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Amends, Friendships and Moving On - Chapter 23

Title: Amends, Friendships and Moving On
Author: xandercordy1
Pairing: X/S naturally
Spoilers: Spike has decided to stay in Sunnydale with Xander, Angel and the rest of the gang instead of trying to find Drusilla in Season 3.
Disclaimer: In previous chapters
Feedback: Love to hear what you think about the story.

It has been a while. Just hope that everyone remembers this story. If not, maybe you can go back and refresh your memory? Hope so. R/L has taken a break for a while and my muse has decided to run so.....

Previous chapters can be found here




Xander and Willow sat in the cafeteria, discussing Buffy's birthday. Since Buffy had decided to eat lunch with Giles while working on the death of the children, the two had decided it would be a good time to talk about the present Willow wanted to give Buffy. The present had turned out to be a spell Willow felt, based on some things Xander had said, would definitely keep Angel from killing people if he and Buffy were intimate. Xander was flashing back to the conversation he and Buffy had after fighting the Sister of Jhe demons. His wish that he could give her the one thing that she wanted most in the world for her birthday.....a real relationship with Angel. And while he was hopeful this spell would work, he was worried about his part in it as well as whether it would work or not.

"So what do you think, Xander?" Willow was practically vibrating with enthusiasm and Xander was sure she was going to pop out of her chair at any moment.

"I think it would be great and we know Buffy would definitely like this more than perfume or a Patsy Cline cd...." Willow gave him a look, "Don't ask. The point is, she and Angel would both love it.... "

"I hear a but coming on," Willow was noticing her friend's concern.

"Are you sure you should really listen to me, Willow? I mean, I say a lot of things. Usually these things are clearly hypothetical and rarely help any given situation. In fact, I usually get myself or everyone else into trouble with...."

"You have been right about a lot of things and you are right about this, Xander. I know it. Even Giles agreed to help with the spell after hearing your argument and you know how old school Watcher's Council he is."

"So let me get this straight. For years I have been talking and no one really listened because they thought I was joking but now, when so much is riding on the outcome of a plan, everyone is ready to jump on the Xander bandwagon and wave their 'it was his idea' flags in the Buffy Birthday Parade?"

"Huh?"

"Everyone is going to blame me if this spell doesn't work."

"For the billionth time, Xander, it will work. I'm 100, uhm, 97 percent sure it will work." Willow corrected herself off of Xander's stare. When Xander kept staring she became irritated, "Why are you being such a downer?"

"This spell is a very big deal, especially for Buffy and myself and since Buffy doesn't know about it, the entire worry of two people rests on my shoulders."

"Why is that?"

"Okay, say Buffy and Angel happily run off into the sunset and have a nice long...uhm, boink."

"That shouldn't bother you. You're been over that crush on Buffy for a long time and you're in love with Spike. I don't see why Buffy and Angel making love would bother you unless there's some kind of vampire family tradition where everyone," Willow's face took on a horrified expression, "there's not a vampire family tradition is there, Xander?"

"No! At least not for us. Spike is not the traditional type. Anyway, I may be friends with Buffy and Angel," Xander's face mirrored Willow's until he thought about it for a second, ""and they are both very attractive..."

"I knew it! You had a crush on Angel," Willow pointed an accusing finger at Xander after seeing his change of expression. "I knew all that 'he's a very attractive man' stuff was really Xander speak for 'I'm attracted to a good looking guy and it's freaking me out' instead of hatred."

"It was definitely hatred, Wills although I always appreciated the fact that Angel was a handsome guy," Xander thought for a minute before he added, "which may lead us back to the hatred thing, since very few people like others who are better looking than themselves. They usually end up with the person someone else wanted."

"Are you saying that it doesn't make you wonder?"

"Wonder what?"

"About what might have been. If you had known you were...." Willow started gesturing, "attracted to guys earlier, maybe you and Angel...."

"Don't even say it, Willow!" Xander put his finger to his best friend's lips. "Even if I had acknowledged that I was bi-sexual all my life, I would never have wanted Angel. Setting the best friend code of not going after the same guy or girl aside, we would never have clicked. Angel was always so....so....."

