What's in a Man
Xander worked during the day. Up at six like a good little human, showered and dressed, then out the door, leaving his sleeping, hopefully sated lover in bed with a kiss and a promise to be back early.
Spike hated it.
Not because the job was bad. Xander liked being a rising star in his construction company. He'd been promoted a few months back, and the praise—along with the raise—was doing wonders for Xander's confidence and self-assurance. Well, it was now. First there were the obligatory two or three months where he panicked and ran around, certain he was going to mess up and betray the partner's trust in him. He hadn't yet, and Spike knew he wouldn't, anyway. Xander was good at his job. Enjoyed it.
But Spike still hated it.
He regularly complained about it to Xander. If it was money the human wanted, well, Spike could get him that. Legally, too, if he really wanted to be that scrupulous, and Xander always was. Xander sometimes waffled at that, especially if the last few days had been bad. He would get this far-away look in his eyes, a slight smile tugging his lips as he contemplated day after day with nothing but uninterrupted time with Spike. It was a beautiful smile, though Spike always made sure to mock him for it, and Spike enjoyed seeing it. Loved doing everything he could to bring it out. Since that usually involved whining about being abandoned and looking cute, he did it often.
But that wasn't why Spike hated Xander's job.
No, the answer was a hell of a lot more simple and fairly humiliating, which was why Spike never let Xander know there was something else bothering him. Because it wasn't something Xander could do anything about. It was something fundamental to Spike himself. He tried to ignore it as best that he could. Tried to bury it under logic twists and turns that would make Dru clap with glee, then dance among the snarls of rationalization. But it still didn't work, because when it came right down to it. . .
Xander wasn't supposed to provide. Spike was.
He blamed it on his Victorian upbringing, of course. Very unvampirely of him to want to play the big strong protector type. Vampires were the original suckers—be it sex, or blood, or gobs and gobs of cash. They were selfish, lazy creatures who wanted everything delivered right to their door, exactly when they wanted it. Like college students. Without all the tests and student loans. Spike should be grateful, in a suitably backward way, that Xander wanted to support them both in a manner Spike could be more than comfortable with. Since Spike had no intention of ever getting a job.
Except the desire—and more importantly, the sense of failure—was still there.
Spike was a man. Men weren't supposed to laze about and let their significant others do the work. Well, excepting housework, which Spike actually did, and that just compounded the problem, didn't it? Spike was acting like a kept woman, and it grated along every inch of his male pride. He was supposed to go out, make the money, and then come home complaining of a hard day's work while Xander strutted around in an apron and nothing much else, handing him a beer and telling him to put his feet up, his dinner of blood and buffalo wings would be ready in just a few more minutes, dear, and did he perhaps need a bit of seeing too before everything was ready? A blow job? Of course he didn't mind!
Not that Spike actually minded when he did that. Because he had, several times. Especially the blow-job bit, since he always came when Xander did, thereby taking care of the little problem of leaving your partner high and dry. Not that Xander would've anyway, but the thought was there.
He'd also once offered Xander a dinner of blood and chicken wings before. Xander had retaliated by eating all of the wings before Spike could. So Spike had licked him clean of barbeque sauce, all over the messy boy's body.
All of that was fun, really, and Xander always made it up to Spike for doing the cleaning. He didn't take it for granted, either, never getting upset if the dishes weren't clean because Spike'd broken the dishwasher, or forgotten a load of sodding laundry. He was always properly grateful, rewarding Spike with sex and random presents, and was quite careful never to talk about it too much. That could be due to Xander also being a male and not caring, but Spike chose to think his lover knew Spike well enough to steer clear of dangerous ground. Or so he pretended, at least.
And that just made him angrier.
Spike wasn't the woman. Neither was Xander, but that didn't matter. Spike was older, so he should get the respect and authority Xander seemed to be given as default, anymore. Not that he wanted people to dismiss Xander as worthless, but defending his honor once in a while might be nice. Proving to the world again that Spike wore the pants in this relationship and just ignore the snickering, black-eyed boy behind him.
It didn't help that Xander was bigger and broader than he was. Made Spike feel positively frail up against his sun-warmed bulk, sometimes. Excepting the vampire strength, of course. Since he rarely ever used it except when they wanted to do some trick during sex, or they needed to haul furniture or something. And, yeah, he liked being smaller sometimes. It let him feel surrounded completely when Xander was on top of him, arms bracketing his head, legs laying alongside his own while he thrust deep and long into Spike, promising things with his tongue without ever saying a word. That was nice, no question.
