted afterglow. Tenderly, he pulled himself out of Spike, chuckling a little at the sound it made. “God, Spike,” he mumbled with what little breath he had left. “If I didn’t love you before that, I do now.”
“Mmm…” Spike grunted drunkenly, “love you too, Xan.”
Any second now, Xander was going to get up and drag Spike into the shower. Any second, now…
…would you tell me how could it be any better than this? *
When he awoke next, he was alone in bed, tangled in the down comforter and clinging to Spike’s pillow mashed against his face. For a second, he panicked - What have I done? - but then he heard the shower running and a familiar voice humming, probably the tune to some heavy metal ballad. He smiled, stretching his arms out and flexing sore muscles - muscles I haven’t used for quite a while! - and rolling his eyes at the tightness of the dried cum crackling across his chest.
“How did he pull himself off me without waking me up?” he muttered, rubbing his eyes and throwing his legs over the edge of the bed. Getting up, he stumbled and tripped his way to the bathroom door, which was slightly ajar. He giggled as he recognized the song Spike was humming over the waterfall rush of the shower. “Starship Troopers, huh?”
Xander pushed the door open without a sound. He poised at the shower door, waiting for his cue. When it came, he yanked open the shower door, screaming, “nothing's gonna stop us now!”
Much to his disappointment, Spike was waiting for him and had the shower aimed straight for him, so it sounded more like someone gargling rather than taunting. “Really think you could sneak up on a master vampire, pet?” he asked, grabbing Xander and wrapping his arms tightly around the struggling naked-wet-warm-hard human.
“I can’t believe you were humming Starship Troopers!” Xander giggled, shaking the water out of his mane. “That’s so going in the ‘embarrassing things about Spike I have to tell everyone’ mental file.”
“You do that, love, and I’ll tell everyone about that noise you make when you’re about to squirt.” Spike arched his eyebrow, reaching a firm hand down and stroking Xander slowly.
“You wouldn’t dare,” Xander muttered, his eyes fluttering as he felt his body go limp in Spike’s arms…well, almost limp.
“Let’s not forget how evil I am, pet,” Spike said, dragging a fang across Xander’s earlobe and tightening his grip around Xander’s cock.
Over the roar of the rushing water, the sound could almost be heard, followed by a few sounds belonging to Spike.
…Phone's off the hook, no one knows where we are. It's a long time since I drank champagne. The ocean is blue - as blue as your eyes. I'm gonna take it with me when I go…
The rest of the afternoon and early evening of Christmas Eve was spent in each other’s arms. First, in bed, then the shower again, then the living room beneath the tree, another shower, back in bed, and one final shower. Long after the sun had set and Xander had opened the drapes to find that the world, though once more alive, was still white, like someone had spilled a bottle of Paper Mate on a poster and hung it over the window. After checking the news, they found that Chicago had received almost 8 inches of snow the previous night, and they were expecting another 4 inches throughout this night. “Don’t worry, kids,” the anchor had joked. “Santa will still be able to find you!”
More content to stay in and spend the evening with Spike in front of the fireplace, watching all the old classics on TV, Xander had ordered a Christmas feast from room service. He thanked the gods he didn’t have to see the bill. Spread out on the coffee table, the food looked like a photo shoot for a Martha Stewart Christmas issue.
…Ain't no good thing ever dies. I'm gonna take it with me when I go…
After the ham was eaten and the salad wilted, the wine drunk and the bread broken, Xander kneeled in front of the tree and plucked a gift from the stack that had grown mysteriously throughout the day. This was one he had managed to sneak away from Spike long enough to buy.
“Here.” He tossed it to Spike who was lounging on the couch, glaring at Jimmy Stewart on TV as he rushed through town screaming “Merry Christmas!” to everyone he passed.
“What’s this?” he puzzled, his gaze bouncing from the flat box to Xander and back again.
“Um…a gift. You know, like all of these others that I didn’t see you buy.” Xander rolled his eyes and nodded to the slew of wrapped gifts shimmering beneath the tree.
…Always for you, and forever yours. It felt just like the old days we fell asleep on Beaula's porch. I'm gonna take it with me when I go…
Spike suspiciously tugged the red satin ribbon off the black box and let it float to the floor. He pried the lid off slowly. Nearly a minute passed, in which Spike showed no expression and Xander thought his heart had stopped about half a dozen times. Just as he was about to suggest exchanging it for something else, Spike looked up at him, his eyes moist and a sad smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
“Um, I know that it’s totally stupid,” Xander mumbled, looking down at his fidgeting hands. “But, I know when you were human you were a writer, or at least you wanted to be,” he explained. “I kind of thought that, even if you don’t still want to write, you could at least, I don’t know, keep it as a journal or something.”
“Xander,” Spike exhaled slowly, lifting the leatherbound book out of the box. The parchment pages were edged not in gold or silver, but in something darker, stronger. Spike sniffed - copper. It had a weight to it, a smell. To Spike’s hands, it felt old. He unwrapped the leather strap tying it shut, opening the worn cover to the first page. There, in elaborate script, was written, “To S. with all my love, X.”
“Yeah, I know. It’s stupid.” Xander hung his head, feeling again like the Magic Box comic relief. “Or, you know, you can use it for rolling papers or something.”
“I love it, Xander,” Spike said, thumbing over the words on the page as if he could somehow embroider them onto his flesh. Carefully placing it back in the box, he held out a hand to Xander. “Come here, you.”
…Children are playing at the end of the day. Strangers are singing on our lawn. It's got to be more than flesh and bone. All that you're loved is all you own…
Xander looked up, all smiles, and took his hand, climbing onto the couch and letting Spike wrap his arms around him. He wanted it to always be just like this.
“It’s one of the most thoughtful things anyone’s ever done for me,” Spike whispered, staring straight into Xander’s eyes. Raising his chin, he placed a soft kiss on Xander’s warm forehead. “And it’s only right that you were the one to do it.”
“Glad you like it,” was all Xander could think to respond with. It felt like he didn’t need to say anything else. He couldn’t say anything else. Words couldn’t tell Spike how thankful he was for changing his life, how loved he felt, how much love he had for him.
“You wanna open your other gifts?” Spike asked after a while.
“Nah,” Xander purred against Spike’s neck. He was looking at the Christmas tree, all lights and tinsel. Outside, the snow was beginning to fall again. The fire was popping in the fireplace, and on TV, Charlie Brown was trying to direct a Christmas musical. “Just want to lie here for a bit.”
…In a land there's a town. And in that town there's a house. And in that house there's a good man. And in that good man there's a heart I love. I'm gonna take it with me when I go. I'm gonna take it with me when I go…**
Lyrics in this chapter are from:
* Everything by Lifehouse
**Take it With Me by Tom Waits as covered by Megan Mullally