"Broody and self-flagelating?"

"Yeah. Angel didn't know how to have any fun and he had no sense of humor so we were total opposites. The only reason we're friends now is because Angel actually acts like he has a personality. In fact, Angel can be downright fun to be around - something I thought I would never hear myself say. Spike and I have to be careful, though, to make sure that he doesn't get too broody on us from time to time. That's why I'm hoping this spell will work. It's not easy on Angel living with me and Spike when we can have a relationship and he and Buffy can't, so brooding does occur every now and then."

"Even after the spell, Angel will probably continue to brood. I think it's in his DNA." Xander nodded in agreement. Willow took a sip of her Coke and asked, "So why were you so worried about this plan again?"

"Oh, yeah. Angel and Buffy do it and wham!" Xander clapped his hands together. "The spell goes kablooey!" He waved his hands around, wiggling his fingers. "Angelus leaves before Buffy wakes up and comes back to the mansion where Spike and I live with Angel." Xander spread his arms apart theatrically, waiting for Willow to understand. The light bulb finally appeared.

"Oh! Don't worry. Spike would protect you, you know that."

"Say Spike is out creaturing or whatever and I'm alone."

"Spike never leaves you alone when you're home."

"What if he did?"

"Why would he?"

"Maybe a really nasty demon shows up at the same exact time. Spike would go after it since Buffy and Angel would be, uh, busy. You know he wouldn't want me to go with him, ergo the stay at home alone scenario."

"The probability of that happening would be...." Willow saw Xander's raised eyebrows, "Never mind, this is the Hellmouth. But still, I know you well enough to know that you would never let Spike go without you."

"True." Xander thought for a moment. "Maybe there's a vampire mixer in town..."

"Spike would take you with him so that he could show you off to all his vampire buddies."

"Spike would never do that. As everyone has told me, I seem to be a demon magnet and Spike doesn't share. Besides, I don't think vampires have buddies, Willow."

"Spike and Angel are buddies." Xander threw his hands in the air.

"Would you please quit interrupting and work with me here, Will?"

"Fine." Willow sat back, crossing her arms with a pout on her face.

"Okay, I think Angelus is Angel. But he's not. You don't think that could get a little messy?"

"Spike says that even Angelus considers you two as family since Spike is his childe and you are Spike's mate."

"Yeah, that's what Angel says and that's nice but Angelus....well, let's say his idea of how to treat family members would put the Manson or Menendez families to shame. If Angelus tried attacking me and I happened to get lucky and realize what was going on in time, I would have to stake him." Xander looked at Willow, sadness clear in his brown eyes. "A few months ago that would have given me a happy but now I can't believe how bad that scenario makes me feel."

"Well, yeah, 'cause we all know that even though Spike and Angel have been training you and your fighting skills have greatly improved, you wouldn't stand a chance against Angelus. And Angelus killing you would be very bad. You would be gone, Spike and Buffy would have to kill Angel even though....."

"Yeah, yeah." Xander waved her off, hurt replacing the sadness. Before Willow could say anything, Oz joined them at the table.

"What have I missed?"

"I was worried about what would happen if the spell didn't work and Willow was reminding me how useless I am in a fight even now."

"I didn't mean it that way, Xander."

"It's always nice to know that your best friend is always there believing in you, no matter what." Xander finished, ignoring Willow's comment.

"Xander Harris listen to me! This has nothing to do with your fighting skills. Let's face it. We all know that none of us are really a match for Angelus....or Spike, for that matter. Don't tell Buffy I said this," Willow scoured the cafeteria for the aforementioned friend before saying, "but I don't think she could take Spike. Spike has killed two vampire slayers by himself, something Angelus never did and look what a hard time Buffy had with him. I know part of the problem was the fact that she loved Angel and wanted him to change back so she wasn't really putting her whole heart into it but still, Angelus was tough. And if Angelus is that tough, Spike would be like the champion vampire no one wants to fight."