But it still wasn't very manly. And sometimes, Spike wanted to feel like more than just the live-in mistress.
He never talked about this with anyone. Not even Tara, who'd give him those soft, sad eyes, silently asking what was wrong without anyone else even knowing something was wrong. They talked a lot, him and Tara, but never about this. Because it wasn't something anyone could fix, unless they popped into his head and rummaged around a bit, erasing twenty seven years of human life and human expectations from his brain. Not that he'd ever consent to something like that. He'd already had someone mucking about in his head before, and it hadn't turned out well.
At least, not for a few years. But Spike wasn't going to think about how getting the chip also got him Xander. It didn't go with his point.
His point was that he wanted Xander to wear the skirt for a little. Just a very little. Sometimes.
And then suddenly, Xander did.
Spike stared down at the naked human in his living room, blinking in surprise. It was a Tuesday, so Xander was supposed to be at work. Xander would come home for a quickie fairly often, but that usually meant shoving Spike up against a wall and either fucking him blind or climbing up his legs in his haste to have Spike's cock inside him. Both were a hell of a lot of fun. But naked Xander kneeling in his living room was definitely a new one.
"Uh, everything all right at work, then?" he asked. "Contract with the German-whatchamacall 'em's get sorted."
Xander's head was bowed. His hair was just a little on the shaggy side, curling loosely around neck and shoulders, framing his eyes with the same sable shade. Skin burnt to a warm, golden brown, like the yellow cake Willow baked for them, added a glowing contrast that made Spike's mouth water. Darker trails of curls in the valley between work-hardened pecks, then skipping a bit to start up under the belly button to arrow down to a cock already half-hard. Strong legs, also dusted with dark curls that started mid-thigh and lay light along the heavy, corded muscles. It was a gorgeous sight, Xander kneeling before him.
"Xander? Pet, what's going on?"
Xander still didn't say anything, but his cock got harder. A small, clear droplet beaded on the tip.
A sudden roll of thunder made the lights around them flicker then cut out. Spike hadn't even known it was raining, but that at least explained why Xander was home early. Rain always meant suspended work days. Although lately, Xander always chose to take that time to finish up a bit more of his paperwork, so maybe it didn't. Regardless, it didn't explain what Xander was doing silent and kneeling and naked and fuck, he was getting even harder, in the living room.
Another slow roll of drumming filled the apartment. A single sharp crack of lightning, so jagged and close it made impressions on the backs of Spike's eyes, brightened the apartment unbearably, before plunging it into near total darkness. The power was out. And for the first time, Xander made a noise.
"It's just a storm, pet," he comforted automatically. "You've been through thunderstorms before. I'll just go and find some candles, hey? Though I think they'll have to be that smelly kind Buffy got us last Christmas. Probably smell like blueberries or something equally girly." They smelled like fresh pine, actually, and Spike adored them. He only burned them for an hour at a time, though, so the smell dissipated by the time Xander came home.
Xander whimpered again, high and in the back of his throat with a note of true fear in it. Spike sniffed, and found that yes, Xander was a little bit afraid.
Spike found himself pacing forward. Xander afraid meant reassurance in the form of a) killing whatever frightened him in the first place, or at least trying to, b) cuddling his larger, bigger body against Spike's and humming like he used to for Dru, or c) having the fight that they'd been building up to for the last three weeks already and dealing with whatever grown-up and painful problem that was bothering them.
Since he didn't know of any problem that would create a c-type situation, and there was nothing obvious to kill, Spike went down on one knee in front of Xander and reached for him. Xander immediately pressed his forehead into Spike's chest, allowing Spike's arms to slid around his back and hold him tightly. "Here, now," Spike murmured. "S'just a bloody thunderstorm."
Xander whimpered again, neediest yet, and burrowed even closer. He didn't touch Spike, his arms kept carefully by his side. That was odd. When Xander was in moods like this, he was usually as grabby as Spike was.
"Xander. Xan, this is starting to get a little old. What the hell is wrong?" He tilted Xander's chin up. Damn fine poker player though he was, there was nothing Xander could hide from Spike that Spike couldn't see in his eyes. Even in this half gloom with the constant thrum of thunder and the harsh pattern of rain splattering on the windows around them. Spike cupped Xander's cheek when he tried to duck down again, exerting just enough pressure to hold Xander still. "What's going on?"
Xander's eyes were wide and huge in his face. "Scared," he whispered, voice high and light, almost whispered, and so so little that it was pure instinct that made Spike tug him closer, shushing him.
It was then that he finally got it. Because in those big eyes there hadn't been a trace of real fear. Real lust, yeah. Real desire in spades. But real fear? No.
