Summary: After his relationship with Anya fizzles out Xander and Spike become lovers. Xander’s insecurities lead him to seek help from
Notes: AU begins S6 replacing Hells Bells. No Dawn, Buffy didn’t die, and Season 6 Spuffy? Eewww no.
Feedback and con crit appreciated and lusted for
Disclaimer: not mine, all belongs Joss and
Thanks to kitty_alex and her amazing plot hole shovel
Other chapters are here
Xander sped through the streets, glad for the late hour and the fact that it was Sunday night. He’d just disconnected from a heads up call to Tom at the Lion having explained what happened and gotten a promise that Rose would be ready and waiting for them. As he rounded the corner he could see Tom waiting on the sidewalk in front of the pub. He pulled the car up and jumped out. By the time he got to Spike’s door, Tom had it open and was practically lifting the vampire out. Xander went to Spike’s side to help him but was more a hindrance compared to Tom’s greater strength.
“Xander you duck inside and tell our Rosie you’re here. I’ll ‘elp this one, don’t worry.”
He didn’t stop to argue but ran into the kitchen to find Rose. She was at the sink, mixing something pungent in a bowl and turned when she heard him come in.
“Oh chooky, it’s not been a good weekend has it?” She hugged him tight and he relaxed into her embrace accepting the comfort.
Xander laughed. “Actually Rose, bloodletting aside, it’s been one of the best.”
Tom pushed his way through the kitchen door with Spike in his arms, having carried him from the car when he discovered Spike could no longer stand upright. Tom laid him on the covered table and Rose got straight to work. “It’s busy tonight, I’ll be out at the bar if you need me,” he told them as he headed back out the door.
“This is just a flesh wound, it’ll be gone by tomorrow morning,” she said, wiping the blood off his arm. “Now, let’s see how this one looks.” She carefully removed the towel Spike had been holding and pulled his shirt up. “Oh my lord. William, this is worse than the first time. It hasn’t healed in the slightest and now you’ve got even more damage.”
“Yeah I can feel that, it’s well torn up, hurts like all fuck.”
“William, none of that thankyou, you mind your manners.”
“Beg pardon Rose. Can you fix this?”
She wiped at the wound with some wet cloths. “I’m going to need to look inside William. It will be extremely painful so I want to knock you out with a herbal draught first okay?”
Spike shook his head. “Nah, I’ll be fine, just do your thing.”
“William, I am not going to be digging around in your insides while you’re awake, no matter how manly and strong you think you are. You’ll only be out for around half an hour, three-quarters maybe, no more. You won’t be groggy when you wake up and it will give me a better chance to find what’s wrong.”
“Spike just do what Rose says please? You can’t mess around with this anymore.” Xander stopped just short of begging.
“Fine, do what you need,” he sighed.
Rose reached for a mug of warm liquid. “Drink this down, it should work very quickly.” She waited while Xander lifted Spike and held him with an arm under his shoulders, then passed Spike the cup. When he’d finished it all and laid back down, she patted his hand. “Good boy, now we can get you better.”
Spike answered her with a sleepy slur to his words. “Don’ patronise me, ‘m older’en you.”
“I wouldn’t put money on that chooky,” she laughed.
At Xander’s raised eyebrows she smiled and shrugged. “I age well. And scales don’t wrinkle.” She took a look at Spike’s eyes. “Right, he’s out. Let have a look see.”
Pulling on a pair of latex gloves, Rose began wiping the wound with large amounts of the milky fluid she’d used last time, going through many towels before she was satisfied. “Xander this might be a bit much for you. If you want to go outside with Tom that’s okay.”
“No I’m staying. Regardless of what everyone says, I still feel like this is all my fault and the least I can do is be here for him.”
“Ok, well you can make yourself useful then. You can be my nurse, just pass me any of those things as I ask for them.” She indicated a tray on the counter. “Okay, I can see there’s more damage than he started with. He’s not been taking it easy has he?”
“Well things happened, he didn’t do it on purpose. There was a demon-”
“Another one?” She looked up at him sharply.
“Yeah that makes three this weekend. Giles, umm, the Watcher, said that demon activity was picking up. I guess we just happened by it.”
Rose gave him an enigmatic look. “Hmm.” She went back to working on Spike. “I can see some tears in here in the muscle and the kidney itself is a right mess.” She slid a finger inside. “There’s some damage to the-” Rose stopped and frowned. “Well that’s not right.”
“What? What’s not right?” Xander tried to look but Rose motioned him back.
