Stroke of Midnight
Fingers; bigger, thicker, with calluses and rough ridges, touching him. Fingers that had no business being anywhere near him, let alone where they currently rested.
Rubbing. Very lightly. Rubbing.
It was dark out. The air was crisp and clean under the clear night sky, quiet but for the sounds of night creatures going about their business. Not the bump-in-the-dark kind, who were oddly silent this particular night, but owls hooting in the distance. The chittering of small animals scurrying from tree to tree. Little things.
Once, when he was younger, he’d gone on a camping trip. They hadn’t gone very far, driving barely an hour into the desert that bordered the town before setting up camp. It had been magnificent. All of civilization’s lights, brilliant and blinding even in the dark, were gone. . . leaving millions of stars.
A carpet of twinkling, cold, white light, bathing the desert in ethereal brilliance. Patterns and textures, swirling above his head, hiding secrets he’d longed to understand. Why there were hints of blue and red and even gold among the ice-white. Why some were bigger, smaller, closer, farther. Willow’s lectures about the gas giants that created them or how long it took for the light to reach earth a comforting murmur in his ear, her voice as familiar as his own breathing.
Right then, he’d give anything to have her next to him.
**“Sorry, kid. Hate to do this today, but my sister’s kid is back in town and. . . well, he’s family. Here’s your last check and a bit more. Spend it on that girl of yours.”**
The pattern of his life was always the same. Whenever things were just starting to go right and he’s start to believe that maybe this time it’d be okay—Fate would step in and crap on his head.
Maybe that was why his hair was brown?
A palm, now. Fingers stroking along the crease of his jeans, just enough pressure to make him want to gasp, heel rubbing along the zipper. Warm, quiet sounds of breathing in his ear and along his neck.
The stars were dimmer tonight, half-hidden by clouds that raced each other and never seemed to win. He studied their dim glow, trying to make patterns. Trying to remember the patterns Willow and Mrs. Hanson had tried to teach him in third grade. Big dipper. Little dipper. Ursula something? Or was that the same thing? He wasn’t sure.
**“Yes, of course, Buffy, I’d be happy to join you tonight. Your mother specifically asked for me? Well. I, ah, well, I’m delighted. Should I bring anything? Some wine? Perfect. And Willow, do enjoy your Solstice event. You do realize that the twenty fourth isn’t—”
“Yeah, we know, Giles. But we thought it’d be fun, that’s all. Tara says that the moon will be full tonight, so we’re going to—um, that is, we’re—”
“Just be careful, Willow, and call on no dark magicks tonight. There are old enchantments that can still trigger the pagan holiday Christmas is based on, which as you know was nothing like the current celebration. I wouldn’t want you to awaken something accidentally.”
“Nope. No dark magicks for us. Just fun, happy magicks.”
“Yes, of course. And you, Anya? Where will you be?”**
More pressure, now. The loose hold growing firmer, harder, cupping around what had been soft and useless. Still rubbing. Warm sounds joined the warm breaths, the weight of shoulder and thigh pressing down. Tiny sounds from deep within, shivering his skin into vibrato. Good sounds. Very good sounds.
Except, they weren’t supposed to be good.
A shift, the material that surrounded them shuffling and twitching with the move. A heavy head, broad forehead, surprisingly long nose, pressed into his belly.
Xander looked back up at the stars.
**“I want to go to Xander’s family’s party.”
“What? No! Not ever! Ahn, no, we’ll go rent that room, I even have some extra cash—”
“Didn’t you say you’d lost your job?”
“Yeah, yes, I did, but that’s okay, I can blow some of it because this is a special night—”
“You have extra cash? Why haven’t you bought the presents I requested, then? I know you haven’t, Xander. I went to the basement today. Spike is still there, by the way.”
“I know he’s still there, Ahn, but I—”
“Ah, yes, about that, you don’t mind if he stays there tonight as well, do you, Xander? I do apologize for this, but as I’m not going to be here tonight, I think it best he stay with you.”
“With me? Giles—Giles. I have a girlfriend, Giles. I’d like to spend Christmas Eve with my girlfriend!”
“There’s no need to hiss at me like that, Xander. It’s not like they can’t hear you, three feet away.”
“Xander! You aren’t listening to me. I can forgive you not buying me presents. Now, what time does your parents’ party start?”**
It was amazing how some people could just slide their way wherever they wanted. The heavy weight of shoulder and thigh became tightly muscled torso and slim hips, skating down and around to rest comfortably against him. Every hollow of his body was filled.
This wasn’t supposed to feel good.
