This was the first story I'd written, finished about two weeks ago, before I figured out how to post to Bloodclaim. So apologies if you've already read some where else. (although this is the first time it's been posted since being beta'd)
‘The Skin You’re In’
“Oh come on, Anya! It’s not like I did it on purpose last time ya know!” Willows says exasperatedly, thinking back to the little ‘Troll,’ mishap last year, that was ‘in no way my fault!’
“And besides, as I recall you’re the one who wouldn’t stop interrupting me, and that’s the reason Olaf was pulled from the crystal in the first place. So ha! See, not my fault… Besides this spell is way easier than trying to make balls of sunshine, I can do this easy. All I need is a practice partner, so…..”
“So why me?” Anya whines. “Why don’t you ask your little rat friend, Amy, to help? I’m sure she’d love be you for a little while. It’s got to be better than being a rat, right?”
“Anya, you’re not going to ‘be me’. You’ll be you….you’ll just look like me. And I’ll look like you. It only lasts a couple hours and if you help me practice I can focus on reversing the glamour faster. C’mon, this could really help Buffy out when she’s doing recon on big vamp and demon nests. See this way she can invoke the glamour and it might make it easier for her to sneak up on them sometimes if they don’t know it’s her right away,” Willows says while gathering the texts and ingredients she’ll need for the spell.
“Besides, Amy and me kinda had a big night last night and she’s trying to get to some extra rest before she goes to see her dad today. You know, so she can explain where she’s been the last three years….” Willow trailed off as she remembered her night out with Amy at Rack’s.
“See that’s exactly what I mean!” Anya shouted in triumph. “Amy was a rat! For THREE YEARS! Three years and you couldn’t turn her back. I don’t want to look like you for the next three years, I want to look like me. I like me, I’m very pretty,” she said, so straight faced that Willows jaw drops a little.
Rolling her eyes, and attempting to hide her sarcasm, Willow gave it one more shot. “Yes Anya, you are very pretty, but that’s not why I want to look like you. There isn’t anyone else I can practice this with. Look, I can do the spell on my self and you, or I could do it on two separate people. You know if I’m willing to do it to myself that I must have put a lot of research into this spell right? I mean I don’t want to look like you for ever, do I?” Anya opened her mouth to say something when Willow continued, cutting her off.
“I know, I know……You’re very pretty. I just mean I like being me, like you like being you. I just need someone to practice with. Please?” Willow says while she gave Anya her best sweet and innocent face.
“You’ll pay for all your ingredients?” Willow nodded in agreement. “You won’t make my cash register disappear again will you? I won’t have you risking the money again!” Anya said with a glare in Willows direction. “And no more making trolls or ex-boyfriends appear. Oh and I want my face back when we‘re done. The wedding dress I picked out will not go with your complexion. Besides, I think it would be confusing to the guests,” Anya added almost as an afterthought.
“Of course Anya, I promise. No messing with the money, no ex-boyfriends, and no confused wedding guests. Ok?” Willow asked
“Ok,” Anya agreed. “Oh, one more thing, I expect a very nice wedding gift for being so helpful,” Anya blatantly added.
Willow turns back to the counter in the Magic Box nodding her head, while at the same time rolling her eyes with her back turned to Anya.
“So what do I need to do?” Anya asked while mentally calculating how much money she’s going to charge for the spell ingredients Willows was using.
“It’s really simple,” Willow said, while making a circle on the shop floor with the crushed ingredients. “Ok, so all you have to do is step into the circle, I’ll do the chant from here. When I’m done I’ll step into the circle too. Then all we have to do is look at each other at the same time and say each others names. See? Easy!” Willow explained to her.
“Then what?” Asks Anya “I mean that’s it? ‘POOF’ I look like you, you look like me? Then what? How do you turn me back?”
“ That’s the best part, I don’t have to turn you back! It’s a temporary glamour. It only lasts for between 1 and 3 hours on humans. And if you work with the ingredients enough you can work out an exact time frame. That’s why I need you to help me, so I can work out the amount of ground K’latath nails to adjust the spell with.” Willow said getting excited by explaining some of the details to Anya. “The less you use the shorter the glamour lasts. So I figure if we do it a couple times I can get the glamour to last for only about 30-45 minutes.
When the spell is cast there should be some pretty blue sparkles in the air. When the sparkles dissipate, the glamour will be in place. Then we just have to wait for it to wear off,”
Anya watched while Willow finished making notes on the chant she needed to use for the spell. “As long as you’re sure we’ll change back. It’s date night and I want to be me when Xander picks me up after patrol. I have several new sex toys that Xander promised we could try out tonight. I expect to have many orgasms, and I prefer to have them in my own body,” Anya said bluntly
“Uh, yeah, I prefer you have them in your body too,” an embarrassed and some what red faced Willow mumbled.
“Ok, I think were ready now,” Willow said “I’m going to say the chant three times, when I’m done I’ll enter the circle and when we look at each other you say ‘Willow’ and I’ll say ‘Anya’. When the sparkles are all gone the spell will be cast. Ready?”
“Ready,” Anya said, as she stepped into her place in the large circle.
“Great! Here we go,” Willow stepped up to the counter again a few feet from the circle and Anya. With one hand she picked up some herbs from the counter and held her hand over a small ember bowl in which to burn them. With the other hand she picked up her incantation.