God, he loved this human.
"Scared, are you?" Spike asked. He stroked Xander's hair reassuringly, over his neck and down past shoulders that trembled just the tiniest amount. "S'just dark, pet. Nothing serious. Lights'll come back soon."
"But it's dark," Xander insisted. "Don't like the dark."
"Want me to light some candles, then?" Spike moved just enough that it was conceivable that he was actually trying to leave.
"No!" Xander pushed in closer. "Don't go, please. Please."
"All right, baby." Spike shivered, feeling himself start to harden at the rarely-used endearment. "Won't go anywhere. Stay right by you the entire time." They remained kneeling—Xander still back, sitting on his heels—until Xander's trembling wasn't from pretend fear anymore, but muscles starting to object to the hunched-over position. "Wanna go sit on the sofa, baby? Stretch out a little?"
Xander nodded, whimpering again. Such a sweet little noise, curling around his balls like a warm hand. Spike rose first, dragging Xander's face from chest to crotch before helping him stand up. Xander kept his head lowered, crawling half in Spike's lap the minute Spike sat down.
"Feel funny," Xander said after a few moments. The rain was coming down even harder, hammer-strokes of water that beat against the walls and the windows like it was desperate to come inside. "Don't like it. Make it better?"
"What don't you like, baby? What's wrong?"
Xander ducked his head down a little more, moving close enough that his erection pushed up against Spike's thigh. "Feel funny," he repeated.
Spike kissed him right along the edge of his hairline where there were just a few strands of grey starting to appear. "Feel tight, baby? Hot and hungry?"
Xander nodded silently.
"Do you want me to touch it? Would that make it feel better?"
"I don't know. Would it?" Xander squirmed a little moving closer. Spike knew he would look frustrated and just a little upset, if he could see his face. "Could you? Try?"
Spike bit his lip to prevent the chuckle from escaping. Such a talented little actor. "Of course, baby." He started at Xander's chest, running the pads of his fingers down warm skin until he reached Xander's erection. That he caressed slowly, teasingly. Not nearly enough for for friction. "Does that feel good? Do you like the way I'm touching you?"
Xander whimpered and squirmed, thrusting up to create more friction. "More. Please, it hurts."
"Can't have that, can we? No hurting for my baby boy." Ceasing his taunting, gentle exploration, Spike curled his fist around Xander's cock and squeezed it just a little on the rough side. Xander cried out, head burying further into Spike's chest. "You like that, baby?"
"Yessss. More, Daddy."
Spike's hips jerked up in response to that. He hadn't actually expected Xander to say it, but now that he had. . . rumbling an echo to the thunder, Spike wrapped his arm more tightly around Xander's waist. "Good. That's a good boy."
Xander moaned and pushed up against Spike again. His thigh brushed over Spike's cock and he gave a small exclamation of surprise. Patently false, but then, Spike couldn't expect Xander to be that good of an actor. "Daddy? Do you feel funny, too?"
"Yeah, baby. You make me feel funny." The words caught in Spike's throat, rough like menthol inhaled too quickly. They were hot, yes, although slightly different from the more common ‘you make me hard' found in every porn book or movie anywhere. Because while Xander did make Spike hard, well, lots of things made Spike hard. Porn, a violent kill, hell, even watching the Slayer fight still got him going.
But only Xander made him feel funny.
"Can I touch it, too? Would that help, Daddy?"
Spike moaned, rubbing his nose in hair that smelled of sawdust and ozone tang and the same shampoo he used. "I'd like that, baby. Very much."
Xander's hand was slightly damp as it carefully laid itself flat over Spike's cock. "It's hard, Daddy! Is it supposed to be hard?" Xander didn't wait for Spike's panted out agreement, cupping cock and balls through Spike's jeans and rubbing his hand slightly. "Does this feel good, Daddy?"
"Yeah. Oh, yeah, baby, you make Daddy feel so good."
Xander giggled—giggled—and started fumbling with the zipper. "Can I see it, Daddy? Can I touch it for real?" He sounded happy, now. Little boy with a new discovery, anxious to play and discover the wonders he could find.
Spike wasn't about to tell him no. "Sure. Lemme just get the zip." His cock sprang out, hard and wetter than Xander's prior exploration warranted, but Spike didn't care. Xander was cooing over him, petting it and dipping his fingers in the wetness pooling in the slit. He didn't even seem to mind that Spike wasn't touching him anymore. Well, not his cock. Spike had one hand firmly pressed against Xander's back, the other gripping the hard edge of the sofa behind him.