Rose bent down close to the wound and peered closely, her finger working inside, pushing further in and twisting in different directions. “There’s something in here. It could be a piece of his rib, but I don’t think so, his ribs were okay.” She felt around for a few moments then held out her other hand. “Chooky, give me those retractors could you please and the forceps?”
Xander dropped them in her hand immediately, coming closer to see what was happening. Rose was spreading the wound with one hand and inserting the forceps with the other. She fished around inside for a short time before shouting a triumphant, “Got it!” She withdrew the forceps and in their grip she held a two-inch long piece of what looked like bone. Rose took it to the sink and ran it under the tap. “Ah, not bone, no wonder the poor mite couldn’t heal.” She held it up for Xander to see. “Hokard barb. This must have broken off the tip when he was stabbed. The cavity inside it would have been full of venom and that must have been slowly leaching out into his system. That’s what’s been tearing at his kidney every time he moved too fast. William had no chance of healing with that still in there. Good lord that must have been painful.”
Xander looked at the barb in wonder at how something so small caused so much trouble. “Can you heal him now? Will he be okay?”
“Oh he’ll be just fine now chooky. You and I are going to clean him up then Thomas can give him some blood and he’ll be back on his feet in no time. This time tomorrow he’ll be his old, obnoxious, arrogant self again.” She smiled and patted Spike’s leg as she said this, and Xander recognised the fondness in her eyes.
“Thankyou Rose, really, thankyou.” Xander kissed her cheek. “Okay so what do we do now?”
“Now, we flush this wound out with that fluid, then we pack it tight with some of that herb paste. I’ve added a few extra ingredients to the paste and it’ll work even quicker. I left out the sedative this time so that should make William happy. So then we put a bandage over it and that’s it.”
“What about his kidney? I know he doesn’t need it but there won’t be any problems?” Xander asked.
“No, no problems,” she said as they worked, syringing the fluid into the wound and flushing it out thoroughly. “I think that by tomorrow the pain will be gone and in two or three days you won’t even be able to see the scar.”
Xander forced himself to keep his mind on the task. Draw up the fluid, squirt it in the wound. One day. Draw up the fluid, squirt. Two days at the outside. Draw, squirt. Spike would be healed. No more pain. Draw, squirt. What then? When would he leave? If he did go, where did they stand?
“Xander are you okay? This weekend can’t have been easy for you either.” Rose looked worriedly at him. Xander’s hands had stilled and he was staring fixedly at Spike. “Xander?”
“Huh? Oh, sorry Rose. I, uh, I was just-” he sighed. “Rose I don’t know what happens now. Spike doesn’t need my help anymore, so what does that mean?”
“Has William given you the impression that he was just using you?”
“God no! No, I never got that from him.” Not once this weekend had he truly thought Spike was using him. After all they had decided to go out for a beer before any of this other business happened. They’d talked about how this was the beginning of something, neither knew exactly what but both had said at some stage that they were willing to find out. No, there had been no feeling that it was an arrangement of mere convenience.
“Well there you go. You just wait and see what happens. Or of course, you could direct it all yourself. What is it that you want from him?”
What indeed. Simple. He wanted more. More than a few kisses on the couch. More than a couple of hours chatting about inconsequential nothings. More than two days. But was it too soon? He’d made a clean break with Anya, he’d spent an intense weekend with Spike and come out the other end in one piece. They had definitely gotten closer; he would go so far as to say they had become good friends. He wasn’t sure how it had happened, really if anyone had said a few months ago that he would be having these feelings for William the Bloody, he would have either laughed in their face or knocked them down. But he’d vowed long ago not to question the origin of his own feelings too deeply. Just accepting them was usually enough for him. Still he would be interested to know how someone like Spike came to be in this position with someone like him. Maybe that was just something to accept at face value as well. Perhaps Spike would explain it to him, perhaps not. But still, was it too soon? Considering the brushes with demons he’d had this weekend, maybe it was best not to wait. This was the Hellmouth, and things could turn on him at any time. He would hate to have left it too late.
Xander smiled at Rose. “I want everything, just as soon as he’s ready to give it to me.”
“Then let’s get him back on his feet so he can do that.” She handed Xander the bowl of liquid to dispose of and picked up the paste. “We’ll fill him up with this and that should see him right.” Rose put on a fresh pair of gloves and began packing the paste deep into Spike’s side. When she had emptied the bowl she taped a clean gauze over his skin. “Done. Now we just wait for him to wake up and that shouldn’t be too long now.”
Xander helped Rose clear away all the instruments and equipment. He rinsed he bowls and threw the towels and cloths into the trash. When the kitchen was back in order Rose drew a chair up next to Spike.