"I think we all agree that we don't want Angel's crazy boy personality back. Not that I don't believe Spike could take Angel, I do." Xander's voice was filled with pride and a smile soon matched it as Willow added,

"Yes, sir, Mister, we are very lucky to have Spike on our team now."

"Still, I don't want to lose Angel. He's been really good to me and Spike and killing him would not be a great way to say thank you."

"Just be careful how you go about thanking Angel." Willow teased.

"Not back to this again." Xander groaned.

"Back to what?" Oz asked.

"Right before you got here, Xander admitted he once had a crush on Angel."

"Tell me more." Oz grinned at Xander before taking a bite of his hamburger.

"I didn't say that I ever had a crush on Angel....that was Willow's idea. And may I point out that Willow was also the one who had the pervy thoughts about our two vampires and their lovers in bed together."

"A foursome. Wow." Oz smiled at Willow before taking another bite of his food.

"Not pervy thoughts!" Willow protested, blushing. "I was just asking about, you know, vampire traditions 'cause they do have them - and you never know about vampires."

"Yeah, those wacky vampires. They just keep you guessing." Xander added.

"And they are apparently good for porny imagery." Oz gave them his best teasing smile.

"The bad images and all of that ....it was just a cat moment." Xander assured him.

"Cat moment?"

"As in 'curious as a.' I don't think of Buffy like that anymore. And Angel is like a cross between a friend, a brother and a dad....which makes thoughts like that doubly bad....or would that be triple bad with a side order of double incest?"

"The second choice. Now can you guys get your minds off dirty thoughts and...."

"Let's get it on moments?" Xander interrupted, using his best Marvin Gaye impression as he crooked his finger in a come hither motion. Willow grabbed his finger and pulled it back, making Xander squeal in pain and surprise. "What the....."

"Why did you mention that song?" Oz asked. Xander's eyes went from Oz to Willow and back to Oz again. Had he stuck his foot in it again by referencing a sexual song around Willow in front of Oz? Xander took a good look at him. Oz still had that expression that Xander could not make out, although his voice had been calm. Still, Oz was always calm, Xander reminded himself. When Cordy and Oz had found him and Willow kissing, Oz had remained calm on the outside and suggested in a quiet voice that they get out of the warehouse while Cordy had gone for dramatic which led to her crying, running out and getting hurt. Who was Xander kidding? He was the reason Cordy and Oz had got hurt and now he had hurt his friend once again. Was this a test or something?

"Uhm, we were talking about sexual things and uhm, it reminded me of a conversation I overheard between Buffy and Willow. Buffy was telling her that the best song to get someone in the mood for a little loving was that song." A small smile began to form on Oz's face and Xander began to calm down. "Which was so wrong because when I tried it on Cordy it did not work."

"Hey, don't blame the song." Willow had released Xander's finger and was smiling at Oz. "You are talking about Cordy after all."

"Cordy figured out I was trying to seduce her - that's all and...." Xander's voice trailed off as his mind connected the words that had been spoken and the expressions on his friend's faces just as if he were doing one of those connect the dots things. Xander jumped out of his chair and pointed at both of them before yelling, "Oh, you two so got it on!" Oz took Willow's hand and squeezed it while Willow tried to shush Xander, her face bright red.

Xander noticed he had the other students attention and decided to cover. "You two COULDN'T BE MORE WRONG! This is the worst sloppy joe that I have ever tasted, including my mom's which is saying a lot," Xander spit some out onto a napkin to emphasize his words. "I definitely should have gotten a hamburger." When the others shrugged and turned away, he looked at his friends. "Sorry....it's just....you two did the deed.....during Marvin Gaye...and you didn't tell me?"

"Thanks for letting everyone know! And it's none of your business, Alexander Harris." Willow chided.

"Did you hear the sorry? And is to. And Buffy's. Best friends tell each other almost everything. I told you how romantic Spike was during our first time and I'm sure that Buffy told you about her and Angel...."

"If best friends tell everything to each other and you and Buffy are best friends too, then why didn't she tell you about Angel? Could it be a girl thing?" Oz asked.

