Nothing the Same, Book 2
Rating: PG13 - NC-17 Individual chapters will carry specific warnings.
WARNING: THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS EXPLICIT SEX
Feedback & concrit: yes, please
Disclaimer: don't own them, never will, just playing with them
Spoilers: Anything from Season 1 on.
Summary: sequel to Nothing the Same.
Previous parts here
They were barely inside the door when Xander veered off towards the refrigerator, opening it and pulling three packets of blood out. One side of Spike’s mouth quirked up as Xander quickly tore open one of the bags, reaching for a mug with the same motion. He obviously hadn’t done as good a job as he’d thought of hiding that his ribs were hurting.
Xander was already filling a second mug with blood when the microwave dinged on the first one.
“Not that badly hurt, luv,” Spike said mildly, even as he accepted the warmed blood.
Xander just gave him a look. “You took the stairs awfully slowly for someone who’s feeling fine.”
“Thought you were tired, is all,” Spike informed him loftily, even as he obediently downed the second mug. He could feel the slow flush of warmth as the blood spread through his system. The blood was already healing his injuries: his ribs were less sore and Spike could feel the slight internal shift that meant the bones were knitting, the faint itching sensation that signaled the cuts on his face closing over.
Xander watched him intently and seemed satisfied as he handed Spike a third mug. Cracked ribs and minor cuts were childs play for vampire healing but Xander’s concern was as warming as the human blood spreading restoratively through his body.
“Spike, what was that about the Council cleaning up its own messes?” Xander was frowning slightly as he looked inquiringly at Spike.
“Think about it, Xander. Every few years you’ve got a teenager waking up one morning and finding out she’s the strongest person in the world. Some of them are going to think it’s more fun robbin’ banks than saving the world. Some of their Watchers are going to wonder if having a Slayer under their thumb might be useful for more interestin’ things than just toeing the party line. Council would be idiots not to be prepared to handle problems like that. ’s not a question of if that kind of thing is going to happen, just a question of when.”
“So, Giles is turning Mrs. Post over to the Watcher police?”
Spike shrugged. “Police implies laws and trials and whatnot, luv. Rogue Watchers don’t exactly see the inside of any courtroom you’d recognize.”
Seeing the distaste on Xander’s face, Spike pulled him closer, wrapping his arms around his boy, pleased that his almost-healed ribs didn’t give him so much as a twinge. “Don’t waste your time feeling sorry for her, pet. She would have killed us all without a second thought. She was trying to get hold of a weapon that would make her nearly invincible and it wasn’t so she could play patty-cake with us.”
Xander leaned into his embrace, tightening his own arms around Spike carefully, still needlessly mindful of Spike’s injuries. “I know. I just thought the Watchers were good guys, is all. Turns out they aren’t all like Giles, and now you tell me they have their own private enforcement guys to do their dirty work. Just kind of makes you wonder about them.”
Spike made a scoffing noise. “Speak for yourself. I’ve never seen anything trustworthy about a covert organization that keeps tabs on demons.”
“Well, yeah, but you’re a demon, so you’re prejudiced.” Xander seemed to shrug off his concern and his eyes sparkled with mischief as he leaned back slightly to grin at his demon. Spike tugged him back for a kiss that Xander enthusiastically returned.
He knew that Xander would file the information away to think about it later. His boy was one for stewing over things, that was for sure. A little healthy distrust of Watchers was something Spike wanted to encourage. Rupert was a good one, but even he would sacrifice most of the little band of do-gooders to keep his Slayer alive. It was what Watchers did and Spike accepted that. It meant he would never truly trust the Watcher with his boy’s safety, but Rupert would always leave that as a last resort, unlike other Watchers Spike had heard of.
Xander had abandoned his lips to nuzzle at his neck and Spike shrugged off his thoughts to concentrate on the feeling of Xander’s teeth scraping lightly along his jugular, tilting his head to the side to give his Claimed more access. Xander’s hands were busily unfastening the buttons on his shirt, even as he nipped and licked along Spike’s neck and Spike let out a small sigh of pleasure at the sensation, running his hands over the strong planes of Xander’s back and down to his waist, holding his boy close.