“Here you go chooky, you sit with him and I’ll go warm up some blood, he’ll be waking up any minute now.”
Xander sat on the chair at the end of the table beside Spike’s head. This was so different from the last time. Less heart wrenching vigil and more anticipatory hope. He knew Spike would be waking up and he knew that when he did wake up they had some things to sort out. Xander picked up Spike’s hand and absently stroked his fingers. They also needed to talk about what had happened tonight. Buffy had tried to stake him, there was no two ways about that. So they would have to talk about how to manage that. His best friend had tried to kill his-. His what? Boyfriend? Not yet. Love interest? Too soon for words like that. Some things didn’t need labels. His best friend had tried to murder Spike. Unforgivable? At the moment, hell yes. Xander didn’t think he would ever change his mind, but experience had taught him to never say never when it came to emotions. Hows else could he explain the fact that he was sitting here holding a vampire’s hand? Right now he wanted to hate Buffy, was trying to hate her for what she had done out of spite. He couldn’t come up with hate. Close to it, but not hate but what he felt was beyond anger.
He slid Spike’s fingers through his, noticing for the first time the blood that covered Spike’s hand. Second time this weekend Spike had spilled blood in an event related to him. Xander knew it would do no good to argue this point with Spike so he pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind. He was tracing his fingers over Spike’s knuckles, marvelling at the cool softness when he felt Spike’s fingers begin to move. They twitched several times then closed over Xander’s and gripped harder. Xander brought Spike’s hand to his mouth, kissing each finger and paying no heed to the blood.
“You better not be fussing like a big
Xander continued kissing his hand. “Nope. Just waiting.”
Spike opened his eyes and turned his head towards Xander. “What are you waiting for?”
“Waiting to see what happens next.”
Spike squeezed his hand. “Me too mate.”
Xander leaned over him and settled his lips over Spike’s in a lingering kiss. He sat back and sighed. “This has been one fucked up night.”
“Yeah mate it has, but you remember what I said earlier?” When Xander looked bewildered Spike told him, “We go to the meeting, what happens happens; we go home and end the day how you want.”
Xander rested his head on Spike’s chest, feeling the cool hand come up to stroke his hair. “Spike do you think you can get up yet? I really just want to get home.”
“I feel great, much better. But tell me what happened, what did Rose do?”
“There was a piece of the demons barb stuck in your kidney. When you were fighting and then later when Buffy-. When she-. Jesus Christ, Spike she tried to kill you. She threw a stake at you.”
“Help me up mate?” Spike asked. Xander stood and Spike grabbed hold of his arms; with a bit of assistance he pulled himself upright. Definitely better. Pain was almost gone. Spike sat on the edge of the table and pulled Xander around to stand between his legs. He took Xander’s face in his hands and stared into his shining brown eyes. “She tried. She missed. I wasn’t even close to top form. I was a sitting target and she missed because I saw it coming.”
“But Spike what if she hadn’t?”
“Then we wouldn’t be here now. I would be dust. But I’m still here so forget the what ifs.”
“I can’t believe she did that. She must hate me as much as she hates you.”
“Look, don’t get me wrong, I’m a vampire, she’s the slayer, I would kill her as soon as look at her in other circumstances. But she’s your best friend, she did something stupid but she doesn’t hate you, she just can’t get past her reaction to me.”
“You’re making excuses for her after she tried to kill you? How can you do that?”
“Now don’t go thinking I’m all noble and forgiving. Far from it. And I’m not making excuses for her, I’m trying to help you. As annoying and possibly tasty as they are, those gits are your friends, you need them. I don’t want you to lose something that’s important to you no matter how much I hate it. And besides, I’ve lost count of the number of times a slayer has tried to off me. I don’t take it personal anymore, it’s their job, the buggers are all wired that way.”
“Damn you, sense making guy.” Xander dropped his head down on Spike’s shoulder. “I still don’t feel like forgiving her anytime soon.”
“Yeah, and I would be right pissed off if you did. The bitch tried to stake me.”
Xander laughed and stood up again, linking his hands behind Spike’s neck. He smiled as he let his eyes wander over Spike’s now healing body. “You’re not dust.”
“I’m not dust.” Spike smiled back at him and wrapped his arms around Xander’s chest. He tugged him in closer, their lips meeting in a kiss that began as light caresses but soon deepened to something more. Spike’s hands ran over Xander’s back and he hooked his legs around the slim hips. His tongue pressed insistently into Xander’s warm mouth, searching and tasting. It was a different kiss to all they had shared over the weekend. This one was less restrained and spoke of urgent need. Xander’s hands were tangled in his hair, pulling his head in and mashing their lips hard together. Spike dropped his hands to Xander’s hips, pulling their groins together to grind against each other. He heard the sharp intake of breath from Xander at this new contact and could feel the swelling response from both of them.