Xander stroked Spike the same way Spike had stroked him—first gentle, than more firmly. He shifted position, moving backward so he had a better angle, focused entirely on Spike's dick. It was kind of gratifying to see Xander pay such significant attention to him. Not that he didn't, just. . . this kind of touch was usually accompanied with smiles and kisses, or harsh, brutal words. This was different. Nice.
"Do—do you still feel funny, Daddy?"
Spike cocked his head, unsure where Xander was going. "Yeah. A bit."
Xander looked crestfallen for a moment, then brightened. "Can I do something else? To make it not feel funny? Can I, Daddy?"
Always feel funny when I'm with you. He nodded, afraid his voice would give too much away.
Xander smiled at him, then leaned down and started licking. Short, kittenish licks, warm and soft around the head of his cock than going slightly further down the shaft. Spike groaned, head falling against the back of the sofa. "Fuck, baby. You make Daddy feel so good."
Xander hummed some kind of response before lifting off. "Is that enough, Daddy? Can I do more?"
"May I, and yes, you may. Do whatever you like, baby."
Xander flushed at the correction and lowered his gaze. "Can—may I suck it, Daddy? In my mouth?"
"Yeah. Suck it, baby."
Smiling happily, Xander kept his eyes on Spike's face as he slowly lowered his mouth around the head of Spike's cock. No little boy could be as skillful as Xander was right then—not that Spike cared. Xander's cheeks went totally concave, his chest extending in effort to find the perfect amount of pressure. Then he slowly, slowly started easing down, still sucking. Still watching Spike, waiting for a reaction.
"That's right. Suck Daddy's cock, baby. You like making Daddy feel good?"
Xander nodded, sliding back up until only the head was in his mouth. A wicked hint of something flashed in his eyes—and as he sank back down, he let his teeth scrape along the sensitive skin. Hard.
So that's how he wanted to play this.
Spike had Xander off his cock and flat on his back in seconds. Straddling him on the sofa, Spike spread his hand around Xander's neck—gently, since he was a bloody fool and didn't actually want to hurt Xander. Xander's struggles never broke the hold, though, so Spike figured he was doing this right. "Bad boy," he said harshly. "What did you think you were doing?"
"Sorry! Sorry, I'm sorry, Daddy, it slipped, I didn't mean to!" The devil wings in Xander's eyes didn't go away, but he did widen them and try to look scared and contrite at the same time. "Please don't punish me, Daddy. I'm sorry."
"Nu uh, baby. You hurt Daddy. Now Daddy's got to punish you, so you don't do it again. You don't want to do it again, do you, baby? Don't want to be naughty?"
"NO! No, Daddy, I promise, I'll be good. Don't need to be punished!"
"You are gonna be good for me," Spike said grimly. Trying his damnedest not to smile. "I'm gonna punish you so you don't forget it."
Xander whimpered and moaned as he was flipped onto his belly and then dragged over Spike's lap. His cock was still hard, probably aching, against Spike's thigh. He thought about spreading his legs, preventing Xander from rubbing against anything, before deciding against it. Xander didn't often like being spanked, though he'd do for Spike whenever Spike asked. This was a rare treat and Spike wasn't going to ruin it by taking it too far.
"Want you to count off for Daddy. Can you do that, baby? Count to fifteen for me?"
"Yes, Daddy." Xander mimicked sobs so damned well, but Spike knew the tremor was from laughter not fear. The heady sound made his cock press more firmly into Xander's belly. "I can count all the way to twenty!"
He almost, almost broke role and started laughing. "Aren't you a good boy, then." Xander was shaking from suppressing his own guffaws, almost snorting as he tried to breathe and not laugh at the same time. Pretty, yeah, but not quite what Spike was trying to go for. So he brought his hand down with a hard, staccato smack.
Xander yelped and froze.
"What's that, baby?"
"One, Daddy. That's one."
This time the tremor was due to nervousness, but Spike expected that. Xander really didn't like spanking. It took him a while to get into it, which is why Spike was going to give him at least fifteen good swats—by that time, he was sure, Xander would want more.
By five, Xander was panting, starting to snuffle without any actorly prompt. His ass went from petal pink to a darker, angrier red, his voice ragged and wet as the pain of each hit slowly turned into pleasure. "Ten, Daddy!"
"Are you going to be a good boy for me?" Spike asked. Xander was writhing now, tears streaking down cheeks as red as the ones Spike caressed. "Are you going to behave?"
"Yes, Daddy. Promise!"