The last button popped open and Xander pushed the fabric back impatiently, his warm hands running over Spike’s chest and sliding around to the back, before sliding up under the loose silk fabric to trace the sharp angles of his shoulder blades.
Enjoying the warm lips moving along the juncture of his neck and shoulder, pressing a line of tiny kisses against his own, cooler skin, Spike felt Xander’s blunt, human teeth bit down suddenly on the exact spot where Xander’s own Claim mark rested. His teeth didn’t break the skin but Xander’s tongue soothing and laving the spot was unbearably erotic and Spike groaned in pleasure.
Xander lifted his head to look at Spike, arms tightening around the smaller frame of the vampire. “Mine,” he said fiercely. His hands untangled themselves from Spike’s shirt and came up to hold Spike’s face in a firm, gentle grip. “When I got inside the room and saw the smashed window and you not there…”
He didn’t finish, but Spike could imagine his thoughts. He’d had similar nightmares of Xander’s own dive through a second story window to escape Angelus. “Shh, luv. I’m fine,” he murmured reassuringly and Xander kissed him, hard, plundering his mouth as if he could never get enough.
Their tongues dueled fiercely, exploring, tasting, teasing until Xander pulled away and began kissing his way along Spike’s jaw and down his neck. His hands were exploring Spike’s chest, and Spike reveled in the warmth of the big hands sliding along his cool skin. His head arched back as Xander’s thumbs began circling his nipples teasingly, refusing to actually touch them, and Spike pushed forward into the touch, shifting slightly, trying to get Xander’s hands where he wanted them.
Xander laughed and moved his thumbs away, still not quite touching Spike’s nipples which had already hardened in anticipation. “Bad vampire,” he chided, the words muffled against the center of Spike’s chest as Xander seemed determined to kiss every inch of skin between Spike’s neck and his belly. Spike growled and Xander laughed again. Relenting, he finally touched Spike’s nipples, stroking over them again and again as Spike sighed in pleasure and arched into the sensation, his nipples tightening as arousal shot through his body. Xander’s warmth and eagerness was the purest aphrodisiac Spike had even known and his cock was proof: hardening rapidly as Xander teased him.
Xander’s lips detoured from their path down Spike’s body, targeting one hardened nipple, his tongue dancing over the small nub, swirling over and around it before his teeth closed over the erect peak, sending a stab of erotic pain that went straight to Spike’s groin. The action was repeated on the other side, until Spike’s hips were jerking forward, his erection straining against the sturdy denim of his jeans.
A strong hand cupped him through his jeans, stroking and rubbing his erection and Spike gasped, pushing into the massaging hand, the fabric just rough enough against his cock to send shudders of almost unbearable pleasure through him as it scraped along his engorged penis. His hands gripped tightly in the thick waves of Xander’s shoulder-length hair, encouraging him in his efforts to drive Spike out of his mind with pleasure.
Spike groaned as Xander’s fingers began fumbling at the button at his waist, and dropped one hand to speed the process. Xander smacked the helping hand out of the way. “Uh-uh. You want this done faster, stop squirming.” He lifted his head from where he’d been kissing Spike’s ribs to grin up at his lover.
“Who’s fault is it that I’m squirming?” Spike muttered, but let his fingers move back up to card through Xander’s hair, leaving Xander to his work.
“Certainly not mine,” Xander lied shamelessly, with a mock innocent look that Spike removed by the simple expedient of dragging him back up for another hard kiss.
Xander had finally succeeded in opening the button he’d been wrestling with and Spike’s intended snarky comeback was forgotten as Xander unzipped Spike in one swift move and his strong, calloused fingers closed around Spike’s erection.
Xander began pumping Spike with an agonizing slowness and Spike let his head fall back, leaving Xander’s lips free to start a second journey downward along Spike’s torso. His fingers continued to glide teasingly along the length of Spike’s erection, enough to drive him crazy but not enough to bring him off. Spike’s hips snapped forward, striving for more contact, and there was a warm puff of air and a chuckle somewhere in the vicinity of his navel. “Someone’s eager.”
