He never realized what an uncomfortable chair this was. Not that it had been all that comfortable before, but he’d never really paid attention to it. It was just a chair. He rarely sat on it, anyway, usually standing as he wolfed something chocolatey and sugary before he left for whichever scut-job he worked that day.
Now he sat. Mechanically, he began eating the cereal before him. Hard plastic was sucking out the heat from his body. Something he really didn’t want to think about was stretching the skin of his face and making him itch.
He shut his eyes, deciding that one more prayer would hurt nothing. Opened them, and Spike was still sitting there, uncharacteristically serious.
“You have to breathe, y’know. Humans do that.”
He wanted to ask if he was still human. Doesn’t swallowing vampire-cum make you a vampire, too? Except Spike was breathing as he sipped at his breakfast, idly tapping one finger on the table. His right hand, not his left. That was suddenly very important.
He inhaled so sharply that he began coughing. Doubling over to hack and gasp, he was aware of three things. His throat hurt, possibly from screaming, probably from accepting something it was in no way big enough to accept. He was sitting at his table naked, with a butt-plug, cum drying on his face, across from an equally naked vampire.
And he felt good.
Choking gasps turned to laughter. It was long, low, and he couldn’t tell if he was supposed to be crying underneath or not. His mind kept telling him that this was wrong, that it wasn’t supposed to be like this—and the rest of him was finally at peace. Offering that peace with a seductive whisper that sounded far too much like Spike’s accented baritone.
He laughed until he was exhausted, tears creating paths through the white, flakey mask, his cheeks aching almost as much as his throat from grinning too hard.
Something warm and soft settled around his shoulders. He forced himself to stop, looking up in surprise. Spike stood above him, fussing at the blanket so that Xander was completely covered.
“You didn’t have to do that.”
Spike shrugged. It looked odd without his usual black duster, or even the black t-shirt to cover those corded muscles. “You looked cold.” Xander studied blue, blue eyes; they glowed from light reflected by the table. He waited for the blustering he knew was coming, the excuses to cover the embarrassment of the Big Bad taking care of a pathetic human.
Saw only calm concern.
“Thanks. But that’s not what I meant.” Tucking the blanket so that it went under his right arm, he turned back to his cereal. He was incredibly hungry. Spike sat down again, toying with the rim of his mug. He watched as Xander finished his first bowl of cereal, silently fixing another when Xander began drinking the sugar-flavored milk.
Xander ate this one slower, trying to decide if he was stalling or not. He settled on ‘not’, since he was hungry enough to eat a third bowl. It was—it was just weird. He wasn’t mad at Spike, couldn’t be mad at someone that was only following his nature. And wouldn’t the girls be thrilled to know that that is why I hate Angel so much? They still thought it was jealousy, some macho pissing contest they didn’t understand and didn’t want to have to deal with.
He was jealous of Angel, but he was jealous of a lot of people without hating them. Angel, he hated. The martyred guilt-complex, the embarrassed vanity, and the total belief that just because he had a soul, he wasn’t bad anymore—all of that was crap. Angel was a vampire. He could pretty it up, hide as much as he could, but it never changed the fact that he could be brutal, cruel, sadistic, and petty.
Just like normal people.
But Angel had to be so self-righteous that it made Xander physically ill. He’d had everyone fooled. It had almost been a relief when Angelus appeared, because then they’d all see what Xander had always known was there.
They weren’t two different people, not the way Angel meant it. Both versions of the vampire felt the same impulses and desires, and Xander firmly believed that if Angel hadn’t been so busy denying it than Angelus would have been more sane. Repression wasn’t good for anyone’s soul.
That was why he’d always liked Spike better. Spike, at least, was totally up front about what he was. Monster, yes, but with more human emotions and feelings than either incarnation of the be-souled vampire could admit to. A monster that enjoyed life, even while he took it.
It had given him some comfort, knowing that. He’d done his research. He scrapped together information whatever and where ever he could, even going so far as to question Angel in a few painfully awkward conversations. Combined with what he had gleaned from his own observations and the chaos in his head, Xander had a fairly decent idea of what was going on. He’d known that one day, this would happen.
Spike moved, startling Xander from his introspective daze. Rummaging around for his duster, he held up a pack of cigarettes and raised his eyebrow in silent question. Xander nodded. Then he stared in shock as Spike carefully opened the window through their blackout curtains and sat down directly beneath it.