“In meus eyes vadum vos vultus , in vestri eyes ego vadum exsisto. Ut eyes cado in vos they mos animadverto tantum mihi. Ut eyes cado in mihi tantum vos mos they animadverto. Per totus filiolus sic mote es exsisto!” Willow chanted three times as she dropped the herbs into the bowl. Just as she’d about to turn to join Anya, the back door flew open and Spike was already striding into the circle before she can stop him.
“Spike you can’t be in here……” Anya said.
“Anya I need a favor……..” Spike said.
They both spoke at the same time. As soon as the names were said there was a huge gust of wind in the shop and a bright blue and white light flashed up from the circle on the floor, Spike and Anya both collapsed unconscious to the floor. Willow who had been moving frantically towards Spike was blinded by the bright light as she tried to enter the circle, she moved around dazedly, finally stumbling over one of Spikes’ boots, and landing with a soft thud as she too passed out.
(Willows spell translated is…. In my eyes shall you look, in your eyes I shall be. When eyes fall on you they will see only me. When eyes fall on me only you will they see. By all the gods so mote it be!)
Xander Harris was not having a good night. He’d been out patrolling with Buffy since just past sunset, and was eagerly waiting for quitting time. He’d already had a long day on site. He was both physically tired from heavy lifting and mentally stressed in his new roll as assistant foreman. All though he’d been thrilled about the promotion and pay raise, the added work the past few weeks had taken it’s toll on him. In fact, after the first hour of patrolling with Buffy, he had pretty much decided to call off date night with Anya.
‘You know she’s gonna throw a fit right?’ Xander argued with himself. ‘Nah, she’ll understand. I mean, we’re practically married…..Of course she’ll understand. I’ll just explain to her that I don’t want to have sex-capades tonight cause I’m so tired from work and patrolling and……..oh my gods, she’s gonna be pissed. She’s been looking forward to “toy night” all week. Uhh, “toy night”, like we even need a stupid toy night. Please, like I don’t already spend most of my time giving her “orgasms” and working overtime to pay for the wedding of her dreams,’ he thought, a little bitterly. ‘Ok, calm down, it’s no big. I’ll just explain how tired I am, and you know, ask if we can postpone till tomorrow.’
“Xan are you even listening to me?” Buffy asked loudly snapping her fingers in front of his face.
“Huh? “Oh, sorry Buff, just kind of been a long day, ya know,” he gave her his goofiest grin. “So what were you saying?” he asked.
Buffy gave him a small tired smile in return. “Yeah, I guess we have been at this for a while now huh? Why don’t you go on home. It’s about 9:00 already and I told Dawn I’d look at her homework tonight before she goes to bed. I’ll just make a final sweep through town on my way home, see if I can’t find something else to stake,” she said as she tried to stifle a yawn.
“You know, you’ve been looking a little tired too the last day or so,” Xander said as they started towards the cemetery gate. “Why don’t you get Spike to help patrol this weekend? I mean he’s always looking for something get down and dirty with……” Xander wasn’t looking at Buffy while he was talking about Spike and missed the sudden look of panic on her face. When they got to the gate he turned to her and she covered with another yawn.
“Nah, I can handle it on my own,” she said with mock cheer. “Besides, I’m sure he doesn’t need me to help him get dirty……” Buffy slapped a hand over her mouth “I so didn’t just say that,” she mumbled from behind her hand.
Xander coughed to cover the giggle that escaped him ‘Very manly type giggle,’ he thought to himself.
“Ugh, you’re right….. I am tired,” Buffy said sullenly. “I think I’ll skip going though town, go do Dawns’ homework instead and then hop in bed…..to sleep I mean,” she added
“Something you wanna tell me Buff?” Xander asked, giving her a knowing grin, as they started walking again. He had his suspicions but he didn’t want to push.
Thinking back to night they all learned about Buffy’s sojourn in heaven he couldn’t help but remember what happened after the final song and dance. He remembered walking to the door Buffy had kicked in, while the rest of Scoobies were talking about Buffy being in heaven….He just couldn’t talk about it yet. Didn’t want to think about how he had played a part in taking that away from her. So he silently made his way to the open door, and stood in the shadows just out of sight as Buffy and Spike shared what he knew must have been their first kiss. He was both saddened and jealous of what he saw. Saddened, because he knew he could never truly understand what she was going through, and jealous because maybe Spike could. Maybe Spike could help her in ways her friends couldn’t. Maybe when he kissed her he could make believe that she loved him too. He could hear the others talking and getting closer to the door, Buffy must have heard too. She suddenly pushed Spike away from her with look of regret and determination on her face then took off down the alley before Spike could stop her. Ok, so maybe Xander was sad, and jealous of both of them.
‘Wait, what…..jealous of both them? Ok I can understand being jealous of Spike. He gets to touch and comfort the woman I had a crush on all though high school. But why would I be jealous of Buffy?’ Xander thought to himself.
“Huh? No,” Buffy says interrupting his inner musings. “I mean, there isn’t anything I need to tell you. You know, it’s just….Spike. He gets on my nerves sometimes, following me around like a lost puppy,” Buffy said as they reached her house. Xander just nodded and decided she’d tell him when she was ready to let everyone know.