"Nah. Those two seem to think of me as one of the girls, especially since I've been dating Spike, even though I am manlier than ever because of the training." Xander showed a muscle while Oz and Willow tried to seem impressed. "Has everyone seemed to forget that I used to hate Angel...not unrequited anything from either Buffy or Angel....just hated him because he was so....so.....I-have-to-feel-bad-and-never-be-happy-because-I-don't-deserve-it-so-I-only-have-two-facial-expressions-which-are-sad-or-angry?"

"You and Spike have forced him to add a few different expressions."

"Annoyed and surprised?"

"I was thinking more along the lines of amused and happy."

"Huh?"

"Oz is right, Xander. When Angel is with you two I see annoyed and a kind of love/happy expression. I think Angel missed Spike and now that he has gotten to know you, he treats you like you said....a little brother or a son, depending on the moment."

"Really?" Xander smiled around a mouthful of sloppy joe while Willow nodded happily. Xander swallowed. "That's nice but you two aren't getting away with changing the subject." Willow's face fell while Oz grinned.

"Got you. Continue with the best friend lecture." Oz snagged a french fry and popped it into his mouth.

"So why do you get to hear all the details of our romantic moments and we don't know anything about what's going on with you two. It's not like you have to draw a map or anything....just the good parts.....well, not all the good parts," Xander blushed and grabbed a fry, pointing it at Willow. "You know what I mean. I told you about the candles and the romantic music...."

"Oh, right." Willow's eyes lit up. "From what you said, Spike was very charming. But that's to be expected because Spike is not like other vampire - he's so cool and he always knows what to do in any given situation."

"He was, he's not, he is and yes, he does." Xander renewed his vow to talk to Spike about taking care of Willow if something were to happen to him, before returning his thoughts to happier ones.

"And if it makes you happy, I think that your first time with Spike was so much more romantic than Buffy's with Angel."

"Well, yeah cause Angel turned evil. So why didn't you tell me about Let's Get It On?" Xander again did his horrible imitation, causing Oz and Willow to groan. Oz because the imitation was so bad and Willow because she couldn't distract or sweet talk her way out of this conversation.

"Please don't ever do that again." Oz begged.

"I won't as long as you guys quit holding back."

"Nothing happened, Xander. That's why I didn't tell you. I pinky swear." Willow held up her little finger. "Oz is teasing me because I played that song for him at Christmas and tried to get him all hot and bothered but it didn't work."

"Oh, it worked. We just didn't do anything."

"Why not?" Xander was disappointed. "You two are so totally right for each other."

"Wasn't the right moment." Oz told him simply, smiling at Xander's disappointment. At least he had the best friend's approval when he and Willow were ready to take it to the next level. He knew how much Willow's friends meant to her, so having Buffy and Xander in his corner was an added plus.

"Well, when it is, I want to hear how happy you two are. I want your first time to be like mine and Spike's....."

"Growly and possessive?" Willow teased.

"I was going for special but growly and possesive is good.....better than good," Xander smiled at memories of Spike until a loud clearing of the throat brought him back, "And I love the fact that Spike is possessive...for the most part. It makes me feel loved in a way that I never felt before....not even with you, Buffy or Jesse." Xander told Willow before adding, "It also makes me scared."

"Scared of what?" Willow asked.

"I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I mean, Spike could have anybody or anything he wants, since vampires don't care that much about gender or species and yet he picked me. Sometimes I find myself waiting for Spike to realize that he's made a mistake and leave me. We even had a discussion about Drusilla. What he would do if she ever came back...."

"What makes you think Drusilla will be back?"

"Call it a gut feeling.....I mean why would anybody leave someone like Spike. They'd have to be crazy." Xander stopped talking when both Willow and Oz chuckled. "Oh, great. I'm pouring out my heart to my friends and they laugh at me. What are you going to do for an encore? Kick my puppy?"

"You don't have a puppy, Xan."

"If I had one - you'd probably kick it."

"Would not. And for the record, we're not laughing at you." Xander raised his eyebrows. "Okay, we were but it wasn't about your feelings. It was what you said. That someone would have to be CRAZY to leave Spike." Xander still wasn't getting the point.

