“Hmm?”  Damned Sunday crossword puzzles.

“I’m horny.”

Pause.  “So?”

“So?”  Accurate imitation of aghast consternation.  Someone else might’ve been fooled.  Spike penned in 24-down.

“Yeah.  So?”

“So, you’re supposed to be my boyfriend.”

“Oh, right.  So I am.”  Tilting his chair back, he felt underneath the appropriate cabinet and pulled out the mag he’d picked up a few days ago.  “Here,” he offered, tossing it across the table.

The resulting stare was audible.



“This is a gay magazine.  About, er, really skinny boys?”

“Twinks,” Spike supplied helpfully.

“Right.  Really skinny boys are called twinks.”  Sounds of pages being leafed through.  A single heart started pumping faster.  “Why do we have this?”

“Thought you might like it.”

More audible staring.  “You thought I’d like a gay porn-mag about twinks?”

“Uh huh.”


Spike put down his pen and paper and shrugged out of his t-shirt.  “I thought you might like it,” he repeated as he took up the puzzle again.

This time the staring was palpable.  Such a talented boy, his Xander was.

“Erk,” was the coherent response.

“M’sorry?”  What the bloody hell did ‘that girl’ reference to?  Unless it was a song title. . . or maybe a book?

Quiet, crinkling sounds of a magazine being perused.  Occasional pausing, but Spike was fairly certain whiskey-dark eyes were not looking at glossy, airbrushed photos.  Well, not much, anyway.



“You’re evil.”

“Keep tellin’ you lot that.  Don’t know why you never believe me.”

“The Transformers boxers make it difficult.”

“Hm.  Sorry ’bout that.”  It took some shifting and some squirming, but Spike managed to wriggle out of said boxers without releasing pen and paper a second time.  “Now m’I evil?”


Very, very occasional sounds of highly treated paper being moved and much more audible staring.  Also, ragged breathing.

“Oh, fine,” Spike said when the staring became glaring.  “C’mere.”

He placed the paper on the table so that if he hunched just a little, he could still write on it.  When a large body whumped beside him, practically vibrating in eagerness, he almost turned to glare himself.  “Watch it,” he snapped.  “I’ve got a system.”

“Yeah, yeah, you and the damned crossword puzzle.  I’m horny, Spike!”

Which Spike could well see, out of the corner of his eye: tall and proud and already dripping.  “And, again, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do.  I’m rather busy.”

“Spiiiiike!  You’re my boyfriend.  You’re supposed to take care of me.”  What, did he take lessons from Dawn?  Or maybe stand around and listen to the saws to get that perfect pitch to make skulls rattle?

Sighing, Spike let his right hand drop into a squirming lap.  “Demanding little pillock, aren’t you?”


Keeping a tight, fierce rhythm—and wasn’t he glad that he was ambidextrous at everything but writing?—Spike tried very hard not to smile.  Harsh, gasping breaths were heaved next to him, a warm body occasionally bumping his own as it jerked and twitched mindlessly.

“Is this what you wanted?” he inquired casually.  He had only three more clues.  Well, four, since 68-across was half-filled and probably wrong, anyway.

“Yuhuuuh.”  There were more attempts at words, but Spike was too busy to pay real attention to incoherent babbling.

He squeezed harder.


“Dammit!”  Spike held up his pen, glaring in distaste at the white fluid that dripped down it.  “How’m I supposed to write with this, now?”

The pen was plucked from his hand and brought up to full lips that curled just a little at the ends.  A few seconds later, the pen was handed back—still wet, but no longer white.

Spike stared at the pen.


“Yeah, Spike?”  Breaths slowly stabilizing, heart rate still faster than usual.

“I’m horny.”

“And I’m supposed to care?”

“Well, you’re my boyfriend,” Spike pointed out logically.  Struck by sudden inspiration, he filled in 75-down.  Two more.

“Yeah, so?”

“Turn to page 23.”

The sound of rustling and then a sharply indrawn breath.  “There’s a word for, um, that?”


“You think I’m a bear?!”

Spike glanced down significantly at his own torso and then his boyfriend’s.  “Look.  At.  Page.  Twenty.  Three.”


“So, you’re horny?”

Spike licked at his wet right hand.

“Oh.  Okay.”  A large body slid underneath the table.  Sucking sounds competed with the random tapping of a pen on the table.

The last two questions were evil.  Positively evil.  The author of this puzzle had to be demonic.

“Did you mean like this?”  Lips pressed to flesh, voice vibrating along nerves.

The only response was the sound of paper crumpling.