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 slash fans, here's wishing everyone the happiest of holidays, and I hope you all get what you truly deserve in this the coming year: love, luck, and Spander.
“Mr. Bondsworth?” the clerk was calling from behind the grand check-in desk. Xander was only peripherally aware of him as he came into the hotel, his arms laden with bags from dozens of stores. In the past few days, during the daylight hours when he wasn’t sleeping or being naughty with Spike, he’d been venturing into the city alone. He’d pretty much gotten the hang of this shopping thing: want, drool, choose, pay. The night before, Spike had mentioned booking a second suite for all of Xander’s purchases.
“Mr. Bondsworth!” repeated the clerk. Oh right I’m Mr. Bondsworth, he realized, turning back to the desk. The clerk seemed perfectly content blending into the décor, the brass buttons of his uniform reflecting all the twinkling Christmas lights that still decorated the lobby. “I’m glad I saw you come in. My shift ends in a few minutes, and I wanted to personally see that you receive this.” The clerk – Walter, his nametag read – held out an envelope the size of a birthday card. “An…interesting messenger delivered it for you only an hour ago. He asked me to ring your room, but I told him you and Mr. Bondsworth gave strict instructions not to ring until six in the evening.”
Panic was knocking against his chest in time with his heartbeat. Taking slow, heavy breaths, and reaching for the envelope, he was trying to calm every nerve in his body that had suddenly sparked the RED ALERT! alarm. Who could it be? No one knows where we are! Or do they? Shit shit shit!
“No, but the messenger said you would know who it was from,” Roger explained, smiling graciously as Xander took the letter from him.
“Uh, thanks,” he mumbled, casually tucking it into the inside pocket of his coat. “If anyone else arrives asking for either myself or Sp-William, could you let us know immediately, please?” Xander took one of the business cards from the brass holder on the counter and scratched his new cell phone number down. Digging a twenty dollar bill out of his pocket, he slid both across the granite counter towards Roger. “This is my cell number if we aren’t in. And please, make sure you don’t give it out to anyone for any reason.”
“Yes, of course, Mr. Bondsworth,” Roger said, slipping the card into the breast pocket of his uniform jacket without so much a glance at the number. “I’ll place it in our vault. Only myself and two others have access to it.”
“I appreciate it.” Xander forced a thin smile at the clerk and turned to the elevators, willing his heavy limbs to move.
“Have a good day, sir!” Roger called after him, though Xander couldn’t hear him over the thoughts screaming through his mind.
Once in the elevator and the correct floor selected, he dropped all of his packages and withdrew the letter. On the front, in fancy, elaborate script, his alias was written: “Mr. Alex L. Bondsworth.” A chill shook him – he hadn’t given his middle name or initial to anyone here. Unable to wait until he reached the suite and showed Spike, he clawed open the envelope, stuffing the ripped paper into one of the bags at his feet.
Inside was a sheet of ivory-colored cardstock. At the top, Xander recognized the familiar squiggle representing a serpent. Beneath, the message, written in the same fancy script, read:
Meet me tonight after sunset at 341 N. Wells St. And bring S.
Tuna! Xander mentally cheered. Even as his panicking breaths diminished, he was fueled with excitement. While he missed all his friends back in Sunnydale, Tuna held a special place in his heart, being the main instigator of this crazy adventure he began with Spike. The elevator dinged, and he gathered his packages and made his way to the suite, humming the theme to Cheers.
Dropping his bags by the front door and hanging his coat up in the already-full closet, he made his way towards the bedroom. Finding it empty, Xander heard the faint whisper of the shower. Giving his reflection in the bureau mirror an evil smile, he lifted his shirt over his head and threw it into a heap by the bed. Two seconds later, his pants and underwear were added to the pile. Padding naked into the bathroom and through the heavy siege of steam, he popped the shower door open and found Spike waiting for him, wearing an evil smile of his own.
One eyebrow arched, one hand softly pulling on his hardening member, he grabbed Xander and pressed him against the wall of the shower, opening Xander’s mouth with his tongue even as his free hand found Xander’s own cock, groping and rubbing it with expert finesse.
“Morning, luv,” Spike said huskily as he slinked to the floor, kneeling before Xander.
“Uhn!” Xander grunted in response as Spike sucked him into his mouth, his clenched fists tugging on Spike’s wet locks.
“But it’s Tuna!” Xander squeaked. They’d been going back and forth over the meaning of the mysterious note for nearly an hour already. Sunset was falling fast, and Spike was repeating for the nth time his reservations about meeting Tuna. “And Tuna wouldn’t hurt either one of us.”
“Everything else aside, how can we even be sure it’s him, Xander?” Spike reasoned, pulling a black cashmere sweater out of a box and over his head. “And if it is him, what’s with the cryptic?”
“Maybe he’s in trouble.” Damn my stupid brain! Xander thought, already guessing Spike’s next words.