"You were talking about Drusilla who is the epitomy of crazy." Oz pointed out.

"Oh...huh." Xander chuckled a little at himself before growing serious again. "She may be crazy at times but she'll start to think about what she's lost and come back. I'm not stupid even if I don't do good in school."

"Well."

"Well, what?" Xander was confused.

"Not well as in well, let's discuss this. Well as in you should have used well instead of good." Xander stared and Willow fondly rolled her eyes. "Instead of saying I don't do good in school you should have said, I don't do well in school."

"Well, I would have said that if I actually did good in school." Willow, ever the teacher, was about to correct him again when Oz shook his head at her. Xander, missing the exchange, continued, "And that's not my only worry. I've looked in the mirror - I've seen me. And I've seen Dru up close and personal....don't ask," Xander held up his hand to ward of Willow's question, "and I've done the comparisons. Dru is drop dead gorgous...no pun intended and I'm - I'm plain old Xander Harris." Xander sighed. "I can only hope that the saying 'love is blind' is actually true." Oz and Willow exchanged a look, neither one of them bothering to address the comment since their friend would never believe that he was a good looking guy no matter how many people pointed this out to him.

Since Buffy, Angel and Spike had taken Xander on his shopping expedition and he had begun to wear the form fitting clothes that showed off the body underneath, Xander had received plenty of appreciative glances from girls and guys alike in the hallways. Xander was either oblivious to the stares or so used to being made fun of because of the clothes he used to wear that he thought the stares were because he was ugly. Xander also did not seem to notice that he was making more 'friends' of late although the rest of the gang seemed to pay attention. And if the clothes weren't enough, Spike made Xander wear his hair long and shaggy which only added to the allure.

Willow hid the smile brought on by remembering how Spike had been happy to hear that Xander was not paying any attention to the looks. While Spike tried to give Xander confidence, he hated the competition. Willow thought both of them were pretty silly in both regards. Xander should know how good looking he was, how much Spike loved him and Spike should know that Xander only had eyes for him. And no wonder. With those blue eyes and cheekbones to die for....Willow shook herself out of bad thoughts about Spike long enough to question Xander.

"You said you talked to Spike about Drusilla. What did he say?"

"That he would pick me over her."

"Has Spike ever lied to you about his feelings before?"

"No."

"Then there you go. You have nothing to worry about."

"Yeah, I do. Spike honestly believes that he would pick me over Dru but she's not here so it's easy to say that. If she were standing in front of him....that would be a different story. We aren't even in the same class." Xander sighed, realizing for the first time exactly why he was so worried about Drusilla even after Spike had shown him over and over again how much he loved Xander.

"You think it's easy for Spike?" Before Xander could answer the question, Oz continued, "He's a vampire, Xander. Not just a vampire, but a master vampire. One that is strong enough to have killed two slayers and would have killed Buffy if it hadn't been for Joyce sneaking up on him. Spike has been killing for over 100 years and even though he has more humanity in him than most vampires do, it's still gotta be next to impossible for Spike to quit hunting all of the sudden."

"Believe me, Oz, I get that."

"Do you? I mean, I hear you say the words and I have no doubt that you think you do but....I put myself into a cage three nights a month for Willow because of the temptation to just let loose and kill. Spike manages to not kill without caging himself up and that has to take a lot of self control." Xander opened his mouth to say something but Willow stopped him.

"Oz explained it to me so I'm going to use his example on you, okay?" Xander nodded. "To a vampire, draining someone tastes as good as the pepperoni and sausage pizzes with extra sauce that you've been eating since we were in kindergarden. Hunting down their prey, or humans, is as much fun to them as playing video games is to you. Now, imagine someone saying that they could only be with you if you gave up eating pizza and playing video games for the rest of your life. Could you do that?"

"For Spike? Yeah, of course."

"Do it." Willow and Oz chorused.

"Huh?"

"I'll have mercy on you." Oz grinned. "Only do it for a couple of months. I think that should really give you an idea of what Spike is going through."