He could still see his father, on that one long-ago camping trip, drunk in spite of having two young children under his care. Stomping around in the sand, shouting curse words into the empty air, just to hear his own coarse voice. Sending glances towards the children, curled up in a single sleeping bag without thought to implication. The innuendo that had joined the cursing had gone over the heads of both children, then.
It should be Willow with him. Warm and soft and comforting and safe. It should be Anya with him. Hot and sexy and demanding and insatiable.
**“You’re ashamed of me! You don’t want them to find out about me!”
“Because you shouting at the top of your lungs one floor down isn’t going to clue them in?”
“I am not shouting!”
“No, actually you’re screaming, but I didn’t mean now, anyway.”
“You’re disgusting, Xander Harris. Talk to me when you’ve grown up.”
“What? Ahn, no, wait—please! I’m not ashamed of you! But I never spend Christmas Eve with them; I wanted to spend it with you.”
“And we can—no! I’m not falling for anymore of your lines, mister.”
“Mister? Oh, god, you’ve been talking to Willow—”
“Now I’m not supposed to talk to your best friend? You are ashamed of me. Why don’t you just admit it!”
“No! Anya, I—”
“I don’t want any more excuses. I’m breaking up with you. I’ll collect my things later. Right now, there’s a party at the Bronze and I am attending. Alone.”
“Well, now. Wasn’t that a lovely spectacle.”
“Shut up, Spike.”**
No job, no girl, no family. At least none that he’d admit to, anyway. His friends were all off doing things with their friends and family, leaving Xander to vamp-sit. And to watch Harrises from all over the state converge in drunken splendor. Maybe this year they’d burn the entire house down, instead of just the garage.
The stars blinked at him.
The zipper of his jeans was eased down.
He couldn’t really begrudge his friends. They had their own thing and he was good with that. Couldn’t do a damned thing about his family and no way was he taking Anya anywhere near his dad. He’d seen the way the elder Harris had looked at any girl over the age of eight in Xander’s company. What he’d do with a woman who looked like Anya, Xander hadn’t wanted to find out.
Not ashamed of you, Ahn. Ashamed of them.
But saying that had been impossible. So he’d watched her go, to the familiar tune of vampiric bitching. Giles’ initial excuse of having visitors in his home had long since ended, yet other reasons had been found to prevent Spike’s return. After weeks of living in such close quarters with a dreaded, feared, although currently harmless, vampire, Xander had learned his secret weapon: whining.
**“What the hell are you doing, Harris? It’s the middle of the bloody night!”
“I thought you liked the night.”
“Not when I’ve got the sodding Initiative waiting t’take me back to their bloody labs. Only way I’m going back is to get ’em to take this buggering piece of hardware out of my head.”
“Man’s gotta have a goal.”
“I’m a vampire!”
“Who is currently less dangerous than me. And keep it down, I don’t want them to hear us.”
“Gonna tell me why the hell we’re sneaking out of the hellhole you call home on Christmas Eve? An’ why you got all your worldly possessions with you?”
“This isn’t everything! Just—just the important stuff. Y’know. In case there’s a fire or something.”
“Huh. Drunken pyrotechnics, eh? Sounds fun, we should go back. You can pretend I’m a paramedic or somethin’ and when they start hurting themselves, I can lick ’em clean. Or maybe someone’ll die! I can bite a corpse. I think.”
“That’s disgusting, Spike. We’re not going back. You wouldn’t want to drink them, anyway.”
“I dunno, could get a hell of a buzz that way.”
“Yeah. But then Uncle Rory will call you my date and. . .”**
It stunned him how easy it was. His jeans were slipped down, smooth and easy, barely disturbing the crinkly outer layer of the sleeping bag. The one that made a noise if he breathed hard. Down, down, and off his legs while lips that felt warm encircled his bellybutton.
He gasped, forcing himself not to move. Moving was bad. This was bad. This was nothing but bad.
God, that tongue was good.
**“What the bleeding—Xander, you are not asleep. Answer me, dammit!”
“I’m tired, Spike. Today has ranked way up there on the ‘Worst Day Of My Life’ list, and that includes when a giant snake tried to eat my entire high school. Let me go to sleep.”
“It’s freezing out here, Harris! Where’m I gonna sleep?”
“And I’m supposed to care because. . .oh, right. I’m not.”
“You’re a vampire. You have no circulation. You don’t feel cold.”
“Really? Well, then. . .”
“Yeeeeeeeeeeeah! Spike! What the hell did you do that for!”
“What, just put my hand on the back of your neck. Oh. Was it cold? Did I startle you?”
“Big words, little man. Come on, Harris. It’s bloody cold out and I don’t fancy sleeping on the hard ground. Specially since you took the only unrocky bits.”