“That’s exactly my point. The fact that he tracked us down isn’t necessarily odd, or difficult, given that I’m fairly sure he’s part prognostic.” Reaching into the closet, he pulled out a pair of new boots. Xander had been able to talk him out of the typical Doc Martens and into a pair of Prada ankle boots. “What’s not sitting right with me is why he didn’t just come here.”
“Maybe he did!” Xander insisted hopefully, shrugging into a soft blue button-up and pinching the buttons closed, absently rolling up the sleeves. “Maybe he came while we were out, or while you were sleeping or something…” His argument lost steam even as it was forming. Spike didn’t bother to respond, instead throwing him a ‘uh huh, sure,’ look. “Okay, fine, I’m not saying that there’s nothing wonky about this. I’m just saying that we have to go and find out what’s going on. And if he is in trouble, maybe we can help him. We have to at least try.”
“Well, luv,” Spike sighed, crawling across the bed and pulling Xander into a hug, “we agree on something: we have to at least find out what’s going on, why he’s here and how he found us.”
“Good,” Xander nodded against Spike’s chest. “I just hope it’s not…” something really bad, he wanted to explain. But experience taught that it was best not to voice our biggest fears – they usually come true. “It’s just that I’m finally happy.”
“I know,” Spike whispered, running his fingers softly through Xander’s hair. “I am too.”
As the darkest grey of a winter day faded into a charcoal night behind the heavy drapes, each of them made silent prayers to protect the other, no matter what might be coming. Because the fact was, something was coming.
An almost pleasant tingling sensation ran through Xander’s nerves as they stepped out of the cab and into the post-twilight freeze. Through the tufts of steam rolling out of his frozen nose, he could make out the unmistakable multi-colored squiggle of a serpent, glowing brightly against the black backdrop of an early winter’s night. The phosphorescent serpent was coiled above a stone archway, into which was placed a set of cold steel panels: doors with no knobs or handles.
“Well, this is interesting,” Spike said, taking Xander’s hand in his and moving towards the strange entrance.
“Yeah…a little weird,” Xander admitted, placing his free hand against the steel. For a moment, he thought the tingling had started again until he realized that the panel was vibrating slightly. As he snatched his hand away, the doors swiftly slid open before them, revealing a small mirrored chamber. It wasn’t a door at all, but instead a peculiar elevator with no call button. He was about to step into the cab when he felt Spike’s grip on his hand tighten. That’s when he noticed something even more peculiar. There were two reflections in the mirror: one of himself, and one of Spike. “Okay, so, very weird.”
Tugging on the stone-solid hand, Xander pulled a catatonic Spike into the cab. The doors slid silently closed behind them and the elevator started to ascend, though no buttons were pressed - mainly because there were no buttons. They were locked in this steel and mirror cage which was climbing higher and faster by the second.
“…don’t get it,” Spike murmured, bringing his hand to his face, watching his reflection do the same. He seemed hypnotized by the doppelganger, mesmerized by the subtle movements it made, the paleness of its flesh and the boldness of the blue eyes under harsh white light. “How…?”
“No clue,” Xander said, putting his hand on Spike’s shoulder. Spike wrapped his arm around Xander’s back, pulling him close and smiling at the image. They were so entranced at the pretty picture they made that they failed to notice the elevator stopping and the doors sliding open behind them.
“So are you going to stare at yourselves for the rest of the night, or are you going to come out here and give me some sugar?” Tuna called, startling them.
Xander turned to find the demon leaning against the doors and had to stifle a laugh. Body glitter from head to toe and dressed in skin-tight white jeans and a sheer pink tank top which read in huge letters, “DRAMA DEMON.” The laugh he was trying to suppress was voiced in a snicker by Spike.
“It’s so good to see you!” Xander laughed, pulling Tuna into a tight hug.
“Of course it is,” Tuna responded. “I’m good people, what can I say?”
“Right you are, I suppose,” Spike chuckled, shaking hands with the demon.
“Alright, so come on,” Tuna said, linking arms with Xander and leading him down a dark hallway towards another set of steel doors, this time with handles. From behind them, Xander could hear the familiar thumpa thumpa of heavy bass drumming against the walls. Though he couldn’t yet make out the song, his body started bouncing to the rhythm as they came closer to the doors. “I don’t know about you, but I’m in need of a huge cock…tail.”
Xander smiled and turned his head to see Spike following close behind. The vampire returned the smile with a shrug and a roll of his eyes.
Tuna stopped short just before the doors and turned to face both of them, taking a deep breath. “Okay, before we go in, I have to tell you a few things.”
“You’re in trouble,” Xander interrupted.
“Well, uh, not exactly. You see, it’s somewhat, uh, complicated –”
“Enough with the cryptic, mate. Just tell us what’s going on,” Spike insisted, putting his arm on Xander’s shoulder, squeezing tightly.
“I will – I mean, I am.” Tuna looked at the floor, searching for words. “There are just some things you have to understand, first.”