Their kiss was soon ended when Tom and Rose came back through the kitchen door. “Well, there we go, my Rosie sure can work miracles.”
“William! That is no way to recover. Xander Harris you get off that boy right now.”
Xander spun around in Spike’s arms and pulled his jacket close around his front, looking apologetically at her. “Sorry Rose. I just-. He was-. Umm, we-”
Tom laughed, a deep rumbling sound. “No need for you blokes to be sorry. I’m gonna be gettin’ mileage out of that little scene for a good long while. Right Rosie?” He slapped her behind and winked.
“Oh you are so embarrassing Thomas, do you not have any boundaries?” Rose blushed and looked away. “William, I take it you are feeling better.”
“You could say that, yeah,” Spike grinned. “Better than I’ve felt in a long time.”
“Well I am glad, but you are to avoid any, and I do mean any, strenuous activities until at least this time tomorrow. Xander has told you what we found?”
“Yeah he did. No wonder it hurt so fuck-, ah, so much to move around. When I dived out of the way of that stake it didn’t help none.”
Rose patted his head. “That’s right. And that’s why you’re taking it easy for now. You have some guts to repair.”
“And this will help you on your way mate.” Tom handed Spike a mug of warmed blood.
“Cheers Tom.” Spike downed the blood in one go and handed the mug back to Tom. “Not to be ungrateful or anything, but I really want to get gone. Thanks for everything Rosie, you are a real gem.” He slid down gently from the table and gathered Rose in a friendly hug, then turned to Tom. “And you Thomas, you are a large man. A very large man. But you’re a bloody good bloke.” Spike put his hand out to shake.
“Oh come on now little fella, let’s give our Rosie somethin’ to work with.” Tom grabbed Spike in a careful bear hug and planted a noisy wet kiss on his cheek. “That oughta last the old girl a while.”
“Thomas I think I can hear someone touching the beer taps, you best go and see to that.” Rose gave him a shove and sent him chuckling out the door. “Now William, let me clean up your arm then you can be on your way.”
Rose wiped the blood away then stood back and shrugged. “That’s already healing over,” she pointed to the gash in his arm. “Alright boys looks like you’re on your way.”
Xander hugged and thanked Rose and promised to be back again soon. Spike was impatiently hovering by the door waving Xander’s car keys. “C’mon Harris, get a move on.”
“Yeah I’m coming, you head out to the car. I just want to see Tom for a minute before we go.”
Spike was making his way to the door, still rather slow, but much better than he had been since late Friday. He was stopped by Rose’s stern voice and her raised finger pointing at him. “William Aurelius, you listen to me now and behave yourself until that is healed over. A little patience never killed anyone. Impatience however, might get you in a spot of bother with me.”
“I heard you Rose, not to worry. I have Harris fussing over me like a bloody
“Yes, well mind you just keep a lid on his ‘fussing’ too.” She kissed his cheek and slapped his backside to send him on his way.
“Oi! Hands off woman.” Spike dodged her second swing with a smile and headed for the car. “Move it Harris.”
Xander pulled up a stool at the bar and waved Tom over. “I need to make some arrangements with you if I can.”
“Happy to help Xander, what can I do for you?”
“I was hoping I might be able to set up some regular blood deliveries to my place with whoever your supplier is.”
“Sure no problem at all, and I’ll get you a good deal too, no middle man takin’ a cut, you can just set up an account and pay here whenever you stop by.”
“That’s great Tom, thanks.” Xander handed over his credit card. “And I want to pay for the blood from Friday night and tonight and also a couple of bags to go.”
Tom waved away his card and placed two more bags on the bar. “No chance pal. Those were on the house. That fella has done a lot more than he lets on to help us out here; he’s been worth every bag and then some.”
Xander thanked Tom and gave him a wave on his way out. Spike had started the car and Xander could hear the stereo blaring through the closed doors and windows. He went around to the driver’s side and climbed in. Before he could reach for his seatbelt, Spike had dived across, flipped the lever on Xander’s seat and sent them both slamming backwards. Xander found himself with his hands full of vampire and his mouth full of tongue but wasn’t about to complain. He wrapped his arms around Spike and kissed him back with equal fervour. Xander was moaning into Spike’s mouth, running his hands over the hard muscles of Spike’s back and shoulders when a loud rap on the window broke them apart.
Rose’s muffled voice came through the window. “William if you start bleeding again I wash my hands of you.”
“Oh bloody hell.”