“Sure Buff, I know he can be pain, but I think he really does care for you. So just…….I don’t know, go easy on him sometimes. Ok?” he asked.
“Uh sure Xan. Gee, you really must be tired if your standing up for the “fangless wonder,” which by the way is one of the names you came up with for him…..of course I’d have to say my fave would be “bleach boy,” although “dead boy junior,” is up there too. Hmm, also one of yours. You know, you’re much more clever than we give you credit for,” Buffy said smugly as she walked in the house.
“Alright, alright, you’ve made your point. And yes, I am more clever than you guys give me credit for….I also tend to see things the others don’t,” he said pointedly “Any way, I gotta go pick up Ahn at the Magic Box. I’ll see you tomorrow Buff. Have a good night and tell Dawn to do her own damn homework!” he called back from the side walk
Xander took his time walking to the Magic Box, dreading the argument that would ensue once he told Anya he would be too tired to perform for her tonight. ‘Perform,’ he snorted to himself ‘Great, sounds like I can’t even get it up…..which I so can. Shit, I’m just so tired. All I want to do is crawl into bed and sleep until Monday. But of course you know Anya’s gonna jump to conclusions…..again. “Oh, Xander doesn’t want to have sex, he must cheating on me! Oh, Xander is too tired for sex, it’s all Buffy’s fault! Oh, Xander doesn’t want to use the sex toys I bought and act like my trick pony, he must be gay!” Which is just ridiculous. Hell she knows I’m a little bi-curious, which is why I let her buy those damn toys in the first place!
Fuck, I wish I was gay sometimes. I mean come on, I’m sure most guys wouldn’t need this much validation of their boyfriend’s love after, what, almost three years together?
Ok fine……I’m not really gay, most guys I’ve ever met have been huge a turn off as far as I’m concerned. Besides I love soft curves, supple breasts and long legs too much to ever really give up women, and there’s only been one guy that I’ve ever even been attracted to anyway! Only one guy, makes you curious. Not gay,’ Xander told himself as reached the front door to the Magic Box.
Giving a final mental sigh to the upcoming battle with Anya, Xander pulled out his key to the shop, unlocking the door, he was already talking as he entered. “Hey Ahn, what do you think about getting a pizza and calling it a night……..Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit,” Xander yelled when he saw the three bodies on the floor.
Willow was moaning and coming around on her own, Spike wasn’t dust so he figured he could wait…..but Anya, who wasn’t moving, needed his attention more than the other two did just then.
Xander crouched on the ground next his fiancé, clutching her hand to his heart, stroking her hair lovingly, and started to panic when he realized how cool she felt and that he couldn’t see her breathing. “Ok, ok….uh CPR I can do that, I can do that, I brought Buffy back right? Right!” he said to calm himself.
He gently tilted her head back and kissed her forehead. Then leaned down and gently kissed her cool lips, before settling his mouth over hers and preparing to give her a potentially life saving breath. Just as he was about to push his warm breath into her he thought he felt her move, he pulled back slightly, and let out a soft sigh of relief when he felt her arms wrap around his waist.
Spike woke slowly when he felt warm lips press against his. He could feel the warmth radiating off the body hovering over him, and slowly wrapped his arms around all that wonderful heat. He gently pulled until the other body was snuggled up next to him and pressed a kiss to those warm full lips. He let slip a light moan of pleasure when the kiss deepened, and he felt a tongue pressing at the seam of his mouth gently asking for admittance. Spike let his mouth open for the kiss and knew instantly that it wasn’t Buffy. This kiss was sweet, and gentle, passionate and caring and….and loving. No, he knew it wasn’t Buffy……
Xander and Anya kissed for several long minutes as Willow slowly came around and took in her surroundings. She glanced at them for a moment and was thrilled that Anya was ok. Then she looked again and couldn’t believe that she had never noticed the passion their kisses held before. It was beautiful, and mesmerizing.
Willow heard Spike moan and looked over her shoulder at him. He was sitting up slowly, holding a hand to his head and grumbling about how much it had hurt when he’d passed out and cracked it on the floor. Willow could hear him making a soft ow, ow, ow while he checked for bumps. He was acting kind of strange, but it didn’t hit her until Spike stood up and started pointing at Xander and Anya still on floor kissing deeply.
“Xan? Xander? What are you doing?! Who?…..what?…Is that….Me?” He said just before fainting back to the floor.
Xander couldn’t believe how good this kiss was! ‘Anya has never kissed me like this before,’ he thought ‘It’s amazing! I can’t believe she’s been holding this back all the time we’ve been together,’ Xander was relishing the power and strength and ferocity of this new kiss. ‘God, it’s like she woke up with special kissing super powers or something! I’m in love! I mean sure I loved her before, but it seemed like there was always something missing and now, now he knew what it was. It’s this, this feral, primal power that I can feel now. Oh gods, I can feel it, feel how much she wants me, how much she needs me, just from this incredible kiss.’
Xander was a little drunk on the high from the kiss, and maybe a little from the lack of oxygen, so he didn’t really notice Spike’s swooning act until Willow was yelling to get his attention.