“Okay, what is it? Why are you here?” Xander asked, worry creeping into his voice.
“Well, that’s one of the things. I’m not here, and neither are you,” Tuna explained. “I mean, we’re here, just not, you know, here.”
“You mean Chicago,” Spike guessed.
“Right,” Tuna answered. “This club, The Serpent, exists sort of to the left of your reality. It’s kind of an inter-dimensional…island. There are hundreds of doors all over the world, and others, to this same place. And you can only exit through the door you enter.”
“That’s why you sent a messenger to the hotel, because you couldn’t come yourself.” Xander jumped in.
“So really, you’re still in Sunnydale?” he asked.
“Yes, in a manner of speaking.”
“Okay, so that’s one thing – what’s the rest?” Spike asked. Xander could feel some of Spike’s tension fall away.
“That’s where it gets tricky,” Tuna began. “There are things happening here, in Sunnydale. But then, you knew that – there’s always something. But this time, it’s connected to you, in a way. This is the part that I can’t explain as well as…someone else. Which brings me to my next point.” Tuna hesitated, still searching the tile floor for his lost words.
“Well, come on, man.” Spike shifted his weight from one foot to the other impatiently.
“There’s someone inside, waiting to speak to you. Don’t be angry with me – she came to me, searching for you. Said that she needs to speak with you, that it’s very important she finds you. I didn’t tell her where you were – she still doesn’t know. But I told her I could arrange, uh, this.”
“Oi!” Spike growled, throwing his hands in the air and causing Tuna to jump back in surprise. “Do you know what you’ve done? We drove halfway across the bloody continent to get away from all of that, from them. And now you’ve all but hand-fed us to her.”
“Spike,” Xander said softly, placing a reassuring hand on his chest. He, himself, was remarkably calm. The thought that he would have to face Willow again had come up before, and often. And, though the dreams had been occurring less frequently, they were becoming increasingly…graphic, more and more real. “Tuna…”
“I wouldn’t have done this,” Tuna explained, his shoulders slumped like a scolded child. “It’s just that…she was in so much pain. I didn’t know what else to do.”
“It’s okay,” Xander said calmly, squeezing Tuna’s arm softly. “You did the right thing.”
“Xander!” Spike cried, spinning him so they were face to face. The vampire looked tragically fragile, like he might break apart if someone only touched him. “This is it. This is the thing that we talked about earlier. What if it’s…” the end?
“Spike,” Xander whispered, wrapping his arms around Spike’s neck. “Whatever it is, we can do this. We can get through it, Spike. We’re strong, together, remember? It’s you and me. It’s us.”
Spike silently leaned against him for a moment before he pulled back, nodding, his lips drawn in a soft grin.
“Okay,” Xander said with a heavy breath, turning back to Tuna. “Is that…it? Or is there more?”
“That’s all I can explain,” Tuna admitted, meeting his gaze at last, encouraged by Xander’s slow nod. “I mean, yeah, that’s it.”
“So let’s get this over with,” Spike muttered, taking Xander’s hand.
“Here goes,” Tuna shrugged, pulling on both door handles and leading them through.
…won't leave you out of my will. But I will leave you out of my mind - for now. I won't be there to break your sweet heart. But not being there might break your sweet heart…
It was exactly the way Xander remembered it. It was the same club. Nothing was different, including the clientele. The exact same scantily clad humans dancing with the same scaly, or slimy, or hairy, or horny demons.
…You are my joy - you are my joy. If I could cradle you into my arms I would cradle you tight in my arms – always. So don't be scared of all the hurtful words. ‘Cause in the end they'll hurt themselves much more…
Jay, one of the human bartenders they liked, waved at them from the new satellite bar in the center of the dance floor. It was just like a Saturday night in Sunnydale. More like a Saturday night in nowhere, he thought.
Mrk’snl, one of their favorite cocktail waiters, carried a tray over to them with three drinks on it: Jack, straight, for Spike, Grey Goose and Red Bull for Xander, and what Xander guessed was a Big Gulp Cosmo for Tuna. “On the house.” The purplish demon winked at them and disappeared into the crowd.
“Where is she?” Xander asked, taking a sip of his drink and scanning the crowd for Willow’s vibrant red hair.
…You are my joy - you are my joy. You are my joy - you are my joy. You are my…*
“This way,” Tuna said, leading them towards one of the corner lounge areas. The crowd was so thick, Xander couldn’t see her. He glanced back at Spike, trailing behind them, their hands still firmly clasped. Spike looked worried, on guard. Turning back, Xander could see the lounge, the couches and chairs deserted, save for one. The chair with its back to them was occupied by a woman. Long, dirty blond hair fell down her back, and as they came around to face her, her blue eyes twinkled in the bouncing floor lights. Her shy grin widened to a warm smile when she saw them.
“Tara?” Xander gasped as Spike’s hand squeezed his tightly .
* You Are My Joy by Reindeer Section