Xander blinked, wondering if his eyelashes were fusing together. They could have been. Spike was acting. . . considerate. And there’s my long-delayed panic. Wondered where you’d run off to! Too bad you couldn’t have shown up, say, last night when I needed you.
There hadn’t been panic. There had been wigging and what-the-helling and occasionally whimpering even before his brain had decided to take a holiday, but there hadn’t been panic. There hadn’t even been panic about there not being panicked. He’d expected Spike to dominate him, probably humiliate him, definitely hurt him.
Okay. Spike being nice makes my insides feel like jelly, and not in a good way. Weird. Or weirder, not sure about how far away from ‘weird’ we are at the moment. Xander took a deep, calming breath. Get a grip, Xan-man. He said he wouldn’t hurt you. Spike keeps his promises.
“You gonna sit there all day, luv?” Spike exhaled heavily, smoke traveling from his nose to the open window. Xander could sense only faint traces of tobacco in the air, and his insides gave a little shake again.
“No. Sorry.” Spike raised an eyebrow but otherwise remained silent. “You breathe.” This time both eyebrows raised, something like amusement tingeing the habitual smirk. “I mean, you’re a vampire and Giles says that you don’t need to breathe, but you do. Not just when you’re talking or smoking, either, but when you’re just sitting there or—or when you’re. . .”
Or when you’re sleeping. But we can’t say that, oh no, because that would be admitting something that we aren’t ready to admit yet. Like that we’ve been watching and waiting for this to happen—and when did I become a we?
“Don’t need to,” Spike was saying while Xander mentally babbled. “Don’t need t’ smoke, or eat human food, neither. S’just somethin’ I do.” More smoking while Xander tried to think of another way to avoid the impending conversation. He didn’t want to do this, despite the equanimity he was feeling.
Because peace and happiness? With the evil undead? These are unmixy. One of these things is so not like the others. Didn’t change what he was feeling.
“C’mere.” Spike crushed out his cigarette as Xander settled himself in the smaller man’s lap. He always forgot that he was physically bigger—Spike’s forcefully personality always made him seem towering. Spike spread the blanket over their legs pulling Xander against his chest. One hand went into thick, dark hair, the other began playing with his body.
Xander sighed, trying not to think about how good this felt. Cool skin was soothing pressed to his, Spike’s motions purposeful without being arousing. A nipple was tweaked and Xander amended his thought—not too arousing. Just enough that Xander could feel himself becoming slightly off-balance. He snickered against smooth, nearly hairless skin.
“Somethin’ funny, luv?”
“Of course not. It’s a normal Xander-day when a vamp who hates me makes me his bitch.”
Spike chuckled lightly. “Too right, mate.” More petting, hands sweeping lower although never touching the places his body wanted to be touched. He’s doing this on purpose, Xander thought muzzily. “What didn’t I have t’ do, pet?”
“Huh? Oh. Mark me.”
Spike didn’t stop, but Xander was positive he felt the big, bad, manly vampire start in surprise. “You know about marking?”
He nodded, burying his nose in Spike’s collarbone. Leather, tobacco, lingering traces of clean soap, and something musky and earthy filled his head. Home, part of him whispered. The rest of his body had to agree, thanks to Spike’s busy hands. “Read about it. It’s used with minions and, um, ‘recalcitrant childer’.”
Spike went death-still, not even breathing. “Who told you that?”
Xander’s throat closed up. “Angel,” he whispered, forcing the words out. “I asked him about it when he was still Angel. He didn’t want to tell me, but I just kept bugging him about it until he told me just to shut me up. He didn’t tell me everything, either, I had to look up a lot of the details—and I don’t want to know how some of the books got the information they got. I mean, knowing how a vamp—”
“Stop.” The breathing started up again. Xander swallowed a sigh of relief, suddenly aware of just how much he missed that quiet sound. The lack of heartbeat didn’t bother him, nor did the cool-but-not-cold skin he rested on. The breathing he needed. With it, Spike stopped being a vampire and became just another person. Maybe even a friend.
“Oh, bloody hell. You listen here, boy, you—OW!” Spike’s hands dropped from the nape of Xander’s neck, where they had grabbed presumably to shake. Scooting back, Xander brought his knees to his chest while he waited for Spike to ride out the pain.