"I told you I....."

"You don't really know what Spike is going through to be with you or you wouldn't question his loyalty and his love for you. And don't say that you're not because every time you think that Spike would leave you for Dru - that's questioning it. Hell, if I were Spike I would be pissed that you would even think that after what he's been through.."

"You never got mad at Willow like...."

"Didn't you notice that when Oz gave me a second chance I gave up pistachio ice cream and computers, except at school or helping Giles for a few months?"

"Not really. No offense, Willow but I was kinda out of it for a month or so around that time." All of them became quiet for a few minutes, remembering the car crash.

"Well, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Like Oz said, until you are in the other person's shoes to some degree, you may think you know what they are going through but you never really do.

"And Spike stopping all of his old habits when he was so worried and stressed out about you....man, that had to be terrible." Oz pointed out.

"Not to mention how Spike probably wanted to kill Faith after what she did to you. From what I heard, you had to talk Spike down and that couldn't have been easy." When Willow had noticed how tense both Buffy and Xander had become every time someone mentioned Faith, coupled with the fact that the dark haired slayer hadn't been around in days, she had confronted them.

"About as easy as talking you down." Xander pointed out to Willow. Buffy had left it up to Xander whether he wanted to tell Willow about Faith and when he had finally confided in her, Willow had wanted to find Faith and turn her into a female dog. Something fitting, Willow had said. Xander had spent an hour at least talking his best friend out of wreaking vengeance on Faith. Xander didn't know if Willow was capable of actually doing something like that but he didn't want her to try her skills out on Faith.

"I wasn't going to kill her. I was only going to turn Faith into a female dog for a few days....a week at the most." Xander smiled at her. "Okay, maybe a month. But it wasn't going to be permanent."

"What if you couldn't turn her back?"

"I could. Just canine bitch to human bitch." Willow made a weighing motion with her hands. "It wouldn't be that much of a difference."

"Two legs." Oz commented, finishing off his fries.

"Spike wanted to kill Faith but he doesn't want to hurt me and Angel....or Buffy for that matter. He might bitch about hanging out with Buffy because she's the Slayer but I think he's grown to like her, even if he won't admit it." They all grinned at Xander's words before he went on, "The choice wasn't just for me. Spike did it for Angel, too." .

"Mostly you." Oz and Willow chorused.

"I can understand Spike wanting to kill Faith. In fact, if he were still eating people, I'd tie her up, garnish her with wheatabix, rare steak and frosted flakes," Willow named off some of Spike's favorite human foods, "and serve Faith to Spike on a silver platter." Xander and Oz both stared at her. "What? You don't think I get angry or that I couldn't do some damage to someone just because I try to play peacemaker and hate fights?" They both shrugged. "Let me tell you something. I'm like....like....a female version of Luke Skywalker."

"Really?" Xander asked. "How so?"

"Luke is easy going, even when people push him around and try to tell him what to do. But when someone hurts Leia, Hans, Obi-Wan or Chewbacca....even the robots, Luke turns into a Jedi who kicks some major butt."

"Let me guess. Xander is Hans, Buffy is Leia, Giles is Obi-Wan, the robots are Spike and Angel and I'm Chewbacca....'cause of the furriness."

"Exactly, Oz."

"I wanted to be Luke." Xander pouted. Willow reached for Xander's hand and gave it a squeeze.

"Remember Luke's assault on Jabba the Hut?" Xander nodded. "That was all for Hans. I'd do the same thing, only I wouldn't go so far as to kill anyone. I'd leave that up to Spike....maybe Angel."

"They always say it's the quiet ones you have to watch out for." Oz deadpanned. Willow noticed the expression on Xander's face and sighed.

"Quit giving me shock face, Xander."

"Sorry, it's just....I didn't expect you to be so dangerous. I didn't know you would feel so..."

"How did you expect me to feel?" Willow interrupted. "Xander, you've been my best friend since we were in diapers. Faith hurt you and it could have been worse. I don't know what I'd do if something...." Willow's breath hitched for a second as she remembered sitting in the bathroom and crying for hours at the thought of Xander being hurt....of possibly losing him forever. She had managed not to cry in front of Xander because she knew her friend was upset enough. Willow had let her anger guide her until she was home alone and then the floodgates had opened. "She hurt you."