“Xander? Xander! You have to STOP. Stop kissing him, Oh My Gods! Xander you’re kissing Spike!” Willow practically screeched in Xander’s ear as she tried to pull him away from his make out partner.
Once Willow’s screaming got through to him, he pulled away and frowned trying to decipher what she had been yelling at him. Something about Spike, he was almost certain, but got distracted when the body in his arms started squirming trying to sit up.
Xander looked down into Anya’s face and was startled to see golden eyes, vampire ridges and fangs staring back at him. Xander didn’t panic, just pulled her close to his chest uncaring that she could potentially rip his throat out. “It’s ok Ahn, I don’t care that you’re a vampire. We’ll figure it out.” he said calmly and loudly enough that Spike and Willow could both hear him.
“We’ll figure it out,” he said again, wrapping his arms around her more tightly. “We can get you your soul if you want or, or I don’t know something! NOT a chip! I could never ask you to live like that. Gods, I hate seeing Spike have to live like that.” He looked at her and could see the pleased surprise on her face. “Hell, with kisses like that, I might just be convinced to let you kill a few people here and there,” Xander joked as he pushed his hand through her hair and caressed her cheek, until he saw the frightened look on Willows face. “What I meant, was that she could the kill bad guys, Wills,” he laughed shakily.
“Uh, Xan, it’s not that. Well, it’s not only that. I mean you do know that’s not Anya…..right?” Willow asked with a squeak to her voice.
“What? Sure it is Will. I mean she looks like my Anya. She’s wearing the same clothes Anya was wearing this morning…..Wait she’s not an alternate dimension Anya is she? IS SHE??? Oh god! Why can’t my Ahn kiss like that?!” Xander whined, not noticing Spike flinch and curl into Willow’s arms when he said that.
“Ok, Wills, spill. If this isn’t Anya, or, you know, my Anya, then where is she?” Xander asked all ready knowing that whatever happened Willow and her excess use of magic were probably to blame. Xander didn’t feel bad for prejudging her guilty, not since everything that happened with bringing Buffy back from heaven, and the memory spell that Willow had used to try to the pull wool over Tara and Buffy’s eyes. This had happened too many times in the past for this to have been anything other than magic related. And Xander had already narrowed down his extremely short list of suspects.
Xander started to get frustrated when Willow didn’t answer right away. She seemed to be too busy comforting an upset Spike to answer him. Getting annoyed and worried, Xander raised his voice this time. “C’mon Wills, just tell me what the hell is going on here! Where is Anya? What happened to Spike? Is he ok?!” Xander almost went to check on Spike to make sure he was alright when he heard Anya’s voice behind him answer his last question, with a familiar British accent.
“Yeah whelp, m’fine, just a little confused. I’d say your bird over there is in about the same predicament. Fuck I need a smoke. Oi Red, when yer done feelin’ up my body, ya mind grabbin’ my smokes and lighter outta my duster?” Spike asked casually as he looked down at the body he appeared to be trapped in. ‘Bloody better not be permanent,’ Spike groused to himself. ‘Although if the boy wants to snog s’more, I could probably deal with it for a little while. Be like a vacation almost,’ Spike shook his head trying to clear out both the effects of the spell and Xander Harris’s kiss.
‘No one has ever kissed me like that before,’ Spike thought as he got to his feet and made his way over to sit at the research table. He watched as Xander tried to comfort Anya, and saw that she was holding him at bay after the comments Xander had made about Spike’s kissing abilities. A shiver slowly worked it’s way up his spine as he thought over what Xander had said to him, when the boy had thought he was Anya.
‘Said he wouldn’t allow a chip to be put my head….well her head. But he did say that he didn’t like that fact that I had one either. Said he’d get her a soul….if, ‘she wanted it.’ Did that mean that Xander wouldn’t push one in her if she said no? And what about that last bit? He didn’t care if she was a vamp? And he would be ok with her killing?! What the Fuck???’
Spike’s head started to spin as he thought about all that Xander had said. ‘I thought he hated vampires? I thought he hated me…..but what he said about the chip?’ and Spike realized belatedly, Xander hadn’t said one word against him when he finally realized who he had been kissing. ‘Well bugger me. Boy’s got more to him than I gave him credit for.’
Spike wandered through his thoughts a little more until Xander’s voice brought him back to the current crises.
“Fuck Willow, I knew it! I knew you were getting out of control with the magics. I just kept hoping that you figured it out after Tara left you because of it. I guess you’re not nearly as smart as I always assumed you were,” he said sadly, shaking his head and looking between Anya and Spike.
Willow was huddled on the floor sobbing, with Anya telling her gently in Spike’s rumbling voice that she needed to calm down and breath…..‘And would she like some money to hold?’ Apparently it always had a calming effect on Anya.
Xander thought how strange to it was to see Spikes’ strong, lithe body moving with Anya’s jerky enthusiasm as she talked about sales and marketing strategies in an attempt to calm Willow from near hyperventilation. About how very wrong it sounded hear Spikes’ sexy timbre filled with Anya’s aggressive and overly eager money talk. Xander wanted to yell at her to ‘Shut the fuck up!’ but knew he couldn’t.