“Goddamned chip. Wasn’t tryin’ t’ hurt him!” Muttering more imprecations, Spike blinked a few times and stared. “Right, ducks. First off, get back here. You’re bloody warm.” Xander tried to think like a doll while Spike positioned his body. One golden leg was wrapped around the vampire’s middle so Xander was straddling him, but shifted to one side so that he was balanced on Spike’s thigh instead of his hip. The blanket was cocooned around them, trapping the heat.
“I thought vampires didn’t feel heat or cold.”
A long suffering sigh ruffled his hair. “Learn this now, boy. I. Am. Not. Like. Most. Vampires. An’ I hate bein’ bloody cold. Now, comfortable?”
“Yes.” He wanted to wash his face, but otherwise he was very comfortable. Spike was all hard muscle and sharp bone, but his skin was satiny smooth and soft against him.
“Good.” Spike began petting him again. “Now. Explain t’ me why marking you as mine isn’t necessary.”
Xander didn’t think he’d ever heard that tone of voice from Spike before. From Giles, yes, that infinitely patient tell-me-or-you-die was something he’d heard, oh, every apocalypse, or so. He didn’t think Spike had the maturity to pull off that kind of tone, though.
“Because I’m not a minion or a childe?” Spike tugged his hair, but not enough to hurt. “Because you—you. . .you claimed me. L-l-last night.” Wow. Okay. Don’t want to say that again, please. In fact, can I just sit here and shake for a while? Oooh, yeah, Spike do that some more.
Whether it was because Spike had heard the tremor in his voice, or some other reason Xander didn’t want to think about, Spike had given up on his gentle caress. The instant the word ‘claimed’ left his mouth, Spike’s fingers were dancing on his cock.
“I claimed you?” A squeeze, then more light teasing. Xander rolled his head back, panting.
“Yes, claimed—you claimed me—claimed—” Each repetition was rewarded with a harder squeeze, a longer stroke. Xander thrust his hips, trying to create more friction, mewling when Spike pulled his hand away. Oh, right, I have to listen. “Yes, you—you did—yours. Please, oh, god, Spike. . .!”
“Not yet.” Spike tickled along a taut stomach before softly stroking along Xander’s face. “Look at me. That’s right. I claimed you, boy. Me.” Xander nodded frantically. “How’s a human know about claiming, hm? Why does a human want t’ know about how vampire’s control their own?”
“Really?” Xander wondered through his haze of lust how Spike could continue to drawl like that, so calm and so slow. “Does this hurt?” The piece of plastic in his body was pushed forward, making him moan, and then pulled completely out. He started keening at the loss, a yawning feeling of emptiness climbing up from his gut. Slick fingers pressed against the stretched opening. Xander pressed back eagerly, needing to be filled again. So empty, so alone. . .
“Hurt? No! Well, sore, but. . . ohhhh!”
“Now,” Spike said comfortably, as if it was totally mundane to pet a painfully hard human while finger-fucking him into oblivion. “Explain to me about the hyena.”
Xander told him: about the hyena who had possessed him and how, despite Giles’ spell, it had never truly gone away. Told him about Angel taking him to Spike, offering him up while casting him from the pack. He didn’t even notice when he slipped into pack-speak, telling his story as well as he could while humping onto Spike’s increasing number of fingers.
“So, lemme get this straight. You’ve been possessed by a hyena and y’still got traces of it in your head.” A panted yes. “When I was tryin’ t’ fool Angelus, your beastie took that for acceptance—and you’ve been waiting for two years, now, for me t’ claim you, make you my pack?”
“Pack-leader,” Xander gasped out. “M’not alpha.”
Spike withdrew his fingers and held Xander still. Xander froze, blocking his whine of frustration. Something was burning deep in Spike’s eyes and both man and beast knew not to push. “Xander, hyena’s are matriarchal.”
He sounded almost kind, like he was sorry for letting Xander down. “I know.” It took three big gulps to say that without choking. “I looked up all that.”
“Then how could Angelus give you t’ me? And why me?”
More breathing. Xander grabbed onto the edge of the blanket, knuckles turning white as he forced himself to talk rationally, not beg for release. “Buffy was pack-leader. Angel was her mate. A mate as strong as she was, and. . . and she would deferred to him, sometimes.” He struggled to put the beast’s instinctive hierarchy into words. “He wasn’t just pack-leader’s mate. He was, um, he was hunt-brother.”
“So—he had rights to the rest of the pack?”