Spike was too busy thrusting into the warm tunnel formed by Xander’s fist stroking him with an excruciatingly slow rhythm to answer with the sarcasm necessary. Xander compounded the problem by dropping to his knees and swiping his tongue along the length of Spike’s penis, shifting his grip to Spike’s hips to hold him steady as he began teasingly flicking his tongue over the head of Spike’s engorged cock, lapping at the pre-cum already dripping from the slit and driving him mad with the barely-there licks swirling around and over the shaft.
Spike tightened his grip in Xander’s hair, urging him closer, and Xander obliged, shifting to face Spike as he closed his mouth over the end of Spike’s penis. For a long moment, he did nothing but exhale, hot breath threading along the length of Spike’s erection like liquid fire. Spike fought to keep his hips still, to keep from slamming home into Xander’s mouth and inadvertently hurting his boy. The hot, wet warmth surrounding his cock was almost indescribably erotic to the vampire and Xander knew it.
Just when he thought he was going to lose control, Xander sealed his lips around the end of Spike’s cock and sucked hard, his fingers gripping Spike’s hips. Spike’s orgasm hit with stunning force, sending cum pulsing into Xander’s mouth as his hips bucked wildly, only Xander’s strong grip holding him back and Xander sucked and swallowed until Spike was drained dry, folding over until his forehead rested against the top of Xander’s head.
They stayed that way for a long moment, Spike’s fingers carding lovingly through Xander’s hair as he recovered, until he felt his penis begin to twitch slightly and slowly harden as Xander’s tongue darted over and around it, cleaning him and sending jolts of arousal through him.
Spike raised his head and smirked down at Xander, who pulled back, letting Spike’s cock slip free and slanting a smug smile of his own up at his lover as Spike’s erection showed definite signs of returning.
“Luv, if that’s my reward, I’m jumping through a window once a week.”
“Jumping out a window once can be explained, Spike,” Xander replied, looking up at him sternly, although the smile still lingered at the corners of his mouth. “More than once…” he shook his head sadly. “More than once is just an attention-getter and I never reward drama queens with blow jobs.”
Spike laughed and held out a hand to help Xander to his feet. “Noted, pet.”
“Let’s go to bed.”
“Lamb to the slaughter, pet.” Spike followed eagerly as Xander tugged him into the bedroom.
Xander turned to see Willow hurrying down the hall to catch up with him. Sighing, he stopped and waited for her to reach his side. She smiled up at him and he was glad to see that, other than a Band-Aid on her neck, she looked unmarked by her hostage experience last night.
“Are you ok?”
“Yep. Giles said that the Council came and picked up Mrs. Post at the hospital before dawn, and that just makes it so much easier - not having to worry about her. Giles burned the Glove after you left last night. He did a spell to change fire into something else - it was really cool.” She fell into step beside him as they walked down the hall together.
Xander’s gut clenched and he faltered, staring at her.
“Don’t look at me like that, I just watched. He’s not letting me do any magic yet.”
“Yet.” His voice sounded faint, even to himself.
“Xander,” Willow stopped, putting her hand on his arm and tugging him until he stopped as well. “I’m studying magic with him,” she said quietly, lowering her voice as students brushed past them in the crowded hall. “I know I screwed up, but it won’t happen again. I thought…” she faltered, looking at him with hurt eyes. “I thought, after last night, that you were ready to forgive me.”
“Willow, you could have been killed last night. I was glad you were alive and unhurt. I never wanted you dead but that doesn’t mean things are right between us.”
“Willow, I’ve loved you for most of my life. That doesn’t just stop. When I look at you,
I see someone who was one of my two best friends since kindergarten. The problem is, I also see someone who put a gun to my head and ordered me to do things I didn’t want to.”
Willow looked stricken, taking a half step back as if she could distance herself physically from his words. Clearly, she’d never thought about what she’d done in those terms before.