“Willow, I want to know what you did to Spike and Anya. I want to know exactly what you did, and how you’re going to fix it.” He said coolly. When Willow started her whining babble he leaned down to look her in the eyes and cut off her yammering as soon as she focused on him. “I do not want to hear any excuses right now Willow. I don’t care that Anya agreed to do the spell with you. I don’t care that you wanted to use it to help Buffy.” Xander said, his voice getting louder with every sentence. “I doubt that Spike wanted to be in on your spell. And I seriously doubt that Anya knew this could happen to her!” he yelled pointing at her and then Spike.
“ I want to trust you Willow, I really do.” Xander said more calmly “But you keep doing spells behind our backs. I don’t know what’s going on with you, but I know this isn’t right. I don’t…..God, I don’t even care that you want to do magic! Don’t you get it? I care that you won’t tell us what you’re doing before you do it,” Willow looked like she was going to interrupt, but Xander cut her off again. “I know Wills, you told Anya about it. Right. I get it. But you didn’t tell me, I know you didn’t tell Buffy….and I can’t imagine you calling Giles and talking to him about it! That’s why I’m pissed, that’s why…..right now, I just can’t trust you,” Xander turned his back on her and strode to the rear exit. When he reached the doorway he paused and with out looking back told her, “You will fix this, and when I get back I want to know every thing you did to them,” he then pushed through the door into back alley, shaking with raw nerves, trying to calm himself.
As things started to settle in the shop, Anya got up to make a pot of coffee and help Willow piece together what happened with the spell when Spike had entered the circle. She was hot and stiff, feeling uncomfortable in Spike’s clothes….and body. She took off the duster and laid it over the counter before going to back to the kitchenette to pour coffee for herself and Willow. As she worked she tried to pin down why Xander was so angry at Willow. ‘If the spell had worked with just her and Willow, would his reactions have been the same?’ she wondered ‘Ok, lets think about this logically.
What would have happened if the spell had worked? Well I guess I would be in Willow’s body and she would be in mine. Ok, so not too terrible and she did say it would wear off in a few hours with humans. Oh, OH, Humans! Spike is a vampire! Spells and vampires just don’t mix well, and Xander has been around vampires since he was sixteen so of course he would know that!’ Anya thought frantically.
‘Ok, what else? Oh, Willow said this is just glamour right? So why can I feel Spike’s body like I’m actually in it? If it’s a glamour shouldn’t I still feel like me, but with maybe a bit of a magical signature over the top? And I’m human, I can tell these things you know! You don’t live over 1,100 years as a demon and not know when your human. But if I’m in Spikes body, shouldn’t I be a vampire? Ok, so I’m in a human Spike’s body (which would explain why I have to pee) and Spike is in…..my vampire body! Oh my gods, I’m a vampire! I don’t want to be a vampire! I just got used to being human again, a pretty, female, human. I don’t want to be a pretty male human!’ Anya’s thoughts ran amok as she began to realize just why Xander was so angry with Willow.
While Anya was in the kitchen and Willow was busy talking to herself about the spell, Spike grabbed his duster from where it was sitting over the countertop. Spike slipped the duster over Anya’s shoulders with practiced ease and the same graceful movements you would expect from him while in his own body. He patted down his pockets checking for his cigarettes and lighter before quietly slipping out the back door for a smoke. Or really to check on Xander but he would never admit that out loud.
“How ya doin’ pet?” Spike asked softly as he stopped next to where Xander stood, leaning against the rough brick wall about 50 feet from the door. Xander shook his head in answer and looked at Spike in his all too familiar female body. Xander’s soft brown eyes appeared moist in the distant glow from the nearest street light. Spike felt something shift inside him as he looked at the misery in those eyes. Unable to meet Xander’s gaze again for a moment, Spike pulled out a fag and his flipped open his lighter to distract himself while he figured out his reaction to Xander’s sad, sweet eyes.
Xander finally broke the silence. “I’m sorry she did this to you…..” His voice broke and he cleared his throat before continuing. “I’m just so sorry, Spike. But we’ll fix it. I promise, I’ll make her fix it,” Xander said angrily.
Spike looked up at Xander, at hearing the venom in his words. “Would’ve thought you’d be with your bird right now,” Spike said off handedly.
Xander slowly looked Spike up and down, a deep smirk settling over his face, as he slowly leaned in to Spike’s personal space and whispered in his ear “I am.” Spike felt a sudden wave of arousal course through his body at Xander’s response. He was suddenly glad that although he was trapped in a female body, at least he was still a vamp, otherwise he would practically be glowing from the flush of heat that Xander had caused in him.
Spike shivered deliciously from the warm breath that spread over his neck when Xander spoke. He suddenly realized that Xander hadn’t pulled back yet. Spike moved his head just enough to touch his cheek against Xander’s before he responded softly. “Not your girl, luv,” and let his tongue dart out taste the curve of Xander’s ear, before pulling back to see Xander’s response to his invitation.
Xander responded with a slow half smile that nearly melted Spikes cold heart. “No, your not,” he said. “I don’t know what happened or what’s going to happen now, but,” Xander said and he turned a serious look on Spike before continuing “but…I don’t think Anya can be my girl anymore. Not after that kiss,” Xander looked away before saying more, not wanting to see the disgust and hatred in Spike’s eyes as he told him the rest. “That kiss….was the single best experience of my life,” he whispered, so softly Spike had strain to hear him. “I know you’re in love with Buffy, and…..and I’m pretty sure that the two of you are sleeping together. And I’m not going to try to get in the way of that, but after that kiss I just……now I know what I’ve been missing my whole life.