"Hmmm." Spike pretended to consider for a moment, enjoying the feel of a hot, dripping cock rubbed into his thigh harshly. Xander was close. "Think you still need to be reminded."
Xander whimpered, head falling forward so he was muffled by the sofa. "Yes, Daddy."
"Eleven, Daddy. Twelve, Daddy." Thirteen and fourteen were nearly screams, and by fifteen, Xander was literally seconds from coming. Spike flipped him over, dumping him into Spike's lap—ignoring the whimper of real pain—and tugged his balls away from his body, other hand clamped around the base of his dick.
Xander let out an all-mighty moan. His eyes rolled back into his head for a moment, body trembling all over as he was brought down from the edge. "Th-thank you, Daddy," he whispered after a moment or two.
"Good boy. Are you going to use your teeth again, baby?"
Xander shook his head so hard drops of sweat flew from his body to Spike's. "No, Daddy. Promise. No more."
"That's my boy. That's my good boy." Xander whimpered while his flaming ass was caressed, Spike enjoying the way his boy pressed back into the touches, no matter how much they hurt. "Daddy's little slut."
Xander moaned like a broken thing. "Yes, Daddy. Yours, Daddy."
"Look what you did to me, baby." Spike grabbed one of Xander's hands, bring it down to rest over his erection. "Made me so hard, didn't you? Wrigglin' all over me like a landed fish. Gonna have to take care of it, aren't you baby boy? Gonna be good for Daddy?"
Xander's eyes were dilated fully when they rolled back down. "H-how, Daddy? Can—may I suck it again?"
"Uh uh. Too hard for that now, baby." Spike's fingers found their way between Xanders' reddened cheeks, unsurprised when he discovered Xander already slick and stretched. "Gotta fuck you. Can you do that for Daddy? Can you climb up on Daddy's cock and ride him?"
Xander was up in the air before Spike finished the request, grabbing Spike's cock and positioning him. At the last second, he remembered the game and gave Spike a wide, innocent-eyed look. "Is this right, Daddy? Am I being good now?"
Inches from where Spike wanted to be, Spike growled and bucked and finally grabbed Xander's hips and shoved him down. Xander screeched at the rough entry. Babbled something about hurting and too big, Daddy, too big, but Spike didn't care. Slick heat enveloped him, soothing the sting of cold air and squeezing around him the way only Xander could. "Fuck," he groaned, bucking up harshly. "Told you to ride me, boy."
Xander keened, pistoning up and down so fast that the part of Spike's brain that was still functional worried about muscle cramps and backs being thrown out. But then that part of his brain dissolved into a puddle of heat and lust, wrapped up in Xander's scent and the panted pleas for more. He fucked Xander hard, waiting until Xander slid off the freeway into the spiralling mindlessness of pleasure.
Because then he could flip Xander onto his back. "Wrap your legs around Daddy," he ordered, kneeling on the sofa. "Gonna fuck you now, baby. Gonna fuck you hard."
Xander was sobbing again with need, nodding agreement. Spike wasn't far behind. He slammed into Xander's body, fucking with bruising intensity, violent and probably painful. He didn't care. Xander didn't care, bucking back to meet each thrust. The need to come was there, stoked by their game and the spanking but Spike ignored it. Had to. Just concentrated on fucking Xander over and over and over.
He didn't stop when Xander came the first time. Just kept pounding, taking exactly what he wanted, what he'd needed for so long. There was nothing gentle or loving about this, no matter how many times Spike told Xander he loved him. But Xander never objected, not even when it was obvious his body was completely spent and Spike was still going.
"More, Daddy," Xander whispered. He wrapped his arms around Spike's neck and clung. Sweat and come was rubbed into Spike's skin through the contact. "Fuck me more."
When he did finally come, his eyes rolled back in his head and he let loose an unearthly howl that was going to have neighbors complaining. It wasn't the first time, nor the last. Collapsing in exhaustion, Spike didn't have the energy to try and shift, landing with a thud on Xander's chest.
Xander shifted him enough so that he could breathe. "Love you, Spike," he said in his normal voice. "Love all of you."
His lips compressed as if he was kissing, but he couldn't manage to turn his head enough to find skin to actually kiss. "You, too," he whispered dazedly. "God, what you do to me."
Because though the whole thing was designed to make Spike feel like the man of the house again, it didn't really work. Brilliant though his lover was, Xander didn't understand the dynamics of a true submissive. He couldn't see how it was their sacrifice that gave them the power. How their compliance was just one more way to take care of their partner. To be the strong one.
And Spike wouldn't have it any other way.