"Like I told Spike, I'm fine, I swear...but thanks for caring."

"I do. If she had....I love you, you big goof." Xander placed a gentle kiss on Willow's hand.

"I love you, too....in a totally platonic, brotherly, best friend way."

"I get that." Oz assured Xander, happy to realize that he was no longer jealous of Xander. He knew that, romantically speaking, Willow loved him and Xander loved Spike. Xander and Willow had a relationship that no one.....not even Buffy, himself or Spike....could totally understand but Oz could live with that. Xander gave him a smile that said he was glad that their past was in the past once and for all. "Speaking of love, are we all ready to help with this spell so Buffy and Angel can be together?" Willow and Xander looked at one another and then back to Oz, both of them nodding their heads in affirmation.

"Shall we adjourn to the library to meet up with the Buffster and Giles?" Xander asked. Oz and Willow answered by standing and helping Xander clean off their table. They threw their garbage into the waste basket at the door and headed down the hallway, Willow and Oz arm in arm.

"Just a minute. I need to do something." Xander told Willow and Oz, who both smiled when they saw Xander pull his cell phone out of his pocket and hit speed dial one while walking away for a little privacy. Spike picked up on the first ring.

//"What is it, pet? Is there something wrong at the school? Should Angel and I come over there? Are you hurt? If you are, who did it because I will kill them!"//

"Nothing wrong so no need to come over, although I would like to see you right now." Xander's voice held a touch of sadness and Spike was immediately on the alert again, the relaxation from knowing that Xander was unhurt and out of danger forgotten.

//"Something's wrong, luv. I can hear it in your voice."//

"I'm....uhm....disappointed in myself." Xander heard Spike sigh before the vampire responded and Xander could tell that Spike was trying not to yell.

//"So you scared me half into another death because you're disappointed in yourself? What did you do? Hurt somebody's feelings? Step on someone's toes? Fail a test?"//

"Not yet. It was something....you know what, never mind. You're right. I shouldn't have called just so I could talk to you. I forgot how paranoid you are so just forget it. I'll see you tonight." Xander was a bit angry now. Couldn't he just call without Spike getting onto him?

//"Xander bloody Harris, you hang up that phone now and I will come to the school, find you, put you over my knee and give you a good spanking!"// Xander could tell that Spike, while still worried, was pissed at himself for being so harsh with Xander.

"Do you promise?"

//"Like that spanking idea, do you?"//

"Gotta admit, it's an interesting idea. Maybe something we can explore later on."

//"More than happy to oblige, luv."// Xander heard Angel's voice and then Spike added, //"The Poof wants you to remind Red about re-newing the spell around our room."

"Will do. Spike....."

//"What is it, pet and don't tell me nothing...."//

"Wasn't gonna. I just want you to know that....uhm....I'm sorry that I've been such an ass about Dru. I know you would never lie to me....it's just my stupid insecurities." Xander glanced around the hallway, trying to carefully choose his words so the other students wouldn't understand what he was saying but Spike would. "I'm still amazed at all the things you've chosen to give up just to be with me....a human kid....when you could be with Dru doing what you should be doing, although I don't want to think about you doing what you should be doing but it is your nature to do the things you used to do but don't do any longer and I get that."

//"Wish I did, pet."// Xander grinned, knowing that Spike was probably running his hand through his hair in frustration.

"If you were with Dru you could, uhm, do what she does."

//"Dance around, natter on at the stars, have tea parties with dolls, talk in riddles...." Spike put his hand down before he pulled all his hair out, wondering how Xander could manage to get him so flummoxed with one long sentence.

"Spike!"

//"Or kill people."// Spike finally managed to put the pieces together.

"That's the one."

//"Rather be with you, luv."//

"Glad to hear it. Truth be told, I just realized something."