“The fact that we were friends makes it worse for me, Willow. I could deal with it better if you were a stranger who did that to me. But you were my friend and you still did the spell. It’s one thing to say you didn’t think it would do any harm if you take my wallet without permission. It’s another thing completely when you take my thoughts, my will, my control away.”
He stared at her, willing her to understand, and he could see the dawning knowledge in her devastated eyes. He’d thought about this all night, lying wakeful in bed, Spike a comforting weight in his arms as he thought about how he could be so angry with Willow and yet so horrified at the idea of her being in danger. It had almost been a surprise to discover that he obviously still cared for her. He must or he wouldn’t have reacted the way he had to seeing her in danger. As his thoughts had chased themselves into exhaustion, he’d recognized that the bottom line was that he didn’t trust her anymore. Maybe he never would.
“I still care about you,” he said gently, meaning it. “Seeing you in danger was awful. But there can’t be friendship without trust and I’m not there yet. I don’t know if I ever will be. I’m sorry.”
Willow stared at him with enormous eyes brimming with tears and Xander sighed, shifting his backpack to a more comfortable position. “Some things can’t be fixed with an apology, Willow. Oz and Giles both say that you’re doing good, and I hope it’s true, but it doesn’t change what you did and it doesn’t make me forget how it felt to have you use magic against me.”
Part of him wanted to tell her to prove herself to him, to give her a time limit - be good for two months and all will be forgiven. But bitter experience stopped him. His father had collected 30- and 60-day sobriety coins from AA on several occasions and shown them off to people just as if he hadn’t continued to drink from his stash in the basement during those 30 and 60 day periods.
“I’ll always be there for you when it counts, Willow. I just can’t be there day-to-day right now.”
There wasn’t anything else to say. He wasn’t willing to give her a false reassurance that everything would be ok between them soon. Until his first reaction upon seeing her wasn’t the memory of her black eyes boring into him as her magic forced him to betray his lover, he wasn’t comfortable around her.
Knowing he was hurting her, but unable to do anything else, Xander left her standing in the hallway, head bowed over her books, the pain he’d inflicted obvious in every line of her body as she stood there, a small defeated island of immobility in the otherwise busy hallway of oblivious students.
The sound was so unexpected that it took Spike a long, annoyed moment to figure out what it was that was disturbing him as he watched the telly. Someone was knocking on the apartment’s door. His and Xander’s private door. Occasionally, one of his Lieutenants would knock on the connecting door to the factory, but they tapped respectfully, just loud enough for vampire hearing. This was a steady pounding that was gradually increasing in volume.
Their private entrance was on the rear of the building. Even if some over-zealous door-to-door solicitor was working the half-empty manufacturing district, it was unlikely they would have found the second floor entrance behind the seemingly abandoned, boarded-up factory. Whoever it was, they were not discouraged by the delay in answering the door, the knocking continued without pause.
Before Xander, Spike would have considered this kind of intrusion a home-delivered meal. The sudden realization that something might have happened to Xander had Spike crossing the room in long strides and yanking the door open with more worry than irritation. At least until he saw who was on the other side.
Two uniformed police officers were just about the last thing he’d expected. The sun was down but twilight lingered and true dark hadn’t yet arrived. The officers looked nervous and the one who’d been pounding on the door dropped his hand quickly with an apologetic half-smile.
Surprised at the greeting, Spike hesitated for a bare second, double-checking. The officers were humans; hearts beating faster than normal, the stench of nervous sweat tainting the air. He leaned with deliberate casualness against the half-open door and cocked his head curiously. “Who’s asking?”
“The Mayor’s office sent us. He would like you to meet with him in his office.”
“Don’t generally mess with politics. He lookin’ for some kind of campaign contribution?” he asked facetiously, even while his mind was racing, wondering what on earth was going on. Trick had said he’d been working for the Mayor. Any human crazy enough to hire Trick seemed an unlikely candidate for payback, but loyalty came in surprising packages sometimes. More likely, the Mayor was looking for better help than Trick.