I know you’re not stupid Spike and I know a hell of a lot more about vampires than most of the gang gives me credit for, so I’m fairly certain that you’ve known about my little crush on you since the fist night you had to stay in my basement. I know what kind of a man you are’ Spike. I know that when you want something you don’t stop until you get it. I know that when you give your love to someone it’s pretty much a forever deal, and I know…….I know you could never feel that way about me. But now that I’ve felt the kind of passion that you can put into a few simple kisses, I know I could never go back to what I had with Anya. It would never measure up, I would always compare her sweet, mostly self-involved passion to the minutes I had with you……and it could never come close,” Xander finished sadly.
Spike stood in shock in front of this boy he had known so long. In front of the man he was now, and found himself struck dumb at all that Xander had said. He lit another cigarette and tried to gather his thoughts while he waited for Xander to look at him. Because although Spike was many things, he wasn’t a coward and he would speak just as openly and plainly as Xander had done for him.
Xander had turned away from Spike as he finished his speech, and after several minutes of painful silence, he started to head back towards the door to the shop, when Spike stopped him in dead in his tracks with a few quiet words.
“You’re right,” Spike said “I’ve been with Buffy…..” Xander didn’t turn around, but Spike could see his shoulders slump dejectedly at his words “and yeah, we shagged, but in case you didn’t get a good look at my face back there, let me just tell you it was a one time only experience.” Spike said a bit gruffly
Xander turned slowly to look at him, but Spike avoided his eyes, seemingly embarrassed with what he had said. Spike started slowly, still unsure of exactly what he planned to say “I’m not in love with her,” he said, surprising both Xander and himself with this quiet revelation.
Xander turned fully to look at Spike with a shocked expression on his face. He wanted to say something, wanted to ask questions he didn’t even know yet. Before he could form a full thought Spike continued.
“Don’t ask, just…..let me get this out alright? So yeah, ‘ol Spike’ finally got into the slayers knickers, he did,” he said disgustedly. “Got what I thought I wanted, then got my arse handed to me directly after. I almost expected to be hit, but this….not what I had in mind. And I’m not talking outta school here either, so I don’t want you thinking bad of Buffy after this, ‘cause she’s had it worse than anyone knows really.
But yeah, I guess I must have got some sense knocked into me, cause I woke up this morning and I just knew. Hell, maybe I always had…..and….I know Buffy could never love me, but it was a dream for a little while. Not gonna go into all the bloody details here, but yeah I guess I figured it out. I was obsessed with idea of the slayer, so much so that I had convinced myself that I loved her. I’m not a fool though and even as deluded as I was I couldn’t hold onto that lie anymore.
When you kissed me….when you thought I was Anya, that’s the closest I’ve ever felt to being loved by someone. I know it wasn’t me you were after, I get it, I do. But when I was still mostly out of it I felt you, thought the warm body next to me was Buffy…..until you kissed me. I’ve never been kissed like that. I knew it couldn’t be Buffy. It couldn’t, ‘cause it felt so bloody sweet. You kissed me like you loved me, and I wanted it! So I didn’t stop you, I let you believe I was someone else for just a few more minutes so I could pretend to be someone who was wanted. Then when you looked at me and you said……I couldn’t believe what you said to me. To her. That you didn’t care if she was a vamp. That you wouldn’t want to put a chip in her, and that you didn’t want me to have a chip……
I thought…I thought you hated me? But now you’re telling me you’ve had bloody crush on me? Yeah’ you’re right, I’ve known you get a little hot under he collar when I’m round, smelt the arousal on you oft enough, but I still didn’t know! How could I? Just thought you were hot for my bod,” Spike joked weakly with a light smirk in Xander’s direction.
Xander chuckled lightly but grumbled under his breath “Why do I keep falling for crazy demons?”
Spike’s eyebrow shot up at that. He titled his head as he moved closer to Xander and asked quietly “You falling for me, pet?”
“Umm, maybe?” Xander felt like prey for a moment as he watched a flash of gold pulse through ‘Anya’s eyes’. “Gods! I so want to kiss you right now, Spike,” Xander said as let his head fall back to thump quietly against the brick wall.
“So kiss me then,” Spike whispered as he moved into Xander personal space, gently placing a hand over Xander’s heart and feeling the steady quick beat beneath his fingertips.
“I can’t,” Xander moaned, looking down into familiar eyes that suddenly flashed with hurt. Spike started to pull away when Xander’s hands came forward to keep him in place. “I want to kiss you, Spike. I want to know what your lips taste like. How they’ll feel against mine, if they’re as sweet and strong as I’ve always wondered,” Xander whispered as he caressed Anya’s bottom lip with his thumb.