//"What's that?"//

"If you decided to go back to doing what it's your nature to do, which I wouldn't want you to... but if you did, I know I would still love you. I couldn't stop myself. If that makes me a bad person, then so be it."

//"Loving someone does not make you a bad person, Xander. Our hearts can't help who we love."//

"So you don't think less of me for saying that 'cause you know I have that white knight reputation to uphold." Spike chuckled before he became serious again.

//"One of the reasons I love you so much is because of that white knight complex even though I don't understand it and it drives me insane when you put yourself into danger because of it. But hearing you say you would tarnish it on my account makes me love you more. No one has ever given themselves to me so completely. Still, no need to worry about things that will never happen, pet. You could never give up being the white knight and when I make a promise, I keep it." Spike cleared his throat before continuing, his voice full of emotion. "Now what brought on this need to bare your soul? Not that I don't like what you're saying but I wish you were saying it in person instead of over the phone so that I could shag your brains out. Are you sure you're okay?"//

"Oz was talking about how hard it is for him to cope and it made me realize that I kinda take you for granted and that is something I never wanted to do. you make me feel special and I don't know that I'm worth it but I want you to know that I not only love you but I respect you too, Spike. I'm proud to be yours. It was all just there....and I had to hear your voice and tell you how I felt that's all."

//"Oh, pet....I love you, too. Wouldn't want anyone else because you are my luv."//

"I get what you mean now about the waiting until we were face to face because all I want right now is to be under you, feeling you inside me. I promise that when I get home, I will tell you over and over again how much I love you and how proud of you I am."

//"You could just skip.....Ow, you soddin' Poof!"// Xander had heard the smack and knew that Angel had hit Spike on the back of the head. Angel insisted that Xander go to school and not slack because for some crazy reason he believed that Xander could actually get into college.

"Tell Angel that ditching classes wouldn't be that bad because I'm not going to college."

//"Can if you want to."// Spike's voice showed no doubt that he believed in Xander as well.

"I hate to have phone foreplay and run but I have to catch up with Willow and Oz. We need to talk about Scooby stuff before the bell rings for the next class."

//"I'll be here waiting with nothing on."//

"Not a good idea if I'm bringing Willow by....and possibly Oz. Make sure you're wearing something because it's always fun to undress you. Tell Angel we'll be good until the room is soundproofed and then all bets are off. Love you."

//"Love you too, pet."// Spike hung up the cell and stared at the ceiling, trying to calm himself down. Yet every time he recalled Xander's words, he felt the fire in his stomach start to burn again. He wanted Xander here, right now.

"What was that all about?" Angel had heard every word and was not only curious but jealous as well. He wondered if Buffy would ever tell him the things that Xander had told Spike. If Buffy could love him that much.

"I finally found someone who loves and accepts all of me. Someone who's proud of me." Spike sighed, trying to keep the emotion out of his words. No one had ever loved all of him. Angelus had always been infatuated by William but had turned him into Spike, not wanting to keep the humanity around. Dru had been the same. No one except his long dead mother had ever told him that they were proud of him. But Xander was different. Yes, he was definitely keeping his boy. "And Xander thinks he's the lucky bloke."

Angel nodded, understanding how Spike was feeling. As much as he loved Buffy, they had so many problems. First and foremost was the fact that if they ever made love again Angel would revert back to Angelus. Angel hoped there was a way to rectify that situation someday but even if there were, he and Buffy had more problems. Buffy was the vampire slayer and Angel was a vampire. That would never change. Could they actually share a relationship or would that fact keep coming between them. While Xander loved all of Spike and Spike returned that sentiment, Angel knew that Angelus did not feel the love for Buffy that Angel did. While Angelus certainly appreciated how strong and beautiful she was, he wanted nothing more to break her. For Buffy to be the first slayer Angelus killed. After everything Angelus had done to Buffy and her friends, especially Giles, Angel knew that Buffy would never accept the Angelus part of him or trust him fully. No, Angel didn't think he and Buffy would ever have what Spike and Xander did and while he was happy for his childe, there was a part of him that was very jealous at this moment.

"You are both lucky blokes."
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