“Yeah.” Xander rested his head on Spike’s chest, still thinking hard. “You challenged pack-leader’s mate. But you weren’t challenging the right to his mate, you were. . . um. Not explaining this right.”
“No, I get it. I wasn’t tryin’ t’ take his place in the pack, right? I was just fightin’ him t’ see who was the stronger. An’ since Peaches was still pantin’ after Slu—the Slayer, he had the right t’ offer you as spoils—as prey. Prey that could be eaten, or claimed.”
Xander nodded, enjoying the feel of that porcelain skin rubbing his. “Yes. You won.”
“But I never claimed you.”
The speculative tone was lost on Xander, who was too busy reliving the daily struggle between man and beast. Sometimes, it was good. The soldier memories—which had also remained—were useful in fighting, and the hyena memories gave him a little more insight and awareness. But the other times. . .
Wake up, wanting Spike. Wanting to give myself, let myself be taken. All day, whispering to go find Spike. It would all be better, if pack-leader was there. Pack-leader would fix it. Never be alone with pack-leader. Every moment of the day, it made me think of Spike. And at night, I dreamed.
The soldier memories hadn’t helped that yearning. Soldiers traveled in their own kind of pack—squads, brigades, divisions, units. They had a strict hierarchy and followed orders without question. So when pack-leader said do something, the soldier heard his commanding officer. Great. I was obeying Spike because of the damned soldier. I thought the soldier would help me—hello, don’t ask, don’t tell?
“So, when I made you suck me off, that claimed you? The cum?”
Spike snorted. “You even know what that means, pet?”
“You ordered me!” Xander snapped, suddenly—finally!—angry. “You made me make you get off. Didn’t matter that I swallowed—”
“Mattered that I came, an’ from your obedience.”
His whole body was turning red. He knew it, he could feel his temperature rising and he knew Spike would know it, too. Which only humiliated him more. Tears pricked his eyes, and he wanted to be far, far from the vampire that in every way but human terms, owned him.
“I claimed you.” Spike’s was stroking his cock, fingers still slick from before sneaking in to tease him again. Xander jerked and gasped, anger draining into fierce lust. “An’ I marked you.” Spike’s knowing fingers found that wonderful place inside Xander body and rubbed. “Means you’re mine, now. My property. My boy. Mine!”
Xander buried his face into Spike’s chest, giving up any control over his body. Spike did own him; the beast was strong enough not only to make Xander’s mind and body obey, but to make him like the obedience. With no means to fight, there was no reason to fight. Spike wasn’t hurting him—ohhh, no, not hurting, feels so good—and Anya had never made him feel like this before. . .
He can’t hurt me, not really. He can’t bite me or turn me. He could probably order me to cut my own wrist or something, but. . . I don’t think he will. And oh, god, yes, Spike do that harder! Please. . .
Above him, Spike chuckled. “Vocal little thing, aren’t you?”
Um, I said that out loud? Crap.
“Not gonna hurt you, boy,” Spike was whispering now. “Gonna make you my puppy, mouth and ass for me alone. Whatever I want, whenever I want it. You like that, huh, pet? Like the thought of bein’ my toy? Yeah, you do. You’re a good little boy, such a hot little boy. . . Cum for me, luv, now.”
Xander immediately screamed, arching back, body convulsing as he came all over Spike’s chest and stomach. Panting, he slumped back down, careful to angle his body so that he wasn’t lying on the dripping cum. Gets sticky, he thought through post-orgasm fuzz. God, Spike made him cum so hard.
“Liked that, hm? Good.” The hand on his cock was removed, and Xander felt something hard, cold, and very slick against his anus again. “Push down.” He complied, the plug slipping in painlessly. “You’re so tight back there, pet. We’ll get to that later. Don’t worry, pet, you’re gonna like it. Can’t hurt you ’cause of this buggering chip, so gonna take it nice and slow, but you’d like it anyway. S’like my fingers, only so much bigger an’ harder. Fillin’ you up, stretchin’ you so nice. . . you’re gonna love me up inside you, making you scream.”
His voice is like sex, Xander thought. Slight pressure at the nape of his neck and he bent his head to begin licking that pale, sculpted body. Sucking on nipples and nipping at the nearly hairless expanse. Tasting himself while he memorized each dip and roll of skin that tasted like salt and cream. It’s like chocolate and sex.
“Gonna train you, pet. Gonna make you my perfect little boy.”
A good boy.