“Oh.” Spike said as what Xander wanted finally started to sink in. “Think I want that too,” Spike mumbled, letting the tip of his tongue out to taste the meaty pad of Xander’s thumb. “Want you to feel me, Xan. Want to be able to hold you in my own arms. Have you ever kissed a bloke pet?” Spike asked as he sidled closer to Xander’s warm body. “Ever felt another man’s hard on pressed against your thigh, knowing that he’s hard for you? Knowing that he wants you? What would it feel like to you, hmm? What would it feel like for you to know that I want you that much? Would you get on your knees for me luv? I would. I would slide down your body and just press my lips right…here.” Spike quietly vowed as he pressed his palm to Xander’s hardening erection.
Xander gasped as he felt every thing Spike said rush through his mind and leave a hot flush over his body as it tracked it’s way to that one point of contact where Spike’s hand still rested.
“Spike, yes!” Xander said as felt the rush of being wanted by this incredible creature, this immortal man who could have anyone he wanted, even Buffy, but who’s choosing Xander.
Xander stumbled slightly with the mental orgasm that thought caused. “Brain, uhh, hellooo brain? Wheredja go?” Xander pulled back with a whimper to look into now amused eyes. “Uh, I didn’t say that out loud, did I?” Xander clamped his hand over Spikes mouth “No, don’t answer that,” Xander said feeling Spike chuckling against his palm.
“Now I really wish I could kiss you,” Xander said as he lowered his head to nuzzle at the leather of Spike’s duster. He could feel Spikes arms come up to wrap around him in a tight hug and turned his head to leave a kiss against Spike’s throat as he returned the hug.
“What is going on out here!” Xander cringed as he heard Spike’s masculine voice whine at them from the doorway to the shop. He pulled away and turned to find Anya, arms crossed and looking a bit green in the face. Which was just not a good look on Spike’s sexy features.
“Ahn, we were just talking,” Xander said as he walked towards her. He could see the hurt and pain in here eyes and knew this was going to be one of the worst experiences in his life. But no matter what, Xander knew that he could he never lie to her. Would never cheat on her and had to do what was right for all of them.
“Ahn, I need to talk with you. I think we should….should talk in private,” he said to both Anya and Spike. Spike nodded and started to move past Xander towards the open back door. As Spike moved closer he could see the way Anya was eyeing him, and it was a strange moment when he realized that he was giving himself a speculative look in return.
“No,” Anya said as she blocked Spikes escape “no I think we should talk right now. I’m not stupid Xander. I knew who you were thinking of when we played Evil Vampire and the Slave Boy,” Anya huffed.
Spike turned to look at Xander with a raised eyebrow that some how didn’t look out of place on Anya at all. Xander could feel himself turning a new shade of crimson at Spike’s leering smile.
“And I knew that you were bi. I thought it was fun because you let me try out all those new sex toys with you. Besides how many male strippers can really say that their 100% straight? So I knew and it was ok because I had you and Spike didn’t…..
Spike looked more closely at Xander’s thick, masculine body after Anya’s stripper comment and vowed that he and Xander were going to be having a serious discussion in the near future.
“But now Spike clearly wants you. I never thought that would happen. I figured as long Spike was obsessed with Buffy he would never look at you and know that you’re in love with him and not me,” Anya’s voice went quiet as she trailed off.
‘Shit, shit, shit!’ Xander thought to himself.
“Ahn, I do love you,” Xander said as he wrapped his arms around the body the he had craved to be this close to since high school.
“No, you don’t,” Anya said stoically “Not like you love him. I always knew that this might happen…if Spike ever saw in you what I do, that I would loose you to him,” she told Xander as tears slowly moved over her face. She hugged him fiercely for a moment before pushing him away. Moving quickly to Spike she told him pointedly “I have many friends still in the vengeance fold. If you ever hurt him, I’ll show you that 1100 years as a demon is much scarier than a 150 year old vampire!
Xander, I’m keeping the engagement ring. Since we haven’t booked any of the final plans for the wedding, I suggest that we liquidate our relationship assets on Monday. I will be staying in a hotel that you will pay for until I can make other living arrangements. And since I have already started alterations on the wedding dress it is non refundable and you will be paying for that as well. I believe this is what is called a mutual breakup and therefore I expect us to remain friends.
Ok then. Tara, Buffy and Dawn are here, and Tara is trying to get a hold of Giles in England to see about reversing the effects of Willow’s spell. I suggest that we make a public announcement about our break up once the spell has been reversed,” Anya finalized and then walked back into the shop leaving Spike and Xander in the alley with matching gaping mouths and an air of confused bewilderment.
When Spike and Xander returned, they found themselves in the middle of an argument between Buffy and Willow that was nearly word for word what Xander had said earlier. Spike made his way to the back corner of the room where Dawn was sitting on the couch watching the fight like a favorite TV show.
“Nibblett, shouldn’t you ought to be tucked way for the night by now?” Spike asked as he settled on the arm rest of the couch. Dawn looked up at him and gave what could be only be described as a laugh somewhere between a snerkle and a snort. “Care to explain to the rest of the class what’s so funny Bit?” Spike asked as he lowered his eyes dangerously
Dawn gave another snurful of laughter. “It’s just so funny!” At Spike’s blank look she explained. “To see Anya’s body walking like you do and listen to her nasally voice with your accent. Not to mention watching your body strut around like a girl and just wait till you hear your voice going on and on about the money! I just wish I had video camera!”