“I wish I had another sleeping bag, Spike, if only to shut you up, but guess what? I don’t! You are not my friend; you are not someone I want to help. You are someone I have to take care of on Christmas because all of my friends are too busy doing things with theirs. And now that I’ve given you enough blackmail material to make me miserable for the next thousand years, good night!”**
His body pulsed in time with the suction over his belly. Nerves fired, limbs twitched, and he could feel his breathing accelerate. He kicked off the jeans pooled around his ankles, strictly for comfort, of course. Wriggled slightly when hands returned to their previous positions, unsurprised when the warm cotton of his boxers was tugged in the same manner his jeans had been. His shirt had long ago been rucked up around his shoulders, forced there by a cat-like body that sucked up all available space.
He was naked from nipples to feet.
Hot mouth, which wasn’t supposed to be hot, but maybe the air warmed by human body-heat was to blame. Hot mouth, sharp tongue, blunt teeth, powerful suction. All focused on him, traveling slowly down from navel to groin. Fingers calloused from life gripped him in two places, rubbing and bruising and good. Hard on his hip, holding him steady, pulling him close. Pointed chin rubbing down over the most sensitive parts of him.
Above him, the stars pulsed with serene majesty. . .or maybe that was just his blood pounding behind his eyes. There was no one around them. No one to see or hear or even guess what was happening inside a black sleeping bag hidden in a copse of trees chosen to provide protection from the morning sun. No one would ever know.
**“Xander, come on. Please. It’s Christmas, ain’t it? I don’t want to sleep on the ground. Bag’s big enough for two, you know it is.”
“Fine. Okay? Fine. Just let me sleep.”
“Cheers, mate. Merry Christmas.”**
There was so much blood in his erection that he could barely make out the sight of black sky highlighting blacker branches. All he could do was. . .feel. Tongue. Hot, warm, good tongue, licking around the head of his cock like it was a lollipop. Sweeping up ever drop of pre-come, rumbling moans accompanying each swallow. Lips. Soft and gentle, thicker than his eyes had told him, pillowed up against burning skin. Wrapping around him to suck and suck and suck.
**“You do this every Christmas?”
“Don’t know. A while.”
“So you never get a present at midnight, then?”
“It’s past midnight, Spike. And no. Well, okay, once. I got race cars.”
“You’re missin’ out, Harris. Nothing better than staying up till midnight, just to get that one present. Then forcin’ yourself to sleep, knowing you got more coming the next day. Just a taste to make your dreams unreal.”
“Spike celebrates Christmas? And you’re supposed to be sleeping, Bleachy.”
“Was human once. An’ yeah. Christmas is. . . Christmas.”
“How profound. Thanks for taking the time to mock me. Now shut up.”
“Yeah. Right. G’night, Harris.”
How long didn’t matter. A mouth, wet and tight and skilled beyond even a certain former demon’s, was sucking him. Nose pressed against bone, lips tickled by wiry curls. Tongue tracing a blue vein with little flicks and flutters, while unneeded air was sucked in.
Then the mouth moved up.
The one time he glanced down, he could see the sleeping bag bulge and bob obscenely below his waist. Fabric stretch to accommodate when the head was tickled and teased until it hurt, settling as teeth lightly rubbed along the base, muscles contracting to sooth what had previously been tormented. Again and again, he watched, bulging and settling, bulging and settling.
Abruptly, the rhythm quickened, the bag unable to settle before head, shoulders, and the curve of a spine forced it back up into the air. Balls, fondled and caressed, tightened up in preparation. A rumbling sound, words spoken without lips or tongue, filled the damp, hot air. Over and over, up and down until—
The clouds passed by the time he was aware again. The stars shone down unimpeded, but their light was weaker. Dawn would be coming. Not yet, not soon, but the sun would rise up and burn away this mystical feeling of calm.
Sated, happy growls any other being would call purrs were rumbled into his ear. Arms wrapped tightly around him, cradling him against a body that was smaller, tighter, colder. Muscles, lax and lethargic, did not protest when he was pulled even closer, hardness tight against his hip. Hair that smelled of gel rested against his neck.
It wasn’t a bad question, but he hated asking it. It felt so good to be like this.
“Merry Christmas,” was the slurred response. “Go t’sleep. More pressies in the morning.”
Xander blinked, wondering if the stars really had all just winked out. But no, there they were. Still calmly watching as they had while a human had his brains sucked out through his dick. “Presents?” he asked weakly.
“Well, yeah.” Rough tongue licking along his neck. “You still haven’t fucked me.”
Great. How the hell was he supposed to sleep now?