“No, sir,” the second officer answered seriously despite the sweat beading on his forehead. “He simply wishes to talk to you about something that may be mutually beneficial.”
Spike gave the Mayor credit for sending minions who showed proper respect - and a healthy dose of fear - for a Master Vampire. A lot of humans didn’t have the required subtlety to approach a demon as anything other than a monster. Yet, he hadn’t gone through the Court, which meant the Mayor wanted whatever it was handled privately, not a request made formally before the entire Court.
“When? Not really one for keeping business hours.”
“The Mayor is available tonight, at your convenience. He’s waiting in his office, if you’re willing to accompany us.”
Xander wasn’t home yet. Ordinarily, Spike would have sent them packing with a message that the Mayor could see Spike when Spike bloody well got around to it, but it would be best to take care of this immediately, find out what it was about and whether it posed a threat to either Xander or his position.
“Tell the Mayor I’ll be at his office in 30 minutes,” he agreed. He was curious but he wasn’t fool enough to ride in the backseat of a police cruiser with two cops who knew he was a vampire. Although he had no concerns at all about his ability to break out of restraints intended for human criminals, the few seconds delay in escaping the reinforced cage in a patrol car would be enough time for a prepared human to cause serious damage with fire or holy water. He’d walk.
The Mayor’s was on the top floor of the mission-style City Hall. Of a decent but not spectacular size, green walls with framed certificates and standard office furniture except for an enormous wooden cabinet along one wall. The Mayor himself was… off. Sickeningly cheerful, with a cloyingly sunny nature that instantly put Spike’s hackles up.
“Hello! Nice to meet you.” The Mayor advanced with hand outstretched and seemed completely unfazed when Spike just looked at it, pointedly keeping both hands in the pockets of his duster.
“I'm Richard Wilkins, the Mayor of Sunnydale. And you're... Mr. Spike. Please, sit down.”
Spike didn’t give the indicated chair even a flicker of a glance, studying the Mayor with his head cocked to one side. “Prefer standing.”
“That’s fine, however you’re most comfortable, Mr. Spike.”
Spike didn’t bother correcting the “Mr.”, he didn’t care what the Mayor called him.
“I suppose you’re curious about why I asked to meet with you,” the Mayor continued after a moment, when it was clear that Spike was not going to say anything. He seemed completely at ease, perching on the edge of his desk, legs stretched out in front of him as he waited for an answer.
“Bit. Don’t suppose you’re just a fan.”
“I am a fan, Mr. Spike. You’ve done a tremendous job since you’ve taken over.” Spike was sure that the Mayor’s smile displayed more teeth than a human smile usually did. “You see, I've been the Mayor of Sunnydale for quite some time now and I like things to run smoothly. This is a very important year for me.”
“Election year,” Spike guessed.
“Something like that.” Spike narrowed his eyes slightly at the evasiveness in the human’s voice. What could have a politician reaching out to demons, even on the Hellmouth, except an election year?
“Granted, you did kill Mr. Trick and ordinarily I don’t appreciate people who kill my employees. It really isn’t good manners to express your dissatisfaction that way, Mr. Spike. Fortunately for you, you killed him on a day when I was a bit upset with him myself, so I didn’t hold it against you.”
Spike was seriously tempted to simply break the Mayor’s neck and leave. The perky good humor and relentless cheer was getting on his nerves. His innate wariness stopped him from doing something so rash. There was no way the Mayor could possibly be as harmless as he seemed, not with the knowledge he obviously had about demons and the Hellmouth. Feeling off balance in a way he rarely did, Spike fished in his duster and pulled out his cigarettes and lighter.
“Mr. Spike, I like my guests to make themselves at home but I’m going to have to ask you not to smoke in my office.” The smile faded for the first time and a look of mild revulsion replaced it.
Without the perpetual smile, the Mayor looked like someone to be taken more seriously. A shrewd businessman at least, perhaps something more. Studying him over the flame of his lighter, Spike took his time lighting the cigarette. “Got something against tobacco companies in particular or just don’t like the smell?” he asked finally. Taking a deep drag, he blew the smoke out just to one side of the Mayor, resisting the urge to provoke him by blowing smoke directly in his face.