Spike tried to give her a stern look but it just set off another bout of hiccupping, gurgling laughter. Spike gave a low growl and went off to check on Xander and the others.
Tara was on the phone with Giles trying to explain the notes that Willow had made on the spell she had used. Willow and Buffy were still having a heated discussion about the misuse of magic, and Spike sidled closer to them about to add to Buffy’s argument when he heard Willow raising her voice to a near yell.
“Buffy I told you I was sorry about that! But you just keep throwing it in my face! I was just trying to help you…..if I could just make you forget that you were in heaven everything would go back to the way it was.”
“Willow, that’s not your decision to make. It’s mine! I was the one who died, I was the one who had to crawl out of my own grave,” Buffy gave a shudder as she remembered the feeling of clawing through layers of fabric, wood and earth trying to free herself, only to find that she had been pulled from warmth and love and dropped into a world that was as close to hell as she could ever imagine. “I was done. You took that away from me, you didn’t ask and you didn’t think. You just did what you always do Wills, you thought you knew better than anyone else. And you were wrong! Now you’re doing spells to help yourself…..not me. If you thought that this spell would help me with slaying, why didn’t you tell me about it first? I know you, Willow, and I know that if was really about me and not you, you would have told me about it first. So again I ask the question…..what was this spell really supposed to do?”
Willows bottom lip quivered as she got caught up in her own misery once again. ‘Well fine! If they really want to know, then I’ll just have to tell them. Besides I can just make it part of the “forget plan” later,’ she thought.
“The spell is just what I said it was, a glamour. A powerful glamour,” Willow said, her voice taking on a sharp edge as she tried to explain her plan. She spoke the group gathered around to hear her explanation. “A glamour so powerful that even magical beings wouldn’t be able to detect it. Vampires can feel when the Slayer is near, so if I cast this spell on Buffy and made her look like, say Xander for instance they wouldn’t know that it was her. All her inherent strength would still be there but would be undetectable to vampires and demons, even powerful lower beings.”
Anya gasped when she heard this. It would take an incredible amount of power to fool a lower being, they can detect the smallest amount of magic in everything from super humans like the Slayer to inanimate objects as simple as a pebble on the beach.
“Why? It doesn’t make sense. Willow, why do you want to use magics that powerful?” Anya asked in a tone that spoke of her fear. “There are plenty of masking spells that could hide Buffy’s magical signature from vampires and common demons. Why would you need to hide her from the Lower Beings?”
“I don’t need to hide her…..” Willow said, turning a scornful glare at Anya.
“Me?” Anya took a step back, and felt Spike and Xander step up almost in unison to flank her. Grateful for their protection she asked again “Me? This is why you insisted I had to be the one to help you? But why do I need to be hidden from the Lower Beings? I invited them to the wedding!”
“Not you, exactly,” Willow said. “Me. I needed to hide me,” The other Scoobies all looked at her trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
“Wills, why would need to glamour Anya to hide you?” Xander asked somewhat confused but getting angrier by the minute. “What did you do? Are they going to come after you? After Anya?! Tell Me Willow!” Xander shouted as he took a step towards her. Spike grabbed his shoulders to stop him from going after her. Red was acting off, miles off and he didn’t want to risk Xander by letting him get to close to her.
“Tell us what’s goin’ on Red,” Spike said casually as he mentally figured how much trouble the chip might give him if he had to take her down. “Come on, I think you’ve dragged out the suspense long enough now. Don’t you? You’re certainly not gaining any points holding onto all these lies…….so, tell.”
“I just wanted everything to go back to the way it was before!” Willow whined “Buffy’s a mess and Tara hates me! It’s not fair. I was just trying to make it right. You don’t care, Spike. This is all great for you, ‘cause now Buffy actually talks to you like you’re a real person. Xander and Anya are getting married and making plans that don’t involve any of us, and none of you care! Dawn whines all the time, and when she’s not whining she’s sneaking out to make out with vampires…..” Willow shouted at them.
“None of you care! I’m the one trying to make things right. Trying to keep us all together, and then I did the forget spell and you all blew it out of proportion…..So I, I asked for help. The help none of you were willing to give!
“I called upon D’hoffrin and the Lower Beings to make Buffy forget about being in heaven, and make Tara come home and forget about the fights and, and her leaving me! But they wanted a trade…….a new vengeance demon!
I don’t want to be a demon, but I knew someone who wouldn’t mind. Not really, right Anya?” Willow said coldly as she stared at Anya.
Xander wrapped his arms around Anya, momentarily forgetting or not caring that she was trapped in Spike’s body. He didn’t care about that, or the break up. All he cared about was that his friend was being threatened. In the background he could hear Tara crying while trying to explain to Giles, still on the phone, about everything that Willow had just said. In his mind he could hear all the pieces slipping into place, and the picture they were forming scared the living shit out of him. Looking around the room he could see that everyone was starting to come to the same conclusion. Spike was watching him hold Anya with a mix of emotions on his…‘Anya’s’ face. Xander pulled an arm away from Anya and extended it towards Spike. Spike gave him a grateful look and moved closer grasping his hand and giving it a reassuring squeeze.
Xander looked at Willow again, she looked far too comfortable with her decision to betray her friends and for the first time in his life, Xander wanted to hit someone out of pure anger instead of defense.