Chapter 8

Several hours later both Spike and Xander came limping back to Xander's apartment. The demon had proved more difficult to deal with than expected and when four members of its family turned up as well, the fight had turned bitter.

During the worst of it Xander had been struck a blow to the back of his head that not only knocked him out but also knocked him several feet in to the air. When he came to, it was to a splitting headache and agonising pains in his back. Just he was starting to panic about a broken spine and never being able to walk again, a blood-covered Spike came hurling through the air towards him propelled by one of the larger demons. Xander automatically jerked his legs out of the way and a disgruntled vampire landed next to him on the hard ground. "Bloody hell, I thought at least I'd get a soft landing."

"Hey, Spike, it's OK, I'm not broken - see? Leg movage." Xander smiled a happy smile and wiggled his legs.

Spike quirked an eyebrow, "Glad to hear it, Luv, but stay put for now - you're better off down there out the way. Be back in a sec - I've just about seen this bugger off." Grinning with blood lust, Spike grabbed up Xander's axe and threw himself back into the fray. There was only the one demon left and in a whirl of black and blade Spike made short work of it. Buffy and the others were still getting their breath back as Spike sauntered over to Xander, axe over his shoulder and smug look firmly in place.

Crouching down beside the lad, Spike ran his hands over him briefly, searching for obvious wounds or breaks. Satisfied, Spike stood and reached his hand down. "Come on, you'll live." Xander clasped the proffered hand and allowed himself to be pulled up. Truth to tell, he could not have managed it by himself and was grateful for the vampire's strong assistance. As he gained his feet, pain shot through his head and he swayed alarmingly.

"OK, I gotcha. Just stand still for a mo." Strong arms came around him and he leaned in to the shoulder against him.

For a few blessed minutes Xander rested his head on the cool leather of Spike's coat and let the world settle around him. "Whoa, you know, sometimes I forget how much fun slayage can be. And then a big and nasty kicks my ass around the block a few times and it all comes rushing back to me."

Light footsteps announced Buffy's arrival. Noting Spike's purchase on her wounded friend, she glared at the battle-scarred and bloodied vampire. He shot back a nasty look in return but released Xander gently, checking that he was able to stand by himself.

"Hey, Xan, are you OK?" she queried.

Spike snorted at Buffy's facile question but managed to say nothing. {the less said the sooner we can get back to his place to check him over properly... and see just how OK he can be!}

"Buff, yeah, I'm OK, a bit of a headache but no bones broken. Just the usual slay achiness and bruises."

"So, are you good to go or do you want one of us to go home with you?"

"It's alright, Slayer. I've got to pick up stuff from Xander's anyway. I'll see he gets home in one piece."

"Xander, you OK with that?" Buffy looked doubtfully at each of them.

"Yeah, yeah, Buff. That's fine, don't worry, Spike's harmless..."

Spike rolled his eyes and let the axe fall to the ground with a thud.

"...and I just want to get home without any fuss."

"Well, you get straight to bed, then, and I'll call in the morning, see how you're doing."

Xander caught Spike's eye to see how he'd reacted to the 'harmless' remark. He expected exasperated recriminations; instead Xander was stunned and then instantly aroused by the look of sincere, almost stern, desirous intent in Spike's eyes. The longer Xander held Spike's frank, seductive gaze the more Xander craved him and the less he cared that the vampire could read it all over his face. <Oh, I think I'll be doing very nicely, thank you, Buff and I'll surely get straight to bed>

"Yeah, but don't, like, call too early, huh? I think I'll be sleeping in, like, really late. Come to think of it, I'll probably turn the phone off completely. Why don't I just call you tomorrow evening instead?" With this he grabbed Spike's arm, ostensibly for support, and the two headed off.

Buffy continued to watch them for a while, frowning and wondering what it was that seemed a little off about the two men. They seemed awfully chummy. Finally she shrugged, "Naw, Xander would never fall for any of Spike's stupid crap," she thought. "Spike will talk his way into the apartment, mooch some beer and Cheetos and Xan will throw him out. There's nothing to worry about. Still, am I being totally gross or were both of them sporting chubbies when they limped out of here?" Buffy shook off her doubts and headed back to the cemetery for one, final sweep.

Although each step jolted Xander's head and made him wince with pain, he found that moving actually helped clear the mugginess he felt and by the time they were out of sight of the others he was beginning to feel better. He slowed down and pulled Spike to a stop, turning to face him. "My hero!" Xander grinned, batting his eyelids and reaching in for a kiss. Spike ran his hand gently through Xander's hair and was rewarded with a soft moan of compliance, "Oh, yeah, Spike, that feels good."

"There's plenty more where comes from, Luv, but let's get you home first and see what's what."

Xander sat at the kitchen table and took a deep breath; after a couple of strong pains killers and a soda he was starting to feel better. He looked up at Spike, nerves and anticipation flowing at full strength, only to realise that the vampire, himself, was now swaying a little. In the harsh light, Xander realised that a lot of the blood on Spike was Spike's own and, along with other smaller wounds, was a large gash across his stomach.

"Hey, Spike, we'd better get that cleaned up and, and hey, how about blood for you? I've got some here." He hurried over to the fridge and bent down to retrieve a couple of bags of blood; as he did, he felt Spike's hands on his hips and the grinding of an urgent erection against his arse.

"Get it warm for me, Luv, hmm? I'm gonna wash this muck off me and then we can see about getting you straight to bed."

Xander gulped and backed away from the fridge, enjoying the feeling of Spike close behind him. A gentle nip on the back of his neck, as Spike let go, made him shudder. Turning around, he started to speak, "I'll come wash your.... Damn, I have got to stop him doing that disappearing thing." He glared at the space that only a moment ago had been filled with vampire then crossed to the microwave to heat up the blood. As he waited for the timer to go off he took a sip of soda and gingerly rubbed his temples; somehow it didn't feel as good as when it was Spike's hand soothing him.

Thinking of Spike's hand, and what else it could be stroking, brought him to full, painful hardness and he shifted uncomfortably.

<But this time, I'm not gonna be just dreaming about it. This time I've got what I want here and so far so good and I'm really so not panicking. Why should I be panicking? If he hadn't stopped when he did and hauled me off to patrol we probably already would have...> Xander's thoughts shuddered to a halt as he started to hyperventilate. >Oh, god, I do want this, I really, really want this and Spike obviously wants it too and it's not of the bad, it is not getting scary now that it's happening. I am so not starting to worry now that it's too late to change my mind. Not that it is too late to change my mind: he's not going to expect me to do something I don't want to do and I don't want to do this. I mean, I don't not want to do this. I've been wanting to do this for what seems like forever and now I'm actually going to be doing it and it's so good and Spike is so hot and so sexy and oh god, I can't do this. Why did I ever think I could do this? I'm not panicking, I'm just thinking realistic here. Spike's a guy, a gorgeous, sexy guy but still a guy and also an evil undead guy and why did I not think this through before?>

He jumped as the timer went off and numbly took out the mug of warmed blood. He looked down at what he was doing and his hands started to shake.

"Um, Spike," he called glumly, "I've, uh, I've got something to tell you."

Chapter 7
Chapter 9