The Mayor retreated behind his desk. “I believe we have an obligation to set an example for the young people in our town. Smoking does not set a good example, Mr. Spike.”
“Don’t exactly see myself as a role model.”
The Mayor obviously decided to let the smoking issue go. “I know you’re a busy man, Mr. Spike, so I’ll come straight to the point. As we both know, Sunnydale is not like other towns. As Mayor, I need to be a bit more flexible than most politicians. Mr. Trick helped me out with some of the more esoteric of my responsibilities. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us to assist me with those matters. I would like very much for you to join my team.”
Spike lifted an eyebrow in mock astonishment. “You’re offerin’ me a job?”
“Not a 9 to 5 job, of course. More of a freelance position.”
“For those esoteric responsibilities.”
“Exactly! See, I knew we’d work well together.”
Spike shook his head. “Haven’t said what’s in it for me.” He had no intention of accepting any kind of offer, employment was for humans and minions, not Master Vampires. But he was curious and hoping the Mayor would give him some idea of what he was up to.
“I’m a little disappointed, Mr. Spike. You should know that a good politician never reveals his hand before it’s time.”
“Well, I make it a policy not to go into things blind.”
“Fair enough. I can respect caution in a business associate.” The smile slipped again and Spike caught a glimpse of the shrewd intelligence in the eyes that the Mayor hid so well behind his mask of home-spun joviality. “How about I contact you the next time I’m in need of specialized services and we conduct business on a case by case basis?”
Spike gave him a tight smile. “Long as you don’t expect me to drop everything and be at your beck and call, you can always ask.”
“I think you’ll see the benefits of working with me, Mr. Spike.” The Mayor walked around his desk, gesturing towards the door. “Thank you for coming. I’ll have my assistant show you out.”
“You want my help, send your minions to the Court,” Spike warned flatly. “Don’t appreciate being disturbed in my home.”
“I apologize, Mr. Spike. I’ll make sure that my assistants go through the Court in the future.” He paused and added significantly. “I wouldn’t want to cause your Claimed any distress. Xander, isn’t it? He seems like a nice boy.”
Only long years of experience in bluffing opponents kept Spike’s face bland, showing no reaction to the Mayor’s words. The Mayor’s tone had been sincere, nothing that could be pinned down, but the implication that he knew where Spike was vulnerable had been clear. “He’s a human,” Spike responded idly, as if the subject had little meaning to him, then gave the Mayor a hard stare as he finished. “They mostly don’t live long enough to get that attached to.” His own veiled probe at the Mayor’s human weakness didn’t get the reaction he expected as the Mayor looked regretful for a moment.
“Attachments can happen whether planned or not, Mr. Spike. Ten years or fifty, it’s never long enough with our loved ones.”
Spike narrowed his eyes, studying the person across from him. Dropping the hand holding his cigarette to his side where it was hidden from the Mayor, he pinched the glowing end out, extinguishing it and inhaled deeply, concentrating hard. The Mayor smelled human. Heartbeat, breathing, cologne, mouthwash - all human normal. The faintest hint of incense and herbs in the room, and…
There was something else in the air. A slight bitterness at the back of his throat, an aftertaste to the normal human smells the Mayor was giving off that shouldn’t be there. Spike couldn’t identify what it was he was smelling, but he did know that it wasn’t human normal. The Mayor wasn’t as human as he appeared. Half-breed maybe.
The Mayor of Sunnydale wasn’t quite human. Now there was a shocker.
Lifting his scarred eyebrow, he just said: “Take your word for it, mate.” The assistant had appeared at the connecting door in the way of all good assistants had of knowing when they were needed. Spike strode off without waiting to be escorted, not looking back. He needed to find out what exactly the Mayor was before dealing with him. Negotiating from ignorance led to surprises and miscalculations. He wondered if either Angelus or the Watcher had any idea of what exactly the Mayor was.
*A/N - Bits of dialogue borrowed from the episode ‘Homecoming’